Monthly Archives: March 2013

“Personal” spring cleaning (Take One)

I am good at a few things and not-so-good at many things.  After recounting the various conversations with my Saturday running group yesterday, I came up with a few areas that I am “short” in getting ready for spring.   I’ve got hundreds more “areas” but here are a few to start off the spring season:

1. I want to be better at loving g-ds creatures.  I can honestly say that I hate mice and bats.  I am not in love with the box elder bugs that have invaded our house (which no one seems “bugged” by but me).  I really despise the geese that seem to be coming back in full force.   I stepped on their remnants yesterday.  Yuck.

2. I am terrible at relaxing.  Or better yet, I am terrible at understanding how or when to relax.  My ex said to me yesterday (after I mentioned that I was tired from vacation with the kids), “How could you possibly think that taking a vacation with the very people who you need to vacation from, would be a vacation?”  Well put.  I need to find real quiet time to regroup this spring.

3. In keeping with #2, I am terrible at finishing a book.  I used to read all the time.  Now, The Economist is the best I can do (the articles are short).  I took two books on vacation and didn’t crack either one.  What’s happening to my mind?  Is it turning to mush?  I am going to promise to read three great books this summer.  Any suggestions?

4. I am really bad at shopping.  Not shopping for food.  I’m awesome at that one.  I am bad at clothes shopping – especially when the season changes.  I’m afraid it has rubbed off on my daughter, who also doesn’t like shopping for clothes.  We have to make a “treat” out of it by buying a cup of our favorite flavored Super America coffee before hand just to get revved up for the experience.  Sorry honey, that you got that one from me.

5. I am really bad at just watching a sporting event for my kids.  It doesn’t matter the sport, I apparently cheer to the point of annoying my kids (well, everything I do annoys them but that’s another 25 blogs).  I’m going to try to be more “reserved” as this spring season gets underway.  I promise kids!

So, no great philosophical ideas today.  Nothing earth shattering.  Just a recognition that as spring is coming (although not here today) I have a bit of personal “house-cleaning” to do.   Anyone else want to fess up?

Enjoy your Sunday.  Since my NCAA bracket is shattered, maybe I’ll read a book today!

 

Sex at 70+. What’s “normal?”

Yes, that is one of the headings of an article in my first AARP magazine.   And, I might add, the one I decide to read first.  I frantically page through the magazine looking for it and can’t find it!  It’s not in the table of contents nor is it on a page which appears to reference the article!!!  Maybe there is no sex at 70 and that’s why there’s no article! Geeze – what a tease at the outset!

I find three pages on the best ways to spend $100.  Really? If I haven’t figured out how to spend $100 by the time I am 70+ then just forget it.  Here are a few ways they suggest on how to “spend” my $100 (should I have it at 70 to spend): (1)  Play my gift cards right.  Look if I could REMEMBER to bring my gift cards to the store, there would be no issue. I don’t need help spending them; (2)  Get the autographs of stars before they become stars.  Huh?; (3) Stock up on stamps because the price is going up.  You are kidding me??!!!  By the time I’m 70 we won’t be using stamps any more and I will have WASTED my $100.

There’s one paragraph on finding my soul mate.  Why only one paragraph? Maybe at 70 it only warrants one paragraph instead of the 5 pages in O magazine. Hmm.

I find 4 pages on “It’s Never Too Late to Love Your Job.”  Pleeeease.  I am counting on my kids working when I am 70, not me.  Don’t ask me to reinvent myself at 70!  I can barely spell my name now!

Every ad seems to be for helping me survive life: The Walk In Jacuzzi, The Medical Alert, The Premier Care Peace of Mine Walk in Bath, how to plan my estate and the advantages of joining the AARP Foundation.  Where’s the organic milk, perfume and food ads?  I’m not thinking I’m going to like this too much.

At the end is an article on dot.com dating for the “older” crowd with “date tips.”  Ok, at the rate I’m going, that might be me.  Finally, something worth reading!

Have a great day!!!

Oh, and PS – if you youngsters (under 50 crowd) want to read a copy, call me … I’ll save mine for you!

I regret doing something this week.

I did something this week that I regret.  I didn’t steal or cheat or anything like that.  I just did something, let something get to me, and didn’t behave in a way that I like.  No one really noticed it but me.  I am still thinking about it.  I don’t like regret, even though we all have it.

I guess I need to let myself off the hook.  Certainly I agree with the notion that the understanding that you did something you regret, is half the battle.  And we all feel it every day.  So, I’m normal, right?

Really, regret is the recognition that the world is not as good or perfect as it could be (or we want it to be).  Regret means that we wish something hadn’t happened, but it doesn’t imply that you could have or should have done anything about it or even responded differently.

There is some good to regret.  It means we look at the things we do in an effort to do better the next time.  It’s like getting angry; it can be helpful at times to allow us to look at issues and work through them.

Thinking or worrying (that’s me) about the situation too much can be counterproductive.  So, it is important to let go of the regret and use it for some greater purpose … to change our behavior the next time … maybe even to apologize (I’m going to do that today).

So, regardless of whether you do something you regret involving your kids, your spouse or even friends, know that regret will help make your life better.  Again, life really is about embracing our mistakes!

Have a great day!

Forty is the old age of youth, fifty is the youth of old age. Victor Hugo

My grandfather had a million quotes and poems in his mind.  That is a lost art … you must have (or had) relatives that were that way too.  It was wonderful.  I repeated one of those quotes to a friend yesterday and he said I should post some. So, here are a few:
Rather than continuing to seek the truth, simply let go of your views.  Gautama Buddha
One day you will ask me which is more important? My life or yours? I will say mine and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life. Khalil Gibran
Love is energy of life. Robert Browning
The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude. Dennis S. Brown
What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Middle age is when you’re sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn’t for you. Ogden Nash
For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy. Robert A. Heinlein
Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home. Phyllis Diller
The only true wisdom is knowing that you know nothing. Socrates
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Dale Carnegie
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. Oscar Wilde
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. Robert Heinlein
It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages. Friedrich Nietzsche
Peace begins with a smile. Mother Teresa

Enjoy your spring day!

What do you do with your Ah-ha moments?

Life has a way of giving you “Ah-ha” moments.   These are the precise moment that you have an epiphany and suddenly understand something that you had previously not understood or despite your best efforts, had not been able to understand it until that exact moment.

I realized today that I am blogging my ah-ha moments.  But my fear is that I won’t do anything with them.  Am I implementing them in my life?  Am I just writing them down and then forgetting them?  Have I become a better person by at least acknowledging my ah-ha moments?  What do you do with your “moments?”

I’ve can say that by taking my ah-ha moments and looking at them, I’ve (sortof) released myself from the clutches of my need for perfectionism – which has led me to some other things:

1. I’ve got a better understanding that I am never going to be a yogi who can meditate for more than 36 seconds!  But, that’s ok.  That’s not who I am.

2. I’ve learned that I am not an 8 hour a night sleeper.  Never have been and as I am getting old(er), I am sleeping less.  Sure it makes me a bit foggy but isn’t that just preparation of my late(r) years?

3. I’ve learned that my kids really are ok and thankful young human beings.  Sometimes I don’t see it, but when I do, I realize that I’ve done the best I can and the rest is up to them (with me watching, of course!).

4. I’ve learned that sharing my flaws shows me just how many I actually have and how much work I really have to do!  That was a big ah-ha moment!

5. I’ve had a few big ah-ha moments about love and relationships from this blog.  More to come on that front!

6. I’ve learned that I have to let go of things.  I have not learned how to do that yet but I do know that I’m going to have to learn.  I have good teachers.

7. I now know that life will end.  I knew that before.  I watched it with my mom but for some reason I see it more clearly now.  This is a tough one and writing any more will just make me cry.

A friend told me this week that he felt very young inside but that his body was getting older and he knew it.   He said it was his ah-ha moment.  I know the feeling!

My point?  Don’t wait for the “moment” to occur.  Sometimes our ah-ha moments come when a family member is sick or some tragedy occurs.  I wish that was not often the case.  But, don’t let those moments go by without change or examination.  Think about who you are.  Be true to and accept yourself – that alone will be an ah-ha moment.

Have a great day!

Words for all our children.

On our last day on vacation, I want to say a few things to my children.  Honestly, I think we should be saying these things to our kids every day.  

Thank you for a wonderful time this week.  You teach me things by your innocence.  You entertain me in the funniest of ways.  

I pray that you will always keep the incredible sense of wonder you have about the world and life.  It is so much fun to watch.

I hope you will always stay as close to your siblings as you are today.  Stay close to me too.  There are phones everywhere!  There is nothing more important than family.

Continue to grow up and be smart and curious.  It will serve you well.

If you ever feel alone or unsure, turn to one of us or a friend.  We all love you and are here for you.

Enjoy life.  Don’t be in such a hurry to get to the next thing.  If you do, you will miss the here and now.

Love yourself. Love your body.  Love your differences.

Enjoy the quite moments and the loud experiences.

You get one chance and every moment counts.

I had a great time this week (despite ourselves!).  I hope you did too!

Love Mom

Whether a new or seasoned parent – nature “requires” that you worry.

I worry.  I know I do. I have been told that worry is my middle name. This cliché has been talked about and written about for generations and is true for many parents.  I recall my grandparents worrying.  I remember my mom worrying and I still see my dad worrying.  Back “in the days” we didn’t have cell phones so there was no way my mom could keep track of me.  When I went to college, my mom wanted a call every day!  Maybe worrying was different back then because you just couldn’t “check in” all the time.

Now that I’m a parent, I worry.  Are they ok at school?  Are they ok behind the wheel?  Will they have the willpower to withstand peer pressure?  Will they do the right thing?

The truth is that kids made it through the depression and through a number of wars.  Kids survive, adapt and thrive, despite our worrying.  While this is true, I still worry.

Yesterday we went snorkeling.  Afterwards, the kids asked what I thought.  I was honest, “Look guys, it was cool but the whole time I searching around for you.  Worrying about where you were and if you were ok.  So, I really couldn’t enjoy it as much.”  After saying that, I looked at them and they were laughing, telling me that they were fine and that I shouldn’t worry so much! “Mom, that is so you!”  Do they see me worrying the way I saw my mom?  Did I miss out on something yesterday that was fun because of my worrying?  Maybe.  But, I didn’t feel bad.  I just wanted everyone to be safe.

Worry is part of the job.

In parenting, as in physics, everything we give energy to takes energy from something else.  Thus, worry has some costs – like yesterday.  And, if we do too much worrying (about those things we can’t control) it could affect our health and outlook on life.  Before kids, you just worried about work and maybe a few other things – but it was not a daily occurrence.  Add kids, and you worry 7 days a week.  Am I right?

Rather than beat myself up over worrying, I am going to accept it and label it as a fear that something will happen to my children.  And while it’s normal, I am also going remind myself that I can go overboard (no pun intended) and to pace myself!  I don’t need “Worry” as a new middle name … I’ve got an extra one from being married and divorced!

As psychiatrist Karl Menninger once said, ”Fears are educated into us and can, if we wish, be educated out.”  Great…here’s yet another flaw in my otherwise (not) perfect personality and one more thing to “work” on!  I’ll try not to worry about this one!

Have a great start to the week!