Monthly Archives: June 2013

Day 300

I have a friend who thinks I should just finish off this year and stop blogging. Be done. Enough is enough.  “You did it and now move on to exploring your life.”  While I won’t comment on this opinion, and I have not figured out what to do in 65 days — whether to continue in the same venue, different venue or not at all — it did raise the question for me, “How do I explore my life?”

There’s no question that I explore my life through my children.  In fact, we can all agree that our kids have provided us with a view of life that one can only have with children (I use this term “children” loosely, to account for lots of different options.).  I’ve certainly had to learn to temper my feelings in the face of harsh words.  I’ve had to let go and allow mistakes to happen.  And, I’ve learned about unconditional love.

I’ve explored my life through my love relationships, my marriage and other people I’ve met along they way.  In those relationships you have to allow for another’s needs, even when your needs are screaming loudly in your brain.   I’ve certainly learned the difference between physical attraction and emotional love.  And, I’ve learned the importance of respect and kindness.

My parents have taught me about the harsh realities of life, how to be a parent and how not to be a parent.

And, my blog.  My blog has taught me more about my life than I could have ever imagined 300 days ago.  It has forced me to think about my s***.  It’s allowed me to look at the things that happen to me on a daily basis and make some sense of it all.  Why do I meet certain people, who I will never see again?  Why am I afraid of certain things – like vulnerability?  And, why is change so difficult, but necessary?

I suppose that’s why people say journaling is so important.  It takes what’s in your mind, those things that you really are afraid to say out loud, and allows you to acknowledge them, even if it’s only with yourself.  Look, the only way to grow is to acknowledge the need for growth.  And, the only way to do that is an honest assessment of who we are, what we stand for and where we want to go.

So, here we are – day 300 on my quest to 51.  I’ll be there in 65 more days.  I have way more to grow and learn than could ever occur in the next 65 days.   So, what will come next?  I’m still not sure and am open to suggestions.

The really fantastic news, however?  We don’t have to explore our lives alone.  We definitely have each other!

Have a wonderful day!

… his concussion. My stomach ache.

Here’s the thing about being a parent.  We worry. We worry about things that don’t happen and we worry about the things that do happen.  What I worry about happened last night – one of the boys was hit in the base of his skull with a pitch.  He’s got a concussion … I know the symptoms  … my daughter has had two.  He  couldn’t recall the day.  His hearing was fuzzy.  Immediate headache.  Trouble getting out of the car.  Felt off.  Looked off.  I hate this.

When my daughter had her first one, I didn’t know what it was right away.  The second time, when a boy lit her into the boards at hockey (and he bragged about it … really, she’s a girl!?), I knew.  I could see it in her eyes.  I hate this.

What are our options?  They love sports.  And, even when they don’t play any sports, s*** happens.  Sure, we can lock them in a room and give them books and a deck of cards.  But then they turn crazy and do other s*** that gets in the newspapers.  Can’t win (or protect) either way.

We are at home.  He’s resting.  I have tears in my eyes and my stomach hurts.

We give birth to them.  Protect them as best we can.  But in the end, it’s in someone (something?) else’s hands and we have to let go.  We really have no control.  I hate this.

So, hug your kids today.  I know nothing will happen to any of them and I know mine will be fine, but hug them anyway — You just can’t get enough of that!

Enjoy a quiet Saturday.

“Why are you making us go? Can’t we stay home?”

That’s one of the many comments I got about the activity my boys were involved with  yesterday.  And, I fully admit that I pushed them into it.

Yesterday was their first day volunteering in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis.  Their sister found this program a few years back that services the kids in the neighborhood for six weeks over the summer months and then through out the school year.  The boys are now old enough to volunteer and they started yesterday.

I must first congratulate the boys on going without their sister, who is still in Connecticut.  I’m sure it was difficult to walk into a totally strange place, with kids of all ages running around, find the person in charge and take on a completely foreign experience.  Tough for adults.  Even more so for 13-year-old boys.

Thursdays are field trip day and they took the kids bowling.  The boys recounted for me how fun and funny it was to watch these kids experience this activity, many of whom had never bowled before.  They also told me how cute the kids were and how really “awesome” it turned out to be.

But I did get a question which was — were all the kids were from difficult homes, because it didn’t “seem” that way.  Interesting observation.  I asked them if there was some way to tell what kind of family experiences the kids came from. No, they didn’t think so but could all these kids be “in need?”

So I suggested the following: We live in a world where we don’t see (really, open our eyes to) as much “in need” as we  see “too much.”  We don’t know what it’s like to go to the grocery store and wonder if we will have enough money to pay for the groceries.  And, we don’t have to worry about finding clean clothes and a nice bed to sleep in.

I told the boys that life is full of surprises and that there will be many times where what we think we see is not really what is there.  And, that their goal should be to treat everyone with respect, kindness and grace, regardless of how much they seem to have or not have.

When we got home I asked what they were going to do with the paycheck they received?  The looked at me with shocked faces and one asked, “We get paid?” I smiled and said, “Your pay are the great feelings you have.  What are you going to do with those?”  Only a brief silence was followed with, “Go back next week!”

I love these guys (and it pays to push just a bit!).

Have a fantastic day!

It takes forever for me to pee (sorry, kids).

Clearly, there are a few disadvantages to getting older.  For example, I spend a lot more time in the bathroom and it’s not to fix my hair … (as indicated in the title!).  When I went to buy wine the other night, I didn’t get carded.  And I recently had to ask my daughter, “Am I too old to wear this?”  Wow!  Never thought I’d say that.

But there are some good things about getting older and I’m going to focus on a few today.  For example, we get a lot of discounts, us old(er) people.  The other day, while waiting in line for some food at a local fast food joint, I heard a guy ask for his senior discount.  Senior discount?  It made me think – do I count yet?  I did a bit of research and found that there are discounts for the 50+!  Way more at 55 and 60, but why rush it?  I’ve got to have something to look forward to.

For food, I noted that Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme offer discounts to 50+.  So, if you can survive the sugar and fat from these places, at 55+ you can get a 10% discount at Arby’s! Banana Republic and Kmart both offer discounts to those 50 and over.  Thus, when you admire that new dress I’m wearing, it’ll be from one of these fantastic locations!  If I need a break from the efforts of being a working mom, I can stay at the Mainstay Suites which offers a 10% off with the “Mature Traveler’s Discount.”   I’m “mature” now.

There are non-discounted advantages too.  For example, I get a lot more done in a 24 hour period because I can’t sleep due to trips to the bathroom or just inability to stay asleep.  I can drive slowly and not give a s*** if some kid is honking at me or giving me the finger.  Plus, I’m old enough to use the same finger and my kids think it’s “cute.”  I can use the excuse “menopause” for at least another 15 years.  Plus, if I forget your name, address or even that I know you, I can pawn it off on a “senior moment(s).”

When I run races now, I am in the “old(er)” age group and I look like I am running so much faster when I place 2nd out of 3.  Or, I’ve gained a lot of new friends … they are all MD’s but who cares if I have to pay them to visit with me.  Plus, when I don’t want to do something … anything … I can say, “I’m too old for that.”

So, as I inch closer to 51, I can see all the advantages and almost none of the disadvantages (well, I mainly can’t see them because my eyesight is so freaking bad!).

Have a wonderful day!

 

Anger is a terrible thing to waste (not).

This is odd coming from an attorney, but if there’s anything I hate in my personal life is if someone is mad at me.  And, sometimes, because it bothers me so much, I do things I shouldn’t do and I make the situation worse.  I’ve been working on this “flaw” of mine and here are my personal tips for you to avoid my missteps (read – stupid behaviors):

1. Keep Pushing For Resolution

Sometimes I just can’t let go.  I want an answer as to why the person is angry or something is not working.  I want that explanation!  The problem is, this almost always backfires on me (and visa versa).  This makes the other person more angry than they were before.

2. Trying to Make it Better

This is when we (read “me”) go to far in trying to get the other person to stop being made.  This comes from our (yes again, read “my”) insecurities of wanting to be liked.   This comes off as insincere and also makes matters worse.

3. Beating Ourselves Up

I’ve got my own boxing gloves and do a pretty good job at this one.  Why not just say we are sorry and then move on.  Why keep beating ourselves up about the words and actions.  It never helps.  Sorry, learn from it and move on — end of story!

4. Getting Defensive

Never, ever, ever works.  Never.  It causes you to stop listening and them to get more angry and hurt.

What to Do?

There is nothing like a sincere apology. This is hard to do when we really don’t think we are wrong.  But the truth is, when we dig deep, we can see our mistakes.  They are just hard to admit.

Also, true compassion and understanding about someones frustration with us, will go a long way to resolving the situation.  We don’t have to always agree with the reason someone is angry with us, but to them, their anger is valid.

This in no way means you should accept abusive anger – walk away from that.  But, it does mean that there is some validity to frustration and anger and we can learn from stepping outside ourselves and exploring those reasons.

The truth is, it is hard to stay angry at a sincere and understanding person — so be that person today.

Have a great one!

Same old, same old.

I am experiencing Groundhog’s Day at my house right now.  Thankfully, I am not Jim Carrey.

Yesterday was the same as the day before and the same as the day before ….

  1. Woke up at 2:14, 3:45 and then finally got out of bed at 4:45 (night sweats … welcome to the change!).
  2. Ate breakfast at 5:15 (which means lunch will be at 9:45 a.m.). No electricity.
  3. Went to yoga at 6:00 (already started and hotter than h***).
  4. Left yoga and had to shower at the club (no electricity – did I say that already?)
  5. Went home, sat down and wanted to go to sleep.   It’s only 7:30 a.m.  It’s going to be a long day.
  6. Get to work at 8:45.  This is the first time I have been south of 9:00 a.m. in a long time!
  7. Boys texting me, asking about things that are not urgent, like where are the stamps?  Where’s my t-shirt?  Where’s a flashlight? Where’s my brain?  (Oh, wait.  They didn’t ask the latter question.)
  8. Two conference calls and a meeting, all before 10:30.
  9. I’m hungry for lunch – it’s 10:45.
  10. Meetings at 12, 12:30, 1 and 2.  Seriously?
  11. Leave work at 5:15.  Still no power.  I realize, once I am stuck in rush hour traffic, that I need to use the restroom.  Sheeze.
  12. Get home and get a call from my daughter’s best friend (remember, my daughter is out-of-town).  She’s locked out of her house and her parents are out-of-town. She has no electricity. I get her and she agrees to tag along on some errands.
  13. After 5 errands, a baseball game and gas, we return home at 8:45 p.m.  Still no electricity.
  14. I finally admit to myself that I’ve got to empty the fridge and freezer.  I eat three ice cream sandwiches because I can’t stand to throw them out! I am heart-broken as I throw away my favorite refrigerated peanut butter.
  15. I pick up dinner number 2 for my boys at 9:15 p.m. – Chinese food.
  16. They eat, I work (with flashlights) and we all go to be by 10:15.
  17. This morning: 5:30 run with friends … and it starts all over again.  Still no electricity.

Anyone want to take me out for dinner … or maybe just alcohol!!

Have a great day!

Sometimes, it’s not easy to be me.

A friend was talking to me yesterday about being an idealist. I took offense for a moment and then I decided to look up the word.  An idealist is someone who cherishes or pursues high or noble principles, purposes, goals – someone who believes that anything is possible.

I think he could be right – I am an idealist.  I write a lot about personal choice, love, happiness — that anything is possible if we want it.  But the truth is that sometimes I forget that there will be times when life is difficult and we just can’t be happy all the time.  So, how do we stay idealistic during those times?

I think we are all born idealists.  We are always supposed to understand our full potential and that we can do anything we want if we are focused and push ourselves.

My idealism is a source of my motivation and direction. It keeps me from becoming cynical or losing confidence.  It keeps me believing in the good of others, even when the good is not there.

But, I gotta tell you, being an idealist is not always easy.  Sometimes, it’s difficult to keep my head up and believe that some things are possible when everything around me is telling me the exact opposite.  And doubts can creep in too and make me question the meaning behind it all.  Sometimes, even the idealist (me) can be completely overwhelmed by life.

But, we never want to lose touch with the part of us that believes in the possibilities and is inspired and motivated by the fact that so many  exist.  It really is a tough world, filled with bumps, bruises and defeats.  And, sometimes we let that challenge our idealism.  However, we must always try to keep that underlying sense of the notion that good is the natural order of life and even when we don’t see it … it’s there in us and in others. And no matter the trials or tribulations … we will see our way through it.

So today, realize the importance of your idealism.  Or, if you’ve lost it (and still are without power – like me!), access it and do everything you can to strengthen it.  When I’m struggling with my idealism, I try to do things for others – which helps reaffirm my feeling of the good in the world.

Remember, there will always be people and things trying to chip away at your idealism.  But it’s yours and you will take it with you when you leave — so treasure and care for that part of you that sees the endless possibilities in the world.

Have a wonderful day!