Tonight I came home from the gym at 8pm to find my son and five of his friends watching TV and doing homework. Here is the positive: I like these kids and I am happy that they are comfortable in my home. Now that they are no longer using Axe Body Spray, they also smell pretty good. The negative: Mommy hit happy hour before Zumba class so she is a little cranky and WOULD LIKE SOME QUIET TIME PLEASE!
I can’t help but reflect on how parenting is so much different than I thought it would be. Let me share my thoughts with you.
A is for APPRECIATION. I want to thank my parents and family for shaping me into the person I am today; especially when it comes to parenting. Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done. I am not one of those people that can say I love every minute of it because there are times when it really sucks. (Do you know how hard it is to admit this publicly?) I am ever so grateful that I am strong enough to stick with my convictions and do what it takes to shape my boys into good men.
A is for AWESOME. The two things I remember my parents saying are:
- “If you don’t know, look it up”. We had a set of encyclopedias, a dictionary and the public library. No Google!
- “You’ll figure it out”. I hated this one because I felt it was so much more efficient if someone told me the answer!
I thought my parents were lazy when they put so much responsibility back on me. Today I think they are awesome. I could only appreciate their savvy when I became a parent myself. Even if you do not have children, please know this. Parents do the best job possible with what they have to work with.
A is for AGELESS. Parenting continues throughout the lifetime of your child. I joke about my 22 year old son moving back home with me but I am lucky to have his company. I was ready to launch my adult life at 18 and never moved back home. This isn’t the right recipe for him. We are crammed into a one bedroom place and most days, we love each other’s company. It is also funny when I hear my words coming out of his mouth. “Mom, it’s late. I was worried.” I say, “Oh sorry, time got away from me. He says, “You know you could have called me!” Role reversal can be pretty darn weird!
A is for ARTICULATE. You are not guaranteed another day or another chance to tell someone how you feel or to right a wrong. Possessing the ability to understand and admit you made a mistake and then sincerely apologize is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and your relationships.
Living is a technology driven digital age, people are oversaturated with information so you may need to repeat your message in order for it to stick. There is nothing wrong with...
I may be wasting my time with an on-line dating service!! Who knew that I would have been amongst such interesting men in the waiting room of the tire store yesterday?
By the way, I really appreciate all of the comments I received on my last post when I asked for your input on selecting the best single word to describe myself on my dating profile. Susan suggested CAPTIVATING and it stuck with me. It is hard to say with a straight face but I will practice until I say it without giggling. “I am a captivating woman.”
Back to my headline story! The place to meet men is…… the local tire store. The place was packed with men. How lucky for me that all of our tire issues waited to pop up until after the holidays. Plus how a person spends their time waiting says a great deal about them, doesn’t it?
I came prepared with a book, an iced coffee, two cell phones and money in my checking account. I noticed a handsome man waiting with the cutest reader glasses. Not the cheap readers from the drug store — he dropped a dime on this pair. Plus when he took a call on his cell phone, he spoke quietly. So quietly it was difficult to eavesdrop! Damn him.
This is how our conversation started. There is deep rumbling grumbling noise. I looked at this fellow and said, “That sounded like an earthquake!” to which he replied, “I study resonance and because you feel an earthquake before you hear it, an earthquake of that volume would have knocked us off our feet.” Well butter my butt and call me biscuit! You may think that sounded arrogant but I thought it sounded oh so INTRIGUIGING. A smart man in my midst! I’ll call him Mr. Smart.
Mr. Smart inquires, “Are you a writer?” In my mind, this question is the equivalent of saying you are exquisitely beautiful and your butt looks perky in those pants. I had mentioned to my therapist just this week that recently I have been asked by eight people (YES, I counted) if I work in retail. Not that there is anything wrong with retail but how does one look when they work in retail? Why don’t you think I work as a personal chef or fly for NASA?
Back to my story…… “Why yes, I am a writer of sorts. I have a blog about common sense things. It is both humorous and inspirational.” I left out the part that I write about the voices in my head as I did not want to scare him away, and boy did it feel good to say I am a writer!!! I have never disclosed this skill publically. I also shared that I wish to write more and possibly publish an article in a magazine this year.
We continued on the topic of goals. Mr. Smart wants to avoid drama or as he phrased it, “Can’t do the CRAZY!”, and launch a new company. I am giddy with excitement. A smart man with motivation!
My Girlfriend Voice pops up. “Easy girl! Don’t scare the lad! You are starting to salivate.”
The conversation continues...
This week I’ve been struggling to find the right words. My mind is a flurry of activity yet I don’t feel the usual melody in my story. What the hell?
Boom, it is 1am and the lights go on in my brain.
This topic is complex but when I drill down to the absolute core of what is important, it’s really rather simple. I’ll forego the need for a flowery explanation and witty prose of the backstory and share with you the facts. Just the facts, Ma’am, just the facts.
So what is my mystery topic? RELATIONSHIPS. I am talking about my blueprint for healthy relationships; the relationships between friends, family and lovers.
There are times when a relationship requires WORK. Not effort, but work. I am not talking about hitting a rough patch or feeling distant but rather you feel like you are running up hill, walking on egg shells or giving more than you receive. RED FLAG but I’ll continue this thought later.
So now that I have reached the divine and wise (ass) age of 50, what say I is the key? What is necessary in order to experience a mutually satisfying relationship? To help you remember, I’ve created a simple mnemonic; FUN!
The (F) FOUNDATION:
- I must understand who I am.
- I must love the person I am.
- I must be responsible for my actions, toward myself and others.
The (U) UNDERSTANDING:
- You enhance my life BUT I don’t need you to feel complete.
- We communicate honestly and respectfully, regardless of the subject matter.
- Our relationship is a priority NOT a contingency or a convenience.
The (N) NON-NEGOTIABLES:
- We each believe we are capable of loving another person and we deserve to be loved ourselves.
- We each own our own #$#@%. No blame or excuses!
- We explicitly agree that I am responsible for MY life and you for YOUR life.
- We relinquish the need to control what is out of our power and place to manage.
- We chose to live with an open and generous heart.
Back to that RED FLAG warning…. The first thing to examine is your role in the relationship. Are you grounded and open? Realistic? Codependent? This step is so often overlooked as blame, anger, resentment and other powerful emotions fuel unproductive exchanges.
Look in the mirror. You are the first step.
If it still isn’t working, you have a decision to make.
FUN = My personal blueprint. What’s your blueprint?
From the heart,
(Graphic courtesy of sodahead.com)
I was reminded this week of the way life moves at a pace all its own whether you are ready for it or not. One of my favorite people in my Friday reading group was absent for the last two weeks. I asked if he was on vacation but was told that because his disease had progressed so rapidly in the last month, he was moved to an assisted living facility. This day program is designed for those still able to live at home so I wouldn’t have the pleasure of Irv’s company any longer. My heart was heavy because this man had provided me with so many humorous anecdotes and stories of his life. I told him we would sit down and record of his memories once I purchased a decent recorder. I didn’t move fast enough…..
Today is your only guarantee.
Being that it is Father’s Day today, I am reminded of how my Dad loved to bask in the happiness of his children. It wasn’t until his father passed away that he admitted his dad never told him he loved him. My Dad knew Grandpa did love him but why was it so hard to say it out loud? As my Dad aged, he grew more sentimental and affectionate. There was never a time that I spoke to him that he didn’t remind me that he loved me. I carry this tradition through with my own children thinking what if this is the last time we speak? Now I know that is a bit morbid but let’s err on the side of morbidity just in case, huh?
I lost my Dad too soon. I knew the end was approaching and I felt a sense of urgency to convey a “lifetime of thank you” in a short period of time. I thought to myself, what will I regret not saying while I have the chance? So I chose a beautiful card and wrote to Dad letting him know that he shared many wonderful qualities and interests of which I was grateful. At the same time I may have inherited his stubbornness and impatience too! It was important to me to memorialize my thoughts.
My Dad encouraged me to find my own way and this is a big part of who I am today. I wasn’t the kind of kid that needed a lot of rules because not meeting his expectations was enough to scare the daylights out of me. I learned by experience. Yes, he was right that freshman shouldn’t date seniors but he let me come to my own conclusion after one miserable date. I even told him he was right! Finding my own way is an integral component of my success as a parent and business person. Most importantly, “finding my way” is what fuels me to discover both myself and the world. Finding my way helped me leave a dysfunctional relationship knowing I was going to be OK.
My Dad supported the idea that you don’t know unless you try….. but you can’t quit in the middle of the season! I wanted to play freshman volleyball and lucky for me everyone was accepted to the team. ...