Monthly Archives: September 2013

I’m having a bit of trouble with that thing called “forgiveness.”

Every day we have experiences that teach us new life lessons.  We hope that they are not painful lessons – although those can often be the most powerful.  One thing we all work on is the act of forgiveness – this is a life time job.  We teach our kids to say they are sorry from a very early age.  In almost every magazine we see articles on learning to forgive, to move on … to let go.  I’m have a bit of trouble with this lately.

I know forgiveness is a learned behavior but it is a difficult behavior to use at times.  For example, have you ever had to tell someone that you forgive them and then you had to try to put some painful act behind you?  You know how hard that can be?  Look, I can do the easy ones any day of the week.  The apologizing when I bump into someone or try to get into the elevator before they’ve gotten out.  Or, when I spill something or burn the cookies that the kids are patiently waiting for.

But the big things?  Seriously difficult.

Someone is treating me badly.  I actually like this person as a person, I just don’t like the treatment.  I want to forgive this person because I know that the treatment of me is not about me but about a feeling of fear and being threatened.  (Me, a threat??!!  Sheeze).   What I’ve done in the past is let my anger take over rather than forgiveness.  But that process is exhausting and unproductive.

I once read that “learning to forgive is difficult and does not come as part of a manual with clear instructions.”  This is so true.  All I can really be sure of with forgiveness is that it makes me feel better on a daily basis.  It makes my life lighter.  It gives me power and strength.  But it’s the “how” that is complicated.

I’ve got to believe that you all are like me.  Struggling to do the right things.  To learn from mistakes.  To stay positive, even when someone is behaving badly toward us.  Sometimes, the only way to right the wrong is to forgive (sometimes you do have to walk away if they just don’t get it).  Even if it’s an internal, private forgiveness.  Forgiveness is as “simple” as a mindset.

I’m going to stay focused on this notion of forgiveness and see where it gets me on this tough one.  I have a feeling this is going to change my life one way or another.  I’ll keep you posted (no pun intended).

Have a fantastic day!

My daughter videotaped me doing __________!

Let me start by asking, why is it that young people think that everything their parents do is wacky, crazy, old-fashioned and just plain stupid?  I really can’t believe (I know I did!) that I said the same things to my mom.  Actually, my mom was seen as the “cool” mom.  She was hip, wore clothes that were in style, fun, etc. (all the things my kids think I’m not).  But, I do recall accusing her of being harsh when she instituted a curfew, grounded me and took away my allowance (for things that will remain unnamed).

I like to dance.  And as I’ve said, I will dance almost anywhere.  I think I’m a pretty good dancer (think …).  I taught aerobics all through law school and had the hottest, packed class at the downtown health club.  I know I can keep a beat.

So, about a month ago, I played some music on my phone.  It was something that made me dance!  I was in the living room grooving to the beat (yea, that’s old language!) when I noticed my daughter doubled over in the hallway.  I looked at her and realized the was laughing and was doubled over crying from her laughter.  I asked her what was so funny.  She couldn’t even talk.  Then I saw it … the iPhone.  She was holding it up and simply dying of hysteria.

“Come on,”  I said.  “What’s so funny? I was just dancing!”  Before I knew it, she was showing the boys and they were laughing, almost a bit too much for my liking.  So, I looked at the tape.  Yes, I was going a bit crazy, but I was doing just what we used to do when I listened to music by the B52’s (dating myself yet?).  I mean really … I know she’s got to have seen that kind of dancing before.

Then they started the game of naming what I was doing:

  • Mom, you look like you are having a seizure.
  • Mom, you look like you’re having a heart attack.
  • Mom, you look like you’ve got a bee stuck in your underwear.
  • Mom, do you need to go to the bathroom? Because it sure looks like it.
  • Mom, that’s what they do before they take you into a mental hospital.

OMG.  THAT’S MY DANCING!!!

I don’t think these kids want to me start taping some of the things they do … wait.  What do they do?  I could tape them looking at an iPhone screen.  I can tape them looking at an iPhone screen and eating (without looking up).  I can tape them looking at an iPhone screen and peeing or burping or just picking at body things that should not be picked at.  Pleeese.  Don’t get me started.

Just wait.  Have I got some naked shower and bathtub pictures to show their kids!

Have a fun day!

My life road’s got a serious hairpin turn …

The obvious bears repeating;  Nothing ever ends up as you think it will.

Think of how many things you do in life that just don’t turn out as you planned?   Marriages, relationships, careers, my efforts at cooking new dinners …. things don’t always end as we expect.   Welcome to life.  The one filled with turns that you never imagined.  The one filled with great joys and sadness.  Yet, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

I’ve got a few big decisions to make and while I had set my GPS on cruise, I somehow missed a turn and then another and now here I am “recalculating” my route (as SIRI always says to me!).

Sometimes, life is like that.

At first I quickly tried to regroup, to fix the situation (futile as that might have been), but that’s my nature.  Jessica always wants to find the back up plan so she can fix it and everyone is happy (I think that’s the definition for co-dependency!).   Yet something stopped me this time.  And, I decided to just trust what was happening, trust my instinct and enjoy the swirling uncertainty.

So what if I’d missed a turn … a direction I thought I was going?  It can’t (and shouldn’t) stop me from moving forward.  But then I kept asking myself, “What’s forward?”  And, “How do I stop the tapes about all the woulda-coulda-shouldas?”

I decided that this is normal.  We all end up going different paths than we intended.  Rather than freak out (as I usually do), I decided I really should embrace the uncertainty … lean into it.

I think it’s okay to be lost for a bit as we’re making those turns, or they are making us!  In fact, when we’re forced to be out of our comfort zone, we often see what we normally overlook.   Maybe there’s something out there that’s a better option, a different road … one that we never would have seen it from the road we were travelling on.

So, while I usually like to have a “plan” and a “direction,” I’m just going to shut my internal GPS off and enjoy this quiet (but busy) place.  Frankly, SIRI’s “recalculating” instructions were getting annoyingly loud anyway!

Have a fantastic day!

He died while working on our road.

Our road has been under construction in our neighborhood all summer.  It’s been brutal.  Yet, they tell us it will look great when (operative word) it’s done.  I’m sure they’re right but I have not liked one minute of all the chaos.

Last week, the workers were in the process of hauling dirt from our road to another location.   Around mid-morning one of the trucks that was hauling the dirt, got its tire stuck on our road as it was trying to back up.  Another truck pulled him out, the semi was filled with dirt and went on it’s way.  Less than 10 minutes later the semi was hit by another car on a local highway.  The semi skidded off the road, our neighborhood dirt spilling everywhere, the cab lit up in flames and despite hearing the driver scream for help, no one could get him out.  He died right there.

What might have happened if his truck had not been stuck on our road?  Could those few minutes time have put him in a different place at that same time?  It’s those split second decisions that cause us to wonder, “What if …?”

These tragedies leave us feeling heavy in our hearts and with the knowledge that in one second life can change.  This accident certainly did that for his family.  And, for those in our neighborhood … we will never forget.

So, take the time right now, before you leave for work, to hug the ones you love.  Send a text to your parents or kids. Tell them what they mean to you.  If you’re in a fight or angry with them, let it go.

Life can be cut so incredibly short.  Just one diagnosis or one accident can change our lives forever.

I hope you have a very peaceful start to your week.

XO

He told me to stop blogging.

When I was getting to the end of theyearof50, a friend told me to stop at #365.  He said it was taking time away from other things and it didn’t make any money.  He figured I should focus on things that were my profession.  I wondered if he could be right, although it gave me a stomach-ache to hear it.   Truth be told, I was kind of worried that I’d over stayed my bogging-welcome.  I’d been asking other friends for their thoughts and they all said to keep going, but I still wasn’t sure.  So, I decided to stop.

As usual, my birthday was uneventful (meaning I took myself to Subway for lunch) and as I was waiting for my chopped salad, I started to talk with this lawyer-guy I know.  Somehow, we got on the subject of doing non-lawyer things and I mentioned my blog.  He immediately pulled it up on his phone and read the last post.  When he was done, he looked at me and said, “Don’t be an idiot!  Keep going.  My friend (code for girlfriend) is going to love this stuff!  Didn’t you do it because you loved it?” Hmmm.

I took my food and left.  But, it got me thinking … Who had I been writing for?   Who would I be writing for?  What would be my purpose?  Did I need one?  I decided that I’d have to make the decision the old-fashioned, adult way — I got out my Sponge Bob dice:

  • A roll of 4 through 6, I’d keep going — 1 through 3, I wouldn’t restart.  The first roll was 2 (shoot, I had to cheat and roll again).  Second roll, (whew) a 6!
  • A roll for how many days a week … I got a 3.
  • Finally, a roll for whether I should open up a bottle of wine when I got home (any number gave me a yes on this one!).

Since I make my own rules, here’s the deal:  I’m www.theyearsafter50.com, which gives me at least 15 years (since we’re always 5 years behind our real age, right?).  I may post three times a week or I may not.  No names, for sure.  No politics, for sure.  My personal life (which usually has its own fair share of funny (read “stupid” stories), of course!   I’d love guest bloggers.  So, if you’ve got one, let’s talk!

I’m going to write for me. You may read or you may not (and I won’t ever know!).  You may laugh or you may think I’m cray  (my kids hate when I use their words).  And, no party until 60, unless you want to meet me at a spa in Arizona before then!

So there you have it.  How the h#@$ was I going to survive without you anyway?!

Enjoy the start of your weekend!  XO