Monthly Archives: February 2014

“Why do you make the same thing over and over again?”

That was the quote from one of my children about my making a particular Italian dish the other night.  On the one hand, I want to say that he’s right.  If there’s something they seem to like, I will make it over again (and maybe again).  On the other hand, I want to say – “Are you freaking kidding me?  You want to say that to me now?  As you sit down to eat and I’ve worked all day practicing law and then come home and make dinner for you?”  But, I don’t say that.  I just look at him and try to retain my composure when I say, “Well, you could start making your own dinner, if you prefer.”

I am tired of cooking.  I really am.  Here’s my dream: someone comes to our house and cooks for us three days a week.  I agree to take the other four.  Wouldn’t that be fantastic?  Three home cooked meals by my “helper” and for my four nights, we eat out at Chipotle, Baja Sol, Chinese food (from almost anywhere) and Jimmy Johns.  That almost sounds like heaven!

I hate pulling the “when I was a kid” card, but seriously, when I was a kid, if I ever complained about dinner – I was told that my options were a PB & J sandwich or nothing.  Or, if my mom was feeling generous, I could have a toasted english muffin.  Ahh, the digression of a blogger …

I’ve started to kabob anything I can find  for variety – I almost kabob’d hard-boiled eggs the other day!  I use my crock pot more often than my stove.  And, I’ve taken to serving breakfast for dinner.  Still, I’m tired of cooking!

Now, I know, from my last mom rant, that I felt a bit of remorse for complaining about something I will miss in a few years.  I totally get that.  But it doesn’t change my feeling right now that I have not one more idea for dinner nor do I even feel the desire to cook!

Today I’m going to post a sign on the kitchen wall: “Kitchen closed due to illness.  Mom is sick from cooking!”  See you all at Subway for dinner! 🙂

“I’m never going to get divorced.”

The first time I heard this from one of my kids, I went to my room and cried. Just writing it gives me a stomach ache. I’ve heard it since then and I recall saying it many times when I was a kid (my parents were divorced). I said to my now ex-husband. And, I meant it. But after almost 10 years of being together, waiting until we were in our 30’s to have kids, and being best friends, our marriage didn’t survive. Thankfully, we have remained friends and partners in raising our kids.

Why is it so difficult to stay together?

Relationships/marriage, being a two-party event from the word “go,” affords us the “convenience” of thinking that any problems reside in our partner. We focus—wrongly—on the characteristics of our partner rather than on the processes taking place in the relationship, which by definition involves two people.

Moreover, we allow ourselves to indulge in the unrealistic expectation that we’ll meet the “right” person and all will be great. Yet, the elephant in the room is this: no matter how many times we try marriage or a relationship, we will continue to trip over the same mistakes. And, those are the ones that are inside us: the expectation of bliss without conflict, the expectation of continued intimacy and excitement as it was at the “beginning,” and the idea that all the problems emanate from someone other than us.

Moving on to another relationship can sometimes make a huge difference. I totally grant you that. But, sometimes, it’s just that we are afraid to look internally, see what role we are playing and to make our own changes. The “looking outward”syndrome just follows us to all our next relationships.

Why write about this now … divorced more than 10 years? Maybe it’s the upcoming holiday. Or, maybe it’s that time in our lives where we are wondering about a change… life’s passing us by and we think, “Is my relationship right for me?” “Does _____ fill my bucket.” But, I think the real question is, “Am I the person I want to be in my relationship and toward my partner?” The look is internal, not external.

As for my kids and my divorce, I get where they are coming from. And, I hope they never get divorced. But, I’m not going to worry about it. Instead, I’ll make sure that they understand that sometimes, it just doesn’t work no matter how hard you try. But, before giving up (and afterwards), it’s critically important to take time to look inside and find your peace and happiness there. Only at that point can you truly make a decision on anything else. Likely the kind of advice we can use in all areas of our lives. Maybe I could have used it 10 years ago. 🙂

Have a wonderful day!

Coincidence or happenstance?

Some believe that life works with a flow of energy, information and connections throughout every moment of our time here.  Yet, most of us don’t think of life like this … instead, we spend our time simply trying to ensure that we leave the house with clean underwear, that our kids make it to school and that we make it back at the end of the day to start all over tomorrow! Am I right?

But, I have to admit, in the last seven days, I’ve had more than my fair share of “coincidences.”  Meetings, if you will, of people who have entered my life at an unusually appropriate time.  Finally, yesterday I ran into someone at the grocery store who claims to have met me six months ago at a restaurant (apparently, we chatted while I was waiting for a client to show up).  This person said he tried for the last six months to find me, but couldn’t (who can’t find me?!).  Weird.

After I left the store, I began to ask myself:

  • Are the events of our lives objective or subjective?
  • Is there an order or purpose to the universe?
  • Or, are we the lucky accidents of evolution, living our wonderful but brief lives in a random world that only has the meaning we give it?

This “coincidence” phenomenon fascinates everyone – those who believe and those who are skeptics.   For those with an empirical mind, a coincidence is happenstance, “a simultaneous collision of two events that has no special significance and obeys the laws of probability.”  To others, coincidence is synchronicity – “The purposeful occurrence of two seemingly unrelated events.”

I really don’t have an answer here.  All I know is that the impetus for my blog was my assistant constantly telling me to put in writing all the “things” that kept happening to me.

It happens to you too.  Think about it: You are in line at a coffee shop and you’re near a woman who smells like your mother or grandmother.  At that moment you are reminded of her – she’s there with you. Or, you run into someone who you’ve not seen for a long time and the connection leads to something else that affects your life.  Coincidence or happenstance?

Here’s all that we really need to remember:

Pay Attention to Life

It doesn’t matter if there’s any meaning to our coincidences.  What matters is that we make every effort to experience as much of life as we are afforded in this oh-so-brief period of time.  It matters that we pay attention and watch as life unfolds right in front of us.

We (seriously, read “me” here) need to stop worrying about what’s next and enjoy what’s in front of us.  And, when we do – those “coincidences” will be right there leading (or dragging us) to our next experience.  🙂

I hope you all have a fantastic (and eye-opening) Monday!

I just couldn’t figure out what to write – then I “heard” it.

I had three blog posts written for today.  Just couldn’t get in to any of them.  I’m having “issues” today (ever happen to you??) 🙂  So, I’m posting a song that’s been in my mind (and I’ve been playing for my kids) all week.  And then, oddly enough, it was playing at the health club this morning.  That was my sign to send it to you  The site is at the bottom for you to see (and hear) it.  I promise once you actually hear it, you’ll smile and sing it all day too!  Have a lovely day and weekend!  XO

Lovely Day – Bill Withers

When I wake up in the morning, love
And the sunlight hurts my eyes
And something without warning, love
Bears heavy on my mind

Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day
Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day

When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
When someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way

Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day

When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
When someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way

Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day

 

Life snags.

I’ve been snagging a lot of my clothes lately. Three pairs of nylons and a dress all in one week. Is it a sign? (I love finding “signs!!”)  Lately, I’ve been watching (and experiencing) some snags in my life and in those around me.  It’s made me think about how we (and me) deal with our life snags.

No relationship or situation starts out tumultuous.  We love our new job when we walk in the door, our relationships always start out with that “high,” and even our friendships start out with excitement in finding a new person to connect with.

But, tough times?  Well, every relationship has them.  It’s how you get through them that makes the biggest difference.  Sometimes its a personality clash, or feeling unappreciated.  Sometimes its a difference in a political view-point, finances or sometimes, in a love relationship, it can be as significant as a breach of a mutual understanding.

As I’m watching and experiencing relationships (my own and others), I’ve made a mental note to follow a few principles to keep myself (and hopefully my relationships) – in a good place.

1. Try not to worry.  If something needs to be fixed, I want to fix it.  But, worrying really is a waste of time and energy.  It’s like sitting in a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but it gets you nowhere.  Sometimes, worry can keep us from seeing solutions to our problems.  One thing I learned from my mom’s early death — the things we worry about the most, never happen.

2. Be patient.  I am patience-challenged.  Patience (and love) can cure almost any problem.  Simple.

3. Forgive and say “sorry.”  There is nothing like blame and finger-pointing to turn a relationship sour.  And there is nothing better than saying, “I’m sorry.”  I had an issue with one of the boys the other day and I eventually apologized for my insane behavior. 🙂  It defused the situation and then we could actually talk about the real issue, not the emotions.

4. Stay connected.  Avoid going to your cave.  Avoid communicating through emails and texts.  While distance feels safer, it actually damages any relationship that is in need of care.  Sit down.  Look at each other.  Talk.  Don’t feel you have to solve it all in one sitting. It took many “hurts” to get to this point.

Life and relationships are messy.  Sometimes very messy.  But, if you see  goodness in your relationship, then it is worth fighting for.  When the tough times come, tell your friend, your partner or your children — “I’m here for you and we can do anything together!”

Let’s be totally honest: We all try to be super self-sufficient.  But, we really can’t do anything alone.  And, we really shouldn’t.

Have a fantastic day!

 

Here’s some stuff I don’t want to do.

Sometimes I’m just tired and looking for an easy way out of my day. I’m sure that doesn’t ever happen to any of you but allow me to admit that it does happen to me. And, on one of those days recently a friend posted something about doing the difficult things in life.  I hate when I read s*** that makes me think that I really should be doing something.

Here’s an excerpt from the list:

  • You have to give more than you get in return – right away.
  • You need to allow yourself to feel unsure and insecure rather than always playing it safe.
  • You need to lead when no one wants to follow you.
  • You need to invest in yourself even though no one else is doing so.
  • You have to deliver results when you might just feel like making excuses.
  • You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.
  • You have to run faster even though you are out of breath.
  • You have to be kind to people who have not been nice to you.
  • You have to keep moving toward where you want to be no matter what’s in your way.
  • You have to be accountable for your actions when things go wrong.

Ok. Cool list, right?

But there are more things that I don’t want to do. Like these:

  • I don’t want to clean any more bathroom floors – ever.
  • I don’t want to go ice fishing. Been there. Done that.
  • I don’t want to have to use a porta pottie. I just don’t. (I was going to say “outhouse” but I figured that might be too old school).
  • I really don’t want to have to ask my kids to bring their dishes to the sink. Why am I still asking???
  • I don’t want to have to stand outside the bathroom door any more, begging for someone to “finish up.”  I’m tired of that. Maybe I need an outhouse for them.
  • I don’t want to have to answer one more solicitation call. Yes, I know I can get that service which prevents such calls. But why am I paying to stop people from asking me for money?
  • I don’t want to have to pay full price for something I happened to find on the sale rack (after wrestling with myself to buy it anyway).
  • I don’t want to be called “Ma’am.”  That’s my mom, not me.

I think the goal of the first list was nice – don’t force yourself to do the things you don’t want to do but instead do those things that you know will feel right — even if  they are difficult.  Totally get that message.

But one thing’s for sure … I am not going ice fishing.  However, what I can promise you is that in the spring, when that massive river is flowing off my roof from my crazy big ice dam … I’ll take my fishing pole out there and do a bit of pretending. 🙂

Have a great day!

Man, that is some super negative energy.

Some people give off positive energy.  Some give off negative energy.  What you give off is based on the quality of a person’s being, a measure of the love in their life.

I’ve had a long time friend who has some super negative energy.  Most times, it really is not fun to be around this person.  Recently, I said that I was tired of trying to paint his negativity with pretty flowers.  I essentially said it was not pretty and that I was tired of painting flowers to make it look better! (I totally shocked myself by even saying anything!).

Everyone needs to look inside and work on their “inner self.”  It’s the cool part about being alive — the opportunity to experience that growth.  But those with negative energy, they’ve not done their work (and often don’t think they have to … they are the ones trying to point their fingers at us!).  They’ve not healed their anger, hatred or self-loathing.  And that negative energy — it can poison us like toxic fumes.

Here’s my list positive and negative traits in people I’ve had in my life:

Positive people:

  • You feel invited into their heart.
  • You feel relaxed and safe around them.
  • You know they will support you.
  • You feel better when you touch them, hold them or are near them.

Negative people:

  • You feel demeaned when you are with them.
  • You feel unsafe, on egg shells, on guard.
  • You start to feel angry or act out when you are with them.
  • You feel tired being with them.

Sound remotely familiar?

Life is a constant process of tuning in and finding those people who support your spirit.  Does your inner light shine when you are with someone who is negative or tries to squelch your positivity?  The answer is most likely “no.”  But with those who are positive and support your positive energy … Hey, you can be with those people forever!

I truly believe that the care with which we approach life (and each day) is completely evident in our energy field.   In other words – what you put out is what you get back.  Simple,  obvious … and totally attractive, right?! 🙂   It really is amazing how different a day/life can be when you surround yourself with those of like (positive) minds.

Have an amazing day!

I am Enough.

I had the most amazing 24 hours with my new best friends this weekend.  You know when you meet someone and your realize they are going to be important in your life?  That’s this group of women. Our theme for this weekend was being vulnerable.  Yet, the real word that kept coming up was – Enough.

Most of us are trying to earn our self-worth our entire life.  We need to make more money, have a big house, get the best grades or we are always trying to lose that last 20 pounds.  We assume that when we get to that point, we’ll realize we are good enough.  But, we never get there.  Why?

Because we don’t need to do anything at all.  We are enough just as we are.

Look, it takes enormous courage to show up in this world and let people enter our cave (metaphorically!).  And as my friend said this weekend – It is hard to be a person.

For many years, I’ve measured my “enough” in the wrong way (as I’ve said many times before – I’m clearly a work in progress!).   Yet, we must learn to separate out our worth from our “performance.”

My worth is unchanging and is inherent because I was born.  I exist.  That’s enough.  My performance, however, on any given day, in any area may be good, bad or somewhere in between.  Yet, that doesn’t change my worth.  Once we embrace this notion – that our self-worth is not tied to our performance, we can develop a more stable sense of self, feel freer to express our needs and are better able to accept criticism without feeling defensive.

Here’s what I figured out this weekend – “enough” is really simple – it’s just love

Each moment that I love my children, I am enough.  Every day that I wake up and do for my family and friends, I am enough.  Even those days when I don’t feel very loving, I am enough.   Nothing will ever change that truth.

Eckhart Tolle tells us in A New Earth, that we should let go of our external world and focus on how we really are inside.  That we are already perfect, lovable and enough just the way we are.

So, let go of where you are and love yourself and the collective world around you.  I know and love all of you and I’m here to tell you that you are enough.  In fact, you are more than enough.

When you hug your children or text them today – tell them they are enough just as they are.  Remind yourself too.  And thank you to my friends for showing me this weekend that I am enough.

Have a wonderful start to your week!