Monthly Archives: September 2014

I have mom-imperfections but I’m actually the “perfect” mom.

I don’t have time to read other blog posts (I don’t even have freaking time to go back and read my own), but I do see a lot of social media posts with parents confessions to their “imperfections.”  I think I’ve even written about my own s*** as a mom.  In fact, let me admit that the other night I totally lost it.  So, when I went to wake up my son the next morning, I kissed his forehead and said, “Sorry I was such an ass last night.”  He opened his eyes and said to me, “That’s ok Mom.  Sometimes I’m an ass too.”  Life.

Heck, I’ll even confesses to personal imperfections – like eating in the middle of the night, peeing without remembering to close the door and … (maybe I better stop there!) 🙂

But here’s what I’ve come to realize:  There is no such thing as the perfect parent and yet, we’re all perfect parents.  Allow me about 250 more words to explain:

For my kids – my constant crying about the world’s pain, the burnt popcorn at 9:30 p.m., the “importance” I place on values, school work and being the best person you can be — well, these “flaws” are seen as just “mom.”

I can’t tell you how many time’s I’ve heard my kids say to their friends, “Yup, that’s just my mom. She’s likely to hug you every time you come in the door or she sees you in public. Sorry dude.”   Or, “Mom, we’d rather you go out for a run than stay in the house and try to cook for us.  We can make our own food and it’ll be much calmer if you go run.”

I may not be perfect, but to them, my flaws are “just mom” and I’m perfect for them.

There is no such thing as superman/woman.  We can’t do it all – and we shouldn’t even try.  Have no clean socks or underwear?  Maybe you, my child, should do the laundry.  Wish we had more of your favorite food in the cupboard?  Well, when I ask you to come to Target with me, you’ll need to get off your butt and ride along!

Let’s embrace our imperfections and move on to something more interesting – like teaching our kids to load and unload the dishwasher … or how to clean the bathroom floor.  Or, fitting in five minutes of quiet time with a glass of wine.  Now that sounds like perfection!

Enjoy a really nice (imperfect) weekend!

 

I think I’m breaking one of my blog rules.

I make up my own rules here and I suppose I can break them whenever I want.  You may know them already: 500 or less word count, no names, no politics, no religion (although that probably comes through anyway) and no work. So to those of you who love my rules, I’m sorry for stepping outside the box!

I read a FB post recently about the 911 attacks and I wanted to write about this deep feeling I have:

I will never understand the hatred, anger and evil I see in the world.

I’m talking about the kind of acts that have no reason, no discussion, just kill or hurt (physically and emotionally) – no questions asked.

We’ve seen this over and over again in history.  Hitler.  al-Qaeda.  ISIS.  We see it in our backyards – people killing people.  People killing their neighbors.  People destroying others lives.  It all gives me a serious heartache.  A really serious heartache.

But let me say this, in the same breath:

I truly believe good will always win over hatred.

And, every second of every day, there is something good happening – often without much notice, except maybe from the person they’re doing it for and sometimes not even that.

Many times in my life I’ve seen and heard of terrible things happening to good people.  John F. Kennedy.  All the innocent people killed when McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah building.  September 11.  All the children killed in schools.  Beheadings. Sometimes I cry reading about it all.

And, we give anger and hatred more attention than all the good things going on in this world, and the good things that people do.   Why?

There are people all over the world helping in poverty-stricken areas – sometimes risking their own lives.  There are people writing checks to help someone in need.  Or someone visiting senior citizen who is all alone.  There are cops and firefighters who go beyond the call of duty to save someone.

There is so much good in this world and just because the news media likes sensationalism much more than the thousands of wonderful, caring and selfless things people do every single day, doesn’t mean those kind of things aren’t going on all the time. They are.  We should read about them.  And they are things done by you!

I love our ability to do something good every day.  So, I’ve been thinking – Let’s challenge ourselves that for each terrible thing we hear about we’ll do two good things (can be big or small).  A doubling of good, so to speak.

Can you imagine the “damage” we can do with that mission?

Have a wonderful start to your day!

I frantically tried to keep track of all she said.

I was getting myself a fancy cup of coffee yesterday (a treat to myself for surviving another year) and I decided to sit for a quiet minute and scroll through the paper sitting there on a table.  As I sat down, I noticed an old(er) woman next to me. I looked over, we smiled, and I went back to the paper.

“It’s my birthday,” she said, “I’m 84 and my husband will be 85 tomorrow.”  He’s getting us fancy drinks too (as she pointed to mine and then over to her husband).  Her husband came over with the drinks and she introduced me as “her new friend.”  With them both sitting and looking at me, I realized that my quiet time was over.

She told me they’ve been married 65 years (you do the math!!!).  I said that was amazing (but felt a bit like a failure as I only made it 9 years). So I had to ask, “What’s the secret to making it 65 years?”

Honestly, it seemed like just the question she was waiting for and with speed that can only come from caffeine, she spewed out the following:

1. Be like the military: In the military they have rules for how to deal with conflict and skirmishes in order to keep them from turning into an all out war.  Use the same principle – have rules for your fights and never allow a war to start.

2. Understand that you married the wrong person (I think this is actually a book title):  No relationship (or person) is perfect and if you think it should be you will destroy the relationship with resentment.

3. Be different: Being the same is “boring.”  Support your differences. But do have the same values.

4. Do things together: Do your errands together.  Target is their “romantic” place. (Too cute!)

5. Be honest: Nothing will destroy a relationship like lying.  Don’t ever do it.

6. Say I love and appreciate you: Don’t assume they know it.  Show it and say it. (She looked over at him with a smile at this one).

By now, my drink was done and my brain exhausted from trying to keep up (I had to type some into my phone as soon as I got to my car!).

But, before I left I had one more question:

“What the best part about being together all these years?”

Now it was his turn, and he said, (as if he’d said it a million times), “Holding her hand.  In the store, at the movie, and even when we go to bed.”  And, as if I was sitting in a movie, he reached over and grabbed her hand.  (deep sigh)

They left when I did and I honestly couldn’t tell who was helping who as they walked out the door.  Beautiful.

I have no idea why me, the divorced woman, got this information – but I’m giving it to you … and banking it for when it’s my turn!

Best birthday java ever! 🙂

Welcome to Monday!

It’s true: We hurt the ones we love the most.

I know a few things for sure (seriously, only a few!).  We need to breathe.  We need food and water.  We need love.  And, we hurt the ones we love the most.

Why do we hurt the ones we love the most?

I’m not totally sure.  But I know we are taught to be stingy with our love.  And, even if we’re going to give it out, we’ve been taught to trust almost no one.  We are fine with love until the one we love hurts us.  Then, being humans, we usually think that the only way to feel better is to hurt the other person back.  Sounds childlike, right?  But we live our lives like that.

I was once in a relationship where if the person became upset with me (and who wouldn’t get upset with me?!), he would shut me out.  Not respond to my attempts to reason or recalibrate.  For him, it was better to hurt me when he was hurt, than to talk to me about it.  Why? Because if he did talk about it, that would give me power over him.  That would mean that I could affect him – and his ego wouldn’t allow that.  Know what I mean?

I’ve been there too.  And, I’ve lived with that feeling of anger where I act without thinking, which always results in me saying or doing something I’ll regret later.

This happens in every kind of relationship: whenever we love a person we give a lot of power to them and it frustrates us when we don’t feel the same importance reciprocated.

I’ve found two kinds of people in the world (as it relates to this issue): Those who can’t let go of their ego and apologize or try to reverse the situation and those can. Let’s remember friends, when we feed our ego, we are taking energy from our soul (or just energy from our being).

We all have insecurities, fears of rejection, loss and/or betrayal.  This affects how we treat others.  Fortunately we have the capacity to learn from our mistakes, accept when we’ve done wrong and forgive those who we know are just imperfect human beings.

I used to say that love can hurt.  But I think I was wrong.  It’s not love that hurts – its loneliness and fear of rejection that hurts.  Really, love is the only thing that can actually cover up the pain of life and it feels good too!

Have an amazing weekend!

 

The wisdom to know the difference.

“The Wisdom to Know the Difference,” is the title of a book by my night stand.  I’ve read it a few times.  I actually like these “life lessons” books (along with all sorts of other kinds of books!).

Last night as I finally got into bed (my “birthday” was a crazy work/kid day) I glanced at the book and suddenly heard the title in my mind.  The Wisdom to Know the Difference – Wow! Amazing six words!

Having wisdom is a goal I think we set and likely never fully achieve (thankfully, I suppose).  And often when I think I have the wisdom in a particular situation – I usually don’t, which is why thinking you have wisdom is different from actually letting go and allowing wisdom to happen.

Yesterday, someone contacted me at the end of the day to say “Happy Birthday.”  It was someone who I know just said it because they felt a duty to do so.  The communication seemed strange to me and I was unsure how to respond.  At first, I ignored it … hoping it would just leave my mind.  But it didn’t – so I responded.

When I did, this person told me what a loving, peaceful and kind person I was and that they just wanted to recognize my birthday.  When I was younger, I may have fallen for that message.  I may have felt guilty or that I had been too quick to judge.  But in that split second, I looked down and saw my hands and I realized — I’m not the gullible 20-year-old person I used to be.  I’m old(er).  I have hand wrinkles!  I have wisdom to know the difference between authenticity and not.  I just sat there and let that feeling permeate my being.

I have the wisdom to know the difference.

We all do.  We have the wisdom to know a toxic message from a real message.  We have the wisdom to know when something is just not right.  We have to wisdom to be able to walk away from the negative and move toward the positive.

Yes, I’m all about spreading love, peace, joy and I do forgive.  Sometimes I forgive when it’s not in my best interest … we all do.  But we have the power to wish people well in their lives, hope that they find the right path but know that we’re not responsible for the choices they make nor are we responsible to clean-up their mess. This is true even with our own family members – as difficult as that might be.

Sometimes, the hardest love to give is the toughest love.  We can live in the land of poor-me or we can wake up, use our wisdom (and no matter how old we are — we all have it) and make a change.  And that’s a decision based in wisdom!

I’m looking forward to another interesting year of life lessons — most of which I likely won’t learn in a book!

Have a great weekend!

I’m not sure what I’m feeling – but I’m alive.

I want to write about the brutality in the paper today.  My heart breaks a bit more every time I read about the horrors of the world and life.  The kids and I talk about it over breakfast.  And, because of it, I start my day a bit different from the day before.

But today I want to end the first year of theyearsafter50, with a post about hope. About love.  About power (the good kind).  Honestly, without all of you, I may not have the same hope or feelings of love or all the lessons I learned from you this last year:

  • There is a power of me.  I’m finally understanding that, even when my kids leave and maybe I’m still single (or maybe not) that I still just have me.  What’s inside me, what I’ve done and what I still can do.  We need to nurture the power of us.  It’s really all we’ve got and it’s all that will actually ever give us true regrets.
  • When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.  When I started this year of blogging a friend told me not to.  He said it didn’t have any financial value and took time away from what “should” have been important.  Friends, only we know what’s important and when you find it – do it and never let someone else convince you otherwise.
  • It is never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you.  I’ve watched someone allow his childhood to dictate his adult life.  It’s brutal.  You can start anything anew.  Never feel stuck.
  • Don’t save things for a special occasion. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy outfit. Today (like every day) is special.
  • Don’t wait for your “old” age to dance.  Be eccentric now.  It’s way more fun!
  • The most important sex organ is the brain. (Sorry, kids for using “that” word in the blog!)  Connect mentally and emotionally with the person you love.
  • In a year will this matter?  That’s how we should frame all our “disasters.”  Let go.
  • Forgive everyone everything.  I’ve had to do a lot of forgiving over the years.  It can be really difficult.  But, I can’t take my anger to the bank (or in the ground), so why hang on to it?
  • Growing old beats the alternative. I added a few more knee wrinkles this year.  I’m just going to be glad I can see, feel and experience them!
  • Get rid of anything that’s not useful, beautiful or joyful.  This year I’ve cleaned my closets literally and figuratively.  Who needed “friends” like that anyway!? 🙂

And with that, I close this first year.  Please let me thank you from the absolute bottom of my being.  You make me smile.  You give me love.  You allow me to expose my deep (sometimes very dark) feelings – and you still see me as ok.  I so totally appreciate it!

XOXOXOXOXOXO