Give It A Try

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Getting by in this busy world has always led me to believe making time for the people I love should be at the top of my priority chart. Lately though, I’ve discovered that spending time together does not necessarily mean spending time together. If one of us is watching tv, one is on a computer and one is on the ipad then we really aren’t interacting at all. It’s hard to focus in on people these days. There are so many distractions and so many alarms and notifications that it would be a real challenge to give someone my full attention. I challenge everyone who reads this to look someone straight in the eyes when they talk to you today. Put down your phone or computer, turn off the tv and give them the most precious gift you can….your full attention. See if you can do it and let me know. I’d love to hear about your experience.

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Let It Be

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Whatever will be will be. My son noticed today that I wasn’t having a very good day. I was dropping things, banging body parts on hard objects and losing my keys. The receptionist at the orthopedics office brought them into our examining room the first time and after searching the school office for quite some time, I learned I left them in the car the second time. Oh and did I mention that the new pain pill I gave my son this morning led to his throwing up in the back of my minivan just as we pulled into the school?

Maybe in a different time I would’ve been upset. I would’ve had that poor me, nothing is going right attitude but the only thing it would do, would give me the same kind of circumstances with a stinky attitude. Now it’s just not a big deal. I have learned that sometimes my situation is a clear sign that I am over- run and under- rested. Maybe it’s time to just sit down and take a break. The world will not stop running if I take a moment to get myself together. Life will keep moving full speed ahead. Once in a while though, I need to step off until The spinning feeling goes away.

How do you handle days that seem more difficult than most? What do you do to get yourself through?

If Only

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If only our broken hearts and broken spirits healed as quickly as a broken bone. Healing is such a personal experience. It cannot be rushed and we cannot will it to happen. We have to sit back and allow time to work its magic while we surrender the control to force it to happen. I imagine after something or someone is really broken they will never be the same again. That is the thing about life, every minute is brings something new. We are in a state of constant change. I guess, as people, we are like that too. We will never be the same person we were yesterday and we will be a whole new person when we wake up tomorrow. Being broken is not permanent and it is certainly not the end of the world.

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While My Heart Broke, His Arm Broke Too

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” Come watch me do a jump on my dirt bike mom.” That is how it all started. You wake up thinking this day will be like all the rest and the next moment you are standing in red dirt, heart in your throat. The jump itself actually went really well. I guess when I talked my husband into letting him have a bike, I knew there would be an opportunity for him to get hurt, but actually believing it would happen was not part of my reality THEN.

When I finally took a few steps I saw him lying there, underneath the bike and sandwiched up against that tree. Remember, just last night I blogged about trying to remain strong while still showing sweetness. I failed miserably. Instead of running to him to see if he was alright, I folded my arms in a huff and let my anger move my legs quickly back to the truck. I didn’t realize it then but I know now my anger is a defense mechanism to stifle my fear. I could hear my husband pulling the bike off of him and then another noise. The sound of the engine and another crash. My husband isn’t the most experienced when it comes to motorcycles so when he attempted to ride the bike back to the truck, he too ended up in a tree. It was just dangling on a branch like a Christmas ornament. So, little old me hopped on the bike and rode it home.

Chases arm is broke. I feel terrible. I really need to get a grip on allowing my vulnerability to sneak through the bullet proof surface. My fear and clinging to denial is no excuse for my lack of concern. I think it stems back to the time my daughter had a 25 minute seizure in my arms when she was just one. I had to stay tough. I couldn’t fall apart because in my mind if I stayed tough she would be alright. It was the longest ambulance ride of my life and I will never forget how helpless I felt as she lay there seizing in my arms, her tiny body jerking while I watched. I realized that day that being a mom did not grant me the power to make everything alright or to keep my kids safe. I had to stand strong and be there to handle whatever it was my kids would face in their life. And that is when I shut off the switch for fear. There could be no fear because fear would make me break down and there would be no time for that. I never looked back and I became detached.

It’s amazing what we learn about ourselves and the timing of it all. At so, at some point, we are forced to look closely at ourselves and admit there is a need for change. In my case, it is being the comforting, compassionate nurse I was trained to be, even it the patient is one of my own kids.

Today, I will give Chase a little extra love. He was a trooper last night and I have to say I was surprised when the doctor gave us the news. That bike is in time out for awhile until everyone heals, continuing me. Let this be a lesson that we can never know what to expect from one moment to the next. Take each moment as it comes and appreciate each and every one. And remember, tomorrow may be too late to show someone your love and kindness. We all need to show the people in our lives those two important things every day.

Too Far Left or Right

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Can you remain strong and still show your sweetness? That is the question Cory asked us in yoga today. Can you hold a pose and show your strength while keeping your face and your attitude soft? I had to think about this for a second. What was she talking about? And how did this relate to life off of the mat? I don’t know how you are but I am pretty independent. I like to have things under control including my emotions and my relationships. I never saw how important this theory was until I looked hard at myself and realized this is one area of my life I truly lack in balance. I try and stay so focused and so detached that my sweet, loving, soft side hides beneath my tough exterior. So, from this day forward, I am going to try and be more loving. I will try and allow myself to be vulnerable, not only in my words but also in my actions. Wish me luck because my emotions and affection are two things I have always held back. There is no sense in trying to figure out why, I just have to accept that is part of who I am and make an effort to let my gentle side show. So what do you think? Can you remain strong and still show your sweetness? I’d love to hear about it. How have you found a healthy balance?

The Things We Resist Persist

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Sometimes there are minor changes that would make such a major difference when it comes to our happiness. I cannot for the life of me figure out what it is that keeps me from doing them. Here is a perfect example and I am almost embarrassed to share it.

For weeks now I have been going to bed pretty aggravated. For whatever reason, the feather comforter is on the bed upside down. I know this because when I cozy myself to the exact place I like to snuggle up with my pillow, there is a tag waiting to stick in my face. I just simply pull the covers over until it is out of my way. Enter husband. Sometime, after I am long asleep, my husband comes to bed. He too wants some covers, so when he pulls them over himself that annoying little tag ends up you know where once again. I maneuver myself back and forth until I can’t feel it tickling the back of my neck.

What in the world is wrong with me? I am happy to report that I turned that annoying comforter around. I had two choices really, I could cut off the tag or I could turn the whole thing around. I chose, for two straight weeks to make my life a lot more difficult. So again, I ask why? When it takes such little energy to make the most beneficial changes, why do we choose to resist doing anything?

I have decided that I will not accept this from myself anymore. If I am lazy with the little things, imagine how sluggish and resistant I would be with the big things. Just do it! Get it done! Stop thinking and dig those high heel thousand pound spikes out of the ground.

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Boundaries

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This was one of the first things I saw when I woke up this morning. It really made me question relationships. I often ask myself, “how did I get here?” And when did it happen? I watch as healthy, loving relationships turn into difficult ones. I watch as sweet, loving words turn into angry, disrespectful exchanges hurting everyone in their path.

Today, think of ways you can set boundaries in your own life to have healthier relationships. Ask yourself a few questions and answer them honestly. Do you speak to others respectfully? What do you do when someone treats you in a way you don’t find acceptable? Do you ignore it and move on or do you address it with the other person? Do you let people know your time is important or have you taught others that you will sacrifice yourself for others needs. Often times we blame the people around us for the way they treat us when often times it is the result of no clear boundaries on our own part. Take charge of your own life. Set those boundaries and then it will be you who gently guides others to treat you in a way you want to be treated.

The Truth About Lists

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I used to measure how successful my day was by looking at how many things I had checked off my to do list. Today, though I actually looked at the things on the list. The back and forth, drive here, drive there and I realized there are just too may things on that list for any sane person. So, today I will high five myself for getting everything I needed to get done done and for squeezing some time in for myself as well. That list is just some pencil marks scribbled on a lined piece of paper and I will no longer allow it to define how I feel about my day. It will be a guide, not a gauge and whatever doesn’t get done can certainly wait until another day.

To a Run or Not To Run. That Is The Question.

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When is the last time you challenged yourself to do something you knew would be really difficult? Last night my daughter asked me to do a marathon with her. I just about spit out my drink. You know those shows you watch that use the sound of crickets when someone says something completely shocking and outrageous? Last night I heard the crickets.

Saturday when I was at yoga, the instructor asked us to lay on our belly and place one cheek on the floor. She explained, everyone has one side that feels better. Then, she asked us to turn our head to the other side and feel how different and uncomfortable it feels. The uncomfortable side signifies everything that is difficult in our lives. It also signifies anything we resist. I could feel that marathon right there beneath my right cheek.

I woke up today and I gave the whole idea some fresh thought. Maybe, just maybe, I could do a half marathon. Then I thought about all the training. My knees, my back, the time. Did I really want to take this on? I hate to fail. For me it is not an option so if I commit to this I have to follow through. Why would I want to? Well, for one, it is something my daughter and I could look forward to and experience together. It would help me get in shape. It would help me deal with stress. I also know all too well how good I would feel if I could check something like this off my bucket list. Did I mention my knees and my back? How in the world could I possible work around them and even more scary, how do I even get started. For me, starting something is always the hardest step. Once I get going and commit, the rest just falls into place.

So, I am leaving it up to a vote and if you vote for me to go for it then I expect some encouragement from the sidelines as I update my progress. So, what do you think? Should I do it? What would you do and why?

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Bad Cop or Parent?

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It’s all about balance. Everything. How though does one go about achieving that balance? Back in the days when I was in school there was no internet. My parents didn’t have access to every grade and all the details of my schoolwork. There was a basic trust and my parents could count on the fact that I was doing my work, handing in my work and generally doing well in school. If not, when report cards arrived, consequences arrived too.

These days, things are much different. If you are a concerned parent you can check online each day to see exactly how your children are doing. I believe it’s a blessing and a curse because now parents have become the bad investigative cops and the kids feel like they cannot get a break. Years ago, we weren’t given second chances if we didn’t do things right the first time around. We weren’t allowed to hand papers in long after the date they were due. I have learned that the grade I see on Parent Portal does not reflect the real grade. With all these opportunities to redo whatever wasn’t great the first time around, the grade will be constantly changing based on our kids desire to better their grades.

Back to the balance. When and how often should a parent jump in and get involved? When I see participation grades in gym of 50 and 80% I can’t help but wonder where the crazy system has gone wrong. Am I safe to assume that my son is sitting through 50% of his activities and refusing to participate? When I asked him about it, his response was “huh?” That reaction told me all I really need to know. And, did I mention he has two gym classes this semester? Augh! The criteria just seems a little bit silly to me. Sportsmanship %, participation %. Why can’t gym just be gym.

Anyway, unlike most parents, I have learned to laugh at grades. As long as I know my kids are doing their work and trying their best, am I going to freak out if one gets a B in gym? My kids will go to college. They will do the best they can and I am pretty sure they will graduate. They will get a job and they will be just fine. I refuse to succumb to the ” my kid has to get a 4.0 average and go to an Ivy League school” mentality. Once school ends, it just doesn’t matter. I watch as my daughter takes an AP class. I see all the work. I see the hours she puts into studying and reading and then I find out most kids don’t even pass their AP test at the end of the year? Why then do we push our kids to put in all this time and effort to do all this extra work that they could be putting into their other classes if only a very small percentage will even get credit?

I certainly don’t have any answers and really I’m not even looking for any. I just needed to vent my thoughts and remind myself to not get crazy about the things I cannot change and the things years from now that will have no relevance. Once it’s in writing I have to commit. So, reminder to self. Trust your kids, trust them to do it on their own. Do not be the bad cop. Be the supportive parent.

God Grant Me The Serenity
To Accept The Things I Cannot Change,
The Courage To Change The Things I Can,
And The Wisdom To Know The Difference.