What Kind of Person Are You?

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We can certainly blame others for our words and actions but at the end of the day we own every decision we make. I remember as a small child using someone else as an excuse for my behavior. My mothers response was always the same, “if someone told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?”  Of course my answer was always no. Why as a society do we have the need to place blame on someone? Why do we feel the need to inflict shame on someone already going through a difficult set on circumstances? What the world needs is a little less shaming and a lot more loving and understanding. Which category do you fit into? Are you a shamer or an understander? 

When Enough is Enough

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I am amazed at the amount of people who voice that a particular person is “the” problem. Personally I don’t think anybody holds that amount of power. I chuckle to myself as I remember something my momma used to say. If you aren’t part of the solution than you are part of the problem. Funny how some never do see it that way. It’s so easy to point that long condemning finger at someone else. I guess it makes people feel important, better, smarter. I think it makes you look very small. But then again, I’m usually busy watering my own grass to notice whether or not yours is even green. There comes a time when enough is enough. If only that time was now. I’m not sure it will ever come and it makes me feel sad. 

Is It Ever Your Fault?

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There is nothing worse than someone wandering around playing the victim role. All week long I wash tons of loads of clothes. I asked both of my kids several times to go into the laundry room and put away their clothes. By the time the weekend rolled around, my husband got sick of them not listening and took their clothes upstairs to put away. I woke up to my daughter coming in and out of my room complaining that she couldn’t find any of her clothes. Do I feel bad? Maybe for myself because I had to wake up earlier than I needed to but I am thinking next time they don’t listen, I should bag the clothes up and hide them someplace. The bottom line is if she would have taken her own clothes upstairs and put them away like she was asked, we wouldn’t be having this problem but instead we are the bad guys, and she is inconvenienced.

 Don’t be a victim. Take care of your own responsibilities and don’t blame everyone else for your irresponsibility. It only makes you look bad. And when someone is trying to be helpful, try some gratitude. It goes a longer way than resentment and blame. Sometimes being a parent is a thankless endeavor. It seems to me that the people who do the least and rely on everyone to do more play the victim best.

Can You Help?

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I need some help. I am really struggling with something so I thought I’d reach out and see if anyone has suggestions. I need to get my son the help he needs in school. The problem is, teachers are not being entirely honest because I am assuming they feel the need to protect themselves. I really do believe they think we are critiquing their ability to teach when we are struggling to understand Chases ability to learn. Here’s an example. When you look at his grades in algebra he has all b’s. This is a false representation of the truth because he has never gotten over a 67 on a test except for one which was a 77 after 10 points of extra credit. The teacher acted like she didn’t recall that and did not leave a note next to the grade indicating the 80 was a retake. Also, it was suggested by administrators that maybe Chase wasn’t putting in his best effort and we should expect him to get a b the first time. Otherwise, why bother trying when he can retake it. When he asked us why we thought he was capable the second time I explained when he does a retake, the teacher sits beside him and guides him through. She told me he does it all by himself and acted like she didn’t know what I was talking about. On the way to school, I asked him to tell me exactly what happens during a retake in math. He told me his teacher sits beside him and helps him through. When I asked if he ever took one in a seat away from her, he said no.

What do I do about that? How can I go up against people who do not care enough about a student to just tell it the way it is? How will we ever get what he needs if it appears he is doing just fine? I am devastated and in shock that someone would sit across a table and cover her own backside when she isn’t even on trial. It’s not about her. It is about helping him. Let me add that last year, his teacher used to send him home with a blank test because he couldn’t even do one problem independently  in class but I bet that isn’t on record anywhere either. And the nerve to pass it off as his lack of effort? I really need some advice. I am destroyed over this and this is just one example. I thought adults were honest. I thought I could trust teachers with the well being of my child and this is what we get? He deserves better. All our kids do.

Go Away Guilt

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Guilt is the enemy. If I wrote down the list of things I feel guilty about in a week, I could fill an entire book. What is guilt exactly and where does it stem from?

This is how Wikipedia defines guilt:

Guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes—accurately or not—that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a moral standard and bears significant responsibility for that violation. It is closely related to the concept of remorse.

Back to the where does it stem from part. Only I make the choice to decide if something I say or do is beneath the standards I set for myself. The enemy is not guilt, the enemy is me and I need to replace that re-occurring wasteful thought with a healthier, more inspirational one. It’s so important to practice kindness and compassion and it’s easy for me to do when it comes to others. Why then, am I so darn hard on myself? 

How about you? Do you feel guilt often? How do you handle those feelings when they come up?

 

Where Did You Put My Keys?

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On a rare occasion, I actually get to sleep in. It had been raining most of last night so the morning was cool and dark, perfect conditions for extended sleeping. Out of nowhere, a blur came flying through my bedroom door. The noise startled me and the dogs so of course they started barking. My daughter was in panic mode asking if I had moved her keys. I could barely open my eyes enough to see but I did my best to help her look. I looked in all the usual places and there were no keys in sight. Finally, after several minutes, she mumbled something about wishing people would stop moving her stuff and headed out the door. Where do you think she found her keys? Inside her sneaker on the living room floor that she swore she didn’t put there, even though I find the shoes she wore the day before in that very place on most mornings. I waited a few minutes and then texted her to let her know I found her brain in the other shoe. I’m sure that text went unappreciated.

The truth is, we often blame others for our own misfortune. If we are late to work, it is because the guy in front of us was driving too slow. If we forget an appointment, it is because someone moved the piece of paper we wrote it down on. Why is it so hard to admit we screwed up, made a mistake or were simply irresponsible? I keep thinking of the man in McDonalds who wanted all the lights moved because they are low enough to “make” him hit his head. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to hit our head on the same light 13 times or lose our keys twice a week. What isn’t okay is to miss the lesson and the opportunity for growth. We are meant to take responsibility for our mistakes, learn from them and hopefully not make the same ones over and over again. That is my message today. Stop blaming other people and stop making excuses. Learn from mistakes and allow them to help you grow. Forgive yourself for your imperfections and apologize to your mom for all the things you’ve blamed her for. Oh! And put your keys in the same place everytime you get home and I guarantee you will find them the next day.

Pointing Fingers

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Have you ever come across someone who identifies every problem you seem to have, yet never addresses their own?

 Yeah, what do you do with that? What can you do? 

Sometimes I find myself so frustrated. All I can think is, stop worrying about everyone else’s situation and start working on your own. I don’t mean any disrespect when I say that, I just think it is important to remain so focused on fixing, changing and accepting your own life that you don’t have the time or energy to dive into someone else’s. 

We are all a work in progress. We will not be the person today that we will be tomorrow unless we choose to be. And if you choose to be, don’t be surprised when your life stays the same no matter how much you want or need it to change.

I choose to be better so life doesn’t make me bitter. If you squeeze me, I couldn’t live with myself if bitterness was the only thing that came pouring out. Life is too short to be filled with that.

The lesson will always repeat itself, unless you see yourself as the problem–not others.

Shannon L. Alder

I’ll Do Me And You Do You

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I realized something very important yesterday. When you are honest about your life, your feelings, your flaws and your struggles, you are opening up a door that some will be all too willing to enter. You are taking an enormous risk that people will judge and belittle you because maybe you are experiencing something they cannot even fathom. You also allow someone to compare their life to yours and make you feel crappy about your own. So why do we do it? Why do I do it? I believe that writing has become an avenue of therapy and self discovery for me. It is an avenue that allows me to explore my own life, MY life which consists of so many thoughts, feelings, decisions, regrets and just about anything else you can think of. It’s about my perspective and lessons I have learned through the people in my life or my own experiences. I don’t have to explain that and I sure as heck will not apologize for it. It helps me figure things out and deal with some issues that I can only face once the words are written on a page. There is nothing more rewarding than a reader being deeply touched by something I write. When I can help someone else while I am helping myself, I consider that a wonderful gift. Sure, it might open my own life up to finger pointing and criticism but in the end, the positives far outweigh the negatives. People will always judge. They will continue to try and make you feel inferior and that’s okay. They may use that knowledge against you. I’ve never discovered a way to avoid that. Tell your truth anyway. Be who you are and tell it the way it is and never stop for a second to wonder what anyone else thinks. I’ve always used this line for as long as I can remember. “If you don’t give someone a reason to talk about you, they will look until they find one anyway.” Be you and do it proudly.

Dear Mom, You’re Ruining My Life

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I’m so glad my parents always make an effort to spread positivity about my day ❤

That was a post made by my teenage daughter today. OF course she was being sarcastic. One thing that is very frustrating about kids today is that they have a very difficult time sitting down and talking through a problem. It saddens me that they can easily air their problems through social media but can’t seem to be open enough to sit down and have a respectful discussion. How can I possibly respond to this. How can I possibly make her understand that sometimes you get what you give? 

As a parent who has given up my own freedom to raise and parent my children, it is disheartening for me to see my daughter lay in bed and read all day long for several days at a time. Sure, it’s not a bad thing but I have failed to teach my children responsibility and setting priorities. I have failed to teach them to do their part and not sit and watch me cook, clean up and do the dishes every single night. I haven’t taught them to be kind and helpful and to do something uncomfortable for the sake of another. I haven’t taught them they have to work for things in life like money for gas or even a car. They just expect things to be given without sacrificing or finding a way to get it for themselves. I failed to teach them to be respectful and not roll their eyes at an adult. I failed to teach them it is not okay to challenge and question every little thing. I taught them that laziness is okay and they should only do what they feel like doing. I failed to teach them to hold their tongues and not speak every single thing they think. I’ve taught them that phones are allowed at the dinner table and conversation isn’t necessary. I’ve taught them that a bad attitude is okay and mumbling under their breath comes without consequence. I’ve taught them they can get away with mean comments and hurtful words. I’ve taught them so many things I tried so hard to avoid.

Teens are tough today. They are hard to parent. Sometimes they are even harder to love. They build walls that seem impossible to climb and they act out negatively only to bring themselves the wrong kind of attention. Sometimes as a mom, I feel lost. It’s a different world than the one I grew up in. These are different times. Kids do things today that I would never even consider as a teen myself. They are cocky and self consumed, condescending and snide. They think they know it all. They have all the answers. They challenge everything their parents say. If I say a shirt is purple, they will argue it’s blue. They haven’t seemed to grasp the “It is better to be kind than to be right” philosophy but they have mastered the “I will always prove my point and have the last word” philosophy.

I have done my best but my best was never good enough. I have showed them by example many things that they simply reject. I have lost the heart and soul and energy to stay on them and follow through. Maybe I have done all I can and its time for them to learn the hard lessons on their own. Maybe they never will. Maybe time will teach them that life doesn’t always feel good. It is not about doing only what you feel like doing. Its not about escaping responsibility, or entitlement. It is not about sitting back and watching someone do your share and saying whatever you feel despite the consequences. Maybe someday they will learn you get what you give. Or maybe they will never figure it out at all. Maybe one day they will stop believing I am ruining their life and learn that it is their own actions and words that ruin it for themselves. I guess only time has the answers but at least something does. Does anyone else feel like they can’t do anything right while raising teenagers? I wish I didn’t come down so hard on myself.