It’s A Balancing Act

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Life is a balancing act. It has to be. It is up to each and everyone of us to know when to say when. Enough of this, time to move onto that. I grew up a perfectionist. I never believed I had an option to leave anything in my life unfinished or incomplete. There was never a choice for me, nothing to even think about. If there was something that needed to get done I was going to do it, period. I see now that people are pushed beyond their limits. School, work and responsibilities will demand and take until you are exhausted and have nothing left to give. I realize it’s time to reevaluate how to spend each moment of time. If there is more work in a day to finish than there is time to complete it then something has to give. You have a choice to kill yourself getting everything done or decide there is that critical point in the day where your time is yours to do as you choose. And really, is done ever completely done? Maybe it’s necessary to leave some things undone. As I write the words I cringe because it is against everything I’ve ever believed. I look at my husband and my kids who give all they have to get done what is expected of them to do. Like me, they are overwhelmed, stressed out and never afforded the time it takes to recover from one day to the next. Hard as it is, I believe it’s time to finish less and live more. If it means an assignment going unfinished or being handed in a day late than so be it. Health, especially mental health is more important than a crappy grade. So, I must spend the next few weeks undoing who I’ve become. It won’t be easy and I know the internal struggle it will bring but at the end of the day, my peace of mind and state of mind is more important than anything else. That goes for all of us living in this house. If demands are unreasonable, someone must have enough reason to know when to leave well enough alone. It’s a shame that the world has come to this. When something is pushed too hard, it breaks. I learned this lesson through my incessant need to vacuum all the time. We are not machines. We cannot trade out broken parts of who we are for brand new replacement parts. We must learn moderation and self preservation and never apologize for doing what is best for ourselves. Life will take so we must limit what we give. People will take, jobs will take, school will take as the daylight is ripped from underneath our feet. Give less. Rest more. Love more and be at peace. 

Do Something Different

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When something’s not working, do something different.

This is the third volleyball game in a roll that this coach is insistent on putting the same 6 girls in the game. Week after week, they make careless mistakes and lose the game. There are 6 other girls who might play really well if given the chance but some people never learn. They continue to make the same mistake over and over. Guess what? They get the same result over and over. Looks like we are going to lose another game.

Are You Prepared?

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I am visiting my family and we are on our way to the beach. Every single time we go on a trip, since I was a young girl, we would start our journey at the bank, go fill up the tank with gas and stop at the local food store for ice and breakfast sandwiches. It just infuriates me that people are never prepared. All of those things could and should have been done the night before so we didn’t add any extra time to the trip. I don’t get it. Someone please explain. On a positive note, because I did grow up that way, I have learned to be the complete opposite, prepared and ready days before I need to be. How about you? Do you wait until the last second to get everything done or do you tackle it well in advance? Last Minute Annie or Plan Ahead Danny?

One Thing I learned From Each Year of Marriage

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1) There is no amount of arguing that will convince your spouse you are right. Agree to disagree and respect each other’s differences.

2) Your relationship is NOT on a time frame. Just because you believe your spouse should do something right now does not mean he wants to do it right now. Be respectful of each other’s needs.

3) Fight, argue and let if go. Bringing things up over and over again is not healthy. It is your job to find a way to let things go. It is nOT your job to punish your spouse.

4) Playing together leads to staying together. Life is too serious. It doesn’t have to be that way at home too.

5) Always, always speak kindly to one another. Name calling and berating is disrespectful and you always have to rise above it. No- one deserves your disrespect.

6) Give each other space. You were individuals before you more married and you need to be individuals while you are married.

7) Find qualities in your spouse to be grateful for. If you focus on him always leaving the toilet seat up, eventually you will feel anger and frustration toward him. If you focus on him always being there to help with the kids, you will feel gratitude. It is your responsibility to choose wisely.

8) Never, ever place conditions on your relationship. How would you feel if someone only loved you conditionally? It’s degrading. Love each other just as you are.

9) Give each other a break. No- one is perfect all the time. It’s okay to have a bad day.

10) Be supportive not critical. We are hard enough on ourselves. Imagine how awful it would be if the person who is supposed to love us the most is critical of us too.

11) Remember you are both human. Don’t expect each other to be greater than that.

12) Remember that sometimes you have to choose to look the other way. When you call someone out on their every action, they will not be listening when you really need them to hear your words.

13) Don’t say everything you think. Words hurt, especially hateful ones. Some things should just be left to yourself.

14) Respect each other’s families. Period. A person should never have to defend where he comes from. Ever. It’s okay to be raised different ways. Embrace the differences.

15) Be affectionate. Everyone needs a soothing touch or a warm hug. We should treat our spouse with the same attention, love and affection we give to our pets.

16) Make time for each other. Sneak in an unplanned lunch and make sure you continue to date. Making each other feel important should always be a priority. Your time is the greatest gift you can give to someone else. Your spouse deserves it.

Legalize Pot and Ban the Pop Tarts!

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Want to hear a little joke? What did the brown sugar cinnamon pop tart gun say to the strawberry pop tart gun in English class? Nothing, because they were both suspended from school. Okay, maybe not the pop tarts themselves but the innocent poor child chewing them. What in Gods name is going on in this world? By now, most of you have heard about the new bill in Oklahoma that would protect children from inappropriate consequences by schools for example, suspension for chewing their pop tarts into the shape of a weapon or gun. It would also prevent suspension of a 5 year old from grasping their finger gun and playfully looking down the barrel with one eye open while saying bOOM! If I were a teacher, I would launch my m&m grenades right back at the student to teach him an imaginary little lesson. This bill is getting a lot of ridicule but the reason behind it is to protect the kids using common sense. Sounds like something we’ve been in need of for a while if you ask me. And, go ahead and ask, because I have stories that would leave you speechless!

Seriously, does it not bother anyone that we no longer let kids think for themselves? They have become like SpongeBob Squarepants unable to make even small decisions for themselves. Why do you think so many kids identify with such a clueless character? When did we start to punish kids for dreaming and using their imagination. Isn’t it from there that great ideas are born? Now, we will tell them what to think, how to play, what to eat, how to chew and it goes on and on. And, we are punishing kids for chewing their food into the shape of a gun while legalizing marijuana. I’m a bit confused here. Did I miss something in my class of common sense? Oh right, that class does not exist anymore.

My son was riding in the car with me yesterday while the local radio station was updating the latest news. I wasn’t even paying attention when he asked me why someone thought pot was not as bad as alcohol. Great, I was still trying to explain wHY it is unacceptable to play cowboys and Indians, why he had to carefully choose the way he shaped his food by the way he bit into it, and nOW I HAD tO EXPLAiN why the President of the United States thought pot wasn’t as bad as alcohol. If we believe in separation of church and state maybe we should support separation of politicians personal beliefs from beliefs in our home.

Quite honestly, I am sick and tired of how the information taught in schools and statements by our very own President undermine my parenting. How confusing it must be for a child to make sense out of the senseless. I am trying to teach them one thing, and the schools, society, role models like Miley and our President send them a completely opposite message. Sometimes I feel like I am fighting an uphill battle. That is why kids today have less respect for their parents and are referring to us as “old fashioned”. Hmmmm….who recoined that term recently.

I for one, will continue to be that uncool parent. I will disagree with policy’s and societal beliefs that I find demeaning and detrimental to my family’s moral character. Someday, when they are adults, they will have to decide for themselves what is right or wrong. But for now, I will make sure my voice is also heard as loud and clearly as the other disappointing influences and lack of common sense they are suddenly drowning in. My opinion as a parent is important too, and I can only hope that someday when they are older, my kids will see through the manipulation and deception all around them. Kids need to be exposed to certain situations and knowledge when they are ready. After someone who loves and protects them explains things in a gentle way. This new attitude of shove it down everyone’s throat and expose kids to things they may not understand because of maturity is disturbing and confusing to these poor young kids.

Now, back to the pop tarts! This is not at all about guns. You cannot possibly tell me that a small boy that chews his pop tart into the shape of a gun is a future terrorist. Recently I published a post titled “Don’t Comment on my Blog!”. Do you know what happened? Almost every person that read it left a comment. With all these well known psychologists out there, does not one recognize that making guns bad and punishable in school makes them that much cooler. Seriously, I tested the theory with adults and they all failed.

Kudos for some of our leaders that are putting out bills to protect our children from unexcusable, unnecessary , laughable suspensions. Thank god for our leaders that will stick their neck out and be scrutinized to protect the common sense that only few of us seem to have left. Imagine if the news came on 20 or even 10 years ago covering a story about a child who was suspended because he chewed his pop tart into the shape of a gun. It is a toy and it is a child. Seriously, we are legalizing marijuana and suspending 5 year olds for holding their hand in the shape of a gun. Oh, and Mr. President, I, as a parent, am less concerned whether the effects of pot are worse than the effects of alcohol long term. What I am concerned with are school drop out rates, the functioning or lack of functioning of our children under the up and coming acceptable influence of pot, when our teens are already walking around like depressed zombies cutting their own skin. We already have enough crazy going on without encouraging pot too. For those of you not convinced by my own personal opinion, here is an excerpt from Web MD:

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the main effects of marijuana on mood vary and may include euphoria, calmness, anxiety, or paranoia. Getting high or “stoned” is the reason most pot smokers use marijuana.

Other short-term psychological effects of pot include:

Distorted sense of time
Paranoia
Magical or “random” thinking
Short-term memory loss
Anxiety

Signs of using marijuana include:

Rapid heart rate
Increased blood pressure
Increased rate of breathing
Red eyes
Dry mouth
Increased appetite, or “the munchies”
Slowed reaction time

These effects are reduced after three or four hours. However, marijuana hangs around in your system for as long as a month after smoking. The lingering effects mean you’re impaired for several days to weeks after the high wears off.

Does this really sound like something we want to push on kids who already can’t handle the stresses that society places on them. And, if you think kids and guns are dangerous, wait until you add the marijuana! Oh, and the slow reaction time that can last for weeks, certainly that won’t be a factor knowing my daughter will soon be driving. I personally don’t want to encourage my kids to smoke pot. How anyone could compare it to smoking cigarettes is beyond me but we are all entitled to our own opinion. I would like to be entitled to be the main contributor when it comes to the influence of my children as well. What do you think? Only you can decide.

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