Just When I Think I’ve Seen Everything

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Stick with me on this one and see if you can hear this story without passing judgement.

There was a Go Fund Me started on Facebook by a teenage girl who needed help paying a speeding ticket. It didn’t surprise me at all that no one helped but the comments were enough to make my skin crawl. Someone suggested she learn to suck something for money, another called her something so disgusting I cannot even repeat it. Many commented that she looks like the kind of kid that’s handed everything and others wrote get a job.

That teenage girl is my daughter and she has a pretty weird sense of humor. I think she was hoping her grandmother and aunts and uncles would help her out.

The real truth is she has a job. While most teenagers are partying and sitting around doing nothing all summer, she is working and going to leadership camps required to be on student council. The second camp was $300.00 and we made her pay for half. That being said, she missed a few weeks of work because of a family trip and two weeks of camp. Why leadership camp and student council? Because she is the type of kid who puts herself out there to make things better. She even participates in an organization at the school that raises money for a charitable cause. She is on a swim team and makes honor roll every semester.

To see the disrespect, critical and downright cruel, garbage slime that these kids wrote makes my heart hurt. They know nothing about her but they are quick to judge. My stomach actually hurts from reading some of these horrific comments. What is wrong with people? What are we raising? No wonder so many kids commit suicide. We are a society that mocks, judges and lacks empathy and compassion. We are a society that has no heart, no filter and very little respect or class. These are our future leaders and we think we are in trouble now? Just wait.

Focus On the Positive

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I’m trying hard to stay positive and get my mind off all the anxiety we have at home because of school. I help Chase spend countless hours doing work he doesn’t even slightly understand. Tonight I looked in his backpack to look at his two most recent tests. I couldn’t believe both papers had mistakes when it came to grading. One test had two mistakes and the other had one but the point is he works too hard to be cheated out of even 1 point he deserves. I feel like I already do so much already. I have palpitations and high blood pressure and I actually start to shake when I have to communicate with anyone at the school. I have limited those interactions. I have been meditating and even went back to the gym after nearly a year of doing nothing but yoga. I am trying to recover and get it together because that’s what my boy needs me to do. Now I have to check and make sure papers are graded correctly too? On a positive note, I just got notification that his grade went from a 72 to an 84.6. That’s a significant difference. I’m glad I caught the mistake. Breathe and let it go. These are the wrong things to dwell on, the ones that don’t really matter. We will get through this and everything will be alright. Focus on the positive and keep moving forward, one small step in front of the other. I’ve got this. There is no other option.

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.

Can You Handle The Truth?

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I have blogged about this so many times that it’s starting to be painful. I watch people all around me desire a different life, different circumstances, a new outcome. What they fail to see is that they keep living the same misery over and over again while getting the same unfortunate results. Why me they cry? I’m such a victim. I just don’t get it. I’ve said this before, 1+2 will always be three. If you keep plugging the same numbers or same mistakes into the same equation, guess what answer/outcome you’ll end up with? It may look different but 2+1=3 too. 

So what can you do to make the changes you really desire? Something different! Start by taking your power back and accepting accountability for your own life. Take that finger you so eagerly point at everyone else and point it so hard back at yourself that you poke out your own eye. Stop being in denial about how YOU are ruining your own life by living the same whoa is me scenario over and over again.

One thing I have learned that has completely changed my life is that I cannot change anyone else. I do however have the power to change myself, my thinking, beliefs, my life. If you want change, it’s up to you. If you keep living in the same  unsatisfying patterns, it’s because of you.

DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT! Be your own hero. Save yourself before it’s too late.

When To Admit You’re Wrong

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I went to get my hair colored yesterday. For some crazy reason, the only place that is turning pure white is right around my face. I asked the girl what type of treatment I needed to cover my gray and she decided on a root erase. When I got home and finally looked in the mirror I was horrified to still see white. I just sat there for over an hour, spent 52.00 dollars and I still looked the same. Normally I am not one to confront or complain but I was pretty upset and decided to go back and ask the girl what had gone wrong. To my dismay, instead of offering to remedy the problem, she acted like that is what I should have expected for that particular treatment. I looked her in the eyes and asked her why I would have come in to get my hair colored if she wasn’t going to cover all the white. She still blamed me and apologized wrapping it up with “Have a nice day.” I was horrified and realized there was no need for anymore conversation with her. I walked up to the front desk and explained my situation to the manager who immediately handed back every penny I paid including the tip. 

Sometimes it’s just best to admit you are wrong. And when you are wrong, sometimes it is necessary to do what it takes to make it right. Needless to say, I will never go back to that girl again. Maybe if she was apologetic and took responsibility to admit the mistake and do it over, then maybe I would have come back. Now I am forced to search for a new hairdresser and remedy the problem myself with a $5.99 store bought root erase. The moral of the story is this, just admit when you are wrong and do all you can to right that wrong. Then and only then, you will be forgiven and everyone can move on.

I Always Hated Puppet Shows

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I am constantly learning about how effective my parenting actually is. My children’s behavior, their attitude, and their habits are a direct reflection of whether or not I have done my job. If I am being honest, I would give myself a C at best. I have two kids who are completely different which is why I have not totally failed. The biggest area that is lacking seems to be my daughters work ethic. I just cannot understand how she can go to bed on any night when her work is not finished. She seems to really believe that the world will revolve around her schedule and she has little concern for the consequence that follows. She can be doing so well in school and hit a week that she just quits. She becomes so bogged down by all the work that she gives it half her effort or just doesn’t do it at all. I have to ask myself, what could be so different at home and at school that these kids think the work they are supposed to do is optional and on their own time? Is there anything we can do to turn this around, anything I can do? Part of me says, these are her choices, they are her grades and I should let her experience the consequences. How then, can I separate myself from her bad attitude or bad habits so that I do not feel like I have completely failed?

I often wonder if we are teaching these kids the wrong things. They are self centered, bold, self absorbed. Maybe we should teach them about discipline and commitment and give them no other option but to obey. They are a challenging generation. They challenge everything, their teachers, their parents, rules…the list goes on and on. Why do they think they have a choice? This is something that really beats me up on a daily basis. I know for a fact at school, at home and in sports there are special rules for special people. There is also a lack of follow through at every level. Kids seem to be running the show. In school, they just don’t hand in their papers or they hand them in whenever they feel like it. At swim meets I see swimmers sitting in the bleachers socializing with their girlfriends instead of cheering on their other teammates and being allowed to skip practice without consequence, even though it counts as a class. What are teachers and coaches doing? What are parents doing when our kids look us in the face and say, “I’ll do it when I feel like it’, or “you can’t make me do that”. It’s as if they have some kind of control over everyone who is supposed to be in control of them and they are actually getting away with it. This positive reinforcement scares the living hell out of me. The little people, the teenage minds, the ones without experience are running the show while we, coaches, teachers and unfortunately parents have become their puppets. We yes them to death and we treat and respect them like they are older and more mature than they actually are. This puppet is tired. I want to retire. I want to be the one who holds the strings, the one who is back in control. We can’t beat our kids at home. Now we ask them how our terrible parenting makes them feel that we are so incompetent. We used to hit with a ruler in school and now we hand out demerits like they are a piece of candy. Can you imagine hearing, “if you do that again I will give you a demerit.” Seriously, what happened to going to the principals office and detention and being grounded and having everything taken away. We just hand them more, more, more and eventually we make fools out of ourselves while our children are watching and we hand them twenty dollars to go out for lunch along with the car keys. Is there a solution, an answer, a hint of a way we can come together to make this better? If so, my ears are big and I am ready to listen. These kids are running the show and somebody’s got to pull the plug.

You Should Never Be Less Than Perfect

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So yesterday we were eating dinner and the silence was really bothering me. I asked anyone if they had something they wanted to share. Chase slowly pushed his chair back from the table and said “Well….”. I knew he was about to tell me something that would be difficult.

It turns out he has lost his packet for science class. He went to his teacher and told her he thinks he accidentally threw his out instead of an old test and asked if he could have another. She told him he would be getting a 0 and she would not allow him to have a second paper.

At first I was angry. He has a 98.5 in the class and I knew what a 0 would do to his grade. I told him he was in trouble and there would be no video games. After I thought about it I decided to call him downstairs and tell him it was okay. It was just a mistake and I knew he didn’t do it on purpose.

The bottom line is this. Life is so very hard and people expect so much from us. I even believe they expect perfection. In time, we learn to expect that from ourself as well. No wonder we feel like we can’t do anything right and that we are a complete failure. We hold each other to a standard that is just unattainable. The fact is, we are human beings. We make mistakes, we learn from them and we strive to do the best we can. Does throwing a paper out on accident make Chase irresponsible? No. It does not. It makes him human. People have bad days and chaotic moments and sometimes kids with ADD get distracted. Imagine that. The kid has a math test that he couldn’t finish the other day because the math teacher hasn’t bothered to bring him up to speed on the 8 days of information he missed while he was out sick. To me, that lends itself more to irresponsible than human nature. He has a broken arm that makes it difficult to get in and out of his locker and put his papers in the necessary binders. He is doing a great job in school and this is the first time something like this has happened. I have to wonder how many times this teacher has misplaced something. Geez…half the time I am looking for my cell phone while I am actually talking on it. Does that make me irresponsible?

This expectation of perfection has got to be stopped. It hurts people and makes them feel really bad about who they are and what they do. Let this be a lesson. Give people a break. It is not always your job to punish someone or teach them a lesson because they made a mistake they already feel bad about. It is your job to look them in the eyes and say it’s really okay, we all make mistakes. We cannot hold people to a higher standard than we are capable of ourselves. What do you think will be the more important lesson in the totality of his lifetime? A zero on a paper or someone saying it’s okay, we all make mistakes? Let me know what you believe.IMG_6810.PNG

Lesson Finally Learned

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Sometimes we don’t always learn a lesson the first time around. We have to make the same mistake over and over until finally we choose a different path. This week was no exception.

This is the second time in a row I made the wrong choice to go to Minute Clinic. We ended up being misdiagnosed, untreated and sicker than we needed to be. I even posted about the experience last time and here I am again, same situation, different day frustrated with myself.

I often wonder what that lightbulb moment is when we finally get it. How come some lessons are learned easily and others take a lot more time? I guess we need to pay more attention to the details and when something doesn’t work for us, know, that is the time we need to make a different choice the next time around.

What is a lesson that took some time for you to learn? What was it that finally made you realize what you were doing was not working?