What Mark Will You Leave?

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Everyone stop and take a deep breath. Pause. Ask yourself, how am I feeling today? It seems that generally we just expect the worst from everyone. We are so defensive that it may cause us to miss opportunities to connect with people around us. What has happened to us all? How did we get this way? Why do we feel the need to be on the defense? We have stopped feeling like we can trust the people around us. We have to question their motives before we can have a simple conversation with them. Even when we get a compliment, it’s hard to decide if someone is being serious or if someone is  passing an insult in our direction with a cool voice and a smug smile. We need more kindness. We need more friendliness and complements and gestures that show we are still caring human beings. We have to prove ourselves again, as silly as that sounds. What if we could expect the best from everyone? What if we were motivated from the heart instead of our self-serving minds? People are not horrible. Not all of them. I’ve been fortunate to know so many amazing people. They come and go. That’s just the way life is but they are there when I need them and that is what counts. Everyone serves a purpose in our life. We may not understand it at the time but everyone we meet has an effect on who we are. Think long and hard next time you speak or act. What kind of effect do you want to have on the next person you meet? I suggest you make it a good one.

A Look Back

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There’s an unfortunate trend I’ve been seeing lately. A lifetime ago people used to get together because they enjoyed each other’s company. It didn’t matter where someone was going or what someone was doing. If you got an invitation you were going to go, period. Today however, it seems things have changed. If there is not something in it for them they will just decline. It has to be a restaurant they like or a bar they frequent. It isn’t about getting together with people at all. When did we stop enjoying each other’s company? When did we stop hanging out and enjoying one on one time with a special friend? When did it become “all about me” and less about us? Have we replaced people with the superficial shadow of a virtual friend on Facebook and Twitter? Have we replaced real company with Instagram and group messaging?

I guess I am grateful I grew up in a different time, a different world, that seems like a whole lifetime ago. Has my generation forgotten? Have they too fallen victim to these lonelier times? Is this the way it will be from now on? I can only hope and pray we come back to a time where rooms were physically filled with real people and not ones that could only be reached through texting and social media.

An Unexpected Text

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I was out with a friend Thursday evening when I received a lengthy text from my son. He made quite a good argument about how his violin does not feel like a fit for him anymore. He was very mature about it and made several good points that proved to me that he just does not enjoy playing it. I sat there wondering what to do. We payed for the instrument and I looked so forward to watching his growth from year to year during the orchestra concerts. I felt a sadness that I would miss out on that opportunity to sit proudly in the audience and and listen to him play.

I watch friends and people I know push their kids to do things you can tell the kids don’t really want to do. You can tell when a kid really enjoys something because when he does, he will do it with his whole heart. I think kids really want to please their parents so they go along with their parents dream just because they know it will make them happy. That is the part in the text that really tugged at my heart. Chase wrote, “Mom, if you want me to play I will do it for you.”

There comes a time when a parent needs to step away and let the child decide for himself. I don’t want him to do a particular sport or play an instrument because he thinks I want him to. He is old enough now to decide for himself. Sports as well as playing an instrument require a huge commitment. I would never want either one of my kids to put hours of their time as well as their sweat and dedication into something that does not fit with who they are.

I am really sad to see the violin go but I will also be grateful for the wonderful memories I have watching him learn, grow and play. Kids know what their limits are. Do we really have to push them to be so over extended? It wasn’t so long ago that one seasonal sport was enough and now we expect our kids to play two or three so now the whole year is taken up with late nights and long practices.

I am hoping my son finds his fit. He has always really enjoyed basketball and it has shown in his attitude every time I watch him play. I admire his approach to share his feelings. I am grateful he felt comfortable enough to be honest with me. I hope he learns from this experience that seeing him happy is enough to make us happy too and we will never force him or strongly lead him to do anything he truly doesn’t want to do. We had our chance to live out our own dreams and now it is time for him to live out his, even if they are different from what we imagined.

My Chance at the Challenge!

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So, earlier my post was about civility. I challenged each and everyone of my readers to speak to everyone with respect and kindness. Then I ran into him! I had just hung up my cell after checking in with my husband after the best yoga class ever and for one second I looked down at my phone to make sure I hung it up properly. That is when a car drove along side of me with a man berating me and screaming, “stop texting and driving!” I took a few deep breaths and as we came to a stop he was still glaring at me through the car window. I put my window down with all intention of being nice and he screams the words again. I say (in the nicest possible voice at the time) “thank you sir but really is staring at me and screaming any better than me looking down at my phone?” He speeds up and screams at me again.

Why do I find myself in these crazy predicaments? Especially after just giving the world a lesson on how mean spirited people can be. Why is it that people want to stick their nose in everyone else’s business but can’t see what needs fixing within themselves. People are hurtful. I am a human being with feelings. I don’t deserve to be yelled at, even if I was doing something wrong. Is there anyone you know that is so perfect that they have a right to yell at and harass someone else who appears less perfect from himself? I say take care of you. Fix you. Make you better and the whole world will be a better place too. This anger, this aggression, this mean spiritedness is really just breaking my heart.

Anyway, that was my chance at my own little challenge today. Hopefully one of you reading this was not that mean old man that pulled up along side of me. People deserve kindness and respect. If you have anger issues, please join me for a bit of yoga. Otherwise, keep your own eyes on the road and stop staring into other cars. Just for the record, that is just as dangerous! FYI…there is no ban on texting in this state at this time, even if that was what I was doing so where do people find the nerve to once again force people to go along with their wants and beliefs? Sad, just really sad.
Let me hear how my little challenge has kicked you in the backside today!