Last Day of 2018

Thank you all for being supportive blog friends over the past year!

Here is my advice to you:

  1. Make resolutions or don’t make them: do what’s best for you
  2. Forgive those that have wronged you- not for them, but for you.  Enter the new year with an open heart unweighted by the past.
  3. Tell the people that you love that you love them.  Often.  No one tires of hearing that they are special, and being loved is the most special thing of all.

Happy New Year!

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Gratitude Saturday

On Saturdays I try to remember all the things, both big and small, that make my life better. It’s not always easy…but I try….

  1. Visits with family that are just short enough so we don’t hate each other
  2. Christmas presents
  3. when things don’t work out the way you want but you have the perseverance to pull through
  4. that I accomplished most of what I set out to do, or made a good start
  5. books that are just fun
  6. holiday cards with pictures of everyone’s kids
  7. my niece who makes me laugh
  8. all the people who believe in the spirit of Santa Claus
  9. umbrellas
  10. fresh water

2018 Goals- How Did I Do?

I set some goals for myself last year.  Here’s how I did:

Underline- Accomplished

Plain- worked on but not completed

Cross thru- fail

  1. See local friends monthly: I did make a concerted effort to see my friends in person.
  2. Unsubscribe to emails I do not want to receive
  3. No shopping just because there’s a sale
  4. Eating Healthy- I was OK at this- room for improvement
  5. Novel- first draft done, second draft is ok- but I’m moving forward, so this is a wash
  6. Literary Agent wasn’t ready
  7. Blogging 5 days a week
  8. Weekly dates with Husband 1-2
  9. Weekly dedicated time with my daughter
  10. Dropping extra 12 pounds yeah- this is getting to me
  11. Knitting not even close
  12. Improving photography- a little
  13. Read 50 books (actually read 51, and it will be 52 by year end)
  14. Organize blog time better- I’m working on this, but I’m figuring out how to schedule time better
  15. Be more stylish I am so much happier with my look!
  16. Different teas- I have expanded my tea repertoire
  17. Exercise 5 days a week
  18. Help my daughter get through the college application process (she’s almost done!  4 more applications to get out in the next few weeks and then it’s waiting till the end of March)

So- I am proud of what I accomplished, and OK with what didn’t work out for me (except for the weight thing which is still irking me) The goal is to just keep working on what I want to fix.

 

The Tale of When the Queen Didn’t Stay Quiet

There are those that thought the Queen was so mature to have not said anything to the anti-Santa person.  But the Queen is not always so nice to people who say things to her….

Once upon a time the Queen and the Princess were on the M101 city bus heading downtown towards home, at about 5:30 pm. The Princess was about three.

It had been a long day for the royal duo: they had lots of errands and classes and what have you and they had bags of food and sundry items.  They were tired. Luckily they found two seats on the bus, and the Princess sat quietly and politely and the Queen held her hand and they had quiet pleasant conversation.

The bus began to get crowded and another royal got on the bus.  This royal said to the Queen:

“Are you going to put your kid on your lap?  She didn’t pay for the seat. She has no right to sit on it.”

The Queen was not in the mood.  She’d been up since 5:30 am, and after twelve hours of being on the go, she was a wee bit cranky.  The Queen responded:

“Did you pay for two seats because there is no way your ass is fitting on one.”

And the Queen went back to talking to the princess.

The Queen still feels bad about this outburst.  It is not the example she likes to set for the Princess. But sometimes…

They have managed to live happily ever after.

Why I Was Calm

Last week I wrote about how my parenting abilities were questioned because I told my daughter about Santa Claus. And many of you remarked about how calmly I handled the situation.

Fine.

But lets discuss the calm part. Because you know I’m not always calm and laid back in my reactions to things.

But in this particular instance I was rather calm, but it was more due to shock.  I was in shock that someone would equate me telling my daughter about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy to being a lie that would cause my daughter to no longer trust anything I said. In my actual logical and analytical mind, this was ridiculous theory.  Every child needs imagination and whimsy, and frankly.  It’s ok to believe that there are things that are just good in the world. And there are times we need to believe in the unknown.

This year my daughter spearheaded a National Honor Society project where they collected art supplies and other small items and made shoeboxes that were delivered to kids in a shelter. To me, that’s a bunch of kids just trying to make some kids have a better day.  Isn’t that the spirit of Santa Claus?

But the other reason I remained calm…

See, at that time, I was the only member of the group that had children.  I didn’t confront the woman because I didn’t know how the other members felt.  I was a little scared to defend myself more passionately.  I erred on the side of quiet.  I simply told the accuser that I was doing what I thought was best for my child in that particular situation.  I was carrying on a tradition that had been through my family, my friends. For the most part we were fairly well adjusted adults.  And none of us thought our parents were bad people to have told us these things.

But what did other people think?

What did people without children think?

So I stayed relatively, uncharacteristically quiet.

But I do wonder why people need to comment negatively about how others choose to live their lives, parent their children. Because when you think about it, is there a universal right answer to every situation? Is there only one way to do something?

 

Gratitude Saturday December 22

On Saturdays I try to remember all the things, both big and small, that make my life better, no matter how the week went.  This week, the shoulder….but otherwise…

  1. Ibuprofen
  2. Heat wrap
  3. Holiday Decorations
  4. That the positives in my life far outweigh the negatives
  5. My friend K gifted me with a box of my favorite truffles and she didn’t even know they were my fave- but they are her fave too!
  6. No Chewing Allowed truffles
  7. Curating my wardrobe enough that it is getting much easier to pick out an outfit that I love
  8. Finding a place to have morning coffee with my friends that is civilized and as yet generally undiscovered by the masses
  9. There are four thrift shops within a block of my house so purging is easy
  10. Having friends that make me smile

The Royal Dog

As many royal households do, this particular royal household has a yappy little terrier running around. The royal dog is exceedingly cute, but not particularly smart, and not really obedient.  But her cute little furry face and big brown eyes usually gets her out of serious trouble.

When royal dog was a mere pup, the Queen took her to obedience school.  The first day of class, royal dog decided to play with all the other dogs in the class. She didn’t stand in line- she went up to greet everyone.  And by greet I mean sniff butts. She jumped on people.  She knocked things over.  She didn’t listen at all. And in turn, all the other dogs in class followed royal dogs lead.  It did not go as obediently as one would hope.

When the Queen brought royal dog back for the second lesson, the store refunded all the Queen’s money because royal dog was too disobedient.  Royal dog was distracting the other dogs from learning.  The Queen was not trying hard enough to make her dog listen.

So the Queen walked away in shame.

The royal dog never really learned the art of listening.  She didn’t learn to sit on command, or stop.  She would yap whenever she felt like she needed a treat.  She would headbutt you until you petted her exactly the way she wanted it. She begged for food at the table.

Fortunately, royal dog did understand the importance of doing her business when she was outside the apartment.  For this the Queen was grateful.

And for years, the royal household got along fine with the whiny little dog who didn’t listen to a thing anyone said, because she was cute and loving and did her business outside.

That’s really what the Queen cared about.  Pooping and peeing outside.

Until yesterday….

The Queen took royal dog out on a walk, and the dog did her stuff quickly (it was raining in the royal city).  When the Queen returned to the apartment building, royal dog decided she had a little more poo, and decided to deposit it right in the building lobby.  The doorman pointed it out.

The Queen was not amused. The Queen was really embarrassed. She quickly cleaned up the mess and apologized to the doorman about a million times.

The Queen felt she was a pretty decent Mom to the princess, but clearly failed as dog mom.

And we all know who actually rules the royal household.

Is it a Lie?

I am very behind on blog reading, so I spent much of my morning catching up.  Yesterday my wonderful friend Claudette wrote about belief, and how even though you KNOW something doesn’t exist, it’s Ok to still have a little bit of whimsy and hope.  Her blog made me think about a story from a few years ago.

I belong to a book club in my apartment building.  A few years ago we read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  First off- you must understand that this is one of my favorite books of all time.  There was a point where I read this every year, my paperback copy, bought secondhand, literally fell apart from overuse.  So, I love this book.

The book is about a very poor family in Brooklyn New York in the early 1900’s (it begins in the summer of 1912) Though many things are against her, the heroine, Francie just keeps going. Seriously- talk about persistence!

At one point the book talks about Christmas.  The Mother character is tired of all the crap that life has thrown at her and she starts to feel down, and her mother tells her that you have to give the kids something to believe in- Santa Claus and whatever.  I’m butchering the summary, but it’s really a beautiful scene and it reminds me of what Claudette wrote about. And in book club I talked about how much this scene meant to me.

so…

One of the women in the book club told me that I was a bad Mother because I told my daughter about Santa Claus.  And Santa Claus is fake, so I was essentially lying to my daughter.  And As I lied to my daughter, my daughter was going to grow up with a distorted sense of reality and end up hating me because I fed her a bunch of lies while she was growing up…

Yeah…

Ask me how I felt about that…

I was being called a horrible Mother because I told my daughter about Santa Claus.

I sat there speechless (which you know is rare for me) and just stared at her.  Then I wanted to say some less than flattering things.  I really really wanted to tell her off. But as I sat there with my mouth open, I just felt sorry for her.  I felt sorry for the person who felt so bad about herself she had to belittle another person. It was like she was on a mission to make me feel bad.

She crapped on my favorite book and my parenting skills.

But I wasn’t going to let her get the better of me.

Because I knew in my heart that I was raising my daughter in the best way I knew how, and maybe I made some parenting mistakes (as we all do), but telling my daughter about Santa Claus wasn’t one of them.

And I knew the underlying messages in the book got my through my adolescence. That book made me strong. That book probably helped me teach my daughter the lesson of perseverance and persistence. And what is perseverance and persistence? Belief.  Belief in yourself.  Believing that you will get through another day.  Believing that even though it doesn’t seem possible, you need to have hope. Hope is what gets you through the day.  You hope things will be better.  And you plow on.

Hope and belief.  It’s that simple.

 

To Keep Going or Not to Keep Going: What is the answer?

My Daughter is taking her college deferment rather well. When I remarked on this she simply said “Well- when your classmates, even the ones with better scores and averages than me, all get deferred, it makes it easy.” She smiled and continued “Plus- it’s only strike two.  I get one more swing.’

When my daughter began T-ball at four, her first competitive activity, I told her that first day: “Never look at the last pitch.  Go down swinging.”

For thirteen years she has waited to hear the fat lady sing- and she has not sung yet… She has sent out a plethora of college applications to other schools. And she has approached teachers and mentors to write additional recommendation letters to add to her deferred application.  She is working on a list of accomplishments she’s had since her original application went out on November first. Never say die.

Perseverence.  Persistence. Those are my daughters best qualities. She is adept at picking herself up and dusting herself off and getting on with it.

But this particular situation has a finite end.  On March 29, if this school rejects her, she will, hopefully, have a few other schools to consider.  She will cease trying to get into this school. She will move on. She will no longer try.

So here’s my question.  We all agree that attitude and perseverance will get you far in life.

But…

Is there a time when you should give up?

Is there a point where you have to face reality and move on?

Let’s think about relationships: How long do you continue in a relationship that isn’t fulfilling? If you’ve tried counseling and read books and done what you can to get to a better relationship place, yet it still isn’t working, when do you decide to give up?

What if you’re in a job where you know you’ve reached your limit? The promotion just isn’t going to happen.  The pay raise is not going to materialize. When do you pull the plug and start job hunting?

The HGTV show “Love it of List It” is based on one person wanting to stay in their present house and their partner wanting to move. After renovations are completed the couple decides whether or not they should move- what makes them decide if they can weather it out in the old place, or move into more appropriate digs?

When is it OK to give up?

Discuss