Friday, May 29, 2015

The Way Kids See It

Look at yourself.

 The outside.

The inside. 

The parent you are.  The friend, the spouse, the daughter, the son, the sister, the brother. 

Do you like what you see? 

My son is in 5th grade. Despite the fact that he goes to a relatively small school, it consists of a considerably diverse (both cultural and religious) student body. Sometimes when I am lucky enough to get to pick him up from school, I watch all the children play. 

One day this week I watched. What I witnessed was nothing short of beautiful. 

What if... 

What if the media never focused on people being skinny or fat or ugly or pretty. 

What if, instead, you had no reason to believe anything other than YOU are perfect. Your height, your weight, your skin color, your hair color...are all exactly how they are meant to be? 

What if you knew you could have different beliefs without being judged? If your religion or political stance or sexual preference were all just part of what made you...YOU...and that was okay? 

What if other moms/parents/people were indifferent to whether you had a career or stayed home or breast fed or bottle fed or spanked or didn't spank or fed your family organic or went out to eat 5 nights a week? 

What if they parented completely different than you...but would be your friend anyway? 

What if when making friends, you didn't give a second thought to what kind of clothes you wore or how much money was in your bank account? 

These things...they are all true for children. Until they are taught otherwise, that is. Children see people for who they are on the inside. 

Until we teach them not to.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

People I Want To Punch In The Throat

I've been trying to figure out how to write this post for a while. And on Friday, as some snarky person at workslammed the bathroom door in my face, I was compelled to act. No longer will these terrible people roam free! No longer will we be subjected to their tyranny! 
Okay, not really. But a girl can dream.
The following is a list of people I want to punch in throat just because......
1.  The person who sees you coming, LOOKS AT YOU, but doesn't hold the door. Who are these cruel people? Why did their moms and dads raise them so poorly? I think they need hugs.
2.  People who abuse their hazard lights. If you live in any city anywhere, you know exactly what I mean. These are people who pull off to the side and put their flashers on, which they seem to think makes it okay for them to be blocking traffic during rush hour. 
3.  The people who use public restrooms but don't clean up after themselves. They leave the toilet seat cover on or they don't flush or they drop paper towels on the floor and don't pick them up. These people were clearly raised in the wild where they don't have restrooms.
4.  Mall strollers. No, no, not the baby carriages; I'm talking about the people who walk in a horizontal line with their friends at a snail's pace so you can't navigate around them. These people do not belong at a mall, they belong on a nature trail. 

5.  Slow drivers. Like, really slow drivers. I don't understand these people. Don't they see everyone going around them? Doesn't it make them feel bad at all? They are clearly aliens. Human beings would speed the eff up. And they certainly wouldn't flip you off or honk. 

6.  That guy with the bass. I'm laying in bed late at night or early in the morning, and along comes this guy with the big penis-envy truck and the extraordinarily loud bass. It makes the whole cul-de-sac rumble all the way through to my windows, which shake. Plus, it makes my neighbors' yippy dog bark like a deranged lunatic. I hate this guy. 
7.  Elevator offenders. You know who I'm talking about. They are the people with no personal boundaries and stand right on top of you in an empty elevator. Or the person who sees the elevator is full and insists on boarding anyway. These people should be locked in a room and forced to listen to "What Does the Fox Say" on a loop.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday Funday - Answers in Photo Form

OK, so this was a fun little time waster to do on a lazy Sunday.  Basically, you open google images and type in your answer to each of the following questions.  Take the first picture that pops up and paste it as your answer.

1.  What is your name?

2.  What is your favorite food?

3.  What \high school did you go to?

4.  What is your favorite color?

5.  Who is your celebrity crush?

6.  Dream vacation?

7.  Favorite dessert?

8.  What do you want to be when you grow up?

Image result for writer

9.  What do you love most in life?

10.  What is one word to describe you?

Image result for singer

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Why Your 20-Year Old Self Wants You To Shut Up

It seems popular these days to read headlines such as, "10 Things I Would Tell My 20-Year-Old-Self." Or, "5 Words of Advice I Wish I'd Followed In My Youth." When I read these articles, I can almost hear my younger self: "please,please Shut. The. Hell. Up. Can't you just simply love me?"

As if we all somehow were supposed to know better. As if we all somehow, were just awful. Because we did insanely stupid things. Because we made dumb mistakes. Because we were really ridiculous, and oh my GOSH, what were we thinking? 

As if we were not enough. As if things could have somehow been any different than they were. As if we were not doing the best that we could.

At 20, I became a mother. And motherhood swallowed me whole.

I was a good young mother. A good enough mother. I don't think for one second that I was better than any other mother, but I worked hard at motherhood. I gave it my all.

I loved having young children in the house. I loved having my heart pried open by the sight of small, precious hands and the depth of wide, innocent eyes. Some days, it was just a lot of hard work, but mostly, it was a blissful time. My happiest years, when everything, for the first time, felt so right.

In fact, it all felt so right, that I think I decided, on some unconscious level, that everything before, including my younger self, must have somehow been wrong.

So, I left that part of me behind. I ditched her. I pushed her underground. I lost her. I think a lot of us do.

She hadn't understood anything, after all. She sweated the small stuff. She didn't have her priorities straight. She didn't know to enjoy the little things. She actually cared what other people thought of her. How silly she was! How foolish and shallow she had been.

But,now, as my kids are growing up, and in the not too distant future preparing to leave the nest, my younger self seemed to resurface with a vengeance.

For a while, I struggled. Hadn't I  gotten myself all together in my 20s and 30s and left my foolishness behind? Was I going crazy? Was it all just hormonal? Was I having a midlife crisis before I even hit 40?

Eventually, I realized, that in some strange way, I was making peace with my past. I realized that my younger self, like most all of our young selves, had actually kicked ass. I realized that in the midst of all of her flaws and lack of wisdom, she got me here.

I realized that making peace with our past, with our crazy younger selves, works so much better than beating up on them or giving them advice. It makes us whole. It allows us to move forward and to age with gratitude and tolerance for ourselves and for others. 

I think my 20-year-self wants to write an article. I'm not yet sure what all she has to say, but I think I know her title: "10 Reasons Your 20-Year-Old Self Wants You To Shut Up."

Friday, May 22, 2015

No Place I'd Rather Be

You know the song, don't you?  The line "No place I'd rather be" always struck a cord with me whenever I listen to the song.  Something always makes me sit back and think when I hear it.  I know it's about being with the one you love, and being content wherever you are with them.

But, I look at it a little different.  In the hubbub of the day, sometimes I get stuck thinking about the past and/or worrying about the future, that I miss the present moment right in front of me.  I let the craziness of the world envelope me, and forget to take stock in who I am and what I have in my life.  So today, I am celebrating me, in this moment.
I am a daughter
I am a sister
I am a mother
I'm a wife
I'm a kick ass singer
I'm an insanely loyal friend
I'm a decent writer and blogger
I am a hard worker
I'm crazy, fun, loud, silly, and loved by those I love!
I'm ready to face the world and make my mark.  I'm excited for my future and the goals that have been set.  But I'm also content with who I am now.  I have the love of a wonderful family and the support of amazing friends.  I have a roof over my head, and a job that brings in decent money.  And I have an amazing husband who helps provide for our family, who loves me unconditionally, who does little things I never see to make my life easier, who makes me laugh constantly, who supports me in his own way, and who is my best friend.
In this moment, I am immersed in a sensed of joy and thanksgiving.  Life is wonderfully good and there is definitely no place I'd rather be.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

10 Things I'd Rather be Doing than "Adulting"

OK, so as a self described (and often affirmed by others) "Grammar Nazi", I find it kind of funny that the word 'Adult' has become a verb.  But, I digress, as this entire post is going to be full of wonderful things I would rather be doing with my life than adulting.

I mean, honestly; being an adult means you have to go to bed early, get up early,  Even just having this long weekend has spoiled me .  Stay up late, sleep in, do what I want.  Why can't we do that in the real world forever?  I'm thinking of moving to Spain. Then I could take part in that mandatory siesta thing.  I could totally get on board with the siesta all day, fiesta all night kind of life.

I could also get on board a cruise ship -- and a whole bunch of other things instead of adulting.

10 Things I Would Rather Do Than Adult

1.  Sit in a tree house and eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  I don't think I full appreciated either of these childhood sentiments when I was a child.

2.  Nap time -- 'nough said.

3.  Be a model who can eat whatever she wants.  Just buy me cute outfits....I may even let you take pictures of me in them.

4.  Travel the world and not have to pay for it.

5.  Sit in a library of all the most amazing books and just read for days on end.

6.  Is professional Netflix watching a thing?  Because I could totally do that.

7.  Have my husband make millions of dollars so I could become a trophy wife and live in a kick ass mansion.

8.  OR live my life as a beach bum......just a swim suit, cover up, shades, and sandals.  For life.

9.  Have a jam session with my brothers and sister, and then just chill on the couch watching old home movies of when we were cute little, naive kids.

10.  Super awesome long weekend, karaoke party

Friday, May 15, 2015

Kindness Is Free

*Disclaimer:  This post contains profanity.  If you don't like curse words, then don't read this post.*

So, I was walking downtown on my lunch break, because I needed to pay a bill at City Hall, and I am trying to do more walking because I'm endeavoring to make some healthier choices in my life (but that's a post for another day).

There was a group with two people in wheelchairs, two others with obvious mental disabilities, and their two helpers.  We were standing at the crosswalk waiting for the light to change.  There was also a man dressed in a business suit talking on his cell phone.  One of the guys from the first group reached out to the man in the suit.  He shook the man off while continuing to talk on his phone.  The helper tried to control and redirect the young man in her group.  He reached out to the suited man again, tugging on his jacket and made a loud noise.  The business man shook him off and called him a "crazy C word" (he said the word, but I refuse to type that one).  Shocked I said, "that was completely uncalled for".  The suited man then told me to shut up and  called me a "fat bitch".  I replied "I'd rather be a fat bitch than a freaking asshole".  The light changed and he walked away.  I walked away.  The group stayed put on the corner.

I was so angry and so upset, I was shaking.  This all happened in probably less than 30 seconds; 30 completely unnecessary seconds.  I hope that stupid suited guy falls in front of a bus.  No, I don't but...

I wasn't angry or upset by what he said to me (although that was completely uncalled for, too).  I was shocked, saddened, disgusted and infuriated that his response to this young man, that clearly faced some mental and physical challenges, was to call him a "crazy" C-bomb.  The C word.  The nastiest possible word to call someone that the English language has to offer.

Honestly, what is wrong with people?  What goes on in that guys head, or his heart, really in his life to make him such a horrible person.  He is someone's son.  He is possibly someone's friend and/or spouse. Even worse, he is possibly someone's father.  How does he treat those close in his life?  What is he teaching his children?

This is one of those experiences that I will remember for a long time.  Please remember to have empathy and compassion toward your fellowman.  Do something kind today.  Combat your personal incidents of ugliness by spreading kindness.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Some Simple Truths

Sometimes you just have to sit back and say, "Meh, that's the way life goes".

-  Sometimes you just have to laugh at this drama filled, crazy world.  I definitely get a giggle out of people who make mountains out of molehills, especially when they think everything is about them.  #itsnotallaboutyou  #notthecentreoftheuniverse

-  Sometimes you need a sick day to get things organized.....even if you aren't really sick. #playinghookie  #mentalhealthday

-  Sometimes the only way to get through a conversation with a co-worker is over the phone, where they can't see you with your head in your hands or banging it against a wall.  #pleaselearnyourjob  #readyouremailsbeforeaskingmequestions

-  Sometimes it's okay to say YES to that second bowl of popcorn #mydietstartstomorrow  #itcouldhavebeencake

-  Sometimes a bad day rears it's ugly head and knocks us off our axel.  You need to remember to be kind to those around you, because there is no reason for your bad day to become theirs.  #dountoothers  #peaceloveandharmony

-  Sometimes you have to be the jerk that cuts toxic people out of your life to keep yourself from going crazy.  It's almost been a year since I removed a huge negative weight from my life.  The drama may never bee fully gone (because people can't let things go), but it's no longer a factor in my life, which makes me happy.  #dropthedrama  #notasecondthought

-  Sometimes you just have to switch off your brain and watch some reality tv  #hellskitchen  #biggestloser

-  Sometimes you just have to have music  blasting in the background of every situation; cooking, cleaning, working out  #musicismyboyfriend  #everythingsbetterwithmusic

-  Sometimes people mistake their place in your life.  Just because they THINK they are in your inner circle doesn't mean you have to put them there.  You know who it is that you value, and just because people don't understand it's not them, it's no reason to change your value or belief system just to make them happy.  #loyaltothosewhodeserveit  #knowwhoyourtruefriendsare 

-  Sometimes praying for someone is better than cursing them  #turntheothercheek  #everyonematters

-  Sometimes I wish we still lived in the pre-internet and pre-digital era, because the ability to compare wasn't everywhere.  Sure you had the Jones' that lived down the street, or the boss' beautiful wife, but it wasn't on every platform known to men.  Simple living is sooo appealing sometimes.  #sometimesitsgoodtounplug  #gooutsideforachange

Easy Ways To Be Happy

In the monotony of daily life, chasing after happiness can seem like an endless, really big project. And sometimes, it is. But sometime...