I’m OK, You’re OK

Somedays that’s all we need to know

It’s a Whirlwind….But Just In Time May 13, 2009

Hello to any of you that still pop by 🙂

Life has been hectic, as I’ve stated before.  Actually, let me restate that.  It’s not so much that life has been hectic, but more that I’ve been more purposeful in what I’m doing, more focused, more dedicated.  I’ve been doing this with every little thing….from how I dust a room to how I parent my children to how I accomplish my work.

I started this focused action because I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching this past year.  You know what?  I still don’t have any great answers.  I don’t think I’ve been set on this planet to change the world.  But I do believe that I’ve been commanded to be the best possible steward to my own little universe.  So I’ve been trying to truly focus my efforts and energy into doing everything to the best standard as often as I can.  In the beginning, it has taken away a lot of my creative energy to meet my standard.  Also, I do find that whenever I start on a journey to create something positive, there is a little resistance from the “universe” at first.  It’s as if the forces-that-be want to make sure that I really want to achieve my goals.  I guess that is why when I have sat down to consider writing a blog post, there has been nothing… no free flowing thought.  I’m assuming that the longer I keep at this focused way of living, the easier it will become and then there will be more creative energy available.

Today I was reading one of my favorite blogs, One Louder.  Heather was discussing her own soul searching and brought up this magazine article
from O Magazine.  It’s author, Martha Beck, had this to say about a concept she calls Just In Time Thinking which focuses on the abundance that truly exists when we have just what we need, when we need it:

“I can’t quite explain this; it often seems nothing short of miraculous. Perhaps this is why the authors of the Bible included the story of the wandering Israelites who were given manna from heaven, but only permitted to gather enough to supply their needs until the next manna-festation. Whether you take it literally or metaphorically, this tale was considered important enough to become holy writ. Why? …. The Israelite story-keepers wanted to remind readers that, miraculous as it seems, just-in-time confidence keeps supply lines clear and prosperity flowing.”

It is a great article (you should read it) that speaks to putting confidence in the abundance we already have in our lives.  I loved the use of the word “manna-festation”  I feel that over the last year, that is exactly what God wants me to understand.  When I trust, my life will manna-fest productivity and abundance.  Gosh, I could write an entire blog on the word manna-fest and how it’s anlaogy could pertain to our lives!  I will have what I need, when I need it, as God wants me to have it.  I’m really going to focus on this for the rest of this coming year.  These are scary times.  I have felt a lot of fear and anxiety on the blogs lately.  A lot of doom and gloom and “end days” line of thinking.  I don’t know that any of that is very helpful.  As our nation continues to struggle through this age, we need to focus on our manna-fest.  We need to trust in our God and in ourselves that we will have what we need when we need it.

In her article, Martha goes on to recommend the following exercise.  I am leaving early tomorrow in the morning for an extended weekend, but when I return, I shall start the following reflections on a regular basis.

1. List 10 times you thought that there wouldn’t be enough of something and you survived.

2. List 10 areas where you have too much, not too little.

3. List 20—or 50, or 1,000—wonderful things that entered your life just at the right time, with no effort on your part. Start with the little things (oxygen, sunlight, a song on the radio).

I can’t wait to feel abundance, productivity, peace, competence and security in deeper, more soulful ways!

Enjoy the day!


-The Mom

 

Still here and other stuff May 5, 2009

Filed under: family,ponderings,Uncategorized — meandmom @ 6:54 pm
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I know, I know and I’m sorry….I’ve been neglectful as of late.

Sometimes life just needs to take center stage and blogging needs to wait patiently off to the side.

There has been a lot going on at work…good news in the IT Staffing world!  I have a great sense of pride that the work that I do, right now in this day and age, not only helps my clients and the people I find for them, but it also helps my country.  I love getting people off the unemployment lines and back to work!

The Littlest scored her first soccer goal on Saturday….big fun for her!

Is anybody else over the Swine flue hysteria?  A week from Thursday I am flying down to Cabo San Lucas sans ninos! (without kids – in two different languages no less).  Can I just tell you that right now there are 0 reported cases of Swine Flu on the whole Baja Peninsula.  None. Zip. NADA. Therefore, I should be a lot more scared walking around the state of Washington then I should chillin on the beach in Cabo.  Not to mention that I think the constant intake of smallish quantities of tequila will be a very effective method for killing off any possible bugs.  I’m over the hysteria of the media.  It just kills me.  But hey, I guess it is nice to have everybody stressed about something other than the economy.  So there is that, I suppose.

Here is my biggest news….ready….drum roll…. The week before last I had total vindication in family court!  Can I just tell you that it has taken 2 years and I don’t even want to think about how many dollars worth of legal fees to finally have the court tell the X that dads have to pay child support and all the shenanigans he has pulled over the last 2 years in efforts to avoid that obligation aren’t fooling AN.Y.ONE!

My favorite part of the commissioner’s judgment was when she said to him “your ex wife has built a career for herself, with no previous work experience, with no advanced degree (I have a BA but he has a graduate degree), all the while being the primary parent for the children and without the parental support that you, sir, clearly have and yet you are here to tell me that you want me to assign the wage the court uses for the average 40 year old man in the state of Washington with undocumented income?”  (it is a very low number).  Oh it was wonderful.  Even if I never get paid.  The X and his parents had to listen to the commissioner validate little ole me and rake his sorry behind all over the courtroom.  No, I’m not bitter, just validated.  And oh, it feels so good!

Glad to finally see daylight hours extending past 5:00 in these parts.  Welcome Spring!

All in all, life is still good.  And Me and Mine are still OK.

-The Mom



 

To Be or Not To Be March 26, 2009

Filed under: family,health,ponderings — meandmom @ 10:22 pm
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Angry that is.   My shrink is trying to convince me to stop being angry at the ex.  The ex that isn’t contributing to the finances right now….or for the past year.  The ex that didn’t show up to our family counseling session.  The ex that has yet to give The Daughter a birthday present.  The ex that tries to play all high and mighty with me regarding his visitation with the girls.  The ex that allows his girlfriend to discipline the girls when they are in his home.  The ex that closed down his business so he could file for support modification.  The ex that is costing me huge amounts of money in legal fees.

But I am angry.  I am angry that he continues to try to control me through the girls.  I am angry that he has the audacity to talk down to me and yell at me when I’m the one that keeps the girls clothed and fed and housed.  I am angry that he hurts them by his selfishness.  I am angry that he leaves me to care for their financial needs all by myself.

I don’t dwell in my anger.  But if I have to think about it or discuss it, it rises to the surface very quickly.   To be really honest, I feel like if I let go of my anger, it will be letting him get away with his behavior.  I want him held accountable.  I don’t know how to walk away from that need.

I realize that my children shouldn’t see my anger and I really try hard to not put any focus on it.  The reality of the situation is that they have a crumb of a dad.  They know it.  I know it.  I try not to stand in the way of their relationship with their dad, but I also struggle with the idea that they might be developing unhealthy ideas about what love is.  I don’t want them to think that they have to accept his bad behavior just because they share his DNA.

For more than 20 years I tried to figure out how to have a relationship with my dad who also financially abandoned me.  I don’t count on him for financial support now, but the same selfish choices that led him to ignore my financial needs as a kid are the one that cause him to emotionally abandon me now.  Oh how I would love to shield my girls from a lifetime of banging their heads against a wall.  I don’t suppose I can though.

That makes me angry too.

-The Mom

 

I’m Not Ready Yet! March 12, 2009

Filed under: family,love,ponderings,ZombieMom — meandmom @ 5:32 pm
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The Daughter is 12.  She has been 12 for 1 whole month.  That’s it.  One. Month.  And already everything is different.  Ever.y.thing!

Apparently, I was the only mom in the entire school district who didn’t let their 6th grader wear makeup.  And I was.  All of my friends have buckled to this campaign of breaking down the last bit of tween innocence.  I was holding down the no makeup zone all by myself.  So, I did what every proud role model does.  I caved.  I gave up.  I gave in.  I bought The Daughter makeup for her 12th birthday.  She doesn’t need it.  She’s the kind of gorgeous that you can’t even hate.  She looks like she came straight from Cleopatra via Kim Kardashian.  But sweeter.  And more innocent.  It makes me a little sad everytime she wears it.  Which, of course, is everyday.  But it makes her feel good.  She belongs again.

This has been the year of belonging.  Requirements:  Uggs, a Juicy Couture hoody, a cell phone, make up, 7 jeans.  Thank God for grandparents and Nordstrom Rack!  The Daughter now has one of each.  Not so much that she’s spoiled….oh no, she is a long way off from being spoiled.  Just enough so that she feels like she belongs.

I hate this part of growing up.  This belonging part.  But I remember wanting the same thing.  I remember that my mom, the ultimate rebel, didn’t want to make it a priority and it hurt my feelings.  So we save our money.  We go in halvsies.  We put things on our Christmas and Birthday lists.  We belong.

Only now there is a new requirment.  Facebook.  Once again, all my friends are starting to surrender.  One by one.  I worry about the ability for kids to hurt each other on FB.  I worry about how much faster and easier bad rumors spread.  I worry about how fragile reputations can easily be tarnished.  I worry about the in group/out group mentality of teens that was hard enough to deal with before the likes of texting and Facebook accounts.

So, what’s a mom to do?  This mom tossed and turned all last night.  Until finally I got out of my bed and went to hers.  She slept with me every single night for the first 3 years of her life.  It was the only way she would sleep.  I haven’t slept in the same bed as her since.    I curled up next to her and wept.  I’m not ready.  I’m not ready for her to be her own woman.  I’m not ready for her to encounter heart break and peer pressure.  I’m not ready to let her fight the battles that only she can fight.  Here’s my big problem though…..She is.  She is VERY ready.

So.  Again.  I ask.   What is a mom to do?  Anybody have any answers?  When did you or will you let your kids get a FB account?  How do you discern, as a parent, where the line is drawn between OK kind of belonging (clothes, curfew) and NOT OK kind of belonging (drinking, sex)?

Help a mom out……Hey! Is that a wrinkle hiding there behind the gray hair??

-The Mom

 

My Problem Should be Everyone’s Problem March 4, 2009

Filed under: ponderings — meandmom @ 6:14 pm
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This morning I was hurrying to put lunches and snacks together while making breakfast before rushing out the door to school then work.  I was frustrated and irritated because things kept falling out of the fridge and I couldn’t figure out which shelf the jam was hiding on and where on earth were the carrots I just bought and….well, you get the idea.

As I stood there with the fridge door open, looking at the shelves bursting with food items, I was suddenly washed with shame.  Everyone should have such a problem today, I thought.  Everyone should have a fridge stuffed with food.  But they don’t.  There are many, many families right now….this very moment…that don’t have the dreadful agony of balancing milk jugs on top of the carton of eggs with the leftovers from last night shoved in the corner.  My heart goes out to those families.

I worry that these are the families I deal with everyday.  I’m a recruiter and I talk with too many people these days that have been waiting too long for a job opportunity to materialize.  I wish I could find them work.  I wish I could fill their fridges.  I wish my problem was their problem too.

-The Mom

 

Ludye Mae Duncan Shields Moore aka Magic in Human Form. February 27, 2009

Filed under: family,ponderings,Uncategorized — meandmom @ 12:15 am
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I can remember almost running to keep up with her long, quick stride as we swept down the busy sidewalk of Chicago. She was always impeccably presented with her raven black hair and distinctive red lipstick. Her neck was long and elegant, just like her gams. She was friendly and warm….a southern belle to the core. She lived on the 28th floor of a poshy apartment building in the city called Lake Point Towers with a wonderful view of the Lake. I loved spending the weekend with her there. We would regularly visit the animals in the zoo, especially in winter because nobody went in winter and the animals were surely cold and lonely.

There was a doorman, Mr. Gray. And a garage attendant, Mr. Peanut Butter sandwich. She would bring him sandwiches every time she got her car from him. Thus, his name. She drove a green towncar with seats that moved by pushing a button.

There was a huge koi pond that we would play by and a swimming pool. At night I loved to watch the lights off the cars as they came down the waterfront. One side of her apartment was huge windows above a radiator that she loaded up with baby cacti. In my room at her house was a fold out couch with a black and white houndstooth pattern. Black and White silhouette portraits of my sister and I hung on the wall.

She gave me my piano and a cat named Catten who only loved her and would scratch anyone else. She made wonderful Shingle Cookies…basically graham crackers coated with a soft version of peanut brittle. She always had a peice of Wrigley’s Spearmint gum to share….but only half a piece at a time.

When I was still in elementary school she moved back to her beloved south. Again, at the water’s edge in Myrtle Beach. She cut her hair short and let it go gray. She was still elegant in a casual, beachy way. She traded city sidewalks for sandy beaches yet her stride was still long, fast, and graceful.

She volunteered with Helping Hand and the American Heart Association. She was utterly devoted to her ailing husband. She was an equally devoted church goer and loved when we would stay for the summer and sing in her church’s choir.

I lost her 9 years ago. Alzheimers. I don’t know if she could ever keep in her memory that she had a great-granddaughter that was honored with her middle name. She would have loved her great-granddaughters so very much. Just liked she loved me.

I miss her.

-The Mom

 

How Much is Too Much? February 24, 2009

Filed under: politics,ponderings,Uncategorized — meandmom @ 7:09 pm
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I was listening to the Today show play in the background on TV as I was getting ready for the day this morning.

The subject: Nadya Suleman and her mother. Apparently, the two of them had a televised conversation which became heated and uncomfortable. Nadya’s mother was trying to express to her daughter that having 8 babies at once on top of the 6 that are already at home, maybe wasn’t the best decision.

Nadya’s response to her mom was that she needed to “learn to let it go”. Wow. Really? Ummmm…..where are those first 6 children currently living? That would be At. Her. Mother’s House!

If Nadya was going to expect her mother and father to help raise her children….shouldn’t she have felt it necessary to request the option of adding 8 more? 1 more even?

Truthfully, I’m not sure who holds the original responsibility in this situation. Some are pointing fingers at the doctor that planted the maximum legally allowed embryos. I can understand that, to an extent. Some are pointing their fingers at Nadya. I can understand that completely! Personally, however, I’m kinda wondering what parent allows this kind of dependency to develop between them and their children in the first place?

Isn’t it our responsibility as parents to raise our children to be independent, contributing adults? Clearly there is an environment that has been nurtured in this situation that allowed Nadya to believe it would be okay to impose upon her parents in such an amazingly intrusive and overwhelmingly life changing capacity.

I look at today’s society and I see parents that love their children and want to give them what was not available during their own upbringings. We want our kids to play on Select Soccer teams and compete at state wide gymnastics in a way that was nonexistent 15 years ago. I know girls that The Daughter attended elementary school with who in 4th and 5th grade were taking vocal coaching because they like to sing. Uh….whatever happened to school/church choir?

I see 10 year olds with iPhones and Seven jeans. There are TVs and video game consoles in their bedrooms. Ski trips in February and Hawaii in spring.

I guess it’s all wonderful if you are affluent and can give that to your kids, but I wonder if we are teaching a level of expectancy that is unreasonable and unhealthy.

Somewhere along the way, spanking became horrific….it never was utilized much in my household, but boy oh boy….knowing that was a possibility kept us kids in line! (most of the time) It was a consequence. Oh, and things had to be earned. And big-time vacations were usually for mom and dad only….when the family took a vacation it was in a tent!

I think we need to really think about what we are teaching our children about their contributions to society and about their own responsibility.

Now, I’m not saying that there are no kids out there that are appreciative or responsible. The Nadya Suleman case is clearly the extreme. I just wonder what the generations that are currently coming of age will understand their legacy to be. So far, I don’t know that my generation is showing them the best example of how to do that.

Stepping off soapbox in 3…2….1

-The Mom