Archive for ‘10 things I learned’

January 30th, 2014

10 things I learned: in the last week

number1The kids play better when I’m not close by. If I’m just outside of their sight or around the corner, my kids play way better together; they have to work out their own issues and no one can come running to me about the slightest offense.

numberJust bring all your important documents to the DMV. We went to be licensed in California last week and discovered, after driving 45 minutes to the DMV, that I needed my birth certificate and marriage license–we rummaged through all of our documents several times before leaving and I couldn’t help but feel like we should have just shoved the whole file in the car.

number3I need to trust myself more when driving. I’ve talked about my driving before, but as it turns out, my gut is sometimes right and I would save myself some annoyance following that gut.

number4In order to have a “balanced” life, you have to make some sacrifices. I’ve learned this lesson again and again, and will probably need it again later, too. A truly ‘balanced’ life is never split 50% what you want to do and 50% what you have to do; it’s mostly what you have to do sprinkled with what you want to do, so make it good sprinkles.

number5Time flies even when you’re not having fun. One day last week I looked at the clock and it was 3:12 in the afternoon, and I had an overwhelming realization that I hadn’t accomplished very much at all. Where do the days go?

number6There is goodness and kind people everywhere. It seems like there is a lot of focus in our lives (media, social networks, etc) on the negative parts of life, government, current events. I find it more and more important for me to dwell on the GOOD things that are all around us if we’d just turn off the negative.

n7Even when I’m not with my kids, I’m still a mom. I have nothing else to say about this.

 

n8Cleaning doesn’t stick. I know it should be obvious and I should have accepted it long ago, but I’m still disappointed when I seem to turn around and everything is messy again. Didn’t I just clean that?

n9Bedtime goes better with some quiet music. Sometimes bedtime can be this drawn out process with a lot of crying and me barking orders, as it turns out, if we just turn on some quiet music, the kids calm down a lot faster and are much more cooperative.

n10David’s attention span is longer when he’s getting paid. We started giving David little “jobs” to do to earn money so he could go to the Dollar Store and pick stuff out. I’ve been really impressed with his willingness to stick with a job for long periods of time in order to finish it and get his dime. He’s one hardworking dude.

 

 

January 23rd, 2014

10 things I learned: being raised by Super Woman

We call her “Mom” but her real name is Super Woman. She does it all: shuttles kids, class parties, birthday parties, field trips, can build homes and everything else, caters elaborate dinners, survived cancer without so much as batting an eye, moved 20+ times in her married life, solves all the problems and still manages to stay sane. I’ve learned a lot and still counting.

number1Every super woman has her vice. No one can do everything perfectly. For my mom it was her ironing basket that sat under the ironing board (still does). While she spent several hours ironing every week for my dad, she never really got to the other things in the basket. I’m pretty sure there’s still a dress from when I was 13 in the basket, and that’s okay. Her other vice is Diet Pepsi.

Untitled2If you’re going to laugh about it anyway, you might as well laugh about it now. Take a picture, have a laugh and move on. She reminds me of this often and I’m able to sigh and move on.

number3The magic ingredient for any problem is elbow grease (and a dash of positive thinking). My mother knows something about everything and a hard worker, therefore no problem is a problem for long. The only thing I haven’t seen my mom fix is a car. She never gives up and never assumes she can’t do something.

number4It’s okay to break the rules sometimes. Often on my mom’s “hard days” (they even come for Super Woman), instead of getting after us, she’d let us eat dinner in the basement in front of a rented movie. Other times, when she knew one of us was having a rough patch, she’d let that one ‘ditch’ for a day alone with her, smoothies, playing, or hot chocolate and wrapping super-secret Christmas presents.

number5In order to be a mom you have to have a way to wind down. She’s a wise woman: she has scheduled herself her own time every single day she can spare. Sometimes just a few moments, sometimes a whole afternoon–dedicated to doing what SHE wants. She makes up for her ultra-busy days with calm and quiet ones enjoying herself without guilt.

number6Being a good mom means always being in your kids’ ‘corner of the ring.’ Even now as an adult, I know that no matter what circumstances I find myself, my mom is always on my side; no matter whose “fault” something was, she was always there to defend me (and everyone else) and still is.

n7“Eat the elephant one bite at a time.” She’s always saying that. Instead of getting overwhelmed thinking of EVERYTHING you need to do/face, break it down into pieces and handle one piece (“bite”) at a time starting with the most unpleasant and “working your way up.”

n8You can never serve too much. I can’t number the times I’ve been with my mother after a wretchedly long day serving other people, sitting in ‘her’ chair with swollen ankles and dry hands about to rest when the phone would ring and someone would need her help. She’d put on her shoes and go to work. Always.

n9It’s not official unless there is food being served; no meeting, gathering, family event is happening without food. Good food.There is ALWAYS food.

n10Families eat together. Period. My mom moved mountains so we could eat dinner as a family as often as humanly possible; she firmly believes that eating together is the glue that holds families together.

January 16th, 2014

10 things I learned: soul searching in 2013

In 2013 I went on a very private journey by myself, in search of “myself.” I didn’t really talk to anyone about it or my progress or discoveries. My whole focus was being “true” to me, my true personality and canning the rest; the bulk that was filling in my life and weighing me down.

I discovered that I had lost a lot of my “happy” me and filled in with a “grown up” me. I get treated like a child on a regular basis; I look young and my upbeatness translates to youth. It drove me nuts, so I tried to act more “grown up” and do more “grown up” things.

I discovered that I need to write more. It’s my outlet and my talent, and I completely agree with this article and many others on the benefits of writing.

I discovered that my life lacked color; monochromatic clothes and no accessories. I’ve pushed myself to wear things I’m immediately drawn to because of color and then I don’t talk myself out of it because it might not be a “grown up” color.

I admitted and gave in to my life-long interest for makeup, hair, clothes. For reasons too unimportant to write about, I’d always been embarrassed to be a “girly-girl.”

I tried new things and got rid of a lot of excess (both emotional and material).

I pushed myself to be more open and honest.

I discovered that in my effort to become more of an adult I had given myself an anxiety disorder. I’m pretty sure I have mild Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or something very similar. I’ve done a lot of reading.

I learned to more fully share my feelings with others.

I identified a need to spend time alone. Some morning alone time does a lot for my patience and the pent-up anxiety I was just talking about.

I discovered that  I had stopped doing a lot of the things that made me, “me.” Enough of that.

 end of 2013 face

Now for 2014. My focus for the coming year is “grow.” Rather than grow up (I’m too short anyway), I’m just going to tune and expand. I’m going to read more, write more (you know, like on my blog), break bad habits and form better routines. It’s going to be a good year people. It is. About the time I’m sure I’ll breakdown because of the limbo and uncertainty we’re living right now, I’m filled with an overwhelming amount of peace and a feeling of excited anticipation. Something great is just around the corner and I’m going to face it as the best me I’ve ever been.