What will you leave behind?

Apologies for my absence…but life has been in the way and a half hour lunch to eat and write. Eek!

What will you leave behind is a take on my church’s sermon from yesterday. Their question was “What is your legacy?”

I think we all know the “monkey see, monkey do” education our children receive as they age. I think it’s safe to say they see everything. They want to mimic our behaviors and sometimes when they do, we cringe.

I know I do.

I sort of growl when frustrated. I say “Shit!” or “Damn it” when I drop something or stumble. Since having kids I try to be better about it…but it is hard. It’s a bad habit.

My kids do these things. How do I know? Because their teachers have told me. When Elijah was three years old he dropped a toy at daycare and I received a note home. Oops!

It’s not just our language skills we pass on, it’s our stability or instability. It’s a love of Foo Fighters and The Black Keys. It’s alcoholism and drug abuse. It’s emotional imbalance and accepting other people’s hardships as our own, or not accepting our own problems. For some children it is watching someone else always fix the parents problems so never seeing the parent fixing their own problems.

The pastor began with an example from the movie “The Godfather” (happens to be one of my favorites). He explained how Don Corleone was only ever able to pass on his life of crime and violence to his children. Despite what he desired for them that was all any of them ever received. If you have seen the movie you know the seen when he comes home from the hospital to find out that Michael is the one who sought revenge and went into hiding. Don Corleone was heartbroken and they played that into the movie. His legacy was also his heartbreak.

I think…no…I know that this is one reason for my separation and divorce. I see the generational hardship of alcoholism and drug abuse in my husband and his family. He learned it from his parents, who learned it from theirs, and so on and so forth. I remember this story from him about his first trip to his fathers alone when he was fifteen. His dad handed him pot and told him to have fun but not too much. His stepfather drank daily and would supply it to the teenagers in the neighborhood and said as long as they’re doing it at home.

Hmm…I always thought an adolescence like that would have been awesome. I can do whatever I want as long as I am at home.

Now as an adult I think that defined rules of behavior and consequences to our actions is so much better. At least it gives you a base line of behavior that is acceptable to most in the world. You can be part of civilized society for the most part. It’s much harder to learn after your 20’s. Heck my ex husband is going to be 47 this year and he is still learning to correct the behaviors learned in childhood.

I guess this is what I am saying.

Look at your life. Look at your relationships. Look at how you treat everyone from your partner in life to your children to your parents to the homeless man begging for change on the corner. How you treat each of these people is how your children will treat these people. Your work ethic will become your children’s work ethic. My son watched my husband skate by for so long that even at 6 years old I am having a hard time reeducating him that he needs to clean up his own messes.

BUT IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THIS STUFF!

Your kids will learn how to play. How to have fun! How to appreciate a raindrop and smile through a storm. They will gain your sense of adventure or your nervous nature. If you are a stress max person so will they.

Think about yourself. Think of the person you want to be and make yourself into the person you want them to become…it’s all up to you.

Happy Thanksgiving

Close your eyes (figuratively speaking) take a deep breath, in, slowly, allowing it to fill you up from the bottom of your rib cage straight through to the top of your head. Breath in until you feel as though your lungs will burst, then breath out, slowly. Relaxing every muscle of your mind. Repeat with each muscle group until you are completely relaxed. Until every physical fiber of your being is jello.

We need this – NOW!

We have survived another day of togetherness. Another Thanksgiving.

 We have joined with our families, eaten our turkey (or Chinese), and managed to coexist with the people we love for more than a moment. The brief grouping of hours where the capitalist system is shut down and we are forced to be together.

I don’t think I would have changed a thing about today. Except maybe Michael’s inability to NOT cry when I leave the room or the absence of a few of the loves of my life. I am sure they all enjoyed their turkey though in their familial settings.

We have a fairly relaxed approach to this whole affair. We aren’t the “movie moms” that wake up and shove a bird in the oven by 8 am. We don’t spend the entire day up to our elbows in food preparation in the kitchen. We can’t find the button within that says that’s what has to happen.

I think there was a time when that used to happen in my family. We used to slave and cook and bake for days. I remember in 2004, when we held the family Thanksgiving at our house I remember working for a solid week before turkey day. Shopping, cleaning, painting, making sure the yard looked great, and then the day or two before I made bread and pies.

I didn’t use a bread machine like we did today, I literally handmade the bread and baked the rolls.

I made the pie crusts and peeled the apples and baked the pies.

I learned that I make amazing apple pie. I can’t stand apple pie though, so unless I know someone likes it and that someone will be present the gift goes unused.

Then Thanksgiving day arrived and my ex husband (he’s a chef) made three turkeys for the number of people we were going to have. We fried two in deep southern tradition and baked a traditional bird. Best birds ever…

This was the last good Thanksgiving I remember having with him. The rest were a combination of separations and work days.

Today was the first Thanksgiving that I got to spend with my mom cooking since 2004.

So much of life has changed since…

I am grateful to the Lord for many of the changes that have been made, however a few I could have done with out. But even in sadness we must say Thank you God. Tonight, Lord, even as I think of all the changes you have made that have placed me in this house, typing on this computer, I am grateful for the reconciliation with my mother. I am grateful for the ability of my family to forgive, and I am grateful for the possibilities that you are presenting me with for the future. So much wonder, so much love.

Happy Thanksgiving and Welcome to the Holiday Season!

For the Daters…I know you’re out there…

I’ve been exploring lately on my followers blogs and it seems a few of you guys are dating. While I am not quite there, I’ve been out a couple of times lately; so I thought I would share MY thoughts with you on how alllll this is supposed to work.

To add a little perspective, I thought I would share some things from a book a friend gave me as a gift called, What is He Thinking? by Rebecca St. James.

Who is Rebecca St. James? (According to the back of the book…)

Australian-born Rebecca St. James is a Grammy Award winning musician with record sales in the millions. She is also an in-demand speaker, bestselling author and actress. You can read more about Rebecca on her official website: www.rsj.com or on her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/RSJames

Now I better not get in trouble for copyright infringements or anything.

(Please Lord? Thank you!)

Anyway…back to the topic…dating.

Can I say right now that I don’t like it?

This whole trying on people and see how they fit routine. I am naturally picky and won’t even go out with someone unless I am really interested. There is too much work and expense involved…even if I am not the one paying for whatever we are doing. I still have to coordinate a sitter, depending on who I can find is upwards of $40 for one evening.

As I have stated in several posts….I am a poor girl! 

Even if I can get a family member to watch then there is the whole explanation of where I’m going, who’s going with me, when will I be back.

It’s exhausting!

I don’t know many people who willingly stand in front of the shooting gallery and try to dodge the bullets! Single moms and dads who want to have a few hours with another adult do it regularly.

Before we even get to that point we have to find SOMEONE to go out with! How do you do that?! Where do you do that?! Who is supposed to do the asking?! All questions for the ages…and maybe we can answer them (at least a little) here.

How? I don’t know, so I am going to refer to Rebecca’s book…for starters you make a good first impression. Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you are not. If you are trying to be someone else eventually your true self will be revealed and then…”You got some espainen to do, Lucy!” (Sorry, you have to say that with the Ricky Ricardo accent.)

But what if you already know this person? Well…you must be doing something to get them interested in you to begin with…so just don’t change and get all nervous and self-conscience on them. It might turn them off. As an over-analytical-seemingly-crazy person I know! Try to not do that. It will not end well.

Where? I don’t know where.

That I leave to you to figure out. I guess it could be anywhere.

I know someone who met their first husband when he hit their car in a traffic accident. Another who met her husband when she was 15 after trying to set the guy up with her best friend.

We aren’t 15 anymore and I HOPE I don’t meet whomever I go out with in a traffic accident…no accidents PLEASE I can’t afford a new car.

If and when I decide its time to go about doing this I will have to figure the where out. At the moment everyone I see on a daily/weekly basis is happily married or at least committed enough in their relationships to see it through. I have PLENTY of examples of how to make it work…just in case I ever need them.

So who is supposed to ask for these dates? Hmmmm…this is a toughy. It really depends on the people you are asking out. Are they a “man’s man?” They don’t want to seemingly be emasculated even though that’s not what you are meaning to do. Are they beyond shy and don’t have the…uh…juevos…to do it themselves? Have you guys been friends so long than suddenly decide you want more out of what’s going on?!

Here is my theory…JUST ASK! (This is not the theory or advice given in Rebecca’s book.) However my thought is that if you have a strong enough personality and identity to ask a guy out and they can’t handle that then they aren’t the guy for you. If you are a guy who wants to ask the girl out ASK! The whole thing takes a matter of seconds, and either you will go out or you won’t.

In the end it really doesn’t matter who asks.

Guys – if you feel like less of a man because a woman approaches you, that’s your problem. Maybe you should reevaluate whatever it is that makes you feel that way

Girls – if you like a dude and really want to see where it will go ask. All they can say is no.

Everyone – Please – for the love of ALL that is holy – GIVE A DIRECT RESPONSE! If you get a text invitation, say yes or say no, but don’t leave them hanging. That is rude and uncalled for. If the person doing the asking is grown up enough to ask you to do something, then they are grown up enough to hear a no.

Wow – this is getting long…I think this is enough for today. Check back tomorrow as I continue with a part 2!

**Part 2 will include much more of the book than this does.

Phenomenal Female Fridays #1 – Linda!

Starting today and continuing every Friday we are going to highlight some of the amazing women I know who have helped create my unique view of the world.

All the women who are going to be participating were given the same questions. Listed below.

1) Please share your first name, age, and occupation (if you have one). 
2) Are you where you had dreamed when you were a child? Are you where you planned as a teenager? 
3) Do you think that you are wiser for the things you have been through that got you here? 
4) What do you dream for your future?
5) If there was one thing you could change about pop cultures’ philosophy of things what would it be?
6) Do you allow what is popular to influence you? Explain either way.
7) Who inspires you?
8 ) Do you think you inspire others? (If you got this then you do. :))
9) What do you think the secret to happiness is?
10) Please share one life altering thought, concept, or event.
 
Each person is allowed to edit, omit, or respond how they wish, that way you guys don’t get bored with simple Q&A sessions.
 
This first person is my mother, Linda.
 
She is an artist.
 
She is a creative with a magnetic energy that attracts people to her like coffee to Starbucks. We do love our Starbucks.
 
She and I have been through a lot (mostly my doing,) but we are coming back to that place where the daughter realizes that the mother was so right about so many things.
 
Will the life of a mother and daughter each with a strong personality and view of the world ever be perfect? Probably not, but the older I get the more we get along and I love that. I am going to continue to try my hardest.
 

Linda! (AKA My Mom)

53 years, 34 jobs, 33 cars, 6 kids and 3 husbands later…All I am REALLY sure of, is that I KNOW I do not know all the answers but the journey toward the knowledge is always good.
 
There is no simpler or better way to answer it all. Love you Mom!
 

Getting to know you

There is a learning curve when you are out meeting new people, or even old friends. Just as you are getting to know them or getting reaquainted with them you start to make assumptions about who they are without directly asking the questions. This morning I woke up singing the song “Getting to know you” from the King and I.

Why?

Because my history is full. I won’t say it’s checkered, but certainly eventful. Several of my friends are pushing me to write books about it all because if told properly is sounds more like a comedy in unfortunate dilemna’s.

I don’t think anyone would understand it without a book. It may also require a timeline and bubble notes.

How did you meet this person? How does that person fit? When were you in Europe? The bailbonds man seriously didn’t ask you for ID anymore? Why didn’t you leave him? When did you live with that person? You’re seeing who now? You ran away? From what?! Now you’re planning on doing what?!?!

“You’re insane, but I love you!”

It reads like an epic adventure. I want it to read like an epic adventure. I don’t want to have to say I didn’t try everything. I crave adventure. I crave life.

I don’t care if people think I am wild or crazy or surround myself with questionable people (on occassion.) These are the things that create memories. These are the people that make you want to have bigger and better experiences.

I am able to say that I have lived. I have loved. I have spoken the truth regardless of the circumstances. If I love you you know it. If I like you I tell you. If I want to know something I will ask.

If anyone ever wants to know anything about anything I have been through or done all they need to do is simply ask. This is my blanket permission slip.

In the past I wasn’t always open about events or the things that were happening. I was lost, ashamed, even afraid of the things that were going on, but no more.

I will no longer feel smaller than my spirit for choosing to live in the moment.

Our choices do not define us. We are a sum of so much more than our choices. In essence our choices don’t matter. We must take the initiative to live out loud. We must be able to fail and try again.

There are many people that I would like to get to know better, currently only one that I would like to get reaquainted with completely. What encourages them? What do they dream? How did they do all of these amazing things? What brought out their voice and created their presence?

This just about sums it up for me…

If you want to know something about the people in your life ask them questions directly, if they lie to you, leave them.

If they are able to tell you the truth and you can handle it keep them forever.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

It was a Monday that few things good happened, and everything that could have gone wrong did. I know it’s now Tuesday, but after reflection I think you could all use this reminder.

God is in Control.

God’s hand is leading you even when you can’t feel Him. He is aligning your path so that only good things come your way.

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”

Mondays suck for the majority of the working class. We have had two days off to play and pray and then you have to go back to work for “the man.” They are not the favored day for all of us on the Monday through Friday 8 to 5 schedule…well I work varied hours, but you get it right? Not our favorite day.

Throw in the fact that yesterday I lost my computer, my car broke down, and I had to borrow money from my mom to get it fixed, yesterday was the absolute worst!

It is only after reflection that I am able to remember that even on days, like my day yesterday, God has got my back.

Looking over the state of things life is good. I may not have everything I want, but I have everything that I need. I have a job. I have a loving family. I have two of the best children ever created. I have amazing friends who are there for me. Love and laughter and I can survive another day.

This is just my little reminder that no matter how bad it is, as long as you are doing all you can to make it work, then you are on the right path. No one ever said this life would be easy.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow, no matter your circumstance.