I sit and I reflect…I mean who needs sleep right?
I think about my children and how they have been here my whole life. When in reality they have only been here just over 12 years (and nearly 10). So a little less than a quarter of my life, but these days these moments are so rich that they feel like there could be, could never have been any other way of life.
Then I got thinking logically. I was a child, until I was 18. That is more than half my life ago. Those 18 years come back to me in little snapshots that I share. They made me who I am, or at least set the foundation.
Then I look forward. Hopefully, I have many more years, many more moments to reminisce about as the days go on.
Wow…when we break our lives up into segments adulthood is a big deal. It is the majority. Some people settle for less in adulthood to make it by, or to not be alone. When looking at it in perspective of an entire life, it is not worth it. You only get one shot, happy childhood is not enough!
I look at mine, and it is great. I have my two children, I have a wonderful husband, a house I love, an amazing dog, amazing friends and a career I worked hard for.
It is just nice sometimes to stop and put things in perspective.
Different- no better no worse. A common phrase I say to my preteen daughter as she stumbles through life questioning people’s ways (as most of us do). I think I coined this phrase as a way of acceptance for her and myself mostly when it comes to parenting. I have a very free and open parenting style, my children are exposed to most things they can handle for their age and we talk about EVERYTHING! I believe in free exploration and problem solving. I believe in promoting independence and trust. So, when we come across what is referred to as a helicopter parent my children have a hard time understanding why the children aren’t allowed to do anything. They have questioned the children’s experiences and lack of. They have questioned the children’s ability to learn. Then I say yes it is different- no better no worse. Do I fully believe that? Maybe not, I have my reasons for doing things my way. My way is comfortable and perfect for me. Does that make me better? NO! Does it make me worse? NO! Do those parents feel comfortable in the way the do things- probably! So who am I to judge? They have no right to judge me either- although I have been caught in situations where they have. WHAT!? YOU LET YOUR KIDS IN THE BACKYARD AND STAY IN THE HOUSE? What if someone steals them? (Unlikely- my kids would kick and scream and I trust them not to talk to strangers-because we talk about it all the time) What if they get hurt? (Likely- but they will let me know and they will heal and learn). So I could turn around and say….you realize that you are creating a person who will be scared of life situations, who won’t be able to problem solve, who will look for reassurance from someone else for the rest of their life, but I don’t. I say you be a parent your way and I will be one mine. I will see your way as different, not better and not worse. When I get up in the morning I feel good about my choices and when I go to bed at night I feel that my day was my way (most of the time- recall I said preteen). As long as other people feel that way then they are doing everything right.
If there is anything I have learned from life it is you have to know how to fight. I don’t mean put up your dukes punch in the face fight. I mean fight for what is right. I don’t mean protests and rallies either. I mean the day to day fights.
Pay attention fights!! Read your bills, check your bank statements, listen to other people fights. Seriously if you don’t you will be walked all over. Look for hidden charges and call and ask why, in my experience nobody knows and they just give you your money back. If people don’t treat you fairly ask them why. Make those calls questions people’s actions, do all the things you have to to get what you deserve. When a product you bought doesn’t meet your standards or breaks to easy, make that call. Question the company as to their intent or why and if they are willing to stand behind their product.
The reason I say that you have to teach your kids this skill is the fact that if not done right then there are not always promising results. Calling and yelling and screaming and being impatient usually gets you put on a list with a red shiny star and good luck ever getting anything good. Manners and calm questioning yields the best results, always say please and always say thank you. I good catch phrase is…”let me understand” or “I appreciate your help.”
My daughter recently witnessed me get in a “fight” with the bank. I was calm and poised in my phone conversation and I was polite. When I hung up is when she witnessed the, hmmmm….how do I say this- bitching and moaning!? She looked at me sideways and that was the moment I realized that she too will need to learn how to fight. I need to teach her that the noise she hears after the phone hangs up is the noise of this house, not the noise for the bank, that those behaviours will not get me anywhere but perhaps release my frustration in a safe place. It is a sad world when you see the look on your daughters face and you know that you could excuse your behaviour except that won’t get her anywhere in life. Teaching her that it is ok and almost necessary to make those calls, but there is a way to do it to get your needs met and to have people help you get your needs met.
So when I make those calls I talk to her about it, I tell her what they did wrong and what I said to them. Then I tell her how angry I am and how I need to stomp around a bit. Then I need to share the after math of my fight, sometimes I win and sometimes I lose and if I lose then I need to make some decisions, usually means switching companies or boycotting a brand. Whatever I need to do to feel better. It is inevitable that my children will need to fight battles, and they will need to do it alone and with anything they need skills.
As I send off yet another payment to an educational institution I begin to think that my brain is becoming worth quite a bit of money. I looked at it how I look at my house, new furnace, new roof, better landscaping, and the house goes up in value.
So is my brain the same? Sort of. The more money I put into it the more education I get the more letters I put behind my name the more valuable I am. The higher paying job I am eligible for. What a crazy concept. But when we look at it that way then we have to take the whole picture into perspective.
I weed my garden, I vacuum my carpets, I change my furnace filter. So what must I do to protect my most valuable asset. It all comes back to healthy eating, exercising, and just using it. Taking opportunities to put it to work. This may just be why I am what I refer to is a forever learner, since I was 4 years old I have been in some form of educational institution. I am about ready to be done, but then what? Career growth and putting all that value to use.
All of our brains are worth something and regardless of what money you have actually put out, you can make it more valuable by filling it with good stuff. Amazing to think that it is an upgrade that comes at no cost, the information is out there, you just have to get it in there and use those neurons to digest it.
Turn your unique and powerful asset into the most valuable tool you own!!
Do you ever get so busy that you don’t even have time to think? It is like one thing after another and then another thing just creeps up to piggy back the last. It really is mind sucking when more than one thing happens at a time.
It is like life has to make sure you are paying attention.
I have a crazy way of dealing with things and it really has not been effective on many occasions, yet I use it and it works. That last sentence sounds like an oxi-moron. Let me explain. I have agreed to only think of one thing at a time. I get a message from a coworker about what time we are suppose to meet the next morning and my answer is: I haven’t got to that part of my list of things to think about yet. ONE THING AT A TIME!
Really when there are so many things swimming around in there it is best to put them in priority order. Now the part of it that makes it less effective is that I really don’t have much to offer others, unless they want to know about anything at the top of the list or where I currently am on my list of things to think about. Anything beyond that- your guess is as good as mine. Where it works is for me. I am able to sort things in priority order quite efficiently, and am very organized in that sense. The things on my list get the attention they need before I move to the next. I am usually early for appointments and meet my goals on time. This is coming from a mother who has a full time career, started and finished my degree part time, while running a business and what I call “farming” butterflies. Needless to say, my brain has many drawers with plenty of items with many lists of priority.
What made me think of this blog post, is I really have not had much to post to it. Unfortunately the kinds of thoughts that work into blog posts seem to get shoved to the bottom of the list as Dr’s appointments, bank appointments, work stuff, and just general life stuff go to the top.
But wait a minute!!! I am a multi-tasker to the max!! Which actually contradicts everything I just said, but no entirely. I am a “one thing at a time multi-tasker.” I think that needs some explaining too. The thing is that nothing takes up much time in my head so I move on to the next thing with a bit of an overlap from the last. The multi-tasking comes as the transition. Sometimes two things sit on the same line of importance. Mostly because there is not enough time in a day to fit them all in, so even though it is one thing at a time it can be two running simultaneously important and do-able at the same time.
That is how my busy head copes with this crazy world of happenings. What do you do to cope with life flying in and out as quickly as it does?
No I don’t. I am not a “hugger.” It is often said in my presence, “oh right you are not a hugger, you hate hugs.” I began to tell myself, that’s right. Then I got thinking about it. I love hugs. I need hugs.
So why am I labelled so? Well I think I figured it out and it goes along with another one of my theories. I need hugs, and I need them for a purpose. I need them to feel secure and to take off some pressures of stress. I need to give them to tell people I am there for them in difficult times, or as a term of endearment when they have something exciting or sad happening to them. I don’t need hugs to say hello and goodbye, nor do I feel it necessary to give hugs for this purpose, although many of my friends are “huggers.”
So, my theory is this: the more you do something the less valuable it becomes. If you are getting a hug from me or I ask you for one, it has purpose and value. If there is that moment when the only thing you can think to do for me is give me a hug, then it is worth something. It is super important in that moment. It is not that I hate hugs, it is that I save them for when I need them in order to give them more meaning and value.
It matches my make up theory of, how do you every dress up if you wear make up all the time?
I do not in anyway think that my “hugger” friends have it all wrong, they just use hugs in a different way than I do and that is just fine.
There is some level of self fulfillment in the undelivered letter.
When someone steals space in your head and there are a thousand things you want to say or explain, but the risk of saying them out loud out weighs the benefits. Perhaps the things you must say would take a relationship to a place that you are not ready for, or the things you have to say may damage other relationships that you are not willing to risk. It is difficult when you want to be open an honest all the time, but sometimes it just isn’t worth it. Then those thoughts or the anger behind those thoughts steal time in your head that could be better used for other things.
Write the letter, write the letter with every intent to send. Do not hold back on what you want to say or even worry about how it may sound. When the letter is complete you have a decision to make, to send or not to send. Maybe even the answer is tuck it in a drawer until the time comes to send.
The thing about words, once they are out of our heads and into others, they can not be taken back. So, write the letter, get them out of your head and then later decided when it is time to hit the send button (because let’s face it- who uses paper) or when if it becomes time hit the delete or rip away. The self fulfillment in the undelivered letter is to get the thoughts out of your head and for some reason that sometimes is enough. Just knowing that you could put it into words sometimes is better than the delivery.