Friday, April 30, 2010

Wise Words to Live By, Some Inspirational Thoughts for a Friday Afternoon

Some wise words from Maya Angelou:

'I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.'

'I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.'

'I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.'

'I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as making a life.'

'I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.'

'I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back...'

'I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.'

'I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.'

'I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back...'

'I've learned that I still have a lot to learn..'

'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'

If we could remember even some of these words of wisdom, how much better life and the world would be. I hope I am this wise some day...
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What Would Your Mother Say?

As a parent, I believe that I have the responsibility to raise my children in a way that will help them become gracious, productive adults. If they can act civil in public in the mean time, that would be a bonus. One thing that I try to teach them, a lesson I learned early in life, is that you will get further by being nice. A smile and a please or thank-you work wonders in a world that has forgotten what manners are. With that in mind, I am constantly left scratching my head as I interact with the general public who, for the most part, have all but forgotten their manners.

Now as a parent, I am also keenly aware that how my children act reflects directly on me. I would like to let everyone know right now that I actually do teach them manners. I teach them to be polite, to hold the door for others, keep their voices down in public and try to treat others with kindness. Of course, they are 10 and 12 year old boys who see the world as a game where they have to win at all costs - so my lessons usually fall on deaf ears. (Picture me trying to advice my sons to watch where they are going as they run thru the store to be the first one in line.) So I guess my hope is that by the time they reach adulthood, all of my advice will have finally sunken in. They are still kids after all; I expect more from adults.

Most of our mothers tried to raise us right and in turn we do the same for our children. But at some point our children turn into adults and then it's up to them to make the right decisions and treat others properly.

By trade I am in sales. I make a lot of calls and hear a lot of nos. I don't usually take it personally and most times I simply move on because the next person I talk to could say yes. By nature (and probably nurture), I am a polite person so I still smile and say thank you anyway. I cannot say however, that everyone on the other end of the phone does the same. Now I get that I am interrupting your day, and I also get that you did not ask me to call you. But that does not mean that you need to be rude to me. I had a lady yesterday yell at me for calling her so much. Now you should know that I had never talked to her before and had only left voicemails. I sent her one email as well. She never called me back or even took 2 seconds to reply to my email to tell me she wasn't interested. Didn't I know how busy she was? So I politely apologized and hung up. Apparently, she was having a really bad day because she actually took the time to call me back (had she actually written down my phone number?) and yell at me some more. Again, I said I was sorry (cause I wasn't sure what else I could do at this point) and hung up again. Wow! My first thought was, "What would your mother say?"

Every day I come across people who couldn't care less about others. They act as if they are the most important person in the world and everyone should bow down to them. They flip you off when driving, cause you got in the way. They cut in front of you in line at Starbucks. And god forbid you should be waiting for their parking spot. When did this all begin? What happened to common courtesy? Imagine a world where the sun is always shining, everyone is always smiling and saying to each other, "no, you go ahead." Would that be so bad?

Okay, so I know that there are days when its raining and cold, where someone cut you off, your clothes are wet and you are late for work. That is reality. But there is a saying that we can't control what happens all the time, but we can control how we react to it. I choose to be polite, even when I feel like screaming because it is the right thing to do. It makes me feel better and hopefully makes whoever I interact with feel better as well. I am not perfect, and I know there are times I could be nicer (especially to my own family), but I do try as often as I can. If more people tried, even once a day, imagine what a world it would be.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My thoughts on moving forward...

Every day I hear more about Tiger Woods and Sandra Bullock. People talk about what they are doing, what they should be doing and what news broke this morning. I would first caution everyone that maybe 10% of what you hear is actually true, and even that might be a stretch. But moving on from there, I have a couple thoughts regarding life, relationships and moving on that I would like to share. (Take it for what its worth as my opinion, but if it helps you or makes you consider things in your life, than I am glad to have helped)

(Standing on my soapbox)

First, we are all human and we all make mistakes. Of course, some people make really big mistakes and sometimes they make them more than once. Aside from going back in time, we must all move on one way or another once we recognize the mistake. If we are the one who made the mistake, and, in turn, hurt someone we love, then we must accept responsibility and try to make amends. Usually amends means going through the painful process of admitting our faults and changing. I caution you that change is not easy, and for some admitting we are wrong is even harder. Therefore, please be absolutely certain that this is the path you want to take because there is no turning back. If you do not follow through, you will most certainly lose whatever it is you are trying to hold on. And in the process, hurt them even more. But if you are honest with yourself and really put in the work to get it done, then good for you - I hope it works out. If the reason you did what you did was because you are someplace in your life (or with someone) that you don't want to be, then that is what you need to change. Again, you need to brutally honest with yourself and anyone else involved. Sometimes honestly hurts, but no doubt dishonestly put you where you are now so that obviously doesn't work. On a side note, if your actions are hurting someone you love then you need to change them - even if you think they aren't a big deal. What matters is that they are a big deal to this person. If this person is important to you, than how they feel needs to be just as important. If it isn't, then you have a much bigger problem....

If you are the person who wound up on the wrong end of the mistake, than you have 2 choices as I see it. You can decide to move on. No one will blame you. You have probably been lied to and may have a hard time trusting this person. This will be a hard decision, but sometimes it is the only route to go. Your second choice is to stick it out and make it work. Sometimes this is the harder decision. I once read an article about marriage that said if you had been cheated on, you can either choose to leave or you can choose to say and work on it. But if you decide to stay you will need to work to move past it and stop bringing it up all the time because the marriage cannot work on those terms. If you have decided to stay, and the other person has held up their promises, then you need to hold up yours. If you continue to try to hurt that person because they hurt you, then neither of you will ever be happy. Remember how it felt when you found out about their mistake? Do you honestly want this person to feel that way? If you answer is no, you have a chance and you must remind yourself of that every day. If your answer is yes then I suggest you refer to option 1 cause it ain't going to work that way.

People will have a lot of advice on what they think you should do, but only you know how you can move on, alone or together. Both require commitment. Commitment is a hard thing, its like a promise you make over and over again. Good luck on your journey and remember that we do not go through life alone and our actions almost always affect others...

Sidebar: If you are the "other" person, please stop looking for sympathy. You knew what you were getting when you signed up and no one feels bad for you. And please don't hire a lawyer, what the f**k is that all about. It is clearly time to move on.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Is "Me Time" Really Worth It?

So last night, I finally made it out of the house and to my first Zumba class. I loved it! It was so much fun and when I left, I couldn't wait to go again. Unfortunately, time does not stand still while I am not home. Me time is a strange thing. Everyone talks about how, as busy mothers who do for everyone else first, we need to take care of ourselves. But at what cost?

First let me say that I had planned to go to Zumba last week, but unfortunately that did not happen. So this week I was very excited to finally go. Our three older boys were all home sick and I had worked from home all afternoon – or tried to. But if you remember how annoying 12 year old boys were when you were 12 (sorry guys), then you will know what I was dealing with. There comes a point in a sick day when you still don’t feel well but you are TV and video gamed out. Unfortunately that time hit around 2:30 for all three boys at once. From there it went downhill. They were not being bad, but let’s just say that I did not find their antics as funny as they did. My darling husband had offered to pick up the baby from daycare and I had started making dinner. The plan was to eat by 5:45 and I would be out the door for Zumba by 6:30. You know what they say about the best laid plans…apparently one cannot plan for the surprise visit of the President of the United States to your town. Not only was he in Marlboro, but he had to land his helicopter at our local airport which was with-in walking distance from the daycare. It all started with a phone call from my husband at 5:30 (when he should have already been at the daycare) that he was stuck in such bad traffic he might not make it in time to get the two year old before the 6 pm pick up time deadline. F**k! Okay, dinner was all prepared and just about to be put in the oven. Some of the pre-cooking cooking had already been done so I couldn’t let it sit until I got home and it only needed to be in the oven for 15 minutes, I would be gone for longer than that. So I decided to put it in the oven, set a timer on my phone and have the twelve year old carefully take it out when I called. Next I proceeded to hurry out the door only to sit in my own traffic trying to make my way through the hopefuls trying to catch a glimpse of our Commander in Chief. An 8 minute trip took me 25 minutes and I got to the school with 2 minutes to spare. I grabbed the baby, called home to have dinner taken out of the oven and rushed home. Of course, my husband made it home before I did…

I ate dinner, rushed to change, grabbed a bottle of water and headed for some “me time.” I must admit, I loved it! It was so much fun and challenging; I couldn’t think about what might be going on at home, I just had to dance. It was an hour all about me, which is very rare. The class ran over a little but I still had time to make it home by 8:30 which is what I told my husband. I was looking forward to a nice shower and some down time and of course was assuming that the baby would be asleep. Hah! You know what they say about assuming…

As I hop in my car, I see a text from my husband asking me if I know where a binky is. “No,” I reply. He asks if there is one in the car. I find one at the bottom of the emergency diaper bag in the back seat after searching every stupid pocket. “Yup,” I reply, knowing that he will now be awake when I get home and my off-night is now on again. I slowly start to feel the tension coming back, but I am still optimistic. He will be tired; I will get him down quick. Six minutes from home and the phone rings, the baby is not only awake still, but he has thrown up all over crib (because my husband thought that if he just let him cry he would finally fall asleep, but alas he threw up instead)…hurry home! Seriously?! As you can imagine, by the time I cleaned up the puke, changed the crib, dressed the baby, got him to sleep, and took a shower we were now looking at 9:30 before I sat down. And did I mention that the dinner dishes never got cleaned up. In fact, it is almost 24 hours later and I am pretty sure they are still in the sink.

Needless to say, my evening has me re-thinking “me time.” I wonder if it is even worth it in the end. Had I chosen not to go to Zumba, I would have been sitting down by 8:30 at the latest, no puke and a clean kitchen. And regretting that I didn’t go…can’t win. Then I start to think that guys don’t have this problem. No one worries that husbands and fathers won’t get enough me time. Guys get plenty of alone time playing golf, hockey, softball, fantasy football…you name it, they do it. And rest assured that while they are gone, we are watching the kids, putting them to bed, cleaning the house and doing the laundry. When they finally come home they can just sit down and relax. Cause, let’s not forget, they are tired from playing. God I wish I had a wife…

I have always wanted to go away for a girl’s weekend too, but am frightful at the prospect of what I might come home to. So again I ask, is it even worth it? I love spending time doing things for me and time hanging out with my friends but at what point does the therapeutic benefits of that time get overshadowed by the stress of what happens in my absence. I have noticed that on the nights I have a couple glasses of wine I am less likely to care about the fallout, maybe that is the secret….all I know is that I need a little me time to recover from my me time last night…ugh