Friday, October 21, 2016

Say what you mean, mean what you say....

I have been told that I have a large personality.  I have been told that sometimes I say things and people take offense and their feelings are hurt.  These are the same people that know that I would never intentionally hurt them.

So let's say that I did or said something to hurt your feelings?  What would you do?  Give me the benefit of the doubt and bring it to my attention OR take it personally, throw away our friendship and never tell me the reason?

In my life I have had very few that made the first choice.  Most have made the second choice.  It's like they don't even know me at all. Or, they didn't care enough about our friendship to take a risk and bring it up.

Am I an ogre?  Would I stomp around and eat their liver?  Nope, I would first listen to what they had to say, apologize for any hurt and do my best to smooth it over.  Plus, I have never enjoyed liver so why would I eat yours?

Over the years, this has made me paranoid.  I send a text or an email and it goes unanswered.  Are they mad at me, have I offended them somehow, what did I do wrong?  Then I start to beat myself up only to find their phone was lost under the sofa for three days.

How do we break the cycle?  I have consciously made an effort to be more careful about how I say things.  I try not to ever tease anyone, even in the most harmless way.  I work hard to recognize the body language of those around me to make sure I have not offended someone.  I will have to say, it is exhausting.

Would it be easier just to let those people go?  Absolutely!  Do I want to let those people go?  Not really.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

When did we become such haters?

Every time I am on social media or watching the news, I see/hear yet another story of people hating on other people.  This person is bad because they drove too fast down my street, that person is wrong because they park in front of my house.  Don't go in my bathroom if you aren't really a girl.  I am a better parent than you because I don't (pick one) feed them crap, ever let them out of my sight, allow them to ever misbehave at home or in public.  I call bullshit on all of us.

I got news for you folks, we are NOT perfect.  Not one single person on this planet is perfect.

We spend so much time worrying about situations and things that have never happened to us and probably never will.  We condemn those that are different from us for not being the same.  Hatred, prejudice and anger are flowing wild.  How did we get here? 

We want the government to leave us alone, then we want them to make stricter laws against anything we believe is wrong.  You can't have it both ways. 

What happened to love thy neighbor as thyself?  Do we really hate ourselves so we have to spend time unleashing those feelings on others in hopes that we would feel better?  Then there's the Golden Rule - do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Do you want your neighbors, friends, peers, family members to treat you like you are treating others?  God forbid you ever make a mistake or do something that someone else doesn't like because these same people that are hating with you, will now be hating against you. 

Let's grab the pitchforks and the torches.  String them up from the nearest tree.  Behaviors that should be far behind us now that we are a "civilized nation" are now brewing back up in full force.  Where does it end?  Who has to die to satisfy our sense of wrong or injustice?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Loss of control...

I know it has been a really long time since I have posted on my blog.  Honestly, I visit the blogging world almost daily and everyone has such fun stuff to say that I soak that in and get my therapy from there.  Blogging for me is about a reality check, sanity saver, proof that I am not alone in this crazy, messed up world.  At this time, I am not finding that balance so I feel the need to post.

I tell myself that I have nothing to complain about.  I am one of the lucky ones.  I have a great husband, fantastic kids for the most part and a pretty normal life.  I go to work each day, shuttle kids around to their activities, care for my family and my pets.  It is the normal rat race that we all face. Why then do I struggle each day to feel normal?  To feel like I am in control of my own life?

The biggest thing I seem to worry about these days is my life getting away from me.  I can't seem to keep my arms around everything.  Loss of control has always been a big thing for me.  It is like a small tornado that gathers speed and starts to whirl faster and faster until I have to do something to make it stop.  The damage that it does is mostly internal, but sometimes my loved ones are hit by the shrapnel.

One of the biggest ways that I attempt to control my life often has me defending myself.  I am often ridiculed about keeping my house too clean.  This is not a joyful thing for me. I don't do this to make myself seem better than anyone else.  This is purely trying to control my inner tornado.  If the house is not clean, there is clutter.  The clutter breeds and makes more and more piles of junk and then soon I feel like the walls are closing in and the ceiling will collapse on me. Even thinking about this while I type makes my chest feel tight.  It's a lot like being claustrophobic.  Does this make me crazy?

I have tried to break my struggle into daily things rather than worrying about what will come tomorrow.  Unfortunately, the monotony of every day has added to the struggle rather than detracted from it.  I feel like every day is the same.  Like the movie Groundhogs Day. It all seems so senseless.  Why does any of the stuff we do each day even matter?  Make the bed each morning, unmake the bed each night, lather, rinse, repeat.  Every meal, every task done again and again and again. Unfortunately not doing these things is not an option I have been able to live with thus far.  I struggle to leave the house with an unmade bed in it.

I love my daughter more than my life.  I love all of the zany, crazy things she does.  I love her creativity and her ability to see things and put them together as art where all I saw was junk.  She is my complete opposite in so many ways.  She loves to have all of her things out where she can see them, so when she is busy creating she doesn't have to stop to take something out.  It is already there for use.  This makes me absolutely crazy.  I have tried to reorganize her room, buy storage furniture, cubbies, bookshelves, keep the mess contained, but it doesn't work.  The cubbies sit empty while her desk, her dresser and her floor are full of all of the things she needs to see around her.  I try so very hard to turn a blind eye to her creative castle, but sometimes I lose and find myself in the dungeon of doom. Get out of the way because the Flying Monkeys have been turned loose.

I have pondered the ways in which I can climb back up the mountain of sanity, but I often end back up in that place near the bottom, next to the quicksand. The rest of my family goes about their business blissfully unaware of my plight.  Only when they hear the sirens do they duck for cover.  There has to be a point of balance somewhere in there. 

In attempt to find that balance, I am putting this out in the universe to see what happens and to take ownership of my crazy. I am the one with the issue.  I own it.  They don't understand my issue because it has never happened to them.  I can't be resentful and angry with them because they don't understand what it is like to be me.  They are just living their lives and they aren't trying to punish me. Any lack of effort on their part is not a deliberate attempt to hurt me.  I will focus on how I can change myself and not on how I can change them to conform to my issues. 

P.S. - I started this blog as a whine session about how everyone else causes my issues to be greater and after reading and editing several times, I realized that they aren't to blame for my issues.  While not 100% what I was going for, it is the truth. Dang it...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Moving into the Old House...

After purging anything that would not be allowed in our new/fabulous home, we packed up the rest of the artwork, knick-knacks and many other things (that the hubs was able sneak in while I wasn't looking).  We patched up the nail holes, touched up the paint, cleaned the windows and made our home ready to put on the market for sale and have it sell BIG.

But then it didn't...and then the frustrations with the new home set in...and suddenly we decided that our cleaned up old home was going to be way better than any fabulous, shiny new home.  We couldn't fight the battle anymore.  We stopped stepping across that line, took down the for sale sign and removed our listing from the MLS.  We threw in the towel and called it quits.  It was almost the happiest day of my life.

Now we have to move back into our old house.  I call it an old house because it is not new to us, but it is only three years old so I guess you can't really call it comes the fun part.  We have to buy new stuff to replace all of the old stuff we sold in preparation for the move.  I am a shopping fool!  Our old house is rapidly becoming fabulous!  Our wall hangings and decorations are in new places and grouped with other new things and it is like a new place altogether.  I guess I didn't realize that by the time I had gotten to putting up the decorations the first time we moved in I was so pooped that I didn't really put them in the right place.  Now they are in the right places with other new things and everything is just falling together like it should.

A new sofa for the family room that isn't the size of a school bus....

Moving the girl child back upstairs with her new queen sized bed to entice her to give up the closet that was her room downstairs...

A pool table and a dart board for the game room...

A new sectional sofa for the media room that is cushy and comfy...

In the end, it will be way cheaper to redecorate than pay for movers, twice... and pay for apartment deposits and down payments on shiny new homes.  By doing these few simple things, we have changed the way we will live in our home and use more of it. 

Now, time to find a cleaning lady that can clean like me....

Monday, April 28, 2014

When do you throw in the towel?

I have a bad habit of letting people have one more chance, then one more, then another after that.  It's like the man who draws the line in the sand daring you to cross it.  Then he draws another line and dares you to cross that one.  The effect of drawing the line gets lost quickly.

We are in the process of selling our house and buying a new one.  The house we are in is way too big for us and since Mom isn't here anymore, it no longer fits our needs.  We are three people roaming around the hallways yelling "Marco" and waiting for the "Polo" to find each other.

I work for a home building company that happens to build pretty nice houses.  I bought this one from them about a year before I started working here.  We got a really great deal so we just couldn't pass on it. 

Now that I work for the company, my deal is not so great.  5% off of the base price and upgrades, nothing off the lot premium.  This was my first disappointment as two of my coworkers recently purchased homes from us and made out like bandits with upgrades at cost on top of a discount on the base price.  I seriously considered not buying when I got the news.  Hubby and I talked about it and decided we still needed to downsize and that even at almost full price, this was still our best option. So, I stepped across the first line....

Then we go to make selections and I had a concern about the layout of our shower.  It was like a cave and being claustrophobic, I asked if I could change it up a little.  Suddenly we have a new master bath option for this home and we need to wait for the new blueprints to be drawn - because another customer wanted it. 

The changes were what they asked for and way more involved than my simple request.The new option is drawn, but instead of just addressing the shower, it adds 3' to the rear of the home and I can no longer add the sitting area to the master bedroom because it won't fit on the lot.  Even though I thought the sitting area was important, I was glad the shower issue was resolved and after some more discussion, I stepped across the second line... 

Next I met with the sales person to try to update our contract with all of the new items only to have him tell me he doesn't know where the pricing is coming from and basically accuses me of being dishonest.  I price options for a living. I know what they cost.  I also have all of the pricing details that back up my items which I sent to him and he never read.  I told him I didn't appreciate being called a cheat and told him I was really not happy with the way this process was going.  He eventually apologized and drew the third line...

We crossed this line too only to find out that with the garage we selected, the home still won't fit on the lot.  It is 9" over.  The other customer is 18" over so we are redrawing the plan for them at no charge.  I don't want to take 18" out of the width of my home just because that is what we are doing for the other customer, I want to take 9" out of the width of my home because that's all I need to take out and I am still a paying customer.  I informed them of this last week and now it has been four days and not a word from the sales person or manager as to what we are doing.   I think it's time to stop allowing them to draw the line.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sporting Parents

I happen to be the parent of a child that is involved in sports.  At first I was coaching Cheerleading which I am not really sure you get to call a sport.  (Don't get me wrong, these girls put in a lot of long hours, sweat and tears into their practices and their job is not easy.)  Now I am coaching Volleyball which is most definitely a sport that involves fewer tears and way more fun.  With a team of 8 girls you would think that it would be relatively easy to coordinate the practices (same time and day every week) and the games (same day every week) with every one's schedules, but that seems to be way more of a challenge than anticipated.

Every week I get a call or an e-mail from a parent - what day and time are we practicing this week?  Same day and time as last week, and the week before and the week before and that I mentioned in my e-mail THIS MORNING....  I actually had a parent tell me they had three girls in sports and they couldn't keep up with which coach belonged to which girl.  Time to stop hitting that crack pipe Mom...

Then we have parents that don't show up with their kids, don't call, don't e-mail and don't return phone calls.   Dear Sir or Madam Ass Hat....we had to forfeit our game because we didn't have enough players.  Was Sally involved in a major accident?  No, she didn't feel like coming today?  I wish I could say "Off the team!", but I can't because then we would have to forfeit more games.  We have 8 players and need a minimum of 5 to play.  You would think that would be easy, but one of the 8 broke her arm the week before our first practice so she's out.  Of the 7 left we have had more than one game where we barely eeked by with our 5. 

As a parent, when you sign your kids up for these events, you are making a commitment of your time as well.  They should have to sign an oath.

I, parent of sporting child, do hereby promise that I will bring my child to all practices and games unless they have suffered a loss of limb or plague.  I will pick my child up from said practices and games in a timely manner so that my coach doesn't have to babysit my child for an additional 30 minutes.  In the event that I am tardy I agree to buy my coach a pony. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lazy people...

You have my attention...yes, you.  Who am I talking to?  All of the people out that that just don't give a crap.  My 8 year old is at the top of the list right now.  How do you teach your children to have pride in what they do?  As a parent, how do I run quality control when the minions could care less if their output is sub par? 

Brush your teeth...done 2 seconds later, funk still on teeth.  Try that again.  Aww Mom, do I have to?  I assume this is a rhetorical question because she already knows the answer is yes.  Time to get up and get dressed...child still in bed 10 minutes later.  Oh, you meant now?  No, next week dear....

I know that many of the challenges I face on a daily basis are all just part of raising a child, but when it comes to things that really matter (like school work), how do you get your kids to care about the quality of work they turn in?

Homework is the worst...

Me:  Good job dear, but you didn't spell walk correctly, why don't you erase that and put the k after the l instead of the other way around.

Child...scratches the k over the l and the l over the k

Me:  Dear, you wrote that with a pencil, which I am noticing still has a pristine eraser.  Why don't you erase the word and write it correctly.  That way your teacher knows what you are really trying to say.

Child:  Aww Mom, do I have to? (complete with eye roll)

Me: Yes

Child...partially erases word but not enough to really remove the word and writes over the top making the entire word now illegible

Me:  So, you feel like that was the right thing do to?

Child:  Whaaat?

Me:  You don't care if your teacher can't read your writing?  I know what the word was and I still can't read it.

Child:  She won't care, it will be fine.

Me:  Aaaagggghhhh!!!

It is the same thing time after time and I notice it wherever I go.  People are lazy and flat out don't care if they are doing their best work or not.  As a society we have gotten so used to trying to make everyone feel good about themselves so we don't criticize, correct or complain. 

How do we stop the cycle?  How do you create that sense of self worth in your child that causes them to take pride in what they do?  How do you develop that sense of competition to be the best at something?