In a day in age where looks and talk are so highly valued have you ever thought about how you’d fair if the world was blind? How many people would you impress?
This is something that caught my attention. I was on twitter recently and saw this question posed. Genius.
I know that I’ve fought some good fights. Some for people I’ve never met, some for my kids, some for other kids. I’ve put myself in harms way to protect children from being hurt, I’ve spoken out about taboo subjects people avoid. I’ve yelled at and confronted a complete stranger for yelling and pointing his finger in his girlfriends face while she sat in silence crying with her head bowed. I’ve run after a complete stranger after seeing her steal someone’s purse. I pray for everyone on my massage table during the duration of a massage. I’ve given all of the money I’ve had to someone who needed it more. Most importantly I’ve taught my girls how to care about others. Sometimes I wonder what my purpose is, but I’m certain it’s not to be a self serving individual. Although my attempts seem feeble in comparison to others and I’m not sure if I’d ever make any heads spin, it’s the absolute most I can provide.
I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.
There have been many times I’ve questioned why things happen the way they do. I suppose it’s my imperfections and selfishness as a human being that make me think this way and question these things. I wonder when it will be my turn, my family’s turn to reap the rewards of our sacrifices and hard work. I recently read something that hit me so hard I almost fell off my chair. It stung. When the reality of my absurdity hit me, a feeling of complete disregard for everything I’d been taught as young girl washed over me.
How shameful that I’d allowed myself to fall into such a shallow pond and begin drowning. When did I lose track of the many blessings I have? I gathered myself together for a quick prayer of thanks.
I sat and read this over and over again. In my case it’s more like I’m not where I want to be but thank God I’m not where I used to be.
I realized quickly that I’m right where I need to be. I’m learning. I’m still a work in progress. I realized how much I’ve grown, how much I’ve learned and continue to learn. And yes, Thank God I’m not where I used to be!
As we continue on our journey through life trying to be the best example for our children, guiding them, coaching them, preparing them, caring for them; even with our loved ones, spouses, parents, grandparents, friends. This is the greatest reward we could’ve been given. To have our family. They are my guiding light.
The rest is gravy. What does anything else matter? I have what money can’t buy. That makes me rich. And for that I am thankful.
Know that everything is in perfect order whether you understand it or not.
1. Speak up. Don’t stay quiet for the sake of argument. Be heard. Create boundaries that you don’t want others to cross.
2. Alpha females don’t run in packs. I’ve often found myself alone. I usually don’t follow the crowd because I have my own things going on. I’ve learned that that’s okay.
3. Don’t disclose every little detail. It can and will be used against you.
4. Hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, laziness is noticed. Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done.
5. Save 20% of the money you earn from the time you begin working. Keep it in a savings or money market account solely under your name.
6. When you graduate from high school go directly into a trade school of sorts and develop a trade while you work through college. Maintain any licensure you’ve gained, you’ll be happy you did in the long run.
7. Not everyone who’s nice to you is your friend.
8. Separate your professional life from your personal one. There should always be a thin veil between the two. Allow glimpses in, but never intertwine the two.
9. Dress for the life you want. Not just the job you want. I’m not saying you have to strut around in high heels all day long. I’m saying don’t schlep around in pjs without make up because you will be treated according to what you project. You attract what you project.
10. Struggles will come up, you have a choice. You can let them defeat you or motivate you. Know your limits but, strive to set records.
11. Be careful who you choose to have children with. This person will forever be a part of your life whether it works out or not. If it doesn’t work out, they change, you change and it affects your children.
12. Read a few psychology and body language books while you’re young. The lessons you’ll learn in reading these books will keep you a few steps ahead of the game your entire life.
13. Sign language and a second language are always an amazing gift to possess.
14. Take care of your body and your health. Trust me, by thirty that shit catches up to you. Make some time for yourself.
15. When you get married, take time to nurture yourself and your relationship with your partner. You can’t let life and children take over. When all is said and done and the kids are gone, your partner is all you have left. Make sure you didn’t take each other for granted and you stay best friends.
16. Let go of people and things that make you unhappy. Laughter really is the best medicine.
17. Take up a hobby. Shopping is not a hobby.
18. Do some volunteer work, it’ll make you really appreciative of what you have.
19. Don’t buy things you don’t need.
20. Get rid of it if you don’t use it, it doesn’t fit or if it hasn’t been worn in the last 6 months. Buy staples of clothing, not things that are trendy.
21. If you become a mother, don’t let it define you. You were an individual before you became a mother. It’s easy to let it consume you.
22. Takers take, and haters hate. You can’t change people, so don’t try to. You either take them as they are or move forward.
24. Pay it forward. Acts 20:35 It is more blessed to give than to receive.
25. Be understanding of parents. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual. Doling out advice and judgment is easy when you don’t have children of your own. Remember the old rule of different strokes for different folks. If you are a parent, maybe you lucked out with helping hands and great children. They’re not all the same and we’re not all the same. What worked for you may not work for someone else.
26. Respect Mother Nature
27. Enjoy some time unplugged from gadgets, phones and computers.
28. Don’t take things too personally, it’s not always about you.
29. Old ways don’t open new doors. If it was easy it would come with instructions.
30. You can either get up or give up. You always have a choice. Just make sure you can live with the choice you made.
~~I can’t decide whether I’m a good girl wrapped up in a bad girl, or if I’m a bad girl wrapped up in a good girl. And that’s how I know I’m a woman!
C. JoyBell C.
It was an exceptionally busy week for me. I had a great time at work and had some very interesting conversations. This week got me thinking about the silent thoughts we have as wives and mothers, and perhaps women in general. I wanted to bring attention to women, depression, and marriage ruts that are so easily fallen into. I wondered if we are all silent wives. I wondered if we all fall silent.
While our children sleep peacefully we fall asleep praying for them. Silently begging and pleading for them to always be well, thanking God for every last second with them. While our husband’s or partners are at work we manage to maintain a job, home, kids and everything else that comes our way. We silently ignore our own needs to ensure that everyone else’s are met and satisfied first.
While our parents find activities to occupy their retired time, we silently weep and take in the bittersweet beauty of watching someone we thought was invincible get older and celebrate the great moments we’ve had with them.
While people mistake our kindness for weakness and sacrifices for stupidity, we lay awake at night silently hoping that everything we’ve done is right and worth it.
While some of us wander through life completely oblivious to the battles and sacrifices we make, taking life in stride. We stand silently enduring the struggles of depression, carrying with us the secrets of our partners indiscretions, the burdens we feel of not being able to communicate the weight on our shoulders.
We, the silent women bear the weight of smiling to make it through another day without letting anyone know what we’re really feeling. We, the silent women maintain our composure while our other halves work ridiculously long hours because keeping up with the Joneses has taken over our lives. We don’t mention the pressures of staying fit and looking well for our other half while they take for granted the effort and time it takes to shave our legs, wax our unmentionable parts, manage a home, take care of children, work and muster the energy to be intimate.
We cry quietly on the inside waiting for someone who knows us well to recognize the fact that we’re exhausted, That we can’t make excuses for an absent spouse anymore.
We silently endure in our relationships what others would call abuse or negligence of a spouse in order to fulfill our promises to our children and other halves and avoid anything or anyone that may rock the boat we’re on.
We quietly accept to take on even more responsibilities as our children join more and more sports and activities; as our spouses request more of our support so that they can further their education or take that promotion.
We smile and downplay the severity of our emotional distress so that it appears to just have been a rough day although if you leave us alone we weep on our way to work as an outlet for the stress we feel.
We quietly carry on with the strength of a 550 horse powered vehicle, quietly but with much ferocity, humming through the streets not ever letting anyone know what’s really under the hood.
We, the silent stand humbly awaiting a moment as rare as a Sasquatch sighting, for someone to ask us ‘is there anything I can do for you?’
To all of the silent women out there, please know that I pray for you all on a nightly basis. I pray for you to speak up, to know that is okay for you to ask for help, I pray for strength and courage for you, I pray that you make yourself a priority. I pray for you ladies. I pray that you take a moment for yourself and that when you do, you can rest at ease knowing that I’ve heard some of your silent cries, that some of you have come to me to let go, and I’m happy to listen and continue to pray for you.
Another Manic Monday’s Thoughts: Don’t Waste Energy. I know it’s been a while since I’ve written anything on Manic Monday’s thoughts. I’ve had so much on my mind lately it’s been hard to organize my thoughts and pick ONE thing to write about. This is one of my favorites from 100 Days Happier: So many of life’s eventualities are beyond your control. Work out what things you can influence and come to a peaceful acceptance of the rest.
Don’t waste your energy
Sometimes everything will go your way and on other days nothing at all seems to go right. If you are having one of those days, instead of wasting your energy raging against something you can’t control, take a deep breath and accept it. That way, even though the moment may be ruined, your day won’t have to be.
This has struck quite a chord with me lately. I’ve been witness to someone being so crude and ruthless, arrogant, vengeful, negligent, spiteful and hateful all at the same time it’s made me wonder how they manage to get through their day without having a massive coronary. I pray for you and your family. I feel like you need it the most. You need peace. You need to breathe and let go and live. What good is life if you’re merely existing and not living? Life is short, really short for some of us, wouldn’t you rather live it happily?
I want to leave this earth and I want the girls to remember that although I was hard on them I was hard on them in a way that was pushing them to do and be their absolute best. I want them to remember that it was fun to color outside of the lines and letting the music move us instead of moving to the music. I want them to remember the spontaneous road trips we always took, I want them to remember fishing trips and treading through knee high waters and plucking ticks off our bellies from walking in the woods. I want them to remember me laughing because their grandpa drove me crazy. I want them to remember the stories their grandma’s and great grandma’s had to tell about us. I want to leave my mark on this earth so that these girls know what their parents were made of. Love, laughter and full of LIFE!
There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em. ~ Kevin Welch
Have you ever felt like a rebel without a cause? I’m talking, “I am woman hear me roar” rebellious. More and more I’m finding myself to be more rebellious the older I get. I’m not sure what’s happening here. I’m finding that I’m challenging things that have been placed in front of me, questioning authority, pushing myself a little harder and not backing down for the sake of argument anymore. I suppose it isn’t rebellion so much as growing up. Although, most of the time it feels as though I’m rebelling. Maybe, finding my voice; is a better choice of words. I’m sure many would argue that, that has never been a problem for me. I will agree that there was a point in my life where I had no filter on my mouth. There was no censoring of what I was feeling. I’m not sure why that stopped. Some would say that I matured, some that motherhood changed me. Maybe it was a little of both. I remember at one point feeling that there was no use in stating what I felt because it fell on deaf ears. Now, I feel like I should say it, whatever it is, for my own sanity; for the sake of not bottling things up, for the reason that I don’t want to return to feeling that what I say falls on deaf ears. I’m not afraid of arguing anymore. I’m not afraid to fight anymore.
I think of my grandmother a lot when I think about how my life is changing, about how I’m changing. I think about her wild spirit and how my grandfather always tried to tame her, to tame it. Is this what happens with age? With maturity? We end up reverting back to the freest version of ourselves? I should hope so. Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess:
Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.
Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples’ affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.
Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.
Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains — they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.
I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.
Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint — it is so hard to live with some of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.
Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.
*Disclaimer like the famous Will Rogers once said “There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works.” I am by no means an expert on the inner workings of every woman. However I am a woman and I know that my husband struggles to understand me. I don’t speak for all women I only speak for the vast majority that I have come to know and understand to be friends of mine. We like to sit and compare notes with one another on our down time because we have nothing better to do. To the gentlemen reading this blog today, I’d like to make you aware that this may or may not be of use to you. May God be on your side, good luck.*
Lesson 101: Men Feeling Like They Can’t Make Us Happy
It’s not that you can’t make us happy it’s that you don’t listen and that makes us unhappy. Believe it or not, we are delicate flowers, we only bite when we have to.
Lesson 102: Asking What’s Taking So Long
Have you ever tried to shower, brush your teeth or even pee much less get dressed while being interrupted every 20 seconds only to stop what you’re doing to go help 4 members of your family look for shoes, belts, a shirt, a coat, shampoo, toothpaste, or a tie you’ve asked them to put away a gazillion times? Try it. See how far you get and let us know if you didn’t forget to apply mascara or shave a leg.
Lesson 103: You Think The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side
We’re all the same. We all expect the same consideration we give. If you believe otherwise you’ve got about as much chance as a one-legged man in an ass-kickin’ contest at winning that one.
Lesson 104: Make Us Swoon
Yes we want to continue to be wooed, not smothered but a little romance is nice. Hold our hands but don’t invade our 18 inches of space it gets too hot. We’re older now, gotta mind those flashes.
It’s only okay if we spoon you, your legs are heavy, you can’t spoon us.
Lesson 105: Make Us Laugh
Make us laugh but don’t be stupid or obnoxious, we’ll cut you.
Lesson 106: Never Begin Any Sentence With My Mother….
We’ll make sure that’s where you end up.
Lesson 107: Pay Close Attention To Detail
This is and will always be your greatest investment. Catch every little minuscule mention of something we love or of something we had as a child that meant the world to us. You’ll never go wrong as long you don’t get it wrong. Now if you bring home a gift your very first girlfriend mentioned she’d love to have…well, that’s goin’ over like a fart in church. You better give your heart to Jesus, ’cause your ass is grass.
Lesson 108: Learn What Each Traditional Anniversary Gift Should Be
But don’t take this too literally. For example, at the fifth year it’s wood, or silverware. The colors are blue, pink and turquoise and the gemstone is sapphire. Alternative gemstones are rose quartz, pink tourmaline and turquoise. Don’t come home with a pile of wood or a package of silverware. Put some romantic thought into it. Explain why you chose a particular gift. And absolutely never have another woman help you choose a gift because there’s no fool like an old fool!
Lesson 109: Take Genuine Interest In What We Do
Give us tips but don’t tell us how to do it unless we ask you to.
Lesson 110: Love Our Changing Bodies
We’re hardest on ourselves. We’re afraid of the younger dumber models out there. Genuinely compliment us. Don’t overkill it, just mean it.
We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk. -Thomas Moore
The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest. -Thomas Moore
To my husband Mario, thank you for always listening even though you’re hard of hearing. Although you know I run a tight ship at home you’ve always managed to reign me in when I’ve been running’ around like a chicken with my head cut off. Thank you for always supporting me and my crazy ideas and going with the flow. Thank you for trying your hardest to keep me happy when I’m not even sure what I want. Your effort, humility and sense of humor when all is up in arms is greatly appreciated. Even though the timing of your sexual nuances can sometimes make my eye twitch you somehow manage to make me laugh. Thank you very much for never buying me household appliances for Birthday or Anniversary gifts and for never saying “Well, my mom..” I knew you were a keeper. Thank you for using that big brain of yours for other things than just sex and football. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. To many more years. Happy Anniversary my love.
Kids are the best. Being a mom to a teenager and a toddler can only be described as the perfect combination of wanting to snuggle and understanding why some animals eat their young. Balance. Life is all about balance right?
We recently took my Mom in law and family to Fredericksburg, Tx. They’d never been and we decided to go at the spur of the moment.
The family members without kids enjoyed wine and beer tastings, I got to visit all of the children’s boutiques and could only window shop from 30 feet away for fear that my toddler had suddenly developed the ability to cut glass with her fingernails and melt fudge with the same eyes she uses to try to burn holes into me.
So we swung by the candy shop because it’s frowned upon to always be the bad cop and outside they had a life sized M&M and a bench with lollipops attached with cut outs for your face. I said to my oldest “let’s take your picture!” She ran over and put her face in the hole. Then my little one ran towards the bench and climbed up to sit in it. I said to her “Pumpkin, why don’t you put your face in the hole too?”
Apparently the one time she decided to listen I wasn’t specific enough. I got some flack from people on Facebook for this. Just some good old fashioned fun and teasing. I was thrilled she’d even followed through with my request that I didn’t care which way she was facing. But I did get quite the tickle out of this. She’s quite the smart ass.
It was a fun trip, my two Texas tornadoes. One testing her wind strength and the other doing all the damage possible whether her winds are strong or not. Two completely separate storms that come together to reign my powers of motherhood in and make me laugh at the fact that they have my snarky personality. I’m fighting my own reflection.
“When God Created Mothers”
When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”
And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?” She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.”
The angel shook her head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands…. no way.”
“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”
“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel.
God nodded. “One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.
“God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest tomorrow….”
“I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick…can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger…and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower.”
The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.
“But tough!” said God excitedly. “You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.”
“Can it think?”
“Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. “There’s a leak,”she pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.”
“It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.”
” What’s it for? ”
“It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”
Don’t you just love the way men think? I wish I’d been blessed with a one track mind that solves everything with sex. Unfortunately, I came out an over analytical, neurotic, Type A, worry wart whose last concern is with sex when it comes to problem solving.
This is an ode to my husband, who finds the best way to get to the root of a problem and find resolution is through sex. I don’t know how he does it! He’s able to find the humor and perfect timing to make his pitch for sex at any God given moment. He’s slick about it too. His come hither eyes seem to be turned on as he so eloquently makes his case. That’s a gift ladies! A true marksman that never misses his target.
How is it he was given this gift of charismatic charm that works in his favor every time? I feel like I’m so far behind him on this subject. For example, Today, he came home from work, our little one had a bit of a rough day. As I was explaining all the things that had gone awry today he says to me, with full confidence in his voice and his playful yet understanding tone “You know, it’s Friday the 13th today. Maybe we should join her and let ‘Freaky Friday’ work it’s devilishness on us. That way she’s not the only one afraid of things going thump in the night.”
I started cracking up. I could’ve died laughing. He was serious too. He made his plea for sex. He’ll get it too. He always does.
There are days when I feel I’ve lost my sense of humor and then he comes at me with his sexual innuendos and all worry dissolves bringing me back down to Earth. He’s right, I’m just being mom.
So to my dearest, I’m sorry it feels likes this for you.
I’ve been told many times that my life should be recorded, or that I should do stand up comedy. Hardy-har-har. Probably because the joke’s always on me right? So, I’ve mentioned a few times that both of my girls have my wild untamed heart. It’s true. They’re both wild in their own ways as am I. But my little one, oh boy is she giving me a run for my money. You know, I haven’t quite figured out why I’m being punished.
My mom tells me I was a good girl. Excellent in fact. I ate everything she made me, even told her what a great cook she was, I spoke in clear complete sentences by the time I was a year old. I took my naps, I was early to rise and early to go to bed. My kindergarten teacher Mrs. Stephenson told my mom I was the best napper in class. I was a bit of an over achiever if you ask me.
My little one on the other hand is on a mission from God (I believe this to be true with all my heart) to allow me the opportunity to test my better judgement or just straight up see if I can live the rest of my life in martyrdom.
Anyway, we were out buying some scratch off lottery tickets a few weeks ago. It was a warm Texas day. I was wearing my green cropped muumuu. So it wasn’t an ankle grazing one but cut to the length of the knees. My little one has had a love-hate thing going on with Disney’s Frozen. On this particular day she was loving it. She was singing and swaying the back of my dress from side to side as we waited in line. Despite my many pleads to get her to stop playing with my dress, she continued to ignore my requests and sing. As I got to the counter and I finished paying she was simultaneously ending her rendition of Queen Elsa singing Let it go; Coming to a close while belting out “The cold never bothered me anyway” she made her grand finale by lifting my dress over her head and shoulders exposing my granny panties to everyone waiting in line behind me.
This would’ve been livable if I had great legs or nice rump. In my mind it should’ve played out like the woman pictured above.
Instead, as I swatted my hand onto my dress to clamp it down and hide my granny panties, whilst speaking through gritted teeth and telling her we were leaving. I turned to face this.
The cashier stood frozen, hand covering her mouth and the woman in line behind me shut her eyes and began nodding her head side to side keeping her lips tucked into a tight line where she was fighting off the laughter that was threatening to bust out if she took one look at me.
I quickly bustled towards the door with my little one close behind and as I reached up to push it open my little one had taken a few steps back into the convenience store to eyeball some hotdogs and announce she was now hungry. I had no choice but to look back and face the people I was so desperately trying to leave behind.
All I could see was the line of people behind me staring and laughing hysterically. Thanks Pumpkin. Nothing on earth is quite as exciting or humbling as being your mom.