Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


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Taking a Breath

time outWith so much going on lately I decided to just set and take a breath. I needed to reflect on….. Well, everything.

The past few months have been a wild ride. I started a new job, getting adjusted to job, there was a death in the family, Mom and all her health struggles, “The Kid” and all his indecisiveness, unfinished projects and this roller coaster ride of emotions. It’s been overwhelming to say the least.

I realize that what is on my plate most people can slide on by without missing a beat. I do not have that type of personality. I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders by choice. I don’t know why but I do. So here I am…Needing that minute to catch up and catch my breath.

I needed to get some perspective, grieve, get caught up and just breathe for a few minutes.

The past few days have been good. I have been able to get a few projects done, started a new project. I gave myself the opportunity to grieve for my uncle and really think about what he had done for me and the family. I had a great conversation with “The Kid” that was long overdue. I am getting more comfortable with the job.

I need to practice what I preach more often. I forgot to reflect on everyday and find the joy in each moment. I was being selfish and only thinking about what I was feeling or doing. I was having a pity party for myself. That is no place to be when you have so much going on. You forget about the little things and focus on the weight you are carrying.

That is not good for anyone. We all need to reflect and take a moment to breathe through the junk so we can find some peace in the crazy around us. 

Once I began to settle into my reflections I realized that I had missed a few blessings this week.

Mom, my sister and I had a great visit the other day. All 3 of us laughed till we cried. I hadn’t seen mom do that in years.  It was a sweet moment to watch and be a part of. It warmed my heart listening to my mom, my sister and I joke around, laugh and have a fun time. I’m going to miss that.

I had a few cousins and some family friends check in on me, just to see how I was doing. What a blessing to have people care for you that they take the time to show you how much.

My new friend at work has been very supportive. She listens to me while I share stories about my family and laughs with me at our goofiness. She is a sweet heart. What a blessing to have a new friend.

What a blessing to have one of my fellow bloggers reach out with such kind, loving words of encouragement. Thank you nopassingfancy.  Check out her blog at…….. https://nopassingfancy.wordpress.com/. 

I am hoping and praying that this week coming up I will be able to stop, take a breath and reflect on the good moments and not hold onto the heaviness of my emotions.

I encourage you to join me on taking a breath to enjoy the things around you.

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I Just Didn’t Realize

confussedThe other day I asked “The Kid” to look over a blog that I had written about my folks to edit. (He’s my proofreader). He just stood there, silent with a sad look on his face.

I was puzzled by his reaction. I was thinking, well he’s just being a brat and didn’t want to help me. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I asked why? His response surprised me. He said “I can’t” Why not? “It makes me sad and heartbroken.” My heart dropped to the floor. I didn’t realize that for him editing the blogs about my folks hurt so much.

He is a great help to me and the folks. He is always there to lend a hand. He has been checking on me to make sure he is there for me. Always asking if I’m ok or asking if I need anything. So, his response surprised me.

He continues to say that he’s not strong like I am. That it’s not easy for him to read in black and white what is happening to his grandparents and reading how this is affecting his mom.

Poor kid. I didn’t even think about how deeply this was impacting him. I knew he was hurting but I didn’t know how much.

He has watched me have sobbing breakdowns, He has watched me stress, listened to my emotional outbursts all the while staying calm, listening, handing me a tissue and hugging me so often that I’m almost bruised. J He’s the strong one. That’s a lot for a young person to carry.

I am not the strong one. I feel emotions deeply. They cut me off at the knees. I cry in the silence of my own home so no one will see my weakness. I put on a brave face to get through the emotional roller coaster I am on. I smile and joke so I won’t feel the sadness or pain. I blog to get those emotions and thoughts out because I can’t handle them bouncing around in my head.

“The Kid” is stronger than I am. He has been dealing with the news of his grandma (Mimi) very well. Or so I thought. On the outside he is helpful, talkative, kind, loving, and supportive but on the inside he is falling apart. I guess neither one of us are that strong but I know that going through this as mom and son we will be right.

They tell you that that the passing of your parents is painful. I had no idea how much my heart would hurt and they aren’t even gone. This journey will be one of the toughest things I will endure.

Some of you that have already been on this ride, and it’s lingering after effects, know the pain I am talking about. It physically hurts and your brain feels like it’s on fire. Accepting those emotions is another small journey in itself.

You think you are mentally prepared for this journey, But you are not. There is nothing in this world that can prepare you for the wide range of emotions and thoughts that run through your head. It consumes you in every way.

There is some good news. That is I have a fantastic support system. I have a wonderful family that loves me unconditionally. I have some of the best prayer warriors out there. I have a son that loves me so much he’s afraid to share his emotions with me because he doesn’t want me to worry or add to the stress level. My folks are the best parents any kid could want. And, I still have time to spend with them and love them even harder than I did before.

I am blessed with riches that some people only dream of having. Every night I am amazed that I made it through the day. With the grace of God, a wonderful family and amazing friends I know tomorrow and the next day will be better. And I will continue to strive to do and be better for my son, my folks and loved ones.

I’m sorry Kid, I just didn’t realize how much you were hurting. I promise to do better and to help you through this. I love you!

P.S. Sorry for any errors on this blog or the past few and future blogs. I no longer have an in house editor.


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Sticks and Stones

 

Photo by: rossrightangle.wordpress.com

Photo by: rossrightangle.wordpress.com

 I am a short tempered girl. I want to fly off the handle as soon as my feelings are hurt and I want to speak up and let the other person know what they did. I want an apology, I want acknowledgement that you hurt me. I want you to know that you hurt me.

There’s a couple things wrong with this action.

One, the other person may have no idea what they have said to cause me pain. Do I really need to be defensive and blow my top at them over something they have no clue over?

Two, even if that person meant to hurt my feelings. I don’t have to react in that manner to feed into whatever the other person is looking for.

Getting your feelings hurt is not fun. We’ve all done it to others and have had it done to us. This is just human nature. It will continue.

The one thing I have learned is we are the only ones in control of our reactions. Reactions to getting your feelings hurt can open a big can of ugly worms (did I mention I hate worms?) that you were not ready for. Our reactions can help others see the errors of their ways (or not). Our reactions can be nothing at all.

Why do we feel the urge to react so defensively when our feelings are hurt? When our feelings got hurt as children, we would cry, seek comfort (parents) or punch the other kid and run.

We are no longer children and our reactions are a little different. We may still cry and seek comfort but punching someone will lend us a stay in the pokey. Now as adults we have the opportunity to let the other person know what they did and why it hurt us so deeply in a calm and polite manner. Or we can stay silent.

But is that really the answer…to let that person know what they did to hurt us?

The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” are very true. They are only words falling out of a person’s mouth. In reality they cannot scar us for life. Yes words are powerful and hold so much meaning, but it’s how we react to those words and how much power we allow those words to hold over us.

If we feed into the hurt comment then we are allowing those words to hold power over us and that person wins. Especially if that person meant to say something hurtful.

If we don’t react, that allows us to figure out if this is a can of ugly worms (did I mention I really don’t like worms?) we want to open. Or the chance to let whatever was said and realize they are just words and does it really matter that my feelings were hurt.

We are adults. Feelings are going to be hurt but we do not have to react as children.
We are adults, it’s our job to be forgiving and love others. Even if they do something that may hurt us.

For me, I am not willing to ruin a friendship because my friend hurt my feelings. I will let it slide, forgive them and move on with my day.

I love and care for that person more than any hurtful thing they can say to me. More than likely my feelings won’t change about them because they hurt me. I am willing to look past the ugly and see the big picture of that relationship.

Now don’t get me wrong, there will be times where I (we) choose to open that can of ugly worms (Yuck!!! Worms). We just need to be prepared and willing to accept the consequences that fall afterwards.

Pick your battles carefully. Smile and forgive or just ignore the ugly stuff. There are more beautiful things to look at or be involved with than to stress over hurt feelings.


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Mediocrity = Expert

mediocrityOver the past year I have been looking at my life. I have come to the conclusion that I am just a mediocre girl.  Nothing special about me. I don’t stand out and I’m sure I’m not the first person people think of.

In high school I had average grades.  Playing sports I was an average softball and volleyball player. I was an average singer in choir. I never stood out or excelled in anything.

As an adult, I have held entry level positions and two tiny management positions. I am an average parent with no great skills. I’m an average daughter. I was an average wife. A not so great sister at times. I’m not the greatest cook.

I have no special skills in my bag of tricks. I fly by the seat of my pants to get things done. I make more mistakes than make the right decisions. I’m not a great listener. I need to put my listening ears on more often.

I am a below average photographer. A not so good writer/blogger. My creative mind is limited. Generally a one hit wonder. My humor is sarcastic and most of the time people don’t get the joke.

The good part is I have figured out that I don’t give up easily. I may be mediocre but I am not a quitter. I keep striving to be/do better.

I may have mediocre skills but they get the job done.  I have figured out that I am ok with my mediocrity. It seems to work for me.

They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in a skill. Let’s do the math:

10,000 hours to become an expert at a skill.  That’s 40 hours per week multiplied by 52 weeks and you have 2,080 hours per year.  Take the 10,000 hours and divide that by 2,080 hours and you have 4.8 years. In five years you can be a professional or an expert at a skill.

If I follow this rule, I am an expert at a few things.

I am an expert at customer service. Almost 30 years of experience

I am an expert at parenting. 25 years of experience

I am an expert at sarcasm. 40 + years of experience

I am an expert at cooking. 35 years of experience

I am an expert at doing laundry. 35 year of experience

I am an expert at cleaning. 35 years of experience

I am an expert at solving problems. 40 years of experience

I am an expert at making lists. 35 + years of experience and so on.

I am not listing these things to brag but to prove a point. Experience in life can make any of us an expert at a skill as long as we don’t give up.

In 5-6 more years I will be an expert in blogging and photography. I’m not quitting. I love these 2 skills. Practice makes perfect or at least an expert.

It’s ok to be mediocre but strive to be/do better and never give up.

Oh and by the way…I don’t think I’m all that average. I am too much of a goober to be average. My uniqueness makes me either below average or a little above average just because I am different.

You are not mediocre either. You are unique too and being unique is NOT mediocre. We may see ourselves as being the average ‘Joe’ but we are not. What makes mediocrity is never striving to be/do better.

Don’t sell yourself short. Just like I did. We are above average to say the least all because we won’t give up and quit.

 

 


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Do you hold a grudge?

Photo by:  http://iamcarldavid.blogspot.com/Photo by: http://iamcarldavid.blogspot.com/

I haven’t done this type of post in a while. I have been working on this issue with myself over the past year and thought I would share my thoughts. I hope it will help you too.

I am far from a guru on this matter but I too have held (hold) a grudge(s).  I have held grudges toward my ex, family members, co-workers and even my own son.

I have to say, that is not a happy place to be in. A grudge interferes with my thoughts toward that person and it hinders having good thoughts.

Let’s just put it out on the table. We all have or have carried a grudge before. It has not done of us any good. We are not the winners if we hold a grudge. We are limiting ourselves of others love. We cannot love someone fully if we hold a grudge. We cannot forgive completely if we hold a grudge. We cannot free ourselves of the wrong doings/saying of someone else. A grudge ties us down and we cannot grow.

WOW!!! Another therapy session (for me).

It’s simple to put away that grudge that has been holding you pack. If the grudge is from a family member or loved one….drop it. It’s not worth the energy. You are not allowing love to come through. Your family loves you and always will even during the bad times. I promise, if you drop that grudge on the floor and sweep it away, you will feel lighter and you will be able to see and feel the love from others.  I personally have done this with many loved ones. Still need to work on one or two. But still moving forward.

If the grudge you hold is from an ex. I’m not asking you to forget about the wrong doings. But you sure can let that stuff go. This one was tough for me, but I did it.  When you are consumed with a grudge you limit yourself from seeing any good in a person, even if it is the ex. You can’t move on. Remember there was a reason you were in that relationship in the first place. Remember the good and let the other stuff go.

I know it sounds simple, because it is. It’s just that switch in our heads that needs to be turned on again to let the love and kindness back in.

I bet, you never thought you would be that ‘mean’ person towards anyone. But here we are doing just that. Not allowing ourselves to be free of the bad.

I am preaching to myself too.  Just drop it and let it go. Stop the tug of war between your thoughts and what is right. If you drop the rope then the bad thoughts tumble to the floor. That leaves you still standing tall and not in the mud.

It is no longer worth our time and energy. We are better than that. We were taught better than that. So let’s just do what we all know is the right thing to do……drop the grudge and move on.

Let’s start being happy again. Let’s start letting others love us. Let’s start loving others. Free your heart and mind of grudges because no one wins.


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And So The Job Search Begins……Doubts

finding a jobWell, the time has come. I have to start looking for a real job. I have been hiatus for over a year and my money is running out. I have enjoyed my time off. I have gotten to explore myself a little more. Started blogging, wrote two small books and started back with my photography. I have organized my house, went on a vacation, visited family and relaxed. I am not looking forward to the job search. It’s been over 14 years since I had to apply for a job.

I have so many doubts about my skills. I am terrified since I do not have a college degree or any higher education. I am scared no one will hire me because of my weight.  Don’t get me wrong, I know I have some great work skills but the doubt comes in because I may not have the right skills that are needed in today’s world.

I really don’t know what I want from my career at this time. I have questions:  Do I want to work in the same field (customer service) or do I want to try and venture out of that comfort zone? Do I want to relocate? If so, where do I want to go?

I do enjoy customer service (I’m good at it) as long as I am really helping a person. I enjoyed my last job helping people with their medications and insurance. I made a difference to many people. I liked that tremendously. What I didn’t like was the company I worked for they forgot that we worked for people, real people that were searching for help. The company looked at the customers as a number and the bottom line.  The company got lost in sales and profit, they forgot about their own mission statement.

I don’t want to do meaningless sales, or a dead end job. I want to help others. I want to grow as a person in my job. I want to make a difference. It can be a small difference but I still would like to have that impact. How can I do this and make a living? (Seriously. Any suggestions?)

I have started putting in my resumes to several companies this past week. Now there’s something new to me. Applying online, that is something very simple and easy but still foreign territory for me.

I am used to going to each company, speaking to the HR (human resources) personnel and then calling every week to check on the resume/application. There’s a whole new process involved now and it’s all online. What a huge difference 14 years can make.

Making a new resume was difficult too. The style of the resume is different, the wording is different, and the format is different. It’s all new to me. You now have to have key’ words that help you stand out. You have to be unique but not so unique that you are not taken seriously. Did you know that you only have between 15-30 seconds to impress someone with your resume?  Did you know that if you don’t have those ‘key’ words they will dismiss your resume?  So much pressure to do the resume right.

It’s a new work world. I have doubts whether there is a place for me in it.

I would love to blog, take photos and write for a living but I know I am not a professional at any of these things. (((SIGH!)))

Here I am searching for what I want in a career. I am still searching within myself on what I want out of life and for my life. Searching myself if I want to relocate for a job.  Searching for joy in a job. Searching for a job that will add to my happiness.  So much searching to be done, all the while doubting my abilities.

Here I am asking for help. Here I am leaving my comfort zone. Here I am trying to stay motivated. Here I am trying to add to my happiness and self-worth.  I may have to re-read my own blogs just to get through this (insert big belly laugh).

The best part is, in my heart I know everything will work out in the end. I WILL find the right job, I WILL be in the right location and I know I will still be blogging and taking photos.

It’s the journey that gets ya……and so the journey begins.


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One Tough Gig = Single Parenting

My son and I

My son and I

Parenting is the toughest gig out there, let alone being a single parent. Weather your child is a baby or a teenager, parenting will suck the life out of you (sometimes) and be the most rewarding job EVER.

It is a blessing and a privilege to be a parent. I count it as an honor to be a parent. Parenting is a life changer. In my opinion for the better.

I love my kid so much that I will do almost anything to make him happy and to protect him. As a parent all I want to do is, be more, give more and do more for my son.

Even with the greatest intentions my plans didn’t work out.

We didn’t take any vacations. Usually because I never had enough money to go anywhere. On a rare occasion, I was able to save up some money and we would take a ‘day’ vacation and do something very close to home.

I will admit, those “day” vacations were some of the best days we had together. It was because we knew it was special to do/go someplace different. To this day, one of my son’s favorite places is an ice cream parlor we would go to once every summer to have a treat. I had to save up for the ice cream trip too.

Money wasn’t always the issue. Discipline was tough too. We have to discipline our kids. When you are a single parent it’s hard, because we don’t want to be the bad guy. I didn’t want my kid to hate me.

What I did realize, is kids are looking for structure. Discipline is one form of that structure. It’s our jobs to teach them right and wrong. The hard part is how tough am I supposed to be. Not having someone to support me or talk me off the ledge, was hard. It’s easier when there is another person who is helping. You can talk out what punishment is deserving of the crime. I always second guess myself when it came to discipline. For me, I went with being a little strict because I saw the potential in my son and I wanted him to have respect for rules.

I have found that structure and consistency are key requirements to being a good parent. Developing these skills are difficult when you are the only one setting the ground rules. There is a fine line from being the bad guy all the time and having your kids like you.

I promise it can be done. Set the ground rules and punishments (that suit the infraction). Inform your kids what the rules are and what the consequences will be. It is up to you to follow through, no matter what.

For instance: in our home, there is no slamming of doors. If he slammed a door, I grounded him for a week from a video game or his favorite toy. I know it sounds harsh. To me, slamming a door shows a few things: disrespect to me and the home we live in. It also told me that my son was mad about something. I would rather he tell me why he’s mad then slam a door. Simple really. Don’t slam a door, show some respect and talk to your mom when you are mad.

To this day, he does not slam a door or act out when he is upset. Don’t forget my kid is 24. He respects me and the house we live in and we are closer because he knows he can talk to me. I got so much out of this simple rule.

Just the other day my son told me, that it was good that he had rules to follow when he was growing up. My son also told me that he loved having structure in the house because he didn’t have it any other place. He told me I did a good job. That was all the “Thanks” I needed. It was great hearing that I did something right. Granted it took 24 years for me to find out. But better late than never.

Remember, we are raising the next generation. We need to be the examples for our kids.

Being a single parent or parent is not for the faint of heart. You have to be loving, kind, understanding, tough, and thick skinned to get through it.

I know you are great parents. Keep up the great work. I promise it pays off in the end.

Here are my tips to help you single parents:

You don’t have to be their best friend, it will come later. You can be a friend to them but don’t forget you are the parent first.

Do what is ‘right’ by your kids…..not what makes them happy. (They will be mad at first, but will still love and respect you). If you do the right thing, no matter how hard. It will pay off in the end with respect and love.

Kids need discipline, they almost beg for it. Our kids do bad things for 2 reasons. One, is to learn thier boundaries. Second, because they are wanting your attention.

Provide structure in the home. Set rules, guidelines and chores. Kids crave structure and they are looking to you to set the rules and they will follow by example.

Follow through with what you will do. If you say the punishment is (fill in the blank), then make sure you follow through with that punishment. If you promise to go somewhere special…keep your word.

When things get too bad or out of hand, ask for help. Have someone give you a break. Get out of the house for an hour. If that’s not possible, give yourself a break. Take a long shower/bath and start again tomorrow. I promise, the house will not cave in if you take a break.

Love on your kids. Hug them, even when they are teenagers. Ask questions about their day. Get involved, but don’t be a hovering parent. Kiss them good night, even when they don’t want you to. Tell them you love them as often as you can.

Being a parent is tough, but the rewards outweigh the bad stuff. I promise.

I hope these tips and story have helped you in your journey of parenting.

Tell me your tips for being a parent. I would love your input.