Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

I am a terrible decision maker. I don't want to inconvenience anyone or appear aggressive so when decision making times comes around I try to defer to others. I am the master of deference. This is truly a weakness of mine. 

I don't toil over decisions that need to be made with respect to my job. In my mind, my job is pretty cut and dry. I am not as worried about stepping on toes or outlining a very black and white plan for a customer. I know what needs to happen and what can happen with respect to work. It is my personal life that harbors the decision making weakness.

Unfortunately, I am a known softie. I am a people-pleaser. I don't want people to be upset with me or not like me. When I have asserted myself after allowing myself to be stepped on one to many times the offender will look at me like "geez. What's her problem!"

And there's the rub.

I know I need to declare, "I want to eat at The Yard House!" when my husband asks where we should have dinner. I know I need to say, "No" when someone asks if I can assist them with some project that has no bearing on my existence. I know I need to say, "Thank you so much for the invitation but I have another commitment" instead of attempting to cram everything into one afternoon.

And, seriously. How happy would my friends and family be if I could just say this is what I think; this is what I want to do; this is my decision. After I picked them off the floor from fainting, they would probably be thrilled!

I know I put too much weight on decisions. I over think them and fret about making the wrong decisions. I once heard a speaker say we are all one decision away from ruining our lives. I think he was referring to choosing to drive drunk or get get high but, unfortunately, I have pondered that statement until it cannot be pondered anymore. I have wondered, "Is this the decision that could ruin my life? Oh no wait. This is just choosing to eat at Taco Bell."

I have looked back on past choices and thought, "Snap! I wish I could re-do that one." Like when I sold my first house. If I had rented it and hung on to it for just a few more months I could have sold it for $125K more that I did. Seriously. The people that bought the house from me surely laughed all the way to the bank a few short months later. 

It is the fear of bad decisions and upsetting others that cause me so much useless angst. I should just pony up and say this is who I am and this is my decision. But, oh! That might make someone unhappy! I know, I know. I am 40 years old! I need to get over it. I guess the first step is deciding to get over it...and we all know how that's going to work out!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Facebook. It is not anonymous people!

Facebook. The only place you can read about an acquaintance's bout of colon-busting diarrhea and view 200 pictures of your friend's "little getaway" to Italy that cost more than your child's future college education.

I am flabbergasted by what I read on Facebook. I wonder what possesses people to write about impacted and inflamed pimples and post pictures of their ingrown toenails. Seriously. Who does that? 

My Facebook posts are quite benign. I mostly post about the sheer awesomeness of my children and share a Grumpy Cat snark from time to time. I don't find it necessary to relate toilet matters and irritations of bodily orifices. I don't call people out to tussle and I avoid passive aggressive posts because those simply grate on my last, badly frayed nerve.

Some Facebook users believe a wall flies up the minute that they start typing.Though they brand their page with everything but their social security number they have this sense of anonymity. Everyone and everyone's friends are going to see that post about issues with their derriere. When they meet that frantic Facebook status updater at a party they will wonder, "Is this that anal drainage person? Better watch where they sit!"

I love reading posts about soldiers returning home to happy dogs and babies being born to happy parents. I enjoy hearing about the adventure of simply living and the funny things that occur in a day. I laugh out loud at many posts and some make my heart weep. I like seeing vacation pictures of well-rested faces on a tropical beach. I can cope with all of that. It is the ghastly tales of the stomach flu and the in-depth descriptions of the aftermath of the bite of a Brown Recluse that make me close my eyes in horror. If I wanted to know more on either topic I would google it myself.

There are the gross Facebookers and the boastful Facebookers. While I find immense joy in people achieving their goals and realizing their dreams I do find the falsely happy posts over-the-top. The posts that wax on about the positive wonderfulness of my amazing life with my amazing spouse and our amazing dog and our amazing children, Buffy and Buttons, and our amazingly amazing bank account that allows us to wrap all our Christmas gifts in $100 dollar bills. I don't see these posts often because my peeps don't rub elbows with Bill Gates, but I come across one every once in a Blue Moon. Mostly, these posts make me sad. I think if a person must go on about their amazingly perfect world then it probably isn't very amazing at all.

When I post anything on Facebook I think, "What would my Pastor think of this?" That is my reality check. Personally, I don't want the man that delivers God's word to me each week wondering if "I got that thing looked at yet." But, I am OK with sharing a funny tidbit about my day. 

Remember Facebook isn't anonymous. Watch what you post. And, go see a doctor about that thing!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Clash Day!

It is "Clash Day" at my kids' school. As part of Red Ribbon Week each day has a different theme. My kids already have their own sense of style so today we just tried to clash more than usual!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Kids Have it Right

I love watching kids navigate the world. There is never a doubt where my 7 year old stands on an issue. If she doesn't like something, it is apparent. There are no guessing games with her. If her brother makes her mad, she will sweep her toys up in her arms and march out of the room. No discussion. I wish grown-ups could be so easily read.

Sometimes I wish I could stomp my feet and point my finger at my offender and say, "Liar, liar, pants on fire!" Or, I think how simple it would be if I could sweep my laptop in my arms and march out of a meeting if I am frustrated by the discussion. How nice it would be to break all social acceptances and say "You are mean!" to someone who truly fits the meaning of the word.

The beauty of kid disputes is they get all their emotions out and then they come back and say, "Do you want to go outside and play now?" There are no grudges or lingering drops of resentment. They move on. They let it go and redirect themselves to a mutual activity they both will enjoy.

I have listened to my children bicker one moment and fall into a fit of laughter the next. I would love to - just once - push a goon with an attitude one moment and then give them a head noogy the next.

As adults we have social norms we tend to follow. We tell white lies and some even tell grandiose tales with plots. We are kind to a person when we are face-to-face and then we totally dis them when they are out of earshot. Adults are mean. Mean adults are worse than mean children because mean adults are calculated. They play the games to get the results they want. They behave as though they are overflowing with compassion but are devious in their ulterior motive. I would love to say, "I know what you are trying to do. You are a meany, yucky, booger head!" But, I cannot do this because that behavior is not acceptable. I have to hold my tongue and steam and fume...that is proper. Isn't that odd?

We should be able to say, "Yes, that dress is totally not flattering and the Sloppy Joe's you made for dinner look like poo." How amazing it would be to live in a world of truthfulness and obvious intentions! That is mind-boggling in its simpleness. No spared feelings yet everyone would be happier and more mentally sound. That's a thought to rattle around in the brain a while. 

I think the next time someone cuts my off in traffic I will raise my fist and say, "You poopy head! You cut me off! No harm done! Have a nice day!"

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Color Me a Runner

Today we took on The Color Run and crossed the finish line as wonderful, colorful creations! I love The Color Run and was so happy to be joined by my kiddos, my hubs, and my Dad! We didn't finish with speed but we had style...maybe not cool style, but style was had!

My kids had the BEST time! The color tossers loved dousing the littlest runners with the most colored powder. I am looking forward to next year! 

I don't do Zombie runs but I am always up for a pack of cheerful color tossed in my face! Something about being covered in crazy colorfulness just brings on the happy!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I am Forty...and that is OK!

At forty, I feel like I am finally getting it. Not completely…but, getting it. I am finding comfort in my own skin and acceptance for who I am. I know that bad hair days will come and they will go. Some days I will be on top of the world, and other days I will be clawing my way through the trenches. There will be days when my worth is affirmed and other days when I feel positively worthless. And that is OK.

At forty, I don’t feel the need to be a slave to fashion. Oh, I don’t dress like a toad…but I don’t dress to the nines either. I feel like I have lived through enough bad fashion eras to sport my own style. My closet is a hodgepodge and that suits me fine. Some days I will rock it and some days I should probably hide under a rock. And that is OK.

At forty, I wear many hats and I adore most of them. I am Mom and Wife. I am Daughter and I am Friend. I am Employee and I am Dreamer. I am Mrs. Fix-it and Mrs. Compassion. I have dozens of beautiful hats to wear and a few scuffed up derbies in the mix. And that is OK.

At forty, I have tags. I have earned my tags like a marathon runner earns medals. I step up when everyone else steps back so I am tagged as reliable. I go after the goals set before me so I am tagged as a go-getter. I get up after life smacks me down so I am tagged as having perseverance. I cry at movies and coo at babies. I will back up a friend and face an enemy in the eye. I am forty! I don’t play games and I am too old for hidden agendas. I see the beauty of patience even though I don’t always possess it. I marvel at the sunset when I chance to see it. I am full of gifts and faults. And that is OK.

I have reached an age where wisdom starts to catch up enthusiasm. I am not as quick to say yes and I consider my no’s. I know that falling on the ground hurts more these days and it is finishing the race rather than winning it that counts. I know people will still disappoint me in amazing ways and I also know people will surprise me at the craziest times. I know that I can’t change people. They are who they are. And that is OK.

I am forty. I don’t have it all figured out but I am on my way. Life is sweeter. Each day is a gift. Life is more precious…like I want to be a better person each day. I want to grow and learn. I want to cling to what is dear and release what is toxic. Life is short and I don’t want to waste another day or moment on nonsense. I am forty and I feel I know when it is right to walk away. I don’t have to be a total troll but I don’t have to be a doormat either. And that is OK.

I am getting it. I am looking back on my life and the sheer volume of experiences. I see so many lessons I learned and many I re-learned. I am finally taking note. It is almost like I hear God saying, “Finally!” Hopefully I won't have to work my way through too many more harsh teaching moments. I expect they will come, but I hope they will be mild compared to the past. 

I see that 40 years have brought me to this place and this moment. It is these bones and muscles and skin and eyes…all of the bits that make up me…that have brought me here. I am here to see another day and experience another joy. No, I don’t have it completely, but I am finally getting it! And that is beyond OK!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Reptilian Guest

We are are currently trying to keep a baby blue-bellied lizard alive. He is ridiculously cute. My son found the lizard at the mercy of our cat's claws and intervened. While it might have been best to let nature take its course, that is not how we roll here at Smokey Acres. We love creatures great and small and all life is worth saving.

Sam, because he needed a name right, is currently residing in a makeshift terrarium complete with dirt and branches. A Tupperware lid is serving as a shallow water dish and a sized-down paper plate holds his feast of worms. But Sam is clearly a baby and I am fretting over him. 

I went to the pet store yesterday to find food for blue-bellies but Gecko's appear to be the lizard of choice these days. I debated between a can of dead crickets and a can of dead worms. Knowing I would have to dice this delicacy up I went with worms. Never, ever would I imagine I would someday find myself in the kitchen whipping up a meal of worms for a lizard. I realized at that moment that I would do the absolute unexpected for my children. I do indeed love them that much. And, by choice or not, we are fighting to save a reptilian life.

At first glance it appeared Sam had a wounded leg but after observing him it seems like the area of damage is his neck. He is a pretty rough case. I am not sure if he will make it but we continue to pray over him and try our best. Our goal is to nurse him back to health and release him to be free and in the wild again. 

One thing I do know is that a child's love knows no limits and love can be extended to even the smallest creatures. While Sam likely never intended to tangle with a cat, I am sure he also never expected to find a group of humans rooting for him. He never thought his best friend would be a 9-year-old human boy with an amazing heart. 

So, for Sam and my kids I will continue to disengaged while I dice up worms and I will pray over the wounds of our tiny little guest. And, hopefully soon, he will be strong and able to survive in the wild. And, if not, perhaps a trip to buy a better terrarium will be in our future!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Riffraff at the top

I have been working like crazy the past three days. I am definitely not a slacker but this week I have run myself ragged and it is barely Wednesday! I think the fact that I don't have a government job makes me more grateful for the job that I do have. I don't have to deal with ObamaCare and I don't have to be furloughed while Congress battles over the budget. 

The state of our country makes me sad. There is a serious bunch of riffraff running the country. Unfortunately, the apathy I see among voters continues to allow these people to run our government. If you don't vote - you can't very well complain. If you choose not to exercise your right you can't have a valid voice of discontent. 

I vote. What's more...I vote with my mind and my gut. I don't vote party lines. I vote for what I deem to be the lesser of evils or the best option. I educate myself so my singular vote will be mindful. I think educated voters are a dying breed. 

Look at our government...our government that is SHUT DOWN! Our government that DOES NOT work in the best interest of the people. Our government that is so full of drama it should have a reality TV show. Our government that is more concerned about a non-native fish than feeding the world. Our government that seemingly believes the America people don't deserve the same rights as our elected officials who are getting paid while the government is closed and who have ridiculously awesome health care while they pass ObamaCare off to the nation. Our government that agrees to raise the minimum wage so that everything else will rise in price proportionally. Seriously! I wish every America with a dream in their heart and optimism in their spirit every opportunity to succeed. Sadly, our government does not.

The Constitution states that American people have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - spot on Thomas Jefferson! It is a RIGHT! We have the right to pursue our dreams. Yet, at ever turn the government is there bearing down on us. That makes it hard to be totally awesome. But, still I will try. I will cling tight to my rights and hold fast to my faith. Something will give and the madness will stop...right?