Day 54: Summer


Bad Moms!!!

This was us pretending to be the stars of the movie in the poster behind us.

We laughed so hard and saw ourselves in the women on the screen. 

The moral of the story is we all have our struggles, we’re all doing our best and we love our kids no matter what. We are perfectly imperfect and we have each others’ backs.

One Love.

Carry on, warrior mamas! We are all amazing! Just don’t expect me to ever be your PTA president. ūüôā

xo

Thinking

How do you teach thinking and deciding skills?

I was helping Charlie with his math today and he wanted to rush and get the problems done so he could do his other homework. He didn’t want to think, and just wanted to do with out the thinking part to get it over with. I was trying to teach him that the thinking part was more important than the doing part and that if he could figure out the thinking, he could easily do the doing over and over again. This was hard for him to understand and he struggled to rush through. I told him you can’t rush thinking and went back to repeating myself over and over again.

I made him talk to me and explain his thoughts and the steps he would take to solve his problem before putting his pencil to his paper. This was uncomfortable to him. I learned by watching his frustration and realized that teaching him to slow down and to think before doing was very challenging.

In the end, he got it. He stopped struggling and fighting me and got the hang of it.  I told him that if he could figure out the thinking part, it was like knowing how to do a magic trick.  I explained that math problems were like mysteries that had patterns that he had to uncover and apply to solve. He finally got it and I loved watching him learn the process of thinking and then doing. I hope we can continue learning and practicing and thinking together. This thinking thing is pretty cool!

How do you teach thinking skills?

Back Story

  You know there’s always a back story to what we see and read.

Facebook and Instagram and blogging and family photos and parties and  e-V-e-R-y-T-h-I-n-G is a show. They represent the-best-of-our life show!  But there’s typically the behind the scenes events we don’t share.  Only the people closest to us get to see and really know and get the back stage pass.

We work hard every day to hold it together, to shine, to be prepared, to show up, to be the best we can be and it takes work and struggles and makeup and cute clothes and wigs. Yeah, we all have a wig or a mask that we wear. Yep, we do. Quick, smile, you’re on candid camera!!

I choose to share the highlights and yet there is usually a back story. Sometimes the back story helps me to actually write my story after I stop and digest and reflect to glean the good.

Today one of my BFFs shared this with me after I gave her a back stage pass to one of my posts:  “I love the way your back stories always end with a silver lining. You seek it out and recognize it. That’s your gift.”

We all have our struggles. We are all learning and adapting and doing the best we can. Isn’t that a beautiful thing?  We’re doing something right and sharing the (high)lights and creating our love stories every day. I love seeing your snapchat stories, Instagram posts, blogs and Facebook status updates. You’re the best reality TV! Keep shining. Keep sharing. Keep living it up.

nAMaste and thank you my friend for sharing your words of wisdom.

xo

Ask

Are you good at asking for what you want?

Maybe you want a raise. Maybe you want some thing. And maybe you want time to spend with some one. Or maybe you need help.

Are you afraid to ask? Are you able to ask freely and do you get what you need?

I am afraid to ask.

I don’t like to ask for help.

I don’t like to ask for things.

I don’t like to ask for attention.

But I need help. I need things. And I need to spend time with my friends and loved ones.

For some reason, I struggle with asking and feel vulnerable. I also don’t want to inconvenience others, but I need others. Why is it so hard to ask?

Sometimes my needs are greater than other days and instead of asking, I beat around the bush. I hint. I suggest. Or I demand, which isn’t so nice. Sometimes I’m indirect or act like a martyr or even expect others to read my mind. Not proud, but true. I am still learning and practicing.

Last weekend, I wanted my husband to pay attention to me. I wanted him to want to do something with me, besides driving the kids to sports or cleaning up the house. I wanted him to want me more than I particularly wanted anything and I didn’t care what we did. I just wanted the BIG A. Attention. I hate when I get like that.  It’s not like he doesn’t want to give me A, he just isn’t always reading my mind or thinking the same thing as I am. Confusing, right?  I know.

So I blew it. I wasn’t nice and I couldn’t come up with a sweet suggestion, like, “Hey, do you want to go for a walk together?” or “Hey, do you think you might like to go for a drive, or shopping for a new couch today?” That would be asking, and I don’t feel comfortable asking for attention. Instead, it came out all wrong. It came out as an attack, like, “WHY DON’T YOU WANT TO DO ANYTHING WITH ME??” and I think he thought I was crazy. He was probably right. But of course I thought he was wrong.  My entire delivery was wrong, and I messed up things and caused a big argument. And arguments are not the kind of attention or connection I crave.

It took me a little while to figure it out. Struggles are like that when you’re in them.  I realized if I had just asked, he probably would have obliged. I didn’t want to ask. I wanted him to ask, but that wasn’t even on his mind and wasn’t what he needed. Why did I expect him to want the same things I wanted? If I had listened to what he wanted to do, I might have been more open-minded. But I wasn’t.  I decided to practice this life moment the hard way.  I don’t recommend it. ūüėČ

Luckily I have a great, life partner, who actually gets me, just not always in the moment. Heck, I don’t always understand my self in those moments either. I was able to calm down and apologize and he was able to tell me I should probably ask a little differently and reminded me how much he loved me.  And all was well in the world again. I’m still learning… how to ask. Gosh, I thought this would be easy by now! ūüôā

  
Have a good weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

Resilience and Amazing Women

I want to talk about resilience tonight.

There are so many women that I admire for their resilience and ability to bounce back and rise up and to claim their second chance.

Life happens.

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It doesn’t always go the way we plan. And when life changes, we get to choose how to accept and react to the circumstances we are presented. We are survivors and not victims and I celebrate all those who rise up.

T s graduating with her RN degree next month and I am so proud of her. She always wanted to be a stay at home mom, and when her situation changed, she redefined herself and chose a new dream to become a nurse. And next month, her dream is coming true. Way to go, sister!

K also planned to stay home with her kids until her plans changed. She needed to redefine herself and decided to become a teacher. She’s been working so hard to pursue her dream to become a teacher and next month she receives her credential. Her students adore her and are going to be so lucky if she chooses to teach in their school. I am so proud of your sweet soul.

A developed a program that has been recognized by Michelle Obama to help students fight obesity and to be ready to learn every day through physical fitness before school, as a parent volunteer. She’s developing her program to help other schools across America and hopefully one day across the world. She’s developing her platform to reach and support others and to build a business for herself. Your passion shines!

S¬†is teaching her girls about resilience and love and starting over and I admire her strength and courage to support and love her family as she transitions through life’s changes. You are a great role model.

Some of my friends are in the middle of their struggles and they are walking through the pain and creating joy despite their challenges, and are surrounded by love. They too will rise up in time, when they are ready.

These women are some of my super heroes. They didn’t have to move to Italy or India to discover themselves or to discover their epic quests. They have risen above their challenges and struggles and have persevered¬†and are strong warriors whom I admire. They are providing for their families and loving themselves on a new frontier.

Life isn’t easy. Life doesn’t go as planned. And that’s ok. It’s a new reality. It’s a new story and they are creating history. One woman at a time.

Resiliently.

I am proud of who they are.

We all can have a second chance, if we are willing and able to do the work and maintain our self confidence. Rock on sisters! ¬†You’ve got this!

xo

Miss You MamMam

MamMam died today and I have felt a deep sadness all day. It’s a sadness that lingered and permeated by body as I moved through our busy day, when all I wanted to do was to be still and feel her presence. ¬†It’s so strange to me how when someone you love dies, the world keeps on moving and not everyone else knows this event happened. I feel like the earth¬†opened up a hole and she fell through and then the hole closed up again and everyone kept moving on, not even noticing the hole and that she left us. But those who loved her, still feel her and the hole in our hearts is huge, and you can’t see that either. ¬†

MamMam is my¬†children’s¬†great grandmother, Jeff’s grandmother, and my PEO Sister. ¬†She was¬†just shy of her 90th birthday. She loved to read my blog and would read it every day on her ipad. I have loved writing, knowing that I was providing her with a little bit of entertainment and a glimpse into our life away from her and PopPop. My writing and her reading made me feel connected to her. And now she’s not there anymore and that makes me really sad.

PopPop – I know how much you loved her and how well you cared for her and how you both dedicated your life to each other and your family. You both have been and are my heroes and I strive to be like you and her in my marriage and with my family. Just last month you both shared your 71st wedding anniversary and I treasured our long conversation with you both sharing your love and tips for success, so humbly and graciously. ¬†I’m so sorry¬†that you’re constant companion has moved on to her eternal life with Jesus and I pray for you to find peace in the days that are ahead.

Miss you MamMam.  Love our family. xo

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Julie and MamMam

Struggles are Hard

Everybody struggles. All struggles are hard because we are trying to get through or over something and there is resistance. Resistance is hard. They are never easy, just by definition. They are struggles. And my struggle isn’t harder than your struggle. They all are just hard and that’s ok.

I sometimes appreciate struggles because once they are conquered I feel a sense of accomplishment and growth, but definitely not during the journey; only after I’ve arrived! I’d like to learn how to appreciate the process of being in the struggle, but I’m not quite there yet.

Once we expect struggles to be challenging and know that they take time to conquer, we sometimes feel a little better or at least know how to handle them a bit more easily. We have to be patient and wait, and that’s hard too in our instant gratification culture.

Sometimes the struggle is bigger in our heads than in reality because we get emotionally charged or have fear that makes us just want to freeze and not do anything but wait for the struggle to go away. But we have to do work. We have to communicate and be patient and think and negotiate and come up with a plan to adapt. And when we do, the struggle becomes a little less painful. We can flow and let go.

Struggles can be big or small, with ourselves and/ or with others. Sometimes they are positive as we struggle to learn something new, and sometimes they are negative, as we work through conflict.

When we are struggling, we are trying to move from a state of suffering to a state of compassion. We have to be mindful and we have to wait and work!! We have to hold on to hope and love as we transform and grow. Isn’t it fun? Just kidding. The struggle and transformation usually is a somewhat painful process that is necessary for change and growth. Oh how we wish there was a simple prescription.

There is. It’s called time and patience and work and will and grace. We don’t always have the answers right away, but they usually come with the right mixology and doses.

I wish you peace wherever you are and with whatever struggle you may be working through.

Namaste.

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