parenting

Sunday musings

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Someone asked me the other day what I was doing, because I am so energized and driven (and getting results) in my business life right now. As with many things, when you’re in a groove and doing stuff, you don’t think a whole lot about it – you just DO. Kind of like walking and running – you don’t consciously think, “Gee, I’ll put one foot in front of the other.” You just walk.

Being asked to explain (by two or three people) made me think about it. And my answer feels absolutely spot on.

I’ve been struggling for a while with the “should.” Running your Beachbody business on Facebook? Then you “should” only post once every five posts about Beachbody. Time it so it’s in the evening. Never mention that you’re a coach or people will think you’re trying to sell them something. You should be on Pinterest, and Linked In, and Instagram and Twitter and a like page on Facebook and your regular wall on Facebook and three zillion other social media places I haven’t even figured out about yet.

In the past two months, I’ve gotten a couple of messages from people that read something like this: “Hey! Cool! I thought you’d like to know I purchased T25 (or P90X or whatever)! Thanks to your posts I’m excited about this new exercise thing.” Great, is my response. I don’t see you in my back office . . . when did you purchase? “I ordered from Amazon! I can get it from you?”

Really? I’ve been that subtle that people who interact with me almost daily have NO IDEA that part of my business is in being the resource for the programs and shakes?

I’m done with the “shoulds.” Like parenting, when you read every single book you can get your hands on and tear your hair out trying to do every thing you read about (often contradictory) and finally decide “Hell with it. I’m doing it my way.”

Pretty much that’s where I am. I’m doing it my way. Yes, I’m learning the basics, and taking in as much of the incredible wealth of information available to me – but I’m digesting it and turning it into what works for ME. What resonates with ME.

I’m trying to be the best ME I can be. Not someone else. Me.

Feels pretty badass.

Days off

For the second day in a row, regular school routine has been disrupted in our household. Yesterday was a delay and today there is no school at all. So for the second day in a row I’ve gone back to bed instead of waking up at 5:30 to get my sweat on.

Still I’ve started off with a good workout – even though my waking up time is later than normal, popping the DVD in and getting my heart rate up remains my first activity of the morning.

It just means my whole day is shifted later, that’s all.

I love to complain about these days, partly because there often seems to be no rhyme or reason for the decision – not quite true, but seems that way. Last year we had 10 “snow” days (if I remember right), and only about 3 of them saw any white stuff at all. This year is shaping up to be the same.

But wait. The black cat just went outside. And she is covered in white flakes, after about 30 seconds. I tried taking a picture but she ran away. Bummer.

Perhaps this is a lesson, if I think hard about it. Life can change fast, whether you’re paying attention or not. If you pay attention, though, you can catch a glimpse of the beauty of white snowflakes on the back of a black cat.

What will you see today?

Definitions

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It’s 10:20 on a Monday morning and the kids have just gone off to school. 2 hour delay means a more relaxed (and far later) morning than usual. The trees are gorgeous all coated in fast-melting ice.

Much going through my head this morning. My friend Walker posted a thoughtful blog about labels that echoes much of what I’m wrestling with (and wrote about here.) Despite any posturing on my end, I still struggle with what I want to define myself as – and how to be proud and confident in that definition. It’s so much easier when someone else tells me who I am. Sigh.

Our 14-year-old son got up to check out the weather and the roads this morning and then decided he wanted to help us out by scraping ice off the cars. Not just the windshield, but the car itself. You might imagine how that went. We still can’t tell if he used the plastic scraper (bad enough) or a shovel (OMG terrible) on the hood, but there is no denying the fact that there are at least three big scrapes in the red paint.

It’s hard to know exactly what happened. Trying to figure out the right response is also tough.

Compounding the issue is the general feeling that we have failed as parents in some basic way. Our son shows very little respect for possessions. He thinks nothing of “borrowing” tools and not putting them back, only admitting to borrowing them when we go to use them and find them gone. His response to something being broken is “I’ll pay for it” when he has no concept of what that might mean, nor any real way to earn the money to do such a thing. He’s in the throes of the teenager “I know better than you do” life, so he dismisses any notion that he might learn something from us. How do we turn this around? What can we do to teach him the value in respecting himself, others, and their things?

My definition of myself as “Mom” isn’t making me very proud or confident this morning.

Selfish

Selfish

The other day, I took food to a friend whose baby was born last week. After marveling at how small this tiny creature is (and he’s bigger now, of course) and being wistful for about three seconds about having a newborn, I handed him back to his mom for a feeding.

We chatted about life, and her labor story, and my kids. She told me about her dad, who has just received a medical diagnosis that makes all of us clutch loved ones a little closer. He lives in the Midwest somewhere, a plane ride or two away from our small town in Central Virginia.

She has told him she’s not in a place right now to come out to see him, with a newborn baby, a husband in some stage of medical training (I can’t keep the intern/resident/fellow thing straight), and an almost three-year-old. And it’s the holidays.

He told her she was being selfish.

She asked me if she was, indeed, being selfish.

I told her not a chance in hell.

Why is it that society tells us women (sorry, guys – this seems to be a pretty female thing) that when we are understanding our priorities, and when those priorities do NOT involve whatever it is that we’re being asked to do, there is a knee-jerk reaction of “you’re being selfish.”

I’m on a kick of figuring out my own priorities, of working to make sure that the things I do in my life are aligned with those priorities. Am I being selfish when I turn down volunteer opportunities or charity functions – because those things do not fit with what I’ve decided are the really important things in my life? Or is “selfish” a derogatory term that really means, “I’m mad because you aren’t seeing things my way” or “My needs ought to be more important than yours, and you’re selfish for not seeing it that way.”

Let’s stop using that word. Yes, there are people who act with no regard for others at all, whose only focus is themselves. This might not be a bad thing, actually, at some points in time. But it’s my firm belief that “selfish” is more a tantrum word, a word that ought to belong more in a 3 year-olds vocabulary than an adult’s.

Selfish says more about the person saying it than the person they’re saying it to.

Not very badass.