Follow by Email

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

So Busy

Dear Darlings,

"I'm just so busy."

Recently I received an email response from a mom with whom I will be volunteering at an event we both signed up to coordinate. I suggested that we get together to go over the jobs we'll have to tackle to ensure this event runs smoothly. Her response was something along the lines of..."I run activities for two kids and also a full time job so my schedule is unbelievably crazy!" What I read in her words were, "I'm too busy and too important to make time to meet with you. My time is far too valuable to waste on getting together."

Maybe I misread her words, but I don't think I did.

And I'm pretty sure she didn't misread my response, which was, "I think it's safe to assume those of us with multiple children, doing multiple things are always crazy-busy."

You make time for what is important, and if you can't make time maybe it shouldn't be on your list of priorities. End of story.

At this point, I'm going to morph this post a little. Yes, I'm irritated with the mom who signed up to take on as much responsibility as I did and didn't think it was important enough to get together to hash out details of what our jobs entail, but I think this is part of a much bigger thing in our life pictures...

I have a friend who knew I was going through a rough patch of time after my dad died and before Zach left for school. Her schedule is as crazy as they come, but she said, "I will always make time for you. Coffee, lunch, a glass of wine. I will always find time in my schedule for you." She put me on the top of her priority list, and still does. I couldn't imagine life without her.

I had another friend who used to make plans and cancel, make plans and cancel. She would say, "I'm sorry I can't meet with you today. Putting one more thing in my day is too stressful." I was her stressor. I wasn't at the top of her priority list. And that's okay. I don't want to live my life worried that getting together with me causes another person stress. In the end, when she said, "I'm sorry we couldn't meet." I responded with, "That's okay. I knew it wasn't going to happen." I didn't say it with a hint of sadness or acrimony. It just wasn't a friendship that was meant to last.

So my darlings, always stick with those who put you at the top of your priority list. When you make time for people, and they for you, you are showing them how valuable they are to you. Always remember...actions speak louder than words (sometimes both speak at the same time and the cacophony can't be silenced). Make time for those who treat you with respect, who make time for you, who lift you up, and let the others go.

As to the mom who will be volunteering with me soon and is so busy, I'll tell you this...I made time for something I think is important. It'll be a busy weekend, but that was part of the job description. I want it this event to run like clockwork, and because of that it will. I will ensure the jobs are fulfilled, with or without you. I won't let the busyness you profess foil my plans.

Oh, for the love of all my children...


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Prompting my way outta fear

Dear Darlings,

Sometimes in life, you have to turn to outside sources for help.

My blog has been morphing for many years now. It started as a place to vent, a place to write down my feelings about parenting and a way to spin the negatives of parenting into positives. Now, it's just more of a journal, and a place I can give unsolicited advice without much backlash.

For a while, though, I didn't want to be here. It was a place where I didn't want to come and write about my feelings...they were too scary, too raw and too deeply imbedded. I would have fallen apart had I tried to write about them, so I buried all of those feelings instead. I didn't want to write. I didn't want to share my feelings and my stories.

Also, I realize my blog had to change and grow, just like the kids. With Zach, Lucas and Claire getting older, and not necessarily wanting me to tell my parenting stories anymore, it became more challenging to put my fingers on the keyboard and write. So now this has to be my story, with the kids as secondary characters.

In all of this, I've begun thinking that maybe using writing prompts might not be such a bad idea from time to time...but only if I can fit them into story telling (and unsolicited advice-giving) my way.

And here is the first one I've found. It seems to fit into the how and why I started this blog.

Write about something bad - war, fear, pain or hate - but find the beauty (the positive despite the negative) in it.

Fear. I chose fear.

For the last couple of years I have lived in fear of writing. I wasn't sure I was any good at it. I wasn't sure it was what I wanted. I was afraid of failing, afraid of the work and afraid of the feelings that come with digging deep and writing honestly. But the thing I was most afraid of was upsetting other people by telling my stories. You would think I would have a thicker skin after the debacle of my Coaches with Class blog from 2013 where I was called a whiny dumbass, a dumb bitch and unfriended on Facebook over it, but I'm not. I let fear creep into my writing life, and it makes me mad. Now, I have to chase fear away so I can do what I love.

Church...I may only sometimes go to the actual building where they hold church services, but I believe in a higher being all the time. I remember sermons. Once in a while, the words from past homilies wash over me  like a soothing balm to my dry, parched skin. Other times the message from the pulpit stab at me, forcing me to look at a part of myself that I really don't like. You may wonder why I've chosen to throw church into the mix, so I'll explain.

You see, it's a sermon we've all heard a thousand times...we're all born with a gift, and it's up to us to make sure to share our gifts, in fact it's nearly demanded of us if we believe it what we're told. If we don't share what we were given, we are doing a disservice not only  to a God who created us but to ourselves as well. I stopped sharing one of my favorite gifts when I caved into fear.

Instead of writing and sharing my stories, I became afraid because of how I thought others might react. I didn't want to upset anyone so I disappointed myself instead. In caving in to my fears, I have not shared a gift I was given. The positive point is that I have grown and learned things about myself I never would have if I didn't have to face my fear everyday. The positive point is that I'm on a road, again, to stop giving a shit what other people think of my stories....they are my stories, after all.

I have a new project up my sleeve. I've asked several friends to step in and help by contributing certain types of stories with me so I can share them with you. It's a project I never would have dared to start two years ago if I didn't have to face my fears. This project is kinda brave and a lot bold and just a smidge bad. I'll fill you in on it as I get further and further into it. I'll be leading the charge and sharing stories that may make your hair stand on end, could make you cry, hopefully will make you love and might probably make you mad enough to want to change what you can. Right now, I'm looking having at three different sections in the book and tentatively calling them...The Good, The Bad and The Truly Unbelievable.

For now, it's up to me to face my fears and get on with my writing! Join me in facing your fears ~ do it for the love of all everyone. No one needs to go through life scared!'