180

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Dulgier

As my daughters grew to be teenagers, a chasm started to grow between the older one and me. I would “advise” her to practice her violin, do her homework and I would check her grades online.  As soon as one of her classes started to drop, I’d pounce on her.

This, I believed, was motherly love.

She started to distance herself from me. When we spoke, it quickly escalated with me on offense and her on defense. She started to stay out later and later and we rarely talked nicely to each other. I asked myself over and over, When will she grow out of this? And then I found electric cigarette paraphernalia in her room. I freaked out. The younger one asked, “Don’t you see why she’s acting out?”

Wake up call!

One night, I decided I would do a 180. I would do the opposite of everything I had been doing. Before, I was completely hands-on. Now, I would be hands-off. I wouldn’t ask questions or tell her what to do. I would just listen.

And when was the last time we had fun together? I decided we would go on a date – just the two of us – once a week. It didn’t have to be fancy, just as long as we had 1:1 time together.

After she put aside her suspicions (and why wouldn’t she be suspicious of my motivations?), we started to go to a coffee shop every Sunday before she went to work as a server in a Thai restaurant. She would tell me about rude customers, her rude boss, good coworkers, and not-so-good coworkers. She told me about her friends, about how she would miss them when they went off to college and she would be a senior in high school “all alone.” I didn’t give advice or suggestions. I just listened.

I learned more about her on one date than I had in the six months before my 180.

Gradually, we joked together again. She opened up. “Mom, I have something to tell you.”

I braced myself.

“Right now, I’m getting an F in math.”

“OK.”

“OK?”

“Do you know what to do to raise it?”

“Yeah.”

“I trust you don’t want an F and that you will do something about it if you care. If you don’t, you won’t. No big deal.”

She walked away completely flabbergasted.

She got that F up to a B on her report card with no additional words or actions from me.

Now, she is three months from 18 and I am completely confident she will be just fine – not just in school or college – but in life. She has a great head on her shoulders. She’s a people-person and completely capable.

And she knows she can come to me at any time.

 

 

 

 

 

Quality Over Quantity

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David Menidrey

I rarely redirect my blog to someone else’s. But Seth Godin has an important message I agree with and I can’t put it better than he does:

Don’t Buy Cheap Chocolate! 

It’s almost Halloween.

“Cheap chocolate is made from beans picked by poor kids in dangerous conditions.” Seth Godin

He goes on:

“On the other hand, expensive chocolate turns the ratchet in the other direction. The folks who make the bars, particularly those who do direct trade, keep paying higher and higher wages. They keep children out of the system. And they encourage their growers to use the tastier artisanal Criollo and Trinitario varieties, keeping them from extinction.

The race to the top often creates more winners than losers. That’s because instead of seeking to maximize financial returns at the expense of everyone in the system, they’re focused on something else.”

Seth Godin

 

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“I’m looking forward to our long drive from Georgia,” my husband says.

We will be driving from Lawrenceville, GA to Mesa, AZ (over 1,800 miles) to move my mother’s things from her old house to ours. After dad passed away in July, mom has been uprooted mentally, spiritually and physically.

But whose partner says they are looking forward to driving all day for several days? Mine. I’m fortunate to have a supportive partner who not only steps up but embraces this “adventure.” He’s excited to box things up, rent the equipment, tow mom’s car at the back of the truck and drive all the way back home for 27 hours. Thank you, William. I am grateful.

Name Your Keeper

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I used to go to a lot of weddings. Now I am attending more funerals. Everyone dies. Creating a will does not bring death closer, it helps your loved ones handle your assets and liabilities when you are gone. Don’t leave a mess as your legacy.

I finally completed my will. I just need to print it and get two witness signatures and a notary. I live a simple life with no debt and uncomplicated assets. Thus, I was able to do it through freewill.com and did not need to hire any lawyers. It was free! Freewill.com also offers advanced healthcare directives and durable financial power of attorneys. All are free! Check them out now: www.freewill.com

 

Dr. Sei-Jong Chung

My father was a very private man. He passed away on July 11, 2019, and we did not have a service for him in Georgia, where he lived. Instead, we will have it at my house on September 12. Here is his obituary:

Dr. Sei-Jong Chung, passed away in the early evening hours of Thursday, July 11, 2019 at his home in Lawrenceville, GA. He left this world peacefully, with his loving wife, our mother Jung-Yoon Chung, by his side. As he waged a short, but courageous battle against lung cancer, he discovered a peace and joy with his family and friends he had never previously known. For this, we are eternally grateful.

Born in South Korea, he was the fifth of eight children and displayed an exceptionally inquisitive and academic mind. As a young immigrant and college student, Sei-Jong performed many odd jobs, including serving at restaurants and shoveling coal so college students could enjoy hot water. As he worked to earn his advanced college degrees, he also mentored students and Korean immigrants. On several occasions, he exchanged his skills as a technical English reader and writer for other services. It is because he possessed such expertise that we, his three offspring, were able to take Tae Kwon Do lessons and attain black belts.

After earning his PhD in Operations Research, Sei-Jong was a professor at St. Ambrose College and Northern Illinois University. As a father, he favored the “tough love” style with intentions of preparing us for a tough world. He never allowed us to believe we were victims of any circumstance or person. We were raised to believe we were the captains of our ships and that is an invaluable lesson.

During his final months, he shared with all of us the memories of the life he lived so purposefully, the people who made his journey worthwhile, and the many lessons he learned along the way.

He remains an inspiration to his family, friends and former students, and his intellect, quick wit and generosity will be greatly missed by all who knew him.