Carpe Diem

When my daughters (14 and 15) are grown and living on their own, I hope they miss me and call me often.  I hope they visit. 

We’re in middle of high school angst: social issues, the need to be more independent,  and stress of grades. On some days, I feel like I am nagging incessantly. It can be drive a wedge between us. 

The 14 year old went out with friends so I pounced on the opportunity.

“Josie, want to go out for lunch with me?”

“Where?”

“Anywhere you want.”

She chose a Japanese restaurant and had the chicken teriyaki bento box. I had the California roll. She told me funny stories about her friends and how she feels anxious,  even when on vacation.  I was careful to just listen and sympathize.  

We had a wonderful time.

To Do Lists Are “Dope-amine”

“To Do” lists can help you with your motivation. Crossing your tasks off as you do them actually releases dopamine (a neurotransmitter) in your brain. Excitement, satisfaction and pride are emotions that are experienced during this chemical reaction.

If you’re having a hard time getting motivated to do something, break it down into small tasks and assemble a list. As you do each step, cross it off. It might help you feel a sense of inspiration and before you know it, you’ll achieve your goal!

 

 

 

 

Our Vicious Pitbull, Opal

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Listen, we go through this every May. I have to close the door after you go out in order to keep the flies and mosquitos from coming in. No need for you to get anxious and insecure. Just go out there and do your business. I’m right here. And remember, this is our routine until it gets cool again. When is that? It won’t get cool again until probably early November.

 

 

Shrink the Critic

I was eating in a Phoenix cafe at an open window. A very good-looking family of five walked past the window: mother, father, three small children. The father, dressed in expensive athletic wear (his shoes alone must have cost at least $300), stopped and pointed at a man across the street.

He gestured at a homeless man who was walking and muttering to himself. The wife nodded in agreement to whatever her husband said to her and they laughed as they went on their way.

The young father was judging a man who was clearly struggling by society’s standards. Why? Because the father’s ego was projecting a defense mechanism. Somewhere along the way, this man suffered an emotional injury. He hasn’t worked to defuse his pain (and accompanying anger) and is now spewing his garbage onto his family.

According to Mindful.com, the cure for the critic is to sit and examine your judgmental thoughts. Be aware of your thoughts. Take responsibility for them. Get to the heart of the matter. Defuse your pain and focus on gratitude. You’ll be happier and your loved ones will, too.

 

 

A Family That Plays Together…

cards against humanity.jpg

Our family (my husband, two teenager daughters and I) had fallen into a habit of eating dinner together and then retreating to our rooms to do homework, watch TV and write. We were together many hours a week, but we weren’t interfacing much. I longed for that connection, but evening walks fell by the wayside and watching movies together (which we all enjoy!) was not exactly interactive.

Our girls have adopted snarky, rebellious attitudes. It’s normal, but I felt like it could alienate us as parents if we didn’t talk more. The girls once mentioned a fun card game. I logged onto Amazon.com.

20 minutes in and we’re laughing and discussing our answers. Yes, it isn’t exactly “politically correct.” But it’s funny and the girls find it very compelling. The game is hilarious and we all enjoy it. It’s not for everyone – just “horrible people”.

 

 

 

Classy

It’s not what you do, but how you do what you do.

She reluctantly volunteered to host the party. And then she complained and stressed about it for months. At last, the day arrived. She greeted the guests with a weary smile and they didn’t feel welcome at all. In fact, a good number of them wanted to leave right right away.  Her mood colored the evening a dirty gray.

As the party ended, she uttered aloud, “Thank goodness it’s over!”

The guests felt the same way.

All that time, energy, and money wasted.

If you don’t want to do it. Don’t.

If you have to do it, then accept it. Accept the situation completely.

But if you can, enjoy doing it. Spread love, not regret.

 

 

 

 

 

15 Down, 45 to Go

student paper

It’s that time again: Fifth graders write a research paper on a famous scientist/athlete/politician/artist. They will dress up as the celebrity and give a 30-60 second speech in first person.

Grading the papers can bring tears of joy or sadness.

It’s akin to the feeling when a student gives you an end-of-year gift with the message of thanks:

You are my favrit teacher.

Or,

You are grate.