art, motivation, Personal Success

Practice Daily

 

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In art, one must be mindful of space: the space between images.

In a few of these, I was afraid of too much space and added graphics. The result was a non-uniform crowding of images, which is not pleasing to the eye.

 

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In relationships, space is even more critical. “Caring” and “parenting” are not about invading space, but respecting our teenagers as their own people. Crowding and controlling them is not pleasing to them!

This is the exact opposite of how I was raised.

But I can choose to question that thinking and do better.

 

Personal Success, relationships

Mean Girls

My 15-year-old daughter went to the bathroom at school today. She didn’t feel well. There was another girl in there – a waif with thin blond hair who looked like she was on meth.  The Daughter felt self-conscious, barfing into the toilet.  Outside her stall, the waif snickered. Suddenly, the lights went out. The door slammed shut.

Shrouded in darkness, she had to feel her way around to the light switch. Retching and bewildered, she cried. She’s still out there, waiting to see my reaction.

So when the tears stopped, she rinsed her face.

The waif was waiting. The Daughter walked out, head held high.

As she told me the story, she started to shake.

“Why did she do that, mom? She knew I was sick. She could have asked if I was OK and if I needed anything. Why would she do that? Why would she be so mean?”

I didn’t know what to say. Mean people have always existed, like cockroaches. They’re vile, but they must serve a purpose somehow.

“It wasn’t you. It was her. This was not personal, she didn’t even know you. She’s obviously very unhappy and wounded.” I hugged her and told I was sorry that it happened.

I was aware of several facts all at once:

  • that I wanted to exact revenge on The Waif;
  • that mean people will hurt my children and everyone I love many times over;
  • that we will never know why people do cruel things; and
  • that I have very little control over anything.

All we can do is be our best and be kind and provide love and comfort to each other.

And practice drawing octopodes.

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Health, motivation, Personal Success, poetry, relationships

You Can’t Make Me

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From Kate Rawlings

You can’t make me wake up and prepare for the day,

through threats or rewards or anything you say.

You can’t make me study for the quiz or the test,

you can’t make me pay attention and do my best.

 

 

But you can nicely inquire about the songs I like,

or invite me out to to shop, see a movie or a hike.

Because building a union based on sincerity

will lead to a life full of jocularity

 

for you as well as for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

poetry

Pedal to the Metal

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photo by Samuele Errico Piccarini

We switched places at the gate

for my ultimate test of surrender

her smile and jokes betrayed her cool

take it slowly, speed limit’s 25 here

 

Am I OK?

Yes, you’re perfect

Still?

Yep, doing beautifully

 

As she drove (slowly, oh so slowly) to our cul-de-sac

I remembered my driver’s ed teacher

he was old (probably my age now) and balding

with two student drivers in the car with him

 

Emily T., tall, popular, blonde, took turns with me

She (with the perfect curls) could do no wrong

her mistakes were met with encouragement,

her proficiencies were met with praise

 

but me – with my glasses and foreign mien –

my errors were harshly judged,

and my victories gleaned silence

This injustice – as all maltreatments do – ripened into a gift

 

for his words and demeanor (and all the other abuses I’ve known)

created a wound

which turned into a scar

and thickened my skin

 

everyone knows thin skin bleeds easily