Better Late Than Never

Back in May, I started this little blog of mine, and vowed to publish one every Friday.

Today, it almost didn’t happen. But, I like to be true to my word – and although I doubted that anyone would have protested if their Friday edition didn’t arrive this week, I decided that I would make it happen. Late as it may be.

I’m learning alot these last few weeks.  About myself, and about others. Some people have surprised me in a good way, and others not so much. And others still remain steadfast and true, as they always do. And I’m grateful.

My friend Jenifer often reflects about her spiritual journey, and I listen in awe, as I remind myself that stabbing people is bad, and I have to wear pants.  I know I’ve grown during this stressful, trying and exhilarating week – and it’s not just from the Fritos, the lunch meetings and the cancelled walks with my friend Linda.  I’m growing because I’m stretching. I’m growing because I’m fighting. And I’m growing because I’m learning.

Sleep is overrated. Fritos are the bomb. And man, do I love my circle.
I promise I’ll be back to my old delighful self before long. Look out world!

You Heard the Lady,
XX

 

Get to the Point Already.

Ever take a Personality test?
In a career built on building relationships, I have.  Many times.

Today, my “D” was in full force.

Direct. Decisive. Determined.
FULL FORCE, people.

I got up EAAAAAAAAAAARLY.

I got shit done.

(And to those that I may have rushed off the phone, or to finish my haircut, or to also GET SHIT DONE, I am sorry.  I can be a handful. I know – but how great is it to be a “Handful That Gets Shit Done?!”)

Now, before I am tempted to add one more task to my plate, I am going to turn it off, step away, and join my “S” (Stable. Steady. Sweet) Husband, and my “AFHKLJGEGWHLERIUB” houseful of children and turn on my “I!!!!” (I did that on purpose, an “I” would TOTALLY use that many exclamation points!!!!)

(Read: Fun) / (Also read, “I” think I’ve earned it!).

Enjoy your weekend, all.
You Heard the Lady,

XX

“Looks Like I Picked the Wrong Week To Stop …” (Lloyd Bridges, Airplane)

Smoking. Drinking. Amphetamines. Sniffing Glue.  If you know the movie, you know the scene. Suffice it to say, he’s had a rough week.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeI5ke0BENw

Me? Sniffing glue?? Naw, it’s been a FULL week. Changes, challenges and emotions galore, but I’m ever impressed by the kindness and tenacity of others, and the lessons that come out of the hard days.

Here are just a few of the pieces of advice, suggestions & thoughts I received during this less than pleasant week:

 Don’t Let Temporary Emotions Make Permanent Decisions.  Love this all the time

And it’s companion: Don’t Trust Your Tongue When Your Heart is Bitter.  Easier said than done, my friends(See last week’s post about SWEARING!)

Jasmine and I have a thing about butterflies.  It comes mainly from my friend Jana Stanfield’s song, BUTTERFLY.  This week I had butterflies showing up in random places. I had to say out loud “Okay, I see you. I get it.”

“Sitting alone on a hillside, confused about what to do
My choices where all complicated, it was time to think things through
Spotted a striped caterpillar, stretching her face to the sky
Dragging her cumbersome body an inch at a time
I was feeling the pain of slow progress, when a friend of hers fluttered by
I leaned close as the caterpillar spoke with a voice as soft as a sigh
She said…

Butterfly, please tell me again it’s gonna be alright
I can feel a change is coming
I can feel it in my skin
I can feel myself outgrowing
This life I’ve been living in
And I’m afraid, afraid of change
Butterfly, please tell me again I’m gonna be alright

I’m like my friend caterpillar, afraid of that dark cocoon
Wanting to hide in the tall grass, when change is coming soon
But all of the things we long for, are borne on the wings of change
And losses can lead us to blessings that we can’t explain
Butterflies remind us, there’s magic in every life
And we can become what we dream of, if fat, furry worms can fly!”

Listen here:   https://yhoo.it/2Ndem0R

And from my friend, Gunnar,  a new Mantra:

“When a changing wind blows, the weak build walls and hide while go getters go build windmills.”

Finally, the ever important reminder, from one of my husband’s favorite Go To’s:
“If We All Put Our Problems in the Middle of the Table, and Had to Pick One Out – We’d Pick Our Own Every Time.”  In other words, think about others who have it SO.MUCH.WORSE.

Yesterday we buried my uncle (my family reunion game & competition partner!) after his long, hard fight, and I got a call looking for help at the hospital for the sexual assault volunteer work that I do.  Sigh. SUCKS. SUCKS. SUCKS.

my partner

 

I’m tired. A little battered and bruised. But me and my windmills and butterflies are all good. I bet you are, too.

You Heard the Lady,

XX

You May Call Me Popeye

I Swear.

Like a sailor, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

I mean, I’m comfortable enough with my potty mouth to just let it rip around my friends, and family (sorry, Grandma!) but ever so careful to NOT drop an F-Bomb in a professional setting, or in a group I’m uncertain of.  So, IF I can and will show restraint on this, and give due consideration to when and where swearing is appropriate, then doesn’t that indicate a sense of guilt, or mere understanding that it just might be WRONG?  (Although I am always afraid I’m going to, and this haunts me!)  Stub my toe or slam my finger in a door and all bets are off, no matter who’s witnessing.

https://yhoo.it/2P0VTBO

I feel ya, Ralphie. 

To add fuel to the fire, there are two very different points of view on this, some say it makes you look uneducated and class-less. That if you choose to insert a choice expletive into a conversation, it is simply because you can’t otherwise articulate your point.  I’ve also read articles that claim that those who swear are actually highly intelligent.  (See Huffington Post article dated 9/2016) Obviously, I quite like to believe the Huffington Post.

A good curse word accentuates your point.  It lets your subjects know that you are feeling “more than” angry at the current situation, “So xxxxing annoyed!” Most certainly not always a negative.  Take for example the insertion of cussing while sharing how “uber” happy you are about something. “So xxxxing excited!”

swear word

Which says nothing about the recent “AF” acronym.  It just fits. Everywhere.

As far as young children swearing – nothing like a good “Fuckin’ Chucky!” video to get my giggle on. My husband would refer to that as my “immature, Will Ferrell sense of humor.”

I think you all know what I’d have to say about that!

swear

(LMFAO)

You Heard the Lady,

XX

(And for those of you that follow my blog (thank you!) you’ll notice that this is the natural sequel to last week’s topic.)

The WORST F Word

I know what you are thinking, it’s a four letter word, it starts with a CAPITAL F and it would appear that the lady doesn’t like it … it can only be … F*&!

You may be surprised to learn that my least favorite F word, is … FINE.

To me, it’s a lazy man’s word – one when you just.don’t.care enough to give any energy to choosing a better descriptor.

That said, as I was settling in to write this week’s blog, I decided to look it up, (this is after all an official blog, and should be taken quite seriously!) Suffice it to say, that Merriam Webster blew my mind:

fine

/fīn/

adjective

superior in kind, quality, or appearance excellent

  • fine job
  • a fine day
  • fine wines

It makes sense as I read it here, but never (I repeat, NEVER) sounds this way when my husband uses it in any sentence.

”How was your day?” “Fine.”  

“How was your lunch?” “Fine.”

“How’s your knee?” “Fine.”

NONE of those “fines” feel “superior in kind” or “excellent” in any way.

They in fact, feel inconsequential. It’s like a “non-adjective.” In its place you might as well say “Look, I don’t care enough about the topic to have a discussion about it, so let’s just leave it at fine.” OR “It wasn’t great, and it wasn’t horrible – let’s just call it plain mediocre.”

What do I want to hear?
“It was epic! It was a disaster! It is better today than yesterday”
… give me something to go on here, please.

To ME, “fine” feels like a blow-off. And no one likes a blow-off, amiright?

I mean, there is even a phrase in which the word JUST lives before fine.  “Just fine” means “just okay” which again, I argue, is a far cry from excellent.

Disclaimer:  Unless of course, fine is used in the context of “Damn, Girl! You look FINE!” Which obviously is not mediocre, or the lease bit unimaginative.  In this case, you can use “the F Word” all you like!

So, while I am quite a fan of the “OTHER F word” – (shameless plug here for a swearing blog that is forthcoming), this is one F-bomb I could do without.

Who’s with me, people? Let’s get more creative & robust when choosing our adjectives.  The world will be a much better place, and that would be MORE THAN FINE, by me.
You Heard the Lady,

XX

The Carefree Whimsy of a Happy Clam

My friend Terry (DressedtoaT.blog) gifted me a box of “Affirmators At Work – 50 Affirmation Cards to Help You Help Yourself – without the Self-Helpy-Ness!”   

And Ironic – as if there are ever any coincidences – that today I pulled this card:  happy clam

It comes at a time when I have been challenged to indeed choose my battles, and when it would be easy to pile on and join in on the “Oh, and another thing…” game.

It is ironic, too, in that last week I sat on a panel of peers, where we were answering “rapid fire” random questions to help the audience learn a bit more about us. One question asked was: What Causes You Misery?”  My answer, after of course, “BEING LATE!” was Getting stuck in a constant state of complaining.  I have tried to live by this with my children, and in our family, that when you have something upsetting to get off your chest, by all means, GET IT OFF YOUR CHEST! This is a safe place, and you need to dump it.  HOWEVER, you get to do that ONE TIME. IF you are going to bring up the same conversation/issue/challenge/complaint after that initial “dump” then you best be bringing it up in hopes of finding a solution.”

It has evidently hit a nerve with some that I work with as several conversations this week have started with “I know you don’t like when we complain” or “I know you are tired of all of the bitching …”

Which made me feel that my point wasn’t quite understood the way I meant it, or that I simply didn’t communicate it well. So, here it is with a bit more detail:

I don’t mind hearing complaints. I want people to feel safe with me, and that they can share their thoughts/concerns, etc. And in fact, I quite like being able to help people when they are ready to move on from their challenge, and find a way back to the light … I do NOT, however, enjoy hearing it time and time again from someone (anyone!) who just wants to complain and doesn’t want to move out of that space. I do not also want to spend endless amounts of time talking about the “little stuff”, or the “oh and another thing” which waters down the bigger stuff. 

We all have battles to fight, and usually some pretty important ones.  And, if you personally aren’t going through something dreadful at the moment, I bet you know someone who is.  It is because of that “respect for the BIG STUFF”,  that I don’t love nit-picking, or actively looking for things that are unpleasant. I am – go ahead, call me Pollyana, I’m used to it – looking for the silver lining. I am in general, a positive person. And I believe with all of my heart that “Thoughts Become Things”, “What You Think About, You Bring About”, and that “Your Word Is Your Wand.”

Don’t get me wrong – I’ll fight the battle! I’ll get in there and bitch with the best of them. I just like to save my bitter, jaded misanthropic vitriol for the stuff that really earns it.  I guess I could have spared you this entire blog, and just posted a picture of the AFFIRMATOR Card. Ah, but what fun would that be?

You Heard the Lady,
XX

p.s. By all means, if you ever catch me being contrary to my word, I would hope you would call me on it. In fact, I’d expect nothing less.

I Wish I Would Have Known. (a.k.a. I Wish I Would Have Listened)

wish i'd known

First, that’s not me in the photo.  I have not grown a beard, and I do not own a red flannel shirt. I have also no idea how to change my tire. And I don’t want to learn. (Sorry, Timmy!)  I just really (REALLY) liked the sentiment.  And so, a blog post topic was born.

When my son was in high school, he was given an assignment to “teach” the class how to do something.  I gave him the suggestion to teach them how to balance a checkbook. Brilliant, right?  His teacher did not agree.  In fact, she sent him back to find a new topic as she was sure that “everyone” knew how to do that, already.  Hmmm, I do not agree.
While balancing my checkbook is still something I do on the regular – on the 6th when my statement is released, to be exact – it did not make it onto my list.  In fact, I am sure I will think of many other things, just after I publish this blog.

10 THINGS I WISH I WOULD HAVE KNOWN, in no particular order. Otherwise known as: 10 Things That Have Cost Me Sleep – OR – Just Because They Are On My List Doesn’t Mean I’ve Mastered Them, Yet – OR – Yes, Yes, I Know You Tried To Tell Me, But I Wasn’t Ready Back Then…

  1. At some point in my thirties, I read that if you start saving/investing $100 per month when you are twenty, you will have $1Million saved by the time you reach retirement age.  To be fair, at twenty I didn’t have $100 a month to put away.  But come to think of it somehow I got that pair of pink Reebok HighTops, which, had I chose to save that money instead, might today be growing into a nice post-retirement vacation.  Which leads me to:
  2. If it’s important enough you find a way.  If not, you find an excuse.  Excuses are B.S.  Things are usually the way they are because of some choice – or a series of choices – you have made.  Don’t complain about the way things are, or resolve to the cop out “it is what it is”… Is it important enough? Then find a way.
  3. You will, in fact, at some point become interested in History. And Math.
  4. Marriage is HARD. There is nothing to prepare you for the days – and sometimes stretches of days – that you will simply not like your partner.  And he/she will not like you.  It will be hard work. You will question your decision. But in the end, if you choose wisely, it.will.all.be.worth.it.
  5. Doctors are people too. They are uber-educated, and experts in their field (hopefully) but at the end of the day, they are human too, and not infallible. You know your body better than anyone. Do your homework, and trust your gut without jumping to the first medication, procedure or surgery that they recommend.
  6. Stop yourself the first month you cannot pay your credit card bill in full.  Just stop. It is not worth the stress you will cause yourself in trying to catch up, and then having to say NO to other things that come up.
  7. Be present. Slow down. Listen. Pay Attention.  You will regret rushing your grandma off the phone that day … 
  8. Learn About Dr. Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages. (And The 5 Love Languages for Children)  Make sure those closest to you FEEL loved. KNOW they are loved in their own way, not just yours. 
  9. Get control of your body image issues. Dealing with/fighting with those issues over a lifetime is a horrible example to your children, who will likely deal with/fight with those issues for their lifetime.
  10. Work hard to not pass judgement on anyone, for anything.  In short, it seems that whatever things I may have passed judgement on in my lifetime, have shown up at my own door, in some form, at some point. That’s a tough way to learn this lesson, let me tell you. Gulp.

I could keep going, but for goodness sakes, aren’t you bored yet?  In all candor, I hope that I have a long runway in which to keep learning, and sharing more lessons with my offspring. And of course, you lucky readers.

You Heard the Lady,
XX