Tag Archives: children

Who knew?

This week my husband and I attended the Parent Teacher Conferences of both of our sons. Of course, we basked in the triumph of hearing about:

  • How respectful and well-behaved, albeit sometimes chatty, that they both are.
  • How talented and gifted they both are (the words of the educators and the results of arbitrary testing).
  • How both of our sons truly give 120% to everything.
  • How foreign it is for parents that have no giant issues to communicate to the teacher about (or vice versa) are actually engaged enough to make a conference appointment and still believe that the education of their children is ultimately their responsibility. Sorry world, their education is not a throne I’m willing to abdicate.

(Please don’t run away, this will not be a post filled with shameless parenting braggadocio.)

The above moment of Mom pride was brought to you just as an appetizer for my observations from modern middle school:

  • Who knew that it was off-limits in the United States of America to discuss the American political system and process during social studies and civics? Who knew that the inauguration ceremony was such a terrible thing to expose our children to?

As an advocate of personal responsibility, we discuss the election cycle, politics, the constitution and the structure of our government at home with our children. Sure, we shelter them from the extremes of  the current harsh realities, as they are not fully equipped to process this information right now, but I am teaching them critical thinking, logic, and how to handle people who have opinions and views different from the opinions and views that they are personally currently forming, and that their parents hold.

Differences do not have to divide.

We have taught our children that politics are just that. They are politics. They are part of our lives, but they are not the sum total of our lives. We love and respect people regardless of how they vote and how they see the world. People are people. Politics are politics. It is possible to do life with everyone in our community, not just those that share every single random opinion that we do. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed for me to agree blindly with any one leader. I’m able to logically see faults and favor in every administration.

Like any educated person would, we inquired as to why there was no mention of the inauguration at school. No discussion on the constitution. No celebration of what makes America unique to all the other high functioning, beautiful western nations in the world. No evidence as to the peaceful transition of power that occurred and the displays of respect that happened between the former and current president, even though their leadership and politics are diametrically opposed to each other.

It is my belief that what is observed every 4 years is a sacred ceremony.  I have watched every inauguration since the 1988 elections regardless of whether the victor was the choice of my parents, and later myself.

Who knew being informed was such a terrible thing?

If you look hard enough, my second observation is right along the lines of this “forbidden” inauguration:

Who knew that the hardest scientific concept for middle school aged humans to grasp is the subject of Mass, Volume, and Density?

This factoid came up in discussion and so I immediately tried to recall when I was taught these scientific principles and instead, came up with how I have currently been working with these ideas and just didn’t know it. I spent my whole life thinking I had thin hair until some wonderful stylist actually showed me looks that were good for me and how to actually do my hair. (I will sadly admit to you that I was in my 30’s before I knew how to fix my hair like a well functioning working woman). The stylist told me that my hair wasn’t thin, but that it was in fact just fine. It wasn’t the mass, or amount of my hair, it was the density of my hair that was causing the volume to look low. powder-play

Armed with this newfound information, I still wasn’t satisfied until one angel friend mentioned to me, in passing this past summer, that they know someone with my same “problem” who told her that “Powder Play” was a game changer. So, I went and bought powder play and my life was forever changed. (Unfortunately I wasn’t offered any free product of sponsorship to say that, I’m just a good American citizen that wants to see the rights of women to have volume and “Texas Sized” hair fulfilled.)

trumps-hair

Now, I’m no scientist, and I’m certainly not a middle school teacher, but wouldn’t the most famous hair on the planet right now have been a good object lesson?

Perhaps in the future, instead of writing off times of political unrest and pretending that they don’t exist, we can highlight the diversity of this country, learn to laugh when you want to cry, and maybe even add a little humor to the middle school classroom.

 

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“Ceilings, Values, and How to be anything you want to be”

I am nothing if not a personal growth and development junkie. Even as a child, I asked for books on topics that even some hard working professionals have to force themselves to read.  For whatever reason, I distinctly remember in 1998 waiting with baited breath for the latest John Maxwell title “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” to be published so I could get my hands on it. It still, to this day, rocks my world. I definitely recommend that if you have not yet read the book, you owe it to yourself and everyone around you to do so.

The memory of receiving that specific book at that time is so vivid to me because my dad was a member of Maxwell’s VHS and cassette tape club much of my childhood and to me there was no one smarter, determined, or loved by others than my dad was. I know those words expose my age even though my youthful glow does not.

VHS and Cassettes! What excuse do we have now with the capabilities of all the audio files and knowledge in the world in the palm of our hands?

All of that being said, the principal that stands out most to me is

Law #1: The Law of the Lid – Leadership Ability Determines a Person’s Level of Effectiveness. To reach the highest level of effectiveness, you have to raise your leadership lid.

Essentially, you are your own worst enemy or biggest asset.

What are you doing right now, today, at this very moment, at this very hour (outside of reading my amazing words of inspiration and gleaning from my deep wells of knowledge) to improve upon yourself so that you can go further?

We love to think that the things that hold us back are outside of ourselves. This way we can blame people, places, and things for our inability to produce rather than take a cold hard look in the mirror.

Like children, sometimes we can’t move beyond the slight discomforts of action and execution to gain the bigger prize of accomplishment and achievement.

My sons would often rather lose a privilege and be disciplined then to admit their mistakes. They have more invested in the arguments, nitpicking, and faultfinding than they do in just getting their rear in gear and just do what I have asked them. “I can’t put the leg of the recliner down. I’m not the one who put it up.” “I can’t take the dog to the bathroom. I did it last time.” “It’s ______ fault I have poop on my shoe. He didn’t scoop it off the ground.” (Never mind the fact that you could have just watched where you were walking, especially since you already knew that he didn’t clean it up! Instead of letting me know it needs cleaned up, or just cleaning it up himself, it is much more fun to drag poop into the house to prove some epic point and tattle.)

I have amazing sons, but this competitive and argumentative list of excuses  could go on for eternity when all of the disagreements and conflicts just boil down to the fact that no one wants to accept responsibility and just move forward. Even when I say, “You aren’t in trouble. I just need to know”, the human experience dictates that self-preservation is preferable to self-awareness.

At the end of the day what does this mean to you and me?

We need to:

  • Immediately stop telling ourselves false narratives. While other people, places, situations, scenarios, and things inform our daily life and decisions, they are not in control of them and they do not hold the keys to our success and destiny.
  • Identify where the ceiling is. What is truly holding you down? Once you identify your ceiling, the things that you once thought were ceilings will become floors to your next level of personal growth and development.
  • Establish personal responsibility and growth as a core value from which you make all of your decisions. Core values are constant. They are not descriptions of the work we do or the strategies we employ, they are just simply the basic elements of every day of our lives.

In 2010 when I started my fitness and weight loss journey, physical health and being in shape started to become a core value of who I am.

  • I don’t run. I am a runner.
  • I don’t just fit in exercise. I am a physically fit person.

See how that wording shifts the conversation?

If you just say, “I run”, you can easily dismiss the act of running if you don’t fit into your day. However, if “I am a runner”, it is the essence of who I am and I make it happen. I don’t just “mother” my children. I am their mother. There is actually a big difference. Anyone can “mother/nurture” them in a pinch or for a moment in time (School teachers. Babysitters. Grandparents.), but nobody else in this world can be their mother. It flows from my essence.

To begin exploring your own values and begin taking the limits off what you are capable of, think about your life and all of its components and begin rating them.

  1. Things I value very much: These are the things that are your very ESSENCE. An example for me is my physical fitness. Most people don’t value this as much as I do and therefore make excuses about why they can’t or won’t engage in daily exercise.
  2. Things I value: An example of this for me is financial gain. I do value financial gain and I want to be a wise steward of my family’s income and spend with frugality, however, money is not a top priority for me. I don’t value it enough to chase it over something I value very much.
  3. Things I don’t value very much: An example of this for me is a jam packed extracurricular social schedule. Every aspect of my daily life and work is to be surrounded by people and in relational and social settings, as well as run like wild, dragging kids between sporting events, hangouts, and practices full of even more people to socialize with. Because of this, I oftentimes neglect getting into social settings that aren’t work/ministry/leadership/parenting related because I value a little silence here and there. This can be a slippery slope because I know I need my relational cup filled instead of always being the one pouring, so I’m working on balance, but the point is, you most likely won’t find me at a RAVE until 2-3AM every Friday and Saturday craving a party.

I will continue to write about personal development, growth, and life changing transformation, as it is my sweet spot, I have experience in and with it, and I think it is fun to be encouraged and challenged. That said, Are there any particular topics or avenues in this space you would want me to cover?

5 Epic Failures

It’s not a problem to make mistakes, everyone does, but it is a problem if you don’t learn from them.

Epic Failure #1

This past Friday I realized that I had made a hugely, terrible epic mistake. I had done my weekly haul at Costco (that little piece of heaven on earth where I buy all my fresh produce and super healthy items because we eat those types of things in epic proportions at my house and I would have to go to store and spend $5,678 a day if I went to an average grocery store) and I had returned home, unloaded it all, and realized I had forgotten to purchase my Chobani yogurts. This my friends was a failure of “IRS tracking tea partyer” size. Even on sale, the cheapest you can find Chobani at the local grocery store is $1.00 per container, but at Costco, even when it is not on sale and doesn’t have a coupon it only averages out to about $.85 a container. My body basically lives and thrives on that protein infused goodness, so I had to make a second trip to Costco that week where I bought not one box of 15 yogurts, but 2 to be safe. I am so lucky that I outsmarted myself on that second trip. Epic fail to Epic win in the matter of 48 hours!

Refridgerated proof of my bounty.
Refrigerated proof of my bounty.

My Tweet: Costco twice in one week because I forgot my Bought 2 boxes to play it safe.

Their Reply: Phew! Can’t risk running out.

Epic Failure #2

That second trip to Costco reminded me of another major failure I have had that also involves Costco and that is the failure to grocery shop without a fully staffed nanny firm as my entourage. My boys adore Costco and all of their glorious samples and friendly staff members. I do try to go though when I only have one boy with me instead of both, or if I have the hubby for back up. On one such trip all bets were off. I was getting into the fridge to pull out some milk and I heard a lady behind me snap at me for my kids. I turned around to see what her deal was and saw my kids climbing in the freezers and having a dance party. I definitely was mortified, however, I thought the lady was totally nasty in the way she dealt with it. Nobody was injured. Nobody died. Nobody was bothered by the incident except the lady who woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Other customers got a chuckle. I was embarrassed, but what parent has gone their entire parenting career without one grocery store fiasco? I doubt there is even one on this planet. I guess you learn really quickly that turning your back for even 2.2 seconds can be an epic failure.

Epic Failure #3

Another epic failure that many women in general make is looking to romance movies to find out how to navigate real, committed, long-term relationships. A single friend of mine texted me this weekend that they were watching “Notting Hill” and crying. I texted this friend back and told him the truth. I said:

After 12 years of marriage the line “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.” (So sweet and sappy )

Becomes: “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to fold laundry.”

I then had to send the obligatory LOL on the text because truth be told my marriage is still sweet, sappy, and easy to navigate 87.56% of the time. I’m blessed!

Epic Failure #4

On my 8 mile run this morning my Garmin did not work at all until after mile 1. There was extreme heavy cloud cover, so I don’t know if that contributed or not. I passed what I knew to be the 1 mile mark at minute 9 and it was saying I had only gone .2 miles. Needless to say, I stopped the watch, got a new signal, and then took off on my run happy spree. It was a great run once I resolved my technical issues. One day I’ll learn to run “naked” and just let myself go without being married to my GPS watch. I’m totally addicted to it though. I love seeing the results of my time per mile, my overall distance, and my calorie burn. I would hate to have even .1 of my run not count on my chart. I will be sharing yearly mileage goals with you very soon.

Epic Failure #5

Participating in an ugly sweater contest and allowing yourself to be inserted into photographic evidence as such. Disclaimer: My husband won, but I bought him the shirt so I should get at least 2nd place right?

20130514-150029.jpgChristmas 2012

 

20130514-145940.jpgSo Diet Dr. Pepper might not be a superfood, but you can’t be perfect all the time and it’s supergood. That makes this snack just a 50% fail but a 100% taste bud dance party.

20130514-145947.jpgThe perfect lunch. A Baked Sweet Potato with cinnamon and an egg sandwich served up all classy like on my finest plates and table decor.

Have you ever seen the “Google Chrome” Stewy commercial? It is the complete opposite of a mistake or failure. It is hard core fact. I’m thinking it is oscar worthy material. Mom. Mum. Mommy. Mother. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mum. Mum. Mommy………..

What epic mistake have you made this week?