Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Lessons From Middle School

Oh yes, it has begun. My precious 12yo son is rapidly morphing into a teenager. I hear it regularly, “I’m bored.’ Ok, I counter, you can clean up your desk, walk your dog, dust, rake leaves, and on and on. And always the response is ‘No, I don’t wanna do that.’ Uh huh. Ok buster. That’s how you want to play it.

Last week, actually the past few weeks, my boy got a few of the hard learned lessons of middle school. Gosh, can you even remember middle school? I can, and it’s not pretty. It’s all awkward and gangly, pimples and squeaky voices. Trying to figure out where you fit into the scene.

And then you go and mouth off to a teacher. Well, ok, she was a sub, but in the eyes of the principal, they’re one and the same. Did you know that they really don’t care to be spoken to like that? Yeah, they don’t. When I picked him up from school he was acting a bit odd. More than usual, so I asked what was up. He refused to say anything til we got to the car. Ok boy, spill.

‘How mad would you be if I got detention?’

‘What? Detention? For what?’

Then he goes into great detail about the scene and what he swears he didn’t do, but the sub says he did. It was in PE of all classes! He argued her call on a ball game, and wouldn’t let it go, to the point of receiving detention.

Detention at his school is 45 minutes. On Friday. And no, they cannot do homework, they have to write a letter of apology to the teacher when they are rude & disrespectful, then sit there the rest of the time. Hmm, sounds like fun.

He was mad about getting detention (duh), he was mad at her for giving it to him, he was mad at the world.

So, seeing all of this I distilled it into a few points. Here goes.

1. When you mouth off to a teacher you get detention=not fun.

2. When you get detention, you get in trouble at home too.

3. Don’t be mad at someone else for something you did.

4. Don’t try to blame someone else for something you did or said. Accept responsibility for your actions, learn from it and move on.

5. Accept the consequences of your actions-detention- and move on.

If everything were that simple you know. Well, wait a minute, it kind of is. Don’t blame someone else for something you did or said. Accept the consequences of your actions. Accept responsibility for your actions. Learn from it and move on. Hm, I think I can do that. Now, if he will just learn from it and not get another detention!

 

 

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New Year, new choices

I’ve said it in the past, life is all about the choices. Once again, I’m reminded of the truth of that statement. A friend of mine says one thing, but chooses something quite different. Hey, that’s her gig. It is difficult for me because some of her choices cause her pain and it’s hard for me to see her unhappy. I had to choose to not get involved in her drama, it’s way too easy to get wrapped up in our friend’s choices, good or bad.

There are consequences to our actions, and our choices, both good and bad.

If you choose to eat junk food, then you are choosing to be unhealthy and maybe even overweight, which leads to a plethora of negative feelings because you don’t like the way you look or feel.

If you choose not to respect yourself, or love yourself, no one else will either. People will treat you like a doormat because they can. Because if you don’t respect yourself, why should they?

However, if you choose to be happy, if you choose to not allow one negative thing to define who you are, if you choose to take care of yourself physically and mentally, there’s really no limit to what you can accomplish, to the possibilities of what your life can be.

Me? I choose to be happy and healthy and do what I can to keep it that way. I am a very fortunate person and blessed in many ways, but I”m no different than anyone else. We are all blessed in many ways, the difference, I think, is in how we choose to receive these blessings and what we choose to do with them.

So…what do you choose for the new year?

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It’s All About the Choices

I read a blog post a few days ago (that’s you Debs) about having to make a painful choice, which made me sort of re-visit my life. It really is all about the choices we make, and living with the consequences of those choices. Every morning, I can choose to be happy or not. Some things are beyond my control, the weather, what my children do, etc. Really the only thing we can control is our choices and our reactions to those choices. Yes, I have been in the pits of depression, and it’s not fun. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle, a downward spiral into a deep dark place that just isn’t pretty. I feel very fortunate in that I was able to pull myself out of it without the assistance of medications or therapy. I know not everyone can do that.

In talking with some of my friends, I can see the choices that they make and how their lives are affected. it’s easy to be objective when it’s not your life that’s under the microscope. One friend chooses to leave her reproductive life in the hands of her doctor, rather than taking an active role in her own life. Another friend chose to leave one job for another, altering her potential for advancement. Many relationships are based on choices. No, we can’t choose our family (too bad!) but we can choose whom we allow into our lives. I’ve been in several relationships, romantic and platonic, in which I realize that the other person is truly weighing me down with their attitude/drama/crap and I just don’t need that in my life. I don’t want to share my life with negative people whose only pleasure in life is to see me unhappy. Life is just too short for that. The same goes for ‘friends’ who don’t really want to be friends unless there’s something in it for them, or it’s convenient. Cut them loose and move on, they’re not worth your time.

What about the choice to turn right or left, go a different way home or to work that puts you in a position to maybe aid someone in need. Or puts you in the wrong place at the wrong time and you’re in an accident. To me, that last choice leads into the game of ‘what if’. And that’s a rabbit hole right there. Have you ever chosen to go a different way home from work, only to get home and find out there was a deadly car accident at the time you normally pass through an intersection? We were driving home from Florida a few years ago and chose to stay at the park a bit longer than we’d planned. On our way to the interstate, we heard on the radio about a deadly multicar accident that was where we were going and happened approximately when we would’ve been in that location if we had not chosen to change our plans by an hour. We potentially could’ve been in it, or witnessed it. I don’t think I’d like either of those. My husband was in a serious car accident last year that totaled our car and left him with a broken him at the tender age of 42 because the driver of the other vehicle chose not to stop when pulling into a parking lot. Thankfully, my honey is fine now, but it was very terrifying to receive that phone call and to deal with the aftermath.

There are other choices I see, mainly in the health of people and some of them really kind of amaze me. I’m sure you know someone who is on cholesterol medication and continues to eat whatever they want because ‘the medicine will take care of it.’ Or how about the ones who are diabetic and eat whatever catches their fancy with the same thought, ‘the medicine will take care of it.’  That thought is a fallacy, pure and simple. Those conditions will continue to damage the body even when the medicine is ‘taking care of it’. 

Don’t even get me started on smokers. They know for a fact that cigarette smoking causes cancer, kills people daily in various painful & hideous ways, and yet they continue to do it. Our state has a totally free smoking cessation program and I wish more people would take advantage of it. Since you asked, yes, I used to smoke.  And when my children ask me why, I say flat out, I was ‘stupid’. It was a terrible choice. There’s that word again. However, after having a gross anatomy class and seeing first hand  the damage from smoking, I chose to quit. I didn’t want my lungs to turn to jelly or to be the little old lady carrying the oxygen tank.

Much of our current economic condition can be traced back to choices people made. Poor choices to live beyond their means, charging credit cards to the max and buying houses they knew they were truly unable to afford. the part of the whole housing bubble that disgusts me, besides the questionable lending practices, is the people who signed on the dotted line to buy a house that in normal conditions would be out of their reach.  It was incredibly irresponsible on parts of both the lenders and the people, they are both equally culpable in the situation.

On the other hand some positive choices:  My BFF chose to take control of her life and not let someone else tell her what she should do or who she was.  I chose to walk away from my practice nearly 7 years ago because my children needed me more than my patients did. I have not regretted it for one second. The first real grown up romantic relationship I had, he chose to call me the next day. I chose to move out of state a couple of times and it changed my life for the better and I really believe those choices have helped me become the person I am today. My husband chose to accept a job transfer to a city he’d never lived in, setting in motion the rest of our lives together.

Life is all about the choices. Today, I choose to be happy and thankful and enjoy the day with my children. And stay away from the junk food. What about you? What will you choose?

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My Four Least Favorite Words

Of  late in my household, there are four words that I have grown to really dislike: It’s not my fault. It’s a familiar refrain heard all the time, especially by someone who’s guilty of something. What I’ve noticed about our culture, is alot of younger people (older people do it as well) refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions and it really pisses me off. It has to be something cultural, I think. ‘I’m sorry your honor, it’s not my fault, I didn’t make the gun, it’s the gun manufacturer’s fault that man died, he’s the one who made the gun’. No, I’m sorry, I don’t buy it.

He was already unhappy about riding the bus today. There were several kids goofing around on the bus on Friday, but my son was the one who was caught and got into trouble for it. He was upset because he wasn’t the only one, and I get that, but the other part of it is that if he’s messing around doing something he shouldn’t, he’s got to be prepared to deal with it. They were only throwing paper wads, but the bus driver didn’t know what they were throwing, all he knew is he saw my boy throw something. I explained that it’s his job to keep all of the kids safe and he’s in charge, he will do whatever he feels necessary to maintain control on the bus.

My children normally ride the bus to school, it arrives at 8:30.  At 8:15 this morning, my son announces he forgot to finish a report that’s due today. TODAY!  When I asked him how he forgot about this major report and why we didn’t work on it Friday, he said it was my fault for getting him excited about a friend coming over on Saturday. What??? I had to shut him down right there. It was not my paper that was due today, it was his. He knew he had to work on it, and yet he played all weekend and hung out with his friends as though he had no cares in the world. So, he quickly finished it and was worried about missing the bus. I told him I was more interested in the grade he was going to get on his paper, since he’s been struggling in this class. I also made sure he understood how unfair it is to blame someone for something they didn’t do, and he would definitely not appreciate it if it happened to him.

That was not the only time over the weekend he said the dread four words. He knocked a cup off of a table, making a bit of a mess. He stood there and pointed to it and said, ‘Ooops.’ As if he expected me to clean it up. I told him to clean it up. His response? “It’s not my fault, she put it too close to the edge of the table.’ I’m sorry, I don’t care what part of the table it’s on, if you knock it over,you clean it up. Simple as that. I told him to clean it up, you make a mess in my house, you clean it up, I”m not a maid.

He also used the four words in regard to hitting his sister. He was closing a door and she was closer to it than he thought, and it hit her. She was crying, but he said, “It’s not my fault.’ I’m sorry, but if you hit someone, even on accident, it’s your fault. Accept responsibility, apologize and move on.

This is not new in my home, accepting responsibility. I always encourage my children to be responsible for their actions, it’s what happens when they get into trouble, you have to be willing to deal with the consequences of your actions, positive or negative, so just be prepared for it before you throw the toy or hit someone, or get the praise for doing well. So, on our ride to school, I told both of them, I don’t want to hear those words coming from their mouths because it won’t fly. Deal with it and move on. I used the analogy of my running a stop light and telling the police officer it wasn’t my fault. I’d still get a ticket because whether I meant to or not, I ran the light. This whole culture of people not accepting responsiblity for their actions drives me absolutely insane. Man-up, deal with it and go on. Seriously!

So, if an airplane falls out of the sky, it’s not your fault. If someone runs a red light and crashes into you, it’s not your fault. But honestly, if you screw up, accept responsibility, deal with it and go on. Don’t blame someone else for your mistakes or short-comings, accept responsibility and move on. Just deal with it and don’t try to tell me it’s not your fault because I’m no buying!

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