Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Words to Live By

Yesterday, the world changed for many people. A wonderful, sweet and loving man was suddenly taken from us. Every time someone who is seemingly healthy, dies suddenly, it always brings our own mortality to the forefront, at least it does for me anyway. Think about it, every day, we go about the busy-ness of living: going to work, taking children to school, paying bills, doing the laundry, making plans assuming everything will carry on the same as it always has.

When I lost my dad 16 years ago, my world stopped. I found it difficult to believe that life went on, people went about their business: going to lunch, buying stamps, getting their oil changed. How? How could those people not see how awful things had become? the truth is, we all live in our little bubbles, oblivious to what may or may not be happening in the lives of others. My grandmother had things that she considered ‘too nice’ to use on a daily basis, clothing, jewelry, dishes. She was saving them for a ‘special occasion’. The thing about that is, every day is special. I found myself thinking the same thing about a pair of nice earrings once. They’re diamond studs, an anniversary gift. I thought these are too nice for this outfit. But then my thinking changed. Diamonds go with everything, but the reality is every day is a gift, special in its own way.

My point here is this, life is short and fragile. We never know from one minute to the next what can happen. How many times have you been delayed at work for some irritating reason when you’re trying to get somewhere, only to find out there has been a massive pile up on the freeway that happened at the exact time you would have been there?

Take the time to enjoy the journey that is life.

Try new foods.

Wear the clothes that are ‘too nice’ for every day (maybe not the ballgown to work, but…)

Go to the places you’ve always wanted to visit.

Say hello to that guy/gal you’ve wanted to talk to.

Take chances, don’t live with regret.

Be present in your life.

Forgive those who hurt you.

Tell the people you care about how you feel every opportunity you get.

Live fearlessly.

Love without limitations.

Drink lots of water and eat foods that don’t come from a box or can.

Exercise and take care of the vessel that is your body.

Read and challenge your brain.

Put your feet in the ocean at least once.

Accept responsibility for mistakes you’ve made, learn from them and move on. Mistakes do not define who you are.

Learn how to cook at least one dish really well.

Grow something.

Take 5 minutes everyday to just be. Be still, listen to the sounds of the earth and your heart.

Catch snowflakes on your tongue. Watch a bee collect pollen. Watch a squirrel bury its nuts.

Wear lipstick.

Dance in the rain.

Smile at a stranger.

Make donations to charitable organizations that mean something to you.

Laugh, often.

Be grateful.

Spend time outdoors.

Focus on what it is and not on what it is not.

And for Pete’s sake, take as good care of yourself as you do the people and things you have in your life. If you don’t have your health, nothing else matters.

This message brought to you by the ‘appreciate life’ committee (aka me!) And please let me know what additions you’d make to this list!

 

 

 

 

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Skin a Cat?

Do you remember the phrase ‘There are many ways can you skin a cat”? Ok, I’m not skinning any animals, so don’t go all PETA on me, but it’s an analogy to say there are many different ways of doing things, right? Sort of like using a roadmap. If you’re taking a road trip, you plan it out with a map, right? Or mapquest or Google Maps. And when you do, you see multiple routes to your destination (most likely). Some are shorter, others longer, maybe scenic or historic. But there are many ways of reaching the same location, none of them wrong, right?

So why is it, when someone does something differently than we might, or differently than we think they should, we think it’s wrong? Why would we ever think we know better than they do? Yes, we may have different experiences, and want to offer advice as to what happened when we traveled that route. But what we did, or would do, is not necessarily better or the right way of doing things. Even if you are an expert on the subject, there are always more ways of doing something.

And that’s all fine, fine, just fine. I offer that type of information to my children daily. It usually starts out as,
‘Hey mom, I want to blah blah blabbity blah’.
Or ‘I did this and this and that today at school.’
‘Ok, that sounds great, but here’s what happened when I did that….’
And I share with them my experience so they understand that if they write a note that says something less than complimentary about a classmate, it could very well make it back to the person it’s written about, for example. You get my drift. Or ‘when I did that, this happened, what if you try it another way?” And they can make their own decisions from that, because clearly, I can’t control what they do, all I can do is share what happened to me when I did it and hope that they don’t make the same mistake if it was a negative experience.

Don’t condemn someone based on these things, as being inferior or ‘wrong’, because it’s not for us to decide, really, is it? My best friend has been attending a financial freedom kind of class. She wants to achieve some goals for herself and her son. In the class this week, she shared with me that the class instructor (who teaches someone else’s method & material) told her that what she was doing was wrong. Flat out. Not that it was a different path to the same location, but plain wrong. He was trying to force her into a cookie-cutter mold that the developer of this method has created, and in so doing, he dashed her hopes and made it sound as if she would never achieve her goal, simply because she was taking a different route. He refused to accept the thought that she could reach her goal without applying these strict principles in an absolute manner, as if this way was the only way to get where she wants to go. Rather than trying to help her use their method in a way that would work for her, he essentially shut her down. She was very distraught and upset about this, who wouldn’t be?

Please please please, before telling someone what they’re doing is ‘wrong’, think about what you’re saying and do this: DON’T, because you do not know for a fact that it is wrong. You may not agree with it, and it may not be what you’d do in the situation, and please HEAR ME: that does NOT make it wrong. Don’t be the one who makes someone feel badly, just because it’s not what you’d do. Don’t be that person.

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It’s Never Too Late…..

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. Life gets crazy sometimes. And even though you might like to deny it, I know I’m not the only one who feels like my life is running me, rather than the other way around. And sometimes in that craziness, we let other people’s thoughts substitute for our own good judgement. What I’ve learned is sometimes you just can’t take someone’s word for it, because even though they may think they know what’s what, they really may not.

Other times, they have ulterior motives and for whatever devious reason, plant seeds of discord and suspicion. We allow those seeds to fester and germinate and grow and suddenly we find that the other thoughts have magically become part of our own. This I know, as I’m sad to admit, it has happened to me a few times. These festering seeds pollute and cloud our thinking.

At different times in my life, people who I cared about were distanced from me because of these cancerous seeds, planted in my mind and in others. What is to be gained from this action, I truly do not know, as I am certainly not the type to sow those seeds. However, what I can tell you, is until one of you is dead, it is never too late. I reached out to the first person this happened with, simply congratulating her on her latest accomplishment, something she labored long and hard over, and wishing her my best. I was not expecting much from this action, but she was very receptive and we patched up our friendship and moved on. Once again, I reached out to another, not knowing what reaction my contact would evoke, but feeling the need to do it anyway, if for nothing else, to have no regrets about not trying to reconnect. My efforts were reciprocated and I’m happy to say that stepping out on the limb has had happy results in both cases, and I’m very glad I took the chance.

So I say to you now, if there is someone whom you were close with and you had a falling out or disagreement and broke things off, but continue to think of them, why not give it a try? If nothing else, you can have no regrets if the person you are reaching out to doesn’t return your efforts. Like I say, it’s never too late. Don’t wait until you see an obituary, then it really is too late. As for me, I’m extremely glad I took the chances, I didn’t realize how much I’d missed them until we were back in touch.

Go for it. Take the chance. If it doesn’t work out, you’ll know that you tried.

If you’re reading this and you know who you are, I am so happy to have you in my life and I will never allow those seeds to take hold again.

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5,475

Five thousand four hundred seventy-five. In some senses it sounds like a lot. If you’re talking dollars, it’s a pretty good chunk of change. Minutes, well that would equate roughly to 92 hours, which is not long at all. Days, in days, it equates to 15 years. That sounds a little more substantial than 4 days and even more so than the money.

***NOTE: I was asked to put a warning on this post, to not read unless you have tissues handy. So, here it is!

To me, it’s the best part of my life, by far. No, I’m not 15, or even in my 20’s anymore. What that five thousand four hundred seventy five means is 15 years. The best 15 years I could’ve ever imagined. My 15th wedding anniversary is tomorrow, December 27. Never in my life would I have ever believed that a period of time that length could fly by in the blink of an eye. Yes, it is romantic getting married right after Christmas when everyone is so festive and caught up in the holiday. And yes, it was more than a little crazy, since my husband is, and has been, a retail manager. The reasoning behind choosing the date lie in my school, I was on break, as were all of our families, it was the best time to have everyone there.

In 1996, I was working two jobs saving money to get to college. My husband was an assistant manager at the retail store where I worked one of my jobs. I had a boyfriend, but I also knew my plan to go out of state to college, so a serious relationship was not on my radar at all. The boyfriend took a hike, and hubby and I became friends. We’d hang out together, go to movies. He and one of his buddies would let me cook for them. It’s hard to cook for one person. You’ve seen my recipes, try making that for one person and not eating it for weeks on end. I tried to set him up w/my coworkers from the restaurant I was working at for my second job. They all turned me down, he is clean cut and handsome, a nice guy. Too many of the girls I worked with wanted the dirty bad boys, which he certainly is not. One night we went to a movie, strictly as friends, and I looked at him in the dashlight and thought to myself, ‘He’s pretty cute, what are you doing?!” After that, it was all over. One night a few weeks later, we’d been to another movie and when he brought me home, he gave me a quick kiss, almost like a reflex. He turned and ran down the stairs as fast as he could, I’m not sure his feet even touched the ground he went so fast and I was secretly doing a happy dance behind the door. That, as they say, is all she wrote. We were engaged 9 months later and got married a year after that.

After it was all said and done, we started talking about how things happened and we noticed something. There was something going on that brought us together. Fate, karma, guardian angels, whatever you want to call it, too many things happened for us to not see it. He accepted a job transfer that he didn’t have to, a loan program that was going to help me get to school was canceled forcing me to wait another 5 months to go to school (it was reinstated after I got there). It was like someone was pulling strings to get us together. And whoever was pulling the strings, really knew what they were doing. The universe chose the perfect person for me.

He is the best part of me. He makes me laugh, he makes me cry (in a good way), he puts up with my less than stellar housekeeping skills, my experimentation in the kitchen, he never tries to change me and supports me no matter what. He helps me see the other side of situations when I can only see one part. Because of him, I have the two other biggest blessings of my life, my beautiful children. He works his tail off to take care of us and does it gladly with a smile on his face and a kiss for me. This sounds crazy, but we’ve never had a fight. Disagreements, yes, but never a fight. I could never ask for anyone better for a life partner, father of my children, lover, best friend, rock. The last 15 years of our marriage have flown by faster than I would’ve ever believed. I’m very much looking forward to the next 15. Even though I’m really trying, words will never begin to explain how much this man means to me. I’ll just say what I say to him: I love you with all my heart, forever and ever.

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Unlucky 13

I’m not a superstitious person. Really I’m not. But today is my Friday the 13th and for the next year 13 will be my unlucky number. You see, today is the 13th anniversary of the day that changed my life. Thirteen years ago we lost my father to the demon disease, cancer. My dad was the kind of dad that every kid wants. He was funny, brilliant, dedicated, and he loved us. We always knew he loved us. He was affectionate and would never hesitate to give us a hug or tell us he loved us. And on the flip side, he was the bad guy when needed. I was sure his hand was as big as a frying pan when I was little. Or at least it felt like it was.

My dad was my first knight in shining armor. I remember being a little girl and just knowing I was going to marry him. Well, I was four, give me a break! But as I grew and started dating, he was the standard all men were measured against. And let me tell ya, he set that bar pretty darn high.

My pop was a big bear of a man, but he was all squishy and loveable on the inside. And a joker. Ohmygosh did he love a good joke. Or to pull a joke on someone, like his friend Mike Tyler. Mike owned a furniture store next door to my dad’s office and they were like-minded in the dry humor department. For grins, one day my dad bought a can of Skoal (disgusting, repulsive stuff), dumped it out and replaced it with chopped up raisins. Dad was a smoker, not a dipper. blech to both. Anyway, so he’s standing around shooting the breeze with Mike and casually pulls the can out of his pocket and proceeds to place a ‘dip’ in his lip, as if this is nothing new and happens every day. Mike’s eyes nearly bugged out of his head and he started in on my dad,

‘What are you doing?’

‘What? what do you mean?’

‘That! You don’t dip!’

‘Sure I do. I just started.’

it goes on for a bit and at some point my dad finally came clean. (I wasn’t actually there to see this, I heard about it later, I’ve inserted what I think may have been said.) But it really happened, we found the can in his desk after he passed.

He had a stubborn streak too, maybe that’s where I get my determination from. When he was in his very early 40’s he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I have a vivid memory of visiting him in the hospital. His tumor caused him to have a seizure commonly called an absence attack. It’s like the lights are on, but no one’s at home. He was driving late at night and had one of these seizures and wrecked his car. This was when the tumor was discovered. The news just kept getting worse. Not only was he in a bad crash, he had a brain tumor on top. My visit to the hospital after his wreck was earth shattering. Here was my Superman, lying in a hospital bed with an oxygen mask, two black eyes, and numerous other cuts and bruises. He wasn’t supposed to look like that. Things like that weren’t supposed to happen to my dad. That was the day I learned that yes, it can happen to me.

Dad went to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for treatment. They did the best they could, but were not able to remove all of the tumor, so he did chemo & radiation. My uncle bought my dad a goofy Tina Turner wig as a gag so he wouldn’t have to be totally bald. That stubborn streak served him well. The doctors told him that the 5 year survival rate for his type of cancer was only about 5%. Which means only 5% of people with that diagnosis live to the 5 year mark, post-diagnosis. What did my dad do? He told the doctors to piss off, they don’t know everything, and they’re sure as hell not gonna tell him when it was time to die. GO DAD! He changed his diet and lifestyle significantly and he did it, he lived, and lived well, for 18 more years.

I don’t know how I would have turned out if he’d listened to the doctors and not made it to the 5 year mark. I was 13 when he had his wreck. Thirteen is an awkward enough age and I was still reeling from my parents divorce when he was given this diagnosis. I am so incredibly thankful that I didn’t have to find out. I am however very sad that my children will never know him and how much fun he could be. How his laugh sounded or how great his hugs were. He always wanted grandchildren. He had big plans to spoil the heck of them and send them home. My oldest was born the year after he died. I tell them about him all the time and what he used to do and the things he loved and enjoyed. Fathers have a profound effect on their children. I just wish that every child was fortunate enough to have a dad like mine. The world would be a much better and  different place.

Even though it’s been thirteen long years, I still miss him terribly and think of him daily. I still talk to him sometimes too. Not as much as I did in the beginning, but I do. Even though it does get easier, you never get over it. The pain is just not quite as raw as it was initially, but it’s still there.

I love you dad.

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Frailty of Life

You know, I never really thought much about it, even though I lost my dad 12 years ago. Life truly is fragile and can be exceedingly short. In the time span of the world, even a person well over 100 is still young. In a million years, 95 or 100 is only really a blink, a wink.

I have been blessed to be able to say that I have not experienced alot of tragedy, trauma or death of people close to me, either family or friends. In my younger days, there were people whom I knew in passing that, in one way or another, were claimed by death at all too early an age. And while it saddened me and reminded me of my own mortality, I didn’t feel the acute pain felt when losing someone who is close to your heart and part of your life.

Becoming a mother really has changed my perspective on the world and on life. When I see an obit of a parent, I feel terribly for the child left behind. The devastation of losing a parent is enormous. And I was an adult when I lost my father. To be a young child and tragically, and/or suddenly, lose a parent must be the worst kind of pain imaginable. To have to learn your way in the world without the guidance of your biggest supporter, your biggest fan and advocate has to be daunting. I know not all parent/child relationships are like that, but in my world they are.

I nearly lost my father when I was 13. He was in a horrific car crash that almost killed him, and when they got to the hospital, it was discovered he had a brain tumor. Being 13 is hard enough as it is, without things like that happening. My world had suddenly shifted on it’s axis and was completely upside down. One minute, everything is fine, he’s driving a babysitter home. The next, we get the dread phone call at midnight. We were very fortunate to have had him with us for nearly 20 more years. I have no idea how my life would’ve turned out without him.

Today, I’m once again slapped in the face with my own mortality. It’s a beautiful January day, the sun is shining, it’s going to be nearly 70 today. Yesterday was a bit rough, but nothing we can’t handle. And then I get the news that a good childhood friend of mine had passed away last night. She’d had surgery in December. She felt like she was progressing in her recovery process. She was upbeat earlier this week about everything. And today she’s gone. How does that happen? We are here, and then we’re not. I am incredibly sad to lose her, but I feel even worse for her daughter, who is my son’s age. That precious girl has to go through pain that no child should ever have to experience at the age of 11. Her husband will now have to raise their daughter alone. Her mother will have to do what every mother fears.

We were good friends in elementary and middle school and drifted apart as we aged, like people do. We had different interests and friends, but we reconnected online. She was a deeply religious person and had overcome her own struggles with drugs and alcohol to become an addiction counselor to help others overcome their inner demons. She was a beacon of hope and love to everyone around her and she will be missed. I hope she knew how many people she helped and how many lives she touched.

We are all angels, clothed in flesh and bone. Life, no matter whose it is, is precious and fragile. Live today like it’s your last day. Share your love and compassion with those around you, strangers included because you never know when it could be their last day.

My other challenge to myself, and to you, don’t just live for now. Live your life in such a  way that when you are gone, you will be remembered for years to come, and not just by family. Make your mark on the world. Become that beacon of hope and love for others, and do it with joy in your heart.

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Dad, Daddy, Father, Papa, Pop, Pere, Padre, Papi……

So many names, so many languages (I didn’t even try any of the Asian characters) to me they all mean the same thing: Love. Strength. Hero. Mentor. Friend.

Yes, this is a day late, just like my dad was. Not that that’s a bad thing, my dad was known to be late on occasion.

It’s Father’s day and I find myself remembering my dad and all the things he taught me growing up. I wish I could spend the day with him, but we lost him nearly 12 years ago to brain cancer. I miss him still. I’m sure I always will. He had an easy laugh, a really dry sense of humor, and gave great hugs. Dad was also very generous, honest to a fault, and compassionate.

God bless him, my dad didn’t have an athletic bone in his body. I think the only sport he ever participated in (if you can call it that) was bicycling, but even that was only for pleasure not competition. Dear old Dad. When I was in 5th grade I think, I decided I wanted to play soccer. The drawback was there was no one to coach our team, so dad, wanting me to have the opportunity to try out a new sport, volunteered even though all he knew about soccer was that it was kick ball. He tried his very best to coach us. The poor guy was put on the spot at the first coaches meeting when they asked what our team name was going to be. Dad and the assistant coach, or co-coach, came up with a really terrifying team name: The Knee Kickers. And yes, I am serious. Can you imagine the fear we instilled in the hearts of our opponents? Yeah, I know, laughter, snickers, and even glee on their faces was closer to the truth. Dad tried his hardest, but we were so terrible, we only scored 1 goal all season. No, that’s not a typo, we scored ONE SINGLE GOAL for that entire season. Knee Kickers indeed. That was apparently all we were kicking then!

Dad was diagnosed with brain cancer when I was 13. Being 13 was traumatic enough, but my parents were divorcing, then came the blow of dad’s cancer. It was hard for me, but being a parent and just a bit older now than he was when he was diagnosed, I know the determination he had to beat the odds and stick around to help mold my brother and me.

Even though as a teenager, I adamantly refused to believe that my parents were not completely mental, I did learn a lot from my dad that has served me well in my adult life.

Professionalism is key, even when you’re just a teenager working in your dad’s office.
Treat people with respect, kindness and compassion, because some day, you may need that from someone else.
Never take anyone for granted, or take advantage of someone.
Honesty is always best, even when it’s painful, it’s easier to remember later than trying to remember what story you told to whom.
Family always comes first.
Find something you love to do and do it.
Don’t be afraid to show and share your emotions.
You can do whatever you want in life if you work hard enough.

If you can’t laugh at yourself, something’s wrong.

Dad had one quality in abundance: determination. Some may have called it stubbornness. I call it determination. He was determined to overcome the cancer and stick around to watch us grow up.

Unfortunately, 12 yrs ago, we got the bad news that the cancer was back and untreatable. He had done his job, we were grown, he was able to walk me down the aisle and present my diploma to me when I graduated chiropractic college and followed him into his profession. I’m sad he never got to meet my children, but i tell them stories about him all the time and show them pictures so they know who he was, even though he didn’t get the opportunity to spoil grandkids like he’s always wanted to.

Dad, never being one who liked being told what to do, decided when it was going to be his time to go, not when someone else decided it was going to happen.

I see a lot of the qualities my dad had, in  my husband. He’s a jokester. He likes to laugh. He’s laid back and easy going and doesn’t lose his temper easily, but when he does, you’d better look out! He works hard to take care of us, and wants our children to have better lives.

This is for all of the dads out there who love their children unconditionally, teach them the things they need to succeed in life, and for the ones who never had the opportunity. You are more influential than you can ever imagine.

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Get the Funk out!

Hey friends. Just wanted to drop a shorty short note and let you know that I haven’t forgotten about you! I forgot my phone number, my address and my kid’s birthday, but not about you! Ha ha! just kidding, mostly.

We are just winding up our school year and it’s crazy how it seems to go faster the closer we get to the end. I don’t get it, it never seemed to work that way when I was a kid!

I’m also dealing with some feelings of nostalgia. A funk, really. My son, my oldest, my most precious first-born is finishing elementary school today. I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. They have been wonderful years and they’re coming to an end. Next year he’s in middle school. And on top of that, we’re putting him in a private middle school, which is um, less than appealing to him. The public school in our district is a very good school, my problem with it is the fact that 14 elementary schools come together in one building for a class of approximately 1100 kids, PER GRADE. In one building. Yeah, can you say ginormous? We don’t want him to fall thru the cracks or feel like he’s not worthy or good enough. The school we’re putting him in has 35 kids in the 5th grade right now, in two classes. It goes thru 8th grade and then feeds to one of three private high schools. It has been a very difficult decision to come to and it’s a serious commitment for the next 7 years and beyond. I think the part of it that’s the hardest for me, besides the end of elementary school, is seeing him unhappy. He so does not want to go. One of his classmates will be going to this school, and he knows a few other kids there (it’s connected to our church in the way that Catholic schools are part of a parish I guess) so it won’t be a sea of unfamiliar faces. I think the reality’s setting in and it’s a major change. Even though I’ve told him it will be a major change either way. Agh, it’s tough being a parent sometimes.

And of course, in the midst of all of these mixed emotions, some numbnuts computer genius managed to get his stupid malware virus on my laptop, so it’s at the IT guy’s right now getting a thorough cleaning. Grr. If those ppl would use their brains for good, think about what a world we’d live in!

So, please forgive me for not posting any new recipes for a bit. I’ll be back next week with some delicious offerings. Think about roasted Vidalia onions, tomatillo salsa verde, and Tuscan chicken to name a few. Come back next week and see what’s new!

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Priorities and Regrets

We all have them. If we didn’t, nothing would ever get done. Priorities are how you arrange your life.  When I was in college, my biggest priority was my next exam or project that was due. I have been teaching my daughter, the first thing she must do when she gets home from school, is finish the homework that is due the next day, before working on the diorama that isnt’ due until the end of next week.

Priorities bring some sort of order to our lives. The things that take precedence over others and must be completed first or get your attention before anything else. When I was younger, work was my priority. I didn’t have much of a love life, so work was what I had. In my college years, my priority was getting the highest grades I could. When I got married, that was kind of a tricky balancing act. I am very fortunate in that my wonderful husband understands the necessity for education and that sometimes, my studies would be more demanding of my time. He never made me feel guilty for spending too much time at the library or studying for mid-terms or boards.

When I became a mother, my children’s well-being and happiness became my priority. So much so, that I put my career on the shelf to devote myself 100% to their upbringing. I wanted to know my children and for them to know me and learn their values and morals from us and not someone who’s only investment in their lives was the $7 an hour they were being paid to watch after them. Family is my first priority, my children, my husband, my extended family. (I do understand that not everyone is able financially to stay home with their children, or want to do it. I do not condemn anyone’s personal choice in that matter, as we are all different.) 

Family is my priority because in the end, they are what matters most. I may lose my home, my car, everything I own, but if I have my family, I’ll be fine.  They may annoy me, drive me insane, make me laugh til I cry, or just flat cry, but they are what matters, above all. Period.  

Other people have other priorities. Sometimes we may think they’re out of whack. For some, it’s a clean house. For them to feel good, their homes must be spotless and Better Homes and Gardens ready at all times. Others, it’s their jobs and climbing the corporate ladder. Or maybe it’s buying the next, greatest tech gadget or newer, bigger, better home.  Material things do not equal happiness. It’s just stuff. Your house/car/media room may be the cleanest, biggest, newest, bestest on the block. But if your family is suffering or unhappy, what’s the point? In the end, what they want is you, not the junk you can buy for them.

I had to have a real difficult heart to heart with my husband a year ago. His boss was demon-spawn and he was working himself silly only to be beaten down every single day. To the point that he was constantly exhausted and didn’t want to do anything with us. I explained that we would be happier if he took a pay cut and was able to spend more time with us. We wanted him, not necessarily that paycheck. Of course, we need a paycheck to live, but we can live with less if it means he’s happier and able to be there for us, physically and mentally. I knew that if things continued on the way they were, eventually, he would regret the time lost to that thankless job and evil boss. His priority was taking care of us, but it was at the expense of the well-being of our family. Thankfully, he was offered a new job working for his former boss, whom he really liked and respected. Yes, it involved a serious pay cut, but the pay off: he’s happier, less stressed, and able to spend time and have fun with all of us.

When I made the decision to give up my career, I did it because I knew if I had the opportunity to be with them when they were little and didn’t do it, I’d regret it when I was older. I don’t want to have any regrets over things I didn’t do. I’d rather look back and say, ‘wow, that wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but I learned from it.’  The regret I do have that I think may be too late to do anything about, I was 2 classes shy of getting my bachelor’s degree. I was mistaken when I thought I had more time to complete those two courses and now I’m too late. I can deal with that more than I could deal with regret over not spending good time with my precious children when they were little. They are the most important things in my life, and I have not regretted a minute of it.

So tell me, what are your priorities? Do you have any regrets?  Do your priorities cause you to miss once-in-a-lifetime events or miss special times with the people who matter most to you? Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate.

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Merry Christmas to all….

I have been a bit MIA of late, and I do apologize. It will be one of my New Year’s Promises to post everything that I’ve been wanting to post. Life has sent me running in circles, chasing my tail of late. I’m hoping that will change after the New Year.

I just wanted to wish you all the merriest of Christmases ever. I hope you are all healthy and well and stay safe during the travel season. Enjoy time with your family and friends. Try not to over indulge too much! or stress out about the ‘perfect gift’. The perfect gift is your presence, kindness and caring toward others. And know that you are all in my prayers.

Merry Christmas and God bless us, every one.

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