Sunday, April 19, 2015

Packaging

Awhile back, I was in charge of getting the drinks for Lindley's "Frozen" birthday party. The Pinterest page that we were (sorta) following listed various drink mixes. I promptly went to the store and grabbed this container of Kool-Aid mix.  It was the exact color of blue to match Elsa's (and Lindley's) dress. Perfect, right?

Whoa Nellie - or Anna and Elsa. When I began to squirt the liquid into the pitcher of water, guess what color came out? Red!  I probably should have read that this container was full of Fruit Punch, which of course would be red. And I probably should have noticed the cherry on the front, which was again, red. But no, I saw blue and grabbed it. The first impression of the packaging had nothing to do with what was inside.

And so it is with people. I regularly read a few blogs written by women and their weight-loss journeys. All are experiencing varying degrees of success. But lately they have been exploring the idea of first finding satisfaction with who they really are inside before tackling the weight issues. Because they know they have to have a contentment within before all else.

I've been skinny and fat and everything in between. And I've noticed and experienced how people meet and treat people of varying sizes. People who are fit and pretty have more people initiate conversation than those who are not. People are preliminarily judged by what's on the outside without delving a little deeper to see what's on the inside. And most of the time, the inside is the best part.

We didn't use the Tropical Punch mix at the party. But since then, I've used it quite often. And I've enjoyed it and its red color. And maybe I'll remember this the next time I encounter someone who's out of shape or skinny or dirty or talking to himself or asking for a handout. Because there's always more than what I'm seeing on the outside. I just need to stop and take the time to find it out.
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Today is a gift because: Steve's safe travel home from GDizzle's; Marilyn and friends' safe travels back to their respective homes; lovely afternoon nap

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Shopping Tips

When going shopping, it's important to remember the essentials:

1. Always carry a fashionable purse (pocketbook for you Southerners). It's handy for money, chapstick, and crayons.

2. Don't forget colored paper. And scissors. Because you never know when you might have to practice your cutting skills.

3. Wear your princess shirt. And boots. Because being cute automatically negates any potential "no's" you might encounter.

4. And finally, ALWAYS, ALWAYS take along a LaLa and Aunt Moo. Their resistance goes quickly and pretty soon you can fill the cart full of good stuff!!
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Today is a gift because: Everley and Molly Target time

Friday, April 17, 2015

Get Away From The Edge!!


So maybe I've been spending a little too much time lately watching the eaglets in their nest.  But they amaze me and keep me entertained. They're growing and it's fascinating - to me, anyway.

As they are growing and getting bigger, they are also getting more active and mobile. And sometimes they are getting awfully close to the edge of their nest.

It seems that Mama Eagle and Daddy Eagle have built a pretty good barrier on the edges of the nest. And I guess they've had the talk with the eaglets about not getting too close to the edge. But whenever I tune in, I always fight the urge to yell, "GET AWAY FROM THE EDGE!!" whenever I think they're too close. And I wonder if Mama Eagle gives them a stern talking to if she comes back and sees them right at the edge.

One day it will be time for them to get to the edge and fly away. Mama and Daddy Eagle will be sure that they are ready. The eaglets will be grown and healthy and ready to make their own way in the world. And however it happens, the eaglets will walk to the edge, take one more step, and take flight, ready to make their own lives.

As I watch the eagles and anticipate their futures, I can't help but think of my own kids. How, as they were little, I was always watching for them to insure they didn't get too close to the edge. And how I kept trying to prepare them as they grew. And how each, in his and her own time, eventually grew up, walked to the edge, and flew away. I was happy and sad and relieved and scared, all at the same time.

And yet, even though my children are grown and making their own nests in this world, I wonder if Mama Eagle and I share the same thoughts. Will Mama Eagle be like me, still watching those eaglets long after their gone, still watching as they make their own way? Will she still be watching as they encounter new challenges and risks? Will she still be close by, ready to swoop in should danger present itself?  Will she still be watching to make sure they don't get close to any edge that would mean harm?

Baby eaglets, like our children, will grow up. They will learn to use their wings and fly. But we'll always be close, watching for those edges, just in case we're needed.
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Today is a gift because:  I had a quiet day doing a lot of nothing!!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Aren't You Proud?

Throughout my children's lives, people have sometimes asked me, "Aren't you proud of him/her?" And I always struggle with an answer. It's not because I'm not proud of my super-talented, brilliant, wonderful, awesome children. It's because I don't understand the question.

First of all, if there was an accomplishment, it was theirs. And the pride belongs to them, for accomplishing a goal. I'm happy and in awe and thrilled and impressed, but is proud a word I wish to add?

Maybe I don't want to add the word proud because I also don't want to add the word "disappoint." If my child failed in some way, would someone ask me if I were disappointed? Again, it's not my attempt at something and maybe not succeeding. I would be sad with them and comforting and empathetic, but not disappointed. Because if I were, then for me, it would mean I expected something that I didn't receive. And the bottom line is that it's not my expectations that are important - it's my child's.

Maybe it's because of all that baggage from yesteryear. You know, the "pride goeth before a fall" and pride being one of the seven deadly sins. Maybe that's what gets into my head whenever someone asks me if I'm proud.

And maybe I didn't let my children know enough how happy I was with them - that I was blessed because of who they were. Maybe I didn't praise them enough for their accomplishments. Maybe I should have said it loud, that I was indeed proud. Or maybe I was afraid that earning my pride would become their goal instead of achieving their own personal dreams.

But I think I know what I wish I would have said then, and will say from now on. When asked if I'm proud of my children, I will simply say, "I think they're awesome." Because they are, no matter what.
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Today is a gift because: Everley time; Ogles safe arrival in town; Marilyn and buds safe arrival in town; Molly's veggie lasagna for lunch

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Perspective

Recently I've had another one of those experiences where I think to myself, "Wait - I've already done this/been through this/seen this already." It's sort of that deja vu experience but not. And technically the details about the experience were basically the same - the only change was me.

I was different because in this same situation, I was playing a different role. Instead of the victim I was the protagonist. Or instead of the protagonist I was the innocent bystander. Or instead of the innocent bystander, I was an accomplice. I was there in the same experience, but it was different because I was not in the same position.

And so I learned a lesson about perspective. I learned that circumstances may be the same, but how I view the circumstances are different. And that makes the whole picture different.

Now I can empathize with those other roles. I can understand where they're coming from because I was in that role once. Maybe it's different because I'm watching the whole thing happen to someone I care about. Maybe I'm the protagonist who is causing causing the issue and now I understand the impact on the victim. Maybe I was the one mouthing off about something I never really understood - until now.

Maybe that's why perspective could be a synonym for empathy. Maybe by stopping to look at things from the perspective of someone else, can we really understand that person's actions. And maybe we can learn how to handle the same circumstance when it happens again - as it invariably will.

Perspective - it doesn't mean that everyone's right in any situation. It just means that maybe you weren't as right as you thought you were.

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Today is a gift because: Everley time; Lindley time; cleaner dude but not ...