This post may make me sound crazier than usual, but it is something I have contemplated for a while now.
Do you have a time of day where you find yourself looking at the clock at the exact same hour and minute each day?
Well, I do.
That time is 12:34.
When I Googled the quandary of looking at the same time every day, there were lots of hits. Most people, it seems, feel the clock is always on 9:11 or 11:11 when they check it. Some believe this is an ominous sign of things to come or possibly an apocalyptic foreshadowing. I’m not sure I believe that to be the case, but, hey, it’s a free world. Continue reading “12:34 – Do You Have a Time Like This?”
While I know there is a time and a place to run for your life, I also believe that there are many more times to rise and fight for your existence.
While FOMO (fear of missing out) isn’t really my thing, FOMM (fear of making mistakes) is a HUGE issue for me.
I continually find myself seeking sanity, control over my OCD, and much needed R&R. My attention span could use some serious CPR and there are definitely times when my self-esteem is MIA.
Here’s the beauty of this post. When confidence, intent, and positivity are AWOL, always remember there is F.E.A.R.
Face Everything And Rise.
Continue reading “Fear the Acronym – Wise Words Wednesday”
Recently, we said good-bye to my husband’s Grandma Dorothy. I am proud to say that I had many opportunities to spend time with her and loved her very much. She will be greatly missed for her kind smile, beautiful quilts, and delicious monster cookies.
One of the things I admired most in Grandma Dorothy was her unwavering willingness to listen and learn about the lives of those for whom she cared. In any conversation, Grandma would always listen and then say, “Is that right?,” with a smile, smirk, or frown (She also wasn’t one to hide her feelings well).
She never let her ninety years of experience get in the way of understanding what was helping, hurtful, exciting, or enhancing to the lives of those around her. Grandma openly accepted that people are different and that the relationships we build are ones that deserve attention, nurturing, or closure because that’s how we grow.
Sitting on her couch the afternoon of Grandma’s passing, I couldn’t help but glance at the rocker that had been so frequently filled by her and ached to hear Grandma say those words, “Is that right?”
As children always do, mine provided great comfort, insight, distraction, and healing through the process of Grandma’s visitation and funeral. The night after her funeral, I said extra prayers with each kiddo in Grandma’s honor. As we wrapped up our devotions, my daughter said, “Mom, I heard that when you pray a Hail Mary, an Our Father, and a Glory Be someone from purgatory goes to heaven. Is that right?” Continue reading ““Is That Right?” – Never Leave Behind a Willingness to Understand”
The farm has taught me many lessons. One lesson that will forever stick with me is the idea that a bucket can’t carry itself.
Why, you might ask, would a bucket’s inability to carry itself be a lesson of any value to anyone?
Well, it all started in a calf barn.
When I was 4 years old, the farmer my father worked for gave me a feed scoop. It was orange, plastic, and had a Purina logo embossed in the handle. The purpose of the scoop was to fill the stainless steel bowls that were mounted on the front of each calf’s stall. My purpose for having that scoop was so I could be the filler of those bowls.
I was elated. Those calves were the best part of the farm in my 4-year-old mind. I loved how they smelled like sour milk and straw. I giggled non-stop at the way they sucked on my fingers. I cried when they were sick or when it was time to move them out to pasture with the larger calves. I was proud to be their caregiver.
There was just one problem.
The bucket my father filled with feed weighted more than I did. The task of feeding those sweet, spotted calves was a tough one because I often spilled feed going from bucket to stall and back again. Spilled feed is almost worse than spilled milk, but I wasn’t supposed to cry about either.
I soon became discouraged when my father would lose patience over my slow progress and pick up that burdensome bucket to deftly pour just the right amount of feed into the remaining bowls without so much as spilling one kernel of corn.
Why couldn’t I carry that bucket that way?
Nothing frustrated me more than not being big enough to do a job. My father knew this.
One day I noticed the bucket wasn’t quite full. After a scoop or two, I tested my luck. With some effort I was able to pull it closer to my sweet calves and didn’t have to truck those precious scoops of feed quite so far. I was doing it! I was carrying the bucket! Continue reading “That Bucket’s Not Going to Carry Itself”
Be Like the Aspen
Aspens grow in tightly bunched groves on mountainsides and in rocky, hilly areas. They grow closely together because aspens are not a singular tree but rather a system of trees connected by roots to form one organism.
Their root systems provide them with stability and sustenance. Those roots keep them clinging to the steepest hillsides and standing up to the most treacherous terrains and storms.
We are kind of like the aspen.
Not one of us can exist to our fullest potential alone.
We are not able to fend off everything that comes our way if we stand alone. There isn’t one of us that can make it through life successfully without the support of another.
Just like the aspen, we grow best when we grow together. We need to help support those around us. We can nurture and sustain one another by sharing what we have. Helping others grow taller because of our own gifts is the best way to reach our highest heights.
I encourage you to remember we are like the aspen.
Put your energy and positivity into building a strong support system and working together to weather the storms of life.
Stand tall, give support, stay connected.
Be like the aspen.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. I’m not telling you to make like a tree and leave. I’m telling you be like a tree, well, a bunch of trees. Trees that share roots. You get what I’m saying. Be like the aspen.
That whole put-on-a-smile all day, every day thing is exhausting.
There are plenty of days when I feel like my smiles are used up before I even get out of bed.
Earlier this week, I channeled my inner Dolly Parton when someone asked my how I can stay so positive when people can be such jerks sometimes.
All I could do was quote Dolly, “I’m not happy all the time, and I wouldn’t want to be because that would make me a shallow person. But I do try to find the good in everybody.”
I’m not gonna lie. This week was a doozy. We lost a good friend to an automobile accident, learned the illness of another friend had progressed for the worse, and that we will lose our sweet uncle very soon. Students gave pitiful excuses. My children couldn’t seem to get along at all. It was a doozy.
Before I had to channel Dolly’s words of wisdom, I really was in a funk. A coworker called me out on it and so I dropped the shallow happiness quote on them.
We can’t be happy all the time.
We don’t like everyone all the time.
It is darn near impossible to find the silver lining all the time, but it is always possible to turn things around by finding one good thing in ourselves or those surrounding us. Continue reading “Shallow Happiness”
After a particularly difficult weekend of parenting, I confided in my friend Joy that I felt like my child’s irrational behavior seemed to be a reflection of a parenting fail on my part.
My child could not accept that they had to stick to their commitments. (Never mind the fact that they had cried, begged, swore on their grave that this was the ONE thing they were born to do and HAD to do it or their pitiful life was over.)
Now there was a new, “I’m gonna die if I don’t do this” thing and I was officially the “meanest, most unfair mom ever.” (Exact words of my child.)
The words didn’t bother me. The anger behind them did.
I wasn’t as worried about the fact that they thought I was being mean; it was the fact that my child was so quick to change passions in the blink of an eye.
Joy pointed out that maybe there was some regret there. My child now saw a new opportunity and regretted making the previous choice. My friend shared that her kids had demonstrated similar behavior and accused her of “forcing” them to do the very things she knew they loved. In her kind and wise way, Joy said, “I think sometimes they (the kids) have regrets and they use it as anger towards us, but it’s not okay for them to be angry with us for what they regret.”
WOW! Continue reading “Regret as Anger ?!?!”
“You approached it like it was heavy, so it was.”
In the past I have written about my struggles with laundry. Laundry and I have a tumultuous relationship. The laundry tumults and I trip over it and fuss about having to fold it. My kids’ relationship with those baskets of socks, shorts, and shirts is way more tragic than mine.
Each day my children are given chores. Nothing too crazy. They are to do things like empty the dishwasher, take out the trash, and clean off the table, but this past weekend my boys were to fold the socks. As far as sock piles go, this one was definitely more of a mole hill than a mountain.
It took my 8 year-old and 6 year-old almost two hours to fold approximately 20 pairs of socks.
It was ugly.
Hubby had to threaten. I had to physically remove every electronic device, every pillow and blanket, and some small furniture from the living room so they could do their job.
When the 2nd hour loomed and I had better things to do than wait for socks to be folded, I set the kitchen timer for 5 minutes.
If the socks were not folded, sorted, and delivered to their respective rooms in those 5 minutes, there would be NO internet, TV, Legos, baseball, or fishing for a week. Continue reading “The Heavy Approach”
We all have had times when we felt like everyone was laughing at us (and not in a good way). It feels terrible. It alienates us. It is not what anyone deserves.
Jose and his smile definitely brighten the day.
In one of my Oral Communications classes, my student Jose shared a powerful statement based on the personal strength he discovered in himself after years of feeling like the “eternal punchline.”
Jose is Mexican-American, hard-working, and a super talented speaker. He is not a traditional student in that he is not “fresh” out of high school, but he is most definitely a refreshing addition to his program and to all those he encounters.
The Oral Communications course is designed to bring awareness to interpersonal differences and strengthen communication skills. With most of the chapters in our text, I ask students to write a personal reflection on the content or how it applies to their own experiences. Chapter 6 is on unfair judgement and bias. I asked my students to share their thoughts on a time when they experienced bias in their own personal lives and how it has affected the way they communicate with or view others.
Jose’s response was so honest and so powerful, I had to read it a few times to wrap my head around his pragmatic approach to the unfair way others (even his closest friends) have spoken to or of him. Continue reading “The “Eternal Punchline””