When I think of keeping calm, I always remember the Friends episode where Monica gets all twirly because of her parents’ upcoming visit. With frantic pillow fluffing and excessive dusting, Monica scrambles to make the apartment “perfect.” Of course it will never be “perfect” according to her mother. Monica should not have wasted worry on the impending storm of her mother’s scrutiny, but rather saved her energy for riding out the blasts of criticism and then felt the blissful relief of seeing her mother go back to Long Island.
Just as Monica worked herself into a tizzy over the visit of her parents, my daughter got all twirly on us last week. We were preparing for our annual Memorial Day bar-b-que. My daughter inherited my worrying gene and did not sleep much the night before because she could not stop fretting over the details of the event. By “details” I mean she was worried about the kids fighting over shovels in the new pea-gravel we added around the swing set. Fighting over shovels was just too much for my sweet girl to bear at the first party of summer. In spite of our frequent reminders to just enjoy the day, she was consumed with worry over the rumblings of potential fights. Fortunately, most of the kids did not even pay attention to the shovels, and, once her friends arrived, my twirly girl left her thundering thoughts behind. Continue reading “The Storm Will Pass – Wise Words Wednesday”
Less than three sips into my first glass of New Years Eve wine, I knocked over the entire cup in a fit of excitement to show my “good” coat to a friend. The wine flowed right on over to the corner of a jacket laying on the table. It was NOT my coat. AAAHHHH!
I quickly wiped the coat off and dried up the table.
Then the worry set in.
I HAD to find the owner of the coat.
What if it was their “good” coat?
What if they yelled at me?
What if they told everyone I was a raving drunk, who destroyed their coat and any hopes of a happy new year? (I may be exaggerating, but I really was worried.)
I asked everyone I saw if the coat was thiers, but had no luck locating its owner.
I was just about to trudge the walk of shame to the front of the dance and kindly ask the amazing band singer if I could borrow his microphone. I needed to find the owner of that coat. As I went back to grab the coat, the cutest, little brunette was getting something from the purse next to THE COAT.
Continue reading “Spilling into 2018”
“I don’t care what they think.”
“Who do they think they are? Judging me?”
“Seriously, why do they think they are better than me?”
How often do we find ourselves making these snarky statements?
Our rhetoric for these loaded comments usually shows itself when we feel like someone does not like us or something we do. We immediately go on the defensive and throw down the I-don’t-care-what-you-think-of-me jargon, but inside we are battling the why-don’t-they-like-me fight.
Some of the snarkiest people I have ever met are also some of the most insecure individuals I have known. To inflate their self-perception, they preach a degrading dialogue about anyone they think they bring down. The problem with this kind of judging is that the hurtful words usually become flames in the fire of burning bridges for future friendships and work experiences.
Let me give you a for instance: When I was in college I worked for an entertainment retailer. My job included working in the book department, the cafe, and training new employees. I loved that job. There was one associate, who we will call Adam. Adam did a nice job on register and worked well with customers on the floor. He eventually made it to the ranks of shift manager. After becoming a shift manager, for whatever reason, Adam gradually became unhappy with the company. He put in his two weeks notice. One night while closing the store, I overheard him tell another associate that he never comes to work for his last day at any job. Well, I knew what was coming and planned to come in the day of his last shift. We were going to be short a manager. Continue reading “Don’t Worry…They are Struggling Too”
Monday the electric company cut down our pear tree.
It was not just any pear tree.
My babies and my nieces and nephews all ate canned pears from that tree when they were too young to eat the fresh pears. It was our safe spot in case of fire or evacuation when we lived in the old farm house. Countless pears from that tree were given as gifts to friends and neighbors. For 6 six years, Peters’ Pears were delivered for Letter “P” Show-and-Share Day at Miss Kim’s daycare. That tree was the first place we let our kids go to “alone” after we built our new house. (It is just up the driveway, but far enough away to feel like freedom.) When my children came home after a stressful day at school, I would often let them take a break to pick pears and de-stress as they ate the fresh fruit and walked the distance to and from that fruit-filled tree. Watching deer eat the fallen pears was always a fun pastime.
The only downfall to that tree was it stood 13 feet from the power line and the required distance was 15 feet. Even though it has never grown (and probably would never grow) tall enough to touch the lines, those two feet cost us our tree. Continue reading “Sometimes the Answer is “No.””
“The Serenity Prayer” is one that I pray a lot. By “a lot” I mean, I have seriously considered tattooing it to my forearm because it is that much a part of my day.
Recently I found “The OTHER Serenity Prayer” on Pinterest.
It goes like this:
God, grand me the serenity to stop beating myself up for
not doing things perfectly,
the courage to forgive myself because I am working on doing better, and the wisdom to know that you already love me just the way I am.
What a perfect prayer!
If you feel like you are struggling with your own imperfections, say this prayer for yourself.
If there is someone in your life who could use a reminder that we are all works in progress, please share this with them.
I am grateful for the wisdom and understanding this prayer brings. Bring it to someone you love, especially yourself.
Serenity is gained one forgiving, loving moment at a time. Take the time to love and forgive yourself and spread the same grace to those you meet.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Serenity cannot be found until we discover love.
Tripping over your own feet. Accidentally shooting yourself with water at a water fountain. Noticing your zipper is unzipped or a shirt button is in the wrong hole. Forgetting someone’s names as you greet them.
These are small but impactful mistakes. It isn’t really the mistake that makes the failure; it’s our attitude. Our “Oops” are only failures, if we allow others to witness us wallowing in our faux pas.
When we make mistakes, we provide ourselves with jumping off points for humor, improvement, and growth.
While we may never stop tripping over our own feet and we can NEVER control the pressure of some water fountains, we can control how we prevent failure from being part of our self-perception.
When we do something right, we LOVE witnesses of our greatness. When we make a mistake, witnesses are worse than the error itself. The truth of the matter is witnessing success is not nearly as powerful as witnessing the triumph of overcoming a potentially fantastic failure.
My children witness me making some pretty terrible mistakes. These massive mistakes allow me the opportunity to show what it looks like to make an “Oops” into an “Oh yeah!” It’s totally okay is they see me fail at an attempt, it’s not okay to let them see me defeated. (I am not saying it’s not okay to suffer a defeat now and then, we just can’t remain defeated.) Every time I wipe out, it is important for them to see me get wipe myself off and try again (sometimes the mistake warrants trying something new all together). Allowing others to see us move on makes that mistake a victory.
If you find yourself in an “Oops” situation, acknowledge the “Oops” and give any witnesses the opportunity to say “Oh yeah!” as you find a successful way on to the next attempt or adventure. Don’t let them witness failure. Give them a front row ticket to the fabulous fortune in your endeavors.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. I tell myself that I make a lot of mistakes so that I can make a lot of successes. You tell yourself whatever it takes to make your failures into victories. 😉
Every night when I go to bed my mind floods with the shortcomings of my day. Most of the time my distractions stem from my own mistakes. The snippy words barked at my children in frustration. The letter I forgot to send. The phone call that I meant to make. The laundry in the washing machine never made it to the dryer. Did I feed the dog?
If I let my mistakes run rampant, my mind never lets me sleep. The only consolation I find is in the knowledge that I am basically good. Yeah, I am weak. Yes, I am full of mistakes. But, for the most part, I am basically good. Continue reading “Basically good…like everybody else”
Attitudes get a bad wrap. It isn’t the attitude’s fault that we got grounded. It isn’t the attitude’s fault that we got the speeding ticket. It isn’t the attitude’s fault that we were misunderstood and left out in the cold to lick our wounds.
Why you ask?
Well, attitudes don’t choose us. We choose the attitude.
Just as we blame a tire for going flat, it isn’t the tire’s fault we drove over a nail or broken glass. It isn’t the tire’s fault that we drove it until the tread wore too thin. It isn’t the tire’s fault that your husband likes to gawk and spends more time driving on the rumble strips along that highway than he does between the yellow lines. 😉
Just as a tire that is neglected becomes flat, so do our attitudes.
I was in danger of suffering from flatitude when people started texting on cell phones. I wanted nothing to do with texting. I found it annoying, lazy, and a depreciation of the communication between members of the human race. My attitude towards texting was downright hostile. Continue reading “A Flat Attitude or “Flatitude””
There are days I really wish I had an instruction manual for life. There are days that I think I should write an instruction manual for how to NOT live. There are days that I am pretty sure I am not smart enough to follow an instruction manual (if I had one) to save my life.
We all feel this way sometime.
The best part of our imperfection is that we all suffer from it.
Our mistakes are part of the human condition and they are tools for personal growth.
The three steps to surviving imperfection are as follows:
(Unofficial Instruction Guide for Life)
- Be able to laugh at your mistakes
- Be able to learn from your mistakes
- Forgive yourself for making mistakes
Continue reading “Lacking Instruction – Wise Words Wednesday”