Happy Anniversary to Me

It has been a long time since I’ve written anything. The weeds had taken over my site and caution or wisdom or fear has taken over my creativity. But I’m back.

I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been gone. Some things I’ll talk about in the weeks to come.

There are certain events that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. I remember the birth of each of my children. I remember my three graduations. I completed my masters degree in August. I remember making the drill team in high school and crossing over in my sorority. I remember my wedding day and looking into the eyes of my friends and family as I walked down the stairs. But today I celebrate the day my divorce was finalized.

It wasn’t actually on this day, it was March 18, 2010.

After two years of going to court, arguing at home (we lived in the same house during those two years) and trying to keep it together for the kids, my life changed for what I consider the best half decade of my life.

Happy fifth anniversary to me.

A life time of things can happen in five years. It wasn’t easy. I cried a lot in the beginning. Divorce is like a death. It was the death of dream, a hope, a promise and so many other things. I mourned my past, my current and my future. It was life altering to say the least.

My days and nights are completely different than they were before the divorce. My prayer was to make it through the day with out a major or even minor argument. I lived in self-doubt and solitude. Nobody knew the depth of my sorrows. I hid it quite well. I’m sure my eyes told the story and the smile that never found its way to my lips spoke loud and clear.

But today, I’m celebrating. I’m not having anything formal or doing anything special but in my heart I’m celebrating. I’m celebrating the new me. I didn’t get plastic surgery or buy the Jaguar I’ve always wanted but I have more peace than I’ve ever had. When I say ever, I mean ever. I work for a great company. I have wonderful supportive family and friends and the loves of my life are healthy, growing and thriving. What else is there? 

I wake up in the morning expecting to have a great day and go to bed thankful. 

Happy anniversary to me!

Acceptance

How many times have you been in a situation be it job, home, school or an outing with friends and felt like you were not accepted?
There is a song out by Macklemore and Lewis. The title is Same Love. The song is about accepting gays but this post is about acceptance in general. One part of the song says, “I can’t change even it I tried, even I wanted to…” I have fallen in love with this song because of those 11 words. It’s an acceptance of my reality. It’s an acceptance of who I am and an acceptance of who you are. No, I’m not coming out of the proverbial closet, I am pulling out my soapbox and tapping the microphone. I have something to say.
One day I was sitting around with a group of stay at home mom friends, they were talking about being little girls thinking about what they wanted to do when they grew up. Almost all of them said they wanted to become mommies. When it was my turn to share, I said I wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice with a nanny. When I’m hanging with my core group of friends, they are all business majors, I am a psychology major. We don’t necessarily think the same or approach the a problem the same. I recently moved to a new department at work. I am surrounded by accountants. Again, I am a psychology major. Acceptance.
Is it just me? No it’s not. It’s you too. I’m not inviting people to a pity party. I am inviting you to become more aware of how your beliefs and actions affect those around you. I am asking you to pay attention to others and accept them where they are at this moment in time. How much fun would life be if everybody was the same? I never said we can’t grow or be flexible, I am learning about journal entries. But the core of who I am is who I am. To be perfectly honest, I love me. Acceptance.
My two youngest children attend a charter school. They wear uniforms and this year, the administrators are enforcing vague dress code policies that address hair styles. They are creating an atmosphere of sameness. Their thoughts are the more the children are the same, the fewer the distractions. Fewer distraction equal higher learning and test scores right? Not according to the school’s official records with the state. My thought is give the children an opportunity to be uniquely them. Education is not just academics it’s about the whole person.
If I walked up to you and said step into this box and remain in it for the rest of your life, would you? Okay, the rest of your life is along time, how about for six years? Six months? Would you survive six days? If I gave you some boxes and said your job is to recruit people to live in these boxes, would you? I hope not.
Let me ask you, why do you feel like your religion is better? Why do you spend your time attempting to condemn mine, recruit me into yours or kill me if I don’t convert? Why do you spend your day trying to force people to become your clone? What makes your way the best? Why do you care who somebody else loves? Why do I need to dress like you? What’s wrong with tattoos and non conforming hairdos? Why can’t my daughter wear mismatched socks and my son march to the beat of his own drum? Arrogance? Not acceptance.
One of the first classes I took, when I started my master’s degree journey, was about diversity in the classroom. The book said, we are no longer a melting pot where everybody jumps in, loses their identity, gives up their names, forgets their culture and denies their heritage in order to be the same. We are now or should be progressing toward becoming a salad bowl. Each person is unique and appreciated for what the bring individually. Together, we are no longer an unidentifiable soup but a vibrant, colorful, life giving source. Acceptance.
You see, “I can’t change even it I tried, even I wanted to…”

The Crutch

Lean on me til you can walk on your own
I am a temporary solution to a broken situation
Depend on me cause I am here
I will hold you up until you can stand by yourself
Let me help you
Cause it’s what I do
I will remind you that you are weak
And without me you may fall
I am your crutch
I am the thing you despise
I am the thing you need
I am a constant reminder that you are imperfect
When you heal let me go
Keep me in a closet
You never know when you will need me again
I am not your walking stick
That’s seems permanent
I am a here for now not the long run
I can never be your friend
You can trust me but my goal is to leave you one day
I am your crutch
I am meant to become a part of your past
Don’t idolize me
Don’t immortalize me
Don’t pretend I am anything more than your crutch
Lean on me
Only because you are not strong
But the thing about being a crutch is that I can’t stand alone
I need you to give me value and worth
Without you or someone like you, I am useless
I am a constant reminder of what was
I am a useless tool when you are healed
I can only hope to find another to need me
I am a crutch

The Enabler vs The Supporter

What is the difference between a person who enables and one who supports? Can they be one in the same? When I think of an enabler, I immediately have a negative connotation. I haven’t done any official research but in my mind and experience, enabler goes hand in hand with someone who helps another person with bad habits. Supporter is someone who is there for you and assists with getting you through a tough time. But again I ask, can they be one in the same at the same time?

Push through, ride it out the other side is victory
Let it ride, take a break, what difference will one more make
You can do it! I believe in you
I understand you don’t have it in your right now
You have been through a lot, keep your head up, you can do this
You have been through a lot, nobody expects you to exceed at everything
Life is hard but tomorrow is a new day
I know it’s not easy why don’t you take a break

It seems we need both in our lives depending on the situation. Sometimes we need someone to hold our hands and look the other way when we are not at our best and cannot find the energy to go on. Other times we need a relentless person in our lives that will push or pull us towards the goal.

Sticks and Stones

I’m sure you are familiar with the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” By a show of hands, how many of us know this is not true? The words do hurt and bruise and scar. The wounds go deep. Unlike a topical bruise, you can’t see the progression of the healing. You can’t bandage it or kiss it to make it better.
Will you accept a challenge from me? I challenge you to give a meaningful compliment or say a kind word to one person a day for the next 7 days. Then do the same for two people for the following 7 days.
Say you are sorry when you hurt someone with your words. Say it with meaning. Then try your very best not to hurt them again.

Ice Breaker- Labeling

I recently facilitated a workshop for my team. After reading a blog, my sincerest apologies in advance for not remembering which blog I saw the attached video, I incorporated the video into and Ice Breaker. If I figure it out, I will post the credits.
Why don’t you play along as I describe what I did.
You will need a bottle or cup of water.
Take a label or marker and write one word on the bottle or label. Attach the label to the water bottle or cup.
Watch the video…

My question to my team after watching the video is would you drink the water you just labeled? Most of the team said they would.
Then we had a series of questions and comments. One person asked whether or not a tattoo would have the same effects on us as a label would on a bottle of water. Something to think about.

My Record

waffles
I made those lovely waffles you see above. Due to some technical difficulties with my waffle iron, I burned them. While I plated them, this conversation occurred:
Me- Oh No! I forget the sensor is broken on the waffle iron
Honeygirl (my daughter)- That’s okay, I’ll eat them
Me- Don’t worry about it I have more batter
Honeygirl- I love your waffles, it doesn’t matter if they are burnt or not, you make great waffles
Me- thinking, I’m glad I have a good track record

Question to contemplate for the day, does your track record provide confidence or doubt when you make a mistake?