Happy New Year!?

Question

How many days into the new year do we stop saying, “Happy New Year”? Sometime after the 3rd it started feeling awkward to me but then I decided that maybe it was appropriate for people you hadn’t seen or spoken to just yet. But I’m not really sure. Is this a question for Miss Manner or Amy?

If you haven’t been told by anyone lately, Happy New Year. I sincerely hope your year is filled with joy, peace, love, abundance and the ability to endure the difficult times.

Be well, healthy and whole.

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Happy Valentines Day and Singles Awareness Day (2/15)

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The teenager approached me last week and said, “Valentine’s Day is just not what it used to be.” We always treated Valentines Day like a major holiday. I would decorate the house with hearts and quotes or scripture that depicted love. I bought ballons and decorated the dining room table with flowers for the honey girl and plates, napkins and a centerpiece. Leading up to the day I put love notes in their lunch boxes. But this year we only put the sign on the door. We pulled out the box but I realized that some decorations were missing or in bad shape.

The Fantastic 4 are with their dad this morning. There are no table decorations or balloons. Not yet. I think I will make a last minute run to the store like so many others to make this day special for them and our two friends who are spending the night with us so their parents can have a night out.

This day is hard for a lot of single people or people who thought they had a special person in their lives. This is the day that seperates the main squeeze from the side kick. This is the day people look at their lives and feel bad if they don’t receive flowers, a card, a box of candy, a text message, a tweet or some type of acknowledgement that they are loved. I don’t have words of comfort to offer you. But I will say I have been there.

Happy Valentines Day to all of you. Reach out to someone else and send them a bouquet of virtual flowers or just say “hi, I’m thinking about you.” Make this day and other days about somebody else. If you give it will be given back to you. Call it karma or the Golden Rule. But it works.

Oh my gosh!! If I see another post on Facebook about what a real man will do, I might just scream. Have you seen them? A real man will: change, love you better, not do this or become that. So many women jump on the “what a real man will do” train and give virtual high fives to author of the posts. I question personally whether or not the author’s of the post have ever met a “real man”.

Perhaps I’m hypersensitive because I have three real men in the making in my household. Here is my list of things that will increase the probability of you or your daughter getting a “real man”.

1. Take a spiritual, emotional, physical and mental inventory of yourself. Where are you hurting? What is lacking in your own life? Where does your healing need to occur? What kind of wife, friend or mother of his children will you become?

2. Ask yourself why would you consider being with a man who needs to change? I know everybody has room to change but why would you knowingly enter into a relationship with a man who has a long list of things you think he should change? I can hear you saying, I just want him to stop cheating, drinking, smoking, cursing, hitting me, doing drugs, calling me names, divorce his wife, pray more, dress differently, rub my feet daily, give me money, get or keep a job and start going to church. What’s wrong with that? I can’t say anything is wrong with it on the surface but go back to #1 and ask yourself why are you dating the type of man who doesn’t currently meet your standards and you might find the real change should occur in you. (side note, if you don’t have any standards go back to # 1 and create some when you are done with your inventory)

3. Stop giving ultimatums.Who decided it was a good idea to give ultimatums? Let’s take a quick poll, how many of you stuck to the action you threatened to take if he did not change? How many ultimatums have you given? When are you going to actually leave or stop tolerating the rest of the things that are on your list?

4. Ask yourself, what do I bringing to the table? I mean that literally and figuratively. I have a young male relative who is in his 20’s. A female asked him his name and he asked her if she could fry chicken. I laughed out loud when first heard about that conversation. He refused to give her his name if she couldn’t fry chicken. I know some of you are rolling your eyes and shaking your head but I’m giving him a fist bump because he has requirements and isn’t willing to compromise, give ultimatums or enter a relationship that doesn’t meet his expectations. What are you offering other than your body and the privilege of being in your presence? I am not just taking about material possessions.

5. Are you willing to change? Are you willing to become the person he needs so he will want to come home and love being there? Are you ready to stop complaining, nagging, manipulating and whining? Are you willing to cook, be his friend and not his mother, compliment and encourage him?

6. Be patient. Desperation doesn’t look good on anybody. I know you are ready to find Mr. Right and begin a life with him. He’s looking for you.  Keep doing #1 until he finds you.

My ex and I are doing the very best we can to raise men who will become good husbands. I am sure a woman will come along some day and tell them all the things they need to change. I will be there to tell them, if she can’t accept who you are today she is going to make you miserable tomorrow.

Looking for Mr. Real Man

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What do you give the person who has everything but still complains?

Perhaps a mirror so they can see themselves
Maybe a recording device so they can listen to themselves whine
How about a crystal ball so they can see the future is bright
How about a trip to a third world country
Or a peek into the room of a single person who is feeling alone and depressed
A visit to a cancer patient who is in the midst of their fight?
A view of a struggling parent who is sleeping in the car but trying to keep the family together?
A copy of the bank account of someone who is living the real struggle of making ends meet
What do you give the person who has it all except contentment?
Give them the hand or leg of a soldier that had it removed after fighting in a war
Give them that last breath of the one you love
Sell them the soul of the lost
The strength of the weak
The hope of hopeless
They already own those…
I know, provide them with a backhand slap
Shake them out of their self-pity
If you’d like, you can give them a hug
Me, I will give them nothing more than this post
You have it all
What more do you want?

Like a Man Does it

On any given day I hear Stud Muffin (7) or Little Dude (8) say, “let me show you how a man does it!” They are usually saying this to each other since Honeygirl and I aren’t all that interested in how a man does something and the Teenager is usually somewhere being a teen. I do watch them when this is occurring because it’s funny and I’ve learned that a man will do lots of manly things if someone is watching and gives him praise.

The Teenager is the person in charge of bug and critter disposal. The younger boys scream like a girl if they see a gecko or even a beetle. Now mind you even the girl doesn’t scream like a girl when she sees a bug but that’s neither here nor there. One morning Stud and Dude were in the kitchen, the other two were still asleep, when I heard a scream. I ran to the kitchen to see Stud pointing at a bug. Little Dude said, “let me show you how a man does it.” He grabbed a paper towel, picked up the bug and put it in the trash. After which his chest was stuck out, his head was held high and he looked at his brother and said, “that’s how a man does it!” I smiled and walked back to my room. I hear that phrase at various time during the day. I always smile at them when they show how a man does something.

Yesterday, Stud Muffin was sitting at the table drinking a cup of hot apple cider. He said, “mom, look at me I’m being a maaaan.” I turned my head to look at him and asked if he wanted to show me his cider mustache, he replied no. I asked him if he had just done something. He replied, no, I’m just sitting here being a man. I nodded and smiled at him.

I don’t pretend to know what it takes to be a man but I have learned what it takes to encourage and speak life into a man. Sometimes it doesn’t require any action on my part. I  am honored to have the privilege to watch them transform from boys to men.

How to kill a man without serving time

The process starts when he is newly born. Begin early when he depends on you, looks up to you and believes everything you say. Commence the plotting when he is naïve and trusting. You don’t need to rush. Take your time. The plan is not for you to complete the job yourself but to pass the task off when he gets a girlfriend or gets married. It’s her job to finish the deed.
It’s simple, easy, anybody can do this.
Tell him he can’t or better yet, tell he doesn’t have to.
Cater to him to the point where he is lazy and unmotivated.
Tell him he’s not smart enough, fast enough, skilled enough but tell him he’s cute enough.
Show him he’s unworthy.
Support him financially even when he’s an adult.
Encourage him to disrespect authority.
Tell him you don’t need him; after all you can do it by yourself.
Disrespect him with your words, looks, attitude and actions; every now and then do it in front of friends and family.
Keep bringing up his past mistakes.
Don’t let him provide or if he insists, tell him he’s not a good provider.
Make him earn your respect.
Show him you don’t trust him.
Treat him with contempt.
Don’t challenge him to be better or set expectations.
Requirements? Don’t have any.
Treat him like he’s one of your girlfriends or sister instead of your son or man.
Make sure you don’t take interest in anything he does unless it gives you recognition, money or makes you feel good.
Don’t teach him about finances you will take care of him until he gets a wife then she will take care of him with or without his money.
Encourage irresponsibility.
Turn your head when he does something wrong.
Tell him you love him then remind him he will never amount to anything.
Be overbearing.
Tell him what to do every step of the way.
Remind him that he is just like his father, uncle, grandfather or any other man that has been successfully eliminated
Most of all, keep him away from men who are still living. They might try to revive him.
He doesn’t need to know the love of the Father.
Don’t take him to church or take him to a church that will feminize him.
The goal is to kill his spirit.
When you kill his spirit, you kill him.
Premeditated murder…no time served.

Taking My Thoughts Captive

2 Corinthians 10:5 “…and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

I was thinking about his scripture a couple of weeks ago. I actually think about it often. Like my subtitle says, I am a thinker. Sometimes my thoughts become my reality or I project my thoughts on to others. If I think it, it must be true, right? Not so much. Then I ask myself, how do I take my thoughts captive? My thoughts are like leaves blowing in the wind. Can you visualize a beautiful fall day with huge trees lining a street? The orange, yellow, burgundy and brown leaves create a carpet of colorful patterns on the ground. As you walk through those leaves, a gust of wind blows through and the leaves do a dance in the air. They twirl around and around enjoying the opportunity to show off their dance moves. Now imaging trying to catch those leaves in the midst of the dance. It seems impossible to me. How to you capture every leaf?

I contemplated this on my drive to work. When I arrived to work, I stopped to talk to some coworkers and told them what I had been thinking that morning, taking thoughts captive. We looked outside of the window at the leaves covering the ground. Then it came to me. You capture the leaves and the thoughts one at a time.