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Currently Browsing: Midlife Motherhood

Value the Heck out of Our Good Educators

We have our kid enrolled in a public school. He’s a super smart kid, scores ridiculously high on those school standardized tests, and we’d absolutely go into debt to pay for a private school if it was the right thing. But he’s a musician and the music program at his school is marvelous. The reason the school’s music program is so very good is because of one teacher. One amazing dedicated inspirational teacher.

He’s the guy who was a music nerd in school just like my kid. He’s turned Eamon and his classmates on to Jazz and Buddhism and a number of wonderful things that would have meant nothing coming from me. And he hears and sees each of those kids. And they feel heard and seen. They feel like they belong there in that class. In a time when we are fast becoming cogs in a giant wheel, it is more important than ever to acknowledge our children as the people that they are. They need to know they belong somewhere and are not just being asked, nay commanded, to fit in.Value the Heck out of Our Good Educators on Shalavee.com

So imagine our outrage when the mandate got handed down that the 8th grade middle-schoolers in Maryland would have to fulfill a mandatory language credit for one half of the year instead of having band. So for one half of the year, band and choir and art students all had to give up their sense of belonging to complete a credit of something they’ll get plenty of in high school. He was unhappy and so my son passed around a petition to these children which they all signed because they thought maybe their disappointment would be heard.

The story will continue to play out. These children will not get that time back to be seen and feel good about themselves being who they are this school year. And sadly, the program in high school isn’t the same and many of them will drop out. Not my kid but for many, this is their last chance before life continues its artistic oppression.

So on behalf of Eamon’s music teacher, and for all the teachers who deserve the credit we keep forgetting to give them, write a thank you note to one you appreciate. Gush if you can. Because they deserve to hear our appreciation for the mostly thankless job they do. Their administrators just don’t get that it’s truly about the students. Their advocacy, their support, and their chance to be seen for exactly who they are.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

With No Definition of Success Or Enough, You’re a Hamster on a Wheel

I once read that you won’t know if you have succeeded if you don’t have a picture of what success looks like. I found that profound and daunting as I wasn’t allowed to succeed so I’d be unable to come up with that. I can also see now that having no definition of enough would wear one out in a never-ending pursuit of it. The proverbial hamster’s treadmill of running and never getting there. Yet aren’t these two words the hinge pin for American success?With No Definition of Success Or Enough, You're a Hamster on a Wheel on Shalavee.com

They used to call me the Energizer Bunny because I was perpetually busy. Some think I’m still this way. I kept busy so no one would notice I had no idea what I was doing. Would I now know Success and Enough if they walked up and smacked me in the face? I’m sure they’ve tried. Low self-esteem and a Puritan work ethic kept me from my clarity.

Now that I have a dawning awareness of what makes me happy and how much I can actually accomplish, I am reverent and wary of success and enough. I feel successful in many many ways. Having sweet smart healthy independent children feels like success to me. Being in process of advancing my writing career and beginning to lead others to their creative passions feels like a success.With No Definition of Success Or Enough, You're a Hamster on a Wheel on Shalavee.com

But what of enough? Sure you know how much it takes to feed and house and clothe you and your family every year. And the costs for trips and art and music supplies and to celebrate your birthdays and go to the doctor’s. But what about savings and house repairs? There’ll never be enough of those. Or will whatever you have always be enough?

These are questions only you can answer but I think it’s also important to answer them. Because while you feel super dandy working all of those hours to make the money for your family, if you can’t spend time with that family then what’s the point? Covering the bills can be enough until such time comes as you can save. It’s up to each of us to be willing to take the knife away from our throats long enough to see what is really important. Because when tomorrow comes, you will have to sleep with your regrets regardless of your good intentions. My priorities have light brown and red hair and like to play video games and sing. How about yours?

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Pitching the “When I Lose Weight” Clothing

I am still engaged in a lifelong battle against my own body. A perpetual hostage of “when I lose weight”. Most of the past three decades has been spent judging my physical self as under par and trying to fix it (This may also have applied to how I felt about my mind too but we’ll stick to the injustice at hand …and belly and… ). I have been in a perpetual battle of disgust with myself and I am so very tired now. I’d like to call a cease fire. There is no fix for this fixed fight and I will always lose. Especially when I’m not losing the weight I keep thinking I should. But, as I said before, “As long as there’s something to “fix”, it implies brokenness. And I do not want to model this for my buxom red-headed daughter. She’ll have to fight it from the world as it is.” 

I am the gal who always exercises. My blood pressure is grand because I am what I call Fit Fat. Heart is strong and stamina is there. But I don’t get credit for that from myself. Because I am in a constant state of dismay at my extra 10 pounds. I wouldn’t be considered skinny but I have always tortured myself with that assessment. And so my closet is full of clothing that I will wear“When I” lose that 10 pounds. I will be done and perfect and look good. I will stop bullying myself and finally be kind to myself because I lost the weight.Pitching the when I lose weight clothing on Shalavee.com

The problem is that, since I don’t seem to be able to change this about myself, I feel substandard. With my worth perpetually hanging on my crappy opinion, am I doomed to live everyday in disappointment and shame? I’d say yes. I have spoken many times on this subject because apparently, I’m not done with it yet.

I am no longer  keeping a constant count of calories on my Fit Buddy app on my phone. I was sure that I’d be losing weight and doing it all perfectly for a week and then my gut would fill up (as it does due to its extra capacity) or bloating from my monthly menstrual cycle. And I am reliving my lifetimes of disappointment and hopelessness and incorporating horror into my basic self-care of eating and living. I am tired of this constant control. I need a vacation I told myself and so now I am on a holiday where my bodily self-loathing is concerned.Pitching the when I lose weight clothing on Shalavee.com

I’ve begun to buy clothing that hides a little more while looking sheikh. I’m going back into my closet and yanking the “When I” clothing. If mindful living is about living in the present then I chose this moment in this body as I must because it’s my only choice. Until I’m OK with where I am at this exact moment, I will not move from this spot. Ever.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Summer 2018 Continues

Summer 2018 is rolling out in a leisurely fashion. It started out at a run when we went straight to the beach the weekend after school let out. But that ended up being a great thing for all of us to be put into the official Summer mode.

I’ve allowed myself to sleep or lay in bed in the mornings knowing there was no rush to do anything. I have kept up with dual art challenges which forces me to take a break and be creative. I had a great time just being outside in the beautiful weather we’ve had recently. And generally, it feels much more vacationy even as we are all still home.

 

Plans to wander are on the schedule. A few beach days and camps and playdates and I just hope it all doesn’t go by too quickly. Come Fall, we’ll have an Eighth grader and a Kindergartner in the house!

Hope you are enjoying your Holidays too!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

They Do As They See

We all mean well as parents. Well most of us. We mess up trying to overcompensate for the advantages we didn’t have as children. We spoil them and we coddle them when all they really need is our undivided attention and our faith in them. But the one thing many of us seem to overlook is that how we treat ourselves shows them how to treat themselves. And that is only a good story if we are good to ourselves.

There is a woman at the exercise gym I belong to who teaches several fitness classes. And her hyper self-loathing comes out when she talks about her body. And we all disagree with her but she judges herself so harshly. And she has a daughter and two sons.They Do As They See on Shalavee.com

I have busted myself for self-bullying within the past year so I am very empathetic to this pattern of behavior. Both societal messages of women’s worth and our inherited ancestral low self-esteem have conspired against us to create these running dialogues. Damaging enough until we consider that, unchecked, we will pass these hateful messages on to our daughters. Because they do what they see, not what we tell them to do. They respond to the mirrors we have of ourselves as much if not more than the mirrors of love and worth we think we’re doing so well to reflect to them.They Do As They See on Shalavee.com

The opposite of hate is love. The opposite of judgment is compassion. If we can even be aware of what we are doing to ourselves and talk with our daughters about their amazing value as thinkers and kind and creative souls then we could change the tide of self-bullying. To show our children, boys and girls, what it means to be human and compassionate and honest is truly the kind of parenting we want to be doing instead.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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