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We’re Fighting For Family Unity

Got together with my friend Karen and as we’re talking about our recent endeavors and priorities, she mentions prioritizing her family “being together”. She felt her family needed some sort of activity that all family members could participate together in. And I thought, Wow, both of us are fighting for family time.

 

On the way home from Baltimore on Easter, I told my mother-in-law that there just isn’t a single picture of my nuclear family together. We really didn’t ever exist. We children were conceived and born in California but by the time I was 6 months and we moved to Maryland, there was a new career for my Dad and we we’re no longer a family. Not the kind that is important enough to fight for and hold on to above and beyond all other things. Our family life dissolved slowly and painfully. Like many children, I was a scrap of their misbegotten marriage.

We're Fighting For Family Unity on Shalavee.com

Because of my experience, I am actively and consciously making sure that my children know they belong to something stronger and more stable than they are. I am intentionally making moments and legacy for them that they will weave into their life stories. And I guarantee those won’t suck half as much as mine did.

 

We went to the Salisbury, Maryland Zoological Park on the Tuesday after Easter. We stopped at our favorite diner on the way down where my children were marvelously behaved. We rolled through the Toys R Us to exchange a doubled birthday present and both got a new toy. And we rolled back into town with a big old family memory win. My husband and I even thanked our children for their wonderful behavior.

We're Fighting For Family Unity on Shalavee.com

I am making it up as I go along. But I also believe that if you lead with intention and intuition, you can do a good job of weaving a life that you like and maybe love. And those little beings I birthed from my very own body are so worth the effort.

 

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. 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 In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

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

 

 

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Codependency

Codependency is such a dirty word to say these days. I think most people have heard of it and my suspicion is that most people suffer to a degree from it. And like allergies and anxieties, most people also deny that.

I can remember being in a therapy session when I was around 21 and feeling bad about something for my boyfriend. Like I had responsibility for having caused his feeling or I was trying to fix him (no surprise) and the therapist brought this to my attention. This was the first memory I can have of being aware that my tendency to mind-read and try to expect and manipulate other people’s happiness may not be “healthy”. The first time I was busted for being codependent.Codependency on Shalavee.com

I have worked for many many years on figuring out where I stop and other people begin. That place is called a boundary and is perfectly normal to have. In codependent families, people do not take responsibility for their own choices and either pass the blame on to other people or insinuate others have to make up for it. Defensiveness and resentment top the feeling charts in these family situations followed by guilt and shame. To say this is all “unhealthy” would be to understate the effects on the children who grow up here. It’s downright debilitating.

Yet even in the nicest of families, people do what they know and has been done before them. And it has been a real impetus for my emotional growth to not want to repeat the unhealthy behaviors that have been given to me. Children do as they see, not as you say. If I do not take responsibility for my choices and am always blaming others, so will they. Integrity and honesty start in your heart and flow downhill to those you love. So does pain and displacement of that pain. In the end, you are always still responsible for your own happiness.Codependency on Shalavee.com

At the same time, the care-taking of children draws me into areas where I can be dangerously codependent. The need to make sure I’m a “Good “ mother can make me spoil and coddle and mind-read their needs. It can make me ignore my own needs to take care of theirs. And too much of this can make me feel resentful and still I can raise children who take the world and me for granted. If I never allow them to do their work and experience the benefit of it, I am robbing them of identity moments. Opportunities to grow away from needing me.

Thankfully, I’m a Mom who understands that I have a separate life just like my children will. I have to be mindful and cautious not to spoil my whole family to my detriment. But I am certain that I am on the right path to showing them what it looks like to take responsibility for their actions and feelings and to be proud of their accomplishments which are theirs not mine. If you find yourself trying to coerce other people to feel things and are sure you know what everyone is thinking about you, you may want to look into this codependency thing a little more.

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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Fiona’s Fourth Birthday Bash

Today was Fiona’s fourth birthday party and it was a complete success, by her standards and mine. Yes, she got enough Frozen themed party paraphernalia and stuff to satisfy all Frozen itches for a decade. And I got to bask in the knowledge that me and my daughter matter to all these lovely people.birthday flowers on Shalavee.comFiona's 4th party on Shalaee.com

Fiona and Emma at the party on Shalavee.com

birthday girls on shalavee.com

The reason I go to such efforts to decorate and to heap yummy food on my kitchen table is a tribute to the love that these people have for and show me and my family. My gratitude runs very deeply. I am almost speechless but then, not quite, right?Frozen Birthday party cake by Steve Konapelski on Shalaee.com

Fiona and Emma at the party on Shalavee.com

Fiona and Emma at the party on Shalavee.com

birthday flowers on Shalavee.com

Aunts and Uncles, real and respected, grandmothers, cousins, neighbors, friends, and kin came to celebrate my miraculous daughter’s birth four years ago. And in a puff and a whoosh, it’s all done. Only a dirty kitchen, drooping streamers, and falling balloons to tell the tale. But we’ll remember this fondly for many years. Another year passed and another successful party.

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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Living the Freelance Family Life

My freelance family life is a little unconventional. When my husband’s full-time job disappeared less than 10 years ago, he went freelance. And this is still not an understood way of life. The days of trusting the corporation to take care of the family through pensions and retirement are long gone, vanished with the unions and plowed down by corporate trading less than 30 years ago. Yet freelancers are still regarded as oddballs without a 9 – 5 lifestyle.

Freelance means that my husband has multiple sources of income. He accepts jobs and works them. He brings his own tools and makes his own schedule and payment arrives according to the agreed upon contracts with the contractors. We pay for our (unpaid) vacations and we worry about our workers comp . We have to save for our retirement. We pay our taxes plus those that the employer would have paid. When we can’t pay our taxes, even after throwing as many deductibles into the mix as we can, we just plain owe. Living the Freelance Family Life on Shalavee.com

And we pay our own healthcare, or not depending on if we qualify for state assistance. We use a different line on our tax forms when determining what sliding scale fee we need to pay at the Y or to determine our eligibility for State paid healthcare. When I discovered we were eligible for the State insurance, our first reaction was happy. No more $500 healthcare bills ! But my husband had to relinquish his primary care physician who did not take that insurance and we felt the pinch of having privilege stripped.

The upside to being freelance would be that you can create your own schedule. My husband can help me out on days when he would otherwise be working. It also means that he has to be available at the drop of a hat. He truly enjoys the challenges of the different opportunities and the camaraderie of working with other freelancers. It’s a creative way of living and it’s what we know now.Living the Freelance Family Life on Shalavee.com

There’s a sleazy trend for employers to call their employees freelance when they’re truly not responsible for the what, when, and where of the job. By denoting them as self-employed and refusing to give employees full-time hours, the employees must pay their own taxes and healthcare. It’s a loophole that is being obscenely stretched. There are lawsuits beginning, workers are fighting the companies who are taking advantage of their employees’ fears. My husband is currently represented in a civil suit against the government for just this.

The world is based on a capitalistic system. And as long as greed is present in man’s heart, everyone must fight for their own justice and fair treatment in their workplaces. Our family would not say no to the right full-time job were it to come along for my husband. But until then, we just have to keep the faith that the freelance jobs opportunities keep presenting themselves and that the company he started to supplement those opportunities continues to grow. As my husband says, “You’re only as good as your last gig.”

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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We’re All An Event Planner for Christmas

Since the season is about to be fully in gear for 2016 and I may need to keep my eyes on that road, I’m reposting some of my favorite past Christmas posts to keep you entertained if you are in need. Enjoy this wrap up from 2015!

If you were told you’d been volunteered as an event planner and decorator for a royal ball, you’d laugh your butt off right? But regular people across the globe did their best to plan and execute a special event, otherwise known as Christmas, on their own this past month mostly without professional help. And I’m darn proud of all of them.tree and mantlepiece on Shalavee.com

feather wreath and teacups on Shalavee.com

Christmas dinner table on Shalavee.com

We pulled it off you and me. That once a year special event for which we have to send out a hundred invitations, cater quantities of food, and decorate huge floral centerpieces for (aka Christmas trees). We spend lots of time and/or money to gift everyone we know with the right present as if we’re all having a birthday at the same time. It’s truly a miracle we all don’t lose our minds feeling overwhelmed and incompetent. But then the end comes and you sigh with relief that it’s over and think perhaps there’s a better way to execute it next year. Until the next year comes and you have the same game plan as always.paper houses on the mantle on Shalavee.com

the top of the tree on Shalavee.com

At my house, I make it all look so easy to accomplish. Deep down I do love it. But I also would love if anyone could do the majority of it so I could just make the wrapped presents pretty and decorate the house for many many uninterrupted hours. The cleaning and card sending and even the cooking I could farm right the heck out. Alas this year, I accomplished the musts but fell short of the wannas.

Christmas morning faces on Shalavee.com

Christmas morning on Shalavee.com

Christmas morning on Shalavee.com

But the kids were treated to a Christmas just as they should with sweets for breakfast and Santa gifts and stockings brimming with stuff. They played with their stuff, bickered about sharing each other’s stuff, and played at a couple playgrounds.

Playground post Christmas on Shalavee.ccom

Christmas movie watching on Shalavee.com

Oh and watched multiple movies. And there’s still one more holiday get together to go.

Pooped out for Christmas on Shalavee.com

Hoping you made sure to get your needs met during the siege of the event season. That your gratitude for being surrounded with the ones you love surpassed the anxiety of cookie baking and clean toilets. I’ve found relief and rest finally after the chaos and look forward to having the brain room to get back to regular creativity. And exercise for this ever growing bloat. Next time I talk atcha, it’ll be a New Year so Happy New Year !!!!!!!

Thank you for reading a flashback post from last year’s Christmas. Both Fresh and evergreen posts can be expected for the rest of the holiday 2016 season.

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.

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