Let civility reign!

Civility ~ Let us consider this, before we speak or act.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Call me Coach. ☺️

It seems I'm always learning, which is a good thing. No good going stagnant after all.
But what I find is, the answers aren't always there. Even the words aren't always there.
Logical thinking typically is but even then I'm lost at times. Hands up in the air or hands resting on my forehead, I'm completely clueless how to react or respond.

Having a social work degree I knew a lot about people's thought processes. I knew why people might react the way they do or what a typical response might be. I knew the in's and outs of the human psyche. But recently, I became a coach. A head coach and while I'm loving it, it challenges me and all I remember about the human social interaction. I question, if good will win out and, my ability to instill good in others.

I'm a strong believer in lifting people up, not tearing people down. Compliments can make a persons day. Insults can break a person in two. I'm optimistic of course. I'm expecting the best from everyone on every level. Do expect to much? I don't think so but, I'm learning. Here is what I know now.

Not everyone gets a joke. Not everyone can take a joke and not everyone understands when something is a joke. (Kid to kid I'm referring.) I try to express to the wonderful individuals on our club team, that your joke may not seem a joke to someone else. Easily, you could hurt someone's feelings without knowing it or meaning to. You might hurt their feelings and know it, but not know how to express, that it was in fact, a joke. Unless you really know the person and they really know your personality and your sense of humor, it might be best to hold that joke.

Watch what you say and how you say it. Remember to be positive, uplifting, encouraging and supportive. I've learned that personalities clash, some don't blend well with others at all and while it might seem easy to say something negative or rude, it's okay not to blend with everyone so you don't have to be rude.  In fact, the ones who hold their tongues will ultimately come out much more respected than those who speak their minds freely.

Mostly though, I've learned kids are sensitive. They wear their hearts on their sleeve. They take everything so literally and why shouldn't they, they're kids. They've been on planet Earth what, 14-15-16-17 years is all. Not a very long time is my point, so they have a ways to go before they even partially master human relations.

They really do take things personally and they are easily scarred by others words and actions. This actually breaks my heart. So as a coach, what do I do? I often refer to past coaches in my memory. How did they do it? What did they say? How did they lead me? I refer to my experience as a mother. Not that these kids need me to be their mother, they don't, but the motherly instincts run strong inside of me. I'm the mother of two. My readiness to teach or give advise certainly sets in when thinking and dealing with strife or sadness among my club members. One member being my young daughter. ❤️

If I could give advise tonight, I'd say,....
1. Build up a tougher skin. A tougher exterior so things don't hurt you so easily. You are one amazing awesome person, don't let others bring you down or tarnish that smile.
2. There are always going to be people in your life that you don't necessarily blend with. All hope is not lost, just give yourself some space between you and them.
3. Be kind, be accepting, be patient and be tolerant. After all, you don't know who might be tolerating you right now. No one is perfect. (Whew! Thank goodness). ☺️
4. Don't let the turkeys get you down and believe me, there are a lot of turkeys out there.  Be willing to blow things off. Don't over think it. Let it go. Be more freeing of yourself. You don't need to get upset about someone else' opinion of you.  Hold yourself in high regard. A lightheartedness if you will.
5. Rise above it. Just because someone is being crappy doesn't mean you have to be crappy back. You don't have to match their crappiness. Rise above it! Be the better person. Don't gossip. Don't turn others against others. Don't aggravate or agitate the situation by keep the feud going with back and forth rants. Let it go, walk away, rise above, be the better human, the better person. ☺️
6. Remember I'm your coach and I care. I am expecting the best from you but I'm also wishing the best for you.
These are the things on my mind tonight. So as I say goodnight to a very busy world, a very long day, I'm sending out good wishes and good energy to my entire club. I'm excited to watch them grow, excel and find a good path to walk, and stay on. I'm so proud of them all. Their futures are bright, even if they don't yet know it, I see it and I do know, their futures are bright. ☺️

Saturday, July 2, 2016

"Someday I hope you have a child Just Like YOU!"

Did your parents ever put the curse on you, that they wished one day, you would have a child just like You! Remember that? I do. At the time I knew it was an empty threat. "Who cares!" I thought. 34 years later, that statement actually makes me tear up. It isn't an empty threat anymore but I must admit, I never would have dreamt in a thousand years, that it would ever actually come true. It sure would be nice not to have to revisit who I must have been at 10 years old every time I scold my son.   When I watch my ten year old misbehave because he's so full of energy, that he seems to bug everyone, he seems to disregard anyone's correction, request, or pleading even. At those moments I have instant flashbacks. It's as if time stands still. I am instantly transported back in time to ten years old being scolded. I am hearing the same words repeated back to me, the same words that used to be said to me, that I am now saying to my son. I remember and recall conversations as an adult, where my mom reminds me how much I tested the boundaries. How irritating I was. How often she defended me because I had completely driven my dad up one wall and down another. If my son is me, only 34 years later, if my son is me, only in male form, then I feel so sad that I've passed me, onto he. 😔

I just can't help but tear up over it.

When I tell my kids I love them, it's more than love, in fact, it's no different than loving myself purely and at an even deeper level. I was taught to love myself and I always have. These two individuals I have in my life, my daughter and son, came through me, developed within me, grew inside of me. I was so careful. I made every effort to care for them, through the caring of me. I love them as much as I love myself, more than I love myself. God let these two Angels, grow and come through me, therefore, they are miracles I helped bring forth into the world. The point being, I love my kids, I love them so much, that I don't need them following in every footstep I took.

So, again today I corrected, scolded, felt irritation by me, or... the child that my parents wished on me. The child that I would have, who would be, "Just Like Me" and I feel sad. I believe he inherited my unfavorable ways. If only I had been a good kid more of the time, he wouldn't have been cursed to be, Just Like Me. 😔 One thing I realize is I didn't have the ability to correct when I was being this way, therefore, I don't know that my son can correct either. In fact, as much as I do remember, I also don't remember, about my irritating ways.

I've thought of this curse before, and I've even thought of using it on my two but I won't.
Now I know, that that curse can come true and the real tragedy IN that, is the self reflection that results from such a curse.

Sorry Dad and mom, if I could go back and change it... change me.... I would.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Is Heaven for Real? Here's what I think, and here's what I know.....

What I think and what I know are two completely different things.  What I think is, Heaven is for real.  That was a movie, remember?  "Heaven is for real."  Why do you think that movie drew so many people's attention?  Because it was what we think?  Or because it was what we know?  We don't know.  We watch it so we'll think we know.

The other day, three days ago to be exact, I started thinking about my dad who passed away 15 months ago.  I started thinking about, how distant he felt.  How far away.  I've tried meditation to communicate with him, so far nothing.  He was so good at keeping connected with those who'd passed. I always believed he had a gift because he would tell me very interesting things that I had never heard before.  Things I found interesting that I couldn't figure out where he would have come up with those ideas or thoughts.  I weighed out the decision to believe or not believe what he was telling me and I decided, who was I to judge what he was saying?  After all, he was my dad.  In my mind, he was all knowing.  He was so smart.  Even today, with all the amazing people I have met in my life, I hold him with such high regard.  He and my husband both.

So three days ago, I made the decision that he and I were truly fading from each others lives.  Our distance, from his death, was separating us farther and farther apart.  I have read so much literature about death, grief, sadness, loneliness and loss that I decided to put something I'd read to good use.  I decided to ask my dad to come to me in a dream.  According to what I'd read, you ask and you should receive, so I asked.  The next day, after waking, I wondered about my dreams.  Had my dad come to me in my dreams?  After moments of deep thought I realized, he actually had.  I couldn't believe it and due to the fact that I question most things, I debated about it.  I debated whether or not I should believe it and smile about it or discard it and believe it was nothing.  I retraced the dream in my mind, in its entirety and realized my dream was very specific.  It seemed to obvious not to believe.  So, here is the dream...

 I was standing in a long hallway.  It seemed like a hospital hallway or maybe a dormitory hallway.  It was a nice hallway.  Friendly.  I saw my dad from a distance and we walked up to each other.  We hugged.  It was one of those hugs you actually felt. It was as though, it weren't a dream at all. It was so real, it felt as if I'd opened my eyes, he and I would have been standing there hugging.  I could actually feel his warmth.  When I stepped back from him to look at his face, a man I didn't know, stood further down the hall.  He was at a distance and he was watching us.  My dad said to him, "I can actually feel her hug.  It isn't like, she's reaching through me like a ghost, I can feel her hug."  The man took a step toward us and I put my hand out with my index finger held up, as if to say, "Wait."  I said, "No.  Stop!  I don't want you to change anything.  I want to be able to feel his hugs.  Don't change a thing."  The man stopped walking and stood there.  I showed my dad something of his I was holding in my hand and I said, "Look at all the dust on this.  This is how long you have been gone.  Do you see how much dust has accumulated on this?" He took it and held it in his hand and looked at the dust.  Then I said, "Dad, I just have to ask you this one question, and whatever you say, I will believe.  I won't question it ever again.  Do you like heaven?"  He said, "I love it.  There are so many people here I love."  I said, "Okay dad, I won't ever question it again."

That's all I remember.  That was the dream.  I cry just thinking about it.  I have to believe it was real.  I have to believe it was him.  I asked him to come to me in a dream that night and he did.  If it were just any old dream I may have questioned its validity and let it go as though it meant nothing, but to ask him to come to me in a dream and to have us specifically talk about where he is..... well, that just seems to obvious to ignore.

You know, I never did see that movie, "Heaven is for real"  I don't know that I ever will, but I do know one thing, something felt very real about that dream.

Missing you dad.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Let's talk about the fishing trip on January first....it's only 6 short months away.

So it's late.  I should probably be in bed since I'm exhausted.  Life is busy.  Too busy.  My husband is off and gone on his annual fishing trip.  It's funny because I tease him about this fishing trip often.  There are a lot of things to tease him about when it comes to this trip.  Let me fill you in. Oh but first, I should tell you, I love to fish too.  I do.  I know you don't believe it but my dad had me fishing as soon as I was old enough to hold a fishing pole.  I still have it.  It's white, it's old and it is still hanging on the wall in the back closet at our family cottage.

Yep, I love to fish.  It kind of shocked my husband when I told him this.  The first time he took me fishing I put my worm on the hook, got out my red and white bobber, hooked that on my line, cast like a pro, possibly further than he did, and waited.  He looked at me like he'd just seen a fish pop straight up out of the water, wave and dive back in again, he was in a trance, he just stared at me.  Knowing me, I probably waved at him with my cute little grin, gave him a wink and told him to toss me a beer from the cooler.  Here I was, his girl, fishing like a pro.  My dad taught me well I'd say. Yep, I love to fish and my patience is on the brink of annoying.  I'm definitely the last to say, "Let's pull in our lines and go home."  I just wait and wait.  Anyway, back to my husband's fishing trip.  He heads out on this trip each year around this time.  Sometimes a large group congregates for the event, other times it's a small one, either way I get stuck shooting the group shot.  Discussions of this trip begin in January which I would say is odd but men have to have something to talk about and once deer season comes to a close, the obvious choice for a fisherman, is to start talking about fish.

The dreams begin, he hums the song in his sleep, "Oh Canada! Our home and native land......"
Yes, he's off to Canada, about 10 or 11 hours north of where we live and I must say, we live up in the middle of nowhere in Michigan so where he is I suppose is considered, "Off and gone." 

What I don't understand, is why guys put themselves through living $#@$ all in the name of a walleye, or a pike.  The stories I hear involve snow storms, rain, hail, lightening, sun burns, wind burns, cold temperatures, hot temperatures, bugs, bugs and more bugs all in a 48 hour period.  But even with all of that, the excitement about the upcoming fishing trip, is constantly being discussed by he and his friends, his brother, his dad, ... I have to think to myself on January 1st, "Honestly, it's six months away, can't you discuss it later?"  I guess not.

You know, I have passions, hobbies, but nothing like these fools. This is beyond anything I've ever experienced.  One time as we sat together, sharing in conversation, my husband mentioned how much he'd love to show me this special fishing place in Canada and how pretty it is.  I asked him if he thought I enjoyed sleeping.  Having been married for probably 13 years when this discussion took place I asked him, "Do you think I enjoy sleeping?"  He looked at me with an expression that clearly said, "What kind of stupid question is that?"
He shook his head and said, "Like no one I've ever met before in my life. Yes, you love your sleep."  I said, "Why would I want to go up to Canada, wake up at 5:00 a.m. so I can fish until 10:00 p.m. just because you say fishing is awesome and there's daylight.  Is that all you can think about?  Is there nothing more important than fish?! Oh yes, I know the schedule they keep.  They go, go, go! From just before the sun is up to just after sun goes down, they fish! If they come in any sooner they will be harassed for days after.

And the final kicker,... I would not want to be in a room with a bunch of sleep deprived, slightly over weight men who are exhausted.  Why?  Because I've heard my husband snore when he's well rested and it is loud.  Sleep deprivation will rattle a room and I don't mind when my husband is lying beside me snoring but staying with an entire group of room rattlers, well that's not my idea of fun night.

So here I sit.  My kids are sound asleep, I'm munching on Tostitos loaded with Jacks Special gourmet salsa.  I'm a smidge lonely for my main squeeze, because after all, my room is way too quiet.  Only 4 days to go, so I suppose I'll make the best of it.  I do love the quiet time with my kids. Have a good night, good week, good month, oh and if you're a fisherman, a good fishing season.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

I says it as I sees it....

The other day, as I sat talking to a friend, we discussed the idea of public speaking and standing up in front of a crowd.  She said, "I don't know how you do it!  I just get too nervous." I smiled and said, "How old are you?" She said, "38."  I grinned.  I said, "Don't worry, when you turn 40 everything changes, or at least it did for me."  I told her, "When I turned 40, I decided if people were going to tell me I was, 'over the hill' then on the other side of the hill, I would continue walking with an older and wiser approach to life."  After all, if you think I'm so old as I enter into my 40's then I guess I must be more accurate, more knowledgeable as well.

It's true.  At 40 I decided I was going to think for myself.  When you're young, everyone thinks for you and I've been thinking about this a lot lately because my daughter, who was always my, "Little girl," is now in her last year of middle school and in the fall will become a high school freshman. Times have changed and so has her ability to think for herself, something a control freak like myself, doesn't always like.  It is the way life is however.  When we're young, our parents do all the planning and we follow along.  They say. We do.  No questions asked.  No argument.  They're in charge.  As kids, this seems so normal.  Decisions are made in our, "best interest."  We assume no one could know more about what's best for us than our parents, we don't question it, we go with it.  Of course I'm guessing we've all looked back on our past and thought, "Why did they let me go out wearing that?  Why didn't they tell me my hair looked so bad?  Why didn't they tell me not to date that person?  Why didn't they give me more direction when I was choosing a career?  Sometimes their best interest wasn't exactly accurate but all parents I'm guessing, are going through the wavering, balancing act, of trying to decide when to let us decide for ourselves.

At 40, I thought, I've come into my own now.  I don't have to be intimidated by others views.  I don't have to choose my words carefully.  If I have an opinion I can share it and stand by it, even if it's different from others.  Sure I can listen to others opinions and I might be convinced to change my opinion but I don't have to feel threatened that, "I don't know enough. I'm not smart enough," etc. We do tend to judge ourselves and age plays a roll into that evaluation.  Once I hit 40, I literally felt as though I had pulled off the webbing that kept me restrained from just doing, saying and being who I was.  I often will be heard saying, "I don't care what others think anymore.  I only care what I think.  If they don't like me, then they don't have to hang out with me."  It might sound like I'm a snob, but I'm not.  I'm a good person.  I just decided I didn't need to feel self conscious anymore.  I'd put in my time being that person. Now I was able to be me freely.  This is who I am.  The, "what you see is what you get," approach.

When I stand up in front of others to speak on a topic, I am sure of my words.  I'm confident in what I'm about to say.  I stand behind why I'm saying what I'm saying, and I'm not intimidated by the critique of others.  As my step-dad always says, "What people say about me behind my back, is none of my business."And it isn't.  "Talk among yourselves I say. Hopefully I'll fair well." :)

I have really loved watching my daughter come into her own.  She is a strong person.  I don't know if that is because, I've been in my 40's during the time she has matured?  Maybe.  My personality may have worn off on her, possibly too early.  She stands hard on topics now and won't budge at times.  In those cases I sometimes have to interject the need for acceptance of others views and opinions, to keep an open mind.  After all, like I said earlier, I can and have been swayed on various subjects before.  At her age, being open can be a necessary concept in order to keep others happy and friendly.  Life can really be a game of strategy at times and unfortunately, we all find there are moments when we must play the game.

The day will come when you decide, you will think for yourself, stand on your own, and not bow down to others opinions or ideas, simply because you wonder if you can stand on your own. You will find one day, you just know you've passed the milestone in life that allows you to truly be.  Be you, for you, not for others.



Sunday, March 27, 2016

What a dis-service...

Over the years I've had to contemplate how much I do and give my children. Often we as a society show love through the purchasing of, "things." We for some reason link the two together, love and stuff. Through out my childhood I often received. Being a girl, I loved clothes. My parents bought me clothes and I really felt lucky to have such nice things. As I aged things began to change and when I started my first year of college, I inquired about money for my school clothes. I needed enough money to keep me wearing the clothing I was accustomed to. I remember both my mom and dad saying, "You are an adult now, so you will be paying for your own wardrobe." I was shocked.

I kind of threw a fit. I probably sounded like a real spoiled brat. I was familiar with a particular way of life and it was being changed without my permission and it wasn't the first time. When I was living with my parents and my sister in our family home, life was grand. My dad took us on wonderful trips, he took us on shopping sprees, or brought us the latest and greatest things. Life seemed to be a bed of roses. I was a happy girl. When my folks decided to separate, I felt the thorns, things began to change, it was not fun. I was losing everything I loved right in front of my eyes.

As I entered college, things were so different. I had a job so I had money of my own. I decided I could handle this new perspective, that is, until the day I went clothes shopping. My money didn't take me far. I decided I had been spoiled after all.  I remember going to my dad's office to confront him about this issue of money. I told him, I couldn't possibly stay in the clothes I was accustomed to without he and moms help. He plainly said, "No." I told him if he and mom knew this was to be my future, they shouldn't have bought me such nice clothing because one day, I wouldn't be able to afford them on my own. "In fact," I told him, "You've done me a complete dis-service by providing this, "upper class" life style, that I now can't afford and I have to accept this lesser lifestyle. I was angry. They were givers. They found giving was a way to show love.

As I grew, they expected more of me. They expected me to grow up, mature and start to contribute to my own existence. How dare they. In all honesty, I had it better than I deserved and I knew it. I was very grateful for all my mom and dad had done for me, unfortunately I'd come to expect it to continue, forever possibly.

Now, I have two sweet kids who I love dearly. I've given more than I should have over the years, and I know I've done to them, what my parents did to me. I've let them grow accustom to a lifestyle. We've, "over given." Over the past couple of years I've tried to make a more accurate example of what life entails. I've tried to show them a bigger, clearer picture. 

Giving, "stuff," all the time, isn't giving them an accurate picture of the future. It isn't teaching them how love, joy, experiences and conversations play into this big picture called life. They need to become aware that, "things" are only that, "things." As we celebrated Easter today, my kids enjoyed candy filled Easter baskets. We had a wonderful meal, so nice, made right here at home. I read the story of Easter and we listened to some Christian hymns after dinner. It was peaceful and enjoyable. We talked, laughed and shared in tender moments. Both of our children were happy and content and they thanked their dad and me for not buying them a bunch of, "stuff." They reminded us, being together was what made Easter special. My hope is that I prepare them for the future, so the future isn't so shocking.