Category Archives: family

I. Am. So. Tired.

I am tired. So stinkin’ tired. I’m so tired that I’m going to drop my scruples and list everything that I did yesterday just to prove to myself that I’m justified in being tired. Because right now I just feel guilty about it and keep apologizing to my fam.

Let’s see. Yesterday. Hmm. Got the ‘rents off to the airport at 4 AM. Put myself and the minions together for work and school after a three day weekend. Mediated a minion smackdown. Threw a load of laundry into the washer. Spent the first 45 minutes of my commute just getting to the highway. Work. Did a speed-editing job on a rush new listing. Five major but quickie revisions on said listing. Troubleshooting on a marketing application – complete with bug report involving company IT. Sorted and scanned ten files for archiving. Troubleshot new user account logins with outside company – and turns out it was their server error. Project for sales manager.

Lunch. A cup of soup. Seriously. That was it. Quickie revision on rush new listing for head honcho. Financial revisions on old listing. Project involving market research for boss. All afternoon. Schooled by office guy on an issue. My mistake.

Drive home. Major traffic. Left work at 6 PM. 7:30 PM – finally close to home but had to pick up little minion from older minion’s scout meeting. Spent time with younger minion and got him off to bed just in time to get the older kid home and into bed. Died on the couch. Woke up this morning – repeat.

Now, I’m not listing all of this in an effort to self-promote. Hardly. I’m trying to make myself feel just a teeny bit justified in being the abso-freaking-lutely exhausted mess of a human being that I am this morning. Really. Because I feel horribly guilty and keep apologizing to my fam about it. Did I already say that? Sorry. Can’t remember. Memory si shot.

So in the midst of all this, I remembered a conversation with a colleague from a couple of weeks ago. It was a very Monty Python-esque chat – ‘Always look on the bright side of life,’ and all that. The subject of choice came up, as in, you have only yourself to blame if you don’t like your situation. Because ultimately your choices led you there. And the true road to acceptance, inner peace and healing only comes with realizing that you and only you are responsible for everything that happens to you (per the conversation).

Huh? Not sure where I chose to have my body develop a condition that leaves me fatigued and feeling like I have the flu some days. Guess I chose to take my doctor’s advice and go on medication for it – and that leads to other side effects. But it’s chronic, and not going away.

Or this random example: a person chooses to put on their left shoe first, as opposed to their right, which leads to slower tying and two minutes later out the door. After the resulting car accident that leaves them paralyzed – are they truly responsible for choosing one shoe over another? See what I mean? It’s a flawed argument. (Tangent – Can you tell I aced logic in college?) I mean, it’s an interesting Sliding Doors concept and all that, but where do you draw the line about being totally responsible for everything that happens to you?

And where does God fall into all of this? My choices aren’t truly my choices, are they? And what about predestination – a big can o’ worms there…

And I’d love to have that same chat after the individual in question walked a day in my shoes. Like yesterday. Granted, there are some bright sides: I have a job, I have a family, I get to commute 21 miles each way five days a week. But really. It’s so easy to preach about ‘finding the greatness in every moment of every day’ when you’ve got unlimited time to do whatever the heck you want with every moment of every day. Really.

I know that ‘the good is so good.’ Trouble is that apparently due to my choices I don’t have time, energy or mental stamina to find and appreciate it. But apparently I lack the acceptance of that, and therefore inner peace. Huh.

Don’t know about you, but I could really appreciate a nap right now.

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Filed under family, Life choices, Philosophy, Positive thinking, Predestination, time management, working moms

Standin’ on a Soapbox

Let’s just start out by saying that I’m gonna shake it up today and probably ruffle a few feathers. Hopefully I’ll start some thought-provoking conversation (or at least thoughts.) Today’s topic is one that has rankled me for a long time.

Homeschooling.

I’m gonna be honest – I’m NOT against homeschooling. I can think of many situations where it’s a good thing, and I know many excellent, kid-driven homeschool moms who have their families’ best interests at heart when making that decision. For example:

The mom of a large military family. They move around a lot, sometimes abroad. By homeschooling, she’s able to provide her kids with tons of continuity in their learning.

The Godly woman whose spouse travels so extensively for work that they would not get time together as a family if they couldn’t travel together and take school with them.

The mom of a child with special needs who can truly provide a one-on-one education for her child.

Several families who, for religious reasons, have chosen to educate their children at home.

These are just four, but I know many more. I’m not puzzled by those moms. I get it. I support their decisions. And they don’t judge me for choosing to keep my kiddoes in public school.

I start to question the decision when it’s not made 100% about the kids. I’ve talked to many women about this, and I get concerned when I hear moms say things like, ‘We just don’t like that school, teacher, class, other kids, so we took him/her out and keep them at home.’ Or a few that just hate The Establishment and want no part of that for their kids. Now, I know that homeschooling (or not) is a personal decision, but consider the following:

I’m a product of public school. I didn’t always like it. But there are some life lessons that I fully believe kids need to learn in order to become fully productive members of the society in which we live.

  • Life’s not fair. It just isn’t. There’s always going to be someone who has more, does better or simply succeeds ‘just because.’ I didn’t like it in school (still don’t) but as an adult, I can’t just walk away from a situation where this happens.
  • Sometimes people won’t like you, no matter what. I can count on one hand the two teachers who didn’t like me. For whatever reason, they didn’t. My parents encouraged me to speak up for myself and be proactive when I felt like something was out of line. There was only one time where they got involved. And you know what? I can’t just leave a job because I think my boss doesn’t like me. I learned how to handle it.
  • Kids bully. They can be mean. It’s the truth. We’ve all been bullied, and I definitely had more than my share because I was an easy target. Smart kid, glasses, dressed funny, liked to read, etc. But again, you learn how to handle it. My parents used those times as teachable moments. I’m trying to do the same with my kiddoes.
  • Schools can’t teach right and wrong. As a former educator, I know this. We try the best we can to teach social skills but fully recognize that it is the function of the family unit to instill values and ethics.

Bored yet? If not, keep reading. What truly puzzles me are a couple of examples that I’ve encountered. And let me say for the record that I fullly recognize these as exceptions rather than the majority of homeschool moms.

A mom who started homeschooling because it was just ‘too much of a headache to get the kindergartener up, dressed and off to school without her throwing a fit.’ What does that teach the child about routine, life and responsibility?

The mom who rushes through the math textbook in a month because she ‘hates math and doesn’t get the topic’ in order to get it over with for the year and then spends the majority of time on reading and writing.

The kids I’ve talked to who say things like, ‘Yeah, we did biology back in December, but we haven’t done it in a couple of months.’ How will they be prepared for college or a job when disagreeable subjects or tasks must be done every day or consequences will result?

And finally, the following conversation I had with two adorable homeschooled children, ages four and seven:

7 – Yeah, we love school cause Mom’s such a good teacher.
4 – And it’s fun cause Mom forgets about school a lot and we don’t have to do it.
7 – NO! Remember, Mom told us to say that we do school every day.

WHAT??! Seriously I didn’t make that up. I could go on, but basically just wanted to say this: I’d love to get your thoughts on homeschooling, pro and con, in order to better understand these few exceptions. Help me get it, please! Because in these few cases, I don’t. And I want to understand.

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Filed under Education, family, Homeschooling, life lessons, Moms

Spicy October

It’s October! This time between now and the end of the year is my absolute favorite! Why, you ask? Well, let’s start with spicy pumpkin-flavored things. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte and a pumpkin scone are the bomb. And I know it’s fall – officially – when I take that first loaf of pumpkin bread out of the oven, which I did in style the other day. The whole family loves it, which is really cool – not just because it’s nice to make something that everyone will eat, but because I don’t think they realize that pumpkin is a vegetable and I can sneakily get them to consume it in mass quantities. Score!

I also love the weather this time of year. Granted, we don’t get a real fall here in Houston, but at least the afternoons are (mostly) free of the steaming humidity of summer and the mornings are (mostly) crisp and cool. Towards Thanksgiving we start to get some crisp, cool days too – perfect for crockpot dinners that fill the house with cozy deliciousness when you come in the door after a long day. Perfection! And the weather always makes curling up with a good book and a cat a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

Home life is spent with countless hours of planning and scheming over the perfect Halloween costume (the boys), Scouts, college football on Saturdays and the Cowboys game on Sundays. More chances for cooking chili and other cheesy goodness… If you’re looking for recipes, check out my friend’s blog – she’s always got something witty to say and the foods are deelish:

http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/blogs/editor/siobhan_adcock/

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Filed under Epicurious, Fall, family, food, Football

Decluttering…

Wow! I just looked at the blog and realized it’s been over two months since I posted. Not good. Not good at all. What’s the deal? Well, between looking for, finding and training at a new job my time has been seriously strapped. Not to mention that the minions are out of school, so when I get home they tend to occupy the little time left in the day – after which I drop down exhausted. But it’s all good.

So in the interim, my teacher-spouse has become Mr. Mom for the summer. He’s on a mission to declutter the house (specifically his game room, but the enthusiasm is spilling over to the garage, kitchen, etc.) He even moved the boxes that used to contain my desk stuff out into the dining room so that I could go through them. Thoughtful guy. I actually dug through part of one the other day. It was pretty interesting. Those boxes are a holdover from a couple of years ago when I was inspired by Oprah. Yes, one of the few episodes I actually watched. It was called ‘Declutter Your Life.’ After that episode, I went through my stuff with a vengeance. Yes, my name is Amy and I could possibly be considered a borderline hoarder. Is there a 12-step program for that? There should be. So I was interested to see what I had actually kept during my mad sweep to clean up and clear out.

What was left? Lots of pictures – which I will NOT scan onto Facebook, since most of them are from long-past TTBOC days. Big hair, NKOTB clothes and teenage acne. Not public material, but some good memories there. My student ID from my freshman year at UNT. Part of a corsage. Thumb tacks (??!) Wedding invitations from dear friends and some letters from band camp buddies back in the day. Student planners from college. That one was interesting. Now I can access any number of old to-do lists, as well as remember important events should I so desire. What happened on April 11, 1992, for instance? Well, with the flip of a few pages I could give you that information in two shakes. Boxes of stuff that, to the casual observer, would be considered junk but are indelible snapshots of my life. Huh.

In the midst of decluttering, it occurred to me that decluttering my head might be beneficial too. Now THAT’s a major undertaking. There’s WAY too much floating around in there on a normal day, let alone an eventful one. So the other day at lunch (still can’t believe I get a whole HOUR – and most days I don’t know what to do with it) I sat down and wrote a blog entry. Yes, I did. On paper. A really long one. Even typed it up during a slow moment in the Big World of Commercial Real Estate with intentions of just copying and pasting it in here.

And then a minor miracle happened. I reread it. More than once. And I DIDN’T POST IT. That’s a first here. I realized that my post was the equivalent of that time when you really want to say something so you write a letter to someone (your boss, a co-worker, that evil guy who cut you off on the highway) just to say exactly what’s on your mind. What do the ‘experts’ always say about these letters? DON’T MAIL THEM. So I put it away. Yes, I got some pretty good insight from it, but I revised my usual routine of ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’ when it comes to my mouth (or in this case, my typing.) I put the filter on  – which is difficult for me – and pondered my thoughts. Yes, Pinky, I was pondering. For a long time. And I remembered the advice of a very wise man: “Identify the issue. Plan a solution. Take action.” Wow. That’s pretty easy to read. Makes sense, too. I planned and I acted. My brain feels much less full. And – insert gasp here – I feel better. Decluttering the mind is a good thing. Now, I’m still waiting to see the end result of ‘taking action,’ but you know what? To me the journey is just as important as the destination.

Go ahead. Declutter something today. That pile of clothes hangers, boxes or the nagging thoughts in the back of your mind. Just do it!

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Filed under family, Life Changes, organization, Personal growth, planning, work