Inspiration, Reflection

Time to Serve Only You

One of the hardest things for me to do is to ask for something for myself because after I ask, I feel selfish.  In the era I grew up, women were taught to be “quiet about” the things that they could do better than a man. We were put in our places, told that we had a place along side a man, but certainly never in front of one.  Biblically we were taught that a woman’s place is in supporting her husband. The community of men aspired to get that message out to every single woman.  So, when it came time for me to want a little alone time (something every human on the planet SHOULD have) I felt selfish.

Today, I sit here knowing that after 3 harsh months of school, activities, behavior modification for the kids, husband schedules, date nights, friends, family, and my adult children I feel horrible that this is the first day I got to sleep in. What’s going through my mind? The numerous things I SHOULD be doing not the numerous things I COULD be doing. Instead of taking the day off for me, or carving out some much needed writing time, in my head is a laundry list of items that still need checked off.  “Ortho appointment for the eldest.” Check.  “Dry cleaning for my husband.” Check. “Pick up kids at three separate times.” Check. “Plan dinner so husband isn’t mad.” Check. “Take dog for grooming.” Check… and the list goes on and on. So much so that I honestly do not have two consecutive hours of my own.  There’s no time between travel and duty.

Nights offer no downtime because the kids are old enough to go to be at 10 o’ clock.  So after dinner, homework, activities and being available to “look at” my husband as I listen while he talks, there is no room to escape for some me time.  Life becomes all about pleasing someone else, and the more you do, the more they have no concept of the lengths that you go to make them feel included, happy, fulfilled; until you’re brain is completely fried and you’re an empty shell.  It’s a mother’s life and we have all felt those moments from time to time.  Serving other’s is a powerful gift, but when is it time to serve yourself?

My advice, is to do it. It’s that simple. Put off the chores and take a day off.  Go do whatever it is that fills your cup.  Whatever brings you a blissful moment.  If you have to ask in advance, stop beating yourself up. Your husband clocks out. Your kids some home. Your friends can wait.  You never clock out. You keep going like that annoying pink Energizer rabbit.  It’s time to replenish the batteries and NOT feel guilty for it.

Psychology today says, “Being alone allows you to drop your “social guard”, thus giving you the freedom to be introspective, to think for yourself. You may be able to make better choices and decisions about who you are and what you want without outside influence. Often, we are swayed by the thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior of those in our immediate sphere. Of course, you may ask others for their advice and opinions but ultimately, consulting yourself and making up your own mind about what you want to do will lead you into the life that’s best for you.”

Don’t wait. Make today great. Make it about you.  It’s normal and it’s so very necessary. For me? I am going to Louisiana to see my adult kids for one weekend. I’m leaving behind the people who need me the most so that I can gain a newer perspective about where I should lead them, about how much patience I should have and maybe gain some joy along my journey.  Just a moment of peace.  That’s all I ask. For me.

Inspiration

By The Grace of God

This past week stories rocked the trending world.  One of my Facebook friends suggested that the reason that Nepal had such a catastrophic earthquake is because a few random ignorant people killed a man in public.  My Facebook friend believes that God is punishing the entire region of Nepal in retribution for this act.  I read the post and I hung my head.  The God that man knows is not the loving God that I know. I know the man who saved lives. Who held those accountable without hurting innocent people to do it.  I wasn’t angry, I was saddened.  Moreover, I was heartbroken that he does know the loving God I do.

With that said, I wonder if the woman who violently and in a fit of fearful rage slapped and shouted many an explicative at her young son would have done so if Jesus was standing directly behind her. Further if you saw Jesus would you put that woman’s actions on a pedestal for her rage? Or would you define the fact that maybe he feels justified to act that way is because he was taught that in response to pain or fear; physical violence is the answer?  Would you claim that should be “Mother of the Year?” Or would you rather just say she was a woman who lost her temper in the moment and handled a situation wrong? What will it take for you, and me to stop reacting to the outrage of what those boys were doing so that we may see the young man was hurting. He felt his people were being brutally mistreated.  The mother, although violent and raged filled was in fear for his life.  Were either wrong or right? Certainly not. Nor should either be hailed as anything but a moment of two wrongs not making a right.

My opinion opposes that of the masses.  I suppose I am looking at this from love. A mother’s love and a concern for mother’s everywhere who may feel it’s appropriate to act this way when they fear.  It only takes one moment of acceptance to alter the way a society thinks.

The floods in Kenya, the shootings throughout my city and yours. Killing our officers who are sworn to protect us. Making all men pay for the audacity of few? When did that become acceptable?

I hear your cry for injustice. I hear the screams from the pain of suppression. I see the tears that fall because your loved ones are harmed at the hands of the ignorant. I listen with shock and awe as you speak of the unimaginable treatment you had to endure. I walk next to you and I too am rejected. I hear you, man. I am listening. We are all listening… Some of us are committed to action. Keep going… have hope… your day of resolution is upon us.

For the rest of us, let’s stay calm. Let’s discuss options. Let’s view this from love, not rage, nor condemnation of our unjust intolerance.  Let’s all simmer a bit in the magic of grace and hug one another. Let’s spread some love and not rage. Let’s help these boys and girls who riot understand violence, by the few or by the protesters is still violence.  That won’t end the problem. Let’s all work to an end that will.

Inspiration

Treasured Moments

There is nothing in the world quite like a moment when you realize that you’re happy. Happiness is not a constant feeling, and for most this illusive emotion evades from daily life. I think that in the movie, “Yours, Mine and Ours” after Lucille Ball desperately tries to explain to her daughter the fundamentals of joy but fails miserably; Henry Fonda picks up the dialog by explaining that great moments arrive from putting the effort of all the drudgery and the boring is what leads to the big events! In other words, quantity no matter how mundane brings quality! You cannot have one without the other.

So imagine my surprise when I am sitting with incredible women and I realize I’m smiling! And I think “wow it’s been a long time since that’s happened!” a genuine real happy joyful smile!

What’s even better is that they were smiling and we were sharing openly and honestly and real and laughing until we couldn’t stand it anymore. Each of us had issues and extreme stories to share and opinions and comments… It was human compassion in motion! A connection stronger than time and distance full of passion and empathy and we were all there wishing that happy moments could just last a whole lot longer!

We worked together in one of the worst jobs that I have ever had! Not because of the work but because of the dictator suppression of a power motivated woman who I believe if possible would actually blow fire up someone’s butt to get them to do her bidding! We came out close friends and none of us work there anymore. The strife gave us the blessing of forming a unity against the unjust but it’s not anything we dwell on anymore. It was the basic foundation of friendship that’s been tested over time and matured into life long confidential bonding that all women wish they had! I honestly regard myself blessed!

Today you’re going to have to finish the audit paperwork and financial matters and clean the house, make the dinner, and tend to the animals, but stop right now and schedule that spa or dinner with the gals! 1. Because you sure as hell deserve it and 2. Because believe it or not it’s been too long between your ultimate moments of “happy!”

I highly recommend time to fill up your cup be because when you do…it runneth over!