Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 57 - One On One Time With My Kids

Last night my husband and I took our 12 year old daughter out to dinner, alone. For 2 hours she had our undivided attention. I could tell that she was very happy that we were able to give her some much need time with us alone. We were able to do this because her brother is out of town and her sister was at a Brownie event. Tonight, we are going to take our 8 year old to a movie alone. Her sister is going to a sleepover and her brother is still out of town.

One of the things I really want to do more of this year is giving each of my kids some time with us alone. It is a really hard thing to accomplish because our schedules are so busy and we have 3 kids. I often feel guilty if I leave 2 at home while doing something with the third. I never want any of my kids to think I am giving undivided attention to one at the expense of the others. But, I am beginning to realize that if I even the time out, it is possible. But most of all, it is important. It is crucial that each of them have time alone with us doing something that THEY want to do.

So, we are going to do just that. Last night we went to a vegetarian restaurant with our vegetarian daughter. Tonight we are going to see Gnomio and Juliet with our 8 year old. A movie that I personally have not interest in seeing, at all. But, her feelings are what matter on this one night that she has both of her parents to herself. We did draw the line on McDonald's though. I just can't eat there. The food truly grosses me out, so we are eating tacos at home instead before we head out to the movies.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 56 - I Need Another Break From The News

I am going to be brief tonight, as I do not wish to offend my friends who may be happy with politics as usual in Wisconsin. I am not happy with any of it. Our schools are being defunded and frankly that really pisses me off. So, in the spirit of remaining healthy and happy I am going to take another break from the news, sit down and try to stop thinking about the fact that some of the schools in Wisconsin are talking about laying off 30% of their teachers. I knew I should have considered homeschooling my kids.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 55 - Roots And Wings

When my son was a newborn, his pediatrician told me that the most important things I could give him were roots and wings. At the time the concept seemed ridiculous to me. Roots and wings? He was a baby, reliant on me for everything. It wasn't until he got older that I really grasped the concept of giving him roots and wings.

For the last 13 years I believe that his father and I have given him, and his sisters roots. They know that even when they move away, the home they grew up in will have a special meaning. They know that we love them unconditionally and forever. No matter what mistakes they may make, and they will make mistakes, they can count on us to always love them no matter what. They know that we will always be their parents and that even when they are adults they will be the most important people in our lives. These are the things that have helped give them roots.

Tomorrow I test my ability to let them have wings. Tomorrow my son is taking an airplane to his grandparents in St. Paul, alone. I am so nervous. I feel like 13 seems too young to be flying alone. But, I am going to allow it. He is very responsible and more than capable of doing this by himself . I know that he will not be left alone for a moment. I will see him get on that plane and my mother will be waiting for him at the other end at the gate with open arms. He will be fine.

I believe that by doing this I am helping to build his self confidence. I know that I am telling him I trust him and that I believe in his judgement. I am also telling him that I am okay with him someday living his own life and eventually leaving his home. All of these things are important lessons for all of us. So, this weekend I am giving my boy wings of his own and I am going to let him fly away knowing that he will be back on Sunday.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 54 - It Is Ok To Block Toxicity

This is a very strange title, I know that. But, in the day and age of emails, text messages and facebook, anybody can get into our personal space and cause toxicity in our lives. I am willing to bet that most of us have had this happen.

In recent months I have had to block a person from my email. This is a person who I care about very much and was stressed about making such a move. But, I felt like I had no choice but to block this particular person's access to my email in an effort to prevent things from being said that could never be taken back. I have said this before and I will say it again, I will not get into the details of why such a move transpired. For one, the issues had nothing to do with me. Sadly, I was being pulled into the middle of an argument that had nothing to do with me. I was forced to take a side, but the reasons for that will remain personal. Second, the emails and texts that were being sent to me were for another person to read, I was getting copies for a reason I am still not sure of. They were stressing me out and they were making me angry. I also believe that they were being used as a means of creating dialogue that was going to start a fight that again had nothing to do with me. After asking a couple times to stop sending me such emails and texts and the party refusing, I decided it was time to set up an email block. I did it for me and that is okay, I have no regrets for making such a move. I will not make an apology for it either. It is not my job to be the middle person in an argument that has nothing to do with me.

I hear about people "unfriending" facebook friends all the time. Things are said, people are offended or hurt and we get rid of them. It all seems so easy when it is people we don't care about. I mean really, if you have over 400 friends on facebook, how many of them are really meaningful to you? The sad thing for me though, is the person I blocked is a person I do care about. I care about this person's opinion and value their contribution to my life. So, this was not an easy decision to make. I would bet that it is a decision that I will pay for for a very long time. I weighed that outcome for a long time before setting up that block. But, when your heart starts racing when you see who a certain email is from or you get a pit in your stomach by the subject, you know that it is time to sever that tie. So, I did.

As the years go by and we continue to use technology as our primary means of communication, the email block will probably become even more common. I hope that someday, I can repair the damage to the relationship I speak of. But, I know that for my mental health I made the right decision for me. Let this be a lesson to all of us though. Be careful what you send via email and think twice before hitting that send button. Sometimes, you do damage that cannot be undone no matter what.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 53 - Journaling

I have had start journaling on my list for a long time now. I guess I failed to realize that my blog is journaling. But, what I really need to do is journal with pen and paper. I should write down thoughts that are private and not for entire internet community to read.

When I was a kid I use to write in my diary daily. I thought I was so deep, but when I look back at what I wrote, I really wasn't. It did help me organize my thoughts though in age appropriate wording. It probably made me a better writer as well.

Writing is something that I truly do enjoy. Had I been more in touch with my own likes and dislikes when in college, I probably would have picked a major that would have allowed me to write for a living. But as we all know, education is wasted on the young. If only I knew then what I know now. I would have made wiser decisions about my life. But, I guess this rant is going off the topic of journaling.

I will start to write out my thoughts in a beautiful journal that I have, one that I bought at the Metropolitan Museum of Art gift shop in New York. It will make me happy every time I use it and it will organize my thoughts and feelings.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 52 - Take A News Fast

I need to stop watching the news. It is all so very depressing! The Middle East is in crisis and my own state, Wisconsin, is our national headline news everyday it seems. Personally, I don't know why everyone can't just get along and why compromise is a word that seems to have been deleted from the English language without anyone telling me.

I am not in a position where I can take a full week off from the news. I have kids in the Wisconsin public school system, given the severity of the partisan relations in Madison, to ignore it would be irresponsible. Plus, I will need to know if a teacher's strike starts. But, I do think it is probably time for me to take a day or 2 off from the madness. I already watched a little bit this morning. But, starting now, until Wednesday morning, I am going to ignore the news and the bickering that is going on all over. That means that once I am done with this blog, I am going to turn away from the computer, ignoring Maybe in a couple days, when I allow myself to see the news again, everyone will have compromised and will be getting along. I guess we can all wish for the impossible.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 51- Dark Chocolate

I am going to start adding more dark chocolate to my diet. The experts say that dark chocolate is good for you, in moderation of course. I think I read that one small square is all the body needs to get the benefits of this small treat.

I am a big fan of dark chocolate, I prefer it over milk chocolate. I think milk chocolate is too sweet and has a weird waxy texture to it. So, this will not be a difficult addition for me. I just don't like to have too much in the house because I will get the mentality that if one piece is good for me, 2 or 3 must be even better. Of course I know that is not in fact true, but it is a nice little lie to tell myself as I am indulging.

My goal will be to have 1 small piece after dinner each evening, just enough so that I feel satisfied. Part of my problem will be that my 2 older children are also big fans of dark chocolate, so I will not be surprised to find that they have eaten my treat before I get to it.