Monday, March 11, 2013

Some of the Most Important Lessons I've Learned

 I don't know as much about my mother and father's back ground as I would like. Every time that I tried to get some information I felt like they told me the same stories over and over. My mom played sports...she loved sports...mostly basketball...she was the peace maker in her home growing up. My dad played baseball and was in the navy. He always responded to my questions with "Why do you want to know? Are you writing a book or something"
Wellll...maybe. Fortunately, I have 4 sisters and between all of us asking questions we have a sketchy look into their upbringing and early years of marriage.
 We seem to easily remember the things that have made it into "the file of important events" in our memory cabinet but other things have to be triggered. And if you don't know the right questions to ask its like anticipating a day of shopping at the big sale and coming home empty-handed.
I have a "Mother's Legacy" book that I have been writing  in for my children and grandchildren. It has provoking questions to help me write down my life in a nutshell. So far it's been a good trigger for those memories that I've buried. Some pleasant..some not so pleasant, but all in all good for me to relive. I've had some "ah ha" moments about myself and the way I react or respond to current events in my life. And, o boy, my kids and grandkids will "get" to have a record of my oh so eventful life!
I was rather excited when I came to the page that said... Recall for me some of the most important lessons you have learned from life.
WOW really? The invisible interviewer of my book actually wants to know what I've learned the hard way. I mean come on! Who doesn't want to shout from the rooftop "I GET IT! Gather around so I can tell you what not to do!"
As I enthusiastically pondered this challenge I came up with 10 things.
So...aren't you lucky...if you are reading this you too will get to contemplate some of my life's lesson......I think I will definitely need some feedback.
Some of the most important lessons I've learned:
 1. No one knows what you are thinking, so don't expect them to know. Express yourself about how you are feeling or what you are expecting.
2. In  alot of cases some people don't have a clue if they just hurt you or offended you. Think the best of people and extend grace and forgive. You've probably done the same thing to someone.
3. God loves us soooo much. He is not trying to squelch our fun!
4. To the best of your ability make people feel welcomed and loved.
5. Some body language can be harmful to you and to others.
6.You really do reap what you sow.
7. Listen and hear what someone is really saying. It takes getting your focus off of yourself.
8. Everyone wants to be loved and accepted. Selfishness is the enemy and he wears camouflage.
9. What you call annoying can be someones insecurity.
10. Moms and dads are just people too.
Although I could come up with so many more life lessons and even have categories to file them under, these ten "commandments"encompass an array of morals to my stories and life experiences. I just might write about how I came up with each of these. Hmmm good idea, Peg. Give me 10 months to do it :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Seize the Day!

O well, I"ve done it again. I've waited a whole 2 months to write. Where does the time go? I look at all my friend's posts and wonder "how do they find time?" Even my daughter-in-law started writing again with a new baby, not to mention my young friend who home schools her 3 boys with a baby girl on her hip. She writes everyday, I think. I am a grandmother who works part-time and no children at home. I think (I know) I waste a lot of time.
I just read my daily devotional. The title was Carpe Diem: Seize the Day! Ok so I'm trying to apply what I just read.
At age 60 an amazing thing happens. You start to ask yourself what would my bucket list consist of, what adventures can I embark on or what new thing can I try out (like writing :)) Actually, these questions have  been slowly evolving since my kids left our home 10 years ago. My husband and I turned and looked at each other for the first time after 20 years as our boys embarked on their adventure towards starting their own families.
Don't get me wrong. I knew the day was coming when my boys would fly the coop and these two turtle doves would be left wondering what happened and what to do after 20 years of being comforter, provider, question answerer, sports enthusiast, teacher, medical assistant, religious scholar, leader, public relations director, trip advisor, money manager, chauffeur, and anything else you can think of playing the all encompassing roll as a parent. We actually started praying about this when our boys were in their teen years at the prompting of comments I had heard from my older women friends about how hard it was when their children left home. And husband and I had our monthly date nights to keep in touch with each other.
But its a shock when it actually happens and you realize how much time and energy you have invested in your children and family. You have fully identified yourself as MOTHER and wife and now you have become an adult friend to your children and husband. It feels very awkward.
Somehow you figure out through painful trial and error how to do it.  I have had to find out who I really am and how does a MOTHER transition into a FRIEND. And  what I am good at besides high expectations and giving advice? Hmmm I think I mentioned trying to figure that out in my 40's  in my blog post Turning 60. Parenting kept me motivated to keep learning, keep caring, keep dying to myself for the sake of those young ones. No one was born already knowing how to be a parent or any job title we choose. It was the career I chose and I wanted to be good at it.
Now it is just him and me. And guess what... you keep learning, you keep caring and you keep dying to yourself for the sake of your lover. And we are doing it together; making a bucket list, embarking on new adventures, and trying new things (like smart phones  :) ) I want to finish well and I want to be the best wife, companion and friend.
Yes! Carpe Diem! Seize the day!