Posted in Emotions, Grace, Rant, White Knight

Only Human

I’ve been feeling this one a lot lately. I’m a strong woman who can take a lot. The problem with strong people is you never know what straw is going to break the camel’s (my) back. For those who are on the weaker side, no criticism or judgment intended, but people are more careful with you. Because we are aware of your sensitivities and limits, those who know and love you, also know your limits. Short of abuse, unusual stress or neglect, those limits are respected by the people who matter in your life. For those of us who are naturally strong, we take it and take it and take it some more, soldiering on supporting everyone around us even as inside, we’re running on empty, hiding our worries and fears. When’s it my turn? Is there someone (short of God) who can be strong for me for a while? ‘Cause I’m tired and there’s no end in sight.

ONLY HUMAN – Christina Perri
http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=only+human+perri&FORM=VIRE6#view=detail&mid=93C524A9685001F1099893C524A9685001F10998

*This is the live version. Less polish more realness.

I can hold my breath
I can bite my tongue
I can stay awake for days
If that’s what you want
Be your number one
I can fake a smile
I can force a laugh
I can dance and play the part
If that’s what you ask
Give you all I am

I can do it. I can do it. I can do it

But I’m only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I’m only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
I’m only human, yeah

I can turn it on
Be a good machine
I can hold the weight of worlds
If that’s what you need
Be your everything

I can do it. I can do it. I’ll get through it

But I’m only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I’m only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
I’m only human, yeah

I’m only human
I’m only human
Just a little human
I can take so much
Until I’ve had enough

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Posted in business, Grace, Life's Lessons, Rant

The Partner You Need (ie. . . not the partner you want)

I’m not the partner you need? I mean, I know I asked, but I REALLY hoped that wasn’t going to be your answer.

So these dreams are all for not? Everything we’ve been talking about over the last 2 weeks? 6 weeks? Years? All the breakthroughs we’ve had in our relationship? Was that just for you? Did I have a role in this too? Was I at home with the kids, working a job in town, toeing the line at the restaurant, what? Where was I in this?

So, today was your reminder of why we shouldn’t be in business together, huh?

I’m the problem then, huh? I’m the one dragging you down?

Your mistake is believing you need someone like yourself to be your partner. You don’t. You need the opposite, ME, to do and enjoy all things you don’t do and can’t stand. Yes, anyone could do book work just like anyone can wait tables. That’s not the point. You don’t need a ‘yes man.’ You need someone who thinks differently and will tell you’re being an idiot when you are and who also has different gifts and talents to augment your own highly developed and specialized skill set.

This really doesn’t sound like the problem is all me here does it? The more I write and then read and then re-write, the more it is obvious to me that you hold no respect for me in the industry and, by association, as a business partner. I am not perfect (and sometimes only just passable in some things I have to do for the business) and I don’t know everything. You seem to though. Dang it! Every stinkin’ time we have this stupid old argument, you always seem to know best and nothing I say or do or know or think measures up. Your way or the highway?

I don’t see it. I think what needs to happen is you need to learn to work with me and I with you. I am not your opponent. I AM ON YOUR TEAM. I have your back. Every stinkin’ time. I am in your corner. Your Dad didn’t believe it of his wife, will you? I want you to succeed and be happy. I want us to succeed and be happy together, both at work and at home. We are all on the same side.

I like working with you most of the time. I would rather spend the rest of my life with you in any endeavor we chose than anywhere else, doing anything else, for anyone else.

I feel like you are so close to being that team captain that leads the team to nationals that I can taste it. I see the big win at the end of the season of back breaking work and commitment and I want it! I want to trust you. I want to see you be the man and leader you were intended to be but left at the wayside 10 years ago. I want to follow you. I do! I just don’t trust you 100% yet. Is it OK for me to be cautions? Is it OK to ask and question and analyze? You see fear, but I see caution. And I have had a lot of disappointments in my life when I’ve trusted others to lead. The only way I know to protect myself is to be cautious. Slow it down. That was my only tool in my arsenal when dealing with my parent’s leadership. As a pretty much a powerless minority partner, the only control I had on their leadership was talking and questioning and talking some more. I didn’t have a veto. I am feeling that way again. Like my role is again to slowing down the train enough to ask where we’re going and who’s coming with us and how are we paying for it. Is that what you mean when you say I am holding you back?

But do you see how far I’ve come? Can you give me that? I have come so far in my relationship with you! Even in the last 6 months, I have opened up and learn to trust you in ways I have never trusted and exposed heart and soul to anyone. Ever. Can I have some grace too? Can we have a learning curve here? One day of reality and everything we’ve dreamed for the last few day is tossed to the wind? I think I deserve more than that. More importantly, I think WE deserve more than that.

Posted in Emotions, Grace, Pretty Girl, Rant, Uncategorized, White Knight

And you are mine

I happened into the restaurant this morning, a sick Buddy and active Little Man in the car, after dropping a post-Bio Mom Pretty Girl off at school.  Meaning only to stop for a quick yogurt breakfast for the boys, I immediately parked the running car and quickly occupied the boys downstairs to take tables on the floor when I walked into the rush.  Despite a projected 5 hours the kids would need to be occupied downstairs, I / we stayed through and worked lunch with you and closed along side you.  Again successfully occupying the kids downstairs, we had our much anticipated sit down with our landlords and exhausted our questions for them.  I was hoping to walk away with a definite ‘yey’ or ‘ney’ to our much discussed business direction.  We just wanted to ‘know.’  You heard a definite.  I?  Not so much though I ruled nothing out.

 

You, having already arranged for your mom to watch the kids to give us time to talk, had made a way for date night.  Or not depending on if we were just going to come home and cry?  You left our evening very open ended.  For all I knew, we would be spending the night in rather than going out.

 

After our meeting, I rushed the kids home as you closed the restaurant.  With Buddy asleep and the other two begging for a bath, I filled ours first and let them at it.  Figuring after dinner out and with you opening in the morning, we wouldn’t be able to handle bath and lovin after 8 ish, a reasonable back home time given past dining experience (plus, grammie sitting usually means baths and jammies for everyone so probably no hot water for our bath later).  Perfect!  Kids occupied, wife naked (ish), said wife ready for action after a few days off, an early hot bath, and romantic date plans?  Sounds like I’m getting some lovin’ tonight!

 

But . . . your mom’s home too.  Wow!  I guess it is 5 o clock, but I thought we’d have a bit more down time before we went out.  Of well, she won’t mind.  She’ll think it’s cute.  A romantic bath for two!

 

We make it upstairs.  We talk.  We clarify.  We dream.  We relax.  Or so I thought, but again with the facebooking!  Then you mention our favorite, Ko Ho and a pork chop and off we went.  Perfect!  I had already thought of this option too and had Plan B lined up.  I had chosen a top that would be a little sexy to greet you in and easily transformable into date night attire with some leggings.

 

But wait!  This was to be a business / dreaming dinner?  Well, I guess that was his original intention in arranging childcare for tonight.  Bringing the sketchbook?  Oh, he must be serious!  Ok.  I can do this.  Switching gears to . . . business.  Pros and cons.  This landlord or that landlord.  Ok.  I’m on board.

 

Hit a bump there.  Ideas are flowing faster than I can follow.  Once I understand one and have time to jump on board, you’re off on another.  Not waiting to use the book I guess.  Whoa, Nelly!

 

Alright.  At dinner, back on the same page.  You were riding the ‘monsters’ or something so you said.  Acknowledging I wasn’t keeping up with the thought train.  But wait!  We’re all for the same thing here.  Happier, healthier us.  More time with each other and the kids.  Less strife.  Less anxieties.  Yes!  That’s what we all want!  Let’s do this!  What’s the best option for us?  Feeling good.  We’re cuddling.  We’re doing good.

 

In the car, ok I think.  Nothing sticks out.  Foggy so no romantic back road, but ok.

 

At home, ok I think.  Kids with grammie.  We head to our room.  We relax and talk and such a little I think?  You’re down to your usual bedroom attire of boxers and wife beater and facebooking on top of the covers as we continue to talk and . . . up comes our roommate.

 

Little Man wants to lay with mommy.  Mommy washes face and hands and teeth (at daddy’s prompting) and quickly get’s him comfortable in the dark.   While I am trying to get said son asleep, husband proceeds to get comfortable under the covers removing wife beater and cuddling pillows into leveraged positions.  Business ideas still flowing even as Joshua some how manages to quickly fall asleep.  But as I slip out from under our sleeping son, I fear it is already too late.  He’s already out.  Not just the son, no the father too.

 

But wait!  There’s a chance he is just relaxing while I was getting the dude to sleep and he’s just waiting for me to turn on the romantic mood we spoiled with business talk all night when all I wanted was to just spend time with you! I know we’ve got the decision of a lifetime in front of us, but we’re not going to make up our minds tonight, are we?  I could always wake you with a BJ, right?  Quick!  Some romantic lighting and some mood music maybe?  What’s the least intrusive to see if he’s responsive?  Low lighting?  We’ll go with the low lighting since I can’t remember where a single electronic music making devise is!  And . . .

 

Nope.  Not into it at all.  Blinded him instead, so now I’m a jerk. <sigh>.

 

I’m lost.  Where did I go wrong here?  What changed in the last 25 minutes since we walked in from the truck?  ‘Cause I still felt like I was coming home from a date when we got out of the truck?  Happy endings all ‘round, right?  Oh!  Was it before that?  I guess I bitched at I guess I bitched at you all night?  I had attitude?  I’m PMSing so that has to be it, right?  I’m the problem?  I didn’t just do everything but jump your bones and lay out a red carpet (ha) to my vagina this evening?  I was attributing my frustrations of the evening to sheer sexual frustrations of which I was hoping to happily exhaust on you.  But, no.  I get a sarcastic ‘how dare Marshall rest’ from you as if I have ever thought you didn’t deserve to rest when you’re tired.  I love to participate 100% in our alone times, but I understand the difficulty of shutting off the brain sometimes. I know we can’t just magically hop to at the drop of a hat when your partner is ready for some couple time, but . . .COME ON!

 

I’m getting whiplash again, and it not me spinning my head with 180’s.  I swear, dude!  I can’t keep up and I feel like you’re getting frustrated with my slowness.  Like there’s something wrong with me that I can’t keep up with your train of thoughts, spoken and unspoken, and somehow read your intentions and ignore your anxieties and doubts all while trusting your judgments absolutely but also being ready at a moment’s notice to entertain any option for our future. GAAH!

 

It’s like an army standing at a constant state of readiness.  Fatigue will set in.  Attention will waiver under the strain maintaining peak awareness.  Ears silently straining for the cue to move.  I’m getting tired of swimming yet I haven’t moved at all.  What if I waste all of my energy treading water and I have none left to move forward?

 

I’m like a clenched muscle, after putting my shoulder to the plow, readying itself to push and some how maintaining a life while living in that moment of sheer potential energy – the moment before the push that has the potential for anything / everything at once until a decision is made to direct that energy potential into action.  A moment in time where all things are possible, all options are on the table.

 

Exhausting.

 

Love on me and I on you

Believe in me and listen

Rest and hear my heart.

Look at me, not past me.

Talk with me, not about us.

Spend time in my eyes not in your head.

Feel my arms not anxiety’s claws.

Lay your head upon my chest and breath deep

For I am yours, and you are mine.

 

Me (not ME but me)

 

Posted in Church, Emotions, Grace, Rant, White Knight

Standing Here

Ever feel like you’re just treading water?  Holding onto a cliff and neither climbing up nor down as your arms start to shake from the grip needed to just stay put?  Or maybe you’re expending energy waiting for something or someone to go or do something?  Anything?  

Waiting is exhausting!

As I wait, I have noticed how sensitive I am to anything that seems like a ‘go’ sign – an opportunity to go somewhere, do something, be with someone, anything.  Doesn’t he know, I’ve just been waiting for the sign?  Why does he tease me with random moments of ambition and inspiration only to withdrawal after an initial frustration?  Doesn’t he know I’ve just been waiting in the wings for him to get this show on the road called life?  I’m moving restlessly from foot to foot, watching the game, thinking to myself ‘put me in coach.  Let me show you what I got.  I can do this.  Let me do this.  Let us do this.’  Instead, I grasp on to any bit of ambition he gives me (or I take it?) and feel like I have to ride it for all it’s worth.  It may be the last little bit I’ll see for a while.  I want to do this with him not despite him.  That’s no way to make a like together.

It’s not his fault that I don’t have any family, friends or mentors in my life.  That I rely on him to be both my lover, my best friend, my confidant and my partner.  It’s not his fault (entirely) that I’ve lost all but the most superficial of relationships with my parents.  It’s not his fault that my sisters got caught in the fall out with my parents and now, with young families of their own, have little time for the insecurities of their big sister.  It’s not his fault, I moved away from my close-knit family church and as a result lost contact with the wonderful mature women who should have continued to mentor someone like myself through these new trials of life.  It’s not his fault (entirely) that at the same time, I left a long-standing commitment to music and youth and, following several other transitions, am left with not a singe artistic outlet – other than Pandora playlists while we’re making out.  It’s not his fault I never formed close relationships with my fellow college or high school students.  I was too busy working, performing, pursuing two degrees and volunteering in church to hangout with anyone and actually do those ‘get to know you’ activities.  It’s not his fault (entirely) I’ve owned an incredibly needy business for the last 8 years and probably only had time to get together with him, because I saw him and worked together pretty much everyday.

But . . . I like spending time with him dang it!  He IS my best friend.  He IS my business and life partner.  He IS my only confidant.  <sigh>

I might need to go back to being ok with just being by myself.  Stop caring about what he’s doing or wanting every minute of the day and letting that determine what I am going to do or say.  Maybe I’ll start volunteering again.  I just realized today how much I don’t do in a night or week just so I am available for if he wants to do something with me.  How ridiculous is that!  I’ve stepped down from every nonprofit I’ve ever participated in.  I have no hobbies or classes outside the home.  I no longer belong to a church.  I have no friends that I would hangout with apart from my husband.

I tell myself that it’s all good for me.  This is teaching me to loosen up, to go with the flow.  I like to control the situation around myself, maybe this is an opportunity for me to mature, be more flexible.  But that’s just not reality.  We are not called to ignore our gifts and talents and I am a planner by nature.  I am all about process.  I wake up thinking about what I’m going to do in a day, including how it will end.  I think about the most efficient way for us to leave the house.  I think about what the kids should do when they get home from work with the 20 minutes we have before we jet out again.  Do not get me wrong, I adapt well.  I have to with a husband that won’t plan more that 20 minutes ahead.  But because the times are so few, I find myself tripping over myself to jump on ANY wagon he finally gets hooked up.  We’ll talked about it off and on for a while.  Me trying to be the supportive wife, encourage the positive and trying not to respond too negative in response to some of the more unorthodox or outrageous ideas.  ‘You want to go somewhere, anywhere, do something, anything, let’s go’, I say.  Controlling?  I don’t think so.  I have desires left unfulfilled so long I don’t remember what’s it’s like to be filled to overflowing with happiness, peace, belonging, being loved, being cared for, being taken care of, secure, sure of myself, confident, inspired, and committed.  That’s what is really happening.  I am going to need to see some maturity here real soon, or I will have to start protecting myself.  Pearls before swine, right?

So . . . what am I supposed to do?  He arranges to have his shift covered 7 days before Christmas, wants to go into town and I’m not supposed think we’re going Christmas shopping?  Apparently, he wanted to shop by himself.  Didn’t sound like fun to have me (or Joshua) around.  I don’t think he meant it as hurtful.  He was just expressing HIS frustrations.  Apparently, I don’t let him do things.  I’m always trying to control him even with something as simple as watching a movie.  Am I that needy?  Maybe I am.  Maybe, I’ve allowed my entire life to revolve around my husband.  Maybe every plan I make has one end goal – to get done or get home so I can be with him.  Is this too much?  I just thought my energies should be given to those I care about most.  Is that so wrong?

Maybe we each need to prioritize the other’s alone time?  Then it’s something we are doing for each other, not making for ourselves.  I feel guilty for ever hour I’m not at home.  I don’t feel like I can just pop off and go shopping any ole free afternoon.  I don’t feel like I can take off for a cup of tea or lunch with my sister.  I DO need permission to have some time to myself.  And . . . I think it is a partner’s job to empower the other to do what is healthy for themselves.  Do I hold him back?  Maybe.  I feel like he is naturally inclined to be that social butterfly, life of the party.  I probably do hold him back.  Without me and the kids, I am sure he’d be at Adam’s one night, jamming with Michael one night, watching football with his dad another, work a couple of nights, and then veg the last.    Sex?  Sure.  But it’s I that get the kids ready and headed for bed each night.  It’s I that makes decisions all day about what I eat so I can, again, be available.  Why isn’t it about whether I’M in the mood?  Why can’t I be the priority?  He is my priority ALL THE TIME!  I am constantly thinking about making his life easier, happier, more fulfilled.  I am constantly thinking about his physically and emotional comfort.

I don’t think there is a single person in my life who thinks about my physical or emotion comfort like I do for him.  And that’s pretty sad.  He listens better to strangers in our  business than he does to me.  He goes out of his way to remember their likes and dislikes, to anticipate their orders and remember what was talked about the time before as well but can’t ask me nicely for help when he knows he’s messing with my time and a project I’m in the middle of.  Nothing is every as important when he has needs, certainly not whatever I may be doing or needing.  A misunderstanding with a long time customer led to his disturbed rest for days.  Our misunderstandings end in him walking away, refusing to talk or going to sleep if I can’t just get over it.   To the best of my knowledge, he’s never lost sleep over me.

Yeah, I matter.  

I can’t remember the last time he massaged me.  Take that back.  It was about a month ago and led straight to sex.  I can’t remember the last time he cuddled me in public.  I can’t remember the last time he said he appreciated me.  Take that back.  He appreciated that I was willing to go through thrift shops for clothes for him and the kids ’cause he can’t.  Great.  Even now, as I write, he is taking a nap.  After leaving me crying silently in the car on our trip home following our aborted shopping trip, he leaves me to go to work, or not, as he watches his movie and now, takes a nap.

Like I said, he’s never lost sleep over me.

Posted in business, Emotions, Grace, Rant, White Knight

Still Waiting

I did it again.  

Here I am waiting for him to do what I think he should before I step out to do what know I should to do.  

I dance around minor issues waiting for him to take the lead and then I am frustrated when it’s not done or not done how I thought it ought.  Really all I want (ALL I want, ha!) is to be loved and appreciated for what I do well and supported where I am weak.  

Isn’t that all anyone wants? 

We are all striving for that same sweet spot.  That place where you are using and developing your gifts and talents, hopefully making a living while doing so, and then being surrounded by family and coworkers who understand what you love and do well and encourage you in it.  Can’t I have that?  That’s not too much to expect is it?

<sigh>

My current frustrations stem back 8 years and did not start with my husband.  He is simply next loved one in line who doesn’t seem to appreciate my gifts and talents.  And that sounds SO selfish and I feel so badly about myself for even thinking that but that doesn’t change the reality of it!  

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a shadow of woman who can’t stand up for herself buried in the kitchen slaving away without thanks.  I am a strong, independent, and skilled woman who has been stuck in a business where I have to work in areas I strongly dislike and go unpaid and unappreciated in areas I enjoy and am good at.  I can only pay the barest of attention my area of responsibility leading to half heart efforts and  rushed presentations.  No wonder my family doesn’t know how good I am.  They’ve never seen me give 100% to anything much less what I am good at and love doing.  I live my life at 50% most of the time.  How sad is that?!  We are called to live up to our fullest potential not languish in mediocrity.  And notice I said they don’t ‘seem’ to appreciate me.  My love language is also encouraging words so only hearing once in a blue moon how well I do something, does not a happy woman make.

When the ownership structure changed a year ago, I had hoped it would be my time to shine and grow.  There would only be two of us, I thought.  He’s my husband.  We’ve worked together almost the entire time we’ve know each other.  We’ve shared the same frustrations with how things were run under my parents leadership. We’ve commiserated over their treatment and lack of appreciation for all that we’ve done for the business.  I understand his gifts and talents.  This is it, I thought!  I will finally have someone on MY team.  We’re going to do this thing together.

And . . . still unappreciated and unpaid for almost everything I actually enjoy doing and even the necessary tasks suited to my major gifts and talents are low priority in my partner’s world. I have and continue to support his incredible personal growth over this last year of ownership. He has had an amazing year and truly come full circle.  His skills compliment mine almost exactly with us able to cover almost every business need between us.

I even understand where the frustration comes from on a sociological point of view.   I am a INTJ and he is a ESFP – complete opposites in how we process the world, how we interact with people, and how we find joy and renew our energy. (BTW – the INTJ personality type is one of the rarest and most interesting types – comprising only about 2% of the U.S. population. INTJ females are especially rare – just 0.8%.). 

I prefer solo and small group activities and need alone time to rest and renew.  

He is full of personality and gains energy from being a social butterfly. 

I think about what might happen and remain introspective while he focuses on the now and observes those around him. 

I am not overly sensitive to the feelings of others, valuing the process or goal more than the individual while he values his relationships and happiness of those around him above all. 

 And finally, I prefer clear rules and structure and closure while he relaxes and wants to keep his options open and wotk on the fly.

See what I mean!  

Our strengths are completely different and I watch us repetitively fall into that marriage trap.  You know the one. We all do it. Reality is, when you marry your complimentary opposite, you consciously have to keep yourself from resenting the strengths in your partner since they will usually be your weaknesses and nothing shows off your weaknesses better than the mirror that is your partner.  There is tremendous power in a relationship like this.  Not everyone gets the complete package between only two people.  There is also tremendous vulnerability in a relationship like this.  No one is a better mirror for what you’re not than your partner, especially one with such different strengths.  Sometimes the reflection is something we’d rather not see.  If you let your weakness and resentment of your partner’s strength control your relationship, you will spend your marriage trying to pull your partner down rather than helping build them up into the person they supposed to be.  This is what I observed between my Knight’s parents.  Their personality types are a half turn apart from us, yet they too are complete opposites.  But instead of the husband appreciating the incredible woman who was his wife and letting her strengths add to him, he spent his entire life repressing her so she couldn’t shine any brighter than him.  If he’d let her, if he’d believed she was on his team, if he’d loved and appreciated and built up his wife, she would have made his life joyous, fulfilled and blessed as she blesses everyone around her.  As it was, she put up with him for 40 years.  The best 40 years of his life that’s for sure.  He know exactly what he’s missing and the knowledge that he, and only he, is the one that drove her away.  She is an amazing woman DESPITE him not WITH him and certainly not BRCAUSE of him.

I don’t want that for my marriage.  I don’t want to be the one unappreciated nor do I want to be the one tearing down my partner so I feel better about myself.  I don’t want to be happy DESPITE that special someone.  So, what do I need to do?  I don’t know for sure.  I do know that if business can afford it, I should not be doing what I hate.  What’s the point of that?  After 8 years (and 1 just the two of us) we should have this figured out.  If the business can afford it and we can afford it personally, both areas of our life will only benefit from me immersing myself in work that I enjoy.  And he shouldn’t be my boss.  That’s not healthy for a marriage.  If the only way he can work is to control it all, let him.  He’s good at it.  And I can trust him to take care of both our customers and the bottom line.  Why am I even in the middle of that?  Why put myself in a position to resent him?

Now to get my uncommitted, social butterfly to PLAN this all out!  

Good luck

Posted in Life's Lessons, prayers, Rant

Grandparents (ie. breaking the curse)

This is re-post from last year which I removed to honor an uncle’s request, but it needs to said. I love you grandpa!

June, 2009
Tonight I said ‘goodbye’ to my grandparents for, what I believe is, the last time. My grandmother has burnt has last bridge with my parents and my grandparents will be leaving tomorrow to live on the east coast. They will be living with their last child.

My grandmother has a long and sordid history of alienating and/or disowning one or all of her four children. It’s a sad thing when the strongest memories I have of my grandmother are negative ones. It’s a sad thing to watch a woman at the end of her life make the same prideful mistakes she made before you were even born. A lifetime of illness and fragile health brought about from resentment and a hardened heart. How can a mother disown a daughter who left her family and business in distress to ‘rescue’ her – move her lock, stock, and barrel into her own home sacrificing her own family to care for her parents? I don’t understand it, but I watched it happen. In thinking about my grandmother, I have chalked her up to one of life’s lessons – one I need to learn from. So what can I learn from my grandmother’s lifetime of selfishness and self pity? OH, Let me count the ways!

1) Grow up. Mature with age and gain wisdom as you go. There’s nothing less attractive than an 80 year old woman with the emotional maturity of a junior higher.

2) Learn from your mistakes. Life may be a spiral, but every time you come around again, the hurdles should be easier.

3) Age gracefully. Bitterness poisons you from the inside out. If you want to live a long and healthy life – live a happy life not storing up offenses and spewing at those around you.

4) Be real. Life is to short to fake your way through it. Life should never be about putting on a smiling face and pretending the ugliness of the night before never happened.

5) Give without the expectation of receiving. Give for the joy of giving not the satisfaction of being recognized. No one should feel guilty for not writing a thank you note.

6) Love without conditions. What do you have to cling to at the end of your life, but the relationships you’ve built throughout the course of it? Destroy them and you will be a sad, bitter, lonely old woman with nothing but your pride to cling to.

My greatest hope is to not carry these lessons through to my kids. I have enough to learn from in my life without repeating the mistakes of my ancestors.

THIS IS MY PRAYER . . .
May my pride not blind me to my own shortcomings.
May I have the grace to admit when I am wrong, the humility to make amends
and the desire to do better.
May I remember that all we have take from this world into the next are the
relationships we cultivate.
May my desire for control not control me.
May I love unconditionally, give without hesitation, and live joyfully.

GROW up and LEARN from your mistakes, AGE gracefully, GIVE without expectations, and LOVE unconditionally. 

 Did I miss anything?

Posted in Community, Grace, Rant

The Puppet Raises its Ugly Head

In my business blog – now no longer in existence – back in November I had a few posts about my volunteer experience on the board of a local non-profit. My frustrations were huge! There were two individuals I referred to as The Puppet and The Tyrant who were the cause most of the problems. Here’s an update.

I really hate (yes, I said hate) losing sleep over something as low on my priority list as a volunteer position. Yes, its important to me. Yes, I’ve made a commitment to the organization to serve on its board for another year. But at the end of the day, if I lose sleep about something, it should be about my business, my livelihood, or my family – those things which are essential to my physical and mental well-being. It may have been a combination of an oncoming cold which made made me very achy and a tense board meeting earlier that evening. Whatever the reason, I spent hours lying in the dark last night going over in my mind what has happen in the past, what happened at the board meeting and, in fact, writing this blog in my mind.

The Puppet, if you will remember, I described as a good person who was a ‘puppet’ of the Tyrant. The Tyrant is out of the picture now. She has not been seen or heard from except in the rare third party over the last two months. From what I have been told of her past, I don’t expect that to remain that way forever. She will no doubt turn up in a few months pretending nothing was said or done. She has done horribly in her representation of Conservative, Christian business women. I am quite ashamed to be associated with her even in as much as a part of the organization she formerly led. We spend TOO much time making up for her slights to various community organizations, individuals, and past members of the organization. Anyway, enough on her. Back to The Puppet who is the true focus of my rant tonight.

I can no longer think of The Puppet as a good person who was led astray. Honest people admit their mistakes and do their best to fix them. They do not go out of their way to cover their own butts at every opportunity! When all The Puppet can admit to and apologize for is not holding enough meetings or staying on top of things better, I just wanted to shake him! It was YOU, I wanted to say! YOU allowed The Tyrant her reign. You allowed our treasury to be draining with unapproved expenses. YOU allowed the reputation of our organization to be trashed. YOU gave The Tyrant approval to do as she pleased without the consulting the rest of us, thus setting us on this road to ruin. These were not the actions of an honest person. I can no longer consider his actions a simple misplacement of trust in The Tyrant. When you don’t admit the wrong, you take no responsibility for your actions. You lose more than the pride you thought to salvage by hiding. Without the humility to admit your mistakes, you lose all credibility. Do you know what? The VALIDITY of the problems within our organizations, were questioned by a city Council person based on the credibility of this man and his place in leadership. If he was involved then there had to be an explanation, right?

Lessen learned! It may take 30 years to build a solid reputation, but only one dishonest move to bring it all crashing down around you. Pride comes before a fall every time.