Resolutions

IMG_2541I watched from my window. Snowflakes flurried outside — mixing and mingling — with a carefree attitude. They encouraged me to let go of my worries. In my nightstand, I found an old journal I received from a forever friend nearly two decades ago.

I watched from my window. Snowflakes fell with a lightness; beckoning me to feel the peace and harmony my soul was seeking. I flipped through the journal reading entries from years gone by.

I watched from my window. Snowflakes danced outside; pushing me out of my warm, cozy house. On the inside journal cover, my forever friend wrote the following:

Every day is the beginning of the rest of your life.  Thus, if you screw something up today, you will get another chance tomorrow.

I stepped out of my comfort zone. Snowflakes tickled my nose and the cold air swirled around me; bringing me to a state of wakefulness. My wanderlust pushed me to keep stepping forward into a maze of questions for 2016.

I stepped out of my comfort zone. Snowflakes stuck to my lashes making me see. There are opportunities to consider, knowledge to gain, and adventures to experience. My resolutions for 2016 are be brave in stepping into each day, navigate the unexpected; and embrace this journey that is mine.

 

 

Advertisements

People Helping People: Entirely Women

A long-time friend, Karen Palka, recently invited me write a blog post for a collaborative effort — Entirely Women — she developed with 102.3 FM WGRT, Port Huron’s family radio station. Entirely Women, which went live in November, is an online community — for women — that entertains, inspires and informs. Karen is also Founder and Executive Director of A Beautiful Me®, a 501c3 charitable organization that fosters girls’ self-esteem in  3rd-12th grade through uniquely developed, interactive workshops. She and I became friends at a luncheon the Greater Romeo-Washington Chamber of Commerce hosted in 2004. Her creative talents as well as her advocacy for building girls’ self-esteem, for her community and for her friends inspires all.

Related previous post …

Empowering Self-Esteem in Girls

 

https://kateschannel.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/empowering-self-esteem-in-girls/

 

Life Springs Forward

Spring forward. Clocks are off. Sleepy heads stay snuggled. There are schedules to keep, things to remember, errands to run and work to do.

Kids arrive at school on time. Learning takes place. Teachers say it was an excellent day. A revamped workout gives me energy. Lunch out with a friend feeds my need for adult socialization.

Errands and work are complete. Sun peeks through the gloom. Gray prevails. Rain drops sprinkle the drive. Sprinkles become a downpour. Umbrellas, boots and quick feet are a must.

Stir-fry dinner makes husband smile. He loads up for seconds. It must pass the test. Children eat healthy. After-dinner treats are sweet. Homework is next on the agenda. That’s when trouble starts.

The couch is so inviting. A pillow offers respite. Tired eyes close. Clocks are off, again.   What’s the big deal? There are more days in the week. Performance is best when body and mind have a much-needed rest. Pajamas and a cozy bed are the ticket.

Quiet, sleeping little people is bliss. Preparation for tomorrow morning is complete. Downtime with a favorite television show and my latest read is next.

 

365: Defiance Test

April 14 – Both of my children test me. Each day, I receive at least one pop-quiz on a range of subject matter. In mid-March, two weeks prior to spring break, my daughter Issa, began administering — without notice — the first section of the advanced defiance exam. Must be she feels I have proven myself in the beginner and intermediate levels; and I need to be challenged. She has even recruited Riff to help create problems for me to solve. It is so delightful to see evidence of teamwork among siblings. Here is a sampling of the problems I found on this test so far.

1. Issa defies direction — given multiple times — to practice a classroom presentation at home.

Solution: After the third day of resistance, I decide she needs to learn from her choices; and I relent on my direction. The choice to rehearse is now at her discretion. Page 666 in that parenting survival guide said this is the answer. But, it’s not.

2. A mega meltdown results from Issa’s frustration with her disastrous classroom presentation. She is defiant and disrespectful toward her teachers.

Solution: I discuss in simple language about making choices; and reminded her she could have chosen to practice her presentation. She did not. So, now, privileges — such as playing computer games and watching television — are now being taken away. Great effort. But, this is not the answer. Try again.

3. Issa throws a rock at a friend and pushes a different friend down at recess, Tuesday. The teacher called me to report these incidents and to say Issa had also been defiant and disrespectful toward her learning center teacher. The teacher sends a note home with Issa for me to sign acknowledging the problem. Issa attempts to throw away the note to prevent me from learning what I already know. What the cuss?

Solution: The teacher and I decide to use a behavior chart to track Issa’s defiant and disrespectful behavior. Also, I had another sit-down with Issa. In addition to suspending privileges, I reviewed, in simple language, my three basic house and school rules: 1) Be respectful 2) Tell the truth 3) Use words, not violence to solve problems and to express strong emotions. I explained, she must follow these at all times. Her rewards for doing so will be lasting friendships, trust, and successful problem-solving. Additionally, she can expect reinstatement of privileges such as going to Dairy Queen, dirt-pile sledding, and attending Zhu Zhu pet meetings with her friend from next door. The “professor” is reviewing this answer and is expected to get back with me, soon.

Remember those tests in high school and college when you could make a cheat-sheet — one page — front and back — with anything and everything necessary to ace the exam? After more than eight years on this very spirited journey, I am still filling in my parental survival cheat-sheet. It is crammed full, but still doesn’t cover half of what I need to know. Plus, how I am supposed to know the answers? Some of the material being thrown at me wasn’t covered in those manuals from the OB/GYN.

Speechless

I am thousands of miles away from the devastation and chaos in Japan. It is a beautiful, sunny morning north of the “D”. My children are at school and I have yet to start on my daily to-do list. I keep thinking about Japan. The enormity of the situation there eludes me.

What can I say? There are not any words coming to my head. It’s impossible to know specifically what is being experienced. Can anyone imagine losing it all within a matter of minutes? I can’t. Urban landscapes and seascapes that were once thriving with life and activity are leveled and silenced.

A FB friend shared these NYT photos. I believe these are the best at telling the magnitude of loss in Japan. They capture the fragility of life; and how quickly it can be altered to a unrecognizable scape.

While on a date with my husband Saturday, we discussed earthquake activity in the Midwest portion of the US; and speculated on how unprepared this slice of the world is for a crisis. Just look at what happened in the Gulf leading up to and following Katrina and the BP oil disaster.

What to do? It’s human nature to put off preparing for future crisis situations; especially when my life has not been disrupted. There are so many more immediate “to-do” items competing for my attention. But, I thought Jamie Lee Curtis offered some worthwhile advice in a blog she posted Saturday on the Huffington Post. None of us know when disaster will strike. Wouldn’t it be better to be ready?