People, I have one word for you: Give. Give the drama a rest. Give a crap about someone else. Give your time or your money or your love to a cause or a person who needs it. Give of yourself.
I continue to listen to people protest about what is happening in our country. I am personally sick of it. Quit complaining and make America great again, not by protesting or complaining or hating, but by doing good. That, my friends, is what makes America ‘Merica.
When I was a kid, history class was all about how America was a melting pot of people coming here to live the American dream. People who voted because they had the right to vote. People who started businesses because they believed they would succeed here and because they were allowed to start their own business. People who talked to their neighbors and lent a hand to them when they needed one. People who didn’t just bitch, but worked hard to make something better or just chose not to get in the fray and went about their day.
I firmly believe there are still a lot of those people. Those are the people that live quietly and humbly or if they are like me, they do their fair share of whining to their friends, but suck it up and go about their day as a decent human being anyway.
I do not care if you are a Democrat, a Republican, a cartoon addict, a lunchbox collector, or a Cosmonaut with pink, curly hair. What I care about is whether you are part of the problem or part of the solution.
So as part of the solution, I ask you to give.
Give a flower to your wife so she remembers why she loves you.
Give canned food to the Food Pantry to help the needy.
Give yourself a hot bath after a long day so you don’t hate people.
Give a blanket to the homeless shelter because you’re not homeless.
Give a laugh to your co-worker when they are about to explode.
Give a Coke and a smile to your boss because they need thank yous, too.
Give your phone a break and your family some homemade brownies.
Give the person who called to hit you up a “yes” because they are volunteering, too.
Give your mom or dad a call because they gave you life.
Give your kid a crayon, stickers, and a heart pattern for cards to send.
Give love a chance to be heard here in our country because it isn’t being heard now.
Give thanks you live in a country where you are allowed to be you.
Give yourself time to shine among those who aren’t.
Here’s the deal. Yes, there’s a lot of crappy people in the world. Some of them may even be in the government, but we are here, we’re free, and we’re able. Thanksgiving is next week. Be thankful. Be kind. Be something you wish the rest of the world were. Lead by example. Be the one John Lennon would have sung about or the one MNBC won’t talk about. Most of you do your part each and every day by raising families, by going to work to pay your bills, by going to band concerts for kids, by not killing anyone, by not painting hate signs on people’s stuff, by treating others how you wish to be treated. Yay you! I’ll be the one to say it because we all need to hear it. We need affirmation we are doing good that’s how you keep getting good. Why do you think Sheldon gives Penny those chocolates? Reinforce good habits.
I give you this motto to use during the following weeks:
Maybe we should make t-shirts? J
Tell me some of the ways you give. I want to hear them.
Elections: ick. No shave November: ew. Thanksgiving: yum! Black Friday: woo-hoo! The Blessed Turkey Project: yes, please! November brings lots of things, but, for me, one of the most important is that of giving thanks. This year especially, I have been spending lots of time worrying about what I need to accomplish and what lies ahead and a lot less time remembering how lucky I truly am. So what am I going to do about it? I’m going to spend some time focusing on others and less time obsessing about my crap. Hence, my love of one of my favorite things about November: The Blessed Turkey Project.
Are you a blessed turkey? Were you one last year? Do you wanna be one this year? Do you even know what one is?
A blessed turkey knows they’ve got it good. They know that there will always be bad people in the world, but they don’t want to be one of them. Maybe they conveniently forget how lucky they are when they get mixed up in the drama of the daily grind, but when they really think about it, they realize how much they have to be grateful for. I’m a blessed turkey, and I want to welcome you to join my Blessed Turkey Project.
For the month of November, I want to see my Facebook newsfeed filled with glad tidings. Every day till Thanksgiving, post a note, a picture, a cartoon, or whatever comes to your mind of something or someone you are thankful to have in your life. It’s easier than you think, and it doesn’t have to be all mushy-gushy or philosophical. Say you’re thankful for your mocha latte or your furnace or your best friend’s sister’s husband who killed the opossum that was hanging around your barn. (I know. Those are the real-life dramas right there!) Say whatever you have to say, but be thankful for what you’ve been given. You can do so on your own personal Facebook page and then tag The Blessed Turkey Project or you can just post on the The Blessed Turkey Project wall. Whatever you want.
If you want to be an overachiever, I will post ways you can do so throughout the month (but don’t feel obligated). Do as much, or as little, as you want. If you join the party at all, you’ll still be a blessed turkey in my eyes..
Even if you haven’t participated in my project, maybe you’ve said what you were thankful for each day on Facebook as part of some other group. Yay you! I am all for being thankful no matter what you call it, but I hope you consider taking time to join my party. Why?
*Because I’m sure you have a shortage of things to do on your to-do list! LOL
*Because I’m going to bribe you with prizes and feel-good moments others will envy! (true story actually)
*Because you are a good former Girl Scout/Boy Scout/4-Her/Catholic school goer or whatever that made you loyal to a cause or doing good!
*Because who doesn’t need an excuse to celebrate good times???
*Because “you’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony…” Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Go have a Coke and enjoy that song in your head the rest of the day. J
*But seriously, come join the party and invite your friends because there’s no greater feeling than realizing you are surrounding yourself with the right people and that there’s far more good in this world than bad if we just look a little closer.
I can’t make it any clearer than that. If you’re sick of your newsfeed being recipes, complaints, or election talk, come over to the good side with us. Participate every day. Participate once a week. Participate when you can. It costs nothing and will make you feel good. I promise.
Post the things and people you are thankful for. Do a few good deeds along the way and tell us about them. Just be a voyeur and snoop on what the rest of us are doing, that’s fine, too. Just show up. We’ll leave a smile on for you.
Finally, it’s my 5 year anniversary of the annual Blessed Turkey Project. Thanks to all of you who’ve been there along the way. And thanks to all of you who are coming on board. I’ve got a few things up my sleeve for the anniversary, hope you’re ready! J
Go here to participate: https://www.facebook.com/events/357549507928043/
Any advice for new-timers? Excited and wanting to shout it from the rooftops? Let’s hear what you have to say!
So what do you want to be when you grow up? I didn’t think I’d be asking myself that in my 40’s, but here we are! Now, the reasonable answer is: happy. When I allow myself to be, I truly am. But beyond that, I want to do something in my wheelhouse. Do you ever feel that way? That it’s just time to do something else with your life?
Teaching has been good to me. Hopefully, I’ve been good to a lot of people along the way. Hopefully, I’ve helped some figure out a few things, but I have watched that Steve Harvey video a million times and, my friends, it’s time to jump as you probably saw in one of my earlier blogs.
So what do I jump to? I think a lot of people have that run through their minds and it’s what keeps them at the job they are currently doing. I have to admit it is completely intimidating. How do you get the stars to align so that what you’re qualified for, what you enjoy doing, and what you can fit into your schedule all work together? It’s nearly impossible I would guess, but that’s me – always wanting the impossible. Lol.
So as I ponder where the next leg of my trip will take me, I’ve considered these options:
- Do I go back to school to be an interior designer or an event planner? Well, I would have to sell myself to get business. If you know me, that’s not my forte.
- I’d really like to invent medicinal cookies for kids. Chocolate chip cookies that mask the flavor and are filled with all that crappy medicine they have to take. Okay, let’s face it, I’m not that skilled so if you steal my idea, please give me 1% when you’re rich and on Shark Tank.
- I’d love to have a Holiday Inn – you know the ancient Bing Crosby movie – I’d provide outings for holidays and be free the rest of the year. I know how to make a holiday special. I promise you that! Forget Vala’s. Hello BC’s.
- I’ve thought of running a basket business for those gifting times that you don’t quite know what to do like when someone’s ex-husband dies or your best friend’s cat is chosen to be in a commercial. Awkward is my specialty. However, I think shipping would be a bitch.
- I have always wanted to be a greeting card writer, but I’m not sure it would pay the big bucks I need to keep my munchkin in Nike shoes.
- My best shot might actually be a copy writer/content creator. My only worry is who will hire me when my knowledge base focuses on cattle, cussing, middle schoolers, and crazy families? Just sayin’.
- Now, truth be told, it goes without saying, that I have to admit the real job I’ve always wanted. I understand it’s not mine to be had, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve always wanted to be a trophy wife. There, I said it. But since that isn’t happening, I need to figure out what my purpose really is. Part of me thinks it’s probably some job I’ve never heard of because my childhood was sans internet. Yes, I’m really that old.
So stay tuned. We’ll see where this road takes me, and here’s hoping it isn’t the unemployment line and my couch with a bucket of ice cream.
Any advice for me? Any ideas? Other comments? I’m listening.
No, I promise it won’t happen every time, but it is going to happen, and you’re gonna have to put up with my “mom” moments. Sometimes, I contemplate life as a mom, something I really never expected to be. As a mom of a toddler, my perspective has completely changed. Props to anybody who can handle more than one. I hear that whole man-to-man vs. zone defense, and it makes me queasy. I’d be in a wealth of trouble. But let me tell you what makes a mom of a toddler happy (well, at least this mom of a toddler):
- A long, hot shower uninterrupted. OMG! I need not say anymore.
- Someone babysitting your kid and texting you that they are running a little late in dropping off your child so you have a few extra minutes before they get home. That’s like a Christmas gift wrapped up with thousands of dollars in it!
- As a toddler parent, I am surprising excited about shopping for the next size. There’s probably nothing cuter than little kid clothes – they’re colorful, they’re fun, and they don’t have to fit YOU!
- They would love to hear, “Oh, I am so sorry. My kid never slept either and we were so worried because he hit everyone at daycare and embarrassed us in public.” Nobody wants to hear about how perfect someone else’s kid was and is when theirs is clearly NOT!
- Another thing a toddler parent wants to hear: “Oh, your child is so well-behaved! You must be doing a great job!” For the record, I have never heard this statement and probably never will, but I know I’d love to hear it as long as it were true.
- Oh, and we love to eat our own food without sharing. Chocolate-chip cookies with milk? Yes, please.
- We dream of watching an entire episode of our favorite show, and again, uninterrupted. If you’re curious, I love me some Younger on TVLand. Love. That. Show!
- But I have to admit, there’s one thing that I had no idea would make me so happy and it happened a couple of weeks ago: my girl said, “Wove you, Mama.” Truly might be the best words I’ve ever heard. I melted. And if you know me, you know I don’t melt all that often. So there it is, the sappy, non-sarcastic thing every toddler mom loves to hear. Sure hope you’ve had the pleasure, as well.
Do you have something that would make you happy as a mom or dad of a toddler, a mom of a teenager, a mom of a college graduate, etc? Let’s hear it!
Can you relate?
Got something else I need to know? Spread it.
You know what October 1st is? If you guessed Saturday, you’re a smart ass. And I like you for it. If you said your birthday, well, happy birthday! Have another guess? It’s lots of things:
It is a Saturday. A Saturday in which my daughter will be attending a birthday party and I will be taking Homecoming pictures (which I happen to LOVE doing) and a day off of work. Woo-hoo to that!
It also happens to be the second Saturday in fall but the first in which it actually kinda feels like fall with a cool morning and a football game on TV.
A couple of weird facts for October 1: it was the first time Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show (RIP Carnac) and it was the date of the first state fair (it was in Massachusetts- seriously) and we all know I love a state fair!!!
So what else might it be? Have you guessed yet? Are you thinking it must be the anniversary of my kissing a frog or the day my kid walked on water or National Eat Peanut-Butter-Fudge-Ice-Cream Day? Well, I’d totally be on board for the ice cream day, but that’s not it.
Let me tell you then. October 1st is the first day I buy Christmas gifts for people because I know the gift receipt will make it past Christmas if they need to return it! I know, I know, I’m a total cheese. And I’m completely okay with it.
If you know me, you know I love to buy gifts, especially Christmas gifts. Do I have as much time as I used to do so? No, but I still love it! There’s no better feeling than knowing you came up with the perfect gift or the funniest gift or a gift someone truly needed or well… you get the picture. I love to buy gifts and give them!
That being said, I also understand that what I think is way cool and perfect doesn’t mean the person I’m giving it to will agree. That, or they have their sights on something I didn’t even know existed and they want to put the money towards that, and, well, I completely understand. Some people might be offended. I am not. If anything, I will be heart-broken that I didn’t do a good enough job shopping for them. I take pride in Christmas.
So while all of you are humbugging on me, I’ll just be over here on Amazon making Christmas miracles happen.
Happy October 1st, everybody!
And happy shopping, too, of course! 🙂
Already know what you’ll be shopping for? Got something else I need to know about October 1st? Have a gift I gave you that you want to comment on? Bring on da comments, people! J
Decision, decisions, decisions. Oh, how I hate to make them! Are you that way, too? I don’t mind the “where-are-we-eating-tonight” kind. Those are easy (and the answer is Johnny’s Café), but I hate the big ones like deciding to get married or moving to a 3rd world country to make two million dollars. I’m talking those kind. Lol.
Recently, I made the decision to leave my job after having been in that same building for 20 years. And yes, I am a habitual ready-for-a-vacation kind of girl so it probably seems that I am more than ready to ditch my job (which if you looked at the same snot on the bathroom stall you might want to, too). The truth of the matter is that it’s really hard to leave. Not because of the snot (lol), but partly because of the people I’ve met along the way and partly because I don’t want to be a statistic of another teacher leaving teaching and partly because I hope I’ve made a difference in the world somewhere along the way. So why am I leaving? A lot of reasons, but they start with my little girl.
Last spring, we debated about buying a house in our hometown. Finally, we decided to put a bid in. There ended up being 3 other bids. I said I was leaving it in God’s hands. If we got it, it was meant to be. If we didn’t, there was time for something else. We got the house.
It was about that time that I started hearing that Zac Brown song on the radio. Clearly, it was meant to be. And every time I seem to be having doubts over whether it’s time to go home or not, it finds its way to my radio.
(Thanks Vevo, Zac Brown Band and YouTube)
So when it came time to decide whether to stick it out in teaching or move on, I stressed out again. Could I drive from there? Yes. I probably would have a quicker commute than some of the people who live in West O going through 3000 stoplights. Believe me, I squandered an entire summer overthinking, worrying, and contemplating what to do. It was the day that I realized that I would have to drive 12 more years and that, in that time, my little girl would go from a toddler to a teenager. Not only that, but there will be bagels with mom breakfasts and Read Across America book-a-thons to see and I want to see them! But I wouldn’t if I was driving because I would believe that work had to come first, even when I didn’t feel that way. So what was the solution? Get out.
What’s next? I don’t know. I wanna be creative. I wanna be respected for what I do. I wanna help Mrs. Strickland get Oakland back to good, too. But here’s what I do know: About a year and half ago, I saw this Steve Harvey video, and it spoke to me. (I might be watching this at 2 in the morning next August with tears and a carton of How I Love Thee Reese Peanut Butter Cup ice cream panicking, but…)
(Thanks to Steve Harvey and YouTube for the clip!)
I’m not a gutsy person. I like my safe and secure world, but I do think I was put on this earth for a reason and I want to make damn sure I figure out what my gift is. So… I’m “jumping.” Ready…or not (mostly or not) here I come.
Have you been in my place? Any advice? What’s your talent or calling? Any success stories to tell me? Feelings about the videos or just a comment? Let me hear ’em.
Pasty skin? Blood-shot eyes? Just rolled out of bed fashion statement? I thought I had that look going for me pre-child. I realize it was only the beginning. I officially understand what they mean when people say they “lose themselves” when they have kids. I have a whole new admiration for the likes of Nancy Finnegan with her 9 children. I have one and I feel rockstar if I manage to get moisturizer on and text a friend all in one day!
I feel bad for those people that do lose themselves. I totally get how it happens. Yes, I may be in total denial, but I feel I haven’t really lost myself so much as hid her away for a few years until she’s allowed out to play again. And I admit it has happened. I know sometimes people don’t realize it’s happening to them. I realized. I just couldn’t stop it. I know they say you shouldn’t let it happen, but well, they either have a lot more money than I do to pay for a manny or they were kinda boring and didn’t have much of a life to begin with. That’s the conclusion I have come to.
Here’s the thing: I know you are supposed to keep some of your hobbies and your girls’ nights out and your “me” time reading 50 Shades of Grey on the side. I get it. What I don’t get is how you make that happen. There’s just not enough time in the day to write a blog, take some pictures, read a book, call my friend, check facebook, and still make breakfast, lunch, dinner, do laundry, pick up the 5000 wrappers my daughter took out of the trashcan, read her books, play airplane with her, and do our daily neighborhood watch from the top of the couch. Just sayin’. I admit defeat. And when it comes to whether I screw her up for life or give up my chapter of smut, I ere on the side of a non-messed up child. Now, I can’t make any promises, but at least I’m trying.
Everyone tells me it will get easier. And maybe it will. If nothing else, I’m sure there will be practices that I can sit in Baa Baa Black Sheep (our black Honda Pilot) and check Facebook on my phone. In the meantime, I am sad that I can’t bring you a regularly scheduled blog and the ratio of diaper-changes to strawberry daiquiris is pretty one-sided, but when she pats me on the cheek and gives me a hug, well, I remember that I’ve made worse mistakes along the way.
Should you do what I have done? No. Not if you can help it. If you can’t help it and you know it’s happening, well, join the club. We don’t actually meet because we don’t have time, but we do feel sympathy for those in the sinking ship with us.
Oh, P.S. – if you’re feeling bad for me, feel free to offer to be a free babysitter. I won’t say no. ☺