Boys of PHB

Boys of PHB
Barefoot boys

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Just Thinking

I've been thinking a lot these last couple of months about relationships and how and why people are the way they are.  I have come to no conclusions.

I have come to think about other things about people I have never realized before, or rather knew, but lessons that never sank in before.

I have always known that I can change no one else.  I have, however felt that  my point can still be stated and we can argue or disagree, or even agree, whatever.  I don't mind a rip-roaring conversation.  I don't mind a heated dispute either.  I am in this alone a lot of times though and I've recently gone back to KISS.  Keep It Simple Stupid.

I don't really have time to cover complicate things. I love a good conversation, but they are simpler than before.  I have realized that a lot of my feelings of not feeling bonded, or close, to others is more in my state of mind than in reality.  If I keep everything in my mind simple and uncomplicated then my life feels more sorted.  If I think about things too much then I realized how much I'm not doing and how much I disagree with things said and done by those around me.  I realized that I can keep quiet and know what I know and still respect what others know.

I am not saying I'm becoming an amiable.  I'm too fired up.  However, I am working on un-complicating the view of everything and everyone around me.  I feel calmer when I realized I don't have to change my view point to fit other's and I don't have to change their view point or even convince them that what I'm saying is right or true.  Life can be lived and friends can disagree.  A real friend may disagree, but respects you for your firmness in your belief and your loyalty to them.

I have always wanted to be remembered.  Not famous like, just make a little mark that I was here.  Those around me knowing me and remembering me when I'm gone.  I've realized this year that it may not be the case.  I am forgettable to some people and that's just the way it is.I have a tendency to put things in a general terms. If one person feels that way, then lots of people must feel that way. Then I tend to really feel like everyone around me must feel that way.  If I'm forgettable to one, maybe I'm forgettable to all.

I now realize that it's just not true.  I don't have to do a lot to have done something.  I have had five amazing boys. If that doesn't leave my mark, nothing will.  I have an amazing man who loves me and if he doesn't remember me, when he gets to the other side I will simply kick his butt.  I have family and friends who love me a lot in spite of how crazy and loud I am.  They all know I'm hot headed and they are OK with me.

I have had a few people walk out of my life and I miss them terribly.  I used to think I had to give something big and amazing to be a real friend and I haven't been feeling like that lately to anyone. So this year one of my goals was to go to things more often and to try and show how much I care.  I'm just not good at this. I do want to become good at it.  So with that goal in mind I have attended more girls nights than any time collectively in my life.  

I have since realized that small things are good too.  I don't have a lot to give, but I do have something to give.  I was trying to be what I feel so many others are.  I felt that if I couldn't give everything I felt all my friends were giving then I wasn't being a good friend.  I now realize differently.  I can give my limited time and those who appreciate it, will.  Those who realize I'm doing what I can will appreciate the effort I'm making to be a friend.

Relationships aren't something that just happen. They take diligence,  time, sometimes effort, and forgiveness to work.  They can be fun, but sometimes take work.  I am glad my husband has worked so long with me and along the way had so much fun.  He has taught me more about patients than anyone else except my children.  He is a great example of loving without thinking of himself.  I hope to do better and better at this.

To those who have walked out of my life. I am, and will, always feel like I am your friend. You are all dear to me and I miss you. I think of you often and am glad for the time you were in my life.  I am a better person for having known you, for the good and the not so much.  I would love to be able to have you all re-enter my life someday, but that will have to be seen.  Life isn't over until it is, and even then there is eternity to re-unite.  I look forward to that time. You are loved.  I can't change how you feel, but at the same time, you can't change my love for you.  I respect your wishes, and I can love from here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Hulk

     I try to stay positive and I usually am very successful, but lately I've had some stresses and am going through a great loss in my life and have had a hard time with it.  I'm not writing about all that, but I'm writing today about what I think the source of some of it is. 

     I'm going to be brave and write about something I've only told a couple of people ever.  These people weren't even family.  I think it's a root to some problems I've had lately and throughout my life.  I don't know how to describe it except to say I'm the Hulk.

     I'm not green, or big like him, but I totally understand how that would feel.  I'm a girl, have been my whole life obviously, but I've not connected very much to girls and feel more comfortable around guys.  I hung out with guys in high school, and still feel a stronger connection to guys than to girls which has only become wider since growing older.

      I used to think, as a teen that one day I'd grow out of my "tom boy" ways and start liking dressing up, doing my hair and nails and hanging around with girls. I do like doing other people's hair, but not getting mine done. I used to think I'd connect better with my mom and sisters one day and I'd find my place in life.  I used to think that I'd fit in one day with girls and understand their desire to look cute and be cute and be as amazing as they are.  I'm nearing 40 and it just hasn't happened yet.

      Let me describe this in a different way and why I say I'm the Hulk.  Imagine beautiful ballerinas doing a magical performance on stage and then out comes the Hulk, all big and green, awkward and wrecking everything. That is the only way I know to describe how I feel around other girls. I don't know when it started, but I remember feeling this quite young, maybe around 8 or 9 is when I first noticed it. 

     I still would rather get car grease on my hands than cook in the kitchen. I'd rather rip the knees in my jeans than sew.  I'm not crafty, I'm not cute and flirty, I'm not like other girls. I have tried and had lots of friends try to help, but alas to no avail.  I've always noticed that even though almost every girl I've ever me has this amazing strength about her they also possess something I've always lacked.  They have this amazing thing that makes them seem to need to be protected and cared for no matter how strong they are.  I don't have it.  People know I'm the one who takes care of things and I do the same work as most men around me.  I do have a strange issue about having to get on the roof, but still would if I didn't have Aaron.  I have never had anyone feel the need to care for me like it seems other girls do. 

     I've probably not worded this right.  I have probably insulted someone along this writing.  I'm not down on myself.  It's just a fact I've had to deal with. I've been around girls who are smarter, tougher, bigger, taller, wiser and stronger.  I still feel the same around any of them. They have a delicate side I feel I lack.  I feel awkward, clumsy, large and bulky around most girls.  The only time I really don't feel this way is around guys.  Good thing I have a passel of them. 

     I wrestle with my boys like any other boy.  Did the same with my brothers.  I really thought one day I'd grow out of  it.  Not yet.  I'll probably get too old to wrestle before I grow out of it.

       Don't know how to act like I'm a girl ether.  I feel awkward during "girl night" too, especially then, because I realize just how different I am from all the others when the conversation gets going.  Though I have had some great friends who had included me for a while in their girl nights and I will always be grateful that they overlooked my rough side and for a while took me in and included this lumbering ox in with the delicate flowers.  They didn't seem worried about being trampled and I will always be thankful.  I'm mourning the loss of that currently which is part of my stress and being down.  I know I'll get through it, but once you get the chance to have your roughest sides overlooked and then put back out there, you wonder if anyone will overlook it again and decide you are good enough to include again. 

     I'm grateful for the best girlfriends I've had in my life. Who saw me for who I was and didn't concentrate on how awkward I am as a girl and didn't concentrate on how I'm more tomboyish and like to do "guy" stuff or that I feel more comfortable and confident in those areas.  They didn't care and they are a blessing in my life.  I am grateful for the ones who have stuck it out with me and have looked at me as someone to be cherished. I often don't think that because who could love or even like someone like the Hulk among the humans?  I'm not a super hero, still looking for my place in life where I fit in and am not a blumbering idiot in situations. Still looking for a way my heart can be at peace with who I am and how I am.  I'm glad I have men around me constantly (well, most still becoming men, but you know).  I'm glad they don't see me yet as the weird girl I am, even though the older ones have met plenty of real girls, they just know me as mom.  They don't care that I'm different, they love me anyway and these people have made a huge difference in my life. 

     Maybe one day I'll be my own super hero that way and find my place.  Maybe one day I'll find some Avengers of my own who will include me and help me use my gigantic ways and large presence to help out and find a place where I fit.  Hope for it and have for years. I'll keep working on it.  I need to find my peace.

This was very hard to write and put out there, but I wanted to.  I feel like it's a part of the peace I'm trying to find to finally put this in print.  Writing is a kind of therapy for me and I'm glad there are friends who will read it.  I'm different and crazy and am always glad there are people in the world who love me anyway. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

We could all use a little.....Change.

     I have tried time and time again to change certain things in my life. One thing after another come into play to make those changes not succeed.  This year I have once again tried to make changes with new years resolutions in January. I really try to make them realistic and not things I know will get so overwhelming that I can't succeed.

     So the new years resolution is still going strong.  Every January we sit down as a family and make individual goals for the year.  I print them off on the computer and we pin them onto the fridge so we can see them often and review through the year how it is going.  We all get together as a family the following January to make goals and review how last years went.  If they were accomplished then we are happy, if not fulfilled how we would like then we make them again and add new ones.  Usually with them up on the fridge then we stay pretty accountable to ourselves and usually accomplish all of our goals. There are some goals which are more long term and take longer.

     With life things that come up it's hard to make changes in lifestyle, eating habits, parenting techniques and other changes we realized need to be made in our lives and things that can improve our lives that we sometimes need to just start doing.  This is something I've known my whole life, but just recently have decided enough is enough.

     My dad used to say I was an excusiologist.  I was wonderfully adept at making excuses and rationalizing anything.  Test me anytime.  If you came up with something being done, I can almost always have a reason for why, even if it's someone else.  So I have decided to stop making or using excuses.  I have been trying to make this change for years, but just this year I've decided I've had enough.

     One thing that I kept hoping would change is my yard.  We have lived in this house for 14 years now and still our yard has not been how we've wanted it.  We started landscaping that wasn't getting finished.  Things I would see needing to get done, wouldn't. Even when asking my husband or kids to do it they would seem to get half of the job done and then it would sit there. So this year I was determined to get out there hands on and do it myself.  I've finally finished the landscaping out front and that is a huge relief.  I have now cleaned up my back yard more than it has ever been and found more grass than I thought we had.  I'm watering more because I made a portable watering system to water faster.  The watering, years previously, was taking so much time due to having a small sprinkler.  I know, see, another excuse.  So now I've taken charge.  My yard looks better.  I have filled at least 12 big yard garbage bags with hand pulled weeds and have more to do.  I'm just done with fighting the weeds with poisons that aren't working and spending money on something that doesn't produce results.

     I know making changes takes time, but sometimes making changes means jumping in and taking this overwhelming change a small peice at a time.  Sometimes changes are fast, like a car accident or an illness.  Sometimes it's fast like giving birth, one minute you are just you, suddenly you're a mom.  Most changes take time.  I'm hoping all this hard work gives results next year to produce more grass in our back yard and less weeds.  I'm hoping this is a change that is hard this year, but makes for maintenance in years to come.  Back breaking work now means a fun place where our family can hang out together. 
     When we bought this house it had a lot of issues and we had a lot of help in fixing it up by family and friends who sacrificed time and talent to help us have a wonderful place to live.  Now it's in a lot better shape.  Hard work has brought amazing change that has bettered our lives.  I'm grateful and much appreciate that we are surrounded by such amazing people who are giving and that talented and willing to share.

     Jumping in with both feet to make a change is hard, but saying things like, "tomorrow," is never going to allow the change to come.  Today is all we have and today makes what tomorrow will be.  There is no tomorrow for starting something.  Start now, take that overwhelming piece that just seems too much one little bite at a time and make it a change for the better.  Sometimes relationships are something that need change too and those are definitely things that take time, a lifetime.  One day, sometimes one minute at a time is what it takes sometimes, but saying a minute later will never allow the change to come. 

     Lately a lot of people are talking about changes in economy, the country, the world.  I love that saying, "Be the change you want to see in the world." The story that makes me think I can do something is the one about the man and the starfish.  A man is walking along the beach and sees another man bend down, pick something up and throw it into the sea.  As he walks along he sees this man do it again and again.  At a certain point he catches up to the man and asks what he is doing.  He tells him he is throwing the start fish that have washed onto shore back into the ocean as they will die on the beach.  He says, "but there are hundreds, you can't possibly make a difference."  The man looks down, picks up another one and throws it into the sea, looks at the man who had watched him and said, "It made a difference to that one."

     We can't talk to everyone, change anyone or change the world in a moment.  We can make changes in things around us, cheer up those who are sad, help those who are down and simply smile at those we don't know.  Change takes time, a smile takes a second, and a smile can change everything.  I'm diving in with both feet to make the changes I want to see.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

This Parenting Thing

My boys have a tendency to make me laugh. There are times we are together that I don't think I've ever laughed harder than when they are with me. They know when I'm down and they want to cheer me.  They have such fun personalities and I don't have a shy, quiet kid among the lot of them. 

They make me laugh and they can stress me out like nothing else does.  When really thinking about why I'm losing my temper with them it's not just because of the situation. It usually stems from something else, like my desire to make sure I teach them everything I possibly can before I lose this brief time with them. In the scheme of things 18 years isn't that long.  I hold to the thought that really, the first 5 years are the most critical because after that they have school,teachers, friends and peers that tell them other things I sometimes disagree with. 

I don't want them having to learn the horrible things in life.  There are nightmarish things out there in the world
that I think even adults shouldn't have to be aware of.  Things that we as a people should not have to witness and things that can damage the soul of a person to the core.  I really would love to protect them all from that if I could.  On the other hand, some of the people who have been through the most traumatic and horrific things turn out to be the most amazing people.  Strength doesn't come from sitting back and not living.

If I could teach them everything and not have them have to go through some of the things I have had to in order to learn those lessons, all the better.  Josh, my second son has a real ability to look at other people's mistakes and learn from them.  That amazes me. I know a lot of people who feel the need to "re-invent" the wheel and make their own mistakes even though there are people who have "been there and done that."  It's a real ability to learn through someone elses pain. 

Though parenting is one of the most amazing things I ever chose to do, it is also one of the most trying and stressful.  These kids didn't come as blank slates (didn't expect that, but I didn't know who they were before they came either).  They came with strong personalities and firm ideas of who they are and what they want.  It's hard to teach them that doing just anything isn't OK. Some things in this world are dangerous in more ways than one.  Some choices can hurt others, even if indirectly.

Saying that, even though it's one of the most trying things and will be the biggest learning experience of my life, I have to say it's an awesome experience.  Jeremy is a force to be reckoned with.  He is firm in what he wants like nothing else.  I am working on explaining things better because he wants to understand everything and he thinks he knows everything at the same time. Stubborn doesn't really say it.  Jordan is a cute boy who is so sweet and caring until you make him mad.  That boy can go off like a keg of dynamite.  (Don't know where he gets that from).  Jonas is  my middle son and is so smart.  He also is and always has been my limit pusher.  He likes to think there is a way over the metaphorical line we have drawn in the sand.  He keeps me on my toes more than the others because he will find a back door to any and every rule and he gives a stronger meaning to, "give them an inch and they'll take a mile."  Josh is a little quieter, but loves to laugh and has a fun time with his brothers.  He has an amazing imagination and really thinks outside of the box.  He is my "reader".  I often find myself taking books away because it's time for other things.  Joseph right now is learning to stand on his own. He's trying to find who he is and what he wants to be without me guiding him.  He is my oldest and has always had a mind of his own.  He is often my strength when I'm going nuts with the kids, but he also is sometimes the one who pushes me over the edge of crazy.

I love these boys with my whole heart and soul.  I can't imagine my life without them and tell them often. They know they are loved and I wish as I was growing up that I had even a portion of their confidence.  They are strong and determined.  Sometimes I say that I am a great parent, but their personalities are getting in the way.  They aren't, but their stubbornness is. It's very hard to have a house full of strong willed personalities.  Some will say Aaron is more quiet, but I have to say they get a lot of this from their Dad as well.  It's not all me.  We have 7 very determined and strong personalities in these 4 walls.  Making it work is what is fun and challenging.  I still couldn't imagine being without them in my life.

I know it's said that you are a parent and not a "friend".  But over the years I've discovered there are a lot of different relationships that we really only have a few words to define.  I am above all a mother to my children.  When they get frustrated with my lectures and get mad I tell them, " I have two jobs as a mom. 1. Teach you right from wrong. 2. Keep you safe.  No where in that definition does it say be nice."  However, we have so much fun just talking and laughing together that I don't know if anyone has ever known the real me better than my husband and children do.  They forgive my messing up and they make me better by reminding me to be better as well. I don't think I have experienced a deeper "friendship" as it were than having this strong relationship with my children.

Being a mom has taught me more about my Heavenly Parents than anything else ever could.  I feel closer to God when I am praying for them and when I'm making good decisions even if I can't fit everything in before they become adults.  Life will teach them as they grow into being adults just like it does everyone.  I hope they know they can always turn to their parents even when they feel we won't understand.

If someone had warned me about all this crazy chaos I may have re-thought this being a parent thing.  Now though?  I wouldn't change having kids.  I just may have changed somethings I've done wrong along the way.  Only going forward from here.  Love this experience. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Dad

I've been thinking of my dad a lot lately. 

He was a good Dad.  He played with us, read stories, talked with us.  He was very loud and he made sure we heard him. I got him laughing really hard one time because I recalled times when he would yell and his face would turn read and the veins would pop out on his forehead.  He said, "Well, I got your attention and got through to you." He laughed when I told him we were just waiting for his head to explode.  Ah, the words you can't tell your parents when you are a child.  I learned how to explain how I felt and told my dad.  I'm surprised he didn't die laughing at that point.  He loved to laugh and he loved to enjoy people.  I think that's where I get that from.

My Dad was very smart.  He had gone to years of college and he liked to share what he knew.  He never stopped learning.  When he was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the early 90's he started studying everything he could on the subject.  He found herbs he could take to make his life better so he could function and he could get around.  He loved to share with the family everything he learned along the way. As the Internet came about he started studying on there.  He looked things up and was always on there trying to find out new things.  I hope I can do that throughout life.  I want to emulate his love of learning and enjoy always finding something new to take with me.  He was an inspiration.

He taught me to fix a car and love to make things work.  Being very mechanically minded he was able to see a problem and see the end result.  He had kept his Toyota Tercell going to 400,00 miles, until it was smashed by a drunk driver.  That hatch back was half the size it normally was after it had been hit.  Though it destroyed the car, my parents were luckily alive.  They were in pain for a long time, but they lived, shocking the police.  He taught me to have faith and know that the Lord is always with me.  That accident was only one of many that he experienced in life and shared with us.

My dad had a great love of the Lord and His teachings.  He taught me that if I want something bad enough, hard work, dedication and faith in my Lord and Savior would bring about the desired results.  He was founded in a firm place and a desire to share that was strong with him.  I never saw him waver.  I never saw him lose hope.  I never saw him falter in his firm belief that the Lord is God.  That our Savior died for us and that as our older Brother He is the advocate with the Father to bring us home.  I had, my whole life, a strong desire to serve a mission.  He backed me on that.  He always backed me on my desire for serving even when some told me I should be planning my life and if I get to the proper age then I can just go if I'm not married.  My dad said I should plan what I felt was right and if I got married before that was OK too.  He gave me numerous blessings along the way to help me with that and always encouraged me to stay on my intended path.  When I had friends who were leaving sooner than me because they were guys I wanted to leave then too.  He even helped me find somewhere I could write to see if they'd make an exception and let me go early.  I had a denial letter of course, but he backed me in that too.  Ironically the Church has since changed the age of missionaries and the girls can now leave at 19.  He would have laughed and cried with me as I heard that announcement.  We would have talked about it and he would have told me it is as it should have been.  He was firm in following the Prophet.  I can't write about him or think about him without saying how stalwart he was in his belief.

My love for working on cars and telling things as they are and not cinch words comes from my Dad.  I watched as he insulted people and didn't mean to, only didn't try and say something that wasn't true.  He would love to have discussions and though he was passionate he didn't get upset if someone believed differently.  He would just state why he was right, why he believed the way he did, often using data to back up his point and explain why the other person was wrong.  However, he also listened and would take what they said into consideration.

He wasn't perfect.  One of his favorite sayings was, "if I don't do it, it doesn't get done."  Another saying was, "I talk to myself because I'm the only person I can have an intelligent conversation with."  We did plenty and my mom worked hard.  He got frustrated just like anyone and he hated dealing with idiots (which is also where I probably get that).  He wasn't perfect, but his definition of perfect meant you were on the right road.  He used to say, "Perfection is a road, not a destiny."  He told us that if we were trying every day to reach a higher plain and see the bigger picture then we were striving for being perfect. 

I learned a lot from him.  Though I rebelled as a teen and struggled with my own spirituality, he never gave up on me.  He knew my heart and mind and left it in my hands and the Lord's.  He knew I knew what I was supposed to be doing.  He knew he'd taught me everything he could.  At some point we just need to let others fall on their butt and then reach out a hand and help them back up when they have fallen.  He was like that.  He would watch me fall, but was always there to talk about something else I could do to better the situation. 

Now he is on the other side.  He died 10 years ago this August 15th.  He was a strength to me and in a lot of ways my hero as a child.  I didn't feel connected to my mom like I felt to him.  I didn't feel my mom understood me or knew where my head was like my dad did.  Maybe it's because I have always had a touch of tom-boy in me and what my dad was doing made sense.  Maybe it was because I was always clumsy and my mom was more graceful and always proper while I was growing up.  I don't know why, that's just how it was.  While my mom wanted to teach me to cook (which would be handy about now) I went outside and worked on the car with Dad.  I would rather have hung out with him than in the kitchen any day.  Canning seemed such a bore when I could get greasy on the engine.

Thanks, Dad.  I learned a lot and have built on what you have taught.  I hope when we meet again you are happy with what I have become.  I hope that as I raise my kids they will sense you in the things I teach and in the strength I have gained through your support.  I miss you and think of you often.  It's hard to believe it's been 10 years because I feel you near so often.  I hear your voice sometimes, with that strong baritone and think you are probably up there singing with the angels.  Then probably stopping the choir to tell them all how they can improve the song. The thoughts of what you are doing now makes me smile.  It's going to be nice to get a hug and talk again.  Thanks, Dad.

I have never written about him since he died.  I don't know why as I like to write and it makes me feel better.  I just never have.  10 years?! How is that possible so much time has passed without his lectures and laughter?  I guess it only means all the sooner I can see him again.  I'm very thankful that the miracle of his coming back to life when he was 6 years old happened and that I was able to have him for a father.  He was a good father. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Being in the NOW

I love Shel Silverstein.  He was very smart. His poetry has something that fits a lot of situations.  This is his poem that used to be my way of being.  Not quite a motto, buy maybe my way of seeing myself:

Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a Mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world,
That ain't been there before."

I used to have so many of these poems memorized that my baby sister could turn to just about any page and I could be doing something else and still spout off these poems. I'd glance at the title and say the whole poem. Being little she was very impressed at the time.  I would be able to crochet, or do whatever and still be "reading" her Shel Silverstein poems. 

Times have changed a bit.  My siblings are far from being impressed with the way my mind works.  Mostly, at this point they get more annoyed with how my mind works and the crazy stuff that is up there than anything else. Now it's my kids that are amazed and turn pages.  My husband is very impressed as well that I have all this stuff in my head.  Useless nonsense I'll never need.  I'm glad they are impressed.  I'm impressed that Aaron has so many scriptures memorized.  I think that's a lot more impressive than a bunch of poems.

This year I've been working on slowing down and being in the now.  My brother, Larry used to say, when we were kids, that you can never be in the "now" because by the time you've even said the word it's no longer now, it's in the past.  I still laugh about that.  In spite of that thought I've been looking at staying in the moment.

I've had time pass so fast the past few years that they pass like a couple of weeks rather than 52.  I can't get anything done, don't feel like I have time to teach my children anything and feel like I'm missing their  lives as they grow older before my eyes.  My house is  never getting fixed up and plans fall by the wayside more often than I'd like.  Maybe it's because I now have a job and it takes up those few hours in a day when I used to get that done.  I still can't switch to "working mom" mode (which sounds redundant, but you know what I mean).  I'm a stay at home mom with a job on the side in my own mind.  Weird, I know, but it's how my mind works.  I guess my career is my family and raising boys.  My hobby is watching them grow and my stress is feeling I don't have enough time to do all of that before they are older and bigger. 

So I've slowed down.  I'm "smelling the roses" as it were.  I'm taking moments to listen to my children and pause that to-do list that is usually ever present in a mom's mind.  I am looking them in the eye rather than focusing on all the things I'm in the middle of.  I guess thinking that "a watched pot never boils" will make time slow down with the kids as well.  It obviously hasn't slowed time down.  Time moves just as fast.  My days are like moments and my weeks like minutes. 

The thing that HAS changed is that I have more little moments in my heart and I don't feel so rattled.  I'm way less stressed.  I'm just enjoying my career of raising growing boys. I'm taking time to enjoy the blue eyes looking at me like their whole world is dependant on my listening to how their video game went. I'm gaining a longer perspective and staying out of emergency mode.  Being constantly in emergency mode is no way to live and does not help you enjoy life at all.  I am enjoying my children so much more by just laughing again.  I usually do laugh a lot, but now I find myself laughing more.  I am enjoying the madness of raising 5 boys.

Usually I stress about how tomorrow is going to go.  I don't do that as much any more.  My stomach isn't in a constant knot and I don't constantly think everything for the next 5 years has to be done right now.  There is a time and place for everything and if I miss something I should have taught them I can rest assured that life will teach them at some point and I've done all I can do with the knowledge I have at this time in my life.  I can't do everything, but I can do something. I can make sure they go into their adult lives confident and independent.  If nothing else I'll have done that. 

With that being said, my new poem I think of more now is not the same as it was since I was a kid.  Still, it is Shel Silverstein.  He has so many that fit how I think.

Sandra's seen a leprechaun,
Eddie touched a troll,
Laurie danced with witches once,
Charlie found some goblins' gold.
Donald heard a mermaid sing,
Susy spied an elf,
But all the magic I have known
I've had to make myself."

I know I'll miss stuff along the way, but I also know that I can make my life and those around me magical simply by taking the time to be.  I don't have to be something amazing, just me.  I can just enjoy life, and what is more magical than the moments in life that are simply happy moments.  Those moments that fill our hearts.  Those moments when a child looks into your eyes and shares the joy in their hearts, with a look that no words can describe.  The moments filled with laughter of loved ones and the joy of sharing in the laugh together.  Those moments can't happen with the stress of getting the next thing done or worry that I won't get everything done on my to-do list.  It's just as long, and isn't getting shorter, but I'm going to enjoy the journey of getting it done.  It'll get done, or it won't, but I'll have a smile on my face as I go.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A New Year....Again!!

     So once again it's the start of a new year (and if you notice I'm writing this in February).  Doesn't look like I'm off to a very good start, unless you realize why this blog is so much later than my last one and why it's about 6 weeks after the new year.

     Every year we gather the boys around and make new goals for them and us to accomplish. The only year this hasn't worked well was the year that I just didn't find time to type it up and put it up on the fridge. We read all our goals realizing that we didn't do many of them.  My dad always said that, "if you want to make something happen, write it down. If you really want to make something happen, write it down and put it somewhere you can always see it. "

     So this year we did it on the computer and I could print it out right there.  One of my personal goals this year is something I've neglected for far too many years.  I woke up one day (figuratively) and realized I used to be a better person.  Oh, not really.  I've learned and grown so much in the past 20 years I'm really better now than I have been in a lot of ways.  I'm more mature (well, sometimes) and I am a far better mom now than I was 12 years ago.  (Sorry kids).  What I'm talking about is being a people person.  I've been blind to those around me when I should have been paying attention.  I should have been less neglectful of hearts and souls than I have been.  I've been very attentive to family, while the rest of the world spun on unnoticed by me.

     One of my goals this year was to pay attention and do things a little differently than I have in the past.  Not tons differently.  My ultimate goals are still the same.  I want to spend as much time as I have left with my boys before they fly the coop ( won't be too much longer) to really get to know them and love them every second I can.  Show them how the world works, why there are so many dangers to be avoided and to let them know they don't have to try and make all the mistakes of everyone else, watch and learn and advance without making everyone else's mistakes over again.  Help lead them into being fine, upstanding men and watch them marry and treat their wives with the loving support and gentleness their father has always shown me.

     There is a world out there, though.  Being compulsive and obsessed can only get me so far with the boys if they never seeing me out there serving and doing for those I call my friends. I've said no to far too many things in the past 15 years and blamed it on the fact I have a family to care for.  I do, it's true.  It wasn't an excuse, but times change, kids grow and they need to learn in more ways than just listening to me tell them why things are the way they are. 

     I am making it a pursuit to watch for chances to show my friends I care and tell people I love them.  I haven't been very talented in that area and some of that is from pride.  Can't show I'm weak by showing I care about something, don't ya know.  Well, I've decided the weakness is definitely my pride because I like it when others show me they care, why would it be weak to show them I care?!  (Yeah, yeah.  I know, it took me long enough - better late than never, right?! )

     So this is for my boys, though I may find myself leaving them more sometimes than I would like.  I will let them know it's for service and they hopefully will understand.  I want to go to the temple to honor my relatives who have passed before me and helped shape me into the person I am and the person I'd like to be.  That's a service too.  We'll see how this comes to be, but for now, that's one of my goals.

     Funnily enough, what brought this into action (been thinking about it for a long time) was a book I picked up and started reading.  It was one my dad taught us from a lot and told us about.  Maybe you've heard of this, "7 Habits of Highly Effective People."  Great book.  Puts things in perspective for me.  Made me realized that though I'm doing a lot of right things, I may be focusing on the wrong reasons for doing them which is why I always feel like I'm not getting anything done.  Now my focus has changed and has lead me to make different choices day to day and week to week.  I look at my daily challenges differently and that has made loads of difference.

     So I'm writing about my new year because I've been focusing on my really important things and rearranging why I'm doing things and how I'm doing to do better without feeling like I'm running breathless like I have for so many years.  I used to stop and smell the roses as it were.  Now I'm doing it again.  So late in telling everyone, but not late on my new year.  I've just been so happy to see such a change in me, my home and my happiness that I haven't taken the time to blog it.  Now, here it is. Onward!!!