Sunday, May 30, 2010

You Gotta Have Friends....

This morning at church, the girls and I had an interesting conversation. Okay, admittedly, most days we have interesting conversations but today's class was really interesting. We are a few weeks behind in where we should be in our lessons, so today we tried to tie up the loose ends on the subject of what makes a good friend. The girls, my co-teacher and I have a tendency to get off subject in class and that happened again today, although the subject matter was very relevant.

How do you go about choosing a good friend? There are a lot of elements that are needed in building the perfect friendship. You want someone who is supportive, encouraging, someone who believes in you. They want you to stay out of trouble. They want you to be the best YOU that you can be. They like you - for you. Not for some personification that you PUT OUT THERE for the world to see. This is the friend who has your back at all times. You laughs when you laugh. Cries when you cry. Loves you unconditionally...and for a room of 12-14ish year old girls it is awesome to hear what they think and how they feel.

It made me start to think... would I encourage my daughter to be friends with someone that I thought was not "good"? Would I encourage her to be friends with someone who didn't have her best interests at heart if I liked that child's parent(s)? Would I want her to be friends with someone who made her feel disposable? How about someone who encouraged her to do 'wrong' over 'right'? And if it all started to go wrong, would I sit down and map out a plan to try to make everything right? Or would I just give in, give up and allow her to do whatever she wanted because it was her life and I was too busy in mine to want to try?

In our class, we have a great diversity of students. We have students who have been removed from their homes and are in family services homes. We have girls who have been adopted. Girls who, for one reason or another, only come to church with one parent while the other comes nowhere near the church. We have girls who struggle with self confidence, grades, boys, parents, peer pressure. friends. We hear stories about girls at school who are having sex with guys. There are students who are lying to their parents about EVERYTHING. Their parents have problems. They, themselves, worry about money, grades, weight, friends...everything. We talk about EVERYTHING. We jokingly call our class "The Vault"....because we talk freely and it stays within the vault unless it could be harmful to them or someone else.

The girls really make me think. What do you value in friendships? Do you find yourself trying to gauge your children in their quest for their friends? Do you try to stress to them the type of people who will make good friends or do you just sit back and let the chips fall wherever they may?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Feeling sorta blah...

I haven't felt well the past two days. Some phantom pain in my left side that has me feeling miserable. It started Friday morning around 2 and continued until around 5 that morning. I felt groggy and miserable yesterday but the pain went away. And returned this morning sometime around Noon. I don't know what it is - but I am miserably unhappy at this point.

I promised The Bug that we were going off right before it started. I am hoping that it passes quickly so that we can head out the door soon. In the meantime, we are watching Flip This House on A&E. What I don't like about these reality shows? They give a poor representation of the state in which we live. Like our local "Real Housewives"...which I hate because I don't know any women like them. Now I love to watch the "New York" version of the show... but I seriously hope there aren't many Bethany Frankel's or Ramona's out in the real world. Or Alex. And I cannot for the life of my figure out Sonja... the newest "housewife"....that word is a joke with that show.

Okay, wish me luck - we are about to head out the door. I must be crazy....

Friday, May 28, 2010

Accentuate the Positive....

Last night after having a conversation with my Mom about life in general, I realized one thing. I don't like to dwell on negative stuff. The bad things that happen in your life - or the people who do them to you. I would rather just go with the good and try to forget the bad things that come along.

We can't all be happy all of the time. Bad things happen to good people. Sometimes good things happen to bad people. We have to live and learn. Sometimes it's a life lesson that we need to be exposed to and other times I believe things happen to mold us and make us into the person that we are suppose to be.

In my life, plenty of 'bad things' have happened. My brother died. My grandparents were all sick before dying. My husband had a brain trauma just 2 months before we were suppose to be married. I lost a job that I loved after the attacks on 9/11. I've found out that people who I thought were my friends maybe were just a friend for a season or a reason and not for the long term. I had the baby blues. My parents have both had cancer. But through it all, I have tried to remain positive. Looking for the good in the bad. It's something that last night I learned should be commended because I have a tendency to be true to myself and those around me.

I hope it's a trait that I can pass along to my daughter. When things happen in her life that would be 'tragic' to a 12 year old going on 13 - I always ask her, is it going to matter 6 months from now? 6 years from now? when you're sixty? I try to show her that even though things don't always go our way, we have to evaluate the situation and move forward. Not being bogged down by whatever is negative. Look for the silver lining. Rainstorms don't mean something bad is coming - they're just helping to prepare the blessings that are going to follow.

I found this on a card in our room when I was cleaning the other night. I might have shared it before - but it's worth repeating. What you're willing to walk away from determines what God will bring to you. That's my deep thought for the day. I would much rather reap God's blessings that sit and stew in whatever it is that is or has made me miserable. What about you?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday - 1 day to go....

Tomorrow is our last day of school. And I am glad. 7th grade, and being 12, has been a lot to deal with. Nothing tragic - just not the fun year that we are use to having around here. But academically things have been incredible. This summer we are looking for fun times to abound and to enjoy the next two months till it's time to trudge back to the school house.

My classes start back next week. Something that I'm not all that excited about...but at least we only meet for one class six days. Do I sound like a broken record? I'm taking three courses this summer - and will hopefully be finishing up in the fall of next year. That's a depressing thought but I will be so very glad when I am done! If you are thinking about going back to school - do it soon so that you won't find yourself wishing the time away until you are finished!

I have decided that Monday is a new beginning for me. I'm going to start riding my bike and walking again. So I figure I have two good days to figure out what the plan is and time to shop before implementing it on Monday morning. And it's a family-wide plan. If it's not healthy, we aren't having it. I feel the strong urge to make a change.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Oops...

Looks like I missed a day in my goal to blog. Sorry about that.

I have spent the entire morning glued to the computer. Looking at Facebook. My email. Everything that is not essential to my needing to get up and get some housework done! But I have an excuse...the cat is beside me on her 'kitty condo' asleep and I would hate to wake her up! Actually her purring is making me sleepy as well.

And since 2 people have called and asked if they've woken me up... would it be such a bad thing to go and take a little cat nap?

Actually I have found an interesting website. Interesting to me because with all of the job changes going on around here, we were wondering how much we spend commuting to various places. This website calculates the commute for you. Some of the information startled me - like spending well over eleven hundred a week in gas and auto expenses - and this does not include parking! If you check it out, let me know what you think.
The Cost of Your Commute

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Little Less Talk...

And a lot more action. That's what I need. I need to do less talking (and thinking) and just react. Because nothing has gotten done around here today. Well, I did go off with my dear friend and had a good time. Then I came home and voila! NOTHING

Tonight we had karate. It's funny - there are nights when my presence is welcomed in the Doju and other nights that I know I need to run to the store or go for a walk on the golf cart paths. Tonight was a 'go to the store' night. That's okay - we had a need to purchase band aids. LOL

My post about weight really has me thinking. That and my conversation with my friend today at lunch. What is the better option to try with dieting? Carb-free? Carb-eater? Calorie Counter? What? Because it is time to act - Last year when I lost some weight, I gave away all of my 'too biggies' so I really am not allowing myself to go out and purchase anything new. I have enough sizes ranging in my spare closet that I could open a boutique! Today the idea crossed my mind that I should organize them by size and as I lose weight, I could just go and shop in my own closet. Shamefully - some of the items still have price tags attached! So maybe I'll make that my project for later this week. It would be helpful because it would force me to really deal with the issue at hand.

I'm also considering getting my hair chopped off again. To know me is to know that I go from short to long to short to long. Right now I think my hair is too long. And my roots are really showing because I cannot decide what to do. A part of me wants to go back to some sort of bob... until one of the girls in my church class begged me not to get my hair cut and to not get "one of those horrible bobs!". Obviously she has never seen me with a bob! So I don't know what to do. So I go around with my hair pulled up with a clip most days because I just don't want to deal with it lately.

So that's the latest. Tonight's going to be an early night for me because I stayed up to watch LOST last night... and feel more confused about that show than ever!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Oh, lonesome blogginess

Dear blog:

I am sorry. Sorry for ignoring you. Sorry for not making you feel worthy of my daily diatribes. Sorry for neglecting you. Sorry for not checking in and updating on the events of our life. As school comes to an end this week for The Bug, I hope to do better. I promise not to be a neglectful owner.

Things here are looking up. The job situation is improving. I have also put in for two open positions with the school system - so I am pushing myself out there and seeing what is available. With my degree program, I am able to work and go to school in certain positions and who wouldn't rather work and get paid for their field experience? So fingers crossed and hopeful that something good will happen.

A funny thing that I have noticed... every time I am doing well on my diet and something bad happens, I fall completely off of the wagon. I have got to stop this because my health is important. Being overweight isn't helping anybody with anything...especially me! I had decided recently to try a carb-free diet, which I actually enjoyed....and believe that it helped me retain things that I was learning at school. I had more energy. I was losing weight. Then the 'bottom fell out' and I started eating potatoes and bread again. Today my weight is back up. So I got up today with the decision to do something about it. I keep saying that I'm going to start walking again - which is great - however I have a bike upstairs that I've not used in months. And I don't need certain weather or even daylight to use it. So this week I am going to strive to make some changes and get myself back on the road to weight loss success. Because I refuse to buy new clothes. Then I read over on Tina's blog about her running a marathon and I'm jealous! And so proud!!!!

My classes resume next week. I'll only go to 6 classes this summer - everything else will be online which is something I am really looking forward to. The downside-the campus has an amazing gym that I should be using so maybe I'll do that a couple of days in the week. I'm still teaching 7th and 8th grade girls in Sunday School and enjoying it. We've just finished up the second week of a four week study on what makes a good friend. It really makes you stop and think about your true friends.

The Bug received the outstanding math student award for her team at school on Tuesday and also was recognized for making As all year. I am so proud of her. She is such a better student than I was at her age. I hated math with a passion... funny considering my first degree is in Accounting! This has been an emotionally tough year for her ... not sure if it's just the age and pressures of being in 7th grade or not. I loved middle school so I am a little disappointed. It could be that she's on one of the smaller teams at school. So we are both glad to see this school year come to a close ... until we realized today that in five years, she'll be graduating from high school...and preparing to start college at the age of 17! Time passes too quickly! On a side note, she has told me that she wants to start running each morning this summer which I think is great. Before I found out I was pregnant with her, I had started running and I think it's a great way to get into shape and clear the cobwebs from the brain.

So in closing, I promise to be around more. This may become more of an accountability journal than anything else. But I can do this! I have to do this!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

P.U.S.H.

I am at a crossroads in my life right now. You might say a crisis of sorts. And since my daughter, on occasion, reads my blog, I will leave it at that. We are praying about jobs. Seriously praying about them. And expecting some news this week. All of this has me thinking about when you come to a place in your life where you don't know where to turn... what do you do?

My mother always told me to pray when I found myself in a situation where I knew it was bigger than me. Does that make sense? And this is the advice that I've always followed. Letting go... and letting God handle things. But sometimes this is easier said than done. I feel like I've been through the ringer recently. I'm not the type of person who harps on and on about life's problems (unless you're my Mom...she is the one who probably hears all of it). I am more of a 'suffer in silence' kind of gal. My husband is a 'suffer in silence' kind of guy... So when something is wrong, we are both very quiet. Reflective. Still.

In the weekly class that I teach, I challenge the girls to write down their problems and concerns on a note card, minus their names and leave them on the table for me. It's a play on leaving our problems at the foot of the cross. I take the cards and I pray over the situations for the girls all week. I take up their cause in the hopes that they don't worry as much. In doing so, it's allowed me an insight into the things that teenagers worry about most. Money. Boys. School Work. Parents. Grandparents. Economy. These girls are deep thinkers.

I find myself praying a lot. In the car. First thing in the morning when the alarm goes off. Walking to the car. Ironing. I either run through my list of people and prayers or I will pray that God will give me peace and tranquility. I have started praying as I wait to fall asleep at night... I figure it's the best way to have a good night's rest. In all of this, I feel as though I am growing in my spiritual life daily. And when I do this - I just PUSH - Pray Until Something Happens.

And while I'm in PUSH mode, I have to always remind myself of FROG (Fully Rely on God!).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Summertime...Sweet Summertime

Summer is coming. Fast and Furious. School is out for me after my final in psychopharamacology tonight. YEAH - I spelled it without looking!!! The Bug has a few more weeks left of school. But that'll be over before we know it... and it'll be summertime.

Of course, living in the south, it already feels like summertime. Today is supposed to be a hot, humid day after the rains and wind we've had lately. There's also been this strange finch of some sort that keeps coming and tapping on the bathroom window upstairs - it has us all fascinated because it's just this little window but it comes every day and drives the cat to distraction and the rest of us listen to see if we can hear it. Thank goodness the Bug and the cat have never seen "The Birds"...otherwise, it could get pretty scary!

I am taking summer classes. 3 of them. While I'm not happy about it, at least a majority of my actual 'classes' are online so that gives me a break. I've also decided that as soon as this week is over (I'm working most of the week) I have got to do some house purging. It's amazing how housework can accumulate when you are busy trying to make good grades and spend some time with your family! Right now, I've managed to overtake our dining room with school stuff so that's the first place that I hope to return to normal. Small steps.

It's hard to believe that The Bug will be in 8th grade in the fall. Where does the time go? Before you know it, we'll be packing up and sending her off to college. Maybe by then her Mom will have finished, too!