Beginnings, Endings & How I Suck At Both

I struggle with beginnings. Sometimes I just don’t know how to greet my audience. Good morning? Hey! Dear Reader…sure, if I want to sound like an advice columnist.

Because I struggle with beginnings, I often choose to just jump right into a post. Welcome to Exhibit A, I’m glad you made it this far. This is the part where I tell you that I’ve totally tricked you as this post has little to do with my struggle in acceptable beginnings; once again, I changed my site name to 1BadBlogger for a reason. It’s actually about my on-going struggle with endings. You can pretty much click on any of these posts to see that completing things is an issue for me: try this one, or this one, or maybe visit here.  Those posts are from a 30 day blog challenge it took me approximately 60 days to complete, however that’s a huge improvement from never finishing things at all. Need more proof? Just try searching through my blog posts from the last couple of years and you’re sure to find a few where I’ve said I’m going to share or do something and then only partially followed through. I have an idea, I get excited, I do a few things with it & then, inevitably, I get to a point where I simply lose steam & the whole project shrivels up and quietly dies where it sits. I’ve been practicing seeing things through regardless of my current level of “steam” but as previously mentioned, it takes me twice as long as it’s supposed to. But hey – that’s progress!

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 9.49.52 AMAt the end of February I challenged myself to a 30 day Social Media Detox. I was going to spend the entire month of March avoiding Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat & Pinterest. The idea is to reconnect with people and the world around you by disconnecting, just a little, from the internet. I was told numerous times that it would be great for stress-relief, my anxiety levels would decrease significantly & I would, overall, be able to experience more real-life joy instead of worrying about trying to document everything for social media. I believe those things to be generally true, but specifically – for me – I was surprised by what happened. Clearly I didn’t make it the full 30 days because here I am on 29th day already summing up the experience for you, but in this case I’m not really upset that I didn’t see the challenge all the way through. If you’re curious, keep reading. If not, you’ve probably already closed the tab and this sentence is completely pointless.

Day 1 – It was hard to stay off Facebook in particular. Once, I even wanted to log in just to post a status about how hard it is not to log on to Facebook to post a status.

Day 2 – I failed. Already. I found myself feeling forced to log on to Facebook to post about a fundraiser the girls were having for school. It was fruitless and I should have just told them I posted to Facebook instead of actually doing it, but I have this annoying policy about trying not to lie to my children. I couldn’t even pull off the Santa thing for a whole 4 years. Or the Tooth-Fairy thing, or the Easter Bunny thing, or any of the commercialized, supposedly-magical, (or actually magical) things. The only thing I’ve successfully lied to them about (that I can think of at this current moment) is that boy babies come from Home Depot & girl babies come from their store of choice. (Girl babies started off at Wal-Mart and then I thought wait…why do girls have to come from Wal-Mart? Why can’t they come from Bath & Body Works, Sephora, a fancy shoe store, or I don’t know…Game Stop?) It’s a double standard, I know, because clearly I didn’t struggle with Home Depot as the birthing place for boys, but my only son loves Home Depot so it was an easy lie for him to swallow until he hit the age of 9. This is a rabbit I don’t need to chase right now, but maybe there’s a blog post on that in the future? No promises though; remember, I’m bad at finishing things. The point is that on day 2 I was already allowing my arm to be twisted into making exceptions on my 30 day detox. It’s a good thing I’m not addicted to anything more dangerous than an iPhone.

Day 3: I wanted to log onto Facebook to see if anyone responded to the post about the girls’ fundraiser, but I refrained. I thought Instagram was going to be the challenging one to stay away from but Facebook was clearly the biggest challenge.

Day 4: It was hard not to check Facebook in the mornings like I usually do. I had no trouble staying off everything else, but all it did was give me more time to play Candy Crush. I told myself I didn’t want to defeat the purpose of staying off social media by continuing to spend an inordinate amount of time on my phone so I deleted Candy Crush too.

Day 5: I reinstalled Candy Crush.

Day 6: My diary of notes that I was keeping on my phone tells me that I hadn’t noticed many positive effects of not using social media at this point. My husband was still sharing (mostly fake) Facebook news and stupid survey posts with me (“hey babe, this says my spirit animal is a bear.” Okay…) so the things I was really trying to get a break from, I was still exposed to even after actively trying to avoid them. Now I’m thinking day 6 was a little early to be expecting any benefits.

Days 7 – 14: On day 7 I was too busy getting ready for a trip home to worry about social media. I spent the day cleaning, packing and not really missing it at all. Day 8 was all driving home so no time for it then either. Days 9-12 were spent at home with family and that’s always a busy whirlwind of events which don’t give me time for much else, though I did log on to both Facebook and Instagram on day 9 to post an updated picture of my freshly-styled hair. I couldn’t NOT share this. 17201376_10154883514554845_625678593497360933_n

Day 13 was mostly driving back to Florida & crashing once I got home. Day 14 was getting the kids back to school & using the day to recuperate from the trip. Plus, I had insane hives; so many that my face swelled up to twice its normal size so Instagram selfies were out of the question. I was so annoyed that I did post a status on Facebook about it. I promptly closed Facebook out and didn’t visit or reply to any comments that day though.

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Days 15 – 18: were spent indoors hiding from world due to a red, swollen face that looked a lot like this: Stinging_hex_effect

It’s safe to say I was more interested in my bed and SOA on Netflix than I was in being sociable with anybody, but still – I did reply to a few comments on my previous Facebook post.

Day 19: I felt & looked a lot better by this time, but I didn’t make any notes on this day so I can’t remember exactly what we did. I checked my Facebook page and there are no posts or comments from me so I can only assume I successfully avoided it on this day. I do know that I had successfully avoid Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat completely. I didn’t even miss Twitter (because I never actively use it anyway) or Snapchat. Pinterest was harder because I wanted to search for house decorating ideas, but Google sufficed in that instance and I didn’t pin a thing. Success!

Day 20: I got several email notifications of having been tagged on Facebook. I did not succumb to the temptation to check them.

Day 21: This is where my Facebook and Instagram activity both go back to being used at least once a day. I had to share this lovely picture from the beach. I still wasn’t logging on to Twitter, Snapchat or Pinterest though.

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Days 22-29: I logged on to Facebook at least once daily (multiple times on the 24th-today, the 29th) and Instagram quite a bit. I had pretty much given up on the need to “detox” so much as just really limit my exposure. If I caught myself scrolling mindlessly I would check myself and close the apps out to go do something productive.

The final result of the detox:

As you can clearly see, I technically failed, but I can honestly say I’m not disappointed about the experience at all. I didn’t go a full 30 days completely avoiding all social media – and maybe my results would have been different if I had – but here is what I noticed in a nutshell:

It did not decrease my anxiety or stress because none of that stuff was coming from social media. If anything, the use of social media (in appropriate amounts) really helps me with those things.

The vast majority of the people I follow share funny, inspiring, wonderful things that really uplift me. I try to do the same with my posts. It didn’t free up anymore time than usual because all I did was fill that time with Candy Crush & internally cussing out Licorice Larry (pathetic, I know). As long as I’m not spending an inordinate amount of time on it and overloading, I feel great. I accomplish what I need to during the day, I sleep enough at night, I have time to exercise, I have time for my family, I have time to write…social media isn’t taking away from any of that. It used to a few years ago, but I have actively been trying to correct that and I can see now that I’ve done a pretty good job. I’ve learned how to use it in small doses that have more of a positive impact than a negative one. Social media isn’t the problem; it’s how much time you actually spend on it and the quality of that time when you do. If you’re always reading someone’s drama, sharing sad stuff, using it to avoid your real life, finding yourself annoyed or depressed, or comparing your life to someone else’s life then of course it’s going to be kind of a crappy experience for you. So don’t use it that way!

If you want the longer, more detailed novel-like explanation that I wrote before I wrote the “in a nutshell version” here it is (just because I can’t stomach having written all that stuff and then just deleting it). Otherwise, feel free to skip to the section in bold at the bottom as I know you have way more important things to do than stay here and read my (redundant) babbling. 🙂

People told me I would experience a decrease in stress and anxiety, I’d find myself with more free time, spending more time with my family, etc.; all great things, obviously.  What I noticed was that I already do a lot of those things. I already spend A LOT of time with my family and when I am actively spending time with them the desire to check Facebook or be on my phone isn’t really there at all. I easily avoided taking phone calls when I was having conversations with my husband. On several of those days I took forever to respond to texts because I was too busy talking to my hubs or my kids, or driving, or any number of other things. We visited Georgia, we did household chores together, we went walking, riding bikes, we went to the beach, we went to the pool several of those days. Each time, I posted a photo or two (in one case an album with more than 5 photos) and then I logged off, OR I waited until we were home and the kids were cleaning up or otherwise engaged to post. The point is that I realized I don’t spend a lot of time on my phone when I’m actively engaged in activities with my family. I already try to be as present as possible in those scenarios and I discovered that the time I spend on Facebook or social media is usually what I would consider my free time anyway. I may use Facebook during the day when the kids are at school to procrastinate washing dishes, but I don’t neglect my family in favor of scrolling, liking, or seeing how many surveys or “name-tests” I can take.

I also noticed that my anxiety doesn’t come from being on Facebook. I don’t socialize very much with people who share things that make me feel annoyed, sad, or just generally bad after having read it. I promptly delete or simply unfollow those people once I recognize that as a pattern. (There’s a difference in sharing the occasional rant, bad mood, sad news, vent, etc. and doing it all the time.) If I notice that I regularly feel bad after spending time with a certain person I either cut that person out of my life or, if it’s someone I can’t really cut out due to family relations or other deep ties with them, I really limit my exposure to that person to decrease those negative feelings without completely cutting them out of the picture. Social media is meant to be fun & to keep you in contact with people you can’t regularly see or hang out with and that’s mostly how I’ve been using it. All you people complaining about the stupidity and drama in your lives: newsflash – you have complete control over that, especially online. If you don’t like it, change it.

I did this challenge because I felt like I needed a reset. Maybe I was getting back into a bad habit of using social media too much and that’s why I felt the need? I’m not really sure. I just know I heard a little voice tell me to take a break & I went with it. The only thing I really found out is that I need to delete my Twitter account & maybe my Snapchat, because I REALLY didn’t miss one and I barely missed the other. I haven’t logged on to either of them once in nearly a month, nor have I been tempted to. Facebook and Instagram is all I’m really interested in & I discovered that I do a pretty good job of managing my time on both of those. I didn’t need 30 days of social media detox from them because I find that using them is beneficial to me rather than the opposite, but like I said: if you find that is not the case for you, change it! Maybe a 30 day social media detox will be more successful for you than it was for me. Have you done it before? How did it go? What were your impressions during and after? Do you plan to do it in the future?

 

 

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How To Respond To “K”

Happy Monday Friends!

The last time we were together I talked about text etiquette and that obnoxious little letter, “k.” Now that we know why “k” is a little annoying, let’s talk about ways to respond to the “k” people in your life. Here are some funny things I came across online (& a few that were sent to me by other people). Snowflakes beware, there’s an F word in here somewhere. I apologize in advance for the 4 swear words.

PS – I don’t take myself seriously half the time. You shouldn’t either.

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K…an We Talk About Text Etiquette?

Good Morning Friends! Happy Friday! (If you’re reading this from Facebook, for the love of all that is holy, just CLICK THE LINK. Thank you) 🙂

Now that the 30 day 60 day blog challenge is over, it’s time to talk about something else & today I want to talk about the alphabet. There are numerous languages, each having its own unique means of written communication, but for today we are going to focus on the English alphabet; just 26 letters is all it takes to create all the words you see here & many, many more. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. We can say anything we want to say with the use of just 26 letters, & maybe the occasional emoji (or not so occasional if you’re like me & people don’t know you’re kidding unless you use a smiley at the end of everything). What happens when we have all these magnificent options at our disposal and we choose to use only one of them? You know which one. That’s right…the obnoxious “K.”

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We’re all probably guilty, but let’s examine this for a moment. Why do we do this? Are we just getting so many texts that all we can manage to muster is a single letter before we move on to the next text? Like celebrities: when you get their autograph they always write “best wishes” or something arbitrary followed by an “x” (or an “xo” if you’re really lucky) and a scribble that looks vaguely like it might contain at least one actual letter of their name. Then you get shoved down the line so the super important celebrity can lather, rinse & repeat with the hundreds of people behind you. Are we that important that we can’t wrangle up at least one extra letter? “OK,” perhaps? (Though, to be honest, that’s probably only marginally less annoying than “K.”)

What about the days when you were charged by the text, both incoming and outgoing? I can’t be the only one who got more than a little annoyed when someone cost me 10 cents just to say, “K.” For 10 cents you better have been sending me a full sentence complete with no unnecessary shorthand & proper punctuation.

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I know the point I made above is now considered moot since the majority of us are fortunate enough to be on some sort of plan which allows for unlimited texting, so why is this “K” thing still so annoying? For me there are two reasons:

1.) “K” has too many possible interpretations.

K, what?

As in, “Ok, Cool,” “I’m looking forward to it,” or ‘K’ as in “whatever. I’m done talking to you, you chatty nerd.” Or, “I’m sorry, my hands were bitten off by a t-rex & I can only text with my nose. ‘K’ is the best I can do.” The most terrifying thing to go through my mind might be, “K. Because I’m going to feed you to a shark. Shark has K in it.”

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135ee6abbb34c616b6b3144d97f77e65-jpgWhat do you mean?! There are no tonal clues with the letter K. There are no facial cues, no body language we can assess to determine if this letter is friendly or if this letter has nefarious, diabolical plans which include me ending up with a hole in my neck. Those of us with anxious brains prone to over-thinking need answers to these questions.

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2.) Time. I am busy. Maybe not I get 5000 texts in a day because I’m so important busy, but I do have a husband, 3 kids, a small business, a need to take time out to exercise, errands to run, a dog to walk, bills to pay, homework to help with, & endless amounts of laundry & dishes to do. I’m busy the way most of us are busy so while my time may not be any more or less important than yours, stopping what I’m doing to find my phone (which, at this point, is basically always on a charger which is not in the same room with me) just to read one lonely letter & nearly have a panic attack over the possible meanings of that letter & how to respond (or not), feels like a waste of time, energy, & internet data.

Bonus reason: while I know this is not always the intention, it can be rude.

Of course, we’re all going to do it every now and then, but if you frequently reply with a letter when I’m trying to have a conversation with you, please know that I’ve thought about cutting you.

Me: Hey, love! How are you?

Them: k

Me: K, good? or K, bad?

Them: just k

Me: There is no such thing as “just k.”

Them: k

Me: *screams*

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Can you relate? Does ‘K’ bother you? Why or why not? Do you have any fun reasons to add or creative responses to people who frequently do the ‘K’ thing? I’m planning a post on how to respond to ‘K’ and I’d love to see your best answers!

I Cheated

I am determined to finish this blog challenge, but I’m still behind several days. I’m going to once again cement my status as a bad blogger by speed banging this challenge.

Day 25: My biggest regret – (aside from just using the term “speed banging”)

I regret not fully immersing myself in certain experiences because of fear or anxiety. When we lived in Germany, I feel like we didn’t make the most of that amazing opportunity. I don’t want to miss anymore opportunities; I want to make the most of the life I’ve been given.

Day 26: My hidden talent – is hidden. Even from me.

Day 27: What’s in my closet

I recently cleaned my closet so you won’t be having any fun in there. It’s just clothes, shoes, yoga mats and blocks, & a bunch of empty duffle bags for when we travel. The kids’ baby books are in there on the top shelf, my husband’s folders from previous motorcycle mechanics classes, & my husband’s very sophisticated filing system: a shoebox full of receipts, check stubs & other important documents.

Day 28: My most embarrassing moment

The time I told Ian Somerhalder, “your eyes are so blue” as if he was not already aware of this. I can be pretty witty and awesome if I do say so myself, but for some reason my brain cells chose that moment to melt into a puddle at my feet. I just want to go back to that moment and try not to be a bimbo.

Day 29: A confession

Talk to Usher. He knows more about that than I do.

Day 30: My hopes for my blog

I just want to be able to read it when I’m old & not cringe. I don’t have any high hopes at this point, but that’s because I’m still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up; if I can figure that out, maybe my hopes for my blog will expand.

 

I did it. I finally finished a challenge. It took me 2 months & one cheat post containing 6 different writing topics, but I’m calling this a win. I thought I would feel a sense of accomplishment, but all I really feel is relief that I don’t have to worry about it anymore. How do you feel about challenges? It doesn’t have to be writing challenges like this one; it could be anything. There are workout challenges, healthy eating challenges, yoga challenges, stupid challenges involving food items…you name it, there’s a challenge for it. Do you have trouble completing them? Why do you start in the first place? Do they give you a sense of accomplishment or are you like me and it just starts to feel like a chore? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments! 

I Like The Bad Ones

Today’s blog challenge topic is about attraction & love: what attracts you in love?

Let’s take a look at my favorite fictional characters/actors:

Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) *slideshow*

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Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles)

 

Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam)

Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) *slideshow*

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Johnny Depp (No further explanation needed):

There are others, but by this point you’re probably sensing a theme, yes? I’m attracted to the tough, confident ones, the kind of tortured ones…with pretty eyes, dirt on their hands, & who are a bit rough around the edges, with a big, sweet heart if you can manage to get through everything else enough to see it.

If you know my husband, it makes a little more sense now doesn’t it? When we first started dating he was a cocky, arrogant smartass…to everyone except me. Now that he’s matured he’s a lot less of the first two & probably more of the last one. I see little hints of him in several of these characters I love so much. He not have smoldering blue eyes, he may make me sigh & face palm some days, and Lord knows he loves his F-bombs; but he is a genuinely good man with all the important things a good man is made of: integrity, honesty, reliability, fortitude, strength, big, rough hands & a lack of guy-liner. 🙂 It helps that he doesn’t have hair that looks better than mine, too.

 

If I Win The Lottery…

I would buy the CW & keep Supernatural on forever.

The End.

 

Okay, okay, I’m kidding. First of all, you have to play to win so this is not a possibility for me, but for the sake of the post let’s just pretend I do play. I would do the one thing most people want to do: pay off debt. I’d invest, save, put money into college funds, give my mom my house in Georgia so James & I could be free to move around & travel for a while before we decide where we wanted to build a house. I wouldn’t buy a lot of stuff, but I would spend money on lots of experiences, both for me & my husband, and for our kids.

And seriously…I would buy the CW & keep Dean Winchester Supernatural on forever.

This post is brought to you by the 30 day blogging challenge that it is evidently going to take me 60 days to complete. What would you do if you won the lottery?

Is It Laziness Or Tiredness?

Day 22: My Worst Habits

My worst habits are:

  • being bad at planning
  • picking at my lip when I’m anxious or bored
  • getting a specific Britney song stuck in my head; ironically the song is “Toxic” (just like her music)
  • starting things & not finishing them (which I’ve been working on for a while)
  • forgetting things

Another bad habit: being lazy about my blog posts when I’m tired, because there are a million ways I could have made this fun, but it’s 9:30pm, I spent the entire day cleaning, my feet hurt and I just want to go to bed and soak up a whole bunch of stillness, silence & cleanliness.

Goodnight, WordPress.

If you can identify with any of these bad habits, please share. What’s your bad habit? Have you been working on them? Is anything helping?

Call Me When You Have Good News

Friday, Day 21 of the blogging challenge: the topic is “what makes me sad?” Lots of things make me sad. Abuse, poverty, injustice, hate, ignorance…I could go on. Unfortunately, all I can think about that is making me sad right at this current moment is that this blog challenge still isn’t over. *screams* Me and my first world problems. :p

I try not to focus on things that make me sad because it’s easy to become overwhelmed and depressed as a result. That’s the reason I don’t watch the news or watch a lot of movies & television which contain tragic events; it just sticks with me and makes me a basket case. Sad people have the same effect on me as well. I could attend the funeral of someone I have never met in my life, but seeing their loved ones cry, feeling their pain, is all it takes to get me in the same state.

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Funeral Attendant: “Oh hey Beth, I didn’t know you knew Mr. Hinkerton Houserbottom. How did you two know each other?”

Me: *sobbing* “I…I…I didn’t.” *nasty snotty nose noises* “I came in here looking for my grave-digging b-brother-in-law; didn’t want to interrupt the service so I st-stood in the b-back…bu-but it’s s-so saaaad!”

Funeral Attendant: *Rolls eyes, offers kleenex* *Pats my head like he’s comforting a golden retriever*

See, there are many things to be sad about, but since I feel like I should narrow this down I did think of one thing that has been plaguing me recently & tends to come & go at a pretty regular rate. Sadness over my kids. Not that my kids make me sad; on the contrary, they make me very happy. It’s my own inadequacies as a parent that make me sad. I have those days where I feel like I’m kicking this parenting thing in the face (*happy dance*) and then I have the ones where I feel like I can’t do enough or I can’t do anything right.

I see all the moms nodding because you know the feeling right?

Currently the big struggle is with my youngest & school. She has struggled so much in school since 1st grade & I can’t help but go down the long list of could have, should have & what ifs. Those are completely pointless thoughts, but that doesn’t stop us from having them does it? It doesn’t make it any better when the teachers (however well-meaning) make you feel attacked, or like they are accusing you of not doing enough. I don’t know about you, but that’s how I always feel going into any sort of parent-teacher conference. I feel anxious & unfairly judged.

*Here we go again…another half hour where I sit and listen to all the ways I’m failing my kids, so much fun!!*

*Oh yay, here’s my favorite part! The Condescension! “Your child is just SO SWEET….but…[followed by all the ways in which she’s lacking. That list is always much longer than the cursory compliment which is meant to soften the blow, but somehow only serves make it feel worse]*

Of course the teachers rarely (if ever) mean it to feel that way, but those are just my own irrational feelings. Remember, feelings aren’t right or wrong, okay?

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*Therapist voice* This is a safe space.

Anyway, I’ve always wanted to ask other moms if they too experience this inescapable feeling of dread when conference time comes around, or when you get any sort of communication from a teacher. The crushing anxiety. The pep-talk you have to give yourself before walking into the building or picking up the phone. (Because it’s never good news when I hear from a teacher.)

*Do not cry. Whatever happens, do. not. cry. You are a strong, loving parent. This is to help your kids. Be strong. Do. Not. Cry.*

I want to be the mom that just instinctively knows what her kids need in every area of life, but when it comes to school I can’t reconcile between they need to work harder and they need a break. School in America is ridiculous in the first place with their lofty standards, sped-up curriculum, standardizing everything…but that’s a different blog post. How do you balance between their down time when they’re home and the demands of the classroom?

If they have homework or classwork to finish, it has to be done. If they have projects, they have to be done. Even if all of that is taking away from their down time, their chores aren’t getting done, instruments aren’t being practiced, extra curricular activities are completely neglected, dwindling your family time…sucking the life out of everyone in your family from 3:30 – 9pm. (Can you feel my eyes rolling?)  I want to set a good example for my kids regarding work ethic & earning things, but the demands from schools do seem excessive to me. I want to be able to tell the teacher this at the conference without making it sound like I’m blaming her, and I want to be able to come up with a solution that works for the classroom and at home. One that keeps my child accountable, but also doesn’t make me want to pull my hair out & use it to strangle myself or someone else.

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Memes like this don’t help. 

There never seems to be a good compromise though. I sit there listening to teachers give me all this advice about my kid (who they don’t even really know by the way) trying not to cry & feel helpless, & I can feel them making judgements about me, making judgements about her because of me. Am I the only one who feels this way?

When you look something like this up on Google all you get is a list of articles about The 10 Types of Parents Teachers Hate and Things You Should Never Say To Your Child’s Teacher or forums where teachers complain about the parents of the children they teach and make assumptions about what is or isn’t happening in their home. (Don’t ask me how I know this…) Where is the support for parents who are doing their best, but feeling overwhelmed, insignificant, and even attacked? The weight of that potential judgement from teachers and faculty stresses me out. You could say it makes me sad.

The fact that most of the time I feel like I’m not doing enough for my child while simultaneously feeling like I’m doing everything I can without having a nervous breakdown…makes me sad. The fact that I don’t have the patience & the organizational skills required to homeschool makes me sad. The fact that I can’t afford private school…nah, that doesn’t make me sad. I don’t really want to pay thousands of dollars to have people judge me when I can get that judgement at a more affordable rate elsewhere.

The point of my post is not to berate teachers so I hope that my teacher friends will not take offense. I am only sharing my general feelings which, while they may not be an accurate representation of the reality of a situation, they are the feelings & fears that go with me into every encounter with a teacher, counselor, principal, etc.. I respect and value teachers & I know that most of them respect the parents of the children they teach, but to search the internet or Facebook you wouldn’t think that. The internet is chock full of teachers complaining about one aspect of their job or another (which I understand) and parents is what they complain about most; not necessarily with my teacher friends, but generally speaking.

If I had one big blanket suggestion for all schools (who am I kidding, I have tons, but for the purposes of this post I picked this one), it would be to make sure that your staff is contacting parents with good news often, definitely more often than you’re contacting them with bad news if you can manage it. Every time someone from my kids’ school calls me, I have a 3 step process:

1 second of panic, 3 seconds of doubt where I don’t want to answer the phone, and then the part of my brain that does all the adulting kicks in and makes me answer it.

I never get good news from a school faculty member without it being followed up with a “but.” If the military can have stress cards and colleges can coddle 20 year olds over the results of an election, then schools can help their more anxious parents out with a few nice phone calls or emails per year…just to let us know we’re doing something right. That would make me very, very happy.

If This Doesn’t Make You Happy You Have No Soul

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Is it just me or does this challenge seem exceptionally long? I know 30 days is 30 days, but I feel like I’ve been doing this forever. Maybe that’s because I’ve never completed a challenge before and this is sort of a record for me. 😛

Today is Day 20: What makes you happy?

Full disclosure: I’m really sick of talking about myself. I have to finish this though so…onward!

Lots of things make me happy. The obvious answers would be my kids, my husband, my family, my dog; but I think I can do a little better than the obvious answers. Not that there’s anything better than those things, but I just know those are pretty typical and I find happiness in a lot of smaller things, too.

My birthdays make me happy. Yes, I’m aware that I just turned 31 and that there is a bit of a stereo-type about women and their age, but birthdays genuinely make me happy. I feel blessed to have survived another year & to be able to enjoy a new one, plus I’m really looking forward to being 80 so I can say whatever I want and people will just be like, “she is so adorable” or “ignore her, she says inappropriate stuff all the time…I think it’s the dementia.” And then I can come back with something tenacious which proves I’m as sharp as ever & everyone will tell stories about it after I die.

Animals of all kinds make me happy. If this doesn’t make you happy then you have no soul:

These shoes I painted make me happy!

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Harry Potter makes me very happy. We will be visiting Hogwarts at Universal this month & I can hardly wait!!! 😀

Sunshine makes me exceptionally happy. A lack of sunlight (or even light in general) is just a recipe for depression so I like to be outside as much as possible. The trouble comes during the winter months when the cold makes me want to retreat indoors. Another reason why I love Florida so much. We’ve probably had a total of 4 cold days of the variety that make me want to stay indoors & about 3 that were just cold enough to make one want to limit the amount of time out of the house. It’s been really good for my mental health.

I love Supernatural, Damon Salvatore, books, the beach, long walks, sunsets, palm trees, rainbows, glitter, unicorns, yoga, butter cake with chocolate frosting, tattoos, red velvet cake, blue jeans, yoga pants, workout clothes, watercolors, painting, singing, music, making lists, painting dishes (& shoes), my Etsy shop, writing, photography, long drives, curvy backroads, speeding, the occasional curse word, the sound of my kids laughing, dying my hair, Olive Garden…the list goes on. Moral of this post? Enjoy the small things. 

What makes you happy?

 

More Favorites?

Day 19 of the blog challenge: my favorite movie. What is with all the favorites here? I have issues with favorites, as in I can’t have just one. If I have to pick just one though, I think my family will agree that after hours and hours of watching the same movie repeatedly, The Little Mermaid is probably a safe choice for a favorite. I’ll never get tired of it. I used to want to be a mermaid when I grew up. What am I talking about…I still kinda do. 🙂

What’s your favorite movie? Is there anyone who can pick just one?!