Tag Archive | thankfulness

The Talk

Wife. Mother. Author. Seeker of the Extraordinary.

I adore being a mom.

I was never even sure that I wanted that honor but when those boys came into my life, so much finally made sense. The missing pieces came together and I was complete.

They gave me purpose.

They also taught me the value of laughter and forgiveness. I’ve learned to laugh at myself which I’ve always struggled to do and I’ve learned to forgive myself too.

With boys, nothing is sacred and the fact that they find humor in anything, has been good for my soul. They also forgive fast and love hard and they’ve given me far more than they can imagine.

Before them, my serious nature prevented me from seeing opportunities for joy but because of them, I seek it out every day. I’ve learned to laugh at the ridiculous and inappropriate and I’m so thankful for everything they’ve taught and continue to teach me.

How could you not smile at the cuteness? Throwback 2011

But, being a mom has always carried so much responsibility and as they grow older, I’ll admit that I’m freaking out. I see the window of our daily time together quickly closing and I don’t know if I’ve taught or given them enough. There are still years left but it’s going fast.

Recently, I told my youngest that we were going to have The Talk which unexpectedly weirded him out. Inquisitive by nature, I didn’t anticipate how icked out he would be about our conversation. He insisted his older brother be there for “support”, so we had it where we have many of our important talks.

In the car.

Driving home from sports.

When I had the talk with the oldest son a couple of years ago, we were in the grocery store. I vividly remember walking through the freezer section and telling him that STDs can make it burn when you pee and a few other gross details.

He responded with the appropriate amount of disgust, then I had him hand me a box of Uncrustables and asked him if he wanted any frozen waffles.

It was an easy, albeit awkward, conversation and afterwards I realized it wasn’t as embarrassing as I thought it would be. Nothing exploded and a veil of knowledge wasn’t lifted, instantly changing him from a boy to a man. He was still my kid, with a little more knowledge and hopefully enough fear to keep him safe.

But with the youngest son, I expected questions.

So many questions.

He usually has questions for his questions and then even more after that!

We’ve always indulged his curious nature expecting that it will be serve him well in the future. We’ve covered too many topics to count but this one made him squirrelly and he didn’t attempt to disguise it.

His older brother’s presence did give him comfort which made my heart so happy. When I dove into the talk I asked what he already knew, which were the basics. Then we had an open conversation about sex, STDs, babies, condoms, the sacredness of sex, and the peer pressure that they’ll face. I used clinical words which he didn’t like and I talked to him like sex is the most natural thing in the world, because it is.

Even though neither son wanted to talk about it with me, I told them it was better than talking to their dumb friends who wouldn’t know any more than they do. I don’t know if they believed me but since I had a captive audience, I just went with it.

I’d always imagined that the conversation might result in one of us rocking back and forth in a corner but I was relieved when it was over, because it was truly very unspectacular. Just like when I had the talk with his brother.

It took about ten minutes to cover the important points and then I reminded them both that I’m always there, for everything and anything. Good, bad, ugly, and uncomfortable; that’s what a mom is for.

At least, that’s what I plan to be there for.

Even though they didn’t want to have these conversations they were necessary and important and I think they understood that.

While they may think they know enough, they’ve never considered the shame of an STD, or a broken condom, or raising a baby as a teen parent, They don’t know that when their friends start having sex it’s okay for them not to, or that kissing doesn’t have to end in intimacy, or that “no” means no. We didn’t dwell long on the actual act because experience is the best teacher and they understand enough. But we did talk about everything else that they don’t teach you in sex education.

The things you only learn from screwing up life or from someone older who will tell you all the ways you don’t want to mess up. I hope that at least some of what we talked about will sink in.

Especially, how crucial it is to choose wisely, even when hormones are telling you otherwise. Even more importantly, sex isn’t random, it’s meaningful.

It’s important.

And it can be life-changing.

In a culture where hooking up is the norm and girls move just as fast as boys, I don’t know how else they’ll learn these things if they don’t learn them from us.

The parents.

There will be more in-depth conversations about when girls say No, and the importance of respecting women and yourself. There will be follow-up conversations about falling in love and heartbreak, but I think these conversations are ongoing and not necessarily wrapped up in one event.

While being a mom has given me so much, it’s also taught me the importance of preparing them to live in a world where choosing well is the most important thing, and relationships between men and women are complicated at best.

I’ll admit I was nervous about having The Talk with both of them. While my husband certainly could’ve done it, I chose to because I wanted them to feel comfortable talking to a woman about something so personal, even if it was their gross mom.

There will be many important conversations in our future and I feel fortunate to get to have them. Being a mom of boys has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I can’t imagine having these talks with anyone else.

No matter how uncomfortable it can be, it’s always worth it.

Always.

“Because I Love You…” Giveaway

I’m hosting my first big giveaway as a way to show appreciation for all of the wonderful people who visit me on a regular basis. ❤

A year ago, I was in a very different place in my life and wasn't even sure if I would finish my first novel. Now, I've self-published two books with a third one in process. I know that I would have never been able to complete them without family, friends, and new friends who have given me so much support and encouragement.

So please click on the link and join in on the giveaway! And Thank You for all that you have given me just from being supportive and kind!!

"When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others."
~Dalai Lama

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Thankful for This Life

I purposely didn’t post a blog on Thanksgiving about how thankful I was. Not because I thought I was above doing it. It’s because I wanted to give the concept of thankfulness a little more thought. I wanted to write something that didn’t sound trite and recycled. I wanted to express exactly how thankful I am.

The truth is, I AM extremely thankful for this life that I’ve been given, more than I can share.

So much so, that it sometimes feel more like fear or painful awareness than Thankfulness. I’ve been through some things in my life that I will never write about because they are just too horrible to revisit, and some things that I will never remember, that are probably equally so. For me to share my true thankfulness, I would have to share my entire life, which I won’t do. I believe that some things are meant to remain locked up deep inside, private and painful, to remind you of how fortunate you are to get to live.

The parts I share, through my writing, I only share because I know just how thankful I deserve to be.

My life has been a fabric of different thread, weaving in and out, bright and colorful, sometimes shameful, and often outright ugly. But each thread has meaning. Without one, there couldn’t be another, or another, or another, and then I would be nothing. Colorless, meaningless, without one stitch of gratitude within me. There have been many times that I have wished for that. But I realize that without it, I would cease to be what makes me who I am.

But life is hard. And there are moments when I want to pull my hair out and scream because I wish it was more. And then there are other times that I want to sit comatose, staring out of a window, because I wish it was less. More often, I feel that the true secret may be, just accepting what IS, which is something that I struggle with every single day. As a well-known, and well documented “control freak,” accepting that there are things outside of my control, has been the most brutal lesson of my entire life. It is the lesson that I believe is the key to understanding gratitude in its truest form.

I don’t think that I am there yet.

I still struggle too much with my life, with my path, with the threads that make me who I am. I look far too often at the road I’ve travelled instead of at the road ahead. And I’m still entirely too haunted, angry, and sad on a regular basis to live out this guise of thankfulness fully and truthfully every day.

But I’m trying.

I know where I need to go. I can see it, touch it, taste it. And some days I even achieve it, if not for the briefest of moments. Just sitting back, accepting, and appreciating what my life IS while acknowledging the path that I’ve taken to get there is truly being thankful. It’s not wishing that the thread were a different color, or woven a different way. It’s looking at the tapestry as a whole and understanding that true beauty is in the richness of each individual stitch. It’s loving each thread and not wishing that one had been different, or placed somewhere else.

I look forward to the day that I can look at my life that way, every day. I know in my mind that I have gotten here by decisions that I’ve made, and decisions that were made for me. I know that I am not a victim and that I choose how I view my life. And when it’s all said and done, that how I choose to view my life which will determine how I feel about it in the end.

With each passing day, it gets a little easier. And when I look into the eyes of my sweet, innocent, amazing children, is when I am the closest to feeling gratitude and life makes more sense. In the deepest place in my heart, I feel the glow of thankfulness and happiness every day. But I wanted to be honest so it didn’t sound as though I walk around on cloud nine, every day of my life.

Life is difficult, and we have to seek out the beauty that finds its way through the pain. And when we can do so, we can truly be more thankful.  

   

To Be, or Not to Be…

Part of the reason I write is because I can’t get my brain to slow down and be still. It’s always been that way for me, ever since I was young. This has served me well in a lot of areas of my life. But truth be told… It can be exhausting and frustrating. Reality can never keep up with the pace in my mind which has resulted in a personality of impatience.

My thoughts are in constant motion, jumping from one subject to the next and my dreams are the same. I’m sure they make medication for that, but I’ve always preferred a more creative outlet and have been fortunate to find one.

It seems as though over the years, I’ve tried something else.

Instead of rushing toward the next goal and finding frustration when I don’t get there quickly enough, I’ve been trying to stop and see where I’m stepping a long the way. As a person who has consistently been labelled a “results oriented” person, it has been a Herculean feat to be able to do this. But after many hard lessons, two children, and some much needed perspective, I’m FINALLY able to enjoy not only the results, but the journey and what it takes to get there.

I’m learning how to just, “BE.”

Be… In the moment.
Be… Content.
Be… Satisfied.
Be… Thankful.
Be… Kind and compassionate.
Be… Appreciative.
Be… Patient.
Be… Tolerant.
Be… Attentive.
Be… Understanding.
Be… Happy.

It’s easier, for me, to revert to the opposite of all of these “Be’s”. It’s a fast paced world and we are constantly obligated and busy. We are moving more toward instant gratification in our society than we should ever be. We are glued to our smart phones, instant communication, instant everything.

Myself included.

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and instant results. I’m addicted to it, just like the next person. But one day, I woke up and suddenly I’m more than halfway through my life expectancy and I can’t pick up my babies anymore because they are too big. And I wonder, where did my life go?

I’ve been on this path of “just being” for a while now. While it goes against my very nature, but I find that when I stop, and take it all in, I feel more accomplished. I am content in a way that I never realized was possible. and I am at peace.

To Be… Or Not to Be. Should it really be a question?