Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Communication is key...

...this is a mantra in my home. It has been for years, having the need for introduction when Nic, (my coming up on 20 yr old) became a teen some 6 or 7 years ago now. From the time he was old enough to speak, we realized that he was intelligent beyond his years, quite articulate and decided to cultivate that little brain to let him know he could do or be anything he wanted. Consequently, he grew up a little more arrogant than most children, and when he reached the blessed joy of puberty, his little brain- full of testosterone that didn't have a home yet- thought that HE ruled the roost. It then became my job as the mom, to teach him that he didn't.

One day we were having a disagreement about something and I told him that communication was key. If he wanted something, or wanted for me to understand something, it was his job to convey it.

Now this is the only time I can remember ever really smacking one of my kids...At this point, he was finally nose to nose with his mom, quickly becoming the 2nd tallest person in the house, (which granted, isn't very hard to do, but it meant something to him!) and those little hormones without a home, they decided to flare in my little 13 yr old boy. He puffed up his chest and got right in my face, as if to intimidate me into understanding HIS point of view. Unfortunately for him, he had never experienced the wrath of his mom before, and therefore was completely surprised when he found himself stumbling backward from the blow across the face he just received from... his mom! My next move? I got right up in his face and said, "Don't you EVER think that you can disrespect me like that. I am your mother! You may get bigger and taller, but you will NEVER do that again! Are we CLEAR?" Of course he said yes, through the tears spilling from his eyes...

I think I communicated my point quite well as I have 3 teenage boys now... all at least as tall as I am, and I have never had to be physical with any of them, and not one of them has ever thought about doing anything like that with me either...

I have shared with my kids the idea of this mantra so they understand what I mean when I say it. If you tell me what you are thinking and I can understand where your head is, the chances of us reaching a decision together are greater.

I just asked Jack... "Fill in the blank babe... Communication?" He said, " key!"

Getting some points across...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Beginning...

If you know me, you know that I am a talker...but I am a listener too. I love to tell and hear stories. I love to feel like I can learn from other people's experiences and be a better person because I DID listen.

My intent in this blog is to share my feelings on topics that are fresh in my life. If you are reading here, you probably are aware of the new space in which I find myself. Divorced, single mom of 5, almost 40, but feeling more empowered today than I think I ever have... more on that another day.

My hope is that I can turn my "stream of consciousness" writing, into thoughts that will engage you, and cause you to think outside your box. I am unique-I know that. I know that I AM misunderstood many times, as I say things that absolutely make sense in my brain, and even when I put it on paper and read it, it STILL makes sense, and then it is misunderstood. But I know the emotion behind the words, I know how to read between the lines, because I made the lines. I hope that you will choose to try to do the same, so that you can follow my flow and enjoy these few minutes of your day... spent in my brain.

So I have this friend at work who never ceases to amaze me. He is probably the funniest person I know. He is intelligent, confident and a great dad... he does his job well, and has fun too. At times he seems to be rough on the outside, but on the inside...I think he is really a big softy. I love that the more time we spend together, the more he lets me see that side, and thereby allows me to feel like we are friends, not just co-workers. We have had conversations about everything from kids and how to raise them, to sharing high school memories. He never lets me down if I have a question and he has given me some of the hardest belly laughs I have had in my adult life. Today...I didn't get my normal belly laugh. Today, he talked to me like a friend and I left his office feeling like a better person than when I entered. I was impressed and inspired.

After finishing the "work talk", we were re-capping the weekend, as we often do. Mine was up and down... but his sounded wonderful! He spent it reconnecting with old friends and capturing memories. This tough, 40+, single, mouth-like-a-sailor friend of mine... writes letters to people he has connected with on FB, recounting memories he has with, and of them. He shares because it makes him happy, and he is so excited when they return the letter with memories of their own!

Hearing his story this afternoon inspired me to start writing tonight. My life has been in a constant mode of "change" for years and I have wanted to write my thoughts and feelings about it, but couldn't quite open up enough to share. I think I felt like I would share something that didn't really belong to me, even though I was affected by it... and I didn't want to hurt anyone else, just to satisfy myself. Since my divorce last spring, I have realized that I am not alone on my path and that maybe I should share with others, so THEY know that they are not alone. I have had several, life altering experiences with one of my best friends. Because of these experiences, I have realized who I really am, and that it is ok to embrace all of me, not just the parts that others may think are ok. I have created new friendships and rekindled old. I have had a break up and renewal of friendship, had fun family experiences, attended events and parties and even tried my hand at dating... all noteworthy topics, but still, no action. My sister helped me set up this site over the weekend and I just couldn't do it...yet.

Hearing the joy in my friend's voice as he told me his story this afternoon was exactly the kick in the pants I needed to begin. Thanks mister...and if you read this post, I am sure you know who you are. :)

So... it begins.