Sunday, December 27, 2015

Mixing of Old and New Traditions

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas with their family, friends and loved ones.

I was privileged and blessed to spend Christmas with David's family in West Tennessee. It was an adult Christmas and I thoroughly enjoyed the time spend with his sister and her family and learning lots of the Parish family holiday traditions while Laura made them her own as well.It was a simple Christmas with the company and conversation being much more important than any gift under the tree.

We drove west on Christmas Eve and had lunch with the family upon arrival, then the countdown started as Laura prepared all the wonderful food we would have that evening before going to Christmas Eve Mass at St. Elisabeth's Episcopal Church in Bartlett, TN.

We had a superb meal of Prime Rib, Fingerling potatoes, asparagus and a splendid chocolate dessert.

Then for the first time in my life, I attended a Christmas Eve church service. The church was decorated beautifully with red poinsettia's and evergreen branches throughout the building. I wish now that I had stopped and taken some photos of the decor. There was singing, prayer and communion and a very peaceful atmosphere. The church even had a pajama service planned for Christmas day where the children can attend in their pajamas. I though that was a very cute idea.

I am learning traditions new to me and refusing to hang on to the old memories of Christmases past that only brought me down. 

The moral of my Christmas Story is to embrace the new, cherish the love and let go of the past so you can freely fly into your future.

Please don't live your life in fear of anything or anyone.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Gift

Are you someone who loves to give gifts or do you have trouble receiving gifts?

Over the years, my opinions of gifts, holidays, birthdays and Christmas has changed depending on my circumstances and situation at the time.

We have the gift of life and the opportunity to help others every day. That in itself is a huge gift.

When I was younger, I was horrible about wanting to know what was under that tree or in that box and got in trouble at times for snooping around. 

Some years, I had no money for gifts and was ashamed to receive any gifts from anyone because I could not reciprocate.

These days, I enjoy giving to others and surprising people with things that I believe will fit them just right.

This Christmas week, I am very excited to be spending the Christmas holiday with new family and friends. New traditions are being formed and the basis of all of them is love and thankfulness. Nothing more and nothing less. I am pretty sure there will be lots of laughter and plenty of time spent around the kitchen table or in the kitchen with the family as well.

The gifts under the tree are secondary because we are choosing to be thankful for each other and the hope for our journey together in the years ahead.

Hug the little ones, make silly pictures and go outside and throw a snowball (if you have snow). Enjoy yourselves and make time to give to others.. your time means more than any gift you could buy at the store or online. 

Sending all of you smiles, hugs and many wishes for the Merriest Christmas this year!

Monday, December 21, 2015

What do you allow?

It's amazing to me what we allow to change our mood and/or outlook on life and things.

Some folks daily or even hourly mood can change based on the weather outside. I believe they enjoy complaining no matter what they have been blessed with. For me, If I don't have to work out in the weather, I am pretty fortunate and thankful.

Some people will be grumpy if their football (or any other sport) team loses. I personally watched my team lose their game yesterday and though I didn't like it, I reminded myself it is just a game and really the result doesn't change anything for me personally.

Some people are not happy no matter what happens to them. Another person cannot make you happy or sad and you cannot and should not expect them to. We have to create our own attitude and take charge of our moods.

My son and his wife are moving back to Utah today/this week and I ask everyone to keep them in your prayers. They have some rough situations ahead of them (that I will not share here) and I pray that God covers them in love and strength and courage for the months ahead.

My wish for Christmas is that everyone is loved and supported this week and every week ahead.

If you need assistance, please call 1-800-799-7233 and don't stay in a bad situation. You always have choices.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Joyful Day

As I reflect on yesterday, I realize I truly had a great day.

I was able to celebrate the holidays with my work family by having a nice lunch out of the office.

I got a phone call from my son and was able to talk to him, my granddaughter and daughter in law for a few minutes.

I was able to jump and help my daughter and visit with my grandsons here in Tennessee for a little while on a rainy Wednesday night. 

...and at the end of all that, I was able to go home and relax at the end of a day being thankful for all my blessings seeing the people more than the things.

I don't get to see or talk to my grown children near as much as I would like to but I do think of them every day and it did this mother's heart good last night to go to bed knowing I was blessed with healthy children and grandchildren.

Do you see the joy or the sadness in the day to day?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Wisdom

There is wisdom in knowing when to let things go, people go and relationships go.

Someone I know is getting over a past relationship and they have mentioned a few times in the past few weeks that they feel sorry for their ex. Their comment reminded me of something a friend told me back in 1991. 

I was sitting at the dining room table in my parent's home in Old Hickory and a friend of the family had come to visit to help me/us sort through some things we were facing as I dealt with becoming a single mom and divorcing my first husband.

Mrs. D had asked me a few questions and I told her I felt sorry for him because of .... (whatever, I don't even recall what after all these years). But I will never forget her grasping my hand and saying to me, "No, Stop right there. You shouldn't feel sorry for him for any reason."  I was shocked. Because in my 21 year old mind, the divorce/separation was my fault, his cheating and abuse of me/my body was my fault and yet I felt sorry for him in a foreign country having to go on with life without me or the children.

Mrs. D would explain to me that it was time for me to mentally separate me/the children from him and start working on take care of what we needed to start over here in Nashville, TN.

It took me another year to file for divorce and move forward with my life and for a while longer, I did feel sorry for him because every time he would call, he would ask about me, how I was doing, complain about his living situation, his finances and blame me for all his troubles.  At one time he even threatened to kill himself in a letter to get my attention. You know, in all those times/calls he rarely asked to talk to the children or how they were even doing. Again, it took me years to see all of this in hindsight.

Please, when you move on and get on with your life, don't waste your time, breath or attention on those in your past. Don't talk about them, don't look them up on facebook, social media or text them at the holidays to see if they answer you. Let it all go!

Now, if you are one of the lucky ones who did not have an abusive, ugly end to your marriage and have been able to stay civil and all to your ex-spouse, then you are blessed in so many ways.

Choose wisdom and move forward with purpose.
Please share the blog and coordinating facebook page to help others.
Stay safe and here is the hotline number in case you need it  (1-800-799-7233)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Peace in the Little Things

As this year winds down, I am reminded of how many blessings I truly have.

I woke up this morning in a safe home.
We have heat, running water and the necessities we need.
I have a running vehicle.
I have a job that is indoors and doesn't require me to stand or lift boxes all day long.

I will have dishes to wash,
and clothes to put away once I get home tonight.
All this means that I have food to eat and clothes to wear and loved ones around me.


The best part of 2015 is that I am not afraid of someone's mood when I arrive home!

It is a very sad thing when you are afraid of someone's mood/attitude when you get home.
The moods can range from
Angry, Happy, Complaining, Depression or Fault-Finding....
so many possibilities and I am sure those reading can think of a few.

Having a safe warm home to relax is a huge blessing.

So please tonight, or whenever you read this, take inventory of the blessings you do have and I hope my short list gives you some things to get you thinking.

Even on your street or in your apartment building, there could be an abuser (statistically speaking 1 in 3 homes) and a victim.

Be kind to all you meet and offer to help !
1-800-799-7233 Domestic Violence Hotline (write this down in your planner, phone or wallet for yourself or someone you meet)


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Greed

Now that we can say that another Black Friday/Weekend has been put in the history books, we can all look at the personal greed we all have.

Yep, I tell it like I see it. (it's okay if you don't agree, we can still be friends!)

I see people with gofundme pages begging for people to give them money for dance lessons, to pay for a wedding or a trip and I see these pages being used to pay for funeral expenses and medical bills for those with terminal illnesses. My heart goes out to those truly hurting in this world. But I have a real problem with those who just have their hand out begging to be begging.

I also know families who set up a Amazon.com wishlist to get Christmas presents free for their family/children. Presents under a tree are not a need, they are a want. Just ask my son. He heard that phrase at least once a week growing up cause I didn't have a lot of extra money to give him every toy he asked for.

Then you have those folks that ask you to do something for them and you goof and buy/bring them the wrong brand and they spend 20 minutes fussing at you instead of thanking you for spending your time, and gas money to do a favor for them. This is one of my biggest pet peeves, the ungrateful receiver.

We are taught to be a joyful giver and thankful when receiving. I was raised to write thank you notes after birthday parties, graduations and I might not have been the most creative, but I was sincere and sent out those thank you notes just like clock work.

I ask all of us to check our hearts before our checkbooks and give to someone if we can, but please don't put yourself in a bind to donate to the angel tree just because the office guilted you with an email request.


Bottom line, we all have choices to make and it is better to be mindful of them than to blindly follow the herd.

Love you all and please take care of yourself first this Holiday Season.

Do any of us have privacy?

Even if you live alone, you may not have privacy.

You can control what you tell and share with others, if you just pay attention to what you say, post or take pictures of and put online. No matter what your supervisor may say, they have no right to know why you are taking off work or what your appointment is for. I am so thankful for a non-nosy boss!

I have friends that live with family, spouses or roommates and I am sure they would all have a different opinion of privacy they have at home.

I also don't equate privacy with secrets. When you are in a healthy relationship, I don't know of any reason to have secrets from your spouse. 

Now, if that spouse (or partner) routinely goes through your bag, your purse or your phone looking for information, then you have a problem with a control freak. There is nothing healthy about someone doing that to you.

You may live alone and think you have privacy, but if you check in on facebook with every place you visit or shop, you are telling family, friends and identity thieves ways they can attack you or even rob your home when you aren't there.

I now live with roommates and we all get along pretty well. I am sure we get on each other's nerves at times but we try to communicate as much as possible.

Last night I was not feeling too good, so I got home, unloaded the car and went to my room and curled up with the laptop and my electric blanket hoping to ease the pain in my neck/back.  I wasn't rude to anyone, but I kept to myself for while.

No matter what your definition of privacy is, you can find a way to do your own thing and truly relax even in a roommate situation.

Seek help from the local shelter or call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
The holidays are especially stressful and I pray all of you are safe. #safety #nomoreabuse