Tag Archives: good enough

Day 6 Spring Break


Five amazing days…  We beached, we ate seafood, we napped, I ran on the beach, we golfed, we laughed, we played cards, we watched movies.  Seven days later…  My parents are now driving me crazy.  Another thing they say in Alanon:  When you meet 2 assholes in 1 day, the third one is usually you.  Hmmm.  Does that count when they are married and they are your parents?  Becasue it seems like that would be a loophole of some sort??

It seems that no matter how long the vacation is, my son and I end up looking at each other on the way home and saying “We stayed one day too long AGAIN, damn it!”.  It was a lovely vacation for 5 days, then day 6 started, and they turned into extremely irritated people.  My kids and I couldn’t do anything right.  We were slow, we didn’t eat on time, I didn’t drink enough wine with them, we watched too much TV, she was too good at Hearts, and he didn’t unload the suitcases from the back of the car quickly enough.  There was no winning.  Or- maybe I was finally on their last nerve, running every day during coffee time, leaving their house to go to the beach every day, and not doing… something…they… expected…I…should…so?

My Dad was a jerk to my son at the airport curb-first son didn’t get out of car fast enough, then didn’t unload suitcases from the car quickly enough, and then finally scratched the bumper of the car while unloading suitcases.  My son heard and saw his grandfather’s disappointment about all 3 of those errors- my Dad was loud, angry, and belittling. Dillon’s sister, meanshile, could do no wrong all week in her Granfather’s eyes. I wanted to say “It is one thing to be an asshole to me, but don’t be an ass to my kid”.  I didn’t say it.  I hugged my son and walked away from the old man who is doing the best he can with what he has (likely some weird issue about aging and feels threatened by a 15-yr old who has no income, no status, and no choice but to listen to the fury).  I called them later and thanked them for their patience with us this morning and for the wonderful vacation at their home.  I don’t know how that is going to feel tonight.

No-go on the Blind Date


I cancelled. I just couldn’t get my brain around it. The idea of a blind date is too pathetic, too needy, too awkward. I know that you, my faithful readers, have told me that love is everything, and all the important things in the world are better experienced in the context of a loving relationship. You really wanted me to go on it, even just to hear the awful story of how I fell off my shoes, got lost on the way, drank too much, and kissed his ear accidentally. And I would have enjoyed writing about that! But… I still didn’t want to do it.

I am finally in a good place with me. The Current Crush has (for the most part) left my peripheral vision, and become the Previous Crush. I am not angling to see him and communicate with him. My hopes were dashed, but perhaps I can rest in the concept that there is a better partner out there for me, and he will arrive with perfect timing.

I am living in the present, able to be there with my daughter in body and heart when she came down with strep throat yesterday, available emotionally to talk over my son’s social life and laugh with him about the practical jokes he played on his friend this morning, and ready to make some serious new career goals- working 40+ hours a week is just too much drudgery when combined with all the parenting responsibilities and attention I need and want to pay to my teenagers.

I think it is possible to work less and make more money. I am going to find a way to do that in the next few months.

There is no better place to be than here and now. No more regrets, and no more fear of the future. We are loved right here and right now, just enough.

Giving Away Our Victim Minds


I can come up with all kinds of excuses not to give money to my Church or good causes: they won’t miss my measly $20; there are people who give thousands without a blink and I can’t give much; my kid needs new wrestling shoes; I want my daughter to get a haircut so her friends will be nicer to her; God would want me to take good care of my self esteem and get my hair highlighted professionally; and I need to balance my checkbook again before I let any more go away.

I know we are supposed to just enjoy giving to others. And I do, in many ways I enjoy giving to others. We all like giving birthday presents to friends, but giving to an entity without a face is harder for me.

Dave Ramsey (www.Dave Ramsey.com) says we are to give away 10% of our income to the Church. Is that net or gross, I wonder? Hmmm, I am not tithing to either level yet. I have a budget, you see, I use mint.com and keep track of everything I am supposed to buy and spend on, and it only balances out if I… blah blah blah. You know the story. I want to buy more stuff and watch more movies than I want to give money away.

I also don’t believe I have enough money for everything I need in my life. And, I have not forgotten the really lousy deal I got in both divorces. I was completely decimated, wiped out, cleaned up on like a rag doll. It has taken me 6 years to recover financially and get my feet back on the ground.

What would happen if we had the attitude that “I have enough”, “I don’t need any more than I have”, “I am blessed”, which also means I have the attitude “I am not a victim of my ex-husband/society/my parents/my bosses’ crazy bonus program that doesn’t include me/the current economic situation”.

Then we would feel better giving, wouldn’t we? If we know we have enough, and God is taking care of us, then we have more than enough blessings and we can give away money to others without a problem. In fact, if we give money away, would it maybe tweak away at the victim thoughts in our mind?

When we give, are we acting as if we have enough; will that idea find rest in our hearts and minds if we take action and 1) act as if we have enough coming in, and 2) we do have control over our own expenditures?

That victim mode sucks the life out of us. When I feel I don’t have enough, then I quickly feel I don’t make enough, and I can’t get enough (money), it trickles into every other aspect of my life. In addition to feeling financially poor, I feel lonely without enough friends; I feel loveless, without a partner and companion; and my family feels far away. But what if I took action against that “there is not enough” attitude and acted as if I have more than enough and can give money away to causes I believe in and to people who do not have food in their cabinets or clothes in their closets? Or worse yet, clean water to drink?

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When you give, you are getting maximum horsepower out of your personal design. —Dave Ramsey
My personal design is to be strong and yet trusting; this is a complicated place to get to… but I think giving money and trusting God’s plan for me do go together.

The giving and trusting mindset vs. victim mode: Which will win our hearts today?
In honor of World Water Day yesterday, I am including pictures today on that topic.


Juggling Guilt


Upset boss last week, sick kid today, and sewer back-up disgusting mess that I have not completely cleaned up and sanitized yet.

I can’t get to everything, so I am juggling the guilt these days. If I pay attention to kids too much, work doesn’t get finished. If I spend an hour cleaning the bathroom, dinner is cereal and toast. All the balls cannot be up and spinning in sync. I cannot get “it all done”.

Everything WILL be in balance, eventually. Over the course of a couple of weeks, it all works out evenly and we all will have split our time over the course of the couple of weeks in ways that were balanced. But meanwhile, on a daily basis, it seems impossible. There are just too many plates up in the air to keep track of!

That needs to be ok. (awareness, acceptance, action, right?) https://3leggedtable.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/the-three-as-and-the-control-thingamajig/

I fell onto another single mom’s blog, and she is counting her loving and courageous actions. http://onemamaslife.wordpress.com/
This is an awesome way to combat the guilt juggle. So here goes:

1. I stayed home with my sick child today and spent time with her rather than working. It would have been unproductive anyway.
2. I am running more consistently this month than last month. So I am taking better care of myself.
3. My independence tug-of-war with my son is beginning to show signs of much more honest respectful communication, if not during the struggle, then shortly thereafter.
4. I followed up on work responsibilities early yesterday to get the huge task that I am unmotivated about started at least.
5. I am thinking and talking and considering getting a new(different, not new) car by myself, something I have never ventured alone.

We can drop the guilt juggle. Rather than a to-do list tonight while we brush our teeth during the only moments we have alone/awake/aware all day, let’s make a list of the things we did that added to the love and kindness in the world and towards ourselves. Carrot cake counts.

Carrot Cake, Baths, and Contentedness


I was feeling really crappy Friday night- On every level, my week had been a B-… At work my boss had voiced disappointment in a judgement call I made, the kids were gone for the weekend and I missed them sooo much already, no one was beating down my door to spend time with me, I had not called a friend going through a hard time with her daughter, AND payday was still a week away and grocery money was elusive. AND– I was in desperate need of a hair appointment to keep the gray hairs from becoming a reality in my fantasy life of being young and lithe. I don’t know which was worse, but I had not been a fantastic mom, worker, accountant, or friend that week. My dog was dying to spend time with me- that was the high (but a little annoying) point of the hour.

I did some praying and asked for help/guidance/mercy… whatever could be provided.

An hour or so later, the overwhelming thought came over me “I need to love myself”. It was like a lightning flash, flash flood, and an earthquake all at the same time. Nothing else mattered, every other concern dropped away.

And then the miracle happened- I cut myself an extra large slice of carrot cake that had magically arrived on my kitchen counter from a housemate’s mom’s friend’s birthday party. I found my favorite book. I scratched my dog’s belly for a few minutes, and told him how much I loved him as I let the hot water fill the bathtub.

Heaven on Earth: Eating carrot cake in a hot bathtub, happy dog lying nearby on my dirty clothes, and reading my favorite book. I didn’t need anything else; all was well in my world. I fell into bed 2 hours later, after giving my dog yet more hugs and scratches and kisses and thanked him for being such a sweet being in my life. Then I thanked the Divine for allowing me to love myself and stop looking for outside reassurance and love.

Single Parenting Shortcuts 102


I wrote a long blog back in March with a list of 10 shortcuts for busy people. It is here: https://3leggedtable.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/10-tips-to-cheat-20-minutes-of-sleep/

This is a shorter and new list, bc you don’t have time to read long lists, and its about shortcuts!

Single Parents have to find ways to save on time and still get the job done. Here are a few things I think might work. I do them.

1. Dinner vegetables: Throw a bag of carrots on the counter, add Ranch. Serve snap peas instead on special occasions. Add Triscuits for carbs.

2. Networking at office: Forward the funny Swedish commercial jokes and laugh over the cubical walls at them together. Especially good bonding when it is not PC.

3. Exercise: Anxiously stand on tip-toes while waiting for daughter to put her shoes on every morning while running late, twiddle thumbs and ankles nervously while waiting for staff meeting to end so you can get some work done, and cock eyebrows worriedly when we find out our (overly?) honest son is shooting rubber bands and sling-shotting “wasps” in Geography class on a regular basis. Good cardio.

4. Empathetic People Managing: “I know this totally sucks and I am not your favorite person right now. Could you please do it anyway?” Add kind smile and be genuine. Add a silent prayer if you have been doing this a lot lately with the same person.

5. Leaves in yard: Mow lawn. Or just wait until the snow falls and covers them up. Or just ignore them and hope they go away.

6. Quality time with dog rather than walking: Give up and let her sleep on the bed with you. Keep her off the pillows.

7. Make-up: Ultra-thin Sharpies! They come in lots of colors and are cheaper than the permanent make-up tattoo gig. Ok, have not tried this one myself, but keep considering it. I researched this. One coworker and one woman at the hair salon admitted to using sharpies as eyeliner. How about if you try it first and let me know how it goes. Be careful of caffeine shakes…

8. Teeth Care: Brush teeth in shower, floss while reading school paperwork. Be cautious if kids are talking to you that you don’t fling food bits at them while they explain about the 20 tubs of cookie dough you need to buy for the band fundraiser this year so that they can win the plastic radio prize.

9. Protein in diet: Iron supplement? I don’t think this one really counts as a wise choice. But there are entire days when the only eat food that works is in handfuls, and chocolate chips come to mind as my favorite handful… Try to add almonds.

10. Make the list only 9 things long instead of 10! And go laugh with your kid.

Stars, Tea, and Sabbath


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The word for the day is RESTORATIVE, my single mom friend Bhanu told me this 4 days ago.

Katie’s sermon yesterday at Church was about single parenting (www.crossroadscolorado.com) and she said the craziest thing- “Single parents need to take a Sabbath Day”. A totally nutter idea, as my kids would be running around naked eating old candy corn if I took a weekend day off of the work of mothering.

Three days ago, my single mom friend Susan told me she was doing intensive self-care this week in the midst of a huge effort at work… yikes!

What are these people thinking? Do they not know how many chores are necessary to keep a household afloat? The dirty socks are everywhere. Do they not know my workaholic boss Scott who shows up to the office every weekend day at 5 am? Do they not know how much food my kids require during these middle school growth spurt years?

They actually know that and so much more, because they know me, and they know themselves. They know we need as much love as we give our kids. Did you give yourself as much love today as you gave your kids? Did you spend as much time loving you as you spent loving your kids?

Did you stop and pour yourself some milk this morning and use the pretty glass becasue you know you like it that way best? (that is what you did for your daughter, isn’t it?!)

Did you buy your favorite fruit at the grocery store this week because you know you will especially enjoy it? (that is what you did for your son last week!)

Did you stop and look at the stars and moon the other night just because you needed a break from running around? (isn’t that what you let your kids do while you unloaded the groceries last weekend?)

What new ways can we give ourselves as much love and tender care as we give our children? I would need to start with eating at regular intervals and work my way up to the Sabbath. My friend Delia at work can tell when I have not eaten- the world is falling apart, I cannot take another snide remark from the tech guy, my report is in terrible shape, the client is a snot, and all she has to do is say “Anne, have you eaten, dear?” And I realize it is 11:30 and I have eaten nothing all day… Doh! And of course, after I spend a little time on myself, the world becomes negotiable again.

We are raising precious children. The shepherd needs to tend to herself as well as her flock (remember the oxygen mask concept on planes?) . Do you want your children to live like you do? (Ok, I would like him to pick up his socks like I do– that is true). But I don’t want my kids to run around like headless chimps*. How do I teach them to be thoughtful, kind, caring, respectful people? By becominging one myself and caring for me as well as others in a kind, caring, loving way.

I am going to use the pretty mug this morning for my tea.

You know it takes more than glassware to make changes in our lives. But we can begin small, add in more positive self-talk every day, sprinkle in some time alone to catch our breath, let some gross dirty socks sit for a week while we do some self-restoration… eat the yummy fruit we bought for us this time, do a nice meditation, read the book to yourself tonight, call our sweet friend for a chat, and plan to take an entire Sabbath day off from work of every sort next weekend!)

*Bhanu’s phrase- really true, if you think about it!