I was slapped in the face the other day. It hurt, stung and even made me cry. It was not because I was in a fight or even arguing with someone, it was because I needed it. A “wake up” moment, a hands in the air “what are you thinking” moment.
It seems as if I had gotten so far away from being rational as a parent that I was acting totally …..stupid.
Some would just shrugged it off and others may say, “that’s okay”, while some would jump in and say, “this is the moment you needed.” I am not trying to be harsh on myself or too lenient either but when you are a parent, you can sometimes act really stupid…yes, stupid.
I knew the day would come that my daughter would drive a car. I just kept putting the thought off that some how that moment was really, really far a way, The other day I was sitting with her in the testing area for just that, her getting approval that she would have a license. Then she came up to me with a huge smile on her face I smiled but somewhere deep in side of me was crying. My little girl was no longer a little girl. She was headed out on her own. Selfishly I said to myself, “I have the car all the time, she will need me to drive her everywhere.”
Then, by the grace of God, her dad bought her a car. At first, I was excited and grateful for such a gesture, then, I realized, she did not need me anymore. She had her own transportation. I began to act silly, yelling at her, grounding her for no reason and just being… a parent.
I was conflicted, could not understand why I was so agitated at the new purchase or why I was just being mean. It was a wonderful thing that she had this new car. A symbol to her that she was growing up and could now travel anywhere she wanted, what a wonderful thing! In my mind it terrified me. What if she got hit by someone, does she know how to pump gas, does she know how to stop in time? The scenarios raced through my mind. I was not happy, scared and fearful that she would be hurt.
I think mostly I was afraid she would not need me anymore. That she would be a ghost, someone who would see me, “on occasion.” My life has been dedicated to this wonderful child. Each day has been filled with, how to take care of her. I was sad, I felt like she did not need me anymore.
“What!” You think that after all this time all I would do is walk away?” She bellowed at me one day while talking about some issue that we were not agreeing on.
This was not one of her temper tantrums I was used to, it was an adult reaction to someone else acting like a child and that someone else was…me.
The slap in the face. The moment of truth.
I can say that since that day I am more understanding and tolerant of her stepping out. I attempt to treat her like a young adult and even try not to over protect. Not an easy task but one that I do while rubbing the side of my face knowing that there is a little sting still there.
It is the Sunday after the biggest shopping day of the year and retailers are literally holding on. The shelves have been totally wiped out, employees are tired and the managers, well, they are just praying that they will make it till the end.
Company Leaders are wringing their hands waiting to see if they made their numbers for the big weekend. Some already know their stores made it while others are trying to figure out how to get you back into the store to buy, buy, buy.
If they can not get you into the store, they bombard your email with cyber Monday deals. Go, shop online, from the comfort of your home. Slip into your favorite slippers and enjoy a cup of coffee while being hit from every pop up ad to buy, buy, buy….online.
Online shopping is easy, convenient and fun. It is a wonderful way to enjoy shopping without actually going to the store and who in their right mind would want to fight those nasty crowds! People are so rude these days. The only rudeness one may encounter from shopping from home is the occasional interruption from a child who whines about something they may not be able to have right away. Even that is manageable; just shut the door.
Here’s the Thing…how much shopping do we really need to do? Seriously, how many gadgets do we really need and don’t most of the Christmas gifts we buy end up in the landfill? How many ties, toys, electronics do we need to consume?
There seems to be a familiar sound rumbling in the air from all of you,
“What a Grinch you are! You need to get into the Holiday spirit.”
Really! Maybe the meaning of Christmas, yes, Christmas is about time together. The time spent trying to make cookies, buying a pretty tree, decorating that tree or just sitting and enjoying friends. Then, maybe, a small gift of love, friendship or just the joy of giving can be exchanged between all of you. The gift then becomes a symbol of giving, gratitude, or love for another.
Do not miss the point here. Buying gifts is fun but when did it become the main attraction? Why do we allow commercialism take over the simple beauty of a wonderful Christmas holiday and make it a buy, buy, buy holiday?
What do you think?
Are you a Grinch or did you just yell at your kids to,
“Shut the Door, I’m shopping?”
It is a nice feeling to be writing and believe me, I would have started a long time ago but I was always way too tired.
I am finally able to look out the window of my apartment and see the light that somehow I thought was gone. Maybe it was the hours I was being forced to work. As a matter of fact, yes, it was the incredibly insane, not necessary hours that were hindering the very existence of my life.
You may say, when you work retail, you should know that you are going to work long crazy hours. What I did not know is that they would be beyond crazy and yes, way more than 45 hours a week. I love to work hard, see my accomplishments, see the satisfying smile on a customers face after helping them find something they really want or need. That feeling was waning when I almost ran into a guard rail coming home from work late one night after pulling a 14 hour day for the 4th day in a row.
Here’s the Thing…..Our unbelievable desire to get a bargain, to somehow feel like we are getting a bargain totally obstructs all logical thoughts on what is truly important…..family and friends.
Wake up everybody! We all complain about how companies are using people to gain profits and with no benefits to the family. We even complain how family values are slipping thru our fingers. Want to know why? Because you are making people work insane hours to satisfy some consumption need for the Holidays.
Really, what do you need? Please ask yourself, What do I REALLY NEED? What or why do you need to go out at midnight to buy something you would on any other day wait till 10am to get? I ask because THAT person behind the counter, in the stock room or on the register has given up their family time to be there FOR YOU. To give you, the customer, the best experience. Frankly, IT SUCKS to be the person working retail. It does not matter if you are just an employee or the management…IT SUCKS!
Store level, the ones you run into, give up so much so YOU can “appear” to have it all. Please take a look around your home, do you have it all? I do not know many people who, when dying, say that they wish they had gotten that new TV or gadget on Black Friday or Thanksgiving night. I think they wish that they had spent more time with the family, smiling, hugging or talking.
Okay, family can be tough. Sitting with them in a make shift Norman Rockwell painting seems painful to some. We all should be able to try to find time with family. Everybody, even those who are trying to just make it by on a minimum wage retail job need to take the time to be with family.
Being realistic though, you can not stop the turning wheels of capitalism. They will keep going but that does not mean that you have to participate in the mayhem. You do not have to join in on the consumption frenzy that has been created to fill some void that will never be filled….except the pockets of companies.
On this day after Thanksgiving it can only be asked that you stop and question,
“What are you truly grateful for?”
“Who are you grateful for?”
Cause that retail cashier who is smiling at you, is grateful for the job they have but wish that they could be you…leaving the store.
It is a known fact that times change, nothing stays the same. Pointing out the obvious is not my intent here; my intent is to share how quickly things can creep up on you.
I have been purposefully ignoring writing. It has taken a lot to not just sit down and start writing about one thing or another. I guess I am trying to think before I actually hit submit. Many times I have wanted to just “go off” and say what I think but then I am reminded of oh, so many people who have done that and regret it in the end.
Here’s the Thing…things can change and it is okay that they do.
I do not know but after being married for 25 years I guess I never thought that I would be getting….gasp… divorced.
Yep, I am and I am okay with it; so is my significant other.
Here is where I have to tell my Mom who reads every blog, that it is okay…Yes, mom, I am okay.
Why write about it, why not? It is okay to go separate ways. Do I blame anyone? No, I really don’t except for, maybe a little…
Is Maddie okay? She is a typical teenager who seems to worry more about the halo over her teenage head than what has happened, thank goodness for that, as she is a great kid who needs not worry or be worried about the adult life circling around her. I will say military life had prepared her for the separation of her parents so…Go Army on that.
Did the Army do this to you? Well, in many ways the Army did not help, it made life significantly worse and yes, in some ways if I were to blame anyone or anything it is easy to say that the military life did not help. It did not help that when I was working overseas that the job I had with the government was not as sympathetic to the needs of my family. Again, another blog that will come later. The Army life is not for everyone and it certainly was not for us. I am very proud that we served, but do hold anger towards the very thing I have pride for, again for another time.
Serving my country was not suppose to be this hard but is was and the battle ground that was being fought that none of us thought about was the one right here at home, among ourselves.
When you think about it, very few give credit to those who are part of the 1% who lay it on the line; they put everything on the line for country. When I hear about entitlements, I support the troops, or a reporter who is evaluating the value of the troops makes me cringe.
There is no true understanding to the sacrifice that military families make for this country.
But Maddie puts it back into perspective each time she goes to the movies and asks,
“Do you take military discounts?”
Kid behind the counter, “No, we are trying to get away from doing that.”
Placing her $15.00 on the counter, “No problem, my dad will fight for you anyway.”
This question came up one day and I was not really sure how to answer. I stopped and thought about what was being asked of me.
I knew that my answer would be a forever thought in the young mind that was asking the question.
When my answer did not come quickly to my lips I thought there was a good place to go to get the answer I was seeking.
Much to the young persons surprise I turned to You tube and played the enclosed video.
Her reaction was much like the students in the video. It has opened up a new world for the two of us and opened up a lot of conversation.
Maybe….it can help you too.
It throws curve balls that you really do not see coming. You think you have it all together and things are wonderful but somehow…just somehow, this ball comes out of no where and wallops you in the head. Dazed and confused, you stagger back and wonder, “What the hell just happened.”
In the ruins of your former self you discover that the only thing that has changed from this devastating blow ….is you.
You can cry, be angry or just accept that things will never be the same again and somehow you will find your way back to something that resembles your former self. It can be argued that you needed that change and you were not willing to make it… so…life just made you go thru it. Other times, you may feel that the change is needed and well, you let it happen. Regardless of how, you are not going to be able to go back and try to live the way you formerly did.
You are going to have to accept, move on and just trudge thru the days to somehow find that middle happy ground that lies between the new normal and the old one.
Songs have been written about this and frankly…as I use to sing those songs, I always felt bad for the person who was going thru such a tragic event…never thinking that one day, it would be me. I am glad now that I at least have those songs to guide me thru the lessons learned by others; I have some grounding as oppose to wandering around in the dark hitting walls.
It is truly in your darkest days you can find new life, new normal and new thoughts of appreciation to help you along with the days to come. An enlightenment of sorts can make you realize that though you think it is the end of the world, you actually have found a world that was always right there in front of you but you never wanted to see. Maybe you were afraid of it, maybe you did not want to work for it…maybe…just maybe…you were scared of it.
Life can suck at times…it blindsides you and makes you dazed and confused.. that is life.
So…take the life hit and say, “That really hurt.”
Umm…yeah…but you are living.
The golden rule of, “If you have nothing nice to say, then do not say anything at all”, seems to have been lost in some distant vault of classic behavior. I truly show my age when I try to explain this “old” phrase to anyone who will blast away comments on social media as if they can be somehow retracted at a later date.
Patiently, I explain that words once released cause a lot of damage and often times can never be retracted or removed. Once words are said, written or oral can come back to haunt.
My age does show as I continue to try to explain not only to those close to me but to those in my daily walk thru life that caution should be exercised when blasting people. I think that no one wakes up in the morning and decides to say, “Today, I am going to piss someone off and make them feel like crap.” I do believe that life pressures, lack of sleep, frustration or other elements in a person’s life can make them so angry that they can not form the appropriate language to handle a conversation when they finally run into that last person who happens to just set them off.
Okay, some would argue that some people do not have good, “bedside” manners. Though this can be considered an excuse , it can be argued that some people take things much too personal. While others let it roll off their shoulders. Yes, it can be argued that some people need to learn how to grow a backbone while others need to teach and educate rather than scream and demand.
In a society where social media has taken over whether it be tweeting, face book, name any of them, blasting away your feeling comes first. Then thinking comes after. The words are said. The classic golden rule seems to have been changed to, “Say what you want, apologize later…maybe.”
Respect for others seems to have been tossed aside like a rag. No longer needed, but only used when there is a mess to be picked up.
I do not know about you, but it seems like the golden rule is a good one. A good classic rule that should not be changed or altered. It should be posted everywhere and taught. Acceptance for others may be tolerated better if everyone could somehow grasp the simple lesson of this phrase.
Then again, industries that thrive on mistakes would be out of business, tabloids would go bankrupt and all news channels, talk shows, reality shows, all shows would somehow be out of business not able to employ people because they followed an old rule.
The dilemma facing our society today is not a new one. It is in fact an ongoing social issue that spotlights the ability to show restraint and cultural survival to do what is best for you.
Maybe if we educated others in how to treat people, then maybe, just maybe, this classic golden rule will be able to resurface and take command of how we treat each other.
The again… possibly… I am an old fool, who should take her own advise and not post this.