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Things I Feel Guilty About

time

The laundry is folded but remains on the couch.

I don’t keep a budget.

Paper plates.

I shop sales but don’t use coupons.

My dog has to live outside.

I’m overweight.

I hate Beyonce’s “Surfboard” song.

My car is messy.

I spend too much money at Starbucks.

I sleep with the TV on all night.

I don’t have a skincare routine.

You Never Know What People Are Dealing With. So Be Kind.

I’ve had some interesting jobs that have allowed me confidential access into the private lives of total strangers. I’ve been a 9-1-1 dispatcher, also a medical and psychological transcriber.

These are not people in my circle. I don’t hang out with them in real life. I don’t partake in their tragedies. I merely observe from safely in my bubble.

I’ve seen and heard things that would make you sick.
Would make you cry.
Would make you want to hit the wall with your fist.

I’ve been angry at the horrors people commit
And I’ve come to understand why they commit them.
I’ve forgiven the unforgivable.  {Not that it was mine to forgive}.

I’ve spoken to a hysterical young mother who accidentally dropped her baby head-first onto fireplace bricks.

I’ve typed a report about a convicted murderer who was a 9-year-old boy once who watched his father shoot his mother, and then himself.

I’ve known a friendly postman who had a drifting smile for every person, and a wife at home with bipolar illness and drug addiction.

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*Image via Unsplash

We are so quick to judge others.
We are so ready to “hang ’em high!”
We think nothing of calling them out online.
We think we could do so much better.
We live easy lives and point fingers.

But you never know what people are dealing with. So please be kind.

Note: Details have been altered to maintain confidentiality.

Mother’s Day 2014: Finding Meaning in an Unusual Place

I had visions of breakfast in bed followed by a family day in the sunshine at the beach.

Then I heard whispers of a college game that “everyone else” was going to except us. But it was on Mother’s Day so no one wanted to ask me if it was okay for them to go 🙂

I surprised them with tickets bought online – because that’s what mothers do, right? If they’re happy, I’m happy.

I sent them off, determined to enjoy a rare day of (non-work) quiet at home. As I drank my coffee, I got sucked into a movie called “Honeymoon for One” with the ever-terrible Nicolette Sheridan. But, hey, it was set in Ireland with all that pretty green scenery. And the love interest was a masculine Irishman with crinkly eyes.

So I put up with Nicolette.

Then “The Impossible” came on. I’d been afraid to watch it at the show. I heard it was very hard to watch. And it was.

There are heart-wrenching scenes of the 2004 tsunami in Thailand. It’s really brutal to watch, actually. Kind of a strange way to spend Mother’s Day, I suppose.

But I came away with a reminder of – and deep sense of awe about – the power of family. Without exception, every person in the movie didn’t care about their things and all they had lost. They just wanted their family members.

The mother (the main character) is a doctor so I think it must’ve been the scariest for her. She knew how serious her injuries were and what was happening to her. She made huge sacrifices for her son.  And for a total stranger’s son.

I kept coming back to one of the opening lines of the movie. The resort porter is showing the family into their room. He asks where they are from (they’re British but living in Singapore for the husband’s job).

The porter looks to Maria (Naomi Watts) and says, “And do you work?” She shyly says, “I’m a doctor, not practicing right now. I’m taking care of the kids.”

He says, “Ah, I see you got promoted.”

And that’s exactly how I feel. There is no job on earth more important, or to be more proud of, than being a mother. And I am very blessed to be one.

Well, my family just called. They’re on the way home from the game, stopping to buy supplies to make me a spaghetti dinner. Can’t wait to hear about the game, see the smiles and sun-pinked noses, and get my hugs.

Happy Mother’s Day, my loves.

Blessed Not Lucky

It all started with a gift.

My mom got me a pink hoodie for Christmas.  Across the front, in pretty white script writing it said, “Blessed Not Lucky.”

At first, I just loved the hoodie because it was pink and cute and warm.  But then I kept thinking about it.  “Blessed Not Lucky.”  

And isn’t that how I’d always felt?

Lucky (adj.)  Producing or resulting in good by chance.

Blessed (adj.)  Bringing pleasure, contentment or good fortune; having a sacred nature.

Lucky is based on chance but Blessed is based on something better. Lucky comes from nowhere but Blessed comes from a higher power, whichever one you believe in (or even if you don’t).

Lucky is like a winning lotto ticket. Pure random chance. A numbers game. A coincidence. Your turn, numerically speaking.

Blessed is like a reward. Earned or not. Happens to all but appreciated by few. Bless others and your turn comes sooner. And more often.

Blessed Not Lucky.

That’s how I choose to see the world. How about you?