Friday, November 22, 2013

I still feel like that lost kid on the playground

I've been thinking about friendship a lot lately.  It's amazing to me how easy we let people slip out of our lives.  We get busy, and think we have plenty of time down the road, and suddenly weeks or months have gone by with very little contact.

This isn't the first time I've thought about this.  A few years ago, my feelings were hurt by a group of friends I had developed.  We were doing little nights out every few months to try and stay in touch.  Over time, people stopped coming.  Other friends, other activities became more important.  I tried to revive it and everyone was excited until it was actually time to get together.  And then they dropped out.  My feelings were very hurt...I wanted to spend time with these people and had made it a priority and they weren't.

I've been there.  I've let friendships fail. It's easier that way.  But I decided I didn't want to take the easier road.

Earlier this year, my feelings were hurt again.  I was excluded from a few group activities and felt the sting of rejection.  I wasn't the only one feeling rejected.  One of the members of this group kept telling the people complaining (I didn't complain, except to my husband.  I am an adult and know that I don't always have to be included, even if it does hurt my feelings.) that if they wanted to hang with their friends, make their own plans.  Stop waiting for someone else to do it for you.

So that's what I set out to do.  I made plans.  I invited people. I said yes whenever I was invited and could make it work.  I've had a lot of fun experiences.

But now, I'm feeling that sting of rejection again.  People are making plans and cancelling.  My texts go unanswered.

It feels like I care and they don't.  And it isn't just one or two people, it's a pretty large group.

I get it, life is busy.  Believe me, I know this.  But I also know we make time for those we care about.  And if you can't make time for me, I have to wonder if you care.

I'm not sure what the answer is here.  I've tried telling a few people that my feelings were hurt, and it's caused a rift.  So I'm back to sharing here, in this anonymous space.  Sometimes not having anyone read is a blessing.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Catching up.

Wow, months have gone by.  I've been a bit busy saying yes, and not living on my computer.  It's been awesome.  I need to take the time to write about some of my adventures, and I'm sure I'll do that over the coming months, as I'm stuck inside a bit more in the winter.

I've always been a little bit directionless on this was a general life/mommy type blog I guess.  But now, I think I need to focus more on life and a few of the things that make my life happy.  My kids are older, and while I may still occasionally blog about them, I foresee this being way less about my life as a mom.

One of the things I'm going to start doing more is reviewing books.  I actually read a ton, and I need to start capturing those books and my thoughts on them.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Summer of yes.

Over the last year and a half, I've taken a hard look at myself and my life.  I live a good life, with sweet kids and loving husband.  I have a decent job and a nice house.

But somewhere along the way, I lost me.  I created a new me, but she wasn't actually all me.  Parts of her were what I thought an adult, a mother, a wife should be.

When I had babies, I stopped wearing all the jewelry because it got in the way.  And over time, it just became natural to not wear it.  I wore more conservative clothes, because I wasn't comfortable in my skin, and I didn't want to draw unwanted attention.  Mothers aren't like that you know.

I kept some activities for me, but my life revolved around my family.  I gave up opportunities and fun times to be there for my kids.  And I don't regret that at all.  I love and adore my children, and they deserve parents who are present.

But sometimes, those parents should get to be their own person, not just someone's mom.

I turned 40 this year, and maybe some would say I'm having a midlife crisis.  I decided I was living the summer of fun.  The summer of yes.

I have made plans with friends, gone to concerts and the beach, I'm getting another tattoo, and I've colored my hair crazy colors.  I'm wearing my crazy bracelets and went to Warped Tour with my teenager.  I'm listening to music I used to love and just generally rediscovering that person I used to be.  I'm still there for my kids, and I'm still responsible at work.  I'm just re-prioritizing my spare time.  And me.

I'm trying to teach my kids to be their authentic selves, and to live their life to the fullest.  But they won't learn that lesson if I continue to pretend, and play it safe all the time.

So this summer, I'm saying yes.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Beautiful is as beautiful does.

Have you seen the newest Dove ad that's gone viral? It shows women coming in and describing themselves to a sketch artist, and then someone they just met coming in and describing them to the same artist.  The women are brought back in to review both sketches.  Of course, the sketches are different, with the ones done when describing themselves being "worse."

It's become a controversial spot.  A lot of people feel empowered by it, realizing they need to see themselves in a better light.  Others find it wrong, relying too much on our physical beauty and not enough on what "really matters" in life.

And they are both right.  Beauty matters, and how you live your life matters.  Don't think beauty matters?  Go watch that video of Susan Boyle's first performance on television...see the mocking and doubt many show because she isn't what people believe is beautiful.  Sure, people fell in love with her voice, and it made them a little more accepting.  But I guarantee you three things:  1. if she didn't have such a lovely voice, people would still be making her the butt of jokes, 2. People are still making her the butt of jokes, just not as meanly, and 3. People have told and are probably still telling her that she could be lovely, beautiful if only she would...  And that is usually the voice we hear over and over again in our head.

When you tell someone they would be beautiful if they would just lose weight, cut their hair, wear a little makeup?  You may be well-meaning, but you've probably now put that voice in their head for the rest of their life.  They will focus in on that one thing and will judge how other people are judging them by that measurement.

I don't tell my kids they are beautiful every day.  I tell them when they look nice (and when they need to shower...sigh).  I tell them when they are smart, when they do something kind, and when they are silly, not-so-smart and mean.  I try to temper those comments, making sure they know that the positives and negatives balance.  I want my children to grow up to appreciate the total package they looks and actions.  So I will discuss this article with my kids.  I will also discuss how sexist the Axe ads are, and how men and women aren't as stupid as commercials make them out to be.  Mostly, I will do my best to make sure they know they are beautiful in their own way.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

everything old is new again or something like that

I went to Target yesterday to pick up a few necessary items, and as usual, I strolled through the women's section just to see what they had and look for some clearance goodies.  I didn't score on the clearance, but I noticed that it looked a lot like a Target store in the 1980's.  Either Neon or pastel colors, shirts with shorter front hems than back, leggings, skinny jeans, denim jackets.  I owned all these items at some point in the 80's.

This isn't new.  I know that...trends cycle through.  But I've noticed it more and more.  As a child/teenager in the 80's, I hated to be seen in something homemade.  Lots of families in my (poorer) area had spindle tables.  Those were the big wooden spindles left over after the electric company (or cable or what ever other company there was) ran the cable.  Lots of people grabbed them and used them as outside furniture.  Because they didn't have a lot of money.  And lots of other people made fun of them.

Have you looked at Pinterest lately?  Today it's Pallets.  Oh good gravy, the things people make out of pallets now.  And here's the things...those pallets are gross.  And are made from inferior wood that could contain chemicals that harm you.  Yuck.  I'm all for recycling and reusing, but I also believe in common sense.

I'm happy to see that handmade is gained some ground.  Handmade IS awesome.  Home grown is good, and recycling benefits us all.  But not if you destroy tons of other items in the process.  And not at the detriment of your health.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

BHBC: Touch and Go

I was asked to review Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner as part of the BlogHer Book Club. This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own

A family disappears in the late hours of the night.  No ransom note, not a lot of motives...what happened?

Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner is the story of the Denbe's kidnapping and the hunt to find and save them.  Along the way, various characters stories are woven in, including the investigator, Tessa Leoni.  Tessa is a character from an earlier novel, and now I'm beginning the series at the beginning.  Not because I needed to go back and catch up to get into the story, but because I enjoyed this story this much.  This book kept me hooked, and caused me to stay up a little too late a few nights.  Full of twists and turns and human characters, it will keep you involved until the very end.

Come Join us at the BlogHer Book Club page for book discussions!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

BHBC: Here I Go Again

I was asked to review Here I Go Again as part of the BlogHer Book Club. This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

If you could go back in time and revisit your high school self, what changes would you make? Lissy Rider gets that opportunity in Here I Go Again, the latest book by Jen Lancaster.

Lissy was the queen bee in high school, and has lived what she thought was a charmed life. But months before her high school reunion  it all comes crashing down. Lissy goes to her reunion trying to relive her glory days and regain her footing, but instead finds she has even lower to go. When the chance comes to go back to a small window of her high school years and make some small adjustments, she does. But when she comes back, those small changes have wrecked other people's lives. And while it appears that her life is now better, she realizes that it still isn't right. Can she go back again and make the appropriate changes?

When I received the book, the cover was so cute. A peak under the dust jacket reveals the cover is a picture of a cork board with objects from our high school days! This made me happy to have a hard copy of the book to read.

This was a quick and fun read. It had a lot of great references to the 80's, reminding my of my high school years, and it was set in Indiana/Illinois, which made me feel like I was back home. I especially liked how the story reminded us all that a little adversity in our lives can take us a long way. I think this would make a great Spring Break Beach read!