Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Party's Over

The gifts are unwrapped, the cookies and cakes have been eaten and the goodbyes have been said. We looked forward to it and now it's Christmas past. The traveling is over as well as the junk food binges. It's time for detox. That's what I like to call it. It's not just a nutritional detox though but a detox for the soul. 


Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the childhood roles that you were used to playing. When you go back home it's automatic, unless you remain completely aware of everything that contributes to a moment. That is very difficult to do. At least it is for me. Whether you are the mother or father, son or daughter, oldest or youngest, in-law or ex sometimes those roles are comfortable.  I didn't say good for you or anyone else.  It's easy to slip back into the role that everyone knows you in.  Sometimes they even help you.  It is hard to see what you are experiencing for what it is when you are caught up in it.  


What is your role in a situation, discussion or circumstance you find yourself in? Take a minute to really think about it. We all play a part it's a matter of recognizing it for what it is. So when you take down those decorations, ... just put away those roles.  Make that your New Year's Resolution :0)


Enjoy all that the holidays have to offer!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ssshhh!

Whatever happened to being quiet in a library? I just don't get it. When I was growing up there were 2 places that didn't permit talking, church and the library.  Okay, well at least the Presbyterian denomination didn't condone making noise of any kind.  I think the congregation would have fainted if even a clearing of the throat took place. I know what your are thinking, that denomination isn't known for their exuberance.  I can't speak for other types of churches so I will move on to library etiquette. 


Back in the day talking in a library was just not done.  Even now I break out into a cold sweat if I were to feel a sneeze coming on.   The librarians I grew up with would have "sssshhhhed" you for just whispering let alone talking. I was at the local library a couple of days ago and was astounded at what I heard.  Truly I am not use to that.  What's that you say?  The noise level. It totally had the atmosphere of any other public place. It really didn't even seem like a library because the noise was  so out of place.  The majority of the noise was people noise.  They were actually carrying on conversations just as they would outside or in their own homes. Something else I was shocked to discover was that it wasn't just the younger people who were breaking that unwritten rule.  So there blows the whole Generation XYZ theory that kids are all selfish, spoiled and have no respect for anyone or anything. I encountered people older than me breaking the rule, some of them Grandmas.  I know for a fact that they knew better. 


Not only was loud talking contributing to the noise level but so were someone's heavy fingers on computer keys, speaker phone conversations, moms who didn't remove their crying babies, printers that were making a racket and finally the librarians, forgetting their "quiet voice", while helping others. There totally isn't any respect any longer. The library used to be a place of rest and relaxation. I'm not feeling it!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Balancing Act




Yesterday was progress report day.  One of our kids brought home his progress report and knew he would be in trouble because of what the report showed, no progress. He was in a horrible mood then and woke up in a horrible mood.  


That morning the way he left for school didn't sit well with my husband.  My husband isn't used to seeing the kids off to school.   By the time they are ready to head out the door he is long gone and almost to the office.  He has missed the hugs and the "I love you and have a good day" departures but he has also missed the tears, the frustration and the indifferent attitudes.  I've become pretty good at letting that stuff roll because it is a quick process.  Usually when they decide to get upset it is right before they walk out the door to go to school.  I also do not seem to have a problem with getting drawn into a situation already in existence.  If my husband and son are sorting through things and it begins to get heated I can assist but I've  realized that it has nothing to do with me. It will be okay.  My husband, on the other hand, takes it to heart which changes his mood.  When my son left down in the dumps on that morning he took my husband with him.  I hate seeing that.  My hope is that someday both of them will learn to recognize that they are responsible for how they feel.  Then I hope to realize that I am responsible for how I feel too.


I am the resident Libra and my role is to make certain everyone is in good spirits.   I can't help myself.  I don't like  to see anyone unhappy for any reason.  I also don't like it when there is conflict.  I try to do my part in dispersing the conflict but sometimes that doesn't happen.  Okay, if I really want to be honest there aren't many times that that happens.  


I would like to be brave enough someday to conduct an experiment. What would happen if I handled the conflict differently?  Right now what happens is I begin to feel the situation shift into an unknown area.  I don't necessarily know where its going.  What if I said to myself,"Okay, things are out of control but it doesn't involve me."  If I could just get a handle on being okay with feeling that things  are in a jumble and it's still okay.  To me it isn't appropriate.  I need to validate my own feelings.  I validate everyone else's feelings so why not my own?  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tis the Season

I read an interesting article today in Yoga Journal regarding interactions with family.  Perfect timing because as the holidays approach many of us, including myself,  will be in close proximity to those we call family.  This article suggested that we look at this time together a little differently.  "What can I learn from that person?" is what we need to ask ourselves instead of "Why am I getting so annoyed?"

My first thought was actually more than one thought.  "Are you kidding?  What could I possibly learn from _______.  How about a lesson in what not to do?"  I'm sure we've all been there.  There is the family member that tries to "one-up" the others, the family member who loves to see fault with everything, the family member who is so laid back it's irritating, the family member who just sits back, the family member who forgets there are other members who may not share his/her harsh judgement and you get the point.  For some people they might not have an issue with any of this and for others it is stressful.  So, what do you do? 


 Usually I take  a deep breath and try to melt into the couch, wall, or wherever I happen to be at the time.  I choose to not deal with it. This isn't helpful because the next time  I have to do it all over again.  The article offered up another solution.  Try to find something about the person to celebrate.  By finding the good in someone you become compassionate toward them and then your relationship changes and ultimately you look at all relationships differently.    Whatever you dislike in someone is also present in you. What???  Seriously??I really took the time to think about it and found that it is totally true.  Most of the time I don't reveal these traits but I do have my moments.  Remembering this is key.  


I have been known to try and "one up" others, convert others to my way of thinking, procrastinate and openly judge others.  I'm sure some people are just as stressed out when I'm in the room.   If you don't find this kind of communion in your own life then you aren't looking hard enough.  Trust me.  After reflecting, I could probably complete a book based solely on things I do that I condemn others for doing.   


There is a lesson(s) to learn in every relationship if you just dig a little deeper.  You will thank yourself for it later.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Don't Worry Till it Comes



                                     

Since reading several books by Eckhart Tolle and Gary Zukav  I have tried to take what they have said to heart.  I have changed my life, more specifically my outlook on life and what is important to me.  I used to be a big worrier.  I worried not only about the past, present and future of my own life but worried about everyone else's life as well.  If they did not think they had a problem well then I'm sure I could find something. I wouldn't disclose it  but instead would carry it around with me.


  On top of the worry rested perfectionism.  An ulcer was the physical result of the self-created stress. Daily I was reminded of the physicality of it all not only because my stomach hurt but I was always so tired. At the time I didn't see those things as being related. I hated living that way but didn't recognize I could do something about it.  I could never eat a normal diet.  Quite frankly I didn't know what to eat so I didn't eat much.  Now I certainly don't have that problem and perhaps have overshot the mark. Back then I was young and I made the choice to rest the world on my shoulders and it was literally eating me up inside.


Since that period of time I have slowly graduated to taking life a little less seriously.  Even in situations that could be, and usually are, perceived as tumultuous,  I have had moments of not thinking about whatever it is.  I got pretty good at releasing the obsessive thought and replacing it with focusing on the present, directing my attention on whatever I was engaged in at the time.  In my adult years I have had a lot of practice.   Recently my pattern of thought started shifting back.


Yesterday afternoon I  missed a phone call and the person had to leave a message.  The message was simply," This is Gloria at Northside.  I need for you to give me a call back."  Northside is a hospital that I went to last week for my annual mammogram.  The drill is after several days they call you back with the results.   Normally if they do not reach a patient they leave this message "Your mammogram came back normal.  See you in a year."  The message she left for me just told me to call back.  That was a little unnerving. Two years ago I had a recalled mammogram, which is a very technical way of saying they needed a better picture.  That mammogram came back normal.


Before my mind went to the "C" word I decided to take a couple of breaths. Instead I focused on my drive home.  I looked ahead at the road, the trees, the sky,  and then my thoughts drifted down to  my body.  How did my body feel against the seat?  How does the steering wheel feel in my hands?  Does the seatbelt seem too constricting across my chest?  My chest.  Will everything be okay?  What will they find?  At that moment I realized my foot felt a little light on the accelerator.  I looked down at the speedometer and sure enough I wasn't even traveling the speed limit.  It even took me a minute to realize where I was on the drive home.  Scary!  I made myself refocus.


I know this will probably not end up being breast cancer but in the event that it does I have made my mind up that I cannot waste my energy on that kind of negative brain activity. I'm going to do my best to push the toxic thoughts away and fill up that space with the present.  I'll deal with things as they come or at least I'll try.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Love Fall!!

For me there is nothing like the heart of fall. I love being in the middle of it.  Here in Georgia fall doesn't last long enough for me.  Right now, in this brief period of time, is when I take the time to reflect and make changes.  Sometimes it means starting over. I like to take the time to see what is working in my life and what isn't.  I also look at what can I do something about and what doesn't need as much of my attention. This helps me grow.  It's kind of like weeding the garden.  Every once in a while things get overgrown, or out of control.  All I have to do is take the time to take a look.  What is weighing me down?  What have I been putting off?  Have I paid enough attention to my spiritual life, my husband, my kids, my pets, my family and friends?  Do I need to make some changes?  Do some relationships need work and do other relationships not require so much work?  Am I focusing on the right things? What is really important?  Some really deep questions but really only one question really needs to be asked and then everything else will fall into place.  Am I doing things from a place of love, happiness and joy?  If I am not then maybe I no longer need to be doing it.  I wish I could apply this to the laundry, cleaning up dog messes, kids messes, my messes, ... 

Monday, November 1, 2010

We Cannot Wait For Education!

My husband came home from work, one day last week, with a glint in his eye.   He told me that a co-worker suggested going to see "Waiting for Superman." After listening to his brief description he had me hooked.  He knew he would have me hooked though. The movie deals with a subject close to my heart, No Child Left Behind. "Waiting for Superman: is a documentary about the cracks in the public school system, many of which seem to stem from  No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  NCLB was created to make certain public schools educate all kids.  That was and still is it's intention.  My husband knew I would be all over going to see the movie because we are swimming around in the mess right now. 


 In Georgia,  the Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT), given at the end of the school year,  is used as a measure of accountability, making certain that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is being adhered to.  The schools begin reviewing for the test the moment the school year begins. No, I'm not joking.  My daughter loves to make the announcement every year.  Students in grades 1-8 take this test.  The results help to not only uphold No Child Left Behind (NCLB) but it also ranks the schools and provides funding to those schools who make the "list" of schools passing the test.  Those who do not pass the test fall under a different category, one that parents do not even want to think about. These scores hold the school systems, schools, the teachers and the students accountable.  Funny,  but it's the students who take this week long test and the teachers who have to make certain what they have taught is enough for their students to pass the test.  If a school as a whole does poorly they are penalized.  They will not receive the funding that is given to the schools that pass.  Who is helped by NCLB? Are the students living in suburban middle and upper middle class neighborhoods who happen to be good test takers the only ones being helped? Are the only schools that are helped the "good" schools?  Don't you think it should be the other way around? 


This is the side of NCLB that we do not see unless we are in the middle of it. "Waiting for Superman"  gave viewers a glimpse of this underside.    It was packed full of statistics that are very discouraging.  The movie also made mention of the fact that even in areas where kids are not disadvantaged,  scores on the standardized tests, like Georgia's CRCT, are not the best. Disadvantaged students still remain at the bottom and it doesn't seem there is any hope for them unless there are changes made within the system. 


The CRCT covers a different subject everyday but only certain sections are used for grade placement.  Yes, the results of the CRCT place your child in the next grade, unless they do not pass.  Grade 3 has to pass the reading portion of the test to be promoted to 4th grade.  Students in 5th, 7th and 8th have to pass the reading and math portions of the CRCT in order to advance to the next grade.   If these students do not pass the test,  the classroom grades will be used as the  determining factor as to whether or not a student would be retained or allowed to continue.   There is an opportunity for a retest before school lets out for the summer.  Summer school was offered previously to help these students but due to budget cuts some schools cannot afford to offer it.  In instances like these the teachers are forced to take a week during class time to review and then retest before school ends in May. Each school  and school system is held accountable but is the accountability placed where it needs to be?  "Waiting for Superman" talked about this very thing sighting example after example of why the system is failing the kids.  Too many variables in the accountability aspect of NCLB to even consider it to be helpful.





 The movie does provide alternatives.  One of the suggestion is putting your child in a Charter or Private school.  The movie is of the opinion that would be a better choice because these types of schools are not bound by standardized testing like public schools are.  In a charter or private setting, teachers can teach the way a student needs to learn instead of "teaching to the test."  Also the movie is of the opinion that it is easier to remove an unqualified teacher from a Charter or Private school than it would be to remove a teacher from the public school system.  This may be the case but  I can think of a couple of friends who have their kids enrolled in private schools where there is a teacher or two that, in their eyes, "Needs to go, but no one can get them removed." So, paying extra, $10-12,000 per year does not guarantee "special privileges." In my experience as a parent of elementary and middle school aged children,  attending public school, there have only been 1 or 2 teachers total that I seriously thought were not a good fit.  One of these teachers may have not been as qualified as I would have liked but there were other factors that played into the school year from hell.  It wasn't just the teacher.  So, my children have been taught by many different teachers over their school career and I could only come up with 1  teacher that potentially was not a good one.  That is pretty remarkable. From my point of view the problem is the system not the teachers.


One more thing, aside from having good teacher experiences, that helps parents get a better handle on their child's education is being involved in your school.  "Waiting for Superman" also stresses this point.  I would almost say it is the most important piece of this puzzle.  The system is not going to change anytime soon.  That is just a fact.  Staying in touch with your children's teachers lets them know that you care.  You are sending the message that you care about the teacher, the student, and the school.    Get involved in your school if you are not already.  Also, make certain you are up-to-date on how your child is doing.  Do not just rely on progress reports or report cards.  If your child is not having a positive experience at school you need to know as soon as possible so that you can sift through your options.  Just be an advocate for your children because we cannot wait for Superman :0)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm a Wanna-Be Fixer


Being at peace with an "issue" is a whole lot easier when those involved are not close to you. I am of course speaking of difficult issues.  Issues that could be prevented or resolved with a change in thought.

  I come from a long line of "wanna-be" fixers.  I want to help "fix things" in other's lives but at times I'm  a bit afraid to voice my opinion.  Whether I voice my true opinion or not depends on how the person is behaving in that moment.  For example, if they come to me complaining about this, that or the other thing, and it's something they can do something about,  I first determine their tone.  An angry tone is one in which listening skills should be applied first. Also if this person is one who poo poos all of my thoughts, suggestions, ... they are not going to get my true feelings but they will hear what they want to hear.  I am in no way shape or form a conflict seeker.  That to me would be confrontational.

On the flip side are those who  may not even ask for my opinion but I, on the other hand,  feel compelled, or comfortable enough with them,  to give it.  This is especially true if it's something I feel strongly about or if I can see their decision is not within my ideas of what is right and what is wrong.  Nevermind that the ideas I have may be different, but no less damaging, than theirs.

This level of comfort is usually only found in the relationship I have with my kids.  After all, haven't I earned the right and am I not obligated to let them know when the path they are on is not a good one?  Maybe this feeling of having earned the right to lead them is because I gave birth to them, I fed them, bathed them, ... They need direction and more specifically they need to know what should be happening instead of what is happening.

When they stray I let them know they better pick another option because the one they are thinking about choosing or the one they chose isn't the best.  I need to work on my delivery though.  It's hard to let them make mistake after mistake without getting frustrated enough to use the, "I told you this was going to happen.  Why didn't you listen to me?  If you had listened to me, and actually did what I said,  you could have avoided this whole mess."   I'm also trying to get it into my head that I need to settle myself down before embarking on that part of the lesson, realize that I would not want to be spoken to like that and do more listening than talking.  The most important clue into this whole puzzle is that what is happening is not a mistake.  Whatever the difficult time,  there is a lesson in there somewhere for all involved.

It's really hard to watch other family members and friends do the same.  I try to put myself in their shoes and respond accordingly.  It's difficult though when you miss the mark on understanding or just plain can't figure out why they are doing what they are. I need to work on just asking them why they do what they do but many times the conversation can get defensive and then the confrontation begins.  I'm definitely not good at responding to conflict in any shape or form.  The moment I can sense that things are headed in that direction I head in the other.  I either deflect or run.  What do you do?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Self-Sabotage







Why is it that we set ourselves up? It would be nice if someone could tell me why.  I not only see it in myself, I have witnessed it in my husband, son, daughter, and brother as well as anyone else I come into contact with.  We are aware of it but do nothing about it.  Okay, maybe not everyone is aware but I know I am.   It is a conscious choice that I make.  It's almost as if I'm drawn to it.  I cannot quite decide if it's a comfort thing.  What is that saying,"Better the devil you know than the one you don't."  That carries with it a scent of insanity.

My husband and I were having a conversation about this very thing.  We were talking about the comfort some find in abusive relationships.  Sounds nuts but people stay in these relationships out of fear.  It may not come from the same source that you think it does.  They are afraid of what their life would be like without all of that craziness.  In that relationship they know what's going to happen.  To break out of that relationship is difficult because it's the unknown.

You can apply this theory to anything.  For example, I have a son who somewhat consistently sets himself up for failure.  He's a good student but every semester he does something to sabotage his success.  It's not that he didn't give it his all on a particular project, paper, homework,.. he didn't do anything in some instances.  A zero on a project tells me, tells his teacher and tells himself that 0 was done.  We've been through all of this before.  At least 4 times since the 5th grade.  He's now in the 8th grade.  He knows better.  I know that compared to the previous example this is not as volatile or is it?  It stems from the same thing and sets him up for failure every time.  After talking with him he let me know that  he was afraid. If he were to turn into that straight A student, which he is perfectly capable of, how would he be treated differently?  How would this affect him?

 I can say the same thing about myself and my struggle with losing weight.  I would like to drop 20 pounds but what would that mean?  Obviously that would require more exercise, less food and a better attitude but although that's scary that isn't the scariest thing.   For 5 years I've been in the cycle I'm in of on again off again exercise, eating okay most of the time and wishing that I was thinner/more in shape than I am.

  It would be difficult to change and do I really want to?  If I did, what else would change?  How I'm received by those I encounter on a routine basis would change for a little while but how I'm treated in public, especially in retail stores,  would change more permanently.  Believe it or not I have lived the truth of that one in particular.

Why would I decide that I have had enough of the extra weight and then within an hour devour 3 different snacks?  Not all of them are horrible snacks but bad enough because I'm not hungry.  Everything I know goes out the window in that moment.   Later, upon reflection, I realize that it's emotional eating.  I'm taking a break from feeling because I don't want to feel.  Feeling is hard and it is so draining.  Eating when I'm not hungry, on the other hand,  doesn't start out exhausting but it definitely ends that way. On top of feeling like crud, the feelings I was trying to avoid come back to me even stronger and louder than before.  That's when my mood shifts as well and I start attacking the ones I love.

Self-Sabotage is just easier for some. We already know how-to go about it.  Some of us are pretty good at it.  What are your thoughts?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Standardized Tests: CRCT Mania

Standardized test and pencil
Does anyone else struggle with the CRCT mania in schools these days?  In Georgia it is crazy and I'm sure we Georgians are not alone.  Whatever happened to using those standardized test scores just to see where a school and student stand instead of instituting major repercussions for the student, teacher and school if the student doesn't pass the portions they need to?  That is a lot of pressure for a student. There has got to be another way to have accountability for teachers and schools.  The focus seems to be on passing this test instead of focusing on the reason kids are in school in the first place.  They are in school to learn.  The teachers do not have control over this and I wish the school boards would give flexibility back to the teachers.  I feel the same way when a  benchmark test is averaged into a student's grade.  A benchmark is supposed to show where a student is in the learning process.  I don't think the student should be rewarded or penalized for what they scored.  What if a student isn't a good test taker?  What if the student just had a bad day?  What if the student is an honor roll student and they didn't pass a portion of the test they needed to?  There are so many variables in CRCT testing that it just doesn't seem like a good barometer for measuring the success of a student, teacher, school or school system.  I won't even get into erasure marks!  No Child Left Behind needs a major overhaul.
http://standardized-test-and-pencil.jpg

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Best I Can Do

Today was one of those crazy days that just seemed to get away from me.  Half of the stuff I can't even remember doing.  Did I have lunch?  When was the last time I let the dogs out? Have I even gone to the ladies room? All I wanted was a half an hour to myself, just a half an hour to breath.  It didn't happen.  The dog threw up and it just so happens the steam cleaner needs to be overhauled.  I never thought I would need to invest so much time, energy and money into cleaning up dog messes.  Just when I think I'm done for the day something else comes up.  Today was my day to volunteer at school.  I would be there all day.  This happens 2 times during the year which I know doesn't sound bad.  It isn't bad it's just challenging.  For two weeks I tell my husband, my kids and my friends that they will have to forgive me.  My brain is on overload and I can't help myself so I certainly cannot help you.  Forgive me for forgetting and please if you can do it yourself do.  This isn't the time to ask for last minute help, last minute errands and last minute loads of laundry.  I'm sorry but it's the best I can do. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

There's Nothing Like "The Chick"

I was running behind schedule and I didn't make it to the grocery that day. What to have for dinner ? Let's see, I can get creative. We have tuna, peanut butter and cheese. There's always plenty of cheese in the Campbell household. Tuna needs to be mixed with other things that we don't have because I didn't make it to the store. I was contemplating the mystery dinner when my daughter walks in from school.

She declares it's "Chick-Fil-A Night" for her school. Do you all have those fundraisers in elementary school? We do. It seems every other week there is "Knox Night @ ________" fill in the blank with your choice of pizza, hamburger or chicken place. It does give parents more of an opportunity to get out there and support their child's school but I also feel guilty that we don't go to everyone they have. I also know that goes hand in hand with being a mom. We feel bad most of the time about alot of things that are out of our control. Anyway, she makes her announcement and in the same breath says her usual,"but I know we can't go. We never go." I decided to skip the lecture on the use of always and never and instead answered, " We can go." She continued trying to defend her position not hearing what I just told her.  After a second or to it sank in and she broke into a smile and said, "Okay, let's go!"  We hoped in the car and away we went.

After a brief consideration of which Chick-Fil-A we needed to go to, yes we have more than 1 within 2 miles, we decided to risk it. I'm thinking pretty soon Chick-Fil-A will be like Starbucks, one on every corner. We'll go to the closest one. Bingo, that one was it.  I really didn't mind going to "The Chick", as we like to call it, because the food is decent, it is fast and most importantly the employees are nice. They are so nice that it's scary. I have yet to encounter an even remotely rude Chick-Fil-A employee.  I placed our order, and then heard the ever familiar "It's my pleasure!" When was the last time you heard that in a drive-thru? We pulled up to the window and, after money exchanged hands, we were given our food, a smile and a "Thank you".  I love Chick-Fil-A! I grabbed the bags of food and the drink. We  pulled away making our way to the traffic light.

 It's kind of a pain in the rear getting out of this location of "The Chick" because you can only turn right and 99.9% of the time I need to turn left.  To make it easier I go to the traffic light.  I'm sitting at the light, waiting for it to turn green as I'm handing food back to my daughter.  She is starving. It's not like I never feed her, she is just always hungry.  This is one instance the use of always is permissible.

As I'm handing food back to her I look around for her Coke and guess what? Her Coke wasn't given to me. Now how many times has that happened to you in the drive-thru?  It's happened to me more times than I would like to recall.  Usually it's when I'm on a trip, headed down the highway.  Those times it really stinks.  It would be a hassle to go back but I would. My daughter piped up,"It's okay mom. I can have a coke at home." I asked if she was sure and she said she was.

I thanked her for taking one for the team and about that time she yelled "Look!"  I turned my head toward the driver's side window and at the same time saw someone knocking. It was the Chick-Fil-A employee that helped us in drive-thru. I couldn't believe it. He said,"I'm sorry mam. I forgot to give you your other drink." I could hardly contain myself. He had run, with my daughter's Coke in tow, about the length of a soccer field and did it before the light changed to green! It was awesome. Now that's customer service!!

Who Am I?

Interestingly my last blog has parlayed into today.  Yesterday I spoke of a mid-life crisis, not mine mind you,  and finding yourself.  You have a crisis because you don't know who you are and you begin your search. This I already went through about 4 years ago.   


Today began like any other Friday.  I woke, fixed breakfast,  got the kids off to school and then headed to yoga. Bruce, our yoga instructor, ended class today with a meditation. As most meditations do, we were reflecting on ourselves.  As we were in savasana or "corpse pose" he asked us to think of all of those things that make up who you are. He wanted us to make a list in our heads. "Okay, once you are finished with that then think of all of the things that you do." Okay, that was pretty simple yet extensive.  Now I knew where he was headed with this. I was ready for the next question.  Then he asked, "Okay, now who are you?"


   I thought I had this in the bag.  I have been studying this for a while, reflecting for a while.  I know that I am not defined by what I do or the labels that I or others put on me.  While I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, teacher, taxi driver, soccer mom, lacrosse mom, volunteer, and the list goes on, just like yours does, that is not who I truly am.  Those are things I am involved in, born into, married into, ... but that isn't who I am.  


Saying it is the easy part.  It makes perfect sense. I read Eckhart Tolle's books as well as a couple by Gary Zukav.  In these books they discuss this very thing.  I also get "lining your soul up with your soul's needs."  I do understand that but at times it is hard to take it to heart.  It is hard to look at your life and make those changes. Those changes usually are not easy ones. You see your life headed in one direction and you want it to go in another or you try to maintain who you are in the eyes of others but in the end you will loose the struggle.  The things in our life that do not belong there will eventually go away.  Nothing, in my eyes, is permanent. 


As my parents said to me when I was growing up,"We can either do this the easy way or the hard way." The more you fight the stuff you don't want the more it will pop up in your life. The more you deny your authentic self the more of a struggle you will have.This was awesome until I really started feeling it.  I mean really feeling it. This is also another benefit to yoga.  For me it's not just about the poses, it's about the reflection. For me it is therapy. 


During this meditation I really began to get upset on the inside.  The emotions of the morning had settled into my soul. My coordinating efforts for the school book fair weren't enough, my daughter reminded me that I didn't make it to the store yesterday so she didn't have a bagel to eat this morning, the laundry is still laying in the bedroom from the day before, I didn't make those phone calls, get those donations in, put that load of laundry in, ...  Pretty soon in my head I am a complete failure.  


My physical body reminded me that I need to get rid of all of the garbage, negative talk,  so I started crying on the inside and slowly the tears appeared on the outside.  My physical body gave my spiritual body what it needed, a good flushing out.  I tried to dry my tears as best as I could before class ended because heaven knows I can't appear weak in yoga class. As you can read I am still learning. 


 As I got up to leave the room, we continued the conversation into the foyer.   I felt, if only for a brief minute or two,  that we are all one.  The energy in the room let me know that they were thinking the same thing I was.  We all struggle, we all have power, and we have free will.  A chance to begin again:) A new day! 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mid-Life Crisis

The term mid-life crisis is usually an offhanded remark.  When someone reaches a certain age, and starts doing things not considered to be age appropriate,  it is referred to as a mid-life crisis.   An example would be a 40 year old man purchasing a sports car.  This might be construed as a an older man trying to be young again.  The way I look at it is at this age they have earned the car.  A 20 year old should not be driving an expensive sports car unless they can afford it. Even if they can afford it I believe they still need to pay their dues and anything before the age of 40 doesn't really seem to qualify.  For the person going through these perceived changes, it isn't necessarily about wanting to be younger.  The crisis a 40 something goes through is a little deeper than that. To me a mid-life crisis is not due to thoughts of your life being half over, it's due to questions you start asking yourself like  "Who am I?"  "What am I put on this earth to do?"  We 40 somethings are looking for meaning in a life that seems not to carry any.  We start searching for the person we are meant to be.  That's when we change careers, cars, styles, partners. We get so caught up in changing to find "us" that we don't realize we don't need to do anything. We desperately look around for our authentic or true self only to come up empty handed.   Right now I think I'm okay not to have all of the answers.  All I need to know right now is that I am a soul here on earth for a designated period of time.  I'm here to interact with others, to help others, and to learn. Above all I am here to love!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Medical Breakthroughs?








There has been talk in the medical community for a few years regarding red yeast rice. Red yeast rice has been found to lower cholesterol yet it is a supplement that you can buy over-the-counter. Well, right now you can buy it over-the-counter.  Currently the FDA is trying to decide whether or not this cholesterol lowering agent should be classified as a drug.  The dispute stems from a legal and industrial stand point.


 Red yeast rice has been used in China for over 1,000 years to improve circulation, as a digestive aid as well as a preservative, spice and a food coloring.  Red yeast rice is a product of yeast grown on rice.  It has naturally occurring statins. Statins are used in the prescription Mevacor, among others,  to lower cholesterol.  These lovastatin drugs were originally derived from a type of red yeast and can only be obtained through a prescription.


  In 2007 the FDA banned red yeast rice supplements that contained lovastatin. Was this because of a fear that if it wasn't regulated that people would be harmed?  I don't know but it does seem rather suspect. There are studies suggesting that it is safe because of the longterm use in Asian countries.  The FDA would like to reclassify red yeast rice as a prescription drug but in the same breath declares that red yeast rice without the beneficial amounts of lovastatin do nothing to lower cholesterol.  Maybe that would justify the price increase.  


Interestingly enough you can buy a 30 day supply of red yeast rice for less than $30.  How much do you think it would cost to fill a prescription for Mevacor?  Roughly a 30 day supply would cost around $80.  A 30 day supply of Altoprev , depending on the mg, can cost as much as $239.99, which is quite a difference.  You could request a prescription for Lovastatin, the generic, for close to the same cost of red yeast rice supplement but how often do you think a doctor writes a prescription for Lovastatin? Even if they did lower the cost of the prescription, think about how many cholesterol lowering drugs are out in the market? How many prescriptions would be written and at what cost? 


In 2007 150 million prescriptions were filled for lovastatin drugs. In 2009 lovastatin prescriptions amounted to $14.3 billion dollars in sales. Lipitor was a top seller coming in at $7.5 billion.  This is according to Consumer Reports.  An incredible amount of money to be made on something that has been around since 800 AD.  Banning oyster mushrooms is probably right around the corner.  Oyster mushrooms contain as much as 2.8% statin.  Where do we draw the line?  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Resistance

When something isn't going your way have you ever thought to check your level of resistance?  The pain that we go through is self-created.  It's because we pushed back.  We judged a situation as good or bad.  If it's bad then that situation turns negative.  Ours lives do not have to be this way.  Even in the midst of a painful situation we need to learn to relax into it.  The more we fight it the more pain we encounter. By taking to heart "It is what it is" the sky is the limit.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's Amazing!!


It's truly amazing how a shift in perspective can change your outlook on the moment.  My son loves watching sports on TV.  He loves engaging me in conversation about what he watches.  This is really not my cup of tea.  On the other hand, it is my son and what he gets excited about interests me.

From a young age he has not only wanted to watch football on TV but also play football.  This to me was disturbing.  When he was 8 and 9 years old he would ask that question knowing what my answer would be.  I thought he was just to young and my husband didn't push the issue.  It just wasn't a big deal.  He did other things though.

He tried his hand at soccer, gymnastics, tennis, soccer, among other things.  Yes, I mentioned soccer twice because he played when he was little then took some time off to pursue other activities.  Later when he was 10 he returned to it.  By the time he was 12 he encountered a coach with a loosing team.  The coach himself was down about it and I believe because of this let the team down. By the end of that last season,  I don't think there was a kid on the team that wanted to be there. During the game I would look over at the coach and there he was distanced from the team with his head in his hands.  What kind of a message does that send?

When the spring soccer season came to a close my son was glad and promised not to play soccer again.  That's when he started tip toeing around the idea of playing football.  By this time he was one of the bigger kids.  He was tall for his age and of medium build.  This time I said,"Okay."  I knew I had to give him that chance.  He did need a change.

Conditioning for football season began in July and the first game was at the end of August.  That week of training was rough on him but he hung in there.  Practices began the next week.  He had practice 3 days a week.  Two of those practices were in full pads and helmet.  It was crazy hot.  He didn't complain though.  He didn't complain until he realized that maybe this football thing isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

One of the drills involved two players lying helmet to helmet on the ground with their knees bent.  The coach would yell,"One, two, three go!"  At that point the two players would jump up and run toward each other full force.  You would hear the crunching of the helmets.  I couldn't bear to watch but to listen to it was worse. Also I couldn't comprehend what the players could be learning from this.  After the first time I could tell my son wanted to be a part of this as much as he wanted to walk into a room filled with spiders.  He's really not an aggressive kid.  This went so much against his nature that I would watch him do what he could to avoid that kind of rough contact.

 Some of the players were thirsty for it though.  They were "good" players but that instinct is what made them good.  After my son's turn at this game of torture, he would slide to the back of the line and do what he could to make certain that he stayed at the back of the line.  Several times I watched this happen and surprisingly he started making excuses as to why he couldn't go to practice that day or why he didn't want to play in the game.

Also, once again the experience he had with coaches wasn't the best.  Promises were made but there wasn't any follow-thru.  In the end he basically lost respect for men he should be able to trust.  I am glad he went through what he did.  Quite frankly, that was his path.  He needed to find out on his own that a change was needed and along the way he learned to trust his instincts.

At this point I don't even think he wanted to play another sport but he kept his mind open.  I started researching to see what else was available at the same time throwing options out to him and asking him his thoughts.  I asked about baseball and he immediately said no.  I was kind of glad because I don't know that would have been a good fit.  Then I mentioned basketball.  He plays basketball in the neighborhood with his friend and enjoys it.  Some of the other kids have remarked that he plays well.  He's tall so I thought this would be a good solution.

                                                       "NO MOM," was the response I got.
How could that be, I thought.  I ran down the checklist in my head and everything seemed good.  He later informed me that he just liked to play but didn't want to play on a "team."  Okay, I understood the logic.  If he's just playing then there isn't any stress.  If he misses a shot, no big deal.
 
                                                        "What about cross country?"

I watched him run laps with the rest of his team out on the football field. He was usually 2nd or 3rd in line.  He was able to endure the run because he was able to control his speed.  He was mature enough to know how to come in 2nd or 3rd.
                                                      "NO MOM," was the response I got.

                                                       "Why not?"

                                                     "I don't like running."

Okay, once again I get it.  I don't like running either.  What's left?

W

I could actually see a change in my son's attitude.  He liked the game.  Even when he found out that his younger friend would be playing in a different age bracket he was still okay.  Normally something like this would rock his world.  Not this time.  That's when I knew we were on the right track.  So far he doesn't check the weather to see whether or not there is a potentiall for practice or a game to be rained out.  He's ready to go to practice and actually practices on his own from time to time.  When his dad asked him if liked lacrosse better than football he didn't really answer directly but instead said,                               "It's a game with more strategy.  You definitely use your head more." It is amazing because that is the first time he has given positive feedback about a sport/activity he has been involved in.

The game of lacrosse isn't nearly as nonviolent as I thought.  It's amazing what you can get away with in lacrosse.  It's a good thing they are pretty well padded because there are few places on the body they aren't allowed to attack with the stick.  They wear helmets but at least they are not doing that senseless drill where they try to knock each others heads off or at least crack their skulls.  Maybe they were just doing a helmet check football style.

It's amazing how when you are open to change, you can change your world.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fear of the Unknown (Part III)

Fearing the unknown is something we all do.  Sometimes we are thrown into situations that scare us but if we treat it right it will allow us to grow, becoming more comfortable with who we are and what we are capable of.  This is exactly what happened to me one evening last December.

My husband and I went to see Dialogue in the Dark, which I highly recommend.  I knew a little about it, what I considered was enough to know.  It is an interesting concept though and one that I was hoping to learn a little something from.  During the experience,  you are guided through different scenarios that a blind person encounters on a routine basis.  You stroll through a park, cross the street, order lunch, make other purchases, ... Not only was it to show us how physically demanding it is to not have your sight but also how much those who cannot see have to depend on those who can.  I was a little nervous about this and had already convinced myself  something was going to go wrong when the lights went out.

Bobby, our guide,  was ready for us.  He is blind.  In fact all of the guides here are visually impaired to one degree or another. You go into this experience with a handful of others.  Most seemed pretty eager to be there.  I, on the other hand, was not so sure. We were told to go into this room where acrylic cubes were arranged in a large circle.  We all found a seat.

After some instruction the lights began to dim.  I paid close attention to everything that was being said.  It's in my nature to follow rules and it's actually a comfort, especially if it's a new experience.  Rules provide boundaries.  Boundaries are a good thing.  If you follow the rules everything will be okay, or so I thought.   One thing I forgot to mention is that if all else failed I could depend on my husband to stay with me. Right?

As soon as we started the journey it was like he had disappeared.  I no longer knew where he was and I was on my own.  I wasn't counting on that.  I'm still okay though. I just need to make certain I can still hear the guide's voice. As long as I keep up with him I will be able to do that.  I tried to listen for my husband's voice.  His voice was distant but I could hear him having a good time up ahead of me. That's all that matters, right?

The voices started getting farther and farther away.  I heard the faint voice of the guide telling us not to go through any doors and to stick with the group.  Okay, I can do that but everyone sounded so far away.  I was trying to catch-up but it didn't seem like I was making progress.  I found myself tripping over things. Finally I hear the guide's voice get a little louder saying,"We are about to enter a room.  Remember don't go through any doors that aren't already opened for you."

 I then realized I was no longer just at the end of the line. I was by myself.  Panic started to set in.  I was still in the room that was full of closed doors.  I kept thinking to myself that the rest of the group cannot be too far ahead, although I really didn't believe it.   I began feeling my way around encountering door jambs every couple of feet, or so it seemed.  It was a small room and yet I could not find a way out because I was not supposed to "go through any doors that aren't open." I tried to recall why and quickly remembered that all of those doors lead out to the parking lot. It was dark outside and we were in downtown Atlanta. I didn't think that was a good combination for me to be caught up in.  That's when true panic set in.  Not only was I using my cane but also my hands to find my way out as I was saying to myself,"This is exactly what I thought would happen.  Where is my husband and why do I not hear voices any longer."

Frantically,  I took the cane around every angle of the room.  Still not finding a way out I began crying.  The crying turned to sobbing.  I just sat in what I perceived to be the middle of the room until I could cry no longer.  Still no one came.    I felt so lost and all alone. Then all at once I heard a voice in my head that said," Pick yourself up and open the nearest door."  I had exhausted all of my other options so that's exactly what I did.  



Same picture just different lighting


Before I let the door close behind me I listened for clues as to what might be on the other side.  Silence. Through the door I went. After a few steps I began to hear voices that sounded as if they were above me, still so far away.  After following those voices I was able to rejoin the group.  I wanted to scream I was so happy.  I also wanted to scream at my loving husband because he apparently had no idea what I had just gone through.  I am glad I went through what I did but it totally rocked my world.  It taught me to have a little more faith in myself, a little less dependence on others and that in the end it's all okay. Don't be afraid of the dark because you are never alone. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fear of the Unknown (Part II)





As for me, I don't even have to be in the water to activate the fear button.  That night, on the way in from the beach, we were walking through the breezeway to get to the condo we were staying in. Let me just say it was dark and I was paying more attention to the kids walking in front of me than my own safety.  


The kids had already rounded the next corner and my husband and I were kind of far behind them.  The next thing I knew my husband, due to his iPod induced deafness, boomed "Watch Out!"  Automatically I frantically looked around.  In front of me, on the concrete sidewalk, my eyes immediately caught sight of this black thing scurrying across my path.  I screamed and he laughed.  


Okay, he had me this time.  The rat, or other rodent I thought I saw, wasn't there.  In it's place was a black strap.  It was the ankle/wrist strap to the boogie board I was carrying.  When I looked around to find whatever it was he was warning me about the strap mocked my movement.  The kids got a big kick out of it too.  It was enough just to hear Mommy was scared.


When we got back to the condo I poured myself a tall glass of Sangria and was in for the night.  Once again it's all good :)

Fear of the Unknown

Being out in the ocean you never know what you might encounter; the brush of a crab, the sight of a dolphin fins or the dive bombing pelican.  The later I witnessed safely from my place on the beach, with the rest of the family enjoying the brief turbulence  of the waves.  Periodically I would look up from my book just to make certain everyone was where they should be.  Glancing up I had to do a double take to make certain I was seeing what I thought I was seeing.  Sure enough a pelican came barreling down on them.  It looked close but I was told later it had only gotten within 5 feet.  Boy was I glad I was still on the beach.  My son recanted the exact wingspan which was 15 feet.  He's also 13 so most things in his life are extended or stretched.  My husband is puzzled as to where this characteristic comes from.  :0)

Now my 10 year-old has not developed that style of telling stories.  Usually she just tells you as it is, without embellishment. Which is why I did believe what she told me but wasn't really able to offer anything up besides, "It's the ocean.  Things are going to brush up against you."  I think if she could see what it was she would have felt better about it.  She was, in her words, "Lightly pinched by a crab." Being out there in the ocean with her didn't make her feel any better and she carefully and methodically made her way to the beach.  I felt bad but also it was a little funny.  She wasn't hurt and the pinchers left no mark except on her pride. Something got the best of her and she didn't like it. 


 Later, due to the crab incident, my daughter felt the need for me to Google "The daily life of a crab." She wanted to make certain that crab, or any other crab for that matter, would not invade her space tomorrow.  "Crabs only come out at night when the tide comes in." This satisfied her until the next morning.  


We got up, ate breakfast and headed to the boardwalk leading to our spot on the beach. There is a small pond by the entrance to the boardwalk and occasionally you can see a turtle's head pop up and small fish swimming around.  My son pointed out the turtles, several of them this time.  As my daughter bent over to take a closer look my son added,"Hey, there's a crab in there too!  A BIG blue one!"  My cover story was blown but it was all okay in the end.  Her enthusiasm for the surf overwhelmed her fear of the sea creatures.  All is good.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Right Now

It is absolutely beautiful out here on the beach in SC. We've walked the beach, rode bikes on the beach and rode waves at the beach.  Nothing like the feeling of your feet in the sand, a breeze blowing your hair and sunburned skin.  


Two people in this family burn easily, my daughter and my husband.  My husband has been lovingly nicknamed "Lobster Man," due to previous over exposure. Those two try to keep up with the brown bodies but every time they end up in aloe land; aloe vera on their front and back sides. 







Not only do I love the sun but also the sounds at the beach.  These sounds are mesmerizing to me; the sound of the waves, the calls of the birds and the laughter of the children, especially my children. 



Friday, September 17, 2010

Vacation



It's amazing what a convertible can do.  I'm not even a "car person" but in a convertible I've found I can take a mini-vacation.
The story goes, my husband was in need of a new car.  Well, a "new to him" car.  As we've gotten older we've gotten a bit smarter. We decided not to buy a brand new one.   One type of car he was looking at was a convertible.  I didn't really care.  When he asked me what I thought I told him to get what he wants.  I also added, "Within reason." Between my husband's and son's research they found the perfect car.
Notice I said they.  Not that my 13 year-old is hoping to get his hands on this car in 3 years or anything.  After negotiating my husband was able to get quite a deal so...  he now has one, a convertible.  He has had it for 1 day.  Last night my 13 year-old son begged his dad to let me drive the car the next day.  It was my carpool day and usually I have 4 kids to chauffeur to school but my son let me know I would only have 3 tomorrow.   Perfect timing. 4 seats and 4 people works.  The kids were excitedly texting one another last night about the ride.  I, at that point, was excited not because I would be driving the new car but because my son was excited. It takes a lot to get my son excited.  Cars and airplanes will do it though. This car wasn't just any car though it was his dad's Mustang Convertible. Well, he was more than excited.  He was on cloud 9.
My husband, on the other hand, seemed a little nervous.  That night he gave me a walking tour of his prize making certain I knew how to put the top up and down "Just in case." He also gave instruction in what other buttons did what and reminded me to take notice when pulling out of the garage because,      " It's difficult to judge how close you are to the garage."  Thanks honey!  I've only been driving for 20+ years :)   The whole time I'm thinking,"Okay,  so what's the big deal? It's a car."
Morning finally came and we left to pick up the first passenger.   Pulling out of the driveway I began to get a little taste of the power. Did I mention it's a Mustang convertible.  It's not a GT but enough power to get me into trouble. We made it to our first stop and before my son's friend got in he asked if he could just  jump over the door into the seat.  I had him rethink that one.  Too many variables.
On the way to school the kids were making comments and having conversations like they usually did.  Normally my super mom hearing would be working overtime to make certain I didn't miss anything that may come in handy later.  Who's dating who, what teacher did what, ....  Not today!  Today I was in my own little convertible world. I didn't have a clue as to what they were talking about and nor did I care.  I managed to pick up everyone without incident and we pulled out of the subdivision. The red light provided the opportunity to get another glimpse of what the car could do. I stepped on the accelerator as I normally would and soon realized this isn't the van.  The top is down, wind blowing my hair around and about 5 minutes later we are at the school.
Yes, school is literally right around the corner so I didn't get to experience a lot of time behind the wheel on this trip.  I dropped everyone off hearing, "SWEET!" in the background.  Another 5 minutes and I was headed to yoga.  I know, for some reason that just doesn't sound right.  Driving a convertible, especially one that has more capabilities than what I'm used to,  is an experience.  It is more than a car.  I use to consider yoga my only mini-vacation but not anymore.  I let my husband know he could keep the van and that I really liked my early birthday present. His only response was "NO WAY!"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Meant to Be

I just realized, at that moment, that we were meant to be together.  Even the times when we haven't gotten along so well;  we still managed to make it through to the other side.  After all that we've been through,  we've still managed to find that comfortable place each time.  It comes with such ease. No thought.  We come together to share.  Easy. Easy like the choice between staying in your bed when you can, sleeping in when you can.  A knowing that when your head hits the soft pillow you just want to stay there.  Comfortable,  like a cup of tea first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed.    Like getting lost in a kiss or a touch.  It's surrendering to the moment. Surrendering to what is.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Than Just Yoga

Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings I try to devote yoga.   I really look forward to it and after a little over 6 months, my body actually craves it.  The days I can't make it to class I practice at home but it is not the same for me.  I need the intermingling of other energy with my own.  I need the personalized instruction and insight. You cannot get that from a DVD.   So for me it's more than just stretching, it's a spiritual practice.  This is my time to check-in with myself.  It is my time to erase the board and start over.  I am able to focus on who I am instead of my disjointed and irrational perception of me. I feel more grounded, more sure of myself.  The instructors have an uncanny way of knowing what each of the students need during class; the poses we require, the words our heart needs to take in.  When I leave class I feel as if I've been rebooted.  Not only does my physical body feel better by working hard but my intellectual self feels more rested and powerful. I walk out of there with the "I can handle anything!" attitude.  It is important to feel unshakable.  Then when bad stuff starts happening it is not so bad.  If you believe in your own power you can handle anything :)
Namaste

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Faith





Double Rainbow
It is amazing what faith can do, even a little of it.  Having faith in something motivates you.  Without faith motivation is lost.  Without faith you can feel stuck and possibly hopeless.  Without faith you are not in charge of your life.  You leave your life to chance.  You leave your life.





Faith comes and goes, sometimes a bit erratically.



Hoping that next wave won't be the last!



















Ye have much faith!
                            This picture proves that sometimes you can have too much faith in someone.  My daughter wanted to believe her brother when he said," I promise I won't get you wet!"   My son wanted to get the upper hand on his sister for being so gullible, which in his mind means putting up with a lot.  Faith in something or someone is used as a life rope to many.  

                               Too much faith in people who show you that you shouldn't trust them can lead to wounded pride and possible devastation with the thought you can't trust anyone again.  


               Along with faith in others there needs to be true faith that you are meant to be where you are for a reason. Things are always changing.  Situations are always changing.  Faith gets us through those tough scary times.  


A possible reason we go through the bad, good and ugly is to experience relationships and how those chance meetings can change our lives.  The ripple effect is you do not realize how that one encounter could affect someone else.  Someone else's life.  It does not stop there.  What transpires is incalculable.  


       Completely unknown is when it will happen. Look at it as a lesson.  My son's lesson was not to take advantage of his sister's love for him. As he tells me, "Karma baby always wins out." My daughter learned not to be so trusting but only after several years of what is pictured above.  


If in the past someone has taken advantage of that trust don't forget what you learned.   Use that knowledge, especially if it is your sometimes obnoxious teenage brother. It's best to try these things out on family first.  


            In any given situation try not to judge the person because we do not know the circumstances.  We usually assume the driver who cut us off is just an incredible jerk.  Maybe, just maybe he just learned he lost his job, his wife, his child. There is usually more to the story.  So much energy is wasted on trying to figure someone out.  It is impossible.   Too many variables to do that.  


We need to work on ourselves.  We cannot change or fix anyone else.  No matter where we are in life or where we go we need to focus on change within. Having faith that we are where we are meant to be for this moment. So "Have A Little Faith."

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