I just realized Lent comes at the perfect time of year!
Everyone knows and understands that wonderful time of year when we pop champagne, stay up too late, light fireworks, wear funny hats, sing Auld Lang Syne, and kiss our beloved (or at least who’s standing there). New Years Eve is that drunk time we all have those brilliant idea’s of starting fresh or starting over. The next morning we call those New Year Resolutions – gym memberships increase, hungover people around the world swear they’ll never drink again, green vegetables fly off the shelf’s, and new savings accounts are established. Now on there face values these lofty goals are considered healthy. They could even be considered luxuries of the self indulgent. What typically happens, however; is we fall short of any semblance of achieving them within 2 months. We then spend the next 10 months looking at ourselves in the mirror with that disappointed look that your preacher gave you when you accidentally stole the $20 out of the collection plate.
If we had ever had any hope of doing those dazzling resolutions in the first place- we wouldn’t of needed to be drunk to imagine we could pull them off.
Now this year I formulated the perfect plan to avoid the 10 months of personal discouragement. About the time the resolutions are starting to feel like you have taken on a Herculean task- and you ain’t Hercules- It’s Mardi Gras!! If you think about it Mardi Gras is a lot like a several week loooong New Years Eve culminating with Fat Tuesday. We drink too much, wear funny hats and masks, have parades, fireworks, show our tits for beads, and in general carouse as if it’s the world is gonna end. The festivities are only over when it’s time for us to behave again because it’s Lent.
Now the beginning of Lent, or Ash Wednesday, is a lot like New Year Day with one very important difference. Hangover’s abound, but now we must learn to suffer in order to be prepared for Easter. We are supposed to give up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence. Now many choose to fast, give up candy, soda’s, or booze. Y’all can do as you please, but I’ve decided I’m gonna give up all those self indulgent luxuries called New Year’s Resolutions I made two months ago. It’s my form of penitence.
I think it’ll work for me. Not cooking is similar to fasting, not eating healthy is similar to not eating candy, not drinking water is similar to not drinking soda, and going back to wine from whisky is technically giving up booze!
Hey- if nothing else- I’ll wink at myself every morning 🙂
As I travel through life I am continually amazed at the things I see parents do and hear them say. I understand that cultures, priorities, ideas and techniques change with time. However; that doesn’t always mean for the better. An example of a good change that’s valid and smart is the change to smaller family sizes. If you ran a farm and needed free labor, a large family was appropriate. As our culture has changed away from farming and (you now have to support the parasites) having fewer of them makes perfect sense. The changes in parenting today where most adults allow their children to rule their world I just don’t understand. Whoever decided it was a bright idea to give the reigns to a child – well let’s just say I try not to use that language often.
I always had a rule when mine were little and they fell that I didn’t get out of my chair if they were crying for at least 30 seconds. Needless to say I always got dirty looks and looks of amazement from other mothers as I sat there while they cried. These mothers typically jumped every time their child made a noise. I guess they thought that if I didn’t validate every cry my children would grow up to be mass murderers. It was amazing how quickly you learn they are much more self reliant than they appear. 9 out of 10 times when they looked around and realized no one was freaking out or coming to their rescue- they got up, dusted off, and went about their business. Children do not need to be validated and told outright lies at every turn. A small 4 inch fall for a toddler is not life threatening and doesn’t need to be validated with “I’m so sorry’s” and “you have a boo-boo” I was usually that mean mama you heard saying “Suck it up- you’ll be fine” You know what- they sucked it up and so far no mass murderers. I’ll never say never, but so far so good!
Why are parents so afraid to actually say – no child you’re not good at that- when if they don’t society will be sure to make it so abundantly clear? My mama always said “When God closes a door he opens a window” so why cant we tell them to find their window? Oh I know- because society now is supposed to be a land of sunshine and flowers where we all have rainbows coming out of our asses. Last time I had a rainbow coming out of my ass I think I was in my twenties and was having way too good of a time! I guess we are all supposed to live in a permanent drug trip where there is no reality. Guess what- society has never and will never be the land of the perfect. I guess if you need a job done you’ll continue to pay and allow someone who is horrible at it to continue so you don’t hurt their feelings?? You know- we all love paying for services not rendered. Why would you allow your child to continue to pursue something that is obviously not their strong suit. Don’t look at it through parents rose colored glasses and spoon feed them a reality that 9 times out to 10 they even know isn’t true- They aren’t stupid either. Teach them to accurately access their strengths and weaknesses and pursue accordingly. If you have a sick need for them to live with you forever- then by all means- praise away. I wanted them out of my body at the end of pregnancy and want em out of my house at their beginning of adulthood. Isn’t that written in the laws of nature somewhere??
No wonder our bubble wrapped, entitled, and self absorbed youth is having a problem and falls apart at the slightest challenge. No parent allows them to actually have a challenge or if they do- let’s blame someone else. That’s the new parenting game- let’s complain, sue, and fight their battles. Let’s do absolutely everything for them- except teach them how to be self reliant and ready for life. I’m not saying there are never times to validate, but there’s a point when it’s no longer validation and becomes self indulgence.
In parenting my own parasites I have always, in no uncertain terms, made them aware of:
1) your father and I were here first- you get an opinion after ours
2) No- you will never have nicer cars or phones than those of us who work
3) If an adult tells me something and you tell me something – the adult will always win
4) You can try it, but you must finish the season- even if you’re not good
5) We are all not good at everything, so if you’re not- we’ll move on and find something you are
6) Life’s not fair- nor is it ever gonna be
7) Yes I heard you and no I don’t care
I know most of these aren’t the popular or PC ways of parenting and nor do I care. If you don’t like it you can do as I tell me kids- Suck it up- you’ll be fine!!
Explain to me why any of my children, including the largest I call my husband, believe they are allowed to basically throw 2 year old temper tantrums at any non announced moment? Now- if they could manage these fits without involving me I would be fine and just say “hey- to each his own”. However; this is NEVER how these things roll! These things typically involve:
1) Screaming commences by said temper tantrum thrower (cussing if largest child)
2) I begin to hear things being thrown around and it starts to get louder
3) I jump straight up worried that my house if being destroyed (which 50% of the time is valid)
4) I begin to accomplish task that started temper tantrum
5) I accomplish said task
6) I clean up after temper tantrum
Now if these were typically difficult tasks I might be OK with the balance of power stated. They are never difficult. These are typically on something as simple as finding a clean pair of jeans or socks. Really- How have I raised a husband and 3 kids who are incapable of dressing themselves on occasion? I can dress myself – can’t they learn by example or do I need to start laying their cloths out for them to avoid the yelling. Maybe if I confuse their cloths and lay the dresses out for the boys and gym cloths out for the girl they might learn?? Probably not though- they would just yell louder 🙂
This morning might be my favorite hubby temper tantrum of all time!! I asked him to do the one simple morning task that even the dumbest and most incompetent of people can usually accomplish- making coffee. Everything seemed to be moving along swimmingly. I was watching TV and relaxing when suddenly I hear lots and lots of cussing, then yep you guessed it- the banging. I jump up and run as fast I can to the kitchen in the fear he has somehow burned himself and we need to go to ER. What I see was even amazing to me- coffee grounds and coffee ALL over the kitchen and the entire coffee maker in the sink. How do you even pull that off??? I learned that the filter had accidentally folded over and it was running over. Instead of handling this minor situation (or even calling me too) his solution was to unplug the entire maker and throw it 4 feet in the sink. WTF?? Well needless to say 20 minutes later it was cleaned up and I was laughing at him. Ya know- sometimes ya gotta laugh instead of cry!
Now I’m by no means implying that I don’t get mad and say a few choice words and yell on occasion because that would just be a lie!! I’m just saying mine usually have warning! Mine are more like a great composer writing a symphony that builds to a crescendo. Trust me- you can see em coming and have the choice to continue or not!! Most of my family is smart and knows to stop or run- my hubby and youngest – yep just not so smart!!
Every time one of these split second tantrums happens I remember Sally Fields in Steel Magnolia’s saying something about maybe she should have more emotional outbursts at home because her husband would be so pleased. I think I may start trying them just for fun so they can stay on their toes. I want to see them jump on command- JUST ONCE!! 🙂
I’m going to say something very shocking for those of you who know me- I can be a little irreverent. Well OK maybe a lot! I don’t tend to be the disrespectful kind- I just usually see the humor in things that most people hold dear so some take it as callous. I’m actually too old to care most of time and since I’m getting older I don’t think it’s going to get much better. You know the old saying “F em if they can’t take a joke”- well that pretty much sums up my thought processes of the issue.
I see all of these list of 10 things etc etc going around so I figured why not do my own. I’ll never get it all done today in this blog because as life goes on we learn new things everyday!
Here’s what I’ve got so far:
1) People that are mushy and tooooo nice usually are full of ……!
I don’t think they mean to be, but for gods sake, please do not try to convince me you are that happy and gushy all the time! I have no doubt most of them “think” the same things I do, but don’t have the stones to say them. That’s OK- I have no problem if you are not comfortable saying them- just don’t judge me or think I’m callous because it “accidentally” slipping out of my mouth! You thought it too and if not well “Bless your heart”!!
2) Be proud and own the things you can’t live down anyway!!
I know this is shocking, but I’ve done some down right stupid things in my life! If you have long term friends and family you will be all too aware that they will NEVER let you live those stupid things down anyway so you might as well embrace em!! I accidentally slammed “my own head” in a car door in my 20’s (yes I was sober). I still hear about it at least once a year!! I have learned to bow and take my applause. Sometimes the stupid things we do make us memorable and memorable is always better than forgettable!!
3) Sometimes I know who NOT to vote for by whose yards their campaign signs are in
Everybody knows someone who falls into the category of “those” people. My definition of “those” people is very simple. They are always the people that have extreme views on everything and no tolerance for anything else. If they put a campaign sign in their yard- you can be darn tooting I will not be voting for that candidate! We investigate our candidates -sometimes I think candidates should be able to investigate the craziness of their supporters before they advertise it! 🙂
4) People who have no or very few friends- usually there’s a valid reason
This life lesson took some time and age to really sink into my brain!! I always had this empathetic need to be their friends. I felt like if only they could see that life was fun and enjoyable they would magically change their attitudes and become decent human beings. Guess what??? It NEVER freaking happens!! Miserable people want to be miserable people! Best advice I can give you is get out of their pig pen and let them wallow alone!! My granny always said “if you fly with the crows you get shot with the crows” well I’m changing it to “if you wallow with the miserable- you’ll need Prozac too”
5) Marriage is a wonderful institution for those of us who really need to be institutionalized!!
I hear all of these people saying “marriage is work” “marriage is a journey” etc etc I don’t think marriage is any of those. Marriage is simply a choice you both make everyday to be downright stubborn. Now I’m not saying you’re even gonna agree on the decision to stay married everyday cause trust me- you won’t. In 16 years of marriage we have had some humdinger arguments and we are probably still married only due to my husbands steadfast hard headedness. We are still here and most days I’m happy he can be a stubborn ass and he just knows I need to be institutionalized!! 🙂
I’m working on “Things I’ve learned during motherhood” so if you think I’m irreverent now- you ain’t seen nothing yet!!! 🙂
Do you remember being little and 12 pm, 6 pm, and 11 pm rolled around? Those were the dreaded times of day where the parents commandeered the “1” TV you had in the house. There were only about 5 channels to choose from and 3 of them were showing the NEWS. There was occasionally crying, temper tantrums, and a great 30 minutes of depression because you were gonna miss the episode where Jan and Marsha had a fight or the professor almost got Gilligan off the island. Those news channel programs were incredibly boring to us because they actually just “GAVE YOU THE DAILY NEWS” They were usually 30 minutes and were filled with actual FACTS.
The news today is quite different. The news today is entertainment. I don’t even know why they produce sitcoms anymore because the news in itself can be down right hysterical. I can watch news now 24/7 on about it seems 100 channels. Now I know 100 may be a stretch, but not by much. Even the major networks are willing to interrupt their regularly scheduled programs for over 24 hours to report on a snow storm in Atlanta? Seriously- it’s a snow storm- after an hour we got the fact it is snowing. I really don’t need 24 hours of news to understand something I can look out my window to see. I laugh a lot at the descriptive words they use. It always reminds me of the immortal words of Inigo Montoya in the Princess Bride “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” A snow storm in Atlanta which will melt in 3 days is not exactly catastrophic. Shouldn’t that word be reserved for losing homes and lives, I’ll give ya catastrophic for hurricanes, tornado’s, floods- ya know actual natural disasters. Snow storms- hmmmm??
An actual 30 minute news program today is actually about 5 minutes of facts and 25 minutes of making a mountain out of molehill as my granny used to say. Let’s pick a topic, give one side of the facts, and then harp on it til we get everyone in a tizzy. Ya now- wind em up like a top! I swear they must sit around and just laugh at the ignorance most days. I’m guilty too- there are nights I watch and my head almost explodes, but usually I find the comedy. Last night was one of my favorites- they tell exactly where the incident happened, they tell us the lady they are interviewing lives two doors down, they tell us her full name, they interview her and show her hands because “she doesn’t want to be shown on camera”. After giving her location and full name did she think she was incognito?
The comedy in the 24 hour news channels could fill a book- much less this little blog!! They are actual 24 hour sitcoms all to themselves. Most of the 24 hours is spent having what I call “prize fights” Let’s get two people who have 180 degree opposing views and have absolutely no ability to compromise and put them on a panel and turn them loose. The funny part is watching the commentator “who always has an agenda depending on the channel” do their best to make one look dumber than the other. We used to call a 2 on 1 fight unfair- now we call it the news.
The world is a funny place when you look for the humor. Next time you watch the news- don’t fall for the wind up up like a top trap- watch for the funnies! I promise it’ll make ya laugh. 🙂
Well I’m starting this new adventure of blogging!! If you would of asked me 2 years ago what blogging was I probably would of laughed and made a sexual innuendo joke (You’ll learn I do that A LOT) I’m convinced turning the mundane into a sexual innuendo is a skill. I don’t have many skills, but God gave me that one in abundance!! 🙂 I haven’t found one I couldn’t do yet!!
I believe my family is a little concerned by the looks of actual terror on their faces! The hubby just shakes his head (you’ll learn he does that A LOT) Needless to say my kids are not too thrilled with this “mom blogging idea”. Their exact words went something like “seriously mom everyone knows every dumb thing we say and do because of Facebook now- the last thing you need is more space to write!!” My reply was “well Facebook doesn’t have enough room for all the dumb things you do- sooo here we go!!”
Look – I’m about to have three teenagers and go through menopause. At this point, I’m looking for any way possible to keep them alive for at least the next 7 years and the I think this may be therapeutic. Hey and if it’s not therapeutic at least it’s somewhere new to embarrass the kids (it’s the only joy of motherhood I’ve found) 🙂