Friday, September 28, 2018

Choices

If you've not been living under a rock and you have a school-aged son, then most likely you've been made aware that Fortnite Season 6 launched yesterday, September 27. Unfortunately, it was a Thursday / school day and I'm betting that a significant number of boys either chose to miraculously rise from their beds on their own very early in the morning (without a parent having to drag them), or rushed through their homework after school just so they can start playing online. 

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/39943037982


Mine chose the latter. 

He did a few quick chores after grabbing a small snack, assured me that he finished his homework when he had free time in class, and then went upstairs to his computer room. 

He promised he would do more chores before bed time (e.g. fold his clean laundry), and just double the minutes for Khan Academy 'tomorrow' (which is later today).

I let him. I've been letting him make choices as part of our training. I'm training myself not to hover as much, while my husband and I are training him to be accountable and learn real responsibility. And besides, his plan seemed sound enough to me. I had the assurance that everything that needed to be done had been done. 

Until Friday morning came...

He got up, showered, got dressed and when I saw him walking towards the kitchen for his breakfast, I saw he had a book in his hand. He read and flipped through the pages while he chewed on his cereal. At that point, I had to ask. I'm sure he knew a long lecture was coming.

"What is that?...And don't tell me it's a book 'cos I can see that it is. What I need to know is why are you reading it now?", I asked with a calm 'Mom voice', which of course only shows up when we're asking a rhetorical question. 

Casually he responded, "Oh, I just remembered that I needed to learn and memorize something here". 

Then I had to say it. "I hope you realize that you've chosen poorly last night. And that choices always have consequences."

Instinctively, but reluctantly he said, "I'm sorry!"

"Oh, no, no, no. I don't need you to apologize", I quickly responded. "If anything, you need to apologize to yourself for making a bad decision. You do see that's what you did, right? Your behavior shows that to you, gaming is more important than school work and responsibilities. And I keep reminding you...CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES. When you make a decision, you have to accept its consequences and live with them. YOU will carry those consequences, not me."

I was done talking after that and neither did my son have anything else to say. I hope his silence meant he digested more than just his cereal and smoothie. 

All I could think of at that point is that, more than ever, I need my sonthis boy, this maleto be wiser and make good choices in life. I pray he fully understands what accountability means; that inasmuch as I desire that he reaps rewards for positive choices, I know too that poor ones teach immeasurable lessons if he humbly submits to them. 

I pray he understands that it is not I, nor his father, who defines who he is, but only himself and the choices he makes. 

More than ever, with what's going on in our society and the plight of women, I pray he grows up knowing how to treat everyone with respect and dignity, and to fathom the truth that how he treats others is a reflection of who he is. 

May he always choose to be a person of integrity. This is my prayer. 




Monday, September 24, 2018

Monday Motivation: Don't Choose Snooze




Nothing good ever comes out of hitting snooze on your alarm. Sleep experts have said that doing so only confuses and messes up your body's natural tendencies, giving you a lingering foggy feeling, making you feel even more exhausted. 

Just get up when you're supposed to. Of course it won't always be easy but once you're up, it just gets easier from that point on. When you hit snooze and resist getting up when you need to, it's as if you're greeting your day with heaviness and negativity. The dialogue becomes more like "I'm not ready, maybe later, I can't do this, I'm too tired, No", instead of "I'm here, I can do this, Thank you, Yes!"

Welcome the day. Just keep moving. Rise from your bed and say, "Here I am. I'm showing up today!" 


80%  of  life is showing up. Woody Allen


Monday, September 17, 2018

Monday Motivation: It Doesn't Matter Where You Start, Just Start




Original Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash


I can't even tell you how many times I've thought of quitting. If I got paid for every time I thought of myself as a 'loser', I'd already be enjoying a fat bank account and living my dream life as a gazillionaire philanthropist. Right this second I admit that I'm even thinking of deleting what I've typed so far and struggling with the all too familiar voice in my head challenging the worth of what I've set out to do. 

"No one cares. It's all been said before. You'll never make a difference. What you do has no impact. You are irrelevant..."

But I want to keep doing this. Writing is a need for me. It helps me, fuels me, and I feel even more miserable not being able to do it. The worst is when I talk myself out of doing it just because I feel like it's too late; that I haven't been doing it as much or as regularly as I should; that I've already lost so much time; that I'm already so behind

Haven't we all said those things before? I don't care if it has to do with being a better friend, spouse or parent; or about looking for a new job; exercising and reaching a healthier weight; saving more money; starting a new business, etc. It's highly likely you've had those thoughts before. 

Haven't we all self-sabotaged, even though deep down we knew we could still do something, anything?

As Nike says, Just Do It. 

Do something. Move with what ever energy level you have. Make anything out of what you have at this moment. Start from where ever you are, no matter how low, or how behind you feel you may be. 

Trust me, you will feel exponentially better if you just start creating without judging yourself. 

You don't know how much time you have left. Don't waste another second focusing on how inadequate you feel or perceive yourself to be. Just start something, somewhere and create. 

Create something, tangible or intangible, as long as it affirms who you are, or aligns with what you want to be. It may simply involve formulating a positive thought for yourself. It could be a small act of kindness. Perhaps it means finally making that dish you've always wanted to create and share; a DIY project; a poem, music, a photo or painting; an Excel spreadsheet organizing your finances; a journal entry...ANYTHING.

Perfection is not the objective, rather it's the process of simply finding the strength to take a step forward. It's to simply affirm to yourself that you still CAN. 

I know how crippling it feels to drown in negative self-talk. I know how it is to feel as if you are completely depleted and lost, clueless about where to go, what direction to take. What I've found is that in those dark moments, what you need is just enough will to simply choose to take one step forward. 

Pick up a pen. Write a word. Lift yourself off of the couch. Stretch your body. Take a full, deep breath. Strum one string. Call one friend. Fry an egg. Draw a line. Water a plant. Put away one dollar. 

Just one simple step, and the Universe will meet you somehow.

Start where you are no matter where that is. Know that every little positive thing counts. Every moment of action matters. 


 Act as if what you do 
makes a difference.     
It does. 
—  William James