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Showing posts from July, 2014

Boundaries - Real or Imagined - Don't cross the dotted line.

I have spent the past eleven days with my older grandsons; Ethan is almost 14 and Nathan is 10.  Most days we have Madi with us and on those days I am "mom" first but on the days when she is otherwise entertained, I am all "Mimi".  I have found the boundaries change when the parental role is removed and it has also been noticed by my grandsons.  Not that I will win any awards for the most conventional parenting, I always try to introduce education and fun in our outings.

In my younger parenting days, I used my children as the outlet for my attempts at humor - nothing mean-spirited, but in the genre of "honey, put on this hat and go stand by ???? so I can take your picture"  Basically fill in the blank depending on the nature of our outings.  Now I find (much to their amusement, amazement, and at times, even chagrin, I prefer to be the one in the photo.  Over the past few years, Madi has gotten used to it, to the point where she might even say, "Look …

Finding what was missing - when it was there all along,

Have you ever worked for a long while on a jigsaw puzzle and when you were almost done you realized you were missing several pieces?  At one point, the puzzle had all its pieces.  It started out in a sealed box, ready to be opened by its first user and the possibilities were endless.  Jigsaw puzzles remind me of life.  They never tell the entire story once pieces go missing.  And pieces for all of us go missing sooner or later, and this changes the landscape of our life.

My sister Katy and I (plus spouses and Madi) just returned from visiting Norway - the country where our dad (Odd Eugen) grew up.  While both his parents were Norwegian, it was not their intent to raise him in Oslo.  They both immigrated to New York when they were in their 20's; newly married and starting a new life in a new country.  His father's brother, also newly married, came with them, leaving their homeland, their widowed mother and two sisters behind in Norway.  I have no idea what happened to Kristen …

I didn't fall from Grace...I never had any!

I remember the first time I was called Gracie.  As part of the union negotiations team, we had been back and forth meeting with the union that day.  At times the meetings had become heated and after one particular tense meeting, we had "taken five".  We were getting ready to go back in and I was leading the group.  In my haste to get to the negotiations table, I walked right out of my shoes and almost fell on my face.  I would like to say it happened when I first got up, or I tripped over something, but that wouldn't be true.  I was halfway across the room, this was in mid-stride and there was no reason for this to happen.  And I heard "Way to go, Gracie".

Maybe this is why I don't enjoy the ballet.  The dancers are all so graceful and poised.  My husband planned a surprise anniversary evening several years back which included drinks, dinner, the Nutcracker ballet and an overnight stay in Kansas City.  That ballet lasted forever.  Perhaps I was secretly jea…

Pardon my French...but why?

I am still on this language thing.  But from a different angle now.  The other day I was at the pool with Lisa and the boys and I was listening to a group of three mothers visit.  It wasn't like I was eavesdropping.  I was sitting on the other side of the pool and their language was more colorful than some of the art I have seen recently.  And so expressive!  Kids were all over the place and after a few minutes I realized more than a few belonged to these women.  There went my idea of asking them to watch their language since there were kids around.

I am wondering how we have gotten so free with the foul language.  And why is it always blamed on the French and the sailors?  You know what I am talking about.  "Pardon my French" and "She swears like a sailor" are common sayings but where do they come from.  The "French" I heard at the pool sounded like raw English to me.  And none of them were in uniform.

Naturally, I had to google these stereotypes to …

Feeling Content in the Moment....Within the Content of My Life

So many words in the English language look exactly the same.  It is all dependent on how they are used in a sentence (and pronunciation can vary) as to what their particular meaning is.  I have been reflecting on the word content.  Now, do I mean content as a noun - the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered or learned?  Or perhaps content, which can be an adjective, verb or noun, depending on how it is used, but the meaning is the same:  satisfied or showing satisfaction with things as they are.

I have been reflecting on this word because it has occurred to me that I don't think it is any small coincidence that these two words are spelled the same.  Can we really be content (satisfied) without having the content of our life in a certain order?  Isn't what we have perceived, discovered or learned at any point in time the driver for our emotional well being?  Or at least a strong contributor?

And certainly not the sum total of everything we have perceived, discov…