Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What we have here....

All we have left are words...
Well, it's finally happened.  I really thought I would get by without going through an awkward phase with this particular daughter.  You mothers who have daughters know what I am talking about..when you just can't seem to communicate on the same level that you used to.  Something has changed, although both of you will swear that "it's not me".

Even more shocking is the fact that it's not my 18 year old I am having this failure to communicate with.  It's one of my daughter's who left home YEARS AGO.  The one that claimed to be my "mini me" and that (until now) I have always been "on the same page with".  Even today she said to me, "I just don't understand what you are trying to say to me..." or maybe words to that affect.

WHY did she have to get a SAMSUNG when she knows I have an IPHONE??????  She is the one who introduced me to emoji's
and now almost everything I say (in pictures)  is lost in translation.  It's like we aren't even the same people anymore!!!  With this newest upgrade, I have the coolest new faces (and gestures) I want to share with her, but it's all for naught.

Alcohol-the great translator!

I just sent her my newest fave - the upside down smiley face.  Who doesn't love that?  Well, Marissa doesn't, because SHE CAN'T SEE IT!  And she blamed it on ME.  The mother who remained true to the IPhone that Marissa (yes Marissa) encouraged me to get.  And now, we have a year to go on this ill-fated contract that she signed, that will further drive a wedge in our relationship.

I thought about sending her that new hand gesture that came out on our latest update, but that wouldn't be setting a good example.  I think you Apple users know which one I am talking about.  I guess I will just stick with the praying hands.  Apparently, even Samsung carries that one. (YAWN)

Luckily, I am typing this week's blog on my computer rather than my phone.  Because I would be emoticoning all OVER THE PLACE!

Don't get me wrong.  While our relationship is being tested, we are coping as best we can...with whatever words we can come up with to use in replacement of appropriate emoji's.  It's just so hard.

During this trying time, while I don't know everything, this is what I do know.  I HEART all things SMILEY FACE (of any type) and many other emoticons too numerous to mention at this time.  And just to be clear, we can communicate quite well on one thing - GO ROYALS!!!

Until next time,

Your pal,


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Play it again....

I have become increasingly aware of a problem that exists in many areas of our life.  And it begins when we do something wrong.  Believe it or not, this will happen to all of us at some point in our years on this earth.  And the problem isn't that we have done something wrong.  THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN.  I believe the problem is the rarity in which problems are dealt with correctly.

We live in a community that hashes over how we do everything wrong.  Turn on the evening news on any given day and you can hear about mistakes made,dating back several years.  Especially during these political times!  I will use a more recent example.
Not "those" officials- But real none the less

I am still hearing on the news, radio, etc. about a San Antonio football game that happened weeks ago, where players attacked an official - perhaps at the instigation of their coach.  Okay.  How many times do I need to hear that?  They have replayed the story over and over -  talking about different angles -how it might have happened, what could have lead to it happening, etc.....BUT NEVER once have I heard them talk about this negative event in the context of what should have happened.

What do I mean?  I mean just once, break down the situation and talk about an outcome with a different ending, once the alleged negative behavior has occurred.

The reason I point this out is - I believe this type of attitude plays forward in all types of scenarios in our lives.  We have the communicators who speak aggressively rather than assertively.  We have the managers/supervisors who may honestly believe they are addressing a problem by going over our mistake 50 different ways but never once stating how they would like to see it resolved.  Or we have the parent personalizing behaviors instead of addressing problems.  Just like we see on TV.

I don't know everything, and I am far from perfect, but when I error, I hope I error in kindness.  My goal is, both to myself and others, visualize and then express what the expectation looks like. Anyone who knows me will tell you, some of my best explanations are given with an analogy.

Until next time,

your pal,

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The first thing you the room

There is so much written about just "being yourself" but we all know that isn't really true.  Don't we?  And if you haven't learned that lesson already, you will soon enough.  I would dare to say you are close to 30 (or under) and may still think that everyone wants to know who YOU really are.  And that we all have the RIGHT to be who we REALLY all times and in all places.

Au contraire, mon ami.  For those of you who are not bi-lingual, that means, On the contrary, my friend.

Or "read the house"
I was sitting on an airplane the other day (minding my own business) but came close to stepping into someone else's,  I chose not to for a couple of reasons.  I was tired, I had heard the words before...and primarily, I didn't have small children with me.  There were two guys sitting directly behind me. They were speaking clearly and quite loudly so I could not help but overhear.  And what I overheard was the f-bomb every other word.  Now, like I said, I have heard the word before, may have even said it myself a time or two, HOWEVER, as I have told my kids more than once - "know your audience" or "be aware of your surroundings" or how about "time and place"?

My mouth may not have said anything but my face told a different story.  And when I looked around, I noticed other people were "expressing" the same disdain.  Now, before we all start spouting off about how we don't care about what other people think about us...we all know that isn't really true. Don't we?  If that was that case, we wouldn't take such care in our appearance, the clothes we wear, etc.  I think sometimes we just forget.  A momentary lapse of how we come across to others.

I can still remember when the light bulb came on in my head.  I was 25 years old (yes, I caught on rather quickly if I do say so myself).  I had said something quite rude out loud while I was at the bowling alley with our work bowling league.  I instantly knew that I had offended an older woman on the team.  My first reaction was to puff up and get all defensive (after all, this was after hours - I can say and do what I want - BLAH BLAH BLAH).  I quickly realized I was reacting that way because I was embarrassed.  Perhaps in another venue, with other people, I would have been fine.  At times I say rude things because I think they are funny.  Not everyone appreciates my sense of humor.  I was being schooled in "how to read a room - time and place and knowing your audience" and it was a bitter pill to swallow.

BUT I DID.  I went up to the woman and apologized.  Because in reality, I meant no harm and I did not want her to think less of me for something so small.  That type of impression can travel fast.  Not necessarily the faux pas but the inability to rebound gracefully.

So, while I may still be far from perfect (this is a chronic condition that I am learning to live with), what I have learned is to be gracious and recognize the opportunity for a "do over" when it presents itself.  And maybe even more importantly, the ability to allow others to do the same.

Until next time,

your pal,

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Lost Years

We've got "Class"
That is what I call all those years between high school graduation and now.  Because while I can account for them for myself (for the most part) how do you begin to catch up with people you haven't seen since all the tassels were flipped from one side to the other and caps were flying?

Yes, I attended a high school reunion this past weekend and it really is more painful for me to think about how long ago that was than the passing of several "milestone" birthdays.  As I sat there, looking around the room at faces (which for the most part I could still recognize) I pondered at how the only thing that separated us from the friendships we once shared is "time".

Obviously (painfully obviously) this isn't my first rodeo when it comes to attending high school reunions.  We had the obligatory ten year reunion which was fun because we all still were young, many just starting promising marriages, careers and families.  Fast forward to the twenty year reunion and while we were still young(ish), the gleam on the fresh outlook was starting to fade for some and many first marriages had been traded in for second (or third) by this point.

Before we knew it, fifteen more years had slipped by.  Time to gather for the 35 year reunion. (somehow no one managed to get us all together before then).  By now, most of us had grown kids and all baby pictures were of grand kids.  Thankfully, our picture name tags from days gone by made it easier to recognize who we once were.

Which brings us to this past weekend.  Notice now we are getting together every five years.  The list of classmates lost to tragic accidents, foul play, cancer, etc. gets longer as the years go by.  There isn't much time to waste.  And I noticed a different mix of people attending this year.  I saw girls (women) that I have known since I was eleven years old.  We went to grade school, jr. high and high school together.  I have crystal clear memories of playing barbies at Kim's house, admiring her new baby brother and being quite jealous.  I saw Kurt and can still see his house on the corner in our neighborhood.   And that is just to name a couple.  But collectively, I have no idea at all of what kind of people they have become, or what kind of life they have lived for the past 40 years.  Nor they of me.

After the 35 year reunion, a Class of 75 page was started and many people post pictures, etc. on that website.  Those of us on Facebook have all "connected" so we felt much more "familiar" when we saw each other this time - five years later.  But truly, the one person I can pick up where I left off with had saved me a place at her table.  I haven't seen her for five years but we text randomly and call each other sporadically.  She knows I will make my entrance once I am sure she is there, stay for dinner, the group photos, and like Cinderella (except there is no prince involved and I would never make it to midnight) I will slip out -telling just her goodbye (truthfully, I act like I am just going to the restroom).

I don't know a lot about reunions but this is what I do know, I know a lot of people put forth extreme effort to make it possible (of which I am appreciative).  I enjoy seeing everyone (even if I don't speak to everyone).  It's good to see those who used to be

Until next time,

your pal,

Look past the water stains

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