Monthly Archives: January 2011

Stay out of it, Mom

“Stay out of it, Mom.”

The words, from my daughter, are not new to me. She’s told me on more than one occasion that she can handle herself, she can take care of the situation at hand. She may need to bend my ear or cry on my shoulder, but she doesn’t need me to fight her battles.

That doesn’t mean I don’t want to.

When we were kids, about 9 and 7, my little brother and I were walking home from school when a couple of bullies from his class started pushing my brother around. Without thinking I pushed them back, knocking one of them to the ground. The other said something, I don’t remember what, and they took off.

Rather than being grateful, though, my brother was furious.

“What’d you do that for?” he yelled at me. Now, he said, things would be worse because his Big Sister had to stick up for him.

I don’t remember whether anything was better or worse, and quite honestly that’s the only time I can remember John having any issues with bullies at all. But I do remember his reaction.

It’s real similar as a Mom. I see and hear about things that happening to my kids and instinctively I want to step in. When they were little they relied on me to protect them from the little boy throwing toys in the sandbox or hitting the kids in line at Chuck E. Cheese. Now that they’re teenagers they’re relying on me to mind my own business.

It ain’t easy.

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I resolve … to make more resolutions

Sometimes I think the only reason the person who decided we should make New Year’s resolutions did so was so that we would appreciate all the things in life that we do do well.

Think about it: Say you make a list of 10 resolutions you want to accomplish throughout the year, and by New Year’s Eve you’ve succeeded at two. Initially you feel like a real loser (Really? I couldn’t even remember to put the toilet paper on the spindle past March?) but eventually you look at all that you have accomplished: you mowed your lawn once a week in the summer, you were one of the first to get your sidewalk cleared in the winter and you did something at work darned near every day you were there.

Voila! Instant gratification.

Knowing this, I vow every October that this will be the year I don’t make resolutions. Then we get to the few days after Christmas and yet still before New Year’s and I think, “Oh, crap. I need to make resolutions!”

So, in an effort to share my losing streak with the general public, here are my resolutions for 2011:

1. The weight thing. Duh. That’s been on my list – and usually in the No. 1 spot – since I was 8. Seriously.

2. Less sarcasm,┬ámore charm. Because, you know, everyone who knows me will take me seriously when my comments aren’t dripping with sarcasm. (Damn! That one lasted less than 30 seconds.)

3. Try something new each month. OK, now we’re getting down to business. I did this last year and am pretty sure I managed to accomplish it – if you count getting mono in January as trying something new. (I’d never had mono before.) This year I’m going to be looking for healthier options.

4. Be a better friend. Life gets busy and so, as a result, do we. Before you know it, months have passed since you’ve spent any real quality time with a good friend. Quality time doesn’t have to be heading out for a night out or for a day filled with shopping – an hour and a cup of coffee is just as good.

5. Breathe more. No, not the “I’m-breathing-therefore-I’m-living” kind of breathing. Breathe to do more than survive – breathe to thrive. It’s kind of like taking time to stop and smell the roses, but there aren’t a lot of roses growing around my neighborhood and if there were they’d be filled with bees – so I’m going with “Breathe.” Close your eyes, deep breath in, aaaaand exhale. Repeat as needed.

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