Why is there only one day out of the year that is dedicated to verbalizing how thankful we are? Same thought with Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, Secretary’s Day, or Veterans Day. What good is acknowledging someone or something one day and leaving to chance the other 364 days of the year?
Don’t get me wrong. I love holidays and all of those special days that are set aside to showcase a certain someone or something in our lives. It’s a great reason to hug each other and have parties and buy cool stuff for others.
But what has always bothered me was that the specialness of it all was confined to 24 hours. For example, the day before Mother’s Day my boys would be in their usual form of…well, being themselves. Then on Mother’s Day, they’d turn into
perfect little angels the one day that all mothers get the day off from chores, cooking, cleaning, and if lucky, get taken out to dinner, only to find that it’s business as usual the next day. It’s a great big bone thrown to us mothers just to keep us going until the next year. Personally, I’d like to see Mother’s Day be celebrated everyday, but I would settle for once a week.
Now from November 1, when the stores start filling their aisles with Christmas stuff, when most of us get warm fuzzies and show extra love to our family and hug our neighbors, until the evening of December 25, the feeling of gratitude does prevail. It’s a beautiful and uplifting experience. I only wish that the feeling would go beyond the holiday season.
And I’m thinking Hallmark and boxed chocolate companies would make a hell of a lot more money if they would promote this idea of gratitude and giving all year round.
I must say, though, that there are a lot of people who already put this into practice – I see it all the time on social sites such as Facebook, and that’s awesome! They are all way ahead of the game. They know that giving gratitude every day (or at least the majority of the time) only brings on more people, places, and situations for which to feel grateful for.
It’s easy to forget this in the face of life’s issues, but if we can remember to be grateful for at least one thing, one person, one experience every single day, it would be my guess the world would be a better place. I know the effort that something like that takes better than anyone. My days tend to pass in a blur and my head hits the pillow at the end of the day without an utterance of thanks, but it’s something I strive to remember every day.
So, like everyone else, I’m being swept up in the season love. I’m grateful for the events that have brought me back in touch with high school friends. I’m eternally grateful for whatever inspired me to take Kristen Lamb’s blogging workshop which in turn gave me new friends from her classes (WANA sisters and big bro!) and new friends whose light I soak up in Twitterverse. I’m grateful for my family, embracing cousins, aunts, and uncles, neighbors, and friends I have known since moving to this town.
My list of gratitude is long, as I’m sure yours is as well, so I’ll leave it at that for today. Starting tomorrow, I’ll begin the list of 364 more.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!
Planking, the act of lying face down on or across ordinary objects with hands touching the sides of the body, has been around since 2000, and maybe longer. The rules of the game are simple: Find an object to get horizontal on, document your position with a picture, and slap it on the internet for all to see.
Since its inception, doing the plank and owl (a variant of the plank in which a person squats like an owl) has been growing in popularity all over the world.
Why? Because it’s different, a little bit crazy, and a surprisingly fun, even if it is for just a few minutes. Planking and owling, for the most part legal and harmless, give people the chance to go against the norm, be a little bit defiant, and a whole lot spontaneous. There are some objects that are planking and owling no-no’s, like the top of a police car, for example, but apart from that, nothing is sacred to planking – signs, stairs, horses, boats, or in our case, a barbecue in the shape of a revolver.
But it’s not for everyone, because it definitely attracts attention. My son hid behind the building when our picture was taken because, “Mom! Everyone’s gonna see!”
Yeah? Well now everyone in our town will get to see the owl and plank in action. I had no idea that lying prone on a revolver barbecue with my friend mimicking an owl on the hammer – on the corner of a busy street, no less – would be such a hoot! (Pun intended.) Yeah, exhibitionists at heart.
Anyone can do it, but the group that impresses me the most are the women of Moms Who Owl and Plank. With everything these women have to do during their long days and short nights, they never lose sight of cutting loose and having fun.
So what are you waiting for? The weekend is almost here. Grab your camera or phone, find the most unique place to plank or owl, and submit your picture to any of the planking sites on Facebook or YouTube it!
Have you ever tried to plank? How about the owl? What do you think about it? Fad or here to stay? Leave me a comment, because I’d love to know!
I read a quote on Twitter the other day by @Perlkvist: “Giving up can mean you are weak. However, it can also say you are strong enough to let go.”
So I lined them up – five Rubbermaid containers – the big ones – and filled them with all the things that just didn’t work for me anymore; the residua of procrastination and a marriage gone south. I smudged the rooms with sage to banish the negative energy, cleaned the cobwebs from the corners, and read books on Feng shui for the house. I de-cluttered and simplified my life. The qi was definitely moving in the right direction.
Then I’d step out of my cozy little nook and hang out with my friends and I realized I didn’t always have that same great feeling. I found myself avoiding conversations with some and avoiding eye contact with others.
There is a woman I encounter on a daily basis. At first our conversations flowed easily enough, allowing the energy to exchange in a positive way until one day I noticed a slight shift. I can only assume it was because we were becoming friends that this person felt comfortable enough to start unloading the negative suitcases from her baggage cart, but it got to the point where I would ask, “Hey, how’s it going today? Wait. Don’t answer that.” I would steer clear of any verbal triggers that might set her off, taking our conversations spiraling down tunnels I never wanted to go.
And it wasn’t just her. I have more than one Eeyore shuffling their feet around in my orbit, and talking with them – hell, just being with them – is absolutely exhausting. It throws me off balance. After a particularly stressful encounter with one of them, I knew what I had to do…
I had to do some Friendship Feng Shui.
It is my nature to be the peacekeeper, the one who placates people and smoothes ruffled feathers. Being the perpetual optimist, I try extremely hard to find the good in people, but when subjecting myself to their negative qi threatened my sanity, when the relationship used up my precious energy, I had to draw the line.
Delete, delete, delete.
The process was ruthless, painful, and felt absolutely incredible. I even had to inform certain family members that being part of my family was a privilege, not a right, and forcing me to deal with their hang-ups was not an option.
As social creatures we gather for coffee at Starbucks, meet over lunch, and hook up on Twitter and Facebook. We share hobbies, sporting events, and conversations over wine.
Throw into the mix the 40-hour work week (and that includes the job of “Motherhood” that goes on 24/7), social/sporting activities, household responsibilities, and family time. And if you have a hobby or second career going on, that’ll pretty much tap out the well. At this point, an energy budget is just as important as a financial budget. We need to carefully choose where we allow our energy to flow in order to avoid a deficit.
With such a large network of friends and family, we are bound to have one or two in the group who make us want to click the “Block this person” or “Delete” button.
Those are the people my friend, Theresa, labels The Energy Vamps. You know who they are. The chronic complainers. The half-empty-glass people. The ones who insist on bringing the planet and everyone on it down to their level just so they can have guests at their pity party.
It could be in the way they sigh a little too loudly or give us a smile that falls short of genuine. All we know is that by the time we walk away, we need a nap, a double shot of espresso, a double shot of tequila, or at the very least, a week in a decompression chamber.
Any relationship should be mutually beneficial, bringing out the best in us, encouraging us to reach our full potential. It took me awhile to realize that, no, I’m really not that bitchy or impatient. I’m just that way in the presence of some people – the same people who no longer hover in my orbit.
You know that saying: “You can’t fly with the eagles if you’re swimming with the alligators.” Well, look up in the sky…that’s me up there, soaring with my peeps.
So where are you? How do you handle the Energy Vamps in your life? Are you in need of a good Friendship Feng Shui? What is the best part/worst part of cleaning out your friendship closet? Leave a comment! I’d love to know!
Finally Friday! For some that means a few more hours until the start of the weekend, hanging out with friends or sleeping in. For me, it’s just another day. Not a big deal. It’s just that I have this thing about relaxing.
I don’t know how to do it. I only have two speeds – fast and faster. Crazy, I know, but a lot of us are like that. Our strength is immeasurable; our talent for multitasking is, in a word, unbelievable. This is a gift that is given to all mothers and is a gift that serves us well.
Personally, I’ve set my sights on Italy.
I love every single picture I have ever seen of Italy. I want to experience first hand the food and the culture. I adore la bella lingua. Heck, even four-letter words sound seductive in Italian. (And, I’ll admit, I am a bit curious about the men, but who isn’t?) I even have a couple of Italian pen pals to help me learn the language.
A trip to Italy would be incredible. A trip to Italy with my girlfriends would be unbelievable. So I pick my posse – My cousin Toria, an incredible writer who encouraged me all the way through my first novel. Kathleen, also a great writer, who is my copy editor for my work in progress. Aunt Renee, who has my vote of most likely to get us into wicked trouble. Natascha, my cyber friend who I’ve gotten to know over the last year and just cannot wait to finally meet.
Whether out of the country or just out of town, there’s something about a band of women in unfamiliar surroundings that just brings out the best in us. Our true, untamed selves spark to life when there is no one looking over our shoulder, no one judging what we do. Secrets are shared, fears are exposed – and we’d all go to the grave without ever betraying what we know or what we’ve seen. We play hard, we fight hard, and we love much too easily. Sure, we can get bitchy sometimes, but that’s part of our charm. In the end, we’ve got each other’s backs. This bond of sisterhood has been ingrained in our DNA since the day the caveman discovered fire.
So whether Friday signals an end to your week or the start of another, let’s all feed the need of sisterhood and get in some much-needed girl time.
This goes for you men out there as well. Not being part of the male gender limits my perspective a bit, but I know the need for male bonding is just as important.
What I want to know is this…how often do you get out with your own posse to do some serious decompressing? What is the craziest trip you’ve ever taken? Do you make it a priority in your life? I’d seriously love to know!
By the way, since my last post, I’ve been fortunate to discover three other Facebook communities of the sisterhood! The Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva, Home C.E.O., and Chibi Cow. Give them a check-out. It will be well worth your time!!