Tag Archives: Life

If I Could Have Just One, Make That Ten, Do-overs

If  I could just have one do-over, I would have let Scott kiss me and said, “Yes. I will go with you.” (“go with” as in date…well, as much as you can date when you’re in the 6th grade.)

If I could have nine more do-overs? I would have…

…gone to law school immediately after college. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

…found a way to live closer to my favorite place in the world. (Don’t laugh) Yes, that would be Disney World.

…stopped every stupid lesson plan that started going wrong and pushed my students harder instead of letting them (goof off) explore their creative impulses.  

…stood up to my mother more in my twenties when I was an adult and in charge of my life.

…pushed and pursued a singing career with a little more effort. Opportunities just fell into my lap and I took them all for granted.

…called my grandparents more often and begged to hear story after story after story and written every single one of them down afterwards.

…listened to my mid-wife when she told me that losing weight after a baby is difficult. Even more difficult when you’re having one at age forty. And then, I would have eaten less and better.

…been a heck of a lot more confident in high school. Because, really. How much of that crap matters now?

…waited until I was a little bit older and a little bit wiser to get married for the first time.

But I didn’t.

I said no to Scott, let’s just be friends. (even though I had a killer crush on him) I floundered after college. I stayed in the same place after college. I let my students run over me sometimes, not wanting to squash their creativity. I let my mother dictate my life until I was in my 40’s. I thought there would always be singing opportunities. I talked more about my life with my grandparents than I listened about theirs. I fed my cravings of ice cream and McDonald’s french fries when I was pregnant. I pretended I was confident in high school, but deep down I was pining to be the popular one. I married at the oh-so-wise age of 21 because, seriously, I knew everything there was to know about what was good for me.

But.

And it’s a big but.

I wouldn’t change a thing.

I have an amazing husband. Three fantastic, beautiful children. A career as a stay-at-home-mom – and who knew I would love it so much? I have a life with regrets and accomplishments and friends and scars. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

Because I like who I’ve become. And I wouldn’t be me without all my experiences.

So, if I could have ten do-overs? I wouldn’t do it.

Nope.

Because then, I wouldn’t be here.

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26 Comments

Filed under Lessons Learned

Take The Time To See The Magic Around Us

This is such an interesting experiment.

And a huge reminder for all of us to slow down.

Breathe.

Enjoy. And see the magic.

There IS magic all around us if we would only take the time to look.

!!!

For more !!! visit Momalom or Bad Mommy Moments.

20 Comments

Filed under Completely Random, Lessons Learned, Observations, The !!!

Home. Where Is That Exactly?

I moved to the south 25 years ago. In that time, my blood has thinned, I say “y’all” easily, and sweet tea is my medicine. I crave the heat and humidity. When it starts getting cold (below 70 degrees) I want to hibernate. I discovered a love for the blues, salt water air, shrimp and grits. The slower pace doesn’t bother me in the slightest. 

My husband, who has lived here about 13 years, still thinks of the northeast as “home.” When he criticizes the south, when he gets hung up on stereotypes and generalities, I get defensive. When “The Book” (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) was released, I became fiercely protective of my beloved Savannah. Facebook has reconnected me with former high school  classmates who now live all over. When they find out I’m living in the South they’ll occasionally make  a crack about us crackers.

I am not amused.

When life throws lemons your way, most of us want to run home. But where is that exactly?

As many of you know, the place where I was born doesn’t create an image of comfort for me. I have fond memories of my childhood home, sure. But it isn’t the place I run to. And because I don’t have parental figures who offer a soft place to land, I have no one to run to, either.

It’s been a sad, sad past few days. My sister’s husband suffered much through the course of his illness. His death was scary, uncomfortable and violent. He was very aware in his last moments and my sister witnessed his tragic end. She is “home” and I am here. I can’t hug her. I can only talk to her over the phone. And while I want to be there for her, I dread going back there.

There is not where I find comfort.

I find comfort here, in Georgia, with our crazy sayings, odd fashion sense, yummy collards and cornbread. I much prefer the sweet southern comments by strangers, that a Yankee might perceive as less than genuine. But I don’t care. There is a friendliness here that I don’t find many other places. Fake or not, this little glass-half-full-gal prefers the smiles, friendly questions and terms of endearment at the grocery store.

Where is home?

Home is where your heart is.

As trite as that sounds, I am home.

My heart is here. With my amazing, loving husband – who sometimes makes me want to tear my hair out. My beautiful three children – who give me a taste of crazy every single day. In a great dream house. In a neighborhood with neighbors who are nice and neighbors who are not so nice. My heart embraces the steamy, hot summers and the snail’s pace. I am fascinated by the number of southern dialects and quaint phrases.

I will visit “home” in a few weeks for my brother-in-law’s memorial service. But where am I complete? Where do I feel most comfortable and wanted? Where is the familiar and the deep-rooted sentiment and love?

Here.

(Thank you, dear sweet readers, for your words of comfort and peace and understanding. Your thoughts mean more to me than you will ever know.)

24 Comments

Filed under All In A Day's Work, Music, Observations

Elevatin’ To Another Level – Not Higher, Just Different

I always wanted to be the party girl.

No. Scratch that.

I always wanted to be included.

But I wasn’t.

In high school, the guy I had a major crush on, and who I thought had a major crush on me, went to see Rush perform at the local university without me. I was disappointed and I asked him about it. He said, “I didn’t think you were the type.”

What type is that? Sure, I didn’t smoke pot. Yes, I was the one nursing a beer all night long, pouring sips down the sink when no one was looking so it would look like I was finishing my drink at an appropriate pace. I suppose he and his friends didn’t want me tagging along, judging their smoking and drinking and having a good time. But I didn’t judge. Not really. It just wasn’t for me. I still enjoyed their company. I still wanted to be included. And while we did a lot of things together, I still didn’t feel like I belonged.

That group I so desperately wanted to feel a part of was brilliant. I mean it. All were in Advanced Placement classes. One (my crush) went to MIT on full scholarship (but then got kicked out for dealing drugs.) One went to Berklee and his girlfriend went to Juilliard (she dropped out to become a psychologist.)  Another was in med school when he died of a brain aneurysm. His dad was a surgeon who demanded an explanation and rumor has it, a full autopsy revealed that it was from prior drug use. How they determined this, I don’t know – it is rumor, after all. Maybe it was to scare us straight. Maybe the family wanted to cling to something because Tony had been clean for years.

They were bright. They were funny. They were wild.

And I wasn’t.

Enter college, and I was married by the time I was 21. Still finishing college. But now I was an old married lady. Fellow students wanted to go out and celebrate after a big test but I had a husband to get home to. Pull an all-nighter with a co-ed study group? Too awkward with my husband at home who had work in the morning. With all the detours in my life – changing majors, schools, getting married – it took a little longer for me to finish college. My peers were only a little younger than me but they looked up to me, like some wise sage. Oh, the difference a few years makes when you’re young.

They were bright. They were fun. They were free.

And I wasn’t.

I had my first child when I was 29. Two more when I turned 40. That ten-year span puts me at odds again. The parents of my daughter’s friends are exploring new hobbies, going on more vacations, spending more time out with friends, experiencing freedom again. But we still have two small boys at home. Having a blast with them (with less energy than their friend’s parents) we’re a little more tied to the home front, still acutely aware of how much raising children costs, getting to bed early even on the weekends. The parents of our boys’ friends are the ages of my former high school students. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – but there is something to be said for those 10 years of life experiences.

They’re still interesting. They share in parenting joys and frustrations. But every once in a while, a comment will reveal that they’re still green.

And I’m not.

The paths I have chosen have always kept me out of the loop. I’ve never quite felt as if I belonged anywhere, really. And those choices have kept me from being included in things. Parties. Concerts. Study sessions. Play groups.

The odd one out.

Most of the time, I’m OK with that. Most of the time.

But some days, it’s lonely.

I’d like to think that, all my life, I’ve just been on a different plane, a different level.

Not higher, just different.

And some days, it sure would be nice to be dancing with everyone else – at the same concert, at the same party, on the same level.

28 Comments

Filed under Music, Ponderings

A Must See !!!

I know time is precious. But take the four minutes to watch this video. You WILL see your life differently after this.

Here’s to all the precious !!! in YOUR life.

Today and every day.

For more !!! visit Momalom or Bad Mommy Moments.

9 Comments

Filed under The !!!

Leave Worries Behind And Dream. Just A Little.

My dad was a bit of a hippie. I have a picture of him in a turtle neck, bell bottoms and a peace sign on a chain around his neck. It wasn’t a Halloween costume. That was his weekend best.

During the week he wore a suit and tie.

Two different wardrobes but always the same music.

He loved music. 50’s Do0-wop. Gospel. Motown. And folk music. Lots and lots of folk music. I grew up on Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary, The Kingston Trio and Simon & Garfunkel. I learned to sing to all of them. But I especially loved to sing along to The Mamas and the Papas.

It always surprises me when I am reminded of how short their career was.

Four years. Five albums. And 11 Top 40 hits.

That’s it. That’s all. But their influence on generations is wide. And their songs are still loved today.

I’ve been reflective of late: considering my anniversary in Blog World, evaluating the impact I’m making in my community, wondering and striving to be a good example to my children. I look at your blogs. I can pick out who is in it for the long haul. Who is in it to be the next Dooce. Who just wants to have a creative outlet in a crazy life.

“Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper “I love you”
Birds singing in the sycamore tree
Dream a little dream of me”

I hope I have staying power. I hope I last longer than 4 years and a few hit posts. I hope the impression I make on this earth is a positive one. And the footprint I leave behind is filled with love, joy and compassion. I pray that my life with my children is long, long, long and that I give them oodles of shining examples to live their lives by.

And if not?

“Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me”

16 Comments

Filed under Music

Al and Tipper? Old News. Apparently, RAOK Is All The Rage.

The first time I was ever featured on WordPress’s Freshly Pressed page I had written a post, two months ago, on the fly, about the Tipper and Al divorce. Just a quick little observation about my impressions of marriage, divorce and media attention. Hits to my blog sky-rocketed. And a whopping 61 comments. 61! I had never generated so much buzz.

Then, I go away for the weekend. Not wanting to let my blog sit dormant, I re-printed a post from December. Just a sweet, little post about my commitment (or lack thereof) to Random Acts of Kindness. Freshly Pressed picked me up again as a featured blog post.

The attention has been astounding.

Simply.

Astounding.

And by astounding, I mean mind-boggling.

I’m standing here speechless. No, make that flummoxed.

The hits? Off the charts doesn’t even begin to describe. And the comments? 209 at last count. And that doesn’t even include all the spam or comments I deleted. (But will make for excellent post material at a later date. Stay tuned!)

A little post about how I tried to make someone’s day with an unexpected surprise. And how I felt guilty not doing it more. Or giving more in that particular moment.

People crawled out of the woodwork, threw down their lurker status and commented in droves. Or they commented on their own blogs and linked back here. Or they cut and paste my post and used it for their blog. (Which I’m still wrestling with the ethics of that, but again, a topic for another post.)

Or they criticized my actions. (But that, too, will be for another post.)

A simple, $3.18 gesture and I’m sitting high on the shoulders of my fellow bloggers and being paraded around Blog World.

A hero.

And isn’t that a little sad? I’m glad a story about paying it forward garnered more attention than a high-profile divorce, don’t get me wrong. But the shock and awe of how a small act of kindness can make such a difference surprises me.

And makes me pause and think and wonder…what if I were more deliberate in my good deeds? What if I challenged myself  to commit at least one RAOK a day, every day. How hard could it be?

So, forget about the challenge I posed to everyone about committing a random act of kindness over the weekend. I’m upping the ante. This isn’t going to be an “every once in a while thing” for me anymore. I’m going to challenge myself to commit a minimum of one RAOK each week. I will post about my successes and inevitable failures (because, contrary to popular opinion right now, I AM human) on a separate tab section of this blog. (No need to start another blog about this issue. There are plenty out there.)

You can join me. You can read and see what I do. You can be inspired all over again. Or, you can criticize what I deem a RAOK.

I don’t care.

I do know that whatever happens I will be a more fulfilled, positive force in this universe.

And a better example to my children.

And that’s all that matters.

Don’t forget! Write your post about blogging to help me celebrate my one year in Blog World. We’ll all meet back here in 3 days (August 13) to link, learn and maybe have a few laughs!

21 Comments

Filed under Be-Causes, Blogging, RAOK