Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Do Not Grow Weary in Well-Doing

I was a bit discouraged earlier. I started my day as usual working on my Myspace campaign, doing the obligatory thank yous- because really no one has to add, so why not be courteous about it. During the course of this action, I ran across a quote that I really like: -------------"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?... Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do... It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we subconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." (Marianne Williamson, author, from A Return To Love, 1992.) I like it, because it rings so true to me. I have always known that I was meant to do great things, but I would shrink back for the sake of others. I have to stop doing that because if you do it too long you begin to believe that you are just meant to be right where you are, and you start saying things like "It is what it is" - I say that way too much.

Thing is, my little project (Myspace) has not been moving along at the pace I would like for it to. And now I have been commissioned with another assignment- to work on a Life Plan. Which really is great, because we could all use a little direction when figuring out where to go in life. My problem here, well it asks me to list my strengths, and I honestly couldn't think of one. That statement is contradiction though. I could think of plenty, but then when I started to measure myself against someone else, I didn't feel as strongly about it being a strength as I had previously. So there I go shrinking back and measuring myself against someone else. Not a good idea, because then you begin to overlook the things that are uniquely you, that no one else can lend to the world around and your light starts to fade. You become dull and lackluster, because you made a person in this world your measuring stick.

Dylan Thomas wrote "Do not go gentle into that good night..." I say the same, Do not go gentle into that good night, shine your light as brightly as you can, work as diligently as possible and conquer all your obstacles because you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and only death can stop you from achieving what you have truly set your heart to do..

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Successfully Me!

This topic has been on my mind, for quite some time now, and I finally feel it is the appropriate time to talk about it. Success is NOT overrated, just the opposite, it is underrated, undervalued and wholly misunderstood.

In high school, I was voted most likely to succeed, and the picture with the superlative, showed my male counterpart and myself holding up a great deal of money. True be told a great deal of people confuse the accumulation of wealth with success, they think the two are synonymous and they are not. Moreover, over the course of the last few months my definition of “success” has come to exclude money. Don’t get me wrong, of course I would like more wealth, and I am working a plan to attain it, but money will not define my success, nor will it define my happiness, which I believe is directly related to success.

You see, I had so many expectations for myself, that weren’t really my own. Ideas of what I thought success was and what it would take to achieve it, however, I was young and wrong, as are most teenagers. Now I know that success is what I define it as. It is reaching my goals and making my dreams come true and doing what feels right to me without regard for how others may view my decisions.

I have tied my success to the achievement of goals that I have set for myself, not by the attainment of the spoils that derive from that achievement. A great deal of my time lately has been devoted to getting my jewelry business up and running. When I have achieved X, Y and Z related to that I will be crazy happy, I will be successful. Every time I accomplish a goal I make myself happy, and a happy life to me, is a successful life. I have an acquaintance that said, “Life…is only as hard as you make it.” So set some goals and make it as easy as you want to be successful.

In my past I saw myself being unmarried, no kids, “successful” attorney, living in the city. Well that was somebody else’s dream, because the life I am living now makes me happier than I could ever imagine, and yes, it may have been a great life for some, but I would have been miserable, running from relationships with people and hiding behind my work. (Don’t get offended these words are true for me.) See I also believe that connecting with people and touching their lives also makes one successful.

Wrapping it up: I have defined success for myself as, ‘the achievement of the goals I have set for myself, with little or no regard for anyone else’s definition of the word’. I can’t live my life based on what someone else thinks I ought to be doing so I can be “successful”. I am happy. My past dreams are just that PAST. They may resurface someday, but they are not on the paper that hangs on my wall reminding me of what is important to me right now. When we make goals, sure there will be misses, but you can’t focus on what’s not done. Give yourself a pat on the back for finishing the first part and start working on a plan to finish the rest.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ding! Dong! Ding! Dong!

Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say throw cares away, Christmas is here, bringing good cheer to young and old meek and the bold. Ding! Dong! Ding! Dong! Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas.

NO, Christmas is not here yet, for that matter neither is Thanksgiving, but I have that holiday itch; and I am so ready for it to be here that I have envisioned where I will put my tree already and I know what color paper I am going to wrap all my gifts in this year. Yet Thanksgiving is two days away and I have 10 guests coming to my home, and I have yet to prepare.

I am in a place where I can see the forest (the Christmas season), but not the trees. I like looking at the forest; it is beautiful, shining, pristine, full of life, color and love. The tree (Thanksgiving) before me is drab and discolored and full of despair.

Thanksgiving was never really my favorite holiday and at some point in life it became my least favorite, one I actually dreaded. My mother usually had to work, so I was home with my step-dad, who generally slept the day away. That was no fun for me, or any reason to revel in traditions of what I'm thankful for. I was young then. Now I am older wiser and have children of my own. So I do not want to spend this Thanksgiving looking at the forest and missing the tree right in front of me.

This year, I will have a home full of people who love me, and whom I love as well. My husband, my children and my mother will be with my sisters, as well as an aunt, a new uncle, several cousins, my mother-in-law, some friends and me. I am thankful for each of these people, and I love them dearly; but I would have missed the joy of their company for planning the next big holiday.

My tree this year is beautifully colored with the fall foliage of an Indian summer with hues of love and joy and peace bursting forth. I can see it right before my eyes as if it were the only thing, because I have made it a priority to enjoy today right now, and let tomorrows joy come when it should.

Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Myspace Chronicles ED.1

Oh my goodness, its not like it thought...well it is, I'm just not using that part

Yes everyone, I have stepped out into the world of Myspace and I like it. Matter of fact, I love it. I have found so many old friends, people I honestly didn't think I would see again, because we have all moved on in life, from the time and place in which we me. But here I am sharing pictures of my kids and talking about my business to friends from high school and college. I'm even trying to go as far back as middle school, however for some reason I can't find anyone of them. Granted that was over 15 years ago so that endeavor may be something of a long shot; but I'm willing to take it.

I was initially very hesistant about going on Myspace because of all the negative I heard about it, and I was not trying to have anymore of that in my life, than already existed. However one day I was watching a jewelry making video online, and I realized it was on Myspace. Wow! legitimate, professional, non-musicians use Myspace for networking purposes. So of course I signed up. It only took a few minutes to do my profile, and my page was up and running.
At the time I registered, I only knew for sure of one person that I actually knew that had a Myspace account. Well I went to her page and there was another person I knew, and so forth and so on. And their pages were so ornate; and of course I didn't want my page to be the average, cookie cutter, straight out the box, facsimile page, so I did a little research and I changed my layout. It's not as flashy as some, but it suits my purposes just fine. I don't really need too much going on, as it can distract from what I am actually trying to promote, that being my jewelry.

At any rate, I am really enjoying what the site is doing and how it is benefitting me. I am adding more friends everyday, and the more people that see my jewelry, the faster my business will grow.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

New Format

It’s been a while, I know, and there is no good reason, besides the sad excuse, that I just haven’t made the time. I’ve been working on other projects and haven’t given this one the attention or time it deserves. Well there is about to be a change. Starting this week there is a new format for my blogs. Life As I Know It, will be updated on Tuesdays, Jewelry Lady will be updated on Thursdays, and My Myspace blog will be updated on Wednesdays. Each post will be written like a timed essay. I have ten minutes to complete each article- compose, edit and publish.

This new format will allow me to actually get some writing done. There are tons of topics I would like to write about but between the kids, the husband and the jewelry I can hardly find time for sleep, let alone a blog or three. So a bit of structure is necessary in order to pull it all off.

Topics in the pipeline include an editorial on “The Mommy Wars”, Couch Time, Divorce/Separation, and a whole host of other things I can’t remember, (because they aren’t written down in front of me :)).

Well here is to more posts in a timely and routine fashion, and to me finding a way to accomplish yet another of my goals.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The House...: August 2006

The House...: August 2006

This is my old friend Lou's blog. I think its cool, and I'm a little ashamed, because he is such a good documentor. When our house was being built I said I was going to document it, but I took maybe ten pictures. Ridiculous.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

For oh maybe the last two months or so, I've been somewhat obsessed with losing my latest round of post-baby weight. Well of course my doctor has told me to take it easy, and everyone around me keeps saying I look great for having had a baby just a few months ago; so basically its vanity. There is this pair of jeans...they are waiting for me to wear them again, (which would actually require losing a lot more than this last baby's weight).
My husband who loves me very much keeps telling me I am beautiful and he loves my body the way it is. Well I don't! I'd like a little more muscle, where my behind and thighs are now building their very own compound. So in order to stop the further encroachment of cellulite upon my nether regions I dedicided I would start excercising. Well not quite, the thought of excercise makes me want to do something else. So I decided to do something fun that would also give me some type of aerobic benefit. Thus the idea to ROLLERBLADE! (Yes laugh hysterically if you want, I deserve it.)
Okay it sounds like a good idea when I first think of it. Time goes by and I don't do it, I don't do anything. But this morning I get up, (I make the decision to "really" do it). I say to my father-in-law "I'm going skating, I'll be back in a bit". First of all, it's 6:30 in the morning (so no one will see me). But except my neighbors are out, aaaggghhh!!!, they see me, we joke about the skates, hahaha jokes on me. I was also thinking fewer cars on the street so early in the morning so this should be safer, because I don't have to navigate the traffic. Well since my neighbors are out, I change my plans (bad idea). I was going to go out my driveway and to the right and Up the Big Hill, then come around the block and down the little hill. (Just FYI, if you haven't skated in 10 years, there is no such thing as a little hill.) Since I have deviated from the master plan, I now go left, around the corner, up the little hill , around the other corner, (where I run into another neighbor - this one taking out his trash), and down the Big Freaking Hill. Oh my goodness that Hill is HUGE!
I feel like I am going down a 95 degree angle at 100 miles per hour. I can hear the wind whistling in my ears, and the sound of my wheels against the asphalt as I careen down the hill to my imminent doom. All I can think is "I don't want to mess the face, must fall on my behind". So I decide to fall to stop myself.
No that was NOT SMART. It was really stupid, especially when you know the fact that I was not wearing any, none, zip, nada, zilch, capute, zero safety gear. Yup stupid, I know. To quote my husband "that wasn't your brightest idea". No *bleep* Sherlock, love you too.
Mind you, I would never send out one of the girls without first making sure they had been covered from head to toe in Kevlar, but I go out with NOTHING. It's like having sex without a condom, and you're not on the pill -You're gonna get pregnant. The Five Year Old wears a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards and I think somthing on her ankles. But me, NOTHING, and of course I pay the price, because as we all know, it only takes ONE time.
So now I have fallen, actually, I slid down the street. I sit up; my head doesn't hurt, that's good. My shoulder is a bit sore, but after a minute I can move it with no problem. My butt hurts, but well I guess it should since I made it take the brunt of my painful blow. However what I didn't expect...aha!...to see "the whitemeat" Immediately an episode of Bernie Mac came to mind. In this particular episode he was talking to some ladies about "beating the kids until the whitemeat show". Well I was seeing my own whitemeat - ouch! And guess where, on my stinking elbow, a place that could easily, and should have been protected. But no, no, I had to live by the stupid "Do As I Say, Not As I Do" rule.
Needless to say, I walked on the grass the rest of the way home. I showered when I got there, BTW that really hurt. Later on The Five Year Old saw my bandage and asked what happened. I was honest and told her my tale. Her response "Oh, I would never go out without my protection, you should have used some."
Yes Mother.
But no need to worry; I won't be doing that again. I would rather run suicides in 90 degree heat.

Monday, July 31, 2006

I'm still Not writing things down

Occasionally, I forget things. You know, like my train of thought, or what I decided to cook for dinner, or what the next thing I was supposed to be doing, and sometimes, like now, what I am supposed to be writing about. See I have a wonderful lists of topics that I would like to write on, [because I can't just sit down and write when I want to], because someone (the kids or my husband, or my mom) always needs me to do something or play something, fix a tent or have a picnic, pay a bill, pick up some drycleaning, something. Well I am always forgetting something unless I write it all down. And today has not been a good day for writing things down.

First of all I woke up late, which meant everybody got up late. It was a bit after 8 o'clock, and The Three Year Old is supposed to be at preschool (which is at a friends house)at 9 am. Well we were late, which meant we were not exactly on time for The Five Year Olds dentist appointment, which was at 10:00 (we were only 2 minutes late, and they give a fifteen minute grace). Thank God for grace. Well, we were there longer than I would have liked, and got news I really didn't want to hear. (Point of note: this is a pediatric dentist, who was referred by our family dentist where she usually goes)
Okay..The child has five- count them, 1,2,3,4,5 cavities. Now I knew she had one (1)that definitely needed a filling. Then there were two (2) that the [family] dentist wanted to watch. Alright 1+2=3, not at the pediatric dentist, remember he said she has five (5). So there are a couple of issues, someone's x-ray machine is on the blink or, our insurance (thank goodness we have it) is paying someone too much to not be doing a better job. Well I'm going with the latter and switching the kids dentist.

At any rate, it took so long at the dentist, (because we had to go over the procedural options, and I had to ask a thousand questions), we were late to pick up The Three Year Old. Well that sucked. Finally we arrive home and, (no one fell asleep in the car), before I can put the bags, my keys or the baby down; The Five Year Old states again that she is hungry. And if I hadn't mentioned it before, (because I forgot the write it down), she had been doing this the whole while at the dentist office. Granted she'd only had cereal before we left the house, and it had been a while since she'd last eaten; (because I hadn't anticipated being at the dentist forever), I didn't pack a snack. I wouldn't have done it regardless. I know it's a dentists job to look in peoples mouths, but I'm sure they don't want to see your food while they are. Snacks are definitely out of the bag on dentist day.

Finally my hands are empty and everyone has the snack of their choice. The baby is quiet and I say to myself "I can write now". [My husband and I have just about always been psychically linked.] So at approximately the exact same time he calls and asks me to do something. What it is I don't remember now, nor did I recall when he called me about an hour later to see if I had actually carried out said tasks. All because of course "I'm still not writing things down."

Of course the baby is crying now, so I must go and comfort her. However this is the end of this entry because- ding!ding!ding!- (you got it), I lost my train of thought. It actually happened about 5 interruptions ago, but I persevered with the hope that I would eventually get back on [track]. However I have not, so I'll just say goodbye.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

kids say the darndest things part 1

I have taken a new approach to helping my children to learn...leave them alone. Occassionally I have the tendency to making the learning experience more of a chore, so I have starting giving them a task and then going off and doing something of my own until they have had time to accomplish said task. Well its working for all parties involved. The kids seem less stressed about what they are doing and they perform better than when I am peering over their shoulders and correcting every minor imperfection. It may help that I am also praising their work more often now, even when I don't consider it perfect.

Heck they are only five and three if I push to hard now, they may not enjoy it later. My five year old already laments that she does not want to learn to read; even though she already can, she just doesn't know it. Let me explain that a little better. She knows her sight words, and she can read them when they are together, She just doesn't want to. I love to read. Her dad is always reading. We read to them everynight. We go to the library all the time. But she doesn't want to read, what gives? I don't have a clue, but I do know this. She listens.

This summer The Five Year Old's objectives have been to listen, and be patient. We're still working on the latter. Well the other day, the girls were working on their homework when The Three Year Old says "I'm frustrated". (She was supposed to be tracing the letter S). Being the good, relaxed, reassuring mom that I am, I say, "You can do it, just follow the lines", at which point she hangs her head in defeat. Well The Five Year Old steps up and says "I have a surprise for you if you do your work." (Yes bribery is used as a learning aid occassionally). In turn The Three Year Old says "is it chocolate?"
"Is it gum?"
I'm thinking- is this really happening before my very eyes? Yes, yes it was. Well I get up and leave the room to go do something else and when I return the S's are complete. I think "wow!" Then I ask if The Three Year Old did them, and her sister says "No, I did." and skips off.
Well at least the letters got done.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Starting Over

Hello all,

Well, well, well. Have you ever decided you were going to do something and then never quite got around to it. Say for example, starting a blog about a business you are starting to create more buzz about it. Well I have. I created a blog to talk about jewelry when I first decided that I was going to seriously pursue selling my jewelry as a business. I have yet to post one entry on my other blog. Well "la-dee-da" you say.

The impetus for this entry well, I'm back home for one, so my kids are back on schedule and I can work while they are asleep. But the real reason. I joined a group to help support me in my endeavors to actually see my business succeed, and a fellow member sent some links that she thought would be of interest to me. One in particular I checked out thoroughly. I clicked all the links on that particular site to see, who did what, when and how. Well, to my surprise, one of the wonderful write-ups about this young ladies jewelry was on another blog on this site. It just so happens that it was posted the same day that I created my jewelry blog (which I have yet to do anything with). That sounds like Karma kicking.

So now I am starting over. Cleaning the slate and rebuilding, not that there was much to knock down.

Oddly enough, I am starting over at home also. My oldest will be going to Kindergarten, and that is going to be an interesting experience. A new school year always feel s like a fresh start to life, even though school begins in fall, when everything is starting to die. (Not to be morbid.) The whole time I was pregnant and deciding to do the business, it felt like not only was I birthing my child, but this business idea as well. Now I want to give it the best start that I can so that it will be around long term. Just like my daughter going to school I want her to have the best start possible so that she will like school, and do well.

I'm always telling my oldest daughter to be patient, I should have been listening to myself, doing things right the first time so I wouldn't have to start over. But here I am. Not upset or disappointed, just going forward.

I took a break from my online research today to talk to my daughter about my desires for my business and I think she understood. All I want is to be successful, so that I can leave a legacy for them ( my girls). And sometimes to do that you have to step back, reassess and Start Over.

Here's to getting a clearer view of life and starting over.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

What we can learn from Cartoon Parents - Dora's mom

My kids are small, and yes they watch a lot of TV. Maybe more than they should for their age, (yes occasionally my TV is the babysitter, so I can get dinner done, or take a shower, or have a conversation free of interruptions). However I will say that I am discriminating in the shows they do watch. And I don't make my judgments based on magazines and other such things, but according to my own personal taste, and that of the kids, although my vote is the only one that counts. (No one said my house was a democracy).

Recently I have been doing a great deal of thinking about Parental figures in cartoons. (They really are very interesting characters). Then my line of thinking progressed to how cartoons have changed since I was a child. This whole intellectual discourse began with my 2 year old daughters fascination with Dora.

Dora is really a cult phenomena. I don't know what the heck it is, but people of all ages are drawn to her (okay, so I like Doooooooora too.) She has this presence about her, something that so many of us wish we possessed-fearlessness. Dora is one to be looked up to, she is intelligent, courageous, confident, dependable, and so on and so forth. Dora is in short, a role model. (Well I wouldn't mind if my kid was like her.)

You see I want my daughter to be confident, and courageous and dependable, I want her to be a good friend, and to be resourceful. What I do not want however is for her best friend to be a monkey, or for her to go traipsing through the jungle by herself, (even if it is to return her library books). This is where the parenting comes into play. Dora seems to come from a stable two family home, with ties to her extended family (her abuela, cousins (Diego, Alicia and Daisy)), yet she still has a monkey for a best friend, not a pet, but a friend, and he talks (nothing against Boots; besides they fact that he is a talking monkey). She is also friends with Isa the Iguana Benny the bull and Tico the squirrel. Two questions. 1. Why does she not have any human friends?, and 2. Why does her mother let her go off into the jungle with these characters? (Which is really at the heart of her parenting.)

I can't tell you why Dora doesn't have any human friends; (I guess that just isn't the arch the writers were going for). As to the second question; my theory is that Dora's mother is trying to nurture in her daughter a sense of independence and self-confidence that is rarely seen among young girls today. The demeanor that you can do anything, and that you don't have to be afraid of your surroundings, go out and explore and find out what the world is, but be wary of the people that will try to harm you (the Swiper the Foxes of the world). She also wants her to know that it is okay to have friends that aren't the same as you, ( Boots, Benny, Isa and Tico). And to always be prepared for the situations that life may present to you; (that Backpack sure comes in handy).

The problem with Dora's mom is that she lets her do all this stuff. Mind you, Dora is at most six years old, and that is pushing it. Where is the parental supervision? Is this the new school version of sending the kids out to play all day, to keep them from underfoot? I don't know. What I do know is, that if she were in America, they would call it neglect and Dora would be in foster care, and probably not the lovable little girl we see, so full of confidence.

I will not notify the Department of Family and Children Services. The child seems to be well-adjusted, loved and cared for. Although she wears the same clothes everyday (as do quite a few pre-schoolers), she does not appear to have missed any meals and she looks very clean. Besides how can I call the authorities on someone I want to be like.

It wouldn't matter if the authorities were involved anyhow, remember Dora has attributes so few of us equip our real daughters with, (confidence, resourcefulness, and independence.) In any given situation, Dora believes that she can solve a problem, and she never goes to her mother for help, because her mother has given her the gift of thinking for herself and not doing everything for her. She's not afraid of being lost because she has a Map (literally and figuratively) to guide her, and she knows that she will always be able to get home. Dora is trusting, but not gullible, nor is she snide or sarcastic. She is a balanced little girl, thriving in her world.

Her mother is obviously doing something right. I hope I am as well. Maybe I can call and schedule a playdate. :)