Saying Good-bye

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Have you ever had to say good-bye? To someone or somewhere?

Then you know the emotional roller coaster that eventually rolls up to your entry gate.

With four major moves under my belt, I’ve said good-bye to jobs, locales, and people.

I’ve said good-bye to jobs. Having only cried twice over jobs I left. What does that say about the other jobs? Let’s not go there.

I’ve said good-bye to areas of the country. One being my beloved South. That move took me to the prairie lands of Illinois.

When I moved from the foothills of North Carolina to the sandy soil of Eastern North Carolina, it was a bit of a change. It was much more flat and the folks there talk a different kind of Southern. But there’s not much vacant land. There’s a house, a building, or at least, a tree (this is important) to be seen from any vantage point.

But when I moved to the prairie . . . . Wow! Not a tree. Anywhere. In any direction. Nothing but FLAT, albeit fertile, farm land as far as the eye could see. Beautiful to some, but boring to me.

Nonetheless, Illinois is filled with some of the finest friends a girl could ask for.

We took on another state before landing back where the hot, humid, muggy days can almost take your breathe away: the SOUTH!

I’ve said good-bye to people. The upside of moving is that you end having friends all over the world. If you don’t move, then the people you love end up moving.

The downside of moving is that you have to say good-bye.

EXCEPT, I have figured out that it’s best not to say “good-bye.”

You can try the ever popular, “See ‘ya later.” But sometimes that’s just a lie ’cause you know you’re not going to see them later. Or ever again, in some cases.

You can try the delusion, “Let’s plan to get together soon.” But you know in your heart of hearts that getting together will NOT happen. But we say it any way.

So, what’s with all the deception? We just need to face the fact that we don’t like separation from things we love for very long, especially if it’s going to be permanent.

“Good-bye” has a sense of permanence. And the other colloquial phrases seem like cover ups for the real sense of loss that is ebbing in our hearts.

Me? I say, “I’m excited for what lies ahead for you!” 

Looking back at the beautiful place you lived, or the great job you had, or the better-than-you-deserve friends that enriched your life will always make you sad. Don’t do that to yourself. Don’t do that for other people; it only makes their leaving hard.

Looking forward to fresh beginnings and new adventures will always be exciting. Do that for yourself. Do that for the people leaving you . . . even when it hurts inside.

Wasted Whining

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I’d like to whine for just a bit. AND it will probably be wasted. But I’m going for it.

Truth is I’d like to whine about whining.

Please don’t misunderstand where I’m coming from. I’m a mom . . . of three . . . boys. Each boy was “all boy.” Ya’ know what I mean? And I’ve weathered all the stages.

I’ve done what many of you young moms are doing right now. I’ve changed diapers, lots of them. I’ve wiped runny noses, green snotty ones. I’ve been spit on. I’ve sat on the side of the tub waiting for the sound of success. I’ve even had stitches for cuts unintentionally delivered to me by one of the kids. (Hey, it’s a rough world out there in “mommydom.”) I’ve braced against the day of the stubborn will. I’ve happily washed loads of laundry in my own home, and I’ve unhappily washed loads of laundry at the laundry mat. I’ve read between the lines when my beloved child was asking for name brand shoes over the budget friendly countertype. I’ve marked, circled and arrowed a calendar until it looked like a flowchart gone awry. I’ve rearranged my entire week’s activities to transport and show up for any and all sport’s events. I’ve canceled all pending plans in order to sit in an emergency room with a child for no less than 5 hours, on more than one occasion. And I’ve cleaned, dusted, vacuumed, mopped, washed, sanitized, deodorized, purified, and edified a two-story house as part of managing “my estate.”

My mother lived 700 miles away; my mother-in-law, 300 miles. I didn’t have help.

As for my friends? They were doing the same thing I was doing.

The same thing you are doing. So, I get it.

But all of the whining in the world won’t change any of it. This is the world you created. The world you dreamed of. Remember? You just wanted to be married and have children.

Whining about it is the same as saying, “I have this really frustrating issue, and I’m, well, just not going to do anything about it.” What?!  We wear our chaos as a badge of courage.

It is not.

It’s wasted whining.

You see, there are thousands, more like millions, of women who have come before you and me who have done all that you are doing (and more) with far less conveniences than you enjoy. It was a good day if they didn’t have to stop everything just to round up the live stock that had scattered all over the country side because one of the kids left the gate open. And we’re upset because the back door was left open while the air conditioner is running.

I’m not saying our life is easy. Heaven’s no. In the “old days,” their chores took longer, but they didn’t have all the activities that we do. We have unparalleled advances, but we have invented ways to fill all the time we saved. So we do have busy lives.

So there’s only three things to do:

  1. give the kids back to the hospital;
  2. curl up in a fetal position;
  3. find answers – the method, the system, the process, the technique, the equipment, the whatever-in-the-world-you-need and start using it!

The point is, perhaps, that we live in a marvelous time. You can access support by phone or skype. You can take a class from the comfort of your home. You can find the information you need to train your children. Husbands are so much more savvy about household responsibilities and open to helping. We really have no excuse to whine.

No one is going to think less of you for being smart enough to find the answer.

I’m suggesting you take answer #3. I feel sorry for the mom (of even one child) who rolls her eyes, sighs, and whines, “I can’t do this!”

These are some of the best years of your life!

Are you a part of the Age of Misinformation?

Thinking it through

Have you ever searched for the answer to a nagging question? Now, think, searching on the internet. Ah, you think you’ve found just the right article with just the answer you need. Then one of two things happens:

  • You give this ingenious answer a try only to find out that the person who wrote the article knew absolutely nothing about the topic. Whatever you did flopped, or worse yet, it created a different problem because the answer giver didn’t think the whole solution through. Or . . .
  • In reading the article you begin to click on link after link. And an hour or so later, you think, “What happened to the time? How did I get lost in reading article after article?”

Why do we do that?!

Believe me I’ve read my share of articles on the internet, listened to my share of webinars, and clicked through more links than I care to think about.

Technology has brought us the Age of Information, but I prefer to call it the Age of Misinformation.

Why are we so quick to look for answers from people we don’t even know, from people who may or may not know what they are talking about?  That exact mindset is why spam and scams are so prevalent.

We click on a blog and voila! we buy into whatever is being said with little regard for the correctness or the completeness of the information.

I suppose the (mis)information that pushed me over the edge was the marshmallow in the brown sugar hack. Now, maybe the marshmallow does keep the brown sugar from drying out. (I’m simply not going to even try it.) But who wants to buy a bag of marshmallows to have one for the brown sugar? How long will  that marshmallow last? And what if it fails and you don’t realize it, and then your brown sugar drys out anyway?

But even if the marshmallow works, it’s more like a band-aid. Why not just go to the root of the issue of what dries out the brown sugar and correct that? Finding the root problem would mean that someone would actually have to think through the problem to find the correct answer. But instead we spend time and money experimenting with . . .  marshmallows. Really? Someone has time for that?

And don’t even get me started on nutrition information!

If someone from somewhere with somewhat of a knowledge of a topic says it, we do it. I can hear my mother saying, “If Susie jumps off a bridge, are you going to jump off of one too?”

And the information age answer to that question is “Yes,” and off we jump.

Is this a call for abandoning internet information? No. Is this a call to never try other people’s solution to a common problem? No.

It is a call to think on the part of the consumer. And it is a call for integrity to us information sharers.