Chaos creators

Chaos Is My Name

 

Reading my blogging pal’s (Amy) blog post today about cleaning house http://survivingmiddleage.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/cleaning-house-in-all-ways/#comment-2407  triggered the idea for this post…so, thanks Amy!  You know we writers are always looking for something to write about.

There are people in our lives who create chaos…some people who do it wherever they go and others who are more selective, creating chaos in certain situations.  I’ve had people in my life who live for drama, some that I’ve worked with, some that I’ve lived with, some I’m related to, and some that I’ve called friends.  With co-workers, I’m not sure there’s a lot you can do to avoid them short of getting a new job.  What I’ve learned to do is to simply not interact with them in any way other than a professional manner…don’t take breaks with them, don’t socialize with them outside of work, don’t get caught in “water cooler discussions”.  I’ve worked with people who were so negative about everything and everyone, sometimes I didn’t realize the extent until they’d left the company.  So much for my awareness, huh?  Or maybe that’s an indication that my method works…

With friends…that’s where it gets tough.  You’ve often known these people for years, you love them like family.  But they just drag you down with the dramatic tragedy that consumes their lives.  When you talk with them, it’s all about them…all about their money problems, their family problems, their job problems, and so on and so on.  Now I’m not saying that there’s not going to be some ebb and flow in a friendship…there will be times when one friend is more needy than the other.  In those times, the other friend provides support, understanding, compassion, and sometimes help such as money or groceries or a car ride to the doctor.  That’s what friendship is.  But when one friend is constantly the taker to the point of not having a clue about what’s going on in the other friend’s life…well, that’s when it might be time to rethink the friendship.  You have to decide if you can continue in a friendship that is decidedly one sided…if you can, good for you.  If not, well…then you need to figure out what to do to make the situation work for you.

Ahh….and then there’s family.  Family…the people who are supposed to love you no matter what.  And the people who know, better than anyone else in the world, how to push your buttons.  Sad to say, but in dealing with some members of my family, I’ve learned that the best thing to do is never have a conversation about hot-button topics (you know the ones…religion, politics, social issues, money). I simply won’t do it.  I’ll walk away before I do it.  Does that make me a coward?  Or does it make me a person who doesn’t want to engage in heated discussions with people I love?  Why go looking for an argument?  Of course, that’s exactly what a chaos creator does…they want to start an argument, they want to score points, they want to tell you what’s wrong in how you’re living your life.

So, if you have someone in your life who causes your blood pressure to rise every time you’re around them, every time you talk to them, every time you read their Facebook posts…well, maybe it’s time to seek a little peace in your life…or not…it’s up to you.  As for me, I’m at a place in my life where I like peace over chaos…well, except for the times I’m the instigator…uh oh…maybe I have a little chaos creativity in me as well…

Teaching children

English: Children of migrant cotton field work...

English: Children of migrant cotton field workers from Sweetwater, Oklahoma. Eight children in the family. Note the housing. Near Casa Grande project, Pinal County, Arizona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, another Sunday come and gone.  It wasn’t like those Sundays in the past, when Joe was still around.  But it was a good day in its own way.  Esther took the children out in the woods where they gathered a basketful of poke weed, pulled some wild onions, and found a good berry patch where lots of the berries were bigger than Esther’s thumb, big and juicy, just right for eatin’ fresh with enough to make a nice cobbler too.  The kids sure did enjoy that.

She showed ‘em the elderberry bushes, not quite ripe yet, but loaded with flowers that would soon become berries.  They’d have to fight the birds for ‘em, but it’d be worth it.  Looks like they’ll be able to get plenty for jelly later on.  They also walked under several persimmon trees.  The tiny fruit on those trees wouldn’t be ripe until fall, but it sure did look like there would be lots of it.  They all had a good laugh when Joey told the younger kids about him eating a green persimmon one time…wooeee, if that don’t make you pucker, nothin’ will.

While they were out in the woods, Esther smelled an old ripe cucumber smell.  She knew what that meant and knew it was up to her to teach her kids what it meant too.  She told ‘em all to stand still, right where they were at.  Then she asked ‘em if they could smell it.  When they all figured they could, she told ‘em what that meant out there in the middle of the woods.  Nothin’ to be too scared of, no need to take off runnin’, just be sure to notice it and keep still.  When ya smell that old cucumber smell out in the woods or fields, it means there’s a copperhead around abouts somewhere.  Usually a copperhead will be more scared of you than you are of him.  Just stay still and give him time to get away from ya and you’ll be okay.

Later that evening, after the kids were in bed, Esther was sitting at the kitchen table remembering the day.  She was thinkin’ about how the children all paid attention to what she’d told ‘em and that now they all knew what to do when a copperhead was around.  Yep, Joe, trying my best to teach our kids what they need to know to get along in this old world.  Sure do wish you was here with me.  Every kid needs a daddy, that’s for sure.  But I’ll do the best I can to be momma and daddy both to these kids.  I sure do miss you, Joe.  Miss sittin’ here talkin’ about the day after all the work is done and the kids are down for the night.  Miss yer quiet laugh when one of the children did somethin’ funny.  Miss sharin’ the work with ya, and the good times too.  Oh Joe, why?  Why’d ya have to go and die on me?  Sometimes I just don’t know if I can do this without ya, but…I know I have to…if you can hear me, Joe, just know I still love ya, we all do.  And I’m doin’ the best I can.

Esther leaned over the table and blew out the candle.  Wiping a tear from her cheek, she slowly made her way to her empty bed.

Hmm…Ashton Kutcher? To each her own, I guess

Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher (Photo credit: jdlasica)

Have you ever wondered how some of the male celebrities get their “hotness” ratings?  I know we all find different looks and attitudes appealing and there’s nothing wrong with that…But sometimes I find myself shaking my head in wonder when I hear grown women (I’m not talking about the little tweens who swoon over Justin Bieber…not crazy about him myself, but there you go) going all gaga over some guys.

I mean, Ashton Kutcher…really?  I just don’t see it.  He’s all right, I suppose, but as a 50+ year-old woman, I’m over the parties in Rio and the late nights at the clubs. I like to sit on the deck with the family and some friends, the grill doing its job, some music playing…and somehow I don’t see Ashton fitting in with that scene…

Tim McGraw, on the other hand, come on over…bring Faith and the kids…we’ll have a good ole time…

Hiding in the dark

Monday morning 102/365

Monday morning 102/365 (Photo credit: Blue Square Thing)

The mommy and daddy monsters left Sean alone in the dark, battered and bruised.  He heard the click of the lock on the bedroom door, then their footsteps walking toward the kitchen.  He didn’t know how long he stayed on the bed, his hands still gripped around the rails on the head-board.  He wanted to curl up in a ball and drift into the dark place.  The place no one could ever follow him.  No one could yell at him or hurt him.  The place where little boys didn’t live with mommy and daddy monsters, or get locked in their rooms, bleeding and hungry and hurting.

Finally braving the pain that wracked his little body, the boy began slowly moving, trying to make the hurt go away.  He lay there in the dark, staring at nothing, holding and rocking himself, refusing to allow the tears to fall.  He asked himself why he was always such a bad boy, why couldn’t he be a good boy?  If only he could be good, then maybe his mommy and daddy wouldn’t have to be monsters.  Maybe they could love him.  He told himself he would be a better boy.  No matter how hungry he gets, he won’t ever take food again.  He will be so good that they will smile at him and hug him and read him bedtime stories like the nice people do when he gets to stay with them sometimes.  Maybe, if he can be good enough, his mommy will let him help her bake cookies like the nice lady did that one time.  And maybe his daddy will let him sit on his lap and they’ll watch cartoons on tv and laugh at the funny ones.  If only he could be good enough for those things to happen…

As the little boy’s eyes began to close, he began rubbing the satin border on the blanket between his fingers and thumb, the thumb finding its way into his mouth.  Sometimes, when you’re only three, you find what comfort you can, especially when you live with mommy and daddy monsters.

Mom’s day

jkklglh

jkklglh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there!!  I hope it was a day filled with family and friends…the kids cooking for you (or at least you not having to cook for everyone)…A day free from chores (do we ever really have one of those?), with some time to relax and enjoy what you’ve accomplished with your family.

A mom is one of the greatest gifts a kid ever receives.  If your kids are still little, they may not realize that yet, but hold on…they will.  Just know that everything you do for them makes a difference…you’re raising responsible, caring individuals…is there anything more important than that? And if your kids are grown…ahh…know that you did your best, the rest is up to them.

Really, taking only one day a year to celebrate motherhood isn’t nearly enough…but moms understand…they love us all anyway, and don’t really expect a lot in return.  This is my simple way of saying thanks to all the moms out there and especially my mom…miss you every day, Mom!

The things kids say…

English: The kids in their mother store in Zan...

Image via Wikipedia

I had another fun-filled day at work today…crazy busy…trying to get a lot done and only succeeding in halfway finishing anything.  I did have an experience that had me chuckling the rest of the day though.

While on register, a little boy (I found out he was 6) came up and started talking to me.  Out of the blue, he swept his arm around and said, “These are all my brothers and sisters.  We all have the same mom, but have lots of different dads.”  What do you say to that?  Then he proceeded to tell me which of his brothers and sisters have the same dad.  Honestly, I had no idea what to say so I just told him that it sounds like they all have a lot of fun together.

Then he was telling me about some craft project he’d done…”When I did it before, I messed up.  So I’m going to do it again.  Last year I was only 5.  Now that I’m 6 I can do it better.”  I told him there were all kinds of things he could do better now that he’s 6.  I think I’ve made a new little friend.

His poor mother…she told me he was a talker…I think I believe it!

  • Kids (isingalto.wordpress.com)

The best part of my life

After yesterday’s blog, reminding myself that I still need to get flowers to take to the cemetery for Mom, I remembered a conversation that I had with my mother when I was in my late teens.  My mom was a single mother raising three kids on her own (no child support), so she never had much money.  Definitely never enough money to buy anything special for herself.  Usually only enough to buy the things we needed, very rarely any extras.

In my late teens, like most teenagers, I thought I knew everything, had all of the answers (in reality, I didn’t even know what the questions were, much less the answers to those questions).  I told my mom her life would have been so much better had she not had us.  That she could have lived anywhere she wanted, could buy things for herself instead of spending every penny on us.

She just shook her head, looked at me, and said, “Don’t you know, you kids are the best part of my life?”

I didn’t really understand her comment at the time, but I’m very thankful that I am able to understand it now.  How blessed I was to have my mom for the years I had her.  Merry Christmas, Mom.

On the downhill side…

Okay, before some of you young whippersnappers get the wrong idea, I’m not talking about the downhill side of life…I’m talking about the downhill side of the Christmas season as it pertains to the world of retail.  Once we make it through the Thanksgiving weekend it’s all about customer service and keeping the merchandise downstocked (you know, so people can buy it?). 

Finally the Thanksgiving weekend is over.  I know a lot of you were able to spend the weekend with family and friends.  There wasn’t much of that for me this year, just a lot of working…long hours…long, exhausting hours.  But we’re getting there, the end is in sight, the six day work weeks will end (eventually…not as soon as I thought they would, but still…), and I’m looking forward to a long winter’s nap…or at least an afternoon’s nap.

And I think there’s snow in the forecast for Tuesday…seems about right, it is almost December, isn’t it?

Why do I have self esteem issues?

Abandonment

Image by Shooting Paradise via Flickr

After thinking about how I sometimes get down on myself, think and speak negatively to myself, it occurred to me that I still have some self-esteem issues to work on.  Probably most people have some issues with self-esteem at various times in their lives.  I know I’m better in that regard than I was in the past, but sometimes that little voice is still there whispering in my ear, “You’re not as good as____”, “You’ll never accomplish____”, or whatever else that the little devil on my shoulder decides to say to me.

What causes this?   For me, I think it goes back to my father not being there for me.  He wasn’t there for me in any way that mattered.  He wasn’t there physically and he wasn’t there for me emotionally.  The few times I did see him after the divorce, he never failed to comment on my weight.  And his comments were always negative, of course.  I eventually came to the conclusion (as only kids can do) that he wasn’t there for me because I was fat.  That makes me sad for the little girl that I was.  No kid should have to feel like that, ever.

I allowed that to affect me for way too many years.  After I finally realized that I didn’t cause him to behave the way he did, it was a long time before that really sunk in,  a long time before I finally accepted that he didn’t treat me the way I deserved to be treated.  He didn’t love me unconditionally.  Unconditional love is something that every child should be able to expect from their parents.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of parents who are incapable of providing it.  And the children suffer because of the inadequacies of their parents.  Sad, but true.

Now that I’m in a place where I understand all of that, I guess the next step is giving myself that unconditional love.  I’m working on it, but it’s not something that comes easily.  Ahh…it’s so true that the things that matter most in life are often the things we must work the hardest to achieve. 

Men are better planners and organizers

You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into

Image via Wikipedia

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this post by one of my friends (guy) on Facebook the other day.  Of course, he said he wasn’t trying to offend anyone…why is it, when someone says that, you know you’re about to be offended?  I didn’t respond.  Really, what’s the point?  Nothing I say is going to change his mind.   People believe what they want to believe and there’s not a lot you can do to change their beliefs.  All you end up doing, when you argue about something like that, is end up getting angry, saying some things that you can’t take back, and raising your blood pressure.  Just let it go.

I try not to make sweeping statements about any group of people.  There is no “all _____ are…”  or “no ___can ever…” or “never…” or “always…”  People are  different, with different abilities and talents, different dreams and desires, different interests, and different life situations.  That doesn’t mean that the Wall Street big wig is better than the guy flipping burgers at McDonald’s.  It simply means they are in different places in life.

I’m finally in a place in my life where I no longer compare myself to others.  I’m where I am because of choices I made, some good and some bad, but all mine.  That doesn’t make my life less (or more) important than the CEO of the company where I work. 

 How did we ever get to a place where we allow our work to define us as human beings?  What happened to being a good person?  What happened to developing good character?  What happened to making the world a better place for ourselves and our children?

I’m not particularly concerned with how most people see me, with whether or not they think I’m a success.  There are a few people in my life that I love with all my heart.  How I treat those people is my measure of success. 

Men are better planners and organizers?  My response to that… is that why the world is in such great shape now?  You have to wonder…

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