Monday, August 17, 2009

Principles for Living

I believe a person should follow the "3 R's" at all times:

1 - Responsibility for your self and your actions (it lies only with you - blame will not erase shame)
2 - Respect for others (even if you do not agree with their beliefs, it is OK to disagree in a civil manner)
3 - Respect for self (do not let others define your worth or compromise your self-esteem)

It is all too commom that may people disregard some or all of these principles for living.

As a teacher of mine once had painted on his classroom wall - "Love many, trust few, and always paddle your own canoe." AMEN TO THAT!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I wasn't done yet

My father passed away on December 1st 2009 after a struggle with terminal Lung Cancer. I still can't quite grasp that he is really gone. My Mom has said that they talked about his impending passing and that he was ready to go, they were both glad they had the life that they lived together, and were grateful that us kids were grown when he became ill.

But that doesn't make me ready to have him gone. Don't get me wrong, I do not wish that he lived longer in pain, I just wish he hadn't gotten sick at all, I could have used at least another 10 years. Although, I know I should be grateful for the time I had with my Dad as it is longer than some have had with a parent.

However, I feel as though our relationship was never able to come full circle (or even half circle). There was too little time between me being a rebellious teenager and faltering young adult and his departure for him to really get a chance to know me as a "grown up" and be proud (or at least experience less disapproval). I never got my chance to "prove" myself to him (even though I generally believe in not having to prove myself to anyone). This is one of the things I regret.

The other thing I regret is not being able to utter the words "I love you" until after he took his last breath while my Mother and I were at his bedside. Why couldn't I say it days before? or better yet, why was I never able to say it when he was still aware? I guess the answer is probably in his same omission. I am my Father's daughter and he was never one to express emotion.

These are the things I think about...The things I wish I could change. But as my Dad would probably say, "You can wish in one hand and ________ in the other and see which one fills up first." He loved sayings like that.

The last year of his life went so fast...I kept rehearsing things I should say, closure that I wanted to find, sentiments that should be expressed. I always procrastinated, the lump was too big in my throat and I was too chicken to just say the words. Why? I'm sure if I saw a therapist they would rationalize it for me or associate it with a fear of rejection. I'm not sure what it was.

So, I will live on and hope that I will not leave this world before my children are done with me.

Things that will always remind me of my Dad:

1. Butter finger blizzards
2. Cowboy boots
3. Volkswagen's
4. White v-neck t-shirts
5. Marlboro...unfortunately
6. Pioneer Seed Corn ads
7. Cowboy cut shirts
8. Farmer caps
9. the smell of sawdust
10. Brut
11. Peanut Brittle
12. Tubs of mixed nuts
13. toothpicks
14. Flannel shirts
15. Neck pillows
16. Corn fields
17. Fleet Farm
18. little old cafes
19. Coffee mugs
20. Dodge pickups
21. union suit overalls
22. John Deere
23. Apple turnovers
24. blueberry pie
25. Lobster
26. John Wayne
27. Clint Eastwood
28. "steady by jerks"
29. "finer than a frog hair"
30. and many other things...

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Father, the king of real

This past Friday I spent 2 hours in a room with my 3 siblings, my parent's financial planner, and a lawyer. At my Mother's urging, my Father agreed to start to get their Will and financial matters figured out. My Dad has always seemed to have a general dislike of lawyers so - I figured it was going to be interesting. The lawyer was surprisingly down to earth with a strong northern Minnesota accent. He did not really fit the lawyer stereotype. However, he was very talkative (thank goodness this initial meeting was free of charge or else this would have been concerning). He was more than happy to share stories from his past regarding his family's experience with his grandpa's farm when he passed away. My Dad said very little during the meeting, as usual, he is a man of few words. He did make two striking comments. The first was about 20 minutes into the meeting when he said to the lawyer, "We might as well get something straight right now, I have cancer and I'm gonna die." The lawyer then stopped talking in futuristic terms and started focusing on what needed to be determined in the short term. The second thing my Father said, about an hour and 15 minutes into the meeting was, "There certainly has been a lot of B.S. so far but not a lot has been determined. When it comes down to it, it's going to be how I say." And the lawyer enthusiastically agreed. My Father has never sugar coated anything, he may not say much, but when he does he is VERY straightforward and says it like it is. I have inherited some of this. I talk more than my Dad but I tend to say it like it is, sometimes people don't like it but that's just the way it is. If I don't care for you I am not going to pretend to like you. What you see is what you get.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Secret...

I started reading the book "The Secret" which has been quite a stretch in thinking for me. Since The Secret is that everything is a result of the Law of Attraction and that positive thinking is the key to get what you want, it explains a lot about my lifes events, and it shows that I have a ways to go. I am undecided if I believe in this, but I get the point. It's the difference between the cup being half full and the cup being half empty. I admire people who always have an upbeat lookout on life. Optimisitic people always seem to be very it just a facade though? I used to like to think that they too had issues but just didn't let it show. But what if they really are that happy? What if my daughter's anoyingly upbeat piano teacher really is that happy and her life is that carefree??? On the other side, where does optimism turn into ignorance? If you walk around thinking everything is great, in theory The Secret has you believe that everything will indeed be great, but how does one make sure that things are not really spiraling out of control and that they are just refusing to see that things really aren't going as well as they believe? And how does one live their life by The Secret if thier spouse, with whom they share so much of their lives and responsibilites with, does not? These are things that I question and why it will be a stretch for me to live the life by The Secret. Real life can be hard, there are challenges, death, illness, etc....I'm not saying that you need to wallow in it but shouldn't we embrace and accept that?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Doing it all

This past weekend I came very close to ending up in a padded room somewhere. There are times when I have gone for weeks or months juggling all of the things that are required to keep a home and a family and then something gets dropped, a bill is missed, the dog gets sick, my husband buys a Harley, I forget someones birthday, etc. and I come unglued...this weekend was one of those times. I am the one that does the laundry, cleaning, paying bills, bathing children, school and childcare arranging, planning birthday parties, grocery shopping, I even mow my fair share of the name it I do more than my share...all while working full-time. I know I am not alone....we asked for equal rights and we got 'em, and then some. What a cruel trick. Women just wanted the freedom to work outside of the home and to be able to get the same education as a man and here we are...not only are we educated and working but we still get to be domestic goddesses. Aren't we lucky. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to take a step back, I just want us to evolve past this "everything to everybody" stage of having to try and do it all and feeling inadequate along the way for not being able to give 100% in any one faucet of our lives. I hope by the time my daughters are grown that they either lower their expectations of what they should do or be...or better yet I hope they marry some highly evolved men who enjoy cooking and aren't afraid of cleaning and do not treat watching after their own children like babysitting. My advice to my husband this weekend was - "you better figure out how you are going to pay the bills when I am in the loony bin!"