Six Word Saturday - sacrificing my day for my children

Driving to Austin for a conference.

 I have no time, I'm pushing it by being online right now! Jeans are in the dryer and I should be getting mostly ready right now. In my goal to find my passion, I stumbled upon the Texas Association for Gifted and Talented Students. I found there is a conference this weekend, and I signed up. I have two boys, the oldest has been in GT since Kindergarten and the Kindergartner just qualified. I was in GT in school as well, and always thought "I never lived up to my potential" Or maybe I'm just hearing my teachers, and mother's words over and over in my head. ;) I hope to get some good information and find out more about the association, as well as advocacy. Our school district is very supportive of the program, but I want to make sure my child feels challenged. That is all - totally off topic of what I normally do here, but I'm running out the door!


What are you good at?

Who are you reading that inspires you? I'm finding my way in this blogging world (another post churning in my head....) I'm reading a few people to get me started and this morning the post by The Gypsy Mama fits in perfectly with my February theme.

Her post for today is "What you’re not good at is only half the story" I highly recommend it!

This morning I have a list of things to do. It's all stuff I am capable of doing but I do tend to procrastinate. I tend to stress that I won't do it "right." I put off the housestuff until it's really bad or someone comes over to visit! I've had a hard time sleeping lately, and in turn I'm sleeping in way too late. (Yes, I realize the two are connected!) By the time I'm getting around to what I should be doing, it seems I have so little time because then those kids walk in the door and I feel like my "workday" is over. So, like Gypsy Mama, I was thinking about how frazzled I am. I had a list of things I'm not good at and what I could do better - how my floors really need a good cleaning (and I need to find a better method for cleaning my tile floors,) how I haven't done meal planning lately, how my projects sit undone and how I REALLY need to clean off my kitchen table! 

Instead, to start today, I'm going to copy  emulate her, and think of a list of stuff I am really good at. 

  • I type fast - so anything I need to get done on the computer gets done pretty quickly.
  • I'm good at composing letters, memos, etc. for various meetings. (Which I need to do for tomorrow.) I summarize well and edit even better. (Don't apply this to my blogs, I do tend to ramble here and let it be what it is! That is it's purpose for me....)
  • I am spontaneous. We go for random Frozen Yogurt trips, make cookies at 7:30 at night, play a board game when they come home from school or go for a nature walk. I like that, and I think my kids do too.
  • I know where EVERYTHING is. I am organized, yet messy - go figure. I might have too much stuff, and I might have places for "random" stuff, and stuff goes unorganized - yet, I know where it all is! I am "The Supreme Finder Of All Things" in this house, and it has been proven many times over. I have been known to tell friends where their stuff is, in their own house. I'm THAT good.
  • I think I decorate well. May not be showroom decor, but I love what I do. I also bargain shop fantastically!
  • I shop for presents well. I love finding the perfect gift for someone. I really like doing it too, and see above - I am a fantastic bargain shopper.
  • I am not competitive, nor a sore loser. I am a good sport, mostly. I hate that my hubby tends to win but I rock it out at Trivia. No one can beat me there, and yes I could be more humble about it but it's really the one good thing I have. Not so hot at scrabble, words with friends, charades, pictionary, any physical sport or video games.
  • I learn quickly. (One bad thing though, I'm not the easiest to teach - especially if I'm not catching on....) I do like to teach myself!
  • I remember color. Show me the shirt or the pillow you want to match, I will go to the store with you and find the match nearly 90% of the time. Yeah, it's easier to bring it along just in case - but if I don't have it with me I can match it up pretty dang good, and it's a proven fact. 

Thanks for going with me on this journey today, and thank you Gypsy Mama for the inspiration. I hope you don't mind the plagiarism, tribute. Mockery really is the best form of flattery! 


Be What You're Like

One of my favorite quotes comes from a They Might Be Giants song, "Whistling In The Dark." I used to sing this with my daughter and she ended up having a version of this engraved on her class ring.

"There's only one thing that I know how to do well
And I've often been told that you only can do
What you know how to do well
And that's be you,
Be what you're like,
Be like yourself"

It's a silly little song, but it has a cute message. Be what you're like. Be like yourself! 

As I got more involved in playgroups, PTA and other events where mostly women congregate, I noticed one thing. We compare ourselves. We can do it in either direction (looking down on someone, or looking up to them.) However, most of us tend to have pangs of jealousy or envy when we see the woman who *seems* to be able to do it all. We see someone who is fit, well dressed, has cute and well-behaved children, someone who has a clean house, cooks dinners every night, volunteers in every capacity, makes homemade gifts and party favors and actually has time to read or take classes. There are people who exist like this. There are people who genuinely do this and do it well. Good for them. 

The old story is that we don't know what is really going on in their life. What we want is for there to be a dirty secret. They have a bad relationship, they are secret hoarders in the rest of their house or they are on crack. Of course all this is negative, and I would never wish that was the case for anyone. Thinking that someone who appears perfect on the outside has this secret does help those who come off as anything but perfect. But it keeps the vicious cycle of comparison and jealousy going. 

In this circle I see two types of people. Those who emulate and want to be that perfect mother and those who ridicule the lifestyle, making jokes about eating kids eating Cheerios off the floor. Actually, I hope there are 3 types of people, those who acknowledge we are a little of both. We can try to do better - clean the house, make healthier meals, volunteer more and at the same time be realistic noting that some things fall to the wayside, like folded clothing, stylish hair-dos and exercising everyday. 

I enjoy the humor in all this, and there is plenty out there in the blog-o-sphere. But in the end, I have learned that we are all different. We can't try to be someone that we aren't. We can appreciate the person who has the ability to organize the fundraiser, and we need to acknowledge what we are good at. We might be great at reading stories in the library or helping with trays in the cafeteria. We don't need everyone to run the PTA meeting or cut out all the turkeys for Pre-K. We do what we can, and we base it off who we are. If you are at a point in your life where helping at the school isn't possible because right now you are taking care of twin toddlers and washing cloth diapers - then that is where you are and you are where you are needed. 

We also need to find that time of our life where we are ready to step out of our comfort zone and trust that we can try something new. We don't have to be a copycat of that woman we look up to, but she can provide motivation of what we could do with our life to push ourselves just a little more. In the end, you have to be you, and be like yourself. I can't handle watching other women beat themselves up because of what they observe another woman do. I am not that woman, and I don't want to be her. My life, my husband, my kids and my lifestyle was made for me. If our life isn't making us happy, then it's up to us to make any changes we need to make our life what we want it. Not what we think it should be, but what we want it to be. 

Be your self. Live your life. 

I'm going to end with another favorite quote - from Dr. Seuss. 

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”