Anger, Be Kind, Being Strong, Bullying, Compassion, Courage, Empowerment, Grow a Pair, Kindness, Loyalty, Racism, Respect, Speak Up!, Support, Uncategorized, Understanding

Don’t Be Part of the Problem

Things are a mess in our country/world right now.  I guess our parents and grandparents felt this way at times too.  My grandparents were adults during WWI and WWII, and my parents were witnessing terrible things in the tumultuous 1960’s.  I’m sure they felt afraid and concerned at that time too.  One thing they did not do is turn and look the other way when someone was being mistreated.  They always spoke up, and always stood up for people who were being treated unfairly.

In today’s world, I keep thinking about the saying, “If you ignore the problem, then you condone it.”  Right now, many of us need to be remembering this.  On a world scale, it applies to racism, bullying, sexism, animal cruelty, hatred, or any type of discrimination.  On a personal level, it applies to those who are being unfairly treated at work, home, or in our communities.

Confrontations aren’t easy, but I have always prided myself on the fact that I will stand up for others, whether I know them or not.  I will stand up for someone else before I stand up for myself.  My friends and family can always have confidence in knowing I will defend them.  If someone mistreats them, I won’t tolerate it, and will address it directly, putting a stop it to immediately.  If the other person gets upset with me, that’s just too bad.  I will not condone meanness on any level, especially if it’s hurting someone I care about.  I admired this quality in my family members, and have applied it to my own actions, feeling that it defines good character.  The good old “golden rule” seems to be lost in our society these days.  Some people might say they live by it, but their actions say otherwise.  In other words, they have no balls!  When you don’t speak up directly, and don’t stand up for someone being mistreated, you are showing that person that you don’t care about them, and you agree with the poor treatment.  What does that say about your character?  How should the person being mistreated feel about you?  If you agree with the negative treatment, then why would they trust you on other things?  Why would they support you if you needed it, when you didn’t defend them? If you thought they were your friend before, then I am willing to bet there will be a wedge in your relationship after the fact.

I worked in a situation once where another teacher was being incredibly cruel to me.  It was being condoned and encouraged by the owners of the school (private school).  They were trying to make me uncomfortable enough to quit.  They had no reason to fire me because I had done nothing wrong.  I just knew too much….(actually, I could have an entire blog just on that school!).  This teacher was telling other teachers not to talk to me, or they would be fired.  Why?  They had decided I was a threat to their business by knowing a bit too much about their financial dealings.  Yet, I would go to work each day, arriving early, teaching my students, and showing them my love and dedication, even though I was being ignored, talked about, lied on, and putting up with mean remarks by this other teacher (directly and indirectly).  No one stood up for me.  No one helped me. I was keeping my mouth shut and being professional, but I became a target, and it was miserable.  All I wanted to do was teach.  It taught me a lot about the character of the others who wouldn’t help me.  There were still a couple of teachers who talked to me, and were supportive, but no one who had the power to put a stop to this evil witch and her remarks did anything about it.  They showed me their character…..

We teach our students in school that we will not condone any type of bullying (threats, harassment, alienation, physicality, gossip, etc), but adults are just as guilty of it, and many condone it by not putting a stop to it.  I know I talk a lot about being nice, or being kind, and I think most people think they are.  Adults can hurt just as much, or maybe even more so, than children when it comes to cruelty.  I challenge all of you to look in the mirror, and evaluate yourself on this.  Are you really nice if you are ignoring mean behavior?  Are you really nice if you aren’t practicing what you preach about loyalty, love, trust, friendship, care, and protection?  If you are ignoring it, then you are definitely a major part of the problem.  Don’t be a part of the problem.  No matter how large or small the situation….stand up, grow a pair, and don’t allow ANYONE to be mistreated.

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Anxiety, Attitude Adjustments, Be Happy, Be Kind, Being Strong, Bewitched, Busy Minds, Civil Rights, Compassion, Coping, Courage, Empowerment, Family, Fear, Focus, Happiness, Insensitivity, Invisible Illness, Just Breathe, Kindness, Laughter, Laughter is the best medicine, Life Happens.....Make the Best Of It!, Loneliness, Love, Loyalty, Making life interesting, Manners, Misconceptions, Passion for Living, Peaceful Protests, Racism, Rejection, Relationships, Respect, Self respect, Support, Thankfulness, That's life, Tom Jones, Uncategorized, Understanding

Hocus Focus

I’ve had a bit of writer’s block lately.  Part of it is because I have a hard time typing with a brace on my wrist. Part of it is just because I’ve been a bit distracted with a few things lately.  I start to write, and I find myself not wanting to finish the topic because I get worried how some people might react.  I try to keep my posts positive, and try to inspire people to do their best, while maybe sharing some experiences from my life, or funny stories.  I know I shouldn’t worry about that, because I know if I’m doing the best I can, that’s all that matters.  I have a level of sarcastic humor that not everyone gets, but I can’t worry about that either.  I’ll try to give you an idea of what my mind has been like lately….

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is today……let’s keep moving forward.  Even my 1st graders think racism is awful.

Broken wrists suck.

Vertigo sucks.

I have a secret crush on Tom Jones.

Migraines suck.

Free movie passes are great.

I, Tonya was a good movie.

Catch the movie, Mudbound on Netflix……eye opening, and should tug at everyone’s heart.  Let’s not ever go back to that. Mary J. Blige does an excellent job in it.

I love Kansas City at Christmas.

I love warm weather.

My dog is the sweetest, snuggled next to me as I type this.

The Vikings had an awesome game yesterday, and I hope they go all the way, especially for my best friend’s sake…..she loves them!

Some people really take advantage, and are attention whores.

I would never have the nerve to set up a Go Fund Me account for myself…….

Therefore, medical bills and trying to get by through this really sucks.

Donald Trump sucks.  Yep.  I said it!

What happened to manners?

Why can’t people respect your time and your finances?  It’s not up to anyone else how you spend these things, and if you have the time or money for something.  I would never tell someone, “You have time for this,” or “You can afford that.”  No one’s energy level is the same as someone else’s, and no one knows what your financial obligations are.

A man complimented me in the elevator in the medical building for the boots I had on….then he asked if that was okay because he wasn’t sure it was acceptable….compliments should always be acceptable.

Work/teaching is exhausting.

Trying to get my foot in the door with real estate is next to impossible while teaching full time.  Taking my post license course now.

I don’t like one of my medical specialists…….at all.

Sometimes no matter how nice you are to people, they just won’t like you.  Be nice anyway, but protect yourself.  You can’t make them care.  Their actions will show you how they feel.  Be kind.

Seizures suck.

My family is wonderful.

I don’t get to see a lot of Al this time of year because he works at lot with youth basketball, so we spent today together.  He helped me with groceries and put gas in my car…..helping me with that wrist thing.

My kids are great…..and goofy, and I worry about them all the time.

Social anxiety can be crippling……try to smile and get through it.  I feel it every day.

Youth basketball games are fun to watch, especially when they’re scrappy little kids.

Some people are heartless.

I’m addicted to reruns of Bewitched.

Spring and summer need to get here soon. I need summer now!

So you can see……my mind is all over the place…..writer’s block, because I can’t focus on anything.  Not feeling bad or depressed….I’m just overwhelmed with a lot right now, so my mind is a busy place.  I wonder if I have adult ADD to add to the list of conditions? Maybe if I am able to reduce the stress in my life and get the rest I need, I can focus!  For now, I will rely on exercise and meditation (and Bewitched) to get me through!

I hope you all have had a great Martin Luther King Jr Day.  Did you do anything to give back? I didn’t this year.  I just don’t have the energy.  My justification for this is that I give back each day when I walk into my classroom. Every teacher does……

Get focused! Now back to studying….

 

 

 

 

Be Happy, Be Kind, Being Strong, Change, Compassion, Courage, Family, Happiness, Kindness, Laughter, Love, Loyalty, Making life interesting, Married to My Best Friend, Relationships, Respect, Thankfulness, That's life, Togetherness, Uncategorized

Two Years and Counting……

Tomorrow is the second anniversary of marrying Alfredo (as my daughters love to call him)……one of the happiest days of our lives.  Al and I have so much to be thankful for.  We’ve had our share of problems, but they’ve been things that have been out of our control, or from outside sources….not things we can help.  With each little (or big) hurdle, we seem to come through it even stronger, and closer.  I sometimes wonder if our commitment to each other is being tested for everything we have dealt with. We are there every step of the way for each other, which of course, is the way it should be!  Our pastor sent us each a text today, calling us, “Team Desport.”  It’s true.  We do make a good team, and it’s nice when other people see how much stronger we are together.

Since he moved back to the USA, I helped him finish his college degree, which is something he had given up on.  I watched as his confidence grew with each completed course.  I helped him buy his car, sign up for health insurance, apply for jobs, update his resume, and navigate the ins and outs of a system he hadn’t been a part of for 30 years.  He’s working in the public school system with special needs children now, and is really very good at it!  He also works part time at a community center in a rough part of town, with kids who really need a positive male influence.  And, he referees youth basketball games during the basketball season….he’s making a name for himself in the area, and children and adults alike are always happy to see him when we run into them in public.  I love hearing little voices from across a store or parking lot, saying, “Coach Al! Coach Al!” They love him!  He’s a church deacon, with a line of little old ladies waiting for hugs every week, and helps serve breakfast to homeless people once a month.

He’s also been there for me, especially when it comes to protecting me.  He corrals me when I’m sleep walking, and herds me back to bed, keeping me safe.  He “rescues” me from any creature that I may encounter unexpectedly.  He walks me to my car every morning, making sure I am safe (I leave before the sun comes up), and occasionally scrapes ice from my windshield.  He helps me when I have car trouble.  He helps me with my school work, folding, cutting, or preparing projects for my class.  He sees when I need to take a break, and tells me that we are going for a walk on the beach, so I can clear my head.  He cleans the bathrooms and does dishes! Yesterday at church, I really felt awful (I probably should have stayed home).  He knew how bad my head was hurting, and that I was dizzy.  Just to have him put his arm around me, and kiss me on the head, lets me know that he understands how much I’m suffering, and that he’s there for me.  Then, he changed the words to the hymns to something a little bit inappropriate, making me laugh…..which is also something that I appreciate so much!  His incredible sense of humor is the only thing that gets me through a lot of days!

We vent to each other about work, society, politics, family matters, pop culture, and anything that might be weighing on our minds.  We spend hours and hours talking and listening to each other.  We enjoy traveling, watching movies, or just having a quiet evening at home (most every evening).  We rarely argue or have a disagreement.  We have both experienced some pretty serious health issues in our lives, so we are appreciative of every day we have.  We’ve both had some personal disappointments in life, and are happy to be sharing our lives together now.  We’ve spent a lot of time raising our children, and living and working a world away from each other. Ending up together took time, faith, trust, and was a lot more work and complicated than most relationships, since we were on two different continents.  We definitely had to be friends first. We were very protective of our courtship, and are still very protective of each other.  And here we are……for better or worse, sickness and health, richer or poorer…..as long as we both shall live!

It may have taken us awhile to get here, but HERE is where we are, and it’s the best place for US!  Two years down, the rest of our lives to go!

Attitude Adjustments, Be Happy, Be Kind, Happiness, Kindness, Loyalty, Married to My Best Friend, Negativity, Relationships, Respect, Self respect, Support, Uncategorized

Protecting and Defending Your Relationship

I have written about the struggle I’ve had standing up for myself….being a doormat.  I’ve carried a lot of hurt through life because of it.  I’m very sensitive, and I have felt that it is my biggest weakness.  However, I’ve also discovered that being sensitive is a strength!  I have compassion and empathy for others because I can understand the feelings of pain and of being disrespected, that someone can feel at the hands of mean people.  I am not afraid to stand up for those I love and care about.  Number one in this situation would be with my marriage.

Recently, an acquaintance of mine confided to me that her husband’s friends were coming between them, and they didn’t like the amount of time he was spending with her.  They felt that she had changed him, and they were trying to discredit her to him.  I felt sad for her, and wondered why her husband didn’t stand up for her.  Not that his friends aren’t important to him, but how much do they really care about him if they are disrespecting his wife and their marriage this way?  It’s petty and selfish.

A few years ago, I worked at a really horrible place, and dealt with some co-workers who disrespected Al, and my relationship with him.  While they may have just been trying to “protect” me, or explain to me what they might see as logic, my relationship with him was not their business. One person told me it would be over and done with in 6 months, without even having met him. Another questioned whether I knew him well enough to know what he likes to eat…..seems a bit trivial to me, but I did know what he liked to eat, among a lot of other things!  I really saw their “advice” and “concern” as nothing more than petty jealousy, because I would have less time to socialize with them.  But I would not allow them, or anyone else, to disrespect him, or our relationship.  I didn’t understand why they just couldn’t be happy for us. I made sure to let them know that I would not tolerate anyone disrespecting him. If they really cared for me, they would not do that.  Not only did they disrespect Al and our relationship, but they also disrespected me, by questioning my decisions, and my feelings for him.  Thank goodness I no longer work there, or with those horrible people! Once Al did get here, they weren’t very nice to him at all.  Glad I moved on! Since then, Al and I have both been told that we look and act happier and more at ease than they’ve seen us in a long time.  I knew that those people were jealous of our happiness, and couldn’t believe that anyone could be that happy.  Why should we have to prove it to them?  Why was our happiness a threat to them or anyone else? Why did we have to defend our happiness?

I don’t know why people feel the need to be mean, rude, or disrespectful, or why they would try to sow seeds of division in your relationship or marriage.  I try to respect the decisions of my loved ones.  I’ve learned that I won’t agree with everything my family, friends, or co-workers do, but I am still able to have compassion, respect, and understanding for them.  Their life is theirs, and not for me to interfere (as long as they are safe…..abuse would be a different story).  I still support them, and their quest for happiness and acceptance.  Isn’t that what we all want?  Don’t we all deserve that?

In our marriage vows, we promised to love, honor, cherish, and protect each other. Actually I remember saying we would be each other’s “biggest protector.”  That did not just mean physical protection.  It also meant that we would defend each other’s character, honor, and dignity.  My husband and the support I get from him in our marriage make me strong….strong enough to stand up and defend it (and him).

If you are married, or in a committed relationship, protect it!  Protect each other.  Don’t allow anyone to disrespect you, your significant other, or your commitment to each other.  Like I’ve said in other posts, there are so many mean people and unhappy things in this world.  Lean on each other because then you’ll know that at least you will always have one person who has your back!  If you don’t, your partner will feel it, and know that your commitment isn’t genuine.  And if you are one of those individuals who feel the need to try to place doubt or uncertainty, or are just simply unkind……stop.  It’s not your place.  It’s not your business.  It’s incredibly selfish.  Let others be happy.  Let others live their lives.  Be happy for them.  And if you can’t be happy for them, leave them alone.

 

 

Be Kind, Happiness, Kindness, Loyalty, Relationships, Respect, Support, Uncategorized

What Kind of Friend Are You?

Sincere.  True.  Real.  Faithful.  Loyal.  Genuine.  Unpretentious.  Righteous…..

Fake.  Phony.  Insincere. Bogus.  Artificial.  Fraudulent.  Bitter.  Jealous…….

Which character traits sound the most appealing?  Those which show true concern, love, friendship, and compassion, or those that show cruelty, anger, resentment, and hatred? We have all known people on both sides of this.  I have dealt with many people who pretended to be my “friends,” or pretended to care, only to feel used or tossed aside when I could do nothing more for them, or if they saw me as some sort of threat.  I’ve also been blessed to have people in my life who have shown true compassion and care toward me. Whether it is the recent weather emergency here in Florida, an illness, the loss of a family member or friend, or a difficult job situation, I know exactly who I can or can’t count on for kind words, a helping hand, a hug, or just a shoulder to lean on.  I also know who just doesn’t give a damn.  Let’s avoid those schmucks!

Recently, I have been very fortunate to see the good in a lot of people.  Stepping up to be my friend, offer support, and showing true concern to someone who is struggling speaks volumes about that person’s character.  To know that I have people in my life who truly care about me (and Al) is extremely comforting, and we would do the same for them. Family, friends, friends who become family…….I am loyal, and I don’t forget when someone is good to me.  I also don’t forget when someone treats me badly.  I’m not vindictive or petty, but I remember how people have made me feel, and it isn’t very easy to open that door again once it has been shut.  There’s a pretty good chance that I will keep someone at arm’s length if they hurt me or someone I love.  I will not be rude or unkind, but it’s hard to forget feeling hurt, especially if you have been there for them in times of need.

What kind of person do you want to be?  A true friend who is loving, kind, and supportive?  Or one who is insincere, artificial, and selfish? I know who I strive to be (not always successful!) and I’m glad I have some very real and loyal people in my life.

Be real.  Be kind.  Be sincere.  Be supportive.  Be a friend.

Be Happy, Dog Lovers, Dogs are People Too, Loyalty, Man's Best Friend, Uncategorized

He’s Not a Dog….He’s Family

I’m a dog person.  My whole family loves dogs.  In fact, I think my first best friend was our family dog, Pepper, an overweight, cookie loving, temperamental Boston Terrier who we got when I was two years old.  My parents had another Boston Terrier before that, named Buttons, but I don’t remember him.  During my adult life, I’ve had three dogs.  I learned the hard way not to get a pure bred because of health issues.  My first “baby” was a little Schnauzer named Tyrone.  He was good to me, but he had a mean side, and would sometimes bite for no reason. We aren’t sure exactly what was going on with that, but for the most part, he was a good dog.  He died of pancreatitis at the age of 8, and then I found out that Schnauzers are prone to that.  My next dog was a Boxer named Buster.  He was VERY protective, and had beautiful markings.  He loved me and my children, but wasn’t crazy about their father.  If he played with the kids too rough, Buster would put his mouth around the back of their dad’s leg to warn him to leave the kids alone.  Buster also ate the bumper off of his truck, so there weren’t a lot of warm fuzzy feelings between them.  Buster died of cardiomyopathy at 6 years.  Then I found out they were prone to that.

Now I have Andy.  Andy is a small mixed breed….his mother was a Shih Tzu, and his dad was “wearing a sweater.”  Andy was on his way to the pound, along with his brother, and was too small to be taken away from his mother.  I took him, and a friend of my son’s took his brother.  I saved him, but I know that he saved me too!  We rescued each other.  It was a very difficult time in my life, and we bonded immediately.  Andy has been with me through a lot of hard times, and through a lot of happy times.  Dogs always get most attached to one person in a family.  I’ve been that person because I’m the one who takes care of them, and they know they can count on me.  While they love the whole family, they tend to rely on one person the most.  Andy is 14, mostly blind (especially in the dark), and almost completely deaf, and has a pin in his back leg from a fall off of the back of the couch, but he acts like a very young dog.  Even his vet said that he would never know he’s an older dog by looking at him if it weren’t for the gray over his eyes.

Dogs know dog people, and dogs are a good judge of character.  I have seen dogs go to complete strangers and fall immediately in love with them.  I’ve also seen dogs growl at complete strangers.  I believe a dog knows what kind of person you are, and if I hear Andy growl at you, or not want anything to do with you, then I have a different feel for you too!  I trust my dog’s instincts!  If a dog doesn’t like you, then you are the problem, not the dog!

I cannot watch the ASPCA commercials without breaking down in tears.  I realize that is the intention of those commercials….feel bad, send money…….but it’s just too hard for me to watch.  I have donated things to animal shelters, and do what I can.  Animals aren’t in the situations they’re in because of choices they make.  They are there because of the choices humans make. I grew up with Bob Barker telling me to “Help control the pet population.  Have your pets spayed or neutered.” I have followed that advice!

While people are making decisions on whether to evacuate their homes or not because of hurricanes or fires, some choose to stay because of their pets.  Either there are no shelters taking pets, or they may have to be separated from their pets.  I saw where some shelters were setting up cages outside of the shelters for pets.  That would not work for me or Andy.  He’s old, he would be scared and anxious.  That would be very stressful for him (and me).  No.  If I couldn’t stay with my dog, I wouldn’t evacuate.  I feel horrible for these people who are forced to leave without their pets. How can you leave behind a family member?  They are NOT “just dogs,” or “just cats.”  They’re FAMILY.

He’s more to me than just a dog.  He’s like a 4th child to me.  He knows when I’m happy, sad, afraid, or sick.  He’s my friend.  He’s my family.  He understands me.  He’s spoiled, a bit lazy, and has anxiety (definitely my dog!).  He demands to be given treats when I open a can of Coke……therefore, I nicknamed him “Demandy” a few years ago.  He is a worthless protector because he’s afraid of everything.  He’s not a good critter catcher because he doesn’t see them. But he’s mine, and he loves me, and he never lets me be sad or worry all alone.  He used to stare at the door until I came home.  Now that he’s losing his vision and hearing, he lays in front of the front door, waiting for me to come back.  He looks at me with one ear up, and the other one flopped down in his eye.  His under bite makes him look like he’s smiling.  I watch Al, my giant of a husband, snuggle with him on the couch, and let Andy kiss/lick his nose.  I see him save pieces of his pizza crust to sneak to Andy, thinking I don’t see him (I don’t give him “people food”).

Yes, Andy is not only the king of his castle, and a cherished member of our family.  He is also the best dog ever……

Be Kind, Being Strong, Coping, Fear isn't weakness, Invisible Illness, Just Breathe, Loyalty, Support, Uncategorized

It’s Okay To Be Weak

Have you ever known someone who is very good about keeping composed, and holding everything together?  Some people always seem to be the strong presence in difficult situations.  You wonder how they manage at times.  I have been this person most of my adult life.  I don’t let on that I am struggling.  I make a joke to try to lighten their mood (or mine).  When my mother died, I showed very little emotion outside of the funeral. At the time, my ex husband was living in New Mexico, and I was alone with 3 children in Kansas.  Our family dog had died the previous day, and it was also the week of Thanksgiving.  It was a really crappy week!  After the funeral, I had to be the strong one for my kids, and hold it together.  I didn’t want them to be afraid if their mama was upset.  I didn’t feel that I could let my children or my co-workers know how much I was hurting. In fact, the day after my mother died, I went to work, and only told two people what had happened!  I just didn’t want to let on to anyone that I was hurting or afraid, and I taught my class that day without ever letting on that anything was wrong.  I couldn’t fall apart.

I’ve been there to support friends, co-workers, and a few family members if they’ve needed me.  Or, I’ve been supportive of them in their goals, dreams, educations, careers, relationships, raising kids, etc……just being there……being a friend.  One thing I’m not good at though, is asking for help or support when I need it.  It’s very hard. It makes me feel selfish.  It embarrasses me.

This week, I had a moment that I’ve always considered “weak” for me.  I was in my classroom with a colleague after school, talking about school things.  The conversation turned to something personal, and I fell apart!  I burst into tears.  I sobbed.  I think my friend/colleague was surprised because she hadn’t seen me that upset before.  Everything I’ve been dealing with caught up with me, and no matter how many positive posts I put on social media to try to keep my spirits up, I just couldn’t hold it together at that moment.  I was tired.  I was hurting.  I was tired of being strong.  During the conversation, another friend came in, and they sat there with me, letting me vent and cry, while they hugged me, and told me it was okay to lean on them, and that everyone needs to feel safe enough to do that sometimes.  Things have been very hard for me lately, and I guess my emotions were like a pressure cooker.  While I have the best husband/friend in the world, I guess I needed to know that I can also lean on someone else for support sometimes.  Al is still, and always will be my ROCK.

Of course, at the end of the conversation, my friends and I hugged again, and being me, I had to make a silly joke to make everyone laugh!  One of the friends said that it never fails….Lauri will always try to cheer someone up, even through her own tears.  She said it was a “gift.”  I have never thought of it like that.  I do believe that the cure to a lot of painful situations is laughter, but I never realized that my sarcasm or self deprecating humor was a gift.  That was nice to hear.

I have learned that it’s okay to lean on others.  I will still struggle with it, because it’s just not like me to show that type of emotion very often, but I know it’s okay, and no one will think I’m weak for doing so.  I’ve also learned through this health issue who really cares about me (for those who know the specifics….for others, I am not really ready to talk about it much yet, but I will at some point). Phone calls, texts, emails, prayers, good vibes………it’s meant the world to me.  It’s been a huge struggle for me, and it’s nice to know that I don’t always have to be the strong one all the time.  I have people in my life who love me, and really do care.  They’ve shown me.

So even though sadness is a part of life, it can be a positive experience in that you learn who you can trust, and who truly cares and will be there for you. They make you realize you aren’t alone. They make it okay to not always be the strong one for everyone else’s sake.  They make it okay to be “weak” sometimes.