Best Dinner Time Conversation
My daughter (miss six) and I were having a discussion about the benefits of being an adult or being a child. She paused thoughtfully and said: “There are benefits to being both, don’t you think Mum? Would you rather be an adult or a kid?”
This is a no brainer for me: I say, “an adult, definitely.”
“Why’s that?” she asked.
“Because I get to call the shots”, I replied, deadpan. I mean it, but it is kind of funny and all considering the actual control I do have. Anyway.
She nodded. Fair enough. “What are you afraid of, Mum?”
Now, it’s my turn to pause. “Well, when I was a kid, I was frightened of everything – the weather, tidal waves, global warming, the hole in the ozone layer, nuclear war, the big fig tree falling on our house in a storm, a flood coming and washing our house away – and lots more, too.” I looked at her pretty, soft little face and smiled. “I’m not as afraid of all those things anymore now that I’m an adult, but probably what I’m most afraid of is people I love getting sick and dying.”
She looked at me with sympathy, and nodded with a look that said understandable.
“What are you most afraid of?” I asked.
“Bullies!” she said.
“Bullies?” I asked. “Have you ever met one?”
“Nup!” she said, cheerfully, then narrowed her eyes. “But when I do…” she got up from her chair and showed me her best karate moves.
I laughed and laughed, and then said, “Let me tell you something about bullies. They are people who are afraid of everything too. It’s just that when they get afraid, they get angry and blame other people. They don’t know what else to do.”
“Yep. Let me know when you meet one.”
Best Short Read
One of the lovely, unexpected things about blogging are the friends that you make. Lisa Heggen Carr from Carr Party of Five is one of those online friendships that has been such a blessing to my life – even though she lives in South Dakota, and I may never meet her – we have a connection that transcends such minor obstacles. She doesn’t blog on wordpress anymore, but you can find her here on Facebook, and this is what she wrote a few days ago:
On my personal fB page, two days ago, I wrote a little post about the new Common Core Math program. I tagged 30-some teacher friends/family in this post, because I genuinely wanted to know what their opinions were. Little did I know I would be firing a cannon, and starting World War III.
Today, it’s still going, and I think we are up to 90 comments.
What I DO wanna talk about, is, what is the correct attitude to have when you find yourself in complete disagreement with a person, a program, a system, or McDonald’s.
Disagreement with a PERSON: Let’s say that the Librarian insists you didn’t bring your book back, but you swear that you did.
The correct mindset: If you think logically about it, you realize that if you ARE right, and DID in fact bring back that 50 Shades of Balloons book–it will turn up and the librarian will have to sit there, in her wrongness, and say, OOPS. If it doesn’t show up, the worst thing that can happen, is you will have to pay the library $15, which isn’t so much, considering you just blew $20 on those nutritional supplements that made you break out in hives. AND, one day, when you are shoveling out your car, and find that 50 book under your seat, the library will give you your money back anyway, and you can go buy some MORE supplements that will probably cause you to grow hair in weird places.
The not so Correct mindset: It’s a conspiracy. The Library just wants my money so they can buy more books. Damn them. I’m never going back to that place ever again,
Disagreement with a program: Let’s just use the Math thing, since it’s fresh on my mind. I swore I’d leave it be, but by now you should be extremely familiar with my wishy-washy nature.
The correct mindset: I don’t know anything about this, but I need to find out more. For right now, nothing is going to change, meaning my child will need to understand this system for at least this year, and so I need to make friends with the teacher, and put in some extra time figuring this all out. NOT because I think it’s great (because I don’t know what my educated opinion IS yet), but because I’m always on my child’s side, and it behooves me AND my child to develop a positive attitude about this, and do all I can to help her. Later, if I want to get more involved at the decision-making level on this subject, I may. But only AFTER I know all there is to know, and done all I can to see both sides.
The not-so-correct mindset: it’s a conspiracy. The government hates us all, and only wants our money. I’m going to spend hours researching this, hours I COULD be using to help my child get through this, and waste hours ranting about it, and insulting as many people as possible who don’t think exactly as I do- in the process.
McDonald’s: You find out some pretty nasty facts about McDonald’s food.
Correct mindset: Don’t go there anymore.
Incorrect mindset: It’s a conspiracy. I’m going to tell everyone that McDonald’s is really trying to bring about the Zombie Apocolypse with that hidden ingredient in their fries, and so if YOU say you eat there, I’m going to call you out on it, and make you feel really guilty.
So, in summary: You can choose to believe that the whole world is out to get you, OR, you can look around and think, …You know what? It’s a pretty wonderful world, mostly, with great people in it who are trying their best, just like me.
The lovely Sasha from MomLife Now talked about this TEDx talk the other day, and when I checked it out, I knew I had to talk about it too. Did you know that this TEDx Talk by Amy Cuddy is the second most watched TED Talk ever? The most watched TEDx talk is How Schools Kill Creativity by Ken Robinson. Just in case you were wondering :). Body language affects how others see us, but it also changes how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success. I’m thinking I might need to practice it, because I’ll be reading out my prize winning poem The Rainmaker at the Nambucca Valley Writer’s Group 25th Anniversary book launch 🙂 This is a very cool and empowering watch – check it out:
I’m really excited to be sharing this artist with you, because she has been a favourite of mine ever since she released her first full length album, Wonder, in 2005. Lisa Mitchell is a quirky Australian pop folk musician who has achieved the seemingly impossible task of getting everyone in my house to like her (even the grungy hard rock Bear thinks Wonder is an all-time classic album) but as a finalist in Australian Idol in 2006, she also reminds us not to be so damn snobby when it comes to music – and that there are many paths to success. Neopolitan Dreams is one of my many favourite songs on this album:
What I’m listening to this week is Bless This Mess, her second album released in 2012, which I’ve only just discovered, thanks to Spotify (still my favourite music site ever) . Click on the album cover to visit her myspace site and have a listen to her albums. Just in time too, because her third album is soon to be released as well.
Funnily enough, my best day landed again on a Thursday, even though there was no yoga because of school holidays. The kids were sleeping over at their grandparents, and when I left they were happily planning a day filled with bike riding and other adventures. That left me free to go on a little adventure of my own with a friend that I haven’t caught up with for a while. We went for an early morning beach walk with her two dogs, a refreshing (read: cold but good) swim in the ocean, and then back to her house for a looong, loooong breakfast – freshly squeezed juice, coffee, eggs and toast. And oh boy, did we get some talking in :). Thanks for the beautiful day Miss Lizzy! I left her place for my fortnightly body therapy (I refuse to call it a massage, because it conjures up images of a pleasant oily rub which this so isn’t) where once again I was broken down and peeled open. Two days later I still can’t bear anyone to touch my ribs – but I noticed a new fluidity and openness in my yoga practice yesterday, filling me with hope.
Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, or by running away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, we must learn an inner solitude wherever or with whomsoever we may be. We must learn to penetrate things and find God there.
― Meister Eckhart
Because you know, we can all be enlightened if we stay in our comfort zones and only hang out with people who think the same as us…but is that the point?
Have a beautiful weekend everyone!