Friday, October 26, 2012

Controlling Your Happiness

It is now Friday of what I have been referring to as "The Worst Week Ever" here recently.  You know those times in life where a string of unfortunate events keep piling up?  It started with Eli getting some of the worst diaper rash he has ever had on Sunday night.  Then on Monday, I lost my keys at work and ended up stranded there for an additional 2.5 hours until Mark could make it back down to pick me up.  I have racked my brain and torn apart my office for 2 days and the keys have yet to show up.  My latest theory is that while on the phone with my grandmother during lunch, I accidentally threw them away.  Even better, we didn't have a spare set.  So after 2 consecutive days of leaving my van in the parking deck at work, we can now say that we own 2 brand new keys to our van.  xXsighXx

To make matters worse, our house in Warner Robins' (which has been under contract for almost a month) appraisal came back under the negotiated sale price.  UGH!  Thankfully, it wasn't much under the contract amount so we were able to renegotiate and continue with the closing process.  It was just one more shattered piece of my week.  Then there were the small things such as my computer crashing at work, not being able to workout since I was doing after work activities such as getting the van re-keyed, going to an early morning meeting at the other campus for work just to find out that it was actually scheduled for Monday (not Thursday) and then letting the stresses of all of these situations effect my relationship with Mark in small explosions.  I know, I know the last item mentioned is so completely out of character of me since I am so well composed and even-tempered (wink wink).

I was culling over the events of the week while sitting in a training course for work, determined that I had to have done something to deserve the crap I faced.  It was there that the instructor of the class (a 76 year old man whose eldest daughter had died of cancer, one of his 19 grandchildren never made it past infancy due to SIDS, and his investments had been lost during 9/11 because his investment company was located in one the twin towers and had no backups) got off on a tangent from the course material and stated,

 "An individual is only as happy as he lets himself be." 

This man who had endured much tragedy in his life still felt in control of his own happiness.   It was in that one sentence that I realized I was contributing to my own demise. 

Since the realization that I was the main contributing factor for my "worst week ever", I started thinking about how many of us get so wrapped up in the minor little details of life that we forget how precious life is and how blessed we really are.  Have you ever had a "friend" on facebook continually update his/her status to tell you and the rest of the world about the latest crappy thing that has happened to them?  I mean a status here and there out of frustrantion is ok (hence my earlier status update on facebook:

"Somehow managed to lose my keys while at work leaving me stranded is bad enough I have been ready to go home all day and now I get to be here another 2 hours!")

but the daily negative references are so miserable to read!  I have deleted a couple of "friends" due to this condition.  Reading their negative statuses made me feel negative as well.  Those are the type of people my instructor was talking about...the ones that will never allow themselves to be happy.  If they aren't worrying about one thing, they are worrying about another.  They blame others around them for making their lives so miserable but what it really boils down to is that they control how everything effects them.  I was becoming one of those people!  Taking a step back from my "worst week ever", I realize that while it may have been a series of unfortunate events; it wasn't my worst week ever. 

It is about to be the weekend and after all I have been through I still have my little family in my corner including a little boy that forgets as quickly as they come about, any of the negative things that happen to him (like not being able to ride the dog or color on the walls).  My life is not perfect and I wish more than anything that my mom was still here, but I am still blessed. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Mom Memories"

So I found a little treasure today while cleaning out the office at my parents' house.  As most, if not all, of you know my mom passed away on December 23rd last year from brain cancer.  What I have learned since then (after cleaning out rooms, closets, etc. trying to make room for Eli, Mark and I to move in temporarily) is that my mother did not throw away ANYTHING!!!  I have never before seen so much stuff.  It has been fun finding little pieces of her scattered throughout the house.  There is not a thing in the house that mother has not put her personal touch on.

Anyways, back to my "little treasure" I found.  While cleaning out the desk in the office I found a note pad with 3 pages of numbered memories in my mother's handwriting.  The title at the top of the list is "Mom Memories" obviously referring to my Grandma Taylor.  When I asked my dad if he knew what the list was from or when she wrote it, he said that he had never seen it before.  Since we were never able to get my mom to write anything down after she was diagnosed (that ability was affected by the tumor) we are pretty confident that these were written some time before her diagnosis but probably not too much before because they were found in the desk that my dad had made only a few years prior. Some of these memories I have never heard before, but I am sure my mom's side of the family will enjoy reminiscing with my mother.  One thing is abundantly clear, my mother learned how to be a wonderful mother because of HER wonderful mother!  Love you Grandma!  Enjoy!

Mom Memories

1.) I remember standing in the bathroom while you put my hair in a ponytail & wrapping my hair around a wire "bun".
2.) I remember walking outside buck naked complaining my bath water was too hot.
3.) I remember playing with Snoopy when I had chicken pox.  Then Snoopy ended up with chicken pox.
4.) I remember bringing in a bunch of "cute" white worms in the house to show you and they ended up being magets.
5.) I remember you getting me all dressed up to go to a country music show on vacation and falling in the pool.
6.) I remember Carol cutting her eye open while in Branson.
7.) I remember if we knocked you off your raft in the pool on vacation we would be in "BIG" trouble.
8.) I remember sneaking olives down to the playroom in the basement.
9.) I remember watching you take laundry out of the freezer and ironing it.
10.) I remember you humming loudly when I would ask to do something and you said No.
11.) I remember being a flower girl in Aunt Bonnie's wedding & not dropping very many petals.  I just dumped my whole basket when I reached the front of the church.
12.) I remember when Tonja and I would have matching Easter dresses.
13.) I remember having a little purse covered in plastic with a flower and bee inside.
14.) I remember your face when I was crowned Homecoming Queen.
15.) I remember Tommy telling dad that the wheel on the back of the van was going round and round.
16.) I remember staying at Mrs. Chambers house.
17.) I remember visiting Grandpa and Grandma Peterson's house.
18.) I remember spending summers with Grandma and Grandpa Shoffner.
19.) I remember dressing Grandma and Grandpa Shoffner's barn cats in doll clothes & pushing them around in a carriage.
20.) I remember riding on the tractor with Grandpa Shoffner.
21.) I remember fishing with Grandpa Shoffner in the "strip pits".  We usually had to sneak in.
22.) I remember playing on Grandpa's school bus with Tonja and Teresa.
23.) I remember riding with Grandma when she pretended to be running out of gas.
24.) I remember putting on Christmas shows with Tonja and Teresa.
25.) I remember an Easter bunny cake Grandma made covered with cocunut.
26.) I remember going to cheer leading camp & coming home to a "brand new" bedroom.
27.) I remember sitting on a tall stool and counting "red-wigglers".
28.) I remember freaking out my class when I brought a two-headed worm to school.
29.) I remember getting bucked off "Sugar" and her stepping on my back.
30.) I remember helping you and grandma make plaster plaques with images from cards. 
31.) I remember watching you getting Grandma so tickled she would wet her pants.
32.) I remember when you used to use me when you had to go to the bathroom while shopping.
33.) I remember how beautiful you looked on my wedding day.
34.) I remember feeding giraffes marshmallows at the zoo.
35.) I remember spending our summers on the farm.
36.) I remember when a pig peed in Randy's boot.  Also, when Sugar stole his handkerchief out of his back pocket.
37.) I remember how you were always a mother to all of my friends.  They really appreciated it.  I was proud.