Perfection Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

When you’re young you’ve got a clean slate, no mistakes, no “record”, your parent’s tell you that you are wonderful and no matter what they will love you and find you to be a great addition to the human race. Society is less likely to find you so wonderful after they have viewed your report card.

When I started here I thought I was alright, I had made some errors but I was healing and working on myself and that’s the most important thing, or so I thought. What I didn’t know is that judgement is going to fly your way at every corner, daily you’ll see something that would make a weak person fold and fade into obscurity. Do you do enough for men, are you a good enough parent, are you where you should be professionally, oh you aren’t? Kill yourself. That’s what they say. Don’t have too many kids (especially by more than one father), make sure you have an ass, and above all else…what is your hair like? Does it meet the criteria?

It’s not the people, it’s not the people who are telling you what you need to fit into their perfect mold it’s just society as a whole. I say that because truthfully some of the people who are insisting that we all fit this mold are more misshapen than others. It’s sad really. I want to ask society, society….if you’re so perfect, why don’t you look in the mirror? How many rocks and chips are in your surface AND foundation? what kind of veneers and trainers are you using to portray this perfect persona? What I mean is, your ass has lumps in it too. Don’t be so quick to pass judgement on the next person for being a work in progress. If you’re feeling low the only thing you can do is try to be better than you were the day before. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is that person who YOU used to be, it doesn’t matter what the woman in the cube next to you has done that you haven’t. You’re being the best version of yourself that you know how to be.

Oh, and you there..you have some places where you could be a little more flat or smooth yourself, you’re looking a little worn around the backside. 🙂

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Accidentally on purpose?-Michel

My son is almost 10 and his sister is almost 2. Yes, I am crazy and I don’t know what I was thinking. 

Anyway, she hit her head due to his foolery. He feels bad, and says “don’t come near me, I’ll probably just hurt you again..” *sigh* they start young don’t they? I hurt you and because I felt badly after..I’m going to ask you to please leave me alone and push you away from me. He’s now made a fortress which she cannot penetrate and she’s walking around in circles trying to figure out how to get into it. 

This reminds me of relationships between adult men and women. One is afraid of hurting the other so they lock the partner out and keep themselves holed up in a fortress of solitude (little man of steel reference for my nerds). I tried to explain to him that it was an accident and while he didn’t do it on purpose he still owed her an apology, in the form of a cheek kiss. You can’t always keep people from getting hurt but you can do your best not to hurt them intentionally. She bounced right back and she wanted to play with him because she loves him, even though she was hurt in the battle of the couch. Again, just like your average relationship, the hurt party still loves and trusts the offender and comes back with arms open and a smile on their face. Ready to try it again.

One day my daughter will learn that playing with her brother can be dangerous because he’s a boy and they play rough, but for now she’s ready to get back out there and offer herself up to the pain gods for just a few seconds with her bro. When she learns to guard herself from his carelessness she’ll be fine (this is tricky because I don’t want her too guarded), but until then i guess it will be my lot in life to comfort the offender and the injured. One thing I want my son to know is that although something went wrong it doesn’t mean that every time there will be a fail. He just has to believe in himself and know that he’s a good person and that even though she was hurt by him, it wasn’t intentional.

Parenting is not easy (hell, life isn’t easy), there are plenty of books but some things are learned on the battlefield. I don’t know if there’s a book that can teach you how to remain calm with the children when the baby knocks the playstation off of the TV stand (we had a meltdown in the house after that one). I wonder what they will think of next..

Stay tuned. 

lol….

I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, Astria….I’m supposed to post this here:

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Cross your fingers!!!

Ok, So what i’m doing is trying to generate revenue. I still don’t know what I’m doing but we’re definitely going to give this a shot.

Meesh

Adjectives – Astria

Each of us can be described using any number of words.  When considering myself, I think of: woman, mother, employee, etc.  But then, the adjectives get a little deeper, they start to paint a more detailed picture…Christian, over-thinker, African-American, etc.  These words mark the beginning of where things start to get a little sticky.  All of a sudden, these adjectives, these descriptive words become labels.  In some cases, that can be a good thing; in some cases, these labels are the equivalent of a “Do Not Enter” sign taped to your forehead.  What we think we’ve always known about people with these labels determines how we approach a new person with the same labels.

Maybe your experiences with a certain label have left you feeling uncomfortable, judged, hated, or misunderstood.  As humans, we avoid anything to make us feel this way.  We don’t look to hurt ourselves.  It’s unfortunate that these things happen.  It’s unfortunate that one person can make such a difference and impact a perspective so much and so permanently.  Fortunately, there are exceptions to every rule.  For every jerk, every judge, and every overall nasty person; there exists their polar opposite counterpart.  A person who does have convictions and beliefs and lives them BUT doesn’t seek to harm others in the process.  These people are not afraid to talk to someone who thinks or believes differently.  They actually welcome the opportunity to converse because they seek to learn.  They don’t view a difference of opinions as the end of a conversation; rather, they view it as an opportunity to gain perspective.

I wish I could say I hadn’t negatively impacted someone’s view of all people with my labels.  My quick temper and sarcastic tongue have done their fair share of damage.  From here on out, I just have to try to improve.  Once I realized what I needed to do, I started to hear things I wouldn’t have ordinarily heard.  I started to listen to things and people that I previously thought would try to change my mind about things I’d etched into stone in my spirit.  What I found, however, was a wealth of knowledge.  Some of the best talks I’ve had have been with people that believe the exact opposite of what I believe in so many areas. On some occasions, I changed my mind about some things, other times, not.  Each time, though, I learned something.  I walked away with perspective.  That’s invaluable.

In the past, I’d avoided conversations in the name of avoiding arguments and conflict.  I made a real effort to not ruffle feathers.  Now, ruffled feathers are becoming a part of my look and I don’t regret a second of it.  By allowing these labels to define us and others, we’re limiting our conversations, we’re limiting our knowledge.  Changing your mind is optional; learning is a privilege that should be taken at every opportunity.  Another benefit I’ve observed is the platform I have to change people’s minds.  I have the power to re-define some of these labels.  That’s powerful and not a chance you get every day.

Now, I’m certainly not saying I’m trolling for arguments or raising a controversial topic at every turn just to get a touchy conversation going.  I am saying that I’m not shying away anymore.  I’m saying I’m willing to hear, I’m willing to listen, and I’m craving the opportunity to learn.

Image credit: http://www.brighttorchcommunication.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/words1.jpg

Change…Optional, yet, necessary – Astria

Our house only settles when my husband isn’t home. My husband is currently working two jobs and gone for a good portion of the day. As such, I spend a lot of time at home creeping around corners convinced that a bad guy or a bug has broken into our home and is seeking to destroy me and my daughter.  Yes, my imagination has always been overly active.

When we first started shopping for a home, our realtor explained how a house shifts and how you will, occasionally, see nail pops and cracks and how to keep an eye out for a crack in the foundation of the home. As a house gets older, it sinks in and wiggles around and gets comfortable. With each passing storm, each deep freeze, and sweltering summer, a house adjusts its position so it will be able to stay upright. One could say a house has to settle (change its position or change from its original state) in order to prepare for and survive in the future.  An unsettled house will fall.

Last night, as I was doing laundry and heard a sound, I thought about how much we are a lot like the houses we live in.

I will admit that I am not a huge fan of change. I love consistency. Knowing what’s happening next gives me great comfort. As well all know, though, life is not always consistent or predictable.

I considered myself over the last ten years. At 21, I was a mixture of fear, bravery, confusion, and determination. I was overly cautious and not a pro at speaking my mind. Then, life started happening. Life forced me to say things I wasn’t comfortable saying; go places I wasn’t comfortable going; and consider points of view that I hadn’t before.

Life made me change.

I got beat up by some circumstances and I experienced indescribable happiness. Some of my rough edges were smoothed; I also developed some protection for some of the things that hurt. I developed significant values about things I never cared about. I credit this time in my life as the period where my eyes truly opened. Now, I will not give myself the accolade of saying I went along with these changes willingly. Sometimes I did not. Sometimes I bumped my head over and over and over and over before I FINALLY got the point. Similarly, some things in my own foundation remained steadfast. I held on to my faith, my family, and a small circle of friends that I cherished. These things hold me up on a daily basis and I can honestly say, the changes that I experienced prop me up too.

Had I not (eventually) adjusted and settled in, I don’t know that I would be where I am today. I don’t know that I would work where I work, live where I live, or enjoy the life with my family and friends that I do now. As much as I fear change and as much as I cling to consistency, I’d be remiss to neglect to mention the wonderful memories and outcomes change has afforded me. What truly touches me is how a person can change, down to their very foundation, even, and from an outside perspective, you don’t see movement. You don’t see cracks; you don’t see their nail pops. What you see is the eventual result of whatever turmoil, happiness, or despair has molded. You don’t always see change when it’s happening but the results are often undeniable.

The most striking principle in all of this is the coexistence of change and consistency. In order for me to secure a future that is not tumultuous, torturous, or full of unwanted change; I had to change. To gain the consistency, change was necessary. It was a pretty big revelation for me.

I said all these things to say this: Don’t always fear change. Don’t be afraid of the unknown; embrace it when you can because it’s more than likely molding you for the future. And because it will probably happen anyway.

As my realtor told me, “It’s not a matter of if the house will shift, it’s a matter of when”.

Take Some Time – Astria

If you see me out and about you’ll see one of two things. The top of my head and the back of my phone or a hunched over and harried mother chasing a spunky toddler.

Let’s talk about the former. 

There are 24 hours in a day, every day I try my hardest to squeeze a few more in there. My alarm goes off and, from there, my daily race begins. I know how long it takes to get myself ready and how much time I need to get me and my daughter in the car and on the road. I generally have a plan for my day before I’m done brushing my teeth. After I drop my daughter off for the day and have a quick chat with the hubby, armed with a hug and kiss from the little one, I dive headfirst into my day.

What I have realized about myself recently, though, is that I truly do plan each second of each day. I know how long my daughter takes to finish a cup of milk because during that time I respond to pending text messages and check the weather to begin planning our outfits for the next day. If she does something cute, I know how many seconds it takes me to turn on my camera and capture the moment. 

At work, I fly. I take on tasks and phone calls and conversations easily. I fix problems, answer emails, and I’m pretty sure I can ship a Fed Ex in my sleep. 

But, sometimes, I don’t remember half of what I’ve done.

This is no way to live and it’s unacceptable. 

I know I’ve laughed and I know I’ve helped but it’s all a blur. My life has, quite scarily, taken on the appearance of a to – do list. Somewhere along the line, I lost the satisfaction of solving a difficult problem and I was looking at my phablet so I missed the funny thing that happened. I may have truly helped someone but because I didn’t take the time to experience their thanks, I don’t realize how much they appreciate my help. I get things done and I do them well but where is the joy in a job well done if you don’t stop long enough to experience it? If every single second of the day is planned, when do you have time for the miracle of spontaneity? When do you find out a coworkers exciting news? When do you comfort your loved one who is, unexpectedly, having a rough day? 

I am embarrassed to admit this about myself but I am glad I realized it. As long as we have breath in our lungs, we have time to change. I am not ashamed of my work ethic but I am ashamed that it took me 2 days to notice that my azaleas had bloomed. As a woman, I (and other women) face a myriad of tasks every day and I am proud that I can accomplish what I do in a mere day, I just think it’s time to dial back a little bit. Experience people and let them experience me. Interact with others on a more personal level and LIVE each day, not just survive them.

I cannot say that by next week my phablet screen will be covered in dust but I have a feeling that the relief I feel at the end of the day will be more directly related to the feelings I’ve made time to feel as opposed to how many things I’ve crossed off my “list”.