Things I've Learned...

In an uncharacteristic moment of paper purging, I ran across a mish-mash of notes that I’ve collected over the years in an over-loaded file cabinet and started to go through them. Just random musings I found meaningful enough to not run the risk of forgetting them, so I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve found to be oh, so true.

I’ve learned that it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people’s feelings and standing up for what you believe.

I’ve learned that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I’ve learned that the worse you look, the more people you will run into when you step out your front door.  Every. Single. Time.

I’ve learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes, but after that – you’d better know something.

I’ve learned that it is a lot easier to react than to think.

I’ve learned that it’s not what happens to people that’s important. It’s what they do about it.

I’ve learned that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I’ve learned that whenever I decide to do something out of kindness, it’s always the right decision. 

I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you.  All you can do is be someone who can be loved.  The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned you should always leave loved ones with loving words. Always.

I’ve learned that you can keep going long after you think you can’t.

I’ve learned we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down may be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned that heroes are people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I’ve learned that either you control your attitude, or it controls you.

I’ve learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I’ve learned that once you have a child, your heart will forever be walking outside your chest.

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

We are each other’s best source for learning so if you have any pearls of wisdom you’d like to share, please add them. Don’t be shy! I’d love to hear from you! 

Why Do We Read Romance?

Once upon a time I was married––well, I’ve been married for most of my adult life, but that’s not the point. Once upon a time, I was lying in bed reading a good old fashioned bodice ripper. Probably a Fabio cover or similar, when in walked my husband to stand near the foot of the bed. He proceeded to ask me why I bothered to read such “stuff.”

For an otherwise intelligent man, he had just revealed a stunning level of ignorance about the magical world of romance. It took me by surprise––this clueless facet of his being.

I slowly lowered the book across my chest and folded my hands together on top of it…protecting the carefully crafted words from being tainted by the blasphemy that was still echoing in the room.

“Why do I read romance?” I repeated.

“Yes. Why don’t you read more non-fiction. More biographies. More…real stuff.”

Real stuff? My left eye began to twitch.

“Like what you read? The Wall Street Journal and financial reports and business journals?” (He was a stockbroker.)

“Yes, of course. Why not read about Kennedy or Lincoln?”

With all due respect to Kennedy and Lincoln, while there was much to be learned from them, they didn’t quite have the same escapist effect as a pulse-heating romance novel.

I was about to agree with him that all books had intrinsic value when he blew it.

“I’m serious,” he asked again. “Why do you read that trash?”

I leveled my hazel eyes on his baby blues and said, “When my real life resembles what’s in these books, then I’ll stop reading them.”

It was a quiet night that night.

That Magical Moment of Motherhood

No, it’s not when the pain of childbirth is gone or potty training is successful. Nor is it when your child does their homework/cleans their room/takes out the trash without thirty-seven reminders. (Although that’s a pretty good one.) 

I’m talking later on…when you’ve made it through a good chunk of the teen years. For the uninitiated, that’s when your darling offspring knows everything, doesn’t need to be told anything and will yes you to death at every single turn.

Then, one day, when you least expect…it will happen.

Your prodigy will turn to a friend or younger sibling and espouse something you’ve tried to impress upon their formative brains (with little success, you thought) for many years now. They’ll say it with the same inflection and tone and gravitas as you used with them.

You may know a moment of shock. Surprise even. Then…the urge to smile will seize you. A word of caution here: try not to let your little angel know you caught them in a moment of adulthood. They’re still skittish about even remotely resembling their parental units yet.

Step away if you have to. Slip into the kitchen or bedroom, then let that fist pump high in the air and grin until your cheeks hurt. A moment of celebration is called for here! After all, a sliver of your vast knowledge, wit and wisdom made it through, lodged somewhere in their cerebrum, and they owned it!

Ahh…the joy of beating your head against the proverbial wall and then you are delivered of this sweet gem.  But in hindsight, I missed a clue this day might come.

This hint…nay, this minor foreshadowing came when my eldest sprout was firmly lodged in the middle teen years. One day she arrived home from school, excited and empowered by something she had “learned” and “totally got” from her AP psychology teacher. What “it” was, I no longer remember…but I DO remember this.  I––her mortal, flawed, clueless mother––had been telling her whatever “it” was for years.            

So have faith and wait for your magical moment, my parent brethren. This, too, will come your way.

But in the meantime, congratulate yourself on navigating however long as a parent without eating your young. In case you wondered, humans don't.  I checked.