12/12/2012

My New Year's Resolution

I actually think New Year's Resolutions are kinda funny.  If you don't like something about your life, why would you wait until the start of the New Year to change it?  But, it just so happens that the New Year is starting in a few weeks.  So, I am calling my goal a New Year's Resolution because it sounds more exciting than, "The Resolution I'm Starting Today", but rest assured, I will be starting it today, not in 3 weeks.

There are a few women in my life that I REALLY admire.  Women who I aspire to be like.  They are women who are charitable, kind, wise, and render service.  I listen intently to their every word because I want to learn all I can from them.  I want to use what I learn from them to be a better person.

But, it has become apparent to me lately, that not every woman admires the qualities in other women that they wish they could master themselves.  I have been shocked lately by the number of women I have heard beating up on themselves for their weaknesses or worst- beating up on other women to make themselves feel better.

We spend our days teaching our children to not fight, to be nice and not bully each other, so when did it become okay for us, as adults to glorify blogs like this, where women compare themselves to and them shred to pieces another mom for trying their best.  When, on earth did it become okay to "punch [someone] in the throat"?  Sure, it's all fun and games... until someone gets hurt.  And quite often, when you talk like that, Your. Words. Hurt.

We all have our own individual and unique strengths.  Sure, some moms have a Magic Elf, and others have no where near the energy even think about it.  But, that is because those moms are planning and throwing amazing holiday parties, for each one of their kids or they are spending their Saturdays at their son's ball games, with all the other kids in tow.  Some moms fill their homes (and the minds of their kiddos) with beautiful, amazing music and others ensure that their children are flooded with the arts.  Some moms spend hours of their day reading to their children, while others are constantly volunteering at their kids' schools.  Some moms even spend every Saturday teaching their children the value of serving others and how to become more Christlike.  But, none of us, do it all.  Nor do we need to.  We all have our own unique and individual talents that we share with our families, and the world around us, that makes us all AMAZING wives, women and mothers.

Life is hard.  Being a woman is hard.  Being a wife, can be hard.  And being a mother is DEFINITELY hard.  We are all just trying our very best.  We should be judging ourselves (and others) much less and relishing in our strengths.  We should be building each other up and encouraging one another.  We should be sharing what we have learned through our kind, humble actions.  There is NEVER a reason to tear someone else down in order to make yourself feel better.

As my very dear friend recently said, "If you don't like something, change it."  So, instead of beating up on another mom for trying her best, change your own life.  Or don't.  But, let's stop beating on ourselves and each other.

So, my New Year's Resolution, that is starting today, is to be more loving and more supportive.  It is to be less judgmental and more helpful.  And it is definitely to be proud of my strengths and change the things I don't like.

So, who wants to jump on my bandwagon?  If you too want to share my 'New Year's Resolution' than do just that- "share" it.  Or comment.  Or "Like" it.  Or better yet, send a card to another mom you admire and let them know you think they are doing a great job.  But, don't wait until January 1st.  Do it today.

Whaddya think?

12/07/2012

It's Just Paper...

Sometimes, people hurt my feelings.

Ok- not very often, I usually have a pretty thick skin.  But, lately (over the past few years), I've felt judged.  Because of my bank account.

I recently wrote about this subject, Why people hate those who have more than they have, but it seems like it is becoming an epidemic.  A trend to make life completely equal.  A trophy for every child.  No more gift exchanges because one gift might be better (more costly) than another.  The drive to make sure no one feels bad because they couldn't do what someone else could do.

I cringe to think of a world without Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy because sometimes they are more generous to one kid than they are to another.

Lately, I've heard statements like this:

"I think it's rude when people put pictures of their (toys, vacations, etc) on facebook.  It's like they are bragging about how much money they have " (although- ironically it's ok if a "poor"er person does this- just not the "wealthy" person)

"Easy for you to say, you have money"

"You wouldn't understand what it's like to be poor"

Really?  Now I will say the last 3ish years of my life have been very financially comfortable.  But, I didn't grow up like this, we WORKED and went without all the toys everyone else had, for YEARS, to live like this.  (I remember, very well, when I had to pay $33.14 a month for my birth control pills and when my doctor changed the prescription and the pills then cost $34.56 a month, I about choked- and this was after we paid for insurance- our insurance just didn't cover them).  And even when my husband graduated and got a job, we scrimped and saved and were REALLY slow to get all the toys everyone else had, because financial security was just more important.  And no one was going to be there to bail us out when we got in over our heads.

Having a financially stable life does NOT make me incompassionate, insincere, lazy, snotty or rude.  Those are character traits that a person CHOOSES to have, they are not caused by a dollar.

And the balance of an account does NOT guarantee a happy life or the lack of trials in one's life.  I can buy any pair of boots I'd like, but I can not call my mother on the phone and tell her about my day.  I feel pain, physical pain, when I see a girl lay her head on her mother's shoulder at church (and not in a 'I can't have that so you shouldn't either way.  I am so glad they do have that, I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone.  I just wish I had it too).  I will never vacation with my mother or have her give me parenting advise.  I can long to talk to her all I want and no one will ever be able to fill that void.

So, why is my void considered "just life" and the financial void in another's is considered a tragedy?  I know that my life is amazing, especially compared to so many others, but that does not lessen the pain in my life.  Just as the pain in someone's else's life is no less important because of the pain in my life.  I do not expect everyone else to make up for the lack in my life, so why are financial inconsistencies different?

Now, I'm not saying that we should let those less fortunate suffer.  (On the contrary, I feel it is my responsibility to lift the burdens- which is why I spent more on other people's children for Christmas than I did on my own....)  So, why am I judged for wearing True Religion jeans?  When did 'success become demonized'?

I don't think any less of the person who has less than I do, and I certainly don't feel like I'm any better than they are, so why do so many of them hate me?  I give A. Lot.  Often times, I give to those who have hurt my feelings.

Money is not the answer to life's problems.  (and that's when I hear, 'easy for you to say'....).  Love, compassion and kindness are.

So, please stop judging me for the brand of jeans I wear or the vacation I go on.  I have no clue what jeans you wear and I LOVE seeing pictures of you happy on vacation.  I LOVE seeing pictures of your crazy elf and the toys you got for Christmas and I LOVE it when money isn't an issue in our friendship.  Because, to me, it's just paper.

Whaddya think?