Monday, August 13, 2018

Happy Lefty Day

To all the lefties out there. I'm one, are you?

I remember there being some things said about my left-handedness when I was a kid but nothing as harsh as history tells us. I mean, I've never been accused of being a witch or worse so there's that. Actually, I remember embracing my left-handedness early on because it set me apart from most other people around me, young and old. I liked that. I never enjoyed being part of the crowd.

It is true that the world is all set up for right-handers but it was never difficult for me to adjust. The desks at school? I simply tilted my paper or notebooks and I've never been able to write with my wrist contorted to write upside down. Right-handed scissors? I do fine with them and cannot cut a thing with scissors made for lefties. I bat right-handed, I throw baseballs and footballs right-handed, and I cannot use a mouse with my left hand. Nothing else sticks out in my mind as being bothersome or causing me to adjust myself so being a lefty wasn't stressful or difficult for me.

I love being a lefty and get so excited when I meet another one. They don't come around very often but when they do, we tend to overreact with our enthusiasm.

So, what do the 'experts' (and I use that term loosely) have to say about lefties?

  1. We have a higher risk of psychosis. Ha! I'm just going to say right now most of the people I know who suffer from any sort of psychosis favor their right hands. Ok, that's only two people but still... 
  2. We have lower rates of arthritis and ulcers. I'll take it. 
  3. We are better at divergent thinking and are drawn to careers in the arts, music, sports, and information technology. Well, I always wanted to play for the Dallas Cowboys when I was a kid.
  4. We are scaredy cats. Yep, we are more affected by fear than our right-handed friends. It seems we tend to give fragmented descriptions when recalling a fearful event but that's probably because we observed that fearful event with BOTH hands over our eyes. Then again, I am one of Stephen King's biggest fans so... Ha! Seriously, I am a big scaredy cat and had to mentally get my imagination under strict control decades ago. Anyway, lefties seem to be prone to PTSD.  
  5. We are more likely to have negative emotions and a hard time processing our feelings. Ok, we're moody and have anger issues. I can't argue with this one based on what I know about myself but I also know this is true of many right-handers I know personally so there's that. 
  6. We tend to be inhibited, shy, and embarrassed. This one may very well be true. No matter how hard some of us try to come off confident, we aren't. 
  7. We like to partake of alcoholic beverages. Maybe some of us do but I am not one of them. I have never quite adjusted to the taste of alcohol. I enjoy a few choices but I do not like the way I feel while under the influence which is probably more related to my control issues than handedness unless control issues are traits of left-handers.
  8. We tend to be better at one-on-one sports. Maybe, maybe not. I LOVE sports but I am not good at playing them.
  9. We win more often when it comes to survival of the fittest. This is because most people are right-handed and perhaps thrown off when they are come at from the left or something like that. I don't know, I'm not a fighter unless it comes to verbal debates but I don't think that's a handedness thing. 
  10. We share handedness with some pretty interesting folks some I am proud to claim, others not so much. The ones I am pleased to share handedness with include: Oprah, Babe Ruth, Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, Barak Obama, Aristotle, Mozart, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Issac Newton ...
  11.  We are more likely to have allergies. Holy Cow, YES! I have them and they are BAD. But everyone else I know with bad allergies is righties so I don't know about this one either. 
  12. We are less able to roll our tongues. Not only is this true of this lefty but it makes my leftie tendency towards anger flare because I've been trying to do this my whole life with zero success.
  13. We are better able to multi-task. Ok, I am good at multi-tasking but it gets increasingly hard on my brain as I age. 
  14. We tend to have higher IQs. Well, of course, we do. 😂
I don't know how much handedness really matters as I tend to believe we're all different and have our strengths and weaknesses unique to our own make-up, handedness being one of the many attributes. But being a lefty is fun and it does make for a fun blog post when you have writer's block. 

Are you a lefty?

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Friday, August 10, 2018

On the Road Again

Ok, the fake road. The indoor with AC because it's more humid than humid outside road. The treadmill. Also, raise your hand if you sang the title to this post. 😂

When I turned 50 a while back (ha!) I thought I'd join the senior center instead of a gym because while the gym provides a good deal of eye candy, the senior center would put me in the midst of 'my people' and I thought I'd be way more comfortable with them than the eye candy since the 'eye candy' lot are not 'my people.'

Since NashvilleDaughter and DrummerBoy decided to tie-the-knot I quickly realized I am tired of being the fat MOB (mother-of-the-bride) and yes I used the word fat and it's fine because I'm talking about myself and it is what it is and I am what I am so there.

Why not just walk outside? I used to do that but over the last couple years I've gotten out of the habit and the humidity is putting forth a serious effort to finally kill me so, at least for now, it needs to be inside.

Why didn't I just join the senior center? Because I decided, after my tour, I was not a fan of being shown up on a treadmill by an 85-year-old on an elliptical (which is the evilest machine ever made) so I just became sedentary which was such a great help.

I finally decided to give Planet Fitness a go. I have friends who go there and Y'all, it's only $10/month and they do not bill you annually and you can cancel at any time AND I joined for a mere $1.00. WooHoo! TeacherDaughter also has a membership (though her's is the $20/month because she's fancy. And has a job.) so we've been going together for 3 weeks now which is great because that actually gets me in the gym.

I think it was on our 3rd day that they showed up. Who? Those 85-year-olds. There they were on the ellipticals showing up even the eye candy. These older folks go to town on those things and TALK while doing it! Are you kidding me? I can't talk while I'm on the treadmill because NO BREATH. If that's not bad enough there are people who, now get this---RUN to the gym for their workout and then RUN home. Showoffs. Sadly, I have one of those in my own family. Traitor. Anyway...

Do I like Planet Fitness? I do. The people working out keep to themselves and most of them make sure not to jump on the machine right beside you which I like because I need at least 10-foott radius from others. The employees, so far, are all super friendly and helpful without being the least bit intrusive. The price is RIGHT! The machines are plentiful and there are options when choosing a workout. They do have trainers. I met one after a class he taught but since the younger people who
just took the class looked like they were about to pass out I'm pretty sure you won't see me taking one. He was super perky anyway and when I'm sweating like someone working in a warehouse with no AC wearing wool on the hottest day of the year you don't want to put perky in my face.

The thing I like most about Planet Fitness is how clean it is. Those people know how to keep a place clean and to a germaphobe like me, that's HUGE. I also like that no one in there seems to pay one bit of attention to anyone else in there and I like that because I hate to be watched.

Of course, every gym has THAT ONE person who comes dressed in arrogance and self-importance but she's so far out of my fitness league I should never have to encounter her. Oh and to the middle-aged lady flirting with that middle-aged, MARRIED man---I saw you. You should probably back off. Just sayin'. What can I say? Sometimes people are brazen right in front of my face.

So, Planet Fitness gets a big YES vote from me. It's only been 3 weeks but I don't expect any of this to change. It's fun and I need to get this weight off and getting fit again won't hurt anything so hopefully, I'll keep going even though I'll have to go solo starting next week.

What are y'all doing to get or keep yourselves fit?

Oh, and here:

Now, where did I put that bag of potato chips?

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Connecting with Adult Children

To be honest, I was under the impression being in touch with our adult children is the norm until I started reading comments on social media, blog posts, and articles. It seems we may actually be the exception, instead. Which is sad. And curious.

My four daughters and I are quite close. We share similar philosophies and political leanings. We love to laugh and share everything from our daily routines to problems, from good news to bad. We are in touch because we want to be not because we're expected to be. We enjoy each other's company and appreciate any time we have together.

One daughter lives 8 hours away but not a day goes by without us texting and/or a phone call. This is the way it is with empty nesters I know personally, too. Thus, my erroneous thought all of us enjoy a wonderful relationship with our adult kids. Now, I realize I am one of the lucky/blessed ones and I am more grateful than ever before.

Do I agree with all their life decisions made in their adult lives? Nope. Do we all get along all the time? Nope. But when we do have our disagreements we tend to have them and then let them go. We try not to harbor and build resentments. As in our relationships with other people, we have to realize what's right for us isn't always going to be the right thing or right way for our adult children.

We don't really know what goes on in other families because we don't live their lives so I won't make any assumptions as to why so many parents have difficulty connecting with their adult children. I will say if there is a problem that has become so intense or complex you can't find a way around it, seek out a counselor. I do know parents who feel used and a couple who feel alienated by their adult children and counseling is most helpful in these as well as other situations.

Don't think for a second I'm not guilty of failing on some of these suggestions because I am. We're not perfect, we just do the best we can, right? That being said, here are a few ways I think would work to help us stay connected with our adult children.

  1. Do not offer unsolicited advice. Or at least keep it to a minimum. I'm not the world's best at this but I'm far from the worst. Parents are pretty good at problem-solving. We've done it for decades and we possess experience wisdom but that does not give us the right to intrude and tell our adult kids what to do and how to do it. Safe your sage advice for the times it is requested and if it is never requested, pat yourself on the back you did a great job raising the kids! Remember, when they do ask for advice don't be critical. 
  2. Back off a minute. You raised these kids and most likely you loved every minute of it. But it's THEIR time now so we have to back off and give them the space they need to figure out this whole adulting thing which is not the easiest thing to figure out if you remember. Heck, I'm still working on it. 
  3. Do away with expectations or keep them under control and to yourself. If I've said it once I've said it a gazillion times: expectations will leave you with nothing but disappointment. Not to mention when you expect something from another person what you're really wanting is for them to do something the way you would do or the way you want it done. That's not fair. So what if they don't call or text or respond to yours every minute of the day, they have a life to live and they don't answer to us anymore. Of course, if you're feeling taken advantage of because the only time they do come around is when they need something it may be time for a family meeting or some tough love but that's on you to decide. 
  4. Remember, you are not the boss. You did your job, put in your time and now you're done. Not with being a parent but with parenting dependent children. 
  5. Find a common interest and share it. Does everyone enjoy shopping? Going to the movies? Bowling? Hiking? Football? Whatever the interest, if you find a common one invite them to join you. If they come, great! If not, go anyway and have a good time but don't stop inviting them because one day they will show up. 
  6. Show a genuine interest. Sometimes we parents can come off seeming nosy instead of interested. Check the way you ask-- are you engaging in conversation or poking around where you aren't wanted or needed? Even if your intentions are innocent if your adult kid thinks otherwise, just be careful until they realize and/or appreciate you're genuinely interested.
  7. No guilt trips. Honestly, if my mother ever put a guilt trip on me I would have had a conniption fit. People can carry their own guilt without having it put on them. Now is the time for us to recognize and respect the differences between us. 
  8. Be a good listener. Sometimes we just need someone to listen and who better than our parents? Unless they jump in to tell us how to solve the problem which isn't what we wanted. Chances are your adult kids are perfectly capable of solving their problems but may need a supportive ear for a minute. Just give the ear and keep the solution to the problem to yourself unless they ask for it. Remember, we always want to be the ones they turn to not the ones they turn away from. 
  9. Snail mail. Use it. Send a 'thinking-of-you' card every once in a while. You can put a little $$ in there, a newspaper clipping you saw they can relate to, a gift card, or just a little note and an 'I love you.' I started using the app, TouchNote and everyone loves it! I mostly use it to send pictures of my grands to my Dad and stepmom and my aunt but I do use it for my girls as well. It's so easy and a great way to send a postcard or greeting card. 
  10. Accept whatever form of communication they are willing to use. Text, email, video chats, phone calls, whatever. I'd rather have any form of communication than none at all. 
  11. Ask if they'd be willing to have a weekly phone call or video chat with you. And PROMISE not to keep them on there for 2 hours. We have people like that in our family and it drives me nuts. A 15-20 minute conversation is good enough and if it goes longer and all parties are ok with that then great! Don't forget about conference calling if you have multiple kiddos because having them all on the phone at the same time is super fun! 
  12. Weekly or monthly meals. If your adult kids live close enough start a weekly or monthly meal at your house. Just let them know when it is but do not badger them to come. If they do, great if they don't just freeze the leftovers. 
  13. Pray for them. If you are the praying sort, do it. I can't tell you how very aware I am my grandmother prayed for me until the day she passed. My mother has passed but my dad and stepmother continue praying for all of us daily. It makes a difference. 
That's all I've got right now but I'm sure Y'all have some more and I'd love to hear them!

Also, please visit my friend Mary who has a wonderful post about the difficulty of parenting adult children. Y'all can read her post HERE

Thanks, Y'all! Have a wonderful day!

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Friday, August 3, 2018

How to Uplift a Bad/Sad Day

Like I really know. Ha! I don't believe there is one single person out there who hasn't suffered through a bad or sad day at least once in their lives. Those days happen and we have to deal with them. We know these days are temporary but there are times when they don't feel temporary so we need to have some outlets handy to help us get out of our slumps.

So, what makes you have a bad or sad day? Traffic tie-ups? Someone being mean to you? Getting up on the wrong side of the bed? Running behind schedule? Needing chocolate when there's none in the house? A life-changing event? Had a bad dream? In need of a pity party? Do you look for someone to blame or recognize your bad/sad day as self-inflicted because if we're being honest aren't most of them self-inflicted? Something isn't going our way or someone isn't doing what we want them to do? Not that there aren't external causes. I mean, menopause can be a b#tch and I didn't exactly have a fantastic day when Mother passed in May but mostly, my bad/sad days are self-inflicted if I look at them closely.

Regardless of why, we do have those days and I'll share a few thoughts on how to get through them because Y'all, we do have to get through them.

  1. Just go with it. That's right. Sometimes we just have to go with a bad or sad day because sometimes crying it out or whatever you need to do is the only remedy. Venting, crying, an extreme workout, anything that will, in the end, make us feel better. 
  2. Music, loud. The genre completely depends on the type of bad/sad day I'm having so it could go from classical to rock and anything in-between except country, metal or hip-hop. Those last three simply do not appeal to me with the exception of a few songs otherwise it would probably add to my bad day. Ha!
  3. A sad movie. Yep, sad movies will bring me right out of a bad or sad day because they make me cry and because they usually depict lives way sadder than my own. 
  4. Alone time. I love my alone time and if I could have it all the time (excluding holidays and other family gatherings) I'd probably never have bad days but I'm not sure about the sad days. 
  5. Get up and move. It doesn't have to be exercise but moving around is helpful even if it's just taking a stroll outside. A nature walk is good for me as long as I don't run into other people. 
  6. Put things into perspective. Now, this one doesn't always work for me especially if my bad or sad day involves a pity party, however, making a list of the positives is helpful at times. I do find making a list of positives at night can be a deterrent to having a bad/sad day the next day. I remind myself that things could have almost always been worse.  
  7. Meditation/Prayer can work wonders. It gives us a little time out from everything else and helps us refocus. 
  8. If talking it out helps you, call a friend and talk away. I'm a bit too private for this one but I am a great listener and just listening is helpful to some friends. 
  9. Try to identify your triggers behind the bad/sad day and explore them when you are not feeling down or upset. This can be especially helpful in preventing some future bad/sad days. Although, I feel having a bad or sad day every once in a while is a good thing. But that's me.
  10. JournalJournalJournal. I had a few super bad years a while back. Not the kind where every single day was bad but it was a bad, and often sad, time. I journaled like a mad dog through those years and it helped way more than I ever thought it would. All those things we feel we can't say or don't because we're private people or because we're venting and not looking for conversation or judgment can be written down page after page, journal after journal and you can come out feeling much better on the other side.  
  11. Suck-it-up. No, I'm not being mean or unfeeling here but some days we just have to suck-it-up and do our thing. I found on days I have to suck-it-up, my bad/sad either goes away or it sits on the back burner until I have time to give it attention because if I don't give some of the bad/sad feelings attention they're going to come up again at a most inopportune time. 
I know y'all have more suggestions and I would love for you to share them in the comments. Of course, if we find ourselves in a bad/sad day that truly never ends it may be time to seek some professional help and I assure you there is no shame in that. 

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

#hashtag Me

This summer is going by rather quickly but, at the same time, it's dragging a bit. I can't complain about the weather too much (I'm joking, I can because it's more humid than humid) since we've been having thunderstorms every single day and I do love a good thunderstorm until it gets too loud and lightning strikes are too close. Ha! Not everyone appreciates a good thunder boomer though...

Since there's not much to do during a thunderstorm or because it's just too humid to go outside I find myself sitting inside not sweating and trying to find something to overcome this writer's block of mine which is probably related to the fact I am not an actual writer but a writer wannabe. Anyway...

While perusing Instagram, I've noticed many people are great at coming up with clever #hashtags. I've also noticed I am not one of those people. I'm not going to let that stop me, though so I tried a few of those fun little quizzes to tell me what #hashtags describe me.

Ha! Thanks, Playbuzz. Now I know why I have such a hard time with this. Not being satisfied with the quiz results, I decided to try and make my own list. 

Not-so-clever but fun list of #hashtags to describe me.

1. #whendidthatsongbecomeclassicrock
2. #runsoncoffeeandsarcasm
3. #iam53untilfurthernotice
4. #improveswithwine
5. #spoilsdogsandgrandchildren
6. #WTH
7. #keeppounding (#carolinapanthers) (#nflandcollegetoo) (#rahrahree)
8. #nosugarcoating
9. #oldenoughtoknowwhatahousephoneis
10. #brainnotalwaysengagedbeforemouthisputingear
11. #lovestodebate #everything #allthetime
12. #laughingmywaythrough

Let's hear what Y'all come up with! What #hashtags describe you?

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