Thursday, October 8, 2015

Time After Time

Have you ever met someone who didn't know who N'Sync was? I have. And this is our story.
(cue Law & Order music here - ba ba bum).

It is high school blood drive season at work. Any co-workers who might be reading this are probably giving the screen an all-knowing head tilt and eyebrow lift, anticipating what I'm going to say next. For the rest of you, I'll set the scene by just saying it's exhausting and exhiliarating to hang with 16- and 17-year olds all day.  They're invincible and awesome to themselves, and to them, I'm old.

I was at a very small area high school for a few hours yesterday and thought I was totally hitting it off with the students who were helping at the donor registration table. Until the song "Bye Bye Bye" came on.  An apparently jock (though this school and group of kids was surprisingly seemingly clique-less) said something along the lines of "Maddie told me she liked the BackStreet Boys and I lost all respect for her."   Another girl laughed and said something like, "Yeah, NSync is where it's at." The girl next to her said, "Who's NSync?" I laughed. No one else did. The first girl just turned to the girl who asked and casually said "oh just another boy band like Backstreet" and the conversation moved on.  I'M SORRY, WHAT?!!!  Incredulously, I asked, "were you being serious?" and she nodded and again they went back to another conversation.  Can you believe this? Self-admittedly, I was Team Backstreet Boys but for god's sake, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE was in N'Sync and what are these girls doing with their weekends if not practicing Joey and Lance's choreographed dance moves?! It made me wonder what the boy band, or Britney vs XTina, type-feud is these days. Please comment if you know.

But more than that, it got me wondering how and when I became the person on the outskirts of the conversation, the adult, the authority figure?   More music came on and this time it was the song, "Time after time." The teacher who coordinated the blood drive asked the entire group of students, "who sings this song?" and  was met with many blank stares. Then, the same jock from above said, "Janis Joplin." Let that sink in.
Teacher: "No, she was dead before this song came out. Think more 80s." 
Another nearby boy: "Oh, oh, TLC."  (Did he hear a second and third voice that I wasn't hearing?!)
Teacher: "No. That's no the 80s." 
Yet another kid walking by: "We don't know, Mr.G.You're old."
I laughed, but as the boy walked by me, he said,"I bet you know the answer." AKA HE CALLED ME OLD, TOO.

I smiled and shrugged. It's not the worst thing I've been called. For whatever reason, those moments made me think about the interesting juxtaposition between that morning and the few other times recently I've been hanging out with a high schooler.  Earlier this summer, I become a part of the Catholic Charities Mentoring Moms program. Google it if you're curious and feel free to ask me any questions should you want to get involved (it's not a Catholic thing, by the way).  My mentee is in high school and is a teen mom of a not quite 1 year old baby with another on the way.  Her problems and our conversations are a stark contrast to those I encounter at high school blood drive registration tables.  She worries about formula and homework and Medicare every single day, and is working toward getting a drivers license, and you know what, somehow I think she probably knows who N'Sync is! ;)   We work through a lot of real and very adult things together.

So I guess I don't know when it happened that I grew up, perhaps motherhood had something to do with it, but in any case, whether it's music education or parenting advice, I'm happy I'm able to help others. Overall, I have fun at my job and in my mentoring program.  I make upjokes about SnapChat (which I don't even have) to get teens to laugh at me. I may be an "old" person, but I like to think I'm cool. Despite thinking that N'Sync is still cool. Despite what hanging with high schoolers makes me feel like.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A case of the Mondays

Today has been a rough day.  First, I didn’t wake up to my alarm. More accurately, I apparently didn’t set my alarm, but that’s just semantics at this point. I have a toddler so an alarm clock is a moot point. But still – didn’t wake up early like I’d hoped to throw in laundry and get some things done. Then, when I did wake up, feed and let the dog out, he seemed to have come back inside with a SMELL.  If you’d have been in our house this morning, you’d agree that ALL CAPS IS NECESSARY. So my mind immediately went to “omg – he was skunked.” So I fall into that Google rabbit hole – HARD.  Matt didn’t seem to think that was the case, he figured he rolled in some of his own poo. Agree to to disagree.  We nonetheless had to give him an impromptu bath today in the backyard. Nevermind the fact that I just paid almost $100 just last week to have him bathed and groomed.

After Matt went to work and consulted some “country folks,” we don’t believe the skunking to be the case. I googled until I could google no more, and still, I actually have no idea what the h-e-double hockey sticks (again, toddler) our crazy dog got into.

Then, during my meal prep time before work (I try to get as much of the chopping and prep work done days or at least hours before dinner if possible), I got freakin’ jalapeno juice in my eye!!!

THEN, over my lunch break I then went to work off some steam at a Kosama class and long story short, somehow hit myself super hard with my own kettlebell.  Don’t try that at home, folks.

But what you should try is this: First, a deep breath:)  Second, a step back for some perspective.  As I’m cursing myself, I do realize I have no one to blame but myself, but then again, why blame.  To get through the rest of the workout, my mind was taken back to a motivational speaker I once saw whose ‘jist’ was this:

If you are angry at someone or something, you give that person or event power of your life.  Usually they don't even know it - what a waste!   (I probably waste so much time each week being upset by things and people who have no idea that’s the case!)

There is no place in life without a CHOICE:  do I get up now, or snooze for 5 more minutes, what should I wear today, am I going to text while driving on the way to work, etc, etc.  The thing is, you may not always like the choice(s) you have in front of you.  But there is always, ALWAYS A CHOICE in every situation. And the awesome thing is that YOU HAVE POWER OVER THOSE CHOICES. YOU are in charge.  Again, you may not always agree with the circumstance you're in (ie -"it's not my fault I'm homeless" or that my day totally stinks – literally and figuratively) but you can always accept those circumstances and CHOOSE to believe you'll get through it.  So basically, instead of asking "WHY ME?!" that something is happening to, CHOOSE to ask yourself "WHAT FOR?"   Sometimes less than ideal things happen so you learn lessons you couldn't possibly have under any different circumstances, but again, you have to CHOOSE to see it that way.  I'm choosing to see today

Again, these are lessons I learned from Reon Schutte  (sp??) – he was imprisoned in South Africa if I remember correctly. And imprisoned in a cell built for 12 people, but that housed 50. It's actually been declared one of the worst prisons in the entire world by the UN and other organizations.

Hey, if he can survive that, the power of the mind - the power of choice, is a pretty big deal.  Just throwing it out there in case any of you are experiencing or ever experience a case of the “Mondays.” Today is a bad good day.  :)

Monday, April 27, 2015

A picture worth a 1,000 words

What's in my purse doesn't seem all that exciting of a topic, but when it inconveniently spilled out all over my backseat today, I thought the contents quite representative of the latest and greatest in my world so figured I may as well share an update.

In the picture, you can see a diaper, tissues and small portion of a pack of Wet Ones. My little guy is now 15 months old and I'm a total mom now. Not like full-on nail files and super glue supplies kind of mom (yet) but I always try to be prepared! [See below for bonus picture of the adorable 15-month old]

There's also a water bottle..filled with flavored water, Crystal Light Energy to be exact. And ugh, yes, I know it contains Aspartame and I know Aspartame is enemy of the state numero uno these days, but you know what else? There are kids in Africa who don't have artificial sweeteners so I'm going to at least finish the box, ok?!

Ignore the rogue cash. That's just there. I can't be bothered to always put my change back in its rightful wallet spot every time.

Most excitingly, that stack of papers are for our mortgage guy. We're moving! We listed our house for sale earlier this month and it sold four days later! That left us pleasantly surprised and also scrambling to find a place to live. After A LOT of showings (sorry to our real estate agent if reading this right now), we did manage to find what we think is a perfect next house that checks all the boxes on our wants lists, and I can't wait to move in next month. After a wonderful 5 1/2 years, we have just a few weeks to pack up and get out. No time to feel sappy about leaving!

Not pictured: my keys. They're in there somewhere, even though I can NEVER find them.

I'll end now with the adorable bonus picture as promised: