The Clean Spot

Recently, my daughter told me something that I could have taken the wrong way. She said something to the affect of, “I’m not sure you taught me good things growing up.” Here is her example.

While she was growing up, I didn’t want to get upset over a spill, or if she dropped something on the floor, and it made a mess. I enjoyed showing her the proper way to clean up the mess. Life can get messy, and it was my job to show her what to do if it did.

I’m her Mama, not her lifetime repair woman.

To make light of the situation, I would tell her, “After you clean up that mess, it will be the cleanest spot in the house!”, and that became our motto.

She was at a friends house helping them do laundry.

She spilled some laundry detergent on the carpet.

The detergent was blue, and the carpet was white.

She said as she was down on her hands and knees, scrubbing the carpet, she was shaking her head and laughing at my voice in her head! She said out loud, “This is going to be one heck of a clean spot!”

She had heard those words many times before.

We were newly on our own, and standing in the check out line of a grocery store. The check out line was always a stressful moment because she was hoping I had enough money to pay for the purchases. What she didn’t know was, I had already tallied them up in my head to avoid embarrassment.

She wanted to be helpful, and insisted on carrying the milk to the car. She looked so small, holding that gallon of milk. It was gathering condensation being out of the cooler, and was slippery. She was trying to hold onto it, but it didn’t take long for it to slip from her hands, and go crashing to the floor.

She was sure everyone in the store was looking.

The gallon of spilled milk looked more like a lake.

The cashier sympathized, and called for a clean up.

I placed my arm around my daughter’s shoulders and guided her mortified body to the exit saying, “That’s gonna be one heck of a clean spot.”

Puzzles and Life

Meet Andy at the Blogsite Growing Pains. He wrote a piece that reminded me of a topic I was going to write about, and forgot. The puzzles of life.

When my daughter was learning to manage depression/anxiety, I was pondering what to do to help. My Mama worked a puzzle on the kitchen table at least once a month. I don’t know her exact philosophy behind this, but it brought us together as a family. One couldn’t walk by without stopping to help, and visit with Mama.

My daughter and I have a ginormous coffee table.

I went and bought a puzzle that spoke to my heart.

One I could leave laying out for days while we worked on it. We would spend hours sitting there together with 1,000 pieces scattered across the table.We talked about anything and everything.

To make something beautiful out of the chaos. This is how life can feel at times.

We had a love/hate thing going on with the puzzle. You couldn’t sit in front of it without trying to get a piece to fit, but our favorite pieces were last few. We felt accomplished when those final pieces would snap into place!

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In the Blog I read this morning, Andy’s puzzle fell and shattered. It wasn’t his fault, and he was distraught when he walked into the room and saw it scattered across the floor. He saw it as all their hard work being lost, but when he told his wife, I love her response.

She said, “I guess we have more work to do.”

That is what I wanted to reveal to my daughter.

What she is learning to manage will take work, but with every piece the puzzle will come together, and it will be beautiful.

Much love to you. xx Barb xx

Take Every Test

My daughter is sitting in a college classroom, preparing for a test. She is young, and hasn’t been through many tests.

She has been home-schooled since 4th grade, and we have used life’s classroom. Of course, we used curriculum, but life is a fabulous teacher! Have we passed every test? Of course not, but every test failed, prepares us to succeed.

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My daughter had to learn to fail, and not let that stop her. When she takes a test for school, it’s okay to fail. Homeschooling allows you the freedom to retake the test. If she wasn’t happy with her grade, and knew she could do better, I would let her take the test again. Just like in life.

Learning from mistakes equals knowledge. I don’t believe ‘knowledge is power.’ The power comes from what we do with the knowledge. Anyone can sit full of knowledge.

My daughter had no pressure from me to go to college.

My philosophy is this. “Don’t waste my money, or your time on college, unless you know what you want to be.”

She is wicked smart, and her grades qualify for college, but she has seen many friends flounder in college for years, and leave with no usable degree. She is starting with community college, and I’m so happy for her! She will take some classes and discern her path, or just blaze a trail, but either way, it will be affordable, and not consume our lives.

She has learned through life, more than any curriculum. At her young age, she knows there will be many tests, and it’s okay not to pass it each time. The more tests you take, the more experience gained, and knowledge received.

Let go of the outcome, and be willing to take every test.

 

Welcome to Chillville

I’m not used to feeling this relaxed in the middle of the day!

My daughter just looked at me feeling all chill. My limbs are still feeling the stretches done on the mat this morning. My posture is on point, and I’m cradled in contentment.

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I fell in love with the practice of Yoga a few years ago.

It was not something I would have done if my daughter was little, but the first time we went to a Yoga class, she was a teenager. Being a single Mom, sometimes the only way to do something you want to do, is to take that child with you!

It’s good for them, and you. They get to see what makes your heart happy, even if it bores them to tears. They should want a Mom that takes care of herself, so she can take better care of them. At this moment, my daughter could ask for anything, and within reason, she would probably get it. (Except a puppy) I’m that freakin’ chill!

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This class is only available Sunday mornings, and the Yoga studio is right down the street. I’ve tried doing online Yoga, but I’m sorry, it doesn’t compare to an actual class. The vibe from being in the studio, with an instructor, and the other participants is rejuvenating, and healing within itself.

The class is called Chillville for a reason. It’s an hour and a half long, and you hold a pose for several minutes, sinking into the mat, watching your thoughts float by, until you’re completely present.  The first time I took this class, I was so fidgety, I was ready to leave about halfway through!

My body couldn’t be still because my mind was racing.

It was the most challenging Yoga class I’ve ever taken.

To stretch and hold the pose. Today, my mind eventually slowed down, and became in sync with my body! It took time, but I could feel myself becoming one with the mat. It was a magical moment, and I’m hooked on this class.

It’s was the best money I’ve spent in a very long time.

If you’re a single Mom, you look at every dollar before spending it. This class is the longest, and most expensive class the studio offers. It’s $13.00. The other classes during the week, are half that much. Do you invest in yourself?

My daughter was home this weekend, and not at her Dad’s. I invited her to come to the class with me, but she said, “Mom, that’s your thing, and you should go.” She chose to sleep in, and then planned to go to her fave coffee shop with her new book. We both did something good for ourselves, but the day is half over, and I’m still in Chillville.

Working From Home (SMS)

I walked into the bathroom, and there was the eye cream laying beside the sink. My daughter had left it for me, even though she normally takes it with her on the weekends. She knows I love that eye cream because it has shimmer in it, and it was a small, selfless act that showed great love.

My daughter returned home last weekend, and excitedly walked into her room. Normally, I spend the weekend doing small things all around the house to make our lives better, prettier, and more balanced. Her room might receive a new candle, or fresh flowers depending where I go that weekend. Last weekend, I stayed home and relaxed.

She said, “There is something different about my room, but I don’t know what it is.” Little does she know, I didn’t touch her room last weekend. It was exactly as she left it.

I’m working from home 7 days a week now, and it’s been an adjustment on many levels. We can still take time to care for one another, it’s just finding a balance. This weekend, I mopped the entire house, and you can feel the difference. I took the time to care for my daughter, even though she wasn’t here, but she will see it when she returns home.

I needed to strike a balance between work, and being present. The first week of the job, my daughter ran the errands, and figured out what was for dinner. She has enough to do, so this couldn’t last. This small act helped bring balance into our lives, and it was found in the kitchen!

How do you get away from the work when working from home? Step away, and walk into another room.

When I ran into an obstacle with a client, and needed to pause, I made cookies. By the time they went into the oven, God had revealed the solution. If the phone became quiet around 4:00, I started dinner. Choosing recipes I could walk away from if the phone rang. Some days, I let it go to voicemail, but returned the call after my break.

My daughter thanked me several times for cooking, and especially the cookies. She didn’t realize cooking was saving my sanity, and being therapeutic.

When she returns today, her sheets have been washed in the Tyler wash we have come to love. A candle is lit in her room, so it smells like home when she walks in. Just like leaving the eye cream for me to enjoy; taking the time to do small things for her, brings a smile to working from home.

You’re So Extra

It’s the weekend, and my daughter is at her Dad’s.

You would think, I’d be used to this by now.

When we lived an hour away, it felt like she was far away. Since we moved, she is now 10 minutes away, but somehow that makes it a bit more difficult. I want to meet her for coffee, but I respect their time together on the weekends.

silence

The silence of her being away is deafening. Embrace it.

I bought her favorite flowers earlier this week, and put them in a vase. I told her, “It’s difficult to make the heavy-headed Sunflower stand up, so I cut them short, and added some filler.” She looked at the greenery I used inquisitively, and I shared, “Oh, it’s just something I found growing in the yard.”

She burst into laughter and said, “Mom! You’re so extra!”

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I usually spend time on the weekends doing the extra’s, but this weekend, I’m spending time on me. I value the word, ‘weekend’. We are nearing the end of another week, so it’s time to refresh, and realign our souls for a new week.

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I spent money yesterday that I wouldn’t normally spend.

To justify this purchase, I reminded myself that it was going to be a quiet weekend at home, and I would have spent at least $30, if not more, at the Farmer’s Market. It was raining yesterday, and the FM was closed, so this reasoning works.

Sometimes is hard to spend money on something frivolous when you have a spending limit. When my daughter gets home, and sees new candles burning, she will ask, “Did you eat this weekend?’ I have been known to choose coffee, flowers, and candles over food, without her supervision.

Yesterday, I ducked into a shop to get out of the rain, and they had a huge display of Tyler Candles. These smell divine! I was standing there gazing at the selection, when the sales lady asked if I had tried ‘the wash.’ On the other side of the wall of candles stood more products made by Tyler. They have expanded into laundry detergent.

glamorous

I envisioned washing our sheets with this. My love for these candles had me picturing going to sleep, wrapped in a candle fragrance! This set came with three *votive candles, and two pretty holders. That my friends, is beyond extra!

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Weekend Plans: Breathe, Pause, Repair your Universe, Proceed.

*Tip for today: Before placing a votive candle in the holder, pour a little water in first. Just to cover the bottom. Once the candle has completed it’s burn time, and is ready to be discarded, it will pop right out of the holder. Plus, if you forget to blow it out before leaving the house, it will extinguish itself once it reaches the water in the bottom.

However, I don’t recommend tempting fate this way.

Single Mom Syndrome

Money is a huge factor for a single Mom. We often stay in an unhealthy relationship for financial security. That is highly overrated. When you become unhappy enough, you will find a way out. Be ready to walk through some fire though.

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You let go of what you have, to get what you want.

My daughter and I had each other, and that was enough.

Her father is still a very materialistic person, but I let that shit go! We simplified when we left, and took only our favorite things. We had so much stuff to choose from, you couldn’t tell anyone had moved out. We still have those foundational pieces, but our tastes are changing.

Since moving into our new home, people said, “You need to download the Nextdoor app.” I took a look at it, but didn’t like how it showed your address. You can take your house number off, and it reveals only your street. Being a single Mom, try to protect our exact location. The app is a fun way to connect with neighbors, and buy/sell things.

We haven’t bought a piece of furniture in years, but I spent the weekend rearranging our living room. I read articles on ‘How to make the most of small spaces.” Oh yes lovely. The houses we’ve shared since, are less than 1,000 square feet.

A whole new level of togetherness.

When you move into a new home, you sit things where you think they belong. As you settle in, you make it a home. We have been here since January, so it’s time to fine tune it.

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Our new addition, and I’ve been staring at it for days.

I learned the hard way, don’t buy things to add to your life because you like it. It’s no longer just you, it’s all about us.

This piece already had some things going for it.

  1. It is my daughters favorite brand. (Threshold)
  2. It’s a good combination of both of us. She leans toward modern, and sleek. I enjoy wood for warmth.
  3. The price was $40, and it looks brand new.
  4. Finding it on Nextdoor, the local was nearby.

We went to go look at it together. I can tell by her face, if she likes something, or not. She liked it and said, “If it makes you happy, then get it!” It fit perfectly, and we both like it.

We are trying to decide what to sit on top. I’m thinking of framing some photographs she has on her phone.The drawers will remain empty for a while, but there is one for each of us. What would you display, and use it for?