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.”

I Will Fight For You

I don’t get mad, but this morning, I am seething for another Blogger. She is a newbie, and a bully came out to play on her Blog.

She wrote a Blog referring to the neighborhood she grew up in as the ‘Ghetto.’ Whose neighborhood was it? Hers.

The bully left a long, derogatory comment on her post.

I’ve had one derogatory comment left on my Blog.

It was when I was a member of Patreon, and trying to raise money to publish a book. This guy raked me over the coals for trying to get paid for my work.

Again, whose Patreon account was it? Mine.

His comment didn’t bother me because I’ve learned something. What we say and do can touch a nerve in other souls, and they lash out at us for touching that nerve. His comment was hateful, but eloquently written, so I wondered if he was a writer that didn’t get paid. I didn’t respond, and hit delete.

Don’t respond to bullies. That’s what they want.

My new friend has only been Blogging for a few weeks, and she is writing about her past. We all know how healing that can be, but that one comment crushed her spirit. She deleted all her posts!

What’s amazing is we have to maneuver our way through a post with an F bomb in every sentence, and that’s completely acceptable, but she gets slayed for using ‘Ghetto’. We live in a screwed up world.

My friend, if you are reading this, I want you to know you are loved. You woke up this morning to a new beginning, and I pray you will leap onto the path and write. If someone degrades you again, I have a really big stick with their name on it.

 

Attitude Is Everything

The first house my daughter and I lived in didn’t have a washer and dryer. That was not a deal breaker, we were just excited about our new life.

Once a week we went to the Laundromat.

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Photo by Bianca Jordan on Unsplash

I had to make a choice to see this as a positive.

We lived in the country and the nearest Laundromat was 30 minutes away, but we learned a lot!

We valued clean clothes more than before since we didn’t have a washer/dryer readily available. We learned to include other errands along with the Laundromat. She would wash her clothes while visiting her father, and bring them home clean.

Of course my plan was to buy a used washer and dryer, but the laundry room in our home was tiny! It would only accommodate a small stackable unit and I knew I would not want to use that for years to come. The great thing about the Laundromat is you can wash and dry 6 loads of laundry in record time.

My daughter began growing weary of our trips to the Laundromat, but remained grateful. We believed our next house would have a washer and dryer, but that was dependent on our attitudes in the moment.  I believe you have to be happy where you are, before you can move forward.

After a year and a half of using the Laundromat, the next house we moved into had a washer and dryer. They weren’t new, but we loved them!

When we came to look at the house we live in now, the first thing both of us noticed was…

 

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A brand new washer and dryer!

Every journey has to start somewhere, and becomes more beautiful over time if we keep the right attitude. Yes lovey. xx Attitude is Everything.

How You Leave

When you leave a relationship/marriage, it’s important how you leave. When the day came for me to leave, I was thoughtful. We had spent half our lives together and I didn’t want it to look like a wreckage. He already felt like his world was ripped apart.

We have to show life how we want to be treated, so life knows how to treat us in return. Do the next right thing.

It was my choice to leave. He was in denial, and it took time for him to be okay with how things landed. The amount of time is per person.

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My daughter and I discussed what to take with us. We didn’t need a lot of ‘things’, to make a new life.

We chose a few furniture pieces we loved, and wanted to live with. We still have those foundational pieces, but after we left, you couldn’t tell.

The cabinets held the most difficult choices.

We had collected a lot of beautiful things in our time together, but I wanted to leave some beauty. We collected pottery by Bill Campbell, and had full place settings by him. I left them in the cabinet. We had professional grade cookware, but I only took half.

We had two of a lot of things, so I left the one he liked best, all the way down to the measuring cups.

I couldn’t bring myself to pack up in front of him, so I waited until a few days before the move was scheduled, and packed. He stayed away during the move, but he hired movers to get us moved safely.

The moving truck arrived at our new home before my daughter and I did. They were on a schedule, so they unloaded the truck without us being there.

My daughter still talks about that day, and laughs about what we walked in on. Everything that was on the truck, was sitting in the middle of the house!

It looked like a big ball of furniture and boxes!

The movers looked at us and said, “We didn’t know where you wanted everything.” We didn’t know either, but in time we unraveled that big ball and created a world we wanted to live in, and we do!

Recently, I was at my ex husbands home, and he was at the kitchen sink washing some of those pieces that were left. He thanked me for leaving them, and especially his favorite measuring cup.

Time does heal. They just don’t tell you how long.

Be mindful of how you leave.

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.

 

Free to Be

My darling. This is the day you walked through with grace.

Last December, he ripped your heart out, and threw it away. It was so unexpected. Two years of your life, gone, just like that. No warning of the words he said. You crumbled to the floor, and I held you while you screamed.

He decided to take a road trip with a buddy to California. They drove through Texas, and stopped in Austin today. You have an appointment scheduled in Austin this afternoon. Were your hands shaking on the wheel while driving?

To add to the injury, he is posting on social media from the same places you shared together. I don’t know what he is thinking by doing that, but you are under impressed.

You wonder why you can’t hate him. Like that would be easier to do. Because you are my daughter. We carry no hate in our hearts, and we don’t let that word slide from our lips. You know the power of words. They are like seeds that take root. You will just slowly unlove him with more time.

When he left, we moved, and you finished high school.

You are enjoying the summer months, and making plans for the fall. You are trying to discover who you are now, and better yet, who you want to become. I’m so pleased by who you are, and am excited to see who you become, and what you do in this world. Two companies already see the greatness within, and asked you to be their Ambassador!

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Be our Ambassador photo.

Life may not make much sense today. It may feel like a cruel joke, but I’m watching you. He can’t hurt you anymore my love, and he’s only passing through. There’s that grace.

The pain people cause, is a reflection of the pain they are in. Let him post all he wants. There has to be a part of you that is happy not to be in those pictures anymore.

You know how you have your good days, and sad days?

This morning we sat on the front porch, and you wept while sharing this news. We talked about how tall the weeds are in our yard, and embraced them as our friends. I prepared myself for a sad day, but it hasn’t been a sad day at all.

Watching you today, you look like a Queen that has been set free. Yes darling, my Queen B, and you are free to be!

Fill Yourself Up

I’ve been a Virtual Assistant for a friend in California for 5 years. I take care of one of his businesses online every weekend. It’s not a hard job, but I do it because I value him as a friend. I’ve known him for 20 years, and this job allows me to stay home with my daughter, and earn income. He was my mentor years ago, and taught me phone skills.

The job I do for him doesn’t require phone skills. It’s all online. This new job is because of my phone skills, which haven’t been used in 10 years. It’s fun dusting them off.

Everything we do, if we do it long enough, gives us a skill.

I mentioned in yesterday’s Blog post finding the unopened motivational CD in my briefcase. It has since been opened, and listened to, and I’m listening to one as I type. If you’re young, we listened to inspirational CD’s before podcasts.

You see, if you are a leader, you have to feed yourself.

My daughter mentioned she doesn’t have a lot of friends who encourage her, but they look to her for encouragement. She is learning about being a leader. I told her about the CD’s, and said, “Encouragement is widely available, but sometimes you need to go find it.”

Read a book, listen to a podcast, or just tell one of your peeps, you need some love! People don’t think the leader needs encouragement, but we do. We don’t expect it, and we’re not the best at receiving compliments, but the encourager can run low on encouragement. If you feel like you’re running on empty, take time to go fill yourself up.

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