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.”

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.

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.

 

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!

Smells Like Love

My daughter left yesterday to spend the weekend with her Dad. This morning, sitting where we usually sit together, I had an odd thought. “I’m gonna miss hearing, “I love you.”

I had an appointment to get to, but when it was over I Googled the nearest location of Bath and Body Works. When my daughter gets home Monday, I want her to know I was thinking of her. A couple of weeks ago, she walked into my bedroom and said, “Wow! It smells so good in here!” It was a new Wallflower of one of my favorite scents, but I unplugged it and put it in her room. It is now empty.

I’m really big on smell. It’s important, and it seems to be a large part of who I am. From giving people a hug, to someone walking into my home, it brings me joy to hear, “Wow! You smell good!”, or “It smells so good in here!”

It’s a combination of things. Our lotion is made by a woman locally, and smells amazing. Every now and then we wash our clothes in Tyler Wash, and that’s like washing them in perfume. It takes time for this to happen, but it’s pure magic when a room envelops a fragrance, and it fits that room. That is what happened when I gave my daughter the wallflower. It was my favorite scent, but became hers.

You want to stand in her room and inhale deeply.

Standing in front of the display of Wallflowers, it took a while to find the right one. Scanning the display for the name of the fragrance, my gaze froze when it landed on this. A candle was sitting to the left of the display, and I picked it up to purchase without even smelling it first!

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Photo cred. B&BW.

Now, I can walk by the candle, see those words, and say it to myself. Smelling the candle burn, it sure smells like love.

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.