My oldest son graduates from high school this week. Part of me is still trying to grapple with this fact, while the other half of me not in denial is crying. Where did the time go?
On the other hand, I’m excited to see where he goes from here. Once you graduate high school, what you do next is really up to you. It’s the best part about being an adult—you get to control the path your life will take.
I’m glad he lives up to the work ethic his father and I have taught him. He’s proven time and time again, that he’s not afraid to work hard. This fact alone comforts me. No matter what struggles he faces, he has the internal tools to work through them.
His last gift to me from high school is the metal gates you see below. Over the years he’s created many items for me from both wood and metal, but this one was my personal request. One that took longer than it should because I kept making other metal request along the way this year. What can I say, the boy is talented and I couldn’t help abusing it. Thank you for the gift I’ll cherish forever.
Life comes with many demands beyond the goals we set for ourselves, which don’t lessen with time, but rather multiples with every passing year. Focusing too broadly on all the things that need to be done can stress out even the most organized. If you learn how to narrow your focus into smaller chunks or steps that are easier to conquer in your day-to-day living, you’ll be amazed at what you accomplish when you take the time to reflect back on where you started. But the key is not looking up at the massive mountain ahead of you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed in your life, there’s a good chance that you’re doing just that. My advice; look at the few feet in front of you instead. Believe me, tomorrow will always be there and world will keep spinning even if you couldn’t get it all done today.
I’ve had the explainable happen only a few times in my life. Every time one of these instances occurs, the strength of my there-must-always-be-a-possible-explanation flies out the window.
Two weeks ago our family was enjoying our yearly Christmas vacation. Yes, this year it happened in April, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Anyway, my husband woke up the first night and discovered his wedding ring gone. Not he-left-it-on-the-nightstand-gone, we’re talking it-has-never-left-his-hand-for-almost-twenty-years gone.
For the entire week we searched the room at least once a day. We stripped the bed, looked in every piece of luggage we brought, ran our fingers under every piece of furniture we could not lift. It was gone!
On the last day of our vacation I finally convinced my husband we needed to move on and just buy him another ring. Our twenty-year anniversary was coming up in May. After living with me that long, he definitely deserved another ring. And jewelry in the Caribbean is way cheaper than the states, so it was best to pull the trigger now rather than wait. Of course the jewelry store didn’t have his size so we filled out a shipping form to have it sent to us.
After being home more than a week, my husband went into a coughing fit in the middle of the night. This happens a lot around here so the cough drops are always flowing. He reached inside the bag to pull out a cough drop, but his fingers felt something weird. To his amazement, he pulled out his ring. Yes, I had that bag of cough drops on the trip, but I never left it lying around. I kept it tucked in my travel purse the whole time. My kids swear they didn’t touch the ring. I know I didn’t. My husband would have never let me buy him another ring if he had found it and put it there. So how in the world did that ring end up there? I. Have. No. Idea… Fairies?
In my younger years, I hated dressing up for special occasions. I’m a jeans and t-shirt girl all the way. At the time it never occured to me that the opportunities to dress up would become fewer and fewer as I got older. A mom seldom has time or a reason to get fancy. It makes me wish I had complained a little less, maybe even tried harder to be happy in those gussied up moments of restrictive clothing. My point is, the older I get, the more I realize life is too short to not to find some kind of joy in everything we get to experience.
I have the misfortune or pleasure, depending on the day, to help lead a group of youth in my area. This week, one of the young women went off about there being no need for a chorister for congregational singing numbers. She didn’t understand what they were for, besides swinging their arms, and thought that nobody watched them anyway. So, she wanted to get rid of the position altogether.
I would be liar if I didn’t admit moments like these require me to grit my teeth and force a smile. After all, she thinks all old people just don’t “get” her or her generation. We adults in the room have to carefully craft our words to pull her back from every insane thought she wants to pursue.
In this instance, a chorister is an invaluable person who helps keep the accompanists and the congregation in time with one another. I can agree with her that many people don’t understand music or know how to use the chorister correctly, but getting rid of the position altogether would cause unnecessary chaos.
Dear, sweet, youth…
Lack of understanding in an area is not a reason to get rid of something. Even if you think the rules are archaic and past their time, first seek to understand why the rule is there in the first place. It’s the only way to ensure you make wise decisions.
The many years of “adulting” have taught me many things, one of which is that saving money is hard. Sure, making a consistent effort will make it a little easier. And removing the money to be saved before you start spending a paycheck helps even more, but keeping that saved money, there’s the issue.
I’ve tuck away little amounts of money my entire married life. After twenty years you would think the amount would be substantial, but it’s not. I don’t know what it is about Karma but the minute it hears two nickels rubbing to together in your pocket, something goes wrong. Whether it is a car, a water heater, or broken bone, to fix the issue often requires a dip into that blasted nest egg.
Now the answer here isn’t to give up and not save at all. Imagine the debt I would have acquired for those bumps along the way if I hadn’t saved. And who knows… Maybe Karma ages with us, going so deaf and blind it finally leaves us alone.
Oh the things I hear teenagers say in my house. I don’t know how it started, but the topic of kissing came up. I heard many arguments for kissing:
It takes practice to get it right…
Kissing is not sex so it’s no big deal…
You might not like a guy after you kiss him so it’s best to try it out early…
If I’m honest, when I was their age, I felt the same about kissing. I can’t count how many times I said, “It’s just a kiss,” to my mom.
As I’ve grown well beyond the hormone-charged years of my teens, my thoughts on the subject have changed. I’ve come to realize that kisses are only as precious as you make them.
I understand to treat kisses like sex, to only do either until you are married, is not a realistic possibility. But you need to understand, the value of your kisses diminish with every one you give away. Just like overprinted money loses value, kisses given to every boy you meet aren’t worth much. You’ll be much happier in the long run if you make your kisses as rare and special as you are.