Monthly Archives: April 2014

21 Years as a Guide is Plenty

Saturday, April 26, 2014

 

21 Years as a Guide is Plenty

“I have a son that is twenty-one.”

Eight words that I have never said in one sentence until recently. It didn’t sting. (Most likely because he is awesome...smiling BIG.) Kids are a Work-In-Progress…from the time that we find out that we are pregnant and begin eating healthier to prepare them for a sustainable life, we concentrate on keeping them well until the day that we die.

PosterBubby

My sister once told me that children are like precious stones. At first they have lots of rough edges but with beauty...lots of beauty hidden within. With lots and lots of our polishing and elbow grease, they will eventually shine and glisten and be beautiful inside and out, especially when put into the light. It’s the same sister that became very frustrated and sad when her daughter didn't want to see her dating after her divorce. She was an adolescent and wanted/needed to have her mom available to her. Not off gallivanting with another person foreign to her. So then it was my turn to give her the advice.

“You know how you have to remind your daughter to brush her teeth Every. Single. Morning. And Every. Single. Night? Even though she knows she’s supposed to and she can’t leave the house without doing it?" (Think about it. How many times do you think you’ve said, “Go brush your teeth,” as a parent?)

Now, rinse and repeat this a hundred times, too, if you have to: “Gina. (Not her real name…she’ll be reading this post. Teehee.) I'm a mother first. And I'm a woman. And a woman deserves a companion in her life. It will be a slow process but eventually we will have another person in our life. Because I want that.”

It’s a lot more serious than brushing teeth, but the message has to be relayed a few hundred times in order to move forward. For everyone. For all lessons.

The good news? We have 21 years to keep rinsing and repeating. On any lesson. There is no need to rush lessons. Besides, they won’t learn in a rush. They will learn like the tortoise. Slow and steady.

What is important is that we as parents keep planting the seeds. The seeds that they spit back out at us. The seeds that they don’t want to swallow. The ones that have too hard of a shell for them to digest just yet. The seeds that sit there dormant. Until they remember them again. Until they NEED them.

And if we have forgotten to plant them, they won’t ever have them to dig up and fertilize and grow all on their own. We can’t rush a rose or a gemstone. And we can’t try to rush them into adulthood.

Another idea to not rush them into. So many of us think of 21 (or 18) as the "drinking age." And if we think of it as the “drinking age,” guess what? So do our kids. There are religions that have rites of passage to adulthood.

Religion seems to have become unpopular but we still need to keep an adult rite of passage alive.

When there is a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah (a Jewish boy or girl, respectively, turning 13 and 12), one of the reasons for celebrating is their coming-of-age. They are now responsible for their own actions. They should now think, act and practice responsibly. This is something that they work towards their whole life. It’s not just a party! It’s what children need in order to become productive human beings and positive contributors to our society. We can’t make the age of 18 about, “THEN and only then can you get a tattoo!” or “Then you can do whatever you want. Right now you’re under MY roof!”

We need to build them towards 18 (or 13 or 16 or 21) as a responsibility. “You will join the world in helping it become a better place!” “You will be ready to join the work force and find your passions!” “You one day will find the love of your life and have beautiful children and make me a grandmother!

The United States borders Mexico. Mexico’s drinking age is 18. We have many teenagers who cross over the border just so that they can drink freely and without worry. I remember a story years back where the U.S. was very upset with the effects of a lower drinking age and we felt that Mexican authorities should raise theirs in order to prevent the drinking, driving and accidents occurring when these children would drive back home across the border. Mexico’s response?

Our children don’t go out and party and drink until they are drunk the day that they become of drinking age. You need to talk to your kids about the responsibilities of drinking. Our drinking age isn't the problem!

 We can’t make drinking a “rite of passage” to adulthood. Because then our children will. It shouldn't even be a part of the equation. I’m not even close to saying they shouldn't be drinking. I like my wine! And my son knows it. (smile) But he also knows that his mom has so many other priorities. And that’s how he knows me and how he’s come to know himself. He follows his heart, by God. And I LOVE that. 21 years in the making, but I’ll be honest, he was super special at any age. And THAT’S what our kids need to know the most.

PosterBrandon (19)

~Katherine A. Rayne~  Live your life and love it.

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What Stop Sign?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

 

What Stop Sign?

There are so many things in life that “stop us” from moving forward. Insecurity. Judgment. Being afraid. Exhaustion. Worry.

(#OMGifiusethatwordONEMORETIMEpeoplewillstopreadingme!)

We can see them coming from a mile away, but each and every time we stop cautiously, sheepishly and diligently. Always politely allowing the worry to go on ahead in front of us. We don’t know yet what’s on the other side, but we’re afraid of it already. “Oh dear. Here comes one of those moments. I think I’ll stop here and take a break while I ponder all the terrible things that could happen.”

I had a great aunt who had a brain tumor removed many years ago. Along with the tumor, the doctors removed her worry. Literally. I don’t know about you, but don’t great aunts ALREADY say the darndest things?! You can imagine what thoughts came out of her mouth. No care, no worry, always with a shit-eating grin. Almost always turning my six-year old mouth into an OVAL. But along with the silence in the room that often followed her comments, my guess is that many of the adults around her were wishing that they had no worry holding them back, either.

What if our minds didn't use worry? Didn't know worry. Would our instincts kick in hard and drive us to where we are supposed to be SOONER and with less of the gray hairs?

My daughter has the worry wart. It’s hidden most of the time but it comes out when she’s home and feels safe. I try to make her think of the worst thing that could happen. Every time I (remember to) use this tactic, it puts her sweet mind at ease.

Many times the worst isn't awful. It’s livable. It’s workable. It’s get-around-able. So instead of going around it or letting it go ahead of us, we need to just plow through it.

Be CURIOUS about what’s on the other side of it. And eager. And forget the worry wart that grows in between your intelligence and sense of humor. Disengage it. Go through this world by barging through your octagon signs leaving oval signs in your path!

A definition of worry:   verb 1. to torment oneself with, or to make oneself suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret.

Please note "torment oneself." It means that we do it to ourselves! We do it with our imagination. Use your imagination to conjure up positive occurrences. Why think about all the BAD things that could happen.

Think instead about all the GOOD things that could happen. Plunge through the stop signs when they start popping up. You’ll go farther.

~Katherine A. Rayne~ www.backtobeingawoman.com Visit her at www.facebook.com/BackToBeingAWoman

This Is Me (“My Messy Beautiful”)

Monday, April 7, 2014

This Is Me  ("My Messy Beautiful")

How is it that the people with the cleanest homes are always the ones that say,

“Please excuse my messy house…I haven’t had a chance to clean.”? They say it without embarrassment but I’m thinking with a bit of smugness hiding in their words. “Trust me,” I say, “I know messy. There’s no messy here.”

I am writing this essay-blog for the Messy, Beautiful Glennon Lloyd-Melton Project. (She wrote, Carry On Warrior.) And when you mention “messy” to me, the first thing I think of is my home. Shouldn't it be a warm safe harbor, our home? I have days, a few days of the year, where it feels that way. But there’s soooo many days where it is the enemy. A battle waiting to be won. Laundry should be called “laun” because then it would be a four-letter word. And the kitchen “sink” already is one.

When my family and I aren't home making a mess, I have a dog, a hamster (their urine really stinks…don’t get one...no one ever told me that) and a beta fish who continue to do that while I’m gone.

I love coming home to a pretty home. When everything is in order and there is NOTHING FOR ME TO WORK ON THE MINUTE I WALK IN THE DOOR. I LOVE pretty. I even put on some pretty text to sit down and write.

I've been through the real messy stuff, too. A miscarriage, a divorce, the loss of my mom and then my dad a month later, (cancers...how cruel) but I tend to not think of those things as messy. I don’t write too much about them. They are all dear to my heart and so very sacred. But they don’t make me different or lonely or in need of sympathy. They don’t even make me messy. They make me normal. When I had the miscarriage, I felt awful. But on the same day as my D&C, I learned that one in three pregnancies end in a miscarriage. I suddenly felt normal. I had team members in large numbers by my side.

I like to keep things private to keep them less messy. When I had the miscarriage, no one even knew we were pregnant until the miscarriage. So no one else had the opportunity to mourn with me. A family friend dropped by after I came home from the procedure and wanted to say Hi.

I said, “I’m sorry…I’m not really up for company. I just had a D&C due to a miscarriage.” That was a messy moment. And REALLLLY awkward. Only because I REALLLY didn’t feel like talking.

My messy is me. I’m way too private. (Except for when I’m behind my keyboard.) I don’t share enough about myself to really close friends. (“Oh, by the way, four years ago my husband had an affair and I’m still not dealing with it very well. Can we talk? Yes…that IS my secret diet and the reason why I’m way thin.”)

I find that if I talk about those messy matters, then I feel them way more often than I care to…or want to. They won’t go away, just because I’m feeling them more. I will still have to deal with them. But if I keep them private, I won’t have to hear people say: “how are you doing…are you okay?” Because that’s a reminder. A reminder of something that I would rather put aside until I’m alone and have the quiet space I need to try to figure out how I am going to embrace my new life. My life without that baby. A life as a single woman. That life without parents…without M.O.M.

O.M.G. Without Mom. Moms are everything. You won’t know that until yours is gone. They are your foundation to every single living cell in your being. Literally and figuratively.

So what is my messy-beautiful? I use this to pay a tribute to my messy, beautiful mom. She was a pack-rat, so she knows about a messy house. I’m sure that’s where my messy house comes from. So it’s not so messy, then. When you find those reminders of a Love that is gone, you inhale anything that reminds you of them. My sense of direction. I LOVE getting lost on road trips. It reminds me of my mom and her bad sense of direction. My thighs, as much as they aren't so pretty, they remind me of my mom each time I look down and there she is. Those funky words that she would use and I would giggle over them. They escape the crevices of my mouth on occasion as I get older. I would have cringed at them if she were alive, but now I smile. Mom lives on in me. And it’s messy, but I will never find myself apologizing for it. I will embrace it. Because I can no longer embrace her. Mom…you were Messy. But God you were Beautiful. I Miss You.

This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!

Katherine A. Rayne is author of, Back To Being A Woman (Without Changing the Man), a book on relationship replenishment. Contact Katherine at ItsHappening@BackToBeingAWoman.com