Archive for the ‘friends’ Category
After last week’s exhausting news developments, I decided I need a break. Remember when I declared Motherhoot a happy shiny place? Full of fluffy clouds and cuddly bunnies? Pictures of kittens and puppies? Well, I meant to declare that at some point. Then I got a little activist going. Health At Every Size. Reproductive. Women’s. Environment. Justice.
I don’t know about you, but I need a break from the media. I have gotten obsessed. I am spending good emotional energy worrying about things that I cannot change. At least not in the big picture. I will do my best to change my little part of the world, but I need a break from saving everyone.
So I’m cutting myself off from the news. It’s going to be hard since I have a ritual of going through the Yahoo news articles. Sharing and commenting, and ingesting the drama from all over the world from things happening to other people.
It’s time to center myself. Take a deep breath and look for the fluffy things again. Cheery, happy things.
Oh, I also considered kicking my Facebook game addiction at the same time. Then I figured out my head would explode so I’m delaying that. Can you send me some Bubble Witch Saga lives, please?!
I keep reading the same messages this week about living life now. Right now. Not tomorrow. Not when the sun shines. Or you lose the weight. Or your hair is perfect. Or the stars, planet, and clouds all align. But Right. Now. This instant. No more waiting for perfect…because sometimes perfect never comes.
Check out Jeanette DePatie (A.K.A. The Fat Chick) here.
Check out Kath from Fat Heffalump here.
Most of all, watch this video–the whole thing–for the most inspiring young man ever, Zach Sobiech.
How the heck did it get to be mid-January already? The year is 1/24 over, people! It’s time for a resolution check-in!
Except I don’t do resolutions. I don’t do goals. But this year I got the idea to have a word of the year. (I can’t remember which writer I got this from, but if you do, let me know!) And my word is love.
I think that if we approach the world in general with an attitude of love, we can make a difference in a lot of lives. This means being cognizant of how we treat the people around us: family, friends, acquaintances, people who serve us, etc. Sometimes we’re good with our treatment of one group of people but not so great with others. I want to treat everyone with love.
Love can be shown through politeness and helpfulness. It can be shown with genuine interest and caring. It can be shown with a smile or a kind thought in passing. Compliments show love when given genuinely. Love can make a chore bearable. I hate dusting. But if I think about how I am taking care of things I love (the furniture and knick knacks I choose to have in my home) and the people I love (by giving them a clean, pleasant living environment) it makes dusting a nice chore to engage in.
When I mentioned my word for the year, someone else told me how they have a word of the month. I think I can add some extra words to my year.
We live in such negative times with such societal, environmental, and economical unrest that we should do what we can to make our little corners of the world nicer places to be in. It’s a word. It’s an attitude. It’s a change.
If you choose a word for the year, what will it be? How will you live your word? What will you do with it?
I have nothing brilliant to say about Friday’s tragic shooting in Connecticut.
Because there are no words to describe the sorrow and angst I feel for the families of all the children and adults involved. As a mom, it terrifies me to my very core that another mother sent her child off to school on Friday and that child is never returning. It could happen to me. It could happen to you. It did happen.
I have no answers. There are cries for gun control. There are cries for mental health services. I don’t think anyone has answers.
I do know that I see no reason why a non-military citizen of our country should be walking around with an automatic weapon of any kind. I do know that to many of our citizens fall through the cracks of the mental health system because of an inability to pay or to maintain their medications on their own without constant supervision.
But I think it’s much more than that. There’s a disconnect within people these days. Is it because of violent television or video games? Is it because of two working parents? Is it because we communicate via technology more than we do face to face?
In Maya Angelou’s words (taken from her Facebook page–I hope you’ll “like” her):
Our country is grieving. Each child who has been slaughtered belongs to each of us and each slain adult is a member of our family. It is impossible to explain the horror to ourselves and to our survivors. We need to hold each other’s hands and look into each other’s eyes and say, “I am sorry.”
I am sorry. I am sorry that life is so fragile and so unappreciated in today’s world. I am sorry that anyone suffers violence and cruelty at the hands of another.
Stealing the words of my Facebook/Twitter friend Nancy W., “Be kind to each other.”
That’s my intention. I will be kind to my family. I will be kind to my neighbors. I will be kind to the people I meet on the street.
I hope you will be too.
After reading the article about six best-selling books on dating with the worst advice, I decided I can offer better advice. Want to be a good dater, do these things.
Be yourself. If you aren’t yourself, eventually he’s going to figure it out. You don’t have to pretend to like things to make him like you. You can have opinions. Yes, even ones that conflict with his. Don’t try to be anything but yourself because he will figure it out eventually.
Remember that you are equals in the relationship. It’s easy for women to get so caught up in wondering, “does he like me?” or “will he like me?” that they forget to ask: do I like him? That’s the most important question of all. Sure, it’s great if he likes you. It makes having a relationship so much easier. But if you find yourself not enjoying yourself, embarrassed by him, or dreading being together, it’s time to call it quits. Life is to short to date someone you don’t like.
There’s no magic number. No, the fourth date isn’t automatically the sex date. No, you aren’t committed after three dates. Let things happen as they happen. Ask fifty different couples and you’ll get 50 different answers to what worked for them. Some dated for years before getting married. Some dated a month before tying the knot. Some dated for years before knowing it wasn’t ever going to work out.
You don’t have to give anyone another chance if you don’t want to. Sometimes someone looks so good on paper or sounds so good in the stories we tell our friends, but they just aren’t working for you. That’s okay. You’re looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with, not someone to go bowling with. If anything they do on the first date grates on your nerves, it probably won’t get better. This doesn’t make you a bad person. This makes you a mature dater.
Don’t rely on anyone else’s opinion but your own. Ultimately, you have to take control of your own life. Asking everyone from the deli counter guy to the person in the next cubicle for advice on your love life is nonsense. Trust your instincts.
Be nice. There’s no reason for game-playing. If you’re available, be available. If you’re busy, be honest. No one wants to be treated poorly. Not you. Not the other guy.
Have some idea what you are looking for, but understand it’s not written in stone. Sit down and make a list of the qualities you want in a mate. Figure out which ones are really important. Realize some of them will be silly. (FYI: Jim hates coconut and I still love him to pieces; that was a silly thing to want in another person!)
What do you think? Anything off the wall? Anything you would add?
Aaron is off to eighth grade today. And I am celebrating by running away with Kelly. OK, not running away exactly. We’re just going off on an adventure to a yarn store. Still, it will be sans son friend time that I have sorely missed over the summer.
We started the summer off with the goal of reducing TV time. Yes, we went two months with no TV during the day. I worked on computer stuff (this blogging stuff takes a lot of time!) and Aaron laid on the couch. Usually snoring.
In July Aaron went off to summer school for half the day. They called it summer school, but it was really more like camp. I mean, he went out to eat and went canoeing. But it kept him occupied for some of the summer.
Then came August. After totally annoying Jim and I one Sunday, I was left with a kid who was grounded into perpetuity, not allowed to breathe, and guaranteed to never see the light of day again. Yes, we probably overreacted. Still, Aaron stood there and in one hour repeated “can I go inside now?” at least a thousand times. I don’t even think I’m exaggerating that. It was a bad moment in Kline Land history.
It’s right around that time that I’m pretty sure Aaron became firmly entrenched in puberty. I could see the hormones surge through his body! I could see his brain click into overload mode. At first, I fought it. Then I grasped the philosophy that we will love the annoying out of the child.
It’s lots better here in Kline Land. But the TV’s been on for the past few weeks. Sure, you might think that means peace and quiet for me. Or you might think that I caved and let my principles fall through the cracks. But what it really means is that I hear, “look at this mom!” and “did you see this?!” I swear, I have the only child interested in commercials. Try explaining that most people avoid the commercials and it goes right over his head. So I really didn’t gain anything by allowing TV once again.
Bottom line…I’m so glad he’s going back to school. If only to have him entertained for nearly eight hours a day. I need a breather!
I’m not going to politicize this. We can leave that to the people in Washington.
I am going to remind everyone that life is for living, people are for loving, and any minute everything can end. The people going to the movies didn’t know that they would be facing tragedy by doing so.
So many times we live life waiting for tomorrow. Things get put off and never get done. Words aren’t said that need to be said. Wounds aren’t healed that need to be healed.
Let’s not live like that. Let’s embrace every moment we are alive. Let’s smile and share with the people around us. Let’s make everyone a friend–even the strangers we meet throughout the day. Forget being negative and complaining. Because is your life really so bad?
Life is a gift.
Now go hug someone. Tell your children you love them. Squeeze your partner extra tight today.
Step away from the computer and go live…
In order to create a convincing world through words one of the things a writer must do is look at things. And not to tout my horn on this otherwise useless talent, but I do it very well. I sneak looks when people are being candid; I gawk when something strange is happening; I stare when beautiful or amazing moments grab my attention. I’ve been a great looker since I was a kid, and one of the things I’ve noticed is that people tend to be much happier when they’re eating food together.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Sunday dinners all suggested this to me. I can remember enjoying any holiday where my loosely knit extended family of second Uncles and grand cousins came to the dinner table. People that I only saw during funerals would show up and gossip cheerfully with my parents and other grownups between mouthfuls of hard to make food that I, even now, could never recreate without cutting a finger or burning some important part of my body. Growing up I thought these events were specific to my family, but soon I learned through experience that getting together to eat was something everyone in the country enjoyed.
That perspective of what the dinner table looked like expanded beyond national limits when I moved to South Korea in 2009. I had accepted a job offer to be an English teacher there, and though I had never lived outside of my native New York City, I planned to stay at least one year in a country I knew nothing about. One of the most important things I was exposed to was their food culture, which was very different, but very similar to our own.
During one of my first dinners there I was offered plate after plate of strange but delicious food while everyone around me smiled and told jokes about horrible things that happened to them. “And I’m just stranded there! No money and my cell phone’s not working cause its Russia! Ha Ha!” The story could just as easily have come from one of my uncles, if I replaced Russia with New Jersey and cell phone with nothing.
Sharing life stories while laughing and learning about the person next to you is universal. I knew it before I left the U.S., but to see it in person was something else. From my adolescent years of being good looking I knew that people were living their lives in varying degrees of alienation. What I saw on the other side of the world was that if we just slow down and sit with other human beings to do something as simple as feed ourselves those barriers fade slightly (The reasons behind it are a mystery to me, though I suspect everyone has a hidden fear of starving that’s temporary beaten back by the act of eating with see others who are eating.).
Noticing such general human trends such as the pleasure of a good meal with good company was one of the reasons I wrote my first book, Eating Kimchi and Nodding Politely.”It’s a collection of true stories about my time in South Korea. If you didn’t know, Kimchi is fermented (read “rotten”) cabbage mixed with chili power and other spices. It was one of the strangest things I’ve ever eaten, but while sitting with some wonderful people I ate bowls of it. I laughed and joked and looked around to see that everyone was smiling.
Alex Clermont is a creative writer born and raised in New York City. He has been a contributing writer to Beyond Race Magazine, covering and interviewing independent creative artists in New York. Alex has been featured in several publications such as, Out of Place – an anthology featuring authors from around the globe. He also regularly posts short fiction pieces on his website AlexClermontWrites.com
Alex’s first book, available now and titled “Eating Kimchi and Nodding Politely,” is a collection of narratives about his time living in in South Korea.
He also smiles a whole lot. Say “Hi” if you get the chance.