Tag Archives: help

Me Worry?

16 Aug

You name it, chances are I’ve worried about it. In fact, I’ve written a blog or two about it. (I got four pages of results when I searched the word “worry.”)

I think I’m a pretty smart person. I realize worrying doesn’t get me anywhere. It doesn’t solve anything. It doesn’t change the outcome of things. It doesn’t prevent things from happening.

Why then? Why all the worry? It’s such a waste of energy, time, sanity, happiness. It’s what I’ve been reminding myself when I feel the senseless anxiety bubbling up within me. But that’s also when I start worrying (of course) – if I don’t worry, does that mean I don’t care?

I’m not sure I know how to care about something without worrying about it. If I let go of that worry, will it change how I care about it or make it seem like I don’t care?

Ridiculous, I know. See what I mean about me worrying?!

To quiet that inner loon, I’ve been trying a few things to help ease my mind and heart. They’ve been working for me so I wanted to share because they may help a worrier you know.

When I feel the worry invade my space:

    • I think of my kids. They see me worry too much. What am I teaching them? As Nia’s sweet note shows and I’ve written about, it makes her worry. If nothing else, it can’t be fun to always hear me say something worries me. That has to change. They need to be carefree kiddos.
    • I think to myself, will this worry fix the issue? No? What will fix it? Anything? Focus on that.
    • Is this going to matter next year? Next month? Next week? No? Toss it.
    • Will this define me? In 15 years, am I going to remember this moment or issue? No? That was an easy one.
    • Will this affect my family in some way? No? Not worth an ounce of stress.
    • What happy, beautiful things am I missing out on around me because I’m stuck in the fret zone? Sucker. You are letting worry rob you of the present.

The last point actually came from something recently talked about in church. I don’t always connect with what’s taught but this spoke to me. It was about how we are only supposed to think about we need for today. “Give us this day our daily bread” refers to that. This day. Focus on today, not tomorrow. Be content and full in the present because if it was my last day I wouldn’t want it spent on worrying about what might happen. I’d want it filled with rejoicing and cherishing.

That’s what brings me to the thought that seems to soothe me the most.

Am I satisfied?

I think of my here and now and feel at peace.

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Homework Helper Needs Help

11 Sep

If I had to grade myself on how well I help Nia with her homework, I would give myself a C.

It’s funny because I never really minded homework as a student. I followed the directions, showed my work, wrote complete sentences and studied. I did OK+ in school. My parents could’ve had one of those honor roll bumper stickers that some people love to hate. I graduated in the top 20 of my high school class and magna cum laude at college. None of that matters though when you’re book smart. Everything I learned, I learned for the test. After the test, my brain couldn’t retrieve the info that helped me get smiley faces and A’s. It’s like it all got pushed out of my head to make way for useless movie and music knowledge.

Because I managed to wing it and get laughed at for being flighty, I was never really concerned about the missing parts of my mind. It wasn’t until I had to start helping Nia with her homework that I realized it was going to be an issue.

I’m so lucky she has a super smart brain in her pretty, Second Grade head. As I’m trying to help her, she usually tells me how to figure it out or explains the directions to me. What’s even worse is when her homework – that I helped with – comes back with the teacher’s red pen marks on it. I feel like I failed or let her down. When I quiz her on spelling words, she gets impatient waiting for me and starts writing the words off her memory. One recent homework hurdle goes something like this:

Me: The next word is where, I mean were, I mean we’re, I mean…
Nia: Momma! It’s where!
Me: Well, you have the word were on here too.
Nia: I know but where comes next. Which one do you want me to spell?
Me: What do you have written so far?
Nia: W.

Oh, Sweets, we have a long homework history to battle through ahead of us. I’m sure you will be teaching me a thing or hundred. I’m also very grateful for the genius brain I married. Andrew always knows the answer and jokingly advises Nia after hearing me try to explain something, “Yeah. Um. Nia, maybe we shouldn’t ask mommy questions about science.”

Fail.

Knight in Starched Khakis

10 Mar

Pay It Forward Paid Off

20 Feb

There are nice people out there.  Just when I start to feel like impatient, inconsiderate and irrational strangers are all I encounter, a young boy with hip clothes, spikey hair and a cool earring notices someone in need and comes to the rescue.

Ok, so it’s not like I was a damsel in distress or anything that serious – I was more a lady blocked at a turn-stall.  Being a novice at riding mass-transit, I touched my card to open my turn-stall but I was standing at the wrong one.  That meant my paid ticket had been used and I was stuck while a crowd formed behind and Andrew and Nate were a few steps ahead on the other side of the stalls.  That’s when the kind kid held his card through the stall for me to use.  Just like that.  He saw someone struggling and he made a simple, thoughtful gesture.

I think of this experience as a “pay it forward” that paid off because, just a few hours before this, a homeless man asked Andrew if he could spare any money and Andrew opened his wallet and gave the man all he had.  Whether it was the right thing to do or not, the man was so grateful and it felt good to help.  I hope that kid got the same feeling when he helped me.  I really appreciated it.

My Knight in Starched Khakis

21 Oct

She is just a little more than five miles away from her sister’s house when the beyond-bald tires on her beat up, old mini-van decide they couldn’t carry her family anymore.  The tires, like her, are worn out.  Sharing the load of moving from Michigan to Georgia – they both have been pushed to their limits.

“Now this?  Now this is going to happen?” she thinks as she looks for a safe place to pull over.  The tire blew out a few seconds ago but she tries to keep pressing on – like she’s been doing since they first started struggling.

Her four young children are both frightened and interested in what’s happening.  Two started to cry.  The other two ask non-stop questions.  She feels the same way – plus – helpless. She doesn’t know how to change a tire – she can’t afford a tow truck – isn’t a member of AAA.

Then, she hears a voice, offering to help.

Within minutes, he has her van up on the jack and the tire off but he can’t get the spare out of the trunk.  He thinks about giving her his but it doesn’t fit.  Instead, he calls AAA and explains the situation.

The children would have to wait almost an hour.  When he offers to drive her and the children to her sister’s house so they don’t have to be the situation any longer, she was a little nervous to accept but he didn’t give her any reason to doubt his kindness, plus, he had two child car seats in the back – he must be ok.

She’s so overcome with gratitude and emotion that she can’t believe that she told him, “Of course you’re married!  All the good ones are taken!”

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He thinks he’s just stuck behind yet another driver going way below the speed limit on the two lane road to his work.  He feels bad when he sees the old mini-van cautiously pull over to the side.

He knows he has to be at work, but something in him compels him to make sure people are ok.

Little does he know, this is going to be so much more than a tire change.  When he sees the four children, he immediately thinks of his own wife and kids and – what if.  What if they were stranded on the side of a busy road with no one to call for help?  He has to do what he can to get them out of this situation.

He doesn’t think it’s going to be hard to do.  He just has to change a tire -something he’s done more times than he can remember.  But this time is a little different.  The van’s emergency brake doesn’t work and (for mechanical reasons the writer doesn’t grasp) the mom has to stay in the van with her foot on the brake. He finally gets the van on the jack but then he can’t free the spare from its compartment.

Knowing he can’t leave them like that, he calls AAA for a tow truck.  They tell him he will have to be there when the driver arrives in order for her to get the tow without a charge.  He knows it will take about an hour for the tow truck driver to show up so he offers to drive the family where they are headed.  He worries about how the four children will safely fit in his small backseat but rationalizes it would be more dangerous for them to be where they are now.

In the end, the family safely reaches their destination and the Knight in Starched (and now slightly dirty) Khakis makes it to work.  He knows the family still has to figure out how they will pay for the van’s repairs, but he hopes that he helped take a little of the burden off their shoulders – at least for one morning.

 

Patience Wanted: Apply Here

18 Feb

Stay-at-home mother of two, ages 4 and 2, is in need of patience immediately.  Must be willing to work long hours, lift 30 to 60 pounds (depending on whether both kids want to be held or need to be separated) and endure a short-tempered boss who loses it when asked the same question 20 times in a row.  Must have a proven track record of handling unnerving situations with ease while maintaining a calm composure.  Salary is negotiable between a bag of chips and a pint of Ben-n-Jerry’s.  Benefits include a few beers or a White Russian at the end of the day.

So there it is – my somewhat confession that my patience is gone.  Lost.  Or maybe it just ran away.  For Lent this year, I didn’t give up junk food, chocolate, cuss words – I made a promise to try and be more patient.  Well, the first weekend of Lent just so happened to be the trip to Philadelphia – so much for keeping it together then.  Now though, I feel as though I still haven’t really been trying.  The littlest things set me off – I already wrote about Nia asking me the same question over and over again (even though I answered her 2 or 3 times already) or repeating “Nate” over and over again until my eyes want to bulge out of my head as it pops off and explodes (I think Nate feels the same about that one).  Nate’s tantrums have another kind of effect on me.  I more want to bury my face in my hands and start crying.  He’s just exhausting.  Then there’s the both of them together.  The SCREAMING.  Oh my goodness.  The SCREAMING.  I know I’m going to be deaf.  I can almost feel the damage happening as the shrieks pierce my ears.

Well, so much for my period of peace as the kids rest.  I just heard Nate throw some things out of his crib.  As long as he doesn’t have poop on his hands like he did yesterday – I’ll be fine. Well, I’ll try to be anyway.
 

“Go to sleep, Nate!”

17 Jan

Nate used to be so wonderful at taking naps.  He would eat his lunch and then say “Night night” and that would be all it took.  I would carry him to his room and he would put his thumb in his mouth as he clutched his blankie and then  he’d curl up in his crib full of stuffed animals and random toys (his new favorite is an old Fisher Price plane).

Now, it’s a much different story. He still eats his lunch and tells me “Night night” when he’s finished – but he will not just go to sleep anymore.  I now have to enter his room anywhere from 2 to 3 times and tell him to go “night night”.  Sometimes, I even have to pick up every blanket, animal and toy that he tossed on the floor.  I went through it all today – except this time, I had a helper.

“Go to sleep Nate!”

Nia had had enough of Nate’s naptime antics so she decided to scream at him as she watched television in the living room. I told her that I didn’t think screaming was going to get him to sleep and then I went downstairs to clean. A few minutes later, Nia walked up to me with a toy that was supposed to be in Nate’s crib.  She told me she got it from his room when she went in to tell him to go to sleep.

“He wasn’t sleeping so I just went in and gave him all the things he wanted and he laid down to go to sleep.”

In other words – our little girl took care of her little brother.  I just think that is the sweetest thing and I’m so proud of her.  Wouldn’t you know it?  That angry man is fast asleep – thanks to his big sis.

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