Thursday, May 11, 2017

Nevermind, I'm Going To Take Photos!

Can we collectively agree that May is straight up bananas?

The only time period that rivals the insanity of May is the end of November through Christmas. 

And honestly, during that time we're at least likely to receive a present at the end of it.  It might be a random ring from Walmart selected by your five year old, but it's a gift all the same.

Even with my all new zen attitude about loving my life, I'm getting a wee bit twitchy as I try to cram in birthday/graduation/wedding/moving parties, on top of teacher appreciation-ing/conferencing, layered with the end of spring season recitals/award nights/playoffs.

Is it wrong to pray for your child's team to lose so you don't have to work another game in to the schedule?

If so, shame on those of you who are NOT me because I am definitely praying for all the wins all the time.  

I can't be the only one feeling like this?

I was so grateful for the love on my last post. I never knew people would be so excited to hear that I'm going to just keep being what I am.  

Your enthusiasm for my lack of ambition fuels my peace, and I am super grateful. 

(Yes, I do realize it isn't lack of ambition that is keeping me from actively pursuing a new role or job or life goal to reach for right now.  My sarcasm came back.)

I did want to clarify a few things though.  

My post sparked all sorts of conversations for me with a lot of my friends.  Mostly people were simply grateful I would just stop talking about finding my role, but a lot of people were envious of my peace and wondering how I achieved it. 

The answer is super easy.  

I wrestled with things in my mind for a bit, I read via social media about cool things my friends were doing with envy, I tried to start a few things in secret, and I evaluated my current happiness level with fluctuating joy or dissatisfaction for a few months.  

Basically I used the scientific process.

Or something loosely or nothing like the scientific process.

I have zero answers.  

Deep, I know.

I do know this, most of my friends have pretty kick ass lives like I do.  We all have varying amounts of stress and exhaustion and strife, but overall things are insanely fantastic...we just have to choose to see it that way.  

We also have to be honest.  

Ladies, the honest need is strong. 

I can not tell you how many women in particular I speak to who continually accept tasks they don't want,  join groups they don't want to be a part of, agree to purchase things out of obligation, or fester over what he/she did to her/them/him and it was no good.

Stop.

My peace about my place is life came mostly from a place of gratitude and honesty.  

It's nice honesty, but I am not doing anything out of obligation these days, other than the obvious of feeding my family/doctors visits/helping when I can/etc, there just isn't enough room for that right now.  

I did make room for 15 minutes of running free on the playground for Cole and Max yesterday after Cole's teacher conference.  We really should have rushed a little to pick Aiden and Stella from piano, but Max's joy looking at Cole running around that empty field was everything I am trying to embrace lately. 

You can see the amazing photo I took of their time together below.  I think it really captures all the feels.  

From a really, really, far distance. 

They are to the right of that bench.



I do want you to feel comforted by the fact that I took that photo and then laughed out loud at the absurdity of me even attempting to take this picture.  

Maybe I should be a photographer?

Life is bananas in May, but it's crazy good. 



Monday, May 1, 2017

Peace

I've written approximately 100 intro paragraphs over the last few months since my last post.

I could not write any more about my struggle to find my new role or purpose.

I was annoying me with those posts, I can only imagine how much fun it was to read.

Zero fun.

My need for something more to say was strong and everything I typed fell short of my expectations for my new badass self.

To be honest, I only made it to page 201 of the 244 pages in the "You Are A Badass" book.

I'm like 3/4 a badass.

To be even more honest, it has taken me so long to read it that I should probably start over because I don't really remember the beginning and that seems important.

I think it was about perceptions?  Or childhood? Or something else?

To be totally honest, starting over is not going to happen.

I'll just call myself 1/4 badass.  That seems like enough right now.

I have been writing about and talking about searching for what I want to do, what I want to be, for months now.

I've been stressed about my destination, my new goal.

I have been beyond restless.

I've bought new domains and talked to friends about new blogs, decorating, websites, vlogs, social media presence, speaking, book writing, baby food delivery, (don't get me started on that one,) and any number of other amazing roles.

All this struggle and somewhere in the last two or three weeks I've made a very big decision.

I'm going to be...a Badass Mom/Wife/Woman.

Somewhere along the way of feeling like what I was doing wasn't enough, my current roles rose up and met my needs.  My strong desire for purpose, for more purpose, has been filled.

For now.

As is often the case, my prayers for direction and wisdom have been met, but not in the way I thought they would be.

I've settled into a very comfortable, very wonderful rhythm with life right now.

I have found so much gratitude for the amazing opportunities that I have.

Let me list some of these opportunities.

I have been to the grocery store four out of the last five days.

This sounds like I am going to be sarcastic, but that's just how life has been rolling.  You could call it poor planning, lack of foresight, or straight up disorganization, but I have had to repeatedly go back to the store.

Guess what, no problem.  This absolutely does not stress me out and that feels great.

I am all caught up on laundry.

Fine, I'm as caught up as is ever going to happen with 6 people's laundry.  The big signal of success is that no one has expressed their concern over the lack of clean underwear while getting dressed recently.

#winning

I regularly exercise five times a week.

I took 45 minutes, from 3:30-4:15, to talk to one of my kids last week because they really needed to talk some things through.  I had no where else to be, no urgent to do list that was freaking me out by constantly looming.

I do not want to be frantic anymore.

Well, any more frantic than is normal with four young  kids.

There is much, much joy for me in not having it all right now.

I know. You are waiting for the punchline.

Where is my sarcastic takeaway?

It's not here.

I'm really sorry.

I seriously sat across from my friend Judy a few weeks ago and declared that the biggest desire of my heart right now is to just do the mom thing, the wife thing, the friend thing, the me thing.

It was so liberating to acknowledge that and own it.

I know this will change, but right now I feel good.

Four kids bring a lot of tasks and moments and needs into my life. I've finally figured out how to give to myself, and then in turn give to them, and it feels good.

I'm still dreaming of a new blog or a book or a website with amazing wisdom for women.  I still think that will come when it's time.

My struggle about it all is very much done though...and I just wanted to share the peace.





Monday, January 30, 2017

Morning Genius

This morning I found myself acting like a cat to get my older boys out of bed.

I literally was meowing, batting their heads and arms with my pretend paws, and rubbing my head on their back.

I was trying to mix it up from the songs I had been creating.  I am a pretty awful singer, but I love to belt out random lyrics with drama to wake my kids.

Think inspirational show tunes that involve metaphors for life with sailboats and wind.

(Yes, these are ORIGINAL songs.  I realize I might be sitting on a multi-million dollar wake-up-your- kids music market here.)

Aiden hates them, Cole loves them.

If my children mostly remember me freaking out with a wooden spoon and yelling about towels on the floor, I hope my show tunes and the morning I acted like a cat to get them out of bed somehow stick too.

I really feel these random moments are my strength as a mother.

I'm desperately searching for ways to use my other strengths.

Or discover my other strengths.

I'm not sure if you are living under a rock or not, but if you are I am going to let you in on something.

Things out in the real world are tense and stressful right now.

The sense of the sky falling, real or not, is a lot of pressure for those of us that worry and fret and feel we will never do or be enough to help so we freeze in fear.

The information sorting and fact checking and dealing with everyone's emotions has been too much lately for me.  I'm not good at it.  Mostly I have been forced to retreat and read a lot less of the Facebook articles posted and say a lot of prayers.

It's admittedly not the best strategy for world changing, but is excellent for my sense of pretend sanity.

Since the beginning of the year (and possibly beginning of my adulthood,) I have been sorting through what I really want to do with myself and my time.

I have found I am really doing a great job attending those barre classes I love.  My commitment to 5 times a week to work toward a new, fit Leslie is strong and progressing.

(Down one pants size....clean eating plus barre will be BIG changes for you folks if you want it.)

Unfortunately, Alex doesn't view my desire to attend barre classes as an appropriate reason to have regular childcare for Max, which may put a kink in my frequency of class attendance.

I carefully described that there is a ballet bar around the room which makes me believe I am a ballet dancer, and that I have new workout clothes.

He was unmoved.

He may have a point.

I need to figure something out.

During the month of December I took a contract project for my favorite fair trade, socially conscious jewelry and accessories company, Noonday Collection.  It involved me writing some training for their upcoming sales conference.

It was a bit chaotic for me with the holiday happenings, but I LOVED having a project to work on like that. I love the company, I love the idea of talking to women about how to improve their businesses and working on personal growth, and I really loved having consistent childcare for Max so that I could work in exercise and some adult tasks.

I just finished that project last Saturday by speaking in front of 300 plus people for an hour.  I never knew if I could do that and it scared me, but I loved it.  I loved what I was talking about, I loved the chance to teach and entertain people, and I loved buying new Anthropologie to wear for the day.

An all around win.

How do I do that more?

I could do without the speaking on stage part constantly, but the rest filled such a hole I have had.

Who would like to hire me to talk to you?  To inspire you?

Is this a job?

Do you think I could wear Anthropologie or my fun workout apparel?

Obviously there are some holes here for me.

In the meantime I am reading.  I am pretending I have to do it for my "job."

Alex likes it when I pretend to work, but don't actually earn income.

He especially likes it when I buy things for my pretend job, like books or a pretty new bag that could hold my laptop for when I go to meetings or Starbucks to get some pretend work done.  It's important to have the right tools.

My current book is titled, "You Are A Badass..." by Jen Sincere.

I'm only 54 pages in to my journey to "badass" but I just know I'm going to be amazing by the end of this book.

I bet I'll be able to act like a cat every morning to wake my kids.

Unstoppable.








Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Recap and The Restart

How fitting that my last post was titled, "We Have Now Entered The Crazy Time."

Here we are almost two months later and I am finally starting to write again.

Crazy indeed.

We had a great holiday season.

All is well.

All was well.

All's well that ends well.

You get it.

It was good. It's done.  I'm really happy to be done.

We did and went so much that my head nearly exploded.

True story.

Not really, but my head felt like it was going to metaphorically explode many times in the last two months.

We had a great Thanksgiving.

(No photo because I left my phone in my purse.  THE ENTIRE TIME BECAUSE I AM AN AMAZING PERSON WHO CAN DETACH FROM TECHNOLOGY.  NBD!)

(In case the all caps lettering was not direct enough, I would appreciate any accolades you can muster for me for this level of detaching and being "in the moment" like all those Facebook articles tell me I need to be.  They never mention the downside of having no proof that you were "in the moment" because there was no way to capture it and post it so everyone on social media knows about my "in the moment" moment, therefore making it true.  Technology IS tough.)

I turned FORTY!


Alex and I went to NYC for my fortieth and were super hip and cool.

(Hip and cool not captured in above photo.)

It was so great to get away and live a totally different life for a few days.  We rented a small studio apartment with the subway running right under us and enjoyed an alley cat's meows all night long.  We were super urban, though not well rested.

Our favorite place we visited was the NYC Public Library so perhaps our hip and cool vibe were weaker than I like to think?

My big takeaways from the trip were:

1. 40 is going to awesome!
2. What the hell am I really doing with my life?  I should hurry before I die.
3. I am so glad I don't have little kids in the city.  It looked like a total pain.
4. I don't like constant crowds and sound.  Personal space is AMAZING.
5.  I really, really love Alex.  He's still my favorite person and he's pretty to look at.

Christmas break was actually pretty enjoyable.  Long breaks from school and routine are not my jam, but this one went well!

I started a severe addiction to barre classes and am going at least 5 times a week.

If you aren't familiar with barre, it's sort of like pilates, but you pretend to be a ballet dancer in your head and tuck your hips and butt a lot.  My description may not be used in any marketing materials soon, but I stand by it.

I'm not that great at it, but I love going and I just know that my ass is going to be phenomenal as soon as I can stop rewarding myself with Starbucks chai tea lattes post workout.

And maybe I should skip the morning buns too.  Maybe.

In my new found fitness strength I participated in the "over 16" rollerskating race at the roller rink when I took my kids before Christmas...and WON...

third place!

I don't want to brag or anything, but that's a medal in the Olympics.




The above photo is me trash talking the lady next to me before the race.

Or I was telling her to promise not to laugh at me.

I can't remember.

I beat her though and that is the important thing.

BRONZE!

Christmas break meant there was a decent amount of errand running with my kids. The last few years have been really miserable with all four out in public while trying to complete a task, but this break was OK.

We are at the point where Max can be entertained destroying stuff under the supervision of his siblings and I can race around the store buying things before anything is so messed up that we would owe damages.




This is the cute scene I came back to after 15 minutes spent talking to the super enthusiastic REI employee about bikes.  He really, really knew a lot about bikes.

I just wanted a $100 gift card.

Christmas itself was delightful and relaxing.

Unfortunately, Alex and I suffered some sort of seizure and bought Cole two mice, but otherwise it was a successful year of gift giving and togetherness.

The Christmas pajamas never disappoint.



I'm not sure what is going on with the vein in my neck in this photo, but it probably is a factor in my ability to make a decision to bring rodents in to our home as pets.

Is anyone reading a doctor and concerned about this?

This was the first year that any of our children stayed up past midnight for New Years Eve.  I barely can handle staying up past midnight myself so it was not my favorite part of the break, but overall I can't really complain...I did get to watch that Mariah Carey train wreck performance and I like to think that was worth some sleep deprivation.

Now we are back to school and I am feeling wonderful!  There is nothing better than the return to the routine after a long break.  It thrills me.

Remember my New Year's resolutions from last year?

You can read my post from last year here.

If you are too lazy to click on that link, the list was:

1. Organize House
2. Go on Walks
3. Write

I felt so buried in Max that these were as ambitious as I could get.  I truly felt I was stretching myself to write at all, to organize my house at all, and for the love of bacon I dreamed of taking a walk. A walk!

It's just where I was.

I'm not there anymore.

I love moving forward!

I haven't written my 2017 resolutions or goals yet, but I added on and organized the hell out of my house in 2016.  I walked (sporadically) and then by the end of 2016 I started a 5 time a week exercise program.

Writing.  It's always what I want to do more of, but I did some writing in 2016.  I didn't do my big goal with it, but perhaps that's where I will start this year?  I feel I did what I could with my writing last year and this year I can do more.

Happy 2017 everyone!

Thanks for reading!


Monday, November 14, 2016

We Have Now Entered The Crazy Time

This time of year gives me the shakes.

Make me contemplate, and perhaps occasionally participate in, day drinking.

November and December are the most insane time of year with to-dos, only rivaled closely by April and May.

It's mostly a happy to-do list, but it makes me want to go off the grid and reappear in January, perhaps having learned how to knit and make perfect gluten free baked goods.

Unfortunately I don't feel I'm adequately equipped to deal with isolation like that, but it has it's appeal right now.

In addition to a very serious case of post-election Facebook addiction, that then requires a lot of additional hours worrying about people's sanity, we are knee deep in the pre-holiday madness.

We have Thanksgiving meals for each child, on the same day, at slightly different overlapping times, in more than one location.

I literally JUST learned that Aiden has a school performance on Friday which means Cole also has one that I don't even know about yet.  It could be right now as I sit at home and type about my crazy schedule.

We have end of the season soccer tournaments (3 games in one day is too much!) right up against this season's piano recital, that I'm not sure anyone has been practicing for recently.

We have 8,302 projects due yesterday that are still "in the works."

There are invitations to respond to and extended family outings being planned.

There are sign ups for food, donations, and pictures.

Do I real think I can get a pie to the older kids' school and help a friend over coffee and remember to drop off a folding table for an event?

More importantly there are highlight appointments and lash extensions to be worked in to the mix.

The most basic of essential tasks.

To add to the madness, we have a supermoon tonight that I am supposed to remember to show the kids because they might not see it again for another million years or something, and if they miss it they may not have their interest in science sparked and they won't work to find the resolution to the hole in the ozone layer before we are all burnt to a crisp from exposure and that will all be on ME because I was too excited for them to get in bed so I could watch half a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie BY MYSELF while I try to strategically plot the next day's orthodontist appointment and overlapping hair appointment.

I just can't.

I do not want to be this busy.  I do not want to wear a badge of busy pride this time of year and respond to everyone that asks me how I'm doing with, "I am so busy!"

Though I have been afflicted by that busy addiction disease in the past I really don't want it.  It's a real problem for me right now though.

Yesterday we went through one of the most stressful events a mom of four children can do, family photos.

Holiday family photos.

We have never done the holiday family photo, because I have never mailed out Christmas cards.

Go ahead and judge me now.  Never a single Christmas card.

I'm 99% sure Jesus doesn't care, but it sure starts to feel like He might when I tell people that I have never taken the energy to figure this out. We've been parents for 11 Christmas seasons now and I have yet to get myself organized enough to make the card happen amongst all this other stuff.

The last few years I have made weak starts to get the ball rolling, but I quickly crap out with all the address gathering and zillion dollars on a card spending and the forgetting people and the perfection needed in it all.

So all of you that assumed you were being snubbed by me should rest easy, I'm not leaving you out, I'm just lazy.

This year my friend Samantha offered mini sessions with adorable holiday-esque scenery and because I am the easiest person to market to (just ask or maybe just mention) I signed up for our family to be part of the magic.

The actual photo taking was fantastic.  Samantha was wonderful and all my kids (and husband) had great attitudes.  Yay!

It was the getting ready for the photo that made me wonder why there isn't a prescription for Xanax distributed with the booking. This is clearly more than a normal Mom can handle.

The outfit selection nearly killed me.  I basically neglected everything else in my life while I traveled to multiple stores and malls and friends' closets and desperately sought the most perfect combination of clothing so we would appear effortless and cohesive while displaying each of our unique strengths and attributes.

My friend Keri devoted an entire day to shopping for this photo.  She'll never get that time back. She probably has PTSD from the tedious decisions about blending, but not matching, shades of khaki and grey and gold with the additional task to add a bit of color.

My friend Judy listened to the same annoying monologue from me on and on about outfits, then lent me jewelry and her husband's shirt for Alex.

FYI, men think that is weird and are not on board.

(Staci you definitely should still live here and save my other friends from me torturing me.)

How are people doing this during the holidays?

We now can check it off the list though.

Here is my single snapshot of the photo shoot in progress, in case I never do use the actual photos for Christmas cards.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Cole with the transitions lenses is killing me. He refused to have his photo taken without his glasses though.  Now I'll have to figure out a way to footnote that Cole has not actually starting getting high on Sunday mornings.

That I am aware of.  I may be too busy to even know.

I am my own worst enemy during my busy times though.  We hosted friends for dinner here Saturday night.  Friends that I know would be happy if I threw a paper plate at them and told them I burned dinner so we're ordering pizza and going to take shots of ouzo and laugh.

But I didn't do that.

I went another direction.



There is a lot of Greek food in the kitchen back there.

I love my people.  I love gathering them and being around them.

I have a difficult time saying no when we are invited somewhere or an opportunity arises for me to join amazing people to do fun things.  It's life giving to me to be in my community of people.

I have been with my people a lot lately though.



The result of that love of people and having four young kids though means I'm busy.

Really busy this time of year.

The challenge then is not whether or not I can say no more, which may be a good idea, but really more whether or not I can keep the gratitude for my busy from now until January 1st?

Can I do it?

I like to think that I can.

I think I can help it along by continuing to wear aprons like this around Aiden and his friends and see them get really uncomfortable, because that keeps my joy alive.

Apron courtesy of Grandma and Tractor's trip to Italy

It's artistic people.  I'm giving them culture and memories to last a lifetime.

I'm a good Mom.

How do you stay sane during this time of year?

Do you struggle with being-busy-addiction?

Judy and I are going to talk about being busy this week on our Facebook page, 2 Moms in a Bar.  You should like our page and share your thoughts/videos/questions about the state of being busy right now.  We would love it.  It would give us something to do.


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Thursday, November 10, 2016

#Perfumegate2016

Is anyone else getting trapped in a political post wormhole on Facebook?

I don't understand what is happening to me.  I physically and psychologically can not even read another opinion piece, look at another hateful protest/celebration, or sort through comments for a voice of reason.

(Sidenote:  I am finding there is usually at least one reasonable, non offensive, commenter amongst all the drama from both sides.  HOPE!  BRIDGES!)

Things are tense.

Is everyone feeling that?

It's awkward and emotions are running strong.  People feel scared and defensive and dismissed and attacked and straight up angry.  It's everywhere.

One of my "friends" on Facebook was enraged with this inflammatory post I wrote on Election Day.


"On this historic Election Day, I have finally reached a decision for myself that has been plaguing me for the last year.  After much researching and soul searching and prayers for guidance, I have decided to continue using Design by Paul Sebastian as my fragrance of choice.  It's been faithful to me since the 8th grade and despite it's decline from a department store perfume to a cast off bottle on the TJ Max clearance fragrance shelf, and possibly available at Walmart, it's steady and true to me.  Thank you all for your concern, questions, suggestions, and offerings of hope during my quest to reach this important decision.  I hope I can expect continued friendship and support even if this was not what you had hoped for me."

Can you believe I had the audacity to write that?

Can you believe my lack of morals?

id you ever fathom I would sink so very low?

This was her comment, "To me you are a weaker person for your daughter.  Maybe that's unfair, but crap posts like this make it true.  Shame on you." 

Additional comment moments later, "poor child."

She is really pissed about my perfume choice.

She must hate Paul Sebastian.

Maybe she knows him and he is an evil man that secretly feeds poison to baby kittens?  Or he steals elementary children's lunch money?

Maybe she is allergic to perfumes and is standing up for any and all people with scent intolerance?

Is all of this confusing to you?

Dear Lord, I hope so.

I have to admit that when I read this my heart started pounding and my hands were shaking.

I do NOT deal well with being in "trouble."

I am a pleaser.  I am middle ground.  I like everyone around me happy and amused.  It isn't always a productive position and I will now probably be attacked for this, but I think I am ok with that.

I felt attacked and shocked.

I understood, though strongly disagree with, her general idea.

I was posting about fluffy unimportant things on a monumental Election Day when she felt I should be shouting from the rooftops (of Facebook, the real source of political influence, of course,) my passion for my politics, especially as a woman.

Well, only if I were shouting about her candidate, obviously.

This comment on my fluffy post though was just a slice of the crazy I have read from people.

Can we all breathe?

I am not dismissing anyone's feelings and emotions here, through I am confident I might be accused of that after I post this blog. I know people with genuine fears, concerns, and frustrations and I understand.

If you feel the need to attack someone right now though for providing a moment of levity in a very stressful time then we're seriously doomed.

At the very least you are doomed to hate me so perhaps we should part ways.

I don't tell very many people this, but I am sarcastic.

Some people yell or bite their nails or demean others or drink or smoke or exercise, I make comments or jokes when things get tense and stressful.

I'm a sarcasm addict.

I am not seeking help.

Perhaps it isn't always appropriate, but I do like to think that most of the time these comments provide a moment to stop and smile.  An act I find quite lovely and necessary to most of life.

To imply that I am somehow a disgrace to women, or worse that I am teaching my daughter to be weak, to be kept by a man, or be less than she can be is straight up hateful.

Particularly harsh on a non-political post I might add.

Is this where we are going?

I don't think so.

I think this was an isolated (though I have seen other comments other places with similar sentiments about women in general) incident. I like to think that this friend was crazy with emotion and anger and I was just where those emotions landed.

It matters though.

It matters to be kind and respectful.

It matters to speak up when real wrong is taking place.

(Such as if I had chosen to start wearing Giorgio of Beverly Hills.)

It matters to teach your kids how to spell, or they really won't ever be president and will be forced to only care about perfume and other shiny things.

They might accidentally start aspiring to be a Badisno and who knows what kind of pain that could bring if we ever find out what it is.

Stella's actual attempt to write "I Could Be President" I love kindergarten.  


I'm ready for a little joy folks.

I'm ready for random acts of kindness to flood my Facebook newsfeed.

I'm ready for people to put their passion in to productivity to make positive change.

I'm ready for someone else to figure out exactly how that happens because I can barely figure out how to get my kids to unpack their lunch boxes so I am out on the big idea discussion for politics.

I'm still an awesome Mom though and I'm killing it as a sarcastic woman.

Random Facebook hate will not bring me down.

Well, for long.  I was pretty emotional for a few minutes.

Then I remembered that the comment was inappropriate and unkind and I reject it.

Go find your joy friends!

And.....If you haven't done so already, please check out my friend Judy and my new Facebook page, 2 Moms In A Bar.  Like us and then watch us yammer on about all sorts of important topics.  We'll probably discuss perfume and other hard hitting topics soon.

This week we covered some friendship thoughts and would love to hear from you about things you would like discussed, questions you have, things you have been wrestling with, etc.

It's fun.

Don't you want to have a little fun?




Monday, October 24, 2016

I Jump On The Campaign Trail

I read an article last week that really resonated with me.

I'm not sure it can be called an article. I read it via a FB link and it was essentially the Cliff Notes version of a sermon a pastor gave regarding the upcoming Presidential Election.

I think my favorite part of the whole thing was that he didn't mention either candidate.

He didn't talk about anything remotely political or personal.

It was dreamy.

I have no interest in engaging in any type of debate on the issues or the candidates.

I think we can all agree things are a bit of a shit show though.

Or you don't agree.

Whatever.

I personally think things are a bit crazy.

I'm not enthusiastic about either candidate, but I do strongly oppose one of them.

What I have abhorred most about this election though is the panic.

I'm guilty of this panic myself.

I know I have felt genuine fear about one of the candidates.  I have created a scary scenario in my head, told myself a frightening story that isn't true about the future of our country if either one of them are elected.

I know I am not alone.

Do you sort of wish I would just hurry up and give you the Cliff Notes version of this post about the Cliff Notes version of that sermon?

Fine.  Here it is.

It doesn't matter.

I mean it does.

But, it doesn't.

Allow me to clarify.

This pastor pointed out the hatred and despicable behavior by both candidates, but even more so by some of the people supporting the candidates.  Instead of a dialogue about issues and opinions and real discussions about how different laws and perspectives change real people's lives, it's, well....it's a shit show.

The pastor didn't say shit show.

He probably isn't supposed to say shit show.

I can say it all I want to say it.

It's dangerous for us to spread the message of doom and gloom if one candidate is or is not elected.  

It's irresponsible for us to feed our children fear, or worse, hatred.

(The desire to not feed my children a message of hatred has been a challenge this year when confronted by such a strongly disturbing person.)

I know people on both sides who have brain washed their children to violently hate the other candidate.  This feels wrong to me in so many ways.  I get it, but I feel like it starts a habit to shut out the voice of someone you disagree with rather than hearing their views, doing your own research, and making your own educated opinions.

We should be brainwashing our kids about good things.  How about training them to listen to good music or love all things about the 1990s?

At dinner every night I have my children say one nice compliment and one constructive criticism about each candidate.

Such as Donald Trump wears nice suits, but I feel his foreign policy is too polarizing.

Or, Hilary Clinton seems to really want to help people, but I feel her lipstick is yucky.

Fine, we don't really do that.

We have had some great, though tricky car conversations though about building walls and abortions and welfare and the constitution and self tanner.

It's tricky because for these issues there are lots of opinions, lots of facts, lots of perspectives.  Some are perspectives that are affected by our family's faith, which also affects our family's sense of doing the right, kind thing.

I have an overall point.

Let's just all try to remember that regardless of who wins on November 8th, perpetuating a fear that America will basically be nearing destruction because of one person or the other is false and irresponsible.

No one is that powerful, except God.

And if you don't believe in God, then at least believe that Trump or Clinton alone are not the sole authors of our country's story, we are and will continue to be so much more than that.

Most importantly, kind.

Maybe I should have just posted a link to the pastor's summary?

It was significantly shorter and possibly far more meaningful.  Oh well, you've read this far.

Regardless of which side you are on....VOTE and show your kids that voting matters, even if you think it doesn't.  It's a parent's job to fake the importance of things we don't really want to do.

Like eating kale.

Voting is more important than eating kale.

I should clearly be on someone's campaign.