good manners, grace, respect

one glass of water

If you every complain about not having enough storage, might I suggest embarking on painting all the cabinets you have?   Jeepers, it takes some time.  Yes, the magic of television has the kitchen cupboards painted in a matter of a 60-minute television show.  No, in real life, it does not happen like that.

This past weekend, while painting cabinets, a locksmith arrived at our home to install a new front door lock and handle.

I got down off the ladder, grabbed an icy cold sparkling water, said hello, shook his hand and offered him a cool drink.

His English was very good, however, he asked what is this?  I thought he meant, what was in the can.  Mr. Right told him like soda only water.  He was confused about us giving it to him.

 NO ONE HE HAS EVER WORKED FOR HAS EVER GIVEN HIM A GLASS OF WATER. 

I will let that settle in your throat &  heart.  I instantly felt ashamed of my fellow-man.

SERIOUSLY? 

I got tears in my eyes.

The media today would have you to believe that huge groups of people are treating each other with disrespect.

Wrong.

APPARENTLY, one person by one person we as a society are not treating each other with basic kindness.

I quietly went back to painting, he got to work.

Of course, within 45 minutes, his work was completed and I had worked up a mighty good head of steam.

20170710_081205-1_resizedWe thanked him, paid, shook his hand and sent him on his way.

As the locksmith got in his work van and began to drive away, the first thing I said to Mr. Right, “I’d give a prisoner a glass of water.”

APPARENTLY, some folks have not been taught common decency, common courtesy, basic human manners.  APPARENTLY, the locksmith who works a 40 hour plus week, (I have no idea how many customers that is per day) has been to MANY homes, businesses, people locked out of cars (doesn’t count, I am assuming you don’t have a cold beverage in your purse awaiting a locksmith) …………………… and NO ONE has ever offered him a drink of water! 

Shameful.

Shameful.

Allow me to enlighten you.

When someone (guest or worker) comes into your home, you offer them a beverage.   Is that one of the first things you do when someone comes to your office?

When someone comes into your home, you offer them a beverage.

Did you teach your children?

Did you teach your children? Okay, not too late.  Tell them right this moment.  I’ll wait for you to come back.  YES, it is that basic and that important.

I will not share with you how many “friends” homes I have been to and never offered a glass of water. People might be embarrassed to see their names printed.  Oh, and that would be rude on my part.

From this moment on, NO excuses!  My mother never taught me that.  Oh, he wasn’t going to be here long.  He is just cutting the lawn outside.  It isn’t that hot out.  They just stopped by for a moment.  I didn’t have anything to offer.  I saw she had her own water bottle while she repaired our fence.

NO, I don’t mean the casual comment, “Would you like a drink?” Leaving the responsibility up to the guest in your home.  You are putting them in an awkward position.

I am going to be very clear here.  HAND the person a glass of water or ice tea or hot cocoa or hot coffee and OFFER the person the drink.  

Hello, welcome to our home, would you like some water? (AS YOU ARE HANDING IT TO THEM)glass of water

Are you treating your fellow man with gracious behavior?

Monday seems like the perfect day for a rant.

In this together, friends.  Let’s try to treat each other with kindness.

Please try harder to be nice.

 

 

 

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grace, Uncategorized

30 stars of kindness

SourwoodHello, beautiful September.

I am just starting to see a little color on the leaves.

Awwwww, late at night, I can feel autumn in the air.  Just a hint, it’s coming…… cool days, sweaters, hands wrapped around mugs of coffee while sitting on the porch, fall leaves……….  I am sort of giddy about it.

Are any of you up for a challenge?  I double dog dare you!

30 days of self kindness & grace

What the heck is she talking about?  She has taken a leap right into the river.  She is one crazy chick.

The beginning of fall, back to school, back to routine, time to regroup and steady ourselves before the holidays march into our lives.

When I worked outside the home, the month of September was a full, busy, chaotic time of the year.

I used to take a couple weeks before and fill a little box that fit into my desk with emergency supplies.  You know, important stuff?….. a few snack bars, a new tube of great colored lipstick, a small tube of new amazing smelling lotion, a new hair clip, a couple stamped post cards, a pretty barrette, a length of ribbon, fancy spritzy water etc.  When life got too hard, I could slip into the restroom and put on fresh lipstick and tuck my hair up and rub some fresh lotion on my arms and TA-DA, be a new refreshed woman in less than 5 minutes. Or take a 5 minute break at my desk and jot a post card or tie a ribbon in my hair or snack on a delish fruit snack.

It didn’t take much to get back on track.

The time has come to refresh and fill up that beautiful empty pitcher.  Not one of us canempty pitcher handle everything.  Life is hard, tricky, quirky, strange and a little bit scary. You have heard it a million times…you can’t pour from an empty pitcher.  You gotta fill up the tank now and then. You have to recharge and put a little sparkle back in, so you have some left over to share.

I am not talking about a glorious vacation of gelato and beach sand for ten days. Nor am I talking about shirking your responsibilities.  No, your kids are not going to get up on their own and get themselves to school.  Dinner won’t magically appear on the table for the next 30 days, nor will the dog brush him or her self.

  What I am talking about is doing one small thing a day for the entire month…..just for you.  

What?  SHE IS NUTS!  I don’t have time.  I am busy. I work.  I have a family to care for.  People depend on me. I have an important job.  I care for others.   How could I possibly do something for myself when there is so much to do?

News flash my fellow over-doers…… to survive and also THRIVE we must be nice to ourselves. We must be a bit kinder, sweeter to us.  If we don’t….well it isn’t a pretty picture.

I use Kris Carr’s , Crazy Sexy Love Notes.  I choose a card every day.  It helps me take care of me.  It is a stack of cards with gentle suggestions on the back.  Spring for the $10.00, so worth it.  https://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Sexy-Love-Notes-52-Card/dp/1401948286/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472781976&sr=8-1&keywords=kris+carr+love+notes20160901_190503_resized.jpg

 

Do I have to gently remind you to put on your own oxygen mask first, before you can help others?  Oh, it is so very true.

We have all seen folks, who volunteer too much (in the name of charity, giving, religion, service hours etc.), care for others, do way too much for our kiddos, give ourselves too long of a list of “must do’s”.  We all know people who have somehow placed the importance of their daily jobs/careers above family and self.   Yes they are still upright and walking around.  Their hair is a bit frizzled, their skin is pale and dull, the sparkle has left their eyes.  They are making poor food choices and don’t have time for anything.  They always seem to be “exhausted”.

While volunteering, giving, donating, being there to serve and help,  are all valuable traits……I am just wondering, typing out loud here folks……..maybe, just maybe if we take a moment or two a day…FOR OURSELVES.  Then maybe, just maybe after 30 days of doing this…. we might be better at volunteering, giving, donating, doing for others, we might be better partners, better parents, we might be better at our jobs…. ?

Oh, just think of the possibilities.

We all NEED a big dose of gentleness.  We are task masters when it comes to ourselves. We are much too quick to skip our own care in the name of helping someone else. We need to be nicer to ourselves. Self care, self kindness, grace …….whatever word you want to use. We don’t even have to use words.  I vote for sticking a star, or drawing, earning one,  on each day of the month of September.

Every single time you do one thing for yourself, you get a star.   That’s it.  That is the entire challenge.  Do something nice for yourself, one time each day. Then put a star on the calendar. 

A gold sticky star.  A star drawn with a purple gel pen.  A plain black ink pen.  A pencil.  A fancy drawn star with shooting flames and a smiley face.  I am quite sure, some of you techno- advance folks can somehow put a star on your smart phone calendar.  purple star sticker

I just thought maybe we could help each other out?  Share our ideas with a co-worker or friend.

Just think, when we meet up on October 1, we will have 30 things to share.   30 pieces of grace that we gave to ourselves?  For no other reason than we are worth it.  We will be better people in 30 short days.

You can go on line and type in lists of self care.  You could brain storm at the dinner table tonight.  (wait, you do sit down to a proper dinner and have conversation, right?)

I am serious, I would love it if you share an idea or two or 20 in the comments.  I need help here with little ideas of goodness.  Off the top of my head, here is a list of ideas;

take a long hot shower

home manicure/pedicure

make a lovely home cooked meal

sew the button back on your sweater

cry

take a nap

watch a trashy television show

take a long walk

get a massage

read a good book for pleasure

just say no

be a sofa girl

listen to your all time favorite song

put on new socks

go to the gym

buy a string of twinkle lights

walk your dog

listen to music

figure out your top 5 song titles

put on lipstick

buy some star stickers

enjoy one of your favorite comfort foods

buy some fresh cut flowers

color

pull some weeds

make and enjoy a great cup of coffee (said the Seattle girl)

crafting

watch a funny 2 minute video

buy ingredients to make your own trail mix (put the cool jarful on your desk , in the car at home near the computer

Make yourself a glass of fresh juice

begin to write a list of 99 things you love

journal

make a cup of tea or hot cocoa

hang a seasonal wreath

bouquet-fall-4632

In this together folks, here’s to our mental health and wellness.

Today, I slipped 3 charms on a thin purple ribbon.  I am wearing it like a necklace.  The three charms have the initials of my three grands.  I am smiling.

I drew a purple star on the calendar square.

Here’s to 30 stars!!

Bit by bit , together we will fill up our pitchers.

twinkle lights pitcher

 

 

balance, friends, friendship, Uncategorized

kindness matters

Today, a friend sent me an email. It was short and sweet (like her, ha).

“I am hoping you like this. (I love it) Let me know your thoughts.”
Wow, good golly!  I learned a HUGE lesson in a mere 14 words. Doesn’t seem like much does it? To me it smacked me right in the forehead.  A huge, glorious, sparkly chandelier lit up and awakened my being. Yes, very illuminating.
She was sharing a personal accomplishment and wanted to honor me with sharing.  She was letting me in on a secret of hers. As well as asking for my opinion.  A prized privilege of friendship.
However, before she opened the flood gates and allowed me or anyone else to rain on her parade, she lets me the reader know (I love it).
A very wise woman indeed.  Before you allow anyone to pop your balloon or turn off the wind machine for your kite….she lets people know she loves it. Beginning the conversation by setting the record straight.
About seven years ago, we saved & researched until I just didn’t want to read one more word about cars. We purchased a brand new car.  Perfect for us.  With my leg issues, I could easily get in and out.  It was safe and large enough for our needs.  Good gas mileage and all the extras we wanted.   We were so happy and proud.  We made a wise choice.
The very first time an acquaintance saw our new car…. the sappy words were uttered “oh, how cute, you bought a………”
Now, I know better.  I learned today.  When we purchase a new car (or anything for that matter), I am announcing to the universe, we bought a new car and WE LOVE IT.  (I will be putting the vibe out there……please don’t rain on our parade.)
Why?  Because it hurts feelings.  It is rude.  It is shameful.
Instead of being genuinely happy and uplifting for your friend…..it is judgement.
Yuck, no one wants or needs that. kindness matters
The good news, I REALLY LOVED the picture she showed me.  Not one word of fibbing occurred.
Oh yes, for a friend, I would tell a fib.  Yep, call it what you want.  In no way would I hurt my friend’s feelings.  Honesty was easy this time around, because I fell head over heels in love.
Loving that I learned a lesson today.   Admiration for her that she had the strength and courage to share …under her terms.
Yes, Virginia you can still learn something new everyday.
Sharing is wonderful.  I like letting the person know right away……………..we are happy, we love it, it is perfect for us…………please talk about us or our purchase behind our backs when we are not there to hear it.
Please, Please don’t make me sorry that I chose to share with you.
healing, Uncategorized

what to wear

When our boys were young teens, every single Sunday morning, without fail, the question would be asked……………. “Can I wear jeans”?  Um, no, but nice try.

kind 1For some reason, I had it in my head that if you dressed nicely, made an effort, wore a tie & nice pants you would act better.  By wearing a magical combination of “good” clothes and shoes not sneakers, boys would be somehow more reserved, more polite, more oh, I don’t know.  I wanted them to know the difference.  I wanted them to put their best foot forward.  Can you do that with shorts and a stretched out t-shirt……..maybe.   I wanted them to “feel” different.  I wanted them to feel pulled together, ready to learn and greet others with a happy, kind attitude.

I do know, by the time the van pulled near our home, the ties were off, the shirt collars unbuttoned, jackets or sweaters were cast aside.  It was almost as if they couldn’t breathe.  Within minutes of being in our home, they would be dressed in shorts and faded t-shirts.

We all wear different clothes for different occasions.  Some of us, (talking about me)  have been looking for a dress.   We have five weddings scheduled for the summer months.  I would like to wear something a little more fussy than shorts and by then a faded Margaritaville T-shirt.

Of course people wear, ironed spiffed up, professional clothing to the work place.  Or, surprise, surprise, they are not taken seriously.  In the work place, dress code or not, you are to make an effort to dress the part.  Somehow, clean, pressed, nice work place clothes elevate the attitude of the environment.  Ever hear of that saying, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”.  I have heard “someone” say, I dress for a job interview, yes, he interviews for his job every single day.  I ask you, what employer wouldn’t want to hear that uplifting, positive, professional attitude?

To fluff and puff the chicken palace, I wear less than church going clothes.  Today, my attire was peddle pushers and a tank top with boots.

About 16 months ago, Mr. Right and I  were sitting in a very orderly medical office.  I remember he had on a white dress shirt and tie, dress pants and very shiny dress shoes.  We were bracing ourselves and I guess we thought what we wore would help soften the blow.  It did not.   We were listening to a person say the words that would rock our world and change it forever.  It was bad news.  Very bad news.

The messenger.  She had on a white coat.  It had several religious pins on it.  There was a prominent pink ribbon.  She wore a big ornate cross hanging from a chain around her neck.  Then she had her identification badge swinging in front of all that.  It had her name and all her degrees signified by several letters following her name.  She had on a watch and several bracelets.  Her hair was all puffed up and “fixed” for a day at the office.

It wasn’t the first nor would it be (come to find out) the last time I would see her.  She was late several times to our appointments.  She tried to impress me several times with what her husband did for a job.  She tried to make small talk about the cost of my handbags or my shoes or my jewelry.

She pretended to be kind.  She pretended to care.  Oh sure, she gave Mr. Right several books and pamphlets and a couple of pink ribbon pins to wear.  She was harsh when lecturing about what I MUST do and I MUST never veer off from THE PLAN.  She was very stern and righteous in her beliefs.  I say she pretended.  She didn’t come across as authentic.  She did not come across as kind or real.

I thought it was because she was the bearer of bad news.  I pinned all my yuck on her….   She was better than me.  She knew better.  She wore a white coat.  She was religious and knew a higher power.  She somehow, because of all the letters after her name, knew much more than I ever could.

The Saturday before Easter, Mr. Right and I made a quick stop at the BX (a department store on a military base).  I was in need of a watch battery.  So we hunted down the battery oh and found a dog toy we had to buy and two beach balls to mail to some grandgirlies.

While standing in line, the folks behind us were waiting yet slightly impatient. Acting and talking as though they had some place better they had to be.    I could hear her talking poorly to the man.  She was talking down to him and telling him what they should do.  I glanced back.  She was dealing with two small children.  Looked like maybe grandchildren.  She was not dressed very nicely.  Hair messed, shirt not ironed, jeans that had seen better days.   Not smiling.

It was our turn to move forward to pay.  The couple behind us put all of their purchases on the counter.  Several bags of Easter candy, a couple of chocolate Easter bunnies and a few bags of junk food snacks.  They were still not talking very kind to one another.

I saw her face.  I heard that voice.

She did not recognize me.  I didn’t even register.  Not for a fleeting moment did she connect with my eyes and acknowledge who I was.

Yes.  It was her.  Somewhere under the costume of  her white armor and religious jewelry, was a not very kind person speaking poorly to her husband.   Making very poor choices (in my judgement) when it came to Easter “treats”.

We walked away carrying our very important purchases.

I can’t stop thinking about it.  I don’t want to give it more value than it is worth.  I just wanted to type about it and get it off my mind.

Yes, clothing gives us a boost.  Who doesn’t love to look their very best and go out to celebrate a wonderful life moment? Or the opposite is true.  Sometimes, when I put on a black dress and drape a string of pearls around my neck, I find some type of comfort, handling those pearls over and over and over.

Hiding behind a white coat, hiding behind religious jewelry, acting high and mighty and better than others………….is not very kind.

No matter what I wear, no matter what our kiddos wear, we will wear kindness.  It matters.

I am choosing to be kind every single day, no matter what circumstances I am in.kind 2