Long distance parenting 

Long distance parenting 

Being a parent long distant is agonizing lots of times. I try to have regular communication without appearing to be a helicopter parent which is challenging from a state away. Plus he’s a teenager and you want to give them some space, room to make decisions, and try to find the balance between it all.

Ugh! Today is a trial. He’s got stuff but doesn’t want to talk about. I have stuff and don’t want to burden him. We’re a pair for sure. How to turn a depressing day into a laugh – make fun, crack jokes, do something crazy – and I’m doing all that by text because that’s the way we communicate the most. Easiest way to have a conversation without being interrupted a million times by others. Sad but true. 

Life isn’t easy and it seems to come bottled in the form of a struggle for me most of the time. What I wouldn’t give for a smooth path on occasion except then I remember there is probably a reason I’m dealing with this trial in my life. Bless the Lord o’ my soul….that verse keeps drifting through my mind. We both need some blessing hence the reason it’s floating around up in that crazy head of mine.

Things that just tear me up about being a long distant parent are those times when I would like to cook his favorite food or go to Sonic to get a Route 44. Like today after I left the dentist our normal routine is to hit up Sonic but no kid, so I opted to not make the trip. I made a version of his favorite food last night which made me miss him. Probably why I feel all melancholy and then to find out he had a bad day too. Well crud.

My trusty companion, Ginger, is more than happy to share in his favorite food except that little rat terrier is on a diet! She scavenges through any bag left unattended, trash or scraps thrown out by the neighbors. Devil dog. Not the same as cooking for my kid and trying to cheer him up after a bad day.

Life kicks us down. Maybe stomps us a few times which is fine I’ll just pick myself up. Ok maybe drag. And then I get on with what needs to happen. When it’s your child you want to coddle, protect, listen…hard to do from here. 

I was looking through pictures and saw the one of him walking the tightrope and thought isn’t that how life is lots of time. We pray we make it from one safe area to another without falling but it’s a tricky walk. Lots of times we fall. I know the day he went indoor climbing he fell off that rope lots of times. I’ll always be there for him but there’s a lessons for each of us as we walk our own ropes through life. Praying we both stay steady for awhile! It’s a new version of Jesus take the wheel.


-G.

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Will:Grit:Perseverance=Us 

Will:Grit:Perseverance=Us 

I’ve heard the saying “fake till you make it” or the new version by Amy Cuddy “fake it till you become it.” My thinking runs more to “I may not know it now, but I’ll figure it out.” Sometimes that’s just me messing around till I get it right, could be asking someone for help and guidance, or I’m not above saying I don’t know but I’ll find out. Faking it doesn’t even cross my mind. Why fake it when I have the will and the confidence in myself to be able to just do it. 

Growing up the oldest of three sisters, out in the country, with parents that worked long hours breeds resilience and perseverance. Anyway it did in us girls. My sister’s are different from me in there own way, but we have a solid core that is called WILL. Don’t tell us we can’t because for sure we’ll thumb our noses as we do it or give you the finger. Keeping it real here!

Oh the younger years!

Making responsible decisions were an expectation not a fluke. When we made poor choices our parents called us out on it. It’s the same with my son. I love him but I’m also raising him to make sound decisions and to be accountable. I can be harsh or in another light it might be called tough love. High expectations are the norm. If you set the bar low then they will achieve low. When he needs a hand up I’m more than willing to support him, but he is putting as much or more effort than I am. I’m not slacking and neither should he. Of course there is time for fun and I feel he does a good job of being a teenager too. He kills me every single time we play some game on the Xbox. He thinks it’s hilarious and an opportunity for me to improve my game. Obviously I have none. Definitely a win for the kid.

I think my sister is the same with her kids. They are fun and lively, and they are being raised in a household that holds achievement and education to a high standard. My brother-in-law is a testament to that with all his degrees. They all have their own interests and they pursue it. It’s awesome to see!

My middle sister is the entrepreneur with her own photography business. Starting a business is never easy but she has taken advantage of every learning opportunity to advance herself and her business. She was so patient with the process of launching. I certainly wasn’t and it’s not my business! She thought through everything from branding to a website. Super proud of her and what she’s doing. 

It takes some real grit to start a business or to raise kids to be responsible adults. We have taken those experiences of our youth and we have put our own stamp on our lives and the lives of our children. I know my son is already working on his own stamp, figuring things out, and making decisions that will lead him down a path of his own making. It’s exciting to watch and at the same time, as a parent, I want to give advice from my own experiences. Cause you know we’ve all had those rough roads that we want our kids to avoid at all costs. It’s a continuous prayer that I follow Gods plan for my life and wherever it might lead and that my son does the same. 

I’ve been traveling again and I was telling my fellow road dog that there are many times I’m saying God I see all the signs – I know what path I should be going down – yeah that is a path/sign. Wasn’t that you?! I’m sure that was you saying here’s your sign. I’m just trying to do what you’re indicating. Um ok maybe that was me looking for a sign and called it God. Hmm that’s a real possibility. Now I need to pray for discernment, not for what I want to be seeing cause you know you’re going to see it EVERYWHERE! 

Now I’m back to having the perseverance to see through all the crap life is throwing at me to know what’s true and real. That’s where the grit comes in. Road dog says I’m overflowing in grit. Totally got that covered. God filled that cup up real good. As we are sitting at the Pittsburgh airport I bought a book that has a grit assessment. Yeah I couldn’t resist that purchase. I was an easy mark for that book store.

That title is probably what inspired this blog. Of course it took a left from where I started…like normal. I’m trying to get in the groove of writing more and I saw a quote yesterday that made me go hmmm.

Stephen King says “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

Love Stephen King and all his scary horror books. The Stand is one of my favorites but IT scared me the most! Only book in all my years of reading that I read ONLY during the daylight hours. So with this tangent: Read if you want to write, have the will and the grit to persevere through the easy and the hard times, and don’t look for the easy signs cause they might be wrong – pray hard.

-G.

Prepping for life 

Prepping for life 

I’ve been pondering on what’s the main priorities in my life because once again the sand is shifting. It’s not bad things but there will be changes in the near future – how do I want to prepare or react. Life always seems to be going left when you were planning for right.

One big thing that is looming in the next year will be my son going off to college. We spent part of the time this summer doing a college visit and then him making the decision on “the one”. He’s already been accepted and the admission has been paid all before his senior year of high school starts…it’s like crazy talk! 

I’m so proud of him and at the same time the planner in me wants to start prepping. Just imagine a doomsday prepper but for college. I’ve got a list I’m already working on of what I need to be on the lookout for throughout the next year. It might be a sickness. 

This is what I imagine I look like except I don’t!

Second, the travel for my job has grown and that is not in any way a complaint! I love traveling which means priorities and activities in my life have changed to revolve around my work life. I was admiring my boat that has not been in the water one time this summer. Partly due to the crappy weather early on that put a bunch of trash on the lake and partly because I’m just not home. I’m in the process of deciding do I sell or do I keep. Selling is looking like the best plan based on the current projection of my life.

Third, I have friends all across the US and I would like to spend more time traveling and seeing them along the way. Sometimes it works out with my work travel but not always. I’ve also got plans to take advantage of some work opportunities, which means change and new priorities.

You would think life would settle into a rut of the same thing, and I guess I could let it happen…nah not really my style. See doomsday prepper above. I’m planning, I’m looking for an adventure, I’m learning something new, and I want to live my life to the fullest. You can’t really do that if you’re in a rut.

What’s next you ask? Probably sell the boat, more travel, see my friends, get my kid prepped for the apocalypse…I mean college, go to a fabulous wedding in the Colorado mountains and I plan to hit the beach in Florida. 

As I come to a close I want to share a quote I saw on Instagram…I’m in love with it!!! (I’ve included the link for those that love it as much as I do!)

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXKkCzDBx6b/

So dream big and be bold. You have to be bold if you’re going to do the things that scare you. An example, I have a love and hate relationship with rollercoaters. Love them but I hate that feeling where my stomach is one place and I’m another. But I still get in line, I still get on the coaster because I’m not letting my fear, or that temporary feeling prevent me from doing something fun or bold. 

Do you have bold dreams but you’re holding yourself back? What’s that saying?…oh yeah ‘get over yourself’ not the same context but I’m sure you get the intent. 

So, I’ve got some shifting sands, and I’m once again going to make some changes in my life, and it’s a good thing! Just prepping for a new day!

Peace – Gloria

*photo credit to prepperfortress.com

Friendship

I saw a picture yesterday that reminded me of so many things – beauty, survival, adaption, friendship, beginnings and endings. A lot for one picture I know. 

The dandelion is a symbol to me of survival, overcoming the elements and thriving despite whatever comes your way. So much so I have it as a tattoo. 

A permanent reminder of where I’ve been and that through sheer perseverance I will go forward by the Grace of God. 

Some days I forget it’s even on my wrist and then others I keep looking at it thinking I can do this, I’ve been through other stuff, and I’m not going to allow my will to be broken or worn down to nothing. Sometimes it’s close because life is hard and there are challenges that can be overwhelming. Anyway they seem so at the time and then later maybe even years later you think ‘wow’ I’ve survived so much more than that one instance, heartbreak, or roadblock in life. I wasn’t promised a life without trials. Accepting that sooner rather than later helps although it doesn’t necessarily make it easier.

Something that does make life easier is family and I talk about mine quite a bit. I love them and they support me wholeheartedly, but for this blog I’m going to focus on friendship. I’ve had friends come and go. Lifelong. Some of my close friends I’ve gained later in my life. Friends are a treasure of support, love and laughter. Got to have some laughs! Maybe even be a bad influence.

Facebook has allowed me to stay connected because some live far away and when we are together you would never guess the time apart or distance. I have a friend that went to great effort to support my need for petty revenge. Bless her because I(we) reveled in that shit when it was over. I know I should’ve left it to God but my will was weak and I wanted to do it myself. Anger is ugly, exhausting business!

Last week I was traveling and had an opportunity to see a friend that I don’t get to see very often. He’s also someone that I connected to later in life. We have so many things in common and he totally gets my connection to the dandelion. We bonded last year over a discussion of tattoos. He didn’t realize mine was a dandelion and was telling his plans for a new one…you got it…a dandelion. We are of like mind and it was awesome to realize there was a guy me. Strange and maybe frightening for some.

I may struggle but I’m not alone. My network is full of family and some really awesome friends. They make the struggle bearable. The loneliness tolerable. They put sunshine in a rotten day. When they call and make you laugh or talk for hours about anything. Some have drug me home and tucked me in when needed – now that’s a real good friend. Or talk for hours about your favorite book or tv show. Really GOT is vital to my life.

Friendship can be found in many places and I’ve noticed in my life where I’ve picked them up along the way.

Change – when big changes were happening like job or moves

Sheer luck – don’t be surprised we just found each other

Time and opportunity – sometimes trust and interactions over a period time have to occur

I’m sure I’ve missed something but I read an article once that said friendship comes down to chemistry and proximity. If it’s truly proximity I’m screwed because a good portion of my closest friends live far away. 

You know that quote is the absolute truth! I have a high maintenance friend that does the same shit and I return the favor. That’s some serious love. ✌😍 

Just remember when times are tough, you’re having a bad day, you want to be the pick-me-up to someone else’s crappy day, share in some serious laughter, sarcasm or gossip reach out to your friend. If you don’t have a close confidant then you need to get out of your comfort zone. Those friendships sustain us during the good and the bad times. 

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. 

Addition:

My bestie sent me this meme, and we both thought it would be a great addition to the blog. ☺

Amen! I love the funny memories and definitely getting some priceless lessons.

-G.

Online dating: from the creepy to the crazy and everything in between

Online dating: from the creepy to the crazy and everything in between

It was an eye opening experience and in some ways it was hysterical. I really never thought I would write about this but since my encounter in the Tampa airport it just won’t get out of my head, so here we are with me telling this story. A couple of years ago I decided to give online dating a try. I live in a small town where I’m related to a more than average number of people, and it’s not that easy to meet someone single because there aren’t a lot of options. Options I’m willing to explore. Maybe I’m too picky – hell yes and I should be. 

It was like a New Year’s resolution to try and get out there and meet someone. Not sit at home wallowing in loneliness. Later I would realize that loneliness is preferential to what I found online. Really it was a convention of perverts and misfits half the time sprinkled with a few really nice people. I started off with Christian Mingle. If there were some Christian men on there I didn’t find any. Talked to some nice folks in the chat room from all over the world but mostly it was trolls. I opted for the free version because my expectations were seriously low. My coworker was kind enough to send this ad for Christian Tingle, which is seriously funny. Click on the link for a good laugh. I jumped off that site after a month or so. I just remember I wasn’t on there long.

Next up was OK Cupid. Seemed “okay” at first but the longer I was on there the creepier the guys got along with the requests. As an fyi I cast a broad net geographically since I really don’t want to date a cousin. I became an exceptional investigator out of necessity. This is not to be confused with stalking because it’s not the same. I was able to eliminate a disturbing number of married men, guys with criminal histories and drug abuse issues which are all things I don’t need in my life. There are way too many that just wanted a texting relationship which isn’t really a relationship. Wth! Oh and the catfishing you have to constantly be on guard for that crap too. At some point I was actually on two sites Plenty of Fish (POF) and OK Cupid. I ditched Cupid when I had a guy think I would just pop over to his job and hook him up with a bj. Yeah not happening. 

Dick pics were a common occurrence. We started taking bets on how soon I would get a pic once I started talking with some guy. And if they think I wasn’t sharing all that with my friends wrong…it had become a sick form of entertainment for all of us.

So now I’m approaching July – seven months of online dating and I’d had enough. Right when I was about to leap off POF, which is a lot harder to disconnect from than you think. You can’t do it from the app on your phone you actually have to log onto the computer and go through multiple steps to get off that train to hell. I was going to miss my conversations with a fella from the UK but in the long run he would survive my sudden disappearance from POF. You got it I didn’t plan on saying goodbye.

What happened to slow that train up, some guy, that’s what happened. He was sweet and had all the attributes I was looking for in a man. I should’ve known he was too good to be true. Ultimately my investigating lead to discovering his stint in rehab, his lying and all the other women. I was thankful we didn’t meet but that was only because he stood me up. That was extremely disappointing at the time because we had spent so much time texting and talking on the phone and planning the meet up. Definitely makes you do an evaluation of self and wonder is it me….ummm no. He was the one that wanted to be Facebook friends and wanted me to get to know him and said he had nothing to hide. Bet he didn’t really think I would dig. 

So there I was sitting in the airport in Tampa, FL reading on my kindle, and  waiting for my flight when I look up and have this immediate recognition with this guy standing about 10 feet away. There was something about his tattoos, bald head and features that made me think I know him but how!? Could it be work…don’t think so. My gut is screaming at me…I rely on that 6th sense and it’s got something to say but what! We both made eye contact and the screaming gut is giving me the bad juju feeling that I need to figure this out. We end up on the same flight and he’s actually sitting one row ahead but on the opposite side. I give my brain a rest hoping by giving it another task I’ll figure this out in my subconscious. Still haven’t gotten it by the time we land and he’s standing there waiting for his buddy that was seated behind me, so as I pass him again we make eye contact. 

Off to find my gate and as I’m waiting on the tram they walk up to stand right behind me. Not a coincidence either cause I could tell he was trying to figure out this puzzle as well. Up pulls the tram and I walk to the other side and stand between people and grab a handhold. We make eye contact again, really this is getting old, and I can see the curiosity in his eyes. Then he speaks to his buddy….that was the trigger I needed to kick my brain in gear. His voice. Holy crap that was guy that was supposed to meet me and he ended up being a total loser. He never did figure it out from what I could gather and once I did I wanted to avoid the “do we know each other conversation”. I was thankful my flight was on time and he wasn’t on the next leg!

During that seven months of online dating I met eight guys in person. Seems like a low number but the pickings were slim! Aka I’m picky. One or two were worth a meet and that’s it. Several were way too young but they put out a good effort to get my attention. Still wasn’t happening bless their little hearts. One I actually dated for several months because he happened to keep my number long after I stopped online dating sites. He was lots of fun but we had different expectations for our lives and careers. His expectation was a party every day and a sugar momma. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

 Another guy wanted a nurse maid and that’s a bit much to ask from someone that you meet up with the first time and you’ve only ever talked online. At least he was willing to throw that out there right from the start considering some of the lies and half truths I’ve heard. I had actually gone to school with one of my dates. Not awkward but it did feel like I was out with a cousin so he was out. 

Then there was doily man. Holy crap that was a lunch date and all my coworkers sat at a table down from us. That was awkward as hell. He indicated what I should order and then proceeded to take my leftovers home. He touched my food. Most of the meal he talked about how he had been able to finally buy his dream car – it was a Toyota Camry. I’m being serious that’s what he said and I saw it his dream car. 

How do I know about the doilies – this was a bad decision I will admit but he wanted me to see his house. This was my first online date so I was still trying to figure this shit out. I agreed partly because I felt like I could take him if he tried anything and the posse knew where I was going. I’m not above giving someone an ass whipping to save myself. And some sick part of me just had to see. Again not the best decision but OMG what an amusing experience. This is a story we still laugh about around the office. 

It was like his grandmother decorated his home and he was showing off his palace except he allowed cats on the table. Ick. He kept talking about how I could lie around by the pool sunning myself with my girlfriends and he’d bring drinks. Not ever happening. He showed me almost every room in the house. No worries with the doilies I wasn’t going to be seeing a red room any time soon. When he finally noticed the tattoo on the inside of my wrist I knew I was out, thank the Lord, cause I wasn’t going for any of that crazy. The man had valentine flags lining the walk up to the door! Seriously. Freely admitted he sucked in the bedroom – if the doilies weren’t enough that just put the cherry on top.

Traveling made things fun. My phone would literally blow up with notifications. A few got demanding in their expectation of meeting. Seriously I’m there to work. It was nice to know that if I lived in a bigger city I would have a lot more options AND a lot more crazies to filter out. Geez the filtering would be work. I really missed an opportunity with all the conversations that I could’ve shared and blogged about…for real. I follow plentyoffishmyass on IG. That’s some funny stuff and sadly I can relate to a bunch of it. 

The reality is I actually know people that met through dating sites, and they were successful at finding a wonderful partner. That makes me happy for them. So I know it can work but it just didn’t work for me. In many ways I’m glad it didn’t work because the times it didn’t was a time that something really great or a fabulous opportunity happened in my life. They just weren’t meant to be which is fine. My coworker Mary said none of them could handle all my awesomeness! Lol Like I said I’d rather be lonely alone, than put myself in a position to be lonely in a relationship because that sucks. I’ve done that before no sense in doing it again. Of course my faithful companion Ginger might get a little ticked that I’m saying I’m alone. Technically I have a 14 pound rat terrier that rules my life. Not quite the crazy cat lady but close….really, really close. 

-G.

Death warmed over or something like that

Death warmed over or something like that

Sick, sick, sick – why can this not just skip me? Isn’t it always when you have a ton of things on your plate, going a million different directions, that it creeps in and attacks. My immune system is lacking in the first place, so I go above and beyond to try and stay healthy. A monthly B-12 shot…aka liquid crack (talk about giving yourself a jolt of energy and it’s good for you), vitamins, eating fresh foods and non-processed. Those freaking little bacteria and viral entities are the devil! I know they serve a purpose, but I’d just like them to serve it somewhere other than in my upper respiratory area. Ugh

Bless my medical professionals that do their best to help me continue being a contributing member of society. Cause I’d really rather crawl back under a rock right now. I’m trying to decide if the infector of this affliction was that woman on the plane that kept hacking continuously and was NOT wearing a mask or covering her mouth adequately. Ick. Or could it have been some other soul that was carrying the infection and didn’t know they were contagious. I mean that’s easier to forgive than the blatant hacking. Maybe it was my coworker….hmmmm that’s possible. That infectious typhoid Mary! There is the slim chance that it’s due to the HVAC system being changed out and it stirred up a crap ton of allergens….maybe I’m not the only one suffering. There is the possibility it’s the rollercoaster weather we have going on. An extreme of 80 to 20 will get a body sick. Maybe I’m just mental cause I’m sick!

A blood draw is going to be the deciding factor between bacteria or virus so place your bets….the winner is VIRUS. Blast your micron sized hide. Geez this headache that won’t stop right behind my eyes or the neverending supply of mucus is not wanted or needed. Really pack your little virus bags and find a new home cause I’m evicting you! My lovely nurse got to stick me twice. Thank you kindly for that steroid shot. I might be wide awake tonight, but hopefully I’ll be on the way to healthy and happy. 

Right now I feel like I’m approaching zombie level of a bad horror movie. You know it’s bad when you’re avoided and people start throwing up cross signs with their fingers. Those fingers are not going to work when I get to full out zombie as an fyi. I’m pretty sure my temperament has been equal to a rotting zombie corpse. I’m not a good sick patient. 

I do miss the times when I was a kid and could go to my great-grandparents house and have home canned tomato soup. It would put you on the path to wellness quick. Anyway it always seemed that way to me. It was spicy goodness that I’ve tried to replicate but never quite get it exactly right. No recipe to follow so I have to go on this continuously aging memory. Lord help me it will fail eventually. Hopefully my taste buds will keep remembering lol

So where am I – stuck again on the couch. Drinking lots of hot tea and eating soup. I do feel like death warmed over otherwise watch out for the zombie at this address! ✌ 

Stay well and stay away from me until I am. Sincerely – the infected.

-G.

Is this the right path?

Is this the right path?

Geez don’t know about you but I’ve been asking myself that question A LOT lately. Actually I’m thinking I’ve wandered off the path and I’m in the briers all tangled up and getting stabbed with the thorns. I feel a little scratched up and possibly bruised from the struggle. I start struggling even though its futile and I should just go straight to some prayer and ask for help right then…BUT that would be a big no because my pride is a bit extreme and wants to figure out a plan first. I’m telling you this does NOT help me at all because eventually I have to recognize, that I have absolutely no control over what is happening in my life. What I do have control over is how I’m going to react to it. Do I continue to struggle? Do I not seek some heavenly help and admit I need God to take the load? Do I welcome help when it comes to light and allow my pride to fall to the wayside? Pride is the root of my evil. It gets me every time!!!!

I will freely admit that I struggled for a day this time before I admitted to God that I was not in control, and could he please take the wheel of this out of control life I’ve got going on right now. Not only has he taken control but I was given some insights into why I’m in this situation. DO I LIKE IT? Yeah I’m screaming….that would be no but I recognize why it’s happening and that there is a plan. It’s not my plan, it’s God’s plan. Will I be Job and put my faith in God’s plan for me and those I care for, or do I really think I’m better and can come up with something even greater….just saying now that I don’t.

He has a purpose and maybe I don’t see all the parts of the plan, but my responsibility is to humbly accept it and know the results will be exactly what they should be. Maybe God has to make little changes for the big change to fall into place or maybe it’s a test and I need to fall in line. If you aren’t a believer I’m sure this all sounds strange, but my faith has sustained me since the day I accepted Christ when I was 8 years old. A big commitment that equals only one thing – Grace. Hard to image that I made such a momentous decision at an early age, but it has been a rock in my life even when it’s been a roller coaster. I’ve been on lots of strange paths and narrow winding ways that have felt dark and lonely in the beginning and then I remember I have Grace….I know Jesus. Is it an easy path…I would like to say yes, but the first part of this blog will attest to a big fat no. I always struggle and it’s because my pride gets in my way. Each day I don’t have a struggle is a day that feels blessed and like the burdens are weightless – if only I could remember that when I start to build the walls and make my own plans and design my own path – ugh I make it tough on myself.

To quote Forrest Gump ‘Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.’

You feel like you have things going in the right direction and then BAM! Life smacks you right up side the head. So my reaction is to hold tight to my faith and know that there is a plan. That doesn’t mean I standby and let life bowl me over, but I do acknowledge my reality and move on. Perseverance seems to be my middle name anymore. I’m just going to reach into that box of chocolates and see what other tasty bite I can get out of this life. Enjoy the little things – Rule #32

My goal is to be a role model that my son can look up to and know that being responsible and accountable are expected and should be embedded into your life. It’s not an after thought or an option when it feels good or people might be watching. Even when you’re the only one, stand-up for what is right. It’s not always easy or the popular choice but then I have never taken either so why start now. Makes me want to do a ‘Twanda’ yell!!!

-G.