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So Happy To Have “Fraughters”

A daughter is just a little girl who grows up to be your best friend. Anonymous

I am blessed with two daughters and a son who I have had the privilege to see grow up. (I’m also delighted to have two step-daughters and a step-son but they came into my life fully grown.) As the first generation in three to have the opportunity to see my children into adulthood, I particularly treasure the time I have with my adult children. My mother and her mother didn’t live through their thirties so I’m relieved that my daughters are both in their forties. What a joy it is to have adult daughters who become “fraughters” — friends/daughters.

One of the take-aways of a daughter, like myself, who has experienced early mother loss, is the appreciation of being able to spend time with grown daughters.

Affirmation: I find joy in my grown children.

Coaching questions: If you have young children, what helps you overcome any anxiety about leaving them too soon? If your children are grown, how can you show gratitude that you made it this far in their lives?

IMG_0004My middle child, Katie, and I at my step-granddaughter’s wedding last night.

I Just Don’t Know What To Say

Who we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. Helen Keller, American author, political activist, first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree

Helen Keller has the right idea when it comes to words of sympathy. Offering supporting words to friends who are in emotional pain due to the critical illness or death of a loved one can be fraught with peril. Saying things like, “she’s in a better place” or “everything happens for a reason” or “I know just how you feel,” can be hurtful to many. Telling your own Super Griever story is not helpful either. Sharing a memory of the loved one, showing concern for the caregiver/grieving person herself, or saying nothing at all but being present is good too.

Don’t let “not knowing what to say” keep you from being a comforting person in your friend’s life. Send a card or a text, show up with tacos, offer to take the dog for a walk or their kids to a movie. Don’t be afraid to say, “I just don’t know what to say.” Trust me, she’ll get your message.

Affirmation: I care about my friends.

Coaching questions: When you have experienced a loss, what was helpful and comforting to you? Give some thought right now about how you might respond to a grieving or completely overwhelmed friend. Your words and actions will be ready when you need them in the moment.

Life: A Diva with a Lesson

So true and beautifully written.

M.M.M

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While you live, you have to learn. You must. If you choose not to learn from the experiences life creates to teach you, you will probably become a very grumpy, lumpy person with an incredibly long, long list of all things horrible, awful and tragic that keep happening to you and you just can’t understand why. Well, maybe it’s because you haven’t even completed the first lesson. The lesson waaaaaay back when. The “step one” you decided to skip and sweep under the rug is still there. Oh, and guess what? You can’t go any further until you do it, learn it or fix it. Whatever it takes.

L I F E    I S    A    D I V A . 

There’s no getting around her. Still, you can effectively, positively develop your character and change your life drastically when you choose to take on all the…

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What I Learned At Legoland

What’s really cool about LEGOs is that you can put a bunch of bricks on the table, and everybody will make something different. Everyone has different ideas, and some of them may seem crazy. Christopher Miller, Writer of The Lego Movie

This week I took two grandchildren, August, 10, and Marcella, 5, to our local Legoland. It was a fun morning of observing amazing cities, animals, Star Wars characters and more all made from tiny, plastic Legos bricks. In addition, there was a Lego movie, a couple of rides and lots of opportunities to build with Legos. So, what did I learn in this haven for kiddies?

  1. Amazing creative things can be made from tiny pieces of plastic. 
  2. Kids who are compete strangers can find joy in building a Duplo wall together.
  3. Very happy, creative adults with engineering and IT skills galore can get paid for conceptualizing and building super cool things out of Legos
  4. You have to know a bit about building with Legos to create a workable car with wheels (this grandma was woefully unqualified) but I learned you get extra credit for riding on a kiddie ride.
  5. Well raised kids express gratitude.
  6. I day of fun ages a person backwards.

Affirmation: I know how to have fun.

Coaching questions: What do you do for fun? What brings out the kid in you? What does being child-like do for you?

Birthdays

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? Satchel Paige, legendary baseball pitcher

On July 11th, 1945, less than two months before the end of WWII, in a small, questionably clean hospital delivery room in Ardmore, Oklahoma, I was born. The doctor was out fishing at the time, but managed to appear shortly before my 10:10 am birth. My dad was a Captain in the US Air Force and had asked his commander to postpone his immediate transfer to McDill Air Force Base in Florida in order to be nearby for at least the first several days after by birth. 

My parents, Leon and Winnie, had enjoyed some years of alone-couple-time prior to my arrival so the timing was right but who would have guessed that a little less than nine years later, our family would have shrunk to just my dad and me with a 34-year-old wife and mother dead before her time. No one knows what life will bring. I learned very early that death is real and our time on this earth can be cut short at any minute. That knowledge has caused me to strive to live life to the fullest and appreciate every moment.

Affirmation: I am joyfully and fully alive.

Coaching questions: What have you learned from the traumas of your life? What difference has that understanding made?

Finding Peace

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.  Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970), American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter.

It feels as though our nation and our world are in unprecedented turmoil. The power of love is definitely not overcoming the love of power as Hendrix was suggesting. As much as I believe in being an informed advocate for what we believe, taking a breather from it all is valuable as well.

Take a moment and consider the swan. Her life may not be as peaceful as this photo from my local park portrays, but the image gives us a focal point on which to rest our minds and our hearts. Now, if only for a few seconds, take a deep breath and just BE.

Affirmation: I am at peace.

Coaching questions: What helps you keep peace within yourself? If you feel harried, what is one thing can you do to feel more peaceful?

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Challenging Yourself

If I couldn’t handle not being good at something, then how could I consider myself a successful person? Gerald, high school athlete featured on CBS Sunday Morning

As the saying goes, “out of the mouths of babes,” this quote comes from the mouth of a high school student who was good at nearly every sport in his school….except swimming. He couldn’t even swim. So, what did he do? He tried out for the swim team and because they were so desperate for members, he was signed on. Eventually he takes them to the state tournament but the big take away is his quote and the fact he would even consider such a challenge. 

Mostly we shy away from what we’re not good at. We want to be successful, look good, and not suffer the humility of failure. Gerald’s courage, self-esteem, self-awareness are all admirable. And he didn’t just think it, he did it. He learned what it is like to be a successful person by first being a failure.

Affirmation: I like a challenge.

Coaching questions: Is there something you’re not good at that you want to try but are holding back because you might look foolish? If you challenged yourself to take this on, how might it change your life?