Thursday, June 27, 2013

Why we do the things we do....and washing my face with oil

I only get to see my awesome therapist once a month these days and, although I've grown in many areas, I'm still stuck in one area.  His philosophy is that in order for something new and different to happen in life, I need to let go of what I'm doing now - my familiar patterns.  That until those familiar patterns end, I will stay stuck and nothing new or good will come into my life.  He said it more eloquently that I just did.

I used to wonder WHY all the time.  But the why is so easy to figure out, and the how to change is easy to figure out, but the actually doing it is incredibly difficult.

Eric says I have to be willing to go through the depression and anxiety that will inevitably come up when I make these changes that are necessary to allow change and good things to come into my life.  I don't want to....(picture a kid having a tantrum).  I am doing pretty good right now, I don't want to go through more pain to get to the other side!  I just want to stay here.

BUT, according to Eric, I will never, ever get to the other side until I go through the next level of pain.

Its sort of like my new skin cleansing routine (have any of you ladies tried the Oil Cleansing Method?).  Instead of using a cleanser on your face, you mix together castor oil and another oil (I use almond) and massage it all over your face and wipe it off with a warm wash cloth.  It does make your skin look amazing and eventually will clear up any breakouts you have....but in order to get to the amazing part, you have to live with shitty looking skin for a week or two.  I can never seem to allow myself to go through with it.  I use it for a few days then chicken out and wash my face normally.  You can read about it here:

Anyhow, that's the latest with me.  Struggling with letting go of someone that I don't want to let go of in order to open myself up to allowing a more realistic relationship into my life.

(M.Y. - I can see your eyes rolling.  You're right,  you've always been right, I admit it.)

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Observations on the Children of this Generation

Time Magazine recently came out with a cover story titled "The ME ME ME generation".  I saw it on the newstand and decided to read it online - only to find out you have to be a subscriber to read their stuff.  So I just kind of imagined what it might have said and now am throwing in my two cents.

I am referring to kids born in the late 80-s through today.  Which includes my own son, and I am guilty of being a "me" parent.

I feel like an old fogie writing about this because throughout history I can just hear people saying "when I was your age things were different....".  But they were!  They were SO different!  I think a lot of the actions by today's parents has created our kids to go beyond having a healthy self esteem (which obviously is not something you can force upon a kid that doesn't have one, i.e. Keven).  It seems to have given them more of a ego esteem, kind of an expectation that they deserve special treatment just for existing.

Of course we are all important.  But kids these days with all the media they have access to are putting their whole lives out there for people to see and its normal to them.  Can you imagine taking pictures of yourself every day at the age of 16 and putting them on a bulletin board at school for all your friends to look at?  And all of them having bulletin boards of their pics and thoughts?  Would you do it?  I sure as hell wouldn't.  It would seem so arrogant to think anyone cared, and it would feel completely vulnerable and like a self inflicted invasion of my privacy!!!!

But that's the norm today.  Everyone is in everyone's business and it can be both good and bad.  Of course here we are as adults doing the same thing - but hopefully there are no bullies in our workplaces reading what we write looking for ammo to use to blast us and make us feel bad for what we wrote.

What I am noticing more (I work for a youth pastor and a children's ministry director so I am around kids of all ages) is that kids have a totally different relationship with their parents (again, I include myself here).  Parents are there to provide for the kids in a new way - not just the roof over the head, food on the table, but as a social director, a wardrobe buyer, a playmate, a one person cheer squad.  They make sure their kids don't feel left out by buying them the latest trends even if the clothes are way too revealing (in the case of girls) for any parent to approve of (I'll never forget my dad grabbing me as I tried to sneak out of the house in a pair of Levi's I'd cut off into shorts, they are modest compared to the short shorts of today the girls are wearing).  The little girls at church can be very demanding of their parents and expect to wear the latest styles and the parents cave in (I had a boy - I can't relate).

When I was a kid, my mother never once sat down on the floor and played with me.  I still have aches and pains in my joints from hours and hours of Lego building.

My parents rarely asked me how I was, what I was thinking or feeling, or paid much attention to what was up in my life other than "how was school today?, did you do your homework?".  We went school clothes shopping in the Fall and my mom bought us some "summer clothes" at Kmart in the Spring.  We didn't even get to pick it out!  If I needed money, I asked what I had to do to earn it (man I screwed up big time on Keven giving him $$$).  We were loved, but not treated like little prince and princesses.  No one complained, it was the way it was.  We worked out our issues with our friends without involving our parents - that would have been too weird.  We never interrupted two adults talking or addressed our friend's parents by their first name, or got up for the dinner talbe without asking to be "excused".  Seriously.

They didn't make sure I was busy all the time doing sports and taking lessons of some sort - they kicked my butt out the door to play and expected me home for dinner the SECOND it was 5 pm.  I was not allowed to back talk (I don't think I was - I never dared try it!).  I would whine on occasion and it got me in trouble rather than getting me what I wanted (Keven was an expert at this....sigh).  Maybe once every few years I'd feel "special" if there was something big happening, like the Father-Daughter dance put on by my Browine troop.

Now kids feel special for just having a birthday - or winning a soccer game - or whatever.  Parents paint their whole cars annoucing it's Joey's 9th birthday.  Parents put huge banners in the yard if their kid wins the soccer tournament.  I guess that's normal now - but you would never see that when I was growing up.  At our house we got a birthday party every other year, and on the off years we had just family over.  I was fine with that.  Now a days parents rent LIMOS for their pre-teens to drive around on their birthdays.

It just seems that all of this attention and extravagance is a bit over the top.  Have we caused our kids to think the world revolves around them instead of teaching them that we are all in this world together?  I don't know.

And WHY do we do this now?  Is it because of the guilt factor that its more common for both parents work and therefore have less time for their kids?  When I was a kid, none of my friends had working moms.  I'm not saying women should stay home and raise kids (or if you live in OC women should stay home and go to the gym, lunch with friends and have facials etc, etc,  and let the nanny's raise the kids).  Women should have a right to work if they want, and unfortunately many have to work if they want to or not.

 I'm not sure what it all means, but observing the kids I'm in contact with today, I'm amazed at the way they interact with adults compared to the way I did as a kid.  They seem to think they are equals.  Should kids and adults be equals?  If so then who's in charge?  Its kind of scary.  I really don't know what to make of it all but am glad that phase of parenting is over for me so I don't have to second guess every time I spend time with my son wondering if I'm somehow messing up the delicate balance between over parenting and not caring enough.

What do you think?

Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara

Friday, June 21, 2013

UPDATE! This and That...


I forgot to mention that Keven was in a car accident on May 1.  It was 100& the other guys fault and Keven's car was totaled in the accident.  That's why he's going to PT but the good news:  he didn't get hurt worse, insurance covered everything and he's still able to go to work every day!

Random thoughts on a Friday morning:

  • Been thinking a lot about life lately - specifically mine and where I am at the tender age of 53.  How did I get to be this age so fast?  Where does the time go?  Why is my life not even close to what I'd always imagined it to be?  Some questions don't need to be answered.  I know where I am and I can choose where I want to go.  There's nothing anyone can do to turn back the clocks and do it over, or to slow down time.  

  • Speaking of time and age HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mother.  She's 89 today and still healthy and enjoying her favorite things in life.  In fact, she can do things (physically) that I can't do - like climb up the embankment in the back yards to pull weeds.  She's not suppose to be doing that stuff - but we can't seem to stop her.  We've had our ups and downs over the years - mostly downs, but the last 22 years we have slowly grown closer, she's mellowed out, she likes me now.  Its no coincidence that 22 years ago I gave her a bundle of joy :)  (well, mostly joy....)

  • Speaking of the joy bundle - He's doing good.  He's been at his job for four months now and has a good relationship with his boss and the other older guy that works there. He's still going to physical therapy 3 days a week after the car accident, but seems to be okay.

Ok, I just lost my train of thought because someone in my family is talking my ear off even though I am sitting here trying to write.  

Hope all is well with you!

Peace, Love and Hope,


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Conversation with a Pedophile

At my job I have the opportunity to talk to a lot of people from different walks of life, mostly homeless people or young people that are sent to do their community service where I work.  Yesterday I dound myself talking with a pedophile.  He called asking if he could volunteer and said there was some things I needed to know about him first.  He mentioned the name of a drug rehab I was familiar with (not realizing they also do "alternative prison").

So he comes in, we shake hands and I show him to the conference room.  The first thing he says to me is "Well, I just want to make it very clear that I have never raped or molested a child".  WHOA.  I was expecting him to tell me he was an addict - so this really shocked me.  On the outside I remained calm and neutral the whole time, on the inside I just tried my hardest not to think about what he was saying or I may have not handled it well.

So the guy looked 100% normal.  He's 52 and actually I thought he was attractive before I knew what he was into.  He was very polite and I could tell he was trying hard not to get too graphic but to say enough to let me know that he was busted for child pornography and had never touched a child.  He said he knows it was wrong and he feels terrible and wants more than anything to not have that attraction, but he just does.  He had also said he was a photographer and I wondered if he was taking photos of kids too, because they confiscated all his equipment and computers.

During this time I remembered the segment Oprah did on pedophiles and how candid they were with her and how it was clear than NONE of them approved of what they were doing but all of them had an uncontrollable sexual response to children.  Op did a good job of not judging them, but she also made it clear that she thought what they did was despicable.  I was trying to do the same with this dude.

I diverted the conversation to his upcoming trial and was amazed at how naive he is about being in prison/jail.  OH MY GOSH.  When I told him he'd be in Protective Custody and that even there he'd have to be very careful, he said "What?  Why???"  This guy will be a target for murder the minute someone finds out.  It happened here in 2006 at one of the jails Kev frequented, Theo Lacy:

"The murder happened inside the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange. John Chamberlain, 41, was being held on a misdemeanor charge of possessing child pornography.On October 5, 2006, Chamberlain was savagely beaten, tortured and sexually assaulted inside a dormitory area. He died as a result of his injuries  Chamberlain's death sparked a grand jury investigation that revealed a jail culture where guards would allow inmates to discipline other inmates..In court Monday, prosecutors said Chamberlain suffered 48 fractures to his ribs and severe injuries to his face and head, along with being sexually assaulted in an attack that lasted roughly 50 minutes." (from ABC News)

 So I tried to tell him he needed to be very careful, but really, there's nothing you can do to protect yourself if someone in there wants to attack you.  He wants to go to private prison and have his parents pay $90 a day for him to stay there.   At this point I was ready to end our conversation so told him that no, he could not volunteer here.

It was creepy and weird and disturbing.  What would you have done in my shoes?

Peace, Love and Hope,