Five More Minutes

It starts in the mornings when the alarm clock first rings. “Five more minutes,” I think. “I’ll get up in five more minutes.”

Naturally, that first five is really nine, because that’s what the snooze button is set to. But that’s ok, because I don’t really sleep the entire nine minutes. Sometimes I do, but usually it’s a time spent in foggy contemplation of what the day is going to bring. 

Then, in the shower, I tell myself just five more minutes of hot water. That’s all I need to finally feel awake. 35 minutes later, I get out and get dressed, all the time thinking I just need another five minutes and I’ll be out the door. 

Throughout the day, I find myself telling others – “give me five minutes and I’ll let you know.” A very good friend said that lately I seem to be in an alternate universe, where five minutes can be only two, or even ten hours later. Everything just moves so fast lately. 

I’ve told my family the same thing. Five more minutes until the show is over. Five minutes left until bedtime. If you don’t do X in the next five minutes, we’re going to have a meltdown. 

And I can’t help but wonder when it’s going to reverse. From – “Give me just five more minutes” – to “If I only had five more minutes.”

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Making Up the Bed

When I was little, mom always wanted me to make up my bed in the mornings. I resisted so much. “What was the point?” I would argue. “I’m just going to get back in it and mess it up. This way, it’s waiting for me.”  The only time I would make up the bed was when I changed the sheets. 

Even then, though, I loved the feel of a fresh set of sheets. Making it all nice and pretty, and then being able to slip between nice cool sheets has always been one of the small pleasures in life. But I still resisted making the bed every morning. 

As an adult, and maybe even younger, I love being in bed. I resist getting up in the morning because I’m just comfortable. “Five more minutes,” I’ll beg Larry. “Just five more.”  Eventually, after about three such requests, he kicks me out. 

When I get home, the first thing I want to do is crawl back in my bed. I can do anything there – watch tv, read a book, talk on the phone, work on the computer. It’s most definitely my nest. 

But I still resisted making it up in the mornings. Until recently. 

For some unknown reason, Larry began to make it up on the mornings. I would get out of bed, and he’d smooth my side down. Then later, when he got up, he’s finish with his side. I only partly noticed -after a shower, I usually crawl back in for just a bit to talk – and I’d notice I had to pull the covers back. But I’ve not asked him yet why he started this new habit. 

It’s dawned on me slowly over the past few weeks – I’ve been making up the bed every morning. Beyond recognizing that I really like crawling into a freshly-made bed in the evenings…it seems that it helps set the tone for the day. I’ve always tried, especially when under a lot of stress, to find one task I can accomplish easily so that I can see some kind of progress. It helps push me on the bigger projects. 

I think making the bed in the mornings is something like that. I’ve accomplished one thing already, and can move on to the next. And I can finish the day by crawling into that nice, cold, perfectly made up bed. 

This may or may not have been mom’s intention when she would get on to me about making up the bed. I’m willing to bet it was more about trying to keep the house looking nice. And it only took 40 years for me to figure it out. That’s how moms do it best – life lessons desguised as chores. ūüėŹūüėč

This morning, as I made the bed, I sent out a thanks to mom – because tonight, I will get to crawl back into my favorite place, and rest, knowing that if everything else falls apart, I accomplished one thing. 

Love you mom. ‚̧ԳŹ

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Who Cares?

When the question becomes “when” instead of “if.” 

When you start to wonder “where” instead of “why.”

When you begin to realize that what may seem random actually is, but not because it’s organized. It’s because we’ve lost our humanity. 

People have always challenged authority. Today’s legends are the last century’s traitors. Coups to overthrow governments have happened since the beginning of time. Whether it’s on a local level, or a worldwide platform, it’s not anything new. 

What is new is that we hear about it now as it happens. What may be new is the insensitivity to it. But what is not new is change.  We have changed how we react because now we see it so much, we have developed ways to compartmentalize it. We ALL know that it’s not right. Even those that are perpetuating the violence. And yet it continues. 

Who cares? 

I care. 

We all do. 

Or at least, we should. 

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We Hold These Truths…

Today is an in-between day. Not only in 2016, but in history as well. July 3rd has no special significance in and of itself. 

July 2, 1776 – the Continental Congress voted to approve a Virginia motion calling for separation from Britain and the words of this resolution were added to the closing of the Declaration of Independence. 

July 2, 2016 – we celebrated with family and friends by having a cookout and swimming, and a celebration of a young man moving to the next chapter of his life. 

July 3, 1776 – I can imagine Thomas Jefferson and others standing before the Continental Congress and passionately arguing for support. For people to put their trust in them and to do what they felt deep within their hearts was the right – the only – thing to do. 

July 3, 2016 – I have had a lazy morning, thinking about trimming rose bushes and reading books and watching some television. And wondering if I should take a drive somewhere, just for fun. 

240 years ago, I imagine that there were very few people in the colonies laying around reading a book, contemplating laying out on the sun and thinking of taking a leisurely drive to somewhere unknown. Thomas Jefferson was busy trying to create a new nation. The British army was busy trying to figure out where to attack and where they would be attacked. And they likely never thought there was any real chance that the Continentals would be successful. 

And yet. 

Only July 4, 1776 – the Declaration of Independence was formally adopted by 12 colonies after some minor revisions. (New York waited until July 19). 

Let’s not forget what we’re celebrating tomorrow. And remember that it didn’t just happen on A day. It started long before that, around 1765, and carried on until 1881 or so. And continues still today. 

Land of the free. Because of the brave. 

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When Change is Inevitable

There comes a time when everything changes. ¬†I never know when this is going to happen, but it always feels like I’m riding a bubble, and it’s going up, up, up…and I know the pop is going to happen, but I just don’t know the¬†when.

It’s not always a physical change – most often, it’s mental. ¬†And it’s not always personal, but it usually is.

Things are changing. ¬†The summer, believe it or not, is growing closer to an end. ¬†How can that be – it’s only the end of June! ¬†But, it IS the end of June. ¬†I have one more day in the Dallas office as we know it, and then we travel to Portland – to the¬†National Office!¬†– to learn some new and exicting things, and meet some new and exciting people. ¬†Then next week, we officially become¬†an exciting and new company. ¬†This new company is going to bring about a lot of change. ¬†a LOT of change. ¬†And I’m so damn excited about it, I can’t wait to get started. ¬†Others are fighting this change – even though they say they’re not. ¬†That’s the part that is going to get to me and wear me down.

But I’m not going to let it. ¬†What’s the phrase – I’m going to be a CHANGE AGENT for my firm. ¬†We can do this. ¬†We may go kicking and screaming, but we can do this. ¬†And “we” is a relative term – there are many of us who are looking forward to this. ¬†And there are a few who don’t realize what they’ve gotten themselves into. ¬†But it’s going to be ok. ¬†We’re going to be ok.

I’m going to be better than ok. ¬†I’m going to be¬†great!


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The Lost Art of Writing A Letter

I have a special gift for someone that I’ve been trying to get in the mail for a few weeks now. One thing and then another have caused me to put it off, but my real procrastination was the letter that I wanted to write. 

I would sit down to write, and the paper remained blank. There was so much to say that everything would get bottled up and just would not free up. It is an important letter to me, and I wanted it to be perfect. Serious, yet funny. Touching, but not sad. Inspirational, but not over the top. So for a while, the words wouldn’t come. 

Today, I finally sat down and started.  I probably could’ve written more if I had used the computer. But that’s cheating. This was/is, deeply personal. So I wrote it by hand. More than a page later, I am done and it is ready to mail. 

As I set it by my purse, my boss came in and happened to see it. He stared, wrinkles up his nose, and in a suspicious tone, asked what “that” was. I explained that it was a letter to a very special young lady and I was getting ready to mail it. 

“Why on earth did you hand write it,” he asked. “People use computers and email now.”

I told him the story of an amazing, wonderful, courageous, fierce little girl, who had become a beautiful young lady, and how I felt that handwritten notes are a large part of it. 

I know he doesn’t understand. But that’s ok. I know others that do. And they make my heart happy. 

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Hitler’s Mom? Random Discussions with Thing 1

Thing 1 is my oldest son. He’s my Mini Me. In so many ways, I can see myself in him. He’s goofy, he can be a nerd, he has an insanely silly side. Dry sense of humor at times. Voracious reader since he was little – I quit teaching him to read with Hooked On Phonics when he started kindergarten because I realized that reading at a 5th grade level in kindergarten might not actually be the best thing. (He was reading Harry Potter books in kindergarten. And I wonder why we argue now…)

But we have some fun arguments. More like discussions, but they can devolve into silliness very easily because we both lean that way. 

Best example – driving to his soon to be college campus a few weeks ago. Because Thing 1 has been reading so well for so long, I often don’t realize how much he taught himself. Randomly during conversations, he’ll say a word, and he’ll mispronounce it. I can’t even think of a word that he does this with at the moment, but it’s during converations with him that I’ll hear him say something, and I’ll ask him to repeat it. And of course, I’ll correct it. But this particular conversation started a little differently. 

Me:  That’s not how you say that. It’s (whatever word it was)

Thing 1: (sigh). Why do you do that?

Me:  You said it wrong. You should pronounce it the right way or people won’t understand you. 

T1: Did you know what word I meant?

Me: Well, yes. But..

T1:  No buts. You knew what it was. So therefore you didn’t have to correct me. 

Me: You should say it right. People might make fun of you. And what if I hadn’t understood?

T1: But you did. That’s the point. We communicated. I said something and you understood me, even if I said it wrong. You don’t have to correct me, because we C.O.M.M.U.N.I.C.A.T.E.D. 

ME:  One word. Mom. That’s what moms do. 

T1:  Do you think George Bush’s mom corrected him?  No. 

Me:  I bet she did. He mispronounces stuff all the time. She probably cringed every time she heard him speak.  Listen to your mother. 

T2:  But my MOTHER is correcting me when she doesn’t need to. 

Me:  You know who else’s mom corrected him – and he didn’t listen?  Hitler’s mom. Hitler didn’t listen to his mother and look how he turned out. Bad. Don’t be like Hitler. Listen to your mother. 

At this point, we’re giggling. It was a fun ride. 

Now, fast forward to an eye doctor appointment the other day. I went with him for something to do. As I watched him fill out the paperwork, I sighed, and told him his handwriting was atrocious. It really is. I asked him to try a little harder so that it was legible. This dissolved into a conversation that had people around us giving us the strangest looks. 

T1:  There you go again. Can you read it?

Me: A little. But it looks like you’re in second grade. Write better, please.  

T1: I bet Hitler’s mom didn’t correct his writing. 

Me: I bet she did and he didn’t listen. Maybe that’s why he turned out so awful. Listen to your mother. Write better. Please. 

T1:  I bet Hitler turned out the way he did BECAUSE of his mother. I bet she nagged him about his speech. Or his writing. And one day, he just lost it. That’s when he became Bad Hitler. He was probably a great guy before she drove him mad. This does not end well, Mother. Just resist. 

Me: Resistance is futile, grasshopper. Listen to your mother. Write better. And that’s not how you say (whatever word he’s just said wrong)

ETA:  in reading back over this, one thing is clear to me…when did I start to sound like I was 80?  Yeesh. Maybe that’s why we’ve never heard much about Hitler’s mom. She nagged herself to death. 

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