30 January 2016

The Big 5-0!

Monday, February 1st will begin my 2-week birthday celebration! I try to roll it right into Valentine's Day so I give plenty of time for everyone to shower me with presents, singing, and general frivolity. This is a big year—not a "5" year, but a "0" year. And it's one of the biggest—5-0. This means I'm officially entering middle age (I plan to live to at least 100).

This year, I'm kicking it off by spending my actual birthday with 100 of my favorite people...the school is having its annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser to earn money for the Upper Elementary and Middle School students to go on their big Spring Field Trips. My daughter is in UE and she's heading to St. Augustine this year. Many of the parents and kids will be there and we'll all have tremendous fun. Last year I drew mustaches on all the kids (girls, too) and gave them all chefs hats. Everyone ate like crazy and had a great time. I figure, what better way to spend my special day than helping everyone else work towards that field trip goal?

This was my goofball (left) with her BFF at last year's spaghetti dinner.

I'll be spending another day with close friends—the matriarch turns 70 a week after I turn 50. We're planning a double Over the Hill party and dinner to celebrate.

Then, I get to go hear my ultimate throwback favorite—Barry Manilow—with two close friends. I'm very excited about that one (don't laugh) since I haven't heard him in concert since high school. This is supposedly his "last" tour, although I think Cher has been out on at least 3 "last" tours in the last 2 decades.

Then we head into Valentine's Day and the kids are I are planning a big sushi weekend. Liam got a sushi kit for Christmas and he's been perfecting his California roll ever since. Livya and I are more than happy to taste test.

I am forever blessed to have my kids, my friends, and my school "family" in my life. There have been a lot of changes in my last decade, and while it's been a rough ride, I've gotten stronger, healthier, and landed on my feet a much happier person. Life isn't about the money or the things, it's about the people you have in it and how those relationships develop.

OK, I'll stop trying to be philosophical now.

Spread Your Wings!

26 January 2016

People-Pleasers and Co-Dependents

I don't normally repost from other bloggers, but I adore Amy Poehler's Smart Girls site. She has everything from how to choose the perfect dog to how to change a tire. The articles are empowering for both young girls and "old" women (like me) alike. She celebrates the accomplishments of brainiacs, athletes, and artists. And unlike so many negative sites, this one focuses on the positive whenever humanly possible.

Today, Smart Girls shared an article about People Pleasers (posted by Jenna Regan). If you've read just about anything else I've posted, you know that I am a former co-dependent. I spent years trying to help everyone through their crisis. I was the "mother" of several music departments and tried to solve everyone's problems. The trouble was no one ever learned to solve their own problems and new problems kept coming up. So I wasted enormous amounts of time and mental energy trying to make the world perfect. And the world is not perfect.

I personally (my opinion only here) categorize people-pleasers as slow developing co-dependents. I definitely started out life as a people pleaser. At some point everyone needs to learn to stand up for themselves and respect themselves enough not to let people take advantage. There's a difference when you do something nice for a friend when the friend is the one asking/telling you to do it. I didn't figure all this out until I was in my 20s, but then had a tremendous backslide in my 40s. Not that I have it all figured out now, but now I am well aware of my need to say "no" when necessary. No one needs rescuing. And no one needs to be taken care of unless they are an infant or an invalid. Everyone needs to work out their own problems.

It's a really interesting article and definitely has a concrete example of how the mind of a people pleaser works. We all need to teach our children and young adults to stand up and respect themselves, but that doesn't mean you can't do a favor for a friend...


Spread Your Wings!

17 January 2016

Living Life

The last two weeks back to school were rough! We had a great schedule while we were on Winter Break and we enjoyed every minute of it. But, man, did we pay when had to get back to our regular school schedule.

The last two weeks have been packed with crazy stories, court, court again, selling Girl Scout cookies, school accreditation, test prep meetings, and finally the rodeo. Yes, you read that last piece correctly. We have the furthest southern rodeo in the continental US in my hometown and celebrate for a whole week!

Now back to the point of this very brief blog entry. It's amazing to me that anyone thinks they can hide or cover anything these days. Everyone is so interconnected through social media and the internet in general. So instead of lying, cheating, and covering it up, why not head off all the innuendo and just be as honest as you can?

As a recovering co-dependent, I now understand I cannot save anyone. The theme from "Co-Dependent No More" and the various Al-Anon books that sticks with me most is—'unless you are an infant or a invalid, you are responsible for your own actions.' I try to live by that rule. If someone asks for help, of course, I'll help. But if they don't ask for help, it may be hard, but I now mind my own business (as much as I can).

Spread Your Wings! (and buy Girl Scout cookies)