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Showing posts from March, 2016

Lessons from the lunchroom

I wandered into the lunchroom at work today, grabbed my frozen mac & cheese and headed for the microwave.

Two women (whom I don't know except by sight; they work in another department) were talking. They were both complaining about their adult daughters. Apparently, one family was thinking that the daughter and her toddler son were going to move back in.

"She's just miserable; she's made a mess of her life."

"My daughter would be so much happier if she lost some weight. I keep telling her that." [Ouch.]

"She just doesn't understand how to take care of her son."

Ooph.

Yeah, I've complained about my kids. I've been mad at my kids. But I don't talk smack about my kids to co-workers.

I was thinking, as I waited for my lunch to get hot, that I almost lost a daughter four years ago. Really - she was abducted and gone for 48 hours.

I was thinking about how beautiful my oldest daughter looked at her wedding this past summer. So yo…

Easter Miracles

We spend Easter Sunday with our beloved Franciscan Sisters. We enjoy a beautiful Mass together, and share a brunch afterwards (and you should all be jealous you weren't there: the food, oh my!!)

During brunch, we have a tradition of sharing our Easter Miracles: miracles, big and small, they happened to us during the past year. Sometimes it's as simple as a child with a disability who has now learned to read, and other times, it's a sister hitting the 5-year mark of being cancer-free (the 5-year mark is considered cured.)

One of our friends had a terrible accident with a table saw, and is struggling to get healthy, and work with a hand that won't ever be the same. However, their family stilled shared a miracle of all the help and prayers they've received - their family life didn't skip a beat; there was always someone there to jump in and do what needed to be done.

I started thinking about the miracles in our family this past year. It wasn't a good year for…

The Annunciation, Mom, And Faith

Friday would be my mother's 91st birthday. She's been gone almost 4 months now, and I still have to catch myself calling her on the way home from work at least once a week.

I want to tell her about my new job and how much I like it. I want to tell her about planning a trip to Ireland (which she and my dad made possible by their Depression-style savings and generosity.) I want to tell her about the kids, and the house, and Tiger baseball and Jeopardy and well, everything.

Her birthday falls on Good Friday this year, which feels quite right to me. Part of the grieving process. Usually, on March 25, we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, but the feast is moved to Easter Monday this year.

I always thought it was wonderful that Mom's birthday fell on this feast, this celebration of one woman saying "yes" to the will of God and thus changing humanity forever. While the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, I imagine all the angels in Heaven leaning forward, holding the…

Being honest about mental health

I was in the beauty shop last night (where women really go for therapy!) and had an interesting experience.

First, my hair dresser has been doing my  hair for a long time. We know each other pretty darn well. She runs her beauty shop with such a huge heart for Christ - she really thinks of it as her ministry and not just a place where people go to get their hair cut.

A young lady (early 20s) came in, a friend of my hair dresser's. She started talking about her experience recently of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and what a scary time she'd had after a particularly bad panic attack.

I spoke up and said, "I know exactly what that's like. I had to check myself into [insert local mental health hospital here] a few years ago."

We had a great conversation. She said that she wished people talked about it more; she would have sought help sooner if she'd felt more comfortable talking about it.

If  you read my blog at all, you know I'm a HUGE proponent…

Trying to make sense of injustice

I am flawed. I have a big mouth. If you ask me what I think, I will tell you. I do not mince words.

Given these traits, I am not always easy to work or live with. I know this. Yet, I consider myself a good employee, a good sister. I give 110%, especially when I am working on ideas that stimulate me, that I'm passionate about. However, I try my best to work just as hard on the mundane things as well.

I left a job last year. I did not leave under good circumstances. It was made clear to me that I was no longer considered a useful employee (I realized this when I was told the best task they had for me going forward was folding programs for upcoming events.) I have, thanks be to God, found a new job, where I am valued, treated respectfully and professionally, and I am quite happy here.

I just found out that three men who I hold in high esteem were also "forced out" from the same organization that I left. As I understand it, they were treated, at the very least, poorly, and …

Can a mom just ... quit?

I was ready to quit last week.

Quit being a mom.

With only one kid at home now, you'd think things would be easier. But no. I had one kid who was playing a stupid passive-aggressive game of "Let's tell mom things I never told her before and then when she gets upset, tell her she's being crazy." I had another kiddo (the one who is still at home) who needed a re-run lesson on "Please tell us where you are and who you are with, just as a point of courtesy." And for the finale, another installment of "Remember, you're not talking to the kid; you're talking to the addiction."

I was done. Pounding my head against the wall seemed to be more productive. And less painful.

My sister said I couldn't quit, but she did give me a bit of time off. Not much, though.

My kids are no longer kids, but they are not adults either. They are not all ready to take responsibility, to recognize their own methods of self-destruction, or keep a plant alive. T…