Archive for September, 2016

PostHeaderIcon SAY WHAT YOU MEAN. MEAN WHAT YOU SAY.

By Vernalee
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By definition, “saying what you mean” is about consistency between one’s thoughts and words. It is a plea to be honest, to truthfully represent one’s understanding, state or intent when describing it verbally. Meaning what you say” is usually about consistency between one’s words and subsequent related behavior or actions.”
This is usually a gray area. I wish to make the disconnect clearer. So here are words of wisdom from the communications experts.
“When you have a disagreement with a friend or spouse, do you respond with avoidance, anger or denial? You probably don’t need to be told that an unreasonable emotional response only leaves you further from a resolution. Instead, try communicating with emotional integrity. You have to mean what you say and say what you mean — and then allow your partner to do the same. Here are 5 steps to help you do just that.
1. Give or receive honest input.
It’s important that both people know they are going to be told the truth. Give honest input and be open to receiving the same from someone else. You don’t have to say everything you’re thinking, but everything you do say has to be accurate. If your partner asks you if you’re upset, and you are, you have to be willing to say “Yes.” Don’t deny that you’re upset by saying, “Nothing is wrong; I’m fine.” If you’re not ready to discuss it, a better response might be, “I don’t want to tell you right now,” or “I’m just not ready to talk about it yet.”
2. Listen to your partner and reflect on what he/she is saying and feeling.
It’s important to be an active listener, and that means mastering two important tools: reflection of content and reflection of feelings. Reflection of content means that you listen to the person; then, you verify that what you are hearing is what your partner is actually saying. You have to say, “What I hear from you content-wise is …” to ensure that you have the facts right. Reflection of feelings lets your partner know not just that he/she has been heard, but that you understand where he/she is coming form emotionally. You can ensure that your understanding is accurate by saying, “The feeling I think you’re feeling is anger/resentment/hurt, etc.”
3. Accept feedback and respond.
If you are the person who is giving the feedback, you may have to clarify your point of view if your partner isn’t accurately hearing what you are trying to say. If you are the person who is receiving the feedback, accept the clarification from your partner. Don’t be defensive or interrupt – just listen. Once you are clear on what your partner is really saying, then you can respond appropriately.
4. Stay in the moment.
Find a place where you won’t be distracted and can devote yourself entirely to talking and listening. When the subject matter is heated, that can be difficult, but you need to stay present. Also, make sure you stick with the issues at hand; keep it relevant. Don’t bring up old grudges or sore points when they don’t belong in a particular argument. Put boundaries around the subject matter so your conversation doesn’t deteriorate into a free-for-all.
5. Do not quit.
Do not quit the discussion until it is completed. To keep it from dragging on, you can negotiate a time limit beforehand, so that both of you know how long the conversation will last. Arguments should be temporary, so don’t let them get out of hand.”
Now you have it! The question is whether you can do it! It looks and read easier than it sounds. Your relationship will survive, thrive, succeed, or fail based upon your communications effectiveness. Your compliance of matching your words to your actions is critically important. Don’t wait to see what happens. Work to achieve your desired results. Your relationship may depend upon it!
Photo credit: www.ginagetswicked.tumblr.com; Source: www.huffingtonpost.com; www.quora.com

PostHeaderIcon HOW LONG IS YOUR ATTENTION SPAN?

By Vernalee

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attention red round seal


How long is your attention span? Can you concentrate in a noisy environment? How often do you forget what you were about to say? Do you walk in a room and forget what you came to get? Now here comes the big, big question. Can you walk and chew bubble gum at the same time?
In today’s hustle and bustle, multitasking is common. Stress is high. Having multiple things on your mind at one time is common. The challenge is remembering it all; the difficulty is concentration, which brings me to these three salient points – focus, attention, and recall. Where do they lie; where should they be; how often and easy is it to get distracted?
Attention span is defined as “the amount of concentrated time one can spend on a task without becoming distracted. Most educators unanimously agree that the ability to focus attention on a task is crucial for the achievement of one’s goals.
Researchers have made significant discoveries about the average human attention span which appears to be declining in recent years. In fact, believe it or not, the “human attention span is just 1 second below a goldfish.”
Take a look at some interesting “Attention Span Statistics.
Don’t be startled!
The average human attention span in 2015 – 8.25 seconds.
The average human attention span in 2000- 12 seconds.
The average attention span of a gold fish- 9 seconds.
Percent of teens who forget major details of close friends and relatives – 25%.
Percent of people who forget their own birthdays from time to time – 7%.
Average number of times per hour an office worker checks their email inbox – 30.”
So much for those statistics, to see how you rank, take the below test. It’s quite simple. Here you go.
Attention Span Test
(Answer the 10 questions below in 5 minutes)
. Get started!
1. Do you get distracted easily (e.g. by background noise, other people’s conversations, etc.)?
Yes__
Sometimes__
No__
2. How often are you late for work or an appointment?
Quite often__
Often__
Sometimes__
Rarely__
Almost never__
3. How often do you catch yourself daydreaming at work?
Quite often__
Often__
Sometimes__
Rarely__
Almost never__
4. Do you jump from task to task because you just can’t seem to focus long enough to finish one completely?
Yes__
Sometimes__
No__
5. How do you deal with boring, repetitive tasks?
I’m fine with them; I have very little trouble getting them done__
I don’t mind them, but I may end up needing a break from time to time__
I can’t stand them; they bore me__
6. You’re on the phone with a friend just as your favorite TV show starts. How difficult would it be for you to pay attention to the conversation?
Extremely difficult__
Very difficult__
Somewhat difficult__
Slightly difficult__
Not at all difficult__
7. When reading a book or magazine, how often do you find yourself re-reading the same paragraph or skipping ahead?
Quite often__
Often__
Sometimes__
Rarely__
Almost never__
8. Do you have a knack for noticing details (e.g. typos in a document)?
Yes__
No__
9. Do you lose your patience easily?
Yes__
Sometimes__
No__
10. How often do you interrupt people during conversations?
Quite often__
Often__
Sometimes__
Rarely__
Almost never__
Well, I took the test. You will not believe this. My score puts me in the category of having a short attention span. What? Really! I was quite stunned! Stop the madness! At least I scored higher than the goldfish!
Photo credit: www.huffingtonpost.com; Source: www.wikipedia.com; www.cnet.com; www.statisticsbrain.com;
Attention Span Test: http://psychologytoday.tests.psychtests.com/bin/transfer –
(Follow this link for a review and answers to the test questions).

PostHeaderIcon YOUR SPIRITUAL SURVIVAL KIT

By Vernalee
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When we travel, we often carry a roadside emergency kit. We have battery cables, a flashlight, and other essential items. We may also carry a daily survival kit consisting of water, bandaids, tylenols, and other first aid items. If we get lost along the way, we can use our GPS navigational system. If we have mechanical problems, we can call roadside assistance.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that we need the same tools spiritually. We need a Spiritual Survival Kit. The items that we need are designed to be with us in our hearts, minds, and souls at all times. As you will see, we can carry them with us to sustain us wherever we are and wherever we go. A spiritual emergency kit might include at least five things:  1) a prayer, 2) a scripture verse or psalm, 3) a place, 4) a practice, and 5) a friend.
On the road, by the side of the road, and traveling on the road with us – is God. Thank you Lord for your never ending presence; for being there when we need you; for being there before we ask; and for providing the needs and desires of our hearts. Thank you Lord for being an “on time God;” readily available everyday of the week, 24 hours a day. God, we also thank you for equipping us with aids to help us make it through each day.
If we are not connected with you Lord or if we’re not grounded in your Word, then storms, crises, problems – can overtake us. 
Having these five items in our Spiritual Survival Kit helps.
1. “A Prayer is a good thing to have at hand.  Whether you memorize a prayer, make the Lord’s Prayer your own, or perhaps hold on to a special prayer —it’s good to know a prayer so that whenever you need it, it’s right there with you, inside of you.
2. A verse of Scripture works the same way.  No matter what comes, you can remind yourself of God’s assurance, God’s strength, and God’s care by repeating the scripture you’ve “heard, read, marked, learned, and inwardly made your own.
3. A place that is holy and grounding can be a life-saver.  When you feel like the world is spinning out of control, you simply go to your place and be still.  A holy place might be your room, your church, a chapel, a garden, or any special place. You can be walking, sitting, standing. The place really doesn’t matter as long as you have a designation where you can hit a spiritual “re-set” button.
4. A spiritual emergency kit would also include a practice of some kind – a practice you can do without thinking about it; something calming and routine that puts you back in your own spiritual zone.  It might be yoga, or meditation, or prayer. It might be riding a bike, or walking for twenty minutes.
5. Finally, a spiritual emergency kit would include contact information of a friend, or a clear cut way of reaching a friend.  That friend might be a family member; it may be a religious person, or it might not be, but it should be someone who you can tell the truth to, someone who will listen but not judge, and absorb what you’re saying. Such a friend will help get you through the roughest of rough places.”
A prayer, a scripture verse, a place, a practice, and a friend – all of these ingredients work together like a kit to keep us going. If all else fails, no matter what, we’ve got the Lord!
Happy Sunday! Blessings!
Photo credit: www.drjnorwood.com; Source: www.jfbeddingfield.com

PostHeaderIcon HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU TIP?

By Vernalee
imageAfter hearing about the recent diminutive tip that NFL Player Pittsburgh Steeler Running Back DeAngelo Williams left a waitress at Ledo Restaurant, I decided to offer a feature that possibly can help us determine how much to tip for various services. For certain, the uncertainty about tip amounts can be vague. According to the Daily Mail, after Williams indulged in fried calamari and Sicilian sausage, among other dishes, his check was $128.25. He left $129.00; .75 cents beyond the bill. Williams, once a bus boy himself, contends that the service was beyond poor. Despite the fact that the waitress inappropriately aired his small tipping finale with an unflattering Facebook post, Marcos, the restaurant’s owner stated “A tip is not a guarantee, but is a courtesy, and that it usually reflects the (quality of the) service.” Further, he reiterated their motto, namely, “The customer is always right.” Reportedly, the waitress was fired. The specific reason for her termination was not disclosed. Whether it was for her improper scandalous release and her commentation about DeAngelo’s tip to social media channels, her failure to satisfactorily perform her duties as a waitress, or a combination of both remain to be seen.
Regardless of how we view this incident, the experts recommend that the below amounts serve as a guideline for your tips. Here we go!
“Tipping Guidelines:
* Restaurant:
Wait service (sit down): 15-20%, pre-tax.
Wait service (buffet): 10%, pre-tax.
Host or Maitre d’: No obligation for greeting you and showing you to your table
$10-$20 for going above and beyond to find you a table on a busy night or on occasion, if you are a regular patron.
Take Out: No obligation; 10% for extra service (curb delivery) or a large, complicated order.
Home Delivery: 10-15% of the bill, $2-5 for pizza delivery depending on the size of the order and difficulty of delivery.
Bartender: $1-2 per drink or 15-20% of the tab.
Tipping jars: No obligation; tip occasionally if your server or barista provides a little something extra or if you are a regular customer.
Restroom Attendant: $0.50-$3, depending on the level of service.
Valet: $2-$5. Tip when the car is returned to you.
* Travel:
Skycap: $2 first bag, $1 per additional bag.
Doorman: A smile and a “thanks” when he opens the door, plus $1-$4 for carrying luggage; $1-$2 for hailing cab (add an extra $1 if it’s raining);
$1-$4 beyond the call of duty.
Bellhop: $2 first bag; $1 per additional bag; $2-3 for each additional service, such as room delivery.
Housekeeper: $2-$5 per day, left daily with a note marked “Housekeeping – Thank you.”
Concierge: No obligation for answering questions. $5-10 for tickets or restaurant reservations; $15 for hard-to-get tickets or reservations (or 10-20% of the ticket price).
* Taxi Driver: 15-20% of the fare, but minimally $1; $2 for the first bag carried, $1 per additional bag.
* Salon/Spa:
Hair Salon: 15-20%, ask to be split among those who served you.
Manicurist: 15-20%.
Facial, waxing, massage: 15-20%.”
Now that you have the recommend amounts, the only challenge is to put them to work. Giving a tip is not just business as usual. It’s an overture of personal appreciation and thankfulness for the professional services rendered.
Photo credit: www.krazycountrylady.com; Source: www.emilypost.com

PostHeaderIcon LESSONS THAT I TAUGHT MY CHILDREN

By Vernalee
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Frequently, I read articles about good parenting, which brings me to this point. I asked myself what I regarded as the best lessons that I have given to my children. Here’s what I think I brought to the table of rearing them.
1. Greetings/Speaking – to those that you meet. Though a small gesture, speaking and saying hello are critically important. To not speak to someone was a cardinal sin in my hometown of Glen Allan, Mississippi. In fact, there is a saying that resonants in my ears today that my Mother taught me probably before I could utter a sound, “It doesn’t cost anything to speak.” By golly, it doesn’t! Oh, I forgot to mention that mandatory salutations (Mr., Miss, Mrs.) and Ma’am or Sir were required for all adults. It was “Miss Collins; Thank you Ma’am.” Anything less than that sent you to the woodshed for punishment. It worked for me so I passed it along to my kiddies.
2. Getting up and going to school – I never realized how that small trait would mean so much. Little did I know that going to school everyday transcended into going to work everyday. That behaviorism embodied a value system; a sense of responsibility. Not that I am a proponent of passing along infectious bacteria, I didn’t let my children stay home for a minor belly ache. They occasionally beat the system, particularly my daughter by getting the school’s nurse to excuse her. Oh well, no one or no system is perfect! Barring them being very ill, they were required to go to school.
3. Manners & Etiquette – Courtesy overtures such as opening the doors for females were and are prerequisites. You know the drill for the rest of the gentlemanly and lady like behaviors that young lads and girls should follow. I tried to lay down a foundation that was ageless, classic, and transferable. Respecting adults and authority were the lay of the land in my house. Monkeyshine at school with the teachers just didn’t work. Education was king. As my Mother always told us kids, “The Teachers got what they are trying to teach you. So you have to go to college and get yours!” That mandate didn’t change from my school days to my children’s. So here again, the advice was passed down.
4. There are a few How To’s that I felt were important to hand down to my crew. How to pray; how to cook; how to clean (their bodies and their room); how to wash clothes, how to read, write, and do arithmetic; how to mind their own business; how to stay out of grown folk’s business … were the top ones. From time to time, I have to give reinforcement reminders. Some things never grow old.
5. Love and honor God and be respectful to your parents. Stay together as siblings and love each other all the days of your life.
Now, there are many other lessons that accompany these; too many to elaborate. Sometimes as parents, we never know what sticks and what doesn’t. We can only do our best; and hope and pray that our children land in a good space.
To my son and daughter, I hope that you read this. Maybe, you’ll give me an “A,” but if not, I passed anyway. You guys turned out to be great adults so much so that I occasionally pat myself on the back. No brags; just facts! In fact, I never wanted my children to be what I wanted them to be, but to become everything that God created them to be. I’m still teaching; they are still my students; and they are still willing to learn and grow. Now, the table has turned. There are many things that they have taught me. We are growing together; we are family! I rest my case!
Photo credit: www.huffingtonpost.com

PostHeaderIcon “READ THE SIGNS” – SIGNS THAT YOUR SHOPPING IS OUT OF CONTROL

By Vernalee
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We all know people who shop until they drop. Perhaps, you may be one. Take a look below and see if you or someone that you know is addicted.
12 signs that your shopping is out of control:
1. You have a closet full of clothes with tags on them.
You don’t have to be adorned in new garb every day to be a shopaholic. In fact, it’s pretty common for a compulsive shopper to have items that sit unopened or with tags still attached—things that you’re ‘saving’ for when you really need them, explains April Lane Benson, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of compulsive buying disorder. For women, these purchases often include clothing, jewelry, shoes, and accessories; men tend to buy bigger-ticket items like watches, cameras, and sports equipment, she adds.

2. You can’t go a day or two without buying something for yourself.
Even small purchases—like new lipstick (in the same shade you already have) or thank-you notes to add to the pile you’ve stocked away in a drawer—can signal problem shopping if they happen chronically. That’s because these unnecessary transactions, though small, demonstrate a lack of control when it comes to spending. ‘There are the big binge shoppers, and then there are the shoppers who are spending money where it’s a death by 1,000 cuts—in other words, no individual purchase is bad, but it adds up,’ says Art Markman, PhD, professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas at Austin.
3. You experience ‘shopper’s high.’
Shopping addiction is fueled by a powerful cycle of emotions—and this includes that sense of exhilaration or ‘high’ after making a purchase that can become addictive. Shopping releases the brain chemical dopamine, which is associated with feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Dopamine also plays a big role in drug abuse as well as other addictive behaviors like gambling. Some people even experience a sexual feeling during the act of shopping, according to researchers in World Psychiatry.

4. You experience a let-down or buyer’s remorse after a spree.
We’ve all heard the saying ‘what goes up must come down.’ When compulsive shoppers buy something the brain’s reward center is stimulated, giving rise to that euphoric feeling or ‘shopping high’ they can become dependent on. But the high is quickly followed by a lowered mood after a purchase, explains April Benson, PhD, creator of ShopaholicNoMore.com. This can include feelings of disappointment, stress, guilt, and remorse. A true shopping addict, however, can rationalize any purchase if challenged—and this is despite remorse.

5. You’ve gotten in a fight (or two or 20) with your partner over shopping.
Whether the argument is over mounting bills, unnecessary purchases, or hours spent browsing online, if your partner notes your compulsive shopping habits, it’s a good indication that you have a problem, says Kimber Shelton, PhD, a psychologist in Duncanville, Texas. When the cycle of shopping and spending has negative consequences on your relationships, it’s a telltale sign that it’s time to seek help. Another red flag: You’ve continually promised your loved one that you’ll stop or cut back—and you can’t.
6. You depend on ‘retail therapy’ to cope with stress or anxiety.
Shopping makes most of us feel better and, in fact, a survey from the coupon site Ebates.com found that more than half of Americans admit to ‘retail therapy,’ or shopping to boost your mood. In moderation, this can be good for you; shopping can increase dopamine levels and reduce stress and anxiety. If you’re a compulsive buyer, however, you’ll begin to rely too heavily on these feel-good effects, which will become fleeting and quickly replaced with guilt or frustration over your inability to stop shopping.
Without detailed elaboration, take a look at the remaining six signs. They speak loudly and clear.
7. You feel anxious or irritable if you can’t shop.
8. You can’t focus at work or at school.
9. You’ve skipped work or social obligations to get your shopping fix.
10. You’ve begun hiding bills and forging signatures.
11. You’ve started hiding your habits and purchases.
12. You’ve tried and failed numerous times to stop.
After digesting these behavioral signs and taking into consideration the experts’ opinion, I have one question to ask. You can keep the answer to yourself.
Be honest, how many of the signs apply to you; to someone that you know? Are you a shopaholic? Are you addicted? If you are over the edge, you know exactly what to do! Stay out of the stores! May I add this extra tidbit of advice also – stay off and away from the on-line shopping sites; home shopping television sites, catalog ordering, or other forms of shopping inducements. You can do it! So can I! If successful, I wonder how much money this will add to our bottom line. Shhh. I’m stilling counting my extra cash!
Photo credit: www.rd.com; Source: www.readersdigest/Susan Jara

PostHeaderIcon REMOVE THOSE LOW HANGING CLOUDS FROM YOUR LIFE

By Vernalee
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Undoubtedly, you have heard the expression that a person has a “cloud hanging over their head.”
That quote refers to a situation or future event that makes you worry or feel unhappy.
Another equivalent saying that is spiced up slightly adds that there is a
“Black cloud hanging over your head” which refers to a
feeling you have that something unpleasant is in the air or it can mean that you’re depressed or unhappy about something. Adding further, the black cloud may signify that you are in a dicey situation or that Lady Luck has vanished.” Though it is an expression and a feeling, for illustrative purposes, do know that we may have people floating on those clouds that are the root of our uneasiness and discomfort.
Now in real life, we know that clouds are visible masses of condensed water vapor floating in the atmosphere, typically high above the ground; and that although we feel the figurative effects, we are not literally walking around with our personal one over our heads. However, when we feel uneasy or uncomfortable, our inferences to visible references heighten our understanding sometimes. So when we feel those clouds, (and we will) be they “black” or not,
“here are some strategies that we can use that will help banish the stress. 

1. Support Systems. If you’re constantly running on empty, your mind, body, and soul will suffer the repercussions of your tenacity. There’s no shame in asking for a helping hand. Sometimes, you’ll be able lean on a spouse, coworker, or friend, but if you find the need to talk to a therapist; do so. Start with having a discussion with your partner or family and see if you can brainstorm a way to eliminate daily stress pockets.
2. Self Care. What do you enjoy doing? Knitting, relaxing in a bubble bath, drawing, lounging in bed watching reruns of Sex and the City? Indulge yourself in your favorite restful activity a few times each week; carving out a few hours each weekend to indulge in your favorite lazy activity. Choose at least one weeknight to relax after work. Start with a walk outside. You might need your sunglasses because you have been under that dark cloud for so long. But trust me — there is sunshine, fresh air, beautiful things to look at out there!
3. Simplify life. Simplify your routines, your commitments, your information intake, your cluttered rooms, and have less stress as a result.  Identify those things that are most important in your life…and then get rid of the rest.  It may not be quite that easy, but you can certainly start somewhere with this idea.  Think of just one thing that has been bothering you that you can remove and do it.  Once you start with one, you will see a ray of sunlight.
4. Meditation. With meditation, we can learn to transform our minds from chaos to calm. And it is really not as hard as you might think. A favorite meditation is a “Breathing Meditation”. It is simple and you can do it anywhere. Sit in any comfortable position, with your eyes partially closed. Now breathe. Just breathe normally through your nose. Notice how your body moves and what the air feels like. If your mind wanders, just bring it back to your breath. Even just practicing this for two minutes a day will add another ray of sunlight.”
Into each life, the clouds give way to water and a little rain will fall. Taking this advice in stride though, the sky is the limit as we look to make our days and life pleasantly enjoyable. Removing the gloom and doom with a replacement of brightness and happiness is a good thing! Let’s get started! Take out your umbrella, let the sun rays hit your face, and start your day and journey by walking out of a dark cloudy day to a scorching sunny day. Let’s “feel fine on Cloud 9;” in our euphoric state of natural happiness!
Photo Credit: www.imagellance.com; Source: www.lifehack.org

PostHeaderIcon THE STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL’S BACK

By Vernalee
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If you ever get to the point where you can honestly say that enough is enough, it’s time to move on. In other words, it was the last straw which said differently means that it was the final act or insult; the act that finally called for a response; the last of a series of annoyances or disappointments that leads one to a final loss of patience, temper, trust, or hope. Without further elaboration on the definition, I think you know exactly what I mean.
The “last straw” is also used in conjunction with another idiom expression, “the straw that broke the camel’s back” which essentially is the final difficulty in a series; the last burden or problem that causes everything to collapse. It is the seemingly minor or routine action which causes an unpredictably large and sudden reaction, because of the cumulative effect of small actions.”
From an imagery point of view, since a straw probably weighs less than an ounce, the physical weight is not much, but it is a lot when you have had enough! The straw’s small insignificant weight now weighs a ton. For certain, it has taken you over the edge; you are loaded down. Emotionally, you are “heavy.” Finally, it is the tiny straw that caused mountainous damage. In fact, it even broke the camel’s back. Imagine that!
You see everyone has a boiling point. Some people can take more than others. When the load is too heavy, no matter how small, it’s time to alleviate the heavy load. Let it go! Drop the load! That alternative is better than being over weighted and collapsing. A broken back makes you inoperable. In thinking about this, a camel is a great analogy in that it can survive in the desert in record heat for days without water. You too have survived and taken the tolls for a long time too. It’s sad when people push you to that point that you have to throw in the towel, but it happens. Taking two Tylenols daily is not a quick fix when the problem exists everyday. Alleviating the element that is causing the misery is a better solution. It is nothing wrong with telling a person that this is the last time that you will allow them to bring harm to you. You are not giving up; you are surviving! It is the reasonable choice and not a bad pill to swallow even if you are sipping it through a straw.
Photo credit: www/chritiancounseling.ws

PostHeaderIcon “DONT BE SHOCKED” – IF I ASK MY ADULT CHILD TO MOVE

By Vernalee
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Letters from my followers continue to flow.
Here’s another one.
Dear SWTA Staff,
Please don’t be shocked because of my question. It may sound as if there is not a maternal bone flowing through my body. My children regard me as a great parent; a considerate and loving Mother.
I just wanted to express a concern; to get this monkey off my back. I trust that you don’t think ill of me once I share my issue. I am a widower and I have four adult children ranging in age from 24 to 34. We share a great respectful relationship. One of my daughters decided that she wanted to move back home two years ago. She wanted to save to purchase a home. Great move! I agreed; no problem. The two years are up; her bank account is pitifully low; and I want my house back! It not a question about space because our home is large; it’s a matter of privacy. I am 58 and have met an interesting and potential suitor. I want to enjoy life! My daughter is now cramping my lifestyle. In fact, I don’t believe that she has any intentions of moving. Why? Free rent, cooked meals, and laundry/maid services are great incentives to stay. Don’t you agree? Since she is my daughter that I love dearly, certainly she has not overstayed her welcome. That’s impossible, our family home will always be “home sweet home,” but I do want my television remote control back! What shall I do? Before you answer, I know that I made my own bed with this one. Am I being unreasonably selfish to ask her to pack her bags since she is extravagantly living, not saving as intended, and blocking my date nights? Or am I doing the best thing for her to achieve independence in that she may thank me later for my tough love today?
Sue in Texas
_______________________________________________________________________________
Hi Sue in Texas,
That’s a hard question for me because I am so closely attached to my children. I am however glad that they moved out (Yippee!) many, many moons ago, because they thought at one point that they could boss me around. Go figure! As parents, we provide foundations for our children to enter the world and become productive self sufficient adults. Our homes should be family homes for them to return to live as needed. It’s a safe haven. From your explanation, your daughter has forfeited the arrangement for which she moved back home to achieve. Why don’t you sit down and have a sensible chat with her? Help her to reinstitute her saving initiative (with her funds, of course); establish a living arrangement plan with a proposed exit date; and confirm your commitment to help her including a move out plan and new home search. In other words, the Eagle never learns to fly until he/she leaves the nest. Those are my thoughts. To add a professional spin, I did reach out to a couple of experts and here is what they said you should consider.
1. Rules – Establish rules for your adult children so that everyone can be respected. Enforce them for compliance. Make sure that expectations are clear.
2. Contributions – Contributions should be made by your adult child toward the household expenses. You can call it rent or a fee.
3. Definitions – You are family, not roommates.
4. Roles – Be a consultant not a manager.
5. Attitude – Don’t blame or shame.
6. Action – Let go.
Finally Sue, stay in touch. Let me know if this advice helps. And of course, keep us informed about your new beau. If it works for holy matrimony, are you moving in on his turf or are the two of you buying a new castle?
Disclaimer: Please note this column is for entertainment purposes and should not be used for professional advice. Consult a professional therapist if needed.
Photo credit: www.scarymommy.com; Source: www.empoweringparents.com; www. scary mommy.com

PostHeaderIcon ALL I CAN SAY IS – THANK YOU LORD

By Vernalee
imageEveryday of the week, I write about a topical subject on my blog. I reserve my Sunday’s for a delivery of my spiritual thoughts.
So today, I just want to pray and thank God!
“First, I thank you Lord for life and your covering. I ask you to bless my children, grands, loved ones, and me with healthy bodies and minds.
Strengthen me Heavenly Father to be a better Mother, GrandMother, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, cousin, person, entrepreneur, writer, companion, and friend to all who need me.
Guide me; order my steps.
Guide my children Lord in their decisions and everyday living.
Protect my loved ones and me from dangers.
Help me to give before someone asks.
Let me be ears and a go to person for those in needs.
Help me to build bridges to carry over those who need a lift.
Help me and selected ones to remove the distance in our relationships where we should be closer than close.
Lord, plant the right people in my life and remove the thorns.
Help me to further develop my talents and use them wisely.
Keep me in sober mind so that I can be the guide for those who need a light shone to illuminate their path.
Help me to reach the mountaintop personally, professionally, financially, spiritually and relationally.
Let me deliver and exemplify the Word in all that I do to the delight and pleasure of you Lord.
Use me Lord.
Help me to become closer to you God. Teach me what I need to know. Show me what I need to do. Shape me to your liking.
Hear my prayers.
Father God, I have so much to say and tons to ask. I can go on and on. The beauty of you Lord is that you know my thoughts before I utter the words; my actions before I lift a hand; my history, my beginning, my everything … You know it all! Sometimes, Lord (as you know), it’s therapeutic for me to just write it on paper, to speak aloud as I am doing today.
I thank you this morning for dealing with me. I can be a bit much sometimes, but I need you Lord. Thank you for showing up in my life. Thank you for never leaving my side. Thank you for my blessings. Thank you for listening. Thank you for everything. Amen.”
On this Sunday, 9/11, I offer prayers to the over 3,000 families whose loved ones were killed in NYC, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania on this tragic day, September 11, 2001. God bless!
Photo credit: www.nonebutgod1.blogspot.com

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