Wednesday, May 23, 2012

When You're Down and Troubled

Today was a down in the dumps kind of day. I woke up with a headache, and everywhere I looked, I saw frustration and disappointment and annoyance. I didn't want to write. I didn't want to run errands. I didn't want to meet up with friends. I didn't want to do anything.

So I didn't. I just let myself feel my blue feelings. I gave them their due. I journaled a bit about what was bothering me. I took a nap. And then I went outside. My next door neighbors were having a lemonade sale, so I bought a cup and sat in the grass and chatted with two preschoolers while petting my sweet dog. And you know what? I felt better.

People see me as the ultimate optimist, as a positive person who handles whatever life throws at her. And I try to be that person. But even optimists get into bad moods every once in a while. I'm glad I didn't fight my bad mood or deny it or ignore it. Acknowledging it and letting it run its course definitely helped me to move right through it. And now I'm feeling fine and looking forward to tomorrow.

Here's to naps and journals and lemonade and preschoolers and puppies!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

5 Nuggets of Advice for Your Teens (since mine won't listen)

Lately, everything I say seems to get translated to my kids as "Blah blah blah blah blah." Here's what I wish they would hear:

1. Don't let virtual relationships take the place of real relationships. If you're texting someone, there's a false sense of security. You say things you would never say face-to-face. Here's a good rule of thumb (adapted from my friend Jenn's theory for adult dating, which is "e-mail, e-mail, phone call, date.") This is the teenage version of that: Text, text, skype, date. See each other face to face! Go out for ice cream. See a movie. Go bowling. Kiss each other. Real relationships happen in person.

2. Do your homework. Seriously. This is not just another nag. If you do your homework, your grades will be better, and you will have many more choices when it comes time to apply to college. I know it can be boring. But deal with it! Life isn't always a party, but if you work hard, I swear you will have more opportunities for fun.

3. Try your best. In everything. Don't be afraid to look uncool. Just try. Because otherwise you'll never know what you can do.

4. Fail a lot. But learn from your failures. Failures are actually steps to success. Ask anyone who has ever accomplished anything. It's true.

5. Be kinder to your siblings. Friends will come and go, but siblings are forever. Who else will ever understand your childhood and family the way your siblings do? And know this: your parents love all of you differently, not better or worse. They love each of you for the unique person you are.

Now here, for your viewing pleasure, is a clip from Spring Awakening. It's the "blah blah" ending to "Totally Fucked." I get it. It's not just my teens. It's all teens. I remember. I was a teen once, too.