Yes, I am Judging You

If it looks like I have been judging you, it's because I have. 

If it wasn't me evaluating how you chose to respond on a group email and coming up with a snarky response I'll never deliver or predicting the negative impacts of your personal motivations on your professional reputation I'll never share, I drank my Caribou Cinnamon Spice tea and opined how nice it would be if "they" were even half as competent as "us."

Me judging you with a smile was well-needed stress relief for this over-tired, under-nourished, detail-burdened girl. The end of year hustle, too few daylight hours, and the myriad of germs that accompany bitter cold winter weather have a way of taking the best of us down. 

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Judging you was fun but it was also a signal to myself that it's time to cut myself a break and to rest and recover before things get real and take a turn for the worse.  So, in between taking down the holiday decorations and looking ahead to a new year, I am recharging my psyche by celebrating accomplishments and connecting with a friend I've been missing. A few nights of double digit sleep, a couple of hundred rounds down range, and time with the family always does wonders for me.

Judging a person doesn't define who they are, it defines who you are. Now, go out and do something you feel good about. Make it good. I'm watching you.

Motherhood and Cliche

My daughter is 16, going on college. I remember being pregnant worrying about what I would do if the baby was sick on a day I couldn't be off work. The worry was for nothing. My answer was clear the moment I saw my daughter for the very first time - all others would wait.  

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I received more advice than I would truly ever ask for: day care is good; day care is bad; parenting is the hardest thing you’ll ever do; and enjoy it now, they grow up so fast. It was all so cliché, until it wasn’t. In the blink of an eye we moved from blankets and Barbies to swimming and shopping. Today, we have bathroom counters and bedroom floors not seen in weeks, nests of blankets and pillows and socks and clothes around the house, and a zippy-little RAV 4 that is barely idle between trips to school, coffee shops, and to meet up with friends. I’ve walked into a store or looked up from my purse at a cashier counter all too often to realize the pleasantries are not directed at me. The upbeat girls and googly-eyed boys are looking right past the lady with the money to talk with my daughter. 

Step by step, my daughter is creating a life of her own. I know this because I get to see her in action and because Instagram tells me so. This past summer, she was enjoying a few weeks out-of-state with a friend and her family. I hadn't heard from her for a few days so I took solace in my social media feeds. I opened Instagram and there she was on a sun-and-sand-filled beach linking arms and hugs with new friends. She was relaxed and owning the moment. In that instant, my little girl was gone and in her place was a strong, beautiful, young lady with a sense of humor, captivating blue eyes, and a smile to knock your socks off.

Everything I've known about myself and my day-to-day responsibility as a parent took a sudden and unexpected turn for me. With a full heart, I realized my work here is done; I was able to guide her safely to this point and give her what she needed to move forward with confidence and grace. 

Day care was good for us and parenting requires tough choices between standing your ground and putting your fears and doubts aside to give ground. Time has flown by yet growing up is not an end. As we move on to more dynamic social dilemmas, problem-solving, ACT preparation, campus tours, and college admissions applications I have the honor of being there for my daughter in a way no Instagram photo can capture or anyone other than the kid and I can appreciate.  For the forseeable future, all others will continue to wait.

Old habits die hard.