Tag Archives: Inspiration

Boundaries. GET SOME!

1 Apr

So, I am learning a lot lately on the concept of BOUNDARIES.  And so far, I’ve learned two important aspects that I need to implement now.  Like YESTERDAY.  More like, “WHY in the HECK didn’t I think of this before?”  I feel like if I had done something like this earlier, I could have saved myself a CRAP TON of heartache.  Ugh, don’t you hate that?!  Learning something after the fact, after it really could’ve come in handy.  Argh!  Life can really aggravate me sometimes!  Well, to be more honest, I aggravated myself by the way I lead my life sometimes………..

Boundaries.  For me.  For you.  For everyone.  Jump on my new Bandwagon with me. We’ll have fun.

Aspecto Numero Uno – To protect other people from you:

I need someone to tell me when to stop.  I can be too forceful.  Too opinionated (thanks goodness for blogs right?!). Too BOSSY.  Too quick to make up my mind.  I NEED someone to shake me by the shoulders and say, “Enough already!!!!!” I am learning that most times, NO ONE in my life really wants to hear what I THINK they should do.  If you’re bossy like me you KNOW it’s true!! PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO.   I think they just ask for advice to make themselves feel better about the choice they’ve already made in their head.  How would they feel better?  Because now, they can give themselves reassurance that indeed, they asked for advice!  Whatever decision is made, it’s not impulsive!  So WHY, WHY, WHY do I keep telling people what to do???  Who made me Queen of the world? No one. But I do think I would make a great Queen if there are any countries looking. I’ll need a clothing allowance.  Just sayin’.

It stinks when people ask and don’t take your advice doesn’t it?  That phrase, “I told you so.”  It sucks.  It sucks to hear and it sucks to see someone struggle when, IF they had ONLY JUST LISTENED, it could have been avoided!!! If you like saying, “I told you so” I would like to know why, because I HATE IT!

Example: “Cecilia, my husband and I are fighting a lot over _______.”  (Money, kids, sex, religion, in-laws, ex’s, you name it)

The old me: “Well, you should get it together and stop doing _______.  That’s why you guys are fighting and if you don’t do _____ it’s just gonna get worse and then ______ will happen and it be worse and then you’ll get divorced.”  That’s a summed up version, because basically, I can talk for muuuuuch longer than that.

The ideal me: “Man, I am really sorry to hear that.  How can I help?  I will pray for you guys.  I can watch your kids when you’re in marriage counseling.  I can make you dinner to take the pressure off for a night. Is there anything in the BIBLE about that, it’s pretty much the bomb diggity as far as life lessons go. Let me clarify, are you wanting an opinion or are you just wanting to vent?”

Somewhere between the ideal me and the old me, is where I am right now.  Where are you?  You might not be bossy.  Maybe you’re smug.  Maybe you’re judgemental.  Maybe you’re an emotional roller coaster. Maybe you give and give until you’re empty. Maybe you gossip. Maybe you’re a narcissist.  We’ve all got our flaws.  You know in your heart of hearts what yours are.  Pray about it and ask God for a solution to save your relationships.  I did and boy, we came up with an answer!!  For whatever reason, God made me exactly the way I am.  It’s my challenge to find a way to channel that into something that reflects LOVE.  One of my son’s favorite books says this phrase, “I’d rather be helpful than hurtful.”  I had to start asking if I was helping or hurting with my opinions.  Here’s what I figured out with a little help from praying about it:  Ask people for a boundary and respect them.  I actually did that just today, and I really think it’s going to ease some tension in my friendship.  I asked my friend to tell me whether or not she wants my opinion and I promised to stick to it.

A woman I know offered a little advice on boundaries, “If we start out our relationships with boundaries, we stay in control. It takes more work, more effort and carries more risk to create boundaries after things go awry than if we do it ahead of time.”

Aspecto Numero Dos – To protect yourself from others:

Who takes advantage of you? (One friend had a person stay for five days when they only agreed on three!)  Who hurts your feelings?  Who makes you feel less than the super cool person you are?  I am hoping that it’s not someone you call a friend.  Read my blog on Friendship, and release that person into the ACQUAINTANCE ZONE.  I’m guessing it’s the people you can’t get rid of.

Um, not that you’d want to….

Your parents, your siblings, your boss, or maybe even your spouse?  LISTEN TO ME.

wait.  Ah shucks, there I go again, telling you what to do. BUT!  You’re reading this blog so you’ve basically signed up for my opinion.

So, LISTEN TO ME MY FRIENDS.  We are getting hurt because we have no boundaries. END OF STORY.

Remember Dr. Phil?  For some reason in my early twenties I was kinda obsessed with him.  Don’t ask.  He said something that I will NEVER forget.

“YOU TRAIN PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT YOU.”

What?

Lemme break it down for you:  I know you love your Momma.  And I know your Momma loves you.  And I also KNOW that it drives you bat guano crazy when she criticizes your spouse/kids/job/life/finances/muffin top/ and so forth.  I hope you like your Boss. Or at least you NEED this job.   And I hope he (or SHE!) values you.  But I KNOW it drives you bat guano crazy when he (or SHE!) gives you work at the last-minute/micro-manages/gossips about your co-workers and so forth.  So set a boundary.  And reset. And reset again.  Set a boundary until that other person knows how you want to be treated!!

For your Momma: “Mom, I love and appreciate that you have some great advice to offer, but I really NEED to figure out what works best for ME right now.  Please give me a chance to do that.  I could really use your support, not your critiques.  I’m not in a place where I can hear that with love, no matter how constructive you mean them to be.”  Something to that effect I think would really go a long way.  She doesn’t stop?  Sometimes Mommas can be persistent.  “Mom, remember when I said I would rather have your support than your judgements?  I’m not sure you heard how seriously I feel about that.  From now on, let’s put this topic on the shelf.  I’ll ask for your advice when I think it’ll come in handy.  How’s the weather?”   Sometimes Mommas can be persistent AND carry boundary-knocking sledgehammers. “Mom, I love you and I know you love me.  Please give my requests some respect.  If you can’t withhold your judgements, which really hurt me, we aren’t going to be able to talk until you can.”  Hardcore?  I know. I am not suggesting that you cut ties with your family without provocation.  But man!!  They can hurt you.  They know how.  And you can still be honorable and respectful and refuse to sign yourself up for abuse.  TRAIN YOUR LOVED ONES on the way you want to be treated.

For your Boss: “Thanks Mr. Miyagi for trusting me with all this responsibility. How am I supposed to wax on AND off, on top all this other work?  I am grateful and excited for the opportunity to show you that I can handle it.  I am going to need to prioritize to get these things to get them done in a timely manner.  Can you show me what you want done right now, and which tasks can wait until the end of the week/month/quarter?”  DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT get fired over this blog.  DO NOT GET FIRED OVER THIS BLOG.  DO NOT!!!  If your boss takes advantage of you and you need the income to feed your children, DO NOT make demands of them.  DO NOT GET FIRED OVER THIS BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!  Be persistent but not INSISTENT!  Roger that? And look for another job, WHILE YOU HAVE THAT ONE.  DO NOT GET FIRED OVER THIS BLOG!!  Ask for a plan that he (or SHE!) approves of.  If they can’t give that to you, make one yourself and then make sure you’re on the right track to complete the assignments the way they want them.  Should I say it again?  Just in case? DO NOT GET FIRED OVER THIS BLOG!

Boundaries.  They’re like well-tailored trouser pants.  Everyone needs them.  They aren’t easy to find.  And sometimes you’ll have to sacrifice something to get them.  But once you find some that work for you, you’ll never buy cheap pants again.

I hope you can be successful.  Be helpful, not hurtful. Be respectful but not a whipping post.  Train others how to treat you. DON’T GET FIRED!  

Reflect God’s LOVE. 

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How to Make Friends. Part Two

24 Dec

Continue reading

The Fairy Tale Thanksgiving.

19 Nov

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I have been daydreaming about the picture perfect day.  Mine goes something like this:

 

All the prep work has been done days in advance, and all I have to do is baste the organic, free range turkey that I have NEVER been able to afford in the past.

 

My children are neat, well-groomed and sit nicely at the table. When they are finished with their meals, they play quietly and kindly in the living room, so the adults can finish their meals in harmony. My three year old eats all his veggies, and my 18 month old doesn’t attempt to re-drywall the ceiling with mashed potatoes.  And if she does, I find the mess THIS year, instead of my insanely clean mother-in-law finding it NEXT year.

 

My step-children show up on time, exclaim that they are sooooo excited to be here and are delighted to try some new veggie side dishes, because suddenly their picky eater mentality has disappeared. Turns out, they shutter at what their lives were like before me, roasted brussels sprouts and green bean casserole (made without the can of heart stopping grey slime) and would never want to go back.

 

My husband, after watching the turkey carving video almost 1000 times, manages to PERFECTLY dismember our beautiful, juicy turkey. He also is actually home for Thanksgiving, instead of working at the fire dept.  I also remembered EVERY ingredient so I don’t have to send him across town for poultry seasoning, milk or a frozen pie crust to replace my botched homemade ones.

 

I am not sweating like a pig from being in the kitchen all day.  My hair isn’t in a frizzy bun on top of my head, but straightened and there is not a single GREY hair to be found. When the table is set with my Versace china, Waterford goblets, and SILVERware, I simply get to untie my vintage apron and sit down with my family. My chic Banana Republic ensemble is stain-free and lacking in soggy armpits because no one needs to know how nervous I am about doing a good job.  Once seated, I don’t have to get up from the table twenty times, to get little things that I have forgotten, and so of course, my meal stays hot and delicious.

 

While I am eating my HOT meal, we go around the table and say what we’re thankful for, suddenly – each of us has an epiphany!!!  We change our lives for the better, serve humanity, and improve our relationships with each other and God.

 

I have managed to make enough gravy this year.  Without lumps.

 

My entire out-of-town family suddenly knocks on the door, surprising me because I am sooooo homesick for them over the holidays.  AND I have enough food, chairs and gravy to accommodate them all.

 

Somewhere a magical “dishes elf” has come while we were peacefully eating and has done Alllllllllllll the dishes,  AND packed up the leftovers in neat rows in my fridge.  The elf however, leaves a note and says that its okay for me to take the credit for the sparkling clean kitchen he left for me.

 

 

My photography skills have instantly become professional grade and our family photo is so good, that I can upload it to tiny prints (for which I downloaded the Groupon, got an insane deal, and remembered to use it BEFORE it expired) and make our Christmas cards EARLY.

 

Coffee and dessert are served later that night without the pressure of having to camp out at stores for Black Friday.  Because for once, I have already done all the Christmas shopping and for twice, we stayed within budget so we don’t have to stand in line for the best deals.

 

My in-laws are so overwhelmingly grateful that they volunteer to come up a couple of days early to help with the cooking and cleaning, next year.

 

And finally,

Everyone feels well-fed, loved and appreciative for all the things they have. 

My Thanksgiving will probably never be this perfect, but hopefully we can achieve this end result all the same.  I hope that everyone who reads this post has a wonderful Thanksgiving with the people they love.  Please, please, please remember the BRAVEST of us, who have forfeited the holidays with their loved ones, to keep us safe.  God Bless the Troops!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 

How to make FRIENDS – part one.

13 Nov

For some reason, when I was ages 0-19, I was terribly lonely.  As a kid, my parents were constantly trying to find the “better” education (really the problem was me) and so I was in and out of schools all through my childhood.

4 schools in elementary, 3 schools for middle school, and 2 schools for high school.  Needless to say, I was pretty lonely.  Not quite “imaginary friend” lonely, but close. I invented imaginary lives so if anyone did approach me, I would have this cool life to wow them into being my BFF.  I know, I know.  I’ll cover that stuff in therapy as soon as we get closure on my shopping issues.  🙂

Then I joined the military. (GO NAVY!) Something about ACTUALLY getting through boot camp gave me so much confidence, that I ACTUALLY started to believe that people would WANT to be my friend. I became determined to never be lonely again.  I still moved around a bunch, that didn’t change.  The thing I changed the most about being able to make friends, was my actions.

Now, wherever I go, I ACTIVELY seek out groups with similar interests.

Example #1: When I was stationed in Jacksonville, I joined the “Multi-Cultural” committee.  I am not sure WHY we need a committee dedicated to promoting other cultures, the military is a culture in itself, race was hardly an issue. However, I wasn’t in touch with my “culture” and I figured SOMEONE must know what it’s like to be a lonely Mexican-Italian woman in a strange world. NOPE!!! I was wrong.  Turns out, there aren’t that many people out there with my special “cultural blend” that genetically and historically causes me to be addicted to carbs. BUT!!! I made two friends!   Suddenly the challenge of finding a friend in 4000 people – YIKES – became easier when I chose a group of 10.

Example #2: When I was stationed in Norfolk, VA, I joined a command led beach running group.  Again, the command size was about 500, but the running group had 12 members.  I sucked at running, still do, but it was a great way to meet people who cared about being outside, being healthy and having fun!

Example #3: When I was stationed in Oak Harbor, WA, I went religiously to the dog park. Dog park people love the outdoors and taking care of their animals similar to children!  (Caution: Sometimes it can be a teensy bit weird to see people making out with their dogs.) Think “play dates” for pets!  The people I met there turned me on to a local dinning and wine club and poof!  I had friends!!!!!!

See the pattern?  Gosh, I hope so because I am running the risk of losing you at this point…

Narrow your focus wherever you are!  Don’t move to a new city or new job and spend time feeling lonely. Feeling lonely is a WASTE of time!

YOU ARE COOL ENOUGH TO BE SOMEONE’S FRIEND!!!

I currently live in Stuart, FL.  It’s a smallish city,  CHOCK-full of people who have grown up here.  That was REALLY intimidating to me at first.  Doubt started to creep in…… I began to ask myself why in a city full of people who had the same friends since high school, would they want to get to know little ‘ole me?!  But because I had an infant son and became a SAHM, (stay-at-home-mom) I was going to go crazy without some adult interaction!!!!! So I joined a little group known as Stroller Strides, and that lead me to another little group called MOPS and that led to me joining Junior League of Martin County! Before long, I discovered that I had a CORE group of friends that I could trust with the REAL ME!!!

So, think about what you’re into and google a group in your city.  Reading? Search for book clubs. Excercise? Search for groups like Stroller Strides. Food and Wine? Search for a local wine shop and start going to tastings! Volunteering? Seek out a Junior League! Love Jesus? Find a church and join a small group!

BE BRAVE!

BELIEVE THAT GOD MADE YOU AWESOME… JUST AS YOU ARE!! 

THERE IS SOMEONE OUT THERE WAITING TO MEET YOU!

In part two we’ll cover the dreaded, “Saying Hi.” 🙂

Good luck!

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