Show your children what is possible and they will conquer the impossible.
Mid-Life Reflections #8
With my son graduating 8th grade yesterday and my daughter set to graduate from high school this Saturday, I look back with fond memories of them when they were just mere babies to who they are now and what they are becoming. I am literally amazed at what they can do and what they can accomplish. Granted my wife and I gave them the tools to navigate their way through life but they managed perfectly using their own sense and sensibilities. Everything that they’ve achieved so far was due to their unique personality and innate traits; their exterior demeanor belies their true potential. It is because of this that I cherish being a parent. My children’s vim and vigor, no holds barred quest to grab a hold of what the world has to offer and run with it, is truly inspiring. It keeps me on my toes, anxiously waiting to see what unfolds for them and how they’ll astound us. Reflecting on my children’s journey into adulthood overwhelms me with pride and joy and is one of life’s gifts that I am truly honored to accept.
Mid-Life Reflections #7
We live in a hustle and bustle world where every minute of our lives is bombarded by things left and right. There are times when chaos ensues and others that leave us completely dumbfounded. Usually at the end of the day, we are completely exhausted both physically and mentally and end up sleeping it off only to continue with the hubbub the next day.
I’ve learned that too much exposure to all this commotion can sometimes cause us to freak out and wonder “What the hell?!”
“Is this how it’ll be for the rest of my life?”
“Will it ever end?”
“What is my purpose in the scheme of it all?”
“Things have to get better right?”
All these questions must’ve popped into our minds at one point in time. We’re either just starting to experience this, in the process of it or finally getting over it. Whichever one we’re in, just know that in spite of everything, we need to stop and catch our breath.
Look around and take delight in your children, your pets, your siblings, your parents, your grandparents, your friends; just watch them and know that you are what you are because of them.
Watch the sunrise or the sunset; by doing this know that you are lucky enough to live another day.
If your life is not to your liking, change it. It’s as simple as that. Have a job that sucks, quit. In a relationship that’s horrendous, end it. Want to try something new, be fealess and go for it. That cliche “Life is too short” is really true.
You got to where you are because you endured a lot and overcame obstacles that seemed insurmountable. You can go much further and better yourself and situation if you just have faith in yourself. Life is precious…so dare to be bold and custom life to your liking!
The ABC’s of Living Your Life
When we start out in life, that sense of naivety is truly a blessing. We are born into this world free of judgement. We see others as our equals. We have big dreams. Our imaginations are at its peak. We have no limitations. We don’t know the meaning of quit. We aren’t afraid to take chances and fail. We are curious about the world and seek to learn everything and anything that’s new. We show our appreciation and love openly and abundantly. We say what we feel and then move on with no grudges or hardships toward others. Our honesty leads the way and our good natured spirit keeps us ground. We share our infectious bright beaming smile to everyone we see. And best of all, every hour, every minute, every second is lived to its fullest; we live as if there’s no tomorrow.
Somewhere along the way, as we grew up, we lost some of those shining traits. If we can somehow remember what it felt like to be that child and apply it to our daily routine, then we can say that we are truly living. It’s easy, it doesn’t take much to regain back those redeeming qualities, we just have to be willing to try. So the best way to living our lives is to get back to the fundamentals.
Writing is a gift
That’s given to few, so share
Let your voice be heard
Inspiring today’s children
To always dream big
Writing sets us free
Unknown worlds are born
Writing shows our heart
Passion reveals our true self
Our love knows no bounds
Words are our allies
Strings together emotions
Stirs up memories
Back when I was much younger and starting out in the workforce, I used to think that a good paying job was the endgame to being happy and successful in life. All that consumed me was trying to work for a company where I could climb that corporate ladder to a six figure salary; I was young, naive and dreamed big. Little did I know that “all that glitters is not gold”.
I’ve seen people in good paying jobs but miserable as heck. And I’ve seen the opposite, some in okay paying jobs but loving every minute of it.
Regardless of pay, we need to be happy in our jobs. Why you may ask? Since we spend three-quarters of the day at our place of employment, it stands to show that it’s like our second home with our second family.
If we can’t be happy there, then those feelings sometimes get transposed into our home lives. We may not do that intentionally but it happens. Life is too short to be miserable and stressed out.
In my current stage in life, I’ve come to the realization that life is meant to be enjoyed to its fullest. After enduring the trials and tribulations of working many jobs, I only now know that if you’re not happy or enjoying what you do, find something that will. Better late than never, right?
This newfound wisdom is something that I impart on my children constantly. So the next time you’re out job hunting, rather than asking yourself “how much does it pay?”, ponder on whether it’s something that you would “love” or “enjoy” doing for the rest of your life. If you choose to follow the latter path, the pay will come. Work for love, not money.
You’re Grounded! Write Me A Story!
The other day as I was walking through the local mall, I saw a mother unabashedly scolding her son. He looked like he was about 9 or 10 years of age and completely embarrassed by the staring eyes of the mall’s patrons.
When the mother’s tirade ended, she forcefully grabbed her son’s arm and stormed away. This scene was reminiscent of my childhood and all I could think of was what was in store for the boy when he gets home.
I remembered whenever I did something bad, my parents would give me a good scolding and ground me. “YOU CAN’T GO OUT AND PLAY AND NO TV FOR A WEEK!” is what my mom usually bellowed. Back in my time, this was painful; I didn’t have the luxuries that the kids have nowadays.
Being “grounded” meant just staying in my room doing nothing. At that time there were no such things as cable TV, cellphones or video games. All that I could do to pass the time away was listen to AM radio stations (because there weren’t any FM at that time).
Now whenever I did something “REALLY” bad, like playing with matches and burning things, I got a healthy dose of spankings. My mother would get “the belt” and teach me an unforgettable lesson.
Please don’t think bad of my mom; she’s the most kindest and caring person in the world. Some of the terrible things I did as a young boy were REALLY BAD…trust me. Remember, I grew up in a time when this was perfectly acceptable or “PC.” Your neighbors and even teachers were allowed to do the same if you got way out of line…boy how times have changed.
As I was growing up, I wondered how I would discipline my children if they ever did something bad. Well, cut to present day…as a parent of two, I decided to go the unconventional route.
When my children were young and did something bad, I made them write me a story and then read it to me and my wife.
“Don’t worry about grammar or spelling, just write me a story” is what I would tell them.
“What do you want us to write about?” my children would reply.
My answer, “Anything! Just write me a story!”
For some unknown reason, this punishment really stressed them out. Secretly I think that they would have rather been scolded or grounded.
For the longest time, they would stare at a blank page and wrack their brains to come up with anything. Their stories were simple at first but in time, they got to be more and more creative. Their speaking skills improved as well.
Don’t get me wrong, they still got a good scolding if they did something really bad but I felt that I wanted to try and bring out their creativity at an early age.
This punishment benefitted them during their early school years and were recognized by their teachers whenever we had our annual parent-teacher conference.
Now that my kids are teenagers, this punishment is way too easy for them. I need to come up with a whole new game plan. Maybe I’ll make them come up with a dance choreography…yeah, I’ll do that!
Happy Father’s Day
Father’s Day is once upon us again and I for one always look forward to this day. Why you may ask? It’s because I cherish the homemade cards that my children give to me. Their words of appreciation and love are truly priceless and beats any material gifts that I receive.
Being a father is by far one of the “BEST” jobs that I have. When I’m not disciplining my children for something bad they may have done, I’m their adult buddy.
That’s my excuse for going to the toy store and perusing shelves of toys to my heart’s content. It’s my chance to purchase awesome “action figures” (I call them that because calling them “boy” dolls are totally not cool at all).
I also am afforded the opportunities to do things like hip hop dancing, playing video games, being up on the most current social media app, learning how to navigate my phone, all the stuff that kids nowadays do.
Don’t let my “over the hill” appearance fool you; inside this battle-worn body is a goofy kid that’s willing to make a fool of himself as well. There are even times when my kids join in my tomfoolery; more often than not, my kids are slightly embarrassed at some of the mischievous things I tend to do in public just for a laugh. My wife often says that she has not two but three kids and the “oldest” one is the most immature.
Aside from all the fun things that I get to do with my kids as a dad, I’m also there to provide guidance and strength in crucial moments in their life. I’m a father first and my family is my world…my everything.
I try my best to be the best father I can be and I can honestly say that it’s not that hard to do. I had a good role model in my father; he took a vested interest in my well-being, gave sound advice and made me into the person I am today. My father’s quiet strength, extensive knowledge, vast experiences, quirky sense of humor, gentle kindness and champion against all forms of danger belied his gruff, stern exterior. No amount of thanks will ever be enough for what he’s done in my life.
Yeah moms are given all the honor and glory that they rightfully deserve but give dads the same as well. So this Father’s Day, if you’re fortunate enough to still have your father around, spend time with him and cherish it with all of your heart. If you’re a father, be with your kids and love them for all their worth. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there!!!
The Love Of A Child
The love from a child
is most meaningful to see
What comes from their soul
is beautiful and carefree
Their love is unconditional
straight from the start
It’s unwavering and bountiful
warm the cockles of your heart
Their innocence, their laughter
their unabashed delight
Their huge, beaming smile
a pure treasure at first sight
The emotions you get from a child
sensations so pure and true
They wear their heart on their sleeve
on full display for you
So when a child comes to you
and gives you their all
Accept it post haste
be at that child’s beck and call
An Eternal Optimistic Kid In A Pessimistic World
Call it wishful thinking, call me a dreamer, or call it what you will but I am a certifiable optimist. Let me rephrase that, “I am an eternal optimist in a somewhat pessimistic world!”
In light of all the insurmountable odds stacked against me in whatever I’m undertaking, I always see an opportunity for the best thing to happen and hope for it to come to fruition.
That may sound like arrogance or being a bit too confident but I feel that it’s much better to be that way than to think negatively of the circumstance. Thinking of all the things that could go wrong tends to impede our progress and changes our mindset from a “can do” to a “can’t.”
I’d rather come from a place where I believe that it can happen or possibly could happen. Having a semblance of hope drives us to do our best. Just knowing that we have a chance to attain our dreams, get that job, be accepted into that prestigious college, whatever…makes us all the more enthusiastic.
There’s a bounce to our step, a gleam in our smile, a twinkle in our eyes that exude positivity. In our current time, we need to have a strong belief that some good will come from our hard work and efforts.
Granted not all things happen like we wish it to, in my case it’s a majority of the time, but it serves as a reminder that it’s better to try and fail than to do nothing.
What drives me to be eternally optimistic is my internal fountain of hope; that gives me the sheer strength to endure. Just knowing that I won’t fail all the time is ammunition for me. If I just don’t give up and go that extra mile, maybe just maybe I’ll achieve my goal.
I try to have a kid’s outlook on life where everything’s attainable. Children are not jaded, children have no limits, children see a straight line to their goals. Unbridled optimism guides their path without regard for the chiming in of the adult’s skepticism.
We should all just make an attempt to stick with something and see through it till the end…who knows, it might be productive or we could’ve been on the cusp of attaining it. Regardless, our mindset will change and we’ll see the possibilities in our next endeavor.
Being optimistic is not everyone’s cup of tea, most of the people I know are more logical; they know when it’s time to call it quits and move on. I could do that but it just wouldn’t be me. So I’ll continue to be in this club of one and be that eternal optimist in a pessimistic world.