There are so many ideas and beliefs that have been programmed into us. We don’t usually realize how little influence we have had on our own lives. We have been shaped by our environment. I have experienced it and seen in in others. I used to wonder how fascinating it was to see families, generation after generation repeat the same life patterns. For instance, there is a family in my town of football stars. As far back as my mother’s generation, that family produced star football players. Every year a young man from that family is on the local news for their skills on the football field. People say that football is in their blood, but is it more than that? Is it more than genetics? Is it programming? Could it be possible that that family’s influence has altered the DNA of each member and programmed those skills into each person?
I often wondered how every member of that family seemed to love football. Why didn’t one of them choose art or excel in something other than football? Were they born with that ability? It is just something to think about, but I would like to expand on how our environments have shaped us.
My mother was a teenage mom. She was a very good mom, but she had me at a young age. Growing up I became friends with a group of girls who were also children of teenage moms. By the time were had graduated high school, every girl in that group, except me, had had a child during or immediately after high school. They too became teenage moms. Not only that, their daughters also became teenage moms. One would think that those young women, because of their circumstances, were bound to that fate. That is not the case.
I wondered what it was about me that rescued me from the generational cycle of teenage pregnancy. I still can’t put my finger on it, but I do remember that I knew I was not going to be a teenage mother. I knew that was not going to happen to me. I did not know how my life was going to be, but I did not see being a mother in my teenage years fitting into any plan I had. I just knew it in my gut. On the other hand, my friends, as soon as they in high school began taking birth control. Their mothers insisted on it. I did not. You would think with all of that added medically prescribed protection from pregnancy those girls would have been saved from what seems to be a generational curse. Nope. They all became pregnant. I think the difference in their situation and mine was that their mothers constantly and relentlessly drilled in their heads that they were not going to get pregnant. I believe in doing so, they placed an nagging and persistent program into their minds that gave them laser focus on that very thing. Is it possible that focus attracted a certain outcome?
I truly feel I did not follow the same path because I was not programmed into thinking that was a looming possibility. I remember hearing my mother’s friends telling her she needed to talk to me soon as I was getting older and of that age when girls can “get in trouble”. For whatever reason, that talk never came. Instead she talked to me about going to college and how much fun that would be. We talked a lot about my future, but my future did not come with warnings. She did not fill my head with possibilities of me “getting in trouble”. I wasn’t placed on birth control as a precaution. I was simply left to be.
Some people would say that my mother’s unwillingness to bombard me with talk of teenage pregnancy was irresponsible. I say it was effective. I would like all of us to think about the things in our lives that we feel are inevitable and to really think about why we feel that way. Have we been programmed? If so, we can rewrite the program. We are not bound to certain outcomes. We are in control of our own lives. The past does not dictate the future.
Today’s Writing Prompt: Write lyrics to your own song.
My friends tell me that I have a song for every situation. When something happens, I tend to recite a song lyric that relates to the situation.
For today’s prompt, write lyrics to your own song. Have fun with it. Set it to music if you like.
I can’t say enough about the power of genuine gratitude. Not only is it great for others to know you appreciate who they are and what they do, but it is just a good feeling to feel gratitude.
When most people think of gratitude, they think of saying “Thank you” after getting something or and polite acknowledgement of something. I’m speaking of a feeling, something that lasts long after the words “thank you” exit your mouth. I’m talking about walking and living in a constant state of gratitude. There are so many wonderful things in this world that we take for granted. This blog post has the potential to reach people I would have otherwise had no opportunity to speak it to because of technology. That is something to be thankful for! The fact that I don’t have to hand write this post is a blessing (I have very difficult to read handwriting). I have a computer of my own to make this post. That is something to be thankful for.
Throughout the day, name at least 10 things you are thankful for. It doesn’t have to be something grand or extravagant. Just see if you can feel gratitude in everything you come into contact with today. Think about what your life would be like if you didn’t have it and feel those feelings of gratitude.
Photo Source :https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-theory-of-reasoned-action-and-planned-behavior-Revised-from-Health-behavior-and_fig1_308784496
I recently lost a dear friend. He and I had just recently reconnected. We had communicated over social media, but hadn’t had any face time in a couple of years. Two weeks after that reconnection, he was gone. I won’t go into detail about the circumstances around his passing, but it has truly sparked in me a desire to connect with people on a level that may not be comfortable for me, but necessary.
This post is just to make people think about the world around them. Oftentimes we are so absorbed in our social media connections, playlists, books, daydreams, etc., that we don’t see what is going on around us. We don’t recognize when things are out of place or out of the ordinary. We have become too afraid to ask questions or simply reach out and have some actual contact or intimate interaction.
Not everyone is okay even if they look okay. Take the risk of offending someone or embarrassing yourself for the sake of another’s well-being. Put down your phone and observe your surroundings. Take the time to notice things and recognize when things are different.
I am writing this to say that we have become too accustomed to thinking of how things could go wrong if we were to take action. We have also learned to value our perceived intentions more than our actual intentions. Trust your instincts. You have them for a reason.
Today’s Writing Prompt: Your Most Embarrassing Moment
Do you recall a time when you were so embarrassed you thought you would never recover from it? Write about it. Describe what happened, the reactions you noticed, and how you felt. You can even write about how you would have liked to prevent it or rectify the embarrassment.
Today’s Writing Prompt: Your favorite gift
Do you have a gift that stands out it your mind? Was it unexpected? Was it a gift to someone else? How did they react? Write about something you gave or received as a gift. What was special about it? Try to describe the the feelings you felt when you gave or received it.
We moms can really do a number on ourselves. We pile on unrealistic expectations, sprinkle on a little comparison and competition, and then criticize ourselves when everything is not perfect. We also take ownership of things we have very little control over. As moms, we need to give ourselves a break.
My teenage son wears braces. He has been wearing them for almost a year now and I have been in a constant battle with him about his oral health. You must be extra vigilant with braces as bacteria and lurk around in those hard-to-reach places. I bought him a water pick, special mouthwash, special picks, and special floss. Each time I would take him to get his braces tightened, the orthodontist would tell him to work on his brushing. I would hear that and take that as a personal hit. I felt I should be doing a better job of making him floss, pick, swish, and brush. So each day after each tightening, he and I would go into the bathroom to practice flossing, picking, swishing, and brushing. Each time my son promised to do better, but at his next cleaning he was told the same thing by the hygienist. As she grabbed the mirror to show him the results of poor oral care I hung my head in shame. Although he had no cavities or any other tooth decay, there was visible bacteria buildup around his gum line. Then something else happened. The hygienist then told him that his mother was not responsible for making sure he brushes his teeth properly. Deep down I knew this, but it still did not stop me from feeling like a failure as she scraped away the ick from his teeth. I felt relieved that this nice hygienist took the time to say those words. It made me feel better having her let me off of the hook I had painfully placed myself on.
I intend to call back to let her know how much I appreciated her acknowledgment of something that I should be more conscious of. Certainly as mothers we will continue to attempt to pick up our children’s slack, but we must realize that we aren’t responsible for doing all the things they are capable of doing themselves.