Friday, August 26, 2016

Dysfunctional, Distraught, Discouraged on Parenthood of new-Collegiate

Posted by Daring Delightful Digital Diva at 2:32 PM 0 comments
I sit here post-mortem reflection after dropping our oldest of FIVE off at college. A big step everyone has told us about and warned us about!  It happened!  I have had so many thoughts in the last few weeks, but the one that stands out that I would like to share with ANY of you parents so that you can prepare NOW for your future (to avoid these feelings of course) is this:

I have done a disservice to society and sent my child out into the world not as prepared as I had hoped!!!!

Now, I will give you that I have only been bonus mom or even known the oldest for 4 years, so really how much could I accomplish right?  He didn't yet live with us right away, but moved with us two years ago, so that is my time of influence: 2 years compared to a lifetime of childhood history, example, etc.
  • Balance a checkbook?
  • Order textbooks online at various sites?
  • Look for items for yourself (while in your tiny half of a dorm room with one closet?)
  • Make a to do list?
  • Remember appointments?
  • Make a doctor's appointment?
  • Survive on own?
  • Feed yourself? Cook for yourself?
  • Remember the computer charger for college? That might be important!
Each one of those thoughts simply leads to other thoughts like this: Can he balance a checkbook? --> How would he pay bills? --> If he gets a job, can he set up autopay? --> Does he know what NSF is?  --> How will he know what money is "spoken for" for those bills, vs spend? --> Will he save some of each paycheck like we taught him? --> the list goes on and on.

Here is what I know. We did the best we could. Period.  We are not done by any means, but life is different now.  There is a young adult, not a child. Not on his own. New territory. 

ADVICE, TEACHINGS, and not ENABLING is the only solution I can seek.
Tough love. Real world.

I tested out this theory today when he texted me asking if I can bring an item when I come through town on Sunday.  Now I have made a list.  It occurred to me on this NOT ENABLING front that I am enabling him by keeping track and making a list. So here's how this conversation went:
  • Me: "You need to make a list, and I will bring it. That requires pen and paper, or that crazy little gadget of a phone with a notepad app, reminder app, or to do list app"
  • Him: texts me 2 items that he needs. Now mind you, he only remembered ONE of the TWO most important things for starting college: the laptop charger, and my list has about 8-10 items on it.  He did not even remember the textbook that arrived after he'd left. Lacrosse ball was on his mind I guess ;)
  • Me: "That's all I am supposed to bring? How about textbook, etc, etc,  You need to remember things without me now, so keep the list going!"
  • Him "List: Laptop charger, underroos, Geography textbook, 10 other secret things" (can I say that at least he cracks me up? He is funny funny to me!
  • Me: "Crack open that planner, write things down, and if you remember 3 more things, then I will bring you all the stuff on my list too"
  • Him: "awesome"
Lesson in this?
  • Teach your kids earlier to keep track of themselves and their things. Let them pay the price if they do not.  I could be farther than an hour away and not going through town. I could make him pay shipping for me to ship it to him. Now, he is not a bad kid by any means, but he sure can't keep track of stuff, remember stuff and it will affect him. Procrastination will affect him too at some point. He will miss a test, get fired from a job, or any number of things.  Let's hope that these things will also teach him to be better about it and that he will improve. 
  • Teach your kids finances earlier. He had a checking account with a debit card long before I could teach balancing a checkbook and how you would pay bills, account for your money and budget to live within your means.  Credit card offers abound when you are in college and too many people rack up credit cards at high interest rates. Verbally I taught him some tricks.
The trick for us now is to not bail him out, help him out, but enable him to help himself. Teach him to fish instead of feeding him fish. he remembered those fishing poles and fly-tying stuff - just not the computer charger or textbook in his list to bring! Here's to hoping things kick in soon! 

Discouraged, Dysfunctional, Distraught, Diva MAMA!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Facebook, FACE-to-FACE experience - what has Facebook done???

Posted by Daring Delightful Digital Diva at 10:46 AM 0 comments
I have recently stopped using Facebook, when I was a daily user.
WHAT?? I stopped?  YUP!! 
And I am LOVING IT!!!!!
And by daily use, I don't mean creeping, playing games, living no life except through Facebook, or stalking.  I would cut games out of my feed faster than anyone and wouldn't post political rants, etc.  I did use it as my original intention: to connect with people - to share photos, articles, and funny things that happened, and to comment on people's posts. I tried not to air any dirty laundry, wouldn't speak ill of an ex (that IS my child's parent now isn't it?), and kept things clean and positive.  One daughter jokes that I am all "sunshine and rainbows"! 

I could live on the notion and defend that I used Facebook for sharing photos, and that would be true! It is easy! But, did I need to be on Facebook while out for a drink with my husband, before going to bed, when I wake in the morning, or while I waited at a doctor's office?  Do we need to hop on the smartphone with the immediacy of having 30 seconds of free time or silence? Can we not sit with our head up and accessible to other human beings around us?
NO! It got to be tooo much! 

I had several recent happenings over the last few months that have changed my opinion of Facebook -

  • LIKE/LOVE? Since when has it become so difficult to comment on someone's post?  Now we can simply click WOW, SAD, MAD, LOVE, LIKE, or HAHA on someone's post, without actually typing a comment. Facebook actually made "interacting" easier, but fed the busy and "interactivelessness" of a society we've become.  I've done it tons, I confess. If I go back on, I want to comment. Only. Take the time. To write a personal message. Simple.
  • OVERSTIMULATION - I do feel that I have ADHD, and would have been diagnosed if I were a child. I have to manage that!  The absolutely constant notifications for many apps, including FB got to be too much.  If my phone lit up at work, I would check!  I would interrupt myself and my thoughts to see what someone needed!  Am I really that important?  NO! Oh I got an email, better check! Oh, someone liked my FB post! Oh, oh, oh! It never ends!
  • LIMITING - So I started limiting.  First, I cut many apps notifications to not sound.  Then I realized my OCD side would want to clear the notification numbers!  Right?  Are you in touch with this?  Do you see the number 5 on your email app and feel the need to check them and deal/delete?  You are not alone!  Did you know that you can simply turn those notifications OFF?  YES!  It is freedom, I tell you, freedom!  Since when did I need to check my emails more than once a day anyway? 
  • PRESENCE - Attended a wellness conference designed to connect us when I stepped off FB - result?  It felt GREAT!  I genuinely connected on a deeper and better level those that I was physically present with.  I was in essence MORE PRESENT!
  • FRIENDS vs ACQUAINTANCES - Who is a "real" friend or family from the hundreds of acquaintances? Did you know there are settings within FB to limit who sees what? I  unfriended hundreds of people, and FB makes it easy!  If you go to your friends list on the app, do you realize that they are in order of frequency of interaction?  Well that made weeding through easy!  I went to the bottom and began unfriending people I honestly might not have even remembered being friends with!  How is that a friend? Since when did we get HUNDREDS of friends anyway? I could choose to make most people acquaintances and leave others as close friends.  Now this took a lot of work with a large list, but I wanted to clean it up should I decide to hop back onto FB in the future. 
  • UNFOLLOW - Whatever your "schtick" is, find it.  You can follow or unfollow people depending truly on what you want to see in your newsfeed!  And let's be honest, it IS your news feed to do with as you wish, right? You get to choose what to see! Again, freedom! I personally want to see positive, joyful, hope, good things, and things that make my life better, richer, and more positive.  I unfollowed people that are negative, make political posts, complain, etc.  I unfollowed comical groups or pages that were sarcastic, cutting, cruel, or generally crass.  It have seemed funny, but does it make me better, or are there other forms of humor that are more positive? Cut it, moving on! Less clutter in my news feed! 
  • FAVORITES - you can select TWENTY people to be a favorite on FB and set your feed to see those people first! I felt this also made me be very selective as to who those 20 people are! 20 friends that I could hop on and in less than 1 minute "catch up" to what was going on! This was GREAT!  Hard to do, but great!  And it is easy in your feed directly to change that person to close or not close! BOOM! Click! DONE!
  • ETIQUETTE - While I try not to partake in drama, we can be thrust in it even by society's terms or these new habits and protocol, if you will. I found myself at my first anniversary with my husband and I got UPSET that 109 people could like, love, or comment on my post for our anniversary, but HE couldn't!  Really???? That's what we've become as a society?  That life isn't official until it's #facebookofficial and #hashtagged ? WOW!  It was an eye-opener!  I saw other announcements that I might see, or even harder, be told by others - that I was no longer worthy of even a text, but the general FB public announcement only. I was done. People can't let you know personally on the big things?  Then perhaps we were not as good of friends than I thought. My mistake. Clarity. Or how I explained FB "etiquette" to my husband at his birthday to make a post thanking everyone for the birthday wishes at the very least, possibly "liking" people's wishes on his page. He didn't know he was supposed to respond at all! It has become silly! I too, posted a Happy Birthday to my sister on her page, even though I called her, so it was #facebookOfficial OY! Etiquette of when, how and to whom we post for things...again, too much!
So I simply decided to be off for a while, while I sorted my feelings, habits, friends list, and feed. I changed my profile picture and cover photo that I was on a break, and OFF Facebook.
Now, I don't think I am the only one who thinks this, or sees that this is how we've become.  I solved the problem, or a piece of it. I am not on FB anymore, and I will wait for real interactions, phone, text, face to face, even if they are less often. I think I will prefer a smaller group of friends with deeper and more meaningful relationships.
Here is a clincher.  Facebook with all of it's possibilities and hopes of changing the world - has. Not all for the good though. 
  • Facebook has changed how we keep in touch.  A dear friend that I took photos of her daughter decided to go old fashioned and order prints and mail them with a hand-written note to her family.  She felt great and they LOVED it!  Like it or not, Facebook has changed how we stay in touch, some better, some worse!
  • Facebook has changed how we consume content - skimming, scrolling, following news feeds, people, friends, stars.  Choose wisely.  I unfollowed tons of people, groups and pages. I believe it amplifies our instant-gratification, need it now, ADHD society.  We need a snipet, not an article. We need it fast, and now! Twitter limits you to 140 characters!  Really, we can't read more than that? How many times do you click on the article, link, or read your friends' full post? Slow down, get the content, read it, click to know more, seek knowledge.
  • Facebook has changed how we view privacy.  I decided that not everyone in my feed wants to, or needs to see everything I post. If they want to see more, they could go to my page, call me, text me? I do not have to post to the world what I made for dinner (nor did I!).  Nope, I don't have to! I can opt to share my dinner that I made with loved ones around the table and actually enjoy it! YUP!
  • Facebook has changed the way bullying/judging happens too and how our teens interact. Any stranger behind a keyboard can slam anyone. We've likely all heard of body-shaming, and more terms!  What happened to the adage "don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all" and as Amy Poehler says in her book Yes Please!  How about we build each other up and support the good things? Be less judgmental, more kind?  YES PLEASE!  (an amazing little fun read by the way!)
  • Facebook has changed relationships. Have you been out with your partner and been on the phone, checking FB among other things?  Set it down, look into their eyes, you'll enjoy it! Have you seen Facebook break-ups, drama, and comments?  No need to bash someone there.  Take it offline, be classy not crazy. Nobody wants to be remembers as the girl who commented nasty on his photo when they broke up.  And what's with all the blocking, unblocking, don't reach me, reach me?  Either break up or don't, decide to be friends or not. Move on. Simple. Mature. Remember that CLASSY NOT CRAZY? Yup, follow that! 
  • Social Media as a whole has changed DATING - How many ways can you talk to a person or ask them on a date? Texting, IM, Instagramming, Poking, Tweeting has changed how our teens DATE - and not for the better. I would love to ground one of our kids for accepting or asking via text!  How about call for that date? How about wait until he/she calls you for a date?  TEXT? UGH! Say your feelings, don't text a difficult conversation. Once it is written, it's out there. Classy, not crazy, remember?
I challenge you - try even ONE of these things above to make your Facebook experience better - if you choose to stay on it. Make your feed more meaningful, valuable, positive, full of life. Do anything! I may....or may not, be back on anytime soon!  I am busy as ever and enjoying my free time - being with my husband, kids, self, listening to audiobooks instead.  I am looking up, fixing my smartphone bad posture, anything! I'm kayaking, mountain biking and enjoying the sights.  Maybe I take a photo for my memories, my enjoyment, my future scrapbook or frame.  I don't have to share it with the world. 

My goal is to reach out to people once a week - a text, email, letter, note, card, phone call. More personal interactions. Period.  I did receive an email yesterday from a lovely gal who saw that I was not on Facebook and emailed me a photo, which then opened the door to a few emails back and forth, and it was lovely!  Get off Facebook and in the faces of loved ones, partners and yourself.  You might like what you find!

Daring, Delightful, NON-Digital Diva!

Friday, August 5, 2016

SORRY....not sorry!

Posted by Daring Delightful Digital Diva at 2:26 PM 0 comments
I've recently seen a lot of information out there about apologizing TOO much, and I would agree! I had a call with a friend that made me see this clearly.  She received a call from her husband while on the phone with me that she had to take.  Simple. Easy.  She said she would call me right back, no worries right?  When she called me back, she immediately said "I'm sorry..." and then guess what???

She caught herself apologizing for something that didn't need to be - she rephrased and said "THANK YOU"!  Thank you for allowing me the time to see what the plan was with her husband for dinner.No apologies needed!

Now in the past, I have written on apologies, because people stink at apologizing - read that here for how to make and accept a proper apology. That is not for now, when we over apologize!  Check out this article in the New York Times. It's spot on.

I have been working on this issue and have caught myself also saying SORRY for things that don't need to be said for! Save apologies for the real times to actually apologize for something - from little bumping into someone, to hurting someone's feelings.  Of course you have to recognize when something is off or wrong in order to apologize, but that's a whole 'nother blog! Haha!

For some reason this has been found to happen more prominently with women.  I love the recent Dove and Pantene campaigns that are positive toward women and girls (ok, not sure about their products, see my allergy to formaldehyde issues ugh! Not a plug for products). Pantene did an ad for Sorry Not Sorry to stop saying it for every little thing! Check it out here: PANTENE VIDEO for their #ShineStrong campaign. 

Here's the deal - say sorry for what you need to, those heartfelt moments for apologies and rephrase your thinking on SORRY NOT SORRY - You can say many other things instead of sorry:
  • Thank you... As in 'thank you for your patience' instead of 'sorry I'm always late', or 'thank you for understanding'
  • Let me ask... Excuse me... Pardon me
  • Whoops...You can own a mistake that is minor, and take responsibility without apologizing.
  • Okay...Say ok and just do it with any request instead of "Oh sorry, I'll.."
  • It's unfortunate...
  • How sad...
Be strong women - apologize when needed and not a moment more!
Sorry for the long rant - NOT SORRY! :)  Instead?  Thank you for reading!
Daring, Delightful, Defiant, "Not Sorry" Diva

Monday, August 1, 2016

Devising Plans - What kind of agreement maker are you?

Posted by Daring Delightful Digital Diva at 6:52 PM 0 comments
Have you thought you made plans with someone, only to be disappointed? Have you had arguments with your child or spouse about an agreement you thought you had?  Well, we all function at different levels and you just need to work on communication skills to land at an actual agreement! BRILLIANT!

I recently got to listen to and learn from Neha Sangwan, MD and CEO of Intuitive Intelligence as our keynote speaker. She learned from treating patients medically that it wasn't always medical issues that plagued patients, but more personal issues - boiling down to communication often.  One piece that I took from her talk was the Five Levels of Agreement!  Ooooooooh, get her book Talk Rx to learn more and many other techniques.  She has a lovely YouTube Channel teaching many things as well HERE if you prefer videos and TED talks! So back to the Five Levels of Agreement Dr. Neha teaches in her communications.

I have been "waiting" for someone to make plans, confirm plans, etc. When there wasn't even a true agreement of who, what, when, where, and why.

Here are the levels - and learn more by purchasing her book, OMG! You will see your relationships differently from here on out!

  1. Acknowledgement - This does not mean that you have an agreement, perhaps simply as the other person acknowledging your existence, haha! 
  2. Positive interest - In seeking to get together or make plans, perhaps this is the place of "oh that would be awesome!" Do you have a friend that always SAYS they'd like to get together or have lunch?  This is only a level two agreement - simply positive interest toward you.  Not a bad thing, but just not an agreement to actually get together. 
  3. Qualified Yes - This is the age of non-commitment, texting and cyber ADHD. In trying to get together with this level 3 person, they might say that they could get together if, if, if, if.  Still no plans or confirmation, and the other person may not even know they are doing anything wrong. It is just simply a keeping my options and commitments open or noncommittal. This is the worst for me and an area that I need to work on.  The "oh, I could go kayaking on Sunday if I finish all my chores" scenario.  This leaves me hanging or "waiting" which I don't like or do well with. Do I not make other plans? Is it confirmed?  What do I do?  I ASK A QUESTION!
  4. Clear Yes - A resounding YES is so exciting to hear!  YES, my friend would like to get together with me!  Without the if's and's or but's!  And yet still we do not confirm any dates, times or plans! A clear yes is still only a level 4 agreement. 
  5. Details Confirmed - AGREEMENT - Level 5 agreement is DETAILS CONFIRMED! We have launch! Go Houston for take off! You get to level FIVE! A clear yes, with confirmed details. "Ok, great, how about this Saturday, I'll meet you there at 6:45 for GhostBusters?" Now that is a plan! 
WHEN IN DOUBT - ASK A QUESTION - don't assume anything, just simply ASK! Why sit frustrated with a friend or loved one that won't commit, doesn't seem to get together? Just ask! Then move on if plans don't get firmed up.  

Now, I only give you this brief synopsis to tell you that I've seen it! I have NOTICED, and become more aware.  I AM A LEVEL FIVE PERSON!  That is my natural preference, period! Even in this day and age, I am not afraid to commit or make official plans, and I can make them in person, on the phone, text, email, tweets, posts, etc - like Sam and Green Eggs and Ham I am! 

If I want to go to a movie with someone I will ask, confirm and lock it down! I have of course noticed the opposite.  There are a lot of levels of communicators and planners out there. I need to be more clear! By being more clear, etc, then I can weed out the other levels that don't actually want to get together with me, and then in essence?  Make room for those that do! 

So when that friend says "oh let's go get lunch sometime" I may now choose ignore it, realizing they only feigned a level two agreement, or I can clarify by asking a question. I could say "sure, what day works for you?" and they could go to a a qualified yes, of checking their calendar, or they could join me and land at level five and agree on a lunch date! Either way, I am better off by knowing these levels of agreement!  I can choose to clarify or walk away and let the other person make some plans or confirm with me at a later date.  But I don't have to let that person hurt my feelings, or be stuck waiting or wondering, and I CAN opt to fill my time and energy on those that would like to reach level five! 

You might find that you gravitate toward those that typically land at the same level, and that there is discourse if you are not.  Therein lies the problem!  So ask the questions, seek clarification, and move on, letting some people go, or get back to you on their schedule. At least you can avoid waiting on others, expectations, and disappointments from lost communications!

So for other level 5 folks, I'll be at the ready - to confirm, save in my calendar, and enjoy my time with you!  Like my friend who says "let's last-minute go to Big Sky for mountain biking and paddle boarding?" Yes please! And with my easy-going, fun loving husband, we all had plans made within an hour!  What a WONDERFUL weekend it was! WOW!  I saw that level 5 and jumped all over that, who wouldn't!? A great set of friends, lovely Montana, and fun adventure! No if if if on my end!

What level are you at the most?  Do you see some changes in your future? 
Again, get Dr. Neha's book - it is amazing, as is she - a lovely person! Talk Rx BOOK HERE

Daring, Delightful, Devising Level 5 Diva!  
A big shout out to Dr. Neha! 

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