Today Will Be My Day!

Oh no!!! It’s Monday, again!

As we begin a new week, some of us may be looking forward to the events to come while others open their eyes with intrepidation and slowly prepare their IV caffeine drip.

While it’s the latter group I wish to address, you Monday optimists can take note as well.

Either you run the day or the day runs you. ~Jim Rohn

As you think about what clothes you will be putting on your body today you should also consider how you will dress your mind. Just as you would want to dress appropriately for rain, sleet, snow or sun, you want to prepare your mental for the emotional bliss or stress that you will receive throughout the day.

The energy you breathe into your life is the results your life will put out. This is, by far, not a jedi mind trick. I am absolutely not one of those chipper early morning greet you with a smile and a friendly good day type of person. Even after my first cup of coffee you should expect no sign of that mutant jolly x-man…uhh woman.

However, I do start every day with a mindset that says today will be my day. No, I don’t trick myself into thinking that nothing will go wrong. I have no way of predicting that and, in most cases, I will have no way of preventing it either.

When I say today is my day, I mean today I will not be defeated by things that I have no control over. I mean today I will not be put down by situations that others may see as a failure. I mean today I will give my all to everything that I do. I mean today I will be the best me that I can be and, while I may disapprove and even be hurt, I will understand that my best may not be good enough for everyone but it is my best and it’s good enough for me.

When I say today is my day I mean I understand that I may make mistakes but I also understand that mistakes can translate into lessons and lessons can translate into success. I also understand that the actions of others are not meant for me to judge. The actions of others are also my lessons and how I deal with them are my successes.

When I say today is my day I mean disappointment is inevitable but my reaction to it is what counts. I mean I won’t always come out on top but that won’t stop me from reaching for it.

So yes, everyday I wake up will be my day. I dress my thoughts for success and I make it happen. Today will be my day and you should make it yours too.

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Her Boyfriend’s Wife

Hi Liz,

A friend of mine had been dating a guy that she met through an on-line dating service for maybe 5 months now. She was very happy because he sent her flowers and I miss you text messages and called her almost every morning. She said he was limited in the amount of time he can spend with her because his job causes him to travel a lot. Overall, he seemed like a nice guy. We have all hung out together and he really acted like she was the only woman in the room. He had been to her house on numerous occasions BUT she had never been to his. At my annual employer Christmas party I found out why.

For the past 4 years, I’ve worked for a neurological department in a hospital with 4 different locations and have only attended 2 of these gatherings. One of the ladies from the other office (someone who I speak with on the phone regularly and have seen at central meetings) introduced him to me as her husband (shocked is an understatement).They have been married for 7 years and his real name and occupation is not what my friend believed it to be.

Yes, I did tell my friend about this discovery. I even backed it up with a group picture of that night. He hasn’t answered any of her calls or messages since then and his dating profile has been deleted. My question is, should I tell his wife? 

My opinion:

You are not obligated to be the informant to his wife. If they’ve been married for 7 years she probably is aware that something has been going on. The fact that he carried on a relationship for 5 months with your friend with so much ease is indicative that he has probably cheated on his wife in the past and she could be choosing to ignore the signs. For you to approach her on the subject, especially if you both work for the same company, could create some issues with your working relationship within the department. You did your part by telling your friend. That was the absolute best thing you could have done. It was also wise of you to take pictures to accompany your story when divulging the horrible truth. Your part is done.

It may seem inhumane to keep this secret from his wife but just know that these things can get blown to unrecognizable proportions leaving you in the middle looking like the bad guy. If you feel up to that challenge then, by all means, go ahead and let her know. If you have pictures and you can send them anonymously, try that. If that’s not possible and you choose to share them with her, just know that if she is not ready to face that truth she will blame you in the long run.

That’s my opinion.

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Pet Peeves and Gear Grinding

Pet peeves. We all have them. Most of them are legitimately burn-at-the-stake worthy. Some are borderline OCD-ish but others are just plain ridiculous.

Because I have taken notice of the fact that my family tends to look at me with alternating head tilts – much like that of long floppy eared puppies,  I thought I would share the seemingly kooky things that I subject them to. I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to write on this topic and asked him what he thought some of my pet peeves were. He gave me a look and sat down like we were about to have an important family meeting. That really said a lot. Here is a (shortened) list of what we came up with.

  1.  Making a sandwich. I absolutely hate for cheese to be on top of cheese. I have to alternate meat (when I used to eat it) then cheese. If they make me a sandwich and do not alternate, I rearranged it myself.  NO TOUCHING CHEESE!
  2. I will not eat anything that I see that has been sitting unattended or uncovered. It doesn’t matter if it’s refrigerated or in my own home. Keep it covered. The same goes for drinks. If I put my cup down it will most likely get tossed if it’s not covered. If it’s in a can, it’s as good as garbage because I can’t see inside of a can.
  3. Please, please, LAWD JEEZUZ PLEASE do not let the corn touch my rice and don’t you ever, ever, ever let the gravy touch my cornbread. There is an exception to this, however. I do allow yellow and wild rice to conjugate with the kernels.
  4. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: There is no K in Street and no T in shrimp!
  5. PEOPLE WHO TYPE EVERYTHING IN ALL CAPS!
  6. Females who clip and paint their nails at work – This. Really. Grinds. My. Gears.
  7. People who walk on the escalator. I’m not walking so you will be mad if you come up behind me. If I wanted to walk I would have used the stairs.
  8. Chronic selfie takers. That’s self-explanatory.
  9. Loud gum chewers. That’s also self-explanatory.
  10. Children with dirty noses and the parents who let them walk around that way. No, I’m not smiling at your little snotty nose baby. Instead of buying cigarettes and soda by some napkins or wipes! UGH!
  11. The fact that my children, apparently, only speak Klingon because I have to animatedly repeat myself in the only language I know. English.

So there you have it. I don’t think I’m as bad as they think I am. Yes, there are a few other items that I can throw on this list but I don’t want you to know how weird I really am.

What are those things that really grind your gears?

 

Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you.

I bet you sung that, didn’t you?

As the season of love approaches, I thought it would be appropriate to take Cupid’s bow and arrow and RIP IT TO SHREDS!

The thought of getting shot with an arrow from a bow does not signify love. Likewise, having a little guy in a diaper do it isn’t the least bit romantic either (unless you’re into that kind of thing).

There is so much more to love than the aesthetic images that get displayed on TV and social media.

The Anatomy of Love.

When you love someone you love them unconditionally with all of their flaws and faults.

Love is not just what you see on the surface. Love is all the padding underneath that brings it all together.

Love is understanding.

Love is respect.

Love is a nurturing.

To love someone means you have to get to know that person. How could you possibly understand, respect or nurture that which you do not know?

Hmmm…..

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How well do you know yourself?

I’ve spoken to many people who aren’t even sure of who they are. Yet they continuously go on this quest for love, day in and day out, not realizing that what they seek they won’t find because their search is unrealistic to needs they don’t even know exist.

Look at it this way. If you wear a size 8 1/2 shoe but the retailer only has a size 8 in the color YOU MUST HAVE, do you buy the shoe? Yes, you can get your foot in it but how well does it really fit? Is this purchase worth the pain? Better yet, how long before you regret the purchase and get rid of the shoes altogether? Why give in to the desired look when you can wait for the proper fit?

“If you don’t know your worth, people will put a cheap price tag on you.” ~ Matshona Dhliway

I got news for ya…YOU WILL TOO! When you  begin to accept your self-worth at someone else’s face value, you allow them to mold you. You allow them to determine who you are, what you can do and what’s best for you. You allow them to hypnotize you into believing that you’re better at a discount and who doesn’t love a discount? Well, when it comes to your happiness, you shouldn’t! Get to know yourself so you can attract what’s right for you. Learn to love being your own company first and the company of the right people will follow.

Now that Me has met Myself and I you’re all set to sail the seven seas on a quest for love, right? WRONG! That was just the introduction.

So, how do you find love?

You don’t!

If your only mission is to walk around randomly choosing people and saying, “Hey there! I think you could be ‘The One’, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Plus,

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#1 You’re going to look batshit crazy and

#2  That’s  just not how love works.

First, get rid of the desperation. Find your comfort zone and let your confidence shine. Take your time and meet new people and get to know them because, believe it or not, you’re still getting to know yourself. Put away the application for marriage and pull out the license to have fun, explore and learn. You might be surprised to find out that things you once liked it, you no longer do and the people you once hung out with you have, seemingly, outgrown.

Sound familiar? Find out why here.

Next, what do your expectations look like? Now, I’m not saying that anyone should have to lower their standards but if you’re looking for someone who can take you shopping every week, take you on a vacation every other week, give you a house, car and an allowance you’re not looking for love. You’re not even looking for a fiancé, you’re looking for a financier or a parent. There’s a difference. Get yourself together!

Finally, meeting someone and falling in love is about compatibility. It’s about being the same but different. It’s about being friends. True friends. Best friends. It’s about each person bringing their own individuality to the table and the other person accepting it. If you have not found the true level of comfort in yourself how can you expect the right person to be attracted to who you really are.

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Likewise, its common but absurd to think that you can change whatever you dislike about another person. The only person that you can change is Y.O.U. So to remain fair to yourself, the other person and the situation, doesn’t it make sense to KNOW yourself; To learn what’s acceptable to you and what is absolutely non-negotiable about you before you add someone else to the equation?

That’s like going to a crab-feast that only serves imitation crab meat. Completely false advertising.

Anything else? Yep, but it’s too much to include here so I’ll leave you with this:

  • Find solace in solo pajama parties.
  • Get to know yourself.
  • Find the definition of yourself and make it clear to anyone who shows interest in the meaning.
  • Don’t rush into the thought of love-thoughts change often.
  • Take your time in preparing yourself for the moment love opens your door.

Get to know yourself!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Online Dating and Long Distance Relationships a Long Shot in the Dark?

Do you think online dating and a long distance relationship can actually work?

My opinion:

Let me address these two situations separately. The subject of online dating has been discussed between friends and I on many occasions. When online dating first came on the scene my acceptance of it was negative. My reaction was like many –  you don’t know who you’re speaking to through a computer. After giving it some thought, it dawned on me that there really is no difference between searching for a love interest online vs. organically meeting someone in the streets. You don’t know either one of them. Everything about either meeting is purely superficial. You see the looks. You see the clothing. You hear the voice and their story  and you pretty much develop your impression based on that information. You know absolutely nothing about that person until you ‘get to know them’.  I mean, let’s be honest even if you were introduced to someone through a friend you really don’t know what that person is about. They can be the nicest person ever…as a friend…but turn out to be top-notch a–holes as you get to know them in a relationship. So to that I say, if online dating is your preferred choice for meeting people then go for it.

Long distance relationships is a whole other ball game. For some people it may work for others it’s an absolute waste of time. When considering a long distance relationship there are a lot of things that you need to take into account.

SEX

If sex is no biggie because you have no intention of giving it up to anyone other than the one you wish to marry then, of course for obvious reasons,that should be common ground. If it’s not or even if it’s up for consideration by the other party, I would probably continue my search. That sounds like a daily toss of a coin and what are the odds of it always landing on no sex today?

ATTENTION

How much of it do you need? Are you okay with just telephone calls or quick text messages to say hello? People in long-distance relationships have to have respect for the fact that the other person will not be readily available to them. You can’t just opt-in for a surprise lunch or dinner date or a random movie night. Had a rough day and need a hug? Get a dog, cat, rabbit…whatever will suffice for the moment because your significant other can’t make it. Everything about your interaction is pretty much scheduled. Also, there’s little to no space and friend sharing so you will have to respect the fact that the other person will be having fun with other people. If you thrive for attention, this won’t work for you.

MONEY

When you say long-distance how much does that cost? You will want to schedule a date to see each other. Planning is easy but how much will it be to make it happen? If the cost of travel is too high you should expect to visit about as often as your favorite holiday appears on the calendar. On the other hand you might be able to wing it if the two of you don’t expect extravagant dinners, concert tickets, flowers, and luxury hotel stays (if it’s not appropriate for the visitor to sleep under the same roof).

TRUST

Is it there? Do either of you have an overactive imagination? If, at the first unanswered call, you or your boo thang gets anxiety and starts questioning who the other person is with, please move on. I see jealous and crazy on the horizon.

To sum it up, yes, I do think it’s possible for a long distance relationship to work if boundaries and expectations are made clear early on. Distance can, definitely, be problematic so both parties need to be mentally and emotionally secure before venturing into that realm of dating if you are seeking something more than just a casual relationship.

If you would like my opinion, please complete the contact form below. Name and email are not necessary, however, if you would like notification when your situation will be displayed on The Blog Dahlia, please include an email address.

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Loving Through Addiction

When the magistrate confirmed your vows and pronounced you husband and wife (or husband and husband, or wife and wife-this is reality) that became the most happiest moment of your life. Through thick and thin, sickness and health, til death do you part, you made a promise to always be the person your spouse needed you to be. Not once did you imagine how thick it could become and how thin you would be spread.

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Finding out that your spouse has a drug addiction is the beginning of a long, hard journey to fate – be it sobriety or continued serfage. When substance abuse becomes an issue within a relationship it can cause a severe collapse in trust, respect, and communication. It can create an environment of fear and discomfort  for all those who have to witness it and is especially frightening when there are children involved. Where there was once peace there may now be turmoil. Confusion and anger become a constant equation for hurt that is easily mistaken for hate.

Loving someone with an addiction is far from easy. There may come a time where giving up seems like the only option. Remember that while drug use is a choice, drug addiction becomes an illness and just like any other illness the afflicted individual may need support. There is no quick fix for kicking a habit and the struggle for the user  who wants to quit is just as intense, if not more, than it is for the spouse.

I’m not here to tell you what you should do in this particular situation or how you should react to or treat the person who has the addiction. I would like to share with you some things I feel it’s important to understand.

It’s important for you to recognize when your suffering is enabling the other person to essentially suffer in the way that they choose – in this case by way of drugs. Do you recognize these 5 enabling habits:

  1. Providing money that you know will be used to buy drugs.
  2. Ignoring the issue hoping that it will go away. you may think it’s better to ignore the problem. Maybe if you ignore it- it will eventually go away or maybe you’re just in denial.
  3. Lying and making excuses for them to cover up the habit.
  4. Taking over their responsibilities. Paying their bills, rent or giving them a place to stay can enable them. They will rely on you to take care of their needs.
  5.  Fear. The fifth enabler is ultimately what holds a hellish grip on you. You are either afraid that something may happen to the user if you don’t take care of them or you’re afraid for your safety because the user may make threats if he or she is not given what they want.

You may decide that you’ll confront the problem but every time you confront do it just leads to other problems like arguing, fighting and crying but no resolution. This is not a battle that cam be fought alone. Seek counseling to help you survive and support your loved one in a healthy manner. You may reach out to your church priest or pastor or find a rehabilitation facility.

>It’s important for you to understand that no matter what you do, if the person who has the physical issue of drug addiction is not willing to comply, there’s nothing you can do.

>It’s important for you to understand that although you don’t have the physical issue of drug addiction, you now have the mental and emotional issue of drug addiction and you need to make sure that you’re ok, that your family is safe, and that you’re able to maintain a stable life for both yourself and those who rely on you. Once these things are established, you are ready to provide your spouse with proper support.

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You can expect that there will be a tug-of-war between checking into rehab and continuing bad habits. Unrealistic promises will most likely be made-promises to quit on his or her own just to pacify you. For the sake of your sanity and the success of rehabilitation accept nothing less than enlisting the help of professional services. This will be the hardest time to stick to your guns but don’t give in.

Take the initiative to research rehab facilities and choose the ones that you feel offer the best program. Speak with the program director and gather as much information as you can to provide to your spouse. During your search, be sure to ask if the facility also provides family support .  Although you know the person  who now has the drug addiction  you may not be familiar with the new behaviors they have taken on .  You will benefit from having someone who is able to explain to you and your family what’s going on with your loved one and what you can expect, as time progresses,with and without proper help.

Again I have to reiterate that if the substance abuser has no desire to quit, they won’t. It doesn’t matter what you say. It doesn’t matter what you do. So be realistic on what to expect. Prepare yourself to meet with a lot of resistance. In their weakest moments is when they need you to be the strongest. Make every effort to help them see how much you love them, how much you want them to be happy and how much you will support them on this journey to wellness as long as it doesn’t sacrifice the safety and mental wellness of those directly affected. Just like it’s not easy for you it’s definitely not easy for them.

The Theatrics of Reality

Earlier this month-during the first snow of the season actually, I curled up on my couch under my favorite soft, warm and fuzzy blanket with a cup of chamomile vanilla tea and watched a movie titled Me Before You.

Unfortunately for my husband, he had to venture out that morning for work. Fortunately for my husband, him being at work allowed him to miss watching this movie with me.

An unspoken pact that I made with myself was that, this year, I was going to step out of my comfort zone (more like my holding cell). I was going to do new things, meet new people and build new relationships. In true baby step fashion, that’s exactly what I’m setting out to do.

As intended, I am making strides at purposely interacting with new people. It’s actually not so bad. Every now and again, however; the introvert in me taps me on the shoulder to ask me what the heck am I doing but, so far, I’ve been able to ignore the summoning of her call.

I have to admit that starting this blog has allowed me to come in contact with some interestingly talented individuals. This particular movie was not my usual genre of entertainment but it was a recommended watch by a fellow blogger so why not, right?

My blogger comrade wrote a review about the movie and I’m glad she did. I know you were probably expecting to hear me say the movie was awful. Especially since I mentioned that my husband was fortunate enough to not be able to see it. Well, it wasn’t and he was. This movie induced a waterworks convention that he would not have appreciated.

Under normal circumstances, I’m sure I would not have been moved by the sappy storyline of a romantic drama. Especially since I consider myself to be a horror movie connoisseur with a dash of mystery, splash of sci-fi and drop of fantasy.

ME voluntarily watch and enjoy a romance anything? Rubbish!! ME identify with the visibly subliminal message of something associated with a romance anything? PREPOSTEROUS!

But I did.

Me Before You made me think about the choices I made in my own life and the many moments realization confirmed that a change was needed.

“I don’t want you to be tied to me… to the restrictions on my life. I don’t want you to miss out on the things someone else could give you.”                         -Will Traynor, Me Before You.

The light bulb turns on.💡

It took a long time before I realized that person was me. I was the someone else who could give me the things I was missing out on. I was the one who had mentally handcuffed myself to the restrictions of someone else’s life and tried to grow based on his limits; not realizing that my limits hadn’t even been born yet and his wasn’t equipped to be stretched-at least not to the reaches of my potential.

Don’t get your undies in a bunch. This is not a feminist statement. It’s a realist observation.

I don’t think you understand me so let me explain.

I spent many years (more than I care to specify) in a relationship filled with more violence and tears than I wish to remember but can’t forget. I spent years trying to get someone to see the good in me- to the point where I stopped seeing the good in myself. All that resonated to him about me was all the bad he saw in everyone else. Every step I took in a positive direction seemed to catapult him into a 180 degree paradox. Eventually turning me into a real life version of Disney’s Maleficent and sans my true ability to smile.

I get the ‘every relationship has its ups and downs’ spiel but neither one of us was able–come on, let’s just call a spade a spade– neither one of us was SMART ENOUGH to call quits to something that was supposed to have sizzled then fizzled after a few months. Given the history of that situationship, I can admit that I was broken.

How broken? Like the mother of every child who has ever skipped down the street and purposely stepped on a crack kind of broken. I’m pretty sure that a lot of who I little-girl-dreamed myself to be was dreamsnatched never to be seen again.

Maybe that’s not so accurate.

A dream can always be revamped. It just takes a strong mind to manifest it and a strong will to finalize it.

~Liz McKenzie

It wasn’t easy to find my ‘Alright! Enough is enough! See ya later… unless I see ya first’ breaking point. This was the one time when my high tolerance for pain and suffering was clueless; and my Mother Teresa love for humanity GPS lead me astray. Being forced to make the decision to bungee jump off a cliff or tear down the wall that was pushing me towards the cliff was my turning point.

With or without rope, I’m not jumping off of anything! The wall had to go. It was one of the scariest things I have done. Leaving the familiar, no matter how unhealthy, is not an easy thing. But let me tell you how fresh the air is on the other side. My ozone gained another layer.

So, to anyone who is being suffocated by the restrictions of someone else, I know I don’t know your situation. Your blues may not be like mine [were] but we share the same 365 days a year, 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. That time doesn’t wait and it’s not coming back. Find your potential and own it. You’re worth it!

“Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle.”-Will Traynor, Me Before You

 

A Breath of Not So Fresh Air.

Hi Liz,

I have a coworker who is a very nice lady in her 40’s. When I first started my job she was assigned to help train me and she did an excellent job. She never made me feel silly if I forgot something and she was always patient in explaining. The problem is, since day 1, I have smelled an odor coming from her. It’s not always a strong odor but it is, definitely, a persistent one. We share the same office space and, even when she is not there, the odor always is. I have pinpointed that the smell is coming from her chair and I’ve tried spraying it with a fabric freshener but the outcome is never a positive one. I even switched her chair to one from another office but, after a couple of days, the smell came back.

How do I approach her about this smell? It’s becoming too much to deal with but I also do not want to hurt her feelings.

 

My opinion:

It may be time to get your HR manager or supervisor involved. Have him or her be the deliverer of bad news, so to speak. Even though you mean well, your actions may create a hostile work environment that will make it nearly impossible to function in.

It may seem unlikely to you, but sometimes people are not aware that they have an offensive odor coming from their body. Sometimes, they may know that they have something going on but they don’t think it’s strong enough to catch the nose of anyone else in the immediate area. Maybe this particular coworker is having a medical issue that she may need to follow up with a doctor. Maybe she just needs to be coached on how to properly clean her body and her clothing. Whatever the issue leave it in the hands of your manager or supervisor. Don’t run the risk of saying the wrong thing even if it’s with the right intention. It’s not always well received.

That’s just my opinion.

 

If you would like my opinion, please complete the contact form below. Name and email are not necessary, however, if you would like notification when your situation will be displayed on The Blog Dahlia, please include an email address.

A Wedding Invitation: Come One But Not All

Hi!

I’m getting married this year. My fiancé and I have decided that we want an intimate setting for the ceremony with only our immediate family members in attendance. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by not inviting them but we also do not want to create a bigger expense than we can afford. Any suggestions on the best way to pull this off?

My opinion:

Happy New Year and congratulations!

Are you familiar with the old saying, ‘You can’t please all of the people all of the time’? This is one of those situations. Your wedding is a special day for you and your future spouse.  It can also be very stressful making arrangements and keeping up with all the planning and preparation that goes into it. With that in mind, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a smaller wedding. Don’t feel obligated to include people just because you know of them, especially if a large guest list oversteps the boundaries of your budget.

You’ve indicated that you wanted an intimate ceremony. Are you also planning a reception? It’s not a rare thing to have a small ceremony or a trip to the Justice of the Peace for a quick I do and then celebrate the night away with friends and family. I’m not sure which season you are planning to wed but you may want to consider hosting the reception in your home or backyard or that of a friend or family member during warmer months, or in the home if the weather is not so compliant. Local community centers can be a very inexpensive way to go and may include the rental of tables and chairs. You do have to supply your own decor so shop around for sales and deep discounts. The internet may prove to be your best ally for this.

Other ways to save, if you are considering a reception include enlisting the help of family and friends. You can save lots of money by:

  • Having someone you know who enjoys taking pictures be the amateur photographer for your wedding. It saves money for you and gives them great content for their portfolio.
  • Have the best family cooks cater the venue instead of hiring outside caterers. Do it yourself=money saver.
  • If you know someone who can get the tunes right ask them to lend a hand.
  • If it’s not too late, make your own invitations it’s easy and it saves big time.
  • If regular paper products won’t suffice, go for ‘like real’ paper plates, cups and utensils. It’s cheap, makes for easy cleanup, and adds a touch of elegance because it actually looks real.

If you are looking to stick to a simple ceremony and dinner at your favorite restaurant, just be honest with those people who may take some offense if they don’t get that invite in the mail. Pulling a rabbit out of a hat is much easier than testing the limits of your bank account.

Good luck to you and whatever you decide. Best wishes for happiness and prosperity to you and your spouse.

If you would like my opinion, please complete the contact form below. Name and email are not necessary, however, if you would like notification when your situation will be displayed on The Blog Dahlia, please include an email address.

Your Home is the Holder of a Myriad of Memories

Everyone can agree that any house with children is a busy one. There’s no shortage of laundry, mess, or noise. On one of my late night up alone excursions (anytime you find time to be alone when you have children is like going on an excursion), I had some time to think.

The house was a totally silent work of art and this was the perfect time to enjoy it. There was no need to ‘fear the silence’ as most people residing in a child inhabited home has done all over the world. You know the formula- silence+child=trouble. All was well in the McKenzie household. The children were peacefully asleep as well as my husband. The dog was curled up with me as I lay on the couch watching the hilarities being displayed in the reruns of the TV sitcom Family Matters. The cat didn’t need anything so he didn’t care what I was doing as long as I didn’t disturb him.

Looking at the silly antics on TV, I began to think about all the funny things that go on in my home on a daily basis. First, I began comparing the difference in behavior between that of my cat and dog. My dog thought he was a huge 70 pound cat on most days and my cat thought he was an 11 pound compact pit bull on others. Their personalities were like night and day. My dog was always affectionate and my cat only displayed affection, annoyingly so I might add, when he wanted you to know that his food bowl was empty or, at least, what he considered empty. Together they are a modern-day Tom and Jerry or Roadrunner and Wile E coyote duo. One is always chasing the other. Which usually starts with the dog trying to greet the cat the way dogs greets anyone. Unfortunately for him, the cat is not fond of anyone sniffing in his ‘backyard’ and he is very animated in letting the dog know this.

Those two alone can give you hours of laughs but what about the rest of my crew? I did a mental review of days past and concluded that my house has seen many eventful times. If it could talk, oh the tales it would tell. Each member of my immediate family has contributed their share of fun and laughter throughout the years. The invisible eyes of my home, I am sure, has laughed until it cried and shielded its vision because the outcome couldn’t be good.

Children have such a fantastical way of adding charm to a home. My oldest son, for instance, thought it would be appropriate to rub ketchup on the cat. His reasoning was that he wanted to prove that the dog would not eat him. Hypothesis proven true. This same dog had a whole jar Vaseline rubbed on her. (This was our first dog, in case you noticed a change of gender from above. She, sadly, passed on at the ripe old age of 16 a few years ago). We still have not been able to determine what my oldest daughter’s reasoning was for that one. My youngest daughter was the queen of getting her head stuck between the bars of the banister. Finally, my youngest son developed a foot fetish before he developed his motor skills for walking. He had very strict rules. If you had pretty feet, you were allowed to pick him up. How did he know what your feet looked like? He would, wordlessly demand that you take your shoes and socks off so that he could see them. An example of how serious he was; he would not let my sister pick him up if she did not have socks on and her feet really weren’t that bad. He just had higher standards for the toes.

People who are fortunate enough to grow up (or survive) living in a house with children have the greatest stories ever to be told. The smallest things can make the best memories. I think I will always give an embarrassed laugh when I see a particular friend of the family who once wore a purple suit to my son’s 1st birthday party. He was greeted by the excitement of a child who has just received the biggest bestest gift in the whole entire world. My oldest son ran over, hugged him super tight and called him Barney… the Dinosaur! That was probably the first time he had ever spoken with such clear precision.

Even with the embarrassing moments, I wouldn’t change the times I’ve had with my children. These are the memories that I will enjoy retelling for infinity. It’s not always easy, but even in your most difficult times any moment spent with your family are memories in the making. Try to enjoy every moment you have with them. They don’t last forever and you don’t realize it until that moment is gone.