Thursday, January 8, 2015

It's all about how you SEE...

See: 1) to perceive with the eyes; look at. 2) to perceive mentally, discern, understand. 3) to accept or imagine or suppose as acceptable. [adapted from]

I am participating in Ali Edwards: One Little Word again this year and my word , SEE, literally found me. Actually it knocked me straight on my ass. I had NO choice but to have SEE as my word for 2015.

Here’s how my “word” search played out:

Roughly 2 months ago I noticed that there seemed to be more and more disrespect creeping into our home. This is something that Jon and I do not tolerate. I mentioned it to him and he said that he had noticed it also. So we got a little tougher on our boys (we have 3 sons, ages 9, 7, & 6). By Christmas break, I was at my breaking point, and let’s face it, by Christmas break everyone is needing a break.
I asked a child to put his clothes away…. no response. He just kept reading his book. So I asked again, just a bit louder, because he is like his mom and gets very into his books and most likely did not hear me. I got a glance (you know the one where they are perturbed you are interrupting them, a parents favorite look to get…) and he went back to reading his book. I literally felt the thread that was barely holding my patience in place SNAP. I went full volume (not a shining moment in my parenting history) and those that know me, know I am a loud person by nature. Add mad to that and ear drums could potentially shatter. Young son SLAMMED his book shut and said (in a voice that was too much like mine) “I heard you! I just wanted to finish the chapter.” Me: “No, you were straight ignoring me. IF you wanted to finish the damn chapter you should have asked.” Son: “You would have said no.” Me: “That very well may be, but just ignoring me and doing as you please is disrespectful. It stops now.”

Fast forward to a couple days later: I am texting a friend when another son comes to me asking a question. I kept on texting, not wanting to loose my train of thought, and asked him to “hold on”. Finished the text and… Me: “What's up buddy?” Son “I’m writing a story to read to you!” Me: “Cool!! Let me hear it.” Son “A snake ate a rat. Then I ran into the wall to get my cat. I like cats because… [text alert]they are so nice. [I glace at my phone, not my friend but a relative] … And then the building was on fire… [I send a quick reply] … cause I broke my leg! THE END.” Me: “Great story!” Son: “Thanks mom.”

So how did his leg get broke? What happened after he said he liked cats? How did the building catch on fire? Great questions. I missed those bits of the story because I was multi-tasking. And yes, that is how I see it. Multi-tasking. I will find his notebook and read it the story again in a bit, is how I justify my multi-tasking. But wait. Did I hear a bit of dejection in his voice? hmmm. Is that how our kids SEE it? hmmmm…

How many times are we “multi-tasking” when we should be giving our children/loved one 100% of our attention?
  • washing dishes while helping with homework
  • sending a quick text while listening to a story
  • reading an email while talking on the phone OR while sitting at the supper table
  • sitting in front of the TV, with it on, while spouse/child tells you about their day OR you are trying to tell them about your day.
  • trying to listen to a spouse/child with the radio on.
  • making supper while going over the next days schedule with your spouse & trying to listen to a kiddo read through their word ring.
  • trying to listen to a spouse/child while thinking about your to do list or what you need to do to get dinner ready.
The list is endless. So I ask you this: What is the difference between me “multi-tasking” and my son “ignoring me to finish the chapter”?

Nothing. Except how each person involved SEES/PERCEIVES it. And this realization is what knocked me on my ass.

I have been the one teaching our children to be disrespectful and then punishing them for it. That’s great parenting right there. (for those that don’t know me, yes, that is sarcasm.)

So for 2015 I am going to work/struggle to SEE more and multi-task less. I am going to SEE my kids for who they are, NOT how I perceive them to be but how THEY perceive themselves to be. Who they want to become and help guide them to be that person. I am going to SEE my husband for the awesomely flawed and perfect man for me that he is. I am going to SEE my friends and extended family more. I am going to SEE joy and goodness in the everyday. I am going to SEE my self worth. I am going to SEE a better relationship with God. I am going to SEE change. And realistically, I am going to SEE failure (after all, it is just a word. Not a magic wand. But oh, to SEE what one little word can do, when you make it visible!!). And I am going to be okay with that (or at least work on being okay with that) because through failure comes change. I am going to SEE (try really hard) myself letting go of my old ways.

To let go is to change. The only way to change, is to just start. And the only way to start is to take the first step. I may trip and fall flat on my face, but at least it’s a start. I will SEE myself, with help from my established (never call them old) friends and the new friends I will make along this journey, get up, brush myself off and keep going.

I am excited to SEE what 2015 has to offer. I am excited to SEE where this path I am setting myself and our little family on while lead.

Hope to SEE you along the journey! (And if you happen to see me face down because I just tripped, please help me back up...or give me a swift kick in the ass to get me going again or hand me a bottle of wine or cup of coffee. Which ever you SEE as appropriate!!)