It takes a lot to be a cheerleader. Do you have what it takes? Let’s find out.
· The uniform. We’ve all seen a version of it. Short skirt. Sweater vest kind of top. Both parts equally skimpy and flattering. The uniform is typically in the colors of whatever school or organization the cheerleaders are representing.
· Energy. I’ve never seen a tired cheerleader. Have you? They’re all so perky and excited and yelling at the top of their lungs to get their team motivated and stay that way.
· Grace/coordination. These two things go hand in hand. They have to if you’re going to be on top of the pyramid or one of the girls who are holding up the girl on top of the pyramid. You don’t want to drop anyone, that’s for sure.
So what’s the verdict? Do you have what it takes to be a cheerleader? If you checked your closet and didn’t find the cute uniform or realized you were a bit short on the energy meter and aren’t coordinated enough to text and walk at the same time…well, then you may not have what it takes to be a typical cheerleader.
You may still have what it takes to be an ultimate cheerleader though. How about we inventory the criteria for this? To be an ultimate cheerleader you need the following:
· Life experience. If you’ve been there and done that, you qualify. We’ve all had some kind of life experience that allows us to relate to others. Whether you let someone cry on your shoulder or remind them they have the strength to overcome, life experiences help us stay the course.
· Positive talk. If you’re the kind of person who is often referred to as “positive” or “helpful” or “encouraging”, you’ve got this. You can use your voice and your words through any means possible to encourage others and help them stay motivated.
· Dreams and goals. If you have dreams and goals for your life that you never give up on, you can be an ultimate cheerleader. Lift up others and they’ll return the favor. Talk about your goals and dreams and ask your friends and family members about theirs. We can all run the race together if we use the buddy system.
Everyone needs a cheerleader in life; whether that person is your best friend, your sibling, or even you. Having the ultimate cheerleader in your corner is going to help. Don’t give up. Share your goal/challenge in the comments below and let’s cheer one another on to the finish line…and if it helps, go out and buy a cute outfit to wear along the way. Do you have an ultimate cheerleader? Leave a comment and give him or her a shout out: Two! Four! Six! Eight! Who do you appreciate??
Last week when our daughter was in the hospital recovering from a skull fracture and concussion (please people –wear helmets), I was struck by a most unusual thought. It was early in the morning Tuesday and I was up writing when the nurse came in. She was a sweetheart; they all were.
Anyway, she was checking on our daughter and then took the time to ask me how I was doing. She asked if I had any questions about Ambyr, the care she was receiving, or the plan for later that day. I asked her when the doctor would be making her rounds. My plan was to go to the clinic to work while my husband stayed with our daughter for the day. I was hoping to get an update on discharge before my first meeting.
As we were talking, it occurred to me that I had mild anxiety about leaving Ambyr’s bedside for the day. Not because I don’t trust my husband but because I have a history of mild and not so mild anxiety. It must have shown through in our conversation because the nurse shared her words of wisdom with me.
“That’s great that she’ll have some time with dad. You know, I grew up in a two-parent household and I’ve always been a daddy’s girl. Kids need the balance of both parents.”
Interesting. It got me thinking. It got me thinking that all too often women complain about the lack of involvement from their child’s father. And that’s when it hit me. Men are douche bags.
Not all men, of course, but some. Some men don’t participate in childrearing and their only contribution to a child’s life is the sperm they willingly offered up the night of conception. I started to wonder why. Why are some men douche bags?
And then it hit me. Some men are douche bags because some women train them to be. Don't believe me? Check out Pinterest. On Pinterest when you type “men are” into the search engine, the results are astounding.
Yeah, that was the outcome. Sad isn’t it? And as I explored the various boards it just got worse. Cartoons, pictures, quotes, and other nonsense about how men are douche bags. Type “men are great” into the search box though and you get pictures of clothing, eye glasses, and men without their shirts on. One pin had the quote “Men are f**king wimps”…yeah, that spells out greatness doesn’t it?
I know, you might be wondering why this is the fault of women since some of those pins had pictures of men on them with the quotes about how stupid men are. The reason I think we can blame (some) women for society’s view of men is because they’re constantly spouting it.
Scroll through your Facebook feed and see how many women post pictures and quotes about how men are nothing more than “your biggest and oldest child that requires the most adult supervision.” Or, in memory of Robin Williams, watch the movie Mrs. Doubtfire. That movie was an excellent depiction of how women in all their superiority think that a man who has fun with his kids is too childlike to raise them.
Shame on women for telling men they’re douche bags so often that they start to believe it and live it. Maybe all those Pinterest pins that talk about women being crazy are right.
Last Tuesday, I went to the clinic and worked while my husband spent the day in the hospital with our daughter. Did he do things differently than I would have? Yes. Does that mean he did things wrong? No.
He took care of her, helped her walk to the bathroom, measured her urine, ate lunch with her, watched Shark Week with her, and spent time with Ambyr and her friend when she came to visit. He texted me periodic updates on how she was doing and what the doctor had to say.
Is my husband a douche bag? No. Not even close. He’s amazing. He’s an amazing husband and an amazing father. My life and the lives of our children would be miserable if it wasn’t for this man.
What about the man in your life? Or the man in your child’s life? It doesn’t matter what the relationship status is between you and your baby’s daddy; what matters is the relationship between father and child. Don’t teach your child that her father is a douche bag. And if you’ve been doing that, stop it. Admit you were wrong. Apologize –to your child and her father.
It’s time to man up, women. Don’t be the reason some men are douche bags.
Over the weekend, I thought about this blog entry. I wondered what I was going to write about. I fished for topics when chatting with my husband. I reflected on past topics to see if anything new sprouted from them. And by late afternoon yesterday, I still had...well, nothing.
Now that morning is here and I've had my sleep interrupted every hour by the nurses caring for my youngest daughter, I'm awake. Partly because of being woke up every hour and partly because this is when I wake up every morning during the week and the brain & body have a way of remembering things like that.
Which got me to thinking about this blog post again and how our brains work. Or at least how my brain works.
For me, my memory is a blessing and a curse. My brain has decided to store so many memories, both good and bad. Right next to those memories is anxiety. For as long as I can remember, though I've not given it much thought, I have just lived in survival mode.
This comes from many things, I'm sure. Having been abused in multiple ways over the years while growing up, from living in poverty as a child, from being in a previous marriage full of strife and verbal abuse.
Life happens. We make choices. We're born into situations we have no control over. We experience things. And when a person experiences trauma (or multiple traumas) our brains & our bodies respond to that.
In my case, it's by having my guard up. Always on the look out for the 'what if's' or the worst case scenarios or the events that can easily trigger the need to be in survival mode a little bit longer.
Last week, I had a heart to heart with my husband about my anxieties. He helped me and I've worked to let my guard down. To be more aware of when I was living in survival mode so that I could remember that I was safe and could just practice living instead of surviving. My husband is good for things like that.
With my mind mulling over all these things this early Monday morning, I knew I wanted to capture it with words. So here goes:
Yesterday when my daughter was brought to the hospital following an ATV accident, I didn't dwell on the 'what if's' or worst case scenarios. I stayed present in the moment. I focused on my surroundings. I experienced the fear that comes with a situation like this and God brought me through it. I didn't allow myself to worry about the future, but allowed myself to give thanks when she remembered her name and the season and that she'd spent the previous day painting the porch with her dad, which explained the paint on her legs and feet the medical staff kept asking her about (that she couldn't scrub off the day before). I stayed grounded in the present by holding my husband's hand and looking at the rooms we were in (triage, ER, peds room) and talking with my other children who all stopped what they were doing to be by their sister's bedside.
I didn't just survive it; I lived it. And in doing so, I am getting through it one moment at a time...all while getting in some writing. Because my brain also does that funny thing where if you're in a setting that relates to your current work in progress, it demands that you notice it and file it away for when you get back to your WIP. And in my case, reminds me to take some pictures of said setting because the visual aid will be helpful later on when life settles down again.
It never ceases to amaze me this expectation of perfection. Straight As, the perfect body, the perfect pitch, or resume, or style, or _____________. Fill in the blank and someone, somewhere expects us to deliver to the point of perfection.
It also never ceases to amaze me that we never deliver. Sure, there are some things we can do really well. There are people out there (maybe even you) who can bake an excellent cake or pull together one of those amazing stylish outfits from things rummaged up at the local Goodwill. Maybe you can even put together that incredible pitch that lands the promotion or the account or the book deal. But is it ever “perfect”?
And honestly, why should we ever want to be perfect? Once we’ve accomplished that, there is nowhere else to go. Perfect is the last stop on the road. As every good traveler knows, it’s not the destination that matters; it’s the journey of getting there.
Thinking along the lines of the journey, how about trying something new? Something…not so perfect. Trust me on this…
· Celebrate your failures. You’re going to have them along the way, why not enjoy them a little bit? Didn’t get that promotion? Go see a movie. Got rejected by a publisher? Throw a dinner party.
· Try again. It’s the whole “if you don’t succeed, try, try again” kind of thinking. So you didn’t make it this time, what about next time? Polish your resume, edit your book again, and practice your speech.
· Learn something new. Maybe there was something you missed or a trick you didn’t know about. Take some time to study the art you were trying to…um…perfect.
· Talk to yourself. There are a million things you do well! If you can’t remember them, try standing in front of a full-length mirror and reminding yourself of these things. If negative self-talk goes a long way, then positive self-talk will go even further.
· Don’t give up on yourself or your dream. In the end, it may not look like you originally envisioned it, but it’ll still be beautiful. Just keep going.
No one is perfect. Not me, not you, and not that person over there who has achieved her goal. The difference between the gold medalist and the rest of us is that she didn’t quit. So, if you can’t be perfect go for something else. Try perseverance. It starts with a “P” too.