Friday, March 23, 2012

Back in the day...

Technology today is amazing and the rate at which it advances will make your head spin. At least it does mine. I have always been able to keep up with the latest in technology, but these last couple of years has been a struggle. It seems like everytime I get used to a new device or operating system, a newer, better version is out, and once again, I am behind. I like to think that things are changing too quickly for me to keep up and has nothing to do with the fact that I am getting older and am just having trouble understanding.

I remember my first computer. It was a Texas Instruments. It was nothing more than a keyboard that you hooked up to a TV set. That was so long ago, and technology was going at a  snail’s pace compared to the speed of today. It was a good ten years later, at least, that the personal computer was no longer a luxury item. Then came the Word Wide Web. The “information super highway”. A plethora of information at our finger tips... as long as you didn’t mind the time it took to just get connected. And heaven forbid someone call and boot you off.

Let’s go back even further, my Mom can remember going to her neighbor’s house as a child to watch “The Wizard of Oz” on their brand new, and very expensive color TV set. When my Grandmother was a kid, they still had outhouses and ice boxes instead of refrigerators. I used to get frustrated when my Grandmother would call and ask for help with her computer until one day when I really took the time to think about all of the changes in the world that she has lived through and adapted to. To go from no indoor plumbing to sending emails and browsing the web, all I can say is wow, that is quite impressive. So if she could manage to keep up at a decent pace with technology, I can too. I’m just sayin’.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

This too shall pass...

This too shall pass. At least that is what I keep telling myself. This past week has been a daunting one. I am starting to feel overwhelmed, and trust me, that is not a word that is easy for me to say. As I mentioned before, I have a Superwoman complex. I always take on more than I should and sometimes feel the stress of it all. But this is different. On top of my normally overbooked schedule, I have been making major lifestyle changes, I have just turned another year older, and I am going down a very bumpy road in my personal life. It is almost more than I can deal with.

But this is not about the obstacles in my life . This is about navigating through them and moving on. There was a time in my life, when I was much younger, that I would have long ago thrown my hands up in the air and cried in defeat. But that was a lifetime ago, and I was an inexperienced young woman back then. I have since learned that letting myself get down emotionally is not an option I want to chose, so I have taught myself to just tuck and roll. When the ride is over, I pick myself up, brush myself off and keep on going. I have come to realise that if you have a plan, determination, and faith that everything will eventually be alright, you can get through most anything. A good support system always helps too.

I am having a difficulty dealing with everything this time though. My normal coping skills are not enough, so I am giving myself a kick in the pants. Kind of like an emotional jump start. I have my plans in place and my fabulous support system, but I just need the extra willpower to get my determination going. I have my eye on the prize, but I need to have more faith to help me get there. If anyone else is having a rough time and  needs a kick, consider this yours too. I know I’m not the only one fighting an uphill battle right now, so lets do this together. If you are feeling like me in needing a boost, join me, and let’s decide now that no matter how hard the struggles, no matter what hurdles are in our path, we will not give in to desperation. We will stand strong, knowing that we are not alone, and that this too shall pass. I’m just sayin’.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Mother's Promise

A couple weeks back I wrote an article for my son’s girlfriend, my daughter, and all young ladies growing up and trying to find themselves. Well, this time I am writing for my son. My son and I are at a place in our lives right now where I think it is important that he be reminded of the things I promised him, and of how strong a Mother’s love is and always will be. When I found out I was pregnant, I made promises both to my self and to him, as I’m sure most parents, especially Mothers, do.

I was young when I had my son, but from the moment I learned he was coming I knew that he was going to change my life forever. Along with being young, I was immature. Having a good time was the most important thing in my life. I was in a downward spiral on a path to self destruction. In one moment, all that changed. Now I was going to be a mom. I realized then, that I needed him as much as he was going to need me. I promised my unborn baby that I would grow up and be strong for him. I swore that I would love him with every breath in my body and defend him against this big tough world. I swore that as long as he needed me, I would be his voice, his advocate. I would fight for him always. The love I had for him before he was even born was so strong, it was almost frightening. That love has only grown stronger over the years.

Now he is a young man on the verge of adulthood. He is at a difficult time in his life, and struggling with many obstacles. The road has been long and at times bumpy, and there is still so much more to go, but I am so grateful that I was blessed with the job of being his Mother. I couldn’t imagine a greater honor. I know he thinks he is outgrowing the need for me, and in some aspects he is, but that does nothing to lessen the fierce desire I have to protect him. I am trying to back off, but I think it is important that he know I will always be here. I understand things are changing and there are rough waters ahead. When you want me, I will be here. When you need me, I am still and will always be your advocate. I will defend you against this big tough world, when you are beaten down, and I will help pick you up and walk with you when it is to hard too do it alone. So when you are ready, talk to me. I’m just sayin’.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Nature vs nurture

Nature vs nurture. The timeless debate on whether it is the environment you are raised in or your basic make up, your genes, that determines the person you are. Your intelligence, personality, your emotional and social behavior, all of these fall into play in this age old discussion. I know why I look like my mother, it’s genetic. But why do I act just like my mother? Is that also because of genetics? Or Did I come to have this sparkling personality after years of watching her? A monkey see, monkey do type of scenario.   

Some, including the philosopher Plato, believe that certain things just come naturally to us. They are inborn regardless of our influences and environment. This is the nature theory. So if I were to go along with this way of thinking, the characteristics I share with my mom, such as our strong-willed and assertive personality, are not because this is how I was taught to be, but rather how I was born to be. Whether I was raised by my family or a family of timid people, I would still be me. I would still have my same authoritative and sometimes controlling personality regardless, because, to quote Lady Gaga, “Baby, I was born this way.”

The nurture argument follows the “blank slate” train of thought, or tabula rasa, meaning that the individual is born with a fresh mind. No built in apps, so to say. What you are taught, the conditions you are raised in, even the little things you observe in others, these are all factors that make up who you are. Nurture believers would say that the reason I passive aggressively tap my foot when I am impatient is from years of watching that same behavior in my mother. That if I had been brought up by the aforementioned timid family, the foot tapping would probably not be an action I would have witnessed, therefore, not something I would find myself doing.

My personal belief is that it is actually both nature and nurture that make us who we are. A little from column A, and a little from column B. Think about it, if you took a lion cub and raised him like you would a common house cat it may act like other house cats, but inside, he is still a lion, and at times, will act like a lion. I’m just sayin’.