author moments, awareness, challenges

It’s Been A Week

This week is one for the record books. 

So much to do in my own day-to-day life. The normal tasks. The one-off tasks. The fitness regimen. The community service. The people time. Travel. Life a-z. Then a boom hits. A real shocker nobody could ever plan for. Indirect connection. Direct connection. Neither matters when the boom is so hard the shock wave spirals for miles and miles. That’s what happen when a child dies that is interwoven in communities near and far due to school, church and sports connections.

My community is mourning the loss of a young girl. The day-to-day life seems insignificant yet life continues for our family. A guilt one should not want to feel. As a coach of young girls, I check in on social media. I text. I watch. I have to keep an eye out. I see so much hurt. I check in with other parents to see how grief is setting in on their home front. I see sadness on faces that normally boast bright smiles. I see prayer groups running non stop. Everyone is trying to get by with a little help from……

God

The community

Family

Friends

Loved ones

Many are holding on to cherished memories. Many are wondering why they didn’t get to say goodbye. Others are thinking why did I not do this or maybe why did I say that. When loss hits without warning so many raw emotions are stirred up. Time has become a thief. Time is no longer an option with that person. The loss of not doing is what is so hard.

Healing has begun for this community in some ways. No one will really ever understand the why behind this incident. None of us will really be exactly the same. Some kids will learn lessons and some will sit in the darkness for many reasons. Life is full of experiences and unfortunately death is one of them. Living through loss is where growth can happen even if it’s extremely hard in the moment. I’m learning how to be a better parent for example. I’m learning how to talk more deeply with other parents on how they are handling this type of grief and/or teaching moments.

I am however not passing judgment on the young girl. I am not passing judgment on the others involved. It’s not my place. It’s also not for me to decide who was in the wrong. My job is to be patient. To learn. To love. To be present. That’s it. Just a support role. A support for whomever needs it. When they need it. Today. Tomorrow. A year from now.

I will think of the color blue a little differently now. The baby blue hue that is a memory of her bright light on the world. A soft color to represent an angel in the distance. May her new journey be one that allows her to soar among the powdery blue skies. 

As one is set to be layed to rest. I pause. I reflect on my choices. My guidance to my kids. This could be me. This could be you. This tragedy can happen in your community. Teens are not invincible despite their beliefs. It’s great to feel invincible but we all know as adults how dangerous feeling invincible can be. For now I’m one of the lucky ones. I get to hug my teen. I get to continue the process of looking at colleges. I get to support my teen during this grief.

My heart goes out to the parents who don’t have that ability any longer. My strength goes out to the families whose children’s lives were spared that night. For they feel a different kind of grief and relief and guilt. My resilience is going out to the family of the one who ultimately has to face the legal system for this unfortunate situation. Another angle of this dilemma many may forget about but one that is equally challenging. Families will hurt for years to come. 

As I close my eyes to drift into a peaceful state I say a quiet prayer for all. Everyone needs something. May peace be granted to all in the ways that each needs for healing. I am also praying for healing of all involved in the other teen incidents that just happened to occur close by in the past few weeks as well.

The teen shot leaving school.

The teen stabbed with a box cutter in the school bathroom.

The football player gunned down at the mall.

Signing off as a lucky mom today. Heartbroken for the kids and families impacted by these tragedies. May this be a reminder that we as parents are not invincible. We can all be faced with that uncertainty one day. Stay humble. Be kind. Do what you can to help others. You may need the support one day.

awareness

The Wait

Recently I was put in a situation where I had to wait patiently in a lobby. It was odd. Such idle time on my hands. Nobody talked because there was no congregating in the lobby. Ugly floors to stare at that seemed to be dated back to 1970 or before. Sticky mouse traps visible in most corners, under the water fountain, and in bathroom stalls. It was an odd an eerie place to spend my time.

The highlight of my gloomy experience was jamming to country music on my AirPods while others sat in silence. It was as if we were all sentenced to silent lunch. I took photos of my shoes. I wrote blog posts. I people watched. I twiddled my thumbs. The time seemed to barely move. Similar to the others that waited. Government offices are such a joy to visit. It’s as if they are designed to suck the life out of you as soon as you cross the threshold.face with hand over mouth

A walk to the bathroom seemed like an extravagant stroll in the park. Maybe the lights were slightly brighter. Maybe the sound of the water running was a soothing sound among the silence on the other side of the door. I might have even felt the urge to flush multiple times in case anyone was counting the flushes on the other side of the door.

My mind was exploring the lobby of nothingness. An hour seemed like eternity. I wondered about many things. Why would anyone want to work in this setting? Why would anyone feel the need to silence a hallway or waiting room? Is community such a bad thing? Forty ceiling tiles. Very dusty air vents. Uncomfortable wooden chairs. Chipped walls. The things that piqued my interest while I waited. 

As I wait my turn, I am ever so thankful this gloomy place is not on my regular list of places to frequent. If it was I’m sure I would age very quickly. As I close out this rant about the lonely lobby I hope you can giggle next time you are sitting in that government office thinking about this rant. I also hope you like my comfy and classy looking shoes.

awareness, challenges

Divorce

The D word. The word many find impolite. The word many hide from talking about. I suppose that is why I decided to blog about the topic.

In life the word divorce comes up a lot. I think the latest stat shows 44% per google for 2022 referring to marriages that end in divorce. Keeping with this it’s healthy to talk about it. It might also take time for those getting divorced to process and work through the life changes.

In any situation many have to weigh pros and cons. Dividing wealth. Separating living spaces. Was infidelity involved? Are kids part of the equation? Was there a trigger that caused the road leading to divorce?

No matter where you start the process. No matter where you end up after the divorce. You will move on. You will prosper in time. You will find your way. You will be able to spread your wings again. I have hope for you. I have hope for your soon to be ex-partner.

Difficult roads are ahead but in time the path will clear for both of you. Strength, resilience, and positive attitudes will help ease the heartaches and headaches as you move through these uncharted grounds.

To all those out there starting this process, amidst the chaos of divorce, living the aftermath, or even co-parenting. I see you pushing forward. I see you making strides. Never give up. There is a place for you in this world even on your darkest day.

Should you know somebody struggling in this area be a good listener. Never cast judgment until you have officially walked a day in their shoes. Which of course is impossible. Be that person they remember that loved them when they didn’t love themselves the way they should.

Make the D word more about your growth than your past. Your past is something you learn from your destiny still lies ahead. The future for you is brighter than you know.

anonymous letters, awareness

Crazy Train

Whoot! Whoot!

The crazy train has arrived. 

This special little train has arrived in your community. Who is on the train? Who is talking about this? Who isn’t talking about it?

Is this scenario real or is it fake news? This story simulates a real life drama you see on television but you are starring in the grand show. What on earth am I about to share with you? I am talking about a helicopter parent dropping her bat shit craziness literally on your door step. Yes this happens more than people want to admit. I don’t have any idea why either nor do I want to speculate.

My story is based on events this week in a suburb of a major metropolitan city. A mom literally lost her marbles and went rogue when her child didn’t win a coveted county athletic award. I kid you not, she lost her ability to see how silly her actions were and how her negative behavior could scar those connected to her, including her child. 

I was in shock. I was awe struck. My mouth might have been left wide open at one point. A helicopter parent actually created a fictitious award for her high school athlete who did NOT earn her own award. That’s right folks. A parent created a phony award. The woman went to the highest extent to recognize and celebrate her child in the most bizarre fashion. Colored graphics, high resolution photos, prior coach recommendations, prior teammate validation from across town, fancy words describing her athletic prowess, good sportsmanship, and so on. So much effort was put into this award that wasn’t earned. The award was a parental masterpiece in their mind. A mere joke to others. Of course I can’t post the actual award as it would be insensitive to the child.

The helicopter mom even went as far as posting online on the day peers received awards at an actual banquet where athletes received their own merit award as voted upon by other area coaches. The helicopter parent posted this self-proclaimed award on social media for the community to see. For the entire community to see her overshadow those who actually won an award fair and square. And if that wasn’t enough she blamed the coach for overlooking her child publicly. The helicopter parent didn’t care who’s reputation she tarnished.

This was funny since it’s other coaches who vote, not the actual coach of the home team the kid plays on. Can anyone say meddling helicopter parent? Have you ever encountered this kind of crazy train in your local community? I wish I could go back to my childhood and see if such behavior ever existed around me. I don’t recall.

In the good old days, I played sports for fun. I spent many hours a day outside playing. I spent my summers at the park learning fundamentals in many sports as part of the youth recreation program. We had pick up games. We won and lost but nobody ever complained. Never once would a parent pick a fight with a kid or cause a ruckus over child’s play. It simply wasn’t important.

High school athletics is more competitive. It was then and it is now. Parents were proud back in the day but they didn’t fight their kids’ battles. College athletics is the same as well. It’s the athletes that put in work not the birth givers. Therefore it’s the athletes that earn their spot on the field or their play time and of course their award. It’s their name on the plaque not the birth givers. No parent should have the ability to influence their child’s place on a team in a competitive sport when one reaches high school. It’s absurd. It’s not fair. It doesn’t teach the athlete to compete. It teaches them how to complain to win. It’s bullying.

Let’s dial back to mental health for a moment. What benefit can a parent receive from their child receiving a coveted award that is not earned? Does it fulfill a void from their childhood? Does it win loyal friendships for their child? Does it gain confidence among coaches and peer athletes? I seriously doubt it. 

What I don’t doubt is that it will create a backlash. A derailed train. The child becomes at risk. Said child can be made fun of. Said child can become depressed and withdrawn. Said child can be angry and retaliate as they learned such a skill from their parent, all of which leads to challenges that may not be able to be reversed. This could also create scars that are not physically visible. This could lead the child to suffer in silence. Was the mock award worth it? I doubt it.

As a parent we need to just do better. Kids today are already under pressure due to today’s social norms. These kids don’t need parents adding strain to their already stressful life that is pretty much available 24/7/365 online.

Twitter, Instagram, facebook, group chats, instant messengers, etc are all outlets young adults use to share information. If you don’t want your story on the front page of the news, don’t post it online. It’s that simple.

I know when I post on this blog site not everyone will like what I post. It is okay. There may be some that benefit from my rants. I unfortunately can’t share the outcome of this crazy train as it makes frequent stops in the general community I may or may not call home or homebase. One day it may be your house. Another day it may be a friend’s house. Next week it’s the newbie’s house. Sooner or later the crazy train runs out of stops.

At that point the train parks itself or fixates itself on one poor soul. The train is set for the long haul. Behaviors escalate and those around get scared. What’s next.  A shooting? A fist fight? A shift to private school from public? I don’t have the answers.

What I can say is hard work pays off. Those who fail should work hard to get noticed the next time around. They should ask a coach what should they do in the off season to see success in the future. Display resilience. Be eager to show one’s worth. Don’t run to a birth giver and ask for recognition. An athlete has to be mentally and physically tough. They need to have the ability to push through the hard stuff. Sometimes the hard stuff comes daily.

If one was in the NFL and made a mistake there is a consequence. You get fired, fined or relocated. Your birth giver wouldn’t be able to fight your battles. I could write a whole book on the subject of parents and entitlements. Kids today need to learn to problem solve on their own.

A teacher isn’t going to change the kid’s report card if they fail their class. That’s unheard of. The same principal should apply for awards. If you fail in a season a coach can’t be expected to give an award for less than stellar performance. 

Helicopter parents need to get a hobby. Take up knitting. Buy a coloring book. Find a way to entertain yourself that doesn’t involve living in your kids shoes. It will never work out well for you or your kid. PSA #404.

I would also refer back to “Lessons” post from back in May. It’s one worth rereading a couple times a year.

3Splitz Farm, awareness

Turn the Page

Restless again?

Time to turn the page.

While reading Matthew’s book (noted below) I came across many similarities. For one I had just passed the page about his hometown of Uvalde, TX when the mass shooting took place. He spoke about fond memories of a vacation spot in Navarre Beach, FL where I am set to vacation in a week. He mentioned the great experiences of taking his Airsteam on the road and living the care free while I was riding in my RV reading his book. It was as if I was meant to read this book when I was reading it.

And his cover photo. The look of pondering. A daily view for me. And then there was a little blurb about being restless. The story of my life. Always chasing sparkly objects. Always looking for the next adventure. Always chasing what’s ahead. Never dwelling on what’s behind. The forward progression. Always. 

Turn the page is what I took from the between the lines message or invisible ink. Turn the page in your book. Keep going. Keep moving forward no matter what. Maybe the weeds in life may grow and tangle your best life but they are just weeds. They grow to test you. They teach you, if you listen. When you turn the page new weeds of life may sprout to test you again. They may even teach you a different lesson. Just turn the page.

For me today I turn the page for many things. A new time in life (season). A new basket of experiences through the lens of an RV. A new financial experience after consolidating an investment portfolio. I have weeds, literally and figuratively in front of me, along side of me and so on. I choose to look past the weeds. Everyday.

The weird lesson here is if you stand in your weeds too long you will be covered up in weeds. The weeds of life that can weigh you down and not allow you to see the beauty on the other side. One must change things, places, people, or overall surroundings in life to grow. To gain a new perspective. Matthew talks about how many times he does this in his book, although his shift ties to a wet dream. Mine does not! To grow beyond weeds is what I dream about. This is where the beauty lies. Beyond the weeds there are always things or people ready to bloom in one way or another.

Life is like a flower. It blooms among the weeds. It is then taken from the weeds to be sold to somebody to nurture and enjoy. The beauty within the weeds sprouted and lived its best life on your kitchen table because some flower farmer took the time to bring this beauty (flower) to you.

Sort of a weird lesson from the book to my life to the flower but funny thing is, flowers are part of my dream. My future. My beyond the weeds. Follow @3splitzfarm on Instagram to watch my flower farm bring joy from the weeds to others.

Do you ever get covered in the weeds of life?

Do flowers make you smile like they do me?

Do you ever reset within your life to grow?

Wonder. Create. Repeat.