Tag Archive: opinion

This is Sally. Sally is a nice person. Sally is trying her best to make a great life. Be nice to Sally.

Okay, confession, Sally is not real. Today we are going on a fictional story following Sally on two possible paths. Sally 1 and Sally 2. But first- Sally’s background story.

Sally has always had a passion for ‘candles’. As soon as she was old enough, she always had candles burning, giving them as gifts, recommending new and exciting scented candles to anyone who would listen to her. To her, candles were not ‘work’ just something she loved. But, Sally had to grow up and go to college and get a real job. She decided to major in business and figure out what to do with that later. After college graduation Sally has to decide what to do. This is where our sliding doors, two-Sally-story begins.

Sally 1- she decides to take that new business education and open a new store in her home town. She has to take out more loans (on top of the loans she has from school) to pay for this- but it’s her dream! She is going to sell candles and other related items. She announces this to her friends and family. Everyone shows her an outpouring of love and support! Everyone wants to hear more about it, wishes her luck, and promises to stop in soon to support her business!

Sally 2- Sally wants to use her new business education and figure out a way to follow her passion for candles. She is considering opening a shop but doesn’t want to take out more loans and knows that it will be years before she makes any money. So, she does some research and finds a direct selling company that has the best, highest quality candles on the market and other home decor products. She can become an independent distributor for a couple hundred bucks. She can directly sell the products to her network and anyone else she meets. She announces this decision to her friends and family. She is surprised there is such a negative reaction. Some people seem curious and supportive, but it seems like everyone else is avoiding her. She even got a few Facebook comments like ‘oh great! Another one’ and ‘didn’t you just finish business school and THIS is how you’re using your degree?’ and of course- ‘isn’t that one of those pyramid things?’ Lucky for Sally she has pretty thick skin. She is going to stick with it despite the fridged response.

Sally 1- owning your own business is hard work! She is loving what she is doing but she is working 60 hours a week and struggling with a social life. But, she has lots of local friends and family helping her by coming into her shop as well as spreading the word for her. Word of mouth marketing is a total boon for her business. Her parents are SO proud of their little business owner!

Sally 2- she is doing pretty well with her little business. She is off to a fast start and is even being recognized by her company. She is frustrated though because she still can’t convince her parents that this is a legitimate business. She has shown them the business model and has tried to explain the potential of residual income, but they don’t want to hear it. Dad even commented- why did we spend so much on college then?

Sally 1- she is doing pretty well now but is looking for ways to expand and reach more people. She decides to sell her products on-line too. She makes a website, starts a blog, and gets to work. What an entrepreneur! Everyone is very impressed that she is taking her small business ‘nation wide’.

Sally 2- things are coming along nicely for Sally 2. Her customers are happy and continue to support her. Occasionally they tell their friends too and she is getting referrals. Sally 2 also wants to expand outside of her immediate network. She creates a website, starts a blog, and try’s to spread the word. She tells her friends, some of them like her page but don’t really engage. She is seen as ‘another mommy blogger’.

Sally 1- Sally 1 starts realizing that other people and shops are interested in selling some of her products as well. They ALSO love candles! And since Sally 1 has already perfected the business model, it’s just smart to join her. Sally 1 welcomes new business partners. Why not? That’s smart business! Now she makes money on what she sells and she makes money on what her partners sell. And the partners get to walk into a successful business. Win-win-win. Wow- we are all very impressed with Sally 1!

Sally 2- a few people have noticed that Sally 2 is doing well and seems to be having a lot of fun in her business. She is always doing something fun and seems to have tons of free time and flexibility. She gets some new business partners and they model their business after Sally 2. Why re-invent the wheel? She announces her new partners on Facebook and still gets a luke-warm response. She hears that one of her friends said- SEE! It IS one of those pyramid things. Those things never work! People think that the new partners are suckers… People just ‘don’t get’ Sally #2.

Sally 1- carries on with her life, is totally happy with her choice, and loves the support she received along the way.

Sally 2- carries on with her life, is totally happy with her choice, and wishes she had a little more support along the way. But, remember, she has thick skin. She’ll be fine (more than fine- silly-happy)

BUT, Sally 2 is going to work really hard to change how people perceive her business. Sally 2 feels responsible for elevating the entire profession. You have not seen the last of Sally 2.


A year or so ago, I wrote a blog about my relationship with hats. I joked about how I love them but feel dumb sometimes and am not usually confident when out in public in a hat. Well, the other day I saw that a friend of mine sent me an image via pinterest. It was this image:
FullSizeRender (14)

Who knows how long that sat there. I am to Pinterest like most people are to New Year’s Resolutions: super fanatical for about 4 days and then completely forget about it. Anyways, I see this image and it was like a lightning bolt. If I could put myself in a nutshell, this image would be my nutshell. These are the things I am passionate about. I am serious about my vegetables, squats are what keep your ass from eternal saddness, there is nothing I hate more than boys that are mean to girls, and I LOVE to rock some frickin’ lip stick! But this was not always the case…

You know how when people say things like “man, I wish I could be 24 again” or “I would love to go back to college days”? I disagree with those people. I am so much healthier and happier now than I was in my 20’s. Back then, the only vegetables I got were the shreds of lettuce on my Jimmy John’s sandwiches. I never worked out (dancing on bars count?). I let a few boys treat me badly, and treated some badly myself. And, the only lip game I had was Chapstick medicated.

You see, I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what I wanted. Half the time I was trying to make others happy, the other half I was trying to make myself happy in dumb ways. I didn’t know how to be me. I was always afraid of ‘looking stupid’. I didn’t take fashion risks, because I felt dumb (what a waste of that 19 year old body!). I didn’t want to wear lip stick because what if I picked the wrong color or what if someone thought I was just trying to get attention or what if people thought I was trying to look ‘cool’ but it back fired and…. Crazy right? Welcome to the brain of an insecure college chick.

The best part about my 30’s is that I figured out a lot about myself. I figured out that I care about my health and well being. I figured out that I am a feminist and I don’t like to hang out with those that aren’t. I figured out that lip stick is fun and sexy and that I don’t care if others think differently. I figured out that I like to challenge my body and rediscovered my love of sports and physical activity. I figured out that I love to have fun and be loud and be myself and if people judge me for that- it’s none of my business.

When I recently started my new business, I had a lot of hang ups. I worried about whether I would be bothering people. Or that people would think this business is stupid. Or that no one would ever buy anything from me. Or that people would un-friend me because they would get sick of my posts. Welcome to the mind of secure 30-something that still lets that insecure 20-something girl pop up now and then. But, you know what, I’m all good. The business is good. Vegetables are good. The men in my life are good. And my lip stick game is on-point.

I don’t know when I realized the most important thing in the universe which is: love yourself, nothing else matters. Everything will work out. Everything is going to be okay. It might not be exactly how you pictured, but that’s okay. We live in a universe of abundance and there is more than enough good for all. Trust your gut and follow your heart. Okay, that is more than 1 thing, but you get my point.

I have a birthday this week and I am not even the slightest bit concerned. If this is what ageing is like, I am all-in.

Want to work with me? Want to join me in the fight against giving a shit what everyone else thinks for once in your life? E-mail me at creimholz@gmail.com. We have fun.

me will tennisYou know the old saying- opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one. Well I find this to be obnoxiously true about health and fitness. Everybody’s got something to criticize. Whether it is cross-fit or gluten-free or paleo or insert thing that will kill us all _____________, a lot of non-experts have a lot to say on the subject. And, as a non expert who talks a lot on the subject, most of it is harmless. But, what I do NOT understand is why people get SO ANGRY. What is that all about? Is my paleo diet somehow infringing on your right to sandwiches? No. In fact, that just means more sandwiches for you. Does someone else’s 6-pack abs from doing cross fit offend every thing you hold dear about fitness? No. They are just doing a different work out. Now, this is not for the trainers and the dieticians and the physical therapists out there. I’m talking to Joe Couch Potato and Sally Sugar-eater. The ones that have nothing but criticsm and no solutions. The ones that are simply comfortable or in denial about their own health. The ones that are bitter that someone else found something they are passionate about. The ones that are pushing bad habits on you every time you turn around “oh my god, one bagel is not going to kill you”. Those people.

I don’t know if you have noticed, but we are really unhealthy. Not just fat either. We have chronic disease and illness earlier and worse than ever before. Diabetes, asthma, allergies, joint pain and systemic inflammation. Genetics don’t change that fast but behavior and environment do. Eating a typical ‘healthy’ American diet and doing cardio 3-4 times a week is getting us no where. When we don’t address the chemicals and toxicity of our environment and challenge old out-dated research, we are just allowing others to destroy our health. Is that why there is so much anger? What you think you know might be wrong, so you lash out? I just read an article discussing whether FODMAPs are the problem versus the vilified gluten. Did I get pissed and leave nasty comments on the post? No, I learned something new and kept going on with my day. The thing is, I don’t care if gluten is the problem for me, or if it’s the chemicals in processed foods (yes bread is a processed food), or if it’s the MSG, or the HFCS, or if it’s simply the fact that I replaced my maniac-carb-filled diet with more fruit and veggies. And, I don’t care. I am getting more nutrients, fiber, and healthy fat than ever before. I have lost weight and feel a million times better. Call it paleo, call it real food diet, call it Frank, I don’t care.

The thing is, whether you are doing cross fit or you are a runner or a yogi or a caveman, the thing we all have in common is passion. Hell yeah when you take back control of your life/health you want to talk about it. You want to shout it from the roof tops. You want to tell everyone else about it because you want everyone to ‘know’ what you know. You want everyone to know that aging isn’t a slow decline into pain and lethargy. You want people to know that getting older doesn’t have to decrease your quality of life. I want women my age to know that there is a way to control your weight even if that seems impossible. I want other moms to know that it is possible to get through your day without fatigue. I want all 30+ year olds to know that when you are eating right and getting enough sleep, you can get up in the morning feeling refreshed and energetic.

I can tell you right now, I am going to continue talking about health and wellness and fitness and clean living. In fact, I might even get more crazy. The more I learn, the more I want to share. The great thing about facebook, instagram, twitter, etc. is that you don’t have to follow me if you don’t want to. And I mean that with as much love as possible. I love talking about it and I love taking pictures of my food. 🙂

So, let’s stop with all the negativity. Let’s not criticize others for trying to doing something positive in their lives. Let’s not bring others down. Let’s see if we can learn a little bit from one another. Let’s just stop being assholes.

What’d you say to me?!?

How dare you tell me Happy Holidays!? Can’t you see my love for Santa and Jesus seeping out of my pores? Can’t you smell my love of traditional holidays (and traditional marriage for that matter)? Stop the madness! Christmas is the BEST holiday! It is the RIGHT holiday! My country was founded on love of God (my God) and Freedom! Telling me ‘happy holidays’ is a slap in the face! Why don’t you just piss on a snow man or flip off a nun or tell me Rudolph is gay (although I wouldn’t be surprised about that one)? You should be ashamed of yourself! This is America Jack!

What’s that? You were just trying to be nice?…..Oh, my bad.

Listen up b*tches

photo (13)Okay, I got your attention. I don’t really think you’re all b*tches…. But, I am about at my selfishness, non-sense, unaware of the world around you, entitled attitude limit for the year. I think I might lose my mind. This is like a diary entry I am sharing with the world because these thoughts have been consuming candysbrain for a long time now.

Have you noticed how the world seems to be spiraling out of control? The planet is dying, the people on the planet are starving or killing themselves or eachother, no one seems to give a shit about any of it, and we just keep buying the latest crap. One of the most hilarious headlines I’ve seen recently (I believe it was The Onion) was talking about some new cell phone that came in different designs/colors, etc. and they joked about ‘which color best represents my desperate need for attention?’. Nailed it.

“This sparkly pink cover will really pop in my next selfie!”

The point of this post is simply to say that we should focus a little less on ourselves and a little more on the rest of the world. A little less instagraming our dinner and a little more feeding the hungry. A little less talking and a little more listening and learning and reading. A little less sharing of opinions and a little more sharing of resources. Living in a society takes sacrifices; it always has. Sometimes you have a little more and so you give a little more. But it’s not about what you give or how much you give, it’s that you have the awareness to know that there are people out there besides yourself that could use a break. You know that you are not fundamentally better than they are. You know that some day you might need a hand and hope that someone will be there for you. You know that you are not kind to others because it gets you into heaven, but because it makes you feel good in your heart and soul to help another human being (or animal for that matter).

There is so much misdirected anger at the strangest things. People are angry because they have to press ONE button for English. One GD button! Talk about first world problems. People are angry at poor people. People are angry because a tiny portion of their income goes to making sure poor kids get at least 1 meal a day and the most basic health care.

This matters. Anger and hate and violence are contagious and I fear it is spreading through our world. Anger turns to hate which turns to violence and the tiniest little thing matters. But, the good news is- so is love and giving and sharing and compassion. The best way to ‘fight’ the hate in the world is to love more and bigger than ever before.

When is the last time you truly did something for someone else? Not your family. Not for your kids. But for a stranger, or a neighbor, or a charity? This is not asked to shame you. This is asked to hopefully inspire you. This is asked to be a wake-up call for those that need it.

I have been thinking about my own selfishness lately. Once you learn to recognize the behavior it is very easy to notice it, even when others don’t. I think we are all a little selfish and I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. I just know how lucky I am and have always been. I have never really had to ‘want’ for anything that I needed. So, how do I remain a happy modern women who appreciates nice things, and yet consistently think of others and help those that need help. I think it’s about finding the balance between giving so much you lose your identity and it’s to your own detriment vs. thinking only of yourself and being a detriment to society.

I feel like I need to do something big. Start a revolution or something. I don’t know what that looks like and who knows if anything I say will ever make a difference, but I want to try. Stay tuned because it’s coming.

In the meantime, I am curious…. What do you do to give back to your community? How do you teach this next ‘entitled’ generation what is really important? What types of conversations do you have with your kids so they know what kind of need is really out there? My daughter is too young, but my son is five. I want to start now so that he accepts this giving/caring/sacrificing as a part of his life. Any/all comments welcome.

photo (4)The government is shut down, we are in total debt crisis mode, no one likes congress, Cruz and Palin are the epitome of crazy-pants, and Obama apparently needs to put down the Quran. What a mess.

Since you asked…. what is my solution?

1. Term limits for Senate/House. Why? Because there is like a 9% approval rating and 90% re-election. This happens because districts/states have pretty consistent voters. For example, where I live: Illinois is almost always going to vote democrat. Lake County Illinois is almost always going to vote republican. It is very hard for an incumbent to lose an election when the person running against him/her is the opposite of what the state/district wants. Limit them to 2-3 terms! That way, they won’t be so motivated about getting re-elected or what their ‘party’ thinks. They may just vote for what is ‘right’. And, worse case scenario- they are gone in a couple years.

2. Set amounts for campaigns. I think the single best way to keep money corruption out of politics is to allow everyone the same amount of money for their campaigns. They still have to raise the money themselves, but this way it doesn’t just allow the richest candidate to win (or the candidate with the richest supporters). Not sure what the number should be, maybe $1 million for congress, and $4 million for president. I know this sounds crazy, but we need way less money in politics. This day and age, 90% of publicity is free! News, Internet, Social Media, etc. is cheap. We have a ridiculous deficit, people starving in our streets, and yet we are spending billions on campaigns. No more I say! Oh, and, you can’t keep the left over money from your campaign. That’s just crazy.

3. Three month election season. That’s right, no more 18 month political nightmares. You get three months. If you can’t get your message across in 3 months, you don’t deserve to be in office. Like I said above, with the speed of news, internet, twitter, etc. you don’t need time or money. You need a good message. 3 months, 3 debates (where you actually have to answer the questions), and done.

4. Once you lose, you have to play nice. The people voted for what they wanted. If you lose, you don’t get to pout in the corner until you get your way. It is your responsibility, your duty, to cooperate for the betterment of the country you vowed to serve. Admitting that you are going to stand in the way of progress should be considered treason! It is one thing to debate and negotiate, but if all we do is fight, only our most susceptible citizens suffer.

5. No more using ‘God’ as your reason for anything. You love Jesus? Great! I’m very happy for you. But, we have separation of church and state. You don’t get to use Christianity as your reason for political decisions. Morals, yes. Jesus, no. And, for the love of God (see what I did there), no saying that our founding fathers established this a christian nation. That is the opposite of true. Lastly, you can’t talk about your love for Jesus while condemning our poor, hating our gays, and killing human beings in war. WWJD?

6. No passing laws that don’t apply to the politicians that passed the law. For example, you want to drug test your welfare recipients, you need to pass one too. You suspend worker’s pay in a government shut down, your’s gets suspended too. You want to hold teachers accountable for their work, you need to be accountable for yours.

7. Being a congressmen should not make you rich. You should not vote to give yourself a raise. You should not get a life time of pay. You should not benefit from relationships with lobbyists and get a cush job for the rest of your life bringing in 6 figures for no work. That happens by the way… The more we keep money out of politics, the more we can ensure the politicians are in the job for the right reason. People don’t get into teaching because they want to get rich; they do it because they are passionate about the work and the money comes second. It should be the same for our politicians.

8. Non-medically trained, male politicians don’t get to talk about my lady parts. While I’m at, no non-medically trained female politicians either. This one should be so obvious that I shouldn’t need to say it, but alas, here I go. I can’t ‘shut this whole thing down’! Rape is not ‘a method of conception’. Vaccines don’t cause retardation. And, don’t you dare talk about what god wants for my vagina. I thought we already settled all of this?!

There, did I just solve all of our problems?

On my page yesterday I posted: “Apparently if I wanted to understand the internet today, I should have watched the VMA’s last night.” I swear every other FB post or yahoo article or tweet or even the Huffington Post was all ‘miley’ all the time. I couldn’t get away from it. I haven’t watched the VMA’s in years, probably not since MTV was actually showing videos. And, no, this doesn’t make me old, this makes me someone who values their time. But, my friend Megan commented on my post saying “I will raise my daughter to be the opposite of Miley Cyrus” and that got me thinking. Thanks for the inspiration MEG.

How do we make sure our daughters don’t end up like Miley?
How do we avoid them dry humping a foam finger in front of the whole world? (And, apparently dressed like a teddy bear???? I’m still piecing all of this together.)

The answer came to me almost immediately after the question. If we want to make sure our daughters don’t end up like Miley, we need to stop giving 2-shits about Miley! We need to stop concerning ourselves with her. And, I don’t mean to pick on Miley. For all I care you can throw them all in together: Kim Kardashian, Brittney Spears, Amanda Bynes, etc. They are all the same. And, by the same I mean moderately talented, over exposed, unimpressive in accomplishment, and lousy role-models for our girls. I don’t want to be mean…no talent ass-clowns…. They might be nice in real life. They might be decent human beings. But they are certainly not who I want my daughter to look up to. In fact, I don’t want my daughter to concern herself with them at all.

How do we make this happen?

Stop watching TMZ. Stop reading fricking US magazine. Stop watching reality television that is detrimental to society. Stop getting pleasure from gossip and train wrecks and celebrity non-sense. Stop promoting the idea that someone who is famous is any more special than you. Stop making stupid people famous for doing nothing.

Don’t waste time deciding whether Kanye and Kim’s baby name is stupid (of course it is).

Don’t waste your breathe on whether or not Lindsay Lohan has gained weight since rehab (that’s what happens when you eat food instead of heroin).

‘Celebrity’ is a business and we are throwing our money at it. What a waste of our time and money and attention. You like celebrities? You like Hollywood? Great! Eva Longoria, Matt Damon, George Clooney, and Ellen Degeneres are doing great things for a lot of people. Follow their stories.

But that is only part 1. There is a whole other side to making sure your daughter doesn’t buy into the cluster-f*@! that we call celebrity news. So what is the second part?

Set a good example. Simple right?

-Turn off the TV and read a book. And, actually read a good book. One that is well written, one that stimulates your mind, one that is written by a woman. It doesn’t all have to be 19th century classics of course, and it all doesn’t need to be women, but it can’t all be Twilight and 50 shades.

-Don’t judge her on her appearance- even if she IS gorgeous. It’s nice to be told you’re pretty, but it’s amazing to hear you’re smart and you’re strong and you’re healthy and you’re funny and you’re talented.

-Don’t judge yourself on your appearance. Don’t you dare call yourself fat or old or ugly in front of your daughter. Don’t you dare put yourself down while you are out shopping with her. Don’t you dare wish you were thinner, taller, younger…. She will pick up on that in a heart beat no matter what you are saying to her about her own appearance.

-Give her positive role models. This is tough because right now our society doesn’t value and recognize women for their accomplishments. But you can. Expose her to women scientists, judges, politicians, writers, artists, and business women. Expose her to women that are happy, and kind, and generous, and loving, and funny.

-Teach her that to be ‘valued’ she doesn’t need to bring down another woman’s ‘value’. Building yourself up by tearing down others will destroy your soul. The best leaders, the best role models, the best human beings, create win-win solutions for everyone.

-Preach kindness as the most important thing. Period. Beauty doesn’t bring peace. Brains don’t bring peace. Money doesn’t bring peace. Kindness does.

Our ‘society’ won’t change until we do. And, we NEED to change for our daughters (and sons of course).

If we stop buying, they will have to find something else to sell.


Party with a Purpose

me and foodAlmost a year ago I had an idea to throw a party and the theme would be that we would some-how give back during the party. In other words, my friends and I would get together and a choose a charity or a cause and support it while we ate, drank, and got merry. Well, it is funny how quickly 1 month turns into 12 months without following thru….

Friday night my delightful sister-in-law hosted a girls night in at her house. She provided food and too many drinks. The only catch was that everyone who came was asked to bring some non-perishable food items for the Northern Illinois Food Bank. The boxes and bags piled up quickly! No one broke their bank, and we still managed to collect a decent amount of food to be donated. It was just how I imagined it.

food drive

We all get together with our friends, we all go to parties, we all host parties- why not turn them into a party with a purpose? One of the things I hope I never forget is that I am blessed. I grew up and had a lot of advantages. We were by no-means rich, but I lived in the suburbs and went to a great school and was far-removed from any danger or real risk. I always knew I would go to college, get a job, get married, buy a house, etc. It is EASY to take all of this for granted. So many people are just trying to make it thru high school. So many kids are going to school hungry. So many people are out of work. So many people need a little bit of help.

There are lot of ways you can do your own party-with-a-purpose:

-Have a food drive like I mentioned above
-Have a birthday party but instead of bringing gifts for you, everyone brings a book to donate to a school in need
-Have a party and instead of bringing a dish to pass or a bottle of wine, everyone brings a donation for a charity (save a pet, food banks, cancer society, etc.)
-Have a girls night in and everyone brings 2 pairs of shoes to donate to the women’s shelter
-Have a block party where everyone in the neighborhood comes with an item to donate to the homeless shelters (they always need socks, underwear, tooth paste, deodorant, feminine products, etc.)
-Have a party where you play a bunch of games and do raffles where half of the money goes to a charity (50/50 raffle, bean-bag tourney, flippy-cup, poker, etc.)

Be creative. There are literally hundreds of ways to get involved!

***Did you know that summer is the time of the year when the hunger problem is the worst? Normally, low-income children can get a meal or two at school thru the various programs available. In the summer, when kids don’t have that opportunity, they are often hungry. It is very sad and very scary. Regardless of your politics, kids should not suffer. There are a ton of great organizations that help feed our most vulnerable. Do a little research in your area and see how you can help. Cereal and Peanut Butter are very hot-commodities that they always need.

Here are a few organizations worth donating to:

http://www.bbbs.org (matches at-risk youth with mentors, graduates 100% of participants, A+ rated, award winning charity)
http://www.solvehungertoday.org (feeds northern Illinois, has great ‘buying power’ and can provide 6 meals for every dollar donated)
http://www.hfa.org (promotes humane farming, very important to me)
http://www.projectchinelas.com (donates shoes to kids in the Philippines, a friend from high school started this organization)

There are so many out there, and so much good to be done. Be kind.

DOMA Decision

equalityI mean this with the most amount of respect possible for those of you who disagree with the supreme court’s ruling today….

Just because it is not what you choose to do, doesn’t make it wrong.

Just because it is not what your god wants, doesn’t make it law.

Just because it is the way it has always been, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t change.

Go love someone!

willI am lucky enough to work for a company that is committed to continuous improvement. They are trying to create an environment of constant learning, evolving, and growing. Today I spent 3+ hours talking about feelings in room of about 150 people. Of course going into a meeting like this there is some apprehension and, if you’re like me, excitement. I realize that I could spend every day of my life in the pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment and still never know all there is to know. That is why I get all jacked up before these meetings and try to soak it all up like a sponge. Thru the training you learn how to be a better manager, sure. But, the best part is that I learn to be a better mom and better wife and better ME. It is thru these trainings that I have accepted the fact that I am in control of what shows up in my life. It is thru these trainings that I have accepted that I DO have enough time. It is thru these trainings that I have accepted that every experience is a learning experience.

Anyway, back to feelings…..

My son Will is a basket (case) full of emotions. He cries constantly! (Picture Anchor Man “I’m in a glass case of emotion!!) At least a few times a day he has to take off his adorable glasses and wipe his big brown eyes. I’m telling the truth when I say that one time he literally started crying because the chocolate milk at the restaurant was delicious. Well, after 5 years of this, my husband and I have begun to see this as a ‘problem’. We, in our grown up minds, have labeled “good” reasons to cry (i.e. fell and scraped my knee) and “bad” reasons to cry (i.e. I don’t want chicken for dinner). We have even been asking Will, “Now Will…. is that a good reason to cry?” Part of this correction is because in our minds he needs to learn the difference between something serious and not. Part of it is because we are sick of it. Then, there is a small part of me that worries about what will happen if he is 12 and still cries every time something doesn’t go his way.

Notice the highlighted words: our, we, me. This has nothing to do with me! This is about Will and his feelings. He is sad and therefore he cries. Simple as that. He doesn’t over think it. He doesn’t analyze it. He has a feeling and he feels it. He is not hurting himself or others. He is simply releasing that emotion. Who am I to say what is or isn’t a good reason to be sad? What do I expect him to say, “Well Mom, when Ellie took my toy it made me sad because I feel like ever since she was born she gets everything she wants and I have nothing of my own anymore and I guess that makes me feel vulnerable. Thanks for listening, glad I got that off my chest.” No, he is going to cry.

And the scariest part is, he is probably more enlightened than we are. I have 31 years of ‘society’ telling me what is an acceptable way to show my emotions and what is not. I am a girl so I try really hard not to cry at work because that would make me look ‘weak’. If someone hurts my feelings I pretend that I’m tough and I make a joke because I don’t want to be ‘too sensitive’. But you know what happens? That sadness, hurt, anger, etc. just comes out later and usually in a situation that doesn’t deserve it. We’ve all been there: your boss was a jerk and you go home and yell at your husband. Not Will. He gets in a fight with one of the neighbor boys, he cries for about 25 seconds, and then he’s over it. He gets up and moves on. He can go from tears to tag with smiles in under a minute! He doesn’t over think it. He doesn’t analyze it. He has a feeling and he feels it.

I think as parents we could learn from our kids at least as much as they can learn from us. Why do we take our kids mood/behavior/words/feelings so personally? Is it because we are grown ups and we feel the need to give meaning to everything? When Will is whiny, or he’s having a rough time, it’s not about me! It’s not about him trying to ruin my day (even though it seems like it sometimes). He is not concerned with how his behavior is affecting my ‘vision for the day’. He is simply feeling his feelings. We (parents) are in control of how much this behavior affects us. We can control how we react to their behavior. We have so much influence on our children. Are we teaching them that sadness is bad? That fear is bad? How is this going to affect them as adults?

I’m not sure where to go from here, but just being a little bit more aware of this truth makes me feel better. Somehow, I am less fearful. I think it is still important to teach the lessons but not try to control how those feelings show up for him. Real life example: Will starts crying because he doesn’t want chicken and veggies for dinner. I’ll take his glasses, encourage him to breathe, and let him cry. I will also explain that even though he is sad and even though this is not what he wants for dinner, this IS what we are having because it is healthy and mommy worked very hard at preparing it. He can keep crying if he wants, it is not “bad” and he’s not in “trouble”, but it is also not going to change the outcome of what I am serving for dinner.

And, for myself, I am going to take it easy on judging myself. I won’t label my feelings as weak, or bad, or selfish, etc. I will try not to over think it. I will try not to over analyze it. I will just have a feeling and feel it.