Planting a Strong Healthy Tree


Life is too short not to appreciate it, and take advantage of our precious time here.

It’s been awhile since I last wrote a blogpost.  A few days ago, I mentioned on Facebook that I might be writing a blogpost for “Vickie’s Grin,” but nothing came to mind.  Before going to bed last night, I decided no blogpost.  My motto is: If it is not here (inside me), it is not there.  I cannot manufacture something from nothing.

Right now, the only person I can possibly help is myself, and family.  (And, often I am reminded that I can’t even do that).  That is not entirely true — for the last year I have been working with autistic children,  giving with love.  After work, I am exhausted.

Today the alarm went off at 6:00, and I wanted to sleep more (is there a saying “mind over mattress”?) — just a few more minutes — wrapped up inside my nice warm flannel sheets — please.

I decided to get up anyways.  That’s when I decided to write a blogpost.  Individuals with anxiety do so much better when they live in the moment.  However, that is not how life works when there are bills to pay, appointments to keep, tummies to be fed, and a car that needs an oil change.

Discipline versus Self-discipline

Many years ago when I worked in child-care at a county facility, I read  in a parenting magazine that the purpose of disciplining children (setting boundaries and expecting obedience) is to create self-discipline.  I liked that notion, and always remembered it.

However, as I have learned more, my ideas about changing behavior have changed.

I read a book a few years ago (that I would recommend to any parent of an adolescent daughter) entitled Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher.  The author states that “low in control and high in acceptance (indulgent parents) have teenagers with high impulsivity, low responsibility and low-independence.”  

However, in Reviving Ophelia, there was the other extreme of a highly controlled environment.  Lucy, a teenager in the book said, ” All I think is what I am supposed to.”

I am uncomfortable with both of these extremes — permissive or authoritarian.

I spent most of my life disciplined by religion, coaches, teachers, a husband, or some other male authority figure where I became co-dependent and never learned how to to govern myself.  After leaving religion, and raising my children on my own, I realized how undisciplined I really was.  I was left to my own devices/learning to lead my own life.  Generally, I was a good follower but not a good leader.

Nobody followed my rules, or took me seriously — not my children, myself, or even our dog.

Paige believes he is the only one at home. (He’s not even allowed to eat from the table . . . ?)

Somewhere down the line, after meeting my boyfriend, I decided to live and enjoy life instead of going through the motions.  I was tired of working full-time and going to school full-time.  Then, cancer set in (I have been cancer-fee since 2011).  Again,  in many ways, I took a co-dependent role in my relationship.

In many ways, the last few years since leaving Utah have been a wonderful journey of self-discovery. I am learning to feel, laugh, love myself, and not “sweat the small stuff”.  It’s been a learning curve.

I have also picked up (more) bad habits along the way.  My children, who are full of love, have been more than patient.  So, when my adult daughter wanted to get together last week to go over goals, I decided “Oh-kay.”

Me at Barnes & Nobles with a Mimosa writing down goals/#noveltyitem#alcoholisnotmy vice

I am looking forward to more sessions with my daughters; maybe my sons.

Soon, after the holidays, I will be operationalizing my goals, and writing about my journey.  The purpose of writing goals down are to reinforce the intended behavior.  I am excited.

Lately, I have been busy studying for a test that I need to take for my career (another goal), so I have made miniature study cards.  I put my  cards in a water-proof wallet that my sister made for me — so very cute.  Somehow the little sloth on the material is fitting.  (Smiley emoticon).

As far as my blog, I am uncertain.  I always seem to find my way back home to my writing spot.








2 Responses to Planting a Strong Healthy Tree

  1. Harry says:

    The journey,yes.

    Remember to flag the sinkholes, even if nobody is following you very closely. Life is too short to spend any minutes stuck in a quagmire…

    …especially one that somebody deliberately set up.

    The Book list, yes.

    I especially like negative book reviews, mostly because they save me more of those precious minutes that I don’t have to waste.

    • admin says:

      Thumbs up.

      Exactly. Of course, everything is based on our perception at the time and what is considered a sinkhole, or quagmire. (My reading books are no longer published by Deseret Books, though I would still read one–I take truth where I can get it.) Along this line, did you see this? Mormon Wiki-leaks

      The pros & cons and learning to step around sinkholes is often the difference between object and subjective, and something in-between. Did you read Gauthier’s recent comments to my Darren Brown (“Pushing to the Edge”) blogpost? It brings up good points surrounding social ethics.

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