I’ve added a new adventure! Won’t you all join me?

 

Well it’s a new year (in a few hours) and I have a new adventure!

I am now writing for ChicagoNow under the name of Bittersweet. On this new site I will share thoughts and spin words as I see fit in the moment. I do hope you all will follow me over there and keep this adventure we call life moving along together! I will not be canceling this site as it keeps my work all linked up and tidy!

For my first blog in the new location I shared thoughts on the old year and the new year. (I know not very original on this day when writers everywhere are covering this topic, but we all have had different experiences and will likely have different angles to discuss and share.)

Happy New Year to everyone. Stay safe and well.

Love each other!

Visit me at this link below and let’s keep our friendship going!

http://www.chicagonow.com/bittersweet/

Merry Christmas, this is what I know

As I sit here in our warm home on the eve before Christmas Eve, with a fire burning in the fireplace,  the yummy smell of food being prepared for the next couple of days of holiday celebrations, and  presents all wrapped up and under the Christmas tree, I think about what I’ve learned or was reminded of this Christmas season.

People I love are invaluable, irriplaceable. (This may sound mundane, but really take some time to read this and let it soak in.)

Life’s most important lessons are not complicated.

My family is wonderful, precious, sacred. (Again see info in parentheses above)

Even though our family is not perfect, I really miss my mom and dad who are far away from me this Christmas.

I learned that I should never live as if I know everything about what is going to happen next. Meaning that there are plans in the works and I will not ever know all the details. So, I should always live as if the next thing around the corner is going to be awesome!

I learned that I too matter to others.

I was reminded that there is a certain type of wicked evil in the world, but there is also way more goodness and kindness than there is this evil.

People are all capable of good and evil. It is a choice on how you want to exist in this world.

I learned that I can help other people with simple acts. There are things I may unwittingly say or do that will change a person’s day for the good -or the bad (I’m not perfect). This reminds me to be aware of how I interact in the world as to never make someone’s day worse.

I was reminded that no matter how hard we try, we simply cannot protect our children from all forms of harm, cruelty, hatred. We must show them even more love and kindness inside our homes to make up for what  they see out in the world, in school, on TV.

I learned that, although I do like to get presents as does everyone this time of year, there really is nothing I really need or want this Christmas that is not inside this house with me at this very moment — Tony, Emily, Abby, Minnie, Maggie and Lucy — and the people outside this house whom I love more than words or things can express. That’s a very long list!

Sometimes when I think this is the best it will get, and there is nothing better to come into my family, home, work – something else wonderful happens! This is the fun part of life!

Oh, and the most important lesson – I  was once again reminded that when Kohl’s screams at me from my TV to get into the store for this one and only and final “One-Day Sale!!” they are lying! There are One-Day Sales at Kohl’s every day! (Lying liars!)

What did you learn in these last few weeks.

Merry Christmas. Love each other.

(PS I’ll soon be blogging for ChicagoNow, I’ll keep you posted. Thank you for all of your support!)

Homecoming and the *Grind*

This weekend was my daughter’s high school homecoming.  My daughter Emily is 16 and a junior. She  attended with a group of friends and they all looked great and had a great time.

But it was a great night that almost never happened.

Last week, I kept asking Emily why she didn’t want to go to the dance. I felt sad for her because she has only one more year of school and I didn’t want her to miss out on a fun high school evening. But I was sad when she finally told me why she didn’t want to go. She said it was because it is uncomfortable and “gross” because all the kids “grind” on each other when dancing…Definition: the boys and their female dates “grind” i.e. he is behind her and their bodies fit into each other and … you can imagine the rest.

I don’t live in a bubble and anyone who knows me knows I am not a prude, but I really liked hearing her say that sort of dancing was offensive. It showed me that she has a strong sense of self and self-respect. She knows how she ought to be treated by a boy. She knows how she wants to present herself to others.  It told me that she has a great self image.  I told her I was happy to hear that she felt that way. I said it’s sad, but truth is that those girls who present themselves like that with a boy, may very well be good girls, but others who see her behaving like that will make judgments and make her the next hot topic of the high school rumor mill. And the boy, well he’ll get off scott-free, such is the land of high school.

But, eventually I convinced her to go to the dance and she went with a group of friends and she looked so pretty, elegant and lady-like. She had a great time and the next day said, although there were couples “grinding” she was happy she went.

But wait, there is more.

The morning of the dance, in the Chicago Tribune my super cool reporter friend Lisa Black wrote a story about local high schools banning dirty dancing or “grinding”. I could not believe the story I was reading was about the very issue I had just been dealing with!

It talked about how schools are considering passing policies to police dance floors at school dances. One school sent letters home to families saying how they would be monitoring the dance floor and if students were caught “grinding” they would get one warning then the next instance be asked to leave the dance.

So Lisa went on to write about this 16-year-old boy at one high school who was just so offended by such a school policy that he was trying to find a place to hold a separate homecoming dance where kids could dance how ever they wanted to.

His mother was so proud of him saying it was so wonderful that he was standing up for a cause.

OK after I spit out my coffee all over myself, I began shaking.  Are you kidding me? Are there no other causes to take up? Bullying? Domestic violence in high school dating relationships? Raising money for new books, sports equipment, childhood cancers?

Let me be clear, I do not think the school should make such policies. It is so reminiscent of Dirty Dancing and Footloose, no I do not agree that is the direction to take this issue.

What needs to happen is parents need to talk to their children about self-respect and dignity. We need to talk about in what light we want to present ourselves. We need to have on-going conversations with our daughters about how to present themselves with dignity and morals. We need to also teach our boys how to respect and treat girls. It all starts in the home. We do not need another policy set down upon us from any sort of institution.

I so wondered how this boy’s mom would respond if she had a 16-year-old daughter and some 16-year-old hormonal boy was fighting to have a dance where he could “grind” without penalty.