Categories
Walking the Walk

It’s Resuming Resolutions Time!

How about those New Year’s Resolutions, eh?

Right about now, they may need some resurrecting. May I suggest you forget about the quick-fix ones? Either convert them to Lifestyle Changes status, or let them go.

As for the resolutions you directed toward changing your life, they can still succeed if they’ve been waning. Although it’s normal to settle back into what’s comfy and familiar, once the January 1st good-intentions-bubble has popped, you don’t have to stay there. You can resume your resolution right now.

Believe it or not it’s not like starting over. You’ve already done yourself some good when you started your resolution. Letting it slip away simply means you haven’t acquired the added benefits… not that the original benefits no longer exist.

It turns out that every little bit helps when you’re trying to improve your lifestyle—The things you do for it, the thoughts about it, the planning for it—all of it counts because it’s retraining the way you think. When you resume your resolution, you build on that beginning foundation. And, by taking control of the situation again, you’ll spark enthusiasm and self-empowerment, which will also add to your foundation. Even that puts you a little closer to achieving success with your resolution.

To help you maintain your resolve, write reminder notes on sticky post-its, and plant them on the bathroom mirrors and the fridge. Put another one on your car’s sun visor, and one on the front door. That will keep your resolution in the forefront. Say your resolution aloud every time you see a note. Again, you’ll be training yourself in that direction.

While stopping and starting and stopping and starting might not feel like progress, it most certainly is, so don’t minimize it. ALL progress, even small progress, is an accomplishment.

The next time life pushes back against your efforts to change, forgive yourself for dropping the ball, and jump back on that bandwagon. The foundation you started January 1st will still be there, waiting for you to resume.

You got this! Which resolution are you going to resurrect today?


Schedule a 1-on-1 coaching session with Deborah Ann Davis to help plan and jumpstart your goals by emailing Deborah at info@DeborahAnnDavis.com

Categories
Awesome Moms

7 Reasons To Join A Virtual Mom Mastermind Group

How would you like to have your own team of mentors committed to your parenting success? What would you do with a network of awesome moms at your fingertips?

It’s that time of year when I open up the virtual Mom Mastermind Groups. For those you new to the model, a traditional mastermind group is designed to help you navigate through business challenges using the collective intelligence of others.

I’ve taken the concept to a whole new level by creating virtual Mom Mastermind Groups to help moms navigate parenting problems and children challenges using the collective intelligence and expertise of other moms.

How does a Virtual Mom Mastermind work?

Motherhood can be very isolating, especially when we hesitate to air our concerns within our own community. Virtual Mom Masterminds solve that issue by providing a private online space for 5-7 moms to meet every other week for 4 months. Normally, it involves being invited by the members, or going through an application process.

This group of awesome moms meets bi-weekly to tackle challenges and problems together. They lean on each other, give advice, and share resources. It’s peer-to-peer mentoring at its best. If you’re lucky enough to get accepted into one, you will be poised to enjoy a positive change in yourself and your familial relationships.

In order to explain how powerful this opportunity is, I’ve modified the excellent points raised by Stephanie Burns’s article, 7 Reasons To Join A Mastermind Group. However, instead of addressing a Business World Mastermind, I’ve adapted the concepts to the Never-A-Dull-Moment Parenting World.

  1. Joining a Mom Mastermind makes you part of an exclusive community. Believe me, the other members need you just as much as you need them.
  2. That feeling of “being alone” disappears. The other members of the group become sounding boards, and vice versa. You listen to them, and offer the knowledge born of your experiences, and in turn, receive the same benefits.
  3. Increase your happiness level through collaboration. It has been proven that the act of helping someone else produces happy hormones. If you’re happier, everyone around you is happier.
  4. By joining a Mom Mastermind, you instantly add to your Support Team; and you provide support for others the minute you listen to them. You have a lot to offer, and so do they. The possibilities are endless.
  5. Every mom in a Mom Mastermind has a unique situation – different geographical locations, specific experiences, distinctive ways they were raised, diverse family structures, etc. By interacting and sharing your challenges, it’s almost certain that someone in your Mom Mastermind will have a solution for you, and again, you may be able to offer a tactic that helps another mom.
  6. Members of a Mom Mastermind find ways to help each other by sharing resources: websites, books, magazine articles, medical info, etc. Creatively finding ways to help each other enriches all of you.
  7. Being in a Mom Mastermind will give you a Mom Master Mind. Instead of reacting to situations, you can learn to plan your responses based on incidents in other moms’ lives.

If you’re thinking, “I could make my own Mom Mastermind Group,” then do it! You’ll be providing a service to a group of moms who, by definition, need support. You can’t help but get creative and expand your world when surrounded by dedicated moms striving to do amazing things with their children and their lives. Plus, you’ll minimize your own sense of parenting isolation when you reach out to other moms.

If your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to take on the responsibility of explaining the concept, recruiting and organizing a group of like-minded moms, here is your chance to join one of my virtual Mom Mastermind Groups. Yes, because you are part of my tribe, I’m extending an invitation to you to join one of my groups in 2020.

Mom Masterminds are incredible and can do wonders for your relationships, as well as for you personally. Solving problems in a group is not only more effective than doing it alone… it’s a lot more fun!

Categories
Awesome Moms

When Someone Flips You the Bird

Someone flipped me the bird today. I was mildly surprised because she had inappropriately veered into my lane in order to go around a parked car on her side of the road. Legally, she should have waited for me to pass, thus opening up my lane to her.

Apparently me and my car were not moving fast enough for her.

Of course her unexpectedly flipping me the bird took me aback a bit, but what was really disquieting was the fact she had a middle-school-age girl in the front seat with her. We all know our kids model our behavior. What was that mom thinking?

Number one, she’s not following the rules of the road. Instead of teaching her teen the proper traffic flow pattern (you’re supposed to wait for your turn until the lane is clear), she’s inappropriately modeling how to race around parked vehicles regardless of oncoming traffic.

Where do you think the undeveloped adolescent brain files away that exciting tidbit? Right under “Things To Do When I Get My Hands On the Steering Wheel.”

Secondly, she is teaching her child to react in anger to a situation. Fuming over the last incident is distracted driving. Anger signifies a loss of control, the last thing you want for an adolescent driver. She needs all of her wits about her at all times. On the other hand, teaching her to brush off inappropriate behavior from other drivers will keep her present in her driving tasks, keep her safer, and make her a happier person.

Thirdly, that mom is teaching her darling diva to be disrespectful to other people in public. I hope she’s not too surprised the day her angel flips her the bird, especially since she herself is modeling the go-to response for getting upset.

Now, I realize this might sound a little judgmental. After all, perhaps this mom doesn’t understand the rules of the road, i.e. that she must wait until the oncoming lane is clear before she veers into it. That could make her think that my car should not have been in my lane. If that’s true, perhaps her response represented standing up for yourself and not letting people get away with inappropriate behavior… which is a good thing to teach your teenage daughter. That’s not highly likely, but still, it’s a possibility.

Be that as it may, there are so many better lessons to teach early drivers. Here are a few you can model right now.

  • Be prepared to be calm when someone does something inappropriate. If we create a generation of drivers who are easily riled up, that won’t be good for anybody.
  • Drive defensively. Be prepared for the person who comes into your lane and doesn’t see that you are there.
  • Give wide berth to people driving awkwardly. Most of them are either elderly or inexperienced teenagers. Getting upset with those people does nothing except makes them anxious, and when they’re anxious, they are more likely to make bad decisions.

So, what’s the moral of this story? It depends on what you want for your kids.

Do you want your teen to simply know the rules of the road, or do you want her/him to also safely follow them? Do you want your teenager to be cool and collected when she’s driving, or do you prefer she be lost in a tidal wave of emotions while behind the wheel of a 2-ton vehicle?

Whatever you choose, model the behavior you expect your teen to emulate.

Remember, Do-As-I-Say-Not-As-I-Do is not a real thing. The real thing has always been, and always will be, “Do As I Do.”

Do you have an early driver in your family? What did you do in preparation? What hints can you give other moms whose kids are coming of driving age?


Want more parenting tips? Pick up my book, “How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door” here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B089B67ZJN

Categories
Awesome Moms Walking the Walk

Post Thanksgiving Stupor Disruptor (PTSD)

I’m proud to say I’ve made it this far in my life without ever having cooked a turkey. That’s no simple feat for an American Awesome Mom. However, I did serve up a Thanksgiving spread at my mother’s house so wonderful, it could’ve made the angels sing (objectively speaking, of course).

Keeping with tradition, we ate snacks while playing cards over life-changing discussions. Then we ate dinner while chatting about how to make the world a better place. Then we rested up for the next round… the desserts.

I have to admit, the conversation waned over the dessert course. Pretty much everything I served for dessert was a visual disaster, although some things were actually tasty. (That’s what happens when you don’t stay in your lane.)

No one complained, though, unless you count the advice for me to throw out the apple pie as a complaint. I didn’t see it as a complaint, not even when I was tossing the offensive pie into the trash (while recycling the pie plate).

Then it was time to sleep again.

Then it was time to eat again.

Everyone gathered in the kitchen for warmed up Thanksgiving leftovers. (Can you explain to me how it all tastes so yummy during the evening round when none of us are actually hungry?)

After that, with our belts loosened and our feet stretched out before us, we heroically tried to stay awake. However, Thanksgiving Stupor is very powerful force. Eventually, even the best of us succumbed, so we had to call it a night.

On Black Friday morning I felt lethargic and potato-ish. My plans for cranking out a pot of chicken vegetable soup and a chicken potpie (with gluten free crust) suddenly seemed more like a tiresome burden than an eagerly anticipated family tradition.

As I flopped down on the couch, it hit me. I had awakened with the Thanksgiving Stupor still with me, effectively nullifying my grand plans. After a mini pity-party during which I stared at my still distended belly, I got bored with the victim status and decided to kick it to the curb (cue the dramatic music).

In doing so, I implemented the first step in a Post Thanksgiving Stupor Disruptor (PTSD).

Action followed my intention as I dragged myself to my suitcase where my workout clothes lay waiting, managed to squeeze into them, and then spent 20 short minutes disrupting my PTS by running for 30 seconds and walking for 2 minutes until I had reached a mile.

Let me tell you what… I was completely rejuvenated.

  • My brain fog had lifted.
  • My cravings for leftover ugly desserts had disappeared.
  • The enjoyment of producing homemade soup and potpie had returned.
  • My happiness level had jumped several notches.

I had so much energy, I spent an hour reorganizing my mother’s clothes closet before going to cook.

Why, you ask, were workout clothes lurking in a suitcase packed for a Thanksgiving visit to your mom’s?

Because this was not my first rodeo. I knew the PTS was inevitable, and I wasn’t going to prevent it during a family celebration. That would only make me miserable, and cause discomfort in everyone around me. I knew I would be in no position to dig myself out while in the throes of the PTS. So, I prepared a PTSD, with everything I needed, ahead of time.

When we talk about modeling the behavior we want our children to imitate (because they watch everything we say and do), imagine what a huge gift it would be for them, as adults, to be prepared to fend off their own PTS (Post Thanksgiving Stupor) with a PTSD (Post Thanksgiving Stupor Disruptor) of their personal design. One of my favorite PTSDs is to bundle up the family and go outside for a walk before and after dessert. Isn’t that a great way to create a family tradition while preserving a warm family memory?

If you have any innovative holiday traditions to get your family moving, I’d love to hear them!

Happy Day to all!

Categories
Awesome Moms

Healthy Holiday Recipe Sources

The holiday season is upon us, no doubt. Are you preparing for this November-though-January-marathon? I certainly hope so, because if you are treating the holidays like a sprint, you will burn out quickly. Personally, I vote for making the whole thing as easy and relaxed as possible… but that’s just me.

For the rest of you, I’ve compiled a list of 7 recipe resources (at the end of my ramblings) so you can stock your freezer with meals ahead of time. That should make the holiday rush slow down a bit.

Between now and the next holiday, make a double recipe of every meal you prepare, and freeze half. On those frenzied nights when the kids have a games/performances/jobs on the opposite sides of town, the dog needs to go to the vet, and you have guests visiting, pop your frozen delight out of the freezer, and calmly sail through the evening.

If any holiday events require that you bring something more than napkins (you may remember I’m not a fan of cooking; just a fan of eating), select a recipe you can freeze and make a double recipe of that. That will give you tonight’s dinner, and you will be prepared ahead of time for the event.

Bonus: You get to test the recipe on your unsuspecting family.

One last reminder before you lose yourself in the euphoria of online recipes, please formally schedule time for yourself where no one can reach you. Make it half a day, or make it 5 minutes, but do it often. The more centered you are, the less stressed your family will be, and the more calm the holidays will be.

May you look back on this holiday season and say, “This was the healthiest holiday ever!” (so far)

Categories
Awesome Moms Tell Your Tweens + Teens

The Good News About Eye-Rolling

If you have an eye-rolling teen, don’t be offended by the gesture. This is why.

There is this interesting technique for creating calm from within, where you cast your eyes upward and look at the sky for a few seconds. It’s a self-soother. Picture yourself looking heavenward and saying, “Why me?” That’s the self-soothing gesture I’m talking about!

When you actively decide to make yourself feel better by looking upward,

  1. you are empowering yourself
  2. you are interrupting whatever negative cycle you might be in
  3. your mood improves

Interestingly enough, it doesn’t matter if you believe this works or not. You get the same benefits just going through the motions. And it certainly can’t hurt anything, right? So, give it a try.

Now, back to your kids. When they roll their eyes, they are instinctively soothing themselves. When we… (okay, I mean “I”) perceive I’m being disrespected, it only serves to escalate the situation.

However, once I recognized my middle-schooler’s eye-rolling as a sign of her distress, as opposed to being a sign of my disrespect, my reaction changed to one of support (How can I help my daughter?), instead of defense and indignation (What did I do to deserve that?).

BTW, heaving a sigh is also a self-soother. I’ve always huffed when exasperated, but now I recognize that I feel better after. Noisy exhalations are now official members of my toolbox.

The moral of this story? Rejoice when your teens heave a sigh and roll their eyes. They feel better! (and can cope better)  😉


Get my book, “How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door” here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B089B67ZJN

Categories
Awesome Moms Tell Your Tweens + Teens

Choosing: The Superpower of Choice

Did you welcome the advice you received when you were a teenager?  Or, did you choose to bristle at the advisor’s good intentions? Perhaps, you still bristle?

The resentment that sage advice (i.e., from us parents) generates in our tween/teenagers is perfectly normal (and irritating). This is a conflicted period in our children’s lives. On one hand, they are exploring budding feelings of adulthood and independence— unfamiliar ground that can be scary for anybody. On the other hand, they automatically cling to the safety net of the child-parent dependency, even though they want to shed that reliance ASAP.

So, an unsuspecting mom comes along with some excellent advice for her darling daughter, but instead of her cherub glowing with appreciation and enthusiasm, the diabolical darling heaves an exasperated sigh (complete with eye-rolling), cries in an accusatory wail, “Mom, I’m not a baby!” and stomps off to her room. I’m, I mean, the mom is left in a wake of confusion and anger. She closes her gaping mouth, and either storms after her daughter to give her a piece of her mind, or retreats to the fridge to find a food-bandage for her emotional wound.

Okay, I admit it. I was describing my reaction to my cherub’s unexpected response to totally constructive advice. If the truth be told, when her negative reply catches me by surprise, my gut reaction kicks in. If I’m well-rested, and/or feeling especially good about myself, or my day, my brain immediately reminds me that her reaction is not about me personally. It’s about her.

I’m such an awesome mom, right?

However, sometimes my own reactions are not so awesome. There are times when she snaps at me, and I blow up in her face, because sometimes I don’t feel especially good about my day, or myself. (Yes, even I get insecure occasionally; what awesome mom doesn’t?)

Those are the times when I inappropriately perceive her eruption as a personal rejection, and I take it to heart. My hurt feelings create the urge to retaliate, and for some reason, for a moment, escalating the situation doesn’t seem like such a bad idea to me.*

Still, we all know that once we pile layers of conflict onto our relationship, in the end they all have to be peeled back, one at a time. Otherwise, we can’t get back to the basic unconditional loving relationship where we again trust each other to have our backs.

Choosing to reframe how you perceive her response is one of your awesome superpowers.

You can choose to believe your child has stormed off as a clever ploy to upset you. Or, you can choose to believe your child has stormed off because she is at her wits end, and needs your help with coping.

Think of it this way: If you see a four-year-old in the middle of a tantrum who yells, “I hate you!” at her mother, you know, and I know, that the little person doesn’t mean it. She is merely at a place where she can no longer cope. Should her statement hurt the mother’s feelings? Of course not. But might the woman feel hurt anyway? Of course she might, but because the child is so young, it’s easier to put things back into proper perspective (especially when she wraps those little arms around her neck).

Your teen’s (or tween’s) tirade is the same thing, but scaled up a bit. She is merely at a place where she can’t cope. Should it hurt your feelings? Of course not. But might you feel hurt anyway? Of course you might, but because your child is older, it’s more difficult to put things back into proper perspective, and harder to hold onto the bigger picture.

Here is a reminder about that bigger picture. Ultimately, your tweenager/teenager wants and needs these vital things from you:

  • to be loved unconditionally by you
  • to be respected and valued by you
  • to trust that you will always have her back
  • to be able to go to you when she needs to feel safe

It’s when your daughter thinks one of those essentials is slipping away that she spews forth unchecked. Her outburst is simply the double digit version of that four-year-old’s lack of coping tantrum. When she’s in a better position to manage — like when she’s well-rested, and/or feeling good about her day, or herself — she doesn’t go for disruptive solutions. She chooses discussion… or laughter.

But believe it or not, I’m thankful for my cherub’s outward displays of distress. Without the hissy fit, I might miss that:

  • My advice has struck a nerve in my daughter regarding some secret pain that she needs help with;
  • My advice feels way off-base to her, which, to her, means I don’t get her, which, to her, means she’s on her own in solving her problem;
  • She now feels alienated and isolated from me, and that’s frightening for her.

Her volatile reaction is a red flag that she needs help. If, instead of responding in kind, I choose to stop and recognize what is truly going on, I can rescue my daughter, and at the same time, model how to cope when someone loses their cool, like her best friend, or a sibling, or someone at school. Forewarned is forearmed.

Choosing is a powerful tool! It allows you to:

  • stay grounded and remain emotionally even
  • avoid contributing your own negativity to an already negative situation
  • analyze the interaction so you can teach her a more positive alternative reaction
  • model how to cope when faced with an unexpected and upsetting response

Every awesome mom has the ability to reframe how she perceives her daughter’s distress, and to decide how to respond to it. The superpower to choose resides in all of our arsenals. We just have to remember to use it.

Do you have a go-to technique for diffusing a teenage time bomb? The other awesome moms would love to know. Send it to info@DeborahAnnDavis.com.

Did I mention I’m trying to spread a little happiness by giving away my book How To Get Your Happy On for free? If you want a copy, send an email to info@DeborahAnnDavis.com, and I’ll send you your copy absolutely free! Why? Because I like to have happy people in my circle. Don’t forget to tell me if you want a kindle version, an ePub version, or a PDF.

*Even when contributing negatively to this situation, I’m still an awesome mom. Just because we slide occasionally doesn’t change the fact that our overall goal is to raise happy, healthy and productive kids, plus grow as a person ourselves during the process. That’s what defines awesome moms like you and me.

Categories
Awesome Moms Tell Your Tweens + Teens

Listen To What Your Body Is Telling You

“Do you have a bodily sign that signals you are needing a break or you are on the edge of stress?”

This question was posed on social media recently. As I read the responses below, I was struck by the repetition of the symptoms (some of which I’ve experienced myself on occasion).

“Hands shake. I feel anxious”
“Sleeping when I don’t want too”
“Migraines like the one I currently have”
“A super annoying and persistent eye twitch”
“My back gives out”
“My neck cramps up”
“An eye twitch or migraine”
“Heartburn/anxiety”
“I get a knot at the base of my head. And then about 1-2 days later a migraine”
“I get to where I can’t think straight”
“I get a headcold and am down for about a week. I don’t get them any other times except for when I’ve been going and going for too long”
“Headaches, stomach aches, I get super grouchy, I start crying for “no reason- it’s really like 1000 reasons”
“I have breakouts and my eye begins to twitch”
“Acne”
“Headache. Anxiety. Eye twitch. Shaking hands. Tightness in neck”
“Stomach pains”
“Free floating anxiety/ loss of concentration”
“Headaches, body tightened up, feeling of dread”
“I know I’m approaching crisis when my wardrobe goes um… ‘eclectic’!”
“Wanting to sleep all the time”
“High heart rate, not able to sleep/stay asleep, change in appetite, headaches”
“My heart starts racing, I can’t sit still”
“My stomach feels like it’s grinding”
“Headache, stomach aches, back hurting more than usual, spacey mentally”
“Can’t sleep, Mind is over worked”
“Pressure in my head and a tight chest”
“Sleeplessness, upset stomach, inability to focus”
“Chest rash”

Moms, do you experience any of the stress indicators above? If you do, I can almost guarantee your tension permeates the rest of your household, no matter how good of a front you put up. If you’ve had these symptoms for years, this tension feels normal to your children. It also implies you are putting yourself last in your life. Ask yourself this: “What will this stress symptom look like 10 years from now if I allow it to continue?”

Let’s find a way to eliminate some of these symptoms. I can’t help with the sources of your pressures (because I don’t know what they are). However, here is one suggestion for calming your body while you are in the middle of the stress. (May I also suggest you teach it to your family?) Enjoy this helpful excerpt from my book, How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door.


Here’s the real kicker. Whichever way you react to the pressures in your life, you can expect your teen will do the same because:

  • you’re genetically related
  • she lives in your household where she copies your habits and coping solutions

This is not the time to negatively judge yourself or your daughter. This is the time for objective assessment. Look at it this way: If you both have the same color eyes, or if she laughs the way you do, you don’t judge. You observe. Similarly, you should not judge how she or you handle pressure. This is not about placing blame or feeling guilt. Instead, observe, listen, and learn to read the signs.

Signals abound if you look for them. The question then becomes whether or not you’ve been addressing the pressures in your life adequately. Here’s two starter tactics both you and she can try.

Quick Fixes

It’s time to do a quick check-in. Are you feeling a bit tense right about now? After drawing your attention to your daughter’s pressures and symptoms, and after looking at your own, I wouldn’t be surprised if tension, and a bit of anxiety, have crept up a notch or two.Try these two helpful tools right now.

Quick Fix #1: MindfulBreathing

  1. Draw your shoulders back.
  2. Listen as you take a slow deep breath through your nose.
  3. Listen as you slowly exhale through your relaxed mouth.
  4. Repeat for a total of five deep breaths, although in a pinch, three will do.

Do this now. It’s important. Mindful, slow deep breathing has several benefits:

  • It moves your lymph through your lymphatic system (which only moves when you do).
  • It massages your organs.
  • It adds more oxygen to your blood.
  • It increases your blood flow to your brain, which—let’s face it—can always use some extra oxygen.
  • It leads to yawning, an indication your energy level has changed.

Do Mindful Breathing five or more times daily. Do it when you are driving, before you get out of bed and after your head hits the pillow, before and after every meal, before a meeting at work, and definitely after one. Do Mindful Breathing whenever you feel tension, and whenever you think of it. Make this part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth.


The second tool can be found in How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door, along with tons of other strategies for you and your tween/teenage daughter. The book is already available for preorder at these fine locations:

Click on the link and order yours today. (Spoiler Alert: It will help you with your relationships with your sons as well.)

Categories
General

The Emotional Rollercoaster Ride of GoFundMe

My husband needs to have two discs replaced, so of course he needs the one operation our health insurance doesn’t cover. Oh well. That means we’ll end up with a huge medical bill, and have to use vacation money for the next few years to pay it off. It turns out that

  • their estimated costs are doubled what we estimated they would be
  • we don’t take that many vacations, certainly not enough to pay this thing off any time soon
  • the doctor wants to be paid in full before he starts
  • the hospital wants half upfront

They stopped being helpful with scheduling the surgery when the prospect of insurance paying dried up. This is when our brilliant cherub stepped in and set up a GoFundMe page: https://bit.ly/2GYYIU7 requesting help raising the funds for her father’s operation. When I say our daughter is brilliant, I mean it!

The outpouring of love produced by this endeavor has been amazing, but what’s been surprising is the emotional rollercoaster it has generated in me.

When the first donations came in from family members, I felt this weird combination of joy mixed with a deep appreciation. Their messages acknowledged how much my husband has helped them over the years, and they saw their donations as thank-you’s.

Then some names showed up that I didn’t recognize… friends of my daughter who wanted to support her during this stressful time. That warmed my soul to know she has such a loving generous group of friends.

The gifts that brought tears to my eyes were from people whose donation was accompanied by an apology for not being able to offer   I don’t know how to tell them how much their desire to sacrifice for our sake matters to us. The mere fact that they want to give is an incredible present all by itself.

My heart ached from the emails we received outside of the GoFundMe platform apologizing for not being able to give money due to difficult circumstances. I suggested they instead send my husband humorous get-well memes which will cost nothing, but will have a positive impact.

What I really want to do is zoom through the Internet, hug all the apologizers, and give them a little nudge to help them recognize the gift they have already created by reaching out in the first place.

You never know how you touch other people’s lives. Children we coached in basketball fifteen years ago (now no longer children), and their b-ball parents, have reached out. It’s exciting to reconnect, even under these circumstances.

Then there are the very large donations. Yes, of course I’m thrilled when I see them, but then it’s followed by a bizarre feeling about whether it’s proper to accept it or not.

Weird, right? Of course it’s appropriate to accept. We asked for help, and they are giving it. Period. That’s my head talking. Nevertheless, one gift was so large, my emotions prompted a call to the donor to make sure it hadn’t been an accidental typo. It wasn’t. Did I feel embarrassed? Slightly. Relieved? Definitely!

Yes, unexpectedly my feelings are running the entire gamut, and this is only the first day of the GoFundMe I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Categories
General

Is Life Like the Movies?

Life is like the movies.

In the movie “Last Holiday” with Queen Latifah as Georgia Byrd, when the main character goes to her Health Maintenance Organization with an ailment that requires surgery, they explain her policy doesn’t cover the necessary procedure. The same thing happened to us when after almost three months of constant pain, and after the doctor said my husband’s degenerative disc disease required two replacement discs, our health insurance representative said the procedure wouldn’t be covered.

In the same movie, Georgia Byrd realizes if she is going to have the surgery, she’s going to have to pay for it.

That was the same conclusion we reached. We figured it would take some time, but we’d eventually pay off the medical bills.

Life is not like the movies.

In the movie, Georgia’s HMO Administrator tells her, “The cost of a median cranial debulkin’ surgery is around $340,000. That’s without anesthesia. You’ll want that.”

Our real-life insurance rep couldn’t tell us the cost, although the doctor wanted to be paid in full before he started, and the hospital wanted 50% of the cost up front… and even though neither the hospital nor the insurance rep had any idea what the cost to stay overnight was.

Anesthesia was not mentioned.

Our procedure is not brain surgery, so the cost is not $340,000, but when they told us the $65,000 price tag, you could have knocked me over with a feather. My husband and I kinda just blinked at each other, like we were watching a movie.

We shared the bad news with our beautiful millennial, who lives on the other side of the country. After sputtering with me in indignation for a few minutes, her MSM (Millennial Solution Mode) kicked in. “Let’s see how much we can raise through GoFundMe.”

I could hear typing noises over the phone. “You know how to do that?”

“I’ve never tried it before.” Click! “There! It’s all set up. I’m sending you the link.”

Ping! I opened the link (yes, I’m very tech-savvy) and there it was – our very own GoFundMe page. https://www.gofundme.com/herb-davis-needs-your-help “Now what?”

“You have to share it with everyone you know, and see what happens.”

It was a very odd concept. My husband and I were doing that blinking thing again. “Sure. Why not.”

Life is like the movies.

Have you ever seen the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart playing George Bailey? You know that scene at the end where it’s hard not to get teary-eyed, the one where George’s friends and family come to his rescue by each contributing a little bit of money?

That’s what watching this GoFundMe page is like. We reached out to people with whom we’ve lost touch, to the people currently in our lives, to the people from our childhood. I sent emails and posted it on social media, and our friends and family responded… and some of their friends and family responded.

I can’t find the words to express how this experience feels. We are completely humbled and grateful for the love they demonstrated with their donations. People are so wonderful.

Life is just like the movies.

If you’d like to send me a message, send me an email at info@deborahanndavis.com.

Categories
Awesome Moms Life Is Funny

We’ll Figure Something Out

(Based on a true story.)

Monday Phone Call:

Darling Daughter: Mom, I wanted to talk to you about something. You got a minute?

Marvelous Mom: For you? Always. Let me to stop supper from burning.

Darling Daughter: I just want to make sure that you and Daddy were aware that most likely I’m going to relocate to California after I graduate law school.

Marvelous Mom: Well, I wasn’t sure about the “most likely” part, but I knew it was a possibility.

Darling Daughter: So, I want you guys to be about a three-hour drive away from me.

Marvelous Mom: You mean a three-hour flight away from you, don’t you?

Darling Daughter: No. I said drive. I meant drive.

Marvelous Mom: So, let me get this straight. You want to pack us up, and relocate us somewhere in California that’s three hours away from you. Did I get that right?

Darling Daughter: Yup.

Marvelous Mom: You are the most adorable daughter in the world. Sure, we can figure something out. Where are you going to be? We can’t relocate within three hours from you if we don’t know where you are.

Darling Daughter: Most likely, LA.

Marvelous Mom: How far away is San Diego from LA?

Darling Daughter: That’s only two hours.

Marvelous Mom: I guess we could check out San Diego.

Darling Daughter: Or San Francisco… Let’s see, San Francisco would be about four hours… Okay, I’m amending the last rule. You’re allowed to live somewhere within a four-hour drive from me.

Marvelous Mom: Wow, you are so gracious. Like I said, we’ll figure something out.

Tuesday Phone Call:

Darling Daughter: Mom, I just wanted to tell you that I might end up in New York after graduation.

Marvelous Mom: Well, it sure would be nice to have you in the same time zone as us, but why?

Darling Daughter: It’s just in case I don’t get the job I want in California, and there’re some great firms in New York.

Marvelous Mom: We’d love to have you that close, but I’m sure you’ll land your dream job, and live happily ever after.

Darling Daughter: Mom.

Marvelous Mom: So, does that mean we still get the five-hour driving radius?

Darling Daughter: It was four hours. And, you don’t need that. You guys will be only two hours away.

Marvelous Mom: Four. Five. Either works for me. Besides, maybe we don’t want to stay in Connecticut. Maybe we want to go explore a new community.

Darling Daughter: Yeah, right.

Marvelous Mom: Don’t worry. We’ll figure something out.

Wednesday Phone Call:

Darling Daughter: Mom, if I got a job in Connecticut, do you think I could live in the same building where you are?

Marvelous Mom: Connecticut?

Darling Daughter: Well, yeah. It’s just in case I don’t get the job I want in New York. I could get a job at ESPN and live in Bristol. 

Marvelous Mom: Sure. We can figure something out. You could always live at our place.

Darling Daughter: I don’t want to live with you!

Marvelous Mom: I don’t want you to live with me, either.

Darling Daughter: Then, what are you talking about?

Marvelous Mom: I’m assuming we still get the six-hour driving radius. We can go anywhere.

Darling Daughter: That was four hours, not six.

Marvelous Mom: Four. Six. Either works for me.

Darling Daughter: If I’m going to move back here, why would you move away?

Marvelous Mom: You got me all excited about a change of scenery when you mentioned California.

Darling Daughter: You were only supposed to move if I moved.

Marvelous Mom: Don’t worry about it. Like I said, we’ll figure something out.

Currently, Darling Daughter lives in California where she landed her dream job. Marvelous Mom and Dynamic Dad still live in Connecticut. In case you didn’t know, that is more than a four-hour drive, but we’ll figure something out.

Categories
Tell Your Tweens + Teens

How To Get Out Of A Rut

Want to get out of a rut? Stuck in a negative pattern because you follow the same negative behavior? Do the same negative reactions make your body produce the same corresponding chemicals, and the resulting negative emotions that follow?

The only way to stop a pattern is to interrupt it.

Let’s get you out of a little rut first, so you can see how it’s done, by starting with something small. You can build from there.

Here’s your task. What if you spend a week limiting the negativity that comes out of your mouth in a social setting? What if you focused on positive feelings and positive states instead?

Unfortunately, many people connect socially by talking about their problems, relating their concerns, complaining about what they don’t have or what they missed out on, sharing things they hate in their life. Somehow the negative conversations feel like they provide a deeper connection than the positive things.

In the face of that, how do you say, “My kids are healthy and happy,” or, “I have nothing to complain about.”

Awkward, right? It almost feels like bragging. 

Try saying this instead:

“I’m sorry to hear things are going like that. You know, I was just going to share something similar, when it occurred to me that we always talk negatively like this. Do you mind if we try something different? How about if I tell you one good thing that’s going on in my life, and you tell me one good thing that’s going on in yours.”

How do you think your conversation partner would respond to this? Probably the same way you would if someone were to say this to you.

Try it on your kids. This puts a whole new spin on the after school talks. Now you can replace the deadly, “How did school go?” with “Tell me one positive thing that happened today, and then I’ll tell you one positive thing that happened today.”

Of course, your kid will look at you like you’ve grown two heads unless you first explain about the experiment you’re trying for a week.

The only way to stop a pattern is to interrupt it. Wouldn’t it be cool if, in the process of breaking the negative pattern in your life, you interrupted the negative pattern in you children’s lives as well? You’d be a family of Rut-less Wonders!

See also:


Buy my book “How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door” here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B089B67ZJN