Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Dear Humans on the Road

Dear Humans with whom I share the privilege of driving each day, 
Please accept my apologies for the following comments, 
lightly dusted with sweet sarcasm. Enjoy!

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

1. I tend to stop at all red lights prior to turning right. It's not something I made up just to make you irritated while you are on your way to work. I'll assume that the kind gesture you offered as you zoomed past me was a "Hey, girl. How ya doin?" 

2. When there is a shirt load of construction going on as I try to exit my building, it can be difficult to see around the gates, cones, and barricades that have been erected. Additionally, I need to watch out for the students who need to cross the 4 lane road to get to school across from my exit. When I finally see some clearance and have my turn signals on, that is NOT a sign for you to speed up, hug my arse, and honk that I have gotten in your way. (Yes, I intentionally spelled arse that way.)

3. When I need to change lanes to avoid missing my exit, I would appreciate it if you took notice, stopped tailing the cars so closely it is impossible to merge into traffic, and did not take it as a personal challenge to compete with me for road space. I have enough challenges without that extra stress.

4. Pay attention. PLEASE! Get off your cell phones and just...DRIVE! I'm tired of watching out for you as you swerve into my lane. 

Finally, please help me understand how honking at me and showing me your "special" communication finger is making the world better, safer, kinder? 

This post is dedicated to the wonderful people who provided three horn honks and two finger gestures this week. (And it's only Tuesday.)

Now...Go buy something nice for your mamas!

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Art and Science of "Right" Resistance

My days typically begin and end in similar fashion.  I have two sons who are opposite in their ability to process sensory cues, concepts, and behavioral expectations. They often clash as they vie for position and power in their shared room. 

  Here's evidence from one of the peaceful moments I treasure.
When these two are at odds,
it's important to remember it's not 
all stress and trauma.
Bring out the photo books as needed!
Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

Today my two characters (now ages 12 and 10) decided to argue over who leaves the room in the most disarray. (Disarray sounds so much better than effed up mess.)  

Child #1 "You always leave your clothes everywhere!  Why don't you ever make your bed?

Child #2 "What are you talking about? You leave your stuff all over the apartment!"

Child #1 "I'm tired of cleaning up after you! Make your @&*# bed."

Child #2 "Stop telling me what to do all the time! You're not perfect!"

Me:  "OK it's time to go to school." (Edited to spare you the mom speak that transpired.)

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

When I got my 12 year old into the car to drop him off at school, we had this conversation.

Me: "You know, there is a way you can put out that fire before things get so out of control."

12 year old:  "What do you mean, mom? (elevated voice)  Do you know what he said? He's always complaining about something! I'm so tired of it!"

Me: "I know. But at some point one of you is going to have to be okay with letting things go. What if you just told him, ' Okay, I'll pick up my clothes and make my bed. I know it bothers you' ?"

12 year old:  "That's never going to work."

Me:  "You're right. It probably won't work the first time. It may not even work the second or the third time. But if you want things to change for the better, then it has to start somewhere."

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

The issue between my sons is a great example of how many of us, even as adults, have a hard time backing down or admitting someone else may have a valid point.  We get so caught up in wanting to be right and relevant that the nuances of language and interpersonal communication get forgotten.  

Here are a few points to consider:

1.  You have permission to let go of an argument, especially when it begins to affect your personal health and well being. It doesn't make your opinions or views any less valid if you chose to take a break and rethink your position.  Let go of your need to be validated by someone with an opposing statement.

2.  If you realize that another person has a valid point, go ahead and acknowledge that point.  It may open the door and encourage others to do the same for you. Setting up camp is wonderful, but don't overlook the benefits of making your camp more comfortable and welcoming to visitors.  (Metaphor alert.)

3. Admitting you are wrong is actually a very mature skills, and too often we overlook the value of this skill.  It doesn't make you any less of a valued human being. Conversely, admitting fault has the potential for others to realize the same in themselves and create pathways toward communication.  We can all benefit from more ways to reach out and connect with others.

4.  Recognize that how we communicate, when we communicate, and the reasons we want to communicate have an impact on our ability to convey a message.  Consider your timing, strategies, and desired outcomes. Be okay when things do not go as planned with an initial attempt. Change is a process that requires time, patience, and perseverance. 

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

There are so many reasons we seek validation as humans. We desire to be acknowledged. We hope our ideas will be accepted. There is an on going quest for that stamp of approval from those in positions of authority.  Learning how to navigate that need for approval is an ever present challenge. If you want to gain valuable insight into acquiring self acceptance skills and figuring out how to communicate your concerns, here are a few articles I found that might be helpful.  


Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom


More Resources to Read
Note: Excerpts taken directly from article in posted links.

"The tendency to look at new evidence in a certain way, that confirms your existing hypothesis and conveniently ignore the facts that clash against your ideologies, has a fancy name in psychology:
Confirmation bias. Even the best of us have fallen for this bias."

* This author does drop a few "F" bombs in the article, so be forewarned.

"There are people whose minds are dead set on “I am right and you are wrong.” They are profiled as ones with big egos and very little empathy, specialists in continually raising disputes, capable craftsman in destabilizing harmony in every way.
Being right is something we all find satisfying, we can’t deny that. It reinforces our self-esteem. But most of us understand that there are limits, we know that it is vital to develop constructive attitudes, a humble outlook, and an empathetic heart capable of appreciating and respecting 
the views of others."
* This author provides stories to illustrate concepts.

"Take a moment and reflect on your relationships at work and at home and ask yourself, "how much does the 'I’m right, you’re wrong' dynamic play out in my everyday interactions?"
Most of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, will find this dynamic a familiar companion in face-to-face conversations, on the phone or in emails and (especially) online. Either unconsciously or consciously, we often find ourselves in situations where we feel we need to be right. And not only do we need to be right, but to be right we need to make the other party be or feel wrong."
*This author discusses our need to feel safe and secure.

I invite you to share your resources, experiences, and strategies here at World of Writer Mom.

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend filled 
with challenges, adventures, &
plenty of resources to tackle your goals!

Kindest Regards,
~ Mary


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Bathroom Etiquette ~ May the Flush Be Ever In Your Favor

Here We "Go" Again
by: M.B.Varville-Rodriguez
OMG I just read another post about the transgender bathroom dilemma. Guess where I saw that comment? My goal this year as a writer and advocate is to become the nicest TROLL ever. 

T - Teach
       R - Respect
         O - Observe
        L - Listen
          L - Learn

In this particular case, people were off on a tangent thanks to one person's comment. Time for a little humor, so here's what I posted in the most respectful, funny way in an effort to divert the feed. 

Here's my comment:

" Dear Lord, it's the bathroom dilemma again? The truth is, if the ladies room is full and there's an empty stall in the men's room when I have a bathroom "emergency" then guess what? I don't care where it is...that stall is for me versus having another type of disaster. (Some of you probably know what I'm talking about.)

When you have a situation where your digestive system is not cooperating, you'll decide pretty quick the significance of where you need to go. Aside from that, many of you have most likely been in a rest room with someone who is transgender and you'd never even know it. Many places of business now have "family" rest rooms too. We can discuss worse case scenarios all day and never reach an agreement on this one.

Travel to other areas of the world or find yourself in a situation where you need to relieve yourself by the side of a road because there's no bathroom at all. Perspective, self awareness, a good dose of mind your own business, and get out of the restroom quickly can go a long way. And for goodness sakes....I expect better than name calling here. If you wanna hear some really disturbing bathroom tales, me and my horrible digestive system can entertain for hours."

Sigh. There will never be total agreement on this. But let's be honest. We just need a place to go when it's time to go.

Additional Comments added Saturday, 01/14/2017

UPDATE: Ironic that this would happen shortly after I posted my article, but here is what actually happened yesterday while I was shopping with my 3 children in WalMart. I went to the customer service area at the back of the store to use the restroom. A WalMart employee was standing guard near the women's restroom and two other women were standing in line as if waiting. They looked at me and said "The restroom is closed." I asked, "What about the one at the front of the store?" I was informed, "That one is closed too and we were told to come back here." So basically, there were NO women's restrooms available. I looked at the WalMart employee and said, "Are both the restrooms back here closed?" She replied, "No. Just this one (referring to the women's)."

Without hesitation, and with the utmost of confidence in my mission, I declared, "I don't care which bathroom this is; I have to pee." I proceeded to enter the men's restroom and secured a stall where I quickly did my business, got out and washed my hands, and exited just as another person was entering the restroom. The individual didn't even blink, question me, or stop on their way to a stall. End of story. I had to go, there was only one option, and I did what needed to be done without disturbing anyone else. Of course, the women who were waiting before I went in were not around when I came out. Perhaps they found another option. Each of us will have to comes to terms with our comfort level regarding this topic. 

The main point is:  You need to exercise the same level of awareness and caution as pre-transgender bathroom rights.  There will always be extreme examples and concerns to cite as credible concerns for some individuals.  The reality is that we all need to look out for each other, be vigilant of variances in safety, consider our surroundings, and exercise good judgment when your gut tells your something isn't comfortable. 

Regardless of how someone identifies, each person deserves respect and a sense of security within their community.  If you have time to be worried about verifying the accuracy of who uses public bathrooms, it may be time to reconsider using restrooms outside of your home and invest in your own port-a-potty.  Just out of curiosity...who really looks that closely at each person during their time in the bathroom?  Surely I'm not the only one who just wants to go in, do my business, and exit after washing my hands.  

So there you have it.  Just another perspective on the bathroom agenda.  Hoping you all make good choices in what you choose to support.  Encouraging you to be respectful, aware of your surroundings in each circumstance, and use discernment before passing judgment on what you do not understand. And wherever or whenever you decide it necessary to relieve yourself, may the flush be ever in your favor.

 Kindest Wishes,