Friday, October 3, 2008

Look Ma! I got an award for just showin' up!

I love being the age I am.
I'm 40 by the way.
I love the clarity my late thirties and 40 has brought to me.
Years ago, I would have been too timid or afraid to say or do many of the things I am able to do and say now. In my late teens and early twenties, I was so afraid that someone didn't like me,
or if I said the wrong thing, my life would be over. It used to matter that I won all the time, or always had an answer for everything.
Even when my kids were small, I used to have such grandiose goals for them, they would be the star this, the smartest that, the best at whatever, have the best of everything, and you know what?
I am so glad I was a little older when I had my children!
Those things are SOOO not important!
Don't get me wrong... I want my boys to go to college, own homes of their own, be successful at whatever they choose to do, and to choose a level of success that makes them happy, but not at the cost of who they are, or to just try and please me.
It makes me to sad to see parents giving their kids all the toys and trinkets they think will make their kids like them and be happy well adjusted kids.
It makes me upset to see parents jumping up and down on the sidelines of a game belittling their kids for losing. Uber competitive parents leave a very bad taste in my mouth. I want to scream at them and say... "Why don't your get off your butt and do it yourself, since you are so perfect!"
Those kind of parents are the reason we have this mentality of "Everyone gets a trophy for just participating! Look at my baby! He/She got a trophy! Just for showing up!" WHY! Give trophies to only first place, and help the child learn that it is an earned trophy.
I shudder to think of the types of people all these kids will become.
Boss: "Jack Jumper, I need you and Sally Simply to run a status report on all our clients asap. Get it on my desk by 5 p.m. today.
Jack Jumper: "Okay, we'll get right on it"
Jack goes to lunch and Sally stays in for lunch to get the work done.
4:45 p.m.
Boss:"Jack, Sally, have you got those reports ready?"
Jack Jumper: "Uh... yes sir... it's right here.
Boss: "Sally, did I notice you stayed in for lunch today?"
Sally :" Yes sir. To get the reports done."
Boss: "Well, Sally, that shows initiative. Don't be afraid to ask for help next time, and thank you.
Jack Jumper (he got trophies all his life for just being there) "I was there, I was in the office, do I get credit?"
Okay, Okay, maybe that is an over simplified, albeit, really stupid example, but do you catch my drift?
I remember playing baseball as a kid and NOT getting a trophy, because we weren't in first place, and it made me want to strive for first the next year.
I remember when not everyone made it for baseball teams.
I remember when not making it for something and being told "Better luck next time, kid",
and it was OKAY!
So many kids these days aren't taught how to be gracious losers.
Character building, life lessons, and all kinds of good, long lasting things happen when we don't always succeed at any cost.
At William's Football game yesterday, it was such a beautiful, humbling, God inspired experience when we lost our first game of the season.
The OTHER Christian School, gave us a rousing applause, and were truly nice and gracious about their win, which was decisive.
Our boys were fantastically gracious young men that took the loss with their heads held high.
What you DON'T see with our little schools, is name calling, belittling, or cat calls. No rival gang signs or putting the other team down. We all walked through the same gates, the other schools parents and us and we talked, and gave compliments to each others teams, asked what number their baby was, and said we looked forward to seeing each other at the next sporting event.
We were good natured "rivals" not mortal enemies.
It is so important now, more than ever, to teach our children to be happy with what they have, and to delight in things for a longer period of time.
Our current economy isn't stable, because of the greed of some others, and all the people that were buying everything up on their credit cards to keep up with the Jones's, and living beyond their means for the last 8 years are going to be in a world of hurt soon. Their kids, who were never said "no " to, will now start to understand what it means to be on a "budget", and little Suzy might not be able to buy $600 purses much longer,because Mommie can't even pay her credit card bill.
We need to stop considering people with the best cars, biggest houses, and biggest TV's as the successful people, and start revering those who pinch a penny now and then, save for rainy days, and use their money as investments opportunities instead of instant gratifications.
Did you know that Warren Buffett, the richest guy in America, drives himself to work every day in a used Chrysler? and still lives in a smallish house in Omaha with modest furnishings, and won't be giving his own grandchildren but $100,000 when he dies?
Why? So they will know the value of working for what you get.
Have you ever wanted something so much it hurt?
When you got it... was it worth it?
Was it an idea? or something you could touch?
In this day and age... I implore you to hold back on over extending yourselves monetarily.
Especially to our children.
Use this time, when Wall Street has a spur in it's butt, as a teaching method for your kids.
Teach them to budget, not spend on credit cards at all, and to list their wants and needs in two lists. It will help them out immensely in the future.
Try not to give them rewards, just because they are around, but for really worthwhile things.
Praise from our mouths is just a valuable as praise from our wallets.
I care for my brothers and sisters on planet earth. I see so much going on. Lots of complaints about not being able to afford this or that, but they are spending 100 bucks on dinner out that night for the third time that week, or they bought snow ski's when they could have paid a credit card bill. Sometimes we just can't have what we want when we want it... and so many people don't understand that.
The overspending season is coming. Think before you buy.
I'll post more ideas on how to afford the holidays in a few weeks.


  1. I so absolutely and completely agree with you here! on all of it!
    And I also started w/parenthood at a later age - I will be 39 next month. I had my first baby just before I turned 36!

    And stupidly, I responded by email to your question about links in posts... but realized after I sent it that it wasn't going to your email - it was going to no-reply@blogger! LOL - so here is what I emailed you: Hi Saundra,
    it's pretty easy, yet slightly complicated to put links in your post ;)
    In the post edit window there is a button with a globe and a chain link - its the one right after the text color choice button.
    What you have to do is highlight your text then click the link button and it will come up with a box for you to enter the url. Here's where it gets complicated - you should have another tab open to copy the url from, otherwise you will be having to save your post and come back to edit it every time you go copy a url. Unless you write them all down first.
    I hope that helps, and I hope it wasn't too confusing! Let me know if you have any more questions!

  2. Excellent advice! And terrific reminders.


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