My Family

Lunacy

Day after day we hear stories about how unfair life is and how those that “have”  owe something to those that do not. As a country we seem to be losing our perspective. Hard work, drive, education no longer seem important. Entry level workers think they should be paid equivalent to those who spent much more time on education and experience. Many feel the government should take care of them and that pay scales should be equal regardless of education or time spent.   To top it off was an article a few months ago suggesting parents who read to their children at night are providing an unfair advantage to their children.  When does it stop?

Lower the standards , don’t offend, don’t rock the boat. Make everything “fair”. We give participation awards to all of the kids and mandate playing time as to not exclude or hurt feelings.  We make excuses instead of demanding improvements, instead of working to bridge the gaps and raise the bar. Since millions have never heard the word NO, they are growing up to expect everything handed to them.

We have a presidential election not too far away where on one side we have a blow-hard spouting any and every crazy thing that comes to his head and on the other a woman so surrounded in corruption.  Is this really it?  Is this what we are to build our future on?  What is worse is the fact that as a society we are so divided that both have a loyal following.

What are we leaving our children?

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Me, My Family

A never ending cycle, STOP

Our entire lives are spent working to prepare for the next thing.  Kindergarten is spent getting kids ready for first grade.  Stand in any first grade classroom throughout the day and you will hear continually that they will need to know this for second grade.  Elementary school is all about preparing for middle school, middle school for high school and the four years spent there is all about getting into the right college (or for many of what you could afford).  We go to college to be prepared for the real world and once there many feel they are totally not prepared!

What no one ever tells you is that there is just no end to the cycle.  When we are young we assume that it is all for a purpose, as if we will be rewarded as a result of our years of preparation.  Once out of school it is about working to get ahead or more the norm just to stay afloat.  Work hard, hard, harder just to pay your bills and don’t forget the outstretched hand of the government.  Property taxes, sales taxes, federal income taxes and for many of us state income taxes and now a presidential election where some say we still don’t pay enough.

Our lives lived as if we were merely hamsters on a wheel, running in circles.  images

Recently there has been much sadness around us.  Cancer, a very rare medical situation and a massive heart attack.  Taken much too young,  a friend, an acquaintance , a relative of a friend, all under 50 years.  Why does it take such tragedy to make you say STOP, if even for just a little while.  We spent the weekend as a family enjoying beautiful weather and some great soccer.

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Sure the bills must be paid and the tests taken.  The days will pass but we all need to make a conscience effort to enjoy the little things.  To stop and recognize the beauty of each day.  I am not an extremely religious person but I thank God for each morning I get to kiss the girls as I wake them or see them smile with each new achievement.  Life is too short, before you know it you are looking back wishing for one more moment.  Enjoy the moments while in them, smile more and worry less.  It’s easy enough to say right? I am willing to put in the effort!

 

 

Becoming the Bailey's

I was going to be a millionaire at Sam Goody?

I remember when I was young.  I was going to be the CEO of some large Corporation, make lots of money never get married and definitely never have children!

My mother was divorced before I was 2. I did not have much contact with my father, (and that is a generous statement). After the divorce she lost her house.  We bought our sneakers right before school at Sears, I wore my brother’s hand me downs and we ate pancakes and meatloaf once a week for dinner to make things stretch. I shared a room with my sister until we were teenagers and 1 bathroom with 4 of us. We were raised to be strong!  We did not need a man to make us whole.

I was taught some important lessons growing up, hard work and determination!  No one was going to do it for you, no one else would pay your bills, no one else was responsible for my actions. And whining about it would get you nowhere!

Even through college I believed I would be a single woman.   By then I  think I had given up the CEO idea but there were still no children in my future.  I worked hard not to ever let anyone get too close.

OF course we all know how these things go, a few years, pass things change.After college I took the first job I was offered because I had loans to pay back.  My four years in college landed me a job at Sam Goody Music making $15,500 a year!  I lived with my mother for several years paying her a small rent and saved as much as I could.

I will not say that when I met Frank he was the man of my dreams, quite the opposite actually.  We worked together and to put it mildly, we did not get along.Over time we both moved up in the company and no longer worked in the same store.  I guess he missed me because one day I got a call asking me on a date.  I thought it was a joke but went anyway.  One thing lead to another and 17 years later , (14 years married)  here we are.

It was not easy of course.  Friends laugh still shaking heads as to how we manged to make it through the dating period.  Frank was never smooth, he did not have any money but what he had was a simple ability to make me laugh.  Life is a struggle, laughter does not always come easy.  I remember going out one time and having to be lifted through the passenger window of the car because the doors would not open.  Not even sure if it was safe to be driving around in that car.  It was like something out of Dukes of Hazard.  It was always unpredictable and always interesting.

When we got married we lived in the house that Frank had grown up in.  He had lost his parents years earlier. It was a real fixer upper but it was our little piece of the American Dream.  We lived check to check and struggled.  We both worked very hard.  So hard that sometimes we forgot the laughter that brought us together in the first place.  We had issues, who doesn’t.  Over the years we both moved up in our careers and with that came more money.  We moved to a bigger house, bought more toys and worked even harder.

I had been lucky to join Best Buy as they were growing.  They were about to open the first 5 stores in our area, I took a pay cut to join a growing company.  I remember the job offer, $9.75 and hour and oh by the way you need to pass a drug test.  I took it  and worked even harder.  7 days a week often before the store was opened.Hard work brought great reward, with in a year I received my first promotion followed by several moves in the next few years.  I did very well with BBY staying with them for a little over 10 years.  We no longer worried about paying the bills, we had lots of “stuff” and had a few dollars in the bank.

Something was missing