My Family

Decisions that matter and those that change everything

Bilateral Prophylactic Mastectomy, a decision made after years of anguished thought, one that changed my life.  Words to some, but a 2 year-long process that changed everything about how I think, how I make decisions and almost everything about my life.  The entire stream of thought that started this blog as I worked through my decisions to have surgery over 3 years ago.  I truly do believe that the process changed my life as well as my families.

Over time these pages became my thoughts on life, parenting and more.  I have never changed the name because no matter the thoughts shared, they have always been about “decisions” in some way.  I mean that is all life is right?  A long road paved in decisions both good and bad.

As your kids grow they become involved in activities, sports and otherwise and you grow to trust the adults, often parents who also have children involved.  You tell yourself that they are doing what is best for all of the kids as well as your child.  This is our story with soccer.  The girls have both played since 5 years old.  Issues began to show themselves last year with our older daughter’s team but to be honest at the time I was in the midst of the Town Council election race and could not refused to see it  act on the issues.

11928724_10203867858291906_7063304232702176066_nIt became clear the development of my child was not important to those in charge of the team.  She was not having fun, the team was not growing and something had to give.  In our town many demand loyalty to the “township”.  I am loyal only to those I love and those loyal to myself and those I love.  It became clear it was time for a decision,

Decisions, stay within our township and play for a team put together as an after thought,

Decisions, Play for other townships who we once competed against(a few wanted Meg because she was one of the strongest full-time goalkeepers in the area, a position she never wanted to play full-time)

Decisions, go totally outside the established township societal rules and try out for a private club team.

The long process of making this decision sounds so silly to some but when the will, thoughts and feelings of an 11-year-old girl are involved, absolutely nothing is easy.  This was a very difficult decision, she would not know anyone, she would play outside of our community.  Since she was not ever provided playing time on the field (outside of goal) she was at a clear disadvantage.  We showed up for a training and after only 45 minutes my girl was accepted to the team, a private club team.  The interesting feedback from the evening, she would be expected to play all aspects and was too young to be limited to any one aspect of the game but that they would train her.  The decision was clear and made immediately.  My girl was thrilled.

For the last 2 months we have practiced and trained all guided under the eyes of her new coach.  Scrimmages and 3 v 3 competitions to prepare for the season brought us to this past weekend.  Our first tournament to prepare for the season.  With Megan’s background and skill she is still the starting keeper for the team and started all 3 games during the first half.  In the second half of the first game she took the field  as a mid-fielder playing a mixed offensive/defensive position and pulled her weight.  It was the second game where my head spun!  Midway through the second half  I saw my girl substituted into the game as a Forward.  I figured she was there just to give someone a water break and that it would be a short shift but then something happened.  Meg had only been in the game for about 2-3 minutes when her team began moving down the field.  A beautiful pass from a teammate right to the center of the field where Meg was waiting and with one touch Megan launched the ball into the top of the net for her first goal ever.

Meg jumped so high it became clear to her teammates how special this was for her.  Hugs and high fives were exchanged.  Pride, confidence, development and teamwork.  Our decision was clearly the right one.  I have never seen my daughter practice so hard and enjoy the game so much.  She looks forward to practice and can not wait for the next game.  They will not win every game but they have heart, fight and a will to succeed.  If life were a book I would have to say that this chapter is still being written but the first few pages look like one great story!

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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?

Me

Allowing the negative to fade away

You’re going to go through tough times-that’s life. Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.  See the positive in negative events.  Joel Osteen

In July of 2012 I had a life changing experience.  Body altering surgery, pain both physical and mental and at times feelings of pure helplessness.  Over time, those feelings became ones of freedom.  Receiving the news that my post BPM biopsy was positive for lobular carcinoma in situ at first set me into a pure panic.  I remember the doctors call, feeling as if the room around me was closing in and the tears rolling down my cheeks.  Then the realization, I made the right decision.  Years of biopsies and worries of cancer were over.

From then on I have really seen things differently.  I refuse to allow the negative things in life to control my day.  Sure, I have moments but as a rule I am trying to live more of a “glass is half full” kind of life.  For years I often found myself in the middle of others drama or tried to mediate others dilemmas.  Recently, I have had to remind myself of what I realized almost 3 years ago, life is too short to be surrounded in negativity.

Not only is it too short but life moves way too fast!  It seems like just yesterday that my girls were born  and today I watched Madison perform on stage at her first talent show.  Megan attended her first dance the other night and both are growing into such beautiful girls.  Allowing myself to live in anyone else’s negativity removes my focus on what is important in life.  I will no longer feel guilty for allowing myself to focus on the positive things, I will not apologize for looking for the sun instead of the rain and I will not ask permission to smile.  I WILL surround myself and my family with others who feel the same!