Thursday, May 23, 2013

It's my problem

I learned an important lesson from one of my daughters today.

"Sometimes my problems are MY problems."

The setting: we were walking with a group of about 140 students for about a mile for a field trip.  The group consisted of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students.  My kids are in 6th grade and are slightly small in comparison to some of these kids.

A and I were walking together when she pointed out a girl who had told her she would "beat you up and smash your head into a computer."  Nice.  I leaned over to my daughter and asked if this girl needed to be tripped.  "No, mom.  Sometimes my problems are MY problems."

I guess she told me.

It takes everything I have not to smack these kids who are mean to my kids and their friends simply because they're smaller, nerdier or because they like their teachers and like school.  I don't really want to hurt them.  But I do want the bullying to stop.  I want the nastiness to go away.

But I can't make it go away.  I can't wish away their sadness.  I can't yell at those kids and suddenly make them nice.

And I probably shouldn't trip them when they're walking down the hall.  Or say any of the things that float around my head.  Or do any of the things that come to mind......

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

If you can't say anything nice......

Be quiet.

That's not the first thing that came to my mind.  "Shut the fuck up" came to mind but "be quiet" sounds nicer.  This is going to be the new Judi mantra.

One of my facebook friends posted the quote from the Buddhist Boot Camp site.  It struck me because I hear myself telling my kids "listen to your tone", "say something nice", "words hurt" often.  It doesn't stop.  I hear the nastiness all too often.

I hear (and cause) too much nastiness in my life.  I yell at the dumbass drivers who feel the need to drive 40 mph on the beltway and the douchebags who seem to have forgotten how to use a turn signal.  I hear my kids yell at each other and talk snarkily about the mean girls at school.

Enough is enough.

So I will try to stop calling drivers dumbasses and douchebags (DAs and DBs in the code world of speaking in front of kids - which, for the record, doesn't work.  They figure out what you're saying.).  I will not call people who piss me off bad names.  My mother used to have a more Christian strategy.  When people are that stupid, they need a prayer.  When they piss you off, say a prayer for them.  I like that but we are of different religious beliefs.  However, when these people piss me off, I can send them a happy thought.

I called someone out on this recently.  This is someone who I care about - I wasn't willing to just say well, that person is being a dick so I'm done.  But I told him a comment he said to a business owner wasn't okay.  Rarely do I get full-on, red faced angry.  I was when I heard his comment.


I explained why I thought it was wrong and why I don't want the nastiness in my life any more.  My point was made.  He's entitled to his opinion - I'm fine with that.  But when you cross the line into nastiness, keep it to yourself.

And that includes me.  I'm working on keeping the nastiness in check.  If I can't be positive, I'll be quiet.

Now, if only that message could be heard in the tween world......

Friday, May 17, 2013's what we humans do

I've been to two large events recently.  Both affected me significantly, though in different ways.  The power of a large number of people is impressive.

The first event was the Avon Walk for Cancer.  I walked last year and volunteered to crew this year.  They were very different experiences and I'm glad I did both (and might even do them both again).  I was struck during closing ceremonies that nearly 25000 people were gathered by the Washington Monument because of one shared sad common event that happened to them all.  Either they themselves or a family member or a friend had experienced the devastation that breast cancer brings.  For some it wasn't all bad.  Others were still obviously coping with it all.  But overall it was a very positive event.  While I was cheering the walkers - several of whom were obviously still in treatment, others were survivors and others had different reasons for walking - the sadness was there but there were so many smiles, so many stories.  One man had a pair of sneakers attached to his back pack.  He used to walk with his wife when she was going through treatment.  Then she died.  He keeps her shoes with him.  One woman walked past, cane in hand, slightly stooped and walking slowly.  But she was WALKING.  It was pretty amazing.

The second event was seeing the Dalai Lama at the University of Maryland.  Nearly 15000 peaceful people were there to hear his words and his laugh.  It was this large arena full of love.  His words were calming yet clear. His demeanor was charming.  He's not threatening in any way - yet there were tons of security. Living in the DC area, security is nothing new.  But this was impressive.  State police everywhere.  Local county police.  Other kinds of police that I didn't readily recognize.  Big time security.  But so much love that when I went to the ladies room following the event, women were holding the stall doors open for each other.  So much love it extended to the restrooms.  There was SO MUCH LOVE that when I asked one of the people I was with if she would share her pictures with me (we point had small point and shoot cameras), the guy sitting behind us offered to share his professional pics with us.  And then he did it!

Now, if only I could get this love-will-change-the-world feeling to stay......

Thank you Cyrus Ameri!