Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Share Your Story!

One day last week, I visited with two friends who were struggling with the balancing act of caring for their immediate family - husband, children, and running a business - and meeting the needs and demands of their parents. One of the women said, "I don't want my son's life or my parents' life - I need my OWN life!" I was reminded of my maternal grandmother, who screamed at my mom one day, "I don't want you to be my mother!" Believe me, Mom didn't want to be, either!

My other friend told the all too familiar tale of her dad calling and saying, "You have got to come help me with your mother - she is driving me nuts!" My friend told her dad that she was in the middle of something (i.e. WORKING) - could it wait awhile? Again, I was reminded of my grandmother phoning my mother one afternoon, and when she couldn't reach her, she phoned Mom's next-door neighbor. Mom was walking home after a day of teaching kindergarten, and she had not quite made it to her house. The neighbor flagged her down on the street to tell her, "Your mother is on the phone and needs to speak with you!" Apparently it could NOT wait!

If you have not read my mom's book, "When Heads and Hearts Collide," I highly recommend you do so. I have yet to meet a single person who read it who did not identify personally with the stories she shares. You can order the book at - just click on the tab for "Books by Arline." I encourage you to get this book and read it, then let me know how it impacted you... and we will share your thoughts here.

I know many of you are struggling to have a life and "keep all the balls in the air." My mother used to ask, "When will it be MY turn?" I am not sure we all get a "turn," but I do believe there is safety in numbers - and great comfort in hearing the stories of others. So please, share YOUR story with me and other readers of this blog. Either contact me, and I will post it for you - or add your comments here.

I listened to my two friends as they shared their own experiences. Probably my best piece of advice for them was something given me a few years ago by my pastor... "No!" is a complete sentence! I have clung to that thought, and it has served me well. I try to be discreet and discerning in my use of this... but there are times when I simply must say "No!" - to my grandmother, to requests for my time at church and elsewhere, to myself when I start to pile more upon myself than I possibly manage... and sometimes, to a social situation for which I simply do not have the energy. Remember, there is only one YOU... and if others are depending on you in times of real need, you will need to conserve your energy - and your sanity - for when it really counts!

Order the book - send your stories - and hang in there!

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