Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Inexhaustible Resource by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated and Military Mom Talk Radio

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Sandra Beck - Boucing with Style: Starting Over but not from Scratch

Sandra Beck – Boucing with Style: Starting Over but not from Scratch

by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated, Military Mom Talk Radio

 

I am not an inexhaustible resource. I didn’t say these words until I turned 40. I really think that before my life collapsed I really truly thought I could do anything I set my mind to, that I would find the time in my day to do the things that were important to me and I would somehow find the ways and means to get my programs, ideas and books out there.

 

Yeah right.

 

Two premature babies later. One mom buried. Two dogs cremated. One foreclosure, two liquidated cars and to just top it off, I gained back the 25 pounds that took FOREVER to lose.

 

I used to hear people say things like “you need to take care of yourself,” “you need to put yourself first,” and “you need to be at the top of your ‘to-do’ list.”  I checked all my lists and my day planner and the only place I could find something that even related to me personally was on the bottom of my grocery list under the pseudonym “chocolate bars.”

Even that was scratched off most weeks as the scale continued to climb.

 

It was only when I fell apart after my divorce. That pitiful time where I cried every day at least once for 43 straight days. Was I depressed? Probably. Did I medicate? Probably should have but didn’t. I simply felt every feeling that was bottled up in the past 15 years and it all had to come out.  Once that storm passed, I felt drained – inside and out.

 

It was then that I had to pick up the pieces of my life and rebuild. It was then and only then that those phrases above got through my thick head. I needed to take care of myself first. My mom was dead. My husband left. There were took kids looking at me from bouncy seat and high chair respectively and they needed someone who could do this.

 

I read a book about the proper care and feeing of husbands and all I could think about what about the proper care and feeding of me? I started scribbling all my little ditties about what I needed to do and when Dr. Laura said it’s the wife’s responsibility to set her time so that she can take care of her husband and her children a light went on. I realized that it’s not my responsibility for them but for me!

 

I am not an inexhaustible resource for school functions, soccer leagues, church events, kids clothing, yard sales and whatever is on my plate this week. So every Sunday night after the kids go to bed I write down in my planner what I can do this week. Not what I need to do, not what I am guilted in to doing and not what I think I should be doing because my expectations of myself are unrealistic at best.

 

I also write down every week in my planner three things:

I am not an inexhaustible resource.

I have the same 24 hours as everyone else.

The world will not fall apart if I say no.

 

I hope you learn from me and don’t wait 40 years for this to sink in. But if you do, and you wait to 40, 50 or 60 you will be fine – just tired, cranky and overworked but fine. Because we all learn what we need to learn just at the point we need to learn it most.

 

Sandra Beck is the host of two popular radio shows, four books and the single mother of two children. She currently lives in Los Angeles on a ranch with her 4 rescued dogs. She volunteers for many national charities and struggles with saying no as demonstrated by her biography.

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Gratitude, Sink Water and a Broken Maytag by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Talk Radio

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Sandra Beck - Boucing with Style: Starting Over but not from Scratch

Sandra Beck – Boucing with Style: Starting Over but not from Scratch

By Sandra Beck

 

It’s been hot. And not just sticky icky yucky steamy hot but fry potatoes on the hood of your mini van hot. Baking sun, hot dry desert breezes…oh wouldn’t a cold drink be nice right now?

 

What’s the puddle in front of the fridge I ask myself. Living in the desert there isn’t a puddle for 15 miles. I open the freezer everything is soupy and goupy.  My fridge smells swampy and there is a damp film on everything. It’s disgusting.  We haven’t been home for three days. Clearly the fridge hasn’t done its job either.

 

I actually rolled in my city trash can into the kitchen figuring I would have to mop the floor anyway. I tossed probably two hundred dollars of food in the trash. I call the repair company – there is only one that serves my community under the warranty and it’s going to be three days to come out and then they will need to order the part come back and install it.

 

Haha! I am resilient mom so I pull out my cooler, head to the gas station for ice.  Milk, eggs, OJ that’s all the kids and I need.   NINE DAYS LATER I am ready to shoot myself.

I am tired of hearing “I don’t want to drink sink water.”  “I’m too tired to go out to dinner I need to finish my homework.”

 

Personally I am tired of sink water too. I am tired of running down to McDonald’s to buy milk for each kid every morning or Orange Juice only to have them take three sips and have nowhere to store it. I am tired of coming home from soccer with two dirty kids who want a long cool drink and they get “warm sink water” as my 9 year old put it.

 

I thought back to when I was a kid and all we had was sink water. It came from our lake, pumped right out of the bottom. I admin that I am really spoiled now with chilled water and ice from our fridge – icy cold and filtered.  I thought of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. I thought of all the families in third world countries without clean water to drink. Well this is California for God’s sake and I am sitting in the stinking heat drinking warm lemonade. I’m soft.  I’m spoiled. I like my chilled drinks.

 

The doorbell rings and there he is… my hero.  The Maytag repairman. No, not Gordon Jump rest is soul but a man with a tool kit and the part I need.  Hours later I am at my kitchen table sipping my cold drink and I was full of gratitude. I realized how much I took just having cold water for granted.

 

I am thankful for the refrigerator that makes my life exponentially easier. I gave it a little blessing. I went in and thanked my air conditioner, my washer, my dryer and my oven for their service.  It’s only when these items break down that we realize just how lucky we are living in an industrialized nation with a washer so we don’t have to beat our clothes on rocks and drink the same water.  I wonder if the kids there say “I don’t want laundry water!”