Sunday, October 11, 2015

A letter to Cowboy haters

Okay. I get it. You hate the Dallas Cowboys. It is evident by the repeated posts on social media throughout the week leading up to Sunday. You post anti-Cowboy memes and share hate filled posts from other Cowboy haters. You post more anti-Cowboy photos than you do of your family. 

When the Cowboys win, you are suddenly missing in action from social media. You are nowhere to be found. Silence. Nada. When the Cowboys lose, you are happier than a kid on Christmas morning and begin your obnoxious posts all over again. 

You don’t like Romo and have come up with some pretty lame nicknames for him. It's surprising people of your age actually call people names, but one would think you'd be a bit more creative. You dislike Jason Garrett and curse Jerry Jones. You call the Cowboys washed up, overrated, overpaid and crybabies. If "you" were the quarterback, you'd be able to suck it up and play with a broken collar bone. 

So, here’s my question for all you Cowboy haters out there. Why don’t you talk about your favorite team? It seems more logical to me to talk about the team you love more than the team you hate. Maybe, just maybe, deep down inside you were once a Cowboys fan. Maybe they “let you down” when you expected them to win and they didn't.  Maybe you lost a bet and had to shave your head or wear something ridiculous to work one day. Maybe Santa forgot to bring you a Dallas Cowboy suit when you were little and you’ve held it against them all these years. Maybe one of the DC Cheerleaders turned you down when you asked her out on a date. Maybe you have DCED (Dallas Cowboy Envy Disease) and it's not covered under your health care plan. 

Maybe you hate the Cowboys because they have an allegiance of fans like no other. Fans who stick it out in the good and not-so-good years. Fans who refuse to hop on the bandwagon and like the team with the best record. Fans who don’t have 10 different team jerseys in their closets. Fans who don't have to pledge their hate to their least favorite team weekly, but fans who pledge their loyalty to their favorite team. 

Hate 'em all you want, but just remember...the Dallas Cowboys were, are and will forever be...America's team. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

It's about time

   Seven weeks ago today, we pulled away from our daughter's college campus. As we drove away, my husband rolled down the window and hollered, "We love you" in a cracking voice. As we left the parking lot, my emotions got the best of me. I felt like someone had punched me in the gut.
   Two hours later, we arrived at home and walked into the house for the first time as official empty nesters. The silence was deafening. 
  The next week was a blur. I would cry going to work, cry on the way home and break down crying before going to bed. Although I know my job as a mother will never be complete, I felt like I had been fired from being in charge of her life. She was on her own. She would be making her own decisions. She would need me, but not as much as before. 
   My emotions were all over the place. I was sad, but I was thrilled she was starting a new journey in her life. I stalked her Twitter and Facebook to see what time she was posting. Was she staying out late? Was she doing her homework? Was she making smart decisions? Was she making friends? Was she lonely? Did she miss me? 
   I quickly realized she was having the time of her life and was happy.
   Since I was 17, I've been a mom. In less than a month, I will be 43 and for the first time in 26 years, I don't have a child to take care of at home. 
   For those 26 years, I've considered myself Jeff's wife and Chase and Madie's mom. Somewhere along the way, I forgot all about me and put my dreams and plans on the back burner. I loved having kids in the house. The activities, the recitals, games, skinned knees, broken bones, broken hearts, homework folders, reading books, helping study for tests and whole laundry list of things moms just do. I began to wonder if I was really good at anything other than being a mom. 
   The past seven weeks, I've been focusing on my relationship with my husband. For the first time in all those years, it is just the two of us. We didn't always do a good job of making time for one another when our kids were younger. We made everything about them and you could tell we had a lot of catching up to do.
   Earlier in the week, I pulled out an old journal I wrote in several years ago. As I began reading some of the entries, I found a list of things I wanted to accomplish "one day." You know that magical phrase that we use to make us feel better about putting something off until tomorrow. I'll get around to it "one day." There were eight things on the list and "one day" had yet to come for every single one of them. 
   It wasn't because the opportunity was never there. It was because I put things off to be a mom. I put things off to be a wife. I put things off to be an employee. I put things off because they required time and let's be real, I didn't really have a whole lot of time. Who has time to do anything when you are raising kids? The stark reality is...we all do. We make time for the things we want to do and put off those things that are not crucial to living our everyday life. 
   My daughter started a new chapter in her life, which makes it the perfect time for me to do the same. I just have to take that first step. Before long, those "one days" I have will turn into "no days."

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A fool in need of an attitude change

   I am in desperate need of an attitude change. STAT! For the past couple of weeks, I have developed a sour attitude to several things and let me tell you...I DO NOT LIKE MYSELF!
   I find this very disturbing for a number of reasons.

1. It's not like me to just be mad at the world.
2. It's my favorite season of all...Fall and football! How can I be upset at anything?!
3. My sour attitude is like poison and it's not good on those around me.

   I think it all started when I was offended by something someone said to me and it went south from there. They apologized and I said I let it go, but I found it slowly creeping into the back of my mind. I think the enemy loves when he sees us filled with frustration, aggravation and anger. As long as we are filled with those raw emotions, we are unable to find true forgiveness and happiness.
   Other little things got under my skin, that usually don't. Someone driving slow in front of me, the red light taking too long, idiotic comments on social media and to top it all off, I spent 1 hour and 3 minutes on the phone with Dish Network tonight. I talked to four different people, two of whom I had a difficult time understanding. When I got off the phone, I was wishing I had a real phone that I could slam down with all my might.
   After the marathon phone call with Dish, I snapped at my husband, gripped and complained for about 10 minutes about everything and headed back to my room. As I sat down on the bed, I looked on my bedside table at my Bible.
   I'm ashamed to admit reading it was not something I wanted to do at the moment. I was angry. I was upset. I was mad. I was frustrated and there was absolutely nothing that could make it better. I was going to wallow in my toxic attitude.
   It's times like these I'm thankful for the gentle nudge God gives us. You know the look your parent gives you when you disappoint them? Yeah, I felt it. I knew I was behaving in a way that was far from pleasing to God. I picked up my Bible and turned it to Proverbs. I've always liked the book of Proverbs. Reading this book of the Bible is like sitting with a good friend. It's chock full of great advice for life.
   I recalled a scripture about anger in Proverbs and I looked until I found it. Proverbs 29:11 says, "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control." about slapping you in the face. I read this scripture a few times hoping I could read it in a way that would give me some justification for my sorry attitude the past couple of weeks, but convicted me.  Good, 'ole in your face conviction.
   I started thinking about the things that have been under my skin the past couple of weeks and I realized I wasted a whole lot of time being upset about things that are out of my control! Life is way too short to spend it holding on to little things.
   I will always struggle with being a control freak. It's just part of who I am. I just have to realize the things I can and cannot control. I cannot control the red light, customer service, statements I don't like on social media, or people who offend me. What I can control is my reaction to those things.
  So, I did what I should have been doing for the past couple of weeks when my attitude was less than becoming. I prayed. I asked God to rid my heart of the bad attitude and to bring me back to the Ginger I know is in there somewhere. I asked Him to help me control my reactions and to forgive me for the times I did not behave in a way that was pleasing to Him. Luckily, very few people have been a witness to my bad attitude. I've been successful in letting it only come out when I am at home, which hasn't been great for my marriage. I'm sure my husband wants as far away from here as possible.
   Prayer not only changes things, it changes people. I'm looking forward to waking up with a new attitude.