To work or not to work…

I am sure there are countless mothers who go through this dilemma in their lives – do I go to work or do I stay home and raise kids?

For some there is not much of a choice – you have to pay bills and put food on the table – you have to go to work. For some others it is a choice – only one spouse can have a demanding career and yet for some it is a calculated choice – I stay home now with the baby and go back to work when the kids go back to school.

In the European countries, women are encouraged to stay home and raise their kids, and in some cultures it is a given. In the United States there are both – women who stay home and those who try and do it all. Nothing wrong with either in my opinion, however it is a question of balance.

When the kids are babies – they need their mothers – obviously. Nobody will look after their baby like their own unless it is the mom. But at times you will end up leaving your child with a baby sitter – because you have no one else around to help. The sad part is that those who are responsible for caring your most precious possession in the whole wide world is paid below minimum wage yet they have such a huge responsibility.

As the kids get older and they go to school, they still need their parents to help and guide them. Middle school is crucial because this is the awkward age, when the things their friends say will define how they look at life. Instilling confidence at this age is imperative, it gives them the courage to make the right decision.

By the time they get to high school, they have found what they have been looking for in their social lives, so they spend an inordinate amount of time with their friends and less time with their family. I guess it is preparation for when they leave home for college and they have to fend for themselves anyway.

The question of going to work starts to bother you when either you feel unfulfilled because suddenly you realize that 15 years have passed and your qualifications are out of date or you can’t afford half the things cause you don’t have that disposable income.

So what is the conclusion? You do what you have to do. Will it affect your kids if you work? No – they will learn to adjust in situations because you have taught them how to. Will they be spoilt if you stay home – No, not if you do everything for them. It is all about balance, give and take, sharing and caring.

Dreams and Goals

Do you know what the difference is between a goal and a dream – a goal is a dream with a deadline.

I must be going through a slump cause this is the conversation going through my head. Picture this:
I am in the gym got my spanking new shoes on and working out the time I have to run. Imagine a devil version of me (D) on one shoulder and the angel version (A)on the other have this conversation:
D: What the heck were you thinking? what made you think that you can run?
A: Hey, you got new shoes, you want to do it, you can make it happen.
D: Yeah right! It takes you 20 minutes to get past the hive stage – dang and that is uncomfortable and then you still have to run 10 more minutes before you get to 30 minutes
A: Don’t think of all that, think of the end goal – in 3 months you will be able to run 13.1 miles because you have the stamina.
D: Ha ha ha ha. How are you going to run 13.1 miles when you cannot even get through 1 mile without feeling like your lungs are going to explode?
A: Of course you can, every time you run, you run a little more.
D: Oh yeah right – you look at the timer on the machine and try and figure out why 30 seconds takes so darn long.

By the end of that conversation – I am almost done with my workout, so the next tiem I go running, I am running outside – thank you.

Stereotypes

I watched a movie of Adam Sandler called Don’t mess with the Zohan – a stereotypical movie that literally makes the cliche’s come to life. A spoof on the life of Arab and Israelis living in America and the life of an immigrant.

It was funny – to me it was – I am not sure if a Middle Eastern saw it what they would think. It was light hearted and silly but I am not sure if my neighbour would appreciate it or maybe he would be OK with it – after all he is living in America.

I live in a multicultural neighbourhood – we have all the races, actually Caucasian may be a minority. The kids all go to the same school on the same bus. They don’t see color when they see their friends, they see the person for who they are.

One day as we went for a walk we noticed the number of lights and motion sensor lights at the neighbour. We heard it was because some kids were vandalizing their property and harassing them. I had no idea since I live next door and never heard a thing.

You would think that once you come to America there would not be this kind of behaviour. You should be able to live without fear. However from what is happening around me, it looks like it is easy to target those that fall under the stereotypes.
Sad because it is the kids who are doing this – and all that because of fear. Even sadder is it is not the true nature of the kids but what they hear from the adults.
Everyone is scared and it is easy to hate and bully than try and all get along.

Actually if you look beyond the suspicion – everyone is just trying to make a living. Here in America – you can achieve so much – everyone is trying to follow their dreams.

So live and let live.

Secret of taking the ACT/SAT successfully

For those not familiar with the ACT and SAT – it is the American College Test and the Scholastic Aptitude Test are the standardized tests that are taken in the United Sates by 11th graders in order to get into college. The scores on those tests are what the colleges use to sift the wheat from the chaff so to speak.

I went to one of the coaching classes and was fascinated to find out that here too you have to use the positive thinking concept in order to succeed. The tests are just that – tests. It is a question af how you take the test -so if you are not a good test taker then take them a few times so you know how to take the test.

If you think about it – the concepts used to take the test are the same as when you train for a marathon or a dance or a task that requires a tremendous amount of concentration. You focus, prepare, breathe, plan and execute. Most important, you have to look at the task as something you can achieve in the time that is allotted. You have to believe and not get overwhelmed by all that is happening.

There is a technique to study and a technique to do well. It all boils down to planning, literally to the last minute. To make it challenging, you give yourself only 50 minutes. When you are under pressure – your brain learns to make decisions in a small amount of time. Then you further break it down to each section and number of minutes per question based on number of questions.

The trick is not to dwell on each question but to spend only the planned time on each question – so if you still have not figured it out – move on and come back later. Now you know why you gave yourself only 50 minutes?

So are these tests on how well you will do in college? Umm no -All it shows is your basic understanding of language and math, do you follow instructions and how good are you at taking tests?

So how well did yo do your tests?

Endorphins make you happy

That is the truth – endorphins make you happy. But working out after almost a month sucks! Where did all those random muscles show up from – I thought I knew where everything was.

The hardest part about getting back into the running is getting back into the running. I had to drag myself and put my feet into those expensive running shoes that I am still justifying to everyone and force myself to go to the gym.

That was the hardest 30 minutes of my life – Sheesh! The weather is great but I figured running on a treadmill will at least let me keep track of the time and distance. I am supposed to be running by time now, not distance to build stamina.

You know the worst part about it – the legs start aching and protesting and just as you get into that comfortable mode – your blood vessels decide to start pumping more blood – next thing you know the hives start. I don’t know about others but those hives was my reason to not run. Wait, you have yet to hear the worst – it takes 25 minutes for those hives to show – that means your most comfortable point is after that.

OK now that the whining is over – I am happy – I have to since I exercised, which produces endorphins, which makes you happy. Anyone have a problem with that?