Posted by: duranx4 | July 13, 2011

What IF????

My interest has never been peeked by ecomomic philosophies. Even now, as an adult living in a society on the brink of an economic meltdown, though I should be fully informed of the issues that are monoplolizing the headlines and preparing for a future that is financially unstable and uncertain, I choose to continue living in the bubble that I have surrounded myself with in hopes that someone else will just take care of it for me. However, as much as I avoid stockmarket jargon, financial securities, and all other mumbo-jumbo related to economical well-being (or lack there of), there is one lesson that I learned while sitting in high school economics class and have yet to forget.

 Opportunity cost is the cost related to the next-best choice available to someone who has picked among several mutually exclusive choices; The cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to pursue a certain action. Put another way, the benefits you could have received by taking an alternative action.

Every single day, I am forced to make decisions that affect, not only my own life, but the lives of everyone that has ever been a part of my life. Opportunity cost relates to every aspect of life, not just in regards to finances. It’s the thought of walking down a path and coming to the proverbial “fork in the road.” Faced with two options, the path to the right…or the path to the left. Whichever path is chosen, and whatever rewards or obstacles it holds, by choosing one over the other, you are missing out on the experiences- both positive and negative- that the alternative path had to offer. Opportunity cost is the underlying cause of the nagging question that all women ponder at some point in their lives…the inevitable, “What IF?”

Throughout times of stress, hardship, boredom, resentment, depression; and even through times of happiness and joy, I have often found my mind wandering into the past and posing the question, “What IF?” I never voiced my contemplations because I didn’t want others to make my queries into something they were not. Just because I wondered about the possibility of a different life, didn’t mean that I wanted it. Thinking I was abnormal for having these thoughts, I kept them inside as nothing more than conversations in my head… until I remembered my Economics lesson on opportunity cost.

EVERY dcision- not just the major, life-altering ones- but every little decision that we make in life has an alternative choice. Whether it’s which day of the week to designate as grocery day, what you will eat for lunch, to whom you will marry and spend the rest of your life with, or which stock you will invest your life’s savings with; you are missing out on something, whether good or bad, by choosing the other.

Instead of feeling that I missed out on a life that could have been, I choose to look at what I would be missing out on now had I chosen the other path. If I had stayed in a relationship with my first love, I would not be married to the most amazing man that I have ever known. If I had not accepted the teaching position at the school that was, at the time, not my first choice; I would have missed out on the friendships that were created there. If I had not gone shopping that day, I would have never met the man I would spend forever with. If I never talked about my thoughts of “what IF” to my closest girlfriends, I would have continued to go on thinking that something was wrong with me for wondering if I gad missed out on something- not necessarily better, but different.

Spending time contemplating “what IF” keeps me from focusing on what IS! While it’s completely normal for these thoughts to creep into our minds, I find it imperative to not allow them to hold us back from moving forward. I try to always think about what I’m passing up before I make any decisions so that I can look back with appreciation for experiences that I gain, rather than in regret for those I lost. The fact is that by focusing on possibilities that were never guaranteed, our opportunities for possibilities are overlooked! Hmmm…..

Posted by: duranx4 | February 16, 2011

Bucket Lists????

Bucket Lists…What’s the Point?

Bucket List: A list of activities, adventures, and/or experiences a person desires to achieve before dying.

Just another “buzz” word as far as I’m concerned. I’ve never really understood the purpose of creating a “bucket” list. Call me Mrs. Negativity, but as far as I’m concerned, these lists cause more harm than good. In all reality, most “bucket” lists consist of extreme activities- like cliff diving; having a picnic on top of New Zealand’s beautiful mountains, over looking the grassy valleys where sheep peacefully graze; enjoying a glass of the finest wine from atop the Eiffel Tower on a starry night in Paris; and strolling the streets of Italy, hand-in-hand with the one you love. Get REAL!! A fingerless person could count on one hand the number of people who would ever accomplish a single one of these items on life’s grocery list. Talk about setting yourself up for disappointment!! Whatever happened to a thing called short-term goals?

Somewhere along the way, society has lost sight of reality and all practicality. We now teach our kids that they can do anything and be whatever they want in life….NOT TRUE! I am all for positive encouragement for our youth; however, let’s not lead them on to believe in the impossible. Not everyone is a winner, not every young boy will go on to become a professional athlete, not every young girl will live out her dreams on a Broadway stage; yet we fill young minds with delusional dreams of attaining perfection by encouraging them to create such lists that include the most inconceivable goals. To make matters worse, adults are paving the path to destruction that is filled with disappointment.

We create these “bucket” lists and allow them to take control over our lives, tricking ourselves into believing that we can actually achieve the outrageous successes listed on them. Granted, there are a handful of people who miraculously concur life’s obstacles and find success in accomplishing the goals on their “list”; however, most of these people have advantages that “normal” people are not privy to- such as extreme wealth or celebrity. In our efforts to check off our life’s to-do list, we lose sight of the things that matter most, and turn our focus on accomplishing goals that really don’t matter in the end.

I understand that “bucket” lists are meant to give hope when it seems like there is none, but why can’t we just be satisfied with knowing that our lives don’t have to be fanatical to be fantastic? I do have a list, but it does not contain extreme activities that I will, in all reality, probably never participate in. My list consists of short-term goals that will “accessorize” my life every day. I find success DAILY in doing this, rather than having to strive everyday to, in the end, be disappointed. Not to say that I wouldn’t love to be given the opportunity to travel the world or win the lottery, I just don’t EXPECT it.

Posted by: duranx4 | January 20, 2011

Pieces of Wholes

Line 652,457, Section C, Part 14 of A Mother’s Job Description:

A mother should be PREPARED for the UNEXPECTED at ALL times!

How miserably I have failed to meet that requirement, time and time again!!! I like to think of myself as an organized stacker! I have pieces of wholes packaged together in neat little stacks that are placed in just-the-right spots throughout my house.  I am partially prepared for NOTHING!

I have collected a sea of pencils that have taken over the junk drawer in my kitchen, yet can’t manage to uncover a pencil sharpener to save my life.

I have SOME of the ingredients for a dozen recipes, yet can’t combine any of them to make ONE decent meal.

I have just enough shampoo to give my hair a good wash, yet not an ounce of conditioner to comb out all the tangles.

I have a box of assorted band aids, yet only tiny ones-too small to cover any boo-boo in my house- remain.

I have washing detergent, but only enough to wash a portion of the clothes that I have stuffed into the washing machine.

I have freshly brewed coffee but only one teaspoon of sugar- I need two!

I have “AAA” batteries, yet every toy in my house requires “AA”.

I have peanut butter, but NO jelly.

I seem to live in a constant state of organized chaos…..forever seeking to complete the pieces of wholes!

Posted by: duranx4 | January 19, 2011

Nothing to Wear with a Closet FULL of Clothes

My husband is a successful business man who spends his days surrounded by suits, ties, and leather briefcases; dining at the finer restaurants in town, rubbing elbows with commercial big wigs, and schmoozing hopeful clients with rounds of golf.  Every morning, he leaves the house looking the look and talking the talk of the next Donald Trump.

I, on the other hand, spend my days wiping snot from runny little noses; refereeing hair pulling, arm biting, leg kicking fights; and watching marathon showings of Suite Life on Deck and Hannah Montana on Disney HD.

One day recently, my hubby came home and informed me that we had been invited to a dinner, hosted by a potential client that was well known and respected throughout the community. My excitement at the mere thought of escaping the routine that held me hostage in my own home, was quickly hampered by sheer terror as the life altering decision of what to wear consumed my every thought.

I dashed to my closet and frantically scanned the racks! That’s when reality slammed me in the face, and it was no longer about what I would wear to a dinner, but had become more about me-losing sight of who I was and who I wanted to be.

I stood, motionless, in the center of my closet surrounded by memories of who I used to be. Racks of clothes began closing in on me, smothering glimpses of reality into a haze of delusion. Hangers held up lifeless shirts with holes, stains, and missing buttons. Shorts, that were way too short, sat on shelves- not that they had shrunk, but because my derriere now hung a little lower than it used to.   I realized that I still had outfits that I had worn in high school hanging up!! I had allowed my clothes to control my life and become responsible for the routines that I had created. With only t-shirts and old jeans to wear, I had limited myself to attire that was only suitable for the grocery store and soccer practice. And because of that, I chose not to go anywhere else. “What happened to me?”

I had always prided myself in taking care of my appearance, but somewhere along the way, “taking care” took on a new meaning…..Instead of pushing myself to try new things and go to new places, I had become trapped in the past with clothes that were older than my children. I stopped desiring to meet new people because I didn’t want to be judged on what I was wearing. I wanted to “fit” in with the crowd that my husband ran with, but didn’t want to make the effort to dress the part- so instead, I opted to stick with what was familiar to me-jeans and t-shirts! I was letting the opportunity to become a better person pass me by, and for what reason….I had NOTHING to wear!

As superficial as this may sound, one of the new goals that I have set for myself is to start dressing the part- the part of the person that I want to be! I want to be able to walk into my closet and feel motivated to go somewhere-other than Wal-Mart! I may not have a million bucks, but I sure will look like it!

My challenge to you is to dress the part of the person that you WANT to be, not the person you once were! Don’t allow your clothes to hold you back from reaching new heights!

Posted by: duranx4 | January 13, 2011

REAL housewives????

Although I am somewhat embarrassed to admit this, I have become obsessed with Reality TV! I waste away countless hours of my life peeping in on the lives of others. I sit and stare at the “Real Housewives of Atlanta, Orange County, Beverly Hills, New Jersey, and even New York” as they publicize their totally UNREALISTIC lives on television for all the world to see. I listen to “normal” families air their dirty laundry on talk shows as they betray their “so-called” loved ones with scandalous secrets that they feel the need to reveal on national television. I watch hoarders destroy their lives, families, and homes. I see desperate bachelors and bachelorettes searching for love. I listen to young hopefuls sing their hearts out  in an effort to become the next king/queen of pop! I watch all of these strangers live their lives out on television while mine slips away! And for what?? Am I envious of what these people have?!
NO!! I am not jealous of the luxurious lives that these women and men pretend to have! Because in REALITY, they have nothing but materialistic STUFF that, in the end, will lead to no substance of happiness!! I am a REAL housewife; and while I may have some REAL issues to deal with, I also have REAL happiness! I have been blessed with a REAL family that I love unconditionally, and who love me in return. I don’t shove my children to the side for nannies to raise while I flaunt myself around town. And though being a REAL parent may not always be glamorous; the hugs, kisses, smiles, giggles, and love that I get on a daily basis are priceless! I have found a REAL love in a REAL man who stands by me and appreciates me for all of the things that I am, and even the things that I’m not.  While we have our moments of stress, we always work through them because that’s how REAL marriages work.
So, why do I enjoy eavesdropping in on the lives of  these reality celebrities; it’s simple….it makes me more appreciative of everything and everyone that surrounds me in my REAL life. After watching these people live out their superficial lives, with their fake and inflated body parts, and listening to their petty cat fights with each other; I feel sad for them as their families fall apart- with marriages that end in divorce and houses that end in foreclosures, for all the world to see. I realize that I am truly blessed to be a REAL housewife!
Too bad these shows are so darn entertaining:-)