Thursday, June 14, 2018

If The Shoe Fits, Wear It...

At least once a week, I decorate my personal Facebook wall with a photo accompanied by a brazen paragraph or two. Or three. Or four. These posts culminate from emails, private messages, stuff I see on social media, situations I witness, personal experience, etc. While these candid posts are not planned and have no rhyme or reason, there are two things that remain a solid foundation for all.

The first, they're simply general statements. My reactions to the emails, messages, what I witness, the stuff I see on social media, etc.

The second, they're not directed at anyone personally, however, if the shoe fits, wear it.

One such post happened today. I took a photo of Lisa mowing the lawn from our kitchen window. She had no idea I took this photo.

The photo was accompanied by this...

"Yep. This is my wife. She got up at 3:30 this morning. We tackled our morning chores. She went to work. I drank coffee and got started on my day. Lisa arrived home from work. Tended to more chores. Ran a couple of errands. Cut and sanded a couple pieces of wood for me in the woodshop. Revved up the lawn mower because the grass has grown.

Over 2 decades ago, THIS woman taught me a thing or two about dedication, management, motivation, organization, and encouraged me to expand on the work ethics my parents had already instilled in me. She settled for nothing other than the best of myself. Because THAT'S how she was raised too. This is the woman who at 18 years old worked TWO full-time jobs to save money for a car.

In the here and now, at almost 50, her voice and perseverance remain strong. She STILL keeps me on my toes. In line. Focused. She's my biggest fan. She continues to lead by example. She's the hardest worker I know. If she takes the time to assist you, appreciate it with every ounce of your being.

I don't give a shit what kind of day you're having. My wife puts up with A LOT before she speaks up. So, when she does... 

If she speaks, listen. DO not ignore her. DO not disrespect her. DO not undermine her. DO not give her attitude. DO not take her for granted. She won't put up with it. More so, neither WILL I."

This post received almost 100 likes and quite a few positive comments and replies. I was surprised. The responses both inspired me and rejuvenated my spirits.

I say that because times have changed. Times are continuing to change. Often times, and more and more often, I feel as if Lisa and I get sideswiped because we hold on tight and steady to our morals and ethics. And, the fact that our morals and ethics have not changed despite the changing times.

Because, even though times have changed and are continuing to change, that's no excuse for the deterioration of morals and ethics within the home and beyond.

For example, within the past decade, I've lost count at how many parents have hired me for Independent Living Tutoring. I have a curriculum based on the student's age. I keep the parent/s well informed with weekly and monthly progress reports.


I am not your child's parent. Independent Living Tutoring requires an impeccable follow through in the home. Tough love. Consistency. Rules. Consequences. Sure, you may have to put up with tantrums and inconveniences, but so be it.

Independent Living Tutoring will not work if I don't have the full support of the parent/s.

I've had a mix that includes an abundance of support from the parent/s and those who throw up their hands because they don't want to be bothered.

The ones who work with me, their kid/s could write success stories. The ones who don't, well...

Either way, I don't judge.

I do not tell the parent/s how to raise their human kid/s. I will, however, remind the parent/s that the rest of the world has to deal with your human kid/s so...

Aside from that...

One of the biggest lessons I've learned in my 10+ years of Independent Living Tutoring is this...

Don't compromise or alter your own morals, ethics, and values.

Lisa is going to be 50 in a couple of months. I'm 44. We were both raised by hardworking parents who instilled the same morals and ethics.

From as far back as we can remember, we had lots of chores to do during the week and weekends. We were expected to help out around the house beyond our daily chores. We were expected to try our hardest in school whether we made honors or not. Our efforts trumped grades.

We were expected to help our friends, family, and neighbors out without expecting anything in return.

We didn't expect our parents to fork out money on a silver platter for the extras in life. If we wanted the extras, we had to earn money to pay for them.  We had to take care of yard work, shovel driveways in the winter, stacking wood, babysitting, running errands, etc.

We were taught that stuff needs to be done whether you want to do them or not. Exhaustion or a busy schedule was no excuse for not getting chores done or not helping out with the extras.

That's the point where we are at now.

We are both sensitive to the changing times. Both on the end of the youth and the parents raising the youth of today.

But, that isn't going to sway us from how we were raised and leading by example.  Or, dodging the nasty comments or looks when we speak.

That was the entire point of my Facebook post.

Lisa got up at 3:30 in the morning to get ready for work.

I got up before she did to make her breakfast and lunch.

Getting up at that hour is no fun.

Working a full day after getting up at that hour is no fun either.

Getting home and having chores to do after getting up at that hour and working a full day is no cake walk.

But, the lawn needed to be mowed. Additional chores needed to be done.

What that all translates to is...

When Lisa helps you out with anything, appreiciate that. When she assists you, she's taking what little or no free time she has to do so.

When Lisa speaks, listen. She's the hardest worker I know. At the age of 18, she was working 2 full-time jobs to save up for a car.

Lisa is wise beyond her years.

If she calls you out on an issue, it's not to criticize, it's simply to guide you. Learn from her. Lisa taught me a thing or two about dedication, management, motivation, organization when I was a manager in training.

Yep, at one time, she was my boss. 

We pretty much have the same morals and ethics. Lisa tends to be more authoritative and patient. When she loses her shit, there's a good reason for that.

Me, on the other hand, I'm candid, a realist, honest, and in your face. I don't shy away from confrontation.

At the end of the day, we are who we are.

We are kind, generous, and have hearts of gold, but we don't put up with a lot of shit. Or the attitudes. Or the looks. Or the comments. Or the judgments.

Regardless of the feedback, I will continue to publish my candid posts. Again, they're general posts, but if the shoe fits, wear it.

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