The Roads We Travel

A few days in a life journey.

Archive for January 2013

Inauguration 2013: We the People…

Presidential Inauguration 2013

Photo Credit: Huffington Post

Today, I watched the Presidential Inauguration and felt such joy, pride and hope. Not just for myself and my family, but for so many Americans who in the past have been relegated to the sidelines of  our society — minorities, immigrants, same-sex couples, and even those with disabilities. All mentioned in President Barack Obama’s  inauguration speech.

Wow!

Just earlier this week, I had a conversation with a neighbor who proclaimed there were too many Asian Americans in our community. He said that another neighbor had to move because she was the only one on her street who spoke English. He continued to share that his biggest problem is with Hispanics who are “too lazy” to learn English, and that if they truly wanted to be Americans then they should learn English. He felt that federal tax dollars should not be spent to translate information for government services into Spanish.

Of course, I took issue with everything he was saying. Everything.

For a moment, I was surprised. I’m not sure why because I have had similar conversations with this same neighbor in years past. Also, I have met people with similar prejudicial ideas more than a few times in my life. Then it hit me.

In my quiet moments, in the safety of my loving home and in the ideals of my mind, I forget that not only does this type of prejudice still exist in our nation, but it resides in my community — right down the street. And, while I’m saddened at the thought, I’m also thankful.

Thankful that my neighbor feels comfortable enough expressing his prejudices to me… someone I’m sure he knows is not a sympathetic ear. Thankful that his starkly different views slap me in the face and wake me up to a reminder that our work is not done.

Thankful for a President who has the audacity to hope for something better for ALL Americans and would be Americans.  Thankful for a President who said today,

“Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity.”

See, I realize that my neighbor and many like him have never taken the time to get to know someone coming to this country for the first time, trying to make a better life for themselves and their family… and also struggling to learn English as a second language. If he did, he would know that it is certainly not laziness that becomes the barrier to success. Many wake earlier than the sun and work multiple minimum or low wage jobs to provide for their families. They strive for that dream that so many take for granted.

I also realize that it’s not my job to convince him that he’s wrong and I’m right. And while I am baited into the dialogue to express my opinions and strong dissent, it’s not my job to change his mind or enlighten him.

It IS my job to make sure that legislators are elected, at all levels of government, who understand the importance of creating a unified vision for America. One that includes all Americans regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, culture, disability, language, religion, sexual orientation or otherwise.

It IS my job to make sure that I am a part of this dialogue for change, so that when opposing views are expressed, they are not the only ones heard.

It IS my job to make sure that my children learn these lessons not merely from what I say, but also by what I do.

It IS my job to ensure that my children understand how they too can make a difference in this country and in this world.

My heart sank thinking about my neighbor’s comments the other day. Today, my heart soars with hope and progress.  I will keep at the forefront of my mind the President’s words today,

“We do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the lucky and happiness for the few.”

God bless you all and God bless the United States of America!

Preparing to be Prepared

All I can say is God bless laundry Sundays. 

Last year, I learned that in order to be best prepared for the week ahead that meant I needed to lose a day to laundry and other tasks around the house. At first I resisted. In my mind, I kept telling myself this story that I would do laundry throughout the week — whenever I had time. 

Some weeks that time never came and I found myself up at dawn trying to wash underwear for the kids. Not a good look! 

So, I finally relented and decided that I only have one weekend day and that’s Saturday. If we’re going to go out, socialize, plan a day trip or schedule kids activities, then it has to be on Saturday because Sunday belongs to the laundry.

Sure, I have to be disciplined enough to turn down a few invites or suggest that my friends and family could come to my house on Sundays to hang out. It’s worth it in the end.

I also now have hanging organizers for the kids’ closets that helps me plan out their wardrobe for the week. That’s right, no more hemming and hawing over what to wear in the mornings. By Sunday night, the selection for the week is locked in and I’m prepared and focused for the week ahead.

I guess laundry Sundays can be a part of my vision board as well. 

Any other time-saving household tips? I’m all ears.

Cheers to a great week!

Written by Shara

January 16, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Posted in Parenting

Tagged with , ,

Resolving to Evolve

The month of December is a blur. It started with my husband’s birthday, sprinkle in holiday shopping and decorations, Christmas celebrations, my best friend’s wedding, my birthday and Happy New Year!

So as I mentioned before, my goal for 2013 is to get clear on what I want in my life. No more focusing on what I don’t want. This is the year I evolve.

Allow me to start with the number one thing that I am very clear about wanting in my life. The people I am most excited about running toward— my beautiful family!

Shara and Ed

My husband is my rock, my partner, my best friend and confidant. 

He makes me laugh ALL the time, even when I don’t want to! His calm demeanor is the perfect balance to my… well, let’s just call it passion. I value our different opinions and approaches; together we are a stronger team. As in any relationship, communication is important. Sometimes, it is hard to make the time to communicate about our unified vision for the family, but when we do I find we are renewed and recommitted to making it all come together.

Then of course my two children, I love those little people!

My Kids

My son is an amazing, 10-year-old comedian in training. He loves learning and telling new jokes, which keeps me in stitches. He is also a gifted reader and enjoys spending time playing basketball with his dad. He is a fantastic big brother to his 3-year-old sister, and while he runs low on patience some days, he admits, “Raising a baby isn’t at all like what I thought it would be.”

Amen to that brother!

She is our prima ballerina, the belle of the ball, and the life of the party. She loves dancing and helping mommy… with anything: cooking, cleaning, laundry, drawing, writing, taping, you name it! She’s our little helper.

So, the first piece of clarity about what I want in my life was actually very easy and the first photos on my new vision board for 2013 will be of my family.

Written by Shara

January 6, 2013 at 3:08 am

Posted in Vision Board

Tagged with ,