Saturday, January 26, 2013

Knock Knock Knock... "Mommy, the police are at the door!"

1- My neighborhood rocks and I appreciate the fact that concerned citizens took action to protect our community.
2- In light of recent events, I recognize that this may not seem like a laughing matter to some. I am in no way making light of the horrible shooting tragedies that have struck our nation.
3- I'm not interested in gun (neither real nor "toy") debates as a result of this blog entry...



Ben: Mom, I'm heading to the woods to go shooting with Collin (name changed).
Me (still in bed sleeping): Mumble... hmm...okay... have safe...mumble.. (Roll over and resume snoozing.)


Phone rings.

Me: (yawn) Hello?
Ben: Mom! I think Collin just got stopped by the cops!!!
Me: (more alert) What? Where are you?
Ben: I'm down at the end of the street waiting for Collin. But there are like 5 cop cars pulled over by one guy on the side of the road. I think it's Collin!
Me: Don't panic Ben. As long as he's not acting belligerent there's nothing to worry about. He's not doing anything wrong by carrying his air soft gun down the road to meet you.
Ben: Mom! They're making him get in the car!!! I'm coming home!



Knock knock knock.

Willy (assuming it's Ben, he hollers to the kids jokingly): It's the police! Don't open it! (chuckle chuckle)


Brady (having opened the front door and then hustled to our bedroom in a complete panic): Mommy! Daddy! There's a cop at the door!!!!!! Ben is outside with a whole bunch of cops!

Willy and I scramble out of bed and get dressed, shaking our heads and rolling our eyes a bit, while of course feeling a twinge of panic and unease.


Laughing quite hysterically after these pictures were taken and the front door closed, we got the whole story from the boys.

Turns out that Ben's friend had his air soft rifle covered and was walking over to meet Ben and had to cross a busy street to get here. As he crossed the street his radio fell to the ground and he tried to set his gun down and it was no longer covered up as he scrambled to grab what he'd dropped. Someone who witnessed it panicked and called 911 about the boy wandering down a busy road with a gun and acting suspiciously. Several officers responded. Ben's friend was not in any trouble, just given a reminder that it's not prudent to wander down the road with a gun that way, "toy" or not. The officers admired his rifle and chatted with him for a few minutes. He explained that he was meeting his friend who had been waiting for him at the corner. The officers wanted to talk to Ben about being prudent too, and they didn't want the boy continuing down the road with his gun causing more alarm or concern to other neighbors so they had him hop in the car with them to direct them toward our house. Ben's friend and the officers joked about giving Ben a hard time and making him sweat a bit.

Meanwhile, Ben had seen some of this transpiring and panicked and called me. Naive, never-in-trouble, not-thinking-logically child ran towards home. With his air soft gun in his hands. SIXTEEN 911 calls from nervous neighbors later... the officers had caught up with Ben and chirped the siren at him (he was no longer running when they met up with him) and used their speakers to tell him to stop walking. He threw his gun down on the ground and raised his hands in the air (bwahahahahahah! My poor panicked child.) After a good chuckle I'm sure, the officers told Ben to keep walking toward home and escorted him to his destination where they knocked on the door and let us know that Ben wasn't in any trouble and wasn't doing anything wrong per se but they wanted us to know that they had talked with him about not wandering around with the air soft guns and that they ought to be driven to the woods where they were going to use the guns rather than walking there looking suspicious. The officers were very friendly, not at all condemning or threatening, and they even grinned as they mentioned all the 911 calls that had come in so quickly.

What a way to get everyone's adrenalin pumping first thing on a Saturday morning! I can't wait to mercilessly tease Ben about this for years to come...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

No reason not to...

I've had the intention to write this blog entry for several weeks now. It's been rolling around in my brain and I've been acting on the thoughts, but I want to write it all down, too, because it's been a very a-ha kind of experience for me and I feel really fortunate to have had the lightbulb moment that set some positive action in motion in my life.

I have a tendency to just muddle my way through life.

I'm kind of lazy. I try not to be. I always have a to-do list with about a gazillion things on it. I can be productive, I just don't always choose to be. I make a lot of excuses. I'm a terrible procrastinator, and I've adapted and learned to work well under pressure. But working under pressure doesn't make me happy. Making excuses doesn't make me happy. Procrastinating doesn't make me happy. Being lazy doesn't make me happy. And darnit, I want to be happy!

Sometime around the end of 2012 I was contemplating possible resolutions to work on in 2013 but *shudder* I hate resolutions. They always seem to result in giant flopping failures about 4 days into a new year. So I was determined to adopt some positive habits but I was resisting the urge to actually call them resolutions. And I feel like goals should be specific and measurable, so just adopting positive behaviors didn't really even fit into the goal category either. I didn't know how to quantify or classify the improvements I wanted to make. But I knew I needed to make improvements.

I knew that I needed to be more consistent in the act of saying my personal prayers. I knew that I needed to be more consistent in reading the scriptures. I knew that I needed to spend quality time with my kids. I knew that I needed to move my body more (and more often). And eat more fruits and vegetables. And drink more water. And the list of SIMPLE but beneficial habits that I knew I wanted to adopt kept coming to mind. But they're all things I've known for... well... forever, that I should be committing to habit, but I've never been successful about tackling them all and doing them all consistently. Like any of my former New Years resolutions, the act of trying to adopt new habits intimidates me and overwhelms me to the point of abandoning the effort within a few days.

I make excuses. I procrastinate. I'm lazy. And the habits never fully take root.

And then it came to me.

There's no reason not to.... 

I considered this little epiphany and applied it to some of those habits I've wanted to establish but have never successfully and consistently managed to do.

There is, quite literally, no legitimate reason that I can come up with to not say a prayer to my Heavenly Father each night before I go to bed. Too tired? Excuse. Don't want to get on my knees? Excuse. Worried about spiders or critters on the floor? Excuse. (C'mon. I lived in Hawaii. This was an honest excuse that I've used myself! LOL) Nothing terribly exciting about the day to say "thanks" for? Excuse. Nothing terribly important to ask for help with? Excuse. Feeling guilty about a choice I made and don't really want to own up to it? EXCUSE (and perhaps the biggest reason I SHOULD be on my knees...) There is simply no reason not to pray at least each night before I go to bed.

There is, quite literally, no legitimate reason that I can come up with to not open my scriptures and read a verse (or more!) each day. Tired? Excuse. Read it before? Excuse. Left scriptures in my church bag? Excuse. Something else I'd rather read at bedtime? Excuse.

There is, quite literally, no legitimate reason that I can come up with to not intentionally move my body for at least 20 minutes a day. Woke up late? Excuse. Cold outside? Excuse. Bored with workout routine? Excuse. The "day got away from me"? Excuse. Don't have time? Excuse. Don't want to get sweaty just for a quick workout? Excuse. Every single "reason" I give myself for not getting my butt out of my office chair or off the couch to intentionally move my body is just an excuse. Twenty minutes is NOTHING in the grand scheme of my day. I waste way more than 20 minutes in the day. There's no reason to not convert 20 of those wasted minutes into moving my body in some manner.

I kept applying the idea and managed to come up with no legitimate reasons to not add a few positive habits into my life. And I came up with a lovely little list of "no reason not to" habits to adopt daily, weekly and monthly. (Some of these are personal and church-specific, but the concept is universally applicable.)

There's no reason not to ... pray daily.
There's no reason not to ... read scriptures daily.
There's no reason not to ... have intentional one-on-one contact with each of my children daily.
There's no reason not to ... intentionally move my body (some form of exercise) for 20 minutes daily.
There's no reason not to ... drink 64 oz of water daily.
There's no reason not to ... eat fruits and vegetables daily.
There's no reason not to ... wash my face daily.
There's no reason not to ... write down a few things I'm grateful for each day in my journal.

There's no reason not to ... have Family Home Evening weekly.
There's no reason not to ... dance hula weekly.
There's no reason not to ... practice my ipu heke beats weekly.
There's no reason not to ... play the piano weekly.
There's no reason not to ... contact my parents and grandma weekly.

There's no reason not to ... read my patriarchal blessing monthly.
There's no reason not to ... read the Ensign monthly.
There's no reason not to ... do temple work monthly.

There are other things that I know I could be doing routinely, and there are no legitimate reasons not to do those things, either, but I'm not ready to abandon all my excuses quite yet hehehe. I'm not aiming for perfection here. Just improvement. And these simple things are the improvements that I want to prioritize. I anticipate adding to my list when these things are so natural and routine that I don't have to remind myself to do them any more. And I antipate improving on these habits as time goes on. Because really, is there any legitimate reason to not pray morning and night? Or to not intentionally move my body for 30 minutes instead of 20?

Now just because there's no reason not to do all these things doesn't mean I won't stumble across a legitimate reason to skip something one of these days, I'm sure. And I'm sure I'll occasionally make excuses or allow excuses to get in the way of me doing them all. I'm not perfect. That's life. But I'm happy to report that I'm making a lot of progress since shifting my mindset and identifying these habits to work on. I'm happy to have done all the things on my daily list daily since the beginning of the year. And I'm happy to have consistently done my weekly list weekly.

Simply put, I'm happy!

Happy habits, happy me.