The Daily Quote: A Selfie Side-Effect

“…experts say the rise in selfies, including group shots, has given rise to an unwanted, invisible, louse photo-bombing otherwise perfect pictures.”

As a school nurse, I see lice quite regularly. They are pesky, relentlessly returning critters that give even the bravest Moms the heebee-geebees. Even in the nicest schools, in the wealthiest of families, I sometimes find cases worthy of a third-world country in the heads of the most charmingly-dressed little girls.

Lice do not discriminate.

And now, older siblings & even adults are contracting them. I have come to realize that after a certain age, Parents do not see their children up close. Much less, rummage through their hair.

I have seen lice crawling in a child’s head from 3 feet away.

Lice crawl from one strand of hair to another. They cannot jump or fly. Selfies provide the perfect opportunity for lice to spread quickly from one person to several. Cases have increased, nationwide, among teenagers without siblings, & adults.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention provides information on lice & treatment options, as well as many other diseases & conditions.

Some popular over-the-counter lice treatments are:

Treatment typically involves a shampoo, combing out & picking out nits (eggs) by hand, & repeating the process. It is necessary to search the hair & pull out nits daily, in addition to shampoo & leave-in treatments, as nits can still hatch after treatment.

You can also find professional lice treatment services in your community. Some are located in salons, & some will even come to your home & guarantee their services.

 

The Daily Quote: A Diamond

“A Diamond is just a piece of Charcoal that handled Stress exceptionally well.” -Unknown

I’ve been spinning my wheels lately. I’m completely burnt out. Physically, mentally, emotionally, creatively, & even spiritually.

I do not feel like a diamond. I am neither sharp nor polished. I feel frazzled. Rough. Sluggish. Foggy. Sad. Tired. I am working so hard, but accomplishing very little because I can’t seem to give 100% toward anything.

“Have you ever felt like your life is just on auto pilot and you’re just constantly doing and going and moving and working and accomplishing and basically sacrificing your thoughts for constant activity? If that’s you, then you need to stop. You need to pause. You need to breathe. You need to think about the things you’re doing.”

I stumbled across this article about burn out. So if you are going through it, too, I highly encourage the read.

Source: Of Health: Taking A Mental Break

The Daily Quote: Thoughts and Children

m“Every thought we think is creating our future.” – Louise Hay

To apply this quote to ourselves promotes positive thinking & positive growth.

To apply this quote to our children brings forth the profound realization that the thoughts & feelings we induce in them now, from the way we speak to them & look at them, to the attention we do or do not pay them, and the confidence or shame we instill in them, are laying the foundation for their future way of thinking. Ultimately, we are influencing what kind of future they make by the way we are training them to think. One of my favorite poems is by Author, Dorothy Law Nolte, Children Learn What They Live. 

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Children Learn What They Live

If a child lives with criticism,

He learns to condemn

If a child lives with hostility,

He learns to fight

If a child lives with ridicule,

He learns to be shy

If a child lives with shame,

He learns to feel guilty

If a child lives with tolerance,

He learns to be patient

If a child lives with encouragement,

He learns confidence

If a child lives with praise,

He learns to appreciate

If a child lives with fairness,

He learns justice

If a child lives with security,

He learns to have faith

If a child lives with approval,

He learns to like himself

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,

He learns to find love in the world

What a beautiful, empowering thought, as Parents, as teachers, as neighbors, as adults in this world, that we can with merely a glance, a smile, a word, a response…in the tiniest of gestures, have such a significant influence on shaping the thoughts & the future of a child. I can still remember instances when, as a child, something an adult did or said, unbeknownst to them, affected the way I would go on to view myself. Some were good, & others were bad. There are little moments that I still can’t shake, where I was ridiculed or snapped at by a stressed out, busy caregiver, & it affected my self confidence. I can still remember looks that adults gave me that made me feel insecure & stupid. Now, as a Mother, an Aunt, a neighbor, & a school nurse, I am very aware of the affect my actions, expressions, & words have on children, whether I intend to or not. Here is what I have taken from the lessons I have learned:

  1. Always smile at children. In the store, in traffic, coming & going, no matter how busy or stressed you are, smile & admire the fresh, new, beautiful, impressionable creations that God has put in your path. You wouldn’t scowl or roll your eyes at a patch of beautiful flowers, a lovely sunset, or a rainbow. Remember, children are a brand new creation, & any time you encounter them, you are imprinting on them an impression of their own self worth, & the nature of people in their world.
  2. Children are to be seen and heard. Allow them to elaborate. Children are SPONGES! They soak up so much information & ideas, & in order to process all that they are being told & taught, seeing, hearing, & feeling, they need to speak! Think about it. If you went to school & never ever were allowed to speak about what you were learning, & your teacher didn’t talk to you or ask you questions, & you were just expected to absorb everything & then be quiet…there is no way you would have learned! Children need to feel that what they are thinking & what they have to say matters. When they have a thought & we listen, it not only provides validation, it provides reassurance – yes, someone is listening to me. It feels good when you have something to say & you can look over & speak to someone & they listen, nod, and join you in conversation. This also teaches children how to navigate conversation, & with practice they learn the social skills; the give & take of conversation. They can only learn this through Practice.
  3. Children need more Questions than Answers. The conversations are so unbalanced between adults & children. We tell them, we instruct them, we remind them, we teach them. How often do we ask them? And what do we ask them? In middle school, a great source of anxiety (besides the usual adolescent chaos) was the “open-ended” question. This was a question that prompted the student to elaborate on an idea; to explain his/her personal reasoning behind an answer. Growing up in a household where the phrase “children are to be seen & not heard” was said on a near daily basis, I had not been allowed to practice the skills necessary to develop my thoughts & opinions & the ability to express them in an open-ended question or essay. My thoughts & answers were not valued in my home, & therefore, I hadn’t had the opportunity to clearly define what I thought about anything, much less write about it. We need to make it a point to deliberately allow the flow of conversation with children to go in the opposite direction. Ask them questions that allow them to speak their independent opinions & feelings. Ask them what they think of things, how they think something works, & why. This is how they begin to naturally hypothesize about the world around them; to develop ideas, logic & reasoning. And when they have elaborate explanations, listen. Don’t be too busy to spend time listening to a child. Foster confidence in their own ideas & thoughts. That is how they become excellent students, artists, leaders, speakers, & anything else they imagine they can be.

The Daily Quote: A Deserving ‘Yes.’

aaaToday is the first day of November. In just a few weeks, my family will be celebrating my daughter’s birthday. I’ve contemplated all of the many hopes & aspirations I have for her, & how I hope & pray I am raising her to become a knowledgeable, confident, & capable woman.

I like to think of myself as such. Most of my loved ones would agree. However, when I came across this quote, it hit me like a ton of bricks. However knowledgeable, confident, & capable I may be, I have a sickness that a great deal of women I know suffer from. It is a forgetfulness of the self. Denial of the self. Avoidance of the self. At any given moment, I would most certainly rather be caring for someone other than myself. Thus my occupation as a nurse.

I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today.” And whenever the answer has been, “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.  – Steve Jobs

As I stared at this quote, I realized that no matter what dreams & good intentions I had for my daughter, the example I live in front of her speaks the loudest. I live my life, day after day, taking care of others, often existing in a stress-induced fog by late afternoon. I don’t have a handful of healthy hobbies or activities outside of being “Mom.”

I asked myself how much joy I was getting out of any part of my life. How much of my daily life & activity is something I would choose to do & enjoy? Or is there something that I need to change? And the kicker was this question: Is this the way I would like to see my daughter living her life? Stressed, weighed down by obligations & stress, but not experiencing joy in her life? Depressed? Neglected?

ggg (2)As my daughter’s birthday approaches, my gift to myself (& her) is to reevaluate my life & the example I am living. Is this how a woman, a mother should honor herself? For all that she does for her children & family? God willing, I intend to take more time for me. Work on self-discipline so that I can be healthier & feel better again. I should be energetic, not feeling weighed down & sick in my downtime from carrying around so much toxic stress. I cannot be a better mother until I am better to myself. I want to honestly look in the mirror & say, “Yes.”

The Daily Quote: I Think You Left Someone Out

I Love You

When I saw this picture, it gave me all those warm, fuzzy feelings inside. I pictured my children, swaddled up as newborn babies, fresh & full of potential. I pictured my Husband, on our wedding day, all of the memories we had yet to make, & the dreams we had yet to chase together.

And then, those warm, fuzzy feelings went away. Darkness.
I didn’t believe anyone had ever felt that way about me. Neither of my parents had wanted me. I was a burden; an inconvenience. Everyone who had ever taken care of me as a child had told me more than once what they’d had to go through because of me.

I removed the picture from my screen & closed my laptop.
I resumed the usual feelings of self-loathing.
Logic & reason & faith told me that none of this mattered, because the Almighty, Allah created me – not my parents, not any of those caregivers. Allah valued me & saw my worth, even when no one else did.
But those feelings of worthlessness always crept in, separate & apart from my sense of faith & what I tried & tried to tell myself.

“I love you
For all that you are
All that you have been
And all you’ve yet to be.”

Finally, it hit me. The problem was not that “nobody” felt this way about me, or “nobody” had showed me enough love as a child.
The true problem was that I couldn’t say I felt this way about myself.
As a grown woman, if I didn’t like the way I felt & I didn’t feel valued, it was my responsibility to do something about that. I had to choose to love myself. For all that I am, all that I have been, & all that I’ve yet to become.
If I could look at someone else & say & feel this beautiful affirmation of love, then WHY didn’t I give myself the same gift?
Because I have to look in the mirror at ME everyday. I have to LIVE inside my experiences, including who I have been in the past, & who I am yet to be.
If I held myself at all responsible for the happiness & well-being of my children & my Husband, then WHY did I not hold myself just as responsible for validating & loving myself?

This was a profound lesson.
I always tell my children, “You are my favorite girl in the whole world,” and “You are my favorite boy in the whole world.” I hold their little cheeks in my hands, look into their eyes, & kiss their foreheads. I want them to feel so special & so loved.
And then I walk away feeling empty inside. Inside, I’m still the child who didn’t have that. Who was in the way. Who was neglected. Abused.
I realized, I love them so much, just trying to feel loved, myself.
“I think you left someone out,” I told myself.

I walk to the mirror, & I speak words of love & acceptance to the child inside,
“I love you
For all that you are
All that you have been
And all you’ve yet to be.”

I imagine holding those little chubby cheeks of the little girl me in my hands. I look into her eyes & I kiss her forehead. I am there to love her when she feels unloved. I want her to feel so special, so important to me.