Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

My poor poetry journal!

 

I’m giving myself a mental slap across the face tonight. Just because no one else believes in my dreams or thinks they are worthwhile, it doesn’t mean I should give up and mope for the rest of my life. This is MY life. These are MY dreams. I know deep inside that I was meant to be a writer. It doesn’t matter whether or not the masses read my work. It doesn’t matter whether or not those close to me ever read what I write. It doesn’t matter whether or not I ever make any decent money for what I do. Staying true to my heart’s deepest desires is all that matters!

I am not me without writing. I can’t sleep right. I can’t think right. I can’t function if I stop for too long. You can argue all you want that I’m not cut out to be a famous writer. Well, maybe I’m not. But I assure you, I’m meant to be writer–plain and simple.

I am a writer…a writer is me. I MUST write to thrive. It has been that way since I first learned to read and write. Call it foolishness. Call it a waste of time. Call it whatever you want. However, it’s what I am…it’s what I do…and it’s what I’ll do until the day I die!

 

© 2013 Amanda R. Dollak
Honey Bear and her kitty best friend curling up with me on the couch

Honey Bear and her kitty best friend curling up with me on the couch

When I was a child my parents made sure that I knew how to behave. They taught me to be honest, hard working, fair, and loving. They also taught me the importance of being respectful to others, especially to my elders. If an adult came into the room and there wasn’t anywhere for him or her to sit, I was instructed to give up my seat. If I had a guest spend the night, I was supposed to offer them my bed, while I slept in a sleeping bag on the floor.

It was imperative for me to say please, thank you, your welcome, excuse me, bless you, and I’m sorry immediately when it was appropriate. I was never permitted to be rude to anyone. I was taught to always treat others how I would want to be treated. And most of all, I wasn’t allowed to talk back to or criticize my elders. If I broke any of these rules, my parents would spank me and ground me. In my parents’ eyes, respect should always be a top priority.

I suppose that is why I was shocked today when a kid (I’d estimate as about 12) came to my door to tell me my dog was loose. Apparently, when my mom came to visit and my kids answered the door my almost 8-year-old sheltie/cocker spaniel mix decided she wanted to sunbath on my front walk. I wasn’t aware that my dog had sneaked outside, so it was nice to have someone let me know she was loose. However, that boy’s attitude had a lot to be desired.

As soon as I opened the door, he started lecturing me about my duties and obligations as a dog owner. He proceeded to point out that it was against the law to not properly tie a dog out and that I was risking my dog running away or worse, getting hit by a car. When I tried to explain to him that my dog normally stays on my property and that this had been an accident (of less than 5 minutes, mind you!) he still didn’t relent. He continued lecturing me that I needed someone to look out for my dog, and he suggested that he was the person to that.

In utter shock, I thanked him for his concern but told him his further assistance wasn’t necessary. I quickly got my dog back in the house and closed the door. The kid had been yelling at me so loudly that my mother even asked me what the commotion had been about–and she had been on the other side of my home!

This whole incident is unsettling to me. Where is the respect anymore? This kid did the right thing by knocking on my door. But I have to wonder if he did it simply to try putting me in my place. If I had ever done anything remotely like this at his age, my parents would have killed me! They simply would NOT have tolerated it. I am certain of it.

 

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It is amazing how much we can change, while still being the same person. A long, long time ago–ok, more like 10 years ago–I was convinced that motherhood was not for me. I strongly believed that there was no way I’d ever become a mother. My childhood had been nowhere near normal. I didn’t have a very close relationship with my parents. So, I was convinced that I would be the world’s worst mother. I have always love children, but what did I know about properly raising kids? Ultimately, I couldn’t justify putting any child through that uncertainty.

Now those days seem like just a distant memory–almost like it was a lifetime ago. This Sunday will be my 8th Mother’s Day, and I’ll be eating up my two children’s attention and affection. They are now old enough to understand what Mother’s Day is, and they get thoroughly excited every time it comes around again. I’ve been getting showered with extra drawings, hugs, kisses, and I-love-you’s all week. It’s great to be a mom!

I know I’ll never be a perfect mother. I make mistakes and always will. But judging from my kids’ infectious laughter, frequent smiles, and affection even towards each other (at least most of the time), I must be doing something right. According to my 5-year-old daughter, I am “the bestest Mommy ever” and she is so thankful that I take such good care of her and her brother. Who knew I had it in me?

I can’t imagine my life without my children. They are such an enormous part of who I am today that I can’t fathom being me without them. I look back and realize that I was a frightened, scarred, and insecure girl 10 years ago. I had the sense to know that motherhood isn’t easy and shouldn’t be approached lightly. However, I failed to see all that I learned from my childhood and less-than-perfect relationship with my parents. All that happened in the past helped prepare me for the mother I am today because I was so determined not to repeat my own parents’ mistakes. I’m so relieved that I finally gave motherhood a chance, for it has changed my life forever!

Happy Mother’s Day to all my readers out there! If you are a mother, grandmother, or other special lady, I hope you have a relaxing day full of love and laughter. And for everyone else, don’t forget to spoil the women in your lives. You know your life wouldn’t be the same without them.

Cuban Flank Steak and Rice

Cuban Flank Steak, Black Beans, and Rice

In my family, it is a tradition for children to help out in the kitchen from a very young age.  I remember shucking corn, unwrapping sticks of butter, and tossing salads as a little girl.  I was always eager to help my parents and grandmother with the cooking and baking.  Beginning when I was 10 years old my parents allowed me to cook family meals with little or no supervision.  The first meal I learned to make completely on my own was spaghetti.  My father taught me his secret spaghetti recipe and techniques, and from that day forward, I was determined to better my cooking skills.

Now that I’m an adult I still love to cook and bake.  The more fresh and from scratch I can make food the happier I am.  And I have passed down my family’s kitchen tradition to my own children.  My children and I cook together almost every single day.  My favorite food is tacos, but really I am in love with any food that has a lot of spices and heat.  My family and I make at least one spicy dish per week.

My love of cooking and then enjoying the food with my family is a high priority in my life.  It is important to me to see my whole family around the table to share a meal at least once a day.  With our busy lives, sometimes this is the only time we get to spend together during the week.  These little family times keep me centered and content, easing the stress of the day.  As a result, family meals indirectly combat my writer’s block.  Without stress buildup I can sit down at the end of the day and simply write.

Cooking and eating homemade meals with my family doesn’t make my problems go away.  But they remind me of just how blessed I am and of what is truly important in my life.  Even when my world seems to be caving in I have so much to be thankful for.  And all the negativity, stress, and challenges in my life can never take away all the wonderful things that I am blessed with.  This realization relaxes me and pushes all the worrying aside, allowing me to focus on my writing again.

ImageAs an avid reader and book lover, I am constantly on the look out for interesting and unique books.  And one of the advantages of being a writer, I have the privilege and honor of connecting with people who are creating them every day.  Today, I’d like to share with you a little about a book I am excited to check out: How I Got Him To Marry Me: 50 True Stories by my friend and fellow writer, Cherise Kelley.

How I Got Him To Marry Me: 50 True Stories is now available in eBook form at Barnes and Noble for Nook, Amazon for Kindle, and Kobo for the Kobo Reader. The paperback will be available April 1 through Amazon. The eBook should be on iTunes soon.

Short Version of the Book Description:

He likes it. Now get him to put a ring on it! Learn from these 50 stories of women who have been there! You don’t have to interview 50 married women to find out how they managed to get that ring on their finger. The author has done that for you. All 50 were married after 1990, so this is modern information for our changing times. Read and find out how you can get him to marry you and not just live together!

LIMITED TIME OFFER:

Please see the end of the eBook to learn how to claim a free paperback copy after you post an honest review! Limited to the first 25 reviewers at Amazon.com, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes. (226 pages in paperback.)

Excerpt:

After he got out of the hospital, he managed to enter my upstairs apartment’s bedroom window by climbing a ladder. I was not home at the time, but my neighbors were. They called and alerted me to the fact that a man wearing a sling and a bandage on his head was climbing through my window. I told them not to call the cops and that it was my former boyfriend, Mati.

I was angry and ready for a confrontation with him. However, when I arrived home, I saw my apartment covered in candles and rose petals. He had a CD playing with my favorite music and on the TV he had stuck a poster that said:

“Will you marry me?”

I said, “No way! You think you can settle for me now, but I know you won’t be monogamous. Your friends are always going to be influencing you to get in more fights. We’re just going to eventually drift apart. That is not the life I want.”

He told me, “I really want to make this work. You are who I want. I’m not settling for you. When I was in the ambulance, going to the ER, the one thing I wished was that you were there with me, holding my hand.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, straight up, really.”

We kissed a lot, and then I told him, “I’ll only marry you if you agree to be 100% honest and refrain from fighting.”

He told me that the only thing that he would ever fight for is my heart.

I then agreed to marry him, and I put on the custom designed engagement ring that he bought me.

Does this sound like something you want to read? Here are the places where you can buy the book!