Friday, October 29, 2010

Think Before Judging

Last week, I spent 4 days in Washington D.C..

I had to attend a conference and do some training. During one of my workshops titled "Supporting and Working with Latino Families" we had to write down our favorite "dicho". Incase you're reading this and do not speak Spanish, a "dicho" is defined as a "saying"

The dicho that our instructor told us was "Nadie sabe lo que pesa su barril, solo el que lo está cargando". Which translates to, Nobody knows how much their barrel weighs, only the person carrying it.

This saying is so true. I think most of us have the tendency to judge others for not doing things the way we do them. We've all been there when we've judged a friend or even a stranger.

Not too long ago I got into an argument with my sister. I basically told her how she should raise her daughter. And OBVIOUSLY she did not like that, so it lead to an argument. What I do remember is that she told me " When you have your kids, you can come tell me stuff, for now don't tell me how to raise mine!" She was mad!

Although we apologized and forgave each other, I often remember that. Why in the heck would I even think about telling her how to raise her kids?! How can I give somebody parenting advice when I'm not even a parent.
I admit, that was very stupid and I regret it.

I know it's human nature to judge, and think that our ways are better. Or sometimes we think we are better because we have more things or a "better life". But that's an erroneous and childish mentality. If someone is going through something, we should be a friend and help, pray, and bless them by simply listening or getting the specific resources they need. Not judge them. We have no idea how heavy their barrel is. They may be carrying a load that we've never carried.

Like I said before, it's natural, everyone has judged at least once and some do it more than others. But I have found this dicho helpful. Before thinking about judging, think about how you can help... And think about it. If everybody was like you and did everything like you, this planet would be boring... and quite honestly it would suck!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Simply Things

This is a picture of what Gerson and I gave to our guest as favors at our wedding. It was a lace bag with a Mexican heart shaped cinnamon, sugar cookie, called hojarascas. The card you see there had our names, but on the other side it had the recipe to make hojarascas. And then the best part were the heart shaped measuring spoons! Many of our friends tell us that they still have and use those measuring spoons. :)

Well, the other day, I was baking and used my measuring spoons. As I'm washing dishes I turned the garbage dispose on and heard it making a louder noise than the usual. I had not seen that my heart-shaped spoons had fallen in the drain and with the dispose on they got completely scraped. I almost cried! I plan and want those spoons to last me forever!! I had to remind myself that they're just spoons.

Then that same week, probably a couple days later, I'm at the post office, getting ready to mail a gift to a friend. I was trying to decide on what box or envelope to buy that would fit my package. I finally got it, stood in line and began to fill out the envelope. I started looking for my phone, because my friend's address was in an email. I couldn't seem to find my fairly new Iphone 4. After probably a minute, I began to FREAK out! I ran to my car, it wasn't there. I went to the counter to ask if anybody had seen a phone. I began to suspect that someone had gotten it and hid it in their pockets. I looked and looked, and finally I saw that I had left it on a shelf where the boxes and envelopes were placed.

What a relief! I thought that there was no way I could afford another phone. It wasn't so much the fact that it's an Iphone and I'm emotionally attached to it, but it was the monetary value. It's an expensive phone!

At the end of the week, I remembered those two incidents.

First, I almost damaged some pretty cheap measuring spoons that probably cost a total of $5. I probably could order some online if I wanted to. But these spoons mean something to me. It reminds me of the day I married my love. It reminds me when I was planning the wedding. It takes me back, and EVERY TIME I use them, I remember my wedding.

Second, I almost lost my IPhone. Honestly, it means nothing to me. It's so new, that I'm still learning how to use it. It doesn't remind me of anything. It helps me make phone calls, text, check my face book, etc. But because it's an expensive phone, I feel the need to take care of it. I know I can't afford one daily, or monthly. If I lost it, I would probably have to wait a couple of months before buying another one.

However, both are just things. That's what I thought. Regardless, if I lost both, everything would be just fine. Because although they may have some type of value to me, at the end of the day they are just things. They don't define me, they don't fully benefit me, they don't enrich me, they don't do more than what they were made to do.

Thankfully, I'm married to a man that has taught me to relax and realize that it's ok if something breaks, bends or dents. Our focus should be on greater and eternal things. And it doesn't mean we need to be careless with our stuff, but it has taught me to know that it's absolutely ok. I think sometimes we get mad at people or even ourselves for breaking or damaging our things. But have you stopped to think how silly that is?? It's human nature, I realize, but it's silly to overreact. Nothing in this life and on this planet is eternal. So it's best not to fret and just relax. Find a solution. And move on.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Parents

This past week I kept on asking myself one question, "What did my parents do to raise my sisters and I so well?"

My sisters and I are not perfect nor always have it together, but we all have our careers, we are happily married to great men, we have hobbies that we enjoy doing, and we go to church and know that without God we're nothing. And although we did go through stages where we thought our parents were "uncool" and would get upset if they would ground us, my parents honestly did an excellent job raising us.

Last week, for different situations and reasons, I kept asking myself that question. I had a couple of friends telling me about the difficulties of raising teenagers nowadays. Then Gerson and I talked about when we should plan to have a baby and the ginormous responsibility that comes with one. So I just couldn't help but ask myself, what exactly did my parents do?!

Well, I know that when the time comes, I will definitely be going to them for major parenting advice. But for now I will remember the small things they taught me.

On Friday we rented Disney's Beauty and the Beast. It was my favorite movie when I was a child. After watching the movie, I was full of childhood memories.
I remembered one year on Thanksgiving day, after having dinner my parents took us to the movies. We watched Home Alone and loved it! When I was a kid, we wouldn't go to the movies often, so it was a big deal. Then my dad suggested we'd watch another one, and we were very excited. I remember thinking "let's just walk into another movie" but my dad told us that we always had to be honest people and pay for the movie, regardless if anybody was watching us or not. So we all walked outside again to pay and went back inside.

I realized that my parents have always tried to be the best example for us. They're not perfect, but they knew that if anybody was watching it was their 3 daughters. Maybe I'll never really know exactly what they did to raise us well and maybe they can't even answer that question themselves... I'll have to ask them. But I am fortunate and blessed to have them in my life. Til this day they have a beautiful marriage, they're amazing grandparents who spoil my niece and nephew to pieces, and still really great parents who always want the best for my sisters and I and even our husbands.

I know they're very proud of the outcome of their daughters. They constantly tell us. But I've got to say, I'm even more proud to call them my parents.