Tag Archives: Family

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I Bet You Think This Weekends About You

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Hosting out-of-town guests can be exciting, but sometimes equally as anxiety inducing. So, it’s no surprise to me that this past weekend while hosting my dad and aunt, there was a bit of a mix of both emotions as I worked through what types of activities would ensue.

Both my aunt and my dad have visited me in the past, so it wasn’t a complete guessing game about what types of things they wanted to do, but yet, I still should have asked.

When people are way from home, it is my belief that making them feel as comfortable as possible will result in everyone’s experience being enjoyable, relaxing and filled with positive memories.So, I did just that. I also took the liberty of scheduling some things that I knew they would enjoy, including a game night, a few jazz related activities, plenty of food outings and even a surprise drop in visit from other family visiting the area over the weekend.

Now, for me, this amount of weekend activities seemed pretty appropriate. But, I quickly learned that for my dad and aunt, it was a bit too much. I am very much used to a weekend filled with hustle, bustle and more hustle. It’s common for me to fit in 100 million things into a weekend trip somewhere, but that’s just me. My aunt and dad were more than happy with one day time outing and a delicious meal of some sort every day. So, during one of the completely overfilled days, one of them said, “maybe we can just go back home after this”.

And then it clicked…

Scarlet Says… Just like the evolution, growth and change of almost everything else in our lives, even the Golden Rule itself has advanced. Let’s make it a point to embrace not doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, but instead, treating others how they want to be treated. The next time you host someone at your home or are entertaining out-of-town guests, just ask them, “what would you like to do with your time here”, then take it from there!

Until Next Time,

SC

Scarlet


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My Kids & Family Are Great, But What About Me?

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Aggravated ParentThink about your friends who have children. How do your conversations typically go?

This weekend while visiting home (Detroit), I was so elated to catch up with quite a few of my friends, many of whom have or are expecting children. The conversations with my friends with children or a spouse always started out with the normal pleasantries, including the “how are you’s” and “how’s the job”, etc. In almost every case, the next few questions (for those that have kids) b-lined right for their family. Because I genuinely wanted to know how their children and partners were doing, I innocently asked, “so, how are the little ones” or “how is your other half”. In almost every case, they said “fine, they’re all doing fine” and were ready to move on to another subject. Now, I’ve encountered some unfortunate responses in the past when I’ve asked about the family, so I tread lightly when asking these days. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than learning about a recent divorce or a child who is terminally ill, while innocently asking, so “how’s your family”, but it happens and when it does you sympathetically deal with it.

The one thing that I picked up on this past weekend is a simple concept that most parents will likely appreciate and it is this…while people might have children or a spouse, they are more than just a parent or a spouse. So, let’s just be honest here. You do sometimes run across that (maybe new) parent that ONLY talks about their children and acts as if they did not exist before their children or spouse came along, and for those people carry on. But while my friends who are parents and have partners are great in both of those roles, the reality is that most of them want to be and are more than that. Being a parent or a spouse/partner is fine and awesome, but there are so many other roles that a person is, will be or wants to be and that too should be considered and respected.

Scarlet Says…It is perfectly fine and courteous to ask about your friends’ family when you see them. But, it’s OK as well to continue the conversation and ask about them. How are they doing? What’s new with them? What goals do they have? Allow your friends to be more than just one thing, if they want to be. Life can be much too short to do, experience, be or strive for just one or two things and while having a family and a spouse can be magical, so can all the other things that are possible as well.

Until next time,

Scarlet

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Selfish In Death

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imageI had a phenomenal weekend. My Aunt visited and we decided to take the laid back, not so planned out weekend approach and it was fantastic.

One of the many conversations was around the subject of my mother, Scarlet, or as the world remembers her, Bette. My mother passed away about 3 years ago suddenly and unexpected and consequently, Mother’s Day and birthdays have a bit of a somber undertone. My grandmother (my aunts mother) passed away about 6 years ago after a long battle with a number of illnesses. Although they both left the earth in a very different way, the fact remains that in both instances, someone lost a mother.

So, immediately following my aunt asking about my best girlfriend who had recently lost her mother, she asks me in a concerned tone “so how are you doing”? Considering the situation regarding my moms death, my aunt (and others) tend to periodically check in to see how I’m doing. I responded as I usually always do – “I’m fine”.

But something quite awful happened next. That something was that my aunt said (without being asked a question) “Well, I’m dealing pretty well. I’m not as sad as I initially was.” At that moment, I realize that I had done something pretty selfish.

I failed to ask her how she had been dealing with the passing of her mother. Granted, both of our losses had different circumstances – mine was sudden and hers was over time, but that doesn’t necessarily make the after math any less painful. Also, my mother was substantially younger than her mother (my grandmother), but that factor, while for me was painful, doesn’t negate the fact that at the end of the day we both loss someone.

This same situation happens all the time, especially if the person is older than us. We forget that other people have similar or equally as painful situations as us and that they too are going through something – we all are.

Scarlet Says… in our haste of just living or dealing with our own day-to-day challenges, remember that the world and the people around you aren’t that much different from you. They’re going through similar situations, experiences, challenges, hurdles and pain. Be aware and passionate enough to stop and say, “ok, enough about me, how are YOU doing?”

Until Next Time,

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Scarlet


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I’m Afraid To Live In The Past

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imageI recently began a very deliberate and calculated journey of ensuring that I create meaningful and valuable memories with my father. As he ages, it becomes apparent that a person that once seemed invincible and unaffected as the years flew by, is in fact aging. The deep and dark reality is that he won’t be with us one day. So, in response to this stark reality, I do as I always do when I want to accomplish something – make a plan and get it done.

For the most part, the plan is going just the way that I designed it. Me and my dad spend time together almost every time that I travel back to Detroit and although he talks a lot and is always the life of the party, even when there is no party, it’s been pretty cool.  But, alas, there has been one particular development that has made me stop and rethink my approach.

If you were to spend a few hours with my dad, you’ll likely be entertained with stories and jokes and experiences that are animated, detailed and filled with laughter. Because of this, my friends absolutely love hanging with, talking to and being regaled with tales from my dad.

For me, I’ve heard these same stories like 50 million times. I can likely tell you the stories detail by detail just as he would. So, for me, I don’t get a natural kick out of these stories anymore. Honestly after hearing them so many times, you start to get tired of them. So, me being the forward thinking, evolving person that I “think” I am, I shared this with him one day.

“Dad, why do we have to keep re-living the same stories over and over again? Can we please talk about the present or what you want to do in the future.”

My dad shared with me that he genuinely felt like his best years were behind him and that he was unsure and uncomfortable with what the future might be. I completely disagree with him, as he (and I) can’t predict what the future holds, because as we all know, life has this way of surprising us in unique and astonishing ways.

While my dad has aged, I do feel like he has many years ahead of him and he likely does. But for him, these aren’t intended years ahead of magic, amazing experiences and travel similar to what he recalls and can relate to from the past.

Regardless us of what I think, feel or imagine will happen in the future, fears, apprehensions and hesitations are real. As an entrepreneur, I have them myself – often. But, it’s interesting that in those moments that my dad deals with his by reveling it what has been, my ability to embrace those memories of his is challenging.  Perhaps, I’m just to focused on my master plan.

So, what does this mean? It means that if it is my plan to create great memories with my dad, I have to be willing to embrace and learn about those memories that he holds near and dear to his heart. If it means hearing that same story that I’ve heard a trillion times so be it, because as the lost of my mother a few years ago has taught me, when you can’t hear those old stories anymore, all you want to do is hear those old stories.

Scarlet Says…In our own natural human haste, we rush and sometimes haphazardly skip through life in pursuit of accomplishing our master plans. Without an intentional pause every now and then to ensure that we’re considering others and what our actions and words do to others (and ourselves), it makes the very master plan that we’re pursuing increasingly difficult to obtain.

Until Next Time,

SC

Scarlet


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House Guests On Deck!

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House GuestsPerhaps I’m alone in this, but I absolutely love having house guests. Sharing what I’ve put together in my humble abode and spending time with people who have chosen to spend a few days with me is so awesome! But, what if you’re not a certified hostess and you want to (or are forced to) have a few people over for 1, 2 or a few days?

Here are some ways to make sure that your guests are comfortable, keep them mildly entertained and also help you to keep your sanity and privacy:

1. Have towels and face cloths set aside specifically for your guests and let them know where they can replenish them and place soiled pieces. They will appreciate not having to travel with these things. Additionally, if your guests know where to get these things, they won’t wake you up late at night or early in the morning trying to locate them.

2. Give them the lay of the land of your home. Can they help themselves to what’s in your fridge? Do they need an extra key to come and go and is there an alarm code? Instead of them guessing about what’s on and off-limits, just give them a little overview when they arrive.

3. Schedule in break time! No one wants to be attached to a guest at the hip for 3, 4 or 5 days. Consider that maybe they want to explore a location in your area alone or simply just have down time to read and relax. Do take the initiative to plan out some things, but also schedule in some “chill” time as well.

Being a house host isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but sometimes, you’re thrown into a situation of being forced to have people stay with you. If this happens, I want you to be prepared and for you and your guests to be comfortable.

Until next time,

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