Teachers. Students.

Life keeps changing.  We are entering this school year with the Boy and the Daughter both beginning classes and new chapters in their lives.  They are headed in incredible directions…I am both proud and devastated.

They no longer need me to hold their hands or pick out their clothes. I no longer have to buy crayons or construction paper. There is no more recess or naps. I am no longer as needed as I once was.

I have taught them independence, I have taught them to find their own voice, their own path…we have battled and we have laughed.  Mostly we love.

I am a mommy. To my core. I live and breathe for these two. They are my babies. Always will be. I pray for their successes in life. Every day.

Let’s add some folks to this prayer list…

To the teachers in my life, I pray for your wisdom and bravery. It’s not easy what you do. It’s not easy what is expected of you. I applaud that this is your calling in life, to shape these minds, to teach them. I give you every ounce of support and honor that I have. I will thank you, on behalf of many parents, for taking our babies and giving them the world. I will thank you now, for the future leaders you hold in your hands. I appreciate each of you.

To the returning students and new students, I pray for your adventure. The knowledge you will gain, the friendships you will make. Take these lessons with you throughout your life. You will need them all.

Listen to your teachers, counselors and principals, they will only want the best for you. You may think whatever they are teaching is dumb…I promise, it’s not…one day, you will need to know the square root of something or if “I” comes before “e”and you will realize its because of that teacher….you know…

Remember, not everyone will be your friend. You won’t always fit in. Be yourself. If someone treats you wrong, find people who treat you right. If someone bullies you or wants you to be a bully, say no. Always. You don’t know what someone else is living, surviving, don’t be a shit person. Be a good, stand up person. Be a leader. Lead others to the right path and be encouraging of others. If you are a follower, follow the right path. Life is full of experiences, good and bad…take the lessons from each and pay.it.forward. Surround yourself with people, others like you, teachers and adults that will lift you up.

Don’t ever let anyone tear you down. Be fair, treat others as you wish to be treated. Remember, everyone is equal.

To the parents of students and teachers…it’s up to us, to put ourselves in their shoes before we scream and yell about how unfair it is that little Johnny or Mary has homework. Read to your kids, teach them. Help the teachers. Support them and make sure yours kids get it….that they are there to get the lessons that will carry them, through their lives. Remind them to listen up, stay awake and do the work, no matter how dumb they think that book report or diagramming sentences may be.

To the parents, we did it. We made it through another summer. Congratulations!

To my love….thank you. For staying sane and keeping me sane. I owe you a drink. Or two…

Bossman Rules.

Let it be known I work hard.  Shut.up.  I DO!!!  But I love where I work.  I enjoy the people around me, most of the time and I think they actually like me.  Most don’t fear me, a few ignore me, but over all….they seem to not think I am hideous.  It helps that I pay them bi-weekly, but I am sure it’s my sparkling personality that wins them over.  Yeah, that’s IT.

Bossman is a whole ‘nother story.  We share a birthday, I am exactly three years older than him, a fact he loves to point out every year on our shared birthday.   To remind him that I am truly twisted, I had my staff help me torture him for his birthday, it included bubble wrap as carpet and 160 photos of him as a child.  EVERYWHERE.  I may be older, but that only means I have three more years of experience torturing younger people…he prolly needs a helmet.

Bossman tries to make rules.  Tries to.  But I’m a rebel (Dottie) and I spend my days talking back, ignoring his emails and calls and generally doing what I want.  Don’t get me wrong, I work my ass off, but I can multitask like a demon.

I am going to share with you Bossman’s rules for me.  He has explained these to me many times over the past three years…then I will give you my simple, clear responses to his rules…

  1. Please be at work at 7:30.
  2. Please stay at work until 5:00.
  3. Please be at work Monday – Friday.
  4. Please make sure you complete the Playbook daily.
  5. Be pleasant and courteous.
  6. Complete your tasks daily.
  7. All filing is kept current.
  8. Manage your staff competently.
  9. Answer when I call, respond to my emails.
  10. Don’t be mean to me.

Now, most folks would think these are simply easy rules to follow.  Not me.  In an effort to make him understand I am a rebel (Dottie), I feel I must respond to his requests.

  1. No.  I don’t get out of bed until 8….minimum.
  2. No.  5:00 means happy hour….unless you put a bar in my office, I am out.
  3. Specify which week you wish for me to work.  Otherwise, no.
  4. Playbook?  is this the craft time?
  5. Do.you.know.me?  You might as well ask for the moon and stars.
  6. Are my tasks recess and naps?  Cause I got that down…
  7. Haven’t filed a single thing in three years.  I am working toward the World Record.  Don’t box me in Bossman.
  8. My staff?  They scare me.  I don’t make eye contact, I suggest you don’t either.
  9. I haven’t, I won’t.  Send carrier pigeons, that would be cool.
  10. Why did you hire me then?

In his defense, I was on my best behavior in my interview.  Truly.  I even said “Yes Sir”….and I lulled him in with a false sense of security.  He thought he could control me.  I allowed him to believe that I could be trained.  I tricked him.  bwahahahahaha!!!!

Today was prolly the easiest Payroll Friday I have had in six months.  And I wasn’t able to justify a surly disposition.  Damnit.  SO I had to be nice.  To everyone.  It wasn’t quite as painful as I imagined.

I did however remind Bossman that I am the boss…just in case he forgot….

Knock on Wood.

I live a blessed life.  I do.  I don’t know how or why, but God decided that I had earned it.  I am humble at all that I receive, I am humble because I have things that others don’t.  It keeps me honest.

I have my family.  I have my health.  I have food in my pantry and love in my heart.  I have a job that I love and a roof over my head.

I wake up everyday next to the love of my life.  I have children that are beautiful and smart and driven and I wouldn’t trade them for a moment.  I might sell them for rocks, depending on the day and how nice those rocks are.

I have family that loves me no matter how much we fight.  I get it…we are a dramatic mess, but my mom, my sister…we are the Tullos Women, there’s only the three of us left.  We are small, yet proud tribe and I am grateful everyday that they are here.  I know that at the end of the day, I will be there for them, no matter how much I bitch about it, I will be there.  It’s what we do, us Tullos Women.

I have the best friends anyone could ask for.  All of them, I may have friends I don’t talk to often, or only keep up with them on Facebook, but they are my friends.  I have chosen to share my life with them on Facebook, in person, over text, wherever…they are awesome, fabulous people, here, there, everywhere…I love my friends.

I have my health.  Last year, I wasn’t sure about that…and it’s terrifying and eye-opening.   I can’t take it for granted ever and I want to be here, to see my kids graduate, to see them attend college, to walk them both down the aisle, to see my grandchildren.  I want to grow old with my love in life. I get it now, that this human body is fragile an it’s my responsibility to take care of it, to be here.  And over the year, we have made changes to our habits and we feel better, we laugh more….we appreciate what we have been given.

Somewhere along the line, I was granted a second chance at life…it happened years ago and I only recently realized that it’s a gift.  This love that has walked into my life.  The way my children have blossomed.  The way my life has twisted and turned and led me here.  It wasn’t my doing, it was the path that was laid out before me.  I am lucky that I found my way.

Folks, life is short, life shouldn’t be taken for granted.  We don’t “deserve” anything, we have to earn it to appreciate it.  The most graceful of people get that.  The most honest of people work for it.  I have so many of these people in my life, it takes my breath away.

We had our AC go out yesterday.  In August.  In Texas.  Yes, it’s hot….terrifically hot.  7th level of hell hot.  And we had no less than 5 people offer us their homes, their guest rooms, whatever we needed.  We ended up at a pet friendly hotel last night with the AC at 64* for the entire night.  And then blessedly today, new AC unit and coolness.  And we have had so many check on us, I just feel loved.  Purely loved.  Me and mine.

Tonight, just for a moment, pause and think about all the blessings you have in your life.  From the FB friend across the states, to the person who shows up on your doorstep to check on you.  Think of the job that provides for you.  Think of the family that would do anything for you.

Look at your life, you get to wake up everyday.  You get to love and laugh.

If you are reading this.  Know that you are a blessing in MY life.  I am grateful for each of you.  My world is inexplicably better because you are in it.

Float on faith.  Love one another.  And laugh.  Laugh until your face hurts.  Share your joy….share your story.