About Shelly Gail Morris

Shelly Gail Morris is “everybody’s girlfriend.” A southern girl, Shelly was born in Atlanta, GA and now resides in good, old Nashville, TN. She has been married for 26 years and has two boys and two dogs. She enjoys writing about strong women pursuing their dreams and following their hearts. Her new book, “Mae’s Open Arms,” is available now from Oak Tara Publishing. www.ShellyGailMorris.com

I’m Just Sayin’

I'm Just Sayin'

You may not realize it, but busy sucks. Relaxation rules. If you are running in a thousand different directions week after week, please rethink your priorities. It’s wearing you down. It’s wearing your kids down. Being worn down sucks. And a grouchy, over tired family is a bickering, complaining, unhappy family.

If your kids eat dinner three nights a week on their way to activities —rethink those activities. If you are on the PTA, teacher appreciation committee, soccer snacks, and concession stand duty you have overextended yourself. Sure, parents do need to pitch in, but pick the jobs that allow you to be with your family. The world will continue to spin if you decline a few volunteer jobs. Volunteer at home. Volunteer to help your kids with their homework. Volunteer to rebound for your son, or hit tennis balls with your daughter. Volunteer to make popcorn for a card playing evening or a family movie night. If you haven’t watched a movie or television show with your kids in a month, you are missing valuable talking time. And believe me, kids will not tell you about their lives when they are late for karate, or being fitted for a cheerleading outfit. They need time to open up—time to connect.

photo ~ teendriving.statefarm.com

And yes, I do believe that teenagers are a good audience when they are trapped in your car, use that time smartly. Pretend like you are casually interested and then listen hard. But remember that very shortly they will be driving and your talk moments will have to find un-rushed time at some other point.

Don’t pass by your husband or boyfriend either. It makes him feel unimportant. Don’t spend hours telling him all you do. Sure, he needs to know, but if you are that busy don’t spend your only moments together bitching and moaning. Take time to hug. Male egos do not like to be last on your busy schedule. Slow down. Spend the evening relaxing. Talk. Give a back rub. Get a foot rub. Make love. Don’t be too busy for your relationship. Consequences are dire.

people-walking-on-path

Find time to really connect with your kids—with your mother—with your sister—with your girlfriends. That’s why there’s Starbucks. Be there for them. Life is all about relationships. Those people at the bake sale will not hold your hand when you have a biopsy. Spend time on real life. Never blow off a girlfriend when she calls with a real problem. Don’t rush past your family and never get to know them. I’ll bet you still have much to discover about your kids. But you will never truly know them if you do not spend time with them. If you are hauling them here and there to hang out with others, just remember they are not hanging out with you. As they grow they might never even see the need for hanging out with you. That’s not good.

Don’t be too busy for those who truly matter. Someday when you need someone, you don’t want your family to be too busy for you. I’m just sayin’.

 

I’m Just Sayin’

I'm Just Sayin'They say that men are from Mars. If I hadn’t spent a total of 19 hours in labor delivering two baby boys who are quickly becoming men, I would believe it. So now I live with three extraterrestrials who are confused and perplexed by my earthly expectations and feminine feelings. What’s a woman to do? Well, I take solace in being the different one in the house- hold. They have their rules, and I have mine. My checkbook and my closet are off limits to any complainers. But most importantly, I keep my girlfriends close, very close. If I need a sympathetic ear, I ain’t gonna get it under my roof. I have accepted that fact and, believe me, it’s a fact.

My men are unusual. They weigh before dinner and after. I weigh once a year—usually at my doctor’s office and only by force. They howl at South Park. Sometimes, they are completely deaf to my voice. Trying to get through to them is like playing tennis – the ball just keeps coming back, again and again, just like before, in exactly the same fashion. Tennis frustrates me. Men frustrate me. As I age I accept it more freely. There’s no changing the male know-it- all psyche, the “I’m in charge” attitude. Just ignore it, girlfriend. I do. Life is easier that way.

I have come to accept there are things my husband is never going to understand about me. I got eyeliner tattooed on my eyelids and beneath my eyes. Sounds crazy, but I have small eyes. He thought I had absolutely lost my mind. I looked like Rocky Balboa for a day or so, but after that it was quite lovely. I am glad that I did not spend hours trying to justify why and what I was doing. It was an unexplainable beauty technique that only a woman could comprehend.

In case you are surrounded by male counterparts, relax, don’t stress, don’t spend hours explaining this and that, just know that there are many female things that will always be foreign to them. I have been contemplating many of the things that males just do not get. It might help you out a little. Here’s the list so far.

Men will never get – the one day sale, expensive shampoo, buttered bread, pajamas on hangers, the $200 purse, the emergency shoes in your car, facials, The Notebook, a chocolate brownie and Diet Coke, Botox, high school photos, soap operas, Thelma & Louise, granny panties, Pampered Chef, heated seats, Midol, cappuccino, eyebrow waxing, fat jeans, Celine Dion, seasonal purses, pedicures, designer dresses, and low-fat cookies.

But the biggest thing that they will never understand is – “not tonight, honey!” I’m just sayin’.

 Shelly Gail Morris