“fixing up” a good weekend

For years, I would dread conversations with my father. I found his incessant talking about horse racing, and Saratoga Springs in general, very tedious and shallow, and it seemed like this was all he ever talked about. At that point in our lives, we met maybe, once a year for dinner, and I think we both left those dinners feeling drained and disappointed in our relationship.

Several years ago, I started to seriously work on myself, in regard to my relationship with him, and began to change my negative, disapproving attitude about his life. The first few times that we met, and he started talking about the track, I could feel myself tighten inside as I started to get mentally critical, but I caught this, and turned it around by asking him questions about the races. I must say that I didn’t then, nor do I now, care at all about the subject of horse racing, but when I hated the subject of racing, dreaded even his mention of it, it didn’t go away, it grew and became the negative focal point of every interaction that we had.

Something changed when I started to look for things to like about him, instead of things to feel disapproval about. He still comes to Saratoga every summer for the racing season, and we meet almost every week for breakfast. He rarely talks about racing anymore …or does he? I truly am not sure. It doesn’t matter. I love meeting with him because I love him. That is all I need to know.

What plans do you have for this weekend? Are you looking forward to them or dreading them? Maybe start right now sending out “good vibes” to the people, places and environments that you will be interacting with…start expecting and looking for the best.

When you say to yourself, ‘I am going to have a pleasant visit or a pleasant journey’, you are literally sending elements and forces ahead of your body that will arrange things to make your visit or journey pleasant….Our thoughts, or in other words, our state of mind, is ever at work ‘fixing up’ things good or bad for us in advance.” Prentice Mulford, from “Thoughts are Things (written in 1889)

34 thoughts on ““fixing up” a good weekend

  1. Goes back to the power of belief doesn’t it ,Mary?

    I’m going to begin sending out some “good vibes’ toward my yard and garden, so that I will enjoy raking and tidying this weekend.

    Thank you Mary,
    Happy weekend to you and all your family members, furry and otherwise,
    Love from Fran

  2. I loved my dad, but we were like oil and water….. until I realized that he was fading and wouldn’t be here much longer. At that point I told myself that we needed to mend the relationship there and then.

    We spent some really great moments together during that time, and all because I decided that I had to make the changes within me; I had to step forward to make our lives as father and daughter really count. It worked. When he departed, there was nothing but love between us. It was a surprise for him and a blessing for me.

    I thank God that I woke up in time.

  3. Beautiful post. Bless you Suzanne and Mary for figuring out how to accept and love your dads for who they were…regardless of expectations on your part. I lost my dad when he was 36….I was 16. He died of a heart attack. I miss him still, almost 46 years later. We were close, although I am sure that if we’d had a longer time together we would have had to sort out our relationship as we were both head strong and determined. Dad’s are such wonderful teachers of pure love in so many ways, eh?

    • “Dad’s are such wonderful teachers of pure love in so many ways, eh?”

      Wow, Debra, this final sentence of yours really made me realize for the first time in 5 years (since my dad passed) that every difference of opinion my dad and I had over the years was a learning moment for me, the lessons of which are only now visible to me because I have grown enough to see them.

      Thank you for a powerful moment.

  4. It is amazing how we can change the quality of a relationship by changing the way we look at it. I am so glad you now how this quality time with your father Mary and Suzanne, what a blessing that you were able to find that love connection with your father! I was born during WWII and never saw my father until I was 3 years old. After 3 years of conflict overseas and away from his family he had no patience coming home to a small child. I feared and avoided him for all of my childhood. As an adult I realized he was truly a kind, hard working man and actually had a sense of humor. He has been gone over 20 years now and I do miss him.

  5. As for this weekend . . . I have promised a dear lady I would take her to a concert in town tonight and (forgive me please) I am fearing driving over the sumit into town, or back home again, in bad weather. We have a 90% chance of snow tonight. This precious lady cannot drive at night and I know how she loves these concerts. When I mentioned the pending storm she said, “We always get storm warnings that never happen.” That is true but we also get them that DO happen. Shall I think positive and go for it??

    • I know positive thinking works, and can work well, JoAnne F, but I think you’d better really spec this out on your inner radar. I know you don’t want to disappoint your friend, but it might be a bigger disappointment if this were to be her last concert due to an accident. Just sayin’……..

  6. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Saturday, March 17th and may the Luck o’ the Irish be with you always and “May God hold you in the palm of his hand”. I will be spending St. Pat’s with my sometimes difficult brother-in-law, Ed. Ed is a big red-haired Irish-American who loves to drink and talk. Read that “Get drunk and lecture”! So let me start turning that around right now. Ed is also a good story teller, like many of irish descent; and he tells really funny Irish jokes and acts them out with a Gaelic accent. He is also a good Irish Tenor. I am already looking forward to my visit with my brother-in-law Ed!!! Thanks, Mary.

  7. Mary, as usual, you have ESP. I have to make the 3 hour drive this weekend to see my 88 yr old mom, who is in an assisted living home. We’ve never been close, but over this past year, her health is failing and I’ve had to make the trip every few weeks because I feel obligated (and my brothers are useless at this). It’s been extremely stressful, of course, but probably because of my attitude. I dread the trip every time, even though we occasionally have a nice time together. Maybe it wouldn’t be so stressful if I changed my attitude from “I hate this” to “Let’s try to make this as pleasant as we can”. Thank you for the reminder that I can indeed control my own attitude!

  8. Love, love, love this post! I’m going to think of sending positive thoughts ahead like the robins (welcome back, dear ones!) who send their scouts ahead to Michigan in the spring… singing the way in for the rest of the flock.

    Have a lovely weekend, everyone, full of happy outcomes!

  9. Good post! I shall try to think positively about my new challenges–got told yesterday by my sweet FNP that I am in the range both for diabetes and poor thyroid numbers, so more new pills to begin, and totally changing my diet. I struggle with this mightily and feel like a failure. Surounded by handouts and books, I must turn this into a positive long, long haul. Discouraging because I exercise (aerobic swimming) 3x per week, but to little avail. I’m trying to choose peace if I could just stop crying in total frustration. Anyone out there with suggestions, por favor? Thanks mucho….

    • Dear Kathi,
      Perhaps being in the ‘range’
      means that possibly, with change
      you’ll discover something strange….

      A diet offering wonderful new choices of tastes and tidbits and tantalizing new flavors, all new to an inquiring palate.
      You can’t be a failure until you give up—so give it a go!! And treat yourself to a full body massage for the courage to try—you deserve it. Blessings.

      • Cheryl,

        “You can’t be a failure until you give up”

        That’s wonderful.
        Thank you for a new affirmation!
        From Fran

      • Thansk again for your message, Cheryl. I’ve had the great fortune to travel a lot when I was younger, and eat many strange things, and my family culture too exhorts fun foods. Alas, it doesn’t seem fun now.

    • Been here, doing this, Kathi! Same problems. It was a very frustrating portion of my life until about six months ago. I woke up one day and realized that I was doing everything right for my health and that was just about as far as I could take it. There were no further improvements to be made. So I stopped beating myself up, have stayed with my program and have changed my perspective on the whole thing. Once I adjusted to the changes I had to make, and got rid of my unrealsitic expectations, I became more free to enjoy my life in other areas.

      No magic bullet here. Just doing my best and allowing myself another and unique angle to it all. Hope you find your niche…..one where you can feel comfortable.

    • Kathi, hang in there! A couple of weeks ago, my younger son who is 33 asked me to watch a documentary with him called Fork Overt Knives – and it was incredibly informative, not in a preachy way, “stop this, stop that, etc.” but very empowering as the scientists discovered that with diet changes only!, in as little as 3 months’ time, people were able to get off of cholesterol meds, diabetic meds – the old adage, we are what we eat, seems ever so true. Here is a link to the site, – I have tried to really increase veggies, to have them dominate our meals, and believe me, (see my post below) it is no small challenge with a Spanish husband who is 70 and proudly, especially in all things culinary, entrenched in the good life. 🙂 Small steps, dear Kathi – we are with you! Know that!
      http://www.forksoverknives.com/about/synopsis/

  10. Mary, a wonderful suggestion- “wisdom vibrations”…
    -a spring clean-up of sorts…thank you..thank you..thank you…

  11. and, I think, it’s a testimony of love to do just what you did. So what if there are things about someone we love that we can barely tolerate? None of us are exempt. Love covers a lot that isn’t agreeable.

  12. Oh yea! It worked! Happy St. Patricks to all you fine lasses and the occasion lad! May the path we follow be paved with positivity and a few four leaf clovers…can’t hurt.

  13. Terri, don’t know if you saw my late night post yesterday when I too, finally got back on WFF! Just about panicked to find out I was being told my email had to re-subscribe! I even took a 28 mile hike (in car) to see my tech-savvy son to get me back in order! It is evening now, and I usually check in morning time in Arizona. For me this weekend, I have a huge dinner party to give for my son, his girlfriend, and two other couples that are my son’s friends, and my husband and me, 8 in all on Sunday and it’s going to be a marathon of preparation – all Spanish food in honor of husband and son who loves all the things he remembers from childhood that I learned to make once married and wooed to Spanish cuisine! (I grew up in MIchigan! haha! – Kelly, from Midland, I know you are from the Traverse City area? ) SO, busy I will be, and though I much prefer quieter ways of sharing, I will heed the advice shared here today to put it forward, that I will truly enjoy all the lovely young ones gathered with my husband and me, and though it will be a lot of work, it will be worth all the memories. I feel so blessed that my son wants to share time with us. Love to all!

  14. To Cyber Gods and Goddesses:

    There can be NO glitches in connecting with White Feather Farm business!!
    We are mighty and tenacious—and determined to cluck with the flock.
    Thank you and Happy St. Paddy’s Day to all the Irish in us!

  15. Thank you Mary for helping me to continue to improve my mindset. It is a wonderful and powerful thing. Precious. It is the feather that helps to carry us through the difficulties of life. Even when things are unpleasant and/or uncertain there is good around us.

  16. Susan, I did see your and Suzanne Tate’s post and tried to respond back but it would not post! I think I finally got things fixed as my post yesterday evening worked. You have a very busy weekend in store! I can imagine the delicious foods surrounding your family and you, made by your loving hands. I live in Omaha and we will retire to Boise, ID in about a year.

  17. THANKS to you sweet folks for the encouragement!! I’m currently crossing between anger, sadness, and going full speed into diabetes education, online support groups, newsletters, etc. Just like an educator. Appreciate the references & similar stories. I’ve beat (or evolved through) a number of crises in my life and it makes me tired of running the gauntlet Again…but we are strong spirits! We shall be in touch!

    So trying also to find patience and peace and all that Good Stuff we share about. There will surely be some new lessons on sacrifice, acceptance, focusing, etc.

    But I think of myself not as a white chicken, but maybe a dove. Would that be a coo-coo, Cheryl?

    • As I sit watching the beautiful mourning doves push the yellow finches out of the feeding line-up, I’d say “Yup, that’s a definite coo-coo.” But no matter the feather, we’re in it together!

  18. Great post for the weekend for me too. I’m on the pity pot over yesterdays discouraging appt. for post-op check with my eye surgeon. The negativity is oozing from my pores! My man is being the sweetie he is, my daughter was most supportive. I need to turn my thoughts around NOW.
    Have a nice weekend Mary. Thanks for your blog.

    • Sending you positive vibes, Cindy! I have thought of you often in this past week after your eye surgery. May all wonderful and new things be revealed to you! Patience, and love! Susan

    • While I don’t know what kind of eye surgery you had, I’m praying for you and hope things will improve. I deal with diabetic retinopathy and have had my left eye repeatedly lasered and injected…no surgery…yet.
      Praying for healing powers sent your way.

  19. There is a powerful lesson here for all of us to take away – thanks again for your insight and understanding. Makes me think about when I began reading the sports page so Jeff and I could discuss what was going on in the world of sports…and could have cared less…LOL

  20. Oh thank-you Susan and Marion. It means alot to me. Patience is difficult. Worrying sucks. I’m working on both. I need to trust this Dr. and have faith that the glitches will iron themselves out.
    I enjoyed the birds, my yard bunny (who is eating my sweet crocus’.) and working in the gardens and starting things in pots this weekend with my sweet man. I have so much to be grateful for. Including finding your wonderful blog Mary.

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