Choose it or Lose it.

I'm a mom, and sometimes moms get ticked off. It's like a side-effect or a job hazard or something. Even those moms who talk in sweetly hushed voices at the grocery store, despite the fact that their offspring are scaling the shelves and ripping packages open with their teeth. You gotta know that EVERY mom loses it sometimes. In fact, I have this vague suspicion that our mom cards get revoked if we don't . . .

Now, I'm not going to list all the things that set me off. Partly because I'm making great strides in shortening that list, and partly because I'm not sure that even an infinitely large text box can hold it all. But if there's one thing that really frosts my cupcakes, it's when my kids are mean to each, and specifically, when they BLAME each other.

Our two older girls share a room, and they have this habit of secretly staying up a few hours past bedtime, all quiet like. When we walk into their room in the morning, we find the closet door open and the light on, the children sleeping in their clothes and their pajamas scattered on the floor. Often their beds are covered in an assortment of books (which warms the cockles of my cranky heart), other times with Star Wars Lego or Smurfs (because we're awesomely geeky here in the Vander-Household).

And when we rouse them and call them to task, they angrily blame their sibling for keeping them awake! "She kept me awake till ten-oh-seven, Mommy!" And I quirk my eyebrows at them (which doesn't look as cool as it sounds - I look mildly constipated when I quirk my eyebrows), and say, "Oh really? So your sister stripped off your pajamas, forced you into your school clothes, then made you read and play for two hours?"

They begin to look a little abashed at this point, and I give them a lecture on accountability, threaten dire consequences next time, hug'n'love them, and send them on their way. Yeah, I'm pretty much awesome.

Thing is, it gets me thinking about my OWN accountability. About the things I'm upset about in life, and how many of them actually ARE within my control.

VanderVision Tip of the Day: You can't be awesome if you don't acknowledge your ability to choose NOT to be awesome. Awesomeness is sometimes accidental, but more usually it is the result of powerful intention. Choose it or lose it.

And there's the little kid part of me that protests at being held accountable. No, no, no, I say. It's not MY fault. It's genetics! It's Neil's fault for leaving his dirty laundry on the floor all the time (right NEXT to the laundry basket too - what's with that?). If the kids would only clean up after themselves, if the baby would only sleep through the night, if the snow would only melt and the mud dry up and the sun come out (but not TOO warmly please, thank you very much).

It's startling to realize just how much I play the blame game in my life. But rewarding to realize that when I stop, and point my finger at myself, I make changes that make my life infinitely, wonderfully more awesome.

What are you taking accountability for today? I'm going to own up to letting a crisper full of fruit go bad. Yeah. Time to clean that sucker out, and it's all on me . . . 

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