My mother-in-law got a call today from someone saying they were calling on behalf of her grandson, Parker Hatley, who had been in a terrible auto accident and was now in jail in Nevada. They appealed to her to help him get out of jail because “he doesn’t want to have his parents find out.” They then put “Parker” on the phone, who was in tears, begging his grandmother for help. They explained that he couldn’t talk loudly or for very long because of the broken nose he had suffered in the accident. My sweet mother-in-law asked them how she would know that Parker was all right, and they assured her they would let her know as soon as she wired the money, in cash, through Western Union, from two different Western Union offices.
My mother-in-law is not easily fooled. She is an extremely intelligent person who does not suffer fools easily. But here is what got to her: the young man crying on the phone, asking his grandmother for help. She went to her bank, got some money out of her savings, and then went to Western Union. Thank goodness the Western Union worker knew this was all a scam and told her not to send the money. But my mother-in-law continued to worry a little bit about Parker until she actually got a call from him saying, yes, he is still in Mexico, and, yes, he is doing fine.
The first thing I was wondering was how they got Parker’s name and connected it to my mother-in-law. All we could figure is that these evil people read obituaries, since my father-in-law died this past year–and the obituary named his grandchildren. These scumbags must target widows and widowers!
I would like to shoot these people, whoever they are–not so much for trying to scam my mother-in-law out of money but more importantly for playing on her emotions that way. I am pretty powerless to catch them. My mother-in-law has already reported them to the FCC and the police, but I bet they hide their tracks well. But I can at least put this whole new variety of evil scam on the blog so that people can spread the word about this to their friends and relatives! Please, help this go viral!!!!!
I hate everything else about the cattle chute that either gets students into colleges in this country or dumps them out!
Here are my specific hates:
1) I hate the process of applying to college. In particular, I hate it that all application forms have different required essays, so a student has to sweat over not one but five or ten different essays!
2) I hate deadlines that come too early!
3) I hate Super Parents who are completely on top of those deadlines, along with everything else about the process (such as the need to push your kid into taking AP’s as early as sophomore year if you really want them to rank at the top of their class!) while the rest of us muddle along.
4) I hate the SAT and the ACT and anything else that judges my kids based on one morning in a high-pressured testing center with ONLY number 2 pencils and completely filled in ovals!
5) I hate it that some great extracurricular but non-social-impact activities that your kid loves count for nothing! And I hate it that anything the kid did before the 9th grade also doesn’t count!
6) I hate the FAFSA (which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid)!
7) I hate the fact that the FAFSA always comes up with a ridiculous amount that you supposedly can afford as your parent contribution—one that has no relation to reality!
8) I hate it that you have to fill out a new FAFSA every year of your child’s time in college. So far, we have filled out the FAFSA 13 times, and we have at least 3 more times to go!
9) I hate filling out a damn Master Promissory Note for a student loan!
10) I hate it that any member of the so-called Middle Class, who isn’t either filthy rich or desperately poor, can’t ever get enough financial aid to be able to send their kid to college without loans, even at your state’s public university!
11) I hate the CSS and the IDOC, both asking for different information.
12) I hate it that you really have to do your taxes before you fill out the FAFSA, unless you happen to like going back in and correcting all the errors you made when you estimated!
13) I hate it that a student has to be the first chair in their local symphony, the top of their class, a world-class athlete and the founder of their own high-impact non-profit in order to get into an Ivy League school!
14) Most of all, I hate, hate, hate that some kids feel bad when they get turned down and actually believe that they must not really be as smart as they thought they were! There is not enough press about how much randomness is involved in the process (who happens to read your application, what students that college happens to need at the time, where you happen to live in the country, what race/ethnic group you happen to belong to, how you happen to approach an essay on the day you sit down to right it, whether or not you happen to have had a good night’s sleep the night before the SAT, and on an on)!
Over the years coaching clients, (including many women over fifty) have often asked for my permission to sayNo. For example, a No to the belligerent boss or rancorous relative; a NO to others when you are feeling overwhelmed may be necessary to clear the way to the bigger Yes to self-care and self-love.
Many of us would love to say No more often than we do, but deny ourselves because we’re afraid of what others will think.
“I can’t say no! If I said no, it would mean I’m not a good person, I’m selfish, not a team player”, etc. But these are limiting beliefs that keep us feeling trapped and resentful, which in the long term will cause more harm to ourselves and others.
Saying No also creates space for something bigger and grandeur to enter our life, for nature abhors a vacuum. Saying No is taking a stand. We’re drawing the line in the sand. It’s empowering.
“No, I won’t tolerate that treatment any longer”.
“No, I won’t work overtime without compensation anymore”.
“No, it’s your turn to watch the kids while I take a bubble bath”.
To start the shift to more No’s, imagine the possibilities with the Yes’s that will surely follow. Imagine you’ve said No to whatever situation or person you want to. What’s your bigger Yes? Imagine that Yes. Speak that Yes. Really allow yourself to feel the feeling of Yesthat would be possible because of your prior No.
Make a list of everything you get to say Yes to because you said No. Things like fun activities, more R&R, new and healthier relationships; happier feelings, like freedom, peace, or empowerment; improved health, more energy, etc.
Take some time out to listen to No. Practice. Get to your bigger “Yes” sooner versus later.
Barbara’s experience includes more than 12 years coaching individuals and groups on transition issues in life and work, along with helping people release grief that can arise through loss due to any change.