How-To Guide to 17 years

Valentine's Day is one of those love it or hate it type of holidays. According to my husband, as I mentioned last year, it really isn't even a holiday. Just some nonsense someone made up to sell jewelry.  Which is funny he said that because the number of times I've gotten jewelry for Valentine's Day = 0.

But I know it's not his fault. I mean, the man is one of those guys who would be in the hall of fame of husbands if anyone knew what he had to deal with on a daily basis.

And not just because he puts up with me - which he does brilliantly.  But he does so with such finesse that you almost don't even know how crazy I really am. Like for instance, he will take the kids all day on Saturday so that I can spend the day in the house getting work done. And "work" for me is loosely defined, for sure. Sometimes it's actual work. Or laundry. Or throwing out the stuffies that live in the garage, which no one even remembers we own, but I still have to use a day while they're gone, or they will throw themselves on the ground crying in protest.  SOMETIMES "work" is just taking a bubble bath while enjoying some Blue Dream, listening to Billie Holiday, and pretending I live alone. You know - important stuff.  He remembers he liked me better then, so he lets me get back in that headspace when he can. God bless that man.

But while he might be fantastic at all that, sometimes we don't always hit "amorous" on the love gauge at the same time. I know we are a complete anomaly in that respect.  But this is why I'm blogging today.  I'd like to share some advice for those ladies feeling amorous, but still want it to seem like sexy time is their spouse’s idea. (I mean, I will come out and just ask sometimes, but that usually cuts short act one and act two, and we go right for the finale, and sometimes I just can't catch that train.)

So, here it goes…

Tactic number one:  the ol "I think I left a tampon in there".First, and most importantly, you don't need to actually leave a tampon in there. In fact, it could be counter-productive. Just ask anyone who has actually left a tampon in there. I won't go into details - but there are details. It involves a speculum and some very scary smell. Also, don't google speculum.

Then, why try this tactic at all? I will tell you. When you don't actually have a tampon stuck in there, and you have your spouse "search" for it, well, it's gonna take a minute. And if your husband is anything like mine, by the time the realization hits you/him that you guys are in the clear... well, it's on.

Maybe you ask, why such a graphic tactic? I mean, think of it. You're naked. He is eye level with your flower. The rest is just a matter of time.

Tactic number two, which is very similar to tactic number one, is "does my flower smell weird?" Yes - as you can imagine, there is a parallel line between your “bagina” and his face once again - and blammo. You're in business.

Why not just try the tampon trick again, you ask?  Well, at some point you're husband is just gonna start to think you have a serious drug problem if you're constantly forgetting what you put up your vagina.

A nice compliment to the "does my vagina smell weird" tactic is an essential oil blend that you can get here. It's a great precursor. As in, "hey, I just got this new vagina essential oil… does my vagina smell weird?"  

Or you can just do the old stand by. The regular, "hey - can you just smell my vagina and see if it smells weird?!" I mean, if that doesn't work than either:

  1. Your vagina does smell weird,

  2. Your guy maybe just isn't into you, or

  3. Maybe you actually DO have a tampon stuck in there. In which case you need to book it to the doc. That shits dangerous.

Now, my third and final tactic is something anyone can try. It might feel like a huge deal, but if you've already tried the stealth vagina smell and tampon ruse, then this will be nothing. If you didn't, this might register as a little uncomfortable. But here it goes:

Tactic number 3: sexy photos. And no, not that drunk shit you take in your hotel with your android. Definitely not anything you’re gonna email or text. Real photos. With a real photographer. I can tell you I did it last year for my husband. It didn't work out as well as it could have, mainly because I wasn't nude. And I took them myself, so they are really close up.

Also I wasn't really in anything sexy.

So basically I botched the whole thing.

But I know couples that swear by this concept. One couple in fact tells me that this is a really fun treat, and they only tease out a few at a time. I think it's been years and I'm not even sure the spouse has seen them all in their entirety.

But look, I'm no expert. I'm a forty-something woman who has been with the same man for 17 years. We love each other, but life gets boring. Stop at nothing to reinvent. And if you have any new ideas, this girl is all ears.

 

Mother's Day for the Motherless

We all have a mother.  She was there, the moment we were born.  

Maybe she stayed.  Maybe she was great.  Maybe, just maybe, she made pancakes, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, even though peanut butter would give her hives.  Maybe she gave you a bowl of grapes when she shipped your dog Skipper off to the pound because he was eating her flowers.

Maybe she would serve you hot cocoa on the open oven door, like it was a table, on cold mornings.  (...which, by the way, doesn’t sound like a super safe idea to me.  I think it sits somewhere between lawn darts and riding in the back of a pickup truck for fun.)

Maybe she would play fun games where you drew faces on your chin, and you could hang upside down over the edge of the bed and talk to each other for laughs.

Maybe sometimes she would make you a jumper with white eyelet fabric that tied as straps into bows on your shoulders.  Perhaps you would fall asleep on her lap late at night in the car on the way home.  No seatbelt, of course.  Sitting in the front seat you might have drifted in and out of a soft slumber, while the radio was silent, and she talked in a low voice to your Dad.  

Maybe sometimes in the summer she would pretend you were having a picnic, put your hair in pigtails and make orange slices with powdered sugar to eat on a blanket in the back yard.

Maybe, before she left, as best she could, she put together all the best memories in a scrap book.  Your first Christmas.  Your first snowman.  She labeled it all.  After all, they were probably photos she had taken.  And she arranged them, perhaps, perfectly in chronological order.  Starting at the beginning, going right up until the day she left.

And later, when you were older, if you decided to have kids, and you struggled to understand her decisions, potentially you could see how hard it might have been.  In a time when women weren’t given a lot of opportunity.  Maybe you could see how desperate she was to find another husband.  So desperate that she would leave you alone, the one weekend every other week that you were able to spend with her.  To go to a bar.  To flirt with a man.  To drink Coors Light.

It is possible, however, that you don’t understand.  That every time you look at yourself in the mirror, you still see that little girl that wasn’t important enough to just stay.  Sit still.  

And then, maybe, you spend countless years in therapy.  Rehashing why you really aren’t the girl that was told she wasn’t as pretty as she thought she was.  You’re not the girl that was told she wasn’t as smart as she thought she was.  You’re not the girl who was selfish because she wanted to spend an evening with her mom, just you and her.

But if you find yourself in any part of this situation, and you have two kids of your own, constantly wondering how you could possibly be a good mom to them given the example you had, hopefully you can redirect your focus to them.  The crazy shit they say.  Their dirty faces.  Their insane yet brilliant ideas.

Maybe you beat yourself up because you weren’t the most patient mom when they were young.  Maybe you blame your mom.  Maybe you blame hers.  Maybe you wish you could turn back time and fix it.  Maybe you wish you could have appreciated how important and fun all those years were when you were so worried, scared, tired and sleep deprived.  When they were so little. 

Hypothetically speaking of course, perhaps on Mother's Day, you could find a moment, look at some baby photos.  Maybe take in that piece of clay that looks like a turtle but is actually a dog.  Maybe instead of beating yourself up for being the tired, short tempered, sometimes selfish, sometimes amazing mom that you are, you could congratulate yourself on making it this far.  Because, maybe, you did learn a few good things from your mom.  Maybe, despite all the shit, you can decide to focus on the good memories.  Maybe all your kids need from you is to be there.  To stay there.  To sit still on a Saturday night.  To watch a movie you’ve watched a thousand times.  Maybe all they need to know is that you love them.  

Perhaps all you need is to know is that they love you back.  

 

 

 

Women Crush Wednesday

Here it is, folks.  The dawn a new day.  I've been thinking a lot about women crushing on women.  Ever since I overheard a conversation between a very young, and gorgeous woman (lets say 21 at the most) and a super cute man that she was talking to.  He asked her about Feminism, which is either an awesome sign about the next generation, or a terrifying one.  Her response was something like this:

"yeah...I'm not really into it.  I mean, you hear people talking all the time about it, and I'm just like, you know, totally don't understand.  I mean, like, you don't hear men talking about how they aren't getting equal rights, right?"

So, before I sound like a total hypocrite, let me say that I should have given her a hug, and a business card, and asked her to call me when she graduates.  I didn't.  Shame on me.  But on the other hand, what if, in some strange parallel universe, it really isn't an issue for her.  Maybe in 20 years, when she is writing blogs (or riding around in space cars sending her messages to the masses via some mental email) and I'm getting social security (I know, hysterical right?) then female equality won't be an issue.  Maybe women all over the world will unite in one large feminist vision and men will no longer dominate the work place.  Men will cease to get paid 2x-3x times what women get paid to do the same job.  And maybe, just maybe, we women won't fight so much with one another.  Maybe we will stop complimenting each other on our hair and our outfits and start complimenting each other on masterful creation of a world where men don't think we are yelling every time we disagree.  (This is an actual thing - google it.)  Maybe.  We can only hope.

But, back in the real world - you know the one where male politicians tell women they shouldn't use birth control and women who work at home for decades caring for kids get divorced by their husbands with no savings and no part of the 401k - yeah, back here -  we women still have to boost each other up a bit.  I know I could use a little "hell yeah" here and there.  A little splitsies with a bottle of Sauv Blanc.  We women can still have buckets that need filling.

So to you ladies who didn't listen to their teachers telling them they weren't cut out for certain sports, or couldn't be a scientist.  You women who celebrate the idea that we don't have to fit a mold of little and dainty and speak quietly and elegantly.  Let's just agree to high five.  

And maybe, one day, with some ground swell and a heaping dose of estrogen, we can wake up like that beautiful 20 year old, uncertain what the whole fuss was all about.  

 

 

"It's Just a Made Up Holiday..."

This is just a picture of a sexy bra.  You can get it at Urban Outfitters.

This is just a picture of a sexy bra.  You can get it at Urban Outfitters.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s day.  I bet you already knew that.  According to my husband, its just a “made up holiday.”  But according to my extensive (albeit 10 minutes worth of) research on NPR.com and history.com, its actually the celebration of several holidays, all squished into one.  And none of them were made up.

One story sites an ancient Roman festival where priests murdered animals (goats and dogs according to both my extensive sources) and ran through the streets flinging bloody hides on naked women to improve fertility.  All while drinking wine, of course. 

Other stories tell of 3 Saints, all named Valentine, that were imprisoned and murdered on or around Valentine’s day.  One of them sent a note from prison to their lover, singed “your Valentine” which for obvious reasons has some significance here.

Either way, over the years, this naked fertility festival and our love of martyred saints has morphed into this holiday of celebrating love.

Personally, I dig it.  But, I think I'm might be in the minority.  While I spend time searching, photographing, painting and scheming for just the perfect gift for my Valentine, I am left with nary a card, poem, flower or even a special hug.  Well, except for my Dad.  Dad's are great for that Snoopy Valentine's day card that always says something like "You're the greatest Daughter, Ever."  Which is super nice - but not the goopy love sentiment you wish for from your spouse.

So, I thought I would make a top 10 list.  You know, for all those men, women, husbands, wives, girlfriends and boyfriends who just can’t seem to find a way to say, "I get you."  (uhm…Dad, if you’re reading this, best to stop now.)

 

10.  Sex toys.  Yes, sex toys.  What’s more important then to love thyself?  And if your searching for the perfect thing - everyone likes sex.  Even if they don’t have it regularly, with another person, or at all.  They would like it if they could.  I primarily think of women when I think of sex toys, sure.  We women don’t wander around with phallic shaped appendages on our body, and if alone, we need some extra help when feeling amorous.  And ladies, lets be honest, if your man is giving you grief about your love for him, your commitment to the relationship or what it might say about him as a man if you need one, then just tell him you will agree the minute he cuts off his hand.  To any women who is without, this would be a wonderful gift.  Hands down.  And to men with the same needs - go for it.  Nothing bad can come from something that vibrates.

Trader Joe's International Passport Dark Chocolate

Trader Joe's International Passport Dark Chocolate

9.  Chocolate.  But not the crappy kind that you get at the drug store.  Take some time, do some research.  Cocoabella (cocobella.com) is a great starting point.  Or XOX truffles (xoxtruffles.com).  They take a little time to be delivered if you live outside of SF.  But they are lovely and worth the extra effort.  If you can’t pull that off, you can likely find something amazing at a regular grocery store.  But by regular, I’m talking Whole Foods or the likes.  TJ’s isn’t half bad either.

8.  Lingerie.  Ok, by now you’re thinking I am just stating the obvious.  Which may be true.  But buying lingerie for your lover is not only going to allow them to put something on that will make them feel fabulous, but its also going to start a conversation.  One that hopefully is very sexy in nature.  And that is a gift in and of itself.  Throw in a sex toy, and you have yourself a party.

7.  A Poem.  Maybe you write it.  Maybe you just find one.  Either way, you get the credit for being romantic.  

6.  Massage.  This one is usually best done in person, and personally, you dig?  If you’re not awesome with your hands, then maybe buy yourself a reference book.  And ask lots of questions in your session.  

5.  Photos.  Whether your down for a boudoir or a dudeoir session, making something personal can be such a beautiful experience for both the photography subject and the recipient.  I did this personally for my husband last year.  I didn’t go nudey patootey or anything.  But what an amazing feeling to just allow yourself to be photographed so vulnerably.  I’m not recommending any group photo session, though.  That falls under a completely different category.

4.  Romantic Getaway - if you have this in your available arsenal of romantic tools and don’t use it at least once, then I can’t help you.

No. 2 description

No. 2 description

3.  Perfume.  Who doesn’t love smelling delicious?  And if you work it right, the scent you get could enhance your natural abilities to Love.  While the perfume counter at your local department store might sound like the best place, let me suggest something more natural - like essential oils masterfully crafted.

Hand Crafted Perfume no. 2 by elaia, Mandy Oler

Hand Crafted Perfume no. 2 by elaia, Mandy Oler

2.  Jewelry.  Diamonds were made to give at romantic holidays.  If not diamonds, sapphires.  Aquamarines.  Rubies.  Rose Quarts.  A piece of costume jewelry from the consignment shop on the corner.   A painted macaroni necklace, for God’s sake.  Just show up.

Costume jewelry from my local thrift store

Costume jewelry from my local thrift store

1.  Your Perspective.  Spend 5 minutes, an hour or an entire week, and think of an entire list of reasons why you love him or her.  Write it down.  Use adjectives.  And when the day comes, wake them up with your list.  Give it, read it, act it out.  But it’s so true what they say - love doesn’t cost a thing.




Tonight is New Year's Eve...Third Time This Week.

New Year's Resolutions Made by People in Percentages

*this data is a complete figment of my imagination, but it sounds about right. and also i think my math might be a little off
This is an example of organic good stuff.

This is an example of organic good stuff.

Its Jan 4th and everyone in the world is posting all the fantastic things they are going to do and accomplish in 2016.  They have lists and plans, new found respect for their bodies and everything they put in it.  They are going to do yoga, stop drinking, and eat only organic green stuff.

As I flip through the endless photos of 2016 promise on instagram, I notice I have to wipe the grease dripping from my hands on my shirt so I don’t smear it on my oh so important iPhone 6 screen.  Yes, its Taco Bell grease, and its only on there because I am eating my meximelt directly from my fist and half of it has gone in my lap.  

This is an example of the stuff you want, but tell yourself you can't have in order to accomplish your list.  

This is an example of the stuff you want, but tell yourself you can't have in order to accomplish your list.  

My resolutions haven’t been written yet.  Actually, thats a lie.  (Note to self, I should put no more lying on my list.) They were written last night after my (fourth) glass of wine, (because I had to drink all the wine out of the house before I could start the no drinking part of my resolutions. ) But today, the headache that followed that (fourth) glass of wine has kept me exhausted, dizzy and decidedly hungry since I woke up at 7 a.m.  But, heres the thing: my resolutions start first thing tomorrow.  Yes, Jan. 5th.  

Starting on January 5th, I will be joining the masses of people who are “detoxing their skin” from the holiday season, and cleaning out their fridges, learning how to love their body just as it is, organizing their hair products, figuring out which yoga poses are the most meditative, researching the easiest and most delicious way to eat the only green stuff they are allowing themselves to eat, and of course, starting on long awaiting and anticipate projects that have been sitting on collective to do lists since the age of 13.  

For instance:

  • Must lose 40 lbs (Never mind that I’ve already figured out how to love my body just as it is.)
  • Workout every day (See above.)
  • Cook more (3x's a week.  I know, its lame.  But, look, I married a guy that cooks.  That was also on another list.  At least its on the list.  I'm trying.)
  • Write a screen play (Super easy, I’m sure.  I already have the app.)
  • Get that great american novel started so that when I'm done with my screen play, its ready in 2017 (Maybe get another app.)
  • Target five editors that will be dying for my unique perspective on all things photographic
  • Increase my revenues 300%
  • Stop caring about my husband's emotional indifference
  • And, of course, stop drinking (Or technically just slow it down a bit.  I mean, really its a form of art.)

Its quite simple really.

Don’t worry folks.  Right after I eat this plate of spaghetti (with real beef, parmesan cheese and ….yup, you guessed it, no salad side - not even cut up cucumbers) I will be right there with you.  

And by "right after" I, of course, mean tomorrow.

At least there isn’t any wine tonight at the table.

 

Back to School Log

At first it was bliss.  Having those little darlings home.  Cooking breakfast at our leisure.  Creating adventures that I never had as a child, and they never had while I was working full time in an office.  It was like Julie Andrews was singing quietly in the background as our soundtrack to life.

Then the routine started to hit some expected struggles.  Instead of snuggling together in the morning, my kids were rushing straight to the TV.  I would, as any parent, at first enjoy the extra 15 - 30 minutes to sit with some quiet, my thoughts, and my coffee before starting breakfast.

Then, my gentle requests to turn off the TV would turn into three request, then the “1-2…” counting.  Then the consequence.  Then the indignant screaming and stomping and arms crossed and furrowed brow.  

Next thing I know, we are at full scale war against one another.  Sneaking tablets, video games and TVs every time I turned my back.  It was like asking them to amputate their arm to go outside or meet friends to go swimming.  

And there was zero productivity from this lady.  I wasn’t able to get anything done.  Grocery store, doctor appointments, anything was a massive negotiation (which I typically lost) and would result in lost privileges for everyone involved.  No playdates, no TV, no joy.  For anyone in the house.  No exceptions.

Finally, one glorious day in August came, and I just knew my faith in my children and myself was about to restored.  No more where the days of staying up until 11:00 p.m. just get some email answered.  Or having to wash and fold laundry while refereeing a version of elementary school cage fighting.  They leapt out of bed, bounced down the stairs, scarfed their breakfasts and ran off with their backpacks heavy with lunches and new pencils to start the first day of school.

Letting out a huge exhale and remarking to myself how I can finally start knocking off that project list, I got back in my car and drove home.  Here we go productivity!

 

Productivity Log*

Day One:

8:40 a.m.

Drop kids off at school, then drive straight to my driveway where I sit in my car for a full 10 minutes.  Staring at nothing.

 

9:00 a.m.

Eat breakfast.

 

9:04 a.m. 

Log into my email and delete the 142 promotional emails.

 

9:17 a.m.

Watch the video that was texted to me from another mom with the Target ladies shopping on the first day of school.  Utter nonsense, but sadly it makes me laugh.  #solo  I watch it three more times.

 

9:34 a.m.

Surf the internet for the next 2 hours.  Total randomly.  

 

11:37 a.m.

Remind myself I don’t have time to surf the internet totally randomly.

 

11:43  a.m.

Get into the shower, and use soap this time.

 

11:55 a.m.

Shave legs.

 

12:03 p.m.

Sit at the bottom of the shower, right in the stream of hot water, turn it hotter, and just act like an asshole that isn’t living in a drought.

 

12:05 p.m.

Remind myself I am an asshole living in a drought and turn off the water.

 

12:05 p.m.

Continue to lay there, steaming for another 2 minutes.

 

12:07 p.m.

Get out of the shower, and get ready.

 

1:03 p.m.

Stop at my favorite coffee shop that I haven’t been able to go to in 3 months.  Get a coffee.  

 

1:27 p.m.

Race around the grocery store because I have 23 minutes before I have to be back in my car and driving back to school.

 

2:10 p.m.

Debate which kid’s classroom I want to be standing in front of when the bell rings.  Feel like a scene from Sophie’s Choice.  Totally make one kid’s day, while finding the other one moping around campus because I wasn't standing in front of their classroom at the bell.

 

2:25 p.m.

Haul kids home, along with groceries that have been sitting in my car for almost an hour and make a note to overcook the meat. 

 

3:37 p.m.

Space out on auto pilot for the rest of the day ticking off lists, like homework, showers, brushing teeth, cooking and eating dinner.  Hope to myself that I didn’t do it in that order.  My brain is too tired and hazy to know for sure, however.

 

Day two:

4:15 a.m.

Wake up and drive an hour to amazing remote shoot.  Work all day hiking up and down rocky terrain capturing some version of perfection.   Make my husband do my job of lunches, dropping off, picking up and juggling dinner. 

Stay gone long after my job is over.

 

5:30 p.m. 

Immediately when I walk in the door, listen to a detailed explanation of how my son learned to make a popping noise when he hooks his finger out of his mouth.  Wonder where he learned that.  And why.

20140828-_DSC0024.jpg

Weekend:

9:03 a.m. 

Pretend I don’t know my family.  When we meet awkwardly in the kitchen, offer them food for their compliance.  Spend the day staring at my computer screen, catching up on emails, scheduling, following up and making lists.

 

Labor Day Holiday

10:00 a.m. 

Wonder to myself why on Labor Day I don’t get the day off, too.  Also wonder why it happens so early in the school year?  Bribe the husband with sex in exchange for taking kids to the park to give me a day to myself.  Try not to be offended when the husband laughs at my bride.

 

Day three (after a three day weekend):

7:55 a.m.  

Wake up.

 

7:56 a.m.  

Drink coffee that is offered to me by my post workout, sweaty husband as some kind of good will offering before he jumps in the shower and leaves me again.

 

8:05 a.m.  

Get up.

 

8:07 a.m.  

Make breakfast and lunches.


8:24 a.m.  

Take precious and loving children to school.

 

8:40 a.m.  

Go home, change into my under utilized yoga pants and sprint to yoga like its my job.

 

10:15 a.m.  

Go to the grocery story.  Research recipes in the middle of the aisle on my iPhone while you irritate all the authentic stay-at-home-mom’s who have already memorized (or written down on actual paper) their recipes.

 

11:03 a.m. 

Clean last night’s dishes and start the easiest recipe I could find.  In my slow cooker.  Literally, I take three ingredients and put them in, and turn it on.  I try not to feel bad that a monkey could have made my dinner tonight.

 

12:03 p.m. 

Take too much time cleaning dishes and starting dinner that I don’t get to shower.  Wonder how that was possible.  Go to next two appointments smelling like yoga sweat underneath dry shampoo, deodorant and perfume and wonder if all the smells clash.

 

12:10 p.m.  

Meet with therapist to talk about my feelings (mostly of guilt about being a terrible mother and not getting anything done.) 

 

1:10 p.m.  

Meet a friend for lunch and discuss my upcoming nutritional cleanse.  (Nutruitional cleanse is really just code for how I am going to attempt and lose the 14 lbs that I've gained over the summer not working out and eating abandoned chicken nuggets every day)

 

2:20 p.m.  

Show up 10 minutes late to pick up my kids.  They are no longer particularly loving after standing in the sun for 10 minutes.  Feel more guilty.

 

2:21 p.m.

Run around school looking for the extra kids I promised to pick up.  Take everyone to my house.  Thank God I remembered to pick up the extra kids I promised to pick up, this time.  Yes, this time.

 

4:03 p.m.

Play taxi driver for 4 kids that have 4 different destinations.  

 

5:15 p.m.

Start cooking dinner.  (I mean, take the lid off the pot)

 

5:17 p.m.

Pour a glass of wine.

 

5:18 p.m.

Get irritated that the first time I have dinner ready on time, no one is there to eat it.  

 

5:19 p.m.

Realize this is a beautiful moment of quiet, and I should be enjoying it.

 

5:20 p.m.

Realize that I could be doing something productive.  Continue to space out for another 15 minutes.

 

5:35 p.m.

Find family.  Wrangle them into the same room, negotiate clean hands, and wrestle them into their seats, all whilst listening to stories about aliens sucking brains, and who the best soccer goalie is.

 

6:03 p.m.

Eat dinner.

 

6:45 p.m.

Pour a second glass of wine.

 

8:23 p.m.

Go into near coma because of approaching menstrual apocalypse.

 

8:24 p.m.

Guilt husband into cleaning kitchen and putting kids to bed while I nap, hidden lying across the chairs in the kitchen, under the table.

 

Day 4

7:24 a.m.  

Wake up with the realization that impending apocalypse has arrived. 

 

7:32 a.m.

Drink coffee in bed in hopes that apocalyptic tranquilizer dart wears off.

 

7:48 a.m.

Drink more coffee.  Order kids to self prepare.

 

8:02 a.m. 

Drink more coffee while kids are still running around playing with the pets, in pajamas.  The kids are in pajamas.  Not the pets.  At least I don’t think the pets are in pajamas, but knowing my daughter, that is totally a possibility.  Quietly hope that pets are not in pajamas.

 

8:14 a.m. 

Put on slippers with pajamas as perfectly appropriate attire to deliver kids to school.  Hope kids don't understand the concept of hypocrisy at this age.

 

8:16 a.m. 

Heat a can of goo (Annie’s organic goo) for kids snack, cut some strawberries while kids eat self prepared bowls of Cheerios.  Kids are still in pajamas.  Note that, thankfully, pets are not.

 

8:22 a.m. 

Freak out and tell kids they need clothes and socks.  Kids go upstairs, get “dressed” in dirty cloths they wore last week, but explain its only because those particular clothes are their favorite and you haven’t done laundry.  They don’t have socks.  Or shoes.

 

8:23 a.m.

Make mental note to do laundry.  Make another mental note to teach kids also how to do laundry.

 

8:26 a.m.

Tell kids to grabs lunch bags with goo, shoes, socks,  and get into van.

 

8:39 a.m.  

Drop kids off 1 minute before the bell.  Tell them to run fast.

 

8:43 a.m.

Go back home.  Eat breakfast.  Drink more coffee.  Congratulate myself for planning a hike.

 

9:11 a.m.

Go on hike.  Obsess about all the time I'm losing to be productive while on hike.

 

10:23 a.m.

Come home, answer email.  Fill out some forms about my child’s year last year and my hopes for this year.  Wonder if smiley face emoticons are acceptable answers.

 

11:45 a.m.

Take shower.  Shave legs.  Use soap.  Condition.  Wish to myself that didn’t have to shave my legs every 12 hours for them to feel like they are shaved.  Consider starting a “GoFundMe” account for Laser Removal. 

 

11:56 a.m.

Get out of shower.  Properly moisturize for the first time in 3 months.

 

12:02 p.m.

Decide to get dressed in something other than pajamas or workout gear.  

 

12:46 p.m.

Wonder to myself why it took me so long to find something to wear other than pajamas or workout gear.  

 

12:47 p.m.

Blow dry hair.

 

12:48 p.m.

While blow drying my hair, make a mental list of everything I NEED to get done today.

 

12:59 p.m.

Forget the list I just made and spend the next hour learning how to apply Lena Dunham styled heavy blue eyeshadow.

 

1:56 p.m.  

Look a the clock, realize I have wasted an hour (totally worth it) and head out of the house to start my first errand.

 

2:05 p.m.

Head straight to pick up kids from school because I wasted all my time playing with blue eyeshadow.

 

2:15 p.m.  

Do errands with kids in the car.  Complaining.  Wonder to myself why I didn’t do the errands when I didn’t have anyone in the car.  Complaining.  Catch a glimpse of myself in the rearview mirror, get distracted by the amount of blue eyeshadow I have on and make a mental note to skip make-up completely tomorrow.  Also, remember why I didn't do errands when the kids were at school.

 

4:07 p.m.

Deliver first kid late to soccer practice because I underestimated the time it would take to run errands.

 

4:22 p.m.  

Run one last errand while first kid is at soccer and second kid in car crying about how much he “dislikes” doing errands with me.  Remind him how much I love him.  Smile.  Turn up the radio.

 

5:02 p.m.  

Instead of running the very, very, very last errand (grocery store for dinner), call the husband and tell him we're meeting him at the Pizza/wine bar down the street.  

 

5:03 p.m.  

Congratulate myself on my planning and decision making skills for dinner.

 

5:07 p.m.  

Go home and tell my 7 year old he can watch 30 minutes of TV while I “meditate” with my eye mask on.  Try not to tell myself I'm a loser for letting my kid watch TV while I lay down in the middle of the day.  

 

5:45 p.m.  

Go to dinner.  Thank God there is place that serves delicious healthy salads, artisans pizzas (that both my kids and husband will eat), and also serves Sauvignon Blanc.  Mentally give myself a high five.

 

6:55 p.m.  

Go home.

 

7:23 p.m.  

Write stream of consciousness blog entry under the guise of “working” while the husband puts my kids in bed.

 

8:45 p.m.  

Thank God.  Literally.

 

8:54 p.m.  

Go to bed.

 

 

By the time day five rolls around, I have to admit, I'm starting to see a pattern. 

Call it an epiphany.  

I finally realized that my lack of productivity isn't actually my kid's fault.  If I was being honest with myself (which I'd like to think I am) there might be a teensy bit more to blame then summer vacations, time out lock downs and grumpy afternoons. How's that for self reflection?  (it helps to log your time for a bit....)

I quietly meditate a gentle good bye to any hope of every being truly “productive.”  I slowly erase the list on my chalkboard of things I MUST get done today.  I walk past the 4 piles of dirty laundry in the hall and sink heavily into the cozy chair in my living room.  And you know what I do now?  I open a smutty romance novel, and give myself the day off.  

I've decided its time I embrace the thought that the universe has officially conspired to remind me:  you can continue to run in place, getting nowhere OR you can take a break, get some perspective, and read a poorly written account of crazy never ending twenty something sex and romance that teaches you no life lessons and you will forget about the minute you close the pages. 

No one is really going to care, ultimately.  And, according to Marthe Troly-Curtain, “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

Well, Phew.

 

 

*The contents in this log are a complete work of fiction and not to be construed as any real event or day of events.  Or days of events.  Its a total coincidence that I was wearing blue eye shadow last week.  Girl Scouts honor.

Summer Vacation

So, people who know me well know that I’m not a traveler.  I mean, not even a little.

Its sad, because when I was young I had all these ambitions of working for the CIA as an undercover spy in Eastern Russia and saving the world.  It turns out, that I can’t really save the world.  And Eastern Russia is really cold and probably looks like either a frozen tundra or an abandoned parking lot right now.

Aside from the non world saving opportunities in Russia, if the truth be told, I have trouble traveling outside my own zip code.  At the mere mention of international travel my breath turns shallow and I start to lose feeling in my hands and feet.  (the paramedics told me once that was just a panic attack, which was actually super helpful.)  Don’t even get me started if one of those destination countries were to dip into the “2nd” or “3rd” world category.

Sadly, I can’t say its even for a good reason.  Health care infrastructure and all around safety is a factor, (who am I kidding, so is comfort) but my biggest fears are silly things like bed bugs and dysentery.

But I digress.  I was not traveling to Europe or Eastern Russia this summer.  In fact, I wasn’t even getting on a plane.  My destination was a mere 3 hours north to Lake Tahoe.  No big whoop, right?  Guess again.

The first moment I knew things were starting to take a turn was when the dog (yes, the tiny smushed face, compromised respiratory system pug) started coughing.  Coughing.  Dogs cough.  Did you know that?  I didn’t.  I’ve had a dog for 11 years, and my dog has never coughed.  “Ok -maybe this is a fluke.” I thought.  I took the dog to the vet, and blamo - he has kennel cough.  “It’s ok…after a couple days of the antibiotics he’ll be great!” says the vet.  “Phew,” I think.  “I guess I won’t have to stay home and watch his every move to make sure he doesn’t die,” I say to my husband.  He rolls his eyes.  Double Phew.

Long story short, apparently kennel cough equals me not having anyone to watch my dogs.  Which proved to, truthfully, not being that big of a deal.  House sitter, problem solved.  But still.  This was just one more tiny snag in the ointment, or a fly in the armor, or whatever.  It just got the tiny hairs on the back of my already sensitive neck standing on end.  What was going be next?

Well, I’ll tell you.  PG&E called telling us they needed to come and service the electrical lines at our place that next business day.  The day we were supposed to be happily boating around Lake Tahoe.  Yup.  That was officially the third thing.   But then, these things happen in three.  So maybe that was it, and if that was it, then we should be fine.  All we needed to do was hire an electrician to be at our house, call a friend, and all good.  Right?  

Wrong.

We get in the car, stocked with electronics for the kids, smutty romance novels for me, and enough snacks to last for days.  Unfortunately, what should have been a smooth 3 hour drive turned into a parking lot that extended, near as I could tell, from the end of our driveway all the way to the condo that we were staying in at North Star.  Six and a half hours later, somehow more tired from sitting in a car than we would have been if we had run there, we arrived.  We were hungry, cranky, dehydrated and also in dire need of shower.  I was also mentally exhausted from the mental gymnastics of making sure we didn’t die on the road.  More than a few times during that drive, I was clinging to the “oh shoot” handle in the front seat, scared that the silly 20 year old in the car behind us texting was either going to ram into the back of us, or swerve into another lane and cause one of those fatal highway pile-ups that eventually cause a gas tanker to overturn and blow a crater into the freeway the size of Sacramento.  

I know - its a little overly dramatic, but I had to be prepared.  Yes, as you can see from the fact I’m recounting this tale, we survived.  Barely, in my mind, but survived.

The trip did seem to go a bit more smoothly after that, minus a few hang ups.  For instance, the time that we took the gondola up the mountain to grab lunch and got stuck because of a lightening storm.  No, the sun was out, and there wasn’t any lightening where we were, but apparently there was lightening 20 miles away.  And if there is lightening anywhere within 20 miles of the gondola, they shut it down.  Makes total sense, and I really love the conservative and safety minded folks at North Star.  However, that information might have been more helpful to have gotten when we took the gondola up.  Getting down a mountain that you took a gondola up is tricky when you don’t have skis, snow, a mountain bike or even shoes to hike in.  I was wearing flip flops.  Not exactly the best all terrain shoe, I’ll admit.  Lesson learned.  Thankfully the Ritz Carlton has angels working for it, so we were transported down after about an hour being stranded.  I mean, I guess “stranded” might be a strong word for where we were.  It was more like being stuck in a well furnished waiting room with 5 star cuisine and a well stocked bar.  But, stuck non the less.

A few hours later we headed to the pool.  And just in time for the lightening and thunder storm to make its way to us, finally.  Which, ok, I’ll give you, wasn’t such a terrible thing.  There’s the whole drought and forest fire risks, so sure.  Maybe there were a few million people relieved by the storm, but whatever. 

Rain, however, did not create the best environment for those of use who came to swim, boat and play on the beach.

While trying to overcome my travel fears, keep a good disposition, make the best of the situation, I couldn’t help but feel that maybe we were still being told to go home.  

We trudged on.  After dinner that night (awesome sushi at Mikuni) we retired to our gorgeous and spacious room and tucked the kids into bed.

We had just gathered at the dining room table for a game of cards with Grandpa when the lights twitched, and then shut off completely.  Completely.  Total black out.  The entire room, suite, condo building and village of North Star was completely dark.  

Luckily Steve Jobs was smart enough to have anticipated the situation, and the three of us reached for our iPhones, and then our iPhone flashlights.  We had all just finished charging (a smart decision on our part given the signals the universe had been giving us) and we all had hours left on our respective digital utility belts.  And since we had no idea when power, and thus refrigeration, would be turned back on, we did what any good samaritan would do.  We grabbed the ice and the bottle of Joel Gott making sure they didn’t go to waste.  Some of us (ok - maybe just me) also had to quell any building fears that somehow we hadn’t seen the last of our vacation hex.

After several hours of attempted night/iPhone flashlight photography, we finally gave up hope that the lights would return that night.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have the foresight to go around the condo and flip all the lights that had been on to “off.”  That was fun in the middle of the night when they finally went back on.

I bet after all this, you think that I might have had an awful time?  Nope.  Not true.  Near as I can tell, the room was clean of any bed bugs.  The kids didn’t get sunburned.  The rain didn’t ruin our day on the lake or at the beach.  We got fun photos of the thunder storm, and ate plenty of great food.  

After a quiet and uneventful journey home, we found ourselves tucked neatly back into our life.  The journey north had given us just the break we needed.  Fresh air, fun adventures, heroic black out near death escapes and enough perspective to realize that my carpets needed shampooing to alleviate the “dog-esque” affront upon re-entry.

Do I feel better about travel now, you might ask?  Was all that needless worrying a thing of the past?  Am I now able to look at my next vacation with the kind of awe and anticipation it should deserve?

Sadly, the answer to that question is no.  While I feel as though I narrowly escaped death and tragedy at the Five Star resort that is North Star, each journey beyond the zip code brings to bear a new and fresh list of dangers.  Will I remember the EPI pen and the four bottles of potions for my highly allergic son?  Will our luggage get lost and I end up having to wear tourist shop tee shirts?  Will our hotel have landed, last minute, on the bed bug registry, with no place to flee?  Yes, its risks like these that keep me on the edge of my seat whilst planning any trip that might take me to the vast regions that lie beyond the 101.  

Maybe I’m not risking my life in the CIA everyday as an undercover spy, as I once thought I might be.  But, somehow, in my own, highly neurotic way, its just as exciting.

Food - my four letter word

Food and I go way back.  

I hear stories all the time about how when I was a baby I would cry until they fed it to me.  Super weird, right.  It's like I knew.  

Even now, when I don’t eat in time, I find my panic and anger can sometimes be overwhelming.  At least thats what my friends tell me.

But, really, I don’t know when things got so tense between us.  Food and I.

Some people get along fine with Food.  Eating it, whenever they want.  Not eating it when they don’t.  Food doesn’t mock them the way it does me.

For me, though, Food and I never had it easy. 

I mean, back in the cave man’s era, there really wasn’t much to choose from, where Food was concerned.  There they were, the cave men, eating Food all perfectly: Paleo, of course.   The whole time, not even really knowing how rad that bison or dinosaur leg would taste with just a tiny bit of BBQ sauce.  They just existed blindly without any Foods that were white.

But then God invented the grain.  Out of now where, Gluten rose its ugly head and declared war on mankind, mostly in middle america, and promised to never let us forget the simple goodness of its mixture with butter or jam. Now with Food and Gluten joined hand in hand, things were only going to go down hill. 

I’m not sure when exactly when the evil “white Food” came onto the scene.  It was probably around the time that mankind started using tools.  Or at least fire.  Something had to happen to make an ingredient that was some how once healthy into something delicious and nefarious.  Regardless, there they were.  All those “white” processed ingredients, joining forces with grains, and slowly and surely, under the guise as “Food” they conquered the world.  

I think, historically, they started in Italy.  (I’m pretty sure there is a history book that says that somewhere.)  But then, they made their way to France, China, Thailand, and eventually, here to America.  Well, maybe Spain, England, then America.  

Fast forward to 1974, when I was born, and bam.  This is where it all started.  At least for me.  I blame the media for shaming mothers of the time into getting more “George Jetson” with feeding their kids.  Ditch the bodily functions and use a can opener.  Plastic contraptions riddled with toxins.  After all, they needed a hand free for their cigarettes.

From there, I graduated to McDonald’s french fries, doughnuts and yes, Coca Cola.

Sure, my parents made sure that when I was 3, these delightful indulgences were limited, but I was already hooked.  Yes, they would try and pack me a healthy lunch (chicken sandwich, carrots and apple?  blech.)  Luckily, there was the lunch line where I could happily supplement my healthy meal with Little Debbie snack cakes and chocolate milk.

As I got older, I became used to the fact that my family would refer to me as “apple” shaped.  I didn’t mind, so long as they didn’t actually expect me to eat an apple.

During the long summer tv binge that would happen while my parents were working, I had plenty of time to make amazing choices with Food.  I was thankfully spared any real physical activity, all while filling up  my memory bank with helpful information like how well tide cleaned clothes better than other detergents.  And just how many situations can Lucy get into?  My three sons, and tampon commercials.  I can still recite most lines from any Gilligan’s Island ever made.  

As I got older, I started to actually do exercise.  It was hard.  But I found that with some practice, I got better.  Softball.  Basketball.  Volleyball.  But then, in high school, I felt like I needed to specialize in whatever “uncool” activity I was in.  I can’t be in the marching band, athletics, journalism all at the same time.  I had to pick one.  Yup - I picked the one that allowed me to stay in a chair, working at a computer, drinking sodas and eating Nestle Crunch.  I ate so much that my co-jounalist nerds made me a tiara out of one of the nestle crunch wrappers.  

In college it was easier to stay in shape.  Waitressing 35 hours a week on top of walking to all my classes became my fitness regime.  That on top of no time to eat, I found I was in tip top shape.

But after college is when things started to get challenging again.  I had to sit 8 hours a day, and had to drink every night after that.  Food got fancier.  And Food made friends with Wine, which is really just a liquid Food Art.  It’s all been a pretty aggressive plate spinning event ever since.  

And why?  Why is it so hard to stay healthy?  Why do chorizo breakfast burritos call to me first thing on a Saturday morning?  Why do I have dreams of gooey chocolate chip cookies, oozing with white ingredients disguised by even more chocolate?  And WHY is it that I have to schedule time to move my body?  Yoga.  Cross fit.  Hiking.  Schedule.  All because of you, Food.  You’re relentless.

But, then I take a step back.  While these are all great questions to ask, there might be another bigger, and more important question.   Why do we live in a society where we have to train ourselves to avoid indulgences like this to remain strong and healthy?  Why do we force ourselves to teeter on the edge of hunger to fit into smaller clothes or look like the women we see portrayed in the movies?  All the while, telling ourselves and our families - our daughters - that its a battle that will always be there.  A constant balancing act.

And then there is the reality.  There are the families, in your community, in mine, that go to bed hungry every night.  Not because they are on drugs, or “dieting” or trying to fit into something smaller, but because they have nothing.  Nothing to eat.  Nothing smaller to wear.  No where to hang a piece of art.  No art to hang.  And the irony that keeps swishing around in my head is how can we balance that?  How do we fix that problem?  If somehow one side were able to tip over then maybe we wouldn’t have to work so hard.

Audrey Hepburn was one of the most kind and fascinating women of all time, in my opinion.  Through WWII she suffered through severe hunger, watching her mother and siblings suffer.  Through that suffering came a resolve to refuse to be hungry.  To me, while unhealthy to denounce food altogether, I appreciate her later words about compassion, beauty and food.  I hear it in my head all the time.  I would love it if more people did, too.  Maybe, if I think about it more, and do more, it will make my relationship with Food better.  Fingers crossed, Audrey.

 

“For attractive lips,
Speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes,
Seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure,
Share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair,
Let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For poise,
Walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things,
Have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed,
And redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand,
You will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands;
One for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

-Audrey Hepburn

 

http://www.sfmfoodbank.org

http://www.audreyhepburn.com

 

14 years

Explosions.  Thats the way it started.  At least for me.  Not out loud, of course.  Just in my head.  And then there was the sticky beginning.  I wasn’t out of my mind, just happy.  Perhaps for the first time ever.  And it felt like there was no where else but here.  I was drawn to this space with him like some kind of gravity was pulling me west.

I arrived in a yellow “Ryder” truck with two cats and pretty childish perspective.  But somewhere between that studio apartment in the city and my house filled with dirty laundry (not like the gossip kind of dirty laundry - literally just dirty socks and towels and kids clothes that were worn either for 3 days or 3 hours) I think I grew up a little.

Sure, he might argue with that statement, given the third degree I give him about whether he loves me (I mean, really, really loves me) when I’m ovulating.  But beyond that, things are refocused.  Elevated.  A sort of silent harmony.

I’m not sure when things changed for us.  Perhaps it was the kids.  If not the first, then maybe the second.  The midnight feedings that he diligently got up with me for until it slowly drove us both mad.  

Maybe the trip in the ambulance (no - not the one when I had a panic attack.)  Our son got sick.  911 was called.  A fireman arrived backlit in the dark looking like the scene from Back to the Future when Marty pretends to be an alien.  In those moments, things change.

I remember watching his hands, holding the steering wheel, driving me to the airport after we first met. 

Years later, those same hands holding my daughter.  Then my son.

Today, they carry coffee to me every morning.   They sometimes cook dinner.  They carry the heavy stuff.

He is my rock.  Solid.  Grounded.    

And I, in turn, am his crazy.  Often thinking of the scary “what if.”  Making inappropriate jokes.  Creating art.  And sometimes chaos.

And for us, 14 years later, it works.  Still.  And for that, I am thankful.

Pink Foamy Curlers

Father’s Day is an interesting holiday.  It’s sorta the second place parent award.  I mean, its not like he birthed the kid right?  And typically, he’s not the parent that kids cry for when they skin their knee.

Traditionally and historically (like when I was growing up, or as my kids like to refer to it as “the olden days”) for a lot of families, I think it was an opportunity to pay an homage to the Patriarch in the family.  The guy who went to work every day and brought home the bacon.  They guy who played catch on the weekends, and taught his kids how to take a punch in the face like a man - or in my case ride my pink huffy bike.  But that is where his importance really started and stopped.

Interestingly, and thankfully, I think this archetype has changed over the years.  With the advent of the female workforce, this guy is not just the scarcely seen deep voice in the house.  He is a fully functional co parent, that often times, especially in my case, cooks better than mom.  

For me, Father’s Day was the only “parent day” that made sense.  He wasn’t just the guy who came home from work everyday, tired and cranky.  He was it.  The parent.  The guy who did it all.  Well, tried to do it all, at least. 

Sure, I have a mother.  Somewhere out there.  Sadly, after she divorced my dad, she became quite scarce.  We saw her every other weekend.  But even then she was usually drunk or obsessing over her latest toxic relationship.  Or in most cases, both.  But, I can’t say there was much parenting going on.  

But Dad, for better or worse, he was there.  Yelling usually.  Making “breakfast dinners” and hoping I didn’t ask too many questions.  But, he was there.

My favorite Dad moment was one night when I’m sure I was supposed to be going to bed.  I think I was 9.  I decided after my nightly shower that I was going to set my hair up in curlers.  You know what I’m talking about, right?  Those pink foamy, spongey curlers that, when used properly, give you that cute Shirley Temple do.  After I clumsily twisted every last piece of my hair into the curlers, I went out into the living room to say good night to my father, and of course impress him with my newly found amazing ability to transform my look from 9 year old to Hollywood glam.  He was sitting there, staring at the wall, with what in my memory was a glass of something in front of him.  Perhaps it was a coke.  Perhaps it was scotch.  Either way, he was tense, and clearly had something on his mind.  He turned to look at me, and after taking in the full view of me in my silly 9 year old night gown, and head covered in pink spongey curlers, he simply stated,”What the hell are you doing?!?!?!?”

At the time, I was pretty devastated, and well, confused.  I thought it was pretty clear.  I had curlers in my hair.  I was trying to make my hair curly.  Duh.  I went to bed that night concerned Dad lacked acute vision or at least some basic action and reaction logic.

Not until a year ago, when after the 15th time of telling my kids to put on the g**d*** pajamas on and brush their teeth did I begin to understand his reaction that night.  

My nightly experience usually involves sending my kids upstairs over and over again for two simple tasks: put on your pjs and brush your teeth.  First, they come down in just their under ware and still wet.  They come down again, with their pajamas in their hands, not on, also still wet.  They come down with legos, and a story about what they created with the legos, but less wet.  They come down with one of their stuffies, telling me they just realized they need one last stuffy to complete the “special stuffy collection.”  They come down with one of the dogs on a leash.  Still no pajamas on, which is weird because just a minute ago they had them in their hands.  And also, as a side note, why do dogs need a leash on in the house?  They will come down with socks and under ware on - still no pajamas.  Finally, they come down with pajamas and yellow teeth.  

One night when my Dad was sitting next to me at the kitchen table, and after my 9th or so request of my kids, I had a flash of the pink curlers.  I looked at him, and I had to tell him, “Finally, I get it.”

As I recounted the story, we both laughed hysterically.  I think he was even close to crying from the laughter, his face completely red and pinched.  If my kids had come down with a head full of pink curlers, I might have lost all composure myself.  While he had no memory of the encounter, I had to let him know, experience has given me perspective.  Had I been him, sitting in that chair, staring at the wall, drinking what was hopefully a glass of scotch, I’m pretty sure I would have said the same thing.  

So, Happy Father’s Day to a man who had no idea what he was doing.  But thankfully, and surprisingly, we both made it out alive.  And we can still chuckle about it, over a glass of ambiguously brown liquid.


An essay on what I did today…or rather didn't do.

I hate going to bed before something cool happens.   You know what I mean, right?  You get up, and you brush your teeth. Maybe you don’t change our of you pjs.  Maybe you leave the house looking crazy, and decide to run some errands. 

Or maybe, you DO change out of your PJs.  And then you really get ready.   Take your last swig of coffee and you get in the shower.  You wash your hair, which actually I hear you should always do first, then condition so that the conditioner can sit while you do the other soapy washy stuff.  I read that in Real Simple, I think.

But then you get dressed. Like really dressed. Not for prom or anything, but somehow cooler, because your not in high school anymore and prom dresses are always so lame.  Instead you dress casually, like your not expecting anything cool to happen, because then you might be trying too hard.  And nothing really cools happens when your trying.  (Its the same rule that applies when planning a big New Year’s Eve.  New Years Eve is never cool when its planned.  Sure, test my theory, but I’m pretty sure I’m right.  Although in all fairness, it usually doesn’t happen when you don’t plan anything cool, either.  At least on New Year’s Eve.  New Year’s eve might be the least cool night ever.  So, if you feel like nothing cool happened on New Year’s Eve, your not alone.  I mean, almost everyone goes to bed feeling that way.  The whole day is structured in such a way that you can’t help but have your expectations dashed, and then your staring at Ryan Seacrest wondering how long its been since Dick Clark hosted and was he better or is Ryan better??  Actually, I think I’m getting off topic.)

Back to today.  You decided to run some errands.  You think, “if I run some errands, then the cool something might just happen naturally.”  But it doesn’t .

I mean, sometimes it happens.  Like the time you ran into a friend at the coffee shop, and you guys ended up...going somewhere…..maybe?  Hmmmm.  Maybe not that.  Maybe you were walking along you had a great idea?!  About something.  Or you see something really funny and you take a picture and post it to your Instagram page.  And then, maybe later, when someone “likes” it, that will be your cool thing.  Or maybe your post goes viral nuts, and people you don't even know are "liking" it.    

Or maybe it doesn’t happen.  At all.  And you just keep waiting all day.  

And waiting.

It’s worse when the weather is nice, too.  It just feels like cool things should be happening when the weather is warm.  And the weather is always warm now with global warming.  

And before you know it, lunch is over, and didn’t taste great.  Or maybe it did taste great, but it wasn’t very healthy, and now you have that to add in the “something not cool that happened” column.  Maybe you go home, and 6 loads of laundry later, it's time to brush your teeth again.  And your day went by.  And sure, you had dinner with your neighbor or something. But that thing, that really amazing thing never happened.  And you go to bed with a bit of a feeling like there was a prophecy unrealized. 

And you think to yourself, what the heck was that all about?

Do you Sparkle?

20130921-20130921-_DSC2296-Edit.jpg

Ok.  So, I might have oversold what this little online habitat would really have in store. 

But, as an aside, I am at least writing something - less than a month - after my initial post.  That must mean something important is happening in my ability to a.) manage a task and b.) document it.

I don't have anything truly amazing to report.  Except this: well, wait.  Wow.  That's actually quite a build up.  I think its more just a gentle musing, which is that, generally speaking, we don't really appreciate ourselves as much as we should.  I mean, we, collectively (unless you're reading this, Kanye), but more specifically, you and I.  I think its a good idea, perhaps, from time to time, to give yourself a tiny pat on the back.  I know.  You feel like you don't deserve it.  

But, instead of ridiculing yourself for not fitting into your "skinny" clothes anymore, or for having a dirty car, or because your kids keep asking you when your going to have time to do their laundry, or because it's 11:00a.m. on a Friday and you are still sitting in your pajamas answering emails (and maybe you haven't even brushed your teeth)  you decide to instead tell yourself how amazingly intelligent and witty you are.  After basking in your last medicore achievement, you are going to regal yourself  - even if it was the smallest of advancements.  Whether it be a promotion, a raise, a new job where you don't get treated like an 8 year old or even just not getting a ticket while parked at the dry cleaner (or maybe for brushing your teeth before 11:15a.m.)  You are going to show yourself a good time. Or look in the mirror and say something genuinely nice.  You are.  Or I am.  Not to you.  I mean, me to me or you to you.  You know.  Man vs. Man stuff.  Or I mean, man vs himself.  Or myself.  You know what I mean. 

And I could totally be wrong.  Perhaps you do, in fact, do a good job of giving yourself a pat on the back.   Perhaps you ARE good at giving yourself a break when you don't win first place in the "Mother of the Year" contest.  (I think we've gone over this before...I'm the long running back to back consecutive winner for the last 9 years.  Just call me Lance.)  And if you are super fantastic with applauding yourself for your fabulous ordinary life, then by all means, feel free to forget all about this little diatribe of mine.  

But....if you're not, then consider this your "You Sparkle" award.  Yup, you got it.  For doing nothing but reading this blog.  

Feels good, huh?

 

 

Finally...

I'd like to get a cosmic, or at least proverbially "high five" for finally getting this sucker updated.  Its only been a couple years, riding high on the last version, but I've finally stepped into the next version of myself that allows for collaboration of the virtual and real self via this hot mess of diatribe center. 

20120422-_DSC2246.jpg

I'd like to thank everyone (or would it be more appropriate to say 'anyone') who visits the site and specifically this page.  It seems too often in life, there is simply just too much to say.  So, instead of actually saying it to anyone, I'll just take this as my private, and preferred space to do so.  Its not that I don't have the venue in my many virtual and social outlets, but instead of spraying my many countless musings on anyone's tightly managed news feed, I'd prefer to make it a bit of a buried internet-bloggy- kind-of-treasure.  Only should someone REALLY want to know what I'm thinking at this very moment, don't call me, don't text me, don't log into my facebook account and stalk me.  Come here.  Its gonna be good.