I have always enjoyed writing and laughing, even as a kid. I love dialogue in movies and the power of words. I discovered my ability for writing in high school and did not consider it a "talent" until a few of my friends in my class brought it to my attention during essay tests. They would witness me writing away on a test and slap me and say "What are you writing? How do you know how to answer this? How do you have so much written so far?" I would laugh and shrug my shoulders. I was a terrible student yet writing was one of those things "I could just do somehow". In grad school I wrote a project for my group dynamics class and it was like writing a screenplay; hours went by like minutes. I was obsessed with working on it and became completely in the flow, lost in the story. My mom read it and was laughing hysterically, which made me beam with pride. After this project, writing became my passion. I have found writing as a therapeutic outlet for me as well since I am a mom, a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a health/wellness coach. I finally finished my first novel, a fictional coming of age story, which is loosely based on my family and our funny and not so funny experiences. My novel is about growing up on the south side of Chicago and the mentality that comes along with it; or maybe it's just me. I struggled for years with the fear of "putting myself out there" and worrying what people think until I realized that unless you put yourself out there, you will remain invisible in this world. A South Side Story is now available on paperback and kindle through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Quillan Kelly-Dunn is my pen name.
A South Side Story https://www.amazon.com/dp/1548863572/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_LKoBAbNE0ZJND
I have been feeling very uninspired lately. I have not felt like writing or speaking my truth because it seems like there is no point. Feeling disheartened, discouraged, disappointed, and unpatriotic is a terrible mindset to be stuck in.
Thankfully this changed on Thursday, August 11th, 2022, when I accompanied my sister to her friend’s book signing.
It was a privilege and honor meeting a true HERO, Major Tom Schueman. . And Added bonus, he is from the Southside of Chicago!
Major Tom Schueman, A Marist High School, Loyola and Georgetown graduate raised by a single “hippie, cop mom” has authored his first book with Zak, an Interpreter from Afghanistan.
This one- hour interview, had me choked up-then-laughing numerous times about Tom’s experience growing up and what he went through serving our country.
Laughing when Major Tom describes his Grandma having a crush on Tom Cruise and A Few Good Men was on all the time at his house growing up.
Major Tom describes the values his mother instilled in him, the childhood friends he made, and how both combined helped build the foundation of the amazing man he has become today.
Tom’s core values of resilience, adversity, integrity, persistence, and always being faithful led Major Tom, to not giving up in any aspect of his life.
These core values provided him with the stamina to persevere in his deployment in Afghanistan, watching his military brothers become wounded or even killed and in helping his friend Zak and his family escape from the Taliban to the United States.
Zak wanted to improve the quality of life in Afghanistan and chose to take a life-threatening job as an interpreter to the United States military.
Zak’s expertise and cultural knowledge saved lives of countless lives of US soldiers.
Zak is not a trained UNITED STATES soldier, yet he faced the same challenges as US troops and over time, he became one of them and served our country without even being a United States Citizen.
Tom so eloquently describes how some individuals can have American values and “BE American” even if they are not born here.
This story of adversity, loyalty, friendship and always being faithful provides readers with the empowering journey of how Major Tom assisted in getting Zak and his family to the United States after after two previously failed attempts.
If you have been feeling uninspired, discouraged, disheartened, disappointed and unpatriotic, read this book. 🇺🇸 ❤️ 💙 🤍
The older I become, the more I realize that I can now relate to most of the characters in National Lampoon’s Vacation, not just the teens & Uncle Eddie… 😜
What triggered thoughts of the Griswold’s was an incident with my daughter a few weeks ago. My daughter’s friend asked her to go to Fright Fest at Great America, I agreed, assuming the other mom/dad were going. Unfortunately the other mom/dad assumed I was going.
Since we already told them yes and they were so excited; neither of us could say no. So I agreed to drive one way and the other mom agreed to drive the other. Neither one of us were thinking about the round trip time. When I realized I would be in the car for 2.5 hours going nowhere, combined with my daughters additional side text requests for other accommodations; I started to get a tad bit resentful. Hence, my text below to my daughter.😜👇🏻
On my round trip to Gurnee, I got to thinking about how much I will enjoy seeing my daughter sing zip-a-dee-do-dah out of her tiny butt😊😅 like Louis Armstrong. Then I realized I am becoming more and more like Clark Griswold! How did this happen?
Despite our parents, grandparents, aunt, uncles’ best efforts to provide us with social guidance and teach us society’s unspoken rules; there are many instances that do not “come up” in everyday life. Therefore, movies & TV shows assisted in bridging the gap of the absent social cues on how to behave.
Looking back, I now recognize how being exposed to the encounters faced by this family has played a key part in my upbringing. Here are some of the crucial components I might’ve missed if it wasn’t for this family and their interactions with others.
#1. Hand Hygeineis important
Growing up in the 80s, where most of us probably washed our hands once a day, if that, before dinner (after the street lights came on.) It is a damn good thing that Clark Griswold (CG) subtly suggested to cousin Vicki, (a young Jane Krakowski!🤯), to not stir the Kool-Aid with her hand.
As an avid, Kool-Aid stand entrepreneur, I might’ve thought this was behavior was acceptable if I could not find a large spoon. Thankfully, I caught Clark’s subtle hint.
2. Don’t Judge/Be Proud of where you’re from.
Cousin Vicki is uncouth, however, it is not her fault since behaving this way appears to be normal where she resides. Hence, when Audrey confronts Vicky: “That being a farmer isn’t cool” instead of reacting offended, cousin Vicki advocated for herself with an “Oh yea?Well…”. Vicky counters Audrey’s statement with a shoebox full of weed.
#3. Drug use can get you arrested
In the 80’s, we were lucky enough to have those amazing commercials about “This is your brain on drugs 🍳, any questions?” Also, the powerful “I wanted to be a ballerina when I grow up.” (I am being serious rn, it was powerful, it stuck with me;)
Other than 🍳that, there really was no other protocol for not participating in the use of illegal substances. Thankfully, I witnessed Audrey’s attempt to throw Aunt Edna under the bus when the cops pulled them over. I realized, “Holy smokes Audrey could get busted, in front of her parents! Yikes! No drugs for me.”
#4. Don’t get caught, but if you do, indirectly blame the crabby person
I was never able to pull off this one: If you are always happy, nice, kind and sweet-no one will suspect a thing. 😜 I have zero poker face. I kept this default tactic in mind “blame-the crankiest individual, no matter what age, for the “bad” behavior”…
#5. How to shotgun a carbonated beverage
In my family, pop or “soda“ was a rare commodity in the 80’s. A day I could have pop was the best day of my life. 😎
Which usually meant, the next day was the worst! 😩 The sugar & caffeine withdrawal left me tapping my inner-arm veins like an addict for some more high fructose corn syrup & artificial flavors.
For some reason, I also thought that “I better drink as much as I can today because there might not be any tomorrow!” Which made me feel normal when I saw Rusty slam that beer.
#6. The Mom is the Smart One 🤷🏻♀️
Ellen Griswold taught me that I need to be smart! Better go to college!! Also that I need to question the dad just in case ;).
#7.The Dad will rarely admit he’s wrong 😜
Therefore, I don’t waste my time waiting for an apology or acknowledgement. With no expectations, I am never disappointed, but there is always that possibility of being pleasantly surprised.
My family can attest that I use this tip at most functions that involve dancing. Props can include, but are not limited to, (CG) bologna sandwiches (me)trays of cold-cuts, plants etc.
#10. Many unforeseen problems will occur on family vacations
This tip has come in handy over the last few years. Clark planned his vacations meticulously, yet many unfortunate events still occurred. I expect our family vacations to be disasters, and they usually are.😜 Incorporate same mentality as #7.
#11. Find a job with an excellent PTO package 😉
Allow for some extra time during your vacation in case of a setback.
#12. Don’t Shoot the Messenger
The majority of people in this world are doing the best that they can, (even if they are annoying;). Overall, the majority of people are good, unfortunately we only hear about the people with bad & rude behavior. Most annoying people are just doing their job as instructed.
#13. Don’t believe everything you hear, no matter how convincing and like-able someone is…
I was very naive and innocent growing up; still am sometimes. Somehow, I knew that Clark was an example of a dorky parent. (Ya think? Yes I know I’m a genius.:) Anyways, everyone in the family rolled their eyes and sighed at Clark; yet they went along with whatever he suggests or does.
I am aware this is a movie, however, I would like this type of cooperation without the eye-rolls & sighs from my teens. Did Clark know he was a dorky parent? I wish I didn’t. 😉
Fortunately, there is one thing that I partake in that Clark does and I do not care about the sighs or glares… The final way I’m like Clark Griswold. 🥁 roll please…
#14. The more Christmas lights, the better 😜
My tip: Don’t buy 300 light sets. They always burn out in half. Purchase 100 light sets, probably 12-15 boxes. Easier to keep track of the quantity.;) They also seem to last a couple more years without the annoying and impossible fuse changing.
Contrary to popular belief, the holidays actually start a week from tomorrow, ya know, the day AFTER Thanksgiving ;)…Sweet baby Jesus…Hallelujah…Well holy shit, where’s the Tylenol ?🙃
Have you ever been through something extremely painful or traumatic and thought “I can’t handle this” or “there is no way I am going to make it?”
Perhaps you are dragging yourself through the day, barely keeping your head afloat, and spend the entire day dreaming about the moment your head hits the pillow. Praying sleep will be an escape from the nightmare you are living through.
You somehow get past this pain a little bit each day. Before you know it, you notice that you got through one minute without thinking about it. Eventually, you went one hour or one day without crying. As you keep pushing through the pain, the days turn into weeks, the weeks turn into months, the months turn into years.
You may even find yourself able to mention this event or loss without getting choked up. Hopefully, you are mindful enough to recognize this feat and reflect on it. It could be “I said their name today without tearing up” or “Someone asked me about it and I was able to respond.” 🤯
Eventually, you realize that you somehow survived a traumatic event and just blew your own damn mind.
Peace shows up around the time you have embraced the person you are now. Acceptance of this means that you are now a changed person forever, you cannot change back.
Change, Loss, Pain, and trauma of any kind is difficult.
Obviously some individuals have been through more than others.
As human beings, we have to provide empathy and compassion not only to each other, but to ourselves. This pressure to “get back to normal” after a loss or a traumatic event-only prolongs the process.
We also have to remember that we are not here to judge or compare each other’s pain. Example: “who endured a worse situation.” Or “who deserves special treatment”. Trauma and Loss are not grounds for a competition.
However, there are a precious few who deserve an automatic level of honor, respect, empathy, compassion and an immediate win in the unspoken competition of “who is entitled to special treatment.”
These precious few are not celebrities or professional sports players.
This is a group of individuals who have had to go through MANY of those painful, traumatic events over and over and that most likely took a lifetime to process. Everyday, these “regular” people probably said “I can’t do this. I can’t handle this. How am I going to get through this?”
They did it anyway, for us.
These courageous men & women provided us with an example of the sheer resilience that human beings possess. These resilient members of our society have sacrificed years of their life for our freedom and to serve our country…
Yesterday, my patriotic side got fired up after I listened to my favorite podcast, Smartless, with guest Tom Hanks.
(This podcast is a comical escape hosted by Sean Hayes, Jason Bateman and Will Arnett. What I enjoy the most about this podcast, is the real, open-ended conversations and the quick-wit of the hosts/guests is captivating. Basically, they all rip on each other whenever they have the opportunity.)
Anyways, Tom Hanks was asked about his role in Saving Private Ryan and what was the source of his passion and fascination with being a “war guy”. Tom disclosed that during his “formative years every caregiver & adult would make reference to the war as this dividing line” that everyone collectively went through. “Another aspect is that a big chunk of their lives, they had no idea where they were going to be in the next week, month, six months. This was a time loaded with all sorts of problems that we are still dealing with.”
“I’m a schoolteacher. I teach English composition… in this little town called Adley, Pennsylvania. The last eleven years, I’ve been at Thomas Alva Edison High School. I was a coach of the baseball team in the springtime. Back home, I tell people what I do for a living and they think well, now that figures. But over here, it’s a big, a big mystery. So, I guess I’ve changed some. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve changed so much my wife is even going to recognize me, whenever it is that I get back to her. And how I’ll ever be able to tell her about days like today. Ah, Ryan. I don’t know anything about Ryan. I don’t care. The man means nothing to me. It’s just a name. But if… You know if going to Rumelle and finding him so that he can go home. If that earns me the right to get back to my wife, then that’s my mission.
Captain Miller, Tom Hanks: Saving Private Ryan
Will Arnett then points out to Tom Hanks that “What I love about this movie and is that your character is a school teacher, he is just a regular guy NOT a guy born to be a military officer. He had to go to the war, because that is what he had to do. This movie provides reverence for the bravery of these people who did extraordinary things. Captain Miller wasan example of one of these regular guys called to do extraordinary things.”
I wrote this In honor of Veteran’s Day, 11/11/21, and “a regular guy that did extraordinary things.” He is the only person that I am privileged to know personally that served in a war. Except he served in a different war and a different time. A time when people were not proud of their veterans. When he arrived home after serving our country, he was treated cathartically. He was humiliated and shamed; he was told to take his uniform off.
Thankfully, on October 27, 2021, he received vindication and a moment of the honor he deserves, through a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring WWII, Korean War & Vietnam War veterans by flying them, all expense-paid, to DC for a day of honor, thanks and dedication.
On this momental Veteran’s day, 11/11/21 and in honor of all the “regular guys called to do extraordinary things” please donate to this brilliant organization to do our part in honoring those who served our country.
Picture it: It’s a chilly, dreary Tuesday morning, probably November 2nd, you are in the car, flipping through radio stations. The cusp of the holidays are approaching. You are not feeling anything in particular, perhaps even a little numb or dead inside. Probably chasing a hangover of some kind; from sugar, booze or your drug of choice. You are going through the motions of whatever tasks you have on your pointless agenda.
Suddenly, you hit a pause of silence on the radio; you hear those glorious drums…the chills involuntarily run up your spine, arm or the back of your neck. A gasp or slight smirk emerges on your previously despondent face. …Next thing ya know, you are belting out “FEED THE WOORRLLLDDD!” And “the only gift they will get this year is LIFE”….
You freeze with a furrowed brow, with that expression of “what-in-the-hell-did-I just say?” THAT.
The realization that the lyrics of this “jam” are so heartbreaking and sad. That naive, duh moment, “Omg. I’m an asshole. Uh, first world probs…I was just depressed about going to work on a boring Tuesday, feeling blah or overwhelmed about the holidays approaching…jeez get some real problems.”
It’s fascinating and tricky how musicians and songwriters can make a song upbeat & fast so you do not even realize what the song is truly about. A complete mindfuck.
Which brings me to why I am kind of freaking out right now.
The same situation just happened to me with “Under Pressure” by David Bowie & Queen.
I am mind-blown right now struggling to comprehend how I’ve been singing the lyrics to “Under Pressure” for twenty-something years and never realized what I was saying. How the hell does this happen?
🎶”Watching our friends scream LET ME OUT!”🎶 😱
David & Freddie, you deceased & tricky muthafers!
“It’s kind of a funny story” is a novel turned movie featuring “Under Pressure”. I will not spoil this for you with my usual humorous Memes-poking fun at this movie because it’s a hidden gem. It’s one of those movies that you will have to watch yourself. If I tell you anything more about it, besides the trailer below, you MAY NOT have the same experience I did.
Ironically, this movie is some thing that peaked my interest but I had no desire to watch it. I don’t want to watch a movie about depression when I’m feeling “blah”. It turned out to be-exactly what I needed.
The seasonal change followed by all the routine adjustments, the growing pains of my kids and myself along with them; feels a little more overwhelming than it has in the past.
This movie reminded me what it was like to be a teenager and how they feel. Adults can feel the same way, yet express it in different ways. Teenagers and even kids these days are more in tune with “life” way more than we ever were. They are exposed to so much more through social media.
It was a reminder why I went into the mental health field in the first place.It was a subtle hint that even though you don’t “feel” like doing something or believe that you have any “talents”, JUST DO IT ANYWAYS
Uncomfortable emotions are where the magic happens.
I’m sure David Bowie & Queen were feeling the same way when they wrote & composed the song “Under pressure”. This masterpiece of a song is what happens when individuals with shared values are real and authentic together and collaborate ideas.
“Queen’s Brian May says it was the group’s bassist John Deacon who first came up with the song’s unforgettable riff, and kept playing it over and over. The problem, Taylor said, is that everyone got hungry and went for pizza, and by the time they got back to the song Deacon had forgotten what he’d come up with.”
The channeling of uncomfortable, but not necessarily negative, emotions such as sadness, anger, frustration, stress, pain, grief, despondency, and rage is an art in itself.
This process is a way of coping, using your gift, being authentic, being real, and living. You may possess something that transforms these emotions into some thing-spectacular, creative, and possibly beautiful.
However, even if what you enjoy doing doesn’t turn a profit or if no one likes it, this process is what flows for YOU and YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL.
Doing YOU is doing something YOU enjoy. THE point is: instead of numbing these feelings out, or ignoring them, you stay with them, feel them and eventually “do” some thing therapeutic with these emotions. Perhaps just putting your foot in front of the other and walking in the “allowing yourself” to just “be”.
What ideas come to mind?
How do you know what your gift is?
Paying attention to the things you enjoy doing and time flies by, you get lost in it. It could be something you dream about like playing the guitar, playing the drums, playing an instrument, acting, improving, charading, game-playing, doing stand-up, writing, drawing, painting, sculpting, singing,gardening, planting, weeding, cultivating, innovating, editing, photographing, cutting the grass, doing hair, coloring, fixing a car, fixing a machine, using watercolors, composing, wood-shopping, poem-writing, pole-vaulting, inspiring, speaking, glassblowing, baking, frosting, cooking, exploring, running, crafting, reading, climbing, hiking, exploring, directing, cleaning, organizing, running, walking, riding, exercising, decorating, wrapping presents, folding clothes, etc. are all ways of processing emotions.
All of these are an examples of occupational therapy.
Which you may or may not be aware of, that is what they were doing on the psychiatric floor in the movie during arts & crafts and musical expression. I can’t wait for you to see these parts of the movie!
What I love about counseling, being a counselor and the mental health field is the process of self-discovery and personal development; which is displayed in this movie. I am drawn to the process that the protagonist, “Cool Craig” experiences during his psychiatric admission. Once he stops resisting and attempting to control the situation, he lets go and trusts the process.
Just like this blog that may or may not have more than six readers 😜, it is something I do to process emotions and it gets my mind off the “terror of knowing what this world is about.”🎵
A daily routine: The day in and day out of it can be redundant & exhausting. What is the point of it all?
The weekly grind of working, parenting and adulting overall is boring, tedious and unfulfilling most of the time. Throw in 18+ months of uncertainty, due to a lingering global pandemic; paired with this underlying pressure to “get back to normal” does not help.
Now, more than ever, we need to take care of our physical, emotional and mental health. How are we supposed to do this? It is extremely difficult when you feel confused, unsure, tired, worn out and depleted.
In a attempt to find some type of motivation myself, my brain has been searching for a frame of reference, a role model, to cope with this strange time. Which led me to thinking about George Bailey.
George is technically not a real person, however George is relatable to all of us and represents many of our real-life, elderly population. This wise, hardworking generation lived through true-times of uncertainty; such as the Great Depression and a World War. I suppose they just “kept showing up” through the confusion and cognitive dissonance.
George was already feeling stuck, trapped and living in a period of uncertainty before the real shit hit the fan.
“I’m shakin’ the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I’m gonna see the world! Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Colosseum. Then, I’m comin’ back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I’m gonna build things. I’m gonna build airfields, I’m gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high, I’m gonna build bridges a mile long…”
George wanted to do something BIG.
BIG is what we all “want”, isn’t it?
A bigger house, a bigger yard, a bigger car, a bigger bank account, bigger boobs, a bigger ….
Anyways, BIG does not always refer to SIZE.😜
BIG things can also come in small packages.
There is nothing wrong with dreaming BIG.
There can be an issue with dreaming big if you base your self-worth and life’s purpose on an external picture of “what-it’s supposed-to-be-like” instead of “what is.” As with anything, there are steps to greatness.
George wants to do something IMPORTANT.
George wants to BUILD.
However, George is so fixated on the “doing something BIG” he missed the BIG picture that he already was. George was oblivious that these little, menial things he was completing consistently on a daily basis that were adding up to BIG results.
George could not see he was already BUILDING:
George was BUILDING homes that provided other human beings with a sense of dignity and integrity.
George was BUILDING relationships and friendships through candor, loyalty, honor, honesty & consistency.
George was BUILDING a community with these relationships who held the same core values.
George was BUILDING the foundation.
Without a solid foundation, a community, a family or an individual falls apart. 👇🏻
This solid foundation of community & the connection of core values is what ultimately saved George’s life & mindset. By his perseverance and showing up, he inadvertently saved the entire town from plummeting into the gutter.
It is tiring staying true to your values with leaders and other members of society do selfish, stupid, manipulative and downright evil deeds. How are we all supposed to maintain a sense of hope?
This may lead you to feeling like you should do something drastic & BIG, such as quitting your job, switching careers, moving, cutting off family or friends, and even leaving the country.
Fantasizing about a massive change to stop the awful, bewildering sensation of cognitive dissonance is normal; it’s an escape for the brain. A good grounding exercise for when you catch yourself fantasizing about living in the country alone with no internet, wishing for a bigger house, a better car or a BIG vacation to “fix” how you feel=look back at your childhood.
What is the first vacation memory that pops in your mind?
This is what I honestly thought of. 👇🏻
We didn’t have any vacations but what I do remember is the night we went out together for the first & last time as a family to dinner….
The McRib Story
We were all showered and dressed in our Sunday best for our first dinner out. We eagerly piled into the family van, wide-eyed with excitement for the evening ahead. Our mouths were watering, recalling that glorious sandwich with its golden, brown-sugary appeal. Our vivid memories of that commercial were so powerful, we could almost taste it. We craved this tasty delicacy with an empty, insatiable hunger.
All of us were smiling greedily at those Golden Arches, we were finally here! My stomach fluttered with butterflies as we pulled into the McDonald’s drive-thru so we could all finally try the infamous McRib sandwich….Drool was rolling down our chins as my Dad ordered six sandwiches from the overly-perky, fake smiling attendant !
The drive-thru attendant’s expression changes to that patronizing-exaggerated pucker and states, “The McRib was only here for a limited time, so we no longer carry that sandwich. It may be back. Sorry.😕 May I get you something else?” My Dad shakes his head no, speechless. Our mouths hang open, frozen, in disbelief. The devastating disappointment was written on our faces as we drove back home.
This sad story of the BIG Sandwich that resulted in BIG disappointment is ironically what makes all of us laugh now. It didn’t turn out as planned, just as most things in life. Now this story provides us with BIG joy.
Through my family’s solid foundation of a good sense of humor and laughter-in-the-face-of-adversity is how we found joy. How we DEALT with the disappointment is the shit-sandwich I remember as an adult.
The point is, in the vast configuration of things, Potter is a scurvy, financially-rich spider 🕷 living an empty life and we have no control over anything. We also have no control over what our kids will remember as adults.
In the BIG picture, we are only able to provide ourselves with a SENSE of control. An example of this sense of control is a planning ahead, a consistent daily routine, shifting our mindset, staying connected to those who maintain the same values and practicing coping strategies. Meanwhile, still accepting that something may still go wrong as a part of life; such as the joy-robbing, limited-time, McRib Sandwich.
“The McRib is a barbecue-flavored pork sandwich periodically sold. It was first introduced to the McDonald's menu in 1981. After poor sales, it was removed from the menu in 1985. Seasonal items are an important marketing tool for the food industry. Limited releases almost give consumers a Pavlovian response.”By Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN Business
Bottom line: Keep showing up through it, we all feel the same way. Find ways to cope with the foreign feelings.
If you love It’s a Wonderful Life …
There is a restaurant and bar in Berwyn Illinois called Fitzgerald’s. This super, cool place is located along a quaint and adorable block. Not even joking. A cross block before it is Clarence street. 😇.I am so grateful I was able to get the free tickets and show up to their viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life! They had specialty drinks such as mulled wine, flaming rum punch (of course) and a fun drank ZuZu’s petals!
I went with friends. We all agreed they had fantastic food, best waffle fries we ever had. This is definitely going to be a regular place to go for us all year round. Loved it!
If anyone you know displays two criteria below, please share with them both blogs. If you identify with three or more of these criteria; you could be at risk for a scorching case of coronavirus, eventual renal failure, high blood pressure or chronic health problems soon or later in life: 🙈
Southside Guy Lifestyle
1. Chronically dehydrated: “There is water in coffee.” “Beer starts with water..Duh.” 🙄 Wakes up, showers, drinks a giant coffee or energy drank (not water first). He starts the day dehydrated. Continues to drink caffeine all day because “I’m fn tired”. Does not believe irritability/agitation is from caffeine. Everyone should drink atleast half their body weight in water. Exercise, sweating, alcohol and caffeine delete water intake.
2. Perpetually Sleep-Deprived: “Unwinds” in bed looking at phone not realizing the blue light in phones, computers, TV diminishes the production of melatonin-sleep hormone. (Reading a book, magazine, newspaper for 10 minutes instead better choice.) He may feel tired & fall asleep fine but may experience middle-night awakening or still feels exhausted when alarm goes off. Hitting snooze 3-4 times causing a new sleep cycle to begin which leads to sleep inertia- grogginess for 2-4 hours after sleeping 10 more minutes. However he is not tired when a big game is on (so bizarre how the energy emerges 🙂
4. No-Time To Exercise: Exercise consists of being “active” at work and “on feet all day”. Won’t exercise for months, perhaps years and then go balls out playing at the parish softball tournament and is unable to use his arms for weeks. He may decide impulsively to “get-in-shape” and go from zero to a hundred playing basketball with the guys. Leading to torn Achilles heel or tear in his ACL or meniscus. Five to ten minutes a day adds up over time. There are countless videos on you tube for five to 10 minute workouts. This podcast guest stars a doctor who provides realistic tips: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-marie-forleo-podcast/id1199977889?i=1000489694098
5. Thinks DAD-BOD Inevitable: When an old buddy emerges looking DILF and cut due to exercising and eating clean, he accuses friend of doing a cleanse or having surgery. He may call this DILF names like “soy boy” or “cream puff”. *Jokes he is doing a MEAT-CLEANSE. Believes bacon, pepperoni & salami are sourced of protein. Does not pay attention to sodium intake until he is ordered to by a physician or is already on medication. May unknowingly consume 4000mg sodium in a day. May blame his wife’s cooking is why he looks like he is holding his breath all the time. Tip: Limit sodium to 1500mg a day for women. 2000-2500mg for men *Check with doctor about recommended sodium intake for your size.
6. Vitamin-Deficient: His Mindset=Vitamins, minerals & rest are only when you become sick – not as a preventative measure. Low vitamin D lowers immune system. We cannot rely solely on the sun for Vitamin D – especially in the Midwest. He may believe vitamins are a waste of money because you just “pee vitamins out”. (We actually absorb what we need and pee the rest out). May only consider Flintstones vitamins because that’s what he took as a kid.
7. Underestimates how bad stress/burnout impacts the body, mind, & libido 😳: Too much to write on this topic. Listen to this podcast for better understanding- amazing!! https://brenebrown.com/podcast/brene-with-emily-and-amelia-nagoski-on-burnout-and-how-to-complete-the-stress-cycle/. Indications: May have continued to work or watch a baseball/football game while having a heart attack. “I thought it was heart burn”. Will limp through work for 3-4 weeks with a torn ligament or serious injury. Mindset= “If you are hurt, you don’t get work”. However, the cold or flu- (God forbid a fever) -will literally knock him out of commission for days. Have constant muscle tension, insomnia, or explosive rage episodes about minor things out of his control.
8. SKEPTICAL OF EVERYTHING HE DIDN’T SURVIVE THROUGH: He may begin sentences like this: “This is a crock of shit”…insert skeptic comment. Skeptic comment Examples: “Food allergies did not exist when we were kids” “We didn’t wear helmets when riding bikes wtf my kid is not a nerd.” “I never wear sunscreen, I burn then I tan. I have always been like this”. & “Organic, Grass-Fed—tsk all is a load of crap.” However, he is not skeptical about new modern developments & research that improve experiences such as: pausing live TV, fast-forwarding through commercials and yoga pants*.
*Only likes when women wear yoga pants but thinks yoga is weird & only for women. Meditation is a nap, scrolling on phone or watching ESPN
9. Does not pay attention to sugar content:. White refined Sugar is in almost everything and everyone needs to work on managing sugar intake even if you do not have diabetes..https://youtu.be/bKG1JNq7RyM
10. Chases happiness: Looks externally for sources of happiness instead of internally for joy. Instead of cherishing, enjoying & accepting what IS right now; they are always wishing things were different. Either How is was in the past (trigger for depression) . How it will be in the future (trigger for anxiety). Instead of staying in the present. The present is a gift. If you Always wanting more, you will never be satisfied.. “If we just had more money we would be happy.” “If we had a bigger house, we would be happy.” Once it happens and the happiness “doesn’t come” you either get disappointed & give up or keep chasing. By doing this, you MISS life that is happening now.
Joy is an inner feeling. Happiness is an outward expression. Joy endures hardship and trials and connects with meaning and purpose. A person pursues happiness but chooses joy.
I am not a doctor and I could be 1000% wrong. Even the healthiest person could get a horrendous case of coronavirus. I am simply offering some small steps that may pay off in future. Just some tips 😜to improve lifestyle, overall health and to strengthen the immune system. See disclaimer👇🏻
Thirsty for more info: Sone extras that are on point:
One of the symptoms found when you Google coronavirus SHOULD be •acute onset of stupidity•dumb•moronic•
This is a valid & real symptom that no one seems to discuss. The brain fog of covid is no joke. Therefore, I feel compelled to share this with everyone in hopes I can save a few marriages from separation or worst case scenario…murder. 😜
If I was to get married now, post Covid, I would definitely rewrite my vows.
I, (state your name) take you, (lucky bastard) to be my lawfully wedded (husband), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health***(see below addendum) , until death do us part.
***Addendum: Questionable. This excludes THE SICKNESS of Covid-19 aka coronavirus. With all due respect Reverend, I can’t be held responsible for this shit show. I will take this up with Lord when my time comes.
Perhaps many have endured the coronavirus as a couple and thought nothing of it. This was not the case for me, as usual.
As I am grateful we all were positive for Covid simultaneously and I was blessed with: 1. Having no sense of smell which came in handy when some were ripping ass left and right.😂
2. Having no taste made eating less enjoyable, (chewing cardboard isn’t much fun; therefore we didn’t eat a lot so no one gained weight.)
3. Initially assuming my feeling like I was hit by a truck, plus paranoia, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed was due monthly hormonal symptoms. I felt guilty for my statements and behavior. Getting diagnosed with coronavirus* gave me permission to be as mean as I wanted but able to use covid as an excuse. 😜. (*oh yea-I had my period and covid at the same time-wtf)
5. Lastly, possessing no memory, decision- making skills or energy: I did NOT have to cook, clean or exercise at ALL for two weeks.
ME: Is this chicken bad?” Kids: “I don’t know. I can’t smell.” ME: “Me neither. I don’t remember how long it’s been in the fridge.” Screw it, let’s get Jimmy John’s…again.
Notice I did not mention husband/father in above example. 👆🏻Unfortunately Dad was unable to leave the bed from April 3rd until April 10th. He was literally knocked.out.cold. by this virus. He dragged self to bathroom to only shower or shit his brains out.
The three of us kinda felt bad for him, however considering all four of us werepositive for covid; we would casually joke downstairs about this being “The Dad-Flu”. I showed my kids the parody skits on you tube about the “Man-Flu”.
Us adults received a z-pack and steroids for the bronchial issues. I administered these to him and myself plus vitamins, emergen-c packets, tea, soup etc. I felt better within two days; he was worse. He remained perpetually freezing and bundled up; which led to sweating profusely and changing clothes frequently.
The kids stopped talking to him completely because he wasn’t making any sense. 👆🏻He could not eat because he was so nauseous. After taking famotidine (Pepcid) for 7 days, the nausea finally subsided for Dad, but the chills continued. Wearing a long sleeved underarmour shirt, long sleeved t-shirt and hooded sweatshirt with the hood up, sweatpants, thick socks, yet still freezing…Dad emerged from the bedroom.
So there Dad is, walking in slow motion hooded, unshaven, gaunt and miserable. He resembled the polish version of Eminem.
He kept mumbling to me and when I replied; he could not hear me:
COVID DINNER CONVERSATION. Me: My name is Him: What? Me: My name is Him:Who? Me: My name is Him: Huh? Why can’t you fucking hear me? Me: My name is Him: What?Excuse me Me: Just forget it. Meanwhile mumbling under my breath “Stolat” and downing a shot of spiritus. -Eminem (paraphrased Eminem;)
I make him a dinner plate, tea and ask him if he needs anything else. He shakes his hooded head no. I sit back down, ravenous and start shoveling in the random food.
Him: “Would you get me a knife?”
🤬🤬🤬🤬 We are BOTH positive for COVID sitting at the same table-the same distance from the utensil drawer. This sets me off.
I replied to his knife request, “HOW BOUT I JUST CALL YOU AN AMBULANCE?” Cuz you need to GTFOH.
He replies, “What?”
I laugh in disbelief, shaking my head at the audacity. I reply softly in an eerie whisper: “Cmon, you can get a knife, it’s five steps.”
Oddly he hears my creepy whisper. He reluctantly stands, walks as if he is walking through water and fetches a knife for himself. 🙄
I give him Alka seltzer cold and he seems to feel a little better. He made a comment about how sick he is and accused me of “Muchasen’s by proxy”. I laughed hysterically at this allegation and think he is turning around. I never wanted him to make fun of me so badly in my life.
This is short lived. He is up all night coughing and gasping for air. I make him wear his sleep apnea machine mask despite his outlandish claims that it makes him sweat more. I threaten him with opening the window. The sheer panic in his face 😬 made me almost feel bad. (Try living with hot flashes year round bitch ass). He surrenders and wears it.
The next morning, when he stands up, he is struggling to breathe. I text my nurse friends and the doctor. All say “If he cannot breathe, bring him to the ER.” I was apprehensive because I haven’t driven or talked to another adult in seven days. I am greeted by security. No sound comes out of my mouth. I have zero recollection of what to say. I blurt out single words like a toddler, “Covid!” & “Wheelchair!” He could not hear, talk or barely walk. Two idiots. 👇🏻
In triage, I notice he cannot hear the nurse either. So he was not messing with me. 🤔When he does answer her questions, his answers don’t make sense. Then they bring him back and advise me that I am not allowed to stay because he is a covid patient. A beaming creepy smile 😃 emerged on my face. HallefuckinglujahI need a break.
He has an ECG, chest x-ray, cat-scan, & labs; which are all within range. His cat-scan shows the beginning of mild Pneumonia (aka covid lung) which is common for covid. He is discharged with a z-pack, inhaler, and a cough prevention medication with orders of “just let the virus run its course. Keep checking the pulse ox, if it goes below 90, come back.”
He is frustrated and is becoming anxious. The normal, unfortunate reality and fears hit him hard. Fears about about going back to work. Fears about how is he going to function at work. Fears that he is draining his vacation time. The terrible “what if’s” are frightening. I inevitably begin to feel scared as well. Thankfully my defense mechanisms kick in.👇🏻
He is unable to leave the bed again for two more days and is still struggling to breathe. The pulse ox dropped to 88, 82 and 78 when he stood up. His doctor said to go to ER immediately. He is then admitted for five days for double pneumonia. He is discharged and does not seem much better. The nurse and doctor advise that it is “a very slow recovery.”
He was a wreck post hospital, we felt so bad for him. He was so understandably confused. He used four weeks of vacation time. He had to see a pulmonologist. He now has fibrosis, scarring in his lungs, that require nebulizer twice a day still. Obviously compared to many individuals, this is mild and we are lucky.
The point of my discussing this and violating his privacy 😜: He’s 48 years old, no prior medical problems, he does not smoke or drink. He works 12 hour days, goes to bed at 9pm every night even on weekends. He wakes up at 4:30am for work. This is where the WHY comes in. Why did it hit him so hard?
He teases me that I: O.H. (over-hydrate) & O.V. (over-vitamin). 😂 At times he is annoyed with me that I prioritize my mental health and physical health before anyone else; even my kids. I leave the house a mess and go workout first, always. He states that our cabinet looks like a pharmacy:
I see his point, however my outlook is not necessarily the norm around these parts when it comes to health and exercise.
If you ain’t full, you got nothin to give anyone else. Translation:”You cannot pour from an empty beer bottle, guys.”
Kelly Durnelly. Mtg Hooder 1974-2004
Besides being the most tired man in America, he has never been “sick” more than a day as long as I’ve known him. It is very puzzling WHY. Was he just unlucky? Genetics? Stress? I could be 100% wrong, but I do believe some things could have contributed to how bad it hit him. The suggestions made by all the doctor all were to stay ahead of hydration, take vitamins D, C & Zinc daily, and rest/sleep.
Perhaps if some do this before contracting covid, maybe it won’t affect a person as severely. 🤷🏻♀️ If you or anyone you know exhibits one-two symptoms on below list, forward this to them immediately. Maybe they will listen to me.
During my time as an ER crisis worker, I was written up at least once a year for accumulated tardies.
I have also been put on levels for mistakes I made.
I am one of two individuals in the history of my department that was on a “level”. (Level three is termination.) How unfair right!?
Back story: When I first started, I got so mad about a PTO policy that changed; I impulsively went straight to the CEO. 🙈😬 Soon after, I began to receive levels for “minor” mistakes.
Upon receiving this level, I went into full-on JED mode (justify, explain, defend) a.k.a JJM (JOLIET JAKE MODE) to my boss.
I was FURIOUS at her audacity because I had stayed late the night before!
HOW DARE SHE!?
How dare THEY!!!”
I then exclaimed, “It was 7:01! Can’t you let this slide?” (What about the other six late clock-ins? 🤔)
I pissed and moaned about it to my coworkers.
One day, a nurse in another department candidly told me “I’ve been on a level before. You know what? It’s just to help you learn. It’s not like a jail sentence.”
When I stopped blaming, I was able to see clearly what I did wrong and how I need to change. I DESERVED the LEVEL.
This level was about a choice I made.
This level was about a mistake I made.
My justification that it’s “no big deal” or my valid reasons for committing this violation does not matter.
It is a rule, policy, procedure etc. and I broke it. PERIOD.
I needed to THINK.
OWN IT. Learn from it. Accept. Admit. I.was.wrong.
I needed to feel the pain and shame of the consequences in order to change.
I preferred to “get in trouble” individually than have my whole team suffer for my mistake, my ignorance, and my stupidity.
Just as I HATED it when I was a kid and we lost recess because of the one asshole who wouldn’t stop talking. I never wanted to be that kid.
I didn’t want to be that coworker.
This “dumb” rule and it’s “unfair” consequences is to prevent much bigger mistakes from occurring in the future.
I attended a mandatory re-training, with clear concise examples and the consequences if not followed-ahead of time. Also annual trainings to keep this fresh in our mind.
Oh and remember how I went straight to the CEO when I wanted to have a tantrum about what I didn’t like? I learned to follow the chain of command. It is there for a reason. I get it…now. If I didn’t make those mistakes, perhaps I wouldn’t have.
Do I deserve to lose my pension because I made some bad choices?
Should my entire department lose their pension because of my mistake?
Speaking of losing pensions, here is another authoritative tale where I believed I was right…This is in regards to the countless tickets I have received for speeding, failure to come to a complete stop at a red light prior to turning right, and blowing red lights.
After my violation, I would respectfully hand over my insurance card and license to the police officer with a sweet, innocent smile. Sometimes, in a vain attempt to get out of the ticket, I may have flirted a little.
This manipulative behavior on my part would be dismissed with a “nice try” nod or a wink as if to acknowledge the effort. Then the police officer did their job by handing me the ticket.
Later, while attending court to fight this outlandish claim: I smiled, apologized and respectfully presented my case.
After all, I had VALID reasons why!!!
However, deep down I knew the truth.
I wasn’t truly sorry….I was sorry because I got caught. Perhaps this ONE time I may have been right; but what about was 27 other times I made the same mistake and didn’t get caught.
I was only sorry for my behavior because it hit me where it hurt. 💰 💴 ⏰ I could not afford the consequences.
Therefore, I was not GENUINELY sorry, but feeling sorry for myself.
After my presentation at court, you know what the police officer or judge would reply 97% of the time? Something like:
“You weren’t even close.”😂😎
I didn’t get out of it.
I didn’t have a tantrum. I didn’t persuade anyone in powerful positions that “I know” to get me out of it.
I was stuck with the consequences as I should be.
I paid the $200 fine. I went to traffic school. I drove more cautiously to avoid future infractions. I learned to stop the behavior.
Should I have gotten a lower fine because I’m a woman?
Should I have gotten a lower fine because women earn less than men?
Would a man have gotten out of this?
Was I just pulled over because I am a female?
Was I written up because I am a female?
I don’t know all the answers but I’m leaning toward a hard NO. My point is, we are all humans and make mistakes. I can at least own my part. Shouldn’t we all?
Some make worse mistakes than others and those individuals need to receive their appropriate consequences.
We still ALL EQUALLY need consequences to continue to learn and function in society. Yes, of course there are racist and sexist people in this world; but there are many more who are not.
What happened to accountability?
I knew the rules and I still chose to break them.
I am aware if I commit a serious crime, I go to jail. No getting out of it. I respect my freedom so I obey the law. (See below for Chris Rock- obey the law skit)
I DO NOT deserve special treatment because I am a woman.
The biggest fights I had with my mother were about her relentlessly forcing me to watch old movies. . It was so “unfair”! I wanted to watch “normal” stuff like everyone else. I would fight her to the end. . I was SO stubborn! I STILL am! Right now, I am gritting my teeth like these defiant toddlers & teens below.👇🏻🤬.🙈
I haven’t watched THE BISHOPS WIFE since I was an eye-rolling teenager- too busy scowling to see the magic. Even if I did, I wouldn’t admit it.
To keep from slipping into that Charlie Brown-what-is-Christmas-all-about-depression this year; I needed something bigger than Buddy or the Red Ryder BB gun.
So I made a point to watch The Bishop’s Wife over Christmas weekend, remembering how much my mom loved it.
Watching this movie now at 46, in 2020, was like fuel for the soul.
How did I miss the sweet snowball fight scene? (Or my favorite kid of all time- the young George Bailey—Bobby Anderson). Probably because my mom was trying to tell me to look.
I didn’t appreciate the ice skating scene; probably because my mom gushed about it; which in turn made me think it was “dumb”.👇🏻
In pouting and covering my ears, I also missed the story about the shepherd and the empty stocking.🥰🥲😢🤩 . I see it now. I feel it now.🙈👇🏻
White Christmas- I dreaded this one too- “I hate musicals!” is all I would defiantly scream.
My Mom: “You don’t hate musicals. You love Grease, West Side Story, Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music & Mary Poppins.”
Me: (grrrrrr🤬) “Those aren’t musicals, shut up and don’t talk to me!”
Over the last few years, I finally swallowed my pride and let myself enjoy White Christmas. Fine!
Ok! The songs are kinda catchy. 😜
Who am I kidding? I love all of them. 🙈 I get the true meaning of the story now.
That General Waverly chokes me up every time😢…
I now appreciate the insane dedication, practicing and hard work that went into this movie: the real dancing, the real singing, (not computer generated ) the lighting, and the dresses! Perhaps it’s because we live in lounge wear & jammies now but I never truly noticed THESE outfits!
I am grateful that my mom is still here for me to tell her THANK YOU for being so annoyingly persistent. It only took 30 years+a quarantine for me to come around.
Read this true story about Irving Berlin. It will break your heart even more about this song, the story and the👇🏻 movie.
This year, I recognized the greatest gift I have ever received. The gift of this knowledge presented itself on Christmas Eve and was about as welcome as Ebenezer’s three spirits.
A old friend casually joked with me “at least you got to believe in Santa Claus.”
I never thought of “believing in Santa” as a gift or that having the “chance” or “opportunity” to believe in Santa Claus was a privilege.
It makes me sad that my friend did not have this opportunity.
I realize now how much effort is put forth into having your child “believe”. Perhaps some parents don’t have the energy, imagination or faith to keep this alive; or maybe some parents do not know how.
The innocence, imagination and simplicity of a child’s mind made the magic of Christmas easy to pull off.
Their excitement over little things made me excited; which in turn made me WANT to make it fun and magical.
The last two years have been opposite for me with two teenagers. I honestly had no clue what to do for them because they are genetically predisposed to be selfish, ungrateful assholes.
The vibe & statements I received from them was, “Christmas isn’t as fun anymore mom, it’s no big deal. It’s okay.”
The message I would give back, “It’s okay kids. I have nothing left to give anyway you life-sucking punks. I am empty.”
Which in turn caused me to NOT WANT to do anything for them this year. I didn’t care.
However, this is the year they needed me to care the most.
Then I remembered what my mom would do. Despite what we said, she would do it anyway. My mom still did everything the same even when we were teenagers and early twenties. She still put presents out from Santa on Christmas morning and put stuffed animals in our stockings despite the eye rolls. It was as if she could still see our inner child; kinda like this commercial.👇🏻https://youtu.be/QJntbYytPz8
She had the ability to be where we were at… yet she still knew what we still wanted; even though we were too stubborn to admit it.
I did what my mom did and I did it anyway. I stayed present with where my kids are.
I had no expectations of them or their reactions. Instead of being mad about their lack of excitement, I rolled with it.
I made my kids wait until after church to open gifts.
I stalled a little longer to finish wrapping gifts for others. Even though “it’s not fun like it was, mom” they may have accidentally displayed some anticipation and a glimmer of childlike-Christmas-morning-glow.
By expecting them to be as they are instead of what I hoped them to be; I was pleasantly surprised by their pleased reactions and gratitude.
It was a beautiful Christmas and my kids were grateful, sweet and thoughtful.
My mother gave me this gift to me…
My mother “showed” me how to “do” Christmas.
Mom, I should just wrap you up and put you under the tree every year because you are truly a gift. 😢☺️
And you were right about everything.🤬😂 (Inner Teen: Thrashing defiantly inside.)
Well, almost everything….
I refuse to stay up til 4am wrapping – that shit is done way ahead of time while kids at school or out with friends. I also learned from this SNL skit to ask for exactly what I want, buy it for myself if I do not get it and to stuff my own stocking!. 😂