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!
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!. 😂
I may not KNOW a lot of things but one thing I do believe for sure is that BOB (Esai Morales) from La Bamba is one BADASS mother fucker. He has to be THEE coolest and most captivating actor on the planet.
He should have won an OSCAR for best supporting actor for his performance; (Esai Morales) truly MADE the movie.
He literally SEDUCES the audience.
That being said, what I find most ironic is that no matter what he did or said, I still liked his character. I thought he was hilarious, I still do. What is even more puzzling, is that he is a complete dick.
As a woman, I completely identify with Rosie. As a mother and wife, I empathize with how she feels; I hate how she is treated by Bob. What was also puzzling is that she ANNOYED me. 🙈
I can actually feel her pain, grief, & confusion. You can see it written on her face. The “wait…wtf-just-happened?” face. The “how-in-the-hell-did-I-end-up-here” face. She displays this facial expression the majority of the movie. We all know that face.
We all know that feeling: When you realize you’ve been had. You got screwed over. The worst part about it, the majority of it was your own doing. You assumed. ASS-U-ME.
I get how she assumed as well. Any woman in a could easily fall into Bob’s trap; especially the married ones. Bob’s seductive allure could have wise woman entranced in his spell: After Bob flirts with you: Huh? What kids? What husband? You don’t have a job you say? Ballsy. Hot…You drink every day? Wild & crazy. You live in your mom’s trailer? Sounds cozy. Humina Humina 😍🥰😛
I am embarrassed to admit this, but I remember thinking: Awwww just leave him alone Rosie.. it’s your own fault you got yo self knocked up…
I STILL liked him after that horrible, disrespectful and honest statement by Bob. Like “Dayyyuuumm.” Why?
Currently, I am an adult and an educated & wise woman, yet I still like Bob. Wtf!? How come? 1. Clearly excellent acting by Esai Morales 2. Amazing directing
However, I am not satisfied with this. Inquiring minds want to know!!!
I was concerned with my reaction when I watching this movie recently. When the mother, Connie Valenzuela, minimized Bob’s cartoonist abilities and reminded him that he is about to become a father, I thought: Jeez Connie, buzzkill, what did you have to go and do that for!? Why don’t you get out of Richie’s ass and pay attention to poor Bob.He is trying. POOR BOB
Poor Bob: your womanizing, chauvinistic, selfish, entitled, immature, unemployed, alcoholic, manipulative, man-baby-son who just was released from prison.🤔 (Bob sounds like a real catch on paper doesn’t he?🤥😂)
From a biological & genetic standpoint, Bob does what Bob does best. Bob is a an alpha male who is genetically predisposed to flock his sexy shit to attract females. Bob does whatever possible to get laid; ultimately procreating more human beings to populate the earth. (Biology 101: It is vital for males to compete for reproduction and for females to choose between those competing males.
If a member of the opposite sex finds your tail, your song, or your dance moves sexy, you will have a chance to fulfill your primary biological role as a member of your species: to reproduce.
This is “Bob’s” “primary biological role” aka his job and he rocks it. He got Rosie pregnant so now he needs to “move on” and to do this again.
It’s not his fault…yet. (Please don’t get angry, hear me out;)
From a biological/genetic standpoint, Bob is doing his job. He behaves how all maleanimals act. Bob is genetically predisposed to be what humans would consider “an asshole”.
The problem is, he also doesn’t know any better. No one has taught him otherwise. No one has had the chance to teach Bob to step above his biological urges.
Please don’t cause him to feel inadequate by making him have to THINK.
Don’t make him feel like a failure by asking him to have COMPASSION or EMPATHY? That is NO FUN.
What would cause a human being to behave this way? Or to treat women this way?
Bob’s True Story & my psychological interpretation😜:
Just like Rosie, Connie also hooked up with a bad boy at a young age and got herself impregnated (with Bob.) The hot, sexy biological father took off.
Connie then met someone else (Steve) and Connor married Steve when Bob was two years old. Steve loved Bob and treated him as his own. Steve and Connie then had a child, Ritchie. Ritchie was a reflection to Connie what she did right=Ritchie=golden boy. However, Bob was a reminder of her bad decisions.
Connie, Steve, Bob & Ritchie were doing well together for a while. Bob assumed Steve was his biological father and Bob loved him.
In an interview, the real Bob Morales states his life took a bad turn when he was 14 and his parents (Connie & Steve) separated.
“I moved in with my mom while Ritchie went with my dad. One day I told my mom that I wanted to live with my dad and and that’s when my aunt told me ‘Why do you want to go with him if he’s not even your real father.’Bob Morales
Despite Steve conveying to Bob that he loved him as his own son, the shock devastated Bob. Also, it was horrible timing for Bob to find this out because soon after this discovery, Bob began high school.
Bob was getting into fights frequently so he stopped attending. Instead he gave money to the homeless nearby who would buy him alcohol.
While his now single-mom was working two jobs, Bob was not going to school and had no structure all day, no guidance, no direction=idle time which is the DEVIL’s playground.
Therefore, Bob ended up going to a detention center from age 12-17! Connie, his mother, signed him over as a ward of the state. He did not see his family that entire time he was locked up.
The first time Bob saw his mother or Ritchie in years; was the day of Steve’s funeral. Which also means he didn’t get to say goodbye to Steve or to grieve properly.
Bob learned to adapt to his lonely life by becoming the life of the party. He learned how to get what he needed by finding comfort in women and selfishly move on. This probably soothed his resentment toward his mother for while, but then he felt guilty; so he drank the pain away.
Of course he was jealous of Ritchie. Ritchie got his Dad and his Mom. He got nobody.
The point is that all of US are capable of evil depending on what we are exposed to.
I thought of this blog when I was about to bitch at my son for not cleaning up the mess he made after making quesadillas. I realized that I can’t assume he knows how. Instead, I showed him how clean it up. I told him that this is what I expect. I didn’t talk to him like he was stupid. I thanked him for making his own food. I didn’t clean it up for him. This is the only way they learn.
Mothers: We cannot assume that our sons are just going to know how to treat women when they’re older. We cannot assume that their Dad’s are going to teach them either. Most Dads are working their ass off and are never home. (Probably chasing tail 😂 not knowing why. Kidding!🤪)
We have to teach OUR SONS what WE want from them so they can learn how to GIVE this to their future partners. We need to teach them about affection, connection, friendship, compatibility, respect, and the long term.
We have to teach them that this may be a biological urge to continue to chase women and populate the world, HOWEVER, we are not animals.
It costs a lot of time, money, energy to raise a human child properly into a respectable adult.
We need to teach them that human females can be hot and smart. Women can be attractive, fun, brilliant, and confident. We have to teach them, not ASSUME, that a Human FEMALE’S purpose is not to populate the world.
We also have to teach our daughters: What they tolerate will become their future. Being a victim will not get you anywhere.
It’s OUR job to ALSO teach the FUTURE MEN of this world these skills. We need to teach them how to love unconditionally. Parents need to be a TEAM.
As a mental health clinician, I have the right to diagnose myself. Lately I believe I have been suffering from MULTIPLE OZARK PERSONALITY DISORDER. (MOPD)
MOPD is located in the DSM-V: Diagnosis code: 69692020. ICD-10 Code: 2337.
Since quarantine, I have noticed that I am taking on more and more characteristics of these Ozark personalities. (You WILL definitely relate to this, whether you watch Ozark or not. Truly… no spoilers here, anything discussed is all pretty obvious.)
What I find ironic and hilarious is that my husband will no longer watch this show with me because he found the show “ridiculous” and “unrelatable.” He stopped after season one…typical. Season one of any show is comparable to a psych 101 class; basically playing just-the-tip with character development.Sheesh.
Anyways, the irony is, that the more outlandish and ridiculous this show becomes, the moreI find it relatable.
Let’s be real, everything is ridiculous in the world right now. I mean who would ever think we would not be allowed to attend live sport events and there would be cardboard fans? Who would ever think that kids would not be attending school in person? Who would ever think that in the midst of massive change and uncertainty there would be a presdential election? I digress
These real-life events make some good old-fashioned, illegal activity seem refreshing. What’s the big deal about a dad who wants to make some extra bank on the side for his family?
Since we were encouraged to do nothing but sit at home, scroll on the phone and binge watch tv; we extinguished our coping skills. Now, everything is different at one time. All this change is just too painful for my brain to tolerate; my psyche has now split in order to protect my sanity…
Split Personality #1:The first episode of the third season of Ozark, Ben is introduced. He is a substitute teacher who seems pretty cool; but then he is exposed to the reality of tweens and smart-phones when a student begins to cry in class about a text with a photo received. The lack of eye contact, respect or response from the rest of the students infuriates the him. He then proceeds to take all the kids’ cell phones and throw them in a garbage. (I think this is a completely appropriate reaction.) He goes too far and throws them all into wood chipper. I find myself relating to this entire scene up until the last 17 seconds.
Split Personality #2: Ruth Langmore, who can make you blush with her raw cussin and brutal lack of filter. Ruth’s demeanor, even while having sex, gives off that don’t-fuck-with-me vibe that can make you cringe. She has also channeled her white-trashness into some useful business woman tips. What is cool as hell about her is she owns her mistakes; no excuses. Fuck is now a noun, verb, adjective, pronoun, adverb and a language in itself because of Ruth. Anyone else speak fluent fuck nugget?
Straight up…my Spirit Animal.
Personality #3 The matriarch of the show, Wendy Byrde, who manages being a mom and wife with political policies. Wendy Byrde is completely transparent with her kids, does whatever the hell she wants in her marriage and uses her political knowledge to commit illegal crimes legally.
First episode of season one: Wendy is an ordinary, stay-at-home mom who gave up her political career/power to raise her kids. Her life was uneventful and easy, and she was unhappy and bored. She thrives in chaos. She had a rough childhood. 👈🏻(This article is brilliant about her acting out when she doesn’t belong.) She comes alive while juggling negotiations with a mexican drug cartel and her power soars when she comes up with strategies to legalize her husband’s money laundering operation. Wendy spins these webs from the safety of her minivan.
Just like any mom does, “Wendy’s got this.” Mom’s know what to do. Wendy can handle almost anything and plow through the day, unaffected. However, what is so relatable: it’s the little shit that throws her over the edge. Everything is cool until her damn emotions slow her down.
She can blow off a call from a drug lord👇🏻.
She can answer her kids tough questions without missing a beat.
Wendy’s-mentality: Don’t sugarcoat anything. Throw us a bone and let us know where we stand. Mama Byrde: OK, here’s a bone…straight up your ass.
TO HUSBAND: “Quite Frankly, I Don’t Give A Damn If You Like It Or Not, Cause I Feel Pretty Good About It. It’s A Good Idea, And I Did It For Our Family. What Did You Do Today… For Our Family?” Wendy Byrde (boom)
Marty replies flatly: “I bought a strip club.” (He is pretty bad ass but I haven’t gone numb yet;)
Everyone has a weakness and Wendy’s is: she cannot handle her brother and his “irrational” behavior. Why can’t her brother just understand that they are laundering money for a mexican drug cartel and everything is going according to plan? Why won’t he leave things alone and stop trying to make everything moral and just? Why doesn’t her brother “get it” that it is normal to be disintegrated in an acid barrel when you stand up to the cartel’s lawyer or you work with the FBI? Why won’t he stop behaving like a toddler and involving the police? Jeez…
Wendy. loses. her. shit. with her brother. The flooding of emotions causes her to get hammered in a parking lot in her minivan for days. When she does eventually come home, she wants to hide under the covers. She doesn’t want to get out of bed. She doesnt care about any of the stuff she was relentlessly working toward. She lost her tenacity and drive. She fell apart.
Which brings me to my “Wendy Moment”. No I did not get hammered in my minivan. What are you nuts? I do not drive a minivan😜.
Backstory: The last seven months during this global pandemic, I’ve taken pride in that I’m a Gen Xer. I have been thriving in this chaos. Watch movies with my kids every night, psshh, my dream come true. I have loved not having to go anywhere. I accomplished so many projects and got in the best shape of my life. I was kicking ass at work and rolling with the changes. My relationship with my kids and husband has never been better. Even when I struggled with e-learning and juggled my kids being home while I was working; I persevered.
Then the little shit happened that threw me over the edge. School started for 2 days, then was canceled for two more weeks (something died inside me that day😜). I broke my own phone and had wait 6 days for a new one (I am still re-doing every password in my life). My daughter received her scoliosis brace and she was NOT happy. This clusterfuck of events has triggered me to split. These are all NORMAL, regular, solvable problems, yet I cannot deal. Like Wendy, I can deal with the crisis and big stuff. The little, unpredictable, emotional shit…not so much ..
Monday: I was picking up some girls for a volleyball camp carpool and my friend was talking briefly about her day to me as a elementary teacher; now teaching her students online. It sounded unbearable, extremely stressful and overwhelming. A flashback of me teaching my daughter in May, triggered a depersonalization episode. It was as if I was hovering above both of us, looking at our life thinking “this cannot be real.” Similar to the Wendy-Goldilocks moment when she realized she did not belong in that life anymore.
The no longer knowing is terrifying.
The not knowing how to do our job, not knowing how to be a parent, not knowing how to behave in public (That awkward-should we hug, I want to hug but, are you hugging?…)
Everything we once “knew for sure” we no longer know.…(split) In comes Ruth Langmore: “This is crazy. I don’t know shit about FUCK!”
Tuesday 9/28/2020 – I Drive kids to school, attempted to listen to the news on my way home. The discussion about the presidential debate …Flood of emotions …I walk past my office, get in bed and hide under the covers…(split) Ben Davis “I will not fall into line with the others. What you walked into is normal… this is all normal….No, nope, no it’s not ￼…smh…” (split) In comes Ruth again…
“What are you going to do, kill me? you bitch wolf?“
Wednesday: My son was excused from school for a golf tournament. I drive him to golf course at 5:30am.
By 8:46am: My son has a golf-injury, I shit you not. He hit a ball, it ricocheted off a tree and knocked him in the chin. He was gushing blood apparently. I had to stop working and bring him to urgent care to get stitches. The day was shot. Anything my family said to me after that, I replied:
Kid: “I’m going to ride my bike to Dunkin.”
Me: “The fuck you are.”
Kid: “I’m going to the skate park.”
Me: “The fuck you are.”
Everyone just stay here, stay safe, stay uninjured. But…wait…we already did that…and that’s not living.
Of course I thrived when we were all in a bubble. Nothing ever happened. We were all zombies. That’s not normal.
It was a nice break; a reality check on what’s important. Yet it is all a blur. You don’t remember the nights you got plenty of sleep. You remember the nights you almost died in a field while you were at a “sleepover.”
“Ok, ok you can ride to Dunkin after you do the dishes, and get decaf”. Look both ways when you cross the street (dipshit).”
“Ok. Ok you can go to skate park after you take out the garbage. You better wear helmet, knee pads, elbow/wrist guards…and here’s some bubble wrap (dumb ass).”
In the end, the little shit is all that matters and that must be why it’s so hard. -Quillan Kelly-Dunn
When I win my Oscar for best screenplay and give my speech; I would love to say “and last of all, I’d like to thank my husband for not giving a shit.”
Despite how it sounds, I mean this in a good way. By his “not giving a shit” or being “too tired right now” is actually helpful. My anger at him forces me to figure it out myself. When I do, my self-esteem sky rockets. I am no longer mad at him because I am too empowered; but not in a self-righteous kind of way. Like in a “men and women are equal” way.
Whenever I ask my husband for help, it is like an imaginary tennis match. He takes his pretend racket (tongue-on-roof-of-mouth-click-sound effect) and just hits that request right back to me. My rebuttal (tongue-click) back to him. This continues the longer I debate and the longer the match. Kinda like this: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-e3V7MDtMi/?igshid=z3swsvcatt03
I hate asking for help and I’m not a damsel-in-distress type of chic. I do not need or want to be taken care of or to be saved. (It does feel nice to think about it, perhaps my stubborn pride gets in the way.) When he does offer suggestions or the “right” way of doing things; he is met with a straight up tirade of obscenities. Therefore, deep down I must really not want him to help me.
Or…I would rather do it myself than deal with this:👇🏻
My old man is the most tired man in America; he works three jobs; so it’s understandable why he is exhausted. However, it was kinda weird that was able to stay up through rain delays until 1:45am when the Cubs won the World Series. Miraculously, he was still able to get up for work at 5am the next day. But…that’s another story…😂
Anyways, I get that he’s tired; which is why I cannot expect much from him. They say having no expectations leaves you pleasantly surprised right? My expectations are so low it’s kinda like when someone goes out for a pack of cigarettes and doesn’t come back. 😜 When show back up, you are pleasantly surprised.
So I live my life expecting him not to come back, but he keeps showing back up to sleep, eat and watch sports here so now what? 😜 I work full time as well and handle everything at home with kids such as an being an Unpaid Uber driver, bank teller, chef, grocery shopper , scheduler, drama processor… I’m TIRED!….
I know that he knows it’s difficult at home and more difficult than what he does because my situation is unpredictable. He will never admit it. It’s not black and white how he likes. I hate things that are black and white except movies. Being at home plus working is all mutha effin gray. Kids and teens are unpredictable. You never know what you’re going to get.
Anyways, Our most recent endeavor. About a month ago, our washing machine stopped working. It’s a LG High Efficiency washer, equipped with smart diagnosis. This means that I can connect my IPhone to the washer and it can diagnose what’s wrong. My washer continued to display “IE”. He has an Android, I have an iPhone which probably contributed to his feelings of inadequacy. 😂
In the manual, “IE” means that you have to clean out the water inlet valve, Manual says to clean inlet valve monthly. I know we have NEVER done this. So I asked my old man to do it. He didn’t feel like fixing it right now which led to the “tennis match”.
While sitting on the couch, he told me to call the repairman we used for the dishwasher. The woman who answered the phone asked me what was wrong and I told her.
She replied, “Yea, that Washing machine brand isn’t the greatest. That code means you need to clean out the water inlet valve”. I said “Like I know what that is or how to do that, thats why I’m calling you.” (Whorebag, in my head)
So she calls me back and said she can get me in on Saturday between 12pm-4pm.
Me: “Ummm that’s four days from now, you have nothing sooner?” Whorebag: “Nope. Mmm-mmm. No. We will call you the day before AND the morning of to confirm.”
Me: “Ok, thanks” (In head: “Dont you condescend me, man. I’ll fuckin kill you man.)👇🏻
I confirmed the service call from the know-it-all, condescending lady Friday night and Saturday morning. Shocker: Husband is too busy to wait for fix it guy. We go out to breakfast because we have nothing else to do. I overeat carbs to feed my resentment, he leaves. Then on my day off, in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, I have to wait. Me sitting on the couch, after a large, carby meal and doing nothing but waiting is not a normal situation and unfortunately, I fall asleep.
Three unanswered calls later from the fix it guy, I missed my repair window. His voicemail:
“Yea, since you aren’t answering the phone, I am not wasting a 20-minute trip since you are my only call out there today.” Me: Ew. Wasting his time? Who the hell does this guy think he is?
Me: (Furiously calling him back-but I get the awful lady 😫) Me: “I thought after I confirmed three times, he would just show up. I left a note on the front door for him to just come in. I missed his call but I have been here waiting.”
Know-It-All-Lady: “Yea, no, he’s too busy. If you missed his calls, then we have to reschedule. Where were you anyway?”
Me: (wtf-now who does SHE think she is?) “Where was I? I was home, sitting here waiting, doing nothing. I never do that so I fell asleep.”
Know-It-All-Lady: “You fell Asleep???”
She says it in that shocked, angry, judgmental how-dare-you tone like Rachel says to Ross after she rambles for 18 pages… .Front and back
Now if my husband dozed off on the couch, this would completely accepted and understandable. For a woman to fall asleep-Unheard of. This woman should know how tired women are in general as a species; this is a complete betrayal.
Me: “Well, I think it’s ridiculous that you guys make me wait four days for this appointment. Despite my confirming both calls and wait on my day off on this beautiful Saturday afternoon. His time is too valuable to drive here? I’m sorry my shitty machine isn’t worth his time. I’ll call another company.” She began to talk and hung up on her. (Damn that felt good)
So… I have had a hell of a time finding someone to fix this thing; but I REFUSE to call that company back. I really do not enjoy cleaning my cleaning appliances. 😂 I swallowed my pride, watched some you tube how-to’s DIY fix it videos and did it.
Yea, I fixed it. It cost NOTHING. I’m a bad ass. I’m muthafuckin Charlie Bronson. I’ll tell the old man the guy came out and fixed it. He won’t question a thing. I win, kinda. However if I said I fixed it…you know what will happen. Tons of questions, skepticism and he still won’t admit it. That’s all I really want. So who really wins? 😂
In the end, I know how to fix the washing machine. I know what a water inlet valve is and what a pair of pliers is. I don’t need him to admit it. I’m not even mad anymore. The irrational thoughts have left and I’m left with realizing this was about a stupid, replaceable washing machine. As much as I hate his guts in the moment, I realize now I’m doing the same thing he is doing. Everything I say about him, he could say about me. He handles stuff I don’t think about. I don’t give a shit either. 😂
However,👇🏻Admitting it is sexy, I hope men don’t wait until they are this old to see the truth.
Off topic: See the best of Floyd: I still laugh 18 years later
We had a 13th birthday party for my daughter last week; decided to make it an 8th grade kick off as well. This means we invited the whole class, all genders, hoping the class would possibly get along…together. (This class has not worked since day one.) We also rented a dunk tank assuming this should be a hit; and perhaps they would forget they can’t stand each other😂.
My daughter kept warning me about the boys, she said “Mom, they have no consideration for anyone but themselves.” (Probably repeating what she had heard year after year from the teachers.)
I was getting the yard (arena) ready the night before. I ripped a piece of shipping tape off the side of the pool (kids tried to ghetto-ly hang some rope lights next to the filter. 😂) Suddenly, I feel a sharp, shooting, burning pain on side of my head. I thought for a second I electrocuted myself. Then I see a wasp flying around. I look under pool edge and there is a giant a yellow jacket nest.
I considered spraying it and removing it myself. However, when I googled what to use, it strongly advised not to do this alone. Then found some websites for bee removal services and “Swarm removal.” 😬 (Usually, I would ignorantly underestimate the situation and fearlessly proceed. Then I had a momentary flashback of THE HUNGER GAMES’ tracker jacker scene and….it is 2020.
The hive has probably been there all summer. Adults & kids have been here swimming almost daily; no one saw it or got stung. I email some of these services, receive some prices and then they explain this is a 3 step process that needs to start at dusk .
The party begins in 14 hours, there won’t be time for someone to do all these steps. I hope, pray and assume no one will see the hive. I am then distracted by a past winner, “Haymitch” who graciously drops off a cooler of Gatorade and cookies.
12pm: I notice on my phone the temperature outside is a perfect 84 degrees; I look out the window, not a cloud in the sky. The most perfect day. Despite the temperature on my smart phone, stepping outside is a different story. As I slowly slide the door open, I am hit with a humidity blast that feels like 110 blazing degrees.
I am pouring with sweat setting up the bean bag boxes and volleyball net. I stop to wipe the sweat from my brow that is stinging my eyes. As a stand still, I feel the sun searing through my sun-screened, pale af, freckled, perimenopausal skin.
12:30pm: Most of the “tributes” have arrived. The girls remain on the deck, staring wide-eyed at the boys who are violently shoving each other into the pool and holding each other underwater. The floats are mangled and destroyed within seconds. The girls remain shocked & terrified; unsure if they should enter the pool or get blistered in the sun.
1pm: The dunk tank has been delivered. As I am pulling our hoses to fill the tank, I hear “It’s a Yellowjacket!” “Omg there’s a yellow jacket nest!” “Awesome!!!”
To my horror, all the boys are now surrounding the backside of the pool armed with bean bags, a ball, whiffle bats, and a broom (where the hell did he even find that?) Immediately, I demand they drop their weapons and step away from the hive.
“You guys are going to get stung!“ I exclaim. The boys playfully reply, “No we won’t!” Or “We don’t care!” I try another tactic: “Would you care if I record you and send to your parents?” Most freeze and give that you-wouldn’t-dare-look. I glare back at them👇🏻.
All except one take the bait and retreat. The last is still laughing maniacally as he is shoving the broomstick into the heart of the tracker jackers lair. I remove the broom from the boy, he mopes away with his head down, temporarily defeated.
1:30pm: I witness the girls still standing on the deck with their mouths hanging open. I gently encourage the girls to go in the pool while boys are out. Thankfully, “Peeta” shows up with lunch!
While kids are eating, I hide the “weapons” in the basement. Then I hear a loud, thumping sound. I run outside and see a heckling boy sitting on the dunk tank seat. The boys have already begun throwing balls at the dunk tank target. The Problem is there is only one inch of water in it. I envision a Tom & Jerry episode (pic below).
Before I plummet into debt from a kid requiring extensive dental work or sustaining an injury in the empty tank; I completely over-react with a loud, shrilling, scream. Everyone looks at me, stunned. *Side note: My reaction is amplified due to the dunk tank manual boldly stating SEVERE injury should occur if dunk tank is not full or “damage to the tank will result in responsible parties assuming cost of repair.”😱🙈
2pm: I regained composure and tell the kids how high the water needs to be in the tank before they can use it. I assured them I have three hoses going and it should be full in 20 minutes. This answer pacified them and the boys retreat back into the pool, while sporadically antagonizing the bees. I notice The grass around the pool is flooded (Tick Tock Tidal Wave).
2:14pm “Someone’s been stung!” I hear repeatedly by numerous girls. (Tick Tock Tracker Jackers)
As I am searching for a sting antidote in my closet, I remember something important from my kids toddler years.. At every playdate, it was chaos the first two hours; then magically the kids started to get along. The kids had to get used to and adjust to having another kid around. Epiphany: That is what is happening now! The two hour mark is in 15 minutes!
I walk down the stairs and find the entire floor from the back door to the front is soping wet. I am blindsided with a smell of stove gas & wet dog combined with sewage. My daughter is shaking her head at me. I ask her, “For the love of God, what is that smell?” (Tick Tock: Poisonous gas) My daughters glares at me with contempt, that “mom-you’re-so-dumb” look.
“Mom! I told you this would happen! All the boys smashed into the bathroom and locked the door so we couldn’t use it! They don’t wear deodorant! Then one of them took a big dump!” My daughter exclaims.
For once, the Covid mask comes in handy as I cover my nose & mouth. I locked the front & garage door to prevent numerous, wet entries and dried the floor. I tell my daughter, “They are boys, they never hung out with you guys yet. They just need boundaries and limits; it will be okay. If not, they are leaving in 2 hours and we won’t have to do this again.”
“Two more hours of this!? UGH!” She exclaims and stomps away.
2:30pm Some of other boys have now realized that there are girls present. “Effie” shows up to help me (hallefuckinglujah!). We gather them all together to take a group picture. Immediately following the flash, the boys simultaneously charge at the girls, pushing them into the pool. The girls nervously laugh and Effie and I shrug in unison; “At least they are all in the pool together.”
The dunk tank is full. The girls huddle and watch the boys heckle, whips balls at the bullseye and dunk each other. This contained, organized activity has seemed to spark the interest of all parties. The boys surprisingly organize themselves into a line and take turns throwing and being dunked. I overhear one of the more advanced thinkers of the group (who has sisters 😂), “Aren’t we going to let the girls have a turn?”
With two other moms present to supervise, I take this opportunity to escape. I had some lunch, cooled down in the AC and changed my clothes. The fear-induced “hallucinations” begin to subside and I have an epiphany.
My yard is the “arena” and the arena in a CLOCK! Just like in Catching Fire! It’s just a GAME! Stop giving a fuck and just play the game!!!
3pm: I look outside at the “arena”. I see “Effie” & “Peeta” sitting on lounge chairs with their feet up. To my surprise, some of the kids are either playing bean bags together or making a whirlpool. What…the…
Haymitch shows up holding a 6-pack and provides some useful advice. We enjoy some cold, adult beverages as a team. We effin did it! It WORKED! We won!
I have a sip of the “adult elixir” and experience another revelation… “They are just kids! They are supposed to be assholes! It’s our job to teach them to not be! They do not know how to play the game yet! We have to teach them how to play!”
Peeta organized the bean bag tournament. The kids all sat TOGETHER and watched each other play. I couldn’t believe it. Haymitch periodically would make the kids stop and take cleaning breaks. They listened. It was an effin miracle! (A 2020 miracle …pssshhh. No way.)
The four of us are sitting around talking and laughing. Parents are starting to show up to pick up their kids; grateful for the long break from their kids after a five month quarantine.
My daughter whispers in my ear, “Can you text all the parents now before anyone else comes so everyone can stay later?”
“What!? I thought you couldn’t wait until this was over? Remember you were frustrated there was two hours left?” Stay later?!? She’s hallucinating; musta been stung by a tracker jacker. I still almost fall out of my seat.
Daughter: “Well that was before. It’s been SO fun. I never want it to end. Everyone wants to stay.”
“Yep. And…You. were. right. Mom.”
👆🏻HO.LEE.SHIT. Was not expecting that👆🏻Me, Mom…was…right?. Tears of joy welled in my eyes.
As my 14 loyal fans are aware😜, I am a huge fan of the REAL & RAW AF @markmanson . He posts a free newsletter every Monday. I highly recommend it. How to sign up: https://markmanson.net/newsletter
It’s called MINDFUCK MONDAY. Which I usually read on Tuesday because I’m too tired on Monday to be mindfucked.😂 . Sometimes Mark is way harsh… and I want to crawl back in bed and hide under the covers. 😂 I eventually process and see where I’m wrong…or think more about what he means in ways that make sense in my brain…then move forward.
My kids are at this stage of where explaining to them how to make decisions based on their personal values needs to happen… (yes we should be helping them figure that out- knowing your teens personal values also helps us understand them better.) #homeschoolingrealshit
Perhaps you don’t even know what your personal values are. It’s okay, just figure it out now by using above guide. It helps you understand why certain situations piss you off more than others.
By Teaching yourself, then you can assist the kids; and your spouse😜.
I am sure we are all teaching our kids the COST of their decisions even while toddlers; without even realizing it. Teaching them the consequences of their actions. However, I think with teenagers, we want to teach them the consequences BEFORE they actually make the decision. Then they won’t ponder “what would happen if I did this?” Example: “Will my mom lose her shit if I say this? Let’s try it….”
Teaching our kids the COST: I.E. spending a half hour reading before playing a video game and a half hour exercising may SUCK. However, what you do now sucks and you will spend one less hour with your friends online; but the BENEFIT outweighs the cost. The COMPOUND EFFECT of this sucking over a year equals GREAT, BIG, HUGE results.
Here is an example of Mark Manson link from newsletter:
“For example, let’s pretend there’s some imaginary skill that if you practiced for 30 minutes a day, that you’d get 1% better each day for the next year. Now, let’s say you actually did practice for 30 minutes per day — how much better would you be at the end of the year?
Thinking of my shenanigans as a 13 and 14 year old has resulted in my having some minor panic stricken moments…
Now I am no expert, however I go with my gut with most decisions and in my few stellar parenting moments. Yes I think Mark Manson is brilliant. However, One thing I have that @markmanson doesn’t have is…offspring.
I have experience with my offspring. The vulnerability of loving someone so much that you created and you are 100% responsible for; that is some real, hardcore shit. Parenting ain’t no joke.
Before I had kids, I believed “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.”
Post kids belief, “APPLIED KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.”
I thought and believed a lot of things before I had kids that completely changed once I had kids. My personal values are completely different now than they were 15 years ago. Or having kids strengthens the values you did have or causes you to modify your values.
Example: One thing I hated as a kid and teen and now as an adult is mixed messages. I did always value transparency. “Do what you say, say what you mean.” Clear communication and concise messages makes a difference to me. I’m not into games, assuming, expecting someone to know what I’m thinking.
I hate when people expect me to read their mind. I’m not a fan of those work emails that are vague, and sent as a blanket to the whole department addressing someone’s mistake (usually mine). “Please remember to not have sexual intercourse on your desk.” (That was wrong? Should I not have done that?)😜
Then everyone becomes paranoid, “Did I do that? I didn’t know we couldn’t have sex on our desk?!”
I would prefer my boss to address my screw up personally in 10 words or less; then give me the consequences. It sucks at first but I won’t ever make that mistake again. Then move on. The rules are in the handbook. No need to involve everyone. Sheesh.
I see this a lot with my kids. When I am not being clear or specifically asking them what I want them to do; this results in big arguments. They check out after about 10 words. So I attempt to count the words prior to addressing them.
1.) If 2.) You. 3.) Want 4.) Money 5.) You 6.) Have. 7. ) To 8.) Do 9.) These10.) Chores
As far as letting your kid know the consequences before the decision is made, then there is no assumptions. If we are upfront about our expectations and what the consequences are if they do not follow these expectations; there is less battles in the long run (compound effect).
Example: My son has not given me any indication that he has used alcohol yet or has tried to sneak it. However, the more I learn about alcohol and binge drinking; the more I wonder how me and my friends are alive right now. I think about how lucky we were. Anyone else relate?
Sadly, I know some that were not so lucky.
Anyways, I told my son one day in May this year while we were hanging out watching TV “Oh, by the way, If you or any of your friends drink alcohol anywhere, you will lose your phone for a month and no one will come over for the rest of the summer.”
His eyes bulged out of his head and replies softly, “We won’t. I won’t.”
Clear concise consequences stated before the decision. There is no “I didn’t know.”
Now I am aware of the other loopholes that I would have also used with my parents, “You said alcohol! You didn’t say anything about weed or his moms prescription Xanax.”
That is where going with your gut and personal values comes in. Does it feel wrong? Then it probably is.
Last summer, we both told our kids that if they are in a situation that feels wrong; call us and we will pick them up…no questions asked. If they want to talk about it, they can, when they are ready. Also, they also won’t be in trouble for telling the truth.
It was premature to tell them last summer, but I think the shock value of this statement stuck with them so early. Like “what situation could I possibly be in that I would have to call you to pick me up?”
This year, my kids have been in situations that seemed like they are no big deal to me (their friend said or did something they didn’t like or felt wrong) and they came home early or asked us to pick them up. To them, it is ALL a big deal.
I hate FaceTime but I would prefer my kids do that with friends instead of texting. Texting is helpful sometimes, however so much can be misconstrued via text. I tell my kids “have conversations with your friends” and “don’t put anything in writing or post anything you wouldn’t want their mom to read.” Once it’s out there in the “cloud”, it can always be discoverable.
Dealing with peer pressure is difficult, even as an adult. When you do stand up for what you believe or stick with your decision; it stings like a mfer when your “friends” provide you with their consequences for your decision.
Teaching your kids/teens the crabs in a bucket metaphor helps them have a visual. The metaphor of someone pulling you back down “stay here and be miserable with me.” It tough time find a video of crabs in action so I edited one I found from you tube. https://youtu.be/UJdtaaDOkEo
Lastly, my last two parenting tips for yourself and your kids in “five words or less.” #parentyourself
“Nothing good happens after 2am.”
Even if your kids aren’t going to late night bars such as Brewbakers or Grouchos; 😜 staying up at home watching TV or playing video games past 2am is usually not wise. This is where your friends get overtired and start saying stupid shit to stay awake or act out such as kick you out of “video game party” (whatever the hell this is).
How this leads to bad habits as adults=After 2am bad decisions. This is where those last two dranks throw you over the edge; leading to a massive hangover or blackout. Past 2am is where you have beer goggles and hook up with someone that’s a “full-on Monet”…(see below) you wouldn’t have looked at before midnight.
It’s the First time BOTH of my kids have had projects at the same time.
(Be sure to check out hilarious science fair pics)
I hear myself sounding just like my mother and as much as I hated what she told me … she was right.
I was so rotten as a teenager.
But I guess that was my job.
Maybe that’s the point of having kids. To learn how much of an asshole you were and truly appreciate your own parents.
The other day, I said to my son
“I didn’t have kids to have them stare at a screen like a zombie all evening.”
His reply, “Then what did you have kids for?”.
That’s a good question.
I actually didn’t have an answer ….
I always said I DIDN’T want kids.
I was the oldest and I had to change three of my siblings diapers and feed them.
I remember cleaning poop from under my brothers balls and thinking “The hell with this.”😂
As teenagers, I remembered how atrocious my siblings and I were to my mother.
I never understood why my mom wouldn’t just go to bed when I was out 😂🙈😜
Now I pick my kids up bitching and whining at 9:30pm because I want to go to bed.
I never wanted to deal with that.
I wanted to avoid that struggle and stress; Just completely bypass that journey.
Then I fell for how adorable pregnant bellies are, how good babies smell & how cute and funny kids are when they are little. I got suckered into it.😂😜
My maternal instinct kicked in I suppose.
My heart wanted something despite what my brain said.
But still…What did I have kids for?
After I drive back and forth on 127th street twelve times in a day with school, practices, games while juggling work, laundry, appointments, and making dinner; I think of Henry Hill and the last half hour of Good Fellas.
While he is driving around, the helicopter is following him yet he attempts to go about his overbooked day…paranoid.
•Henry: 6:55am Doing a line of Coke
(Me: 5:55am – Energize drank🤪)
•7:30am Henry: Attempt to drop off guns to Jimmy (Me: Attempt to drive kids to school as fast as I can while kids fight)
•Henry: Get screamed at by Jimmy that guns are wrong and the drugs are turning his brain into mush
(Me: Kids bitch the whole way to school that they are always late because of me.)
•Henry: Dropping off guns in a paper bag
(Me: Finally Dropping kids off at school with lunches. Kids bitch about what’s in their lunch)
•Henry: Pick his brother up from hospital
(Me: Pick up medications from CVS)
•Henry: Braise veal, pork shanks and sausage for tomato sauce and while also getting some other great ideas for an appetizer
(Me: Scrolling on Pinterest for something to make for dinner and then end up giving up and default to spaghetti and frozen meatballs)
•Henry: Pick up a morose Karen
(Me: Pick up annoyed kids from school)
•Henry: Ditch the guns at his mother-in laws
(Me:Drop one kid at practice)
•Henry: Go pick up Drugs for Pittsburg deal
(Me: Pick up one kid from practice, drop one at a game early, go back home to drop other one off to finish homework, go back to other kids game -now late)
•Henry: Go to his side chic’s house to have her cut the drugs while she berates him; he eventually escapes cackling and she whips a cup of coke at him.
(Me: Make my kids do science projects and get the shit off dining room table while they bitch the whole time that they have to do this project. Get this project out of my life!!!)
•Finally eating dinner
••Like me, Henry did Not anticipate any setbacks like:
•Henry: The guns will be wrong and he has to figure out how to get money back.
(Me: Return some gifts the kids said they wanted for Christmas; but changed their mind- if I don’t do it today within the 30 day mark I will have to accept store credit🤬)
•Henry: Argue with his wife, Schmooze side chic to get drugs, and debate with his drug mule
(Me: Debate with old man about who drives where and why he thinks he can sit on the couch while discussing this.;)
•Henry: Give instructions to his old babysitter now drug mule only for her to ignore what he said, do exactly what he said not to and also forget her hat
(Me: Tell kids how to do science fair poster measurements, they say they understand, get annoyed with me and then they do exactly what I said not to do, all crooked- plus forgot science book)
•Henry: Almost getting into a car accident While looking at helicopter
(Me: Trying to find the away game location, not looking in front of me and almost back ending someone)
•Henry: When picking up his brother from hospital, the doctor made him sit down for an evaluation because he was so stressed out. (Me: Sitting at game with massive RBF, other parents who got it together ask me if I’m ok.)
Then all that shit doesn’t matter suddenly because the Cops arrive as Henry is about to leave to get his old babysitter’s hat. All the craziness Henry Is doing, doing, doing, STOPS. All that business aka BUSY-ness stops. There’s a GUN to his head. He HAS to stop!
Me: In an attempt to maximize some time, I think it’s a good idea to put two boxes of Christmas decorations away in the shed while kids doing project. It’s dark out and I trip on a frozen hose (that’s been left out since summer🙈) and completely wipe out on my right side smashing into the frozen brick-like ground. I’m tangled in the hose as if a boa constrictor is wrapped around my legs. I can barely get up my right arm hurts so much.
I’m laying on the cold, hard ground, wailing in pain, furious with myself exclaiming “everything sucks!”.
I manage to roll onto my back – still entangled in the stiff, frozen snake-hose. I continue to sob feeling sorry for myself as the pain slowly subsides.
I stare up at the lightly snowing sky.
I stop crying.
It’s so quiet and peaceful. I laid there for what seemed forever but it was probably two minutes. Had an Epiphany:
Who cares when I get all this done? What am I in such a hurry for?
I surrender. I raise the white flag.
I walk back into the house using only my left arm, laughing at myself thinking of Molly Shannon walking without using her arms. None of this matters. Now I can’t use my right arm so I’m forced to stop.
I sit down with the kids at the table. I let them ask me questions.
I let them TELL ME how they are going to do their project. I STAY QUIET. I let them tell me what they learned. I’m actually learning something new as well. I laugh at some of the pictures they found.
Instead of “getting it done” I realize I can enjoy the process of getting it done. I need to stop and BE where my kids currently are.
They just need me there for reassurance. They want to make sure they are doing it right. They need me to be PRESENT… KINDA like a mama bird does before she kicks them out of the nest…
I never thought I would miss them being toddlers and I totally do now… My heart hurts when I see pictures or videos of them when they are little. I stare at my toddler nephews in awe and amazement.
I suppose I will miss being an unpaid Uber driver, them saying mom 749 times a day and all this schedule craziness as well someday.
Just as Henry is alive and free, he is bored as hell and “there’s no action.” He misses “The Life”. I suppose I will too. However, I refuse to be bored…I plan on binge/watching all the shows I don’t have time for now😜
The last few weeks of April are hell for Justin Timberlake. All the memes and jokes flood social media stating that “It’s gonna be May”. (If you’re not familiar with why he hates May-here…
In a *NSYNC song, “It’s gonna be Me”, JT says the word ME in a strange way that sounds like MAY. Despite JT putting himself out there thousands of times and killing it, this one cringey flub consumes all of his massive success and talent every year during the month of May…👈🏻 Here he is, as an adult having to do it…again.
I dread May as JT does, however I have no famous memes to remind me, until it is already here, and then I remember. The end-of-the-year-last-minute chaos with all the school functions smashed into four weeks. When all the sports overlap, the parties and the calendar resembles a Tetris game. This game of a calendar is perfectly “NSYNC” 😉 to remind me on the hour that:
I. AM. A. Fucking. Mess.
Every year it gets worse because the kids become wiser, smarter and catch on to how inadequate at this I really am. They remind me every 6 minutes of something I did not do or they need (Mom, you forgot to give me money for this.) Along with, Can we go here? Can we get this? Can we invite this person over on Friday? (It’s Monday). Following the question drill, I continuously put it back on them. Did do you do your homework? Did you study? Did you brush your teeth? Do you have practice? Do you have a game? Did you wipe your ass?
Kid: “Mom, I asked you to make me something to eat.”
Me: “Yes and I replied …Can’t you make something yourself?”
Kid: “We have no food.”
Me: “Yes we do.”
Kid: “Like what?”
Me: (Grrrrr) Pizza, chicken strips, PBJ, We have Lunchmeat, make a sandwich. Carrots and hummus, chips and guac, apple or banana with peanut butter, string cheese.”
Kid: “I have that everyday, I had that for lunch.”
Me: “I don’t know what to tell ya, figure it out.”
Kid: “You don’t even care.”
Me: (Blood pressure rising) “This isn’t a restaurant. You eat what we have in the house.”
Kid: “Can I have some money then?”
Me: (biting lip/clenching fists) “For what?”
“Kid: “To ride my bike to Subway?”
Me: “Ummmm, NO. I just named like 10 things we have in the house.”
Kid: “Yea, but I don’t want that.”
Me: “If you don’t “want that” use your own money and go to Subway.”
Kid: “NO! I don’t want to waste my money on that! You’re supposed to feed me.”
Me: (Face getting red) Please leave the room. This discussion is over.”
Kid: “Thanks a lot! You don’t even feed me!”
I am sure we all remember the day when we first realized our mom’s flaws and she really doesn’t know what the fuck she is doing. I remember that day, when I first “saw” my mom without the rose-colored glasses. We all remember when our mom says stuff that makes us cringe. When you realize that she is funny-looking when she is angry and you want to laugh because she looks funny, but you know she’s angry…that realization.
I noticed my mom’s humanness in about 6th grade (same as my daughter, awesome, good times.) I was at school wearing my brown “weskit” uniform vest when I discovered my little brother’s brown socks were static-clung to the inside of my vest. Later on that day, my mom brought my lunch to school for the 45th time that year and finally my classmate asked me, “how come your mom always brings your lunch to school late?” I never even considered this as weird until someone pointed it out. Then the little realities continued to trickle in and I gradually realized my parents were frauds.
I remembered this “weskit” incident this past Tuesday when I didn’t check the hot lunch schedule and realized that morning my kids did not have lunches; AND we had zero food for them to make their own lunch. They outlandishly claim they told me the night before.
I went to the doctor straight after drop off in the clothes I slept in to get urgent meds for a UTI. I then dragged myself to target to get food, threw it in their lunch boxes and hobbled to the school entrance. Usually when I have had to do this countless times over the years, I am buzzed right in. Not Today.
This time, when I rang the bell, the woman at the front desk said over the intercom outside, “Can I help you?” She didn’t even recognize me! I assume she thought I was some homeless lunatic; not that I blame her. She even asked me my last name and kids names. Huh? Doncha know may?
This incident triggered the downward spiral of me screwing up over and over every few minutes: at work, at home, at school, with my kids, with my friends, and with my family. It was as if I turned into Mr. Bean overnight, again! Everything I touched, said or did turned to shit. #theshittouch
Which you know how that goes; the more you think about it, the more it happens. I could not snap out of it.
Today was exceptionally brutal and I could not even consider anything I usually do to end this tailspin of humiliation.I wanted to blame someone for the self-created web of hell I got myself into. I woke up late, I made about 700 mistakes before noon, was tardy for every patient appointment (I mean how can every ramp be closed at once on 90/94?) and all I could think about was crawling back into bed and hiding under the covers.
This fantasy was interrupted when my daughter called because I did not pick them up from school. I knew I wouldn’t be able to, BUT I forgot to arrange a ride. Then I receive a text about something I volunteered for at school which I had no recollection of until that moment. For the love of God! Please leave MAY alone!
I sheepishly go see another patient, (husband and wife married 60 years, who primarily speak Ukranian and Russian; they insist on not using a translator. They say “We want to try to speak to you in your language.”)I was ready to thank them for their patience with my inadequacy. Instead, I am greeted with a hug and exclaimed, “We are so glad to see you!”
(I turn around thinking there was someone else behind me.)
They continue, “We are very happy! This is a big day in our country!”
They both describe why they are so happy, adorably, in their accents and broken English about Victory Day. I am ashamed to admit that I did not know what they were referring to.
Wife: “In your country, May 8th, 1945, the war over. On May 9th, 1945.. the war over in my country. I remember I was so happy. It was so long. I was four years old when war started, my parents tell me we must move to Siberia. It was so cold there. Me, my brothers and sisters would lay down on the floor with head in knees, so scared, hearing planes. My mother would hide bread high up so we not find it and give us a tiny piece once a day. We so hungry, we beg my mom everyday for more. We were so cold. We were so scared.” Tears glaze over her eyes, her husband holds her arm. My eyes well up now. “My husband, he had to go to Siberia too and wait for war to be over, not us together (she laughs nervously), but he had to do same.”
Wife: “So every year, this day, we are very happy. We thanks God. We hear on the radio, war over, my mother, my father, my brothers, sisters, we hug, we cry, we thanks God. We can go home. We remember everyone who die.” She holds her hand to her chest, does sign of the cross and looks up.
Husband: “Excuse me. We want you to have this. We are happy you and your family do not have to have war. Please. Take. We happy today.” (He says excuse me before he says anything in english, it’s so cute!)
Culturally, it is very rude not to accept gifts in their country and they insist on giving me European chocolate after each visit. Today was, well, above and beyond. I imagine if I refuse to take it, he may react the same way the Ukrainian man in the Seinfeld episode reacts to the game of risk when Kramer refers to the Ukraine as “weak”.
This Seinfeld clip of the Ukraine makes me laugh, finally. I walk to my car holding candy, feeling humble, grateful, tearful and smiling. That visit knocked me right out of my tailspin. I thought about her mother, in fucking Siberia (for real) for three years! I thought about her trying to keep her family alive and having to give her kids a quarter slice of bread per day. I thought about the guilt she felt when her children complained of being terrified, hungry, bored, and cold every day for three years. Now that is some real motherhood struggles right there. I feel foolish now for even being stressed. None of it matters.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.
Working my ASS off at the gym and consuming the American“healthy diet” yet staying the same. “The Same” meaning the scale not moving, uncomfortable, body aches, joint pain, tired all the time, irritable, living on caffeine, not sleeping, overthinking, headaches, worrying, and burnt out.
For 20 years I kept trying to figure it out myself. Trial and error…over and over. Trying something else, buying a new product, doing a new fad, not eating carbs, signing up for new place, researching for answers…. When it didn’t work again, I would get discouraged, and want to give up. I was tired of failing, going back to my old ways, saying it’s too hard, complaining, assuming I can’t afford anything that works, using genetics as an excuse.🙈
I was sick of accepting “being fine” but driven because I was sick of feeling like crap.
I wasted so much time, money, energy instead of stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something I never did.
I can’t change the past, BUT I CAN change my future.
The day I turned 40, my mom had a stroke (literally she had a stroke the night of my birthday wtf) at the age of 59! FIFTY-NINE! I remember thinking FFFFUUUUCCCCKKKKKK THIS.
It wasn’t just a wake up call for her …but for me as well.
I had to admit that I did not know everything and obviously what I’m doing is NOT WORKING. My continuing to try to “figure it out” kept me stuck. My trying to “feel prepared” and “feel motivated” kept me in a never ending cycle; the knowledge-action gap.
Instead of doing what I have always done, I did something I never did…
I let go of fear, judgement, control and got out of my own way.
Instead of making excuses, reasons and justifications if why it won’t work, why “I can’t” ...I JUMPED.
I don’t know why, but you have to say YES and JUMP for it to work. I suppose that is what is meant by taking a A LEAP of Faith…
Once you JUMP, you DON’T HAVE A CHOICE but to make it happen! I finally understood what was meant by “burning the bridge” or “burning the boats”. Once you are there, you burn your way back; hence having no choice but to figure out the new situation and deal with it.
Excuse #1: “I can’t afford it.” Solution: I started by picking up an extra shift a week. Since I did not want to work more-or on weekends-but I also didn’t want to stay STUCK…it forced me to:
Stop procrastinating about doing things I needed to do!
Excuse #2 “I dont have time.” Put the work in for the things that could save time in the long run.
You discover where money every disappears every month; those damn monthly subscriptions for “only $7.99 a month” adds up.(I can’t remember all if them but they were those tedious tasks that you just have to do! (Such as making the phone call to AT&T wireless and tell them I am going to cancel because bill is too high and magically they cut the bill in half. We just have to suck it up, sit on hold and DO IT.
(Dance while you are on hold:)
Time & Money Suckers:
💸I temporarily gave up social media, Facebook, & watching the news- I deleted the apps from my phone 💸
💸I canceled my cable (we had tons of channels but all we watch is Netflix, amazon prime and ESPN)💸
💸I made the call and got Netflix covered by T-mobile 💸
💸I set up the app on my phone from the library to get FREE audiobooks, FREE kindle books instead of buying books💸 (App is called Libby)
💸I would take out audiobooks, books, CDS and movies from the library instead of buying music and on demand movies💸
💸I started meal prepping for the week on a day off or evening instead of buying breakfast, snacks, lunch & dinner at work which were totaling $8-$12 a day💸
💸I stopped buying coffee in the morning from Starbucks or Dunkin💸
💸I stopped going out to eat and getting fast food -I told my kids once a week on fridays, IF they were good all week (Usually they were not-cha ching)😂
💸I started going to Aldi first before Mariano’s/Jewel/Trader joes and spent a little extra time grocery shopping, looking at sale papers, making lists (I did this at work when I had downtime)- then taking pic of list so I don’t forget it at home 😂
💸I canceled my gym membership at LA fitness $37 a month & charter fitness $10 =$47 a month and did DVDS at home (and now Beachbody on demand $8 a month) 💸
💸I bought weights at five below instead of target or Dicks 💸
💸I canceled iTunes monthly💸
💸I canceled satellite radio and did free podcasts💸
💸Linked my citi card to amazon so my points could be used for amazon purchases 💸
Then I had the money to make the change I needed.💰
Eventually, this lead to figuring out how valuable my time is …
Any complaint you have, pay attention to the reason you use to justify it. There is your EXCUSE.
Whatever your reason is, that is your excuse.
P.S. I love House of Pain’s Jump Around song and I go nuts whenever it comes on…HOWEVER who wants to be a one hit wonder…When you can Be.A.Legend👇🏻like this guy. #vanhalen #davidleeroth
The self-doubt is always there, but my WHY keeps me from listening most of the time.
However, yesterday was one of those days where I was “in my head” and unable to ignore that innate critic that lives in my brain.
The inner voice was louder than usual,
“You should quit”
“No one cares”
“Who are you to think you can make a difference”
“I can’t do it all”
“I can’t work, take care of myself and be a good mom.”
“I should give up”
“That’s a stupid idea.”
“That’s not going to work”
“you will never afford that”
“Maybe I am doing too much”
“You aren’t good enough yet”
“Maybe I should wait until I’m better”.
Which all equals, I SUCK.
I caught myself all slumped over at my desk working, dejected with a pathetic self-pitying expression on my face.
I moped to my mailbox expecting more “stuff I gotta take care of” (wah wah). Perhaps another red light violation ticket from Crestwood Police Department for turning right on a red light. Instead, I received a letter from a friend from high school, (how exciting right!? Real mail not just bills!) who was one of my Beachbody customers, previous challenge group winners and my first Rodan and Fields customer. These two journals (pictured) were inside.
When I thanked her, this badass replied that when she saw them, she thought of ME! Then she actually took action on her thought and actually followed through and mailed them to me! (How many times do we think of doing something and then hesitate or don’t take the time to do it?)
I was shocked she thought of ME? I’m nobody, I’m just another girl from the Southside of Chicago.
In reality, ME = YOU and we are all equal. We are all doing the best that we can with what we know and what we have. WE are like every other woman in this world. We possess something incredible to offer to the world, each other and our families. When we all support each other=everybody wins.
To me, this tiny, unexpected gift is a value of an entire years income in terms of fulfillment. Incredible moments and words like this make this roller coaster all worth it.
This was a priceless reminder that:
Success is not about your circumstances, it’s about who you’re being. Jen Sincero -author of You are a Bad Ass
It is a reminder about who I am being and what I stand for. I stand for empowering women to empower themselves, recognize their worth, their power, find their strength, and I live that congruently everyday. I stand for men who respect women, our power, and our strength. I stand for men who can embrace what we bring to the tablewhich may not always mean an equal paycheck.
I stand for women to be able to look in the mirror and feel good about themselves without waiting for someone to compliment them for it to mean anything. I stand for women to take action on what they want for themselves without guilt or asking permission. I stand for women taking the initiative to do something for themselves without waiting or being dependent on anyone else. I stand for inner power, confidence and teams/groups to empower support and success.
I stand for dedication, consistency, hard work, and commitment which equals results. What do you stand for?
Remember that story about the guy trapped in a flood on his rooftop and he begs God to save him? First a man in a rowboat shows up and shouts “Jump in, I can save you!” The says “No, its okay, I am waiting for God to save me.”
Then a guy in a motorboat (that motorboatin sonofabitch) shows up and says “Jump in, I can save you…”
The guy declines again and says “NO, its okay, I am waiting for God to save me.”
Lastly, a guy in a helicopter shows up. The guy on the rooftop remained stuck in his faith, beliefs and expectations; gracefully refuses. He answers “I am waiting for God to save me”.
Alas, the guy drowns. When he arrives in heaven, he angrily exclaims to God, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, YOU let me drown! I don’t understand WHY!
God replied. “I sent you a rowboat, a motorboat (built for speed and comfort), and a helicopter. What more did you expect? God shakes his head and walks away whispering “dumbass” under his breath…
What did the guy expect? God himself to show up? He’s a busy guy. He sent his peeps to do his work. This guy clung on to his EXPECTATIONS instead of saying YES to opportunity.
Once you begin to look at everything as an opportunity, things in your life can begin to change; if you are smart enough to say yes. An opportunity could be a friend inviting you to lunch or to go out, an acquaintance asking you to come to a conference, a free seminar, or an exercise class. What happens is we hesitate; we start thinking. (#melrobbins) We start finding reasons why we shouldn’t or finding excuses to stay stuck. To stay SAFE.
Our brains are designed to keep us safe so if there is any kind of perceived risk, our brains respond to it. Our brains cannot decipher the risk, it can only respond to how we react. Our brains functioned exceptionally when we were non-verbal Neanderthal’s whose only existence was to procreate, hunt, gather and survive. The human brain’s “safe mode” allowed people to survive epidemics, wars, the holocaust, and countless other tragedies.
If you are fortunate to have your basic needs met (oxygen, water, food, shelter, adequate clothing, electricity, heat, running water, WIFI, a smart phone etc.) and you are physically safe; the brain prefers you stay that way. When you step out of your “comfort zone”, the brain reacts to protect you; this is what causes you to hesitate.
Stepping out of your comfort zone could mean waking up a half hour earlier to jump start your day, not hitting the snooze button, doing an exercise you have never done, eating foods you have never tried, being real, being honest, not pretending, not reacting to the guilt trip your kids are trying to manipulate you with, speaking up in a meeting, standing up for someone, taking action in a situation that feels wrong, helping someone, putting yourself out there, doing something you have never done, physically taking action on something you want to change.
In reference to Theodore Roosevelt’s speech, The Man in the Arena…All of the above are examples “BEING in the arena.” (Debating with someone on social media about politics does not count-having social media balls is called sitting in the stands of the arena.:)
When you want something, you think about it, you speak about it, the universe responds. The universe has your back. It starts to work to bring you what you want. Unfortunately, many of us believe it should be “exactly” how we imagined or expected. However, we may not be ready for what we want and the next step in the journey shows up. Ever hear TRUST THE PROCESS?
If you keep talking about why you keep dating losers, how shitty your job is, how useless your significant other is or how broke you are; the universe will keep bringing you that as well.
An example could be when you are stuck in a rut, you believe your life is a mess, you have mountains of laundry, you look awful blah blah blah and a friend texts you to go to free class or meet for coffee or a drink. This is where you SAY YES.
When you want financial freedom, you may hope or expect to receive an inheritance, settlement or win the lottery; yet stay at a job you are miserable at. This expectation may enable you to not look for other options, ignore an idea you have, get a side hustle or even turn down a different job offer. It could even be a friend inviting you to a presentation or conference that could inspire or empower you. Instead you SAY YES to what has presented itself to you.
When you want to lose weight, have more energy or feel better, you may expect some kind of quick fix, magic pill or a surgery to do the work for you. Instead the universe may send you a friend inviting you to go a free exercise class, a stranger asking you to join an fitness/accountability group or you ignore the inner voice telling you to make that doctor appointment. You may do what you have always done and say no because you “don’t have the money, don’t have the time.” SAY YES.
You may long to be in a loving, fun and fulfilling relationship and you have expectations, opinions and false premises of what you think this is “supposed to feel like” and what this person is “supposed” to look like. The scenarios are endless with this one. The universe knows where you are at and is sending you individuals or situations to prepare you for what you do want. SAY YES.
Take Risks. Let go of Expectations. Don’t be a dumb ass. If you are, learn from it. Find the message in the mess.
The First rule about fight club is that we should talk about fight club.
We should talk about the constant fight for women to do it all. We are supposed to be business women, short order cooks, waitresses, housekeepers, unpaid Uber drivers and oh yea, moms.
What I envision when someone says “Business Woman” is Sigourney Weaver in Working Girl.
1. Power suit with huge shoulder pads
2. Big office with name& Big TITLE on the door
3. Briefcase & Business cards
4. Stiletto heels
5. Big coffee
This vision seemed to be the only kind of women who could support a family on their own.
Have you ever tried to cook dinner in a dress, blazer or pantyhouse? Total fire hazard.
I could never imagine myself in this role, nor did I ever want to be. Plus I like to be comfortable in my clothes. I thoroughly enjoyed being a worker bee and a mom. I tolerated some humiliating treatment in the past because I thought that’s “just the way it is” and some things “will never change”.
When my kids both were in school full day, the “mom-brain fog” seemed to lift and I was able to think about myself again. I got my health and nutrition back in order and found personal development.
It began with podcasts by Chalene Johnson. I noticed that my day went so much better when I would listen to her podcasts before work. I felt more empowered all day and I finally believed that I did not have to tolerate anything I did not want to.
These podcasts brought me to the realization that after working at the same job for 12 years; I was bored. I was unchallenged, frustrated, fed up with coworker-scheduling dynamics and micromanagement. In my heart, I knew I was meant for more. I was also tired of working evenings, weekends and holidays.
I was ready for the next step…BOSS.
That is what “moving up” means, right?
You become what you think about.￼
So, I made Pinterest Boards entitled “CEO” “Like a Boss” & “Boss Bitch”. I began actively looking for clinical supervisors and managerial positions.
An opportunity presented itself ￼and I was offered a Clinical Director position.
I enjoyed giving my two weeks notice to my manager and advising him that I would be leaving to be a DIRECTOR of a department (a title higher than his). I fantasized about this moment for months and his uneventful reaction solidified that I made the right decision to leave. (However I was disappointed he did not beg me to stay, counter with a pay increase etc.)
If you could fight anyone who would you fight?”
“I am the Director of this department” was broadcasted by me as many times as possible throughout the day. I relished in watching people’s facial expressions change or check their tone when speaking to me.
I am IMPORTANT.
I am POWERFUL.
I thrived on getting up early, working out, sending emails, checking the status of “MY” department.
I owned it.
I rocked boots and $12.99 dresses from ROSS (I know-I am so fancy).
I listened to audio books on my commute. I was UNSTOPPABLE. This is what I wanted! I made it happen! I am killing it. I am making more Money and MONEY IS POWER!
After one month, I was hysterically sobbing after working late…again… and receiving a humiliating phone call with the CEO on my “day off”. My brothers wedding was that night and I didn’t want to go. I went with puffy eyes.
After two months, I was miserable all the time .
I was so confused. After all, this is what I wanted?
Why am I so unhappy? I assumed it was the growing pains of change. I missed the connections and laughing with my coworkers.
I was lonely.
However, I told myself every morning
“It’s lonely at the TOP” and I persevered.
I focused on what I COULD do. I created a cohesive, unstoppable team like a tribe! I worked on empowering my team members. I devoted time cultivating relationships with my staff and knowing them personally. I got in the arena with them and did the work. I became the manager I always wanted: Someone who has got your back!
I EARNED the title I had and proved to my team that I am their fearless leader.
That did not matter to management though. Now I understood my previous boss a lot better.
Now I was miserable…empty, exhausted, and depressed.
Yes I made a lot more money “per year”. However, In reality, I was putting in 55-60 hours a week at work and spending 3-5 hours in my car commuting.
How much more money was I really making?
Also, I noticed I never felt free. I finally was “off” on weekends with paid holidays; but I was never truly off.
I had no clue what was going on with my kids. I was missing the kids games and planned dinners with my family and friends. I was passing out in my work clothes next to my kids because I missed them so much. I was not sleeping well. I was getting massive carpal tunnel in my hands from holding the steering wheel so many hours and from typing, writing, and holding the phone.
The coworker “drama” I used to deal with became silly and comical; like a family argument that you look back on and laugh about. The coworker drama I was exposed to now was some serious shit and I was the one who was supposed to handle it!
So what did I do? What does every girl do when they feel empty? I shopped. I bought more stuff. I justified to myself that I, I need to look good: I AM THE BOSS. If I look good, I feel good. I worked harder and got deeper into the trenches of my arena.
I refused to give up.
I noticed at my kids games that I did make, I had to answer the phone and be available. I was preoccupied with how my department was doing.
My kids were not doing well at school.
I actually craved punching in and working a weekend shift like I used to. I missed working my ass off and then leaving for the day, completely free.
I believed I was being immature and this is what being a “Business Woman” is all about.
I have to tough it out. I have to keep fighting.
Then one day a friend said to me, “You never smile anymore.”
I started to cry. It was the painful truth I was avoiding. I was no longer myself. I realized my kids looked sad and stopped asking me to do things with them “because you always have to work.” Then I noticed that I stopped giving a fuck…about anything…
“Worker bees can leave. Even Drones can fly away. The Queen is their slave.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club.
One night another friend said to me, “Your kids need you.” The guilt, pain and loneliness was unbearable.
After a chain of extremely stressful events that left me feeling lost and sitting in the parking lot, crying by my car; I had a moment of clarity.
What I wanted to be is the BOSS…OF MY LIFE…
I knew in the gut that this job was not the answer. I didn’t call my husband. I didn’t ask anyone for advice. I didn’t ask for permission.￼ I trusted myself.￼ No excuses.
Thankfully I kept a plan B, I stayed on as registry at another hospital. My supervisor there said he could guarantee me at least 20 hours a week. ￼
I walked in and resigned from my “BOSS” job.
I felt like a failure. I felt like a quitter. Yet I knew I made the right decision. It was a terrifying ambivalence.
It felt like I put my heart and soul into building and decorating a house and establishing relationships with a family; only to hand it to someone else. -Quillan Kelly-Dunn
Then I randomly found some podcasts by Marie Forleo who described failing as a “WIN” because at least the risk was taken and there wouldn’t be that “what if”.
By taking a risk, you found what didn’t work. At least you know now what you don’t want. -Marie Forleo
Not gonna lie, things were rough in my marriage for two months, but I appreciated my kids and every moment I had with them more than I ever did in my life. That was PRICELESS.
I enjoyed going to their games, being present, making dinner and punching in and out. I enjoyed the “freedom” of being a worker bee.
My husband eventually realized how stressful it was without me being home and how much time and money we were spending on gas, tolls, and trying to figure out childcare. I was smiling again without the stress of what to wear, what to eat and was able to sleep.
I assumed the full-time career I longed for did not exist; however, I wrote it down anyways.
I surrendered by trusting the universe and having faith. I let go of worrying about how my resume looked. I let the chips fall where they may. I gave up the illusion of control.
Things became desperate financially. Out of this desperation, I accepted the first job offered to me. It was less money, temporary, and not that great of benefits. ￼It turned out to be an amazing fit for me that utilized all my strengths. I found my passion, my drive, my balance and my purpose again.
It turned out to be a job I had never done before in the field and working from home. I spent less money on clothes, food, gas, childcare, & commuting. I was free to drop off and pick up my kids every day from school. It also turned out to be exactly what I had written down:
I wrote down: “a job where I could balance between my family and career while maintaining myself, my sanity, my integrity, and be in charge of my own schedule.”￼￼
“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club.
I was looking to feel important, powerful, unstoppable, assertive, ballsy, fearless, empowered, driven and fulfilled. I was looking for a job to make me feel that way.
What I truly wanted was to feel in charge of my life=a title does not equal that.
I am without a full time job again today 1/23/28(my company closed 1/12/18). I am writing this in my yoga pants, with messy hair/no make up on; yet I feel more important than ever.
I feel in control and more powerful than I ever have.
I feel like a business woman.
I can give myself whatevertitle I want.
My office is anywhere I want it to be.
I can wear yoga pants or a Ross dress if I want. I’m ready to FIGHT.
“What you see at fight club is a generation of men raised by women.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
After all, you do not have to “get ready” to fight if you are already wearing yoga pants.
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.