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. 🇺🇸 ❤️ 💙 🤍
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.
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.
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.
I was home (in between jobs 😜)from January 12th-March 6th. Sounds awesome right? However about after a month and not having money (because not working kinda limits all the “fun things” and “projects” you want to do while off.)
I have found it doesn’t take much to throw off your momentum and routine. I believe sick kids is literally the #1 routine- sabotager for moms. Somehow shit is everywhere, you are trapped at home and eventually you have to give in at some point.
Just throw in the towel and watch movies with your sick child who requires hourly snacks and drinks. (Ironically they never eat this much when they are well.) Then of course, mom succumbs to the illness, further jacking up the routine for another week or two.
Then the “getting back on track” phase begins, where you want to jump back into action, however you have mountains of crap to catch up on and clean because the sick child’s stuff is all over. Finally after about three days, you are ready to get back to your “routine”.
My “routine”…After I get the kids to school and calm down from the morning rage of screaming at each other to get going; I do the morning dishes. I wipe the counter and table, which leads to scrubbing the stove, and then washing floor in the kitchen. Let’s be real, cooking real dinners are messy AF and since I was “off”, making real dinners, not chicken nuggets or pizza, was expected. Reasoning: I am off work, I should be able to start dinner. Hence, “Should.”
I am an unintentional slob while cooking. I leave cabinets open, I always over boil pasta and get the filmy stain on the stove. Most of the stuff I chop ends up on the floor, and I have like 15 different seasonings and ingredients on the counter. I’m like an OCD person’s worst nightmare.
I move on to the laundry and find myself frustrated about the baskets of unmatching socks mixed with items the kids barely wore and putting it in the wash. I sit on the floor attempting to match my daughters 17 pairs of socks in various colors, that are “almost the same” color but not quite. I cuss and then realize I also have many different colored socks that require matching and curse myself for being me. When I start becoming euphoric when I find a sock match, I know it’s time for me to get a life and do something else. I stand up feeling old AF because my hips and knees ache from siting like that so long.
I decide to take a break from the maddening sock-matching battle, get out of the house and take an exercise class. When I arrive home, I’m starving and thirsty so then I ponder about what to make that is the least messy to clean up. While I’m thinking, I mindlessly eat some donkey chips or nuts. Once I make something, I clean up again, try to figure out what to make for dinner and I’m now exhausted.
I aim to take a “meditation nap” while listening to headphones by 1pm before I shower and pick the kids up. I wake up to my alarm at 2:00pm and check my texts, somehow I’m on some article on Social media and 30 minutes goes by. Son of a… so no shower…again.
I’m getting headaches frequently, probably from dehydration because I keep forgetting to drink water. None of my clothes fit except yoga pants. I have no energy to walk in addition to my workouts. I am barely hitting 5000 steps on my Fitbit. I have forgotten two appointments and like 6 of my kids practices already because I didn’t put it in my calendar. My house is being consumed by clutter and randomness, and the sad thing is, I don’t even care. However, I do begin caring about dumb shit and worrying like “my friend didn’t text me back, is she mad at me?”
I noticed the universal intervention while I kept procrastinating about cleaning my bathroom. “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Until one fateful day, in the middle of washing my face and my daughter asked me something. I dried my face , went to help her and brought kids to school. When I arrive home, I discover the back room floor wet. “Damn kids, what the hell?” I think. Until I go upstairs and realize I left the sink running the entire time. Now I really have to clean my bathroom. Declutter and throw away tons of crap that should’ve been gone years ago.
Fast Forward: Start job March 6th.
•Have to wake up at 4:20am in order to get everything done and leave a time-window open for my scatterbrain-ness•
Below is all that I accomplished:
•Exercise•Shower•Get dressed•Wake kids•Make them breakfast•Ensure they are ready and brush their teeth to eliminate dragon breath before I leave•(why don’t kids care these days about not being the smelly kid).
The Night before all this is ready: Kids lunches/snacks/water•Meal prep my lunch/snacks•Run dishwasher•Laundry•kids uniforms/shoes/socks all ready•(the cursed sock and shoe search is the biggest daily time sucker).•Lay out my workout clothes (with socks and shoes)•Pick out work clothes including underwear, bra, socks and shoes (I am just as bad as my kids, who am I kidding?)•
Leave for train at 6:35am.
Hall ass 25 minutes in the cold to my building
I eat the food I brought with me.
I drink tons of water, probably 20 ounces an hour without thinking about it.
I get 10,000+ steps in by halling ass back to the train station.
Home by 5:30
•Make dinner•Clock in as an unpaid Uber driver and cart kids from school extended day, games and practices•No missed practices because I put everything my calendar immediately upon receiving the coach’s email•I keep on the kids about putting their crap away•I hold kids accountable to get their shit ready for the morning•No guilt•
Notice the difference? Now it is clear and concise like a fucking resume. Lots of Action Words.