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 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.
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.