#Beyourself, #doitanyway, #freedom, Covid-19

The Vast Configuration of Things

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 Bailey

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 ….

I WANT a BIG one. (Everyone does George🙄)

Anyways, BIG does not always refer to SIZE.😜

BIG things can also come in small packages.

Burn out: What was I doing here again? I forgot already. 👆🏻

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. 👇🏻

Pottersville: a community of selfishness with no values or morals.

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
Worth & Value are found in prioritizing the serving of others while making a living.

Bottom line: Keep showing up through it, we all feel the same way. Find ways to cope with the foreign feelings.

ADDENDUM 11/30/21

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!

https://www.fitzgeraldsnightclub.com/

More on this topic:

https://www.binghamton.edu/news/story/2390/a-path-to-peace-researchers-explore-the-best-ways-to-cope-with-covid-stress

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/how-to-incorporate-the-three-c-s-of-resilience-into-your-life/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/08/11/pandemic-anxiety-psychology-delta/

#freedom, Christmas; The Grinch; The Ultimate Gift; Mother knows best; 2020

The Stocking is Half-Full

The biggest fights I had with my mother were about her relentlessly forcing me to watch old movies.
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It was so “unfair”! I wanted to watch “normal” stuff like everyone else. I would fight her to the end.
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I was SO stubborn! I STILL am! Right now, I am gritting my teeth like these defiant toddlers & teens below.👇🏻🤬.🙈

I refuse to touch the grass!
I’m not moving, what you gonna do about it?


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.

George Bailey I’ll love you til the day I die. (Just don’t tell my mom or I’ll have to kill you,)


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.🥰🥲😢🤩
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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!”

When my mom is right. 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😢…

Sobbing like a bitch at home 12/26/2020

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 mean…who wouldn’t feel sexy AF in this?

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.

https://www.countryliving.com/life/news/amp45720/white-christmas-song-history/

THE ULTIMATE GIFT

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!. 😂

No flat as a pancake stocking here 😜