#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/

#Beyourself, #dadflu, #manflu, #coronavirus, #lifestylechoices, #southsideguylifestyle, #dadbodinevitable, #dadbod, #dabears, #chicago, #southside, #southsidechicago, Coronavirus Southside Chicago, parenting struggles, Yoga Pants

The Moron Twins

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 were positive 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. 🙄

What I think is happening👆🏻

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. 👇🏻

Us on way to the ER👆🏻

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. Hallefuckinglujah I need a break.

I felt guilty for being so happy, but it was overwhelming relief I was not his nurse anymore.

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.

Southside Guy Lifestyle Criteria: 👇🏻

https://quillankelly-dunn.com/2021/05/12/southside-guy-lifestyle/

#Beyourself, #freedom, #greatpretender, #millenials, #opportunity, #simonsinek, Badassery, Find A Way, gun control, Hamilton, Lin Manuel Miranda, march for our lives, unlockingus, Women's Fight

BLUE is the new BLACK

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.

I needed to THINK, With MY BRAIN, Not the internet.

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.

Takin one for the team.

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 SHOULD NOT be let off easy because I’m really, really good looking 😜(Zoolander). (See halo effect)

That is the BOTTOM LINE.

There are NO excuses.

There are no valid reasons.

I should receive consequences and re-training.

It never even OCCURRED to me to argue with police or judges.

Perhaps some would call this an example of “white privilege.”

I call it RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY.

I call it RESPECT for our COUNTRY.

I call it RESPECT for the RULES.

I call it respect for those HUMAN BEINGS who are doing their extremely difficult job to enforce the rules.

I don’t know about you, but I NEED rules.

I need authority.

I’m not sure when all this ENABLING started, but it has to stop.

In a time, not too long ago, we used be like this:

A time when people laughed instead of being offended about everything.

How can we get back to this? Where we laughed and celebrated our differences?

How can we move forward from today and stop being so divided? In the end, we are all equal human beings, aren’t we?

Perhaps making everyone read this book below as a mandatory part of being a United States Citizen would help us remember.

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know https://www.amazon.com/dp/0316478520/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_fabc_3j2aGb1RGFC5V

Regardless of what any of us think of our previous president, he is human too. One person cannot be held responsible for everything. There is a LONG chain of command that is also accountable. We NEED Many LEADERS! Like thousands!

Addendum: https://markmanson.net/newsletters/mindfck-monday-66?vgo_ee=uZEOWBYMFd2rLfzi%2BJIpDmQOP8ZXmRzMvz3Yw%2BcA7gI%3D

#freedom

That Was Way Harsh, Tai

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

https://markmanson.net/values/personal-values-guide

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.

This is also a great read to reinforce daily habits.

Here is an example of Mark Manson link from newsletter:

“Our minds are poor at compounding things over time. We overestimate the pain of doing something for 30 minutes today, without realizing the compounding effects it can have if we fail to do it every day for months and months on end.

Mark Manson

“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?

But the real answer? You’d be 3,778% — or almost 38 times — better than you were at the start of the year.” https://markmanson.net/decision-making

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).

Stick with this mindset

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.

If you have a friend, preferably gay, that calls you “Duchess” or something close to that 😉 . Any friend that makes you blush with how special & supported they make you feel; keep this friend at all costs.
Questionable friendship?
#freedom, #greatpretender, parenting struggles, vulnerability, Women's Fight

I am Henrietta Hill

The last three days have been interesting…

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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.

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I was so rotten as a teenager.

.

But I guess that was my job.

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Maybe that’s the point of having kids. To learn how much of an asshole you were and truly appreciate your own parents.

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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?”.

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That’s a good question.

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I actually didn’t have an answer ….

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I always said I DIDN’T want kids.

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I was the oldest and I had to change three of my siblings diapers and feed them.

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I remember cleaning poop from under my brothers balls and thinking “The hell with this.”😂

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As teenagers, I remembered how atrocious my siblings and I were to my mother.

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I never understood why my mom wouldn’t just go to bed when I was out 😂🙈😜

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Now I pick my kids up bitching and whining at 9:30pm because I want to go to bed.

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I never wanted to deal with that.

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I wanted to avoid that struggle and stress; Just completely bypass that journey.

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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.😂😜

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My maternal instinct kicked in I suppose.

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My heart wanted something despite what my brain said.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I had kids to enjoy them.

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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😜

#henryhill

#motherhood

#gretchenrubin

#goodfellas

#freedom

A League of MY Own

I don’t know all the rules or fundamentals of baseball. It’s not easy for me to sit and watch an entire game-especially on TV.

I know the basics. I played when I was young. I watch my kids.

However, going to a live professional game to me is so fun.

What I love is about it is THE ATMOSPHERE! The ENERGY! The PASSION. And Of course I LOVE THE MUSIC!!! My kids games would be so much more fun with music😜

How boring would a live professional game be without 🎶 music???!!!!

I love watching people getting fired up, the pain of defeat which fuels players to try harder or be phased out. I love the passion, the getting angry, the rivalries and people becoming ecstatic… experiencing joy or pain!

As a therapist…I LOVE EMOTIONS! I am fascinated by them.

I don’t care about every play or rule. I don’t care who wins most of the time. I do love seeing the home team win and how everyone reacts…and the songs they play…the food they serve…I love baseball hats and spirit wear.

What I am mostly attracted to is the human drive of dedication, motivation and consistency.

While my husband watches live games knowing every rule and why…”Tsking” and shaking his head at me with his smug “you-don’t-know-anything-about baseball⚾️” attitude.😜

I smirk, laugh and agree with him, he’s right…I don’t. I don’t what he knows. So what?

What I do know a lot about is dedication and consistency and sticking with something when it gets tough. I worked out have done every day since he has known me. And before he has known me. I have never given up and never will.

Anyways, On Thursday, I walked around Yankee stadium…alone …and people watched. I went to the museum inside- no one else in my family had interest. I love learning about the legacies left, the pain, the thrill of victories, the daily earning of success…I love everything about the game.

Metaphor of Me,above, imagining I’m about to hit my old man’s square head😜

I also LOVE baseball movies…I cry every time I watch The Natural. I cant even talk about the movie The Pride of the Yankees, Lou Gehrig or even Gary Cooper without getting choked up. I can watch Sandlot and A League of their Own; over and over.

I love people and what’s important to people.

I also love the baseball innuendos too 😜😂

There are so many metaphors in baseball that applies to life in general.

“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”

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“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”

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“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”

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All these are said by The Great Bambino; who I remind my son, the Sultan of Swat had the most strikeouts too…

There is no failure if you don’t try. I try and fail almost every.single.day. Some rare days I kick ass and hit it out of the park.

👊🏻I may not be a professional, paid athlete… But I CAN train like one.

#baseball

#baseballlife

#prideoftheyankees

#ironman

#thisis45

#thisisforty

#thisisfortysomething

#thisis40

#takeaction

Watch Below:

Read below:

https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/hlg-why-marriage-is-just-like-baseball/

Read to see Lou Gehrig was a real class act:

https://www.azquotes.com/author/5413-Lou_Gehrig

parenting struggles, Uncategorized, Women's Fight, Yoga Pants

My Whole Life is “Have To”

“Do you really have to go?” She asks during a heated discussion.

“My whole life is HAVE TO.” Steve Martin sneers.

I have no idea how but I truly believed I “had no time” prior to having children. What the hell did I do before? How did I ever have the balls to complain about anything?

Parents HAVE TO show up no matter what. There is no break or stopping. I am reminded of this quite frequently as I am about to plant my ass on the couch or eat a hot meal. I am stopped from stopping.

“Mom! Where’s my uniform? Mom, I can’t find my shoes.” Or some fight breaks out while they are both screaming my name simultaneously “MOM!” and overreacting in some kind of hysterics.

However, When you don’t have time to trim your toenails or make a doctor appointment to check out your vadge…this might be a sign you need to calm the fuck down.

When you’re walking around unaware that your shoulders are at your earlobes and you are appearing neckless…it might be a red flag to slow your roll.

As I mentioned that parents never stop, I really am unable to stop “doing stuff” and most of the time, it’s not by choice. I set a rule: one sport per kid at a time. However, what usually happens is there is a 2 week overlap where one sport is ending with playoffs/championships and another sport is beginning. These are the weeks I lose my shit.

Exercising helps and so does wine;). In order to mirror my non-stop lifestyle, I usually gravitate toward a fast-paced heated yoga sculpt; or a Beachbody workout with cardio/weights smashed into 30 minutes. These workouts are non-stop; like my life with only 10-30 seconds of rest. These workouts are essential when your whole life is “have to”.

This past Sunday morning I escaped while everyone still sleeping and I took a 75 minute heated yoga fusion class. Yoga fusion, Bikram, or Vinyasa are slower paced yoga classes. They entail poses that are held for longer periods of time; these are classes “I don’t like” or try to avoid.

I was extremely frustrated through the first half hour of this class. I was annoyed and irritated at my lack of balance and focus. I could not hold any pose for more than a second; then I would stumble. I had the urge to walk out of class because I felt so stupid; yet I was projecting my annoyance on the yoga instructor.

The yoga instructors constant reminders to lower my shoulders from my ears was irritating. I noticed every pose I held would become more difficult as my mind traveled to other places.

Examples:

During tree pose: I was initially focused and balanced, the instructor then advised us to hold this pose for five breaths. Met with the silence and only my thoughts, my mind wandered somewhere else then this dumb class. My focus switched to the music; which was Dave Matthews, One Sweet World ….My mind traveled to Reilly’s beer garden reminiscing about dancing in the sunshine…Then wondering why I am in this dark class on this sunny day…Ahhhh… happy place…

BAM…wipe out… back in present and staggering out of tree pose. Grrrrr.

During wild dancer: I listened to instructions and got in pose, then as everyone had to hold it with no one speaking…my thoughts wandered again…”I wonder what Dave Matthews is up to these days? Man that double CD “Live at Luther College” with Tim Reynolds is the best. I need to pull that out when I get home. I should go see Dave at Red Rock, oh yea and marijuana is legal in Colorado…SaWEET!”

Knocked out of my thoughts…I falter out of wild dancer.

Standing Split Pose: Again initially balanced and focused … then Rusted Root’s Ecstasy begins to play…Thoughts, “Am I too old to sit outside in Reilly’s beer garden? I wonder if they have live bands outside still on Sunday’s?”… I blunder unsteadily and tip over face first ….

What is the deal with this instructor’s class? I thought. She sucks.

This repeated over with my wandering thoughts.

“Did I even shower yesterday?”

(Teetering then fall)

“Jeez I need a pedicure.”

(Tip over, again)

I should day drink more often.”

(Wobbling)

“I can’t do this.” I thought and decided I hated the yoga instructor. “I like heated yoga sculpt Better. I like my workouts at home better.”

Then I painfully recognized what I was doing. I was uncomfortable, therefore I wanted to stop. I wanted to blame someone for my embarrassment. I was no longer in my comfort zone. The workouts I want to do are fast paced with constant movement…kinda like my life.

I was failing because I wasn’t in the present. I was struggling because this type of class was uncomfortable since I rarely slow down.

I pushed through the class anyways now that I realized I did not loathe the instructor; I loathed how I felt. I felt stupid and clumsy. I looked and felt foolish.

Then the wake up call…Reality check…No one gives a rats ass what I am doing, what I look like or even notices me. Everyone is too busy focusing on their own poses, demons and thoughts. I gradually got “out of my head” and “into my life.”

I pushed through the class now, wiser. When my mind began to wander, I counted backwards 54321. Trick learned from the book The Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins. It was the only tool I could think of to do in that moment.

When I finally reached the end of this 75 minute class; I sensed relief. I made it to corpse pose (Shavasana) and my mind was completely blank. Shockingly I was thinking of nothing. I had no recollection what I was doing after this class or the rest of the day. “It doesn’t matter right now“. The teacher, now my BFF, gave me an ice cold washcloth with essential oils for my face. I now felt like a million bucks!

This was an excellent reminder that stepping OUT of your comfort zone helps you step INTO the BIG PICTURE.

I am not a mom.

I am not a wife.

I am not a daughter.

I am not a woman.

I am not a coach.

I am not a counselor.

I am

I just …am

I am enough.

#thefivesecondrule

#parenthood

#stevemartin

#mywholelifeishaveto

#melrobbins

#slowyourroll

#brenebrown, #greatpretender, #homeschoolingrealshit, #opportunity, #sidehustle, Find A Way, parenting struggles, Uncategorized, Women's Fight, Yoga Pants

My Brain Is Oatmeal

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.
  • No naps,
  • Home by 5:30

It continues…

•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•

Repeat.

Notice the difference? Now it is clear and concise like a fucking resume. Lots of Action Words.

No bullshit.

It’s all done. No elaboration, no details.

It’s completed because it has to be.

I don’t have a choice.

There’s no time to think.

No time to procrastinate.

I have to just do it.

The less time you have, the less time you waste.