The Other “Other F-word”

 

imagespnibp0jmI had a point when I warned you posted about my return to blogging.  My brain, however, is filled with the dust  of disuse (and cobwebs of confusion), and I missed it. I meant to tell you that it’s important that choose your F-words carefully.

When I was diagnosed with PVCs, I panicked. Part of it was due to my overactive imagination, part of it was due to the fact that my brain was overloaded with the pain and adrenaline that came with being in the emergency room with excruciating jaw pain, but most of it was because my mother had a massive heart attack at the age of 57. The closer I’ve gotten to the “magic number”, the more certain I’ve become that I would do the same.

My cardiologist ran a whole slew of tests, which showed that my heart is, in fact, pretty darn close to perfect (which makes the Mary Poppins in me very happy). He also assured me that PVCs are fairly common (around one in 20 normal people will have at least one PVC on a two-minute ECG strip, and a much higher percentage will have PVCs on 24-hour Holter monitoring) and that, as long as I wasn’t having any symptoms, it wasn’t something that needed to be treated with medication.

The incident made me realize that I have spent far too much time letting fear stop me from doing things. I should know better – after all, I read Dune when I was in college.* Even 20+ years later I can hear Frank Herbert’s Bene Gesserit reminding me that “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration….” I know that I’m supposed to “Feel the Fear and do it Anyway” and I’ve been told (more than once) that FEAR is nothing more than False Expectations Appearing Real.

I should know better, but I’ve found that knowing something intellectually doesn’t necessarily mean that you KNOW it (if you know what I mean). I spent time pondering the problem, wondering what it would take for me to let go of fear, and then I realized that all it takes is another F-word. To let go of fear, we must have faith Don’t worry, I’m not going to show up at your door asking if you’ve been “saved” –  I’m talking about the secular definition.

From Miriam-Webster dictionary:

Faith

[fāTH]

NOUN

complete trust or confidence in someone or something:

“this restores one’s faith in politicians”

synonyms: trust · belief · confidence · conviction · optimism ·

Middle English: from Old French feid, from Latin fides.

Fear screams at us to stop before we start, to hide under the covers from the monsters in the dark. Faith whispers that the monsters exist only in our imagination, and that, with trust and a little bit of pixie dust, we can fly.

Today’s F-word is Faith.

F-k

Anxiety

Initiate

Trust and

Hope

 

*I saw the movie, too. Please don’t.

P.S. In an amazing bit of synchronicity, today’s email from DailyOM was “Overcoming Fear & more courses.” In the course description Debbie Ford says that we can learn from fear. I’m not sure what lesson I’m supposed to learn, but I’m open to the possibilities.

So tell me – what has fear taught you?

The Accidental Mother – Redux

thutbowvp4I am trying to get into the habit of writing on a regular basis. It’s so hot that my brain has melted and I can’t think of anything new to say –  but I HAVE managed a revision of one of my first posts. I also came up with a word other than “revised” for the title (guess the heat hasn’t completely melted my brain).

re·dux

[rēˈdəks, ˈrēˈdəks]

ADJECTIVE

  1. brought back; revived:
    “the 1980s were far more than just the ’50s redux”
 ORIGIN
late 19th cent.: from Latin, from reducere ‘bring back.’
 THE ACCIDENTAL MOTHER -REDUX

Some women are born to be mothers. You see them at the park. They lounge on benches or under a tree, talking and laughing with the other perfect parents. They are seemingly oblivious to the activity in the sandbox, but at the smallest cry, their heads whip toward the playground. They can tell at a glance whether the cry requires attention or pretended indifference. Their hair is perfectly coiffed** and colored, their nails manicured and painted, their clothing stylish and unstained. Their bags are stuffed with small Tupperware containers (carefully color coded for each child) filled with vegetables, cheese and fruit. These are the women who spent their childhood playing with dolls, parading up and down the street in their mothers’ high heels, pushing their “babies” through the neighborhood in a pink or blue stroller.

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They spent hours bathing, feeding, changing and burping their dolls, treating their “offspring” with the utmost care and respect. These girls grew up to become perfect older siblings. They were excited by the idea of being a big sister and wanted nothing more than to help feed/bathe/change/burp the baby. They paraded up and down the street, pushing “their” baby in a pink or blue stroller, their mothers’ heels left at home for fear they would trip and hurt their baby brother or sister.

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I am not one of them. I decided at an early age that dolls are creepy and weird. The dolls that well-meaning friends and family members gave me were re-gifted or donated to Goodwill. Dolls that were “too nice to donate” were relegated to a special shelf or corner of the closet, where they were left to gather dust and cobwebs. The ones that I found especially creepy (i.e. my mother’s Raggedy Anne doll) were stuffed into the bottom of my toy box and buried beneath blocks, balls and mismatched socks.  I joined the other girls in their neighborhood parade, but my stroller was filled with stuffed animal “babies”, and my feet were clad in tennis shoes or cowboy boots. I grew up to become an indifferent big sister. Actually, I was an angry big sister. I wanted a puppy or a pony, but my parents brought home a brother. It made me mad. If I had to have a sibling, I wanted a sister. I refused to let his sex keep me from playing dress up and having tea parties with him, but my favorite game to play with my brother was Hide and DON’T Seek.

I went into marriage knowing that I didn’t want to have children. It’s not that I hated children, per se. I liked children. I liked cats and dogs too. They were fun to pet and snuggle with, but they were so much more enjoyable when they belong to someone else.

My husband went into our marriage thinking that he would like to have kids “someday”, but (by plying him with romantic vacations and football-filled Sundays) I managed to convince him that being an uncle was a better choice. We loved being DINKS*, and laughed when our friends told us that we were “missing out.”

Then I had an accident. No, not an “oops, it broke” accident, an I-turned-my-sedan-into-a-compact car accident. I was taken to the hospital in a neck brace, and my car was taken to the scrapyard…along with my birth control pills. I didn’t worry. I remembered my friend’s fertility struggles and her doctor’s explanation that “If you’ve been on birth control for years, it’s hard to get pregnant.”

She needs a new doctor.

My friends assured me that pregnancy would be easy, and that parenthood was the most amazing thing they’d ever done.

I need new friends.

Pregnancy was rough, and not just physically (the smell of meat cooking could chase me from the house), and emotionally (FYI, Budweiser commercials can bring a pregnant woman to tears, especially when she’s craving a beer).

There were just too many damn choices to be made. Who do you tell first? (side note to newly pregnant women – men get pissy when they find out via social media)  What do you name the baby? (I wanted to name my boy either Justin Case or Justin Time. My friends were relieved when I had a girl) How do you decorate the nursery? What type of crib/carseat/stroller/diapers should you buy? How do you want have the baby? Yes, you have a choice. You can have a doctor and a C-section, or a midwife and a birthing room – you can even have a baby in a bathtub! After hearing labor horror stories from (I assume) well-meaning friends, family and strangers, I decided not to have the baby. At nine months, it wasn’t really an option, but that’s what I decided (side note to mathematicians – in what type of math does forty weeks equal nine months?).

In spite of my decision, at one week past my due date, I showed up at the hospital to have my labor induced – my OB was going on vacation the following week and he “wanted to have (your) baby”. My husband and I were ready to Become Parents – or so we thought.  We were turned away by the triage nurse.

“We’re really busy right now, I’m so sorry. Could you come back in a couple of hours?”

It was a perfect Southern California evening – 76 degrees with a light breeze off the ocean – so we spent some time walking (or, in my case, waddling) down Main Street looking in shop windows. Every display seemed to feature products meant for our baby (“OMG look at those shoes! They’re so tiny!”).  The people we passed nodded and smiled at my swollen belly.

“When is your baby due?”

“Last week. I’m being induced tonight. We were supposed to be admitted at 3:00, but they were too busy. We’re headed back at five.” I’m sure that this was more information than anyone wanted, but evidently the hormones surging through my bloodstream thought that strangers needed to know ALL THE DETAILS.

We returned to the hospital at 5:00, as requested.

“We’re really busy right now.” This time the nurse was not apologetic. Apparently the fact that my doctor wanted to induce me irritated her. “Come back at 7:00.”

I groaned. My feet hurt, my back hurt, and I was tired of being pregnant. Waddling down Main Street for a second time was out of the question. My husband smiled apologetically at Grumpy Triage Nurse and steered me out to the car. He drove down to the beach, thinking the waves would relax me. The only thing they relaxed was my bladder.

“I need to pee!”

We headed back to the hospital so I could relieve my bladder and wait. Fortunately, Grumpy was gone. The triage nurse took pity on the pregnant girl and started the admitting process.

They say that you forget the pain of childbirth, and it must be true, because I don’t remember much. I remember being uncomfortable, and feeling better when I walked the halls or stood in the shower. I remember my husband falling asleep during Jay Leno’s monologue, as I squirmed and panted beside him (for some odd reason, people have decided that breathing can replace medication in controlling pain. Trust me, it can’t). I remember the doctor coming into the room around 2:00 AM. His smile didn’t reach his eyes.

“Your baby is in distress. We need to do a Caesarian section immediately.”

The rest is a blur, memories distorted by time, pain and panic. I remember seeing my dad and stepmother as I was being wheeled to the operating room. I remember gripping my husband’s hand so tightly his fingers turned white. I remember waiting a lifetime before we heard our daughter’s first cry. I also remember the way my heart expanded to ten times its normal size when they laid her in my arms. Mostly I remember the feeling of panic that arose when I signed my discharge paperwork and realized that I was going to have to take this tiny baby home, even though I wasn’t a natural born mother.

I needn’t have panicked. The many choices and sleep deprivation that come with pregnancy helped prepare me for motherhood. My friends may have lied about pregnancy being easy, but they were right about parenthood being amazing. As strange as it sounds, my husband and I will be eternally grateful for my car accident, and for the little girl who stole our hearts and changed our lives when I became an accidental mother.

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*DINKS – Dual Income, No Kids

** Special shout-out to Rachel, who reminded me that the word is not “quaffed”

 

I’m Baaaaaaaaack

thgluoeo7zIt’s been a while since last I wrote (I am, however, doing much better at blogging than I am at journaling – my last journal entry was from 2011). I am usually derailed by

  1. writer’s block
  2. depression
  3. taking care of friends/family members
  4. taking care of myself*

In this particular instance, the reason is

5. Being too busy to sleep, much less write aka overextension syndrome

“5” comes with being a mom to a busy teen, impounded by my inability to say “no”. I’ve spent the past few months shuttling the girl and myself to/from rehearsal and performances, assisting with lighting design, running lights, working the renaissance faire (even though I SWORE I was taking a year off), volunteering at the animal shelter and going to the hospital. Not personally. I mean, yes, PERSONALLY (not quite tech savvy enough for a virtual/skype visit), but I wasn’t the one who was IN the hospital.

It’s been a rough couple of months for family and friends. TBH it’s been a rough couple of years for many of the people I know. Too many people sick and injured or recovering from being sick and injured. I keep telling people “please stay healthy, because worrying about you is exhausting”, but nobody listens to me.

Evidently the stress of being a caregiver caught up with me. I’ve told you before that it’s very important to “feed the well” and that stress is a killer. I should have listened to myself. Two months ago I was diagnosed with a minor medical issue** (minor to everyone else, including the ER staff). My brain took the issue and raced down the “what if” path to the worst case scenario, cackling like rabid goblin.

When I write on a regular basis, my overactive imagination is busy creating fiction, or expanding on reality in a fictional environment. When I don’t write, my brain has nothing better to do than to take the most mundane situation (a trip to Starbucks, for example) and twist it into some odd/one in a million scenario (“Why are there so many people standing around? I bet one of them is robbing the store, and nobody is able to leave, and OMG is that a GUN?”)

So when I was advised to follow up with a specialist, my brain immediately bypassed every logical explanation and went directly to “Oh, everyone is only pretending that it’s a minor issue to keep me from panicking” and I panicked. Big Time. As in, no sleep/eating everything in sight/calling-everyone-I-know-to-tell-them-how-much-I-love-them panic.

After weeks of testing and multiple reassurances from the specialist that everything, is in fact, fine, I have returned to normal (whatever that means). For me, it means that I’m able to sleep through the night (when not being forced awake by Midlife Insomnia and/or the Need to Pee) and that I’ve returned to my Regularly Scheduled Activities (including, but not limited to, eating something that isn’t chocolate, writing, and the dreaded E word).

So I’m back, and I’m better than ever* – I’ve missed writing – I’m happy to be back and I’m looking forward to catching up with you (yes, YOU). What have you been up to?

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*Actually, I’m a little rusty, and I can’t seem to be able to link to anything other than my own blog pieces. Hopefully I’ll remember soon. Any help is greatly appreciated.

And just because it’s TBT (Throw Back Thursday) here’s a little Back in Black for the Rock-n-Rollers out there:

 

 

In case of Emergency….

imagesCAO5Z6TQMy girlfriend is going through a really sucky period right now. REALLY sucky. If the situation were reversed,  I would be curled up in a ball under my bed, which would be difficult since it’s on the floor. She posted this yesterday, and I had to share. Because she’s awesome, and is handling this with sense of humor intact. Plus her post has some really good advice. I hope that you never need it, but just in case you do….

Hello My Name is Eeyore

imageChuck Wendig reminded me that May is Mental Health awareness month. This year’s theme for Mental Health Month is – Life with a Mental Illness (yes, there’s a theme). If just one person benefits from my story,  I’ll be happy. TBH even if nobody reads it, I’ll be happy, because I’m writing again.

I have struggled with depression for most of my life. I have no doubt that my mother used alcohol to self-medicate for depression. It’s possible that her mother did as well – but, seeing that I rarely saw my grandmother express ANY emotion, I can’t be sure.

I consider myself fortunate, in that my personal demon is mostly situational. When life is going well, I sometimes get the blues, but I can cope. Unfortunately, Life is a BITCH and she likes to hammer us with repeated losses and then dump us, battered and bleeding, in the Pit of Despair without Wesley to keep us company.

18 months ago, I hit my low point. I wound up curled in a ball on the floor of my Honda, sobbing uncontrollably. I don’t do that anymore (and not just because I no longer have the Honda).  It’s not that Life has become kind. In the past 6 months, my husband almost died, my coworker did, one girlfriend was diagnosed with breast cancer, and my other friend ended up in ICU. No, these aren’t my personal problems (although I would have taken my husband’s death personally), but I have a soft heart, and tend to grieve with those I love, and (sometimes) with those I don’t.

My girlfriend is deep in the hole. She asked me how I cope. “You seem so happy, even when you go through a rough patch”.

I was trained from an early age that emotions are something best kept hidden (thanks Grandma!). We need to slap on some lipstick and hide our broken heart.

The bad news is that suppressing our emotions leads to a whole slew of issues, including (but not limited to) eating disorders, cutting, alcohol and drug dependence, increased depression (goody!) and physical illnesses (yes, stress CAN kill you). The good news is that the idea that you should “fake it ‘til you make it” actually carries some weight. When you get up, shower, put on makeup and clean clothes and pretend that you feel good, eventually you do.

I have learned to ask for, and accept, help. It’s the hardest lesson I’ve ever learned. I am very lucky, in that I have an amazing group of friends who let me vent when needed, and who are quick to provide a shoulder, chocolate, or wine when necessary. Even my husband has learned to “listen and nod” instead of trying to fix my “problems”.

I talked to a professional. Yes, I have a wonderful support team. Sometimes you get tired of complaining about the same old stuff to the same old people. Besides, these people are just sitting around waiting for someone to talk to. Keep them off the unemployment line!

I took a pill. No, not the pills that Stevie sells on the corner. I filled the prescription my doctor gave me. I am not a fan of “Better living through chemicals”, but I’m a huge proponent of using whatever tools you have available to dig your way out of the darkness.

I learned to go outside. Some people like to run, some people like to go to the beach. I have found that it doesn’t much matter. Depression wants us to lay in the dark, under a supersoft blanket, eating cookies and surfing through 300+ channels. Going outside is a teeny tiny step in the battle, but it’s an important one. Please note  – do NOT forget to put on pants before you go outside. My neighbors may never forgive me.

Lastly, I listen to music. Music speaks to my soul and makes me feel all the feels. Just this morning Johnny Cash reminded me that when you’ve got the blues, you need to Get Rhythm.

 

So tell me, what coping mechanisms do you use, when Life leaves you feeling overwhelmed?

Mentalpause

th6F8TN99ZMy New Year’s resolution to write 2-3x/week hasn’t lasted. Unlike most resolutions, it’s not because I don’t have the free time or willpower. It’s because I keep forgetting. I forget to find time, I forget to start, I forget to finish, and when I do write a complete piece,  I forget to post it.

That’s a lot of forgetting!

My friends and family will tell you that I’ve been very forgetful lately. I have to admit that it’s been going on for a while, but I forget when it started😉.

All I know for certain is that I lost my keys so often last year (I kept forgetting to put my keys on the hook by the door) that my husband got tired of playing WWTD* and bought me a keyfinder. It works like the remote for the car alarm, beep-beep-beeping from the dark hole in my Mombag, the bathroom counter and even the freezer. FYI, the “chirp chirp” of your car alarm is very useful when you’ve forgotten where you’ve parked.

My Sometimers has been getting worse. I’ve missed appointments, double booked myself and my daughter, misplaced my pants (not while I was wearing them) and have forgotten my friend’s name (flashback to my mom, who called me by every name she knew, including the dog’s). The high (or low) point came last Friday I forgot to take my change when I left the store. Well, that’s not exactly true – I remembered to pick up my 50 cents from the change dispenser, but left without my $18. I’ve become so scattered that my daughter actually channeled my mother –  “You’d forget your head if it weren’t attached to your shoulders.” Which makes me wonder – is that the real reason Dr. Frankenstein bolted his monster’s head to its body?

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The past few years have been eventful, and I assumed that stress had melted my brain. When things got better and my memory didn’t, I assumed that I had lost my mind, or that worms had eaten my brain.

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I was hoping that my doctor could help me find it. She smiled sadly and sighed. “I have some good news, and some bad news…..” Don’t you hate it when they do that?

Although I am relieved to report that I am not, in fact, losing my mind. I am sad to say that I am suffering from “brain fog”. My doctor told me that it’s not uncommon for women to develop memory issues during menopause. Not that I’m willing to admit that I’m old enough to be menopausal, but it’s nice to know that I’m not alone. I’m sure that someone warned me about brain fog, but I forgot.

I did some research today, and learned that the key to overcoming brain fog is eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep – which is ironic, seeing that disturbed sleep is another symptom of menopause. Seeing that I’ve been ignoring that piece of advice all of my life, I don’t see things changing just because I’m not 21 any more. Then again, there are only so many times that my family will agree to look for my keys, my glasses and my pants.

Dreaded E word, here I come. Or maybe I just need some Vitamin M**

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*What Would Tracey Do?

**Someone please tell me that “Vitamin M” is a secret code for margarita

 

 

 

The Problem With Aging

th1KQI53BFI’ve decided that the worst part of getting old isn’t the life lines near my eyes, or the laugh lines that bracket my mouth. It isn’t the little white hairs that pepper my hair (or would that be salt my hair?). It’s not even the fact that the snap crackle and pop I hear in the morning aren’t just sounds from my cereal bowl…it’s the fact that I’ve developed Sometimers Syndrome.

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I have a theory – I believe our brains are hard drives, and that by the time we reach “a certain age” they are full. We can’t defrag our brains to free up extra space, and we can’t download old memories/useless facts to an external hard drive, so new memories aren’t stored to a permanent file. What we really need is Professor Dumbledor’s pensieve. Although Dumbledore uses his to find patterns and habbits, I think it would be an excellent tool for freeing up space when our brains are full, or removing a painful memory

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Sometimes I forget little things, like why I came into the kitchen, my husband’s cell phone#, or where I put my car keys.*

Sometimes I forget bigger things, which is why I’m happy for the little voice in my head which reminds me of Important Things. She’s pretty good at reminding me that I have a doctor’s appointment, or that I need to pick up my daughter after school. Yesterday she reminded me that I needed to call my mother, so I picked up the phone, and then remembered that my mother is dead.

I mean, I didn’t forget she’s dead, exactly.

Ok, I did.

It’s odd. I mean, it’s not as if she JUST died. It will be 21 years this June. Which is surreal. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long ago. Then again, 16 of the past 21 years have been spent raising a kid, and, as Camille at Crunchy Parenting says, parenting time FLIES.

My mom was an amazing woman. She was funny, and smart, and had a huge heart. I’m not saying it just because I’m her daughter – I’ve had other people tell me the same thing. She volunteered with AYSO for years, kept a great house, called (and wrote to) her friends and family on a regular basis and was the first one to jump in to help when someone was in trouble. She was a true southern woman – meaning that she had strong shoulders and a soft heart; it also means that she ate weird foods, like okra and fried green tomatoes.

Maybe that’s why she was on my mind. I was hoping that 2016 was going to be a better year, but I have too many friends and family members who are struggling with loss. I may claim that I’m not a people person, but I’m a liar. I grieve with them for their losses – loss of employment, loss of health, loss of life. I may not keep a great house, or write or call as often as my mom did, but I’m proud to say that I have her soft heart.

I miss her. I am sad that she missed meeting Lauren and the rest of her grandchildren, but I’m still heartbroken that she’s more than a phone call away.

I would pay the surcharges, no matter how high, if only I could make that long distance call.

 

*special shout-out to my spouse, who bought me a key locator for Christmas. You push the remote, and your keys chirp like a car alarm…now if only I could find the remote…..

 

15 Shades of Grey* **

I had a busy, wonderful weekend, filled with rain, puppies, family and friends – so of course, today I am feeling sad and grey. I understand that it’s just Monday Moodiness, but it doesn’t make me feel any better. Yes, I am FINE, thanks for asking.🙂

Twisting Suburbia

*Please note, there’s no sex in this post, just mild profanity. If you’re offended by profanity, you’ve come to the wrong blog (I swear like a sailor. In fact, sometimes I swear like a ship full of sailors). If you’re looking for graphic sex, you should look for the other Grey book…or the adult bookshop.

** This post was prompted by Robin’s Williams birthday. He would have been 64.

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 “Well, here we are, halfway through July, more than halfway through the year, and what do you have to show for it? You’re a little older, a little fatter and your house is still a mess…..”

And there you have it, the EIC is in fine form this morning. I’ve talked about him, more than once, but I don’t think I’ve talked about his girlfriend – she’s a soggy, wet, warm, mildew-y wool blanket. She’s heavy and smelly and ruins…

View original post 525 more words

The Foulest Four Letter Word I Know

thFOZVIT6EWednesday’s post quieted my muse, albeit briefly.

You should write.

I wrote Wednesday

Doesn’t count – you wrote about nothing.

Seinfeld was a show about nothing

You are not Jerry Seinfeld

I’m not an old Jewish man? Good to know. You are my muse. You’re supposed to give me ideas.

I do. You don’t listen.

…..

Write!Write!Writewritewrite!

O

M

G

Please shut up. I would write, if I could think of anything to write about, and if I could find the time.

Ah. There’s the rub. And the topic.

Time.

It’s a four letter word, and out of all of them, it’s the nastiest. It stretches and bends, twists and turns, slows down and speeds up at random.  It slows when you want it to move quickly (during the last hour of work on a Friday, the 5 minutes before the school bell rings, and any amount of time at any mandatory meeting) and flies by in the blink of an eye.

The speed of life gave me whiplash last week, when my baby girl had another birthday. Her birthdays affect me more than my own do. I am able to ignore the grey hairs and the “life lines” in the face in the mirror (mostly because I don’t look), but I can’t deny the fact that my girl is no longer a baby – or a toddler.

My life changed when I became an accidental mother. I had just started a career in the entertainment industry (no, not THAT one) when the girl came into our lives. I told my manager that I would take “maybe a year off” to spend time with the baby.

That was 16 years ago.

It doesn’t’ seem possible. The past 14 years have been a blur. It could be because I’ve been juggling work/school/household chores, because I’m sleep deprived*, or because I’m a character in a movie montage – but I’m pretty sure it’s because Momtime is different than real time. Mom years are inversed dog years. 1 mom year = 7 real years.

Or perhaps it’s because I’ve been wasting Time. I should have listened to the Mad Hatter when he warned Alice about the perils of pissing him off.

“Alice sighed wearily. ‘I think you might do something better with the time,’ she said, `than waste it in asking riddles that have no answers.’ `If you knew Time as well as I do,’ said the Hatter, `you wouldn’t talk about wasting it. It’s him.’ `I don’t know what you mean,’ said Alice. `Of course you don’t!’ the Hatter said, tossing his head contemptuously. `I dare say you never even spoke to Time!’ `Perhaps not,’ Alice cautiously replied: `but I know I have to beat time when I learn music.’ `Ah! that accounts for it,’ said the Hatter. `He won’t stand beating. Now, if you only kept on good terms with him, he’d do almost anything you liked with the clock. For instance, suppose it were nine o’clock in the morning, just time to begin lessons: you’d only have to whisper a hint to Time, and round goes the clock in a twinkling! Half-past one, time for dinner!”Lewis Carroll

My daughter’s birthday wasn’t my first reminder that time is fleeting. I have lost too many people in the past few years. Their deaths reminded me that we need to spend less time doing the “Have Tos” and more time doing the “Want Tos”. We need to spend less time making money and spend more time doing what we love. We need to waste less time visiting with acquaintances on social media, and make more time to see those we love “IRL.”

Life is short – eat dessert first.

And whatever you do, don’t blink (and not just because there are Weeping Angels)

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So – if you could spend the day doing whatever you’d like with whomever you want, how would you spend it?

*Despite what friends/family/doctors tell you, parenthood induced sleep deprivation does not disappear once your baby sleeps through the night. The sound of my daughter’s  cough, gasp, or moan of a nightmare rouses me from the deepest sleep

 

 

I Am Not aMused

th5HHDH7O9There’s a voice in my head. For once, it’s not the voice of the EIC, nor any of his BFFs (Doubt, Fear, and Insecurity). It’s a new voice, one that is meant to be helpful, but is proving to be just as annoying as the Fearsome Foursome. I’m pretty sure she’s my muse, but she must be new to this, because she’s not being helpful at all. Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure she means well. Maybe it’s me. I always assumed a muse would spark ideas. Mine seems to be poking at me instead.

She started last Tuesday.

“You should write.”

“I can’t right now – I need to visit my friend in the hospital.”

That stopped her for a couple of days.

“You should write.”

“I can’t right now – I’m busy celebrating the girl’s birthday.”

She was quiet for 3 days (I think the birthday celebration wore her out too).

“You should write.”

“I will – I need to drop the girl off, then I’m going to come home and clean, and after that, I’ll write, I promise.” I had the best of intentions, but instead of cleaning and writing, I came home, closed my eyes “for a minute” and woke up several hours later.

Evidently she took pity on me (or maybe she was pouting) because she took three days off. She’s back today, but instead of gently suggesting that I write, she’s been chanting.

“Write! Write! Write!”

“O.M.G. Can’t you see I’m busy?”

“Doing what? Write! Write! WRITE!

“I’m WORKING!”

“You should be writing instead. WRITE! WRITE! WRITEWRITEWRITE!

I’m not sure how muses are supposed to work, but I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to do more than just nag. Do you have to get kissed by a muse to light the spark of creativity? I kissed a girl, but it was a long time ago*, and she didn’t look anything like Olivia Newton John.

In my limited research on the muses, I learned that Clio is the muse of history and writing

clio-1[1]

At first glance, Clio seems to fit, especially when you take into consideration the fact that I considered changing my name to Cleopatra when I married Marc Anthony (Yes, really. No, not that one). I would have changed my name, but didn’t want to make an asp out of myself (bwah hahahaha).

She’s a little too serious looking for me

Thalia is the muse of comedy and poetry. She’s more relaxed than Clio.

thalia-1[1]

She looks like a lot of fun, but I’m not very good at poetry, and the days of baring my boobs are behind me (not even for really, really nice beads). There’s also the fact that, when it comes to comedy, some people just don’t “get” me.

Then I came across Kuriositas’ post on The Modern Muses – and found a new pic of Thalia

thalia[1]

What’s this? A muse for stand-up comedians? Why didn’t anyone tell me? I would have kissed HER in a heartbeat🙂

*It was an on-stage kiss, way BM (Before Motherhood)

So tell me – who’s your muse? How does she talk to you? Does she whisper? Does she nag? Does she give you full fledged stories or glimmers of ideas?

nine-muses-mantegna[1]