Too Pooped to Pop

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image courtesy of http://www.lovethispic.com

Warning – Rant ahead.

I have a confession. Yes, another one. At this rate, I really should convert, but I’d be a bad Catholic. Which wouldn’t be much different than being a bad Jew, really. Same guilt, different food.

ANYWAY. I’ve used the phrase “Too pooped to pop” for years, but it wasn’t until recently (aka “today”) that I learned that the phrase comes from a song. Two songs, actually.  Cliffie Stone released one in 1955 – it’s a cute song about a tired popcorn kernel, roasting at the bottom of the pan. Chuck Berry’s song was released in 1960, and it resonates with me.

Casey is an old man who wants to be a teen
He goes to all the dances and they call him cha-cha King
He cha-cha’s when the band is playin’ rock and roll
He tries to keep in time but the beat leaves him cold
Because he’s too pooped to pop, too old a soul
Hips gettin’ weaker when he tries to do this stroll
And every time his feet get to go in one way
Here comes a new dance and it’s goin’ to stray

Not that I’m an old man, and I don’t really want to be a teen (SO MUCH DRAMA) – but I’m definitely too pooped to pop. I’m tired from the top of my head to the tops of my toenails.

It’s not just me. According to Prevention.com:

If you frequently wonder: “Why am I always tired?” you’re not alone. Two out of every five Americans report feeling wiped out most of the week, and research from the Centers for Disease Control shows that 1 in 3 adults fails to get enough sleep. Between work or school, family and friends, and all the other commitments you’re juggling, it’s easy to blame constant fatigue on a busy lifestyle.

Menopause can be the culprit. According to Consumer Health Digest:

Menopausal fatigue is caused by lower levels of estrogen in the body. These lower levels lead to problems like failing to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, higher stress levels and anxiety. These symptoms tend to aggravate fatigue, making it difficult for a woman to function normally.

But it’s more than just menopause. I’m tired of the headlines, I’m tired of all the hatred being spewed on social media and the “doom and gloom” headlines and stories. Mostly I’m tired of gun violence.

There was a shooting at Saugus high school in Santa Clarita this morning.

Last week was the one year anniversary of the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks (13 dead, including the gunman).

I have multiple friends who were in Las Vegas for the Route 91 festival in 2017 (58 dead).

June 12 of this year marked the 3rd anniversary of the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando (49 dead).

And December 14th will mark 7 years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting (26 dead, including 20 between 6 and 7 years old).

So many dead, so many school children spending time practicing lockdown drills, and yet, somehow, our political leaders can’t seem to pass gun legislation, even something as simple as a universal background check

H.R. 8 was blocked by Republican Senator Cyndi Hyde-Smith of Mississippi this morning, even as teens were running for their lives.

She claimed that the bill would infringe on our second amendment rights, and that she worried about the impact on her “law-abiding constituents.” The bill didn’t aim to take guns away from “law-abiding citizens” it merely wanted to require background checks on all firearm sales in the country (currently, only licensed gun dealers must perform them). It even had exemptions like “gifts to family members and transfers for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense.”

I’m tired of politicians putting their lobbyists ahead of their constituents and then claiming that they’re “fighting for your freedoms.” I’m tired of people who seem to think that waiting 10 days for a gun is too long – that their right to own a gun is more important than our childrens’ right to be free from fear. I’m tired of the NRA.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in the second amendment.  I believe that people have a right to defend their homes. I don’t hunt, but I have “killed” many a target with a range of guns, including the much maligned “assault rifle.” I also believe it’s time we made some changes.

It’s time that we kick our NRA sponsored politicians to the curb. It’s time that we stand up and demand that our political leaders pass common sense legislation. It’s time that we make our children’s safety more important than the inconvenience of waiting a week or two.

And for those of you who still aren’t convinced of the NRA’s political influence? I suggest you read this article from NBC that ran just after the Pulse club massacre. They list five additional ways the NRA cheats the system to buy political clout:

1) The National Rifle Association could also give to party committees and the national party. A maxed-out donation to the national party quickly increases campaign spending to more than $100,000. Any organization – or person – can also give $33,400 to a party committee, like the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee or their Democratic counterparts. Finally, state and local parties can each receive a $10,000, quickly allowing campaign finance totals to sour to nearly half-a-million dollars.

2) While the organization has to follow campaign limits, its members can make their own political donations, also following campaign finance limits noted above. But with millions of members, political clout builds quickly.

3) The NRA has a politically active membership. With more than five million members, the NRA constantly communicates with its members about gun issues and advising them how to vote. The organization is also constantly increasing its voter rolls by registering people to vote.

4) The NRA also activates its membership when elected officials are facing gun-related legislation, resulting in phone calls and emails and letters to Congress. In addition, lawmakers’ votes are noted and advertised to their issue-oriented membership.

5) The NRA has its own super PAC and 501c4 political organization which can run its own political campaign. The two groups combined spent more than $27 million in the 2014 midterm elections on Senate and Congressional candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. A lot of that money was spent on political advertising on television, radio and digital, and on direct mail.

Join me. Write and call your representatives. Write and call and email and march. Write and call and email and march and stand up. Stand up for common sense legislation.  Stand up for your right to protect your love ones. Stand up for those who can’t.

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One Year Later

Anniversary noun

an·ni·ver·sa·ry | \ ˌa-nə-ˈvərs-rē
, -ˈvər-sə-\

plural anniversaries

  1. the annual recurrence of a date marking a notable event
  2.  the celebration of an anniversary

Some anniversaries are meant to be celebrated, some only mark a spot – a moment in time when things changed. Today is not for celebrating.

It’s been one year since the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks.

One year since we learned that twelve people weren’t coming home.

One year of  wondering why?!?

Once Upon a Time, I was a DINK* who spent her free time drinking and dancing with friends and strangers at the Borderline. It became my home-away-from-home on the nights when my husband was working and there was nothing good to watch on (pre-Netflix) TV.

Motherhood changed that (FYI motherhood changes everything). I promised to return to dancing after the baby was born, and so I did – 18 years later. There were tons of new kids on the floor, but some of my friends were dancing still. Introducing the girl to my old hangout made my heart sing.

She loved learning to line dance and said that Borderline “felt like home.” My husband is not a C&W fan, but he didn’t begrudge us our mother-daughter bonding nights.

All too soon the teen told me that, although dancing with “long time” (I suppose I should be happy she didn’t call us “old”) attendees was fun, she wanted to join her friends at College Night . As a college freshman,  her father and I were concerned that College Night was open to all ages, but when a classmate invited her to a birthday celebration on November 7th, 2018, we gave in with a “Don’t walk to your car by yourself.” and “Make friends with the bouncers.”

She changed her mind at the last minute. She had “a ton of homework”, and a long road trip planned for the weekend and decided staying home was the best choice. Or maybe her guardian angel blew sleep dust in her eyes.

I don’t know why she stayed home, but I will be eternally grateful that she did.

We still dance together at local Borderline events at The Canyon Club in Agoura and Sunland Winery. They may not be “home”, but our family of heart is there, and they’re amazing. Funny, smart, friendly, kind, willing to help people with two left feet, willing to make friends out of strangers.

There are memorial events planned over the next few days, and  a ton of stories being told today. A lot of interviews with the friends and family members of the twelve we lost. My heart is with them, and with the 248 people who were there but managed to make it home.

We’re still here, and we’re #BorderlineStrong. And maybe, just maybe, that’s something to celebrate.

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*DINK – Dual Income, No Kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awareness Matters

october-national-depression-mental-health-screening-month[1]October is  important to me because it gives me a chance to play with zombies, clowns and broken dolls. Of the three, the only one that scares me are dolls clowns (ok, maybe clowndolls).

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But October is important for other (more important) reasons.

October is Mental Health Awareness Month. There have been a lot of posts on social media sharing crisis hotline information, listing the signs and symptoms of suicidal ideation and advising us that depression isn’t always obvious.

Mental Health Awareness month is important to me because it has personal significance. I come from a long line of women who self medicate for depression, and I’ve shared stories of my battles with the Black Dog. It should be important for everyone.

We are suffering from a crisis. The World Health Organization states that “Around 450 million people currently suffer from (mental health issues), placing mental disorders amount the leading causes of ill-health an disability worldwide.” The article continues:

“Treatments are available, but nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional. Stigma, discrimination and neglect prevent care and treatment from reaching people with mental disorders, says the World Health Organization (WHO). Where there is neglect, there is little or no understanding. Where there is no understanding, there is neglect.”

Even more alarming is the fact that according to the Centers for Disease Control data, the suicide for Americans aged 15-24 (aka Generation Z) is the highest it’s been since at least 1999. The overall suicide rate for this age group has risen by 51% over the past decade. We tell people that suicide is “selfish” instead of recognizing it as the last choice of someone who is in more pain than we can possibly imagine (full disclosure – I’ve been guilty of this one).

Mental Health issues are one of our remaining taboos. We suggest that people who are clinically depressed should avoid medication and tell them that they “just need to change their diet and exercise more.” We call them “Eeyore” and tell them they need to “buck up” and get out of the house.

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I came across a great article in (of all places) People magazine. PEOPLE magazine wants to change the stigma with their Let’s Talk About It initiative to normalize mental illness. In the article, Ashley Womble director of communications and crisis counselor for the Crisis Text Line says that communication with friends and loved ones who are suffering is vital.

“Always ask!” she says. “If you’re concerned about a loved one, it’s important for you to tell them why and make it easier for them to ask for help or support. Suffering is hard enough. You can make it easier by starting the conversation.”

Most importantly, I think we need to stop judging people who struggle with mental illness and offer them sympathy instead. Maybe we should just stop judging people, period.

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If you or someone you love is having a mental health crisis, please reach out for help. NAMI has a downloadable guide for navigating a mental health crisis, and you can always call or text to speak to a trained professional.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Call 800-273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Text Line – Text NAMI to 741-741
Connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.

The Scariest Time of Year

AnxietyI know I have friends out there who think this post is about December – after all, there are only 9 more Mondays until Christmas, and I haven’t started shopping. If you have O.C.D. (Obsessive Christmas Disorder) you can go here for the official countdown.  If you’re unsure as to whether or not you have O.C.D., check out this Buzzfeed post.

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Evidently those friends don’t know me very well. I love almost everything about Christmas, including Black Friday shopping (feel free to boo and hiss).

I love December and its multiple holidays (yes, I am a “happy holidays” person), but I love October more. Although the Autumnal equinox was September 23rd, October feels like Fall to me. The weather is finally cool (HA! Anyone see that Camarillo hit 99 degrees the other day?) and the leaves are changing color (and not just because they’re being burned black by California wildfires, ya haters).

I love October, because that means I can spend my weekends with my family of blood and heart scaring the sh*t out of people – sometimes quite literally (true story). By day I am a mild mannered suburban soccer mom/biller/masseuse/writer – but  weekend nights in October I bring my multiple personalities out to play. Confession time (again) –

I am a scare actor.

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I’ve loved scaring people for as long as I can remember. When I was in high school I scared someone so badly they ran across our lawn and off the 4′ wall ..and never made a sound.*

When my daughter was 11, a friend invited us to work a haunted house as a fundraiser for a local school. We’ve been scaring together ever since. As it turns out, she’s scarier than I am, and not just because she’s a teenaged girl. She gets partial credit (and earned a taco) for scaring the poop out of a teenaged boy a few years back when we were scaring for DeadZone805.

DeadZone was the brainchild of Nelson Cooper. We met some incredible people. Our support staff kept things flowing and kept us safe, our makeup artists made us unrecognizable even to our closest friends, and the actors were crazy talented. Unfortunately for us (but fortunately for him), Nelson has moved on to bigger and better things, He was a finalist on FaceOff (no, not the John Travolta Nick Cage movie) and his work can be seen on AHS and CryptTV.

I know what you’re thinking. I do! I told you before, I’m psychic….or maybe I’m psychotic, which is why I love scaring people.

Why Halloween? Why NOT Halloween? It’s the best holiday – I don’t have to buy anyone a present (although I will accept any gift you want to send me), I can dress up/pretend to be someone else (they frown on that at work), and I get to scare people (they frown on THAT at work, too).

Why do you like scaring people so much? You know that rush of adrenaline you get when someone/something scares you? Scaring gives you that same rush, but I get to experience it 50/75/100 times/night (yes, I watch for adrenal overload). There’s also a rush of power and feeling of accomplishment when you “drop someone.”

What does “dropping someone” mean? From Emily Petsko’s article “14 Behind the Scenes Secrets of Haunted House Actors”:

When customers aren’t around, one actor might call out to another “I dropped them!” In haunted house parlance, this means a visitor was so scared that they fell to the floor—and it’s considered an accomplishment. “It’s always great every time an actor does that for the first time because it is one of the cooler things to do,” Mancini says. It’s an even bigger win if someone “melts into the floor” in fear and has to crawl out of the room on their hands and knees.

What surprised you the most about being a scare actor? You get hit. A lot. Well, maybe not a lot, but more often than I expected. I’m not talking about getting hit by someone who’s been startled/getting hit because you’re too close to the patron. I’m talking about people who make an effort to hit/punch/shove/kick the actor (I got kicked in the chest just last weekend). Fortunately our haunt is tightly monitored and our security staff is there to keep us safe/identify and remove patrons who put our actors at risk.

Anything else? The teen is an adult now, busy with her own life. This is one of the few things we still do together. My husband works security at our current haunt, which is a bonus. #thefamillythatscarestogetherstaystogether (The girl just popped by to laugh at me with a “you still don’t understand hashtags, do you?)

P.S. For those of you in Southern California, you should check out the 13th Gate Asylum. We’re getting great reviews, and the girl made her tv debut on KEYT.

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*It’s entirely possible that the trick-or-treater ran across our lawn into our neighbor’s yard and down their stairs, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 

 

 

 

Today is Another Day, Too

15b8f2ff541eb0127dbe7fc87e953ab7[1]When I was growing up, I wanted to be Scarlett O’Hara. (Yes, I know, last week I told you I wanted to be Mary Poppins. I also wanted to be Catwoman, Mrs. Peel and Peter Pan). Scarlett was smart, strong and went for what she wanted, without apologizing. She made horrible decisions when it came to her love life, but who hasn’t?

I learned important life lessons from Scarlett:

  1. Self-confidence is a gamechanger. As Margaret Mitchell put it, “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it…” Scarlett might not have been the prettiest girl in the room, but she behaved as if she were. There’s nothing more attractive than a person who’s comfortable in their own skin.
  2. It’s ok to go after what you want. Scarlett didn’t sit around waiting for life to happen – she plotted, schemed, manipulated and chased down opportunities.
  3. Tomorrow is another day. Scarlett knew that no matter what happened, things always looked better in the morning and that tomorrow is a chance for a fresh start.
  4. Sometimes people need to be slapped. Yes, I know that Sean Connery got it trouble for saying it, but it’s true. Sometimes, it’s the only way to get a person to focus.

I’m older now, and I’ve come to the realization that Scarlett was wrong, and not just because she chose Ashley over Rhett (WHAT was that woman thinking?). Ok, maybe not wrong, just misguided (especially about the Rhett Butler thing.. #scoundralsareyummy)

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I still think self confidence and the courage to go after what you want are important. I also think it’s ok (when all else fails) to slap someone who is hysterical (I would know – I slapped a drunk friend years ago, and it’s the only thing he remembered from the night he came thisclose to getting arrested). I’m no longer certain about #3. I mean, yes, tomorrow is another day, but why wait until tomorrow?

We spend so much of our lives waiting. Waiting for things to change. Waiting for things to get better. Waiting to meet that special someone. Waiting for tomorrow, when things will look better.

I won’t say I’m old (as Mark Twain tell us, “age is an issue of mind over matter“), but I have reached a point  in my life where I cannot afford to wait. Instead, I’m learning to focus on the present. I’m focusing on the present and on finding little gifts in the moment because the stresses and strains of Life can be overwhelming. I’m focusing on the present because Eckhart Tolle stresses the power of now. I’m focusing on the present, because, as recent losses have reminded me, we’re not guaranteed tomorrow.

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image courtesy of enjin.com

 

 

 

 

 

F-k Perfect

11460_1167528866116_7109996_n[1]Greetings and Salutations! I know it’s been a while since last I wrote – so long that you probably thought I’d:

  1. taken a vow of silence
  2. entered the witness protection program or
  3. “passed on.”

I have no doubt that there are people who wish that #1 was true (I talk. A lot) and I know I wish #2 was true (a fresh start? yes please!) but they’re not – as for # 3, the only thing that died was my creativity (and my lawn). Stress does that. I’d tell you my tale of woe, but it’s not worth our time.

Besides, today is my birthday, and I thought it was time to turn over a new leaf.  No more whining! No more drama! No procrastinating! NO! NO! NO!* I’ve decided that it’s time to get rid of old/bad habits and form brand news ones (I’m open to suggestions if you have any favorites you’d like to share).

Yes, today is my birthday, which makes me a Virgo.

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And there we have it, the biggest, baddest motherf-r of a habit out there. No, I’m not talking about “control issues” (as a matter of fact, I don’t even know what that means. I don’t have control issues – I do it myself because I want it done right the first time).

I’m talking about the P-word.

From Miriam-Webster:

perfect

adjective

per·​fect | \ ˈpər-fikt \

Definition of perfect

 1 a : being entirely without fault or defect : flawless a perfect diamond

b : satisfying all requirements : accurate

: expert, proficient practice makes perfect

3 obsolete : mature

I’m definitely not mature, and while I’d love to believe that I’m “entirely without fault or defect”,  my friends and family would disagree. I may not be perfect, but until today I tried to be.

I don’t know if I’m a perfectionist because I’m a Virgo, or if something happened when I was a baby (it took me a while to walk and I really, really hate dolls). Or perhaps it has something to do with birth order. According to Dr. Kevin Leman, author of The Birth Order Book, I’m a perfectionist because I’m not the baby of the family:

“Firstborns and only children tend to carry a burdensome trait: perfectionism. Even seemingly lazy and unmotivated firstborns and poor students are usually discouraged perfectionists who have given up trying because it hurts too much to fail”

It doesn’t matter why I’m a perfectionist. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember (full disclosure – my childhood hero was Mary Poppins).

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I used to agree with Vince Lombardi when he said “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

Vince Lombardi was an amazing man (he gets full props for the fact that he “demanded “Nothing But Acceptance” from players and coaches toward all people, and he would immediately terminate a coach or release a player if that particular person insulted the sexual orientation of gay players and front office staff”), but the world he lived in was very different than the social media crazed airbrushed and photo-shopped illusion of perfection world we live in today. There’s nothing wrong with striving for excellence, but striving for an illusion is exhausting, and perfectionism has stopped me for far too long. Today I say “No more.”

Now I agree with Siski Green:

Striving for perfection does more than take you on a straight no-turns route to failure, it will also cause problems in your social life, work and health. Sex suffers within a relationship with a perfectionist, friendships and work partnerships suffer because perfectionists tend to be more critical of others, too.

TBH I have no problem being imperfect (and not just because the word literally says “I’m Perfect”).

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You are, you know. You’re f-g perfect.

*For those of you who were keeping track, I’ve finally learned how to say the “N-word“).

 

 

 

 

How to Have a Baby

young-sad-couple-scared-shock-surprise-reading-pink-positive-pregnancy-test-overwhelmed-panic-pregnant-girl-looking-69717534[1]Please note – if you came across my post in your search for “How to make a baby”, please keep looking – this is not the blog you’re looking for…..

When I first started blogging, I planned on filling it with tips and tricks to surviving suburbia with sanity (mostly) intact. I wanted to impart my new-mom wisdom to women who might be panicking after peeing on a stick. I’m no longer a new mom (not even close) and, as the mother to a teen, I’m longer certain about the wisdom – but I have a whole slew of half-written posts just begging to be finished. Read on if you dare:

What makes you think you’re pregnant?

a. you’ve been throwing up ever since the condom broke (please note, it takes a while for morning sickness to begin – nausea can be a normal reaction to a lost or broken condom, especially if it was a wild night of drinking that led to the wild night of passion).

b. you’re so exhausted strangers think you have narcolepsy (see notation for answer a).

c. it’s been several weeks since your wild night of passion, and both a and b apply.

d. you’re craving strange foods (as well as things that might not normally fall into the “food” category).

e. your sense of smell has developed to the point where you could be used by a narcotics officer or the bomb squad if their canine partner takes ill.

f. c, d & e apply and you feel fat (this is fat as in “can’t button my fat jeans” fat, not the “trying on a bathing suit in a dressing room” fat).

g. your breasts are incredibly sensitive and are so huge that men no longer make eye contact.

h. you feel great, better than you have in months, but you have a sneaking suspicion that something’s not quite right. This is your developing “mommy sense” (aka mother’s intuition) – mommy senses are more accurate than spidey senses and should never be ignored).

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So you think you’re pregnant, now what?

It’s time to kill the rabbit (please note – “The rabbit died” is just a phrase, and there is no longer a need to sacrifice a cuddly little rabbit, even if the future father is married and no longer returning your calls).

Why you need to have a baby:

  1. Because you want to get married.
  2. Because babies will give you unconditional love.
  3. Because babies are little bundles of joy, and every post-delivery day will be filled with love and laughter.
  4. Because your life is meaningless/broken/empty and you need something to fix all the problems.
  5. None of the above.

If you responded to the question with anything other than “5”, please don’t have a baby. Get a dog! Get a cat! Get a goldfish (FYI you don’t have to take a goldfish for a walk).

To be honest, I can’t think of any reason that a person NEEDS to have a baby. You need to eat, you need to sleep, you need shelter, you need to breathe (as an asthmatic, I am reminded of this need on a semi-regular basis). Do you need to have a baby? Nope. Well, maybe. Some people have parenthood on their dreamboard (I wasn’t one of them). If it’s something you’ve always dreamed of doing – by all means, have a baby. If it’s not something you want to do, don’t let society/friends/strangers/family members convince you that you’re being “selfish” by remaining childfree by choice.

The Rabbit Died, Now What?

First, and foremost, take a piece of advice from Douglas Adams and DON’T PANIC.

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Next, re-take the test. It’s not unusual to get a “false positive” response on the drug store tests.

Take it again. And again. Take it so many times your local pharmacist thinks you’re running a women’s clinic out of your garage.

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The next step is of the utmost importance – I cannot stress this point enough – if you make a mistake here, you will regret it (trust me on this):

Tell your significant other/spouse/partner/baby daddy BEFORE you tell anyone else (I’m serious. Evidently men don’t like finding out from posts on social media)

One last suggestion, from someone who’s been there, done that, bought the postcard – pretend you didn’t read the test results, and have your last sip of wine/beer/shot of tequila. My mom and her friends smoke and drank through their entire pregnancie(s), and I/we turned out ok*. Trust me, it’s going to be a long 10 months (you read that right – 10 months, not 9)

Coming up in tomorrow’s post – the one thing you should NEVER do when you’re pregnant**

*we also rode in cars without seatbelts and drank from the hose – pretty sure our parents were trying to kill us

**couldn’t help myself. I HATE those 8AM reporters who warn me that “something in your house could kill you – news at 11!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Love Me

64-what-is-self-love-all-about[1]I know, I know, when I finished Blogging University’s Fundamentals of Blogging course I promised that Wednesdays would be Weird. Well, guess what? Promises are made to be broken.

Today is Wednesday, February 13th, and it’s time to celebrate Self-Love Day. Christine Arylo created Self-Love Day twelve years ago “to bring awareness to self-love in a way that made it real, tangible and practical to what you are facing in your life today (not fluff.) Because self-love, or lack of it, is at the root of very choice we make…but few people really know what self-love is, and how to apply it to their lives. We cannot guide and model for others what we do not embody deeply ourselves.”

I’ve spoken about the importance of self-love in the past (and no, you do not need batteries to practice self-love). IMHO, you cannot forge healthy relationships with others until you have a healthy relationship with yourself. I’ve seen it over and over with those closest to me – women who searched in vain for a “perfect partner”, finding their soulmate only AFTER they healed their soul.

It’s not just our love lives that suffer when we refuse to prioritize our needs. I’m going to say it again, for the people in back. You need to put yourself first. I know, I know, it goes against everything we’ve been taught as women. We are taught to be caregivers – to put others’ needs before our owns, to take care of all the things that Need Doing before taking time for ourselves.  I’m here to tell you that your relationships with friends/coworkers/family will improve immensely when you put yourself first. Again, for the people in the back – you need to MAKE time for yourself before you take care of anything else.

I have to admit that I’m not good at it. I have a hard time sitting down to read when Stuff Needs Doing, I dose myself on meds and caffeine so that I can take care of my two kids (the one I birthed and the one I married), and I still have a hard time with “the N-word” (not that one).

But I’m working on it. I’ve decided that 2019 is the year I stop telling The Girl to “Do what I say and not what I do” and start modeling a healthier lifestyle. She is rapidly becoming a mini-me:  carrying 17 units at school, volunteering to run lights for church, working towards her next referee badge, and becoming a Cope Health Scholar. I want her to know that it’s okay to say no. I want to show her that rest is not a four-letter word. I want to teach her the importance of self-love, because, as Christine says Self-Love is a path, a practice and a choice. It is the foundation that gives one an inner strength and connection in the heart, body, mind and soul. As a culture, we do not understand, embrace or embody it. If we did, there would be no more bullying, girls dishonoring their bodies, narcissism, abuse, negative self-talk, burnout, destruction of the planet. We are a culture obsessed with the mind, but deeply needing the heart, and scared to actually feel what’s in there.”

Long story short (too late) we need to listen to flight attendants when they tell us to  “Put on your oxygen mask first.”

Christine Arylo has provided some amazing tools to help you learn to practice self-love.

  1. You can get a self-love kit which comes with a powerful process for getting clear on your area of self-love to strengthen
  2. You can join a live class on the impact loving yourself has on your relationships
  3. You can pick up a self-love coloring book and journal

As for me, I started this year’s journey to self-love by taking a quiz to discover who my Inner Mean Girl (aka EIC) is.*

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*They said I’m a perfectionist. Color me not surprised. 

 

Wednesdays are Weird

Finishing line Whoo hooo! I did it! It’s taken me more than a month but I finally finished Blogging University’s Learning the Fundamentals course! Evidently I am finally Becoming an Adult. Well, maybe not, but it looks like I’ve  finally Learned my Lesson – or one, at least. It appears that this procrastinator perfectionist has finally learned to finish what she’s started. So far I’m two for two (for those of you who missed the announcement I finally finished my 13 year WIP). If this continues, I just may finish putting away Christmas before summer vacation (don’t judge me).

I cheated, of course. I whipped through lessons 12, 13 and 14 today. It was either that, or quit for the third time. But the third time’s the charm! Made it to the last lesson – Day Fourteen: Create Your Own Feature. The powers that be instructed me to “think of the type of regular feature you can commit to – something you’ll publish weekly, biweekly, or monthly.”

I have to admit that I have a fear of commitment – it took me five years and threats from my fiancé before I agreed to walk down the aisle, and another ten years before I was willing to commit to raising a child…so today’s lesson is hard – or would be, if it weren’t Wednesday.

I know what you’re thinking. “What does Wednesday have to do with the price of tea in China?” Or maybe not – nobody says that any more. Wednesdays are the best brain day. I have completely recovered from all the activities of the previous weekend, and my brain has not yet run away to get an early start on the coming weekend. And Wednesdays start with a “W” which made it a short alliterative jump to  Weird Wacky Worldwide Stories of the Week aka Weird Wednesday.

 

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A  quick Google search for weird/wacky stories made me realize how popular they’ve become. I know we’re all tired of doom and gloom, but I was surprised to see just how many links I found. Reddit has a page dedicated to News of the Weird, as does NPR . There’s a Facebook group and it appears that even Fox news has jumped on the bandwagon (nobody says that any more either) with Weird News Wednesday.

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image courtesy of          fox13now.com/tag/weird-news-wednesday/

I skimmed through the various sites, looking for the perfect story to kick off this series. Then my daughter sent me a link to January Nelson’s post from September of last year.

The post included 50+ stories that she had “curated from funny Tumbler stories”  but it was the first one that had The Girl crying with laughter:

In my junior year of high school, this guy asked me on a date. he rented a Redox movie and made a pizza. We were watching the movie and the oven beeped so the pizza was done. He looked me dead in the eye and said, “This is the worst part.” I then watched this boy open the oven and pull the pizza out with his bare hands, rack and all, screaming at the top of his lungs. We never had a second date.

So okay, it may not be “news” , and I’m not sure it’s as weird as the story about the working usb drive that was found in frozen leopard seal poop, but it made me laugh (because I am an evil, evil person).

Poor boy. Burnt his hands AND lost the girl.

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I Survived the Zombie Apocalypse

th[2]We all know that time is relative (one of those asshat relatives who never behaves) – a wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey thing that speeds up and slows down depending on your location (work or vacation), cycle of the moon and time of year, but when I started Blogging University’s “Learning the Fundamentals” I had no idea that it would take me this long to complete a two week course.

It’s not my fault. Well, it IS my fault, because I haven’t been writing every day, but I have an excellent excuse – I’m a victim of the zombie plague. It pisses me off, not just because I don’t have time to get sick, but because I got the flu shot and still got the flu. It’s just not fair (yes, Mom, I know that “life’s not fair”).

I blame my coworkers. Patient zero came to work “with a horrible cold”, took time off, then returned to work and relapsed. SHE SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME. When she returned to work, she infected a second employee, who “tried to stay away from everyone.” SHE SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME. Instead she decided to come to work with the hope that “staying away” would keep her from infecting anyone.

That’s not the way the flu works.

The CDC says you should “take 3” actions” to fight the flu. Their website includes the recommendation that “Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year before flu activity begins in their community” as well as telling people to:

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are sick with flu symptoms, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours…
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough…

I spent 4 days alternating between the false hope that I was getting better, and dealing with a headache so bad I was certain my brain was going to explode.  On the fifth day, I woke up to find my unexploded brain was missing (I wonder if zombies are actually looking for their runaway brains?). Since I wasn’t running a fever, I decided to see if I could find it at work.

That was a week ago. I’m not sure where my brain has been, but it’s finally back in my head where it belongs. Good thing, because I need to finish this course. My newly returned brain decided to whoosh through several of the tasks in an attempt to finish the two week course in fewer than two months.

Day 10’s assignment to “build a better blogroll” seemed easy enough, since I already had one. I say “seemed” because I failed in my attempt to edit my blogroll (several of “my people” are no longer writing). I’m still looking for help.

Day 11’s assignment proved challenging as well. The task to “make a prompt personal” including instructions to “visit our Daily Post site and check out today’s prompt – it’s in the dark blue box in the middle of the page.” When I clicked the link, I saw a lot of boxes, but no dark blue box. I kept hitting “back” and clicked the link repeatedly, then searched frantically on the internet, determined to find the missing blue box*. It appears that they are no longer offering a daily prompt, but suggested that I “use some of our prior prompts.”

I was going to write about how guilty I feel for not writing, then considered talking about the fact that I’m better, but still broken. But I’m broken because two selfish people chose to come to work and infect others instead of STAYING HOME like responsible humans.

The good news is that staying home gave me time to start reading Year One by Nora Roberts.

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I was only able to read first two chapters (it’s hard to read when your brain is missing), but it seems to me that The Doom is very similar to Captain Tripps. I wonder if Nora Roberts is a Stephen King fan? Both books deal with an ever mutating, highly contagious virus, and both books made me think that the coming zombie apocalpyse is unavoidable. Good thing that both the CDC and youtubers have tips to help us survive.

The best news is that, by isolating myself for a week and using proper hand hygiene techniques, nobody else in my house caught the flu, even though they haven’t gotten a flu shot (somehow that doesn’t seem fair).

*I didn’t find the daily prompt’s blue box, but I did find the Tardis. I’d love to share the details of our amazing adventure, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy. The doctor promised to return me home “five minutes before we left,” but evidently she miscalculated, and I lost two weeks instead.