Express Yourself

 

Express

I expressed myself

like they told me I should.

But then they said, “No!

That self is not good.”

 

So I hid that self

for a long, long time.

Until I decided

I was put here to shine.

And so shiny I’ll be,

I can’t be no less.

Because this is the me

I was born to EXPRESS.

via Daily Prompt: Express

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Brave

Bravery

Many people believe being brave means being fearless.

But the truth is, being brave means being scared shitless of something but doing it anyway.

It means doing things that you’ll likely fail at. Things that will make you look stupid. Things that others may laugh at you for. Or criticize you for. Or judge you for. Or even hate you for.

And the things you’re terrified of may be things that others aren’t. It’s ok. They are your fears to face.

And face them you must.

Becuase there is no growth on this side of safe.

via Daily Prompt: Brave

Ego

ego 2

I’m not good enough.

I’m such an idiot.

I’m so fat.

I don’t have enough time.

I’m broke.

Gary van Warmerdam said, “The ego is an identity of our own construction, an identity which is false.” Others have said the same.

I am choosing to believe them.

I’m calling my ego out. I’m letting go of those limiting beliefs.

At least I’m working on it. One day at a time. Well, really it’s more like one moment at a time.

Ego, you are the fraud.

 

Taco Tuesdays

Taco Tuesday

“This is a really good day,” Esther Hicks repeated. I believed her. But then my day spiraled out of control after getting news that my employment was uncertain. I yelled at my children. I spoke unkindly of others. I whined and complained.

I was upset that I let it get the best of me. I know better. I know thoughts influence feelings and that I can control that. But I didn’t. Not even the frankincense I kept inhaling would help me shake it.

I finally felt better after a venting session over a fun meal with good friends. I’m sure the beer helped, too. Taco Tuesdays are good like that.

So I’m trying again today, Esther. Only, I’m upping the ante. This will be an exceptional day.

 

 

Intestinal Parasites, a SWAT Team & a Police Chopper: Just a Regular Tuesday Morning at my House.

miami_dade_police

My morning started with intestinal parasites, a SWAT team at my door and a police chopper circling overhead. And a very annoyed FPL guy.

Let me back it up a bit.

The Parasites

The night before, my daughter alerted us to the fact that she had something tickling her butt. Upon further inspection, we discovered tiny little squirmy things in her poop. Yes. You read that right.

Turns out it’s pinworm. You can puke. I wanted to.

So I spent all night washing and disinfecting everything in the house before going to bed.

But when I woke up to pee, I couldn’t fall asleep again because I was stressing out about all kinds of important things.

Like the intestinal parasites that are likely lurking all over my room. And possibly festering inside me.

The Bikini Wax

I began to feel itchy “down there” so I decided to investigate. I was now lying there with my legs spread, using the flashlight on my phone to inspect my parts and I realized I was in desperate need of some landscaping. But should I shave, wax or laser?

And so for the next hour, I obsessed over and debated the merits of each. At least it took my mind off the worms.

All this to say I didn’t sleep much during the night and must have fallen into a very deep sleep because I was jarred awake by someone banging incessantly at my door.

The Nudity

Now, I sleep naked.

And while I normally have my “PJs” next to the bed, they weren’t there this morning because wormies.

So, half-asleep, I found something to throw on and answered the door. A man was telling me he needed me to let him into my yard to pick up trees. He was wearing a neon vest but I noticed there was no truck parked out front.

I came inside to put on something less rapey and some sneakers and to call my husband and ask if he had called to have our trees trimmed. He told me he hadn’t and not to let the guy in. I tried going back outside to ask him for credentials but it was too late. He had decided to let himself into my yard anyway.

The Popo

At that point, I realized he was actually just there to pick up trees. But it was too late.

When I called my husband back to let him know, he informed me he had called the cops. I begged him to cancel. This poor dude is out there, sweating his ass off, just trying to do his job.

And then, I heard the chopper.

There was another knock on the door. It was an officer with some kind of assault rifle at the ready. Closely followed by like 4 more units. And the police helicopter circling my house.

I wanted to die of embarrassment.

I tried to explain to the officers (who thought they were going to thwart a home invasion) that my husband had perhaps been a little overly cautious and that calling them was completely unnecessary while they lectured me about asking for credentials.

I am certain Miami Dade’s finest went back to the station and had a good laugh watching the body cam video of the “hysterical female” who called the cops on the poor FPL dude.

Moral of the story: When in doubt, don’t call your husband.

Note to self: Schedule a bikini wax. Stat.

How did your week start out? Let me know in the comments below!

Dear Daddy: Remembering My Father

FullSizeRender (22)

Five years ago today, I was at work. I was afraid of losing my job. But mainly, I was afraid of losing my father.

So I went to the office to distract myself from the latter while trying to prevent the former.

My friend told me to go. To spend as much time as possible with him.

As it turns out, I would end up losing both.

I went home to try and nap a little. I didn’t know how long he had left and I don’t do well on no sleep. But I couldn’t. I was terrified that by the time I got there it would be too late.

So I rushed to my parent’s house.

And waited.

And as I waited, I wrote a letter to him. A letter which I was blessed to have been able to read to him before he passed.

We watched my father take his last breath at 12:26 a.m. on August 4, 2012.

So as I remember him on this day, I wanted to share the letter I wrote him.

Dear Daddy:

My heart is breaking as I write this. Although you’ve been sick for some time and I’ve tried to mentally prepare for this day, I don’t think anything I could have done would have prepared me for the sorrow and emptiness I’m feeling. The hopelessness. The helplessness.

I vacillate between wanting to spend your last moments with you. Needing to be there when you pass. And needing to run away from myself. Wanting to crawl out of my skin. Away from this pain. And I know that’s selfish. Becuase you’re going to a better place. A place where you’ll no longer feel pain. Or be trapped in this body that has betrayed you for so long.

And it’s selfish because mom needs me to be strong. After caring for you for so long, she needs to be taken care of. Especially now that she’s losing her companion of 44 years. The ride wasn’t always smooth. But you stuck by each other. And no matter what, you were always there for us.

So as I sit by your side and see your life reduced to a few pictures strategically chosen to show you in your youth, with your wife, with your children, and your grandchildren that I count myself blessed to have had you be able to meet – I can’t help but be sad.

This is so final. I will never be able to see your face again. Or joke around with you. All I’ll have left of you are these pictures. And my memories. And the regret that we didn’t get a chance to make more.

I hope you know how very much you were loved. Are loved. And how very much you will be missed by all who were fortunate to have known you.

I love you, Daddy

5 Unmistakable Signs That You’re Not as Young as You Think You Are

jabba-the-hutt-portrait-tall.jpgI’ve never really felt my age. Or, if you talk to some people, acted it.

I often find myself marveling that somebody actually lets me be responsible for other living things. Like my children.

And that I don’t have to like get permission to go somewhere. I can just up and leave. It’s mind-boggling.

Plus, I’ve been lying about my age for so long that I honestly can’t remember how old I am without doing math.

But despite my best efforts and attitude towards aging (I refuse to go gentle into that good night), there are just some things I’ve been finding I can’t deny:

  1. It becomes increasingly difficult to successfully pull your hair up in a ponytail without revealing grays. Or bald spots. And speaking of hair…the strands on your head seem to begin a migration southward. Like to your upper lip, chin and neck.
  2. You no longer have a discernible chin. Whether because of weight gain or loss of skin elasticity, your chin seems to have morphed with your neck. You must take care to not allow profile shots. And never, under any circumstances, take a selfie from below unless you want to draw Jabba the Hutt comparisons.
  3. Weight gain. You just look at a doughnut and gain 10 pounds, which then take you 2 years to lose. When I was younger, I could just work out. Or stop eating bread. Now I have to do all of the things AND give up drinking. Life can be so cruel.
  4. You’re suddenly afraid to skate, ski or walk near puddles for fear of falling and breaking a hip. Not of scraping a knee or breaking an arm. No. Of breaking a hip. Seriously.
  5. Decline in mental acuity and vision. You finally locate your missing phone in the fridge. And you can’t see shit without holding it as far as possible from your face, widening your eyes in a lame attempt to bring things into focus and making a weird face, thereby exacerbating your whole Jabba situation. I never thought I’d need a selfie stick just to be able to read!

I like to tell myself that these are things people just don’t tell you about getting older. But the truth is, they probably did. You just didn’t listen because you thought, somehow, it would never happen to you.

So now that they’re happening, I thought I’d give anyone who’ll listen a heads up. Yes, you can work out and eliminate dairy and processed foods and drink gallons of kombucha. But sooner or later, you will succumb to these signs. And you’ll bitch about how nobody told you.

And then you’ll have to seek solace by reminding yourself that every day above ground is a good day. While you gather up tennis balls to affix to your walker.

Can you relate to any of these? Have any more you’d like to add? Let me know!

Don’t Murder the Children

kids behaving badly

This is something I’ve found myself having to repeat often over the last couple weeks.

Because as one of my fellow Toastmasters likes to remind us, we are all just one bad decision from incarceration. He knows. He works at the local correctional facility where he runs a Toastmasters group for the prisoners.

Now, I’ve never been to jail. But I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t like it. On the count of I like to pee on my own schedule. And I’m just not that interested in women…romantically. So there’s that.

But, I digress.

So, my children finished school and started summer vacation two weeks ago. It’s been the longest 14 days, 3 hours, 15 minutes and 46 seconds of my life.

Because, you see, my children are not going to summer camp. And I work from home. It goes without saying that things have been quite….challenging around here. For all parties involved: me, the kids. And their dad.

It’s really difficult to do research, be creative and write when you’re constantly being called upon to do stuff. I know this may come as somewhat of a shock to some of you, but children like to be entertained. And fed.

They’re needy that way.

I mean, I love my kids. They’re super duper awesome. But as I told someone who suggested I just take them with me when I need to go somewhere, my kids are like adorable little bulls in a china shop.

Last week, my internet was acting up so I took them with me to the corner coffee shop. Not only did I get nothing done, we are now banned from Starbucks.

I also haven’t spoken to a grownup for 2 weeks. And yesterday, I found myself singing the theme song for the Thundermans. Every freaking word.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy for them, either. They’re bored out of their skulls.

So they fight. A lot.

There’s a lot of screaming and bloodcurdling screeches going on. And a lot of demands to be fed.

There’s only so much TV watching, iPad playing, blanket fort building and house destroying they can do before they’re at my side again, trying to make my head explode. And asking for food.

And every day, when their dad gets home, he gingerly tiptoes through the front door, half expecting to walk in on WWIII. Or else to find those little white chalk outlines on the ground.

He sends me these little texts every day, asking how my day is going. At first I thought, “aw, how sweet!” But now I realize he’s just trying to determine if he should call the cops. Or the nice men with the white coats.

Last night, he begged me to line up a summer camp for them, lest he find me in the fetal position in a corner one day, hugging my knees to my chest and rocking back and forth. Or he might have to come visit me in my padded room.

I think he’s legitimately concerned that one of us will end up dead. And he’s the only one with life insurance.

So, before I lose my whole mind and make one of those bad decisions that lands me in the Gavel Club, I think I’m going to take him up on his offer and find a fun camp for the kiddies so I don’t, in fact, end up murdering the children.

 

 

5 Depressing Signs That You Just Can’t Party Like You Used To

1. You Think There’s Such a Thing as Too Many Rum-Filled Coconuts

I went to a birthday bash on Saturday and stayed out way past my bedtime. I also stood and danced on 5-inch heels for way too long. And also, I may or may not have consumed a few too many glasses of wine and/or sipped on one too many giant coconuts filled with coconut water. Oh, yeah…and maybe, what tasted to be, about a full bottle of rum.

2. You Used To Be Able to Party Like a Rockstar. On a Weeknight. But Now It Takes You Two Days To Recover

I’m ashamed to say that it took me 2 days to recover. And I’m still not feeling 100%.

I wanted to cut off my feet and walk around on my stumps. It would have also been swell if I could somehow have temporarily removed my pounding head.

There was a time, apparently a lot longer ago than I care to admit, that I used to be able to go out. Every night. Even on school nights. Sometimes, I didn’t even make it home. I’d borrow clothes from a friend and head in to work, put in a full day and repeat the process.

3. 8:00 PM Signifies Bedtime. Not Party Time.

Now, I strongly debate whether I even want to go out at all. I mean, the thought of having to get ready to go out at a time when I’m normally getting ready for bed is almost too much to bear.

4. You Used all the Energy you Had for Getting Ready and you Wind Up Staying In

There have been times when I’ve actually gotten all dressed, blow dried my hair and been fully made up and then mere thought of the consequences of going out have convinced me to say, “fuck it. It’s just not worth it.” And I’ve promptly changed into by comfy PJs, washed off the warpaint and put my hair up in a messy pony. It happens often, actually. True story.

5. The Hassle of Having to Find Childcare and Then Having to Pay the Price the Next Day Usually Dissuades you From Attending Functions

Then I have to think about child care. If we take the kids somewhere and we stay out late, it’s not like I’m going to show up at someone’s house at 2:00 am. So the kids end up “sleeping” over my at my mom’s/sis’s.

The thing is, they don’t actually sleep. They go to bed super late and then wake up at some ungodly hour. Which means they’re going to be psychotic and whiny lunatics the next day. Combine that with mommy and daddy’s lack of sleep and disproportionate hangovers, and you have a recipe for disaster. A veritable powder keg, if you will.

But Being a Growed Up Ain’t All Bad

Although this revelation may sound a little disheartening to some, I’m beginning to make my peace with it. Partying until all hours of the night was fun when I was younger. And don’t get me wrong, it’s still fun. But only on special occasions. When I can build in recovery cushions of at least a day.

Most nights, I’m content to just make dinner for my family, sit around the table and talk about our day (or be forced to watch some episode of iCarly or Henry Danger or the Thundermans for the ten thousandth time) and then snuggle up all together in my bed and read Harry Potter to the littles until they fall asleep.

So, even though I can’t party like I used to, I’m ok with it.

But there is a bright side to having stayed up past midnight: I already had 2,700 steps on my Fitbit when I woke up the next morning!

Can you hang like you used to? Do you even want to? I’d love to know. Leave a comment below!

The Power of Now: When Your Rate of Book Purchasing Far Exceeds Your Rate of Reading

The Power of Now

I’ve had this book for some time. So long, in fact, that I don’t remember if I bought if for myself or if it was a gift.

Anyway, I hadn’t read it. Actually, that’s not really news since I have about a hundred other books that I’m embarrassed to admit I also haven’t read.

But something about this one — perhaps the title — had me feeling incredibly guilty about not having read it.

So I started to read it. And quickly realized I had already started to read it at some point previously because the pages were dogeared and some of the stuff was sounding familiar.

It was at that moment it dawned on me I had a problem. I mean, if I couldn’t finish a book about the power of now, what hope was there for me?

I decided I had to finish it. So I read. And I read. And then I stopped reading. And forgot about it. Until I stumbled upon it again.

This time, I was even more astonished at far I had previously gotten but how little I remembered. So I started again with a fierce determination to finish it. For real this time. If for nothing else so that it would stop taunting me.

I am happy to report that I finally finished the book. If you quizzed me about it in any detail, I would most likely fail. But I think I got the gist.

“The book is intended to be a guide for day-to-day living and stresses the importance of living in the present moment and avoiding thoughts of the past or future.”

And in that regard, I can honestly say that it has made me more aware of how often I engage in rehashing the past or worrying about the future. And it has encouraged me to practice mindfulness more often. So for that, I am grateful I got through it.

And, I would also recommend it. Although it’s probably most helpful if you read it over the course of a few days, and not a few years as I did. Kinda helps it make more sense and also aids in putting into practice the ideas Eckhart Tolle so brilliantly puts forth.

Now if only I could get to the hundreds of other books in my library. Or the list of a hundred others I want to buy but have had to restrain myself from purchasing on the count of I can’t justify spending another penny on another book that doesn’t fit on my shelf or that’s taking up space on my iPad.

Do you have a book-buying problem? Leave a comment below!