13

Today I officially have a teenager. I know what you’re thinking – OMG YOU LOOK AMAZING FOR SOMEONE WITH A 13 YEAR OLD!!! I totally agree. But holy shit, she’s thirteen!

I’ll be honest, I’ve never kept anything alive this long. This is my personal best. *self high five* I’d like to take a moment to thank my friends for talking me through countless near-jail experiences in the passed 13 years. Also, the Twitterverse for allowing me to bitch about my child openly. To Mike, for helping make me a parent and being my partner in this, the most challenging job I’ve ever had.

And most of all – Soph. For letting me be her mom. For forgiving me when I fuck up – and I totally do. For being self sufficient when I can’t be 200% Mom or when I just want to sleep in. For loving me and all my flaws – a never ending list. And for just being her – my reason for existing, getting up every morning, my ultimate motivation for the things I do, everyday.

It’s been a whole baker’s dozen years of parenting and I’ve learned a lot.

  • Parenting is the hardest job in the history of jobs. Period. It can also be the most rewarding.
  • There is no book that will walk you through. [Though the Dr. Sears The Baby Book is a DAMN GOOD reference for new parents. And a lot of the others in his series. Just my opinion.]
  • There is no love stronger than what a parent feels for their child.
  • Every child is different. What worked for Timmy might not work for Sally.
  • It’s totally okay to have favorites. I do. 🙂
  • Common sense is no longer common.
  • Pass something down from generation to generation.
  • There are fewer things more irritating than people telling you how to parent your child. *ahem* MOM!
  • Keep family traditions and start new ones.
  • Disciplining your child will evolve as your child grows. Time out is effective when they are 3, where as no cell phone is more effective when they are 13.
  • Help educate your child. It’s not all on the teachers of the world. Teach them about music, talk to them about events happening in the world so they get the facts from you not kids on the bus. Talk to them about hate, racism, sexism, all of it…so they aren’t naive but educated.
  • Children learn from watching you. How to love, how to hate, how to be thankful and appreciate.
  • Tell your children where they came from. Teach them their culture and history.
  • Be honest with your kids. Age appropriate honesty, of course.
  • Have them learn the ACTUAL names for their parts, not foo foo names.
  • Help them find an outlet to express themselves.
  • Make sure they understand kindness, generosity and forgiveness. And practice it.
  • It’s okay if they hate you. It doesn’t feel good but it’s okay and it will pass.
  • When things get heated – no matter the age – walk away to cool down. At some point screaming is no longer constructive. Otherwise shit is said out of anger, high emotions, etc. And if they need to walk away to get it together – let them.
  • Set realistic expectations and goals for and with your children. You want to see them succeed and not fail at something they never had a chance at to begin with.
  • Growing up can be hard. Let them know you are a safe place to talk about scary things like girls/boys, peer pressure, etc.
  • Let them dress themselves. Don’t let them leave looking like a bum or someone who works a corner. But let them find their style.
  • Be authentic in your parent/child relationship. Don’t act one way in public and then another behind closed doors.
  • Teach them to be better than you.
  • Don’t push your kid in any one direction – sports, academics, etc. Provide them guidance but don’t force them into something.
  • Learn to say no. And MEAN IT.

My two goals as a mother are to ensure my kid is happy and healthy and that she’s a kind, well rounded and productive human being in society. Soph is already the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life so if I succeed at those goals, it will just be icing on the cake.

Happy 13th Birthday, kiddo.

Chronicles of Cube World: 6pger

I work in an office. I chronicle my work experiences often in my #chroniclesofcubeworld tweets. But I’ve decided that some things just need told.

Today I’d like to introduce you to a person in the office that I affectionately call 6 pager (aka 6pger). Why, you ask, do I call said person 6pger? Because when they applied for their current role – they submitted a six page resume.


Let me explain something. Resume etiquette – yes there is etiquette for resume writing – states that you should have one page for every ten years of professional work. Most people keep it between one to two pages. That being said – the ONLY time a six page resume would be acceptable is if:

  • You’ve dedicated 60+ years of your life to a career and your CV needs to reflect the breadth of your work.
  • You are in fact the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa or Gandhi, all of whom would be too humble to have six pages of things to say about themselves anyway.
  • You’ve walked on the moon, solved world hunger, cured cancer, secured all children proper education across the globe and or brought peace to all of the Middle East.

That’s it! So if you don’t fit into those categories a six page resume is absolutely unacceptable. But I digress…


6pager has been around for a minute now but still is of the volition that learning the actual parts of the role is optional. This I can’t wrap my head around. When I begin a new role or take on any new responsibility and they tell me to learn X. I learn X. And then Y and Z. Because knowledge is power! Additionally, said verbose individual does not collaborate, communicate, or commiserate with teammates. The team is small so if one of the group doesn’t actively participate it makes a very lopsided team dynamic. This person essentially takes notes, sends meeting notices and meeting minutes. They are a glorified note taker, making too much for doing too little.

And despite how long winded and highly accredited 6pger is, they lack the ability to critically think. As in none whatsoever. Like not even out of a cardboard box. This is alarming to me in a heavy critical thinking, problem solving type role. If complete, step by step directions are not given or a template not provided – they are all deer in the headlights. The one thing that I think bothers me the most is that 6pger is a “let me go ask permission” employee. You know the type? This is a high preforming, high caliber, working professional environment. If you feel like you need to run to mommy or daddy to ask permission before you make any decision, then this is not the place for you. Period. It’s disgraceful. It means you aren’t capable of thinking or executing on your own.

*Deep sigh* 

Six whole pages of resume and yet so many holes.

6pger is a nice human being. Naive as hell but nice. Just not someone I care to interact with at work. Or ever.

The renaissance continues!

Last year I began my own renaissance. It was slow but steady and I accomplished some things. In 2018 I:

  • logged 80+ workouts
  • lost 35 pounds
  • went to the gym by myself
  • took my dogs to the beach for the first time
  • faced some of my own demons and hard truths, acquired some new ones along the way
  • cleaned out my Monica closet (props to those who know what this is)
  • bought a home
  • wrote more
  • prayed
  • read but not nearly as much as I wanted to
  • bought myself something expensive and got over the mom guilt
  • survived another year of parenting a tween

I shared some of my progress along the way to celebrate the small wins. Because in life you have to call out the small shit, right? And I’m definitely not done. The year is well on it’s way and the renaissance must continue…

There is sooo trash in the world. So much darkness. I am cleansing all that crap out of me. Doing a little Marie Kondo on my mental, emotional, spiritual and physical baggage to make sure I am only carrying the essentials (and they are neatly folded). It won’t be easy but I’m here for it all. Then I’m hoping I can contribute to the positive. Live in the light and put some light out into the world. Because boy do we need more light in our lives. Am I right or am I right?

I don’t have particular goals or resolutions. But just as renaissance implies – I am continuing the rebirth of a better version of myself. I hope that when I take stock of the things I’ve done in 2019 that my list spreads the whole gamut of human health. Because above all things – I’m committed to myself. I need to be the best form of me to be the best mom, partner, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, and or stranger on the goddamn street I can be.

So here’s to 2019 and all that it brings.

Confessions – 9th ed.

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Ever feel like you just need to get shit off your chest? Same. Here are some things I just have to say.

  • I sometimes wonder what I will be known for. Other than excellent curly hair – I don’t think it’s much.
  • I didn’t get the job I interviewed for, for nearly a month. I was sad, angry, I ate chocolate and got sick. And now I think I’m just numb.
  • Finding THE PERFECT phone case takes research and patience. And a lot of returning.
  • I’ve become a bit obsessed with cleaning things out of my house. The purge of trash is sooooo gratifying. I recently cleaned my Monica closet… (a post for another time).
  • I’m officially transitioning out of Scentsy. THE HORROR!!!!!!! I used to sell it so know that there are still things I love and warmers I will have forever (like my ‘Tis the Season one that counts down till Christmas) but lately the scents just having been what they used to be.
  • I splurged and bought myself a new iPhone (long overdue). And I LOVE LOVE LOVE my phone. But I have tremendous “mom guilt” over spending money on myself.
  • I’ve begun Christmas shopping already. In fact I bought my first present of the year in July. 🙂
  • We are experiencing a hormonal phase with my daughter that, honestly, I don’t know how to deal with. I don’t know how to parent her. I’m too nice, too firm, too loud. I can’t figure out the right parental cocktail. IT’S STRESSING ME OUT.
  • Halloween is one of my least favorite holidays. The only thing I enjoy are the Pumpkin Reese’s and watching Hocus Pocus. That’s it.
  • Image result for too much gifOn that same note – I am convinced only Dwight people {in my neighborhood?} actually decorate for Halloween. And some take it too far. I was driving to work the other day and noticed one house with a body wrapped in clear plastic hanging from their tree.
  • I don’t think grown ass kids should be allowed to Trick-or-Treat. And when they show up to my door asking for candy – NOT EVEN IN A COSTUME – I find them incredibly irritating.
  • We are expected to have a blustery Winter and I am HELLA EXCITED!
  • Totally disappointed in the new curly-haired emoji. I mean I’m glad I have it. Just wish I could express myself with other curly hair emojis too. What? Us curly-haired folks only get one look? RIDICULOUS.
  • How do you tell someone you love that you don’t want them to drive your kid anywhere ever again? Yeah. I don’t know either but I am going to have to soon and it’s going to be a shit conversation.
  • I’m binging ER on Hulu and it’s AMAZING. Best medical TV drama in the history of TV dramas. Grey’s people – don’t even start. I will fight you.

 

These are my confessions.

Anxiety

My anxiety is on the fritz. Like when when your children act up in public, my anxiety is not something I love to acknowledge. But we alllll know it’s happening (or it feels that way anyway). My not sure what my trigger was this time around but whatever it was – it’s been sticking around and I am not a fan. I’m leaning towards stress. I’m trying to focus on the things I can control and take it one task at a time. Yeah, I said task. I’m not even on the day level. Baby steps.

I don’t talk about my anxiety for a variety of reasons. Mainly because people give you this phony look like you are making the whole thing up, like it’s all in your head. And as much as I would love to play along – I don’t have time for bull shit.

Anxiety is very real for lots of people. And everyone is different so therefore their anxiety is too. 

My friend shared this online and it couldn’t be more accurate.

In the past – my anxiety has taken on many shapes and forms. In high school, it was panic attacks that would send my heart heart well above 180 and require a trip to the ER. My mother – a doctor herself – was of the “it’s all  in your head” tribe and couldn’t possibly understand how her daughter – a girl brought up in a well off, Christian home – could possibly have this problem. She did nothing but throw Bible versus at me and essentially told me to get out of my own head and not embarrass the family with my “foolishness.”

In college, my anxiety decided to party hard (even though I didn’t) sending me into panic attacks so taxing that I would black out (sometimes hurting myself in the process), wake up so confused and not know who/what/where I was for a solid 20+ minutes. It was terrifying. My best friend at the time, Katie, would constantly write her name and number on my hand in Sharpie so that when I woke up confused I knew to call her and she would explain.

When I was pregnant I was SO WORRIED about having panic attacks and depriving the baby of oxygen. I had sleepless nights my first trimester. Then when I got over that hump – I obsessively cleaned, cooked and nested to keep busy. And I was an emotional disaster. Countless times Mike caught me crying over nothing – brushing my teeth, baking cookies, folding laundry. Sometimes happy tears, sometimes sad, sometimes tears for no reason at all. I attribute that phase to angst about entering motherhood. I mean it’s not like they give you this magical guide to not fucking up your kid when you push them out at the hospital. You know?

At the present, my anxiety is a bit unpredictable but far more tame. I thank Mike for that. He grounded me and while all of the anxiety didn’t go away – the scary stuff did. Your partner should always bring out the good in you, help you grow, heal, flourish. Mike helped wipe away a lot of my fears and worries, kept me calm and encouraged me. And certainly didn’t mock my pain and anxiousness. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for better. I’m so lucky. Not all spouses get it.

But for now – it appears my anxiety is here to stay. So it’s one task at a time. I just have to stay focused and

just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

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Dark Valleys

I have depression (who doesn’t, right?) and anxiety. Neither are anything I love to talk about but mental health is a real struggle that a lot of us face, often in silence. I’m medicated, so I function. Just like most, I have ups and downs, peaks and valleys of good mental health and bad.

Currently – I’m in a valley. A dark, desolate valley.

The valley is surrounded by enormous mountains, dark and ominous on all sides. Intimidating even at a distance, even at night. It’s dry here. Even the air is stale, as if all the moisture was sucked out of it. It’s hard to breathe. The ground around me is nothing but dirt and rocks. No grass grows. Nothing. Drought has seized this valley. It is brittle and sad. Hardly any life flourishes because the ground has barely anything left to give. What does survive is the most resilient of plants and animals. The outcasts. The things no one truly wants. Also the things that scare me the most. The ground is jagged with fallen boulders and rocks as obstacles almost in all directions.

The wind begins to pick up. It’s rough, almost like a storm. The kind of storm that you love in the comfort of your own bed but is terrifying in a valley of your depressive conscience. There is no where safe for me to take shelter. No trees to help cover me. I can barely see in front of me. The dust and dirt and pebbles are pelting my body. It hurts. Darkness consumes me. The wind envelopes me. All I want to do it lay down and let them take over. But I don’t. I walk. I’ve been here before. Maybe not this exact valley but one like it. This is familiar. I can feel blood start to run down the arm I am using to protect my face. It stings from all the dirt. I walk on in hopes that darkness will end. That there will be light.

There has to be light….somewhere.