Today I AM: Back To Happy

I can honestly say I am happy. I can also honestly say I have not completely found joy, but with the new found happiness I believe I am moving in the right direction.

Perhaps the dark veil has been lifted or maybe I just decided to not give a damn. Either way it happened. The long self-talks and the even longer steamy hot showers, the weekend brunches and the dating (self) have proven to be helpful tools in recovery. I have been able to weed the Garden of Sommer and learn to take every day one moment at a time.

I was a die hard planner. Always have been, really, but after having kids planning (and back-up planning) became an essential part of life. When the winds of change came huffing, puffing and blowing my house down, I realized all of the plotting and planning in the world could not save anything. All of the lists and calendars and control-freak tendencies would never make life easier….it only prolonged the eventual crazy.

Each day, I get up, I say thanks to God, read the verse of the day and the rest is up for debate. I don’t worry about the day ahead, who has what, who is going where, or why they are doing/going/seeing/moving/saying. Each quarter of my day is based on simplicity. Some days, like any other human, I get in my own stupid way, but for the most part I float.  Nothing is left to order…everything is left to chance.

It is liberating to just simply let go. You hear people say it all of the time. “Let go and let God” or “If you love something, let it go” or just simply “Let it go”. Eckart Tolle says it best when he says all we have is right now, this moment. Letting go has helped me to become a happier individual. The only plan I am currently making is to stick around in Happy Town for a bit. It feels so good to be back.

~SM

What Ever Happened To The Holidays?

What ever happened to holidays? When did they disappear? I have always been a fan of this time of year. Warm squishy feelings would seep their way into my belly right after Labor Day. The leaves would change and I would be covered in gooey pumpkin guts up to the elbow. The beautiful trees would shed their jewel tones and be bare. The house would smell of a major carb overload. Then came Christmas songs being piped through mall speakers, fake glitter snow being placed in store windows, and an electricity in the air no one could quite put a finger on except to say it was ‘the spirit of Christmas’. *sigh*

Yup, well, all that shit is gone apparently. Black Friday deals go up November 1st, Halloween is overshadowed by the Easter Bunny, the poor Pilgrims, Indians, & pies of Thanksgiving are lost in the fray and the spirited Christmas crackle has been reduced to a simple, exhausted poof.

Surfing the internet this morning, I came across Black Friday ads from various stores and the more I flipped through the ads, the sadder I became. The ads were filled with televisions, computers, video games, and cell phones. Hundreds of dollars displayed in a ‘get it now! great deal!’ fashion. Just for a split second, I was mentally plotting my budget and shopping strategy.  Let’s face it, it is easy to get sucked in with the can’t-beat-it pricing and the gotta-have-it mentality, but when you think about it (honestly) is it necessary?

Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed Black Friday excursions. It was actually a mother-daughter tradition. Most of the time we just went to be among the hustle and bustle until the hustle and bustle became more like a trample and mob. It is sad (and kinda scary) that this is where we are. We are literally running and leaping for…..stuff.

I plan on setting up shop at a Starbucks, perhaps, and watching the crazy people be crazy. For me it is pure dark comedy. We sit around a table with loved ones and give our thanks for various things such as family, friends, good food, God, blessings, and so on–yet by the time the turkey-coma has worn off we are slipping out of the door with debit/credit cards in hand to get more stuff (and trample on the slow and feeble to get it). What if we slowed down a bit and enjoyed the pumpkin guts and the carb loading and the crackle? Would the stuff still mean as much? Probably not. We would forget about me-my-mine and more-more-more. Man…whatever happened to the holidays?

~SM

Crazy Is And Crazy Does….Literally

We have discussed Brooklyn and her many, many ridiculously crazy ideas. We have also discussed how I manage to suck my own stupid self in to her many, many ridiculously crazy ideas. This particular idea might not be extremely crazy (unlike some of the other ones she has presented), but to me it is just insane enough to have me shook.

Running. I love it. The other day I was in need of some free thought space and I strapped on my tennis shoes and high-tailed it out of the office. I pounded the treadmill until my body hurt. It is abuse, I am almost positive. Running is my way of escape. It is what brings the world back into focus. When I run, I am free….but…err…that run lasts about 45 minutes and on a good day that freedom equals 3 miles. Never, ever in a million years did I think that freedom would equal 26.2 miles on purpose.

Yes, I said it. 26.2 miles. No, that is not a typo. That number represents the amount of miles my size 10’s will travel in November 2015. Even typing it is giving me gas (or perhaps it is just the morning coffee talking). What the hell did I just do??? Am I nuts?! Yea, I would say so.

I am already training for the Iron Man 70.3 in September 2015 (I am pretty sure I won’t make the May 2015 race) so I suppose I could just add extra umph to accommodate for the 26.2 in November. The extra work is not what is catching me in the gassy throws of fear–it is the actual task of completing the race. Tattoo my face? Let’s get it. Sky dive? Hell yes! Lay down in a bed of snakes? Sure, why not. Rely on my 35 (well…36 at race time) year old body to carry _____ pounds for 7-8 constant, pavement pounding hours? Yea, no, I am certainly not feeling that one.

What is done is done. I suppose I can’t or won’t spend my time going down the long list of worries spinning around in my head. I will just focus on getting it done. I will focus on staying healthy so I can make it through. I will focus on the positive aspects of going balls to the wall crazy with Crazy (aka Brooklyn). Not everyone can pull that kind of challenge off. Not every 252 lb woman can push her body and her spirit to complete that particular task. Not everyone can do crazy….but crazy is and crazy does.

~SM

Life After Life

Yesterday my boss stopped me outside of his office and said he had not seen me smile like I was for a really long time (he attributed it to YG). “You were so uptight and mean” he said. Emily yelled from her desk “Mmmhm, you were!” It feels good when people tell you how great you are….but when they tell you that you were mean, uptight, a virtual bitch on heels….it makes you wonder how long you were shrouded in shit and how much you sucked at hiding the stench.

I asked Emily what exactly they meant by uptight. She proceeded to explain how they were all pretty much on pins and needles every day, never knowing what mood I would be in. She told me that people were literally afraid of me and were completely unsure as to how to approach me….about anything! My heart was sad for a moment to think the cloud I lived under gloomed up the place. I wonder, what it had done to my home life? To my children? To my friends? Hell….to me?!

Emily saw the apparent guilty, saddened look creeping across my face and made note of it. “You feel bad, huh? Don’t feel bad. We survived and we knew it wouldn’t last forever…at least we hoped it didn’t (giggles).” Nice sentiment, but no one should have to simply ‘survive’ someone’s crappy attitude for weeks/months/years.

When I plopped down in my office chair and started thinking, she came around to my desk and told me she could remember the day I became a completely different person. The day I decided to move on with my life and leave everything behind was the day she saw me weightless. “Seriously,” she said, “you are like two totally different people.

I could blame the multiple personalities on being Gemini (there is so much truth to the twin thing, it’s scary), but the truth of the matter is it has nothing to do with it. Sometimes, we hold on to people/places/things out of desperation or simply out of obligation–so much so it steals our joy. We stuff signs, flags, words, actions way deep down and never think about the consequences of the rot. Walking away was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. Deciding to struggle on purpose, deciding to walk through the hurt and confusion and loneliness until it got better, deciding to open up a closet full of skeletons for everyone to see, deciding to reshape myself right before two impressionable young souls was the hardest, most rewarding thing I have ever done. Emily was right. I am different. I am enjoying this life after life. A huge part of me is grateful I get to experience life twice. Thank God for healing. Thank God for change. Thank God for lifting such a huge, heavy cloud.

~SM

Today I AM: Gifting

Today I AM gifting. I love giving gifts. Giving is a special experience, if it is done right. It is a rare peek into the brain of the giver. The receiver gets to see how they are being viewed, are they being listened to, and if they are truly appreciated. Every once in a while I find myself buying a muffin or a card (that never gets sent…my post office skills are horrid) or a small trinket just to say ‘I see you’. Today, I am seeing someone. Unsure of who just yet, but I feel the gift of giving stirring around in my belly. I hope it makes a difference in their day….it will certainly make a difference in mine 🙂

~SM

Today I AM: Good

Today I AM good. I lay in bed this morning, meditating and it occurred to me that I am good. I am goodness. We all do bad things. We all make mistakes. We all take people/places/things/situations for granted but it does not make us bad. Ignorant perhaps, but not rotten. We are good. At our core, we are good. Today I walk in that goodness.

~SM

Sex and The Naked Vagina

Brooklyn and I were having our regular girly, whiny text session one Sunday evening when the subject of sex and the holidays came up. It was inevitable I suppose. I’m alone. She’s alone. Its cuffing season and it’s cold. The whining about cuddling up in front of a fire or tv or movie screen with some one of the opposite sex was about to come up eventually. And….so was sex.

When you are married, sex is never an issue unless he/she is repulsive, there are multiple children, or he/she is broken somehow. When you are single, things get tricky. When do you have sex? And who do you have sex with? And what the hell do you do with your vagina?! (Note: I am a virgin, so this does not apply to me, but it applies for those people who are not 35 year old virgins)

Steve Harvey says 90 days at least. But what if he is extremely hot and (or) you are completely drunk? What if it’s winter time and you are lonely? What if he buys you lunch? What if just a nice guy holding the door open for you at the dry cleaner? What if you are both fat and flawed? Is it ok then?

And then there is the vagina. The perfect line on the subject comes from Scandal when Mellie tells Fitz that she “gave up waxing and it’s like 1976 down there”. Just like our legs and underarms in the winter (when we can hide behind tights/pants/sweaters), when there’s no Action Jackson happening the vagina gets a little vacay too…right? So you decide it’s time to Action Jackson with the door-holder-opener guy at the dry cleaner. What do you do with your vacationing vagina? Do you strip it clean? Do you bedazzle it? Do you make furry designs? And (a little off subject) do the wax people see your whole jay? I don’t even like my o.b. down there poking around let alone some perky spa lady.

Once you finally decide to Action Jackson with the dry cleaner guy and show your sparkly jay off, what do you wear? Do you go all Fredericks of Hollywood or nerdy night gown? Does he go to your place or his?

As you can clearly see, I have no answers…just questions (being a virgin n all)…and when Brooklyn and I were trying to sort through the fray, we both ended up with a headache. It’s too confusing to figure out and it’s too clumsy of a thing to iron out in the moment. I threw my hands up in the air and informed her that it was all just too much trouble. Eat pie instead–it won’t call you later or bug you to death.

~SM

Finding Purpose

I am a busy body but it is never my busy. I am busy doing other people’s busy. Kids, work, friends, lovers….never mine. I need something to capture my attention. I need something to fuel my drive. It’s in there…the drive that is.

On a freezing November too-early-to-be-up-on-a-Sunday morning, I sat in the car waiting for the baseball game to start thinking about a friend of mine. He’s young. He’s ambitious. He’s prepared for success. He often speaks of being self sufficient and quitting his job within a year. He is confident in his craft. It makes me a little jealous…I want that too. I want the something to do. The busy.

Being a mother is a wonderful blessing. I don’t take the experience of giving my body and life over to the miracle for granted. I complain, sure, but the experience and the blessing as a whole is not lost on me. For a while, I thought perhaps that was my purpose: to be the best mom ever. Not a bad purpose, if you ask me, but I think I am here for a little more than that.

I owned a magazine. Albeit, I did not handle every aspect of the magazine correctly, but I remember losing myself for hours in the office planning, plotting, and designing. It was my baby. I say all of the time I let it go because no one was listening to my voice but the truth of the matter is I let it go because I thought that was the reason why my husband was cheating.

I would rarely go to bed on time. I stopped being his tv side kick. I was constantly typing or taking meetings or buzzing with ideas. When I found out his eyes and affections had wondered beyond me, I put it down thinking I was being a neglectful wife. Save the pitied looks and tsk-tsk, I have beat myself up over it worse than anyone else could.

So here I am, no longer a neglectful wife, mom taxi, teenage love advice giver, tweenage confidence booster lost in the fray of other people’s lives. Where is mine?

My friend said that he’s not doing music for the money or the fame. It is his language. He said everyone has a language and music is his and it is his charge (from God of course) to speak it. I guess I just want to speak my language too….but I suppose I have to find the voice to speak it with first…right?

~SM

Pretender Bender

A bender. It is commonly used to describe a person going completely off the cliff and doing something stupid like, I dunno, drinking themselves into oblivion. And even though most people use it to describe some diabolical action like drinking or drugging excessively, it is a loaded word that can be used in various situations. This particular situation can be such a time to use the word appropriately.

I was telling a couple of friends who know my fashion handicap that as of late I have been doing quite well with myself. I managed to squeeze out a couple of dollars for some key fall/winter pieces (damn near fainted at the register–not from sticker shock but from spending money on myself period), I am managing to wear them appropriately, and my eyebrows have finally been waxed. It actually feels good…easy…comfortable. Nothing I am doing to or draping on myself feels fake and phoney. It feels authentically like muah.

I think I sucked at that a lot. I fell into what others wanted or didn’t want. I ignored what they ignored and paid attention to what they paid attention to. I pretended….a lot. Being solo-dolo, the only one that matters is me (yes, I realize that should have been the concern all along–save the chastising please). I gotta be honest, too, wearing make up, getting (and keeping) the tresses done, and managing to be fashionably comfy is hard to do when you are bombarded with poopy diapers, spit ups, bottles and the like. None of that makes a woman feel oh-so-pretty. Tack on a few more years and you find yourself working, homeworking, shuttling, and crashing. None of that screams heels and lip gloss either.

But now I have learned the balance (and now that The Kids are basically self sufficient), it seems quite easy. I stopped pretending to be something I am not. I will probably never be under 250 lbs. I will probably always have back fat rolls and a beer belly midsection. I will probably always prefer ponytails over hair weaved all down my back. I will most likely always be head over heels in love with sweats and baseball hats. Fake eye lashes, fake hair, fake asses (even though belly fat to ass redistribution is on my ‘if I win the lottery’ list), complicated outfits and such are far from my radar. My pretender bender is over, thank God.

I pretended for a long time not to be exactly what I am.  I went on a bender of sorts for quite some time. I squeezed into odd shaped holes that I was never designed to fit. I am so glad it is over. So glad I decided to just be fashionably, awkwardly, selfishly me. The room can finally stop spinning and the guilt hangover can finally cease.

~SM

Today I AM: A Choosy Chooser

At some point in life, you recognize that you have choice. You have the choice to make change, accept non-change, kick some ass, be non-violent, be skinny, be fat, float in confidence or be a wallflower. You. Have. Choice. When that sinks in–well–it opens up the world. Don’t you think?

Very recently, I was given a choice. No one actually gave me the (a) or (b) but I decided to give it to myself. I decided to make a conscious decision on my own. Stay. Let Go. Float. I decided to let go and just be. I actually enjoy being alone quite a bit. No muss. No fuss. If plans fold, it is only because I couldn’t make it–which is rare considering it is kinda hard to stand yourself up.

Anyway, the choice came when I was faced with two things: What I wanted to happen and what I was willing to wait for. I am impatient. I am also a believer in getting what I want. Neither one of those will feed a closed mouth.  So it was choosy time. After I decided to keep it hustling, it dawned on me that I was a choosy chooser. For once…I chose (can’t say if it was wisely or not–most likely. Nothing is fair in love, right? Better to be cautious than an idiot) solely based on what would make me happy (not to say it has never been done, but I am retraining myself here).

The choosier we are, the better our decisions will be. Now being choosy does not mean mulling over a problem for eons (remember the Thinker post), but it does mean that you get to choose. You get to choose. You! Imagine that. Every thing that passes your doorstep, you get to be the choosy chooser of it. Wanna date someone? Choose to. Wanna buy a new dress? Choose it. Wanna explore and experience? Choose. Every day is a choice. You choose to go to work. You choose to be in a relationship. You choose to be a parent. You choose to be yourself or like everyone else. You get to choose.

Pick you. Choose you. Once you do, don’t spend the rest of your days on Earth wondering about your choices. Just be a choosy chooser and make it. Be prepared for the fallout, good or bad. Be okay with the end result. Don’t spend the energy of actually choosing you and picking you on tearing apart your decisions with negative thoughts. Choose you. Pick you. You will be damn glad you did.

~SM