Monday, June 27, 2016

40 is the new 32

I turn 40 in a week. I dreaded turning 30 because I believed 30-year-olds have responsibilities I wasn't ready to face like paying taxes and not throwing up on the carpet at your parents' house or not throwing up on your best-friend-since-high school's-bathroom floor. Yes those happened in my was quite late in my 30s. Maybe last year. No judging!

Still while in my 30s, I had a baby. I moved to another state. I had kidney stones. I struggled with a bipolar II diagnosis. I lost a close friend. I found pieces of myself.

I handled increasingly-insane situations that almost broke me down, only so I could pop back up more confident than ever. There's an empowerment that comes along with shaking off the bad stuff and keeping your head held high. I got close to losing all of my dignity more than once.

But I stood taller, carried myself proudly and realized I needed to set my life on fire.

I made scary decisions that I feel absolutely awesome about.

I'm turning 40. I'm blowing up my life. I'm terrified. But I'm not old. My hair will stay purple. My arms need some fresh ink. I will work as hard as I can to be the best esthetician in Texas or anywhere else we may end up.

I want my daughter to see me as her role model for making things possible and working for everything.

I feel better about 40 than I did 30.

Because most importantly, I look younger now than I did when I turned 30. #fuckitim40

Friday, June 10, 2016

What Your Bug Spray Says About You

Skin So Soft – You still live with your mom, whose work-friend still sells Avon

Cutter – You're a frat bro who just thinks the name is cool

Off – You went to summer camp in the 80s

Honest Company – You have hair that says, "I need to speak to your manager"

Burt's Bees – You spent some time in a van following The Dead around

Repel – You own a camouflage bikini or camouflage boxer-briefs

Bracelets or Fans – You're going to fight the goddamn Zika if it's the last thing you do

100% DEET – You like to backpack and sleep on the ground OR you like to host backyard barbecues and you live in Texas

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Because I'm Almost 40

Why did I choose such an awful image? Because I'm almost 40.
The other night L.E. asked a question that I'm sure has been on her mind for a while.
"Mom, why do you change your pants as soon as you come home?"
"Because I'm almost 40," I told her.

Then I realized all of the other things I do because I'm almost 40.

  • Go to bed at 9:30
  • Wake up at midnight sweating
  • Don't fall back to sleep till 3 am
  • Need to eat every three hours
  • Forget where I left my keys
  • Forget where I parked my car
  • Forget what my car looks like
  • Have any clue what my 20-something co-workers are talking about
  • Have a sneaking suspicion that I could have dated any of their parents in college
  • Being winded from dropping off my kid at school
  • Enjoy Fixer-Upper marathons
  • Spend more that $12 on a bottle of wine
  • Own a home
  • Own more than one TV
  • Know the names of at least two neighbors
  • Own a fridge with a water dispenser and ice maker
  • Keep pets alive longer than two weeks
  • Keep a kid a somewhat-reasonable member of society
  • Remember my friends' birthdays
  • Forget my parents' birthdays
  • Get my car's oil changed every 5,000 miles
  • Be a master at stain-removal
  • Own bras that weren't purchased at Victoria's Secret
  • Stare off into space at least once a day and hope nobody's watching
  • Say, "I'm almost 40 so..." at least twice a day
  • Wear ear plugs to a concert
  • Wear ear plugs to a kids' show
  • Explain what a VCR was
  • Explain what commercials are
  • Explain what it meant when your dad answered the phone and tried to listen on your calls
  • Explain "You would answer the kitchen phone and your dad would pick up the dining room phone and listen in."
  • Explain "Phones had cords. And buttons."
  • Cringe when a song from the 90s is on the classic rock station
  • Never make plans for anything later than 9pm
  • Never make plans for anything after the bra comes off and the yoga pants come on
  • Not give a fuck about what people think

I Blink and It's Gone

I swear it was just Thanksgiving yesterday.
Let me back up.
I swear, it was just the first day of school yesterday.
Every night I go to sleep and when I wake up, it's as if months have passed instead of hours.
Things I look forward to in the future – client milestones, trips, friends visiting – go by in a heartbeat.
I look down for a second and when I look up weeks have passed.
Yesterday I was pregnant. Tomorrow I have a 6-year-old.
Last week it was summer 2015. Friday it's April 2016.
Last month I was celebrating my 30th birthday. In three months, I'll be 40.
I want to enjoy the moment but how can I when the moment is gone in a second?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Less Than Zero

When I was 13, I had a bout of pneumonia that sidelined me for over a week. We had HBO at the time and Less Than Zero was one of those movies that I really wanted to see but knew the subject matter was intense enough to watch when my parents weren't around.

I didn't realize how obsessed I was with that movie until tonight when I watched it on HBO.

Lots of teenage girls have dreams of running away to Hollywood to become famous; my dream was to run away to Hollywood and become a glamorous rich kid who did lots of cocaine and stole their parents' jewelry.

I wanted to live in a loft like Blair and occasionally hook up with my boyfriend's drug-addicted best friend.

I wanted to go to parties with fake snow and The Bangles' "Hazy Shade of Winter."
I wanted to wear pleated pants and a big plastic bow in my hair.

I wanted to make out with my boyfriend in his vintage Corvette.

Is it weird that was my fantasy?

Of course I knew that was ridiculous. Less Than Zero did not have a happy ending. And I now realize a lot that I just didn't understand at the that Julian wasn't being paid to "party."

I never had that life of glamour and decadence that was so big in 80s pop culture. I never even had a drug problem. I once had a blazer with shoulder pads; that's as close as I ever got to Less Than Zero.

What a weird flood of memories to come back while watching this movie. As different as I think I am since I was 13, there are parts of me that are still as insecure now as I was then.
But I'm not about to bust out some pleated pants and cocaine. Or even read the book because I heard it's super-different and I want to keep my memories of Clay, Blair and Julian as they were cast in the film.

Stay tuned for next week, when I watch Heathers and talk about how badly I wanted to play strip croquet with Christian Slater.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Letting Go of The Mother of all Confilcts

Since L.E. has been in daycare in some shape or form since she was three months old, you would think that I may have gotten over working-mom guilt.
You would be wrong.
It's not that I feel guilty for working...I love my job and I love contributing to my household and clothing fascination.
It's a different kind of the feeling you get when you see that mom of five kids expertly guiding her herd inside the school – early enough so they aren't rushing – all while her hair and makeup are perfect and her kids are all dressed in clothes that are clean and match.
It's like an envious sort of guilt with a touch of self-loathing: I'm never going to be as good as so-and-so's mom.
It wasn't so bad at preschool because it was small and most of the moms were just like me...harried and always good for a laugh. With a parking lot that you had to turn into from the middle of a 4-lane highway, your sense of humor got a workout every morning and evening.
Elementary school is so different.
There are so many kids. SO MANY. And their parents are so confident; they always know where to be at the right time. They all know each other and have such camaraderie as their littles hug and high five.
Elementary school parents speak a different language than in preschool. There are acronyms for everything...DL, GT, IP...then there are after-school programs and volunteer calls and PTA meetings and fill out this form, now fill out this form...I can't even imagine having another kid in the mix.
Don't even get me started on the carnival funhouse that is summer camps.
At the same time I want L.E. to be independent, too. She needs to be able to make little decisions without her mom and dad hovering around. And if her parents can't be on every field trip, that makes the experience that much fun for her. Remember the excitement of being somewhere without your parents? There's a sense of freedom that comes with those experiences and no kid should be be deprived of that.
So I'm taking my baby steps of letting this guilt go. It will be slow but when I see L.E. talk about what happens when I'm not around, I can't help but feel a sense of pride. She's her own little person and I'm thrilled with who she is.
Plus, she is the funniest kid I have ever known. The best is hearing one of her friends tell me a joke she heard from my kid.
It's like she always has a piece of me with her.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Getting My Writing Groove Back

Most nights I lie awake and write in my head. I can't tell you how many amazing ideas and stories that zoom across as my mind-monkey keeps banging the drums.
I've never written them down and by the time I wake up, they're gone.
No matter how much I want to write more consistently, there is always something stopping me: work, parenting, wife-ing, binge-watching whatever TV show was hot five years ago....
My drafts folder has 15 posts with two sentences in them.
But I still have a lot to say and I will get into that groove again, not to entertain my two readers but to maintain my sanity. I'm a better person when I write and I like that I can be honest with my faults and weaknesses.
In the last year, I tried and failed at losing weight. In the last week, I lost three pounds just by the simple principle of not going out for lunch every day.
I thrive better with less pressure on myself.
I discovered a long time ago that my best key to success is to make little changes instead of a huge list of goals. The huge list of goals causes me anxiety to no end...there's no way I'm going to get published on a large scale while losing 30 lbs and training for a half-marathon. If I don't feel like getting out of bed and going for a run because it's cold, that's ok.
I guess the only goals I have for 2016 are to do what feels right for me. In a sense, self-love...something I've ignored my entire life.
The other night, I asked L.E. if she had to describe me in three clues, what would they be? She said: 1. You wear glasses
2. You have a great kid
3. You are the best mom ever.
Number three made me feel all the feels and I hugged her close and thanked her for saying that. Her response was, "I just want to make you happy."
That hit me hard because I believe that she is now old enough to sense when my depression surfaces. I don't know how to tell her that it's never her fault; some people are wired differently than others. But that's a conversation for another time.
So what are my writing goals for 2016? In a sense, nothing concrete. I'm not going to be a BlogHer Voice of the Year. I'm not going to get a book deal....
My writing goal is just to write once in a while...