Date night and other disasters

The faucet started dripping two days ago and increased steadily over the course of the hours to an open pour. At some point late in the afternoon the faucet exploded so we shut the water off to the sink.

I walked into the kitchen to find the kids had pulled a garden hose through the house for washing the dinner dishes.I can not make this stuff up.

A beleaguered hubby turned to me and suggested perhaps we should spend the evening installing the new faucet he had just run and purchased from Home Depot.

Like it was a hot date.

I told him to go ahead and get started and I would go and slip into something more “comfortable”, wiggling my eyebrows suggestively.

It took him quite a while to figure out that something “more comfortable” was the bed, and that when I said I would be back downstairs, I meant in 8-10 hours.

#truelifestories

#ourlifeisridiculous

#datenightanditherdisasters

Living loud anxiously

All evidence to the contrary, I am a very shy, introverted and anxious person. In person. On paper, in texts, over social media I am brash, outspoken, uninhibited, wildly impulsive and loud. I over share. I flay myself publicly so others know they aren’t alone. I’m loud about my life. Above all other things I am LOUD. I am a force of nature that wants its path no matter what stands in my way.

The thing is, I am most often the thing in my way. I am the wall I come up against when the flying free me wants to explode into the air in a colorful burst of sound and fury.

I have lived with intense social anxiety since I was a kid. There are days when it’s manageable, and there are days when it feels like there is an invisible wall between me and my life and trying to push past it takes Herculean effort.

I can look out the window and have every part of me yearn to be able to simply just go for a walk with my dogs to feel better but I’m frozen. It makes me feel simultaneously trapped and yet intensely driven to beat it.

School was terrifying. In classes I was ok, I could focus on work and my studies. I sat in the front of every room so I couldn’t see the other students and I would pretend it was just me and that teacher.

Passing between classes, going to recess, and lunches were quite another situation. College was no different. Parties took the place of those recesses. They required conversation and solid self esteem and a thick skin. I spent a lot of time waiting things out in stalls or strangers bathrooms.

Adulthood meant interacting with other adults at kids play dates, concerts, games, open houses, in staff break rooms, annual parties, and a million other equally terrifying places. I swear I had so many kids because they formed a human duck blind to hide behind as I navigated such treacherous landscapes.

If my life has a sound track, it’s definitely from Jaws. Thank God I like sharks. Just not too close to me. In fact, I like them best when they’re far, far away from me. Like everything else!

I am supremely uncool. I’ve been this supremely uncool for ages. It takes a lot of energy and distraction techniques to master this level of uncoolness. My coping skills are mad strong. Like so many people who struggle with anxiety, I use a combination of avoidance and humor to survive myself.

If I can avoid a social situation you can be absolutely certain I will. If I can’t, I’ll come in swinging with funny stories, self deprecating humor, and do whatever it takes to keep those laughs coming until I can escape and go back into hiding. I may have loads of anxiety, but I sure as hell don’t have any shame, a personal point of pride.

So I’m loud. I openly confess and display my messy mind to the world deliberately. I challenge myself to strip away the mask of laughter, and I hold my feet to the fire by letting people know upfront that I’m trying, I’m struggling, it’s hard, I’m dying inside when I’m out there face to face, but I need to be out there face to face if I want to truly engage in my life. And I know that I’m not alone.

I know there are so many people out there, looking at everyone else and wondering why they feel so alone, wondering why it looks so easy and feels impossible. And so I am loud.

I shine a light on the dark places inside of myself. I want people to look at the magnificent hot mess that I am and understand that they are not even remotely alone. We are all in this together.

And so I am loud.

Perfect

I am increasingly at peace with my mistakes and imperfections. They are as varied and colorful as my vocabulary when I smack my shin against the shopping cart. I would prefer to have fewer bruises and less shocked stares, but all in all, I balance on my virtue. Perfect was never a word intended to describe people. It is meant for moments.

#bekindtoyourself

#alittlebitofeverything

Today I am stillness

Two steps forward, one step back, that’s just the way life goes.

Some days you just have to surrender to the place that you are and give your body the love and care it needs to heal and to grow stronger.

It can mean tossing out your preplanned day of work and activities and being exactly where you are.

Surrendering to yourself and the things that you can not control is a challenge, but it is also a sign of wisdom and a strength in itself.

We must always push ourselves to be better and to stretch beyond our comfort zone in our efforts to elevate, to illuminate, and to grow.

Surrendering to what is beyond your control, and allowing yourself to be still, to listen to your body and heart’s voice is critical to this journey.

Stillness is uncomfortable.

I want to move and to accomplish. That is what we are programmed to do in society. To achieve. To be able to have something measurable to show for our time. We are pressured to base our worth on this. I don’t want to feel imprisoned.

When I fight against what my body needs, I feel imprisoned, unable to achieve, itching to move and to fly.

Stillness forces me to be quiet, to be present, to be alone with myself while my body does what it needs to do. That is my challenge.

But stillness is a gift. It creates the to opportunity to quiet, to slow, and to hear your heart.

So today I am stillness.

#todayiamstill

#fybromyalgiawarrior

#restdaysarenecessary

#selfcare

#bestill

#healingtakestime

Casual Friday and you: a helpful guide for tasteful living

Ok New Englanders, I know you’re made of sterner stuff than most. We’ve all seen your Instagram pics of your snow fort beer coolers and night time blizzard grilling so we know you can take a punch and role with it, but this is the time of year common and good sense appear to abandon us all.

Let’s take this inevitable warm snap (it’s actually 56 degrees and raining here in Massachusetts) that makes a brief appearance each January causing perfectly reasonable individuals who’s blood and skin has been thickened by subzero temps and Nor Easter bitter wind squalls to break into heat rash and begin strolling around in cruise attire when any other season a coat would still be required.

Let’s also look at “casual Friday” and the slippery slope between “casual” and “dude, you forgot half your clothes, are you drunk or committing to a dare?”

This afternoon as I sat in traffic, pondering the great mysteries of life, one such mystery made its way up the sidewalk and past my idling car. It’s three in the afternoon on Friday and two people, two NOT TOGETHER people just casually strolled by with several articles of clothing missing.

FYI: that dude’s wearing DRESS SLACKS. Bare chested. There’s just no way to string together this guys outfit to explain his life choices. He’s also walking from the train. So he rode home on the train bare chested, in dress slacks. Let’s appreciate this for a moment. This is JANUARY. In MASSACHUSETTS.

The woman walking several paces behind him is covered in even less material. It’s 3pm, it’s January, it’s raining.

I’m sitting here thinking that maybe we need to go over the guidelines for casual attire Friday’s so that we are all on the same page. Or at least in the same library.

ca·su·al

ˈkaZHo͞oəl/Submit

adjective

1.

relaxed and unconcerned.

“she regarded his affairs with a casual indulgence”

synonyms: relaxed, friendly, informal, unceremonious, easygoing, free and easy; informallaid-back

“the inn’s casual atmosphere”

2. clothes or shoes suitable for everyday wear rather than formal occasions.

….sooooo, NOT half naked. At least not half naked as you stroll along the street on your way to or from work. I’ve drawn up some very simple, elegant, and clear flash cards to help those of you visual learners out there. All I ask is that BEFORE you leave for work do the following:

1. Stop. Don’t leave your place yet.

2. Look. In a full length mirror. This is your safety net. The reflection will alert you to any missing articles of clothing before you head out.

3. Ask. Ask yourself, a room mate, a partner, your cat. Ask “Am I wearing anything at all that covers the TOP half of my body, AND the BOTTOM half of my body?

If the answer to any part of that is “NO” then ADD the missing item. We don’t care if it matches. We just want that stuff covered at the office. Or on our way TO the office. For Gods sake it’s winter people! There is still SNOW on the ground and another storm on the way. Put your suntan lotion back in your bag, baby, we ain’t there yet.

*see attached helpful illustrations to use as a guide for tasteful public attire.

I am the bumblebee

I have to be the most improbably existing person on this planet. I can’t go anywhere without getting lost, can’t walk in and out of stores in the mall without going back in the direction I was coming from, can’t open water bottles without spraying the interior of a vehicle, and can’t sip tea without simultaneously pouring some into my bra.

I am the bumblebee of humankind. When you look at a bumblebee and it’s wings you marvel at the improbability of success. You think to yourself “There is simply no way, NO WAY those wings can work with that body.” And yet there are bumblebees. They manage to exist, to more than exist, they manage to FLY.

And then there is me. My family and friends look at me and think “There is no way, NO WAY that brain can possible work in that head. No way. It’s sad but it’s science. There is just NO WAY that brain and that woman WORK.”

As much as it confounds everyone (even me!) I manage to find my way home each day. This gap in skill sets, this massive flaw in my design doesn’t seem to stop me from diving in, and I try (but never seem to succeed) improving upon these things.

Today I fumbled my way between appointments and buildings and finally made my way to my car to come home. I punched the key code in but nothing worked. I tried again and again with not even a clicking sound accompanying my finger punches on the buttons. I hip checked the door and tried again in case the door was ajar but no luck.

I stared tired and anxious and frustrated at the locked car, and then video-called my husband for help. I explained the problem while waving the phone for him to view the parts of the car I had already assaulted, while he calmly tried talking me through different tricks. Nothing.

Finally my husband told me to call roadside service and wait for them to come and let me in. As he explained the possible problems with my car and the solutions each might require, my gaze came to rest on an object on my passenger seat.

Strange. There was an oxygen tank on my passenger seat. Why was there an oxygen tank on my passenger seat? Who put it there? How did they get into my locked car? What the hell kind of crazy person would break into a car and leave an OXYGEN TANK behind?! I could be dealing with a madman or a kidnapper desperate to kidnap me for all I knew!

My husband talked on as I stared in deep confusion at the oxygen tank in my car. I glanced nervously over my shoulder as my husband continued to speak, looking to see if I was being watched, and that’s when I realized why my key code wasn’t working. This was not my car. My car was three cars over. Not another car between. I wasn’t locked out of my car, I was BREAKING INTO someone ELSE’S car. I was the madman!

I won’t speak for life on other planets, who knows maybe there is an even more (or at least equally) foolish creature wandering around confused and stumbling like me out there in space with their creature friends watching them fall into open manholes, face-plant into glass doors, try valiantly and vainly to push things that are supposed to be pulled wondering if they will survive until dinner. All I know is that today marks another day I managed to defy the odds and make it home to my own house and that’s science, baby.

Plump, middle aged and messy mamma is the hottest thing to be this year

This will give you a laugh. I get guys from the Middle East sending me friend requests every day because of the blog I write which is hugely popular in India and Egypt with men ages 21-65. Go figure. It’s a blog about an emotionally messy middle aged mother of five (me) and her tendency to be rash, impulsive, and to get into high-jinx.

Generally speaking, men ages 21-65 aren’t really what I expected my demographic to be. Clearly there are lots and lots of male fans of pleasingly plump, emotionally messy middle aged moms out there so let’s all take a moment to recognize that we now have irrefutable proof that there is a God and he does exist and middle aged, pleasingly plump moms are like, clearly the top of his game. Has your mind just been blown? I’m still taking it in too, so don’t feel bad.

Here’s the problem though; most of the guys are total wackadoodles who believe they’ve cleverly disguised their true identities behind a super spy, deep undercover fake as hell name and bio. It’s pretty easy to pick the posers out at this point, partially because I’ve unwittingly mastered (mistressed??!) the art of sleuthing out the phonies, and partially because these guys names and bios aren’t exactly the ones they come up with at MENSA meetings. Or so I would imagine. For example, this one arrived tonight:

Now I’m not straight up saying that Francis Ford (Coppola) wouldn’t be intrigued by my awesome ability to tell a good story about falling out of trees, breastfeeding, and wiping wee bottoms, but I AM a touch skeptical that he is reading my stuff, loving it so much that he just HAS to “friend” me at 3:28am.

Just saying. It seems like a request that might excitedly slip through an over tired, under-medicated “me”s clumsy hands. But awake all night, aggravated because my left shoulder, right ribs, and two colorfully bruised legs are killing and keeping me from sleeping “me” is having non of it. Denied.

Who could have predicted that the years most sought after trend would be plump, middle aged and messy mammas? I don’t know about the rest of you ladies, but I think we all need to celebrate. Grab your stretchiest yoga pants, your least stained sweatshirt, a bag of donuts and a bottle of wine and head for a couch. Our time has finally come!