Tonight I came home from the gym at 8pm to find my son and five of his friends watching TV and doing homework. Here is the positive: I like these kids and I am happy that they are comfortable in my home. Now that they are no longer using Axe Body Spray, they also smell pretty good. The negative: Mommy hit happy hour before Zumba class so she is a little cranky and WOULD LIKE SOME QUIET TIME PLEASE!
I can’t help but reflect on how parenting is so much different than I thought it would be. Let me share my thoughts with you.
A is for APPRECIATION. I want to thank my parents and family for shaping me into the person I am today; especially when it comes to parenting. Parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done. I am not one of those people that can say I love every minute of it because there are times when it really sucks. (Do you know how hard it is to admit this publicly?) I am ever so grateful that I am strong enough to stick with my convictions and do what it takes to shape my boys into good men.
A is for AWESOME. The two things I remember my parents saying are:
- “If you don’t know, look it up”. We had a set of encyclopedias, a dictionary and the public library. No Google!
- “You’ll figure it out”. I hated this one because I felt it was so much more efficient if someone told me the answer!
I thought my parents were lazy when they put so much responsibility back on me. Today I think they are awesome. I could only appreciate their savvy when I became a parent myself. Even if you do not have children, please know this. Parents do the best job possible with what they have to work with.
A is for AGELESS. Parenting continues throughout the lifetime of your child. I joke about my 22 year old son moving back home with me but I am lucky to have his company. I was ready to launch my adult life at 18 and never moved back home. This isn’t the right recipe for him. We are crammed into a one bedroom place and most days, we love each other’s company. It is also funny when I hear my words coming out of his mouth. “Mom, it’s late. I was worried.” I say, “Oh sorry, time got away from me. He says, “You know you could have called me!” Role reversal can be pretty darn weird!
A is for ARTICULATE. You are not guaranteed another day or another chance to tell someone how you feel or to right a wrong. Possessing the ability to understand and admit you made a mistake and then sincerely apologize is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and your relationships.
Living is a technology driven digital age, people are oversaturated with information so you may need to repeat your message in order for it to stick. There is nothing wrong with...
Sadly, no one has responded to my post on Craig’s List to barter my saavy advice for an Ipad! I will not give up hope. Good things come to those who wait!
Today I see there is a 1974 hearse with a free casket offered.
There is also an 8′ wizard sign valued at $1700! Just thought I would pass this along in case you were in the market!
Go out and giggle–enjoy your day! From the heart, CaraW
Girlfriend time is the very best medicine! Friday night, my hottie friend, we affectionately call her “Mama”, joined me for Zumba class followed by dinner at a new place close to the gym. The food was phenomenal, the eye candy delicious but the laughs we shared were the highlight of our evening. Thanks, Mamacita!
I related to Mama that earlier in the day I had shared stories with the Seniors I work with related to the theme of the three R’s, “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”. For a little flavor, I had looked on Craig’s List to see what categories were listed if you wanted to buy or sell something. This in fact how I have proudly purchased half of the furniture in my home. Why buy new? The thrill is in the hunt.
Under the GENERAL sales category, I could buy a Columbarium Niche (Ground floor, Historical) for $7500. I had to Google this term as I had no idea if they were selling a car or a timeshare in a tropical climate! For a lack of a better description, it is similar to a locker for your loved one’s remains at the cemetery. Seems pricey for a single purpose cupboard but what do I know!
There is a FREE category with things like mattresses, home appliances, moving boxes and dirt. There is a 16 foot trailer missing both axels and wheels—If only I were in the market for a big box!
What intrigued me the most was the BARTER category! There lies a cornucopia of treasures like a set of red Puma shoelaces. Yes, just one pair with an estimated value of $5. There is a pommel horse needing a new home as well as 50 rolls of very delicate blue tape. Yes, delicate. Here is the posting:
50 rolls of scotch blue 2″ 60 day tape very delicate,
sells for 9 to 13 dollars a roll .. (300 is lowest I’ll go)
would like to trade for Ipad … but open to other ideas
Or this posting….
Robots need home! These robots come from a smoke free home…willing to sale or trade for a working freestyle bmx trick bike or working Ipad or something i haven’t thought of…take them all or just your favorites…
(thank goodness they haven’t lived with second hand smoke!)
Well hells bells. little lady! I want an Ipad and bartering may be the perfect avenue for me. What can I trade?
Since I became perimenopausal, my psychic abilities are rather inconsistent so I am taking that out of my repertoire. I have publically confessed to being a part time people hater so I can’t do anything face to face or with happy people. My best asset (drumroll please), is My Girlfriend Voice! That smart little voice in my head that lovingly supports me through thick and thin, the highs and lows.
Let me support you! Yes! Ask me a question. Seek my advice. You can only get it here from Yours Truly! I am going to post this ad:
I am willing to trade...
Having survived two very stressful weeks, it is no surprise that my immune was overcome by a “major mucus maker”. The nasty cold germs I have been avoiding finally caught up with me so here I am—a sloth in cute PJ’s. In between my drug induced naps, I am attacking a pile of unread magazines and this month’s book group selection, “A Confederacy of Dunces”. I may even finish this hysterical master piece in time for Wednesday’s meeting!
This virus imposed house arrest has wreaked havoc on my creativity so I am going to keep things simple and provide you with My Girlfriend Voice’s tips to help you reduce stress and stay healthy.
1. Word association. Like colors, words have a positive impact on my psyche. Delicious and lovely are my two favorites right now. Slowly I repeat these words and let calm settle in to my body. Last month my favorite word was cinnamon roll. I couldn’t say it without a smiling. Why? I have no idea but it worked! What word do you like?
2. Body and breath. There is a correlation between the calmness of my mind and the degree of stability I feel in my body. Whenever I wait in line, wash the dishes or brush my teeth, I use this technique. Standing still with your weight evenly distributed across the feet, shoulders pulled down and back and pelvis tucked in. Let your breath warm and relax you. Settle in to your body. Do you feel your strength?
3. Memory recall. I’m guaranteed to smile when I take a journey back to in time to when my Grandmother and I stayed up late watching TV and talking about everything under the sun. A hug, a joke, her silly outfits! She loved me unconditionally. Sometimes I feel her presence and her wish that I take more time to enjoy the things and people I love. What memories bring to you to a place of bliss?
I wish you a week filled with wonder, joy and a healthy immune response! Stress less, smile more. Your body will thank you!
From the heart,
Sometimes I purchase wine because I like the label. Sometimes I chose a book based on the title so when I picked up, “It’s Hard Not to Hate You”, by Valerie Frankel, I didn’t realize what a gem I had on my hands. This is a story of emotional cleansing – something that each one of us can (or should!) relate to. It’s funny, laugh out loud honesty. She covers jealousy, hate, disappointment, marriage, career, parenting and death, and oh, just about everything else in between.
What I appreciated most about her book was the rawness. Life is damn funny when you slow down long enough to put your ego aside. This book is wonderful!!
I confess I have tried to burst a few people into flames with my mind or held a grudge for reasons long forgotten but admit this tom foolery to the world in print?? Wait, RUH ROH? My blog is “print” and although I don’t mention real names to protect the identity of the damned, I do share a great deal about my personal life. RUH ROH is right!
Like the author, I sometimes find myself hating people. People who seem so damn happy— people who don’t have to worry about their kids, their waistline, their jobs or their bank balance. I confess. I am a part-time hater. Is this normal? I don’t care— I’d rather be honest. I often ask, no scream at the Universe asking WHY ME? Can’t I catch a break?
There is no thundering response back from the heavens. I know what you are thinking. “Worrying does you no good!” Please wipe away your consoling smirk and understand that I don’t chose to worry. Worry choses me.
What I am really thankful for is that I have a few guardian angels that seem to know just when to contact me—they psychically know when I have donned my negativity cloak. Without judgment, they help me shuffle back to a place of gratitude. I can cry, complain, dream, hope …. My guardian angels are there for me. I am forever grateful for your calls, texts and emails that lift me up and remind me of my strength.
My visits to the “hater zone” are short and less frequent these days but when I do go there, I don’t judge myself for feeling less than. These are thoughts and my thoughts don’t define me. I also keep these thoughts locked inside—I do not act on them. I let my thoughts remind me that I too am human and that every storm, no matter how intense, does not last forever.
From the heart,
Meet my Mr. Dreamy!
He is deliciously dreamy, isn’t he? I couldn’t believe my luck when he approached me on Christmas day through my on-line dating service. It was a Christmas miracle! Of course he is younger man at 42 but I am young at heart! Of course I wonder why a guy like this would need a dating service! Women must throw themselves at his feet. Of course he could answer every one of questions without hesitation and further pictures had me weak in the knees.
After corresponding for several hours over the last eighteen days, our first date was scheduled for Saturday night. Friday morning, he learned he had an emergency trip to Europe and asked me to come along with all expenses paid. Ugh, tempting if it were Paris, London or Rome but he was headed to Latvia to sign papers on a real estate deal that had been tied up in probate. Now I admit I did have to use Google to see where the hell Latvia was located. It is NOT on my bucket list of travel destinations with or without Mr. Dreamy. Besides, shouldn’t we at least have coffee before we cross an international borders? I don’t want to end up on Nightline as an unsolved murder case because I was found “iced” in a hotel bathtub missing my kidneys.
Well, my Sweetie arrived safely, but can you believe his wallet was stolen at the airport and he needed me to help him? WTF, I cannot believe it. You guessed it. Mr. Dreamy is not real. This has been an elaborate scheme to win my trust and my money. (What Money???) I am shocked at this insanity. I immediately stopped communication but how many women may have fallen for the ploy?
What kind of sick SOB (I’ll be fair – it could be a woman) plays on the emotions of lonely women and then takes advantage of their generosity? Whomever I was communicating with was a professional— I cannot believe the elaborate tale that was woven to create the persona of a wonderful man.
What I do know is that karma is going to kick their ass for this behavior!
How am I feeling about this fiasco? I am disgusted. There too is a layer of embarrassment but that is my weepy bruised ego. I look at this experience as yet another lesson in self-discovery.
I am proud of myself for being able to express my thoughts freely and honestly even though the beauty of my words landed on the screen of a predatory asshole. Please remember friends, whatever you post may be used to manipulate you.
I am willing to continue dating but I will not have a prolonged on-line conversation with anyone.
I don’t feel angry. It is not worth the time to be angry.
My dating profile has everything my family will need to write my obituary should they need to in the next few years. Let’s hope not but it’s like killing two birds with one stone! Ha, ha, cracking myself up here. Laughter heals.
My Girlfriend Voice reminds me that if something appears too good to be true, it probably isn’t! I tell her to shut up I mean to please be...
I may be wasting my time with an on-line dating service!! Who knew that I would have been amongst such interesting men in the waiting room of the tire store yesterday?
By the way, I really appreciate all of the comments I received on my last post when I asked for your input on selecting the best single word to describe myself on my dating profile. Susan suggested CAPTIVATING and it stuck with me. It is hard to say with a straight face but I will practice until I say it without giggling. “I am a captivating woman.”
Back to my headline story! The place to meet men is…… the local tire store. The place was packed with men. How lucky for me that all of our tire issues waited to pop up until after the holidays. Plus how a person spends their time waiting says a great deal about them, doesn’t it?
I came prepared with a book, an iced coffee, two cell phones and money in my checking account. I noticed a handsome man waiting with the cutest reader glasses. Not the cheap readers from the drug store — he dropped a dime on this pair. Plus when he took a call on his cell phone, he spoke quietly. So quietly it was difficult to eavesdrop! Damn him.
This is how our conversation started. There is deep rumbling grumbling noise. I looked at this fellow and said, “That sounded like an earthquake!” to which he replied, “I study resonance and because you feel an earthquake before you hear it, an earthquake of that volume would have knocked us off our feet.” Well butter my butt and call me biscuit! You may think that sounded arrogant but I thought it sounded oh so INTRIGUIGING. A smart man in my midst! I’ll call him Mr. Smart.
Mr. Smart inquires, “Are you a writer?” In my mind, this question is the equivalent of saying you are exquisitely beautiful and your butt looks perky in those pants. I had mentioned to my therapist just this week that recently I have been asked by eight people (YES, I counted) if I work in retail. Not that there is anything wrong with retail but how does one look when they work in retail? Why don’t you think I work as a personal chef or fly for NASA?
Back to my story…… “Why yes, I am a writer of sorts. I have a blog about common sense things. It is both humorous and inspirational.” I left out the part that I write about the voices in my head as I did not want to scare him away, and boy did it feel good to say I am a writer!!! I have never disclosed this skill publically. I also shared that I wish to write more and possibly publish an article in a magazine this year.
We continued on the topic of goals. Mr. Smart wants to avoid drama or as he phrased it, “Can’t do the CRAZY!”, and launch a new company. I am giddy with excitement. A smart man with motivation!
My Girlfriend Voice pops up. “Easy girl! Don’t scare the lad! You are starting to salivate.”
The conversation continues...
The Christmas holiday in my little Zen Den was simply wonderful. I hope that you too enjoyed a lovely December celebration whether it was alone or with family and friends.
There are many things that could (and did!) stress me out over the holidays. See my blog entry called “Christmas Crisis” if you are curious. However this year I experienced a new pressure. I felt the pressure to “be in a relationship” or at least have a date every time I attended a holiday party.
Why does it really matter?
Why does the pressure seem higher for single people at the holidays? There are millions of people out there dreaming of ending their dysfunctional relationships. They are envious of people like me eating take-out food in front of the TV while they have to dazzle others with witty conversation and their understanding of current events.
Is it the cold weather that drives the desire to hold hands and cozily cuddle up?
Is it primal behavior?
Or is it just bull shit?
Well, I am going to put a scratch to this itch and pony up. Ok, that sounded really strange! Let me clarify. I am officially in search of a relationship. Correction, please. I’ll start with trying to converse with an interesting gentleman!!!! I’ll take it slow. I am search of a quality date.
It makes a great deal of sense to try on-line dating. There is a nice safety net with virtual communication. I can screen out those that can’t spell or read! I can paste my profile and hope that I attract someone who matches my list of 59 “must haves”. Just kidding—I only have a few “must haves” like you MUST be single, kind, loyal, honest and intelligent. OK, a few more. You must be able to support yourself and communicate well. OK, OK. And you must live within 30 miles of me. There.
One of the dating sites asked a question that I don’t know how to answer. Can you believe it? I am haunted by this damn question. Help me with this, “What is one thing that you want people to know about you?” List one thing. Only one!
OK, if I let my thoughts fly, I could easily fill this page but that is not the exercise. I need to come up with one thing. Well then, why is it so hard to settle on one thing? I know myself pretty well but I find it impossible to prioritize my attributes. Plus I want to show I have a sense of humor. What am I going to say?
Does this mean I am over confident and a little arrogant or insecure and fearful of saying the wrong thing? I am confused. I will set this aside for tonight and trust that the answer will bubble up from my heart by morning. I’d love to hear what you think too.
I found this quote on a blog called Cindy T is for Triathlon. “They said the only way to get over a broken heart is to fall in love again. So I fell in love with myself. Best relationship of my life!”
How true! I am my own best company. I needed to fall in love with myself all over again which sets the stage for me...
In the bank parking lot yesterday, a car was backing up not realizing there was a woman walking directly behind them. I grabbed the woman’s arm, saying “watch out!” and pulled her out of danger. Was she thankful? No. She uttered a monotone response “…..please, I know” as she brushed off her sweater.
Please what? Please save my life on another day? And you know “what” exactly? Obviously you don’t know that those little back up lights mean steer clear of a moving car’s blind spot. Next time I will let you live the consequence of your stupidity.
“Cara Ann, what kind of example is that of your Christmas spirit?” I’m busted. The truth is that there are days when I am tired of being an adult. Or should I say, I am tired of being responsible. I am tired of thinking before I speak. Being nice is seriously overrated. I have exhausted my charm, my patience and my goodwill. Today is one of those days.
I am in a Christmas Crisis.
Example: Instead of biting my tongue while you complain (again!) about your life, I will tell you to, “get a life”. There are people with real problems, like me. I have been shopping for weeks to find boot cut cords and every damn store has skinny cords. Skinny cords are great for teenagers and super models. I will however, restrain my urge to surrender to fashion because I am not going to be a “what not to wear” commercial.
Example: When you talk loudly on your cellphone in the coffee shop, I am going to use my best Samuel L. Jackson impersonation and say, “Shut the Fuck Up!” Let’s break this down. You come in, order your low fat two pump 170 degree gingerbread latte and return to your car on average, in less than ten minutes. Your conversation can wait ten minutes until you return to the privacy of your vehicle! I do not care about what she said and what he did or what time Susie needs to go to her birthday party. Text if you have to but please, STFU! The coffee shop is not a confessional, a soap box nor a supernatural bubble where we can’t hear your blathering on (and on, and on…..).
Example: You people that take your (non-service) dogs shopping have to stop. This may come as a surprise but dogs don’t like shopping and I don’t like to see your dog while I am shopping! I feel qualified to say this because I am a dog lover and dog owner but stores are for people. Please……leave Fluffy at home. Fluffy needs his beauty sleep. Oh, and the stores that post signs, “service dogs only”, please grow some balls and enforce the rules.
Example: The children, pumped on sugar wreaking havoc in restaurants well after their...
There are times when the voices in my head can be really helpful! Recently I had a little situation where I decided to consult my inner wisdom or what I like to call, “My Girlfriend Voice or MGV for short” for a little advice.
Last Sunday, a friend hurt my feelings. There was no doubt that I was hurt but I couldn’t decide if I should I put a little space in between us or try to address the situation while the feelings were still fresh.
ME: My gut tells me to talk to my friend but I am worried that I may make the situation worse because my emotions may cloud my objectivity. I made a vow to myself to keep all of my relationships healthy so I feel the need to speak up. It’s confusing!
MGV: I am giving you the green light to talk now. Talk from the heart. Remember to use “I statements” and focus on how you feel. Breathe and make eye contact.
ME: (OK, here I go!) To my friend: “Tonight I was upset. When you did “X”, it made me feel “Y”. I know it is not your intention to hurt my feelings but I felt it was important to let you know while it was still fresh in our minds.”
ME: A yellow flag is flashing in my brain. Does your silence mean you didn’t hear me? Please, we are sitting eighteen inches apart. I pause. Ok, I’ll keep this simple and focused. I wonder if I should I reiterate what I just said?
MGV: AHEM. Slow down and proceed with caution. You may feel a little defensive and repeating yourself is not only unnecessary, it is really annoying. Relax. You have opened a dialogue. Sit tight. Take a breath. Stop pursing your lips.
ME: I don’t say this out loud but I don’t play poker for a good reason! OH? Did you just say OH? WTF? I was brilliantly articulate while emotionally charged. Sometimes it is not easy being me!!!
MGV: HOLY SMOKES. Take a breath. While your heart rate accelerates, you may lose sight of the importance of this moment. You have two choices:
- You can respond in a kind, compassionate manner. The past cannot be erased but perhaps you will help shape future behavior?
- You can react and do what you have countless times before, you can ARGULATE. (One of my favorite sources for information, Urban Dictionary, defines argulate as to argumentatively provide a hard-headed and ignorant fool the wisdom of your point of view; that which is undoubtedly right in every which way.)
ME: RESPOND OR REACT? Sounds familiar! I do try to follow my own advice but sometimes it is easier to do as I say and not as I do.
I turn to YOU and say lovingly, ...
This week I’ve been struggling to find the right words. My mind is a flurry of activity yet I don’t feel the usual melody in my story. What the hell?
Boom, it is 1am and the lights go on in my brain.
This topic is complex but when I drill down to the absolute core of what is important, it’s really rather simple. I’ll forego the need for a flowery explanation and witty prose of the backstory and share with you the facts. Just the facts, Ma’am, just the facts.
So what is my mystery topic? RELATIONSHIPS. I am talking about my blueprint for healthy relationships; the relationships between friends, family and lovers.
There are times when a relationship requires WORK. Not effort, but work. I am not talking about hitting a rough patch or feeling distant but rather you feel like you are running up hill, walking on egg shells or giving more than you receive. RED FLAG but I’ll continue this thought later.
So now that I have reached the divine and wise (ass) age of 50, what say I is the key? What is necessary in order to experience a mutually satisfying relationship? To help you remember, I’ve created a simple mnemonic; FUN!
The (F) FOUNDATION:
- I must understand who I am.
- I must love the person I am.
- I must be responsible for my actions, toward myself and others.
The (U) UNDERSTANDING:
- You enhance my life BUT I don’t need you to feel complete.
- We communicate honestly and respectfully, regardless of the subject matter.
- Our relationship is a priority NOT a contingency or a convenience.
The (N) NON-NEGOTIABLES:
- We each believe we are capable of loving another person and we deserve to be loved ourselves.
- We each own our own #$#@%. No blame or excuses!
- We explicitly agree that I am responsible for MY life and you for YOUR life.
- We relinquish the need to control what is out of our power and place to manage.
- We chose to live with an open and generous heart.
Back to that RED FLAG warning…. The first thing to examine is your role in the relationship. Are you grounded and open? Realistic? Codependent? This step is so often overlooked as blame, anger, resentment and other powerful emotions fuel unproductive exchanges.
Look in the mirror. You are the first step.
If it still isn’t working, you have a decision to make.
FUN = My personal blueprint. What’s your blueprint?
From the heart,
(Graphic courtesy of sodahead.com)
I just returned from my first trip to the amazing city of New Orleans! What a place—a city rich in history and culture.
On the final leg of the trip home I sat reflecting on the warmth of the NoLa people and the pride associated with excellent products and services, when a man also traveling home from the South, made the following comment, “The only good thing about the South is the manners. People there really know their place and respect white people. They don’t have attitudes like these Mexicans over here.”
Maturity or maybe aging neurons provided me with the ability to pause before I engaged my mouth. My first thought. Did I just hear him correctly? Yes, I am wearing my glasses. (I swear I hear better when I am wearing my glasses!) But this was someone my age or even younger…….hmmmm.
My second thought was why should I waste my energy responding to such a complete idiot? But….. I can’t just stay silent, can I? After all, communication is what separates us from apes…..
My neurons finally started firing on all cylinders and I managed to say this with a touch of icy calm, “Excuse me but everyone has a story and you cannot know the perspective of another person until you have walked in their shoes.”
May I point out I didn’t use any expletives? I zipped my lip. I gave him no fuel to further engage me on any topic whether it is race, immigration or even the weather. I am comfortable with my beliefs and I so much wanted to change his perspective but I deemed him a lost cause. I also deemed him a racist moron in case you thought I had gone soft in the head.
My choice is to expend my energy where I CAN make a difference but driving home I could not let go of that conversation. Isn’t this 2012? Don’t I live in one of the most progressive areas of the country? Why are we still judging people by the color of their skin? Where is his compassion for a fellow human being?
People!! Let’s not forget that the United States was founded by immigrants. Furthermore, we displaced the native people and exploited the cheap or even free labor of many others.
The beauty of this country lies in our diversity. Celebrate it!
The color of someone’s skin does not determine whether or not we engage with them in a kind, honest and respectful manner. For that matter, neither does their gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and socioeconomic status. All people deserve respect. It’s really that simple.
“Treat others better than you wish to be treated yourself.” That’s what my Grandma always told us and that is what I wish to share with you.
From the heart,