I’m not a Phd or Md or even a D for that matter in Relationships. Though I do love that letter for obvious reasons.
Nor have I done extensive research backed by grants and funds from prestigious schools of thought on marriage, relationships, and coupledom.
I am also not a Bible thumping believer in marriage at all costs or you will burn in hell and the children will be damned, scarred and forever wander in the desert of “can’t get it right, cuz mommy and daddy ain’t together no more. In fact I believe that being together only for the sake of the children can back fire terribly. I for one prayed nightly for my parents to divorce. The stress and strain of our parents unhappiness hung like a heavy wet wool blanket on a very hot day. Yuck.
What I am …is a regular
I believe in equal pay for equal work. A women’s right to choose and bedtime routines. I believe that kale is amazing, recycling is a must and M’M’s can change your outlook on life.
I can also easily grasp the idea that some might not wanna marry at all or procreate. Great! Marry and both be Boys or Girls. Go for it! You should be allowed to give it a whirl and see how you do just like the rest of us.
I am now and have always been obsessed with people and relationships and what makes them tick. Not in the gossipy non “Real House Wives” of Whatever-Ville way. But in the take apart the radio and put it back together…now turn it on does it still play… kinda way.
I was the kid playing in the kitchen while my mom and her friends talked so I could hear the latest. Collicky babies, men who didn’t want to commit, a new one pot dinner dish…I was hearing it all.
I was born into un-wed parentage, siblings by different fathers and a fierce amazing matriarch spirit who held the family together. My siblings and I cared nothing for the language of half’s and steps and so no matter our ration of blood we were full and we were love and we were mighty.
I knew God and church and brim stone. But no matter the brimstone what I hung, clung and clutched between my fingers like my life depended on it was Love.
It was what I searched the hallways of school for, the aisles of the church for, the playgrounds and the streets for…Love. No matter the upheaval of youth I knew it was all I needed.
“March of the Penguins” have you seen this movie? Oh the cold and the marching and the eggs and the babies and the mating and the hardship and the seals and the cold. The bone chilling cold and of course the voice. I am riveted by this story. I literally cry every time I see it. Simply every frame is filled with the fiber of Love. It helps them survive the weather the hardship the heartbreak the seals…if you ask me it was Love.
I wanted some of that Penguin Love.
I have read the article of “Conscious Uncoupling”. I like others giggled a little at the title. Some more New Age-y speak, ok fine bring it on. Upon reading I loved the point. There has to be a way to take apart, what was once together, in a sane, peaceful dare I say loving way. I stood up and cheered. Please oh please can we have more of that. Even if it comes with a ceremony performed by a group of small pointy nosed men and ashes I’m still in. But there was one cord that struck me as being off key. In fact it totally fell flat to my ears and haunted me for days. It was the idea that… marriage in it’s concept just doesn’t really …well …work… anymore! We live longer, we cannot expect marriage to last the distance. I heard biology, psychology, don’t expect…we are not equipped…no work for us no more.
I myself am on my second marriage I could be seen as living in a glass house but I have no stones to throw. What I do know is that as I walked down that first aisle towards a kind young man. I knew like I knew grass looked better green that this was not for me. And yet I walked and I spoke up when asked and I gave my consent. I was fresh out of college. I could blame my youth. But it would be an untruth. I knew. I was clear on the un- rightness of this coupling. But I was also hopeful in equal measure. Maybe all that I “saw” and “felt” would grow differently with the right amount of sun, water, jobs and friends. And then there was his sweetness and his true love of me. Oh how I needed that Love. So I reached up and grabbed it with a “I Do”!
“Are you married in a relationship…do you have kids”? It’s my question. My party, bbq, social mingle, PTA, church meeting, park bench conversation. It’s my question. I believe everyone has one. A question that though not scientific in nature sheds light on who this new person before us might be. My aunts question is what school did you attend? Education is always her question. My friends question is where do you come from? Birth location answers a lot I guess. And another guy friends wants to know what sport what team? I pity the person with lack of both.
But my question has always been married or not…kids how many? I have gleaned a lot from the answering of this question. And more than the actual answer is the way the answer is delivered. “Ball and chain” style. “Been there done that” style. “God help me get out of this hole” style. “Surprisingly it’s going well” style. Oh and my favorite “So far so good” style. It’s better than a scientology personality test -this question. What has struck me most in all of my relationship conversation is how very few “surprise” relationship deaths there really are. In fact I actually stared to view them like an urban legend. Out of the blue for no reason at all he/ she started to drink, beat, hit, be distant, not care, freak out, bore me to tears, leave. They literally woke up a different person. Which I might add is very different then “growing” into another person. We are all “growing” into something every day depending on the conditions and the weather. Births, deaths, war, finances, jobs, too much or complete lack of chocolate they are all effecting how we grow. What we have not done so often is turn from being a peach into a turnip. This evolutionary leap does not happen as often as you might think. There was usually something a little fishy about that peach even in the beginning.
Most stories I have heard all read like a not so riveting episode of CSI. Clues clues everywhere clues. Clues that were ignored or swept over or not taken into evidence properly. Whether this happened because of youth, naiveté, slow on the uptake, the desire to see the best in people or really great sex. Most are not payed attention to for one simple reason. The “if I know then I have to do something” line of thinking. If I fain being duped then I’m not responsible to do anything. And since we are not ready to “Do” anything we plead the fifth, cross our fingers and hope for the best. Well of course until there is just one… smack, lie, not showing up, lazy ass on couch, no ambition, unkind, arrogant, rude, unthoughtful, selfish, drinking, uncaring, eating with mouth open, aaaaahhh moment too many. And then with one huge AHA!!! We suddenly know what we must do ….run, jump, divorce, sever, leave, escape this Loch ness monster.
I have been made to watch a gazillion nature shows with my kiddies. The Kratt Brothers, David Attenborough and Morgan Freeman narrate my days.
I have always been struck by the symmetry of nature. The adaptation. The single minded focus of survival. Just the decision on which water hole to drink from is the difference of life or death for the herd. Every species has their “way” of doing things but guaranteed all roads lead to optimal chance of survival model. Survival of the young being highest on the list. They are in fact their tomorrow their ultimate survival ticket.
The human species seem to be the only ones bucking the system. We are like breakdown on eco system number nine. It seems to me and yes correct me if I am wrong that it takes two to make a thing go right. Yep that’s a hip hop song from the mid eighties. But two not one. And let’s be extra clear it really takes more than that. In case you haven’t heard it takes a Village. Aunties and Uncles and Grandparents and Friends and Peoples. But in the beginning to “make a life” it takes two. Even if you find a way to be one…if you want to make a child it’s gonna take two. And again correct me if I am wrong but it seems our species our children seem to do better (again arguably) with two. We are talking optimal health. Optimal survival. Some ying some yang I’m not talking sex…I’m talking energy. I’m talking about a family unit and I’m talking about everyones happiness. I’m sure some single parents are as happy as a pie lover in a pie shop. But I think if given the right person a little help and some partnership might really come in handy. Again I could be wrong.
And yet with the idea of Conscious Uncoupling we again embrace the idea that we are not “made” to do the two thing successfully. For very long. But since we can’t kick the kids out until at least 18 yrs old (ok fine maybe 16 yrs old in some states) and you know they still wanna stay past that. Then we are saying that “We the people” are not “built” for their optimal happiness model.
Just a moment I want to raise a tentative hand in the back of the class and ask. If every other species has in their DNA their ultimate survival game plan. Might not we also have this blueprint in our DNA. The ability to couple successfully for the ultimate survival and health and happiness of all involved.
Might this be “the way we were naturally designed” Might there be a homing device in us that turned on might attract the “really good for me” person for my person.
The reason that I pose this is that. What if we “knew” in our cells that coming together and being together for life was natural and the way we are “really built”. Might that feeling, that idea alone change the very nature of the union for our species. Might it release the ball and chain, the holding me down, the locked up, boring, same every day, no more excitement, sex with the same person ugh idea of …what marriage has become. Might it slowly start to thaw out the idea that it’s all just a crap shoot and that we are somehow going against our million sperm count to even try. Might we raise our boys and girls with the idea that marriage is great and good and fun and might that very idea produce a different outcome.
Einstein ( i think it was him who said) Just the observation changes a thing. Just the intent changes the out come. Just like the idea that school is hard, authority is oppressive, doing good in school is for the social rejects colors some kids school days for the worse. Most parents agree that unless you were born already knowing how to read, write and add. Your butt needs to go to school. Just because it’s challenging does not mean you don’t have to go. Just because it pulls it pushes, it makes your kids stress and strain. Even with the occasional boring teacher, or “overly” tough teacher. We don’t adapt to the idea that “school is just not natural” You know why because at our core we know two things…#1 the desire to learn is primal ask any parent watching a baby learn to move. You don’t really “teach” them to walk one day they are gonna want that cookie across the room and they are gonna scoot, crawl, walk or run to get it. #2 Well it’s just necessary for our survival. Cold cave man meet fire. And so we press on. We seek out great schools and inspiring teachers we search to see how our kid learns and how we can match their innate desire to a skill. We look for ways to stir the embers and light the fire. We know whether it’s sports or numbers, dance or the horn section once a child catches fire they are unstoppable.
And so before we add more fuel to the fire that is already burning so brightly that we are somehow not meant to be together …for that duration…under these circumstances in our lives today.
Before we do that.
Let’s sit with the idea for just a moment. That somehow the coming together with the perfect “for us” mate, that uplifts us and champions us, comforts us and sits with us. Someone who if you decide yes on children will stay and help raise them. And then later will rock on the porch with you as the light turns to twilight.
Whatever sex, color or creed.
There is a someone for your someone.
For the sake of the children for our species survival.
Let’s just rest on the naturalness of that…
for a moment
It’s a frosty night and I am cold. I pull the folds of my jacket around tighter and the hood of my hoodie more snug around my ears. Aaahhh why didn’t I remember to put on gloves. My fingers are going numb so I warm them with my breath and then jam them into my pockets. All of sudden I hear laughter and voices coming my way. I duck down and hold my breath. It is only then that the realization of where I am washes over me and I shiver again this time not because of the cold. You see I’m sitting on top of a baseball dugout on a baseball field…not playing baseball… in the middle of the night. Hmmm Interesting. Now to do this I had to hop a small fence and shimmy and hoist myself ( not without effort) over onto the low slung roof and into the position I am now Freezing in!
The voices move past me and I feel safe enough to rise up and then I see it. The flicker of a light that has gone on in the room across the way. I am here on top of the dugout because it is directly across from the room of my Hunky, Cocky, Sexy, Obsession. And I am Crazy Stupid in Lust /Love! Aaaahhh my head pounds and my insides do flip flops. I flinch as he moves past the window again taking off his shirt. How could I get so lucky more please!! And then I see her. HER!! The girl he “proclaims” to care nothing about. The girl who is “too skinny and un attractive to look at twice” Her! She’s in there with him. My breath catches in my throat and I am no longer cold. I am blood boiling angry! And it’s not at him it’s at myself. After 8 months of the hushed late night , shhhhh only in private never in public, seat creaming maybe he will call or nod his head at my existence torture. I am Angry and I am done!! Oh Thank Merciful Father God in Heaven! I am DONE. I’ve tried to be done before. But tonight as I sit shivering in the cold as she lays warm in his arms. I feel like the idiot stalker that I am. And somehow I am snapped out of my stalker revelry!! I know for sure if he really liked me he would like me in the Light around his Friends in the Halls in his room. He would be “ready” for a girlfriend. He would call when he said and we would laugh and talk and make out. I know at that moment “He’s just not that into me”. And I painfully, tragically, moaning-ly… move on…
I am standing staring at 2 dozen of the loveliest roses you can imagine. They are candle apple red long stemmed and they have just arrived. My new roommate comes up from behind and whistles her approval ( I wish I could whistle like her all low and sexy). I feel something on my face and I reach up to brush it away only to find that it is my tears falling skip hop down my cheeks . It’s done it’s over. The marriage. Where there was hope there is now only empty sadness. This does not come as a blow it’s been awhile coming. I mean I have already moved out. Instead it is like a brisk gust of wind, strong enough to make your eyes water not enough to make you wear a coat. I lay the card that I’m sure tells me how much he loves me on the table and I walk away. In my minds eye I see his puppy dog eyes as he watches me not knowing what to do or what to say. I see him on the couch drinking beer and watching Aliens for the 200th time (literally). I see him lifelessly waiting tables ( a job I got him) as he pockets cards from Executives offering him jobs. “I’m not really what they are looking for” Well how do you know? “I just do”. Well why would they give you their card?” a shake of the head on his way to another beer. I see the counseling sessions that I drag him to and the countless talks “What do you need? What can I do” as I hustle to job number 3 and back from rehearsals on my way to an audition. I buy myself tulips on my way home from acting class they were only $4.99 they are my favorites. I hate roses. I wipe the tears as I pack my bags. I know for sure – We can only change ourselves no one else. You can help all you want but in the end everyone has to decide to help themselves. You can stay and suffocate or Love yourself enough to leave. No one has to be wrong but the relationship has to feel Right!
I am arguing at a pay phone. My head is pounding and I really can’t remember what this particular argument is about. It’s a way of life for us now. He laughs and says we are Italian it’s fine. ( We aren’t Italians and they can’t be this miserable) What I do know is that I always end up confused and apologizing. Somehow it’s my fault. Oh right I remember… he didn’t show up to get me the other day. I waited and waited and I could have hung out with my girls who I haven’t seen for ages. In the back of my mind I think he did it on purpose. He doesn’t like my girls cuz they questions how he’s treating me. “That’s so petty” ( well if the shoe fits) ” I would never do that” I just forgot is all ( We had tickets and I was calling). Fine!! “Just come pick me up already” I say as I slam the phone down. It has started to rain and fearing for my hair I rush back to the house and past my roommate who is Still on the phone. Such a phone hog. I rush upstairs and finish putting on my clothes. I shimmy into a new dress all my dresses are new these days. And brush my hair the way he likes it. My mind is a blank as I put on my mascara I have willed it so. Silence is the best policy in times like these. I’ll be fine I just need to go out! He pulls his shiny Lexus up to the club and immediately we are whisked past the velvet rope and into the VIP section. I smirk as I feel the wanting eyes following me as I move. Uh huh VIP ALL THE WAY BABY!! The dull ache of my headache still lingers. I close my eyes waiting for the “FEELING” to pour over me. Damn! I must ” NEED a Drink”! I yell this to him over the music. He pauses, and in the pause I remember. Sh#^%T he needs money! Annoyed I reach into my purse and hand him 2, $20′s that should cover a drink and gas to get us home later. I mean he did get us in. We’re even right? We are moving to the beat but somehow his sexy body and the pulsating music do nothing for me. He leans in to whisper something in my ear…is his breath stinky? Yep. I turn and walk off of the dance floor and then keep walking until I hit the door (where I nod at his friend Todd) and then I keep walking until I see a Taxi. I can hear him behind me trying to catch up and calling my name. I turn and blow him a kiss…”You’re Right I’m Wrong” I say. But I’m done. I want peace and harmony. No flakes and facades. THINGS won’t make me happy. Being with someone should make me feel better in my skin not worse. Trust your instincts. Keep your friends.
I am coughing and my throat is raw from my effort. My eyes are bloodshot and my hair lays in a disheveled heap on my head. I look up to a steaming cup of something and I manage a weak smile as it is handed to me. “It’s beyond nasty but it will kill whatever this is” he says. The eyes are questioning though gentle the tone is reassuring. I nod my head taking the cup in hand and steady myself for the onslaught. And true to his word it is amazing in it’s awfulness. It lingers where it shouldn’t and I am perfumed with it’s insistent scent. YUCK! But days later I do indeed feel better. He is relieved…I am pitiful in my gratefulness. Death by unknown bubonic in my twenties…please I need to speak to the writer. I had been in this state for more than a month and he’s only known me for 6 months. It’s nothing like starting to date a girl with the plague. I am restless, he is steady. I am bacon he is vegetarian. I am rock he is jazz. I am free form he has schedules. He is hesitant I am sure of hand. He is resistant I am dazzling. I give space he comes closer. Always always…he is kind, he is truthful, he is interested, he is straightforward. We Blossom. We are laughter, we are sexy, we are grace, we are silly, we are committed, we are visionary, we are freedom, we are 17 years…
I didn’t want to write anything about The Man. The Man and his Greatness. Because well I figured all the great writers are writing about him right now. And I am not a great writer. And well what do I have to say about him that has not been said.
But after I mentioned this to the hubby he said “so what” you still have the right to mourn him to express your own personal feelings about the man.
…This Amazing Man the One and Only Nelson Mandela.
And as I sat and watched the tributes roll in. Watched the pictures being posted and his words being shared again and again I felt it. That thing that is the undeniable fact that we have lived in a time that framed the life of Nelson Mandela. A fierce crusader for Justice and Equality. A person who with dignity forged himself into a diamond a pearl through his hardship. This man this champion this leader….has Passed… and the tears fall unchecked .
I have to say that my attachment to Mandela was a very selfish one and very small by my own estimation. To me he represents Endurance and Patience and Despite the Odds Triumph.
I have found that my path has not been one that has been straight and easy to navigate. The twists and turns have been many. The pain has been real and the ability to cope has been needed. I found that because of this I gravitated towards those that have endured. I gained strength through them. Those that have not just survived but thrived admits the turmoil and chaos. Those were my beacons of light.
When I looked on his countenance I saw the years but not the scars. I saw the wisdom and the knowledge and the determination and the clarity. But I did not see hate and resentment and exhaustation in well-doing. How did he do this?
I am 10 yrs old and it is pitch black and I am lying very still in bed but I am awake. The smell is keeping me awake that along with the scratchy ness of the thin blanket and the fact that I am cold. All of these things plus the narrowness of the bed are not allowing sleep to come. I feel the breath of my sister who is lying beside me. Her slowed breathing is the only warmth I feel and it’s steady cadence calms me. As I train my ear to listen I can single out six different breathing patterns. You see my whole family is in this room. We are in a shelter or rather a Half-Way house. Half way to where? The streets I suppose and we are happy to have a place to stay….
How did he do that? How did he not come out of prison after 27 years not broken and battered angry and rage full . How? Those that knew him said that prison was a crucible and that Mandela bent the place and the people to his content of character. Aaahhh his character. The cell was tiny I have seen pictures and it housed a bed a table a chair and a pail. In the first 10 years he was allowed one visitor a year for 30 min and one letter every 6 months.
“Difficulties break some men then make others, no axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end” Nelson Mandela
My deepest desire in my life is to live fully. Mandela lived fully. To do this one must keep ones spirit intact. Though your spirit might be battered and bruised. It is like the heart is for the body. You must have it intact in order to live. Our spirit is the very life blood to our existence and it must not be broken. And so I protect mine with my very breath.
I am 8 yrs old… or so and I am lying in bed telling stories to my siblings. I say my age loosely for it really doesn’t matter. During my child hood I learned to forget so often and so well that recalling things now creates an ever shifting sheet of ice. Just when I lock ahold of something it breaks off and drifts away. Instead I remember through my senses and senses bely age. I am in bed telling stories to drown out the sound of arguing coming from the other room. I am animated and have voices for each character. They laugh and we talk and one by one they fall off to sleep. I lie awake listening. What is the matter? The usual. Lack of money, too many mouths to feed…not enough work… general annoyance and dismay about life. I hear a slap and then low crying.
I saw in this man the ability to endure. We live in a “right now” “easily hurt” society. Every challenge or discomfort is looked on as an evil . Comfort is sought at every turn even to the discomfort of others. “Life is hard” is spoken after a bad day at the office. People are in therapy for having been love to hard.” I read somewhere “You Day was Bad…not your Life”. How true. I sober up.
Mandela went to prison at 45 yrs old. The prime of life. He was released at 72yrs old.
HOW did he Endure? How did he thrive? HOW!! I am sure he had his bad days and months…hell I’m sure he had years of despair of doubt of fear of …no way outness. But yet he resolved to not be broken.
I am 18yrs old sitting in a car that my mother is driving she is talking and talking I am catching every other word. “Don’t come home” , “Don’t call”. I am staring down at the brace on my knee shifting it slightly to relive the dull throb… or is it in my head. “You have to figure your own way, I’m done”. We pull off to the side of the road where I see my friends waiting in their new red Civic to take me back to school. She is talking I am thinking… 3 months I have 3 months. She sits down my bags as I scan their bright faces. Watching a different mother great them warmly … I wonder who can take me in for the summer…and what to do about my leg…Hmmmm.
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemy” Nelson Mandela
This Man this remarkable man. Was released from prison while I was in college. He came out waving and Smiling. I remember his smile in all the news feeds. Not just a happy to be out of prison smile but a brilliant alchemy smile. He smiled like he had been made into Gold and he was about to Shine…!!!!
Oh and Shine he did! Watching him become the President of the Country that Imprisoned him was a day like no other. The people singing in the streets the banners waving the feeling of triumph and joy was palatable!! Though it was February It felt like spring and smelled like rainbows
“It always seems impossible until it is done”. Nelson Mandela
I am in the bed in the hospital it is bright and cheerful and full of flowers and balloons. Oh how I love flowers. I train my eyes on one of the blooms then look out of the window that is streaming with light. I am feeling excited, nervous and anxious. My life as I’ve known it has shifted permanently I have had a child. I shiver and pull the covers tight around me. The door opens and in walks my husband beaming followed by the nurse wheeling in our child. They announce she is perfect and lay her in my arms. She is so sweet and small and brown. she smells like morning and I stroke her little cheek and something in me relaxes. I realize I have been holding my breath and I laugh as I exhale and tears stream down my face. She is here, she is healthy I have done it. Fear fights for a place to be. What if I’m a bad mom? What if she doesn’t like me or I her. What if we don’t bond. She yawns and fidgets. I caress her small head and she opens her eyes. We lock eyes briefly on one another. She blinks yawns and closes her eyes once more. As if to say…”Hey… there you are …cool catch you in a bit” She was not worried at all. I am aloft on the waves of love. If I were a mere mortal before that day I got my cape at that moment. I felt fierce and determined and healed as I looked into her tiny face. The day I married I knew true love was possible the day my baby was born I knew I had come into my own. I felt capable and fully present. I knew I had the ability to fly.
I looked up to see my husband smiling down on me …What?
“Nothing you’re just shining bright…like a diamond”
This Man lived and more than fulfilled his purpose in life. He lived a life to be honored and emulated. He showed us what the human spirit was capable of and then charged us to do the same. He did not belittle anyones story or struggle but understood in all of us is the capacity to overcome and Love despite the challenges. My heart is forever changed because he lived.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear but of the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid. But he who conquers that Fear” Nelson Mandela
Rest in Peace Great Man.
We Love You
I have a girlfriend who every time she see’s me she has to compliment my butt. She really just can’t help it. We hug, kiss, tell each other how good it is to see one another and at some point when I turn around she gets a view of my butt and she let’s me know. “Girrllll you have the best butt EVER”! Now I know she is genuinely happy to see it. All round and I hope perky:-) I understand she doesn’t possess such pronounced bounty and well when she see’s mine it must make her smile. And In her mind I guess It deserves a compliment… every time.
But I have to admit. In the beginning of our friendship this “booty report” would totally throw me off. “What was she really trying to say!” Was I getting fat? I spent more time then usual sideways in the mirror trying to do before and after booty comparisons. Was I bigger then the last time I saw her? Yada Yada. I would go so far as to try on “The Pants”! You know the ones you keep in your closet but don’t wear. The ones you rocked before kids. You try them on every now and then (for me weekly). To see if they still fit. Hey I use that instead of a scale. Getting into them in general is not an option. But are they tighter then last week or looser? Inquiring minds wanna know!! Each encounter with my friend would throw me into the same funky head space. But not for long!! Luckily by the time I had met her I had grown. Not sideways but upward…I was Wiser.
See she met me after the turbulent years. Because now me and my body are not only on good speaking terms. We have become friends. It isn’t that we always see eye to eye . Lord knows we have our spats. But we enjoy each others company. Laugh at the same jokes and agreed on the basics. We are in this together!!
Now this wasn’t always so. There was a time that my ample bottom along with the rest of me did not make me happy at all. I call those years (12 yrs old until 8 years ago)… The Dark Ages” Back in the day my bottom along with my sturdy thighs among other things were parts to be hid, draped and covered at all times. I developed this hour glass shape pretty early on. And we all know how adolescent boys can be…”Loud and Descriptive” about what they see. And even though my “development “was complimented. It made me feel self conscious. And of course true to “Crazy form” you want that which you don’t have. I, like every other girl in the Universe /Stratosphere wanted to be Skinny!! Or at least that’s what it feels like, one body type (give or take boobs and a tiny butt) for 500 million women. That’s INSANE!! (not to be confused with “Insanity” a very popular workout video.)
My relationship with my body closely resembled that of a dissappoving parent who’s kid was lucky enough to get a smirk or a grunt of approval on any given day. “Now you know good and well that in “this family” all we have are Skinny Thighs …uh I mean “Straight A students” young lady.” So what do you call This!!! Hmmm blink blink…looks a little too wide to lumpy to bumpy to, short to tall toooooo something that wasn’t meeting with “moms” strict standards.
Only sometimes on rare occasions when the outfit was perfect perfect and I had eaten just the right meal for a flat stomach. And the clothes hit at just the right angle and the light bounced off the right side of the planet as the sun and moon eclipsed and the birds sang in operatic unison…was I Happy with what I saw in the mirror. Good Lord…who wants to live with this kind of disapproval all the freakin time. It was enough to make a person wanna run away!! And stay gone! But since the person I wanted to run away from was me. We settled on a “if you don’t start nothin’ neither will I” kinda relationship. We stayed away from religion, politics and short shorts hoping that would keep us out of trouble.
It wasn’t until after the Freshman 15 lbs, after it was lost, after College, after studying abroad, after living in NY & London, after my first real heart break, after my first 10 jobs after my first years of marriage and after my first BABY!!! That I finally really started having another kind of relationship with my body. That I stopped being the DOM needing my body to be the Submissive… That I started a new conversation with my body. A conversation that involved listening and talking. Where nurturing and loving and kindness came into my “body vocabulary” Where allowing my body to be be itself came into my way of being.
I remembered desiring with all of my might to be pregnant. I so prayed my body would cooperate. I remembered with elation waving around the stick that showed two mighty stripes. I remembered watching my body change with a new life growing deep inside. All of the thoughtfulness and the savoring of food that not only kept me alive but grew another life as well. Oh how I clucked over every choice. Lovingly reading the packaging. Checking to make sure that I was taking in enough of this or that so that the heart and lungs and brain would be perfect on this new being. Aaaahhh food & exercise became my wand and I it’s sorcerer. We were not only friends we were allies and we were in perfect pitch harmony “Must birth healthy baby”!!!
And we did it!!! We accomplished said task!! My beautiful daughter was born. After the process I looked at my body with it’s new curves and new bumps and lumps and thought…hmmm where to now?
Instead of going into complete panic mode. I read every accounting of how to get my body back. I had exercised throughout (doing yoga until the very day I birthed her). I had slathered myself with cream from head to toe. Get close to me during pregnancy and you are liable to slip slide away. I decided this was our new project and I dived right in. I did everything reccomended including binding my stomach, drinking the teas and starting slowly. I was invigorated with the process (yes with some anxiety) I was experiencing sleepless nights and long days. I was breastfeeding and tied down to a new crazy schedule of what she wanted when she wanted it! Ugh!!
I had the baby blues and I wondered could I… would it …can we? But now I wasn’t dealing with an enemy. My body had somehow thru the process proved itself to me. It proved it’s strength its capableness it’s amazing nurturing power. I was now dealing with a friend. And so we made a pact. If I chose the right things to eat, & moved my body as often as I could. If I would journal and talk to friends. If I would write and keep my mind moving. If I would seek help from my hubby and baby care. Then my body would do it’s part. It would pull itself back in and tighten up. It would allow me to walk and then run. It would glow and smooth out…it would calm into peace of mind. It would take care of me if I took care of it!
It grieves me to no end to hear us girls/women/mommies berating our bodies soooooo! Argh!! The mean words we say the unkind ways we treat our beings. The yucky things we feed our bodies and the lack of movement that our bodies must endure and then to be so un-lovingly thought of. It’s a wonder they don’t break down and cry daily. And weep for all the things they do that go completely unnoticed. Like the heart beating and the lungs expanding and the brain functioning and the cuts…healed and the babies born. All done with out a thank you in sight…
It’s a wonder they just Wail…and then quit.
And sometimes that’s exactly what happens. They get so tired of being mistreated. That they just can’t take it anymore and let you know it. Too much anxiety…hair falling out. Too much processed food…weight gain. Too much high stress….heart attack. Not enough movement and fresh air…Break down.
Would you want to do “better” for a task master such as this?
It is only thru kind words and action that our bodies will respond in kind. And like any relationship worth saving the change must start with you.
Loving yourself just the way you are. Body scrub and massages for your body as is. New makeup and hair for yourself NOW. New clothes uh huh right NOW. I know you are gonna lose those 20 lbs but your body and soul craves to look good TODAY. We have to love and reward ourselves and bodies for what they have ALREADY accomplished!! We are already behind in the accolades for services already rendered and it is Time to PAY UP and Pay it Forward!!
Recently the hubby posted a great quote about Big Butts & those who love big butts…”Trust anyone who loves Big Butts for they cannot lie”.
I laughed so hard because…
Truth be told I Finally know what my Ass-ets are!!
And I cannot Lie…
And by that I mean I HATE them!
Yep I used the “H” word and I mean it to the 10th degree!!
Having a friendship with an adult is like hanging out with a teenager all day and night. You’re having sooooo much fun sharing, caring and wearing matching bracelets and then BAM someone says something stupid in the hall ( doesn’t even have to be you) but it triggers a series of unfortunate events. Miss understood texts, talking in the locker room and well somehow you get dumped, blamed and well you NEVER know what happened. Remember those days? But fortunately as a teenager …your mom or a teacher or another friend gets wind of the Shakespearean comedy of errors and sits you down and sets the record straight while you all listen to Taylor Swift. Then you all cry and fish the bracelets out of the garbage and say what a dofus you’ve been. And the sun shines and the birds sing and well…you’ve seen the movie!!
But we are not Teenagers nope. In the Adult world it all looks mighty different. In the adult world. You don’t get the promotion, the locks change, the email’s stop, the book club goes on without you. Oh and you are not invited to their kids next birthday party…which by the way is happening at the Kids play space that you regularly take your kids toooooo….AKWARD!
And do you know WHY all of this is happening???? Huh?????
NO….Noooooo You Don’t!!!
Ok Ok maybe after you hit your head on the concrete a number of times you might have a vague shadowy recollect of something that should have been nothing…but hmmmm could that be it? Nahhhh…yeahhhh????
AND do you know WHY you don’t know for sure ? Drumroll please…..
Because no one wants to TALK. The absolute gripping fear of confrontation ( talking things out) Kills 95% of Adult Friendship.
Yep it’s that simple…. no one wants to talk about the shit and the ugh and the hurt and the pain and the stuff. No one wants to confront the uncomfortable-ness that comes with being a person and living a life. No one wants to make a mistake or be seen as someone who has flaws. In order to keep Adult friendships alive ( I have studied the mating rituals of this species) you need to either have an Alien mind meld ( You Absolutely agree with each other on all aspects of life here and beyond). OR be equal parts “Easy going” muscle relaxant style “. “Blind (Mob Style) ” oh and Numb (that gash…oh please can’t even feel it).
But let’s just say you are one of “those ” people who wanna “talk” wants to know. You can’t just “go along with the rules”!
And if by some chance you corner the person to talk and yes I do mean corner them. Just to “talk” and you know “clear the air”. Cuz things (birthday party…book club…girls night outs) are not what they used to be. As in you are no longer invited.
Yep they smile and lie. “Oh no nothings wrong…just been busy” You know kids, work, school, Bob, Mom…blah blah blah. And there is no Taylor Swift song and there is no fishing the bracelet out of the garbage and well you end up feeling like why oh why did I even ASK. Ugh!
Or they lie and say nothing is wrong and start doing passive aggressive stuff like “forgetting to put your name on the list or mention that you were interested in being on that committee or the invitation must of got lost in the mail. Really!! And this happens so often you can’t decipher when the invitation Really is lost in the Mail. Argh!
OR and this is my favorite…you have a come to Jesus talk they tell you everything. You laugh you talk you cry. And then they avoid you like the plague because now you know their secrets and well they can’t bear to see you and (the secrets again). Like… if I tell you… I’ll have to kill you GodFather Style. Sigh!
You know when we were kids. When we knew why sweet shy Sarah started skipping school and smoking in the bathroom with the older kids and sleeping with the football team. We knew that her parents had gotten a divorce and the dad remarried and he doesn’t come around anymore. We knew that her mother started to drink and that she cries at night. We still talk to her on weekends when her Grandmother brings her to the same church you go to. She admits she’s sad and being “stupid” with all those boys but she’s pissed at her dad. We still see her as she really is. We talk and laugh about happier times. We are happy for her when her mother gets a new job and meets a nice guy. And we couldn’t be prouder when she starts coming to school with a scrubbed face and pig tails again.
Remember those days.
But as an adult we don’t know what happened to each other prior to starting this new job…moving to this new town…joining the same mommy and me class. Instead we get to “know” the person we see at the school bake sale and the kids soccer games. We might have some play dates with the kids or go out to a Happy Hour. And we might start to notice that they never mention the town they were in before. Or that they can Never go out after the PTA meeting (something about the husband liking you home) or they don’t talk about their first marriage or they drink a little too much.
And we all have a choice.
To get to “know” them better or just let this new info float along on the breeze….All easy going like…
And this choice becomes less conscious and more about survival the more hurt and confusion we suffer at the hands of so called “friends”. If enough Friend-grenades go off in your face. Well you just don’t wanna “know” anymore. We just wanna “get along” have a “nice” time and not “spoil” everything. So we live a life of almost friendship. It’s kinda toddler style. We do things side by side but we don’t “Share”. We don’t wanna risk (being pummeled in the head with a rattle).
We smile and bake and cry in private. We suffer from misunderstanding and half told truths. We share a laugh over our kids heads in line and we tell “all about our day” in the bleachers. When it goes wrong when we hurt or get hurt…Well we just join another class or sign up for another committee or move.
We are the walking wounded. Hurting and being hurt. Unconsciously and sometimes on purpose. It’s all just horrifying.
I find this kinda life Sucky and crazy uncomfortable and yucky and icky. Kinda like half living. All of this NO INTIMACY Makes me wanna Holla!! Yeah I’m besties with my hubby and my kiddies are “my life” but Seriously!!
I am Raging against the machine. I have decided not to learn” this lesson. I have decided that it is better to love and have loss then to not have loved at all. It is better to know. It is better to be KNOWN. It is better to go in deep and live full and free.
Now don’t get me wrong I do all of this oh so carefully these days. The years of friend – grenades going off have left their mark I must admit. I have little or no patience for small talk and being with people that I feel no organic connection. I am not interested in agreeing about the weather and being with the “cool” crowd…who even knows what that means anymore.
I want to “feel” something I want to be connected to like minded people. I want to dance, travel, laugh and cry. I want to talk about stuff that matters I wanna smell the roses. I want to encourage and be encouraged. I want the space to be honest and full and Me…tiara and all.
Because If the grenade goes off… I wanna have been reaching for soul intimacy.
Live Big or Go Home….
So as you know it’s the day after Halloween which basically means it’s the week before Christmas!!
My daughter woke up this morning and literally wanted to know how many more days we had until Christmas? Huh!!! It was Halloween like 8 hours ago. I felt sweaty and my heart started to race.
Because I realized that they must have gotten to her…
Them…those people…those ADVERTISER Zombies and Make Money Money Vampires had bitten my baby!!!
We all know late last night they were throwing the pumpkins in the trash along with the candy and the scary masks and the wicked witch costumes… some with kids still tricker treating in them!!! Because they are in sucha darn rush to move on to the NEXT Thing. The Next Money Making THING!!
Yeah it was JUST Yesterday! So before you feel pressured to buy your Turkey tomorrow and put your wreath up on Sunday.
I recommend that for just a moment Pause and Breathe Deep. Don’t take down your skeletons and goblins…leave your brilliantly carved pumpkins out!! Take a moment to LINGER…Yep linger and spread out in this moment.
This weekend I challenge you to make a list of all of the ways you want to feel this Holiday Season. Yes FEEL…like I want to feel connected to family. Or I want to feel peaceful or joyful or accomplished or loved. Or I want to meet new people.
Then write a list of what has to be done for the Holidays. I gotta take the kids to see my parents. Or I gotta buy toys, I gotta buy people Christmas gifts. I gotta go to the darn office party…Yes the “Gotta Do” list can go on and on.
Now look and see if how you want to feel and what you have to do make any overlaps. Like I want to feel connected to my family…overlaps with I gotta take my kids to see my parents. Or I wanna meet new people might overlap with the Office Party. Or I want to feel accomplished overlaps with what I need to give people for Christmas ( maybe you make something)!!
Hmmmm Maybe just maybe you can come out on the other end of this Frenzied Season Feeling anything BUT…Frenzied.
Instead you “get to feel” Accomplished and Connected and Surrounded by people and Love.
Just by changing our Perspective we can change the whole Experience.
Ok so that’s my take!!
Cuz gosh darnit I’m still eating Candy!!
Are you a Voyeur? I hope so because I’m about to take you on my Friday Fantasy World of intrigue and make believe… Ok I’ve gone too far It’s Friday and I thought it would be fun to share my alternate Universe Fantasy Friday… Whaaa ha haaaaa ( sorry that’s a Halloween Scary voice)
Absolutely no Judgement in reading …it’s my fantasy.
So the day starts with my own personal Meditation Guru sounding the gong and aligning my chi in my private OM sanctuary ….the candles flicker as the bamboo sways ( cue the soft yogi music). I vibrate with the feeling of Peace, Calm and Oneness…
Finished and re-calibrated on my “Mission of Personal Greatness” Whooohoooo!!
I join my personal trainer “Tracy Anderson” who takes me through my paces in my home gym. ( Cue Rick Ross and “I’m a Boss”) blasting from the speakers.
Finished I run upstairs (dream home moment) Cue the slow motion anything by Beyonce and halo lights.
I enter the children’s wing of the house. They are already stirring and starting to put on their clothes…beds are made and they are in great co-operative Morning Moods!! (Shhhh no input please)
We laugh and I help them into their clothes ( I picked them out they approve) we smell the yummy smells of breakfast floating up the stairs. Whiffs of Fresh coffee brewing and hmmmm I think that’s organic bacon sizzling must be a pancake, egg whites morning. Oh and yes there it is the whirring of the blender as my green drink is lovingly prepared. (Cue Florence from the Brady Bunch)
Kissing the kiddies on the head I proceed to my wing of the house. Where my handsome hubby (yep same one he happens to be my fantasy already) is just coming back from a morning run. All glistening with our morning work out we embrace and passionately kiss as he rubs my just worked out buns of steel. I pull away…no time for that …but then plant a quick furtive kiss just to let him know the evening promises more ….from where that came from. ( Cue heavy sigh followed by “I still got it hmmm hmm”)
After showering I sit to have my hair blown and styled and makeup done for the day…by yes you guessed it Professional Hair and Makeup Folk …I don’t know they names yet.
Coiffed and dressed I join the family for breakfast as we share “Family fun moments”.
Piling into my Hybrid Range Rover ( no they don’t have one yet) I drop the kids off at school and hug and kiss them and remind them “Grandma & Grandpa are picking them up to take them for the weekend” (i say “Grandma& Grandpa” loosely casting still to be determined). They whoop and squeal in delight. And for those who are wondering the aforementiond “Grandma & Grandpa” keep clothes and everything they need at their place so there’s never any need to pack)!! Ha! (Cue the you betta do it music.)
I drive to my Production offices on the Paramount lot where I greeted by my assistant and my head of Productions. They brief me on my day. I then proceed to have back to back high powered meetings regarding my “Shows” on the air my “Films” in the works and my “Book deals”. All items are “rating giants”, “getting the green lights” and in “final edit”. Whooohooo!! I leave my assistant with notes to Hire Hire HIRE. Say yes to 3 speaking engagements ( I do them for young people for free) and set up a meeting to look over the plans for the school we are building.
I then zip off to meet my Besties for lunch Kerry Washington, Beyonce, and Gwyneth Paltrow at an organic unassuming location. The subject “Girl Domination, World Up liftment and of course FASHION” Whooohooo!! No soundtrack needed…Beyonce is at the table!! Oprah calls in and reminds us that we are all meeting her in Cabo at the One & Only for the weekend.
Fast forward to me and the hubby on a moonlit beach in Cabo. Swaying to the music of Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Jill Scott Adele, (they decided to come down also)
We look loving into each others eyes….we throw our heads back and laugh in complete bliss kiss we can’t believe we get to live this LIFE!!
Ok so this post is not for everyone…gonna say that right off the bat.
It’s opinionated and you can be offended (depending on how you feel right now) But it is me ranting and it is my blog so deal with it or stop reading!
I’m oh so tired of being asked “where am I going?” on any given day because of how I am dressed? As in I got dressed! Many think it is dressed up but for me it’s truly how I like to show up in the world. It’s not being phony or fake or vain it’s caring enough to send my very best me out into the world every day. It’s something my grandmother and mother taught me along with wearing clean underwear ( you never know what might happen in a day). I truly believe clothes do not make you “who” you are but they are the first “representative” that people see before you even speak.
I walk in the world largely as someones mom and someones wife. Well guess what I’m still a singular ME.
Somewhere along the way after Betty Draper wore pearls to kiss Don Draper at the door ( Mad Men reference) We Moms have let go of the idea of tending to ourselves. As if to say the more dishelved we are the more we must Love our kids. I’m calling Bull Sh$%t! Taking care of ourselves is essential to how we feel and how we FEEL effects just about everything in our lives. We dress our kids with care and we think it reflects how we care about them. Well guess what it does! So the same holds true for you. And loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves is a wonderful thing for our kids to mirror later on.
Cuz hey we matter too!!
And think about this we are essentially spending our youth caring for our kids. By the time they leave our house in (5-10-15 years) You will be…well you do the math. Now are you really gonna wait till then… to “Find the Time” ….to get a new dress, heck a new wardrobe, buy some new shoes, buy some fancy face cream, try a new haircut, have a massage, get your nails done, go out for a date night, or a girls night out… or dance into the night. Please live your life!!
Which brings me to my next point…
We Are Not OLD… I repeat we are NOT OLD! You know how I know. Cuz the elderly get discounts and tax credits and special parking spaces. I don’t get any of these. Do You? So until I do I’m retaining my right to be comfortably youthful with a twist of wisdom. I suggest you do the same.
Which brings me to my last point. You are not getting out of this Alive. NO matter what you do or don’t do who you love or don’t love. What dreams you go for or not. This is all ending up in the same place…the grave. With that in Mind. Go For IT!!! Dance class, Painting, blogging, starting your own business, continuing your education, wearing a thong, heels or a bathing suit!! Do It !! No matter what It is. No matter if people think you are dumb or stupid or ridiculous or past the “time” when you “should” be doing this kinda thing. Or dreaming these kinda dreams or desiring this kind of thing.
Who Freakin Cares!!
It’s Your Tiara and YOU Got the Right to WEAR IT!!
We have taken up arms against one another. Yes we have the “Right to Bear Arms” to defend ourselves. Unfortunately those who are picking up their “arms”all too often are the walking wounded.
Wounded by mental illness or perceived offense or open hatred or prejudice or spite or personal vendetta. We are in a post 911 haze of post-traumatic stress syndrome. On guard at all times… Our lives have become a field of perceived land mines.
It has led to untold deaths, murders, killing spree’s and injury.
I am layed low by the enormity of sadness.
Trayvon Martin…. I have no words…
I have a wonderful young son. He is beautiful and innocent and sweet and people look at him and smile. He is only 5yrs old he is a non threat and people smile at him wherever he goes. Black, White old and young they smile. It is involuntary this smile but it lights his world wherever he goes.
But what happens as he grows?
As a mom our hearts are always sad as our babies grow up. Seeing our small bundles grow into full adulthood is a bitter sweet thing. But as he grows as my African American boy grows what happens to others perception of him? Will the smile linger on their faces?
Will his teenage years with all of it’s complexities all of it’s trying to find ones place. Lead to self expression that does not feel so “Open so Sweet So Un- Offensive.
We all know the scowl of the perpetual bored teen, the hair color the clothes… the “hoodies”
Will he be followed in the night …will he be seen as a “threat” will he be shot unarmed…
Will his killer go free…
Will we heal as a nation? Will we stand up and state that we are under “post traumatic stress” and seek help. Seek help for the hidden places in us that “profile” in the name of safety or religious rights or political rights or in defense of of “our Way of Life”!!
Will we take up “arms” in our hearts and in our minds to slay Prejudice and Hatred and Bigotry wherever we see it?
I am praying for this to be just the beginning for this new phase of our dialogue on this planet that we all share .
All of our little bundles are depending on Us…
Ok so a word not used much by adults… and I’m talkin about the kind that have “responsibilities” such as spouses, kids and mortgages and such. Is the word Fun. As in “I had soooo much fun it was crazy”!!! The kids have fun the dog has fun the squirrels look like they are having fun. Me? Well I had a pretty good time. Add in the word raucous and well there are even less takers.
It’s cuz we are sooo damn busy. Busy with the kids and the dogs and the squirrels. Busy with the bills and paying the mortgage and cleaning the house and doing the laundry. We are too busy to have fun. Ugh:( So thank the good Lord for holidays and weekends, birthdays and anniversaries . If ever we are gonna eek out some fun we are at least guaranteed the opportunity to try on one of these days.
For me the Merry Month of May houses my Birthday, my Anniversary and Mothers Day!!
I don’t wanna “look” like I’m having a good time …no posturing no standing in a corner looking cool and drinking. No having hushed conversations about the weather or sports or even kids for that matter. I wanna feel joy and expansion and freedom.
I wanna be free to be Me!!
The kinda free that you sweat out your hair, wear waterproof mascara and take off your heels for…ok maybe not the heels (let’s not get sloppy) but you know what I’m talking about. A little abandon in ones life is a pretty good thing.
Lucky for me I got a guy who thinks that’s not a bad idea himself.
Whooohoo let’s Go!
Drove with the windows down base thumping. Jumped out of the car several times to take pictures in front of our dating landmarks. Complete with a drive by my old apartment where the hubby once climbed up to my bedroom window (2nd floor) to get my attention. I even got a chance to say hi to the new tenant who wanted to see who the hell was taking pictures of his door in the middle of the night. After that drinks at one locale and a romantic dinner at another . And then not ready to call it a night yet. We headed to a club where I proceeded to battle dance two hip guys. Yes I kept my heels on.
As I stood on a couch dancing with a strobe light baton waving in the air . I had a surge of joy that welled up from my tummy. And in the midst of the pulsating beat of the club. I suddenIy saw my kids faces wrapped in hysterical laughter as we played the new “circus stunts” game I had just made up a few days earlier. Really!! Try watching another person try and touch their toes to their ear…ok but this time without your hands!! HA!! We all laughed so hard our faces hurt and then we played the no laughing game right after. Needless to say we were fit to be tied.
I have big Raucous fun at home… !!!
The idea of it made me jump even higher on the couch. The hubby reached out his hand to steady me and to make sure I had my balance…but no need to worry I felt the ultimate balance of a life well lived.
I was living in Pure Magic …strobe light sold separately.