Monday, August 29, 2016

I’m THAT Woman

I’m the woman who will go to bat for her kids, no matter how crazy you think I am. I’ll go to bat for yours too if I think they need it, especially if they need it and you’re doing nothing.

I’m the woman who holds you to incredibly high standards, because I hold myself to the exact same ones. Manners, ethics, morals are important. If you think that makes me uptight, I don’t care. I think lowering your standards makes you weak.

I’m the woman who does the right thing, not because I want to, but because I have no choice. It was ingrained in me, in the same way knowledge of my own name was. I’ll balk and whine occasionally about having to do it, but ultimately I do the right thing, because that’s what keeps us human.

I’m the woman you tell your problems to, because deep down you know I’ll help you fix them, even when you really don’t want to. I’m the one who speaks up, speaks out when no one else will. I’ll never be a bystander and quite frankly, you count on me for that very thing.

I’m the woman who will stick up for my friends and family, who will call you out when I know you’re wrong, who will remain loyal to a fault. Because you deserve it. Until you don’t.

I’m the woman who messes up frequently, who unwittingly offends, and then feels guilty about it, long after I’ve been forgiven. 

I’m the woman you vent to, complain to, cry to, because my shoulders are wide even when my soul is weak.

I’m the woman who laughs when she’s ready to cry and whom you mistakenly believe is “fine.”

I’m the woman who fills in when everyone else falls away, because there is no other choice.

I’m the woman who worries about the stupid stuff, the crazy stuff, because it’s so much easier to distract myself with the little things, to prepare for the bad so I’ll be pleased with the good.

I don’t expect or want praise. I’m not bragging and I don’t think I’m better than you. We each inhabit our own spheres, and if they spin slightly differently, that’s okay. The world would be boring if we were all the same and I depend on our differences. Quite honestly, I tire of myself more often than you do of me. But I’ll never change.

And someday, if I’m lucky, I’ll be proud of myself for being THAT woman.

Monday, August 15, 2016

And They're Back!

Good to know that some things never change.
The girls are home from camp. Every year, I like to see how they’ve grown and developed, to see what independence has done for them, to see how their ideas and their opinions have matures.
Apparently they think I’m as stupid as ever.
Me: I need to use the bathroom.
Princess: Don’t use that sink because it overflows (pointing to the sink that’s FULL of standing water—Zika, anyone?).
Or maybe it’s them?
Me: You need to shower as soon as we get home.
Either one (you choose): We’re not dirty.
Banana Girl was phone-free this summer. She did not forget how to use it.
Text: I’m hungry. What’s for lunch? [sent from her bedroom]
The camp language has snuck in with the dirty laundry. I’ve been asked for a week’s reprieve. I’ll try. Too bad it can’t get cleaned up as fast as the gross laundry I’m washing.
One kid is hot and wants the air conditioning at a blue-lips-making temperature. The other one is cold and wants the heat on. Both are being forbidden from touching the thermostat. Considering they’ve been in hot cabins (with one air conditioning unit that didn’t seem to cool much, in my opinion), I’m not sure why this is even a thing.
One kid is sick, of course.
Both are working on about an hour of sleep.
Princess came home with a dry-clean-only dress. I'm not positive it's hers, but I was obviously tired when we packed. That's not happening again.
I lost track of how many water bottles we lost, although I do know they are the nice ones that were requested—can’t seem to get rid of the ones no one likes (you’d think one of them would have “lost” those by now).
But neither fussed when my husband wanted to take pictures of them at camp. And it’s nice to have them both in the same house at the same time. And now, when I want to see them, I just have to walk into their rooms, rather than searching through blurry, dark or super-tiny photos.

Let the insanity begin in

Monday, August 8, 2016

I'm Getting Old

I am getting old.
I notice this even more as I’m watching the Olympics and realize most of the athletes are young enough to be my children, which makes the eye-candy aspect a lot ickier.
Other ways I know I’m getting old?
  • There’s the grumpiness factor, which actually enables me to be snarkier than usual—fun for me and the bystanders, less fun for the recipient.
  • There’s the “ouch factor,” which I won’t go into because people who list their aches and pains need a hobby. Or a nurse.
  • There ‘s the lack of sight, which I refuse to acknowledge. As long as there are bigger font sizes, I’m set.
  • There’s the “Holy cow how do I have children that old?” College planning used to seem very far away. Now it’s…not.
But the one that’s bothering me most right now is how getting old affects fun. I can’t go on roller coasters anymore. Apparently, as I’ve aged, I’ve gotten smarter. This has made my brain bigger and my head heavier. My neck no longer supports it when I go up, down and around on tracks created using physics. I suppose that wouldn’t be so bad if it were the only thing I couldn’t do. Except it isn’t.
My husband and my friends and I went to the movies last weekend. Actually, the movies was our backup plan. Our original plan was to go see the balloon festival, but there was a chance of rain and since we are all getting old, the thought of getting wet didn’t appeal. So we made the last-minute decision to go to the movies. I suggested Jason Bourne. I’ve seen the other movies in the series and they were fun and mindless. Followed by dinner, it sounded like a great plan. And it was. The problem was that since it was opening weekend and we were ordering tickets at the last minute, our only options were seats in the first two rows of the theater. We all agreed anyway, bought the tickets, went to the theatre and reclined in our comfy seats.
Then the movie started. Now, if you’ve been to any of the Bourne movies, they’re basically one long car chase from beginning to end, with a little dialogue thrown in just so Matt Damon has a reason to get paid. About twenty minutes into the movie, I started feeling weird. About five minutes after that, I realized why. The camerawork was making me motion sick.
Seriously? Who decided this was a thing?
Even the scenes—few and far between—when a character was walking caused problems because the camera bounced. So I spent the rest of the movie with my eyes closed or playing with my phone in my purse (so I didn’t disturb anyone around me), rather than looking at the movie screen.
Stop laughing at me, it will be your turn soon enough, everything hurts, I can’t see worth anything and GET OFF MY LAWN!

Monday, August 1, 2016


My goal this summer has been to get out and do things. With the girls gone, my husband and I have packed our weekends with hiking and picnics and movies and all kinds of activities that have prevented us from crossing pretty much anything off our To-Do List. Fine with me; errands and household chores can be done anytime. Getting out, spending time together, talking and having fun are precious commodities that I have no desire to waste.

But as I’ve been outside doing things, I’ve noticed other people around me and what they’re doing. Or rather, let me be more clear: if they’re in front of me, I’ve noticed the backs of their necks. If they’re approaching me, I’ve noticed the part in their hair or their bald heads.

Weird things to notice, I know. But do you want to know why?

Because their heads are down, their focus on their screens. For anyone who is wondering, necks show age faster than faces. And ruler-straight parts seem to be a thing of the past.

Whether they’re texting or chatting or playing Pokémon Go, they are not looking around, taking in the scenery. Their cameras are used to take selfies (with or without the duck face, depending on their age), rather than the scenery around them. Their fear of missing out on what others are doing, or their obsessive checking of work emails, prevents them from taking in what’s going on around them.

I do the same thing—minus the Pokémon Go and the selfies—as my husband likes to point out, before going back to his game or his emails. We all do it. It’s hard to avoid.

But what if there was a way to shift that fear of missing out on the things that you’ve left behind, to what is going on around you? By not obsessively checking your phone, you can notice nature and architecture. You can people watch. You can learn things. And you can experience things that you can then tell your friends about.

Put down the phone. Lift up your head—it’s better for your posture, anyway. Take a look around you. Your friends will wait. Your work can definitely wait. And you might find something that interests you more than your duck face.