Thursday, December 31, 2009

January 1st Seems An Odd Time For A New Year

I'm not a fan of what is officially dubbed New Year's.

I know that January 1st is the start of a new calendar but it's never felt like the start of anything profound for me.

In my teens and 20s, it was just an excuse to party harder with more fanfare than other nights out. It also usually meant spending more money and ringing in the new year with total strangers. Exactly, what about that says "fresh start", especially when you're waking up the next day around noon with a headache.

During my married life, things have been a bit different. We've rung in the new year with friends, but more times than not, we've spent it at home quietly passing the time until the ball dropped in Time Square on TV. In recent years, we've been asleep well before then.

Do you think me a complete loser? You are of course, entitled to your own opinion but I'd have to say, what about December 31st into January 1st means stay up late to see the clock strike 12m? It's just another day on the calendar. And frankly, if it's new beginnings we're talking about here, shouldn't you be in bed so you can get an early start on all those changes to your life you want to make?

No, January 1st means nothing to me outside of having to change the calendars and the batteries in my smoke detectors. My "new year" has always been, for as far back as I can remember, and will always be, as long as I live, the first day of school, or to be more specific the Tuesday after Labor Day. My daughter goes back to school each year a full week earlier than that but I still think there is something to that Tuesday in September that really means "fresh start". A new school year with new pencils and new notebooks and new shoes (back to the shoes are we?) and new friends and new possibilities to improve and grow. All that and the weather is warm and sunny.

That's when I make my resolutions for change. Who can think about change when all you really want to do is hibernate until the cold and grey January days are gone. I'd venture to guess that most people put exercise and eating right at the top of their lists each year only to be sidetracked by the gloomy weather that makes you want to sit on the couch under a blanket watching TV eating hot cream soups. Not a good start to those resolutions, my friend. Maybe it's spending less that's on your agenda this year? Always a good call after all that holiday shopping. Well, when you're snowed in with nowhere to go and nothing to do, online shopping to the rescue, and look at that, it comes to you. Another broken promise to yourself.

No, January 1st is just a bad time to start a year. Or rather, a bad time to begin New Year's Resolutions. For me, I'll stick with the Tuesday after Labor Day. And when I start to break those resolutions to myself, well then, I always have 1/1 to put me back on track. I guess you could say that Jan. 1 is my 2nd New Year. And with that in mind, I'd better get some sleep so I can start on all those resolutions tomorrow.

My resolutions for 2010:
>Exercise More / Eat Less
>Save More / Spend Less
>Have More Patience / Be Less Reactionary

They're the same resolutions I've had as far back as I can remember. Looks like no matter when I make 'em, I break 'em ;-)

Happy New Year Blogosphere Family!
Here's hoping the year ahead brings us all a little closer to our goals. Or at the very least, gives us the material to keep writing.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I've Got A Good Rage Going & I Don't Want To Waste It Seeing The Bright Side

I started the day off with the early stages of packing up my kitchen. With Christmas this Friday and plans to be away for a week, I had to get a head start on moving items out of the kitchen for the renovations that "were" scheduled for January 4th. While I was sorting items into keep, donate, pitch, and will need in my makeshift kitchen, my husband called.

Let me backtrack by saying that I am a doer. You hand me a task, you can expect that it will be done to perfection and on time, sometimes even under budget. So months ago, when my husband said, "the kitchen is a go, this is your budget, you can start the first week of January", well, I ran with it. The kitchen plans are drawn up with the contractor, on target with budget, start date 1/4.

While I handle the household finances, I don't handle the investments... or more importantly, make the money. So as I was sorting and packing this morning, waiting for the contractor to arrive to write him his first check, my husband called to say that his part in this endeavor would not be available until mid-February. What!? And again, What?! See, he started, and then he didn't follow-up, and then he waited some more, and then he dropped the ball which set off a chain reaction I was in charge of having to clean up. Had it not been a snow day and my daughter was not home with a friend over to play, the expletives would have been flying!!!

What can I do? What's done is done. I suppose I should be happy I'm still getting a new kitchen just not in two weeks. But I've got a good rage going and I don't want to waste it seeing the bright side. So who should I rail against? My husband, who's already feeling my wrath. The contractor, who is rescheduling his life around me. My daughter, who I kept asking to "leave Mommy alone right now, I don't want to yell at you for something you didn't do". No, it's me. I always remember in hindsight, to keep big news to myself until it's happening or has happened. Because now, since I posted on my Facebook page (Christ, I've got to get off Facebook) all the plans for the kitchen and now that it's all on hold, I'm getting the pity comments.

"Oh, Bonnie, what happened?"
"I'm so sorry."
"Yikes! What went wrong?"
"Hope your marriage survives."

Where's the comment... "Damn, that stinks. But now you don't have to pack up the kitchen before you head to NJ." That's a true friend's response. I'd even take "(Husband's name here) is a moron. I hope he makes up for this blunder with an awesome Christmas gift." One friend wrote "It's never too late to start drinking." That I liked. Humor folks, not pity. Don't feel sorry for me. Don't feel better about yourself at my expense. Don't you dare pity me. Let me deal with my own "stuff". Buoy my spirits with wit and intelligent sarcasm, not condescension and sad smiley-faces. Ugh!

Tomorrow, I will unpack those items I started to pack away. No need now. I've got some time. Then I plan to find what's left of my Christmas spirit and fan the flames a bit so that I can at least get through the week without this pit in my stomach. Why is the pit there? Surprisingly, not because I'm not getting a new kitchen the first Monday in January. It's there because I let people feel superior to me. And that's all my own fault :-(

Damn those sad smiley-faces! ;-)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Got Nothin'

Since I started blogging, I've never missed a week; not one. In fact, most weeks I've posted more than once. But here I am, sitting down to write, with nothing to say. Yeah, I can't believe it either. The minutia of life, the craziness of the holidays, the altercations with the public at large... NOTHING!

I met a friend for a quick Starbucks today and came to the realization that if I'm not bitching about something or railing against one thing or another, she and I don't have much of anything to discuss. How sad. I sat there listening to her complain about her last shopping experience and I just couldn't muster my usual enthusiasm to be the company to her misery.

Have I become, dare I say, too happy to partake in daily kvetching. What will become of my finely tuned sarcasm? Will I have to start wearing floral prints in sunny yellow, instead of my urban uniform of black? What will I write about if I'm not yelling?!

Well, this is just unacceptable. I'm clearly exhausted from the "to much to do and not enough time to do it" syndrome. I'm sure that once the holidays are over and I've spent a week with my family and I've come home to a construction zone, I'll be back to posting 3, 4, 9 times a week.

Until then, I'll be humming a happy tune and hoping I don't scare any of the kids at my daughter's school with my crazy lady grinning. Better keep wearing black so I'm somewhat recognizable ;-).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Awards To Pay

I know I'm supposed to be graciously handing out awards to worthy recipients but I have a dilemma. I don't read any blogs that aren't already award winners. OK maybe 3 haven't yet won anything but that may be because they don't post very often.

So what is a blogger to do? I'll tell you what I'm going to do... wait. I'm going to wait until I read more blogs and are impressed by more blogs and then I'll share the wealth.

In the meantime, here are a few previous blog of note winners that I follow regularly and am a huge fan of for various reasons. Hope you find something in the mix that you enjoy.

http://chickies-blog.blogspot.com/
http://affordableaccoutrements.blogspot.com/
http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/
http://www.onehungrychef.com/
http://www.ahungrybearwontdance.com/

Compromises Made

On the first Monday in January, our kitchen is being gutted. Down to the studs - as they say. I don't want a shred of the original in my house by Wednesday of that week.

Let me tell you about the kitchen I've lived with for the last 10 years. It's original to the house which was built in 1965 - getting a picture yet? It has brown appliances (that is, the ones that still work) and harvest gold linoleum floors with a sunflower pattern - are you ill now? The countertops are formica with cuts and burns in it and the cabinets, well, the cabinets aren't all that bad except I hate them. I hate it all. I hate that for the last 5 years since the original refrigerator died, I've been walking to my garage to get milk. I hate that there is a cabinet over the buffet counter so you have to duck to see into the eating space. I hate that there is not enough cabinets to house all my stuff, of course, I could get rid of some stuff, but I use my stuff, so why should I.

Of course, having barely survived my last mini remodeling project (I had an outside wall replaced with a wall of windows) I am already feeling the pressure. You see, with the holidays here and too many distractions to number, coupled with being out of state from Christmas Day until New Years Eve, I'm looking ahead to a house full of construction dust over not only my everyday stuff, but all the holiday decorations I put out. Unless by some miracle of packing karma I can rid my 1st floor of all the Christmas flair and all the gifts, and then pack away my regular odds and ends, I'm looking at a full blown OCD ridden small particle freak out meltdown. (Please read past post:Dust to Dust...). I'm hyperventilating just thinking about it.

In light of future events, I had to make some compromises to my traditional holiday hoopla. No Christmas village of houses and shops, no snowglobe collection, no artificial tree with all the fragile gold ornaments, and only half the usual Christmas ornaments on the real tree. More than half of all my Christmas decorations never even made it out of the storeroom this year. I just can't count on time being on my side as I feverishly pack everything away before the first sledgehammer is thrown. I'm sad about that. I only get to see these wonderful trinkets once a year and now it will be two before they see the light of day.

We've made the best of it. To be honest, I have way too much and I should be rotating the stuff in and out on alternating years anyway. The casual observer wouldn't notice anything missing, but I do. Only the dream of a new kitchen makes it all OK. Yeah!

I've started to clear through the kitchen cabinets and purge old items I don't want cluttering up my new kitchen. I've decided I'm not buying any more pantry items in an attempt to have less to move. And I've been imaging how we can make do without a stove or sink for a month or more. We'll be setting up a makeshift kitchen in the mudroom - just a microwave and a toaster oven - but since it's right off of the garage, hey, I'll be closer to my refrigerator ;-).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

An Award For Me?!



Today I received an early Christmas gift from my blogosphere friend Gavin at http://insanitysmusings.blogspot.com/. This Santa-fied Lemonade Stall Award has been given to me with the task of choosing 5 blogs I enjoy to introduce you all to. I'm not sure what this award means - do I leave a sour taste in my readers' mouths or am I refreshing to read on a Summer's day? But an award given in kindness and mutual respect is a gift I'm more than willing to accept... greedily ;-).


As for my task at hand, I'll have to give it some thought. There are blogs I enjoy that have already received a good number of awards so I'd rather share the wealth. Additionally, there are friends of mine that have blogs I'd like you to read but they're so bad about keeping up with them that there wouldn't be much to read.


I promise to pay my good fortune forward within the week.


Thank you again, Gavin. I'm so honored, dare I say pleased as punch... or rather, lemonade ;-).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Comes But Once A Year. Just Hear Those Sleigh Bells Jingling. - Part 2

I've officially caught the Christmas spirit bug. Truth be told, it's been itching at me for weeks, but only the crazy (or the retail driven) start thinking about Christmas in mid-November.

I wrote this at the end of my last post:
"Coordinating the pageantry of Christmas is like staging a huge glitzy Broadway musical, but harder... because after every minute detail has been tended to, Christmas has to look completely effortless. Will she do it all and still have time to run to her stylist for a cut and color to cover the greys that popped up during her parking lot brawls? Stay tuned..."

Well, so far so good. I'm on schedule, or to use a phrase my 7 year old used the other day that she clearly learned from me, "I'm on task". We pulled out the Christmas dishes to use everyday and the holiday CDs to play until we can't stand it anymore and changed the phone message to say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Hello".

All the gifts are purchased; which seems easy enough until you realized that I have 75 people (give or take) to buy for. From family and friends, to teachers and coaches, to service people who make my life easier, they all get a little something (and in some cases, a lot a something). But while the presents are present, they are not wrapped. Which leads us to a photo of "Mommy's Christmas Workshop" (ignore that oatmeal can in the center of the shot - that will eventually become the damsel's tower to our gingerbread castle; what this photo doesn't show is that queen sized bed is covered with stuff as is the floor on the other side - yikes!):

Come Thanksgiving, the guest room is off limits to everyone but Mrs. Claus. The door is shut and posted is a sign that reads "Mommy's Christmas Workshop" DO NOT ENTER! My daughter loves a surprise so she doesn't peek and she knows I won't give her anything she spies. She also respects the Santa rule of naughty and nice and the fact that "he's watching" makes a big impression. Add to that, that she just this week had her 1st Reconciliation (confession) at church and you've got a powerful combination. For now, the fear of Mommy, Santa, and God is far too strong to be tempted by a look see.

So we have presents bought, workshop in place to help sort, wrap, package... hmm, what's next? Christmas cards! All 118 of them (not including the ones that we hand deliver) to be exact went out on Monday so that my very nearest recipients received them on December 1st. Last year, I was late (by a week) in getting them out and you should have heard phone messages: "Bonnie, it's the 3rd and I haven't gotten your card. Is everything alright?" "Bonnie, what's happening? You're card is usually the first one I get. Where is it?" And so on. To avoid a repeat of last year, I made certain to get back to my usual standards... which include writing a message in each card, signing it, and hand addressing. Sorry, any other way is just a waste of a stamp. Just sayin'. A photo of your kid with your names printed on the bottom and a sticker label with my address doesn't really wish me a happy holiday. It says "have a photo of my kid". And don't even get me started on those family newsletters with the print so small you need a magnifying glass. Why are they always written in the 3rd person as if some author penned the year in review memories of the Smith family? If you send one my way, you should know, I usually don't read them.

With cards out, there's decorating to attend to. Truth be told, I could whip this house into a holiday frenzy in a day or two, but now that my daughter wants to be involved, how can I deny her the joy that comes from discovering Christmas treasures that have been packed away for a year and finding the perfect home for each for the next month. So the process is much slower. A bin, a few bags, maybe a box - after a full day of school, homework, on some days an after school activity, she's beat. It may take a week or so to get everything up and out. This weekend, we'll go and pick a tree. That will be the last of the decorating to do. Then we can sit and inhale the pine scent... and I can add vacuuming up pine needles to my daily list of chores.

The calendar is filled. I honestly don't think that we could accept another invitation (neighbor open house, cookie swap), book another Christmas field trip (light shows, holiday concerts) or host another holiday themed event (gingerbread house decorating, Christmas movie night). I could probably squeeze in a quick Starbucks get-together with a friend but I'm trying to be so good - which means exercising every chance I get (I am loving Gilad on FitTV), not drinking high calorie hot beverages (is there any point to a skinny latte?), and avoiding spending any more money on frivolities (on top of Christmas, we are gutting and redoing the kitchen next month - we're broke). But while the calendar is full, I have literally worked in free time where nothing can be booked so we don't forget to slow down and enjoy the best of the season. If I didn't, we'd be running through the holidays.

One more thing to do - there is still tons of baking and crafting ahead. You can't bake cookies and breads and cakes today and expect it to be fresh on the 25th, now can you? So I'm stuck waiting until the week of and then it's non-stop beating and batters and baking and boxing. If I get a bathroom break I'll be lucky. For now though, I can get all the crafting done which could mean decorating grapevine wreaths for friends today and making photo scrapbook calendars for grandparents tomorrow. I used to knit, but I forgot how. I leave all actual artwork to my daughter and my sister, the professional artist, but I find ways to work in a little of my artistic touch. Usually it's in my wrapping. I love to wrap gifts with big satin bows and some kind of decoration on top. I have dreams of having a manse with a gift wrapping room - that's how much I love to wrap. Dreams aside, Mommy's Christmas Workshop serves me well (I'm lucky to have the extra space at all).

So I've nothing really to complain about... so not like me, right? For now, things are going according to plan. I've even managed to find something pretty to wear on Christmas up in NJ, which is always a chore since no designers make clothes for short, fat, fashion conscious people. But if you know me at all, you know that I live at the nexus of yin and yang - if everything is going right, something is about to go very wrong.

Remember that cut and color I mentioned earlier? I'd better get into the salon before my luck changes; green is Christmasy, but not on my head ;-).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas Comes But Once A Year. Thank God! - Part 1

Why does the most "wonderful time of the year" make me so incredibly irritable? Seriously, I nearly screamed at a cashier in Michaels yesterday. Granted, I would have been justified, but still. And it's not even Black Friday yet. Although, since retailers have seen fit to move the holiday shopping season, with all it's coupons and discounts and door-buster deals, to the day after Halloween instead of Thanksgiving, all they've really done is given us a running start at being miserable.

Don't get me wrong... I love Christmas! I love the gift shopping, and the decorating, and the baking, and the music, and the gathering of family and friends which always crescendos with laughter, and the quiet moments snuggling in the light of the tree with my daughter and dog, while my husband tends to the roaring fire and we read Christmas stories. I love it all! I even love the craziness... the writing and sending of over a hundred cards, the calendar full of parties and children's concerts and Christmas pageants, the last minute forgotten gift (which, let's be honest, doesn't really happen to someone as list oriented as I, but I suppose it could happen ;-)), and even the traveling back to New Jersey on Christmas day. I LOVE IT ALL!

That's why, I hate (I'm nothing if not black and white about things) the, let's call it "crap", that goes with it. Let's start with the shopping... and remember, I reserve all my patience for my daughter so there is none left for the rest of the world (not even my husband, you hasn't spoken to me in a week without it ending in a fight; sorry babe, it's Christmastime, deal with it).

Why must there be crowds of people everywhere I go? And why is it a requirement that those people not know how to park a car, use a credit card, or talk on their cell phones at the same time as moving up two paces in a line? Why do they consistently store their coupons in the bottom of their bags, bring their sniffly-nosed need-a-nap toddlers with them (I don't blame the kids), or never sense my impending implosion as they "rethink" their purchases at the checkout.

I park at the end of the row so I don't have to search (or get my new car dinged), but sometimes, to get to the end you have to sit behind the person waiting endlessly for someone to back out by the front door. MOVE OVER! I enter a store with a list (either in hand or head), and get in and get out; I've got other things to do today people. PICK UP THE PACE! But my favorite - and my regular readers are familiar with my rant against bad parenting - has got to be the mother on the cellphone making lunch plans laughing with her girlfriend about this amazing dress she bought on sale that she didn't need and how her husband is going to go through the roof when he finds out how much she spent but how she's worth it because she hasn't been to the gym in a week because she's had to deal with her sick kid, who by the way is crying for a nap on the floor in a puddle of his own snot next to her. [Whew! That was a long one.] GO HOME & TAKE CARE OF YOUR KID!

The sales staff is just as bad. How desperate are these managers that in order to be hired as holiday staff, your only requirement is a pulse? - and I'm not even sure that's a requirement. No one knows where anything is but worse is that blank gaze you get when you ask a question that stumps them. "Ahhh, I'm not sure." "Why don't you go ask someone instead of standing here slack jawed, texting your buddy about how your job sucks?" Oh, if only I would actually say it - I might not take as much out on my husband. Then there's the cashier who never looks up to greet you, just puts your breakables, unwrapped, next to each other in the bag while she's talking to the other cashier about how her feet hurt. She mumbles the total, to which you reply that she's forgotten your coupon, she huffs, and calls a manager. The manager is always so clearly frazzled, desperately trying to get his staff to work harder, knowing the whole time it's a losing battle; you have to feel sorry for him. But then you remind yourself that he hired these people in the first place so he deserves none of your pity. PLANT A SMILE ON, DO YOUR JOB, & MOAN ABOUT IT WHEN YOU GET HOME!

Clearly, too many years in retail have left me jaded!

Next post: Coordinating the pageantry of Christmas is like staging a huge glitzy Broadway musical, but harder... because after every minute detail has been tended to, Christmas has to look completely effortless. Will she do it all and still have time to run to her stylist for a cut and color to cover the greys that popped up during her parking lot brawls? Stay tuned...

Oh, and I'll try to get back to that post I promised with that mid-20s photo. Not much to report on the exercise front since I haven't been feeling well - I have another sinus infection and this time it feels like someone punched me square in the nose. I already gave my husband grief about it, but he swears it wasn't him, getting me back in my sleep for yelling at him earlier ;-).

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! Sharing the best of ourselves is what this holiday is all about. Thank you for the privilege of letting me share a bit of myself with all of you.
My Best,
Bonnie

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Used To Be's

I know I said I would be writing only one new post a week, but since the other wasn't my usual style, it doesn't count ;-).

*****

I've never liked to think of my "best days being behind me". I've been proud to say that I've lived each phase of my life to it's fullest, enjoying all the highs and lows, taking that proverbial "bite out of life and letting the juices roll down my chin" attitude - well, maybe not the juice part. We all know by now how much I hate a sticky mess.

So with that said, I find myself looking back to the days when my whole life was ahead of me and many paths lay at my feet. Of course, by the same token, back then I felt the anxiety of not having a clear destination, so it's as they say "six of one, half dozen of the other". But if I take a look back to those youthful, me-centered days, I see that spark of "used to be".

Admittedly, most of it is appearance based and extremely shallow, but it's hard not to wax poetic when the days of boys forgetting their own names in your presence, are behind you. (That's not a joke, it happened more than once. Talk about an ego boost.) Now, I'm lucky if most remember my name right after I've said it.

Why am I tormenting myself with images of a bygone era? Because it might just be the best way to keep me on task. As you know, I'm attempting to get back to the body of a person I once was. Not way back then - that would be nearly impossible with 2 decades behind me. No, I'd be happy with splitting the difference; half way between then and now.

Above is a photo of me in the late 80's (check out the "wicked" spiked hair and eyeliner). Truth be told, I thought I was chubby back then - I mean, look at the baby fat on those cheeks ;-). I was a junior or senior in college; somewhere between 20 and 22. This was one of my head-shots as I prepared to take Broadway by storm. I was going to be an actress (you have to say that very deep and dramatically). I never doubted my abilities, being the young egotist that I was. I was ready for the spotlight. Oh, how reality can kick you in the butt.

Within weeks of graduation and moving back to New Jersey, I walked into a casting agency in Manhattan, secured an agent, was sent on a few screen tests, and that was it. The casting agency turned out being one of those scams where they take your money and close up shop... welcome to the Great White Way, Sweetheart! That was all I needed to tell me I wasn't made of the "stuff" to make it in this business. By the end of the summer, I had found a job in advertising that I loved and I never looked back.

What is the point of my story? When you're young you can bounce back easier. If that had happened to me today, I'd probably crawl into a hole with a block of cheese and chocolate cake and not come out except to take my daughter to and from school. But that wouldn't happen to me today because given my current self confidence, I wouldn't have even tried. I talk about the self-involved, the narcissists, the egomaniacs being the root of all evil, but in all honesty, it helps to have a smidgen of that "stuff". It cushions the blow of disappointment to be "full of yourself" once in a while.

A little bit of the girl I once was, the one that thought she was "it"... yeah, I could use some of that right now.

*****

So far, this week has not been difficult enough, which means I haven't pushed myself as far as I should have. I'm going to have to up my game. Big words coming from a person who yesterday ate bread for the first time in a month just because she wanted it. Ugh! I've got nothing but room for improvement ;-).

In keeping with the "shame" posts, my next post with feature a photo from my mid-20's when I was in the best shape of my life and just starting to date my future husband. Since it's been downhill since I met him (physically that is), I wonder if I can blame him for my rotund mid-section ;-).

A Bit of Fiction... Or Is It?

I thought I'd try something different. Hope you like it. The same old sarcastic, ever questioning Bonnie will be back for the next post :-).

*****

"You are a liar. You claim to be someone you're not. And yet, oddly enough, you don't claim to be more than who you are, but less.

"I suppose it's sympathy you're looking for. Perhaps pity. Maybe a friend to hold your hand and tell you everything is going to be alright. Everyone around you is pumping you up, buoying your spirits and still you sit there like a sad puppy dog, beaten down and hungry. You crave attention, Poor Pitiful Pearl. It's all too often the pompous that annoy and irritate me, but today it's the pathetic. And not because you truly are pathetic but because that's the persona you enjoy playing. How pathetic.

"I don't believe for a second that you have lived the downtrodden and sometimes demoralizing life you claim to. Your clarity of thought and educated vernacular as well as your kind heartedness are your "tell". Not to mention that you haven't been keeping track of your facts. You say something one day and then give conflicting information the next.

"But I know what you're ultimate goal is. You need an escape. A fantasy world to live in from time to time. Your own life is boring so you've created a diversion in which to play. But instead of keeping the imaginary world to your daydreams, you let it out for everyone to see it. Now what do you do. You have to be two people - the real and the fake. Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. No truer words have been spoken.

"How dare you pretend to be something you are not to play with the emotions of others.

"Do you feel a twinge of panic for having been found out? Will you continue to believe that your real identity remains hidden? Will you come to your senses and admit it was a work of fiction? I don't want to be the one to shine the light of truth on you... I want you to do it. I want you to look in the mirror, tell yourself reality may not be perfect but it's better than fabricating a plot line so twisted and flawed. Say it was all make-believe and you can live happily ever after.

"But maybe, oh just maybe, you're playing us. This was part of it all along. You've fallen down hard, and then you'll raise yourself out of the ashes. Hollywood loves a comeback kid. Oh, you are clever, aren't you.

"Wow! I concede. You've played the game well, but I still think you're nothing more than a character in your own novel. I won't play into the compassionate bystander role any longer. But I will pay for my ticket and watch the show. It's an Oscar worthy performance."
Fin.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I've Made Some Changes

Good Morning All,
The sun is finally shining after a week of clouds and rain and chilly weather that had me pulling out the winter coats and gloves.

Over night, I've had a transformation and I think I may finally have my head on straight. We are the creators of our own destiny and as such, we are the only ones who can truly light a fire under our own asses and DO SOMETHING!

So here it is, I've tweaked my blog. I added things and prettied it up to make it more interesting. Why? Well, because I've decided to only use it once a week and I want to leave you all with something pleasant to look at in between my ranting and complaining ;-).

You see, when I started this blog, I was looking for a creative outlet to express myself, but what I ultimate did (and I'm sure was my subconscious goal all along) was find a way to avoid working out. I really need to work out. The holidays are coming and with it time with my family and lots and lots of photos.

I haven't mentioned my family yet because, well, unlike with friends who don't all know each other, it would be hard to talk about family without making it too easy to determine who each one is. Not very "you know that person who..." - a very grey statement. No, they'd know right away. That is, if they even read me! But I will tell you this, these photo holidays kill me. I'm the oldest of 5 girls, I'm short, I'm fat, and they are not. They're young, and tall, and thin, and beautiful. I look ridiculous in photos next to them. Kinda like - "Who's that old lady in the picture with you guys? Is that your aunt?" It's Humiliating!

So, in an attempt to look less bad by Christmas, I've got to do something about my appearance. I know, I know... little too little, little too late, but I've got to start sometime. And that sometime is now.

Please know that I will be pining for the chance to sit down at my Mac and type away for hours. For now, I'll be replacing that sitting with sit-ups and using my fingers to hold weights instead of hitting keys. But I will be back, once a week, to purge my mind of all it's pent up frustrations and questions for the blogosphere. If only losing fat and calories were so easy ;-).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Competing Personalities - The Yin & Yang Of Me

In the spirit of the oncoming list season - shopping lists, gift lists, Christmas card lists - I thought I might write my first list post. One that shows the ongoing battle that is my brain...

  • I love to watch Food Network and read recipes, but I don't like to cook.
  • I love clean, modern lines, but my style is comfy, traditional.
  • I'm preppy pink and green to the core, but I wear black 99% of the time.
  • I love fashion, but hate to dress up.
  • I love books, but don't make reading a priority.
  • I love TV, but rarely watch.
  • I imagine myself thin while I eat cheese and cookies.
  • I'm a morning person who needs "5 more minutes".
  • I like to watch tennis, but I don't play.
  • I wish I could do a cartwheel, but I don't want to try.
  • I love the theatre, but I hate drama.
  • I love abstract art, but I rarely "get" it.
  • I love the beach, but I dislike the feeling of sand.
  • I love coastal living, but don't swim, sail, surf, or sunbathe.
  • I love a rainy day as long as I don't have to go outside.
  • I abhor rudeness, but am oft times judgmental - which is rude.
  • I love the idea of traveling, but I'm a homebody.
  • I'm outgoing, but I'm anti-social.
  • I'm short, but I've been told my personality makes me seem taller.
  • I love long hair, but I wear mine short.
  • I come from a big family, but have only one child.
  • I willingly moved out of New Jersey, but wear my Jersey girl status as a badge of honor.
  • I hate dog hair, but have a huge dog that sheds like mad.
  • I haven't had a cigarette in decades, but miss it all the time.
  • I love to learn, but hate to study.
  • I love that NYC is gritty, but hate that it's dirty.
  • I hate politics but I support many causes.
  • I secretly love Hummers, but think people who own them are asses.
  • I love a silent house, but I turn up the radio in the car.
  • I talk to acquaintances daily, but my best friends rarely.
  • I like to keep in touch, but I hate the phone.
  • I love to give surprises, but I hate to get them.
  • I hate dust, but hate to dust.
  • I love places and events that draw crowds, but I hate crowds.
  • I need to do a lot of things I don't want to, and I do a lot of things I don't need to.
Well, that seems like enough for now. I'm sure as the day progresses, I'll discover more.
Please feel free to post some of your own in the comments section. I look forward to learning I'm not the only victim of a dueling match within ;-).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"I'd Like Some Consideration With A Side Of Civility Please"

On a daily basis, multiple times during the course of a day, people piss me off... oops, excuse me, irritate me.

Friends, casual acquaintances, total strangers - from the lady at the grocery store, who after being rung up says "oh wait, I have coupons" and then proceeds to clean out her purse, knowing full well there is a line of people behind her, to the friend that doesn't bother to call when she's running late and wonders why you're upset when she finally shows up an hour later.

What do these two examples have in common, you may ask? Self-absorption. That's right folks. I'm here to speak for all the people left in your wake of self involved narcissism... Get Over Yourselves! (Deep breath out.)

How many times a day do you have to put your own impatience, frustrations, and attitude in check because someone else put themselves ahead of you? The guy that cuts you off and then slows down. The mother at school who can't stop bragging about her kids long enough to see how socially awkward they really are while she suggests ways to improve on your child's upbringing. Or the family member who lovingly offers you help until you actually ask for it and then it's not convenient. Stop! Just Stop!

Is it so much to ask that we as people consider someone other than ourselves? Have we placed ourselves so high on a pedestal that we can't even see that our fellow man deserves some attention? Some consideration? And God help me for suggesting that either of those be done with a modicum of civility.

Today I was nearly struck dumb by a stranger's courtesy. It was not much more than a held door while I struggled to right my inverted umbrella in the rain and wind, but still I was amazed. Most people don't bother to hold the door as they walk through when they know you're directly behind them, much less hold the door for you when you're 10 paces back fighting with rain gear. I got my umbrella closed, threw it directly in the trash can by the door, walked in, and thanked him profusely. He just smiled and said "of course" and went on his way.

Well, there's no "of course" about it. There should be, but there's not. This random act of kindness, seemingly small and of no consequence to him, has thrown a big ol' spotlight on the fact that most interactions with the public at large are inconsiderate, impolite, and sometimes, just plain nasty. What has happened to just being nice?

Motherhood has taught me many things, not the least of which is that modeling good behavior is the best way to have well behaved children. I've gotten in the habit of saying lots of "please" and "thank you" and "have a nice day" just because I know my daughter is listening and learning. It's a fairly easy habit to get into and practice makes perfect.

The idea of being your child's own best role model is what keeps me from pulling up alongside someone who has cut me off in traffic and flipping them off. "Of course", I still have some work ahead of me... just this week, I got to the checkout lane and forgot I had coupons ;-).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Facebook - Friend Finder or "Full of Yourself" Forum

It's been just a little over a year since I was coerced into joining Facebook.

A few friends had suggested that it was "totally me" but it wasn't until my sister's wedding last October, when my cousin said, "Why don't you join FB; I can see your page now, all decorated and up-to-date. You should try it." that I finally asked, "Isn't FB for teens?"

"No it's really more for people our age looking to reconnect with old friends." she said.

"But I already talk to everyone I want to. What would be the point?" I replied.

"It's fun. Just give it a try."

I finally figured that enough people had thought this was something I'd be interested in doing to at least check it out. So I did. Yikes! I had no real idea what I was in for...

For anyone not familiar with the process, when you open a Facebook account it immediately populates your possible friend list with everyone in your email address book who currently has a FB account. I was blown away... I had no idea so many people used FB. And for what, I was about to find out. But first I had to decide how "I" would be using it.

I sent friend requests to anyone who was family - figuring it was an easy way to distribute photos. And I sent friend requests to friends I was already on a somewhat regular contact schedule with - figuring it would make catch-up easier. I did not "friend" anyone who was merely an acquaintance - mommies at school, PTA members, the owner of my favorite beach boutique (man, it seemed everyone was on FB but me). If I had ever written an email to anyone regarding whatever, and they had a FB account, here they were, popping up to be my "friend".

My plan was in place and still holds today... if you are not someone I would like to speak with on a regular basis, then I'm not interested in talking to you here. Sadly, with that mindset I wasn't going to win any popularity contests. As I watched the number of people on my friends' FB pages increase, I was determined to keep mine to a manageable amount and not wear my total number of friends like a badge of honor. My number may be small, but I keep in contact with each and every one of them.

Those first few weeks, people were coming out of the woodwork from as far back as Kindergarten to the aforementioned boutique owner. I did a great amount of "ignoring" - which for those few people not on FB, essentially means, "I don't want to be your friend". It didn't bother me any, some of these people had no right to ask for my friendship in the first place... like the mean girl from elementary school who picked on me mercilessly - are you kidding me? Happily I was able to reconnect with many old friends that through time and distance I had lost touch with, and it's been my greatest joy in this process to find them again.

With the base for my friend list in place, I began to add photos and play the games, post updates to my page on a somewhat daily basis, and post comments to my friends' post often... I was up and running. That's when I first noticed the patterns and habits of my fellow FBers.

Facebook has become, I'm unhappy to admit, a bit of an obsession with me. Just as I check my email throughout the day, so too do I check in on FB.

Each morning, I post something - my feelings on my day to come, a quote or question of the day, a piece from the news that strikes me in some way - but I try to throw things out into the FB world that will be provocative either from the point of shared experience ("I hate grocery shopping too") or the questions that plague me that I hope to gain some insight ("What can I do about mean girls in my daughter's life?").

Ultimately, my goal to make a connection, begin a discussion, talk with those people I have "friended". That's why it frustrates me to no end when I see many fellow FBers just talking about themselves with no attempt to open a dialogue. There they are, standing center stage, spotlight on them, talking... not discussing, not responding, not being a friend.

The "home" page on FB is where you will find listed all the daily musings of your friends. This is what I check throughout the day so that I can reply to friends in a meaningful way... the way I would like a conversation to go. Is it any wonder why I find it so irritating to see that someone I know, posted something out there at the same time I did without commenting on what I said but here I am replying to them? Is that selfish of me to expect to have some kind of back and forth with the people who are supposed to be my "friends"? Are we all just standing on that stage talking over each other or was the point of this connection on FB suppose to be about, oh, I don't know, connecting?

What gets me even more is that in most cases, these people don't even bother to reply to the comments posted beneath their own "status update". Are you kidding me? You threw something out into to space and someone bothered to throw it back and you're not even going to thank them for giving you back the ball. Are you so self absorbed? It's like you're just waiting for the reviews to come in on your performance which would be all well and good if you were in fact, performing for the crowd instead of talking with your "friends".

I have to get up the nerve to start blocking people I now regret having "friended".

Equally as annoying are those people who never write anything. You see them on your daily home page, accumulating friends but they never post on their page, they never reply to yours or anyone else's, but you know they are there, reading, lurking, sitting in the audience just watching the show. "Hello! I'm talking to you! Is anyone home?" Facebook makes it easy these days, you don't even have to post a comment. You can just hit "like". It's a little button that says "yes, I acknowledge you and give validity to what you are saying". All that and you don't have to come up with a witty retort. And yet, for some, it's still too much work.

My problem is not with Facebook. It gives us all the means to make those connections with people we may not get a chance to speak with face to face as often as we'd like. Through distance and circumstances we don't have those relationships with our friends that we once had. This is the ideal forum for "keeping in touch".

No, my problem is with those who abuse the privilege of friendship. It's a two way street not a stage. Don't "friend" me to add to your audience, be my friend. Which means at the very least, checking in from time to time.

I leave you with this example: I have a friend who's birthday was yesterday. She and I share a set of mutual friends on FB. As the day went on, I saw most of the regular users of FB add comments to her page with birthday wishes. One "friend" did not, but he did post 4 times to his own page suggesting he was using FB throughout the day and had ample availability to drop her a note. FB sends you a notice that a friend's birthday is coming up in the days to come. You can't miss it, it's on your home page... you know the one where other people besides yourself talk and you have to read about someone other than yourself.

Maybe he did in fact miss it. He was probably preoccupied with adding more audience members, oops, I mean "friends" to his list.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Friendship & Shoes - The Best Ones Are Comfy & Great For Any Occasion

Just the other day, my husband and I somehow got on the subject of friendship... how it's hard to make new friends as adults, how it's hard to keep old friendships with distance and family obligations and work commitments getting in the way, or how friendship is more than sharing commonality when you're a grown-up - unlike children who are best friends with the kid who happens to be next to them. In the same week as our discussion, I received a chain email from my sister-in-law.

It was entitled "Women In My Circle" and it was about finding the best in each friend instead of looking for everything in one... "the friend you go to when you have problems with your man vs. the friend you go to when you have problems with your mom". That sort of thing and it got me thinking that there is some validity to this.

When it comes to the perfect friend, the answer is to stop looking for just one and start looking for one for every need and activity - like shoes. You wouldn't wear pumps to the gym any more than you'd wear sneakers to a formal event. In the same vein, you probably wouldn't call that friend who doesn't have kids to ask any parenting advice or ask the friend who hates to shop to go with you to the mall. And if we follow this line of thought we have to assume that we too are a friend for one reason or another. I know I get calls on organizing (a by-product of OCD) and decorating (a hobby of mine) and party planning (a little bit of both), but I never gets calls on how best to lose weight or exercise. Go figure ;-)? So there you have it; I too fit the mold.


This post has me thinking about shoes and how people are like them.
[Indulge me for a moment, this may be a stretch of the imagination.]

You know those killer shoes you have that you wear on special occasions. They cost a fortune, they look amazing, and you feel great wearing them... at first, because by the end of the evening, you're cursing the day you laid eyes on them and they are causing you so much pain that you're wishing that the heel would fall off in a vane attempt to "serve them right". Now imagine that whole description (run-on sentence that it is) as a person. You know that high maintenance friend who's gorgeous and just being in her company makes you feel like one of the chosen people but after a few times you see that her beauty masks her character flaws and you just want to get out of the relationship before you start wishing something bad would happen to her to "put her in her place". Not a bad comparison if I do say so myself.

Likewise, that pair of comfy, well-worn loafers or flats or whatever it may be for you that you throw on to run out and get the mail or walk the dog, that can be dressed up or dressed down because they go with everything... the ones that cost good money, but you found them on sale, and since you wear them all the time they don't owe you a dime... the ones that are timeless and never go out of style... the ones that put a spring in your step because they mean so much to you for being your go-to shoes... now that's a true friend indeed. A friend for every situation - the good, the bad, the boring... a friend you never have to put on airs for because you are so comfortable in their company... a friendship you value for it's everlasting character which grows deeper with each shared experience... and a friend who just makes you happy to have them in your life.

There is a reason I don't like or have friendships that tend to be more work than not. It's the same reason I have so many pairs of good, comfy shoes. Real and worn is always better than fake and flashy.

Now I know, in writing this I have just dispelled my point about a friend for each reason by saying some are perfect for everything so let's see if I can't make some sense out of all this with another shoe analogy... You need the strappy stilettos. Even the best looking driving mocs aren't going to cut it for every event. And in friendship, as in shoes, different friends meet different needs; the best are worth getting to worn-in, go-to condition.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Can't Get My Act Together

Try as I might, I can't get my act together.

First it was being sick that got me off track, then it was lack of time because of too many plans and commitments, now, it's just because I've lost my focus.

It's this same foggy thought pattern that has put a halt to my blog. I just can't seem to get my head on straight.

To do lists get made, but nothing gets done. Piles are created, but only seem to grow. Hours pass so fast, I never know where the time went or what I was doing during it.

This would all make sense if I drank.

OK. I am committed to accomplishing at least 3 more things before my daughter's school day is over. What will they be? The list is endless at this point so I have my pick. I'm just hoping to check something, anything, off.

It unfortunately doesn't look like it's going to be my little blog. You need a working brain for that and apparently, I've lost mine in one of these damn piles.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween In Our Little Hamlet

This week, as you know, is Halloween. It's one of my very favorites, if not my most favorite holiday on the calendar.

You see, at one time, I entertained dreams of theatre stardom... thankfully, I came to terms very early on that I wasn't made of the kind of stuff theatre people need to be - that is the ability to stay positive in the face of constant rejection and long periods without a substantial paycheck. Instead, once a year, I get to stretch what's left of my thespian muscle and dress up. Now, to be honest, since my daughter entered my life, I haven't done any of the dressing up myself. What I know of costuming gets put into her annual creation.

I've had some greats, if I do say so myself. There was the pirate with parrot (or since she was 4 at the time, parakeet) sewn to the shoulder. The year she wanted to be an American Idol contestant (not too difficult, but got rave reviews). Or last year's flower with roots (a 1st place prize winner). They may not sound all that impressive, but the details would have blown you away.

This year she is a German girl. I was inspired by a milk ad with Heidi Klum. She's going to look adorable; braid rings and tasseled socks included. And as is tradition, she and my husband will go out trick or treating while I stay home to pass out candy. It's a job I freely accept since I like to see what other parents put into costuming their own children (as well as themselves). It's a peek into a personality, don't you agree? Let's be honest, the person that puts that slutty nurse costume on themselves, has a little bit of slutty nurse in them.

So here's my gripe... (any regular reader of my little blog knows there has to be some complaint-filled question to the universe). Why are there so many parents dressed in amazingly detailed ensembles, all of which say "Look At Me", while their kids are in their Power Rangers pjs calling it a costume? I'm back on that issue of priorities.

I can appreciate the parent wearing a costume in the spirit of the holiday because it means something to children that their parents get involved and act like big kids themselves sometimes. I can appreciate the kid not wanting to put on a costume, because it's hot or itchy or whatever. But if we are just talking "I want to look good and show off and you can wear your pj's for all I care"... well, then I have a problem. Truth be told, if my daughter didn't want to wear a costume, what the Hell am I wearing one for? No costume, no trick or treating. No trick or treating, no need for me to be dressed as a slutty nurse.

I think this goes to a point I've made before (if not once, five times). Parents, you already had a shot at childhood. It's your kids' turn at bat. So you say your childhood was lousy? Well then give your kids the childhood you wished you had and sleep well in the knowledge that you have done better by the next generation. But don't steal the spotlight from them, this is their time to shine. Stay in the wings and a bit of stardom will find you - it's in your child's smile and the joy in their eyes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Which Comes First... The Child or the Ego?

As parents, it should be an impulse to consider our children and place them first in many, if not most, situations. They need us and not for very long so we should take this as a golden opportunity and not a chore.

With that said, do I have to even tell you how many parents I would love to ask "Why the Hell did you have kids?" Kids may seem to be the perfect designer accessory when creating that quintessential white picket fence family, but they're not a pair of shoes or even a purse dog... they're people! You have to play with them, teach them, talk to them, show interest in who they are. You can't just take them out of the closet for the company family picnic, in an attempt to present a vision of familial bliss. Considering the little people in your house only as "your children" and not as Tommy and Mary, is the quickest way to raise children who treat others like property, and that includes you. What comes around goes around. What an incredibly lousy example you've set.

[Now for the purposes of my blog, I use the words my daughter and my husband and my blah-blah-blah. But I can assure you, those words feel alien to me to type or speak or even think and I do it only for security reasons.]

Likewise, there are the parents on the other side of the equation. The ones that have nothing but praise for their perfect progeny - and, of course, the way they've raised them. So blinded by their own creation they can't see the immense flaws in their "perfect" children. Unfortunately neither can the children whose heads are so full of baseless compliments, they wonder at the age of 20 why no one claps and says "good job" when they remember to wash their hands after using the potty. What relationships will this child form if their only goal is to be constantly bathed in false praise?

In both cases, though seemingly on opposite sides of the equation, the children are ultimately treated like possessions born solely for the purpose of making their parents look better. How sad. Some self involved parents, now clearly defensive about what I've written, may ask me in rebuttal, "Why did you have children?" To which I am quick to state, because I couldn't wait to meet the little person who would be born of my husband and I. Maybe to right some wrongs in my own childhood. Possibly to meet the challenge of parenthood. Definitely because I knew I loved her, as herself, before she was even conceived... and you should know that that all comes from a person who in her teens and 20s thought seriously about never having children.

So who should come first - the child or the ego?
The answer is clear. It is, for the brief moment while they are children, the child. Ego has no place in parenthood. Treat your children more or less than who they are and you will have very little to brag about anyway. Treat your children as individuals with their own special personalities and be praised for your role in their upbringing each and every day.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shh! It's a secret.

This is what's called "vamping". It's a musical theatre term which means "stalling".

I've got no less than a dozen posts in the works. All started but going nowhere (for more on that read my early work "As So It Begins"). So in order to throw something out into the blogosphere, I'm going to give away, free of charge, my super secret, world famous (well, in my circles at least) Pumpkin Bread recipe.

Ready?....

1)Run to your nearest Trader Joe's and buy the Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread mix.
[And when I say run, I mean run. It took them 5 weeks to finally get it in stock because the warehouse kept running out. The morning I called and got the news that it had come in the night before, I told them to put a case aside just for me. But it won't last long in the stores. It never does.]

2)Add your favorite extras to doctor the mix - dried cranberries and chocolate chips are a favorite in my house as are diced apples and pecans. Whatever you think will work with pumpkin, give it a try. I have yet to see (or taste) a combination fail.

3)Never reveal that it's a box mix. Believe me, no one would think otherwise. It's that good!

OK. Well that was short and sweet.
Check back in a day or two; hopefully I'll be able to finish something I've started.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

If The Truth Shall Set Us Free, Why Do We Remain Tied To Our Facades

I know that I recently wrote that I would be writing next about my love/hate relationship with Facebook. But I've been bouncing the idea of Honesty around in my head for a few days and I'd rather talk about that first. Please indulge me.
*****
I had lunch with a wonderful friend today. Last week was her birthday and we finally were able to find time in our schedules so that I could take her to lunch.

Our conversations tend to take the normal track - catch-up on kids, work, home then wade into the discussions of current personal set-backs whether it's a car in the shop or leak in the roof. In the end though, we always wind up talking about some deep emotional or psychological issue. This time was no different. This time the topic was Honesty.

"Why is it so difficult for people to be honest about themselves to others, when being honest ultimately frees us from the work involved in putting up barriers and facades?" "Why don't people tell the truth about themselves? In doing so, you not only free yourself from hiding, but allow the other person to be more relaxed in your company because you are being open with them."


I recently posted the above questions to my Facebook page and received quite a few very insightful responses (names have all been removed):

> I do not think that it is people not being honest with themselves. I think they just don't want to come across as being weak or vulnerable to others.

> I think it is all about keeping up a facade. I ALWAYS worry about what people think of me and I think at times that can make it harder to be completely open and honest about my flaws. I think if you care too much about what people think, it is difficult to be completely open and honest. What would happen if person x knew xyz about me? Oh wait, nothing! Wow...I might be a changed person.

> I honestly think its just a learned behavior. You build a protective shell around yourself according to what has worked to 'save' you over the years. In this case, SAVE can mean many things. Save you from pain, save you from a hassle, save you from commitment, etc. Or it could be like MY situation and you just don't remember things too clearly anymore and the memories have adapted themselves to something 'comfortable'.

> Wow, Bonnie...this is a deep one! I also worry about what others think of me... but I think most women do. Of course, there are some I would share intimate details with but not everyone. Sometimes it's just too hard to keep track of it all and I don't want to be judged so it's just easier to cover it all up and pretend it doesn't exist. Although, we all have faults, right? At times I just want to ignore them myself but yes, when you find that person to share it all with it is amazing and very freeing!

> Honesty doesn't always work. Human nature doesn't lend itself easily to unbridled truth. One of the many things that separate us from the ape is our ability to temper our responses to situations. Every story or question we hear is followed by a huge chess game in our head. "If I do this then what is that outcome". It allows us to tailor our reactions to events. Some cards you play close to the vest. I'm a pretty nice guy, good Dad, lots of fun at parties; but there are some things in my life I don't want to tell people, as I think it would distort their image of who I am. These things aren't game changers but they would separate us into sections, parts if you will. Humans remarkable gift is to see the whole, combine the parts, the Germans call it Gestalt. If we begin to tell everyone everything, we might start with, 'well I like 80% of that person, but that 20% really pisses me off. That's a deal breaker.

*****

It's an interesting discussion don't you think... by not wanting to appear weak or vulnerable or flawed in someway, we're not being honest or putting ourselves out there for growth; in fact, it's exhausting keeping up the facade thereby making the problem even greater.

Let's say I have problem X. I hide that problem in a variety of ways because it's embarrassing and I'm afraid of being mocked. Now, let's say I tell just one friend about it. It's like I just exhaled and the stress in my shoulders released. And in allowing that person deeper into my life, I've opened the door to let that person do the same with something they may be struggling with. What a comfort creating that kind of relationship allows us.

There is a great deal of pressure to be somewhat flawless. Consider the point my friend made in the last post, that if people knew all our blemishes there's a chance that the 80% they like won't outweigh the 20% they don't. But do we need people like that in our lives? And isn't putting up a facade a negative anyway? Just think about anyone who has ever bragged to you about something that should make them look "shiny". Didn't you take that as a flaw? The facade may be just another layer with it's own dents in it.

So what's the answer. For me, it will be to live with honesty and integrity and be trustworthy. The kind of person who is happy in her own skin. The kind of person I would want to associate with. The kind of person I want my daughter to look up to... man, do I have some work to do.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Post-It Notes

It's been nearly 3 weeks since I took that first great leap into the blogosphere.

That first week I was brimming with ideas and things I wanted to get off my chest; enough to fill 11 posts. Whew! That was quite a week. Last week between home improvements and a sick kid, I only managed to churn out 1.

No matter. I'm back and I'm percolating with new subjects to cover and I'm itching to get started. But I've decided that it would be best to pace myself... no more than 3 posts a week. More than that is just overkill and I risk losing my "followers" - I mean, I have to assume they have other things to do besides read my rantings. Right?

My next topic - Facebook! Yikes! For better or worse, it's become an addiction for me but it's a love/hate relationship... I love the fact that I've reconnected with so many old friends; I hate the fact that it brings out the ego-maniac in the majority of it's users - that is the ones that aren't just lurking.

I'm glad I started blogging. Many (including myself on some days) would say it's a waste of time, taking away precious hours better spent in the gym. But I've always been one to put my emotional, intellectual and psychological improvement (which I believe this is) ahead of the physical - anyone looking at my double chin, muffin top, and cankles could tell you that ;-).