You know you love it.

I don’t get people that don’t watch TV.  Puh-lease.  There is ALWAYS something to watch on TV.

I go through periods when I think that there is nothing to watch, so I focus on HGTV or The Food Network – who doesn’t love getting new recipe ideas or dreaming about all their house could be?  I find myself watching reruns of a show I’ve seen a million times, or else re-watching some random movie over and over.  The implementation of the DVR has helped that a bit.  And now I’ve started relying rather heavily on Netflix.

I just binge-watched 5 seasons of Scandal.  I am in deep.  Does someone like Olivia Pope really exist in the real world?  On the list next is How To Get Away With Murder and maybe Once Upon A Time.  In between, I watch Survivor and Big Bang Theory and The Americans is about to start back up.  And I, an almost 40-year-old woman, indulge on Teen Mom OG and Teen Mom 2.

And when I’m working on something, I binge-watch (binge-listen?) to Carpool Karaoke with James Corden.  Or, when I have the time to do so for fun, I read a book series as quickly as I possibly can.  I did it with the Twilight series, with the Black-Dagger Brotherhood (read it – it’s AH-mazing!!), with Harlan Coben, and with the Hunger Games series as well.  And, most often, I listen to songs on repeat, albums over and over.

Media, all outlets of media, are spectacular.  They create memories.  Relate to moments. Let us get away, be ourselves, become someone else.  There is always that notion out there of “finding out who you are” or “being the best you that you can be” but I’m starting to believe that phrases like that are limiting.

I thought that my 150 day journey to 40 was about focusing on who I wanted to be, where I wanted to take my life, and how I wanted to lead it for the rest of my days.  But thanks to the media, I realized something greater.  I am always growing.  I am always changing.  I can have expectations and desires but those, too, can change on a dime.

I’m not all of a sudden aspiring to be Olivia Pope, or hoping beyond hope that Adele will show up and we’ll be bffs (although that would be awesome!!) but every new outlet that I open myself up to allows me to see that I can always want more and ALWAYS BE BETTER.  I hope I don’t ever have to say that I’ve become the best me I can be – I want to be that best person in this moment in time, and then be exceed that person the next.

I watch these imaginary people and ideas and scenarios and  I want to work out harder and read more and learn more and get more licenses and redecorate my house.  I love it.  Media is inspiration.  Lloyd Dobler standing outside Diane Court’s window with that boombox reminds me that true love is real.  M’Lynn’s hysterics at Shelby’s funeral reminds me that your true friends don’t even have to talk, but just listen to help.  Erin Brockovich reminds me that you don’t ever have to bow to labels.  And hearing Steve Carell shout “loud noises” from Anchorman every time I get a text message reminds me that laughter is my favorite pastime, and that I should laugh as much as possible.

This is just a sampling.  Because I love getting lost in a book…loving it so much that I need to read another chapter instead of going to sleep.  And I adore a day so nice that I can’t wait to get in the car and open the windows and blast some music.  So much of my life is enhanced by experiences that aren’t my own.  And that is just fine in the book that is my life.

 

My girl wants to party all the time.

Children’s birthday parties are exhausting.  I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know.  But it needs to be said so that everyone remembers.  Even when it’s not your kid.  Even when you don’t have to “participate” with them.  You and your little will both walk in with nervous energy, and then trudge out with sleepy, cake-clouded brains of mush.

I brought this on myself though.  When Q turned one, I used it as an excuse to throw a party.  I’ve always loved to entertain and, somehow, the notion that having 20 plus people in my 1600 square foot house sounded so appealing, when it should have been horrifying.

I mean, did I forget who I was?  Did I forget that I’m a huge procrastinator that hates to clean?  But I pulled that first birthday off with a bang!!  Even had the kitchen and all of the downstairs trim professionally painted in time for the party.

I did so well, I figured why not do it again!  Seriously, what the hell was I thinking?  I didn’t even have children at these parties – save for the obligatory children of my (not Q’s, mind you) invited friends.  But I had a theme, and I cooked my ass off, and I dressed my child in adorable and ridiculous tutus, and I bought the most spectacular cakes around.

One and two are a cake-walk in the grand scheme of things.  Q won’t remember her party at one or at two.  She’ll look at the pictures and pretend to reminisce, but those parties will always have been for me.  And then they get to age three.

Three is when they want to hang out with their friends outside of school.  Three is when they want their friends to come over, to be in the same extra-curricular activities, to go to zoo or the beach or the playground with us “the next time we go.”

When Q turned three, I basically sealed my birthday party fate for the next 15 years.  While all the smart moms were planning parties at jumpy places and gyms built just for kids, I gave Q the golden ticket.  She invited all her girlfriends (“girls only mom”) and we marched our way into Build-A-Bear and took over.  Ten little girls who had the attention span of newborn puppies and who were still working to find their words and who were still trying to figure out their emotions were let loose to pick a furry friend and build that friend from the ground up.

It was actually a blast.  But I was way more tired when that party was over then I had been after throwing parties in my own home.  I didn’t have to clean before or after.  I didn’t have to feed them.  I didn’t have to entertain them.  But I was spent.

And my child was happy and loved and still brings it up a year later.  And that made it all worth it.

This past weekend, we went to the first in the round of parties for age four.  It was at one of those places that is all trampolines and action.  I didn’t have to jump with her.  I didn’t have to entertain her because her friends were there.  But, as we slowly made our way to the parking lot and our car, I was silently asking the universe to turn back the clocks to a time when Q actually napped on the weekends.  Did it happen?  Of course not.

This year’s party for us will also be at one of those jumpy places.  They do all the work.  They supply all the food.  All I have to do is bring the birthday girl and cake.  But I can tell you right now that I will be wiped when the day is done, and will be relieved when the party comes to a close.  I may even declare that I can’t ever see myself doing something like that ever again.

But we all know that a few months will go by, and I’ll start to prod Q about what sounds good for next year’s party.  And I’ll love every second of it.  Because nothing is better in the whole world than getting her excited.  Nothing is better than making her smile.  Nothing will ever, ever  be better than making her happy.

 

Not so much.

And today was the exact opposite.

Q had a bad dream and didn’t want to go back to sleep for fear of having the dream again.  I did what was expected for someone that had to be up in 2 hours – I snuggled the hell outta that kid!!  Couldn’t let my girl be sad, could I?

Needless to say, when 620am came around, I was beat.  And then I looked outside.  It was dreary and gloomy.  Where were my blue skies?  Where was my fresh air?  I sighed in despair and got ready for another day at the office.

Starbucks couldn’t even help me out.  What the what?

It drizzled on and off.  The office was chilly, so I turned on my space heater.  Then my legs were on fire, so I turned it off.  Mail lady showed up and blew in a damp breeze, along with her intoxicating aroma of cigarettes.  Back to the heater.  You see where I’m going with this.

Leaving work, it started raining harder.  Did I have a jacket?  Of course not.  Did I grab my umbrella?  Not worth the effort.  And people in Massachusetts drive way worse when it’s raining than in the snow.  It’s a fact.  WTF?

Went to grab Q from school, and by the time we walked out, the rain had lightened.  She loves to wear a raincoat, so we laughed and chatted.  The air felt good, and the smell after the rain is always enchanting.  The day certainly ended better than it had started.

We’ll have dinner and watch a show, and I can almost guarantee that I’ll fall asleep putting Q to bed tonight.  And with my sleep, I’ll put to bed this blah, meh, mediocre, grumpy-pants day.

Tomorrow is Friday.  It can only get better. Zzzzzzzzzz

 

What’s that in the sky?

I love autumn and winter.  Hands down, my favorite half of the year.  This mainly stems from my absolute hatred for being hot, and for 17 years of living in Florida.

And this Massachusetts winter was a freaking breeze…we barely saw snow at all!!  That made me (and Q) a little bit sad.  And the weather started showing signs of rising temps, meaning spring would soon be here.

I do like spring – although the rain brings me down (I’d rather have snow).

But today, today was different.  It was in the 50s yesterday, but today was predicted to be in the low 70s.  AND IT WAS GLORIOUS!!!

It was already in the 50s when we left the house this morning.  Q and I chatted the whole way to school and I couldn’t stop smiling.  It was sunny and bright, and in the early afternoon, I took the opportunity to run something over to the other building at work so that I could see how the day was shaping up.

The second I stepped out of the door,  it was like a calm came over me.  I breathed in a big gulp of fresh air and looked at the bright, blue sky like I’d never seen it before.  And I was happy.

I started thinking about what wonderful things I could do as the weather gets warmer.  I can’t wait to take Q to the park and try out her  new bike.  She’s already been asking about going back to the zoo.  And there are the weekends at the Cape with the in-laws.  And, of course, day-drinking on patios with the girls.

I’m excited for summer this year.  I’m hoping that this healthy and happiness journey I’m on will help me to feel a little more comfortable in my own skin.  But I’m really hoping that the happiness part of it will remind me not to care.  To instead look around me, take a deep breath, and enjoy the sun.

 

 

F is for forget this.

I totally thought doing posts from A to Z would be awesome.  That coming up with topics would be simple and the words would flow like lava.  That part did happen, but I realized that it’s stupid to do A to Z unless I was going to post every day and do them back to back.  Otherwise, I could stretch this out for 6 months!!

So let’s just forget about it and go with what we know.

I feel like I’ve been so busy lately.  I haven’t, but I feel like I have.  I mentioned earlier that sometimes I feel weird or inept with my planner, because I don’t have an exciting enough life to fill it.  But, honestly?  Your life doesn’t have to be action-packed to be fulfilling and busy.

There’s so much more that goes into running my adult life than I ever thought there would be. When I first got a job and started paying my own way, I was golden!  I was waiting tables and making more than enough money to pay my (miniscule) bills, buy whatever my heart desired, feed myself, and hit the bars at night.

Fast forward to Ry and I moving to Massachusetts – we figured it was time to get “real” jobs.  Real jobs, while they tend to be more regimented, stable, and better-paying, also tend to not give so much wiggle room when you need to eke out a few extra bucks.  It used to be that I could just pick up a shift if more money was needed, but now I was getting a (steady) paycheck every two weeks.  And it was only every two weeks.  It is fucking tough to go from cash in your hand every single day to a deposit into your checking account twice a month – why, I have no idea!  I think it’s the change in mentality about money.

While I have always had a strong work-ethic, and have always tried to make sure I’m giving my absolute to the task at hand, I NEVER brought the day home with me when I waited tables.  When it was over, I poured myself a drink and went on my way.  I’ve been with the same company now over 10 years.  I am EXCELLENT at my position.  I’m not tooting my horn, I have earned the right to say that due to my years of experience.  Most days, I still learn something new.  And days are busy – usually from the second I log in to the second I close it down, it’s go go go.

While there is certainly no lacking of things to be done, I generally don’t take work home with  me.  I know what it’s like to be burnt out and it is not pretty.  But, while I’m not physically leaving with anything, I certainly feel the mental drainage of the fast-paced financial industry long after the market is closed.

It’s not that I dwell on anything that may have happened, I think that, even after all this time, I’m still getting used to actually using my brain and engaging in a career.  I am spent when I leave work.  I have no desire to challenge myself when the day is done, but rather to be carefree and silly and relaxed.  But there is so.much.damn.stuff.to.do.  All the time.

There’s the 30-45 minute drive home.  Getting dinner on the table.  Some nights are bath nights.  Getting Q to bed.  Getting the dishes done and the house picked up and maybe some laundry so that it’s not a mountain every single weekend.

Of course, what it boils down to is that you have to do what works for you.  I will never be a go-go-go person.  Never have been.  I am motivated and driven, but I am lazy.  I’m, at least, trying to improve – always trying to improve.

These last few weeks of actually meal-planning have made a huge difference.  I can honestly see that what we did in the past – trying to throw dinner together from scratch every night after work – was virtually impossible for our lifestyle.  It led to too many dinners of takeout.  Now, I’ve got a plan and, while not set in stone, it helps to not have to overthink.

But I’ll be honest.  Ry took Q to dance yesterday at her request.  They came home with coffee and donuts.  And then, they went out again.  Know what I did?  I watched about 5 episodes of Scandal on Netflix.  And it was awesome.  And then they came home with pizza, so no cooking or cleanup for me.  And that was awesome too.  Did I feel guilty because I didn’t throw in a load of the mountain of laundry while I was watching?  Not for a second.

***I kinda love that this is basically my brain dump.  I like putting the convos I have in my head down “on paper” even if only for myself!***

E is for elaborate.

I may be a huge procrastinator, but when I decide to do something then it has to be the best damn something there is!

When I say that we’ll have chicken for dinner, it’s not just chicken baked in the oven.  I create Roman-Style Chicken over Tomato Basil Risotto with Fresh Mozzarella.

When I decide I want to clean out my closet, I don’t pull a few things off hangers to purge.  I empty the whole thing, and all the drawers, and do a total reorg of what goes where.

When I decide to get back into wearing a full face of makeup, I don’t go to Sephora and ask for a few samples.  I buy foundation, concealer, highlighting powder, eye shadow palettes galore, masks, moisturizers, and primers.

I mentally cannot, will not, do not, settle for mediocre.  It’s quite comical.  I don’t really get anything done, but I have some really good intentions.  It’s what I get out of it.  I don’t just want to get by.  I want to excel.  I want to enjoy.

You see, I was born to lunch; to be a Lady That Lunches.  What is better in the entire world than meeting up with your best gals, popping some wine or clinking champagne or slinging back margaritas, and chatting about EVERYTHING??  I can easily also replace my gals with my man – nothing wrong with a Sunday brunch of Bloody Marys, the newspaper, and some time to catch up on the little things.

This, unfortunately, is a pro and a con.  I want to bathe in luxury but, in order to afford the things I want, I have to work for them, and that takes away from my lunching time.  I want Q to have everything, but I want to show her the value of earning her keep.  I’m sure that the scale will fall heavily towards the latter as she gets older but, for now, I want to spoil her rotten.  She’s my one and only.

I play the lotto.  Can you blame me?  Daydreaming about all of the goodness that would come with winning isn’t as foolish as you would think.  It’s actually motivating.  I must say, however, that I cringe when people say that money can’t buy happiness.  That is a bold-faced lie.

If you weren’t happy yesterday, you won’t be happy tomorrow. It’s money. It’s not happiness.  If you were happy yesterday, you are going to be a lot happier tomorrow. It’s money. Life gets easier when you don’t have to worry about the bills. – Mark Cuban

There are about a bajillion surveys on the internet about what couples argue over, and money almost always wins the number one spot.  Mark starts with “if you aren’t happy” – what if you are only unhappy because you are fighting in your marriage, and what if that fighting is generally based on money issues?  You see, I am happy.  I have an amazing husband and daughter that I live for.  I strive to be a better person for them.  But money stresses me the fuck out.  I think about money all the time.

It’s not like when Ry and I first met and were working just to spend the money.  We both get paid twice a month, and are lucky enough to be on an alternating schedule so that there is a paycheck every week.  But it doesn’t matter.  There is NEVER enough.  It doesn’t help that I do all the finances.  Especially because I’m also the shopper.  You can’t be a shopper and a saver at the same time, right?

So, really, if we were to win the lottery and not have to worry about money ever again, I would be truly happy.  Ry and I could cultivate our stress-free existence of old, and just live.

For shits and giggles:

  • We would renovate the house to the best it could be
    • Add central air conditioning
    • Hardwood floors
    • Finished basement
    • Redo the whole kitchen and all 3 bathrooms
    • Convert the fireplace to gas
    • Pave the driveway (we have a loooong driveway)
    • Have the property landscaped
  • I would make a LARGE donation to cancer research
    • At this point, just about every single person I know has been touched by cancer, and my experience (my mother, myself, my stepdad) opened my eyes to how underfunded the research is
  • Set up a trust for Q
    • I want her to have the money available to really make her dreams come true (which is why it would be a trust and not a bank account!)
  • Take a long long long long vacation
    • I want to go everywhere, and I mean everywhere

Not a bad start right?  I would probably volunteer (after our vacation) and would even get a part-time job – preferably at somewhere awesome, like a makeup store/counter or a clothing store or a pet store or who knows.  I would write and take pictures, and I would breathe.  And I would look around me and know that the universe had been very good to me.

Like I said, it’s always fun to dream.  ❤

 

 

 

D is for drama.

My last post was a week ago – A WEEK!!!

I have some fun stories though…I can laugh about them now, and that is what is important!

I believe that the universe always brings it back around – it’s all a series of checks and balances. We create our path by making choices, but those choices coexist with the movement of the tides and the stars.  And that is wayyyyy bigger than we are.

The theory was completely solidified for me last Wednesday, when my naughty ways came back to bite me in the ass!  I wrote an opinion post in a group of almost 15,000…the funny thing is that it was against my better judgement!  I had typed it all out, but then I paused and considered posting in a smaller, unrelated, safe group.  And then I said fuck it.

Cut to 4 hours later, when I was getting ready to leave the office, and people were STILL weighing in…it was mostly the naysayers that continued to feel the need to comment; those that agreed with me seemed to like the post and move on, as I had after hitting the send button.

It was pouring down rain on the way home, as Q and I sang along with the radio – until she fell asleep, that is.  My mind wondered to other things like dinner and laundry and that night’s tv.  I pulled into the end of the drive and stopped to get the mail – as I do every day.  Me being me, I wasn’t wearing a coat, so I purposely waiting until there were no cars coming to get out and dash to the box.  As I was reaching in, wouldn’t you know that a car came speeding around the corner, rolled right into the puddle in front of  my driveway and DRENCHED me from head to toe – I mean, water-in-my-shoes drenched.

I was completely dumbfounded.  Could not move.  I still had to get back in the car to get to the garage.  I tried to move as little as possible and uttered every curse word that I could think of under my breath, my temper boiling hotter and hotter.  I called R from the car – “Come get your daughter” I barked.  He walked out the door and stifled a laugh, which made me even more angry.  “I don’t remember you laughing when this happened to you,” I reminded him.

I stomped upstairs to get out of my dripping clothes and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror:  hair ratted, makeup dripping off, dress plastered to my skin.  And I laughed.  How ridiculous!  Karma surely was a bitch that day!  It served me right – I felt that what I had written was wrong from the beginning, but I did it anyway, and I paid the hefty price!

The moral of the story for me?  Don’t ever think you are safe from Karma.  You aren’t more powerful than the universe!  And don’t puff up your chest over some dumb ass shit that won’t matter to you in an hour.  If my dad reads this, he’ll totally say “I told you so.”  Dad, don’t say it!!

More to come, my loves…