Thursday, August 18, 2016

But My Feelings, They Are So Strong

Emotions are with us, every day. Some of these feelings are fantastic, others chew our stomachs up and leave us light headed and spent. I'm one that runs either hot or cold, there is no moderate temp in my blood. And when all is aligned just wrong versus just right, I feel like I'm losing my mind, because my feelings, why must they be so strong?

On days that are without challenge, I do all right with the mildly conjuring-up-feelings emotion. I am able to sail through the meh moments, but when I’m walloped in the temples by something that sends my diastolic numbers pounding through the Velcro cuff, I need help.

It's the cross-eyed angry that spills out and shocks me when I look in the mirror and don't see steam blowing out from the top of my skull. In those moments, I don’t know what to do with myself. My breaths come in shallow and rapid and my scalp tightens around my skull. From my teen child who takes me on in a verbal tug-of-war for an extra round of PlayStation to the neighbor who comments on my recycling pile on the side of the house, I am sent to the edge. 

What do I do with these bull-in-the-ring emotions?

I do the only thing there is to do: unclench my jaw so I don't run to the dentist thinking I need a root canal from the pain only t be semi-relieved (I guess) that I trenched my TMJ.

It’s hard to keep a cap on it, especially when I'm out in the world where everyone is watching. And the world loves to witness a melt down – but I won’t have them see it from me. That's what the Trump campaign is for.

SO. ----------> Here are a few ways to keep yourself from doing a Brittany Umbrella Dance for your whole neighborhood to catch on video next time you lose your cool:

◾Decide that whatever it is, it is not a big deal. Even if it is, table it till you’re behind closed doors. Remember that these days, everyone’s got a camera.

◾Use the word “frustrated” when explaining your feelings instead of “mad.” Saying “mad” just makes you “mad.”

◾Deconstruct your feelings. Make it a game; think about what led to what, and how you got there. This buys you time until you get home and can pull into your garage and lose it in the minivan out of view.

◾Write a letter full of every GD cuss word you can think of. Oh, do try it–it feels so good.

◾Find a friend who can talk you down. Call, text, tweet it out. Someone is sure to side with you and that’s all you want really, to hear, “that sucks donkey balls, man!”

◾Count to ten. It takes the Ready-Aim-Fire sequence out of your brain. And whatever you do, NEVER jump across a counter and grab anyone by the lapels. Not even if they sent your family's luggage to Australia.

◾Observe and note what your physical reaction to being mad as hell is. This will crack you up because you’ll sound like a Learning Channel Special: “Tingly scalp, beads of sweat on upper lip. Light headedness and numb fingertips accompany the pounding heart bouncing out of the rib cage.”

Being mad and feeling it should not be the same thing as going mad. Life will always have moments that move you to anger quicker than unchecked rice on the stove. But an angry fool is still just a fool (you can quote me on that).

The next time you want someone’s head on a platter, take a bunch of deep breaths instead and walk away. We all know that no matter how good it feels to call for a beheading, in the end, it would still just look gross.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What to Write When You Think "But My Life is Too Boring to Write About"

Think your life is one not interesting enough to write about? Wishing you had something to say from days that stretch back into what you think is ordinary?

Here's something for you to know: no one's life is ordinary and no one's days are ever without event.

I'm on BlogHer today talking about how to find the moments in our lives, and explore them for content.

Click over and give it a read, and then, what else? But start writing.

"What makes a story compelling is the feeling that you are reading over somebody's shoulder as they write in their diary, or that you're being whispered to and trusted with the words you'll soon hear...[read more on  Mining the Moments, on BlogHer]


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Pow! I'm a Life Coach!

Taking care of children is a mind blow. They look to you as possessor of all knowledge, and I'll be honest, it's fantastic for the ego. I give my three children life lesson as vignettes of my life appear, without summons, and today I thought, Why shouldn't I take my podium pounding sessions public? And so I have.
You too can now can benefit from the well from which I dip. As with anything, take what serves you, leave what serves others.

LESSONS LEARNED: Volume 26 of What Life Has Taught Me:

--Say “good morning” back, especially when you don't feel like it.
--Repeat someone’s name after they introduce themselves. People love to her their names.

--I am not going to assume anything, but let's talk friends. If you’re not interested in making friends, then move along: nothing to see here. BUT if you are tired of your social circle consisting of one, then I’ve got some tips for you.
Friendship Tips 101:

◾Before you say you want friends, you have to know what that means. Friends mean responsibility, caring, being there. If it’s not a two way street, then that’s not friends. You may just be using each other to not be alone. That won’t work.

◾Manners are important. Manners mean no nose picking, farting, grabbing your crotch or constantly sticking your side boobs back in place.

◾Don’t play with your food, don’t chew with your mouth open, don’t eat with your hands, don’t wipe your hands on the tablecloth or on your shirt or anyone’s shirt when you pretend to give them a hug good-bye.

◾Don’t focus only on the people that you want to like you. Think of everyone. They usually turn out to be cooler than the ones you think you want to like you.

◾If someone doesn’t like you, accept it. Don’t be needy. Don’t ask what is wrong with you, why don’t they like you, is there a chance?, don’t give them money to like you or buy them presents. Move on.

◾Just because you feel like doing something doesn’t mean you should do it. You may want to laugh and point at your friend’s new haircut but that’s not nice. Don’t do it.

◾Ask people about their lives, it shows you care. And if you don’t care, well then, we need to ask why you say you want friends. Back to step one: meaning of friendship.

◾Always ask permission before touching, grabbing, snatching, pushing, jumping, climbing, bumping, rubbing a person. ALWAYS.

◾And the most important rule of all:
If anyone says they won’t be your friend if you don’t play spin the bottle or Doctor with them, tell them your mother doesn’t let you play those games. Then leave that house and never be friends with them again. Oh, sorry, forgot I wasn't talking to my kids again. 
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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Not The Same As Being There, But Still Wonderful: Thank You BlogHer

For the first time in six years, I had to miss being a part of BlogHer 's annual conference. On Monday night, I sliced my thumb with a much too nice knife (life note: go for cheap knives in the kitchen from now on) and sparing any physical details, I am in no shape to fly and do things one handed.

I missed being with my people, I missed the pride of being a blogger that I always come home with after a BlogHer conference. And I missed this: being honored as a 2016 Voice of The Year honoree sponsored by Merck for Mothers .

Merck had asked for entries that described a moment that defined motherhood. I crossed my fingers and sent in my submission, "Past, Present, Future: What It Feels Like To Look At Your Children."

And today, I am honored to say Thank YOU BlogHer,  thank you SheKnows media, and THANK YOU for the honor of being chosen by Merck for Mothers as a winning entry in their #MOMents category.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Hey, You, Get a Haircut!

Last week Wednesday, at 11 a.m., I went for a haircut. My hair was beyond the needing a haircut phase, it was more than straggly ends and no discernible hair style moments.

What my hair was, was a state of neglect.

I didn't need a haircut as much as I needed to treat myself like a person that needed to be cared for. Yes, every day I left myself a note on the kitchen counter, “Hair appointment!” but at the end of every day, the call for the appointment never got made.

I was too busy doing, whatever, for everyone else. A haircut takes 20 minutes, 30 if you ask for a shampoo. With no hair coloring or highlights, I do have 30 minutes to get my hair cut. So why the procrastination to the point of not being able to look at myself in the morning without my first words being my god I need a haircut.

Is it the salon chair that I don't want to sit in?
Is it the smock that always feels too plastic-y that keeps me away?
Is it the article that popped up on facebook about the woman who had a stroke 10 days after a haircut because her head was jerked back to tightly and ended up in a mini-laceration that led to said stroke? (maybe .0001% of a head nod for that one)

The chair at the salon is okay, even if I always worry that I'll be stepping into the well of the foot rest and my hairdresser will swing the chair at the exact wrong moment and knock me over. The smock is a PITA and lately, it's not exactly doing much for my physical attractiveness with a newfound effect of pulling on newfound looser neck skin.

And the stroke thing? I'll always worry about the stroke thing. With every single second of tingling and numbness that comes my way.

I didn't make an appointment because the time was never right. There was always something else going on and my hair-needs didn't feel important. But for something not feeling important, it ran through every second of my day every time I'd catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror. Haircut haircut haircut why can't you go and get your haircut??

It will feel good to have your scalp massaged, yes? Yes.
You'll like the way it doesn't snarl after your shower, yes? Yes.
Won't it look so nice, to have those ends just off your head? Yes.
Think about it, no more guilt when you look in the mirror, yes? OMG, yes. 

So, talk to me, what is the problem? Because there is one.
Mumble mumble, hem and haw. The truth? Yes, the truth.
I don't like to take time to do anything. 
Aha! But, let's say, your kids came in, right now, and said, "Mom, I need a haircut." What would you do?
I'd take them to get a haircut.
Buuuuut - you won't do that for you... is that right?
Nowhere to hide, is there? Yes, I won't do that for me. 
After this humbling exchange with myself, I called and made my haircut appointment. My stylist, Liz, is so cool. She took the call, she didn't say, "WOW. Looks like there has been *some time* since I last saw you." Nope, Liz gives me the appointment, she ends with, "See you Wednesday!" and then come Wednesday, she does.
I sit in Liz's chair, I say like I always do, "Did you hear about the lady that had the stroke after her neck was torqued at the hair salon?" She'll ignore that and go right into loosening my ponytail, squinting her eyes, and asking, "So? A good clean up?"
"You okay with three inches off?"
And we begin. My hands under a too hot plastic apron that I sneak out from underneath for fresh air every few seconds.
She concentrates, pulling my hair up and out and slides her scissors across. My shoulders fall back and my lungs fill with new oxygen. I look in the mirror and see shine where only this morning a puffball of split ends and fuzzy tips existed.
15 minutes later, Liz pulls the apron away and sweeps hair off my shoulders with the most delicate brush I've ever felt.
My hair in Liz's mirror looks tended to. I look like I matter to myself.
I thank Liz and leave a tip that is enough for her to get a salad of her choice at Panera's.
I drive home, looking in my mirror. For the first time in months, I smile when I don't hear back, why don't you get yourself a haircut.
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