I don’t trust myself. Yesterday, I was sick and fatigued from all the holiday goods. No more sugar. Done. This time I’m for real. The holiday weight is coming off and I’m done with sugar! Forever and ever, amen.
But see, I have a disturbing relationship with mint M&Ms. I can’t quit them. I try, God knows I try. I have to kick them out of the house. Send them packing. We simply can’t have a casual relationship. Luckily for me, after all the merry and jolly I consumed in high caloric form the past week, even my most irresistibly sexy and sultry of candy lovers now looked a bit greasy and smarmy like it smelled like dirt and onions – what I imagine dating Johnny Depp must feel like.
So I decided to pack up all the sweets. Candy could be saved in bags and stored. Some of the sad cookies could be tossed, and I’d freeze what was left over of the coconut cake. So, I grabbed a ziplock bag and poured out the bowl of mint M&Ms. One dropped on the counter. To not be disrespectful and give a proper goodbye to my beloved candy, I ate it in a ceremonial kind of way. Then I grabbed a handful and shoveled it in my mouth like a monster.
Now it was time to put the coconut cake away. I wrapped it gently in plastic wrap. A dollop of cream cheese frosting landed on my finger. I licked it off. Then took a huge bite out of the side, like I was some Viking pillaging a bakery.
Those are just a couple reasons why I don’t trust myself.
That’s why new year resolutions fail. It’s exciting at first – the prospect that maybe we can accomplish something great. But deep down, we know how many times we’ve tried before. At first – hustling, dedicated, disciplined. Then somehow, maybe after a week, a month – or even a year – we just peter out. Puttering, sputtering along. And then somehow we make it back to where we started. Taking huge bites out of the side of coconut cake.
They say we don’t actually change until it finally hurts more to stay the same. Most of us have super high thresholds of pain.
Sometimes, though – we can even surprise ourselves. I’m not a runner. My whole life up to this one miraculous moment, I ran like I was trying to keep two cantaloupes from falling out of my shirt while wearing concrete shoes. But one day, I crossed the finish line of a half-marathon on the Vegas strip. People dressed like Elvis wearing platform shoes passed me often and I thought I was running at a damn good clip. One guy whipped his cape back and it hit me in the eye. But I finished it. My time was actually good (I consider “average” good) and I was in the best shape of my life. Who had I become?!?
It was the first time in my life I did something I didn’t think I could do. For some reason, I trusted myself.
You don’t run a marathon the first day you try. You run for 5 minutes, then walk the next 20 winded and disappointed in your sports bra. Sometimes, starting badly is the best way to end greatly.
If I can do that, can’t I really do anything?
Failures cause self-doubt, but what if they were simply stepping stones leading us to this very moment?
And what if 2017 is the year we finally arrive?
It’s food for thought anyway, and maybe even the kind of food we shovel into our mouths on accident. If anything is possible, trusting ourselves to live up to our own expectations is also on the list.
Happy New Year, friends. Let’s raise our champagne (it’s 6 AM, so I’m raising my coffee) to 2017. And the mint M&Ms that are my stepping stone to greatness. I love you.
I’ve never been great with virtues. Particularly patience and humility.
Take humility, for instance. A strategy (notice I didn’t say virtue) I’ve developed when in conflict with my husband and I’ve happened to go too far is to take responsibility and admit I’m wrong immediately to disarm him. Sometimes people get annoyed when you apologize quickly because you take away their opportunity to prove you wrong, which can feel oh so good. Soon we all have no choice but to calm down and before I know it, he’s apologizing for his wrongs and sees the error of his ways. Then a smirk curls on my face because my strategy worked like a charm.
See? I can’t even admit I’m wrong without secretly being a smug butthole about it. Whatever, I’m a work in progress.
So it should be no surprise that patience isn’t my thing, because if you think about it, patience and humility are two sides of the same coin.
So what is patience, really? Is patience the ability to wait? Or is it the ability to remain faithful while waiting? Probably the latter. Just because I’m able to wait in a horrifically long line doesn’t mean I have a good attitude about it.
And it’s the attitude that matters most, because it has the biggest impact on what happens next.
If you’ve been following my author site (that I’ve periodically abandoned many times), then you’ve probably pieced together that I’m big on faith. That our beliefs, thoughts and stories we tell ourselves often have a direct effect on the trajectory of our life. It’s not a belief in magic, or fairy god mothers. It’s discovering I do in fact have a purpose (a talent/gift that serves others) and a desire in my heart for how I will express my service. And if I believe I’m capable and destined for it (and work my butt off), it will come true in my life.
It may not come true exactly how I want it to, but it will come. In time. Not always in my time. And that’s the real pain in the ass.
My faith and belief is rooted in my faith in God, but I honestly don’t think you have to believe in a higher power for this concept to be true in your life. What we’re passionate about, focus on, water, nurture and prune – tends to grow. What we neglect tends to wither and die. My problem is, when I prune and water and cast sunshine on something, I expect it to bloom by noon. And when it doesn’t, I get to the important business of feeling really sorry for myself. BECAUSE I WORKED SO HARD!
AND I DESERVE IT SO HARD!
Then sometimes, right as it’s about to bloom, I give up. I stop watering. Stop opening the blinds. Stop pruning. Stop caring. If it’s not going to bloom on my time, then screw it.
That to me is the only time I truly fail.
As many of you know, I’m writing a book on pregnancy. I believe in it with my whole heart. But the process of writing, querying, and getting that book deal is an arduous, tedious process that involves watching a clock tick slowly while you wilt away into a heap of boredom and sadness. Okay, I’m being dramatic, but can someone throw me a freaking bone?
So today I reminded myself – patience is the ability to remain faithful to my purpose while waiting. How can I serve in the meantime? How can I do something meaningful for someone else? How can I stay happy and joyful despite a period of uncertainty? In the words of Glennon Doyle Melton, I’m called to serve, not to be successful – so maybe the secret’s in the service.
The question is, if it doesn’t happen today, just as I want it to, do I believe not getting what I want is an essential part of my story? Do I truly believe it will come, even if it’s not in my time or look how I expect it to look?
I know a wildly popular writer whose first book was rejected into rubble. Her rejection spawned a new book idea that became an NYT Best Seller.
So put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Sometimes it’s smart to give up (to make room for the real magic). Sometimes it’s stupid (because our destiny takes more than 24 hours to develop). Whether or not your lack of patience and/or humility had something to do with your decision is usually your first clue which is which.
If you’re tired of waiting, I am too. But we still believe in it, right? So let’s not give up. Not yet. There is so much good we can do in the meantime. And it will come. Right on time.
Even if you suck at virtues.
I swear I thought I was 25. I really did. Okay, intellectually I know I’m turning 35 on the 28th of this month, but I also intellectually know my bra is probably two full sizes too small – it means nothing.
Granted, in comparison to my early twenties I’m no longer scheming on how to get my parents to stock my fridge with groceries, but other than that, I’m pretty much the same. Well, I guess instead of going to a club on Friday nights, I now binge on Mad Men and Ben & Jerry’s for entertainment, but other than that, I’m pretty much the same. Well, I guess “happy hour” in my 20s now means “nap” in my 30s – but other than that, whatever, you get my point. The “Advanced Maternal Age” label they’re slapping on me during this pregnancy feels like a real kick in the jewels.
The thought that I could be so young and vibrant with my entire life ahead of me, yet pumping out Carol Burnett eggs out of my ovaries just doesn’t make any damn sense.
I suppose the upside is that I get a little more attention towards the end of my pregnancy and get to peek at my little McNugget. And to my pure delight, I saw baby chub rolls. Basically, everything I ever wanted. Also, I think I finally have a baby that looks like me.
Fortunately, everything looks wonderful, except they’re also telling me she’s a bit big. But they don’t know for sure as the technology isn’t perfect. But they’re pretty sure. And her rolls are a bit of clue.
We also discovered I have an abnormally high amount of amniotic fluid. Nothing alarming, but I’ve been told if my water breaks, “Just hope you’re not standing over your favorite rug.” So basically I’ve tarped my entire house like I’m Dexter enacting revenge because even though she was kidding, she wasn’t kidding that much. I’ve also been told that the fluid will make me extremely uncomfortable. As if I didn’t know I was extremely uncomfortable. In order to do basic movements, I have to get momentum by getting a good roll going. My almost 2 year old has taken full advantage. In fact, right now she’s emptying out my entire underwear drawer and refilling it with Ivory soap bars. I’m gonna try and roll out of my chair and do something about it I swear. (No I won’t.)
Yet, there’s a silver lining – I’m 2 cm dilated. Which means I can go into labor any day now. Or never. I Googled it and some women stayed at 2 cm until their 80s, so whatever. Every woman is different and IF WE CAN SEND A MAN TO THE MOON WHY CAN’T WE REALLY KNOW ANYTHING FOR SURE, EVER?
Anyway, if you guys need this advanced maternal mama, I’ll be sitting here with a trash bag over my chair probably knitting while watching QVC, hoping my water breaks. Wish me luck.
1: I’m enjoying this pregnancy much less than my first, mostly because that first baby is making everything about this pregnancy suck more. That’s okay.
2: One day you might realize you no longer have anything in common with your closest friend. That’s okay. (And someday, you might find you do again. That’s okay too.)
3: I took my nurse practitioner to task on something that I disagreed with, then burst into hormonal sobby cries that went on WAY too long when she pushed back. Now I feel vulnerable like I got drunk on our first date or something. Whatever, it’s okay.
4: I don’t like spending time with people who love talking, but don’t listen. That’s okay.
5: I thought I’d just take one bite of a monster cookie and save the rest for my husband, then proceeded to inhale that delicious S.O.B in less than 30 seconds. That’s okay, what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.
6: I believe in God. I know he’s not a Genie. I like to pray like He is. That’s okay, I’m working on it.
7: At 9 months pregnant, I’ve stopped picking things off the floor, then get resentful a bunch of crap’s all over the floor. That’s ok.
8: I want the people who’ve hurt me to fail miserably in life, and forgiveness from those I’ve hurt. Grace is a spiritual practice, I’m working on it – it’s okay.
9: I don’t want to be a smart business woman, I just want to be a writer. That’s okay.
10: Sometimes I care way too much about “Likes.” That’s okay, thankfully there are times I don’t care at all.
11: Sexy underwear to me is cotton, full coverage undies that don’t give me a muffin top. It’s okay.
12: If I’m struggling, sometimes I have a hard time celebrating someone else’s triumph, so I have to disconnect for awhile. I always come back eventually. It’s okay.
13: I don’t see what the big deal is about Star Wars. Dear God, I hope that’s okay.
14: Everyday I worry I might fail. That’s okay. I do what I was put her on earth to do anyway.
I’m not afraid of many things and although I’d prefer wild life not touch me or walk all over me without my permission, I don’t shiver in fear at the thought of it.
Unless it’s a spider. Or a bird. Full disclosure – one of my biggest phobias is being trapped in a small room with a bird while it flaps its wings in my face. I don’t know or care if that’s unreasonable, it is what it is and I’ve accepted it.
When I was little, my mom always told me to be nice to spiders. She probably stole that from the 1967 book, Be Nice to Spiders but I digress. They are harmless (unless they’re poisonous, but whatever) and they do a wonderful job keeping nuisance, damaging bugs at bay with their webs. Blah blah blah, it’s all well and good until one crawls on your face, but whatever, I get it.
One of my favorite books to read when I was little was Charlotte’s Web. When I saw the new and old movie versions available for streaming, I played them for Lucy. Which means I sat alone in my family room weeping at Charlotte’s death scene, while Lucy was in my kitchen clearing out cabinets and throwing napkins all over like confetti.
Watching the movie gave me a feeling of tenderness towards spiders. Sure, they’re hideous, but they are nice and don’t mean harm, work tirelessly to save pigs and they talk sweetly like Julia Roberts. About an hour later, I was going on to my back deck when I noticed a spider, about the size of a quarter, had built a huge web outside the door, forcing me to duck under it if I wanted to pass through (I didn’t). At first I wanted to tear my clothes and go running and screaming through the house, but I kept my calm. I even called her Charlotte and thanked her for catching so many annoying gnats in her web. Then I shut the door and hoped nature would take its course soon and send her to spider heaven so I can go out on my deck some time in the next month.
I went about my day and my bulldog Bruno eventually asked to be let outside on the deck. Nervously, I went to open the door but then realized Charlotte was gone from her web. I shrugged, let him out, shut the door and walked away.
“I hope Charlotte’s alright,” I thought to myself. My dual feelings of affection and wanting her dead were giving me some cognitive dissonance, but there wasn’t much I could do about it. Then I looked down and noticed, CHARLOTTE WAS HAULING ASS UP MY BARE LEG!
I screamed, panicked and all but grabbed a butcher knife. I slapped her away off my leg, then without thinking grabbed a magazine and stomped her out, over and over like I was in some slasher movie. I crawled away and leaned against a wall, breathing heavily as I looked at the crime scene.
I had no choice, I told myself. This is her fault, not mine. Why did she have to crawl up my leg? Why couldn’t she just stay outside where spiders belong?! Damn it Charlotte, you left me no choice!
Finally I got my courage, made my way to her corpse stuck against a Pottery Barn catalogue and took her to the toilet for a proper burial flushing. I wasn’t risking our trashcan where she could come back to life and find me again for her revenge.
But, she was pretty much glued on the catalogue so I threw it in the dumpster outside.
RIP Charlotte. It wasn’t personal, I swear.
Try not to get caught in several lies when the neighbor kid guilts you into buying crap you don’t want
Friends. My mom has imparted invaluable advice to me my entire life, however, few have been as remarkable and true as her latest gems. As we moved from a downtown loft to our new home, she said, “It’s a lot harder to hide from people in a house when you don’t want to answer the door. Be sure to get dressed first thing in the morning or you’ll get caught looking like a hobo.”
So, I’m starting an adventure club. And I’m calling it the HooHas Adventure Club. And I want you to join. And bond with me. And make this the best year ever. Amen.
You might have read my previous post where I touch on the “why” a little bit, but I wanted to reiterate it here, because maybe you’re just like me.
Real talk, I’ve felt a bit isolated for the past few years. I’ve spent a massive amount of time on HooHas, my book(s), trying to advance my writing career. Writing can be a lonely a job. But so can working in an office, in a cubicle, in your kitchen. Life can slip into monotonous rhythms. A predictable beat. Sometimes that scares me.
Especially after having my Lucy a little over a year ago – things got a touch worse on the isolation front. Motherhood can do that to a woman. Of course motherhood has been the ultimate adventurous experience, but I find, in general, I tend to follow the path of least resistance in order to get through. I get tired, so I get lazy. Sometimes that means missing out on the sweet things life has to offer. For several months, the highlight of my week was going to Whole Foods. I’m convinced most of the employees were wondering when I was going to transition out of my favorite maternity clothes. Well they can keep on wondering because these clothes still look amazing and are roomy as hell!
I’m not sure if it’s motherhood, watching some of my friends mourn a devastating loss this year, or what feels like a whole new set of horrors happening in the world, but I no longer feel immortal like I did in my 20s. It’s crystal clear to me that life is short, it can end at any time, and how much of it did I waste watching “Sister Wives” on TLC? (I’m not giving up my “Sister Wives,” just trying to make a point).
So I thought, How can I rock my career, devote my time to my baby and still participate in life?
Then I thought, an adventure club.
This isn’t a bucket list kinda thing. Speaking for myself, I don’t have the time or the resources to go hang gliding in New Zealand. Adventure doesn’t have to be jumping out of an airplane strapped to a man dressed like Elvis over the Las Vegas strip (although that sounds freaking incredible – someone Google if that’s a thing). The truth is, adventures can happen right here at home. In my neighborhood, in my city. I want to dig in and experience things I’ve never experienced before. I want to laugh and try and say, “Wow, I did that.” I want to look back in December and say, “Whoa, what a year,” instead of, “Where did the year go?”
So I thought, the HooHas Adventure Club.
Because I want to do these adventures with you! A community of badass peeps who are down for a good time. And my hope is, if we do this thing together, we won’t peter out mid-February like my gym membership.
So here’s how it works – every month in 2016, you’ll get a new adventure delivered in your inbox. It’s an activity I’ll currently be doing, so we’ll be doing it together. I’ll provide instructions on how to do it, share ideas, inspiration – whatever is appropriate for that month’s adventure.
If you’re like, “What the hell does she mean by adventure?” Well, that’s a tough one because I want each month to be a surprise, but think along the lines of trying a new hobby/having a new experience/doing something meaningful and/or awesome (Merriam Webster should so hire me).
In addition, you’ll be invited to join a closed Facebook group where we can share our experiences each month. You know, photos, stories, special moments and to cheer each other on. My dream is a fun/vibrant community developed from our shared experiences. Friendships! A special place for special women (and men!) doing special things.
The membership dues are $1/month, $12 due at sign up. You can give a membership as a gift too, perfect for Christmas. Invite your friends and make it a year to bond with your besties. Sign up solo and bond with a new group of women I’ll introduce you to online.
So here’s how you sign up: Click on one of the buttons below. Easy! Are you in?!
Spaces are limited because I want to keep the integrity of a small group/community feel – so don’t doddle, okay?
See you in 2016 for an amazing year!
*Membership dues are non-refundable.
**The Adventure Club is best suited for members over the age of 21.
Yesterday on September 28th, I turned 34.
It’s actually one of those boring age birthdays that’s no big whoop somewhere in the middle of life, but I thought, “What if I made this THE BEST YEAR EVER!?”
My first stop to making it the best year ever, I decided to order Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear as a little gift to myself for my birthday. Although I think I live creatively fairly fearlessly (say that 5 times fast), I love a good kick in the butt motivational book to help me optimize my creative output all while nourishing my soul. Living life on purpose takes serious dedication. It’s easy to get off track, side step and follow distractions. Also, I wouldn’t recommend getting addicted to all of the reality shows on right now about little people. There are a lot of them (Little Women LA?! Little People Big World?!) and they’re a real time suck, trust me.
So then I thought, maybe I should order two and give one away to a fan? So I did! I haven’t read it yet so don’t get mad if the book sucks, but let’s be honest – it’s gonna be amazing.
If I could, I’d pull an Oprah and put one under your couch right now, but my budget is a tad smaller. I have one extra book to give away and I’ll put a little personal note inside before I send it off. I hope we can email back and forth about it and encourage each other along the way!
If you want to throw in your hat to win, click link below that reads “a Rafflecopter giveaway” and fill out the giveaway widget. Hooray!
I feel like my title pretty much gave away the climax on this post, but I’m going to keep going anyway.
It’s true, I’m writing a book. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but like all of my dieting endeavors, I keep pushing it off until Monday.
I’ve also debated running some psychological tests on myself because announcing I’m writing a book when I’m going to have my first baby in 1.5 months is something a disturbed person would do to punish themselves. It reminds me of the time I paid top dollar to be in a boot camp and as I was throwing up off the sidewalk I thought to myself, Wait – I actually signed up for this crap?
But, it’s time to declare it and in my heart, it is so. We all get those calls to do something. Maybe a nudge, maybe a whisper, maybe a dutch oven lands on your foot with a note inside that says, “DO IT NOW (my bad about breaking your toe off – put it in ice and call 911.)” But time restraints, unpreparedness, self-doubt, among countless other things (read: fear) can trick us into waiting for the perfect time. Except, there is no perfect time. It doesn’t exist. All we really have is the present, right now. And hopefully my prenatal massage appointment scheduled for next week.
I even have a title. My book will be called, “The Pregnancy Chroni-cankles.” I’ll let that just sink in for a moment …
Think What to Expect When You’re Expecting except totally irreverent with very little practical information. Of course, it will be loaded with humor, but my hope is that pregnant women and moms will treasure it as something that makes them laugh, uplifts, encourages, and gives them a true sense that all of their hemorrhoids aren’t for not. They’re just little obstacle courses to test our endurance and will to live.
Hold on, I like that line – writing it down for the book …
Maybe one person will love it, maybe one million. It doesn’t really matter, believe it or not. The house still has to be cleaned eventually, even if no one notices. Sure, you might get pissed your family waltzes right in and puts their feet on the freshly polished coffee table without realizing all you’ve done, but your call is just one of those things that has to be be accomplished, regardless of the outcome.
And let me tell you, if you don’t answer it, your call will keep ringing … and ringing …
I’ve always wanted to write a book and for the longest time this book (it was also just one more reason my multiple miscarriages were terrifying – it was the loss of so many things and possibly, a dream). But, instead, I wanted to wait. Until HaHas for HooHas was big enough. Or, until I started my own space (like this blog) and it started to take steam. Or, until my child was old enough to turn on the TV and grab their own snacks from the pantry.
There will always be lots of “Ors.”
If there’s something you know deep down you need to do – do it. Declare it. Breath it in to life – make it so. If it’s hard (it will be hard), we can just cry about it later – but for now, we need to answer the call.
So be on the lookout, my friends. The Pregnancy Chroni-cankles is coming to a book store near you! Or a cheap online download. Or in a box out of my trunk. But it’s coming, people!
And can I just say one last thing? Thank you for hanging out with me. I would be so lonely without you.