Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Diamond Shoes are Too Tight

Confession #1: I started this blog because I wanted to impress a guy.  Turns out he didn't much care for me, but "us" wasn't his purpose in my life.  This blog was.  I've never known what I wanted to be when I grew up.  All of the people around me seemed to have passions and talents and I just didn't. (wait - unless beer drinking counts)  When people would ask, "What's the one thing you'd do if you knew you couldn't fail?", I had no answer.  It wasn't until I started this blog, trying to impress a guy by writing about my horrific post-divorce dating experiences, that I found my missing spark in life.  So while I didn't get the guy, I did get this corner of the internet and a little something I like to call "purpose."  It doesn't suck.

Confession #2: This is hard work.  Blogging isn't just writing and posting.  It's self-discovery, it's building relationships, it's finding your niche, your voice, and being brave enough to use that voice - to stand naked - and let the masses judge. (masses, 11 readers, whatever).  Daily, I read my fellow blogger's posts and think, Hang it up - you're not even on the same playing field as these guys.  Every day I have to remind myself that I'm writing because I love to write.  That this is my journey, no one else's.  And the only person I should be comparing myself to, is the me of yesterday.  

Confession #3: I care way too much about what others think and I'm an asshole.  Let me explain-  After having a hot ass Latino man walk into my life, (not the guy above) the emergency brake was yanked on my dating scene.  No dating scene = no blog entries.  Or so I thought, since dating was all I'd ever written about.  It wasn't until October of last year that I began writing about other things in my life.  The first person to befriend me on my blogging journey was a very talented writer named Marissa, whom I am honored to call my friend.  Her blog is Confessions of a Failing Domestic Goddess, (click on it!) and in January, she awarded me a Liebster Award!  I've done nothing with it.  Asshole, I know.  

Sidebar - for those of you who don't know, a Liebster Award is a blogging award given from one blogger to another.  It's the sports equivalent of a slap on the ass by a teammateYour job, then, is to pass that award along to bloggers you think are slap-dat-ass-tastic.  

Word apparently hadn't gotten out that I'm Liebster loser, because a couple of days ago, I was awarded another Liebster Award by a new and talented blog friend at Bad Word Mama, (click on it!).  I am so incredibly flattered by both awards, I can't even tell you.  But I was paralyzed.  Paralyzed by the fear that paying the award forward would irritate my nominees.  What if the blogs I award don't want to participate?  What if all my hundred dollar bills won't fit into my wallet?  What if my boobs are too perky?

Lord help me if I ever have any real problems.

But then, like a glittery, fairy blog-mother beckoning me through the internets, I stumbled upon a comment with the most enticing blog entry title that I had to click on it (Epically Awesome Kittens with Diarrhea and a Coupon).  It led me to a blogger whom I have come to love.  She doesn't know I love her, this is a secret blog crush - her blog is My Life as Lucille.  If you click on that link, it will take you to the entry that completely eradicated my fear of the blog award.

I know, I know...just keep reading

So, to Marissa and Ellen - I'm in the process of writing my acceptance speeches and answering my questions - I will post soon.  I am so grateful to the both of you for believing in my little blog and I'm ready to pay it forward.

    

 

Friday, February 22, 2013

I Should've Paid More Attention in School

Puberty.  Is there a lesser degree of preparedness than "not at all"?  Because that's me.  Raising my son hasn't always been easy.  But I have a pretty easy kid.  For those of you who don't know, he's 12.  Twelve seems to be the magic number where testosterone pushes its way to the front of the line, desperate to disprove its dormant, wallflower status.  Noticeable physical changes haven't started taking place yet, but we've enjoyed some behavioral changes in these last few months; some expected, some borderline shocking.

One example of the expected is my son's skilled execution of the heavy sigh and exaggerated eye roll.  The only thing that will make this better is when the word, "whatever," hits the rotation.  Good times ahead.

He's also developed a new-found disdain for school.  I don't think he really dislikes school, I think he's just feeding off of his friend's hatred for it.  But even if he did, he comes by it honestly.  I proudly held the title for "most 'sick' days in the history of any school, anywhere" back in 1982.

Sidebar - I was also voted most likely to own a shop called "Barely There" by my high school choir teacher, Mrs. Peebles - but that's a different set of issues altogether.

My son told me that not only does he detest school, he doesn't see the benefit in going at all.  Here was our conversation:

Ryan - Mom, school is so boring.  It's pointless.  When am I ever going to work with negative exponents?

God help me, but I didn't even understand the question.

Ryan - I hate school.  I'm think I'm gonna quit.

Me - Okay, you'll have to get a job, then.  Not sure what you'll be able to do without a high school diploma, let alone at your age.

Ryan - I could sell games at GameStop or be a greeter at Wal-Mart.

I know I should've said no.  But I do like a man with a plan.  Plus, I'm really looking forward to the extra income.

Another fun issue we're dealing with isn't so much shocking, as it is, Really?  This is what we're doing now?  He has recently started dry-humping - or, more accurately - air-humping.  This humping is totally unnecessary and utterly gratuitous.  It's humping for the sake of humping.  I believe it started off as an innocent dance move.  He'd just be dancing around the house, and then BAM! - once, maybe twice a week.  I thought it was just a phase.  Then, gradually, the moves were happening more and more frequently.  Soon it was every day, then multiple times a day, and now, the very uncomfortable, rapid succession.

A couple of weeks ago I posted on Facebook that I watched my son dry-hump his way to the bus stop.  Is this really the best use of the pelvic thrust?  And every night after dinner, when I ask him to jump in the shower and get ready for bed, he looks at me and says -  in staccato - "O. K.," and thrusts with each syllable.

How lovely...dinner and a show.  

Since I didn't have younger brothers growing up, I don't even know what "this" is.  Can I expect more of this thrusting?  Is he doing it at school?  Is there a support group I should know about?
  
Look, I'm not naive.  I know what I'm dealing with is nothing compared to what lies ahead.  And if there's any truth to, "Payin' for your raisin'," well, let's just say that I probably ought to just trade him in for a kitten now and stay ahead of the game.  I put my parents through hell.  Hell, I tell ya.  So Ryan, if you think that you're going to put one over on me, you've got another thing coming.  I have done it all, little man.  I will always be one step ahead of you.  I have 30 years on you, I am wiser than you and I will always, ALWAYS outsmart you.

....as long as it doesn't involve negative exponents or math of any kind.
 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Check Your "Cool" at the Door

Day 5 of Insanity.  I liken it to a prison sentence.  Is it better to say Day 5, or should I go with 55 Days-To-Go.  Ewww - Day 5, definitely Day 5I have to be honest, after the first night's Fit Test, I wasn't sure I would make it to Day 2.  And after Day 3 - well, let's just put it this way - the typing that I'm doing at this moment, isn't without considerable pain.  So, yeah - Day 5, bitches - like a boss!

Sidebar - It's no secret that I'm doing this whole thing for a t-shirt I could make myself.  So look what I found online the other day.  Do you see what I see?  Does that say, LIMITED EDITION???  Do you have any idea how pissed I'll be if I get through this and I don't even have the shirt to show for it?  It'll be just like that time I voted and they ran out of "I voted" stickers.  I mean, what's the point?  Why does the universe hate me so?  


Since I began this journey, I've received lots of advice.  The most common being, "You have to do this with your significant other." I thought, how fun!  But, because Jesus loves me and protects me from things I think I want, my boyfriend was busy the first night and couldn't join me.  If I could've stepped outside myself to observe my Fit Test, I believe I would liken it to something resembling geriatric interpretive dance.  Any and all "cool" is off the table with this program. When did I become this uncoordinated?  I couldn't even figure out which arm should go forward and which should go back while running in place.  People, I'm a run-ner, it's what I do.

But aside from the whole lack-of-coordination thing, I legitimately fear every workout.  One of their phrases is, You have to hit "play" every day.  Every time I go to hit play on the Blue Ray, it's like playing Russian Roulette.  I have no idea what to expect - but I fear the worst.  And my fears are almost always realized.

Insanity reduces your life to 30 second segments.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, will heighten your awareness of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, the way Insanity does.   When Shaun T says, "30 more seconds of power jumps," I'm like, "You have GOT to be effin' kidding me!"  And when Shaun T says, "Okay, water break, you've got 30 seconds,"  I'm like, "You have GOT to be effin' kidding me!"

There is just so much sweating, grunting, groaning, cussing, screaming and weeping taking place - and that's just the warm-up.  Anyone reading this who has done Insanity, knows how very true this is.  The dude is certifiable - but I believe in him.  And I'm starting to believe in me. 

I live to put an "X" on the calendar and chip away at my Insanity "sentence."  Today's workout is a little something called Pure Cardio - or as I like to call it, Puke Cardio.

Here's to one more "X"!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Panic" Was Spot-On


Remember how I was talking about Pinterest getting the best of me – suggesting that my life needed a facelift of sorts? Remember the other post about not having any self-control, which is why I have 3 dogs instead of, well, none?  Remember the other post where I jumped up and down naked, awestruck by my fat’s blatant disregard for solidity?

Life facelift, no self-control, fat that’s taken on a life of its own = drastic measures.  Drastic Measures = Insanity.  Yes, that one.   P90X’s answer to, “Let’s see if we can actually kill some people.”  In a weak moment in the nocturnal suspension of reality (read, watching infomercials at 2am), I succumbed to the hype.

The ripped, unpaid spokesperson was staring deep into my insomnia-laden eyes, promising me the body from my 20’s if I'd just do the work.  Sixty days - a year’s worth of results in just 60 days.  That doesn't look so hard, I thought to myself as I lie all sloth-like on the couch.  The only muscles I used during the hour and a half infomercial were those that aided in scraping the bottom of my Ben and Jerry’s container.  But yeah, I'm all over this. 

The real kicker, though?  The part that got me to hop online and order the program?  The t-shirt.  That’s right – a t-shirt with the word, “Insanity” chiseled across the front.  You see, you can’t just go buy this shirt.  You have to earn it by completing the program.  Lesson #1 - Don’t threaten me with a challenge.  I will cut off my nose to spite my face and pay you a handsome sum to prove you wrong.

The next morning, however, I immediately regreted my decision.  Buyer's remorse?  Or panic – it felt more like panic. 

Panic because the Insanity workout is aptly named and I'm known around these parts for biting off a smidge more than I can chew (3 dogs, anyone?).  But also panic because of this highly coveted t-shirt.  This $149.00 t-shirt.  To earn the shirt, you have to take before and after pictures and send them in to the Insanity people.  I guess then they determine whether or not you actually did the program based on your results, and then send you a shirt if you look good enough.  Before pictures?  Someone has to see my "before"?  My boyfriend has to see my "before"?

People, I do my best to protect my younger boyfriend from things he just shouldn't see; dim lighting, lots of covers and swift movements to make me blurry - all in my bag of tricks.  But in order to have before pictures, you have to show the "before."  The un-pretty, un-taut, un-sucked in, unbelievably gross parts - just hanging there, being all before-like. 

While I've blocked most of the traumatizing photo-shoot from my memory, I do remember apologizing - a lot.  I'm considering a small offering of gratitude.....like a car.

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Well, the box finally arrived Monday and there was nothing left to do but the doin’!  I hung the Insanity progress poster on my bedroom wall, grabbed a large bottle of water, gave myself one last pep-talk, and popped in the DVD. 



I was exactly 11 seconds of high knees in when I checked the screen timer to see when this fresh hell would be over…my breathing was erratic, my heart monitor was smoking and shooting sparks and I could actually taste the lactic acid burning my throat.  Plus...I really wanted a sandwich.  

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Gonna be a long 60 days, folks… 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Damn You, Pinterest

Be grateful for what you have. A bird in the hand. Don't get your hopes up. Don’t expect too much. 

These words – and like variations - were spoken often in my childhood home.  Expressions and idioms that helped shape the person I am today.  These phrases have often shifted the focus from the monetary (or lack thereof, to be more accurate) and directed me to appreciate my true riches, such as family, health, love, safety and security.  These words have kept me humble.  These words have kept me appreciative. 
   
These words, quite frankly, have left me in the dust.

It wasn’t long ago that I was sailing through life, totally unaware that I needed more.  Yet, in this age of social media dependence, every time I log onto Facebook or Pinterest or Twitter, Instagram or - pick your addiction – I’m bombarded with inspirational and motivating quotes, e-cards and posters just begging me to get off my ass and do more with my life!  

Source - Pinterest

I've got what "what" takes?  And now I have to give it all I got?  Am I giving anything all I got?  Don’t be ridiculous – how exhausting.

Look, I have a happy, healthy family who loves me unconditionally and supports my every effort.  I have friends who would fight a Kraken for me, (I'd have to get 'em drunk first - but they'd fight it.)  a home that’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer, a car that gets me where I need to go, a secure job that affords me the luxury of paying my bills and a midsection that assures the masses I ain’t missing any meals.  I have enough. 

I do, right? (Good Lord, if that isn't codependency in overdrive.)

Be grateful for what you have. A bird in the hand. Don't get your hopes up. Don’t expect too much.

These words, as well meaning as they are intended to be, hold me back.  It’s as if simply wanting more will set off some karma alarm and cause my true riches to fall out of balance.  And thinking I deserve more?  People, that’s terrifying for me to even type.

In the 7th grade I tried out for cheerleader never dreaming I would actually make it.  The day of the results, I remember saying to myself, "Don't get your hopes up, don't expect too much."  So when they called my name for the 7th grade squad, my friend had to nudge me and say, "Uh, like for sure, they just totally called your name."  I was floored.  I had no idea what they saw in me. 

This way of thinking - this slighting of my abilities - has followed me into adulthood. (Heaven forbid it be youthful, taut skin or the ability to stay up past 10 pm.)  It also fuels the other two shackles - A bird in the hand and Be grateful for what you have.  I mean, why reach for more when you doubt your ability to attain more, besides...you already have a bird in the hand.  Be grateful for that.   

Is it just me or does your head hurt, too?

I think this boils down to a generational thing.  When my parents were growing up, these phrases fit their reality.  Their parents had just emerged from the Great Depression.  Housing and paying jobs were scarce.  Food, clothing - everything - was rationed.  Be grateful for what you have and A bird in the hand weren't just words that were said, but actions that were demonstrated daily.   

With the Gen-Xers and the Gen-Yers dominating the the social media show, it's no wonder I can't check Facebook or Pinterest without feeling like my life needs a major face-lift.  This group of individuals are the poster children of "what have you done for me lately?"  If they don't like it, they move along.  Boss piss you off?  Find another job.  Don't like your house?  Move.  Don't like your car?  Buy a new one.  Don't like your relationship?  Go out and get yourself another one.  There's always something bigger and better just around the corner for these guys. 

We Gen-Xers on the older end of the spectrum - we're caught somewhere in the middle.  

When is it okay to want more?

Those of you who have read me for a while know I had a therapist who I assume was high during most of my sessions.  I remember asking him, "Is that okay?" to any decision I "made." He would always respond with, "I don't know, is it?"  I just thought he was being lazy from hitting the chronic, but now I know that the answer to, "Is that okay?" is up to me.  I make the decision as to what is right for me.  I don't need validation from anyone else.

So my decision is yes.  Yes, I do have enough.

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Source - Pinterest

Well shit.