Category Archives: beauty

40 Things for 40 Years

Jack-Kerouac-Life-Vast

Before I go even one step further, I must give credit where credit is due- this idea was actually shared with me by my good friend Jennifer Paddack-Hyde, whom I hope is not angry with me for missing her birthday party (sorry, Jen.) She has been doing this for a while, I guess, and it somehow involves scrapbooking. I am not going to be doing the scrapbook thing, but I am a big believer in writing down specific goals as a way to actually get to them. So, thank you Jen, for the great idea!

Today is the last day of my life that I will ever be thirty anything, the close of a crazy, but definitely worthwhile, decade. I have a lot of respect for what happens during ones thirties- it is a beautiful time for most women. You girls getting close to thirty, starting to panic- don’t! The thirties are like the twenties, refined. All of that leftover teen angst and self-consciousness leaves you, and all of the beauty, most of the metabolism, stays. Do not fear your thirties. They are good. It is with deep love that I bid my thirties farewell. They were good years.

Now, looking ahead, Just at the brink of this next decade, I can tell you one thing for sure- this is not at all what I thought forty would look like. I am more excited than ever about my life, and best of all, that excitement has some experience and knowledge behind it. If my thirties were the time of gaining faith and confidence in myself, the time to learn who I really am and how I operate, I think my forties will be the time of putting all of that knowledge into action. What I feel is true is that there are no limits. That anything is possible. That this is the good part. And let me tell you, this girl is ready to jump in.

So, I have decided to make a list- Forty things I will do while I am forty. Some of them will be harder to achieve than others, but I have tried to stay reasonable. Also, I may only be able to come up with twenty today. I already have several rolling around in my head, but it is five o’clock in the morning. Give me a small break, okay? My intention, of course, is to document them for you here, so that, not only can you live vicariously through me (hahaha), but I can be accountable. Having said that, you all know how my intentions often work out. Shut up. I am doing the best I can. I just cannot seem to stop lying today, can I? Sigh. Okay, I do the best I can most of the time. Some of the time, I am just lazy. Without further ado, here they are:

1) Stop being so lazy ( will figure out later how to quantify and monitor this)

2) Get a real, awesome, professional makeover.

3) Have essay published in The Sun

4) Do a mud run

5) Meet Justin. I want to see him in real life (no one else needs to understand this, though a few of you might). He can totally wear clothes.

6) Get a literary agent

7) Attend a literary convention

8) Go to the glass beach in Ft. Bragg

9) Visit Alcatraz

10) Take dance lessons

11) Get my passport

12) Work all Twelve Steps to see if anything actually happens

13) Go to a swanky foodie thing

14) Submit a proposal for a non-fiction book idea. The worst thing they can say is no, right?

15)Try hypnotism.

16) Take a writing class for fun.

17) Take a jewelry making class for fun.

18) Hike Sobranes

19) Learn to surf

20) visit the hot springs in Sierraville. Love that place!

Okay, like I said, 40 is a lot to come up with in one sitting. Watch for part two! I have to clean my living room before my beautiful mommy comes over later. Oh yeah! Please, if you have any ideas that you think I might like, please feel free to let me know!

Have a great day!

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40 Looming

40

I’m excited to turn 40.

Not something you hear a lot, I don’t think, at least not honestly…but I mean it. I mean, sure, it didn’t just happen. I was very upset a few weeks ago. Perhaps I will be again when the day comes (May the 8th, if you want to send me a card with money). But this morning? I had a vision of my future, and it looks so good.

For one thing, I am not really worried about what anyone else thinks about my life anymore. Do you know how fucking exciting that is? All of the energy I dumped into making my life appear the way I thought other people needed it to look- that is exhausting. I think, the day I decided to check myself back into treatment without a whole lot of conversation with anyone about what I was doing, or why, I kind of took my power back. I don’t need anyone to understand. I don’t really care what anyone thinks about the fact that I still struggle with addiction issues “at this age”. This is my story, my life, and it just is this way. I am handling it. If I need support, I know where to go for it, but I no longer need the approval of the masses to feel okay with where I am.

And as much as I can be okay with however anyone feels about anything I do, the best part is- it no longer has to affect the way I feel about who you are. Let me give you an example- there is someone I love a lot who absolutely disapproves of my inability to hold my shit together. They don’t always say it directly (although they do at times), but it is definitely out there, clear as a bell. In the past, this persons judgement and opinion of me would predetermine how I felt about them. But that is not true today. Today, I can love anyone completely separately from their opinion of me. This is incredibly liberating. I feel as though I have arrived somewhere I didn’t even know existed before.

Another thing? Forty does not feel old at all. Like, at twenty, forty seemed just hopeless, didn’t it? I thought it would be so different than it is! I feel pretty amazing, actually. My health is perfect (thank you, God), my wrinkles are minimal, my body, while a little, um…sturdier than it was at thirty, is still holding up just fine. At forty, you can be just as beautiful as ever, with not nearly the amount of effort you may imagine.

While we are talking about beauty, lets go a little deeper- Do you know what I think is beautiful? The way I have learned the value of family, and of my girl friends. I think it is beautiful that the idea of a fairy tale romance has faded, but the idea of being with a man that I can be great friends with, that I can laugh with, is front and center. It is beautiful, the things that have lost their power over me, and the things that have revealed themselves to be greatly important. I am so okay with this. It is beautiful to look at someone and see beyond the exterior- I am now at an age where I can look at someone older and see the person inside, and this changes a lot for me. Perhaps I was more shallow than I ever dreamed I was before, but whatever. I can’t change the past. I can, however, be excited about who I am becoming.

Someone who can laugh at herself. Someone who catches herself when she is behaving in a way that is not okay, and corrects it. A person who is interested in everything, most of all, what you have to say when you are talking to me. I am learning how to really listen. I am learning the true value of kindness, period. That the only thing that really matters, in the end, is love and compassion. Not my opinion about anything. Just love, just compassion.

When I look ahead, I see lots of nature. I want to spend more time outside, doing everything. I want to see new places, and I will. I see a woman who is embracing life, and all of her many, many blessings. Yeah…I think forty is going to be great.

Have a great day!

Look! A Quiz! Everyone Loves a Quiz!

sex joke

***Disclaimer**

I am making this quiz up as I go along. The scoring may be unreliable, as it is early, and I am bad with numbers. My college counselor said it was ludicrous that someone who scored as high as I did in every other subject could score so pitifully low in math, and that I had a mental block. I like this theory, as it gives me an excuse, and a long term one at that (I don’t know about you, but I know almost nothing about removing mental blocks), not to mention a fun little story that lets me brag about my intelligence without seeming to. Not anymore, though, I guess. Okay, back to the quiz: Please note- I am not an expert at anything, and therefore, this quiz is meaningless. Much like all the stupid ass quizzes that we all do on Facebook, only I am being up front about it. So, here goes:

How Much of a Grown Up Are You?

1)You are in line at the grocery store, scanning magazine covers out of sheer desperation. This is what you are thinking:

a) I have no fucking idea who ANY of these women are, not one of them…I don’t even know why they are famous. Are they actors, singers, what? Oh, wait…there’s Kim Kardashian…why IS she famous?

b) Oh my gosh! Look! There’s a search for America’s most Beautiful Baby in Parenting! I am buying the magazine, we are totally going to win! (switches to out-loud baby talk voice) “Cause mama’s got the prettiest baby in the world, don’t I ?”

c) You know what, I have FORGOTTEN more sexual positions than you have ever learned, Cosmo. Why don’t you publish an article that actually matters? Idiots.

d) Katy Perry has great tits. BIG tits.

e) Oh my gosh! Katy Perry is so mental, what is she doing with that creep Riff-Raff? who is that guy? Her boobs look awesome in that pic!

Okay, 2: Your friend calls you on Thursday to see if you are busy Friday, and if you want to go out. Your response:

a) “Go OUT?! What do you mean, Out? Out, like out in public?”

b) ” I’d love to, but I need WAY more advance notice, duh! I can’t just pull a sitter out of my ass.”

c) “No, that doesn’t even sound remotely appealing, just…no.”

d) “Yeah, that sounds cool…just call me when you head out and I’ll meet up with you wherever.”

e) “Duh! where are we going, downtown, or Cannery Row? Maybe both, even…”

3: While walking down the street, you trip, and royally eat shit. Your first thoughts:

a) Great. This is going to hurt for WEEKS.

b) How am I going to chase the baby around if my ankle is sprained?

c) I hope I didn’t break anything. That’s how it all starts…

d) Dude. That was classic.

e) How totally fucking embarrassing. i want to die.

:4 When you find yourself in financial trouble, you:

a) cut out the Starbucks and Itunes for a while. Maybe slim down your cable package.

b) Switch to store brand diapers and generic formula, and hope the baby doesn’t suffer developmental setbacks.

c) re-evaluate your budget, and transfer money from your savings into your checking account. without even patting yourself on the back.

d) call mom, ASAP.

e) Pay day loan, or creepy older guy with a crush? Mmmm…creepy older guy. Just easier.

5: All the mail you get:

a) sits in a giant, unopened, anxiety inducing pile on your kitchen table. It never stops coming

b) are hospital and OB/GYN bills, plus offers for kids books and movies.

c) Junk, statements, more junk, ads. I pay all my stuff online.

d) I don’t really get mail at this address…which reminds me, I need to fill out a change of address.

e) Ulta coupons, Glamour Magazine, Victoria’s Secret, Student Loan.

6:Other people would say you have a ton of clothes. However, you look in your closet and drawers and see:

a) nothing I can try on without ruining my entire day. Except pajamas and yoga pants. Which are basically pajamas.

b) Before baby clothes, pregnant clothes, after baby clothes. Which are basically pajamas and yoga pants.

c) I only have things that fit me, and are comfortable. which means pajamas and yoga pants. and one nice outfit, just in case.

d) dude, no one would say I have a lot of clothes. Or of anything, for that matter.

e) Yeah, I do have a ton of clothes. But everything is so freaking cute!

7: You have to go to a fancy thing out in public. You dress up for the occassion. This is how you feel:

a) I literally tried my very hardest, and achieved a barely attractive look. If I have to sit next to a twenty year old, I’m stabbing someone.

b) Oh my GOD, I look like a sausage in a casing! What happened to my cute body?

c) I cannot do more than thirty minutes in these shoes. It’s just not going to happen. This is torture.

d) Time to bust out the leather flip-flops!

e) oooooohhhh! I look so grown up right now! Selfie time!

8: When it comes to your body, you:

a) have not given up on looking awesome again yet

b) Have no doubt that you’ll be back to normal in a few more months

c) don’t even really notice it anymore, unless something hurts

d) huh?

e) wish you could run through life naked, because, GODAMMIT. Prime booty, over here.

9: Your idea of a good marriage would mean a partner who:

a) Could keep it in his pants, hold a decent job, not be a total idiot with issues, but maybe just a decent guy who loves you. As you are.

b) A good dad, who can change a diaper and overlook a stretch mark or two.

c) A partner who is dead. that would be ideal. Dead, and rich, with no heirs.

d) Marriage? EH. Not happening.

e) Hmm…he’d have to be hot, fun, rich, hung, super good in bed, sexy, make all my friends jealous, but think all my friends are ugly. And fat. And he wouldn’t make me sign a pre-nup. No way.

10: What are your feelings about the future?

a) Still a lot of good stuff ahead, but I’m not as optimistic as I used to be, which sucks.

b) I can’t wait to see my life, and baby, in the years ahead…but I want to stay right here forever, too.

c) I don’t really have any. A little bit of fear, I guess. Things are pretty level.

d) I am not really thinking that far ahead yet.

e) I will be young and hot and awesome FOREVER!!!!

Okay, so give yourself one point for every a, two for b, three for c, four for d, and five for e.

If you got:

Mostly one’s– you are me. somewhere around thirty eight, forty, forty two. Not ready to throw the towel in, but definitely not feeling twenty-anything anymore. Life is a little off kilter- like the tweens of middle age, you aren’t quite sure where you fit in.

Mostly two’s- you are in the special dimension called mommy land. no one but other mommy’s really wants anything to do with you. No one cares about your awesome new balm for cracked nipples, or how you massaged the gas right out of your infant. Just stay home until you can act right again.

mostly three’s- you are solidly in grown up world. The joy has been systematically removed from your soul, you are self sufficient, practical, and a total bummer. You need to get laid, and wax your mustache. It would be for the good of ALL people.

Mostly fours- you are a young dude.

mostly fives- you are a silly, shallow, annoying young lady. All of us one’s, two’s and three’s used to be some version of you. Now we hate you. We take comfort in the knowledge that you will eventually out run your metabolism, too, and then wonder if you ever really wore a size four, or if it was a story you made up. Please, try to take it down an octave or two, and for the love of God, start taking care of your skin NOW.

There! Well, that was ten minutes of your life you are never getting back. But hey, it was fun to write. And if you can figure out how to share it on Facebook, go right ahead. Have a fantastic day.

That Spark.

spark

I am going to ask you if you remember being young, to which you will reply, “Of course I do!”, and in your head, you will see a snapshot of yourself at seven, the one you hated when you were small because your mouth was closed funny (to hide your missing front teeth), but love now, because your hair was so pretty and your freckles were amazing. I don’t want you to think about that snapshot. When I ask you if you remember being young, I want you to be fifteen again, or sixteen, seventeen, even- whatever that age was when you were in the front seat of a friends car, an hour past curfew (but your parents think you are at her house, and her parents think she is at your house), on your way to a raging party, and your favorite song comes on, and you are singing, your heart is leaping, your hair is blowing around you like you’re in a video, and you feel FREE, finally, totally, irrevocably free! That moment when you realize that you are pretty much as good as gone, one foot out the door of the home you have always known, that foot almost twitching to bolt out into the vast unknown world.

Do you remember being young? That wonderful stretch of time when limits are removed, and choices need to be made…eventually. But nothing, absolutely nothing, is preventing you from doing whatever it is you want to do immediately, which is usually something in a group, probably illegal, and always too much fun to stop until the sun comes up, or everyone passes out. When you are finally eighteen, and that phone there in your pocket stops feeling like a burning lump of coal, weighing you down like a boulder of guilt because you haven’t called home to tell some ridiculously overdone lie. You are an adult-lite: all of the perks, none of the expectations or even the ability to really run your own life yet. You are 18- the only thing you really know how to do yet is mess things up, party, and call home when you need help- which you will probably get, and which is probably more often than you want anyone to know.

Do you remember being twenty one or twenty two, and looking in the mirror before you went out to the bars for the night, and realizing how beautiful you were? How perfect your clothes fit, how perfect your make up was, how amazing your hair turned out…and you walked through rooms oozing self confidence, and you could see the boys checking you out from the corner of your eye. I remember one night, at about twenty two, when a boy- I guess he was a young man, he was a few years older than me- that I had known when I was in the ninth grade (I had a crush…no, I had an obsession with his best friend, which was quite one sided, embarrassingly) ran into me at a popular, packed bar in Monterey. He was walking past me, and I was looking straight ahead to avoid eye contact with any of the oglers, and he glanced at me, then did the most flattering double take I have ever seen. He grabbed my arm and I looked up, seeing it was him, and felt a satisfaction I remember to this day. “Is this really Courtney?!” He said, “Wow! You have really grown up!” Or something like that. The words weren’t nearly as important as the sentiment, and the way it made me feel. As if life was just so amazing, and I was just getting started. As if anything could happen.

That is what it was, I think- the sense that I was just at the beginning of something that would become my life, and the world was my oyster. As if anything could happen. That vast unknown was no longer beckoning, I was out there in it, and I was not afraid in the least. I was far too young and inexperienced to be afraid. I was sure that I would either stay the same forever, or simply grow more awesome.

Do you remember being totally unafraid of what lay ahead? Or, what about this- do you remember the first time you became afraid of whatever was next? I don’t remember either of those things, just like I don’t remember when that feeling of happy anticipation about life started to fade, or when my ability to roll with the punches got a little more prone to avoiding the punches in the first place. I couldn’t tell you when cynicism replaced my unguarded trust in people, or when I began to worry about nearly everything, after having worried about nothing my entire life. I can’t tell you when the changes began, but I can tell you that I felt it. I felt it, and it scared me, until it got big enough that it started making me forget that I had ever been another way.

I have been in mourning off and on for the past few years,and I thought it was my youth that I so sorely missed. I thought it was the perky tits and shapely ass that just grew there, asking nothing of me in return. I thought it was me missing all the heads that turned when I passed, and that I was shallow and vain for feeling so terrible about it. But I think it was so much more than that. I think it was the spark of life that lit me up, day after day, making me feel so alive, and so full of promise, and as if life would never be more awful than I could handle. That I would be able to smile my way into peoples good graces forever, and I would be fine. I missed the feeling of buoyancy, of being full of so much hope that I could barely keep myself from floating away.

We become heavier, earthbound things, at some point- most of us do. The spark of life and possibility gives the impression of being your inherent nature, but it is burning less brightly just as you hit your stride. It’s like a heat source that propels us, gives us the momentum we need to launch off into our lives. We don’t stay young forever. We have children, and we begin to put someone before ourselves, we learn about love in a whole unexpected new way, as if we have only been using a third of our hearts our whole lives, and now this whole new level reveals itself. But with love comes the worry, and the guilt, and the trappings- responsibilities, no more all night parties, no more spontaneity, no more loud sex or sleeping in. We get jobs and start chasing money the way we chased boys, we start to want things, we start to crave safety the way we once craved freedom.

We bolt the door at night against the vast unknown, and tell our children about the dangers that exist out there. Strangers and weirdos and drunk drivers, people who could harm them. Waking up to the feeling that anything could happen today fills you with anxiety now, instead of excitement. For just one day, you would like NOTHING to happen. Fifteen years ago, a day when nothing happened could send you careening into crushing, life ending, despair. Now, it would be a miracle. You watch your daughter, at seventeen, as she chomps at the bit, one foot in, and one foot out, of the only home she has ever known-whatever place you were, that was her home. She is suffering under the burden of these last few months at home, going crazy because she can’t answer the siren’s call she hears out there, out in the sea of possibility. It seems impossible that she is almost grown, but then you realize how tired you feel, next to her. How crazy everything she says now seems to you. The spark is blooming in her spirit, gathering heat, getting ready to launch this beauty into the unknown.

And now you know the way your mother felt, looking at you. A mixture of pride and annoyance, excitement, hope, and fear. Confused by the swiftness of what had seemed like such a lot of time, but ready, willing, almost, to let you go. Telling you how great you’d be, and crying in the shower every day. This journey is a tricky one, and nothing ever, really, is what you think it will be.  When you are young, you know you will get older, but you don’t really believe it. And when you get older, you know you you were young, but you can’t really remember what it was…can’t forget all you know, and all that’s ben, not even for one second so that you might remember. Bittersweet, each part of life, a loss for every gain, and something left behind with every step.

Beautiful

It’s a beautiful morning here on the peninsula- still, the way only Sunday mornings ever really are, gray, misty, quiet. The only sound I could hear, as I sat out on my front porch with my mug of hot, strong coffee, was the clang of what I believe to be buoy bells- I could be wrong about that, but in my head, that is what those clangs are.

But that is not the kind of beautiful I want to talk about right now. I had an interesting conversation with my mom, yesterday. It probably wasn’t very interesting to her, but it stood out to me. It went like this- we were talking about my youngest daughter, Camryn, and how she is just getting cuter every day. I said something to the effect of, yes, she is just lovely, but it’s her personality that really takes it over the top for me, and my mom says “No, I think she is just beautiful, just a pretty girl.” To which I replied “Yeah, she reminds me more of Aisley (my older daughter) all the time.”  Then my mom says, and this is what got me thinking- “Now, don’t take this the wrong way, but I see a lot of me in her.”

This is Camryn, who looks just like my mom at this age
This is Camryn, who looks just like my mom at this age

Now, why would I take that the wrong way? I was confused, and told her as much- I was honestly not connecting the dots. “Well, ” she said, “I don’t want you to think that I am saying I am beautiful…” And the conversation went on, and then I was in the store, so I had to go, but her words stayed with me.

At first, I was baffled, but then, after a while, I was sad. My mother, one of the most beautiful women out of all of the mother’s I have ever met, doesn’t want me to think that she would be foolish enough to call herself beautiful. More pointedly, my mother doesn’t think that she is beautiful. Now, I struggle with this all the time, and I understand, but when your own mother, who happens to be so pretty that people are constantly commenting on it, says something like this- it really strikes a chord. And I have something to say about it.

This is my mom and I on my last birthday- she is gorgeous
This is my mom and I on my last birthday- she is gorgeous

Listen, ladies, lots of you may know this on a certain level- that there is more to beauty than a flat stomach, and a pleasing face- but when it comes down to it, I think we have a tough time internalizing and believing this truth, as it applies to us. But you know what? Fuck that. You are beautiful.

You look in the mirror, and maybe you see ten or twenty extra pounds, but your mother looks at you, at this person she loves, and she sees you vibrant and healthy, and everything you have ever been, and all of the things you are going to be. She sees you, and you are beautiful.

This is what you see.
This is what you see.
and this is what you are.
and this is what you are.

You see a picture of yourself, and you see gray hairs coming in, or crows feet, or maybe a face you don’t even recognize as your face anymore. But your children look at you, and they see the person they love more than anyone else in the world. They know your soft, cool hands that would soothe away nightmares, and the safety of your embrace, and the way you know what they really need when no one else does, and you are stunning. Nothing in the world could mar that kind of beauty.

we love you exactly as you are.
we love you exactly as you are.

You maybe don’t even bother with the mirror anymore. You long ago lost the idea that anything about you could be appealing or pretty. But let me tell you, your grandchildren? There is no place in the world they would rather be than in your lap, snuggled into your arms. There is no better place they can think of than your presence. You are the most beautiful person in the world.

This is beauty you can't mess with.
This is beauty you can’t mess with.

You may not fit the format that has been laid out before us- maybe you are too skinny, or not skinny enough, not quite there yet, or past your prime, maybe you hate your thighs or suck your stomach in, think your legs are too short or your boobs are too small. Maybe you spend a lot of time wishing things were how they used to be, or just different than they are now. Well, stop it. Because someone, the most important ones, look at you, look into you, and they see all of the things you ARE. Your great laugh, and your sharp wit, your kind heart, your willingness to be there, the ease with which you give.

Gorgeous laughter
Gorgeous laughter

Whoever you are, wherever you are at in your journey through life, you are beautiful. Way more than just a pretty face, my friend. And that includes you, my beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful, funny, strong, mom. I love you. I would be proud to have daughters just as radiant as you are.

My beautiful mother. And me. I'm not so bad, either.
My beautiful mother. And me. I’m not so bad, either.

If Only You Were Here…

Lupine-1

Dear Grandma Eileen-

It has been so many, many years since I have heard your voice. Just so you know, I keep a picture of you on my refrigerator door, sitting there, at the end of that big oak table around which we shared so many happy meals, cups of coffee, games of gin rummy. My God, how terribly I miss you. I miss the smell of the make-up on your cheek, the sound of your voice saying “Corty”, or “Sweetheart” while you held me close in one of your wonderful hugs. I miss dialing your number and hearing you answer with “Mmm Yel-low.”

I miss being able to go home to you- I can go to your house any time I wish, but it is hard on me, now. Since you are not there, it just isn’t the same. I miss the way you loved me so much, you could look past the mess that I had become, and still see the sweet little girl inside of me. It is a gift, to be loved that way. I wish I had known it at the time. But I was very young, still, and terribly selfish. I was also very sick, and angry, and lost. I hope you have forgiven me for hurting you, wherever you are now.

I love you, still, and I miss you, always. If I had a magic wand, and I could go back in time, even just for a night, I would choose to go back to when I was a child, before you or papa were gone, just so I could be with you for a little while. How safe I felt then, and loved. I knew that when I was with you, there was nothing in the world that could ever hurt me. I am so grateful that you gave me that feeling, I am grateful for it all the time.

But I don’t have a magic wand. I only have my memories, and I do my best to keep them sharp and clear. I can’t change who I was, or take back my less kind moments, but I can remember the love you gave me, and the way it felt, and I can honor you by trying to love my children in that way. So that is what I do. I am not even nearly always successful, but I hope you can look down on me from heaven, and be proud of me. I hope that more than anything.

I was just thinking of you this morning, and wished that I could talk to you. This is the only way I could make it happen. I hope you are happy where you are, and that you look in on me, from time to time. I miss you, grandma. Thank you for loving me. It changed my life.

Love,

Courtney Loreanne.

Dear Glamour Magazine

Here is another old one for your reading enjoyment. I am still in the Nanowrimo race, and not quite ready to throw the towel in. So, I am recycling- FOR YOU. Please, don’t let my efforts be in vain. 🙂

After The Party

Dear Glamour Magazine:

I have been a subscriber to you off and on for the last fourteen years. It has come to my attention recently that you and I have nothing in common anymore, much like a friendship you outgrow over time. The main difference being, of course, that you and I were never really friends- you were always more like that super put together chick with the great skin and ridiculous figure I would run into at seven eleven when I had last nights make up under my eyes and chocolate smears on my sweat pants.  Yeah, that’s pretty much how you made me feel, like you were smiling politely to my face but the minute I shut your cover, you were whispering to all your anorexic super model friends “Did you see what she was wearing? I mean, seriously, why even BOTHER?

I understand you are…

View original post 849 more words

Routine Maintenance

I am re-blogging one of my older posts because I am in the throes of nano-insanity, and trust me, this is a lot better than anything I could come up with today. I am busy trying to crank out 1,500 words of fiction, so I can be a world famous, best selling author pretty soon. And you can say, “Hey, I read her blog!” And I will totally sign copies of the books you buy from me. Have a wonderful day.

After The Party

Recently, I had the extreme pleasure of being sent for my first mammogram…although I am only 36, I had been having some increasing pain in my left breast- so much so that I finally went to the doctor to have it checked out. Mind you- living, as we do, in this wonderful age of Google and WebMD, I was already a complete basket case by the time I got there. I found myself waiting in my doctors exam room, in that thin, blue, paper “robe” they give you, fighting back tears, sure I was lugging around a boob full of stage IV cancer. I lay there on the exam table, fondling myself like a sixteen year old boy (only I was looking for lumps, thank you.)while salsa music played through the speakers in the ceiling, making me feel like I was in some bizarre indie movie. Right before my doctor came…

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Waking Up Fat and Lazy

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I would like to preface what I am about to write with this other fun fact that just occurred to me as I was dragging my laptop from my bedroom desk out to the kitchen table, since I cannot write with Wonder Pets screeching in the background, and Camryn woke up at four this morning because I gave her her allergy medicine a little bit early by “accident” (in other words, I was really tired and wanted to go to bed, and she had to take it, anyway) last night. Don’t judge me. Anyway, what I realized was, the only reason I can write about half the crap I write about and then willingly post links to it on my Facebook is because I write so early in the morning, I know that none of you people are awake yet. Which makes no sense at all, because you can totally read it when you DO wake up, but by then, for me, it’s already over. This may not be at all logical, but at least it gives you an idea of the kind of person you are dealing with, here.

So, what I wanted to write about was…and I don’t know if this has ever happened to you…but I woke up fat this morning. Okay, first of all, I realize that if I woke up fat, chances are, I went to bed fat last night, right? But I am telling you right now, I went to bed chubby, at best, last night. Somewhere between midnight and four a.m., my metabolism called it quits, and that last slice of Little Caesar’s pretzel crust pizza proved to be one too many. It was the pizza that broke the camel’s back with it’s fat ass. Second of all, for God’s sake, please do not get all up in arms, my lovely lady friends, and tell me how not fat I am. For one thing, you cannot judge me by my pictures on Facebook- do you really think I am going to share the ones that make me look like Jabba the Hut? You all know that we are masters of the selfie, and quite adept at finding the angle that most flatters. For another thing, I am not trying to say that I am obese. I am fat by my standards for me, and that is that. I am not looking for anyone to shore up my flagging self confidence, here, I am fine. I am just really, really, round right now.

Compounding my fattitude is this- I am incredibly lazy, and seem to be growing more so by the day. I mean, this has always been a well hidden feature of my personality, masked by the rapid quality of my speech and my tendency towards animated gestures…but trust me, you can be an energetic communicator and still be lazy as F**K. If you don’t believe me, you can totally ask my mom, who got to see me in (in)action for a little less than half of my life so far. Of course, I also covered up this laziness by my rather prolific use of methamphetamine for all that time…I think I even forgot how lazy I was, what with all the activity, albeit, most of it fruitless, but still. Meth users are nothing if not BUSY, am I right? So embarrassing…anyway, ones true colors always come back to bite them in the ass, only, in my case, they can’t muster up the energy, so…I guess self-deprecating humor will have to serve as my catalyst.

Further complicating the issue is my desire for instant gratification- I mean, it has taken me quite some time to get to my current weight (which I am not going to tell you, and I prefer you not guess) so it stands to reason that it will take time and work, and some sort of ability to be consistent, to get to where I want to be. Which is why I am feeling sort of doomed. I can’t even keep up on my laundry- how the hell can I be expected to follow a diet? I guess it all comes down to what I want more, doesn’t it? Pizza, or a waistline? Lucky Charms with half and half, or less chin-neck? Another day of marathon episodes of Ghost Adventure’s, or a trip to the gym? Oh, these sound like obvious answers, I know, but lets be real, here…how many times have you been all- “I’m going to the gym today!” and MEANT it, then flopped down on the couch “for a second”, and the next thing you know, it’s dark out, and you’re not only too lazy to have made dinner, you are too lazy to throw away the cardboard pizza boxes that were delivered to your door? Fuck, maybe that’s just me, and I have even larger (unintentional pun, there) problems than I thought.

I will tell you two more, no, three more things here, before I am done for the day. 1) On a serious note, I realize that no one can do this for me, and I wouldn’t be writing about it in depth if I hadn’t decided, just this morning, that it is time to formulate a plan, for reals, and start doing something OTHER than making plans, and then excuses, and then feeling all shitty about myself.  2) Because I am competitive in general, but especially, for some reason, with my sister in law, Andrea, whom I love more than anything (and yes, this is totally possible), and she is, like, KICKING ASS, in EVERY area of her life, but currently has turned her laser sharp kick-ass skills to her fitness and weight loss routine, I have decided to use her for an impetus to get off my couch. I have no doubt that it will work, because I am sick like that. She really is RAD though, by the way. And finally, 3) none of this can start though, until tomorrow. Why? Because I just bought a deep fryer, and all of my loved ones are coming over to eat deep fried fish tacos tonight, and I am not skimping. I may, however, go on a walk or something today, just as a gesture of good will towards my future thin self.

As much as all of this has been written in a playful manner, I am serious as heck. Oh, you’ll see. Watch out, Andrea. I’m coming for ya. 🙂

Everything That is Right With Me.

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I’m feeling rather chipper this afternoon, and thought I would sit down here for a second and write. Nothing special has happened, no great new career has fallen out of the sky and into my lap. I’m still chubby. My house is still kinda messy. I am still struggling with these goddamned cigarettes, goddammit.

But yesterday and today, I have really asked the Universe, or God, or whomever it is out there listening to me, to help me be okay with it- “it” being the many, many things that are, whether I have a hand in it, or any control over it, or not. Whatever “it” is, God, can you help me be okay with it? That is the big prayer I am sending up, day after day. And it seems like I am getting my answer.

Because every time that cruel, hypercritical, mean, awful voice in my head starts to verbally abuse me, another, WAY more believable voice says “NO.” This kinder voice shuts that mean voice DOWN. As I am pulling on my jeans, the mean voice goes “What the fuck, porky? Are you kidding me? ” And the kind voice goes “You are beautiful. It’s fine. Go take your walk, enjoy your life.” And the mean voice, it just sort of fades away.

I think to myself “I should really put some make up on before I go outside.”  And this gentle voice pipes up, before the mean voice even has a chance- “Look at yourself. There is nothing you need to cover up…get out there and take in the afternoon.” (in case you are confused, yes, there are three voices happening here- Me, the mean voice and the kind voice. If you can’t grasp that, you are probably a man. So go hug your girlfriend, because she is probably having a hell of a time with HER voices.)

Do you guys have any idea how wonderful it feels to have someone sticking up for me? I mean, even if it is just me, it’s about damn time. Because let me tell you something- I am a pretty good person. I love my kids, I show up every day, I try like hell to do the best I can. I am nearly forty, and my life sure doesn’t look the way I thought it would, but it’s a good life. I am making the most of it, or at least trying to. I sure the heck don’t appreciate this critical voice that no one else hears busting my balls twenty four hours a day. I am tired of it. I am sure I am not alone.

So you know what? I took my walk, without any makeup, and I had a wonderful time. My dogs were thrilled, and no one stopped their car to point at me and laugh. I saw woodpeckers and Monarchs, and stretched my legs, cleared my head.

I have spent years and years beating myself up for my shortcomings- I am far harder on myself than I would ever be on anyone else. That needs to stop…because I am lovely (said the kind voice.)