Posted in advice, aging, beauty, family, friendship, humor, inner peace, Learning, Life, People

Growing Up.

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I have spent most of my life terrified of being a grown up. I thought that it would be boring, depressing, lame and embarrassing. If you asked me, the ONLY benefit of being an adult was getting to eat ice cream for breakfast…and maybe the idea that you could have a kitten without begging your mother first. Also, when I still got a tax return, I kind of liked that. Oh yeah, and I did like the whole concept of having a home of my own in which to have sex…not that NOT having one ever did much to slow me down.

I was scared of becoming irrelevant, fat, unattractive, and being forced to drive a mini-van around while young people in Miata’s drove by laughing at my sloppy middle aged pathetic ass. I mean, I thought that just naturally happened when you hit a certain age. Now, here I sit, 38- nearly 39, and it occurred to me yesterday that A) I am an adult, and have been for quite some time, B) Being an adult without being a grown up is at least as sad as driving around in a mini-van, and C) I think I am finally growing up. And I really like it.

Here are a few reasons why I think I may be growing up:

It hit me that the whole purpose of working at a job is SO THAT YOU CAN PAY FOR THINGS LIKE BILLS. I mean, obviously, the hope is that you can get to a spot where you can also buy cute shoes, go out to dinner, and maybe take a vacation once in a while. But when you are a grown up, you pay your bills first and then see what is left. Hopefully, something. Maybe you sock some away into a savings account, maybe not ( I said I was growing up, I didn’t say I was all the way there yet, cut me some slack!). But you don’t go buy the shoes, go out to dinner, and then see what you can to about paying some bills. If you do it that way, you are adding a whole lot of stress to your life. By paying bills first, at least you know that even if you hate your shoes, you’ll have light to glare at them with.  This was a big breakthrough for me.

Another thing- It can take years to reach your limit with misery. My threshold has proven to be extraordinarily high. But once you reach it, maybe go a little beyond it, then finally get the hell out of it…Well, you realize that happiness, YOUR own, personal, happiness in life is THE MOST PRECIOUS thing you have. When I am not happy, there is no way I can make my kids happy, no way I can run my life with any hope for success. So I have become as protective of this happiness as I would if it WERE one of my children. I am not willing to make the kind of decisions I have in the past that led me to misery. I just won’t do it. Which leads me to this:

As a grown up, you learn that you can trust your gut instincts. Looking back over my life, the times I did not do this, things have never gone well. I promised myself a long time ago that once I was free of my last relationship, I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever go against my gut, not ever again. Last week, I chose to honor that promise, and I have no regrets. I am not going to complicate my life until I really think it is worth it, and I am not there right now.

Most wonderful of all of my discoveries, however, is this- Being a grown up can be amazingly fun, and really liberating. You know what? I have gotten a little fat, and I don’t turn heads the way I once did. Big fucking deal! Who needs that kind of scrutiny, anyway? It really bothered me for a while, but (thank GOD) I am so okay with all of it now. I had all that, for a long time, and now it is a younger generations turn. In the meantime, I am getting down to meat and potatoes of life- connecting with friends, taking care of myself, mentally, spiritually, physically, and with great affection and care. I don’t have to spend the time I once did wondering how I looked to everyone else. And I spent an inordinate amount of time worrying about that shit.

I love the knowledge gained with age- that we really are all going to look like idiots at times, and that can be part of the fun. I love finding that growing up can exist harmoniously with having a young, fun spirit. I really love the realization that this world is so big, there are no limits on the adventures and experiences we can choose to have…the only problem I can see now is how there will ever be enough TIME. But I will cross that bridge when i get to it. 

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Posted in aging, beauty, humor, Learning, Life, People, Uncategorized

Some Days, It Gets To You

Quotes-about-getting-old-middle-age

I’m just going to come right out and say it- I really despise getting older, some days. I would probably despise it every day if I remembered it was happening, but most of the time, I have other stuff going on, and I forget about it. Thank God. Because if I were this acutely aware of my downhill slide all the time, I would probably need Prozac or whatever they give people for depression at the moment. It’s just not a lot of fun, at all. It sucks, quite frankly, and all the time I wasted on being in denial about the aging process ever happening to me would have been better spent panhandling the small fortune necessary to buy those expensive, totally confusing, anti-aging creams and potions lining three aisles of every respectable store in America. The ones I guess I was supposed to start using back in my twenties, when I hadn’t even grasped the concept of face-wash, for Pete’s sake. I was behind before I ever showed up at the race.

Anyway, I know that some women handle this much more gracefully than I am-especially today-and I admire you, I really do, for your ability to adjust. I thought I would definitely be one of your kind. I remember watching my mother moaning at herself in the mirror as she pulled at every bit of skin that wasn’t quite as firm as it’d been…she would say things like “You have no idea how HORRIBLE it is, getting older.” to me, and I would be filled with dread, bleak depression, and…disgust that she cared so much. I swore I would never, ever care that much about my dumb old face. Easy to say when you are a twenty four year old who couldn’t produce a line on her face without a pen if her life depended on it.

Just like in a million other ways, I am the exact same as my mother in this terrible panic over my visible aging. I know how shallow and vain I am sounding right now, and I don’t care- I really fucking liked being pretty, being young, and being confident in my ability to turn heads when I wanted to. I REALLY liked it, like, I had no idea how much. And the sad, stupid thing is, I never truly believed it would be any different! I figured that somehow, I would get older, but not look older. Or I would just be one of those rare, striking, attractive older women you see here and there. Instead, I feel like all the spackle and effort in the world wouldn’t help me much today. All my best tricks aren’t even elevating me from this funky, frumpy swill pit I’m in.

The other issue is that I am FAT right now, and for the foreseeable future as well, if I don’t start doing something to reverse and repair it. But I am too busy moping around, wishing I had my old metabolism, still. Rather than take a walk, I sulk in my room, scowling down at my stomach as if it crawled up my legs and attached itself there while I slept. Nope, months…okay, honestly, years of sore neglect in the fitness area have finally won, outlasting my bodies firmity and taking up residence in a layer of blubber that is spreading as I type this. By the time I get up, another inch will be added to my hips, and I will eat a bag of frito’s and a slice of s’mores cake in despair.

So, I am not having the most fabulous day today, clearly. I am very sorry for being the opposite of motivational- unless of course you are a twenty year old who still has time to start slathering emollients on herself three to five times a day. If that’s the case, good for you. May your chin and your neck be two things forevermore. I will be on damage control from here on out, with this gravity stricken flesh pod of mine. Damn you, nature! Damn it all.

I am somewhat kidding, you know, but not really enough to avoid being sad- I realize that. Like I said, days like today, when I feel gross and my reflection in the mirror looks unfamiliar, are few and far between. Most of the time, I am running through my life completely unaware of how I look, and feeling as young as I always have. I am young, for Pete’s sake! 38 is NOT old. But it truly is the beginning, at least for me, of changes that aren’t all that exciting. Would I want to be twenty again, the way that I was? Hell, no. But I sure do wish I would have appreciated how lovely my ass was, I’ll admit that much.

In closing, I will share with you a thought that came to me earlier, when all of this started- Middle age is WAY worse than the big deal everyone makes over puberty! At least with puberty, there’s a chance you’ll come out the other side better…middle age does not make that promise, friends. This is as good as it gets.

Posted in aging, family, Goals, kids, Life, Uncategorized

Time Flies By…

Hellloooo! Man, if I can’t manage to finish and post this blog, then I give up. I have been trying for what seems like a very long time to blog about SOMETHING…but for one reason or another, I either couldn’t finish it, and/or decided not to publicize my most private goings-on. I’m fairly certain my life is pretty averagely dysfunctional, but it really makes me wonder about the secrets within families and between people who are closely bound in ANY kind of relationship. I used to talk about everything with anyone, and I still do talk very openly about a lot of stuff-most stuff, even. But time and experience taught me (the slow and painful way, naturally) that some things are not open for discussion. If you discuss something, you are inviting the opinion, advice and judgement of the person you are confiding in, and you just never know who you can really trust 100%. I used to have the biggest mouth in the entire world- I didn’t mean to, and when I said I promised not to tell, I meant it. But even when I tried my hardest, I’d let some small detail slip, and then get so nervous trying to backtrack that eventually, I’d just miserably repeat the gossip, verbatim. Now, I’m older, and not only do I have more self control than I once did, but I also don’t care nearly as much about other peoples issues. That sounds mean, but it’s at least a good indicator that I’m trustworthy. By the time you finish telling me your secret, I’ve already forgotten the first part. Also, if someone wants to know something I don’t want to tell, I just say “yes, I know, but I’m not telling you, so quit fucking bugging me.” which was hard for me in decades past. Ahh…the finer points of growing up.

Speaking of which, my birthday is just a few days off- I am blown away that I am turning 37. Not because I feel like I am old, really, but because I can’t believe how insanely fast my life is going by. It feels like as soon as I get used to being who I am, where I’m at, everything changes again…I honestly remember the day that I turned ten years old so clearly; I was, what? Fourth grade? I sat at the very top of the monkey bars and contemplated the fact that I was now a DECADE old. From here on out, my age would have TWO numbers in it. I literally thought about that, twenty seven years ago, in Fresno, California, at Del Mar Elementary school. That same little girl is still right here, as well as the chubby middle school kid, the mouthy teenager who thought she knew it all. That teenager succumbed to a lifestyle that took her away from dreams she never even had a chance to start dreaming, and that teenager gave way to a young woman who was beautiful and insecure and sick, funny, weak, smart and unkind. Lots and lots of things occurred, lots of time went by, and she didn’t go very far. That same, scared, defeated girl is still here, too. I have been so many different women in my lifetime…life is not perfect, but at least today I am not afraid. I am not terrified of tomorrow. I don’t have to rely on anyone else for my life to move forward. Sometimes I forget the difference between FEELING AS IF my life depends on someone else, and HAVING my life rely on someone else. I’m okay with the person I am today. I turned out all right after all!

There were some blissful times in my life where I really kind of had it all…well, not “all” in the sense of tangible, luxurious things. I had none of that. What I actually had was NOTHING. No rush, no worries, no responsibilities, no place I needed to be. I just did my thing, all the time, partying, up for nights in a row, staying wherever I wound up and never feeling like I had anything less than all the time in the world to get down to business.  I dragged that stage out quite a while past where it was appropriate, and it wasn’t the same anymore. I felt time going by, felt the need to be more, have more, see more than I was seeing from that place. So I moved along, finally, and started filling up my life with grown up things. I enjoyed, and still enjoy, the sense of achievement that comes with accomplishing a dream, however small. What I don’t like is the worry and problems that come attached to everything I love or want or value. I worry about my kids, my job, my relationships with people. I worry about money and bills, my car, my phone and my laptop. I worry about my teenager not fitting in, and then about her fitting in too well. I worry about things that happened a long time ago, and things that may very well never happen. I NEVER used to worry about stuff, and now it’s always happening, like background music…I’m humming along, not even aware of the song. Also, I feel stretched a little thin, a lot of the time. These are the things I don’t love about this phase of my life. I want to be calm enough to enjoy all the good stuff that is right in front of me, but there’s so much to do, and so many things going on, and I get that tight, tense, angry feeling…like one little minuscule thing, and I’m going to snap. I don’t like all the chores and rules and activity of being this kind of adult. I feel like I still haven’t quite caught on yet.

Every year, around my birthday, I sort of look at my life and see what’s what, and come up with an idea of where I’d like to go next. Things I’d like to work on, eliminate, think about, and so on. This year, I just want to cut the shit. I want to stop knowing what I need to do, and doing something else instead, and then hating myself for it later. I want to plant my feet firmly on the earth and do what is best for myself, even when I’m scared to death of what that could mean. I want to enjoy the beautiful faces of my daughters, and never forget for a minute how blessed I am or how fast it goes by. I want to find the right words to say to Aisley, to make her softer. I want my Camryn never to have a reason to be so hard. I want to be with people who love me and have my best interest at heart, and I want to recognize when that is not the case. I want to laugh more, cry some, and be angry a LOT less. I want to slow down. I want to stop running, and just slow down. What is the point to this life if I’m too busy to see all of the real and valuable things it contains? I want to remember how much I love, and am loved. That’s my goal this year…and maybe the rest of them, too.

I’m wondering if you guys have that same, surreal feeling about your life ever? Does it seem impossible that you could be however old you are? Are you a worrier, and if so, have you always been, or is it new? Thanks for reading, and I’m so glad to be back!

Posted in beauty, Life, random, Uncategorized

What The Hell HAPPENED To Me?


I was just reading a great blog by Heather Christena Schmidt, who I enjoy immensely, and who’s blog you should definitely check out. Not NOW! I mean after you finish reading this little masterpiece, silly. Anyway, she is super duper funny, very smart, and she has the kind of sarcastic wit you probably don’t want to get on the wrong side of. She is very opinionated, and makes some really valid points in her posts. She also happens to be one of those chicks that has it SO together that even reading her stuff, I feel like a giant pile of lazy shit. I am going to encourage you to read the post about her being a 1950’s housewife– and I want you to read it, then report back to me your feeling of self-worth.

She was blogging about how she is annoyed with herself for spending over an hour getting ready every day, even when she’s got nowhere to go. All I could think was- ‘I don’t even have an hours worth of stuff I know how to do to myself!’ Seriously, I don’t. I still haven’t even figured out how to use a blow dryer correctly, I don’t, nor have I ever had an actual “hair style”, and it takes me about seven minutes to put on my make-up. I know, because I’ve timed myself before. While she wishes not to be the way she is, I am here wishing I at least knew how to fix myself all up. Maybe then I wouldn’t look in the mirror and think “Hmm…that’s IT? That’s as good as it gets?” Which is pretty much how I feel every single day now.

I didn’t used to feel this way at all. I used to do my little routine, shake out my hair, catch my reflection and think “Awesome!”. I know exactly how conceited that sounds, but it’s true. I hardly ever felt unattractive, to the point that I took for granted I would ALWAYS feel that way. I forgot to factor the whole aging thing into it. Aging sucks balls, and I’m sorry, doing it gracefully must require a lot less vanity than I possess in my clearly superficial little heart. I try not to be all dramatic about it ( there is a certain someone I know who gives Oscar worthy performances of despair and gloom while looking into the mirror and pulling her face so that it is taut and, honestly, frighteningly mask-like) because I don’t want to freak my older daughter out and give her the idea that this stuff matters more than it’s supposed to. Although, frankly, it does. At least to me.

Anyway, my 30’s have been the BEST time for me, as far as internal stuff- spirituality, maturity, financially, and just who I am altogether. So good, in fact, that it was shocking to find myself quickly sliding down  hill in the looks department. I just never considered it before. I guess I knew that someday, I would start losing my sex-appeal, my freshness, my head turning abilities. I never thought about when that would be, though. I thought I had a lot more time, for sure.

Now, don’t give me any shit, you guys. I know that 36 is not really old- there are LOT’S of hot ass women who are well into their 40’s. I know that. But those women probably work their asses off to stay that way, or have those freak genes that a small portion of the population (unfairly) have. I know that if I worked out, tried hard, lost weight, ate right, had a skin care routine and, possibly, a hair stylist, I could do much better. But that requires a bunch of effort on my part that I just don’t know if I have the energy for.

There are two cold, hard facts that I am dealing with here- 1.) There is no beauty quite like youth’s beauty, end of story. I see scads and scads of young people every day, and even the most awkward among them have that fresh and gorgeous, young beauty working for them. ‘Course, they can’t see it, which makes it a total waste, but oh well. 2.) There really is no substitute for having lived well. What I mean by this is simple- take a girl my age who has never smoked, used drugs or indulged excessively in alcohol, someone who slept regularly, drank water more than once a week, and who maybe exercised here and there. She is probably going to look a little better and/or younger than me. I have treated my body like a rental car almost all of my life, and it pains me to say this, but it’s starting to show. Let me take a break, I need to have a little cry. Okay, thanks. I’m back. Also, girls without children seem to age a LOT more slowly than those with. This is no longer shocking to me, now that I have endured 14 years with one of the most difficult children on Earth.

There’s more- a lot more. I never really learned how to take care of myself, or my stuff, or my house thanks to all those years in la-la land, so I struggle more than the average person with normal stuff. If my house is clean, my hairs a wreck. If I look great, my house is totaled. If my house and I look great, my kids are starving and my job has fallen to the wayside. I feel like my life is a giant, unending game of Whack-A-Mole, and the minute I bludgeon one thing into submission, two more pop up. No wonder I’m stressed out. I don’t know how to DO any of this stuff. I really don’t have a lot of regrets about how I’ve lived my life, because I think that is so pointless…but it would be nice if I felt a little bit more on the ball. I don’t expect to be gorgeous and slender AND have clean towels in the house all on the same day, but one or two in the same week would be spectacular.

Well. I really didn’t know I had all that rolling around this little, overused head of mine. Thank Heather Christena Schmidt for this one. And don’t forget to check out her blog! Also, it would be really great to hear what you think about this whole thing. Do you feel the way I do, that you live your life as a series of near disasters? Do you do a lot of frantic sprinting to keep yourself from slipping off the edge and hurtling into space? Or have YOU actually figured out how to keep on top of it, together? Calm, cool and collected? Let me know. I promise I won’t hate you for having a better life than me. Pinky swear.