My 649th mistake as a parent - camping with young kids. Hands down one of the top 10 most terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ideas I have had. I advise NO ONE to ever do it...ok...that isn't true - but be prepared...it sucks.
It started out innocently enough. "Hooray! We are going to take the kids into nature and let them get dirty and unplug - yay for our inner tree-hugger!" We picked a location that was remote enough to feel like a real getaway, but like 30 minutes from home, just in case all hell broke loose - we could go home.
We got there, set up camp and only had to make one run home for stuff we forgot. YAY for awesome parents and being outdoors! Of course, it wasn't until after my husband came back from that run home that I realized I had packed everything for everyone, but had forgotten some essentials for myself. No need to get into details here, but things may have been a bit breezier than normal for me.
In any case, here are some of the lessons I learned on this trip:
6. I don't like camping. I really just like drinking with friends next to the campfire. And since I am on a no-booze for 30-days kick, sitting around watching other people drink kinda sucked. So if it weren't for the people we were with, I would have liked absolutely nothing about it. Ok, that is sort of a lie. I liked that the kids had fun - and since life now is all about them...I guess that is a good thing.
When downloading on the last day with Overachiever that we co-camped with, somehow we came to the conclusion that it wasn't all that bad. And admittedly, it wasn't. So many things could have gone so wrong, and yet all we really dealt with was dirt shit, pain-in-the-ass dish washing, the unforgettable image of my son munching on dirt and the occasional 5-Year Old girl tattle-tale explosion. For that struggle, we got 36 hours that our kids actually played outside, didn't ask us for any media and took a genuine interest in animals and nature. #ParentWIN!
I was on a plane once with a neurophysicist (guys, had to google that and spell check can't even find the word so you know that is some deep science shit) and he said that you must have your kids play in dirt; apparently it creates certain pathways in the brain that are scientifically correlated to intelligence. I don't remember the details because I was a couple of cocktails in and it was red-eye, but the gist I got was that dirty kids=smart minds. Doing these things are good for our kids, and when all is said and done, we are good parents for doing it.
That being said, does it count if you just rent a cabin and stick your kid outside in the dirt to play? I mean, do I really need to sacrifice my kids intelligence potential at the sake of a shower? Surely not, right? Can you say "Glamping anyone?" Same difference right? HOORAY for Nature!
I may have had a revelation today. Over the last couple of months, it has been pointed out to me multiple times that I walk around looking really mean or angry. At one point even, one of my coworkers that I only see at events said I needed to smile more, which of course pissed me off (Douchebag) and had the opposite effect.
In any case, it has become painfully aware to me that I walk around with what has been defined by Urban Dictionary as a "Resting Bitch Face" or "RBF". From what I hear, if I am on a mission, or thinking really hard, or actively listening...I look like Wolverine coming to slice your face off. This, as you can imagine, becomes a major problem, since I constantly walk with purpose, am often deep into 17 monkey brain thoughts at one time, and am always at least TRYING to listen intently to whomever is speaking. As the head of Business Development, if you are walking up to me and I resemble whatever the angriest of the Angry Birds looks like, it is sort of bad for business.
So now to the revelation. It dawned on me that I have had so many jobs where I contribute so much and work really hard, but people either love me or they hate me. And when they hate me...it's like Christian Slater gets one Heather to kill you, hatred. I could never understand it.
Let me pause for a second and point out that I am fully self-aware of the fact that I am a super high "D" on the DISC assessment, a crazy Type A, and a total Driver -so ya, there is a natural Bitch factor to me anyway...but this idea that people SEE a Bitch as I am walking down the hall, without even speaking to me is making me realize how much more my fault this dislike is. And that pretty much sucks, because 1) I think I am a really fun gal, and 2) I really like playing the victim and blaming other people for my misfortunes. Revelations blow.
In response to this recent discovery, I have been actively trying to change my facial expression as I walk around the office. This is tough, since people who walk around with huge smiles on their faces either creep me out because I think they are high, or look like complete dildos because they look goofy. I am already goofy enough when I open my mouth - I don't need to add more fuel to that fire. I am working on softer; relaxing my forehead, smiling with my eyes...looking approachable.
All I can say is that it's progressive. I am sort of stuck between The Godfather and the Confused emoticon at the moment, but hopefully getting better. I will admit that physically, it does FEEL lighter and happier. I am telling myself that the release of the forehead pressure is enough to hold me off from Botox for another couple of years. I doubt that is the case though, since 40 years of RBF has taken its toll. The swimlanes on my forehead and crows feet on my nose are the side effects of thinking really hard all my life. Sue me for being an intellectual.
But we shall see. I am going to take this as an experiement to see if I can change perceptions, by simply changing my resting face. Then, if not, then fuck everyone...it's all your fault.
Is anyone else out there just as fucking terrified as I am? Not about anything in particular, but just everything? I think my whole life stems around fear - and I wish I could kick my own ass and tell my head to shut the fuck up. I wish I could simply just BE...and from that, be happy, be content, be present and be ME.
I am pretty sure I spend the majority of my time in my head - doubting my abilities, worried about what people are thinking, dwelling over what COULD happen with my job, wondering if I should be someone I am not...it's fucking maddening! How many times do I need to tell myself that I can only be who I am, and dammit, that is good enough, before I start listening? I think I must love to be psychotic, because I sure as hell love to live in my personal drama 24/7.
All this being said, I realize that my self-talk is so terrible, I wouldn't say it to my worst enemy. I am also very aware of the fact that if I ever heard my daughter saying any of these things to herself, I would jump on her like stink on shit and change the energy. So tonight, I am going to try to give myself advice I would give my daughter.
Honestly, this shit is so hard for me to live, I don't know what else to say. I give great advice...but I very seldom follow it. And with that...I am going to go wallow in how bad this post is...and go to bed. Good talk.
Foul mouthed, outspoken and pretty much an eternal realist.