aThis blog has always been a sort of amalgamation of comical non-fiction and a super-sized scoop of self-help therapy ..for me. Whether posting the first entry dedicated to ranting about my reorg on Mat Leave, to exploring the suicidal world of my dog, to my son eating and subsequently shitting dirt. In all cases, this blog has become part diary of my insanity, and part pathway to the journey forward.
Tonight we explore my ongoing battle with workplace politics. Let me start out by saying how much I HATE office politics. I think all of it is a stupid waste of time and energy. There is NEVER a healthy amount, nothing good ever comes of it, and quite frankly, being in a workplace culture driven by it, is a damn shame. And yet, there it is, in my life, all the time.
I may have the deep rooted hatred regarding politics for the simple reason that I am not very good at playing them. In fact, I suck at it. I just want to walk in, kick ass and repeat. I don't want to have to worry about choosing sides, or stroking egos, or playing games...I just want to be efficient, effective and productive...and then go home to my family. No bullshit in between. It's a pipe dream, clearly. Every time I think I found a place that embraces me...I get let down...and am left to fail miserably at a game that I never learned to master.
Now, I could dwell on that shit for days. And honestly, when I do, it is a multi-day process. Day 1 is basically crying all day - hysterically - like a fucking toddler. Day 2 finds progressive acceptance, with a sprinkling of mild hatred. And Day 3 begins the moving forward phase, where I find a bit of Courage. Courage to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to be me and accept me for who I am, living and existing with no apologies. Courage to believe that God and the Universe have a master plan for me...and that it is their sick joke to never fucking tell me what that plan is.
And hey, if these Ass Pans decide that my amazing results are worth nothing because I am stuck in the middle of an executive political feud, then so be it. At least I remained true to my self - because I am perfect and whole exactly as the universe created me. Please note the affirmational tone in that last sentence. I have resorted to YouTube affirmations on the drive to work to maintain only throat levels of puking as I fear for my future.
If you are like me and cannot avoid the incessant sound of the Disney Channel in the background of your life, then you know that I am reminded daily to "DREAM ON PRINCESS". Well, you marketing nightmare trying to get my kids to buy more overpriced Princess shit, that is what I am going to do. I am going to dream of a world without workplace BS. Of a time when I can stop worrying about all the losers that get threatened by smart and ambitious people. The day when I can figure out how to work for myself and give EVERYONE a big ole' flying bird as I walk out the door.
From that dream will come action. Action to move forward and find that thing I need to do in the future. Action to stop apologizing for being a rock star. Action to help all my girls that have the same issues. Action to simply just sit and be proud of all I have accomplished. Because guess what, I have and that credit I deserve starts today.
There are times in your life that the Universe decides to throw you into situations that leave you asking the “What Ifs”; What if I hadn’t moved to that city? What if I hadn’t said “Yes” or “No”. What if I just ignored the rules or broke them, or, better yet, rewrote them? In each of these scenarios, one enters a sort of dream (or nightmare) state, picturing what life would be like - followed immediately by a stiff-ass drink because you know your shit would be up some creek, and whether or not you had a paddle would be debatable.
Being a staunch realist, only fraudulently living with a rose-colored optimist mindset, my brain thinks consequence first. I naturally contemplate the worst possible outcome, assume it will be, and then act presently surprised when it doesn’t happen. One might call that a pessimist…but in all truth, it seems to be to be as real as it gets. What is the worse that could happen, and then dial it back about 73% and that is what you get. “So”, I ask myself applying a semi-neurotic sense of logic to the equation, “if only 27% of the worst will happen, why not just revive the rebel within me and break the rules”?
Those of you that know me, know I push limits, boundaries, filters and every other possible proverbial line in the sand that presents itself, to its outer most limits…but I never violate the really important shit. And why not? Why don’t I act on impulse, explore the taboo, walk on the wild side? Simple – plain, unadulterated guilt. Sadly, thanks to the dominerring efforts of the Roman Catholic Church, guilt has overpowered my thoughts for the better part of my life.
Side note, I can't tell you how much that pisses me off to no end. Those lunatics have committed all kinds of fucked-up for centuries with little or no remorse and nobody seems to do damn thing about it, so why should I sit in judgement? But that’s another rant for another time.
It’s kind of pathetic really - the guilt I would feel for breaking the rules would eat me up so much, it would outweigh any temporary pleasure I might get out of breaking said rule in the first place. Which again, just irritates the fuck out of me because sometimes I REALLY REALLY want to bust out. But seeing as I am such a terrible lair, I can’t even succeed at lying to myself, let alone the rest of the world, so why bother?
All actions have a subsequent reaction – a consequence for their actuality. Good or bad, everything has a consequence. Some far greater than others, but all shape your life and existence as you know it.
That being said, this rule following June Cleaver shit is a whole new concept for me. If you would have asked me 10 years ago to stop whatever I was doing to drop a bunch of acid and run naked through the neighborhoods of Black Rock City, I wouldn’t have hesitated. Unprotected sex, reckless driving, cheating on boyfriends, jumping out of planes, bar fights (I am more of a screamer than a puncher, just so you know) how I survived some of my youthful mistakes is beyond me. My Guardian Angels deserve a hell of a pension for keeping me alive.
Do I sometimes miss those days? Sure, I do. Do I occasionally wish that I could just step out of Mommy/Wife mode, run away and reenact a scene out of Scarface – absolutely. But would I? Probably not. Why? Because even though that party girl will always be inside me, what’s at stake on the outside isn’t worth the risk anymore. I am so blessed in my life, I have so much to be grateful for - I would be a fucking IDIOT to jeopardize it. And honestly, I wouldn’t ever want to be the person that jeopardizes it for anyone else I care about either.
So, when the Universe decides to play its sick ass little games - testing you, tempting you, challenging your will, you have two choices – succumb or succeed. You can choose your own adventure on this one, but do so wisely after heavily weighing all that you have to gain or lose. For me, as damaging and disappointing and heartbreaking as it is sometimes, I am just too Type A to succumb. At the end of the day, the winner takes it all – and I refuse to be a loser.
At 5:30 am on Tuesday and Thursday and 7:00 am on Saturdays, I drag my Mommy ass out of bed and head to a studio exercise called Lagree. The best way to explain it - 45 minutes of voluntary masochistic torture that has you sweating so much, you literally rain perspiration - and honestly, it isn't perspiration, it's like pig level, took too much Molly dance in the desert naked type sweat. The thing it...everyone who does it gets addicted - and we all keep going back for more...week after week, month after month, year after year.
TheFighter introduced me to it a few years ago (I love and hate her for that), and I turned OverAchiever onto it a couple years ago. (Side note, if you don't know those references, check out the "PowerChicks" post from 4/24/18). Anyway, it's gnarly and I hate my life the entire 45 minutes because no matter how long you have done it, it absolutely never gets easier. As a slightly competitive control freak, that pisses me off. But then, when I walk out the door, with my hair soaking wet, my legs giving out on me and my arms feeling like I should amputate them for relief, I feel like a fucking bad ass. And for a Mom of 40 - we need that every once in a while.
What's even more cool, is at the location and class times I go, everyone in there is a working Mom (with human and/or fur babies) and NONE of us - with the exception of a few (OverAchiever being one of them) is a size 0. We challenge each other, push each other and then all collapse together at the end - feeling STUPID STRONG and realizing that we just KILLED THAT SHIT.
Recently, however, the owners of our studio opened a new location in a super hipster part of Orange County. Everyone who goes to that location is like 25 with long blonde extensions which for some reason they don't need to put into a pony-tail, has 2% body fat, does classes at like 10:00 am with their bestie and Farm to Table Kombucha and they must feel like they will die if they don't post on Instagram both walking into and out of a class. For a while, it was fucking annoying. In fact, even though that location has these incredible new machines that I wanted to try, I have never gone over there out of fear that my lack of filter would find me screaming at one of the little WooWoo girls, only to get myself arrested for beating them over the head with their glittered YETI bottle.
But something amazing happened today at 7:00 am. There are a group of us that meet every Saturday in Lake Forest to get our asses kicked by one specific instructor. We were sitting there, anticipating our fate, joking about how we love being there and were glad we didn't have to have make-up on to workout, and we realized that at the end of the day, we are all #MomStrong - and friggen proud of it. We could give a shit less about the other location - about the youth that is far behind us. We friggen love ourselves, love our strength and love our super powers. Millennials and GenZ be damned. We GenXers have kids, jobs, husbands, houses, aging parents and all the other shit that comes with #adulting - yet we carve out the time to just remind ourselves how bad ass we really are. It's glorious. Everyone should do it, then encourage a girlfriend to do the same.
I wish I had a clever ending today...but I don't. The lesson here is that you must find your Super Power or things that make you feel like a Super Hero and go all in. Do whatever you can to realize that being you and the strongest version of you is all you need to make it through all the bullshit that is going to be thrown at you. We are all #MomStrong - and we should all shout it from the rooftops. GO ON WITH YOUR BAD SELF SUPER WOMAN! Have a great weekend.
A big Howdy-Doody Fuck You to Overachiever, who has now single-handedly forced "Keeping up with the Joneses" to apply to 5-year old sleepovers. They are five, the standard should be looooowww. And by low, I mean like borderline prison rations low. But no, Overachiever goes out and creates welcome gifts complete with matching boas, fairy wings, sequined crowns, unicorn personalized water bottles and of course, sleeping masks. But she doesn't stop there...nooooo...she decides that she really has to up the bar, so why not start sewing at like midnight and Betsy Ross a few matching princess blankets for the little shits? Ya know, just in case they needed to be reminded of their painfully gilded lives.
What was I planning on doing had I been in charge? Throwing them all on the floor with some blankets, some popcorn and a Netflix movie and calling it a night. Well that shit can never happen now. Nope...I am already planning what I need to do when I host. So far, I contemplating a small wedding size budget complete with a tie-die station, individual air mattresses with matching microfiber sheets, overnight kits including toothbrushes and washclothes, similar to those found in first class cabins, a bedazzle your own nightshirt station and warm donuts and scented washclothes upon awaking. W.T.F. I don't even get that kind of treatment when I pay obscene amounts of money to go to a spa - which by the way never happens because, well...let's be real, I am a working mom so my only free time goes to venting on this fucking blog. But did I mention these kids are five?
In any case, I have to say, as much as she sets standards to ridiculously ludicrous heights, I am lucky as fuck that she is a friend, and that our daughters are part of a pretty strong best-girlfriend triad. I mean, how charmed of a life does my kid have that this was her first sleepover experience? In my day, you were lucky if your friend's Mom gave you a clean blanket, let alone sewed you one. It was a SCORE if you had a pillow if you forgot yours. Hell, I remember just praying I did't fall asleep first so my underwear wasn't frozen by that asshole girlfriend we all had in our youth. Times have changed...and apparently so have sleepovers.
Overachiever, I love you and I hate you. You are an incredible Mom that helps to show the rest of us lazy loafs how shitty we are at this. For that, I thank you, because it forces us to up our MomGame. Thank you for being the bravest of them all and hosting the first sleepover - and thank yo for just being you - you always give me great content. Sleep Tight Soldiers!
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.
A Wish for my son, on the first anniversary of his birth. Yes assholes, this post is two weeks late, but at least I am doing it - screw you and your judgements. Oh, and Piercey - sorry Little Man, this is going to be printed out and added to your book because Mommy is too friggen exhausted to write a separate entry - when I live to see your ass graduate from grad school you will thank me for saving the extra 40 minutes to sleep off all the sleepless nights you have provided me in your one year of life. You're welcome.
So Piercey - in my 40 years on this earth I have learned a thing or two - and quite frankly, I am still learning, will most likely never stop. I struggle, just like you will, to figure out where I fit in, what I can do better, and how I can make an impact. I doubt myself everyday - and then find myself telling my Ego to Fuck Off - it's an internal struggle, and ya, I am pretty neurotic (don't worry, your sister got the crazy lady gene - it's sort of a thing with the women in our bloodline - we're all nuts - congrats for being a boy). Every minute I have to remind myself how incredibly blessed I am, because it is so easy to get caught up in all the day-to-day bullshit that you can lose sight of it all. Honestly buddy - it's hard growing up, and newsflash, I don't think you every really do. You are constantly hiking up a big hill - but at the end of the day, regardless of how hard it is, every little thing, is gonna be alright.
So on your first birthday, I wish you the following in life (some of these I need to remind myself of too):
Ok, so that's it. Basically I want you to be more than I have ever been or could be. You are going to be amazing Little Man...and I hope to God I am here long enough to see it. I love you. Good Night.
I would like to start out by saying, Happy Mother's Day to every single woman on the planet, and NO, I don't give a shit if it is un-PC. Here's the deal - every single woman has, or will have, mothered SOMETHING in her life before she dies. Sure, some of us have human kids (although at certain points in their life we may wonder if they are alien) but you don't have to have those human kids to be a Mom. I mean, I know in my lifetime I have mothered at least 3 boyfriends - hell, I am raising a Husband today - not to mention the kids I actually gave birth to.
And what about all my PowerChicks? Not all of them have human babies, but all of them are currently mothering someone - mostly Furry. Take OnPointe for example, she has two dogs, one helpless and one a total asshole, that she treats like royalty. I keep special towels at my house for when they visit - cuz I don't want Condor like talons digging through my couch cuz they have never laid on a floor in their life. My kids already make it that I can't have nice things...I honestly don't need someone else's kids fueling the fire.
Then there is MaterialGirl - I swear to Heaven that she cooks gourmet meals for her dogs - they eat better than my kids, no joke. I honestly think when my kids get old enough, they may ask her to adopt them. She would give her dogs a kidney if she had to.
BabySis has to friggen mother two kids, and a husband! If her oldest was slightly less ADHD in training, he might actually be easier and less of a pain in the ass then her husband. I love him to death, he is my brother in law - and very few people can put up with my Sister's crazy, but geez - I would possibly drop kick him on occasion if in her shoes.
The point I am trying to make is that all women should wish all other fellow women Happy Mother's Day. The last few days have been agonizing for me. You can't say "Happy Mother's Day" because you don't know anyone's individual situation. Do they have kids? If so older? Younger? If not, did they try? Do they not want them? In either case, you lose if you ask, so you simply say nothing at all. And quite frankly, that is BULLSHIT.
Whether you are a mother to Humans, Furrbabies, Deadbeat Brothers, Work Bosses, Co-Workers, your InLaws, Outlaws, or Reptiles - it doesn't fucking matter. You are a woman - you are cultivator of life - yours and anything you come in touch with. So you know what, Happy Mother's Day to you...ALL OF YOU. Rock on!
So let's talk for a moment about "appreciation". This week is "Teacher Appreciation Week" at school. What does that mean? Basically it means that every day of the week (yes at our PreSchool it is all 5 days, not just once during the week) is earmarked for some sort of gift for my children's many teachers.
Now, let me pause here for a moment and say that I value and appreciate every single one of the teachers that care and teach my children. They are saints, no doubt about it. I couldn't be a functional working mom without them - and for that, I am forever indebted. Honestly, I feel I should buy them all a Wine of The Month Club subscription, because if I were them - I would go home nightly and throw back a couple bottles.
That being said, the structured and silently mandatory week full of gift giving is freaking unbelivable. Basically, every day of the week is earmarked for a diffrent gift. Monday=Flowers, Tuesday=Relax (aka spa/bath items), Wednesday=Sweets, Thursday=Personal Note, Friday=gift. Yes, because apparently everything you take Monday through Thursday is not a gift - they have to tack on a Friday gift day which is a suggested mug or gift card.
Now, if my kids each had one teacher, that would be a piece of cake. BUT NO! Each kid has at least 3 teachers. So basically, teacher appreciation week is five days of gifts for 7 teachers!! That shit adds up quick! Let's do the math for a minute.
Monday - Flowers: $20 - Well, you can either buy 7 Sunflowers for like $3 a piece, or buy the dozen flowers for $20. I opted for $20 - looks better taking two flowers anyway.
Tuesday - Relax: $35 + $10 Have you ever tried to buy 7 bars of gift soap - it's ridonculous. I have opted to buy a 24 variety pack of bath bombs that I will repackage into candy bags and gift accordingly. Of course, it won't come out even, so one class room the teachers will get 2 each and the other the teachers will get 3 each. I haven't decided which is which - I am going to see who pisses me off more this week and give them the dime bags.
Wednesday - Sweets: $30 Ya, so what am I going to do, buy them each a candy bar - no. Women are as particular about their candy bars as they are their tampons - you just don't buy those generically for each other - it's weird. So, since we are out of Valentines and Easter season, when you could purchase little cheap boxes of Whitmans, I opted for the favor box full of Hershey's kisses. But again, you need to buy like at least a dozen boxes, and then a bulk bag of kisses...assembly is required...bastards.
Thursday - Personal Note $Priceless - it's like 30 minutes of my life while I dicate every letter to my 5 year old so she can write a personal note to three teachers. The Infant Room teachers for my one year old will be getting a very generic thank you from me.
Friday - Gift: $70. Ok, so again...the whole fucking week has been gifts - but wait! There's more! So, when you think about giving $10, that is all fine on a teacher by teacher basis, but when you have 7 to buy for, that shit adds up to $70! I mean, that's like half a cell phone bill. My ass is cheap - it kills me every time.
So grand total = over $160 cash, and then all the time it takes to organize and put this shit together. You can't exactly walk into the room and start throwing bath bombs and kisses at them. They need packagiang and transport.
So here's where it gets worse. Not only is there a silent requirement to give gifts all week, but then you have the pressure of what other moms are going to give. Now, I personally don't really give a shit about that noise - fuck what the other moms think. But for some of my friends, namely Overachiever and PinterestQueen, that struggle is real. They stalk Pinterest and figure out the best presentation of the gifts, and then put in countless hours creating the best gifts in the room. I mean, at the end, they are magnificent - no doubt about it - thoughtful and lovely, but seriously, for them, it must be maddening! The pressure to be as good if not better than the other gifts being dropped in the room is friggen outrageous. Honestly, when all is said and done, the idea of the appreciation is lost in all the pressure to just do it well.
What we need to get back to is the spirit of the week - appreciating the men and women that care for our young all day, most days of the week. We need to drop the pressure, and the drama one week out of the year and simply just say "Thank You" every day. While giving gifts is a great gesture, let's teach our children that you don't have to have an occasion to give thanks - you just should at any time. And we as parents need to fess up to the fact that we SUCK at appreciation on a daily basis. We need to step up and be kinder to the people out there raising our kids. And that isn't through flowers and bath bombs and notes and giftcards - it's simply through every day kindness. That is what appreciation should be about.
Foul mouthed, outspoken and pretty much an eternal realist.