Breaking your funk.

Listen my dear, as I’m writing this post, I’m eating a candy bar in bed. It’s 7 o’clock on a Thursday night. It’s been a funky day. A funky week. And man, I’m just in a funk.

(This chocolate bar is really hitting the spot, by the way).

As you grow up, you’re going to have bad days and sour moods. It happens and it’s just a part of life. Sometimes you’ll have justifiable reasons for your funky mood and sometimes you really won’t. And that’s okay.

What you do need is a *simple* short list for breaking your funk.

Here’s mine:

– Eat chocolate (we already covered that). It’s important to treat yourself when you’re feeling glum!

– Get outside, even just sit on the front porch. Fresh air does a mind good.

– Clean a small area of your home, your car or put away your laundry (makes you feel accomplished).

– Read through old cards, texts, and messages from family and friends (remember that you are loved!)

– Scroll through photos on your phone or on your social media accounts (remember you’re fun and likeable!)

– Listen to Taylor Swift’s Fearless album. Gets me every. single. time.

– Write it out! Doesn’t have to be a blog post. Scribble it on a napkin. Write when you’re happy, mad, angry or sad.

– Admit that you’re in a bad mood. Maybe not to your coworkers…but share it with a family member or friend. It lifts the burden.

– Take a shower. Flush that bad day down the drain!

– Plan out a cute outfit to wear the next day. It’s amazing how what you wear can affect your mood!

– Look forward to something fun you have planned that week, maybe it’s eating out, drinks with a friend…or sleeping in on Saturday morning. 🙂

– Tell yourself that tomorrow is a new day and another opportunity for you to change your perspective.

That last one is the most important. We can’t prevent ourselves from feeling discontent and moody, but we can recognize that it’s a feeling that comes and goes. We can start fresh the next day.

You are bigger than your bad mood, my dear!

 

 

 

 

 

When grown ups don’t share.

Listen my dear, the meaning of “sharing” will evolve as you get older. Right now, it means lending out a crayon or two or taking turns on the monkey bars. Eventually, the definition of sharing will change, though. Rather than the giving of physical things, sharing will be about accountability, listening and helping when needed. Just like the kid on the playground who hogs the monkey bars or won’t get off the swing set, you’ll run into some grown ups who aren’t very good at sharing, either. The two things that typically cause this are obliviousness or control.

Recently, I volunteered for something. I don’t often do it, so I was kind of excited! As a newbie volunteer, I read up on exactly it was I was supposed to do. The day of my debut, I was paired with a seasoned veteran. Her first comment to me was, “have you done this before?” “Well, errr no,” I said, “but I read up and know what to do.” Well, my answer sealed my fate. It was as though I was invisible thereafter. This seasoned veteran took the reigns (that I never really had the opportunity to grab, let alone touch) and lead the entire kit and caboodle from start to finish.

image

I’ll admit, she was a natural. I thought maybe this was a “training opportunity,” but there was no dialog before or after the event to that end, nor a natural point for me to jump in during. I felt kinda stupid. “Why am I here? Am I really needed? How can I appear as though I’m doing something?” I’m typically not too shy about  jumping into things, but I  wasn’t going to arm wrestle this woman over volunteering!

As I was standing there, observing, I thought, “Have I ever made anyone else feel this way? I’m sure. It’s easy to do when you know something well or you’ve got a knack for it. Have I been oblivious? Yep. Have I held the reigns too tightly? You bet. But here I was, on the other end feeling kind of…small.

Did I want this woman to take a breather and say, “Hey, you want to cover this part?” Sure I did. Because sharing is really about being considerate of others. If someone is willing to give their time, their ideas, their energy—make them feel worthwhile. Otherwise, you’ll just look like a playground hog…and no one wants that. Sharing is not always simple, and in some cases, it takes a conscious effort. Take the time to think about it my dear.

 

Hair is more than hair. Thanks for talking me out of dying mine blue.

Hair is more than hair. Thanks for talking me out of dying mine blue.

Red hair, blue hair, green hair. It’s all par for the course these days. I’ll admit it, it’s intriguing. And some women pull it off well. Do you ever wonder, what if *I* colored my hair some crazy color? Could *I* pull it off? How would it make ME feel?

Recently, my husband and I watched some Saturday basketball at a local bar. A hip, whispy lady waited on us that afternoon. She was a kind of cool that made you notice. And what I noticed most was her hair. It was blue, but not just any blue—a periwinkle blue. Some of her natural brown showed through underneath. I admired her look. “Why can’t *I* do that?” I thought. (Not my whole head, but maybe just a piece of my hair or perhaps the tips). The idea of it was kind of exciting since I’m typically a play-by-the-rules kinda gal. “Do it!” My husband said. (This could have been the beer talking).

So, I thought about it, and I thought about calling my hair stylist to make the appointment. Thinking about it was FUN. But it wasn’t anything I was going to rush into doing. After all, I’m not a rush-into-it kind of girl.

My hair is blonde (with some help from peroxide), but it’s been blonde ever since I was a little girl. It’s part of my identity. Ryan is blonde.

But, what if Ryan were blue?

I fantasized about this idea. But I didn’t run it through all the traps (because, you know, it was just an idea after all). How would it play out at work? Would my mom disown me?! What would my daughter think?

Yes, what would my daughter think was important. Probably the most important. 

So I asked her. “What would you think if I dyed some of my hair blue?” Her response, “But why? Your hair is so beautiful!” Whether I felt it or not, my 7-year-old daughter did. I could see the wheels in her brain churning behind her eyes. “Why would you want to change? I love you the way you are.”

This really struck me. I loved how firm and clear minded she was about it. I have always doted on my daughter’s hair. It’s a unique, auburn color and she’s really proud of it, which makes me happy. The thought of her tampering with it some day makes me cringe, and obviously, she felt the same way about me doing something to my hair.

image

As ladies, we tend to look at other  women and think, “I want THAT.” But do we look at ourselves from an outsider’s position? If we did, I bet we would dig ourselves more than we do. Odd, isn’t it.

So listen my dear, I don’t need to dye my hair an unnatural color to feel or look cool. You like me (and my hair) just as I am, and that’s pretty darn cool to me.

 

 

Be sure to bend.

Listen my dear, when you’re older, you’ll have a schedule that you’ll be the master of—yes, you! What you eat, when you sleep, where you go. It will all be in the palm of your hand. There’s great value in having a routine and being good to your body. You have work in the morning? Well, you get to bed at a decent hour. You’re starving? Well, better eat something filling.

Have control over your life, your schedule and how you take care of yourself and your home. But also, be flexible on when you can bend the rules. If you look at your life like a ruler (you know, the plastic kind you use in school), you can bend it a little and it will spring back to its straightened state. You bend it too much and it will break. Same is true in life, know how much you can bend…and by God, bend your ruler.

I once heard that you won’t remember the nights you went to bed early or you stayed in to do the laundry. Those things make you feel good; they make you feel productive, but they’re not memorable. (Unless you have some mean folding skills). What you remember is the time you spend with people you care about or enjoy—whether you’re doing interesting things or having interesting conversations.  Those are the memorable moments.

This morning I woke up and said, “Today, I clean.” Just looking at my wreck of a house made my skin crawl. Things weren’t put away, there were dirty dishes in the sink, and I felt plain poopy about it. “Once I get a few hours of cleaning in… THEN I can enjoy my day.” Well, through persuasion, what I ended up doing was not putting things away or doing dishes. My day was spent bopping around town, shopping, getting coffee and having lunch at a sports bar downtown with my husband.

As I was sitting at the bar drinking my $5 Long Island, I thought about all the things that I could be doing at home. And then I thought, “Well this is so much better than that!” (So Elle Woods to Warner re career success vs. hot-tub-fun after Winter formal). The dishes and the clothes can wait, but how often does a beautiful schedule-free day come along that you can enjoy with someone you love? Not often enough.

So listen my dear, keep your life in check. Be sure that you don’t have dirty dishes piled up high enough to interest the producers of “Hoarders”. But don’t let things like clothes, dishes or sleep (yes, sweet, beautiful, sleep) keep you from having memorable moments in your life.

 

 

New Year, New Life.

The confetti and the empty champagne bottles have been swept away, the horns no longer sounding. Though New Year’s Eve is now old hat, for me, that day remains a shiny, ever-present reminder of a new life. One that I’ve wanted for so long.

On New Year’s Eve I married a handsome man with big brown eyes and an even bigger heart. He loves me, he respects me, and that’s all I could ever want. Our wedding day felt like a fairy tale. But, you already know that because you were there. Yes, you…my daughter.

image

This blog, these posts are for you, my dear. You can read them now (I mean, your 7-year-old reading skills are pretty good). But these posts won’t really mean something to you until someday later.

You see, I gave birth to you at the ripe age of 21. You don’t know it yet, but I was a young mom (a cool mom). We’ve been through a lot together—you and me—and I want to thank you for your resiliency and strength. You’ve beautifully adapted to big changes in your life.

New Year’s Eve was one of those changes that marked the beginning of a new life for us. Our duo is now a trio. We’re a family, and I’m so happy to finally have that for you…and for me.

Throughout my life, I’ve learned lessons that have made me wiser. And when you’re wise, you’re strong. My hope is that by sharing some of my wisdom with you, you will be wiser and stronger, too. You’re already tough, but hey, why not be iron clad? So listen, my dear, it’ll all make sense one day. If not, humor me at least, please?

 

.