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Sunday, July 1, 2012

My Life Would Be So Much Easier If...

Here's a list, in no particular order, of some things I've thought of over the past, oh, say thirty-four years, that if they existed, I would have so much more time to Facebook, blog, eat ice cream, scrapbook, and otherwise slack off.

* kids who emptied their own pockets before putting clothes in the hamper (this wouldn't actually save me time cleaning out their pockets, but even more effectively, time cleaning out the lint trap in the dryer and those holes in the bucket of the washing machine)
* sunblock in either shot or pill form
* "fold" and "put away" buttons on the dryer
* pre-stamped envelopes (saving me time both from having to stick them on myself, and more importantly, from waiting in line at the freaking slower-than-molasses post office counter!)
* fashion advice that suggests it's cool to wear mismatched socks and wrinkly clothes (of course, the socks thing wouldn't be an issue if the "fold" button I mentioned earlier existed)
* auto refill on my wallet (I'm not asking for free money, but if some cash from my own account could just show up in my wallet once a week so I didn't have to stop at the ATM, that would be cool)
* self-cleaning houses, or at least toilets (seriously - they've figured this out for ovens, why stop there? I'd be more than happy to just leave my house and lock the door for three hours if it meant when I opened it back up, all I had to do was wipe out a little debris from the floor and everything would be sparkly clean)
* toy and baby gear return boxes at the grocery store (you know, like for soda cans? I'd pay a deposit when I buy them, but who has time for Craigslist or ebay to get rid of all of this???)
* "delete stupid, duplicate, or otherwise hideous shots," "organize," and "order prints" buttons on my camera. (I actually love the scrapbooking part so don't want to automate that, but I can't keep up with the first three parts to save my life!)
* a kitty-oomba, like the Roomba but I'm not greedy. No need for it to do my whole house, but I'd just like it to follow my cats around all day and vacuum up after them - their fur, the errant cat litter they shake from their paws *after* leaving the litter box, their shed claws, their food crumbs, and even the stray socks and other small laundry items my one cat insists on pulling out of the basement hamper and bringing back upstairs before it gets washed. I'd be willing to sacrifice a sock or tank top a day for this service!
* press on nail polish and/or chameleon polish so it automatically changes color to match your outfit
* the ability (and social acceptance to do in front of others) to pee from a fingertip (just imagine if you could take care of business a) without having to mostly disrobe each time and b) while talking to Grandma, stopped at a red light, or in the line at the post office in case those pre-stamped envelopes don't ever work out!)
* self-waxing eyebrows

I'm sure I'll think of more, so we'll consider this list a work in progress. :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

If You Give a Mom a Muffin (Or "A Day in My Life")

First off, I cannot take credit for this piece of literary genius. However, I couldn't not share it. In writing my last post, I remembered seeing this post from a friend (probably shared from someone else's wall who borrowed it from someone else) and thought just how true this really is!



To all my mom friends - you'll appreciate this! And if you haven't read any of Laura Numeroff's "If You Give a..." children's books , you should read one first before reading the following.

If you give a mom a muffin,
She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some.
Her three-year-old will spill the coffee.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she'll find dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
She'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her
she has to plan for supper.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She'll look for her cookbook
("101 Things To Do With a Pound of Hamburger").
The cookbook is setting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The checkbook is in her purse
that is being dumped out by her two-year-old.
She'll smell something funny.
She'll change the two-year-old's diaper.
While she is changing the diaper, the phone will ring.
Her five-year-old will answer and hang up.
She'll remember she wants to phone a friend for coffee.
Thinking of coffee will remind her
that she was going to have a cup.
And chances are...If she has a cup of coffee,
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

Not Listening Can Be Rather Dangerous

I know I am not a very good listener. (Shh - don't tell my therapy patients!) I blame it on my poor attention span. I have all intentions of listening when someone tells me something, but then I glance down at my shoes and notice how worn they are. And then I remember that coupon in my purse from Famous Footwear. And then I remember that my husband announced his plan to buy himself a gun if I buy another pair of shoes. And then I try to recall his schedule this week and figure out how I could sneak a new pair of shoes into the house when he's not home. Or I could leave them at work. What other pairs do I have here already? Then my nose itches, and I try to discreetly scratch it (just the outside! I am NOT a nose picker!!!). Then I realize that scratching isn't working and I really just need to blow it. But it's embarrassing to blow my nose in front of another person. Oh, wait. There's another person here. And she's looking at me expectantly. Should I nod and smile, grimace and frown, or just say the always safe, "Tell me more."

See - that's what I mean. It just happens. For all records (and professional reputation and liability), I am usually pretty focused and attentive in session with my clients. It's only 50 minutes, and I know that they are paying me big bucks (well, really, their insurance company is paying my employer piddly-squat) to really help them. And if I don't pay attention to what they are saying, I would be doing a really crappy job and that's just not how I roll.

Unfortunately, though, that means that I've used up most of my listening abilities by the time I leave the office. As much as I love him, I admit (and he knows it anyway) that my eyes gloss over when my husband starts talking to me about something that I need to really focus on (unless it's nail polish, celebrity gossip, or his sensible realization that getting a gun was a pretty stupid idea). In theory, I'm very interested about the stocks that we own shares in, the changes to our health insurance, what he needs to do to fix the washing machine, and the new toy he wants to purchase (which I can pretend to disapprove of but secretly like and use when he's not around - wait, just to be clear - I'm talking about things like Jeeps and wireless headphones and beer fridges. Get your mind out of the gutter - I was NOT talking about sex toys, although admittedly, when I look back, I can see why you might think that...). My kids often ask me things that I offer the stock answer to, only to then realize three minutes later that I wasn't listening and in fact just agreed to let them have a lollipop before dinner or take a picture of me in the shower. (Well, in my defense, the second one was really more due to my daughter's articulation difficulties, but I guess partly I wasn't listening closely enough and just agreed quickly so I could hopefully go back to my only 7 minutes of peace and quiet I get all day.)

While most of the time me not really listening is harmless enough, sometimes there are actual consequences. Like when I was a bartender in grad school and often forgot drink orders. Was it a gimlet or a gisbon? A Corona or a Corona Light? Thankfully, then, I had an amazing $2000/year stipend from my practicum position as a therapist trainee and didn't have to rely on a real job to buy my ramen noodles and Salvation Army finds. Another example of real consequences was when I was watching the video on how to use my new smartphone. Most of what I heard was "blah, blah, blah, blah, blah" with a few key important words peppered in, like "turning on the power," "retrieving voice mails," and "making a call." The damn thing didn't have a rewind or fast forward function, so I had to start the whole hour-long video over again and zone out until the part I wanted, only to then miss it again and start all over. Oy vey!

The most significant (and probably frequent) difficulty I've experienced, though, due to not listening, is quite catastrophic. Having had three babies and various other ailments (wait - does that sound like my kids are ailments? Well, sometimes, I might say they are...), I'm no stranger to doctor's offices. You'd think, with all of my experience, that I'd know by now how crucial it is to listen very very carefully when the nurse hands you the gown and begins to walks out the door. Of course whatever she's saying is important, and of course I never listen. I find myself, over and over and over, standing alone in the exam room, holding a gown, wondering two very important questions: 1) which, exactly, of my clothes did she say to take off, and 2) did she say to put the gown on with the opening in the front or the back? I never know! I've thought to bolt out the door and chase her down the hall to ask her, but then it'd be admitting defeat. Instead, I just take a gamble every time and make my best guess. It's pretty reasonable to expect that the dermatologist does not need my bra off to check a mole on my shoulder. It's also pretty reasonable that I should take it all off at the ob/gyn's. But seriously - at the PCP, when I know she'll do a breast exam AND check my spine, how can I be expected to remember if she wants the opening in the back or front??? I'm sure that on more than one occasion, I've had a doctor come in and giggle to herself when she sees that I stripped for nothing or put the gown on the wrong way. Well, I'm just doing my part to make their office lunch conversation a little more entertaining that day!

For all of us non-listeners out there, I think I'm going to start a public health campaign in my free time. I'll begin petitioning doctor's offices to hang up fancy posters in their exam rooms, with instructions (and pictures for those of us who get distracted while reading, too) on how to put on the gown and what articles of clothing to take off (and which to leave on) based on the type of exam you're having. Maybe the nurse could even stick a big arrow (think "Pin the Gown on the Patient") on the exact example that applies to you? I think there's big bucks in this, I'm sure! Much more than I get paid for noticing the way my patient's ears are slightly lopsided and that there's a spider's nest in the corner of my office, all while occasionally asking, "How does that make you feel," and nodding at the (mostly) right times. Riches, here I come!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Me and my neuroses, making Freud (if not my mom) proud...

My two oldest daughters spent last week with my mom. They had a great time, and so did Grammy. I missed them dearly, but it was nice to have one-on-one time with our littlest one. I felt so free - like back before I had kids! We went out to eat at a nice restaurant, I didn't have to do eight loads of laundry, tucking my girls into bed only took 1/3 of the time... It was great! And although I'm a somewhat controlling person (or so my mother tells me, anyway - solely based on the fact that I ask her to turn the lights off when she leaves a room and wipe the knife off when going from the peanut butter to the jelly jar), I was actually okay while the girls were away. I went a whole day and a half without talking to them once, and while it did take me slightly longer to fall asleep each night, I managed to not feel compelled to know what they ate and wore and saw each day.

However, the neuroses kicked in when we went to go pick them up this weekend. First off, my mom had commented during the week about how many clothes I had packed for them. At this point in my life, with going away at least once each month, every month and being solely responsible for packing my own and my three children's clothes, shoes, toiletries, stuffed animals, books, and other illicit items that we don't need to mention here, I consider myself a well-trained and, truthfully, professional packer. I don't just throw things into a suitcase willy nilly. Oh no - it's a process, complete with lists (paper and digital), designated bags, and prescription medication. I check the weather forecast. I count out how many days and nights we'll be gone. I allot one outfit for each day per person, assuming the weather forecast is correct, and then I throw in a couple of "just in case someone pees their pants or spills ice cream in their laps" back up outfits. I also add in some unseasonable items, you know, just in case it's 85 degrees in February (this is New England - you never know!). I also add in at least one or two (depending on which person I'm packing for, but I won't name names) extra pair of undies - again, just in case the unthinkable happens. I coordinate shoes with outfits, underwear colors with weight and color of pants fabric, accessories - I've got it all covered. So - I tried not to let it bother me, but the notion that my mother thought I over packed was upsetting (especially since, a) in her mind, this is further proof of my controllingness, and b) in my mind, she completely disregarded the time and painstaking effort I took to properly pack their bag. Oh, and not to mention that I was trying to do her a favor and save her from hours of laundry doing.)

So - we arrived on Friday night to stay for the weekend. The girls were reasonably clean and completely happy (both to have spent the week with Grammy and to see us again). Their room was fairly orderly, as was their suitcase. However, almost every single item I had packed for them was just that - still packed. There is an empty dresser in the guest room just for this purpose, but my mom said she just never got around to unpacking their clothes. So they lived out of the suitcase for the week. My mom did laundry (even though I told her that's why I packed all that I did - so she could avoid it) and apparently put the clean items right back into the suitcase. Really, in the grand scheme of things, I don't really mind that they lived out of a suitcase for the week. Honestly - I wasn't the one having to rifle through the piles trying to find the mischievous disappearing shirt or errant set of playground pants (yes, they really exist - check it out: http://www.target.com/p/monkeybar-buddies-girls-spandex-short/-/A-11230509#?lnk=sc_qi_detailbutton). What did bother me was that that then meant that I could either suck it up and continue to let them deal with living out of the suitcase for the weekend while we were there (meaning, I'd have to deal with it), or I could risk further proving Mom's hypothesis and unpack their clothes into neat and tidy rows in the dresser drawers. I bit my tongue, sent a quick prayer to Saint Monica, and unpacked just the bag I brought that day with my clothes and our youngest's.

We got home late last night, and I finally unpacked the girls' suitcase this afternoon. Again, my ugly yet well groomed neurotic head reared itself. Not having lived at home for over 12 years, I had forgotten how differently my mother and I do laundry. As I mentioned, she had done a load (or two?) of the girls' clothes, which I do appreciate. However, much like the differences in our personalities, there are vast divides between the way she does laundry and the way I do it. She line dries everything, for starters. I'm not implying here that her personality is crisp and bristly and devoid of any refreshing Bounty scent, but more on the free-spirited/natural side of things, even if it is a bit off the beaten path at times. She also folds shirts by bringing the shoulders together and folding the shirt in half length wise, then again width wise. I prefer to fold it in thirds - folding the arms and sides back behind the center, then folding it in half width wise. Basically, Mom doesn't mind a few wrinkles in her shirts, even if they are right down the center where everyone can see them, but I go to painstaking efforts (one step shy of stealing the folding board I see a sales associate using every glorious time I'm at The Gap) to make sure the wrinkles are off to the side and as unnoticeable as possible. And then there's the socks. This might possibly be the worst offense, in my opinion - even worse than the way she leaves the toilet lid up all the time, no matter how many times I've told her it grosses me out to see into the toilet whenever I happen to be in the bathroom (and the fact that I'm terrified one of my children will drop something into it just for fun or worse yet - stick their hand in to fish out said dropped item). Are you ready to hear about this egregious offense? You might need to sit down. My mother puts the socks together and turns one inside out around the other to make them into little sock balls. I know - you are stunned, too. How can she not realize that this stretches out the unfortunate sock that just happened to be on the outside? Does she not see the absurdity (and profanity) of having a drawer full of pastel colored, soft and fuzzy testicles, essentially? Does she not understand the ways in which these sock balls become instantaneously irresistible to any cat within a seven-mile radius, and therefore, often end up stuck in the nether regions of the couch, smushed into the catnip-loaded and rather hairy scratching pad, or carted off to the basement to become my sadistic cat's next "bitch?" These socks are doomed from the moment she slides her fingers inside to roll them up. Seriously, Mom, give them a sliver of hope, would you? Just stack the socks on top of one another and let them live free, for the love of God!!!

So - it took all I had in me (and admittedly, a promise to myself of ice cream later) to not rewash, redry, and refold all of the clothes she had done. I know, I know - rewashing seems a bit extreme, but really - how else could I make my girls' t-shirts and underwear get that wonderful fresh-out-of-the-washer smell? And yeah, redrying already dried clothes seems a bit frivolous, but how else can I get them to not stand up by themselves (even when they are clean!)? Refolding doesn't seem much less senseless, either - but again, how will I be able to sleep tonight, knowing that my sockless kids will be facing the world tomorrow with wrinkles front and center on their shirts?

But you'd be proud of me. I put on my big girl panties (which were quite soft from the dryer and folded neatly in my drawer in thirds so even those don't have a crease down the middle) and managed to deal with it. I put away all the girls' clothes without rewashing, redrying, or refolding a single item. Well, there was that one shirt, but even Freud needed years of working with someone to help them completely fix their neuroses... I'm okay with being a work in progress.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Too raunchy for Facebook, even

I was going to post this as a status update on Facebook, but then I thought better of it. I decided it's more appropriate for here, since hardly anyone reads this and certainly not my coworkers or my friends' grandparents who are too adorable and sweet to deny when they wanted to friend me on FB. So - here goes... Just a random sample of the random thoughts that go through my mind on a regular basis:

How is it that on the muggiest day of the year, I still manage to get a bloody nose? If only tampons came in "nose size..."

That's all. Good choice not to put on Facebook, right? I'm sure my own grandparents would agree.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Host of Bad Ideas

I kinda feel like this post should just be a list, but I know I owe it to my fans (okay, the one person who occasionally reads this blog out of Catholic guilt and her fear of getting unfriended if I find out she didn't...) to use some foo-foo words and colorful phrases to spice it up a bit. Let's face it - I can't afford to lose my one fan, so it's all about what you, bestie!

Today's post is aptly titled, "A Host of Bad Ideas." I'm not beating around the bush here - I admit I made a lot of poor decisions leading up to the Harpoon 5 miler race this past weekend. As you know (well, assuming you read my last post), my friend gave me about 67 minutes to think about my decision when she invited me to join in her "6-pack team" for this race a couple of months ago. I buckled under the pressure and said yes. Enter Bad Idea #1. As you also know, I was incredibly lazy, unmotivated, absorbed-in-the-mommy-porn trilogy, sick, and much more interested in consuming calories than burning them this winter, so I didn't train much for this run. #2. I caught what I suspect might be a sinus infection about two weeks ago and still haven't recovered. When I'm not coughing my innards out, I'm busy pulling an ab muscle or cracking a rib trying to sniff that elusive snot back into my nose before it sneaks out and drips onto my lap in the middle of an important work meeting, again raising suspicion that I might just need a 24/7 PCA. While this cold/possible-sinus-infection wasn't my fault, I never have been very good about taking care of myself and either preventing or recovering from various illnesses. #3.

Okay - blahditty, blah, blah. Now the good stuff. The next bad idea I had was to drive to Boston from Western Mass (2 hours) the night before the race, *after* I got the kids to bed. #4. Oops - and #4b - I waited to pack until after the kids went to bed, so when I theoretically could have been on the road by 8pm had I planned ahead and packed early, I didn't actually get in the car until 9:15pm. Got to my friend's apartment by 11pm, and stayed up for another hour chatting with her while smiling nicely and petting her two crazy dogs and two crazy cats and secretly cursing myself for a) only bringing black clothes with me and b) forgetting my lint roller. #5, 6, and 7. Fast forward to the next morning - race day! I got up at 7:45, got dressed, washed my face, cleared a space on the table of weeks old chocolate chip cookies, cat hair, and some unidentifiable soggy paper products, and settled in to eat my power bar and drink some chocolate milk (breakfast of champions, right?). Nope - my friend had other ideas. She guilted me into eating oatmeal. She runs quite a bit and she's always been much better at making healthy decisions than I have, so I caved and figured she knew what she was talking about. #8. Why didn't I remember, at that moment rather than two hours later as I was dragging myself toward Mile Marker 2, Quaker Oatmeal's claim to fame is that it sticks to your ribs? Had I remembered that at a more opportune time, I certainly would have known that eating it would not only top my list of bad ideas for this race, but it also would have enabled me to gleefully sing "I told you so..." to my friend while passing her doubled over on the side of the race route. Oh, well - they say "Hindsight is 20/20." They also say "Everyone's a Monday morning quarterback." And now, thanks to this horrific experiment, I know that they also say "Never eat rubber-cement-surpassing oatmeal on a day you need to move faster than an inchworm."

Just before we left the apartment and got into the cab, this same friend reminded me to put on sunblock. I thought she was being a little ridiculous - I wasn't planning on taking *that* long to finish the race, but I listened. Good idea, right? But the bad idea part was this - I didn't ask anyone to help reach the middle of my back - you know, that 1 1/2" section where no matter how hard you try to contort yourself, you just can't reach? And I didn't look in the mirror to really see just how much I was missing, but instead, I just naively assumed it was "close enough." Oh, and I didn't even think about my scalp.Yep - enter bad idea #9.

So - we get to the mayhem that was the race. I pee three times, down a cup of water, pee twice more, and scope out all the people in costumes. I couldn't help but feel bad for the Smurf team - why would they ever think blue face paint, blue-stockinged arms, and long white pants would be a good idea on what was supposed to be an 80+ degree not-a-cloud-in-the-sky day? Perhaps they are all now blogging their own "Bad Ideas" list... We check our bags, by which I mean we tied our three bags together, tossed them into the bigger-than-the-Titanic pile behind a table neatly labeled "Bag Check," and hoped for the best. (Thankfully, though - this doesn't have to be discussed as a bad idea. Turns out no one wanted our three ratty tied-together bags full of used deodorant, antibacterial wipes, melted and passed-over-for-the-spawn-of-Satan-oatmeal power bars, clean undies, and six tubes of chap stick... Phew!)

A bigger race that I've been in before had runners line up at the start line according to how fast they run - 8 minute miles here, 9 minute miles there, 10 minute miles back here, and people who didn't realize this was a race and just got in line to see what was going on but it's too late to get out now over there. This race's organizers, however, thought it made more sense for people to just aimlessly mosey on up to the start line in any grouping they chose. Yes, okay, fine. It was nice to stand in line with my friends, but once the race started, I realized I was in over my head. People were bolting past me while others engaged in some kind of I'm-not-really-a-runner-but-I-swing-my-arms-and-make-walking-look-pretty-fast-thing. I had no idea how to pace myself with such a wide variety of speed demons and Sunday drivers around. I should have either worn blinders, brought my trusty metronome, or just figured out some way to find a good speed for myself, regardless of what everyone else was doing. But I didn't. #10.

For the next bad idea on my list, a couple of things from my past come to mind and I guess a teensy bit of storytelling is in order to help those of you who do not live inside my head to understand it. So - we all know athletes are big into rituals. The pros do it, and if I ever cared enough to watch any professional sport I could cite examples here, but trust me when I say they do. In every sport I've ever played, I've had particular items of clothing that I wore for every game - they were my good luck charms and/or so ridiculous and ugly that they distracted the other team and gave me a slight advantage to make up for all that my athleticism lacked. In high school basketball, it was a certain pair of hot pink scrunch socks (it was indeed the early 90s, but even then they looked horrible with the team's red uniforms); in high school softball, it was a particular bra that gave my girls a little lift and just enough bounce to draw attention to them instead of the ball while I was running bases; and in college rugby, it was a hideous bright yellow turtleneck that I wore under my uniform, even in the hottest months. It seems, then, that bad idea #11 was not realizing that I should have a trusty piece of clothing for races, too... The other bad idea here is closely connected to this realization, and relates back to the nights I chose to read the 50 Shades of Grey books instead of getting my lazy butt on the treadmill and preparing for this race. #12. I joked with a friend that at least while I was walking in this race and hyperventilating from overexertion, I'd have some "entertaining" scenes from the book playing in my mind. Little did I know just how right I was - that I would be dying during the race, and that my mind would be miles and miles away from the task at hand at times... I bet you're still wondering, though, how the lack of ritual clothing and the X-rated book scenes related, you might ask? Well, good question... It seems, somehow, that had I had some ritual undies, not only would my luck had been better, but perhaps my endurance, too - as my running abilities were most certainly sabotaged by the permanent wedgie I experienced and the inability to fix it because I knew the people behind me would have seen it! As I tried to ignore it, I couldn't help but think of Christian salaciously whispering, "Oh Ana..." and then bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep!

Finally, the race was over. I had swallowed my pride and walked part of it, but I still managed to do all 5 miles in 54:35 minutes - that's less than 11 minute miles - and sprinted across the finish line for that glorious victory photo that I later realized was probably not being taken by a race employee but rather a creepy guy in a fisherman's vest who specializes in opportunism rather than photojournalism. #13. I met up with my friends and we quickly found our way to the beer tent. I did make myself drink a pint glass of water first, but then it was five beers in the hot sun with only a tiny bit of lettuce-disguised-as-a-salad and very undercooked ziti noodles with watery red sauce (the latter being loosely defined). Bad idea #14, #15, and #16, respectively. Attempting to again put on my own sunblock: Bad idea #17. Going to a restaurant after the party ended for some real food, in our race clothes, with our bibs still on: Good idea. Ordering more beer and getting into a very serious argument with someone I just met about the sex appeal of various South Boston actors, in South Boston. Bad idea #18. Happily hopping into a cab with no meter but really loud music and a fun-seeming cabbie who then threatened to call the cops because he thought we stiffed him when he jacked his quote by 20%: Bad idea #19. Trusting the same friend who convinced me that pre-race oatmeal was a good idea to now make me a post-race margarita: Bad idea #20.

I think I'm going to end it here. I'd prefer to come up with a few more so I could hit 25 bad ideas and go out with a bang, but I'd run the risk of just making stuff up and no one likes a liar. 20 is a nice round number, and honestly, aren't 20 bad ideas enough for one event anyway, isn't it??? Upon reflection, it seems kind of amazing that I survived that day, with only a slightly bruised ego from not being able to run it all, sore ribs from laughing so much, a sunburned scalp and middle back where I couldn't get the sunblock, and only one picture from the whole day because I begrudgingly left my camera at home for fear of a less-than-exemplary "bag check." If I do this race again next year, maybe I can shave this list down to 15 items or less on my Bad Ideas list? We all need goals in life, right?


Monday, May 14, 2012

Conspiracy

It's true - it was a conspiracy. I know I might sound a little paranoid, but honestly, how else can one explain it? I was so motivated today to get a good quality run in. About 8 weeks ago, I got roped into signing up to be part of a "6 pack" team for a 5 mile race sponsored by Harpoon Brewery (get it? 6 pack?) this weekend. It was a lottery, and my eternal optimist/very manipulative friend assured me we likely wouldn't even get selected, but they were one person down and they were desperate. I wanted to sleep on it and really make sure I was up to this - I haven't really been running since the fall, with a few minor and awkwardly-executed encounters with the treadmill interspersed here and there. Of course, being the friend that she is, my dear chum told me she needed my answer in two hours. Nope, I'm not kidding. However, never one to let my friends down (even if it means selling my soul to the devil and/or embarrassing myself as I crawl to the beer tent after the race I had no business even attempting to run), I begrudgingly told her I was in. I secretly crossed my fingers, though, and hoped and prayed (yes, I honestly did ask for Divine Intervention here) that we wouldn't get selected.

Of course, karma doesn't work that way, and apparently, neither does God. I must have been very very bad in a former life and/or God really does see everything and he knows about the many times that I have fallen asleep during the homily - our team was chosen for the race. Too late to back out - they had my credit card number, my t-shirt size, and my two free beer tickets. What's a girl to do???

So - that was about 8 weeks ago. Since then, I think I've run twice. Yep - I had good intentions, but work was hectic and I had to take stuff home, home was hectic and I had to take stuff to work, and it was cold and rainy and just gross (and that's just my leaky basement I'm talking about where the treadmill is; outside was certainly no better). Then it got to about 3 weeks before the race, and I realized I really need to get on this if I stood any chance of not making a complete fool of myself. Out of our 6 pack team, I don't even know two of the people! One person is my friend's sister, and both she and my friend are cute and energetic and they could look good and have fun rolling around in dog poo. The other person is a friend of mine, who is now an officer in the Marine Corp! Yikes!!! No pressure for me, clearly... The longest race I've done yet is a 5K (3.2 miles) - and I've only done two of those! I've run 5 miles maybe twice in my life. Ever. Pardon my french, but I am sure I'm fu%#ed!!!

Endlessly chastising myself, I knew it was time to start taking this seriously! At the three week mark, I finally dragged myself out of bed at the butt crack of dawn and stumbled my way onto that damn treadmill. (It might have had something to do with my new resolution that I would only allow myself to eat ice cream on days that I worked out, and we all know how I feel about ice cream... Regardless - it worked!) Woo hoo!!! I felt pretty good, and even better later that night when I got an email from Harpoon Brewery reminding me that the race was fast approaching and asking if I'd run that day! (How did they know?) I emailed them right back and said, "Why yes, I did!" (I'm still waiting for their reply saying "Of course you did! That email was sent to you in error - we have no doubt about your commitment to this race or your motivation in your training schedule! You're doing great!")...

So, life is good: I'm getting ready for my race, I'm allowed to eat ice cream that night before bed, and I'm feeling pretty proud of myself. And then it happened. Someone told me about 50 Shades of Grey. This can and will be a whole other post in and of itself, but suffice it to say that I've been a bit distracted since starting that trilogy. I have been staying up waaaaaayyyyy too late reading the books, and it's kind of hard to find the snooze button and mumble "Screw You!" with only three hours of sleep, much less to actually get out of bed and run a few miles! Christian Grey is hot and all, but honestly, he's not doing much for my training. He has, however, been kind enough to give me a temporary pass on running as long as I spend that time with him, and he's even lifted my self-imposed ban on ice cream on days I didn't work out. (Hmm - it's all coming together - he's part of this conspiracy!!!)

Okay - fast forward to now. The week before the race. I'm still absorbed in the books and breaking my ice cream rule almost every night, but somehow, the race date keeps getting closer and closer. I am notorious for procrastinating, but I guess there isn't really any way to cram for a 5 mile race, is there? It's not like pulling an all-nighter the night before can help (although I likely will because I'm so close to finishing Book 2! I can't leave Christian hanging while I go off and run some silly race...).

So - the race is in six days. I know my body and even when I'm in great shape, exercising on consecutive days is not a good idea, so that leaves me three times to run between now and race day! Yikes!!! Last night, I was full of resolve - today would be the day! Last night, I set my alarm for 4:42am (with enough cushion in there for two snoozes), and even managed to tear myself away from Christian by 12:30am. 4 1/2 hours of sleep isn't ideal, but beggars can't be choosers, now can they? Off to la la land I went. And then 4:42 came. And went. And 4:51. And 5:00. And somehow, even though I was alert enough to properly operate the snooze button, my brain didn't actually register what was happening until 5:36. Yep - way too late to get up then and do anything productive. I felt bad, but really - can I honestly be held responsible? I wasn't even conscious!!! I quickly told myself I'd just run in the evening after the kids go to bed, and then I promptly reset my alarm for 5:42. (Six minutes may not seem like much, but when you're as chronically sleep deprived and/or narcoleptic as I am, you'd be amazed what you can do with that amount of time!)

I finally got up and made my way to the shower. While there, I had a brief moment of insanity and contemplated bringing running clothes with me to work and sneaking out an hour early to run before coming home. However, my superego kicked in somewhere between burning my eyes with face wash (for the 87th time) and nicking my knee with my "nick-free" razor (for the 78th time), and I realized what a ridiculous idea that was. Granted, most of the students have left the area and most of my coworkers don't venture out of the building in the daylight, but could I really risk having someone see me? I wasn't worried about getting busted for running on work time (of all offices, shouldn't one like mine understand? We tell our patients day in and day out how important it is to take care of themselves!). Nope - I had bigger potatoes to fry. Like what would I look like walking from my office to my parking lot in running clothes, carrying my fancy work bag, my rain boots and umbrella from a wet commute this morning, my lunch bag, and another bag full of my work clothes? And in the off chance that I did see someone I know, how awkward would it be for them to see me in my running clothes? (Remind me to post some day about the time my boss showed up from vacation to a work-sponsored ice cream social wearing spandex bike shorts and a mesh bike shirt, or the time he came to my office for a morning meeting in his biking clothes and a coworker saw him leaving and thought to herself, "Oh, how nice. Melissa is seeing a transgender client." Moral of the story: work people + non-work clothes = awkwaaaard.) Oh, and last but not least, I'm fairly certain I would have gotten lost trying to find a running route around my work. Or I wouldn't have gotten lost, but ended up running the same short route five times to get the distance I wanted without the fear of ending up somewhere from which I had no idea how to get back.

Okay - so I finally succumbed to the reality that I was going to have to run after work today, after the kids got to bed. Miraculously, they were in bed relatively early (7:25, but who's counting), and I even had enough energy left to change out of my work clothes and into my running clothes. I played a few quick rounds of WWF, said a way too brief hello to Christian, and then I was up and on my way to the basement. I am going to do this!!!

So - we have a tv in the basement, but the speakers are crappy on it and it doesn't really go loud enough to be heard over the treadmill (of course, when sitting in the living room on the first floor while someone else is on the treadmill, I can hear every word perfectly). So I decided to test out my new earbuds, arm band phone holder, and music on my phone. However, staring at a cinder block wall and shelves and shelves of unorganized "storage" isn't nearly entertaining enough, so I decided to have the tv on mute just for something to look at. Due to some confusing and certainly unnecessary changes by the FCC a few months ago, the only way we can watch cable on the basement tv is by watching the same channel that is on the tv in the living room. Okay - no big deal - I would just find some cheezy 90s movie on demand and be good to go. Well, here's Data Point #1 that there was a conspiracy: our DVR was already recording two programs and I couldn't watch anything from on demand. My choices were, then, to watch a show that I didn't want to see yet, or a show that my husband is recording and I could care less about. Ugh. Fine - I set it on the I-could-care-less-about-this show and off I went.

I got my ear buds in without too much damage to my ear drums or my self-esteem, and I was running. Then Data Point #2 came along: My phone (which admittedly this is the first time I've used for running music) somehow got stuck on repeat. I battled and battled (and almost fell of the treadmill), but finally got it working. Phew.

Then - you guessed it - Data Point #3: The show that I could really care less about ended. No big deal, except what replaced it was even worse. Some unheard of talk news show - about things I could care even less about than the show I could care less about that my husband was recording. And, Data Point #3b - because of the way we have the tv rigged up, I can't change the channel without going upstairs and doing it from the main tv. So it was just me and the news, chillin' in the basement. But at least I had my music to keep me entertained.

Enter Data Point #4: My phone stuck it's fingers in its ears, squinted its eyes shut, stuck out its tongue, and said, "Na na na na boo boo." I don't really know what it did, but basically, it stopped playing music. Either I wasn't technologically skilled enough and/or not physically coordinated enough to try to figure it out without injuring myself, so I finally gave up and tossed my phone onto a nearby pile of clothes I've been meaning to donate to the Salvation Army for the past three years. Oh well, at least I could unmute the tv and maybe learn something about the big bank blunder pas that I still didn't really care about. It was better than silence, though.

And then my pants started falling down. Data Point #5a. I tried tightening the drawstring, but in my attempt to untie it while still running, I managed to tie it in a knot. Data Point #5b. Desperate times call for desperate measures, though, and I somehow was able to reach a clothespin from the nearby clothesline and MacGyver my pants so they stayed up well enough and at least didn't trip me or make me moon whomever might have been so unfortunate to be peering in my basement windows at that tine (I know you're out there, you creep!).

Life was certainly giving me lemons, but I was making lemonade, dammit! I could do this! I was determined to run today (and truthfully, getting pretty scared about race day), so I made it work. And then Data Point #6 happened and it was the end of the road. All this movement that my body is so unaccustomed to took its toll. Apparently, my insides got jealous, and they decided that if my outside was moving, well, so should my insides. Now I understand why marathon runners poop without stopping and just let it fall out of their shorts - there's a lot on the line when you're in a race. I don't get how pooping is adaptive to the survival of our species in the whole "fight or flight" theory, but I guess it has a function somehow. However, I was not that interested in finding out... As dedicated as I was to getting a good run in today, I am not so dedicated that a) I would willingly poop my pants, b) I would be willing to put the treadmill on a speed of .1 mph and mop the poop off the belt as it cycles by, or c) that I could ever live with myself knowing that I even contemplated being willing to do either of those things. So - that was it. My time was up, and my run was done. I did manage to get in a decent 2.37 miles at least, and while it's not quite the 3 or 4 miles I was hoping for, it's at least a start.

All in all, I can't say today was a total wash. I will consider this to be what I like to think of as a "teachable moment" and it will encourage me to try harder for Wednesday. Namely, I'm planning to:
1. Ban Christian Grey from my Kindle at 11pm Tuesday.
2. Move my alarm clock across the room so I have to get up (and hopefully gain consciousness) to shut it off.
3. Delete my husband's DVR selections so I can pick something good to watch.
4. Figure out my phone so a) it's not on repeat and b) it doesn't lock me out mid-run.
5. Find a way to either hook up external speakers to the crappy basement tv or hold the tv in my arms while running so it's close enough that I can hear it.
6. Forgo pants all together so I don't run the risk of having droopy drawers and/or falling off the treadmill while trying to get a clothespin and act out my inner MacGyver (both of which would be incredibly awkward and uncomfortable while holding the tv, mind you).
7. Not even look at a spec of fiber or eat a single raisin between now and then.

I think I've got a good plan in place. And really, what's the worst that can happen? If all else fails, at least there's one more run after that one to really get serious about training for this race! :) 

Friday, May 4, 2012

While we're on the subject...

Since we're talking about boobs... Well, since I'm talking about boobs... What's with grown women wearing unlined, unpadded bras when they know they are particularly subject to the deer in the headlights phenomenon? Seriously, I get that it's cold in New England, I do. But all the more reason to bundle up, especially "the girls!" Maybe when you're 22, slutting it up at the bars and trying to find someone to hook up with, perky pokey nipples are appropriate and even strategic, but when you're in a professional setting, say giving a presentation to colleagues, frost detectors aren't exactly welcome guests. I don't mean to sound judgmental here, but just a couple of pointers (no pun intended. Well, sort of...): 1) Wear a bra. 2) Wear a bra with some support. 3) Wear a bra with at least two layers of fabric in the key areas, or padding. 4) If you must go braless or really can't bring yourself to buy a padded or lined bra, at least, for the love of God, wear a shirt with a pattern or print on it!

And what about colored bras under see-through shirts? Again, somewhat acceptable at frat parties and strip clubs (maybe those aren't such different venues?), but not so much at the doctor's office, the grocery store, or the library. Maybe I'm getting old, but I just don't get it. Lingerie is not an accessory and isn't designed to be seen - at least not by complete strangers and in public places. Whatever happened to leaving something to the imagination? And to make matters worse, what about the girls who wear nasty ratty beat up bras and show them off through their ill fitting and/or see-through shirts? Is that due to poor hygiene and/or a lack of a mirror by the door to "check yourself before you wreck yourself" or is it just due to poor judgement and delusional thinking that that actually looks sexy and good? I just can't figure it out, but it's late and I'm not at work. I'll save figuring out this Eighth Wonder of the World for Monday morning, when I can get paid to engage in such a useless (and hopeless) pursuit of knowledge (of course, that word being very loosely defined!)...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Growing Up Is Hard To Do

Well, apparently, it's all downhill from here. I knew bad things happened to women in their 30s, but I've made it to 34 and only seen a couple fine lines around my eyes, three grey hairs, and a teensy hint of a dimple in my rear. Yesterday, though, was a big day for me in the "getting old" department. I did two monumental things, the significance of which I think no woman younger than 30 and/or not a mother would understand, and certainly nothing a man would understand. First, I gave up all hope that my boobs were going to get bigger. I am under no delusion that I was ever "big chested" - don't get me wrong. However, for  almost the past 6 straight years, I've been either pregnant or breastfeeding (and sometimes both), and "the girls" had reached a comfortable status in life. But just like Cumby's Free Coffee Fridays and the social acceptance of going to class in your pajamas, I guess all good things must come to an end eventually. After weaning my youngest daughter last fall, I was amazed at how quickly my melons shrunk. And when I say shrunk, I don't just mean returned to their pre-pregnancy/pre-lactating size. Oh no - I couldn't be that lucky. My modest melons turned into little lemons. They went right past pre-motherhood size and kept on going. They didn't stop to collect $200 - they skipped Go and returned right to their me-as-an-awkward-and-late-developing-14-year-old-girl size. Seriously. At first, I was hopeful that this was just a temporary deflation caused by my milk drying up and that eventually, all that ice cream and cheese I eat would find its way to the appropriate spots and make my boobs a little fuller (and, if it worked out, my butt a little rounder while I was at it). Alas, though, this was not the case. Oh, I certainly tried - diligently eating bowl after bowl of full fat ice cream, but to no avail. The ladies are small - there's no doubt about it. In fact, they honestly aren't much bigger than the man boobs I noticed on that slightly overweight middle aged man I saw jogging on my way to work this morning who I almost hit because I was trying to get closer to tell if he really was a man or a woman. At least I can wear a push up bra, though, and take advantage of the modern marvels of wire digging into my rib cage, foam that is so dense it's actually heavy and uncomfortable, and lace that does more in skin irritation than it does sex appeal. So - I put on my big girl panties (on my no-thanks-to-ice-cream-less-than-shapely-rear) and kicking and screaming my way out of denial, dragged myself to the lingerie department.

I have to admit, I was insulted by the "Barely B" sizes. Really? Is that supposed to make me feel better about myself? Why don't they just call it the "Not Quite Big Enough" or "Itsy Bitsy" or "You'll Never Amount to Much" size? I'd rather have the letter A in my size and qualify it with something promising and glamorous like "A and Then Some" or "Bigger and Better Than Your Average A" than have a "barely" in the description of anything that refers to my boobs. Oh, well. No one at Maidenform or Bali asked me about marketing ideas, so I ended up just having to go with the options available. I cut off the tags as quickly as possible and spent countless minutes trying to smudge that strangely rubberized and quite durable print they use on the insides to remind you just how small you really are. I'm not the type for plastic surgery, but I just wish God would be a little more appreciative of all the good I used these former sippy cups for and throw me a bone here! Until then, though, I guess me, my shiny new albeit labelless bras, and my mom-of-three-well-fed-kids-sized knockers will just wait patiently and hope that someday, the world will right itself and all these bowls of ice cream will catch up!

The second very grown up thing I did yesterday was see a dermatologist about my not-so-glowing skin. Again, great in pregnancy, not so great now. I had mostly decent skin growing up, and fortunately seemed to pass through the awkward teenage years with only a few potential-date-chances-ruining, school-picture-retake-requiring zits. In fact, for most of my young adulthood, people have frequently complimented me on my skin. It wasn't until pregnancy, though, that that changed. While I did, fortunately, enjoy that getting-fatter-and-more-bloated-by-the-minute prenatal glow for most of the time, I did have scary break outs in the first trimester with all three pregnancies. In fact, it was so obvious the first time around that with my second and third pregnancies, that was one of the first signs I was pregnant. No peeing on a stick necessary - just take note of the pimply break outs (along with the Yoo Hoo and fried eggs cravings), and it was a dead giveaway. After my third first trimester passed, though, I assumed that was it. No more pregnancies, so no more gross skin, right? Well, somehow, my pores haven't gotten that memo. It was so bad one recent week that I even peed on a stick! For various reasons that I really don't need to go into and it would be really awkward and uncomfortable for both of us if I did, I was fairly certain that I was not pregnant. However, my skin was so bad that I figured that was the only possible explanation. Turns out, I got a BFN, but nonetheless, the zits decided to make themselves quite comfortable and invite a few friends, too. In one particularly painful episode, one pimple was so large that a coworker (who is, admittedly, not exactly known for his tact) cornered me and asked if I had a bug bite on my forehead. It was then that, for the first time since 7th grade, I contemplated cutting bangs. Fortunately I talked myself out of such a drastic measure, but the pimple was quite obnoxious and embarrassing. It stuck around so long, though, that it got to the point where I just had to embrace it. I named it Leroy, and when making plans for a ladies night with some friends, I asked them if it would be okay if he tagged along. What else could I do? All the hating I could muster and Noxema pads I could find certainly weren't having much of an effect on him. In fact, he just laughed in my face (well, on my face, I guess) and invited his twin brother Larry to come visit. Ugh!

It was after Leroy and Larry's seemingly endless visit that I decided I needed to take measures into my own hands. I threw out my basic Oil of Olay moisturizer and shelled out a week's paycheck for the Olay Regenerist serum. I also stopped being quite so lazy that my previously cooperative skin had encouraged and started washing my face every night before bed. It didn't matter, though - they still kept coming. That's when I knew it was time - I had to seek professional advice.

So - yesterday, I saw my dermatologist. He was not surprised at all to hear about my uninvited guest woes, and in fact, assured me that this condition was quite common for "women my age." (I'm not sure if that was meant to be insulting or not, but he's a nice guy so I think probably not. And really, I'm only 34... There's not much to be insulted about yet!) Anywho, I've decided to start a medication for it. He says it's hormonal (gee, what isn't hormonal about being a woman???) and this medicine should do the trick. I sure hope so because I'm ready to break up with Leroy and all his self-centered, attention-seeking friends. i guess we'll see how it works...

Well, even though Free Coffee Fridays, almost-respectable sized boobs, and clear skin seem to be days of the past, there is a silver lining in this cloud. As I was reading the patient information insert that came with my new "women your age" acne medication, I saw that due to its testosterone-blocking properties, one potential side effect is an increase in breast tissue. Needless to say, I've got my fingers crossed!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Posts

Maybe my creative juices have dried up? I am 34, after all. Maybe I've surpassed my snarkiness prime? I haven't blogged in a while because I just don't know what to write. Well, that, and I haven't been able to stop playing Words With Friends long enough to string a word of more than seven letters together at any given time, much less multiple words. But seriously - where did all my creativity and irreverance go? I guess I'm going through a dry spell. I sure hope it doesn't last seven years.

So - let me see what I can come up with. I'm hoping by posting something today - anything - it will help get said juices flowing again and help me get my snojo (snarky mojo, to all you irascibility virgins out there) back. Hmmm...

*thinking*

*still thinking*

*come on come on come on something snarky and blogworthy has to be in there i know it is just come on out*

please?

Okay - I've got something. It's weak, but I'm out of practice. It's all I've got. Take it or leave it.

Who decided to make toothpaste blue? Secondly, who decided to make bathroom sinks white? Seriously - did anyone not see this coming? No matter how obsessive and/or compulsive one is or how good of aim one has (with toothpaste to toothbrush application, spitting, and the post-brush wipe down while simultaneously trying not to pay attention to that invisible crust you feel, too), it's physically impossible to get it all out. That little hole (you know, the one that is supposed to help you out in case you lose all of your faculties and/or abandon your previously-clutched-to-with-all-your-might environmentalist morals and walk away from the bathroom while leaving the faucet on full blast and the drain plug, which never actually makes a complete seal, anyway, plugged) is the worst culprit of all! It's like a little blue toothpaste magnet (well, that and shedded hair, earrings or other small valuables, and miscellaneous fuzzies that we won't ever ever think where they might have come from). Not only does it attract toothpaste like it's its day job, but it is so small and oddly shaped that it's impossible to get said toothpaste refuse out. Even with a sponge, a q-tip, a toothpick, or your unsuspecting partner's toothbrush. So - where does this age old blue vs. white dilemma leave me? The way I see it, I essentially have two options. 1: I could realign my priorities and decide that a clean sink is worth green-fuzzy-feeling, wooly-sweater-wearing teeth, or 2: start shopping compulsively for white whitening toothpaste and hope it works on my sink as well as my uber shiny, squeaky clean, sweaterless teeth. I'm leaning toward door #2 (probably no surprise, since it gives me a good excuse to go shopping!), but with the right persuasion, I could probably come over to the dark (but non-blue sink) side. What's your vote?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I have basic needs

I'm not gonna lie - I'm a little pissed off that no one commented on my super cute new hat. The receptionists in my office almost always compliment my outfit and/or accessories, but for the past two days when I've come in with my new winter hat, they've said nothing. Does that mean they think it's hideous? I don't know that I trust their fashion sense anyway, but still - what am I to make of their silence??? Even the couple of other people I've seen haven't said peep about it. My husband said, "That's a silly hat. Err - I mean 'festive.'" Whatever - I'm used to comments like that from him. At least he noticed it, and for that, he gets points. (Hey - he's a guy - there's a steep grading curve for them because they are all so fashionally challenged.) But I am kind of annoyed that none of my usual fans complimented me on it.

I guess that's to show that I need reinforcement. Of course I like to think I'm an independent, self-confident woman, which generally I am. But who doesn't like a compliment every now and then? As I've said before, I write this blog for my fans, I post irreverent Facebook updates to humor others, and while I don't choose my outfits or accessories to please others, I do like it when they comment about my selections. I think this is healthy - reacting and responding to social cues and reinforcement. Professionals in my field might call this having an "external locus of control," and sure, everything is best in moderation and I think I have a fair amount of an internal locus of control, too. However, I am clearly someone who could not happily exist in a vacuum. I need other people - both to feed my sense of curiosity and fill my daily quota of people watching and subsequent snarky commentary, but also to give me feedback about how I'm doing in the world. Am I nice to others (at least to their faces), do I do good work, do these shoes make my feet look fat, do I have a fuzzy on my back, etc? The world is about interaction and relationships, and dammit, when people don't tell me they love my new hat (or I think I'd be okay even if they said they hated it - something, anything will do!), I just feel all alone and sad. So please, if you're reading this and you see me sporting my new (and might I say awesome) winter hat, please tell me how cute it is! I knew I could count on you. And as for my damn coworkers - poo on them. See if I comment on their matching argyle socks and sweater next time, or their corduroy pants and horizontal striped shirt that clearly should not be worn together. I won't even pretend to notice them, much less like them. So there.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hi. My name is Melissa, and I am a poor follow-througher.

Okay - that might be an understatement. Of the year. Well, it's only the fourth day of the year, so let's go with of the decade... Anyway - as I just said, I am a poor follow-througher. (Now you say, "Hi Melissa." Then I go on and on about my problem - see below.) Perhaps you've never been to a PFTA meeting before, though, so let me say a little more about my problem. You see, I start things and don't finish. I think I've written about this previously, but just in case you missed it, I wanted to reiterate the fact and point out what is clearly obvious. I do not keep up with most things I begin. This is different than quitting (that's another meeting and they have copyrights to their name, so please be careful not to confuse the two - they get very angry...). Quitting is more of a conscious decision to stop doing something. Failure to follow through, however, is much less conscious and kind of just happens. For that reason, I think it's a tougher demon to battle. How can you fight something you don't even know is happening? It's like trying to prevent a unibrow by plucking stray eyebrow hairs before they even come through the skin. You can certaily poke around with the tweezers and look for them, but more than likely, you'll just end up with blotchy red skin and a couple of scratches, and in a day or two, that damn unibrow will be in full form without you even realizing it until the lady in front of you at the slower-than-molasses-post-office-line can't stop staring. Clearly, it's much easier to wake up every morning, march to the bathroom, and arm yourself with tweezers and flourescent lights bright enough to whiten your teeth, and check to see if your unibrow is there. If so, quit letting it grow and pluck the damn thing. Ultimately, this was a very long winded way of illustrating my point that it's much easier to quit something than it is to stop following through on it. But I didn't mean to go there. If there are any quitters reading this (and you haven't quit reading already), I don't mean to offend you or sound like I'm saying my problem is worse than yours. It's just that it really is. And it's damn hard to fix.

The last time I blogged was in August. Of last year. Five months ago. That's pathetic, to say the least. Wait - maybe I'm being too hard on myself? I have changed my status updates on Facebook pretty regularly. I think of those as mini blogs - or at least they are in the way I use them. I have no desire to bore my Facebook friends with my daily to do list that I never accomplish and then whine about, generic "Happy Holidays" wishes in attempts to try to be respectful of all of my friends (Christian, Jewish, and Athiest alike), vague and so desperately calling for attention posts about mysterious happenings in my life that I'm not going to elaborate on but want you to ask me about anyway, or with my current geographical location that I know you could care less about. Instead, I use my Facebook status updates to air out the random thoughts that go through my mind. I don't know what else to do with them, and I'm sure if I tried actually having a conversation with people about some of these things, they'd look at me strangely and start to slowly back away with very polite yet simultaneously terrified smiles on their faces. And shortly thereafter, my kids would be escorted to their new family by Social Services, my clients would all stop showing up, and my boss would want to have a "friendly chat." Eek. As you can see - it's not often a good idea to share these muslings of mine with people in the real world, so I take a far safer approach of posting them to all my friends, in writing, on the internet (from which we know things can never really be deleted), right below my full name and hometown.

But - I digress. My Facebook status updates are certainly important (and even entertaining, I hope!), and could be elaborated into full blog posts if I took the time and saw things through (are you picking up on my theme yet?), but I didn't, and now my blog has been inactive for so long I'm surprised it's actually still here. I must get better at this. I must, I must, I must increase my b... Wait - sorry - wrong post.

Okay - so back on task. I was writing about following through and keeping up with things I start. I do try. I really do. I have the best intentions, and I tell myself "this time will be different." I get these great big ideas and I have to start them, whether it's blogging, or rearranging the furniture in my office, or giving myself a home pedi at midnight on a Tuesday. I go in in a fury - with so much energy and motivation that I worry I'll break something, but then I don't know what happens. I lose interest, or I hit a roadblock, or some other great big idea comes along and I get busy doing that one... Sometimes I stick with things for a little while, other times a bit longer, but eventually, I stop following through on almost everything that doesn't pay me, keep me alive, or scream and yell at me to keep it alive. At least there's that, I guess. I think I'm a decent employee (or at least I fake it well enough not to get noticed), I manage to feed and groom myself (admittedly, some days are certainly better than others), and I think I am a pretty good mom. Oh, and I've been married for almost 9 years, and with that same man for 7 1/2 years before that. But really - I can't take all the credit there... We were living together for most of that time, and it would have been too complicated to just stop following through on a relationship - you know, having to deal with separating our finances, learning how to take out my own trash, and figuring out a way to get all my electronics set up and in working condition. And if you're reading this, dear, ignore all of that and know that I didn't quit you because I love you. Truly.

So - here I am. Five months after last posting in this blog, and I'm trying to get back into it. Who knows how long this attempt will last - maybe a few weeks, a month, a few months? I guarantee there will be future lapses, though, so don't hold your breath. If you are the type of person who needs dependability, stability, and predictability, you are in the WRONG place, buddy. And seriously - you're freaking boring! Live a little, would you??? Anyway - I will give this try my all and try to stick with it. I know my loyal fans are eagerly awaiting more posts from me (and by "fans," I mean Lori), and I can't let them (err - her) down. As we celebs always say, "I owe it all to my fans. It's them who keep me going!" Ditto.

So here's to new plans. Or renewed plans. I will be a better follow-througher. Will you please be my sponsor?