Thursday, September 25, 2014

Courage, Confidence or Crap

Tonight I am awarding myself with the Mediocre Mom award. It's the prize you give yourself when:
  • your kid has been home sick and plugged into an electronic device instead of being given any real loving attention.  
  • you've been on the phone most of the day, mostly catching up with friends about the confusion you are suffering under after a magical whirlwind weekend that your to-do list couldn't accommodate. 
  • You impatiently sprinkle lavender on the pillow and sent the poor kiddo to sleep with a YouTube meditation
  • Barely make it to your laptop, glass of grapes in hand, only to find out the Internet is broken because EVERYBODY is trying to stream the season premiere of SCANDAL.
I try not to down the wine like it's last call and give up on the streaming. The soft frustrated teary sniffles of the kiddo summon me. Off of the elliptical (everybody streams TV with wine and a workout, right?), and I report for duty. She cries it out, I suck it up and before you know it, she is super snoozing.

I've got a Godzillion things I could do and be productive or creative or both. But I don't wanna. Getting shit done is not compelling to me tonight. I'm fucking drained. I'm spread thin and flavorless like ketchup and water passing as soup. Long story short- I have to admit that I am keeping myself busy, engaging in fabulous, rewarding, smart-as-shit activities and adventures to be a good mom, a good steward, a good daughter, a good friend, a good employee, while building a handful of careers and feeding my soul with creative pursuits and magic as often as possible- to avoid the potential for finding myself lonely. The rub is that given the opportunity to connect on an adult level, let alone an an intimate sense - I'm burnt. I'm running on cheap fuel and it's low at that. My energy is being rationed.  
Like most red blooded humans with more social media accounts than fingers,  I consume the prayerful, grateful, motivating media so I know what to do: eat organic, run, surf, pray, ask the universe for whatever you want and get over yourself and get out of the way. Guess what? That shit takes time, more than that it requires focus and attention. I'll get to it, just not today.

Thanks for reading all the way through this excuse to feed two birds with one worm - writing and whining with wine.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Things I Said... Things I'll Do

When Mama was still a new name for me, I planned (based on how awesome my nephew was as a 2nd grader) to take a year off and travel the world with my daughter. I would have the money saved, we would put lie as lived it day to day on ice and hit the road!

This wasn't an original idea for me, this plan to go east in order to land west. I had first laid the ground work for it in the months before I found myself pregnant...I'd had it all worked out: I would buy a Ducati Monster (I was really hot for the Uma Thurman in Kill Bill II look), haul ass across the lower 48 then grow wings with an around the world airfare from JFK. I would globe-trot across Europe, the Middle East and Asia before I landed in Sydney where I had visions riding off into the sunset as an expat adventurer. Oh no, no, no... Apparently the Fates had other plans...

For me, taking on the title of Mama included potentially rearranging my dreams, not abandoning them. So world travel would require additional funding to cover the cost of my traveling companion. The good news is that my Daredevil Daughter adores traveling and has a talent for it.  At 17 months old she was a champ when a code red terrorist alert cancelled our transatlantic flight, forcing me to strong arm (verbally, of course) an airline employee into rescheduling us on another airline flying into a Heathrow that was closed save for the tents and toilets accommodating thousands of stranded travelers. Still not 10 years old and she's weathered multiple long hauls, red eyes, rushed transfers and the self-righteous with the aplomb of one far older. Next month she will take her first flight as an unaccompanied minor. She was shining star when I gave her Street Cred 101 as we walked through Hell's Kitchen at dusk, so I am sure she won't have any problems.
The best news is that she is every but as awesome as my nephew when he was a kiddo. This eliminates the first obstacle to my double top not so secret plan for us to touch as many spots on the globe as possible. How much it really cost? How many places can we land and not have to spend on accommodation? How do we manage in undeveloped areas as a single mom with a girl?

What do you think? Where would you go? Where would you stay?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Real Talk- It's Your Vagina Honey

This article touches on topics that are near and dear to me. They always have been, whether I was aware of it or not. Decades later I have funny stories to share that get a giggle to relieve the pain. It's optional suffering that went along with it that I want to spare my daughter. Reading articles like these both give me hope that we are making some progress and give me pause - to take catch the breath taken away by the reports of how women continue to be treated the whole world 'round.

and then you read articles like this...

what i call Cop out with yore cock out! 5 points that could be summed up with- the very essence driving my entire gender is something outside my control, removed from my influence. My response- WHAAA! Not so great explanation- no excuse. Step aside and go spank it out among yourselves while the fairer sex you so revile cleans up your effing mess.

My daughter (and your son or daughter) is receiving her resilience training in this mess- it's her childhood. The folks I was surrounded by were barely aware, let alone mindful. I'm sure I've got quite a few friends who love me but really wish can't wait until the soapbox caves under the weight of my incessant ranting. Unlikely. I am the only parent my incredible and capable and clever and beautiful daughter will ever have so I'm going to do everything at my disposal to ensure she is responsible, resilient and ready to handle whatever the ride brings her- from the great to the hate. If I have anything to do with it, she will not going to wonder if she is good enough or lovable. And she certainly won't be engaging, let alone entertaining, the thought that she deserves even a fraction of the bullshit I've endured due to low levels of the vital mineral self-esteem. Only the privileged few know of my intermittent low self esteem- so let's keep moving.

I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I do know that what I see and what we are made to suffer is NOT OKAY. So let's help our kids and our friends and our families have a better experience with their bodies so they can have half a gnat's ass of a chance at deciphering their feelings so they won't be even one of a few kinds of asshole. And if you don't have the cajones to have these kinds of candid conversations and own your place in the world - call me. I do and I'm happy to help.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Taking Words Back: Diet

When did the word diet lose its intended meaning? When did food stop being something we all have free access to? When did doctors stop healing?

Is it the chemical companies? Is it marketing? Was it when the pursuit of happiness was rerouted and the detour has become the primary route?

What do you think when you hear the word diet? Do you connect food to how your body feels and functions?  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Discounts Don't Count

"discounting their contribution to the economy"

"production for sustenance is counted as "non-production"

"An economics of commodification creates a culture of commodification, where everything has a price and nothing has value."

Now that the Violence Against Women Act has expired - the excuse of provisions for women on reservations and in the military - two groups who are the very embodiment of the American Woman - the parity between women in the so-called evolved USA and developing nations. Sexism and misogyny are institutionally ingrained and socially acceptable, where racism is generally kept under wraps and even homophobia is on the wane. One look at how our bodies are eligible for legislation and rape eludes standard definition in the courts across the USA.We are far from universally progressive by a long shot - but there are still too few willing to admit the disparities and the fact that in the USA men are "free" and women are "discounted".  

Having spent the better part of the past 20+ years creating media and at least the last 15 years in PR, marketing and advertising working with some of the largest and most influential global brands.The contradiction is striking: women are known the world over to make the majority of financial determinations in household economics. I have had to correct many quasi-feminist friends, albeit mostly male, that this does NOT mean that they have the control to determine their own financial course. In general, it means that they are tasked with spending someone else's money in order to ensure the survival of themselves and their children. 

The gap between east and west is not so great...the only difference is tone - our voice is one if you listen closely. 

New Three R's for Boys (and girls) Who Dare

Is this teaching? I say no. "How to not" is reactive and assumes and accepts the active as inevitable.

What would Don't Rape 1A even look like? What assumptions would those lessons make? Maybe the three R's: Responsibility and Respect in Relating to other human beings.

I suspect that 1A would have pre-requisites like "Defining and Communicating Human Needs"; "Articulating the Human Experience" - with "Self-Love" and "Feelings are Okay" in orientation.

A girl can dream.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

This morning the stars collided, having my girl in the car while NPR shared a story about east and west cultural approaches to how we message the path to success to our children.

My version of an abbreviated short cut: in the west we teach that if you are smart you have access to success, that there is something you have. In the east, it's more about the hard work, the effort.

For me, it's about the balance of the two, the intersection. I am teaching my girl that all by herself, she is an amazing human being. And there are many amazing human beings that will contribute to the amazing world we live in. What will ensure her success in whatever she chooses- from getting up morning after morning to having a view of planet earth gazing up from the depths of the deepest sea or down from a perch on the brightest star - is the work she puts in. It's her inherent ability to not only show up, but to apply the effort, sometimes endure the suffering and take a wash, rinse and repeat approach.

She gets it, in her own way. We are learning together that there is no value in fearing failure- only opportunities.  She also knows I am here to coach and cheer her choice by choice.