Monday, December 31, 2012

Pretty Good Year

As I've said, I am a professional marketer, a professional mama, and a professional good time girl. (Note: this does not mean "prostitute".)  Gentle Reader, that is THREE full time jobs. How in the world was there ever time for everything in 2012?
  1. Successfully made it to my son's first birthday
  2. Planned a wedding IN MY BACKYARD while working & baby-wrangling full-time
  3. Overhauled our entire home including paint, carpet, and various other home improvement projects
  4. Coped with the baby blues and cried quite a bit
  5. Learned that taking 30 minutes to eat lunch silent and alone is essential to my well-being
  6. Lost the baby weight 
  7. Gained some of it back
  8. Finally married the love of my life after a 7-year courtship
  9. Reconnected with several of my closest friends from the past 
  10. Learned the importance of making time for friends, both near & far
  11. Looked out at a sea of faces of all of the people I love most in my life and felt like the luckiest girl in the world
  12. Ran (mostly) my first 5K
  13. Had a fight with my Mom that has likely forever changed the nature of our relationship
  14. Finally embraced my love of being a mother
  15. Came to the sad conclusion that wheat & dairy do not make me feel good
  16. Colored a lot of gray hair and obsessed over many new lines on my face
  17. Said goodbye to my Grandma 
  18. Spent all day at a cabana in Vegas with 8 of my very best girls
  19. Unexpectedly, felt endless gratitude & respect for my in-laws
  20. Drank my weight in beer in Bend on our very short but sweet honeymoon
  21. Cried and cried and cried and hurt and hurt and hurt for those lost and the families affected by so many tragedies of this past year
  22. Discovered that my husband is not only a great partner, he's a terrific father
  23. Celebrated births and grieved the death of relationships with my dear Seattle girlfriends
  24. Took a giant leap of faith and left my secure job to pursue a new career 
  25. Continued my love affair with wine
  26. Watched too much reality TV
  27. Made peace with myself for some of the larger mistakes I've made
  28. Swelled with joy & pride as I watched my son roll over, crawl, take his first steps, say his first words, give his first kisses, snuggle his first stuffed toy, eat his first foods, and call out "Mommy!" for the first time
  29. Felt both joy & sorrow more deeply than ever before 
  30. Thought to myself time and time and time again, "I must be one of the luckiest women on Earth."
Yeah, it was a pretty good year.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.

A very important decision has been made.

The year 2013 is the year of the mantra, "I regret nothing".

I am a person who likes to obsess.  I obsess and rehash and fixate and ruminate and stew.  I go over various events in my head and replay them with different endings, wittier comebacks, and better hair.  I think about something I said in passing to a complete stranger and wish I had phrased it differently.  I analyze every conversation, every unanswered email, every syllable spoken during a meeting and wonder if it was something I said.  I weigh every decision in three different ways before making a pro/con list and then flipping a coin.  And after the decision is made, I continue to wonder if I did the right thing.

But not anymore.

Because in 2013, I regret nothing.   

I will attempt to absolutely make decisions with confidence and faith.  Full stop.  I will speak thoughtfully and with purpose, and when I make an ass out of myself, I will laugh about it and move on.  And, ideally, this new mindset will ultimately contribute to better choices, less waffling, and firm commitment because (let's all say it together now) I regret nothing.

Who's with me?  Should we all embrace this laissez-faire attitude and live the life of no regrets?

Whether you're with me or not, and whether I'm your life coach, your friend, your distant cousin, your workmate, or just someone you once had a couple of drinks with, here's a little advice for you, free of charge:
Live big and love big this holiday season.  Enjoy your life and your family and your friends.  Do what makes you happy.  Regret nothing.  But, if you do, remember this....

There's nothing you can do today that a little resolution tomorrow can't fix.

A Seasonal Haiku

Roast beef, stews, and pies
Potatoes, bourbon, cider
Winter makes me fat.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Another Long December

The holidays make me melancholy.

After yesterday's day of delay and winter weather and general blue-ness, I just wanted to come home, kiss my Boos, have a large cocktail and pull the covers over my head.  And that's exactly what I did.

December always make me a little blue, and this year is particularly bad.  Anyone else wish they had a river?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Love Is All Around

I've been trying to get my thoughts together.  I've been trying to figure out the how, the what, and, most importantly, the why.  I have nothing.  I have realized that I am just not equipped as a writer, as a mother, as an activist, or as a human being to write about the tragedy of last week.  And so, I'm not even going to try.

Instead, I am going to write about love.

On the days that our hearts are particularly heavy, it is love that gets us through.  We snuggle our Boos a little tighter and a little closer.  When we can't stop the tears from coming, we allow them to be kissed away.  We say our "I love yous" a little more frequently, a little more easily, a little more openly.  Our smiles are a little wider when we see the loves of our lives.  We call up those that we have grown apart from and bring them back into our fold.  Baby laughs and girlfriend giggles become musical.  We pull out the old photo albums, smile at the faces of those we have loved and remember happy times.  The chores and to-do lists suddenly don't seem as important as playing with our children, holding hands with our partners, talking to our parents.  Hugs become a little longer, kisses become a little deeper.  Love becomes us.

I do believe, even in these hardest of hard times, even on the darkest of days, that love actually is all around.  

Wishing you and yours love and peace today and every day.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bringing Sexy Back

I'm not ready to talk about it yet.  Not yet.  I will, but not yet.


Instead, because many of you are new readers, I am bringing back a post from December of 2009.  After revisiting the Land of Sweets again last night, it seems appropriate.


Whatever you are, be a good one.

Last night I went to see Land of the Sweets, a burlesque version of the Nutcracker, at the Triple Door. So much fun! First, for those of you that haven't been to the Triple Door - it was my first time - this place is fantastic. Super cool vibe, great food from Wild Ginger, posh decor. The tables are tiered, so it didn't really feel like there could be a bad seat. If you have 4 people in your group, you can reserve your own cozy little booth. It was just myself and Maura this time, but it's definitely in the plan to bring along a few more ladies or the boys the next time around.

But we weren't there for the venue. No, we were there for the ladies! And, a couple men as well. (Side note: when men perform in burlesque shows, it's called boylesque. I did not know this.)

The women in the show were incredible - they're undeniably talented. But what's most interesting to me is their absolute comfort in their own bodies. These ladies are hot, definitely, but you know, they're not perfect. A little jiggle to the thighs here, a little tummy bump there. They are real women, unairbrushed and unapologetic. They own it. I find this unbelievably empowering. I have been struggling with my own body image lately. I've been working out, taking care of myself, eating right, but I'm still not where I would like to be. I seem to be overexaming my own body, focusing on what's wrong instead of what's right. I am strong now, stronger than I've ever been. I am not afraid of a challenge anymore. I have a newfound confidence in what I can do physically. There is no more fear. And yet. And yet. And yet, I still step on the scale every day and curse it. I still beat myself up over a bit of overindulgement. I still obsess over my (much smaller than before) belly.

Not anymore.

I am not perfect, but I am going to own what I am. I am strong. I am tough. I can hike and climb and run and lift heavy things. I am sexy. And I can eat a big fat cinnamon roll. And I can skip a workout. And I am still strong and sexy. Just because I am.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bad Mommy

I'm going to tell you something.  Some of you may not like it.  Some of you may not understand it.  But my hope is that some of you will perhaps relate, and you will tell me so.

Okay, so here it is.

I didn't really enjoy those first few months of motherhood at all.  In fact, at one point, I actually regretted the decision to have a baby.  I did not want to hold my baby constantly.  I never said, "I just want to eat your face!"  I did not stare at him for hours on end.  I didn't immediately feel like a mother.  I took every opportunity to leave the house, run an errand, get some time alone.  In fact, for a lot of the time, I wished I was at work.  Or anywhere else.

Those first 2-3 months of Will's life were some of the hardest, most stressful, and yes, saddest days I've ever had.

Some of it was due to the fact that breast-feeding was very challenging for us, and I really beat myself up about that.  Some of it was that my Mom left 4 days after we came home from the hospital, and Tim was back at work immediately.  Will and I were alone together all day.  And as he was up every two hours eating, we were alone together all night too.  I was lonely.  I was in physical pain.  I missed my freedom, my independence, my old life.  I was overwhelmed with the experience & responsibility of caring for 100% of another person's needs.

"Aren't you just so happy?"  "Don't you just love being a mother?"  "Isn't he just the best thing that ever happened to you?"

And now, the answer is yes.  But back then....are you fucking kidding me?

And that was another reason I felt so lonely.  Yeah, of course some women will mention "baby blues" or even go as far as "postpartum", but you really only hear about the *extreme* cases.  We don't ever really talk about the minor cases, the small things.  We truly believe we are alone.

And even now, as I talk to other mothers, both new & experienced, I've got to tell you, I still feel alone.  Maybe I just need to find my rose-colored glasses and look back on those first few months differently.  With all of my heart, I wish that I had been able to enjoy that time.  I wish that I just loved every single second of it.  I wish that I didn't want to hand my baby off every chance I got.  I really wish that were the case.  But it's not.  And while I am truly so very happy for every other mother that *has* been able to love every moment of new motherhood, I just don't understand it.

And so now, after letting you in on my secret shame, I ask you, am I truly alone here?  Am I really the only new mommy that wished, just a little bit, or maybe even a lot, that she wasn't?  Tell me.  I'm begging you. Tell me your dirty little early motherhood secrets.

If you don't judge me, I won't judge you.