Racing Perfection

This week’s special on DTWB: Perfection

Weekly Special 3-2

How often do we strive for something, do we hope for something, do we work towards something, convincing ourselves the whole time that if this would just happen, everything would be perfect. We spend a lifetime trying to catch up with perfection but often fall short.

As a writer, I do it plenty. I read numbers and page views and comments way too often as if the quality of my writing is based on numbers. I ride myself about getting published on a certain site. And then when I get published on that site, I hound myself about getting more than one piece published. If I publish several pieces, then I get on myself about getting paid. And on and on this perception of perfect goes. As a mom, I do it daily. If I have to send an email or make breakfast and give the kids a video to watch, I feel terrible because wouldn’t perfect moms be playing with their children? I get frustrated and yell and then feel bad about it because perfect moms don’t get mad.  Continue reading

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Road to an Imperfect Life: Week 15 – For Whom the Belly Tolls #itsarevolutionbitches

Like all mothers, I dreamed of being brave, selfless, loving, and hot. Yes, you heard me. Hot. What?! I’m just being honest. Of course, hot wasn’t the first thing on my list, but it was definitely on the short list.

Pinterest was super helpful for me in the beginning with its suggestions of cute outfits, life hacks, and exercise ideas, but unfortunately, Pinterest won’t actually deliver any of these things to my life or closet. It’ll recommend some interesting workouts or belly busting moves but won’t actually do the working out for me so… damn it.

I’ve never found the pleasure in working out that others have. I don’t want to do sit ups. I don’t want to sweat. Actually, I hate sweating which is really a problem when exercising in island weather. And I really hate running. I don’t even pretend to understand running. Why would you run, non-stop without a reason… like a bear chasing you? Running is terrible. I know it isn’t terrible in that good-for-your-health way but it actually makes me physically angry. In fact, running to me is as enjoyable as being wedged in the back seat between two car seats of kids “doing my hair” (aka pulling). And I’d choose the wedgie every time.

See, if you haven’t caught on, I don’t actually want to exercise to be a hot mom, I just want to be a hot mom.

Luckily, the nature of two young kids (aka the bandits that turned my body into the rollier version of what it used to be) is that they are decently helpful in keeping parts of it less rolly. Since they still need want to be carried, my arms don’t need much other heavy lifting. Whew… dodged that flabby arm bullet. And with a 3rd floor walk up (no choice – there is no elevator) my legs and gluteus area are also fine. But regrettably, my major problem zone has never been my arms or my legs. The problem zone is my belly; the place I store my wine and waffles, the belly that, after having two bandits, stretched like green slime on a hot day never to return to its original form. For that belly, there is no easy remedy.

I refuse to become someone who denies herself what she wants to eat. I will never be a girl who orders salad when what I really want is a burger. Wine will never be off the table for me. In fact, it will always be on the table, uncorked. So since I don’t plan on curbing my food or booze intake, I fear that as much as I have tried to tone up my mid-area with hopeful wishes and encouraging glasses of Merlot, I might have to actually do some work.

I start Pilates today. God help me. God help us all.

~ Until the next bottle ~


OR
Cheers along with DTWB on Facebook for daily #drinkingthewholebottle moments, advice, truths, and general fun shit.

Road to an Imperfect Life: Week 14 – Like Mother Like Daughter #itsarevolutionbitches

Sitting at a coffee shop in Metuchen tapping away another post for another blog, I ‘m distracted when two little girls sit beside me at the window seat counter.

The younger one is playing with her spoon and the older one says, “Please don’t make a mess of that. You did that once before and remember what happened?” The younger one stops and carefully begins sorting through the card catalogue in her brain for that memory. The older one chimes in again, “I remember that. Mom remembers that. Daddy remembers that.” The younger one squirms around before finally speaking, “I don’t remember that. ”

I don’t know whether or not I believe her but I think Good. Play on.

The older sister couldn’t have been more than 6-years-old but she sounded like a worn-up, played out record. She wasn’t mean about what she said to her younger sister, she was just talking – like kids do – in a way that sounded rehearsed. And then I thought that was probably her mom. That was probably something she heard her mother or father say.

Poof! A magical pit appeared in my belly, a pit that asked this question: What are my kids picking up?

What is it about kids that shine a mirror up to your face in a gremlin-in-the-light kind of way. Ahh, not the truth, put it away. Many times I see my kid do something that I know I do and think Awww… how cute. She’s trying to be like mommy and then there are other times that, let’s just say, if I’m honest, make me afraid that my daughter is going to be exactly like me. Am I the only person that feels this way sometimes?

Since kids are new, little human sponges on the planet and know nothing besides what we teach them then what they are learning is how to be like us. They are soaking us up which means they aren’t only soaking up my perfect but also my imperfect.
My mind starts its mental flip through my brain’s card catalogue. Mmm.. have they heard me say that? or Ha! That’s funny – she did that just like me or Crap! I hope they don’t say that. Most of what I say is fine… right? (Is that a question or a statement?)

There are plenty things that my daughter says that are just like me… and they’re aaaa-dor-able.

Lately, when I put her to bed at night she nudges my chin up with her pointer finger and says, “Escuchamelisten to me” and then whispers in her best sage voice a bit of advice that sometimes makes absolutely no sense. Sometimes after putting on her (my) makeup she grabs her (my) purse telling me that she’s going to work and then snatches the car keys and walks out waving. Like I said… aaaa-dor-able.

But, see, here’s the thing, and it might make you mad to hear it but I really think it is essential to good parenting: I can’t just take credit for the good stuff my kids learn. Well, I can but then I’d be an irresponsible parent. I can’t believe that everything good about my kids is because of me but all of their faults, well, that was learned elsewhere obviously. Where else would they have learned it if not me? Caillou, maybe? That’s too easy of an out.

I’ve referred to kids as “drunk people between the hours of midnight and 3am” – fun at first and then crazy, rambling fools that are sometimes violent or pass out. I’ve read other bloggers refer to kids as “little jerks” or “tiny a-holes” and I can’t say that I disagree: drunk, jerky, tiny assholes. But wait for it – is this a reflection of us? Before you lynch me for calling you a drunk, jerky, tiny asshole, let me add that that was more of a rhetorical question. My point was, how much of what they do that is annoying to us is shit that we, ourselves, do; a reflection of what we do and say and act?

Our son who might be the only 16-month old with a black belt in Diaper-Changing Karate kicks his hammer leg down landing some devastating blows. When Husband has finally had it, he pins son’s legs down and says, “Stop it.” He says it in a calm, serious tone but obviously he is annoyed – who wouldn’t be after a hammer leg to the gut? The other day after moving our son away from the garbage cabinet he was so mad that he walked back over and yelled at the cabinet, “Stop it.” Husband and knew where that came from. Then there’s my daughter. She loves her little brother so much but at times, when she gets angry, she yells at him and tells him to “be quiet.” I could pretend she just came up with that or own that in my desperation for quiet sometimes I’ve yelled at them to “be quiet.”

They get what we give. If we are picky eaters, they will be too. If we are closed-off or unaffectionate, why would they be anything different? If we don’t face our problems, how will they learn to? If they see us place blame for our own lives on everyone else they will never learn to hold themselves accountable either. When we act petty, they act petty. Sponges, remember? You can’t wipe up vinegar and expect to wring out honey.


There’s no secret where my daughter gets her sass and I don’t think it is a bad thing because sass isn’t the problem it is how to use it that could be. I can’t expect to give her a knife and hope she’ll know how to use it; I’ve got to show her. Even William Wallace had to learn to use his sword, right? So if sass is my sword, I’m not only responsible for who gets hold of it but I’m also responsible for teaching them how to use it appropriately, lest I want a bloody mess on my hands.

Listen, your kids are going to learn a lot of good from you – more good than bad. Yes my daughter yells at the brother to be quiet but she also holds his cheeks and gives him a firing squad of little, quick kisses and defends him when someone else has taken a toy from him or is sitting in “his chair.” She has amazing manners and is funny – really funny -and I’d like to think she learned that from me too. We all make mistakes in our frustrations as a parent. It would be easier if kids understood the world and didn’t need any guidance, then, we could all go on being the people we are and never have to face that there might be things about us that need some tweaking.

Lately, I’ve been trying to face those tweaks. In some cases that means holding my tongue; other times it means being honest instead of holding my tongue and being mad at the wrong people later. It can be hard but put the mirror up and face yourself and maybe the truth won’t be as hard to face as you think. You are the hardest, most important person to face but taking a close look can change everything.

What Tweaks would you make?

Photo Credits:
Like Father Like Son – TMAB2003

Road to an Imperfect Life: Week 13 – The Glue that Binds #itsarevolutionbitches

When I first started this series, I set out to show a more imperfect me, one that hardly shows up in the virtual world. I mean, be real, how many of us take bad photos and say That’s my new profile pic! I tried to explain how our Facebook virtual lives often create a representative for our true selves. Those representatives then choose our best picture as our Facebook profile pic which becomes the face that our Facebook friends know. Our status becomes the life story we are telling to our Facebook world and the pictures we post are the proof that that Facebook life exists.

I don’t want to come across as being a Facebook hater, in fact, I do really like Facebook. And I should clear up it isn’t just Facebook that creates these representatives, it’s all social media, Facebook is just the Queen Bee whose hive I’m poking at at the moment.

When I set out on this journey, it was because I saw things that social media does to our society that I didn’t like it. Then today, I came across this, the exact idea I was trying to convey when I began down my Road to an Imperfect Life… or so I thought.

(Watch. And then we’ll discuss)

I watched this video and thought sarcastically, “Jeez… anyone can make their life awesome.”
And then I changed the tone and the emphasized word and said optimistically, “Jeez… anyone can make their life awesome.”

On Facebook, to make your life sound awesome all you need is a few changes in word choice and punctuation. Type. Proofread. Edit. Revise. Insert sarcasm. Rethink word choice. Reread. Hmm. does that sound good? Ok, I’m gonna click post. Post. Oops, wait. Spelled that word wrong. It should be their not they’re. Edit Post. Fix. Re-post. Done. Bingo. Awesome. I’m awesome.

And while you can construct the perfect update, it takes more than key jabbing to construct an awesome life that transcends virtual reality.

See there’s another side that I overlooked when I set out on this road. While words and punctuation and filtered pictures help make your Lifestory seem awesome, those are not the things that actually make it awesome. It isn’t so much what you do as it is how you look at what you do.

If we look at our everyday moments and find them to be in major need of a filter than what we get are dull images. So this week, instead of showing you my imperfections, I want to show you my normal, a small moment in my day where nothing exceptionally out of the norm happens. A micro-moment that maybe wouldn’t otherwise make it t o our Facebook pages because they’re not glamorous enough or fancy enough or bad ass enough (or so we think). And what a mistake that is; thinking that these little scenes aren’t “enough” when, in fact, it is the small scenes that create the whole act that when linked together tell the whole story. They become the glue that holds it all together and we all know that without glue, there can’t possibly be the sparkle of glitter. It is the glue that remains, the glue that binds and those are the moments that will remain when my Facebook account is virtual ash.

If we choose to see awe in all of the small moments, the big moments have no choice but to be the sum of that awe. (awesome, get it?)

Enjoy my 30 normal seconds today. 30 seconds of balls, laughter, water, and possibly poop on my daughter’s foot.

Picture Credits:
Captain Jack Sparrow – Sandra Scherer (adapted by DTWB)

Road to an Imperfect Life: Week 12 – A Micro Moment of Normal #itsarevolutionbitches

When I first started this series, I set out to show a more imperfect me, one that hardly shows up in the virtual world. I mean, be real, how many of us take bad photos and say That’s my new profile pic! I tried to explain how our Facebook virtual lives often create a representative for our true selves. Those representatives then choose our best picture as our Facebook profile pic which becomes the face that our Facebook friends know. Our status becomes the life story we are telling to our Facebook world and the pictures we post are the proof that that Facebook life exists.

I don’t want to come across as being a Facebook hater, in fact, I do really like Facebook. And I should clear up it isn’t just Facebook that creates these representatives, it’s all social media, Facebook is just the Queen Bee whose hive I’m poking at at the moment.

When I set out on this journey, it was because I saw things that social media does to our society that I didn’t like it. Then today, I came across this, the exact idea I was trying to convey when I began down my Road to an Imperfect Life… or so I thought.

(Watch. And then we’ll discuss)

I watched this video and thought sarcastically, “Jeez… anyone can make their life awesome.”
And then I changed the tone and the emphasized word and said optimistically, “Jeez… anyone can make their life awesome.”

On Facebook, to make your life sound awesome all you need is a few changes in word choice and punctuation. Type. Proofread. Edit. Revise. Insert sarcasm. Rethink word choice. Reread. Hmm. does that sound good? Ok, I’m gonna click post. Post. Oops, wait. Spelled that word wrong. It should be their not they’re. Edit Post. Fix. Re-post. Done. Bingo. Awesome. I’m awesome.

And while you can construct the perfect update, it takes more than key jabbing to construct an awesome life that transcends virtual reality.

See there’s another side that I overlooked when I set out on this road. While words and punctuation and filtered pictures help make your Lifestory seem awesome, those are not the things that actually make it awesome. It isn’t so much what you do as it is how you look at what you do.

If we look at our everyday moments and find them to be in major need of a filter than what we get are dull images. So this week, instead of showing you my imperfections, I want to show you my normal, a small moment in my day where nothing exceptionally out of the norm happens. A micro-moment that maybe wouldn’t otherwise make it t o our Facebook pages because they’re not glamorous enough or fancy enough or bad ass enough (or so we think). And what a mistake that is; thinking that these little scenes aren’t “enough” when, in fact, it is the small scenes that create the whole act that when linked together tell the whole story. They become the glue that holds it all together and we all know that without glue, there can’t possibly be the sparkle of glitter. It is the glue that remains, the glue that binds and those are the moments that will remain when my Facebook account is virtual ash.

If we choose to see awe in all of the small moments, the big moments have no choice but to be the sum of that awe. (awesome, get it?)

Enjoy my 30 normal seconds today. 30 seconds of balls, laughter, water, and possibly poop on my daughter’s foot.

Picture Credits:
Captain Jack Sparrow – Sandra Scherer (adapted by DTWB)