UNCLE LOUIS & MY SELFISH ASS

There are still days I struggle to “fit in”. I know I don’t need to. I know it doesn’t matter. I know I love myself now for all that I am and am not. But I admit- there are days I still struggle to be her. The Mom of 2 with the mini-van who goes to Pilates class and church regularly and makes dinner every night and goes door to door with her kid selling girl scout cookies and can’t wait to host Thanksgiving dinner. Admitting you aren’t those things is hard. And feels vulnerable. And like every other perfect wife and Mom looks at you as if you’re a failure. As if you’re selfish and awful.

I chose to get married and have kids. In fact…after MANY pregnancy losses I REALLY chose to have kids. And those 2 mean the WORLD to me. Ill stab a mother fucker if they hurt my kids. Dont doubt that. But there is no denying who I am and how I do things is so very different than most. And even though Im ok with it. It doesn’t make it easier.
At my grandmother’s funeral recently I stood at her graveside and whispered “and now the women go.” In the past 11 years I lost both grandfathers and my Dad and my second Mom, Lynda. The man I married has a disease that will take him. And it does not escape me that everyone leaves. Everyone. All the men go. In every way. Death, running, whatever it is…they go. And perhaps its the knowledge that they all leave that makes me who I am. The girl who is not attached. Who can’t attach. Who runs. Who does things differently. Who’d live in a tiny house on the side of a mountain alone if she could.
I have a degree in Psychology. I know how the mind works. I know the fear of abandonment is real and all of the defense mechanisms that one creates to squelch that fear.
I know what wanderlust is. I know that wanting to get in your car and drive far away and hike alone is probably not normal. I think I realized Im not exactly “normal” a long time ago. Whatever that is. 🙂 And in this past year I am really ok with it. Not being normal.
I cuss a lot. I don’t like weak women. Or subservient women…being that is my biggest fear. I love to be alone. I love to be with my friends. I LOVE beer. I don’t really love wine. I truly HATE shopping. I do it online now. The thought of a house in the suburbs makes me want to throw up. I couldn’t care less about my furniture, my kitchen appliances, my decor, my throw pillows ( I have none), or what color scheme my house is (there is none). I eat cereal for dinner often. I’d pick Johnny Cash over Luke Bryan 10 times over. I own a shotgun. I hate bigots. I have absolutely no comprehension of why anyone thinks gay people shouldn’t get married. Why the hell is it anyone else’s business? I love high heels and lipstick and having big hair & Im barely 5 feet tall but Ill start and finish a bar fight without a blink. I might lose- but I wont stop swinging. I believe in big, awesome love that causes butterflies- and not accepting less than that- EVER!
My kids are funny. They can survive on their own now. I let them watch Friday, the movie, when they were like 10 and 11. What else do you need? The thought of a brunch/tea party with the “ladies” makes me want to smoke a joint. I’d rather throw on a ball cap and climb a mountain with my girls. Brunch is dumb. And for people who slept too late to eat breakfast. Women who have no friends and never go out with them and only have their husbands to tag on Facebook are weird to me. I love rap music. I love country music. I love music. I miss my Dad. Weirdly- I think of my Pawpa more often. When I saw my Pawpa’s only surviving brother, Louis, at my grandmother’s funeral recently- I lost it. Id held it together for so long. But his face is Pawpa’s face. And I fell limp into a 90 year old man’s arms and cried like an infant in a cemetery. And he held me and patted my back and just said “I know…I know…”. And he did.
I know Im different. I know Im atypical. I know Im not the best Mom. I know Im selfish and free-spirited and cuss too much and constantly fight the urge to just run. RUN. Leave it all behind and just go. I hope my kids know that has nothing to do with them and everything to do with WHO I am. And that they love me anyway.
Im learning to love me. Every day. For all the good things I am. Deep, too deep, sensitive, nostalgic, smart, kind, forgiving, happy. And all of the things I am that may not be considered so good.
I posted a song this morning called “Colder Weather” by the Zac Brown Band. And its the story of a man who cannot change who he is. A wanderer, a leaver, a gypsy. But I am the man in the song. The weirdo girl who leaves before she can be left. Who wanders. Who is never satisfied. Who loves big. Who is learning and accepting that I may not be perfect. Far from it. But that’s ok. Every single person who’s crossed my path has taught me something. And a few taught me that being authentically me is the only right thing I can do. Figuring out who you are may take a lifetime. ACCEPTING who you are….well…..THAT is everything!
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FINE LINES

As I age there are lots of wrinkles on my face. LOTS. In fact, this reminds me—I need to find a groupon for Botox. And I don’t want to hear shit about how its poisonous….so is my face looking like an 82 year old man’s butt. So shut it. I don’t love the big huge wrinkles but its a funny thing….Im actually, truthfully kind of fond of the fine lines. You know- the ones that are very thin and fine and come out of the sides of your eyes and really show up when you laugh or cry or smile. I actually, honestly like them. Those fine lines.
I took a little trip to Estes Park to meet a dear friend for some hiking the other day. When I jumped in my Jeep I just looked at the crack that runs horizontally across the windshield. You see- for those that don’t own Jeeps or live in the mountains…Jeep windshields are disposable. Truly. I have a 2015 Jeep and am on windshield number 3. The rocks and debris seem to hit the small rectangular piece of glass just right and they crack easily. It might be the roads Im traveling too ;)-. Anyway- Ive given up getting it fixed or replaced with every crack and just live with it. So I got in the Jeep Wednesday morning and looked at that crack as I started down the road. Its positioned in just a spot where below it is the road and above it was the horizon…the mountains. Quite poetic. You’d think a fine line across the windshield on a long car ride through the mountains would bother me. I actually, honestly like it. Its a sign of imperfection. A sign my Jeep has been places. Up trails and on mountains and in the woods. It has earned the fine lines. Just like me laughing, crying, smiling….has earned me the fine lines on my face.
I am married to a dude who’s brain is shrinking. My grandmother, who I was very close to died last week. I still struggle with the loss of my Dad so tragically. I have a joint disorder that causes pain most of the time. I run my own business. I have two kids who need me. Rely on me. Lets just say the stress level has been above average as of late. In every area of my life. So leaving on a Wednesday to drive solo to the mountains to get away, to hike, to drink beer may seem crazy. And I began to think on my drive. I began to wonder- am I RUNNING AWAY or RUNNING TO? Am I escaping, running, getting away from? Or am I growing, learning, resting, finding some peace on this little trip? And I realized….there’s a very fine line between the two.
The guilt associated with accepting that Im running away, escaping reality, leaving my responsibilities behind is real. Its overwhelming. And I accept it. The glee associated with driving my Jeep into the mountains with no cell service and moose and elk and hiking and beer in a random roadside pub is real too. And I accept it. And I need it. And its selfish and awful to some. And so very necessary for my soul.
There are fine lines that run across my face. They come from YEARS of shit and happiness and joy and laughter and crying and adventure. Theres a fine line running across the windshield on my Jeep. It got there by rocks from some back road trail hitting it…and spreading. When that Jeep took me to some mountain I climbed. There’s a fine line between me loving myself and taking care of myself by going to the mountains where Im happy and being a Mom who’s just running away form all the shitty shit at home. And I accept that too. It is all that it is. I accept the selfish, ugly, childlike, shirking responsibility part of me…..along with the part that is teaching my kids to follow your heart, be who you really are, travel alone, climb mountains, drink beer, don’t be afraid of LIVING LIFE.
There’s just a fine line and a few inches between love and hate, good and bad, adventure and danger, running to and running from….I’ve learned that walking that fine line is the best place to be….for me.
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Nanny

There’s been some hard things Ive had to do in my life. Miscarriages- very late term. Friends’ deaths. Burying my Dad. Getting a Brain Rot diagnosis. But I don’t think there’s ever been anything as difficult as telling my Grandmother that her child died. That child was my Dad. Kids aren’t supposed to die before their parents. They just aren’t. Its un natural. And unfortunately Ive known a few people who’ve lost children way too young. And though my Dad was 53 when he was killed…he was still her child. And telling her that he was dead….just moments after I’d found out myself…it’s just something I’ll never forget. And I’ll always live with. And in that moment of raw, intense grief I thought mostly of my own loss. My Dad died. Way too young. Very violently. And I sat in my grief and felt it so deeply I can’t express. And I regret not knowing in that moment that the loss I felt…however deep and intense…could not compare to hers.
There is no loss greater than that of a child. None.
Allie Christeen Griffin was born in Denton, Texas in 1926. On a farm. Her father died when she was 5 years old in a logging accident. Her mother died when she was 18 of cancer. She was an orphan at 18. I cannot even imagine. She went on to get a job in Denton where she’d meet my grandfather, fall in love, have a very long marriage and 2 kids. She helped raise me. When my super young parents had me they had to work. So she kept me several days a week. She made me cookies and taught me to sew and read to me and took walks with me. I was an only grandchild for 6 years so I was a bit spoiled. And unbelievably lucky to live so near all of my grandparents.
She helped me buy my first car. She told me to go away for college. Her & Pawpa told me how unbelievably important an education was. And helped pay for that too. Not enough words for how grateful I am for that. When my heart broke, she came to see me at college with my Mom. She was at my High School graduation. She was at my college graduation. She was at every football and basketball game I cheered at. She made me dresses and hemmed many a prom dress for me. She made a quilt out of my college sorority t-shirts. She got to see my babies grow up. She was my Nanny. I love her. She is who I am built like. Physically.
She is with Pawpa & Dad now. The pain I’ve felt since losing my Dad is immeasurable. So thinking of how her heart has been broken for the last decade makes me sad. My Dad loved her. I loved her. I always will. And be grateful for it all.
When my Pawpa was dying of cancer she was at his bedside and he was laying there with one eye open. She asked him to please sleep and close his eyes. He said he needed to keep at least one eye on her because she was pretty & might get away. Once in awhile the fates get it right. Fate got it right with them. I am sad. But my heart is full of gratitude for being blessed with such an amazing grandmother. And an amazing example. Just like my Dad often did- she told me she was proud of me. And THAT..…….is everything.
She gave me her old jewelry box full of costume jewelry YEARS ago. It smells like her when I open it. I wear the jewelry…often. I think I’ll wear it more often now.
Love you, Nanny. Peace for you now.
This song has always reminded me of you- now it is quite fitting….
“You greet another son, you lose another one
On some sunny day and always stay, Mary”
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JUST GET ME THERE

Yesterday my almost 17 year old daughter texted me from school that she didn’t feel well. I picked her up & brought her home. She laid in my lap for a bit then we both took a nap in my room. At 1:00pm on a Monday I took a nap in my big king bed with my big 16 year old, crazy smart, independent, gets straight A’s, never cries, unemotional daughter. I didn’t sleep. I mostly just started at her.

I remember being 18 & my heart was broken and I thought “Just get me to adulthood and a grown up life and none of this bullshit will hurt anymore”. I remember being 30 years old and having two babies, 1 and 3 and being an anxious ball of nerves. I remember they wouldn’t sleep. EVER. Or eat anything. I was exhausted and grumpy and anxious and barely left the house for fear of an all out wild tantrum in Target. And all I could think at the time was “God I cannot WAIT until they are older”. “I cannot wait until they sleep and don’t cry and don’t scream at each other and don’t follow me into the bathroom all the time.” “When they get older” things will be better. I’ll have a life again. Let me just get them grown. Let me just get older.
During Christmas time I always remember thinking “Holy crap just get me through these Holidays. I hate the holidays. Stressful. Just let it end.” When the kids were in elementary school I thought “Good grief just get them out of elementary school so there’s less class parties and field trips and crap.” Just get me past elementary school. Running 30 places in one week for soccer, cheer, school, DECA, friends’ houses had me wishing the time away so Maddie could drive and my taxi days would end.
As I laid next to Maddie yesterday I realized it took me 44 years to realize a LOT of things. Maybe its the magic age for me. Who knows. I guess Im a slow study. But it took me 44 years to learn Im not heading SOMEWHERE. There’s not a DESTINATION. Theres no rush to get to a dot on a map or a finish line or a goal. Its truly TRULY not about the destination. Its about the moments. And there’s some regret for not appreciating the little moments. The tantrums, days without a shower, screaming babies, running around like a taxi. I didn’t appreciate all of that. Not as much as I should’ve. I have always ALWAYS believed if I could “Just get past”, “Just get through”, “Just move further down the timeline”….that some magical room appeared where I’d have no stress, no anxiety, no worry, and be happy to have reached this finish line.
Only there isn’t a finish line to celebrate. Until I die. While I was running this race there were views. There were late night secret concerts. There was a walk in Vegas one night. There was a lunch with an old friend. There was a quarterback. There was a song in a car and a girl who died too young & that song still reminds me of her. Glad we had that song. There was a boy on some bleachers & an old man telling us not to fight. There was loss and joy and a moment on a back road near Aspen. There was a night in a lawn chair with my Dad. There was fishing in a boat with my Grandad. There was an ARD meeting at school where I learned to love my son for all that he is and isn’t. And quit fighting what I thought he SHOULD be. There was a drink in a brewery. There was the night before Maddie was born that I rocked in a chair all night. The last night before I became a Mom. And life changed. There was a dance to “Once in A Blue Moon”. There was a moment in an elevator. There was a conversation on a bus to a football game. There was a beer in a cemetery. There was a breakdown on a mountain I thought I couldn’t climb. And a man who helped me do it anyway. There was a conversation on my front steps at 2am when I was 18. There were elephants and dancing and music and concerts and funerals and weddings and kids’ plays at school and my Nanny’s cookies and sitting in church staring at a cute boy and sidewalks and a red car and a race and ice cream and yogurt and sitting on the hood of a car drinking Yoohoo and dreaming. And a million other beautiful, amazing, joyful moments I wish I’d savored……just a little bit more.
All the moments. All the little moments. And THAT is what its about. Life. And staring into her beautiful face yesterday in my bed, laying next to me, I realized that. There’s nowhere to GET TO. Im already there. In every single little moment. Now I know to stop and soak it all in. All of it.
It’s pretty cool being 44. Every little thing is pretty cool if you just look at it long enough. Soak it all in. Every. Little. Moment.img_0136img_0011

AWAKE MY SOUL

I think because maybe Im from the South, white, female, or maybe look a certain way….people assume some things about me. It’s ok. We all do it. We all assume things about people, pre judge them, think we KNOW. It’s human nature to judge, assume, think we know. It’s also human nature to push our own beliefs onto others. We think that what WE believe to be true for us is what should be true for everyone else. We do. We think our own political beliefs, religious beliefs, morals, values, reign so supreme that everyone should abide by them. Guess what…it doesn’t work that way. It just doesn’t. And just because things have always been a certain way- doesn’t mean they always should be.

I don’t go to church. I like God though. I like to shoot guns and I love gay people. They should be able to get married, be as miserable as straight people are, then get divorced. What the fuck business is it of yours anyway? NONE. I hate romantic comedies. I love movies with fast car chases and guns. I think pot should be legal everywhere. Its absolutely ridiculous that its not (my belief). I think people should take personal responsibility for themselves. And not complain so much. I think organ donation shouldn’t be a choice. You’re dead. You don’t need that shit anymore…give it away.  And I believe in God enough to know we should give medical care, love ,compassion and refuge to everyone who needs it. I’d rather be in a ball cap and hiking shoes than glammed up—but I LOVE getting glammed up sometimes. I carried lipgloss to the top of my 14 mile hike up Pikes Peak. Because no self-respecting girl summits a mountain with un-glossed lips. Im cynical. Im sensitive. Im nostalgic. I’m smarter than people think I am. Someone called me “obviously hot” recently and Im not sure I like that. I don’t want to be obviously anything.
I can’t remember anything. I can squat a lot of weight- more than you’d think. Im self-conscious of the ass that people sometimes compliment. I have two tattoos and plan on more. I don’t know how I feel about marriage. True story. For me anyway. What works for YOU doesn’t work for everyone- and you assuming it does and thinking it should makes YOU the one with issues. I’d rather listen to old music than new music. Wine gives me a headache- I try to be sophisticated and act like I like drinking it but truth is Id be happier in a tank top and cut off jean shorts in a lawn chair drinking Coors. Im a hippie who wants to smell good. I love Texas. Despite leaving it. I hope my Mom knows that. Im my VERY happiest on top of a mountain. Alone. I like to speak in public. I dream of living alone in a cabin in the mountains. I love rap music. I can still do a very good toe-touch at 44 years old.
I have a secret (not so secret) crush on Jason Bateman. I love Aspen. A lot. I sometimes hope I get reincarnated as Hunter S. Thompson- because how fucking insane would that be??!! I love my friends so very much. I’d kill for them. Id bury bodies for them. I sometimes wonder if I should be a parent. And how much my kids’ therapy will cost. I’d rather be complimented on my writing than my abs. Im funny. I think Im funny. I got arrested in Mexico once. Lets not tell Karen Ellis that. I ran through the McDonalds drive through in my wedding dress just minutes before I walked down the aisle and ate a happy meal. I believe in soul mates. I believe in crazy, balls to the wall love. I love to have fun. Id rather go to a concert and walk around all night in a city than go to a fancy restaurant. I actually HATE fancy restaurants. The best dates cost the least amount of money. Sandals with socks should be illegal (my belief).
I think you can search for the meaning of your life for all of your life. And that is ok. I believe in going as fast and as hard as you can for as long as you can. And then you’ll know when its time to take the steps a little slower. To look around a little more. I believe in the crazy amazing shit you feel deep in your soul when Charlie Robison is playing live. I say yes more now. Than I ever did before. I think people can change behaviors but never really change who they are deep inside. I think maybe you were always that person deep inside…you just finally learned its ok to set your soul free.
If I could pack a back pack and get on a trail and hike 1,000 miles with no cell service I would. And I might. But I’ll have lipgloss of course.
And I believe in love. And me. And hope. And letting my kids know its perfectly ok to be who you REALLY are without fear of judgment from those around you. The opinions of others have no bearing on the life you were meant to live. So live it. Be true to YOU. You do you 😉
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ROADS

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 19 weeks along and the obstetrician said “something is wrong”. Something is wrong. There was no heartbeat. Our baby had passed away in utero. It wasn’t my first miscarriage. And it wouldn’t be my last. But damn that one hurt more than the others. I curled up in a ball and promised God or whoever that I would do whatever to have a healthy baby. Anything. I wondered what I’d done to deserve this much pain. And if I’d ever be a Mom. I thought about the kind of Mom I’d be. The kind of child I’d have. And though I’d suffer one more pregnancy loss before Maddie came along….I got to find out what being a Mom is. And I will never, EVER take that privilege for granted.

On my 16th Birthday my Dad took me to the DMV and I got my drivers license and I drove myself to school that day and life was never the same again. There’s a freedom that comes with driving that is like no other. And lets be honest…once a kid has that license…your relationship with them is never the same again. I drove where I wanted. And pre-GPS, pre-cell phone days, its likely my parents had no clue where I was most of the time.
Maddie got her license today. In the blink of an eye I went from staring at her breathing ALL NIGHT long to make sure she was alive to watching her drive away alone in a car. There were days, especially when I had two awful toddlers, that I thought parenthood was the dumbest thing I’d ever done. They never slept. They climbed the walls. I rarely showered. I had no life. I felt like I would be eternally stuck in a house with non-speaking, non-toilet trained, non-logical mini humans that obviously hated me.
And then I blinked. And she drove away.
I feel myself aging. My skin is less taught. I have age spots. I cannot see at night very well. I hurt a little more after workouts…for longer than before. And mostly I feel a slowing down. A patience in me I never had before. And its sort of beautiful. I was such a helicopter parent for so long. Saving them, rescuing forgotten homework and left lunch boxes. Finishing book reports for them. I quit doing that a few years ago. It came naturally. Slowly. Over time. They failed. They fell. They still do. Often. But if Im there to catch them every time, to fix it for them, to make it right, Im not letting them become adults. And it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Letting go. For a control freak, thats a BIG deal. I could put a band aid on a scraped knee….but the “boo boo’s” that happen now…broken hearts, broken friendships, tough decisions…I can’t fix those. There’s not a band aid for that. And as much as it hurts to watch I know they will be stronger for it. No life can be fully lived without some sorrow.
There’s this RIDICULOUS feeling I have about my 16 year old daughter. I trust her. Dumb. No one should ever trust a 16 year old. I don’t trust her to never drink or never smoke pot or never make a bad decision EVER in the remainder of time she’s in this house. That would be ignorant. I watch other parents think that they have “that one kid that would never”. You are wrong. You are VERY wrong. They all do. You just don’t know it. And I know she will. But I have a strange feeling of trust. That when she does, if she does, she’ll make the right decision.
When I was 18 I was at a friend’s New Years Eve party. I drank too much. It had iced on the roads. At 2 ish am I had a choice. I could slowly drive home in the Z24 Chevy Cavalier. Or I could make a phone call. I made the phone call. My Dad drove to pick me up from my friend’s house. On the drive home he said “thank you for calling”. That’s all he said. I went to bed and at 7:00 am he banged on my door and said “get up we have to go get your car, I have things to do. Asshole. My head was pounding. He made me pick up dog crap all day in the yard. With a hangover. The smell made me vomit. I deserved it.
I hope she knows she can call me. I hope she knows enough to trust herself and her instincts. I hope Ive done good. I hope she lets people in. And maybe trusts a little. And listens to music loudly in the car and jams out and waves at cute boys and drives her friends to cheer practice. I hope she knows what comes with all that freedom. She doesn’t leave for college for 2.5 years but today seemed like an ending of sorts. Because I know it is. And I cried. Damn, time flies. Here’s to all the roads she will travel. I hope a few are dirt. And I hope a few lead back to me occasionally. e1cb7376d39c09e102943c45607fb50c

IT’S OK TO CRY SOMETIMES

I woke up this morning very emotional and I couldn’t quite figure out why. Rheumatoid arthritis flare up, still recovering from the flu, traveling, personal issues, brain rot, stress, all kinds of shit I guess. But I woke up thinking about the girls. The cheer team. And why this dumb trip is so emotional for me. We leave for Dallas in the morning. It’s no secret how much I love football. And WHY its more to me than just football. It was something special I had with my Dad. And now something special I have with my daughter. She LOVES watching the Cowboys. And that makes me so happy I can’t explain it. My kids were 4 and 6 years old when my Dad died. That they don’t KNOW him makes me so sad. For the few hours football is on I feel like they do. If only a little.

When you say “cheerleading” most people have a stereotype in their heads. I know that. But I tell you what- I can’t think of another sport that not only cheers for and supports EVERY OTHER SPORT, but also competes on their own as well. Year round. And the things they put their bodies through is unreal. CRAZY! It’s not overstating to say it saved me. On many occasions. Being a part of a team is so vital to survival. The friendships I have to this day from cheer mean more to me than I can explain. I met Lauren in 1st grade. We went all through school together. But cheer made us the friends we are to this day. And theres a bond there that cannot be broken. So when Maddie decided to tryout last year for cheerleader my heart was happy. I knew what was in store for her. More that football games, competitions, sidelines, stunting. tumbling…so much more.
Our 6 seniors on our team had their last practice last night. We did a little huddle to have some final words with them. I didn’t cry. I didn’t cry. I woke up this morning in tears. Because all I can think is that will be Maddie in 2 years. I know that the transition from High School to college is big stuff. And it changes everything. And you can’t go back. And time flies. It flies.
It’s no secret Im not your “typical” Mom. I post half nekkid pictures of myself on the internet (for my Beachbody Business not a porn sight, shit). I cuss a lot. Listen to rap music. Im not sentimental. I don’t save their baby stuff. I hate PTA and school shit. I forgot to take them to school one day. I leave them to travel as often as I can. I drink. Im just not a “Mommy, Mommy”. If that makes sense. But I’ll be damned if today isn’t knocking me on my ass. It truly hit me that my girl, that baby I gave birth to 16 years ago is taller than me, smarter than me, looks nothing like me, has strong opinions. and is about to perform on the SAME mat in the SAME arena that I did 27 years ago. And a flood of tears came. Like nothing before. I don’t usually cry and I often proclaim to be a “tough girl”. Maybe Im not quite as tough as I thought.
Maybe Ive just held a lot of shit in for a long time and its finally coming out. Maybe I can remember that insanely anxious, terrified, Im gonna puke feeling of walking out onto that mat in front of 1,000s of people and I know my girls are about to as well. I hope they know how much I love them. And relate to them. And hope for them. And support them. I am so unbelievably proud of the team. This year HAS NOT been easy for any of us. They’ve been through a lot. I have been through a lot. I feel a sense of responsibility to them. This little squad from Colorado heading to the big leagues in the “Texas cheer world.” I feel like Im taking them home. And I know its the last one for a few of them. This team, these exact girls, will never perform together again after this weekend. And thats how it goes I suppose.
27 years is a long, long, long time. But not long enough to forget how incredible the experience is. I guess I’ll just let myself cry today. And be a “Mommy, Mommy”. Sometimes you can only be tough for so long. For 2 and a half minutes on Saturday morning my heart will explode with pride. And nostalgia. And gratefulness. And joy. And hope. Girls are tough man….tougher than most people know. I am. I. AM. Sometimes tough girls cry. And thats ok. Good Luck Palmers House! Lets kick some ass in Dallas.
“Loss can be painful…but in loss, we also gain”.
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I HAVE CLIMBED HIGHEST MOUNTAINS

U2 announced this week their 30th Anniversary Joshua Tree Tour. And I thought…cool, I hope I can get tickets. Then I thought…”FUCK ME, 30 YEARS?”
In March of 1987 I was 14. And had JUST made Freshman Cheerleader. My Dad often took me with him to Bill’s Record Shop in Carrollton, Texas to get new albums. But for this particular release we got the tape. Fancy. I’d heard of U2 for sure. On our slightly illegal, diced into the neighbors cable, MTV cable channel. I would stay up late and watch music videos. Back when they just played music videos.
So he popped the tape in when we got home and that’s the first I heard Joshua Tree in it’s entirety. Now…when it came to albums we always had the lyrics to look at. You know- that giant folded poster contraption thing that the record company put inside the sleeve of the album covers. We’d unfold them, lay them out on the floor and read the lyrics. Pre internet days this was the exact invention that convinced me that Paul McCartney was actually saying “Band On The Run” instead of “Stand on the Rug”. Yes…my parents had to prove to me that he was not saying “stand on the rug”. I would not believe them to this day had I not had access to the lyrics.
But a cassette tape was an entirely different story. No lyrics usually. Just a little cardboard fold thing with credits in it. So we had to actually sit, listen, and agree on what the lyrics said. And man. He LOVED that tape. I did too. I stole it a few times the following year when I got a car and would play it full blast in my Chevy Cavalier Z24. Then when he’d ask if I’d seen it Id say no. Run to my car when he wasn’t looking. And sneak it back into the tape holder in the house. Pretty sure he knew. Pretty sure he was happy I’d mixed in some music he “approved” of with my N.W.A. and 2 Live Crew stuff.
So the announcement that its been THIRTY years since that album was released has had me reminiscing about the songs, the time, my old house, my friends, my Dad. And what it was like to grow up then. With a parent who loved music and taught me to as well.
If you forced me to pick a favorite song from that album Im not sure I could. Im just not. With or Without You is beautiful. Haunting. And I think I took from it more than it intended. Bullet The Blue Sky was so political and I had just begun to understand what that meant. I thought it was a beautifully sad song. Still do. I think my Dad’s favorite was Running To Stand Still. In fact as soon as I saw this 30 year anniversary thing, thats the first song I googled to listen to. I know it was written about some heroin addicts and some pretty bad shit. But I took from it that sometimes in life, when you feel stagnant or lost or like your swimming against the current and you can’t get ahead that “running to stand still” describes that pretty well. Its pretty cool we all have our own interpretations of songs.
But I suppose if Im FORCED to pick it would be the most popular song on the album. Seems like such an obvious pick but its not. “I Still Haven’t Found What Im Looking For” undoubtedly has Christian roots. Bono has always been vocal about his relationship with God and the search for that. And I can relate. And in general terms it means to me that life truly is all about the journey. Never the destination. NEVER. I wrote about climbing Pikes Peak last year and that maybe I was searching for something on a mountain. When in the end it was more about what I LEFT on the mountain.
I think if we FIND everything, then what’s the point? The fun is in the search. In the journey, in the travel, in the meeting of all of the different wonderful people that come in and out of your life. The things you lose and the things you gain and the things you’ll never forget. Funny….when I first heard it at the age of 14 I had no idea how much the lyric “I have climbed highest mountains” would mean to me someday.
They are scheduled to play in Dallas in May. No Denver date set yet. But Im gonna do what I gotta do to make it happen. All part of the journey….
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Wonder Woman Took Some Time Off Too

Personality of Wonder Woman:

Princess Diana commands respect both as Wonder Woman and Diana Prince; her epithetical title—The Amazon Princess— illustrates the dichotomy of her character. She is a powerful, strong-willed character who would never back down from a fight or a challenge. Yet, she is a diplomat who strongly “favors the pen“, and a lover of peace who would never seek to fight or escalate a conflict. She’s simultaneously both the most fierce and most nurturing member of the Justice League; and her political connections as a United Nations Honorary Ambassador and the ambassador of a warrior nation makes her an invaluable addition to the team. With her powerful abilities, centuries of training and experience at handling threats that range from petty crime to threats that are of a magical or supernatural nature, Diana is capable of competing with nearly any hero or villain.

 

I am very sick. Ive had the flu the past week and have not been this sick in many years. It sucks. I have a pretty mighty immune system thanks to Shakeology but the stress the Holidays, State Cheer Comp, running a business, weather changes, lack of sleep, hanging around 20 teenage girls with germs..I guess it all caught me. I haven’t gone more than 2 days in a row without a workout in so long I cannot remember. I HATE it. But I’ve had the past 4-5 days to lay on my ass on the couch, drink NyQuil, watch a marathon of 4 seasons of “Shameless” (seriously, I love with that vulgar show), and to think. Maybe sickness is a way to slow you and your physical body down. To force you to sit STILL. And all that means. I haven’t sat “still” in a long time. I don’t like it. I don’t exactly want to sit and think about reality most days. I like to go, go, go. I like to work. I like to move.

I joked with a few of my friends about how when women/moms get sick we still keep operating. Laundry, dishes, kids, carpool, cleaning, still all has to be done. We don’t get sick days. But when men get sick they think the world is ending. I know…stereotyping. I know there’s plenty of men who keep hustling even when they are sick.

For some reason I thought about Wonder Woman. How people sometimes refer to Moms who work and workout and take care of kids and run carpool and do PTA and go out with friends and have a social life and seem to do it all as “Wonder Woman”. So I thought about this and of course googled “Wonder Woman.” The above snippet in the opening of my blog is a summary of her. I really had no idea what her creators (a husband and wife team in 1940) intended her to be. I assumed that an Amazonian brunette who was single with no kids would have absolutely nothing in common with me. So I was going to write a blog about how we don’t want to be Wonder Woman because she doesn’t even have kids, or ever get sick and that bitch can set shit on fire and smash steel. I was intent on not identifying with her. I can be an ass sometimes.

I read a lot of history on her and her creators and storylines and the intent of her character. I recently watched the movie that came out last year “Batman Vs. Superman”. It was ok but I remember thinking that Wonder Woman actually saved the day. Turns out that reference in the movie is based on the “actual” events in her history. I read that when Maxwell Lord cast a spell on Superman making him want to kill Batman that she lassoed Lord and asked him how to stop it. He told her the only way to stop Superman from killing Batman was to kill Lord himself. So she had no choice. She snapped his neck. And prevented a catastrophe.

But thats not where that story ends. After killing someone, even an evil someone,  she was so distraught that she went into a self-imposed exile for a year. A YEAR. To think about and sit with what she’d done. Alienating herself from everyone and “recovering” from the trauma. So she saved the day. And kicked some ass. And stepped up when no one else could stop it. But she kept her heart. And her soul.

She is often described in dichotomous terms: kind yet strong. Fierce yet soft. Powerful yet gentle. Relentless yet forgiving. Wanting to belong yet wanting to retreat to be alone, compassionate and loyal, willing to kill for her friends and still feel a sense of guilt about that, naive yet well aware. And I think my favorite description of her…and why I DO relate is that she “favors the pen” and never seeks out a fight. No doubt…she’ll kick your ass if need be…but she’d rather not.

So after a few days laid out, not working out, being sick, not able to do much of anything and feeling VERY Un-Wonder Womanish….I realize sometimes even Wonder Woman needs a break. And maybe a 5 foot tall blonde with kids and literally NO superpowers whatsoever other than the ability to multi-task at at an alarming rate, has more in common with a 7 foot tall brunette Amazon badass woman than I previously thought. Maybe we all do.

You can be a Mom and have a social life. You can be a badass and still cry sometimes. You can “save the day” and still feel guilt. You can get sick. And rest when you need to. You can do a lot of things. You can do all of the things. And you can do it in a tiara and a gold belt.

Here’s to all the Wonder Women….842e0b43dc037d00042dbac455c35f38

FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH

I suppose it’s THAT time of year. When you take inventory of the previous 12 months, what you learned, how it went and what you want the next year to be. I could lament on how Brain Rot has SUCKED ASS this year. How my crazy busy schedule stressed me beyond words. How it was the 10 year anniversary of my Dad’s death. How I lost a few friends and my second Mom to cancer. How I didn’t hit all the milestones in my business that I wanted to. But I decided to take a different approach. 2016 was not the best year ever. Truthfully- it was not. But I got to walk through it. Run through it. Crawl through it at times. And for that….I am grateful. 2016 gave me a lot.

I got to go to Los Angeles for the third time on Beachbody’s dime. I WON that trip. EARNED that trip. It was amazing & I got to share it with my friend, Joy, and I’ll never forget it. I hugged Tony Horton. I chatted with Tony Horton. I ate at The Ivy. I also earned a trip to Cabo. With my Beachbody team. I laid on the beach and did nothing for three days. I took a long walk down a beautiful beach alone. And I met Donna. And THAT alone made working my ass off to earn that trip worth it. Donna. I got asked to be the Assistant Cheer coach at our High School. There’s not enough space here to speak to how this made my heart whole. I love those girls. I got to stand on the sidelines again at football games. Priceless.
I got to go to Nashville with my best friend and spend 4 days with my team. My Beachbody team. And I got to walk the stage in front of 25,000 people. And I got to know Gary Vaynerchek that week. And damn, how that changed things. I discovered Chris Stapleton. And on a solo hike, on a mountain, alone…I gave God another look. And that’s something. I rode a bike. I got lost on a few hikes. I found my own way out.
I read six books.
I went to my 25th High School reunion. And realized time certainly flies. And people never change and yet change so very much. And made some amends. And remembered a boy. And what he taught me. And hugged some old friends. I got to escape for a minute. And hear some good music. And see some elephants. And meet some amazing people. And get another tattoo.
I got to see fucking Stevie Nicks in concert. With some special people.
I opened my son’s door to see he has goals. Written out with purpose. I got to see my grandmother. On her 90th birthday. I got to watch my cheer team perform at State. From the ground…not the stands. And THAT was priceless. I got to ride the bus to football games and listen to some teen girls talk. About life. And share things I am privileged that they shared with me. Thank you girls. Thank you, Jessica. I got to be in a workout test group that changed my body. And my mind. I CAN!
I got to have a beer with my Dad. In a cemetery. With an Asian man and some gardeners watching. I got to sing a Violent Femmes song to my friend…who shares a room with my Dad. I got to see my name in concrete…where I put it 30 years ago. And know that some things stay. Even when others don’t.
I got to do a lot of things. That I am so unbelievably grateful for. I learned I don’t have to be who I don’t want to be. I learned about commitments and promises. I learned there’s MUCH MUCH more gray area than black and white. I learned life can be cruel and sad and lonely and beautiful and joyous and miraculous. I learned that football fucking rocks! I learned I can fight. Longer and harder than I ever imagined. I learned 44 is pretty fucking awesome. I learned you can plan and plan and plan. And life will just laugh at you. I learned what I am. And what Im not. I learned that what I DO know is far, far less than what I DONT know. And that is ok. And as it should be.
I learned its really just about the little moments. They are everything. Thank you, 2016.fullsizerender-4