Monthly Archives: May 2014

RAMBLINGS FROM A WANNABE HIPPIE

I want soooo much to be laid back. I strive to not give a damn. I long for a “live and let live” attitude. In my mind I was born in the wrong time period. In my mind I am a child of the ‘60s living on the corner of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco with my struggling musician boyfriend. And we do “sit ins” and protest stuff and sing Kumbaya and wear Jesus sandals and flash peace signs. We live off of the Earth and play late night gigs at local Bay Area clubs…..In my mind.

Reality is I am pretty much the opposite of laid back. I used to be wound up so tight they had a saying about coal, and my ass and diamonds. I can’t be late anywhere, I like things checked off of a list, I worry about everything, Im a bit OCD and the thought of living in a dirty apartment in the city and rarely showering makes me borderline psychotic.

At 41 Im learning who I really, really am and even harder…accepting it. It’s such a weird, transitional, scary, joyful, freeing time in my life. At 25 I would never in a million years have posted a picture of myself in my workout clothes for the public to see. Oh Nooooo…I wait until Im 41, post 2 babies, wrinkles, age spotted, saggy, pale and all kinds of NOT young. Because you know- THAT makes sense. I’ve posted before about the freeing feeling that comes with getting older. And I guess it is a little bit of “I don’t give a damn”. Geez Im 41…Im pretty proud of that and dare I say…proud of how I look.

Im pretty sure in my twenties I did everything in my power NOT to be my parents. I also kept thinking “ok once I get past 30, or once I get these kids grown, or once I move to such and such, or once I get through this year….” I was always wishing my time away and waiting to be better. Better at what Im not so sure. I am completely guilty of wishing away my twenties and most of my thirties. It seems like I was just surviving- trying to make it to the next day, or next year, or next stage of my life. Too bad it took so long to realize that tomorrow, next year, next whatever is NOT promised. I won’t make that mistake again.

Today I took a hike on Spruce Mountain. I stopped. Often. I stood and stared at the mountains and trees and animals and sky. I took pictures. I slowed down. I. Slowed. Down. Several years ago I would have rushed that hike to get home and eat and clean and start laundry and get my chores done. Not today. And guess what? The laundry is still here, the house is not clean and it will all get done sometime. I have quit rushing. I may never live on Haight-Ashbury and sing Kumbaya or live in squaller in a hippie commune but this Type A, OCD, tightly-wound girl is finding her own “live and let live”. I hope you find yours too!!

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SOMETHING WAS MISSING: EMBRACING EACH SEASON

I love my kids. I love my husband. They mean the world to me and I have been EXTREMELY lucky & blessed to get to be a stay at home Mom for 99% of my children’s childhood. I realize TONS of Moms don’t get to do that, don’t even have a choice. I do know how fortunate I am. I am so grateful to my husband for providing an amazing life for our family. He is my rock. So with all of these amazingly cool things in my life its hard to admit something was missing. I wouldn’t trade my years with these crazy kids for anything. I got to see first steps and nap time and first words and all of those incredible milestones. That is irreplaceable.

My kids are 12 and 13 (almost 14) now. I am still here to guide them, direct them, yell at them, drive them places & hand out money- but lets face it- they can walk on their own ,wipe their own butts, feed themselves, shower on their own (well OK Maddie can do that), and basically survive without me there 24/7. My parenting role has shifted from keeping them alive to getting them out of the house while able to contribute to society. And as we moved to Colorado and they made friends, joined clubs and activities, found their own way I stopped and thought….what about me?

Its hard to make new friends at 41 years old. It’s hard to start over. It’s hard to find your career path after all of these years at home. It’s hard to feel useful and where you fit in. And something was missing.

It’s becoming clear that there are definite seasons to life. There are beginnings and ends, there are Springs & Autumns & Winters & Summers. Life has stages. And I moved into parenthood at 27 years old with some bumps & bruises but pretty seamlessly. I mean when you have two kids 19 months apart you don’t have much choice. What an amazing season. Babies! Diapers, breast-feeding, baby food, bottles, no sleep, tears, doctors visits, play dates, all of it is a big fat wonderful blur. And I cherish that season of my life and accept that is has passed.

This season I am entering is so amazing and scary and cool. I feel like at 41 I am finding me. I knew I wanted to go back to work but wasn’t sure about how that picture would look. I like being home for my kids. I like going to their school events and picking them up from school and having lunch with my friends and all of that cool stuff. But my brain needed adult time. My brain needed to work. My brain needed to be ME again.

Beachbody has offered such an amazing opportunity for me. I cannot express enough thanks to my coach, STEPHANIE, for being such an example of what a stay at home Mom who builds an incredibly successful business and works HARD is supposed to look like. I know my picture will look different than hers, and yours, and everyone else’s but I have a picture now. I have pretty amazing kids and a great husband and now I have a business. Thats all mine. That I work hard for. I am my own boss. I am so, so , so grateful for this opportunity and this company. I cannot express enough how cool Beachbody as a company is.

It may sound silly but I get manicures now, and pedicures, and buy clothes I want and pay for my kids activities and all of it is guilt free. I started out wanting to pay for my hi-lights each month without dipping into our savings account and now it is so much more. I know Im lucky but I have to say its not just luck- its HARD WORK. I work hard for my business and my team and its worth it. Its all worth it.

Embracing this new season of my life….I feel better at 41 years old than I did at 30. No lie! Age brings so many wonderful things. OK it brings wrinkles and age spots and cellulite and bad vision and peeing every 5 minutes but on the flip side….it brings a sense of self confidence and wisdom and HELL…I can pay for good products now so screw the wrinkles! 🙂

I am reminded of a scene from one of my favorite movies:
Evelyn is cut off in a parking lot]
Evelyn Couch: Hey! I was waiting for that spot!
Girl #1: Face it, lady, we’re younger and faster!
[Evelyn rear-ends the other car six times]
Girl #1: What are you *doing*?
Girl #2: Are you *crazy*?
Evelyn Couch: Face it, girls, I’m older and I have more insurance.

I hope every single woman out there embraces each season of life with vigor! You only get one life- do it right!

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BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, GOT THE T-SHIRT

We all have them. Some of us have a bazillion of them. T-shirts. Wadded up in the drawer or at the bottom of your closet or shoved up on a shelf. I think it must be some sort of American thing to reward people with t-shirts. I have to say I blogged recently about how music can transport you to another place or time. It can remind you of someone or someplace. It can make you cry and laugh and sing out loud. It engages your sense of sound to the point that it creates a feeling. Well…I realized today that a simple t-shirt can do exactly the same.

I have sooo many t-shirts. There’s ones I bought on trips to remember the trip by. There’s shirts from my kid’s sports teams I wore to support them at games. There’s a few new ones from Beachbody I’m super proud of because I EARNED them by completing a workout program. I even had so many sorority t-shirts in college that my grandmother made a quilt out of them for me. I adore & treasure this quilt. Not just because each and every t-shirt reminds me of a particular party (well the ones I can remember geez I was 21 & stupid but whatever), but also my Nanny who took the time with her own hands to piece my quilt together for me.

I have a VERY old Dallas Cowboys t-shirt of my Dad’s. It’s more than 20 years old I know. I wear it for luck during games. SHUT UP PEOPLE IT WILL WORK EVENTUALLY. My very favorite t-shirt I have is my Dad’s black Harley shirt pictured below. It says “Sturgis 1989” on the back. He got it 25 years ago on his first ride to Sturgis on his first Harley motorcycle.

What made me think of this t-shirt thing in the first place was Maddie’s request this morning. She asked where her “Sydney shirts” were. We have a few t-shirts in honor and memory of Maddie’s friend who’s battle we still fight. Stupid dumb ass cancer. She thinks about her a lot and I think that in a weird way the shirts are comforting. Just as when I wear mine I think of my Dad.

Music is auditory. It touches & stimulates that sense of hearing. Maybe all these silly t-shirts we all keep are a tactile comfort. Another sense that gets comforted or jolted in a certain way. As my kids join soccer and football and cheer and student council and speech team and whatever else I’m sure my t-shirt collection will grow. I may be a t-shirt hoarder but I think it’s ok. Maybe I’m just a “memory hoarder”

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TEACHING- The easiest Profession

Anyone can be a Teacher…It’s sooooo easy!

When I was in college I had quite a few friends major in Education. They were going to become teachers. I thought about it. I considered it. But for some reason I never switched majors. I majored in the “oh so marketable” Psychology. Yep. Hear me now if you are in high school…there is not a large market for people with Bachelor Degrees in Psychology. Or Latin. Or Philosophy. Just trust me.

So anyway..teachers…what an easy job, huh? I mean how hard could it be? You jot down a few lesson plans that the district already basically outlines for you. You get to decorate your room in all cute colors. You have sweet little ones hugging you all day and thanking you and bringing you gifts. You spend half of your day on the playground or in the teacher’s lounge eating & hanging out & gossiping with your teacher friends. And then you’re off work at 3:00 everyday. What a racket. Why did I not major in Education?

My Mom was a public school teacher. For quite a few years. In fact she taught at MY high school. Mortifying, I know! I think most of her students really liked her. I guess she was a pretty cool teacher. Sarcastic, witty, smart…what’s not to like? Plus when I needed money I just sauntered down to her room and bummed money off of her. Convenient when I needed her. However, when I maybe possibly MIGHT have gone into Mexico on my senior trip to South Padre Island after I promised my parents I wouldn’t somehow my Mom found out. Somehow she found out EVERYTHING I did. So I guess there were negatives & positives to having her there.

So I got first hand knowledge of what public school teachers REALLY do. Because I lived with one. And because I went to public school. For K-12 and then to a state school for college. And there’s a secret glamorous side to teaching that some don’t realize exists.

Those lesson plans the district provides are a general guideline for all students. Assuming all students learn the same. But they don’t. So teachers know that for each student in each class they have to teach differently. They have to cater to that student’s needs. They have to find a special way to get through to that particular kid. So they tweak & change those lesson plans a 1000 times to fit the needs of their kids. All of their kids. Those decorations they “GET” to put up. Well…there are very limited funds for that so usually 80% of what my Mom bought to decorate was out of her own pocket. You know- those deep pockets from that HUGE teacher’s salary. And sometimes those sweet kids are not so sweet. They cry, leak, scream, argue, call you names, roll their eyes at you, and tell their parent’s their own version of what transpired that day. And those hours in the teacher’s lounge scarfing down your lunch in the 5 minutes you have are also used to make calls to parents, make copies, have conferences and squeeze in every other thing you don’t have time for.

My Mom (and many other teachers I know) spent their own money & their own time buying supplies for kids that couldn’t afford them. Finding prom dresses for girls who wouldn’t have had one otherwise & paying for prom tickets. Staying late & coming in early for students who had to work at a job & got very little sleep and needed extra time to do tests or help with work. They knew when kids had problems at home or family issues and made time to talk to them or help them or find them the help they needed. They were parents, counselors, disciplinarians, educators, cooks, mess-cleaner-uppers, referees, peace-makers and a million other things.

99% of the teachers I ever had were incredible. They were funny & caring & selflessly gave of their time. And not one of them EVER got off at 3:00. After school meetings, conferences, kids needing make up tests, grading papers, preparing lessons and a myriad of other things prevented that. Teaching is a 24 hour job. I am so grateful for every teacher I ever had. I am thankful my Mom was a teacher. I am thankful for my kids’ teachers. I am thankful I never changed my major to Education because I DO NOT HAVE THE BACKBONE FOR THAT KIND OF COMBAT! Thank you teachers. All teachers. You are amazing and you are UNDERPAID!

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