Saturday, October 10, 2015

Yep.: Ah, this is the struggle, right? All my life I've struggled to be comfortable in my own skin, and at the ripe young age of 38, I'm sorry to say I haven't quite gotten there yet. I am optimistic, though! What really puts it into perspective for me is when I see a picture from a year earlier and think to myself, "Man, I really looked great!" But at the time I know I thought my thighs were too big, or my chin(s) were too prominent, or something else equally as disparaging. It's all about perspective, right?

In any event, on the eve of the eve of an upcoming  surgical 'procedure', I'm forced to look at things a little differently. I guess any time you have to be put under sedation, there's that little niggling voice in the back of your head that THIS IS IT. Plus, having to sign all those creepy papers about how you could die and OH BY THE WAY you can't sue us (or your family can't, because, you know, you're dead and whatnot) is a little disturbing.

What I mean to say is this, fellow dear readers and listeners out there: I want you to remember that you are awesome. No, I'm serious! You have cornered the market in being you, just by virtue of being, well, YOU. No one else can do it better. You are a hot commodity in a world where everything changes yet everything stays the same. Love your self. Love your thighs. Love your chin(s). And if anyone doesn't like it, Eff 'em.
 :

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The strength and humor of 4 year olds

So, a little update on my little Bobber Da-mayto as he went on his epic Halloween trick-or-treating candy rampage adventure. If you'll recall, I was a little leery of his choice of costume (Bob the Tomato from Veggie Tales). Since Halloween fell during the week, he was able to wear his costume to daycare. He was sufficiently stoked, to say the least. So we walk into daycare, he in his tomato suit and me with a grin on my face, and when we got to his classroom the EXPECTED happened. Well, sort of. He walked into a class filled with little superheroes and princesses and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and suddenly the boys in the class started to make fun of my little tomato. It was just as I feared! I was gripped with an irrational impulse to smack these snarky little four year olds for making fun of my awesome kid. How dare they? Like your little Buzz Lightyear costume is all THAT anyway? Ninja, please. But that's the moment when my little 4 year old tomato taught me a lesson.
The boys were jeering "Look! He's a tomato!"...but instead of getting his feelings hurt and wailing with indignity, my kid straightened his back, looked up, and with his nose high in the air imperiously announced, "Yes. I AM a tomato."
Wow. In that moment, I told myself he was gonna be OK. He saw absolutely nothing in the world wrong with his choice of costume, and was PROUD of what and who he was. And you know what? I watched as those little kids crowded around Bobber Da-mayto and started oohing and ahhing over his costume. His little green stem-hat, his happy Bob the Tomato face on his chest - they were all over it. And there stood my son, proud and excited and happy.
We all have insecurities. Some of us more than others (uh, that would be ME). But I have always tried to not push my insecurities on my son. He'll develop his warped insecurities all on his own, thank you very much, with no help from his neurotic mother. I have never been more proud of him than I was in that moment. Not when he first used a fork, not when he finally mastered the potty, not even when he started putting his dirty clothes in the hamper (although that one was close!). Because this event involved other people. He had to interact with people who were trying to tear him down - but instead, he flipped the script and OWNED that tomato suit.
How many of us can truly say we do that when faced with similar situations? How many can say that they held their head high and proclaimed in a loud voice, "Yes. I AM a tomato."
Kids do say the darndest things, but sometimes they are ridiculously profound.
Keep on rocking, ya'll. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ah, October...how do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

I freakin' LOVE October. It's always been my favorite time of the year, and just the idea of October makes me happy. Most of the cool things in my life happen during this month. My wedding (October 7...7 years!), my husband's birthday (October 15), my son's birthday (October 24...4 years old!), the epicness that is Halloween, and basically everything else that is righteous and awesome in this world. I have been described as 'Goth' most of my life, because I do tend to be a little dark at times. Not a BAD kind of dark. I'm not going to wear blood in a locket around my neck or anything. (Thanks a lot, Angelina) But I just kind of prefer the ooky and spooky things of this world. That's why October is my best friend, and I miss it dearly when it's over.
My son loves October too, but for him it's mainly because this month contains his birthday and he knows he's gonna rack up some cool toys. This is the first year he's been able to really and truly pick out his Halloween costume, and I have to say that his choice says a lot about him.
His first Halloween he was a monkey (NEVER has there been a cuter monkey. NEVER.), his second he was Darth Vader (sue me - I'm a Star Wars nerd), and last year he was Wilson the Chuggington train (I was his handy train conductor). But this year I allowed him to have the final say on what his costume would be. We looked at countless websites and characters and found some really cute costumes - pirates, superheroes, monsters - but he chose to be a tomato. That's right.
A tomato.
There is a children's cartoon called 'The Veggie Tales', and one of the characters is - you guessed it - Bob the Tomato. Or as my son pronounces it, "Bobber Damay-to". So in the long list of super cool costumes that we looked at, my kid was more impressed with the idea of being a tomato than anything else. And I'm ashamed to admit that I even tried to talk him out of it! Then I sucked it up and got the silly tomato costume. And I will be his reliable sidekick, the farmer. He told my husband he needed to dress up as a pile of dirt, but I don't think daddy's going for it.
My kid is original. He hasn't gotten to the point where he has to do what his friends are doing, although I know that time is coming quickly. One of his teachers told me last week that she and another teacher were trying to determine what each kid in the class would grow up to be, based on their personalities. She said that they decided my son would be an "eccentric History professor. You know, the kind who shows up to class in full costume, or starts class with a song." At first I thought - soooo....you're saying my 3 year old is eccentric? Does that mean you think he's strange? And then I thought, You know what? My kid is freakin' AWESOME. And I told his teacher that I was proud of him for dancing to the beat of his own drum.
Conformity will be coming soon enough. It won't be long before his friends will become the authorities on 'all that is cool', and he won't have a single independent thought in his head.
But for now, at least, my strange little eccentric kid is going to be a tomato - and I love him for it.
Don't hide your inner Bobber Damay-to. Embrace your eccentricities, because without them, we'd be a bunch of boring assholes.
Happy October, ya'll.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Busy is the new HAPPY

WOW! It has been an incredibly long time since I've written a blog post! So many exciting things going on, and they are all demanding my complete and utter devotion and attention! I kinda wish I could clone myself, but then I think to myself that NOBODY wants that. I mean, can you imagine? Multiple Stacys running around with snarky attitudes and to-die-for matching zombie Cameo rings? No thank you, sister. Sell it somewhere else.
So. Back to my original rambling. No need to go off on a completely separate ramble...again, NOBODY wants that. So in my regular day job I've been put on two very large, very important projects. I've been on one of them since late 2012, and it takes up about 80% of my time. So to take up my remaining 20% of time, the powers that be decided to put me on another project. Except it's just a teensy weensy bit more than 20%, so now I've found myself working nights and weekends just to catch up. But this too, shall pass, and I am thankful that at least someone  wants me to work with them!
Also, in my part-time job as Red Pen editor extraordinaire, my lovely authors are gearing up for their release dates this Fall and Winter. I've been working with one for the past month, and we are working on the last pass at revisions before she releases in September. Then all hell will break loose. Because after Nichole's, I have 4 other authors I'm working with, on 7 more books! DANG! It's good, because I love these women and the work they provide. But DANG, I keep circling back around to the whole cloning-me-thing. Which, again -- NOBODY wants. Well, except maybe me. Oh, and my little boy. He would LOVE multiple mommies all scurrying around to fetch him milk and Babybel cheeses.
But hey -- being busy makes me HAPPY. I don't know how to not be busy. I actually tried to relax this past weekend, and it lasted for about 10 minutes before I had to stop and start working again. Part of me just felt guilty that there was so much to do, yet I was trying to lounge in my hammock with a book. How dare me! My son will be turning 4 in October, and planning for those festivities are in full swing. (An 'Under the Sea' theme - thank you for asking!) So I'm making decorations and painting pictures for his room and picking out invitations and planning menus and.....man. I get tired just listing it out!
Plus the fact that we moved to a new house in February of this year, and I'm still trying to get it 'right'. New shingles in March, and new gutters are being put on as we speak. My kitchen is a horror, but at least it's still functional. Ugh - but there is wallpaper and border everywhere! And not pretty stuff, either. So in a fit of Martha Stewartness last week, I decided to peel off all the border in my bedroom. Now I have a strip of white adhesive back running along each of the 4 walls, that I will NOW have to remove with a sponge and some dishsoap.
And don't get me started on my snake story from this past weekend. Let's just say that I reached in my bag of potting soil to get a handful of dirt, and almost got a handful of snake instead. YES. Those earsplitting squeals you heard were coming from ME. 
So. The reason I'm sharing this with all of you, my closest confidantes, is because YES, I am busy. But I'm never too busy for you! Try to take some time for yourself, even if it's just 10 minutes of stolen time in the hammock. Plant some flowers in your yard, but try to avoid bags that move. They may have wiggly things in them.
Until next time -- stay positive, and stay fabulous.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The end of innocence....HA! Who am I kidding?




Age....

So I just had a birthday.
I'm not afraid to admit how old I am -- I just turned 36. It's amazing how many people are hung up about their age, and to that I say BRING IT. Sure beats the alternative, right? So many people try to force their hang-ups about age on me ("turning 29 again, huh?"), and I just don't understand why people are so reticent about aging.
Aging.
It even sounds bad! Aging doesn't mean that I'm automatically going to wear rolled-down support hose and start getting my hair permed at the beauty shop. (Although I totally could, and I would ROCK it.)
I see age as a badge of honor.
I love the laugh lines around my face - it means I've had 36 years full of merriment and general nonsensery. I love the crinkle lines around my eyes - it means that I've been able to turn my face to the sun and squint in the brightness. I don't even mind the lines in my hands. I remember as a child holding my grandmother's hand, and marveling at how 'bumpy' they were, with all the veins and whatnot. But I knew that her hands were full of wisdom, they were full of hardships, they were full of experience. I remember wondering about all of the things her hands had done over the years, all the apple turnovers she'd made, (OMG - that woman's apple turnovers were the most AH-MAZING thing I have ever tasted! But, I digress.) all the lace she had tatted, all the quilts she'd put together from scraps of old clothes. The point IS.....
What's the point, again?
ha:)The point IS - growing older is a blessing, not a curse. Every year I'm alive is, well, another year I'm alive. Another year I can be amazing.
I still look forward to my birthdays, even though they are a little more disappointing now than the ones I remember from my childhood. There are no silly cone-shaped hats, no parties with streamers, and no unicorn rides.
OK, so maybe I've never actually had a unicorn ride - but wouldn't that be FREAKIN' AWESOME??? (Note to self: get ON that. Stat.)
I do enjoy planning outrageous birthday parties for my little boy, who will turn 4 this year. (Here is my latest Pinterest board for his party this year....yep.) I go way overboard, and I totally get why some people think I'm just a plain 'ole weirdo for going all out the way I do.
But birthdays are supposed to be awesome! You remember that feeling, don't you? And if he goes the way of most people, pretty soon he'll be thinking birthdays are a drag, too. And his mother is embarassing. (I can only dream!!)
But until then, I will celebrate, just like Madonna.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Quiet mouth, LOUD mind





When people try to rain on your parade...

I am a serial tongue-biter.
I don't think this is a bad thing, necessarily, because it has prevented me from getting fired/divorced/deported on many, many occasions. Many, MANY occasions. There's something to be said for practicing that much restraint, and sometimes I'll even reach over and give myself a little pat on the back. And if I pat myself a little too hard because of the anger that has built up in my little 5'2" frame, then so be it.
Oh, but then there are the TIMES. You know the ones. The times when it is physically painful for you not to utter those words. And it doesn't make you proud of yourself at all when you choose not to say them.
I am a peace keeper.
Goes right along with being a serial tongue-biter.
I know I am not quiet and when I am I am biting my tongue and my mind is racing ;)Sometimes, to keep the peace, you have to bite your tongue, hold it in, clamp off the 'ole mouth geyser. Ugh, but that is so hard! And sometimes, it's wholly unnecessary. I always wonder what people would think if I actually said all of the things that run through my head. Some of it is not pretty....and some of it is just plain ridiculous. (My mind wanders a lot) I tend to try to avoid arguments whenever possible, because once those hurtful words are out, there's no reeling them back in. People can forgive, but they will never forget. Those words are immortalized and branded into their heads, and no amount of Haagen Dazs ice cream can repair it.
My dysfunctional mind relies on two techniques:
1) Humor, and 2) Silence. I use humor to deflect all kinds of behaviors and situations, and that started at a pretty young age. I was a goofy lookin' kid, so humor got me out of more than one altercation with a potential bully. (Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't) Also, I grew up in a house plagued by alcoholism, so sometimes humor helped to distract the house from the imploding activity in the front room.
Silence...now this came later, when I figured out that sometimes no matter what you said, certain people weren't going to listen anyway. My head is safe - no one can get me in there. Of course, looking back, I realize that this is a pretty effed-up way to be. I think in a healthy world, we can all speak our minds * in a tactful way* and still be heard, still be listened to, still be taken seriously.
Unfortunately, I don't think we're in a healthy world. Not yet, anyway.
So I retreat. And retreat. And retreat.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Social anxiety, you devilish hosebeast.


Photo: Wow.....Stay classy, Nashville :)

So I guess I should start out by saying that I went on a trip last week. An author friend and I attended a book convention in an exotic location called Nashville, TN, to network and sell books and generally see what's UP in the writing world.
<-- Yep, that really happened.
It was our very first book convention, and we had no clue what to expect. We were one of the lucky ones, and were able to snag a table to set up our wares on. The place was absolutely packed - fangirls (and some fanboys) everywhere. We actually had to *GASP* speak to people.
It wasn't that bad, and I think I was able to hide a lot of my social anxiety as long as I was at the table and talking to people as they came up to check out the books. It was the times when I didn't have the security of my table when I began to feel the stirrings of panic. All around me there were people hugging and laughing and engaging in general merriment, and all I could do was gaze stupidly when their gaze managed to slide over me.
my social skills
I can't say that I've never felt as awkward as I did in those moments, because that's pretty much how I feel all the time. And my author friend is just as socially inept as I am, so instead of one stupid, glassy-eyed stare, there were TWO.
I just couldn't understand it! I mean, it's not like I saw any villagers chasing me with pitchforks and torches. Everyone looked perfectly normal (OK, maybe that's a stretch) and friendly, and it seemed to be a pretty judgment-free zone. So I should have been able to come out of my bubble, right?
Even the simplest exchanges - stuff I'm supposed to just know, because I'm a girl. Girl code. There was an awards ceremony, and everyone dressed up and looked fabulous. Walking into the lobby, we saw a group of girls obviously from the same convention, on the way to the ceremony. They saw us, recognized us, and said, "Oh! I love your dresses!"
That would have been a perfect opportunity to smile back, perhaps throw a "Thank you! And yours is fabulous too!"...maybe engage in some witty, useless banter. You know - bond with other people.
What did we do? Well....not that.
We gave an awkward smile and then got the hell out of there.
As we were walking away, I even told my friend, "OK, we totally blew that. Girl code dictates that we should have stayed there and fawned over their dresses. We just acted weird."
Why does it just come so easily to other people? Those women made lasting friendships that weekend! They were crying when it was time to leave! What did we do?
We skipped the closing ceremonies and got the hell out of there.
Social anxiety, you devilish hosebeast.