Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I'm Not Saying I Pick Internet Fights. I'm Saying I End Them.



Sometimes the hardest part of being a Buddhist is not being a bitch. Hey! It just comes naturally to some of us. (Re: Me.) Read more about it on my Buddhist blog Buddha Mama Sans Drama.

What do you do to keep yourself from engaging in internet arguments?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Not-to-Do List.

I'm sick. I'm also tired. But I refuse to say that I'm sick and tired because that sounds so negative.

But I am sick. I've been nauseous since April. And no, I am not pregnant. Ha ha. Very funny. And yes, I've taken a pregnancy test. Or two. But I'm definitely not carrying another child THANK BUDDHA. It turns out that feeling nauseous is actually a sign of getting an ulcer. Who knew? I thought it would be more of a burny sensation. So apparently being an anxious/stressy person can cause your stomach to eat itself. I learn something new every day!

So until I get this acid situation under control with medication and dietary changes, I'm trying to reduce stress. Part of that is doing decidedly less than I have been doing. I'm allowing myself not to do anything if I don't want to instead of forcing myself to do it all.

I don't want to take any grad classes this summer … so I'm not.

I don't want to work out. So I'm not …. not every day at least.

I don't want to write my book … so I'm editing instead.

I don't want to write in my blog … so I'm not. Well, not much.

I don't want to practice my mandolin … so I'm not.

I just want this summer to be about being lazy. Sure, I'll go to work but I don't want to do anything after work. I don't want to do anything on the weekend. I don't want any responsibility besides my husband, my children and the things I want to do.


Things I like doing:

Reading.

Gardening.

Watching Orange Is the New Black with my husband.

Drinking sparkling water.

Watering the flowers with my kids.

Spending time with friends.


This all feels so indulgent. But I think I'm tired, stressed out and I need to rest. I need to soak up time with my family. Time being outside while the weather is nice. Time sitting in temple with my sangha.

So that's what I'm gonna do. If you need me, you'll probably find me lounging on the couch or watering my front yard. Be sure to stop by and say hello, because suddenly I find I have some extra time.

More of this.

Less of that.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Detroiters Love Their Classic Cars.

Here's a fun blog post from my friend and former co-worker Bill. Today he's featuring a photo of my dad's Ford Mustang circa 1975-ish. If you're a car nut or love looking at old pictures of cars and hearing the stories of people and their sweet rides, be sure to check it out at Attic Autos.

Click here to see today's post with a picture of me and my older sister Beth standing in front of my dad's Mustang.

This post was inspired by a bunch of photos I'd posted on Facebook last week after my dad sent me a bunch of old slides from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. The majority of them feature people posing in front of cars, planes, boats and motorcycles, in case you were wondering how an automotive engineer in Detroit stages his photo shoots. 

My sister just found this gem this past weekend. Look real hard. 

Cousin Debbie, brother Charlie, sister Beth, cousin Jimmy and baby Mandy.

You've got to love the 1970s. We don't need your stinking bike helmets, your 5-point harness seat restraints or your gun safety. Survival of the fittest, baby!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

For All the Things That Husbands and Fathers Do.

Fred with a newborn Grace.
I've shared some thoughts I had after listening to a Father's Day talk at my temple this past Sunday. It opened my eyes to all the things that fathers and husbands do without much fanfare or glory. You can read it here. Thanks!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Friday, May 9, 2014

43

This year I celebrate Mother's Day and my birthday on the same day. It's a two-for-one deal for my family. I'm getting totally robbed, of course. Those jerks should have to treat me like the Queen of Everything on more than one day.

Just kidding. I'll make them celebrate me all weekend.

And possibly into next week.

So I'm turning 43 on Sunday.

I can't believe I typed that and put it into the atmosphere for people to consume and digest how horrifically ancient I am. Actually, this is quite an achievement. It has taken me three years to admit that I'm in my 40s. I really hated turning 40. So much so that my son still insists I'm 38. For a while I think he really believed it, and then I felt guilty and corrected him, but then he kept insisting to anyone who asked that I was indeed 38 years old because he's just that wonderful.

But I'm 43 this week. For real.

I thought I'd be a grown up by the time I was in my 40s. But I look at my face in the mirror and there's still something wide-eyed and childlike about my appearance. Or maybe that's just me seeing the me I know me to be? Maybe strangers see a 43-year-old suburban housewife.

I see Brigitte Bardot.

But whatever. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I'm going to behold me as looking young. Notice I did not say, "for my age." If Madonna can be in her 50s, I can be in my 40s. And neither one of us looks "good for our age." We just look good, thank you.

Perhaps I'm okay with being in my 40s because I'm happier with myself at 43 than I was at 40? I'm married to an incredibly smart, handsome and hilarious man. He's also rich. Just kidding. I just said that to make him laugh. When our daughter Grace was born, I used to quote her a line from the Tina Turner biopic, What's Love Got To Do With It? Ike Turner says to his newborn son, "Why you cryin' baby? Don't you know your daddy's rich and your mama's good lookin'?" So that's how I describe us to my husband and he finds it amusing.

I also have a beautiful and kind son who is ten years old. TEN YEARS OLD! I have parented for a decade! He came into my world and changed my life for the better a whole ten years ago. I can't even believe it. And I have a beautiful and feisty four-year-old daughter. FOUR YEARS OLD! She's no longer a toddler or a baby. She's practically a big girl. She can put on her own pants and everything.

These are things to feel good about. I'm raising two tiny human beings to put on pants and flatter people. If that isn't success, I don't know what is.

And I'm in grad school and I'm writing a book. I think I felt pretty bad about not doing either of those things three years ago … so maybe that's why I'm finally okay with being in my forties? Perhaps I feel like I'm accomplishing stuff. Maybe I feel successful even though I don't have the final evidence quite yet. It's in process. The wheels are in motion. I've got two classes down for the Master's degree and I'm over 250 pages into my first book.

Yeah. Not too shabby. I'm going to stake a claim on it and go ahead and feel good about myself.

It's been a long road to 43. Let me tell you, 33 was hard as hell. I was not in a good place. I was a single mom and scared. I was trying to create an entirely brand-new career out of thin air. And I was full of doubts about my abilities. Maybe I'm a late bloomer? I spent my twenties in a marriage in a bubble. I spent my thirties living the life that you're supposed to live in your twenties. Trying to find myself and trying on all kinds of roles and men. Making lots of mistakes and trying to find my way back to normal.

And 40? What will I do with this decade? I feel like I'm going to get shit done. All the dreams and frustrations of the previous forty years will be answered. I'm doing the work. Burning the midnight oil  that I avoided all those other decades.

40 is better than 30. And 30 is better than 20. And 20 was better than 10. At this rate, I can't wait to be 50 and 60 and 70 and more. Life is good. Being alive is a gift. I'm not going to waste it anymore. I'm going to do things that matter. I'm going to make a difference and connect with people. I'm going to be brave and honest. I'm going to learn to like myself a little more. And I'm going to be nicer to old people and jerks. Maybe even be a little less self-critical and ignore that internal monologue that says "I can't" instead of "I can."

And I'm not going to be embarrassed about how much life I've lived. I've earned it. I'm on my way. And you haven't even seen the best of me yet.

This is how I do 43, bitches.