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Guilt: When the “Staycation” Lacks Luster

When I took my children to the community playground yesterday, I felt sort of guilty that they weren’t on some fabulous trip for their school vacation. I thought about us parents who were there on the swings, and what our situations were that made us “stay home” this vacation (aside from vaccines). Was it money? Co-parenting schedules with divorce? Work responsibilities? All of the above?

I thought back to my childhood when I remember being on the “staycation” in Cleveland during spring break, because my parents both worked, and my mom also got her Ph.D. at night. We went to the Museum of Natural History, and we toured Cleveland. We went to the mall, had some meals out (Burger King and Wendy’s were a treat), and I watched TV . I went back to school pale as Casper, while others had a marked sunburn (this was when it was cool to burn in the ’80s). I recall feeling less privileged, which is funny, since I was in a private school (read: privileged) and really want for nothing.

Yesterday, after the playground, my kids and I walked to get ice cream, and I took them to the store for a toy. She got a Rapunzel doll, and he got a Kit Kat and bandages, so he could pretend to be wounded while playing war outside when we got home.

The kids picked these

It was a super nice day together, and I know they had fun, but I still felt sort of bad we were “home.”

I know I should not.

Truth is, I asked them: would you want to go somewhere later in the week?

She said, “I don’t like Florida.” (She only says this because of alligator fears)

Yikes

He shook his head, “no.”

I wonder if they really meant that. I know time together is what counts…

But I couldn’t help wonder if they were trying to make me feel better.

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Why are Some People So Rude? I’m Tired of It.

You know what I am tired of? Rude people. I have spent an inordinate amount of time this week trying to just not absorb negative energy and hostile behavior surrounding me, but it’s out of control. There are only so many times you can be like water off a duck’s back, or Teflon, or whatever analogous thing you must be to fend of vitriolic blasts. UGH!

This is not me.

I am not going to write a blog on how to reject or recognize toxic people, since there are many of those blogs (and people)–believe me; I’ve read them.

But, I do wonder a few things. First, I wonder how people can be so blind and detached about other people’s feelings and lack diplomacy? I know, for myself, (and I’m an empath), I always think about how what I say or do will land if it’s something potentially sensitive. I spend inordinate amounts of time “feeling bad” about everything, and I can’t comprehend when people can be outright hostile unapologetically. In fact, I feel bad so often, that my family and I started a jar where we’d all put a dollar in it every time we said “I feel bad.” We figured this would be a great way to save for an opulent vacation, since we say it so many times a day. Today, I owe $2.

Maybe some others should start a jar.

Next, I wonder how we all got so angry. Granted, the pandemic is certainly horrible, and we are all cooped up and pissed off on some level about the injustice. But, really…haven’t we learned that human life is fragile, that we are better served being peaceful and taking time to be somewhat grateful? Why be so MEAN to other people and lash out? Like, what purpose does that serve?

If you have something mean to say, figure out a way to say it tactfully. In short, at its most basic translation: stop sucking. Really.

Lastly, I wonder why no one corrects these folks who feel it’s okay to walk around being so offensive. I think, sadly, some people are proud of the their “I don’t give a ****” attitude and wear it like a badge of honor. There are bumper stickers, magnets, pins, etc. that all have that as a motto, as IF it is some kind of virtue. No, in fact, being humane and caring about others is probably more meritorious and deserving of praise than being caustic with armor up all the time. Go to therapy, heal thyself.

These people obviously are hurting. We should FEEL BAD for THEM.

I just wish it didn’t first hurt me.

WHAH. That’s me crying inside right now.

See, now I feel bad. For real. For myself.

xx

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When You Forget the Holiday- Oops

You know when you get the notification alert that you have an upcoming meeting in–a half hour? Yeah. That kind of sucks, when you had totally forgotten about it. I was just sitting here working, snacking on some multigrain chips and about to log into my snack tracker on my diet app, and I was told I was about to miss an appointment in 2 hours. ARGH. WHY? Honestly, I should set alerts like every 15 minutes, because the ‘day before’ alert is too far from the appointment, and the ‘day of’ is always a shock to the system.

Or…maybe I should stop making appointments.

Oh, and this is kind of funny, but maybe financially shrewd and prudent: I did Easter this morning (2 days late). The rabbit “decided to come on Tuesday, because when he rang the doorbell Sunday, no one was home!” Few things about this. First, I was out of town, and the kids were at their dad’s house. So, they had a nice basket and presents there. Secondly, my mom took them on an egg hunt and they got candy with her also. However, when I got home Sunday night, my 8-year-old looked at my like Cindy Loo Who in the #Grinch after the Christmas tree was stolen, and wondered where her basket was here at my house.

“Mommy, did the Easter bunny forget to come?” she asked. Blink*Blink.

Um…Sort of? But, NO! He is just going to be a day late. So, get this though: It’s WAY BETTER for your wallet. I went to Walgreen’s to stock up on these squishy toys and pillows and candy yesterday, and it was all 50 percent off. Sort of a score. This bunny is the budget bunny and a day late, but not a dollar short!

Here are some of the treats I got.

So, she the kids were super psyched after all!

Maybe next year I can set myself an alarm for Easter. Hm…

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The Upside of Being Too Busy

Today, I found my phone in the refrigerator. Middle shelf. Yes, I had been running around like a maniac, hurdling over the dog, trying to get out the door for work when I realized I didn’t have my phone. Uh-oh…the panic set in. This is like leaving without clothes on. I mean, I HAD to find it, and fast. I leapt up the stairs, two at a time, huffing and cursing. Frantically, I ran back downstairs, pulling drawers open, rummaging through bags, turning round and round, like a robo-vacuum.

Then, it occurred to me: hey, I was making lunches, and maybe, just maybe, it’s in the FRIDGE! And, there it was. I couldn’t take a photo of it, which I thought to, because I was laughing, because I’d have to take it with the phone!

This story leads me to my initial thought when I sat to write this blog: I’m doing too many things at once. I am thinking about like 15 different things simultaneously. Part of this is inherent to my job in public relations and marketing, where I have multiple accounts I work on each day, shifting back and forth between them with different tones, voices, styles, and needs. Each account uses a different part of my brain.

My brain hurts, sometimes.

But that’s not always a bad thing. I like that I have to think at work, in particular. When I was an actress in NYC back in the days of yore (imagine me hunched over, telling this story in an old lady voice), I used to temp as my day job.

Me telling you about being an actress

The 8-hour temping days were seriously painful, because I was doing work that my goldfish could do. I remember I’d show up as the new “temp for the week,” sit in whomever secretary’s desk I was replacing, and look around.

I’d notice her pink, raspberry-scented Victoria’s Secret lotion, the photos of her kids, her pilled cardigan hanging over the back of my swiveling desk chair, and her change of shoes under the desk (some sort of beaten up flats). People would by-and-large ignore me, but sometimes there was a nice “coworker,” who would ask me about my life or say hi and bye to me. I was kind of like the fly on the wall. I don’t blame them for not wanting to get to know me, as I was there merely temporarily, hence the name “temp.” The days would drag on and on, and some days, I’d only be given the tasks of making copies or stuffing envelopes. Other days, I’d be given more “difficult” tasks, like writing correspondence. They were always AMAZED at how the office chimp was actually skilled, a graduate of a good college, with significant work experience.

Anyway, I digress. My point it this: I am elated to have a real job now that I get to use my brain and, even, that I sometimes feel harried! I’d rather that than staring at the clock, or trying on someone else’s Payless flats under the desk.

Me as temp with augmented chest

So it’s not all that bad when you’re too busy and leaving your phone in the fridge.

Perhaps I should invest in a phone leash.

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A Day in the Life of Me: My To-Do List Compared to My Daughter’s.

I found this amazing list my daughter wrote titled, “Friday After School List.” It started with the very obvious: 1. unpack backpack. This was followed by: 2. clean up room. Um, pretty sure that never happened. Then, there was, 3. draws/color, and so on…It ended with: 11. go to bed. This list, while somewhat compulsive and hyper-organized, also reminded me that life was so much simpler back when we were young, and maybe we ought to get back to that.

It also made me think of my own to-do list and how it compared. I decided I would write it down:

  1. Get up unwillingly: Dog and child bust into my room. Dog licks my face, and she leaps onto my back, while I let out a hurling noise.
  2. Wash out the coffee pot: Wonder why I don’t just get it ready to go the night before, because it’s so cumbersome to wash old grinds out from yesterday morning, and it takes too much time.
  3. Pack lunches: I LOATHE this task. Like, I envy those whose children have a school lunch. She won’t eat sandwiches, which leaves…chips and carrots and yogurt (which she always lets go to waste. And, they are the Chobani ones, which are not exactly cheap! #annoyed) And we can’t pack peanut butter anymore. He? He’s easier. I hate the water bottles too. It’s like they are hamsters or rabbits and need a water bottle every day. We never had water bottles. Pretty sure the one gulp I took from the nasty, dirty water fountain at field hockey practice was my entire water consumption for the whole day.
  4. Drive kids to school: even though they very well could take the bus, which drives past my freaking house. But, no, they claim they’re too afraid of COVID, and people on it are loud and wipe snot on the windows.
  5. Go to work…
  6. Pick kids up: Wonder how the hell the day went by so quickly. Tell the kids they have to self-entertain for the next two hours, because I still have work to do.
  7. Walk the dogs: Grab a roadie of wine, breathe in some fresh air, run my work day through my head and wonder what else I have to do, and then try to pretend that I am breathing and being present. Pick up poop.
  8. Make dinner: Convince children that it’s important to eat as a family, say grace to Jesus, and tell each other our “rose and thorns” of the day. Implore them that they need to take their time, stop wolfing their food, and tell them “no” to their requests for eating in their rooms, on their beds. #gross
  9. Pour another glass of vino.
  10. Play dolls or Barbies with daughter or make fire pit with son.
  11. Try to find a TV show: Scroll through Netflix, watch a bunch of trailers and realize I hate period shows and am tired of murder shows, so I turn it off.
  12. Go to my computer, read blogs and wonder why I am brain dead. Wish I could write.
  13. Make phone calls and stare at my social media.
  14. Play Words with Friends. Crush it with a few two-letter words, have one eye open because so tired.
  15. Brush teeth, wash face, stare at wrinkles, plan Botox and Fillers
  16. Go to bed.

REPEAT!

I wish I had a manicure like this. But, I don’t.

There are things I’d like to have on this list, like “Draw/Color” and playing with friends, like my daughter did. I might want to add, “Clean Room,” since the armchair looks like a hanging rack for misplaced clothes, and the bed is still not made (I hate this!).

But, maybe I’ll get to that tomorrow. Tomorrow is a new day, and a new list…I hope! Probs not.