Happiness is…Not A Given Everyday! S’okay.

Life is hard. I hard that in a podcast yesterday, referencing the first sentence in Dr. M. Scott Peck’s bestselling book The Road Less Traveled. He said it’s important to reinforce that idea these days when we all think we need to be happy or we are doing this life thing all wrong.

That’s simply not true.

Whaaaat?

Sometimes, for maybe a day, or maybe a few years, we won’t be happy, because LIFE IS HARD, and things come up (a pandemic, a breakup, hating a job), but it doesn’t mean it won’t get better, or that you’re doing something wrong. It is just another piece to this big puzzle, and it is mercurial and evolving. Being happy is not somethings we can always maintain, despite our wishes for “a happy pill!”

I thought about that this morning when I went to let the dogs out early, and it was kind of rainy and damp, and I felt a sadness wash over me. I then thought back to yesterday, when I was at peace on a walk, and feeling so optimistic, because it was a beautiful and warm sunny day on the ocean (oh, and a vaccine may be coming and the election is over…sort of). It struck me how nothing had really changed since yesterday, so I thought I should shift my feeling to being happy. Ya know, ‘cuz it’s that easy!

Yesterday

But I did not. I decided to sit with my feelings and to accept them for what they were. Because life is hard, and we can’t expect so much! We may have to just let things be and ride the wave without impressing our own harsh judgments.

Easier said than done, I know. But something to consider, nonetheless. Remind yourself that the end game is to survive and enjoy MOST, but not all, of the ride. If we didn’t know sadness, we would not know joy!

Actual Joy Pictured

She Persisted: My Failed Attempt at Cooking a Nice Dinner

“So maybe I should just stick with chicken nuggets?” This is what I asked my kids as they crinkled their noses and stared at the sauteed shrimp skewered on their forks and turned it round and round, like a pinwheel.

“Sorry, mom. I just don’t like garlic,” my sons says, trying to be nice. He actually, I think, felt bad for me, since I’d make a big deal about cooking this special dinner since we woke up this morning. See, this is an aberration. I am not exactly known for my culinary skills, and, truth be told, I’d be happy having chips and wine for dinner. But, I tried to be all maternal and decided I’d watch the Food Network and start making actual meals. Typically, I have a rotation of pasta, veggies and rice, steak, and chicken. As my son James says, “Mom, all you cook is chicken with a different sauce and side.” The grill is my friend: easy and fast, and the mess is outside. No lingering smells in the house, and basically no dishes!

But, today, I went to Roche Bros., equipped with my recipe and took to task. Of course this Spicy Fennel Shrimp meal ended up costing twice as much because I had to essentially buy a spice cabinet–the one I had included salt and pepper, nail polish remover, dog treats and gummy vitamins. This was my amazing basket. Oh, and see that random vegan stuff in there? Well, I decided I might try going Vegan for a week and see how it goes. So far? The smoked vegan cheese is dis-GUS-ting. Note to self: no fake cheese.

So around five, I decide to give it a whirl and take out the shrimp. Alas, what the hell is deveining??? I read this on the recipe. And, by the way, anything with veins? I don’t super want to eat. However, I watch a You Tube on how to pull the legs and shell off the shrimp and then cut a line down its spine to pull out what is essentially poop. I mean, I have goldfish, and this “vein” looks very similar to the bottom of their tank. I thought to toss them right then and there but, as Chelsea Clinton wrote, “She Persisted.” I persisted and cleaned those babies.

Well, I made quite a tasty dish, I must say. Here’s a pic:

But, when I had the kids try it, all fired up, saying grace, staring at their scared faces, all I could say was, “Should I stick to the nuggets?”

And I did.

I ate the shrimp, and I’m writing this as the nug’s cook. Round two on dinner…

It’s Okay to Cry

I have cried, I think, once a day for the last seven days. That’s unusual for me…now. In my 20s and 30s, I am pretty sure I cried every day. I remember one of my close guy friends told me he hadn’t cried in several years, and I was befuddled. I was like, ‘HUH!? You must be so repressed! What is happening!?”

So I used to cry about big life things, such as, “I am never going to find ‘the one,'” and ‘Why can’t I figure out what I want to do with my life?” Ya know, your basic lame, white girl problems when you’re still on the dole of your Dad.

I know I’m 28, but can you send me my rent?

Now, I cry about things like when my son and I were walking the dogs last night, and he told me that my ex-husband probably married me for my looks, but “those have lowered.” Or, when I miss my long-distance boyfriend, and it hurts. Or, that I don’t always fit in.

I am not sad, really, no. I am just in-tune with my emotions, I guess?

I cried, too, this week when I saw my daughter sleeping next to me, as she does every night, and she’s so big now. She’s almost 8. I know, I know; she should sleep in her own bed. But, I’m alone, and I like to touch her ankles with my cold feet, and to hear her breathing, as I did when she was an infant and wouldn’t nap unless I lay down with her. I cried, because I remembered how tiny she was, in her zebra, zip-up, onesie, and how she smelled of powder and cornsilk on her fine hair. And how, at that time, things were so different, and I didn’t envision co-parenting and sleeping alone on Wednesdays.

The point I guess I’m trying to make is, it’s okay to cry, even if you’re happy. The tears stream down, cleanse you of those thoughts, and you can move on. People seem so concerned with appearing happy. I guess I’m just here to say, well, it’s okay to cry…

A Comedy of Errors: First Full Day Back!

First full day of school in seven months and off to a great start! (er…well?) So, I will map out the comedy for you in just the first HOUR!

1. We pull in for drop-off, face shields intact, and my daughter forgets her backpack. Looks like I’ll circle back in a few!

2. Screeching out of the driveway to return to school, I nearly hit my friend, who is delivering a roadie wine glass forgotten from the other night. (PS-the roadie was on foot, not in car–just sayin’). I grab the shopping bag, thank her, and when I arrive BACK at school, I’ve already blanked out what’s in the bag and think, “Hey, how did that get here?” #tired

3. I’m wearing a flannel, Dachshund Christmas pajama shirt! Enough said. Ew.

4. Haven’t gone grocery shopping in a week, so I put together a random hodge-podge for kids’ lunches, comprised of a varietal of cheese and yogurt. It’s a full dairy bomb. So aggro that peanut butter is banned. That was an old go-to.

5. Start to do the accumulated dishes from last night and find this Dis-GUS-ting glass filled with Extreme! Sour Warheads that my son wolfed in one huge gulp and promptly spit out. They are now essentially super-glued to the bottom of my new Crate and Barrel glass.

6. Wonder how my dog got a large black mark on his leg, and I realize it’s my new Infallible Maybelline eyeliner in Charcoal Black that I just purchased. He has eaten it.

Check spot of black on leg on right

Honestly? Still super happy THEY ARE BACK! (well, for now…) xo

So Was it a “Mistake” or an “Experience?”

Today I heard the quote, “Experience is the name we give our mistakes.” It led me to reflect on all of my “mistakes,” of which there are plenty. I wondered if I could actually just chalk them up to experiences instead of what I’d felt were mistakes. And, the answer is: I’m not sure, and leaning towards ‘no.’

I mean, I can’t get those days, months, weeks or years back that I spent with someone I regret. Nor can I undo something tragic, that I think was a mistake, but I chose to do it.

I did it. It was my doing. So, was it an experience or a mistake?

That is the question.

This leads me to believe that if you CHOOSE to do something, it might, in fact, be a mistake, not an experience. Do you agree? An experience, to me, is something that happened to you or you were a part of. Like, you went on a trip to Cancun in college with a random group of kids on something called Sunsplash Tours–that’s an “experience.” (okay, full disclosure, I did that, and it might have been a mistake. Just saying.) Or, an experience could be getting stuck in an elevator. That’s a tough “experience,” but it’s not a mistake. It happened to you.

I think this quote was created so that we can exonerate ourselves and not feel shame or guilt for making a bad choice. It’s a pass, an out. I don’t like it. If you consider this wrongdoing a mistake, you are less apt to repeat it. Whereas you often can repeat an experience, and some are good and some are bad. Mistakes, to me, are not something we think of as good.

I spend an inordinate amount of time on wishing I could undo mistakes. Like, if I hadn’t done this then I’d be…always somehow in a better place in life. #wasteoftime (click here if you want to find a way to welcome unwelcome feelings).

We can’t undo our mistakes. We can someday call them experiences, I guess, but the best thing we can do is LEARN FROM THEM!

The other thing we can do is keep making them. I think if you are too afraid to make a mistake, then you will always stay in the safe zone and on the sidelines. You may never make a discovery, personal or professional. I believe in jumping in, full force, and then just spending inordinate amounts of time hating yourself later if it doesn’t work out.

Ha! I mean, that’s kind of what I do. That’s rotten advice. Sorry.


This is good advice though:

And a person who has only experiences, and not mistakes, is not real.

Pet that unicorn for me.