Frankie Says Relax

I’m sitting here watching my daughters play outside with their friends. Its a cool, rainy day but they don’t care. They bundle themselves up and forge on outside.

CJ is upstairs painting our bedroom. Sandy is sleeping on the couch next to me.

What am I doing? Racking my brain trying to think of something productive to do.

I’ve already gone to the grocery store, done several loads of laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, planned meals for the week, sketched out ideas for the bedroom that CJ is painting and read 2 articles for a class I’m taking.

All before 3:00.

But now what? I really need to pack my bag for work tomorrow. And there are a ton of boxes downstairs to go through. However, both of those options would require me being on a different floor as the play group and I really don’t want to leave them alone, unsupervised.

Part of me says, hey, just sit and relax. Read a book! Watch TV! Play a game on your phone!

Another part of me feels guilty for that. Like I’m not contributing if I’m not actively doing something for the greater good of the house and family.

I’ve struggled with this problem for years. The inability to relax and “do nothing”. Even in situations where it’s my job to relax (i.e. during a massage), I can’t do it. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened at a chiropractic appointment:

Doc: OK now relax your arm.

Me: Yep, I am.

Doc: No you’re not. Your muscle is engaged. Take a deep breath and just relax that muscle.

Me: OK, done.

Doc: *sigh* Um, no. As he let’s go of my arm and I’m still holding it up.

Sometimes I look at this one and envy her.

Sandy, like all dogs, never has trouble taking it easy. She can sleep anywhere, anytime.

In some ways I think a lot of women face this same struggle. We try to be everything to everyone which means we are always moving and going. If we stop for too long, someone or something will suffer.

Men never seem to be plagued by this.

I have to remember though that the more I push myself, the more I wear down. Relaxation is good for me. And what’s good for me is good for everyone in my family.

So now that I’ve spent half an hour writing and editing this post, I think it’s time to publish and then sit and read a book with a hot cup of tea.

Ah.

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Hero

Hero. For such a little word it sure has a lot of meaning. When you label someone a hero, it’s kind of a big deal.

And then, as if being a hero wasn’t big enough, we also have the next level up which are super heroes. I am personally a big fan of one super hero in particular.

Yet being a hero doesn’t have to be such a status symbol or echelon event. We can be a hero to someone just by paying for their coffee if they’re low on money. Or sending a card to say “I’m thinking of you” when you know they had a shitty day. How about standing up for them when no one else will.

Or buying them a donut because you know they really want one and would eat it if someone gave it to them but would not buy it themselves.

Ok maybe that last one is just my idea of a hero.

I used to think a hero was someone who literally saved lives. Now I’d be cool with someone who just saved me a seat in a crowded room.

Isabella was asked to do a writing assignment about a hero. She had to include a main idea, 3 details, and a concluding sentence. Of course because she’s my daughter she did extra credit and added 2 extra details.

Here’s what she wrote:

My mom is a hero. Do you want to know why? If not, stop reading.

She is pretty. She gets her hair colored. Dad says she is beautiful. Every time she gets a haircut Cora says, “You look pretty.”

She is fun. She plays lots of games. She will play almost anything. She plays games on TV.

She is daring. She does the Polar Plunge. She does lots of scary stuff. She does belly flops in the water sometimes.

She is strict. Sometimes she yells. One time she took away my toys. She makes us follow so many rules.

She is nice. She bought us angel food cake. She gets us toys. She smiles a lot.

So now I’ve told you all about how my mom is a hero (if you read it).

See. All you need to be a hero is pretty, fun, daring, strict, and nice. Its achievable yet also enough criteria to weed out the posers.

Also, I don’t know where she got the belly flop thing because I never jump in the water….I’m afraid of water. Can a hero be a hero and still be afraid of water? I feel like that in and of itself shouldn’t disqualify me. I just won’t be the kind of hero to save you if you’re drowning.

What is a hero to you? Who is a hero in your life? Have you told them? Maybe you should. I guarantee they’ll feel pretty special.

Now let’s go talk about it over angel food cake. I’ll buy!

$#*! My British Friend Says – She’s Back!!

I have some advice for you. Go get yourself a British friend. I highly recommend it. They sound cool when they talk- regardless of what they say (and they say some weird things). They eat some gnarly shit but they know good tea and how to drink it. And they’re just downright awesome people.

Ok so I’m generalizing. I can’t vouch for every British person there is. But I can vouch for one – the Brit.

The Brit and I had dinner the other night and it was fun to spend time together again. It was like old times.

Here are a few highlights.

  • He’s F*ing rude! But good. Don’t forget good.
  • I love it when you order pudding. I like watching you eat.
  • [The waitress] “Do you want 6 or 9 ounces of wine?” The Brit holds up 9 fingers and says “6”.
  • Are you going to finish your chips? I love to eat them like a sandwich with coleslaw in the middle.

In other exciting news, The Brit and I are planning a trip back to the Annex to explore our old stomping grounds and see what adventure we can rustle up. Stay tuned!!

The Box

I’m going to share a secret with you. Something that’s been haunting me for 5 years.

But first, let me tell you about last week.

I spent 2 days in a leadership class. In that class we talked about our saboteurs and our guardians. A saboteur is that negative voice in your head. The one that tells me I can’t do things or I’m not good enough or I might as well not try because I’ll fail anyway. The saboteur keeps me from sharing ideas at work because they might be stupid. Or from swimming because I could drown. Or from singing karaoke because people might laugh at me.

The guardian, on the other hand, is the all knowing voice that guides you, protects you and says loving thing to you no matter what. The voice that counters the saboteur and shuts it up. My guardian is a tiger. A strong, sleek, beautiful, warm, regal tiger. I call her Tigra.

And now for that secret.

I’m afraid to jump on the 2nd level box in the gym.

It all started when I returned to work from maternity leave with Cora, back in 2013. One of my first days in the gym, my trainer told me to jump on the box. No big deal, I used to do it all the time. So I jumped. And fell off. I tried again. And hit my shin.

That was it. At that point my mind said, “We are never doing this again” and it shut down. I tried to make myself do it but to no avail. I would bend my knees as if to jump but it was like my feet were nailed down. One day my trainer and I stood there for almost an hour trying to do it, staring at that damn box and no matter what he said or did, my mind wouldn’t let my body move.

My saboteur was in full control.

You’re going to fall again.

Do you want to hurt yourself?

It’s too high.

You can’t do it.

When you miss everyone will laugh at you.

You’re too old for this.

Just go get the small box. That’s s all you can do.

And on and on.

It bothers me. I pretend it doesn’t but it does. I want to conquer that box. I hate that it has control over me. Every day I walk by that box and it mocks me. Or when I see another woman jump on it with ease it’s like a knife to my gut. The competitor in me comes out and thinks, “How come she can do it and I can’t? ”

Well the truth is, I can. I just won’t let myself.

That all ends now. I’ve decided my next goal in the gym is to beat that f*ing box. I am going to take a step bench and raise it a little higher every day until I have my confidence back.

I will succeed.

Goodbye saboteur. Tigra is winning this battle.

Silly Little Sentences

Sisters:

Isabella: Cora, think of something to ask Google.

Cora: Shamrock paper.

Isabella: No, it has to be a question.

Cora: Shamrock paper!

Isabella: A question! But not something like when are mom or dad going to die. Google’s not a doctor….

Cora:

Dad, can I call you mom for short?

Isabella:

Let’s sit at the table and talk about Smores. Maybe that will get mom and dad interested.

Isabella:

Mom, I love little cakes. They taste like heaven. Unless they use poop as an artificial ingredient. Who wants poop with sprinkles?

I love those 2 silly girls!!