Homesick

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At 10:00 p.m. the first night I dropped her off at camp I received the call I had been dreading.

“I’m homesick,” sob, sobbing harder, and then louder.

“My roommates didn’t show up.” SOB, tears falling so hard and fast as they hit the phone it sounded like rain hitting the roof.

“You don’t have roommates?”

“Yes, I convinced two other girls to join me.”

“I hate it here!” WAAAAHHHHHHHHH

“Don’t you like the pool?”

“No, its horrible!” Sniff, sniff, sniff

“Are you learning any new skills?”

“N-o, I h-a-te it h-e-r-e” hicup, hicup, hyperventilate.

“Are you wanting me to pick you up?”

“Yes, come immediately!!!!”

“Honey, by the time I would get there it would be 3 a.m. and I just drove home from their today. I can’t do that and I won’t do that!”

WAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH

And the longer we talked the worse it got until I finally realized I was in a no-win situation and she would keep this up until Sunday, the battery power on her phone died, or at the very least until the sun rose.

In exasperation I said to my littlest

“Honey, I have to go, so put on your big girl panties and tough it out. Here’s the thing, you have the ability to choose what this weekend will be for you. You can choose to be miserable or you can choose to be happy, to have a great time, learn lots and create a bunch of memories. It’s your choice. Personally, I would choose happy because that is the only REAL choice you have if you want to have a good life. Start practicing making good choices.”

And then I hung up the phone before it got wet as the  salty drops started to splatter around me.

What A Woman Needs To Know

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Lately I have been thinking about what a woman needs to craft a joyful and successful life. Of course, being a ying/yang sort of person, I also ponder  what women don’t need as well. As I have thought about this it occurred to me that what I would write now is something completely different from what I would have written at 20, 30, 40 or even, God forbid, 50 something. Seems to me each decade brings a different sort of wisdom that carries us forward, and yet, we also seem to mislay this wisdom because of the mistaken notion that at various ages in our lives we are “suppose” to live and act in a certain pre-defined ways.  Culturally defined ways. A way our mothers would be proud of. A way that we must act and things we must lose if we are to find “true love” like Katie Morosky in the movie The Way We Were.

I think that as women we often we work so hard at becoming who we think we are suppose to be that we lose who we really are; our souls slipping away before we actually do. So in hopes of avoiding becoming soul less souls sooner than later I have written a list of What A Woman Needs  To Know (Or Doesn’t Need To Care About) for my daughters and granddaughters. Here you go girls:

  1. Laugh. Loud and often. Snorting is even better.
  2. Never compare yourself to another unless it is to encourage yourself to go in the direction of your dreams.
  3. Keep your body in shape for you and for your future health. Never diet for someone else…it doesn’t work.
  4. Get all the education that you can so you can be interesting to yourself and others.
  5. Get all the education you can so you can support yourself in the manner you would like.
  6. The first time he hits you…leave.
  7. If you are being called bitch, cunt, or slut by your “loved” one; then you don’t know what love is. Run away fast and find YOURSELF before you find another partner.
  8. Seeing IS believing.
  9. Every week… without fail… put away $10 into your “If I Die Fund.” Then if you have to leave your love interest you won’t be without resources and if you do die your relatives  can bury you in a coffin instead of a cardboard box.
  10. Vacation often and in places that help you to learn more about yourself.
  11. Learn to disagree pleasantly but if the other party is an asshole let your inner “mean girl” come out.
  12. Being a doormat only wrinkles your dress.
  13. Every time you have sex with a stranger you chip away at your soul. Get to know someone first and for goodness sake use a condom (or 2)
  14. Find someone who puts your needs in line with his/her own.
  15. Pick someone who is smarter than you but doesn’t lord it over you.
  16. You will never sustain that honeymoon glow. Be realistic and just try to keep the extreme highs and lows to a minimum.
  17. Being on an emotional rollercoaster DOES NOT mean that it is true love.
  18. Practice kindness especially with those you love and those who love you.
  19. Grant grace as often as you can.
  20. You can choose to be miserable or you can choose to be happy. Choose HAPPY.
  21. Find the things you really care about and then do them. Often.
  22. When you are older you will realize that it is all about the connections. Nurture them.
  23. If you are unhappy it is up to you to have the courage to take the steps to make some changes.
  24. For years I lived in the past and the future. Now I live in the present and I am able to tie my shoes. ( Yeah, scratch your head and think about that one)
  25. If you don’t take some risks you will never know what you are made of.
  26. Find love in all its many forms. We all need as much of it as we can get.
  27. Once a day do something nice for someone.
  28. Words without action are nothing but words.
  29. You will not always be young and beautiful but if you have good manners and great confidence you will be treated like the queen that you are.
  30. If your thoughts/actions are hurtful or unkind you are blinding yourself so that you cannot see clearly.
  31. What seems impossible will be…until it is done.
  32. Have many “huggers” in your life and be the first to give one freely.
  33. Every person has a story so take time to discover what it is.
  34. Be aware enough to know when to give up and when to stay the course.
  35. Beating yourself up leaves nothing but bruises.
  36. Change your mind only if YOU want to.
  37. Be brave. Take risks.
  38. Replace those negative thoughts with positive ones.
  39. Dance freely.
  40. When you are 30 take up a new interest. When you are 40 do the same.
  41. Be around people who cherish you.
  42. It will always get better especially if you take the steps necessary to make it so.
  43. A hot beverage that is drunk it a hot bath is as near to heaven as you will get without being there.
  44. Get over the notion that LIFE WILL ALWAYS BE FAIR. It won’t.
  45. Your job is to raise your children to be the type of person you would want with you when you are on a sinking ship.
  46. Sometimes the only words that fit are “Fuck You” said with total conviction.
  47. Pulling the covers back over your head is often better and smarter than drinking a martini.
  48. Save for your old age. It will be there before you know it. Yeah, I know you don’t believe it… but it will.
  49. Chances are that when you die you will only be talked about by three generations. Try for five.
  50. If you are living on a beer budget, then drink beer, not whiskey.
  51. Which reminds me, if you are getting a cold get in the hottest bathwater you can stand and lay there for awhile while throwing back a couple of shots of whiskey. The cold will mostly likely not develop but you may have a hell of a headache instead.
  52. You reap what you plant.
  53. Be honest.
  54. Don’t let evil into your life whether it be people, music or movies.
  55. Only be as old as you want to be.
  56. Be thankful and look for everyday blessings.
  57. Expect more than what others think is possible.
  58. You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. Of course there are always exceptions to the rules.
  59. If you only had 6 months to live what would you do? Do it NOW.
  60. Your happiness is controlled by you.
  61. Don’t get complacent in your relationships, in your work and in your life.
  62. Be dependable to yourself first.
  63. Speaking and doing are the same action.
  64. Sometimes in saying nothing you are as guilty as the person doing something.
  65. If you are drinking too much you are probably saying too much too.
  66. Pursue excellence.
  67. As you age you will get hair in places that your dog doesn’t.
  68. As good as it sounds having a threesome is rarely a good idea.
  69. As good as it sounds drinking on an empty stomach is rarely a good idea.
  70. Sit with yourself often.
  71. When you screw up apologize immediately.
  72. On your deathbed you will not be saying “Geez, I wish I had put more hours in at the office.”
  73. The sooner you learn to let things go the sooner you will stand straight again.
  74. Trust your intuition.
  75. Never be afraid to scream or run if you think you are in danger.
  76. If you are feeling uncomfortable there is usually a good reason.
  77. Most of what “others” think doesn’t really matter.
  78. Be silly. Be playful. Be that person that others want to be around.
  79. Say whats on your mind but say it without malice.
  80. If you are in a serious relationship don’t let a week go by without sex. Okay, a few days actually but who wants to hear their grandmother say that!
  81. If your friends and loved ones don’t like your boyfriend there is a reason for that so dump him.
  82. Gossiping is like running a truck over yourself…again and again and again
  83. Going after a married man only leaves you with crucifixion scars.

A Grand Slam

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Marriage is like baseball. If you are lucky you get to play in a few extra innings, you make it to home plate more than you strike out and you have many winning seasons. I was reminded of this tonight when a guy showed up at our door to take out our daughter Jackie. He was wearing a baseball cap; his ears sticking out from the sides. He looked nervous, kind of like the rookie on the team, who is up to bat for the first time. And as I watched him look at my daughter I knew without a doubt that he is not “the one.” He’s a pitch hitter until she find the one who hits the grand slam. I suspect that just by looking at her face I will know “the one” when I see him.

I can only hope that our daughter picks well. That she finds a man somewhat like her dad. A kind, caring and compassionate man who puts those he loves in the forefront of his life. A husband who tries hard each and every day. A partner that is smart, funny and shares his feelings. A man that she find as hot 20 years into their marriage as the day that she met him. The kind off mate with whom “the rest of your life” truly means just that, and who, when he envisions the future sees her in every play-by-play, and in every scene. I hope she chooses a husband who dares to dream big dreams and has the tenacity to make them come true. And one that doesn’t spit. Yes, definitely one who doesn’t spit.

I hope  as the game plays out that they both understand that it isn’t the World Series events that pull you apart but the thousands of annoying pitches that you have to take day in and day out and that if you don’t have a loving and positive attitude during practice that eventually you’ll get hit by a foul ball. Anyone can survive playing in the majors but it is really how you handle the everyday minors that count. And I hope that when it is time for them to create their own team that they understand that it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it is how you play the game. For it is only with an abundance of kindness and giving more than you take that you get to walk in this life together around the bases instead of striking out early on it the game.

Copyright 2/9/16

If I Die Soon…Advice To My Daughters

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For about the past  ten years whenever I travel I tend to freak out before I go. While I never used to be afraid; I am now scared of flying. My family expects this of me now and they laugh at my trepidation.  “That’s just crazy mom,” they say with a smile.

I originally told B I was not going to China with him because I had an overwhelming feeling of dread. So now, as I contemplate this trip I have decided I need to leave my daughters some thoughts that I think contribute to living a good life just in case I trip on a yak and fall to my death on Everest. I thought of all of these things off of the top of my head instead of consulting the internet so that is probably why the list is what it is.

For N and G… Love CLHD 12/18/15

Here goes:

  1. Wear a bikini every chance you get when you are young and take a zillion pictures. You will never look this good again so you might as well document the heck out of it.
  2. Any person who tells you that you can’t do something doesn’t know you immense capabilities. Don’t listen to the naysayers.
  3. You never NEED a man. EVER. It’s okay to enjoy one though and be with one because he makes you happy and looks after your interests on the same level as his own.
  4. Report serious wrongdoing or abuse of power.
  5. You are a woman in a sea full of them. Stand out while supporting one another and for goodness sake don’t go poaching someone else’s man. You deserve more than sloppy seconds.
  6. Don’t worry about what others think and do what is unexpected. Your life will be so much more fulfilling if you do.
  7. Fulfill your dreams before having kids so you don’t resent them.
  8. Backpack…somewhere…anywhere…at least once in your life.
  9. Don’t be in a hurry. Get your degree then travel for awhile before doing your life’s work.
  10. Listen to your intuition. Really listen and follow it. It will rarely let you down.
  11. If some nut job forces his way into the car, steer into a building, another car, a light pole…anything. A car is replaceable but you are not.
  12. The first time a man hits you leave and never look back. Oh and be sure to say F*** You on the way out.
  13. You have an obligation to participate in the political system. Do so wisely and anyone who is a hater- work to defeat them.
  14. Don’t shave your legs for a month.
  15. Always walk to your car with your keys in your hands and your thumb over the alarm button. Look before you get in. If ANYONE makes you nervous go back to the store. NEVER be afraid to yell HELP or create a scene.
  16. Do what makes you feel good at least once a day.
  17. Chances are if you are a hater someday you will be the hated. Don’t hate.
  18. Not everyone is going to like you. Deal with it.
  19. There are times in your life where nothing will go as planned. It’s okay…you will come out the other side perhaps a little scathed but destined for something that is meant just for you.
  20. Those things you think are really important are usually not as important as you think. Let them go.
  21. Enjoy sex and have a lot of it. Enough said.
  22. The only thing worrying creates is more worry.
  23. Love is the greatest thing in the world and love is the worst thing in the world but do your best to love like its the only thing in the world.
  24. Age 20…one piece of candy = more. Age 50…one piece of candy = 5 pounds, three new zippers and having to have your wedding ring re-sized.
  25. You can love whomever you want as long as they aren’t already taken.
  26. Always ask if you need help. There is no shame in it.
  27. Corners are for mice.
  28. Make a bucket list when you are young and then work to hard to cross everything off of it before you die.
  29. You can revise your bucket list at any time.
  30. Test drive the stick shift before you marry it. There is nothing worse than being married to a manual when you like to shift from high to low gear when you are going for a joy ride.
  31. Don’t be a jerk. Don’t be a snob.Have compassion.
  32. Offer a hand up whenever you can
  33. Carry a McDonalds gift card in the glove compartment of your car to hand to a homeless person who is down and out…you may be there too someday. One never knows.
  34. Give 100% to what you are doing and then when you are done… rest.
  35. You are many things and many people rolled into one. Don’t just be the one that is the easiest. Be the one that makes your life feel complete.
  36. Be respectful to the elderly.
  37. Everyone has a story. Listen.
  38. Don’t drink and drive.
  39. Don’t make a promise unless you intend to keep it.
  40. Plan for the future but don’t live in it. This also means you should have a small water and food supply readily accessible in order to survive something unexpected.
  41. Remember your kids might see what you wrote on Facebook someday. Be nice.
  42. Clarity bring rewards. Think before acting.
  43. A good bra makes all the difference in the world but there are times to burn it too.
  44. Anytime someone says they know you better than you know yourself…don’t believe them.
  45. Be kind just because it is the right thing to do, just don’t be stupid about it.
  46. Read
  47. Say NO freely and with force when needed.
  48. Save money for a rainy day. Cardboard boxes fall apart when wet.
  49. Learning that you can’t always get what you want is helpful to figure out early on.
  50. If you have to get high more than once a month you aren’t being your own best friend.
  51. Never go to bed mad.
  52. Tell your spouse everyday three things you appreciate about them and be sincere.
  53. No eye rolling unless you are trying to get a part in a play.
  54. Never let yourself get more than 10 pounds overweight without losing it because somehow it rapidly grows to twenty.
  55. Forgive yourself. Often.
  56. Only give a loan if you can be pleasantly surprised if you ever get the money back.
  57. You should never have more “best friends” than the number of phone numbers you can remember in your head.
  58. Make mistakes just don’t be a jackass about it and keep making the same stupid ones…especially as it concerns men.
  59. Life is fluid. Try not to live in rigidity.
  60. I used to believe you could never love a child too much and then I met some adults who had.
  61. Don’t chew gum. It is totally non-biodegradable and will be around longer than we will.
  62. There is a reason why they say patience is a virtue. Unfortunately, I never had enough. I hope you do.
  63. Every time you have sex with a different man you give a little piece of your self away. Make sure you have enough of the good pieces left for yourself.
  64. Orange juice is good. Vodka is better.OR-G is superb. Together they are amazing. Reminder see #38.
  65. Love yourself first in a healthy non-narcissistic way…the rest will follow.
  66. Winnie the Pooh and Piglet had a great relationship. Aim for that.
  67. Your EVERYTHING MUST BE FAIR IN LIFE certificate was lost at birth. There is no way to order another one.
  68. Ugly women wear layers while beautiful women wear smiles.
  69. Compliment, compliment, compliment when you truly mean it.
  70. Exercise your body and your mind.
  71. It’s good to be smart so don’t let anyone make you feel bad for being so.
  72. Don’t act dumb in front of boys.
  73. Don’t have too much pride or stubbornness to apologize first.
  74. Learn to just sit comfortably with yourself as a way towards self-discovery.
  75. There is a difference between loving and spoiling.
  76. Go to the doctor once a year and get your yearly GYN exam. Please.
  77. Loyalty is rarely overrated.
  78. Your children are not really YOURS…you just borrow them for awhile.
  79. When you have no words just hold hands.
  80. Perfection doesn’t exist. Stop searching for it.
  81. I have spent too much of my life being negative. It doesn’t do anyone any good. Please don’t do that to yourself and others.
  82. Laugh hard and loud. A good snort in public is good for the soul.
  83. Your husband will make mistakes. You will make mistakes. It isn’t necessarily the end of your marriage even though it feels that way.
  84. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I already did that for you and your allotment is all used up.
  85. Sometimes you just have to work harder whether you want to or not.
  86. You are beautiful just the way you are. Believe it.
  87. If you hate your body in some way you just end up hating yourself. Stop it.
  88. Acceptance is a wonderful thing in most aspects of life. Try to partake of it often.
  89. If you see that your love for someone is like constantly riding a rollercoaster it is time to apply the emergency brake and get off the ride.
  90. Drama is for the stage only. Don’t create it and don’t accept it into your life.
  91. Never give up unless you are doing something stupid.
  92. Most things (except becoming pregnant) will not matter six months from now.
  93. Know I loved you.Deeply. Happily and sometimes in a flawed way.As you know I was far from perfect. I made lots of mistakes. Sometimes I did things out of fear rather than love. Don’t do that.Take the good of me with you, discard the bad and don’t take too much of me with you on your own journey. You are who you are and are under no obligation to be anything like me. Find your own path…mine was just for you to walk alongside me for a while but your own path awaits. Make your steps count but skip along that path too. Skipping clears the head and makes you feel alive again. You have but one life on this earth. Make it amazing for you, your family and for humankind. That’s all you can do. I love you…always have…always will.
  94. And please remember everything on this blog is copyrighted 2015.