Parenting

It ‘Aint My Vacation!

Ah….school vacation….wait, whose vacation is it? It isn’t mine!! Here are some things I’ve said this week during school vacation:

1. Play with your sister; that’s why we had two of you!

2. You better NOT stop playing Fortnight now, after all that money I spent on skins in V-bucks!

3. We can’t go to Walmart again today; we went yesterday.

4. Does ANYONE want to come with me to walk the dog?

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5. You can’t have ice cream for breakfast. Have a banana, and then you can have ice cream.

6. Are you guys seriously fighting over a strip of plastic? Give it to me. Give it to me!

7. Should we go buy you some formula? ‘Cuz you’re acting like a baby.

8. We are gonna do chores today. Caroline, you dust. That’s how I spent my childhood: dusting. What’s that? You don’t know what that is? Forget it. Give me the Pledge.

9. Does anyone care that we have Swimmie anymore? I mean, I’m the only one who pays attention to this fish. He needs socialization!

10. Yeah, sure, you can have that. (pause) Wait, no! What? You tricked me! I wasn’t paying attention! 


#schoolvacation #parenting #moms #kids

Uncategorized

14 Things You Have an Excuse to Do on Valentine’s Day

imagesGuess what day is upon us? My most favorite day of the year: Valentine’s Day! YAY! I know…you hate it. “Hallmark made up this holiday to make people feel bad,” you grimace. I don’t care. I love it. You know why? It’s the ONE DAY that you can unabashedly tell everyone you love that you love them! And, you can have an excuse to do the following:

  1. Eat trays of chocolate.
  2. Wear trashy, lacy, bright red lingerie that you find in Spencer’s Gifts on clearance.
  3. Go to Victoria’s Secret and fight the mob scene of romantic hopefuls, purchasing gobs of coconut body spray.
  4. Buy your partner a glossy card that reads, “To My Husband” (or whatever s/he is) in cursive and fill it in with glowing reviews and promises you may or may not keep.
  5. Go out to dinner and order the tasting menu or the prix fixe only available on V-day.
  6. Declare you hate all love and never want to be in a romantic relationship again.
  7. Propose–on the most insane day to propose ever. Then get married a year later, on the same day, and have a heart-themed wedding, donning a pink dress. Make your bridesmaids wear red dresses.
  8. Dress like a tart. Halloween isn’t the only day you need an excuse.
  9. Dye your hair “Rocketfire Red.” (P.S. I did this. Not a great look, except on V-Day)
  10. Watch romantic movies, like When Harry Met Sally, and either cry or be so glad you are married to your best friend (aw, #blessed). Then tweet or post that on Facebook.
  11. Speaking of FB, write a letter to your spouse or significant other on it, extolling your love for them, so we all can see it and guess when you’re getting a divorce, or be totally envious, or just really happy for you.
  12. Spend an entire evening making custom-made Valentine’s for your kids’ classmates. Get so competitive that you shove your kid aside because she is putting the glitter glue on all wrong. You MUST have the BEST Valentines.
  13. Read poetry in bed to your partner, or The Canterbury Tales, despite his plea for you to stop.
  14. Break up because there wasn’t a solid amount of hoopla around this holiday. It just shows that you are taken for granted.

Well, there you have it. TONS of ideas for this Thursday! Get movin’. Excuses galore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

When Life is a Ping Pong Match

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I spend an awful amount of time making my next move, jumping ahead, not being present. I’m like a game of Frogger, hopping in and out of lanes, dodging cars. Just this week, I lived in two different cities, scanning Zillow for homes, imagining my new yard, friends, and restaurants I frequent. It’s like a game of ping pong. I ping over to a new imaginary life, then pong back to my actual one, realizing this is where I am, the choices I made, and this is where I have to remain. It’s what’s best for the kids, for me, for now. Until next week.

I think about removing the apps from my phone, the ones that take me to other places in my head. My phone is then naked, devoid of stalling mechanisms. Only the weather app, and the health one  denoted by that cute little pink heart that, when you click on it,  shows how little I’ve moved today from my desk, remain. That heart becomes not so cute anymore. Maybe I should delete that too.

I read articles on the web, about what other people are doing, and I wonder, “Can I do that too?” I go to Wikipedia and trace backwards from someone’s fame, someone’s viral post, to see just how they got there. I “Scooby Doo” it, I say, like when Velma works her way backwards in her explanation of how they found out Mr. Jenkins from the bank was really the ghost of Fox Manor. I unmask these famous people and think about what it would be like if I wore their masks. How can I get there?

I then pong back to my life.

It’s okay I’m not famous, I tell myself. I don’t have to prove myself. I am love-able just the way I am. For now.

I just read a book about how to be healthy and recapture your beauty and inner glow. It’s got all those suggestions about detoxing and eating flax and fish oil and green tea. Green tea tastes gross, and I want a breath mint after the first sip. I drink it anyway. The book said that the secret to living a long, healthy, happy life (really, all I actually want–I think?) is to live simply: get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, don’t engage in too much screen time, don’t eat too much or too little, smell the flowers, blah, blah, blah. It seems utterly impossible. I close the book and return it to the library.

I pong back. Ping. Pong. Ping. Pong.

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

You Can’t Deny Who You Are

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“If you can do anything else in the world, do it,” my acting teachers said. They meant as a career choice. Like, if you can not be an actor, if it’s not a part of the fabric of your soul, wherein you are unable to do anything else in the world, then be an actor; otherwise, find something more lucrative and less disappointing to do. It will only make you miserable.

This irked me. It seemed like some sort of challenge, one I wasn’t sure I could match, but which I would damn well try to. Of course I couldn’t do anything else, I’d think. Why the hell else would I spend seven years trying?

But, down deep, in the wee hours, around 3:05 a.m., I wondered…maybe I could.

And here I am, no longer an actor. I get it now. I saw there was a way out and other things I could do for a living. However, what I’ve also learned is that once you’re an artist, whether it be an actor, a writer, a painter, or a musician, you’re always an artist, whether it’s your job or not. It will always be a part of you, an avocation perhaps, instead of a vocation.

I tried to deny my artist when I quit acting. I wanted to be a regular person, whatever that means. Well, no. To me, being regular meant going to work from 9 to 5, coming home to the kids, eventually going to bed, and doing it over again. Oh, and not looking back.

I’m not looking back, because if you look back, you’ll be going that way.

However, I now realize I need to have some sort of art in my life. I need to express myself, I can’t help it. Hence, I write this blog, and I wrote my book.

I remember when I got a new puppy, a hunting dog, I wondered what to do with her, because I didn’t like to hunt. I thought she’d be fine not hunting, despite her giant, capable nose and her magnificent ability to chase. We would take walks in the woods, and she’d play around the house, and I avoided taking her hunting. But, ultimately, the dog found ways to hunt. She’d uproot mouse dens, kill rabbits in the yard, and give any type of critter a run for its money. She couldn’t help herself; it was in her nature.

I read somewhere that not allowing your natural talents to express themselves is like denying an artistic child a set of magic markers. You can choose not to give him the markers, but, when you do, you will see his best self come out. He will make beautiful pictures, and he will be happy.

I’m happy too now, when I’m writing and doing artistic things.

I’ve realized I can be an artist and a “regular” person at the same time!

And, that, as Robert Frost wrote in The Road Not Taken, that has made all the difference. 

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Motivation, Self-Help, Uncategorized

If You Look Back, You’ll Soon Be Going That Way

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I carry a fortune around with me in my wallet, one I got from a cookie at the Chinese restaurant on Christmas Eve. It reads: If you look back, you’ll soon be going that way. Wise words. Living in the rear view mirror is not a good thing, something I often struggle with. It’s like I want to correct what was wrong, rework it, like your brain does when it dreams (or so I’ve heard). I often wondered when I’d dream, why all the characters in my dreams are figures from my past, none in the present. It’s because I want to change it. I want to do a redo, but, unfortunately, I have to accept what’s done is done. And, on top of that, maybe be happy that those negative experiences happened so they could bring me to a more positive future.

My brother sent me this quote today, which relates:

The broken thing you keep trying to put back together, can’t even compare to that beautiful thing that’s waiting to be built.

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I feel like I have made so many regrettable life choices! I want to shake my former self, yelling, “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING??” Like, why would I choose to be an actress, of all things, as a career? Seriously. Like that’s the worst prospective career choice, ever. BUT, I can look at it this way now: had I not tried it, I’d be wondering, “I wonder if I could have made it…I’m talented…maybe!” Now I have a retort when someone says, “You’re so funny! You should be on TV!” I can say, “Oh, I tried that….” and here we are…I don’t regret that. I used to lament that those years I spent hitting the NYC pavement could have been better spent climbing the career ladder, but, hey, I’m just different. I never like to walk the straight-and-narrow.

I’m bent.

Oh, one of my favorite things to do is recycle old relationships that went awry, hoping to change history. Like, I’d recycle old boyfriends, seeing if it would end differently. Guess what? It never did! Or, I’d focus on friendships that just dissipated, wondering, “What did I do wrong?” And when I’d reconnect, I’d realize, oh, yes, this is why we are no good for one another. 

Recycling is for paper goods, not for people.

I realize now that when I wrote my novel, Honor Girl, I was trying to rework my past. I was trying to fix what was broken, writing what I had hoped had happened. This is contrary, of course, to what people think when they read it and assume it is my life and what happened. It is not. It is perhaps what I wished had happened… I was working things out in my head. Writing helps that way. Try it. That’s also why I blog: I’m working it out.

I am going to try to work on looking forward, living a dog’s life. That way, I can focus on what I’m building, not what’s broken.