Saturday, June 5, 2010
I do this to make other people feel more comfortable around me.
This week I've done a lot of thinking...about my life...about what I accept...about where I came from and how I got to where I'm at...and I came to a decision. I decided that while I will still apologize when I have done something wrong...I will no longer apologize to make other people feel better about themselves. I am officially UNAPOLOGIZING.
I unapologize for my comfortable life. I was not born into a wealthy family..in fact it is quite the opposite. I have 5 brothers and sisters and while we were not destitute...there were many times that we couldn't have what we wanted. Everything that I have now, I have worked for. There were many years that I went without...without a fancy car...without new clothes or shoes...without fake nails...without all the comforts that I so enjoy. There were times when I went without the basic things we take for granted...like a warm house in the winter...or the ability to go buy fast food.
I unapologize for my appearance. I am far from perfect, but I work hard to be the best I can be. I am like a fine wine that gets better and better over time. It starts out average and becomes special. I am not "naturally thin". I work my a** off...EVERY day to fit in my size 4 jeans. I will no longer feel guilty when people stare or women whisper because I work hard to look the way I do.
I unapologize for having an amazing job...a job that I love...a job where I laugh and talk and enjoy the company of amazing people...a job where every day I get to teach and help people...a job where I actually make a difference in the world. It took a lot of time, money and hard work to achieve my goal. It also took the encouragement of people I respect and courage to overcome my fear of failure and get to where I am today. And I also unapologize for the fact that I don't need to work so I have the ability to work part time and make very little money while doing what I love.
I unapologize for wanting to be sexy at 40. It would be easy to let myself go and throw on baggy jeans and tennis shoes everyday and put my hair back in a ponytail. I don't always want to spend the time to do my hair and makeup...or to pick out just the right clothes...or wear 4 in heels...but I do it because when I am all put together and someone asks me how old I am...and I tell them...and they don't believe me...I feel good and I know my hard work has payed off.
I unapologize for having great kids...kids that are beautiful and smart and kind and good. I think about all the hours spent reading books and going to museums and libraries. I think of all the times it would've been easier to give my kids what they want and over indulge them instead of disciplining them. I think of the countless hours I spent teaching my kids right from wrong...even when it was hard and even when it made them different. My kids may not be perfect, but they are good kids because I worked very hard to help mold them into what they are.
I'm tired of trying to make other people feel better about themselves at my own expense. And as braggy and stuck up as it may sound...I'm pretty great because I work on it every day...and if that makes other people uncomfortable than that's just too bad. It's good to be me and I will not apologize for my successes any more.
Monday, May 24, 2010
I heard these words as I watched a show on TV yesterday. It stopped me and made me think…in fact, I had to pause the show for a minute, rewind it, and write these words down. I have always believed that our lives are made up of a series of choices…choices we make everyday…some are big and some are small but in the end I believe that every single choice we make…makes a difference and changes our lives...for the better or for the worse.
The “live or die” part of this quote seems the most extreme…the most out of our control…and in the literal sense, maybe it is…but I don’t think most of us realize how many times throughout our lives we make that choice. For some people…it is not an easy choice. I have known people…people that I love…that wanted to take their own life…and tried…more than once…but did not die. The doctors were baffled each time, because this person should have died…more than once. I’ve always held onto the belief that it was because there is a part of this person’s heart that DOES want to live…that’s the only way I can bear the pain that I feel when this happens.
Even for those of us that never consider taking our own lives…every day we have to make the choice to live. I believe that you can be alive and not live. I know this because I’ve done that. When I was overweight and depressed…I was just existing. People tease me because I have so many pictures of myself with friends and family these days. It seems narcissistic…and the irony is that I really hate having my picture taken…but there is a reason I take so many pictures now.
There are vacations and YEARS of my children’s lives where I am missing from all of the pictures. The few pictures that we have are just painful reminders of a very sad time in my life…a time I would like to forget…but also a time that is important to remember. You see, I could go see doctors…or be given anything I wanted…or be surrounded by people that loved me…or take medication…but NONE of that would help me live. I had to make the decision each and every day to get out of the bed I wanted to hide in and put one foot in front of the other. I had to choose to continue to be a good Mom. I had to choose not to cry every time I wanted to. I had to choose to rebuild myself, because NO ONE could do it for me.
The choices I made along the way and the journey that I took as I set out to “fix” myself, made me a different person…the person I am today. I made all the choices…and I did all the hard work…but there were people that unknowingly helped me along the way too. I learned that failing does not make me a failure. It means I get to keep trying until I get it right. I learned to not take myself so seriously…to laugh at myself. I learned that things don’t make people happy…and neither do people…real happiness comes from within. I learned to stop saying “I can’t.” and to do things that are hard for me…things that don’t come naturally. I learned that pain is always temporary and that working through it, is much easier than fighting it. I learned that a strong, healthy body helps make a strong, healthy mind, and I learned that the unlikeliest of people can become friends and touch each other’s lives in ways that the other may never know.
As hard as that time was for me and my family…and as much as I’d like to say I wish it never happened…I’m glad that it did because I learned how to make that choice. I learned to say “I want to live.” and I am so much better because of it.
The fact is…life is hard…and living is not always an easy choice to make. Things happen…natural disasters occur…people we love die or go away…we get hurt physically and emotionally…we face trials that can bring us to our knees. Sometimes we don’t know how to make things better because sometimes we can’t make things better…but no matter what we lose….we never lose our ability to choose how we will react…what we will do when faced with these choices…”yes or no…in or out…up or down…love or hate…to be a hero or to be a coward…to fight or give in…to live or die”.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I'm not a morning person...never have been...never will be. Many times, my kids' alarms go off before mine and I have them "trained" to get up to their own alarms and get ready for school on their own. If I'm not working, I stumble out of my room wearing whatever clothes I can find...just in time to load kids up and start shuttling them to their different schools. Yesterday was no different. I stumbled out looking like a hot mess and backed up to the counter to sit down and say "Good morning.". That wasn't what I said. I parked my tight butt on the counter and instead yelled "OH S***!"
I am forgetful. I can be a blonde airhead at times...but in all the years that my three children have been in school I have NEVER forgotten a major school project...until yesterday. My son J was suppose to turn in a LIFE SIZE replica of a hyena...THAT DAY...the first day back to school after Spring Break. There were 30 seconds of jumbled panicked thoughts. They ranged everywhere from "Oh well...it's only 2nd grade...we can turn it in a day late...take the bad grade and move on! I mean what? Are they gonna hold him back because we didn't get a ****ing hyena turned in on time?!?!"...to "I am the WORST mother ever! Why did I have so much fun last week?!? WAAH! WAAH! Poor me!"...to "What is wrong with that teacher?!?! Why did she make the project due THE DAY after Spring Break?!?! What if we had traveled?!?" (We didn't by the way)...to "SNAP OUT OF MC! Get a hold of yourself!!!" I did....snap out of it...and I hatched a brilliant, blonde plan.
I took everyone to school...except J. I said, "J! Look at me." He did. I said, "Tell me you don't feel well." He said, "Huh?" I said, "Just say it. Say 'I don't feel well'!" He did. I said, "Good..now when I write a note to the school tomorrow to say 'Please excuse J's absence. He woke up and told me he didn't feel well' it won't be a lie...not technically any ways." I know. I know..I'll repent later. So anyways, J stayed home for an "extra day off"...so we could "give birth to a hyena"...so to speak.
Now while it was of upmost importance to get his project done, we had to handle first things first. That meant going up to the gym I work at so I could workout first...because if momma doesn't workout...momma's not happy...and momma can't produce a hyena when she's unhappy. After my workout, my friend/owner of the gym...JR...asked what J was doin home from school. I recited the entire story as he smiled...chuckled...and shook his head. I lamented about how large hyenas are and how bad it was gonna suck to come up with a life sized replica...and that's when everything took a momentary turn from kooky..to hilarious. The conversation went something like this:
JR: "Do you know how BIG hyenas are?" (side note...JR's Dad is an avid hunter and has traveled to Africa for big game hunting several times and has a house full of exotic, stuffed animals)
ME: "Uh...YEAH! They are at the smallest about 30 inches tall and 4 feet in length!!!"
JR: "Hey! My Dad has a stuffed hyena at his house if you wanna use it."
ME: (laughing) "Uh, I don't think that's what they had in mind when they assigned this project...and I doubt your Daddy wants a bunch of grubby little kids touchin all over his hyena!" (still laughing)
JR: (still serious...and also blonde by the way) "Yeah...I guess it does weigh about 150 lbs too...but you can go out to the house and touch it and sketch it if you want to!"
ME: (trying to contain myself) "Oh thanks JR. That is so nice, but I don't want to inconvenience them and we have pictures off the internet. We'll be fine."
A few hours later, I sat at lunch with J...still hyena-less...and my Mom and sister recounting the events of the morning and talking about hyenas and how funny my conversation with JR had been. I said, "Can you imagine the look on J's teacher's snippy face if I backed a truck in and brought a real stuffed hyena in on a dolly?!?!" We all laughed and then in true blonde form I said, "I mean I'm not tryin to touch anybody's Daddy's hyena!"...a little too loud...as if no one were around...right as the waitress walked up to check on us. She walked away looking perplexed...and we all died laughing...like a pack of hyenas! ~This ain't yo Daddy's hyena...this is Momma MC's hyena! (And yes..it's pitiful...but it's done!)~
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Some artists are familiar even to people that have never studied art...their pieces easily recognizable. Picasso is just one of a handful I can think of. While he is not one of my favorite artists, I am truly fascinated by many of his pieces. I look at some of them and I see all the parts of the face and body...jumbled...in the wrong place. I find some odd...confusing to my eyes...but I never see them as ugly. In their own way, they are beautiful. It's almost as if they are so wrong...they are right. I feel similarly about Monet. While I think Monet's paintings are probably more universally appealing, it's always been amazing to me how something that looks so beautiful from afar, can look like such a mess up close...at least to me it does. All the random colors and brush strokes up close create a beautiful picture...if you don't look too closely.
As I sat down to write about these feelings that I have been struggling with internally...not really sure what direction I was going...it came to me. There is no one, classic kind of beauty...and there is no one kind of perfection. I have spent a lifetime chasing perfection...always feeling like I fall short. I am realizing that I already am what I have been chasing. I may not be flawless. I may not be as confident as I would like...or as organized as I should be...or as happy as I seem all the time...but I AM perfect in my own way. Just because people can see that I have flaws when they look at me up close, doesn't mean I am bad or worth less than other people. Just because my nose is a little crooked, doesn't make me ugly. Just because I'm not as perfect as I look from afar...doesn't make me jumbled and wrong. I am a one of a kind...a priceless work of art in my own way. And even if I am a bit of a mess...I am a beautiful mess...perfect in my own perfections...and that is okay.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
I am a creature of habit. I do things the same way every time. Drying my car off is no exception. I thought it was unusual that the car wash was so barren on such a beautiful, sunny day. There was not another person there...not that I could see. I methodically dried my car off...one section at a time...before ringing the shammy out so I could continue on to the next section...listening to the music...intent on what I was doing. I felt like I was in my own little world and paid no attention to my surroundings because I thought I was alone. I was almost done and so I did what I always do last. I bent over to dry off the running boards. Normally I crouch down, but my lower back is kind of hurting today from the lifting I did in the gym yesterday and my knees are feeling the effects of the running I did in the afternoon. It's uncomfortable if I move or bend in certain directions, so I took a wide stance and leaned over keeping my back flat and knees straight. "Perfect." I thought..."No pain."...and then I felt it. It's that feeling that everyone has felt...the feeling that someone is watching you. Before I could stand and look, I heard a noise. I don't know why I did it, but without thinking I stuck my head down between my legs and looked through my legs to see what the noise was.There they were...three mechanics from the shop behind the car wash...standing in a line...arms crossed...watching my every move. I saw one nudge the other with his elbow while his arms were still crossed...raising his eyebrows. There was no shame in their game...at all. They were there to watch and they did not hide it. I must have had a funny look of shock on my face because one of the men said, "It's ok honey...just keep doing what you're doing!"
First lemme just say "EWWWWW!" and second, lemme explain a little something about me. I do not always say the right thing or react in the way that I should. I have done and said things that leave ME shaking my OWN head asking "What was I thinking?!?!?" I have also been known to laugh at completely INAPPROPRIATE times...like yesterday when I crashed my car into my husband's car damaging BOTH cars! I can't help it. It's like a nervous tick or something. So instead of reacting with digust...instead of cussing them out like I probably should have...what did I do??? I laughed...like a crazy person. Fortunately, I was done and so I stood up, put the shammy away and started to drive out of the parking lot. As I did, I glanced over to see the ring leader of the three guys wink and give me a double point as if he was holding guns or something.
At that point, I burst into hysterical laughter...not because it's okay for men to behave that way...or because I wanted that type of attention...but I laughed because it was just so crazy. Life is what you make it. I learned a long time ago that when I encountered situations that were less than desirable...when I had a bad day...or things went wrong...I have a choice. I can laugh or I can cry my way through this crazy life of mine. Some days it's easier to laugh than others. Today was one of those days. Today I felt like a caricature of myself...a joke...and sometimes you just gotta laugh when you're the joke.
Monday, March 1, 2010
I am a housewife that goes to the grocery store in tight jeans and heels. I am a housewife that loads my kids in my SUV and meets my husband with a kiss and a smile at whatever restaurant it is we decide to eat at. And ladies...he's ALWAYS glad to see me...and ALWAYS proud to be seen with me. I am a housewife that buys cookies at the store when my kids are asked to bring them to a party. I am a housewife that treads carefully on the soccer field so my heels don't dig into the dirt. I am a housewife that asked for a gun rather than a Kitchen-Aid mixer for Christmas. I am a housewife that says no thanks to the drama of PTA, but enjoys an occasional lunch with my kids at school and takes pictures at all class parties. I am a housewife. I may not be like everyone else. but that's okay.
I guess my point is that there is not ONE definition for housewife. It is different for different people and I'm done apologizing for the way I do things. I've been put down, talked about, and even resigned from PTA positions because I was tired of being whispered about and judged...all because I am different. It use to make me feel really bad, but what I have learned over the years is this: it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. If my husband and my children are happy...if I know that I am doing my best and I am happy...then anyone that has a problem with that can kiss my small, toned, tan butt! I don't need to be Bree Van de Kamp...I am happy to be me.