In the last year or so, putting on makeup or doing my hair in the mirror has become a real struggle for me. It’s not the MAC makeup or the recent switch in shampoo that depresses me. It is the fact that I’m starting not to recognize the face staring back at me.
Not only do I notice the appearance of those fine lines and wrinkles the television is always warning me about, but these ‘strange’ red bumps have begun appearing around my jaw line.
Great, I now have the skin of a pubescent teenager with the crows feet and laugh lines of a middle-aged woman. Real funny, higher power above.
After months of struggling with acne skin care products, changing makeup, switching moisturizer, all to no avail (and at the strong suggestion of my boyfriend), I finally decided to go see a dermatologist.
As I walked into the doctor’s office and checked in with the front desk, I looked around at all the assistants with glowing radiant skin. Not one of them had a red bump, laugh line or dark hairs growing from their chin. It must be nice to work at a dermatologist’s office, I thought to myself.
“So, how long have you been struggling with acne?” the doctor asked.
“Maybe six months or so,” I answered.
After going through the many causes of adult acne, the doctor then asks…
“Do you have any stress?”
Hmmm. Let’s see…. in the last six months I was miserable working at a job I couldn’t stand, I was juggling life as a single mom… I quit my ‘koosh’ job to follow my dreams of starting a business, moved in with my boyfriend, sold most of my belongings to fit into his house, enrolled my son in kindergarten, started working on being a entrepeneur with absolutely no income…
Nope! No stress, doc. None at all.
So, I’m hoping the prescription for the antibiotics and topical cream will not only clear up my ever aging skin…but will clear up this hectic crazy life I’m living at the moment!!
(hence the lack of posts lately!)
If we truly have multiple lives, I must have been a lizard at one point. I absolutely love the sun. There’s nothing more relaxing to me than sitting out in direct sunlight soaking in those damaging rays. I remember in high school spending every day laying out by the pool. Oh, how I miss summer vacation…three months of no responsibility and no thoughts of wrinkles, sun spots or skin cancer.
To kick off our summer this year, my little guy, my man and I ventured out to a local lake last weekend for a day of sun, sand and swimming. We live a short drive away from a man-made lake, made from an old rock quarry, filled with water and fish and surrounded by a sandy beach. There’s even a dock with canoes and paddle boats for rent. It’s a great family spot for days when you just don’t feel like driving an hour to the actual ocean.
As I watched the boys engineer an irrigation system to carry water from their hand crafted pool down to the shoreline, I looked around at all the other families enjoying the 90 degree day by the lake. Parents were relaxing in the sun, while the kids splashed in the water, barbeques smoked and umbrellas danced in the wind. What a beautiful display of family togetherness and summertime fun, I thought… That was until I noticed a sign propped up near the water’s edge.
Tent signs, printed in a bold black and white, lined the beach as if to guard the water line. These signs depicted two black figures holding hands, one significantly larger than the other. Next to this outline of parent and child, stood bold black wording, glaring out at all lake patrons, instructing parents to actively watch their children. These signs caught my attention and shifted my focus for a moment. Instead of watching the engineering feat taking place next to me, I began to think about these signs and what they represented.
At first glance, one might feel comforted by these caution signs, pleased that the community would go out of their way to protect children. One might think, ‘Wow, what a great Park and Rec Department we have!’ Unfortunately I see something else in these friendly reminders.
I see the deterioration of families and parenting.
Are we really at the point were we need signs and public service announcements to instruct us on how to be parents?
I was immediately saddened by the thought that we now need some form of government or authority to remind us to actively watch our children. I thought that trait was naturally ingrained in every parent from the moment their child was brought into this world. Apparently I was wrong. As I looked around I noticed, some people do need instruction.
If we’re going to have signs instructing us how to be a parent, we might as well line our parks and playgrounds with the following signs as well…
No Blackberry’s, iPhones or PDAs – Play with your Children, They’re Only Little Once
Manners Matter – Please and Thank You Go a Long Way!
Patience is a Virtue – Wait Your Turn on the Slide Politely
Name Calling, Swearing & Teasing Prohibited
Sharing Makes Everyone Feel Good
and last but not least….
If You Think Parenting is Easy, You’re Doing it Wrong
As my Public Service Announcement for the Day, I would like to remind everyone to thoroughly read each and every word in an email, especially if it is a “Thank You For Your Time” letter to a prospective employer.
Oh, and don’t write anything of importance while trying to multi-task… not a good idea!
Late yesterday afternoon, while trying to balance my normal workload, figure out what to cook for dinner and listening to background noise consisting of the television and my boyfriend talk to the AT&T salesman about putting in new cable, I decided to write a Thank You email to a company I met with earlier in the day about a prospective job.
Wrong Idea #1.
I drafted, what I thought was, a very friendly, professional and passionate email describing my excitement for the opportunity to join their team. Like anything I write, I read it over and over and over again, just to make sure it was perfect, trying to drown out all the surrounding distractions at the same time.
Hmm, that looks good… SEND.
As I hit SEND, I noticed an extra little “the” in one of my sentences.
Too late. The email quickly disappeared and up popped my inbox.
Great, that looks real professional, especially when you’re applying for a writing job!
I sat there for a few minutes trying to decide whether or not to send a follow-up email, apologizing for the grammar error. Do I just let it go, or be the corporate version of Mikey in Swingers and email back?
I decided to just let it go. What’s meant to be will be. I just wish Gmail would’ve called the Grammar Police on me!
For those of you job hunting, drafting important letters to clients or writing emails to ex-spouses, don’t do what I did and let your surroundings distract you into sending something you regret. Slow down. Breathe. Read Outloud. Then press SEND.
It’s still strange for me to be included in the Mother’s Day Celebration. For so many years of my life, Mother’s Day was about spoiling my mom and grandma and not letting them lift a finger.
Even though this is my fifth Mother’s Day as a mom, it still feels wrong for me to be opening up cards and being pampered… and my ears still are not used to hearing “Happy Mother’s Day” from friends and family.
I wonder when I’ll finally feel like a distinguished member of the club?
Happy Mother’s Day
to all the wonderful
mothers out there!
As a teenager, or even in our twenties, we think we know who we are. We think we have it all figured out and know truly who we are as a person. Then we get older. As the years go by, we look back at our younger selves and think, “Wow, I was clueless”
Looking back, I see how much I have grown as a woman. Not only physically but mentally and emotionally. I am a completely different person now than I was 20 years ago, 10 years ago…hey even 5 years ago. I see a different woman standing in the mirror now, one with a little more ‘character’ in the face and a little more patience.
Even though I am a different person than I was years ago, there are definitely still parts of me that are very much the same. As hard as I try to get rid of them, they stubbornly remain. Here I am, in my thirties, still learning how to deal with them.
One being, Anxiety.
Now that I think about it, I was a pretty anxious kid. I remember having stomach aches all the time and always worrying about something, whether it was some school event or homework assignment. It wasn’t much better in high school, although it did become more manageable during college.
I still struggle with anxiety, every now and then. When my daily stressors finally become overwhelming, I will get the feeling like my heart is about to explode or race out of my chest. I’ve learned after a couple of trips to the ER that is most likely not a heart attack, just my old friend Anxiety saying hello.
Well, my dear old friend sure got the best of me today.
Today was my very first phone interview for a prospective job, ever. Since I basically fell into my current career after taking a temp job right out of college, I’ve never had to submit a resume or interview for a job. I was very excited to learn they wanted to speak with me, especially since I am passionate about their product and philosophy. Unfortunately, my excitement quickly turned to nervousness and anxiety as the phone call continued. I really wanted the job and became way too self-conscious about every little word coming out of my mouth. I am hoping they invite me to the second round of interviews, since I don’t think my old friend Anxiety helped me make the best first impression today.
I’m trying to stay positive…
Thanks a lot, pal.
You may accidentally meet The Girlfriend inside the grocery store with no makeup on, wearing your workout attire from trip to the gym five hours ago… or maybe you spot her on your way out of a bar, as you arrogantly walk past with your girls at your side. You never know, you may be like me and meet the new girlfriend when she comes down the stairs of the house she now shares with your ex and your son, as you’re picking up your little guy for the weekend. However and whenever you meet, it’s awkward, stressful and laced with anxiety.
It’s taken some time for me to get used to the idea of my ex’s girlfriend. I basically ignored her existence for at least a year, all subconsciously of course. Actually, we all pretended she didn’t exist – my ex, my son and myself – by never really mentioning her, ever. It’s not like I disliked her or wanted to be back with my ex, it was just the idea of her that bothered me for some reason.
After some soul-searching, I realized, her being The Girlfriend isn’t what boiled my blood. It was being a mother figure to my son that really got to me. Since then, I’ve dealt with that issue and tried to ”Let Go” as they say…but the dynamic is still wierd and awkward to me, even after several friendly encounters and even a family dinner at their house (which I would advise against for anyone thinking of doing this… I have two words for you – Neutral Ground)
Is Visitation Just for Dad?
The latest awkward situation began this morning, while listening to my voice mail. In between the work messages, I hear, “…I will be out-of-town for a few days, but ‘Girlfriend’ will pick him on Thursday… Just wanted to let you know.”
I sat there in a daze, staring at the kitchen counter. The phone continued to play back messages into my ear, but my brain was no longer listening. Instead it was asking a string of questions like, “How do we feel about this?” “Why is this bothering us?” “Are we just being controlling here or is this truly not acceptable?”
Unfortunately, here I am, hours later with the brain still asking the same questions. Am I overreacting? Should my son go to his Dad’s house during his normal visitation schedule, even though Dad won’t be there? I know it’s important for him to have a relationship with The Girlfriend, but does that extend to her getting visitation too?
Oh, the joys of Co-Parenting…
Today was my annual trip to the Girly Doctor. I should probably go more than every couple of years, considering it’s an annual check up, and since I’m apparently reaching the end of my most fertile years, which my doctor was kind enough to remind me during our appointment.
“So… any more babies?”
No, I don’t think so…although having to stare at all these baby pictures for the last fifteen minutes is making me think otherwise!
“Cause you know…it starts getting more difficult to get pregnant with each year”
Great doc, thanks! I thought I was done, until you jolted my biological clock… (Why is it, when the possibility of not being able to have something makes you want it?)
On my way home, driving on the freeway, trying to erase the last 30 minutes from my memory, I was reminded once again that…
Men really have no clue what women go through
Some may get a glimpse into our world by growing up with a sister or having an open relationship with a spouse. They may witness the perils of waxing sensitive areas or the hours it takes straightening wavy hair, but these men are still clueless when it comes the true hardships of being a woman.
I think there are three main areas of womanhood that a man will never understand, nor would be able to handle if the tables were ever turned.
Menstruation, Childbirth and OB/GYN visits.
- Our Monthly Visitor – There is only one reason guys are happy around this time of the month and it’s not because they want to earn their Red Wings. They secretly do their Happy Dance at this time of our cycle because it confirms their guys didn’t swim this month and they have 28 or so more days of relaxing before the panic sets in again. Although guys have a basic idea what happens during those miserable 3-7 days, they have no idea what we deal with every 4-8 hours. If any of us were to sit down with them and explain in detail, I think many of them would lose their lunch.
- Popping Out a Watermelon – I’m sorry, but this has to be the most disgusting bodily function of all…and I can say that because I have done it. I remember the doctor asking if I wanted to see and touch the head when it crowned, which I did… and honestly responded with “Eww, that’s gross” (sorry lil man but it’s true). Giving birth is an emotionally beautiful thing, but had someone warned me that your water doesn’t just break, it continues to flow and you essentially leak from top to bottom for the next 6+ weeks, I may have reconsidered. Let’s not even get into the other things that come out during and after labor. Yes, it is an absolute miracle and a truly amazing moment in life – but one that people involved never speak of intricate details, ever…for good reason.
- PAP Smears - Where do I begin with this one? So, guys…what would you do if you were laying on a table spread eagle, covered only in a light hospital gown and paper apron with someone thoroughly inspecting your nether region? Oh wait, I can’t forget the painful cotton swab, the awkward breast exam and feeling for the position of the uterus from the inside out. Aww, it’s an absolute thrill, let me tell you. I dread each and every one…and even though it only lasts a few minutes, they have to be the worst moments of being a woman.
So, for you guys out there, the next time your woman starts bawling for no reason…takes too long getting ready…or spends too much money on a pair of sexy new shoes… give her a little slack. She deals with a lot of crap for just having a vagina