Another cultural icon passes away too soon. George Michael was a huge part of my growing up. His music was a constant as I grew up in the 80s and early 90s. We have lost so many greats in music this year -Glenn Frey, David Bowie, Prince, George Michael…
Do you remember how controversial his song “I want your Sex” was? How it was obvious he was gay but wouldn’t publicly admit it because back then –artists didn’t talk about it. My how times have changed. I was trying to explain this whole thing to HB and she just looked at me like I was crazy. His music is so uncontroversial compared to what is put out today — but back in the 80s and 90s, he was blazing new trails and pumping out the hits.
This has been a rough year in so many ways – Politically, in the Pop Culture sphere, and around the World. I am sure I’m not the only one who is ready to put a pin in 2016 and call it a year. I’m not one to wish away time – but it’s been tough.
What do you think of the quote I included by George Michael? That “because of the media, the way the world is perceived is as a place where resources and time are running out?” I agree that our sense of normal has been skewed by the constant barrage of media images, today more than ever. It’s information overload and much of it is not accurate. It’s no surprise that the younger generation is having a rough time deciphering real from fake news. Do we even know what’s real anymore?
I know it’s the holiday season and things are supposed to be merry and bright, but that isn’t real either. There are a lot of people who are more depressed, alone and lonely during this time of year than any other — so, I want to suggest to everyone out there, let’s be kinder, more tolerant of one another and make decisions with the best of intentions. You never know what someone is going through or what might happen – so start at home, with yourself.
Today is Memorial Day – I took some time this morning to think about all the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. I am so thankful to live in this amazing country and realize how fortunate and awesome my life is – and it’s because of the brave men and women who protect us.
This was waiting for me on my Facebook wall when I got into the office this morning by Scotty –
“Remember our 18 year anniversary? We had to cancel our dinner reservations because we forgot you had to take our daughter to that annoying teen show/concert thing. Do you recall how both of our kids were sick, coughing up lungs and leaving tissues all over the house for the dog to get? How about battling with the kids over the dishes even though it would be easier for us to just do them, but we don’t because we are teaching the kids responsibility? How we ran errands separately so we can divide an conquer? Remember how I sang “Girl you don’t need makeup” to you, and you stopped me saying that the song is not actually a nice thing, and then you sang Kanya “18 years 18 years..” and I stopped you reminding you how that one isn’t appropriate either? Happy Anniversary – I can’t imagine taking on the world with anyone else and still have as much fun as we do. I love you and can’t wait to see you after work… after I run errands to get the kid’s meds and whatever else you remind me that I forgot to do.”
True to my personality, I added…
“remember how I said I wouldn’t be mad at you at all today — and then I got mad at you. And how i forced you to take a selfie?”
I don’t have any special magical advice to share about marriage. It’s a lot of work, there are peaks and valleys. We do genuinely like each other as well as love each other. We laugh a lot. We treat each other with respect, even when we are angry (which does happen). We like hanging out together. Above all else though, we are committed to one another. It’s us – in it together.
Last week was my birthday. It was an awesome day that started off with a good 530A workout. I try to always exercise on the big day as a way to thank my body for hanging in there. Of course, I took a nap when I got home because waking up before 5a is just not OK. I woke up to a wonderful homemade breakfast. HB made me a feast fit for the health conscious queen that I am, including gluten free toast with an owl design made out of fruit. It was awesome and yummy.
In the evening, my friend Mandy invited me to go into DC and check out a panel discussing Behind the Scenes of the Walking Dead. And yes, Andrew Lincoln was there! It was really awesome to hear more about how the show is made —Greg Nicotero, executive producer, director, and special effects makeup supervisor talked about the process to create the zombies. It was clear listening to him how much he was born to do what he does. It fascinates me to listen to people who from an early age found something they are passionate about and get to do that thing every day as a career.
The next evening, Scotty and I enjoyed a steak dinner at DC Prime. It was so amazingly delicious and we came home to cut into my yearly Carvel Birthday cake with the kiddos.
It was a lovely weekend that ended with a super bowl party over at a friends house with friends that have been in my life for over 20 years. Coincidentally, this past weekend I came across this article: ‘I have lived over half of my life’ : Writer Miranda Sawyer on the quiet desperation of a midlife crisis. I had never thought about my age in this way, but thanks to this writer, I have spent more time than I care to admit thinking about it. It’s scary in some ways – to think that half of my life has been lived but on the other hand, I have had a ton of great experiences and lessons and it has led me to the life I lead now – which is pretty damn good. (see birthday weekend as an example.) She makes some good observations that I can certainly relate to although not necessarily because I agree or it’s been my own personal experience.
It also speaks to something that has been on my mind – quite a few of my friends are splitting up. They are separating, divorcing, up and moving across the country – doing some reflecting on where they are in their lives and deciding it’s not where they want to be anymore. For some, it was a long time coming and best for everyone involved. For others, it hit them like a sucker punch. They were not ready for the life shock that hit them – and are now trying to recover. There is something about hitting middle age. We are not the same people that we were in our twenties (at least I hope we are not), and the things that some people chose during their younger years are not the right things for who they are now. There is no right/wrong about it – even though I know it happens, it still causes a bit of a pit in my stomach.
Watch This (and Laugh)
Today’s Halloween comics offer a glimpse into the changing culture. Now, I am one to be sensitive to dietary issues but it’s gotten to the point where it’s ridiculous. You can’t cater to everyone or every child. Is it so bad to teach our children that things don’t always work out for them or apply to them? They get over it, I swear!
Have a safe and wonderful and FUN Halloween!
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there and of course a special shout out to the Dads in my life, including my husband who is the most wonderful Dad and a great role model for our kiddos. I realize this is a hard day for so many out there whose Dads are no longer with us and for those whose Dads were no where to be found.
My relationship with my own Dad has been complicated for most of my life and I wouldn’t necessarily describe us as close. Just in the past few years, I’ve come to realize that it is what it is. I can’t change what happened or who he is — all I can do is strive to be a better parent to my own kids and accept him for where he is today. Doesn’t make the past right or feel any better, but since I can’t change it, I choose to forgive and move forward. Now that he and my Mom are both getting older – it’s just not worth holding onto the anger and the resentment about my childhood. My dad’s health is failing and he is consumed by that fact – and he isn’t capable of being a different person. It’s not easy to give up on the dream of a different relationship but at the end of the day – I am who I am because of all I have experienced. It’s all in how you see things —
If it’s not obvious, Dads have a huge influence on our lives. According to Dr. Gail Gross, “Studies show that if your child’s father is affectionate, supportive, and involved, he can contribute greatly to your child’s cognitive, language, and social development, as well as academic achievement, a strong inner core resource, sense of well-being, good self-esteem, and authenticity.”
Also, according to The Importance of Fathers (According to Science), the effect fathers’ have on their sons is profound:
The Grant Study, the longest longitudal study ever done on the lives of men, found that a man’s father influenced his life in many ways exclusive to his relationship with his mother. Loving fathers imparted to their sons:
- enhanced capacity to play
- more enjoyment of vacations
- greater likelihood of being able to use humor as a healthy coping mechanism
- better adjustment to, and contentment with, life after retirement
- less anxiety and fewer physical and mental symptoms under stress in young adulthood
Speaking of family and Dads, we all went and saw Pixar’s InsideOut yesterday and I loved it. It really was able to demonstrate what goes on in all of our heads one time or another. One of the funniest parts was watching the family at the dinner table and the Mom is trying to signal the Dad to help figure out what was going on with their daughter. He just wasn’t picking up on it, just completely oblivious to what was happening. I was so amused and impressed at how perfectly they were able to capture the real life experience of many Dads. So, even though Dad’s are sometimes quirky and out of it, they have the opportunity to leave a big impact on the world. Go see it if you can and take time today to thank your dad for all he has done…
End of last month, my little baby girl became a teenager. It is hard to believe that 13 years have passed since I became Mom and had my priorities and perspective on life shift. What a crazy journey it has been. HB is becoming such an amazing young girl – so fearless and full of confidence. I love watching her – and seeing how she evaluates situations and challenges herself constantly. She is so much bolder than I was at her age.
When HB was younger, she called me a Fun Murderer. In hereeyes, I was not fun in her eye whenever I told her she couldn’t do something she wanted to do – for whatever reason – I was murdering fun. She doesn’t say that much anymore – it has now turned into the infamous eye rolling any time I annoy her. Her teenage years are bound to be full of moments of her parents embarrassing and annoying her.
Time flies for sure and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for both of us. I’m having the best time being her Mom.
Happy Valentine’s Day – I would prefer to call today Kindness Day! As I have said, I don’t need a day set aside to show my love for my husband and my family. The real moments where we show care and kindness are the ones that matter to me. When Scott notices my phone isn’t on the charger and puts it on there or when my kids help me out just because they know I would appreciate it are things that speak to me and affirm that I am loved.
To celebrate I am going to Kill Today With Kindness. Any opportunity to be nice or help someone else out -I am going to do it. Heck, every day should be kindness day. If you set your intentions on that each morning, it certainly makes it an attainable goal.
- 7 Simple Steps To Lower Your Stress (No Meditation Or Exercise Required)
- The Heart Attack and Depression Link
Boxing: 1 Hour