Monday, June 30, 2008


Ever have so much to say, that you don’t know where to begin? That, is the story of my life. Not that I am unable to speak it, but more importantly, that I can’t slow my brain down enough to write it, to share it, to capture it all. I have running dialogues, essays, commentaries inside my head 24/7 but 5 seconds in front of a keyboard and I am rendered “speechless.”

A few years ago I took some writing classes. What I gleaned from that experience was, 1) I have issues getting to the “it”, the essence of my person, my authentic voice; 2) there are a lot of talented people in the world who never get read; and 3) sometimes, you just need to shut up and do it.

I made some wonderful friends during the classes, whom I still run into and email with from time to time. When they ask if I am still writing, I am embarassed to admit that I’m not. Frankly, I am just lazy enough to let life be an excuse for what I really wish I was doing. Does that make any sense? If I could write for a living, I would absolutely do it. But the part of the job that becomes work, getting read, getting published, getting purchased, are soooo exhausting and overwhelming, that it is far easier to do nothing but dream about what might have been.

Last night I was speaking with a gentleman about the benefits of Pilates for men, particularly golfers. How the practice can improve core strength, increase distance and accuracy and reduce the risk of injury. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “But then you have no excuses.” And I realized that this is true of anything. Once we have no one to blame but ourselves – not the kids, the job, the economy, the weather, etc. – the wall comes down and it is revealed that we are lazy or lack confidence…or both.

I just finished talking to a colleague who is determined to be a failure. She came in the door identifying herself as someone who always quits and always fails. She wants to lose some weight, maybe eat a little better, maybe do some strength training. She is so prepared to be unsuccessful, that it’s almost harder to convince her that it is possible to get what you want. Maybe not all in one bite, or one sitting. Maybe you have to come back for years and years, but if you are really, really honest with yourself and set practical, realistic and achievable goals – you can get what you want.

As I write the paragraph above, I realize that I am the biggest culprit. I set unrealistic, unachievable goals every day. I have a comic strip on my fridge that reads “I aspire to be a soccer mom. Instead, I am a slacker mom.” So true! I have mini negotiations with myself…I’ll eat a donut today and then I will quit sugar entirely. Or, I will go back to Pilates and lose 15 pounds by the reunion. That one would have been okay if I made it more than 5 minutes after the reunion.

There are no easy answers – and that is the simplest truth. The practice of living is overcoming every challenge, from breathing to being, over again each day. Whether it’s society, religion, culture, peer pressure or tv that makes us set these lofty standards and goals, we build a very tall tower to fall from. Those failures, rejections or setbacks can be hard to recover from and hard to forget. Instead, we should use each one as a notch in the belt of our lives – every small victory, every big failure is a mark on the world that says that we are here.

Joining the Circus is Easy

I have never lacked for inspiration – only motivation. I am lazy as shit. Seriously, if it weren’t for the fact that I am more interested in repairing my Money Pit of a house than I am working for a living, this would just never get done.

George Carlin died this weekend. Shit. Fuck. There are several other words worth inserting here, but for the sake of my mother, I will refrain. (Dad, you can tell Mom to open her eyes and inhale now.)

My kids are a constant source of inspiration. My son, a beloved first born is the nosiest creature on the planet. He is in everybody’s business, even when he isn’t in the room – or the same floor. He always has an ear up like an antenna. I am constantly speaking in a tone that mainly dogs can hear between the whining and the sparring that he and his sister do. I swear that I can’t believe the sounds that come out of my mouth when I am deciding between screaming, beatings and running away!

Sidebar #1: It used to be funny to talk about beating your kids. See Bill Cosby do a hilarious riff about this. And, no, I don’t hit my kids. Though I can often see why someone might want to…

Sidebar #2: I fully appreciate why my mother often threatened to run away and join the circus. The circus is like a coma ward compared to my house.

Got Milk? Or Anything Else?

I love my milkman. Well, I don’t actually know him – or her – for that matter, but I do love whoever it is. I can’t believe that anyone ever thought that it was a better idea to go to the store yourself. I mean, how uncivilized! Crazy people and lines and junk all cluttered together…yuck!

I think that in this day and age, the pleasure to have the convenience of home delivery is underrated. It’s f’n awesome. It is so reassuring to know that I can remember at 11:15 pm on Wednesday night that we also need eggs or cream or a coffee cake – and have it there when I wake up on Thursday. In fact, I can remember right up until midnight. How cool is that?

In this economy, with these fuel prices, to know that I don’t have to make an extra trip somewhere, and to keep me away from the tempting and well-placed goodies is the best thing ever.

A family friend recently took a position delivering for a dairy in Massachusetts after losing his job. He tells me that for some of his clients, he even brings the products right into the house, rotates and stocks the refrigerator and notes what they may need…for them. Are you kidding me? Can I get someone to come in, get my kids out of bed and get them ready for school in the morning? What would that be worth?

You can have companies deliver all kinds of things, and pick up all kinds of things. You can have companies come service your car in the parking lot of your place of work – I saw a truck yesterday advertising a company that comes to your house to wash your car for you.

We went from having the world delivered to having to go get it ourselves. But, then we got too busy to go from place to place and now we are edging in the other direction. I want everyone to go out and find a company that delivers something and sign up! Videos, groceries, dry cleaning, etc. Enjoy having “staff” – live like the rich, for just a moment!