MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS: EPISODE FOUR

Holy fuck you guys. It’s fucking Christmas time all fucking ready.

Can you fucking believe that?

OH MY GOD IT FEELS GOOD TO SAY FUCK so much again.

If you kindly follow my blog you may have noticed I haven’t written anything since… June-ish or so. I promise you it’s not because I didn’t have anything to say. I have ALL THE THINGS TO SAY. It’s because I’ve been up to my MOTHER FUCKING EYEBALLS in parenting, work, other work, some other work, and some more work after that.

Sigh. More on that later. Continue reading

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HEY MAMA

Today I celebrate the tenth birthday of my daughter.  She’s ten. A decade. 3,652 days (you know, plus leap years?) old.

Parenthood, well that escalated quickly.

But seriously, when people say “the days are long but the years are fast,” they aren’t fucking kidding. Continue reading

MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS

So, after a rather lengthy internal battle, a few rounds of rationalization, several bottles glasses of wine with my friends, and uh, careful review and critique. . .

I ordered my Christmas cards this weekend.

Sigh. Insert monkey covering eyes emoticon here.

Yep. I caved.  I totally did. Like, I did the expected thing.

Ugh.

I’m a little pissed off at myself, being so traditional, predictable, materialistic, and generally propagating the curated version of my life that I think people want to see.

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 11.11.30 AM

Lame.

Because on the one hand, what’s the point? With social media we all pretty much know what’s up with our peeps (and their peeps) so like, save a tree, or something, right?

And, let’s be honest- what do people actually DO with that shit anyway?

They toss it in the recycle bin along with their guilt (and some debatably compostable petrified halloween candy) and move the fuck on with their real actual lives, that’s what.

So. Yeah. Speaking of (real lives). . . I just made an executive decision. The cute Christmas cards I ordered in bulk? Yeah. Not sending those. Nope.

Instead, you get, the real, live, authentic (cost effective!) e-card/newsletter that describes our life. This one though- is a bullshit free zone. No fluff. No spin. No labels. The real fucking deal.

Gulp.

Here we go. Presenting:

Not Another Fucking Christmas Letter

Dear Friends, Family, and People That Don’t Fit In Either Category,

Thanks for all of your adorable cards and holiday wishes. Good shit.

In case you don’t stalk roll your eyes at make fun of follow me on instagram, facebook, twitter, RSS feed on my blog, elephant journal or like, actually see me in person, then you maybe don’t know that my life is, uh… a little different than it was a decade ago when I wrote my last Christmas letter.

A smidge. Tad. Small amount.

So, um, here’s a quick update:

Madison

She’s nine now, and basically that means she acts like a bitch with a wad of angel in her back pocket 99% of the time. No, I don’t mean the other way around, I mean exactly that. She’s in hormone change central and waivers between a sweet and loving big sister to a screaming maniac at any given fucking moment. I’m using this opportunity to teach her about karma (ahem . . .), self control, breathing, and sarcastic replies being kind.

I feel for her, in a big way, actually. Luckily, she is catching on fast to the satire game and her witty banter is developing quite nicely. Can’t say the same for her spatial awareness, but it’ll kick in soon enough.

On the upside- she’s quite musically gifted. This means she loves to sing and dance. Everywhere. All.the.fucking.time.

She is ridiculously clever and pretty and tall and could easily pass for a twelve year old. Sometimes I accidentally put on her pants. This has a whole lot to do with lycra and that’s all I’m saying about that.

Rory

That little dude finally learned how to ride his fucking bike, can’t hold fucking still for two fucking seconds, can read like a fucking eighth grader, knows the square root of 99, 999, and asks forty-five fucking questions a minute.

Also, he doesn’t forget anything. Ever. E-V-E-R. Except that you asked him to put his shoes on five times. That — he fails to recall.

He turned six last April and hasn’t been particularly successful with the team sport scene since the coaches don’t really like it when you kick them in the knees and run off the field. However, we’re trying our luck (and their patience) again this Spring since I finally fucking remembered to sign him up for Little League on time.

Fuck.

Me

Um. Let’s see.

I’m pretty sure I’m officially in my mid-thirties now, which makes me old and you oldER.  I’m still single and I’m mostly avoiding dating because it’s hard fucking work finding the time and a man who can fucking keep up with me (she said ever so humbly), but uh, I’m trusting the universe to provide. Because it will.

Yes, I did say “trusting the universe.”  That’s how I roll now. And also, I have used the word “fuck “ probably twenty times in the last eight paragraphs. Fucking get over it. Be grateful I used it grammatically fucking correctly and move on already.

I’m using my college degrees and credentials to . . . ummmmmmmm . . . leverage my resources? I write, actually, like, for money not just because I can.  Twice a week I play dress up as an English Professor too so I can sound important and shit. Actually, no, because they pay me to help adults learn to read while I crack jokes for several hours. It’s fucking awesome.

I ride my bike to the yoga studio, shop at the Food Co-Op, and buy organic fucking produce at the Farmer’s Market.  Oh, yeah, yoga. I do that. Like a lot. I’m rather flexible. For real. In lots of ways, as a matter of fact. I did Teacher Training last summer, and then I quit a normal well paying job so I could help people work their (sweaty) shit out at five locations a week.  Because I fucking wanted to, that’s why.

I finally decided what I want to be when I grow up, and I’m going after it, spiritual gangster style baby.

I’m busy. Ridiculous busy. My calendar makes my head spin and my heart sing. I love where I’m at, and I’m amazingly fucking happy.

Life is good. We fucking hope you are too.

Be love. Be light. Be happy.

Peace out.

Like this post? Post it, tweet it, pin it, google it, trip on it, or otherwise spread the social love people.Really, really, like it? Subscribe to my feed and get posts delivered in your inbox. Can’t get enough? Stalk me: @CFOLikeaMother, Facebook or Pinterest

HURTS SO GOOD

Yesterday one of my most favorite yoga teachers looked at me, saw the large raw burns on my shoulder (from a homemade spaghetti sauce explosion this weekend), and jokingly said:

you are always getting injured. . . I’m sorry to laugh, but it’s kind of funny.”

She’s right. I am.

She’s also right that it’s kind of funny, in a satirical sort of way.

I actually cannot recall a single time period in my life when I didn’t have a blister, a bruise, a scratch, callouses on my hands, a pulled muscle, a bulging disc, etc… My body is basically never ever fully healed. No really. Never.

Funny thing, neither is my ego. Or my life.

When I complete a self examination, physical injury aside, I’m also fairly regularly “injuring” myself on the inside too.

Ouch.

While to a certain extent I have my tough girl act pretty dialed in, I’m at the same time quite willing to be vulnerable. I am genuine in how I show up, articulate about my shortcomings, my feelings, my wants, and my needs. Thereby, the exposition of the internal components that collectively create my being often results in the laceration of my psyche, the wounding of my heart, the scarring of my soul.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is living authentically, and I like it.

Another yoga teacher, from the same studio, and for which I have mass quantities of starstruck fear respect said to me this summer, “Michelle, you are harder on yourself than anyone I know.”

Well, clearly she hasn’t met the rest of my family, but also, she’s right about the being hard on myself part; I am, no question.

If I’m not operating at lightspeed, if I’m not pushing myself to my edge, if I’m not jumping up and down to rise to the bar I set ever so high for myself (or at least re-evaluating its position), I’m not being me.

Testing my boundaries, is, and always has been, my thing. Even if that means I touch the fence and get zapped. Even if that means I get stuck halfway through the tunnel. Even if I get my foot (or my fingers) caught in the closing door.

But especially though, if it means I get to drive those boundaries way, way, way out and expand my life.

I love that shit.

I push my limits. I get out of my comfort zone. I play with fire, and um, I get burned. Knowingly.

Because I find gain from the pain, to be cliché. I grow, and open, from the breaking. I find strength from hurt. I learn in response to failure. And it’s fabulous.

Think about this for a minute — how often do you see an athlete without tape, ice, heat packs, or some other kind of restorative treatment happening somewhere on their bodies?

Not often. Maybe never.

Athletes don’t get stronger by lifting pebbles. They don’t get faster by sitting on the bench. They don’t become more agile and adept by watching the rest of the team play.

They become better by working. By trying. By testing. By engaging. And by intentionally placing themselves directly in the seat of discomfort over, and over, and over again.

Well, I can certainly relate to an athletic metaphor, on all accounts, and while there may be safety in staying on the sidelines, being a spectator in the sport of my life isn’t in my game plan.

I’m the star player in my life, on my field, during my time on stage. And you know what? Players get hurt, often.

So to clear things up, because several of you have asked if “I’m okay,” to which my answer is “No, I’m not okay, I’m AWESOME,” and your reply is somewhat of an eye roll (yes, I saw that, even over the phone and through e-mail. I’ve got mad skillzzz like that), let me assure you that yes, as usual, I’m injured, but I got this.

I’m FINE.

I’m, as yet another yoga teacher shared, Fucked up, Irrational, Neurotic and Emotional.

Yippee!

No really. I like it.

I’m still working too much. I still feel regularly inadequate as a mother. I still feel occasional bouts of sadness, frustration or anger about some things with which I haven’t quite gotten my shit together. I am still dealing with the realization of the lack of control I have over what goes on in the other household in which my children now have part-time residence and how that impacts them, and me. I’m still in love with a man who doesn’t want to love me back. I still haven’t fully transitioned my work and play life back to where I want it to be (but I’m SO close).

I’m still learning to CTFD. I will be for my whole life.

Perfection doesn’t exist. While I find moments of equanimity in my life, there are lots more where it’s imbalanced. For every load I remove, there will be another waiting to take its place. It’s like laundry, it’s never done.

But it’s worth it. All of it.

In between the strain lies the beauty. The miracles. The pleasure. To every negative there are at least double the positives. Good always trumps evil.

Happy wins every time.

The joy is in the learning, in the process, in the struggle. Magic is happening, all the time, in every nook and cranny, every play in the book.

I’m appreciating it. I’m tired. I’m sore. But I’m grateful and I’m growing.

I will always be injured, and I’m good with that.  

LOVE AFFAIR

I recently recognized something in my life- I am having a love affair- and it’s starting to show. Like, all the time. Gasp.

CTFD; it’s not a man. Sheesh.

I know this really messes with your perception of an English Professor here, being so out of character and all, but competing (narrowly) with six packs, tattoos and smiles, the flutters of my heart, as it happens, are set off with words.

My name is Michelle, and I am a linguaphile.

Ah, words. Beautiful, lovely language, diction, locution, articulation, phraseology. How lucky are we humans, honestly, to have the gift of expression? So amazing.  However, this is not an article about the power of words. Been there, done that; read it here, or here, or even here. This is about a particular kind of discourse, the best kind, IMNSHO, actually. Don’t know what that means? Keep reading. One more minute ‘till enlightenment.

My affection extends across a broad categorical spectrum of jargon for the most part, but I am most notably fond of profanity (only when placed strategically into well crafted grammatically complex utterances, of course), any all all things witty, snarky, or otherwise satirically sound, and the vast vernacular collection I like to call “shit I just made up, borrowed, or improved upon.”

This menagerie includes a few blended words, like “shitittude” and “framily.” But by and large, it includes quasi-words. Word wannabes. Not like graphemes, morphemes phonemes, or other dissectable linguistic fodder, I’m talking acronyms here people.   Expressions that are made from the first letters of other words, you know, in the name of efficiency and good humor, and probably also, in an effort to remain in the “cool kids” club.

So, I have gotten into a habit (that I enjoy, and I’m um, kind of, sort of not inclined to end this quirky obsession) of dropping them. Like all the time. In pretty much any setting.  This is rarely a problem, since I am obviously a professional comedian and everyone knows what exactly to what I’m referring when I toss one out on the table. Oh wait. Nope. Not true. Negative. None of those last few statements are accurate.

Thus, with the intention of providing a) a good laugh, b) clarification, c) the potential for understanding the cryptic messages on your child’s media device or your facebook feed (don’t even pretend you’ve have googled at least one this month), and of course d) content with which to use in jest (of me, obviously), here is:

SOS: SARCASTIC ORATION SHORTCUTS
Acronyms you hate to love
ACRONYM
MOST LIKELY MEANS
BUT COULD ALSO INDICATE
BRB Be Right Back I’m enforcing taking a phone time out but I’ll respond sometime in the nearish future.
CFO Chill (the) Fuck Out Seriously? Relax. Be quiet.Shh.
CTFD Calm The Fuck Down Calmly Try (to) Face (your) Decisions
DIATH Dammit All To Hell I am frustrated but trying to not use the “F” word
DUI-Y Driving Under (the) Influence of Yoga I’m hungry. And sweaty. And thirsty. And tired. Wait, where am I going?
FOMO Fear Of Missing Out Everyone is doing something more fun than me right now
FYA Fuck You Autocorrect Siri!! Quit saying things I didn’t nintendo
IMNSHO In My Not So Humble Opinion I own this shit
ISO In Search Of A virtual cry for help. Or, I want something and I want to leverage my resources to get it.
MOTY Mother Of The Year I am already saving for my kids therapy bills
NBD No Big Deal Passive aggressiveness expressed in three little letters
NGH Not Gonna Happen Who are we kidding here?
NSFW Not Safe For Work Watch this somewhere where smiling is allowed and “offensive” is interpreted liberally
NFW No Fucking Way Complete Disbelief. Shocking news.
NSS No Shit Sherlock Thanks, Captain Obvious. I hope you draw your weapon faster than your conclusions.
NVE Near Vomit Experience I found my “edge,” probably while working out…
PITA Pain In The Ass Time and energy sucker
ROB Rationalizing Own Bullshit Making excuses sound like legit explanations
RT Real Talk No bullshitting. #truestory
SAAM Swing And A Miss That was clearly a) out of your scope, b) over your head, c) played to the wrong crowd, or, possibly, d)poorly executed
TIA Thanks In Advance Please excuse the lack of manners about to happen and/or my request for your time and energy in solving my problems. I’m warning you, in advance, so no fair getting offended.
TWD Total World Domination It’s go time. Optimization starts now.
WOD Workout Of (the) Day Willing Opportunity (for) Death.
WTF What The Fuck a) I refuse to take accountability for the current reality b) I am confused, c) I don’t know how else to respond to your ridiculous story, d) I am in shock, e) she’s wearing what?, f) he said that?, g) what just happened? or h) I’m cranky. Don’t talk to me.
YP Your Problem As in, not mine. Deal with your own shitstorm.

 

That’s the list, for now. Have a good one you’d like to add? Shoot it to me, comment below or start a viral thread of shares, I mean, um, tweet it or something.

Like this post? Post it, tweet it, pin it, google it, trip on it, or otherwise spread the social love people.Really, really, like it? Subscribe to my feed and get posts delivered in your inbox.Can’t get enough? Stalk me: @CFOLikeaMother, Facebook or Pinterest

BALANCING ACT: THE GAME

It’s Friday. Hooray. Let’s play a game. I love games, and since I get to make the rules on this deal. . . let’s GO already.

This game is called, “Good Idea, Bad Idea.” Why? Because my life is about finding balance. And laughing at myself. And doing stupid shit and then making it public. So, to that end, here’s a small sampling of my efforts in the last month or so to find homeostasis (a state of perfect balance, in case you aren’t familiar with the lingo).

Good Idea

Bad Idea

Grocery shopping

Grocery shopping with 4 children under the age of nine at 5pm

Drinking lemon water after drinking red wine

Drinking lemons in other clear liquids after drinking red wine.

Eating one piece of dark chocolate

Opening a bag of anything with chocolate in it. ANY.THING

Drinking a cup of coffee to wake up

Drinking a cup of Yerba Matte tea, then green tea, then a cup of coffee with Yerba Matte in it, and then a cup of “regular” coffee. #imhighlycaffeinated

Buying laundry detergent

Going to Target for laundry detergent. . . and also an entire cart of shit you forgot you “needed”

Running

Running  with either a) a hangover, b)small children on bikes, c)a combination of those two

Going mostly gluten and dairy free for a month

Eating an entire brick of cheese with a half a loaf of white crack, I mean, um, french bread, for (okay fine, before) dinner.

Going to yoga regularly

Going to yoga, then assisting at yoga, then going for a run, then going to yoga again. All in one day. #IthinkIoverdiditalittlebit

Going out with friends

Going anywhere 20 somethings are grouped en masse.

I’m pretty sure this list is going to grow, soon. And, I would LOVE to hear your version of this, so please share!