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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MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS: EPISODE THREE

So, my calendar told me it’s December. And you know what people do in December? They write Holiday letters to people to tell them about all the things they did that year that they already shared on social media. And then they pay to mail the cards to people, with a sweet family photo, like this one:

giraffacopper-218

Doesn’t my hair look great? I mean, uh, aren’t we the cutest?

Barf.

But you know, it’s not my style to give you the curated version of our lives, because: 1) nobody likes a fibber, b) people need more authenticity in their newsfeeds and their lives and iii) our day to day is much, much more entertaining than any story I could actually make up.

So, without shame or restraint, I offer:

MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS: EPISODE THREE.

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

MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS: THE SECOND EPISODE

It’s that time of year again, uh, again.  You know that one. Where your life’s choices are mocked at the dinner table, your little brother wins the best child award for the 27th year in a row, and you spend a lot of quality time with reinforced lycra.

Or maybe that’s just me. . .

Last year, I wrote the first edition of Merry Fucking Christmas and managed to piss off my own family to the point of social media disownment, and this year, having learned my lesson, I’m going to um, well, to be quite frank,

Give zero fucks and do it again.

Because this is real life people, and telling any other story would be a half-truth. So, in the name of authenticity and good humor, I offer you:  

(STILL) NOT ANOTHER FUCKING CHRISTMAS LETTER

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

Happy whatever-you’re-celebrating-this-month. Vodka, Gin, Red wine. Whatever floats your. . . spirits. Oh, and Happy all those other real things too. Really. Cheers to celebrating family, blessings, triumphs, heroes, saviors, endurance, and love. Continue reading

Make a Mess

Burned turkey, raw turkey, turkey jerky, turkey in the snow, turkey on the beach, turkey from the store, turkey in Nebraska, and Hawaii.Turkey on a hilltop, turkey in a valley, turkey with my family, and turkey with my fRamily. Turkey for five, turkey for thirty-five, turkey in silence, turkey in jest, turkey served by me, and turkey served to me. Turkey with my ex-husband as he avoided my family, and, tomorrow, turkey with my new husband as he meets them.

So, yeah, I’ve done Thanksgiving a few different ways, in a few different places, with a few different people. It’s very. . . Michelle of me.

However, these three things still hold true— pie, messes, and uh, turkey gratitude. These, I can count on being at the table each year.

And so, in tribute to said symbols of my past, present, and future Novembers, this year, I’d like to focus on the last two, particularly, Continue reading

GIVE ME LOVE

So, the holidays are here again.

Joy.

People are gathering together in spirit and in plenty for the next few weeks and it’s lovely. It’s also a time of excess for most. Excess spending, excess food, excess emotions, and excess alcohol consumption (generally to deal with said emotions).

Tis’ the season of overdoing it, or something.

So, while we’re all filled with the holiday spirit(s) these next few weeks, we spend a lot of time with people. People we love, people we like, people we’ve never met, people we never wanted to meet, people we can tolerate in small quantities, and well, people that we spend the other 364 days of the year avoiding.

You know what who I mean?

Button pushers. Irritating people. People that send you running for the Belvedere before you can say “Bob’s your uncle” (because, um, actually, he is).

These are the people that you just downright wouldn’t choose to spend time with, like ever, and for a variety of reasons. Maybe they have a lot of negative energy. Maybe they go out of their way to be difficult and offensive. They badger you with questions, make passive-aggressive remarks, put you down using lots of “jokes,” and purposely make statements in your presence that they anticipate to which you will respond.

Ya feel me?

Sigh.

Here’s the thing, no matter what flavor of shut-the-fuckupcakes you’d like to serve them, or where you’d like to place the mistletoe for them to kiss your ass under, remember that they are actively seeking engagement with you. They want your attention. It is intentional. Purposeful. And it stems from a basic human need for connection.

In other words (not mine),

“Every action is an expression of, or a cry for, love.”

The reason Uncle Frank is so annoying probably has something to do with his self esteem and he’s learned to manage it through negative attention seeking behaviors that feed his ego.

Aunt Susan makes condescending remarks about your “hippy-dippy cosmic lifestyle” and lack of  “real” job because of her own insecurities.

Your cousin from Back East whose dark commentary streams from the chair in the corner all evening? He feels like he doesn’t belong.

Your sister who performs the whole night, interrupts conversations and tells loud stories and jokes using all of her appendages, ensuring she is constantly the center of attention? She wants to know you love and accept her.

Your mother, who drives you bat shit crazy, does so because of her own guilt, perception and needs, not yours. Granted, it may feel a bit less like a Hallmark commercial and more like a Steinbeck re-enactment, but at least she’s trying.

Love prompts us do some stupid ass shit.

Yes, even you.

Newsflash, you fit into one of the previously mentioned categories for someone else. You might be the irritating one. The loud one. The attention seeker. The avoider. The overachiever.

Just like you don’t like everyone, um, not everybody likes you either. And, to add salt to the wound, the things that bother you most about someone else, are probably things you see in yourself.

Gulp.

Let’s add a serving of humble pie to scarf down before and after Nana’s famous pumpkin pastry, shall we?

So how about this- how about we choose not to bring a few things to the table with us this year?

How about this year we don’t invite:

  1. Expectations
  2. Judgement
  3. Assumptions
  4. Agendas
  5. Boxes
  6. Fixed mindsets
  7. Lists, timelines, deadlines, and itineraries

Instead, let’s show up with:

  1. Mindfulness of the current reality- however and with whomever it shows up
  2. Positive perceptions and intentions
  3. Acceptance
  4. A willingness to see and serve
  5. An attitude of gratitude
  6. A growth mindset
  7. A open heart, schedule, and presence

Want to create a different experience this year? Try looking for something else. Chances are, if you look for love, you’ll find love. If you look for softness, you’ll find a feather. If you seek peace and serenity, zen will find its way to you.

If you let go of your expectations of how things “should” be, what you wanted to happen, what you always do, and simply CTFD and let it be as it actually is, you just might find yourself smiling at the dinner table. Like for real, and not just because your brother just opened the third bottle of zin.

Try it, see how it works. The worst thing that can happen is you’re just as miserable as you always are, and hey, at least you know how to cope with that (I hope).

Speaking of coping, for the really difficult people in your lives, like the ones that drain your energy to the point of exhaustion, here’s some related reading to help you out (possibly literally, as in, out the door to a place that’s healthier for you).

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/03/6-tips-on-how-to-deal-with-difficult-people-karen-naumann/

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/08/how-to-deal-with-difficult-people/

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/07/how-to-deal-with-an-emotionally-difficult-relative-alice-williams/

relationships1

 

Good luck to you all, self included.

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LEARNING TO FLY (SOLO)

Oh holy day. Oh, holy, holy day.

Let me just say, ahem, I sure do I know how to bring in the Holy day with the Spirit, in uh, all sense of the word.

Confused? Let me rationalize explain.

Easter is a consecration of rebirth,  which is like commemorating life, which is like like. . . offering reverence for our plentiful harvest and abundant food supply, right? And our ability to eat it since we are so healthy, and strong, and shit like that. Yes?  I hope so, because um . . . well . . . if our bodies, rather than requiring regular caloric input, were capable of storing food for extended periods of time to slowly release energy, then after yesterday I would basically not need to eat again until, say, next year.

In sum, yesterday I was grateful for the blessings in my life- my family, my friends, and elastic-waisted clothing.

Speaking of family, there are certain places and things that just scream “KIDS.” You know, playgrounds, theme parks, the backseat of my car. . . They just don’t feel “right” without small humans nearby. For me, at least for the past nine-ish years, holidays are one of those things.

Since having become a mother way back in 2005 when Grey’s Anatomy was in its pilot season and Martha hadn’t yet worn stripes, I’ve had only a few holidays without my children, (yesterday being one of them).  And, as you may expect, spending festivities without those minions is quite a different experience. However, by different, I don’t necessarily mean bad. There are several ways to ensure this day turns into a real celebration, and I don’t mean for pity, party of one.

Solo Holidays: How to HANDLE IT like a Boss:

1.  Put on your big girl panties.

Go to grown up parties, events and other places that children are not invited, or, even better, not allowed.  Remember – you used to do this. You did. I swear. Maybe you’ve forgotten about all those overeating feasts you attended in your PK days.  Think back. Way back. Go all the way to Jennifer Aniston hair if it helps jog your memory, (not that I’m um, speaking from experience). Right? Got it? Friends without children. A sense of humor. The ability to eat warm meals, firsthand. You have those. Go use them.

2. Love Actually.

Make sure that love is all around you; surround yourself with the people you love (and um, who love you back, we are not talking about stalker behavior here). Do not, I repeat- DO NOT spend this day alone. If you do, most likely one or more of the following will happen:  a) on a scale of “apathetic” to “miserable” you will be near death, b) you will cry, and probably on floor in the bathroom, closet or hallway, and not in a proper place, like your bed or the couch, that would be too sensible and predictable. c) it will feel like the longest day in the history of time, d) you will call your children forty-five times, e) you will overindulge in food, “beverages,” exercise or whatever your coping mechanism is and probably do something stupid. This is yet another reason why the friend component is critical- stupid things are way more fun when together, and on film. For posterity or something.

3. Pack It Up.

Take a vacation, even if it’s just a day trip. Traveling during the holidays without children is badass. That mom searching desperately for her child’s lost lovey at airport security? That’s not you. The dad carrying a kid piggyback while lifting three carry-on’s in front of him? That’s not you either. Smile at them. Be sympathetic. Offer help if you are so inclined. Then pop in your headphones and fly like an eagle, baby.

 

4. Go Day Drinking.

Just kidding. This can be Day Anything, actually, because you don’t have your kids so . . . while your level of sobriety can decrease, uh, significantly, if you’d like it to, really, today the world is your oyster. Want to go out for a fancy meal? Do it. Go to a non-animated movie? All you. Easter Wine Walk? Yes please. Christmas Eve Pub Crawl? Hellllllooooo Santa Suit.  Get creative, do something you really can’t do without your kids. Cross something off your bucket list.  Make the day special for you.

5. Pre-Party

Celebrate with your kids before, not after. BEFORE. Why? So you can relax silly. If you plan to have the holiday with your small peeps after the “real” day you’ll spend the whole time wrapped up in preparations for when they return rather than enjoying your (brief) reprieve from parental duty. Seriously, does this really need an explanation?

Wishing you all luck in your adventures.

Namaste, Amen, La Heim and Salud, or whatever floats your metaphorical boat.

yolo

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