Celebrating Mother’s Day with a vintage post

Recently, Brenda from GrrlGuide wrote a post titled “If You Could Pick a Super Power, What Would It Be?”

It made me smile because I remembered a post I had written back in May, 2010.

Given that today is Mother’s Day, I thought it poignant to share it with all of you since it narrates the lengths a single mother will go to when trying to stay afloat.

I hope you like it and also, that you’ll visit Brenda’s blog.

She’ll make you laugh with her humorous, yet insightful posts, that narrate what most of us women go through on a regular basis.

Happy Mother’s Day, ladies!

And now without further ado, I give you

Do Super Heroes Exist?

cc licensed flickr photo shared by ***Yellow***

Super heroes. Super powers. The stuff children and many adults spend hours playing, creating, and fantasizing about.

When I was a child, many an afternoon was spent talking with my sisters about the wonders of saving the world from evil villains.

Our favorite question was always, “If you had a super power, what would it be?”

The answers to this open-ended question were endless.

Sometimes we would wish for the much coveted x-ray vision, while other times, we wanted to be invisible.

At the time, little did I know that I was destined to possess a super power; the super power of being able to go for days without sleeping.

I became aware of my ability, when as a single Mom, I had a million things to do and very little time to do them.

As my children got older, my talent continued to evolve as I patrolled them round the clock whilst working both outside and inside the home.

Every morning I would proudly march into the kitchen–a wide-eyed crazy look on my face, hair dishevelled and still wearing the clothes from the previous day–and announce, “I only slept four hours last night”.

The next morning I’d make the same announcement minus an hour.

This process repeated itself until my countdown determined I was powering through the day on only one hour of sleep.

I justified my bad habit by insisting that doctors got little sleep and dismissed any reaction that enlightened me to the facts that a) I wasn’t a doctor and b) I wasn’t being paid a doctor’s salary to stay awake all those hours.

Nothing anyone said mattered. I was a super hero who could stay awake for days.

Or so I thought.

As my days of not sleeping turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months, I rapidly became one of the monsters super heroes battled.

Sleep deprivation had transformed me into a worthy Stephen King character.

Furthermore, I found that laughing hysterically gave me the added spurt of energy I needed to get down the stairs, and into the kitchen every morning.

“I only slept 30 minutes last night. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…”

My grown children’s looks of horror only served to increase my psychotic state.

“What’s wrong with you people?” Oh, forget it. You’re just jealous because neither of you has a super power,” I would scream.

I was one step away from being committed and didn’t know it.

It took both my sisters, my children, and the dog, to get me into a chair that afternoon.

Their intervention yielded the discovery that I was a super hero gone bad and that sleep deprivation was my kryptonite.

I watched sadly as the cape I had jokingly purchased at a party shop was folded and stored in a box.

“It’s time to retire, Mom,” announced the Son.

“Let someone else save the world,” said the Daughter.

Scenes of what I’d done during my time as a super hero flashed before my eyes: staying up all night baking cookies, proofreading papers, folding laundry, bathing the dog, making grocery lists, writing emails, scheduling appointments, and writing in my journal.

Tormented, I wondered who would do all of it now.

That’s when my sister said, “I have a super power.”

I quickly sat up and said, “Really? What is it?”

It was like we were five years old again.

“My super power is called delegating, also known as ‘let everyone take care of their own crap’. If you want, I’ll let you have it for a while.”

“I have the greatest super power of all. It’s the super power of ‘dolce far niente,’ said my other sister.

“Not fair! I want that one!” I replied.

And then I fell asleep.

What’s your super power?

Vintage Wednesday: Where’s the panic button?

cc licensed flickr photo shared by TranceMist

As I walked by a shop window today, I realized it’s that time again.

And by that time, I mean the time when I have to be strong and prepare for the moment.

And by moment, I mean when I finally realize there’s nothing I can do.

Because like the Terminator, it’s back.

The one I call my nemesis, my enemy, my foe; the one that taunts me, laughs at me, and wiggles a finger and says, “Oh no you didn’t!”

It’s here…the bathing suit. It’s here!

(screams of horror in the background)

I’m certain we’ve all made its acquaintance.

We all bear its scars.

I know I still wake up in the middle of the night screaming from our last encounter.

Nevertheless, the time has to come for me to face my fears.

It’s time I stand up to the bully and declare, “Someone’s going down today and it ain’t gonna be me!”

And so I walked into the shop and bravely grabbed the little monster from the rack.

I could hear it snickering….giggling…but I powered on, determined that this time around I would prevail.

Into the dressing room I went.

I quickly peeled off all my clothes before I lost whatever courage I had left.

I put my legs through and started to tug.

A minute later, screams of victory were heard as I succeeded getting it past my knees.

Like a slippery eel I wiggled and wiggled until I got the straps into place.

With eyes squeezed shut, I faced the mirror.

I tried to slow down my heart rate by doing the Lamaze breathing exercises I had learned for the Son’s birth twenty years ago.

I realized they weren’t working.

I started praying a Hail Mary.

I opened one eye half way.

I closed it again.

“Is everything alright in there?” asked the sales associate.

“Yes,” I nervously replied as I searched for a defibrillator in the tight confinement of the dressing room.

I should have known this was a bad idea.

What was I thinking?

I heard my mother’s voice in my head screaming, “Oh for heaven’s sake, it’s like ripping off a band-aid. What the hell are you waiting for?”

And that’s when I saw myself in the mirror.

Suddenly the dressing room started spinning, my knees buckled, my lower lip began to quiver, and I started to hyperventilate.

About to pass out from shock, I heard myself whisper, “Where’s the panic button?”

Dressing room attendant: “Is everything alright in there?”

Me: “Is there a doctor in the house?”

Dressing room attendant: “Yes, but he’s in the next dressing room with another lady. Can you hold on one more minute?”

Me: “Yes. I know Lamaze breathing.”

Dressing room attendant: “Great. Hang on. Help is on the way.”

And so ladies, here’s to raising awareness to a brand new situation.

This time I propose that the swim suit be fitted with the following label:

“Warning: Trying on this garment can be harmful to your physical and/or mental state and should only be tried on while in the company of someone who’s qualified to administer CPR and/or is able fit you into a straightjacket.”

Holler if you’re with me.

Who’s angry now?

One more day to go and I wanted to share an early post that I wrote about something we’re all too familiar with–our emotional state; more importantly, anger.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but there are times when only using every tool in my toolbox is what prevents me from losing whatever vestige of sanity I may have left.

And anger?

In the past it’s served as a highly charged motivator but as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize that it can also drain me of most of my energy.

Keep that in mind as you read the post titled,

Who’s angry now?

cc licensed flickr photo shared by Anita Robicheau

A week ago, someone I hold very dear called to ask for my advice.

She explained that she’s angry all the time and asked if I had any suggestions to prevent her from lashing out all the time.

Rather than tell her the truth of how some of us are angry all the time and do little, if anything, to stifle our anger, I told her there was something she could do.

It was what I’d been doing for the past eight years; an idea taken from a movie that had an impact in my life at the time.

I told her that whenever someone made her angry, she should throw her head back, laugh a little laugh and say something silly.

My phrase of choice was “I never did mind the hiccups.”

Well, I don’t know if she took my advice or not, but I thought I’d share with all of you how valuable this strategy is.

Imagine yourself in a heated discussion with a neighbor, a neighbor who’s standing in the middle of the road screaming at the top of her lungs, “If anyone has dog poop in their yard, it belongs to ____.” (Insert your dog’s name here).

She’s screaming so loudly that people are starting to open their doors to see what the ruckus is about.

Imagine now how, instead of charging her like a bull running through the streets of Pamplona, you relax your stance, pull back your shoulders, throw back your head, shake your hair and say in a throaty voice for all to hear “I never did mind the hiccups.”

Tell me that doesn’t beat being charged with assault and battery and/or being dragged away in a squad car.

Yes people, there’s beauty in being able to disarm your opponent, adversary, nemesis, call him or her what you will, with a smirk, good body posture and a catchy phrase.

And not only does it keep your blood pressure from skyrocketing, it soothes the soul.

Lastly, I’m convinced that if more of us battled anger with silly words, we’d be happier people.

There would be more laughing at others and less heart attacks.

And when I say laughing at others, this works both ways.

Because, not only are you laughing at the person who’s making you angry, anyone looking at you may be laughing as well.

How, you ask?

Imagine this.

Your husband has just turned on his heel and shouted, “No, I will not pay for another Coach purse, only to have it meet its untimely demise at the bottom of your closet.” (Not that I like Coach purses. I find them hideous.) But you get the point.

But I digress.

As your man is about to turn and leave you standing in front of the Coach store, you use your “outside” voice to say, “I never did mind the hiccups.”

As he makes his way to the parking lot, you follow in hot pursuit and like a parrot repeat, “I never did mind the hiccups.”

As he gets in the car and flips you off, you murmur, “I never did mind the hiccups.”

Fast forward an hour later and yes, you’re walking home, or trying to hitch a ride from any truck driver passing you on the highway, but you’ve managed to avoid a scene.

You have not caved to anger and more importantly, you’ve given the people in the parking lot the opportunity to laugh their asses off.

You’ve paid it forward.

You’ve done your good deed for the day AND you’ve beaten anger in the process.

Who cares if you had to run half a mile after your significant other’s speeding car screaming, “I never did mind the hiccups.”

The question is, who’s angry now?

Si, amigos, follow my advice and try it some time.

All you need is your own catchy phrase and the courage to use it.

Just remember, don’t use mine.

Because if you do, well, I never did mind the hiccups.