Tag Archives: Lifestyle

Remembering You’re A Badass

7 Aug

 

Image via LeFunny.net

Image via LeFunny.net

 

 

Advertisements

To The Guat On Her 38th Birthday

27 Jul

Had I checked my phone earlier maybe the morning vibe would have been different. I don’t know … maybe the snowball would have taken a different path down the avalanche.

I don’t know. Maybe.

Had I checked my phone first, I would have seen a text message from my sister and heard a message from my nephew wishing me a happy birthday. But instead I found myself online checking my email and getting my very first birthday greeting from West Coast Hooters.

Free wings.

Normally free on my birthday would have sent me cartwheeling, but alas a birthday wish from Hooters was not what I was looking for that morning. I was in search for a “yes-we-want-you” response from a publisher or potential employer. But no … I got Hooters. So I closed my email and continued with my morning.

I had pictured the morning differently. I envisioned it. Kidless, not involving the clean up of Cheerios. I visualized myself in the sun, wearing my O’Neill surfing shirt and board shorts, paddling on the long board in the cool calm waters of the beach. No sharks. No falling over. Crossing off an item from my bucket list on my birthday … that was the goal. That was the awesome feeling I was looking for. That’s how I imagined my birthday.

This did not happen.

I got a West Coast Hooters greeting, no babysitter, two rejection letters, and the day ahead of me. I was 38 and it wasn’t working out already.

Lemonade baby. That’s what I thought. Making some sweet lemonade with these sour life lemons.

So what could I do?

What adventurous Bucket List item could I do with a five-year old and two-year old?

I thought for a minute … and then I had it!

 

My answer. For ages three and up. It was on.

My answer. For ages three and up. It was on.

 

I signed us up and we suited up. My two-year old couldn't fly high, but at least she could get suited up and accompany us to the adventure. It was entertaining enough for her to sit still and watch.

I signed us up and we suited up. My two-year old couldn’t fly high, but at least she could get suited up and accompany us on the adventure. It was entertaining enough for her to sit still and watch.

 

After we suited up we waited our turn. A little nerves on my son's part, a little excitement on mine.  Javier the skydiving expert looked at us and gave us a thumbs up.  We got next!

After we suited up we waited our turn. A little nerves on my son’s part, a little excitement on mine. Javier the skydiving expert from Brazil looked at us and gave us a thumbs up. We got next!

 

My son enjoying his moment ... trying to smile but the wind was too powerful ... this was the best he could do. And I loved it. He forgot about his nervousness once he was there. He forgot about it so much that he asked to go twice. Little Superman was in the house being propelled like a helicopter up, up, and up.

3-2-1 … My son enjoying his moment … trying to smile but the wind was too powerful … this was the best he could do. And I loved it. He forgot about his nervousness once he was there. He forgot about it so much that he asked to go twice. The Little Guat was in the house being propelled like a helicopter up, up, and up.

 

It was the best forty-five minutes of the day. My son’s Sandbox Adventure List. Check. Mom’s Bucket List. Check. I was smiling now and 38 was looking a lot better.

The birthday adventure was followed up with a few other activities before dinner time.

 

We headed home for the baby's naptime. But we managed to keep the festivities going. After an hour and a half, and 522 pieces our Lego firefighter airplane and company was complete.

We headed home for the baby’s nap time. But we managed to keep the festivities going. After an hour and a half, and 522 pieces, our Lego firefighter airplane and company was complete.

 

After all that Lego fun I needed some fun of my own. I opened my first birthday gift. It rocked.

After all that Lego fun I needed some fun of my own. I opened my first birthday gift. A friend sent it to me in the mail. It rocked.

 

After a little sweetness it was time for dinner. A kid-friendly place with good one. I could only think of one place.

After a little sweetness it was time for dinner. A kid-friendly place with good food. I could only think of one place.

 

Started off with something fruity before dinner.

Started off with something fruity before dinner.

 

Then it was time for the main attraction. I savored every moment, every tasty buttery-lemony bite.

Then it was time for the main attraction. I savored every moment, every tasty buttery-lemony bite.

 

As I was enjoying my meal and having a great dinner with my family I looked down and saw this ... it summarized my entire day. Forrest Gump was definitely wise. Maybe he was 38.

As I was enjoying my meal and having a great dinner with my family I looked down and saw this … it summarized my entire day. Forrest Gump was definitely wise. Maybe he was 38.

 

After dinner it was time for birthday wishes and chocolate cake. I made a good one so hope it comes true. And yeah Forrest ... you're right. It is funny how things work out.

After dinner it was time for birthday wishes and chocolate cake. I made a good one so hope it comes true. And yeah Forrest … you’re right. It is funny how things work out because 38 didn’t turn out to be that bad.

 

Fixing Broken Windows

23 Jul

Dear Broken Windows Theory,

I had never heard of you, but after getting that background check courtesy of Google I think you apply more to relationships than law-enforcement theories.

I know that originally you define yourself as a policing philosophy that believes if a neighborhood tolerates small examples of crime, like broken windows, public drunkenness, or graffiti, people are “more likely to commit more serious crimes”.

I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do know that you definitely apply to relationships.

Yes.

Definitely.

Here is the list of a few “Broken Windows” that cause disorder, frustration, and out of control feelings, which may eventually lead to Snapped! moments.

 

.

.

Leaving wet towels on the floor and then wondering why the towel smells moldy.

Not replacing the toilet paper roll and leaving the sad empty roll clinging to bits of tissue.

Leaving the toilet seat up.

Throwing dirty clothes right next to the hamper, not in it, just next to it.

Drinking out of the carton, leaving one drop left, and then putting it back in the fridge.

Throwing out the garbage, but never replacing the trash bag.

Never “finding” anything in the refrigerator because you never look behind anything, and then asking your better half … Where’s the _____?

Driving the car for two days and then failing to put gas in it when the “empty” gas light is on.

Leaving piles of baby bottles with milk still in them on the counter. Not washed. Not even rinsed. Just there … smelling of stale milk.

Never making the bed knowing full well that the sheets on the floor are due to your non-diagnosed Restless Leg Syndrome.

Shoes left in the middle of the room, so that I can trip and fall on them in the middle of the night.

Leaving all the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers open so that when I walk in I smack myself with the very sharp corners.

Piles of clean laundry scattered about the room, folded, but not put away.

Channel surfing at the speed of light.

 

All these “broken windows” by themselves don’t seem that catastrophic, but a few of these in a row can definitely require meditation and a chocolate emergency. Everyone has broken windows, I guess the trick is to be aware of your own and make sure you board those up before hostility erupts and someone gets thrown off a cliff. I’ve got plenty of hammer and nails because there are a couple of broken windows here in Guatville. So Broken Window Theory, I think you definitely could expand passed the neighborhood watch program and into our Everybody Loves Raymond existences.

Just A Little Reminder …

18 Jul
IMG_5920

🙂

 

 

As I finished my year-long Happiness Project last week I thought … well?

What next?

You gonna keep going?

Will it be your lifestyle now, or was it a survival mode mechanism?

Then I got a little reminder at the CVS.

And I knew …

Reminders are a good thing.

Happiness Project Final Update: I’ve Learned to Embrace the George Costanza Phase of My Life

11 Jul

It all started a year ago with a picture and an unexpected outing at Barnes and Noble.

There I was in a CAL Hockey Jersey hands up in the air celebrating an amusement park triumph. I looked at the photograph and paused.

Who was this chick, and where did she go?

It was me … only I was happy, my spirit was busting loose. My freak flag was flying.

I looked at myself in the mirror and thought … what the hell?

And there it was … this is when the concept of the lemon squeezer was born. Had I turned sour because Plan A wasn’t working out the way I had imagined … maybe … I had my moments. Did I have bouts of malaise? Hell yes. Did I need an Elizabeth Gilbert Eat, Pray, Love experience? Yes…hell yes. But I was broke and had no time to really fly off to Rome, India or Bali.  I couldn’t afford to go to Fiji and have a Tony Robbins life-changing experience. So I’d have to change my life without the use of a passport.

But I didn’t really get started until Gretchen popped into my life.

Image via Happiness-Project.com

Image via Happiness-Project.com

I never thought I’d meet a Gretchen or that she’d help change my outcome. I mean it’s not like she was Tony Robbins or anything, just some chick with a book I glanced at during one of my self-help expeditions at the book store. In truth, I hadn’t planned on going to Barnes & Noble, but the movie I wanted to watch was sold out, so instead of heading back home — a world where moms hardly escape — I decided to take a detour and hang out at the book store. As I was checking out all these ridiculous “find-your-inner-light” books by people who didn’t really have inner light, I came across Gretchen’s book: The Happiness Project.

I remembered my picture and thought … yeah I need me some of that because Trader Joe’s may be running out of chocolate lava cakes.

What do I have to lose? $14.99?

I thought damn Guat … you need to start squeezing some of the juice out of these lemons that life threw at you like a Randy Johnson fastball in his prime.

So I launched my Happiness Project. I made goals, plans, resolutions to make things better out of the crappy life I wasn’t meant to have. Sure I had my health, but I couldn’t just go walking around just being thankful for my health alone. I wanted more. I wanted to be like Will Smith at the end of The Pursuit of Happiness where he’s clapping his hands and crying because he made it. Yeah I wanted me some of that.

So I read it. And I know the book only had 12 chapters, but I managed to squeeze out 27 lessons, experiences, plans, resolutions for my Happiness Project. I vowed to take baby steps and giant steps toward my happiness. I vowed to rush down that field like an awesome Heisman Trophy winner. I vowed to be Badass again … with a capital B. I vowed to let my freak flag fly. I vowed to try to be that Guat I saw in the picture.

:)

🙂

I concentrated on specific things for my own happiness:  emotional, physical, and mental wellness; being an awesome member of the parenthood fraternity; finding the funny in not so funny situations; dancing like I was the chick from Flashdance every day because the music is definitely in me; staying athletic no matter how much IcyHot and ibuprofen I used; being present and not getting crazy with the multitasking that is inherent in all moms; seeking new challenges so I am less depressed; having my kind fun however it is that I defined fun which usually involved sports, the AMC network, or anything involving Jason Bateman; living like it was Shark Week; learning to be grateful; having a purpose and feeling like there’s something out there for me, productivity as in pouring out my writing ideas even if the publishing date is still TBA, and celebrating little accomplishments as in giving myself a high-five.

This is what I tried to do for 365 days.

So the big question is, are you happy? Are you happier? Did it work?

I can only say that considering I had turned into the female version of George Costanza, my Happiness Project has kept me from jumping off a cliff. I see that chick in the picture more often than I used to.

Am I happy all day, every day? No. I’d need more cash for that to come true. And I know people say that money doesn’t buy happiness, but they might not be trying hard enough, because it sure does help.

But aside from that am I  happy? Considering what I go through and what my life didn’t turn out to be, I’d say I’m rocking Plan B. I’ve squeezed every last drop of the hundreds of lemons dumped on me by life and they in turn have given me more moments of happiness.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fallen off the wagon plenty of times this year. Marriage and family will do that to you. This is when the chocolate, drinking, Deepak Chopra style meditation, or Rocky Balboa type of workouts surfaced.

But regardless of the crappy days, I learned that the next day gave me another 24 hours to make up for it. I was like Jack Bauer … making the most of every hour. And during this Eat, Pray, Love journey that was confined to the Golden State, there were a few resolutions, lessons, goals that helped me out the most.

Be The Guat — remembering to fly my freak flag no matter what. I usually didn’t have a problem with that one ever, but it was always a good reminder.

Be present — as in show up, enjoy the now, be present in the moment in whatever it is I’m doing … running, reading, watching a movie, eating dinner, playing Legos with my kid. Stop multi-tasking and be present. Savor the moment because if I’m doing something I can’t go at it half-assed. Whole ass is the way to go.

Find the funny — you gotta laugh. First you’ll probably cry, and eat a couple of pints of Ben & Jerry’s but once that’s done, find the funny. Write your life like a Saturday Night Live skit and you’ll find the funny and it’ll get you through.

HappinessHere

🙂

Yeah … these were my lessons, my goals, my resolutions. Am I happy?

I’d say I’m a little happier. I’ve learned to embrace the George Costanza phase of my life. Happy Festivus!  And even though I finished the book, My Happiness Project still continues. I’ll always be trying to squeeze out as much juice as possible, it’s in my nature now. I’m a lemon squeezer.

 

The Journey …

Happiness Project Update: Squeezing Every Drop of Juice Out of The Lemon

Happiness Project Update 2: Humor Seeker, Dancing Fool, and Big Pants Wearer

Happiness Project Update 3: I Don’t Fit Into Skinny Jeans, But I’m O.K. With That. I’m an Athlete With Curves.

Happiness Project Update 4: Listening to my GPS and Getting More Branches on the Tree

My Happiness Project Update 5: Still Aiming for That Six Percent and Tina Fey.

Happiness Project Update 6: Get a Grip! You’re Not Single Anymore, It Takes 90 Minutes.

Happiness Project Update 7: Enjoying The Now, Enjoying The Later Much Better, and Ripley

Happiness Project Update 8: I Accept That This is Not an 80s Movie

Happiness Project Update 9: Parenthood … Awful, Awful, Awful, Terrific!

Happiness Project Update 10: Parenthood … Where Everyone Has a Meltdown

My Happiness Project Update 11: Parenthood is All About Angles, Even If Some of Them Require 243 Pieces.

My Happiness Project Update 12: Finding Gratefulness in Ordinary Days … And Not the Artificial Kind.

My Happiness Project Update 13: Other People’s Crappy Life

Happiness Project Update 14: The Lemon Squeezer

Happiness Project Update 15: Getting A Mango Every Now and Then

Happiness Project Update 16: Pantene Moments During Crunch Time

Happiness Project Update 17: BFFs or Just BFs

Falling off the Happiness Project-Bucket List Wagon

Happiness Project Update 18: Table For One? Dude. No. Party of Two and Tag-Teams.

Happiness Project Update 19: It’s All About Options

Happiness Project Update 20: Paying It Forward One Penny at a Time

Happiness Project Update 21: The Lieutenant Dan State of Mind

Happiness Project Update 22: The Food Network Adventure Begins

Happiness Project Update 23: Extending Deadlines and Plan B

Happiness Project Update 24: Stopping the Autopilot

Happiness Project Update 26: The Antidote to the This-Currently-Sucks-Right-Now Moments

Happiness Project Update 27: I Fell Off the Wagon … But I Found Refuge