I am still in a bet with my friend, I still have not had sweets. He called three times yesterday begging for chew, when I said no, he resorted to trying to get me to eat sweets. When that didn’t work he explained why I was going to lose the bet, hmmm… not likely. He’s a trainwreck, this should be an easy victory.
Well, I have a new problem. One of my friends, Sasha (names have been changed to protect the truly nuts), thinks the bet is dumb. She is coming over later and is bringing dessert. SHE DOESN”T EVEN LIKE SWEETS! She’s doing it just to make it hard on me. Her and my husband are conspiring and he is now talking about making his famous chocolate soufflé - Really!? But I will not give in, I will win this bet, I will exercise will power. Why, because I am stubborn and my dessert toting friend, Sasha, is crazy (said with love). This isn’t about helping my friend quit chewing anymore. Now it’s a grudge match. It’s me against the world. Am I pointlessly depriving myself of one of my passions? Maybe. Am I taking this too far and being over dramatic – absolutely! But I am having fun and laughing hard and that is more therapeutic than sweets – at least that is what I am telling myself.
One last thought, when the best is over, I am going to face first into anything sweet. I might even try bacon ice cream that Jen at My Morning Chocolate has been experimenting with. Or, I might just get an IV of Hershey’s syrup and cut to the chase.
I am a very lucky girl, I have a fantastic circle of friends. Each of my friends are treasured for different reasons, but I have one best friend. The person I tell everything to, without fear of judgement. The one who knows all of my multiple personalities, who understands I am slightly off-balance (sometimes more).
I miss my best friend. I miss the long relaxed dinners, the impromptu cocktails, the inside jokes. I miss the ability to completely focus on each other when we’re together. That time is now filled with work and kids. We’re trying to juggle being high performers (because anyone else collects pink slips) and the worlds best parents (because anyone else raises demons). We try to do the best we can for everyone, everyday and the cost is our friendship. There isn’t time for long relaxing dinners (unless you count chicken nuggets and Capri Sun over the noise of the kids). Impromptu cocktails are doable, but kids have a very low appreciation for hangovers. Inside jokes are replaced by kids humor because we don’t do anything not related to our kids.
What we do get is the bond of being parents, of understanding each others hopes and fears for our children. Will our kids like Kindergarten, will they be good students, will they look both ways when we eventually let them cross the street by themselves – is 25 the right age?
We hope that our friendship will still be there when we come out of the other side of the parenting vacuum. Will we have grown apart? Will we still enjoy each others’ company? We don’t know the answer but we talk about it, we squeeze in the rare time for just the two of us, we promise to keep an eye on our friendship. We know other best friends who haven’t fared as well and we try to learn from them.
My best friend is my husband and we live in the same house.
Okay, it may appear as though I am obsessed with showering with other people based on my recent blog post entitled Can I Shower With You, but allow me to explain:
I was doing my usual of rushing to shower in between conference calls. As I was racing through the motions, I was thinking about how fast I could get done, I even shave less of my legs to save time. I often check my email in my robe before I even get dressed, which sometimes results in several work hours spent in my robe with wet hair. I then thought, why can’t my Blackberry be waterproof?! Then I would know if I was missing an important email while I was in the shower. I could take long hot showers (which I love) and scan email the whole time. [This is another fact in support of why my blog is entitled slightly off-balance.]
Sure, part of my rush is because I am feeling guilty for showering in the middle of the day. Although when you start with conference calls first thing in the morning and still hope to get in a workout, when else would I shower? Part of the need for email in the shower comes from the speed of business these days. We are accustomed to being able to reach people anytime. I do not save lives for a living, so you would think a shower would be reasonable, but the more technology enables me, the more I expect of myself. Admittedly, I am also addicted to being connected. I take my Blackberry to the gym, on vacation, even just going to other parts of the house. Our only rule is no devices at the dinner table, and my husband needs to be reminded of that rule every night.
Years ago people predicted the downside of constant connectivity and I certainly feel it. There are rare occasions when I unplug and then it’s usually due to lack of service. Why can’t I allow myself to unplug? When did multi-tasking go from being a useful skill to a detriment to balance in life? Where does it stop? If my Blackberry was waterproof, what would I want next?
I think I need to cut the cord (or bandwidth) a little, but how? How do I become less accessible to the world (and better shaven)?
I have been quiet for a few days. I had high hopes for this week after I cancelled my business trip. I imagined a week where I got caught up on work, relaxed with my family, got re-acquainted with the gym and snuck in a cocktail with the girls. Clearly part of the problem was my expectations! I had put too much on my list for a week where the reality is I have performance reviews to write, a tough deal to try to close and normal life chaos. Then I got a cold.
I realize that a little cough is no big deal. But have you ever noticed how when you feel crappy, your perspective on life can get crappy. I think this is some sort of cold/flu because I have had a pounding headache and body aches too. I feel like I went slam dancing all night, then did a sunrise bungee jump, then got hit by a truck! Okay, maybe there’s no flu, maybe it’s because I have sat at my desk working long hours when I really just wanted to call in sick. I thought about it; fantasized about taking a sick day, watching movies in bed, reading and sleeping. Sounds like heaven right? But life doesn’t stop for a cold. The kids still tackle me like little linebackers, scream at the top of their lungs and want me to do normal mom stuff. Work is even less understanding. Don’t get me wrong, my boss would understand, but the to-do list would remain.
I was really driving the pity party bus this morning. My son came in my office and asked me to play with him. In a whining voice I hate to admit I possess, I said “Mommy is working, mommy HAS to work.” My son replied with “that’s no fun”. Thanks for the news flash! I was spinning on the thoughts of ‘wouldn’t I love to enjoy the summer days with my kids, escape the stress of work, not sit at my desk until I feel like a stiff old lady’. Of course!
Then I made a CHOICE to stop the pity party. I found a 30 minute break in my conference call schedule, grabbed my shoes and went for a walk. I cranked my i-pod and soaked up the sunshine. I reminded myself how fortunate I am that I work from home, have healthy, wonderful children, a great husband and amazing friends. I have a saying that I use when one of my friends is having a bad day: “The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, so I shot them” (Relax, it’s a metaphor, no need to call PETA). Meaning, sometimes we just want to wallow in a bad day until we’re ready to be optimists again. Well, the sun IS shining and the birds are safe for today!
This is a great reminder, that I can influence balance in my life, I can choose my perspective and how I react to the normal events in life. I can let the birds live and enjoy their singing – it drowns out my cough!
I often share the chaotic, stressful or funny parts of having kids. But every so often I have to state the obvious bottom line: they are worth every wrinkle, headache and bloody lip. One cuddle, ‘I love you’ or cute little saying is the reason I enjoy being a mom over anything in the world. I came across this video that sums it up so beautifully (and with humor) that I had to share:
Sometimes the simplest things in life can cause the most chaos. For me it was my morning shower. Okay, I am lying, my mid-morning shower. I had to squeeze in a quick rinse off between conference calls as usual.
Whoever did the plumbing on my house was abusing his vices, aka was on drugs! The faucets in our showers our reversed (if it says hot, it’s cold). Our master shower does not heat up unless you turn on the bathtub hot water first. None of these problems are new, just something we have learned to live with, until my kids got involved…
The hot and cold labels on our bathtub faucet handles fall off, and I am constantly putting them back on. – It’s on the honey-do (or should I say, honey-pay-someone-to-do list), but that’s a whole separate blog post. apparently my kids think these faucet labels are fun toys…
At 9:50 this morning I go running into my bathroom to rinse off before my 10:00 conference call. I turn on the hot water in the bathtub and wait for it to warm up – once it warms up, I can turn on the shower… I wait and it’s still cold, I am watching the clock tick towards 10 and still nothing. I finally think, which one is really the hot… I have to call my husband and ask him which faucet is the hot (because of course he knows without the labels, and I never pay attention to these things). He confirms that my little angels have switched the labels.
It is now 9:55, I switch the labels, turn on the hot water in the bath, wait for it to warm up then wait for my shower to warm up. I set yet another world record for showering and shaving and make my call by 10:02. Females really need more time to get ready than this!
These are the little things that contribute to my chaos. Thank God I work from home and don’t use video conferencing. I am may be mostly clean, but I look more like the plumber!
My name is Paige and I am a sweets-aholic…
I have a friend who is trying to give up chewing tobacco and I always love a bet. We agreed that he wouldn’t chew and I wouldn’t eat any sweets (had I suffered a major head injury when I thought this was a good idea?!)
The deal is that whoever caves first buys the other a bottle of Jager (we both love Jagermeister) - which in itself is ironic, willpower to avoid a vice is rewarded with another vice. Hmmm….
It is day three of this bet and I am a wreck! I didn’t take the bet because I am a good friend and want to help him kick is chew habit (although that is what I said)- I took the bet to break my own sweets habits with the hope of dropping a couple of pounds. I must digress for a second – summer is the time when I want to look my best for bikinis on the boat, but I gain the most weight because of the numerous social events that involve beers, blended drinks and other delights!
Anyways, I thought the bet would force me to stay off the sweets. I am a very competitive person and care more about the bragging rights of winning a bet than anything else. The problem is that if you remove one vice from someone slightly off-balance like me, another vice or vices (yes, that is plural) must be introduced. To kill the sweets craving I have tried beer, Captain Morgan (who am I kidding, I ‘d drink those anyways! ) and my new Three Amigos - Freetos, Cheetos and Cheesits! I need an INTERVENTION! My daughter had oreo crumbs on her cheeks and my first instinct was to lick her clean! I smelled my kids’ candy basket yesterday. I am salivating just writing about sweets!Seriously – it’s bad, I’m bad. Where was I, chocolate… no…, cookies… no…, oh yeah, vices!
If you’re vice isn’t harmful, disgusting or mean just keep it! You may find that getting rid of it is more damaging than giving in – that’s what I am learning! So my friend is dealing with the lack of chew by eating sweets (I hate him) and his suggestion was that I should chew to kill the sweets craving. How’s that for rational?! Keep your vice, it’s better for you. Keep your vice, it loves you. Keep your vice, all your friends are keeping theirs. Keep your vice to avoid the dreaded effects of vice exchange!
Finally, if my train of thought is hard to follow – blame it on the lack of sugar!
I often make lists of the goals I want to accomplish for the day and set up a schedule to get everything on the list done. I think that if I reach all my goals, I will get some time to relax and find balance…
I then realize the absurdity of my goals and the fact that the list ensures NO balance! What mother of two young children, working or not, is all caught up and has a moment to relax?! We don’t catch up while are kids are still young, just the way we don’t sleep through the night! So the goal is not checking everything off, but rather prioritizing the list. In my true OCD fashion I have devised a plan to accomplish a few things, while maintaining balance. This is my list (followed be a few revisions in italics) for tomorrow:
- Rise at 6:30 am, eat a healthy breakfast, shower before the kids get up, check Facebook Wake up when the kids wake me up because I will stay up too late tonight working and catching up on Tivo
- Snuggle with my kids until yoga Put the kids in my bed and let them watch a movie while I snuggle and try to sleep until 7:50 then park them in front of a movie so I can get in a half-ass shower where I sort-of shave my legs
- Cancel my 8:00 am conference call so I can do the 8:00 yoga class at the gym Who am I kidding, I have to be on that conference call! Plus, I can’t remember how to get to the gym…
- Attend 8:00 am meeting Call in for meeting at 8:10 because I have to jump out of the shower with conditioner in my hair and shaving cream on my legs to break up the kids fight over what movie to watch, tracking soap and shaving cream through my bedroom and almost slipping on the bathroom tile
- Get dressed and put on make-up during my 9:00 call Start my 9:00 meeting in my bathrobe with wet hair, eat off my kids breakfast plates, with my work phone on mute.
- Meetings from 8-5. While on these conference calls, I will try to get work done, keep up on email, write thank you notes, fold laundry. Get dressed and do my makeup. Experience has taught me to mind the headset cord on my work phone when trying to put my shirt on!
- 5:00 Throw my air-dried lion’s mane in a messy chic pony tail
- 5:05 Help get the kids ready for dinner and leave for sushi with the girls at 5:15. Kiss my kids and husband and leave early so I can have a drink with my girlfriends before dinner
- 8:00 Return home in time to kiss the kids goodnight and start working.
- 8:30 Return from sushi after the kids are in bed so I can avoid the battle, will sit in my girlfriend’s car gossiping to kill time if necessary
- Clean out my closet, finish my work from the day Realize I am tipsy, skip cleaning the closet and turn off my laptop to avoid saying anything inappropriate on work email
You may be asking yourself – how this is balance? I may not get as much done with the revised schedule, but I’ll have more fun!
Suggestions to the schedule accepted!
Yes, another post is in the works, it was a busy few days celebrating my daughter’s third birthday!
Several of you have asked me how to be notified when I have posted another blog. There are three easy ways:
- Set up an email subscription – by clicking on “sign me up” on the right hand side of my home page, you will get an email every time I post.
- Friend me on Facebook – I have a feed going to my Facebook account. A link to my Facebook can be found on the right hand side of my home page or you can look me up - Paige Morgan.
- Follow me on Twitter – I have a feed of my posts going to my Twitter account. A link to my Twitter account can be found on the right hand side of my home page or my username is offbalancepaige
I hope you’ll keep reading and comment!
Are you ready…
I have a psychic.
I have never believed in these things until a dear friend referred me to this psychic. I have spoken to her twice in the last 4 years and she predicted my daughter’s birth down to a description of her and her personality. She predicted my friend’s twins and other things that one could not be vague enough to guess. She’s the real deal. It drives my husband insane – an admitted side benefit but even he knows she hasn’t been wrong.
I share this because I am a little intuitive (or just another symptom of the craziness) and I feel like something really exciting is brewing in my life and I want my psychic to give me details. I was always the kid that tried to find or guess my presents and if I feel like something good is going to happen, I want to know already!!
So why haven’t I called? I am trying to practice patience and live in the now. I get very focused on goals and the future and am training myself to not miss the present. This is part of balance for me. Live in the present, enjoy my friends and family more and appreciate my blessed life. Instead of working after dinner tonight, like I always do, I built Lincoln Logs (and knocked them down!) with my kids. I skipped a meeting to have lunch with a friend this week – it felt great! I am taking a day off next week to take my kids to visit their godmother/my childhood friend that I don’t see as much as I’d like to. I am not abandoning my job, but I am putting more emphasis on the things that really matter. When I look back in 20 years am I going to remember the deal I closed or the cherished time with loved ones? This also means whatever good thing is coming will get here when it’s time and I will love what’s here now.
For those that know me well, there is a distinct possibility that I will blog about a call with my psychic next week, but I am trying and will be honest if my inner child wins…