Today was one of those days. I didn’t sleep well last night, thanks to an adorable, yet snoring child in my bed. It was grey and drizzling outside and frankly, I am pms’ing (apologies to my male readers). My plan was to go inward metaphorically. I would hide from the world and maybe even skip yoga because it’s just a crummy day.
Then I got a text from a friend that she’s having a tough week too. I decided the best way I could support her and anyone else having a tough day was to dust off the blog (Oh my! Does anyone have an extra feather duster and some Pledge, because I have been gone too long!) and share the 3 things every
mommy woman person needs. Hopefully, you all know what you need, but consider this a reminder, permission or just a loving nudge to be good to yourself!
- The Real Story – You are awesome, without having to be perfect. Nobody is perfect. If you are, please don’t tell me, I am fragile today. Here’s my shining examples of not being perfect-
- Every mom feels guilt. We were tired so we only read the top sentence of every page of our child’s book (sadly when they learn to read, I have to find other ways to cheat). We tell our kids we left their favorite movie at a friends’ house so we don’t have to hear it AGAIN. (Notice I say hear, because I am guilty of not even watching it)! We pick going to get a massage over watching a ballet practice. I think I have said enough to win mother of the year, I am moving on…
- Every mom yells. Our preschool teacher is amazing, like off the charts patient, kind and creative. AND she has FOUR kids! FOUR! She was recently asked, do you ever raise your voice and she said of course she does. If she says she does, than I know its okay that I do! That is one benefit of rainy days, I know my windows are closed so that my neighbors can’t hear me yelling!
- Every mom gets behind on housework. A note to the working moms – the stay at home moms have laundry piling up too! Even the cleanest houses and those with cleaning ladies have their bad days! (My blog isn’t the only thing that needs dusting…) You can’t perpetually hide the kids’ toys, husband’s junk or pet paraphernalia!
- Pick your poison. We all have our coping mechanism alcohol, caffeine, sugar, carbs. Okay, I pick all of them! There may be people out there who don’t need any of those, but I am not confident enough to be friends with somebody like that, so I choose to think we all have our vices. One mocha Prozac vodka latte please –with whip!
- Pick your distraction. TV (Somebody should give the Nobel Peace prize to the inventor of DVR, because that person keeps the peace in my house), books (Have you read 50 Shades of Grey?!), magazines (I get more than I have time to read, but it’s comforting to know they are there to fill my head with gossip, recipes, fashion and homemaking!). What’s your distraction?
- Pick your escape. Book club, bunko, mom’s group – these all could be bucketed as an excuse to get together and drink wine. Yoga – hmm, add wine and it might be utopia… The point is to find a way to blow off steam and smile!
- The sounding board. You know, the one you call and say, “I am going to kill my kids”, but she doesn’t call CPS (although you might appreciate if she did). Or the one you can call and say “should I be mad at my husband for …”. Or the one you tell, “I really need to pull it together” and she tells you that you don’t have to.
- The one that takes the high road. Just like we need the in-your-corner (even if it’s the corner of crazy and whack job) friend, we need the one who puts it in perspective, plays devil advocate and tries to make you a better person. Let’s be honest, we only call that friend when we’re not afraid of heights. But when we’re capable, the high road reminds us that there are people with bigger problems and helps us find gratitude for our blessed lives. She is also not a mind-reader, so when you tell her to “F” off in your head, she probably can’t hear you, I don’t think…
- The vice connection. She is my personal favorite. When the going gets tough, the tough get cocktails and she’s the gal stirring the drinks! She’ll split the whole chocolate cake with you and insist on opening the second bottle of wine. Who can have bad day while in a sugar induced coma?
The moral of the story- There is someone with a messier house, a shittier day and no wine in the fridge. Call the friend you need, meet her for yoga and have a snickers and cabernet on stand-by. You deserve it. Yes, you!
I am a professional. I am a mother. I am human and need a coping mechanism, for life’s normal stresses. I have tried cocktails, sweets, exercise, retail therapy, gossip, movies and have done many of these things at the same time!
Below are a few words of wisdom that I either personally learned or discovered through a friend. Stress is unavoidable, but follow these lessons to get the most goodness and least ill-effects form a popular mommy coping method – cocktails!
- Beer and Poptarts will cure a hangover brought on by Jager and Root Beer
- If you run our of shot glasses, a belly button makes a good substitute
- Using reusable ice cubes is far more acceptable than putting ice that can melt into your white wine
- If you suspect your friend is drunk, but there is no alcohol in sight, give her a second hug and take a deep breath. You can’t hide the smell.
- If you stupidly decide to give up alcohol during the week unless you’re with friends, start returning dishes, kids clothes or anything else you can find. When they invite you in for glass of wine, it would be rude to say no…
- Liquor is a requirement for karaoke, either for the singer or the listeners, but everyone can’t be sober.
- Wine doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective.
What lessons can you share?
This last weekend, after having sushi with friends, we decided to go the Saloon in town. I love saying this, because I am hoping it conjures up images of me living in Texas and wearing some sassy boots. I really do live in the suburbs, but we do have a saloon with a mechanical bull.
After running up a bill that was more Sapporo than sushi (and it was a lot of sushi), we headed over to the Saloon. As some of you may know, I am all for an adventure. Before we even left the parking lot of the sushi restaurant, my husband was making me swear I would not ride the mechanical bull. We were placing bets in the parking lot on who would ride and my husband kept reminding me that I am already a frequent visitor to the chiropractor and a bull ride would not help. I do not think it is appropriate to bring up my aging, frail body on my birthday.
Upon arriving, I felt like the bull was calling my name, my friends were trying to talk me into it and my husband was giving me the look of, ‘I will not give you sympathy or pay for the massages’. We decided two other friends would ride, but I would at least get on for a picture. Only I couldn’t even get on by myself. Maybe it was the Sapporo or the high-heeled boots, or the Sapporo, but it took the help of a friend to even get me on – it was clear riding would not go any better. Rather I was a passionate spectator.
The only thing that could steal my attention was the 80′s band setting up. One of the guys had a mullet and the female lead definitely rocked the 80′s – hard! I was instantly enamored! I was the first one on the dance floor – inappropriately early. I drug my tolerant friends and two perfect strangers out with me. Is there anything better than listening to an 80′s band in a Saloon, with fantastic, indulgent friends?
Well yes, let me suggest some improvements:
- They didn’t know any Bon Jovi songs. There should be a law that states that if you have a mullet, you know Bon Jovi songs.
- I am too old to dance with such enthusiasm (think hamming it up – combination swing dancing and jazzercise) in high-heeled boots. My shins, calves and ankles are still recovering. I should have taken the boots off earlier.
- If you can’t remember how many beers you had at dinner, don’t drink seven captain and diets at the saloon, even if you are making up for Lent.
- When everyone wants to leave, do not explain to your husband that the two nice women you met on the dance floor can bring you home later.
- We should have used a camera that didn’t create the devil eyes, but it’s almost fitting because I felt like the devil had strapped me to a mechanical bull and done his worst the next morning…
Let’s start with any easy one:
The party animal can down a pitcher of cheap suds before you can say Natural Light. He’s also most likely to end up working construction, building his beer belly faster than he builds houses.
Then you have the more sophisticated beer drinker. He’s tested the waters/taps/breweries and discovered a taste for the subtleties of a well brewed stout, pilsner or bock. This guy is a thinker, maybe a little staid but more likely to be able to carry on a conversation well into his third or fourth tankard.
How about those scotch drinkers? Talk about your somber character! He’s probably a silent drunk, never letting you into his mind, unless it’s to spout his opinion on politics. Also, more often a taker or a bore in bed.
A straight man who prefers to drink white wine needs to do some soul searching about his sexuality. Seriously.
Fruity concoctions? If not consumed on the beach or vacation, see my notes on white wine drinkers. Exception to this rule: Margarita and sangria drinkers. They know what they like and are confident in their manhood. Also, they know how to please a lady or look really good in their swim trunks.
Oh, you’re wondering about doing shots? Come on, that’s just a guy who’s late to the party and trying to catch up. He’s also more likely to pass out on you before getting down to business, if you know what I’m saying..
Of course there are exceptions to every rule and people do change. A certain gentleman, who will remain nameless, recently admitted to drinking Zimas. But I’d like to think he has redeeming qualities.
And yes, I’m happy to make sweeping unfounded generalizations about your guy too.
My friend over at A Diary of a Mad Woman was discussing how she identified her future husband in part by his choice of beers. (Ask me how much I love this!) We started chatting back and forth and I decided to amuse you with my ultra scientific analysis of what your beverage of choice says about you.
This analysis is just for fun. I am not a psychiatrist, bartender or any other kind of expert. But I am blatant abuser of stereotypes and generalizations!
Wine - Your goal is to remain in control or at least appear to be trying. You’re sophisticated and you have a keen understanding of what you want out of life. I know this because you have taken the time to figure out if you’re a cab girl or a Pinot girl.
Champagne – You fall into one of two camps – crazy like my friend Sarah who can drink six bottles in an evening or somebody who enjoys parties, celebrations and savoring important moments. You may or may not scrapbook.
Jagermeister - You are a good time and we should hang out. I am teased for my love of Jager, but I seem to have a better tolerance for that than champagne, so for me it’s
the responsible party drink what I choose when I am looking to go big!
Jack Daniels – Damn girl, you’re hard-core and can hang with boys. I am in awe of you and slightly afraid of you.
Martinis – It really depends on what kind.
- If you drink a classic martini, you are sophisticated, classy and therefore I have never met you. I suspect you are smart, powerful and own several Hermes scarves.
- If you drink dirty martinis – do I even have to explain this one?!
- If you drink Cosmopolitan’s you love girls’ night out and have a romantic side.
Margaritas – You are fun! You love the summertime, sunshine and get-togethers with friends. You are easy-going but know what you like. I have never met a margarita drinker I didn’t like.
Beer – This is another one that depends on the type of beer.
- If you drink Guinness or Guinness blends (like black and tans) you are a guys girl and like sports.
- If you drink Coors Light, you are a classic. If you’re a true fan of the silver bullet, you have multiple uses for duct tape. Either way, you’re fun and easy-going.
- If you drink Corona or Pacifico – see Margarita and call me!
- If you drink any other beer, you’re a bit of an aficionado and I would need to break down your personality further in a separate consultation. But I am willing, just tell me what bar we’re meeting at.
Vodka – You vodka drinkers are a mixed bag because there are so many different ways to consume the vodka.
- You could be one of the sturdy ones who can drink without ever falling down or making an ass of herself. These vodka drinkers are independent, loyal and wise.
- Or you could be the train wreck who typically drinks to the point of disaster. You are a ton of fun until the wheels come off the track. You’re personality is a little hard to pin down, but it involves a wide range of emotions.
- Or you could be the unpredictable vodka drinker who waffles between civilized and intelligent and lunatic. You’re a hoot to place bets on! You’re fun, sweet and a little off-balance.
- Then there are the rest of the vodka drinkers, I need to conduct more research on this population.
Trendy Drinker - Then there is the girl who knows the latest it cocktail. Past trendy drinks have been the Bellini, the Cosmo, the Mojito, the Pomegranate Martini, the Jalapeno Martini and many more that I am not trendy enough to know. You have a great eye for fashion, a great job, a rich partner or high credit card balance. You also know the hottest spots to drink the trendiest cocktails.
I have drunk all of the above and have a little of
all most of the above personalities, so again for humor, not criticism. How did I do? Do you agree? Disagree? Want to fight it out over happy hour?
For my male readers, if you comment on this post that you want me to write the male version I will. If you think you can handle it…
I know what you’re thinking – “Paige, don’t you mean treading water?”
Do I ever mean water over wine? Not unless we’re talking about laundry and I rarely talk about laundry.
For the last several weeks I have been struggling to tread wine. You see, if I was struggling to tread water, I would have simply gotten out of the pool (or lake, or ocean). But wine is complex, sometimes surprising, occasionally corked, but usually delightful, just like life. So therefore, treading wine is worth the struggle.
So what I have been struggling with that has kept me off-balance (and writing very little) for the last few weeks? I think I have it mostly figured out (how’s that for confidence and conviction?). I have shared on occasion that I haven’t always been happy in my job. The thing is, I love what I do and I am
good great at it. But I am a perfectionist and it had gotten out of hand. I had gotten to a point where nothing felt good enough. My confidence was slipping and my self-critical side needed a beat-down. It had started to spill in to my personal life. Everything felt hollow and I had stopped trusting my own instincts. Very few people knew how it was affecting me, because, like my dramatic diva of a three-year old, I can put on a show. The irony is during this time, I received a promotion, a raise and several accolades and still didn’t feel like my work was good enough.
But I am very fortunate, I am surrounded by smart, caring people (and a few paid professionals) who have helped me get things under control. By examining my perfectionist tendencies, I realized that perhaps I am a wee bit… off-balance, unrealistic and um… crazy. As I thought about the standard I was
holding strangling myself to, I had to laugh. It was absurd and not the level I hold others to. My higher self-bar was not because I thought I was better than the average person and could deliver more, it was because of that pesky perfectionism. This may confuse you since I talk about mold in my shower and all of my follies, but there are parts of life where I feel safe being “normal” and parts where I wasn’t giving myself that same luxury. (Trust me, the mold is still in the shower and I think the whole house needs dusting).
So I have perfectly cured myself in about two weeks. (When you’re done laughing, feel free to continue reading).
Welcome back, need some water or a kleenex?
In lieu of an instant cure, which I was dismayed to discover does not exist, I am being more thoughtful about my goals, my decisions and my feelings. I am letting myself off the hook a bit. I am taking risks again and know that sometimes I will… eek… fail, and gulp… that’s good for me. I am also reminding myself that my job is only one facet of my rich, tannin filled life. I am treating myself the way I would treat any of my precious friends and family members: with support and encouragement.
I know that I will have to keep an eye on that bothersome perfectionist side and I may have to occasionally smack her around, but just being aware makes me feel so much better!
So I am again successfully treading wine and enjoying it. Not to mention that cabernet-colored skin is more attractive than some of my spray tan debacles in an effort to avoid my natural pasty white color!
Thanks to a Mad Women who inspired me to share the hard, not always funny, parts of life.
I have shared with you that on New Years Eve I demonstrated my maturity by consuming some adult beverages and showing off my hula-hooping skills. But Dr. Oz has validated me! Last week he featured a segment on the hula hoop workout. Do you know what this means?!
- I am at the front of a fitness trend, I was hula hopping before Dr. Oz!
- I can multi-task: I was celebrating New Years and exercising.
- You can exercise and drink at the same time! This falls in line with my 5K selection criteria!
- If you hula-hoop while drinking, the calories won’t count.
- I am not a dork, I am a fitness guru.
- I have found a form of exercise I can do while dressed up, as suggested by the pictures below.
Thank you Dr. Oz for confirming what I have been trying to share with people. Hula-hooping is good for you!
How do you have fun while exercising?
Is it sad that I could provide two different pictures of me actually hula-hooping as an adult???
My friend and I have decided to do a few races this year and think about training for a half-marathon. I am trying to get rid of the 12 pounds of Christmas. And we’re both trying to get back to a place where we can eat and drink without guilt.
Our first race is going to be Superbowl Sunday. We had two races to choose from. Here is our decision-making process utilizing my scientific, health-focused, methodology:
Me: “Okay there’s one 10 minutes from you and one 10 minutes from me. Which one should we do?”
Her: “Didn’t you say the one by me had tailgate food afterwards?”
Me: “Ooh, yes, good point. Tailgate food afterwards is a must. Okay, I checked they both have tailgate food afterwards and beer. Maybe we should look at elevations. I don’t do hills.”
Her: “Oh yeah, flatter is better.”
Me: “Okay, they both look about the same for elevation. But the one by you does football jersey style shirts and the one by me does Hanes Beefy Tees – ugh.”
Her: “Oh, the beefy tees, always attractive. What’s the cost of each?”
Me: “Ding, ding, we have a winner. The one by you is $60, the one by me is $25.”
After emailing some other friends with our decision, a wise girl pointed out there is a great dive bar by the cheaper race too.
- Post race food and beer
- Flat course
- Cheap fees
- Dive bar
We are true athletes!