All about Moi

An Introverted Girl’s Best Friend

introvert
I’m an introvert. I often tell my husband I would be content on a deserted island with some good food and a stack of books for a long, long time. I have an event coming up that is weighing on my mind. I will know absolutely no one there. I will be forced to socialize, network and chit-chat, things I’m not comfortable with and don’t enjoy. But thank God for Steve Jobs because I can take my iPhone or iPad with me and disappear into the crowd.

It’s socially acceptable to be on your smartphone now in certain situations. I’m not talking about at the dinner table or while you’re having face to face conversations with people. That’s just rude and annoying. But in a crowded room, with people wandering around, small groups of people sectioned off into their cliques, only talking to the people they know, I don’t sweat it, I just pull out my distraction tool.

Looking at me, no one knows if I’m texting, tweeting, blogging, tumbling, googling, emailing, pinning, on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, checking in or just pretending to do one of these things to avoid idle conversation. Maybe I’m doing a couple at once. Maybe I’m eavesdropping, hoping for an “in” to the conversation. Maybe I’m simply relieved to not look so out of place, to not have a spotlight shined on my introversion. Some people misconstrue my quiet, reserved nature for snobbery. Only those who know me well know that is the farthest thing from the truth.

So for all my fellow introverts, take along your smartphone/pad/whatever and get lost in the crowd. Maybe you will meet another kindred soul pretending to text in the corner. It might be me. ūüôā

Two P’s For the New Year

I’m a mildly anxious person.¬† I get stressed easily.¬† I can get into a negative mood and nothing can shake it.¬† Sometimes this spills over into my home life and I show¬†my ugliest feelings to those I love the most.¬† Yelling at the kids, collapsing at the end of the day exhausted, worrying about something slight, feeling depressed because I haven’t seen the sun in more than 10 days. You get the idea.

This year I promised myself I would make big changes.¬† Instead of my usual list of New Year’s Resolutions, this year I made a tiny list.¬† Only two things were on it.¬† I figured two things are easier to tackle than a list of¬†twelve right?!

My simple resolution list looks like this:

1. Be more positive.

2. Be more patient.

Or to simplify even further, this year I will practice positive patience.¬† I like the sound of it.¬† Positive Patience.¬† When I’m feeling overwhelmed, stressed out by fighting kids, annoyed at spilled orange juice, questioning everything, I will remind myself to be positive – everything will be ok, it always works out in the end, this too shall pass.¬† I will remind myself to be patient – yelling only makes me feel guilty afterwards, staying calm feels good, they are growing up so fast.

If you’re feeling a bit lost this new year or just looking for an easy tweak to your normal routine, practice positive patience.¬† I’m no self-help expert on anyone but myself, but this is my prescription.¬† Try it and let me know if it works for you.¬† Then maybe I can write a self-help book….

I’m An Avid List Maker

I found this on another blog and I can’t remember where, so if this is yours, please leave a comment below then pat yourself on the back for coming up with such a cool idea!¬† Here are a few of my favorite things:

Making : Pumpkin Bread
Cooking : Beef Stroganoff
Drinking : Moet Chandon¬†Nectar Imperial¬† (or coffee¬†if I’m not feeling fancy)
Reading: 100 Days of Real Food
Wanting: The Perfect Nude Handbag
Looking: At Pinterest Way Too Much
Playing: Uno
Wasting: Time Wondering if I Should Stop Using Capital Letters
Sewing: Nothing¬† (I don’t sew)
Wishing: For A Vacation Home in Anguilla
Enjoying: My Family
Waiting: For Guidance
Liking: Jamie Oliver
Wondering: When Black Friday Will Creep Into Halloween
Loving: A Clean House
Hoping: For a Clean House
Marvelling: Over My Not Quite Clean House
Needing: Seriously…A Housekeeper
Smelling: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Wearing: Gap T-Shirt and Yoga Pants
Following: I’m¬†Not a Follower
Noticing: The Many Talented Bloggers Here
Knowing: My Decision Was Right
Thinking: How Lucky I Am
Feeling: Hungry
Bookmarking: Calls For Submissions on Literary Mama
Opening: Not Enough Email
Giggling: At My Son Dressed in Suspenders
Feeling: Blessed

Go Brush Your Teeth

In the spirit of this month’s NaBloPoMo theme of healing, I decided to have some routine dental work done last Tuesday.¬† Little did I know it would put me out of commission for days.¬† I have some serious dental anxiety.¬† I don’t know why.¬† I just know I leave the dentist’s office feeling like I’ve been mugged.¬† I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say I was miserable.¬† Think intense, sharp nerve pain that comes and goes at random times, causing me to almost cut off my finger while slicing a fresh peach for my daughter.¬† Not fun.

This went on for two days before I¬†bravely decided I had to go back and let the dentist address the problem.¬† My dentist is a lovely man and he did indeed fix the problem.¬† My pain is almost gone!¬† I can eat and talk and do laundry and yell at whoever isn’t listening to me again! Yeah!

Now I am healing, my tooth pain and my control over those funny things I have no control over.¬† On a lighter note, I’ve forced my children to be more vigilant about their oral health, standing over them while they brush, warning them about eating too much candy and cavities and how awful it all is.¬† I think I’ve successfully scared them to death.¬† But you know what?¬† Their teeth are so damn clean.

I’ll Be Right Back, I Need A Hot Shower

As a young girl, I could stand in a hot shower for days. My father constantly yelled in through the thick steam to get out, I was using all the hot water. Yes I was and I didn’t care. Like most teenagers I assumed money grew on trees. Not literally of course, but I assumed my parents had piles of cash lying around and what was a measly $400 water bill to them?!

Now the tables have turned my friends. I have two daughters who also like scalding hot showers that never end. I tell them to hurry, to wash and get out, but I hear them talking to themselves or singing a sweet lilting tune and I remember. I understand. They are the younger versions of me. I wasted away hours every week in the walls of the shower stall, hurrying to wash and then just standing under the hot blast of water, waiting for it to clear my mind, relax my body and calm my senses.

To this day I still use up all the hot water. ¬†I consider it a cheap form of therapy. A hot shower can really do wonders for you. Plus I’m a Pisces. It’s in my nature. ¬†Sorry Dad.

Are You A Feminist?

There has been a lot of talk recently about feminists; who is one, and why.¬† Are they crazy, power-hungry females or just women and girls who care about equality?¬† Beyonc√© spoke out about it.¬† So have Lena Dunham and Caitlin Moran.¬† Even sweet little Taylor Swift has come to the table.¬† I have always considered myself a feminist, going back to my early high school years when I discovered Bust Magazine and Bitch Magazine.¬† They opened my eyes to the inequities girls and women face on a daily basis around the globe.¬† My world view was blown open and as I’ve grown and¬†birthed two¬†girls, my relationship with feminism has grown even deeper.

How do you know you’re a feminist?¬† If you advocate for the equality of women, you‚Äôre a feminist.¬†Or as Caitlin Moran quaintly put it:

So here is the quick way of working out if you are a feminist: A: Do you have a vagina? And B: do you want to be in charge of it? If you said yes to both, then congratulations, you’re a feminist.

I agree with her to a point, but you don’t have to have a vagina to be a feminist.¬† Plenty of men and fathers consider themselves feminists and I find that incredibly attractive.¬† Whether you are or whether you’re not, support the girls and women in your life.¬† We are all in this together.¬† As Gloria Steinem said,

The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving.

If you’d like to explore more, check out feministing.org¬† and Ms. Magazine for more girl moxie.

 

 

A Bunch of Things You Don’t Have Time To Read

It’s been a bad week for time¬†vs. blog posts, so when I saw this questionnaire on Jodi Llewellyn’s blog I¬†decided it would be fun to fill out.

THREE THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF:
1. People often misjudge my shyness for arrogance.
2. I am a night owl, definitely NOT a morning person.
3. I used to work for a children’s hospital.

THREE THINGS THAT SCARE YOU:
1. Something awful happening to my children
2. Big, hairy spiders
3. Being in deep water alone; I’m terrified of sharks!

THREE OF YOUR EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS:
1. Dark roast coffee
2. My iPhone
3. A book, any book

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE HOBBIES:
1. Watching foreign films
2. Reading books and magazines
3. Hanging out in book stores

THREE CAREERS YOU’RE CONSIDERING/YOU’VE CONSIDERED:
1. An author
2. A¬†doctor.¬† If I didn’t have children, this would have been my career path, but I wanted babies.¬† Maybe in my next life…
3. Entrepreneur

THREE BOOKS YOU HAVE RECENTLY READ:
1. Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook
2. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
3. All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood

THREE THINGS YOU ARE WORKING ON, WRITING WISE:
1. Submission for Literary Mama
2. New blog post ideas
3. Submission for parenting magazine

THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE:
1. Go back to Anguilla with my husband
2. Become a published author
3. Start my own business

THREE CELEB IDOLS (or crushes):
1. Audrey Tatou РLove her
2.¬†Helen Mirren –¬†Stunning
3. Tom Hanks – One of my favorites

THREE QUOTES:
1. “Don’t¬†look back.¬†You’re not going that way.” – Unknown
2. “I’m rarely bored alone.¬† I am often bored in groups and crowds.” – Laurie Helgoe
3. “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Teese

It’s a Beautiful Day For a Shark Bite

It’s a warm 74 degrees here today, a nice change of pace from the usual slush and sludge of snow and ice.  The kids and I played outside and went for a walk to the lake, enjoying the warmth of the sun on our skin.  It’s been way too long.  After only 20 minutes of this, the baby’s face was getting red and I realized I had broken the golden rule; ALWAYS wear sunscreen.  Luckily, I have sunscreen in my face lotion, foundation, and BB cream, but the rest of me tends to get neglected, especially on unexpectedly nice days when all we want to do is get outside.

We tend to get the skin cancer lecture whenever the seasons change, and I used to ignore it myself.  Alright, we get it, use sunscreen, stay in the shade, blah, blah, blah.  But now I speak with experience.  Eight years ago I spotted a funny little black mole on the back of my calf.  I had a bad feeling about it, but I ignored it and hoped it would go away.  That nagging feeling continued, pushing me to finally get it checked.  How na√Įve I was!  Not only did I have skin cancer, I had the worst kind – melanoma.  And it was deep.  I was scared, especially when my dermatologist broke the news that I would have to see a specialist.  It was out her hands.  When the surgeon started talking about stages and thickness and biopsies, I froze up with fear.  He must have sensed my terror and proceeded to pull out a pencil and paper to draw out what he was saying.  This was real and it was serious.

I berated myself for waiting.  What if I’d never gone to the doctor?  Would I still be alive today?  I’ll never know.  I’m thankful now for all the warnings and advice for skin cancer prevention.  Protect yourself and your family.  Always use sunscreen on exposed skin, cover up when you can and try to stay in the shade as much as possible.  With little ones this advice can be hard to swallow.  I loathe putting sunscreen on three wiggly bodies, squirming to get outside, but it must be done.  It takes forever, it can be annoying, but what is the alternative?  You do not want to end up on the surgeon’s table like I did.

I opted for local anesthetic and it was awful.  I felt every tug and pull and was forced to stomach the surgeon telling me my leg looked like I had a shark bite.  Thanks for the visual there Doc.  Not helping.  My recovery was painful and arduous.  I am still fearful the cancer could return and take me from my family just like that.  But I’m vigilant with self-care, like doing my own skin checks and visiting my dermatologist religiously every six months.  I take care of myself and my children better because of the melanoma.  If you take nothing else away from my experience, let it be this; learn from my mistake.  If you spot a weird mole, if you have a funny feeling or if you’ve never been checked by a doctor, do it immediately.  Don’t wait.  As a mother you have so much more at risk than just yourself these days.

All I Want for My Birthday

March is my birthday month! I don’t particularly like birthdays as much as I used to, but this year I’ve decided to let go of all my worries about getting older, new wrinkles and losing the last five pounds of baby weight. I’m over it.

This year I’ll eat all the cake I want. I’ll laugh with my children until we collapse into a pile on the floor together. I’ll spend time in the company of good friends. I’ll kiss my mama and thank her for bringing me into this world and raising me with grace. And just to be a rebel, I’ll skip my anti-aging night cream.

It’s going to be a great birthday.