Embracing Inconvenience is Freeing & Kosher for Passover

Over the past several days, I have been unbelievably inconvenienced. I imagine that no one could possibly be THIS inconvenienced, calm and honest at the same time. When I am relaying my stories with a somewhat lighthearted tone, I wonder if people may think I’m B.S.-ing or exaggerating. As I walk away from these conversations, I often think, “Do they believe I’m like that Jon Lovitz pathological liar character from SNL?” Continue reading “Embracing Inconvenience is Freeing & Kosher for Passover”

The Quiet in the Loud

Lately, I have had very vivid dreams. I’m not sure why, but my dreams have been detailed and memorable. I am enjoying recalling each of them without exception.

Last night, I remember two dreams. The first, featured Bradley Cooper, Hugh Jackman and Steve Buscemi. I know… that’s quite a trio and it was the type of dream you never want to wake up from. If you do happen to wake up during a dream like this, you shut your eyes as fast as you can to try and get back to where you left off. I won’t get into the details, but if I did, my blog would be shut down immediately. Suffice it to say, Steve Buscemi was BY FAR the most impressive of the three. I’ll let your enormous imagination size up my dream. Continue reading “The Quiet in the Loud”

When body dysmorphia lost its weight

One week ago, I had a personally significant experience while on a mostly blind, first date. I say, mostly blind, because we’d seen photos of each other, had spoken on the phone, but neither of us could recall ever meeting each other in person. We have many wonderful friends in common and certain career parallels where we might have met at some point long ago. If we did previously meet, neither of us made a noteworthy impression on each other.

For me, and unbeknownst to my date, I was about to have a phenomenal dating experience.

I arrived right on time for brunch. My date was already at the restaurant waiting for me. Approximately 38 seconds into the date, as we arrived at our table,  and even before my tush could make the”pffftt” sound that always happens when ANY tush hits the cushion of a seat in a booth, my date said, somewhat apologetically…

I’m usually attracted to slender, more petite women.

Continue reading “When body dysmorphia lost its weight”

The Concussion,the Head Trip & WHY?

My eldest daughter, Juliette, suffered a concussion yesterday. She tripped in the school locker room in total darkness. The power suddenly went out in the entire school, and in the locker room, there are no windows. Her head hit a bench. This is her second concussion in less than two years. She seems fine, so I’m going with that. Continue reading “The Concussion,the Head Trip & WHY?”

If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don’t Want to Be Right: Career Polyamory

Originally written in August, 2016, and updated six months later,to reflect a positive shift in my professional trajectory. My professional path will shift again, with intention and by design.

My Mom has shared with me many times, that while I was growing up, she felt really sorry for me. She noticed I was living with a curse. I had so much passion, focus and commitment for such an expansive variety of things, she didn’t know how I would ever decide to choose just one of them to take me through my life professionally. She worried a lot about it. Continue reading “If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don’t Want to Be Right: Career Polyamory”

Amor Fati, Mi Amor

FUN FACT: Sometimes, I wear pants that on the inside, give me positive affirmations –

Hi Beautiful!

I have one pair of pants that in metallic silver writing, says,

You are Gorgeous!

Continue reading “Amor Fati, Mi Amor”

The Midlife NON-Crisis: Trumps Anger

This post is not going to focus 100% on what EVERYONE is talking about almost 100% of the time these days. Sure, I have my thoughts, opinions and feelings on the subject, but I have been and continue to be relatively quiet and very focused on what is right in front of me in the here and now.

For many years, I worked in Jewish social justice and I loved it. This was a life-changing experience where I learned the real strength that comes from praying with my feet.feet While I was there, I worked shoulder to shoulder with some of the most talented, passionate and effective community organizers in Chicago and beyond. I will forever consider these individuals role models and heroes of mine.

As I learned about community organizing, the most knowledgeable facilitators would often emphasize the power that comes from staying angry; leading with anger. Continue reading “The Midlife NON-Crisis: Trumps Anger”

This Day and National Recovery Month.

I almost hate to put the anniversary of 9/11/01 beside National Recovery Month, but everything seems to connect somehow to that fateful day, getting real and honest about the impact of it, and getting real and honest about how we cope or can’t cope is what connects us to recovery.

Today, in the year 2001, everything changed. I can only speak for me, but as inherently fearful and geared toward sadness as I was before 9/11, the volume of my fear and sadness resounded at a higher decibel and with more frequency.

It still does, but I work very hard to locate a peaceful and serene volume and that happens almost solely by working with and helping others.

I am currently in my 19th year of sobriety, but up until this year, I had absolutely no idea there was a, National Recovery Month. Continue reading “This Day and National Recovery Month.”

A Bout of Doubt is not the Death of Breath

Every so often, I don’t want to post or go public with the truth about myself. Right now, I’d prefer to post a comparative analysis of my body measurements, weight and BMI from age 18 to present day, or even post a daily food intake journal that demonstrates my consumption of three pieces of cake, more than I want to publish a post that states that I had, over the past several days, been feeling pretty down.  I was stricken with fear, self-doubt and partial paralysis of my left brain, which in Pam-speak, translates to, “Quit now because you’ll never do or be anything you can actually feel good about. You’ve already failed, and when push comes to shove, you are wholly unlovable.”

Now, where’s the rest of that cake? Continue reading “A Bout of Doubt is not the Death of Breath”

My House is Crying. I’m Not. I’m in the Light.

I just can’t seem to cry, even though I keep feeling a hefty cry bubbling up inside of me. I’m pretty sure with all of the flooding, my house is crying for me, on my behalf, taking the place of my own tears. Clearly, my house is codependent, evidently in a deep depression and is in dire need of some intensive therapy.

While I am not in a deep depression, it occurred to me very recently, (yesterday), that most of my entire life has changed and though most of the changes are for the better, an enormous cry would do me and those who have to be around me, some good.

I may have to pull out all of the stops, and force myself to watch, “Terms of Endearment,” just to get things moving. I swear, that movie is like Ex-Lax for tears. I’m not even sure if it will break me. It’s like my tears have an ileus blockage.

Our new home’s ongoing flooding issues are ever expanding! It leaks, it whooshes, it trickles, it slices, it dices and even makes julienne fries. It’s a ruthless, over-achieving, flooding perfectionist. And it’s not just one area, or one level of the house. It’s here, there and everywhere. On the upside, the sound of trickling water is very relaxing. Also, it enhances your need to go pee-pee, so that can be helpful with water retention.

I am trying to stay positive and chipper, but all of this water in the house, at intermittent and unpredictable times, has jarred me. I’m downright pickled and feel like I’m in a pickle.

All of these issues have not been fixed, nor do I think anyone can figure out why it’s happening. Ted, my new best friend and plumber, is diligent about communicating everything he possibly can to me. Of course, I can’t actually understand anything Ted says with his extremely thick accent, but I do know for sure that he…

Haas kool on trock and sine and vatah ting in doh mahs-targe, so no bott on ya ne frah-men ja nvyente.

It was good to know that important info from Ted, but what about my flooding problems? I wish to God we had “Schneider” from “One Day at a Time.” I mean, I’m sort of like an Ann Romano type, but with kreplach and matzo balls instead of lasagna and antipasti.

Even without “Schneider,” my daughters and I continue to function fairly well under these tricky circumstances, but the combination of a flooding new house, new schools, new professional endeavors, and a whole new community have finally started to have a definable impact on me. I am tired as hell.

I don’t miss the city at all, which surprises me. What surprises me even more is that I don’t miss our previous home. I do miss my Peeps, but I also know that I’m not very far away from them, even though some of my buddies think I’ve moved one country further from them, than Yemen. (Or as my friend Kristen says, “Where Jesus left his sandals.”)

Just lately, I have felt a need to decompress a bit and actually relax, which is not one of my strong-points. Decompression for me, a single mom, is to get a bunch of things done for the kids, for the house, to try and be of service to others, grocery shop and buy a bunch of things that aren’t on my list, as I forget the essential items actually on my list, and to figure out all of my next career steps in approximately 18.3 minutes. Ridiculous, I know. Not to mention the fact that I so rarely remember where I’ve parked at the grocery store, or any store for that matter.

So, rather than my typical and ludicrous manner of decompressing, I decided to shmy around some unfamiliar territory. I headed to Lowe’s to look at lamps. I enjoyed my time there, was impressed by all of the burly men and things called, “tools,” which I knew nothing about. While I did not purchase any lamps, I was extremely interested in the blow up, 50-foot, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I actually thought to myself, “Surely this is in my budget! I need this. Where can I put this? Can the water from the house leak into this guy?”

After Lowe’s I picked up my daughters and we were off to Home Depot, in hopes that we could find some lamps at a reasonable price-point.  Our new home is much darker than our sunny high-rise apartment we used to live in, and I will always insist that we do whatever we can to stay in the light.

While we were shopping at Home Depot, I could hear my Mom’s voice… “You don’t need those lava lamps or those colored ball lamps.” No wait. It was my voice and not my Mom’s voice, but I was pretending to myself it was my Mom’s voice, so I wouldn’t seem so hard on myself.

We left with a lot of lamps. More than we needed, or was it? We had practical lamps, two lava lamps, two colored ball lamps, something called “The Party Bulb,” and multi-colored light bulbs. I believe in that moment and even now, we needed all of it. If I’d had more money, we’d have left with 18 disco balls and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

While we ate a dinner fit for someone without taste-buds, we laughed until we cried, I kept thinking about the water we’re living with, and the light we choose to remain living in.

I’ve made a choice to extend and challenge myself more logistically, because I know it’s far better for my children. This isn’t martyrdom, it’s responsible parenting. And while we all love it here, even with the leaking issues and the distance from the city, there is no question that I have to acknowledge the impact of these changes. I am feeling single motherhood like I’ve never felt it before. I’m sure my daughters’ father has also felt the enormity of this shift.

I would make this decision again in a heartbeat, even knowing that this house is leaky and I will have the kids full time just about all of the time. I know I’m blessed to have these privileges, but I also know that it is essential that I don’t lose my balance and then get lost myself. I’ve seen that happen to me with work and other things, so I’m keeping a watchful, dry eye on it.

I think that real balance and contentedness will begin once I have a really good cry.

I can’t wait for the kids to go to bed, so I can grab some popcorn and watch a “tear jerker.” It’s time for me to honor and take care of this need that seems so obvious to me.

Of course, I also think I would benefit immensely from purchasing a gigantic, inflatable, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, so it’s best for me to proceed with caution, but while I proceed with caution, tears or no tears, I will continue to choose to remain in the light.

No matter what.

Of course, first, I have to clean up the newest flood in my basement, but I will end with the fact that in addition to the flood I have to clean up now, I am very close to being almost moved to tears.

Almost.