52 Facts I Never Want to Forget About My Relationship with the One and Only, Gregg Helfer

One of my favorite human beings passed away two years ago. I wrote this while in tremendous grief.
I am grateful I wrote this the day Gregg passed, because I never want to forget the little things. There will only be one Gregg Helfer. The impact of Gregg’s presence on me, my kids and countless lives, was profound and will be cherished always.

Continue reading “52 Facts I Never Want to Forget About My Relationship with the One and Only, Gregg Helfer”

The Insomniac’s Dreams

Every so often, I get a wicked bout of insomnia. It used to strike with more frequency when I was younger and not so mellow and low-keyed, but it’s back and with a vengeance. Continue reading “The Insomniac’s Dreams”

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”

Love’s Litmus Test: As Lust Passes, it Fails the Test.

As I’ve been attempting to have a really good cry that never seems to come, I have started thinking about love, which almost immediately brought me to thinking about lust and the confusion (and periodic pain) lust, (if one or more individual expects love), almost invariably causes.

Let me be clear. Lust is a lot of fun and I enjoy it as much as anyone possibly can. It has its place, but I believe it’s best performed under a very short term contract that both (or all) participants understand and agree upon. As long as little or no return on investment is expected, I highly recommend going with lust for a gig or two. Continue reading “Love’s Litmus Test: As Lust Passes, it Fails the Test.”

Labor Day & the Workaholic

DISCAIMER: This is a long ass post. I sure hope it’s worth the read. Writer (me), cannot be held responsible for winces, sighs, eye rolls or chocolate eating while reading said long ass post, unless reader (you), shares chocolate with writer (me.)

I can’t be 100% certain, but I don’t think I’ve actually written much, if anything, about my propensity toward workaholism. I am already loving the delicacy (slight touch o’bullshit) of this post, as I just mentioned having a “propensity” toward workaholism. Historically, it’s been far more than a propensity, slight leaning or minor tendency. It has been a…headfirst into any brick wall, full-speed ahead, balls out, whole mind, body and spirit, life-sucking activity. Continue reading “Labor Day & the Workaholic”

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.