Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Guilt, Pocket Frogs, and 'Having It All'

I like to consider myself to be a pretty awesome mom. I wouldn't be too impressed, though. I also consider staying up really late and whiling away hours at a time with my kids while we play Pocket Frogs on our iPods/Phones to be a worthwhile activity. I am, shall we say, a bit eccentric in my parenting style. Well, lets just get it out there...I'm eccentric in most areas of my life. I've come to terms with my quirkiness and unconventionality. My kids, being innocently unaware of anything to the contrary think I'm a great mom just the way I am. I admit that their opinion is the one that ultimately matters the most to me. Honestly, that unconditional love from my kids is like the fuel in my engine. Really keeps me going, especially on the days when I don't feel much like 'going' if you know what I mean.

This summer has most definitely been lazy, a bit hazy and completely crazy at times. I've had a lot to deal with. Recovering from surgery, various bizarre setbacks and a MRSA Staph infection that really wiped out what few reserves I had begun to build up. I am on the mend and doing much better but after emerging from the cave that is my bedroom and squinting painfully into the light that is my household responsibilities, I felt akin to a vampire (no, I don't believe in vampires but like the metaphor) emerging into sunlight for the first time. "Aaaaiiiiieeeeggghhhh!!" Is sort of the sound that the little voice in my head makes as I survey my little kingdom and see it in ruins all around me. I've wanted to fold my proverbial cape over my eyes and retreat into the safety and darkness of my cave on more than one occasion. Actually, in the interest of truthfulness, on more than one occasion, I've done just that.

Daily, I hear that little voice in my head saying things like "Seriously...get your act together. Have you seen the pantry? You used to keep everything organized by color and alphabetized, for Pete's sake!" Or "Hey, how about you make up your bed for the first time since MAY? Whadda ya think?" And "You stay home all day with your kids. Other women have full time jobs and still find a way to keep up with everything and keep orderly, pristine homes. They are out there having it all. Marriage, career, kids, household...I mean, what exactly do you DO?" You get the drift...

After listening to this dialogue for a couple of minutes, I usually tell the little voice to bite me and just zip it. Lucky for me, like a stubborn strain of bacteria, I have become increasingly immune to the negative little voice inside my head and am resistant to take it all that seriously. The loving, positive little voice is getting much more air time these days. Denial? Maybe. Whatever works, right? Here's the thing...I do feel guilty at times. I wish I could do more. Wish I were more motivated or that I had my  usual mommy-mojo back. Sometimes I feel like a failure. I pray for strength and wisdom.  And then I guess I snap out of it and realize that I'm really doing the best that I can with the cards I've been dealt. Grace washes over me and I just let it go. I see things more clearly and realize that my kids don't give a rat's rump about an unorganized pantry or unmade bed or having a pristine home. They just want me to  put on my jammies and play computer games with them. They want my time and attention. My husband wants me to rest and get my strength back as the doctor has ordered. He doesn't care that his kingdom is a little messy. He just wants his queen back. The only one who's been putting pressure on me is, I'm working on that but old habits die hard, you know? Say a little prayer for me, will you?

Thankfully, there's a vacation to Colorado on my horizon. I really need a change of scenery. Getting ready for a trip is a lot of work but I'm really motivated to get the heck out of my cave for a while. I'm 'going to grandma's' and I know we will all be spoiled rotten and nurtured like crazy. I've gotta tell you...I'm going to eat it up like candy.

Yes, there are superwomen out there 'Doing it All' and 'Having it All.' I will always admire them wistfully from afar. But honestly? They can have it all. I really don't want it. I'll just be on the sidelines in my jammies silently cheering them on and happily munching popcorn as my kids and I advance to the highest levels to be attained on Pocket Frogs.

After all, summer will be over soon enough and the realities of life will take over. The memories, though...we'll have those for a lifetime. Ribbit, ribbit... :o)


Thursday, July 5, 2012

I'm Not An Intellectual But I Play One On TV

Being famous doesn't make you smart...It just means that a lot of people know who you are and it gives you a really big audience to be ridiculous in front of. 

Why am I writing about this today? Maybe because I've had a fever since Sunday, I'm on a bunch of antibiotics that are making me nauseous. I'm bored and maybe a little grumpy, so I've been playing around on the internet and inadvertently stumbled across something that really blew my mind. It was a collection of 4th of July Tweets, which were posted by celebrities. Most of them were upbeat and positive...the stuff you would expect. And then there were the ones that made me do the mother of all eyerolls. I won't bore you with all of the hate and vitriol, you can Google it for yourselves. It was along the lines of 'America sucks, America is bad, America is oppressive' and so on and so forth. The one that really got my attention was the one from Chris Rock. He said:

"Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren't free but I'm sure they enjoyed fireworks."

Here's the thing. I'm not going to debate his right to say that. He has every right AS AN AMERICAN to say whatever snarcastic (my new word) things he likes. I'm 100% in favor of free speech....messy as it is sometimes. I personally happen to think what he said was ridiculous and divisive and an insult to African Americans all across the US...most importantly every African American veteran or soldier who is currently deployed who put themselves in harm's way to protect Chris Rock's right to say whatever dumb thing impulsively pops out of his mouth. Of course that's just my opinion. Apparently some people thought it was really funny and they 'got it' and agreed with him.  Oh, well...As Grandma used to say: "It takes all kinds to make the world go 'round." Historically speaking, he was kind of right but kind of wrong at the same time. Sadly, he probably doesn't even know exactly what he is saying. He just thinks he knows. That can be a dangerous thing.

What gets me about Chris Rock and countless other celebrities is that they use their power of influence by making flip remarks or fevered political or humanitarian statements without really having any real grasp of (A) all of the facts or (B) the impact of what they are saying to impressionable people who (for whatever reason) are sadly looking to them as role models. I don't have a problem with famous people stating their opinions, I'm against the rest of us regular folks looking to them for wisdom and letting ourselves be mentally manipulated by people who are essentially entertainers and actors and of course, politicians. (You're saying to yourself...'what's the difference?') Anyway, these people have publicists and media experts managing their careers whose sole purpose is to get and keep their clients as popular and as visible as possible. They will say and do anything to keep themselves in the public eye including stirring the pot and creating dissent. Yes, some of them really mean well and their hearts are in the right place. Some do amazing charity work and mobilize people to do incredible things for their fellow man. It just bothers me when I see people blindly following and believing celebrities and their agendas and causes without seeking the facts for themselves to ensure that they are really and truly on board with what their favorite celebrity is advocating.

The solution? Do your own research. Everything you need to know is one click away. Find out the truth for yourself and then, by all means, align yourself with whomever you feel best represents you and your core beliefs. And try to remember this:

“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.
Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.” Proverbs 26:4-5

Look, maybe Chris Rock just made a bad joke. Maybe he was having an off day. It's possible, I guess. Let's face it, all of us have said things that we didn't mean or just got all wrong, myself most definitely included. I'm just a regular person. I have a very small audience and little or no influence on the world at large. Still, I say dumb stuff sometimes and hope others will give me grace and hopefully another chance. So...Chris Rock, if you're reading this: I forgive you for being irresponsible with your remarks to your fans on July 4th. I know this is a massive relief to you. You're welcome.

If you want further proof that famous people say dumb things, here you go. Most of these made me laugh out loud:

This one is one of my personal favorites from Tom Cruise who has a whole selection of silly quotes dedicated solely to him.

"I will never be done with love. Never, never. I love relationships and I love women. I’m going to get married again. I’ll never give up on that." 

He also said: "There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance."

(I wonder what Oprah thinks about that particular statement, don't you?)

If that's not enough side-splitting fun for one day, here you go: 

See, worries. You're in good company. 

One Parting thought: As Malcom Forbes said..."The dumbest people I've ever known are the ones who know everything."  

That certainly puts me out of the running! :0)