Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Lipstick Mafia

First off, can I just pat myself on the back super hard for making this graphic ALL BY MYSELF.  I can't say I'm super talented at it, but I gets the job done.

I have a daughter.  She's 10 years old.  She rocks my world, sometimes in a fabulous way and sometimes in a cry myself to sleep at night with a bottle of wine kind of way.  She is in the second half of her fifth grade year and as her mind and body have begun to develop, she has been keen to continue her self expression.

First all, for those of you who have not met my daughter, she is a force unto herself.  She was born into the world with a strong sense of who she was and what she liked and didn't like.  She has been expressing herself loudly and passionately all her 10 years.  

So, she came to me a few weeks ago and said she wanted to wear makeup.  Okay, full disclosure, she has been coming to me for the last YEAR wanting to wear makeup.  Nope, nope, nope.  She's still more baby to me than girl, more starfish hand than elegant fingers.

I don't remember wearing makeup until I was 14, though I will admit that once the gates were opened I attempted full on goth makeup.  No, really.  Black hair, black eyeliner.  I don't have many pictures of that time period, but trying to have a pale white face and be all serious was a real stretch for me with my naturally rosy cheeks and exuberant personality.  Then I tried more of the punk scene, but I just wasn't really angry either.  I was like an alternative cheerleader who liked angry and depressing music.  Anyways.....back to my girl child.


Mom, I want to wear makeup.  Why can't I wear makeup?

Because you're too young.

Why am I too young?

Only grown ups wear makeup.


Because I want you to love your natural self first.  Because you're perfect exactly how you are.  You're flawless!

Moooooom, I do love how I look.  I just want to express myself differently.


But mom, it's just a form of self expression.

You're 10!  What the fuck?  (yes, I do drop F bombs in front of my child.  No, she's not allowed to use them in front of me.)  Self expression?  At 10?  Shouldn't you playing in a puddle or eating rocks or something?

God Mom.  (eye roll, dramatic sigh)  I'm not a baby.  And it's not like I want to wear regular makeup like to get boys or something stupid.  I just want to be able to show the world who I am.

I need to think about this.  Go away and let me think.


So, she goes off and I think about pouring myself a stiff drink.  My mind goes to all the usual places.  She shouldn't wear makeup because I don't want her sexualized at such an early age.  But then I think...wait, who's sexualizing her?  I'm not.  She's not.  Her friends aren't.  Oh, wait, the people that are sexualizing a 10 year old are the pervy people that would sexualize her if they saw her in her swimsuit!  Or her pajamas.  Or any clothes for that matter.  If you're sexualizing a 10 year old, it's NOT THE TEN YEAR OLDS FAULT.

 She shouldn't wear makeup because it's used to attract boys. Ha! Again, is that really true?  I know it's not for me. I wear makeup and it's not to attract men. Sometimes I wear makeup and I don't leave the house. Sometimes I leave the house and I don't wear makeup. 

So why SHOULD she wear makeup? It's fun to play around. It can feel like a small bit of armor , which shouldn't be inappropriately used but can feel comforting sometimes. When you're having a haggard kind of day and you throw on some lipstick and feel fancy, it's a little pick me up. It definitely can be a form of self expression.

So - we compromised.  She gets to rock the glitter lips she wanted to rock, but no other makeup.  She can occasionally use a little glitter on her face, but it can't be excessive (and I get to define excessive).  The gorgeous rainbow lips in the title are hers.  I like to think that she is teaching me her brand of feminism.  If the reason I'm making a decision is because of the patriarchy and the misogyny of men, maybe it's time I rethink my decision.

I encourage you, friends, to look at what part of your life you're making decisions just because. Just because you said so. Just because your mom did it that way.  Just because society thinks it should be that way. If you don't have a 10 year old teacher like I do, ask yourself the question Why. Again and again, until you reach the heart of the issue.  And as Martha Beck says 'you can tell it’s enlightenment because enlightenment always tastes of freedom. Not comfort. Not ease. Freedom.'

Sunday, January 15, 2017

My Aching Feet

I have another theme for 2017.  Ya know, because failure wasn't hard enough.  The theme that keeps showing up in a big way for me (god if that isn't a life coach sentence....ugh.  Before you know it I'll be using words like juicy and delicious.) is small steps.  Tiny steps.  Think Dr. Seuss Who size steps and then go smaller.  Lilliputian size steps.
Or these dudes that hang out on pasta.  Pasta that would be super dangerous for this size person since it would be like a freefall down the tube of death.  I will now always think of Penne Pasta as the Pasta of Death!
In case you don't know me, I LOVE jumping in and working like a maniac.  I'm a 14 hour a day, yelling at the top of my lungs, getting shit done kind of lady.  I'm a bullet when I have a target.  I like making lists and then crossing shit off my list.  I like to feel achy muscles after I work out.  I'm fabulous with crash diets, cleanses and boot camps.  I get all amped up even thinking about it!  Yes!  Immersion!!  Progress!  Mmmmm.  It's as good as choc...wait...nevermind.  That's getting out of hand.  Let's just say I love to make a goal and then rocket towards it.

However, the world has other plans for me right now.  I have noticed a pattern emerging as 2016 stumbled into 2017.  It's called "Quit Looking at the Mountain and Just Lace Up Your Shoes".  QLMJLUY.  No, that doesn't work.  "Future uncertain?  Captains keep manufacturing evolution."  Uh......Right.  I just wanted the acronym FUCKME because that's what this lesson feels like.  Tiny steps.  Tiny progress.  And by tiny, I mean so small you can't see it, feel it, taste it.  You don't feel like you're doing much of anything.  Which doesn't give me any of those wonderful feelings of accomplishment.  Where's my dopamine?  WHERE'S MY GODDAMN DOPAMINE?????!!!!

I was trying to find pictures of mountains and came across this.  I just put this in here because holy fuck, these are Chinese tourists and they do this for fun.  They call this a hiking trail!  No...No,no,no,no.  
So, I'll be over here Ohhhhming in the corner and taking my lists and breaking them down.  Maybe you're struggling with some monumental task in your own life and would like to join me in making the smallest of the small steps?  If you're feeling me on this - lemme give you a quick breakdown.

1.  Pick your big thing.  Let's use 'I want to get in shape' because pretty much most people I know always have this goal.

2.  Break it down into a smaller list.  What would it take to get in to shape?  It might look like this.

  • Eat Healthier
  • Work Out
  • Get More Sleep

3.  Pick ONE of these things to starts with (though you can break them ALL down into tiny goals eventually, but for the sake of not making you read three thousand pages we're gonna go with one) and break it down.  Let's take Work Out and break it down into what "Work Out" would look like in smaller chunks.
  • Take an exercise class.
  • Walk more often.

4.  Break those two down.  We'll go with "Walk More Often".
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Take a daily walk.
  • Find a friend to walk with.

5.  Hey, guess what?  Yep.  Break it down again.  We're going to break down "Take a daily walk"
  • Pick a time.
  • Figure out clothing.
  • Check the weather.

I know these seems like over doing it and maybe it's not a thing for you, but if you're like me you HATE being the wrong temperature and it's way too easy to look out the window and go "Oh, it's raining and I don't have a raincoat."  or "It's freezing and I'm wearing the wrong pants."  I'm telling you, break this shit DOWN.   You put in on the calendar to hold your lazy ass accountable.  You check the weather so you have a vague idea of what you might need.  You make sure you HAVE shoes you can walk in.  Don't have the right shoes?  BREAK IT DOWN.

I will fucking walk EVERY DAY goddammit!
It may be that your first week of Getting in Shape entails getting up fifteen minutes earlier every day but NOT walking.  THAT IS PROGRESS.  I hear you bitching at yourself and at me how that isn't diddly squat, but you're wrong.   Pick a part of Getting In Shape that you can do and start doing it.  You do not have to jump into doing a Couch to 5k with your new Fitbit and $200 running shoes, you just need to find a part of this process that you can commit to.  Because, friends (and self), 2017 is about the commitment part of things.  It's about committing to action and then following through.  The action part does not need to be monumental, it just needs to be consistent.  And through consistency, we will find progress.  Inch by inch, we will get there.  Inch by goddamn inch.

I'll be right there with you, channeling my inner sloth who seems to be doing nothing but is making slow but steady progress towards goals that are so big they scare the living bejeesus out of me.

If I could seriously be as happy as this sloth, I would have it made.  This is some serious business contentment right here.  I'm thinking Sloth may be my power animal for 2017.  I'm not super sure what a power animal for the year is, but I've made it up and now I'm owning it.  2017 - Year of the Sloth!

Friday, January 6, 2017

2017 - The Year of Failure

I don't think I posted at all in 2016.  And I pretty much accidentally deleted all the photos for earlier blogs and they didn't make a damn bit of sense without the photos, so yeah.  It's like a fresh start.  For the umpteenth time.  But guess what?  I love fresh starts.  I love starting over.

I moved every year from age 17 until age 38.  That's 19 years of moving every year.  Some years, I moved every 6 months.  Even when I didn't change companies, I usually changed jobs within the company at least once a year.  My hair color changes at least once a year, sometimes every six months.  I've been married three times.  Starting over is my jam.

Here's what's funny though, none of these feel like failures.  Moving every year never felt like I was a loser who never stayed in one place, it just felt like I wanted to move more often.  When I had to move because of rent increases, it was an adventure.  A chance to clean out my closets and re-organize my silverware drawer.  I loved the possibilities of my new places and never felt sad about leaving my old apartments.  It's not to say that every apartment was perfect.  I remember one of my favorite apartments that I moved into was across the street from an empty gravel lot.  As it turns out, that lot was only empty because it housed heavy equipment and trucks at night.  They fired up all those trucks and heavy equipment between 4 and 5am so they could get to job sites nice and early.  It was right outside my bedroom window.  Ha!

  Changing jobs?  Same thing.  I was always looking forward to the new challenge.  Sometimes it worked out, sometimes it didn't.  Changing hair colors?  I do it all the time.  And sometimes I don't get the result I wanted (red hair was a no go for me and right now I'm pondering going darker again) but it doesn't stop me from trying again.  Or doing something entirely different.

Blonde as blonde can be.

Brunette all the way!

A little bit of blonde with my brunette.

Marriages?  Well, let's just say I've found what works and I'm sticking with it.  But I will also say that I was never one to worry too much over relationships and if for some reason (not that I think it would because Dave is way too awesome) my current marriage didn't work out, well...I'd start over.  Because failure is how we learn.  And my failed marriages led to this awesome marriage.  My failed jobs led to figuring out what I wanted (and didn't want).  Every failure gets you closer to where you DO want to be.

So - this year, 2017 is going to be the year of taking this attitude into everything.  I've got some big ideas and maybe they'll work and maybe they won't, but starting over isn't a thing.  It's just a chance to see things from a new perspective, decide if the current direction is the right direction and to try lots and lots of new things.  Here's to 2017 and may we all fail often, early and without judgement of ourselves.

p.s. I may be starting up some free talks on failure with my coachy coach business soon.  If you want to get on my  mailing list when I send out information, sign up here.