Push Presents Are Stupid

Even the name is stupid. I don’t like saying the words, and I shouldn’t have to because they shouldn’t even exist. Every time I write those words, I want to put quotation marks around them to indicate I don’t agree with this contrived term, but I’m being forced against my will to acknowledge it.

I’m not sure when push presents came into vogue, but it was after the birth of my first child over a decade ago, and I’m pretty sure it had something to do with the Kardashians – as all social ills seem to be related to them.

Idk when push presents came into vogue but I’m pretty sure it had something to do w/ the Kardashians. Click To Tweet

The thing is no one needs a present for birthing a child. You know why? Because the child is the present. After a nerve-wracking nine months of carefully planning, vigilantly protecting, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of your tiny, fragile newborn baby, you actually get the baby. That’s the reward. Presents are meant to be for birthdays or Christmas. You get them a present then, like if they were a gamer you would go to UnrankedSmurfs.com if they were a gamer who was into the game League of Legends – that’s when you buy a present, not for when someone has just birthed a baby.

The strange thing about the rise of the push present is that childbirth is not a business transaction. The implication of the need to compensate a woman for bearing a child is that she’s just some hired hand, no more than a birthing vessel, contracted to produce a child for a man rather than an equal party to the whole endeavor. That she’s being paid off for a service provided. That the two entered into this union jointly of their own agency out of a love so great it drove them to long for a child of their own gets a little lost.

I’m not saying women don’t deserve appreciation and respect or to be downright worshiped for their singular role in creating, carrying and bringing forth new life because lord knows that’s no small burden, but demanding material goods in exchange for a child seems somehow, I don’t know, grotesque.

This may not be so surprising coming from someone like Kim Kardashian. Kim quite famously announced her desire for a million-dollar diamond choker for the birth of her son. But she’s not the only expectant mother making such demands. The internet is awash with stories of other pseudo-celebrities receiving 10-carat diamond rings or Bentleys or some such equally extravagant and meaningless present, which may not be bad for a day’s work. I just hope they didn’t do it for the gifts.

And now the lifestyles of the rich and idiotic have trickled down into the general population, polluting it. Regular people are trying to wrangle luxury vehicles or at least 1-carat diamond something-or-others out of the birthing experience. Childbirth is one of life’s most miraculous moments. No need to cheapen it by using it as an excuse for material gain.

Instead of push presents, you know what mothers could use? Some help. Babies are a lot of work. I’m sure celebrities don’t have to worry about that, but people who live in the real world do. It would be nice if instead of push presents, women got an equal partner to share in the tremendous work of raising a helpless human being. Of course, many fathers are such partners, but undeniably, even in the 21st century women continue to play the predominant role in caring for and raising children. The mother is primarily the one who stays up nights or does the 2 a.m. feedings or rocks the colicky baby all day or finds the right pediatrician or figures out why the baby’s fussy or researches the preschools or locates the day care. Rather than an expensive trinket to “thank” the mother, a partner who divides the responsibilities equally would be a better and more worthy gift in exchange for the contribution the mother makes, I would say.

When I gave birth to my first child all those years ago, a good friend came to visit us in our Brooklyn apartment. Along with the present for the baby, she brought with her, a gift for me. Stunned, it came in a fantastic design from Custom Mailers! It looked so good! I opened it to find a soft, pink fleece top and comfortable lounge pants inside along with an assortment of scented lotions. I was touched. It wasn’t a “reward,” but rather a personal and thoughtful gift that showed I was still valued. Amid the clamor and fuss and absorbing demands of a new baby, I wasn’t forgotten. I, too, mattered. It demonstrated an appreciation of me in my new role and of what I was going to need. Those are the kind of gifts I think mothers could use.

Not that a new car or a 10-carat diamond ring wouldn’t be nice, but they kind of miss the mark. Instead, perhaps friends, family and society on the whole could express respect and gratitude for new mothers through useful measures and genuinely supportive actions.

Push Presents given by husbands after childbirth are stupid. Yes, they are. Here's why. On @OneFunnyMotha

No one needs a present for birthing a child. You know why? Because the child is the present. Click To Tweet

© 2015 Stacey Gill, as first published on ScaryMommy.com.

Like this? Find even funnier stuff in I STILL JUST WANT TO PEE ALONE, the third installment in The New York Times best-selling series from some of the funniest women on the web. What I’m trying to say is, I’m in this book. Buy it, ok? Available on Amazon, Kindle, iTunes and Barnes and Noble. I will love you forever.

Twitter Tuesday: Funny Tweets on Marriage #103

 

Funny Tweets on husbands and wives. By @OneFunnyMotha

These funny tweets on marriage sum up relationships so beautifully it’s like pure poetry.

 

Why bother? If they’re smart they know what they have to do.

 

 

Or they’ll just guess until they get it right.

 

Men do try, though.

 

Maybe just settle for a movie night.

 

That might be the most accurate representation of marriage ever written. 

Of course all this is a moot point if you have Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs.

 

Although I do occasionally need his help with stuff like moving furniture.

 

Or running to the food store.

 

 

Then there’s this.


Which may lead to…

 

It could be worse.

 

But then again…

 

 

You know who else got fooled?

 

Like this? Find even funnier stuff in I STILL JUST WANT TO PEE ALONE, the third installment in The New York Times best-selling series from some of the funniest women on the web. What I’m trying to say is, I’m in this book. Buy it, ok? Available on AmazonKindleiTunes and Barnes and Noble. I will love you forever. 

New DC Super Hero Girls Cartoon & $100 VISA Gift Card Giveaway

DC Super Hero Girls $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway.

I’m all about girl power around here, which is why when DC Entertainment contacted me about their new DC Super Hero Girls cartoon, I was more than happy to spread the word. My kids may be a little too old for cartoons these days, but I still love to see empowering female figures in the media especially for young girls. I feel it’s crucial to expose our daughters and sons early on to strong, capable, smart female characters especially as main characters so they realize the full potential and power of girls and women and understand they’re not less important, ancillary characters just used for support.

That’s why I’m so pleased DC is launching the Super Hero Girls animated series this month featuring a whole host of dynamic female characters featuring an array of personalities from strong and fearless to edgy and fun. With a large, diverse cast of characters from Wonder Woman and Supergirl to Bumble Bee and Katana, there’s a relatable character for everyone. Set in school, the series features girls on their journey to discover the power of their unique abilities and friendships. In Super Hero High the girls “master their super powers, brain power, and will power to become the Super Heroes of tomorrow.” If that doesn’t sound worthwhile and inspiring, I can’t help you.

The show is filled with action-packed girl power with girls who actually look like girls. The characters are also fully clothed, which is a nice bonus. If that’s what you’re looking for for your kids then this is the show for you. Plus, the DC Super Hero Girls YouTube channel makes it super easy for busy parents perpetually on the go with the favorite characters on-demand and from any device so you can keep your kids busy on line at the food store, at your other kid’s basketball practice, waiting for a table at a restaurant, where ever you may roam. Check out their YouTube video right here.

And, for even more fun, there’s the website where kids can learn about the characters, play games, download free printable activities, and more.

Now for the giveaway. Enter to win below and good luck!

 

Enter to win the DC Super Hero Girls $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post, but I believe in girl power and giveaways, which is why I’m doing it.

You know what else is full of girl power? My book. I STILL JUST WANT TO PEE ALONE is the third installment in The New York Times best-selling series from some of the funniest women on the web. Get it on AmazonKindleiTunes and Barnes and Noble. I will love you forever. 

An Ode to Mom Jeans

I’m not talking about a return to the days when jeans extend all the way up to your neck. Or the time circa 1980 of pleated, acid washed jeans that really highlighted and accentuated your burgeoning abdominal region. I’m talking about a good, old-fashioned, fully functional, basic, fitting garment that actually covers the body parts it’s designed to cover. I don’t think expecting your pants to come up past your ass is too much to ask. In fact, that was once a basic tenet of clothing.

I don’t know what happened in the garment industry, but it seems it has completely dispensed with its 2,000-year history of manufacturing clothing for the purpose of, well, clothing people. Although we now have more options than ever with myriad styles, cuts and washes–sadly, none of them fit. It seems a cruel paradox.

Walk into any retailer, and you’ll find a dizzying array of denim: Jeans that are skinny, super skinny, super duper skinny, slim skinny, confining skinny and can’t-breath skinny. And that’s just the skinny category. Then there are straight jeans, curvy jeans, straight curvy jeans, roundabout jeans and boyfriend jeans, not to be confused with the sexy boyfriend jeans or the metrosexual boyfriend jeans. That last one is the one I need. The metrosexual boyfriend jean: fashionable, yet fitting. Where can I find those?

Crack is Whack, An Ode to Mom Jeans. But not your mom's mom jeans. By @OneFunnyMotha

While I’ve had trouble finding my perfect metrosexual boyfriend of the denim variety, I haven’t had problems finding other options. I can choose any finish from distressed to faded to whiskered to dark wash to not-too-dark-but-not-too-light wash to my personal favorite, worn crystal. Then you have the rises. There’s mid-rise, low-rise, ultra low-rise, low low-rise and half-ass-hanging-out-rise. But where, I ask you, is the high-rise? Where is the standard cover-your-stomach-so-your-flab-doesn’t-ooze-over-the-side rise?

Don’t even get me started on the skimmer jeans. There are approximately 54,000 varieties of those too. By the end of sorting through the vast deep blue sea of denim, casting aside pair after imperceptibly different pair in search of my size only to find it, but in the wrong length (regular and long, but not ankle) because for some reason The Gap thinks the average American woman is 10-feet tall, I had to ask the perky salesperson perched atop a ladder stocking the highest rungs of the towering floor-to-ceiling denim display for help.

“Um, excuse me. Sorry, I just trashed the whole pile of jeans you painstakingly folded and now have to refold, but do you have the dark-wash, always-skinny skimmer jeans in mid-rise size 8 ankle? I don’t see it here.” The 23-year-old sales clerk responded, “Well, we have the deconstructed dark-wash, always-skinny skimmer jeans in size 8 ankle, but in low-rise…or the super-skinny-always-skinny skimmer legging jeans in 8 ankle, but not in dark wash, and those only come in ultra-low-rise.”

“Let’s make this a little easier,” I exhaled. “Do you have any skinny jeans in this store that are mid-rise in size 8 ankle?”

“No, sorry,” she said, chomping her gum before returning to the wall of denim. I didn’t get the sense she was genuinely saddened by my loss.

“But you have a million jeans in this store,” I persisted, shaking my head. “How could you not have any in my size?”

But it was no use, because I am not 18, and the world and jeans are stacked against me.

Please note, because I’d really like to avoid any confusion here, and with full understanding I think we can all come to a consensus on one very important point: I am not, under any circumstances, advocating for high-to-your-eye-rise jeans. I talk not of your mom’s mom jeans but a new jean, a better jean, a technologically enhanced jean. A jean for the 21st century with a delicate balance of fashion and function for women who have birthed a child or developed beyond the age of 21. A jean for the woman who would like to maintain a sense of fashion along with her dignity. Because while we may have become, after years of exposure, a nation desensitized to unwanted butt-crack sightings, I assert crack is now and forevermore will be whack.

What really confounds me about the whole situation is why such a jean doesn’t exist already. This idea isn’t some fanciful notion. I know it can be done, because it has been done.

When these thoughts really get me down, like, say, after a particularly hard day at the mall, I stare mournfully out my window and reminisce about the good times, the heady days of yore when clothing actually fit. I remember a more innocent time before muffin tops, before jeans needed to be hiked up every five minutes, before special complementary underwear was an essential part of an outfit because undergarments actually remained under your garments. Mostly, I wistfully recall a bygone era when one’s exposed crack would cause embarrassment, when all the world considered plumber’s crack as the height of humiliation and not a given.

I say it’s time to take action. I submit to you, good people of the world, that a society in which mass unwanted crack sightings are tolerated is not a civilized society at all. We had fitting jeans once, and we could have them again. In fact, we must insist upon it. We must rise up and demand our jeans do the same, because while we have a multitude of rises, they have not risen far enough.

I submit to you, good people of the world, that a society in which mass unwanted crack sightings are tolerated is not a civilized society at all. Click To Tweet

You might want to like me on Facebook, too, because I’m just as funny over there but even more times a day.

If you like this, you’ll love my book, I STILL JUST WANT TO PEE ALONE, the third installment in The New York Times best-selling series from some of the funniest women on the web. For a good time get it on AmazonKindleiTunes and Barnes and Noble. I will love you forever. 

photo credit: Tinuesque via photopin (license)

Must You Invite the Whole Class to a Child’s Birthday Party?

I say no. I say it’s up to the family to invite whomever they choose to their own private, personal affairs. But some schools have recently taken it upon themselves to instruct families on how to run their personal lives. They are now issuing policies mandating all students in class be invited to a child’s birthday party. I say that is completely absurd given we don’t live in a totalitarian society. Not yet anyway. And I’m saying it over on Brain, Child. Today I’m engaged in a battle royale with Rudri Patel in Brain, Child’s great debates series. And Rudri’s going down. Rudri, who is a former lawyer (so I have my work cut out for me), argues for inviting the whole class while I argue hell no. But you decide. Go on over and check out the debate on whether or not to invite the whole class to your kid’s birthday party. And let me know who won.

Must you invite the whole class to your child's birthday party? I say no. But some schools are taking it upon themselves to tell parents how to run their personal affairs. What do you think? @OneFunnyMotha

If you like this, you’ll love my book, I STILL JUST WANT TO PEE ALONE, the third installment in The New York Times best-selling series from some of the funniest women on the web. For a good time get it on AmazonKindleiTunes and Barnes and Noble. I will love you forever. 

Just Say No to Vaginal Weightlifting

I tried to ignore this when I first saw it come across my Facebook feed, but it seems I am unable. I need to weigh-in on the subject of vaginal weightlifting. As with so, so many other things brought to us by the internet to which we need to just say no like naked yoga and micro bikinis and sex with your iPad, we must raise our voices again in protest against vaginal weightlifting.

Do women not have enough nonsense to contend with? We are perpetually bombarded with messages to have flatter stomachs, smaller waists, bigger chests, tighter butts, plumper lips, smoother skin. Now we’re being told even our vaginas need fixing? If you wanted to make your vagina tighter my friend got some good results out of skin pro tighening gel.

Holistic sex and relationship coach and self-described vaginal weightlifter, Kim Anami, is behind this most recent ridiculous trend to make women feel they’re not measuring up and in need of constant improvement.

Vaginal weightlifting: Just Say No. By @OneFunnyMotha

When you first “Meet Kim” virtually, through her website, she poses an essential question: “My vagina can lift coconuts. Can yours?”

Um, no. Then again that’s not really a goal of mine. Anami claims this vaginal weightlifting is the key to empowering women, connecting them to their sexual power which in turn helps them to harness everything they want in life. Because, of course, the only way for women to get what they want in life is through sex or use of their sexuality.

According to the site, vaginal weightlifting, which appears to be basically doing Kegels while household objects are hanging out of your vagina, has a host of benefits. It strengthens the pelvic floor, eliminates incontinence, and purportedly enhances libido and intensifies sexual pleasure.

If you’re asking, “But how do you hold household objects with your vagina?” The answer is easy! Just find a stone, Anami uses a jade egg threaded with a string just like the ancient Taoists used to do, which she inserts into her vagina and then attaches whatever she has lying around – pineapples, chandeliers, small pieces of the Berlin Wall – to the string dangling from her groin.

If you're asking, But how do you hold household objects with your vagina? The answer is easy! Click To Tweet

Just say no to Vaginal Weight lifting. By @One Funny Motha

Anami, who by the way gave herself that name, which is a Sanskrit word meaning the unnameable one or the highest plane of God, not to be too self-aggrandizing, has been practicing this ancient Chinese secret for 20 years. (I don’t know if technically chandeliers are part of the method. I’m thinking not since I don’t think chandeliers date back 5,000 years.) She likes to call it vaginal Kung Fu. Kung Fu being the intense study to develop mastery over something. In this case your vagina. In a video she explained, “So it’s when you immerse yourself so deeply in something that it reveals it’s internal mysteries.”

Anybody else catch the double meaning?

Anami believes this intensely personal training teaches women the power of the vagina. But I think we already know its power. Women give birth. There is nothing more powerful than that. Suspending pineapples from your innards really can’t compare.

But I think we already know the power of the vagina. Women give birth. There is nothing more powerful than that. Suspending pineapples from your innards really can't compare. Click To Tweet

Still, Anami insists, “This method creates an articulate, sensitive and strong vagina.” A vagina that can speak for itself!

“This is what I use to lift various pieces of furniture and tropical fruit.” Naturally.

She goes on to assert a “masterful vagina ought to be able to move furniture.” I never thought of it that way. I do consider mine to be pretty masterful since I’ve birth a child, but I’m not certain it can move furniture. To be honest I’ve never really tried, most likely because moving furniture with a vagina would never occur to a sane person. Can you image how long it would take to move a couch like that?

But that’s not all a vagina should be able to do. Anami also raises this philosophical question on her site: “Can you shoot ping pong balls with your vagina?” She then comforts women by assuring them that if they can’t, they aren’t alone. Oh, thank God! I was worried for a second. She goes on to report, “99.9% of women haven’t mastered this essential life skill.” Essential. Life. Skill. I don’t know how essential this life skill is given I’ve managed at least 40 years without it, and I’m still breathing. Sure, maybe it would have come in handy in college during a game of beer pong, but other than that, I’m not really clear on the practical applications. Is it a skill I can put on my resume?

For Anami, genital ping pong ball blasting is elevated to an art form, one she’s incredulous doesn’t take place the world over. The “art of vaginal ping pong ball shooting, for example, is simply unheard of in these parts.”

I can’t imagine why. She continues, “Yet in many South East Asian countries it is a popular sport.” I know I’d like to order up my tub of popcorn, grab a seat in a stadium and watch a good match.

Although I hate to say it, you really have to go check out her site. She loves to pose all decked out with fruit hanging from her nether regions. On the main page I think it’s a pomegranate or maybe an apple, which when you’ve been photographed suspending coconuts or doing backbends while clutching a bunch of bananas with your lady bits, is not all that impressive. But what I’d really like to point out is the moving, downward facing arrow underneath the picture that reads, “Enter here.” Perhaps the arrow should be pointing in the opposite direction.

On the site, you’ll also see her listed accomplishments, among them are lifting 10 pounds with her vagina, living part-time on a surf yacht in Indonesia and having 20 orgasms in a row. Which assuredly will induce you to immediately sign up for her retreats. Oh, and make sure not to miss out on her Vigina-on-Tour, which you can follow on Instagram.

Funny thing about all this weight training and conditioning, you never see anything about it for penises. No one ever asks how much weight a penis can benchpress. And I think that’s just sexist.

If you like this, you’ll love my book, I STILL JUST WANT TO PEE ALONE, the third installment in The New York Times best-selling series from some of the funniest women on the web. For a good time get it on Amazon, Kindle, iTunes and Barnes and Noble. I will love you forever.

Photo credit: Facebook/Kim Anami

Fun With Anxiety and Depression

The other day I lied.

I was in the waiting room of the physical therapist’s office filling out the in-take form when I came to an unexpected question. It asked for the names of all the medications I take, but instead of listing them all (there’s only two), I omitted the Paxil. Hunched over the clip board, pen poised in the air over the form, I paused. Why does he need to know? What does the arthritis in my back have to do with my mental problems?

After years of struggling with depression and anxiety, I'm ready to admit I still have it, but it doesn't define me. @OneFunnyMotha

Although I’ve toyed with twisting the truth before, I’ve never actually gone through with it. I’ve always relented in honestly listing my meds because these are medical doctors we’re talking about, and the omission could have potential dangerous consequences. If questioned by the doctor about the medications listed, I just say the Paxil is for depression, which it is only that’s not the reason it was prescribed to me. Everyone’s on Xanax or Prozac or Zoloft these days so I know this little fib won’t raise an eyebrow. In fact, it’s probably expected. With so many people on meds, now there’s something wrong with you if you’re not medicated. (“You’re telling me you’re not on Xanax? What the hell’s wrong with you?”)

But that day sitting in the physical therapist’s office, I didn’t want to have to explain myself. I didn’t want someone making assumptions about me. I didn’t want to be seen in some altered light. Although I have a long running history with depression, I didn’t even want to use that as an excuse for the Paxil. At the time of the appointment, I’d been fighting depression for weeks, mostly by trying to ignore it, and now that I was out of the house, where depression hits hardest, I wanted to forget. I just wanted to be a regular, normal, semi-functional person. For once. Please allow me to pretend.

So I didn’t say a thing.

It’s not that I’m embarrassed or ashamed. Not too much anyway. I’ve done a lot of work on recovery. But I don’t want to be defined by my mental illness. I have it. It’s there. I’m managing. Does everyone need to know? I also want to pretend that that part of my life is over, but as evidenced by recent events it’s clearly not. I’m pretty sure I’m in it for the long hall, and while it’s gotten much better, it still persists, showing up every now and then when I’m not at all in the mood. When it pops up it always manages to surprise me. I’ve been fighting off the depression and anxiety for so long I really feel like it should be gone by now. Why is it still here, Goddammit?

So in addition to the arthritis for which I was seeking physical therapy and my high cholesterol because apparently I’m 80, I also suffer from (at-times severe) anxiety and depression. I could’ve named this blog, One Depressed Motha, but I don’t know. I didn’t feel like that had the same catchy ring to it. And the truth is while I find myself battling depression on occasion, I don’t like to write about it. It’s bad enough I have to live with it. Do I really have to talk about it, too? Just leave me alone with my mental illnesses.

I’ve avoided writing about the depression and anxiety, which for me comes in the form of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for which the medication was prescribed), in large part, because most of the time I’m trying to run away from them. Why would I focus on the very things I’m struggling mightily to forget? That makes no sense. I’d rather focus on humor. It’s way more fun. Although I’ll admit being funny when you’re depressed presents its challenges.

All this is why I came up with my New Years Resolutions. Why I so desperately need a change. Which I wrote about on Romper although I happened to leave out the whole mental illness part. But I felt like it was time to come clean. This is a part of who I am. And as much as I wish it wasn’t, I feel I have to acknowledge it.

The other thing is as much as I like to jest, it’s not all fun and games over here. I thought you should know. I started this blog to be honest. About everything. So that maybe others wouldn’t feel so alone in this mixed-up parenting world like I did when I first gave birth all those years ago. If I can in any way help others with my honesty, that’s what I’d like to do.

In that vein, always remember at least you have your health.

Just not necessarily your mental health.

*Let it be noted I was not depressed when I wrote this piece. Had I been depressed this would have been a lot more depressing.

Don’t forget. I can be funny – like in my book, I STILL JUST WANT TO PEE ALONE, the third installment in The New York Times best-selling series from some of the funniest women on the web. For a good time get it on AmazonKindleiTunes and Barnes and Noble. I will love you forever. 

Divine Messages

I’m not a religious person. But I believe in signs. Sent from God, a higher power, Allah, call it what you will. It’s all the same to me. Sometimes when I’m feeling lost I find messages meant, I believe, to keep me headed on the right path. They come when I’m desperate, unsure of what I’m doing, questioning my decisions, contemplating failure. Which is often. I received one such sign just the other day.

I was at the gym, which might seem like an unlikely place to receive messages from God, but actually it was rather well timed. I had set about following my New Years Resolution, which is to make a positive change for myself both mentally and physically in an attempt to achieve some sort of balance. Or at least counterbalance what I’m currently doing because that’s not working. Which is what I was doing at the gym.

I'm not a religious person. But I do believe in signs. Sent from God, a higher power, Allah, call it what you want. It's all the same to me. They come just when I need them.

I was on the elliptical watching the morning news and since my gym only gets about 5 normal channels in addition to their own Retro Gym channel, which is a complete waste of very limited options because who the hell watches a channel of the gym when you could just look up because you’re in the gym, I was stuck watching CBS. Not that I have anything against the CBS morning news per se. I’ve just never watched it before. Does anybody? That day, though, when CBS spread over the screen, the segment airing was about an Olympic athlete. I found the choice of topic somewhat odd given we were no where near Olympic fever yet, but either way CBS had Lolo Jones on the show. And Lolo spoke to me.

While I knew nothing of this woman and much of the discussion was about training, I continued to watch, mildly interested, because so often these things are inane PR pieces devoid of any substance. Still, any strong, confident women excelling in their fields or pursuing their goals with tremendous grit and determination, making names for themselves with their badassery, has my attention and respect. Lolo is one of them. She’s a track and field and bobsled athlete (because apparently one Olympic sport is not enough for this woman) who won US and World championships and went on to compete at three Olympics. Although she was a favorite to win, she failed to medal in her first Olympics, and in both subsequent Olympics. I didn’t know any of this, of course, until I watched the piece, and while I found it interesting, I wasn’t completely enamored with Lolo until the end of the interview when she was questioned about her motivation, what keeps her going and how she deals with vocal critics after making it to the Olympics three times and walking away without a medal. It was strange and unexpected, but her answer applied directly to me and my current situation. Apparently, training for an Olympic track event and writing are entirely similar.

I suppose this is true in the passionate pursuit of just about any difficult or lofty goal, but that day as I huffed breathlessly on the elliptical, contemplating my future, questioning myself, and looking for a reason to continue, I got my answer. This is what Lolo said:

When you’re pursuing a goal, you will fail. It’s part of the process. No one hits a home run the first time out. But carrying that negativity, that disappointment in yourself, that frustration with you will only taint your next attempt. The way forward is in adjusting your attitude. Look back at where you started. That first step you took when you had nothing, and remind yourself of everything you’ve achieved since. Everything you’ve built started with that initial step, from nothing. Rather than focusing on the failures, remind yourself of all you’ve accomplished and take pride in the obstacles you’ve overcome. And, perhaps most importantly, believe in yourself. Remind yourself, “I can do this.”

All this came from a woman with astounding achievements. She is a two time world champion, she’s the fastest indoor female runner in the world and she’s gone to the Olympics three times. How many people can say that? The fact that she didn’t medal does not detract from those achievements. With or without Olympic medals she’s incredibly accomplished. Of course having a medal would be the icing, but that’s all it is, a little bit of extra sweetness.

I need to remind myself of this daily. When I perpetually question and doubt myself, when feel overwhelmed and hopeless, when I’m dispirited, sometimes I sit at my desk and call up my blog. I gaze over the list of my writing. It’s physical evidence of my accomplishments. And it started with a blank page. I remind myself of that. I still hesitate to call myself a writer, and while I’ve been published in a book, I don’t feel like a real author. I’ve begun to doubt I ever will, but I have done something, some of it not too bad.

I'm not a religious person, but I believe in signs from above. They come just when I need them. @OneFunnyMotha
This is what it feels like.

That’s what I have to remember. Not what I haven’t done, but what I have. It’s still hard for me, but I’m trying.

If you like this (and even if you don’t because my essay in the book is nothing like this. It’s actually pretty funny) you will love my book, I STILL JUST WANT TO PEE ALONE, the third installment in The New York Times best-selling series from some of the funniest women on the web. For a good time get it on AmazonKindleiTunes and Barnes and Noble. I will love you forever. 

New Years Resolutions – Yea or Nay?

Do you believe in New Years Resolutions? I don't. Except for when they'll keep me from losing my ever loving mind like right now.

Don’t hate me because I made a New Years Resolution. It’s not like me, I know. I don’t like trite, inspirational phrases, and I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions.

Do people think there’s someone somewhere who doesn’t want to “live, love, laugh?” I want to live, love, laugh. But no one’s amusing me right now, Goddammit. Why is no one amusing me? Or, what about the saying, “Just breathe?” And then what, motherfucker? Turn right back around to all the problems you’ve been dealing with, which is the reason you can’t breathe in the first place? Or the best: “Live Simply,” which you’ll usually find printed on a bumper sticker attached to the back of a shiny, new Hummer. As if anyone anywhere except for maybe an agrarian society or the indigenous people of the Amazon are able to abide by this adage. As if we all don’t have mortgages and student loans to repay. Believe me, I want to live simply, but my kids, various doctors’ offices and the mortgage company are making that rather difficult for me right now.

So, no, I don’t typically see the point in making New Years Resolutions. Except on occasion. The occasion being when things have gotten so out of hand that a change is imperative to keep you for losing your goddamn mind.

Like now.

The thing is while I smirk at these simplistic, overly enthusiastic bits of advice, I realize I need them. I need to adjust my frame of mind. But perhaps I need the positive phrases packaged in a more cynical and sarcastic tone to really embrace and internalize them. I want to be positive. I just have a really difficult time with that.

But I’m trying. Which is why I drew up a New Years Resolution this year. I’ve needed it for some time, but with the new year approaching, I figured it was as good a time as any to make it official. I’ve written all about it on Romper so if you want to see how I plan to make some positive changes without losing my cynical edge (and you can, too!), go on over and take a look. Plus, I included a really awesome gif in there of a cat maniacally typing on a laptop. It’s my spirit animal.

Don’t forget. If you like this you will love my book, I STILL JUST WANT TO PEE ALONE, the third installment in The New York Times best-selling series from some of the funniest women on the web. For a good time get it on AmazonKindleiTunes and Barnes and Noble. I will love you forever. 

I’m Gonna Say It Push Presents Are Stupid

Push Presents are stupid. Yes, they are. Here's why. On @OneFunnyMotha

I can’t even hold back on this one. The fact that this is even a thing irritates me. Perhaps what irritates me the most is the name. It’s juvenile and belittling. Do people know what goes into creating and raising a human child? It’s not something a pair of diamond earrings can equal.

While I certainly agree expressing appreciation is not only nice but also necessary (if you hope to stay married to the mother of your child), there are many ways to do that. Perhaps in a manner that’s actually meaningful. The problem is people – most likely the Kardashians – had to go and ruin it. (I’m convinced the Kardashians are responsible for ruining everything.) Although the term “push present” preceded Kim and her recent breaking-news announcement on the extravagant gift she wanted for the birth of the latest edition to the Kardashian Klan, the fact that it has entered the vernacular and has become acceptable among the commoners is where I have a problem. Let the celebrities do their asinine thing. When it infiltrates the normal realm, I’m gonna have to call it out.

But my feelings are broader than just those on pseudo celebrities like the Kardashians bring everything to a new seedy low. I explain them all on Scary Mommy today with my cleverly titled piece, Push Presents Are Stupid.

Don’t forget. If you like this you will love my book, I STILL JUST WANT TO PEE ALONE, the third installment in The New York Times best-selling series from some of the funniest women on the web. For a good time get it on AmazonKindleiTunes and Barnes and Noble. I will love you forever. 

Photo credit: Gift via photopin (license)