Being the Good Voice

Let me preface this preaching with a musical interlude:

I’ve been listening to a playlist in my car of new songs I’ve purchased in the order I’ve purchased them which is how I heard just now, on my way here, Believer by Imagine Dragons followed by Hall of Fame by The Script. “My life, my love, my drive, it came from PAIN!” followed by “You can be the greatest, you can be the best, dedicate yourself and you’ll be standing in the hall of fame.” As parenting philosophies according to popular music go, there’s a pretty clear winner in this battle.

Which made me start thinking about how children are influenced by their parents long after childhood ends.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, kids actually do listen to their parents and they really do internalize those things we say most often. As teens and adults, a lot of those things we said often become the voice in their head that guides them. For better or for worse.

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I know of too many people for whom the voice in their head is that of fear or doubt, indecision, conformity, derision, punishment, undeservingness, lack of acceptance. It’s the voice that tells you you’ll never succeed, you’re too stupid or fat, too weak or too weird, that you should let someone else do it, that you’re not ok the way you are, that you should just melt into the background because every action is too much of a risk.

And with the lyrics of those two songs echoing in my head, I’m determined not to be that voice.

I want to be the voice in my kids’ heads that says…

You can do it

I believe in you

Make good decisions

Do your best

Try again 

Take care of yourself

Be respectful of others

Brush your teeth

Just try to go pee before we leave the house

Eat more good food than treats

I love you!

And then I hear my son say to himself, “That’s ok. Twy again. You can do it,” and I feel like maybe I’m doing an ok job at this whole parenting thing.

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Simpler Times for Scumbags

Well, I certainly did try to edit my NaNo project into something cohesive and I’m not saying I’m ready to give up on it. But I do believe it needs some space to breath.

This is true for most of the things I write, that I need some space between the writing and the editing, but especially so for a mostly true story about a totally shit time in my life.

So I’ve started something new! Something fun! Something that started out as a merry jaunt through time and space, an attempt to recreate a nostalgic event in the lives of the main character’s parents… but then… my mind went to the dark place and so did the story. Now the main character will share her story with her mom who’s been reading a lot about the #TimesUp movement and following coverage of a fictionalized version of that scumbag gymnastics doctor’s trial and reexamining some of those nostalgic events through the lens of a more cynical and much more informed adult eye.

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Also… woo! Road trip!

Pineapple Hot Dog of Doom

The last dream I had before I woke up this morning was of living in an unstable tower-type building, trying to find an appropriate outfit to go get a hot dog and pick up my mom from work. I had just plugged in my long-sleeve white bathing suit, not to wear but so that it would be charged for later, and was marveling at the length and breadth of my favorite jeans as they eclipsed my legs and feet. For sure not hot dog getting wear, I thought.

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Home sweet… whoooaaaaaa!

As I dug through the pile of cleanish clothes on the floor in my tower bedroom, wind blew or an earthquake quaked or an explosion exploded and the building began to rock. That happens when you live in an unstable tower building but usually, it straightened itself out, I reminded myself. I scrolled through the hot dog menu in my mind, considering a more classic relish and mustard or a more exotic chili and pineapple.
But my thoughts, my piles of clothes, my reassurances were all interrupted by the disequilibrium that wasn’t re-equalizing. The tower leaned too far to the left. My body rotated in space until I was looking straight ahead at the floor. My stomach flipped over and warmed slowly like a toaster until my breakfast was burnt. I thought, “this is it,”
and “I’m going to die now,” and “Goddess bless my children and keep them safe. Help the people who love me to grieve me without too much suffering…”
But then the building jerked up straight like those dancing balloons outside the car wash. My white bathing suit was fully charged and stain resistant. And I remembered that hot dogs don’t get themselves.
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Fully charged, surprisingly stain-resistant

Then my son woke up–my real son in the waking world–and called for me. So I woke up, under the dark cloud of impending doom, and have been feeling this way ever since.
Happy Monday, everyone. May your day not be overshadowed by subconscious gloom.
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Birthday Wishes From Your Dentist

It’s a nice thought on a special day and as a proponent of sending positive energy out into the world, I try to appreciate it when my personal vendors send me some love on my bday.

As a small business manager/small budget marketer, I’m like, “Seriously? I’m not having my wisdom teeth removed against the recommendation of the specialist you sent me to so that you don’t have to work as hard to clean them twice a year, ok? Just stop. Just… leave me alone.”

The company you lease your car from doesn’t care about your birthday. If your home insurance company wishes ALL THE BEST! to you, it’s because they’d have to pay out otherwise. And Applebees only offers you free dessert so you and your friends will buy their terrible entrees first.

Can birthday marketing just be done now please? Send me discounts or leave me be!

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It’s possible I’m just pissed at my dentist today.

My Toddler, the Philosopher

“Mom, you a floating bird feather?” my son asks me as he’s falling asleep last night.

“Am I a what, now?”

“A floating bird feather.”

“I… don’t know. Are you?”

“No, Mom,” he says, like that’s a ridiculous question to ask him. “Me a boy!”

“What am I?”

“A mom.”

“Glad we cleared that up, then.”

But am I a floating bird feather? Are we all just floating bird feathers, dropped from our divine host into the ether to float through life, alternately flying and falling, caught in the current and wholly out of control of our mortal trajectory?

And we used to just talk about vampires at bedtime.

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Pigs are for Bacon, Not That… not that

I’ve been hearing all the hullabaloo about Black Mirror and decided to dive in to season 1 the other day. I didn’t get past that first episode.

This is what people like to watch? I mean… besides the part with the pig? That was nasty enough. But… like… people enjoy being judged in such a cruel and demoralizing way on their viewing habits? Or did they just not get it?

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Sadly, probably not.

Because it worked for me. I turned that crap off right quick and picked up a book.

Legit question: does the series get better? Or is it always pointing out how hollow a life lived in front of a screen can be?

Meanwhile, have you seen Kevin (Probably) Saves the World? It’s like, a Black Mirror antidote.

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I… yeah, I’d rather be watching Kevin. The real world is harsh enough.

 

How to Deal with the Indecisive

I have this simple rule with my toddler when I have to ask him the same question more than 3 times: If you won’t decide, then I’ll do it for you.

It always works. Either he makes the decision quickly–which is what usually happens–or I do and the thing gets done.

Meanwhile, I asked my husband 5 or 6 times to help me decide who and in what order to put the emergency contacts on my son’s preschool enrollment application and he has blown it off repeatedly. I don’t have time for this nonsense. I decided, it’s done, and now he has no say in the matter.

So… henceforth… my toddler rule applies to EVERYONE.

Listen up, all the indecisive people in my life:

IF YOU WON’T DECIDE, THEN I WILL DO IT FOR YOU

and guess what else:

YOU GET WHAT YOU GET AND I DO NOT CARE IF YOU ARE UPSET.

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The Mom Review Is In

I gave my mother a copy of my last book for Christmas and she’s already read it, enjoyed it, and said it made her think.

There should be a special section for Author’s Mom’s Review on Amazon.

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Look at my baby, making something just from her very own brain. She’s not wasting her fancy expensive education now, is she?

 

 

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Lay Her Ghosts to Rest by Eda J Vor

Now it’s Mom approved!