Divorce-A-Bration

My awesome cousin just got married. He deserves it and I hope he and his beautiful bride have a lifetime of happiness together. I hope their union is the opposite of my first one and much more similar to the one I have now. My hope is that they have the type of marriage that brings laughs and smiles and fun and comfortable respect to each other.

It took me surviving a failed marriage to realize that relationships aren’t supposed to be tragic. Yes, they’re hard work. But you aren’t supposed to cry. (Unless he pegs you with a Nurf gun ball on accident). Marriage isn’t supposed to make you second-guess who you are. (That’s what watching “I Am Cait” is for). It’s supposed to make you strive to be your best for your partner. It’s supposed to make you feel complete.

I never thought I would have a “mulligan” marriage. I don’t think anyone gets married thinking, “meh, we’ll give this a shot. Prolly won’t last long. Next time I think I’ll just go to the drive thru in Vegas”. You get married with hopes and dreams of your future together. You get married with plans for family and a lifetime of memories and having someone to grow old and fart in public with.

The moment that dream starts to fade you grab on to it with all you have and sacrifice yourself to bring it back. The worst feeling is knowing that someone you love doesn’t love you back. Divorce is tragic, crushing, devastating. It isn’t something that should be celebrated. Until…

He kicks you out of the house. With a baby. And takes his girlfriend to his graduation ceremony with his entire family to become a green beret instead of his wife and new baby after you’ve put your whole life on hold for 2 years so that he could follow his career. And draws out your divorce after promising not to just to twist the knife a little more. And owes you a shit ton of money. A person can only take so much before they break.

One day I stopped crying. One day I stopped expecting to get his love back. I stopped looking for that one word to say that would win him back. That was the day I felt free. And you bet your sweet ass that finally, a year and 2 months after I moved out, when our divorce was final, I celebrated. I cried happy tears. One of my best friends, Betsy, even had a Happy Divorce cake sent to my office. And I celebrated with everyone. You’d think I was retiring early after winning the lottery (because I promise I’d come back to the office for that and wouldn’t move to the beach immediately with my middle finger in the air).

I was like the Oprah of Divorce cake, “And YOU get a slice! And YOU get a slice! And YOU, never seen you before but YOU get a slice!” It was over. What began with such promise and hope had ended with no more feelings. I had no more hate for him. I had no more love for him. I was blessed with a beautiful daughter from that wretched union. I got the best of him. And now I’m still celebrating. I’m celebrating my freedom, my happiness, my self-esteem, my family that I so desperately wanted.

So, is divorce something to celebrate? No. It isn’t. But when your life is stolen from you and you get it back, THAT’S worth celebrating.

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Dear Hillary

Dear Hillary,

You almost did it. Twice. You came within arms reach of the position that children, both male and female, all races, all backgrounds, all socioeconomic classes dream of. The most powerful position in the WORLD. And you blew it. {At least we know THAT’S not why Bill cheated}. I’m mad. Not that Trump won. He deserved it. He worked for it. Regardless of whether or not you like the character he portrayed during the campaign. It could very well be who he truly is. I don’t know him. I’m mad that you set us back. Women. That’s right. YOU made it harder for my daughter to rise to that level. YOU made it harder for women in leadership roles to be taken seriously.

When you’re blazing a trail you don’t have the option of being lax with rules or playing too close to the line of illegality. It’s not just about the end game. You can’t say, “It doesn’t matter how it happens as long as I win”. You can’t act as though the rules don’t apply. Because when your house of cards crumbles you take all of those you represent with you. You show the world that women can’t win without cheating and riding a husband’s coattails. You tell the world that your politics shouldn’t matter and your track record doesn’t count. You tell people that the making of history based on a trait you’re born with is all that matters. Not true. We made that mistake twice with Obama. Luckily we woke up. Did we swing too far to the right on November 8th? Maybe. But when you swing too far to the left, the universe has to self-correct.

YOU lost. Not because of gender discrimination, not because of anything OTHER than your piss-poor decisions, weak policies, and inability to directly and honestly answer questions that the American people want and need answers to.

As a woman, a former single mom and divorcee, your politics offend me. The whole entitled establishment you represent offends me. I worked my ass off to get where I am. I did it with no help from the government. I knew I wasn’t entitled to anything because of a situation I was in based mostly on decisions that I made. I got myself into that hole and I clawed my way out. Now I make more money than most men. I’m not rich by any means. But now I’m a bit ahead financially and you want to redistribute my money. It isn’t criminal to have ambition. It isn’t criminal to make money. If anything, when I was broke and homeless I had hope that one day I would be better off. One day I’d be on top. (Yep, that’s what she said.)

You preach acceptance but only as long as everyone accepts what you preach. You preach open-mindedness as long as everyone’s minds are opened only to your preaching. It’s easy to agree with likeminded people. It’s something to take note of when someone accepts others in spite of their opposing views. It’s something to admire when someone RESPECTS the opposing views of others.

You’re entitled to your opinion and I don’t dislike you as a person. I don’t know you. But your politics tell me that YOU don’t believe that I have the ability and the fortitude to get by in life without the government’s help. Your politics tell my daughter and me that because we have vaginas we need to hide behind the government. Your politics tell my son and my husband that because of their gender and the color of their skin that they should be ashamed and apologetic for a mindset that they don’t have. Instead, why not lift up the people of America and establish the government to empower its citizens to do for themselves as much as they can? If I’m capable, I should be expected to have certain responsibilities. And if I work hard and get an education and take opportunities as they come, I should be able to have a certain lifestyle without feeling guilty and without the government stepping in and telling me that I have too much.

Maybe I’m jaded from years in Corporate America. But one thing I’ve learned is that sometimes, strong leaders are assholes. Sometimes they hurt feelings. Sometimes they say things that aren’t popular or politically correct.   But they still drive billion dollar revenues. They still create jobs.  And that’s all investors care about. As an American, as a woman, I don’t care if Trump doesn’t respect women. He can’t strip me of my rights. Checks and balances protect what I have. And I’m used to having to work twice as hard for half the reward. It sucks. Big time. But I’m raising my daughter to know that life isn’t fair but that doesn’t mean to stop fighting. If it’s worth it, you have to earn it.

I’m an American. I’m fucking proud to be an American. I love everything America stands for. I love that people have the right to peacefully assemble to protest. I love that Americans have the right to openly disapprove of the government. You have the right to be hypocritical. Remember that the way you feel today is the way a shit ton of people felt 8 years ago. And again 4 years ago.

If you have the opportunity to run again, my advice to you is to listen. Listen to what people are saying and not what you want them to say. Ask questions and observe. Be ethical. If Bernie wants to run from the grave, don’t cheat. If you have access to secrets, guard them. If someone gives you money as a donation to charity, give it to those it’s intended to help. If someone calls you for help, help them. If Bill cheats, cut off his dick. And leave him. Then payoff the debt he left you with, make more money than him, and become the first female president. That’s my plan, at least.

We will have a strong female option one day. And I will vote. And I will cry happy tears when she wins. Not because she has a vagina. But because she has a vagina and she’s capable, and she is gonna kick ass.  Also, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is on right now and I think we can all agree that’s a kick ass movie. 

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The One Moment I’d Redo

There are so many moments in my life that I could think back and say, “I wish I did that differently” or “I wish I could redo that”. But, honestly, I wouldn’t change the trajectory of my life for anything in the world. One moment I wish I could redo, that I doubt would result in a different outcome, would be my wedding.

Don’t get me wrong: my wedding was AMAZING. It was all about my husband and me. We were together, celebrating the start of our life as forever partners. But one thing was missing: our daughter.

Both of us had a ‘starter’ marriage. We were coming into this relationship with bills, stuff, my daughter, and a baby on the way, so saving money was key. And we decided early on that the wedding was about the start of our union. It was about us. It wasn’t about putting on a show for a bunch of people we don’t know, a big, expensive dress (I was big enough already), or a huge, ornate cake that would just get pooped out by everyone (yum). So we decided to go to Vegas. Just the two of us. My husband-to-be planned EVERYTHING. It was our first time in Vegas. And he did an amazing job. It was perfect. The Venetian, a helicopter ride with picnic in the Grand Canyon, tickets to Phantom of the Opera, and our wedding was broadcast via a live feed so all of our friends and family could watch online. 

My bestie and her hubs met us in Vegas just in time for the ceremony to serve as our witnesses. It was a honeymoon and wedding all in one. It was so rare (and still is) that we have time alone. We needed that time. And we didn’t have the stress of trying to please everyone. It was just for us.

But I wish we could have shared that day with our Bella. Then I would have a complete memory. A complete picture of our little family. As great as it is to not have that stress of a big wedding, we both came away from it wanting to have a bigger celebration “once things calm down”. Of course, more than five and a half years later there’s no end in sight to the crazy. But there’s something to having all of your close friends and family with you as you start your union. As long as everyone breathes, doesn’t act a fool, and fun and love reign.

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Holiday Horror Story

The most memorable Thanksgiving (well, holiday, really) I ever had was the Thanksgiving before my daughter was born. It was the pinnacle of a situation that was years in the making.

At the time I was living in Steilacoom, Washington. I was married to my first husband, who is a green beret in the Army. I was 7 months pregnant with my first little nugget, and I was 3,000 miles away from my family and my home.

About a month prior, we did what most military families do in preparation for the holidays. We gathered up our closest Army friends and invited them over for Thanksgiving lunch as our extended family. I was so excited to cook for everyone. We were going to have more people than we’d had in the past, some of them I’d never met, so this was shaping up to be a very special day.

About a week before Thanksgiving, I was summoned to the couch where my husband informed me that he had a girlfriend (who was an officer in the Army) and he had been flying back and forth to see her, telling me it was for training, while I was left at home managing a high-risk pregnancy alone. This information was dumped on me in November. The relationship, he said, started in July. #Devastation.

Weeell, for a moment I had a fleeting thought that now maybe I wouldn’t have to be the one to pretend to be interested in his “whittling” (whatever the eff that is. Was he 90????) or his faux cowboy lifestyle (I’m from Georgia by way of Mississippi. I know cowboy. He was not it. And, by the way, all of this stupid shat started AFTER we were married. Well, most of it. I was 50% stupid).

Anyway, what about Thanksgiving?! I was still trying to process. My family. The picture I had of a two-parent family was instantly ripped and shredded then set on fire and those ashes had been burned and scattered. He promised it was over. Ok. We’ll see. (He actually wanted me to feel sorry for him that he was going through a breakup. Yep. That happened. To me. In real life.) How was I supposed to have a gathering with friends and have a good time? I’m not good at pretending. At all. This wasn’t going to be ok.

The morning of Thanksgiving I got a call out of the blue from a dear friend. Someone I’d known since I was 7. He had a layover in Seattle and wanted to know if I could hang out. You bet your ass I can! My husband-at-the-time promised he had things. He’d cook. No worries. And off I go to Seattle. I had the best time with my friend. I felt normal and happy again.

I got back to my house around 2pm. No food. Some of it was in the process of baking but nothing was ready. People just standing around. My husband-at-the-time was nowhere to be found. Until he was found. By one of his friends. Locked in the only bathroom we had, covered in vomit. He was drunk off his ass. It was so bad that his friends wouldn’t allow me to go in and clean it up. They did it for me.

That afternoon is now such a blur that I don’t even remember what happened after. I assume we all ate something. But I do remember it was horrible. It was embarrassing. It was infuriating.

And no matter what, I’m 99% sure I will never have a holiday worse than that one. Good news, I think it’s like a shark attack. Once you get bitten one time you’re not scared because what are the chances of it happening again?!

Do you have a holiday horror story?

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At Least I’m Pretty

Three years ago I decided to embark on something I never thought I’d do. In school I wasn’t a writer. I always had a “B” in English. Communication wasn’t my strong point. Or at least I didn’t think it was. However, I felt like I had a message. I’d helplessly watched from afar as my dad had a debilitating stroke while I was 9 months pregnant and living 3,000 miles away. I’d survived a horrible marriage where I was left broken mentally, emotionally, and financially with a 10-week-old baby, living with my mom because I couldn’t afford a place of my own.

I survived getting remarried, buying a house, having a baby, postpartum depression in less than a year’s time. I’m a survivor. Think about it, you are, too. We all are. I have a message. Women are hard to break. We’re strong. We’re accosted, discounted, abused, overlooked, underappreciated but without us, life stops. We’re more powerful than society likes to admit. (“I brought you into this world, I can take you OUT!”, ammirite?). But we’re human and beautifully imperfect. And vulnerable. 

Once life settled down I realized that I needed a creative outlet. Seeing how my acting destiny wasn’t going anywhere (prolly cuz I had never done anything like get headshots or go on a casting call or attempt to get an agent?) I decided to start a blog.

The tongue-in-cheek title, “At Least I’m Pretty”, provides us all with hope. Snarky hope that even in life’s worst moments, at least we’re pretty. That makes it all better, right? My dog died, but at least I’m pretty. Lost ma job, but at least I’m pretty. I was on a conference call working from home and my son knocked on the door, I opened it and he smacked me in the face with his toy tomahawk and ran away laughing but at least I’m pretty. I think you get the point.

Life has a way of taking your breath away in one moment and leaving you wrecked in a ball of hopelessness the next. Life doesn’t discriminate with who it breaks. You aren’t suffering alone. Even when it feels like it, you aren’t. We have families, responsibilities, careers, demands, we’re pulled in a thousand different directions from one moment to the next. Illnesses, health, happiness, sadness, loss, birth, it’s all part of life. The ugly, the beauty.

My hope is that my blog becomes a place we can share those moments. We can support each other. Life can be cold and sterile. But even in the ugly, broken, sterility of life we can still find humor. That’s how you know everything will be ok. Beauty is subjective. I’ve said it a million times. We are all beautiful. Every one of us. Find the humor in the bad. It’s there. Even if it’s dark, it’s there. That’s the beauty of life. Perspective. Some days will suck butt. Ugly, hairy, smelly butt. And that’s ok. Cuz at least we’re pretty.

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How to Live the Life You Want

I’ve watched The Secret. Truth Bomb: I turned on the documentary on Netflix with the expectation of a comedy that I could make fun of. Before I watched it, I thought all the fanatics who read the book and kept talking about it were cray-cray.

Then I watched it. And I realized there was something to the idea of making goals, putting them out into the universe and living as though those goals you set will be met. The life you strive for will happen. I came away a skeptical believer.

And now, 2 years later I can tell you that the path you need to follow to get what you want out of this life is already laid out. You just have to find it.

Last year my husband and I were finishing up a nearly 4-year renovation on our first home. I would look at houses online and save the ones I loved, that I knew were out of our reach, but hey, I had to be prepared for when we hit the lottery! One of the homes I saved was as close to my dream home as I’d ever seen actually exist that wasn’t, like, $10,000,000. I showed my hubs and he chuckled, rolled his eyes, and immediately started snoring. So you know it must have struck him, too.

Fast forward 6 months, I came home from work one day and my husband informed me that WE HAVE A REAL ESTATE AGENT!!!!! Uh, what? He said he found a house he wanted us to look at and he knew the timeline was quicker than we’d discussed, but we’re ready to list!!!! Uh, what? Obviously, I needed some time to catch up.

Eventually I did and we embarked on an adventure that would bring my dream and reality full circle.

My hubs found our agent on realtor.com. She was a totally random find. We met her once, she came over to discuss what we should list at, and we discovered that we could potentially get more for our home than we ever thought possible. If this worked in our favor, we would potentially have the most valuable home in the neighborhood. That’s tricky. It would have to appraise. The last comparable home that sold was $50k less just a few months prior.

For our new home we set a budget that I was comfortable with. I’m the fiscally conservative one when it comes to big purchases like homes, cars, shoes (LOL, just kidding.  That last one’s not true.) Having been a single mom I’m a bit skittish about money. This is important because I would eventually be forced to take a leap of faith. To blindly follow my husband. I’m fiercely independent (and hard-headed, and stubborn, and awesome). This is incredibly hard for me.

Anyway, with the budget established with the world’s best real estate agent, we began our home search. We put a contingent offer on a home we HAD TO HAVE. Nope. Fell through. Then we found another home we HAD TO HAVE. Both of those homes would have required my daughter to switch schools. That wasn’t the best case scenario. But our district was really small. The inventory of homes was limited. So we put an offer on the second home we HAD TO HAVE. It was a contingent offer. And the seller rejected it because of the contingency.  Ugh, back to the drawing board (unless you’re British, then it’s a “drah-ring board”).

A few days later we listed our home. It listed around 5pm. By 10pm we had a full price offer. The next day we had ELEVEN showings of our home. By midnight we had four offers. Two of them were cash and all were over asking price. Uh, what?

For those of you who haven’t dealt with a cash offer before, these are the holy grail of offers. No appraisal needed. Since we might have a little more profit than we expected, I did something sneaky that evening. Remember that dream home I’d saved? Well, I pulled up the pictures on my phone so that the price didn’t show up. And I said, “Rick, look. What do you think of this house?” And he said, as he flipped through the pics, “This is our next house! This is perfect!” Then I laughed and showed him the price. To my surprise it didn’t scare him like I thought it would. Maybe he was just kidding. We couldn’t afford that! He’s so silly. So I rolled over and went to sleep.

The next day he called and said he got us an appointment to view the home. He totally called my bluff!  Instantly I hated it. I had to. One of us had to be reasonable! In person this house would be hideous.

It wasn’t. If I remember correctly, we walked in and both said, “wow”. Not to mention, our Bella wouldn’t have to switch schools. After some negotiating, and lots of ungodly late and stupid phone calls to our world’s best mortgage broker, guess what? We’ve now been in my dream home for 6 months now. We’re about to, for the first time since we’ve been married, throw a housewarming party in our dream home. For 5 years we lived in a construction zone.  We lived in a money pit.  We lived in a home we were embarrassed to show people because it was always dusty and broken.  Not any more.  I think we’ve paid our dues to the Home Gods.  My point is this: make a goal. Make it crazy and outlandish. Dream big. Then let it happen. My next goal: I will be a writer, comedian, and speaker. No more corporate job for me. That’s my next adventure.

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6 Shows I’m Addicted to Right Now

I love a good TV show. The escape, after a long day. It allows you to forget, for at least 30 minutes, all that shat that’s happened and transports you to another time, another place, another family’s disaster. Here is my top 6 list for a welcomed escape right now:

  1. This show with John Ross Bowie (oh, hello, Kripke) as devoted dad and husband to Minnie Driver’s beautiful character as a mom of 3, one of which is special needs, shows the hilarity that can shine through a very stressful and delicate family dynamic. She will do ANYTHING for her family. And sometimes that fuqs shat up. In a super raw, awesome way. Love Minnie Driver and this show lets her own her greatness.
  2. The Walking Dead. I mean, come on. Zombies that can’t run taking over the world and eating faces off of people who are mostly totally capable of out-running them, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as a lovely sadistic mad man, what’s not to love?! I go through withdrawals when this show ends for the season. I even have my own version of Talking Dead at work. I think I have a problem.
  3. Better Call Saul. Season 3 hasn’t started yet but I’m so addicted to it that I can’t get it out of my mind. This is a prequel storyline to Breaking Bad that follows Walter’s crooked lawyer, Saul Goodman (say it to yourself but split the last name into 2 words… you’ll get it). It’s witty and human and honest and I LOVE IT.
  4. Modern Family. I can’t help it. This show is so awesome. The relationships, the snark, the situations (shenanigans, if you will), this show always ends with me in tears. In a good way.
  5. Game of Thrones. AMMIRITE?! Can I getta whit-niss?! This show. I just can’t. If you’ve never seen it, if you think, “I’m not into that stuff”, yes you are. You are. I promise. Get HBO just for this. It’s totally worth it. Warring families, crazy kings, a beaten down girl who becomes a woman who tames dragons and walks through fire (AKA, me), it’s AWESOME. Totally unpredictable so you watch at attention the ENTIRE TIME. After each show I’m exhausted. I bet I even lose weight. Like running a marathon of greatness.
  6. Silicon Valley. Another HBO gem, this show follows a group of nerdy tech workers who Forrest Gump their way to become major players in Silicon Valley. It’s HIL-AR-IOUS. And educational. Not in an “oh my gawd, why is the teacher rolling that TV into our class?! Maybe it’s a rated R mov- nope, Bill Nye the Science Guy again.” Then I have to yell across the room to my friend who isn’t paying attention and is still super excited, “Hey, Kate, don’t get excited. It’s Bil-no, it’s Bill Nye again.” Not like that. It’s educational as in, “Wow, I totally would have forgotten to register my idea as a business, too!” Anyway, thumbs up from me.

There you have it. My fave TV shows. What shows can YOU not live without?

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Let’s Be Honest

Let’s be honest. Nope, nothing after that sentence. That’s my complete thought. Let’s just be honest. Imagine how much clearer relationships would be, directions would be, lives would be if we were all just honest. Know what you want, say what you want, mean what you say. How comforting would that be, to know that no ulterior motives lie behind a message. No repressed feelings to fester after years of pretending.

If I were honest with myself I would have uncovered my fear failure much earlier in life. My flight response when self-doubt engulfs me and I feel the false pressure of my impending doom. (I mean, I’m not Indiana Jones! Thank God, right!? I mean, those caves! Gross.) I would have followed my dream of acting. I would have gone to school for something more creative.

If I were completely honest with my babies I would tell them that sometimes I’m terrified. Sometimes I wonder why these beautiful little creatures are calling me mom and looking to ME for answers. I don’t even know what color I want my toe nails! When did I become mature enough to manage little lives??? Answer: I DON’T REMEMBER THAT EVEN HAPPENING! Run, littles. Run to safety! Those Cheeze It commercials with the immature cheese and the guy with the white coat, run to the white coat guy. Run to him, little ones. He’s mature. Not me!

If I were totally honest with myself and with my husband I would have probably told us both that I wasn’t entirely ready to get married when we did. I was terrified. I was too guarded. The sins of my past were still too raw. Buuut, then again, it kept things interesting, right, bae? You know, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and all that. We definitely climbed a mountain. You’re welcome, Love. I made you work for it. And, by default, I made us BOTH work for it. So, that plan backfired.

You see, I’m a recovering co-dependent. That means I’ve spent my ENTIRE life not being honest. I spent my whole existence doing everything I could to control things, to please people, to keep peace, to stay under the radar and always do the “good” thing. That’s how you act so that people you love love you back. That’s how you get people you love to stay. You do the “good” thing. You become perfect. Everyone wants perfect, right? In the words (or word) of Donald Trump: WRONG!

You know what gets people to stay? People. They have to decide to stay. I’m not capable of controlling that! You know what gets people to stay? Beautiful chaos. The mess. The adventure. Respect. Trust. Memories. Life.

Some people will stay, some won’t. Those who don’t, well, that’s a reflection on them. Not you. Do what you do. Sky dive, go to the beach without planning to, have a mimosa at 6am on a Sunday, scream FUCK when things get overwhelming. (just not in front of the babies. No one wants THAT call from school.) Guess what? God won’t send you to hell for it. He doesn’t care what time you drink! It’s prolly 5pm up there all the time. Have a good heart. Have good intentions. Set boundaries you’re comfortable with for every relationship you have. Know what you stand for and stick to those convictions. Don’t apologize for them. Respect the boundaries of others. And respect your own. And let’s be honest. Who do you need to be more honest with? What do you need to say?

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Brave

You know how sometimes you run out of underwear cuz you haven’t done laundry in a while (2 months) and you dig through your closet to find your “just in case” pair?  You haven’t worn them in 5 years but that’s ok. No holes (except that one in the crotch). They still fit. It def helps that the elastic has disintegrated.  In fact, they’re still kinda comfy. Sometimes that “just in case” pair surprises you and you realize you’re actually wearing your big girl undies. 

And you feel invincible. All day. And you do brave things. Like go to parties when you usually hide from them. And venture to new places with your daughter on a school night when it would be easier to say “no thank you” and follow the normal routine. And tell your 5 year old that, yes,  he has to go to soccer practice and if he doesn’t wanna participate, that’s ok. But he needs to support his team. When it would be much more convenient to just go home and let him do his homework and not have to listen to him crying. 

In the past, I’ve almost always defaulted to my comfort zone. A zone full of self-doubt, social anxiety, and people-pleasing calmness. No more I say. No effing more. It just takes a step. Just one step to start a path to empowerment. A path to unexpected fun. A path to realizing you’re much more than you ever thought you could be. 

Being brave means different things to different people. To me, sometimes it means simply going to work. Or answering the phone. Or saying “no”. 

But it also means accepting a date that leads to another, that leads to a wedding that leads to a family that leads to memories no one can ever take away. 

Members of ma pretty posse, you are beautiful and capable. You are brave. What brave thing have you done today?  What brave thing will you do tomorrow? May it lead to something great and wonderful and unexpected. 

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5 Steps for a Successful Mental Health Day

Today I took a mental health day. Ever had one? They’re lovely. The best of all the days off. It’s a day off for “no particular reason” other than “I’m really trying not to throat punch everyone I work with and my kids can’t finish their homework without putting their feet in my face and I don’t wanna lose ma shat on the world so I need to do absolutely NOTHING of substance”.

How would one know if one needs a mental health day? You know that look that Hillary Clinton gets on her face where her face says, “I’m smiling” but you can tell she’s really trying not to throw a tantrum like a 3 year old (cuz, let’s be honest, 3 is waaaay worse than 2)? When I’ve had more than 3 days with that look on my face I know I need a mental health day.

Here are the crucial steps necessary for a successful mental health day:

  1. Request time off from your employer. I mean, you could NOT but then you’d have more like a mental health year. Or a mental health “forever”, depending on how long it takes you to find a replacement job which may be a worse set up than you have now so let’s not do that.
  2. Turn on your “out-of-office” message in your email. Make it sound good. You want to be vague but you also want people to think that you’ll be in the same neighborhood as that lost Amazonian tribe in Brazil that has never had any interaction with the civilized world. Long story short: cell service is spotty.
  3. DON’T TELL YOUR KIDS. Ever. They’ll know. And you’ll get a call from the clinic. When that doesn’t work you’ll get a call from the principal. All because the kids know you’re home and they wanna be home, too. Kids see their school like you see work. And if you get a day off, they think they should, too. They are wrong.
  4. If you have a fun significant other, tell them. If not, DON’T. If fun, this is a great time to coordinate mental health days. For example, my husband and I spent all day today pretending we were childless. We went to the gym together, we went shopping together, we had a nice lunch together, we even “cuddled” (YEAH, BABY!). If I had a crappy husband, I would NOT have told him. I would have followed the same routine as usual, left the house, waited for it to clear out and come back home. Then done NOTHING. Sometimes spouses are mistaken about the nature of your day off and get excited about the things around the house that “will” get done. Don’t let them have that opportunity for disappointment when they return home from a long day at work and you have your sweats on, wet toe nails, a mud mask on your face, an empty Dorito’s bag on the couch, your dog on the chair she isn’t allowed on, and an empty bottle of wine on the floor. Ma bad! Don’t get your hopes up!
  5. DO NOTHING OF IMPORTANCE. If you do, it will continue to deplete your mojo. You need to get it back. The only way to do that is to be lazy and let your mind go blank. Like for real.

There you have it, my pretty posse. Five steps to get your groove back. Don’t get me wrong, I still plan on winning the lotto. Cuz I am NOT ready to go back to work tomorrow. But at least now I have some fun memories to think about tomorrow when Throat Punch comes a callin’.

What do you do on your mental health days???

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