“Please don’t divorce me for being late.”

I recently made this comment to my son.  I was, of course, 10 minutes late to pick him up for an appointment – for which we were going to be late.  He said, “I really don’t have a choice, do I mom?”  True.

I read an article on excuses that moms (I’m sure this holds true for guys too) use for why we are often late.  It’s true that being a parent puts a new spin on punctually.  And, being a working mom, I find I am afforded additional excuses (or I just make more of them up).

I must admit, that my lateness is not due to my doing my hair (I don’t) or my makeup (I don’t).  It’s just stuff.  Stuff happening at work, at home and just because I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate.

So, here are my top “reasons” I’ve had to give for being late:

1. I couldn’t find my keys … usually in my hand or in my purse.

2. I had to go to the bathroom.

3. I couldn’t find my purse … usually right where I put it. Or my glasses (on my face).

4. My kids needed to poop.  (This was a huge – no pun intended – issue when they were younger.  We were always late for this reason!).

5. I hit my head cupboard door as I was trying to get out of the house. (You’d think I’d learn my lesson on this one).

6. They kids were too hungry to get in the car without making some elaborate snack.

7. Since I didn’t “give them enough warning” (although I said at least 10 times that it was time to go) they were not “ready.”  I really hate this one.

8. They could not stop their “game” because they would lose all their points.  OMG.  This literally puts me over the deep end.

9. My phone was lost (usually it’s in the car or a kid is playing a game on it).

10. I could not find one of the kids (usually I find them in the car waiting for me).

11. I was chatting with someone a “bit” too long.

12. I had to go to the bathroom “one more time.”

I’m sure you have your own set of reasons (excuses) for being late!

Have a great weekend!

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat.

It’s been brutal in my house lately.  My usually calm daughter has been totally stressed out.  I’d like to say it’s because she can’t figure out what to wear to homecoming (she doesn’t even want to go!).  Or, that her brothers have stepped up their incessant teasing of her (they have!).  No, it’s been her competing for the last seat on a varsity boat going to the Head of the Charles.

Let me back up here.  My little darling started this rowing-sport 10 months ago.  I still don’t have one-half an idea about her rowing lingo regarding splits, steady state and the like.  I just buy the warm clothes, give her the good protein powder and send her off.  So, when she said there was one seat left and she was going to compete for it, I figured this would be a good exercise in learning the agony of defeat.

Every day for the last 6 weeks she’s been stressed out.  She goes to practice, works hard, but no decision.  Every day I pray to the teenage g-ds to do something — just a simple yes or no, is all I’m looking.  We want our girl/sister back.

Then, Tuesday she comes home and says – the last race will be on Wednesday and at that point, they’ll decide.   On the day of,  I send her a text telling her to “kick ass” and then “be done worrying.”

When she’s heading home from the lake, she calls me.  I ask about practice and she says she’ll tell me when she gets home. This must be bad news.  I felt sick.  Her brother asks, “How bad is she going to be now??!!”   Thank goodness that narcissistic streak of his is tied to being a teenager.

She walks in and I scan her eyes.  Are they red?  I can’t tell a thing.  I want to cry.  Then, as washes her hands for dinner, she turns around and says, “Hey Mom.  Guess what?”  I look up and she’s smiling!  She’s on the boat and I start screaming.

She immediately calms me down (why can’t kids just let you cut loose once in a while?)  She looks sad.  She tells me how awful she feels for the girl who didn’t get on the boat.  This is her main focus.  She wants to know what to do.  What to say.  I tell her just to be as humble as possible when she sees her.

An hour later, she gets a text from the girl  – congratulating my daughter.  We then realize that the real winner is the other girl.  Because in her agony of defeat, she has the chance to show what an amazing person, teammate and friend she is.

So, for my daughter,  I’m proud of her.  For all of us, I’m thankful that we learned the oh-so-valuable lesson that a loss can be an even greater win, if you play it right.

Have a wonderful day!

What a mom (this mom) does on a free night!

I get some free nights but usually I’ve got something planned with friends.  Last night my plans were cancelled.  What would I do?

I contemplated all the usual places: Target, any one of 5 grocery stores, the bookstore.  Then it hit me.  I’m going to do what guys do – the sports bar!  Why not?  I figured it would be interesting, but I had no idea.

I brought my Mac in so I could do a bit of work while eating.  You’d think I’d brought in a cute dog that everyone needed to stop and pet.  I ended up with one too many “lines” about my computer, my work, my work clothes (Really?  Guys still say those things?  Yes they do, says the employment lawyer).  I eventually shut it down to focus on the TV and my food.

As I was talking to the bartender, a couple sat down.  They didn’t look happy and weren’t talking with one another.   At some point, she got up to use the bathroom and he turned to me and started chatting.  I couldn’t, as you might imagine, resist asking a few questions.  Turns out they were fighting.  She was upset about some plans they were making for a trip. She was scheduled to meet him half-way through the trip but she was frustrated with his being gone so long before she got there (guys weekend sort of thing).  Hmm, right up my alley.

When she came back, I realized she looked familiar.  I’d met her at the health club.  We started chatting about running, kids, etc.  Then the topic turned to their “date” night.  She immediately said that they were having an oh-so-enjoyable discussion in the car on the way over about a vacation.  She talked about almost never getting a vacation because of the kids, yet he seems to get more vacations and didn’t worry about the kids.  Yes!  I’ve heard/experienced this one before!

I told them a story about a relationship I’d been in that tanked for a number of reasons, but not the least of which was vacations.  I told them to pay better attention to the feelings behind the argument – she wanted to get away but felt guilty about the kids.  He didn’t feel guilty and didn’t really acknowledge (or understand) how she was feeling.  I suggested that they put themselves in the other’s shoes and then respond.   Long story short, they decided that he would take only a few days with his guy friends and she was going to join a few girls and go for a spa weekend another time (now that’s REALLY up my alley!).  We laughed about the bartender not doing his job as the therapist, they grabbed my check and paid for my dinner.  They stayed for dessert and I left for Target (You didn’t think I was going to spend all my time in the bar, did you?).

So, I guess it really was a free night!

Have a great day!



My gift was a total bomb.

I recently gave a gift to someone.  It wasn’t well received.  I really thought I was doing the right thing, but apparently I had not thought it through.  And, I didn’t realize I’d made a mistake until the person didn’t thank me and actually became upset with me.

It led me to thinking about gift giving.   Why do we give gifts?  I hope we do so to make someone happy and feel good … to let them know how we feel about them.   But, do we really think about what the other person wants?  Do we really do it all for them or is part of it for us?  What should we do when the receiver is unhappy with the gift?

Giving has been a subject of studies on human behavior by psychologists, economists and retailers.  Giving gifts is a surprisingly complex and important part of human interaction that helps to define relationships and strengthen ties with family and friends.  Psychologists say that it is often the giver, more than the receiver, who gets the greatest psychological return from a gift.

Unconditional gift-giving starts by sharing a piece of yourself – the love you feel for someone, shown by the time taken to select a gift in a considerate manner, and combining it with not wanting anything at all in return.   It is not about how much you spend, it’s about how much thought went into it.

Giving to another reinforces our feelings for them and makes us feel happier.  It is a reflection of our gratitude (even when it is not so well received).

The important thing about gift giving is to remember that everyone is different and we can’t expect smiles or “thank you” every time.   However, if we’ve given with a good heart, the receiver’s reaction or lack thereof, should not bother us (in a perfect world – and in this instance, I was not perfect!).

Despite the fact that this one didn’t work, I’ll still keep giving gifts … it’s totally my nature!  However, I’ll be a bit more careful about the gift, to whom it’s going and whether it’s the right thing for the person on the receiving end.  I’ll also make sure that I’m not hoping for a thank you or acknowledgement of some sort.  Lesson learned.  And, it only took 51 years!

Oh, I should say … I love any kind of gift and “thanks”  comes pretty easily to me so don’t hesitate to try!!! 🙂

Have a wonderful day!

My mind and body don’t always like what I’m doing.

Yesterday I ran a 10 mile race.  I had to chase my friends the entire way.  During most of it I was asking myself, “why the hell am I doing this?”

My mind’s got a lot of power with me.  And, if I don’t control the chatter while I’m running, I will eventually stop.  My mind often tells me it’s dying, that I can’t go one more step, that I need to walk up that next hill, that I’ve got to take 10 bathroom stops.  And, I usually listen.  It really is a mind game for me and as I’m getting older, my mind and body are not always happy with my life choices!

Running’s changed.  It’s not the strap-on-your-shoes thing it used to be.

I still run in clothes I bought 20 years ago.  That’s what we did in the olden days.  Now, I also run in my kids old clothes.  But have you seen the cute new skirts, tops, shoes that people run in?  Seriously, better than what I wear to work!  I’m just not sure about spending $150 on an outfit that I am going to sweat all over.

Also, there are all these new powders, gels, drinks that people take.  I bring a pack of Barbie gummy fruits.  When I started running that’s what my kids had and that was what I took as I ran screaming from the house, to get out for a “save-my-mind” run.  I’m having a hard time giving this up for the fancy stuff.

There are training watches, heart monitors and a million other gadgets.  There are fanny packs, back packs with water straws … what the heck?  I put my keys, phone and a few bucks in a baggie.  Done.

Some people do this running/training thing and it looks so easy (I know it’s not).  But, they’re able to build beautiful muscles, they can run, bike, swim and still feel good the next day.  They do it for the love of it.

Why do I do it?  It’s the only way I remain sane.  I am certain I’d be in prison by now if I didn’t run.  But, I’m not like my cool training buddies.  I can’t build any muscles.  I lift and lift but my arms are still like sticks with flab on the back-end.  Moreover, there’s no way that the skin stretched from pregnancy with those kids (really those two boys) will ever go back from whence it came.

Yet, I’m ok with my aging mind and body.  The changes are inevitable and I have little say in the process anyway.   The mind chatter?  Well, at least someone’s talking to me!

Have a great start to your week!

Do you have the signs of being too busy?

As evidenced by the lateness of this post, I’m a bit too busy lately. Yesterday as I was running, I made a mental list of those things that were evidence to me that I’ve gone too far. Here’s my sad, but true, list:

1. I find myself brushing my teeth in the shower to save time.

2. It feels like a luxury to sit down at Taco Bell to eat a burrito.

3. I prefer to talk on my cell so I can look at emails at the same time.

4. I never sort the laundry, as it takes too much time (I also don’t fold or iron – sorry kids!).

5. I’ve caught myself trying to load the kids’ dishes in the dishwasher when they’re not done eating.

6. I mentally multitask when I should not be multitasking!

7. Red lights are my friends, my down time – vacation-like and when I write blogs.

8. My kids are shocked when I am on time (and I am too).

9. I find myself yelling at the microwave to hurry up.

10. When I fall asleep at the dentist during root canal!

Have a relaxing weekend!!

I’m having a bit of trouble with that thing called “forgiveness.”

Every day we have experiences that teach us new life lessons.  We hope that they are not painful lessons – although those can often be the most powerful.  One thing we all work on is the act of forgiveness – this is a life time job.  We teach our kids to say they are sorry from a very early age.  In almost every magazine we see articles on learning to forgive, to move on … to let go.  I’m have a bit of trouble with this lately.

I know forgiveness is a learned behavior but it is a difficult behavior to use at times.  For example, have you ever had to tell someone that you forgive them and then you had to try to put some painful act behind you?  You know how hard that can be?  Look, I can do the easy ones any day of the week.  The apologizing when I bump into someone or try to get into the elevator before they’ve gotten out.  Or, when I spill something or burn the cookies that the kids are patiently waiting for.

But the big things?  Seriously difficult.

Someone is treating me badly.  I actually like this person as a person, I just don’t like the treatment.  I want to forgive this person because I know that the treatment of me is not about me but about a feeling of fear and being threatened.  (Me, a threat??!!  Sheeze).   What I’ve done in the past is let my anger take over rather than forgiveness.  But that process is exhausting and unproductive.

I once read that “learning to forgive is difficult and does not come as part of a manual with clear instructions.”  This is so true.  All I can really be sure of with forgiveness is that it makes me feel better on a daily basis.  It makes my life lighter.  It gives me power and strength.  But it’s the “how” that is complicated.

I’ve got to believe that you all are like me.  Struggling to do the right things.  To learn from mistakes.  To stay positive, even when someone is behaving badly toward us.  Sometimes, the only way to right the wrong is to forgive (sometimes you do have to walk away if they just don’t get it).  Even if it’s an internal, private forgiveness.  Forgiveness is as “simple” as a mindset.

I’m going to stay focused on this notion of forgiveness and see where it gets me on this tough one.  I have a feeling this is going to change my life one way or another.  I’ll keep you posted (no pun intended).

Have a fantastic day!

My daughter videotaped me doing __________!

Let me start by asking, why is it that young people think that everything their parents do is wacky, crazy, old-fashioned and just plain stupid?  I really can’t believe (I know I did!) that I said the same things to my mom.  Actually, my mom was seen as the “cool” mom.  She was hip, wore clothes that were in style, fun, etc. (all the things my kids think I’m not).  But, I do recall accusing her of being harsh when she instituted a curfew, grounded me and took away my allowance (for things that will remain unnamed).

I like to dance.  And as I’ve said, I will dance almost anywhere.  I think I’m a pretty good dancer (think …).  I taught aerobics all through law school and had the hottest, packed class at the downtown health club.  I know I can keep a beat.

So, about a month ago, I played some music on my phone.  It was something that made me dance!  I was in the living room grooving to the beat (yea, that’s old language!) when I noticed my daughter doubled over in the hallway.  I looked at her and realized the was laughing and was doubled over crying from her laughter.  I asked her what was so funny.  She couldn’t even talk.  Then I saw it … the iPhone.  She was holding it up and simply dying of hysteria.

“Come on,”  I said.  “What’s so funny? I was just dancing!”  Before I knew it, she was showing the boys and they were laughing, almost a bit too much for my liking.  So, I looked at the tape.  Yes, I was going a bit crazy, but I was doing just what we used to do when I listened to music by the B52’s (dating myself yet?).  I mean really … I know she’s got to have seen that kind of dancing before.

Then they started the game of naming what I was doing:

  • Mom, you look like you are having a seizure.
  • Mom, you look like you’re having a heart attack.
  • Mom, you look like you’ve got a bee stuck in your underwear.
  • Mom, do you need to go to the bathroom? Because it sure looks like it.
  • Mom, that’s what they do before they take you into a mental hospital.


I don’t think these kids want to me start taping some of the things they do … wait.  What do they do?  I could tape them looking at an iPhone screen.  I can tape them looking at an iPhone screen and eating (without looking up).  I can tape them looking at an iPhone screen and peeing or burping or just picking at body things that should not be picked at.  Pleeese.  Don’t get me started.

Just wait.  Have I got some naked shower and bathtub pictures to show their kids!

Have a fun day!

My life road’s got a serious hairpin turn …

The obvious bears repeating;  Nothing ever ends up as you think it will.

Think of how many things you do in life that just don’t turn out as you planned?   Marriages, relationships, careers, my efforts at cooking new dinners …. things don’t always end as we expect.   Welcome to life.  The one filled with turns that you never imagined.  The one filled with great joys and sadness.  Yet, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

I’ve got a few big decisions to make and while I had set my GPS on cruise, I somehow missed a turn and then another and now here I am “recalculating” my route (as SIRI always says to me!).

Sometimes, life is like that.

At first I quickly tried to regroup, to fix the situation (futile as that might have been), but that’s my nature.  Jessica always wants to find the back up plan so she can fix it and everyone is happy (I think that’s the definition for co-dependency!).   Yet something stopped me this time.  And, I decided to just trust what was happening, trust my instinct and enjoy the swirling uncertainty.

So what if I’d missed a turn … a direction I thought I was going?  It can’t (and shouldn’t) stop me from moving forward.  But then I kept asking myself, “What’s forward?”  And, “How do I stop the tapes about all the woulda-coulda-shouldas?”

I decided that this is normal.  We all end up going different paths than we intended.  Rather than freak out (as I usually do), I decided I really should embrace the uncertainty … lean into it.

I think it’s okay to be lost for a bit as we’re making those turns, or they are making us!  In fact, when we’re forced to be out of our comfort zone, we often see what we normally overlook.   Maybe there’s something out there that’s a better option, a different road … one that we never would have seen it from the road we were travelling on.

So, while I usually like to have a “plan” and a “direction,” I’m just going to shut my internal GPS off and enjoy this quiet (but busy) place.  Frankly, SIRI’s “recalculating” instructions were getting annoyingly loud anyway!

Have a fantastic day!

He died while working on our road.

Our road has been under construction in our neighborhood all summer.  It’s been brutal.  Yet, they tell us it will look great when (operative word) it’s done.  I’m sure they’re right but I have not liked one minute of all the chaos.

Last week, the workers were in the process of hauling dirt from our road to another location.   Around mid-morning one of the trucks that was hauling the dirt, got its tire stuck on our road as it was trying to back up.  Another truck pulled him out, the semi was filled with dirt and went on it’s way.  Less than 10 minutes later the semi was hit by another car on a local highway.  The semi skidded off the road, our neighborhood dirt spilling everywhere, the cab lit up in flames and despite hearing the driver scream for help, no one could get him out.  He died right there.

What might have happened if his truck had not been stuck on our road?  Could those few minutes time have put him in a different place at that same time?  It’s those split second decisions that cause us to wonder, “What if …?”

These tragedies leave us feeling heavy in our hearts and with the knowledge that in one second life can change.  This accident certainly did that for his family.  And, for those in our neighborhood … we will never forget.

So, take the time right now, before you leave for work, to hug the ones you love.  Send a text to your parents or kids. Tell them what they mean to you.  If you’re in a fight or angry with them, let it go.

Life can be cut so incredibly short.  Just one diagnosis or one accident can change our lives forever.

I hope you have a very peaceful start to your week.