Humorous thoughts on adulthood – thank goodness for chocolate, drinks, friends, and duck tape!

Flounder, Mother’s Day, and Why I envy Carol Brady!

Blogging takes backseat - see photo for reason

Blogging takes backseat – see photo for reason

You know how they name that guy Flounder on Animal House? I’m identifying all too well with him.

I used to know who I was.  I may not have always been a very good me, but I was me.  I was an aspiring if not progressing writer, blogger, photographer, teacher, aunt, wife, and gunner.  I think I have officially turned into a mom and a mom alone.  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t take that lightly.  It’s a huge effing accomplishment to just survive motherhood, if you ask me!  I can’t freaking imagine a mother out there who doesn’t agree!  In fact, I now fully understand why Mother’s Day was created!
I remember when I was on maternity leave and Jimmy Fallon had just had his second child and he said his greatest accomplishment was being a dad.  No shit.  I’ve walked beans with a bean hook.  I have washed the balls of a bull.  I have worked in the hood and eaten at the Burger King on 30th and Ames at night.  In all of my life, NOTHING has been scarier, harder, or more challenging than being a parent.  Wait. I take that back..  The damn rope in PE was much harder.  I never could do that damn thing.  But other than that – hardest task ever!  Is it worth it?  Hell to the yeah.
As Mother’s Day approaches, I feel like I should say what no one else has the guts to.  Everyday, I hear people spouting off about how glorious motherhood is and how it is the most rewarding thing in the world and it makes them glow.  Well, I call bullshit.  It is the most frustrating, guilt-ridden, time-consuming thing ever.  Do I love her smiles, giggles, and blowing bubbles?  Most definitely.  When she’s sick, do I feel helpless and like the worst mom ever?  Um, yeah, but when she grabs for my hand when she’s coughing, nothing makes me feel more needed.  Do I feel like I’m failing miserably at everything else?  Most definitely.  It’s hard to be a mom.  It’s exhausting and terrifying and everything in between.  I’ve been through more bacon, ice cream, and chocolate than I care to think about.  I love my daughter dearly.  You couldn’t pry her out of my cold, dead hands, but parenting is not for the weak and pathetic.  Holy crap on a diaper, a shoe, and a cracker!
I saw how much work my sisters put in.  I saw that Carol Brady desperately needed Alice.  I put off being a parent for years telling my spouse it was too hard and I wouldn’t be good at it.    He changed my mind and thank God for that. However, people be warned, if you texted me, emailed me, called me, or told me 2700 times about something, I’m probably still going to forget it!  If you knew me pre-baby, you know I am a control freak, anal retentive, on-top-of-things kind of person.  That blew up on me like a zit on an oily teenager!  I have forgotten meetings I was in charge of.  I have paid bills via credit card so they wouldn’t be late.  I have gone multiple weeks without shaving my legs.  I have a list of tasks longer than Santa’s and my only excuse is a 16 pound slobbering, chattering squiggleworm that trumps everything.  But here’s what I’ve concluded:  after spending all of second semester trying to finish Helen Fielding’s Mad About the Boy, I realized she was speaking to me, that my focus on little girl and my inability to keep up with anything else was the answer.
The quote was:  “I just sat there and thought, ‘This will just have to do.  Me.  The kid(s).  Just let the days flow by.’  I didn’t feel sad, really.  I couldn’t remember the feeling of not having to do the next thing.  Not having to squeeze the last second out of the day.  Or find out why the fridge was making that noise.  
And I’d love to say something marvellous came out of it.  But it didn’t, really.  My bum probably got fatter or something.  But I sensed a sort of mental clarity emerging.  A sense that what I needed to do now was find some peace.”
Exactly.  Maybe I was trying too hard to be too many things… Or maybe I wasn’t…Maybe that’s just who I am…mom or not.  So this is me – the new me – squeezing the life out of the last seconds of the day – trying to return to the living, blogging world and the working mom world and the creative-for-a-cause-in-Oakland world and the student world as I try to take classes to make more money at my job and the wife world who makes sugar-free chocolates just because OR, on any given day, I might be the complete contradiction because, well, that seems to be how I’m rolling these days and I might be in my just-saying-no-because-I-have-a-kid world because, ultimately, I may be going back to my hectic ways, but she’s still going to matter most.
So should you be prepared for me to screw up some of it?  Should you expect me to forget to pick up milk or not text you back?  Should you expect fewer blogs than the old Bolton Carley?  Yes – on all fronts.  Should you still expect to laugh at me and with me?  I sure as hell hope so.  And in the meantime, Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who’ve made it through!  You deserve a chocolate bar and a cool mill.  Sorry, I can’t give it to you.  I’m too busy Spray ‘n Washing spit-up!
***
Do you have a piece of advice?  Do you have an epic fail or success due to your children to share?  Do you have something to say about me being dumb enough to still try to overachieve?  Well, let’s hear it.

Bolton’s Brief Rule #141: freak flag waver

freak flagger

freak flagger

 

Hey, if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that we’re all a lot more understanding and nice when we know the score.  So wave it high and boldly.  It’s best if we can see you comin’!

Sucky Monday Re-Mix: You can’t go alone. Can you?

Back 40 Bathrooms!

Back 40 Bathrooms!

Oh, Monday, you’re an evil sort!  Oh, how we hate to see you coming, but rule #1, friends make everything better.  And girls, as you well know, you can’t go to the bathroom alone!  You gotta love it when things are set up for you that way. lol.

So how do you make your Monday better?  Well, they can’t fault you for having to take a little toilet break.  No matter that it might be an hour long or there might be more giggling than peeing.

And if you dare to venture in alone, are you a creature of habit?  Do you use the same one every time?  Or do you check your options and decide based on tissue or toilet cleanliness?  Hey, those are the real ponderings of a Monday morning.

So Happy Monday!  May it be a little unique, a little fun, a little bit funny, and worthy of a texted toilet photo.

l. #202 – it’s that time of year… so scream at the TV or pack your bags but get over it!

the calendar says it's spring

the calendar says it’s spring

So it’s that time of year where the winter doldrums haven’t quite faded even though it’s supposed to be spring. (You hear that, weather gods!!!  S-P-R-I-N-G.  SPRING!  Bring it!)  Here we are in the thick of being tired of winter and in dire need of a vacation (or at the very least a little grilling to avoid a few extra dishes).

I will be the first to admit that I sometimes struggle with depression, especially when I’m past ready for umbrella drinks in the sun!  I always hate this time of year because inevitably this is the time of year where everyone is officially sick of everyone else.  I swear it’s Lord of the Flies out there right now.  It’s every man for himself.  It’s that time of year where we go after other people in our state of anger instead of dealing with our own shit or just being silently jealous.  We roll our eyes at the mother who’s 4 children are stealing candy at Walmart.  We bite someone’s head off if they offer us chocolate because why did they not realize we were on a diet?  We hate on our co-worker because she got roses.  Um, yeah.

This is the time of year where others are rocking back and forth in catatonic states with their childhood teddy bear.  For me, this is the time I start to lay low or remind myself that at least my husband loves me.  I truly think this is a really tough time of year.  I hate when people turn on one another.  And believe me, I know I am guilty of the same.  I catch myself doing it and shame myself into trying to correct the problem.  As they say in AA, the first step is realizing you have a problem.  And when I do, I start fixing my mess.  Here’s how I do it:

*Amazingly enough, I don’t recommend excessive drinking, just so you know.  I do recommend yelling at the TV and cursing your Ohio State-ruined brackets instead.  Better the TV than some person who can hold it against you forever.

*Go outside.  Even if you have to grill in your parka or walk in your Carhaarts.  You gotta do what you gotta do.  There’s vitamins in that there sun even if it’s 30 degrees.

*Make vacation plans or fun-outing dates.  You need something to look forward to.  A baseball game in May, hotel reservations for your cousin’s wedding in June, a girls’ weekend to go shopping at the outlets, or a roadtrip to fish in Minnesota.  Just put something on the calendar that doesn’t involve work or your kids’ practice schedule.

*Check out some new music – fun, let’s-get-to-summer music.  I suggest Rum by the Brothers Osborne.  It’s a good place to start.

*Then, start making the world around you happier.  Make chocolate chip cookies with your kids.  Send a care package to your best friend.  Take flowers to your elderly neighbor.  Go to church with your mother.  I know I say this all the time, but the best way to feel better about yourself is to change someone else’s day.  Nothing makes me feel better when I’m hating the world than the world smiling back at me because I gave ‘em a donut.

 

Listen, I know how easy it is to bitch when the cards are stacked against you, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t bitch.  I’m just saying to be selective with whom you bitch to, and I’m saying that it’s better to be thankful than miserable.  There was a time in my life when I had a hard time remembering that, and I don’t ever want that for me or you again.

So when you get done lamenting, pick up your sad sack of a self and put some goodness (in the form of Reese’s peanut butter cups, Dairy Queen blizzards, Redd’s Ale, or your best crocheted doily) out into the world.

You’ll never regret it.

I never do…

Bolton’s Brief Rule #140: driveways, good men, and chocolate!

good men do

good men do

 

Listen, I know nobody wants to think about snow on the first day of spring, but the 30’s are near again, and I sure do like a man that knows his place…in the driveway and in the grocery store! :)

Sucky Monday Re-Mix: The Luck of the Irish… even on a Monday!

Rainbows and Lollipops!

Rainbows and Lollipops!

Sure, it’s Monday, but it won’t be a boring one!  They never are when green beer, leprechauns, and pots of gold are involved!  May your Monday be full of good times, good laughs, and pinching of the right people! :)

Happy Monday!  Happy St. Patty’s Day!

l. #201: Facebook guilt, Golfing, And Resolves – I ain’t as good as I once was

greeting card guilt

greeting card guilt

Have you ever had that epiphany where you realized you’re not as good as you used to be?  I find it happening to me a lot lately.  There’s lots of things:  golfing, swimming, sending greeting cards, taking care of people…  The list is so long I’m starting to wonder what the Hell I CAN still do well.. Well, besides post on Twitter and Facebook.  Ug.  How embarrassing is that?  Oh, sorry, I didn’t mail you a card or take you up on that round of golf, but no worries, I managed to read everyone’s posts on Facebook this week.  Woo-hoo!  Congratulations, me!

Okay, so if someone was drowning, the swimming would come back to me.  And in the real world as a non-businesswoman, I probably really don’t need to know how to golf that badly.  If anybody asks me to go, they probably really only want me to go for drinking purposes or to suck worse than they do anyway, so oh well.  But the greeting cards issue is where I feel kinda crappy, when did I quit making an effort to get cards sent for special occasions?  Sure, the internet makes it easier to send those well-wishes, but it seems like a lazy man’s way.  Then again, it’s cheaper.  It’s faster, and it doesn’t involve the postal system, so really it’s probably just the smart man’s way, but I still feel guilty.  I used to make that extra effort.  You know what I mean?

I’m sure some people would say that they’ve just gotten too busy for it (and they probably have with kids, longer work hours, etc), but what’s my excuse?  I got married?  Well, okay, he does take up a lot of my time. Lol. I guess it could be because I’m trying to have that whole second career as a writer and photographer thing?  Oh, yeah, maybe.  Is it that I’m just out of practice?  Or honestly, is it just a pure laziness and failure on my part to get the job done?  I’m leaning towards that.  So do I beat myself up for it or do I let it go?  Do you ever have that argument with yourself?  I seem to have it a lot.

cooler

I’d like to say I’m going to rectify the situation ASAP.  Unfortunately, I know myself well enough to know that I’m going to continue to be a sloth because it’s just easier to send a quick email or text.  Should I be giving up Facebook for Lent?  Probably.  Will I?  No (but I’m not Catholic so I get a “get out of jail free” card on that, right?).  Will you be heart-broken I didn’t get the Hallmark sent to ya?  I sure hope not.  I hate disappointing people, but if your dog dies or your mother-in-law comes to stay with you for 2 weeks, I promise to still make the effort to bring you alcoholic beverages.  And that’s the best advice I can give you:  you can’t always go back, but you can at least decide the minimum you can live with and go with it.

So my card stash is bound to get dusty, but the cooler is full and ready.  Let me know when you need it.

***

Anything you’ve quit doing lately?  Anything you struggle to get accomplished that gives you guilt?  Or is there anything you’re proud of not giving up on?  I wanna hear it.  Put it in the comments.


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