Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Out of the Mouths Of Babes

I'm bringing this one back because the baby in this picture is SEVENTEEN years old today. I could say all kinds of stuff about how time flies and what an amazing young man he's growing into. It does and he is, but I've said it all on birthdays past. I'm just going to think about those days...because I can I remember it with PERFECT clarity...and how much I enjoyed that time of our lives. I got to spend every moment of those sweet, succulent baby days with him and for that I am so grateful. There were sleepless nights, sure. Frantic middle of the night trips to the ER. Agonies over the right way to feed, diaper, potty train. But there were also long, lazy morning of play, sunny afternoons romping in the park, rainy days spent reading books and building block towers. I write about it to remember. This piece is not particularly deep or poignant. It's just fun. Like him. Love you Jase.

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

THE SETTING: A trendy tot shop in an upscale suburban mall.

THE PLAYERS: The Real Charlie Brown (Baby #1-right), Pre-Pubescent One (Baby #2-left)

Baby #1: Dude, how long does it take your Mom to pick out a breast pump?

Baby #2: I don't know man. Frankly, I'm baffled by the whole concept. I mean, I don't want to brag, but I can empty a breast in like, 3 minutes. You cannot improve upon perfection my friend.

Baby #1: Okay, Seriously? Enough. You're breastfed. I get it. We all. Get it.

Baby #2: Geez, who pissed in your Enfamil?

Baby #1: Sorry Dude, I'm just a little irritable.

Baby #2: You don't say...

Baby #1: It's just that my binky is embedded in my back fat, this diaper has exceeded maximum capacity, and it is definitely past lunch o'clock.

Baby #2: I hear ya. This outfit is making me a little cranky myself.

Baby #1: It's not that bad....

Baby #2: You're just saying that.

Baby #1: That's what friends are for.

Baby #2: Well at least your lunch is right there in the diaper bag. Thanks to the whole "breasts are sexual objects" thing, I have to wait until we get home.

Baby #1: Sucks to be you Dude.

Baby #2: That's what I'm sayin'.

Baby #1: But at least your lunch will be fresh and warm and straight from the source.

Baby #2: Yeah. doesn't taste like ass.

Baby #1: Watch it...

Baby #2: Sorry. I forget you're sensitive about that.

Baby #1: I'm not sensitive. I'm discerning.

Baby #2: Says the kid who snacks on toe jam.

Baby #1: Sucking on my toes satisfies my need for oral gratification, okay? Not all of us have breasts at our beck and call.

Baby #2: Not my issue, man.

Baby #1: ever do that motorboat thing?

Baby #2: No.

Baby #1: C' never even thought about it?

Baby #2: NO.

Baby #1: Seriously? You never thought about just puttin your face right in there and -

Baby #2: I said no, Dude, okay? No? Means NO.

Baby #1: You don't deserve to be breastfed. I would totally do the motorboat thing.

Baby #2: Not unless you wanted to find yourself drinking out of a rubber nipple attached to a bottle with rainbows and teddy b...oh, um, yeah. Sorry.

Baby #1: That really cuts a guy.

Baby #2: I said I'm sorry. do not disrespect the milk makers my friend.

Baby #1: Yeah. I see your point. Say, uh...speaking of milk makers....Two babies walk into a titty bar....

Baby #2: .......HAHAHA! Milking it! That? Is Classic. You crack my ass up Dude. I mean, you really slay me.

Baby #1: Eh, well, I messed up the punchline a little. I hate it when I do that.

Baby #2: Doesn't matter, Dude. Titty jokes are always funny. I think I pissed myself. For real, I mean.

Baby #1: You and me both bro. I'm practically floating away over here. But at least I can use my diaper as a life preserver.

Baby #2: No doubt. What's in these things anyway?

Baby #1: I don't know. Some kind of super absorbent petrochemical crap. We'll probably be sterile someday.

Baby #2: Do NOT even joke about that.

Baby #1: Sorry. Hey, here come the Moms. Act Natural.

Baby #2: Goo goo. Ga ga.

Baby #1: (Fills diaper explosively)


Sunday, April 15, 2012


On Thursday, I attended a 3 day leadership conference for Weight Watchers. I don't mind divulging that I was scared out of my mind.

See, I'm a comfort zone kind of gal. Which is to say, I really prefer to stay in it. I like things familiar, comfortable, routine. But during the course of my...hmm. What word describes the changes I've experienced both body and soul over the last couple of years? Awakening? Rebirth? Transformation? Evolution??? Hell, I don't know. But I do know I'm not the same person who walked into that first Weight Watchers meeting on September 1, 2009.

Because the person I am today takes risks. She puts herself out there. She's willing to make mistakes.

I know it sounds like I'm saying that because I'm now thin, I'm happier and more confident. Which is true. But not because of the weight alone. It's is nice to be thin. I can't lie about that. But what's nicer and infinitely more powerful, is knowing that I can change if I want to. I've said it before, but I don't think people can really understand until they experience it; losing weight changed more than my body. It changed my entire perspective. Because I realized if I could lose weight, I could do anything.

I could become a Zumba Instructor. I could become a Weight Watchers Leader.

So that's what I did.

And it wasn't that I wasn't afraid. I was...I am...terrified. But fear, I've realized, is a tool. I like being able to say to myself, "You can get through this." and I like really believing it. And I like knowing that when I do get through it, my life will be different and better. Fear presents me with the opportunity to say...I can DO this. And then DO it. It sounds kind of simplistic, but for someone who has let fear - of mistakes, of mediocrity, of failure, of ridicule - rule her for years, it's a very, very powerful realization.

I keep using that word; powerful. But discovering my power has been a long time coming. And it's a feeling that I like. It's a little addictive, truth be told. I understand how people become mad with power. I don't think I'll ever become a despot or a dictator. But overachiever has disinct possibilities. Unless you've known me my whole life, you have no idea how delicious that irony is.

So I arrived at the hotel scared but excited. I had no idea what to expect. I knew it would change me in ways I could not anticipate. But I could never have predicted what an amazing, empowering, enlightening and awe inspiring experience it was going to be. I gained an incredible amount of knowledge, insight and information. I met people who had journeyed much farther than I had; geographically, physically and emotionally. Absolutely amazing people who understood how wonderful and surreal it was to discover a leader in themselves.

You know how it is, when a group of people who might never have met otherwise, gather for a shared experience? Cliques and alliances form. People are drawn to each other, repelled by others. Like tends to gravitate to like. And there's always that one person who is so abrasive and obnoxious that the other members of the group avoid them and whisper about them behind their back. There's often a self-appointed leader and his or her inevitable acolytes, and there's often an outcast by choice or chance.

The large group becomes nothing more than the sum of smaller groups that have formed. There are those who cling to their group with desperate ferocity and those who only tolerate their group when they have to. And almost always there is an uncercurrent of rivalry and competition.

There was none of that with this group.

Sure there were people with whom I had more in common than others and so, tended to spend more time with. There were people I liked more than others. Not because the others were not likable, but as with any group, there were people in ours that just shone with wit, charm and find these magnetic people everywhere and our little group was no exception. But really and truly, everyone was so kind, friendly and supportive that I was truly bowled over by the spirit of kinship and solidarity.

There was one gal from New Jersey that was very young, and very, very nervous. She shook with anxiety and flushed an alarming shade of scarlet every time she had to face an audience. She knew her nerves were doing her in which made her all the more distressed. She cried more than once, and it pained everyone to see her so overwrought. She was so very sweet and earnest and she wanted so much to help people. The group rallied around her and when she nailed her final presentation it was as if one of our own children had done something remarkable. Those not in her breakout group for final presentation couldn't wait to hear how she had done: "How did Jenna do?" was the question on everyone's lips. We cheered when she re-entered the group holding room, flushed once again, but beaming from ear to ear.

 Here's that word was powerful.

And the things I learned....people...I couldn't possibly describe the wealth of knowledge that I have gained from this experience; knowledge about weight loss science, knowledge about group dynamics and facilitation, knowledge about how to motivate, inspire and support.

People have said to me more than once, "I had no idea so much training went into being a leader."

Believe me when I tell you that there is no other weight loss company out there that puts more effort and thought into turning out competent, caring, knowledgeable leaders to help you on your journey. From my receptionist mentor to my leader mentor to the leader trainers at the conference...everyone has been wholly committed to my success and absolutely amazing in their depth of caring and commitment to us; not just as leaders, but as people.

It's an overused characterization. Every thing these days is powerful and everyone is empowering themselves to be empowered.

But it's appropriateness right here, right now, in my life cannot be overstated.

It was an incredibly powerful experience that changed my life forever. I will never be the same for it.

How awesome is that?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

The other day at Starbuck's, I was waited upon by a devastatingly handsome young man. He was the kind of handsome that would have intimidated me when I was a younger woman. I would have considered him "out of my league". But he was very friendly and unassuming despite his looks. I wondered, briefly, if that was simply his nature or if his parents had gone to great lengths to keep him grounded and humble. If so, I'm guessing it wasn't easy. I'm sure people have fawned over his beauty from the moment he was born.

I got my coffee and sat down next to a girl who had a laptop balanced on one knee and a textbook on the other. A few moments later, the young Adonis came over bearing some kind of coffee confection piled high with whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate. He handed it to the girl with a flourish and then bestowed her with a tender, lingering kiss.

Though I felt a little icky for watching, I was riveted by the sweetness of that kiss. It's the kind of kiss you only experience with young love. It's the kind of kiss that you just can't have after 20 years of marriage, no matter how deep the love or how strong the bond between you and your spouse. That kiss was full of promise and plans, yet to comes and meant to bes.

When they parted, I said, "Ummmm excuse me..."

They both looked at me and blushed; she abashedly, he a bit defiantly.

"I think that if you offer that service to one patron, you have to offer it to all".

He laughed. "Well...I would have been happy to oblige you not so long ago!"

He said that with the easy humor of someone who is used to flirting. Friendly, playful, but with not a hint of  invitation or encouragement. It's a skill I think beautiful people develop quickly, especially those in public service.

The girl said..."HEY!" and he laughed again. She swatted him on the arm playfully.

Then he explained, "She's my fiancee. I like to take care of my girl when she's improving her mind."

He kissed her again quickly, wished me a good day, and went back to work.

It was then that I took a good look at the girl. Though not unattractive, she was certainly no bombshell. Not exactly plain, but not precisely pretty either. But smart, clearly. Ambitious. And from what I had seen, she had a good sense of humor and an easygoing manner. And she had the good sense not to be jealous or feel threatened by other women flirting with her beautiful boyfriend.

I found myself impressed with the young Adonis for choosing a life partner by some other criteria than looks. Obviously, he could get any woman he wanted. Hell...he could have had me right then and there. (joking hon...) But he chose this not precisely pretty girl and his affection for her was genuine. You can't fake a kiss like that.

I tell my boys all the time that looks aren't everything. That someday looks will fade and that maybe they will find that outer beauty was masking an inner ugliness. I tell them to choose someone who is smart, funny, loyal...because those are the kind of girls that become devoted wives and amazing mothers. Those are the kind of girls a guy can grow old with.

Do they listen? I don't know. I understand the allure of a pretty face and a cute little caboose. We can all appreciate the beauty nature is capable of bestowing upon select members of our species. I just want them to remember that outer beauty is fleeting, but inner beauty, integrity and character are what will get them through the good times, the bad times and all the times in between. And unlike outer beauty, it does not grow old. In fact, it gets stronger and richer and deeper with time.

Crossing my fingers for a homely girl? Not exactly. But I'm not wishing and hoping for a beauty queen either.

Average is just fine with me.

I know..rotsa ruck.