Mischief Barely Managed

Well, I did it, folks.

30 days of blogging in the books.

I think this is the third time I’ve attempted NaBloPoMo, if memory serves, and this time definitely felt the most…fun. It was a needed distraction this time, a needed outlet. It was a positive and productive way to channel my idle time spent between schooling my kids and bingeing Netflix and sneaking Halloween candy.

The best and most surprising thing about this month- I was able to create new, original content every. single. day. In years past, I’ve resorted to reblogging old posts of mine or reblogging others’ posts or posting a single, large poop emoji, but this year somehow the words they were a-flowin’. And I’m super proud of some of the pieces I wrote to boot. This one made me giggle in particular.

Another great aspect of doing NaBloMoPo as part of the Cheer Pepper community – I met some rad new bloggers and read interesting, creative and thought-provoking content.

Thank you to Ra, who orchestrated this amazing community.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read and comment on my posts.

Thank you to my husband, who fielded my daily laments of whaaaaaat should I blog about nooooow?! and listened to my mid-writing rants and pretended to care when I read sections out loud to him when I thought I was being particularly crafty and witty.

Thanks to my IRL friends for their support and some fabulous writing ideas!

Thanks to my kids for endless inspiration and interruption.

Perhaps I’ll be back doing this next year, but stick around and read me all year long (sign up to follow my posts right here on WordPress, or check me out on Twitter or Facebook – links in the sidebar); I’m hoping the creative juices I got flowing this month won’t dry up anytime soon.

I’m gonna sign off using Brene Brown’s line because it’s awesome and because I don’t think she’ll mind:

Stay awkward, brave, and kind.


Day 30 – The Last Day

Crafting Words Over the Years

I just remembered, a day late, that yesterday was my blogiversary.

That’s right, folks! I’ve been blogging with WordPress for 9 whole years. Whew, that seems like a lifetime ago now.

I started my first diary when I was 8 years old. It was in one of those Lisa Frank diaries with the scented pages and the metal lock on the side. My first entry was about the trip my family took to drive through the devastation of the Oakland Hills fire. I had never seen anything like this before. I remember seeing ash and debris and a bunch of brick fireplaces where houses should be. Like a budding journalist (or at the very least, a person who enjoys properly documenting everything), I drew pictures of what I saw next to my words. Clearly, it made an impact on me, even if I didn’t completely understand what I was seeing at the time.

Over the years, I continued to keep various diaries, albeit sporadically. I also wrote poetry and songs, and I tried my hand at fiction a few times. No joke- around 4th or 5th grade, my friend and I got together and wrote a full album’s worth of songs about pollution and how bad it was for the earth (spoiler alert- it’s really bad). We even recorded a few that we sang at her house with her family’s fancy equipment. I want to say that we even designed a t-shirt to be sold to help raise money for our cause. We were environmentally conscious and we were going places, you guys.

I kept handwritten diaries through my college and grad school years that were for my eyes only. In looking back through them, I noted that I usually only felt the need to write when I was either angry and frustrated or very, very sad. They made for a very lopsided view of my life, if considered all on their own.

I started my first public blog around 2003, as a way of coping after my cancer surgery. It was with LiveJournal – anyone remember that platform?! I’m pretty sure only my college roommates and a smattering of friends and creepy strangers actually read it, but that wasn’t really the point. While I wanted to get my feet wet writing for an audience that wasn’t an English teacher, the entries were mostly for me. After a year and a half of being independent in college, I was home again and briefly unable to do much at all for myself and I needed an outlet. I needed a way to process what had happened to me, how I felt about it, and how I was gonna deal with it. I made that happen from the comfort of my parents’ ginormous communal desktop computer.

At some point, my LiveJournal career peetered out (I’m guessing college and life got back to being normal and busy) and I didn’t do any online journaling for quite some time.

Fast forward to Fall 2011. I had been out of school for a few years, working as a therapist at my first Big Girl Job. My boyfriend (now husband) had just started his master’s degree while working full time. He was either at work, at class, in the car, or studying, which meant he had zero time to hang out with me. I desperately needed a hobby and didn’t have to think too long or too hard to know what I needed to do.

Fun fact: when I first signed up with WordPress, I named my blog Things My Cat Made Me Say. I suppose I decided that my cat didn’t deserve all that unearned attention. Either that, or the theme was a little too nebulous. Ideally, I wanted an overarching theme for this blog that wasn’t just look-at-me-look-at-me, but still reflected who I was and gave me a sense of direction. At the time, I was living and breathing therapy. I worked two jobs seeing clients, consulting with my colleagues, and working with supervisors. I spent my free time researching weird diagnoses and reading disturbing memoirs of fucked up people. I was in it to win it, and so my blog might as well reflect that.

I searched for the right name, crowdsourcing my Facebook friends and keeping a witty list of Freudian-inspired puns. During one supervision meeting at work, a coworker mentioned the term psychobabble in passing, and I quickly scribbled it down in my notes. That’s it! I thought. It was perfect- psychology themed with just the right amount of crazy.

And I’ve been blogging, more or less, ever since. It’s still, as it will always be, mostly for me. Will it ever lead to a more serious writing gig? We’ll see. For right now, I’m super proud of my growing body of work. I enjoy the community this blog assembles around me and I enjoy using my tiny corner of the internet to express myself, process my feelings, and maybe make people laugh along the way.

Thank you, thank you, to everyone who takes the time to read my posts!


Day 12

The Last Day

You guys, this is the last day.

I did it!

I’m actually genuinely super impressed with myself, because almost every single day this month I was able to generate original content, and some of it was actually kind maybe good-ish.

And, the fact that I was actually able to write about my daily life without too much trouble, means – wait for it – that I actually have a life! Actually!

Before, when I had tiny babies and was largely housebound and unable to string words together to make coherent thoughts, let alone get pants on my ass, I didn’t feel like I had much to say. It was the same shit, different day. Literally. At least now, my kids are growing and changing rapidly and I’m running to catch up and I have some time to myself to collect my thoughts. We’re also able to go to better and more interesting places, have more lively conversations.

In short, life is getting more interesting. And I’m thankful.

I hope, for those of you who stopped to read this thing, that you enjoyed it. I hope it was amusing at the very least, and at the most I hope it made you laugh, made you think, and made you get to know me better and want to be my very best friend. I like warm hugs.

Also, THANK YOU. If I didn’t care about anyone reading my stuff, I’d write in a private diary. So thanks for stopping by; I really appreciate it.

Now I am off to decorate my house for Christmas and then redo everything my kids try to decorate. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. Stay warm. Stay sassy.

Stay psycho.

 


nanopoblano2019

Gratitude Pie

Happy Thanksgiving!

I baked this and will consume it shortly.

Here is my top ten list of things for which I am thankful:

  1. My family: my husband, and all he does to support me without question. The kids, and how freaking adorable and amazing they are. I’m very lucky.
  2. Health. Mine and my family’s.
  3. That we have everything we need. Food, clothes, shelter, clean water.
  4. My friends. They support me emotionally, they don’t judge me, and they make me laugh.
  5. My extended family. I know I am loved, and for that I am grateful.
  6. I have freedom and choice and privilege. I try not to take these for granted.
  7. Creative outlets, like writing and painting and singing. They make me feel alive.
  8. Entertainment (books, TV, movies) that awakens me emotionally and spiritually, and those that release stress by making me laugh.
  9. Opportunities where I can be alone. I like to recharge and explore my relationship with myself.
  10. Yoga. It is my happy place; it is my place of worship, where my body is the temple and I get to say thank you for taking me through this life.

nanopoblano2019

My Little Yeah Man

Some phases you never expect.

I expected that my kid would go through a hitting phase, a running-away-from-me phase, a picky eater phase…you know, the normal stuff.

And I fully expect my kid to, someday in the near future, figure out how fabulous the word “no” is.

But today isn’t that day.

Lately, my kid has been saying “yeah” to everything, and it’s the flippin cutest phase ever.

“Hey Dylan, do you want to go to the park?” (It’s pouring rain outside)

“Yeah.”

“Dudeman, do you want more veggies?”

“Yeah.”

“Do you want to take a dump in Mother Maggie’s shoes?” (Google it.  Better yet- YouTube it.)

“Yeah!”

He also agrees with many statements I make throughout the day.

“Man, you made quite a mess.”   Yeah.

“Boy, you’re cute!”  Yeah!

Sigh.  I love you, buddy.

Some phases you can’t wait for them to be over, but this one, this one I am very thankful for.  Especially since a part of me is bracing for the “no” phase that most likely is yet to come.

And it’s not only that my kid is particularly agreeable most of the time.  He’s also friggin’ polite and I have no idea where it came from.  Seriously, we’ve taught him here and there to either say or sign “please” and “thank you” (he’ll only sign “please” and he’ll do a combo of signing “thank you” and/or saying “da-gu!” *melt my heart*), but he spontaneously says da-gu, like, all the time. And when he asks for something and we hesitate to say yes for whatever reason, he’ll often follow up with an adorably placed “please” sign and an expectant smile.  We’re in big trouble.

One time, he thanked me for changing his diaper.  I cried.  It’s so charming that it’s scary.  He could ask for a flame thrower, sign please and say da-gu and I’d hand one right over without a second thought.  Sure, my love.  Whatever you want!

So forgive me for gushing about my baby.  He’s not perfect, and I know phases are temporary, which is partly why I think I am drawn to blog about this particular phase.  I want to remember this one.  I want to remember how, for a few months (maybe longer??? please??), my kid acted like a charming angel some of the time.

Da-gu for this phase, little man.

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Birthday Blog

I’ve made it a tradition to blog on my birthday.

Birthdays make me even more introspective than usual, and I often feel compelled to write around this time of year.  This year is no exception, except…I don’t know what to write about exactly.

(and now I sit here watching the cursor blink for about 5 minutes, give or take)

I just got a massage (another birthday tradition of mine) and now I am sitting in a Starbucks (Tradition #3) feeling my caffeinated blood ooze past my loopy muscles and greased-up skin.  I suspect my brain has been turned to mush as a result.

During my massage, I desperately tried to stay in the moment and focus on how my body felt.  Part of this is because I want to get my money’s worth.  To me, massages are expensive and I usually only get them once a year.  But I also just want to be able to quiet my mind and get my body to freaking relax, or more accurately,  to allow my body to surrender to the relaxation that is happening to it.

Because I spend most of my time with a screaming, whining, giggling toddler, my adult mind is often off in left field having some imaginary conversation with an adult – any adult – I wish were there with me.  It’s hard to stay in the present, and I feel disappointed in myself that I often seem to be wishing away the present and fantasizing about being somewhere else, some time else.  Because I feel bad about this, I try very hard to highlight the times when I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else – when I want to be right here, right now.

One example of me wanting to be here now pops up from my past life as a therapist.  I was with a client I had seen longer than any other and to whom I felt particularly dedicated.  She was chronically depressed and wouldn’t admit to having many strengths.  In my office, this client picked up a broken kids’ toy – I think it was trying to be a toy ukulele or something, but it was missing strings – and she made music with it.  It was incredible.  I remember thinking to myself, This is why I do therapy.  This, right here.

Another example from the recent past: my kid is just starting to say Mama and Dada in context and with meaning.  Oh man, how amazingly wonderful it is to hear my boy call out my name.  Recently, we’ve been playing this game where I ask Dylan what my name is.  It goes like this:

Me:  Hey Dylan, can you say Mama?

D:  …Ma-ma!

Me:  Yay!  Now what’s my name?

D:  DADA!! (we both laugh)

Me:  Noooo, Daddy’s at work!….Can you say Mama?

D:  Mama!

Me:  What’s my name?

D:  DADA!!

We collapse in giggles, and I savor the moment.  I don’t want to be anywhere else.

So, mindfulness.  I had to reel my mind back in several times during today’s massage, and I did my very best to enjoy the time, to enjoy the feeling, and to enjoy my body.

That’s the other thing, is that during the massage I found myself thinking about how in awe of my body I am.  The last time I got a massage, I was about 8 months pregnant with Dylan.  I was hot and sweaty and swollen and in pain and huge.  A lot has changed since then.  My body has morphed.  Transformed.  Been made new.  And so I found myself saying thank you to my body through the massage, as the therapist moved her hands over my body that felt like waves gently lapping on my fleshy shores.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

My mind wandered again—>  The first time I ever got a massage was after my cancer surgery.  My roommate heard me complain (a lot) about how sore and broken I felt, and she got my friends together and they all gave me a gift certificate for one.  I want to make a joke and say that she got it for me just so she wouldn’t have to hear me bitch about it anymore, but she just wanted me to feel better and I think she knew I’d never go and get one for myself.  Another thank you is in order.

So, on the anniversary of my body becoming my own, here’s to loving my body and thanking it for the places it’s taken me and all it’s given to me.

And here’s to celebrating the here-and-nows that make the time in between well worth it.

 

My descent into oblivion

I swear, you guys, I’m totally sober right now.

At least I think I am…I’ll let you know once the room stops spinning with joy…or is that nausea?  Hard to tell sometimes.

Ok, so this is my official hangover-Freshly Pressed post, only there’s no wolfpack, it’s just me.

Thank you to the Freshly Pressed Gods and thanks to everyone who clicked and read and commented and followed.

Welcome new readers!!  From time to time I’ll refer to y’all as Psychos or Babblers or Hey, You!  Just know that I say it all with love.  And cheese.  Also know that I hope I won’t disappoint you for a good few months or so.  No promises, really.

—-

I was warned before this all happened- that being Freshly Pressed was gonna be a whirlwind of comments that may be exciting and ego-boosting but also may or may not be annoying.

Allow me to describe my hero’s journey through the land that has been pressed ever-so-freshly, kinda like the Shire after the orcs are done trampling through.

Now I know how Johnny Cash felt.

Now I know how Johnny Cash felt.

Before being Freshly Pressed, it’s this innocent and hopeful time.  I’m just focusing on the music, you guys, and I am doing this for the fans.  You know, whatever flows, I just let it be what it was created to be.  Sure, I’m just scraping by and hoping for the best, but I just wanna stay true to my craft.

And then came the email, like a record label hearing my jam for the first time and telling me that I had something.  This is my big break!  Am I good enough?  Will my indie fans accuse me of selling out?  Will I get hoards of screaming fans to rival those of The Biebs?  Let’s just ride the wave and see where it takes me…

And then, it happens. The Big Break.  The freaking Ed Sullivan Show.  It feels sublime, like my first taste of black tar.  I’ve been jonesing for this…..and I deserve this, but I’m still humbled by this…..and I knew the band was always gonna make it, you guys, and FUCKYEAH, let’s get shitfaced and trash a hotel room after I’m finished ear-humping you sweaty masses with my sonic genius!!!!!

The next day, the buzz is starting to wear off, so let’s invite some new groupies back in, slip me another jeffrey, and put on some Johnny Mathis (he always gets me pumped up).  This ain’t over yet, babe!

Day 3.  My eyes are bloodshot and I’m sleep deprived.  What city are we in?  Wait, I still have to do normal things like clean the toilet and make dinner?  Fuck that, my new blogging friends fans will keep me full of validation and wrapped in comment notifications undying love and adoration.  Keep on rockin in the free world!

Day 4.  Starting to get the shakes.  My cat can answer my dwindling fan mail while I am busy praying to the porcelain gods.

Day 5.  Hello?  Anyone there? Will someone please make the walls stop spinning?!

And now, after a few refreshing weeks at Betty Ford, I’m getting calls from Dancing with the Stars.

When you’re at rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.

I. Have. Arrived.

Holy shitsnacks and crapnuggets, you guys!!

I HAVE BEEN FRESHLY PRESSED!!!

Incredulous with joy!Notice I had to black out the porn sites I was visiting.

Incredulous with joy!
Notice I had to black out the porn sites I was visiting.

I am surfacing briefly from the orgy of likes, page views, comments, and follows that is currently blowing up on my phone and browser…and let me tell you, this shit is satisfying.

I feel validated beyond any ego-stroking therapy session, so thank you to everyone who stroked my furry walls!

I got The Email on Wednesday and was then left to alternate between manically refreshing WordPress.com and stuffing chocolate in my mouth while pacing my hallway in anticipation for about a day and a half.

As soon as I read the email, I immediately felt this rush of excitement and pure joy…which quickly melted away into intense, crippling anxiety.  Holy frick!  People are actually going to read the word vomit that I splash onto my very small corner of the internets.  I quickly went back to reread the post I had written to ascertain just how humiliated I should plan to be.  Did my post contain any typos?  Was it funny?  Was I going to get any snotty comments?  As I read, I remembered that I had written this post all in one sitting while I was still suffering from the tail end of a 3 day long migraine (what possessed me to do that, I have no idea.  On second thought, maybe it was the meth).  I also realized that I was actually proud of this particular migraine-stupor-induced post.  Feeling oddly content and allowing some of the excitement to return, I sat back and awaited the orgy that I woke up to this morning.

Funny, I started this blog not considering myself a writer; I was just a therapist with an anal Freudian complex who wanted to dick around on the internet and see what happened.  And now…I guess I’m kinda a writer.  And that feels kindof awesome.

So far today, I have gotten more than 4 times the page views I got on my previously best day of blogging, which is also probably 10 times the views I get on an average day…and counting.

I hope I have plenty of lube.

A Blogyear Timesuck

As of today, I have been blogging for a whole year.  365 days. Twelve months.  A dozen menstrual cycles, phases of the moon, psychotic breaks with reality.  Ok, so there were actually a baker’s dozen psychotic episodes…mmm, baked goods…

This blogyear has probably been one of the best years of my life, and I owe it all to blogging.  Didn’t you know that typing meaningless stories and feelings and bodily fluids bring great things?  I think Oprah said that one time.

I’d like to recap all the amazing things that have happened and were made legitimate by the fact that I wrote about them and then broadcasted them for hoards of perfect strangers to like and comment on:

Brian earned his master’s degree and I ceased to be the suffering partner of a grad student!

I turned 29 for the first time!

I blogged publicly about having cancer that one time, and I celebrated being cancer-free for 9 fucktastic years!  Plus, I get all the joke-rights to having only one ladyball.  Half the ball, twice the crazy.

I learned how to shoot a gun and no one got hurt except Ben Affleck’s left ear.

I passed two (count em: one and two) Marriage and Family Therapist licensing exams after having studied for them procrastinated by reading other people’s blogs.  Surprisingly, some very important people in the state of California think I can actually help people.  My goal is to prove them right.

I hadn’t even taken a deep breath or a post-licensing-exam-nap before I GOT ENGAGED THIS YEAR to the boyman of my dreams!!!

As if I hadn’t had enough joy this year, I also got a promotion at work managing our therapy department.  So many amazing changes, that I summoned the Trololo Guy to help me celebrate.

In July, Brian and I took an awesome Pre-weddingmoon trip to Puerto Rico and returned barely alive.  But that’s ok, because what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger and more equipped to survive The End Times.

For the remainder of the blogyear, I’ve basically been planning a wedding, blogging about planning a wedding, and eating potato chips.

Not a bad year if I do say so myself.

I’ve found two main benefits to blogging during this past year.  One of them is getting to meet and read about so many interesting, eloquent, and funny people out there!  If I have ever liked or commented on your blog, then I include you in the above description.  And if you have ever read, liked, commented, followed, or given me an award on my blog – thank you.  Thank you for trading jokes, thank you for your encouragement, thank you for the community – because that’s what I was looking for when I started this whole thing.

The second benefit is that I’ve been able to discover who I am as a writer and who I might like to become as a writer.  This blog is basically one big experiment and I basically feel like I’ve been winging it this whole time, but when I look back on my posts I am sometimes surprised to find myself thinking that I actually churned out some stuff that I am proud of.  Who knew that I am funny?!  Who knew that I have shit to say that people might actually care about?!  Who knew that I had so much to say about zombies?!

Don’t worry- I’m not even close to being done blogging about zombies.

Here’s to another year that’s simply blogtastic!

My followers are better than your followers

Holy fricknuts!

Today is a day of celebration:  as of today, I now have 100 followers!

So thank you very much, lucky 100th follower!!

*cue confetti, balloons falling from the sky, and rainbow unicorn farts*

And thank you, THANK YOU, to all the other people who have followed me since I started this little ego pumping machine bloggy blog.

To show my eternal gratitude, here’s a picture of me taken just over a year ago being happy about a boat, but pretend that I am actually being happy about my followers.  Cuz I am, except I just didn’t know any better to be happy about that a year ago.  You get it.