Archive of ‘Me’ category

My Dog Licked My Toast

It started first thing this morning.
I woke up, showered, and made myself a piece of toast. It was Ezekial bread, to be exact. You know, that ridiculously expensive bread that is supposed to be better for me so I pay the 6 bucks a loaf even though it’s probably the same as just buying Pepperidge Farms? That toast.
I set my toast on my nightstand when I leaned over to pull my wet hair out of my towel, only to discover my dog Walter was licking my toast. Now, Walter doesn’t have very many teeth so brushing them is an impossibility. For that reason, his breath is unusually horrendous. This single piece of toast was probably work about $0.50 and my dog was ruining it with his dead-fish breath.

I made it to work on time, though I was starving. I started a new workout routine last night and so I knew I needed to eat. Instead of going and getting myself something nice to eat, there was leftover caramel-covered popcorn in the office and I decided to eat a handful of that.

It’s pretty similar to a slice of Ezekial bread, right?

As the day wore on I spilled coffee on my white shorts (who wears white shorts?!), I overbooked myself and forgot to eat lunch, picked up lunch for a few of us in the office and then ate it so fast that I gave myself heartburn, and by about 2pm my body had the shakes and the chills.

“You look tired,” one co-worker said. I wasn’t tired. I slept great last night. And I really wanted to make it to my gym class since I JUST FREAKING STARTED THIS NEW ROUTINE.

I took an ibuprofen and a sudafed, drank a bunch of water, and charged ahead full-speed.

Until an hour later.

My husband called me to let me know he was on his way home from out of town. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
“I don’t feel good.”
“Oh. Are you a

t home?”
“No, I’m at the office,” I said.
“Go home, then. Right?”

I spent a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to feel well enough to get to the gym because I said that I would. I fought through my work because I made promises I needed to keep. I still had to get to the post office to mail a book and get a check to the pest control company. Oh and Open House at school is tonight…

Go home, Erin.

It’s my biggest flaw. I make plans and then hold myself to them with such fervor that it rarely occurs to me…I don’t have to.
I don’t have to go to the gym.
I don’t have to finish my work or go to the post office or (gasp) go to Open House.
I don’t have to do anything.
I can just go home, drink Emergen-C, have soup, and then go to sleep if that’s what my body needs. The worl

d will still turn, the post office will re-open, and my child will still get into college.

I’m writing this because I want to make sure no one else misses the opportunity to go home. As much as it feels like you cannot simply go home, you can. Everyone else, everything else can wait until you’ve taken care of yourself. I know, I know. I didn’t think it could all wait, either. I’m telling you. It totally can! It turns out that most of the population does, in fact, continue thriving without you being present!

Now, will my son’s new teacher think I’m a slacker for not coming to Open House?
Maybe!
Will it be even harder getting back into my gym routine now?
Possibly!
Will the person waiting on me to send them the book be really, really, really mad I didn’t send it today?
TOTALLY COULD HAPPEN!

Also, though, despite all those maybes, I’m a human being who gets to decide when and who she takes care of first. It would be fantastic if someone was standing next to me all the time saying things like, “Erin! Time to eat. Erin! Let’s have a rest. Erin! Sleep in today!” Alas, as it turns out, that someone has to be me.

You’re totally allowed to show up for yourself first. You’re allowed to say no. You’re allowed to let other people down. You’re even allowed to make them mad. But you must take care of yourself first. Starting now. Promise?

I’m now going to take a bunch of cold medicine with a giant jug of water, snuggle into bed with my dogs, and wake up to see how I feel in the morning. (Heck. Maybe I’ll sleep in.)

Showing Up

I spent 5 days in Las Vegas last week, breaking my own “no more than three days in Vegas” rule. I made that rule in my 20s, and now in my 30s, it’s a lot harder to get into trouble, so five days was totally doable.
When Bear and I grabbed a taxi from the airport to the hotel, my first question to our very cool cab driver was, “How’s Vegas? Where were you when it happened?”
He told me the story of being only a block away from Mandalay Bay that night, wondering what kind of sound he was hearing. He said it was too much, too fast to be gun shots. And when he realized it was, in fact, gun shots, he didn’t know what to do but get in his cab and drive around.
Eventually, he drove close enough to the chaos that he was able to use his cab to shuttle people away from the scene of the crime as Las Vegas went on lockdown. Instead of driving away from it all, he drove right into the mess and tried to help clean it up. He said the city was quiet, eerie, strange for a few days after that. But once the smoke cleared, he remarked on how resilient the city is. “We don’t back down. Vegas is our life and we weren’t going to sit down and wait for it to be safe again. We went back to work.”

If there’s one thing that my divorce and second marriage (creating a blended family) has taught me, it’s that you can’t run away if you want to grow. This past week, I ironically encountered a lot of people running away from discomfort. People saying their feelings were hurt, that they didn’t feel safe, they were offended…they ran in the other direction instead of running towards the discomfort like our taxi cab driver in Vegas did. And I realized that the brave ones are the ones who actually show up to sit in all the muck and messy life that is friendship and relationships and parenthood. They sit down and stay there until some of it gets cleaned up, and at least some of the rest of it gets acknowledged. It’s never a perfect story and it rarely ends in a crisp, clean happy ending. But showing up to the mess is probably the only way I’ve ever found to avoid running into that same mess again somewhere else. Cleaning it up feels like death, until it’s over and you realized you survived. Then it feels like victory.

Showing up sometimes looks like knowing when to say when. Sometimes it’s a white flag. Sometimes it’s a physical fight. Sometimes it’s a loud voice and curse words. Sometimes it’s . taxi cab driving towards gunshots in Vegas. There’s no formula, no single one way to show up in the face of discomfort. Not everyone is a hero and not everyone knows how to apologize, which is why we all get the opportunity over and over and over again to show up and learn all the different ways to run towards the chaos. Because the chaos gets a little less chaotic each time you do it. Sitting in the mess feels less…messy after a while.

I thought about it for hours after our cab ride: Would I drive my cab TOWARDS the gun shots? The answer, still, is a resounding no. Maybe in a year or two I’d be brave enough to consider it (if he even considered it before he did it). I tip my hat to Vegas (I don’t wear hats but you know what I mean) for being a city that ran towards the chaos and then went back to work. The metaphor in all that tragedy wasn’t lost on me.

 

Things That Bother Me

I let my son watch TV.
He watches TV, he has an iPad, he hears bad words, and his parents are divorced. So if you’re already on your tippy toes ready to tell me about how he’s gonna be pregnant by the time he’s 16, stand down. This is how we’re doing life and Imma let you do yours without my judgement, ok?
But here’s where I judge…
Commercials.
They bother me.
My son sees television commercials and he immediately pauses the TV and comes to give me a recreation of the commercial, complete with pros, cons, and comparisons to similar, inferior/superior products. Because he mostly watches Disney and Nick Jr., a majority of these recreations involve toys. And today…I just about told him that I was shutting down all the electronics in the house and never driving past another billboard again because advertising is soul-poison.

66cc7254-8bf4-415a-a81a-389c95ce5874

This. My son told me about this. It is a corset mom or dad puts on so that their children can RIDE them. LIKE HORSES.

I’m going to curse now so stop reading if that offends you or gets your children pregnant at 16.

YOU FUCKING CREATED AND ARE SELLING A SADDLE FOR PARENTS TO WEAR?
And for the low-low price of $24.99, I can walk on my hands and knees with my 45 pound 6-year-old on my back (because I’m assuming my 12-year-old agrees that this is utterly ridiculous) since he put a SADDLE on me. LIKE AN ANIMAL. You realize that this is the perfect physically manifested metaphor for our lives as parents, right? “Here, mommy! Put this on so that I can CRUSH YOU. Just so I can have fun!” We’re already wrestling with our parenting on a daily basis between “don’t watch TV” and “don’t get vaccines” and “only eat organic” and “take showers everyday…” Now we have to literally let our child ride on top of us. Whatever happened to the pony CHAIR or the pony BENCH or the pony JUST FUCKING PRETEND THE PILLOW IS A PONY?!?!
Because of your commercial, with a bunch of people I can only assume are acting their asses off for a paycheck or have never been asked to slowly break their bodies in half by giving “pony rides”, my son thinks your product is a good idea and it is now my job to explain to him why everything on TV is bullshit.
This bothers me.

Like Glennon Doyle Melton.

She bothers me.
I watched her book (Love Warrior) come out and I watched Brene Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert and Oprah and all my favorite women sing her praises and freak out about how amazing she is and I just got more and more pissed off.
Why?

It took me until yesterday, shortly after my son re-created a commercial about “a new kind of playdough that never dries out” (to which I reminded him that I freaking MADE him 6 bags of homemade, colorful, organic playdough that he NEVER PLAYS WITH) to realize why I dislike her so much and don’t want to read her new book…

Because she’s me.

She’s doing and being and EXPERIENCING the life that I set out to live, and when life hit me in the face, I stopped…and she didn’t.
She wrote the blog honestly. She wrote the book openly. She told the truth heroically. She’s still telling it.
And I stopped.
She bothers me because she’s a reminder that I’m not what I thought I’d be at 35, and she’s what I want to be at 40. And that’s only 5 years away.
She bothers me because I feel like I missed the boat. Like I’m unqualified. Like now what I wanted to do has already been done and so I’m going to have to keep writing and working for other people.
She bothers me because she’s me. Little and cute and well-spoken and honest…only she’s on Super Soul Sunday. And littler. And cuter. And honester. And more well-spoken.

I stopped.

I don’t want to stop anymore. I don’t want to think about my books, both written and unwritten, as a “someday” thing. I want them to be a now thing.
I don’t know how to do that.
I don’t know what to do first.
But I know that the signs and people won’t appear on my path unless I start admitting what I want.

Glennon,
I only just started your book, but thank you and I’m sorry. Thank you for reminding me that I can do this. And I’m sorry for letting my own insecurities get in the way of my accepting of you, my fellow woman doing her thang.
Love,
Erin

Nobody can judge me, bother me, or break me better than ME. I’m 35. Maybe it’s time to just go for it so I can’t look back when I’m 45 wishing I’d gone for it.
Good lord it’s terrifying.

 

My Kingdom for a Spy Cam (A Leg Update)

Today was my 6-week follow up on my most recent leg surgery. If you don’t know that story, here’s the summary:
Had to switch doctors due to insurance from Dr. Fabulous to Dr. Busy.
Dr. Busy said I needed to have my entire femur reconstructed.
Dr. Fabulous’s second opinion was that I only needed the screw in my knee removed to encourage my femur bone to fuse back together.
Dr. Busy disagreed and was kind of a turd about the whole thing, making me get a bunch of tests before he would take the screw out of my knee.
Dr. Busy took the screw out of my knee.

So today was the real test…did my femur bone make growth progress? Was it possible that Dr. Busy was right and I needed the whole, big, awful reconstruction surgery?

I arrived way early and got right in for an x-ray. It was the usual, “Are you wearing metal? Any chance of pregnancy? Do you like my scrubs? Wait in the hall.”

I tried to sneak a look at my x-ray on his little screen in the x-ray room before I went to the hall, but I couldn’t see it.

“Salem?”

I was called into another room where I sat with an assistant who asked me questions about how many drugs I’m taking and if I want physical therapy. (I’m telling you, this entire office is just FULL of people who do their homework…) I asked if she could bring my x-ray up on the screen and she said it wasn’t working for her. I’d have to wait for Dr. Busy’s assistant, Assistant Guy, who was on his way in that very moment. We like Assistant Guy. He treats me like a person.

Assistant Guy walked in 12 seconds later and greeted me like the nice guy he is. I was coming out of my skin, so anxious to see if there was growth or not and at this point I felt like climbing over him and pulling up the x-rays myself. I’m pretty tech savvy. I could do it.
“Let’s go into the other office. I’ll pull up the x-rays there. It’s not working the way I want it to on this screen,” Assistant Guy told me.
Ugh.
He walked me down the hallway to a big office shared by lots of other assistant guys. All the computers were taken. “Well, let’s try another office…”
UGHUGH.
We walked all the way to the end of the hallway, which felt like it was a 1/4 mile long, into another assistant guy office. He finally clicked around enough times that he got my x-rays up on the screen. In my anxiety-ridden state, I couldn’t figure out if there was growth or not. It looked the same. It didn’t grow.
“I can’t tell…did it grow?”
“Oh, um…” he paused as if he KNEW I was dying inside. “Yeah. I mean, look.”
He showed me the x-ray from one month ago and the x-ray today. Growth? Yeah. I’d say so.

1 month ago

1 month ago

Today

Today

 

 

 

 

My bone is filling in and growing all around the rod in a golf ball shape. I literally jumped up and down. “IT’S GROWING!!!” I held my hands clasped together at my heart, looking on at my new little baby femur bone.

“How’s it going?” I heard a voice behind me. I turned around and there he was: Dr. Busy in a pretentious suit and tie with an apathetic look on his face. (Ok, now I’m just being mean…But seriously, the suit was shiny…)
“Oh! Hi!” I hadn’t seen him in 6 weeks. “It’s growing!”
“It is?” he asked Assistant Guy.
“Yeah, ” Assistant Guy pulled my comparison shots back up. “See this is a month ago, and then this is now.”
“Well,” Dr. Busy said, “I do see a little bit of growth.”
“Take a look at my first x-ray. The one from before the surgery,” I prompted him. I wanted him to remember what it used to look like.
He stared at the screen. “Huh.” He was a little dumbstruck.
“Great, huh?” I asked.
“Well…well, son of a gun.”

I’m not kidding. He literally stared at the screen with surprise and, in a moment of more emotion than I knew was possible for him, he uttered, “Well, son of a gun.” OH MY KINGDOM FOR A SPY CAM. I wish you all could have seen that moment. It was beautiful. BEAUTIFUL.

As I walked back to the little room with Assistant Guy, Dr. Busy muttered, “Well, that was the easiest surgery ever, I guess…”
And I wanted to shout, “YEAH AND HOW ABOUT ‘TAKE THE METAL ROD OUT AND COMPLETELY REPLACE IT IS THE ONLY OPTION’, HUH, DOC?”

Look, I’m not an “I told you so” kind of person on the regular, but this is a special circumstance. I listened to my gut, I got a second opinion, I did my research, and it saved me a $30,000 surgery and another 6 months of recovery. It’s one of the first times in my adult life that I listened to my own gut and simultaneously did my research. And it worked. AND I TOLD YA SO.

Once we settled back in to the little room, I asked Assistant Guy if I was in the clear. “Pretty much,” he said. “It’s fusing at a great rate and I figure in 2 months I’ll see it’s completely connected.”
“Can I exercise regularly again?”
“I wouldn’t run unless it’s on a treadmill,” he said.
“I wouldn’t run unless someone was chasing me, so it’s all good.”
“Perfect. I’ll see you in 2 months,” and he walked out.

IMG_0918I practically skipped out of the office and before I even got to my CAR I called Dr. Fabulous’s office and told his assistant the good news. She was thrilled and couldn’t wait to tell Doc Fab that his advice served me well. I’m healing. I’m whole.

And I treated myself to a hot coffee and a terrible donut when I got home.

 

 

I’ve Got a Secret

Dear Women,

I have a secret I’ve learned this past year.
I’m going to tell you the secret now.
It’s kind of changed my life.
You might already know the secret, but indulge me since I just learned it.
Your boyfriend/husband/partner isn’t in charge of making you happy.
Ever.
At all.
Right but he/she DOES make me happy!
Well then that’s just an added bonus my friend.

d1a5a591bed6e2e0ea4778ddaeb38206I listened to one of Pastor Furtick’s podcasts the other day and he announced, “Newsflash! Your joy is your job.” I think that perfectly and succinctly sums up what I’ve been learning. I can rely on everyone around me to make me happy, but OH will I be disappointed. Someone else might be able to make me happy for a little while in that, you know, romantic period. But then after a while I will once again feel disappointed by the person who is supposed to be making me happy.
BECAUSE IT’S NOT THEIR JOB TO MAKE ME HAPPY!
In my recent blog, I told you I heard the phrase, “Like what you like.” It is important, but SO much more important when you are in a relationship. How quickly do you give up the things you like because the other person you’re dating likes something else and so you try to like that thing too? IT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT MAKING YOU HAPPY! You quit doing all the things you like, the other person didn’t, and now you’re trying to figure out why in the world he/she isn’t making you feel happy anymore. IT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT MAKING YOU HAPPY! That’s why it’s SO damn important to know how to make YOU happy before you can build/continue to build a life with someone else.
I happen to be in a relationship with someone who sees this flaw of forgetting to like what I like within me and he reminds me (thank you, Bear). He reminds me by continuing to like what he likes and also sometimes skooching me towards the things he knows I like but am not doing. He knows I’m not here to MAKE him happy. And now I know he is not here to MAKE me happy. There is an energy between us with a momentum we both love. We love each other for exactly who we are. We’ve seen each other at our UGLIEST, and even in the moments of flaring rage or paralyzing fear or agonizing pain, we choose to love each other. We make sacrifices for each other. We re-orient our lives to benefit each other. We intentionally spend our time helping each other reach goals or stand back up. It’s not exactly “work”, but it does require attention and INtention.

Rob Bell wrote, “Your marriage is only as healthy as the least healthy person in it.” You cannot be a whole, healthy person if you’re waiting for someone else to do something for you. Here’s a perfect, real-life example: If I ask Bear to take the garbage out, I mean I want him to take it out RIGHT NOW. He says he will, and 3 hours later it still isn’t done. I have two choices: be disappointed that Bear failed to MAKE me happy by taking the garbage out OR decide that my happiness doesn’t hinge on whether or not he takes the garbage out. My happiness, in this instant, hinges on the garbage going out so the cans aren’t overflowing. So I make MYSELF happy and take the garbage out (without some passive aggressive jab or dig at him). I can make the issue what it’s really about: taking out garbage. Because that’s really as deep as it goes.

The next time your happiness hinges on what someone else does or does not do, refocus. What do you like? What can you do to make YOU happy? Rob Bell also said, “It’s those everyday moments when you’re processing life with someone, that’s actually where marriage is.” Replace “marriage” with relationship, union, partnership, friendship and it still rings true. Stop relying on someone else to bring you joy. Take responsibility for yourself. Your joy is YOUR job. So get to work.

Love,
Erin

Like What You Like

like2_sOne of my favorite things about yoga is that you can literally do ANYTHING and still say you did yoga. You can sit in child’s pose for an hour and still say you did it. Your yogi might call downward facing dog into warrior one, but you decide to stay in downward facing dog and just cycle your knees for a while. The point is that yoga is about listening to your body and doing what you feel like doing…as long as you do that, you’re doing it right.

The other morning in yoga, our teacher reminded us to do what felt good in each position. “Do what you like,” she said. And then she added, “And like what you like.”

I immediately started thinking about all the times I didn’t do what I liked because I felt like someone else might not like it, maybe what I like is selfish, or what I like isn’t good for me. I make a lot of excuses for not doing what I like to do. But I think here in this past year that is starting to change.

Here’s one: I love to get my hair done. I love getting it cut, colored, conditioned, blown out, anything. Hair has always been my favorite way to “decorate” my body. My hair is like a barometer for how my life is going. If it’s coifed and clean and recently trimmed, I’m paying attention to myself keeping myself on the list. If it’s dull and in a pony tail, I’m probably not taking care of me in any area of life. But for whatever reason, I’m embarrassed to admit that paying attention to my hair is something I LIKE to do.
I also like Chex Mix cereal, going to Walmart or Target (whichever is closer), and using coupons to go out to lunch. I like snugging my dogs ON the bed and I like going to Starbucks to buy a cup of coffee even though I have a coffee pot at home. I like using re-usable grocery bags and I like writing my blog. I like going to yoga every morning. I like organizing and re-organizing everything I own. I like writing in a journal next to a lit candle and I like texting my friends all day long even though it would be easier to just call them. I like really expensive sushi.

What do you like? And do you let yourself like what you like? Obviously these things can’t be hurting your or anyone else in order for them to be appropriate for this little “Like What You Like” catchphrase. But I challenge you to start regularly asking yourself, “What would I like right now? What would I like to eat, to do, to read, to see?” Moms (and dads!) tend to FORGET what they like in favor of whatever everyone else likes. It doesn’t mean you’ll ALWAYS get what you like, but it gets you in the habit of at least paying attention to what you like!

 

I am Not a Life-Coach

b3d1adc8683229e588e088378530cf7fWhat I’m learning in my new life is that, basically, I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to control everyone. (Shocker for those who know me.) If I can keep everyone doing what I would do (you know, because I’m God), then I can control the way my life looks and I can PREDICT what will happen next. No surprises = happy.

So today, I read this from author and psychologist Dr. Shefali Tsbaray: “Do you see me or do you see what needs to be fixed?”

I am really only just learning how to allow everyone in my life to be exactly who they are. No more are the long conversations about how I can help them IMPROVE or CHANGE or DO BETTER. Because I’ve always been an advice-giver. I’ve always been the “life-coach” to those closest to me. Just ask any of my friends. I have exhausted myself on more than one occasion trying to help other people to control and live their lives “just like me.” But in doing so, I haven’t SEEN them. I’ve only seen what needs to be FIXED.

My partner and my son are the two best ways for me to practice letting everyone be who they are:
My son is loud. Louder than me even. He is non-stop energy, constantly pushing buttons, very excited about EVERYTHING until he’s not and then the world as we know it eeeeeeeeeeeeends. He doesn’t think like me. He doesn’t enjoy snuggling or sitting in my lap. He doesn’t do any of the stuff I DREAMED my child would do. He is a whole, separate person from the one I dreamed up. He is my ultimate challenge in accepting EXACTLY who he is everyday and guiding him to be the best version of him without controlling his every move. And every time I try to get him to be more like me, he gets less like me. A LOT less.

Bear is spontaneous, fast-thinking, joy-seeking, and UBER loving. I am planned, deliberate in my thinking, joy-but-order-seeking, and loving when I’m loved first. There has not been a DAY of our relationship where he asked me to be something different. He never says, “Hey, stop vacuuming and come watch football with me.” He just pauses the game and lifts his feet. His ability to accept everything about me, including the stuff that is SO very different from who he is, is inspiring. And I’m working on being more like him in that way. I heard Pastor Steven Furtick from Elevation Church say the other day, “Stop looking for the one. BE the one.” And so instead of looking for Bear to be anything other than what he is, I am learning to BE the things he needs. (And mostly ALL he needs is for me to be who I am and let him be who he is.)

I am not a life-coach. And I never should be. Not even on TV. At least not until I have learned that people get to be exactly who they want to be and I don’t get a say. I get to decide how involved I want to be, but I don’t get to make changes. What would it look like for you if you let the people in your life be EXACTLY who they are, all the time?

 

Four Years – Forgiveness

I wish I could remember which college team he liked best...

I wish I could remember which college team he liked best…

Every year for four years, I dedicate this day of my blog to Noel.

Every time I do, I am sure to remind my readers that he was not my best friend or even someone I knew well after college. When he was taken from us four years ago today, it was a swift and jarring reminder that most everything is easily here…then gone. Life changes in the blink of an eye, and you’re left with what matters.

Year after year, Noel’s death means something different to me. This time last year I was about to get divorced much faster than I hoped. Life was spinning by and happening TO me at a rate I couldn’t even deal with. This year, I’ve watched life turn on it’s head over and over and over again. Some turns I controlled, some I didn’t. Some days I still wake up and wish for the life I thought I had, some days I cry for the beauty of the life I have now. Most days I just wish for a little dose of “normal”.

Today I wonder if Noel wished for normal near the end of his life. I wonder if his wife still dreams of the life she had. I wonder how many other people are still reeling from a twisty whirlwind and the wreckage left behind.

Forgiveness. It’s a word that keeps coming up for me. Holding on to the anger, the pain, the sorrow, the sadness won’t work. All that garbage bleeds over into the other parts of life, making work more stressful, family less together, free-time less enjoyable. There are people in my life who don’t deserve to be forgiven. They don’t deserve that kind of mercy. They WRONGED me. They wronged me HARD. So I hold off on forgiving them.

Until I realize that it’s me who is suffering from failing to forgive. Me and the people I love most.

I don’t have to approve of that they did. I don’t have to forget. I don’t have to reconcile. But I don’t have to let it affect me anymore.

It takes work. Like, ACTIVE work. It takes repeating, “I forgive you” a lot of times in my head when the pain begins to surface and the anger rolls up its sleeves. It means deciding to be at peace, not waiting for someone else to give you permission to be there. Whether it’s a friend, a parent, an ex, even a spouse…forgiving isn’t about them. It’s about resolving the pain within yourself.

Who knows why the forgiveness lesson came up again on Noel’s day, but it did for me. I’m grateful to him for helping me pause and take stock of what I’m doing in my life each year on this day and decide whether or not what I’m doing is working; if I’m happy. I’m grateful he gave me the perspective of life’s short sweetness so that when I do take stock, I do so knowing that I want the amount of life I’m given to be peaceful and crazy happy.

I’m not grateful the world lost such a positive beam of light, someone who could make ANY situation funny. But I am so very grateful for the lessons his departure bestow upon me each year.

 

Bad News…Autumn is REALLY Nice

So, yesterday was insane.
I wrote a story on Tuesday about my Beachbody.com 21 Day Fix experience and how the strength I built exercising is part of what is helping me heal so quickly. Then someone shared that story.
Someone else shared it.
And then…it got back to Autumn.
Who is Autumn?
Autumn is this ripped-abs, cut-shouldered, blue-eyed monster who put out The 21 Day Fix series. She hosts all 21 Days of the DVDs and makes you do things your body doesn’t want to do. I wrote a little about my experience starting The 21 Day Fix on the blog, first when I peed myself and then when I said very mean and volatile things to Autumn while my roommate cheered me on. Because when you say those things to Autumn, you never think it’s going to get back to her. You certainly never thing thousands of people will suddenly begin reading about you peeing yourself. That was sorta just between you and 400 of your closest Facebook friends, right?
So I publish the story, people share it, and it somehow makes its way all the way to Autumn. And then…Autumn reads it. And she shares it. And then she private messages me. And it turns out…Autumn is freaking nice.
Like, really nice.
Screen shot 2014-05-29 at 12.38.59 PM
I have SO INTENSELY enjoyed disliking Autumn because she makes burpees look the way I make eating potato chips look. (Easy.) I have enjoyed being very angry about the perfection that is her abdominal muscles and her use of 450lb dumbells (or somewhere thereabouts) to do tricep kick backs as if she were just casually waving to someone behind her. I have loved every minute of staring at her perfectly taught behind and making up reasons as to why it’s her SHORTS that make her butt look so tall. Let’s not forgot how intensely I have despised her before, during, and after every leg day.
And now, I can’t do any of that anymore. Because she’s freaking nice.
Like, really nice.
Then I got emails. A lot of emails. Women (mostly) wanting to try The 21 Day Fix not because they needed bikini bodies but because they realized it’s about more than that. It’s about having the healthiest body you can because you absolutely NEVER KNOW when tragedy will strike and you’ll need as many muscles and healthy fibers you can get. We can’t see around corners, we can’t predict when or why we will have wished we started today. So I’m answering those emails, I’m riding the wave, I’m following the pull. I never, ever thought I’d be someone who focused on getting people into shape. But I’m suddenly so motivated right now to show people why it’s not about looking good naked. (I know. I hate it, too. I want it to be about looking good naked.)
It’s about being able to get out of bed 4 weeks earlier than expected so that I could take care of my son.
It’s about being able to lift him up without using my legs because of the strength in my arms.
It’s about being able to cook him dinner before I can set my crutches down for limited periods of time long before the doctors said I should be able to.
So, if you want to join me on the journey…
I’m starting a 21 Day Fix “Let’s Not JUST Look Good Naked” Facebook Challenge Group on June 15. Daily motivation, daily ideas, and also, daily updates on my progress (and HOPEFULLY those involved will be motivating/challenging me since I will only be able to do parts of the workout). Email me for deets (Erin.Salem@gmail.com) and purchase The 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack.
If you don’t want in, stay tuned anyway. “Blog” things are about to happen.

Big Brother

Ok, so in all seriousness, I can’t get away from the “Abe’s baby brother or sister” comments and it constantly forces me to rexamine the question. Do we want another one? Do we want to do it all again?

Well, I guess I don’t have much of a choice in the matter because I’m pregnant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just kidding.

Ha! Haha! You should have seen your face.

This was your face.

Anyway, most mothers know before the first one is even born whether or not they want to do it all again; and most of the time it’s “yes”. I’m not sure if they feel like they can’t change their minds because they already told everyone they were having 2 or something. I told everyone I was having 4. I’m not having 4. Not if I can help it. And I can.

This woman I sat next to an on airplane told me I had to have another one because she only had one and her daughter was now 18 and was poorly behaved because she’d been “lonely” her entire life. Of course, it was very difficult for me not to poke her nose, yell, “You’re a bad parent!”, giggle, and then run away like a leprechaun. Mostly because I was in a middle seat.

Another guy told me it’s important to socialize Abraham with siblings so he will learn important lessons about how to interact with other people. I hadn’t yet mentioned to this guy that I’d planned to let Abe meet folks outside of his nuclear family, so that’s probably where he got tripped up.

A lovely and unsolicited lady informed me that it would not be fair to Abraham if I did not give him a sister or a brother. Yes. You read that right. Fair. I think I looked down towards my vagina, then at Abe, then at her, and laughed my way all the way out of the looney bin I appeared to have wandered into.

It’s my firm belief that no family has a set amount of members. David and I never promised each other we would have children.We always knew we wanted dogs, but children…Abe is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to us. He’s healthy and beautiful and smart and we are OH SO lucky. I’m just not sure I see the reason to have another kid so Abe can have a playmate or learn to socialize. Besides, that kind of means Abe’s sibling already has a job before he/she is even born. That’s not really fair either. I was an only child and I don’t feel like I’m missing some huge part of my life because I don’t have a sibling. I have a few incredibly close friends that I consider family and I CHOSE them. What’s better than choosing your own family?!

I also think some kids are just “only kids”. Abe is very independent, very social with other kids and people, and not very freaked out by unknown situations. He’s kind of the ultimate cool guy. I don’t want to ruin that just because I’m pregnant right now with David and I’s second baby.

Just kidding.

Ha! You’re too easy.

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