Category Archives: Family + Friends

family, friendship, etiquette, cultivating healthy relationships

My Armpits Hurt and Other Three-Legged Lessons

About a week ago, in the most mundane of circumstances, I dislocated my patella (that’s your knee cap for anyone who didn’t go to medical school) and tore my MCL (that’s the ligament that keeps your shin attached to your knee).

Since then I’ve learned quite a few things.

A few I already knew and had forgotten, others I wasn’t aware of yet.

Some things you learn when life (literally) knocks you down:

1.) Asking for help blows.

Maybe it’s because I don’t trust most people to come through for me or to do things the way I would (because of course my way is better).

Maybe it’s because I never want to burden anyone.

Whatever the reason, asking for help is right up there with being locked in a room full of cats, so I do everything in my power to avoid it.

asking for help

2.) I can NOT do everything myself.

However, there are an amazing number of things you can learn to do one-handed.

All the mommies out there know what I’m talking about!

one handed mom

How about practically everything?!?

Necessity is the mother of invention.

If you have to use at least one crutch to get around, you figure out real quick how to do everything else with your free hand.

3.) Who your friends are.

Not the friends you say “hi” to at shows or party all night with.

The friends who actually return phone calls, check in on you, and will cart your crippled ass around.

Don’t be surprised when the latter turns out to be a much smaller group than the former.true friends

4.) There is actually a technique to using crutches!

Up with the good, down with the bad is the best way to traverse stairs.

You should always use a solo crutch on your uninjured side.

If you lower your crutch height it will force you to use them correctly.

I only wish someone had told me before I rubbed my armpits raw!

This will of course, shift your weight to your hands, specifically the soft fleshy part of your thumbs.

I don’t know how to make that stop throbbing but I do know the next person who tells me I’ll build up a callus gets hit in the shin with a crutch.hit with a crutch5.) Listen to your body!

I can’t help but think of the nights when all I wanted was to stay home and curl up on the couch, but instead told myself I had to honor my commitments.

Maybe if I hadn’t pushed myself to go out just because it was a Friday Night and I could, my knee wouldn’t have revolted.

Maybe if I had taken better care of myself I wouldn’t now be on forced sabbatical…

listen to your body 2

6.) If is physically impossible to vomit in a toilet with one leg in a brace.

Make sure you have a bucket handy.

The cocktail of drugs prescribed WILL make you nauseous.

7.) Listen to the doctor when they say:

“Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

Make sure to drink plenty of water.”

You might think it isn’t possible to feel any worse.

Go a week without pooping and get back to me.

constipation8.) Pockets are your friend but a fanny pack is your BEST friend!

You’ll reach a point when you don’t give a shit.

You just want to be able to carry your own stuff.

Get a fanny pack and thank me later.

fanny pack

Also the only acceptable time to wear leggings as pants

9.) You WILL feel sorry for yourself.

Just go ahead and cry.

ugly cry face

I’m not guaranteeing it will make you feel any better but the headache you’ll get from holding back the tears will most certainly make you feel worse.

10.) PATIENCE

It is a virtue I was definitely born without and is the most challenging part of all.

It takes twice as long to do anything on crutches.

You will be at the mercy of others.

So, take a deep breathe and count your lucky stars this is only temporary.

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Filed under Family + Friends, Following Your Dreams, Health + Wellness

A Girl Always Needs Her Dad

I might be in my thirties, but if there’s anything I’ve learned in three decades, it’s that I’ll always need my Dad.

He’s also taught me some pretty great lessons over the years.

In honor of my old man’s birthday (November 1st for those of you who know him and want to wish him well) I’ve put together the top 15 lessons I learned from the best Dad a girl could ask for.

me and dad at the game

At Fenway with the best Dad a girl could ask for

1.) Take care of your car. I’m pretty bad at it, but I know I should check my oil, tire pressure, and miscellaneous fluids on a regular basis. It also couldn’t hurt to give the old girl a vacuum every once in awhile either.

2.) Family first. Friends come and go but your family is forever. Take care of them and they’ll take care of you right back.

Family :)

Our family 🙂

3.) A deep and unwavering love for ALL things musical. Of course he taught me to appreciate the classics but the man has the MOST eclectic taste in music. Pretty ironic considering he can’t hear for shit! Just kidding Dad 🙂

4.) Gratitude and appreciation. Every night at dinner, without fail, Dad proclaims to Mom, “This is the best thing I’ve had to eat all day!” It doesn’t matter if it’s fish sticks or filet mignon, he appreciates the hot meal she takes the time to make for him. Thank yous go much farther than you’d ever think.

5.) Hard work pays off. The man worked a rotating schedule and almost never had a weekend off for 20 years, but he retired at 50. I call that WINNING.

Retiring at the ripe old age of 50!

Retiring at the ripe old age of 50!

6.) Celebrate your victories. No matter how small you think a win is, take a moment and appreciate a job well done.

7.) A place for everything, and everything in it’s place. As kids, if we didn’t put our stuff away, it was likely to get thrown out. On the plus side, if you always put your shit away, you always know where it is.

8.) Paddling a boat around a lake brings a unique sense of accomplishment and peace of mind. It’s pretty hard to be anything but happy surrounded by calm waters and wilderness.

canoe with dad maybe fave

Paddling around Emerald Lake 🙂

9.) Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Take pride in your work or no one else will.

10.) Be kind. It can mean the world and it costs you nothing. I’ve never seen my old man be rude to anyone. That includes people I’m pretty sure he can’t stand. Exclusion is for assholes. Being nice to people you don’t like doesn’t mean you’re fake, it means you’re mature enough to tolerate your dislike towards them.

11.) Bitching and moaning is a waste of time. If you can fix something, FIX IT! If not get over it already.

12.) Make some “me” time. Whatever it is you enjoy doing, make time for it. A hobby is a great way to blow off steam and challenge yourself.

The man's a 6 handicap. That doesn't happen by accident!

The man’s a 6 handicap. That doesn’t happen by accident!

13.) Find the funny. Trips home from the Cape usually included a stop at Friendly’s before the bridge. One time, as Dad went to put ketchup on his fries, when he shook the bottle, he (and the whole restaurant) discovered the cap wasn’t fully on. Ketchup sprayed EVERYWHERE! The first person to laugh was my old man. That always stuck with me, because really, if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?

14.) The value of a dollar. As kids we got paid to rake the acorns in our yard. Let me tell you with four oak trees back there, that’s a shit ton of acorns. All I had to do was look at the calluses on my palms to realize money was something you earned.

15.) Enjoy life. No one gets out alive so you might as well have some fun while you’re here.

That's the smile of a man who lives life to the fullest!

That’s the smile of a man who lives life to the fullest!

Happy Birthday Dad!! ILY

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Filed under Family + Friends, Following Your Dreams, My Favorite Things

The Awkward Way to Start Your Day…

Last month I got to spend an amazing week down in Myrtle Beach, SC.

While there, I was reminded how very different the behavior of Americans can be based on their geographical background.

If you’ve never experienced it, Southern Hospitality is in fact a real thing.

southern hospitality

Walking down the street in Myrtle Beach, the majority of people you pass will make eye contact, smile, and say hello.

It takes a little getting used to at first.

There were times I purposefully avoided eye contact to avoid an interaction.

However, from what I could tell, this cue does not deter the Southern “Hey, how ya doin?” nor the subsequent conversation.

how ya doin

Which can be tedious and extremely annoying depending on how bad your Southerner is at picking up social cues.

Overall though, I really enjoy the friendly, outgoing manners down South.

Coming back to good ole Massachusetts was certainly an adjustment!

My office building has about 20 floors with various companies.

Meaning, when you get on the elevator, chances are it’s full of strangers.

eye contact

Strangers who all seem to find their shoes or their phone immensely interesting.

Some mornings I just want to start a sing along and see what happens.

sing along

When did ignoring the people around you become the polite thing to do??

I know you did not just get a super important email!!

Your screen is giant!

Everyone can see you’re on Facebook!

It’s okay to smile at your fellow man.

Shit, you can even say “Good Morning”.

good morning sunshine

I promise they won’t bite. At least I won’t 🙂

Are you one of those people in the elevator?

Or do you say “Hello” to whoever crosses your path??

Do you prefer the lack of interaction or do you wish people were more friendly?

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Filed under Climbing the Ladder, Family + Friends, Get Cultured

May the Force be with You

I don’t like hearing “no”.

I know, I know, who does?!?

It’s not that I’ve never been told I couldn’t have what I want.

Trust me, that happens far more frequently than you’d think.

But, I was raised to believe, if you want something bad enough, you work your ass off to make it happen, and you don’t stop until you reach your goal.

good things

The trouble with that mindset is it doesn’t always work so well with people.

Most people, once they have their mind made up, are very hard to budge.

I’m not a closer.

I’d be terrible at sales.

I hear “no” and get so frustrated I don’t have another course of action.

I can’t see any solution to change that “no” to a “yes”.

Cajoling and pleading only work sometimes.

pretty please

And a pretty smile might open a few doors, but that’s about it.

I feel powerless when someone shuts me down.

Like I lost my ability to influence my world.

Like my choices are taken away.

It makes me wish for magical powers.

If only I could harness The Force!

use the force

I wouldn’t abuse my power.

The Jedi Mind Trick would only be employed during desperate situations.

Tragic stalemates where neither party can find a way out of the corners they’ve backed themselves into.

Maybe once or twice to see future lottery numbers or to mess with unassuming bystanders.

lotto ticket

How funny would it be to make someone’s table levitate and turn circles mid-meal at a restaurant??

That’s just good, clean fun!

Have you ever really changed someone’s mind?

Or did you just wear them down to the point where they’d agree to anything just to get you to shut up?

Do you think it’s even possible to change someone’s mind??

What magical power do you wish you had?!

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Pay it Forward

“It’s in our interest to take care of others. Self-centredness is opposed to basic human nature. In our own interest as human beings we need to pay attention to our inner values. Sometimes people think compassion is only of help to others, while we get no benefit. This is a mistake. When you concern yourself with others, you naturally develop a sense of self-confidence. To help others takes courage and inner strength.” ~Dalia Lama

I feel as though I’ve been particularly self-centered lately.

Several events transpired to form a perfect shit-storm; effectively stressing me to the breaking point and putting me in quite the tailspin for the past few weeks.

shit storm

Said events aren’t exactly settled.

But I’m beginning to remember I have a plethora of absolutely wonderful things in my life to be grateful for.

Any one of which, is enough on their own, to elicit enormous amounts of gratitude.

be thankful

But I have a habit of focusing on the things I don’t have, rather than those I do. (I want everything, all at once, right now!)

Over the weekend, I was reminded, no matter what I think is going horribly wrong or is irreparably damaged in my life, I still have it pretty damn good.

I was the recipient of a thousand (not actual number but there were far, far, far too many to count) acts of kindness.

Acts of kindness that went above and beyond any threshold of friendship.

Acts of kindness I will probably never get the chance to repay (even if repayment would be accepted).

act of kindness

The words to express how very grateful I am escape me and I cannot fathom how to even begin to reciprocate the kindness I was shown.

So I’m going to do the only thing I can think of to show the Universe, I do indeed know how blessed I am, even if sometimes I forget.

For the month of September I will be paying it forward.

pay it forward

At least once a day, but every chance I get, I will perform an act of kindness.

They might be random acts of kindness.

They might even be for some of you.

Every day for thirty days I will try to make someone else remember, they too are blessed. That even though not every day is good, there is good in every day.

every day

Maybe, if I remind enough other people, I’ll remember it myself the next time that shit-storm comes blowing through.

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Filed under Climbing the Ladder, Family + Friends, Following Your Dreams

Grow A Pair

Life can be pretty fucking scary sometimes.

There are so many unknown variables.

Things that could go horribly wrong.

But things could also go amazingly right.

believe in miracles

It’s easy to decide something is too hard, that it couldn’t possibly work out and turn your back on the incredible opportunities life has to offer.

The trouble is, when you stop taking chances, decide that nothing ever turns out right, close yourself off from forming meaningful connections – you might as well be dead.

You become an empty shell, a walking/talking/breathing zombie.

zombie

Aimlessly living your life.

Accidentally bumping into whatever crosses your path. Never reaching out to hold on to anything or anyone.

Content in your assumption that while something or someone might make you happy for a moment it’s certain to end in disaster.

So you pull away.

You hide out in your empty shell. Every once in awhile giving it a new coat of shellac so no one notices how dull your eyes have become.

You miss out on the best that life has to offer.

You become a coward.

It’s not the end of the world though.

You don’t have to remain one.

there's still time to change the road your on

Grow a pair.

Take a chance.

The regrets of the dying aren’t the things they wish they didn’t do.

It’s the ones they wish they had.

Speaking of the dying, for those of us who have lost loved ones far too soon, we have a special obligation to live the fullest life possible.

An obligation to make sure we grab life in heaping handfuls.

Never forgetting what a precious gift we’ve been given.

one life

No one gets a do-over.

Second chances are finite.

Even if you believe in re-incarnation – you never get to live the same life twice.

So don’t squander it.

twenty years from now

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Filed under Climbing the Ladder, Family + Friends, Following Your Dreams, Love + Sex

Keep on Truckin’

What do you do when your get up and go, has got up and went??

I’ve been feeling pretty uninspired these days.

grumpy cat

Working two jobs is taking a serious toll on my morale.

The never-ending search for a full-time job is starting to feel a lot like repetitively banging my head against a brick wall.

bang head here

And the icing on my bitter cupcake is my less than stellar love life and the poor romantic decisions I feel compelled to repeat.

Rather than mope around and wallow in my “poor me” moment, I’ve decided to grab life by the balls and show that bitch I can be happy AND successful and ain’t nobody gonna stop me!

grab life by the balls

The only problem is, I’m not quite sure what’s going to lift me out of the black hole of doldrums I find myself in.

So I’ve started my own “Happiness Project”.

the happiness project

For those of you not familiar, check out Gretchen Rubin’s best seller here.

Small changes are the most effective.

Since I’ve had enough failure lately, I feel no need to set myself up for more.

I’ll be making 3 changes to my life.

#1) Meditate regularly

meditate 2

I’ve sporadically attempted meditating in the past to little or no effect.

Since meditating can be transformational if practiced regularly, I’ve decided to start a daily practice.

Meditating at the same time of day is said to be best.

So I’ll be setting aside 20 minutes each morning to get my “om” on.

Feel like starting your own practice? Check out some helpful hints here.

#2) Feng Shui – My Way

feng shui my way

When I feel uninspired I tend to rearrange my living space.

If your space feels constricted, so do you, and clutter is the devil.

I’ve spent the majority of my recent downtime ridding my home of clutter.

I started with my bedroom, then moved on to the bathroom, kitchen and finally the living room.

Anything that was a duplicate, no longer useful, almost empty, or that I could not find a home for – got tossed.

Or to be completely honest, put in the basement. Out of sight out of mind, right?

I then dusted, vacuumed, cleaned and scrubbed anything and everything.

It felt exhausting and awesome!

#3) Say No

just say no

My free time is little to non-existent.

I always feel like I’m missing out on something.

I can remember exactly when I last saw each and every one of my friends, only because it happens so rarely these days.

All of the above usually leads me to say “Yes!” to any and all invitations that happen to fall on my days off.

Which just leads me to resenting the plans I’ve made, when all I really want to do is put on some sweats and curl up in bed with a book.

From now on, unless it’s something I really, really, really want to do, I will be saying NO. Sorry guys.

So that’s the game plan.

game plan

Wish me luck kids!

Have any of your tried your own “Happiness Project”?

Any helpful hints??

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Filed under Climbing the Ladder, Family + Friends, Following Your Dreams, My Favorite Things