The Sassy Pear

Finding my way through my forties

Updates and stuff — July 19, 2019

Updates and stuff

Happy Friday!

My car is getting fixed! For freeeeeee! They finally called yesterday and said “Well we just had a big meeting about your car and here is what we’ve decided – we can pull the valve covers off and if the engine is sludge-y, it won’t be covered under the warranty and you’ll have to pay for us taking off the valve covers before we can go any further. If the engine is clean, we’ll order you a new engine and repair the car, which will all be covered under the warranty”. I told him (with a wee bit of false bravado) “Well then you go ahead and take off those valve covers because you aren’t going to find a sludge-y engine – we have kept up with the oil changes and done everything we were supposed to do.” A couple of hours later, guess what!! Clean engine and a new one ordered! I was really nervous even though I KNEW there was nothing I had done to cause such a catastrophic failure, but sometimes you just don’t know how dealerships are going to play the game. My husband had the phone number of a good lawyer handy juuuuuust in case. My mantras for the last couple of weeks have been “I did nothing to cause this” and “Be anxious for nothing”. I’ve probably said those phrases to myself a hundred times since all of this started because I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an extra $5000 sitting around for a new engine. I’m really just so relieved that it’s going to be repaired and covered under the warranty.  And they gave me a loaner car so I don’t have to drive my husband’s work truck or borrow my son’s car anymore – which is a relief because I do not like not having my own wheels. 

Curly Girl Experiment – I’m one month in. If you don’t know what the Curly Girl Method is, it’s a technique of enhancing your natural curls by using sulfate-free, paraben-free, and silicone-free hair products. It’s a process, y’all. I mean you have be committed to it because it takes a bit o’ time and a lot of trial and error, but if you can reach curl nirvana, it will be worth it. Now, there are some people out there who are almost militant about livin’ that CGM lifestyle (CGM = Curly Girl Method) and there are those of us who are rebels because we do what we want! I mean I guess so far I’m following it pretty closely but because I have fine, thin, wavy hair there are some things I have to do differently than the original method, and I’m completely fine with that. Just like in health, there is no one-size-fits-all and you have to do what works for you (and your hair). Here are pics of Day 1 vs. Today (One month in):

 

Honorable mention goes to these two days which were somewhere in the last couple of weeks:

Yes, I take pictures of my hair when it is behaving nicely because it is such a rarity and I want to document it for posterity. You can see how much my curls have perked up already. This is a really fun experiment and I think that once I get a little more length, I’ll really love wearing my hair curly all the time.

Well, I’ve rambled on about those two topics that are probably of no interest to anyone except myself longer than I intended. My plans for this weekend are to just relax, get caught up on my handlettering course that I am 3 weeks behind in, and maybe declutter some areas that are driving me bonkers. What are your plans for the weekend? Whatever they are – I hope they are enjoyable!

 

No Screaming Banshees Allowed — September 24, 2018

No Screaming Banshees Allowed

I woke up this morning and thought “I can’t wait for this week to be over.” I immediately started thinking about everything I need to get done and where I need to be at what time and trying not to be mad at myself for things I didn’t know…

Okay, let me back up a bit. This week is the last week of volleyball with tonight being Senior Night. Until 9:00 last night, I had no details about what we needed to do, what time we needed to be at the gym, what would be expected of us…I had no info and neither did my Volleyball Player and having no info makes me a little anxious. I finally texted another Senior Mom to ask if she had heard anything and she hadn’t, but she had a call in to the coach. A little while later she texted me back and told me what time to be at the gym and oh yeah, Senior Parents are supposed to decorate the locker room today (Monday).

Son of biscuit eater.

Granted, I should have done some asking around last week but I’ve been preoccupied with some extended family stuff and other things. And honestly, I have never been, nor will I ever be, THAT classroom mom who has her shit together and thinks ahead about things like decorating or getting (or God forbid, making) cute little gift for all the Seniors. Luckily, one of the other Senior Moms is that mom (and I thank God for her every day!)  and is going to decorate today, so it will get done but I’m so frustrated that none of what is expected was communicated to us. Is this common knowledge that I “should” have known about? And how would anyone be expected to know if they’ve never had a Senior in a sport before??? I’m so frustrated right now. I am going to get my Senior some flowers, but is there anything else I’m supposed to know? I guess it’s too late now anyway.  :/

Tomorrow is the Volleyball Player’s 18th birthday, but they have an away game tomorrow night, so we are going to celebrate her birthday on Wednesday. I’m running through all the things that I need to get for her tomorrow and Wednesday and all the errands I need to run, then on Thursday, they have the Regionals tournament which I will have to help provide snacks for (along with a table and a cooler). I guess I could do cute little gifts for the other Seniors then? That might be an idea…

Anyway, all of that to say: this is a busy week with a lot going on, so I need to make sure I make time to do the things that will save my sanity. Which feels counter-intuitive because my Emotion Mind is screaming “PUT EVERYONE ELSE FIRST!!! YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR SELF CARE!!!” to which I say “SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP YES I DO!!” I have made an appointment on Wednesday to get my hair cut (these are some bad hair times, friends. My hair needs an intervention), I am going to somehow squeeze in a trip to the gym if only to sit in the massage chair for 20 minutes, I am going to make sure I drink a lot of water, eat some nutritious foods (I’ve already got a meal plan for the week with all the groceries bought. Vegetable beef stew is in the crockpot as we speak), get some movement in  – that might mean I walk laps in my office if nothing else, and my BFF and I are trying to make an overnight girls trip happen this weekend (<—this is the main thing keeping me going – I am really looking forward to this).

Even though this is going to be a busy week I have to make myself a priority, otherwise by Friday I will be a cranky screaming banshee and nobody wants that. Least of all me.

 

the ghost in the bleachers — August 7, 2018

the ghost in the bleachers

Last night was the first volleyball game of my daughter’s senior year in high school. We’re not going to discuss how this year will fly by or how busy it’s going to be or how much money I’m will sink into things because senior year = expensive…no we’re not going to talk about any of that today because I enjoy living in denial. I like pretending that my girl is still two years old and sticking her feet in my face while giggling hysterically. I prefer to disregard any and all notions that this time next year she will not be living in my house. Ignorance is bliss, y’all.

January 07-07
This little sweetheart is now a 17-year-old killer on the court. 

What we are going to talk about is the fact that no less than three people – parents of some of the girls on the team – came up to me last night and asked which player I belonged to.

What the what???

My daughter has been playing volleyball since 7th grade. My husband and I have been to nearly every home game, sometimes together, sometimes only one of us, but for the most part I have been sitting in those same bleachers with those same parents all this time. My daughter is captain of the team this year – all the parents know who she is – but apparently they thought she was an orphan or something because each of these 3 parents who I talked to (separately, at different times during the game) had no idea who I was. They were so surprised when I said I was her mom.

I mean COME ON. Really?

Maybe I should be working as a spy because I seem to blend in seamlessly with the background. I could drop a briefcase full of important spy documents in the middle of Times Square and NO ONE WOULD NOTICE ME. Apparently.

I could be a private eye and solve mysteries because I could be in the same room while the guilty party monologues to their henchmen and I would never be noticed BECAUSE I AM INVISIBLE. Apparently.

I’m going to go hang out at a bank and follow the VP around and when he goes to unlock the vault, I’ll waltz right in and take a couple of bills and no one will remember BECAUSE I AM COMPLETELY FORGETTABLE. Apparently.

I mean, really. Am I so vanilla, so bland, so unnoticeable that these parents really had no idea who I was? Not that I expect everyone should know me and be my biggest fan, but when I’ve been sitting 6 feet away from them in the same bleachers for 5 years, I’d at least expect them to know whose mom I am (I’m not one of those quiet parents either – I cheer. Loudly. A lot.)

But honestly, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened, and it happens more than I’d like to admit. Every once in a while I’ll run into a friend of a friend I’ve spent time with or someone I am a casual acquaintance with and at some point in the conversation they’ll say “I’m sorry, but I can’t remember your name…” Or they’ll look right through me as if they’ve never seen me before when I see them in the store and smile.  Once I saw my neighbor’s mother at the airport. This is a woman I have spent time with and have had many conversations with. When I saw her, I gave her a hug and we talked about where I was going and where she was going and ten minutes into the conversation she says “I’m sorry, who are you again?” Oy. That was awkward.  For whatever reason, people don’t remember me. I don’t make enough of an impression to last beyond a few minutes.

cream ice cream in cone
Vanilla. Like my soul. (Photo by Somben Chea on Pexels.com)

 

I’m not super bothered by this – I was kind of amused by it last night really – but it just makes me wonder what is it about me that is so unremarkable, and should I do something with this knowledge? Is it a call to action to change my appearance into something that will strike a chord ? Is it a prompting to be more confident and outspoken when I meet people so they’ll remember me? Or should I just delight in my anonymity and be thankful I blend in with the wallpaper?

I guess if I’m going to be an international spy and solve mysteries, I should keep a low profile, right? So maybe it’s better this way.

 

 

Don’t Forget the Fun — May 1, 2018

Don’t Forget the Fun

For the last few days I’ve been at war with my body image. Usually when this happens it’s because I feel like something is out of my control, and I direct that frustration towards my overly soft, chubby body, but this time I couldn’t really pinpoint what I felt I didn’t have control over. Our finances are fine (for the first time in a while), my kids are okay, marriage is intact…really I have no idea what brought on this onslaught of negativity towards my weight. The ONLY thing that’s annoying me right now is allergies – there’s so much pollen in the air and springtime in Oklahoma means the wind is blowing ridiculously all day every day (there’s a reason the line in the song is “where the wind comes sweeping down the plain” *sigh*). And when my allergies hit, there’s usually a little feeling of sadness that comes with it – so maybe that’s what was going on.

But as I drove to work this morning, I was scrolling through the Sirius XM channels and happened to stop on a new wave channel (read: 80s music). I heard some familiar tunes and then this song came on and for whatever reason, my sad little heart perked up and I sang my lungs out:

Sometimes God gives us exactly what we need, exactly when we need it.

I don’t know why this song did the trick – because of it’s bouncy rhythm? because it’s a fun memory from my early teenage years? because it’s just an excellent song for car-dancing???? I honestly felt a shiver go through my body and then I felt my mind shift into something more positive, and I realized that I have been missing a fundamental element of life in the last few weeks: FUN. I can’t think of anything I’ve done lately that was just pure fun, and after the last couple of rough weeks, I need a bit o’fun!

So I have to remember to build in some fun moments to every day – I need something to remind me that life is not just work and making dinner and beating my hair into submission…laughing and enjoying life are important too. And apparently, car dancing.

Hello 2018 — January 18, 2018

Hello 2018

Well Hi!

How’s the new year treating you so far? Still keeping those resolutions? Yeah, me neither. Actually, I didn’t make any new year resolutions because I don’t need that feeling of failure so early in the year. I like to fail later, like around mid-summer when I fail to have that tanned & toned body yet again (for the 22nd year in a row). “Fail Later” is my motto! It has served me well.

And while we’re at it, can we all just agree to put off our “New Year New You” efforts until like, March or something? It’s still just too damn cold in January to try to change out of our six layers of clothing into a t-shirt and capris for the gym. Our bodies and minds were under enough stress and strain from the holidays – can we please just use January as a time to relax and hibernate? I’ll be on board for getting in shape when the temps are 50º or above, but until then, it’s going to be a “no” from me.

Not to say I’ve become a complete slug – I move around at work when I can, I stand up and stretch at my desk regularly, I’m taking my supplements and trying to up my veggie intake, but I’m not killing it in the gym. In fact, I haven’t even been to my gym this month – I’m letting all the Resolutioners get their fill first. I may go back next week when it’s not so crowded, or I may go just to sit in the massage chair. I’d get in the sauna but that would mean taking off my six layers of clothing and I already covered that in the previous paragraph, so…not happening.

How about instead of fighting our natural instinct to hibernate, we all just relax into it and give ourselves some grace and compassion and realize that it will be easier to work out when it warms up a bit. If, however, you are already crushing your New Year goals, then by all means keep at it! But if you are playing war in your head with what you feel you *should* be doing versus what you want to do (or don’t want to do), then just give yourself some time to get used to the idea of working out regularly again. Take a breath, start small and easy, and then work your way up to a full-on sweatfest. The gym will still be waiting for you with open arms if/when you decide to get back into it.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some more hibernating to do.

I need this blanket!! It looks so snuggly! 

http://amzn.to/2Dugtsg

How to Deal with Holiday Anxiety Like an Adult — November 21, 2017

How to Deal with Holiday Anxiety Like an Adult

It’s only Tuesday and I’ve already seen at least 5 articles this week on how to get through the holidays with your sanity intact. And I’ve read every one of them because I’m already feeling the strain.  No doubt, ’tis the season for all of our anxieties to come shining through like a flashlight in the face!

But doesn’t this seem wrong, somehow? Why do we feel obligated to put ourselves through this year after year? Yes I get that traditions are important but does being super stressed out have to be a tradition too?

Truth be told, I don’t enjoy the holidays any more. I have a hard time finding the joy in it all when it all just feels TOO MUCH. Too much pressure, too much money, too much food, too many things to do, people to see, places to go…and for what? So we can post some Norman Rockwellesque photos on social media? So we don’t disappoint someone in our family? So we can feel like we did it “right”? I feel like the whole thing needs to be reworked.

But until I’m able to escape to the Caribbean for the months of November and December (someday!), I’m going to have to suck it up and deal. And here’s how I plan to deal with it:

  • Radical Acceptance – these holidays are happening whether I like it or not. They just are. So I can accept that I am going to have to do things I’d really rather not do, but since I am an adult I will handle myself with maturity and grace. And then I’m going to reward myself for Adulting so well.
  • Cope Ahead – I can make a plan and do things ahead of time that will make the actual event easier to deal with. That might mean cooking a few dishes ahead of time, getting in some exercise so I feel better, getting more rest, or watching for things I need to go on sale (so I feel like I have at least a little bit of control over my money).
  • Improve the Moment – sadly the only thing I can think of here is having a nice glass of wine or some spiked punch. But maybe it also means having some neutral discussion topics on hand – movies, books, etc – so that if the conversation takes a ridiculous turn, I can steer it back to common ground (this could also be considered Coping Ahead, I think). Retreating to another room for five minutes to watch a funny cat video is also a good way to improve the moment and my mood if I feel like it’s getting to be too much.
  • Find Joy in the Little Things – when my kids all pull together to get the house clean while I’m at work on Wednesday, noshing on my mom’s Thanksgiving stuffing, that glorious nap that comes after the meal, Christmas music on the radio during my daily commute, A Charlie Brown Christmas (along with ALL the Christmas classics), driving around and looking at Christmas lights, baking treats with my kids, making that first batch of the peanut butter balls that makes my husband so happy…these are the things I’m going to focus on. These are the things I’m going to look forward to.
  • Writing – I’m going to write, write, write, either here or privately because I already feel better about everything since I sat down to write this post.

If you love this time of year and you feel like you are on top of it, more power to you (and also, I envy you)! But for the rest of us who tend to feel like we’re caught in the undercurrent of TOO MUCH, let’s just take it easy on ourselves, okay? Let’s agree to do what we can and let that be good enough. Let’s agree to take spectacular care of ourselves and maybe, just maybe we’ll surprise ourselves and come out on the other side of this with some good times and warm memories.

 

Holiday Gift Ideas (Subtitled: Things I want that you might want, too) — November 20, 2017

Holiday Gift Ideas (Subtitled: Things I want that you might want, too)

Dear Holiday Season: WE ARE IN YOU.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday only days away, now is the time to start thinking about what to get your loved ones, your liked ones, and your barely tolerated ones for Christmas. I love this time of year when my anxieties about money shoot through the roof! Which is why I tend to avoid Oprah’s Favorite Things because I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to buy an $800 mattress for anyone on my list. And is that really the kind of thing you buy for someone else??? I prefer to choose my own mattress, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, I thought I’d share some of MY favorite things…things that are totally affordable and practical. Because wouldn’t that be embarrassing if we all showed up to the Christmas Eve party with a $400 cookware set??? (Incidentally, there is a list of Oprah’s Favorite Things for Under $50 that has some pretty cool stuff on it too.)

So let’s begin, shall we?

BOOKS

Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance

 

I haven’t read this, but I think it looks fun. And it’s so preeeeetty!

 

And look at this cute lil fox!! Isn’t he adorable? Because sometimes you need to jot your ideas down in a cute lil notebook!
If foxes aren’t your thing, there are lots of other designs as well.

 

I don’t know…I just feel like this would be perfect for your 12 year old nephew or for that Millennial guy in your office whose name you drew for the Secret Santa.

FACE & BODY

I love this stuff so bad. Actually I kind of like the whole Tarte line, but this stuff is my favorite. And why not make it a set? I’ve had my eye on this Tarte eyeshadow palette for awhile now.

 

I canNOT STAND to wake up with mascara on my eyes, so every night before bed, I swipe my eyes with these. These would be great for Santa to put in someone’s stocking.

 

Oh man. THIS. This is my favorite favorite favorite body lotion. It smells like luxury and feels like rich Corinthian leather. I have the perfume that goes with this lotion and it smells divine also.

 

FOR THE GUYS

For those times when he wants a hammock but can’t find any trees:

You don’t even have to blow it up – just wave it around like you do a trash bag and it fills up with air instantly!

 

My 20 year old son has had a full beard since he was a senior in high school. Why it never occurred to me to get him something like this before is beyond me. (But he’ll be getting it this year for sure!)  Gotta keep that beard looking fresh for the ladies!

HOME STUFF

My BFF got these for me for my birthday and I absolutely love them! If you love Tyler candles, then you will love these thick card stock sheets that make your clothes smell beautiful, and they last quite a while.  The Glam Wash is excellent too (I was my robe and my favorite pjs in it), but it is a little pricier.

 

I am in love with this little clock! The cute fluffy birds, the old time-y font of the numbers, the slate gray color…this would be perfect on my night stand. (hint hint)

 

These are just a few ideas to get your started on your shopping.  I have a lot more ideas to add to this list, but frankly, I have run out of steam for today.  What are your go-to gift ideas? Have you started your shopping yet? Are you a Black Friday shopper or do you wait until Cyber Monday? Or are you more of the panic-at-the-last-minute shopper? I aspire to be finished by December 15th but I always seem to be shopping til December 23rd. Oh well, it all gets done eventually.

 

Amazon links are affiliate links. 

I have let myself go — March 6, 2017

I have let myself go

It’s not that I didn’t already know this, but I’ve never really said those exact words to myself before.

I made this realization as I was standing in the dressing room of my local The Walmarts last week (and that sad fact right there should be proof enough) when I sort of caught a glimpse of myself and thought “Wow, I have really let myself go.”

It wasn’t a sad thought or a Mean Girl thought – it was just the realization of a fact. I have indeed let myself go.

When I was little, I remember looking at photographs of older family members and seeing how thin they were when they were young women and then seeing more photos of when they were older and plumper.I thought it was sad that they had once been so beautiful and young and then later they just “let themselves go”.  I vowed to myself that I would never let that happen to me because when I was a kid, fat was not something you wanted to grow up to be.

I am the perfect example of fear manifesting itself into reality.

I can laugh at this now because it’s sort of the same thing as having a friend with no kids trying to tell you how to raise yours. If I could go back to my younger self I’d laugh and say “Oh just you wait, kiddo. You have no idea. You have no idea how often you will eat your feelings or how you’ll be too exhausted from chasing toddlers to work out or how later perimenopause will screw with your metabolism. You have no idea how fast those pounds will pack on once you get a boring desk job and how lunch and snack time will be the highlight of your day for those 8 hours. And to soothe yourself after a long frustrating day at work, you’ll partake in a 1,000+ calorie binge and still eat dinner an hour and a half later. You just really have no idea.”

I let myself go. But honestly, it’s not something I could have stopped even if I wanted to (but I really, really wanted to – hello, 20 years of dieting) because I just didn’t know what I didn’t know: that an hour of talking on the phone with my best friend is way more satisfying than eating a dozen cookies; that taking a walk after work is more fulfilling than a binge; that letting my husband and kids help out does lower my stress level because ultimately it’s not “just easier to do it myself”.

Little by little, day by day, I’m learning more and reclaiming what I lost. I’m learning to love vegetables, I’m learning to cook, I’m learning to love exercise more for what it can do for my brain than my body. I’m learning that taking time for myself yields some serious dividends and that once in a while you really do just need to Treat Yo’Self.

So yeah, I let myself go, but I’m getting myself back.

Stupid Black & White Swimsuit — September 9, 2015

Stupid Black & White Swimsuit

Happy Post Labor Day!! Who’s still exhausted from the weekend? *Raises hand*

I had a great weekend, but man…it seems like having fun wears me out and it takes a while to recover. But it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. 🙂

So, an interesting situation happened on Saturday. The fam and I went out in the boat for a little joyride and we found a nice little cove that was perfect for swimming. So we’re out there swimming and chilling and being all relaxed when another boat pulls into the cove. Then another boat. And another. And another. Pretty soon there were 6 or 8 boats in our cove and it was obvious they had planned to gather there and have a little Labor Day Weekend party. Coincidentally, my husband knew some of these people so we decided to join them, which was fine…at first.

The group was made up of 30-something couples (married or dating) and there were a few little kids running around splashing and swimming. I noticed that several of the women were wearing bikinis…not tankinis…but itty bitty bikinis and they didn’t look awful in them. They all actually looked pretty darn good. Dammit.

Remember, I’m 44 and roughly 60 pounds overweight.

Yeaahhhhhhhh.

Wanna recipe for disaster? Here ya go:

How to Make Yourself Feel Like a Beached Whale in 4 Easy Steps

  1. Be 60 pounds overweight
  2. Wear a black and white one piece swimsuit similar to this:shamu
  3. Surround yourself with hot mamas who are 15 years younger than yourself
  4. Wait for Greenpeace to show up and haul your arse back into the water

Tada!!

My husband could tell that my mood had shifted, so when he came to check on me, I decided to tell him why. I rarely tell him when things like this bother me, but I decided to be honest about it and I said “all these women in bikinis are making me feel bad”, to which he said some very sweet things which I will keep private, but I felt much better after our little talk. I realized that for whatever reason, my husband really does only have eyes for me. ❤

Unfortunately, I didn’t practice having self compassion that day.  But I realize this is a process and it will get easier. Giving myself a break will get easier and believing that I am worthy NO MATTER WHAT will get easier too.

But I’m DEFINITELY getting a different swimsuit next year.

🙂

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