OK so one more shameless plug. My kid and his friends created a band. I drove him back and forth to the studio not really paying mind to what they were doing. Then he played me their first song the other night and I was like “whaaaat?”
When I was 15, I was drinking MadDog, trying to sneak into night clubs and MTVs Spring Break at Club LaVela. I must certainly was not in the studio creating original mixes, my own company and holding business meetings every Monday at 7pm. Yes, they do this. I’m very proud and totally stan GenZ.
They are what GenX could have been, had our parents known where we were and cultivated our brains. So anyway take a listen I promise it’s not some horrible song only a mother could love. It’s a banger! Let me know what yall think and if you like it, go support these kids on their Instagram at @officialbalancedonesmusic and on SoundCloud, Tik, Tok and YouTube by clicking the icon below. Thanks guys!
I dont normally post videos on the blog page and leave that to the YouTube tab, but its Michael and since i talk about him so much i thought you all might like to meet him! And i got him to sem i match with me so thats a win right? I present to you, The Original and the Mic Drop
I think a lot of us are conditioned from a very young age to take care of others before we take care of ourselves. As little girls, we are handed babydolls and little kitchenettes and before we lose our first tooth we become nurturers and teeny moms in training. For some of us we grew up seeing our mothers take care of all the children and have a hot meal on the table when dad walked in from work. For others Mom worked outside the home, came in and started cooking before she could even take off her shoes and relax.
Many of us grew up taking care of siblings and babysitting local kids. Girls are bred to be responsible at an early age. To sacrifice for the need and comfort of others. Many times its subliminal, in other families its very vocal.
I cant pin point when I became a nurturer. As far as I know servitude is my love language. It makes me happy to help and serve others. It makes me happy to feel needed and valuable. (According to the books I’ve been reading lately though some of this may be due to attachment trauma- very interesting) I love to volunteer. I speak to random strangers in the grocery store if they ask for a recommendation or I hear someone asking for directions. In my world, i want everyone to be comfortable.
What I have realized however, as I got older, is that often I sacrificed my own needs and comfort for the wants and needs of others. I minimized myself and would put things aside that I wanted to do because it obviously didn’t mean as much to me as it did the other person. This lead to me becoming a people pleaser, which added to my anxiety. I made myself into the martyr no one asked for.
This would bleed over into my relationships and be my detriment when I was in an emotionally abusive one. I would change who I was to please even if it was at the expense of my sanity. Even if it felt like I sold my soul.
As mothers, its natural to choose others before yourself. It starts the moment you find out you’re pregnant and the world revolves around the little bean in your belly. It dictates what food you like, how you sleep, moods and how your body moves. And you bend and mold yourself to accommodate this little buddy. When you get into the different seasons of parenting , you have traded in girls nights for baseball games, TV for homework, Hot dinners for cold ones. You put yourself last. I have friends who make sure their kids get bathed every night, but they themselves are so exhausted after giving all day, they cant bathe themselves.
And im not bashing motherhood. Dads give up a lot too. i love being a Mom. When i was younger i had sworn off parenthood and convinced myself that i wasnt going to have kids. Then life gave me a beautiful surprise. Since then i jumped in full force. Ive been room mom, I’ve chaperoned, Ive been team mom for all kinds of sports, on the PTA, ive cooked a million things, made a few costumes and posters. Ive driven to all the events, bought all the expenive artwork that my own kid drew. Ive worked two jobs to pay for camps and sports and shoes. And you know what? I’d do it all again. But in moderation and by pacing myself to make sure that I was taken care of first.
What im realizing now and its a little late, but better than never. Is that this way of thinking is so engrained in my head that it has bled over in a toxic way in my dating life. It had affectd my self esteem. I make sure that my partners needs come first, i people please and i back down from fights. (Alot of this is from trauma too) But a recent situation was what finally woke me up. The kick in the ass. The straw that broke the camels back.
I had been seeing a guy. Cool dude, very nice, never had a mean thing to say to me. I made sure I was accommodating- at times I held firm on some things but for the most part, my goal was to be Zen like. So that meant, settling for things that didn’t serve me. Not listening to my gut when it said “This isn’t how its supposed to be” . But rather than speaking up about my needs or concerns, I was afraid to rock the boat, so I went along with what ever was thrown my way. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great. For example, deep down inside I am a cuddler. I love to touch and kiss and hug. The last few of my relationships and even how I grew up, they are not affectionate. Rather than make anyone uncomfortable, I would just sacrifice myself and go without. Even though it would physically hurt sometimes to not feel human touch for weeks. I was so desperate for attention and love that I accepted what ever breadcrumbs were thrown my way and tried to make a meal out of it. All to make others comfortable. It didn’t matter that I knew i was literally grabbing emotional scraps and trying to mold it into love. And so i was unhappy deep down inside, but it was ok because others were happy around me and those numbers were greater than my one.
They tell you when you get on the plane, that if there is a drop in oxygen the masks will come down for you to put on. They are VERY specific about one thing and that is “PUT THE MASK ON YOURSELF BEFORE YOU PUT THE MASK ON OTHERS” how many of us can repeat this verbatim? And this applies to a lot of things in life. Its not saying be selfish. It doesnt mean push everyones needs out of the way and only focus on your own it means, ensure your survival. You cant help anyone if you’re dead. And i dont know why, but it took me 41 years to actually “Hear” that.
So i started small. I turned down things when i was tired or didnt feel like going. I didnt pack my calendar with work and school events. I quit my second job because it stretched me thin. I ddnt feel guilty ignoing the phone calls while i hopped on the Peloton for 20 minutes. This time belongs to ME. And honestly, it was my son Michael who taught me this lesson, he is always telling me to take it easy and dont so so much and to relax.
And because I started to do those tiny little changes, it started to bleed over into bigger, more important areas of my life. At work instead of stressing out and taking my work home, I would do what I could and try to find a work life balance. If something didn’t bring me joy I didn’t engage. I started to focus on me. To choose me when i could and i started to feel better. I stood taller, i was even able to lose 73 lbs. Because i showed up and chose myself more times than i sacrificed for others.
However, the real test came a few weeks ago. I had found out that the “nice” guy had been seeing another woman behind my back. He was very apologetic, as they are. And i stupidly forgave him as we all do. Until she showed up on his doorstep and he called to tell me that he was conflicted because he had choice to make. For some reason, “old people pleasing me” actually started to comfort him and told him that i understood and to call me later and we could talk.
Then, 41 year old , new me, who wakes up everyday and pisses excellence. Who is literally a boss, owns her own house, has great credit, speaks two languages, raised a kind smart boy, is kind and smart and good looking and too good for this shit- kicked in. New me, who had been brewing for some time because i had been nurturing her, stood up inside and with a loud roar yelled out “Oh Hell No” in my head. And i took account of all that i had. I looked at all my value, and i looked at all the things i did that made ME proud. That made ME like MYSELF. I thought about all the hard work and growth and all the times i had showed up for MYSELF recently and i was not about to throw all my hard work away.
And so i laid it out. If there has to be a choice, then choose her. Im not a second option. Im not a seat warmer, im not a wait and see. Im a fuck around and find out and i dont care what you’re going to do, because today, i choose ME.
And that’s where you have to arrive sometimes. It aint always pretty, it aint always nice. But the view from here really is lovely and i dont know that i ever want to come down again.
Scene: Me picking up Michael to go to his Open House to get his schedule and meet the teachers etc.
Backstory: Last year they were virtual with the exception when Michael went in person however for the first time in my life i didn’t get to meet his teachers in person. I did develop a friendship with one via e-mail though and we quickly became friends, She is like a kindred spirit and was Mics favorite teacher. So we made a plan that when Michael graduated we would be real life friends- she’s ridiculous and I joked that on the graduation field we were going to run to each other and hug. (she’s extra like me)
Me: Michael – I’m only coming in for one thing today Michael: what’s that? Me: I’m going to meet XXX! Michael: OH YEAH! her class room is in the history hall right next to my new AP history class ME: ZOMG! MICHAEL! I haven’t met her in person yet! ITS ABOUT TO GET REAL WIERD!! I’m just letting you know when I see her I’m going to be super extra and hug her and I cant stop myself from being this excited for meeting her! (seriously cool ass human/teacher) Michael: psssh. I don’t get embarrassed by anything you do. I know you’re extra. Me: BET
We head towards the hallway and its damn near empty and she is at the middle of the hallway. Michael goes “There she is” Teacher: (yells) MICHAEL! (Because he’s hard to miss) and then she pans over and realized MOM is here AND when I tell you that this mirror soul kindred spirit and I threw our arms in the air, screamed and ran towards each other to hug. it was as ridiculous as it sounds. It was like two friends who haven’t seen each other since childhood. Michael was cracking up. People were looking and we both said “I CANT BELIEVE WEVE NEVER MET IN PERSON” To which I’m sure to the parents watching it just looked weird. I love meeting cool ass humans. And yeah Michael expected the both of us to be that extra- he said I can see it now, in 2 years you two will be on the side of the road drunk on margaritas. Duh hashtag-goals
Dramatic Scene #2
Scene: Pulling up to Open House for Michael. In parking lot
Me: Dude, is it ok to come in with you? its not gonna be weird right you don’t need me your in the 11th grade Michael: (gives me a side eye) i don’t care if you come in Me: ok, cool but ill just hang back so it doesn’t look like you need your mom to come with you Michael: I don’t care about that Me: Yeah, so the teachers don’t think I’m smothering you or that I’m like Beverly Goldberg Michael: but you ARE Beverly Goldberg Me: Yeah.. but its different (then a lightbulb hits) Me: HOWEVER! I am technically here on “official” capacity Michael: WHAT DO YOU MEAN? Me: I joined the PTA, I’m on the Band Boosters and the FFA and I signed up to be a chaperone again Michael: YOU WERE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO ANY OF THAT?! You said you were tired and you were going to take it easy Me: i have a problem. I cant even help myself at this moment Michael: (Rolls his eyes) Come on, and don’t sign up for anything else Me: BUT What if MODEL UN needs a chaperone?? Michael: (stares) Me: fine…come here let me take a picture for the ‘gram Michael: Cheezus.. fine.
Yes it’s 8am and I’m talking about liquor. Why? Because I fell for this gimmick on Saturday and I’m still feeling it today. Scene: me walking through Kroger trying to live my best life, when I come upon a display for this lovely drink- BeatBox. All bright and cheery with a sign that said 3 for $10. I stopped and looked at it and said hmm. But kept walking. I end up in the beer/wine section and see them again so surely it MUST be a sign. I do a quick Google search to see what the reviews are and the first thing I read is “its like trash punch…” say no more fam, my roots are deeply imbedded in the Florida Panhandle so the words “hooch” and “trash punch” sound more like an invitation for f*ckery and fun rather than the warning most would take it as.. So I grab 3 to try with a friend. It’s Saturday, it’s hot YOLO. 11% alcohol. Meh…I grew up drinking MadDog and Tequila and I are like old friends at a Cheers bar. BeatBox might just land in the middle.
So kiddo starts his first day of High school on Monday and im not ready y’all. To explain how not ready I am ill tell you a funny little story about Freshman orientation this past Thursday. Continue reading A Tuba For Mic→
Depression can really keep you away from the things you love. I’ve been “away” from this blog for exactly one year. Its crazy. To me it had just felt like a mere few months, but that’s how it works. It robs you of your time and if you don’t get a hold of it will take away your joy. Continue reading If It Doesn’t Bring You Joy→
After losing nearly 100 lbs ive developed the opposite of what people may think would happen. Insecurity and body dismorphic issues. Which is at times overwhelming and drowns out rational thinking. I was looking through photos last night and found a face picture that for the first time really let me see how far ive come. Because, you see, I dont see the current day me. I see the old me. Continue reading The Aftermath→
Happy New Year everyone!! Its been a while since I’ve written and it’s simply or rather not simply been because the latter half of 2017 was whirlwind. It happens. I helped plan our high schools 20th reunion this past September, Kiddo was struggling with turning in his work on time and grades were suffering because 13 year olds…amirite? And then the holidays of course. I ended up having emergency surgery in December Continue reading Get Rid of 100 Things: Chapter 1→