Fine, Fail and a Few other F words

Sitting in my silent kitchen this morning, I was looking out my window into the back yard. August 27th and my trees have not yet started turning yellow and orange…weird. It usually starts by my birthday (the famed Dead Elvis Day). Knowing that fall is around the corner I got that sick feeling in the pit of stomach.

Not one thing happened they way I had hoped it would.

I had great hopes for this summer and did all the things you are suppose to:

  1. Had a positive attitude
  2. Worked my ass off trying to make my dreams come true
  3. didn’t let grass grow under my feet

Yet failure was a word that kept creeping into my head. Sure I have a backup plan, but the point of this exercise was NOT TO NEED ONE!

A few friends of mine asked me how I am doing. My reply was “this summer has been a soul sucking experience. I feel like a failure.” The responses I received were similar “look at what you have done! I know you are not a failure.” Ya but it still feels like failing.

You see, I have set some pretty high goals for myself because I am not satisfied with fine. I wish I was but I am not. I look at people who plug along doing the same thing day after day and are perfectly happy with the status quo. I would sooner slit my wrists thanks.

I look a women  girls who play the girl card and get what I want. You smart women know what I mean, those girls who tantrum, plead helplessness, stand their ground and have men fall all over them doing their bidding. They make me sick. They are selfish, self righteous and scoop up all the fabulous things in the world because stupid people are blinded by their powers. That leaves women like me to do things the hard way. The sad news is, the girls will have karma down their backs and their world will unravel leaving them with a bitter taste in their mouth while they have destroyed all the good things in their wake and left a pile of hurt and anguish for people like me to clean up and nurture. I can see it coming and it ain’t pretty. Liars, schemers and playa’s is the world I am no longer interested in. Been there done that, own the t-shirt and the battle scars associated with it.

So if THAT is not an option to achieve my goals, then I guess I need to keep doing what I am doing. That sucks because I am tired of trying.

I am tired of trying.

I am not all about instant gratification. I understand the hard work involved to make goals happen. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING that feels better than achieving your goals. Not achieving them feels like failure, even when it’s not.

I havent reached the point where I have been told my goals are not achievable. I never will reach that point because the honest truth is, my goals ARE achievable, they are just long term. You have to make goals that are reachable. There is no point in making a goal that says “I will be the Queen of England.” That is impossible for me, but not so for other people. Why you ask? Because I am not willing to do the work involved to become Queen. That whole Royal Courtesan life is too incestuous for me. Do the work that is right for you.

I have done a pile of self-reflection and some of that was a pity party. When I need a pity party, table for one, I indulge in TV. I never watch TV, so I just lied. I did watch youtube via apple TV and watched it on the big screen in my living room instead of the iPad. Why? Because when I spend time with my future ex husband George, bigger is better. I have loved that man since Facts of Life and The Return of the Killer Tomatoes, I even liked him in his nipple suit in Batman.

I don’t like George for his good looks. I did at first, but then I saw interviews and read stuff and the nobel prize didn’t hurt either. I love him for his drive, risks and ability to do the right thing. He isn’t dazzled by stupid helpless girls. He likes to sleep with them sure, but then he moves on. Men don’t confuse sex with love. They know the difference. How can you love someone when they don’t share your passions, support your goals, and help you dissect a problem so you can find an answer? He does 2 out of 3 for me, and if he knew me, he would support my goals too – well he would in my fantasy.
Any man that stands before the Nobel Peace Prize contingent and say’s “I stand before you today as a failure” gets my vote as sexiest man alive. He set out to help people live and nothing changed from the time he started to the time he spoke to the Nobel Peace Prize UN contingent. Yet, that hasn’t stopped him from trying. The dude bought a ssatellite to take pictures of mass graves, deaths and injustices. If a country does that, it is spying. He does it and he is a guy with a lot of money. Although he admits to selling coffee and other stuff in Europe because it pays the bills. His movie career is mostly scale because he chooses films that have meaning and purpose.

Meaning and Purpose.

I told the fellow who hired me 8 years ago “I have to work to feed and cloth my family. If I have to work, then I want to do something that is meaningful and serves a purpose to society.” I think that is why he hired me.

Values.

The biggest reason I have set new goals is because of a clash of values. My values no longer line up with the work I do. That is not entirely true, some aspects are exactly the same, meaningful and purposeful. There are other aspects that clash and frustrate me. This has been my learning lesson. But I am 45, when do I get to stand up for my values and support them instead of being supportive of other’s values? This is where I struggle. This is why I search for new endeavors. This is why I fail, of feel like I am failing.

Then I heard George say this on Inside the Actors Studio, “You have to look at auditions like you are gambling with house money. You really want to nail the audition, you want the job. You don’t have the job to start, you try out, then you don’t get the job you never had. It wasn’t yours so why get upset about it.”

That was a lightbulb moment for me.

My sister said to me, the universe has big plans for you but it isn’t lined up yet. You still need to be patient and work towards your goal.

Both she and George are right. I want to be rescued, but the achievement of attaining the goal doesn’t feel as good as when you rescue yourself. Those girls who play the girl card are missing out, just like those boys who fall for their games.

So here is me, standing before you filled with anxiety about the coming year because I am not where I thought I would be by now. Time to turn on the Edmonton Tourist Show, be the person where fine isn’t acceptable, do my work with purpose and make some things happen for me as I reach my goal. THEN there will be some celebrating to do.

That is something that girl will never be able to experience.

 

 

Things I learned from Mister Rogers

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
Image via Wikipedia

I woke up this morning with the sun streaming in through the windows. I love sunny mornings. Sure there is still 3 feet of snow in my yard, but blue sky and sunshine lifted my spirits as I reflected on my week. It was a tough one, I am not going to lie. Yes there were highlights, but many more lowlights. I expected those and will delve deeper into it with Mo. As I stared out the window, a song popped into my head:

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor!

Oh Mister Rogers, I hadn’t thought about you in ages! Immediately I was thinking about when I was 4.

When I was 4, my grandma was the same age I am now. She had 4 grandchildren, GULP! I was and still am, the eldest. So that means no one adopted anyone older than me. I still wear the crown. My grandfather had a print-shop in part of his house and my mom helped him run it. Those were the days when most of the moms I knew didn’t work. My mom brought me and my brother to work with her everyday. Grandma kept us in the main part of the house or outside. For me and my brother, it was like growing up in my grandparent’s house AND growning up at home. We felt equally comfortable at either home. I knew where the cookie jar was at home and the red cookie tin at grandma’s. I knew how to turn the dial on the TV at home ( to watch 2 crappy channels plus CBC French) and how to watch CABLE at grandma’s. Oh cable, how interesting you were then! PBS actually had kids shows on it. What kid knows about PBS for kids today? I was allowed to watch 2 shows before preschool everyday. Sesame Street was on everyday. This is where my love of Muppets started. Kermit was my first boyfriend. I still know all the songs and jingles associated with numbers and letters. I remember when Snuffy was Big Bird’s figment of his imagination. There was no Elmo, only Grover, Harry and Cookie were the Monsters. Good times!

Before Sesame Street, there was a different show on everyday. I watched Romper Room, Electric Company (starring Rita Moreno – Broadway star, Morgan Freeman – He played God and Bill Cosby, more than just the Jello guy), Mr. Dressup, The Friendly Giant and Mister Rodgers.

Mister Rogers was not a show I would ever tell my friends I watched. Shocking how at the age of 4 I learned that I would be ridiculed for watching Mr. Rogers. I remember one gal telling me it was for babies. BABIES! YIKES! I wasn’t a baby, I was 4, so I kept that little nugget to myself. I remember laying on my tummy in front of the TV, watching Mister Rogers walk through his front door, singing to ME, getting his cardigan out of the closet and putting on indoor shoes. Then he would let me know who was coming to visit him that day. He would get his chores done and then we would solve a problem using Make-Believe.

I spent a good portion of my “laying quietly in bed” time thinking about good old Mister Rogers, so I made a list. A list of things that I learned from Mister Rogers that I use in my Adult life, in spite of the fact it was a show for “babies”.

The Edmonton Tourist’s Top 11 Learning Lessons from Mister Rodgers

  1. Wearing shoes inside is weird, but if you do – put on clean ones.
  2. Wearing a cardigan inside saves money on your heating bill.
  3. People like to know sequence of events. It brings serenity to your life when you have the sequence of events in order.
  4. Looking people in the eye when you speak or listen to them makes them feel  important.
  5. It is comforting to know the people in your neighborhood.
  6. Solving problems using a “what if” scenario just makes good sense. It utilizes those predicting skills you learned as a child.
  7. Staying calm in a crisis keeps the people around you calm, then a solution can happen.
  8. The world is not just filled with nice, caring people, but we need to show tolerance for the “less nice” people too.
  9. Mister Rogers introduced me to Jazz – thank you for that Fred, smooth jazz still soothes my soul
  10. Children can spot a phony, say what you mean and mean what you say – then follow through. Mister Rogers always did what he said he was going to do.
  11. I loved riding the Trolley into Make-Believe. Now I want to go to San Fransisco to ride one as an adult.

 

And now for something completely different: Bill Cosby and Rita Moreno in Electric Company

 

I Want a Man Cave

I want a Man Cave.

I don’t think that is asking for too much. For some reason, there is a huge trend towards Men having their OWN space. My question is why? Before we get going, I am adding a disclaimer – Honey does not have one, nor has he ever wistfully suggested he should get himself one. But I think I should have one.

Man Caves are supposed to be where Men hide away in an Ultra Cool room filled with things (like 200 Pez dispensers, or 50 bobble heads) that theirs wives would say “Honey, that just doesn’t go with the decor”, so their stuff ends up in the basement or shed or garage. There is a guy around the corner from me who has a Man Cave in his garage. It consists of a bar, several bar stools, a flat screen TV, and a kick a$$ stereo system. He is out there every Friday night with his buddies hanging out and having fun. Not one female to be seen. She is inside trying to get several kids to bed, cleaning the kitchen, laundry, mopping, scrubbing the bath, and generally working her fingers to the bone. Hardly fair, but she says nothing.

In our house, I must admit, Honey does the majority of the work, especially since I have gone back to school. The Offspring and I have been told that Saturday morning we are cleaning house. That made me chuckle inside, because that is usually my line. He does all the laundry, yard work, vacuuming, dishes and other niggly little jobs. Yet, he never says he wishes for a Man Cave.

I want one. I want a cave with a flat screen TV to watch Hockey games on, 2 barker lounges, bar fridge, fire-place, lap top, a fabulous collection of art, sound proofing and a BIG GIANT PAD LOCK. Sure my Honey does most of the work, and he is an amazing Dad, the fact remains that I am the MOM.

Every Mom reading this knew instantly what I meant. For those of you who are not there yet, or those of you who never will be I shall explain. For Example, Honey and I can be in the same room, and I could be sitting beside him on the couch. The Offspring will come and ask me if they could have a bath, or eat a cookie, or phone a friend, or watch a movie….all perfectly DUMB questions that they are quite capable of deciding for themselves.  I stop what I am doing, look up  “What did you say?”. They mumble “Can I: eat toast, or wear shoes, or ask me why they have a hang nail, or say their brother dragged them across the carpet and gave them a rug burn, do I think the spot on their arm is cancer, or ask what time the Big Bang Theory is on, or ask whats new, if nothing could I take them to Best Buy/Library/Starbucks/Book Store?” I will answer everything with NO – laugh and listen again and maybe say no. Now if I am in the bathroom, napping or up to my elbows in something messy and Honey is home, the Offspring will STILL defer to ME! This annoys me. Why can you not ask your Dad?

This is why I want a Man Mom Cave. All I want is a bit of peace and quiet, or at the very least just PEACE. The Man Mom Cave will have two chairs. One for me, and one for a guest. Let me take a moment to dream for a second…No Really…All I want is a Man Cave.

I need a Sign or Confetti or maybe even Fireworks.

Neon sign.
LOOK AT THIS!

Do you ever wish there was a neon sign telling you when you have stumbled onto a great thing? I do. I wish it all the time. When I see something great I think, that’s nice. Then I go out for a while and spend time with friends and they tell me about this GREAT THING and now they can’t live without it. I then recall seeing it but don’t quiet understand what all the fuss was about. It was like I missed the memo and am trying to catch up.

For example, have you ever watched late-night TV and saw an ad for a Snuggie? Essentially it is a blanket with arms. The ad says you can wear it watching TV and eat popcorn! Or you could wear it to a football game to keep warm! The Snuggie just doesn’t make sense to me. I am able to eat popcorn if I have a blanket on me. All you do is UNCOVER your arms. When I go to a football game, I wear a warm coat. I might bring a blanket for my legs if it is really cold. However, watching a football game in Edmonton means, wearing a snowsuit, so the need for a Snuggie is just not there. I missed the memo on how great the Snuggie is. Oh and by the way, you can get one for your DOG, for when fur just isn’t warm enough.

Have you ever seen the ad for the Slap Chopper? I missed the memo on that one too. I use a knife. It helps me prepare tuna or egg or even ham sandwiches. The Slap Chopper, while it does look fun, just doesn’t make sense to me. It won’t improve my cooking the way a great recipe will or fresh ingredients will. But it WILL make kitchen clean up a breeze. Will it really Slap Chopper Man? I have my doubts. I missed the memo on the Slap Chopper.

Then there is Slim Down with the Sauna Pro 3. You wear these Velcro belts and then move around. You get hot and sweat off INCHES of fat. Really? Who knew losing weight was that easy! How different is that from wrapping yourself in Saran wrap? I think I missed the memo on that one too.

Clearly there is something wrong with me. I do not see what all the fuss is about. A neon sign would help, maybe confetti and fireworks. All I want to do is go out with my girlfriends and say “LOOK what I found! It is AMAZING!” and pull out something I bought on TV before they do.

I don’t think that is to be my destiny. I think I am the one at the table who is supposed to think of all the other crazy possible uses for that item. Maybe I just need to keep looking at the world differently then add my own Neon.