Go F**k Yourself Friday, the Trip Down Memory Lane Edition

I’ve been on this planet for a pretty long time now and as a result, there have been a lot of things that have happened in my life that have pissed me off. I have shared a few of them in some of my FU Friday posts but today, I have decided to take a trip down memory lane so I can share some fresh Go F**k Yourself Friday love with some pretty crappy people from the past.

Go F**k Yourself to Tony Robbins. Yes, that Tony Robbins. While I was excited to be motivated by you to be my very best self and even fist pumped Gayle King at your event, I will never forget the time that I spent more than 12 hours in a freezing cold room with thousands of other people as I felt myself getting sicker and sicker by the hour. By 1 am, after I couldn’t think straight anymore, we were led outside and I lost complete control of my senses when I was instructed to walk across hot coals. Now bear in mind. I am the person who hates riding scary roller coasters, yet something in my brain snapped and I race/walked across burning hot coals and wound up with blisters on my feet and a lung infection – not from the hot coals, but the sub zero temperatures I endured inside that day. Plus, my husband got totally pissed off at me because I didn’t call him for 12 hours and he was about to send out a search party for me. Thankfully, I resurfaced, came to my senses and never attended another Tony Robbins event again. Instead, I am hopelessly devoted to Mel Robbins because she’d never make me walk on hot coals. Maybe she’d share a hot coffee with me, but coals, never.

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Go F**k Yourself Aladdin Capital for firing my husband almost 10 years ago. Since the company is now out of business anyway, I felt like it was a good time to give them a piece of my mind. There was one point in my husband’s life where he thought he was going to spend the rest of his career at that company. They had just given him an incredible bonus and he even convinced me to take a chance, leave my stable job and start my own my company. But then, they pulled the rug out from under him and his friends after the market took a downturn (hello 2008), and we were like a couple out of the Roaring 20’s.  Bye bye Lexus, hello Hyundai. We’ve survived despite our brush being on easy street but a serious Go F**k Yourself goes out to his bosses at the time who seriously turned our American Dream into an episode of Sanford & Son.

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Go F**k Yourself to the former client who kicked me out of a limo when she was having a bad day.  I had just started working with her and my team had lined up a bunch of interviews to promote the new season of her show. Unfortunately, as the day wore on, a few interviews we had scheduled fell through and by the time we got to the end of the day, she got really pissed that things weren’t going her way and proceeded to yell at me and threw me out of the town car we were riding in. I then walked to the train station in tears and vowed never to work with horrible women like her again. While I was convinced to come back for the rest of the season, after witnessing her torture more of my colleagues, I finally decided to reclaim my dignity and walk away. I have also vowed to never work with toxic people again and damn, that does feel good. 

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Go F**k  Yourself to my old boss who, while going through a midlife crisis, bought a convertible sports car and waved me on one day while he was pulling out of the parking garage next to our office building with one of his friends. I was nine months pregnant and trudged along as I walked to the subway station that was several blocks away. I later found out that he had told someone that he didn’t want to hire anyone else who was planning to go on maternity leave because it was more trouble than it was worth. He has since retired and embroiled in a scandal that he’s going to have to probably deal with for a very long time so karma, thank you very, very much for all that you do. 

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Go F**k Yourself to the Person¬†who mistakenly sent me a really mean message about me that was meant for someone else. I will never forget the searing words she used about my sub par writing abilities and that she also labeled me a “serial bridge burner.” If you happen to know who you are and are reading this, consider this one of those bridges burned.

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Thanks for the memories everyone! Now make it a good day and if not, well you already know the alternative.

No Matter How Old Your Kids Get, the Worry Gene Never Fades Away

I was up again last night at 1:53 am checking to see if my daughter had sent me a text message. She was pretty stressed out and I was hoping to find out if she was able to head back to her apartment rather than spend the night at art school. She was struggling with one of her projects – she’s in a glass blowing class and every time she kept trying to finish, it broke – over and over again. Each time that happened, she called me after she had already shed tears with one of her classmates. I felt so bad and before I went to bed, said a silent prayer to the glass blowing gods that this time, the project wouldn’t spontaneously shatter and she could finally go home and rest.

At 2:00 am she texted back that she had indeed finished the project and had also finished a project for her Fibers and Materials class where she was embroidering my denim jacket, a sock and a shirt with a symbol that was empowering to her. I hope when I eventually get my jacket back, it’ll be empowering to me too.

I’m sure if you have a child away at college, they may not be fretting about glass blowing but instead, it could be molecular biology, or statistics, or their pre-law classes. No matter how old our kids get, we just can’t stop worrying.

But it doesn’t stop with finals week. On the weekends, when she’s out with her friends at parties, I check my phone in the wee hours of the morning to make sure she’s taken an Uber back to her apartment and she’s sound asleep in her bed. I send her silly bitmoji messages during the week telling her good night and I love her just so she knows I’m always thinking about her.

When it comes time for her to come home, I worry when she’s under our roof – especially if it’s 3am and she still hasn’t returned home and it’s raining or snowing outside.

Recently, my daughter informed me that she’d like to study abroad the first semester of her junior year. The location she’ll be studying in is Rome and I know it’ll be pretty amazing when we get to visit her, but then I’ll be worrying about her from thousands of miles away.

Sometimes I honestly wonder if it was easier being sleep deprived with a newborn than sleep deprived with a child approaching adulthood. 

I know I should just trust everything will be fine and not worry so much but it’s hard to turn that switch off in my brain. I even have the location services device activated on my phone so I can check and see if she’s safe in bed if I haven’t heard from her late at night. I’m sure you probably think I’m nuts, but my kids mean everything to me and I just want to make sure they are getting enough sleep, know they are supported and also be there if they call or text no matter what time it is – especially if she just wants to let me know she’s okay.

If you’re a mom of an infant or toddler or preteen I’m here to let you in on a little secret. While your relationship with your child will change in amazing ways over time, the part that never gets easier is the one where you worry about their lives, their future and their mental well being no matter how old they get. Try as we might, as parents, we worry. I guess that’s our jobs. Here’s hoping that one day, I’ll be able to worry just a little bit less.

My Girl Crush: Michelle Obama

I’m not gonna lie. I have a crush on Michelle Obama. So much so, that out of ever female speaker on this planet, the only person who I have seen twice is Michelle. The first time was when I was invited to the White House for a private event for mom bloggers where she appeared as a featured speaker and the second was with my daughter while she was on tour for her new book Becoming.

I just want you to know – if you are deciding whether to buy the book, my advice is to buy it so you have it as a memento but then download it on Audible.com and listen to Michelle narrate her life while you’re walking the dog, driving to pick your kids up from school, riding to work, shopping at the supermarket or riding the subway. It’s 40+ hours of pure inspiration, laughter and a twinge of sadness too.¬†

What I loved most about the book was that it was relatable on so many levels – whether you grew up in a neighborhood much like Michelle’s on Euclid Avenue on the South Side of Chicago where her family experienced racism first hand as neighbors began moving away as a result of “white flight”; to the high school guidance counselor who told her she wasn’t “Princeton material” and she was determined to prove her wrong – earning degrees from Princeton and Harvard Law School. Then there’s her courtship with Barack, who she mentored when he was a summer associate at the law firm where she worked; and her early years raising her two girls while she balanced her career as her husband pursued politics in Chicago and on the national stage.

Michelle Obama truly epitomizes every working mom I know. We grew up with a fire in our bellies determined to succeed but when we became moms, we realized we had to figure out a different path to pursue our passions while being there for our kids when they needed us most. I also loved the fact that she truly found her passion after meeting Barack – he was her “swerve” which led her to let go of the frenetic pace of climbing an unfulfilling corporate ladder so she could do something much more impactful with her life. 

Michelle Obama is not only inspiring to my generation, but to my daughter and her friends as well. There was a sea of mother/daughters at the Wells Fargo Center last week and we were all giddy with excitement. In fact, many of us met on the SEPTA train headed to the event and I joked that this was our version of the World Series. When we were standing in line to get into the concert venue, there was a camera crew out front and a woman couldn’t contain her excitement sharing why she was so thrilled to have the chance to hear Michelle Obama speak. It was like an Oprah Winfrey moment…You get car! You get a car! And You Get a Car! The energy surrounding all of us was positively electric.

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At the heart of it, we were all aching to be inspired again. Many of us are just tired and shell shocked by the last two years and we are so ready to believe that things will turn around for the better. For my daughter, I was thrilled for her to hear sage words of advice from the former First Lady about the importance of ignoring the naysayers because once you do achieve your dreams or gain acceptance to places that are oftentimes occupied by people with mediocre intelligence at best, you will come to find that you might just be the smartest person in the room and that will feel damn good.

I feel lucky to have been able to share this unforgettable experience with my daughter and cannot wait to see what she achieves in her lifetime. As for me, as I write my next chapter, I’m taking everything Michelle said to heart about what I am becoming. I’m trying my best not to have regrets about the decisions I have made over the years, only planning for the future as I focus on things I love to do while exposing my own kids to opportunities and experiences that will help guide them towards whatever it is they’re supposed to become. 

So thanks Michelle. I will forever have a girl crush on you. I do hope to see you again someday. Something tells me if I keep dreaming, doing and becoming, I absolutely will. 

How to Snap Out of it When You’re in a Funk

I don’t know what it is about this time of year. Maybe it’s the fact that I have to keep my space heater on at all times in my sunroom because the frigid air is managing to seep through the window frames. Or I’m sitting in front of a computer sending out emails to countless contacts in my industry and no one seems to be responding. Or the to do list I set out for myself today seems to never get done.

Whatever it is, I am officially in a funk and haven’t really been able to snap out of it for several months. Now let me be clear. I have a really good life – a loving husband, great kids and parents too but that’s what you see on the surface. I’m also in the midst of a sandwich generation situation where I’m dealing with the fact that my parents are getting older and not doing that well health wise while my kids are headed towards their late teens and almost 20 and dealing with tougher issues that I never thought I’d ever have to deal with in my life.

In a word, I’m tired. Okay, that’s two words but you get the gist. I have also been trying to reinvent my career which feels as if it has stalled but in reality, it hasn’t. I just don’t know what I want to do next and am being uber cautious about every single step I take. 

So how do you get out of a funk you ask?  Here’s my advice:

  1. Do not spend the entire day working in front of a computer. That’ll get anyone depressed.

2. Write a list of what you want to accomplish that day and always include something that feeds your soul – whether it’s exercise, singing, dancing or writing. Whatever it is, just do it.

3. Get off social media. The minute you get sucked into the vortex of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you can kiss at least 1-2 hours of your life away. Plus, each time you scroll through your feed and see people doing things you used to be able to do in your career, don’t start getting wistful or angry that you’re not included anymore. Suck it up buttercup and focus on you!

4. Walk the dog. If you don’t have a dog, then get outside and just take a walk. The more you change your surroundings, the better you will feel.

5. Turn off breaking news notifications on your phone. Every time I see my phone light up, I get a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. So turn off those notifications and if you want to check in from time to time, then great but otherwise, what you don’t know at that second is not going to kill you.

6. Call a friend. Yes. I really said pick up your phone and don’t text someone. Go old school and call them to say hello.

7. Plan a vacation. While you may not have any money to go away, it’s never too early to start checking to see how many points you have and use them wisely. Maybe you can plan a getaway on points and that will definitely make you happy.

8. Volunteer. I know you’re busy but there are so many people who are less fortunate than you. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, get out there and help others because honestly, that totally feeds the soul.

9. Bake. I used to hate cooking and now whenever I’m feeling down, I head to the kitchen and start cooking. In fact, I think I may just whip up a banana bread tonight while I’m feeling blue.

10. Binge watch your favorite TV show. Whether you want to slip under the covers and escape back to your 20s with “Friends” or you just want to catch up on last week’s episode of “This is Us,” there really is nothing better than ditching your to do list for a little mindless TV streaming. 

Wouldn’t you know it, I think I’m feeling better already. Now it’s time to get back to work. Then again, maybe not.