Today’s post goes out to all the people who disappear into thin air thanks to social media. In 2018, we call this practice “ghosting.” I’m happy to say, that this post is a collaborative effort since so many of us have experienced ghosting firsthand and are annoyed by its most prodigious practitioners. If you are among then, go f**k yourself … but first hit reply. Your soul could use the exercise.
The I Refuse to Text You Back Ghoster: Go F**k Yourself to the brainiac who doesn’t realize WE CAN SEE you’ve read our message. Duh. Either you don’t want to reply or it’s gotten lost in the sea of insipid, unanswered texts and emails swimming in your inbox. Life is hard, we know. Hitting send hurts.
The Didn’t I Used to Work with You Ghoster: Go F**k Yourself to former co-workers with whom you once worked close but now won’t recognize your name if it was blasted in an Amber Alert. Hello? Bueller? We only sat next to each other for 10 years. Just pretend you know, m’kay? And then respond. Amnesia’s moment is over.
The Job Ghoster: Go F**k Yourself to the HR dimwit who sets up interviews with a promising candidates and excitedly suggests a follow up interview. Then disappears faster than a sexual harassment complaint. Hate to break the news, but this is YOUR JOB. Recruiting, meeting and hiring employees is what you get paid for, and if the job isn’t a right fit, SAY SO! People talk, and nothing leaves a worse taste in your mouth than the vanishing human resources rep. Put the “human” in your title and just act … human?
The Sorry But Do I Know You Ghoster: Go F**k Yourself to old friends who joined you in climbing up the ladder, and continued climbing long after you left and now can no longer see anyone below. “Hello … hello … hello (echo sound) Remember me? I was holding your hand when you gave birth in the elevator. Still no? Hmm, maybe I have the wrong email. Or am going into the spam filter. Perhaps there’s an assistant pruning the in-box? Or maybe the former “friend” is just a phony who is too important to call back. What goes up must always come down (except Cher, she can survive anything).
The Ghost Thief: Go F**k Yourself to the brand or business that reaches out to you for help with their business, fawns over your creativity, then steals your ideas without so much as a phone call or email No problem, have at it! They’re all yours! It’s not like anyone needs to make a living or anything.
The Half Ghost: Go F**k Yourself to the “friend” who you reach out to for a small favor or question, only to get a useless, one sentence reply that is as helpful as a drunk guy giving you directions to JFK. Thanks!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Thanks to my cousin Jeff, today’s post is inspired by our pets, Santana, Hazel, Jasper and Guapo. For the most part, our pets are some of the most pampered on the planet, but they do get pissed off at us from time to time. So I’ve decided to give our furry and scaly housemates the floor today so they can finally share what’s on their minds…
Hazel’s Side-eye: Go F**k Yourself Grandpa for kicking me off the kitchen table this morning so you can drink your morning coffee and eat your toasted bagel with peanut butter. Don’t you know that I enjoy lying across the placemats while Beth watches MSNBC on her phone in the morning and Darin is out walking Santana? There’s nothing better than sprawling out on that table especially when I know the coast is clear and I’m not going to have to pole vault into the dining room once the dog comes back into the house. I know it seems unsanitary, but I seriously clean myself 20 times a day. You have nothing to worry about, except maybe a few cat hairs in your black coffee.
Guapo’s Rant: Go F**k Yourself for keeping me cooped up in a fish tank for the better part of seven years. I know you tried to make the place look nice. You gave me beachfront property and a window view of the backyard, but seriously, I’m three feet long now and would really like to relocate to Florida. I hear that Boca is quite nice. Maybe next time you drive down there, you can drop me off so I can find my long lost bearded dragon relatives.
Jasper’s Revenge: Go F**k Yourself Santana for chasing me and Hazel away from the bedroom because you are clearly the favorite. That’s okay. We were here first and we will continue to taunt you by sleeping in your dog bed and drinking from your water bowl. You can’t scare us with your silly bark. You know we have the upper hand since no one ever trims our nails and we can use them like ninja steak knives if you piss us off.
Santana vs. Squirrel: Go F**k Yourself mailman, Fresh Direct delivery man, UPS driver, landscaper, Uber Eats guy and anyone else who attempts to come to my front door and I don’t know who you are. Don’t worry, I don’t actually bite anyone who comes in the door but if you do not let me kiss you on the face or pet me, I will keep barking until you hit the road. Oh and FU too squirrel who always manages to taunt me on the porch. I will get you one day. I just have to figure out how to bust out of the sunroom.
Thanks for stopping by this week. Hope your pets treat you as great as ours do. And on that note, time to walk the dog…
I promised myself I was going to stay away from all those crazed Black Friday shoppers today but as the day wore on, a few stores were calling my name and sending me way too many emails so I broke down, loaded my family in the car and off we went.
I figured since we were hitting the local strip mall near our home, it wouldn’t be as insane. What I failed to realize is that people somehow forget how to drive when it’s crowded, and as a result I was able to come up with material for this week’s column.
So without further ado, allow me to present to you the Black Friday edition of Go F**k Yourself Fridays…
Go F**k Yourself woman with the handicapped parking pass who cut me off while she was texting on her phone. Just because you have special parking rights, doesn’t mean you should cause an accident because you keep staring at your cell phone while driving with one hand.
Go F**k Yourself to the lady taking an inordinate amount of time pulling out of her parking spot even though she has put away all her bags and turned on her car. There’s 15 cars vying for your spot – make it quick and hit the road. An honorable mention Go F**k Yourself goes out to the driver who tried to steal the spot from me after I was waiting patiently for five minutes for the other shopper to leave.
To the parents of the kids who are running around the hosiery section of Lord & Taylor unsupervised, go f**k yourself and get your kid. There’s nothing more aggravating than kids playing hide and seek while I’m trying to buy bras and underwear.
Go F**k Yourself to the retailers who cause mass hysteria because people think they’re going to walk away with a 72 inch flat screen TV for $5. Seriously, the last place I want to be at midnight is pressed up against the glass doors of Walmart.
For the next month or so, we are going to be flooded with holiday music and the unwritten rule has always been that “Santa Baby” can’t commence until the day after Thanksgiving. Go F**k yourself to all those radio stations that jump the gun and start playing Christmas music right after Halloween. I guess now that it’s Black Friday, all bets are off. So on that note I present to you…
Please feel free to chime in with your own Go F**k Yourself Black Friday stories because sharing is caring.
For anyone who knows what it’s like to be a parenting (aka Mommy) blogger, I’m going to clue you in to a little secret. About 12 years ago when I started blogging, my writer friends and I wrote about what we loved – whether it was storytelling, shopping or saving money. Nobody paid us when we wrote about them and we chalked it up to a stroke of luck when a brand discovered us and started sending us things for free. I mean when I started to get free Nintendo games for my kids, I seriously thought I hit the mother load.
Today, my kids are a lot older so video games are not going to cut it. I guess I should be grateful that my son is obsessed with Fortnite so I really don’t have to spend that much on him anymore. But enough about my kids. This year, I’m coming up with my holiday wish list and damn, it’s pretty awesome if I do say so myself.
Just so you are aware, I’m what you call an “early adapter.” I discover things before they actually become popular so if you want to be ahead of the curve, then please feel free to follow my lead and happy shopping…
Beth’s Holiday Wish List…
The Peloton Tread: This is absolutely #1 on my list to purchase at some point this year. I have been Pelo-obsessed since I first splurged on the state of the art spin bike more than two years ago. But now, I’ve been eyeing their brand new treadmill that offers live and on demand classes that’ll finally solve the “why do my legs always look so big problem.” I always find that when I start jogging, my legs thin out so as soon as I land a few more projects, that treadmill is totally going to be mine. If you decide to pull the trigger and order a Peloton or a Tread, feel free to use my Referral Code: QJMKEY – think of it as a GoFundMe so I can raise money to get the Tread. Kidding, not kidding. 🙂
2. The Ninja Foodie: I have so many appliances on my counter and recently, I discovered a brand new combo appliance that puts the Instant Pot and Air Fryer all in one place. As my friends and family can attest, I cook practically everything these days in my Instant Pot and Air Fryer. The Ninja Foodie looks like a total game changer and a space saver all in one!
3. Away Travel: Since I watch MSNBC all day and listen to it in the car too, there are certain commercials that have now been embedded in my memory. One is Madison Reed – which offers a simple way to color your hair (thanks but no thanks), the second is Third Love, a revolutionary bra that will change your life (nope) and the other is Away Travel…yes we have a winner! If you travel a lot or if you are obsessed with your phone, then this is the ideal gift for you. A suitcase where you can charge your phone at the same time! No more looking for wall outlets right before you board a flight. You can be plugged in at all times!
4. Seaweed Villa in Treasure Beach Jamaica: Now that you have your luggage, here’s the place you’re going to want to stay. We’ve been to Treasure Beach several times and while it does take some work to get there (it’s about 2.5 hours from Montego Bay airport), it is totally worth it. If you can’t afford SeaWeed – which is an unbelievable villa with an in ground pool, jacuzzi, views of the beach, a staff to take care of your every whim, gazebos galore and gorgeous bedrooms, then head to Jakes Hotel which also has beautiful cottages with ocean views too.
5. A New Car for My Hubby: For the last three years, Darin has been driving around in a tiny Hyundai Elantra and at last count, I think he has blown about 10 tires since driving out of the showroom. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not the car’s fault. He should have changed the tires during the winter or not driven on the roads in our neighborhood until all the pot holes were filled. Thankfully, his lease is up in the next two months so we’ll be on the hunt for a new set of wheels. Something tells me, it’s time for an upgrade. (Dare to dream).
So there you go. My dream holiday wish list. I probably won’t be getting everything on my list, but even if I can splurge on one thing, then seriously, I will be a very happy camper.
The New York Times recently published a story about how Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Chairman Mark Zuckerberg are currently under fire for putting subscribers at risk during the height of the 2016 election. Sandberg, who is best known for Lean In, a “This is How You Should Do It” advice book for career women, has managed to juggle her career at Facebook and her own personal brand for more than a decade. After the tragic passing of her husband, she continues to be a highly successful career woman, author, speaker and mother. But could now be the right time to finally take her eyes off the prize and Lean Out for a change?
When my children were little and I was climbing the corporate ladder, I was all about Leaning In. I advocated for myself and was one of the first working mothers in our office to telecommute. I still managed to secure promotions but also changed certain aspects of my job to accommodate the needs of my family. While I was fortunate enough to afford childcare, I still chose family over work – especially when it came to emergency situations involving my husband or my children. During that time, I worked on some of the biggest shows in Network television and never missed a beat – except when I went into early labor right before May sweeps.
That’s the tough part about making it to the top of a major company if you are a working mom. Now picture the scenario if you’re a single working mom with two New York Times best selling books, traveling all the time, speaking all over the world and trying to save your company’s reputation after the 2016 election. That’s a tough job for a man but as a woman and a mother, it’s exponentially harder.
Recently, I was slated to speak at a conference and thought I’d be home in time to pick up my son from high school and walk the dog. Unfortunately, my time slot for my presentation moved from the morning to late afternoon and before I knew it, my carefully crafted house of cards came tumbling down. Sure, Uber can come through in a pinch if the app is working properly (it wasn’t that day) and to complicate matters, our dog walker was unavailable. Oh, and did I mention that right before I was supposed to start speaking, I got an urgent phone call from my daughter that she was headed to health services on campus because she was having excruciating stomach pains? Sometimes, even when you’re trying to focus on your career, life has a funny way of stopping you dead in your tracks.
One would suspect it would be easier to Lean In harder as your kids get older but the opposite is true. That’s the exact time they need you as they prepare to leave the nest. When they are in their adolescent years, teens may experiment with drugs and alcohol or combat mental health issues that could lead to anxiety, depression and even suicide. When your kids are on the verge of becoming adults, that’s when they need their parents to pay attention to what’s going on in their lives.
Back in the early 1990’s, young college grads like me were told we could have it all. A career where you can make it to the top of that corporate ladder and be a great mom too. But the reality is, it’s hard to juggle both at the same time. You can be great at your job but there are going to be times when you have to walk away so you can focus on your family. You’re still amazing at what you do, but one day, when your kids are older, they will appreciate the fact that you Leaned Out at work so you could Lean In more with them.
I have many friends who came of age during the “Working Girl” era and we all agree that no matter where our careers have led, we are happier knowing we have always managed to find a way to pursue our passions without shortchanging our kids in the process. One friend Leaned Out during her daughter’s grueling college application process. Another confided that she doesn’t want to be a department head in her company because she’d rather make it home in time each night to be with her family. A third recently walked away from her job completely because she hated what she was doing and didn’t want life to pass her by just because she was busy climbing to the top. Then there are people like my mom who had to give up a job that she loved when my grandmother’s bout with Alzheimer’s disease worsened and she could no longer be left alone for extended periods of time.
We all make our decisions to Lean Out when it makes sense for us. That doesn’t mean we’re not good enough and it doesn’t mean we are quitters. Many of the women I admire and respect are realists who have figured out that the meaning of life does not center around your career.
Recently, a dear friend lost one of his best friends to cancer. His name was Tom. Tom was a throwback to another era. He barely used technology and yet had a way of engaging with people that made the experience completely unforgettable. After his passing, Tom’s friends continue to share stories of how he has forever touched their lives – through his humor, his music, his giving heart, his voice and his wisdom. Tom connected with children, teens and adults and while he never made it to the boardroom, he has left his mark on countless lives and will never be forgotten.
As I contemplate what’s next in my own career, my thoughts keep going back to Tom. At the end of the day, success is not about Leaning In so you can have a seat in the boardroom. It’s about Leaning Out so you don’t miss out on the best things in life.
I don’t know about you, but my personality is just like a tea kettle. I can be even keel for awhile, and I navigate through life pretty well even when a few curve balls are thrown my way. But sometimes, things reach a boiling point and that’s when I blow.
This coming week, I’m going to be hosting about 18 people for Thanksgiving. It started out with a pretty manageable group and that number has steadily grown with family coming in from Maryland, Michigan, Miami and now Boynton Beach. This past Friday, my parents, who had left early to head to Florida decided to fly back to New York so they could spend the holiday with us. Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled they’re coming, but know that things are now going to get a bit harried this week and my upbeat demeanor is about to hit Defcon 4.
Out of our 18 guests, about 6-8 of them will be sleeping over so that meant I had to clean the entire house before they came. And trust me, while I can rock a powerpoint, a blog post and a press release, cleaning the house is not one of my favorite past times.
I also had to do the laundry and our dryer is on the fritz so that meant it would take double the time to dry everything (about six loads total). Oh and did I mention that one of my cats (this means you Hazel) peed on my comforter in our guest room and while I tried to wash it, it still smelled so I had to throw it out and get a new one?
Meanwhile, I had noticed that in my kids’ bathroom, strange black dots started appearing on the wall. Holy crap. Black mold. Actually, it was just condensation and dirt formed by never opening the windows. So early yesterday morning, my husband and I went to the supermarket so we could buy a 22 pound turkey, a few cans of yams and cranberry sauce and I could get cleaning supplies. Of course, we walked out of Stop & Shop spending over $300 in groceries, but it is the holiday and as my father in law always says, you can’t put a price on a good time.
Once we stocked the house with food and bleach products, my husband had to leave for the rest of the day for a meeting so I whipped into action. I proceeded to clean the kitchen and both bathrooms and even got the black gunk off the walls while wearing pretty latex pink gloves. I was rocking cleaning the bathroom even though I started to feel a little light headed from all that bleach.
After I opened some windows, I ran downstairs to do more laundry, fold clothes, pay some bills and corresponded throughout the day with my daughter who was coming home that night from college by way of Michigan (she decided to visit a friend for his birthday weekend), Philadelphia and then finally back to New York. We started texting at 6am, I got another text at 11:00am when she got back to Philly, then another call at noon when she was at her apartment, then another one at 2:30 when she was on the train back to New Rochelle.
After I loaded another batch of laundry, put the clean dishes away, loaded more dirty dishes in the dishwasher, threw out the comforter and some old stuff in the fridge, I headed out again to buy a new comforter at Home Goods. The place was packed but I knew what I was there for. I passed the kitchen and dining section first and grabbed two fresh holiday tablecloths on the way over to the bedding department. Then I found a reasonably priced comforter and made my way to the register where I waited another 10 minutes in a long line that whipped around a few aisles. While waiting my turn and mindlessly checking my Facebook and Instagram feed, I glanced over at the items lining my way to the register and of course, had to impulse buy some decorative napkins since I was standing there for so long and was sucked in by the allure of things I really didn’t need to buy.
When I got back home, I put my pretty new comforter on the bed in the guest room and made sure to close the door behind me so the cat couldn’t get in again and wreck the place. I then went to the basement to fold laundry and my son then informed me he had to get a trifold poster board for his marketing class. Of course, it was due the next day. I instantly told him we should pick it up at that moment but he wanted to wait because he still had homework to finish. So I told him we should go in an hour because I had to get his sister from the train in two hours. He proceeded to stay upstairs for two hours and then I had to leave for the train but he still needed his poster board.
And that’s when things reached a boiling point. I had actually been keeping it together pretty well but after putting in more loads of laundry and listening to our squeaking dryer, and folding everyone’s clothes, and cleaning black crap off the bathroom walls, and putting all the groceries away, and doing the dishes, and buying a comforter at Home Goods and waiting on a ridiculously long line, I finally blew my stack. I never yell at my son, but there I was arguing with him for not being more proactive with me. Why didn’t he come down the stairs like I had suggested so we could go out sooner to get his poster board? Instead, I insisted he come with me to get his exhausted sister from the train and made her wait in the car while we picked up the poster at Staples and then we all headed home and ordered in dinner because honestly, if I had to cook last night, I seriously would have lost it. How did housewives do it in the 50’s anyway?
I know I shouldn’t complain about having to clean my house but sometimes, when you are expecting a ton of guests for the holiday, the last thing you really want to do is clean the house, do the laundry, go grocery shopping, buy a new comforter at a store that’s packed with pre-holiday shoppers and track down a tri-fold poster board from Staples too.
So yes, I blew my top when I shouldn’t have but my son forgave me because he’s a great kid and knows that I sometimes have a tendency to lose it when things get a bit stressful at home. We now have made a pact that when he’s assigned a project and needs supplies, he should just order it that day on Amazon Prime and we won’t have any problems. Come to think of it, next time, I’ll order my comforter from Amazon too. I actually ordered a slipcover for one of my chairs that has been mangled by Hazel – the same cat that peed on the comforter – hopefully it’ll get here before Thanksgiving so I can cover up her nasty habit of ripping my furniture to shreds.
And that dear reader is the story of the weekend I blew my top. I’m sure you probably have a few tea kettle stories of your own to share – especially around the holidays. While I’m grateful for family, this time of year just gets me totally stressed out and sometimes, like a tea kettle, I reach a boiling point and blow. But it’s okay. Today’s a new day and my son just informed me that all the lights in his bathroom went out. Time for some morning coffee, then I’ll shove another load of laundry into the dryer before I haveout to buy some bathroom lights.
Guess I better put the tea kettle back on the stove.