Gratitude in the Form of A Love Letter

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This is a reprise from one year ago but I consider love letters an integral part of any gratitude storm…maybe you’ll agree. So, here ya go!
xox


Hi you guys!
Here is this week’s Huffington Post essay. It has to do with failing BIG and making peace with it.
So much so that I sat down and wrote it a love letter:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/janet-bertolus/my-love-letter-to-failure_b_8198096.html

If you know anyone going through a hard time right now who could use this, I’d love it if you’d share.
Carry on,
xox


My dearest, darling Failure,

You don’t mind if I call you by that name, do you?

I’m well aware that it’s much more politically correct to refer to you on your visits as re-direction, contrast, disappointment and a shit storm blah, blah, blah.

But when the shit hits the fan, when careers crash and burn, when marriages end badly; when we get fired, sued, or otherwise fucked over — when the things we hold dearest in our lives fracture and give way under the stress — sweetheart, it’s YOUR face we all see at the scene of the crime.

I know, I hear you when you complain that you are greatly under-appreciated but let me be clear — no one wants you around!

That being said, as I’ve come to know you better over the past few years, well, I have to admit– I’ve fallen for you…hard.

I don’t mean to sugar coat things, but you came into my life with the face of my foe and you have become my friend.

You shook things up for me BIG TIME. You took my tiny Etch-A-Sketch of a life, with all of its perfectly drawn straight lines, and you hurled it into an F5 tornado.

But I love you for that, ya big lug.

Just uttering your name, Failure, can set a person’s teeth on edge, but please don’t take it personally. I’ll give it to you straight. The reason you’re not welcome in our lives is because we’re all terrified that when you show up you’ll get comfortable, and never leave.

But truth be told, you are just as fleeting as success, THAT you’ve taught me.

When you are standing next to me knee-deep in the rubble of my life, you know what I do the next day? I get up and put one foot in front of the other, each step moving me forward.

You know what I do the days Success holds my hand? I get up, put one foot in front of the other and move forward with my life.

Success has its value — don’t get me wrong — but you Failure, your lessons have marked me more deeply and profoundly than I could have ever imagined and I love you for that.

Success never caused me to grow, gave me depth nor made me an internally richer person.

But by God, you have Failure.

Success made me lazy, afraid to try new things and take chances.

You gave me a glimpse of my true nature.

You have delivered to me some of my most agonizing moments but they have transformed me.

You made me better. Better in business; better in life. A better friend, sister, and wife.

Damn it, I love you man.

We all go to extraordinary lengths to avoid you–I know I did–but I realize now that was a mistake.

It’s like trying to avoid aging, which is a similar double-edged sword and just as futile.
There are as many benefits to be gained from failure as there are from growing old, and BOTH are a privilege.

I truly love you Failure.
If you had not come into my life when you did, I would not be the person I am today.

Big hug and a sloppy kiss,
xox
Janet


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Inside A Gratitude Storm

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“It’s not happiness that brings us gratitude, it’s gratitude that brings us happiness.” 

As you all know by now, I’m currently in the midst of a gratitude storm because I truly believe in its mystical, darn right spooky, transformational power.

And I’ve gotta tell ya, this storm’s a real doozy. A virtual Thank You Tornado that feeds on itself.  My hubby and I got swept up and  are well on our way to filling our gratitude jar with slips of paper listing our blessings, big and small.

Besides the usual; family, friends, health, our dog, here are a few of mine—maybe (pretty please), you’ll share yours?

Thank you, chocolate chips. You make everything better. You jooj-up cake batter, make banana bread exceptional, and I’m pretty sure no one would have ever heard of Toll House if it weren’t for you.

Thank you, sunrise. I know it’s cliche to be grateful for a sunrise or sunset, but this morning it was so spectacular with its periwinkle blue sky flecked with peach and rose colored clouds I can’t help myself. Besides, when the Universe shows off in such a magnificent way—It feels rude to act indifferent.

Thank you, my body. Without you… I’d be dead… so there’s that. You wake up every morning raring to go with a beating heart, eyes that see (with contacts), ears that hear, and feet that voice a complaint with every step but still walk me wherever I want to go. Besides that, you’re a comedian—and a good sport.

Thank you, politics. I can’t even…

Thank you, airline travel. Admittedly, you’re a pain in the ass, but the ability to have breakfast in LA and dinner in NY trumps all of that (pun intended).

Thank you, reservations. And valets. You make dining out and going to the theatre a pleasure. When I try to “wing it”, I always regret it.

Thank you, indoor plumbing. I have to admit, I take you SO for granted. I can’t imagine doing my business in a dark, cold outhouse, wiping with a leaf.

Thank you, drinking straws. You make the most ordinary glass of water seem civilized.

Thank you, pumpkin everything that starts showing up this time of year. Yep, I’m one of those people.

Thank you, kisses. Damn, I love ya. But I’m curious, how did you start? Who was the first person to pucker up and plant one? You’ve gotta admit, love and lips is a curious combination and I’ve always wondered.

Thank you, Instagram. I’m a voyeur at heart so getting a visual peek into other people’s lives gives me a vicarious thrill.

Thank you, words. Because I can use you to express my never ending gratitude to my readers all over the world who feel more like friends.

Carry on,
xox

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Fuck, I Hate Small Talk

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Oh… Holy Jesus in Jail.

I can’t think of anything I suck more at than small talk with complete strangers. It feels disingenuous, trite and completely without merit, therefore I loathe it.

small talk
noun:
polite (key word), conversation made about unimportant or uncontroversial matters, (why bother) especially as engaged in on social occasions. (Ugh, kill me now!)

“Propriety required that she face these people and make small talk.”

I want to blame it on the fact that I’m shy but we all know that would be a horrendous lie.
At gatherings, I can be gregarious, even bubbly IF I know the people (loving them makes me even better), and if I care about the topics being discussed.

See, that’s the thing about small talk with strangers at a soiree where you have not a rats lick of interest in what they have to say.

Case in point, a fancy car show.

Me: (said to one of the wives at lunch on day one of a two-day thingy) “So, what car did you drive here?” is what my mouth asked. My brain was screaming I don’t care! I don’t care! I don’t care! so loud that I couldn’t hear a word she said.

She, to be honest, looked as tragically bored as I felt. We were at a winery and I noticed she was drinking the Sauvignon Blanc so I gave her my sample. She handed me all of her red. All three samples. Well, I’ve slept with people for doing less. Needless to say, we became fast friends.

We sat in silence, like old friends do, sipping our wine, listening to the others prattle on. We had no need to talk. We had transcended small talk. Alcohol will do that if you let it. We did.

Later, back at the room, the prospect of a dinner with all of these same strangers loomed large. I opened the complimentary bottle of red and an equally classy bag of Pirate Booty. I stuffed my face without breathing, letting the puffed air covered in faux-white-cheese numb me out. I washed it down with a nice Shirah.

It was 4 p.m. and I was shitfaced. I NEVER get shitfaced. Most certainly NOT at 4 p.m. Dinner was scheduled for seven. Husband wanted to go down for cocktails at 6:30. Uh, oh.

I started drunk texting my tribe. What do I do? What do I say? How the hell did I polish off an entire bag of Booty? Help!

They were great. Very supportive. They only laughed at me a little. Ask the women what they’re reading. What’s on their nightstand. You’ll be able to comment on that, they suggested. SAVED! I thought. They’re right. I can do THAT.

Confidence renewed!

I proceeded to go and fix my face which meant reapplying pretty much everything I’d done that morning including picking my ubiquitous false lashes off of my upper lip and putting them back on my eyes where they belonged. Thank God I had two-plus hours to spare!

On the way down to cocktails, I was still a bit wobbly. Books. I’m a writer. I’ll ask what they’re reading, I reminded myself. I walked with all the conviction I could muster up to a table of wives. They barely looked at me. Tables of wives are a tough crowd. They are not for amateurs. I took a deep breath, handed my new bff from lunch who was sitting with three others a glass of white wine as a bribe and was about to ask about books when one of them started to speak.

She was a gorgeous woman of about sixty-five in a stunning beige Valentino pantsuit. Her face contorted and she looked as if she were about to vomit. She all but whispered, “This is SO not my thing.”

Wait. What? We’re strangers telling each other the truth?

That’s when I lunged at her and hugged her in a completely inappropriate and awkward way. “Ohmygodmeneither!” I did not whisper, “I love you!” They all nodded. We laughed.

Then a magician appeared and did several card tricks. I’m not kidding. You can’t make this shit up.

Okay…so, I have a theory. I think small talk is The Great Equalizer. Everyone dreads it and hardly anyone is good at it. Deep down people want to connect—just not that way. They want to talk about death, aliens, and magic. I really need to remember that the next time. And the nightstand question too.

How are you guys with the tiny talk? Are you good at it? If you are—please share your secrets.

Carry on,
xox


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WTF Friday OR Shut The Front Door Sunday OR The Tale of the Ungrateful Hiker ~ Reprise

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So…I’m back on the killer hill. Hiking. Or otherwise known as putting my life in jeopardy (maybe a touch melodramatic), to walk on dirt, uphill—in black stretch pants—with the camel toe to end all camel toes—at 8 am—for no good reason.

I’m still fucking around with my little WiFi experiment, but interestingly enough, the signal has been uncooperative since those two miraculous days last week when all the stars aligned to give me my NPR.

But I’m still at it. My middle name is tenacious. Janet Tenacious Bertolus.

There may have been some begging even though I know that begging is the surest way to silence.

Through the years, I’ve been told by pretty reliable sources that The Universe doesn’t keep score, or prioritize, and I know for a fact that The Universe can’t be bothered with begging.

Asking? Sure.

Prayers? Absolutely!

Begging? Not so much.

Especially begging for something as ridiculous as WiFi to distract from the excruciating “discomfort” I put myself through trudging up that freakin’ hill every morning.

It sticks its fingers into its ears and LA, LA, La’s until I stop.

Anyway…no begging this morning, just resigned acceptance when the signal cuts out.
Shitfuck.
Then I laughed because it’s starting to get funny.
Not really.

Have I mentioned what an opportunist the Universe can be? Oh, yeah.
Just at the point where I am at my most vulnerable; hands on my hips, bent into the hill, drenched in sweat and gasping for air like a sherpa about to summit Everest; the WiFi kicks in and Abraham on YouTube comes back on.

The Universe decides that this is the perfect time for a teaching moment.

I am elated.
This will help me summit my own humiliating, Studio City version of Everest. Except for one thing. I’ve already listened to this part. It didn’t pick up where it left off, it went all the way back to the beginning. Back to what I’ve already heard for the last forty minutes.
Shitfuck.

A not-so-mild wave of disappointment washes over me as the smile leaves my face.

Immediately the signal cuts out. Silence returns.

Awwww, come on! I actually shout out loud. What the hell?!

I stop and fiddle with my phone for a minute. Nope. Nothing. It’s no use. Resignation sets back in as I pull up my big girl stretch pants and soldier on.

It’s then that the Universe decides to give a lecture series entitled: Split Energy (Will Fuck You Every Time).

“You split your energy. You do it all the time and you needed to see an example of how it can stop the momentum of a desire faster than a concrete wall stops a speeding bullet.”

Nice visual.

“Thank you.”

But I need you to clarify, please. I barely have enough oxygen to keep me upright let alone fire the synapses’ in my brain that are needed for me to understand what the hell you’re trying to tell me.

“You desired WiFi. We gave you WiFi. And may we point out, in a place where WiFi doesn’t exist, so there’s that…”

I know! And I was so happy about that!

“For a minute. Not even. Then you were disappointed by the specifics. That’s split energy and it will stall a desire faster than anything else.”

So what should I have done?

“Really? You can’t stay grateful for a miracle for like, five minutes?…What do we always say?”

I don’t know…be kind to others and don’t say fuck so much?

“Besides that. We remind you that disappointment is taking score too soon. When you ask for something and it arrives don’t say, Oh, not THAT! it seems ungrateful and a tad rude. Wait awhile before you take score.”

I suppose you’re right.

“We’re always right! We’re the Universe! Whatever we deliver to you is ALWAYS perfect.”

Always?

“Always.”

What if…

“Always.”

What about that…

“Always.”

But…

“What part of ALWAYS are you not understanding?”

Point taken.
I’m at the parking lot and I have to pee so arrivederci and thanks for the chat.

Listen you guys, who among us hasn’t questioned a wish fulfilled because it didn’t look exactly like we expected it to look?
We’ve gotta cut that shit out. I’ll go first!

Carry on,
xox


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Everyone Would Fall Apart Without Me—Another Lie We Tell Ourselves—Reprise

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Hi loves,
This is a couple of years old but seems just as relevant as ever!
Happy weekend all you self-sacrificing mommies. I’ll be at the pool with a cocktail.
I know, I’d better pray I don’t choke on an olive because I’m going straight to hell.
Carry on,
xox


Being that I’m in my fifties most of my friends have grown kids.
But since age is just a number and I’m  just immature enough, I have several younger  friends with very small children, kids under the age of ten.

I was talking to one of these younger moms and she asked my advice.

Not about mothering of course, since I forgot to have children and she doesn’t want to go to jail, but about the level of commitment she and her girlfriends have to their kids and their spouses, and about how epidemic it is—this crazy, twenty-first century level of parenting and wife-ing.

Oh, and about how they don’t have the same level of commitment to themselves.

Seems she was chatting with a friend of hers, a fellow mom, and they were joking about how clueless their sons and husbands were. They mused that without their loving guidance these males would be feral, running in packs, eating garbage and living under bridges with trolls.

They commiserated that it was an all-consuming job with no time off  for good behavior and no fancy vacations.

We laughed of course, but it all sounded very familiar to me because that has been a recurring theme for most of the moms I have known.

“If it weren’t for me they wouldn’t eat, or they would live on Cheetos and Dr. Pepper. Their growth would be stunted, they would be spindly and stupid from lack of proper nutrition.”

“If it weren’t for me they would wear the same filthy clothes, brush their teeth once a month when they showered (or fell into some water and called that a bath), and their ears, fingernails, and feet would be caked black with dirt. Even their lice would have lice.”

“If it weren’t for me they wouldn’t have one lick of manners, as a matter of fact, they probably wouldn’t have much of a grasp of proper English or any social graces whatsoever. They would scratch their balls, grunt, and   never look up from their phone, iPad or computer. They would be complete social misfits.”

In a nutshell, if it weren’t for the tireless sacrifices, commitment and love to these guys (and girls) they would be just shells of their current magnificent selves. They would have NEVER made the team, passed fourth grade, gotten that big job, done a speck of homework, learned music, gotten braces, written that speech, etc., ect., ect.

It’s okay if it’s a two-way street – but let’s get real here – it can be very one-sided.

So I listened, and laughed and then got tough with her – because I love her – and she asked.

“That’s all ego talking. You have to justify all that time and energy so you tell yourself basically, they’d be nothing without you.”

Is any of that true? Probably not. As a gross generalization, woman DO tend to bring out the best in men. And children. And small animals. And other women too.

I explained to her the oxygen mask theory. It’s amazing actually.
The airlines have to tell you that in the case of cabin depressurization, it is imperative to put the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST and then your child (hopefully your husband can put on his own or you have bigger problems than you think.)
They give you permission to go first; which seems completely counterintuitive to mothers –– so they have to be reminded.

“You and your girlfriend have to put your oxygen masks on first, otherwise you’re no good to anyone.”

Then a thought entered my mind like a lightening bolt. I got chills it was so profound. It was Divine Guidance. I certainly didn’t come up with it, it was too good.

“Oh Jeez, hey, I just got this.
If you really believe what you’re saying, who would YOU be if you had devoted the same time, energy, commitment, sacrifice and LOVE to yourself that you have put into your family all these years?”

Then we both teared up.
Holy shit that’s big.

If you’re devoted to making everyone around you great, when is it your turn?

A ton of woman do it when they become empty nesters, but why wait?

This doesn’t apply to only kids and family.
I did it with my boss and my job, until I wised up, woke up, and set boundaries.
We make their lives easier, smoother, more fun and better, while we lose sleep at night.

I think it’s time for the oxygen mask first thinking to prevail, and taking the time to figure out how to make our own lives become great too.

Are you with me?

Can you relate to this kind of sacrifice and commitment to family? Have you found a balance? Let’s hear it in the comments.

Big love to the moms out there,
Xox


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Pink Eye, Ebola Or Pure Denial ~That’s The Thing About Pain ~ Throwback

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This is a post from two years ago and I’m sorry to report that I’m still an under-reacting bitch when it comes to diagnosing pain. Please, if you get hurt, NEVER listen to anything I say.
Carry on,
xox


We need to carry this chart around with us at all times, because
most of us have a hard time articulating our level of pain.

My husband goes to the head of the class.
Here’s a classic story that makes us laugh when we’re drunk.

It was back a few years ago, when he discovered (on Web MD in the middle of the night) that he had appendicitis.
I scoffed at his self-diagnosis. Of course, I did. I suggested he had gas and told him to buck up and take a couple of Motrin.
Wife of the Year, I know.

Since he was due to leave on a motorcycle trip to the Sierra’s the next day, unbeknownst to me, he went to the doctor.
THAT should have told me something right there because he’s someone who can have a chainsaw sticking out of his neck and he will sidestep a visit to the doctor.

“Oh, that? Nah, I don’t need a doctor, I’m just going to observe it.”

He called me at work from St John’s, where he had been sent immediately by his doctor for an MRI.

Jeez, I thought. I can’t believe how much they’re overreacting. It’s gas. I’m tellin’ ya.

He got the results while I was on the phone with him. He was told to go directly downstairs to the Emergency Room, where real doctors would admit him for surgery; seems his appendix had a slow leak and I was going to have to give back my medical diploma.

Gas it was not.

I drove like a maniac, in a thunderstorm, in drought-stricken California (in the movie version of this story I’m played by the supremely talented Kate Winslet and this is all VERY, VERY dramatic), to make it across town, at rush hour, to see him before they took him in to operate.

When I got there (late) he was in Emergency, hooked up to antibiotics and pain meds, waiting for his turn in surgery; doing his Sudoku and entertaining the nurses.

What’s your pain level on a scale of one to ten?” the friendly nurse asked while I was hugging him hello.

Three or four,” he said, without even a cringe. I’m thinking—gas. It’s a three because the MRI was wrong and he ate a burrito with extra hot sauce.

Really? What’s a ten to you?” The nurse was curious, since appendicitis is up there on the pain scale—for most mere mortals.

Being skinned alive or boiled in oil” he responded, completely serious.

Huh… ” The nurse seemed stunned. “Okay Braveheart, have you felt that? How would you know? I’m asking you as a point of reference.

Think about it. That’s a great question!
What is a five or an eight or even a ten?

I wondered; have I ever felt a ten? 

We all know those individuals to whom a paper cut is a ten. Are most of us even aware of our pain tolerance scale?

Minutes later his appendix burst. I saw it register on his face like shock. He was fine one moment with his paper-cut three, and then, BAM! It was as if someone had stabbed him and started to skin him alive. He looked very much like #10.

The crazy thing was that if he’d been riding the back country of the Sierra’s—he’d have died.
He hadn’t been accurately portraying his pain because he didn’t know how.
It’s a ten, it’s a ten, maybe even eleven!” he yelled as she injected morphine straight into his IV, his whole body relaxing, his eyes rolling back into his head.

They rushed him into surgery and he is now happily appendix free.

It appears to me that this list could apply to emotional pain as well.
Will we tolerate three’s and four’s as we “observe” the situation?
What constitutes a ten? The equivalent of emotional stigmata or boiling oil?

Food for thought.

Copy this list and keep it with you – in case someone asks.
I especially love the faces.

Love,
Xox


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The Power of Gratitude

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This is the cake my tribe gets almost every time we get together because we have SO much to be grateful for that if we listed everything there wouldn’t be enough room for frosting!

*”The running commentary that dominates my field of consciousness is kind of an asshole.”
~ Dan Harris ABC News Nightline Co-Anchor

Who hasn’t felt like that about those saboteurs that dominate your bran-chatter? Listen, did you know that you can banish them for good? Well, you can, so let me tell ya how!

I’m in the middle of Pam Grout’s new book Thank and Grow Rich which is about the unimaginable power of gratitude.

Although the title insinuates it is about accumulating money—it is so much more than that. It is THE gratitude handbook. A  manual on how you can start thanking your way toward a “rich” life in every damn way you can imagine.

Love, relationships, creativity, peace of mind, and FUN!

Yes, life can be fun.

*”Life is a ticket to the greatest show on earth.”
~ Martin H. Fischer Physician and Author

Here’s the rub. *“Quit thinking, start thanking.”

I could blah, blah, blah, all over this page giving you a synopsis of what the book is about but I think I’ll let Pam, the author, do that instead because she says it way better than I ever could, as a matter of fact, she did! Here is a quote from page 72.

*AMASSING ALCHEMIC CAPITOL

“The bliss, the wisdom, the creativity, the laughter, the friendships, the joy, the serenity and peace that have been, for the most part, seen as an impossible dream will become your most ordinary state of being.”
~ The Way of Mastery

More than another book on counting blessings, this is a book about climate change. Changing the climate of your energy field, upgrading the resonance with which you perceive the world.
Practicing gratitude, more than penciling a written list, is to practice alchemy.
Looking for the good in life literally changes things. Physically changes things.
Financially changes things.
Mentally and emotionally changes things.
It literally changes atoms and rearranges molecules.

Cynics like to discount gratitude, downgrade it as sweet, nice, something for naive Pollyannas.

What I’ve discovered is that living on the frequency of joy and gratitude causes cataclysmic reverberations.”

So I, for one, am getting my Thank You on. What do you think? Are you with me?

Carry on,
xox

*Taken directly from the book Thank and Grow Rich
https://www.amazon.com/Thank-Grow-Rich-Experiment-Shameless/dp/1401949843/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474414863&sr=1-1&keywords=thank+and+grow+rich


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Spinster Auntie Day

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I am not proud of what I’m about to reveal—but it’s the truth.

Once upon a time I had the world by the tail. Or the tits. Both are equally painful if you think about it.

Anyhow, I had a job I loved, lots of friends and foreign travel. I ate, drank, and slept around well. Only one thing stuck in my craw and I was an A-number-one brat about it.

Thinking back on this chapter of my life, I can’t believe what a spoiled jerk I was. A serious boil on the ass of humanity.

Nevertheless, I still think the cause was a good one—I just went about it all wrong.

I was nearing my forties, terminally single, and childless by choice.

One night, tipsy on wine and inadequacy after attending yet another friend’s baby shower directly on the heels of Mother’s Day, I decided there needed to be a National holiday to celebrate women like…well, me…who am I kidding? Just me.

I picked a day in September, because of where it sits on the calendar (I wasn’t a total asshole), directly after summer and just prior to the run up to the holidays. I think it was today, September the 20th.

After careful consideration, filled with equal parts entitlement and hubris, I gathered together my family and friends to decree that September 20th would heretofore be known as Spinster Auntie Day!

I wanted cake. Cupcakes to be exact. I wanted decorations. And gifts. I think I even registered somewhere. God help me.

Why my sister didn’t gag and tie me up until I decided to behave myself is beyond me. Anyway

My feeling was this: I celebrated everyone — all the time.
Weddings and their showers, babies and their showers and birthdays. I went to so many I’ve lost count. In your thirties, matrimony and childbirth essentially take up most of your Saturdays and many of your Sundays. Society at large celebrates mommies and motherhood. And families. As fun as that can be—and it was fun—after a decade I felt like an outsider. It was a club of which I was not a member.

There was no day for me and all of the many women like me. (Insert hands on hips, whining and foot stomps here.)

The unmarried, childless women that all the other women turn to in times of joy and crisis.
The Auntie. In my case, The Spinster Auntie.

The diaper changing, stroller pushing, tote lugging, binkie washing, baby wrangler. The ones who take midnight phone calls, do 6 am pharmacy runs, read Goodnight Moon tens of thousands of times while their mommies took a shower, or ran an errand. We were regularly available because we were a part of that village, you know, the one that it takes to raise a kid.
And we had no real life.

At the time I knew the parents were heroic. But I couldn’t help feeling like we were the unsung heroes.
No one meant to overlook us. They were just so fucking busy being full-time parents. Overlooking is never intentional.

Now before you go and totally hate me (If you don’t already), don’t get me wrong. I loved my auntie duties. My time spent with my actual niece and nephew and the children of all of my friends. Every boo-boo kiss, hand-hold, “I wuv you”, and baby belly-laugh was pure joy to me and I wouldn’t have missed it. I felt lucky to be a member of the inside circle.

I just wanted a day. And cake. Don’t forget about the cake.

I don’t remember if we ever celebrated Spinster Auntie Day more than once. Probably not. I’m certain I went on with my life, too ashamed to bring it up again. I think if asked, my sister, with a shudder, could remember.

Come to find out I was not alone in my unadulterated shamelessness. In 2009, someone actually got a National Aunt and Uncle Day added to the calendar (I like my title better), but I never heard about it because by that time I was married and had, at long last, finally gotten over myself.

Listen, loves, the point here (if there is one), is this: Is there an unsung hero, an Auntie or Uncle either by birth or just their proximity, around you now? Please, please, will you say thank you and buy them a cupcake? From me?

Carry on,
xox

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The Beautiful Parts of Life

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A dear friend sent this to me yesterday at the end of a very powerful conversation. Someone had just sent it to her. It was exactly what we’d been talking about. WTF? It was synchronistic, magical and it made us both euphoric.

“I’ll have what she’s having,” I thought to myself. “More of THAT!”

Nothing is random you guys.

Love you madly,
xox


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The Significance of Storytelling

“Man is a storytelling animal.”

Joseph Campbell after decades of research, found a narrative, a common thread in the stories told by every culture across every continent in the world.

The Hero’s Journey.

There are twelve stages but here is my abridged version.

In short, the hero answers a call to adventure after first refusing to do so due to fear, feelings of unworthiness, or because he was just able to score tickets to Hamilton.

Shenanigans ensue.

There are mentors and ogres and even some magic. Parking spots appear. Deadlines are met.

Then it all falls to shit and he’s convinced he’s gonna die.

After crawling around on his hands and knees, bawling like a little baby, he finally, finally, pulls up his big-boy pants and finds redemption. He realizes that HE was the only obstacle standing in the way of his own success.

He takes a shower, shaves, downs a cold brewski and gathers around anyone who will listen—to tell his fuckin’ story.

“Okay”, he says, leaning forward and lowering his voice you know, for dramatic effect. “I’ve gotta tell ya about this thing that happened to me.” And we all lean in closer to listen.

And you know why? Because EVERYONE can relate!
Because we’ve all been there and we’re dyin’ to compare notes.

“Oh, man. You too?” we say with a knowing nod of the head and maybe even a slap on the back.

Since the beginning of time, we tell our stories because want to help others. We crave connection. We want to let people know that they’re not alone in their seat-of-the-pants journey around this third planet from the Sun.

It’s why Joseph Campbell did it. It’s why Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, and Jason Silva do it.

And it’s most certainly why I show up here every day.

What story are you dying to tell?

Love you,
Carry on,
xox


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One woman's sassy, messy, journey through life
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