Enjoy these moments. They’ll soon be gone.

Your child is growing faster than you want him or her to. The dishes can be done another day. The floors can be cleaned tomorrow.

I wish I always stuck to this rule, but alas, I have a mean case of the “cleanies,” or otherwise known as mild mild OCD and the compulsive need to know I could run my finger along the floor and find not one speck of dirt.

I am home with my child for the majority of the week, but not all, and I find that you can be home with a kid, but it doesn’t necessarily equal quality time. While I waste some time doing the necessities like, cleaning, cooking, or catching up with work emails and/or writing work, I really try to put stuff aside to play as much as I can with my daughter.

I know I will be working an insane job and losing out on all this time with her, and that one day she will turn to me and say, “Later, mom.”

She already wants to read her books on her own, or even sit by herself. She is fiercely independent.

I just urge parents to set the phone/work/worries/chores aside, and just enjoy these moments.

My daughter sometimes uses the wrong object pronouns– ” Mommy pick you up.”

She holds onto little washcloths, and kisses her Snoopy and Tinkerbell stickers. She asks us to sleep in my bed, and asks me to sing particular songs to her.

One day she won’t do such things, and won’t want me the same way. I won’t be the center of her universe. Is it draining dealing with toddler mood swings? Sure. However, it is a precious time. I can’t imagine her as a big person at all. I love basking in her energy and vivaciousness. I feel so honored to watch her grow up.

I know I am not saying anything earth-shattering or new, but just let it slide, those little things. They can be done later. I try to take my own advice, because it’s legitimate.

Childhood is so magical, because children always suspend disbelief. They always live in the moment, unless they’re desperately talking about their birthdays months in advance, or talking about that trip they made to Disney as if they did it yesterday. They have an amazing capability to sense people’s genuineness and emotions. It is a time like no other in life.

I know that one day I will miss all the time I spent coloring, painting, reading, singing, and chasing after my little sprite. I know all mothers think their children are superb, but I cannot help but think that since I only have one child, I really landed a fantastic one.

She will sometimes say, ‘Mommy, play with you (meaning me),” and I have to stop what I am doing so I can go to her side.

One day, she will be too busy to play with me, and I will always wish for just one more time to play.

You Cry Baby! Appropriate places to get all gushy

Some of us are  just too damn emotional. Yeah, yeah you know it. Estrogen and progesterone combine to make some of us–read me–a bunch of wet tissues and red-rimmed eyes.

I can’t be the only one who has emotional moments. Have you ever been dumped? Shit on during bad German porn? Left at the altar? Divorced because you partner decided to have a mid-life crisis or follow some white guy guru who claims to have the key to connecting with your higher power? Stained a new shirt? Had a bad hair day? Had terrible sex? Or no sex? Has your vagina only seen the action of a Tampax? Has your penis seen your sock more than a woman’s thighs? Has your favorite television show been canceled? Did you have to sit next to a smelly homeless guy on a subway? Did you ever have someone put a booger on you?

If you answered yes, you may need to cry. You may need to weep like an old lady at a funeral. There’s nothing wrong with shedding some tears. Think of all the songs that have been written about crying.

The problem becomes when you cry in appropriate places. Let me give you some examples of places where you should cry…and places where you shouldn’t.

1-The Gym

I cried in the middle of my workout as I ran on the treadmill. I made the very large man who was working on his pecs, very uncomfortable. I think he may have gone to the bathroom to shoot up more testosterone, or possibly adjust his balls. Either way, crying in the middle of the gym is a bad idea. This isn’t Rocky or Vision Quest. Quit the wet face, pussy.

Alternative appropriate place to cry: In the woods

Take a run in the woods and cry while listening to Barbara Streisand. Just be sure to not drown yourself in a river. That’s rather dramatic darling/

2-During sex

While I know sometimes sex can be very bad–I know that sounds difficult to imagine, but sometimes it’s more than just painful. It’s god-effin’ awful…when you sit and wait with bated breath for it to end, that’s a sign it sucks.

Either way, crying during sex because your dad didn’t/doesn’t love you, or because you were traumatized when you caught your brother masturbating and now your partner’s penis looks like your brother’s penis, is not a good time to cry.

If you are feeling traumatized, try a nice vibrator (which always works and never is too tired to go down on you), or for the men, try your hand or a blow-up doll. At least she won’t tell you she has a headache again.

Alternative appropriate place to cry: watching porn

Have you ever seen how hard some of those women work? Cry for them. That’s gotta be tiring.

3- While shopping

If you are so upset and distraught that picking out workout clothes at the Sports Authority or picking out a new novel to read can’t distract you from sobbing like you just watched Steel Magnolias, you need to stay home. You need to stay home and medicate yourself. If you disagree with me, call a local psychiatrist. Thanks.

alternative appropriate place to cry: friend’s shoulder

Life can truly suck sometimes. It can be worse than smelling the sweaty testicles of a monkey. You may really have every reason to drop all kinds of antidepressants and seek help. No shame in that. If you can’t afford real help, recruit a very nice friend who wears bad clothes, and slobber all over his or her clothes. Try not to get too much snot on their outfits though, otherwise your friends will kick you to the curb.

4-Final place to not cry.

In front of your in-laws, ex-boyfriend’s, old employers (never cry at work anyway), grumpy female friends who tend to PMS hardcore (potential bitches) or other potential unknown enemies.

It’s not cute looking weak in front of those who may or may not really like you. Why? Because they are just waiting for you to fail. They don’t like you and will really get off on seeing you upset. They will attack you when you are down and enjoy every minute.

Instead, you should be the better person, and give these people the finger when they are not looking. Slashing tires may be appropriate when an ex is involved. Seek friends’ opinions when deciding on such drastic measures.

alternative appropriate place to cry: your parents

They are stuck with you whether they want to be or not, and they may not like being stuck with you despite what they lead you to believe. Either way, corner one of your parents and cry like a little bitch for as long as you like. They are entitled to listen and watch while you cry. They are not allowed to tell you to put on your big girl or boy panties. If they tell you that, remind them that they are the reason you are so fucked up in the first place.

Love, me.

The Grass isn’t Greener on the Other Side: Reality Check

 One of the biggest values I see in my country is the “New” value.

What’s this ‘New” value? It’s the value that if something isn’t working, we can throw it away and get something new. This not only pertains to toys, televisions, cars, or jobs, but also relationships and people.

Monogamy is problematic in itself. Despite the fact that we really aren’t designed to be with one person sexually, most people flock to monogamous relationships, whether for family reasons or security reasons. People find comfort in coupledom, even though there should never be  just one person meeting all a person’s various needs as that is a lot for one person to do. Sure, a partner can meet most or some of one’s needs, but one will always need other people in addition to a partnership for a myriad of different ways.  Co-workers for work knowledge and growth. Friends for hobby talk, shared interests, or simple social time.

With monogamy still being a rather popular state, I find it sad that so many of us in this particular country–I can’t speak for others–give up so easily when we feel things are tough or not working.

We have all felt this way. There have been many days in which I or a friend of mine has said, “Ugh I can’t take it! What a crappy fight/day/situation!”

Yet there is a huge difference between dealing with a rough day, and simply walking away and shaking one’s hands totally clean of another person.

We look at our “garden”–our relationships, our marriage, our friendships, our boyfriend or girlfriend, and suddenly all we see are weeds. Look at those weeds. Look at the little creepy crawlies or rabbits that keep eating my plants. Look at that shrub–it never bloomed flowers like it was supposed to. See how this grass over here is a bit yellow? Damnit, I watered it and tended to that grass like a fiend. Why is it not healthy? Why is there a patch in my garden that refuses to grow any grass, despite having planted seed there? Why does my garden not look as good as my neighbor’s? Why is his so much better than mine? I bet he has better fertilizer. I bet he has more money. I bet I can just go to a landscaper and get rid of this junk, and have a better garden. 

The grass looks so much lusher over in Mr. X or Mrs. Y’s garden. Her plants are fuller. Trimmed better. Nicer pavers. Never gets crab grass. I’d love to have his or her garden. My own is terrible.

Yet if we went over to Mr. X or Mrs. Y’s house, I betcha ten dollars that all he or she is obsessing about, is the one patch of weeds he/she always has to pluck.  Mr. X is looking longingly at your garden, while you stare at his.

Often, people walk away and start anew. “New” means better. New means more possibilities and less work. New means I can start off on the right foot. I can get what I want finally, instead of dealing with the metaphorical weeds, crab grass, and yellow spots in my garden. Finally, I will have what I want.

After awhile, as one strolls through this new garden, one is bound to find weeds. Plants that never quite grow. A bunch of rabbits that keep eating the greenery.

“But how was this? It seemed so right before! So perfect! I never saw those weeds. I never noticed those rabbits.”

We recycle people, toys, cars, and material items as if they are all going out of style. Everything can be better! It’s the American way.

“Look Ma–the newest version of X…”

We walk away from things that aren’t unrepairable, and buy new things when we are tired of what we have and want what the next dude has in front of us. When someone irritates us, we dump him or her too, because hey, there are plenty of fish in the sea. Those other fish probably aren’t as –insert negative quality–as my fish.

This goes for jobs too. I bet Mrs. Y’s boss is better than my boss. I bet if I move to this company, I will get X, Y, and Z, forgetting that while we may get those added bonuses, a whole bunch of new problems will be there to face us. They may be different issues than the ones we deal with now, but they will be there. We just think they might be easier problems, and indeed, they may…or they may not be.

I’m not saying we should hold on to everything and everyone. Some plants just don’t grow in particular environments, and some people just don’t work together. Some people, no matter how much they try, will never be a great combination. It’s a sad reality that all of us have faced in our lives. Not everyone “fits” us. and we do not fit everyone. That’s okay. 

I just feel that as a society, we value the “new” too much. We think something new will solve the problems that we had with the last person or product, yet this “new” person or product will hand us different problems. We must be tenacious to solve and work at them. We shouldn’t just walk away, unless it simply is unhealthy or dangerous for ourselves.

It’s not a matter of deciding to stick with something or someone even if it harms us, but knowing that when we enter into any relationship, whether a business or love partnership, that we will have to work hard to manage and maintain it.. We will have to water that garden, and watch as it sometimes flourishes, and other times, wanes.



Turn on your (love) light

I have been thinking a lot about happiness and how my relationships with people–whether romantic, family, or friendship–affect me. I have been thinking about other people and how they relate and share friendships, love, and life with others. This is probably because I’m writing a monthly love column and have to think about this stuff. Maybe it’s because I have also had a crappy year and need to make some changes, some refinements in how I conduct my life.

One of the biggest lessons I have had to learn in my life is not to let others dim my light, and I am still not very good at it at times.

We all have an energy or glow about ourselves that radiate who we are, and what we want from the world around us.When we let other people into our inner circle whether it be a love partner, family member, or a friend, we allow them to partake in our light, or our energy.

If this person starts to dim that light or suppress your energy, you can damn well bet that you will suffer.

This is all basic psychology. Nothing new to what I am saying here, but maybe it’s time we reflected on how the people in our lives contribute to our energy. Are they adding to who we are, or subtracting from our original “stack”? Do they make you feel important and cared for, or do they make you very aware of every flaw and insecurity you have?

When you have low self-esteem, it’s pretty easy to let someone else take away from your energy, or extinguish your flame so to speak. It’s almost too easy for you to start tearing away at yourself until all that is left is nothing but self-hatred and pain.

We make excuses and validate this individual’s behavior because we have bought into the story that he or she has sold us. Sure we are worthless, because person X has reminded me that I am Y, and this is bad, and it truly is bad, so why am I so bad?

It could be your mother, your wife, your friend, or your boss.

We just kind of start to assume that he or she wouldn’t say those things if they weren’t true Sure we must be X, Y, or Z because that person said it, and so it is truth.

When you start to feel like you don’t even know how to feel anymore, then you know you’ve been dimmed or drained.

A lot of us self-haters have learned that we are no good because of our early family or love relationships. It takes enormous strength to reteach ourselves that yes indeedy, we are good, we are okay, and we are lovable. It’s almost impossible to reach across that early broken border of abuse or neglect to buy into the fact that while we may indeed be a pain in the ass, we are actually okay. We might even be pretty wonderful.

Sometimes I forget this. I start to buy into what some person or the other told me. I start to panic thinking that maybe indeed, I will never be okay or feel alright, until something clicks in me that says, “Wait? Are any of these self-hating truths real?” “What is truth and what is fiction?”

If you feel as if you have come to a point in which you feel so terrible about yourself when you deal with a certain person, ask yourself if maybe it’s not you. Maybe it’s the other person.

You have your own energy and light. If you let others suck that from you, you are left with nothing.

Don’t walk around empty. It is the worst feeling I have ever known.