What did we used to talk about?!

My girlfriends and our talking points!

I drove down to Cincy today to take care of my grandma.  On the way down, I got the chance to make all of my phone calls that I usually never have time to make.  I called my girlfriends in Cincy and my former colleague at the law firm.  The conversations all went something like this:

“How was your holiday”?

“Great, INSERT KID’S NAME was so cute.  He unwrapped his presents and had a big smile on his face. He’s been starting to talk.  Do you think he should be talking more?  He hasn’t learned how to go to the bathroom yet.  Do you think I should be potty training him yet?…

Before kids, the conversations would have went something like this:

“How was your holiday?”

“Great.  I went out dancing. Remember that dance club we went to last week?  Saw that cute guy there, too.  I hit that running trail that we love. It was so nice to get a ten mile run in and then hit the sauna….” 

Why is it that once we have kids, they are all, or at least a majority, of what we talk about?  I am positive that I had a full life before M&M but the way that I talk, you would never know.  Dance club? More like Kids Club anymore.  Workout class. More like Toddler Gymnastics class.  The Onion wasn’t too far off when it parodied this dilemma. It has become a game for me and my girlfriends now.  As soon as we notice that we are talking only about the kids, we struggle to find at least one other topic to discuss.  It’s just that a majority of our lives are spent with these little munchballs so a majority of our conversation turns toward them.  But I do feel bad for the poor souls who don’t have kids and have to hear us drone on about our little darlings.   Even though I must say that those other poor souls without children tend to spend a majority of their time talking about their dogs…. 

 

Life is Crazy

I have been walking around for the past few days a tad melancholy about life: what more can I do to help people in need, what more can I do to get the most out of life, what more can I do at work to make my career more productive?  Why is it that one moment I can feel so positive and ready to take on this world and five minutes later, I feel dejected and pessimistic and apathetic about it all? 

Crazy kids

I always remember a letter my dad wrote to me after I graduated high school.  It consisted of lots of good advise and wise words but what struck me to this day are three words: “Life is crazy.”  He went on to advise that you just have to laugh at all of the craziness and not let it weigh you down because after all, it’s crazy and what else can you do with crazy but roll with it and have a good time.  I pull those words out of my pocket almost every day, especially with M&M who always remind me that my life is crazy, unpredicatable, and sometimes maddening and “rolling with it” is a lot more fun than stressing about it.

And, I have finally come to the realization that it’s good to constantly question where you are and what you are doing in life – it allows for growth and wisdom.  However, I must admit that The Onion article nearly had me convinced to turn a blind eye to my life questions.  After reading it, I was ready to shove those hefty life questions off my shoulder and move onto bigger and better things like what I should wear tomorrow and what color I should dye my hair….!  One clip was particularly insightful:

“Based on the results of their study, researchers have urged individuals not to waste their time trying to find answers to why it’s all such a fucked-up charade, questioning whether it has some higher purpose, or attempting to devise some way to avoid it—such efforts being futile gestures that would only “play right into” the universe’s trap.

‘There appears to be no escaping the feelings of humiliation, emptiness, and despair this barbaric joke exacts on everyone,” said Nobel laureate and professor emeritus of psychology Daniel Kahneman. “However, trial studies show humankind is far better off when we push it all into the back of our heads, try not to think about it, and just trudge mindlessly toward death.'”

But after much thought, I decided to stick with my old man’s advice to roll with life and all of its punches because, after all, life is crazy and you might as well embrace it and have some fun.

Thank god for little brothers

I woke up to a rainy, grey, chilly morning.  A day made for snuggling with your babies and hubby in bed snoozing for an hour and then waking for a few minutes and then back to the snooze.  But the world continued to shout our names to wake up and greet it and Cy continued to bark our names to let him outside – so we had to pull our bodies out of bed. And get dressed.  Ugh. 

Dude-man and his girlfriend with Maria (happy with her barbie gift!)

I rushed Maria down to school just so we could participate in the Book Fair a half hour before her school started only to find out that there were no early hours for the fair that morning.  I waited with Maria for the first bell to ring and then rushed home to get dressed and ready for work.  As I tried to run from the bedroom to the closet, I tripped over a gym shoe and knocked my head into the door.  I looked at myself in the mirror and thought “it’s just gonna be one of those days.”  By the time I got to work, I was ready for chocolate.  I downed a snickers bar and a hot chocolate and started to work on a policy that I had been ignoring.  The phone rang off the hook with questions from clients.  My stomach hurt.  Ugh.

As I stared out the window mad about the day, I heard the ring of the computer telling me I had new mail.  I looked down and saw my brother’s name, jack menkedick, on my screen.  “Dude-man” as my sis and I call him.  Seventeen years my junior, he is a superstar musician and actor and one cool cat.  He had forwarded an article to me from The Onion, A Parenting Study.  It made me roar with laughter for the first time all day.  No more worries about how I am parenting – Maria and Mario are screwed no matter what!   How relieved I am to have found that study and to know that there is no parenting tactic that works any better than another – rock-n-roll!  And how awesome it is to have a little brother that thinks enough to send me an email that he knows will put a smile on my face on a dreary day.