The End

Tightness in my chest begins to consume me and my breathing becomes heavy and fast. Too fast. My heart rate increases despite my responsiveness to it. I try to slow my breathing. I try to back away from the hyperventilation that I know is soon to follow. It doesn’t matter what I do, it’s coming and there is nothing I can do about it.

The kids begin screaming at each other in the basement. My hands clench into earnest fists and I close my eyes to shut out this world. I look for another. One that I fear I’ve forgotten amidst the hubbub of daily life. A blank screen stares back at me. The keyboard feels alien beneath my wandering fingers. I am at a loss and I sense I’ve lost it all. I’ve lost what makes me me.

I cannot remember the last time I wrote a line of poetry or prose without thinking about Facebook in the next occurring thought. I have no clue how long it has been since I have wrote a story or thought of a funny memory or even jotted down an antidote that hasn’t ended up on some sort of social media platform.

Somewhere along the line it has become about the likes and the shares and the almighty feeling of having the other humans of this world commend me for doing just about any ‘ol thing and the glorification of it all is intoxicating. I am addicted to being “liked”. I am captivated by this tiny electronic screen, idly waiting to spot the next red notification bubble pop up simply to tell me that it has happened again; SOMEBODY LIKES SOMETHING I’VE WRITTEN. It’s compulsive.

So now, as I sit here needing to write not for the beauty of the craft but for the exaltation I will receive from those who read it I feel the anxiety creeping up my spine.

Once upon a time I wrote because there was an inherent beast of storytelling existing within me. He encapsulated every ounce of my being and without him whispering words in my mind’s eye I’d merely keel over and die. And that is no exaggeration my friends. There was once a time when I’d surely have withered away if refused the ability to write down all of the beautiful and terrible and heinous and outstanding reveries that happened throughout my travelling mind.

These days however I haven’t scribbled a sentence in over a month and the only reason I began today was because my Blogging Mama page reminded me (with one of those glorious notification bubbles) that I haven’t gotten as many “likes” on the page this week so I should write a post. As you may know, we must collect those likes and those shares as if they were our lifeblood. As if they sustain that air of well-being we tote around with us in our day-to-day existence.

I am tired of lugging around that particular sort of well-being. It comes with too many chains and locks, too many variables.

Instead I want to feel a pencil scratch across a yellowed notebook. I want to write something down and not second guess it because of whom may read it and what they might think. I want to once again feel the joy in having written. I want to believe in writing again and look forward to the challenge. This is where the best kind of self-worth comes from – something done humbly.

So just like that I will say farewell. The time has come for this blogging mama to write something new. It is time to write something that doesn’t comply with notification bubbles or the likes and the shares. Something that is simply about the words and the stories. It is time to remember how to write right and write passionately.

Thank you so much for reading The Blogging Mama.

Image result for The End

Living Stories

The sun slips through a crack in my bedroom drapes and I roll over to put an arm around my snoring Jamie. I should really do some writing today. However the musing quickly slides away as a mounting to-do list takes precedence. There are always so many important things to worry about these days.

I hear the kids perusing the kitchen, likely on the hunt for Lucky Charms—their special weekend cereal. Rolling over and pulling the pillow over my head seems like the best option but the to-do list stops me. That damn to-do list, it gets me every time.

My legs feel heavy as I pull on my burgundy hole ridden sweats. I take a fleeting glance in the mirror but I don’t stay long because this early in the morning I don’t have the self-esteem to deal with un-showered, un-shaven, desperately tired with a side of bedhead Lindsay. Don’t cry for me blogoshpere, the truth is it just takes a bit of time for my girl power to kick into high gear on these lazy Sunday mornings—‘aight.

After an impromptu trip to the grocery store for milk, a quick clean of the kitchen, a shower and some coffee slurping I am off to work. The shop isn’t open today but there are some bakery orders that need filling and a bit of prep that is better not left for the last minute Monday morning madness.

I crank my go-to 90’s tunes and get to baking. I’m dancing and singing and sifting and mixing and I’m feeling pretty fucking good about it too. That is until an old friend creeps gently into the forefront of my thoughts.

God you should write today Lindsay. How long has it been? 3 maybe 4 weeks now. Cobwebs. Oh how we hate going back to the cobwebs.

Often, by this point, it just doesn’t seem worth it anymore. You know, too thick with dust to bother.

The feeling moves down to my lungs and palpitates in a rhythm that cries; it’s over, you’re done, give up, writing isn’t in the cards, everything else is too important.

I wonder if writing will ever near the top of the to-do list again. Or if it really is just, over.

All of the greats say that if you are a “real writer” you will make time for writing. You will allow writing to be your first priority. YOU will live, breathe, eat and shit writing,

I don’t know how they do this.

It honestly baffles me. I am barely, just BARLEY, hanging in there with what I’ve got going on. Owning a business and raising two children, who by the way I’d like to be active members of society, takes all of the energy I’ve got. How could I possibly put writing in front my family’s well-being or my children’s upbringing into awesomeness? Obviously it isn’t an option.

But this angst that has now encompassed the entirety of my body does not let me forget. It tells me that it is my nature. It is who I am. It does not brush easily to the wayside for long. I’m in too deep now. Just a few words would suffice, several sentences, perhaps a paragraph if I’m lucky. However any bit will do for now.

After the bread has baked and the cupcakes have been frosted I sit down at a keyboard. I don’t know what I will write until my fingers stroke the keys and sometimes it is garbage that only its creator can appreciate. Occasionally by some vast miracle of the universe another person can find some sort of weird and unruly truth in it. Sometimes when that happens I smile and remember why it feels good to write for other human beings enjoyment.

But every time, every single time, I put words to paper I feel as though this clutching presence has been lifted and once again I can breathe easy.

I suppose that at this point in life, I am meant to be building businesses and bringing up babies, slinging sentences whenever I can and going a little crazy while juggling it all. I should feel lucky that I am one of the few that know, like really know, what they were meant to do.

And in time the writing will come. One day there will a desk that looks out onto something beautiful, a keyboard waiting to be pounded on and a brain overflowing with tales to tell.

I look forward to that day. But first, we must live the life to tell the stories.

Post Expo Post

You guys! I’ve managed to somehow, someway, wrangle a whole 40 minutes of spare time to write a quick blurb about, well, life I suppose. Sure I may have skipped wearing make-up today and merely tossed a bowl, the milk jug and a handful of cheerios at the small humans but you know what? I’m writing and I’m friggen stoked about it.

So I’m sure you’ve all been on the edge of your seats wondering how the infamous food and beverage expo went for us. Well, to put it short and sweet—it was fucking fantastical! Like a dream come true folks. The perfect portrait of grace and elegance all wrapped up into one drunken food fest. Absolutely superb.

We had such a surplus of helpers there so our food went out fast and efficiently.

16107514_10154719384011068_2915479832107996382_o

People were coming back for seconds despite a plethora of other food vendors in the vicinity. It was a blast! I don’t think Jamie and I have had that much fun since we started up The Hot Wire!

Not that slinging sandwiches isn’t, like, the best time ever, but getting to mingle with a throng of fun and fabulous foodies was pretty freakin’ great too!

15966093_10154719382936068_8159993873190423848_n-copy

The best part is, it’s paying off already. We are on day three now of post expo extravaganza and we’ve already had a bunch of people coming in asking for “The Roma” or “the panini we had at the food show”. There has been folks walking through our doors sayings, “yeah we tried you out at the show and couldn’t wait to come try another panini.”

15977683_10154719382291068_1248950550203086974_n

So needless to say, I think we will do it again next year.

Mom and Ashley came down to hang with the kids over the weekend while we were busy busting our butts and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. They took the kids to a hotel where they slid down waterslides and ate pizza for dinner. I’m pretty sure the kids had, literally the best time of their lives. And definitely a monumentally more marvelous time than they would have stashed away under one of the prep tables at the expo…which was the alterative if Mom wasn’t able to make it down here.

My eyes keep wandering over to the bottom right hand corner of the screen where the time is displayed. Only twenty minutes left before I have to pull myself away from this computer and get the children to school. Still, that’s enough time to finish up…that’s what she said. Clearly I’ve been hanging out with Jamie too much lately.

For days now I’ve been mentally compiling a blog post to tell you guys how great this past weekend was. How fulfilling it has been to see the happiness spread across strangers faces moments after we shove our paninis down their throats. I’ve been wanting to tell you how excited I am for the future and all of the ideas that are now fighting for attention in my wandering mind.

15975118_10154719384241068_6030790487861409549_o-copy

But here I sit, in front of my computer and all that occupies my brain is that gleaming fact that I am in desperate need of a refill on my coffee.

I’m sure as soon as I, say, strap myself into the car and am driving to the school some beautifully prophetic prose will come to mind about existence and friendship and fulfilment and whatnot but right here, right now, my brain only processes one thing: STRONG COFFEE=LIFE.

This is probably because in the deep recesses of my mind I know that today is yet another hectic adventure in the demanding life of a panini posse. Maybe it will be so busy we’re run off our feet. Perhaps we will invent the newest fad in sandwich attire. Or possibly some other amazing and newfangled opportunity that I cannot even fathom will present itself, once again turning our entire world upside down. And that my friends, is the best part of it all.

20160603_073001

Think Big. Act Accordingly. Stay Humble.

Jamie and I are officially on our Christmas break. We get an entire two days off and I don’t think I’ve felt this much Christmas glee in ages! It is the morning of December 24th and I am enjoying a warm cup of coffee at my computer. I’m not stressed out about getting to work on time to make bread or having to get the kids ready for school. I’m not thinking about upcoming Hot Wire orders or money or anything for that matter. I am just here in this moment and that feels great.

This last week has been a trial. We sort of snowballed when it came to making holiday trays. I put an add on Facebook that seemed to attract a lot of attention and long story short,  over the last three days Jamie and I have made around 500 eggnog flavoured cream puffs. This wouldn’t have been so bad if we, say, had two ovens to work with and, oh I don’t know, an employee or two. But really, what would a business be if it didn’t have some trials and tribulations to tell tales about in the years to come?! And you know what? We did it! It was probably a Hot Wire Christmas miracle but we did it none the less.

This time of year always gets me thinking about life and I am in awe at what we’ve accomplished since moving to this city. The friends and connections we’ve made have been irreplaceable and this experience; simply unbelievable.  Some days I come home and my back is killing me and feet feel as though they have lead pipes fastened to them. A better spouse would likely quiet this fact and ask how her partner was doing. Not me.

“Ugh, FUCK I’m so tired!” I will say in a bitter rage to my husband.

“It feels like I slept for an entire minute last night!” Jamie will rebut because if we are anything, it is on the same page about how close to zombies we’ve become since opening The Hot Wire up.

We persevere though because the shop means life and life is the shop. This is mantra as of late. ZOMBIES I TELL YOU — ZOMBIES!

A few days ago we had a couple of fellows stumble, and I literally mean stumble, through our doors. They approached our patrons asking each one if they would buy them lunch. Of course, once I caught on to their shenanigans I quietly asked them to leave.

“Well who the heck do you think you are little girl?” The one man slurred as the other fell to a nearby seat.

“Look guys, I’m not trying to be rude here but if you aren’t going to buy anything you’ll have to leave.” I repeated.

“Well what can I buy for two bucks?” He asked throwing a pile of change on the counter. I knew what he wanted but I find it difficult to give to those who barge into my life with unpleasant confrontations.

“Any of the baked goods.” I replied.

“What only these things?” he said smudging the display case`s glass with his oiled fingers.

“Yes sir…those things.” At this point he must have picked up on the condescension which was creeping into my tone of voice.

“Hey, so what, you work here or something?” He said as he swayed to imaginary music.

“Yeah, I own this place.” Screw Christmas kindness, I’m done being cordial to this jackass.

“Oooh whoopidity doo!” He replied rolling his eyes. “All of your food is too expensive anyways. You`re a joke.”

“Okay well you can leave then.” I reiterated for the tenth time.

I will spare you the gritty details, because in all honesty this conversation (if you can call it that) went on for another five minutes in loop-de-loops which resulted in nothing other than the man calling me a chubby cow and asking if I was smart enough to count change. All the while I kept a pretty decent cool if I do say so myself. Jamie managed to finally get them out of there by threatening to call the cops.

I could dwell on this. I could worry that I said the wrong things. I could waste so much of my precious time rolling it over in my mind thinking about what I could have done differently and how I can prevent this unpleasantness from happening again. But that would be pointless. The sad truth of it is, these things just happen. Rather than being angry about these two men coming into our shop, harassing us and frightening our customers, I am going to feel sorry for their lack of social interaction skills. I do however wish that if these guys were actually hungry and cold, that they would have approached us differently. We are happy to give what we can and provide a warm place from the cold to anyone in need. And I am so grateful that we have the ability to do so.

I`ve come to realise that Jamie really is my best friend. Together, it seems, that we can accomplish anything. We`ve grown a family, moved to a new city, built a business from nothing and created a life together. We are the epitome of the definition of partners; in business but more so in life. At the end of every month when our numbers get tallied we can see our hard work paying off slowly but surely. Our children are growing up healthy and happy and cared for. Yes we are tired. Yes we`ve had to make huge sacrifices. Yes some days it is difficult to find the wherewithal to go forward. But we will go forward. We will keep moving on with our plans and dreams and hopes and aspirations because that is what those who live in happiness will forever do.

Merry Christmas Friends and Family! I hope this post finds you all in positive spirits and looking forward to a new and exciting year ahead.

Grab a ticket and hop on

I’m sitting at this computer, a coffee to my left and a pile of Hot Wire paperwork to my, er, further left. Don’t you know, coffee always takes precedence.  I am looking at this keyboard and thinking, “it’s been a while old friend.” I’m feeling a little dramatic because a life without embellishment would result in me withering away into an endless black hole of worthlessness. And that would be a bummer man.

It’s been weeks, month’s maybe since I last sat down and wrote. Sure, I spew a few lines here and there. When I do write, as I’m sure my long-time Mama readers will vouch, it’s a little on the fatalistic side. I swear, I’m not as angry and disgruntled as my latest writings would suggest. It’s just what seems to be spilling out at the moment, and as they say, you can’t argue with art.

Every week or so I horde a little time to scour through some of my old Me Plus Tree columns or pull out a few Blogging Mama bits and revel in all of the time I used to have for writing these long drawn out blurbs of hilarity. As you also know, I am horribly, dreadfully, without even a little bit of shame one of the vainest human beings I know when it comes to my writing. I literally laugh out loud at my own work. Perhaps I shall seek help one day about this.

The kids have done a 360 on their blogging position and now are loving the fact that I have a treasure trove of funny stories involving them. Some of the more appropriate tales have come to be their bedtime stories and they laugh and laugh as I recite these babblings to them in loud and outlandish voices. This arrangement works well in the fact that we can achieve our nighttime routine and my need to satisfy the teeming narcissism in my soul at one convenient time.

It’s pretty great and I must admit I love being able to make these stories what they were always intended to be; a journal for my kids. Rereading these moments helps remind us all where we’ve come from and how far we’ve journeyed. And that is a really cool thing.

Last night I spun a well-known tale for them about a wee girl hiding under the computer desk with shitty pants and a mischievous twinkle in her eye. They laughed and my heart swelled at the sounds of their giggles over a story I crafted so many years ago. That life seems like it is so far away now and I’m so thankful I have these writings to keep us connected with that time in my young family’s lives.

It got me to thinking. There are so many things happening right now. Amazing, tough, terrifying and thought provoking things and…I’M NOT DOCUMENTING ANY OF IT!!!

Of course there is the fact that we are running a business, working at that business full time, bringing up babes and trying to find a life somewhere in-between all of that too. Where do I find the time to write? I’m sure all of the great story tellers of our time found themselves asking the exact same question. And the answer? Well, I guess the answer is, I have to just find the time. Whether it be a break at work or early in the morning hours or long after the kids are snug in their beds at night.

I could probably just stop binge watching Gilmore Girls a few nights a week and all of my writing quandaries would be solved. Ah! But they are just so saucy, who couldn’t love that quirky mother/daughter duo?!

My coffee has stopped steaming and the pile of paperwork is still staring at me relentlessly so I suppose it is time to start the day. However today I will go about my work, with a contentedness I haven’t had in some time. I’ve wrote. Perhaps it wasn’t the start of a great novel or a short fiction story that really makes you think, but it was something. Something my children will one day rummage up and begin to read, reminding them of our adventures on this wild ride we call life.

Who Am I?

Image result for Zoolander Quote, "Who am I?"

 

During my last year of being twenty I found myself constantly musing over what it would be like to be thirty. More specifically, how glorious it would be to get the hell out of the awkward and stroppy moments of my twenties and into the self-assured, cool as a cucumber stage of thirty. You see, because everyone I spoke to back then in regards to turning thirty said I’d love it! They told me that thirty is flirty and fabulous. Thirty is the time when you really get to know yourself and blossom into a new and better you.

Well, as it turns out something as simple as age doesn’t define how one acts and feels in day to day life. Huh, go figure.  I don’t mean to be a downer over here but as far as mental stability goes, I’m pretty sure I was better off in my late twenties.

Sure my circumstances have changed from then to now but I still thought that I’d have a bit better grasp of that age old question, “Who am I?” by now.

Recently it seems that a big stinkin’ pile of reality has decided to plop itself warmly ahead of me, hindering my progression in any which way I may desire. This forces me to deal with my “issues” and to “plan for the future”. Blah, blah, blah is what I have to say about that.

To be clear, everything that I thought I had wrapped snugly around my pinky finger in my twenties has hopped over to the middle one and is giving me a big fuck you.

I’m still shoving short stories and manuscripts into the faces of any editors who will read them. I now understand the yarn about the desperate playwright who is relentless in their quest to get someone, anyone, to read their play. I’m the fucking playwright guys! Not only am I receiving polite rejection slips, I’m also getting back not-so-polite rejection slips. Like, “don’t quit your day job” and “you use words like ‘awkward’ and ‘stroppy’ which make your writing awkward and stroppy.”

But at least I have The Hot Wire to fall back on right? If becoming a famous writer and winning The Nobel Prize doesn’t pan out the way I had hoped, then at least I can fulfil my other delusion of becoming famous by co-owning/operating the greatest sandwich shop on the face of planet earth…right?

Not exactly. Maybe we will still get there, but not because of yours truly and her stellar skills with other human beings. It has recently come to my attention that everyone on the face of the planet thinks I come off fake and uninterested when I am working at the panini palace. WHAT? That can’t be right! People love me! I asked Jamie if this was true and he just smiled and gave me a kiss on the forehead. Well we all know what that means don’t we! So apparently even my customer service skills (that I always assumed were terrific) are actually “awkward” and “stroppy” like everything else in my life.

I don’t know any more you guys. I so badly just want to become famous with little to no work involved and live in a big mansion on the outskirts of a rolling hill with a pond and a goat named Angus who keeps the grass trimmed. Why does everything have to be so difficult all of the time?

The kids are doing alright I guess. I think I’m probably, at the very least, not failing miserably in that department. They are growing up to pretty fucking rad so, you know, I got that going for me.

Who knows, I’ve got another birthday coming up, and to completely disregard the whole moral of this entire post…maybe 31 will be the year Lindsay gets her groove back.

Because seriously, hard work and improving oneself is overrated anyways, right?

8 Ways to be a Good Customer (and avoid the bad juju)

Ahh the joys of customer service. *she says as an involuntary twitch travels over her left cheekbone.*

I suppose this vocation needs no real introduction because all of us, at some point in our lives, have probably partook in such means of work.

Except, maybe that’s not true. Maybe, there is a portion of human beings who have never had to take an order, clean up after someone or do anything remotely of the sort. Because, correct me if I’m wrong here, I feel like if everyone knew what it was like to work in customer service, well, there just wouldn’t be as many delusional asshat customers as there are.

But that’s not the way we humans work is it? I’m as bad as the next guy. Just a few weeks ago I was a total jackass to the cashier at the gas station because they had changed their pumps to prepay and they hadn’t thought to reach out personally to me and let me know this vital information in advance.

Why did I feel the need to stomp around like a friggen maniac because I had to go in the store and pay before pumping my gas? Now looking back it was outrageous of me and I hope to God that the gas-bar attendant got a good laugh in at me on account of my temporary insanity.

However, I received all of that bad juju and more in karma today at work. It was pretty much a day from hell. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I need me some redemption, I need to make things right again in the universe. I can’t deal with anymore “hell-days” so I’m here to right my wrongs.  

So here it is. Redemption.

A list. Because everyone loves lists.

8 Ways to be a Good Customer (and avoid the bad juju):

  1. When entering a business location if greeted, it is wise to greet back in a friendly/polite manner…as is, and has always been the social norm since, well, pretty much forever ago. When one does not greet back it is awkward and makes actually no sense at all; leaving the greeter to conclude that they must be in the midst of a total fucking chode-monster.
  2. Do not, under really any circumstances, ask the person behind the register if, “anything is good here.” It’s a completely senseless question. Like, I’m not sure what you expect the answer to be but in pretty much every scenario, whether it’s an employee/owner/volunteer, they are probably going to tell you that the product is good. Even if it is some little shit employee, they aren’t risking their job to tell you all the gruesome truths and malevolent corporate secrets of this establishment. Sorry to break it to you, but nobody is going to think twice about spewing out some rehearsed line, “of course it’s good…Everything is good here at Daisy Dukes Dildo Shack.” So save everyone a lot of weirdness and just don’t ask and judge for yourself.
  3. This one is more for just the food service industry so it pretty much involves everyone on the face of the planet. Do not, I repeat DO NOT, go into an eatery during lunch/dinner to inquire about anything other than eating right then and there. No, they do not want to hear about your cutting edge new knife product. No, they are not interested in your organic vegetables. NO, they cannot give you a minute of their time. Why you ask? Because they are balls to the walls busy with people who are actually spending money at their establishment. Try again in the downtime…or don’t, nobody cares.
  4. Do not treat a cashier any different than you would treat the owner of a business. Plain and simple.
  5. Many of us like to talk about only eating and shopping locally. It’s great. It’s actually fantastic because it is a community minded way to be. I applaud you for that. The thing is, when you shop/eat locally that often means you are doing so at tiny Mom and Pop businesses. Sure they may have fantastic food and yeah, I bet every lunch hour that you go in there they are just hopping busy. That doesn’t mean (even in the slightest) that they can afford employees. So, before offering your breadth of knowledge just know that the last ten customers probably said the same, “looks like you need to do some hiring” spiel before you. And despite the general consensus of these people who have never come close to seeing the financial books of this establishment, unfortunately, that doesn’t make their suggestions even a little bit more attainable.
  6. Sometimes businesses run out of stock. Don’t argue with the staff about it. If they are out they are out. No amount of “well this is ridiculous!” will change that.
  7. If you notice a customer in front of you being a right ol’ bag-O-dicks to the cashier, please by all means, say something. It is in fact your business as a human being to stop the blatant verbal abuse that customer service people endure daily. Be the difference.
  8. If you’re sort of shy and non-confrontational, that’s okay too, once the cashier has so aptly moved the smacktard on his way, show the person behind the till your solidarity by rolling your eyes and saying quietly, “what a jive ass turkey that slime ball was” and then promptly pull yourself out of the 70’s and continue on with your day.

 

Heed these words my friends! And know that out there somewhere there is a retired front desk associate wearing an avenger’s shirt that is two times too small bottling up karma, watching and waiting for the perfect moment to throw it in the face of some twittlefuck who has told off his last cashier.

In other words, the bad juju’s a bitch, and she’s coming for ya.

 

Paninis & Writing

There is one thing you need to know before you carry on reading this little thing of mine. One thing that may or may not change your thoughts on whether this relationship of ours is going to go any further. One thing that might indeed change EVERYTHING.

Well this is awkward, it seems I’ve amped it up so much that I can never make it sound as awesome as it needs to.

So here it is: right now at this point in my life I have exactly three things on my brain. My kids well-being, the panini palace and writing.

A while ago Sophie told me she wasn’t exactly fond of me writing all of these, she says “embarrassing” I say “adorable” stories about her. So I will respect her wishes and the tales of the children will have to be kept to a minimal. Which leaves us with paninis and writing.

Hence, if you choose to continue frequenting this account you will probably be reading about a whole shit-ton of misadventures which Jamie and I find ourselves getting into daily at the shop. That and my ridiculous obsession with pop culture, I will probably throw that in here somewhere too. Example, Vampires. Another example: my love for Mindy Kaling…She’s so fucking cool.

Ahem, allow me to paint you a little picture here.

It was lunch-rush and busier than we’ve ever been before. INSANITY to be exact. But good insanity. Exciting insanity. We were running into each other like chickens tend to when their heads get cut off except babbling back and forth so perhaps more like a pair of challenged baboons. I was panting for the love of God! Panting! I’m so out of shape.

Then everything froze.

Now everything did not actually freeze to be literal, it’s not like there was some kind of super natural force which actually stopped time or anything. This was more of an emotional freezing moment where I looked at my husband and this sandwich kingdom we have assembled and I couldn’t be more honoured to be in this thing with him. Like, how did I become so lucky to have found a partner who I can raise a family with but build a business alongside too? It is nothing short of a miracle.

Time jumps back to reality and Jamie runs past me clutching his hand. He returns to the line a few minutes later with his index finger wrapped up like a mummy and two clear plastic gloves on over top.

“Did you cut if off? Do you need stitches?” I ask with not a hint of yarn in my voice because my husband has literally cut off the tips of his fingers several times before in his career and had to get them sewn back on. So this was a serious and vital question at the time.

“No I just sliced it down the middle.” He said. Then we disinfected what needed disinfecting (becasue a restaurant is nothing without clean and proper health standards) and continued on with the lunch-rush because stopping just isn’t an option these days.

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a tough go of it lately. We are feeling the debt that we created when setting up the shop and it’s proved to be a lot more difficult than we anticipated to begin paying it down.

Of course, it’s all part of it. This is the big shebang of starting a business. Them’s the ropes, as they say. We get it. But if you’ve ever had debt hanging over you, if you’ve ever felt that suffocating fear of relying utterly and completely on your next day’s sales, your next week’s paycheque, I’m sure you can feel where we are coming from.

So today, this fantastic day that we were not expecting but eagerly hoped for had finally come! At one point as I slid in beside my husband on the line and poured a bowl of soup we caught each other’s eyes. He looked at me and smiled this smile that just said, “I may have just sliced my finger open but that’s okay because we’re doing it! We are making this happen!” and it gave me a stomach full of butterflies.

It was a long day, twelve hours to be exact with even more paper work and planning to be done once I arrived home that evening. When they say starting a small business ain’t for the faint of heart, believe them, they wouldn’t lie to you. **I don’t know who “they” are but they sure know their shit.

When Jamie got home we cracked a couple of beers and talked about the day. It was in fact the busiest one we’ve had yet and despite our aching feet and weary brains it was our day! We had done it. Sure there were a few mishaps but we recovered. We moved forward and now are ready for another day, and that my friends, feels fabulous!

 

 

 

Unqualified Business Advice

 (So I wrote this essay for a friend who is thinking of opening up a small business…And then I thought I would share it with you guys, becasue well…that’s what I do.) 

 

***

So you’re opening a business.

Well you’ve come to the right place. *She says while looking around maniacally and rubbing her hands together in a untrustworthy manner.

Who I am kidding, I have no clue why you came to me for advice! I’m not suitable to give a cat clad in denim overalls business consult. But here you are needing some encouraging words, and if I can do one thing, it’s string together a few fancy sentences. So here goes nothing.

Not to mention, we’ve have had our fair share of “learning curves” worth of wisdom that I’d love to impart on you.

To start off strong and brash let’s begin with finances. The biggest thing that we learned (the very very hard way) was to over-estimate EVERYTHING. So you go ahead and make up your business plan and say you work out that you are going to need forty thousand to get everything started, you are probably actually going to need around upwards of sixty. Otherwise six months in you will find yourself pimping out your pets to the crazy cat lady next door to pay the electric bill and savaging through couch cushions for rent money. Well, it probably won’t come to that (**looks around awkwardly) But in all honesty there are so many hidden costs around every corner when it comes to something of this magnitude. We are still (and probably always will be from now on) discovering new things in which we knew nothing about and yet having to fork out dough for – no pun intended, actually, pun definitely intended.

Because in the end, everyone (EVERYONE) wants a piece of the pie…again, pun most certainly intended.

Which brings me to the next point. If you are having to get contractors in make sure you do your homework. We got screwed around something awful when it came to our contractors. Sometimes they were just downright ripping us off, or simply not installing things correctly, or—get this—not pulling the permits that they were supposed to pull before working on our bay! So, make sure that you really know your shit when it comes to the contractors, your permits for the work that needs to be done and so forth and so on. This was definitely one of our sorest spots when getting everything up and running, it ate away a lot of our budget and threw us for a loop. *revert attention to pet pimping comment.*

The first few weeks we were open we had at least four or five people trickle in a day telling us how we should run our business. They wouldn’t buy anything, or even surrender a kind comment about our hilarious puns or funky decor. No, apparently their job was to tell us that they’ve “worked in the industry” for thirty years so obviously they have some valid points to divulge upon us. They would proceed to nitpick at every tiny detail that we had put into our place. From the fact that we were charging TOO LITTLE for our product to how they make chicken salad and their recipe sounds much better than ours does.

Finally when we would ask them what restaurant they owned they would say, “oh no, I don’t own anything, I’m a line cook over at the Ramada, have been for the last ten years.” Or something similar. My point is, once you have a solid plan and have begun proceedings on your business everyone with a mouth and two cents is going to want to tell you how to run your shit. Just remember that you are the one who has had the wherewithal to move forward with your plan, trust your instincts and do your thing! Of course if you hear some good advice, take it gracefully but also with a grain of salt. Own your ideas, your goals and your creations. Because they are yours and yours alone.

Man alive there is so much more I could tell you! I could fill a book with all of the mishaps that went on. It seems to me that the things we were really stressing about in the beginning we’ve yet to find trouble with in the now! And all of the things that we never thought of are what is wreaking havoc in our lives daily. I know it feels big, like unimaginably big, like so big that you really have to wonder why the hell it is called a “small business”. But as you move forward, every day you will conquer another few things on the long list of have-to’s. Eventually, you will have jumped more hurdles than what you have in front of you.

And man, that’s a good fucking feeling!

But as for newly-fresh, still in the idea stage of things; make sure you have a strong foundation to build on (did I just say that? Ew, gag me with a spoon).

As a general overview when starting out I think it is important that you build good strong relationships with, your financial adviser, lawyer, accountant (if you don’t have one, get a recommendation from someone because they are your LIFELINE to a business! Although Jamie and I are pretty brain-dead when it comes to numbers so that’s why we are so reliant on him)

Even before you really start building your actual business it would be wise to form relationships with all of these professionals because they are the ones who are going to help you achieve what you need to…but don’t rely on them too heavily because they are expensive as all fuck.

Well hope you enjoyed this ridiculous essay I ended up writing on just some of the crappy things that may happen to you when opening a business.

It really does feel like a lot, it may seem insane and completely unattainable right now. It’s not. It’s just a matter of organisation and planning.

But most importantly rummaging up the courage, having faith in your goals and taking the leap.

 

Early Morning Brain Activity

Well, here I am again. That didn’t last long did it? But, with me being the narcissistic and 100 percent self-absorbed human that I am, I mean really, how long did I expect it to last? So I am back at it. I’m back writing on this blog of epic proportions. It may not be often, it probably won’t be interesting in the slightest, but I’ve got to hear myself think once in a while. Decidedly, this is how I must do it.

So it’s 6 o’clock in the morning, I’m drinking my coffee with almond milk in it and it is probably the worst thing I’ve ever tasted. Hopefully it’s one of those creations that you get used to after a while becasue I’m trying to make “healthier” life choices right now. Or maybe I should just start drinking it black. Like my hair…and my soul.

Just kidding, my soul is grey at best. But it is well on its way. I blame this on two distinct things. One is working in customer service again. Don’t get me wrong, the people I love, I REALLY love—that, may have come off a little too strong, shall I go as far to say creepy? Probably.

We have these regulars that are pretty much the greatest people on the planet! I actually get excited when they walk through the door because I realise that for a mere moment in time I will be relieved of the shit-storm which is the customer service industry. Okay, okay that was dramatic.

But they are just so awesome compared to the horribly awful people that sometimes darken the door of our shop-I won’t go into detail in fear I will frighten you too much. But it makes me realise that nice people are something NOBODY should take for granted. You guys can quote me on this: Nice people are the nicest.

So I’m sure you get it, nice people are nice and rude people can go and suck some big fat monkey balls. Nutshell.

Uhhh what else, what else? *she says mentally sifting through the vast experiences and moral lessons she has had since turning off The Blogging Mama.

Well, I guess the two most important things would have to be that I still haven’t got any fiction work published (my reason for leaving in the first place) and I now have an unhealthy obsession with Vampires. Little late on the last one, kind of missed the boat there.

Which brings me back to my blackening soul. Reason number two for darkened soul: I’ve eagerly turned myself over to the popularly evil side of vampire enthralment. No I haven’t gotten myself wrapped into the whole Twilight mania. I’m more sophisticated than that you guys. I, ahem, have fallen madly and deeply into the grasps of a little production called “True Blood” and it is AMAZING.

Sometimes I wonder what I am doing with my life, and then I pretend that I’m on the run from evil fang wielding vampires and the good vampires have come to save me and then Jamie will turn into a vampire and we will have us some crazy human/vampire lovin’ and it will be glorious until all the crazy religious folk start coming at us because of our taboo Vamp/Human relationship.

And I realise that I am exactly where I need to be in this life.

So Friends, to sum up; still desperately trying to make my fiction work “a thing” (not to sound needy, who me? Never), I love nice people and really really dislike not nice people. I’m going to start writing on The Blogging Mama a bit more regularly than my former verdict of never again because I have a sever inability to stick with any decision I’ve ever made. And, if there is a vampire reading this I’d really like to meet you…But please don’t kill me.

Well, it’s been a slice folks.

And I’m sorry if you got through this post and are now thinking, “What a waste of the last fifteen minutes.”

Jokes on you if it took you fifteen minutes to read this.

 

New Site!

Hey guys, yes yes I know what I said.

But I’m not back for long, just wanted to swing by to give you a link to my new fiction blog, Tales From the Trunk.

Writers often call stories and books that never make it to the publishers, their “Trunk Stories” these are the ones that basically don’t make the cut. I’ve got a plethora of them hidden in the deep dark corners of my laptop which gave me the idea for my newest blog site. With a little shining and some heavy editing work I will whip those babies back into shape and put them out there for all to read!

Now Friends, I want to remind you that I’m strange and I really like strange stuff (it enthrals me) I like strange reading. So naturally my writing is going to be a little strange too. Okay it is a lot strange and dark and weirdly therapeutic. For the last few days as I’ve been spit-shining these tales up and I continue to wonder what section of my brain they are being birthed from and if I should be worried about such imagery that’s busts forth.

Of course I’m not worried, I’m embracing this new adventure of writing wizardry. And I couldn’t be more excited for what is to come.

So please, if you enjoy the odd short story pop by Tales From the Trunk and take a browse!

skull-1193784__340

Wednesday Rambles

 

The house has a muggy calm about it this morning. Today is supposed to be devastatingly hot and I’m not entirely sure I am ready for it. I’m not entirely sure I am ready for anything anymore. For someone who used to be chronically prepared for just about everything, I’ve sort of dropped the ball lately.

Maybe it’s the heat. Or maybe it’s my brain being overloaded with menial tasks. Perhaps it’s my brain being overloaded with all of the non-menial tasks that’s getting me down. The worries and what-ifs about the future. I find myself daydreaming all of the time about what’s to come.

Like, I wonder when that multi-billionaire is going to stroll through the doors of The Hot Wire and give us an offer right then and there that we can’t refuse. He will say something along the lines of, “Boy Howdy I do declare this is the best éclair I’ve ever eaten!” or “Well, I tell you what, I’ve never seen a more original and downright delightful sandwich shop in my whole dang life.” I am imagining this person to be from the Deep South with an accent reminiscent to Foghorn J. Leghorn.

4d67676f2478e5cdb64b3008e06f51da

However right here and now I am reminded that none of this has actually happened yet. A wall of heat is currently pressing up against my back and I feel as though I may be slowly melting away into oblivion. I do hope it’s not so hot there.

Usually I don’t mind the heat. I like to bask or whatever. But working in a kitchen when it is 30 above, I’ve come to discover, is most likely the closest impression of Hell that any human being will ever know.

I literally just turned around to see if I could physically see what the “heat” looks like. I am assuming that because it is so god-damn hot in here (at 6 am) that surely I would be able to spot its wrath. I’m really considering stripping down to the buff and going to sit in the cool garage for a few before I head off to work.

Okay by now I’m sure you guys are asking yourselves where in the good and glorious name of Jeebus am I going with this blog post?

Well, to put it right out there; I’ve been a bit of an asshole lately. I’ve pretty much been the assholiest asshole in the history of assholes (but not the literal kind…because that would be shitty. Ha!)

IMG_0710

In these last few weeks I’ve pulled away. I’ve withdrawn because let’s face it, things got scary and things got hard. We were struggling to get the business where we needed it and doubt plus many misgivings were running rampant. I stopped calling my friends and family because I just didn’t have anything positive to say. I didn’t text, and when they texted me I shot back with insincere one word answers.

Assholery I tell you, pure assholery.

Now, it is time for an apology! I’m sorry dear loved ones…I love you all. Love, love, love, love and some more love. Yes, this is in fact my idea of an apology. They’ll get it.

The smouldering and fiery facts—that accompany my current state of sweltering alive—are that I was a little depressed for a brief moment there, and it scared the holy molies out of me.

But then one day not too long ago something happened and although it doesn’t solve all of our “starting a business stresses” it gave me that little bit of oomph I was in need of to get up and get on.

A dude sitting in the shop so very nonchalantly muttered to his Panini one random day, “I love you. I never want you to end.” And in that moment our suspicions about failure vanquished. We realized that we have something here, something good. It was about at that time when grandiose delusions of talking roosters paying us millions to franchise our panini palace came into play.

IMG_0002

Maybe that’s a little much, I don’t know.

What I do know is that I cannot allow the down days to affect the relationships in my life. Our humans, the ones who get us through the everyday, are our everything. There are going to be bad days. Days when the bread doesn’t rise and the cakes all fall. There will be days when the equipment brakes. When the kids act up and lash out. There will be days when we want to tell the whole entire world to just fuck right off.

And then, there will be days when we find a grown ass man telling his panini that he loves it. There will be days when we feel invincible. Some days we will find that we have the ability to do just about anything.

These are the days we must hold tightly to. The days that remind us that we are doing something wonderful and fulfilling.

Some may even go as far to say; these, are the days of our lives.

*mic drop.*

Lindsay Out.

IMG_0010

 

2 Cent Saturday

 

Some days I can do three loads of laundry, make a pancake breakfast, and get a week’s worth of writing done all before nine a.m.

Some days I find myself huddled in the corner of the bathroom with a bucket of Nutella attempting to scarf it down as fast as I possibly can without the offspring locating my whereabouts.

It’s all about balance you see. It’s about having the ability to discover what kind of day you’re going to have before it has even started. Will it be an “I am Wonder-Mom” kind of day? Or, more likely, will it be a pajama pants because you can’t even bring yourself to squeeze into the yoga pants kind of day? It’s about accepting the plight that is parenthood and giving into it gracefully.

Because when it comes down to the nitty gritty we can’t do the Wonder-Mom thing every God-damn day. Well not without a vessel of Valium and about thirty-five martinis that is. And you know how the Granola Moms frown upon that these days. So we are left with having to accept that some days we just can’t do it all.

It is either one or the other—slobby do-nothing Mom or Wondrous Wonder-Mom. Black. White.

Or at least that’s what everyone’s been telling me.

There is this strange mentality that I’ve noticed popping up lately and that is that everything seems to have to be all or nothing. Perhaps it has always been like this and I’ve just been too wrapped up in myself or apathetic to notice. But I’m noticing now, and it’s weird and makes me feel uncomfortable.

As parents we seem to categorise ourselves into these sections. Like “hover moms” “free range parenting” “no preservatives” “McDonalds parents” and we hang on to these stereotypes like they were our first born child.

Let’s get real here people. I try my damnedest to feed the Lars and Soph clean healthy food, however when I’m pressed for time or simply having a PJ pants kind of day they are getting a big ole box of KD with extra ketchup. I let my kids play in the backyard unsupervised because I’ve smashed “stranger danger” into the farthest depths of their brains. However I still go and check up on them every single night before I turn in to assure they are breathing. I’ve been doing this for eight consecutive years now and in all honesty I can’t see myself stopping any time soon.

Picture this if you will: me, sneaking into Lars’ apartment when he is 25 years old and stealthily popping my head over his bedside to investigate whether or not he has breath sounds. It will be when I ever so gently place the small mirror I’ve brought (because I like to think ahead) over his mouth to see the breath in question that his girlfriend at the time awakens. Resulting in extreme awkwardness. For them.

Motherhood is weird and poor Lars will never be able to keep a steady relationship with my crazy shenanigans.

I think as a society we need to expel this notion that when it comes to parenting there is only wrong or right. In most cases at least. Obviously some things are just downright wrong and some things are gloriously right. Like Tacos.

Ain’t nobody gone tell me tacos on their wrong list.

Ahem, Oh look once again I’ve been sidetracked by the fabulous thought of tacos.

Anyway, it’s the ego’s downfall that we are constantly at war with each other over issues like which parenting methods are best and what colour a dress on the internet is-I don’t know why I’m still on that, it was like a million years ago.

If we could for one moment set aside those big pulsating ego’s we could see that in most cases there is a middle grounds that we can all come to reside in and be overall contented with. And if there isn’t? Then allow your self-image a few moments of humility and try to see something from another’s point of view. The stubbornness we exhibit does not progress us as a society. We stay stagnant at an impasse because none of us can agree on what’s best.

If we open ourselves up we may learn a thing or two, moving forward into new potentials.

Or, you know, just go sit in the bathroom and consume copious amounts chocolatey Nutella, whateves.

and just like that, it was over…

My fingernails are filled to the brim with dirt from the earth. I’ve been gardening because it is the second best way for me to ease stress. My fail safe is usually writing but how could I, “write it out” as I like to say when I had just found out this particular news.

Ironically I received the email just after finishing up my latest column for next week’s Me Plus Three article. The email contained exactly two sentences explaining why Me Plus Three wasn’t a good fit for The Advocate anymore. They are downsizing. They are having to re-evaluate what columns work best with the newspaper. Can I fault them for this? No of course not, but it still burns like a bitch.

To date, creating Me Plus Three has been my most successful venture in this hard-pressed writing career. I was elated those years ago when I received that phone call saying that they’d like to publish my writings in a weekly column. It gave me a purpose in this sometimes hopeless hobby. Someone wanted my writing. Someone appreciated it. There were people out there who wanted to read it.

Each time I receive a rejection letter from one of my fiction submissions to the various online magazines I query it hurts but I always use Me Plus Three as some sort of consolation to their rebuff. Yes, this was the fiftieth rejection slip I’ve gotten but it doesn’t really matter because I’m a columnist. The word slips easily off the tongue. And although it has only been a few years I’ve worn this title, I feel different; changed without it.

What now?

The logical part of me, who is currently trying to sooth this shattered ego of mine is telling me that I will now have more time to focus on the panini shop. The advertising and running of what is now my family’s main money maker. This is what is important. This part of me is also saying that if I ever do have spare time I can focus more on the world of fiction writing because truthfully my brain is overflowing with untold tales of make-believe.

This oh so logical voice in my head is telling me to calm down and stop overreacting. There will be other opportunities. There will be other publications. I will still grow and evolve. It is telling me that this is not the end.

Jamie came home and I was crying into a pool of muddy dirt in the front flower bed. I had texted him earlier and told him about the email. He didn’t say anything but instead wrapped his arms around me and held me tight. Even as I type this the tears come along with a miserably heavy feeling of failure.

It reminds me of those precarious years of teendom when you’d peruse from boyfriend to boyfriend thinking all the while that it would be you who broke it off with them. Then BAM just like a blast right through the ticker they are giving you the ole, “you know, it’s not you it’s me.” And you are left wondering how you hadn’t seen it coming.

But now I guess it is time for me to pick myself up and brush off. There isn’t much else left to do but—you guessed it—move forward.

If you happen to be a reader of Me Plus Three fear not dear friends, I will keep on keeping on here at The Blogging Mama.

Within the things we love there will always be moments of heartache and strife. There will be times when we wonder what the point of continuing on is. There will be obstacles, rejection, and so much frustration. There will be doubt.

However with our dreams also comes hope. An undying passion for what we do and what we must keep on doing to feel fulfilled as human beings. And that will always lessen the blow.

I’m probably going to be sad for a while about this and that’s okay too. But then after I’ve made peace with what has been lost I will get up, get on and get writing. Because that’s the only thing left to do.

1452362_10151989197611068_1401464991_n

Thankless Jobs; and Why They Are Sometimes Worth It.

As a writer one must adopt the knack to take criticism positively and use it constructively. It is a difficult feat sometimes, especially when you’ve toiled so hard on a project only to have to revamp and once again revise, revise, revise. Nevertheless the writer knows what must be done to achieve the overall fulfilment they will eventually reap from their work. And this entire process, I’ve come to realize, is quite similar in the long journey of parenthood.

Just recently I’ve decided to expand my reach by submitting a few short fiction stories to some literary magazines. I’ve had a severe love affair with science fiction and the fantasy genres for as long as I can remember so I thought it was high time to send some of my own fictitious tales of escapade out into this big literary world. For weeks I poked and prodded at the ten short stories I had decided were worthy for submittal.  I read and reread the overall storylines; I cut characters and added more interesting ones. I custom made my sentence structure; I was witty (but don’t worry not annoyingly so). I murdered, I schemed, and I plotted (in the stories of course) and I repented over none of it. By the end, these tales I had created were a part of me. They live in the depths of my mind and their characters will forever survive in the warm caverns of my imagination.

20150724_212817

Yet some do not see it that way. This morning as I argued with Sophie over why she must brush her extremely knotted hair I glanced at my phone to see I had received an email from one of the magazines I submitted to a few weeks ago. My heart gave a little skip but immediately thereafter faltered.  I opened the email to find yet another rejection letter. I’ve lost count currently but if I had to guess I would say it was about the twelfth or thirteenth, “sorry not for us” reply I’ve gotten.

This however is all okay, and that is because of one simple quote I’ve taken on as my personal mantra, “By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.”― Stephen KingOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.  Leave it to one of the great “king’s” of literature to craft such a vast beacon of hope for aspiring writers everywhere.

Now all of this talk about rejection has started me thinking about how similar the feelings that arise from parenting can be. We work so damn hard to be the mothers, fathers, and caregivers we have to be. We laugh with them, rack our brains to come up with awesome activities to keep them stimulated. We love them unconditionally. We’d murder, scheme and plot for them if it meant their safety and happiness. And yet we expect nothing in return.

Much like writing it can sometimes be a thankless job. We will collect unwanted, unwarranted commentary from our peers because they would do it a different way. We gobble up the criticism from the experts and call it constructive because what on earth else are we supposed to do with that information?

Parents and writers are constantly on the search for recognition, and yet in reality it is so seldom that we find it.  This morning after I received this particular email I quietly retreated to my bedroom. I once again thought about that famous quote from Mr. King and it made me realize that it not only applies to the rejection we feel as writers but also the rejection we can feel in everyday life. It occurred to me that no matter what has got you down, the key is to keep moving forward.

20150724_140058

Yes sometimes our parenting endeavours can feel unappreciated. It is a job we do out of candid love rather than for acknowledgement or praise. And even when the girl child refuses to brush her hair or the boy child tells you you’re the worst mom ever for not letting him play the tablet, you will still carry on. We do this because of that tiny voice inside reminding us to always do best for the small humans we are bringing up in this world.

And one day, just like my creative writing, our hard work and effort will pay off and we will hear the words, “You did great, thank you” and just like that we will fail to remember how complicated it once was.

The Room

It is three o’clock in the morning.  My eyeballs are stinging and lack their necessary moisture. The smell of pungent urine assaults my nostrils. I was awoken several minutes ago by a waif looking four year old staring into my soul from the side of the bed. Her hair perpendicular, astray. Her eyes are wild and unpredictable.

“What are you doing baby?” I am hoarse and a disenchanted reality glides over my conscious brain. I was having the most delightful dream that Margaret Atwood and I were chumming it up and talking about all kinds of amazing literary stuff. Tough break Lindsay, she says in the cool way she would as the last of her presence flits out of my mind.

“ Mama.” Sophie is crying.

“What’s wrong?” I ask, but as I reach towards the girl to pull her up to snuggle I feel the cold devastation of pee-pants. She hasn’t peed the bed in months. However the evening prior I was at Red Deer Collage listening to a captivating talk by Margaret Atwood, hence the dream, on the creative process. The kids were already in bed when I arrived home but according to Jamie’s account Sophie was not pleased with my forsaking her at bedtime.

I stumble into her room with an armful of fresh sheets and un-peed-upon blankets. As soon as my big toe crosses the threshold of daughter darling’s room, the soft under skin of my foot is molested by something squashy, soggy, and that possesses too much give on impact. I hear the slight sound of a POP. I look down to find I have ruptured the splatter toy which she often throws at my walls, leaving a darkened stain on the tan paint. The carpet is soaking wet with a fluid from the toy I cannot identify. It will have to wait until tomorrow. I need to focus on more pressing matters at the moment.

In the amount of time it takes me to cross from one side of the room to another, I trip over a deconstructed Barbie house, three Bratz dolls with obscenely pointed features that bite at the already sopping  sole of my foot, and an oversized wicker Easter basket that holds all sorts of half-eaten treasures.

I pull off the bedding and bundle it in a tight ball then chuck it to the hallway. I want to let out a he-woman war cry to vindicate my swelling frustrations but before I let loose, I see something. Sophie’s closet is full, jam-packed really, of odds and ends. I drop the clean sheets on the bed and move closer. For some reason an ominous film darkens my mind and for a second I become overly concerned I am going to see someone eyeing me from the collection of objects in the closet. This is what happens when you’re awakened in the dead of night with residual thoughts of Atwood and her superb story telling abilities circling your peripheral intellect. I don’t see anything in the end, which is okay by me. Instead I note the excess of stuff crammed lovingly all over my kid’s room. Things like old cardboard boxes, thousands of scribbled on sheets of paper, Barbie’s with their heads popped off and those heads peppered throughout space and time.

I turn back to my task, realizing what it is that must be done in the morning hours. I will have to come and clean this place. No longer can I shut the door and pretend my ignorance to this problem of unpleasant proportions.

Sophie stumbles back into the room from the bathroom. Her eyes are beginning to weigh their lids down and sleep will most likely come easy once I finish making the bed. I realize I have forgotten to grab a pillowcase, because yes, the pee has indeed reached the corners of the pillow. I must incoherently say what I need aloud  because next thing I know Sophie is digging through the disaster that is also beneath her bed and pulls out a pink flowered pillow. Of course she had one stashed away, what four year old doesn’t have a reserve head cushion on hand?

I still think a good old fashioned purge and clean would be good for the girl child’s room. I’m a little concerned that next time the dog ventures in there he may just get swallowed up and lost forever.  As I finally am able to close my eyes and return to dreamland I briefly wonder if Margaret ever had to stumble over pointed toys and mayhem messes. If so, she probably wouldn’t have lost sleep over it, so neither will I.

The Death of A 20-Something is lonely

Hello my bloggy blogger friends!

Remember to please take a second to pop by my brand spankin’ new blog

The Death of a 20-Something

It is fabulous and has some pretty neat-o writing there too!

And it isn’t only for 20-Somethings as the title may suggest.

Oh no…

It is for anyone who wants a fun spin on thoughts about growth and maturity.

So feel free to follow the link and check it out!

And remember if you enjoy it please to Like our Facebook page or click follow to receive more posts

As well as share with your friends!

Click here to be transported to the awesome land of-

The Death of a 20-Something

IMG_1883

Quote of The Day

download

Tell Your Tale- Submit a Story to The Blogging Mama Today!

Well here we are once again with a new and exciting development on The Blogging Mama!

Hold on to your hats ladies and gents because this is a doozy.

The Blogging Mama is calling for writers!

I am officially looking for fresh and fantastic content for the blog.

From funny facts to amusing antidotes.

Parenting predicaments and tantalizing tales,

Short stories that will wow!

Whether you are already a blogger looking for a new platform that will link to your site…

Or

Just wanting to tell your story.

The Blogging Mama is the place for you!

images (1)

We all have some great stories whether they are fiction, fact, funny or filled with excitement. Since starting The Blogging Mama I’ve had so many people tell me their stories of parenting- wondering if I needed some new material.

Well the time has come friends, send me your previously unpublished stories for publication and I will be happy to publish them on The Blogging Mama along with a short bio and a picture (optional) of the writer. And again if you are currently a blogger I will be very happy to link to your site. Great for advertising!

Remember The Blogging Mama is not limited to just parenting tales (however we do like those a lot!) Feel free to submit all kinds of creative works- Paintings, poetry, photography, etc. (Again not limited to words beginning with P).

So as they say let’s get this monkey dancing! *People say that…I swear I’ve heard people say that…*

Go forth and prosper by emailing submissions to lyndzeerae@hotmail.com Or Private Message your submission to The Blogging Mama Facebook page. Head subject line with “BM Submissions”- and yes I know how it looks.

Filled with anticipation in this new endeavor, The Blogging Mama

why i write

How starting to not give a shit changed my life forever

Okay I’m already lying I still give a shit. I give a lot of shits actually- just not the same shits I gave before.

Once upon a time I was so worried about what other people thought of me I would go so far as to not even post certain things on Facebook in fear that the readers of my feed would think me unusual. I was on a constant people pleasing mission, bending over backwards for other human beings. People I was not even close with. People I didn’t even enjoy the company of! I wanted absolutely everyone in the entirety of the human race to love me. Plain and simple.

When in conversation and a topic I did not agree with came up I would nod my head and agree in a mindless, spineless and spiritless fashion. I felt as though my opinion was not valid. My voice just never seemed important enough to speak up over the crowd. I gave myself no credit when it came to my freethinking mind.

I reflect back upon it now and feel saddened for all the years of wasted time.

And when I say ‘wasted’ I mean it. I misused so much time. Hours upon hours I would lay awake at night dwelling over something someone had said to me that hurt my feelings. My mind constantly reeling over why that person might not like me and what I could do to change myself if they didn’t.

Today as I write this I realize how far-reaching it all sounds. The story doesn’t sound tangible…Who in their right mind would go to such lengths to please everyone?

It didn’t seem so drastic back then though. I never realized what I was doing and I certainly didn’t think I was harming anyone. But in reality I was damaging the most important person- myself.  I inadvertently put my own feelings and well-being on the back burner so to speak. I craved that cheap thrill of a pat on the back and the words ‘good job’ slung at me in a half-hearted way. I was forever searching for that approval; those meaningless words that for no reason other than my own inflated ego told me that I was doing right. In truth I was doing right by all the wrong people.

Time can do some very beautiful things to a person though. It gives us knowledge, strength, confidence and ability. And time does all of this in the slyest of ways- gradually and unbeknownst to us.

So there I was once giving all kinds of shits about all sorts of idiotic things. The clothes I wore and whether a pair of pants gave me a muffin top because God forbid that my fat insult the eyesight of someone walking behind me. I wrote with a bias hand always censoring the words I placed to paper, in fear I would offend some stranger I may never meet. I tread lightly in situations I was unsure of, promising not to rock the proverbial boat because people do not like boat rockers and I wanted all the people to love me. All of the people.

And that was the first thing when it came to giving a shit that time had taught me…Somebody will always dislike you. Sometimes people will go as far to say they hate you. And more times than not these people and their negative feelings are unavoidable, but they are also unquestionably commonplace. Rather than getting all up in arms about such an ordinary, everyday undertaking I was beginning to find catty remarks and rude comments just plain boring.   Slowly but surely I came to the conclusion that I may as well be myself because if people were going to find things to loath about me they should probably be loathing me for my true traits rather than my tip toeing alter-ego. It is an utterly exhausting task to constantly worry about what others are thinking of you. EXHAUSTING I tell you! So I decided it was time to throw in the towel when it came to my shit giving ways.

And this is how my journey into shitlessgiving began. Yep…Going with that.

I won’t tell you that it is stress-free dropping all the shits one used to give. Quite easily it was a way of life that I lived for far too long. And sometimes I still find myself hovering skeptically over the publish button. Sometimes confidence still fails me and I worry my voice is not good enough. Sometimes I am still burdened with the falsity that I am not good enough.

But in these times of uncertainty I remind myself of all of the wonderful shits I still have to give.

I give a shit about my work. I give a shit about feminism and equality for the sexes. I give many shits about creativity and moving forward into the unknown. Of course I give a ton of shits about my amazingly selfless family who have helped me so much along the way. And for my friends, the people I know I can always count on. And most importantly I give the most shits about my wonderful husband and our two beautiful children.

When it comes time to really sit back and think about the greatness that this life has to give it is then that we can truly realize what shits are not worth stressing over.

And that is how starting to not give a shit changed my life forever.