Not many blogs get a birthday party. But mine did. Jim came home with cupcakes and a card. OK, ok. We look for any excuse to buy a cupcake, but still. He definitely got brownie points for that. Or cupcake points I suppose.
Some of you know that for the past couple of weeks I have become a bit “overly concerned” about some random goals I had set for myself. OK, maybe it was more than “a bit.” I couldn’t figure out why I was putting so much pressure on myself to meet these goals. No one made me set them. They were just numbers I chose. Nothing was going to happen if I didn’t make it. And nothing was going to happen if I did. I couldn’t figure out why I cared so much.
But now I do know why.
The goals I set were:
> 1,000 Facebook Fans
> 1,000 Twitter Followers
< 100,000 US Alexa Rank
I became pretty obsessed with these numbers. Just these three. I didn’t care about the numbers for Pinterest, Google+, Bloglovin’ or any of the other 247 social media sites out there. I didn’t even care about my number of email subscribers (which is arguably the most important). But why?
A couple of weeks ago, it was pretty obvious that #1 was not reachable. I was way more bummed about it than I should be. But why?
With only a few days left, I decided I couldn’t throw in the towel. I pulled out all the stops and asked for all the favors possible in a last-ditch effort. I just HAD to get there. But why?
My blogging buddies and real life friends came out in droves to share my page with their followers and friends.
And I made it! The moment I hit 1,000 I immediately went running to my kids to tell them. And THAT was the moment I realized why it mattered so much.
It was the look on their faces.
I spend so much of my time feeling guilty over being the “sick Mom.” The Mom that my kids hear talking about doctor’s appointments and naps and aches and pains. Others get to see the well-rested out-in-public me but my kids have to see the Mom that comes home exhausted. I worry that one day their childhood memories of me will consist of only that.
They never got to see the businesswoman me or the musician me or the anything-that-would-make-them-proud-of-me me. Until Momopolize. They think the blogger me is pretty darn cool.
Facebook fans impress them. Having more Twitter followers than them impresses them. Being ranked in the top 100,000 out of the 650,000,000 websites that exist in the world impresses them (Alexa ranks all websites, not just blogs. Google, Facebook, Amazon and the like are in the top 10.). Yeah, I really have no idea if that is the actual number of websites but that was the number I saw most often in a search and it sounds good to tell them I’m in the top .01%-ish.
So those numbers weren’t important to me because I want to achieve fame and fortune (well, a little fortune would be nice). It wasn’t to get that elusive book deal or attract bigger advertisers (well, yeah that would be nice too.).
Those numbers were important because for that moment I wasn’t sick Mom. I wasn’t even average Mom. In their eyes I was famous Mom. And maybe THAT will be what stays in their memory.
I mean, I KNOW those numbers don’t really mean all that much. I know of widely successful blogs that don’t even have a Twitter account. And others that have a huge Facebook following but only a few of those fans ever click on their blog posts. And my Alexa rank just shows me there must be a whole heck of a lot of websites that never ever ever get viewed. Like, ever! (You’re welcome for the Taylor Swift song that is now stuck in your head.)
But – shhhhhhhh – don’t tell my kids any of that. Let me be famous Mom for just a little longer.
Oh, and in case you are as easily impressed as my kids, when I started writing this my numbers were:
1,047 Facebook Fans
1,772 Twitter Followers
114,117 US Alexa Rank (I didn’t quite make it under 100,000 but we are just going to gloss over that for now and celebrate, k?)
And my goal for the coming year? To Momopolize the entire Blogiverse!!
(Or at least make my kids think I do.)
<insert evil laugh and cue world domination music>
P.S. My next post will be more about my first year of blogging and the wonderful community that is out there, including a shout out to those who answered my plea for help on Facebook. (I intended to include that list in this post but have to leave for an appointment for a sick kitty, sorry!)
P.P.S. For those who have been around for a while, you know that 47 is my favorite number (Always has been. No idea why.). Anytime I talk about any kind of numbers, I will add 47 to the end. When I saw my Facebook number was ACTUALLY 1,047 it was like a blog birthday gift. I guess I’m easily impressed also…
Guest Post Week continues! (I apologize if my intros are getting shorter and shorter. I don’t want to start getting dirty looks from posting while on vacation. 😉 ). I “met” Kathy fairly recently through a wonderful blogging group (I’m still in awe of the fact that I get to “hang out” with such fantastic bloggers!). I consider Kathy a true friend and wish we lived closer to each other so we could “meet” more than virtually. I’m happy to know such a wonderful blogger and happier still to be able to feature her writing here!
With 2 teens in the house, this post really hit home. You may want to grab a tissue. Just in case, you know, you get something in your eye…
Kathy Radigan is a mom of three, wife to one and the owner of a possessed dishwasher. She is also the co-founder of Bonbon Break. Kathy started her blog, My dishwasher’s possessed! in the fall of 2010 when her youngest child started kindergarten. She has been happily possessed ever since. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +
Sitting at my desk and staring at my computer all I can see is my
stuffed inbox. My anxiety level is rising by the second as I think of all I
have to do.
I take a deep breath and let it out slowly. As I look up, I notice the pin board I keep over my desk. Among the post-it notes scribbled with reminders of things yet to do I notice a
picture of me and my first born when he was just a few months old tucked into
one of the ribbons.
How is it possible that the little blonde blue eyed boy who I would carry in my Baby Bjorn and later stroll all over Queens, is 14 and getting ready for high school?
I close my eyes and can almost feel myself back in the nursery with the teddy bear wallpaper and the crib with the bedding it took me weeks to pick out. I would rock a sleeping Tom in my arms and marvel at his creamy skin and sweet sleepy smile.
All of a sudden I’m startled out of my trance by a voice that I have not yet become accustomed to.
Who is this man-child with the light mustache and smile full of braces calling my name?
“Mom… dad is going to kill me.”
There is my baby, now 14 and carrying his cell phone. I have a pretty good idea why he is panicking now.
“Oh, no. Not again. Tom it’s only the 15th. How could you exceed your text limit?”
He starts to laugh a bit.
“Well can I help it if I have friends? I need a social life you know. I am a teenager. Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do?” More laughter.
Now I start laughing. “I understand Tom, but that’s it till the fourth of the month.”
“You know Zach has unlimited minutes and he has the iPhone.”
“Well Tom, Mallory has always been a nicer mother than I am. You know that, I know that, Mallory knows that.”
“Ha, Ha, Ha mom. Very funny.” Then he goes off with a combination smile and sulk.
I go back to my computer, relishing that Peter and Lizzy are sleeping and I have a little time to work.
As I start to get engrossed in my latest task, I find myself startled again by Tom.
“Hi Tom, what is it hon? Do you need something?”
My tone is starting to reveal a bit of my impatience. I look at the clock on my computer. Shouldn’t he be in bed soon?
“Uh..no. I forgot to tell you I got a 91 on my math test.”
Oh, that’s great. You must be happy about that. I find myself smiling and happy but still distracted.
“Is there anything else honey? I want to try to get a little work done now that Peter and Lizzy are sleeping.”
I’m starting to get more anxious as I remember that my to-do list is a mile long and no matter how much I do it never seems to get shorter.
“No. When do you think Dad is going to get home?”
“I’m not sure. It’s 9:30 now. Probably soon.”
“Do you think he is going to be really mad that I’m over my texting limiting.”
Now I’m getting really annoyed. Doesn’t this kid realize that I have been up since four in the morning and I still have things that need to get done?
“Tom, he will be fine. But you have to get with the program with the phone. If you can’t manage it, we will have to take it away.”
“I know, I know.”
I go back to my work.
“Mom do you want to watch Friends with me?”
Now I’m mad. I start to have a conversation with him in my head. How am I supposed to do everything? I’m not a saint you know. Why do you have to need me now and not when I was trying to talk to you a half hour ago?
I open my mouth not sure what I’m going to say, but totally knowing what I want to.
Then I see those big blue eyes staring back at me.
Not much different than when he was just a little baby.
When did I start seeing this sweet boy as one more thing on my list? It hits me that he is 14 and very soon, I will be begging him for the smallest piece of his time.
Life is going so fast. I have become obsessed with getting everything done that I’m starting to forget what is really important. I am taking my precious son for granted.
We sit and watch a rerun of Friends that we have seen a million times yet we both start laughing hysterically.
My heart starts to melt. Behind the deeper voice and cries for independence he is the same sweet child who needs me. In some ways even more than he did when he was younger.
“I love you Tom.”
“Love you too.”
All of a sudden my to-do list doesn’t seem so long.
You know I’m sick, but we don’t really talk about it. I never want to worry you by telling you all the problems Lyme Disease and Lupus have caused me. But by NOT telling you, I’m probably worrying you more. So, let’s talk.
I’m sure it’s confusing for you. Adults don’t even understand the ups and downs, so I don’t expect you to. But I can try to explain a bit in terms you will relate to.
Ups and downs is the perfect way to describe it. Like being on a roller coaster. A never ending roller coaster. Yeah, I know you are thinking “how cool would THAT be?!?” But wait. There’s more. When you get on the ride and the harness clicks in, it is too tight. Way too tight. It hurts. Reallllly hurts. You wave frantically and yell at the operator but he just smiles an evil smile and pushes the GO button.
As the ride takes off, you try desperately to stop its grip on you. You squirm, you pull, you hit it. But nothing helps.
As you start to head up the first hill, the harness gradually loosens and by the time you reach the crest, it is finally comfortable. You think you can now relax and enjoy the ride. You get that moment where you are perched at the top of the hill. It is exhilarating and exciting. Time seems to stand still.
Then you start to plummet down the hill. You feel the harness begin to tighten again. It squeezes every inch of your body until you want to scream. It takes your breath away. Your head feels like it is spinning.
Just when you think you can’t handle any more, you begin another ascent. The harness begins to loosen again. Relief. Ahhhhh. But this time you can’t enjoy it as much. What goes up must come down. And you now know that the coming down is excruciatingly painful.
This time when you reach the summit, you try to just focus on the joy of that moment. But you can’t because the dread of the descent weighs heavily on your mind.
Each plunge breaks your spirit more and more but after enough hills and valleys, you finally learn to get the most out of that time when the harness isn’t squeezing. You enjoy that part of the ride and look forward to the peak. Even though you know the ride can’t end at the top of a hill.
Then – just when you think you have a handle on the ups and downs – out of nowhere you get slammed with a loop-de-loop (or maybe I should call it a lupus-de-lup) which brings a whole new set of problems.
And just as the ride should be coming to an end, the operator smiles his evil grin again and it all starts over.
Add a blindfold so you can’t see the twists and turns coming and that, my dears, is Mommy’s life.
Not being able to get off of this ride makes me sad. Sad about all of the things I have missed out on with you guys. Like the many nights I missed tucking you in because I fell asleep on the couch before your bedtime. Or the days you had to wear mismatched socks because I hadn’t done laundry. (But 2 different socks seems to be all the rage now. You’re welcome fashion world.)
But before I make YOU sad, let me add that there is actually some GOOD that has come out of me being ill.
I don’t have enough energy to be a helicopter Mom so since I don’t hover, you have taken off and soared. You are growing up to be incredibly mature, independent young men!
You all know how to do your own laundry. You don’t. But you know how.
You all know how to use the oven, toaster, microwave and blender. Greg, you have been able to fix your own lunch since you were 3. Eric, you can take an almost rotten banana and turn it into an awesome loaf of bread. Jake, you are now our pancake specialist (and you even got me published in a book. Not for your culinary skills perhaps, but you’ve made many people laugh about what happensIf You Give A Kid A Bag Of Pancake Mix.). Jimmy, you make to-die-for peanut butter brownies. No, seriously. Sometimes I’m afraid you’ll kill your brothers if they eat more than their share.
Although I’m sure it drives your teachers insane that I am too foggy brained half the time to make sure you get your homework completed, you are slowly learning to be responsible for getting it done on your own. As long as you manage to get enough homework turned in to actually GRADUATE, you are going to be kick ass butt college students. All those kids who depend on their parents to stand over their shoulder to study will be struggling not to flunk out, but not you guys. You guys will be cranking out solid Cs.
You all have compassion. You may fight like cats and dogs most of the time, but when I REALLY need you to co-exist peacefully so I can rest you always seem to have my back. (Well, since our cats and dogs get along, I will say you fight like praying mantises – manti? – and stink bugs. I won’t say which ones of you are the stink bugs.)
AND *I* have had to learn not to sweat the small stuff, which is a very good thing. I need all my energy for the big stuff, like making sure I take a shower at least once a week.
I’ve realized that the world won’t stop spinning because I didn’t get the sheets changed on your bed this week (or last, or the week before, or…ummm…you get the picture). Plus, I can tell you “good night, don’t let the bed bugs bite” with meaning. Psssh, no. Of course there aren’t really bugs in your bed.
(As far as I know.)
I’ve learned to appreciate the days I DO feel healthy. Not many kids get to see their Moms get downright GIDDY over feeling like a “normal” person for a day/week/month/however long it lasts. You have to deal with the lowest of the lows, but you also get to see pure joy at the highest of the highs. The times you get to see a glimpse of how I want to be all the time. The times on the roller coaster when my hands are up in the air and I’m shouting “bring it on world.”
Unfortunately, it’s been a while since you’ve seen my hands up in the air. Lately I’ve been hanging on for dear life while the coaster has been barreling down. It’s been a rough monthsummer year for my health. The squeezing of the harness is definitely taking a toll on my body.
But don’t despair. There has to be another ascent soon. There just has to.
Then I will be back to my uphill battle. And, in this case, an uphill battle is a good thing.
You read that right. I have a post featured on the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop site!
For those of you who know how much I idolize Erma, you know this is just…just…I have no words.
Click here or the photo below to see the post. I don’t care if you read it or not (ok, yeah I do.) but just go look. Go see MY face right next to a video of ERMA. When you click play, she is talking to ME.
What? It is SO possible. Haven’t you ever seen Long Island medium??
Just go watch. She is staring RIGHT AT ME while she talks. You’ll see.
(I accept your apology and won’t say “I told you so.”)
I LOVE that in the video, she tells of a writing class she took and was feeling much doubt about being able to do it. Her instructor said 3 words to her after he read her class project that stuck with her and inspired her for the rest of her career. “You. Can. Write.”
When I first started blogging, there was a writing challenge called “Stylish Imitation.” The whole “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” concept. The tribute I wrote, “Bombecked: Beyond Wit’s End” tells why I admire Erma with a feeble attempt to copy her UNcopyable style by telling imperfect stories about my family (the stories ARE pretty funny, even if they don’t sound like Erma. So you should go read it.).
Erma was the original Imperfect Mom and shared that with the world, perfectly. And hysterically.
“If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it.” ~Erma Bombeck
I could quote her all day. But then you wouldn’t go see my posts.
“If you can’t make it better, you can drink a lot.” ~Angela McKeown
P.S. A huge thank you to my blogging friend Vikki at Laugh Lines for making this possible. I think Vikki has Erma’s spirit at the keyboard with her. I have many, many new laugh lines from reading her posts. Since you’ve already got your reading glasses on (and you know you do), you should go read her blog also.)
I’ve been in a real funk this month. There’s a good reason funk starts with f u.
This post will probably put you in a funk too. It is long. And whiny. And depressing. You’ve been warned. OK, I’ll add a touch of funny.
May is ironically awareness month for both Lyme and Lupus. The two illnesses I have. (If you know me, you know I don’t like to call it disease. Sounds too permanent). During the month there are extra articles on the internet, extra emails in my inbox and lime green and purple ribbons which all force me to think about the blasted sicknesses way too much. Sometimes I want to shout “I am already well aware. I don’t need a special month to remind me!” I know, I know. The purpose is to educate others, which is a very good thing. But it still makes me grumpy.
This year has put me in the funkiest funk because it was almost exactly 10 years ago that I started my journey to try to figure out what was wrong with me. TEN YEARS. A decade.
And I was sick long before that but 10 years ago was when I reached the point that I KNEW something was wrong and I KNEW I had to figure out what it was.
I’ve always been susceptible to infections. I was a regular strep throat patient during my childhood, with an occasional ear or sinus infection thrown in for good measure. Once I grew up, my strep did also. The more responsibility (i.e. stress) I had, the worse my infections got.
First job after college…out sick 3 days my first week.
Just married…Jim at a couples resort alone while I got multiple antibiotic shots in the tushy from a scary Jamaican doctor. At least I think they were antibiotic shots…(that story could be a blog post of its own.)
Over the top birthday party planned…strep plus a ruptured ear drum.
Baby Jake in the hospital overnight for a breathing treatment gone wrong (could be another blog post)…me in the hospital the next week with a tonsilar abscess.
These examples continued to get more and more frequent until the slightest little stress would require about a month of multiple antibiotics before I was better. I literally was sick more than I was not (yes, I DO mean literally). But once I finally kicked it, I felt great. Only until I got sick again, but those weeks of health in between were dang good.
I finally had a tonsillectomy 12 years ago because I think the doctors got tired of saying to me, “worst case of strep I’ve seen” almost every single month. But I shocked them all shortly after surgery by getting a tonsilar abscess, without tonsils. Medical mystery is not a fun term to hear when you are ill.
The surgery did help though because I was getting strep less than half as much. So I was on antibiotics much less often as well. That will be important down the road.
While I was technically sick less, I started feeling less healthy between bouts. Weird symptoms were cropping up but I’d brush them off as “nothing” and then before too long, I’d end up with strep and the weird symptoms would go away. For a while.
Fast forward to the next year when I was pregnant with Eric. The one time – well, 4 times I guess – in my life I have never had strep is during pregnancy(ies). The hormones must jump start my immune system or something. After Jimmy and Jake’s delivery, the immune battery died and the strep monster returned. After Eric was born it was different though. I went months without strep. Over a year without antibiotics during and after his birth.
The weird symptoms returned. With a vengeance. I won’t list them all, but I did come up with “pet names” for some symptoms. SFTD. No, not STD. Stupid Fat Tongue Disorder caused me to forget words, say the wrong word, say the right words in the wrong order and/or slur whatever words made it out of my mouth. It was aslway a toin coss to trip to guess what shlwould come ouf ot my…ummmm…what is the brplace with lips…ummm…eyes?…making sense no. I outwardly joked because some of the things I said really were as ridiculous as that last sentence, but inside I was very worried about what was happening to me. I reached a point before diagnosis that I avoided conversations if at all possible because it was just too humiliating when SFTD would unpredictably come and go.
Many memories of that time are fuzzy, but I clearly remember one day in May ten years ago. Eric was 6 months old, Jake was in preschool and Jimmy was in 1st grade. Getting Jimmy and Jake ready and dropped off at school was all it took for me to “hit the wall.” That was my name for the immense and sudden fatigue. I seemed to slam into the wall extra hard that day. My only saving grace was the morning nap. I plopped on the couch to recharge until preschool pickup time.
Eric had different plans. He decided he didn’t like his morning nap anymore. As soon as I plopped, the baby monitor lit up. He was crying. Then I was crying. I was so tired and felt so sick, I could not move off the couch. He cried harder. I cried harder. I physically couldn’t go get my baby out of his crib. I finally did. Somehow. And I limped through the rest of the day. Somehow.
That was the day I finally realized something was really wrong and I needed to figure out what. What I didn’t know at the time was that I would have 3 1/2 more years of not only hitting walls of fatigue, but also walls of ignorance and insolence while trying to get doctors to listen to me.
When a 30something year old asks why she has heart palpitations, she is ridiculed.
When a Mom of a 6 month old asks why she is horribly fatigued and foggy, she is told she has PPD.
When a Mom of 3 tries to explain that her cognitive function is severely impaired, she is flippantly told it is Mom brain.
When a Mom of school age children complains of swollen lymph nodes, unexplained fevers, chills and body aches, she is told that it’s just kids bringing home germs from school.
When a woman has night sweats, she is told she may be going through early menopause. Even though she is in her 30s.
When a patient is dizzy, she is told to take iron supplements even though she isn’t anemic.
When a patient complains of numbness and weakness, she is told it is all in her head.
When a patient reports a variety of symptoms that come and go, she is called a hypochondriac.
Not wanting to make waves, I took the borderline mockery from some of the doctors and continued to suffer in silence. I still was knocked out by the occasional strep, after which I would temporarily feel well. At the end of the year I found out I was pregnant with Greg and, once again, the symptoms were mysteriously relieved.
However, as soon as Greg was born my body went into a tizzy. In the hospital I felt very ill and alternated between sweats and chills. I was so out of it. To this day I am shocked no one noticed the state I was in. But somehow they didn’t. I guess I really AM good at hiding symptoms.
When I was discharged, my brain was short circuiting. I would go through periods where I couldn’t remember anything. I’m talking ANYTHING. I forgot Greg’s name. Several times. Can you imagine the horror of saying to yourself, “What is my brand new baby’s name???? Wait, I remember it starts with a G. G…Ga…Ge…Gi… Crap.” Soon my brain went back to its normal level of forgetfulness where I at least knew family member names.
During the next year, my Mom had a stroke and then surgery for lung cancer. I spent many, many days driving out to visit and care for her. *I should add here that I misspoke when I said pregnancy is the only time I don’t get sick. I also don’t get sick DURING a stressful crisis. I guess like the hormones during pregnancy, adrenaline kicks in during crisis. After stress=sick as a dog. During stress=healthy as a horse.* Somehow I hung in there until the day Mom went for her post-surgical checkup and got the green light that she could resume normal activities.
My body heard that my help was no longer required and it crashed. And burned. And smoldered. It wasn’t my normal post-stress case of strep. As bad as my strep could get, this was much, much worse. I called my ENT and told him I felt like I had meningitis. After he chuckled, he informed me he was sure it wasn’t meningitis. Crazy as it sounded, I was convinced I had meningitis and told him so. All he heard was “crazy.” I was so ill I don’t remember much of the next two weeks, but I do remember at one point thinking “this is it. I’m going to die.” Finally, my buddy Strep made his appearance. They put me on a super-duper antibiotic and my discredited meningitis also went away.
I needed to make more than waves. I needed a full blown tsunami. I started pushing doctors for answers. And “medical mystery” wasn’t going to cut it. After lots of puzzled looks, head scratching and referrals to doctor after doctor, an infectious disease doctor tested me for lyme. It came back positive. And I had probably had it for an extremely long time.
Remember I told you the decrease in strep frequency would eventually come in to play. Well, it finally has. By periodically taking antibiotics for strep, I was unknowingly keeping the lyme bacteria under control. Since the medicine wasn’t strong enough to eradicate it, it was always there. Hiding. Waiting. Plotting my downfall. OK, maybe that’s a little dramatic. But the bacteria would get stronger and the symptoms would get more prominent each time I was off antibiotics for an extended period or endured a stressful situation.
Lyme has different stages, each one progressively worse and harder to treat. Most likely I went up a stage (or got knocked down a notch heath-wise) after Eric was born and then moved to the late stage after Greg was born. The stress of my Mom being ill gave the lyme enough ammo for an all out attack. And the crazy theory of meningitis? It WAS meningitis. Lyme meningitis. Chuckle THIS, doc.
I’d love to wave the test results in front of each and every doctor who dismissed me. And see if any would apologize for treating me like an idiot. Maybe if they had listened to me sooner, I wouldn’t have reached the worst stage of lyme. The stage where I can and DID get meningitis. The stage that is hard to get rid of.
The stage I’m still fighting 10 years later.
Ten years that feel like they have aged me at least 20. A decade where I’ve decayed.
When life gives you lyme, what should you make? Make…the doctors listen to you. Really listen.
You put the lyme in the Coke you nut and drink them both together.
You put the lyme in the Coke you nut and then you feel better.
I’ve always suspected Diet Coke has a medicinal purpose. If it can eat rust off metal it should be able to handle a little tick bacteria, right?
Hmmm, I guess I just inadvertently participated in Lyme Awareness month. I should probably include some information that is actually useful. So here goes…
Ticks suck ass! In more ways than one. Really, they can get anywhere. So check your tush for ticks.
Ticks are the pits. And they like sweaty pits, so check there too.
Ticks make you have a 365 day period every year. No, not really. But they are the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
Possible future rants…
Sometimes the elixir doth break her, not fix her.
Mourning the old me. Well, the young me. Actually, the pre-sick me.
How Lyme did and did not give me Lupus.
Topics for another post? Perhaps. First I will wait and see how many followers this one loses me. 😉
The funny will be right back after this commercial break.
I’m in a book. A real, live book. Well, not live. Unless you count that the paper used to be a tree. But the paperback version isn’t out yet, so I guess I can’t really say that yet…
I’m so excited to announce that the Kindle version was released today and the paperback version should be released very soon (then I can call it a “live” book, I suppose).
The Kindle version is less than a trip to Starbucks ($2.99) so go. Download it. Read it. Laugh. Grab some tissues. Laugh some more. And then write a (hopefully glowing) REVIEW of it (reviews are really, really helpful for the book’s success!).
I tend to down play when something good happens to me. I am much more comfortable talking about my screw-ups than my successes. But I will admit I’m doing the happy dance about this. It is quite an honor to be in the company of some of the other fabulous writers that are included in this book. Bloggers that I have read and admired. Blogs like…
And I’m. in. the. same. book. as. them! (Sorry for the mid-sentence periods, Christine. 😉 )
I know the other 33 contributors are fabulous as well. I just hadn’t been fortunate enough to discover their blogs until now!
Blogging is very difficult at times. You pour your heart and soul out for a miniscule amount feedback. It’s just the nature of the game. Usually you are just crossing your fingers and HOPING that someone likes what you posted, but never knowing for sure.
The joke in my house is that I hit publish and then say, “Wait for it. Wait for it…crickets…”
Then comes Life Well Blogged. Having someone say, “Not only do we like what you wrote, we like it enough to publish it,” is pretty darn reassuring.
I would write more about just HOW awesome it feels but I don’t want to be late for the release day book signing.
No, not MY book signing. I will be standing in line to get a book signed. Not behind the table getting writer’s cramp from scribbling my name. But I can pretend.
(I’ve never been to a book signing, so I’m pretty excited to see Glennon from Momastery…but will write more about that later…)
Thank you to everyone that has supported me since I started Momopolize last August. I never imagined anyone other than (some of) my Facebook friends would want to read my blog. It has been a wonderful ride so far and I couldn’t do it without you. Well, I could…but it would be called a journal instead of a blog.
“I was lying on the grass on Sunday morning of last week
Indulging in my self-defeat”
“And of course you can’t become if you only say what you would have done
So I missed a million miles of fun”
Before I started writing a blog, I must admit I didn’t even really read blogs. I had a few I read sporadically, but for the most part blogging was foreign to me. Even though I had wanted to write one for years, I was pretty much clueless.
The past month I have started delving further into the world of blogging. I’ve been reading more and more blogs. Awesome blogs. Insightful. Thought provoking. World changing blogs. And hilarious. Laugh out loud. Pee your pants blogs.
And I’ve loved getting to know these wonderful bloggers. Incredible women (and men) that are pouring their souls out for cyberspace to see. Bloggers that can express their innermost thoughts in a way that I feel like I’ve known them forever. Or feel as though they’ve been peeking in my windows because they seem to be describing my life. Ladies that I’d love to meet in real life because I just KNOW we’d be instant friends.
BUT…there’s always a but…the more extraordinary content I read, the more extra ordinaryI felt.
I let them take my sparkle away. And by “them” I mean me. (Only those of you that admit to watching the Bachelor will understand the sparkle reference. Google “Tiara” and “Bachelor” and watch any video clips that come up. She’s a trip. But I digress.). As I read, I yearned for their loyal followers gushing praise in their comments. I felt completely inferior.
I lost my confidence to write.
Every time I try to blog, the dark cloud of doubt hovers.
My life is too ordinary.
My words are too ordinary.
My ideas are too…ordinary.
See, I couldn’t even come up with words other than ordinary!
I’ve had so many things I’ve wanted to write about, but I sit and stare at the “Add New Post” screen and all that goes through my mind is “my writing isn’t good enough.”
So I’ve remained wordless.
But I miss writing. Really miss it.
Tonight when I signed on to Facebook, the first thing in my news feed was this photo…
Eureka! By comparing myself to others, I was taking away something that brought me much happiness.
So I will try to get the words flowing again. Try to view the fabulous blogs out there not as competition, but as community. To not be concerned whether I’m better or worse. To embrace that we are all unique.
I will try.
I will continue to write my blog. AND I will continue to read other blogs. Because that’s what I enjoy. Will I still long for the ability to attract 10s of thousands of followers that comment endlessly and freely press the like button and share all over every social media avenue because my writing is just so inspirational or helped them feel like less of a failure or made them split their sides laughing because it contained the world’s longest run on sentence? Will I have doubts in the future when I press that publish button that people will yawn and say b-o-r-I-n-g when they read the post? You bet ‘cha.
But hopefully I will be able to stop comparing and keep the sunshine thief at bay.
Because I don’t want to miss a million miles of fun.
I may not always choose the most eloquent dialogue, or come up with a ground-breaking concept, or be changing the world (yet!).
But my blog is changing my world. And that should be enough to keep me versed and on my feet.
Yesterday I tried to figure out what to write about my Housewife Heroes trip. I started and stopped a couple of times, wondering what everyone wanted to hear. Should I just stick to the glitz and glam of it all? Does everyone just need the happily-ever-after-fairy-tale version?
But Momopolize is all about telling it like it is. Was it an awesome, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? Oh, yeah! Does anything ever go perfectly? Oh, no! So…here it goes. The good, the bad and the ugly. And, of course, the funny.
Bear with me on Part 1. It’s not so exciting. No celebrities. Yet. But still part of the story. Parts 2 and 3 will contain the Access Hollywood worthy parts. Actually, there really is an Access Hollywood part to the story.
I was so busy with work and holiday shopping before Christmas, that I didn’t have any time to even think about my trip. Well, I had time to think about it. To stress about it. But not any time to DO anything about it. That was ok though. I’d still have a week after Christmas to figure out where the boys would stay, how they’d get to their sports and various activities while we were gone, buy an entirely new wardrobe. And lose 30 pounds.
Until I woke up sick on December 27.
For those that don’t know, I have Lyme Disease. And Lupus. So I’m sick a lot. But this was a snotty nose, can’t talk without coughing up a lung sick. Just what you want when going to have lunch with a celebrity.
Luckily after taking every supplement and medicine known to man, I was feeling better for New Year’s. But I now had a DAY to figure out where the boys would stay, how they’d get to their sports and various activities while we were gone, buy an entirely new wardrobe. And lose 30 pounds.
I splurged on an outfit I wouldn’t normally buy and ridiculous shoes to go with it. I bought another outfit with a leopard print shirt. Because even when you are scared on the inside, animal prints make you LOOK courageous. Jim took care of the arrangements for the boys. We were ready to go. Except for the 3o pounds part.
The morning of, we were packed and ready to send the boys off to school with our heartfelt goodbyes. With plenty of time to get to the airport. Except we realized one child needed a prescription refill. Mad dash to the pediatrician (who luckily had early morning hours that day) and then the 24 hour pharmacy. Then one missed his ride to school. Mad dash to drop him off…in a carpool line that seemed to take for. ev. er. Then another one left his overnight bag at home that he needed to take to the friend’s house where he was staying. Mad dash. Then we noticed one left his lunch money home (won’t name names, but it was the same one who forgot his luggage.). One more mad dash.
We arrived at the airport. By the time we took a bus from the parking garage, got our boarding passes, checked our luggage, made it through security (why do I always get so nervous during that part even though I know I am not guilty of anything??), took the shuttle to the main terminal and arrived at our gate, we had about 10 minutes before boarding.
Our original seats weren’t together but we were told we could switch to the exit row once we arrived at the gate. This turned out to be a fortunate event. Because when we asked about switching seats, the gate attendant realized that while Jim had a printed out boarding pass in his hand, it wasn’t in the system. He wouldn’t be able to board. You’ll notice in my list of things we did when we arrived at the airport, the only thing before getting our boarding passes was taking the bus from the parking garage. The rest of the things listed AFTER that took at least an hour.
Panic set in as I thought the attendant was telling us that Jim had to go back and somehow re-do all of it in 10 minutes 5 minutes before boarding. While the attendant never was sure when or how the glitch occurred, he was thankfully able to make a call and do some magic on the computer to fix Jim’s boarding pass at the gate. As he scanned our passes for us to get on the plane, he looked at Jim and said “it still isn’t working.” He was joking. Not cool Mr. United. Not cool.
I won’t be going on this trip alone after all. Whew.
All of that for a 55 minute flight which, fortunately, was uneventful after that. We even had tons of extra leg room by sitting on the exit row. So it was pretty much like flying first class, right? Just humor me here.
When we arrived at LaGuardia, Melissa Gorga’s personal chauffeur was waiting at baggage claim. Holding this sign…
Let the pampering begin!
To be continued…
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I just found out that the “Circle of Moms” website picked Momopolize as one of three “Blogs To Watch” for 2012!!!
Who are the “Blogs to Watch?” Straight from the Circle of Mom’s mouth…
“When voting ends, our editors pick 3 Blogs to Watch from the list of blogs who participated in the contest. The Blogs to Watch are bloggers with a unique voice and original content that caught our editors’ eyes.”
In honor of this special occasion, I wrote some new lyrics for the Rockwell song:
I’m just an average Mom. With an average life.
I work from 5 to 9. Hey, I pay the price.
All I have is my crazy kids and my kooky home.
I always feel like I’m in the twilight zone.
I don’t understand why somebody’s watching me.
Are they playing tricks on me?
I don’t understand why somebody’s watching me.
Tell me is this just a dream??
Circle of Moms and I have pretty much the same number of readers. Plus or minus 10,300,000 or so.