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for mommy


May 2015

Dear Incredulous Unkempt Man

Don’t look so surprised that I drove right past you into the parking lot to park my car and head into an event at the restaurant who owns the parking lot. Don’t wave your hands at me and yell, “Hey, hey, this parking lot is only for the restaurant!”. Don’t come trudging towards my car like an asshole, yelling. News flash for you, unkempt man, with your ripped t-shirt iPod and earbuds in your ears, do you think you look like you are employed by the restaurant as a parking attendant? Nope. Especially considering there is not usually a parking attendant, you are immediately suspicious in my mind.
So, of course I have my guard up. I am a female alone, in my car, in a parking lot, and there is no one around, except for you and your weirdness. This does not for one moment cross your mind?
Why on earth would I stop and roll down my drivers-side window to hash it out with you? You look incredulous that I question your authority, that I drive right past you park, keep the car running and only crack my passenger window to yell out to you. The whole ordeal makes me not even want to go into the restaurant. 
Have you ever had a man grab your ass and expose himself to you? Pull a switchblade on you? Have you ever had to run from a situation like that? I am guessing not and that’s why I’m writing this note to you. 
Part of me feels slightly bad for being rude. But, the larger part of me does not. Let me explain why. I went to College in New Brunswick, NJ. The caliber of street folk that I encountered there, and what happened to me, raised my awareness of the true nature of weirdos and how they lurk in the most unlikely of places waiting to prey, especially on young women who are alone. All it took for me was the two frightening experiences I eluded to above, to put me on heightened alert. 
So, sorry incredulous, unkempt man. You will just have to deal. And, idea for you, wear a shirt that has the name of the restaurant that employs you. Otherwise, for safety reasons, I am going to drive right past you and be hesitant, abrupt and annoyed by your approaching my car and your confrontational manner. Don’t take it personally, I have to protect myself. 


This is a story about being tired out and poop. After a long day at work, I am pooped. 

When I arrive at home, my kids say, “Hi, Mommy! Can I have a snack? Are we going to the gym?”. They are excited to go to the gym because there is a kid zone, not because they want to do squats or lift weights. At this point, I realize I need to tap into their enthusiasm, immediately, before I progress into lazy mode. 

We head to the gym. I sign the kids into their kid zone. Now, this zone does not change diapers. My son is notorious for timing his poop o’ the day about 10 minutes into my workout. Today I have an especially awesome situation; I came home and there were no diapers left. My son was wearing the last diaper. 

So, like any champion Mom I grabbed a swim diaper I happened to find while rummaging around in my desperate diaper search, and clung to the hope my son could make it through this gym visit without needing a diaper change. As you tenured Mom’s know, swim diapers don’t do shit, except keep floaters out of pools. 

I am on an elliptical machine for 8 minutes, just at that point where I am getting into working out. Then, I see her. The kid zone teacher is on the prowl looking around the floor for a Mom. I hope it’s not me, but I know it’s going to be me. The walk of shame to go change a poopy diaper. 

At least this time the teacher didn’t bring my 5 year old daughter out with her; my daughter who loves to loudly announce, “Spence pooped!” for all the surrounding gym-goers to hear.
I change my son in the gross little Koala area. My daughter likes to hang out in the bathroom with us, as an added bonus. I put him in the swim diaper and I know this is the end of my workout. Unless I want to somehow sneak back out to the gym, only to be found again when he wets his pants since it’s just a swim diaper he is in which will not absorb anything. I opt not to gamble. I’m mentally checked out of my workout at this point, anyway. 

All that effort, and I worked out a total of 8 minutes. I guess that’s better than zero minutes.

Cultivating Happiness

I am at work. The usual suspects are at play; stress, back-to-back conference calls, unreasonable client demands, unread emails, voicemails. All of the players in this aggressive game are in, ready to zap my energy. 

But, I am subbing out. After years in the game, I’ve learned ways to sub out of these adverse conditions that test me in my every day, to turn inward and focus on what is truly meaningful–cultivating others happiness. 

And, believe it or not, there are ways to achieve this, even in the face of adversity, no matter what your struggle. You can always make someone else happy. No one can take that away from you. Bringing happiness to others will reinvent your game and make you a better player; the most valuable player for your team. 

In fact, finding even the smallest of ways to do this will not only have a profound effect on those around you that you are making happy; you will uplift yourself and the pieces of you that are shattered from the stress of your every day, to refresh, renew and restore your happiness. 

If you have not tried this phenomenon recently, I challenge you to try it. If you’ve forgotten what it feels like because you’re trapped in the snare of your daily stresses; take a deep breath and make your next action one that will bring happiness to someone else. It will reinvigorate you–free you from the negativity. 

Start small scale; buy someone a coffee. Go get a card for someone, just because. Give a coat to a homeless person: Help someone. Then, bask in the glow of the happy moment you created. These acts of kindness become a shared happiness. The more you practice this in your day, the better your day will be. Their happiness will radiate within you. You’ll want to do more. Sharing in others’ happiness is happiness. It is our defense against the stress, anxiety, and aggression of the day. Giving happiness to others is the best gift you can give yourself. 

You can’t control many things, but, you can control your happiness. If you feel happiness is lacking in your day-to-day; sub out. Take a break. Create a happy moment for someone you know, or, someone you don’t know. 

By creating a community of kindness and wishing others to be happy, we bring a strategy to the game that wins, every time. Our soul and psyche reinvigorated to play our best by cultivating happiness in others.

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