Valentine’s Day Emotional Cleanse

Alternative Valentines Cards 2009

Alternative Valentines Cards 2009 (Photo credit: craftivist collective)

An essential part of any successful Valentine’s Day is being prepared. That includes feeling light and carefree, shedding any unnecessary baggage and anxiety.

This morning on a very icy drive to work, the DJ was talking about a new Dolce and Gabbana fragrance for babies.

He accused any parents who were vain enough to spritz their infant with perfume as, “insufferable a-holes”.

I kinda had to agree.  My first thought was that so many people are out of work, worried about keeping a roof over their heads and feeding their kids.

Then of course,there are those who have enough disposable income to buy designer baby fragrance.

What on gawd’s green earth  is the world coming to  my little cream pies? Please pass my gimlet.

Later today the hundreds of job losses at Sears and Best Buy were announced, followed by more news that gas prices are going up 2.5 cents overnight. That’s over ten cents a litre within a month, and Canadians shrug their shoulders and robotically soldier on. We are a nation of Stepford Citizens.

I’d love to revisit true journalism. I crave the days when  journalists also had the wherewithal to report on the profit margins and executive bonuses  of the same companies that have fallen on hard times and laid of workers who are making the lowest incomes.

Having been a reporter, I highly advocate for booze in the news room. Look at the truth spoken by good ole’ Hunter S…but that’s another blog altogether….

My sweeties, being informed makes you beautiful, and attractive. Being aware of price gouging, unfair pay, decreased benefits, worsening working conditions and the calculated ever-present looming fear that we’re all about to lose our jobs makes you exciting to be around.

It can also make you a little hot under the collar, and not hot as in bring-those-sexy-thighs-over-here-my-scrumptious-man.

This begs a question from a Buddhist…when is it ok to express frustration, protest, and just basically go apeshit as humans are prone to doing once in a while?

After a few months of soul-sucking stress, I had a complete, sobbing-poor-me-break-down this week. I let it all out during a phone call with my very patient mumster. When I got home, I put my jammies on, cooked dinner, and surfed the couch all night. The theme of the night was, “Life-sucks-and-I’m-tired-of-being-someone-else’s-bitch”.

Yah, it was a rough night.

Miraculously, after giving up, having a good, thorough, snot-dripping cry and a sleep, I felt  better. It was cathartic.

It was not at all what you picture surrender as my puddin’ pies. No,  I didn’t assume the lotus pose. I did not close my eyes and come to some great peace. I fought it every step of the way. Le sigh.

In retrospect, I see how I could have handled things better. Retrospect involved a wee bit of gin and tonic, with just a twist of lime. Most importantly, I realize that I’m human. I can only take so much stress. I do fall down every so often. I do need someone to reach out and help raise me up again.

That’s pretty hard to admit for a hard-working, independent lady like myself!

Another event that happened today was talking through an issue with a dear friend about abusive relationships. I’m not talking about ‘man beats his wife’ relationships. What I’m talking about is our relationships with people who are abusive in any way, and how we choose to let those people into our lives or not.

Like the greed of fattened executive bonuses, price gouging, and fear-mongers, these people would fall into the ‘insufferable a-hole’ category.

So, if you find yourself surrounded by insufferable a-holes and find the state of the world a bit depressing, go ahead, let it out.

It may not stream out of you as gentle chakra awakening. You might be a bit shocked at the pooh that gets unstuck after having your voice stifled for so long. Try to vent somewhere safe, with people who genuinely care for you. I know, you’re tempted to call someone on their bullshit to their face, but really, are they worth your energy? No my darlings, they certainly are not!

But don’t let the ugly waste of insufferable a-holes wear you down. It’s just not sexy. You and your valentine deserve more.

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Be Your Own Valentine

ONE PIN-UP THAT WON'T LET YOU DOWN. TAKE CARE ...

ONE PIN-UP THAT WON’T LET YOU DOWN. TAKE CARE OF YOUR EQUIPMENT AND IT WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU^ – NARA – 515125 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey Valentine, what’s up? How are you doing?

Oh no. Not so good? You do seem a bit quiet lately… Oh dear! Really? Well, shut my mouth!

How in the world are you going to wow your Valentine if you aren’t caring for YOU?

My sweet, little, plum, you need to care for you first before you go out there romancing your lover like you’re hot as a goat in a pepper patch!

Today when I asked one of my friends how he was doing, he avoided the question and asked how I was in response.

I called him out on it (only because I know he’s going through a rough spot), and his response was that it was better for him to concentrate on others.

Good point. It’s a proven fact that caring for others, doing something nice, or even volunteering, helps make the ‘giver’ a happier person.

But every once in a while, even us ‘givers’ need people to care for us. After all, think about how good it feels to care for someone else. Would you deny another the same benefit?

My sweet, little Georgia peaches, you can only put so much lipstick on a pig. If you don’t take care of yourself, it won’t be long until we all see the wear and tear.

Go on, let yourself be loved, but first, learn to be good to you.

In honour of February 14th, here are 14 self-care suggestions

 ~ for both ladies and gentlemen ~

so you don’t look like you’ve been beaten with a bag of nickels come cupid’s day.

1) At least three evenings every week, pick up a hobby that you let slide. Running? Needlework? Reading? Walking? A game of cards with your kid?

2) Long, hot bath….it’s been proven that people who can relax in a bath for at least 20 minutes have fewer health issues related to stress. Candles and music and beer…or tea, or wine, or a nice, cold, glass of iced water.

3) At least once a week watch a movie – a comedy. Laugh, even if you need a movie in order to do it. Laughter is pretty powerful medicine.

4) Meet a friend. Connecting with people and sharing our joys and sorrows is what life is about. It’s not about living from nine to five.

5) Do one thing each week to nurture yourself spiritually, physically and emotionally. Repeat weekly.

6) Spend time just being a person at work. Listen to a customer/ patient/ client/colleague, and exhale. Relax, and let them talk. You’ll be surprised what you learn when you let go of your own agenda for a few minutes.

7) Smile. Not all the time like some maniacle doofus. Smile because you’re grateful for all of the blessings in your life. Even if they’re as simple as a roof over your head and enough food to eat.

8) Do something you did when you were a kid. Build a snowman. Throw a snowball. Go tobogganing. Adopt a pet. Have a water-balloon fight.

9) Forgive. Yourself.

10) Pamper yourself. Get a new haircut, go for a great shave at the barbershop, take time to do your nails or moisturize your skin. It doesn’t have to be something expensive, it can be simple. Just be in the moment and enjoy it.

11) Sleep in. Yep, you heard me. Don’t set the alarm at least two days a week. Your body and soul need rest to rejuvenate and give you energy.

12) Dream, and then pay attention to what you’re dreaming about. Go there. Do it. Kick fear in the pants.

13) Look at the moon and stars. Sometimes we’re caught up grieving the past, afraid of the future, and missing the wonder of the present moment.  Look up, look way up, let your jaw drop, and remember how great things can be if you surrender.

14) Plan something to look forward to – like a fun, happy Valentine’s Day. After all, it is a Hallmark holiday. It’s a celebration of your own making, it can suck, or it can be great!

Valentine’s Day Suggestions for the Sick

Children's Valentine, 1940–1950

Children’s Valentine, 1940–1950 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The hunky husband of one of my pals has been devouring the recent Valentine’s Day blogs.

He’s a dolly, really, he is, but all of my well-intentioned VD tutoring won’t help him this year.

This morning I sent a text teasing my friend’s hubby about the ‘dirty’ stories I expect to hear about on the 15th.

Be careful what you wish for my sweet little muffin tops.

I was informed that my friend is scheduled for a colonoscopy on the 15th, which means a clear out of the unholiest of the unholies on the 14th. Dirty, dirty, dirty indeed!

Her misfortune got me thinking about those who may be celebrating with someone who won’t be up for alcohol, chocolate, acrobatic sex, or possibly even cuddling.

For my friend, Mr.MyBaby’s-Bombing-The-Bathroom, I suggest  a few thoughtful gestures;

1) Take the kids out for dinner. You won’t want to be anywhere near your darling woman, and she’ll need some quiet time of her own.

2) Stock the bathroom with the latest edition of some magazines (no, not your porn), with House and Home, Hello Canada, Elle or Flare.

3) Beat her to the punch. Surprise her ahead of time with a special celebration, or give her an invitation to a romantic date. (Call me and I’ll help you with the romance part).

For anyone else who’s honey is under the weather, or fighting the health crisis of a lifetime,

here are a few suggestions;

1) Get a sitter if you have kids. Just spend some quiet time together.

2) If you have caregivers, make special arrangements to have your loved one’s personal care finished so you can spend some quiet time together.

3) Give them a gentle foot massage with unscented lotion.

4) Bring them special sheets; pink, red, or with hearts or cupids.

5) Put photos of their nearest and dearest in a heart-shaped frame where they can see it.

6) Light some candles, put on some soft music, and cuddle. If you can’t light candles, get the kind that take a battery, they give a light glow and won’t blow you up if your sweetie is on oxygen therapy.

7) Heart shaped jello jigglers or a strawberry milkshake. Reminisce about all of the silly things you’ve done together.

8) Extra time together. Time is precious when you’re really sick, so take the day off and give your honey some extra time if you can.

9) A letter. A simple letter can be a daily touchstone for someone who’s not feeling well. They can read and re-read your loving words every day, and know that even though you’re not with them,  you care. If you’re not much of a writer, find a poem that express how you feel. If you’re sick, ask a caregiver or volunteer to help write a letter to your valentine. They miss you too.

10) A simple kiss. A gentle hug. Resting your hand on their arm or leg. There are few things more powerful than human touch.

I hope this helps inspire some tender Valentine’s Day Moments for you and your sweetie.

Yes! Yes! Yes! Valentine’s Day Do’s

“Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends.”~Tom Waits~

“Champagne for my real friends and
real pain for my sham friends.”
~Tom Waits~

You’ve been educated with a list of VD Dont’s, so now it’s time for some Valentine’s Day Do’s.

I like to call it the, Yes! YES! YES!!! part of my Valentine’s Day “How To” series of posts.

A few years ago, VD was looking pretty grim. I had split up with a man whom I credited far too much  potential, and not enough reality of the pathetic ball-sac that he is.

Was it going to be a single VD? Was I going to watch my colleagues and friends be regaled with flowers and candy, and have to listen to day-after tales of romantic VD evenings? Ugh – there are few things more painful.

Instead, I was surprised by a lovely suitor who sucked up his pride, and went out on a limb to have a first date on Valentine’s Day. Now that’s pressure!

It was an evening of  Chocolate, champagne (real champagne, not Cava or sparkling wine) and a lovely dinner out. Sweet. Wait, let me try that again; Sweeeeeeet!!!

Ladies, don’t ever expect this. Expectation is often the perpetrator of bitter disappointment. These things are wonderful surprises, and efforts forever to be remembered in our gentle feminine hearts.

They are also events that will keep those men (brave enough to go all out and wear their hearts on their sleeves), forever remembered in our hearts as the truly manly-men-yum-yums in our lives.

It is the memory of these wonderful, dirty, creative, silly, amazing lovers, that will make us grin years from now, when we are lost in the land of dementia.

I have a few suggestions that may help make your Valentine’s Day hum with the sound of unzipping…..(these are for men as well as ladies);

1) For those ready to go from dating to making plans more than a week ahead of time, buy a case of wine (or beer, or soda, or whatever your beverage of choice is). Tie a cute little tag on each one with a label such as; for the first day above 20 degrees, for  New Year’s Eve, for the first rainy Sunday morning…..You get the picture. You create your own beautiful occasions. It speaks  to your Valentine  and says, “I’m head over heels for you and can’t wait to spend more time together“.

2) Plan something. Even if you can’t get together on the 14th (maybe you work shifts or something), make plans to spend the night. It doesn’t have to hijack your pay cheque. Snuggle under a duvet watching a movie, play scrabble, make love all night (that’s still free as far as I know).  If your sweetie is your guest, be sure to have a lunch packed for them the next day (if it’s a work day),and include a  kiss-kiss-boo-boo note . Just a few words, such as, ” I love the way being around you makes me smile”, can brighten the entire day ( and stretch out that wonderful feeling of amour).

3) For those of you without a sweetie, make plans with a friend. Love is, indeed, all around us. It’s not  just the romantic love that burns brightly for a while and then tragically sputters out.  Love is friendship.

Stay tuned for more ways to make Valentine’s Day 2013 fantabulous.

Valentine’s Day Dont’s

cupid

“Dear Lady be cautious of Cupid, List well to the lines of this verse, To be kissed by a fool is stupid, To be fooled by a kiss is worse”
~Ambrose Redmoon~

With the big day coming up in less than a month, I’m starting your training early. This goes for you too ladies.

It’s time to debunk some Valentine’s day myths. Let’s simply start with a what-not-to-do list.

1) Do not, EVER, believe your partner when they agree to ‘just not make a big deal of it’. Bah-lovebug!  If you’re arm-wrestled in to this arrangement, make a simple but romantic effort, and if your partner is a total doofus, reconsider your relationship status.

2) Do not buy lingerie. Be responsible for your own wardrobe so you each feel confident. Unless you’re into the Fifty Shades Fetish, then go to town.

3) Flowers. No need to buy the ever-over-priced, high-demand red roses. Yes, everyone appreciates the sentiment, but it’s even more thoughtful to bring her a bouquet of her favourites. Mine, for example, are daffodils. Go ahead and pick them up the day before, keep them in water, and voila – you’re in love.

4) Sexual delights. Giddy-up and use your imagination. Stretch first – don’t do anything that puts you at a high risk for breaking any bones. Emergency room visits, particularly those involving orifices, are rather unromantic.

5) Champagne, scotch, beer…whatever helps you relax and get in the mood. Don’t over do it. Much like E.R. visits, vomit and premature snoring are also not sexy.

6) Surprise getaways. Woo-hoo! Go for it. Make sure if you’re leaving early on a weekday that your sweetie isn’t stressed by it.

7) No matter what stage your relationship is at, Valentine celebrations should always involve kissing and laughter. Belly laughs score amazingly high on the sexy-meter.

8) Start planning now. If you’re making reservations, ordering a bouquet, or wanting to pick up some spices for the bedroom, you want the best selection and a variety of choice.  Go now.

9)  Relax. Your partner is with you because they like you, and they like spending time with you. Acknowledge the day as extravagantly or as simply as you like, just put some thought into it and make it special and sweet.

10) Plan something for two weeks after the big day, and every couple of weeks after that. You know, just to keep the embers warm.

 

Please pass this along to anyone who may be valentine deficient, and keep checking back

for the multitude of ideas coming from a dame who knows the ropes.

Our Psychadelic Hearts

psychedelicSo, here we are in the second millennium and we seem to be moving further away from knowing what love is.

This begs the question – what in the world is wrong with us?

For the first time in our Canadian, census history, there are more ‘single’ homes than traditional family homes, or homes with two adults partnered off in some kind of domestic commitment.

What gives? “Duh”, you might be thinking.

Oh, I know. Yes, yes, yes, I know why. You’ve told everyone that you’re perfecting yourself before you commit. Greatness was never achieved in isolation my little walnuts. The truth is, my sweet darling fellas and my sultry ladies, that you don’t want to sacrifice and share your space of someone unworthy of your greatness.

Yah, sure. Whatever. Get over yourselves. You and I, and everyone else on the planet have one thing in common; we all want to be loved and to love someone in return. perfect in our imperfection and we’re all terrified of rejection.

The great news? We all deserve to be loved. Yes, even the petrified, obnoxious, narcissists. They’re just the ones with the greatest fear and loneliness. But shhh….don’t tell them we’ve figured them out. Just go on and love them anyway. You may need a few drinky-poos, but what the hell, they’re people too. After all, even yours truly has made humiliating mistakes and lived to tell about it.

No one ever became a better person by isolating themselves and navel gazing. Sure, you might need to focus your attention on your spirituality, take time to get on the right path, or get over some bitterness that you might transfer to some unsuspecting, sweet little lollipop of a lover. We all go through phases.

The latest psychology news suggests that, LSD is becoming the drug of choice again. Research indicates that it increases empathy and heals past trauma. Perhaps instead of chocolate, the local five and dime needs to sell mini heart-shaped magic carpet rides this Valentine’s Day. Or….. not.

Sure, it’s scary as hell to take a leap of relationship-faith, especially if you’ve felt rejected, lost your confidence, screwed up or failed at a marriage, or never, really, ever felt loved.

Scary. Scarier still is never really connecting with another human being.   But the past is the past, and we are living today and facing the future.

Life can change in the blink of an eye if you’re brave enough. Friendships can be sealed over a cup of coffee.  A committed relationship can develop from nothing to the love of a lifetime with the tiniest of kisses. You can go from single to blissful partnership in a heartbeat – if you let go of fear and embrace the love you deserve.

In the build up to cupid’s day, I double-dog-dare you to open your heart to love. You may not have anyone in your life you’re ready to buy red lingerie for, but I bet there’s a least one person out there who wishes they were the one.

Superbowl of Love

Pink-Sequin-Football-525x350_largeThe superbowl cometh.

We’ll be swathed in colours of our favourite teams, tipsy with beer and digging into game food; wings, chili, and if you’re a dyed in the cloth Canadian – poutine.

Touted as a ‘boys’ event, us gals get into the spirit too. Some of us, because we actually love the game, some because we can’t resist seeing men’s muscular thighs rippling under that ever-so-thin spandex layer, and others because we want to support our man as he cheers on his team. Or, perhaps, if you’re like me, it’s a slick combination of all three reasons.

You know what happens less than two weeks after Superbowl right ladies and gents? Put your fingers down and stop counting.  It’s Valentine’s day. WAIT…keep reading.

Yes, Valentine’s day is the quintessential fake holiday. A “Hallmark” holiday if you will. At least that’s the excuse cupid-agnostics claim year after year. 

So what? Yes-so what? What if it is just a fabricated reason to celebrate? It’s no different from Super Bowl Sunday, the Stanley Cup, or the World Series. It’s a made up celebration. It’s a perfect excuse to indulge, get together with friends, and wind up tangled  in the sheets after some naughty games of your own, wondering where the night went.

I figure, if you survive the grind of day-to-day living and make it to any one of these celebrations you ought to engage with reckless abandon. Celebrate. Smile, laugh, let your heart cheer for whomever you like. After all, we only live once. Laughter, smiling, beer with friends, kissing and  passionate, steamy love-making is the fuel that carries us through the mire.

My advice to all of the VD cynics out there – engage in VD as the Superbowl of the Sex, The Stanley Cup of  Sweet Lovin’s, or the World Series of Wowing your man.

You don’t have to break the bank, lay down a pay cheque, or sprinkle the sheets with diamonds. Although, if you do decide to go all out with the precious gems, I’m willing to let you come and sprinkle my sheets. With gems – of course.

Be silly. Embrace the spirit of the day. Laugh. Bring a friend chocolates, wine and a smile that will warm their sweet little mid-February heart, (or drawers, whatever floats your boat).

February 14th is not a day to ‘prove’ your love, it is a day to indulge, and enjoy.

Charcuterie

pomegraniteIt seems that the next wonderful holiday that we have to look forward to is Valentine’s Day.

So, to get you in the mood my darling readers, I give to you to feast upon, a platter of words.

After you read this, get on out there my sweet little chocolate covered cherries and be sensuous and lovable.

CHARCUTERIE

Plucking fruit from the careful platter

I sit before you

an offering serenaded by the mid-winter gloaming

calculated and subtle

like cheese baked to bursting,

a crack in the rind

forced open to ease the creamy center

a tragic release, tenderness forced to rise.

Your thick fingers

squeeze the delicate fruit from the stem.

My memory winks;

I’ve seen these hands before –

working, deft and capable.

This – this is a different light – though

now I have reason to hesitate.

Should I take each finger softly between my own,

kissing each knuckle

and letting the tips linger  between my teeth

so I can taste your skin?

Should I kiss your lips; a mere sigh of touch,

letting your hands find my cheek,

feathering a thumb over my lip

preparing my tongue for yours?

Or, even to my breast

as our mouths press, ever, so, slowly

warm, wet, disappearing like August morning fog;

from our lips, to our breath, through our bodies…?

Wondering, who are we?

I do none of that. Simply studying you.

A grape; A fig; Deep, bitter chocolate.

You taste it all;

your beautiful fingers busied in the employ

of bringing each sensation to your succulent mouth,

as I watch, waiting

for my turn.

Copyright 2013

You’ll NEVER Have to Date Again

couple-happy-kiss-love-married-Favim_com-256932

Dating sucks. It’s been touted as a necessary evil to arrive at the finish line of partnered bliss. I disagree.

I confess to having read the personal ads in the weekend Globe and Mail every weekend for the past decade. I find it absolutely fascinating.  Today’s lonely ad for a man looking for a woman reads like this;

A “great guy” – a very handsome, tall, athletic, engaging

and extremely successful professional with varied interests

from world travel to the arts seeks a tall, slim, fit, stunning

 successful, fun-loving and marriage minded mid-30’s female.

 Pls. reply to…

Yah. No thanks.  I’m sorry, but could this ad get any more generic? Hell, we’re all engaging with varied interests, and who isn’t interested in world travel  and art?

No one that I know at least.  The only clichés missing are – liking fine wine, dining out, and some sort of extreme sport. But I’m sure Mr. Engaging would have included those if it weren’t a paid by the character ad. Surprise, surprise, he’s looking for a slim, fit, stunning…aka – looks like a model and who gives a crap about the rest, because I’m that hot.

Pull-eaze Mr.I Sound Like Every Other Personal Ad Out There…you’re advertising in a newspaper for a mate. Get real. More to the point – get real expectations.

The last time I tried on-line dating (who cares whether it’s on-line or via the newspaper), the guy was a total knob of the highest order. He lied about his first name (who does that?), his age, and his marital status.

Nowhere in his ad did it say he was a  passive aggressive emotional abuser and a liar. That would have been really helpful to know right off the bat, but where’s the fun without the mystery? Right my pretties?

After giving him (I’m just using the pronoun because I’m still not sure I know his name),the benefit of the doubt, and finding him advertising his imitation self on-line while we were dating,  I realized that I would not be on-line dating again any time before I reached the age that my pubic hair stops regenerating itself.

Somewhere between blind dates, internet dating, and batting your eyelashes at the dude in front of you at the grocery store, there is a happy medium.

Yes my delicate sparkling gems, it’s called friendship.

Gasp and holy mackerel! Who would’a thunk it?

There was another article in the same edition of the globe, the first in a series, about the number of people living alone. Quite often the reason is that they’re trying to get themselves together before entering partnered paradise, they had a relationship and it didn’t work (so why bother potentially getting hurt again?), or they’re set in their ways.

Bullshit. I call bullshit.

People are scared as heck to get involved because way deep down in our fabulous, carefully crafted smooth persona’s, we fear rejection, pain and  grief.

Fear. Hmph! That bitch has all the fun.

Tell Fear you’re busy this month. Don’t pick up her calls. Send her email to your spam bin. When you’re finished with all of that nastiness, open your eyes to the people around you who are wonderful, funny, warm, caring and also dwelling alone.

Yes, friendship. After all, eventually we reach the stage, age, or realization that infatuation fades, our bodies change, and the most important thing at the end of the day is to curl up beside someone who ‘gets’ it, and still laughs with you every chance they get.

And that my juicy little berries, is sexy as hell.

Cure found for Impending Pandemic

      “Follow then the shining ones, the wise, the awakened, the loving, for they know how to work and forbear.”~Buddha~

“Follow then the shining ones, the wise, the awakened, the loving, for they know how to work and forbear.”
~Buddha~

They say that the pandemic of our time is loneliness. I think, in this case, they may, actually be right.

More than ever, our social lives are not the rooted, traditional, sanguinous relations bestowed on us by the great universal punnett square.

Our families are smaller, and spread over the globe.  Or our families are bat shit crazy and the last people you’d ever want to confide in.

Our economy dictates less reliance (although the pendulum is swinging back) on traditional, generational roles,  and there you have it, we are more independent, autonomous, and alone.

The reality is that here we are, all grown up, and feeling disconnected.

Depression and anxiety plague every person on the planet to some degree. That’s why we have overspending, liquor stores, whore houses, internet porn, a mani-pedi shop on every corner,  and  thousands of square feet of bookstore shelves full of self-help books.

Ah yes. Hello adulthood. Thank you for introducing me to anxiety, depression, broken-hearts and disappointment. Most of all, thank you for making me feel like I have to plaster on a happy face and pretend I don’t feel any of these things. Thanks a lot.

But wait. Just hold on a second my sumptuous little crumpets.

It doesn’t have to be like that.

Every single person that I know and would call ‘friend’ has suffered some kind of depression. Every single man I’ve had a relationship has struggled with feelings of loneliness, anxiety, depression or that restlessness we like to attribute to a mid-life crisis.

I can hear your charming selves thinking quietly, “Ms. M., just get to the point.” Well, grab your icy gin and tonic and pull up a chair my sweet ones. The point, are you ready for this? The point is that feeling like hell about yourself, your accomplishments, your family, blah-dee-blah-dee-blah, is normal. So is feeling really great. Nothing is permanent, it’s just that the bad stuff seems to take more time and energy.

Yes, just sip your little cocktail darling and have a quiet think about that.

Acting like some hopped up southern cheerleader and plastering on a smiley face every day  is not normal. Frankly it scares the shit out of me, and gives me flashbacks to my trauma-laden childhood. Ooga-booga!

I’m not saying you should go around complaining incessently about what hasn’t gone right, but I am suggesting you make an effort to be in the moment as much as possible.

Enjoy the sunshine. Relish a hot meal and a tasty glass of wine. Don’t rush your conversations with friends. When you open up, to your friend, or to your lover, you realize you’re not alone in your fears or insecurity. When you discover this, you connect, banish loneliness and discover joy.