Musing

Nothing but time

img_1126Well, folks, we got nothing but time these days, am I right? For the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a home improvement project keeping me busy. Those projects are now finished.  This week I forgot my normal posting day was yesterday and didn’t write a thing. I’m feeling a little disjointed and not focused. I’m having trouble sleeping. I think its stress of sorts although my life isn’t too stressful at the moment. I think I’m stressed from watching the news and hearing about all of these closings, restrictions, loss of lives and jobs. I feel like I need to be informed but right now everything looks so bleak.  It doesn’t help that it has rained so much here we can practically swim in our grass.

I had to go to the grocery yesterday. I wore a homemade mask made from a bandana and two hair ties. Here’s the video from Youtube. A fellow shopper (not wearing any PPE) saw me in my homemade mask. She rolled her eyes, made a loud hmmp sound, and started to whisper something to her adult daughter who was shopping with her.  I responded with, “Keep talking bitch, I’m not getting the corona.”  I doubt she heard me from behind my mask but I felt better. Plus, I looked like a bandit with my red bandana so the joke is on her. Yes, in some ways I feel I am devolving. But, then again, I find I don’t really care.

Gwyneth Paltrow said something recently about how with all this time on our hands we need to be learning a new language or writing a book.  Well, this old dog is learning new tricks. It’s call Zoom. I have had three Zoom meetings this week. One was me and my boss trying to figure out how to use it.  They’ve all been fun because they’ve also included wine or some other adult beverage. I also made the quarantini out of vodka and Emergen-C.  Yes, I know the Emergen-C company said don’t do this. I’m a rebel and I don’t care.  Furthermore, this blog is as close as a book as I can get right now. So, take that Paltrow.  I’ve also started bird watching. Which is really weird because I’m not a bird fan.  However, a mallard drake and his hen keep showing up in my back yard and I can’t help but watch them.  I have named them Phyllis and George. Above is a picture of them feeding my super soupy back yard.

Yes, friends, this is what our life looks like right now. It won’t be like this forever which is a blessing. I just wish I had a crystal ball so I could see what the other side of the curve looks like.

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Irony, Musing

Made in China

photo of man wearing maskThe whole world has heard of the Coronavirus and how half of China is under quarantine.  Over the last couple of weeks, it’s been announced Disneyland in Shanghai and Hong Kong are both closed indefinitely.  Apple has said they will lose money this quarter because factories are shut down in quarantined cities. Last week there was a report on my local news station about how many wedding and quinceanera dresses are made from fabric from China.  The factories haven’t been sending shipments since the quarantine and that means no dresses.  What most people fail to realize is these things are only the tip of the iceberg. It sounds like I’m fearmongering but I’m not.

Many years ago, I read a book called A Year Without Made in China by Sara Bongiorni.  The book follows a family who decided to forgo buying anything made in China for a whole year.  It started out as sort of a social experiment but it became more than that. The family found it virtually impossible to buy certain things not made in China.  In some cases, the things they needed (parts to repair something) were only made in China.  There was no other alternative. After reading this book I began taking stock of where the things I bought were made. I noticed a fair bit of China as well as other Asian countries and India with a few other places scattered here and there. At the time that I read the book, I just thought it was a sign of the times that American factories were dead. It never occurred to me how a disruption in the manufacturing of goods in another country could affect day to day life in our country, yet here we are. I’ll be honest I don’t remember if that was even touched on in the book.

This virus induced disruption of goods is definitely a wake up call. It throws into sharp relief how dependent we all are on other countries and how interconnected we have become.  I wonder if this disruption will be the catalyst for bringing manufacturing back to America. For decades, America has all but outsourced the manufacture of most everything to other countries. A few years back there was a new push to “Buy American” but if there’s anything American’s love it’s cheap crapola and American made products aren’t cheap. After all, American made products have to be made by Americans who need to have a living wage which means the factories can’t run sweatshops and sell cheap goods. However, if we can’t get the goods from cheap labor places what is the alternative?  You know what they say, “If you want something done right you have to do it yourself.”  Maybe it’s time we did it ourselves or maybe we’ll just find a cure for the virus.  The sad truth of it is this probably won’t be a catalyst to ‘do it ourselves’ again because the start up time for a new factory would be years. We no longer have the capability, facilities and manpower to do it ourselves. We’ve essentially outsourced the things we don’t want to do which is another topic for another day.

NOTE: If you are looking for a new read, I highly suggest reading A Year Without Made in China.  It really is quite fascinating. Click on the title about to go directly to Amazon or you can be cheap and get it for free at the library.  

 

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Musing

Making Speeches

black microphone

We’ve been inundated with speeches this last week. First, we had President Trump’s State of the Union speech last Tuesday, February 4.  We also had his speech at the National Prayer breakfast two days later.  We’ve had numerous grandstands with the Iowa caucus bru-ha-ha and the New Hampshire caucus last night.  Plus, we’ve had another debate in preparation for the New Hampshire caucus. And, finally, we had a whole night of speeches at the Oscars.  All of those speeches I just talked about were very scripted in that the person delivering the speeches knew exactly what they were going to say when called on.

Of course, we all expect these things to be scripted but the thing that bothers me is the debate speeches.  No, I’m not some naive babe in the woods type. I know those candidates must have some canned answers but sometimes it feels like the whole thing is a canned statement. Almost like a press conference where the PR people have told the talking head, “Hey man just keep repeating this phrase over and over no matter what they ask.  If pushed, just reword our key phrase and just keep on trucking.” Back in the B.C. (before children), when I did work in public relations that was exactly the type of thing we’d tell our figurehead when at a press conference. We didn’t want the press asking too many pointed questions and having the talking head going off-script thus making more work for us in the damage control department.

It’s funny, maybe it’s always been like this but I’ve been noticing how everything seems so curated and staged these days. Family, friends, even casual acquaintances have social media posts that seem so staged and contrived.  Look at me at this fancy work thing, see me picking up trash at the beach (just doing my part for the environment), see how hard I hustle. It’s not just the selfies but also the words.  Personal interactions aren’t much better. The bragging about CrossFit and who has the most ridiculous after school schedule is just absurd. The other night a friend texted that they were at a band concert and the lady next to them was snapping pictures and uploading it to Facebook whilst doing the humble brag about their kid being in the honors band.  The school doesn’t even have an honor band program.  It’s keeping up with the Jones’s on steroids. The one-upmanship is out of control.

Despite many years in PR, I find that even though I can write this drivel for others, I cannot craft a speech or image for myself.  I am way too what you see is what you get and it cannot be helped. This blog and my big mouth are about as close to a speech as I get. And, if you know me in real life you know I just spew it out without a whole lot of thought.  I’d love to know the logic behind the social media crafters. Is it attention seeking? Is it poor self esteem and the need for validation? Is this the new currency – instead of flashy cars and vacation homes you show how well you’re doing online? I’m genuinely curious to know how these people tick. Too bad we can’t don a pith helmet and hide behind some bushes and film these folks in their natural habitat like Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. I fear it wouldn’t be too exciting. It would just be some random person looking down at a phone. Boring!

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Musing

Kobe

candlelight candles

Photo by Irina Anastasiu on Pexels.com

I’m not a sports fan – like not at all. Over the years my kids have played nearly every competitive sport known to man but I have never been a fan. I wanted my kids to run around, get exercise and work out their competitive streaks. Having said that, I know who Kobe Bryant is and this crash has me shook. The boys I grew up with in high school were heavy into basketball.  I remember when Michael Jordan and Shaq where kings and Kobe was the new kid. He is not that much younger than me.  It’s hard when someone in your age group perishes so suddenly.  But, it’s not just his age that has me shook. No, it’s all the other things.

It was just released today that not only was Kobe and his 13 year old daughter, Gianna, killed but also a couple of Gianna’s teammates and some of their parents and coaches as well as the pilot. They were going to a travel basketball event.  Many of my friends and family members do travel sports with their kids. I took care of my boss’s dogs this past weekend because her three kids were all at travel ballgames and she would be away from her house for over 12 hours. The same could have happened to my boss, or my cousin or my brother and sister in law all of whom were gone to ballgames this weekend. That hit hard.

Also, I too, have a 13 year old daughter. The thought of losing her to some freak accident makes my stomach churn.  Gianna’s mother had no idea she was saying goodbye to her baby girl for the last time that day. The thought of that alone just wrecks me. One should never have to bury a child yet it happens every day.

Then, I remembered Kobe was not only married but also had other children at home. And, the other people on board also left family behind. I can’t imagine going about your day and then all of the sudden half of your family is dead. At some point, we all bury a family member but thankful it’s usually due to a tragedy like what happened yesterday.  I can’t imagine what those left behind are feeling right now. The pain, the grief, the holding it together for your surviving family especially when the survivors are children and are having a hard time processing their grief as well. My heart goes to all of those left behind. I pray I and whoever is reading this never have to endure that type of heartache.

We say ‘hug your family a little closer’ when this kind of thing happens.  It sounds trite but it’s true. One never knows when the last goodbye will come. So, hug those closest to you a little tighter the next time you see them.

 

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Musing

Worry

photo of woman covering her face

Worry. It’s such a small word for such a big emotion.  We worry about so many things all day long – from little things like what am I going to make for dinner to giant things like how am I going to afford to pay the rent and put food on the table this week. Many spiritual texts will tell you not to worry because other forces are in control. I have yet to meet any person who has heard that advice and truly taken it.  I mean like for real taken it. They may know God or whoever is ultimately in control but deep down the thoughts and self talk still happens. So, what all is there to worry about and how does one cope?

This past weeks’ events in the Middle East has many worried. World War III has been bandied about quite a bit. Politics in our nation has many worried. Some would say the environment/climate change is a major concern.  Others would tell you that securing our borders and providing more jobs with a living wage should be a main concern.  While still others would say affordable housing and healthcare should have us all lying awake at night. Economists are warning about a financial correction.  These scenarios alone are enough to give anyone an ulcer. But most of us are worried about the stuff a little closer to home.  We’re worried about things like paying the bills, getting to work on time and how we are going to be in three places at once any given day.  And, while we are ticking off all the things we should be worried about let’s think about shoulds be doings like self care, staying in shape, eating right, keeping in touch with friends and relatives, making time to keep our romantic relationships alive and not to mention parenting a child or taking care of an aging relative. Have you started hyperventilating into a bag yet? Has panic set in while you count up all the stuff you think you should be worried about?

I ask all this because I had an ah-ha moment the other day. We cannot worry about everything. We physically just can’t. There is not enough time, brainpower or energy in our bodies to worry about everything that we “should be worried about” all the time. One must pick and choose what is important in life at that moment and focus or worry about that.  It seems like a foregone conclusion that one can’t worry about everything yet most days, myself included, we are inundated with real worries and contrive worries and life feels like one endless worry.  I love how all the gurus and self-helpers are out there telling us we need to read their book or buy their program to help us manage all the worry.  As if they have a lock on a damn thing.  Maybe that’s what all those spiritual texts mean when they talk about letting go and letting the higher power take care of things. Maybe it’s just the realization that we cannot think about another thing at this moment no matter how critical someone else thinks it is.  I have to admit I don’t know where all this is coming from – maybe it’s middle age talking or maybe it truly is an ah-ha moment but I cannot waste any more brain power on every little thing.  And, I refuse to feel guilty for not wringing my hands over what someone else thinks I should worry about.  So what that I drank a diet coke (poison) and I threw the can in the trash instead of recycling it (environmental monster) all while eating a candy bar (carbs) and ignoring the latest boneheaded thing a politician said. I cannot be concerned. I will do better tomorrow or I won’t but I can’t be worried about it. Sure, I’m still going to worry about something things.  I have a few biggies floating around in my brain right now but all I can do is work toward a good solution to those issues I’m worried about and try my best.  In the end, isn’t that all any of us can do? Try your best.

NOTE: My usual posting day is Wednesday.  I’m early this week as this week is really chaotic.
Photo Credit:  Free from the internet – Pexels.com

 

 

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Musing

Dolly Podcast

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For the past couple of weeks, you cannot turn on network tv without seeing Dolly Parton’s face. Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining. I love Dolly. I have vivid memories of watching her variety show, simply named Dolly, which aired on ABC in the mid 1970s.  She used to come down on a swing from the ceiling.  I thought she looked like an angel.  Incidentally, if you’ve ever seen Country Bears Jamboree at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom you’ll remember the girl bear on the swing. Yep, that’s a nod to Dolly and her variety show.

Dolly is a musical and cultural icon. One of the reasons why she has been featured so much is that Dolly recently hit a huge milestone. She has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 50 years.  That’s a helluva milestone.  I haven’t even been on this earth for 50 years much less had the same career for 50 years.  And, since she’s everywhere these days, it’s no surprise there’s a podcast about her. Of course, I’ve been listening to it.  It’s called Dolly Parton’s America.  It’s written and narrated by this really interesting guy from Nashville named Jad Abumrad.  He’s Lebanese-American with a perfect radio voice – which is to say he doesn’t sound Southern or like he’s ever said the word y’all in his life. It will be 9 episodes when finished and at the time of publication of this blog, I’m currently caught up.  It’s interesting hearing about Dolly’s career, especially her early years. I learned a few things. But, the podcast isn’t just about Dolly.  There a side tangent about Dolly and the people of Appalachia.  How the people are perceived, how today’s youth are leaving behind their Southern accents so they won’t be as stereotyped as well the argument that Dolly is or isn’t perpetuating the troupe of the dumb hillbilly. It’s also interesting hearing Abumrad’s take on things. We are about the same age so we have a similar frame of reference to our shared hometown of Nashville and the Tennessee of our youth.  He does a bit of self discovery in this podcast and it’s quite fascinating. I won’t spoil it in case you’d like to listen.

I too had a bit of a self discovery moment listening to the podcast.  Many of Dolly’s songs can be heard throughout the podcast, in fact, one whole episode is about nothing but her music and people playing it. But, one that is heavily featured in the first couple of episodes is My Tennessee Mountain Home. I hadn’t heard that song in years. It’s probably been since I moved away from Tennessee over 20 years ago.  The first time they played it and I heard those first few lines, my eyes welled up with tears and ran down my face.  In my mind, I was in the Smoky Mountains on a warm summer day.  I ached deep down in my soul wishing with all my might that I could be there. I still can’t explain why it hit me so hard or why that song conjured up such a visceral feeling. The only thing I can think of is the Smoky Mountains are one of the few places I’ve been that own a piece of my soul. I never lived in the Smokies. I used to visit both as a kid and as an adult but when I think Tennessee I think of those Mountains. I think of the clean fresh air and the way the redbud trees bring color to the bare trees in spring. I think of the little streams that run through the valleys of the ridges that are so cool and fun to play in in the summer.  I think of the beautiful leaves in the fall and the smell of woodburning fireplaces in winter. It is so beautiful up there.  I don’t get back as often as I’d like but it will forever hold a place in my heart. 

Photo Credit: This is the icon on my podcast app. I did a screenshot and cropped it so look for that photo when you are uploading the podcast. I’m not sure who this piece of art belongs to – probably whoever produces the podcast but I’m using it under fair use no copyright infringement intended. Consider this free advertising since I get no money from this little writing endeavor.

 

 

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Musing

Grit

person rock climbingI’m probably going to get some shit for this but I identify so much with the show Blackish. No, I’m not pulling a Rachel Dolezal. I’m not trying to pass myself off as anything but the generic white girl that I am. The thing I identify with is background – especially Dre’s lower income/blue collar upbringing.  Much of the premise of Blackish is how Dre and Bow have become upper class and have thus raised their children and how they have strayed away from their upbringing. Much of the last and the current season of the show has focused on how they are raising their children.  Dre and Bow recognize that their children have no real grit and their oldest son is essentially rudderless and it’s killing them.  Neither Dre nor Bow had that luxury and they have no idea how to navigate parenting the bougie children they have created. I have to admit that feeling is all too real for me.

Like the fictional character Dre, I grew up working class. We had enough. We received no public assistance. My parents had a mortgage and two cars – neither of which they could truly afford.  They worked hard but they lived beyond their means. We were chronically getting calls from debt collectors threatening to repo something.  We weren’t as bad off as our neighbors. Those folks were forever borrowing this big metal key thing my dad had that you could turn the water back on at the street or borrowing electric by running a drop cord from another house.  Despite not ever having enough money for extracurricular activities or vacations or most anything fun, I never felt poor. But, I do remember thinking there was no way I was going to live like that when I got to be an adult.  I went to college, got a degree and a decent job and have actively tried to distance myself from the dingy neighborhoods of my youth.

The funny thing about that “I will not live like that” promise is it gave me something that cannot be taught, manufactured or cajoled.  It gave me grit. Grit makes you want to do better so you do better – maybe not Oprah better – but better than you were.  (Whispers – Y’all knew I had to mention Oprah.)  My kids don’t have grit and neither do Dre and Bow’s kid on Blackish.  They’ve never had to have grit.  They always knew Mom and Dad would be there to pick up the pieces if shit hit the fan. I wish there was a way to foster grit in my kids without going back to the life I grew up in.  I sometimes think my kids think that having a good life just happens without very much work, determination, ambition, and grit. I’ve tried to tell them otherwise but I don’t think they get it. I’ve tried to tell them that they will have to struggle in order to get where they want in life. Maybe their struggle will hit when they get out of school and realize you really have to hustle with their job to make it happen.  Or, maybe they will just muddle through life and never attain grit. That scares me. I know I don’t have as much grit as my grandparents had.  You know the people who fought and won WWII.  Yeah, those folks had grit.  It seems to me every other generation since then has had less and less grit. At the rate we’re going the only grit anyone will have is the kind that resides in a Southerners’ pantry shelf.  Quick cook variety not instant if you please.

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Musing

The Company of Women

laughing womenA while back, I read In Pieces by Sally Field.  For the first two chapters, she dives deep into her family’s roots and the family dynamic into which she was born. She talks about growing up in a house full of women. At one point, she says (and I’m paraphrasing here) that men would come and go in her grandmother’s house and everyone including the house held their breath. Then, when the men left, there was a collective sigh of relief. It was almost as if they could go about their business now that the menfolk weren’t around.  I found that observation profound and it got me thinking about the house full of women I was born into.

I was brought home from the hospital to house mostly full of women. Yes, my Grandpa and Uncle lived there but they were gone to work and school respectively for most of the day.  My days were spent with my Grandmother, my two Aunts and at night, my Mother.  When Grandaddy passed away and my Uncle moved out, it truly was just us hens.  Like Field, if I think about it, I can remember the shift in dynamics when men came around. It was pronounced and different.  I don’t necessarily remember breath holding but I recall the way everything revolved around the man. I’m sure a very small portion of that fawning was the fact that this person was typically a visitor. You always fawn over your visitor. That is a rule drilled into everyone’s head in the South. But, I think the fawning was more of a sign of the times – a time when men were the ones you tried to please and whose favor you sought.

Speaking of a sign of the times, Field talks heavily about her Grandmother and the unimaginable tragedies she suffered as a young woman. My own Grandmother endured many tragedies as a young woman as well.  It’s interesting how most people back then buried their feelings and didn’t talk about personal tragedy or trauma.  There was no time to dwell on foolishness like feelings. You drug yourself up off the ground and did your duty. Nowadays it’s perfectly acceptable to tackle feelings. From seeking a mental health professional to taking to your bed; any number of solutions are perfectly acceptable. But, but back then, not so much. 

And, what of my Grandmother’s circle of women?  My Grandmother was the youngest in a family of mostly male children. She had sisters but none with whom she was close. My Grandmother had three surviving girl children but was only close to one.  I know my Grandmother had female friends. I heard her tell stories of how she and the neighbor women hung out while the children played on their street. I know they helped each other but did they talk? Did they use each other as a sounding board? I’ll never know.

It’s interesting to see how the company of women has changed over the generations. I didn’t have a built-in group of women in my household but I was lucky enough to have a very tight group of women I hung out with on almost a daily basis when my children were very small. We were as close as a family for a few years. We helped with each other’s children. We had girls nights and bitch sessions where we discussed everything from childrearing woes and victories to marital struggles. We talked about our feelings. And, yes there was a definite shift when the men were around but not as much of a shift as I remember when I was a child. We certainly weren’t trying to impress them.  More often than not I remember the men congregating to themselves, usually around a bbq pit, and hiding from us (the women and children) as much as possible. Above all, I find it fascinating how no matter how many generations have passed we as women still try to find that group, that company of women that helps us raise our young.  And, how influential that group of women is for the rest of our lives – influencing us when don’t even realize it. 

P.S. Totally unrelated – I find it interesting how certain posts attract a bigger readership than others.  Some of the posts that I think are my best are some of the least read. It’s a hoot.  Honestly, it makes me think maybe I’m not as funny/ironic/whatever as some of my friends would have me believe. Or, maybe my topic just isn’t as fascinating to others as it is to me. Who knows. I sure as hell don’t.

Photo Credit: Free off a site called Pixels.

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Musing

Y2K

010101I had a stunning revelation the other day.  In a meer 49 days, it will have been 20 years since Y2K?  Do you remember how crazy everyone got for that? People were quitting jobs, divorcing spouses, stockpiling food and supplies and million other crazy things because they all thought the world was going to end.  At a minimum, most people thought everything electronic was going to spontaneously fall apart the minute the clock struck midnight.  I remember my boss at the time wanted everyone at work that New Year’s Eve night in case all hell broke loose with the computers. I thought this was a crazy idea because I didn’t work at a tech firm. I worked at a small lobbying organization in a small college and tourist town. I distinctly remember telling my boss only our computer guy will know what to do and she needed to fire me now because I wouldn’t be there. I’d be in another state with my family that night. She got mad but then the rest of the organization agreed with me and she didn’t have a leg to stand on.  Of course, everyone else was yes ma’aming all the way until I stood up to her foolishness. Some people (Insert eye roll here).

Now, look at us. Twenty years later and nothing has happened.  No computers spontaneously combusted. Everything trucked along just like it had and time has marched on.  And, in those 20 years, I’d say we are more tethered to technology than ever before.  Wouldn’t it be hilarious (and I mean that in the ironic sense) if all hell broke loose on at midnight on this New Year’s Eve?  What if everyone got it wrong and it wasn’t Y2K we needed to worry about but 2020.  Can you imagine the reactions?  We didn’t have smartphones back then only regular cell phones. I can’t remember if we had text messaging.  We didn’t use a GPS in our car to find our way.  We printed out maps and directions from Mapquest or used a good old fashioned paper map.  In 2000, people still carried a checkbook and cash as well as credit cards – forget about Apple pay.  And, smart houses and devices like Nest and Ring – they were just a dream.

A few months ago Facebook and Instagram shut down for the afternoon and everyone lost their minds. Can you imagine if everything, all technology, the whole network went down just for an afternoon?  Holy Moses, there would be riots in the streets. I’m not a person who likes to watch the world burn but I have to admit the whole idea of everything shutting down for a day interests me from a sociological observational standpoint.

So, what are you doing New Year’s Eve? Any plans?  Me, I’ll be with my family. I won’t be doing the same things I was doing 20 years ago as our family has changed but I’ll still be with them. It will be a night well spent.

Photo Credit: I lifted this off the internet. I searched free computer code image. This is what I got. If it belongs to you let me know, I will credit you or take it down. I’m using it under fair use. No copyright infringement intended. I’m broke so don’t sue me. I write this for free.

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Musing

The Curse

I got my first bra when I was 10 years old and in the 5th grade.  My mother and I bought it in the children’s section of a now defunct department store called Castner Knott. It was white, no underwire, very basic and was a 36AA.  At first, I thought it was cool but then I started getting teased about my chest size – by both boys and girls. I now realize the girls were jealous that I was developing so fast and the boys well you know they never lose their fascination for breasts.  It wasn’t long after the bra purchase that I heard the term “the curse”.  The phrase, the curse, was generally said in hushed tones and whispered to my mother. Has she gotten the curse yet?  Alternately, I also heard has she gotten the gift yet? And, has she become a woman?  I had no idea what was going on. A curse sounded horrible. A gift sounded pretty awesome. Becoming a woman? Are you kidding me, I mean I’m female and pretty self-sufficient but I can’t get a job yet.

Then it happened. One hot and sweaty day after gym class in 7th grade I started to change out of my gym clothes in the locker room and noticed a red stain. Even though my mom had never really told me a damn thing about getting a period I knew exactly what was going on.  I packed my underwear full of toilet paper and hoped it would be enough until school was over.  It was the first thing I told my mom when she picked me up. Of course, we had to go to Walmart to get pads and sometime during that trip she muttered the phrase “the curse”. I was like so this is what all those women meant by has she gotten the curse.  It all made sense now. But, a curse, was it really that bad?

If I could have had a crystal ball I would know for sure that “the curse” was a pretty accurate description. My girl parts have pretty much given me nothing but trouble since that hot day in late spring when I was 12.  Now, 33 years later, they are no longer going to cause me trouble.  As you are reading this, I’m still in the hospital for a hysterectomy. I am ecstatic.  Good riddance.  The factory has been closed for years and now my parts want to give me cancer.  Well, fuck that.  The medical waste incinerator is your new home uterus.  Enjoy that.  I know some women have a really hard time after a hysterectomy or “the change”.  I have heard of women feeling like they aren’t really women anymore because they can’t reproduce or that they are less than because they no longer menstruate.  I could be 1000% wrong but I don’t think I’m going to be one of those women.  In my not so humble opinion, having horrible periods and constant trouble with your parts is by far the worst part of being female. I am so excited about this surgery that I bragged the other day to a friend that I didn’t have to buy pads or tampons for myself ever again and since my daughter hasn’t gotten her period maybe I’m in the clear for a while. Then the Universe pointed and laughed.

Guess who got their period? That’s right, my 13 year old daughter.  I barely had anything at home she could use because I had been actively using up all of my stuff and not buying anything new.  See what a catty bitch the universe can be?  We have talked a little bit about it. I have not used the phrase “the curse” or “the gift” or “becoming a woman”.  I’ve just called it what it is.  I hope she doesn’t have the same issues I did. If she does, I might call it the curse but mainly I don’t want to freak her out or fill her head with preconceived notions.  I’ve parented her this way her whole life. I’ve tried not to give her my perspective until she asks or she at least has a solid feeling of what something is like from her own perspective. I feel like my perspective is a little jaded and super weird because of my upbringing.  It’s best not to hand her that big bag of crazy to go along with her own major life event.  And, thank God we don’t all have to trudge off the Red Tent anymore.

So, Universe, I see you there. I see the irony of this whole situation. One reproductive life ending when another begins. Don’t worry, I totally hear “The Circle of Life” from the Lion King blaring in my internal monolog.  I get it.  I may not be able to make babies anymore but I have a daughter that still needs Mom. And, I’m going to help her navigate this stage in life the best I can. I’m just glad I won’t be having PMS together and our cycles won’t sync up.

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