“We Will Not Remain Silent” as Featured on BLUNTmoms

I thought I could do it. I thought I was strong enough and far enough from my own experiences of sexual assault and harassment to wade into the discussions surrounding the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh.

I’ve watched hours of testimony, weighed the accounts of Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford with as open a mind as possible, contemplated the arguments of thinking and not-so-thinking people on both sides, and I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ve lost our damn minds.

Social media, for all of its positives- cute photos, connection with faraway friends and family, and uncanny ads for things you were just talking about- is also full of negatives. The last week of news sharing, discourse, and debate has been proof of this. As we have read the thoughts and opinions of our friends, family, and colleagues online, we have become aware of a collective cynicism and victim blaming that plagues our nation.

Character assassination, political pandering, and partisanship have become the norm, and it’s pushed its way through our conversations with biting memes and conspiracy theories, slandering and dehumanizing all who dare to stand in its way.

Shame is a bully, and silence has been a solace.

Until now.

Click here to read the rest at BLUNTmoms

How To Make Space for the Messy and Imperfect

I had one of those come-to-reality moments when I opened the photo gallery on my phone today. You know, an icky sinking moment when you realize your life looks nothing like the filtered pictures you seek out on Instagram from time to time? To make matters worse, I then stumbled upon the Instagram page of an “old friend” and felt even more lacking.

It was awful. There I was, in the parking lot of Starbucks, rifling through the beautiful photos of other people and feeling a little fatter and frumpier than usual. Suddenly, my house was ugly, my tomatoes weren’t heirloom enough, and my children weren’t intellectually stimulated in the way they deserved. It was three o’clock in the afternoon, and they were still in their non-organic mismatched pajamas with the mustard stains on them. The crushing failure of my life became crystal clear at that moment.

I sat there drooling over pictures of beautifully lived lives and perfectly arranged meals, and I cursed my poor photography skills and scolded myself for not taking the time to learn how to use my camera properly.

I often tell my children that comparison is the thief of joy, but today I was caught off guard. Today I was exhausted. Today my kids were home from school for the umpteenth time and on their third round of strep throat. Today I was acutely aware of all the goals I’d made in January and still hadn’t met.

Today I opened my door wide to the thief.

To read more, pull up a chair at The Glorious Table.

Why I Wanted To Love Wonder Woman

I didn’t know it, but I’ve waited all of my adult life to see Wonder Woman on the big screen. I’ve spent the greater part of 30 years missing out on an experience that my seven-year-old sons have already had.  

At the age of 40, I was finally going to witness the unveiling of bravery and heroism of My superhero on the big screen. My Wonder Woman. My Diana. The woman I dressed like and emulated every Saturday afternoon in my parents living room while donning Wonder Woman Underoos, my mother’s go-go boots, and handmade cuffs, a tiara, and a lasso.

I didn’t realize what I was missing until it was nipping at my heels. But when I saw the first trailer for Wonder Woman last fall, something happened. The little girl who wanted to be brave, and strong, and the ultimate enforcer of justice, came alive as I watched amazing women kick butt right there on the big screen.

And since I spent much of my youth as a fellow Amazon, kicking bad guy butt along with Diana, her on the television and myself side-kicking it from the sofa, I felt pretty qualified to review the movie.

I liked the movie. But I wanted to love it. I wanted to love Diana and Wonder Woman, and all of the Amazons. I started out hopeful and reminded myself that the movie was just beginning when the first few lines came out stiff and lacking. I tried to be amazed by the fact that Gal Gadot was five months pregnant during filming, but found myself wondering if she was healthy, eating enough, and what it must have been like to have that kind of pressure. (Only to find out today that she hid it for as long as she could.)

The overall storyline was good. But the relationship with Steve was predictable. I understand that Diana had never seen a man, but the penis scene? The cheesy one-liners referring to his “above average-ness?” I found it unnecessary and out of line for a character from that era with his level of courage and decency. Is it impossible to draw and please a broad audience without sophomoric jokes and gender stereotypes?

But let’s move on to the more irksome moment of the movie and talk about the inferred romantic encounter. I mean I’m sure that I’d like nothing more than to get naked with a guy I barely knew after I had to wage war and kill countless people to save some helpless village that was going to get gassed by some crazed madman. I’m also sure that I’d have absolutely no sweat, soil, or scent after running through fields in a half metal armored leotard, and that if I did, there would be working plumbing and water for a proper bath available. So I related. Really, I did.

But let’s go with this here and say for a moment that I resented the stupidity of such an encounter. And since we are at it, let’s say I also resented the fact that this quick and shallow love affair became the pinnacle of character breakthrough for Wonder Woman. I might have to ask if these writers learned nothing at all from the wild success of Disney’s Frozen. Hello? Love was the answer. But love comes in a lot of forms. Some a little more robust than a quick fling with the first man you meet. She could defeat the God of War but could not withstand the wingaling of the first man she saw naked? I mean come on!

But I digress. Overall, Gal was fantastic. I liked the story, the action, and most of the content. I could have used less of the doe-eyed emotional moments, a little more complexity in character development, and greater exploration of the relationship with her mother, but I do realize this is a DC superhero flick, and the last Ironman was painfully lacking, so I’ll adjust.

When it comes down to it, I’m just happy that Wonder Woman made it onto the big screen. I’ve waited thirty years, so I suppose I can patiently await better character development, less gender stereotyping, and more complexity. I look forward to more female superhero leads and most importantly, more stories for Wonder Woman. And you can bet I will be there to watch them, Wonder Woman Underoos and all.

How Expectations Crush Creativity

Man I wish I had it more together. I really do.

From today’s helping of the-world-and-all-of-its-expectations-heap, I find myself feeling a bit more disheveled than usual. I’m sitting at the computer; and like my life, more tabs are open than I can manage.

So I turn it all off, feel briefly satisfied with my ability to make a decision, and get in the shower.

The shower has become my safe place. It’s small, I can’t clean anything in it, and it’s the one place I truly cannot be reached in. It’s been the one small constant space in my busy life. It’s a space I’ve cried in, prayed in, cleared my mind in, and even had the occasional cup of coffee or glass of wine in.

I spend a great deal of time sorting through thoughts, emotions, ideas, and plans in this place, but today I feel like all of those things have been put into a blender.

My head is spinning.

I need a rest but if I rest I fear I will drown under an even greater pile of tomorrow.

I know it can all wait. But I don’t believe it.

And so it continues. The swirling and spinning of my mind; the crushing weight of expectation; and the sense that I’m just not doing enough.

It’s never enough. My house could be cleaner. I could be skinnier. My hair could be more manicured. My clothing could be more fashionable. I could be kinder. I could be bolder. I could care more what people think. I could care less what people think.

I could be a better writer. I could have this whole life thing more managed by now. I am going to be forty soon. Doesn’t everyone have it together by forty?

I long to be a better mother, wife, and friend. The weight of limitation weighs heavily.I want to do it all. But I cannot.

Today feels raw and real. Today I am dissatisfied with my dissatisfaction, and the fact that these damned demons have a louder voice than usual.

So I try to focus, I press in, and I ask questions.

And I see that the beauty that is right here; the present- remains somehow out of grasp in this moment of doubt and expectation and not-enough’s.

I get out of the shower, get dressed, and refuse to sit in my office. I go to the kitchen instead and find satisfaction as I bring order to my dishes and create with something other than my mind.

After cleaning and cooking, I settle into the couch feeling a bit more relaxed. I can think and write and breathe a bit more than before.

I’ve regained my writing breath. In and out. Chaos is organized. In and out. The senseless makes sense. In and out.

As I honor the tension and agony- I let go of expectations, fear of imperfection, and the desire to be enough.

In and out.