These old bones

It’s Jan 8 2015 – – the first deep freeze of the year. As we,  in the northern hemisphere think back to the polar vortex of 2014,  we brace ourselves with a sigh of resentment since fond memories of that period elude us like thirst-quenching water in the midst of an arid,  God-forsaken desert. We don’t need another polar vortex – – we DON’T want one!

Fast forward one day to Jan 9 and the snow is falling hard and fast. Beautiful to look at if one had the luxury to do so from inside while sipping a lovely, warm beverage. But not as fun to be in it while pushing a stroller and walking a dog. The stroller hardly wants to move!  It’s the heavy wet snow – –  the kind that makes your feet sink in requiring great effort to maneuver.  The dog understood! She knew we wouldn’t make it very far so she accomplished her requirements in record time.  Bravo!

These events were not witnessed by the kid for she was asleep and nicely bundled under the stroller’s plastic shield and a nice, fleece blanket – – safe and warm. She stayed in her little cocoon for another hour or so as doggy and I made it back inside to deice and enjoy a bit of peace and quite  as my mission to make it to work was aborted. But upon her return to the wakeful world and seeing freshly fallen snow she shrieked,  “Mommy it snowed,  let’s go build a snowman!”

I made several attempts to cultivate the enthusiasm needed to make me comply with that request but all were to no avail. My body remembered the chill from our initial trip outside – –  a chill that could be felt deep down to the bone. Plus, the anguish of re-layering was not far enough in the past to elicit any kind of forgetfulness. Therefore my response had to be calculated, for a promise, if made,  needed to be kept. “Okay honey,” I said,  “we’ll go later once the snow has stopped.”  She nodded then said,  “Okay. ” But as acceptable as the arrangement was, she made me ‘pinky promise’ – – a promise that must never be broken.

Twenty years ago,  or even ten, I would have been just as enthused about building a snowman as she,  but these old bones have seen many winters and now object to being voluntarily subjected to such torture. These old bones yearned for warmth!

The time drew nigh… “Mom,  is it later yet?”  I sighed. The only justification for embarking on such a mission was that the dog needed an extra walk since she was just recovering from a bladder infection and it would benefit her greatly.  Well,  that and the fact that I made the kid a promise. So,  reluctantly, I agreed that it was indeed ‘later’ and so the layering process began:

– 3 undershirts

– 2 sweaters with hoods

– jacket with hood

– 2 pants

– 3 pairs socks

– scarf

{Note to self: get a warmer coat, and boots}

I felt like and Eskimo.  But who am I kidding! I’m guessing Eskimos are looking at us and calling us whimps ! How dear I even compare myself to them? They probably think twenty nine degrees is hot. Sorry Eskimos!

As we made it outside,  doggy relieved herself then the kid and I proceeded to find a clean pile of snow to build a snowman. As I evaluate that moment, I have to say that I failed the kid. I made one snowball and that was all it took for me to abort that snowman-building mission. The chill,  the frost, the ice penetrated beyond all those layers of clothes and radiated to my bones. I couldn’t do it!

I dusted the ice off my gloves and buried my hands so deep in my coat pockets that I inadvertently poked a hole in the right one. “Bloody hell!”  I thought,  “when did I become old? Forty isn’t old! What in the world is going on? ”

I let the kid play some more, but the doggy,  8 yrs old  (56 in dog years), was pulling me in the direction of home.  It seemed that she too no longer enjoyed being out in the snow like before. It seemed I had found solidarity – –  she could relate to my anguish.

The kid saw that we were slowly inching away from the snowbank and instinctively inched along with us as she continued to play. Passers by smiled as they saw my dilemma and as they did I momentarily observed a difference in  attire: inappropriately scanty for the temperature vs well-bundled. I later deduced the ones with less clothes who,  in some cases,  didn’t even bother to zip up or wear a scarf,  were the ones with a car parked not too far away.  But the ‘walkers’,  like me,  were layered beyond recognition ready to brave the fierce elements and perhaps secretly protesting like I was.

My body would acclimate eventually as the winter pressed on as it has always done in the past, but for now these old bones are just not ready!

Fast forward to today,  February 2 2015: a warmer coat, boots, hat and scarf have made a world of difference! These old bones feel a lot better now but have yet to give me permission to build that confounded snowman!


Contents written: Jan 8 2015.  Edited: Feb 2 2015  |  Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises


THE BLIZZARD (that wasn’t)

Today, Tuesday January 27 2015, New York City woke up to the blizzard that wasn’t. Schools were closed; subways, buses and all modes of transportation were halted by 11 pm last night, and anyone caught driving after the 11 pm curfew were subject to fines of up to $300. The Mayor, Governor, and other major city officials coordinated a massive preemptive city shut-down to, in my opinion, to prevent a repeat of the under-preparation we experienced with hurricane Sandy a few years ago.

I’m not angry that they were wrong. As a matter of fact I thought it was a good idea, however there are some who now bash the mayor, governor, transportation officials, the weather forecasters and the media for hyping the storm/blizzard a lot more than necessary and causing mass hysteria for no good reason. There are others, who seem reasonable in understanding that forecasting the weather is not an exact science and believe the city erring on the side of caution was way better than the opposite and were satisfied with the ultimate outcome. There were no major accidents; no one (that I heard of) needed to be rescued since the curfew meant everyone was supposed to be home; the trains and buses weren’t derailed or stuck; and the streets were left empty so the plows and salters could go to work clearing the snow. I was scheduled to be off today anyway, so I don’t know if I would have felt differently if I had to cancel work and lose a day’s pay. But I would like to think I’m a reasonable human being and that I would have understood as I do now.

Nevertheless, the snow day allowed for me and munchkin to do a few fun indoor activities — stuff we haven’t done in a while. We cut scraps of paper into fun shapes, scoured the house for objects we could glue to the paper, then sat at the table to make or masterpieces. In so doing, I learned a few things about my munchkin’s perception of beauty and her creative style. We talked and talked and talked as she described what each item was, and why she wanted to put it in that particular spot. Then when I thought we could enjoy this activity for a little while longer she said, “Okay mom, that’s enough, let’s play some more later!” Sometimes I forget she’s only three and when we have moments like these I’m reminded why I wanted to be a mom.

We later made it outside to walk the dog and take our turn playing in the snow as so many other kids did earlier in the day. Jumping over snow banks; climbing on to snow mounds; throwing snow balls and of course the warnings of yellow snow were all part of the fun. Our time, even though cut short by the strong winds, was well spent. So much so that munchkin attempted to bring home a chunk of snow, which I’m embarrassed to admit, she bit into several times against my vehement protests and warnings of sick bellies, visits to the hospital etc.

All in all, we appreciated that the city took measures to keep us safe and we made the best of the day and the hand we were dealt. Perhaps the need to feel safe also stems from the fact that I no longer to worry about just myself but the needs of my kids as well. Being out in the snow and wind with her, trekking to and from work, would not have been much fun or safe for either of us so I’m glad we were home-bound (this time).

No patience for laces

shoelaces

I need a new pair of boots! But as I sit here cruising amazon.com, dsw.com and various other websites for the perfect pair in the right shape, the right color to match my other accessories, and the right price to suit my budget, the ultimate choice boils down to, “Does it have laces? If so, I don’t want it!”

The irony in all this is that hours, days and weeks have gone by and although, in all fairness, I have not been searching diligently (everyday), the amount of time it takes to find the boots I love has been enormous. I have been very patient and I usually am with many other things but I simply find shoe laces infuriating.

If you were to examine my shoe closet, none of my sneakers, shoes or boots have laces and this has been a methodical choice on my part to eliminate the pesky annoyances from my life. I’ve also started this process on my daughter’s shoes as well — currently the only ones with laces have been handed down by a generous friend or colleague and they were too cute to refuse. But alas, having her ask me to tie those pesky laces every 20 minutes (or less) is enough to make me wanna throw the little buggers in the trash!

I have often asked God why these seemingly innocent laces annoy me so, but ultimately I think HE just smiles and shakes HIS head at me. So in the mean time, while I try to do a bit of self-analysis, and accept my short-comings, I will be here searching for my next lace-less pair of boots. So far I’ve seen a couple I absolutely adore but they did not have my size . Is the universe having a laugh at my expense? Quite possibly! But it is I who will have the last laugh, for I WILL find something, even if it’s not one I ABSOLUTELY adore.

The Journey has just begun…

the journey has just begun
the journey has just begun

Swollen feet

Tired hands

Worn body

Battered heart

Overused brain

Lonely soul

————————————————–

I should be dead but the Lord sustains me

I am grateful for HIS mercy EVERYDAY

I am alive because of HIM

HE has a job for me to do

I will follow wherever HE leads


Contents written: January 9 2015  |  Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises

This too shall pass…

10/11/2010

In the midst of adversity we often lack the objectivity needed to see beyond our immediate pain and suffering. Hence, we fail to remember the vital truth that only a survivor of hardship can honestly comprehend. A truth that requires faith and patience; a truth that will set us free; a truth that is so simple and pure; a truth that ideally reads… ‘This too shall pass.’

If we look to nature, we see this truth as the circle or cycle of life: the birth, the growth, the beauty, the strength, weakness and frailty, the death. Then life springs forth again! Nature has come to terms with this inevitability but we humans resist or have somehow forgotten. However, the sooner we understand or remember that the cycle must take its course we’ll allow adversity to teach us new ways to survive – to seek strength – to rise after the fall revived – refreshed – renewed!

Here’s to new beginnings — Happy 2015!


Contents written 10/11/2010. Edited 1/1/2015  |  Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises


How to quit your job 52 days a year and not get fired

My job requires me to be on the clock 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. I will never get fired unless I mess up majorly but yet my paycheck is very small and if I call in sick I don’t get paid.  My responsibilities range from mundane, to silly, to absolutely disgusting and the only ones who truly understand my plight are those who work in the same field. Quitting is frowned upon and in extreme cases can result in short to long-term imprisonment — a huge deterrent in my opinion but some are simply too unqualified or irresponsible and the end result is to their detriment. There is no glamour, nor glory, very little thanks and a huge mountain of responsibility. To say it’s a juggling act is an understatement for it is not a job for the weak of heart.

I was never formally interviewed for the position, I simply showed up and was hired on the spot. I never received any formal training, which is sometimes scary beyond belief, but I simply use trial and error to figure things out as I go. There is no management to report to, per se — I am left to operate without supervision. But if something horrible goes wrong then the authorities are called and all the blame rests on me.

I tried to take a vacation once, seven years ago, but was informed that that was not allowed — even if I went to a vacation destination, I would have to pay for everything myself and I would still have to work. I gladly agreed to those terms since I desperately needed a break from the routine and if that was the only way to get it I’d just have to make the best of it.  I had “fun” and vowed to do it again as soon as I could afford to but that day hasn’t come yet since the demands of the job have been extremely unforgiving.

I daydream of vacations more than anything else, or spa days or simply an hour or two to have my thoughts be my own. But alas, the only escape I have is when business is slow in the overnight hours and I can sleep for a little while, not soundly, but at least it’s better than no sleep at all. I’ve also found that reading and writing are great ways to escape but I usually have to trade sleep for one or the other — a very high price to pay given my impossible schedule, but the sacrifice is well worth it. I’ve since learned that the more escapes I can create for myself, as small as they may be, the better I am able to continue doing my job to the best of my ability.

One may find it hard to believe, but despite everything I’ve just described, I do enjoy my job. The level of satisfaction I feel far outweighs all the crappy stuff I experience — well, at least, most of it! And every time I try to hatch a plan to quit, knowing fully well I can’t without serious repercussions, I try to think of those marvelous times of great joy to talk myself off the proverbial ledge.

Recently, however, (perhaps a month or two ago) I stumbled upon a system that can give me the break I desperately need without getting me in too much trouble. Every Saturday I QUIT! I am on the job yes, but I don’t do any work. Well, there ARE a few things I MUST do, but beyond that I exert as little energy as possible. I call it “taking a mental health day” and by golly IT WORKS! By Sunday I feel so refreshed (a little guilty and apologetic too) that I’m back to “push til I crash” mode and all is well with the world. No (major) policies violated, no authorities called, no pending imprisonment, just sweet bliss!

Why I hadn’t figured this out before is beyond me, but I guess it has to do with my obsessive-compulsive-perfectionist-dysfunctional upbringing. My role models are all workaholics and it would appear that that has been encoded in my DNA for better or worse. I can’t see that something needs doing and leave it undone. I guess perhaps this is why I am so well suited for the job — perhaps why I was hired on the spot without a lengthy interview. Whatever the case, I’m here reporting for duty and thankful for the opportunity to serve as long as I’m needed.

I am a single parent.


Contents written: 12.26.2014  | Copyright 2014 Moylom Enterprises


Flawed to perfection

We are all drawn to the defect within us that we see in others. Not necessarily because we don’t want better for ourselves, but because we need to know others are flawed so we can boost our self esteem.

For instance, a guy may see a beautiful woman walking down the street. He is absolutely captivated by her. He would give anything to meet her, date her, make her his own, but he hesitates. He thinks for a moment that he may not be worthy. He thinks there is no way such a beautiful woman would want to be with some one like him — so average. Then something interesting happens, she is absolutely lost, needs directions and she asks him for help. Bingo! She is no longer perfect. She is not all knowing or all powerful. She is human just like him and in this case can’t follow directions to save her life. He is no longer intimidated to ask her out. He no longer feels inferior, because as luck would have it, he is great at directions and leads her to the destination safely. In that instant her flaws are what made her perfect, for had she seemed infallible his self confidence would not have improved.

Initially he, as we all do, have an idea in our minds as to what perfect is. But in reality, we don’t want perfect, we subconsciously want ‘flawed’ since non of us is perfect, especially not when we compare ourselves to God. And what we seek isn’t really perfection but actually acceptance, respect, equality, connection — love. We all need it, we all want it, we all seek it, but so few find it or if they do it’s not a version they are happy with.

God knows all our flaws and doesn’t care for HE loves us just the way we are. HE stands with arms outstretched waiting to give us the sweetest embrace EVER!  In fact HE KNOWS our flaws make us feel inferior to HIM but wants us to come to HIM to make us feel complete — to make us feel ‘perfect’. He wants to ease our pain, mend our broken heart, soothe our soul, calm our spirit, lighten our burden. HE wants to be our EVERYTHING! HE wants to hold us in HIS arms and never let us go. HE wants to be the one we run to, the one we choose to be our guide, the one we whisper to when we are afraid, the one we celebrate with when we succeed, the one we discuss huge decisions with, the one who is always first and foremost in our lives. HE wants to be our one and only GOD, our best friend our Savior. We are beautiful to HIM no matter what anyone else says. HE loves us unconditionally flaws and all.

Can you imagine what it feels like to be loved before you even existed? Well God loved us before we were even born. A love like that, so strong, so complete, so pure is by far the best love of all. The great thing is, God doesn’t need us to be flawed to make HIMSELF feel better for HE is already perfect. Instead, HE needs us to be flawed so we can be humble and accepting of others — perfectly flawed to love unconditionally the way HE loves us.


Contents written: 12.23.2014  |  Copyright 2014 Moylom Enterprises


Familiar face

I’ve seen his face before… Perhaps on this same train… Not sure. I’ve always been drawn to him – to his face,  not out of attraction but because of its peculiar shape –  an upside down pear.

“What an oddly shaped head! ” I’ve always thought. But then I reconsider, ” what if he thinks my head is oddly shaped too? ” Then I smiled as I pondered my silliness and remembered that we were all beautifully and wonderfully made by our Almighty creator.

He made us different so we could learn to appreciate diversity. He made us different so we can understand the depth of his beauty. He made us different,  each one of us unique – special in our own way.

So the next time I see that familiar face I will see it in a new way – – something beautiful – – a work of art!


Contents written: 12.11.2014  |  Copyright 2014 Moylom Enterprises


Even toddlers can be organized (sort of)

I recently read an article that explained how to get a toddler dressed in 50 steps. I was immediately confused and intrigued and therefore understood why some persons commenting on said article were angry. Just reading the topic alone, like I did at first, makes the average parent say “HUH? Why so many steps? ” But after actually reading the article,  I realized that it was meant to funny, sarcastic and an article that ONLY a parent (with patience) could read all the way through.

Dealing with toddlers isn’t easy. And because of the huge 14 year gap between my second and third child I had almost forgotten how terrifyingly frustrating it could really be. So, the only way to keep my head from falling right off my shoulders is to STAY ORGANIZED. Also, a little planning ahead of the actual “event” of getting dressed usually makes the process a lot easier.

Here’s my strategy :

  1. Stay Organized: Designate a spot for everything and teach the kid to put things where they need to go. Upon entering our home my daughter (3 yrs old) knows the process: shoes off,  coat and sweater off and hung (on hooks she can reach),  use bathroom (if necessary),  wash hands.
  2. Clothes: In the morning her clothes are chosen before she even wakes up.  But if she is awake I have her help pick out an outfit and take items into the bathroom. By this time she has already had a glass of chocolate milk — actual breakfast is at daycare since she likes to eat with her friends. Once in the bathroom the door is shut. She uses the bathroom,  gets washed,  brushes teeth,  then is dressed. The idea behind dressing in bathroom? It’s less drafty and is a confined space with less distraction and no room to run off. Also, this space gives me a chance to be close — give hugs and kisses as we chat about the day ahead and how she should behave at school or at work with me.
  3. Hair: I used to do her hair in the bathroom too but realized that once dressed we would both start overheating so I moved that process to the dining table. There, we have room to lay out all the items needed to fix her hair: comb, brush, hair lotion, scrunchies, clips. These items soon become impromptu toys which she uses to distract herself — imaginative play  — as I go to work as fast as I can. I also use this time to teach matching  and counting: clips and scrunchies to match colors of her outfit and number of clips needed for all her ponytails. When finished, she gets to put clips back into the jar while I put the other items away.
  4. Shoes: At 3 she can put shoes on alone but she’s still learning how to put them on the right foot.  Of late,  instead of putting shoes on (wrong) then have me tell her to switch,  she now asks me which is the right foot first so she does it correctly with no do-overs. ^_^
  5. Coat:  She knows how to button her sweater and she just learned how to grab the sleeve of the sweater so it’s not stuck inside the sleeve of the coat as she pushes her hand into the coat.  Next I have to teach her how to zip the coat. Working on it…

So there! Five steps not fifty. Not as funny as the article, but a lot less stressful.

This post was based on the following article: How to Get a Toddler Dressed in 50 StepsBY SUMMER BELLESSA |


Contents written: 12/21/2014  |  Copyright 2014 Moylom Enterprises


Love + Heartache = Agony