Tag: blogging

#6: Gym class was never like this

desertUsually, in my installments of Search Terms of the Sad and Desperate I offer advice to visitors whose search terms hit my blog. But I’m not sure the originator of today’s topic, “Gym class was never like this” is seeking advice. I think he or she is just making a statement to the world.

But I’m intrigued. Is this someone who loved gym class and wishes that all life was like gym class? Or is this someone who huddled in a corner of the gym hoping no one would notice? In my experience, there is no in-between.

I’m picturing someone in a cube at the office, feeling either hateful or joyful, making a comparison to a past in the gym.

Here’s what I think might have been going through this person’s head if they hated gym class and love their job:

Gym class was never like this because…

  • …we didn’t get to eat during it.
  • …it made us sweat while right now I am basking in a frigid blast from the AC.
  • …I never get picked last here.
  • …at work we don’t have to swim and then go directly to a meeting.
  • …I can sit in the same chair all day if I want to.
  • …my boss is not a sadist.

But if this person loved gym class and hates their job, they might be thinking:

Gym class was never like this because…

  • …we don’t get to “accidentally” hit each other with field hockey sticks here.
  • …humiliation of others was tolerated, and sometimes openly encouraged.
  • …I was always picked first.
  • …those who violated the rules got a foul or better yet, got kicked out of class.
  • …now, I have to sit in the same chair all day.
  • …the gym teacher was not a sadist.

How about you? Did you hate gym class? Love it? How would you finish this sentence? I am dying to know.

Read the series:

Anxiety dreams involving my kids 

How do I talk to my surly teen? 

I have only one child but laundry and housework never end

Life is not a competition

How to relax and enjoy your children

 

A disclaimer: While it perhaps shouldn’t need saying, let me remind you that I have no credentials, training or certifications of any kind that would qualify me to mete out advice to anyone. This is a humor blog. If you don’t find it funny, well, that’s another issue.

#5: How to relax and enjoy your children

desertToday’s installment of Search Terms of the Sad and Desperate, where I offer advice to visitors whose search terms hit my blog, tackles the thorny topic: “How to relax and enjoy your children.

Is this a question or a personal development program? If the latter, I should probably sign up.

Because even I, who am able to dispense completely unqualified advice on many topics, cannot answer this one. I’ve never actually done both things at once. I am able to relax on occasion, even with the children present, but to say that I am enjoying them in those moments might be going a little too far.

Why, you ask? Well, if I could ignore the multitude of dangers that lurk around every corner, pretend I’m not putting off a huge list of inevitable tasks to spend time with them, and navigate their constant squabbles I guess I might be able to relax.

I’ve never professed to be a fun mom. I make no apologies. Fun is not my natural state. For me, life is not a garden of earthly delights. It’s more like an overgrown plot of intriguing weeds. (And for my children I’ll add, “Sorry, grow where you are planted.”)

So I think I’ve met my match here. This question requires a professional relaxation consultant.

Read the series:

Anxiety dreams involving my kids 

How do I talk to my surly teen? 

I have only one child but laundry and housework never end

Life is not a competition

 

A disclaimer: While it perhaps shouldn’t need saying, let me remind you that I have no credentials, training or certifications of any kind that would qualify me to mete out advice to anyone. This is a humor blog. If you don’t find it funny, well, that’s another issue.

#4: Life is not a competition

desertIt’s time for yet another installment of Search Terms of the Sad and Desperate, where I offer advice to visitors whose search terms hit my blog. Today’s topic: “Life is not a competition.

Au contraire. Everything is a competition.

I think most of us accept that humans have always competed at the most basic level for sustaining items like food, shelter, or mates. But when you become a parent, you realize that as a species, we are meant to compete for everything, and that sibling rivalry is a manifestation of survival of the fittest.

My children compete for all-important things like:

  • The chicken breast with the fewest grill marks.
  • The front passenger seat. (I have seen them nearly come to blows over this one.)
  • The best seat for viewing the TV.
  • Junk food, should there be any in the house. (They will even unabashedly steal this from each other and then deny it in the face of overwhelming evidence.)
  • Who had the best grades/at bat/season.
  • Who had the worst day/teacher/bout of strep.

And the list goes on. Feel free to add to it.

As a parent, my role seems to be to vindicate whichever party gets to me first and/or award privileges based on completely arbitrary criteria. The loser just has to take their lumps.

I figure it’s good preparation for their later life in the workplace.

Read the series:

Anxiety dreams involving my kids 

How do I talk to my surly teen? 

I have only one child but laundry and housework never end

 

A disclaimer: While it perhaps shouldn’t need saying, let me remind you that I have no credentials, training or certifications of any kind that would qualify me to mete out advice to anyone. This is a humor blog. If you don’t find it funny, well, that’s another issue.

#3: I have only one child but…

desertToday’s installment of Search Terms of the Sad and Desperate, where I offer advice to visitors whose search terms hit my blog: “I have only one child but laundry and housework never end.

Stop right there, all you parents of multiple children! Do not mock the poor soul who posed this thought! Instead, think back to how overwhelming it was to have that first child, back before you let your standards slide to unthinkably low levels.

Take it from me – I am the Queen of Relaxed Standards, as evidenced by the fact that one of the search terms used to hit my blog is, in fact, “relaxing your standards”. The only way to cope with housework is to accept that it will never be done, you will never like it, and even if you can find someone else to do it for you, they will not do it the way you would do it. Standards are based, at some level, on averages, right? Someone has to be below average.

Still, I wonder about the motivation of this reader. Are they contemplating a second child, but feel as if they are staring into an abyss of laundry and dishes? Are they questioning their ability to cope? Are they measuring themselves against someone else’s nearly impossible example?

Laundry and housework never end. It is one of the immutable laws of nature. There is a poetic beauty to that first shirt deposited into the empty hamper. That lone dish in the sink. The dust motes in your newly-vacuumed living room.

Embrace housework and laundry, oh sad person, they reaffirm our existence. They remind us that we are here to live another day, dirty another pair of socks, track grass clippings into the house, spill a bottle of nail polish on the furniture. These events, these items, are the very stuff of life.

Yeah, right. Even I can’t drop my standards that far. Just get out that dust cloth and get to it.

Read the series:

Anxiety dreams involving my kids 

How do I talk to my surly teen? 

 

A disclaimer: While it perhaps shouldn’t need saying, let me remind you that I have no credentials, training or certifications of any kind that would qualify me to mete out advice to anyone. This is a humor blog. If you don’t find it funny, well, that’s another issue.

#2: How do I talk to my surly teen?

desertToday’s installment of Search Terms of the Sad and Desperate, where I offer advice to visitors whose search terms hit my blog: “How do I talk to my surly teen?” and its variations:

  • How to communicate with a surly teen
  • How to communicate with my surly silent teenager
  • How do I speak to my surly teenager
  • Teenager very surly when ask them to do something

First of all, let me pose a counter-question: Why do you want to talk to your Surly Teen? If you can consider foregoing this, it is relatively easy to do, given that most teens only communicate when they want something. Just follow one of these easy methods:

Method 1: Never initiate communication. 90% of the time, this will avoid the need to engage in conversation. Most teens will not converse with you as a matter of course. That would require them to look up from their phones.

Method 2: Pretend you don’t hear them. The best way to do this is to create noise doing housework the teen doesn’t want to do. The response, “I can’t hear you over the vacuum/garbage disposal/lawnmower” will eliminate all but the most desperate requests.

Method 3: Tell them to ask again when they are able to do so in a civil tone. Since it requires nearly impossible effort for a teen to speak in a civil tone, your problem is solved.

And for the reader who asked, “When does teenage surliness end?” That’s easy. When they reach adulthood which, depending on the child, takes a mere 12-15 years.

Read the series:

Anxiety dreams involving my kids 

 

A disclaimer: While it perhaps shouldn’t need saying, let me remind you that I have no credentials, training or certifications of any kind that would qualify me to mete out advice to anyone. This is a humor blog. If you don’t find it funny, well, that’s another issue.

#1: Anxiety dreams involving my kids

desertIn a recent post, I promised to provide some advice to those whose tortured search terms hit my blog. Today’s installment: Anxiety dreams involving my kids.

My first thought when reading this phrase was, wait – don’t all your anxiety dreams involve your kids? But of course, they don’t. There are plenty of topics to disturb one’s sleep. I have lately had a string of anxiety dreams about my house, but I won’t elaborate because I think I can get another blog post out of it.

But I digress. If you have kids I’d be amazed if you didn’t have anxiety dreams about them, nor do I think it’s hard to figure out the underlying fears that cause them:

  1. You’re afraid they’ll get lost
  2. You’re afraid they’ll get hurt
  3. You’re afraid they’ll hurt others
  4. You’re afraid they’ll drive you to financial ruin
  5. All of the above

This is perfectly normal. When you awake from one of these dreams, just take a few deep breaths and decide what punishment or suspension of privileges you will inflict on your children for whatever it is they did in your dream.

Strangely, some of the most anxious dreams I’ve had about my kids have happy endings. I once dreamed I was heading down a stairwell to a basement-level restaurant with a stroller containing my infant son. At the top of the stairwell, I let go of the carriage á la the pivotal scene from The Untouchables. As it raced toward the bottom, my husband gallantly stepped up to the bottom of the stairs and caught it. Crisis averted.

One of the few dreams I’ve had where my husband was credited with the competence he likely deserves.

 

A disclaimer: While it perhaps shouldn’t need saying, let me remind you that I have no credentials, training or certifications of any kind that would qualify me to mete out advice to anyone. This is a humor blog. If you don’t find it funny, well, that’s another issue.

Why my husband should read my blog

IMG_0349Never one to pass up an opportunity, I’m using a situation that occurred yesterday to get a little familial love. Not that kind of familial love! Seriously. I mean spousal support and validation.

It seems my husband’s phone lit up yesterday after I published my post about cleaning out the garage. He asked me what I’d written when he returned home.

Asked me, because he doesn’t read my blog. He subscribes by email, but he doesn’t read past the blurb.

“It’s too much trouble to log in and everything,” he said.

“Click,” I responded. “All you have to do is click.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened, and let me say, I’m really flattered that so many of his friends are readers. But he should be reading it, too, if for no other reason than to know why the rolling pin is coming at him when he walks in the door.

So I’m giving him one more chance to see what I’ve disclosed to countless others. Here, in one easy list, are all the recent blog posts in which he figures prominently, so he will know that his friends know:

So there you are, dearest. Now you can catch up. All you have to do is click. See you tonight.

Search terms of the sad and desperate

sosIt seems the search terms used to hit my blog are written by people so desperate for advice or supporting evidence, they’ll craft long, elaborate phrases searching for answers. The poor souls get no help from me. Until now.

Some background: A few weeks ago the blogger at Idiot-prufs published a hilarious post about the funny search terms people use to hit his site. It sent me off to look at my search terms, which it turns out are not funny at all.

Other than the only mildly amusing “will i am wears black sweater” and “can I own a cannon“, mine are populated with what I’ve taken to calling Search Terms of the Sad and Desperate.

Clearly these people have nowhere to turn if they are seeking out my blog for help and advice. So I thought I should take some action.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to respond to a few of these issues with the type of unqualified, largely useless advice one might expect from a random blog. Stay tuned for the first installment: Anxiety dreams involving my kids.

A letter to someone’s son

I found the envelope when I returned to the parking lot, blown up against my left front tire. There was no address, no name even. Just two words on the front: “Hey, Buddy.”

I don’t know why I read it. I told myself I was trying to find the owner. But really, I was curious, in the way one is when you get a glimpse of someone else’s life.

You’re probably too old to want a letter from your mom on the last day of school, but you’re getting one anyway. I hope you read this and don’t just throw it out with your lunch. I know this year wasn’t always great, and we argued over grades and homework way too much, but it’s only because I care about you and your future. You are so smart, and I want the whole world to know it, not just me. Anyway, have a great day and let’s relax this summer and just have some fun.

Love,

Mom

A nice letter. But a moment lost. I hope she speaks out to him when he comes home today. Perhaps she will. Or perhaps they’ll go through their evening in a silence not to be breached by a few, simple words.

This post is part of the Blogging University Writing 101 series.

Lost and found

Some people will go to great lengths to avoid change. Not me. For me, it’s a way to regain what I’ve lost.

I made a change not long ago because I’d lost some things. Important things, like:

  • My patience
  • My motivation
  • My humor
  • My interest
  • My energy

And my resolve. I really need that. There’s nothing like barreling through life with a big dose of resolve.

I try to make a major life change every couple of years just to keep myself interested. Some might say I’m an underachiever, but I prefer to think of myself as bold and adventurous.

We’re all busy, and change can seem really daunting when you’re buried in details. But when you think about it, what is change but just swapping that really crappy to-do list for one with better stuff on it?

My energy is back. I’m even feeling a little patient. Seems like this change is for the better, but if this doesn’t work, I’ll just make another change.

See how that works? It’s a beautiful thing.

This post is part of the Blogging University Writing 101 series.