Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What They Don't Tell You

Do I have to decide right now?
What do you want to be when you grow up?

That's the question we ask kids, right? It's the question we were asked as kids. What do you want to be when you grow up?

It's the wrong question, because there really is only one acceptable answer. Happy.

So the question we should be asking kids is--how are you going to be happy when you grow up? In fact, I wonder what kind of answer a child would give. Would they look at us like we are crazy? Would they simply reply, "Duh!" Because, I bet, to most children, it's seems kind of easy.

Do stuff you like. Hang out with people you like. Watch funny movies. Laugh. Sing. Dance. And if the child is a boy, possibly--make fart noises.

I guess it is pretty simple, but there is a lot about adulthood they never tell you.

I met a really nice woman recently at my kids' soccer game. We struck up a conversation and hit it off. Our kids didn't attend the same school. They weren't on the same teams, but we had a lot in common nonetheless. So two days later when this woman coincidentally walked into my place of business (she didn't know where I worked), and we hit it off again, I thought maybe we're supposed to be friends. Maybe we met each other twice in three days for a reason. Which would be nice. It's sometimes hard to make new friends as adults. We often become restricted by our workplace or neighborhood. I've been lucky to have awesome co-workers and fantastic neighbors, but that's not always the case everyone. And if it's not the case, how do you go about making friends as an adult? No one tells you how to do that.

So it got me to thinking, what else don't they tell you about adulthood.

My oldest daughter is a fairly new adult, only 23. She has great insight. Here's her answer:

You never poop normally again after pregnancy. You can't make your own friends. Spiraling depression is almost guaranteed. No one really cares about you other than your family. You'll make more money and still never have enough. You can't call out sick. You are always going to avoid going to the doctor and just hope you don't die. You never have to do to the dentist again if you don't want to. But then your teeth are probably rotting. You actually want to sit at the kids' table again to avoid having to talk about your shitty life with other shitty adults. Don't ever think about new clothes. Not gonna happen. Overall, no one has any idea what they are doing, and no one ever admits when they're doing it wrong! 

So, given that perspective, why in the world are we asking kids what they want to be when they grow up? Instead, why aren't we asking them how they are going to be happy when they grow up. Contrary to what my daughter's answer might insinuate, she does actually have a pretty awesome life, and she is grateful for it. She's simply a realist. With that kind of reality, shouldn't we be teaching our kids to focus on happiness rather than occupation? Besides, I know 100 people who aren't doing now what they thought they would be doing when they grew up. The real trick is to be happy doing...or not doing it.

So, how are you gonna be happy when you grow up? Here's a tip...if you aren't dead, it's not too late.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What's Cookin', Good-lookin'?

Is this a midlife crisis? Is it menopause? Is it premenstrual premenopausal problems? Is it early onset dementia? A.D.D.? Heatstroke?

Seriously, there is something wrong with me. I'm excited about buying a cookbook.  A cookbook!! I don't cook, folks. I really don't.

This confession made to another Roaring Mom nearly ended our friendship.

Me: I don't cook.
Friend: That can't be true. You feed your kids something. What did you have for dinner last night.
Me: Cereal.
Friend: Cereal? That's it?
Me: (Proudly) No, that's not it. I thought we should also have some lean protein, so we had shrimp cocktail, too.
Friend: (Dead stare) Cereal and shrimp cocktail? I don't think we can be friends anymore.

My dear children still remind me of the time I did try to cook dinner and had to bring out my Emphatic Voice (you know, the one they say sounds a lot like my Angry Voice) when they kept interrupting me. What can I say? I was putting a lot of thought and effort into it. I had purchased those Tostitos Scoops chips. I carefully spooned a bit of canned refried beans topped with a dab of pre-shredded cheese into each one. I placed the plate in the microwave, set the timer, and kept watch so they wouldn't over heat. No one likes cheese that's been over-micro melted into plastic. The kids had no respect for my slaving over this creative cooking.

While I stood watch, I heard from beyond the kitchen: Where's my cleats? What time is practice? Can you help me with my homework? I need poster board for school tomorrow.

Finally, I had HAD it! I, uh, said emphatically..."Can't you see I'm trying to make dinner here?!"

"Mom, it's nachos."

"It's fancy nachos!!"

Ungrateful kids.

So the fact that I am now excited over the launch of a new cookbook is kind of...weird. Something strange happened to me this summer. I got hooked on eating. I mean really eating. Not stuffing my face. Not grazing. Not snacking. Not snarfing. Just eating for nutrition, to fuel my body, to create a healthy  me.

So far, I've been able to get by without actually cooking. The grocery store makes a mean roasted chicken and the deli sells delicious shredded turkey. These foods fit beautifully into the 21 Day Fix program I've been using as a guide to better health. Now Autumn Calabrese has created the Fixate Cookbook full of 101 recipes for my 21 Day Fix. They include vegan, vegetarian, Paleo, healthy meals for a healthy me. For a healthy family!

My Roaring Mom Friend has often told me that sometimes she thinks food = love. Some moms overfeed and under nourish. Some try a special show of affection with fancy nachos. Some get it right and fuel their kids for health, success, fitness, and all that good stuff. I might be a little late getting on that band wagon, but at least I'm getting on.

The 21 Day Fix has lasted a lot longer than 21 Days. It has certainly fixed a lot of what I didn't want to realize needed fixing. I feel better. I have more confidence and more energy and now a new interest in learning a new skill--cooking! The best thing, however, is hearing my kids say, "Mom, we are so proud of you!" Those are just about the sweetest words a Roaring Mom can hear.

Interested in starting your own 21 Day Fix? Comment below or click here to order your own Fix!