On National Holidays and Hot Dogs and Teenagers

I’m trying to think how to start this story.

I work. A lot. And I have teenagers. Three of them. And it’s summer.

So the teenagers are sleeping a lot and doing a whole lot of nothing (a variety of church camps and vacations and summer school meant jobs wouldn’t work).

So I work a lot. And they do nothing a lot. And I was starting to get a little cranky about the whole thing. So, for the 4th, when I would be working until 7pm, I told them they were in charge. Scott was on a trip (pilot’s life, we get that) and I gave them a credit card. To literally buy whatever they wanted so we could have dinner as a family (well, almost the whole family).

And they gave me lip about it. Which prompted me to post this on FB:

I think I’m going to scream and punch something and then scream again. Scott is on a trip until Tuesday. I worked all day today. I am also working all day tomorrow. I offered the kids my credit card and said they could buy whatever they wanted to 4th of July dinner but please be sure we have something to eat. One of them just told me what’s the big deal we don’t even do anything for the 4th of July. Yes, you’re right, Son, it’s not our best holiday, but tomorrow, at 7:15 when I get home from work, YOU’RE GOING TO BE HUNGRY AND IT CANNOT BE MY PROBLEM. ‪#‎workingmom‬‪#‎takeholdofyourselfbeforetakingholdofyourteenager‬‪#‎omgareyoufreeakingkiddingmerightnow‬ 

And friends on FB were very supportive. But what they didn’t know was that not long after this I was in tears. And that’s not something I do in front of my kids much. I mean, maybe a lot when we’re watching a sad movie, but not real, you hurt me tears. And they didn’t like it.

So I left a small list on the fridge and asked them to please at least get that much. And then I got this text at work:

“I can’t find negotiation hotdogs.”

It took me  a minute. And then I realized he misread my writing. And what I was actually needing were VEGETARIAN hotdogs. But it was funny. Really funny. I laughed really hard. And I shared it with my work family. And they laughed really hard, too.

And when I got home, this was waiting for me:


The negotiation hotdogs were pretty good. And so were the cupcakes. And I had some wine. And we’re OK again.

Because, Friends, that’s how it works with moms and dad and teenagers and national holidays.

I hope yours has been amazing. Happy Birthday, America. We love you. Because just like my little family, you’re not perfect. You’ve got some big problems. But you’re strong when it really matters. And that’s what counts.


I Have Not Energy to Run So Run I Must

There’s this strange thing that happens to me when I get really tired and worn out.

I think I don’t have the time or energy to run. But it’s not true. In fact, it’s a big stinky liar liar pants on fire fraud.

Because the truth is, and deep down we all know it, when we run, or work out regularly, it doesn’t drain energy – it gives it!

But I always forget. Coming home from a long day at work, it feels much more life-giving to lay on the couch and watch Gilmore Girls. Now, the Gilmore Girls part I do believe is life-giving, but the couch part? Not so much.

I have fallen into this trap approximately 628 times in the 7 years that I’ve been a runner. And the ironic thing is, I started running to help combat depression and anxiety and I know that it works.  And even better than that, really smart running expert people who write for Runner’s World know it works.

So WHY do I constantly fall into the trap of  believing the lie? Why would my own mind conspire against me like that? Answer: no idea. Although this article from the NY Times (complete with rats who like to run and rats who don’t and genetic evidence) seems to give some clues. Curious, how did they know the rat liked to run? Was it wearing a Just Do It shirt? Did it have a 13.1 sticker on the back of its little rat mobile?

Bottom line: 75% of the time, when I go for a run, I don’t feel like it.

And you may not either. But do it anyway. Because after you’ll feel balanced and that lovely serotonin level will go up, and you’ll find yourself wanting to love people more and punch them less. And that can change the world. Less punching. More loving.

The End