Thoughts on busy-ness

Whew long time no post. I actually wrote this post a week ago but didn’t have time to edit it- how apropos to the topic of this post! —

Kevin, my husband, and I were chatting recently and he said something that made me think.

“When I talk with people I rarely ever tell them anymore that I’ve been busy because it seems like everyone is busy and my being busy isn’t more important than there busy ”

Well…wow – that’s true I thought to myself. Then I began to do a self check  as I do when someone says something very smart -do I push my business out there in convos I asked myself-and by goodness gosh I do. Because I’m freaking busy. Like so busy that I forget all the stuff I did in a day and sometimes even become paralyzed with all the stuff I need to do. I’m so busy that I’m taking time to write this in the car in a traffic jam inYork PA as we drive back from helping my mom because when I get home I’ll be too busy or tired to write. But Kevin’s is right we are ALL busy and my busy does not trump your busy.

I need to stop putting my busy in other people’s face.  Unless I want to vent a little. Venting feels good.

So now I wonder am I busier or has middle age just made me more aware and less resilient than when I was young?

When I was young I could get up and head to work after being out late the night before – I could work a full day and then go home walk my dog and head to the gym and maybe even go out again to meet some friends.I used to drive back and forth to the beach in a day -I baked in the sun in-between.  I took night classes for my MBA after work. I never got an MBA -I got married and then things got super busy.

Why do I feel so much more busy now? Perhaps it’s because I have others to worry about -kids, husband, aging parents. I manage their schedules, I worry about their health, their grades,college possibilities(I have a whole other post just about that), I drive people around. And I work. It’s insane and maybe my menopausal brain can’t process it all as well as my younger brain could.

I’m in the the middle of life- middle age. Nobody warns you that being in the middle isn’t only the sagging body and wrinkles that seem to come overnight. We are often caring for growing children and caring for aging parents. We often work full time while juggling the other stuff. Nobody warns you how that can keep you up at night and super busy during the day.

But isn’t our world just busier overall? Or is just my view of it that has changed?

Middle age, oldster, youngster.  We are all busy. My own daughter works two afternoons a week and one day on the weekend while going to cosmetology school while she still taking her high school courses.  She is busy. I don’t remember being that busy as a teen.

Sometimes I think the technology that I love so much makes us that much busier BC we have so many things that can be done right at our fingertips. Just take the app Yelp. Awesome app. But if I want to find a restaurant near where I am or going I can just look on the app but lo and behold the app shows me lots of restaurant choices and then I need to read all the reviews. In the olden days I may have asked a friend for a recommendation or I may have just stopped at a place that looked good. Now I get out the app and check how many stars a place has. I leave nothing to chance and I spend lots more time making sure I choose just the right restaurant. I love (many emoji hearts) my smartphone but you get what I am saying -yes?

Let’s face it, we all are on the busy train going somewhere. Until we aren’t.

Sometime in our lives we might actually miss the busy because we can’t physically get on that train anymore. I have been derailed a time or two temporarily. When I had cancer and was getting treatment life as I knew it kind of stopped. I had to limit my focus on my health and my family and my recovery. Other stuff had to take the back seat.  I began to miss the things that I had fretted about before. I saw things in a different way. That being busy may be stressful but being unable to be busy is also stressful.  As I recovered I was so happy that I began to have the endurance to be busy. I thought I would be able to temper my busy with my new look on life that having a serious illness can give a person. But no – I seemed to have jumped back on that busy train – it can suck us in so fast.

There needs to be a balance – I suppose- and I look hard to find it. I do know that when I get overloaded with things my mind sometimes goes inert. I become unable to do anything unless I break each thing down into smaller tasks. Or I delegate something to someone else. Maybe this is a good thing. This inertia. It at least gets me to realize I need a break.

Busy isn’t going to stop I am afraid. So maybe there is a way to enjoy it whilst in the middle of it.

All of us need to take some time to unplug and breathe. Spend time with the family if you aren’t so sick of them BC you’ve been driving them all over or picking up after their messy selves. Read a good book. Or binge watch a show. I know that is not unplugged in its true sense but for me it’s a distraction from my own crowded mind. And there are so many great shows to watch- yes?

I even try to meditate but thats a work in progress for me. I have read how good that is for cancer survivors and I maybe a good way to still my mind. Oddly, for the months that after I completed my cancer treatments I was able to sit still for long periods and just be. Maybe this is as close to good meditation that I will ever get. Time would go by and I would just be sitting…sometimes at the end of the bed and other times at my desk. I would lose track of time and an hour would be gone. It was rather strange. Unfortunately this was during a time that i was frustrated that I could not tolerate busy at all. I was tired out from the treatments and I became depressed as well. Which is not uncommon after cancer treatments I have since found out.  I would become tired and overwhelmed after doing just a few things. So my ability to just drift into some zone wasn’t as much as a blessing to me as a curse back then. Sometimes now if I am tired i can get into that zone- but again I lament about wasting time and not getting things done.

I am sure some of this sounds familiar especially to women.  We want balance and when we go to take a breather – we often feel guilty.  I am trying to learn my limits and allow myself to take some time out of the busy. I actually appreciate the busy more when I give myself that break.  Right now I am finishing this post sitting in my mothers sunroom. Its so quiet. I hear the faint sound of traffic outside and my golden’s soft snores. I came for an overnight with my husband to check on my mom but these visits have also become a welcome break from the home-front for a day. I can get a moment to breathe and then go back recharged to my busy life.

I really want to appreciate my moments even the busy ones because I have the opportunity to be busy.

So I’ll try not to tell you how busy I’ve been unless I need to vent once in a while.

My busy doesn’t trump your busy and really now that I’ve written all this stuff about busy – I realize busy isn’t bad at all. Being busy can be a gift. We just need some balance.

Where did my brain go?



Look at the picture above. Does this seem like an excessive amount of Licorice Root to you? It does to me too! I have no idea how I got so much Licorice Root though apparently I ordered it. I did not intend on receiving this much LR.  Apparently I forgot on three occasions that I ordered this because that is how many packages arrived containing this stuff.

I got the first order and then a day later an order came with 3 more bottles in it. Then the next day another package arrived with another 2 bottles. It became a joke in the house. When a package arrives here now my kids are like “I bet it’s more Licorice Root!”- yea haha. I looked on Amazon bc they must have made this mistake(we order a lot from Amazon- it has everything)…nope..I ordered 4 bottles a mere 3 days apart. The other order came from another online seller completely. What the heck is wrong with my brain? Maybe I was having Licorice Root withdrawal.

I have no recollection of this – except ordering the LR one time. How do I not recall ordering the three bottles and ordered more? My brain is not working right! I don’t need that much Licorice Root. I am scaring myself!

This is not the first time I have done this. I did it with Omega 3 and I seem to be forgetting small things- a lot. Which is bad because when my teen says to me that I said this or that, or I said that they could have this or that how do I know if they are putting one over on me or if I really said it? And they are catching on too…which makes this even worse.

I take Licorice Root to help my adrenals which is supposed to help my brain indirectly – I think. I guess I need to read up on this. I take a large amount of pills in the morning all vitamins, herbs and minerals- you would think that I would be getting better brain power out of one of them. Apparently not. I guess I could blame this on  peri- Men- O- Pause…I could string that excuse out for years. Maybe my family won’t commit me. The reason this is happening is due to a combo of things I think – but good Lord I need to manage this somehow or we will run out of money and closet space. Pretty sure I cannot legally resell vitamins.

I guess from now on I am going to have to double check my Amazon orders and my email to police myself. How exhausting! I guess I should be glad that bigger ticket items haven’t shown up here in multiples. Though I kind of wish I would forget I have an Ipad …I could use a new one.

Who bought the Cumin? Nope -It was not me! Thanks for reading….


mirror mirror





Curse you Department store dressing room.

Your bad lights – and mirrors of doom.

My reflection tries to mock me- “You’re looking pretty bad.

Look at those dimples and that behind of flab.”

I look a little closer and I see what she means.

I am dimply, and flabby, and 2 tushes can be seen.

Then I look at my face and it stares back at me.

There are lines and creases where smoothness used to be.

“I need a new face cream”..I whisper to myself.

“Something expensive, a miracle, and not off the shelf.”

Then I look at my hair and see limp strands- a disgrace.

“Maybe I need a new shampoo, or hairspray, or Mace.”

Wounded and low I try on each piece.

First a pair of jeans, then a shirt, then a fleece.

I close my eyes until the clothes are all on,

I step back a step and open my peeps to see what I don.

And lo and behold I don’t look too bad.

I’m not perfect- but clothes hide the flab.

Take that dressing room- you don’t win today.

I am taking these clothes and Oh by the way…

I am proud of the woman I am – it may have taken years

But I love who I am- flab and wrinkles, double butt and big ears.

I have walked a long road to get where I am.

You can try to cut me- but I don’t give a damn!

With every wrinkle and dimple there is a story to tell-

I look back in that mirror – hug myself, and say, “I think I am swell.”




Wrong! again…another stupid mom moment…

A Kindle was missing. Again. Said Kindle belonged to one son and had been taken on numerous occasions by another son who was on restriction from electronics for the 100th or maybe the 1000th time – I’ve lost track. He would take other people’s electronics when his were taken away. He would hide them in his room and eventually we would catch on that he had someone else’s device. A few times he has even taken back his own device before his restriction was over.  In a way I can’t blame him because he always seems to be on restriction. But on the other hand he has been invited to discuss how he can earn back his devices and he never does that (he then would have to actually talk to me or his dad)- so I guess it is easier take someone else’s for a while until caught. Sometimes I wonder why I even care so much that I take away his stuff all the time…I guess think I am saving him from himself for now while he is too immature to realize what can be hurtful even if it seems fun–but for how long can I run ahead and try to make him safe from his own doings? At what point will he realize he is the one stepping on his own feet?

So last night we realized a kindle was missing. My husband looked in my son’s room and found a kindle charger and a kindle cover but no kindle device. I think my husband figured we would catch him with it sometime and we could deal with it then and he sat back down to watch the baseball game. I, on the other hand, was in a cranky mood.  I am going to blame it menopause because the crappy mood came over me while sitting in the parking lot of tractor supply. It just landed on me- there it was for no reason… So it was still with me when the kindle issue came up – and I think I actually brought up the kindle issue- and it made me more cranky because I really wondered why did I even care- he has already seen things he shouldn’t have been trying to see on the internet, and he  has already clocked many hours gaming.  Frankly- yet again I tire myself out trying worrying over a stupid device. Yet I was determined to find this darn kindle and I knew where it was—yep in my sons room.

So I marched on into his room and demanded he give me the kindle. He denied having it of course but I was sure it was there. I insisted it was in there somewhere and he best hand it over. I wasn’t yelling but I was getting more mad each second.  He then insisted he didn’t have it- and he is really good at lying and I just could not believe him. He then said something he normally would not say to me. “I understand why you would think I would have it – but this time I don’t.” Huh? He understands why I am there picking on him? This is a big step for him- but I was still not sure he was telling the truth- I still was sure he had it. I got a little flustered – I realized I might be wrong- so I left in a huff. I hauled my nastiness off to bed…sometimes it is better to just cast yourself away from people when in this type of mood. My punishment would arrive between 12 midnight and 1:30 am in the form of a hot flash. My daily penance when I am good or bad.

This morning I was faced with an slew of things to do (and I am writing instead) and one thing that I had to do was clean off part of my desk because I was looking for some crucial document (I did find it by the way!) and what do i find under a pile of paper? Ok – you know it – yes- The Kindle! The lost one. My bad- it was on my desk all along. I feel like crap because I confronted my kid who has enough issues to deal with each day and here I come pointing fingers at him. Even if in some way I was justified to suspect him -I still handled it all wrong. And again- I ask myself why do I care so much..why is it I have to keep trying to save him from himself? Most of the time I forget why he has been restricted from devices. This time I know why- he was surfing the net looking at things a 13 year old boy wants to see but should not see. So I feel justified in the punishment – I have further locked down the devices -but it is exhausting worrying about it all.

This is the part of motherhood that you don’t realize you are going to get until you have other beings to be responsible for. The constant barrage of worry over things that could hurt them but they don’t get it. It begins when they are little and you leave the store and they have a piece of candy in their hand – not paid for – you head back into the store and tell the clerk what happened – pay for the candy and then begin the talk about paying for what you take – you explain what stealing is -even a small piece of candy..then you worry if you have a future thief on your hands.  It never stops – nobody tells you that. I see my mother-in-law worry for her 64 year old first-born – when he leaves to go back to Philly after a visit to her in Maryland she tell him to call when he gets home so she can rest and not worry that is in a ditch on the side of the road.  It will never stop. And with that curse comes a blessing. Being a parent is a double edged sword. You get huge high and huge huge lows. You have to worry if your troubled kid will have friends, a career, a family.  Will he be addicted to porn? Maybe if we lock down everything now we can save him. But we really can’t – but we have to try. The odds are things will be fine and will have the normal baggage from kidhood and being raised by flawed adults. The odds are my kid will have his share of ups and downs and maybe a bit more bc he has ADHD and is on the Autism spectrum. His world view is different than others not on that spectrum- he has gifts- so many gifts and he has curses too. In the end as much as we try to block his way to danger he might still find it – but as a parent I need to step in and help guide him while I may have some influence in his life. Because sometime he will be on his own and maybe he will hear my voice when faced with making a hard choice- maybe he will choose the right thing. But for me as mom the worry won’t end- even if he becomes a physician and finds the cure to cancer- I will still worry. All I can say to this is thank you Lord for the blessing of being a parent this is all a part of the journey -the worry, oh the worry -but oh the love – and because of the vast worry I am truly thankful for wine… There are great medicinal benefits in one nice glass of wine.

So what do you do when you are a worried parent that has obviously come down hard on their kid and then realize you made a mistake? OK you could drink wine but really you must apologize- that is what you do. Because a human – even a teen who messes up all the time to the point you might pull your hair out – deserves the respect of an apology when they have been wronged- EVEN if they have wronged you many times and never seem to apologize….(this fact makes apologizing harder for me but I am the adult here and i am actually sorry for the incident). This son who is in trouble so much- he also has a very forgiving heart. That is one of his many gifts. So when he got home from school I had an apology on the tip of my tongue- but then my other son(we will call him the gossiping son) said he heard around school that his brother got angry at a peer in a class and poked the kid with a pencil and had to be sent to guidance. My eyebrows went up and my apology stayed in my mouth. I asked my son about it and he said there was no poking with a pencil and that his brother should not listen to the gossip (I always say any attention is good attention- oh that was if you are famous – well anyway). There was an anger incident he admitted but no hurting another person (kids on the spectrum can have anger issues – and mine does) and he and the counselor discussed it. I did not hear from the counselor so I decided they felt that they handled just fine it in school.

Geez I thought-  would this kid ever have friends? Did he even want them?—the worry train continues – but I still had something I needed to do- so I did. “I am sorry I blamed you for taking the Kindle.” — “Why, where was it- you found it?” blurted out my gossiping son..”Yes it was on my desk under a bunch of papers…I am sorry I blamed you” I said to the son I had wronged.  I think he was done with all convos about school and had moved on to a book and clearly had moved on from last nights altercation bc he looked up and said’ Oh- it’s ok mom.” he smiled and went back to reading.

I sure have a lot to learn in the parenting realm and I don’t want to care about all the exhausting details that raising kids comes with but really I wouldn’t trade any of it. There are some days that I can’t wait to be over because I am so tired from all the details and all the worry. But there are so many other days where I fall into bed and I realize how truly cool it is to be a parent to some pretty cool kids. So is the worry worth it? Yes…would I have signed up if I knew that the worry will never end? Yes because I would never have fathomed the depth of the worry even if it was completely explained to me and I had signed a contract saying I understood…because you don’t realize it until you are actually a parent. And really even with all the hard parts -I thank God for the privilege of being a mom everyday- well most days anyway! (Oh and I do thank him for the wine too!).

—Thanks for reading…





Walking it out with Jane Fonda

How old do I feel when I mention a famous person or entity from my genre to my kids and they ask “Who is that”? I feel pretty darn old…who was Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, ZZ Top- really?  Well ok I can understand why perhaps they don’t know who those bands are -except we do play our fair share of classic rock in the car – oh and they do know Steven Tyler because he was on American Idol. So when my kids asked me “Who is Jane Fonda?” I felt super old!

How did we get talking about Jane Fonda? Well I was caught in my room walking it out with Jane.  Yes- I was doing a Jane Fonda “tape” – except it was on my TV streaming through my cool Roku through Amazon Prime Video.  Why Jane? Why not? I grew up with mom loved her and had ALL her exercise tapes (my kids:”Mom what are tapes?”) My dad hated her because of her scandal in the Vietnam war. I loved her in On Golden Pond and other movies – she was Jane- everyone knew her!

I have been very into working out for years. I was into fitness from my mid-college years and on. My husband has owned gyms,he sells fitness equipment as a “real” job (aka: it has good benefits) and is also part-time personal trainer. We have a full gym in our barn! I kid you not..we have a line of nautilus machines, we have a Total Gym (yes the one that Chuck sells- my kids do not dare ask who Chuck Norris is as

My son in our gym

My son in our gym

my husband – who idolizes Chuck- has made sure my kids know Chuck…weird man-crush? – nah I think its his way of joking with us (I think)), we have a Smith Machine, we have battle ropes, and dumbbells, and bands, various cardio pieces, and even giant tractor tires.  I have no excuse not to be out there and get it done!

So again…why Jane? Well.. I am trying to do cardio everyday (I have read it can help keep cancer from recurring) so the other day I decided I wanted to get my cardio on but Kevin had clients in the gym – and most would not care if I went and jumped on a machine out there but I wasn’t feeling like it that day – I wanted alone time. So I fired up the Roku and searched at what free workouts were out there. I found Amazon Prime had a number of them and I was flipping through the titles and Jane’s face

Jane in her video

flipped past me. Was that an old Jane “tape” or was Jane making new workouts..I flipped past her but after a minute curiosity overtook me and I flipped back to her. It was a new Jane!! Her 20 minute workout would be like walking a mile…I would push harder and maybe walk a bit more. So I fired up the workout and there was Jane looking really good in her workout gear – not the spandex and leggings of the past but a nice ensemble meant for working out – I myself was not dressed nice for working out.  I am wondering what age she is (I am looking it up online hold on… She is 76! Made the video at age 72! Man she looks good!- I am sure she had work done but she stays fit!).

Ok so I began the workout (Jane is making little side comments about working out and staying fit as you age – hey I am 50 Jane not 74!) and the timer on my meatloaf goes off..crap(yes I do live the glamour life)..I yell for my daughter she comes to the door and I tell her not to come in and can she check my meatloaf…off she goes and a minute later she returns with the update on the meat. We are trying to communicate through the door and though I am not out of breath(Jane says if you can carry on a convo you are at the right heart rate for the workout), I am sure my daughter is wondering  what I am doing- surely she can hear stomping. I don’t know why I feel embarrassed that I am walking with Jane in my bedroom…for God sakes I need peace sometimes! I am liking the Jane video too..she is telling me how well I am doing (I told you I would push it harder than Jane is instructing). But it becomes clear that I need to give my daughter further instructions on the meatloaf situation so i tell her she can come in. (I love her because she never barges into my room unlike one son I know that never knocks and always enters when I am dressing!). She walks in and looks right at the TV. Daughter: “Who’s that?”, Me: “That’s Jane Fonda. She is a famous actress and has made lots of fitness videos.” – I am sure she has seen her in some movie but I am not recalling what at that moment. Daughter:”I am not sure I know who she is. Wow look how skinny she is! Her legs are so skinny.” She makes the leg comment about three times. I tell her Jane was born with skinny legs..geez enough about the legs! I am still walking out with Jane trying to follow along (and I was never good at aerobics- intense or low impact – and still am not- so I must follow closely – type A am I.  Later I realize it does not matter how closely I follow her moves- its about moving- duh!) and my daughter is just staring at the I tell her what to do with the meat(to turn it down…not anything mean) and I send her out so I can be with Jane alone- so she can tell me how well I am doing.

At the end Jane has stretches and she is explaining that if you cannot do the stretch you can use a towel to help you. Clearly this is for very old people and I am doing

I do this stretch in PT! Not this well!

the stretches the correct way even with my darn bum shoulder…bc I can do them normally– I am not old.  She says stretch slowly because as you get older you can pull a muscle easily if you stretch wrong- she is right about that so I slow it down. I decide I like the Jane workout and she has even a harder one on the same “tape” so I bookmark it and I will go back and try it out. Jane may be catering to the older population but she  still has it going on.  I will just ignore the comments meant for the older population as I am not that old yet even though I have a bum radiated shoulder and have to go to PT weekly.  I hope as I age I age like Jane – though I am sure not to have the cash to get the work done that she has – but I hope I maintain the same desire for health and fitness that I have now and like Jane still has.

When I head to the kitchen to check on my meatloaf I am all happy because I feel good from exercising, about exercising, and about Jane.  I say to nobody in particular “I just exercised with Jane Fonda!”… my son who is sitting at the counter says, “Who is Jane Fonda?” ….Really?….

Thanks for reading!