Don’t Wear Khaki …


Living in the dark and light of life and finding the miracle in each. It’s about embracing those dark days and those dirty honest moments with the faith that there is light, faith and a divine plan in all of the muck and bad feelings. It’s about remaining hopeful, kind and full of wonder through it all. I call these moments, SOUL MOMENTS. Moments when we find a way to be shaken and rattled in order to be grateful of things that might be ordinary, but are still full of wonder when you take the time to fully pay attention to and appreciate them.

We sometimes need others to share those soul moments with us so we remember that they are all around us. That the light is all around us, even when we are in pitch black darkness. So I share with you a moment of darkness, mentally and emotionally as a woman, wife and mother but was able to grasp that ray of light in my soul moments that were laid out before me.

So on this particular day my dark and light were these feelings:

Dark = ordinary = boring = khaki = forgettable loser

While my light was: Light = bright = bold = hero with a legacy

Since I know of you all probably have visited such a place of where I came to meet my darkness, let me paint a picture for you. A local barnyard type of viewing and petting zoo. Think ducks, pigs, goats, ponies, owls, bunnies, gift shop and picnic area within an enclosed space that your children cannot escape from. For this piece of storytelling we will call this place ABC ZOO. Let me state first, since many of you are probably petting zoo lovers, that I am not a hater of ABC Zoo and do own a membership to the so-called ABC Zoo…

HOWEVER …. On this particular Saturday I was not an ABC lover. Since the moment I woke up it was playing out to be a dark day … the weekend before I had been in Chicago with JUST my husband for four wonderful adult days where I did what I wanted, when I wanted while I wore adult clothes while eating adult food while doing adult things with my adult husband. But then this adult came back to reality on a Sunday afternoon and  jumped right into a week of VBS, dance classes and giving all of myself to everyone else. So when my eyes popped open that morning I was less than enthused to pack up my clan and head to the zoo. I don’t make a habit of hanging out there on the weekends, but my eldest Braxton was a founder of the Pokemon craze and had been asking to hit up the Pokemon Go stops at the zoo all week. I decided that making my husband suffer along with me would be a good soul moment for him, so we had decided on Saturday morning for a Pokemon pit stop.

When we arrived it started to drizzle which always makes me and my kids happy … said no one ever. When we got through the entrance we immediately logged into the App to find Pokemon for our eldest. This is where everything went downhill for me.

The GPS of the damn app wouldn’t catch … I tried, my husband tried and we tried and we tried with no luck which caused a pissed off first grader. Super. So now what exactly was the purpose of our trip to ABC Zoo then??? With three-year old twins they found a purpose … the actual zoo itself.  So off we went. It being a Saturday it was busy and there were lots of ABC Zoo imposters that didn’t know the lay of the land. I was in a seriously bad mommy mood and was not equipped with the patience to allow strangers to stop in front of me or cut my kids in line. As the rain lifted and the humidity swept in I also was surrounded by not only my sticky skin and the sticky skin of strangers but also the thick muggy smell of animals and hay. As we made our way from the duck pond and into the barn, all three of my little ones began asking for snacks and the echoes of children screaming and parents bickering overtook my senses as we made our way into the tunnel. I felt myself twitch and flashes of Elaine from the episode of Seinfeld when she gets stuck in the subway took over my brain and I too wish I could scream “Shut up! Shut up!”

As we went deeper into the hot dark barn I literally thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown when I saw two parents yell at their kid for touching the drinking fountain. “Don’t! Touch that! IT’s germy! You’ll get sick!” immediately grabbing his hands and dousing them with hand sanitizer. Meanwhile my kids had their snack in one hand and with the other were picking up hay from the wet ground feeding the sheep as they stuffed the rest of their snack in their mouths. Sigh. The amount of parents seemed to grow in number within seconds and I found myself being suffocated by khaki wearing humans with smartphones glowing blue in their faces as they talked about the latest characters on Bubble Guppies. That’s when I lost it. I started to lose my breath as I thought this is not where I am supposed to be. I am supposed to be in the city. I am supposed to be having conversations about art, sex and food. I hate khaki. I hate the smell of animals. I am supposed to be writing a book and rubbing elbows with the cool cats of the literacy world. I’m not cut out for this! I’m supposed to be a hero leaving a legacy of change not a path of snack crumbs. The black cloud that had been looming over my head was now an all engulfing storm cloud and I thought to myself that I could make a run for it! I could run out of that barn and for the main street. I could catch a ride to Chicago with it’s bright lights and dreamy people. I could break out of this suburban jail and be FREE. Talk about dark right? Yes, I am a mom and yes I was thinking my life was a jail at that exact moment. Talk about shame.

But then something happened … one by one my kids began speaking my thoughts out loud. “These people are loud. “

“This place smells.”

“I am hot.”

“Those kids are mean.”

“Let’s go home.”

“This is boring.” 

I looked at my husband and he nodded in agreement as we all half jokingly and me fully serious in an all out gallop headed past the caged animals to the exit. Just as I saw hope and light as we neared the gates to the parking lot my husband stopped our little clan in front of one of those tornado experience machines that you (as mean mommy) are always telling them no to. He asked if they wanted to experience a real tornado. What was HE DOING???? I was almost free! Should I just leave them? But, I too stopped. more from the shock that he was actually dispensing two dollar bills into the damn tornado machine, but the result ended with me missing out on my jail break.

Once the air began to blow within the man-made cylinder, my husband broke out into an all out stripper dance tease lifting his shirt behind the plexi glass as my three little ones danced around him and screamed with joy. Because see, my husband doesn’t care who is watching he doesn’t care about the opinions of others but he cares about me and making me smile. I laughed and as they all proceeded out of the machine they grabbed me with their sticky snack hands and hugged me. As I looked into the windows of the gift shop, Our reflections were anything but khaki … my eldest son got caught up with the hobby of tye dying so he and my husband were donning their latest creations of bold colors. MY youngest son, into anything sporty, wore a bright flourescent blue and green outfit. while my perfect little girl was dressed in her favorite color from head to toe … screaming pink. And I, myself, wore a polka dot shirt at the age of 33. My little girl slipped her hand in mine and they all yelled to go home … my thoughts exactly and this was a definite soul moment. I had my people! My people got me and my people understood me. But it gets even better …

what really put the cherry on the sundae was when I put my youngest son down for his nap a couple of hours later.  I sometimes squish his cheeks and recite how much I love him and that he’s my baby in one of those annoying Mommy voices that can only come from having so much love for one tiny being. This time he grabbed my face and said, “My little mommy Halperin, the baby’s mommy, my HERO.” — Talk about S-O-U-L MOMENT.

Though it had been easy for me to be enveloped in the darkness of the mundane, boring and khaki of life, when I looked a little harder through the dark I was able to find the light, I was able to find the wonder and hope in those soul moments. My life may not be text book glamorous or thrilling but it is filled with bright lights, bold ideas and colors. I do have a fan club, while I create a legacy and… I am somebody’s hero.

 (P.S. I shared this story with my MOPS group at our kick-off meeting this September)

The Jig Was Up

The jig was up …

Someone that I love very much has called me out on a problem that I have come to recognize as a lifestyle. A lifestyle I deemed as a success, that I gave many names and adjectives to except the correct one.  For dignity purposes let’s say health nut but it’s one of those nuts that fell on the pantry ground 10 years ago, was kicked into a dark corner, forgotten and is now rancid.

I have disordered eating. No, I’m not a 17 year-old girl trying to fit in with the popular crowd. I’m a grown woman with kids and an adult life full of responsibilities, friends, love and family. I wasn’t beaten or grew up neglected. But here I am at 33 without knowing how to really eat because, well, my eating is disordered.  Even worse my self-image is an extension of that disordered eating making my seemingly normal lifestyle perfectly disordered.

I feel full of shame and embarrassment as I even write this.  I mean for god’s sake this is the problem of a teenager, not a grown ass woman.  The thoughts in the back of my head tell me that people will judge me thinking that such behavior lacks common sense and willpower. Surely people will say  to just get over it. But I surely cannot be the only one that thinks this way. To say aloud or at least in words that I really do have a problem.

The jig was up ….

I started to look into the dark corners of this reality on my own and what I found was darker than what I had hoped. But where there is darkness there is always light, as long as you have faith.  I searched the all knowing internet, the books offered through Amazon, the library and online. I rifled through blog searches and chat boards. I found plenty dealing with mothers of those who had an eating disorder and I found a book here and there about women with eating disorders but the actual mother with an eating disorder that was a straight shooter and not part of a research project was pretty far and in between. Why was is such a secret? I have a feeling that I’m not the only one. After all, most women I come across are body bashing, talking about the newest diet or skipping a meal here and there to hopefully make up for that cookie eaten four days ago.

I began to look at the ways in which my behavior mirrored the inner workings of my mind. A control freak. A perfectionist. My self-image and body image crumbling with each new diet I latched onto or a day of eating that I deemed “bad”. My exercise regimen stressed like my body and mind were. I was caring and nurturing three little ones but when it came to caring for the one who loved those little babes the most … the word that comes to mind is anything but care.

The jig was up …

I was pouring so much time and energy into diets and rules surrounding my eating, molding my body and my mind frame of what was right and what was wrong. I spent lengths of time reading books, surfing Pinterest, sifting through blogs about achieving the ultimate clean eating and body. But in my mind I had never been to that point of perfection and I would never get there as I ultimately didn’t believe in myself. A reflection of so much more than just my disordered eating.

The jig was up …

One writing exercise in a self-image workbook that made me truly sad was one in which you were to write down all the eating rules you followed. After I completed my list I counted each one resulting in 26 different rules. That’s right 26. I can only imagine all the time and energy that went into upholding these rules. What’s even worse and more time-consuming is that each time I broke a rule I would mentally and emotionally beat myself up. I was a failure. Breaking a rule broke my vision of perfection which broke my spirit which broke my day which meant that I wasn’t living or enjoying life to its fullest all because the nutrition content of what I put into my mouth or the numbers on the scale or what time I had eaten my least bite of the day.

I fixated on these feelings of out of control fatness. That if I didn’t get up and move each and every second I was nothing but a sloth. That if I didn’t workout each day that I would blow up over night. That if I wasn’t thin than I was uglier than I already was. If I wasn’t the number I wanted to see on the scale then It all mattered so much. The skin that I wore on my body meant more than the soul that my body held. What had I done? The jig was up …

Exploration of this so-called clean living fixation that I associated will power and healthy habits is leading me through a dark journey of what I’m reflecting as a mother and how I’m acting as a woman and a wife. However, where there is dark there is always light. You gotta face the storm before the rainbows and Care Bears appear.  Let the journey begin.

The jig is up and now it’s time to share. Sharing to heal. Sharing to find. Sharing to let others know they aren’t alone. Sharing so other moms begin to realize that starving isn’t healthy, working out until the body aches is not natural, that we are not the number on the scale or the cookies we eat. Most of these fixations are only skin deep. What really matters are attributes that cannot be contained by the body, the scale or the rules we apply to foods and exercise.  The jig is up …

Can I borrow a quarter?


I was just commenting to my friends that my twins had never slept a night in our bed since they were teeny-tiny babies. Be careful what you put out into the universe …

The screaming traveled up the stairs and into the kitchen. My youngest son was crying shortly after I had put him down for a visit with Mr. Sandman. As I trudged down the stairs I assumed he had forgotten his favorite stuffed dog or would complain about it being too dark or one of the countless excuses a three-year-old can come up with when avoiding going to bed.

As I opened the door to his room, my littlest man was on his knees perched at the end of his bed crying real tears as he held his throat with both hands.  “I swallowed a quarter!” Most parents would assume that their child was lying because why would there be a quarter around when hitting the sack for bed?? Well let me tell you why. For Travis he has what I call a “bed shrine”. The shrine is made up of little figurines ranging from Lego men to Pokemon to shiny coins to pencils. The shrine sits around the bed board portion of his bed where he can fall asleep as he fiddles and adjusts their placement. Travis has never been a child who put anything in his mouth. He never had a pacifier. Never had a bottle. Never a thumb sucker or a small baby that put small objects in his mouth. But here he was at 3 1/2 swallowing quarters, at 7:30 at night, during bed time, on a Sunday night. Super.

Can I borrow a quarter?

Up the stairs we went. Tears rolling down his red cheeks as he held his neck and I held his hand. I called to my husband and he called poison control. Poison control informed us that this sort of thing was not their area of expertise. Call the pediatrician was their answer. It being a Sunday evening my husband got the emergency voicemail message and left his own message. Within moments his cell was ringing with the on call NP.  After explaining the events of the Halperin Household that evening,  the nurse said we would need to follow protocol for ingestion of a foreign object — to wait 8 to 12 hours before making it into radiology for an x-ray. We’d also have to keep him up for another hour or so. Then he would need to sleep with us in order to keep watch on his breathing. (This would be where I ended up eating my words about our twins never sleeping with us from just a couple of days prior). For our coin eating kiddo this was a win! Not only did he get to stay up and watch football with dad but he also got to sleep in mommy and daddy’s big bed. His eyes practically sparkled with joy as we explained the events that would be taking place that night.

Can I borrow a quarter?

Hello radiology. Twelve hours later my little boy was having a medical bracelet wrapped around his small wrist as a badge of honor for his crime. The nurse asked him what he ate … he replied “breakfast” which in theory was absolutely correct since only an hour before he had been eating a bowl of cereal but I’m pretty sure she was expecting him to answer “a quarter lady”.

Can I borrow a quarter?

After one waiting room and one x-ray later, the foreign object was successfully found in the upper right portion of his intestine. Good news is that’s what we basically wanted, in the digestive track, rather than caught somewhere that would obstruct his breathing. The bad news? Well we would have to wait on a call from our pediatrician for that part.

Can I borrow a quarter?

Finally, just before dinner. The nurse called, repeating the same question that I had heard a number of times in the last 22 hours … “A quarter??” YES, A QUARTER.  The prognosis? Long story short … Wait it out and sift through batches of his poop. Wonderful.

Can I borrow a quarter?

Though our youngest male offspring may be lanky, his poops are not. Bowel movements from him equal clogged toilets and at least 10 minutes on the porcelain thrown. This means that searching for the treasured quarter would be like searching for a needle in a haystack (except in water and exceptionally disgusting).

Can I borrow a quarter?

What exactly do you use when sifting through tons of poop in a watery hole? You know those paint stir sticks that every hardware store in America gives out for free when purchasing paint?? Yep, that’s the money maker. As a parent, I now advise having at least ten on hand, for crafting and of course poop scooping. Three poops later we are still on the search.

Can I borrow a quarter?

If you should need a quarter, my son is your man … you may just need a paint stick and some patience before he hands over the loan.


I’m Not Your Babysitter

All three of my kids participate in a soccer program. I chose the program based on the fact that all three, though divided into separate age groups, would be playing at the same time frame. This not only provided less chauffering and scheduling but also meant an hour of breathing time for me. It meant an afternoon time slot where coaches would be in charge of my children rather than me.

This is why I became so annoyed with another mother. She was messing up my “alone time”. She was inadvertently invading my space. How so? Through her C-H-I-L-D.

As I sat enjoying the fall weather that finally enveloped the Midwestern states, I sat back with a book in hand with one eye on the pages and my other “mom eye” on my kids as they trotted across the soccer fields. Finally … the kids were bought into the play and were leaving me alone (with the added benefit of exercise and team camaraderie). Suddenly a shadow appeared over my book. My space was being shared with another small body, one that did not come out of my body.

A little boy around the age of two was mumbling on about the tree that I had set up my mom camp next to. At first I said hello and was nice as pie to the little guy. But then after about 3 LONG minutes it was apparent that he was not leaving the space that I had designated as my territory.  What made matters worse is that this little boy had snot cascading out of his nose and past his top lip. It wasn’t the clear kind that is caused by running in cold weather, rather it was the thick slimy green kind that can only mean an infection. Along with his constant chatter was the on going smack against the tree that he continued to conduct like a Mozart of the forest. He had acquired two fallen sticks in both hands and was slapping the side of the tree with both again, again and AGAIN.

After another three long minutes of annoyance I stated to the little person that he should probably go find his mommy. After looking at me with green boogers slipping into his mouth, he gave one last slap to the tree and galloped over to his mother that was standing with three others as they babbled on about  _______ (please enter whatever boring subject you’d like). He pulled and pulled AND pulled on her jacket when she finally took notice of him. I’m not sure exactly what he said but she looked my way and gave a wave and a smile. “At last” I thought, “Peace and quiet — take care of your own kid.”

I settled back into my spot and within in moments that snot monster was back, mumbling louder and hitting harder. I looked past him at his mother who just gave the same wave and nod. “Um, WTF??? Are you serious? Lady, I am not your babysitter.” I wanted to take her waving hand and wipe it across her face to erase that clueless smile off her suburban face.

Rather than demonstrating an act of violence in the suburbs of the Midwest against an obviously clueless mother, I picked myself up from my cozy spot. I then used the opportunity to get closer to the sidelines of each of my children’s practices. Ping-ponging between the Terrific – 3’s and the First grade scrimmagers.

Now when I reflect back on the annoyance and the mindless mother …. maybe I was the one who was clueless. Maybe the stick swinging, germ carrying little dude was actually sent as a wake-up call from a greater power to have THIS mother focus more on her kids rather than the book in her hand. Maybe my little people needed to see me fully in IT, completely in the moment cheering them on and giving a thumbs up when their tiny little feet managed to kick a ball bigger than their heads into the goal. Maybe the banging of the stick was a banging on my head to get my ass up and walk over to see my growing first grader in a competitive foot-fight as he ran full speed as a 6 year old … because one day he’ll be 7 then 8 then 9 then 12 then 16 then 21 then married ….

Well played universe, well played. I hate snot, I hate germs, I hate loud smacking noises over and over …. what better way to get me fully in the game, the game of LIFE that is.



A can of Slim-Fast. The image is like a cow brand on my brand and memory. From my earliest memories I can vividly see the logo, smell the contents and feel the smooth label. No, I wasn’t drinking it but I was observing the one I admired most consuming the product of promises.

My grandma LOVED Slim-Fast. Cans of powder filled the pantry. Cold chilled cans sparkled as they lined the refrigerator door like tiny weight-loss soldiers. Bars wrapped in crinkly bold colored wrappers stuck in purse and coat pockets. Trendy, that was my grandma! She knew all the latest fashions, makeup and diet crazes. I truly believe that if blogs were a thing back in the day that she’d be storming the internet and blowing up Facebook and Instagram. When she jumped on the Slim-Fast train, it wasn’t a surprise. I wanted to be just like her ( I now see my own daughter with that same glimmer in her eye for my mom). I stole those sips of Slim-Fast like a 12 year-old boy flipping the pages of a Playboy. How good it tasted. That admiration, candy like taste along with fun-promising advertisements I was HOOKED.

As soon as I was old enough, I fell in “adult love” with Slim-Fast too. Loving it so much that during my senior year of high school it became my food of choice. The thick vanilla shake replaced my breakfast and lunch. The crunchy nougat bar goodness became the go to snack. How clever! How brilliant! I could eat shakes and candy bars that promised to make me look like a model, thin with big boobs a tight butt and bouncy hair. Bring the fake chocolate and vanilla goodness on!  Why waste my time eating real food and possibly looking like a troll? At 17, it didn’t matter the grades and the accomplishments that I achieved. What did matter is that I got noticed for my appearance. >>> If only I could go back in my time machine and yank that can out of my hand while slapping some sense into my brainwashed teen mind.

My friend, Slim-Fast followed me to college. What a loyal companion. Always there when I needed her, full of only good fortunes and promises of delight. Sometimes we would fight, sometimes we would break up, but every winter, spring and summer break I ran back with open arms. Completely enthralled with the idea that Slim-Fast would make me perfect. Slim-Fast would make all my dreams come true. Slim-Fast did make me lose weight, but it was also tearing my insides a part with it’s list of foreign ingredients, not to mention causing a perfect canvas for the start of a really bad relationship with food.

During my love affair with Slim-Fast I cheated, falling into lust with calorie counting. I found it thrilling to track and control those little numbers that filled the pages of notebook after notebook. I felt on top of the world when I was able to consume less calories than the day before. I got a high when I was able to see that number dip lower and lower. But with my new found lover, my infatuation with Slim-Fast was ended. My long time companion was standing in my way. My old flame had the same amount of calories each time I picked up that can. Slim-Fast was failing me. Slim-Fast had to get out, we had to break-up. Why even drink a form of liquid calories when there were so many other things that had little to no calories???  Why not just drink coffee or suck on Life-Savers or Gobstoppers at 5 calories a pop?  Why eat at all?

And so it began, a windy twisty road of self destruction and negative self-talk. All started from a brightly colored red and white can full of broken promises marketed in the perfect way.

I hate you Slim-Fast. Thanks for nothin’.

Strip Club Manager.


Add Strip Club Manager to my resume.

That’s right. I’ve been spending my days basically working in a topless bar of miniature people.

I thought I had heard it all and seen it all as our days of butts finally began to dwindle to an end. Little did I know what was lurking around the corner. Little fleshy buttons were around the bend. That’s right, nipples.

My kids are obsessed with nipples.

My household has turned into one big topless franchise. It started with my eldest and the phenomena quickly attached to my younger son.  Wearing shirts was decided as being overrated according to my three children. My six-year-old went thirty-six hours wearing no shirt.  The streak was only broken in order to put on a shirt for school which was quickly stripped off the second he entered the house.  Not being sexist, my daughter caught on to the trend. Now you will not only see two little boys running laps around our yard with their skinny lanky bodies in the sun but you will also find my petite munchkin of a daughter peddling along on her pink tricycle … topless.

This whole no shirt thing  was a battle I decided to not pick.  After all,  it would be the only time in their lives that this nude behavior would be accepted. Have at it little Halperins.  As always my children proved my parenting choices wrong. Though seemingly innocent the whole situation unfortunately took an expected turn … for the worst and the weird.

As I prepared another gourmet home cooked meal (or whatever fit into a crock pot that day) my three growing bundles of joy ran through the house topless. Shrieking in chaotic joy as they chased after one another giggling.  I heard my youngest son yell “Kiss my nipples!” as he cupped his hands over his chest running from his brother and sister. I stopped mid-cooking-utensil in hand not sure if I had heard him right. I was reassured that my ears hadn’t fooled me when he proceeded to yell again “Kiss my nipples!!!” as he ran past me with my other two on his tail. I spun around and entered the living room behind them as I barked “What are you saying???”  and without hesitation he responded “We are playing kiss my nipples.”  I calmly asked where he had heard about this game and he said his brother. I turned my attention to my eldest asking where in the world had he learned this from and he said … his brain. Not having a chance to think this whole thing through I quickly broke into explanation as to why this was not a game that should be played. Like an out-of-body experience I heard myself say “Listen, only married people kiss one another’s nipples. Nipples are private parts that no one should be touching or kissing unless you are married like Mommy and Daddy.  Nipples are special parts of our bodies that should only be touched when we are washing in the shower.”  As I heard myself say the words I knew it was a possibility that I could be opening a door to a whole other conversation or possibly an interesting story being told to teachers at school.  My fears dissipated as they shook their heads yes and replied in unison, “Okay Mom” with no further questions asked. (Nor have I had any interesting calls from teachers … yet).

Though the nipple games have stopped and my daughter is choosing to wear a shirt more I was reassured that the strip club status of our home is still in full swing this morning.  My youngest son walked into the kitchen, topless, with a pair of sunglasses around his tiny narrow chest exclaiming “Look mom! I’m covering my nipples like you said!”  and quickly ran out the door to join his topless brother and sister in the yard.

I can only imagine what’s next.




Suburban Findings: 6 Who Are You Steps.


The follow up to  Who Arrrreee Y-O-U?? 6 Steps to Finding Out

The suburban scientific findings to what happens when the six “who are you” steps are applied to the common crazy lady.

First a brief step recap:

#1.  ASK.


#3.  F-U-N.




Second, the outcomes:

#1. I asked those closest to me for a one word description of who I was:

My eldest son: sweet. My youngest son: strong with muscles. My daughter: good coloring. My two closest friends: Real and tenacious. My mom: Inspiring. My little sister:  My husband: Stunning.

I took those descriptive words in, let them settle into the crevices of my brain folds and then reflected. When it came down to the nitty-gritty it turned out that everything I wanted to be, I actually was in the eyes of those that really mattered. I wanted to be a mom that was tender and sweet. I wanted to lead a life that was real and tenaciously productive. I wanted to inspire others with my writing, thoughts and actions.  I wanted to be physically and mentally fit. By asking those that were closest to me with the clearest insight of my true self their answers gave me a reality check that I had been wasting so much time beating myself up for the personality traits I thought I lacked and the personal goals I considered too far to reach. In reality I carry all the traits that I have admired in others and my goals are actually accomplishments. Why was it so hard for me to see that? 

#2. I certainly feel my best when engaging in tasks that I enjoy, but also grow from. When I am accomplishing goals I feel on top of the world, because I am being productive in what I set out to do and recognizing it all at the same time. I think my confidence and knowledge of who I was took the biggest hit when I found out that as a woman I couldn’t just get pregnant “on my own”. This huge part of my identity sort of just was there one day and not there the next. I felt as if I was a failure. I failed myself and I failed my husband. In my eyes I was a broken woman, unable to have babies.  My body had betrayed me. Suddenly my plan was no longer in my control. Suddenly, I was battling with a problem that I had no knowledge of. It wasn’t fair.  Enter >>> Uncertainty of everything and self. Though six years and three babies later,  it’s unfortunate that I realize my confidence has yet to move on from that place of uncertainty. At least I know where the start took place.

#3. F-U-N. I thought about myself in college … I had a lot of fun then, but the majority of what was fun then was reckless fun. Did I want to be reckless again? NO. Was drinking large amounts of booze still fun to me? NO. So I went another decade back to when I was a child. My findings proved better during that era. My interests were still very much introvert-ish, writing, reading, exploring nature whether it be a field, beach or forest. I loved being near family with a small tight group of friends. I relished in experiencing really good comfort food after getting my hands in the baking or cooking process of it all. The bright lights and busyness of the city caught my attention and made my imagination dance. I was obsessed with laughter. Had an interest in crime and anything media related to it (think Law & Order or Forensic Files).

So I started writing again like a mad woman. Jotting notes, writing articles, leaving unfinished ideas on my computer screen, in the margins of magazines and in the pages of 3 different notebooks.  Reading books two at a time, mostly non-fiction one on Paleo, one on meditation one on happiness. I took to yoga in classes and on my mat at home. I planted some plants and puddled around in the yard with the kids. We are booking a trip to Chicago as a couple to experience the bright lights, the hustle and the bustle as adults. I’m doing a whole lot better at declining invites to things that make me shudder and altogether avoiding situations that may lead to me having to engage in some social activity that wouldn’t be my idea of F-U-N.Focusing on the friendships that scream closeness rather than those relationships that scream surface.

#4. This was sort of a cheat when it came to me. I basically had all the same interests that I did as a child but wasn’t necessarily making them a priority, nor was I shouting from the roof tops about them.  How could I when Facebook and every f**king magazine I picked up was telling me I should be interested in wine bars, the Kardashians, wearing yoga pants just because and hitting the Starbucks drive-thru before I wasted my time trolling the pages of Facebook – GAG.

What it came down to, again, was an issue of self confidence, I needed the confidence to actually be okay with claiming my activities and interests. Going against the norm, had always been my forte so why should I be surprised that my norm was not so norm??? So I started making it the norm, seeking out those who shared my interests or who didn’t care if I loved coffee or wine, as long as I was not a serial killer.

#5.  I feel sort of funny about this one so I’ve decided to designate this intro task to a friend or my husband. Next time I’m out I’ll have my designated person introduce me in this way, I am a mom but NOT just a mom.

#6. One thing I did notice while in my time machine as I visited my college self was that I acted how I felt and felt how I acted. I would probably be described as free-spirit or bad-ass bitch as a 21 yea-old. Now, at this phase of my life,  doing so isn’t celebrated so much, I’m sure if I told a mom that i didn’t like her and I didn’t like her kid’s attitude, I wouldn’t be so cool. I’m pretty sure if I wore what I wanted no matter the venue or the event I may be kicked out. I’m positive the CPS may look into the upbringing of my children if I felt like “calling off” for the day, sleeping in, laying on the couch while I binge watched Project Runway or Law & Order ignoring all other breathing beings.

But I could Looking further into the details of #6 … ACT HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL. I wanted to feel fun, I wanted to feel genuine, I wanted to feel energetic I wanted to feel at peace. I started planning fun events with my loved ones and friends. I focused on reaching out whether in small or big ways to those that meant the most to me to be my most genuine self.  I started partaking in activities that gave me energy but also provided peace. I started taking care of ME (mind, body and spirit) which in turn made me feel how I wanted to.  The reflection is still in process, as long as I remind myself that rather than wishing I felt one way, why not act how I wanted to feel?

Now it’s your turn, who are you? Apply the 6 steps or even just one to find out.