Monday, March 5, 2012

Let's Talk About Spring

I'm working, listening to music and the sun is shining through my living room window.

Also, the weather forecast for the next 10 days is showing temps in the 50s and 60s and nothing really lower than the 40s.

Now, I don't know if all of these things (minus the working...) have combined to make my synapses dance with thoughts of springtime, but that's totally what's happening. 

I've come to a few conclusions based on these thoughts.  They are as follows:

1.) More sundresses.  There was a year where for one summer I designated Tuesdays as "Dress Tuesdays" and wore a dress every Tuesday.  That was fun.  But I only had like 3 dresses.  Still...fun.  This year, I think I'll be expanding my sundress collection. 

1a.) I'll also be purchasing a few pairs of shorts so I can still run around like an idiot without the world being privy to my underwearssssss...

1b.) I should get some new underwear...just in case I forget to wear shorts.

2.) Sandals and flip flops.  I paint my nails and toes nearly every other day.  I'm pretty fickle with the polish color.  Plus I own about 100 bottles of nail polish.  So it makes sense that when it warms up, I bust out the toeless shoes to let my feet breathe and show the world my bounty of nail color. 

2a.) Low-top Converse: I need a pair of these.  I feel like they go well with sundresses and just about everything else.  And they're a lot easier to run around in. 

3.) More time outside.  Being that I now work remotely, you bet your sweet ass I'm working outside as often as possible.  How sweet would it be to get a wireless card and work from the beach?  Super sweet.  I'm totally looking into that. 

3a.) When it comes to playtime, also outside.  And I'm dead set on finding a tire swing.  Because in my mind's eye, I picture myself, sundress-clad and barefoot (sandals strewn at the base of a nearby tree), swinging on a tire swing.  And I like that idea.

4.) Wandering Chicago with my iPod.  Just aimless wandering.  Which means I need to fill up my iPod with walkin' songs.  You have any good ones?  Let me know.  Walkin' and thinkin' songs. 

5.) Mount Baldy Beach: I only went once last year.  What a pity.  This year, I'm going at least a handful of times.  And actually, perhaps a few dune trail hikes.  Here I am, super close to one of the prettiest things Mother Nature has given this world, The Dunes, and I'm not enjoying it.  This year, that changes.

6.) I'm learning to use my grill, dammit.

7.) Ice cream and popsicles (pronounced "poss-icles"...obviously).  My freezer will be perpetually stocked with these items. 

8.) Picnics?  I haven't been on a picnic since 2005.  And homegirl knows how to make a sandwich.  Seems like such a waste I haven't put that skill to good use with some outdoor eating on a blanket.  Done.

9.) Outdoor restaurants.  Indiana doesn't really have many.  Plus the view is likely of a Target parking lot.  Hey, Chicago restaurants with outdoor patios, allow me to introduce myself and my appetite this year.

10.) Lakeshore Drive with the sunroof open and the windows down.  I usually take the expressway into town.  But in nicer weather, LSD is a great detour.  And who cares about traffic.  More time to enjoy the scenery.

All right, Lady Spring...I've got an agenda.

Let's do this.

Soon.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fuuuuudge.

I haven't had ice cream since January. 

Until today.  Today I devoured a pint of Moose Tracks in under 30 minutes.  It was a delightful experience. 

It was also a last hurrah before going into healthy mode March 1.  I don't need to lose weight, but I feel like I could stand to get more physical on a daily basis.  Winter always puts me in hibernation mode.

And working from home, while it's amazing, doesn't really help. 

I guess coming out of the grey days of winter and what's been a rocky end to 2011 and rocky start to 2012, it's time for some change.  Shake things up.  Do something different...for myself.

And I have my eye on a new bikini.

Spring is coming, and just like the flowers, I intend to blossom and bloom.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Oy, 2012. Oy.

Well, I'll keep this short, but I felt it necessary to post as this blog isn't going anywhere, anytime soon.

I had started a different blog project earlier this month, in the hopes of reaching some deeper level of self discovery.

What I really did was, well...I think I was just venting and trying to convince myself that I was stronger or more resilient than I actually was at the time.  "Fake it 'til you make it" or so they say.

Yeah, that doesn't always work.  So I deleted that project, took some time off, and decided to just be really honest with myself and deal with whatever it was that was going on in mah' brains.

And I'm not so stressed about it anymore.  As a matter of fact, I'm actually doing pretty darned good.  So it's back to this fun blog about random shit in my days and weeks and months. 

Speaking of, I am incredibly excited for February to be done.  2012 seemed to start out pretty darned good, but then I hit some rough spots, like my car debacle for instance, and then February just kind of became a diarrhea shitstorm.  Not just because of particular things, just in general.  And I think I'm mostly accountable for the way I let myself view everything.

Luckily though, it's a short month and it ends on Wednesday.  And with March comes leaves on trees, and warmer temperatures and I'm just another step closer to flip flops; which are the counterpart to my knee sock addiction in the colder months. 

So we're back to the good times with the ol' BB20s blog, folks. 

Let's all do a happy dance.

Or just watch me have a difficult time at the Target trying on shoes:

video
Random.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Blogging because my virtual office is down.

Working in a virtual office obviously has its perks: pajama-heavy work wardrobe, limitless smoke breaks, couch desk, bad tv as background noise, the ability to play word games on my phone between writing articles, passing gas whenever I need to, not even having to wear pants if I don't feel like it...etc.

But it also has its downsides...

...like when the office has a connection problem and I can't pull any stories.

This is one of those moments.  So I've decided to update the 'ol blog while I wait...


So, I'm easily swayed by fiction.

Maybe it's because I'm a writer or because I have a very active imagination, but there are times when I watch tv or see a movie and think, "Dude...I want that moment."

I guess you could also chalk it up to the fact that I'm...and I have a hard time admitting this publicly for some reason...but, I...I'm...I'm kind of a hopeless romantic.

Hold on...let me explain that before I go on...because, well, because I'll feel better about it.  (I'm about to try to remove all the sappiness out of something inherently sappy.  I like a good challenge...obviously.)

I don't know if it's technically that I'm a hopeless romantic, it's just...I like great moments.  Sure, some of these "moments" would fall into the category of "romantic" in a traditional sense, but others not so much.  For example, cooking dinner in the kitchen while my son does his homework and having a fun, memorable conversation with him that's filled with laughter--that's one of these moments. 

Or imagining building our annual snowman with him later on this weekend and coming inside for hot cocoa and a movie.
 
See?  Not really romantic.  More like endearing.  So perhaps I'm more hopelessly infatuated with endearing moments and not simply "romance."
But then...then I get these other ideas of moments that are, indeed, sappy and romantic. 

Like this one:


I first got it into my head while watching an episode of Sex and the City (first of all, shut it.  It's not a bad show, really.  Some parts are ridiculous, but it's entertaining.  And as a thirtysomething, I can relate to some scenarios. I will admit, I roll my eyes at other scenarios...it's a delicate balance, really). 

Are those mix CDs? I would hope so.
So anyways...the episode...right.  In the episode, Carrie went to visit Mr. Big as he was packing to move away.  He pulled out a Henry Mancini record with a version of "Moon River" on it, put it on the record player and they danced, barefoot in the living room.

And as I sat on my couch, clad in pajamas, eating chocolate, with a cat on my lap and a mud mask on my face...I thought, "Gee whiz.  THAT is awesome.  I want to do that." (Except, instead of Mancini, I'd listen to Van Morrison and Otis Redding.)

Okay, wait...that was my second thought.

My first thought was, "I am sitting on the couch, clad in pajamas, eating chocolate, with a cat on my lap and a mud mask on my face...watching Sex and the City...30-something has officially happened.  Shit just got real."

But then I had that second thought.

And I don't know, the sweet simplicity of it just hit me somewhere where I keep my girly-girl stuff tucked away.

I mean, actually, I tend to find the best moments are the ones that are unconventionally and unintentionally romantic/endearing.

But then there are those textbook cases, like slow dancing to Van Morrison barefoot in the living room, that remind me that no matter how random and weird I actually am...within me lies a girly-girl that is undeniably part of my DNA make up.

And it makes me laugh a little...these silly little notions I come up with sometimes.

Because on the flip side, I find sitting on the couch watching and laughing at Beavis and Butt-headto be an equally romantic, endearing...and obviously awesome...moment, too.

I know, right?  I'm such a freaking dichotomy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Creative's* Catch-22

*not just limited to Creatives I suppose, actually.

A friend of mine recently posted a very nice quote on his social media page:
"Simply, do what u love, what makes u happy, your art. The rest is just not important:)"
 Now, first off let me say, I think this is a great quote and super inspiring.  I'm out of coffee at the moment and I STILL got a warm feeling in my insides from it.

Second, I'm most definitely not trying to undermine my friend's reason to post this quote (most likely to inspire) or to call him out on anything.

It's just, the quote really got me thinking.  I mean, REALLY thinking.

I commented on his quote:
"And then you have a baby...and it all changes lol (although, it's not impossible...just full of detours.)"
Because guess what?  For me?  That's all I know.

But the tough part is, at least in my chosen field of goals, I don't know anyone else who has the slightest idea how to relate because I don't know anyone in my chosen field of goals who has been a parent for nearly 12 years, 9 of which have been single-parent status.

(I am lucky enough to have a great friend and co-parenting relationship with my ex-husband, but that doesn't make it as smooth sailing as a two-parent household by any means.  Heck, even two-parent households are hectic.  Parenting is a crazy, emotional and labor-intensive job, folks...in case anyone had any question.)

I see a lot of people, like my friend, who post these wonderful, beautiful messages of "go for it!"  "follow your dreams!"  "be who you were meant to be!"

And I like these statuses, both on an internal like level and physically clicking "like" on Facebook.  I adore them, truth be told.  And I try, I try my damnedest to follow and believe them.

But here's the thing: when you're responsible for shaping the life of another human being who loves you more than anything else in the world (and who, as it's my case, is teetering between childhood and teenagerhood--a very delicate and bittersweet time), how can you possibly just let everything else fall away for your dreams?

You can't. There are mortgages and bills and school events and dinners to cook and laundry to do and a house to clean and periods of time where you must dedicate yourself to discussing the latest episode of The Misadventures of Flapjack or a new internet meme with someone who will never know what a cassette tape is and, as I've recently found out, has no idea how to work a landline telephone.

Normally, I forget about this delicate balance.  When I do have my "me" time to do with as I please, I throw myself into it and enjoy the hell out of it.  Although, in the back of my mind I'm probably feeling guilty for not being "good enough" as a mom.  Mom guilt.  This is also a thing.  No matter how available and supportive a mom is, guess what?  She probably feels like she can do more.

And therein lies the rub.  The "damned if you do, damned if you don't" idea.

If I were to throw all of those feel good, inspirational , dream-following quotes down the Bemis, sure...I could devote more time to parenting my son.  Sounds great then, right?  Just give up and you won't feel guilty!

Ah-ha!  That's where you're wrong.  Because in doing that, I'd be doing a great disservice not only to myself...but to my child.  You see, in order to be  a good parent, it's my opinion that you must still follow those things that spark passion and joy within you.  It's almost living by example in a way.  Proving those quotes.  Showing and not telling that yes, dear child of mine, you can do what you know in your heart you are meant to be doing.

So those quotes, they're valid. But they're not all encompassing, I guess is my point.

You see, the rest IS important. I don't have the luxury of screwing up and failing remarkably and only answering to myself and perhaps a debt collector or irate landlord.

Nope.

If I screw up, I not only answer to myself, a few debt collectors and in my case a mortgage company...but I have to answer to someone who counts on me for just about everything you could ever possibly imagine.

So yes, sure, I can fail...but I can't do so with such unabashed and carefree glory as most of the folks who are also in my field of goals.

And believe me, I have failed...many times.  And I don't really plan to stop any time soon, because I also don't plan to give up.  And the only way you really learn and can see how far you've come is through making mistakes along the way.  Otherwise, what have you to appreciate?  Right?

But for my friends in the biz, community, etc., whatever, I offer this to you as well: the rest IS STILL IMPORTANT.

The "rest" is what makes you "you."  Uniquely.

Don't go blind to the "rest" in order to hunt down your dream and hang it proudly on your wall.  Because when you do that, you miss the good stuff.  Or maybe you don't.  I don't know.

I do know this: my road is winding and often times cracked and hard to maneuver.  I can see all of these other roads around me, they seem so much easier and more carefree, and admittedly sometimes I feel a little envious...I absolutely do (because contrary to some belief, I'm human).

But that unique and challenging road of mine has indeed given me some remarkable gifts.  These gifts don't always make it easier to reach my goals (much like obtaining a smart phone, although great and a lot of fun, has not increased my productivity in any significant way...)

I don't know, I guess sometimes I realize that I've made my own bed, I've determined my life to this point based on the choices I've made, but it would be nice I guess, if someone else could relate to it.  To understand what it would feel like if just leaping and risking a big fall was sort of impossible.

To feel what it was like to have to scale the mountain instead of just bounding over it without fear or hesitation.

And at times, I wish I understood the freedom in what they get to experience by not having to be so cautious.  By not worrying about the "rest."

Actually, I do.  I just haven't experienced it in about 12 years.

But I wouldn't change it for the world.

What I would like to change are these quotes.  Maybe add one or two to the boundless lot that accommodate those of us wearing a safety harness for obvious reasons.  I mean, can a woman (or a man) get a:

"Follow your dreams, never give up, you can do whatever it is you set your  mind to, do what you LOVE...

...but also, fold the laundry, thaw the chicken for dinner, and hug your kid extra tight tonight...it might take a bit longer, but you'll get there...eventually.  It's totally okay if you can't just leap.
Because remember:  without your baby steps, you'd have never even hit your strides."
 But I will still always appreciate all of those inspirational quotes my friends post, whether they apply fully or not.  Because just the idea of staying positive is an awesome thing.   And there's nothing wrong with that.

Plus, they're great, awesome, inspiring, talented, nice people...and I adore them.

On an unrelated note, thinking about this makes me very happy:

Heaven, apparently, is a freezer.


Look at this freezer.




And yes...that's an almost never-ending supply of different flavors of ice cream.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"I'm wearing balloons and everyone's worried" or: "NYE 2011 - 2012"

It's a brand new year e'rybody!

I am a party.
I happened to ring it in with a gaggle of great friends, and although I think the wine and champagne *might* have gone to my head just a wee bit towards the end of the evening, I have to say, it was a pretty damn good NYE celebration.

I did partake in some NYE rituals: wearing pink underwear for luck (I've also heard red, which I used to do for years, but that never seemed to work out well.  So this year?  Pink.  With little red hearts.  Perfect.), and I even ate 12 grapes (although it was way after midnight and I only remember about 3 of the wishes I made...out of the 12...one for each grape.)

And of course, by the end of the night I was wearing a party hat, drinking out of a champagne bottle and covered in balloons.  True Tiff fashion.



I don't really have any expectations for the new year.  In my 31 years I've discovered it's always best to stay in the moment instead of trying to plan out every single detail.  I mean, of course I have hopes and dreams and goals, but I'm flexible, I guess.

I rather enjoy the unexpected detours, especially when they take me somewhere great that I wouldn't have otherwise discovered if I'd followed my plans to a T.

I would like to start a diary though.  I mean a hand-written, private diary. I still have my diary from my freshman year of high school, which is hilarious. It's a testament to my survival of my teens and a reminder that things tend to work out precisely as they should, whether you planned them or not.  Usually "or not."

I do realize that my priorities have started shifting a bit, though.  It's weird.  And I don't know if it's because it's a new year or because I'm in my thirties.  I guess I've started reevaluating a lot of things, or actually it might be that I've stopped fearing some of the things that had until recently scared the ever-loving bejeebus out of me.  More on that later perhaps?

And no, I don't have any resolutions to quit smoking or lose weight.  The only real resolution I have is to be grateful for each day I have, for each single moment I'm a part of.  And it is with high hopes that this attitude will make 2012 a beautiful year, full of happiness and abundance.

This is my hope for all of you as well.

I also just won a game of Words with Friends against Mr. J.  Things are definitely looking good for 2012.