Wednesday, December 7, 2016

My Ohio State Moment That Gets Me Through Tough Times

What's your "nope" moment? How do you cope with stuff?

Being new to stuff is hard. Being new to stuff as an older woman is harder. I'm the new "girl" at my jobs but I'm so old. When I get feedback or criticism, I want to tell my bosses that I used to be somebody pretty important. I mean if only they could talk to my clients, they would know how stellar I used to be in my former job. Only problem is my former job is a stay-at-home mom and society kind of slow claps at that one. And ever since my clients' hormones kicked in they kind of hate me and probably wouldn't give me a good review anyway (unless I bribed them with Frappuccinos and promising not to read their text messages or follow them on Instagram).

I wish I could be more confident and feel more important and smart. I mean oh great, I'm emotionally intelligent and self-aware, I'm empathetic. I'm spontaneous. Cue more slow clapping. I am also scattered and unorganized and late-ish and did I mention unorganized. And just a tad oversensitive. New jobs and new routines and bitchy teenagers who think I'm incredibly annoying are swirling together with newish perimenopause hormones and extreme exhaustion to create a perfect storm of chaos and self-doubt.

Over the last year and a half, I've struggled to find my footing, and figure out how to be a working mother and a mother to teenagers and a woman with perimenopause and possibly some pretty serious undiagnosed ADHD (duh right?) and ahhhhhh. Mostly what I have figured out is that I really struggle with too much on my plate, meditation doesn't solve everything for me, there aren't enough hours in the day, teenagers are frustrating and maybe most surprising is that I got a somewhat effective coping skill from an Ohio State football player.

A few years ago, I was watching the University of Michigan play football against Ohio State. An Ohio State player got ejected from the game for some reason. As he was walking out the stadium he held both arms straight up in the air, dropped his head, and boldly stuck both his middle fingers up to the crowd. At first I was horrified, but then not so much. In fact that player, whose name I don't even remember, has become my go-to coping skill.

Here's the thing, I don't stand up in the middle of a meeting or at my freelance job writing for a credit union flipping everyone off, but I secretly think about it sometimes. If I am at home and my teenagers are barely looking up from their phones and when they do they complain about something, I secretly think about it. Or when people are being mean to each other in a store, I think about it. Or when the news is on or when Tim and I bicker or when there's too much of anything, I think about it. And then I feel like laughing a little bit. Because seriously, can you imagine?

It's a big "nope, I'm out, this sucks, I'm not gonna take it anymore, take this job and shove it" kind of move and I love thinking about it every now and then.

That's all I've got right now. I mean sure there's all that very important self-care stuff, remembering not to take things too personally, scaling back on responsibilities and jobs, more meditation and dancing.

My sister took me to a nail salon and paid for me to have a pedicure.  It was my first pedicure in 12 years. It was ridiculously awesome. I apologized to Gina, the woman doing my pedicure, and she joked that she should charge more because my feet were so bad. Thanks Gina. Actually Gina was full of good self-care advice and reminded me that it's not about money, it's about taking care of myself. I reminded Gina that I was just visiting the area and she stopped plugging her salon.
But some of her advice stuck with me. I do need to take care of myself a little better, you know so I don't flip everyone off for real one day. 

But there's also the ultimate "nope" visual that reminds me when I need to take a step back and take a deep breath and try to remember that my skill-set is valuable to someone somewhere and that my clients will mellow out in a few years, along with my perimenopause. Maybe I'll get the hang of things at my jobs and parenting teenagers and life balance and maybe I won't. But I'll keep trying and keep holding a special place in my heart for that Ohio State player that inspired my very immature and inappropriate coping skill that is totally getting me through messy moments and parts of the holidays right now.


  1. The slow clap when you say "I'm a SAHM" is the one constant in this world. I want to call people out on their condescension EVERY TIME.

    You always make me smile. That is a wonderful skill to have. That double flip-off coping mechanism is so silly but so in the moment of how we feel at our most frustrated and I agree, the visual would help to disarm my ire. I am going to try it!

    I am in the trenches of teenagering with you, but the only advice on that front is this: Someday soon (SOOOOOOO SOOOOOOON), they will be gone, and that day will be awful. So I try my hardest to enjoy it even when they're rolling their eyes and patronizing my oldness. Because just a few years ago they were sitting on my lap and saying "I love you Mommy" and in just a few years they will be saying it over the phone. Hang in there sweets. xoxo

    1. Oh man, I know! I can't believe my oldest will be out of here in a few years. My youngest is already talking about how he will miss him.
      We can do this! Thanks for the support. I'm sending you hugs, high-fives and good vibes full of solidarity as we both navigate these teenager years.

  2. I will be adopting this coping mechanism in my own mind.

  3. I dig it. I might borrow it :)

    1. I dig that you said dig it. Totally borrow it!!!! :)