Shiplap

I have a new piece up on ArtHouse America today and I’m pretty stoked about that. I hope you get a chance to check it out if you’re a Fixer Upper fan.

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If you’re not a Fixer Upper fan then we gotta talk. How can I be friends with you if you’re not a Fixer Upper fan?? Come on, now.

Lookit, I’m even wearing one of my favorite tee shirts today to celebrate!

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In other news, I ought to have some news on a release date for my latest book, Garden in the East soon and very soon…

On Living and Dying and Making a Difference

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“I think I’m dying,” I said, and I coughed weakly. My children gathered around me, stroking my head and handing me small squares of toilet paper instead of Kleenex. My oldest got me a glass of water as I propped myself on some pillows. I tried to watch another season of Hell’s Kitchen but it made me hungry and being hungry made me feel nauseated. This sickness is not consumption, though that would be a far more literary way to write about my sick bed. This sickness is just a nasty head cold, a head cold I developed because my children are in grade school, and I just cannot help but hug and kiss them even when they are sick, which is always, because they are in grade school.

All that day I camped out in bed, and I read the stack of magazines I keep on my nightstand. I collect literary journals like some kids collect bottle caps. I line them up on the shelf under my nightstand. I stack them under the bed. I pile them on the coffee table. When the magazines arrive I read them while sitting on the couch, feet up, absent to everything else. On this day, I am reading Ruminate Magazine, one of my favorite journals. It is one of my favorites because of the beautiful work inside, the feel of the thick paper between my fingers, the splash of color of the artwork every few pages.

I might never have subscribed to Ruminate had I not met the editor, Brianna Vandyke at a writer’s conference in Michigan many years ago. I met her while walking through the “vendor” room. She was positioned behind the Ruminate table, smiling. I browsed the sample magazines on the table. They were a young outfit back then, just getting started. I had heard of them through a few other writers, and I had submitted to one of their writing contests. When Brianna saw my nametag, she said, “I know your name! I’ve been wanting to meet you!” and then she came out from behind the table and hugged me. At that point in my writing career, no one knew my name. I had no publishing credits to speak of and in fact, I was still unsure of whether I could truly say out loud that I was a writer.

I subscribed that day. And it was in that generous greeting, that moment of recognition and that small, well-loved journal that I began to form some solid understanding of what it means to create something beautiful. It’s something I still value to this day. Truly, I’m grateful for the work of Ruminate.

Because you might never have come across Ruminate before this post, I’d like to tell you that you also might never realize that they are in a funding crisis. Years of working on this magazine for no monetary compensation have taken its toll on the creators, and they are faced with closing their doors. This post is just to say that it will most likely not cut into your Hell’s Kitchen viewing. It will not keep you from your important engagements. If you have not heard about the magazine, the closing of Ruminate will not affect your daily living so far as you know.

What you don’t know is that the effect of this magazine on creative and talented folks is immense. Letting this magazine fall into the waters and not surface again is a loss that is felt at the deepest levels by people who read and imbibe the words there like vitamins, like minerals, like meat. These words sustain us, they bolster us, they fuel us well and whether you realize it or not, the loss makes us all weaker. The loss of good creative work, deep and beautiful work, wears on our communal immune system. We need Ruminate Magazine because we’re weary and worn down and words matter, art matters.

Will you help? You have a couple of days yet to lend a hand to help pull this powerful force from the water. Subscribe today, give a subscription or just toss some coin in this direction instead of a couple of pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks. Be a part of something foundational and good where art is concerned. Your small contribution makes a difference, I promise.

And listen, if you’ve never subscribed to a literary journal before, consider this your opportunity. Even Gordon Ramsey would agree that work like this needs your support.

Let’s do this thing.

 

Thank God, I don’t have bitchy resting face.

How awful would it be to have people telling you that you have bitchy resting face?

Yeah.

Ouch! Right?

I can tell you from experience that it’s worse than having a passerby on the street say, “Cheer up!” or “Smile!” I can tell you that, from experience, because it happens to me more often than I care to recall. Having someone tell me I have bitchy resting face is actually even worse than my kids asking me if I’m mad when I’m not mad at all. It’s worse to be told I have “bitchy resting face” because it automatically puts a judgment on me I’m not sure I like all that much. Let’s be honest here. It’s a judgment that makes the viewer of my face feel better about themselves while making me feel sort of horrible.

I’ve seen the video that sparked all the BRF comments and I guess I thought it was funny at the time. There are some very funny moments in it, I admit, and yet at the same time I had trouble connecting to what exactly was funny. It felt familiar, that’s for sure. It felt on point. And so I started to say it too, trying to make light of something about me that clearly makes other people uncomfortable. I suppose what makes people uncomfortable is not being able to read my emotions just from the look on my face. Or more specifically, reading them (incorrectly) as angry or sad. Anger and sadness make people uncomfortable. I get that.

It wasn’t until I had a conversation with my daughter in the car and I asked if she was feeling all right that I questioned the label. She looked sad to me. She said, “Nope. I feel fine!” then smiled. I responded with, “Oh, you’re like me. You just have bitchy resting face!” She was offended and said. “No. This is just my face.”

There’s nothing like having my 16-year-old daughter school me on good thinking. I knew immediately she was right and I knew it because I felt this surge of relief run through my body. I don’t have bitchy resting face! Whew!

If you’ve never been misread like this then it may be hard to understand why I was relieved. It may be hard for you to understand why having someone tell you to “smile” or “cheer up” when you feel perfectly fine already is such a burden.

The thing is, when I’m deep in thought, or tired, or walking down the street, when I’m writing, when I’m concentrating, when I’m making grocery lists in my head, even when I’m thinking of butterflies and sunflowers, I am resting my face. My lips are turned down a bit. My brow might be pressed together. Maybe I’m squinting. Sometimes even when it feels like I’m smiling, it doesn’t look like I’m smiling. I’m not bitchy. This is just my face.

I feel as though I have spent my life trying to fit into someone else’s definition of what it means to be a fully functioning member of polite society. Maybe we all go through this, but I have often, if not always, felt outside the norm, outside the box. And you know what? I’m finally fine with being outside of it for the most part. It’s taken most of my adult life.

After years of struggle and identity seeking and random comments from strangers about my perceived emotional state, that comment from my teenage daughter hit me like an arrow to my insecurities. In that moment those insecurities burst and scattered like water from a filled balloon and I realized that I don’t have to play that game. Those people who need to label my resting face to make themselves feel better can feel free to call it what they like, but I don’t have to subscribe to it. And if you’re like me and have a face that operates like mine? You can call it bitchy resting face if you’d like. That’s your own call. But I don’t have to label myself that way. Labeling it that way just paves the path to my feeling awful about myself. I don’t have to do it. I can just love my face the way it is, free of the “bitchy” label.

So thank God, I don’t have bitchy resting face. This is just my face.

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The author and her resting face.

Regrets of a crunchy parent…

I don’t usually give caveats before posts. I try not to because in a way it’s like when you say to someone, “Not to be nosy but…” or “don’t take this the wrong way but…” which only sets you up to appear nosy and have them take it the wrong way. The reason for this caveat is that I do have a number of friends who I like a whole lot who choose not to vaccinate. They do it for a variety of reasons and I do respect that. I felt the need to put this up this week though in light of the recent measles outbreak. These are my regrets. I can only speak to my own experience and my own reasons for doing what I do as a parent. Make of that what you will.

I am a little crunchy. I admit this.

I had my kids at home, on purpose. I home schooled my kids for a number of years. I eschewed the norms where processed food and standard parenting was concerned, letting my children “be children” for as long as possible, letting them run “Lord of the Flies” like at times and explore nature and learning and life. We were free spirits! Life was good, until the lack of structure and oversight started to me into the controlling and fearful person I had always hoped to avoid becoming. We made some changes- big changes- and we’re all catching our breath again, getting into the rhythm of things and enjoying the absence of the stress that plagued us while we were homeschooling in those final years. All that said, I don’t regret the homebirths, the homeschooling or the alternative parenting.

There is only one part of my crunchy history that I do regret. I regret not having my kids immunized sooner.

The decision to avoid immunizations was one that bothered me more often that it comforted me. Our health providers back then were also crunchy, always putting the ball back in my court about the shots. They never pushed one way or another where immunizations were concerned and I appreciated that. I do think it is important for the parent to have some degree of control over this. Ultimately, we are responsible for the care of our children, after all.

It was the late 90’s and early 2000’s, and the grass-roots, crunchy movement against immunization was growing strong. Studies were cited in groups I attended about connections between autism and vaccines, chemical contamination and vaccines, government plots and vaccines and while I didn’t buy into all of the hype, it had an effect. Becoming a parent was difficult enough, making far-reaching medical decisions for each child and the battery of shots they needed was overwhelming and frightening. After a great deal of research and thought and worrying, we opted to wait on the shots. Because we were homeschooling there was no outside source (i.e. the school system) pressing in on us to immunize.

We changed our health care provider because it was no longer a part of our insurance network after our youngest child was born. Our new doctor looked at the children’s charts and asked about the absence of immunizations. As I tried to explain my position to him he listened attentively. He was affirming and understanding even as I struggled to articulate my objections to the shots. He did not argue the points with me but rather offered insights into the research. He also offered medical studies and articles I’d not seen before. “It’s up to you,” he said, “but really, there’s no research that supports your fears about immunizations.” That information combined with my children’s’ entrance to “real” school prompted us to get caught up on all the shots finally.

It was the words of a close friend that finally drove home the reality of how my decisions affect the people around me. Her daughter was born with a congenital heart defect. She is more susceptible than other children her age to disease. The lack of immunizations on the part of other parents is not simply an “alternative choice” to her family. It can mean life or death to her daughter.

I regret that part of my crunchy parenting. The thing is, that I don’t regret waiting on the immunizations because something awful happened to my family as a result. It didn’t. My children to date are quite healthy and have remained healthy. I regret the decision to wait because it will always make me wonder if I was, at that time, part of the problem we see rising now- measles in New York, mumps in Ohio, polio or something like it, in California and now the recent breakout of measles that stems from a trip to Disneyland. With new outbreaks of diseases we thought were held in check it makes me now question everything I believed when I was a newbie, crunchy parent.

And this is the hard thing, choosing to reexamine previous strong held beliefs and let myself shift into a new perspective. The hardest thing about changing my view on this vaccine thing was the blow I took to my ego as a parent. I admit that. It is hard to say that maybe I got it wrong but in the long run I can only subscribe to a path toward becoming wiser for it. In the long run I have to be able to be open-minded about how I understand the way the world is shaping up and I have to pay attention to how it’s shaping up. I am a part of that shaping. On this point, where immunizations are concerned, I now believe I had it wrong.

We are responsible to our children to do what we feel is best for them of course, it’s important to remember though, that we are part of a bigger picture, a larger community. What we do affects us all.

All gift.

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2015 sort of snuck up on me when I was busy doing other things.

I had intended to write a moving and inspirational blog post about the hopefulness of a new year, about the passing of time and the growing feet of my three boys, about my daughter’s applications to college, about the gray hairs I find poking through at my temples and sometimes in my eyebrows so I guess I’ll get right on that.

Those wiry gray hairs are a weird comfort to me and I think it’s because I so often forget my age. I have to do the math, “let’s see…born in 1967 and now it’s what, 2015…”

It’s not a bad thing to forget my age, especially when I realize I’m a whole lot older than I had remembered, which sounds backward, I know. I forget that I’m on the backside of my 40’s sliding headfirst toward 50. I forget that and I get very impatient with my body, with my brain, with my energy level. It’s those gray hairs poking through that remind me of my age and I use those gray hairs as a sort of “keep calm” instruction when I get impatient.

I’m never going to have the body or the brain or the energy level I had when I was 17 or 25 or even 33. I am here now, living here now, having this body, this brain, this energy level and that’s okay. Really, it is.

So as I sit and reflect on the quiet, night-time passing of 2014, when I was busy doing other things I watch the slowly falling snow from the comfort of my favorite writing chair.  I hear the clicking of fingers on the keyboard issuing from my husband’s home office as he works on placing text in his graphic novel. I listen to my boys and their ever-growing feet as they run around downstairs, milking this last vestige of winter break. I think about my sweet girl sitting quietly in her room pondering great and powerful things that lie ahead for her in 2015. And I take comfort in the passing of time, the unfolding of the now and the not yet, the gray hairs poking through to mark the time, reminding me that this is all gift, all gift.

Weekly thoughts: unrelated

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks over here at Carlson Central. We’ve had illness and a return to health on a few fronts. We’ve had battles of wills and pestilence and dust bunnies. I think I was the clear winner on the first two and the sore loser on the third. I just cannot reach far enough under the bed to really do a thorough job. That’s the truth. I’ve tried swiffers and vacuums cleaners and brooms with stuff tied to it. The last time I used some dusting spray stuff that assured me that the dust would be attracted like a magnet. That was a damned lie.

I can see the piled up dust under my bed every time I come up the steps. I feel like I have two options in this case, ignore it or buy a dust ruffle and forget it’s there.

I freaking hate dust ruffles.

It might be the word “ruffle.” I only like ruffles if they refer to potato chips. I freaking love potato chips.

This morning I put my oldest son on a city bus with explicit directions to get off at a certain street, turn right and walk one block to his school. Yesterday I rode with him, I tried to be sure to point out markers for him to follow, what to listen for on the speakers, words of wisdom. He assured me that it all sunk in. I asked if he wanted me to ride with him again today but he declined. 14 years old, too cool for school.

I was uneasy though so I told him I’d follow the bus today and make sure he got off at the right stop. Just for today. It’s his first time riding a city bus alone, give me a break. I’m entitled to be a little overprotective, right? So as I rode behind the bus I realized two things at the same time, my back right tire was low (again) which means the patch on it is coming loose and second, I didn’t have my cell phone with me. I thought, “I’m sure it’ll be ok…” and I just did like Elsa would do and I let it go. Mostly. I drove slowly, avoiding potholes so that the tire would hold up juuuuuust a little longer and I pulled up next to the bus at the stop Chet was meant to take.

I breathed a sweet sigh looking at his face through the window. He didn’t see me. I didn’t realize it was his stop in that moment because I was caught up in this feeling of letting go and such. He didn’t realize it was his stop either, apparently. When the bus and my car reached the expressway a few blocks later I was yelling in my car, alone, “GET OFF THE BUS! GET OFF THE BUS!” and scouring the stops to see where he’d finally exit. It was here that Chet did indeed find his way off the bus. I was stuck a few cars back, watched him dial his phone in a nearly calm manner and look around to get his bearings. I imagined my phone ringing back in my other coat at home. I considered whether to cut around some cars to reach him. I considered honking to get his attention and we sat there, hanging in the tension of that “what now” moment. I was close enough to see his brow furrow, to see him turning left and then right and I saw the moment melt from his face then when he spotted my car. He broke into a wide smile.

When he climbed into the car he said, “I missed my stop!” and then he laughed. “Were you worried?” I asked. He shook his head. “Nah. I’d have figured it out” and I believed him but I still drove him the four blocks to school because he’s my first boy and he’s a daydreamer and he’s growing up. It’s hard to let go. It really is.

Next week I do my first book reading at Parnassus Books in Nashville. It’s important I tell you this in case you’re not already subjected to my daily, maybe hourly harping on it on Twitter or Facebook. I’m an equal opportunity harper. If you’re local I hope you’ll come! You can find the info here:

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https://www.facebook.com/events/355481744600509/

That’s all I got for you fine people today…cling to each other well this week. Time is fleeting 🙂

Ruminating: All the day

I go through seasons of feeling as though nothing I write is showing up much of anyplace at all. They feel like desert patches, the sun bearing down and sand kicking up in my face when the wind blows. I think about the way the heat seems to bend the air, making it heavy and visible, making everything ahead appear farther away, more desolate, no consolation in sight.

It’s a little disconcerting to say the least.

Then there are times when it feels as though I reach an oasis. I have a little thing crop up there in the middle of the big nowhere. It’s a life-giving event, a life-saving event. Here’s the water, at last.

I have a new post up at Ruminate Magazine’s blog this week and I truly hope you have a chance to read it.

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It was a tough one to wring out, to be honest. It was tough because it touches on the grief I encountered recently when a pal of mine died suddenly. Reading it brings up all the sad again, it’s as though it reignites that grief in me even now, a few weeks later.

And I’m glad of it.

I have to be reminded of these things, these feelings, these losses. I want to remember. It’s easy for me to get caught up in my own brand of bullshit and crazy making. It’s easy to turn away from the people and the events that press in on my pain and in fact, it’s preferable in some cases. But I want to remember the people I’ve lost. It’s important to remember how much I loved (and still love) them. It’s how I know my own mortality, how I know my own heart, how I know my own fragile state of being.

So, I hope you read the essay on Ruminate and I hope you will be able to get in touch with your loss and your grief too. Turn away from your own brand of bullshit and crazy making just for a little while. Let’s remember together, how fragile we are.

Why I hate Valentine’s Day…

“What do you think Dad will get for you for Valentine’s Day?” Miles asks.
“Um, nothing?” I respond,
He puts on a shocked expression, over the top and dramatic, which fits him perfectly.
“Why not?”
I shrug.
“We just don’t do that.”
He shakes his head and wanders into the next room.
“I don’t understand you guys at all.”

I never have cared much for Valentine’s Day. I’m also grumpy about the traditional Mother’s Day and maybe even a little about Father’s Day, Sweetest Day and St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not grumpy about all the holidays, only the holidays that bring with them outside pressure to have fun and romance or deep meaning. Ok, maybe I am grumpy about most holidays.

It may be my non conformist talking here but I don’t need any more pressure to feel something at a certain moment. It’s the “you’re not the boss of me” attitude coming out. I’m a burgeoning curmudgeon. What can I say?

When faced with Valentine’s Day this year I realized that for the first time ever I would be responsible to providing treats for about 90 kids. My boys are all in “real” school for the first time in their lives and each swim in a sea of about 30 kids day in and day out. Two of the classrooms allow candy with the Valentines and one allows only paper and cheap crap that will gather dust under my kid’s bed if it’s lucky enough to make it into the house at all after school.

I’ve had this obligation on my mind for at least a month and each time it has come to mind I’ve gently wrestled it back behind that door marked “procrastination.” A few times I’ve polled the boys with questions like, “what kind of Valentines do you want for your class?” They roll their eyes, unfamiliar with this practice, certain that it would be vastly “uncool” to bring Valentines but I know better. I know, from my own school experience, the feeling of sitting in my seat, brown bag in hand, waiting for the Valentines to be passed out, waiting and counting. This is back before teachers started requiring Valentines to be handed out to ALL the kids in a class so no one would feel left out. Back in my day, being left out was sometimes the point. The memory of it drags a deep and lasting dread over me. It was never a good experience.

The memory of sitting in my seat and waiting dregs up another bad memory- 7th grade and my “secret admirer” who I thought might be the boy I had crushed on that year. I was just discovering myself, discovering how I moved in my introverted skin, how I felt about the other people around me, mainly about the boys in the class. I was noticing who was “cute” and who was “mean” and usually those two qualities paired up. Why is that, I wonder?

My “secret admirer” sent me notes and I read them behind a bookcase in Mrs Conrad’s class.  My “secret admirer” said the best things at the right moments and promised a surprise on Valentine’s Day. He said to look on the bookshelves that afternoon at recess and I looked forward to it for a week. On the appointed day at the appointed time I stayed in at recess, presumably to do some extra credit work, I made my way through the empty classroom to the bookshelves and I found the special Valentine, it was a book sized box, wrapped in Valentine’s paper; hearts and bears and cupids, oh my.

I tore into the package, unaware at that moment there were 2 or 3 boys standing behind the next shelf over, waiting to see my reaction to what would end up being a gag gift- valentine bikini underwear.

Seriously. I lived out that tired, angsty pre teen movie scene where the geeky, awkward girl is duped once again. It’s no wonder I still root for Sissy Spacek’s “Carrie” when that pig blood comes down at prom.

Still, I wanted to give this classroom Valentine’s thing a new spin, perhaps redeeming it for the boys and maybe for myself. I considered carefully which Valentines they might like as I finally stood in the aisle of the Walgreens the night before the big day. Leaving it to the last minute worked against me, obviously. We were left with Batman and Hello Kitty. For the non candy classroom we went with Batman valentines which included a crappy eraser that would most likely serve no real purpose. For the candy oriented classes, M&M mini bags with a Valentine theme. It was a half-hearted attempt on my part. No pun intended.

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I prodded them to write their name on each one, not even requiring they write the names of classmates. I shoved them into the backpacks and reminded the boys to pass them out at the appointed time, regretting the lack of prep as I saw posts by other parents in Facebook and Instagram about their contributions to what most people consider a fun day. I felt that holiday Grinch sigh contentedly, slapping his hands together with a “job well done” kind of satisfaction. For a brief moment I considered making a trip to the store, adding something weighty to the boys offering and dropping it at their schools.

“Am I ruining this holiday for them?” I thought to myself. How long will I hold on to this old grudge against Valentine’s day, brought on by a bunch of pre teen idiots over 35 years ago? Maybe I am getting this wrong after all.

Then, I found a note from Miles on my phone. He’d asked earlier that morning if he could write me a Valentine’s note on my phone. I handed it to him in the car saying, “Yeah, I could use a Valentine I guess, thanks!” I sat in my car thinking about the meager Valentines I’d sent with the boys, thinking about the lost opportunity to teach something deeper and better, thinking about those 7th grade boys who pranked me at such a tender time in my life, thinking about the aisles of hearts and chocolate and Batman valentines and I read Miles’ note, hoping for some redemption, some shift of my curmudgeon-y course, some change of heart-

“Happy Vaelintines Day! Buy Miles a zombie sundae from Margies Candys!”

And I was strangely calmed then for reasons I cannot truly articulate. We don’t always get what we expect at the moment we need it, but sometimes we do get just what we need and right then I needed to be reminded that I’m not 12 anymore. I’m not standing at the bookshelf waiting for a note that was never written. This is my life, these are my people and my people like ice cream. I’ll take it.

Never change, Miles.
Never change.

If Anne Lamott was my friend

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If Anne Lamott was my friend I would make her tea when she came by unannounced. I would not offer cookies because I would have already eaten them myself after the kids were in bed the night before. She’d be understanding about that because “who needs more cookies anyway, right?” she’d quip, smiling. Still, I’d feel bad about it.

I’d spread honey and butter on toast to make up for it. It’s no cookie but it’ll do.

The tea turns out pretty good. The conversation, even better, except for that five minutes in the middle when we both go to dark places. I’d feed some insecurities, she’d feed some insecurities. They’d race around the room a while as we watch- helpless, astonished, afraid. We’d wonder in those moments if the world is worthwhile, if the fight is merited, if the struggle productive, if we are worthy participants at all in this whole “life” thing.

I’d offer more tea, more honey and butter on toast to make up for it. It’s no cookie but it’ll do.

The insecurities fade a little, stopping and swaying like sleepy toddlers resisting bedtime- wobbly, woozy, whining. They stop short around the kitchen island one last time, buckling at the knees not because we have convinced them that they are tired but because the sun has shifted, their circadian rhythm winding down, heartbeat slowing,

rising,

slowing,

and then an exhale,

and then closed eyes and then we carry them softly to the couch. They will awake. They always do. And we will walk alongside and we will nurture and we will hope they feel better, do better, mature into whatever healthy insecurities grow into later. Successful lawyers or professional football players, maybe.

 

10 (or 11) things…

IMG_5458The menu was laid out on a clean, light green background. It screamed “healthy and delicious” so effectively with its thin, smooth font choice and vibrant wording. It was as though it was giving me an emotional “thumbs up” with every menu option. Phrases like, “A tofu and carrot mix” and “fried to perfection” dotted the page alongside, “thick vegan mushroom gravy” and “complimented with a bed of pico de gallo.” There is nothing like eating vegan when its done with such grace and skill…except for maybe a thick, real beef burger, medium rare…and fries, real fries, made from evil white potatoes and deep fried until my arteries shudder at the very sight of them.

I try. I really do. I want to be better. I want to live a long and healthy life. I buy organic, I avoid gmo foods, I ban high fructose corn syrup from my pantry…mostly. The truth is that I’m exhausted. I feel like Sarah Conner’s son in Terminator 2, tired of training for the war. I just want to have some fun for a change.

Sometimes I just want a burger. In fact, sometimes I just want an awful burger and fries from a fast food restaurant, the same sort of burger in the pictures everyone passes around to illustrate the “non food-ness” of such fast food.

I’m 46 years old and it’s time to come clean about a few things.

Ten (or 11) things I need to admit:

1) I like fast food, sometimes. I don’t live for it and it certainly doesn’t do much for me. It’s the friend I avoid for as long as possible, the one that pains me later but in the moment, has the best, most dangerous ideas of what to do for fun.

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2) I hate kombucha. Hate is a strong word, I know. I’m probably the only person in my healthy circle of friends who hates it though I suspect it’s more likely I’m the only one who is willing to say it out loud. I don’t care for the flavor no matter how good it is for me and if it’s an acquired taste then that’s something but honestly, I don’t have energy for acquiring it. I just want a milkshake.

3) Milkshakes make feel nauseated an hour after I drink them. I drink them anyway…because they are delicious. It’s worth it, especially if they come from Margie’s Candies in Chicago. Trust me on this.

4) I’m not going to stop drinking coffee. I’m not even going to cut back. From time to time I think to myself, “Self, maybe we’d be better off without these cups of liquid love in the morning…” and then I slap my own face, like Cher slapping Nic Cage in Moonstruck and I feel better.

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5) I like sugary, girlie, coffee drinks. The more sugar, the more whipped cream, the better. Not everyday or even every few days but I like them and I’m not ashamed to admit it. When I order the non fat milk in my grande toffee nut latte (you know, just to balance things out) and the Barista asks if I “still want the whipped cream” sometimes I order extra just to make a point.

6) When I’m at home, I’m going to use that fake, sugary creamer. I’ve tried to switch to the “soy” creamer or the “coconut” creamer or plain milk. It takes all the fun out of that cup of liquid love and I resent that. They say resentment is a relationship killer so I’m going to stick with the fake, sugary creamer because as I stated, I’m not going to stop drinking coffee.

7) “Diet” versions of anything gross me out. Next.

8) Sugar replacements taste like chemicals to me. I know everyone says it’s because they’re just far far sweeter than real sugar or even high fructose corn syrup but you know what? I think that’s a lie or it’s possible that my taste buds are just whacked out. It’s possible.

9) Quinoa. I know people who can cook it beautifully and it tastes nice, not awesome, but nice. Don’t tell me I just don’t have the right recipe because I’ve tried more than you know. I have never been able to duplicate this and believe me I’ve tried to do it over and over for health’s sake because it’s supposed to be a power food, mystical and magical. You know what’s magical? Chocolate cake.

10) Trendy eating habits are killing my soul. Paleo, Atkins, Eat to Live, HcG…doesn’t matter. I’m not going to live forever. The clock’s ticking here and I’m tired of spending time trying to figure out which way of eating is “correct.” So from now on I’m subscribing to what my friend Sarah calls the “delishitarian” diet. If it’s delicious, I will eat it.

and 

11) I woke up a little cranky today.

Sorry.