Peeking Out Of The 40 Fog

Most of my friends are turning 40 this year. This was supposed to be a comment to a friend’s status update, but it turned into a novel, and I didn’t want to hijack her post, so instead you guys get a new blog post…enjoy!

Turning 40 was hard for me. Really hard. I spent several months before and the whole month after really coming to grips with it. I’m just now, 33 days later, beginning to peek out of my “40 Fog”. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel like every day on this earth is a blessing, I just pictured myself having accomplished certain things and gone certain places by now.

I am facing my mortality a bit more. I’m afraid that I am going to die and never have seen or done the things that I keep putting off for financial or logistical reasons. The 10 years between 30 and 40 FLEW by for me. I blinked and they were gone. I don’t want my 40s to go that fast.

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Dress: H&M; Leggings: Forever 21, Boots: Target

I also think that turning 40 made me aware of just how much I do (and have done for the last 18 years) for others, and how little I’ve done that was just for me. For years, while my husband traveled for work, I held down the fort, while longingly wishing that I could be with him in San Francisco, Spain, Portugal, Montreal or whatever other place I still haven’t had the chance to visit instead of spending my evenings at “meet the teacher nights” or “curriculum fairs.”

I am constantly back and forth with the kids at school and their activities. I work, take care of the house, take care of the pets. And, while I love it all, sometimes I want to do something that’s just for Yvette.

It’s hard as a mom to focus on yourself without seeming selfish. Moms are constantly having to justify their career or lack thereof. But, if you don’t make yourself a priority, you may wake up one morning and realize that you are turning 40 and you’re still waiting to take that trip, or buy that purse, or get those highlights, or join that gym or whatever else you’ve been putting off because it’s something that only benefits you.

That is what I want to accomplish most in my 40s, to stop putting myself last all the time. That doesn’t mean I’m going to put my family last (see what I did there? Always making sure to justify my actions less the sanctimommies–and daddies–come out of the woods with pitchforks…) It just means that sometimes Mom is going to get on that plane with Dad, and Abuela will hold down the fort for us, and that is OK.
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Car Loop Fashion Show

 

For the last 12 years I have been subjected to the bi-daily ritual known as the School Drop-Off/Pick-Up Line, aka: The Car Loop. As someone who has spent an estimated 2100 hours of her life—the equivalent of three whole months—sitting in a car waiting for the PE coach to frantically direct cars to “pull up all the way to the front,” I have had more than enough time to study the fashion habits of my fellow Car Loop Mamas.

While preschool and elementary mamas generally shared a similar underslept/over-volunteered style, middle school mamas have upped their morning fashion game.  Granted, I only observe them from the shoulder up, but this is what I imagine they are wearing.

Power Suit Mama. This mama always has her hair tied back in a slick professional ponytail, not one baby hair to be found. At 6:45 a.m., her mascara and lipliner are on point, she already has a Starbucks in hand and is 20 minutes into a conference call through her car’s Bluetooth speakers. Through her darkly tinted windows I can just make out her amazing business wardrobe and know she is in 4 inch designer heels, perfect for a swanky business lunch.

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Activewear Mama. This mama looks like she’s headed to the gym in her yoga pants, stretchy tank with built-in sports bra and messy top knot, but I know better. Her expertly winged eyeliner and carefully filled-in brows tell me that she’s meeting her friends for breakfast and pedicures where they will talk about maybe taking a yoga class one of these days. Afterward, she will pop into Target with the intention of pricing out yoga mats, but will instead wander around the store for the next two hours. She will buy a throw pillow, a lip balm and a 12-pack of diet soda before grabbing an iced caramel macchiato and pulling back into the car loop.

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Marathon Runner Mama. This mama is definitely going to work out today. Her hair is in that kind of pony/bun hybrid, which looks as though you never quite finished pulling the ponytail through the last loop of your hair tie. She’s wearing an old 5K tee shirt, running shorts, and not a stitch of makeup. If the oval “26.2” sticker on the back of her SUV doesn’t prove her commitment, seeing her jog passed your front door 8 times a day surely does.

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I Woke Up Like This Mama. This mama is tricky. Is she going to work? Shopping? On a date? She’s always wearing a nice blouse, cute skinny jeans, tall boots, natural-looking make-up and an adorable coif. She looks as though she has been getting ready for hours, even though the sun is just beginning to rise. From where do you come, oh Magical Parking Lot Beyonce?

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And, then, there’s me.

Pajama Mama. This mama prays every morning that she is not put into a situation which will require her to exit the vehicle. She is definitely wearing pajama pants, but may have thrown on a bra or sweatshirt just in case. She doesn’t see the point in putting on street clothes when she is simply going to turn around and drive straight home. Whether she has a later work shift, telecommutes to the office, or spends her days cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry (in some cases, all of the above) there is no way this mama is going through the whole primping process at 6 a.m.

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Maybe, if school started later, I could get my act together. If I had an extra hour or two, I could look as put together as the CEO Mom or as hot as Queen Bey Mom.  Maybe….

….Just kidding, I would totally use that time to sleep. Pajama Mama 4-Life!

All images sourced through Giphy.com

Thoughts of a SUPER busy person

Author’s Note:  I’m so sorry it’s been so long since my last post. In the previous weeks I’ve attempted so often to sit and write, but after typing a few words I get distracted (squirrel!), usually by a phone call or by a pending chore which swirls around in my head blocking any creative inspiration. Thanks for sticking around.  Enjoy…

I found this cute notepad at Marshall’s last week and knew I had to buy it.

busyYou see, I am totally guilty of playing the “super busy” card.  When someone asks, “How’ve you been?” or “What have you been up to?” my go-to answer is almost always “I’ve been super busy!”

And, it’s true, I am super busy–not super busy saving lives, or super busy running my multi-billion dollar corporation, but super busy nonetheless.

I’m busy because I am a human person with a laundry list (which, in case you were wondering, ALWAYS includes laundry) of things that need to be done regularly and repeatedly. As I’ve grown, made friends, gotten married, bought a house, had children, adopted pets, started my own business, volunteered for a nonprofit and set future goals, that to-do list has naturally grown.

I realize that busyness has become a status symbol. If you’re busy it must mean that your life is full. To be busy equates to working hard, and working hard equates to making money, and having money means that you don’t have to answer to anyone.

For me, and I suspect for other at-home moms, busyness also means that our time is being put to an acceptable amount of use to merit the luxury of not clocking in at a “real” job (because, let’s face it, those of us who work from home don’t have real jobs, right?) For moms who do work outside of the home, being busy means that we know how to balance both work and household responsibilities (because don’t all working moms depend on maids and nannies and get take-out every night?)

Many people liken the opposite of “busyness” as “laziness”. Therefore, if we are not up to our eyeballs in commitments, then we are sitting on the couch eating Cheetos in our pajamas and bing-watching OITNB. If we are the latter, we definitely have the time to volunteer for that committee, host that Jamberry/Thirty-One/DoTerra party, AND take grandma to the eye doctor.

Busyness gives us value. More so, it gives us permission to rest. Busy people are expected–commanded, even–to take some time off.

So, am I really busy or just keeping busy to avoid seeming lazy?  I guess, it’s both. I am legitimately busy. There is never one moment in the day that I don’t have something that NEEDS to get done.  I start on A and work my way to Z, and by the time I’m done, A needs to be done again. But, at the same time, I try to keep busy out of fear that the moment I sit in front of the TV with a bag a Cheetos I will be secretly nominated as next year’s PTA President. 😐