Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Break "Vacation": Pray For Us

You are packing too much.
Why didn't you pack any underwear?
The sun is too hot.
The water is too cold.
I left my favorite Hot Wheel, the one I got from my very best friend on my seventh birthday at the McDonald's where we ate before we got on the plane. Can we PLEASE GO BACK FOR IT?
I dropped my sandwich in the sand and now I have nothing to eat.
I have to go to the bathroom.
Now I do.
Mom, Julian smells, I think he had an accident.
Why does he get the window seat?
I'm hungry
I'm not hungry
Are those the only snacks you packed?
This place is for babies.
This Children's Museum is boring. Mom, we only do stuff that you want to do.
But it doesn't feel like 11PM
Not this kind of macaroni & cheese.
The beach is boring.
We have to leave now? We have only been at the beach for 8.25 hours. That's not fair! You are mean.
I have sunscreen in my eye. I'm going blind. I'm dying.
You forgot to pack Mr. Brown Doggy!
My bed is too hard, can I sleep in yours?
I'm not tired!
I hate you!
I said I'm NOT TIRED!
I'm bored.
I don't want to go home.
Do we have to leave?
I hate school.
Don't make us go home.
I want to stay on vacation!!

Yes folks, the Kargas family leaves for Spring Break "vacation" this Friday. Florida.... here we come!
Wish us luck.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Celebrate the wins: I'll drink to that

Okay. No brainer. I am not a woman with particularly high self-esteem. Ask anyone who has ever spent any real time with me and they will readily agree.

I don't know why that is. I have always been that this way. Over the course of my life I have had a difficult time acknowledging my strengths, and instead I have spent an exorbitant amount of energy studying my flaws. It has come to my attention that not everyone lives their lives this way (shocker!) My husband for example has fantastic self esteem and can shake off imperfections with grace. I, on the other hand, dwell. And dwell. And dwell on the negative. Whether it's a physical imperfection, my poor organizational skills, my sad sense of direction or inability to do simple multiplication, I am more than aware of my shortcomings and I give them great weight in defining who I am. I take every perceived slight to heart, every failure more important than success.

I suck at math.
My house is a disaster because I am disorganized and scatter brained.
I'm weak, unable to build muscle.
I made a mistake, I am terrible at my job.
People don't comment on my blog because it's boring and I'm an awful writer.

You get the idea.

And I wonder. I wonder what my life would be like if I were to focus on my strengths, if I celebrated the wins and spent as much time thinking about the feel-good stuff as I do the feel-crappy stuff. Because guys, it isn't as if I am without any redeeming qualities.

I do good stuff. Seriously I do. I swear, I once wrote a funny blog post. And seriously I just filled a senior level position, I'm a pretty okay recruiter!  So what if I celebrated my wins? Studied my strengths? Could I transform myself from a woman with poor self esteem, to one with confidence? Is it possible?

In a concentrated effort I will now publicly acknowledge some recent "wins." Celebrate my accomplishments that would otherwise go unrecognized, sing my own damn praises.

Let me begin.....

1. I successfully helped my five year old create a Leprechaun Trap for his Kindergarten class with essentially zero materials.
2. I have survived many a night as a single mama to three insane crazy boys. Nobody has died. Nobody has ran away. Nobody has overdosed on chocolate milk or Miralax.
3. Night after night I prepare healthy meals for my children, even when I am met with sneers and jeers: "You are the worst mom in the world! This is disgusting."
4. Everyone in my family generally has at least one clean pair of underwear and socks at any given time. That takes some organizational skills, right?
5. I make sure that every year each of my children has a kick-ass birthday party. That doesn't mean Pintrest-worthy, but kick-ass, little boy fun. That has to be worth something right?
6. I may not be super strong but through some damn hard work I have reduced my body fat percentage from 27% to 21%.
7. I have managed to sit through hundreds of hideously boring animated movies because my boys love it.
8. I have successful kicked my Real Housewives addiction without joining a formal program
9. I have mastered the art of Rice Krispie Bar making... at least according to the little folks in the family
10. I have created a life where I am surrounded by amazing people whom I love, and whom I'm quite sure love me back.

So a silly exercise yes, but hopefully I have made my point... to myself at the very least.

It's easy to see the bad stuff.
It's easy to dwell on the flaws.
But the good deserves attention too.
I have plenty of good when I look for it.
And once I see the good, perhaps the rest of the universe will to.

Cheers to me.
Cheers to what I do right.

I'll drink to that.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Aging Sucks

What I think of motivational posters
I turn forty this year. In 164 days to be exact. I have 164 days left as a thirty-something, and I still remember watching that T.V. drama and marveling at how old everyone was. And now.... I'm leaving my thirties behind and it scares the crap out of me.

I don't feel almost forty, with the exception of the two-day hangovers that have surfaced in the past few years. I still feel like a kid much of the time, but my body and the mirror reflect a different reality. I'm getting older. Fuck.

I know I am supposed to embrace it. I have read plenty of articles written by savvy, sophisticated, successful women forty plus, declaring the positive sides of aging. Some claim to feel "sexier than ever before" or that they are "finally comfortable in their own skin." Yet these articles are in magazines crowded with models half my age.

Truth is I am afraid of aging. I'm afraid of my fading beauty and my weakening bones. I cringe as I hear my doctor utter words like "mammogram." When my nurse recommended a multi-vitamin for women ages forty and above I nearly fell over in my chair, but caught myself before I broke a damn hip.

I never used to take much notice of wrinkle creams and I never used to worry if my bra had enough lift, now... I am a captive audience. I scan People Magazine's annual "beautiful at any age" for women in their early forties, looking for proof that I can still be attractive and vibrant.

I have talked to other women my age and while some have a harder time than others  the general consensus is that aging is fucking hard. It's sneaky and cunning and as hard as you try those laugh lines,  sagging bits,  are here to stay. There is no fighting the clock as it marches on.

As I'm sitting here typing these words I am wondering what the hell my point is. I have no neat conclusion and I don't intend to end with words of inspiration and wisdom which of course, is what every good blog author should do right?

Nah. If you are looking for inspiration go order some of those cheesy Successories. If you want a little bit of sass and honesty you can talk to me and I'm telling you turning forty blows.