SuperWoman Gets Her Ass out of Bed (Finally)

It’s been happening for weeks. Months, now. SuperWoman can’t wake up. She wants to an awful lot, especially when with all good intentions, she sets her alarm for 5:30 a.m., or if she’s especially optimistic, for 5:00. There were days, not even terribly long ago, when she woke up at dawn and did yoga (on days she had kids) or walked outside (when she didn’t have her kids, even in the dark, in the dead of winter!), but now, every time morning rolls around, she hits snooze. And snooze. And snooze again.

And some mornings she doesn’t even have to hit it. She’s grown capable of sleeping through the annoying rattle.

It’s bad. Terrible, even. Because who wants to wake up every morning feeling like a failure? Feeling like she didn’t do what she set out to do?

It all happened after the Crisis of Faith, the Dark Night of the Soul, which SuperWoman will have to tell you about one of these days, though it’s not that interesting. It just took the wind out of our tough girl, and she’s been struggling to climb up the mountain to enlightenment again ever since.

So SuperWoman is setting a goal, and she’s making it public, hoping her sidekicks and her super comrades will hold her to it.

For 30 days, she will wake up and do yoga, even if it’s the mildest yoga she’s ever done. Even if it means she has to get her ass out of bed at 5:30.

She just got through a cleanse, after all. She got through 3 weeks of no sugar, no alcohol, no coffee, no soy, no gluten. She ate only friggin’ brown rice and fruit and nuts and bland chicken and salad greens, for God’s sake. So she’s gotta be able to do this. Even if the idea of stretching her limbs at such an ungodly hour seems horrible, seems like the last thing she wants her body to do, when staying in bed next to Ms. Myra Mason is so damn comfortable.

(In fact, maybe it would be better if she slept on the floor, on the yoga mat, so she didn’t have to do much work to get on the thing.)

This week, she vows, is the start of something different. This week, she’s going to push through anything that holds her back. She’s going to keep saying “Move, move, outta here,” to TIREDNESS, to LAZINESS, to MUSCLE FATIGUE, if that’s what we’re calling it these days.

And she’s going to conquer whatever the hell gets in her way.

Because, as you know, she’s, well, super.

Wish her luck. She’s going to need it.

 

Image: “yoga” by Bar Baer via Flickr.

SuperWoman Plans a Birthday Party (Kind of)

It’s not every day that BeautyQueen turns 4.

The problem is, her birthday is in summer, and it happened to be right after a trip to California, and SuperWoman wasn’t quite on the ball in the way you need to be on the ball so that people–i.e. little 3 or 4 year olds and their parents–can come.

And there was added pressure because for this birthday, opposed to the others, BeautyQueen knew more. She knew what a party was supposed to look like, or what kind of party her friends had had anyway: kids in socks, doing cartwheels on mats in some big gym, or climbing rock towers or climbing through plastic tunnels before sitting down in a blue and green room eating pizza and cake. And don’t forget about those damn goody-bags. All the kids expect to go home with goody-bags.

The best way to handle all of these expectations is to pay for someone else to do it, which is what SuperWoman fully intended to do. So when SuperWoman arrived home from vacation, she started scrambling, calling any place that might be open for BeautyQueen and her friends.

But finding a place, and people, to come to this party turned out to be not so easy.

Not only was it hard to secure the place BeautyQueen wanted her party, but it was also hard to do all the other arrangements while in an office 8 hours a day–place the deposit for the location, order the cake, get the class list, fill out the invitations. (And that last part, buying paper invitations, she forgot and forgot and forgot).

And what happened, once the arrangements were settled?

No RSVPs.

Okay, not zero. But one, maybe two. And BeautyQueen’s two best friends couldn’t come.

This was a problem. So.

SuperWoman understood exactly who her evil opposition was going to be in this episode. PERFECTION.

It looked like all the excitement of the birthday and party that BeautyQueen had been talking about for months (since everything she saw that looked even remotely interesting, she asked to get it for her birthday) would lead to heartache. SuperWoman had nightmares of that archetypal image of the sad girl in the pretty dress with cake, waiting for friends to arrive, only for no one to show up.

This would not happen. Oh no. SuperWoman would be, well, SUPERWOMAN! She’d deliver a damn good birthday party for her girl.

Quickly, she made a change in plans. They’d have the part on a different day, a Sunday afternoon instead of Saturday, so BeautyQueen’s two best friends could come. She’d tell their parents to bring the girls in their most beautiful princess dresses, since BeautyQueen loved dressing up in her own when they were home. (And yes, there are plenty of rantings about the problem with princess obsession for young girls in this day and age, but SuperWoman has decided she just doesn’t give a shit.) She checked that a few family friends with kids could come, as well as MotherBear and Mama-the-Grand. And on Saturday, SuperWoman headed out with her sidekicks to procure entertainment options–nail polish to paint the girls’ nails, a game called Pin the Tail on the Olaf, and a large pinata filled with Hershey kisses. The SuperFamily made their own cake with organic icing (whoot!), then covered it in sprinkles and chocolate chips. And the next day, a good time was had by all.

PERFECTION be damned–this party was perfect in a whole other way–in a way that was unique to the SuperFamily.

Lesson learned? As in life, a party doesn’t have to look the way it does for other kids. And it can still end up with a damn good result.

 

SuperWoman Does This Thing Called a “Cleanse”

Sometimes, SuperWoman learns, our bodies just get fed up with all those toxins we put in them everyday. If SuperWoman is going to defeat evil in its various forms, she has to be in tip-top shape. That’s why she gets up at dawn to exercise every morning.(Not.) That’s why she has spinach with every meal. (Okay, maybe just a little, in her salads, when she eats them.) But now? SuperWoman is getting ready to conquer her biggest enemy—SELF DOUBT—and so, she has decided, on the suggestion of a medicine woman, to do what’s called a “cleanse.”

No sugar.

No alcohol.

No caffeine.

No dairy.

Are you slumping over in your chair right about now in sympathy for SuperWoman? You should be. Because that’s not all. What else is SuperWoman not allowed to have?

No…

Peanut butter.

Oh, the list goes on, but those are the highlights. And this cleanse—21 whole days of it—is frickin’ hard. Sugar is in everything. So is soy. So is chemical after chemical. So SuperWoman is eating like the ancients of Amaza, the land she hails from. Nuts and some kinds of fruit. Lettuce. Did she mention nuts? Seeds, too. And not even all fruit is on her menu. No bananas, for instance, no strawberries. Did she say nuts? But not peanuts. These cleanse people seem to have something against peanuts, which SuperWoman can just not figure out, because she loves peanut butter so much she would marry it. She’d probably, most definitely, pick it over chocolate, if both offered a ring and asked for her hand.

But she digresses.

Here is what you’re probably wondering. 11 days into her cleanse, did she cheat? Hell yeah.

But not so bad. Really. One day, she got a small coffee (half-caff!) and drank a little of it because her eyes were closing at work, and that can’t be good. And then another day, she ate peanut butter instead of almond butter on a rice cake.

She’s so bad.

Also, SuperWoman felt tired. She called that medicine woman, and she said, ugh, what’s the deal? Why am I feeling sluggish? You told me I’d be feeling great!

Sugar withdrawal.

Apparently, at the end of all this, she’s going to feel amazing. Meanwhile, every piece of cake, bread, or cracker she sees she wants to scarf down. Chocolate-covered pretzels. Birthday cake. Pizza. French fries. She’d even settle for a honey-roasted chicken wing.

But not until 21 days is over. Thursday August 2 is the big day. SuperWoman will be so strong on that day. So powerful. So ready to show SELF DOUBT and any other demon that it can’t get the best of her, that she is the defeat-ER, that those creatures aren’t going to know what to do with themselves.

Her only hope is she doesn’t go to the store and buy a bag of Oreos and cover them with peanut butter and dunk them in milk and finish them in one sitting. That’s the problem with forbidden things. They hold so much more allure….

TO BE CONTINUED….

Image: Hot & Spicy Almonds via Flickr.

Can SuperWoman Make a Decision? Apparently Not.

Apparently not.

It was a hot Monday. SuperWoman had just traveled cross-country home from California on the putrid American Airlines (with no Biscoff cookies, no TVs on the seats, lame) with her three sidekicks. She arrived in Philadelphia at 11 pm. The children got to bed after 12. So when she went to work the next day, do you think she wanted to come home and cook?

Puh-lease. The obvious answer is no.

She was going to just get pizza. Pizza-rooni. Pizza-all-the-way. Pizza, everyone’s favorite meal. Forget about all that hullabaloo about eating out too much–this occasion was special. It was the first day back after vacation. They needed to ease into their regular lives a bit.

The question was, where to go? Their local spot, right around the corner from the apartment, or somewhere else? SuperWoman hated making these decisions. The thing that was hard about divorce–and subsequent singlehood–is having to make these choices all on one’s own. There’s no other person to bounce things off of. It requires a certain sort of decisive power that SuperWoman lacks. Until today.

SuperWoman is going to CONQUER INDECISIVENESS.

But before she does, she’s going to be very indecisive. Just watch.

When SuperWoman picked her sidekicks up from camp, she decided to ask them where they’d like to get pizza. Was the usual place usual okay, or did they have another idea?

“Oh yes,” they said. “Another idea, another idea! “A place called Brick-n-Brew.” SuperWoman hemmed and hawed only the littlest bit. Brick-n-Brew was a tiny place, often crowded, but they did have good pizza, and she could get a glass of wine. The key here, after the first day back to work and long plane ride the night before, was that glass of wine. “Okay,” SuperWoman finally said. “Done.”

Except they drove by and saw that Brick-n-Brew was closed on Mondays.

Phooey.

“Ooh, I have another good idea,” SuperWoman said. “There’s another place about 15 minutes away we can go. I’ve always wanted to take you there–it just never worked out.”

They called. That place was closed on Mondays too.

SuperWoman now had to make a decision and stick to it. But the evil villain, INDECISIVENESS, reared its head again.

So they began to drive, and SuperWoman suggested they just go home and eat, have bagels or eggs or chicken nuggets or something, easy stuff. Save the money.

Wondermess’s response: “Nooooo! You said we could get pizza. Now you’re going back on it!”

TalkMonster’s response: “Why do you always listen to her? Why do you let her always decide? Let’s just go home and keep it simple!”

And BeautyQueen? Her response was to agree with whoever asked her the question.

“We’re just going home,” SuperWoman said. “A quiet night at home. Who wants chicken nuggets? Who wants eggs?” TalkMonster had convinced her. He was so good at it.

I’m going to be better at making decisions in this family, she quietly muttered to herself.

They turned onto the road that led home. Ugh, the dishes, SuperWoman thought. And no wine. And having to make three different things for three different people , because she put the options out there already, and she wanted to stick to her word.

They got out of the car and SuperWoman changed her mind again. (Can you believe it?) “You know what, sidekicks?” SuperWoman said. “Let’s just get pizza. It’s just so much easier. We go there and eat it and I don’t have to do anything else. We can walk there.”

TalkMonster very dramatically pulled at his hair and rubbed his head, waving his hand in frustration. “You always do this, you always side with them.”

“I’m not siding with them, I just don’t want to have to make a bunch of different stuff and do all the dishes.”

“Well we can do the dishes.”

Hmm. There was a point. Teach them something about work and chores and stuff.

“Okay, you’re right, let’s eat at home.”

“Noooo!” shouted WonderMess. As convincing as TalkMonster was with irrationality, WonderMess was as convincing with those quick, bulbous tears. “You said we could have pizza!”

Deep breath. This was getting ridiculous. A complete head-mess.

“TalkMonster, why don’t you just stay home and eat something, and I’ll take the girls to the pizza parlor.”

“Fine,” TalkMonster said.

But then SuperWoman changed her mind.

Yes, again.

“No, wait, we’re supposed to be having dinner as a family. I want you there. Let’s just go. We’ll all go together. Decision made. That’s it! That’s it! That’s it!”

On the walk, SuperWoman told her progeny: “Look, things are going to change around here. I’m going to start getting better at making clear decisions, not asking for everyone’s input all the time. I’m the head of this household.” (Okay, she didn’t say that last part.) “And we’re going to start eating healthier too. After tonight, of course.”

They got to the restaurant. They ordered fries, ordered pizza, watched the end of the Phillies game. The sidekicks colored pictures. It was much fun. Everyone felt better again. Things were decided. Firm.

And you know what SuperWoman realized? It would have been just fine if they went home, too.

Image: “Pizza” by Dale Cruse via Flickr

So SuperWoman Has Gained a Few Pounds. Shut up about it.

 

lipstick kisses

It’s not bothering her. Not in the least. At least her boots still fit.

SuperWoman doesn’t go by a mirror and say, “Shit.” Not at all.

She remembers those days after having children, when she had a little extra weight around her middle. It came off back then, right? So it should come back off again. If she tries. All she needs to do is try. Harder.

It’s not the daytime when it’s hard to try. Unlike other people who work in cubicles and office settings like SuperWoman (shh! She’s in disguise!), SuperWoman is not tempted by the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies or brownies or veggie straws people put out in the kitchens to share with other people. (Hell, you can put out a half eaten bag of potato chips and someone, somewhere, will scarf it down behind their cubicle wall.) No, she’s very very good during the day. Which is why she’s so hungry when she gets home. So there’s a little hummus and carrots, there’s a little chips and salsa, and then there’s the dinner on top of that.

But most of all? Mostly what’s the problem?

SuperWoman eats out all the time. Way too much than is healthy. But she has a good excuse!

See, she read this book about a year and a half back, where the Sakyong from the Shambhala Buddhist lineage (stay with her now, these are some tough names) explained what his father Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche said was the key to enlightened society. The key, he told his son, the now-sakyong, was to sit down and eat with people. To break bread. (He did not necessarily say to drink with them, too, but isn’t that assumed? Everyone is more friendly and willing to talk about enlightenment when they have a little wine.)

So. This is what SuperWoman likes to do. It’s her favorite thing to do, in fact. Just last week, her best friend from the great land of Amazonia, where SuperWoman learned her mad warrior-skills and did some book-learning, came up to visit, and they went to breakfast. That best friend, Cat Eye, ordered this omelette that was so delicious, SuperWoman promptly pushed aside her pancakes and ordered a second breakfast so she could have some for herself. It had American cheese and onions and prosciutto in it…. Damn, was it good. The cheese all gooey and stuff.

But SuperWoman digresses.

Yes, she has more weight around her middle. She can blame lots of things. She used to get up at 5:30 to exercise or do yoga, but she hasn’t done that for months now. Let’s just say hard times came about, a crisis of faith, even, and she took a bit of a break.

But she’s going to get back to it. She works in Philadelphia, home of Rocky, of climbing up lots of steps and raising your arms to the sky in victory. And that is what she will do.

One day soon.

But first, she’s going to make a reservation at this great little Middle Eastern place that lets you bring your own bottles of red wine.

Image: “Lipstick Kisses” by Laura Lewis via Flickr Creative Commons

 

The People Who Make Life Grand

There are a host of characters that accompany SuperWoman on her journeys.

Ka-Pow! These are the people that help make life grand.

The Progeny

TalkMonster

The eldest of SuperWoman’s children, TalkMonster is a worrier who shows his dimples only rarely–if you’re lucky enough to make him laugh. He thinks he’s the man of the house because SuperWoman doesn’t have one of those, so he kind of is. Tells his sisters what to do, and is usually right. In general, he’s usually right. Negotiates all the time—and it’s quite hard to resist his reasoning. SuperWoman thinks he might become a lawyer one day. Or a director of Human Resources. Or both.

Oh, and he recently used the word “simpatico.”

WonderMess

Give this girl an ice cream cone and you will find it on every part of her body. Tell her to put on a sneaker and she will go through the day with it inevitably untied. And chocolate? Forget about chocolate. You’ll be finding that in the cracks of her mouth for a couple of days after. But she has magical hands that touch you and make you feel warm and loved—that’s her superpower. Kindness and love. Oh, and climbing the monkey bars. There’s no dude her age who can beat her at doing that.

BeautyQueen

BeautyQueen has been brought up with two older siblings and a mom and dad who think she is the most adorable thing to ever grace the earth and so she kind of believes she can do anything she wants. This description might make her sound like a brat, but she is not a brat. She is just a girl who can kind of do anything she wants. When she was born, she had a Buddha face and smiled at two-weeks old. (SuperWoman kids you not.) Her first words were “Thank you.” Enough said.

The Tribe

MotherBear

Protective as hell, MotherBear will walk through fire for the people she loves. Seriously, walk through fire. Or jump in a pool. There was this one time she jumped in a pool to save TalkMonster and it kind of f-ed up her back afterward. But she wouldn’t have had it every other way. Seriously, though, get that woman some Ben-Gay.

Mama-the-Grand 

She’s the wise old matriarch of SuperWoman’s family, even though she’d never tell you she’s wise. She would probably get mad about being called old. But she’d probably also  agree she’s getting old. Anyway, Mama-the-Grand is special as she is humble and all of her many grandchildren know it. She likes to talk about the old days, when things were easier and simpler, even though the old days gave her a run for her money and would seem way harder to anyone living them now. Her soul food is grilled cheese.

Other Fun Beings

Cat-Eye

Can she return a text message within 48 hours? Maybe. Does she send one on her own? Probably not. Does she think she can bend time to her will? Of course. But that’s all okay, because her wit and good nature make up for any areas not as bright and piercing as her beautiful green eyes. One look from Cat-Eye and you’re under a spell. Oh, and she’s practically SuperWoman’s sister, so don’t mess with her or you will be destroyed.

Ms. Myra Mason

This cat moves from one spot, then the other, then the other, then the other, to sleep, as most cats do. But mostly, she wants to relax in the mix of things. She also tries to run out the front door, but she’s getting better about that. She wants to see what SuperWoman sees, go where SuperWoman goes, find adventure. She talks a lot, too, especially at meal times, thinking SuperWoman can understand her. And maybe SuperWoman does. It’s weird. But Myra is like the wise old crone woman trapped in a cat’s body, sitting on SuperWoman’s meditation pillow in the apartment, getting enlightened, or something.

 

More coming soon….