Wakeboarding… boarding the wake

My back. My knee. My hamstrings. My shoulders. My sinuses. 

I am a wakeboarder.

When Donnie came home with a new wakeboard. I was not surprised. It’s how Donnie works. I say I want to wakeboard, eventually, I will get a wakeboard. It’s just good husbanding. 

Naturally, I had to be the first one to try it.

After watching literally minutes of YouTube training videos, I was more than ready to rock that wake!

Donnie manned the jet ski while I boarded the wakeboard. 

He gunned it and I ignored my screaming back while I held on with all my strength and popped up. First try (but I’m pretty sure I made it WAY harder than it was supposed to be). I squatted my back leg as I surfed over the water behind the jet ski.

One time round the lake and my back leg was ON FIRE. I shifted around. I’m not sure how much shifting to do because I didn’t want to face plant into the water (as my coworker kindly warned me). Finally, I had to. I straightened my back leg. 

AGGGGHHHH! BOOM!

I tumbled around as the lake water irrigated my sinuses. 

Thumbs up! I gave Donnie as water poured out my nose.

“It was fun until I fell! Let’s go again. But don’t let me fall.”

I am a wakeboarder.

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Pass the prapanca please

To get right to the point.

Prapanca (pronounced Pra-punch-a, which is important because it’s fun to say)

– useless narrative

– borrowing pain from the future

– anxiety spiral (that’s my definition)

I came across this awesome word in my meditation book: 10% Happier. Finally, a name for all that negative, anxiety-filled, egoist self talk. Prapanca.

We all have that voice in our head that we think has our best interest at heart. Until it doesn’t. That voice (bear with me, I’m not crazy. But that’s what crazy people say, so maybe I am) in our heads, our conscience, ego, said can get very loud and annoying. I know mine does.

Her name is Penelope. She’s a bitch, that Penelope. Always being the “devil’s advocate” to all of my awesome ideas. Side note: Can we please stop starting speeches with “I hate to be the devil’s advocate” when we’re about to say something really negative and bitchy? Just stop. Don’t be the devil’s advocate. We know you don’t reaaaaallly hate it. Besides, I’m pretty sure all devil’s advocates go to hell. Something to think about.

Anyhooooo… Penelope tells me that I’m a fraud. That I shouldn’t ask for a promotion because I probably don’t deserve it… or who do I think I am? She’s responsible for forboding joy, perfectionism, and self-doubt. All the things I despise about myself.

Penelope is prone to prapanca. If, I give her too much power. In other words, if I listen, humor her, believe her, enable her.

My goal with meditation is to quiet the prapanca. Recognizing that the conversations I’m having with myself (er, hm, Penelope) are useless narrative that’s prone to become and anxiety spiral. And, we don’t want that.

Here’s how I will be doing this.

Danielle: I think I’ll go for a run.

Penelope: What if people see you doing pushups like that? I think they think you’re stupid. You look too fit. A fitness fanatic. Crazy. Obsessed.

Danielle: STFU Penelope. I’m trying to run here!

Penelope: <Repeats phrases over and over but louder this time to compete with all the yelling.>

Danielle: Breathing. Stepping. Right foot. Left foot. Right foot. Left foot. Focus. Breathe.

Penelope: but I—

Danielle: Nope, bringing attention back to breath. Legs moving. Running. Breathing.

Pretty soon that bitch Penelope is dead. Died of boredom. And I prevail.

Ok, she won’t be dead completely, but the idea is that if I recognize that the prapanca narrative in my head cannot be proven true or false and it’s simply useless, I can change Penelope into someone more like a Poppy. Who is healthy, beautiful, bright, confident and… POSITIVE!

Addiction

I’m an addict.

There I said it. That’s the first step, right? Admitting it? Well I admit it. Shamefully.

I can’t stop buying plants. I can’t stop deadheading, pruning and digging. I can’t. 

I thought I was done buying plants this year when I got 2 giant Crape Myrtles to flank my front sidewalk. There. Beautiful. Half off. And I’m done. 

It’s too hot to keep planting anyway. All that’s left at the nurseries are scraggly, half-dead close out plants. I’m done. My garden is almost full. It looks nice. I’ll maintain and won’t plant another thing until next year. Well. Maybe I’ll pull some perennials out of my pots and put those in the ground. There. Done. I did get these free succulents. I’ll put those in pots inside. There, that looks super classy. Now, I’m done. What else could there be. I’m done.

Lowe’s has 75% off all plants on Sunday?! What!?  I won’t go. I don’t need anything? Why would I go? It’s probably all dead stuff I don’t need to try to revive anyway. I’m avoiding Lowe’s. 

This morning I went to Lowes and bought 20 more plants for $30! Guess I better get to planting. If you think about it, I’m doing something good for the earth by planting more plants. My house looks nicer. I’ll get a nice tan. It’s hard work, which is fulfilling. This is a good thing. It’s not a problem… just one more plant.

 I can stop anytime I want.

I’m not an addict.

Why don’t toads stress eat?

Logan was frustrated that a toad peed on him and asked “Why don’t toads stress eat?” It was the perfect question. Or better yet, why don’t humans pee when we’re stressed. It would definitely prevent a lot of us from gaining stress-weight. Also, I think the diaper/pad industry would be booming.

And would it be acceptable?

“What’s with Frank?”

“He wet his pants again.”

“Aw. I really hope he gets that stress under control.”

The reality is, only humans stress-eat. It’s what separates us from the beasts. Well, that and opposable thumbs and a few other things. I’m typing this as I boredom-eat a granola bar I wasn’t even hungry for. I don’t think animals do that either. Pop open the fridge and look around until something seems interesting, then mindlessly eat that cherry pie. Most animals don’t even HAVE fridges.

The point is, and there is a point, animals don’t really seem to get stressed unless they have a good reason. Like say, when my careless 8-year-old is carrying Kebby around by his leg (Kebby is the toad with incontinence issues.) 

If Kebby only gets stressed at death’s door, then maybe I can chill the eff out about my new flowers dying in this ridiculous heat, or someone hurting my feelings, or stumbling over my words in a Toastmasters meeting, or stubbing my toe. 

When it comes to stress, I’m going to be like the toad. 

(Hopefully, I’ll never pee my pants, but you know, if I’m in a scary situation like Kebby was today, it could happen.)

My kids are the only ones not in sports

The last time I went to a sporting event to watch one of my kids was in May. It feels like an eternity. I see all my friends going to baseball and soccer games and I can’t help but worry that my kids are being left behind.

It’s not like we’re doing nothing.

We’re fishing. We’re nature walking. We’re swimming. We’re jet skiing. We’re tubing. We’re outside, spending time together.

But still. I sit there and scroll through Facebook to see all my friends at sporting events. I text my friends to come over and hang out. “Can’t. Have another late game.” Should I be a late game?

When I was growing up, there weren’t sports until fourth or fifth grade. There was no worry that we’d miss out or not be very good because we didn’t start sports in the womb like Brazilians┬ádo. Donnie started basketball in 4th or 5th. I started volleyball in 5th and we both played D1 sports. But… times, they are a-changing.

There’s a theory (Jerry Seinfeld?) that it takes 10 years to master something. So… if we start our kids in competitive sports at age 4, they’ll be ready to rule the high school and prime for a full ride when they graduate, right? Maybe. I’m sure that many hours focusing on one thing could really make a person an expert. But. At what point does expert level peak and passion start to drop? Does passion always drop?

I’ve seen very talented kids quit sports when high school is done or worse before they even get to high school. Burn out. I’m afraid of that.

I want my kids to grow up playing sports but I also want them to enjoy their unstructured “I’m bored” childhood. I think it’s good for them. So I’m going to continue to take the approach that we’ll do sports, but we won’t over-do sports. And, if my kid wants to be a 6’7″ Metaphysicist, then so be it. (I say this through gritted teeth).

So yeah, my kids didn’t do any sports this summer. No practices, no tournaments and no camps. Will they be behind in skills? Probably. Will they eventually catch up? Maybe. All I know is that when I see them out fishing and tumbling down a grassy hill, giggling all the way, I know we made the right decision.

All I know is that when I see them out fishing together or tumbling down a grassy hill, giggling all the way, I know we made the right decision.

Contribute more than you criticize

“How might we…” is a phrase that behemoths like Google, Apple, IDEO and others swear will facilitate more open and productive brainstorming. In a group setting, it’s intimidating to throw out new ideas. It’s much easier to say no to everyone else’s ideas than to step into the arena and prepare for tomato-pelting. That’s why everyone does it. 

Except me. 

I’m an idea-giver. Ideas well up inside me until I feel like I’m going to explode, then I have to let it out. I have to say it. Embarrassing or not. I just do it. And it sets me up for all kinds of failure and tomato-pelting. But I don’t care. I do it anyway.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t criticize an equal amount. I criticize. Some might say, I’m judgmental. It’s human nature to be a little judgmental. It’s how we know to not go home with the creepy guy from a bar. It’s why we won’t let the pedophile babysit our kids. A little bit of judgment and criticism is ok. That’s not exactly the type of criticism I’m talking about. I’m talking about when we look at others’ creativity and say “That’s not good” or something else negative. 

When I hear phrases like “contribute more than you criticize” it reminds me of why I started this blog in the first place. I need to check myself regularly. Am I passing judgment and not putting myself out there to be judged? (Hides Audible review screen)

Among the 5 books I’m reading and the 3 books I’m listening to, am I writing? Am I creating? 
Am I contributing?

Uterus Garden

My uterus fell out.

I can’t go to work with my uterus out. What will people think? Besides, I wouldn’t be able to get any work done.

Round and round thoughts like these circled in my head…. and then I woke up.

I didn’t lead with the fact that this was a dream because that’s usually when people walk away, zone out or log off (can you still log off? Is that even a thing anymore?).

This is not the typical underwear at work, falling off the side of a cliff or teeth falling out. It was incredibly specific and real. 

So naturally, I had to poll the women at work. “Um. Yes. Girls, what does it mean if your uterus falls out? Er, um, in a dream?”

One: Pregnancy

Two: Happy that you’re not having anymore kids. So happy that you don’t want your uterus anymore.

Three: OMG. LMAO.

Four: The internet says dreams about your uterus could mean you’re working on something creative.

Me: Like my garden?!

Four: Yes! That’s it!

And that’s how my garden got its name: Uterus Garden.