Monthly Archives: November 2011

I’m Coming Out

Do you know what it feels like to come out?

I certainly don’t, but I’m trying.

Now, please, my sexuality is firmly fixed in the heter-oh category, but I’m speaking more metaphorically.  I’m not sure why this is so hard for me, but I struggle with embracing the fact that the things I care about matter.  And that expressing my point of view is valid, and shouldn’t mean I need to apologize.  Or be embarrassed.  Or worry that I am coming off as pushy.

There are so many facets to every matter, and we all have the power to stand squarely on our own convictions, just as long as we do it nicely.  With grace. Dignity.   I’d like to reiterate that point to the two rather militant ladies who set up shop across from my local market with signs of President Obama donning a Hitler mustache.  I told them that I would have been interested in learning of their point of view, except that the little hair patch they superimposed upon our Commander in Chief was offensive.  She wagged her finger at me and told me something about thermonuclear war and Russia and Israel, and that “I should be ashamed of myself” for not snuggling right up next to her and denouncing Obama, as he clearly is just like Hitler.

I wonder how successful she was pulling people to her side with that tactic.

Unlike this woman, I come from a mother who never wants to be a bother.  It’s a noble trait.  And her maternal point-of-view runs deep within me.  Although I sigh when I see her don the “I don’t want to be a bother” cloak, I do it myself.  My work now as a champion of talking to kids about a parent’s cancer means, by the very nature of the conversation, that I have to embrace my point of view and repeat it to others.

By the transitive property, that means championing myself.

So many of us are trying to sell ourselves, or our wares, or our thoughts every single day.  We struggle with, as my friend Karen so aptly described it, “the little voice” inside us that doubts ourselves, when we should be thinking of “the big voice” that carries the greater, more inspiring message we embody.

So here’s to believing in oneself.  Hip hip!  To not apologizing for our delightful points of view.  Hurray!  Because, as I tell my son all the time, if we all had the same point of view, then the world would be a very boring place indeed.

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No No

No.

I know no.

No, this can’t be happening.

No, I don’t want to lose my hair.

No, thank you, I’ll pass on daily radiation.

In truth, I couldn’t say no.  I had to figure out a way to square my new horrid reality. No matter how much I wanted to turn and flee, I had to face the music.

And yet.

Last weekend I had the chance to meet an array of women who have stomped on the word “no.”  I’ll tell you about two.

Rebecca Byrne, who along with me was chosen as a 2011 Pink Power Mom for her work as an advocate for breast cancer patients, was 13-weeks pregnant when she found out she had breast cancer.  Her doctor told her that no, she couldn’t continue her pregnancy.  She needed to terminate it immediately, and start radiation.

Rebecca pivoted out of that office and found another doctor, who allowed her to be treated for cancer while continuing her pregnancy.  Her daughter Emelia is now a happy 1-year-old, and not surprisingly, Rebecca used that same tenacity to start the We Will Not Lay Down 2 Cancer non-profit.

Karen Neblett, who heads up sales for Kids II, the company behind the Pink Power Mom program, has a different relationship to the word no.  Firstly, she doesn’t ever accept “no” as the final answer.  She likes to think of a “no” as meaning something more delightful, like “not at this moment in time.”  Things shift, she said.  Options open up.  At its essence, she said, a “no” simply means you must find another path.  The path to “yes”.

I am embracing this attitude.  Because life can be filled with people telling you “no” for a million reasons, but those who make things happen in this world simply pirouette past the word and sashay on.

So, here’s to staying nimble.  Let’s juke, jive, bob and weave around the negatives in life.

Remember, just like the Australian band Bomba said in their song “Busted”:

“Cursed is the walker who will never travel light.”

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Where Oh Where

“Everything is somewhere,” says my mom.

Except when it’s not.

Imagine my delight, then, when I could not find the fancy schmantzy electronic key fob for our car.  Conveniently, the car was locked in the driveway.  Clearly I had locked the car, and somewhere between the driveway and inside my house, the key had vanished into thin air.

Poof!

It was not in the obvious places, which I searched first.  Kitchen counter.  Dining room table.  Desk.  Purse.  Pockets.  Junk drawer. Under the car.  Not in the last place where a key had gone hiding; fallen behind the drawers in the kitchen.  Not in the couch cushions or under the chairs.  Not in the yard, mistakenly tossed into the compost pile, or dropped along the path.  Having exhausted all the obvious places, I turned to where it shouldn’t be.   In the refrigerator.  The silverware drawer.  The dog food bag.  I even checked in between my undies.

Nothing.

I sat quietly on Hans’ bed and beseeched Saint Anthony, the patron saint of lost causes, to point me in the right direction.  I retraced my steps and looked in places I had already looked, for close to 2 hours, actually.  Because, for Peet’s sake, my rational mind told me it HAD to be in the house somewhere.  But yet it wasn’t, and so I called the towing company to take the locked car to the dealership, where a new electronic key would be programmed for some obscene amount of money.

Scene change.  Next day finds me packing a change of clothes for Hans for after his championship soccer game.  Into an empty (I know because I looked) white canvas bag that I pulled out of a storage basket and unfolded, I placed one pair of clean jeans I had taken from Hans’ dresser, laid a belt for said jeans on top, then a long-sleeved t-shirt from his dresser, and topped it off with a fleece that I took off a hanger in his closet.

I ended up wearing the fleece, and the rest of the clothes stayed in the bag until I unpacked them the next morning.

As I pulled out the long-sleeve t-shirt, what did I find, but the key fob lying there between the belt and the pants.  As if that was a perfect logical place for it to be.

Except that it wasn’t.

I’ll just have to live with that fact, and wonder aloud who exactly moved it there when I was busy looking.

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