I am just so happy to be here. Is that silly? I knew I wanted to start writing again outside work, even if a lot of it is about work and all of the things there that drive us nuts. I don’t just want to write, though. I want (and by “want” I really mean “feel compelling need”) to contribute something, in particular to help people like me who find themselves in untenable positions, whether it be personally or professionally, but in particular when illness or another bump in the road is a cause or contributing factor. And I often hear that it is best to write about what you know.
I am not a traditional expert on anything I will talk about here, despite my vast personal experience on the subjects. And I am kind of old fashioned – I believe that to call yourself an expert, you need to do little things like get trained, take classes, get certifications and maybe even get … wait for it … a degree. (Wow, I miss How I Met Your Mother. But I digress, probably the first of many.) I am completely against all non-facetious self-proclaimed expertise (and that probably will come up a lot – I really, really am against it, and I am a lethal rule follower). That said, I guess life makes all of us unofficial experts on something, even if it isn’t anything you ever wanted to be an expert on.
As it turns out, in reflecting on what compelled me to start this site and this blog, I realized what I have become something of an expert on is crap. Yes, everyone has crap. But when I say a lot of crap, I mean it was like crap was raining on our house. A parade of poo. OK, not literally, if you don’t count babies. But figuratively, we felt like whack a mole. We would get through one crisis and, if we were lucky, we would have a day or two before the other shoe dropped … off a centipede. The shoes just don’t stop dropping. And living through the crap, big and small, has made me far more cynical than I expected to be, despite the fact that I went into many things with my eyes wide open. Some crap you can prepare for and handle. Other crap can knock you on your keister (usually figuratively, but not always).
But here is the thing about crap and even the cynicism that comes with putting up with a lot of crap– it really does teach you a lot of things. No, I don’t mean the clichés like, you learn what is important. (OK, I begrudgingly admit there is some truth to that one, but I have yet to find a sustaining sense of priorities, and I totally reject the notion the important lessons are supposed to make you thankful for the crap – hey, maybe another blog topic. I sense this digression is going to be a thing with my blog – maybe what I will need is better editing). What I mean is, I learned how to deal with things I never dreamed of, and somewhere along the way, I realized that I now know a lot of things that might be helpful to other people. And I like helping other people. Usually. And the admittedly odd but interesting range of things I have picked up along the way probably can help a lot of them, even if our stories and needs rarely overlap otherwise.
I think the one other thing to tell you before I really get going is that I am capable of being quite the hypocrite and I (usually) will be the first one to call myself out on it. No really, I am living, breathing hypocrisy, moderated by guilt (a topic requiring its own blog post, for sure) and a dash of self-diagnosed OCD. I think what it boils down to is the inner conflict of being the biggest rule follower in the world with an inner bad ass rebel trying to get out. I yell like a crazy woman at anyone on four or two wheels who breaks traffic laws, but I jaywalk. I swore that I never would say to my own kids the One Thing My Mom Always Said That Made Me Nuts – “Because I Said So” and within a couple of years of parenting lost count of how many times I have given that as the sole reason for, well, most anything (wait, is that hyprocrisy or just lying retroactively? I don’t know but every time I say it, I almost feel like I am watching myself from the outside in horror). I believe in clichés like “the days are long but the years are short” and cry over horrible things happening to kids on the news and make the requisite vow never to take my own kids for granted, and five minutes later I am screaming at them for breathing too loud. I talk about how I have learned not to sweat the small stuff, and then I cry when I can’t find my cell phone. So, not just a hypocrite, but a hot mess. And a self-proclaimed one (not hypocritical, I only hate self-proclaimed experts). But if you call me out on being a hypocrite when I don’t think I am being one, I will be very unhappy. See? Hypocrite.
I may be a hypocrite, and one who digresses a lot at that, but I tend to play well in the sandbox. So I hope you will play – or at least read, and come back and read more. And I do hope I can help, even if sometimes it just is to make you laugh and realize there is someone out there who can make you feel a little more normal (even if only relatively so).