So, I saw this photo online today. This is a real truck spotted in a Costco parking lot. My money would have been on Wal-Mart, by the way, but I digress. Look at this bullshit.
My answer to both questions is yes, by the way, and it’s none of this asshole’s business. I am working on losing weight, but it’s for my health. And also, I want to feel confident in clothing that you don’t approve of. I went to the website and their the women have to wear skirts and dresses past the knees and shirts with sleeves brand of misogynistic religious folk. I’m a pants wearing woman who hates wearing sleeves of any kind except when it’s really cold outside, so I guess that makes me a whore in their eyes! FYI, I don’t like that word. I don’t think it’s ok to shame sex workers or any woman whose sexual choices you don’t like. This is a refrain that I’ll keep repeating until the world understands-stop telling women what to do with their bodies. Women are adults with equal rights and autonomy, and their choices are none of your damn business.
It’s just disgusting to me that in 2019 someone feels right driving around with this on their vehicle. This level of hatred for masses of people you don’t know is super unhealthy. Imagine leaving your home every day and seeing that on the back of your truck, spending so much time thinking about the appearance of other people.
Quick reminder. Not everyone shares your beliefs. I think you’re wrong, dude, and I think you’re a giant shitgibbon, but I know you have the right to your beliefs. I don’t believe it’s cool to spread hate in the name of Jesus, who had a message of acceptance and love. It’s been a while since I’ve been in a church, but I don’t recall Jesus’ sermon on fatness as a shamable sin. Sure, gluttony is a thing, but a lot of overweight people aren’t heavy because they eat too much. There are a myriad of reasons, but again, it’s none of jackweed’s business.
Also, Jesus? The one from the Bible? He hung out with prostitutes and probably virgins and married women who showed their ankles and shit because he saw them as human beings and he believed in equality in the eyes of God.
Anyway, according to the website, I’m in the clear because I’m not “The American Church People.” What a relief. Side note: these fundies are super obsessed with what other people do with their genitals in the privacy of their own homes. It’s weird, guys
I’m going to leave you with one more screen shot from this webpage. We kind of agree on the point in red, for different reasons. This kind of vitriol and hatred aren’t bringing people to God, at least not to his God. I think that “neutered pastors” probably do a better job there, TBH.
In closing, these guys are the worst and I’m happy if they’re driving people away from this particular brand of “Christianity.” I may not identify as a Christian, but I sure love a lot of great ones. They’re people who do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in their faith, and I respect that. I just know it’s not for me. Now I’m going to bed and wondering what this country would be like if the religious right hadn’t gotten their hands on so much of our government.
I just wanted to give a little encouragement to those of you in the trenches with preschool or school aged kids. When my son was young, he was usually a really good kid, but when he was bad, he was VERY bad. He was quite creative with it, actually. He actually got kicked out of three daycares by the time he was four; one of which was a home daycare that booted him when it was three. Turns out, they got too stressed out when he’d maneuver his way out of his car seat and open the car door when they were driving 60 miles an hour down a freeway. He’s always been really creative and has ADHD, which don’t work well in a traditional classroom environment, especially with teachers who don’t get it. I called my mom all the time, asking how the hell I was going to get through it, sometimes wondering if I was raising a sociopath.
I learned early on that I had to pick my battles with this one. Doing homework was a huge battle, so I’d help him with what I thought he truly needed help with, but he was responsible for the rest. He was responsible for keeping a C average, because school just wasn’t his thing unless he was really interested in a subject. My kid is super smart. So smart, in fact, that when his first grade teacher had him take and exam because she thought he’d qualify for the gifted and talented program, we were both shocked when he scored around 50%. I asked him why his scores were so low, and he looked me dead in the eye and said that the GATE kids have to do more work, so he flunked on purpose because he’d rather be having fun with his friends. I always envisioned him finding his “thing” in junior high or high school and going straight to college, but he decided that he’d rather put college off until he figures out what he really wants to do with his life. I’m totally OK with that. It is, in fact, his life.
One thing we did a lot of was spending one on one time together. We found TV shows and movies we liked to watch together, we danced, we played with the dogs, and did a little cooking. We loved to go to lunch or dinner, just the two of us, and we did some 5ks and mud runs together. During all of these activities, we talked. Sometimes we just laughed our asses off. When he was in junior high, I caught him and his friends using slurs as insults, and I told them that absolutely wasn’t OK, and I told them why. I told them I’d rather have them calling people assholes and shitheads than derogatory terms, and I told them they could swear all they wanted to in my basement.
I refused to overschedule him in activities and made sure he had a lot of time to just hang out with his buddies. I got lucky with a kid who loves to be active, so they spent hours in the pool, shooting hoops, or playing ball in the park. I loved that they didn’t want to plant themselves in front of the TV or video games very often. I think kids need unscheduled time to relax and choose their own activities. I think they need to choose their own friends, as well. In elementary school, my son had a couple of friends from what some parents considered a “bad family” and wouldn’t let their kids be friends with these kids. Once I found out what things were like at their house, I didn’t let my son hang out over there, but they were welcome in our home and he was allowed to go to the park to hang out with them too. It gets trickier in junior high and high school, as some kids get into drugs, alcohol, and other risky behavior. I’m lucky I never had to deal with that, as my kid was actually super judgemental when he found out kids in high school were substance abusers. If he didn’t know them well, he’d just ignore their existence. There’s one girl who was a daughter of a friend of mine, so she and my son had grown up spending a lot of time together. She was a few years younger, and got into a lot of trouble with her parents when they found out she’d been experimenting. I was proud that my judgemental kid put his issues aside and was there for her, trying to be a good influence. Again, I’m not sure what the right answer is, but I’m glad that I had open and honest talks with my son about drugs and alcohol and the effect they have on the developing brain. He saw enough people he knew making really bad choices because of substance abuse as well, which we’d talk about, and that was enough for him to make up his mind.
I took him to a few different churches to see if any of them clicked with him, and made it clear that his faith was his choice. I let him go to church camps and church activities with his friends from religions I really don’t understand, because, again, I believe faith should be a personal choice and not something we force on kids.
When I got frustrated and angry with my boy, which is inevitable, especially with a strong willed child, I absolutely let him know, and we often came up with a punishment that fit the crime together. Still, I did my best to make sure he always knew there was unconditional love behind everything I did. When I made mistakes, I let him know. I let him see me fail and pick myself back up again, because that’s a life skill your child needs to see in action. I never pretended to be a perfect parent, and I made a shitload of mistakes. We all do, right? I think you have to be really honest with your kids at every age, explaining things to them in ways they can understand. Moms fuck up. Moms do things they regret. Being a parent is hard, especially when you factor in working (if you have to or choose to) taking care of a house, running errands, doing laundry, paying the bills, talking your kids to school and different activities, all the while trying to stay mentally and physically healthy, exercise, practice self care, keep up a relationship with a partner, spouse, or dating, or realizing that being a single mom is totally ok, maintaining friendships that nurture your soul, staying close to your family, and everything else that is expected of a woman in this century. Give yourself a break, apologize to your kid if necessary, and hug it out.
Of course, the way I parented this child might not work for your child. If I’d had another child, my parenting methods would have probably been similar, but I firmly believe you have to change your parenting methods to meet the needs of the child you get, not the child you imagined before the child was born.
I’m super proud to say that now, he’s an amazing 20 year old man who is living on his own. He works and pays all of his own bills, almost never asking me for financial assistance. In fact, he decided to move halfway across the country to live with his buddies almost a year ago. He’d mentioned that he was thinking about it a few months before he left, but he bought his plane ticket before he told me his flight departed in less than a week. I adore his adventurous spirit. He’s not afraid to go out and explore the world and see what’s out there. He’s finding his way, and I’m in awe of the human he’s become. He even occasionally posts on facebook about having the best mom ever and openly tells his friends how much he loves me. He asks me for advice in his own life and his friends ask me about their lives sometimes too, especially when it comes to topics they’re afraid to discuss with their own parents. Sometimes the kid doesn’t take my advice, but I love that we fostered that incredibly close, open relationship so he knows he can talk to me about anything. He’s kind and respectful, and called me a few weeks ago to tell me that a friend had been “hanging out” with a girl for a couple of weeks, but they hadn’t slept together. They were at the apartment and the girl was drunk, and the buddy and the girl went into a bedroom. Jett went in and stopped them because, “My mom has always told me that drunk people can’t consent, so you need to wait until you both have clear heads.”
Then today, his fifth grade teacher found me on Linkedin. 5th grade was SUCH a good year because his teacher was invested in using multiple learning modalities, which helps kinesthetic learners so much. He said my kid was always a favorite of his, and he thinks about him from time to time. Turns out, they live fairly close to one another now, and his former teacher wants to take him out for dinner next time they’re in the same city.
So when you’re going through the hellish moments of parenting, keep on going. Take time to scream, yell, cry, call your mom, your friend, or call me. Practice self care, love those kids really hard, and have lots of talks about your values. I think that WHO your child becomes is the most important thing. Education, preparing for college and career is important, but raising a good human is really rewarding. Much love to you moms in the struggle. Also, get lots of hugs, because if you do your job right, they’ll move out and you’ll miss those hugs a lot.
Allison and I have both grown a lot since we’ve started this blog. I’m sure that if you’re on a similar journey, you might be experiencing some of the same career and financial growing pains that we have, so I’m ripping off a big bandaid here.
We both had full time careers two years ago, and we were great at what we did. Allison was an award winning elementary teacher for several years, and has written several posts on this blog about why she had to walk away. Now it’s my turn.
My brain doesn’t like doing the same thing in the same place every day, and I’m a huge fan of large paychecks, treating myself to nice things, and putting my face all over marketing materials, which is why being a Realtor was a great fit for me for a number of years. It’s an exciting job, full of creatively meeting challenges, highs and lows, and wins and losses. My brain thrives on that kind of energy, and I got to help some really great clients as a result. In recent years, as my body has become a bigger and bigger asshole due to Lupus and back problems, the somewhat flexible schedule had been a good fit as well.
I’ve always worked on a team when selling homes, as I believe it’s absolutely the best way to serve clients. Having a team around me made sure our clients all got the best experience possible from start to finish. A team also provides agents a work/life balance they really can’t get elsewhere, as well as providing mentorship, collaboration, training, and above all, close friendships you need in this business.
About 5 months before we started this blog, my team (which is owned by one of the best real estate mentors in the country) had just quit being an independent brokerage and moved to a larger local brokerage. Allison and I had already been discussing spirituality and awakening, headed on separate but parallel paths, as we’ve done for decades. I dug into the new brokerage at the same time I was going through the first of many shifts, and I got uncomfortable pretty quickly.
This new brokerage was owned by people who talked about their Prosperity Gospel-ish Christianity a lot, and I’ve always been uncomfortable mixing religion with business. Obviously I could have chosen to leave the brokerage, but that would have meant leaving the team I loved and with which I’d always been successful, but that wasn’t even a thought that occurred to me.
To be really clear, almost everyone I love deeply is a Christian. I was raised a Catholic, and I’ve read the Bible several times through. I believe Jesus was a real lightworker, an angel on Earth, and his message of love, acceptance, peace, and charity is something we should all strive to follow. That’s why those values are pretty consistent among all major religions of the world.
Poet Edgar Guest said, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day,” and that’s one of my absolute favorite quotes. My rule of thumb? If someone frequently tells you they’re a “servant leader,” they’re probably not. If they were, you’d already know it by their actions. Looking back, I can see that what I was feeling was more of a nudge from the Universe that I wasn’t on the right career path anymore, but when you’re doing something that you’ve always been good at and you’re mostly happy, you don’t want to listen to nudges. Especially if you’re as stubborn as my ass is.
My team did move to another brokerage after about a year, and I was hyped. Of course, there were a few minor changes with my team that I didn’t love, but I was working with a leader who truly made every move in what he believed was in the best interest of everyone on the team, and I did, and do, trust his judgement and instincts.
I truly wanted to take the fresh start and take the world by storm, but I just couldn’t get my head in the game. That’s on me. Have you ever just had what feels like a giant karmic shitstorm with a snowball effect? I don’t claim to be a particularly good person, but surely I didn’t deserve the last 12 months. My health had taken several bad turns, with flares lasting longer and remissions being few and far between. I had some really bad side effects from medication, and my bulldog, who I’d often referred to as my person in the world, had died suddenly at the age of 7 when I was out of state. There were absolutely no warning signs. He had an undetectable heart defect and just died peacefully in his sleep, absolutely breaking my heart. One of the most important human relationships in my life was probably at its lowest point. I was pretty miserable, but I’m pretty good at being miserable with a smile on my face and jokes coming out of my mouth, even though I was depressed, mad at the world, and feeling pretty damn sorry for myself. Most people with chronic illness learn to pretend to be healthy, and I’m a good actress to begin with. Inside, though, all of my instincts were telling me it was time for a big change.
I’d started feeling better physically, with a longer remission than I’d seen in a while when I got an unexpected offer from another team. The offer seemed great; I’d still be selling real estate, but doing it a different way. I was truly excited to try a new approach and work for a team lead by strong women for the first time in my career. I decided to take a risk and start fresh, and I honestly did it with a lot of careful thought. I believed my skill set would be an asset to their team, and it was at first. I was surrounded by smart, badass, caring, giving, empowered women, and it was a great environment.
So, what was the problem? Why am I writing this blog? If it had all worked out, I would be too busy to write this on a Tuesday afternoon. I’m sure we’ve all had moments in our lives where we just felt stuck and truly unhappy, and all we knew is that we needed to make a big change, and that’s where I was. I kept getting gut feelings that I was going in the wrong direction, but I misread them.
OK, so I’m saying this one time, and one time only, but Allison was right. I should have worked on meditation and grounding a lot more over those months. I shouldn’t have powered through big moves without listening to the rhythm of my intuition.
When I started with my long time team, I was a spry, totally healthy 32 year old, and here I was at almost 43. How things changed. In those days, March of 2008 to be exact, we were in the office Monday-Friday at 9 am for training. I loved it, because we were learning about the real estate market and how to help our clients at the highest level possible in what turned out to be a long ass, widespread, devastating recession. Our team made it through that period because we were professionals who were used to learning, and our leadership worked their asses off to figure out how to stay in business and keep a team of agents profitable when masses of agents and companies went out of business.
Thankfully for my decrepit body, our team had changed with the times and I was able to do a lot remotely, but most of our agents were in the office a lot, and in retrospect, I know I really missed the camaraderie and positive environment. I knew it was there, in the office every day, where I was more than welcome. It sucked to know that what I wanted was there, but my fucking body kept me from it. It was just sitting there, like the cake my mom made the night before my brother’s birthday. It was frosted, delicious, and sitting on the counter just out of reach all day, where it would remain until after dinner. Even then, I’d have to wait for my brother to eat some first or I’d get my ass whipped. The environment I wanted, needed, craved, and where i was wanted was so close, but out of reach, because I knew I’d get my ass kicked in a different way. I had about 20 physically functional hours a week at times. If I used them to get ready for work and spend time in the office, I wouldn’t have the physical ability to show homes to clients. See? Like cake you can’t have.
I quit that team over the phone, because I knew I couldn’t do it with crying. I expected my mentor to be upset, but he was big mad, and it surprised me. I hadn’t been performing well for months, and I felt like I was letting the team down. I told him about the new position, and that their team’s structure had all agents working remotely most of the time, which was better for me health-wise, and which I thought wouldn’t leave me as stressed as a result. Stress is super bad for autoimmune disorders, as it is for all of our bodies. This isn’t a pity party for one. Mind/body connection and all that shit. Sitting upright on a chair is the most agonizing thing I can do, and since my immune system is about as effective as a flip phone that’s been stepped on and dropped in a pool, I’m susceptible to germs that are floating around in public. Working from home as much as possible is ideal. He said that while he cared about me and wanted me to be happy and successful, this move would probably end up with me getting out of the business. That’s the problem with working with people who know you really well; they can often see things you can’t, often because you can’t get out of your own way to see them.
He knew then what I know now. The way I’d been working for the past several months and the way I was hoping to work with the new team weren’t congruent with where I was in my life. With where I am in my life. In retrospect, I can’t say it was a mistake to switch teams when I did, because I would have probably had the same struggle, fitting that square peg into that round box. I got bronchitis two months into joining my new team, got better for a few weeks, and then got pneumonia. Sometime between bronchitis and pneumonia my team hired a coach who really didn’t get me, and absolutely didn’t try to understand me at all. Her solution to all of my problems was for me to come into the office every morning, listen to her speak motivational and/or Bible quotes at me, and do open houses (physically painful to the point I needed 3 days to recover from the last one, statistically as effective as investing in a MLM, and not wise for a woman to do alone, because, you know. I’m pretty and creeps are everywhere). I had a proven track record where I’d been, but my new team only saw this new chick who showed a little bit of promise but then got super sick, and then got super sick again. If I hadn’t known, finally, in my gut, what was right, I would have pushed back at the new coach and kicked ass, but it wasn’t right.
I’m focused on being as physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially healthy as I can be, and I know deep down that being a Realtor isn’t going to help. All of my intuition, my BFF empathic healer, and my doctors of traditional Western medicine have agreed that this stressful career of a career isn’t best for me.
Now, the big problem? I need money to live. I need to challenge, create, and problem solve. I have a work ethic that demands I be productive, and I still like to buy myself nice things. I’m doing much better at letting go of material things because of where my soul is right now, but I still gotta be me.
Peace, love, light, and impoverished confusion,
Also, here’s a link to a YouTube video, a parody I did a few weeks ago because like I said, my brain needs to create. It has absolutely nothing to do with this blog and I think I have lipstick on my teeth, but let’s all laugh right now.
By now, our readers should know that I believe that part of self care is looking my best. I feel more confident with a little bit of makeup. I’ve heard mixed reviews about Kylie Cosmetics, so when I got a little coupon code, I decided to take a look.
Spoiler alert: The product is better than I expected it to be. For some reason, I expected it to be drugstore quality with an inflated price because it had the name of a famous person on it.
While I love the quality, the customer service was essentially hot garbage.
This is a struggle for both of us, and probably for most of you. Today we talked about how important it is to think about how you talk to yourself and about yourself. Self love starts from within, and we teach other people how to treat us. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
This is a little different than some of the things we’ve done lately, but we thought it was important to discuss. We’re all about empowering women to live their best lives, and we don’t think that living by a book written by men thousands of years ago is going to get you there. There’s a new crop of young, pretty, privileged women on YouTube who are doing their best to spread the message of the patriarchy, and it’s dangerous af. These women seem to have never questioned their belief systems, and are trying to teach other women and girls to do the same. As we’ve said before, most of the people we know and love are Christians, but the people we love deeply are open minded and not afraid to have a discussion about their beliefs. They’re also not bigots, like Kristin and Bethany seem to be.
We’ve been doing more on YouTube lately, but I just realized we’ve been negligent on adding the videos to the blog. I’m going to remedy that today and post them from oldest to most recent. We’d love any feedback, and if you have topics you’d like us to cover, or anything you want to ask us, feel free!
Here’s a video we did on 4 Key Areas of Self Care.