You Guys Need To Chill With The Elf On The Shelf Hate

I’m going to drop a real bomb on you guys, here. It’s a doozy. Brace yourselves.

I do the Elf on the Shelf for my kids.

Yeah, that’s right. I have the Elf on the Shelf. Not just the Elf on the Shelf, but one for each of my kids plus an Elf for my older dog and the reindeer for my puppy.

That’s five – count ’em, FIVE – stuffed dolls that I take out every holiday season, and move around nightly, creating hijinks and antics. I even buy the accessories now. All for the enjoyment of my children.

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I started about five or six years ago and my kids loved it. I mean LOVED. I never tied it to behavior, like some parents do. A couple times if my kids were fighting I’d have the elves do their thing, but ALSO leave a note: “Santa says quit fighting!” Nothing beyond that, though. If I forget a night, whatever. It becomes a joke that Mom blew it, because they’ve also always known it was me moving those silly things around.  

I always used to say that I would never do stuff like that (I may have even said it here on my blog). You know that arrogant person that has zero kids who knew everything they would and would not do as a parent? That was me, and the Elf on the Shelf was that thing I definitely wasn’t going to do. Even for a period of time after I had my children.

At some point, though – somewhere in the process – I realized something so unimaginable and profound, it may come as even more of a shock to you guys than the simple fact of me doing the Elf on the Shelf:

My children’s’ childhoods are about their enjoyment, not my own personal judgments and opinions. Yours too. 

You guys can imagine, then, that I feel pretty fucking accosted on a daily basis now, when I log onto the Internet to see a stream of hate for the Elf on the Shelf in every feed I come across. Articles. Blogs. Opinion sites. People’s random Facebook status updates…loaded with hatred and loathing for this simple family tradition. 

See that’s the thing I’ve noticed about the people that don’t do the Elf on the Shelf… they’re just like vegans. The old joke about vegans goes like this: do you know how you can tell someone is a vegan? Don’t worry…they’ll tell you. All the haters of the Elf on the Shelf seem to be capable of doing during the holiday season is telling people that and why they hate the thing. 

The Elf on the Shelf is what you make of it. It can be a tool to control your kids’ behavior for the month or so before Christmas. It can be a fun little family tradition you do every night during the holiday season.

It can also be something you don’t bring into your home.

That’s your prerogative. 

Those of you that don’t, though, need to take a serious chill on all the hate. Honestly. Chill the fuck out.

I get that you guys – adults – think it’s creepy. I get that the thing has this sort of voyeuristic look to it’s face. I have a bitchy look to my face, you don’t see people straight up calling me a bitch every time they log onto the Internet. (At least that I’m aware of.)

Some people use it as a weird little guy sitting on a shelf, spying on you – or whatever. Those are the people that call the Elf on the Shelf (to be clear, a doll made of felt and stuffing) a “pervert.” That’s us – adults – applying our shitty experiences to otherwise innocent things. Dolls, for fuck’s sake. Why stop at the Elf on the Shelf? Why not consider every doll or toy or fake-slightly-weird-looking toy “creepy” and ban them from your house? 

I understand that it’s just another lie we tell our kids. Between Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy… adding another make-believe fantasy to lighten up the heaviness of the modern childhood – well that’s just too fucking far. Right, Monica – mother of one who most definitely will not play in to letting her child have an ounce of fucking levity, from Day One?

Chill the fuck out, Monica.

Some people use it as a behavioral tool, as in the elf doesn’t move if you’ve been bad. To those people, just waiting around every corner is some lady, clutching her pearls, ready to comment about how people shouldn’t need a doll to keep their kids in line. Alright, Pearl Clutcher, fair enough. But you know what is better than judging the struggles a parent has with their kids? Keeping your fucking judgments to yourself.

(In the words of our Holy Mother of Orange County, Vicki Gunvalson: “judge me when you are perfect.”)

And don’t even get the ineffable writers at the likes of Scary Mommy or Bustle started on the mere hassle of doing the whole Elf thing every night. I mean, for goodness sakes, you’ve fed and clothed your children, now you purchased a little doll to move around every night, voluntarily I’ll add, and you have to do this for – what, like a month? And the only payment for this unbelievably agonizing task is your children’s happiness?!

I get it.

I get that the thing has a creepy face, like every other doll your kids have.

I get that fantasy is another word for “imagination,” and there is no place for that shit in a child’s head these days.

And – more than anything – I understand that the plight of the modern parent is that you’ve had all these kids, and yet consider the majority of their kid-ness to be a giant inconvenience to your own life.

I get it. We all do.

But really, guys. Chill. The. Fuck. Out.

And, shut up.

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The Worst/Best Part Of Having a Panic Disorder Is You Can’t Hide It Forever

I had a blow out panic attack in my doctor’s office today. He knew I had anxiety, but I don’t think to the extent that it is there. Likely because I’ve done an extremely good job of concealing it for a long time.

Or maybe he did know and was just taking it one step at a time. I don’t know, I’m not the doctor but I think it’s probably that because he walked in the office after the nurse had made me lie down, and the first thing out of his mouth was “HEATHER…WHY are you worrying so much right now?”

The thing is that very few people in my life know about just how bad my panic disorder is. In fact, very few people even know that I have one. My husband does, but even he didn’t grasp the full effect it has on me until today, when in the doctor’s office I was made to lie down on my left side until my blood pressure and heart rate went down, because both were THROUGH. THE. ROOF. as I sat in there hyperventilating, completely unaware of what was going on.

The first panic attack I can remember ever having was when I was 11 years old, visiting my grandparents at their new home near Yosemite. We were in the grocery store and suddenly I just had a terrifying feeling like I was in a dream and my heart was pounding. I had no idea what an anxiety attack or a panic disorder was at the time. And I just dealt with those types of situations over and over again, as the years went on, until I finally researched what was happening to me just 6 years ago.

So it started when I was 11, and I am now 34 and have only known what has been going on for 6 years now. I mean that I knew what was going on (that I was having a multitude of symptoms I could not explain), but I didn’t know why it was going on (that I have a panic disorder).

And since knowing why, I have done literally nothing legitimate to take care of it.

Why? Because when I started trying to figure out what to do, I was told by closer family and society in general that this should be kept “private” or that I should be ashamed of it. That. I. Should. Be. Ashamed. Of. A. Mental. Health. Issue. Completely. Beyond. My. Control.

And that I should just calm down.

Also, in a situation with family that gossip about each other’s personal and health issues TO NO END – where you can’t sneeze without everyone hearing and speculating about it – the need to keep things utterly secret so as to avoid all that unnecessary speculation was paramount. I don’t like it when people speculate about my personal life.

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Incidentally, I started writing my blog roughly 6 years ago too. Coincidence? I mean come on now. 6 years ago was when I also developed the coping mechanism of making fun of everything and joking my way through my unrelenting anxiety, which was getting worse and worse by the day.

But the jokes can only go so far, and of course people that think you should be ashamed of your uncontrollable panic disorder also like to shame you for just being yourself to try and cope with it. Suddenly the speculation turned to being that about my blog and I started to wish I could *just* write for bloggers and strangers, because whenever close family or friends read it I would get text messages and emails in response, as well as “unfriended” by many online.

Then only recently, I realized that to cope with the social spectrum of my panic disorder, I had made it a habit to just drink wine. I don’t mean – like – alcoholic status drank wine, but anyone that has ever known someone with an addiction knows, it often starts as a way to cope. Which is exactly what I was doing.

And I’m not going to lie – I love my wine. But if I were to be completely honest, as delicious as wine tastes, it gives me a headache and makes me feel like crap. And yet I still drank it as a social lubricant. Often.

Until I realized what I was doing, that is.

Now, it has been months since I drank wine. I don’t tell as many jokes anymore, because I never know who is going to read them or how they are going to respond; so basically I’ve stopped being *myself* in as many venues as I needed to to feel comfortable.

And I worry endlessly about everything.

I worry about money, as I talked about in my blog post yesterday.

I worry about the health and safety of my kids, and how one little thing will set off a chain reaction of other problems, many of which amount to more money worries. This is mostly because of a couple things that have happened in the last few years that should have been as simple as a bruised knee or a minor cold, but that got blown into huge, costly, and long-term problems.

I worry about what people think of me as I write blogs/homeschool my kids/parent in front of others/basically just live my life.

And I worry about my own health.

This is a new one for me, and it’s gotten out of control. Of course it doesn’t help that everyone around me acts as though I’m suddenly some fucking invalid because I have some allergy problems and had an asthma attack a couple months ago. Regularly, I go to the doctor and come back with a clean bill of health, and yet even just this last weekend my mother, as well as several other of my and my husband’s family members, made comments like “well you aren’t in very good health you know.” Um, OK…I’m not sure where you got that one, but…I guess I’ll go ahead and let your negativity work me up (which is exactly what I do).

I could go on…in a nutshell, I spend all my waking hours worrying.

So today, as I was lying in the doctor’s office, my heart pounding, trying to catch my breath, my blood pressure up to dangerous levels (I actually have low blood pressure, normally), a few very shocking things were presented to me. They shouldn’t have been shocking, but for someone who has been coping with a debilitating panic disorder for 23 years by basically pretending nothing is wrong, they were.

  1. I have a panic disorder and that is nothing to be ashamed of;
  2. I cannot hide my panic disorder forever;
  3. Ignoring, rationalizing, telling jokes, and drinking wine may be short-term solutions, but when those are gone the panic is still there. In fact, it’s worse;
  4. If people want to be negative and toxic to me about who I am – in whatever way they want to, be it giving me a hard time about a blog I wrote or a joke I told or the way I homeschool my kids; or speculating on my general health and happiness with others – I have every right, regardless of who those people are, to cut them out of my life permanently;
  5. It’s OK to say “NO” to people if it’s a situation I don’t feel safe in; and,
  6. If the doctor says to take the fucking Xanax, just take the fucking Xanax.

Yesterday I wrote a blog about people swimming in debt but being OK as long as they just pretend everything is fine. I think this is a lot like that, in fact maybe that’s really what I was trying to write about. I am literally swimming in this mire, or more like drowning but you guys get the point.

Now I can go on and pretend that everything is fine. Or I can deal with it head-on.

The only question, though, is how? That is where I am like a fish out of water – I have no idea truly where to begin. I do know that I want to feel like myself again. To start, I think it has to be found in my #2 realization today: I cannot hide my panic disorder forever. Perhaps the best way to start dealing with it is to stop concealing it.

I Don’t Shave My Crotch, and Other Assorted Coffee Time Conversation

I had coffee with a friend yesterday. Coffee is sort of a weird way to say it, though, because I actually don’t drink coffee. So what I had was this blended iced milk with vanilla in it; it was big and full of sugar and something like 600 calories – but who’s counting, because at least it wasn’t coffee – am I right?

(I seriously cannot stand coffee.)

Anyway, so we were talking about I’m not sure what and then we started talking about other stuff, and somewhere in there she said “now don’t blog about this.”

So naturally I had to.

OK, but I won’t give any identifying characteristics (curly hair). Or what we were there for (crafting). Or what she drank (an Italian soda, also a non-coffee drink, which begs the question: why were we meeting for coffee and crafting when neither of us intended on drinking that horrific beverage?).

I will just say that we were having coffee (not really, I basically told you everything and also we weren’t drinking coffee) AND amidst all of that we were talking about how my ten year old is starting to grow boobs and I’m panicking about said boobs.

Because puberty is terrifying. As a mother, that is.

And we were talking about how neither of our mothers taught us much about femininity. Now my friend’s situation I cannot attest to, but my mother moved across the country when I was 10 years old to live 2,000 miles away from her daughter (that would be me) so that she could be available to shack up with a married man whenever he came around. Then when that fell through she stayed and I saw her over the summer and holidays – whenever my dad would force me to go.

When I got my first period, I happened to be visiting her, but she was too busy talking to her married boyfriend on the phone to help me deal. Otherwise, what I learned of femininity came from my wonderful and saintly aunt, and the occasional time that my dad took me with him to work and a female coworker would spend time talking to me.

Somehow that coffee time conversation turned into discussing the West Coast obsession (at least I hear it’s a West Coast thing, stemming from the porn industry) for women to go bald down there.

And somehow that turned me into saying way way WAY too loudly, in the middle of this coffee shop where I most certainly was not drinking coffee: “oh yeah, I don’t shave my crotch…never have, never will. What do I want to look like – a five year old girl?”

Now, maybe I don’t do that because I grew up with my dad, and was lucky to get out knowing how to put on pantyhose. Shaving anything was unchartered territory for me until my early 20s, and quite frankly shaving my pits and my legs is a miracle at this point.

But it also stems from my belief that only little girls have hairless netherworlds. Sorry, but it’s true. Ladies, you were born to have hair on your vaginas. There, I said it. But you all should accept it.

Before I wax too philosophical, though, let me stay on track. So I announced loudly to my local Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (there I go with more details again) that I, in fact, do not shave my shit. I mean I was loud, and realized I had made an err when some young, clearly crotch-shaven, women at the table next to us looked over and snickered.

They were on Facebook on their computers, so I’m sure there’s a video or some shit of me yelling it for the world to hear just waiting to go viral right now.

Upon noticing this, I took a look around, as my friend and I continued to chat about all things not crotch-related (because we had already covered that territory). I took in the full scene at my local coffee shop and realized something:

People are really self-absorbed.

Each table contained someone or someones that all seemed self-absorbed. Someone came in trying to get her son in a wheelchair through the door, not a single person jumped up to help. Every which way you looked there were teenagers with headphone earbuds in, guys playing video games, and twenty-somethings checking their Facebook accounts excessively while ignoring each other talk.

The girls that clearly overheard my crotch hair proclamation took no less than 45 selfies.

All the while, it was loud and people were there, so you never would have known it was a room full of people that literally care about no one but themselves.

Now I’m not saying that when you go out for coffee on a Sunday, you’re supposed to engage the entire world and spend all your time meeting new people and helping out strangers.

But if the only thing that snaps you out of your self-awareness coma is some psychotic lady in yoga pants, drinking something other than coffee in a coffee shop, shouting as loudly as she can to her friend that she doesn’t shave off all her crotch hairs in the interest of not looking like a five year old …well maybe if that’s the only thing that makes you realize that others are out there, others exist, and others have things to say (clearly)…

…well maybe you need a reality check.

It’s a big world out there, people.

A lot of hairless and hairy crotches.

Put down your phones and your computers, take out your headphone earbuds, and look outside your bubble for something like twenty minutes the next time you’re at your local coffee shop.

Who knows what’ll happen. Moreover, who knows what you’ll hear.

 

4 Ways Our 30s Are Still Very Much Like High School

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Are you in your 30s? I am. I mean I’m really 28. Again. But according to my driver’s license I am officially a 30-something. Screw you, DMV.

In any event, I am still really good friends with a lot of my friends from high school. And as the years have gone on, people I knew only marginally while wandering the halls of those four miserable years have become better friends now as well. This summer I’m throwing a baby shower for one of these people while I’m in the Midwest, and as I combined her and her boyfriend’s guest lists today to send out a save the date, I realized that her shower could also be known as “high school reunion 2013.” In some respects, at least.

That’s the great thing about these big life events – they give us an opportunity to catch up with the people that are so much a part of who we are. And they give us time to reflect on where we’ve been, where we’re going, blaa blaabity blaa. For me, it’s made me relive all of my high school memories – the good, the bad, the pot-induced; and more than anything, come to a startling epiphany amidst it all: that our 30s are still very much like high school.

#1 People Are Still Loud

In high school, everyone was loud. People yelled down the halls. Girls screamed at their boyfriends in that oh-so-pathetic “help me” way when they needed their lockers opened or their bags carried. And don’t get me started on the ridiculous cheers and chants we were all required to do at our mandatory school spirit rallies. (How in the hell can anyone mandate spirit?)

I always thought that when we got out of high school, shit would quiet down. But it didn’t. College was just as loud, only without the lockers. The workaday world was loud too, only a different type – people yelling at you, phones ringing, and so on. And now our 30s. Our 30s are filled with the permeable screams of children running a muck and the arguments about money/time/priorities/and so on we get into with our spouses.

The noise level has not changed.

#2 Nachos and Pizza Still Sound Tasty

That’s another thing I thought would change when we got out of high school. Everyone ate crap at my high school – nachos, pizza, and the always-daring pizza dipped into nacho cheese (puke, I never did that). I don’t want to hear anything about obesity either, because if you are my age you know that we come from a time when kids still actually did things besides sit on their computers.

But I still – for some reason – thought that when we got out of high school those things wouldn’t be appetizing. Suddenly I would be transformed into an adult. I would crave baby arugula and spinach salad with roasted pine nuts, organic heirloom tomatoes and just a hint of basalmic vinegarette. I would look at imitation chicken and squeal with delight. Soda would instantly be disgusting.

It’s quite the contrary, though. Nachos and pizza still sound tasty to me over baby arugula any day. And let me tell you something about balsalmic vinegarette: it tastes like licking the inside of my husband’s asshole. The only reason we say those things are tasty in our 30s is to make us feel better about the fact that we can’t eat nachos and pizza and pizza dipped in nacho cheese all the time without gaining weight anymore.

#3 Clearasil Remains In The Medicine Cabinet

When exactly do breakouts stop? I’m just wondering, because in my 30s I expected to stop getting a huge zit on my forehead before date night. And yet it happens. All the time.

#4 Everyone’s Still All Judge-y

Yesterday I posted about that “Dear Mom On the iPhone” thing that was going around Facebook, which made me think a lot about how judgmental we are in our 30s.

In high school, I could not wait to get out because it meant life would cease to be about worrying constantly what others thought. Anyone that says they weren’t self-conscious in high school is a total jerk, and a liar to boot. There were cliques in high school. We were all trying to find our places in the world, and define ourselves beyond what our parents told us to be. And bullies were everywhere. We didn’t have anti-bully campaigns to protect us, either.

It’s all the same in our 30s, though. Sometimes we’re judging each other for the same things – weight, height, boob size. Other times it’s a little different, like about our parenting style, our lifestyle choices, and whether or not our weddings/bridal showers/baby showers/homes/living situations are ghetto.

Don’t get me wrong. There are definitely ways in which things have changed. For one, it’s no longer a scandal when someone announces they are pregnant. That lasted for a little bit into our 20s and then it became the norm. Now it’s almost scandalous for people to not be having babies. Princess temper tantrums don’t go over too well anymore either, unless you are a bridezilla.

But above and beyond all that change is the sense that nothing ever really will. Maybe it’s because we still feel young – we still feel like teenagers, trying to craft an existence of our own in a world that is terribly confusing and ever-changing. Or perhaps the real truth is that high school was our grand entrance into the real world. That it didn’t happen anytime after high school, but rather while we were there. What a terrifying thought that is.

Is it just me, or are people taking themselves too seriously these days?

We went to Target today. I had to get some of those Clorox bleach wipe things, some of those toilet flusher things, and deodorant. Don’t want my pits to smell bad.

So we went to the “fancy” Target. It isn’t really fancy, actually. It’s in the ghetto-est town in our county, probably the ghetto-est town in the state. I feared for my life the entire time we were there too because I realized I was wearing my White Sox shirt, which happens to be what all the local gang members wear to represent their South-Oxnard drug and killing hood. It’s the “fancy” Target, though, because it has a parking garage and is brand new.

I don’t really know why I call it fancy.

Anyway, we were at the fancy Target and got our items, plus a couple of impulse buys. I spent a buck on an ICEE, which prevented any requests for toys. It was pretty in-and-out. As we left, though, we got in the car; I started the car; and, I went to back up, when a woman walked behind my car with a cart. Okay, no big deal. I didn’t even start to move because I was looking and I waited.

But that bitch stopped her cart behind my car, took her things out, got in her car, and pulled out in a hurry; her cart still sitting behind my car.

Clearly she was taking herself so seriously that she thought she was the only person in the parking lot – or the world for that matter – that was important.

Maybe it’s because I live in California. The land of dramatics. The land of the fruits and nuts and people that think everything they are doing was a part of some sort of predestined-I-am-the-center-of-the-universe plan. But really, it seems like people are taking themselves too seriously these days.

On the Internet

Take Freshly Pressed – WordPress’s daily list of blogs they deemed “cream of the crop”. Every time I scroll through it, it’s filled with all sorts of blogs on dramatics about cross-cultural issues and pithy commentaries on finding inner-peace. Or recipes. Or Blog a Day, which is assigned by WordPress and always particularly pretentious. Earlier this week they assigned people to post photo blogs depicting the word “solitary.” If you look at them now, there are thousands of posts where people have taken these terribly narcissistic photographs of themselves looking longingly into the unknown ahead.

Give me a break. Life is not that afflictive.

Or what about whenever people post things on Facebook these days? They always seem to be about women’s issues or cancer fundraising. Don’t get me wrong, those things are important, but can anyone feel lighthearted at all anymore? Someone once shamed me because everything I posted on Facebook was not about a serious, political issue. Really? Has everyone lost their ability to look at things humorously? Everyone seems to be so busy out saving the world – either by running a marathon, working at Starbucks, or creating political memes – that they seem to have lost any idea of what it means to relax and enjoy life once in a while.

In Person

Look at people we all know, in our daily lives. We all have that one person that never smiles. We all have that one person that never watches funny movies, or never laughs when you tell a joke.

My husband is one I can point to that takes himself way too seriously. When he talks at home, or on the phone to me, he sounds normal. He sounds relaxed. But whenever he talks to someone at work he takes an air of serious superiority. Everything is life or death.

Did I mention he works in video editing? There is nothing life or death about it. They do fucking music videos, baby shows, and Disney-type promos. iCarly is not and never will save the world. Snoop Dogg’s story may be interesting, but it most certainly is not do-or-die.

Even When Serious Is the Last Thing We Should Be

I was thinking of this the other day when I saw the Facebook update of the brother of a friend I used to work with. He had posted some photos from his birthday weekend and when I scrolled through them, in every single one of them he was in, he had this dry, I’ve-got-deep-thoughts-going-on look on his face. Did he really have deep thoughts going on? Do any of us? It was his birthday, for Christ’s sakes. Enjoy it!

Maybe if we stopped taking everything we did so seriously, we’d have to face some cold, hard facts. One of them is that we cannot save the world. Another is that we are not enjoying life if we never laugh. The most important is that we aren’t the only people in the world.

It isn’t immature to relax and have fun. And perhaps it is the people that have thought the deepest that know there is not much of a point to being so serious anyway. The lady at the fancy Target that left her cart behind my car was so rude. But she also was just taking herself too seriously. She really thinks her life is so important that she can’t have even the most basic sense of common courtesy. I feel bad for a person like that who cannot take even a moment to look around and laugh.

If You Like Reading About Balls…

… well then you should consider reading my dad’s new blog.

He writes about all kinds of balls, actually. Not the kind I’ve implied here, though – the less horrifying ones. Baseballs. Footballs. Basketballs. Tennis balls. You get my drift.

If any of you faithful blog followers have read my About Me page, you know that my father is something of an academic writer that raised me to value education and strive to be a writer. Some of my most remembered experiences growing up were of going to basketball games with him in the dead of winter, of sitting in the locker rooms with my eyes covered while the players talked about sports, music, and women; of being known by the football coaches he interviewed so well they knew exactly what I’d want at Christmas time. Since his days as a part time sports writer, my dad has published four books on all things (sports) balls. He’s working on two more as I write this.

So the other thing I learned from my dad was to be brutally honest; to be blunt. It’s why snark drips from the words that come out of my mouth. And why I started blogging. It was only a matter of time, really, until he decided to blog himself – especially since he cannot write his opinions in the terribly long and somewhat specialized sports history topics he writes journals and books on.

While he writes primarily history now in his retirement, his blog is going to be devoted to mostly current issues in every arena of sports he has something to say about. In the vein of the b(itch), his first blog post coming tomorrow will be to vent on the issue of bowl games.

Check out his website The Schmidt Sports Corner and make sure to “fan” him on Facebook too.

Now … back to my usual crassness, for your daily helping of pig balls:

Please Fix Me

I’m going to get uncharacteristically serious for a moment here.

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Of course, my title is facetious. I don’t want anyone to fix me. It isn’t that I think there to be absolutely nothing wrong with me – I have a little too much poundage in my ass, drink way too much Diet Coke, and am probably depressed. But anything in my life that I want to or am ready to make changes on, I do so to better myself – not to fix a damn thing.

I might be getting ahead of myself again. 

A few weeks ago I was at a book club meeting and talking to a new member about homeschooling. She’s a teacher and – while she acknowledged that it sounds like we are at least a year to a year-and-a-half ahead of state standards (which we are), she still felt it her duty to “fix” the situation and urge me to get back on board with compulsory schools. Not only was this typical of most Californians (butting their noses in where it does not belong), but this complete stranger took the stance as if she had a right to “fix” our situation – implying there was something wrong.

There is nothing wrong with the homeschooling I do. There is also nothing wrong with the poundage in my ass or the amount of Diet Coke I drink. 

After New Years, I realized that resolutions are just that – an attempt to fix who we are, as if deep down inside we are ultimately wrong. Objectively, I am sure there is a lot that could be considered wrong. I’m sure the poundage in my ass is wrong by certain standards. The Diet Coke I drink is wrong because it is rooted in my addiction to caffeine. All the overindulgence people did at the Super Bowl was wrong by a whole host of standards too. But in some sense, if this is who we are, why are we always trying to fix ourselves?

My point, here, is that you only fix something that is bad or wrong. Perhaps the most egregious thing we do is talk endlessly about what is wrong with what we do. While I believe there is a balance to be had – people should not overindulge, binge, do drugs, harm others, etc., saying that we need to fix who we are is no better than the things we do that make us that to begin with. 

In other words, our language is all screwy again. If someone wants to make a positive change in their life – eat healthier, lose weight, seek out a new job opportunity, etc – we should not be referring to it as “fixing” anything. Fixing implies there is a problem, and to claim that who we are is a problem is perhaps the greatest error we make. 

More importantly, we should stop trying to fix each other. Stop trying to shove our ideologies down other people’s throats. Stop trying to overwhelm people with skewed statistics, irrelevant commentaries, and unsolicited advice. At the end of the day, the only one that is accountable for decisions made, and the only one that has to live the life that is being lived, is the individual. Everyone else should just butt out.

For one day, rather than looking at ourselves as things that need to be fixed, we should all try to reflect on what we like about our lives and who we are. If there are things we don’t like, well then make positive changes. But life isn’t about what other people say or what other people want. The only thing that really needs fixing is this attitude that life is about anyone other than ourselves.

And with that, I’m done being serious. Back to talking about hillbillies and hipsters, sluts and blow jobs in nail salons. This is something my family always says I should fix too, by the way – my foul language, my humor, my crassness. Is there really anything wrong with that, though? Laughing at absurdity and saying things for what they are, rather than what they are not? It seems sometimes the things we think need fixing are really the things that keep us sane. In a world of chaos, judgment, drama, and pain, sometimes it is the things that we try to fix that are what keep us afloat.