FU Resolutions

Happy New Year folks! So as I kick off this brand spanking new year I’m thinking wow, did I ever drop the blog ball in 2018. Well I think I dropped many balls, but that sounds dirty so continuing on…

Yuckily there were many reasons it sucked, my mom’s health deteriorated immensely, dealing with her mortality and the future can be super hard and life altering on a magnitude I can’t even describe. Subsequently my own mental health was in the crapper because of it, awesome. I struggled with body issues, financial roadblocks, a few addictions, lack of motivation, lack of inspiration, lack of self worth, I mean, you get the picture of the lovely multi-fecta of crappiness. 

I stopped writing, quit guitar lessons, ended my running routines which was in part due to terrible knees so a little out of my control, and I lacked any sort of motivation to overachieve at my job. Most yucky was the declining health of Clifford the wonder dog, Freshly Hatcheds’ most valued employee. I mean look at this stud…

So yeah, I’m really happy to say fuck you 2018, let’s try this again.

Which is the perfect segue into my actual point here which is that because all these gross things culminated my yuck year, I began to get sucked into the resolution train wreck. The pressure to organize and plan and work out and get my life on track was yelling at me every time I opened a social media hub. I mean, it’s great to have goals, good on you, but let’s be absolutely clear here people, resolutions are the fucking worst.

The WORST.

No wait, the FUCKING WORST.

The January dieters, which (side note) produced a fantastic quote from an over packed salad bar in NY that I will always think fondly of:

“You guys can go f–k yourselves!” one very hangry businessman in a Patagonia puffer vest was overheard telling his colleagues at lunchtime on Thursday, as he ditched the 100-plus-long line at Chopt on West 51st Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

For the full article: https://nypost.com/2019/01/03/lines-for-salads-out-of-control-after-eat-healthy-resolutions/

The pop up ads for gyms, meal plans, 30 day get fit guides, fat burning shakes, sobriety month (this is most vexing), the purging of your possessions, organizing your house, excelling at your job, the excessive goal setting that basically means your current life is shit. It’s a jungle out there people and very easy to get sucked into. Believe me, I get sucked in ALL THE TIME.

Opening Facebook on January 1 is like sticking your tongue to a pole in the winter. It’s awful, it’s painful and yet I can’t tear myself away. All the barfy #blessed moments, the beautiful family pics that make you ponder whether your own kids are demonic entities because they will never smile like a normal human being or wear clothes that do not make them look homeless. 

It’s exhausting and frankly I’m so over it. 

Oh and let’s not get started on all the amazing ‘activities’ people accomplished over the holidays: the skating under the stars, the ski trips, the super fun excursions to the ROM or the aquarium. 

For the record, I took my kids to the AGO and it wasn’t a total loss but let me be very clear that it would have been a hell of a lot more fun without having to promise the guard that yes they will stop touching the paintings, and apologizing to the patrons when your kids continually yell BUTT and BOOBS in a fit of laughter each time they see a nude sculpture. 

And then there are the people who posted shots of themselves running or working out on New Years Day. Hold up folks. Stop. Just stop. The rest of us are hungover and grumpy and do not need to read that you ran 10k. Like good for you but moving forward let’s keep it on the DL on the most sacred of hungover days.

So at the end of all of this, I did set a goal. Yes, I know, the blasphemy! I set the goal of chilling the fuck out. If I want to eat a brownie for breakfast, I will. If I want to do yoga, I will. If I notice that my dress size is inching up a little, I’ll buy a new dress. Now I know this is easier said then done, but in those moments that I doubt myself, or my self worth, I’m going to remind myself that I am actually old now and therefore I can do whatever the fuck I want. Boom.

Kids Birthdays Suck

I know, I’m horrible.

But let me plead my case…

I hate kid birthday’s for so many reasons (my own is even one that I abhor but that is a whole other post):

  1. I hate other kids parties that are like an hour away in solitary industrial parks that you have to wait around for 2 hours at a Starbucks while your own kid goes bananas resulting in this exclamation: OH WOW A TRAMPOLINE PARTY, I WANT MY BIRTHDAY HERE! PLEASE MOM! But then I realize it costs like 350 bucks for 10 kids to jump for an hour plus cakes and gifts and this little party turns into half a grand. Gross.
  2. I also hate the fact that both my kids have birthdays 3 weeks apart. I mean, normally I like party planning but this is a bit of the muchness. I can’t even enjoy the food because I’m saddled down with cake from Wrens soiree, then Halloween hits and I’m like ingesting 7000 candy bars, and then Finn’s cake #2 and I’m like there is no way to stay on target for calories now because Christmas is right around the corner, so basically I eat crap for 3 months and gain 15 pounds.
  3. I hate the guilt. I would love to throw my kids a party at home, but I literally can’t. My house is small, like teeny. Like 1100 square feet wee with no big basement or living space that kids can run amok in. I’d throw them outside but both birth dates are end of October and beginning of November so like, outdoor fun is never to be counted upon. So my house is shit.
  4. Oh and let’s not discuss fucking Pinterest in which we see photos of amazing cakes and parties that look professionally catered and decorated. It’s like hello mom, you suck if you can’t get your cake to look like mine, I mean, it was SO EASY. Easy my ass. I attempted Pinterest cakes in the past. Shall I share the lego cake disaster of 2017 once more?

All of this leaves a terrible taste in my mouth. I hate that even as I write this, I still feel massive guilt over never having a large party for my kids. They don’t particularly seem to mind but perhaps in 20 years their therapist will be tsking her judgement over my neglect.

So as we approach the first one of 2018, Wrens 7th, I have been told by my husband this morning that KIDS LOVE PARTIES WITH LOTS OF MAYHEM AND GIFTS AND I NEED TO SUCK IT UP. Ok fine, I get it. But at what price? Upon researching a few things, I realize my bill begins at 225 bucks as stated previously which means I’ll be forking out about 500 bucks per kid assuming these venues aren’t booked yet, which let’s be honest, I’m late as it is. Parents are so on the ball these days it leaves me to wonder what kind of social life they lead themselves to have booked a kids party months in advance.

I barely know what I’m doing next weekend.

I also want to add that while I conceded to this big party for little Wren, she can only come up with one name of one girl in her class that she wants to invite. Exclusive much Wren? Finn came up with a few more, but really, they seem to want only the few kids I’ve invited in the past which leads me to think maybe I should just have an afternoon gathering in my kitchen where the wine is at least plentiful. I’ve suggested combining the two parties at one venue but the looks of disgust were enough to leave that idea to die.

My brilliant (or so I thought) suggestion was to ditch the birthdays and take the kids to the city for a weekend getaway. Get a hotel with a pool, eat at a nice place of their choice, head over to the aquarium and maybe the ROM but it has been kiboshed. Jerks.

Oh and also, I have to deal with my husband who seems to know what a 7 year old girl would like to do. I know my daughter, she likes art and music and princesses, much to his chagrin. I suggested an art venue in which the kids make unicorn crafts but nope, husband is like BORING. They need to play dodgeball and run around screaming and tackling each other. What is wrong with a nice quiet creative venue in which they kids make pretty collages? As a kid, I would be so into that and so would my daughter. But, again, I digress.

I fecking hate birthdays.

So as I leave this post, I’m still annoyed, but feel marginally better for professing my ire about these ‘over the top’, expensive as shit afternoons that make Christmas look fun after it’s all said and done. And those who know me, understand how loaded that statement is.

I hate Christmas too.

Kelly the Grinch, out.

My Month Of (BARF) Sobriety

So this happened.

You may or may not have known but here’s the deal. The reasons behind it are plenty. The reasons I’m trying to stick to it are MANY. But I won’t bore you with the boring. I’m going to talk about the ‘what the hell was that like?’. I don’t know many people who don’t partake of the weekly imbibe or 14, myself included (x 20). So my fears were great on what the hell would this be like. Being sober at a party? At a cottage weekend? On a Wednesday, I mean, who does this? More accurately, who in my circle of friends would ever do this and how would I explain my reasons without sounding like a Debbie Downer? But again, I’m going to focus the blog on the ‘how the shit did you do it and what the fuck happened?’

So first off, wow, the clarity. Man I needed some and boy did I get it. Many things were suffering from my drinking, my relationship (HUGELY), my kids (YUP), my work (DEFINITELY)… So yes all the obvious things. But less obvious was the creativity, the snuffed humour, the ability to get anything done at all, and also my tolerance for annoying things.

Starting with creativity, wow, what a difference. I found myself drawing again, I started to knit (I know right!), I was invested in my holiday decorating (and trying to be festive – which is still a work in progress), and I rocked a huge DIY for my friends’ wonder woman party. I had ideas, I had inspiration but mostly I had drive. I wasn’t hungover all the time and I actually remembered why I used to draw. Why I used to paint. I felt massive guilt recalling my art professor who told me to never give it up, and I completely did.

My constant amazing drunken stupor was hilarious in the moment, but the post day hangover made me angry and miserable. Suddenly I craved laughter. It had been so long since I felt creatively funny, if that makes sense. Instead of hiding in my room at night reading, I couldn’t wait until Troy came home and we could take the piss together. The jokes came 10 fold and our relationship was so much fun again.

Next was the dreaded to-do list. I found myself proactively doing things without moaning and bellyaching about it. I actually left the house to run errands. I even spoke to a few people! Even though that part I still loathe…

I was pumped to do shit. Let’s paint something! Let’s finally clean our closets! Let’s finish Stranger Things! I was on fire.

Ok so that all being said there are CONS. Big ones. BIG ONES.

I was obsessively worried about how I would interact with people at a gathering and I won’t lie, it sort of sucks. Ok it doesn’t fully suck, but it’s still really hard. GOD I missed the drunken kitchen dance party last weekend at the cottage. Grooving with Marie at her anniversary bash sloshing my vodka everywhere but knowing without out a doubt that I am an amazing dancer (this might end up being a positive…). I also thought (truthfully) that if I stay sober, for sure I’ll be booted from my ball team. I realize now they need me for the graphic design skills, so at least I have that in :)

But the positivity over it, has been really awesome. I guess having a DD is good, and someone to get up with the kids, or not having to deal with my crippling anxiety when I’m hungover is a grand thing too. Ok but fuck that, I have more negatives.

I miss the hilarity that alcohol infuses with ALL conversations. I can’t lie, I shed a couple of tears when I went to bed last weekend, hearing the loud sing-alongs to 80’s hair bands occurring in the kitchen cottage. The fun we have is great and alcohol intensifies that immensely. Drunken camaraderie is the best. I missed it so much.

But regardless, I remained in the moment and instead listened a little more, paid attention to other people’s stories and fuck yeah I KICKED ASS at cards against humanity.

Oh and the remembering – YES THE REMEMBERING! I woke up with perfect recall of the night before. It was great! What was better was the second time I heard all the conversations Saturday morning that I heard in length about Friday night.

But back to the CONS. Cooking and not having red wine SUCKS ASS.

Afternoon drinks, I realize, is my favourite time to partake and that sucked too. No beers around the campfire, no champagne cocktails on Sunday afternoon, no RED WINE. Yes it sort of BLOWS.

I also thought that I would be rich when I wasn’t spending like hundreds (I won’t give an actual amount, you might barf) a month on booze, but instead Christmas is happening and I’m buying way more gifts then normal and tucking in a few Kelly items too cause WTF, I’m not drinking, I need new stuff to compensate for my loss.

Also, recall all those convo’s you’ve had while blitzed about going sober with your friends: ‘IMAGINE IF WE QUIT BOOZE HOW SKINNY WE WOULD BE? SHIT YEAH!’

I’ll let you in on the truth. It’s is a LIE. I haven’t lost a pound, NOT ONE. So all of you out there who think it’s easy weight loss, just have another drink and fuck it.

So this all being said, a month is over. I haven’t probably gone a month without booze in like, I don’t know, since I was 18? Or pregnant, and that was misery. So I’m not sure what will happen going forward. I can’t fathom a booze free holiday, or even a booze free weekend (I love Fridays and want to desperately have wine with Nicole tomorrow, but that being said, this month was great. This month was awful. This month was eye opening. But mostly, this month was needed.

Happy Happy Hour!

The Kids Are Winning

My beasts are great. I mean, I love them, but the time has come that they have finally revolted against the matriarch. I’d like to say I had no hand in that, however, I recall in perfect clarity a conversation from this summer when I basically told Finn he would do better in life by getting along with his sister; to attach to her coattails of crazy ideas and enjoy the ride.

So yes, it was bound to happen. They have finally bonded and now it is us against THEM.

They used to be mortal enemies. Finn has always been jealous of his younger sister and Wren has always been, oh how should I put it…basically zero fucks given. They have been like oil and vinegar since birth, each displaying an equal level of asshole-ishness to each other. It would start as soon as they got home from school, arguments over which show to watch, which toy Wren stole, what jerky thing Finn said in a whisper to his sister (I WISH YOU WOULD DIIIIIIEEEEEEEE). It made me insane…drink a lot of red wine.

But now…NOW…they like each other. Now they provide equal amounts of eye rolls when I ask them to do something. They feed off each other, trying to out do the ‘joke’, or lewd act they think is hilarious. Wren has taken to farting every 4 seconds because it puts Finn in a permanent fit of laughter. I won’t admit what Finn does for attention, but let’s just say it isn’t gentlemanly.

When I need them to get ready for school, typically they are unable to complete the most basic of tasks. Brushing teeth together results in constant twerking, toothpaste spits on the mirror, water like EVERYWHERE, and after about 15 minutes of this, neither is any closer to being ready.

No longer do my ‘strikes’ instil fear. Currently, when mom is pissed, they look at one another and laugh their asses off. They now share whispered conversations, plotting ways to get around my rules. They wrestle, they scream, they get absofuckinglutely nothing done unless I separate them with a locked door and even then they yell jokes and fart noises through the wood slab to garner one last giggle.

Troy told me last night that in order to raise a strong girl, you should raise a funny girl and I do agree with this completely. After all, I spent my whole life trying to make people laugh. Humour is my communicator, it is everything I value most in this crazy and depressing world. If you lose your sense of humour – my god, that would be the end for me. So while I am happy that my kids are loving life and Wren is becoming the court jester (aka asshole), I realize that this union between the two is the final nail in my control coffin. It will only get worse because they know how to manipulate me and they know how to win.

Sarcasm has already made it’s timely presence with Finn, which he nails 90% of the time, and once Wren gets that skill, well, it’s over for Troy and I. Which brings me to my solution. Well, not quite a solution, but our way to one up the kids because we will fight as parents to be smarter and better then the beasts we create. A favourite Hogan tradition is fast approaching next week, Oct 30th is Halloween prank day in our house. A day we pour red coloured milk, sew arm holes together in shirts, tape water spouts in the bathroom (I’m proud to say that Finn nailed that gaga), and try to one up each other. So prepare yourselves children, prank day is coming and you guys aren’t the only ones who can plot sweet revenge. Beware the zero fucks given PARENTS.

To Be Fearless

I struggled with posting this…it’s super personal so maybe I ought to keep it in my journal and locked away. But I feel so fucking tired and maybe a rant is what it needs to become. With all the terrible things I read on social media, it is more important than ever to be open and at least start a conversation. A conversation on fear, self doubt, and even assault. A conversation that some day I will have with my daughter because I don’t want her to face the walls that I have stood in front of with no way to climb over them.

This morning Wren had a nightmare, crawled into bed with me, and immediately fell into a deep and peaceful sleep within seconds. I watched her and thought to myself, imagine being a 5 year old with zero fucks given about the world they live in besides eating copious amounts of cereal and watching Spongebob? Imagine being a fearless adult woman?

Wren has that personality that people notice…

Bold
Crazy
Fun
Wild
Strong willed (stubborn as shit)
And fearless

I think about her and myself and how different we are, well in some ways, but according to my mom I was exactly like her once. Covered in dirt at the park, wild hair, chugging down gravel driveways on my knees or plunging down hills in my yellow egg which in hindsight most definitely wasn’t safe.

Once upon a time I was Just. Like. Her.

So I think to myself, when did I cease to be that way? When did social anxiety, self consciousness, panic attacks jump on board to ruin that amazing view at life? I definitely didn’t have fear in grade 4 when I decided I didn’t have to go to school anymore, recruited a bunch of cronies from the school yard to ‘fake’ going to school and then run over to my house to play records and dress up all day long. It all went awesome until the school called my dad and asked him where I had been all week.

I ran a parallel with Wren who in kindergarten led a bunch of kids on a hunt for an unlocked door in order to free themselves into the world! Or at least to go play in the big yard with the big kids. Later she realized that sneaking on her own under the fence was much more conducive in her success at never getting caught.

I think it started around grade 5 when my teachers thought it was an excellent and fun idea to drag me in front of the entire school to measure my gapping height as the tallest student in elementary. Nothing says awkward like watching your peers snicker in awe at your beastly body covered in stretch marks because I grew tall so fast.

It definitely festered in academia, when I got the highest award for my Halloween story in 6th grade, the winner was to be published in the paper, and I still clearly recall being so proud of it, so excited for it. But even though I had the best mark, my teacher teased me, pulled me aside and said it was never going to happen because it was too ‘graphic’. So they published a lesser story and he told me to tone it down next time.

I even recall my 8th grade history teacher who called me out in front of the whole class for getting a 100%, and why couldn’t all the other kids be like me. As per normal pre-pubescent a-holes, I was then labeled the ‘nerd’ and ostracized to the point of deliberately submitting wrong answers so I wouldn’t be the best anymore. When I look back on it, I am so angry with myself for succumbing to that fear but when you are that young, and at a new school and desperate to make friends, being smart isn’t always priority #1.

Brains aside, around that age I became painfully aware of my body. In hindsight, I was not a huge girl, but I wasn’t skinny and I felt so much shame for myself. I purposely avoided all sports and abhorred gym class which then steamrolled into my hatred of food. As a teenager I starved myself, then prayed that I could just start bulimia which would be so much easier then limiting myself. I went on every stupid diet I could, but even when I was at my skinniest, I didn’t like what I saw. I looked tired and still felt utterly ugly.

It’s been 30 years and I still have a fear of food. Some weeks are better then others and I know the way I see things isn’t right. I know I can’t breathe a word of it in front of Wren. I know it’s wrong, but like an addiction, I can’t help myself. My husband can tell me I’m lovely and I’ll say thank you, but I’ll never fully believe it.

Jumping into my 20’s I started to come into my personality, figuring out who I was, and my sexuality came into play. Maybe I could be fearless once again. I started to date, I began to feel pretty…and then I was sexually assaulted.

And even as I write that line, I don’t fully believe it was not my fault. I still think, well, maybe if I hadn’t done this, or said that, or acted like that, then maybe it wouldn’t have happened. It caused me to fear sex, to hate it, to hate my body and nearly ruined my relationship with my now husband. I hated myself as self doubt and social anxiety grabbed me by the throat. I don’t talk about it, I doubt if my family even knows about it, but it happened and it has shaped my fears and is relevant to this story.

In my 30’s, the joyous panic attacks began. Debilitating anxiety that over took me whenever I left the house. I started working for myself, hated to talk on the phone, disliked large crowds, avoided large group activities, definitely no sports for me. My comfort zone became my whole life and when I left it, I struggled.

To this day, heading to a hotel or for a vacation will always result in panic attacks and anxiety that leave me exhausted and angry. Even this past weekend, sharing a cottage, close to home, with people I consider family had me jumping up on Sunday with a fight or flight mentality. I needed to get up and launch myself into the car before my brain took over and made me sick.

You might never have seen this side of me or you might have seen too much of this side of me. I try to suck it up as best I can. I don’t want to moan and complain. I don’t want to be Debbie Downer. I hate that these things loom around me. I see women that I admire, I see my daughter and how I want to be the best teacher for her. I don’t like being these things, but they are what I am. I want to be bold, and creative and jump into things feet first, but I also believe that in order to be fearless you have to be honest, which can be the most terrifying thing of all.