Are you ready to take the first step toward a happier, more productive life? This week, I did. I'll share with you how it happened and what I learned in hopes that you can take some advice, or maybe even some solace too. This week I met Glennon Doyle Melton. She is my Xanax, Ativan, and Klonpin. She's the amazing writer, blogger, and truth teller behind Momastery. As of yet, I've never needed anti-anxiety meds (knocking on wood right now), but normally feel like I do. I just haven't had the chance to bite the bullet. So, I don't have meds but I do have Momastery, my go-to anti-anxiety blog.
I own a bunch of businesses including 20 real estate offices, a law firm, coaching business, and a fashion empire. I love business. It makes sense to me. It's controllable. It's like working on a jigsaw puzzle. There are 1000 little pieces and if you study them long enough, you can make them fit together. I love building businesses. I always have, always will.
I am also a wife to Jay and mom to five year old Oshyn (pronounced Ocean). This is the part of life that doesn't come so easy. Marriage and motherhood are like working on a jigsaw puzzle too. There are 1000 little pieces and you can study them as much as you want, but none of them quite fit together. I was raised by an auto-mechanic dad and stay at home mom who did crafts with us and made us home cooked meals every night. My sister who is two years younger than me, well, she's Martha Stewart. Not really, but close to it. She organizes crafts and hobbies for her kids (and thankfully mine) for every holiday. She plans vacations, trips to the park, and she also makes those home cooked meals for her family every night. When I watch how well she takes care of her family, I don't wish that I could do that (like it seems I should), but rather I calculate the revenue she's losing by not launching a TV show, line of videos, or line of best-selling books teaching mortals like me how to do what she does. What the hell is wrong with me?
Sometimes I feel like I live a lie. People only get to see what's happening on the outside. When it comes to business, I have a knack for growing the biggest and best. At a recent women's breakfast I hosted featuring Glennon Doyle Melton I had women coming up to me saying, "You inspire me! You are amazing!" All I could think to myself is, "Oh Jesus...I'm a hot mess! Please do not have me as your role model!" The truth is, I needed Glennon in my life right now because too often women ask me, "How do you do it all?" And, 100% of the time I smile and give a canned answer, perpetuating the lie that I have my shit together. In reality, if you peel back the onion, my life is kind of a shit-show. I needed Glennon because her message is honest and truthful. Her message is that life is hard, messy, and uncompromising. Nobody's got an easy one, but rather we each live within varying degrees of difficulty. I needed Glennon because she shows us how to expose the truth. I also needed the 50 other women who attended the event with me because there's no better feeling in the world than exposing your real self and then realizing you weren't the only one hiding. These words make my heart sing: "You are not alone!"
So, there you have it.... I got a nice big dose of my Xanax, Glennon Doyle Melton this week. Before the feeling goes away I decided to bottle it up into a blog post. This is as much for me as it is for you. Here are the 5 lessons learned from my time with Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery.
Parenting vs. Being a Parent: I can't even tell you the number of times I feel like I am the worst mother in the world. It's daily. I love my kid more than anything on earth, but when it comes to being a parent, I constantly feel like a failure. Glennon said one of the best quotes I've ever needed to hear, "Loving your kid is very different than loving being a parent." As much as I love the little being who is Oshyn, I can't say that I always love that a big chunk of my life has become watching cartoons, reading Golden Books, paint your own pottery, the zoo, Disney on Ice, Toys R' Us, and Rainforest Café. Realizing for the first time that there's a difference between loving parenting and loving your kid was monumental enough. The cherry on top was realizing that I'm not alone in not always loving the job at hand.
The Real Job: Any success I've had in life thus far can be attributed to the fact that I am really good at figuring out how to get what I want. I didn't arrive on this earth as a child of wealthy parents. I grew up in a modest home in a suburb outside of Boston. I had a great life, just not a wealthy life. As a kid, you want everything; the hottest toy, doll, or video game. As an adult, you finally realize that the best parts of you are derived from all the stuff you didn't have. And that's the tough part of being a parent. The easy thing to do is to buy the toy, the doll, or the video game. It's easy to give-in when you have the money to do so, but there's this little gnawing voice in the back of your head saying, "Big Mistake! You are screwing your kid up by buying that!!" Glennon talked a lot about our jobs as parents. As she explains it, it's not about protecting our kids from pain, but showing our kids how to walk through it. It's about showing them that they are resilient and can walk through fear and hurt. Parenthood is not about giving your kids everything, but rather about teaching them how to cope with everything. It's about helping them manage feelings and emotions, seeing through bullshit (like memes that suggest that beauty is on the outside), and helping them realize that what they don't have is sometimes as much as a blessing as what they do.
Sistering: Glennon talked about the word sistering as it applies to the construction field. When structural strengthening is needed for a support beam in a house, sistering is used. This is where strong joists are put up alongside the weak joists in order to help hold up the structure. Sistering is needed in construction and in life. I've always had strong relationships with girlfriends. Some are very much like sisters. They know every part of me. They are the ones who hold me up when it feels like the world is falling apart. Glennon is the one who put a word to it. Sistering is all about knowing when you need support to hold up your world, and taking it. It's also about supporting others and holding them up when they need it.
Doing the Hard Stuff: One guest of the program asked Glennon any advice she had to help her achieve her personal dream of writing a book. Glennon explained that when you have a dream of doing something like starting a business or writing a book, we often concentrate on how we will feel once we achieve it. This makes it really difficult to do the hard stuff, and there's always hard stuff involved. Glennon noted that writing a book is hard work, unsexy, and often brutal. She said it's not so much about the feeling of glory once it's done, it's about figuring out a way to get your butt in the seat, in front of a blank screen, and writing, even when there are a million other things you would rather be doing.
Living the Truth: Glennon has built a massive community and following around her blog, Momastery and her book, Carry On, Warrior. She's built her community around telling the truth because we live in a world where it is hard to find it. As she says, sometimes the biggest gift we can offer one another is the truth. Maybe instead of letting other women think that you live an organized, privileged, exciting life....tell them the truth. Let them know that life is hard for you too. That you feel unworthy when it comes to being a mom and wife. It's ok to let the world know your house is a mess, you're fighting with your husband, and that there are days you hate your work so much, you can barely find it in you to get out of bed. There's a lot to be said for letting fellow sisters into your real world, because 99% of what we see isn't real at all, and if we all keep working towards attaining something that doesn't really exist then we all are doing a disservice to one another.
My time with Glennon was invaluable because it was raw, real, and unedited...just like she is. It's refreshing to hear the truth because it is during these rare glimpses of reality in which I feel totally adequate. It feels good to feel, even just for a moment, that everything I am is totally enough.
This blog is for RD. May we all work just a little bit harder at sistering even if we aren't sure we are needed...because the truth is everyone needs more sisters. And, may we all work harder at exposing the truth that is ourselves if not for ourselves then for our sisters who have not yet realized that they aren't fucked up at all, the world is...and that they are, at their messy, beautiful, core...amazing.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place