You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Life lessons’ category.

I know you’ve been waiting a long time for me to write a new post, so let me get right to it. In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d give moms everywhere what they’ve been hoping for all year–unsolicited advice from a complete stranger.

Here are my quick answers to the most pressing questions new moms often have:

How to make your kids smart. Place them in front of the TV at least 8 hours a day. If that doesn’t work, give them a double dose and restrict all outside activity.

How to potty train. The age at which your child is potty trained is a direct reflection of your IQ. If anyone tells you different, they are lying (and probably stupid). Bribery and shame are both excellent tactics.

How to deal with a sick child. Contrary to popular belief, kids are rarely really sick. Often they feign fevers and vomiting as a ploy to get you stay home from work. Pump them up with drugs and then send them off to daycare/school. Do not stay home from work under any circumstances.

When to call the doctor. Never. You are always overreacting.

How to balance work and home. When your child complains they never see you, make sure to tell them that they will always come second.

How to pay for a kid. Everyone knows that the more money you throw at a kid, the better they turn out. Do not shop for bargains, do not clip coupons and NEVER buy generic. Do mortgage the house to pay for private school and max your credit cards to pay for iPads and designer jeans.

Mother Shaffer has been giving unfounded parenting advice for a while now. Since she has one child of her own, she needs no other qualification in order to spew complete rubbish. If you would like to receive a personal response to your parenting issue(s) from Mother Shaffer, please ask your questions in the comments.

 

Mt. Monadnock

 

Dear Mother Shaffer,

In case you forgot, you haven’t been to the gym in over a year.  Maybe longer.  And no, walking the dog once a week around the neighborhood does not constitute sufficient aerobic exercise. Neither does running up the stairs in your home once a day.

So, the next time you think you can climb a mountain 2 hours to the top and another 2 hours to the bottom at a moment’s notice–think again.

You are out of shape. You can’t suddenly get in shape on the day you decide to hike with the family. In fact, you may very well die if you do it that way. Or wet yourself. Or fall on your face. Or cry like a baby. Did you even read the sign??!!

Remember how your heart felt like it was going to pound out of your chest about 1/2 hour into the 2 hour assent? And your daughter gave you that “what’s your problem?” look because she just couldn’t fathom anyone getting winded that quickly?

Well, I’m writing this note so you don’t forget it. So you’ll get off your ass and go for a run once in a while. Or maybe a gym. Or something. So we don’t have to re-live this embarrassment again.

Sincerely,

The smarter, healthier, better version of you

Isn't he precious? So wierd that he grew up and gunned down 5 classmates.

Looking at the calendar, you may not be surprised to find that we are largely a nation that celebrates birthdays and victories–moments in time when we are at our best. Or at least, moments we can be proud of.

What we don’t celebrate is our lowest hours, our failures and dark moments that define how we think and act towards others.  Rarely do we put a spotlight on moments we should be ashamed of.

Maybe it’s about time we did. Read the rest of this entry »

Idiots Rule!

You know what this country needs? More idiots in the spotlight.

Maybe I’m just sick and tired of all the logical and thoughtful banter I’ve been hearing on NPR lately. But you know educated debate is BORING. We Americans need entertainment. We don’t need to learn about foreign affairs or other cultures or history or any of that kind of crap.

No sir. We need to give more people like  Pastor Terry Jones a voice.  Because nothing says news like a pathetic wacko with a heap of hatred for a religion with one major fault–it’s not his. Read the rest of this entry »

Enbrel injection

Good times

I wrote this a few months ago when I was feeling like shit. And for some reason, I was too proud to post it.

I’m better now and less proud, so I’m posting it to remind myself: this too shall pass.

As I’ve written about before (a couple times actually), I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis about nine years ago. I spent the first two of those years in a lot of pain and wondering what the hell was wrong with me.

While various doctors worked to find me an actual diagnosis, I popped a lot of pills that didn’t help my pain very much (nor did they have any narcotic effect, so they weren’t any fun either).  But they did do other weird things to my body–like making my hair fall out. And making me fat.

One doctor thought I had Lupus. Another RA. I picked the RA guy and he started me on Enbrel. Awesome, right? Well..

Enbrel isn’t a pill you can pop. It’s an injectable  medication. Which means, I got to mix my meds, fill a syringe and stab myself with a needle 2x a week. I got to keep a sharps container in my office closet. And I got to walk on an airplane with my needles in my carry on and my doctor’s note in my hand.

It was awesome.

Lucky for me, I actually got better. A lot better. I could walk again. I could chew food again. I could hold a book and I could even sign my name again. It was really awesome.

In the years that have passed since my two years of unbelievable agony, I have still had pain now and then. But nothing like it used to be. I haven’t taken Enbrel in years and my rheumatologist has declared me his first “cure” eva.

The rub?

I still have rheumatoid arthritis.

I’m tired a lot. My joints hurt a lot.

And no one knows.

No one can see it.

And I just deal. I just muddle through. And I get really annoyed and frustrated and even angry  sometimes.

And people probably just think I’m being a bitch. Or that I’m lazy.

But, I’m not really. I’m just in pain and I’m tired and I hurt.

And it sucks.

Kiss my ass

Hello everyone. Yes, apparently I decided to take the summer off from my blog. Can’t say that was by design or anything, but hey, you get what you pay for.

To catch you up on my life, it’s been a busy, yet uneventful summer. My daughter is 10 and is asking for a cell phone. My dog still follows me everywhere and eats the occasional shoe. And my husband longs to booze it up like we did when we were 20, but he mostly ends up having one drink and falling asleep.

All-in-all, our current lame-ass, boring life is a nice change from other times in our lives of late. I realize that every life has challenges and our bad times certainly could have been worse, but still–they totally sucked at the time.

Most recently, late 2007-late 2009 is what I now refer to as the era of Total Crazy Shit Happening. Read the rest of this entry »

Do not disturb

I’ll admit it–going to work every day can be hard. It can also be frustrating. Tedious. Painful. Annoying. Paralyzing. Stifling. And sometimes,  it’s even the last place on earth I want to be.

But lately, I’ve been taking steps to ensure my work is more like a little slice of heaven rather than hell on earth.

Can it be done? Follow my 5 steps to workplace bliss:

1. Perfect your fantasy world

When I sit at my computer for hours on end, when my eyes start to glaze over and everything on the screen is a blur…I like to take a few hours to stare at my Azul, beach-scene desktop background.

After a while, it really comes to life.

I could. I am. There.

2. Take a meeting

Don’t dread useless meetings anymore. When I go to a really important meeting with lots of important people, I pay careful attention for the first five minutes or so, but then I let my mind drift to somewhere. Else.

It’s like going to a whole other world. A happy place. I call it a meet-cation.

You’ll be begging to go to more meetings.

3. Turn workplace health hazards into a slacking-off opportunity.

I used to sit under two huge sky lights–yep, 8 hours of pure, natural, blinding light. Beating down on me. Just like at the beach. In fact, certain times of the day it got so bright that I couldn’t see my computer screen.

Did I complain? Nope! I just put up my feet, set up an umbrella and poured myself a cocktail while I waited for the earth to rotate.

4. Take more “coffee” breaks

The coffee break. That little moment of zen that I try to repeat at least three times daily. Sunshine in  a cup. And to make it extra special try adding a little spirit into the mix. Or a lot. Or just skip the coffee all together and go for the hard stuff straight up.

5. Wear inappropriate attire

Take “casual dress” to a whole new level. Bikini tops, daisy dukes, flip flops, giant sunglasses. The looks you’ll get walking down the corridors of the office can feel just like the ones you get when ogled by pedophiles at the beach. Go on. Give ’em a show.

Who needs surf, sand and sun when you can have it all and get credit for working too? Genius.

Happy Valentines' Day--JERK!

I apologize in advance to those who are shocked by this news. I know it’s probably considered more appropriate to keep this type of information to yourself for a awhile before telling friends, family, co-workers and complete strangers. But we live in a time where nothing is sacred. Everyone knows everyone’s business. So, I figure. Let’s just get it out there and live with the consequences.

I didn’t want it to end this way–given our lengthy history. We met in college–nearly 20 years ago. I was naive and eager to find a partner who was willing to accept me for me–despite my humble beginnings as a waitress.

We had what I thought was a strong mutual respect for each other in the beginning. And I stuck with him through thick and thin. I trusted him despite signs that his ego was growing out of control and I had ignored his many indiscretions. Read the rest of this entry »

For those of you who don’t know: I got a job!

No wait. That’s not right.

I got THE job! Read the rest of this entry »

What  am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? I’ll give you a hint–it’s not my family or friends. Or freedom or liberty. It’s the low points in life that really define who we are and I’m thankful for them…now.

I’m thankful for:

1. Adopting a puppy when I was still a sophomore in college and living in an on-campus  dorm. Otherwise, I never would have met my husband.

2. Getting fired from my waitressing job and going on vacation to Mexico the same week with less than $50 in my pocket. The first time I realized that I could face adversity head on and still have a good time.

3. Knowing what it’s like to live in chronic, daily, debilitating pain. Without it, I may have missed what is really important in my life.

4. Losing my job and my health insurance. I might have never fully understood what a life saver unemployment is OR one of the major problems with our health care system.

5. Starting this blog as a constructive outlet for my frustration with the world around me. Without it, I may have had to kill several annoying people in my life. Read the rest of this entry »