Archive of ‘Ultimate Blog Challenge’ category

Awesome Swim Moms

I am at the age when making new friend groups doesn’t happen all that often anymore.

Between my husband and I, we already have high school friends, college friends, work friends, synagogue friends, and neighborhood friends.

I think the last time we made a set of new friends was after my daughter was born. Every weekend, we took her to endless birthday parties and preschool events which paved the way for what continues to be years of wonderful friendships. When she started kindergarten, we made even more friends. Let’s face it. First children are friend magnets.

By the time, our son was born though, we already had a well-established social circle. Sure, we met other parents who shared the same classrooms and weekend activities as we did and we laughed and talked and schmoozed, but for some reason the friendships never really stuck. This always made me sad because they are the nicest people and had we met them the first time around, things might be different.

But this year, we miraculously found a new friend group. After Andrew joined the high school swim team, we were invited to a party at the beginning of the season. I admit I was a little reluctant to go because I didn’t know many people. But that one party changed my mind instantly. As soon as we introduced ourselves as the parents of a freshman swimmer, we were literally embraced by the other parents as if we had been there for years. And by the end of the night, I’m happy to say that we made some amazing new friends.

Friends to work the snack bar with at swim meets. Friends who saved seats for us when the stands above the pool deck were crowded with parents. Friends that I could text in my newly-minted “Awesome Swim Moms” group chat and within 3 text messages learned what brand of purple shampoo was best to use on my son’s bleach blond hair- a tradition among the swim team members.

And even though swim season is over, our friendships are secure as ever as we sit at water polo games and carpool for lifeguard training. Each family belongs to a different swim club so there is already talk of spending our summers together.

I didn’t think it would be possible to find a new friend group. But my fellow swim moms are a rare find and we are all becoming fast friends and this fish out of water is forever grateful for all of them.

 

On the Nose

Do you need a Kleenex? Do you have a cold?

If you spend enough time with me, you will inevitably ask one of the above questions. Why? Because I sniffle–like a lot.

Until recently, I hadn’t looked into why this is the case. After all, this isn’t anywhere near an emergency medical situation. I can breathe fine and my seasonal allergies are treated regularly. But, recently, I began to notice how often people ask about my “cold.” My office is an open floor plan so you can imagine how annoying I must be to my co-workers. Of course, they are too polite to say anything.

I admit that there is another reason I’ve been reluctant to do anything about this condition. Years ago, I had a traumatic experience at an allergist appointment. (Sniff. Sniff.) With very little warning, this jerk – I mean doctor –  stuck a scope so far up my nose I thought at one point it was behind my eyeball. I had to lay down in the waiting room afterwards because I was so freaked out and his lack of a bedside manner did not help. So, I haven’t been keen on a return visit to get this resolved.

And then, one day I had a face-to-face appointment with someone I met on LinkedIn to interview for a book I’m working on. It took her less than 5 minutes to hand me a tissue box and inquire about my non-existent cold. First impressions being what they are, this was the last straw.

I called a family friend who is an ENT and made an appointment. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious about it. Anxiety is a funny thing. I tried to talk myself off the ledge by spending the entire day convincing myself that after giving birth to 2 children, enduring multiple dental procedures and a colonoscopy, I can handle a scope up my nose. Right?

Anxiety can be a crippling thing, Even for something as minor as this. But, my anxiety teaches me an important lesson that I continue to re-learn. When I empower myself to face the things I once feared, I am better for it in the long run.

And I’m proud of myself because I can honestly say that it was a much better experience this time around and thankfully I didn’t pass out. And although my blood pressure told a different story,  I was finally able to relax and take charge.

 

 

Where Blog Posts Come From

“OH! That would make a fantastic blog post.”

This is what I say to myself daily, but frequently I don’t sit down and take the time to write. Work obligations and family time and—of course—laundry, are inevitable obstacles and the idea quickly fades away.

But the buck stops here (at least for the month of April). Writing a new blog post every day is a challenge for me. We are talking 30 posts in 30 days. They call it the ULTIMATE BLOG CHALLENGE (UBC for short). That’s a lot of pressure. I’ve done this challenge before and the farthest I’ve accomplished is 18 posts straight through. That’s more than halfway through, but this time I’m planning on reaching day 30.

Honestly, it shouldn’t be THAT hard. After all, it isn’t hard for me to come up with something to write about every day. Inspiration can come from the latest news cycle or a trip to the local supermarket. I never know when or where lightning will strike so notebooks are appropriately stationed in the car, on my nightstand and in my purse to capture whatever comes my way.

It’s a good thing I’m a morning person because I find that is the best time for me to write. Ideally, I’ll have a post published for you to read by the time you check your Facebook page in the morning (like today). But, no guarantees. 😊

There is so much to write about these days. For instance, I’m obsessed with the college admissions scandal in which 50 people including 2 famous actors bought their child’s way into highly-regarded universities. Not only did these parents have the means to get their children all the tutoring and coaching they needed to get accepted on their own, but they also took a spot away from a more deserving, hard-working and honest student.

As the mom of a soon-to-be college freshman, I understand this process is grueling. It can be incredibly stressful and full of fear and judgement. It is the ultimate test to our self-esteem as parents and students. But in the end, my daughter is going to a wonderful school and she worked hard to get there—and I’m incredibly proud of her for that. And I’m furious that Aunt Becky didn’t have the same faith in her own kids. And I’m sad for the kids that didn’t know their spot at the school their attending was bought. And yes, I believe there are some who didn’t know. What does that say about our faith in our children to create their own success stories?

Did I mention my daughter is going to college in the fall? Yep, our first child is spreading her wings and leaving the nest. Soon to be followed by her brother who I plan to be present for over the next few years of his high school career. I will probably drive him crazy.

Through my little blog in cyberspace, I’ve created a space to share my views like these (and much more), bring a little slice of life and hopefully a smile as well. I’d love to hear your thoughts too. Has what I’m writing about happened to you or is it just me? Do you have a different opinion or experience? I want to hear that too. I love to learn from the other side when it is done in a respectful way. So please, leave me comments on my posts. Notes of encouragement are welcome as well. Writing is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it all with you.

Above all, let’s have some fun.
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