Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bunker Punk Tour

What is your most prized possession? 

Hmmmm...I don't really value "stuff". I'm really wracking my brain over this one. Nope...what really matters to me are the people. My people. My kids, above all else. My family, of course. My friends. My dog💗. I guess if I absolutely HAVE TO name a possession, it would have to be my home. In spite of the difficult associations that are now attached to it, this house is really HOME for the kids and me. Maybe not for much longer, but it will always hold my heart. 

How do you unwind after a long day?

That's really all you need to know. 

What is one song that has followed you throughout your whole life?

The Sound of Music is my favorite movie of all time. (I know...pretty nerdy for a badass...) I had the soundtrack album as a child, and probably wore a deep groove into it on my old record player. I knew every word, every note, and every scene that went along with it all. I could even yodel along about a goatherd. 

As a teen, when I began to believe that "true love" was the only thing that would ever define me, I often thought of "Something Good"...the love song, sung between Maria and Captain Von Trapp. I always thought that someday, I would find my "Captain"...my reward for doing "something good", in spite of anything I might have done that wasn't so good. I fell in love easily, and every time my mind would bring me back to that hope...that THIS was my reward. This love. Of course, it was all a load of crap. As each heartbreak left me believing less and less in "rewards" and "true love", the song eventually stopped playing in the back of my head. Current circumstances had all but killed any hope I may once have had of finding that reward.

So, recently, when The Sound of Music was aired on television, my mom called to remind me to watch it. It didn't matter that I own the movie...my mom is the "reminder" of all things, so knowing how much I love the movie, she called. I rolled my eyes, thanked her, and 10 minutes later I found
myself tuning in and singing along. (Such a nerd!) And when it came time for that touching scene...the one in the pretty, glass gazebo where they finally connect...I started to sing along. And as I sang, I looked across the room at my daughter and realized, it was never about a man. It's all about my kids. My three reasons for breathing are the only reward I would ever need. And it's a lovely realization to come to..."Somewhere in my wicked, miserable past, I must've done something good."

If you could give one piece of advice to new bloggers in your field, what would it be?

That's an easy one. Write about what makes you feel. Anything. Happy, sad, worried, scared, broken...if you feel it, chances are good that someone else has felt it too. Somewhere in me is a ranting post about the anger I feel every time I put a new tablecloth on the kitchen table, and my little tween treasure manages to destroy it within a day by knocking over a bottle of nail polish. EVERY...DAMNED...TIME!!! May sound ridiculous, but somewhere out there, somebody knows exactly what I'm talking about. And if writing isn't about finding a way to connect over the human condition, (small and insignificant as a thought may seem), then I just don't know why else it could matter.

Now that you're famous, we need a quote from you.

Nobody else is ever responsible for the choices we make. If I screw up, I will own it, make amends, and take responsibility for my words and my actions. I can't hope my kids will grow up to be decent people if I don't set a decent example. ~ Honey Badger

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Inspire Or Go Home!

It seems my dear, new friend at How My Brain Works has nominated me to be honored with The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. It's taken me a few days to respond. A post-holiday bout with illness has knocked me on my ass, and I haven't had much energy for writing...or thinking. But now that I've had some time to process the occasion, I have some very clear thoughts on how I feel about being called "inspirational".

To be acknowledged by a peer, in general, is a great honor. To be acknowledged as inspirational, it's extremely validating. To be honest, I'm so surprised by her nomination because it's a "blogger" award. Truthfully, I only have 3 legitimate "blog" posts to speak of. My usual blogging takes place on my Facebook page, and there are lots of writers and bloggers who don't even consider a Facebook page to be worthy of consideration. I have argued in the past that the media I use to tell my story is irrelevant if the one person who needs to hear the story the most, comes across it and finds hope in it, or somehow feels less alone. I'm an older mom. I'm technologically challenged, and working out all the bells and whistles of the blogging world can be intimidating. I have avoided tackling a "regular" blog because there are links and features I'm just not familiar with, and Facebook has just been an easier route. So, the fact that The Brain has respectfully recognized the story I tell as a "blog"...that alone is a great honor. So to my friend, I say, thank you:)

I understand the formalities of accepting this honor have changed as it's been passed along, and being a rebel like my friend, I'm going to take the liberty of listing a few things about myself, so that you can decide for yourself if I have what it takes to inspire.

1) My kids are what matters most to me on this planet. My family too. But my children are my reason for breathing. There is NOTHING in this world I would not do for my kids. Nothing.

2) I started this blog a long time ago, and abandoned it when I saw too much of my personal information attached to it. I have since figured out how to change some of the settings, and if my privacy can be maintained, I will likely spend more time offering my (sometimes irrational) thoughts to a broader community than only Facebook.

3) I avoided all social media for a really long time. I had convinced myself that if I wasn't already communicating with you, I didn't need you in my life. I was madly in love with my husband, and I didn't need anyone else. And then we moved to the suburbs. And it was quiet. And bridge tolls and gas prices kept our friends and family from visiting. And we learned how very lonely and isolating life can be when you are living with autism. And the commute was exhausting for him, and if he wasn't working, he was sleeping. Unless my cousin was in our house. And when I realized he had begun to prefer HER company to mine, (a story for another day), it was really the end of my relationship with both of them. It took over two years for the marriage to end completely, and we're still going through the divorce, but for all intents and purposes, I was completely alone for a long time. So I started a Facebook page, just to feel connected to ANYONE. I am convinced that Facebook saved me from a mental breakdown...from the incredible pain of loneliness.

4) I started my "Just a minutemy cape is in the dryer" Facebook page, (yes...it's spelled that way),  anonymously, after getting fed up with judgemental, intrusive "real life" friends and family, and all the nosy comments they were making every time I posted something about my (then) husband, or my kids, or the challenges of autism, or how badly I need a damned glass of wine some days, on my personal page. I had found comfort in some of the public "autism" pages, and "mommy" pages, and "funny" pages...I thought I had a few things to add to those interactive conversations, and threw my hat in the ring. Besides having my children, starting that page was the best thing I have ever done. I have made life changing connections through that page, and made friends I would NEVER have made in any other way. I tell the story of EVERYTHING. Everything I experience. The hardships of a failing marriage, the heartbreak of betrayal, the challenges of autism and OCD, raising a daughter with morals in a world that can sometimes be kind of a cesspool, being the most accepting parent on the planet to my oldest, who happens to be gay...if I live it, I tell it. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent, and the asshole who would surely have to be looking over his shoulder if people knew who he really was:)

5) I truly enjoy drinking a glass or two of wine. Every now and then. And I joke about it on the regular. But I don't drink even a fraction of the alcohol I am joking about. I'm entirely too broke to drink that much. And just to keep my family from staging regular interventions, I post periodic disclaimers, just as a full disclosure of reality. Considering the sleep deprivation I endure (thanks to the erratic sleep patterns <or, lack of patterns>, of my sweet, happy, beautiful, autistic boy), and all the other crap that comes with being a mom, in general, and the aforementioned failed marriage, it's a miracle I am NOT a stone cold alcoholic...but I'm always happy to sip a glass or two, when I can afford it, or when it's a gift. And I am always responsible for my kids, and DO NOT drink and drive.

6) During one of my personal disclaimers, upon mentioning how very much I DO NOT GIVE A SHIT what people have to say, what they think, what opinions they may have formed about me, an old friend mentioned "OMG...you ARE the Honey Badger!" And THAT is where I chose my pen name. It fits. And if you don't like it, I'm pretty sure I don't even have to say it:)

7) From the very first post on my page, and the very first response that included the words, "Me too", I knew I would always keep writing what I feel, because it gave a voice to someone else who may have felt lost and alone. I felt validated in my feelings, and thought if I kept sharing, other folks could feel like they mattered too! Writing, even the simplest of thoughts, gives me a purpose on days when I doubt myself. It doesn't happen often anymore, (especially now that there is no one living here to tell me how worthless I am). But I love knowing that something I may have said, maybe gave somebody the little push of support they needed to feel hopeful on a hard day.

8) I'm from Brooklyn.

9) I swear like a drunken sailor. I've sanitized my potty mouth for purposes of this post. I don't want to put any of the new folks in culture shock. But should you happen upon another post on this page, I make no promises.

10) I am a parent to a gay son, an autistic son, and a feisty daughter, and I'm a soon-to-be ex-wife. I don't tie myself to a specific genre of writing. I tell it all. If I encounter you, and you don't want me to tell the world a story of what a douche you are, don't be a douche.

11) I don't lie. And I don't take kindly to being lied to.

12) The outcome of my day is ultimately in my hands. It's all about choices. Most days, I choose to be happy. In spite of ANYTHING that might be going on around me, I CHOOSE to he happy. And I choose to be kind. And I choose to be helpful. They are simple choices. It is not always simple to make those choices on days I might be struggling, or when I'm dealing with hateful folks. But it's still a choice that I know is an option, and I know the outcome of any scenario will be a more positive one if I stick with those choices. So I try. Really hard. Most days I win. And I forgive myself for the days I don't.

And now that I've given you a little glimpse into who I am, I have the honor of naming other bloggers, who I consider to be inspirational. If you read this before I get some tech support, you won't find links to their blogs. (Those damned bells and whistles...) But search for them. They are worth it.

Autism: Uncensored
Cat on a Trampoline
It's a Mad, Dad World
Monkey Business

And my fifth choice, can only be found on Facebook, but as I've said, the chosen media doesn't change the honest, uplifting, and unifying message, so go look for The Daily Stim on Facebook.