A letter to my kids from the locked bathroom door

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I’m writing this to you from the locked bathroom. Someday, you’ll understand.

I just need a minute.

Or ten.

Ya, ten would be good.

I just needed some quiet time, so I removed myself from the family room and came in here for a bit.

See, I’m not in here because I hate my family – I’m sitting in here because too much togetherness makes my skin crawl.

It’s not you, it’s me. It’s my introvertedness. I love you – mostly. It’s just that being around people all day long – even the people I love the most – saps my energy.

I need energy to listen to you, to look at you, to hang on every word of your 2,000-word story about how your friend got in trouble during gym glass.

I need space to be alone, space to breathe – just for a little while, maybe a few minutes a day. Sometimes, I’ll need a whole day if I was all up in being social the day before.

I promise you if you leave me in here for a little while alone – without knocking on the door, asking for a snack or telling me about what your sister is doing to make you angry…if you give me a little peace, I’ll come out a better person – I promise.

This whole thing would go down years ago and I’d feel guilty. Especially when I’d hear moms telling me they want to be with their kids all the time. Who are these moms? Are they even real?

I don’t feel guilty about this anymore. I’m also trying to be very clear with you when I need a break. Rest time isn’t just for you kids, it’s for me! Sometimes, “powering through” does more harm than good. Like a superhero with superpowers, I need to replenish my go-go-gadget mommy juice (wine) to do all the amazing and superheroey things I do every day.

Actually, I need to thank you. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have learned this important lesson about myself. Again, you guys are teaching me much more than I’m teaching you.

In communicating my needs clearly with you, I hope to foster understanding some mutual understanding. I hope it teaches you to trust yourself. To take what you need, when you have nothing left to give, so you can keep on giving.

Most of all – I want you to know that asking for what you want is more than okay.

If I put on my oxygen mask first, I help you with yours.

 

Here are some ways you might see mommy looking after herself first:

  1. In the bathroom, like right now
  2. Rest time. I know, none of your friend’s nap—I don’t care. Everyone spends an hour alone in their room. I don’t care if you sleep, read, write, practice your ninja moves, or wipe boogers on your pillow (you gotta put your face there after all).
  3. Going to Target alone. Byeeeee!!!
  4. Sending you off on a treasure hunt.
  5. Giving you a list of chores – I’ll pay you, I promise!
  6. Picking you up just a smidge later than I promised.
  7. Waking up before you. I set an alarm, you don’t. You hear my eyelids open and come running. This is my time. If you give me an hour before you get up, you can have bacon and eggs for breakfast.

 

 

 

PS – you might also like Dear kids, this is what mommy really wants for Mother’s Day6 ways to have waaaaay more fun while getting out the door in the morning, and 10 things to say to your kid after sports.

unfussy and unproductive – August 26

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Short round-up today. With the last unofficial weekend before Labor Day, I want you to be somewhat productive, okay?

(1) What happens when you mix black paint, sweaty cross-fitters, and canvas? THIS amazingness from unfussy and untortured artist, Kent Youngstrom, that will be the perfect addition to your home gym or art room. Watch here to see how they were made. If you try this at home, please send pics. I think I’m going to try it with hockey pucks + slapshots!

(2) You’ve heard about farm-to-table, right? What about table-on-the-mother-lovin-farm? I went to one of these events from Locavore Farm last year and am definitely going again. They have a micro handful of tickets left for September – will I see you there? I think you’ll like it.

(3) I only pack a carry-on for every vacation – even the 10 days I spent in Paris. It can be done. This lady packed 100 things into her’s I’d venture to ask – do you really need 100 things though?

(4) Hockey season is upon us (fist pump!) Here are 13 simple rules. Hockey parents – read closely.

PS – writing workshops are coming back! This one is for renegades only.
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PS – miss last week’s U&U?

The unexpected and amazing ripple effect seeing your name in print

I knew this book was coming in the mail. I was stalking my mailbox every evening. When I saw the envelope marked “par avion” from British Columbia, I knew exactly what it was and tore it open standing right there in my pencil skirt with my laptop bag slung over my shoulders.

 

#untrending (buy it here, your tweets will thank you)

 

I met Vicki last summer at a workshop with 10 ladies during an exceptionally steamy day in Portland (left coast) at Alexandra Franzen‘s loft. When Vicki, talked about her book idea, she said something that really struck. I’m paraphrasing, but it went something like,

“Your posts and tweets are forever. Do you really want your last tweet to be some angry rant?”

 

No. No I don’t.

 

I’m showing off when I tell you that I was already majorly focused on keeping all my posts positive. No complaining, whining, or ranting. No negative comments on blogs or anywhere else. There’s enough negativity in the world, I’m making a conscious choice not to add to it.

 

As she described her book idea, she mentioned she hadn’t landed on a title. “UNTRENDING!” I blurted out – probably interrupting someone (sorry about that).

 

We kept in touch (she’s Canadian – my people!) so I knew her book was coming out soon. She told me I was mentioned in it – WHAT??? So honored. And curious… what did she say?

 

Unable to contain my curiosity at the mailbox that evening, I flipped through the book. The book came with crayons…CRAYONS you guys. Beautiful black and white drawings marked the start of a new un-chapter – a lovely invitation to add some color and personality. I flipped to the acknowledgments and saw my name.

untrending jacqueline fisch

One, it’s in the same mother-loving paragraph as Alexandra Franzen. Author, writer, coach, and who’s work I admire. My name in print.

 

I cried.

 

I always cry when I see my name in print.

 

First was when I had a recipe published in the Green City Market Cookbook.

green city market jacqueline fisch

Second was when I published my own book.

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Third, was when I got a gift certificate from my company to get some printed copies of my book.

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Every time, I get chills. I feel like I’m going to explode with gratitude.

 

After wiping my tears of joy, I handed the book to Jacob (8) in the backseat as we headed to hockey practice.

 

“Read it aloud.” I told him.

 

“Mommy, why are you in this book? You helped her name the book?”

 

“Yes hunny, I sure did. This is why you see me on the computer so much. I’m writing stories. I’m connecting with people. This is the third book my name is printed in – pretty cool isn’t it?”

 

“Ya!”

 

Few moments of silence.

 

Jacob – “I’m going to write a book.”

 

“Awesome! I can’t wait to read it. I’d be happy to help you with it.”

 

When we got home I gave him a fresh notebook, “Will this be okay to write your book in?” I told him when he’s finished we can type it up and get it printed.

 

He wrote that afternoon, and that evening while at his sisters’ horseback riding lesson. He also wrote before bed – staying up past 9pm to work on his story – excited to tell me each time he finished a page.

With a quick read, me smiling ear to ear, I told him I loved it.

Jacob writing

He BEAMED.

 

At 6am I was headed out the door for an early start. I heard him practically running down the hall. He had his notebook in hand and was headed for the couch. “I’m working on my story today mommy.”

 

“Awesome, I can’t wait to read more!”

 

The only thing more rewarding than writing, and seeing my own name in print, is seeing him light up from writing.

Thank you Vicki, and thank you ripple effect.

 

Naming books, taglines and company names is one of my favorite things to do – almost more than drinking wine. Want me to name something of yours? Email me. If you want to make sure we’ll like each other, check here first.

 

 

unfussy & unproductive – August 19th

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Happy unproductivity! Here are a few things to check out while you sip your coffee and pretend to be working.

(1) Wanna eat like you’re at the Olympics? Check out this piece I wrote for Fooda and make your own moqueca! I added shrimp and Portuguese red pepper sauce – then I enjoyed all the leftovers for the next three days. Like many of us, it gets better with age.

(2) Tony Robbins fan? I only know a handful of people who aren’t – either way, most people have a passionate opinion about him. Have you watched his latest documentary on Netflix – I’m Not Your Guru? Loved it. Watch it, then listen to Tim Ferriss’ interview with him this week.

(3) This has been on the internet a while, but always a good reminder when you’re worried about drawing inspiration from others. I know a lot of artists and writers who get tripped up with this. Moral, of the story, don’t – Steal Like an Artist. 

(4) Ever pop open your laptop with the best intentions to GSD (get shit done – a new acronym I learned this week) and find yourself with a dozen browser tabs open and no idea what you were supposed to be doing? If you identify the potholes and keep your shit together for just 10 minutes, you can change all this. Epic, right?

(5) I don’t watch the news, pretty much ever. then I listed to Trust Me, I’m Lying from Ryan Holiday – and even though I was already suspect (translation: trust NOTHING online and check all sources!) this reaffirmed my belief that the news is basically brain junk.

(6) Joe Morris, a friend of mine recently left the ad agency life. Now he’s making art – both the kind for your walls and the kind you ride. We attended his gallery opening last week, basically, I want to live there.

 

PS – miss the last version? More time killers here!