Cracking up and Unbreakable

posted by Momo Fali on April 30, 2015

There is something I need. I need it as much as water, air, food, clothing, shelter, coffee and beer. If I am to be a functioning member of society, I need laughter.

For a while, I didn’t have much laughter in my life. The reason I know about that ‘functioning’ thing I mentioned is because I was barely doing it. I kind of floundered through my days. And, we’re not talking about lightly-seared or grilled flounder, but stuffed. With potatoes. And, chorizo. Heavy. With a side of squash.

But, slowly, light began to creep in and now there is laughter every day and I’m functioning again. Sure, sometimes I flounder, but mostly I’m wild-caught, with a squeeze of lemon. Light. With a side of asparagus.

Amid the financial crisis, the turmoil my kids are dealing with, and the loss of touch with family, I can still find something funny each day. It really is the best medicine.

So what’s my secret?

1. Inside jokes. I have inside jokes with my co-workers, friends, kids, and even the pharmacist. When you can laugh about something and no one else knows what you’re talking about, it makes it extra funny. For instance, I can just say the word, “Georgette” and one of my friends is cracking up right now.

2. A funny family. We have been through some awful times together and we can be completely serious if we need to be, but more than likely you’ll find us cracking jokes at a funeral. Probably as part of the eulogy.

3. Three friends who make me laugh every day. It’s not always the same three, but there are at least three people I talk to, text with or see in person who know just what to say to get a giggle out of me. If, by the end of the day, there haven’t been three, then I’ll text one of them so I can meet my quota.

4. Comedies. I don’t care if it’s Paul Blart Mall Cop, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, or my current personal favorite, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which streams into my room via Netflix every night – watching something funny does the trick. Bonus, Kimmy and I both have an unbreakable theme going on which is kind of an inside joke, except she doesn’t know it because she isn’t real. But, darn it, if she were, she would totally be my friend.

5. My kids. The surest way to get me to laugh is for me to make my kids laugh first. That’s right. I tickle them. Sure, it’s actually torture and completely cruel, but it’s funny! Or, I can just give my son a Tootsie Pop.

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I hope you laugh today.

 

This post is sponsored by Netflix as part of the Netflix Stream Team.

filed under Divorce, Family, Kids, Netflix and tagged with

Tips from Momo: To All the Single Ladies

posted by Momo Fali on April 21, 2015

It’s not like me to brag (oh, who am I kidding), but over the past eight months I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’ve learned a lot of things that may benefit you too.

I’m here to share the knowledge I’ve gleaned from this broken life of mine in case you suddenly find yourself in a crumpled heap in the middle of a grocery store aisle. Hypothetically. Don’t ever say I never gave you anything.

1. Get some exercise. One of the first things I did after my husband said he wanted a divorce was register for a half marathon. It gave me a goal and a purpose when everything else was falling apart and it kept me busy and active at times I would’ve otherwise been alone. Plus, my hamstrings are totally happening right now.

2. Surround yourself with the kinds of friends you can call any time and say, “Can I just come over and sit at your kitchen table for awhile?” And, then when you do, they’ll teach your kid how to create massive slingshots out of rubber-bands.

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3. Surround yourself with old friends who knew you when your bangs were as big as the 80s. You’ll not only laugh about those times, but you will create new memories easily and comfortably. Anything that makes you feel safe and happy is good right now. Embrace it. Thank you, Facebook for making sure we all don’t lose touch. Now, fix your Newsfeed.

4. Let your kids decorate their rooms in their new space however they want. Though, I did draw the line at a keg. Bonus if the wall of photos includes an image of Justin Timberlake upon which you can gaze while you’re running the sweeper.

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5. Buy yourself things that make you smile. No, you don’t have the money right now, but you also don’t have a lot of sanity so it only makes sense. Right? Wait.

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6. Do fun things with your kids as often as possible. Because, duh.

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Indoor rock climbing. Who needs fingernails, anyway?

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This picture sums up so much about our personalities. SO. MUCH.

7. Don’t buy cheap trash bags. Sure you’re trying to save money, but when you end up using two bags because the first one ALWAYS breaks, it doesn’t save you as much as you’d think. Also, let’s look at this picture and see how it relates to #5; beer, watermelon, Ramen noodles, chocolate and Target. Enough said.

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8. Park in the carport even if NO ONE ELSE does. When all your neighbors are driving piles of rust, you’ll thank me. Also, you might have to park in the carport because everyone takes your spot in front of your apartment because NO ONE parks in the carport.

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9. Get dressed up. Fix your hair. Put on makeup. OR, put on jeans and Converse and throw your hair in a pony tail. Whatever makes YOU feel good. But, get out of your yoga pants unless you’re going to yoga.

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10. Read. A lot. Read books, newspapers, magazines, or even old emails from friends. I’ve read books on psychology, law, co-parenting, relationships and a good old-fashioned novel or two. Daily, I read a lot of blog posts and messages from a support group to which I belong full of women in all different stages of this process. Educate yourself. It’s powerful.

11. Don’t name-call. I wish I could say I’ve stuck to this, but I haven’t. There is nothing harder than trying to control your emotions when they are filled with hurt and sometimes anger just flows out. I mean, like a river. Probably the Amazon. Anger is so EASY, but try not to take the easy way out. It just makes everybody feel bad.

12. Hang in there. Life on the other side is different, but you can be happy again. I promise.

13. Try not to smack people who promise you’ll be happy again. They mean well. And, they’re actually right.

Neon Light

posted by Momo Fali on March 31, 2015

For months, in a tiny space where my children didn’t fill my heart, there was aching darkness. Even though it didn’t need much room to exist, the hole felt gaping, like a giant, black pit. You could’ve thrown a Chevy in there and it wouldn’t have touched either side.

Now that pit feels about the size of…well, a pit. Not even a big, lumpy peach pit either, but one of those little ones inside a cherry. And, not only is the pit tiny, I’m taking the cherries and making cherry pie, à la mode.

I never anticipated my life, or the lives of my children, to turn out like this, and that still makes me sad. But, we will be okay. I know that now and I didn’t know that for a long, long time. I’m finding meaning in the pain and that’s healing me. We are finding normal, we are happy, and we are learning and growing in ways we didn’t know possible.

That growth is a beautiful thing. I am enjoying new things and appreciating new experiences and I’m no longer judged for it. I might find that I suddenly want to decorate my house with neon lights, and I CAN.

neon lightphoto credit: 171 via photopin (license)

I’ve had four friends in the last 24 hours tell me they were suicidal while going through divorce and I could understand that pain. It’s the absolute worst thing I’ve ever dealt with in my life and it hurts like nothing I’ve ever known. I remember people telling me it gets better and I wanted to scream at them and say, “Shut up! You DON’T KNOW! I’m DYING INSIDE!” Now I get it. It does get better. I can honestly say that I’m happy. I feel a little guilty saying it, but it’s true.

There is nothing – absolutely nothing – you can say to someone going through this to make them think you understand or that they are going to be okay. Nothing. Hold them, hug them, sit with them, love them, but don’t tell them it will get better. They have to trudge through the darkness until they see the light for themselves.

They may not think they’ll ever see it, but I am proof it is there.

Seize the Radish

posted by Momo Fali on March 18, 2015

When I was young my mom used to tell me to taste every kind of food I was offered; if I didn’t like it I would never have to eat it again. It turned out that that only thing I didn’t like were radishes. For nearly four decades I ate everything but radishes, because radishes tasted like dirt.

Until a few days ago.

Last week I ate a delicious radish. I had a radish awakening, if you will. And, if you won’t, please pass the radish over here.

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© Alexey Lisovoy | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I’m actually not speaking metaphorically – or maybe I am – it doesn’t matter. What I’m saying is that you should never stop trying new things. Ever. Even if the new things are old things. You might suddenly find that they are the perfect blend of spicy goodness.

Never shut down possibilities, because sometimes there is just enough evolution within you, or a radish, to change your perception. Unless we’re talking about liking the current country music landscape, because there aren’t enough days left on earth to make me evolve that much.

But, what if there are other things I’ve put off that I might enjoy? Maybe I’ll wear bright colors instead of black, sit at the bars in restaurants and drink a different kind of beer every time I do, learn to play guitar, sing out loud even though I can’t carry a tune, and stop being afraid.

Maybe I’ll eat more radishes.