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.

radish

© 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.

My Tribe

posted by Momo Fali on March 9, 2015

I was going to sit down and write thank-you notes this weekend to the hundreds (really, that sounds crazy, but it’s truly hundreds) of people who have reached out to me in the last couple of months; cards, emails, gifts, texts, wine, food…so much food…phone calls, visits from old friends and time spent with family. I have a LOT of people to thank. It’s a little overwhelming. Also, my pants are tight.

food

Instead I drank wine with my sisters, reconnected with an old friend from high school, played games at an arcade, enjoyed a full day of sunshine and laughter with some of my best friends, went to church, took a gaggle of teenage girls to the mall, went for a run, and ate tater tots.

I did manage to buy my neighbor some flowers, but that was only because I really needed to return the mountain of containers in which she presented me with dish after dish of Egyptian cuisine. If you are what you eat, I AM FLAN.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about the people who have been closely surrounding me lately and I’ve come to the realization that most of my best friends – the people who are always there for me, surround me with love and laughter, hold my hand when I cry, listen to me, advise me, and cheer me on – are some of the most screwed up people I’ve ever known.

I take that back, they are not screwed up, their lives have been. They have personally dealt with abandonment, drug abuse, alcoholism, mental illness, physical illness, death, disability, infidelity, and more. Over the last few days, looking around at some of them, I have marveled at their strength and resilience.

I have come to see that these people, who can go through hell and come out the other side still laughing and enjoying what life has to offer? Well, these are my people. They are my tribe and there is a great force that has brought us together. And, despite what we’ve been through, we’re awfully lucky.

I am a firm believer that anything worthwhile is only worthwhile if you have to fight for it. I don’t think anything comes easy and if it did, how could you truly savor the results? It’s like having a helicopter drop you off on the top of a mountain instead of climbing up the side. You know the view would be much sweeter if you got there yourself.

And, that’s what my friends have done. They’ve fought and clawed through life to find there is still a sweet view; that we can high-five each other for making it to the top without dying, then head back to base camp and grab a beer.

Yep, these are my people. I’m so fortunate to have them climbing through life with me.

He Speaks the Truth

posted by Momo Fali on February 24, 2015

My 12 year old son has been known to have anxiety and OCD. To know him is to love his perfectionism, his lining up everything in the colors of a rainbow, and his constant obsession with rings.

Right now we have a little extra anxiety going on, so in addition to seeing a therapist I made an appointment with the pediatrician. She had him complete a survey on his inner-most feelings.

And, while we have concerns about some of his behavior clearly we don’t have to worry about self-esteem, because when he checked off Item 25 he scoffed then said, “Oh, please! EVERYBODY loves me.”

anxiety checklist

Bock Bock

posted by Momo Fali on February 17, 2015

The past few weeks have been tough; not as tough as I thought they would be because there is some peace that comes after the kind of anxiety I was facing. Not knowing where your future lies is terrifying – and that’s where I was for months. At least now I know where I stand – squarely on the other side of the door.

I have continued running to lift my spirits (and my hind end), I have been making my bed every day, buying healthy food, going to church, showering, working and fixing things around my apartment. I am in constant contact with friends and family whose love and support are a lifeline. I am moving. I don’t know if I’m moving forward yet, but it’s at least in some direction.

The other day, I even put on lipstick.

That afternoon, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror by my front door and thought, this is no beauty queen, but considering what I’ve been through, it will do just fine. My hair was curled, my green eyes weren’t red and puffy, my cheeks weren’t splotchy, my under-eye, black circles were reduced to sepia. This? This was progress.

I plastered on a smile and took a picture for proof. My mother, she worries.

chickenneck

And, then I saw it.

Do you see it? Look. LOOOOOOOOOK.

chickenneck

It’s chicken neck. Leathery, wrinkly, 43-year old chicken neck. I had a momentary pause, mouth agape, at what was staring back at me from my phone. Where did that come from?

Then I realized how I ended up with skin that makes roosters swoon. That patch of neck is from too many days of soaking up delicious, warm, wonderful sunshine.

It’s from sitting at my daughter’s softball games, taking my son to the pool, drinking warm Natural Light on spring break. That chicken neck is a badge of honor for so many great times, I can’t even count. It’s a reminder that there are good, smooth, carefree times even when it appears everything is wrinkled.

It’s also a clear sign I need to up the SPF.