Extremes

posted by Momo Fali on July 8, 2015

Every single day I think about writing, but there are a lot of things I can’t share right now; things that are too painful, too wonderful, too much of one extreme or another which affect not only me, but people I love. It’s been almost a year since my life was turned upside down, but there are still a lot of things left undone.

A few days ago I went out and bought an old-fashioned, spiral notebook and some pens so I can write again. That way, I can get rid of anything I don’t want to be seen. Even though it’s easy to delete my entries on the computer, there is something cathartic about tearing the papers from a book, crumpling them up and tossing them into a dirty trash can. Of course, the good stuff can stay and when the time is right I can share those nuggets here. They are worth the wait.

I will say that the good in my life most definitely outweighs the bad, but I will also say that it’s possible to love one thing and hate another with equal intensity. It’s possible to be deliriously happy and heartbroken at the same time. It’s possible to live every day with such extreme highs and lows that you feel there will never be middle ground again. Thankfully, I have good friends to help me get centered.

There has been an almost complete lack of sunshine this summer, but it made things like a recent trip to Cedar Point even more sweet. One day the sun was out and we went to the beautifully renovated Breakers Hotel and enjoyed the lakeside pool IMMENSELY. It was my favorite day of the summer thus far. It was warm, relaxing, fun, gorgeous and my favorite way to spend a day. Period.

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That evening, after frolicking in the indoor pool and hot tub (I have lost the ability to do underwater hand-stands and swim the length of a pool under water…thanks a lot 40s!) we enjoyed a nice dinner and a trip to the arcade. After the kids went to bed it was great to have some adult time, a relaxing a walk along the beach and some quiet moments watching lightning flash in the distance over the lake.

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The next day was partly sunny and cool, which is the perfect weather for an amusement park. Cedar Point keeps adding more and more great coasters (this year’s new one – The Rougarou – did not disappoint). We thought my son was too short to ride Maverick, but after getting an official measurement (and wristband) at the park office, he JUST made it. Maverick is now tied with Raptor as my favorite ride at the park, with Top Thrill Dragster a close third).

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Here’s my daughter and I, giving a thumbs-up at the end of the ride while my son apparently thanks heaven he was tall enough.

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He doesn’t seem happy at all, does he? Red lips, courtesy of Dippin’ Dots.

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I still love you, Raptor.

So, from one extreme to the other…that’s how my life has been lately and if it turns out half as good as that weekend was, then it’s just fine if it stays that way!

 

Cedar Point tickets and overnight stay at Breakers Hotel provided by Cedar Point.

May’s a Jerk and Steak is Life

posted by Momo Fali on May 28, 2015

I have no explanation for my absence other than the fact that May is kind of a jerk.

It rolled in with me crossing a half marathon off my life-list on a beautiful morning, then the sun appeared and flowers bloomed, there were weekend getaways, fresh air, laughter, and friends started coming out of their homes like spring-struck zombies carrying grilled hamburgers and coolers of beer. See? May is a jerk because it makes all the other months look bad.

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There are a lot of things going on my life that I can’t discuss here; like, my bangs for instance. We really shouldn’t talk about my bangs. They are in that awkward, growing-out stage where I have to apologize for them a lot. I’m sorry for my bangs.

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My whole life is like my bangs, really. Everything is in that awkward, growing stage where you aren’t sure of your footing or where your next step will lead. That is why I almost packed a bag and flew out to Utah on a whim to hike in Zion National Park (another life-list item). Because I’ve heard there’s no better time to walk up the side of a cliff than when you aren’t sure of your footing. Wait…maybe it was my estranged husband who told me that.

But, despite being unsure of the road ahead, I am eager to see where it leads. Facing so many unknowns – facing fears I never thought I would need to face…EVER – well, it’s resulted in me being a lot more fearLESS. I guess some people would call it an awakening. Either that, or stupid. Whatever you call it, I think it’s pretty grand.

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Let me see if I can break it down into something everyone can understand. Beef.

Let’s say you always order chicken. Occasionally, when you’re feeling a little crazy, you get yourself a piece of salmon, but most of the time it’s just chicken. You always get chicken, because you don’t like steak. Plus, steak is expensive.

But, everyone keeps telling you how delicious steak is and you’re really missing out by not ordering it. So, one day you think I’m going to try this ONE MORE TIME and you order a ribeye that’s been marinating for, what tastes like, a million years. It’s tender, it’s delicious, it melts in your mouth. You really have been missing out. You hate it when your friends are right!

It turns out that all this time you were just ordering the wrong cut of meat. And, this is not a metaphor for my relationship, it’s really about steak. And, life. Steak IS life. Take that, chicken.

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So, that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying all the steaks. I’m noticing how blue the sky is, how beautiful the music sounds, how joyous my children are, how cold the beer is, how soft my bed feels, and I’m letting it all marinate and enjoying it on a big, fat, life platter.

And May has been a LOT of that. I guess she’s not so bad after all.

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.