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Taking My Own Advice
I’m so tired. I don’t know what it is about the “April, May, June sprint to summer,” but by the time June rolls around, I’m exhausted.

by Dena Blizzard

It’s all good stuff … graduations, confirmations, end-of-the-year celebrations for choir and orchestra, but it’s exhausting! I’m sure I should care about how hard my kids have worked to learn their songs, learn to work as a team and perform flawlessly at their respective sports or groups, but I’m just done. Three kids, times three activities, is nine graduations, times finals and cupcakes. It’s some kind of exhausting parental algorithm that I just find hard to maintain.

Right around now is when I realize I’ve planned nothing for my kids this summer, my house smells like dog and meal planning consists of rice and string cheese.

There are so many things I can rely on during Spring Time Mania, but this year my life seems to be filled with just as much uncertainty as it is with reliable chaos.

My son is graduating high school this year and was recently lamenting his journey into college. He’s been accepted into Montclair, we’ve registered and he’s excited, but he’s also currently waitlisted at another school, a school that we can’t afford but would be a dream to attend. In May, I calmly assured him that it was best to “keep your options open” and not be too quick to take your name off this waiting list because sometimes “good things are worth waiting for.” I gave him the speech about how “God has a plan and although we’re not quite sure what that is we need to trust the process.” I reassured him that whatever happens would be the “right” thing. I told him that there were no real wrong decisions; every decision could be turned around and never make any decision the “decision of your life.” That’s a surefire way to never make a decision ever again.

I said all the right things and he listened intently. There aren’t too many times I give myself the ole’ “Good job, Mom!” pat on the back, but I did this time. That was until I heard myself mumbling, “I don’t care what your dumb mom says!” under my breath just a few weeks later.

I have a lot going on right now. Not in a “I’m so much more busy than you are” way but in a “sometimes I just want to walk out of my house and just drive to Florida” kind of way. I’m overwhelmed. I’m lucky. I know I am. I’m building a brand with One Funny Mother, we’re selling out board games and reordering them by the thousands; we’ve launched a non- profit for young women to teach speaking skills (LadiesOut- Loud.org) and it’s all just so … up in the air.

When I’m overwhelmed, I walk. Lots and lots of walking. If you see me walking around town, I’m probably mulling over some business decision. If you see me angry walking around town, something has gone wrong, and if you see me running please contact the authorities.

My son saw me walking the other day and kindly sat down to chat with me. It doesn’t happen often. I actually had to teach him years ago to perhaps ask how someone else’s day was. It was a breakthrough moment.

I mumbled something about “profits and margins,” which, just so you know, is not part of the makeup of a comedian’s soul, it hurts my brain to contemplate such topics but this is my business now—numbers and all. I unleashed a barrage of complaints, worries, possible disasters and atrocities when he calmly looked at me and spoke about options and God and not putting too much weight on my decisions. I looked at him dis- gusted! Was he trying to use my own “mom logic” on me?

It took me a second to come out of my self-imposed pity party and realize that none of this advice applied to me! I quickly pointed out that that advice was for him and my situation was totally different. I may have scornfully whispered something about how I “didn’t care what his dumb mom said” as I scurried away to fill my face up with mint chocolate chip ice cream while watching reruns of What Would You Do?

My mom advice is on point but I surely did not want it thrown back in my face! “What a weirdo!” I thought. “My hard- ships are so much harder than those of an 18-year-old, right?”

Hmmmm.

Why is it so easy to counsel others when they need it but so hard to listen to good advice when it’s your own boat being rocked? He was right. I just wasn’t ready to hear it.

I had good teachers: my mom and dad. No decision was ever forever. I’m glad to be teaching that to my kids. Do your- self a favor. Surround yourself with people that listen to good advice … and can give it back to you when you need it. It’s June and I need it … but that doesn’t mean I won’t talk about “what your stupid mom says” even when that mom is me.


Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 15, Issue 3 (June 2018).


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