What I learned about life from Audrey Hepburn

TOP 25 QUOTES BY AUDREY HEPBURN (of 178) | A-Z Quotes

Although Audrey Hepburn is famous for her iconic look and fashion sense, what I have learned to love and appreciate about her is that she had this unflappable ability to stay true to herself, and to be ok with making choices that might not always line up with what society feels she should do. She left Hollywood at the height of her career to spend time with her family. She knew what was important, and the spotlight wasn’t cathartic to her.

She knew what she had to do to find happiness, and while she struggled in some areas of her life, she always found a way through it. In the end, she learned to find happiness in all areas of her life, by starting with herself.

I have struggled over the last few years to find my footing. It is ingrained in myself and most women that we put others ahead of ourselves, and that we need to have the perfect kitchen, the perfect meals, the perfect bodies, the perfect kids, and the perfect life. However, that isn’t what life is about! I have spent far too much time, trying to appeal to those outside of my home. Why? Does it matter what others think of me? Do those people ever set foot in my house? Is having the perfect bikini body worth 10 months of starving myself, just to hear the words “wow , you look great”? No, it really doesn’t matter. It is time that we do things to make ourselves feel good on the inside. If having a clean house makes you feel good, then clean it! But do it for you!

I often run myself ragged trying to have everything perfect. Will my kids remember the clean house and mom saying no to playing with them? Or will my kids remember a house that was lived in, and mom chased them around the mess trying to tickle them? Which leads me to this quote from Audrey:

“There is one difference between a long life and a great dinner; in the dinner, the sweet things come last.”

~Audrey Hepburn~
Photo by Elina Sazonova on Pexels.com

This quote stopped me in my tracks. The sweet things in life are happening all around us, each and every day. We have to start being more present, and start noticing and appreciating the things we have in our life NOW, not yesterday and not tomorrow. NOW. I often read books from Deepak Chopra, and the one thing I have learned to do to be more present is to stop, bring awareness to my beating heart, and start to listen to all the sounds that are occurring around me. Open your eyes to all the things happening, like the trees swaying in the breeze, the bird flying by, and to see the life that is happening right now in front of you. You don’t want to reach the end of your life, and look back and realize that the entire time, you had everything you were searching for but you were blind to it all.

” I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.”

~Audrey Hepburn~
Photo by Samuel Silitonga on Pexels.com

I have learned recently that I have a need to have moments of solitude. I have been feeling guilty about this feeling for a while. During this pandemic and subsequent lock-downs, I have not been able to work and my girls are being home schooled. This has left very little opportunity for me to take time for myself. With my health, I haven’t wanted to go out to any stores, and have tried to limit my social contacts with those outside of the home, so I do feel that it has impacted my health in some ways. The guilt comes out of feeling that I should have more gratitude for being given all this extra time to see my kids, and for having a roof over my head, and food in my belly. The guilt comes because for some reason, I haven’t felt like I was allowed to have this time. However, the more I spread myself thin, the more cranky I was getting. The more days that passed where I didn’t allow myself time to meditate, read, write, do yoga, or do things to advance my own health, I felt more sick, more unbalanced, more rage. Yes I said rage. I found myself being short and curt with my kids. I found myself irritated with my husband, and irritated with life around me in general. I was more pessimistic, more angry, more unhappy. When I heard this quote from Audrey, I felt validation. I felt that it was OK to need time alone. When she said that time alone was how she refueled, I felt this light go on inside me. That is how I felt. She wasn’t afraid to say she needed time. Why was I so afraid to ask for time? Why was I so afraid to admit that I need that time too? Why did it take me so long to realize that I needed to refuel. I created a space in my house to do that, and I wasn’t using it. I realized, that I needed to take this time, so I could be a better mom, a better wife, a better version of me. I needed to refuel my soul.

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone”

~Audrey Hepburn ~

The way to true beauty, is through kindness, and seeing the best in people. It is time we start talking about the good we see in people, instead of the bad. It is time that we see beauty as more than just the shell that holds all of our souls. With so much bad going on around us, we have forgotten that there is still a lot of great things going on. Audrey lived through the war, and waiting on the other side was humanity wanting to help and fix all the bad that had occurred. We will get through this pandemic. There is a lot of good waiting for us on the other side of this. This pandemic has taught me to value those in my life, and to return life to the simple basics. Sit and talk with someone you love, hug someone you love, play with someone you love, and listen to someone you love. That is all we crave isn’t it?

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

“As you grow older you will discover you have two hands. One for helping yourself, and one for helping others”

~Audrey Hepburn~

I have had the need and desire to help people my whole life, and since being removed from paramedic I have struggled to find a way to fill that void that was created. The void wasn’t the job, the void was in no longer having a job where I was helping people everyday. However, I don’t need a job to do that. I am learning that now. I can help someone every day with a kind word. I can help some one every day with a kind gesture. I can help someone every day by checking in with them. Everyone in this world is going through something. Everyone in this world has a hidden feeling. It is hard to reject and ignore an act of kindness when it is given to you, it only spreads goodness. If we all were to just check in with someone today, can you imagine the ripple that one act would create?

Photo by Ioana Motoc on Pexels.com

“When you have nobody you can make a cup of tea for, when nobody needs you, that’s when I think life is over”

~Audrey Hepburn~

I leave you with this one final quote. Take a moment to process this. Solitude is different than loneliness. We all need to feel purpose. We all need to have a reason for living. The relationships in your life will formulate the type of path you will take. We all need to have someone to love, and to love us. Invest in the right people, and they will invest in you. Find those people that will make you a cup of tea every day. Find someone that needs you. Make life need you as much as you need life. Audrey made life work for her. She did things that made her happy, and didn’t conform to others ideals. Don’t conform to societal ideals, find your own life. There is no wrong path if it makes you happy.

Starting a new medication is scary

Starting a new medication is scary

I yearn to go back to the days where my mom would get out that trusted old syrupy bottle of cough syrup from the kitchen cupboard, (the one where the the lid was completely crusted over from some previously dried up medicine), and she would dump a bunch of it on a spoon, and bring it over to where you were lying sick on the couch. Often, I would be all cozied up under warm blanket watching ‘The Price is Right’, or whatever show was on that I usually missed because of being in school. That feeling of being taken care of, and knowing that the medicine would make you feel better, that mom’s can fix anything, is something that miss now that I am the mom of a family, and now that I have a chronic health issue. That one bottle of medicine, in all its syrupy glory, seemed to fix everything. I trusted it. I trusted my mom. I trusted the simplicity.

Things have changed a lot since I was a kid, lying on the couch watching ‘The Price is Right’. As a paramedic I became the fixer. As a mom I became the fixer. As a wife I became the fixer. But who was fixing me? I won’t lie, I still rely on my parents to help fix a lot of things in my life. They are there to help me with the kids, or to keep me company if I am not feeling well and my husband is working. They take me to appts, and they help calm me down. They are still my superhero’s in more way than one. But, there is literally no safer feeling that being 8 years old, lying on the couch, knowing that you don’t have to worry about anything at all, because your parents will make your sickness go away. That is the scary thing about growing up, and being diagnosed with an illness. Your parents just can’t make it go away like they used to. You can’t just drink the syrup and feel better. No amount of watching ‘The Price is Right’ will fix you. The doctors that always seemed to be able to fix every cough you had, now scratch their heads in bewilderment. You feel, alone. You realize that your parents, and doctors, are only human, and don’t always have the answers. Everyone starts to lose their superhero status, and you have to hope for more powerful forces to help you out.

And one day you’ll realize
I’ve lost my cape, I can’t fly
And I’m only human
And you’ll need more than me
But you know to hit your knees
If I’ve done my job right
You’ll know where to find the man who really hung the moon

Lyrics from Brantley Gilbert, Song ‘Man that hung the Moon’

It took 2.5 years to get my Postural Tachycardia diagnosis, and it has been 10 plus years of learning how to manage it. I now have something else going on, and the cycle of being shuffled from specialist to specialist, and hospital to hospital, is well underway again. I no longer have a cough that can be cured with medicine. I am a guinea pig spinning on the wheels of a cage in a medical laboratory. The best anyone can do, is to offer up a medicine to ‘see if it works’. I have a history of being sensitive to medications, so being handed a new medication scares the hell out of me. Having a bad reaction to medication, makes you fearful. Some days it takes over 5 days to build up the courage to take the first pill. After taking the first pill, I spend the next 2 hours worried about having an allergic reaction, and then I spend the next day worrying if I will have any side effects. That is only on the low starting dose too! Don’t even get me started on having to bump up the dosage. This is all for a medication that I am taking to “SEE” if it helps.

I am a firm believer of not taking a medication unless I know what it is for, and why I need it. I don’t like the bandaid solutions. What I mean by bandaid, is that I don’t want a medicine to take away my pain without knowing what is causing it. I want to know why I am having the pain, and then I want to fix that. If I need some medicine after I know what the problem is, and this is the fix, then so be it. So I really struggle with taking something that is for management of an ailment that I don’t even have a name for, and no doctor can figure out.

I also dislike the idea that a medication can take months for it to “start’ working. Oh, and during that time you also get to have a whole host of awful side effects. BONUS! When you feel awful all the time to start with, the idea that you will be taking something that will make you feel worse, before you get better….well that is a tough pill to swallow. Literally, and figuratively.

Photo by Daria Obymaha on Pexels.com

What I want is to reach into my cupboard, pull out that crusted over medicine that fixed everything as a kid, and feel its magic again. I want to take that one spoonful, with no worries, and feel better. I want my mom and dad to fix everything. I want to bound out of the house the next day, feeling rejuvenated. I want a diagnosis. I want my life to revolve around living. My calendar currently revolves around counting down the days till my next specialist appointment, and the disappointment or hope that follows. I want to travel, explore, and work on finding happiness in the smallest of corners. Having answers, and a way to manage something that right now is invisible , makes life possible. I don’t want to be scared anymore. I don’t want to live cornered by the fear of having a flare, or the fear of starting a new medication. That is not living. So I will continue to take the new medications that scare me, and hope for the best. Maybe this time, this one medication, will be the one that helps me turn the corner. The one that allows me to take a seat at the table of life. It’s time to hit my knees, and pray for healing, and pray for life. It’s time that I stop putting the superhero cape on everyone else, and put my own cape on, and become the maitre d of my ownlife. One reservation for life please .

The Chin Hair Symphony

The Chin Hair Symphony

The older I get; I swear my chin hairs start to appear on my face to the tune of Beethoven’s Symphony No.5.  Cue string instruments, DUH DUH DUH DUHHHHHH.

Now a symphony typically opens with an Allegro, which is a fast tempo piece of music.  Picture this.  I wake up, and I skip my way to the bathroom Allegro style, feeling all sexy and shit. I stop to check out my profile. I tilt my head to the right smiling and nodding completely satisfied with my jaw line, and then while giving a little pout and maybe even a little wink to my hot self in the mirror, I tilt my head to the left and to my horror, cue strings section DUH DUH DUH DUHHHHHH!

There it is, in all its glory, a chin hair! GASP!  The symphony now moves into a slower piece, an adagio if you will.  And A D A G A What?  Never mind, all you need to know is that I am now in slow motion, my eyes widen, my pupils dilate, my mouth drops open and cue woodwinds.  The sound coming out of my vocal cords however is not akin to that of the sound made when a whole orchestra is blowing their little reeds in perfect harmony. The sound I made, is some Titanic ‘my heart will go on’ sh#t.    You know, the one written by James Horner and Will Jennings. 

“ Every night in my dreams
I see you, I feel you
That is how I know you go on”.

Except we aren’t talking about sexy Jack coming and rescuing me. Nope,  those damn black chin hairs are in my dreams haunting me, I see them, and feel them, and DAMN IT there is another one growing as I speak!!!! I just plucked a forest of them 3 days ago, what in the hell are they doing back so soon!

Now the 3rd part of a symphony is usually a minuet, and while Beethoven used what is called a “scherzo and trio”, it essentially is the same as a minuet.  Three beats in a bar of music is all you need to know.  As if on cue. One, two, three chin hairs! WHAT!  I turn my head to the other side; you know the perfect jaw line side and one,  two,  three chin hairs.  Gasp! So, I begin to pizzicato those ass@&*’s right off!

I have now entered the 4th and final movement of this famous symphony.  DUH DUH DUH DUHHHHHH. I am back in allegro mode. Moving fast and quick, I am triumphantly plucking, disposing and plucking again with such voracity that Beethoven himself would have written my glory into his next symphony!  I am the conductor now! DUH DUH DUH DUHHHHHH.  I flip my ponytail back, straighten my shirt and with an exuberated exhale, I take my final bow and I DUH DUH DUHHHHHH my ass out of that bathroom like the chin hair virtuoso that I have become. 

Sometimes it is nice to poke a little fun at the pleasures of aging. Aging is a privilege. Why not have fun along the way and marvel at the way that our body adapts and changes as we weave our way through this life. Chin hairs are just one little change that we encounter as we get older, and the way I look at them, they represent the wisdom of all I have experienced. Embrace it, have fun with it, and learn to love it.

First guest blog spot on “Bluntmoms.com”!

First guest blog spot on “Bluntmoms.com”!

Hi everyone, I am super excited to announce that I have my first guest blog spot on the @Bluntmoms.com website!! Please pop on over to this amazing website and check out my post on “Those A@@hole Toilet Paper Rolls”. https://bluntmoms.com/those-ahole-toilet-paper-rolls/