“Mommy, there’s poop…on my foot. There is poop…on…my foot. Mommy, there’s poop-“

“It looks like Rocco poop, Mommy. It’s small like Rocco poop- it’s kind of dry but she stepped on it and it got smushy. It’s very small…it’s definitely Rocco poop. Marty poop is a lot bigger. Can you bring some wipes in here? Grace has poop-“

“Yeah it’s on my foot! It’s small, Mommy. Rocco poop. It’s brown. We need the wipes, Mommy. I have the poop.”

“Grace, stand still! I’ll be there as soon as I finish cleaning Marty’s pee off the dining room rug!”

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, and this is why.

I usually don’t have the wherewithal to set specific plans to create a new and improved version of my life when I spend most of my time just trying to survive the current version.

I’m certainly not saying that I don’t like the current version- it’s an adventure I wouldn’t step away from for anything.

I’m also not saying that I don’t want to grow and evolve- I just don’t necessarily agree with the whole “Ok, it’s January 1st. BOOM! New Me! New Life! Right Now!”

Especially since I’m so preoccupied with scrubbing the digestive habits of 2 dogs from my carpets and, occasionally (gag) my daughter’s left foot.  That’s all the room I have in my “right now!” list of things to do these days.

But for whatever reason, I got swept up in Resolution Madness this year- I had some pretty ambitious ones, if I do say so myself. This was the gist of my mental pep-talk on New Year’s Eve:

“In 2018, I’m going to write my first book! I’m going to go back to a mostly vegan, low sugar diet! I’m not wasting any more money on soy lattes! I’m going to get up at 5:30am and do a 20-minute yoga routine, and another one each night before bed! I’m going to lose 10lbs! I’m going to cut out alcohol and tortilla chips! Wait, not that last one, let’s not go crazy.”

But the thing about resolutions (which is, once again, why I don’t normally make any) is that you have to somehow accomplish them while walking this little tightrope called LIFE.

Let’s illustrate a few examples, shall we?

For example…when a Lincoln Towncar consummated its relationship with my back bumper during the evening rush last Wednesday night, I needed to wait for the police report. I needed to get to my chiropractor, because smacking your face into your steering wheel makes your neck do all sorts of fun, twisty things. I didn’t get home until 8:30 at night; so the PM workout wasn’t happening.

When Marty tore a hole in my last pair of pajamas doing her “Good Morning Mommy!” flash dance on Friday, I had to go out after work in 10-degree weather searching for clearance-priced, dog-proof sweatpants. It was late. I was cold. There was a Starbucks…ok, I bought a soy latte. And a cake pop…

When Grace threw up 4 times from 1:30-4:30am on Sunday, I was NOT getting up at 5:30am to do 20 minutes of yoga. I got up at 7am and walked into a wall.

When I strolled into the basement last night and found the washing machine making a noise that sounded strangely like my chain-smoking great-uncles trying to clear their throats, I had to shelve my plans to transform my sunroom into a reflective space for literature and poetry. Instead, I read the washer/dryer combo descriptions on and reflected on what my monthly payments would be for the front-loaders.

See what I mean? Life takes a lot of adjustment. That’s why they made a whole board game about it.

I think a better idea than a hard and fast resolution is this- understand that life will happen. Steer it in the right direction and take new paths whenever possible. But if you get stuck on one monotonous road for a while, enjoy that ride too.

In the past week, I have purchased 2 lattes. I have eaten 6 Trader Joe’s sea salt brownie bites, 1 cake pop, and 2 dark chocolate truffles. I have enjoyed my homemade, very non-vegan turkey casserole 3 times. I’ve skipped a couple of workouts. I have lost 0 pounds (actually, I gained 3…). My sunroom is still just a sunroom, not an epic writing retreat.

So I have some news for you, 2018 Resolutions.

  1. Running up the stairs after I coaxed the washer back to life, screaming, “We are draining and spinning, people! We are Draining and Spinning!!!” and dancing my out-of-shape butt off with Gracie in the kitchen was, in fact, a pre-bed workout.
  2. I like soy lattes. They are off the list.
  3. I will get up to do yoga if and only if both children sleep for a continuous 5 hours the previous night.
  4. Grace and I had a very competitive “who can crunch like a bunny” contest with carrots and hummus while the police checked out my cracked bumper. I ate potato and leek soup for dinner last night. I am having quinoa salad for lunch. But if I want one of Vince’s chicken nuggets tonight, it-is-on.
  5. This body is strong. This body is active. This body is healthy. This body is currently having some issues fitting into jeans. This body jiggles when I stir soup. This body crackles in various places when I ease into downward dog. Ok we’re going in the wrong direction. The point is- I will try my best. Maybe this is the year I’ll go back to looking like I did when I was 22. But if not, I will crackle and jiggle proudly into next year- in a bikini! So THERE.
  6. I may not write a book this year. But I will write. I’ll write when I’m happy and when I’m sad. I’ll write in the sunroom and on the living room floor. I’ll write at the dining room table while the tornado of children and dogs swirls around me. I’ll write when I’m hiding in the bathroom pretending to pee.

So if you, like me, have had a bit of a backfire to start your year, try this Resolution- change what you want, if you can, when it’s right. But no matter what, love what you have.  Poop and all.


“This is ridiculous. I have so much to do at home. Vince needs to do his 30 minutes of reading; Grace needs a bath. I could be using this $100 to pay the electric bill, for Christ’s sake.”

That right there? That’s the sweet sound of me relaxing.

As you can see, I’m very, very good at it.

I’ve heard it’s a woman thing, or a mom thing- this inability to shut out the world and shut off the mind. I personally think it’s just an adult thing- although I’m still baffled by the way my husband can fall asleep while sitting at the dinner table.

Anyway, this particular episode of “relaxation” was during my last massage appointment.  Picture it- dim lights, soothing music, scented oils, warm lotion…and me:

“Ok, time to stretch out and rela- oh! Oh my God I almost kicked him. Do I say something? No. Don’t say anything. Just be still. Relax. Be still. Relax…I kind of have to pee. But I just peed…maybe I have a nervous bladder. A bladder that’s afraid of massages. That could be a cartoon.”

“I can’t believe I’m wasting so much money on this. I bought this stupid membership for Pat. I should’ve known he wouldn’t use it- I’m cancelling it. On my way out, I’m cancelling it. I’ll be firm. I won’t let them talk me into staying! Hehehe…it’s like that episode of Friends where Ross tries to quit the gym…”

“Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. I said Swedish, not deep tissuuuueeeouch!….hurts so good…..come on massage guy make it hurt-so-good…sometimes my neck don’t feel like it should….oh for the love of God.”

“I wonder why he massaged my feet so quickly…maybe he has a thing against chipped polish. Or maybe he hates feet. No. You can’t be a masseuse if you hate feet. Masseuse? Masseur? Massage person?”

“The kids were both healthy for Erin’s housewarming party, and Christmas Eve, AND Christmas Day. What a perfect Christmas…snow outside, Muppet Family Christmas on the TV, the kids opening their gifts with the dogs at their feet, Pat and I drinking our coffee out of our snowman mugs…that’s too perfect. They’re definitely going to be sick for New Year’s. I should just cancel dinner with my parents now and buy soup and ginger ale. We’ll all be puking this weekend. Puking with fevers…oh my GOD why can’t I shut off?! Massage. Massage. FOCUS on the MASSAGE. Everything is going to be alright….hmm, hmm, don’t worry…lalala…about a thing…’cause every little ting…every little ting? Every little thing. Ting?…Every little thing, gonna be alright…hmm hmmm…”

“I’m like a living Mrs. Dalloway. All stream of consciousness. I can’t shut it off. Oh well…I bet me and Virginia Wolfe would have gotten along. She would have liked that little walk-in closet I turned into a “Room of One’s Own” in high school…yeah, I was a dork. I am a dork. God, I’m a dork. I’m ok with it though.”

“Ok, turning over, turning over, careful the boobs don’t fall out to the siiiidessss…..yes! Both boobs are successfully smashed under me…are my underwear even? Ugh. I have ½ a muffin top going on.”

“Why are my shoulders crunching? Should shoulders sound like cornflakes??? Ok. Ok, you’re here to RELAX, Cathy. Shut up already and breathe…breathe….ooohhh the crunching is going to make me vomit….”

“Oh ok so I guess we’re just going for the glutes there, Mister. Don’t clench your butt cheeks. Don’t clench your butt cheeks.”

“Mmmmm….ok this is nice…I could totally fall asleep right-“

“Ok, that concludes our session.”


I cancelled the membership this morning. Honestly, all that relaxation is too damn stressful.