I’ve started driving to and from work recently. My time is precious now, and besides that I need the practice (I didn’t get my license until a bit later in life than some!)
Throughout most of my pregnancy I was too nervous to drive, and even in the year after Junior Juice was born my time behind the wheel was fairly limited. So this is the first time I’ve ever done the daily commute.
Don’t laugh, but up until now I haven’t turned the radio on while driving. I haven’t wanted any distractions to interfere with my focus on the road ahead. Today, though, as I pulled onto Bloor Street I flipped the dial to see what was playing. It was the tail end of a generic sounding song from one of the many indie bands currently populating the airwaves. “Booooo!” I yelled at the radio, punching the buttons. I feel that the radio exists solely to amuse me, and when it doesn’t I like to complain vigorously at it (see also: my TV). Just as I was about to shut it down, the Clash’s Should I Stay or Should I Go came on. Now, I love me some Clash. They are definitely one of my fav bands of all time, and this is a good song. I was torn.
I kept it on. I sang along. I even sang along to the Spanish bits, which I realized are the most genius parts of the song.* As I sailed over the Bloor Street Viaduct, I thought about how much my life has changed – and how far I’ve come – since I wrote this post. I used to be afraid of crossing the bridge via subway, and now here I was driving over it.
As I pulled into my garage at home, a song by the Strumbellas that I’ve been vibing came on. I didn’t want to get out before it was over, so I sat in my car belting it out at full volume. It’s got a singalong chorus that lends itself perfectly to such moments. I realized that all of you at-a-young-car-driving-age bastards (my technical term for people who got their licenses as teens rather than suffering the indignity of sitting through a Young Driver’s course at age thirtysomething) have been doing this for years! But this was my first time. Why did no one tell me how amazing it is to sit in your car, singing along, until the song is over? I feel honoured to now be a part of this club, and I feel like I’ll always remember this song and this momentous occasion.
Here it is:
*How great is it that ‘sabes que ropa me queda?‘ is a line in a punk rock song?
The Lemon: Giving Citrus Fruit A Bad Name
I started this blog a few years ago, after I had suffered a miscarriage. I found out that the pregnancy wasn’t viable on my 35th birthday when I went in for my first ultrasound. In the weeks following this news, my husband told me that he felt relieved that I had miscarried, and that he no longer wanted to try to start a family. For anyone reading this who’s had a miscarriage, I don’t need to tell you that this is perhaps the worst thing you can hear immediately after losing a baby. I was pretty devastated by the entire situation.
I knew my husband well enough to realize that his reaction was knee-jerk; he was the type of person who dealt horribly with stress and major life changes. I don’t mean this as a burn. As an anxious person myself, I can’t fault others for their trepidations. To do so would be hypocritical. But his lack of support at such a crucial time had an effect – how could it not? Still, I soldiered on. I tended to my grief as best I could. I started this blog – my effort to celebrate the things in my life that bring me joy, as small or silly as they might be. I hoped that as time went on we would both heal from the experience and that he would give the idea of parenthood another chance.
It doesn’t always take two to make an argument.
We’re glad that Patrick Stewart has spoken out on this salient point.
We are encouraged by the chorus of voices that are starting to chime in on the topic of abuse and its consequences.
We are happy that we live in a world where people will name abuse for what it is, and fight against it.
I’m calling you that because even though I’m the one currently lounging at Skillness HQ, eating snacks and watching Thaddeus update our Instagram (@mentalskillness), I want to take a moment to recognize the fact that each and every one of you are skillin’ your way through your own lives, every day.
Some days are easier than others. Some days it’s easy to bound out of bed, full of energy and ready to face the world with excitement and joy. Other days it’s a slog, filled with traffic, annoying co-workers, and not nearly enough coffee. Or maybe it’s even worse. Maybe you’re dealing with depression, or loss, or the aftermath of trauma. Perhaps you’re facing a major transition, or filled with questions about your future and how to accomplish some goals that fell by the wayside while you pursued others. Maybe at times you’re grinding through, just barely hanging on, while at other times you’re more able to sit back, relax, and appreciate the gifts that life brings us every day. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the world is constantly presenting us with gifts. Sometimes they’re small or incredibly subtle, but if something puts a smile on your face for even a moment then it’s a treasure! It’s really as simple as that.
I always keep a couple of little tricks in my back pocket for those moments I’m really down in the doldrums – things that are guaranteed to make me laugh. You should too. I’m not trying to boss you around or anything, but I’m pretty smart and have very good ideas. That’s why they pay me the big bucks here at Mentalskillness.* Anyway, I promise it’ll help! To get you started, you can have one of mine…
From “The 24 Times Google Got Way Too Real”:
* By “they” I mean “me” and by “the big bucks” I mean “zero dollars, but endless amusement”. Which, come to think of it, will be the title of my autobiography, should I ever write one.
It’s a true fact that here at Skillness HQ we’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Justin Bieber. Maybe it’s because his movie, Never Say Never, was one of the first things we reviewed for our sister site Let Them Eat Vinyl. Ah, how young we were then. Sometimes it’s hard to believe.
You know when else we felt young? On our recent getaway to Miami’s South Beach with a cadre of girlfriends. We drank, we danced, we lay on the beach – and everywhere we went, this song was playing.
It’s a great song, and not just because it reminds me of being young.
It doesn’t happen every day, but every so often I imagine that my life is a Nelly video. Those are great days. Look at how much fun I am having!
I mean, it’s kind of hard to argue with this, right?