Let the Good times Roll with a Bang!

 

Since, polishing off the turkey, surviving the Boxing Day havoc, I began to clear the presents under the tree. and making room in the cupboard for my new dish set.  As I did this, I glanced to discover my lonely shooting range gift certificate, and glanced at my husband nestled on the couch.

Perhaps, today would be a good day to fire off some guns? We had a free babysitter, we had nothing to do, and I thought what the heck this is my chance to fire off a gun. So, I put on my favorite leather jacket, mustered my best cocky attitude, and grabbed Mr. MBA off the coach.

“That’s it! We’re going to the shooting range!”

“We’re what?”

“Put on your shoes! We’re going now!”

It was that one impulsive moment that gave the energy to  muster enough courage to go and attempt to fire a gun. It was only thirty  minutes later that I walked into the shooting range amazed and nervous. My cocky attitude disappeared as I realized I was about to fire off a gun. We signed our waiver, put on our goggles, headset, and  walked into the range.

At first, I was dumbfounded, I thought like the movies we would each have our own room. But no, it was wide open. I thought oh crap! What if some crazy person just starts randomly firing, but then I saw each of the range officers had their own gun.  I felt mildly safer,  assessed the other shooters, and thought if one of them  decided to go commando,  I would just hit the ground, and play dead.

The range officer called us forward, hung our targets, and explained how to use the 9mm. I looked at the Range Officer as if he was speaking tongues, my heart began to beat fast, and I was wondering if I would chicken out? Mr. MBA went trigger happy like a little kid who just bought a bag of penny-cent candy. I looked at the range officer, stalling, I asked,”Ummm…Could you explain that, again?”

He looked at my pale face, and calmly said, ” How about I just walk you through it?”

 And with that he talked me step by step,  through shooting my first hand gun. The moment I fired was surprised by myself, the power of the gun, the sound, and the fact that I actually hit the target. I was anxiously pleased with myself and unsure if it was me that actually just shot a gun.

'I can shoot straight, if I don't have to shoot too far...'

I shot  three  rounds of the 9mm. And thought to myself ” I actually did it! I did it! I fired a gun!” 

I always thought the shooting range was for testosterone pumped men. Not me?  But I did it! And  It was fun!

It was that exhilarating moment at the shooting range, I realized I needed to step more out of my usual routine. And decided this  New Year’s, I ‘m not doing the typical resolution list that I never follow through on. 

 I know  2011 will be about stepping out of my comfort zone,  and  attempting to try more new things.  You never know what to expect until you do it, whether it be the good, the bad, or the ugly!

 Hello 2011 may you be as fun as 2010! Just to let you know – I’m going forward and never looking back!  Let the Good Times Roll! Kapow!

An Idealistic Christmas List

As, I finish the last-minute wrapping, baking, and dream of boxing day sales. I look forward to a Christmas with an open heart, merriment, and wonder of a child.  And with those child-like eyes I’ve made my own idealistic Christmas list:

1.  End World Hunger

2. Free Effective Health Care for All

3. World Peace

4. Equality for All People

5. Good Governance

6. A Sustainable Environment

Now, my list is small, but in the world of back room politics, and let’s make a deal with the devil, I know these problems will never be solved. But it’s nice to look with a childs eyes knowing with full heart that there is simple solution to all of the world’s problems right in front of us.  But wouldn’t it be nice, if this wish list could come true?

I guess that’s why we wish, to hope for a better day, and brighter future. And that is what I wish for all of you over this holiday season. I also wish you all  a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

No Excuses

The holiday season has been thrust upon us whether we were ready or not! And many of us are thwarted with the duty of attending the annual Holiday parties and festivities. It’s one of those things I dread, the schmoozing, the small talk, and the awkward pauses in conversations.

Some people have the cocktail party down to an art form. I envy the way they can glide across the room, smile, have the art of conversation down to a science, and fail from teetering over in their heels. I’m not so fortunate, I ask a lot of questions, to  deviate from the dreaded question of what do you do, and hide at the buffet table any chance I get!

However, this last weekend something changed, I met a spitfire of a lady, she was intelligent, smart, and funny. The first question she asked me was, “What do you do?”

I took a breath, “I stay home with the kids. You know when we moved here it was just hard to find child care, and we decided it was best for everyone that I stay home.”

She looked at me, ” Don’t make excuses! Your stay at home mom and there is nothing wrong with that!”

I thought to myself maybe I was making excuses for myself. I blushed and said “You are right!”

She confided, “I was a stay at home mom for years. It was great! I loved every minute of it! And I see the investment I’ve made in my children everyday. Work comes and it goes. But your children are always there!”

I looked at her, “You are right! And I love being home with the kids. It’s a really fun age and we get to do so much together.”

“That’s the important thing! Don’t feel guilty that your stay at home mom. Enjoy it!”

It was after, I had this conversation with this spirited individual, I realized she was right. I was making excuses, but why? Is it the way some people cringe when you tell them your stay at home mom? Or perhaps, the look of judgement that comes across their face?  It’s all of those cues I look for in people when I tell them I’m a stay at home mom.

 At that moment I decided to take this woman’s advice and I no longer make excuses for myself. Now,  every time someone asked me the dreaded question of – what do you do?

I respond on cue with  “I’m a stay at home Mom! And I love it!”

I’ve noticed when I say this to  the new people I’ve been meeting  that  some people smile with relief, because they are too, some people tense up, possibly judging me, and others just don’t care.

I’ve also decided if you don’t like my response suck it! It’s my life, it’s my choice, and I love my life!  At some point, I will go back to work but just not now.

I love being with my kids, watching them grow, and I want to be there every step of the way. They are an important investment  and I plan to invest every piece of my heart into their bright futures.

My Husband has Mistaken Me for Sarah Palin

Some men,  buy women flowers, expensive jewelry, or something pretty for their wives on their Birthday. Oh! But not my honey! He likes to think outside the box, to get in touch with his wives inner feelings, and get her the most surprising gift ever. Yes! It was surprising! Head – Scratching (and no it wasn’t head lice)! But it was one of those speechless presents that you wonder – do I really send off that kind of signal?

The past couple of weeks have been hectic with Mr. MBA recovering from a mild surgery. I’ve become nurse, taxi driver,cleaning lady, head chef, volunteer, and exterior Christmas decorator all wrapped into one.

It was just yesterday, I strung the outdoor Christmas lights, impaled myself with a tree branch,  fell backwards off the ladder, only to be tripped by Frosty the Snowman. It was one of those comical moments,  you know the neighbors, are hiding behind their curtains, laughing at the mad girl, swearing off a storm of expletives.

So, as I marched into the house, I fantasized this would  be the Birthday year I would get a punch card for hot yoga glasses, or a gift certificate to a luxurious spa to soothe away all of  my stress.

So, I woke up this morning, ready to open my present, imagining something glorious!

I ripped open the package, to discover a case of beer, and a hundred-dollar gift certificate to the shooting range. I was tired, speechless, I looked at the beer, and then looked at the gift certificate.

“You got me a hundred-dollar gift certificate to the shooting range?”

Mr. MBA eyes gleamed with pride, “Isn’t it great?”

“Ummm! I guess!”

“I thought you would like it! You’ve talked about going in the past.”

I half smiled “Oh! But I was kinda half-joking about it.”

“You  don’t like it!”

“It’s not that I don’t like it! It’s just I’m wondering…Do I look like Sarah Palin to you?”

“Well kinda.”

“What!?”

“Well in a good way!You like to camp, hike and fish. Plus, you kinda look like  her when you pull your hair back, and wear your glasses. Also, when you have a little too much to drink your little accent comes out.”

“Ugh! I don’t have an accent!”

“But I thought you would like it! It would be a good way to relieve the stress and have fun!”

I looked at the beer. I  looked at the gift certificate.  And thought what the heck!  

 I looked at Mr. MBA,  and with my best Scarlett accent exclaimed, ” I can shoot straight,  if I don’t have to shoot to far…Just don’t ever mistaken me for Palin, again!”

So, this hectic season, who needs spa appointments, hot yoga, and expensive jewelry. Hell! I got a gift certificate to the shooting range and I’m going to enjoy every stress-free minute of it!

The View from My Rose-Colored Glasses

Once upon a time in a not so distant past, people would go door to door, campaigning for their special charity. Many people would answer their doors to strangers, listen to their cause, and donate a small token. But times have changed. Rarely, people campaign door to door, and rarely people donate to strangers.

It was just this past weekend the not so distant past came knocking on my door. It was a dark,cold evening, and two young men were standing outside, canvasing for their high schools charity. I gave them the suspicious  once over, decided they didn’t look like thugs, and let them in to warm up.

They were eager to discuss their schools campaign, they had pamphlets, they were knowledgable of the charity, and didn’t give me an uneasy feeling that I normally would get  from a  potential scammer. They seemed earnest, sincere, and very polite.

As I listened to their spiel – I decided I would donate a small sum to their campaign.  I filled out the donation form and asked  “So, are you guys having any luck with door to door donations?”

One young man responded, “The the last couple of hours have not been going well. But,  your small block has been quite generous and  has given us hope.”

I chuckled “Oh! It’s nice to hear our little  block has reaffirmed your hopes.”

 As the young men exited, I  closed the door, and Mr. MBA walked over with a small scowl on his face. “You do realize you just gave them this evening’s beer money?”

“I did not!”

“Oh! You so did!”

“Do you think they were scammers?”

“Yup!”

‘But they had the pamphlets, they were polite, and there was nothing wrong with their body language.”

“You wanna bet?”

I was feeling cocky “I’ll bet you dinner at Chops  because I know I’m right.”

“So how are we going to prove who is right? And who is wrong?”

“Let’s google the school!”

We checked out the schools web site and yes they were campaigning for this very special cause.

I gave a whoop, a jump, and with gusto I exclaimed, “Take that!”

Mr. MBA sighed and rolled his eyes,”Fine. But it really doesn’t prove anything.”

It was true it really didn’t prove anything but it did get me dinner at Chops.

I wondered was I too optimistic about people?  Maybe Mr. MBA was right, and  it was beer money. As I begun to second guess my instincts…I thought  have we grown so cynical towards people that we need to question every motive? Worry about potential scammers?

 Instead, I pushed those thoughts aside and decided to enjoy the view from my rose-colored glasses. The view was of a not so distant past when people trusted the kindness of strangers and believed their motives were altruistic. It is after all the holidays, it is about the spirit of giving, and  believing the best in everyone.