How You Doin'?
I survived. WE survived. Our first Mother's Day with a different family structure.
The girls brought me breakfast in bed at 9AM on the dot. Proud smiles on their faces, so excited to show me the meal they made. They were so hungry from the effort, that they ate all of the breakfast right before me. It was perfect.
How you doin'?
I remember being down on Sanibel Island with my ex-boyfriend James and his family. We had a ball. Smokin' cigars, drinking wine, fishing, eating, laughing... it was one of my most memorable vacations.
There was a "funny guy" at the restaurant on the first night who was obsessed with James' grandparents Tony & Carmela. He did his "Italian Gumba" bit, and had the whole audience in stitches. We were all rolling around laughing our pants off. He kept askin' - "How You Doin'?"... In perfect Long Island Guinea accent... "How You Doin'?"...
I went home that night and thought - How am I doin'? - I'm not so good. I want to be happy, but i'm not sure how to get there. That was probably close to 20 year ago, and now, here I am, on my first single-mom Mother's Day, trying to figure out the same question - "How am I doin'?".
Often, I tell my kids that it's okay to not be "okay". To feel things. Many things. Friends, family, COVID, school. I have 3 girls and they feel things deeply. It's okay. They are young and learning new strategies and perspectives daily! But what about me? What am I allowed to feel? I'm nearly 40, and I have permission to feel, to be, to emote. Do I need the permission? Probably not. But really, how am I doin'?...
If you asked me, I would say "I'm great. Things are amicable and happy. We are all good." and for the most part, that is not a lie. I am great. I am happy. That doesn't mean that I'm always happy... are you? No. None of us achieve 100% happiness. And that is the point of my blog post.
To achieve happiness you have to be radically candid with yourself. Ask yourself, HOW YOU DOIN'? and be fucking honest. It's okay to not be okay. It's okay to be in a state of flow. But what's not okay is ignoring your cries for help... your inner voice that is reaching out for something or someone to talk to. It's the hardest thing to do, and I don't do it as often as I should. I try to be strong, and put on a brave face - even (and especially when) I AM NOT OKAY.
Also, if you're like "Lindsay, go F yourself, I'm never going to do that!" - then do me a favor and ask someone else. Chances are, even if you are perfect and happy, someone else is not.
It's mental health awareness month, and I cannot name one person who I think is of sound mind and spirit after the last year or so. We've all been through the ringer. We have so much in common, and could heal from that common place of pain and anxiety.
We could heal. Together. Do what you can today... for YOU, and for THEM.
Sending you love & kisses,