Fishing for Fika: FINALLY!

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Hooray! You’re here. Welcome. Today’s the launch of a project that is so much more than a blog or podcast. It’s the culmination of failed endeavors, constant questioning, endless searching, and serious surrendering.

For years I’ve felt like I was fishing for something special. I’d cast a line into deep waters, unsure of my bait, anxiously angling and frantically reeling in.

I was desperate to do something with my writing. I was hungry to connect. A perpetual daydreamer, I yearned for the chance to make my mark. But like so many, I got caught up in the chaos. I swam in emails, became a slave to my phone, and cohabited with my computer.

In this powerful, fast-paced, ever-changing world, I drowned in doubt, fear, and epic excuses.

One day a friend asked me if I wanted to fika.  A true lover of words, she rendered me silent. What was fika?  Upon explanation, I was game.

Fika made sense. It was a chance to break and converse. A pause without a purpose other than fostering friendship or camaraderie. So we sat. We had no technology, no distraction, and no agenda.  She made the most delicious coffee and we let our discussion go in all sorts of directions. It felt strange, freeing, and fun.

As a storyteller, I’m drawn to opportunities to grow and gain insight into others. Fika offers me the platform to connect and conspire while creating stories worth sharing.

You’re a part of this project. In fact, you’re the passion behind it. Let’s fika!

I Paid 29.99 For This: Beach Body

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We joined the municipal pool this summer. It’s an easy walk from our house and the perfect place for my water babies to expend energy.

We spend the majority of our time in very shallow water. My go-to pool attire is a short sundress and floppy hat. Most of the time I don’t have to derobe since the water isn’t deep.

I am thankful for these days of wading pools and watching my tiny tadpoles. They are simple, saturated with love, and full of laughter.  But I’m also acutely aware of something else this swimsuit season, which is that like many, I need to further foster my physical confidence.

I’m going to the gym consistently. This in itself is a celebration. I’m being more mindful of what I eat. Again, another step in the right direction. But while I’m working on myself and trying my best to focus on effort and habits, it feels counterproductive to let shame or doubt intercept me as I don my cute but a few sizes bigger than I’d like Target bathing suit.

The debate on the body-positive movement stirs up something visceral within me. Let me be clear, I need to lose weight. Let me be clearer that I’m working on it. But I also don’t want to diminish my in-progress status and wait for results in order to go places or do things, especially related to the pool or beach.

When we own that we need to work on something and share it publicly, we become more real to others and to ourselves. This is part of my self-love experience and it’s become a central theme in my thought process and decision making. Maybe it’s also why we see so many posts on the self-love movement. People struggle to deny normal but nagging feelings of inadequacy or comparison, especially about body image.

I have two little girls. Their presence has emphasized the need to show ownership and pride over my body. And when I’m not proud I work harder.

I paid 29.99 for my Target swimsuit. You can bet that I’m going to wear and swim in the damn thing. For myself, for my girls, and for anyone in need of some self-love, this is how you get a beach body.

 

 

Lemonade Lust: This Is Us

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I have a full-blown obsession with This is Us. It’s an extreme, fanatical, ridiculously gratifying and soul-searching type of obsession.

I don’t pretend to believe my love for the show is unique. It’s popular and polarizing because it’s relevant and relatable for so many of us.  I was hooked minutes into the first episode and thousands of tears later, I’m still anticipating, dreaming, and evolving like the rest of the Pearson family.

This summer I made a commitment to go public with my love of all things This Is Us. In the past I’ve somewhat floated my fandom, but this is different because I’m confessing my life altering admiration and appetite for the show. Moreover, I’m cheering and chasing creator and writer extraordinaire, Dan Fogelman.

This Is Us is known to sprinkle gut-checking insight into the audience through individual and familial storylines. But it does something so much more for me. It forces me to be acutely aware of my own empathy, decisions, and insecurities. It raises the bar for my parenting, relationship reassurance, and admission to imperfection.  This fictional show embraces the messiness and magic of life, which is why it’s not only believable, but authentically awakening.

I am fixated on storylines that illustrate and illuminate the peaks and pits of ordinary lives. I am committed to ensuring my own words do the same.

It feels good to be a fan of this show. It excites and elevates me, and in today’s world, we need exactly this in excess. Sometimes it’s good to lust after something while living through something else. Stories from this show give me hope that there’s a space for my words somewhere, and so for this and countless other reasons, I’m grateful.

Until my next This Is Us rambling, go sip on summer. And maybe ask yourself, did you make some lemonade?

Mom Shame & Kindness Fame

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I sort of got mom shamed last week. It was awful. Before I divulge more let me emphasize that the purpose of this post isn’t to shame the shamer. In fact, I empathize with her.  The latter is important in order to understand a few details.

To begin, her child had a bad experience because of an accidental error on my end.  To clarify, it was absolutely accidental. Herein lies the problem. We don’t let people make mistakes anymore. And if and when they do, we call them out quickly and loudly. Case in point, our incident made it to Facebook. Guys, it was my worst nightmare.

I hate conflict and I loathe confrontation. This was gut wrenching. Furthermore, it invited more judgement into the jungle. And while we worked through it with some humor and humility, the whole thing kind of wrecked me.

Why?

Negative energy knows no limits. While the post was taken down someone took a screenshot of it. An acquaintance approached me and inquired after the events. And while I wanted this event to be over and to forget about it, the universe had other plans.

Mom shame is real. We’re supposed to be cheerleaders for one another and champions of role modeling for our children. We’re not perfect. We make mistakes. We need to own our accidents and learn from them accordingly. We also need to exercise and employ empathy.

I immediately thought of the opposing opinion. It’s what I’ve been taught to do. Kudos to my mama for another valuable life skill. But I’m not perfect. I’ve gone to anger and hurt before understanding and compassion before. That’s why moms need to issue important reminders to one another. In this instance, kindness is a game changer.

In a world where reality t.v. rules and social media is the status quo, it’s challenging to decipher and delve deeper into relationships. Often, we only scratch the surface. We assume without acknowledgment or awareness. It’s entirely too dangerous to do so.

My fellow mamas, we’ve got to do better. We need more empathy, thoughtfulness, and valor. I’m digging deeper and vowing to do better. Will you? The only fame I aspire to achieve is rooted in kindness. Here’s to making kindness popular. And here’s to making mistakes, which often render us our greatest lessons.

The Problem with Positivity

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I’ve been on a positivity promotional tour the past few weeks. I’ve taken inventory of people and things in my life and carefully assessed their positive influence or potential. Guys, it’s a dog-eat-dog world and negativity is rampant. The toxicity of negativity knows no boundries. It invades and mutiplies rapidly, which easily becomes overwhelming and prohibitive.

The problem with positivity is that it’s not practiced consistently. We come at life from various angles, but many are rooted in suspicion or opposition. But what if we looked at life through the lens of limitless positivity? What if we didn’t wait for something good to happen to be in a mood worthy of replication or admiration? What if we made a commitment to be passionately positive? See, there’s a difference between passionately positive and postivity. When you’re passionately involved in anything you’re invested differently. And when positivity becomes the cause instead of effect, joy is born.

I didn’t have an epiphany to get here. I have no magic potion or sage wisdom. Oprah doesn’t sit on my shoulder and whisper soulful inspiration into my ear (but I wish she would). I can’t cut every negative person from my life. I can’t eradicate complaints or challenges. I can’t focus on what I can’t change. However, I can be passionately positive.

I can commit to trying to be better. I can rise to the occassion with optimism. I can persitently pursue excellence. I can surrender fear and frustration for hope and humility. It’s daunting. Many call it naive or impossible. Who needs those negative naysaers?

Try it. Go all in. Be a champion and passionprenuer of positivity.

What’s postivity doing for you and around you? Let’s fika!

Identity: Back to One

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He lives in Newark, New Jersey. He has a T-Mobile account. Bank of America is his financial institution of choice. He pays his bills on time. His former employer claims he was reliable and known for his diligence.

I’d like to meet him. After all, he stole my identity.

Despite the popularity and presence of identity theft in our political discourse, I’ve learned this road is unpaved, uneven, and uncomfortably ignored. I’ve filed police reports, notified the federal trade commision, called the phone company, and dealt with employment repercussions about the impact of his name tied to my number. Hours have been dedicated to a resolution.

Here’s the thing: he’s a good thief. He hasn’t breached my finances. He isn’t wreaking havoc on my credit. My social security number is his lifeline. It gives him stability and grants him access to opportunity.

And this might sound strange, but I’d like to meet him. I’ve known about this man since 2010. I’ve been chasing him and desperately trying to get his name disassociated from mine for eight years. In that time I’ve come to imagine what happened in his life that caused his need to steal. My mind goes wild over envisioning the moment he got his fake social security card. My heart races at the recollection of hearing how he fled when his employer discovered his fraud. It’s been a bitter battle with little to no answers.

I’ve had all the emotions and then some about this experience, and yet I still can’t escape the exhausting obsession of wanting to meet this man. I’m pretty certain we won’t meet, so of course, I’d be happy to accept a guaranteed offer to make this all go away.

From what I’ve been told, this individual is an illegal immigrant. Given the climate and debate centered on immigration, I’ve heard a lot of opinions on the hypothetical implications that await the man who stole my social. My feelings on his fate are complicated. And while this might sound crazy, I’m equally angry at his former employers, who have admitted to not having proper hiring documentation, failing to pursue his crimes, and ignoring my pleas.

If identity theft has taught me anything, it’s that many people partake in the crime for failing to exercise due diligence or consistent vigilance. Yes, the man is at fault for his crime. However, his ability to operate is because of someone else’s negligence.

I feel fenced in. There’s a story here, a definite fika, but because it’s complicated most people ignore the effort to explore it further.

I’m moving forward in the name of patience and persistence. Technically, there’s two of me in the world right now. I’d like to get back to one.

Deep with Doreen

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I met Doreen through my friend Kim, co-creator of Fat, Drunk & Fancy. I had put out the call for moms because I was desperate to fika with women who had something to share about the pits and peaks of motherhood. I had met Doreen once before and it felt like we had a connection over the promise of possibility.

Our original fika took place at my house. When she left I was on cloud nine. I felt overwhelmed by the sheer magic she shared. As I sat and listened to the replay my joy and satisfaction multiplied. Early on into editing, I experienced a problem. One thing led to another and part of our discussion got deleted. Cue tears, tantrums, and total meltdown. My poor husband watched me unravel and I nervously emailed Doreen to let her know what happened.

I should have known that her awesomeness extended to understanding. She granted me another fika, which unearthed more positive and profound mama moments. Initially, I  had hoped to fuse our fikas, but technology won this war and I’m slightly scarred from the battle.  For now, I’m giving you something small but special, but know there’s more to follow.

Like a lot of people, I grow from what I gain in the marriage of opportunity and experience. Meeting Doreen, who walked into my home as a stranger and left as someone special, changed me. It reminded me of my need to talk. Collaboration and communication are pillars to any fika, but especially within this adventure, which we call blogging and podcasting.

I’ve spent the last several weeks inundated with emails. People like this concept so much and it’s possible for it to go deeper and widen beyond my wildest dreams. I took some key advice from Doreen, which was to swim. At times I thought I was going to sink, but I paddled through and stayed on the surface. Fishing for Fika is officially organized, open, and ready for all things summer. I’m excited about mom fika, for all the conversations to come, and for the dreams yet to be discovered.

Mamas, this fika is for you. 

 

Mom Fika: More “Mother’s Day”

danijela-froki-575670-unsplashI spent the day being showered with affection. From morning snuggles to handmade cards, it was simple and sweet. Highlights included a solo walk, which felt strange sans stroller, hot coffee, and an uninterrupted bath. It was the perfect combination of quiet indulgence and lovable noise. I am grateful.

I’m not sure people fully grasp the concept of fika. Furthermore, I’m convinced a lot of others don’t understand my passionate pursuit of it. I’m commonly asked, “what are you trying to do?” I could give you multiple versions or explanations, but only one truly matters, which is centered in connection. I believe that we become better people when we immerse ourselves in opportunities for engagement.

As a writer, I generate more ideas and invite inspiration into my life when I connect and conspire with others. As a mom, I unearth strength and cultivate confidence when I surround myself with positive and powerful women.  Fika is changing the way I live and it’s redefining how I work. It’s becoming something more than I anticipated and it’s exceeding the expectations of others.

I’m all in on the Mother’s Day celebrations.  Yesterday was a welcomed change where I surrendered and shared my joy in mommyhood with family. And while I loved everything about Mother’s Day, it got me thinking about what I need more of in my life. I need mom fika.

On Saturday, June 30th, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. I’m hosting a mom fika at the Madison Community House. It’s a free event for mamas who are interested in getting out to talk to other mamas about anything and everything. We’re serving coffee and champagne, otherwise known as mom fuel, and giving ourselves permission to relax right in the middle of Saturday schedules.

The premise is simple: take a break with me. Let’s connect and cheers to mom life in a space filled with other beautiful, bold, busy, and brilliant mamas. Why? Because we shouldn’t allocate our celebrations of mommyhood to a sole Sunday in May. Let’s fika! If you plan to attend, please email fishingforfika@gmail.com so your coffee is hot and your champagne flute full.