You Are Enough

A little diddy about writing, for the following: You Are Enough, hosted by Positive Writer.

If you think you aren’t good enough, what’s the point? You write because you are driven to do so. You love words. You love choosing just the right combination of words. You want to connect with those words. Start with that being enough.

Comparing yourself to others is self-defeating. Only you can write your story, your perspective, your voice. Be true to yourself. That will be enough.

Your personal story is enough. Your voice is unique. Getting your story down is akin to baring your soul. Let it fly. It will find a home.

“You are enough” does not mean you can’t benefit from constructive criticism and good editing. Strive to be the best writer you can be. It is a craft that improves with age. Let go of defensive listening when you get useful input. Take time to assess if that input serves your writing well. Use every tool that benefits your skill set. You have all the power.

Never take rejection personally. Writing/art/humor etc. is totally subjective. Sometimes your writing simply isn’t the right fit. If you are fortunate enough to get feedback in a rejection, see it as a gift. It actually suggests you have talent worth tweaking.

Revel in completing any piece of work. That alone means you are enough. That means you are committed to writing and poised to be ready should an opportunity come knocking.

Let go of any preconceived, clichéd ideas about what a writer is. There are as many different writing styles and abilities as there are people on the planet.

Surround yourself with other writers. They are your tribe. They get you. All writers suffer from self-doubt. Other writers can be your support, and you can be theirs. Helping other writers can make you a stronger writer.

Writers recognize the power of words. “You are enough,” may be the most powerful in your arsenal. Make them a mantra. Writing takes discipline. Bolstering yourself is a neglected discipline that leads to better writing.

Say it out loud, “I write, therefore I am a writer.” And that is more than enough.

Signs You’re at a Neil Diamond Concert in 2017

Courtesy golf carts in the parking lot to give people rides to the stadium from their cars.

Warning announcement about the lights dropping abruptly as the concert will be starting shortly.

No need for earplugs.

Concert-goer wheeled out on a gurney. And not at an emergency pace. (Golf cart ride looks better and better.)

Calm, well-behaved crowd. More singing than dancing.

His backup singers are no Spring chickens.

He’s still super hot, channeling a silver-haired, silver-bearded Sean Connery.

He clearly took good care of his vocal chords. (He’s 76.)

He makes an aging fan base feel young again.

Will You Still Love Me?

So. Turned 62. Funny thing is, I’ve been telling people I am 62 for the past 9 months or more. Not sure if I was rounding up or what, but only a month or so ago, Bradley finally corrected me on it.

Brad: You know you’re only 61, right?

Me: What? That can’t be. Lemme see…1955, 2017…holy shit! I just gained a year! Or lost it. How did I screw that up? Am I going senile?

Brad: I thought it was weird. But at one point I figured you did it intentionally.

Me: You figured? And you never once thought you might MENTION this in passing?

Brad: I’m mentioning it now?

Me: This is so crazy. I seriously convinced myself I was 62. Now it’s like I’m not really going to have a birthday at all.

Color me gobstruck.

My actual 62nd birthday turned out to be one of my favorites. Very pleasant. Top to bottom. This one truly felt like a get-out-of-fail-free card. I was feeling love all over the place. Phone calls. Text messages. Facebook salutations. Old photographs. Music videos. Poems…

There once was a lady named ame
Humor was her claim to fame
She wrote from her home
None as good as my poem
But still such a funny old dame
~Elicia M Viola

Looking at my life and the friends who have made it livable and glorious, I realized in the most peaceful way…it’s been a life well-lived. The best part being, I look forward to keeping that standard going until it’s over.

(Friends who don’t know me at all. In Italy. Mr.Unibrow is the real MVP.)

I can’t predict how long this sense of satisfaction, dare I say, “pride” may last, but what a relief today was from never being enough. That daily internal dialogue saying I failed at reaching some impossible standard put upon myself like a weighted diving suit.

Today, I rose to the surface, buoyed by loved ones, and gasped with awe at where I had come from and where there is yet to go. Full blown gratitude.

You can’t get a better gift than that. Thank you everyone who has touched my life in positive, unconditional ways. And thank you for your kind and funny posts on my wall. [The only wall I am in favor of, btw.]

Christ I hate mushy sentimentality. Is it time to go towards the light?

Not a fucking chance. Unless that light is neon and blinking, “Food.”

So thanks for the feels everybody. I’ll leave you with this question: Will you still love me, will you please tell me, when I’m 63? Seriously, tell me.

Checking for a pulse?

Inspiration found at a TJMaxx…
…I don’t pay for shitty clichés, btw.

That’s all folks!

DC and Me

Yes. I marched in DC the day after the Inauguration. It was an event that will be forever in my heart. But what struck me most about the day, was the ripples around it. Waiting to board the flight at O’Hare, I was aware of all the women who were flying to Washington to participate. One young woman and I shared a few words and she started to tear up. She is a grad student.

“I’m sorry.” She wipes away a tear.

“No. I get it. I’ve had some really dark days. It’s been tough.
But here we are! Are you going alone?”

“My husband is flying in later tonight.”

“Outstanding.”

Surrounded by energized women, many in pink pussy hats, it is a feeling of great pride and hope. We fill the aircraft to capacity. As a former flight attendant, I have never seen a flight with this percentage of women. There is a smattering of men. Some along for the march, others just quietly wishing to get to their destination.

Everyone is upbeat. People are bonding with strangers. My seatmate and I share stories. She is a working mother. She has a daughter. And SHE is loving being alone for the first time since her daughter was born, give or take. She has the power to get up early, proceed to the stage and get premium access without worrying about or accommodating friends who backed out. I get that.

Upon landing, the flight attendant makes a P.A.
“Thanks to all the Nasty Women who flew American today.”

Big cheers.

On the way to the March with my friends, following the river of pink knit hats, with one million plus women making their way to the rally, my young grad student sees me with delight.

“OMG! Guys! This is the grad student I was telling you about!”

“You told them about me?”

“Of course!”

We hug. She introduces me to her husband.

“What are the ODDS of running into each other again?”

All smiles. We say goodbye. I’m afraid of getting separated from my friends.
Walking towards the rally there are metro buses and rally buses along the way. Honks and screams fill the air. It is joyous.

We walk until we can walk no farther. That’s how it works. You just keep going until space is filled up.

We passed some pro-lifers with signs. They are kept behind a chain link fence.

“There they are.” We look and move on. No acknowledgement. They mean nothing. They cannot rain on this moment.

We stop to take pictures with a sign a woman is holding up. It has a cut out for your face with the words, “The Face of Feminism.” Lots of people are taking advantage of it.

“I feel like I should pay you.” As I’m sticking my head in the hole.

“Your smile is all I need.”



THAT. THAT is what this march is about. Everyone participating is in it together. Everyone is in it for each other. Everyone wants every man, woman and child to succeed. In America. And around the world.

The day is long. The crowds are tight. We were unable to hear the speakers but we all patiently wait the hours it takes for them to finish. Then word comes through the crowd via a Washington Post tweet…the march is cancelled. We filled the entire route. Holy wow.

With a mix of pride and disappointment people start moving. Then it happens. The March. Organically because people had to leave the rally.

Chants keep repeating…

“Tell me what democracy looks like?”
“THIS is what democracy looks like!”

And many more. You don’t even need to shout. Enough voices respond to make it clear what the message is.

Reading all the signs is a highlight of the day. We marvel at the meaning and creativity that oppression brings out.

For me, it’s easy. I’m retired. I can afford to be here. What slays me are all the working women, young mothers, families, men and children who make the supreme effort to be here. They are my heroes. I march for them.

One story told, is a woman in a car near the march yells, “You wouldn’t be here if you all worked. Get a job!”

One woman walks past her open window…”Bitch. It’s Saturday.”

Love.

Someone chants behind us…”Gays hate Trump!”

I respond, “We ALL hate Trump!”

Laughter.

And those are the ugliest stories I have to share.

At the end of the day, we put our tired feet up and watch the news. We were in our bubble during the march. We had no idea of how widespread the turnout was. To see other countries stepping up is stunning. Our room alone has a Californian, Washington State citizen, an Illinoisan, and a young man from New York City. We couldn’t get enough of reports on all the cities huge turnouts. I relish knowing my sister marched in Los Angeles. Watching world news and we are a part of the story. All those marches. Millions of people. All pulled off without a hitch. It. Is. Magnificent.

At the end of the night, I make it a point to lay my sign amongst all the others being displayed by a local monument. I did it with a solemn pride that makes me tear up as I write this.

DC is quiet. Anyone out walking is there for the same reason. Many still sport their pink hats. We all smile at each other. We all feel it. Nothing but blind love, coupled with “We did it.” Knowing full well, it is just the beginning.

Glory be to Women.

Click Bait and Your Vagina…Sometimes They Both Promise Too Much

Things You Should Never Put In Or On Your Vagina. That was the title of the article I simply had to go read. Because, you know, what if my husband’s penis is on the list? Here is the article. Feel free to read it, but I’ve condensed the whole thing for you if you want to save time and put your vagina at ease. I know you do.

#1 Douches. Too late for that tip, thank you. I didn’t get married until my thirties so more than a couple of douches spent some time hosing me down there.
-we-all-know-a-douchebag-named-joey-791b8

#2 Fruits and Vegetables. Duh. Everybody knows you don’t mix a tossed salad with your douche hole.salad

#3 Rubber and Plastic Sex Toys. Dammit. I knew I shouldn’t have put Legos in my baby canal, but it was better than stepping on them. As for rubbers, not using those is why my house was filled with Legos in the first place.ooh-rubber-ducky-1403551375 Photo courtesy of redditgifts.com

#4 Body Art. Vajazzling is just plain overkill. Maybe it’s just my irresistible pussy parts, but they already attract more attention than I am comfortable with. So unless I want to risk spelling out, “Not Now,” with glue and glitter, I will pass on the cooch crafting craze.glitter balloon Photo courtesy of Miss Kris

#5 Hair Dye. Somehow having to touch up any roots down below would be WAY more maintenance than I have the time or interest for. I’ll dye my pubes when guys are willing to dip their junk in Dairy Queen chocolate that hardens and cracks off as soon as you bite into it.dq-treats-wafflecone-chocolatecone

#6 Tea Tree Oil. Okay, all these snake oil salespeople need to step away from my tampon tunnel. Anything that can be used as insect repellant, mold remover, and fights boils from staph infections does not belong in my self-cleaning oven. Tea Tree oil foot Photo courtesy of http://www.examiner.com/

#7 Anything That Has Been In Or Around Your Butt. So my dog’s nose is off the menu. Duly noted. pets.webmd_ Photo courtesy of pets.webmd.com

#8 An Electric Toothbrush. Safe to say my gums will be the first to testify that scrubbing the pink with bristles moving 2,000 rpms is neither comfortable, nor sexually stimulating. While I understand the desire to keep the magic muscles plaque free, if that is your issue, you will need more than a toothbrush.sonicare-toothbrush

#9 Oil-Based Lubricants. Unless you are starting a yeast culture for some Amish Friendship Bread, leave the oil in the pan, not your pusswhah. Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, I did some in depth research, and did not find vagina anywhere on the following list. Which is rather surprising when you see the list. article-2470140-18E1894500000578-242_634x408 Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail

I think we’re done here.