Sunday, March 13, 2022

iRobot, Is My Logic Undeniable?


I can be frustrating to talk to. I rarely answer questions the way I am expected to. But in fairness, lots of times when someone asks me a question, they think they already know the answer. Their expectations were set before they even asked. To drive their own point home. To lead the conversation to themselves or their topic of choice. Since it is neither my responsibility nor my desire to roll with the tide, I stay true to who I am. When I was little, my mother always said that I march to the beat of my own drum. She was almost right. I am the drum, I am the DJ, I am the whole dang band. And I came here to shake this party up. To provoke, to challenge, to inspire.

So sometimes when I answer a question, the asker's face twists into a perplexed knot. Or their eyebrows lift into surprised question marks. Some stay and banter. But way too many excuse themselves. They leave the conversation they started and I am left wondering, if you knew what you wanted to hear, if you thought you knew the answer I was going to give, why did you ask the question in the first place? 


I can be frustrating to talk to. I won't deny it. I am blunt. I am to the point. I am a truth-teller. And while some people enjoy it and will engage, there are others who clearly want to punch me in the throat, so I can never utter another unexpected syllable again. I often tell stories that start as an adventure and end in a life lesson. Don't get me wrong, I love a good punchline as much as the next guy. In fact, if you show me a new perspective, I will riff an entire stand-up routine just to keep the conversation going. But I have learned that my way is not everyone's way.

That's all the warning I'm going to give before you read on. For those of you who are not on the same vibe as me. For the ones who will never change. Who can't hear how ridiculous they sound. Because they don't listen to themselves. Because they don't listen to others.

That is all the warning I'm going to give for the ones who stop by in the afternoon to visit a parent with a young child and don't see said child glued to Mom's hip. They unzip their jacket at the same time they ask, "Where is the baby?", as if one action could not exist without the other. As if the mother is unfit to entertain without a conversation starter. As if moms have nothing interesting to talk about if a story doesn't start with diapers and end in spit up.

In this scenario, Mom says, "He is taking a nap."

In one fluid motion, and with no pauses, the scene continues as if scripted: Visitor distributes the obligatory hello hug and asks, "Will he sleep tonight?"



I have heard this conversation many times. I have sipped my cocktail in a corner and wondered where my host keeps the popcorn. The truth is, the outcome is usually boring, usually predictable, but I am pretty sure that my hope for mankind will outlive us all. So my optimism and I watch, willing audience members, riveted, even though we know every line of the scene. Still, we hope for a surprise ending. For a response that matches or one-ups the one I recited once upon a million times. When I was the young mother with young children. When I was asked this very same question:

Them: "Oh. The baby is taking a nap?" <insert the blank robot face of a visitor who has slipped into auto-talk> "Will he sleep tonight?"

Me: "No. Of course he won't sleep tonight. I knew this when I put him down." <I lean in and whisper> "I'll let you in on a secret. I have decided to create a new group of humans. Ones who don't sleep at night. Just to shake things up. I am starting with this kid and I will make sure that any babies I have after this one will be the same way. Then, they will have kids and grandkids who don't sleep at night either. It's totally possible. I mean, look at me. Clearly, I don't need any sleep at all, otherwise, how could I possibly pull off such a grand plan?"

Did I need to be snarky? Maybe not. But did I make you laugh? Did it change the conversation and make the visit a lot more fun? You better believe it did. And will those question askers think twice before sleepwalking through a conversation with me again? Yep.

Let's pull back the curtain and reveal my wackadoodle thought process. The thought process that entertains some and frustrates many:

You asked a mom this question. This mom who has her hands free. HER HANDS ARE FREE! She is not nursing or making bottles or changing diapers or giving baths or holding anyone in her lap. She is not listening to babbling and she is not baby talking back to her kid. She will multitask at bedtime tonight, because that's what moms do. She will fall into her bed while praying that her child sleeps through the nightbecause whether he naps in the afternoon or not, this kid is still adjusting to being on the outside of a warm belly and he doesn't care what any of us think or expect.


DO YOU THINK THIS MOM WOULD PUT HER KID DOWN FOR A NAP AND SABOTAGE HER OWN MENTAL WELL-BEING AND SLEEP ON PURPOSE??? 

AND 

During your visit  The one that is not a play-date. The one that is kid-free DO YOU THINK SHE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT HER CHILD'S SLEEP PATTERNS??? 

DO YOU THINK SHE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT HER KID AT ALL??? She has just won herself an hour or two of freedom AND THAT IS THE CONVERSATION YOU OFFER???

Yes, my thought process is unusual. I am not perfect, but I try to stay actively engaged. I try to listen to the person I am talking with. To stay respectful of their opinions and their thought processes. If I catch myself waiting for a sentence to end just so I can say what is on my mind, I reel it in and bring myself back to present. By doing this, I have accrued decades of perspectives heard and perspectives learned. By listening, I can either bring a new point of view to the table, or I can see what we are talking about through new eyes. In my opinion, both are valuable to my own growth and to the energy I put out into the world. 

When did we stop seeing and hearing each other? And how did it happen? Have we grown tired of trying to be heard over all of the shouting? Over all of the opinions being shoved down the throats of those willing to swallow them? 

I cannot and will not speak for others. Their thoughts are not mine and they shouldn't be. The differences between us are what keeps us balanced. They keep us moving forward and growing. But a platoon of angry robots armed with viral negativity are sliding in and silencing our better halves. The scale is tipping. And while sometimes we need the bad to see the good, the scale will completely tip over into nothing new and nothing specials if we don't wake up. If we don't keep poking the robot until it reprograms itself to do better. Till iRobot takes on a greater meaning and purpose. Till the tenants become automatic: I will listen. I will respect. I will try to do better. I will use the internet to spread positivity, gratitude, love. To open myself and others up into new perspective. To inspire.


I have a friend who falls into sadness from time to time. He posts about his pain on social media and talks about his depression in person. He mourns the ones he has lost openly. It is all about him, not them, even though deep down, it is all about them and him.


Hug emojis abound, canned promises of prayers are always plentiful. And then there's me. I listened. I heard. I asked a question. "If you were these loves you lost, if you were looking at you from the perspective of death, would you like what you see? Would you be happy that your life contained these pockets of pain? That precious time was spent feeling guilty that you are here and the ones you love are gone?"

He gave me a look that said he wished I were dead, not the ones he was crying over, but I maintained eye contact. His grief wanted to fight me, but I ignored it. I reached out and stroked his arm. "You had no say in what happened, no matter what you think. If you don't believe me, think about your own death. No matter how it comes to pass, will anyone be able to stop it if it is your day to die?" 

He didn't push me away, so I took his hand and continued. "You have all the power. Make a choice. Cry alone or tell stories about how great they were. You can convince us to remember them. They will only be forgotten when there is no one left with any memory of how great they were. Of why their existence mattered. So my advice is to keep their stories going, so they live forever." When his voice softened, and a different type of tear fell against his cheek, it was time for me to stop talking. To stop talking so I could listen. So I could hear about who these people were and why he misses them.

Let my insistence about truth and perspective become so annoying that you want to throw darts at my face. Until it sinks in that I see you. Until it sinks in that I hear you. Until all you want to do is give me a great big hug knowing that I will return it with the same force. I can take it.  

I want to hear how you think outside the box. I want to hear how you tore the whole dang thing apart and built a new box in those moments when the canned answer seemed like the only answer. 

And for those of you that tossed that box altogether, not only to go wherever the flow takes you, but to also make room for the big box of Ring Dings we will enjoy with our crazy conversations  bonus points.



CF Winn is the award-winning author of The COFFEE BREAK SERIES, a quirky group of shorter novels that are meant to be read while on a lunch break or in the waiting room of the doctor’s office. Her first novella, SUKI, has been grabbing hearts and hugging souls all over the United States.  The sequel, WHEN DWAYNE DIED, arrives on 11/17/2022.

The BOOKLIFE PRIZE (a division of Publisher's Weekly) has praised CF WINN's MOORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: "This novel is a unique and original storyline that readers will likely find much enjoyment in. Winn's fiercely plotted storyline makes for a suspenseful read. Every plot point feels as if it is being revealed at precisely the right moment. Winn's word choice makes for a joyful ride through unexpectedly dark terrain."


CF Winn's blogs have been syndicated on multiple sites including The Masquerade Crew. More posts like these can be found at Humor Outcasts and The Patch where she is a regular contributor.  

FOLLOW her on TwitterFacebook, and CF_Winn on Instagram.










Saturday, July 17, 2021

The Power of One

There is strength in numbers. That is a tried-and-true cliché that rallies the masses when there is a need for unity. When there is a common enemy. Or when it's movie night and the kids out-vote you into watching some sight joke comedy instead of the mystery thriller you had your heart set on.

Yeah, there is strength in numbers. All numbers. Even the number one. Sometimes especially the number one. One more dessert may put on one more pound. One more snarky, unkind remark may ruin one more friendship. One is a powerful number when it is considered from the right perspective. So, to borrow one more cliché, how do we use its power for good?

Photo Credit: Google Images
I learned about the power of one when I started researching Feng Shui, the art of arranging your living space to better suit your energy. One of its most basic tenets is that the area you are focusing on needs to be clutter-free. With very little research, I was able to find ideas for tackling junk drawers, junk spaces, and junk rooms, so that I could complete the first step to becoming successful and balanced. It turns out that holding on to objects for sentimental reasons, psychological reasons, or just plain laziness is a real issue and there are tons of gurus out there who are willing to share their ideas and experiences for solving it.

Photo Credit: Google Images
The one practice that stuck with me the most was the one a day rule. So, for example, if you wanted to clean out your closet, but were having trouble getting motivated, you would focus on removing just one item each day. In that scenario, you may look and touch more than one itemthe boot cut jeans you're sure you'll lose enough weight to fit in again when they come back in style (keep those!), that slutty halter top you'll for sure need during your mid-life crisis (Never let go of the glory days!), and the gauchos that weren't cute even when they were cute (Toss!).

The general idea is that it might take longer to get the task completed, but it would eventually get done in a way that does not have to feel overwhelming. For some, like hoarders or sentimental types, that could be a less painful solution to the situation. But for others, once we pull that first item and we see that empty space, a little pocket of energy opens up and motivates us to pull one more. And one more. And one more, until we finish. We may do it in one sitting, or we may find ourselves donating two or three items from the closet each day. But if we allow ourselves to feel what happens when that space opens up, our energy flows more easily, and goals are reached a little faster. That first good feeling morphs into intention, then accomplishment. And sometimes, it leads to conquering another project, because who doesn't want to ride that good feeling wave?

The same principle applies to anything you are working on. It could be weight loss. Do one exercise, one set a day. You'll burn more calories than if you did none. It could be money. Find a way to earn one extra dollar a day. Or put one dollar a day in a separate account and watch it grow. 

For me, it is very often my writing. Even though I create blogs and website content for other companies, there are days when my time is limited or I'm not feeling super creative. My deadlines don't care if I am overwhelmed with work. They don't care if I have a cold and the only remedy is watching the entire last season of Ozark. They don't care if I'd rather be working on one of my novels or posting on my own blog. While I'm sitting on the beach. With a cooler of beer next to me. My bills don't care either. And those bills don't come in ones, they arrive in packs.

Photo Credit: Google Images

Especially on days like that, when life and ego and dreams want to one-up responsibility, the power of one is the only way to keep me on track. Write one pithy paragraph. Polish and edit one manuscript page. Research and find one interesting fact about dental implants and type it up. 

I fool myself into thinking that the one task will be it, but I know who I am. I am a joy junkie. Yeah, I said it. And after that first initial burst of accomplishment hits me right in the creative cortex, the overachiever in me will hunt for more joy. Before I know it, and in the same sitting, one paragraph turns into one more paragraph, one more page, one task checked off, one short break before I decide to start one more project.

My one ask is that you take one chance: Figure out a manageable goal for the day. Factor in your present state of mind. Consider what will make you feel good, like a boss, like you are working toward something bigger. So that you do your best work. So that you reach your daily goal, and ultimately, your final project goal. Allow yourself to bask in the feeling that you moved one item, or you moved one hundred items. Let the power of one become a valuable, life-altering tool.

Action creates motivation. Not the other way around. If we were to depend on our current level of motivation, the only thing we'd conquer is a box of Ring Dings, or the next digital zombie apocalypse. 

If we apply the same level of drive that we use for binge watching Netflix series to reaching a personal goal, imagine what we can achieve. It takes just one thought and one move in the right direction. Don't let one more day go by or feel one more regret. It may not be just your one short and precious life that is affected.

Photo Credit: livelifehappy.com

I usually end my posts with a snarky one liner of my own creation, but this time I'd like to share a joke. I do not know who the author is, so I can't give the proper credit, but I am awfully appreciative because I was able to tweak it to drive my point home. Here goes:

At a motivational seminar, three men are beckoned to the stage. They are all asked, "When you are in your casket and friends and family are mourning, what would you like to hear them say about you? 

The first guy says, "I would like to hear them say that I was a great scientist of my time. That the one discovery I made changed the health of so many."

The second guy says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and a schoolteacher whose one goal each day was to make a huge difference in our children of tomorrow."

The last guy replies, "I would like to hear them say...LOOK!!! HE'S MOVING!!!"

Be the one who moves in his casket.

 

CF Winn is the award-winning author of The COFFEE BREAK SERIES, a quirky group of short stories meant to be read while on break or in the waiting room of the doctor’s office. Her first novella, SUKI, has been grabbing hearts and hugging souls all over the United States.  The sequel, WHEN DWAYNE DIED, is coming soon.

The BOOKLIFE PRIZE (a division of Publisher's Weekly) describes CF WINN's MOORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: "This novel is a unique and original storyline that readers will likely find much enjoyment in. Winn's fiercely plotted storyline makes for a suspenseful read. Every plot point feels as if it is being revealed at precisely the right moment. Winn's word choice makes for a joyful ride through unexpectedly dark terrain."


You can now order SUKI in paperback at BOOK REVUE, one of the nation’s largest independent bookstores, by emailing info@bookrevue.com 


Her blogs have been syndicated on multiple sites including The Masquerade Crew. More posts like these can be found at Humor Outcasts and The Patch where she is a regular contributor.  


FOLLOW her on TwitterFacebook, and CF_Winn on Instagram.


Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Ten Commandments of Being a Hot Mess

There's a delicate balance between being a disaster and being so fascinating that mere mortals stare at you in the same way they stare at horrific car crashes. With great mess comes seemingly legit reasons why life throws you curve ballsand also a set of rules to blame it all on.





1. Thou Shalt Keep Thy Identity A Secretmostly from yourself. As you walk down the street with your shirt unknowingly tucked into your underwear, you shake your ass, believing wholeheartedly that the looks you are getting are because you're having a "sexy day".

2. Thou Shalt Always Spend Thy Last Two Hundred Dollarson things like a treadmill. Because your health should be a priority. And the purchase should be timed perfectlyon the same day that your car breaks down. You tell yourself through gritted teeth that your health is a priority while you walk to work for the next two weeks.

3. Thou Shalt Pick The Most Wrong Guys To Datelike the one who lives with his mom. The one who lives with his mom and spends most of his time in his man cave in the basement. The one who lives with his mom and spends most of his time in his man cave in the basement where he receives special deliveries in plain brown packages with air holes. The one who lives with his mom and spends most of his time in his man cave in the basement where he receives special deliveries in plain brown packages with air holes that you overlook because you think his love of animals is such a sweet quality.

4. Thou Shalt Never Know When To Stop Talkingand because it is so important to fill the silence, it's too late when you realize that the story about the condom that got stuck in your vagina sounded way cuter in your head.

5. Thou Shalt Not Try To Changefor it will all be in vain. Consider yourself branded. The same way your lower back is permanently scarred after that "magical" night with Raul.

6. Thou Shalt Not Liesince your every day stories are so insane that no one believes you anyway. Like the day that your ex-boyfriend, the one who still lives in his mom's basement, came to visit you with his new wifethe ferret he left you for.

7. Thou Shalt Always Make The Wrong Decision Even If It Feels Rightlike the time you turned off your heat to save money and bundled up in sweaters and blankets instead. You told yourself that you're tough enough to stick it out and besides, shivering burns calories. You repeated your mantra through chattering teeth right before your pipes froze. Then burst.

8. Thou Shalt Wait Till The Last Minuteto do everything. While you were cleaning up the mess your broken pipes left, you missed your student loan deadline.

9. Thou Shalt Have The Same Tragedies Smite You Again And Againlike the flat tires you get at least once a month. You only drive ten miles a week, but the local repair shop has issued you a rewards cardfor every five repairs or new tires bought, you get one free. You've redeemed four cards this year.

10. Thou Shalt Have No Idea That Your Life Is Any Messier Than Anyone Else'still the day you face the truth. And so you embrace your identity, holding your Hot Mess Members Card high, in your freshly manicured fingersthat you smeared on the way out of the salon. Just as they were closing.


CF Winn is the award-winning author of The COFFEE BREAK SERIES, a quirky group of short stories meant to be read while on break or in the waiting room of the doctor’s office. Her first novella, SUKI, has been grabbing hearts and hugging souls all over the United States. 


You can now order SUKI in paperback at https://www.amazon.com/dp/0615726313

Her blogs have been syndicated on multiple sites including The Masquerade Crew. More posts like these can be found at Humor Outcasts and The Patch where she is a regular contributor.  


FOLLOW me on TwitterFacebook and CF_Winn on Instagram.





Friday, July 8, 2016

ENOUGH ALREADY. WE NEED TO GET OVER OURSELVES .



I am disgusted.

I wish I could say that I am saddened by the shootings that have become more and more common in this country because I am, but right now I am more disgusted than anything else. We need to get over ourselves. We are so obsessed with being mean that we don't even realize that collectively, we are the reason for the violence.

The world has evolved so much and in so many ways.

Phones are no longer just phones anymore, space is slowly becoming more of a destination and less a mystery, and we can print organs almost as easily as we print our tax returns. But when it comes to how we treat each other--one of the most basic functions that we perform every day--it seems that there is a percentage of people that cannot seem to evolve at all. And with all that we've been through to become a country where freedom of speech is an inalienable right, one that should be cherished and treated as the privilege it is, we choose instead to cut others down for expressing their opinion in growing numbers. Just look at memes, Facebook posts, Twitter feeds, and some blogs.

What does this have to do with shootings, #BlackLivesMatter, #AllLivesMatter, #Dallas, and all of the innocents that have suffered in the mix?

RESPECT.

Respect is not the same as agreeing to and going along with something you know to be wrong. It is allowing someone else their opinion before disagreeing without shaming or attacking his character. If you think you have the right to say what you think, remember that the other person believes the same. And if you think you stand a chance at changing this person's mind by yelling or coming at them hard, just remember how many times you tuned an angry parent out...

The other day someone posted this question on FaceBook: Is it ok for someone to buy lobster with food stamps?

I thought that maybe this person was using food stamps and wanted to know if lobster was a product on the "authorized" list, but very quickly it became clear that the question came from someone who was peeking into another person's shopping cart and judging their choices.

For half a day, this feed was like the trial of the century. And within two responses, I was sure that if the person on food stamps was really on trial, he was going to get the death penalty. Someone even created a list of what this person should be buying--without any knowledge of this person's family, background, special needs, etc.

Sure, lobster might be an unusual choice, but how does that choice warrant so much ridicule for such a large chunk of the day? Especially when you consider how many new ideas have come from unusual choices and out of the box thinking. Without that strange looking thing that we screw into lamps, I'd be writing this post by candlelight, on paper with the more common inkwell, then nailing it to a pole for people to read.

We need to take a stand.

We do. But I think we also need to realize that there are many ways to take a stand. Throughout history, we have been shown different ways, we have been led via many paths, and we have made progress in so many areas. We are testing ourselves again--a sign that we are onto something great--but this time it's tougher because we have more resources with which to come at each other.

In my heart, I know this:

- If we take those resources and redirect them, we can be just as strong in a positive way as we are in the negative ways we ultimately wind up mourning over.

- Saying something to speak out against violence and hatred is fine in some instances, but in others, it fuels it.


Although your intentions may be good, arguing back and forth can escalate and perpetuate the nonsense. There are whens and wheres to debate the issues, but when we come at each other on social media, we appear disjointed as a nation. Deep down, that kind of disjointedness creates fear and anger, and we wind up shooting people we don't even know--and the whole time we don't even realize that the fear and anger came from such trivial FaceBook posts like the one about food stamps and lobster.

I have been ridiculed for not saying something.

But in my silence, I turn away from the negative and toward the positive. Imagine a toddler having a temper tantrum in a play group. The other toddlers turn their backs instead of telling him to shut up or instead of trying to calm him down.

That kid gets to express himself, and eventually, two things happen. It becomes obvious that the calmer toddlers outnumber the one loud, angry kid, and soon the yeller--without back up or support--grows tired and either falls asleep, or moves on to play nicely with others--because that's the only way they will interact with him.

Social media has the power to bring us together, but it can also rip us apart. Skimmers only read the headlines and those are skewed to attract readers. Opinions are often formed and expressed based on half read articles and the need to be right.

Why can't we all just be heard?

Progress is made via debate, not violence--if you kill everyone off, who will create the next best cronut? And yes, humor is great tool for when we get too serious or tense. Why are we here if we can't have fun? I am quite sure that our purpose is NOT to create bigger weapons so that we can kill more people--I have to believe that we were meant to do better than this.

We should expect respect. On all levels of government and civillian life. We should hold ourselves accountable for the good behavior we expect from others. When we work this way, the smaller, bad group is easily exposed. They can't hide behind the chaos we create, working against the greater good, while we are busy policing each other for being outraged at the smaller, bad group's actions. THAT is how change comes about--once we isolate the real issue we can truly determine its size and worth. We can more easily figure out how and where to focus our energies--and no one has to get hurt.

The consequences of where we are headed are eloquently laid out for us by John Kass, Contact Reporter for the ChicagoTribune: "If you read histories about great empires and how they lost their way — slowly, inexorably, the illness growing along the dull spine of what they once had been — then you already know what happens."

My disgust has melted away and I am replaced with hope. Hope that someone may agree with what I've said and change even just one thing to respect others more. And that by their example one more person may do the same. And so on, until respect spreads like the viral videos of senseless killings of fellow human beings that have no business in a place like the United States.




CF Winn is the award-winning author of The COFFEE BREAK SERIES, a quirky group of short stories meant to be read while on break or in the waiting room of the doctor’s office. Her first novella, SUKI, has been grabbing hearts and hugging souls all over the United States. 


You can now order SUKI in paperback at https://www.amazon.com/dp/0615726313

Her blogs have been syndicated on multiple sites including The Masquerade Crew. More posts like these can be found at Humor Outcasts and The Patch where she is a regular contributor.  


FOLLOW me on TwitterFacebook, and CF_Winn on Instagram.



Sunday, July 3, 2016

AN OPEN LETTER TO MY INNER VOICES



To Whom It May Concern,
 
I'm really good at lots of things

Well that's a formal opening. 

I know, right? It seems weird since we talk every day, all day long. But lately I've been thinking, and despite all the talking, I've realized that you don't know me at all. We are so different that it's actually disturbing.

What's really disturbing is that not only did you skip your workout this morning to write this, but you also ate that big muffin. It's packed with sugar and carbs and goes right to your stomach. That's why it's called a "muffin top." See how I did that? Yeah, I've got jokes. Wanna hear some more? 

For example, there's that thing between thoughts called silence. I like silence. But you don't, so I hardly ever get to experience it like successful people do. The ones who take time off to just be. They say it's where pure peace can be found, but for me, between my thoughts and your incessant shaming, the only peace I ever found was pieces of  my shattered self esteem.

I just tell it like it is, sister. I can't help it if you can't handle the truth. I make you better. How can you improve if you never know what needs to be fixedlike this blog. Stop writing and delete this immediately. Nobody's going to want to read it.

To be fair, I think I share some of the responsibility. At first you were like a new friend, interested in everything about me and actively participating in whatever I was thinking about. Whenever you'd go off on tangents, I was excitedhappy to step out of my comfort zone and follow along.

And after a while, I got so used to it that I never noticed that the same voice who convinced me that trying lobster ice cream was a great ideathat I was the most boring person in the world if I didn'twasn't there to hold back my hair and comfort me when the taste was awful and I vomited into a trash can on Martha's Vineyard.

Once upon a time. I was considered unique, but then you relabelled what others called my realness. You started referring to it as my ridiculousness every chance you got. And because your opinion mattered, my shine dulled and dumbed itself down, like a smart girl afraid of intimidating the boy she likes.

You're a mess. You should really just
I'm good enough

The turning point came for me when I realized I was lonely. Even though with you in my head, I was never really alone. When I finally saw that I had stopped doing all of the things I loved. Because I was afraid of making a mistake and looking as stupid as you told me I was. The turning point came when I realized that everyone else was still doing the things I loved to do, but they did them without me.

I decided that the incessant chatter and constant abuse had to end. I was exhausted from trying to change myself and I wasn't having any fun.

Abuse? I never hit you. What are you talking about? You are such a drama queen. I've done nothing but bend over backwards trying to look out for you. I just told you what you were already thinking, but as usual, you just don't get it. Hey. Are you listening? Can you hear me?

I can hear you, but somehow you seem smaller. And now there's another voice talking over youone who loves me and wants to see me do great things. It's louder than you are, and your cowardly, obnoxious, self-centered cries for attention are quickly becoming background noise against the roar of applause I hear when I don't second guess myself and go with the flow.

That voice, the one who cheers me on, is the one that saved you from being drowned out altogether you know. Remember? It was early, a rare day of rest, and I really wanted to watch Super Soul Sunday...

But reality TV is so much fun. What are you trying to be? Some kind of spiritual guru? You should have been mowing the lawn any

That voice kept me straight, stroking my hand as I pressed the buttons on the TV remote, reminding me that I matter and that I didn't have to give in to you. I turned on the episode where Steven Pressfield told Oprah that "resistance is a negative force that arises whenever we try to move from a lower level to a higher level." 

And suddenly you had a name, an identity, and a purpose. I smiled, forgave you, and allowed myself to love not only me, but you.

Wait. What??

Fear and Resistance. Once upon a time I wanted to hate youfor interrupting me when I tried to meditate, or for telling me that I was too fat to exercise anywaybut now I appreciate you.

It all makes sensethat just as we can't really know the light without the dark, or love without hate, without you, I couldn't possibly know when I am really onto something.

For just like the jealous person who works to keep others down, you are the loudest when I am on my truest path.

I'm right here! *throwing random, nasty thoughts*

Consider this my notice. I am terminating our dysfunctional relationship in order to move onto bigger and better things. You will no longer be an annoying stop sign at every cornerinterrupting my flow and disturbing my journey. Instead, when you get loud, you will be like a green light, and I will continue, knowing that I am headed in the right direction.

Oh you don't like what I'm doing? Then I must be doing it right.

And now, when I enjoy moments of silence between my thoughts, I will relax and enjoy the ride with my truest self next to me in the front seatthe one who supports what's best for me.

When we do talk, it'll sound like:

Me: "All is well. You are loved."
Me: "Thanks girl. Back at you."


Bye. Peace, love, and power trips,

The One Who Got Away





CF Winn is the award-winning author of The COFFEE BREAK SERIES, a quirky group of short stories meant to be read while on break or in the waiting room of the doctor’s office. Her first novella, SUKI, has been grabbing hearts and hugging souls all over the United States.  The sequel, WHEN DWAYNE DIED, is coming soon.

The BOOKLIFE PRIZE (a division of Publisher's Weekly) describes MOORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: "This novel is a unique and original storyline that readers will likely find much enjoyment in. Winn's fiercely plotted storyline makes for a suspenseful read. Every plot point feels as if it is being revealed at precisely the right moment. Winn's word choice makes for a joyful ride through unexpectedly dark terrain."

You can now order SUKI in paperback at BOOK REVUE, one of the nation’s largest independent bookstores, by email at info@bookrevue.com Learn more about SUKI at BOOK REVUE.  

Her blogs have been syndicated on multiple sites including The Masquerade Crew. More posts like these can be found at Humor Outcasts and The Patch where she is a regular contributor.  


FOLLOW her on TwitterFacebook, and CF_Winn on Instagram.












Friday, March 4, 2016

Canada: Land of the Shiny and New

I just got back from Canada. After seeing the falls from the Buffalo side, I had to plan a trip to see it from our neighbor's perspective. It would be my kids' first time out of the country, we could break in our new passports, and according to the Groupon ads, everything is shiny and new in Canada.

In the distance is the promised land!


The last time I had been to the Falls, I had squirmed uncomfortably as I rode through the ghetto that surrounded our national treasure. Instead of feeling like there was a permanent red carpet rolled out for one of Nature's most amazing creations, it looked like someone had tried to tidy up the foyer, but then let the dog in--the one with the muddy feet and weak bladder who was constantly chewing on everything.

There were throngs of tourists walking over the Rainbow Bridge. We watched them, our noses and cheeks pressed against the dirty glass of the observation deck as bodies elbowed us on all sides. But without a passport or enhanced ID, my family could not join them in the promised land of the grass is always greener in Canada.


The NY Falls are beautiful!

Still on the NY side.



Finally, after five years, we loaded up the car for an overnight trip, sure that we'd be there in time for breakfast--waffles and eggs that were fluffier and more delicious than ours because everything is better in Canada!

Eight hours, three pee stops, and some over-salted Roy Rogers chicken later, we rolled into the edge of New York. First, I pissed off Border Patrol by planting myself way over the designated stop line. It was like a pharmacy, where every visitor was given his own private consultation and the rest of us were supposed to keep our distance while they discussed embarrassing things like incontinence and excessive gas.

I was told to back up, and by the time my front tires were behind the white line, I was beckoned impatiently to come forward. I knew I had been bad and that made me nervous, so I forgot to change gears and almost rammed into the person behind me--an elderly couple who I was sure was Canadian and therefore nicer than us Americans. Until they beeped aggressively and gave me the finger.

Finally, I pulled up to the booth and tried to explain myself to a completely uninterested border patrol guard who frowned and demanded that I take off my glasses and roll down the back window--because I obviously was hiding my son--who had passed out with his mouth open and had drool flowing from his new braces like the Niagara River.

When he asked me what I did for a living, I launched into a full job description like I was in the most important interview of my life. Halfway through my second sentence, he waved me off as if saying, I'm done with you, please get out of my face before I punch you in the throat.

We drove over the border, windows still open. Crisp, clean air filled the car, pushing out the stench of stale french fries and hours old coffee. The rush of The Falls greeted us like new neighbors, and we all smiled, lost in our own thoughts:

- Me: I can't wait to see the Buddhist Temple!
- Bella: Maybe there's a place to hike all the way down to the Niagara River!
- Max: I wonder if they use Canadian bacon in the Crunchwraps at their Taco Bells?

Fry Coma








CF Winn is the award-winning author of The COFFEE BREAK SERIES, a quirky group of short stories meant to be read while on break or in the waiting room of the doctor’s office. Her first novella, SUKI, has been grabbing hearts and hugging souls all over the United States. 


You can now order SUKI at BOOK REVUE, one of the nation’s largest independent bookstores, by email at info@bookrevue.com Learn more about SUKI at BOOK REVUE.  

Her blogs have been syndicated on multiple sites including The Masquerade Crew. More posts like these can be found at Humor Outcasts and The Patch where she is a regular contributor.  


FOLLOW me on TwitterFacebook, Google +, and CF_Winn on Instagram.