Failure is my Bitch

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So far, in my young life I have failed A LOT.

I’ve failed tests, I’ve failed classes, I’ve failed diets, I’ve failed interviews, I’ve failed business attempts and I’ve failed personal challenges.   

Sometimes I’ve failed by just a little bit. 

Other times I have fallen on my face so spectacularly that it took almost a full 10 count before I could get back up.

That is, when I did get back up. 

Unfortunately, there have been lots of times when I just gave up.

With many an excuse and justification, I convinced myself it wasn’t worth the effort to try again.

Do any of these sound familiar?

“I haven’t trained in a week, it’s too late to start again now, maybe next year.”

“I haven’t updated my blog in 2 weeks, I guess I’m not cut out to be a writer after all.”

“I cheated on my diet 4 times today, I might as well just give up and order a pizza. Maybe I’ll try and start again next month.”

Knowing we won’t have to face Failure again, isn't it so much easier to just give up? 

I’ve been thinking about Failure a lot lately. As I inch ever closer to beginning the 32nd year of my life, I’ve got A LOT going on.

I’ve started Polly, I’ve partnered in business with my best friend, and I’ve committed to a few really big projects.

I’ve got lots of big plans, even bigger goals, and almost astronomical dreams and as I plot and plan and set goals for my success, I can see Failure just around the corner.

With a  face full of smug satisfaction, he’s waiting for me. Knowing we will rendezvous very soon, in situations both big and small. With our history firmly in mind, he can’t wait to assert his mastery over me. Sure that I am his slave, he can’t wait to disrupt my momentum, destroy my dreams and drink in my self-loathing.

Failure is a sadist and he knows I am the perfect mark.

There is no way to avoid Failure. I know as I work towards achieving my goals we will meet again and again, but this time he will not have his way.

This time around I WILL succeed. I’ve got my Big Girl Panties on, and I’m not playing around!

Forget “Try, Try Again”, it’s time to GET SHIT DONE!

This time I'm going to punch Failure in his arrogant face and step on his neck as I hurdle towards success.

No whining. No excuses. Think big and make it happen.

This time is different.

This time,

Failure is my bitch!

Join me? #failureismybitch

Desperate Measures

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I am a wife and mother.

Miss M is almost 4.

Mr. Man sometimes acts like he is almost 4.

Difficult doesn’t even begin to describe the challenges of finding time to work or create.

I know I am not alone in my struggle.

Lucky for us all Polly is all about problem solving.

For each and every one of you who are like me and just need a little time to yourself I present the “Do Not F-ing Disturb” sign.

Found in an Italian hotel room on my first trip to Europe in ‘97, I’ve been holding onto this little beauty knowing that someday it would come in handy.

Unlike your average “Do Not Disturb Sign” this one is sure to get the message across.

If your loved ones cannot understand any of the 4 languages politely asking them to get lost and give you some space, the little white man is sure to drive the message home with his non-so-subtle universal gesture of,

“Please F@#K Off!”

Worried this sign will mortally offend your visiting Mother-in-Law? No need!

Explanations that the little man is politely asking for quiet, with a shushing finger to his lips are easily believable.

Which was most likely the original designer’s intention…

But really?!?!?!?

You see it too right?

Live and Learn: A Must Read

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Being a completely addicted bibliophile, very rarely can I walk into a book store and leave with ONLY the book I went in to buy.

On my last shopping trip I found this little beauty in the bargain pile, though I can't for the life of me understand why!

The Complete Live and Learn and Pass It On, by H. Jackson Brown, JR.

Written and Compiled by H. Jackson Brown, J.R., this book contains life lessons from people of every age.  Here are a few of my many favorites,

"I've learned that you'll never see a U-Haul trailer behind a hearse." - Age 59


"I've learned that if you throw ten socks in the laundry, only nine will come out." - Age 27


"I've learned that little boys cannot move about the house without making car sounds." - Age 36


"I've learned that a woman who can potty-rain triplets can do anythng." - Age 29


"I've learned that there should be an Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not whine." - Age 62

H. Jackson Brown is amazing and has written many great books containing simple daily reminders of life lessons.  Remarking on his books, Jackson has said,

"Most of us know what we need to do to make our lives more fulfilled and useful, but sometimes we forget. My little books are gentle reminders of those simple things which, if done well and in a spirit of love, can significantly change our lives."

Well ain't that the truth!

What little life lessons have you learned so far?

Parenting Shortcuts

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This past winter our house went through a cycle of illness that never seemed like it was going to end.  Miss M would get sick, then I would, then Mr. Man, then the cycle would start all over again.
After what seemed like the 100th go-around, enough was enough and Mr. Man and I decided it was time to disinfect the house. 

At the end of our long day of cleaning, we climbed into our freshly cleaned bed and Mr. Man shared the following parenting brilliance…
Me: Ahhhhh, I love the feel of clean sheets!

Mr. Man:  It’s so nice to know the sick has all been washed away.
ME:  Definitely!  Between washing all the sheets, and Lysoling everything nailed down, we have got to be officially germ free!

Mr. Man:  Ya, that’s why I Lysoled Miss M. Just to be on the safe side.
ME:  Um, huh?  You mean you sprayed her toys and stuff right?  You didn’t actually spray Lysol on our child?

Mr. Man and Miss M approx. a million Parenting Shortcuts ago
Mr. Man:  No, I meant what I said.   I told her to close her eyes, and then I sprayed her right in the face.  That’s where the sick was coming from, with the never ending running nose and constant coughing so it seemed like the best way to get rid of it.  Besides it says right on the bottle that it kills 99.9% of germs.  

Well, how can you argue with logic like that?

What are your favorite Parenting Shortcuts?

P.S.  Mr. Man was just pulling my chain, he didn’t actually spray Miss M in the face with Lysol… but knowing him, I’m sure he thought about it!

"Crazy" Inspiration!

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As mentioned in “Not Actually Polly”, Polly manifested when I finally realized most of what I was taught as a child was true.  My Mom, featured in “My Mom Hates Whistlers”, is an eternal optimist.  My Dad, equally optimistic, is also the main source of “crazy” in my life.  The majority of the bizarre sayings and outside-the-box philosophies taking up space in my psyche come from my Dad.

{I’m also lucky enough to have an amazing Stepdad and super positive Stepmom, who are also huge influences on my life.  You’ll get to meet them too eventually.  Yes, I know. I’m a spoiled brat.}
Anyway, today is my Dad’s birthday.

So, in honor of “Mine Papa”, I wrote this poem.  About who I am, and where I come from.
A little bit silly, a little bit sappy…. Just like Dad.
I am from the North.  From the land of Tim Horton’s and Labatts.
I am from a military base.  Ever shifting.  Changing and unknown.  Yet grounded in a foundation of belly laughs and dancing during the dishes.
I am from a tribe stretching beyond genetics and DNA.  Whose commonalities long ago overshadowed their differences.
From “Busier than a one armed paper hanger” to “Herds of And-Or, roaming the Polyester Fields of Upper Canada”, I was raised on lessons both true and ridiculous. Often, and best of all, lessons that were both.
I am from Alberta and Ontario. Europe and the U.S.  Sure in the truth that home is where your heart is, where you sip tea after dinner with those who love you best, and where you always say “I love you” before going to bed.
I am from wherever the kitchen party’s in full swing, where the spoons are cracking and the laughter’s flowing.
Wherever my tribe gathers, that’s where I’m from.
HAPPY, HAPPY Dad!  Thanks for helping inspire me everyday!

What, about you guys?  What's a source of inspiration in your life?

Introducing Mr. Man

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When I was a mere slip of a girl, contemplating the man I would someday marry, I knew there was only one quality that would be 100% non-negotiable in my husband-to-be.
He had to be able to make me laugh.  If he didn’t have a great sense of humor, all bets were off!
It didn’t take long after meeting Mr. Man before I knew he was a keeper.

Mr. Man and his little pink gun.... okay it's actually mine... that story coming soon!

Seriously, the things taking up space in my husband’s head are so random and bizarre, that I couldn’t even begin to make them up.  I’m regularly left laughing so hard I can hardly breathe, or shaking my head wondering if medication might be a good idea.
I got a preview to the fun to come one night while we were still dating.  He had come to visit me at my University in Ottawa, Canada.  It was November, and as is normal for Ottawa that time of year, it was hand-of-death-gripping-your-very-soul cold.  So, having a handy mr-man-heater in my bed, I was cuddled up extra close taking advantage of the welcomed warmth.  
It was sometime around the crack of dawn when something jolted me out of a deep sleep.  Blinking in the dark, I realized my back was cold, meaning my mr-man-heater had moved.  I rolled over so I could cuddled up next to him again, but instead of finding Mr. Man snoring peacefully beside me, I found him sitting up facing my wall.
Blinking and squinting some more I reached out to ask him what was up, when I noticed I had somehow entered into the middle of a horror movie.
See, Mr. Man wasn’t just sleep-staring at the wall acting out some sort of crazy dream.  Nope, my Sweetie, was sleep WRITING on the wall.  As I stared in horror, Mr. Man moved his arm back and forth over the wall with an imaginary pencil in hand, while mumbling something to himself.
To this day Mr. Man can’t believe I didn’t put an actual pencil in his hand to see what he was writing.
I guess I’m just a little crazy that I didn’t actually want to KNOW what might be POSSESSING my then boyfriend!
Again and again before this creepy occurrence, and after, Mr. Man has played out his vivid dreams in real life.
Whether hysterically urging me to hurry because the bedroom window is broken and the room is flooding.
Pointing at the ceiling screaming “NO NOT YOU… YOU!  YA YOU!”, to later inform he had the all important task of choosing who would go on the spaceship to Mars.
Vehemently stressing to me at 3 am, while I pleaded with him to “Shut the Hell Up and go to sleep”, that I “just don’t understand”, whatever weird situation is ACTUALLY going on.
Even while sleeping, living with Mr. Man is always a laugh.
So, being that Pep Talk Polly is always looking for new Sources of the Ridiculous to bring you that laugh when you need it most, I’d like to present,

Mr. Man Mondays!

Every Monday, on the day when most of the population needs a giggle almost more than they need coffee (relax… I said ALMOST), Polly will bring you a little taste of the Madness of Mr. Man.
Believe me when I say, his kind of delightful crazy covers a broad range of topics and will be just the ray of sunshine your Monday needs!
And because Polly LOVES sharing, she wants to know if any of you have a Mr. Man or Ms. Woman of your own.  Someone whose bizarre Shenanigans leave you laugh so hard you pee a little.
C’mon, share the wealth!  Polly’s Monday was a rough one and she could use a chuckle!

Tactical Retreat

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“She generally gave herself good advice (though she very seldom followed it).”

--Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 2
Just like Alice in Wonderland, thanks to Polly, I regularly give myself very good advice…

But like my 3 ½ year old I need to work on my listening skills.

In March I wrote an article for the SKORCH Network entitled Super Woman Syndrome. In retrospect I think it was actually a letter from Polly, begging me to PLEASE slow down and stop trying to do it all. A smack-up-the-side-of-my-own-head to remind me that I am NOT Super Woman, I do NOT have super powers, and that I should stop being so ridiculous!

Ummmm ya, again see lack of listening skills mentioned above.

By the end of May my list of regular obligations looked like this…

1. Bring home the bacon 9-4 at the day job.

2. Strive to be a good Mother by not warping Miss M too drastically.

3. Give Mr. Man enough attention to assure he’d stick around long enough to continue funding my addiction to somewhat questionable literature.

4. Connect with friends often enough to assure they’d continue to support my dependence on wine of questionable quality.

5. Write witty and thought provoking pieces for Taboo Talk column at SKORCH Network.

6. Eat, bathe, sleep, repeat.

7. Remember to connect with parents, brothers and sisters to occasionally enquire “What’s up?”

8. Create amazing content for new baby “Pep Talk Polly”.

9. Promote aforementioned “new baby”.

10. Achieve Global Domination.

So, when my partner in crime Jessica Kane mentioned partnering to build an agency specializing in web design and social media strategy, I should have said NO.

I should have said HELL NO!

(Full Disclosure: It was actually my suggestion, so I should have said HELL NO to myself, even as the idea formed in my brain!)

Except, for a second I forgot I wasn’t Super Woman, and Polly cheered “WE CAN DO IT!”, and I got super excited about working with my best friend and the thought of working the day job forever made me want to cry….


I said “YAY, let’s do it”.

After which the full implications of the situation hit Polly smack in her “We can do it” face, and she stopped cheering and began cursing like a sailor. Polly knew the implications of my commitment way before I did.

I tried to keep all the balls going for about a week, with Polly’s curses getting louder and louder in my head. Then, finally, with white flag flying, I ordered an immediate tactical retreat.

Some things got ignored.

Projects were put on the back burner.

I wasn’t everything for everyone.

And guess what? The world didn’t end.

In fact by stepping back and slowing down I finally got a crystal clear picture of exactly where my efforts should be placed. I am now 100% laser focused on what I need to do to achieve my goals.

Sometimes, you just need to step back to see the big picture.

Refreshed, refocused and ready to spread her rays of sunshine to the furthest corners of crap, Polly’s back!

Are you ready for some fun?