The 41-Year Old Virgin

Hello, my name is Lauren and I’m a recovering perfectionist and Type A control freak.  Phew!  It feels good to get that off my chest!

This is my first-ever blog post, so I guess that makes me a 41-year-old virgin.  Please be gentle.

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I used to be a working mom, commuting into Manhattan from the suburbs every day, juggling a career and family.  Now I’m a stay-at-home mom living in the country, driving my school-aged boys from one practice or game to the next.  It’s a different kind of juggling act these days, and just as challenging.

I left the corporate world back in late 2006, after the unexpectedly complicated birth of my second child.  In the three years that followed, I started my own novelty business (bad timing), suffered three mini-strokes (misdiagnosed by three doctors as migraines and postpartum depression), underwent heart surgery (to fix a congenital problem I never knew I had) followed by thyroid surgery (to remove a massive tumor), was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s Disease), and moved from my familiar suburban NY home near family and friends to the unknown countryside of Pennsylvania where I knew no one.  For a control freak like me, this was all a bit overwhelming, to say the least.

Fast forward four+ years to today.  I’m healthy, strong and (mostly) happy.  I love raising our two school-aged boys in the bucolic countryside of Chester County, PA.  I love the great new friends we’ve made here.  I love that we live only a half-mile from horses, cows and cornfields in one direction and Pottery Barn, J. Crew and Target in the other.  I love that you can still buy fresh milk from the local dairy farm and warm french bread from the country baker — both on an honor-system basis.  [Somehow I don’t think the idea of writing down what you took and leaving cash in an old coffee can would work well back in NY!]

I love my life and I love my family — truly, with all my heart.  But frankly, sometimes they all suck.

Why can’t they just do things my way so we can all just get along?  I like to plan, organize and control.  They like things spontaneous, disheveled and chaotic.  I like things to be perfect.  They like things to be fun.  Unfortunately for all involved, my Type-A personality makes it hard for me to just roll with the punches.  I demand too much, yell too much, curse too much, and stress too much.  But I’m working on it.

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My New Year’s Resolutions this year are to (1) start a blog, (2) learn how to sew, and (3) be a better person, specifically by yelling less (or at least softer and less often) and praising more; cursing less (or at least under my breath better) and laughing more; complaining less (or at least not aloud) and appreciating more; planning less (at least when the family schedule allows) and living in the moment more.

Resolution #1 … achieved, as this first blog post proves (yay, me!).  My goal is to post thoughtful musings and funny rants weekly, and I’m sure there will be plenty of “bad mommy moment” confessions sprinkled in for good measure.

Resolution #2 … started.  My mom gave me her old sewing machine (actually, she gave it to me months ago and it’s been collecting dust in my laundry room ever since) and I just ordered a mobile sewing cart.  Soon I’ll have no excuses.  Watch out, Martha Stewart — mended clothes and fabulous new pillow covers coming soon!

As for Resolution #3, that is a work in progress.  I mean, we’re only a few weeks into the year, people!  Things take time.  I will admit, if parenting was football, I would not be headed to the Super Bowl this weekend, but I’m hoping to at least make it to the playoffs next year.  Little by little, step by step, I will learn to give up control and let life be messier and more fun.  As one of my favorite children’s books says, “… remember to stop and smell the roses … [and your] armpits, too!”

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So please come back often to stop and smell the roses with me on the crazy journey of life, motherhood, and parenting.  Just be prepared to smell some armpits along the way, too, because my life is the “perfect” blend of both.

Oh, and for my first time, how’d I do?  Was it as good for you as it was for me?

– LJDT

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39 thoughts on “The 41-Year Old Virgin

  1. Cannot tell you how proud I am of you-I am almost crying because I am so happy that you went for it-can’t wait to hear ( with much more frequency ) about the grind and people that piss you off!! Congrats on putting it all out there for people to laugh at-your biggest fan!! Xoxo

    • Kerin, you inspired me — taking that brave step to start your own practice was courageous and motivating, and I admire you for it. Thank you for always being my sounding board and for keeping me sane!

    • Thank you, Linda. I plan to post once a week, most likely Wednesdays or Thursdays, so I hope you keep reading and spread the word!

    • Thanks, Suzie. We have so many great local women in our area, stepping into the public eye. It’s great to support each other.

  2. I don’t understand why no one can live by my calendar! It’s just a fun whiteboard to scribble on. Infuriating. I too am Type A.

    I thought your blog was amazing and look forward to more words of wisdom.

    Oh and I want to learn how to knit! Unfortunately my boyfriend feels the knitting needles may be classified for me as lethal weapons. So all around sewing is more reasonable.

    • Amy, thanks for the support. I guess both being Type A is what made us find each other in NY. And tell your boyfriend that while knitting needles can be dangerous, a sewing machine can be, too, when thrown 🙂

  3. A perfect start, Lauren. We look very much forward to following your blog entries. We miss your and your men all the way over here and this will give us a great way to keep up with you.

    • Dave, the Abels are missed state-side, but we love following your African adventures. While my stories probably won’t involve safaris, mountain treks and games of cricket, I do hope to keep everyone entertained with tales of more mundane activities like grocery shopping, mountains of laundry and youth basketball.

  4. WOO-HOO and CONGRATULATIONS LAUREN!!! Your first time blogging was “GREAT for me”—it’s always nice to get to know a kindred spirit;-))) Looking forward to the next post—no pressure, right?!

    Best wishes,
    Susan Cooley

    • Thank you so very much, Susan, for the kind words and support. I hope I don’t let you down with future posts!

  5. Love this lauren!I can totally relate and found myself laughing out loud while I read this:) Looking forward to the next one!!!!!! Here’s to 2014!

    • Jyll, you are so sweet. Thank you for reading. I hope you come back each week, or better yet, sign up to get weekly emails!

  6. Nice honest blog post, Lauren! We all continue to work on ourselves. Looking forward to reading more. Glad you’re healthier and things are going well!

  7. Excellent! Love the blog and the thoughts, Lauren.
    I can relate to the mom goals. I like to follow the model of religious devotion when it comes to parenting: you know, same thing as “I am a practicing Catholic” — “I am a practicing mom.” if today I mess up, there will be another practice tomorrow. Someday maybe I’ll even win.

    • Absolutely, Maureen. Every day is a fresh start and eventually, I hope to get it right. Along the way, I’m going to try to laugh at myself more — and let everyone in on it, too.

  8. Loved your virgin post – so honest, touching and very real. You are a very talented writer and I look forward to future posts!

    • Thank you, Deanne. I hope my candor can add some levity to someone else’s day and show them that we are all in this together. Keep reading!

  9. Love your blog! Your words will definitely resinate with many. I wish you much success with your resolutions and if you ever need help with #2, let me know.
    Happy blogging!!

  10. This is a great start for your first blog. It is refreshing to hear honest, authentic thoughts and feelings. It made me laugh as I thought of how much of what you said was like a look in the mirror for me. I didn’t realize all the health challenges you faced before moving to Pennyslvania, especially because you are strong and fit and you look amazing! Can’t wait for the next one.

    • Thanks, Maureen. We all have some struggles to overcome and thankfully my health issues were manageable. I hope people read that paragraph as intended — as a way to illustrate that we all deal with things out of our control at some point in life, but we can overcome it. I hope you keep reading each week.

  11. We can never achieve perfection,but the pursuit of perfection with persistence can result in excellence. I BELIEVE THAT WAS A QUOTE FROM VINCE Lombardi. It sounds like you are off to a good start as a recovering perfectionist,,and you certainly have exhibited the DEWEY literary skills in your initial blog.Keep up the good work and who knows you may make it to the Super Bowl.You certainly have been a silent warrior over the past few years,so hears foLKSY.LOVE &BEST WISHES. JIMBO

  12. I’m extremely happy for you and this new endeavor. Fantastic writing. Fabulously fun to read. It brings to light the simple positive changes we all can make.

    So Lauren, I will join you in efforts to praise more, laugh more, appreciate more and live more in the moment. I will come clean and let you know that I will not join you in exercising more. (… I mean literally next to you, exercising as you do….I just can’t keep up.)

    Thank you for sharing!
    Yours in motherhood, ELM

    • Emily, you are a true gem. Your friendship means a lot to me, and we can keep each other honest (and quiet during lacrosse season!) as we try to improve.

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