Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
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She Said: To Botox or Not to Botox?

Mom Monica Bielanko ponders whether she should get Botox or not, even though she used to be so against it. Can you relate? #shesaid

Posted by on Thursday, June 11, 2015

Sassy Lady Singing The Blues

It's evening. Not quite dusk but the sun is slowly sinking behind my neighbor's tall trees, dappling my yard in lemon tones. A breeze plays the leaves on the trees like a concert pianist, the oceanic result competes with Billie Holiday; sassy lady crooning her heartbreaking blues from my record player. I'm here. Two kids sound asleep, one roasting marshmallows in a neighbor's backyard. An ice cold beer sweats next to me as I tap keys and wonder what I'll type next.

This website is still my home here on the Internet. Sometimes I log in here with purpose, with something to say, seeking a response or interaction, maybe. But tonight I have nothing specific to share with you but still wanted to share something. I don't know. I'm as interested as anyone to see what my fingers type...

Life is so full of twists and turns... About the only thing I know for certain is that nothing is certain. Nothing. Check that. The only thing that is certain is that I am a mother to three beautiful babies. Gorgeous souls whose shining eyes cause lumps in my throat and tears in my eyes on a daily basis. I have given up all plan-making, all future desires. This life I'm carving out over here, smack dab in the center of Pennsylvania, is a day-to-day endeavor. I work my ass off. I am a good mom. I love people and people love me. I am at peace with everyone in my world. Almost. And that is enough. At least for now. All the rest of it is noise.

I am also scared. I feel like a broken person, unsure of many things, especially about myself. But goddammit, I'm trying. I am living carefully and deliberately and trying to be a good, honest person. And that is what matters, I guess. Anyway, as I approach the ten year anniversary of this website I wanted to thank you, whoever you are, for being here. For bearing witness to my fucked-upness, for giving a shit. I like it. I'm glad you're here and I'm glad I'm still here ten years, three children and a divorce later.

I Swear in Front of My Kids and I Don't Give a Damn

I was raised, as most of us are, with the notion that there are “good words” and “bad words.” I was encouraged to use the good words and discouraged, under threat of spanking from my Mormon mother and grandmother, from using the bad ones. This contraband list included, but wasn’t limited to, the usual suspects I believe the comedian George Carlin once nicknamed the “7 Dirty Words.”

As it turns out, in my adult life, these are the words I enjoy the most.

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Memorandum: That Kind Of Person

I worry I'm becoming the kind of workaholic who can't go a few hours without checking her emails. I manage a team of people, including storm chasers who are out and about in severe weather, and am also responsible for a large portion of the company website so the emails are plentiful and mostly important. Except, of course, those lurking among us who get 'reply all' happy and hold the rest of us hostage with the subsequent 'reply all' email orgy. Thanks for the 43 extra emails, guys.

Thing is, I'm not interested in being the kind of person who scurries from home to work and meeting to conference call all while religiously checking my iPhone for new emails. And yet I find myself being that kind of person. Probably because I really like my job. But still, I see people who are that kind of person and have determined that some people get off on being that kind of person. These are people who happily employ jargon-y office phrases like "deliverables" and "drill-down" and "action items" and then there are other people who slowly die inside until they are mere shells of their former selves; pale, slumping against anything and everything, flasks hidden in desk drawers, haunted eyes... I am of the latter persuasion.

It's a catch-22, isn't it? Job at a place with people I really love but at what cost? It's this fine line I now find myself walking; attempting to do a job I dig while trying to remain a fun, carefree person who isn't beaten down by the officey officeness that infiltrates your soul. I suppose I'll know it's time to quit if you ever catch me bandying about phrases like "low hanging fruit" and "run it up the flagpole" and "synergy" or "circle back" or "best practices" or "value add" or... Sweet mother of god, can someone just put me in a dark basement corner and let me do my thing? We're putting cover sheets on all TPS reports before they go out now and I've got to jump on a conference call to schedule a meeting about that so we can effectively cascade the relevant information.

Also, have you seen my stapler?
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