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Who Am I To Help People Get All Healthy When I Just Ate All The Tater Tots

Who Am I To Help People Get All Healthy When I Just Ate All The Tater Tots

So the weather has shifted and all of a sudden we have like five hours less light here in Portland. Also, as many of you know, I started home(un)schooling my son 3-ish months ago. And while I still stand by the school choice, the reality is that now I have an eleven year old boy at home 24/7 while I am also running a business.

This is not a complaint, it’s just the facts.

The other facts are that he is an incredibly intense kid with some sensory stuff and extra emotional needs. And hold on to your heart so you aren’t shocked to death… I am all of these things too. Which makes us a hell of a pair.

Basically, we are a couple of clever, hilarious nightmares with decievingly sweet brown eyes and wack sensitivities for days.

So in large part, I’ve been feeling like a wreck. I am completely overwhelmed and disorganized and he is acting all spazzy because, you know, that thing where I have to take care of myself so I can take care of him. I’m like a dried up leaf trying to manage a helicopter. Yeah. That. And my self care is happening only at it’s most basic levels because I am not a fucking wizard, ok?

Making this drastic of a change in education choices is something like moving to a new city. When you move to a new city it can take a year or two of fumbling around lost before you figure out where to get your bras, how to navigate the freeways and who your friends are. It is the same-ish with leaving the school system. We have to find our support system somewhere else entirely and it will take time. We are doing all the things, but there is no getting around the time it will take.

So, in the interim, it’s requiring all of my effort just to do the most basic things like make sure the house isn’t gross and we have food to eat. Trying not to eat all of the tater tots.

Ok. I totally ate all the tator tots. WHO AM I TO HELP PEOPLE GET ALL HEALTHY WHEN I JUST ATE ALL THE TOTS? Wizard status totally pending now.

tater Tots Rule

But here is the thing.

Sometimes you can do some of the things. Sometimes you can do more of the things. All of the times you are enough. [tweet]

Outsized expectations are toxic. They are worse than too many tater tots. [tweet]

Let me give you a quick example of outsized expectation toxicity: There are many great restaurants on the street that I live. It’s a pretty sweet deal. I don’t know why I chose these particular two restaurants to have a problem with, but… wait. yes I do. I chose them because, arbitrary! When I walk past these two places, I auto-engage in this elaborate fantasy about how these particular places are filled with people who are more stable, happy, perfect, marathon running, yoga practicing, solid parenting, PhD holding, multi-published, familial supporting, still having sex but totally loyal, health insured, tenured couples who will grow old together with kids who already have college education plans in place, than me.

I look in through the windows at the artful lighting, the interior green wall landscaping, the fire burning ovens and sparkling crystal wine glasses, Warby Parker spectacles and dental hygene… and hate fills my weary heart. “I despise solid parenting” and “yoga is stupid,” I think.

This has nothing at all to do with reality, it is all about outsized expectations, about me projecting some thing I’ve decided signifies security and lovability onto the world that I am being deprived of. And all that does is give me an opportunity to reafirm lack and seethe. It’s a total mind-scam.

Because truthfully, I don’t hate people. I’m a big fan of yoga and loving the kids in all of the ways. And I am fully aware that any of those people eating in those places could be one of my friends. Hell, I’ve eaten in both of those places.


Our outsized expectations keep us in failure, turn us into victims. And, I might add, assholes. [tweet]

We start thinking of the unatainable stuff we “should” be doing, while lamenting all the ways we “could” be attaining success if only X,Y and Z were cooperating. Ta da! Paralytic overwhelm and tater tots.

Overwhlem happens, sometimes because we create outsized expectations, and also because very real circumstances come up and cause stress. Often a combination of both. I only seethe outside of Portland eateries when I feel stressed and out of control in other ways.

But, thankfully, I have the option to catch myself and make a few adjustments before I actually start pounding on the glass at strangers who call the police and have me institutionalized. I can adjust my schedule to include more space and self care so I don’t feel so empty. I can adjust my acceptance level for the amount of difficulty life might be at this one, particular, temporary moment in time. It’s hard, but like I said earlier… just the facts of the situation.

And with a few adjustments, irrational hatred dissolves enough that I can go back to yay love. Or hope. Or if not all that all at once, at the very least, I can see the absurdity of what I’m doing and have a good laugh at me. Levity is powerful too.

Regular-expectation-reality is that I still have a super health coaching business no matter how many tater tots I eat. Helping my clients really isn’t about me. Yes, walking the talk is muy importante* but so is not being a robot.

Being is perfect is boring and uncool and not even a thing. [tweet]

Surviving in the real muddiness of life all lotus-like and shit. Now that is cool. [tweet]

And that’s pretty much what you are doing right this minute.

I see the way you are doing things anyway despite the fact that they are hard or scary. The way you don’t give up. The way you seek, you survive, know in your bones that you are brave, even when you manage to talk yourself out of that knowing. You still know.

And in the event that any of you are feeling all light deprived and overwhelmed by the realities of your life choices, or things you didn’t choose at all, here is a little list where I break down a few easy survival/thrival tips that you already know, but might need to remember that you know.

  1. Water – drink a lot of it. Stay hydrated so you can be flexible enough to fit into the container you are in now. Also, so you can go all Colorado River on that shit and carve yourself a new path if you need.
  2. Meditation  – it doesn’t have to be hard and monkish. Just sit down and be still for 10 minutes a day. When you realize you are thinking thoughts, label them “thinking” and go back to sitting. Repeat until your timer goes off. You are strengthening the part of yourself that is capable of remembering that you are the owner of thoughts, rather than the thoughts themselves. That is a big deal. That is how seething becomes laughter instead of the psych ward.
  3. Gratitude – you know this is a thing. Do it. Tiny lists of things going right are helpful all of the time. Share them or don’t share them. Whatever. Just write them down because it works. I have been managing to do this, even though every time I do, coffee is the first – and sometimes only – thing that comes to mind for like five minutes. I am so grateful for coffee right now and I don’t care who knows it.
  4. Laugh – call your funny friends, use the internet or stand-up comedy to get this rolling. I just watched Aziz Ansari’s latest show, Buried Alive (streaming on Netflix) and I’m still laughing about it days later.
  5. Read something that reminds you that you are human, not broken. Right now I’m reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. It’s a really good thing to read when vulnerability threatens to crush your soul.


Also, you might just need some help. And that’s cool too. Perhaps we should be working together, because helping you be all lotus-y is my favorite. Also, I will make you laugh. Consultations are free. Just send me an email.

No matter what, I absolutely adore hearing from you. So email me or get into the blog comments and tell me how you survive overwhelm. Or tell me about your favorite stand-up routine or tater tot preparation or most irrationally outsized expectations of your good self.

You deserve all the love.



Meg Signature




*This is approximately 86% of the Spanish I know!

image by Istra Pilipina

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35 Responses to Who Am I To Help People Get All Healthy When I Just Ate All The Tater Tots

  1. Great, honest and wonderful writing as usual. Thanks for all of your honesty as well all try to become better people on this planet, and not without a struggle.

  2. claire stone says:

    Meg, I love your writing. I’m a nutritionist too, and I totally struggle with the fact that I am not a skinny binny. Most of the time, I’m perfectly happy to just be me, and to keep helping people in the way that I do, but I often worry exactly who am I to be doing this, when I (clearly) ate all the chips. So, it’s really refreshing to see you being honest, and still super-useful too!
    Keep up the good work (in a totally ‘as much as you can’ way because while the world will wait for you forever, your gorgeous son is here, in this space, right now) and know that you can eat as many tater tots as you want because I for one don’t care!

    • mworden says:

      You darling, Claire. I love seeing you here. And I love knowing you are out there being all realistic rather than militaristic about health. Rock the hell on, sister.

    • Flora says:

      12-02-09Альберт пишет: 2 часа мучился, здесь всё прочитал и всё лÂаработазÂо !!! ПАСИБА. Был ли этот ответ полезным?

    • I’m afraid that the Government and DOH feel that this issue only effects a tiny number of midwives in the UK and therefore a very small number of women. It feels like they have ‘ticked the box’ by saying that the solution is for IM’s to form social enterprises so they can ‘contract in’ to the NHS and therefore gain insurance. This is so simplistic as well as being very difficult to actually achieve. I believe that Independent Midwifery will end on 25th October 2013 and that whilst there will be an initial outcry, then we will be forgotten as the press and the public move on to other issues. Sorry to be so pessimistic.

    • Welcome to blogland!!! I have been wanting to make a felted quilt too, sounds like so much fun!! Almost thinking of making one just of cotton jumpers too, without the felting…..Hmm, maybe that is what I should be doing during my down time now – jumpers are awfully cheap in Summer!!Melly

    • llames amor, llámalo X. Cosas de tendencias. Con muchas menos copias distribuidas, apenas unas 40, Beginners ha dejado un gran sabor de boca aunque no está entre las diez más

    • conexaoparis disse:SilviaPor perto tem o restaurante La Coupole bonito e alegre. Procure na categoria do blog que se chama Regiões de Paris Montparnasse artigo sobre este restaurante.Porque vocês não vão para o Alcazar. Leia artigo da categoria Reveillo2011. O grupo de brasileiros no reveillon do Alcazar já está com mais de 58 pessoas.

    • http://www./ says:

      I love this photo. And yes, I too wonder about the life that I would be living if I had chosen different paths. If I had chosen to pursue a different career, the different friends I would have met, but then the lovely friends I have that I may not have known. Sometimes it is a good thing we don’t have these answers…

  3. p. says:

    I think I’ve read the best, but then… get better.
    You are sweet, make me smile & proud. I love your honesty, openness and vulnerability in spite of difficult times. Sometimes tater tots scream to be eaten, you did good!

  4. I was feeling sorry for myself and thinking about quitting my doctoral program. Then I read this. I am grateful for your work. Thank you.

  5. Thanks for keeping it real, Meg! From a fellow portlandian, rock on….

  6. Nancy-Lynn says:

    Wow – how have we not met? I’m a Portlander & student at IIN …. GREAT ARTICLE … <3 the tweet links! <3

  7. Jaime K says:

    I love this. I fucking love it. Read it three times. Passing it along. *hugs*

  8. Amalia says:

    Thank you for this bit of inspiration that hit me squarely over the head this week.

    And my solution for overwhelm? She weighs about 50 pounds, she’s three years old, and she demands a walk every single morning from me. Siberian Huskies don’t know overwhelm- they just know the unbridled joy of loving without judgment and being in this moment, and I use her as my mentor on these things.

    • mworden says:

      I love that about your dog, Amalia. I’m so glad you have her. Unconditional love demands to be experienced in this lifetime. Thanks so much for being here.

  9. Hannah says:

    I always joke that I am waiting for the day I just feel “whelmed” instead of overwhelmed. This is a great post and it resonates with me so much. I feel like I wrote it. We are the very happy people in the restaurant that we are judging. We are them somedays and we are not them other days. And so it goes with them as well. Post like this raise the curtain a bit and let us glimpse behind the scenes. Bravo.

  10. Erika says:

    I really enjoyed reading this, made lol wich is something I totally need. Thanks. What is it about restaurant windows that do such thing to people? Anyhow I love it I felt so related, is a good feeling.

  11. […] Pure, transparent, genius: Outsized expectations are toxic. They are worse than too many tater tots. […]

  12. Kyle says:

    God, I’m reading thinking, I can relate, yup, so true and then sure enough “Daring Greatly” comes up, AGAIN, for like the 5th time this week AND a copy is sitting on my bedside table…synchronicity plus this vulnerability shit is really just the kick in the pants I’ve been needing. hence, my last post

    thanks for your writing – bold, beautiful, and inspiring

    • Meg says:

      Oh, Kyle, the “Grasp-a-thon of 2013!” Good grief I can relate. Thanks so much for commenting and sharing your post. x

    • Good day I am so happy I found your website, I really found you by error, while I was browsing on Askjeeve for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a tremendous post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the great work.

    • – It will take creativity to bless them.  We’re trying to keep our eyes open for needs we see in the community and ways we can possibly help to protect them from threats they face from the local police, as we witness when we first arrived.

    • susy scrive:14 dicembre 2012 alle 22:13sono proprietaria di un appartamento al 50% con mio marito, ho due figlie perciò usufruiscodella detrazione, mia figlia ha acquistato un appartamento nello stesso comune però ha la residenzaancora da me, deve pagare l’imu come prima casa ed usufruire delle detrazioni o deve calcolarlacome 2a casa?grazie per il servizio che offriteSusy

    • http://www./ says:

      Your life sounds busy and fun. I’m always amazed at people who think they will be bored in retirement. Are you kidding me! There are too many great things to do.

  13. […] right. I hobby-loathe families in the name of stability. Don’t judge. Or do. […]

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