I want to be a health coach but . . .

Health coach

So I’ve been saying for awhile that I need to figure out my next thing.  What I want to do when I grow up.  What I’m going to do now that our old way of life will never be the same.  (I mean OBVIOUSLY.  But some things take longer to get there in my head.)

My head is pinging with ideas.  The two buckets seem to be writing and health related.  On the writing side, I’ve thought about working on a book proposal.  Or really optimizing/monetizing this blog and writing more regularly.  Or doing a podcast.  (This one doesn’t quite fit into either bucket.)

For health, I’d like to be a health coach.  I’d also like to learn more about fitness.  Either to be a personal trainer or to be a more sort of full service health coach package.

I definitely have more time now that the kids are in school.  (Although it does seem like things are always coming up.)  But I will need to be more focused to make something happen.  Right now I feel like I’m making an inch of progress in twenty different directions.  I need to pick a lane.  Which currently feels intimidating on top of settling in to our new home, travel planning, and general life stuff.

In the spirit of picking a lane, I’m doing a brain dump on all the reasons I’m scared to try to be a health coach.  Here we go.

Continue reading

HI! How was your summer?

Hey!  How’s it going?  How’s your summer been?  Flying by?  I hear ya.

We’ve been in the US of A this summer.  Sorry for the long absence here.  We’ve been pinging around trying to squeeze in as much family and friends time as we could.  It really was wonderful to have this time.  We were very grateful.  But . . .

It was difficult as well.  Being homeless for so long was tough.  And the poor kids were so confused.  Are we going to Nana’s house?  Are we going home?  Are we in Malaysia?

Oh, right.  We’re doing our next three years in Malaysia.  Kuala Lumpur to be exact.  We’re actually already here!  It’s been just over a week.  We’re kind of unpacked and starting to get over jet lag.  More on this soon, but we’re having a blast so far.

I’ve missed you guys.  I’ve missed writing.  Hopefully, you can expect some uptick in posting around here.  They may not be the prettiest posts.  They probably won’t have pictures.  (You can always check out my IG for that.)

But this is a unique and special time.  A time of first impressions.  My thinking changes day to day.  I already have trouble relating to some of my thoughts from a few days ago.  I want to be able to look back and remember.

So you’re in Malaysia now . . . but still using Roman Reboot?

Yup!  For now anyway.  When I first started the blog, I thought it would serve me just fine later because it was a reboot on my life that happened to start in Rome.  Now, it does feel a bit too specific.  I’m trying to find a more general name, but as you can imagine, names like “The Reboot” are all taken.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

It will also require some techno thinking on my part to make a transition happen.  So it’s on the list.  Along with all sorts of other projects I want to attempt.  Writing, podcasting, Crossfitting, travel planning.  The boys are both in school, and the world is my oyster.  (Although I do feel conflicted on this.  More to come.)

Hope you’re doing great!  Talk soon!!


The blog posts that weren’t

We are just over two months to go here.  TWO MONTHS!  AHHHHHHH.

You’ve probably noticed that this blog isn’t updated much these days.  Some of that is because we are on the road trying to cram in all the trips.

Some of that is because of our Year of Togetherness.  I’ve discovered that it is easier just to be out of the house as much as possible.  I enjoy my time with the kids more.  We interact more instead of my worrying about laundry or looking something up or whatever.  I also I hate trying to get a few things done and having the kids beg me to do stuff and tell them no all the time.  We could have just read together for an hour.  I still hate feeling like I’m always saying no.  Also, they might play beautifully by themselves for an hour, but it’s never reliable.  But if we spend tons of time outside of the house, they are generally thrilled to play with all their toys without me when we are back home.

I’m going to try use my last, limited blogging energy to put together some Best Of and Top Fave lists.  I know I can do this later, but I have a feeling that if I don’t get them together while we are still in Rome, I’m going to lose interest.

Because of all this, this means there are likely many posts that will never be.  Maybe someday.  But probably not.  Here’s a roundup of some of the posts that weren’t.

Continue reading

Why I Quit My Job to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom in Italy

One of the fun things about blogging is that you get to meet cool people, at least virtually anyway.

I don’t remember exactly when I first discovered Hey Eleanor, the brainchild of Molly Mogren Katt, but I immediately crushed pretty hard.  The blog is gorgeous, the writing is awesome, and I adore the idea.  Trying new things is pretty much my definition of adventure, and you know I’m down for that.

Molly has a series on Quitters, and I realized, hey, I have an interesting quitting storyCheck out my interview over on Hey Eleanor here.  I’d love to know what you think!

P.S.  Another fascinating article on quitting: “The ‘quitter’s mindset’ could be the secret to success

Goals for 2016

1 (2)

New year.  New slate.  I know some people aren’t into resolutions, but I like the chance to step back, reassess, and commit myself on new paths.  I still need to do some wrap ups on 2015 (I actually hit some of last year’s goals!), but since we’re already (almost a month!) into 2016, might as well start there.

(Hmm, I also already seem to have used my allotted exclamation point quota up before the first paragraph.  I’d make it a goal to stop, but, yeah, no.)

Continue reading

Why you might not want to ask me to look at your resume

9.17_Why you might NOT want to ask me to look at your resume

You may have noticed.  I’ve been having some trouble writing lately. I WANT to be writing.  Just any time except when I’m actually near a computer.

I blame two things.  First, of course, the adorable weirdos.  I’ve just been more wiped out lately.  Nap time rolls around, and I just need a break.  Eh, I’ll write something, I say.  Just let me read a few more chapters of Mindy Kaling’s new book first . . .

Also, I joke that I can take care of the kids and only do ONE other thing in my life at a time.  Well, I don’t know why I’d call it a joke.  It is pretty true.  Except not completely true because I’ve been running again and I’ve also been doing more travel planning.  So maybe 1.5 things in my life.  Running doesn’t fully count.  This is why having running buddies is awesome.  I just show up, and they pull me along.  Autopilot.  Melissa, did you have a chance to think about a route for our long run?  Uh . . . blank face.  I’m sure they love it.  I’d like to think that I make up for my route laissez faire with sparkling conversation on our runs.  Which is TOTALLY something I do and not turn bright red and wheeze.

But, yeah, I’ve been spending my precious computer moments planning more adventures instead of writing about previous adventures.  Some out of town.  Some in town.  We went on an epic organized gelato crawl that I need to tell you guys about.  (Because nothing makes people hate you more than pics of you stuffing yourself full of gelato.)  We are going to see Shakespeare at the Globe Theater in BorgheseI saw Castel Sant’ Angelo at night.  We are trying some new restaurants.  We got tickets to see the Forum at night.

All good and exciting things.  All take time to plan.

So I haven’t been writing.

But lately, I’ve had trouble sleeping.  Thankfully, not wake up in the middle of the night sleeping, but just get-up-too-early not sleeping.  (She says, furiously knocking on wood.)  Instead of getting up, though, I’ve been tossing and turning or reading because WHO ON EARTH wants to get up at 5:00 am if they don’t have to.  NO ONE that is.  Maybe babies actually.  But babies can be kind of jerks sometimes.

So today when I woke up early AGAIN I was all FINE UNIVERSE.  You win!!  I’ll get up!  I will write and spend time crafting my brilliant tomes of wisdom that are DEFINITELY not just internet screeds.

Aside:  Screed is a really funny word, right?  Try saying it over and over.  Screed, hehe.

But, ANYWAYS, the joke is on YOU, universe, because I’m recycling something I’ve already written.  (Which is good because I already hear Mac screaming.  See above re jerk.)  You can lead a horse, but you can’t make it drink the champagne.  Which is probably a good thing.  You don’t want your horse stealing all your champagne.  Unless you are me, because I’m not doing a full whole30 right now, but I am trying to cut back on certain things.  Like booze.  Because I may not have mentioned this, but I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately.

Official Disclaimer:  I do NOT give booze to horses.

But I guess the joke is kind of on me because I just wrote over 600 words culminating in a disclaimer I never thought I would write.  Or really the joke is on you because you just read it.  Muhahahaha.

So remember how I have a sister?  (Two actually, but let’s focus on this one for now.  Oh, and a brother.  But I digress.)

When we were back in the States, she asked me for help on her resume.  Do I have opinions on resume style?  YOU BET.

I gave her some pointers, said something obnoxious about her sending me an updated draft within a week, and then scampered back to Rome.

Surprisingly–although I guess not as surprising as you’d think for a put-upon sibling who was used to dealing with the tirades of a domineering older sib–she sent a draft within a week.  And it was AWESOME.  Seriously, you guys should go hire my sister.  If for nothing else than to help you with your resumes because she is now a stone cold resume writing genius.  I just had a few comments and sent it back.

Within a few days, I hadn’t heard anything.

You may not have picked up on this, but patience is not one of my strong suits.

Aside:  I just googled “strong suit” to make sure that I’m not mistyping this.  And I was all, what does that really mean anyway???  Trying to be all deep.  Is it about the strong, power suit in your closet?  The one you only break out for interviews?  Because you had an awesome resume???

And, of course, it is about your strong suit of cards.  Which I think I actually knew, and I probably could have re-puzzled out if I gave myself the chance.  (James is definitely doing some serious eye rolling at this point.  I’ll be able to confirm for you in person in a few hours because I love nothing more than to read blog posts over his shoulder to see where he is laughing.  (I don’t think it needs to be said, but he loves MANY things more than this.))

Update:  James read that first paragraph and was all “seriously??” and I’m like just keep reading.  And then he lost it.  ALL the laughing.  So I was happy.  But then I was like, GREAT, my best joke on here was a private one for you.  Face palm.

So back to my strong suit.  My fictional strong suit is a traditional color, but it has some feminine details, and I like to wear it with statement jewelry.  Because I have LEARNED NOTHING.

My sister.  Even though my email game is anything but tight, I apparently expect everyone to reply promptly.  Because that makes sense.

So I sent her this message.

Which I thought about asking her permission to use, but then I was all, hey, I wrote the email.  And this really says everything about my mental state and nothing about hers so she has no reason to be embarrassed.  Except on my behalf.

You:  OMG.  I just landed the BMW internship job thing.  They said normally they don’t do this, but they are going to pay me a starting salary of $75K because they were SO impressed with my resume.  They even want me to start a resume-writing workshop for all zee Germans who have perfect English but are worried about their English.

Me:  That’s terrific!  I knew you could do it!

You:  Also, NBD, this German prince or duke or something was TOTALLY hitting on me at my interview.  He showed up on the lawn in his private copter (with BMW motor, of course!) and begged me to give him a chance, but I told Dieter that I’m a career girl and I can’t be seen dating the boss.  Or the dude who will be my underling in about 2.5 seconds when I skyrocket up the corporate ladder faster than a German chasing a keg of beer rolling over a field of bratwurst.

Me:  Right on!  Girl power!

You:  Anywho, I couldn’t have done this without you.  You’re the best.  DAS BEST.  I’ll make sure they name the next Z Series after you.  And then deliver one to your door!

Me:  Aww, you’re too sweet.  You really did all the work.  I’m glad I could be of some small assistance.  Don’t forget me when you are off running the Eurozone and rubbing elbows with Merkel!

You:  NEVER.  I don’t have favorites, but you are definitely one of my favorite sisters.  Love you!

Me:  Love you!

With apologies to all jokes at expense of zee Germans.  The email just tickled me, and thankfully my sister thought it was funny too instead of being all WHY ARE YOU RIDING ME ON MY RESUME, WOMAN?  Also, it was for the best because she claims her email ate my original message with my actual thoughtful comments which I would say isn’t a thing except that has totally happened to me before too.

And with apologies to all of you because I’m pretty sure I have exceeded my caps and italics usage for the year with this rant, I mean post.  But you can’t really blame me.   Blame THE UNIVERSE.  Because this is what happens when I’m writing at 5:30 in the morning.

Cheap recipe to turn that frown upside down

You know how sometimes you start to feel a teeny tiny bit like you have some inkling of what you are doing some of the time?  And then the parenting gods laugh in your face and smite your smile away and you are left to pick up the pieces of your broken schedule that is being stomped on by cranky tots?

No?  Just me?

Anyways, that’s where I am now.  After we recovered from jet lag from our recent trip Stateside, I thought things were back to business as usual.  Then two things happened that rocked my little world.

First, Henry discovered that he can climb out of his crib.  I know.  Like you, I am also pretty shocked that it took him this long.  He probably could have been doing this a year ago.

And I’m all, now what??  Do we accept that this is happening and put the toddler side on his crib?  Move him to the bed?  His climbing actually looks pretty safe so I’m not as worried about him hurting himself.  I just need to figure out how to convince him to stay put during the night.  And probably do a little more childproofing for when he doesn’t.  I am definitely not used to having Henry pop up in unexpected places, and the sound of his bedroom door busting open is starting to haunt my dreams.

Second, Henry is trying to drop his nap.  And my efforts at getting him to have “quiet time” on his own have been mixed.  Not cool.  I mean, I always knew this day would come, but I’m not ready.  Some of it is for me.  Without nap time, I may never get anything done ever again.  But part of it is for him.  He still seems pretty tired.  So now I didn’t get a break, and I’m dealing with a crankypants kiddo.  #winning

Needless to say, I’m feeling a little knocked off my game.  It doesn’t help that I am still in vacation mode.  Staying up too late.  Extra glass of wine at night.  Skimping on exercise.  I know exactly what I need to do to feel better.  I just haven’t gotten there yet.  I’ll work on returning to reality after the holiday weekend.  Probably.  Definitely.  Maybe.

Since I was a little out of it this morning, I decided a pick-me-up was in order.

For a shot of happy, I’d normally hit up a friend for cappuccino after dropping Henry at school, but people either have guests or are out of town or working or some such today.  And I didn’t feel like chasing Mac around the cafe all by myself.

Mac and I stopped at the store.  Instead of just the usual groceries, I added some heavy cream.   And at the checkout, I picked up a four-pack of my favorite Kinder chocolate.

When we got home, I made some seriously weak coffee because we were all of out of decaf.  Then I poured in a tad bit of heavy cream.  And then Mac and I split the chocolate.  (Mac had no complaints on this plan.)

Then Mac and I went to go play.  Although I was late to the podcast party, I’ve been turning on podcasts in the background lately when Mac and I party down.  I find that I can still read books and have dance parties and toss balls just fine, but it adds a little interest for me.

But today instead of a podcast, I decided to break out some bigger guns.  I fired up Netflix and put on a comedy special in the background.  (John Mulaney’s New in Town was the winner.)

Aside:  for the moment, I listen to saltier materials when it is just me and Mac.  I guess that will change soon when Mac masters “ball” and “mama” and then goes straight to F-bombs.  Isn’t it funny how kids make you notice profanity?  After watching Macklemore’s new video for Downtown, I showed it to Henry because I thought he would like the mopeds.  I remember it being OK.  It was NOT OK.  I should have expected the language, but I somehow missed it.  Parenting FAIL.

Aside Aside:  How fabulous is Eric Nally in the Downtown video?  He is my new fashion icon, and I am not kidding in the slightest. 

And so it was that after a treat and some laughs, I left to pick up Henry with a smile on my face and enough energy to want to write a blog post.

As for Henry, we reached a tenuous compromise today.  I told him that if he stayed in his crib–reading books or whatever–for an hour that he could get out and watch TV.  There was some fighting when he wanted to go straight to TV, but eventually he caved.  The hour alarm just went off, but guess who is fast asleep . . .

What is your go to cheap pick-me-up?  Do you also love the video for Downtown?  And any advice on this sleeping thing?  How do you get your children to stay where you put them?  Or is that just the most naive thing I’ve ever typed?

No more Sunday afternoon sadness, but still some mixed feelings

We are coming up on our anniversary in Rome.  Or our Rome-iversary as I like to call it.

Wow.  We’ve come a long way.  I look back on early recaps like this and realize just how different things are now.  We have enjoyed plenty of trips.  We have eaten at lots of restaurants.  We have had lots of fun exploring the city.

Sometimes I get frustrated because it feels like all the new arrivals are able to do stuff immediately that it took me six months to do.  I’m happy for them.  But I can’t help but wonder: what was wrong with me?

And then I try to tell myself that I’ve come a long way on the kids front.  When we arrived, l didn’t have experience watching one of my kids full-time, much less two of them.  There was an adjustment period.  (Understatement of the year, that one.)  Now I’m much more comfortable with the adorable weirdos.  I still get intimidated by them at times.  We don’t always try for big adventures.  But we’re getting better.

Things aren’t perfect.  Things could be tweaked.  I’d love a little more uninterrupted time for myself.  But I’m happy.

I realized how happy when it hit me:  I no longer dread Mondays.

Back in DC, I suffered from chronic Sunday afternoon sadness.  James can attest that this was very real.  It would manifest itself in various ways.  I might frantically try to squeeze in one more adventure so that I could feel like we enjoyed the weekend enough.  I might get cranky.  Or mean.  There could be crying.  It was not a good scene, yo.

All of this because of my anxiety about work on Monday.  Even when things were going well at biglaw, I never bounded out of bed ready to start my week and lawyer everyone.  When things weren’t going well, I truly dreaded setting foot in the office.  Even though the office found you outside of normal hours, being at work usually felt worse.

Now Monday is just another day.  It will be filled with kids and frantically typing at naptime and cooking and messes and running.  Sometimes I’m tired.  Sometimes I’m bummed that James has to go back to work.  But I don’t dread anything about the day.

I like this.

But I can’t say that everything is all roses and sunshine.  Even though I’m pretty content on a day-to-day basis, I worry about the future.  And I worry about money.

The best thing about my biglaw salary was that we didn’t worry about money.  We didn’t spend like crazy or anything.  But I never worried about it.  I didn’t think twice about buying a shirt I wanted or going out to dinner.  There was always enough money for whatever we wanted.

Now there is still enough money for whatever we want.  But I have to think about it.

This came to a head when plotting our August trip to SC.  We are pumped to see all of our family in South Carolina, but it felt all kinds of wrong to fly all the way across the ocean and not see our dear DC friends.  James and I plotted deploying Camp Grandparents and heading up to DC for a day sans spawn.  But the plotting did not turn into reality.  First, it was worry about Mac and the boobs.  Then just general worry about the kids even though we knew they would be fine and not wanting to take advantage of grandparents.  We also squeezed in some worry about whether DC in a day would be fun or stressful and disappointing because we wouldn’t be able to see and do and eat everything we wanted.

While we worried, airfare, of course, just kept creeping up.  Every price hike set off a new round of worry about whether we should be doing the trip.  Which caused more delays in action.  Which resulted in higher prices.

Long story short:  we eventually booked a flight.

But all of this back and forth and worry did not feel good.  I didn’t like it.  And I couldn’t help feeling that law firm salary-earning Melissa would not have had this stress.  Yes, I would have wanted to get a good deal on a flight.  Yes, I would have grumbled when prices went up.  But, no, I don’t think I would have had the same gut-twisting anxiety about whether to do it.

I’ve started reading The Compound Effect.  (The tone is a little aggressively self helpy, but seems like good info so far.)  Just like compound interest, the general principle is that very small, hardly even noticeable changes add up in a big way over time.  The first step on making a change is tracking your behavior.

So that’s the plan.  After mentioning a financial challenge to follow the 30 Day EVERYTHING Challenge, I’ve actually tried a few days of tracking spending, but I get derailed before accumulating a month of data.  Failed information capture rears its ugly head again.

And THEN when I thought I had a plan to deal with all these feeling of weirdness, we actually did the flight overseas and the Passport Customs Whatever dude looks at me and asks, “what is your occupation?”

Uh . . .

Cue the crickets.

Serenading a deer in the headlights.

Part of this was because I was racking my brain (good to know) about whether my passport actually LISTED an occupation.  Was this a quiz?  Was I failing?  Would I be singled out as an unsuspecting drug mule because I gave a shady answer??

I think eventually I mumbled something awesome like I don’t have one.

And slow clap for this Passport Customs Duder who is all “do you take care of these kids?  Hardest job in the world there.”

I appreciated what he was doing.  I guess.  But I was more all like THANKS dude.  I don’t need rando Passport dude to make me feel better about my life choices.

Or maybe I do.  Because this continued to bother me for several days.  I haven’t dealt with many “so what do you do” insinuations in our current gig.  There are a lot of people who are in between things or doing something unconventional.  I don’t ever feel like I have to EXPLAIN myself.

And even if I could bring myself to say it, homemaker or housewife just doesn’t sound right.  My house is not clean.  I don’t bake.  Don’t homemakers have their S*** figured out and NOT wear their husband’s boxers because they haven’t bothered to buy new underwear?

My main “occupation” is keeping the adorable weirdos from killing themselves.  But saying “Mom” doesn’t seem appropriate as an occupation either.  I’m a mom whether I’m doing work to be paid or not.  As are bazillions of other women in the world.  So being Mom is something I love.  It is something I am.  But I wouldn’t call it an occupation.

I’ve thought more about what I would like to tell Mr. Stamp My Passporter.  Would I have liked to say “I make money off the internet?”  (I currently don’t.)  Apparently money is not a prerequisite based on Duder’s standards for listing occupations.  I could have said I’m a screenwriter!  I mean, I’ve never gotten paid for being a screenwriter.  Technically, I haven’t even written my screenplay.  BUT I TOTALLY feel like I have a screenplay within me.  Just this morning I was tickled at the thought of Santa’s reindeer operating a submarine.  If Pauly Shore can make a move, I surely have 85 minutes of laughs in that premise, right?  I should tell that Judgmental Duder that I am a screenwriter!

James, of course, is vehemently shaking his head and screaming NOOOOOooo in the vacuum that is trying to reason with me.  Because YES I know that the whole point of Passport Control is NOT to be a shady weirdo and YES I get it that the lady who pauses for 20 seconds and declares she is a screenwriter is SUPER SHADY.  Don’t stick out.  Blend in.  I don’t need to explain that I’m a former lawyer.  I don’t need to explain that the piecrusts I’m not attempting to make are not light and fluffy.  Just be a full-time Mom.


So, a rambling 1300 words later, there we have it.  My day to day happiness has undoubtedly increased.  But I still worry.  Money.  The future.  I still have some ambivalence about my “occupation.”

All good things to think about for the coming year.  Unless you never hear from me again.  Then just assume that I was imprisoned by Border Control for wearing a beret and being an “Aspiring Writer and Recovering Lawyer and Child Minder and Adventure Planner and Traveler and Runner and Food Lover” on my trip back Romeward.  Their fault for asking really.