Author: Anissa Berasi

Progress, not Perfection

I used to be really good at creating an illusion of perfection. For example, when I hosted play dates, my house could easily be mistaken for a model home. Shining, clutter free counter tops with a seasonal Yankee Candle burning for ambience. Swept floors. Organized play room. Craft station set up with toddler sized smocks (Pumpkin painting, I’m talking about YOU!) Festive snacks prepared and presented on a wicker tray. Sweet little boys with matching outfits. Reputation management at its finest. Kind of obnoxious, right? I would bet I made my guests feel more uncomfortable than welcome. If I’m being completely honest, I made myself frenetic with all the beforehand straightening, arranging, and ordering, but in a lot of ways, having everything picture-perfect felt so normal. So necessary. Almost immediately after I had my daughter, I felt the Earth shift a bit too quickly under my feet. I completely lost my footing and with every tortured effort to keep up, to keep moving forward, reality as I knew it slipped further and further away. I was filled to the brim with feelings of excitement and anxiousness, joy and sadness. I was eager to participate in life and at the same time wanting to retreat under my covers. Forget perfection. I was learning how to breathe again. It was at that point I forced myself to reevaluate how I was...

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Order Up!

I recently came to the realization that I am constantly giving my kids instructions – an endless, 24 hour a day, run on sentence providing them with an order of operations for all of life’s minutia. I tell them to: go to the bathroom, get dressed, eat breakfast, and that’s only in the first 30 minutes that they are awake. I am often giving these directions at an escalated level of volume. (Some may refer to that tone as yelling. It’s a possibility, ahem.) By the time I make it to the end of the day, I am frustrated and scrambling for some throat lozenges and tea. My unscientific calculations indicate that this approach is 17% effective – – on a good day. I tried to switch things up a bit in hopes of consistently getting better results and part of that strategy was to eliminate the constant instruction monologue. I decided to let go and let my older two children be more independent and take more accountability for the tasks they are responsible for completing and their stuff (Good grief, the STUFF). After all, if I ever expect them to be productive adults I have to shut up long enough for them to actually be able to think for themselves. Fast forward to a Saturday morning a few weeks ago when it was closing in on 8:00am and my husband...

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Bloom

I love flowers. I still have not figured out how to keep them alive, but I’m trying. Every summer, I invest in a vast array of potted treasures at the beginning of the season and year round, I consistently have at least one vase filled with a supermarket bouquet. They make me smile despite the clutter that often surrounds them on the kitchen island. My hope when I make a flower purchase of the potted variety is to be able to watch them bloom and thrive for weeks until I eventually plant them in the yard so that I can enjoy them the following year. The reality is most often not in line with my intention. I probably water them too much or maybe too little. They don’t get enough sun or maybe too much. Frankly, I have no idea what I am doing wrong so I often go to my Dad and master horticulturist for advice. These consultations often begin with: Me – “My plant is dying.” Dad – “Are you talking to it?” Me – “To who??” Dad – “The plant. You have to talk to it.” Ok, then. Moving on. After I promise to “try” that strategy, we work to identify any other potential issues. This year my vibrantly red geraniums have thrived on the front stoop. I was riding high on this triumph and asked...

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It’s So Hard to Say Good-Bye

In 5th grade I was assigned the task of compiling a story book of my then, 10 short years of life.  I painstakingly choose flattering pictures of myself, family, and friends and carefully placed them in a photo album that surely did not have acid free photo paper.  I wrote paragraphs detailing my carefree days of playing soccer, taking dance lessons, and spending summers on the Connecticut shoreline.  My mom can be credited with titling my “book”:  The Never-Say-Good bye Girl. I have fond memories of growing up as part of a big family during a time when my parents would often host our family’s frequent gatherings held to celebrate any event that warranted multiple ricotta cheese stuffed entrees. There was a lot of loud “talking” and “singing” that resulted from the homemade wine being dished out. Cousins played games of our own invention late into the evening.   As the parties wound down one would hope my relatives would be of the right mind and fortitude to make an appropriate exit. That is to say:  Leave the house without letting Anissa know.  Sounds strange, I know, but very necessary.  I would throw an absolute fit when anyone would leave our house.  My out bursts weren’t geared to any one person or group of people in particular.  There was no known trigger other than hearing the bell hanging from my...

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35 Things I’ve Learned in 35 Years

There are certain experiences when people are more likely to reflect on their place in this world, what has been, and what will be: births, deaths, birthdays, birthdays that are nice round numbers, birthdays with particular milestone significance…. A while back CT Working Moms did a series showcasing ‘Lessons Learned’ from each of the bloggers. In honor of my recent birthday, I am resurrecting the idea, but before I drop some knowledge, I would like to take a moment to thank my colleague who often comments that: “you don’t ever age.” Thank you to my friends under the age of 35 who still let me hang with them and make me feel young by association. Thank you to my older friends who make me feel young because, well, I am younger than you – Love ya! Mean it! And to all the bar tenders that will ever card me from this day forward – It is very much appreciated. This, my friends, is 35. Love at first sight is real. Accept “good enough” for the stuff that doesn’t matter. Financial priorities: 1) Family Vacations, 2) Retirement, 3) Everything else. Children are perceptive. They feed off your energy. If you set a positive tone, they will follow. Most people are doing the best they can. Doing laundry is the easiest way I make myself feel productive without actually making a legit effort....

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