Well, it happened, folks. The crew from Bio-One came out to my apartment yesterday morning and hauled away some clutter. They spent about half the workday at my place, which was much better than I expected. The work is far from over, however, since the professional organizer they recommended will be working with me for another… 12 hours.

At least.

I was so nervous the night before the cleanout that I couldn’t sleep. I drove my daughter to school but made plans for her Nana to pick her up from aftercare in the evening in a rare pandemic visit with masks. Thank God for Nanas. …

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Armie Hammer and Lily James in Rebecca (Netflix)

At first glance, the recent allegations against Rebecca heartthrob Armie Hammer sound ridiculous, like something out of pizzagate. After all, there have been many accusations of cannibalism among the Hollywood elite — like Chrissy Teigen and her husband John Legend, and even Tom Hanks.

Typically, I roll my eyes and cringe at people’s gullibility for accusations that Chrissy and company “barbecue babies.” Even so, I chalk them up to more outlandish QAnon conspiracy theories and move on with my life.

Yet this mess with Armie Hammer is very different. People keep saying that the actor has been “accused of cannibalism” but that isn’t really the case. If we actually look at what’s being said, he’s been accused of enjoying a supposedly taboo kink and then pushing that kink onto women with zero regard for their boundaries. …

SimpleHealth dropped me as a patient. Maybe they should rethink their approach to women’s healthcare? Just minutes after I posted about a frustrating experience with SimpleHealth (an online birth control pill provider), they finally emailed me back.

Instead of having an actual conversation with me about the dosage of the pill they prescribed, as I’d been waiting to do for 5 days, they relayed this message from the doctor:

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So, that’s cool, right? They dropped me as a patient (well, customer). Which made it seem pretty damn clear that they really don’t think of us as patients but customers. In the original assessment, I was upfront about why I wanted to go back on the pill. Upfront about my health issues and the fact that I just want to skip my period — a pretty typical request for women with PCOS and endometriosis. …

SimpleHealth says it’s “Birth Control Without the Hassle.” So far, that’s a joke. I am perhaps the most stereotypical “Aspie” introvert. I am that person who will do anything to avoid phone calls of every kind and virtually any sort of doctor appointment. So, I am the perfect person for online prescriptions. Or so I thought.

I’m not new to online birth control. Nearly twenty years ago, I was living in southwestern Illinois and had Zovia 3-packs mailed to my dorm to help keep my menstrual cycle under control. I’ve battled polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis since I was 14. …

Wonder if he knows she's the greatest present of all.

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Photo by Ilyuza Mingazova on Unsplash

Back in early November, I sent my ex a quick message to let him know that our daughter was asking for some very specific doll toys for Christmas. I already knew what I was getting her, so I made a list of five related things I knew she wanted, so, he’d have options. All five gifts came in at different price points: $25, $28, $35, $50, and $100 since I didn’t know his budget.

My ex responded favorably, and I didn’t pester him about getting a gift after that. Our daughter is six, so, there’s enough history for me to know he’s not one for thinking ahead. I also know that nagging him can make things worse. …

Oh, look, another man told me to go get a life — think I should do it? The other day, when I was busy all day with reclaiming my home from clutter, I checked my email once. Just once, but wouldn’t you know, once was enough. It was enough to see a random comment from a random man about one of my stories that has randomly picked up steam.

In it, he wrote:

“no the lesson here is that such banal trivia can get published. seriously, get a life.”

I thought about that one for a while. Okay, I think about every negative comment that I read for quite a while, which is why I typically avoid all comments on my lowest days. Usually, like this one, the nasty comments I do catch are ones that came through my email. …

“Do one thing that scares you every single day.” Tomorrow is a big day for me. Big for me, anyway. A cleanup crew (Bio-One) is coming over to completely declutter my apartment. The three guys are bringing a local professional organizer who’s going to help me go through everything and organize each room.

The Bio-One team will take one day to do their thing and help sort the mess into keep, donate, trash categories. The organizer will take another couple of days to help me better plan my space. …

Just in case you need a little breather right now.

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Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

We’re barely two weeks into 2021 but I don’t think it’s too early to say it’s been one helluva year. Headlines throughout 2020 and 2021 have been… a lot. To that end, I started tossing songs into this YouTube playlist.

Now, hear me out on some of these. Few of these songs are actually from 2020 or 2021, but they’re still good picks for the feelings. I pulled a ton of covers or reinterpretations wherever I could because I feel those tend to speak more accurately to what we’ve all been through with the pandemic.

“Mad World” seems like a pretty obvious contender at virtually any stage of the saga. …

This might have been a very different life.

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Photo by Irina Sergeeva on Unsplash

For 2021, I decided that my one-word resolution would be balance. I am trying to bring some real balance into my life for the first time.

Lately, that means going through every single pain point and trying to make improvements, and mostly, that means getting some help.

The first thing I did was make a telehealth appointment and get myself on a mini pill to help control my bleeding. 2020 was a really rough year for that between endometriosis flares and the onset of perimenopause. My life simply hasn’t been the same since March 13, and I was tired of the feeling that my body was against me the entire time. …

Is diet culture America’s modern religion? January is here and it seems practically impossible to get through the month without running into a barrage of diet culture dribble. Ads for weight loss teas, diet books, and “skinny” gummies. Keto this, low-carb that. Adele’s famous weight loss. Rebel Wilson’s diet and exercise “secrets.” Lizzo’s “detoxing” smoothie cleanse.

It’s just… a lot, you know? Eating disorders are some of the most deadly mental illnesses and according to ANAD, they are second only to opioid overdose. I’d argue that we don’t take them as seriously as we should, and worst of all, we don’t take society’s role in promoting eating disorders seriously whatsoever. …


Shannon Ashley

Single mama, full-time writer, ex-vangelical. It's not about being flawless, it's about being honest. Top Writer. [email protected]

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