Single Parent Brain Cloud

By Peter Ehrlich

In the movie Joe Versus the Volcano starring Tom Hanks as Joe Banks, Joe is stuck in a dead-end job. His office is a concrete bunker. He feels weak and cowardly for not doing better in life.

He goes to his doctor who tells him he has an incurable and fatal condition called a "Brain Cloud," but he'll be fine for a few months.

An eccentric millionaire hears of Joe's predicament and comes to him with a proposal: The people of the Pacific island of Waponi Woo need a human sacrifice to appease their gods. Why not live like a king for a few weeks, then throw yourself into a volcano?

Joe agrees, because he sees this as the last opportunity to prove he can do something meaningful with his life.

Single moms and dads suffer from "Single Parent Brain Cloud" (SPBC), but it's not fatal and you don't have to jump into a volcano.

SPBC is caused by the following:

Years of baby-talk in the sandbox without the benefit of a partner to give you a break, so we've played in sand twice as long as a married parent.
Exhaustion from sparring with your ex.

Reading only People magazine, and only at the checkout line.

Dreaming, when it gets dark, only of bed.

Lack of buzz below your belt.

SPBC begins to run its course when your child or the last of your children turn 10.

At around that age, children leave your legs to do what you will soon be doing – discovering their selves. The result of the independent child is the medicine that cures Brain Cloud and puts your grey matter on standby for its "second coming."

How can we take advantage of the fact that our synapses are ready to snap again?

Do you feel passionate about something? A successful friend once told me that if "you study something for 24 hours, you know more about that subject than 99 per cent of everyone."

Becoming an expert at something you feel passionate about means you're likely going to be successful at something and make money.

Maybe you want to finally become a writer. It's easy to get published now because you can publish yourself.

Launch your own website and start writing. Visit and launch tomorrow, or find an inexpensive designer and use the inexpensive and reliable to host. (Feel free to write me for contacts and details.) Invite 50 editors to check out your website and land your column.

Write and create your own television show. Go to and produce yourself. I have a friend who set his show up in his son's bedroom. The suits behind blogtv are considering giving him his own show on Slice.

Find another single parent and launch a business selling something you believe in.

Choose a "cause" or charity that causes your heart to swell and volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to set yourself up for paid work in the future.

Remember the word "hobby"? Why not rediscover it or take up a new one and become an expert at whatever it is.

Do what Seinfeld always longed to do – read a book from cover to cover.

Download Google Earth for free, land on a tiny island in the Pacific and learn about it. Buy a metal detector and find a shoe buckle on an old Slave Plantation on Cat Island. I did.

As certain as the fiery passion of Haley's Comet, we can once again have a brilliant and rewarding new phase in our life return to us.

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