Stay out of my life

I was going to blog about something else, but this is making the rounds today, so it’s a more timely post. There is a letter that a woman from ND wrote that she is planning to hand out on Trick or Treat night stating that she thinks the child at her door asking for candy is overweight and basically saying to be better parents. She goes to the “it take a village” mantra. Sigh……. 

Really?

This woman has decided to take it upon herself to be the fat police and decide who is worthy of a candy treat and who needs a diet plan. This causes me to curse LOUDLY in my head. Very bad words. I will try to keep them in my head and not in this blog posting. I’ll try to edit myself.

That being said, who the BLANK does she think she is??? (See?? Self edited! Aren’t you proud?) How dare she act as site judge and jury on a child. A child she doesn’t know. A child who is just going door to door on the one night a year it’s ok to go up to a strange house and ask for candy. 

Or maybe she does know the child who she hands one of her letters to. Kids on her block or in her area that she sees regularly and has decided she knows what’s best for that child.

Does she know if that child has a medical condition? Or that s/he uses food to cope with a bad home life? Or has recently lost weight and is still losing, but now has been handed a fat letter? How about a million other reasons that child might be considered overweight in her eyes?

The point is, she doesn’t know. She is making a snap judgement based on a 5 second observation between answering her door and hearing “Trick or Treat”. Hmmm, do I give this child candy from my bowl or a page from my stack of letters saying this child should be ashamed of his or her appearance? I think this one gets candy and this one, oh boy, does she need a letter. REALLY???? Again, who the BLANK does she think she is?

This kind of shaming can lead to so many other destructive behaviors. Eating disorders, drinking or drugs, cutting, etc. Internal noise like that can stay with a person for years, if not a lifetime.

And beyond this weight issue, don’t you think it’s time for others to stay out of your life period? We are bombarded daily with new intrusions that no one has the right to make decisions for. From the NSA spying on your website choices, to states deciding on gay marriage, to how far we drive (that bill is going to be decided soon and I will bet money it passes. It’s a new tax, so of course it will pass. Probably with tons of additional spending thrown in there for good measure. Is there any such thing as a clean bill anymore? Ok, I’m way off topic. Sorry.)

How about this, is it isn’t hurting someone else, stay the BLANK out of it! Stay out of my life, my house, my car, my children. They are MINE, not yours. I gladly share WAAAAY more than most people do, but guess what? I do it freely because I want to. But anyone policing my childs weight, how far I drive, how good my health insurance is (which ours is going up astronomically and it’s crazy stupid) and that I “have” to have what someone else has deemed acceptable for MY life, or monitor where I go on the internet or the contents of my email. 

I live a basically quiet, suburban life. Not perfect, not horrible. I think it’s pretty normal. But whether you live a normal life or you’re a crazy party guy, or a far out lunatic,  and everything in between, unless you are infringing on someone else’s life, no one should have the right to tell you what to do.

Do me a favor, you mind what you’re doing, and stay out of my life. 

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Halloween Fat Letter

Stillness in yoga

After yesterdays post about utterly irresponsible behavior, I thought today should be a little lighter. Ya know, I don’t like heavy, icky stuff. Makes me queasy. I would rather it be light and happy. So luckily for me, I had written down in Evernote an idea that hit me Saturday morning during yoga. And it’s so fitting because I have yoga tonight!

I have mentioned before we end each session with Shavasana and it’s really a meditative pose. Laying down, completely relaxed, calming breath, calming mind. Except the calming mind part.

The past few weeks I have been really struggling with this. I find myself thinking about things, then I catch myself, try to clear my thoughts, concentrate on breathing, and I swear by the 2nd breath my mind is off and racing again!!! Ok, seriously can you develop ADD or OCD in your mid 40s????

And the problem is, I’m not thinking about anything earth shattering, or life altering. Just noise. Noise in my head. I can go from thinking about what we need at the grocery store to beating myself up for not holding a pose long enough in .328 seconds flat. It’s a gift really. I think about whether my heart is beating too fast, or too slow. I think about how I wish I could wear some of the super cute outfits my fellow classmates are wearing but nah, I could never pull it off. I think about FOOD! I mean, really, who does that?? Who goes from thinking how I’m too fat to wear the skimpy cute outfits to thinking about eating back to back??

To give myself some credit, I’m not usually thinking about devouring an entire chocolate cake. (Notice I said “usually” and “entire”. I said nothing about the possibility of licking the chocolate frosting off the whole thing!) 

But mostly, I think. And for a few moments, during our final pose, I want to still my mind. Truly, truly, still myself without falling asleep and snoring during class. I’m going to work on it tonight. I’m going to purposely still myself. Focus. Concentrate. Breathe.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Or if chocolate crept into my thoughts. 

Parent or Friend?

I have a gripe. A big gripe. More like a rant. And if this doesn’t apply to you, I still hope you pay attention. If it does apply to you, well, I hope you read this with the intent it is given and maybe open your eyes to a different perspective. I’m not sure I’ll change your mind, but I hope you at least think about it.

Parents are parents. First and foremost. You can be a friend, but you are a parent first. You mold, shape, encourage and support your children. 

That little disclaimer out of the way, I’ll get right to it. There was another party here in DaVille over the weekend where teenagers were drinking and smoking pot and the parent was home. Several accounts show this parent was not only complicit in these activities but was also providing the substances. 

WHY????? Why would a parent chose to not only put him or herself in jeopardy by hosting an underage drink and smoke-fest, but why as a parent, would you chose to look the other way even if you aren’t providing it? I don’t get it. Are you trying to be a friend over a parent? Is it too difficult to say no to your child? Is it so commonplace that you think it’s acceptable to other parents?

Well, let me answer that for my household and for several other parents around here when I said it is NOT. When parents check to make sure another parent will be present during a party, it is because we are entrusting YOU, as the adult, to make sure nothing illegal or damaging happens to our underage children while at your house. When we know that a parent is there, it is because we are, in fact, holding you responsible for the care and well being of our children. 

If we didn’t care whether or not a parent was present, I guess we would assume the responsibility of what would happen to our child during a high school party and all that comes with it; drinking, drugs and sex. We would also be assuming that role of a friend over a parent to not care whether supervision was at a party or not. 

Now, before I start getting hate messages, I want to make clear that I am not saying I am some pillar of righteousness and have raised children who do no wrong. Oh no. Quite the opposite. I say what I am because my children have pushed limits and boundaries and made mistakes and have been in serious trouble. I say it because I know how one stupid decision can change the course of a young person’s life. And how sometimes, unfortunately, those stupid teenage decisions can have lasting consequences. So don’t think that I am saying this from some high horse or superiority complex. Quite the opposite. I say it from the ground looking up. 

This is not the first of these parties that have occurred in the past year or so. Parents actively giving minors alcohol, looking the other way as bottles are passed from one person to the other, sometimes the parents have even joined in! “Let’s do shots!” is NOT something a parent should be saying to a house full of teenagers! 

We have a hard enough time raising our children to do right, when temptation is all around them. When peer pressure to do something they know is wrong is so strong they fear saying no. When regardless of upbringing, being in one wrong place at one wrong time can have lasting consequences. We don’t need other parents adding to our struggles. When other parents are actively encouraging these young kids to do something they know is illegal, it tends to warp their perspective of what rules can be broken and which should be adhered to. Drinking and doing drugs is pretty easy. What about encouraging your child to drive a car load of kids around when s/he has a newly acquired license? Is that ok? Because last I checked, that was illegal too. “Oh but they all do it.” Um ok. That makes it ok. “All teenagers drink, it’s part of growing up.” Really? Uh huh.

I just ask that parents start thinking about being parents and not friends. I don’t know your situation, or your rules, or your circumstances. I’m not trying to be the police of your household. Lord knows I have enough trouble policing my own. But when my child becomes involved in something because of your negligence, that’s where I have a problem. And so do you. Because the next time you allow, and you know you will, and someone gets hurts (or worse) that will be a bigger problem than you are bargaining for.   

Growing up, never giving in, rising above

Something happened yesterday that has made me think. And get angry. And sad. And ultimately, thankful.

I was told by someone I used to know a long long time ago that I’m not the same girl I used to be in high school. In the context it was given, it was meant as an insult. And I was insulted, so point taken. Congratulations. But it also made me think about how she is absolutely right and I am thankful I’m not.

In high school, as I have mentioned before in this blog, I was a complete rebel. In a Catholic high school, it doesn’t take much to be a rebel, so I guess comparatively speaking, I don’t know how much of a rebel I truly was.  However, I did some pretty wild and crazy and utterly stupid things. I rejected everything “establishment”, I couldn’t wait to go my own way, do my own thing, live how I wanted to live, be who I wanted to be. If that meant living out of my car for a few weeks or staying on a friends couch, so be it! I could go with the wind baby!!!

After graduation, I went to OSU and quickly realized that I was less than nothing there. I was a blip on the screen. No one knew if I was in class or not. No one was looking for me at the library. Friends from high school lived on campus. I lived at home. I felt like I didn’t fit there, and in retrospect, I didn’t try to fit there. I should have. I could have. But I didn’t.

And so different options came up. After living wild and seriously crazy for a few years, I wound up married. And I’m going to be brutally honest because, well, it’s MY blog, I did it because I was tired of living the life I was and I thought, well, guess this is better than not doing it. That is no reason to get married. Ever. As much as I hate him now, I can honestly say I don’t think I ever loved him. He was a means to an end. He was a way out.

He was also one of the biggest assholes known to man. With the exception of Rob being born, he was the biggest mistake of my life. No woman, friend or foe, should have to endure what I did. Controlling. Beatings. Degrading. Menacing. Did I say controlling? Yep. Have I mentioned before how he threw me down an entire flight of stairs while I was pregnant? How when I tried to leave after that, he literally ripped wires from my car so I couldn’t go anywhere? How I ran, barefoot in the snow, pregnant, to a friends house to stay until he calmed down? Have I relayed how I showed up at my parents house with a black eye, cut swollen lip, bruises everywhere and begged them to not make me go back there? The divorce papers were filed the next day. Rob was 3. He didn’t need to see that growing up. He couldn’t be the next punching bag. 

THAT changes a person. That changes you to the core of who you are. That fundamentally alters your psyche, your outlook, your perception of what is going on around you. To this very day, I can not stand the smell of cigar smoke. That bastard used to hold me down, and straddle me and blow that smoke in my face til I gagged and cried. Then he laugh, or slap, or spit at me and let me up. So, don’t mind me when I go to another room or leave when the cigar’s start coming out. It’s not you, it’s me. 

I could continue on and on, but I won’t. Let’s just stop the examples of transformation in my mid 20’s. Am I the same person as I was in high school? No way. In less than than 10 years from graduation, I had permanently changed. But I think part of that is also maturity. We mature as we grow older, no matter how good or bad those years are. We learn, we adapt, we start seeing outside of our own little world and realize the enormity of everything around us. We try to find like-minded AND opposing viewpoint friends to help us continue to grow and see things differently. And we don’t have to agree, but we can certainly learn a thing or two about civility. We can disagree without name calling or personal attacks. Isn’t that the way to grow in a positive direction?

I think of who I was in high school, and that girl is still here. But she’s wiser. And older. And has seen things, done things, lived through things I hope you never know. So even though I’m still jamming out to some killer 80’s music (and oh, I do. I do.) and I wish I had the body I used to have, I’m jamming out knowing some of the lyrics mean something completely different now than they did back then. But I’m still smiling.

 

So many topics, so little time

On days where I struggle to come up with a topic to blog about, I usually start writing and the topic comes from there. I edit, delete, add, rearrange before I publish it. But days like today, where I haven’t blogged for a few days, I feel like I have too much to say but all the jumbled random thoughts put together would make for a confusing blog post!

But then it struck me! 

A friend who is a phenomenal blogger (check her out at: http://www.risingwoman.wordpress.com ) did something today that made sense for what I was doing. She won an award for her blog, and in accepting it, she had to blog 7 things about herself. That’s awesome! Not only did I learn more about her, but I was a great way to tie together 7 random thoughts. 

So I’m going to make a list too. Here are my random thoughts today.

1. Taking Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” is opening my eyes a different way of looking at money, debt, retirement and savings. I’m so glad we are taking his course. 

2. After taking a Barre class on Monday, it has taken me until today to successfully walk up or down stairs without wincing in pain. Mad mad props to all the dancers out there who do this stuff daily! Good grief! I hope class next Monday is better! Maybe I’ll be able to walk after 2 days instead of 3? 

3. Michael gets to go to Santa Barbara on business and I don’t get to go and it makes me sad! I would not and could not leave Ryan alone for a week, I can’t afford the airfare for Ryan and I to both go, because if I could, I would pull him out of school in a heartbeat and we could go! But sadly, no (see #1). 

4. Our country is falling apart around us and right in front of our eyes and instead of doing something about it, everyone is pointing fingers, blaming the other guy, blaming the other company, blaming ANYONE but them. I wish both sides would stop the fighting, find common ground and get this train back on track. When a national newspaper (not a conservative paper by any means) is reporting that 80% of the country feels we’re on the wrong path, there’s a problem. But that’s also common ground. What can we 80% bind together and fix?

5. We are going to the Ohio State v Penn State football game Saturday, along with a dinner with the Buckeye Club prior to the game. I’m so excited to go that I wish it was Saturday right now! And NO, Ryan is not to be here while we are gone. NO parties will be occurring or I might call the cops on him like those other parents just did. No. Parties. At. My. House. When. I’m. Gone. 

6. Another sweet friend of mine had surgery last week and I have just thought about her almost constantly. I had the same type of surgery she did a few years ago and I know the pain associated with it, the helplessness you feel while recovering, and the frustration of having the will to do something but not the ability. All I can tell you sweetie is that every day, you will get better, stronger and one step closer to recovery. I love you bunches. 

7. I was going to blog about my ex family. That would include my EX husband, my EX mother inlaw, my EX sisters in law and my EX husbands EX wife (Yes, the man managed to find someone else to marry and then divorce after me. Yea, he’s a real winner.) But I’ve decided in doing this blog post that the stupidity that they have displayed over the past week deserves their own post. So that will wait for tomorrow. Get ready to pull up a chair and enjoy this juicy bit of garbage drama. 

That’s 7. Not 7 things about me, but for sure 7 things I think were blog worthy. Maybe you did learn something new about me after all? 

The Life of a Procrastinator

I’m procrastinating…..RIGHT NOW!! Oh yea. Is it wrong to use my blog as a way to put stuff off? No, I didn’t think so. Cuz, really I’m doing something!! Just not what I should be doing. 

And I’m not even putting something off I don’t want to do. I got my 3 miles in. Awesome. I uploaded photos from yesterday’s beautiful wedding we attended for our dear friends daughter. (Just as a side note, I still can’t believe she’s old enough to be married! I still remember her as the little girl across the street. I cried many tears yesterday, but they were all happy tears!)

I also bought clothes to wear to the wedding. Clothes that I didn’t wear and need to return. This is where the procrastination kicks in. I have to go to the mall and I really really really don’t want to go back. Ugh! But I have to. I have 4 dresses that need returned. Sigh….

I’ve decided I no longer love to shop for myself. I used to L-O-V-E shopping! I imagined the day where my Richard Gere would hand me an AMEX Black card and get super offended when I told him the saleswomen were mean to me and he would escort me to the stores and insist, no demand, that they suck up to me. Of course, Roy Orbison would be playing on a constant loop as I twirled and giggled and fawned over the beautiful, perfectly fitting outfits the sucking up saleswomen brought for me. 

Yea, so, since THAT isn’t happening, I have to fend for myself. I discovered in this quest to find a dress, a simple freaking dress, that it’s way more difficult than anticipated. First of all, as I told a friend yesterday, I truly believe 95% of all clothes in the stores are separates. Not dresses. Tops and bottoms. Racks and racks. 3 dresses in the whole store. Is it the time of year? Is it that no one wears dresses anymore? I mean, what’s up with that?

Next on the problem list is that I now fall in between sizes. No big deal right? Wrong. Too tight and I look like a stuffed sausage. Too loose and it looks like tent. Not to mention that almost always, it’s guaranteed if I find a dress that I actually like, they won’t have my size. At all. I mean, there’s “too small” and then there’s size 2. Even 3 years AFTER my death, I will not wear a Size 2. 

So then, if I happen to find a dress that is close to my size, I snag it. And I study every flaw I find in my body for approximately 30 minutes. Bulge here. Too much cleavage there. Arm flab there. Sigh…. I yank it over my head, hang it back on the hanger and try the next one on. 

Then I just can’t decide which flaw is more noticeable in which dress. So I get them all. Bring them home, try them all back on again. I twirl. I bend over. I suck in. I try to breathe while sucked in. (Seriously, it’s a talent to be able to do that for long periods of time without passing out). I still can’t decide. Michael gets the final pick because honestly, I’m just exhausted at this point. I’d wear a sack or my sweats. Whatever. I don’t care. 

But now I have to return the 4 dresses that didn’t make the cut. I kept the one I actually wore to the wedding, but the rest are going back. And I’ll be in and out of the car, explaining why I don’t like it. Yes I tried it on before I bought it. Yes, I changed my mind. No, I didn’t wear it. See? Tags still on. SIGH………

But then I think of the money I spent on those 4 dresses and realize I need to get them back to the store. Maybe the laundry needs switching? Dishwasher need unloading? The floors for sure needs sweeping. 

OK, ok…..I’m going……..

Self-image: what’s true and what’s your own lie

I cleared out 6 boxes this morning. It great to actually see the wall in my basement again instead of boxes piled on boxes piled on boxes. It took me hours to go through 6 boxes and served to remind me why I kept those boxes for years. Some of them are from high school. MY high school! 

As I was clearing through them (and it really is pretty easy because there are only 2 piles: throw away or keep) I found things I couldn’t even remember and some that were bittersweet memories. I found an actual invitation to Honor Night from my senior year. I didn’t realize I went to class enough to even qualify for Honor Night! It was REAL!! I didn’t forge or fake it! I just stood there staring at that thinking….”Did I go to that? Why can’t I remember that?” One would think I could remember such a monumental occasion in my high school career since I’m positive it only happened that one time!! 

I found my uniform skirt. We were the last class to go through DeSales with only a skirt. The “Jumper” started after us. So by senior year, it was VERY easy to see who was a senior just by her uniform. Jumper = underclassmen. Skirt = Senior. Oh yes, we were very awesome in our herringbone skirts. Don’t mess with Catholic girls. 

I held up that skirt and looked at it, realizing I could now probably fit one leg in it, but in high school, I felt so fat. So many of the girls were skinny, and fit, and cheerleaders and had boyfriends and were the things that give girls eating disorders now. I had my size 10 skirt and was a fatass. At least in my head. I see pictures of me from back then and I think good grief, if ONLY I could have thighs that size again. But the whole time I had those skinny thighs, I thought almost daily, how fat I was compared to the other girls.

I don’t think that feeling ever goes away for high school girls and unfortunately, I think it has only gotten worse in this technology based era. Girls snapping photos of themselves in low cut shirts, thrusting their chests forward.  Shooting pictures of their asses in the mirror. Naked pictures that eventually wind up getting passed all around school and beyond. “Juicy” written across their butt. (For the record, if I would have ever dared to try to wear anything with the word “Juicy” written across my ass, my Dad would have not only burned that article of clothing, I guarantee any future shopping trips would be accompanied by him or my mom. Plus I would’ve been grounded for 18 years for even considering to wear it.)

The other girls, the other 95% that aren’t taking the pictures are looking at the pictures. They are sizing themselves up. Comparing. And the internal dialog starts. How do you ever quiet those voices? 

I’m going to share something that I have never ever mentioned to another soul. (That’s what blogging is for, right? Spilling your guts? Who is reading my trivial dribble anyway?) When I got my first “grown up” job at the ripe ole age of 19, working for a bank, a friend of mine and I were chatting in the breakroom, laughing about something. I distinctly remember laughing because the laughter abruptly stopped. Some douchebag (yes, I’m trying to bring douchebag back. Like “fetch”, but not.) guy in his mid 20s came up to us said, “You’re both pretty hot, but I would marry you (pointing to my friend) and not you (pointing to me) because after 25, the only thing that’s going to be skinny on you is your ankles.” And with that….he walked away.

It is now 27 years later, and I still remember what I had on that day. I don’t remember going to my Honor Night at school, but I remember this no name douchebag who insulted me so badly that I’ve never forgotten it. I still look at my ankles sometimes and think, yep, only skinny part of my body. How flipping insane is that?? And it’s all internal dialog.

We must teach daughters, and nieces, and cousins, and friends, and anyone else you can reach, that they do not have to have Juicy written across their ass. They don’t have to aspire to look like the Homecoming Queen or the latest model on the cover of Cosmo! Healthy, fit, confident. That’s what matters. Preach it to them. Daily. Because sometimes, you never know what voice their hearing inside their head.