Tag Archives: life

Caution: curves ahead

22 Mar

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This week I watched a recent video of myself that I made with my son.  I was shocked  at the image I saw reflecting back at me. I’ve had a rough couple of years with some things …and apparently, I am an emotional eater….or possibly an emotional drinker… maybe…I’ve found a fondness for red wine and it found a roomy home on my hips.

Over the last few months, I began moving the clothes that no longer fit to the left side of my closet. I’m still flabbergasted  when I’m unable to pull up the pants I’ve worn for the last 10+ years past my thighs….The pile on the left of the closet  is large.

This means I’ve also had to  purchased new pants – begrudgingly. My collection is minimal in comparison. It was either that or go naked… I had no choice in the matter. Yes, leggings work well and are cheap…but they hide the fact that I appear to be growing – out, not up. At this point, my ass could qualify for it’s own zip code…

So, I’m watching this video thinking – How in the world?  Really.  How did I let myself gain 30 pounds? When I look in the mirror I know I’m bigger…but this video.  Lord, please promise me that the camera adds 10 pounds…that I really don’t look that way in REAL life.

But the truth is I’m now heavier than when I delivered both of my children.  I know I’m teetering on the verge of no return….and I don’t know what to do about it.  Don’t get me wrong. I know there are many women larger than myself. This isn’t about them. THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL. This is about me feeling good, or not, in my own five-foot-five-and-half skin.

This is how my day starts:  I try on a new black skirt that arrived yesterday.  To tight.  I contemplated keeping it for “when I lose the weight” but more than slightly depressed at the likely hood of that NOT happening, I tossed the skirt on the bed to return later.

I then selected white slacks that I knew were a size or two larger. They fit, but the view from behind was not so cute….On went the Spanx – boy shorts.  Spanx, the well-known by ladies around the world (but rarely seen by men) undergarments that are made to make me look skinner.  Yet, I some how now feel like a sausage.  A bratwurst to be specific…But damn it to heck, I have to go with this outfit because I’ve already worn the other two pants that fit me this week.  Tomorrow it’s jeans….

I tossed on a cute shirt from a local boutique that I haven’t worn since last summer. It was a little snug across the chest but nothing terrible I thought…However, the more I moved my flat iron across my hair, I realized it was too constricting.  I no longer liked it.  Crossing my arms at my waist to lift the fabric….I find I can’t. I was stuck. I couldn’t get this damn shirt off my body.  I twisted, I tried….I grunted…I thought, “Imma have to cut this bitch off.”…For a second I contemplated running downstairs to wake up one of my children to help me pull this sucker off….I’m not sure I’d live that one down…EVVAHH… Five minutes and a few tears later, I wiggled out of  shirt looking like I’d been on a subway fight. Red in the face, hair a mess…

I promptly moved it to the left side of my closet.  My first thought?

You know you are fat when you get stuck in your freakin’ shirt. What the hell…

On to work. As I’m walking up the sidewalk I say a little prayer.  “Lord, I don’t like this. I don’t like how I feel about me. You love me and have helped me in so many ways.  Help me to lose this weight.”

Fast forward through my day.

I’m in the ladies room where a coworker asks How I’m doing. “busy. good.” I say.    I tell her she looks beautiful today.  She shrugs, not believing my words, her eyes drifting away from me.  Then she says, “You look good too. How did you gain your weight? Eating too much.”

Yessssss. She said those words.

Before you get riled up and ready to kick ass, please hear her story.

She is from South America. She LOVES curves.  Which until her recent weight loss, she had — curves for dayyyys!  She tells me, almost too eagerly, she can’t wait until she can put on some pounds.  She is serious…This I know.

I tell her I’ll shift her some of mine – If only it were that easy!   She then says with a large grin and wiggling eyebrows,  “I bet your husband is happy” as she points to my zip code carrying ass….

She is losing weight not because she wants to friends, but because of the chemo.  You see, she has breast cancer.  She wears a scarf to cover the hair loss which makes her self-conscious.  She has a hard time looking me in the eyes,  really – looking anyone in the eyes, these days.  Yet, I think she looks more beautiful than in any day prior.  Her warrior spirit is shining.  She is fighting and it shows. Without the distraction of her hair, which was indeed gorgeous, her eyes become the focal point, dancing in the light.  She is simply stunning.

I get back to my desk and think, “You know your fat when…”

Then I stop.  I close my eyes….I sense God’s hand…and I pray.

I thank God that I’m healthy.  Specifically, I thank him for my cancer free body.  With embarrassment, I apologize for believing anything different. A few extra pounds is nothing in comparison. I thank him for this lesson, for humbling my spirit.  I know I have some work to do…and I will.

Ladies, would you please join me in shifting our focus away from who we want to be and allow ourselves permission to be who we are?  Let’s not put our self-worth in our hair, our bodies, our curves – or lack of…

PS – If no one told you today, let me have the honor of doing so.  I love you. You are beautiful.

Put that on repeat.

Perspective.

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Thanksgiving

26 Nov

On the eve of Thanksgiving, I’m reminded of my mantra…

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Living a purposeful life.

Thankful for blessings and thankful to be a blessing.  For we are not meant to only receive…or only to give… but to find balance between the two.

My twelve year old asked that I write about our experience today…and at first I was hesitant. Weighing heavy…I’m not sure that it is the right thing to do.  It’s not normally something I share…In fact, it makes  me quite uncomfortable to do so.

However, lots of topics on this blog make me uneasy…vulnerable, even….

-slips on the blind fold….I feel my feet bouncing on the board beneath me… I’m diving in…-

Admittedly, my life has been a bit disorganized and chaotic over the last few weeks. The lack of energy causing me to wait until the last minute to do our holiday food shopping.  By the time we crossed the threshold today, the store was packed and the aisles a bit bare. Sighing as we joined the crowd, our nerves take on the energy of those around us…It is maddening….

Our cart now full, I recant from memory the ingredients of the dishes I plan to cook tomorrow, ticking each one off as I scan my cart for accuracy…check..check…good…  Our cart picking up speed as we head to the register as if in a race.

Finding the shortest line, which on any other day would not be described as such, we wait…shifting my weight every three seconds…my hands on my hips…I’m a  bit impatient wondering why this conveyer belt is not moving and why the cashier appears to not be working.

I’m tired from a day of errands, from playing the referee  between two bickering ADHD-ers…one fully grown…to whom I happen to be married…and the other, well, twelve…

Moms around the world nod with understanding and sympathy…

At this point I just want my sweat pants and a hot cup of coffee.

TAKE.ME.HOME

Loading my groceries on the belt, I vaguely hear the lady in front of me.  She is having trouble with her new debit card. It worked at the gas station she says…she tries it again…and again. Maybe four times.  A mix of stress and embarrassment flush over her. She doesn’t have another form of payment. The line continuing to form behind her.

And I know

…I make a face in response. Twisted lips because I see the outcome before I’m ready to make the decision.

(Honest confession) I’m Torn…I’m not sure if I want to ….but I know I’m supposed to…..

I’m supposed to because I come from the belief that there are no REAL accidents, just missed opportunities.

So I slide my card to the cashier.

Done.

I didn’t have all the right words…didn’t do all the right things…It was a bit awkward for all…it wasn’t a planned moment.

Why? Because we are all in it together.  Because I know the panic that washes over you when you don’t have the money to pay… because blessings are meant to flow to you and through you….and I am blessed.

Shocked she wasn’t sure how to respond…She leaned in to hug me..clasping her hands to her face, then chest…..I mumbled quietly out the side of my mouth, “happy thanksgiving…and merry Christmas”….still not having a handle on  the events  transpiring before me.

I asked T, “Why would I…should I… tell this story?”

Proud to be a part of the day, he said,

“It was literally the meaning of thanksgiving.  You gave and she said thanks.  It was so awesome.”

From the eyes of a child it is just that simple.

A story to be told.

Take Chances. Give everything…. And have no regrets.

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The Mask

9 Oct

mask Stepping onto the scene of the masquerade ball, my mask broadly smiling with dimples in my cheeks, long lashes and painted lips. I dance until my feet tire.  My belly hungry for connection.

With the setting sun, I wrap up the sum of my day and eat it for dinner.  The taste not quite what I desire but I chew it anyway.  Swallowing slowing, drinking between bites, so as not to choke on the pieces.

My mind craving light. I search for it in the history of the hours previous, flipping through the words, the movements, allowing  space for kindness.  But finding myself standing alone on the porch, my offering brought inside, the door closed behind.

I turn and walk home, sadness riding on my shoulders.

The mask that  previously fit like a glove has become a bit lose lately. The elastic stretched and fraying. It is possible that I’ve outgrown the mold from which it was formed. Afraid it will fall off at the most inopportune time, exposing the pink skin beneath, I keep my movements small. Contained.

Working to replace what is worn , I try to fashion the mask into something usable.  My spirit prolonging the effort…mobility slowed. It is conflicted.  Uncertain if it should repair or remove, noting that each presents its own challenges. Undecided as to which is worse….Which it can endure.

The road is quickly disappearing beneath me…. Road

I am… who I say I am

22 Sep

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Guilty. I’m guilty of allowing the heaviness of outside opinions to penetrate who I know myself to be. Sometimes I alter my expression to suit…More often than not, I  permit their words to sink into my spirit, fueling the voice that sets my limitations. Somehow I believe they must see clearer than I do. From their perch, they can detect the real me.

The truth is, everyone judges each other. It is human nature.  It is how we categorize…What we choose to pursue. What we choose to walk away from…. We peer through our own spectacles, tainted by the dusty roads we’ve left behind, to evaluate each situation, opportunity and character trait.

We assess what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ from the vantage point of our own road, yet we are interpreting your circumstance.

Recently, when faced with the betrayal of unflattering chatter, I tossed this idea around a bit. Juggling each side, inspecting closely for authenticity. Contemplating what I should allow to stay and what  I’ll toss out with last week’s trash.

Conclusion?

Perception is not truth. It is a feeling.

Feelings are finicky and often power hungry.

Perception, without the knowledge and understanding of intention, is dangerous.

This isn’t to say that we should turn our back on feedback. Feedback can be enlightening and helpful, for sure. When accepting feedback, consider the source, the voice and the value it brings to your life. Know that you get to decide where it be housed. Will it find its way to the top shelf of your thoughts? Or will you dismiss it from your arena?

Just because someone says it, it doesn’t always make it true.

Taking off my mirrored shades, the light is blinding. Slipping on a cute, introspective pair, my view is a bit rosier….and free of those thoughts that no longer serve me.

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Listen to me

30 Aug

“Does Anybody Hear Her” –  Lyrics by Casting Crowns

She is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction ….

So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She’s another two years older
And she’s three more steps behind

She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away…..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEhRucEVzH8 (For the full video)

Every single time I hear those lyrics my heart aches, a punch in the gut, my head falls to my chest. It is all to familiar.

At a luncheon last week, someone asked what advice would I give to my 16 year old self, if I could.

Since I was already pregnant at 16…my first thought was to SCREAM: DON’T DO IT!!! However, while my choice certainly altered my path, the sum of my life is much bigger than that one moment.

When I stand on a cliff, look down and flip back through my days, a theme jumps out of the monotony. Hindsight is always 20/20. . Rush, rush, rush….always in a hurry … to grow up, to hit the next mile stone…to get married…to buy a house.. to get to the next big thing…..

“Running a hundred miles per hour “

Now that I am in the last year of my 30’s I realize how silly that appears. WHAT was/is my hurry? Never satisfied I jumped from one thing to the next, thinking that would bring the satisfaction I hoped for. As a recovering perfectionist, I now know that never allowed myself to savor any accomplishment….Almost instantaneously, my thoughts would turn on me… I could have always done it better, smarter, faster…the list never ends and it was on constant replay. I was my own worst enemy.  Smiling on the outside, waging war on the inside.

So what would I tell my sixteen year old self?

To slow the hell down.

There is plenty of time for you, dear girl. Your focus should be to get it right instead of just getting it done. Enjoy where you are. Keep the negativity at bay and the rest will fall into place. It is easier than it seems.  Life doesn’t have to be so hard for it to be right.

Thankfully, one of the benefits of gray hair and fine lines is that it also comes with wisdom. This discernment is not lost on me. I am abundantly thankful to be able to reflect and review, possessing the ability and desire to refine.

Conscious that my time on this planet is more limited than before, it is my hope that my next thirty-nine years will be slower, more intentional. Don’t get me wrong. I honestly don’t have regrets. I truly love my life.  Even in the chaos, I quite like who I am, realizing it is culmination of all of my experiences. I only plan to use what I’ve learned to create the best possible, most fulfilling, future.

To make the most of ALL my days.

I am not who I was.

I am a work in progress.

I sincerely enjoy the process.

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Chats A Lot

21 Aug

"There's always something to write about. If there's not, then you need to live life more aggressively." - Min Kim #writing #quotes #inspiration

My then seven year old, energetic, bouncing ball of energy wasn’t himself when I picked him up from school that day. Head hung low, shoulders slouched, he avoided my eyes as we talked. When he finally gathered enough courage, he passed  a folded sheet of lined paper from his teacher into my hand.  It required my signature. Scanning quickly, I sighed.

Pausing between sentences, I said “T, why are you talking so much? …..   Is it because you are bored ? …..    Do you really have things on your mind that you need to say?….  Do you just want to hear noise?” My hands on my knees, I bent over to peer into those saucer sized green eyes that housed his spirit.

Sheepishly he responded, “I’ve got stuff on my mind. I need to get it out.”

Nodding knowingly, my shoulders and eyebrows rise with my inhalation.

I get that.  I respect it.

Growing up I was told that I talked to much…ALL the time. It was written on every single report card.  So much so, it made me question if I was worthy…worthy of having an opinion on any and everything, and all things in-between. My mind never stops analyzing, tweaking, working…Should I keep quiet until I’m an expert?

What followed were years where I consciously chose to temper my voice.  Internally, I was miserable, feeling severely misunderstood.

Fast forward a few years…(More like 25)….

Putzing around my home, doing absolutely nothing important, I distinctly heard in my spirit :

“I created you to speak.”

It was simplistic voice. A simple sentence. No emotion. Direct…without explanation to the meaning or the why….And, it wasn’t my own, the bossy voice I hear regularly who tells me what I should be doing.  It resonated from the pit of my soul and echoed in my ears. It was so strange that I twisted around quickly to see if someone snuck in my home and was about to attack me.

Nope. Just me. In my pajamas.

Whaaaattt???

MAJOR CONFUSION.

Whether you chose to believe in “those things” or not, is yours entirely to ponder. This is my truth. I heard what I believe is the voice of God from deep within my spirit.  Honestly, it left me more confused than comforted…and yet it was strangely freeing in that I knew, that I knew, THAT I KNEW, I needed to speak. My voice was and is important.

So what am I to speak about? Who knows. Certainly not me….not yet.

I do know that I have constant chatter in my head. In an effort to get the hamster off the wheel, I birthed this blog and named it Chats A Lot. Appropriate, I thought. This has become a place where my thoughts and my voice can run wild.

Life is complicated and wonderful. It is a culmination of all the things you decide it will be.  Sometimes who you think you are and the actions you take, are in conflict.I blog to explore those things that are complex.  To celebrate, to dissect and construct my future days. To become the person I want to be.

I blog because I secretly hope it inspires you to find your own true self. Whatever that means to YOU.  I don’t hold the definition but I hope this blog provides a window that will leave with the desire to search.

I blog because I  when it all boils down to it,  we all go through the same types of issues,  with different people and unfamiliar faces.  People tend to shy away from exposing their crazy.  I am decidedly the opposite.  I fling back the curtain in the name of growth. I hope you find encouragement here in knowing you are not alone. I, in turn, find strength when you ‘like’ or comment. It reminds ME that I’m not on a solitary journey.

I blog to find peace, for change, for growth.

I blog because I can…and…I have stuff to say.
writing quote from Joan Didion. Amen to that, I totally do this.

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