me

our bodies ourselves

Saw my therapist Wednesday afternoon.
First we had to oodgey-goodgey over my new elephants, and talk a bit of catch up before we got down to the me part of the conversation.

I shared that I lost eight pounds by cutting coca cola from my diet.
This lead to a conversation about physical health. We talked on this for a while, expressing the joys and concerns of our bodies. We talked of weight and health and strength. We talked of how grateful we are for our bodies.

For me, it’s not what size I am, or the number on the scale, it’s about how my body feels. As healthy as my brain is beginning to feel regularly, I want my body to feel equally healthy.
I have a magic number in my head, my ‘ideal weight’ but it’s so unrealistic. I’d be nothing but nose, shoulders and breasts. That’s why I ignore the scale and the labels in my clothes.
Does it fit comfortably? Do I feel strong? Can my body do everything I want to do?

I don’t hate my body because it’s got more padding than it used to. I don’t hate my body at all! This body has carried me through forty seven years of life, it grew and birthed two of the most amazing humans. It can run and jump and dance. It can sit and lie and be still. It has freckles and scars and bushy red hair.
My body is precious.

I don’t care what size my body is as long as it’s strong and healthy.
Right now it’s not as strong as I’d like it to be, so that’s what I’m doing, making it stronger.

This reminds me of a conversation the girls and I had about body shaming.
They’re both thin, inherited from their dad’s family, I come from folks of a sturdy stock.
Thing 1 has always been ‘underweight’. She’s an eater, but she just doesn’t bulk up. At all. Think Olive Oil, all arms and legs and neck, but with a cuter nose.
Thing 2 has always been small. She didn’t hit five feet or a hundred pounds until she was sixteen. Petite is the word you’re looking for. She’s a little firecracker.

They shared stories of experiencing skinny shaming.

Now I have personally said, “Eat a cheeseburger and put on a jacket.” to Thing 1 when she’s complained about being cold.
Turns out I was body shaming her. (not about the jacket, just the cheeseburger bit)
That’s horrible to consider.
My daughter’s body is perfect and beautiful. I would never purposefully disrespect it.
I only wanted her to be warmer, so I theorized if she ate more and put on a jacket, she would be warmer.
Thing 1 is underweight. She used to eat like a teenage boy, we wondered if she had a hollow leg, etc. but she just doesn’t keep weight. That’s hard for her. She struggles.
Should she be shamed? Should someone purposefully be hurtful about it?
No.

Thing 2 went through a phase in which she purposefully starved her body. She honestly couldn’t have weighed ninety pounds. She was bones and skin and sunken eyes.
That frightened me. In ways I find hard to put into words.
I trod carefully when discussing what she was eating.
She has since returned to normal eating and a healthier weight.
I did suggest she eat a little more and it hurt her feelings.
I was body shaming her.
That was not my intention, I was fearful for her health and didn’t know what to do but offer food.

I look at photos of my girls, even the ones from the tattoo shop on this blog, I see strong healthy bodies. I see young women who use their bodies for work and play. I see the strength and vulnerabilities of their bodies. I see the difference between the little girls they used to be and the women the are. I see the freckles and tan lines. I see the self-inflicted scars and tattoo ink. I see what carries my daughters through this life.
They are healthy and strong. They are perfect exactly the way they are.
I am awed and overflowing with the maddest love for them!

I’ve used the word ‘porky’ when describing myself to them. They don’t like it.
I’ve worked hard to be clear that I want my body to be healthier, not simply more thin. They’re always supportive of me and my body. Like me for them, they want me to be in a strong and healthy body that works the way it’s meant to. They support my paying attention to what I eat, but never support “dieting”.

Bodies are made of bones and blood and muscle. They’re covered in skin and hair. They’re designed to do wonderful and awe-inspiring things. They even create more bodies! How much more awe-inspiring can you get!?!

I love my body.
It carries me through this life.

Stop worrying about shape and size and weight.
Stop comparing your body with the bodies of others.
Stop shaming your body and the bodies of others.

If a body is strong and healthy, what else matters?

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mind full or mindful


I’m actively focusing on this as I create my summer schedule.
I must pay attention to where I am while I’m creating my schedule.
Being mindful of building in time for self care.

I have three things that must be accomplished before school starts.
1. 5 courses
2. GOOB Lula
3. house

I can most likely complete three of my five courses between now and when school starts, leaving me with one month to finish two. I’m going to do this if it kills me, and y’all it just might.

Getting rid of all the Lula merch before school starts is a must for me. I need to close the book on this going out of business.

The process of fixing the hole in the house has finally begun. We met with the roofer Saturday. Of course they can’t begin work for about a month, but I was assured it would be finished before I have to go back to school in August.

My mind is full.
There are lists. And tasks. And plans.
I must be mindful about my time, and needs, and state of being so I don’t overwhelm myself.

On Monday I tempered homework with writing for this blog, and running to the post office and Costco.
Tuesday I posted Lula merch in an online sale, and did homework, and wrote.
Today I’m writing and I’ll do homework. I have two appointments today, one with my therapist, the other to see the massage therapist. I need both these appointments. My therapist and I will talk of how best to plan. The massage therapist will ease the discomfort in my head for a while.

When my mind is full, I feel frantic. I’m not actually checking anything off my list because I’m just spinning my wheels. I’m aware of how much I have to do, but not actually doing any of it. I’m like the Tasmanian Devil spinning around creating more chaos in my wake. I’m like a pinball bouncing around off things, all flashing lights and dinging bells.
I know this about myself. I know that I’ve not made the best use of my time or skills. Neither have I taken the best care of myself.
When I’m mindful, I’m still. I’m aware. I’m comfortable and confident.
Shifting gears from the former to the later is not exactly simple, but neither is it all that difficult. I only have to remember that I must stop to shift. Can’t shift on the fly, don’t want to ruin my transmission.
So I stop and I breathe.
Then I plan.

Create my summer schedule.
On paper with a pen.
Times and tasks and appointments.
But I’m also adding porch life and cocktails and maybe even a trip!

I’m paying attention to what I need to accomplish and what I need to be me. Being mindful about tempering crossing accomplishments off lists with simply living my life.
My mind feels full. I feel a little bit of anxiety about accomplishing tasks.
By being mindful about myself and my place in the world, I feel confident I can do what needs to be done without becoming overwhelmed. I know how to make it work. Just have to set about the planning.
Being mindful, living my intention, kicking ass and taking names, I got this!

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last week of school got me like

Last week of school got me like

Here are my yays and boos for the last week of school.

First the boos.
1. It’s still freaking raining. (Up yours, mother nature.)
2. State Farm SUCKS! (Yes, there is still a hole in our f**king house.)
3. Low barometric pressure headache won’t cut me any slack. (Though you cannot see it, here’s the back of my middle finger.)
4. Elementary school is in full on ‘Lord of the Flies mode’. (Wanted you to know just in case you never hear from me again.)

Now the yays.
1. Headache is not debilitating! (‘Alternative’ medicine FTW!)
2. Thing G passed the Yoda-speak final! (Hot damn!)
3. Girls arrive tomorrow! (OMGEEEE!! Cannot wait to squeeze them!!!!)
4. YBW found and ordered me a brand new ipod classic! (Yaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!)
5. Graduation Thursday! (So! Many! Feels!)
6. Early dismissal Friday! (last day of school)

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first world prob

Yesterday was the first day it didn’t rain in damn near two weeks.
So it was the perfect opportunity to get outside to prep for porch life. Of course, I had to take stuff out with me. My phone, ipod, thingie to play the ipod (I made a choice not to use my earbuds), water bottle, and a knife to cut open the bag of potting soil.
Turns out my hands were a bit too full and what I ended up dropping was my ipod.
When I pick it up, on the screen is the red x of death.

Saddest face Robynbird.
(Should have just used the damn earbuds.)

My immediate solution was to youtube music on my (android) phone while I potted herbs, swept, laid the rugs, and set up the furniture.

Once I was inside I was met with the full force of the loss.
How will I play music in the car?
Apple doesn’t even make the classic ipod anymore, only the ipod touch. That’s pretty much an iphone that doesn’t make calls. I don’t need all that jazz. I don’t want a bigger screen, better camera, face time, messaging, apps for this, apps for that. I want at thing to hold and play all my music.

In the past, YBW has teased that I’m a luddite. I’m not opposed to new technology. I just don’t want a bunch of technology that I don’t need. It seems ridiculous to need one thing but have something that does all this other stuff.
So the question becomes, can I find an ipod classic somewhere in the world for less than what a brand new ipod touch costs?

I know this may seem rather a small problem, and in reality it truly is.
I’m behaving in true first world fashion, being a whiny crybaby about my absolutely first world problem.

The thing is, I love music. I’m never without music. I almost always have music playing.
I want to be able to access all my music at any given time.
So however small in the grand scheme of things, not being able to play my music is a big deal to me.

I’m fortunate the folks around me know and respect my point of view. It helps that I’m not being a dick about it, just sad.
I’m playing music through my computer at home, and going to burn a few cds to play in the car, but I’ll grow weary of that pretty quickly, I like to mix it up with the music.
My dad used to say, “If wishes were horses, beggars could ride.” And Grandaddy used to say, “You’re old enough for your wants not to hurt you.”
They’re both right.
But I’m just like Russell.

Hey, at least I won’t have a bunch of 8-tracks riding around in the car.

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the difference between planning life and living life

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
This quote is from Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) a song by John Lennon. Turns out it was originally from an article written for Reader’s Digest by a guy called Allen Saunders.
Only that’s not really the point I making.

My point is that even the best life plans can become waylaid by simply living your life.

As I get back into the routine of my life after a death, and birthdays and as we anticipate Thing G’s graduation and a house full of people, I know I’ll plan. I know I’ll make lists, and organize time, and tasks, and school assignments.
I’ll create my summer schedule. But I also know I’ll drop everything to go do something fun. Or I’ll spend more porch life time on some days than on others. I know important things will pop up.

All my planning, and list making, and organization will aid me in accomplishing what I set out to do, but I’ll have to be flexible. Because sometimes life is what’s happening all around and in between plans and lists.
As I grow and mature as a human, (refusing to put away laundry notwithstanding) I’m learning to accept that things don’t always go my way. (After my childhood, you’d think I’d already mastered that knowledge, but that’s another whole post.)
Things don’t always go my way. But sometimes they go an even better way. That’s why I have to accept that can only execute a portion of what I plan. Because as mad as my planning skills are, the possibility of being surprised by life can be a lovely experience!

Life happens whether or not you’ve penciled it into your book. And for an uptight control freak list lady like me, that’s not always the most comfortable way to function. (Understatement much?)
I’ll continue to plan. I’ll accept what happens, planned or not.
This is my journey through life, if I’m so busy worrying about planning and not being present for what happens, it’s not going to be any good at all.

You know what Ferris said:

Ferris knows what’s up. He had the best skive day in the history of all skive days!

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celebrating my birthday with The Kills

Thanks, YBW for the best birthday gift!

The Kills.
I fell for this duo when I heard Sour Cherry for the first time ten years ago.
I get truly excited each time they put out a new record. And when I had the opportunity to see them International Week of the Birthday…? SHUT UP!
Y’all!
It was one hell of a show!
Jamie Hince’s healed hand mastering that guitar, and I could hardly take my eyes off Alison Mosshart slinking around the stage.

Here’s a little of what we saw at the Lincoln Theatre.

Track 2 Ash & Ice 2016

Track 1 Blood Pressures 2011

Track 3 Midnight Boom 2008

7 inch single cover of Saul Williams 2018

Check out the opening act, Dream Wife. YBW really liked these punk rock girls from England!
Track 2 Dream Wife 2018

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birthday beer


We went to 2 Silos at Farm Brew Live Friday night to celebrate my birthday with our friends Nora and Dale.
This is a new campus for food, beer, music, and fun designed around an old barn here in PWC.

before

after

I was happy to sit out in the warm spring sun and drink beer and hang out with people I love.

Whenever I would run low on beer, (the yummy Virginia Cream Ale) my precious husband would make sure I had another pretty quickly.

There was a band called Dr Fu playing great covers from Lenny Kravitz and Maroon 5, to Queen and Neon Trees. We sang A LOT!


YBW worked on this tower all night, twice the servers came by and tried to take away the cups and were politely told no. I dig this recyclable tribute of celebrating my birthday.
Y’all, the last ten days have been rough. But I’m feeling the full joy of my birthday and being beautifully celebrated by those who love me. International Week of the Birthday is in full swing around here and I’m loving every moment of it!

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herbs, champagne, and a tiara

I woke to fairly heavy rain Sunday morning. And that means these herbs sitting on the porch for nearly two weeks waiting to be planted will simply have to wait another day. We were at the garden center the day before YBW’s mom went into hospital. Our shift in focus was unexpected but necessary, and I’ve been watering the herbs each day in hopes of keeping them happy until they can move to the big containers.

These plants are lemony scented geraniums, lemon balm, lemon grass, basil, lavender, rosemary, and lemon thyme. Used together, they’re meant to deter mosquitoes.
Now if only there was something to scare off the pollen…

Thing G told me he saw on the news we’re having the worst pollen season in several years.
Y’all, I believe it. I’ve not had allergy symptoms this severe since I moved from Virginia to South Carolina twelve years ago. Even though all the furniture and rugs are set up on the porch, it’s nearly unbearable to go out there for all the oak pollen. So while I’m eager to engage in a little porch life, looks like that will wait a bit longer.

I’m hopeful the rain will take care of that today, and I’ll be able to get out there later on this week to do a little planting.
But not tomorrow, because International Week of the Birthday continues with going to see The Kills at The Lincoln Theatre.

Yesterday on my actual birthday, I had breakfast at my favorite little dump diner.
When we returned home, I put on my tiara.

Spent the day watching baseball, and drinking obscene amounts of champagne with YBW, and Meredith and Beau’s Mommy and Daddy. We ate greek food and angel food cake with berries and homemade whipped cream.
I was truly celebrated!
This Mother’s Day I’ve spoken to Thing 1 and received texts and social media posts from Thing 2. I suspect she’ll call at the end of the day like she did yesterday.
YBW and I were planning to go see Infinity War again, but it turns out I napped and woke hungry. So now, I’m going to find him and make a dinner plan.

This late spring pollen won’t be around forever, and soon I’ll get those herbs planted and be ready to porch life my ass off!
I can hardly wait!

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a little pre-birthday fun


The folks at Pi Pizza have a great sense of humor.
I’m pleased to report there were no zombies on F Street yesterday.

YBW and I spent our skive day in DC. A little ‘pre-birthday’ fun for me!
Our first stop was NPG for the Sylvia Plath exhibit.

I loved this little look into her life. Hand written journals, correspondence, family photos, even her beautiful wooden desk top built by her brother, from what was once meant to be a coffin lid. (how apropos)
No exhibition catalog. Sad face Robynbird.

In our wandering, we came across this Diane Arbus exhibition. ‘Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs’.

The exhibition catalog was nearly a hundred dollars, um, no thanks.

We walked around the corner to nom some pizza.

YBW’s is the bacon, sausage, and mushrooms. Mine is the prosciutto and spinach.

Since we were in town, I wanted to stop at my most favorite of all the Smithsonian, NGA (y’all we’re so lucky to live where we do with access to all this)
I was looking for a specific book (no where to be found) in the Concourse bookshop when I came across this book.

It’s the exhibition catalog for the Sally Mann exhibit
Y’all! Her photos are absolutely awe inspiring!
Bought that book as soon as we left the exhibit!

The first day of International Week of the Birthday was wonderful!
I got to spend it with my sweetheart doing all the nerdy stuff I love!

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mental self five

I keep thinking about the war between desire and effort and the more I consider the whole situation, the more I need to clarify for myself, y’all just reap the benefits of the process.

YBW and I do most things together. As a matter of fact, outside of the people we work with, we spend the most time with each other. We do our normal daily routine things together because we live in the same physical space. But we also go out in the world together and do things. Some times things he likes, some times things I like, often times things we both like, or like to do together.
That said, there are some days when YBW doesn’t want to leave the house and I’m itching to get out. Even if it’s simple errand running to Target or whatever. Some days I’ll go alone, other’s I’ll choose to stay put because I don’t feel like going by myself.
There are some times when YBW wants to be in front of his computer in his jammies to play video games all day long. And though I’m cool with that, me spending time alone in this house is something I do most days so I don’t always love it.
My husband loves to game. I don’t. He should be able to do what he loves even if I want to do something else. And y’all, that man will often times do what I want instead of gaming. It’s not always fair to him.

The obvious solution when it comes to one of us wanting to do something the other does not is to be social with friends.
Here’s what’s tricky about that. Most of the people I’m closest to live far far away from me.
When I was in SC, I had many friends to go and do things with. I also had my girls to go and do things with.

The local people I’m friends with mostly have young children.
Because I’m passionate about education and young children, that’s how I spend my time. I don’t really see people that aren’t either moms of young children, or educators of young children.
I have a couple of friends that have grown kids, but they have established friend groups. This means we can sometimes get together, but those friendship bonds are different than those of established relationships.
Even some of the teachers at school that I’m friendly with have children that aren’t old enough to be left alone.
So, unless we’re doing a kid friendly activity, most of my local friends don’t have the freedom of movement I have. That leaves me to fend for myself, or YBW and I do things as a couple.

As I read what I’m writing, it may sound as though I’m making excuses. I’m actually not. These are simply the facts of my life.
Since making new friends is not as easy as it sounds, I’m going to consider how to best spend time with the friends I have.
I’m also going to continue to spend time with YBW.
But, I’m also going to continue to do things on my own.

I want to learn to rock climb, and there’s a great indoor place three miles from home called Vertical Rock. I’ve been considering this for some time and finally decided I’m going to investigate what it takes to learn. YBW is anxious about heights. This is something he would not remotely enjoy doing with me. I’m not sure I know anyone (local) that would like to learn to climb with me and that’s OK, because I just discovered that Vertical Rock has it’s own meet up group! Can’t wait to share that with my therapist!

However I consider any of these things, this is my life.
The question is: Does if fulfill me?
The answer is: Yes…for the most part.

Follow up question: How can I be more fulfilled in my life?
Answer here is keep going and growing.
I’m enthusiastic about learning. I’m enthusiastic about life.
I’m hearing ‘ephphatha‘ in my head: be opened.
I am open to new and different things. To new and different ways of doing old things.
I am ready to be opened up to the world around me.
I have a keen sense of adventure!
It is time for my desire to outweigh my effort.

Who knows?
Stepping out of my comfort zone may be the beginning of something wonderful.
It may blow up in my face.
Doesn’t matter, because I’m up for it.

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