every little bit…

I still question if I am living my most authentic life. There are elements of my life that feel exhilarating; that feel fulfilling; that feel like I am doing the thing that I always knew I would be doing.

But there are moments when I wonder if I’m playing out of someone else’s playbook. I wonder if I could commit myself wholly to yoga, to selflessness, to ecology, to compassion in all areas of my life.

I think it’s time to stop second-guessing myself. One thing that has always remained about me is my inability to perform in ways that is inauthentic to who I am and what I feel. I have always been stubbornly honest and wholly real – thus authentic.

Authentic, yes. But also wanting to belong. Before I awoke, before I understood how to think about things, how to question them, I accepted many things, many ideas, many behaviors that I understand now as unacceptable. I still wish I were different, further along, but I am on my way and for that, I should feel some comfort…

Self-acceptance is harder than it looks. But I’m working on it. As difficult as the journey is, it still feels wonderful to be alive, to question what to do with my time, to wonder if I’m living my best life. I look forward to answering my own questions.

Why Feminism…

….because as idealistic and naive as I used to be, I see the world as it really is – and it breaks my heart.

….because now I worry that my daughters will face obscene abuses that have been shushed and quieted for too long.

…because I have had to deal with systemic sexism for my whole life.

…because I was raised by a woman who doesn’t understand feminism, who pushed finding a boyfriend over finding myself.

…because I don’t want my son repeating that he is so glad he isn’t a girl, because girls have babies.

…because I genuinely believe that all three of my children are capable of achieving their wildest dreams – but I know my son will have less to prove and easier time accomplishing his goals.

…because I love people and I want us to love each other.

Do unto others, yeah?

Things to do when you work night shift and you’re off:

  • Watch Cooking shows. You’ll probably get some ideas about some cool stuff to make which will send you on an internet search for recipes. Traditional, Vegetarian, Paleo, Vegan, Paleo-Vegan – go crazy. Then go shopping.
  • Wander the aisles of your local Wal-Mart. It’s literally the only place open at 3am. You can grab ingredients for that fantastic food you’re planning to make.
  • Cook. Yeah, tonight I made egg muffins for the kiddos in the morning and sweet potato-kale-spinach bombs that I hope don’t taste like butt. Dinner was pretty tasty, too. Picture to the right.
  • Catch up on television…currently watching This Is Us. All the feels in one show. Next, I will probably catch up on American Horror Story: Hotel.
  • Writing? um..about that…
  • Yoga…kind of.
  • Work out. NTC app is awesome! Do that thing! Quietly…
  • Finish that education. Two more classes completed tonight.

 

It isn’t fun working nights. I noticed I’m grumpier when the kids are awake and I feel awful about it. I’m very, very used to the quiet now, especially after being apart from them all summer. I’m going to adjust myself.

While wandering the aisles of Wal-Mart, I was approached by a guy. He’s in his mid-thirties, wearing a Deadpool hat and carrying honey peanut butter and marshmallows. He compliments my glasses, offers a warm smile and a handshake. He’s nice, a little on the awkward side, and I know that he’s attracted to me – we passed each other in the aisle before and now he’s holding eye contact, remarking on my hoodie and taking note of what is inside my basket. We converse, it was nice. I looked like garbage – I’m in sweats, a hoodie, sneakers, and my hair is up in a ponytail. But he stopped me to talk anyway. He asks me if we can hang out sometime and I let him down easy. He took it well, we hugged and departed.

Those kinds of interactions should be shared. I was kind, I was engaged in the conversation, but ultimately I wasn’t interested in him. I wasn’t rude, I didn’t even have to mention my boyfriend – he took my “no” with grace. Not all men will react with anger and indignation when you reject him, for whatever reason you decide is appropriate. Each of us only wants to be treated with dignity, respect, and kindness. I wasn’t defensive and he wasn’t offended when I politely declined. Jesus, people. Just be nice to each other.

 

If nothing ever comes of this endeavor, if all I ever use this blog for is cathartic writing and practices, I’m okay with that. I do hope that anyone who takes the time to read my entries at least comes away with the feeling that I walk my talk – that being kind isn’t just a thing I talk about; it’s in the way I live. I don’t do mean, I don’t do gossip, I don’t do hatred. And when confronted with those things, they tend to bring out the worst in me. I don’t want to be that person…so forgive me if I’m quiet, or if I don’t participate in your systematic break down of another person, or your criticisms of someone else or something else. It’s just not who I want to be.

That Cayenne though…

As a person with a rough family health history, I gave up most meat in February of this year – for the third time in my life. I still eat fish, shrimp, and shellfish, but that probably happens less than three times per month. And while I thought that by doing so my health would improve, I did forget one kind of important thing : protein is only one component. My biggest monster lately has been sugar.

Over the past year and a half, I’ve been using food to rebel. I’ve been rebelling against a few entities who, more than once, made comments about my weight. I stopped trying to take care of myself because my efforts were going unnoticed. Omitting most meat was a noble attempt to getting this train back on the tracks, but to supplement the now missing section on my plate, I started adding more breads, more desserts, instead of the fruits,veggies, and legumes I should have been adding. That’s my fault.

I probably weigh more now than I have in three or four years – and though that isn’t nearly as much as I used to weigh, I do have to be aware of how my body feels and what I put into it. I feel heavy, my stomach hurts almost all the time, and I’m finding that I want to move less and less. I can’t keep going down this path.

My idea is to make eating simple, not complicated. Just fish, eggs, fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, steel cut oats, and rice. Seems bland, I know, but I think there are ways to spice it up using herbs and spices. What moderate fats I use will be avocado, honey, olive oil, and coconut oil. It’s probably in line with the Mediterranean diet.

Today, or right now rather, I’m beginning again. But it’s less about what I weigh or what clothes I can wear, and more about how I feel in this body and the quality of foods I feed it. I am not only my body; I am so much more than my weight or my appearance. But my body is my home. I neither want it emaciated nor overfull; I do not want to suffer nor become unnecessarily sick. It took far too long for me to come to this realization.

Meow

Being thick is not an excuse to eat crap food.

 

I am a thick woman. I may very well always be. Even when I ran three miles a day and was a straight-up vegetarian for two years. I was still thick. It is what it is. However, being thick is not an excuse to eat crap food all the time.

I have been eating like terra-terra bad. Part of it is needing to transition well to working nights for a month. The rest of it is my legit fuckit attitude lately. So, maybe I need to stop doing that.

 

Time to up the veggie ante! I feel a soup/smoothie/juice cleanse coming on…if only to give my belly a break.

 

Huzzah!

 

Also… I’ve done well to ensure that I start taking a multivitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D every day. My SAD symptoms have been abetting. Just sayin’.

 

Begin Again

When my marriage ended five years ago, one of the deciding factors was the knowledge that I did not know who I was or what I wanted. I did not know what my own interests were. I did not have any hobbies. I had ambition, but I did not know for what. For a while afterwards, I was aimless. I followed along or I did what I was used to – neither of which was smart. I didn’t really know where to start…so I went back to what I knew I liked the last time I knew myself.

As a teenager, I loved music and art and reading. I loved dancing and yoga. I loved inline skating, wrestling, superhero and zombie movies, and writing. I revisited some of those same things on my quest to know myself better. I’ve seen where I was less genuine, and why, and as an adult, one who enjoys learning and understanding, it takes effort to be more of who I really am instead of who I think I should be.

I’ve been struggling with accepting myself for the past couple years or so and when things didn’t work out, I momentarily wondered why. When I am honest with myself, when I stop trying so hard, when I stop worrying and trying to control – things tend to just fall out the way they’re supposed to.

A dear friend of mine is going through one of the hardest things a person can experience. Everything he has held dear for the last 14 years is in question and he feels lost. To him, I’ve said – “You’ve done all that you can do. You’ve given all of yourself to all of these things in your best effort to make it work. If you’ve done all you can do, rest. These things may not be for you, and I know it’s painful to hear that and it’s even more difficult to accept – but you must rest. You have nothing left to give.”

So little in life is actually up to us. You can want, and work, and beg, and plead and still nothing will come up you. When you can do nothing more, rest. Then begin again.

Presence

I went to a yoga class today for the first time in a couple months. The instructor and the fellow attendees were warm and inviting. It was an easy flow – though I wasn’t sure how I’d enjoy it, I reminded myself as it began that I am back to square one.

My hamstrings were tight and I wasn’t able to bend as far as I would’ve liked in seated staff, but I was aware of my body at that moment. I felt its limitations and its capabilities. I breathed easily, allowed my body to follow my breath and eased into the practice.

I felt at home.

It’s been bright and sunny today, too. I took my pup out for a leisurely stroll a few minutes ago. I’m trying to soak up as much sunlight as I can to ward off the winter blues. I’m currently nursing a headache and cup of coffee….I haven’t had any coffee today and I’m wondering if the lack isn’t part of the problem. I am listening to my body. I am present.

 

I am also kinda tired, hehe.

One of the few things I enjoy about fall is the excuse the weather gives me to make soup and chili. I made a delicious lentil soup last week that I’ve taken for lunch over the weekend. Chili will probably be next, but that’s a tomorrow task.