Monthly Archives: October 2013

Punks Unite! (Well, For Today Anyway.)

It’s October 25th. And do you know what today is?

Punk For A Day Day!

This tickles me because my husband is always saying, “Quit being a punk!”

When I discovered it’s a day to celebrate, well, me – I have to admit. I got a little excited. But then I began to wonder, am I really a punk?

I consulted Merriam-Websters.

The first definition is “prostitute.” Nope. Not me. And since I eschew heavy make-up  and high heels of any variety, I’m sure I’ve never been mistaken for one.

Gangster or hoodlum? Me? Little Miss Rule Follower and Defender of the Weak? Strike two.

Dabbling in nonsense and foolishness? Now we’re getting somewhere. (Take this post, for instance.)

Then I found this little gem at wikiHow: “A fierce individualist who has a bone to pick with the profit-driven world.”

Now that’s a definition I can relate to.

I have complained here, many a time, on how I feel like I don’t fit in. How I seem to have lived my life backwards. My timing is always off. I don’t belong to any one crowd. Blah, blah, blah.

I’ve embraced my quirks. At this point in my life, I’m a peace that I married too young the first time and a little old the second time. I was a young mother and then an old mother. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up and I didn’t care about growing up. I was a music major studying classical voice and rocking out to Metallica in between classes. I was the designated driver at every single party in high school (yes, high school) and college. I still wear Minnetonka moccasins, Keds and peace signs, as I have for the past thirty years. I don’t care that they’ve gone in and out of style – I’ve never stopped wearing them.

That’s me. I’m a rebel.

And I have always been repulsed by blatant materialism and greed. I love it when I hear about a celebrity who lives in a 2000 square foot home and drives a Prius. I think companies like Toms Shoes  are amazing and I wish I had thought of it first.

But when wikiHow proceeds to tell me how to look like a punk? That’s when I get my panties in a bunch. Didn’t the definition say “fierce individualist?”

I don’t have spiky hair. I don’t wear leopard print leather pants with a punk-band-goth-t-shirt with my cowboy boots and dog collar. I don’t wear brightly colored make-up. I hardly wear any at all. Reading their cookbook list is making me panic. How can I celebrate me, today, when I can’t conform?

Wait. A punk is a non-conformist. And I’m going to celebrate all the non-conforming things about me that I love. And you should, too! (The things about you, that is.)

Are you a non-conformist? Yay! Punks unite!

Well, for today, anyway.

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Contemplating My Navel. Or Botox.

Catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror this morning….Oh, who am I kidding? Let’s start again…

Staring at my new crop of wrinkles this morning, I found myself musing….

“Hmmm. Maybe I should try a little botox. Just right here. On my eyebrow cleavage.”

You know the spot. Right between your eyebrows. It hadn’t bothered me that much before. But this morning, when I was contemplating injecting bacterial toxins into my body all for the sake of beauty, I gasped a little.

That just isn’t me. I’m happy with the way God made me. I’ve always said, I could never alter my appearance, unnecessarily, all for the sake of measuring up to society’s standard of attractiveness. Plastic surgery for accident victims or malformations of the body? Sure. But to emulate someone in a fashion magazine? Never.

Until today.

In my twenties, and into my mid thirties, it was easy for me to silently judge those who were struggling with their weight. I had the metabolism of a marathon runner. I could pretty much eat anything and not gain weight. If I thought about losing a few pounds they would seem to miraculously drop off. But then menopause hit. And I got pregnant at age 40. (I know. Odd sequence of events, but completely true.) And my mid-wife warned me that because of my advanced age, maintaining a healthy weight might be a struggle. But I didn’t listen. Now, almost 10 years later, I struggle. And I no longer look at others and think “They have no discipline” or “They must be emotional eaters.”

I am one of them.

In my thirties and well into my forties, I silently gasped when friends told me they tried botox or plastic surgery. Bigger boobs and tummy tucks. Getting rid of frown lines and the dreaded forehead cleavage. Be happy with how God made you, I would think. You earned that tummy with the four beautiful kids you have. You are beautiful just as you are. Easy for me to say. When the nurse at my physical kept shaking her head saying, “I can’t believe you’re going to turn 50 this year. You look like you’re in your thirties.” I admit. It felt pretty good. But now, when I think about the wrinkles, I absentmindedly rub my forehead cleavage with my index finger and it feels cavernous. I feel like I should do something about it.

I am one of them.

South Korea boasts one of the highest rates of plastic surgery in the pursuit of beauty in the world. About one in five females go under the knife in order to enhance their appearance. The latest trend is the “smile lipt,” a procedure that turns up the corners of the mouth, creating a perpetual smile, not unlike The Joker, of Batman fame.

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If you Google bad celebrity plastic surgery, pages and pages pop up like this one and this one.  One article after another, exploiting Joan Rivers and Donatella Versace, Mickey Rourke and Michael Jackson.

Plastic surgery, to alter or enhance our appearance, is here to stay. It is a trend that seems to never go out of style. Procedures improve. More people jump on the bandwagon. We are not all blessed with exceptional genetics. And someday, the aging process catches up with all of us. We are bombarded with youthful images. Appearance enhancements continue to become more mainstream. It’s hard not to jump on and ride with everyone else.

But I’m going to try. Harder. I’m going to like what I see in the mirror and feel blessed that I don’t struggle with real issues, like burn scars and birth defects. I am going to enhance what I have with a little bit of make-up and choosing colors that flatter.

It isn’t going to be easy. But I think I’ll feel better in the end.

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And Now We Know The Spammers Are Feelin’ Pretty Good About Themselves

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I get a big kick out of the spam we receive on our blogs. Especially the ones that mangle the English language. At least, worse than I do.

Weblogs. Foreign writing. Advertisements. Lower case “i” for “I.” Dropping prepositions. Adding prepositions. Embedded links every 7 words.

But today, on World Mental Health Day, I received this:

“Superior Morning, I just stopped in to visit your site and thought I’d say I liked myself.”

How appropriate!

May you all have a wonderful World Mental Health Day and may you like yourself as much as my new favorite spammer!

Have A Superior Day!

 

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Filed under Because It Amuses, Completely Random

Hey! My Jeans Don’t Fit. All Over Again.

With all the yoga, herbal supplements, meditation and mostly gluten free eating I’ve been trying lately to manage this silly panic/anxiety affliction I’ve acquired, I have some good news.

I’ve lost some weight.

And not just some weight. I’ve lost about 17 pounds. So far. (I’m optimistically counting on more. Trust me. I could stand a few more.) 

Whoo-hoo! Go Me!

That’s the good news.

The bad news? My clothes don’t fit. Again.

“But this is one of my favorite pairs,” I cry. “I can’t get rid of these.”

“Fine,” my husband says, “Look like a homeboy hangin’ out in the prison yard.”

He has a point.

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You’d think losing a little weight would be a good thing, right? An excuse to go shopping. Update the old wardrobe. But no. It’s not.

First of all, I’m cheap. In a good way. But cheap, all the same. I’m on a roll, without eating the rolls.  I’m planning on going down at least another size. I can’t afford to re-do my entire wardrobe. But until then, I need some clothes that don’t slide down past my hips, revealing my Calvin Kleins. I enter the dressing room, armed with a half dozen pairs of jeans.

One pair is too tight.

One pair is too loose.

One pair is dragging on the ground or cutting me in the crotch or too loose around the thighs but fine everywhere else.

There is only one common denominator. Wait. Make that two common denominators.

1.) They are all the same size.

And…

2.) None of them are just right.

So I walked out of the store with nothing. Just my baggy ol’ pants that look like I borrowed them from my husband. Or my cellmate.

How could all the same size of the same style of clothing give such different results on the new, thinner me?

We are bombarded with print ads showing us how we should look. We compare ourselves to the other moms at the neighborhood pool. We criticize what we see in the mirror, no matter what size.

I was convinced if I went down a size (which I have) I’d be happier. I’d look so much better and I’d feel fantastic.

I am happy. I do look better. But I don’t feel fantastic.

I don’t know about you, but I need to feel good in my clothes. I want them to be comfortable and I’d like to think they are flattering. But those outfits are too far and few between. I may have lost the weight, but I haven’t lost my critical self. And it’s depressing to think that no matter what the size, I may never feel satisfied.

But all the criticizing in the world doesn’t make up for the fact that much of what is out there is just plain unpredictable and uncomfortable. I admit. I’m not much of a shopper. But is it too much to ask that a size X be a size X and fit like all the other size X’s out there?

Is it?

Apparently, it is.

Ah well. Just another excuse to go shopping again.

Anyone want to come with?

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Filed under How We Roll, Observations

The Kindness Habit. It Worked!

The last week of going out of my way to be kind. It was easy and it was a challenge. I found that I tend to do a lot of typically “kind” acts all the time. But going out of my way to make sure I do one act daily?

A challenge.

Day 15 – At Target today, an extremely frazzled mother was trying to keep her cool. With two toddlers in tow, one was being an angel. The other? Was not. She was struggling. People were staring. I found myself getting annoyed with the incessant whining and screaming. But she remained calm and firm the entire time. I glanced over to her a few times and I could see it in her eyes she was losing a bit of confidence. I walked over to her and told her I could see she was having a rough time but she was handling it so well. That I knew it was tough to be firm, especially with this age, but she was doing all the right things. She started to tear up and so did I. We hugged. It’s so hard to be a good mom. Don’t I know it.

Day 16 – Sent out some snail mail. To: my daughter, a Blog World friend, my sister and an out of town friend. Boy, I sure love me some good, old fashioned snail mail.

Day 17 -Made a homemade onion dip (you’ll never buy store bought again!) and put together a little basket of crackers and veggies and dip for our empty nester neighbors across the street. I don’t know if they practice a cocktail hour but at least they have a snack if they do!

Day 18 – Called my aunt. I know what you’re thinking. Jane’s a lazy cheater, trying to use a call to family as a “kind act.” But this particular relative pushes my buttons like no other. So, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to call “just because” instead of having a reason. Don’t judge.

Day 19 – Left a $5 bill in the tip jar at the drive through at Starbucks. The catch? I skipped ordering coffee. There was no line (shocker!) so I just drove through and put some money in. Felt weird and fun, all at the same time.

Day 20 –  Let someone cut in front of me at the grocery store. They had two items, I had half a cart. This “kind deed” was not a stretch at all for me but I quite honestly forgot all about this project until I was racing into the store to grab some things for dinner. How could I forget? I’m almost done.

Day 21 – Another letter writing day. I wrote a glowing letter to the boss of the favorite yoga instructor I told you about here. May she receive a hefty raise.

There you have it. Three weeks of going out of my way to be kind-er. I realized that I already do quite a few things, on a regular basis, that is considered kind by most. I was astonished by some of the “kindness reports” that were shared on the 21 Day Kindness Challenge website. Both in a good way and not-so-good way. But more on that later.

Suffice it to say, my Kindness spilleth over. It was a rewarding experience. It was a challenging experience. It was worth all of my time and effort. It was a challenge to be creative. But that just made it all the more fun.

And the beautiful thing? It IS now a more conscience habit.

21 Days.

It worked!

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