Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What Happened to My Life?

Here is why I have no time to write. This is a typical day in my life right now....

6:00 AM Wake up and run or ride for 45 minutes
7:00 AM Get ready for school
7:30 AM Go to school
7:40-4:00 PM Work
4:30-8:00 PM Chanman's bb game
8:00-9:00 PM Dinner with my husband--catch-up on the day etc....
9:00 PM Relax for an hour
10:00 PM Go to bed

HELP!! Where does writing fit in???? Where does ANYTHING else fit in?????

Monday, August 11, 2008

Letter to My Younger Self

In the new issue of Marie Claire, there is a special “promotion” section publishing selected letters written in a contest entitled “Letters to Your Younger Self”. After reading the letters, I thought this to be a valuable exercise on many levels. My challenge to you is for you to do the same. The rules (you know I hate them): choose an age in which you wish you could write a letter to your younger self and then publish it on your blog (but don’t forget to link back or at least let me know you accepted the challenge) or email it to me.

Marsha (Central Illinois), 46
Writes to herself at age 19.

Dear Marsha,
As you stand before the minister today and pledge your love to another, know that you are about to embark on a new and marvelous journey. It will take you to the heights of love and contentment. You will be fortunate enough to experience great joy, yet coupled with that happiness will come great sorrow. Your choice to marry young will turn out to be wise and providential, despite the reservations of others. Becoming a woman of strength and purpose will begin today; as you choose to unite yourself with someone else. It will be many years before you appreciate and honor the fact that your mate gave you autonomy to be yourself, even as you learned to be a wife and a mother.

The life you have been blessed to experience up to this point will simply be the precursor to the life you will experience from here. Choosing to covet the strength found in family, friendships and spiritual commitment will allow you to live within the parameters of some of life’s most cruel narrations.

You will find that values guide your life. Things like education, personal growth and a real need to make a difference will cause you to take pause and often take action. I know you have thought little about these things up to this point. You will not be forced to do so for quite awhile, but that’s ok. You are predestined to live your life by taking chances and encountering life’s curves as if you could withstand anything.

Your love for life must never fade away. Self-disciple may evade you, minor irritants may momentarily distract you, but pure determination will enable you flourish. Your life will be blessed, not more or less than anyone else’s, but you will consider yourself fortunate.

You must move on from today as if you never received this letter, as my wish for you is to simply experience your life—just as you were intended. Have no regrets; for then nothing in your life will have been in vane.

Many Blessings,

Saturday, August 09, 2008


KMY Tagged me from her Diary of a Nomad blog: I found this meme to be an interesting one...

The Rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag six fellow bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the six blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Unspectacular quirks:

1. I hate it when chairs aren’t pushed in under the table. I will go around and do this even at someone else’s house. I share this quirk with my good friend Ginny.

2. I am terrible at remembering birthdays, but get really upset if someone else misses mine (that’s why it’s a quirk—it doesn’t make any sense at all).

3. When I start a book, I have to finish it even if it is terrible. I am trying to break this one. No one should waste his/her time on BAD literature.

4. I have a decorative calendar in my kitchen that has to be changed by putting the new calendar in a picture frame---the one in there now reads – MARCH. This is sheer laziness.

5. I am an AMAZINGLY productive procrastinator. I work better and more efficiently if I wait until the last minute to complete a task (and often do).

6. I am a TV-aholic. I love watching TV. Most people don’t like admitting this, but I imagine there is many more of “my-kind” than those who swear off television.

I will tag....
Kent (just to get him to post something)
Rosanne (for the same reason as Kent)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Breast Cancer 3-Day

Today is the start of a great adventure for my friend Bear (Barry). He begins walking 60 miles in three days to benefit breast cancer research. The crazy part is that he plans to do this TWICE—once in Chicago and once in San Diego. I have often said that widowhood tends to be self-absorbing, but not for Bear. He is constantly giving whether it is in welcoming newly widowed to the Chicago dinners, or walking 60 miles for a great charity. I can't wait to hear the details of his journey and I am sure there will be stories. Below is a link to his “Blisters for Boobs” website where you can read about why he is so passionate about breast cancer research. I know breast cancer has affected many of your lives in one way or another and if you are compelled to donate to Bear’s walk, there is a place to do that on his site as well. As for me, I am so proud to call him my friend and wish I were there in person to cheer him on! GO BEAR!!

Blisters for Boobs

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Look Good Naked

To say that I have body image issues would be a gross understatement. Sometimes I think I felt better about my body when I weighed 300 pounds than I do now. I am not sure why that is the case, because since my gastric bypass I have gone from super skinny size 10 (on my 5'10" body), to normal size 12, to a few pounds more. All in all, I am still 130 pounds thinner than I was when I began. This fact alone should be enough to keep me confident with my figure, yet it eludes me on so many levels.

Tonight I watched Lifetime’s “How to Look Good Naked”. This is not your run of the mill “makeover” show. Instead Carson Kressley attempts to assist a woman who is dissatisfied with her “less than perfect” body. He then endeavors to create in her an acceptance of who she is. The poor woman must stand in front of a mirror in only her bra and panties, which of course, she has difficulty doing, but seems to humor him just the same.

One of the most interesting experiments occurs when Carson brings several women out in their underwear and the subject is to choose which ones are bigger and which are smaller than she. She appoints all the women lager, when in fact; they are ALL smaller than she. Chronicling the transformation of the woman from self-conscious to self-confident is quite astounding. Just being privy to the change in the way she carries herself is somewhat astounding. There was no liposuction, no “nip-tuck”, no drastic makeup or extreme hair makeover; she simply begins to accept her body--even appreciate it.

I know I have lamented ad nauseum about the fact that my newfound athleticism has not paid off with changes in my body. I find that I am much more confident on the bicycle, in the gym or in the pool, but that confidence doesn’t seem to carry over to the full-length mirror. How should I expect anyone else to think I am sexy, if I don’t believe it myself?

Why is it that women have such a hard time when it comes to our bodies? The men in our lives love them, why can’t we? Shouldn’t we afford ourselves the same admiration as those in our lives who love us? Even when I was obese by children would say, “Mom, you are not fat.” I would dismiss such comments as silly, when I should have embraced them as the truth.

In this episode of “How to Look Good Naked” the subject’s most significant "aha moment" comes with her words, “I feel liberated.” That’s what loving your body can do. It can make you not only confident, but liberated as well. So, take off your clothes and take a good look…liberate yourself---and---look good naked!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Catch and Release

Once again, this month’s church book club selection surprised me. I just finished “Same Kind of Different as Me: a modern-day slave, an international art dealer and the unlikely woman who bound them together” by Ton Hall and Denver Moore. Quite a title---quite a book. On the surface, it is a memoir about the friendship between a homeless man and an international art dealer. Along the way, the reader becomes caught up in the lives of three people. This book had me laughing one minute and crying the other.

How does an international art dealer (Ron) meet and befriend a modern-day slave (Denver)? Following a marital indiscretion and a renewed commitment to his marriage, Ron follows his wife Debbie’s lead and begins to volunteer at a homeless shelter in Dallas. It is through this active commitment to missions that Ron and Denver are changed forever. At one point in the book Ron asks Denver to be his friend. To which Denver answers his question by addressing his own bafflement with the “white folk” fishing practice of “catch and release”.

Denver went on. “I just can’t figure it out. ‘Cause when colored folks go fishin, we really proud of what we catch, and we take it and show it off to everybody that’ll look. Then we eat what we catch…in other words, we use it to sustain us. So it really bothers me that white folks would go to all that trouble to catch a fish, then when they done caught it, just throw it back in the water.”

“So, Mr. Ron, it occurred to me: If you is fishin for a friend you just gon’ catch and release, then I ain’t got no desire to be your friend.”

“But if you is looking for a real friend, then I’ll be one. Forever.” (p107)

Talk about powerful. How many times do we “catch and release” friendships? We excuse ourselves when friendships become difficult or circumstances change. We often expect more of friends than we require of ourselves. When complicated friendships begin to wane, we just let them go—release them. We invest time and energy into the lives of others up to a point, as long as the relationship is easy. I am not talking about unhealthy or abusive friendships; I am talking about choosing to disengage because the friendship is too demanding or we just don’t want the complication in our lives. In releasing these friendships, we rob ourselves the practice of grace and the blessings ascribed to such an exercise.

These thoughts force me examine my own “catch and release” track record. Am I requiring more of those I have released, than I do of myself? Have I made bogus excuses so that I can “feel better” about the release? Just as Denver, I am not interested in investing in a catch and release friendships. I don’t think anyone is. I want the integrity and courage to maintain friendships even when they may get difficult. I want the opportunity to practice grace and to work through the “hard stuff”. I want my friendships to be forever.