Tag Archives: family
Aside

My Internet Dependency Is Okay!

22 Nov
Murloc

Besides, I stopped using the internet for escapism years ago.

I essentially went a week without the internet when my computer died.  (I did have my Ipod Touch, but I used it sparingly because I couldn’t charge it.)  During that week I caught myself thinking that I should be just fine without the internet and wondering if it was healthy to be so dependent on technology.  It was an interesting insight to an aspect of my core story that I haven’t really examined yet: apparently I think the internet (all of the internet, no exceptions) is nothing but a means of escapism and I should be strong enough not to need it.

This is exactly why I’m rewriting my core story.  Now that I’ve brought that belief into the light I can see it for the craziness and hypocrisy that it is.  Obviously there are plenty of ways to waste time online, but just as obviously that’s not all that’s possible and that’s certainly not all that I do with the internet.  I use the internet because it is a useful tool.

I also realized that I’d unwittingly picked that idea up from a few friends and family members who feel intimidated by computers and the internet and that makes them feel a little insecure.  They’re dealing with their own “shoulds” on the matter, and their disparaging comments are a means of justifying their choice not to use these tools, not a criticism of me or my actions.

No one has ever suggested that I am too dependent on these things; I intercepted their self-talk and internalized it and let it influence me.   I don’t need to feel insecure about my enthusiasm for all the internet has to offer; it’s a useful tool, and I’m very happy I have a beautiful new machine to enjoy it with.

* * *

What messages have you intercepted and internalized?  Have they helped you or hindered you?

Seeds Planted #8

5 Nov

Future oak trees“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

I still find this exercise difficult: I end every week wondering just what I did that might help me move forward.  It’s hard to remember that seeds are often tiny things; hopefully they’ll grow into something healthy (and impressive), but right now they are so small as to be almost negligible.  However, I do this exercise every week because I don’t want to underestimate the power of small things, or small actions.

  1. I used Facebook to start some great conversations about faith.  My brother is creating his own brand of spirituality and it’s inspiring; I have a lot to learn from him.  One of my cousins converted from Catholicism to Evangelical Christianity, and I’m enjoying learning about her beliefs and the way they’ve changed.
  2. I’m getting sick, so I’m exhausted.  Instead of pushing myself to do all those things I “should” be doing, as would be typical for me, I’m actually going to be early and taking care of myself.  (Hence the recent lack of blog posts.)  Going to bed earlier is such a small thing, but it’s evidence of a big shift in my priorities.
  3. I showed my roommate some appreciation.  She deserves it.
  4. Two weeks ago I started the practice of a “responsibility date” as a response to the “artist’s dates” advocated by The Artist’s Way.  It’s a way for me to accomplish those nagging tasks I neglect without turning it into a daily ordeal of procrastination and disappointment.  They are wonderful.

* * *

What tiny, insignificant things have a huge potential in your life?

I Love My (Fat) Body

20 Oct

My core story should have warped my attitude toward my body.  My mother has been trying to lose weight my entire life, and that is part of her core story — the oldest of six, she was also the biggest, but not what I could consider fat.  Still, she was constantly subjected to words like pudgy, or told she’d be so pretty, if she’d just lose a little weight.  Nothing intentionally cruel, but the same bullshit a lot of women hear every single day.

I’m not sure my mother has ever seen herself as pretty.  (She is beautiful.)  She did gain weight after having three children and she’s been trying to lose it my entire life.  I’m 27.  I’ve spent 27 years watching my mother diet, exercise, and berate herself for the way she looks.

I love my body.  As much as my mother struggles with her own body, she never projected that onto me; she never once implied that I should lose some weight, or skip dessert, or start a punishing exercise regimen.  My grandparents, who did so much damage to her, have provided me with unconditional love and support and not one comment about my weight, ever.

I am not skinny.  I don’t own a scale, but I probably weight between 170 and 180 pounds at 5’3″.  That makes me technically obese, which makes me question the validity of the “obesity epidemic” I keep hearing about.  I feel fat, but when I say that, I mean my body has a wealth of adipose tissue; I do not mean that I am unattractive, or unhealthy, or “letting myself go,” or undesirable, or inadequate, or any of the other terrible things that word is supposed to mean.

I love my body and I want to spend more time living in my body.  I think my body is beautiful, so I’ll end this post by quoting something I wrote a few years ago that I still believe:

“My fat body is also beautiful. Beauty comes in many forms, and one of them is the way my ample hips curve into muscular legs. Another is the circular form of my stomach; I do not have a concave absence, I have a slightly protruding substance.

My fat body inspires people to ask me if I’d like some pie.”

I’m not sure I understand how, but my core beliefs about my body are drastically different than my mother’s.  I am grateful that she did not refer to her own core story when she was helping me write mine.

* * *

This post is part of the 2011 Love Your Body Day Blog Carnival.  What’s your body’s core story?

Seeds Planted #5

17 Oct

Fibonacci!

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Every week we plant seeds, small actions that may someday become mighty sunflowers.  These are the seeds I planted this week:

  1. A job interview.  It’s just a part-time weekend job for some extra cash, but I think it went well.
  2. I called a friend and asked for help.  I hate asking for help, but not only will he be able to do so, talking to him left me feeling very good.
  3. I started using StumbleUpon, which is both entertaining and useful.
  4. I remembered my stepdad’s birthday!  I always forget, but this year we had a nice chat.

I also did a little watering and weeding of previous seeds:

  1. I tweaked my posting schedule a bit.  By the way, I’m still looking for guest posts.
  2. I’m still using my breaks at work to make progress on my own projects.
  3. I’m sticking with The Artist’s Way and being diligent about my morning pages.
  4. I’m tweeting regularly.  I typically go in fits and starts, but I’ve been much better about it recently.

* * *

What seeds did you plant this week?  What projects did you tend to?  Remember, it’s all connected, so anything counts.

Seeds Planted

25 Sep

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

  1. The most exciting seed I planted this week?  My interview!  I had an interview on Thursday, and while I thought it was going well, it ended very quickly and almost abruptly.  It seriously lasted no more than ten minutes, so I did not walk away feeling optimistic.  However, they called me back the next morning and I have a working interview tomorrow morning!  I’m very excited.
  2. I mentioned that I’m starting a new relationship, but I felt frustrated with it this week.  Well, no, I felt frustrated with him.  I typically address problems immediately and directly, which can frequently be interpreted as overly confrontational.  This time I let him bring it up…and he did!  We actually had a great conversation that left me feeling very good about both where we are and where we’re headed.  This relationship is pushing me to grow and I love it.
  3. I managed to ask my dad for help.
  4. There are plums in there!At the farmer’s market I learned that plums are incredible.  I realize this particular seed sounds a bit silly, but I’m still excited about it.  I used to be a very picky eater, so I always enjoy learning to like a new food, especially in such an unexpected way.  I was buying apples and the farmer offered me a plum; I took the first bite to be polite, but then I devoured it and bought a half dozen.  I originally thought about making a plum tart, but I keep eating them.
  5. I started working on my new core story by trying a new morning routine.  Even in the short time I’ve been trying it, I’ve learned a few things: I’m tend to sabotage myself by trying to make things perfect instead of just going ahead and doing them.  The goal is to take a walk — duration and distance don’t matter, walking itself is the important thing — but I’m still telling myself that my plan isn’t good enough.  That needs to stop.  And really, the big goal is to move my body in the morning, so I could easily substitute a few yoga poses if I have time constraints or just want a change.  I can be flexible, but that can be so difficult for me to recognize.

Seeds Planted

17 Sep

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

What seeds did I plant today?  I found myself focusing primarily on social goals and maintaining my relationships.

  1. I called my great-aunt to check on her.  My great-grandmother, her mom, died this week and she took it hard.  She seems to be doing better now than when I saw her on Saturday.
  2. I talked to my step-dad for over half an hour.  We rarely talk at all, but we both enjoyed spending time together when I was in Michigan this week.  My mom has a poverty mentality and they’re both just very stressed out right now.  He and I have never really been close, so it helps that I’m supporting him at this time.
  3. I briefly talked to my dad.  It was his grandmother that died, so I wanted to make sure he was okay and find out how the funeral went.  He has some good memories of his grandmother, but he seems to be okay.
  4. I went to the bar with Amy.  I rarely go out and I feel especially broke now, but it was nice to spend a little time together out of the house.
  5. I talked to Tiff about moving back to Reno.  We both loved it there and living together was amazingly easy.
  6. I exchanged a couple of texts with Justin.  That’s all it takes to remind me that he is wonderful and I am glad we are friends.
  7. I applied for a job and started a drastic overhaul of my résumé.
  8. I called a temp agency, but I’m not sure what to think.  I’ll finish my résumé and then take it in to a few different places on Monday.

Some days I don’t use my phone at all, but today I managed to really connect with people.  I’m not very good at that, so it was nice to find it so easy to do.

I found this exercise really helpful, so I’m going to try to make it a weekly feature.

“Used to daydream in that small town”

6 Sep

I’m going home today.  Home being the small town where I grew up and where my family still lives.  I moved away almost three years ago, and for a while I visited about once every seven months (it just worked out that way), but I haven’t been there in a year.  I’m excited for a visit.

While I’m very glad I left and got out into the world a bit.  (And just a bit — there’s still so much I need to see and do.), I’m also glad I grew up there.  Less than 2,000 people live in my hometown.  I know of one place that has wireless (fortunately it’s one of my favorite places anyway) and cell phone reception will be spotty at best.

In such a small town, it’s easy to feel like you know everyone.  I actually know whom I would have married had I stayed — not due to overwhelming attraction, but because we were close the same age, both reasonably intelligent and attractive, and had a lot of mutual friends, both personally and through various generations of our family.  He left too, but had either of us wanted to stay there wasn’t really anyone else to date.

Small towns like that are stereotyped as narrow-minded.  Some probably are, but mine wasn’t.  Stupidity and laziness would make you a pariah, but working hard and being kind would get nearly anything forgiven.  I’ve always been fat and I’ve never shaved or wore a bra or make-up; you’d think I’d have been an easy target, but instead I was treated like a valued member of the community.  I might have been a bit odd, but I was their oddity and in a lot of ways I still am.

John Mellencamp sums it up nicely:

No I cannot forget where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be

I’m going home, and while I have no desire to stay, I’m glad it’s home.