Amazing

Do you know Lindy West? She’s a super-amazing and fantastic writer – and she’s kind of my imaginary friend. I mean she’s real, like a real person….but she is sadly not my friend. Yet. I firmly believe, that if we knew each other, we would totally be friends. For realz. :-) Anyway….Lindy got married recently, and looking at the pictures she tweeted filled me with so much joy, I could hardly stand it. First, she looked RADIANT – like not just typical bride glow-y happy, but other-worldly happy…which was awesome. Second, her dress was the stuff that princess fantasies (at least in my mind) are made of.  Finally? Her new hubby looked at her like he wanted to devour her – who doesn’t want a love like that?!!

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When Lindy got engaged, she wrote a piece entitled ‘Why I Can’t Wait to be a Fat Bride‘ , which brings up a lot of interesting things.  She wrote about the idea that society usually expects couples to ‘match’ – I will let her explain:

I wasn’t surprised that this woman took so many wilful leaps past “couple” and landed on “roommates” in her split-second sussing-out of our relationship – it happens literally all the time. But it was a disheartening reminder of an assumption that has circumscribed my life: couples ought to “match”. My partner and I do not. He is thin and I am fat. He is conventionally desirable and I am a “before” picture in an ad for weight-loss tapeworm eggs. It is considered highly unlikely – borderline inconceivable – that he would choose to be with me in a culture where men are urged to perpetually “upgrade” to the “hottest” woman within reach, not only for their own supposed gratification but also to impress and compete with other men. It is women’s job to be decorative (within a very narrow set of parameters) and it is men’s job to collect them. My relationship throws off both sides of that equation, and a startling number of people find it bewildering at best, enraging at worst.

 

Isn’t she right?? Mind blowing – why is it that men are generally taught (by their friends, society, some secret boy-coven that meets outside of NASCAR and WWE events) to always seek out the most conventionally attractive woman that they can possibly get and lock her down – when sometimes, said woman may in fact be a raging idiot??! Thank goodness that there are loads of men out there who don’t ascribe to that, or I would have never had a date in my life! I have never been, nor ever will be, the hottest girl at any party…and I am so cool with that. However, having said that, I have never wanted for the company of men, either – it’s interesting to me how I have always managed to attract men (some of them – a lot of them – I wish I hadn’t, but…c’est la vie). I was hit on recently while grabbing take out from the bar counter at a local Chili’s, and I giggled as I was walking out of the place at the ludicrousness (is that a word? Should be) of the situation – I’m 41 years old, not skinny, showing the wrinkles, etc…yet somehow, there’s still something alluring enough to bring a complete stranger over to throw some lines at me. How funny. 40 is the new 20…and my milkshake is still bringing the boys to the yard. Bonus! 😉

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Anyway – back to Lindy and her magical wedding. When discussing her impending nuptials, she wrote:

So, I grew up assuming that I would never get married (unless I found my own John Goodman – swoon), because marriage was for thin women, the kind of women who deserved to be collected. How could I be a bride when I was already what men most feared their wives would become? I was the mise en place for a midlife crisis. I was the Ghost of Adultery Future. At least, that’s what I’d been taught. And that’s why I can’t goddamn wait to be a fat bride.

As soon as you start making wedding plans, you’re bombarded with (among a million other beckoning money pits) a barrage of pre-wedding weight-loss programmes. Because you’re supposed to be as thin as possible on your special day. After all, there will be pictures! And what if someone remembers your butt as looking like what your butt looks like!? “I’m only eating grapefruit and steam until my wedding.” “I enrolled my whole wedding party in bridal boot camp.” “I bought my dress in a size four even though I’m a size six.” And that’s totally fine, of course, if that’s your priority.

But when I think back on my teenage self, what I really needed to hear wasn’t that someone might love me one day if I lost enough weight to qualify as human – it was that I was worthy of love now, just as I was. So I’ll be fat on my wedding day. Because being fat and happy and in love in public is still a radical act. Attention, every fat teenager on earth: you’re invited.

 

Isn’t that gorgeous??! I love her – and she is so right: being fat and happy and in love in public is a radical act. And it bloody well shouldn’t be. Everyone one of us deserves to be in love and happy for the whole world to see – regardless of the width of our arses.

 

Lindy wrote a follow up article after her wedding, and it’s so beautiful that it made my heart sing – you can read it here. Here’s my favorite part:

And to my 16-year-old self, if you’re reading this, listen to Alithea; she is wise: “When I enter into a relationship, I am not filling a hole that society has dug out of my soul, telling me that I am fat, and because I am fat I am ugly, and because I am ugly I am unlovable. I am there, in their bed and in their life, for the purest of reasons, not because I am insecure and need the external validation that a patriarchal society has taught us to seek. I am not seeking validation from a partner, I am seeking partnership in that partner.”

I have never in my life been fatter than I was on my wedding day, I have never shown my body in such an uncompromising way, and I have never felt more at home in that body. I was fully myself, and I was happy. We are happy. This life is yours, fat girls. Eat it up.

 

And I’m leaking from my eyes. Again. Bloody hell… what’s better than that? Not much. There is so much crap thrown around in the media these days about how we need to look, and what we need to do to look that way, and it’s such pure bullshit. We look how we look. It’s pretty straightforward. And you know what we need to do to look that way? Nothing. Just do us. We are more than enough. Satis sum – I am enough. Words to live by, friends.

xxx

 

Follow Your Arrow

This summer has been decidedly different for me – the Wee One and I have stayed home, and spent a lot of time together…it has been lovely. We have done lots of fun things, and we’ve been getting out a fair bit – but we have taken time to relax, chill, and smell the roses, too. While I’ve missed having one of our great ‘fancy girl trips’ that we love so much, we have had such a good time together…and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. The end of the school year was rough, and frankly I was in desperate need of some time to just slow down and take it easy – which is exactly what I’ve done. In one day in May, a young girl had a drug overdose in front of me (she’s fine, thank god) and a dear friend and colleague suffered a heart attack and collapsed in my arms (she’s okay, too)…followed by a second colleague entering the hospital the very next day with a mystery illness that’s still not been diagnosed – two months later. This trifecta of misery reminded me of the fragility of life and the fleeting nature of us, and of our mortality…and I realized that I could not keep up the pace that I’ve been operating at – or I would be the next to drop. As Kacey Musgraves sings in her excellent song “Follow Your Arrow”, ‘Say what you think / Love who you love / ‘Cause you just get / So many trips ’round the sun / Yeah, you only / Only live once’. Life is too short to not enjoy yourself….it’s not worth it. So….this is what I’ve done! I’ve hardly gone in to work on my time off, I’ve turned down quite a few social invitations, I’ve only said yes to that which matters to me – and I’ve done a lot of nothing. I have been binge watching a bunch of great TV, watching my kid swim at her swimming lessons, and done a ton of good eating at great restaurants. This is how summer should be! :-)

Deviled Eggs from Whisky Cake - yum!

Deviled Eggs from Whisky Cake – yum!

I've been on a quest to learn to like Brussels Sprouts...these ones at Whisky Cake are damn respectable! :-)

I’ve been on a quest to learn to like Brussels Sprouts…these ones at Whisky Cake are damn respectable! :-)

The Twice-Fried Chicken Wings from Hot Joy are what dreams are made of. DIVINE!!!!

The Twice-Fried Chicken Wings from Hot Joy are what dreams are made of. DIVINE!!!!

Smashed Cucumber salad from Hot Joy - I am aware that it looks rather odd, but....SOOOO GOOOOOD!!!

Smashed Cucumber salad from Hot Joy – I am aware that it looks rather odd, but….SOOOO GOOOOOD!!!

I've spent a fair bit of time kicking back, not fussing with my hair/makeup, and enjoying wine - yaa! :-)

I’ve spent a fair bit of time kicking back, not fussing with my hair/makeup, and enjoying wine – yaa! :-)

The Wee One had a gift card from her favorite store - instead of buying herself a cute outfit, she chose to get us matching sparkly unicorn necklaces that say BFF on them. My heart is so full. :-)

The Wee One had a gift card from her favorite store – instead of buying herself a cute outfit, she chose to get us matching sparkly unicorn necklaces that say BFF on them. My heart is so full. :-)

 

I’m well aware that these images are nowhere near as exciting as most people’s summer vacation pictures, but….they mean the world to me. They are visual representations of time well spent with the people who love me most – and what could possibly be better than that? :-)

xxx

 

Barbie Girl

Aqua’s classic song “Barbie Girl” came on the radio today, and I damn near had to pull the car over to get my groove on appropriately – there’s something about that bloody song that makes me physically unable to stop wiggling. It’s ridiculous – both the song and my reaction to it. The same thing happens with “Ice Ice Baby”, but…that’s a lot more understandable. If you don’t bust a move when that one comes on there’s something terribly wrong with you. Seek medical attention immediately.

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I’ve never really listened much to the lyrics of “Barbie Girl” for my IQ exceeds 90 points, but I’ve always understood the point of the song. When I hear it now, though, at the ripe ol’ age of 41, it sounds different to me than it did when I was in my 20s…probably because I’m such a different person. I think that getting older has been so good for me – I’ve really come so far in terms of accepting who I am and being good with it…the me of my 20s was an insecure mess, I had no idea who I was and I changed my personality and interests with the wind. I was like the Barbie girl – plastic, but there was absolutely nothing fantastic about it. I’m still constantly changing and evolving (thank god), but I’m doing it so differently now – every change and adaptation that I make is thoughtful, and all about bettering myself. I change now because I damn well want to – not because I think somebody else would like me to do so. It’s liberating!

I read this article online today – 5 Signs You Need a Life Makeover…it’s a good, quick read:

For a long time, I was settling in every aspect of my life. My career wasn’t ideal, my friendships were toxic, and my relationships were abusive.

The moment I realized this, I committed to a journey to self-love. Through my increased sense of worth, I acknowledged and released the things in my life that were not aligned with my new direction. It became easier to say no, and to be confident that better things would come. Once I knew what I wanted and needed, the fear dissolved. Recognizing the problem is the first step to fixing it.

So, here are five signs you might be settling for less than you deserve.

1. You’re bored or unchallenged.

When we’re doing things that don’t align with what we want or who we are, boredom is inevitable. I had an absolutely fabulous career in marketing, but I eventually stopped feeling challenged, and began to resent my job. That’s when I decided to go after my dream of becoming a life coach. I’m now working in a career that truly motivates me.

If you’re bored or unchallenged, examine the area (or areas) of your life that aren’t aligning with your desires. Then, take a risk that will move you closer to the life you truly want to live. It might be the scariest thing you’ve ever done, but the payoff will be worth it. And, besides, if you’re unhappy where you are, what do you have to lose?

2. You feel stuck.

We’ve all experienced this at some point in our lives. We feel helpless to effect change, and that makes what everyone else is doing seem so appealing. I used to feel stuck in my destructive party lifestyle. I was surrounded by toxic people and in an abusive relationship. I felt as though I had no choice other than the life I was living. But here’s the secret: We’re not helpless. We have the power to move. We have the power to change our lives.

I finally came to that realization and began taking baby steps in the direction of the life I wanted to live. Rather than expecting myself to change everything immediately, I committed to creating small, regular shifts in my life. I took up healthier habits, started cutting out toxic people, and eventually, all the small shifts added up to a totally new life. The key is to remain dedicated to your journey.

3. You’re anxious.

Anxiety can be a result of us acting in ways or participating in things that don’t align with our true desires. Before my career change, I began to experience extreme anxiety. There were days where I found it difficult even to type on my keyboard because I was so anxious. My body would lose control and I’d shut down. I blamed my anxiety on stress, thinking it was a normal result of my workload.

In reality, I was just in the wrong career, and my body was reacting to that. When you experience high levels of anxiety, the best thing you can do is listen to your body. Find out what your body needs in that moment, whether it’s rest, movement, or meditation. Do what you need to do to calm your nerves. Once the anxiety has passed, start creating a plan to help you shift out of the toxic situation.

4. You’re feeling insecure.

We aren’t always willing to admit we have needs, or acknowledge that they aren’t being met. If you’re in a relationship where your partner isn’t providing you with the level of support that you truly need, it’s a definite sign that you have settled. It’s OK to need things in your relationships.

Ignoring your own needs and desires is telling yourself that they don’t matter. This is a surefire way to damage your self-esteem, and it means you need to course correct fast. Acknowledge that your needs exist, then step up to the plate and communicate them. You’ve got to learn to get comfortable with admitting your needs, and the only way to do that is through practice.

5. Your gut knows something’s wrong.

If the situation you’re in doesn’t feel right, don’t push those feelings aside. Listen to your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t. If you’re experiencing one or many of these things, take the time to explore areas here you might be settling. Reflect on your goals and aspirations — is your current path bringing you closer to accomplishing those things?

Write a list of the things that aren’t working and acknowledge the areas of your life in which you’re settling. From there, begin creating an action plan to step into a life you truly love. Don’t overwhelm yourself with huge shifts. Instead, create small, actionable baby steps that will lead you to where you want to be.

Connect to your true self-worth and start to listen to your inner voice by taking time to sit with your own thoughts, without any outside influences. You deserve to love your life.

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Good stuff, eh? I know!! If you are a regular reader, you will know that I was really struggling a couple of years ago, and felt like I had totally lost my way. I was bored, anxious, a miserable and insecure wreck….it was painful just putting my feet on the floor each morning and making my way through the world. I kind of gave myself an intervention of sorts – I made lists, put together some plans, and figured out what I was going to have to do to get myself out of the funk that I was in. As you will undoubtedly know, I still fall into the funk from time to time, but happily things are moving in the right direction. I am certain that the biggest part of this process working was giving myself a break, and becoming better at taking myself for who I am. I’m also learning to forgive myself for the mistakes that I’ve made – I am learning to really embrace the philosophy of ‘when you know better, you do better’ …and now I know better. I am not finished with the things that I want/need to sort out, but every day I’m moving closer (…every day I’m shufflin’….), I know that I am not far from getting rid of all of the barriers to happiness that are still lurking about, and I’m going to get my Barbie dream happy ending. I just know it. :-)

xxx

O Canada

Do me a favor and point north today, and sing ‘O Canada’ as loudly as you can – it’s Canada Day!!!! Time to celebrate!!! :-) To kick the morning off right, I delivered tacos and mimosas to my parents….yummy!! :-) Every day should begin like this! :-) I plan to enjoy some great wine and even better company this evening…focusing on what’s important on Canada Day: those that you love. :-)

 

Some of the best things about Canada, for your perusal:

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Niagara Falls – the Canadian side :-)

Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria, British Columbia

Quebec City, Quebec

Quebec City, Quebec

 

I’m proud to be from a land that produces stuff like that up there – Happy Canada Day, eh!

xxx

Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind?

Does Fort Worth ever cross your mind? If not, it totally should – what a great city!! I’ve been here all week for an Advanced Placement Summer Institute conference – and, while I would rather have been at home in San Antonio with my Wee One, I have really enjoyed getting to see some of the city. I want to get planning a trip back here as soon as I can – there’s a lot I want to see and do! :-)

I saw some of the Stockyards area, which is really cool – it looked like an Old West down, and the preservation/restoration of this awesome neighborhood is really well done. Unfortunately, the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill were wreaking havoc on this area, making it far too wet to stroll around outside, but driving through the area was great. :-)

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Fort Worth is a brilliant food town – and we all know how I love me some good eating! 😉 I am not a fan of chain restaurants, so trying new and different places is one of my very favorite things to do – and this city is a fab place to do this! We had dinner at Rodeo Goat on Sunday night – I had the Sugar Burger, which was one of the most delicious and unusual things I’ve ever had (grilled peaches should always be on every burger every where every day). We shared an appetizer called ‘The Steaming Pile’ (if you’re a regular reader, you know that I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy, so you are correct in your assumption that I ordered this one totally because of the filthy name!) – it was jalapeno tots smothered with goat cheese, a sharp cheddar, and bacon. O.M.G. Good eatin’ here, folks…DELISH! :-)

The Sugar Burger from Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth...unreal! Grilled peaches on top of a burger!! Who knew??! Delicious!! :-)

The Sugar Burger from Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth…unreal! Grilled peaches on top of a burger!! Who knew??! Delicious!! :-)

The Steaming Pile....of goodness! ;-)

The Steaming Pile….of goodness! ;-)

 

We had a delicious sushi meal at Blue Sushi Sake Grill – really different things, which I thoroughly enjoyed. One of my colleagues that I was dining with is a real sushi afficionado, and letting him order for me was an excellent decision. :-)

Awesome sushi from Blue Sushi Sake Grill in Fort Worth....I heart sushi!! :-)

Awesome sushi from Blue Sushi Sake Grill in Fort Worth….I heart sushi!! :-)

 

A real standout this week was Torchy’s Tacos – apparently we have one of these in San Antonio, and I feel that my life has been empty up to this point since I’ve never heard of this place before. I cannot wait to go back many, many times, working my way through their awesome menu. I ordered something called the Trailer Park Hillbilly from the secret menu – and my life is forever changed for the better. Yaa me! :-)

Heaven, my friends...in taco form. :-)

Heaven, my friends…in taco form. :-)

 

I had a great meal at Bird Cafe (we tried a bit of everything on the menu – and I highly highly recommend the food), Cane Rosso (friggin’ delicious pizza), Carshon’s Deli (a really weird, old school deli with BLOODY AWESOME food – be sure to take cash, though, as they don’t accept credit cards)…but I didn’t get pictures of these places. However, I feel confident that I will visit them again someday, so….stay tuned, friends! :-)

 

When I come back to Fort Worth, I want to do the touristy things: the Stockyards, the zoo, the botanical gardens….there is SO MUCH to see and do here! I hope Fort Worth is on your mind – because it sure is on mine! I can’t wait to come back! 😉

xxx

 

Shaddap You Face

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Why some people think that it’s okay to express their opinions whether they are wanted or not is completely beyond me – I don’t get it. Personally, I wait until I’m asked to offer my little nuggets o’wisdom up – and if I’m not asked, I keep my mouth shut. Why? Because I’m not pompous enough to think that the rest of the world gives a shit about my opinions – I figure if they want/need to know, they will ask. Until then? I shut up and keep it to myself.

However, I have noticed over the years that I am amongst the minority with this one…very few people know how to be quiet and keep their opinions to themselves. I don’t get it – but it’s absolutely true. Everywhere I go these days, it seems that someone I encounter feels it is their God-given right to spout words about what I’m doing/wearing/eating/drinking/being…and it’s ridiculous. What made them think that this kind of behavior is okay? I somehow manage to resist the urge to comment on their appalling fashion choices or charisma-bypass procedure, so why can’t they shut up about the width of my arse/my lipstick color?I don’t get it.

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I believe in my heart that what other people think of me is absolutely NONE of my business. However, it kind of becomes my business when someone takes it upon themselves to tell me – and this is where things get tricky. Very rarely these days do people stop you to tell you how wonderful you are, or how clever and witty they think you are. I wish more of that happened – but sadly it does not. (NOTE: It totally should – there’s your homework assignment for today, friends – go find someone and tell them how wonderful you think they are. It’ll make their day. :-) ) Instead, what seems to be commonplace now is people giving you their unsolicited opinions about the things that you do wrong, or the things that they perceive to  be wrong with your appearance. Why? Many of them claim that they do this because they want to ‘help’ you – I call bullshit on that. They don’t want to help you. They want to somehow build themselves up by putting you down….and that is crap. All that this does is make you feel bad, and pretty much ruin your day. Gross.

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Instead of going around ruining each other’s days, why don’t we celebrate the things that make all of us unique? How about we focus on improving the quality of our own lives, doing the things that make us feel so awesome that we don’t need to put anyone else down? I’m so on board with this idea…let’s all give it a shot, and see if we can’t get a movement going. Here’s a list – 30 Small Things I Do Every Day That Improves the Quality of My Life – to get you started:

1. Drink a cup of coffee or tea. The caffeine will help to give you a much-needed boost – and it is pretty delicious too!
2. Wake up earlier. Set your alarm to go off quarter of an hour before you normally get up. This extra 15 minutes will help make your morning less stressful, and you will able to have a more organized and productive day.

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3. Clean out your email. Delete all of your spam emails and the ones you don’t need. Decluttering will make you more organized while helping you to keep on top of work.

4. Make a friend smile. Send them a funny video online, or text them to see how they are doing. Making someone else’s day is a sure-fire way to guarantee your day being great too.

5. Read the newspaper. Keeping up with world events will stimulate your mind and help you to gain new perspectives.
6. Hug someone you are close to. From your child to your partner to your sister, having a good old hug will improve your mood and mental state. This is also a great way to keep your relationships healthy and happy, too!

7. Have a quick tidy up if you have a few spare minutes. It will barely feel like tidying, but your mind will thank you for making the environment tidier and more pleasant.

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8. Write a diary entry or a blog post. Many people find writing cathartic, and it can help you to process your own emotions and feelings. This is also a great way to keep your brain sharp!

9. Smile at the first stranger you see. This will put a smile on their face and leave you feeling warm inside!

10. Raise your heart rate. From a brisk walk to a session in the gym, exercise stimulates your body and mind, leaving you feeling generally more energetic and improving your mood.

11. Take a walk. Being outside will raise your mood and it can calm you down if you are feeling stressed or worried.
12. Carry a bottle of water with you. Water is one of the best drinks for your body, and it will improve your health, your skin and your mind – perfect!

13. Look through old photographs. Reliving old memories will put a smile on your face, and you will feel grateful for the wonderful people in your life.

14. Write down three things you are thankful for each day. This will help you to appreciate all of the brilliant people and things you have in your life.

15. Put some laundry on. No-one likes doing laundry, but the feeling of accomplishment afterwards is much better for your mind than the negative feeling of putting it off.

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16. Read a chapter of a book you love, or a new book. This will help to both lift your mood and relax you – a twofer!
17. Have a meaningful conversation. After a day of work and chores, it is important to feel like your day was important and meaningful – and one of the easiest ways to do this is to sit down with someone interesting and chew the fat.

18. Listen to music. Put on an upbeat album you love, and after a few tracks you will notice yourself humming, smiling and dancing – all indicators of a great mood.

19. Light a candle when you get home from work. The appearance and smell of a candle will help you to relax and wind down.
20. Eat at least one healthy meal, with fruit and vegetables. The healthy food will give both your body and your mind energy – and you’ll feel great for choosing the healthy option.

21. Listen to something that makes you think. From the radio on the way home to a podcast you like, this will stimulate your brain and get your mind thinking about different things.

22. Do something nice for someone else. Mentally fulfilled people think about other’s needs as often as their own, and simply offering a co-worker a word of encouragement will help you to feel more positive.

23. Spend some time with the people you live with. From family to housemates, this will make you feel more connected to the people you share your life with – and it is a really fun way to wind down!

24. Have a drink you love with your lunch. Lunch can feel like a hurried affair, so make the effort to bring a drink you love to savour, whether that is a comforting latte or a healthy berry smoothie.

25. Do the washing up before you go to bed. The next morning will be much more pleasant and relaxed if you don’t have to start the day with yesterday’s chores.

26. Put on an outfit you love. If you feel great on the outside, you will start to feel pretty good on the inside too – trust me!
27. Speak to someone who lives far away. From your parents to a friend who moved away, this will make you feel proactive – and no doubt they will really appreciate you calling them!

28. Spend five minutes alone. If you feel life starting to get on top of you take a break and spend a minutes alone. After this reflection time you will feel noticeably calmer and more relaxed.

29. Take a long bath or shower before you sleep. You will go to bed feeling clean and relaxed, helping you to get a great night’s sleep.

30. Make sure you get eight hours sleep. Everything is more difficult and stressful when you’re tired – get a head start on this and make sure you are refreshed for a productive and fun day!

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Good list, eh? Thanks, Lifehack! I highlighted my favorites in bold, but I think the whole list is a pretty good one. I think that it has become too common in today’s world to shit all over the people around us as a way to make ourselves feel better…which is  the absolute stupidest thing ever. If we focused more on making our own lives rich and full of happiness, we wouldn’t feel the need to stick our noses into the goings on of others. You do you, and I do me. It’s a beautiful thing, friends….let’s try. :-)

xxx

 

PS: The next time you find yourself offering your unsolicited opinion to someone around you, stop and take a deep breath…think carefully about what you’re about to say. If your words could possibly hurt, just shaddup you face. 😉

 

Catch Up

Things have been majorly busy for me lately – the regular end-of-school-year stuff, combined with two coworkers with serious illnesses (and me covering their work during their absence), graduation, a birthday party for the Wee One, a broken arm for the Wee One :-(, and a work trip to Fort Worth for a week. Life has been a bit much lately (she says in the understatement of the year thus far)…here’s what’s been happening lately:

Living the life :-)

Living the life :-)

My little love....and her tiny broken right arm :-(

My little love….and her tiny broken right arm :-(

BooBoo at her Painting With a Twist birthday party!! :-)

BooBoo at her Painting With a Twist birthday party!! :-)

All the little girls and their finished products!! SUCH a great birthday party!! :-)

All the little girls and their finished products!! SUCH a great birthday party!! :-)

I took the Wee One to see Mamma Mia last week - the show was awesome, as was the bruschetta at the Hard Rock Cafe on the Riverwalk where we ate on our way to the show. Yum!

I took the Wee One to see Mamma Mia last week – the show was awesome, as was the bruschetta at the Hard Rock Cafe on the Riverwalk where we ate on our way to the show. Yum!

Lights along the Riverwalk :-)

Lights along the Riverwalk :-)

The Riverwalk in San Antonio :-)

The Riverwalk in San Antonio :-)

At Mamma Mia! So much fun!! :-)

At Mamma Mia! So much fun!! :-)

My new hobby - eating frozen yogurt for lunch :-) I highly recommend it!! :-)

My new hobby – eating frozen yogurt for lunch :-) I highly recommend it!! :-)

On my way to graduation at the AlamoDome...I survived announcing all of the student names onstage! Woohoo!!! :-)

On my way to graduation at the AlamoDome…I survived announcing all of the student names onstage! Woohoo!!! :-)

A fried egg sandwich from Halcyon in San Antonio....SO.GOOD. :-)

A fried egg sandwich from Halcyon in San Antonio….SO.GOOD. :-)

The Sugar Burger from Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth...unreal! Grilled peaches on top of a burger!! Who knew??! Delicious!! :-)

The Sugar Burger from Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth…unreal! Grilled peaches on top of a burger!! Who knew??! Delicious!! :-)

Awesome sushi from Blue Sake Sushi in Fort Worth....I heart sushi!! :-)

Awesome sushi from Blue Sake Sushi in Fort Worth….I heart sushi!! :-)

 

So….as you can see, things have been pretty action-packed around here lately. Thankfully my summer vacation time begins next week – yaa! I’m looking forward to taking time for myself, spending as much time as possible with the Wee One, working around my house, sitting on my arse, and catching up on all of the things that I have ignored for the entire school year. I’m excited!!! :-) How’s your summer going so far, friends?

xxx

Jealousy

I hate feeling jealous. I hate the fact that somebody else has something that I don’t (but that I apparently want badly enough to feel the feels), and I hate feeling resentment towards other people. Life is too damn short, friends. However, I feel jealous of other people all the damn time – and I’ve got to work on this. How do you handle the green-eyed monster?

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I am a regular reader of Gala Darling’s site, and I like (and agree with) a lot of what she has to say. She recently posted about the common phenomenon of women not feeling happy for other women – which is somethat I find troubling. I know that there have been times when others have shared their good news with me and I have been anything but happy….which is very shitty of me. I should never begrudge someone else’s joy simply because that particular ship hasn’t come in for me – how small-minded and petty of me. Ick. I know better. Read what Gala said about this:

I’ve been thinking a lot about business frenemies. There are a lot of people who seem to be on your team on an everyday basis, but when things get really good, it’s fascinating to see how things unravel.

One of the easiest frenemy tests is to see how people respond when you tell them some amazing news. It’s not just whether they are happy for you or not. Their response can be one of four categories: passive destructive (they ignore the news), active destructive (they diminish the news), passive constructive (they acknowledge the news half-heartedly), or active constructive (they engage wholeheartedly). It’s a fascinating topic.

Feeling jealous or envious of another woman’s success is an indication of your subconscious beliefs. If you feel slighted when someone else does well, that shows that you have a mindset of scarcity. You believe that if she is successful, you can’t be. It indicates that you think there is not enough money, opportunity, customers, love, or attention to go around.

I believe the opposite. I believe that when my sister succeeds, knocks it out of the park, or has a massive professional triumph, that lifts all of us higher!

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Jealousy can be a gift: it shows us what we want from our own lives. Sometimes what we want is buried so far beneath the surface that jealousy is the only thing that coaxes it out. Let’s be real though — jealousy never feels like a gift. It feels like hell. And it doesn’t just feel bad: it keeps us stuck.

Obsessing over what someone else is doing is a distraction. You can’t move your own life forward when you’re constantly looking over your shoulder to see what everyone else is up to. In order to change your life and move dramatically onward, you need to enlist laser focus and stay on your grind!

Society tells us to be in constant competition with each other. Who’s skinniest? Who’s wealthiest? Who’s got a more perfect-looking life? None of that stuff matters. While we’re busy squabbling amongst ourselves, we’re still earning 70 cents to every dollar a man gets for the same work. Let’s not kid ourselves: we have bigger problems than who can fit into a smaller dress size.

As I say in my book…

“We are constantly being taught to see women as competition, rather than people who need you and can make your life better. Make the mental leap, and fuck the status quo! We are so much more powerful when we’re together!” — Radical Self Love: A Guide to Loving Yourself and Living Your Dream

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The key to getting unstuck in your own life is to learn how to become wildly excited for your friend’s success. Recognise that there is no lack, no scarcity: if she can do it, so can you! Use your jealousy and see what it’s telling you. Ask yourself what you can learn from what your friend did. Success is never about “luck”: it’s a result of knowledge and concerted effort. Those things are totally within reach!

When you can be happy when you see other women who are slaying it, you know that you’re on the right track.

Remember, too, that you never know exactly what is going on in someone’s life. They may be getting married but their career is a wreck; their mother might be terminally ill; they may be dealing with a crisis of faith underneath that perfectly-applied red lipstick.

Have compassion for others as well as for yourself. You are exactly where you need to be, right in this moment. Accept all of that, and recommit yourself to your dreams!

I love you (and I’m cheering for you!)

 

 

I really really love this: Jealousy can be a gift: it shows us what we want from our own lives. This is so profound I can hardly stand it…it’s one of those things that hit me like a ton of bricks. If this is the case, then here are the things that I want: a happy and fulfilling relationship, more time with my Wee One, more time away from work to do the things that I enjoy doing…and just more pleasure and happiness in my life. I guess it all comes down to this simple idea: I want more of what I want to do, and less of what I have to do. Pretty simple, yes? These are the things that I envy in other people – those who have nothing but time to do what they fancy, those who have every day of their life surrounded by people who love them…that’s what I want. I mostly feel happy for the joy of others these days, but…I have the odd moment where I am left thinking, ‘Why them? Why not me?’ I should be thinking, ‘Why not them! Maybe someday me!’ and be happy about their success, instead of wondering when it will be my turn. Because it will, you know…someday it will be my turn to get all of those things that I want most out of life. Someday. :-)

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Thinkin’ About You

I subscribe to the Lifehack newsletter, and get all sorts of gems from them each day – this is one of my recent favorites. If you’ve been reading ’round these parts for awhile, you will know that I care very little what other people think of me – I figure that it’s none of my business. Instead, I try every day to be a brave little toaster, to forge my own path, and to just go on with my bad self. Here’s some words of wisdom I wanted to share with you about that:

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  1. “The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.” ― Virginia Woolf

  2. “A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up.” ― Mae West
  3. “You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.” ― Richard P. Feynman
  4. “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”—Lao Tzu
  5. “Never dull your shine for somebody else.” ― Tyra Banks (Preach that one, Ms Tyra!!!!)

  6. “If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that… I believe in what I do, and I’ll say it.” ― John Lennon
  7. “I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.” ― Michel de Montaigne
  8. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”— Dr. Seuss
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  10. “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. “― Suzy Kassem
  11. “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”— Oscar Wilde
  12. “Some people say, “Never let them see you cry.” I say, if you’re so mad you could just cry, then cry. It terrifies everyone.” ― Tina Fey
  13. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”— Albert Einstein
  14. “Some people say you are going the wrong way, when it’s simply a way of your own.”— Angelina Jolie
  15. “I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all.”— Coco Chanel (Love this!!!)
  16. “Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what.” ― Erma Bombeck
  17. “There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.” ― Marianne Williamson
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  19. “Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.” ― Cynthia Kersey

  20. “No name-calling truly bites deep unless, in some dark part of us, we believe it. If we are confident enough then it is just noise.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton
  21. “When it comes down to it, I let them think what they want. If they care enough to bother with what I do, then I’m already better than them.” ― Marilyn Monroe
  22. “Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.” ― Tina Fey
  23. I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.” ― Charlotte Brontë

  24. “I want to be around people that do things. I don’t want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people that dream and support and do things.” ― Amy Poehler (YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  25. “You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.” ― Olin Miller
  26. “There is nothing more attractive than confidence, once she sees her own beauty, everyone else will.” ― Habeeb Akande
  27. “Few and mean as my gifts may be, I actually am, and do not need for my own assurance or the assurance of my fellows any secondary testimony.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
  28. “People who repeatedly attack your confidence and self-esteem are quite aware of your potential, even if you are not.” ― Wayne Gerard Trotman
  29. “So many people along the way, whatever it is you aspire to do, will tell you it can’t be done. But it all it takes is imagination. You dream. You plan. You reach.”― Michael Phelps
  30. “Well, laddie, if you’ve let an old buzzard like me hurt your confidence, you couldn’t have had much in the first place.” ― Tamora Pierce

  31. “Most people just want to see you fall, that’s more reason to stand tall.” ― Emma Michelle
  32. “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” ― Aristotle
  33. “He thinks himself rather an exceptional young man, thoroughly sophisticated, well adjusted to his environment, and somewhat more significant than any one else he knows.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald
  34. “When I was growing up I always wanted to be someone. Now I realize I should have been more specific.” ― Lily Tomlin
  35. “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” ― Sigmund Freud
  36. “My dear, I don’t give a damn.” ― Margaret Mitchell

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Aren’t these fabulous?? I think so, too! Give ’em a read, go over the list a second and third time, and let those words soak into that beautiful brain of yours. Good stuff! :)

xxx

Glory Days

AMC’s brilliant “Mad Men” ended on Sunday night…and man, will I miss that show. What did you think of the finale? I like that it ended rather open-ended (although not as wide open as the ending of “The Soprano’s”, which only served to piss me off), but yet tied up a number of the storylines with bows on top. I will forever love Joan, Peggy, and even Betty doesn’t grate on my nerves like she used to…and I will certainly miss my weekly hour spent with Don Draper. There was so much good about this show, something so beautiful about the glory days of a nation coming in to its own…I will miss it.

When you look back on your life, what time period do you identify as your ‘glory days’? I know a lot of people who thought that their best times were in high school or college. That’s great, I’m glad that they enjoyed the experience – but holy hell am I ever glad that I am not one of those people. High school was okay for me, for the most part (not the early part, but the latter years), but I sure as hell hope that wasn’t as good as it gets. I think – HOPE! – my glory days are now – I’m happier in my work than I’ve ever been, I’m a deliriously happy mama and can’t imagine a moment of my days without my Wee One, and I think perhaps I’m on the cusp on finding the happiness that I’ve long sought. Things are starting to feel differently for me lately – I feel like things are coming together, and maybe life isn’t as hard as it used to be. I hope that this is a sign of things to come, rather than a one-off fluke thing. I am not struggling as hard as I always have, and while I can’t say that things are coming easily, I can certainly acknowledge that life has been considerably more peaceful lately. It’s been great….and I’m hoping for more good times. :-) I feel like I’ve earned them!

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I’ve not been able to pinpoint exactly what it is that is feeling different, but there is certainly something going on with me lately. I’m feeling so much more at ease with myself…and it is friggin’ LIBERATING! I read this article on self-acceptance, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you:

There’s nothing wrong with you.


Let me repeat that statement one more time so you can take it in more fully: There’s nothing wrong with you.


How does that concept make you feel? Maybe it filled you with a sense of relief … it affirmed that you’re okay and that made you feel better. Or, maybe your mind flat-out rejected the idea, saying something like “Baloney! There are lots of things wrong with me … you don’t know me and you don’t know what you’re talking about!” Perhaps it was a blend of these responses or something else entirely. 


There’s nothing wrong with you.


What does that statement even mean? So many of us are walking around in life feeling broken or weary or wounded in some way … thinking we’re not good enough or we’re not worthy enough. We count up our faults and use them as evidence that we’re defective. We work on improving ourselves, certain we must reject who we are to become the person we’re capable of being. We’re looking for the fix to make everything better. But what if … I urge you to open your mind to this idea for just a moment … what if there’s nothing really wrong with you after all?


Our bodies may not be functioning at 100% … I’m not denying the existence of illness. Yet, our bodies are not “who we are” … they are the vessels that carry our souls in this life on earth.


Who we are … who we truly are … arrived on earth with everything we need for our life journey. We came complete … whole … there was nothing wrong with us from day one. And, nothing we can do can change that.


Can our behaviors be wrong? Yes – they can, for instance, it is wrong to deliberately hurt another person. Can our thinking be wrong? Well, I’m not sure “wrong” is the correct word, but certainly we can perceive things in a way that brings us stress instead of peace. Still, who you are at your core is who you are meant to be, and in that sense, there’s nothing wrong with you.

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WHY IS SELF-ACCEPTANCE SO IMPORTANT?
I find that when we really love and accept and approve of ourselves exactly as
we are, then everything in life works. ~ Louise Hay


Self-acceptance doesn’t mean you don’t want to change. Quite the contrary, it often leads to dramatic change as you give up the limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors that you’d adopted trying to be someone you’re not. The secret to finding the happiness and peace you seek in your life is not in trying to figure out what’s wrong with you; instead, your aim is to explore the truth of who you really are.


Perhaps this analogy might help. Imagine your vision is getting blurry so you go to the eye doctor and get a prescription for new pair of glasses. A mistake is made in the lab and the actual lenses you receive are far too strong; the glasses not only make your vision worse, they give you headaches. You realize the problem so you go back and get the prescription that is correct for you. With these new lenses, the world appears sharper, crisper, and more beautiful. You see the world around you more clearly. All I have to do today is be myself — because I am more than good enough.


Self-acceptance is like putting on that wonderful new pair of glasses with the perfect prescription for you. You see every action and thought you have in a new light … the way it really is rather than how you’d once imagined the world to be (the world you saw through the lenses that weren’t right for you .. the world that gave you headaches!). Little by little, you’re able to let go of past patterns … pretense falls away … you embrace the authentic you. You accept yourself, you love yourself, and your world becomes rich with a sense of peace and happiness that may have alluded you for years.


We are constantly invited to be who we are. ~ Henry David Thoreau


There is nothing wrong with you. Know this and live your life being true to you. If you’ve not listened to your inner guidance for a while, it may take time to get reacquainted with the true you, but I promise, the “journey to you” will be worth the effort!

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I know it’s kind of new age-y and hippie-ish, but…there are some really good points in there. You are good enough – and so am I. We can make minor improvements because we want to, but we sure as hell don’t have to. There is nothing we HAVE to do but be our true, awesome selves…it IS enough. I love that. :-)

I have 6 tattoos (somehow that sounds really shocking and like it is a lot when I say it, but they don’t appear that way in real life), and I want 3 more: “To thine own self be true” on my back, “Let it be” somewhere (I’d like the inside of a wrist, but I’m not 100% certain on that one), and the Latin phrase “Satis sum” somewhere on me as well – it means “I am enough”. Because I am enough. So are you. :-)

Don’t you love it? I do, too. :-)

 

xxx