Friday, September 23, 2011

 "Everything you’ve experienced is stored in your body at a cellular level. Each cell is a record of all of it. I’ve felt it in your skin. Being born. Being held. The time you fell off your bike and weren’t that hurt but very scared. That brutal sunburn on your shoulders at 14. The time you fell out of a tree and broke your collarbone. The first time you felt deeply loved. The person who hurt you so badly you thought you were broken for good. Your muscles remember it. They remember it like it happened 10 minutes ago."
-Kate Batolotta
It's funny to think of our physical body as having a memory, but the more I think about it the more I know it must be true. I think our bodies must have a clearer picture of the past than our minds. When we are afraid our bodies react, based on instinct or maybe based on remembrance of the pain something caused before. In our minds we rationalize, we hesitate. Our minds are cloudy with not just actions but thoughts and emotions about actions. Nothing ever comes out exactly the way it went in. Our bodies are just as they appear. What we've given what we've taken from it. It shows the neglect and abuse, it shows the care and love we put in. Our minds twist the good and turn it to bad as well as taking the bad and convincing us it can be good.
When I was growing up Mama had a Christmas ornament that, any time I looked at it, I felt like I would throw up. I'm not exaggerating. It made me physically ill just to see it. I have no idea why this is. My brain has no recollection of anything bad that happened in reference to this ornament, but my body remembered something. I always made Mama put it on the back of the tree. When I became an adult there was finally a Christmas when Mama pulled it out of the box to put on the tree and I took it down and threw it away. Yet another fallacy of the brain. What took me so long to realize I could remove the culprit causing the problem when my body had been telling me it was bad all this time?
I can look at every scar on my body, every mark and tell a story. The lines from where I wore my wedding ring won't go away either. Stretch marks from being pregnant, I wouldn't even want to give those up I don't think. My body tells a story of me that I can't tell. The muscle in my left arm, that is bigger than my right from carrying trays in restaurants years ago, remembers how hard I worked when so much of it seemed like play. The pain that comes and goes almost daily now across the back of my neck and shoulders remembers how much emotion I can handle in my head and in my heart and takes one for the team not allowing the emotion to surface when it's too much. The jiggles, well pretty much everywhere, tell you I'd really much rather give into my vices and enjoy every moment in the moment instead of considering the consequences.
I know that my body remembers my childhood. We lived out in the country and didn't have big tvs or video games or cable. We spent a lot of time outside, we gardened, we hiked through the woods, we played in the creek. We were outdoor kids even when we didn't want to be honestly. Now, while you probably wouldn't expect to see me hiking much and I'm positive I'm not planning on getting in a creek anytime soon without cement shoes, there is nothing that can change my whole outlook on life like a walk in the sun. My body remembers. I like the smell of freshly cut grass, I even like the smell of a skunk spray, when you pick it up through your car window as you are driving by. If that's not an involuntary remembrance, I certainly don't know what is!
My body aches when it's time to ache, cries when it's time to cry, and belly laughs and picks me up when it's time to enjoy life. It's so involuntary, more and more so as I get older.
I think our bodies remember what our mind cannot or possibly what our mind doesn't realize it should. It remembers and reacts, without hesitation.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm sitting here trying to think of something to write today and having a hard time putting anything on paper. Wait, I mean on screen. Paper. . . that was funny.
It isn't as if I don't have thoughts floating around in my head. Actually floating isn't an appropriate description. More like squishing around on top of each other like a pound of worms in a half pound container. So issue number one is actually untangling them into any kind of stream of thought that makes sense. Issue two is finding the ones that anyone else would want to read.
I could tell you how weight conscious I feel this week and how I wish that just for once in my life I could be one of those people that was just born the perfect size and never had to worry about it. But what good would that conversation be? It's not what is or what's going to be. Weight is my albatross. I accept it and every other day, or maybe every third day, I work at controlling it.
I could tell you how aggravated I get at myself for letting my past mistakes get me down and that I tend to beat myself up over regret. But then I'd just have to tell myself to get up and move on. "Put your big girl panties on Heather!" There I said it 1st, just in case anyone else wanted to! The only thing saying "regret" out loud does for me is remind me how stupid it is and what a waste of time and energy it is.
Of course I could also tell you what amazing children I have and how proud I am of them! They are so smart and so resilient. I'm amazed by them everyday! Even now as we are going through our family "reorganization" they just take things as they come and are so sweet and understanding to their father and to me. They never look to blame or accuse even when it makes their lives different than they may want them to be. They love us unconditionally. He and I could stand to learn from that.
I could also tell you that I feel good about the progress I am making in my life. It certainly is up and down. I don't think I've allowed my self emotions much at all until now so somedays they certainly get the better of me. But I throw my tantrums and then I calmly put myself back together and try to learn something from it. It's taking time but I may finally be figuring out who I want to be. I'm proud of that.
Then there are all the little tadpoles swimming in between the worms that are just the things I need to get done each day. Homework, laundry, cooking, bills, birthday parties. Oh and I need to go see my Grandmother really badly but haven't quite figured out when to fit that in! But none of this means much to anyone but me because who doesn't have them, nibbling away at your time and even at your brain as the constant thought of needing to get them done steals time from what you are doing, right? So who wants to read about that in someone else's life?
So here I am again without much to say, all evidence to the contrary. There are other thoughts up there too. Thoughts about things I want, about things I'd like to change, about things I'd like to happen. Most that you wouldn't find very interesting. Maybe a couple that you would, but my mother reads this blog so we're gonna have to skip those too.
I guess I'll have to leave it at this today. Just another normal yet crazy day in my head and me hoping that the good vs. bad thought battle stays even enough just to keep it from popping off my shoulders!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I let myself take a major dip in spirit this week. I don't know why I allow it to happen and what's worse I think I push it. It is as if once I start the downward spiral I am not happy until I hit the bottom. Talk about your stupid compulsions!? Couldn't I just be addicted to speed or something instead? Then I'd be thin and maybe my house would be clean? Instead my eyes are just puffy, red, and a little more wrinkled. Nice.
However, I don't ever let my binges last long and I can pull myself out of them generally just as quickly as I push myself in. Self Abuser / Self Healer. I think I'll get a business card. So as I began my healing process today I actually got in some exercise, which I'm very excited about! I know it's just once but I'm saying it's a beginning. I mean really, I'm pretty good at beginnings so go with what you know right? Celebrate your successes, I say! I can DO beginnings. Middles and endings weeeelllll.... not so much. But you see, one cannot have a middle or end without a beginning so I’m still on the right track! I’ve had a couple of other positive things happen this week and I’m feeling confident. Monday I considered writing that I was a fraud and a failure and that I was done with the whole thing, but I cannot give up or give in! I will not be beaten!
So enough of the cheerleader blah blah blah. I have to admit something else and I truly want to say it out loud. I do not love being PTA, Daisy, all around involved Mom. I do it. I will continue to do it. I will smile when I do it. I do not like it. Now seriously ,I love my daughters. I love spending time with them, playing with them, laughing with them. I do not like organized. . . um organized... organized ANYTHING!! Religion, sports, children’s play groups. I don’t like them. They expect me to show up when I say I will, expect me to participate no matter what my mood, and worse, expect me to care. Who came up with this idea. It wasn’t a mother. I am as sure of that as I am sure that a woman did not design high heels. Because teaching our children hygiene, how to clean their rooms, how to load the dishwasher, helping them with their homework, cooking dinner, doing laundry, and for most of us WORKING, all that just wasn’t enough. We needed extra curricular activities and Moms to volunteer! Well I hate it! There I’ve said it. . . now I have to wrap this blog up because I have to be at the school in the morning to lead the class in Math Superstars before I go to work.
Send me motivating thoughts my way at about 5:45am. I’d love to think I could exercise two days in a row, and as the little boy in Angels in the Outfield says “It could happen.”

Monday, September 12, 2011

I cried for my loss today.
And people all over the world cried for a loss that is beyond a reach I can fathom,
but I cried for my loss today.

Somewhere a child lost a blanket or a bear and cried themselves to sleep for the loss that was more than they could bear,
While others cried out for healing that still won’t come in a world that no longer fosters healing.
And I cried for my loss today.

Someone held the hand of loved one, searching for reason in sickness and death, crying for experiences that will never be, loves that will never be, life that will no longer be
yet still
I cried for my loss today.

I look up to God and I thank him for what I’ve been given and I ask for peace, not only for myself but for those affected in my life. And I pray for guidance and love for those I have hurt and those that have hurt me. I steady fight within my own being to move forward, appreciating life as it is given and I look the past as if it could be a beacon leading me on to a new day, a new life.
And I cried for my loss today.

I remember others’ pain and I try to imagine it, knowing that my life if beautiful and full compared to so many.
I ask a God that I am confused and conflicted by to care for others, heal others, forgive me in hopes that my cries will find their way to a healing ear, knowing that others deserve more than I in this world so filled with despair and anguish, wishing my selfishness could somehow disappear and I could rise to a new daybreak knowing that life is a gift and even the pain that comes with it is a gift of feeling that some have lost along the way.

However I look at myself and I know that I cannot wish my angst away and I cannot drown it in the angst of others. I have to face it dead on and give it the attention that it screams for
So again I stopped
And I cried for my loss today.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's been a different weekend for me. My children spent the first weekend with their father and his girlfriend in their house. Change is such a scary thing, I don't care how much you think you want it or you really know it's the best thing... it scares the hell out of me anyway! Guess I can't speak for anyone but me. I'm sure there are people out there that can truly just flow with whatever life throws their way. They look at it, see the positives, move forward. I HATE THOSE PEOPLE. "People are always telling me that change is good. But all that means is something you didn't want to happen has happened." - Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail.
Of course I do recognize my need to embrace it. I also recognize the fact that I am the kind of person who would stay in a bad but comfortable situation rather than move on into a situation that, while difficult, will be better and make me happier in the long run. It's hard to understand how you know something like this about yourself  but continue to operate in the same manner. "Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become." I love that thought. However at my age and in my position it is a little hard to convince myself that there is something else that I can become. Wasn't I supposed to be what I was going to be by now? Or maybe we are always evolving and we are never a finished product. "The first step towards change is awareness. The second step is acceptance." - Nathaniel Branden
The truth of my life right now is that I have to accept the change that is happening. And the harder truth is I have to see the good in it, take that and turn it the ability to continue to evolve into a better person daily. "The great thing is, if one can, to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions in ones own or real life. The truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one's life." - C.S. Lewis.
So the lesson in change is that every step is just your life as it was meant to be played. Somehow the word change connotes an event that wasn't meant to happen has happened and you now have to adapt. However maybe the truth of the universe is that there isn't really "change" at all, only continuance.
"Life is change, growth is optional. Choose wisely."
So I think I am deciding to say, as of today, my life isn't changing. I am growing. I will work to accept the evolution of my life and the never ending growth that the world forces on me. I cannot promise I will always like it but I will accept it and use it to my advantage somehow.

*** forgive all the quotes today, but I felt they told my story better than I could alone.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Comfortable In Your Own Skin

"You know her - She is that friend who always looks fabulous. And it's not only the colors she wears or the mix of patterns that just works or the necklace that no one else you know can pull off. what she really has is something you can't get at the mall - confidence. She's strong, she's sexy, and she buys only what she loves. Simply put, she looks good because she feels good. And you can channel her style with a little help from fall's best new clothes."

This was an add in the Ladies Home Journal. What does it say to you? This is what it says to me: "Look at her, she's perfect. You wish you could be her but you can't. She's better than you will ever be and you know it. But spend some money and we will try to help you look like her because addressing your level of confidence and how you feel about yourself is a waste of time. Let us help you pretend to be someone else so that no one can tell on the inside you are miserable. But whatever you do... don't just try to be yourself!"

I mean really! First of all clothes do not make the woman. They may make the man because there isn't much else he can do with himself ( I know, cheap shot) but they do not make the woman. The initial description of the woman is wonderful. She chooses who she is and because she feels good it radiates to others. But why in the world would a women's magazine tell us that we can't be this too?!

Being comfortable in your own skin is something that I don't even think some people understand. It is exactly why these kinds of ads exist. Because there are people out there that don't understand why anyone would just want to be, dress, choose what they like for themselves! We should all want to be someone else. It's infuriating actually.  It's telling us not to like who we are, but to like that girl over there and who she is better, because THAT is the way to make yourself feel good. Are you kidding me?? I personally do have a strong opinion about how I want to look and it does make me feel a certain way when I do or don't accomplish it. But then I see those women that appear not to care at all, they are earthy as can be, for lack of a better description, and the confidence they exude is amazing. And I find them beautiful though I think I could never pull off that look without just looking dirty. So it's obviously not the look at all. Arthur Rubenstein said "I have found that if you love life, it loves you back. It's all about attitude." So how do you love life? Love yourself!

Now I am not saying that I am this person everyday. It's hard to feel strong and confident all the time. I fight it everyday! BUT I will not let a magazine that claims to be the best advice for women tell me that I cannot be strong and confident but it will gladly help me dress like the woman that is!