Archive for the ‘panic’ Category
So how am I doing on the path of Health At Every Size? Size acceptance? Self love?
If you had asked me a few months ago I would have said I’m doing fine…just a little concerned about some weight gain. Because isn’t weight gain always a concern?! Weight has been a concern since childhood.
Then I lost the scale. And I was frantic. I knew it was in the bedroom somewhere. Jim had cleaned out under the bed and didn’t replace everything exactly as it was. So the scale was lost somewhere under there with the containers of gift wrap and Jim’s workout clothes.
I told Jim he had to find it. “Because if I don’t have the scale how do I know whether to hate myself?”
I laughed. I always laugh and make jokes. Even when I don’t feel like it. Better to laugh at myself or the situation than let someone do it first or to feel uncomfortable.
But something inside me stopped because I knew I wasn’t joking. How can I exist without knowing the exact number on the scale on any given day?!
Hate myself. Did I really hate myself because of a number? On a scale? Was one pound either way worth hateful feelings? Would I hate my family or friends for the number on the scale? Of course not! Their numbers don’t matter! But mine…
I thought I was farther along in the HAES journey. I thought I was long passed the scale-as-judge phase. But I wasn’t. I had started weighing myself again because of the weight gain. My rheumatologist told me to watch the weight. My internist suggested weight loss surgery. Of course my mind has been on the scale! That damn number…
I’m trying to get over the number. I’m trying not to weigh myself. I want to throw away the scale…but I can’t. I don’t know why I’m hanging on to it.
That’s where I am. Stuck trying to go beyond the scale but still watching over my shoulder to make sure I don’t get to far away from it. I understand that this is something a lot of people experience. I’ve been told it’s hard to get over the years and years of accumulated messages about weight loss and death fat. Still, I thought I was further along…
I wasn’t even going to write about this. I thought no one needed to hear my whining. Then I saw Golda Poretsky’s TED Talk on weight. It inspired me to share my stumble. Just in case any of you are feeling the same way.
Because we really are more than a number on a scale. We really are people and not just bodies. It really is inside that matters. And weight does not equal health.
If you’re struggling, talk to me. If you’re not struggling any more, talk to me. If you don’t think you’re gorgeous, talk to me–because you are dammit!
We hear it all the time, blondes have more fun. Well, I’m now blonde and I haven’t been having any fun. I’m just living life and feeling very…exposed.
I decided to go blonde because my grey/white outgrowth (I once worked with a former hairdresser who became quite agitated when I referred to it as “roots” and stressed that it was “outgrowth”) has been disturbing me. Dark reddish hair…with a skunk stripe. Not very attractive, really. When Kelly suggested going blonde, I thought it was brilliant. It would solve the problem.
I had visions of a nice golden cascade of hair. The grey would be camouflaged. I would be lovely.
I do have blonde hair. But it has a yellow tone I wasn’t expecting. Because the hair had been dyed so dark, the previous color had to be lifted. It’s actually a cool color…that would seem appropriate for a starlet or a teenager.
But on me, I just feel exposed. Suddenly, I realize I had been hiding for years. Going grey meant I was invisible. No one pays attention to old women. Then I went dark again and it was still safe.
Now I feel like people are looking at me. Looking. Judging.
Plus, I’m not having fun. My cousin Keri told me I have to make my own fun. Frankly, I’m to tired. And irritable. It’s been a rocky time in KlineLand. Yes, SusieLand might be a sunny happy place, but KlineLand is filled with angst.
I’m looking for ways to have fun. Any suggestions?! Plus I need a new lipstick to go with the new hair…
No one can make me…feel bad about myself if I don’t let them. We’ve all heard the Eleanor Roosevelt quote before. But sometimes, I confess, I let them get to me. This week, particularly, I had one of those triggering moments.
What is a triggering moment? It’s the moment when something happening in the here and now throws you right back into the past. Usually the event is a negative one, which is why survivors of rape or abuse or other horrible past events try to avoid these triggers at all costs. The event may have happened eons ago, but the emotions and the reactions to the memory seem like they are happening in current life. That’s why articles about strong emotional topics often come with a “triggering event ahead” messages.
The memory this week came from left field. It happened while reading the article about the small town girl who is elected to the Homecoming Court as a prank by her fellow classmates.
In a flash, I was back in high school. Sitting in religion class, with the priest in the front of the classroom. I sit on the right hand side of the room and I can see the boys on the other side of the room snickering. I hear the dreaded words and know that they’re talking about nominating me for prom queen as a joke. Because I am fat. And loud. And obnoxious. Honestly, I don’t know if the last two reasons applied, but it was definitely for the first.
In my mind I see Father J. realizing something is going on, but not doing anything about it. After all, fat girls who are being picked on deserve it. I mean, I dared to be fat! Even as I write this, I feel that horror and sadness all over again. Of course, at the time I laughed it off and turned the other cheek.
But I didn’t go to prom. I never felt safe in high school. In a Catholic high school it was clear that my emotional needs weren’t a concern. Don’t get me wrong, this was the 1980s and people weren’t that concerned about mental health in teenagers.
Horror and sadness weren’t the only emotions I felt that day. There was also hope. Hope that after being in school together for so many years, that someone realized I was beautiful underneath it all. That I was worthy of a crown and a scepter and a sash. (I don’t know if the prom queen actually got those things, but in my day dreams she does.) I wanted some validation and some reassurance that the rest of my life wasn’t going to be full of taunts and teasing.
For me the triggering moment passed rather quickly. Because I am beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, I was a lot more beautiful when I was 18, golden haired and youthful. There was no “underneath it all.” Still, knowing what I know now, almost 30 years later, I can be swept to that sad place in an instant. I still wait for the taunts.
I know no one can make me feel bad about myself if I don’t let them, but sometimes I accidentally let them.
Quick! What’s the quintessential worst Mother’s Day gift?! If you guessed an appliance, you’re right!
But last week I saw a major online retailer pushing vacuums for Mother’s Day!
Good God! What if my family sees these ads and thinks a vacuum cleaner is a grand Mother’s Day present?! The horror!
Last year, I gave my men a detailed list, complete with links for the things I wanted for Mother’s Day. They did good. I got a camera bag and the knitting needles I wanted. Yay!
This year I am winging it because there’s really nothing I want. Well, that can be bought. I toyed with the idea of the Cricut, and have received sales notices for some great deals. But I’m still not convinced I need one. OK, I know I don’t need one. Will I use one?! That’s the magic question.
The last time my birthday was on a Saturday, we spent the day at the twins’ baseball game. I yakked with the moms. Then the team sang “Happy Birthday” to me. I want to go back there. To that exact day. I want all the family angst to be over and everyone happy and loving. I want us all to go to Lou Malnati’s afterwards, sunburned and hot, tired, but happy.
I know I’m not supposed to yearn for the past. But sometimes I do…
All I know is I’d better not get a vacuum cleaner or any cleaning appliance this weekend. Or you’ll be reading about me on Yahoo news Monday morning. It won’t be pretty…
Yes, it happened to me. Despite my casual comments of, “oh, hair! It grows back!”
Despite cheerful memories of a long-ago roommate crying in the bathroom over too short bangs.
Despite my diligent preparation which included trolling the internet and Pinterest for the perfect haircut.
See, this was going to be a special hair cut. My coming out hair cut, as it were.
I’ve been in a funk for many months. The fall and winter were not kind seasons in KlineLand and drama ensued. I sunk lower and lower and lower. Then I started feeling better.
And my long hair just wasn’t cutting it. I needed something with spunk and spark! Something fun and perky!
What did I get? Old lady short. Yep, I ended up with the same haircut I had a year ago when I cut off all my color. Except this time there was no reason behind the shearing. Except for stylist…ineptitude?!
The nearsighted are entirely at the mercy of their stylist. When those glasses come off, we are just a mere blur in the mirror. We trust in God and the one wielding the scissors to do us good.
For me, it’s usually a good thing. This time: not so much.
So what did I do when it was over and I was presented with the shock of my shorn scalp? I smiled politely, muttered something about it being awfully short, agreed that the back was indeed “cute,” let myself be lured into making a follow-up appointment in six weeks and left. To cry in the van, tugging at my short hair, much like that long ago roommate. [FYI I didn't actually cry. It's hair, after all. But I did stare at myself in the mirror for several moments muttering, "what the f***?" Over and over.]
I saw no graceful way to communicate my dismay at the 1-inch pieces of hair on my head. It was over. Done. The hair can’t be glued back on. I smiled, paid, left, and beat myself up for not telling her the hair cut sucked. I certainly didn’t brandish the picture in her face while shrieking, “where’s the long top and wispy nape?!” Oh, in my mind I did.
What I will do is not return to her as my stylist. And since the salon seems to be close knit, I probably can’t return to the salon either. Even though there are hair stylists there who have done me well in the past.
This is where my inner good girl screws me over every time. I state my dismay or question something, and the person on the other end gets upset, defensive. I end up apologizing for upsetting them and feeling bad for causing trouble. It even happened recently here on my own blog! The person in the comments called me “jaded” and I folded like a bad poker hand!
Apparently, as my hair grows back I need to also grow a spine. Because I smile and walk away, and passive aggressively write blog posts and refuse to return to her for another hair cut. Instead of politely letting her know I wasn’t pleased with the results.
What would you do? How would you handle this situation? Would you say something? Do you really think saying something would help? Advice please!
There’s a storm abrewin’ over Pinterest and its Term of Use.
Were you like me and automatically agreed without reading a single word of the document? Honestly, just seeing paragraph after paragraph of words on the computer screen containing legal jargon makes me dizzy. It also uses up valuable time–that I could have been using to pin.
My first quibble with Pinterest was when I faced my addiction. I had to give up my nightly pin-fest and limited myself to one single night. If I came across something of interest on the web during the week, I used the handy dandy pin it add on for Chrome. It does a nice job of linking the thing of interest with the original website where I found it.
My second quibble with Pinterest was that everyone started using it. I liked it better before it was so mainstream! Why? I felt like I was in a special club or something. I mean, I needed an invitation!
But what about right now? Do we, the regular Pinterest users without law degrees have to be worried?
I’m a stickler for pinning things with the link to the original post. Otherwise, Pinterest is useless, right? If I find a link with a picture good enough to eat and I want to make that recipe, I better find a link to that recipe when I click. Sometimes I’ll find the picture and a link to the general website. Then I will hunt down the recipe belonging to the picture on the site and add the direct link in the comments section. You’re welcome. I’m giving like that.
I’ve only pinned a few pieces of my own work. I thought the idea behind Pinterest was not to share or promote your own work. So I don’t have to worry about Pinterest absconding with my digital art and getting rich with it. I think.
I’m having nightmares of me being the sole person sued in Pinterest-Gate. They’ll (yes, the elusive “they”) will choose to use me as an example. All because I pinned like a crazy woman and someone else abused it! I don’t want to go to Pinterest jail!
What about you? Are you concerned? Had you heard anything about this before my post? Have you deleted your account or are you considering it?
I’m still on the fence. I don’t want to lose all that I pinned, but I also don’t want to get sued. And since I can’t find any clear-cut safety net as a user, I’m getting closer to deleting…
The hardest part of being a parent is losing control. Sure, when our children are little things are easy. They might misbehave, but since you control the environment, they can’t get into to much mischief. Mothers of toddlers sport eagle eyes…ready to pounce on anything that could possible harm our children.
Then the kids get older and leave the nest. Off to school they go where they are influenced by teachers and friends. We trust that the school will protect them from any great harm while they are there. We know that it isn’t always possible, because some terrible things can happen at school. Still, they return home after school where we can continue keeping the eagle eye on our elementary school age children. Again, we control their environment as much as possible.
Inevitably there comes the day when we can no longer control anything about them. We try as hard as we can. But we always will fail because it just isn’t possible. A big change comes as we shift from being completely in control to being completely out of control, and we realize how frightening the world is to human beings.
Danger lurks around every corner. Nothing is safe. We become all to aware that we really aren’t–and probably never were!–in control at all. No one controls everything. It is an illusion that has kept us sane for the previous decade plus. Without this illusion we would have given up years before. Nothing would have been accomplished if we had convinced everyone in our families to crawl into bed and hide beneath the covers.
So we are forced to stand on the sidelines and watch our children stumble. Sometimes they fall. Sometimes they soar. Sometimes we aren’t sure where they are headed. But we have no control over their trip, their fall, their soar. None at all.
It’s a frightening time when a parent realizes that It Is What It Is is the best that can be taken from everything…anything…that happens. We can only live with the feeling of impending doom for so long before we have to let it go to hope and pray for the best.
A child’s mistake or a child’s success is their’s. Trying to take responsibility for it–good or bad!–is a reflection of our own egos. When we start staging things for our egos we are in trouble.
With this stage in parenthood comes an understanding that things just are. It is what it is. We can label things “good.” We can label things “bad.” But they really…just…are. People might judge us, but they don’t walk in our shoes. We might judge ourselves, but it is kinder to understand that we only meant the best. Recognizing our delusions for what they really are–attempts to control the uncontrollable.
There are to many variables in parenting. Too many personalities, localities, destinies, realities…
It Is What It Is…
I have lost Buddha Mom and I don’t know where she is. In case you’re new, Buddha Mom is my almost-perfect mother persona. She’s the patient woman who coos and speaks politely to her children. She’s the one who lovingly greets her husband.
And she’s gone.
Frankly, she started fading when summer started. A houseful of surly boys fueled the fade. A messy house stoked the fade. Poof! She was gone!
Today I had to leave the house because I wanted to hurt Aaron. I know you’re thinking, “What could the angel child have done?!”
He managed to run up a $533 data bill on his cell phone. That’s merely two weeks of downloading and subscribing to games and ringtones. Of course, this was done with our new cell phone carrier, which was supposed to make sure that the boys’ phones would have no Internet access. Somehow, Aaron’s slipped throughout the cracks!
Now we’re waiting to see what the cell phone company is prepared to do about this. There seems to be some question about the ability of the company to block data access. Really? Are all other pre-teen and teenage children so self-controlled that they don’t access data when told not to?
Or am I the only one with kids who hear “don’t” but “do” instead? I know that’s not true, because it’s an actual psychological phenomenon. People (of all ages!) do think “do” when told “don’t.” Try it out. Tell someone in your house “don’t do x” and see what their reaction is. Good luck!
Honestly, I don’t know who I am angrier with: the cell phone carrier or Aaron himself. I had higher expectations for the carrier. I’m waiting to see what they do about this before reserving judgment. I’m assuming I’m not the first parent to request non data access. But I also had expectations of Aaron to not ignore the “no downloading” rider that came with the cell phone.
Maybe Buddha Mom’s not missing…maybe she’s just withered up with disappointment…
Did you hear or read about the Chicago school that has banned homemade lunches? “Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school,” Principal Elsa Carmona told the paper of the years-old policy. “It’s about … the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It’s milk versus a Coke.”
Each mom I have spoken to about this thinks it’s a horrible idea. Yes, moms appreciate the convenience of the hot lunch system. But we don’t want a school dictating that it’s the only system.
Aside from the fact that the meals are terrible (Aaron’s school’s menu for April is to the right) and sparce, Moms don’t want anyone dictating to us what is the right thing to do for our children. This might be where we draw the line.
As one mom suggested, the schools are trying to change roles. They want to parent and they want us to teach. If you’re a parent of a school-age child, you understand that statement. Suddenly the schools are full of advice on how to raise your child–full of suggestions of the “right” way from well-meaning staff members–while parents are being asked to teach their children at home. Remember the last homework assignment that came home that your child was clueless about? That’s what I’m talking about.
But this homemade lunch ban has baffled me. Yes, my kid goes to school every day with a sandwich and chips. He’s the world’s pickiest eater. He was getting hot lunch, but we had to put an end to that because he was using his allotted lunch money for the month in one week buying chips and cookies. Apparently he’s not ready for money management and budgeting.
I do know kids who bring spectacularly prepared meals from home. Thermoses of hot foods, plastic containers of freshly peeled and sliced fruit. Apparently, these are kids who understand the concept of returning everything home at the end of the day.
Still, my kid’s meal of ham, bread, and a single serving of chips has to be better than the processed crap being served to him as a hot lunch. For instance, the chicken nuggets: I saw a video of how the meat is extruded from the bone to make these. After the taffy-pink meat is bone free, they have to add coloring back to make it beige so it’s pleasant to the eye. Then they add chemicals to make it taste like chicken. I don’t even want to know what’s in a rib sandwich. I’m betting they’re not real ribs though.
I know that “childhood obesity” is the new buzz phrase in our society. Please, oh, please! Save the children! Chemicals are better than real food that might be fattening! But…we don’t have any money so we have to cut out physical activities like PE and after-school sports.
It makes me sad that feeding the children has become a battle ground. What do you think?
For another insightful post about this subject, please visit Ragen Chastain’s Dances with Fat.
Right now I love the holidays. I’m excited about Christmas. I’m enjoying the newness of the decorations, lights, and Christmas carols. When I go into a store, I want to buy everything and decorate…decorate…decorate.
But check back with me in a week or two. By then I’ll be so tired of the decorations, the lights, and the Christmas music that I will want to run screaming from the stores. I’ll be tired of my fellow shoppers, many who are looking downright demonic as they scour the aisles looking for the perfect gifts.
The worst place to venture is the toy aisle. You can see the panic as people search for the right present for the children in their lives. The ones I feel most sorry for are the parents who have carts stuffed to the gills, toys plummeting over the sides, as they try to fulfill some need by over-giving. I wonder why they do this. Guilt? Vanity? Why do they think kids need a hundred different packages to open for Christmas?
Christmas isn’t the only holiday. But it is The Holiday Season and seems to be the one that I dread the most. I think it’s the sheer pressure that comes with it.
I feel a need to decorate the house like a Martha Stewart clone. I want a gorgeous tree be-decked with handmade ornaments and other baubles that I put together at night with my family. The reality is that the tree is a scrawny artificial one and we have plastic, shatter-proof ornaments because the animals tend to climb the tree.
We don’t even put presents under the tree until Christmas Eve because the animals tear up the wrapping. I’m sure you’re getting an idea of who runs the house here. It ain’t we humans!
Plus, Christmas happens in winter. Sometimes there is snow. I hate both winter and snow. I hate going out in the cold. I hate scraping windows and shoveling snow. I am not a winter person. Christmas comes smack dab in the middle of my winter doldrums where I am pondering why I ever moved to Illinois and why the hell do I stay?!
Maybe this year will be different though. I’m feeling a difference. I’ve started decorating, despite Jim’s a no-Christmas-decorations before Thanksgiving rule. But I’ve put up a few things. And the tree will go up this weekend.
I’ve had an urge to bake. Maybe this will be the year I make chocolate crinkle cookies. If I can find a recipe that uses cocoa powder. We’ll make fudge and so many batches of seven-layer bars that we get sick of them. I’m even considering doing cut-out cookies.
I know I sound like a Scrooge. I just can’t live up to the image we moms have forced upon us of perfect housewives, mothers, and hosts who do it all with a smile and nary a complaint. So I do my best and my family–hopefully–knows no different way of doing it. They don’t know–yet–that I am a Martha Stewart Finishing School drop out!