Friday, January 07, 2011

Weekly Quotes


In my reading, I find quotes.  I always think how nice it would be to share the quotes.  I often type them out and drop them into goodreads.  Now at the top of this blog, the quotes sort of randomly cycle through themselves and you really never know what is up there.  At least I don't.  Anyway, I thought it might be nice to share the quotes in a more formal manner, by copying them each week here as well.  Sometimes, I'll also add my own thoughts or comments.  Sometimes, I'll just leave the quotes alone.  Feel free to leave your own comments about the quotes.  

Fat-bashing in all its varied forms–criticism, exclusion, shaming, fat talk, self-deprecation, jokes, gossip, bullying–is one of the last acceptable forms of prejudice. From a very young age, before they can walk away or defend themselves, women are taught that they are how they look, not what they do or what they know. (1)— Robyn Silverman, Good Girls Don't Get Fat


I've commented before on how in a book or in a movie, there seems to be a tolerance for fat bashing with which I am not comfortable.  Albeit, the bashing usually takes the form of stereotyping (fat = lazy) and not outright abuse.  But subtle thinking does not negate the reality that when we generalize our thinking about any group of people, we are creating an emotionally unhealthy and dishonest dynamic and our children are especially vulnerable to these things.

Our society on a whole is trained to see young women. There are proportionally far more of them on magazine covers, on TV, and in films than int the actual population. As a result, we have a citizenry taught to see the young and ignore the not-so-young. It isn’t conscious; it’s Pavlovian. (13)
— Victoria Moran, Younger by the Day: 365 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Body and Revitalize Your Spirit


My mother told me that when she went to Italy for the first time she had a marvelous time, that the people there were marvelously friendly.  Her husband announced that she loved it there because the men flirted with her.  The two of them lovingly bickered about this, my mother denying that anyone had been flirting with her and he assuring her that the waiter was.

I side with my step-father on this one.  I know myself.  I know my mother.  The only time we ever notice someone is noticing us is if the noticer hits us with a two-by-four.

Still, I have a feeling that as I continue to age and begin looking older still, I will experience this fading into the background Moran describes.  I wonder how I will feel, how I will respond when that day comes.  I wonder if I will bother to blog about it or not.  We'll see.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Beginning of Something Longer


Stacey poked her tongue out at him, kissed his unshaved cheek, and grabbed the package she’d put down in favor of pulling on her coat.  “I’ll give her your love, her birthday gift, and nothing else.”

How easy it was to come to Mari’s defense but the truth was Stacey wasn’t looking forward to her lunar lunch with her dearest friend, didn’t want to hear about a marriage falling apart, how “his” selfish actions were going to destroy “her” daughter, and, above all else, Stacey didn’t want to listen to Mari talk about the “bitch whore” and “her bastard son.”

Not again this month.  All she could do was hope that Mari’s birthday was reason enough to talk about something else, anything else.

As soon as she walked into the café, Stacey knew it was hopeless.  Mari had ordered a full carafe of wine, never a good sign, and it was already showing some serious consumption.  At least two glasses of wine and she was reaching to refill her glass one more time, stopping only because she caught Stacey’s entrance out of the corner of her eye.

“Stace!”

Mari’s voice, ever loud, only became more blaring with wine.  Two, maybe three glasses already, Stacey calculated.  “Happy Birthday, Mama,” she said, using her childhood nickname as she passed the gift into her friend’s hands before shifting to remove her coat.

“I’ll pour you a drink.  You need to catch up. You’ll never believe what happened now.”

And so the lunch went, with Mari talking about “the bastard” and “the asshole” and “his bitch” or merely “the bitch.”

Letter to My Sixteen Year Old Self

In another blog (to which I cannot link because it is set to private and you must be invited to read), the blogger shared a journaling prompt in which you answer the question:  What would you say  to your 16-year-old self?  


Here is a letter to my former self.


Dear Satia,

Thirty-two years from now, when you look back on yourself and this time in your life you will have this advice for yourself and I hope you will listen to it now: Get over yourself!

Ouch.  That’s harsh.  I know.  But the truth is, this is what you will be doing for the next few years and by the time you are my age, you’ll probably still be obsessing over your personal minutiae than you ought even if it is a vast improvement over how much you are doing so today.

Narcissism isn’t pretty.  And yes, I am aware of the how abandoned you feel.  I wish it could be otherwise.  Would you believe me if I were to tell you that your mother doesn’t really mean it?  She’s fallen in love and, as many women do, she is immersing herself in this wonderful, new, relationship.  Get used to it.  So many of your friends will do this in your lifetime that you’ll begin making jokes about it.  What’s more, you’ll learn from it.

It hurts.  I know.  It hurts to have your mother, your only parent, abandon you for someone new.  You’ve been here for sixteen years and he comes along and whisks her away on weekends leaving you home alone to figure it out.  At least you have the sense to know you haven’t figured it all out.  What you don’t realize is that everything you are doing is a cry for help and, no matter how loudly you scream, nobody is listening.  Not now, anyway.

But you’re learning.  You’re learning so much.  And you’re going to repeat some of the mistakes your mother made but not all of them.  And you’re children will love you very much when they get older.  What’s more, you and you’re mother will heal all the wounds you will inflict upon one another in the next few years.  You’ll get back to that place you both hoped to never leave–the early part of the mother-daughter dynamic where there was so much love and hand holding and trust.  It will all come back.

Believe me.

In the meantime, the sooner you get over yourself, the better.  Luckily, your children will go a long way in helping you with this.  Not intentionally, of course, but there’s nothing quite as effective at shattering one’s ego driven self-image than seeing one’s self through a daughter’s eyes or a son’s.  Children can be beautifully brutal like that.

You want to know the most shocking thing of all?  Some people are going to think you’re a good parent.  Even your children will think you did a pretty good job, all things considered.

It’s okay.  I promise not to tell anyone differently.  It’ll be our little secret.

Lovingly,
Satia

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Start of something longer or not . . .


This is the story about how a perfect marriage fell irreparably apart.

He thought she was perfect; she thought he was perfect; they both knew their newborn was perfect.  So whatever was imperfect must be something out there.  Or maybe, somewhere else.

If he is perfect, she thought, then maybe it’s me.

What the hell is wrong with me? he demanded of himself.  She’s so damn perfect.

If the imperfection was not out there then it must be somewhere else and the only place left was right here, somewhere deep inside, somewhere so hidden that it only came to light when exposed to the other one’s perfection.

Which is how a perfect marriage fell apart although it all began so perfectly.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New Addition to the Family

An unexpected package arrived.  My mother sent me a new Guanyin statue. (I recently emailed with a young woman who explained to me the correct spelling and now I can only hope I won't forget.)  I wish this picture did the statue justice.  Bisque porcelain, her hands are delicate and she holds a willow branch and a small jar.


And this is yet another reinforcement, a message that says:  Satia, you are on your path now.  You have found your path.

More later when I am not fighting a sore sore throat.

Sore Throat

Woke up.

Swallowed.

Ouch.

We'll see how it goes.  I have a feeling that yesterday's place mark post is about to have a litter of puppies.  (Or placies?  Or markers?  Markies?  Or maybe they have a hive of place marks?  A tribe?  A murder?)

My own fault.  This is me:

A couple of days before Christmas:  I think I'm coming down with something.
Christmas Eve:  I refuse to be sick.
Christmas Day:  I am not coming down with anything.  I am not sick.  I'll rest tomorrow.
Boxing Day:  Okay.  So I am definitely feeling not well but I can get out of bed more than once for company can't I?
Monday:  I am not sick.  But I'll stay in bed.
Tuesday:  I don't care how I feel.  I'm not sick, dammit.
Wednesday:  Sleeeeeep.
Thursday:  Let me get out of bed because I want to at least say hello.  Sleeeeeeeep.
New Year's Eve:  What?  I'm feeling better?  No way!  Let me stay up past midnight with my husband.
New Year's Day:  Still feeling not sick?  Woohoo.  Invite everyone over to play board games!  And stay up until midnight.
Sunday:  Tired.  I'm just tired.  Seriously.  But Very Important Conference Call means I must not sleep.
Monday:  I have work to do.  I'm sick.  No I'm not.  Company is coming over.
Tuesday:  Wake up.  Swallow.  Ouch!  Shit!

Is it any wonder Rob gets lovingly annoyed and says I push myself?  That I push myself too much?

*sigh*

I am going to have some tea and then I am going to do some yoga.  I doubt either of things will help but they can't hurt.  Thankfully, I don't think I have any socializing scheduled for at least the rest of this week.  Maybe I can finally kick this . . . whatever it is . . . out of my system.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Just a Place Mark


Yesterday I spent the day in bed.

I say spent.  It felt more like I wasted yet another day.  After being in bed struggling towards health for days, it was nice to have a romantic dinner with Rob and then a day of socializing but I resented every minute I lay in bed, trying to recover from everything.

I suppose it didn’t help that the weather was unkind: rain and wind.

I really had no choice.  With company coming today, I had to allow my body the rest it demanded or how could I fight my way through today?

And I needed to fight.  My computer was being problematic and, although I had planned on editing the newsletter, all I could do was compose the content and make sure I had enough relevant content, content that I thought was interesting, to say that it is complete.  I decided to review three resources, rather than one.  I made sure I had images, sent an email to confirm that I had permission to use one image, etc.

That was yesterday.  I didn’t sleep all day, which is what I’d been doing all last week, waking up long enough to read a little, nibble a little, collapse again.  At least I was in bed reading, making notes, thinking.

Always thinking.  Unless I’m asleep.

Today we had company coming and I knew I had to have a rough preview of the newsletter ready.  Push push push.

Company.

And then . . . uh oh . . . is that the back of my throat feeling dry?  Drink water.  Scratchy?  More water.  Uh oh.

I want to collapse but time for dinner.  Dinner first.

And more water.

I had hoped to begin writing something about my Reiki meditation this morning but I really don’t have the energy to focus my thoughts.  Instead, I am updating this almost as a place mark, a reminder that I wanted to post about the Reiki Principles and affirmations.  I guess I’ll have to do it on a day which is not so busy.

To quote Scarlett O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another day.”

Sunday, January 02, 2011

The Way We Celebrated the First Day of the New Year


Yesterday was everything I had hoped it would be and not quite what I had planned.  After postponing for days for various reasons–mostly because I felt utterly awful most of this past week, lacking any energy to do more than get out of bed only to return to it an hour or less later–we finally had our game date.

The date, as rescheduled, fell on my coffee date day with Kanika.  She and I had agreed to meet at a local trail–one where people walk, jog, run, skate, bike.  So I had to think.  Knowing I was struggling with a low energy cycle, should I reschedule with Kanika or merge our plans into the other plans?

I asked Kanika if she wanted to come over for boardgames and she said yes.  What’s more, she brought her brother and her very brave husband.  (Brave because he doesn’t like dogs and, as you all know, we have two.  One very big and one spritely medium big.)  They arrived first and Kanika brought along some homemade bean salsa that was so insanely delicious that I want the recipe.

Not long after, Fokes arrived and the fun really began.  We were playing Apples to Apples, which is hands down one of my favorite games.  Rob and I first played it ages ago when my friend (no longer) Cassandra introduced us to it.  We fell in love and I bought it as our family Christmas game the very next holiday.  It is still our favoritest game.

And thus began a series of our playing this game until it was no longer fun.  Steven (Kanika’s husband) and Emeric (her brother) ended up watching football with Rob in the living room. *sigh* Men.  Men and football.  But by the time they had wandered off to watch football, Adam had arrived.  Then Matt.  So we were able to keep some good games going, with Marc joining us as well.

Kanika and her group left.  Then Rossana called to ask if she could come over.  It was nearly 7:30 and although I suggested we had food, she wanted to eat dinner first.  What she didn’t know is that the game night was supposed to end at 8pm, to keep me from pushing myself.  I asked Matt and Adam if they could stay a little longer.  They agreed.  Fokes was already going to stay later because he and Rob were going to hang out one-on-one.  And I was tired.  Already.  Very.  But I didn’t say no.  My own fault.  I knew we were already at the end of things but I didn’t want her to feel rejected.

 She arrived as we were about to play another hand of Apples to Apples.  With that last round, we reached the saturation level with Apples to Apples.  I don’t think I’ve ever played that game so many times in one day that I grew tired of it.  There’s a first time for everything.

Matt and Adam left.  So Fokes and Rob pulled out another game from the closet.  The DaVinci Challenge which was a years ago gift from Rob’s mother.  I requested it because it had good reviews and, to be honest, I thought it looked pretty, like a mandala.  By this time, Marc had also returned to his room because he and Rossana had hung out Thursday and he needed to do some studying before his next string of work days.  (His next day off will be Thursday.  Gotta love retail.)

Surprisingly, Rossana and I won the game.  This in spite of my inability to really see most of the patterns as they were being created.  I think it was because I was sitting on the floor.  I’m not sure.  I definitely want to play the game again to see if I can’t become more comfortable with seeing the different designs as they are created although I suspect that playing the game at a normal table, and not low on a coffee table, would help tremendously.

At this point it was already 11pm so Fokes left.  As we were saying goodbye, I bobbled.  Did I mention we had wanted to end game night around 8pm so I wouldn’t push myself?  See what happens when I don’t respect myself and my body?

I helped Rob clean up as I bobbled some more.  Then sat down with the last of the sparkling wine (for the mimosas we were giving to everyone else) and talked to Rossana for a little while longer.  Rob wasn’t happy about this.  He was worried that my bobbling last night would result in a fall today.  And he’s right.  If I exhaust my limits one day, I often pay for it the next.  Not every time, however.  There are times when I’ve lost my balance and there was nothing too strenuous happening the day before to indicate a fall might be coming.  (Obviously, if we could anticipate when and under what circumstances I might fall, these things would never happen.  But we can’t.  And they do.)

Rob came in to say he was shutting his computer down and getting ready for bed.  At this point, I had to tell Rossana it was time to call it a night.  During our conversation she’d told me she’d slept until 4pm so it was still feeling early for her.  Not for me.  I was done for the night nearly four hours earlier but pushed myself.

All in all, it was a great day, full of laughter that ended with a few tears.  My own fault.  And today if I fall, I really have no one else to blame.  I should make a deadline commitment and stick with it, no matter what.  Then a friend reaches out and needs something and I set aside my needs for their needs.  I know better.

But sometimes being compassionate means setting aside your own needs to help meet the needs of another person.  Although I know what Rossana needs isn’t coming from me really.  What she needs is inside her already and right now she thinks I can help.  I can’t.  I wish I could.

I ended the night being held by Rob.  It was after midnight at this point and we gave one another one-two-three goodnight kisses, said “Happy New Year” one more time, then we went to bed.

A good way to start a new year.