Wednesday, November 30, 2005


I’m a regular reader of the irreverent Reverend Jayne’s Sunday Sermons. She’s wicked smart and always makes her point with a clever smarty-pants tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. Additionally, a recent post and subsequent discussion in Stephen’s comments got me thinking even more about spirituality and religion. I left the following long-ass comment with Stephen last night. It’s the kind of comment that's probably better suited for this space.

I was raised in a Christian Church that punished people who asked difficult questions or challenged the leaders. The power structure was male dominated, ethnocentric and rigid. Until I was old enough to make my own choices about how to spend my time, I kept my doubts and faithlessness a secret. Later in life, I realized that I missed some things that church provided. I missed the comfort and familiarity of the rituals. I wanted a sense of belonging. I wondered about all the questions that I wasn’t allowed to ask as a child. For a little while, I explored a few new churches and asked some of my questions. My exploration stopped when I needed guidance and support but was blamed and shamed instead. Since then, I’ve contented myself by developing a very private and personal sense of spirituality. At the same time, I’ve met dozens of people who’ve shown me through their example that my limited experience doesn’t represent all religious organizations everywhere.

Personally, I may never find spiritual definition or clarity through association with a particular religion. I may never join a church or make such a thing a priority in my life. However, I’ve seen more good things come from religion than bad. I’ve witnessed amazing human survival based solely on faith. I’ve seen people turn their lives around because they found peace and hope where there was once conflict and despair.

As some of you know, my father was left in an orphanage as an infant. (story here) He was placed in a foster home but never adopted. Throughout his young life, he never experienced a sense of belonging or of being wanted. The loneliness he felt might have been unbearable if it weren’t for the relationship he developed with his God. As long as I’ve known him, he’s always maintained a steadfast sense of morality. It’s not the kind of morality that is harsh and judgmental. He’s simply good, kind and generous. I don’t think he understands any other way. One of the few times I ever saw him cry was after learning that someone did something very bad to me. He said, "Why do people do things to hurt each other when we are capable of so much love?"

Many years ago, I did a two-year gig as a Chemical Dependency Counselor. I was hired as the Family Specialist, but a short while after I started, the Director assigned me the additional task of becoming the agency expert on Spirituality & Recovery. As a girl who goes into Anaphylactic Shock from the sight of communion wafers, I tried very hard to get out of the assignment. However, as I started to do research and talk with true experts in the field about the topic, I discovered that spirituality and religion are not necessarily the same thing. I also discovered that beneath it all, I felt deeply spiritual in my relationship to others, the world and the Universe.
I felt the greatest impact of my work when someone I barely recognized dropped by my office to visit me. He was a healthy, strong 65-year old man. A year earlier he’d been a strung-out addict, just released from prison, barely clinging to his sobriety. During his visit, he told me that a conversation he had with ME (?) about spirituality had been the key to finding his path to recovery. After a lifetime of serial incarcerations, all related to alcohol and drug abuse, he had finally found his way. I have no idea what I said to him, but whatever it was, his heart was open to hearing it.

I know a couple who lost their 9-month old daughter in a terrible accident. Less than 2 years later they were blessed with another baby. Unfortunately, soon after, tragedy struck again. They learned their new son was gravely ill. His disease was rare and the prognosis was uncertain. The doctors warned that they might only have him for a few short years. The family stayed strong in their faith, prayed a lot, did everything the doctors told them to do, and relied heavily on their community of church friends to help them through the difficult times. Years passed and their sick baby grew into a child …
then, he grew into a teenager …
eventually, he grew into a beautiful man …
And then he fell in love ...
and married me.

Can I hear an Hallelujah?

Monday, November 28, 2005


My family celebrates Christmas two days after Thanksgiving. It’s the only time of the year we can all manage to congregate.

This year, a new baby was the best part of our time together.

I’ll never have a baby of my own. It was my choice. Instead, I chose to take care of children that other people couldn’t or wouldn’t take care of. I chose to help families in crisis. I chose to try to stop rape and child abuse, and care for the victims of sexual violence. I also made a conscious choice to stay with a partner who didn’t want a baby.

I don’t regret my choices, nor do I seek pity or martyr status. I simply grieve. I’ve passed the point of changing my mind, and the reality feels cold and absolute. I suppose if having a baby had been a priority to me, I would have made it happen. I must not have wanted it bad enough. Maybe I still don't, but I second guess myself when I hold this babe.

My grief is okay. This is an ordinary life cycle occurance, whereas, some people are grieving for reasons they have absolutely no control over. Tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, war, etc. have left many to mourn the loss of their homes, jobs, communities, and even loved ones. Others are managing the tragedies of other life events like illness, break-ups and accidents. And, our own dear friend, Andy is dealing with the untimely death of his friend, Pacé.

The worst feeling I can imagine is loneliness. As long as I have the love and friendship of others, I can handle anything, including this very temporary achey feeling.

Besides, look at that sweet little angel baby face! Have you ever seen such a beautiful boy in your whole life?
(shhh, don’t tell anyone … he told me that I’m his favorite Auntie)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

"Fa-la-la-la-laaa, la-la, la, laaaa"

I’m not supposed to be here. I’m supposed to be in the midst of a 6 ½ hour pilgimage to northern Wisconsin to spend the holiday with my family. It’s the biggest, most important K-family gathering of the year. The 4-day event includes Thanksgiving, birthday celebrations, and a faux Christmas gala. There are no excuses for being absent. Showing up tardy is also frowned upon. Yet, here I am, pounding away on the keyboard while my little car sits packed to the gills in my driveway.

Don’t be tempted to think that this odd turn of events is due to my steadfast dedication to blogging. I’d leave you all in a quick minute for Mom’s pumpkin pie (temporarily, of course). My current standstill is because of something much more ridiculous. I lost my glasses. Normally I can do without them, but not driving lonely country highways at night. I simply don’t see well enough to be comfortable, and by the time I arrived, I’d have a headache that no amount of pie could cure.

I’ve turned my entire house and car upside down looking for those sneaky spectacles. They’re still no where to be found. However, I did find some other interesting things.

I found my *bling-bling* bike bell (that I never managed to attach to my bike), my Gerber (a handy tool for any industrious Hot Chik), lots of dust and dog hair behind furniture (ewww, I need to start looking for a new House Boy who cleans better than the old one), the electric bill (ooops, no wonder I have so much money in my checking account), and the Stevie Ray Vaughn CD that I thought I’d loaned to an old boyfriend (I may not have escaped with my pride, but at least I have my tunes).

Speaking of sex …
Aww, come-on, I know it’s a leap, but you can make it. Just step back a few feet and run toward it …
… the old boyfriend …
… the lost pride …
… and while music is great, it doesn't offer as much of a distraction for a wounded ego as sex does.
There you go!

I’ve decided to stop having sex for the rest of the year. My vagina needs a little break. We’ve been traveling a lot, and she’s more prone to jet-lag than the rest of me. I was also working her pretty hard for a while. At her age, it takes longer to recover! Furthermore, with the holidays upon us, she’s got herself distracted with shopping, decorating and caroling … and, boy-o-boy, can my vagina belt out the fa-la-la-la-la’s. I know you’re thinking that I’ve just come up with this little scheme because things are looking dreary in the getting-laid-soon crystal ball. And maybe you’re right. But, it feels a whole lot better when I make it seem like my idea.
*(and, this is not an invitation to leave comments offering pity sex)

Oh, and I’ve been tagged by Dick the Boomer. My assignment is to go to my way-way back archives and look at my 23rd post (that’s back 200 posts, kids). Once I get there, I have to find the 5th sentence, or closest to it, and post it here, along with these instructions. Then, I ponder the sentence for meaning, subtext or hidden agendas. And finally, I tag 5 others to do the same.

23rd post, 5th sentence:
"I'd really like to wear my t-shirt from the sex toy store that says, "If you want something done right, do it yourself"…"

I appear to be back in the same place I was when I wrote those words. I’m still happy and positive about sex. However, in a month or so, when my Vagina has finished performing Handel’s Messiah, I’d like to expand beyond the solo-sex with someone who fits what I’m really looking for. That doesn’t mean I’m going to replace my toys with a lover. No Way! My Hitachi Magic Wand has been with me longer than 90% of my boyfriends.

Tagging …

If you were previously tagged by someone else, shame on me for not noticing/remembering, and you’re obviously off the hook.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Check out my new bathtub. It's the perfect place to soak my weary body all day Friday. I think I’ll pick up a bottle of champagne and a good book, put on some tunes, and shut out the world while I indulge in a little well-deserved luxury after a day with my crazy family.

I wish it were true. Hell, the cost of that bathtub alone would probably cover my house payment for at least four months. And, I’m pretty sure the monstrosity wouldn’t fit in my little bathroom anyway. I’d have to take baths in the middle of the living room. Hey! It’s always fun to dream. Besides, I already have much to be thankful for.

It's the time of year to pause to think about our blessings. This is an easy task for me. I’m one of the most fortunate people I know. Even when I get the blues, I can’t deny that I have very little to complain about. Compared to too many others, I have a life of easy abundance.

Privilege: a special advantage or immunity or benefit not enjoyed by all.

My privileges are some of my most profound blessings. These are things I didn’t earn. They are powerful attributes that came to me for being born to the right people in the right place at the right time. They’ve made my life relatively comfortable. Everything I’ve ever accomplished has been more attainable because of these privileges. It’s easy to take such things for granted, so I don’t let myself. I can’t. You can’t. We can’t. To do so would dishonor the people who fought to give them to us. It would dishonor the people who survive without them.
It would dishonor those who suffer because of them.

  1. I was born white in a society that prefers light skin to dark skin. My skin color fits in nearly everywhere. It’s the norm. It’s the assumed color unless you’re told otherwise. White skin is neither good nor bad, except that my life, in this place and time, is easier because of it.
  2. I grew up in a 2-parent family at a time when divorce rates increased dramatically. Although many kids grow up healthy and strong in single parent, divorced, or blended families; I had the privilege of the "ideal" homelife.
  3. I live in the wealthiest, most powerful country in the world. In this country, I enjoy freedoms that other people in other parts of the world risk their lives for. For the most part, as long as I don’t hurt other people or myself, I can do and say almost anything I want … and I do.
  4. I came of age post Roe V. Wade and post oral contraception.
  5. I can vote. (Guess who I voted for?)
  6. I can read and write. There are 860 million illiterate adults in the world. Two thirds of those are women. If I was a woman in Togo or Nepal, I’d only have about a 25% chance of being literate. In the U.S., 97% of us can read and write. (Source: UNESCO)
  7. Throughout my whole life, I’ve been able to see, hear and talk. Other than a nasty ankle fracture 13 years ago, I’ve always been perfectly mobile without the aid of appliances.
  8. It’s assumed that I’m heterosexual. I can show affection and love to my partners and have our relationships sanctioned by society.
  9. I’ve always had a bed to sleep in and food to eat.
  10. I’ve never been truly alone. I’ve never known a day in my life that I haven’t been Loved.

I have other privileges and blessings. These are the ones I’m pondering today.

What are your privileges?
What would your life be like without them?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Memoirs of Breakfast With a California Hot Chik

Hooray! I met a real live California Hot Chik (stereotype version) this morning at breakfast. She was FANTASTIC! She and her son sat next to me in the little buffet room at the hotel. Like almost everyone I’ve met here, she was delightfully open and friendly. It’s as if the sunshine seeps into their spirit and brightens them a little bit.

When California Mom sat down, I was off in my own little world, daydreaming about pelicans or something equally ridiculous. She brought me back to reality when she looked down at her one mini pancake and two tablespoons of scrambled eggs and announced, “Wow! I don’t know what’s gotten into me, I never eat this much.”

She must have noticed that I was eating substantially more. My breakfast of eggs, bran muffin, yogurt, fruit, granola and juice, would have sent her into a coma. As soon as she spoke of her huge appetite, I glanced into her thin, pretty, U-V effected face and tried to smile without showing my true feelings.

It didn’t take long to start up a conversation. That’s what she wanted, and I wanted it too. I liked her instantly. We talked for quite a while considering we’d only just met. A side effect of our long chat was that the eating thing seemed to be contagious. She adopted my gluttonous habits and went back for some fruit while I talked with her son about sports. I’m sure she’s feeling disgustingly bloated right now, and her size zero shorts are a tad snug, but hey, I was smart, I wore stretchy yoga pants to breakfast. Tomorrow, she can go back to starving herself and I can go back to my sensible diet.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Kindness of Strangers

When I was 12-years old, our car broke down while my family was on our way to my uncle’s wedding. My Dad went to the nearest house to ask to use their phone to call for help. Instead, the couple that lived there loaned us their car so we wouldn’t be late for the wedding. When we returned, we learned that they had arranged for all the repairs on our car. It was completely fixed and ready to drive home.

A number of years ago, my husband and I were traveling in Scotland. We discovered a very old cemetery in the middle of Edinburgh. We’d read a little bit about it, but didn’t know nearly enough to truly appreciate its historical richness. While we were wandering about, a kind gentleman approached us and offered to show us around. He graced us with an hour-long personal tour, enriching us with little known facts about the place, including how he’d acquired his information. He was not only informative, but he was also slightly drunk and funny. It was one of the most memorable travel experiences of my life. Afterwards, we offered to take him out for dinner to thank him for his time and effort. He declined. He said the pleasure of our company was thanks enough.

When I was born, my parents were very poor. They lived on the $27 per week my father made at his factory job. As I approached the age when I would begin to walk, they needed to get proper shoes for the task. However, there wasn’t any money to do so. One day, a couple months before my first birthday, my Mom was approached by a kind stranger while she was taking for a walk. The stranger cooed and talked to me and then gave her $5 and told her to buy something that I needed.

About a year ago, I was on my way to work. I was running late as usual. As I approach an intersection, I noticed a young woman with a backpack and a duffle bag. When I stopped to wait for traffic, she approached my window. She was trying to talk, but it was difficult because she was crying. I managed to understand that she had 5 minutes to get to an address about 10 blocks away. I told her to get in the car and I’d drive her there. After a minute, I realized that the address she’d given me was for the Greyhound Station. I never knew anything else about her because she cried the whole way there. Still, I couldn’t drive away until I knew she was safely on the bus. I ended up being 15 minutes late for work. A week later, I received a disciplinary notice from my supervisor about being tardy.
… Some things are more important than being on time for work … like young women crying on the side of the road.

I could tell a dozen other stories about the generous things strangers have done for me over the years. When such things happen, I’m astounded and amazed. They give me faith and hope. They humble me and make me think that there’s so much more I can do to bring joy to this world.

1.) How have you been blessed by the kindness of strangers?
2.) What things have you done to pass generosity along?

I'll be back

I’m leaving on a jet plane.
Don’t know when I’ll be back again …

I’m going to Southern California and it’s supposed to be in the 80’s this week. They’re predicting a snow storm here tomorrow.


Except, I have to come back. I’m sure it will be tempting to stay in the warm sunny climate. In fact, I’m probably tenacious enough and manipulative enough to convince someone in California to give me a job so I could stay. But, I really have to come back. My dog is here … and I don’t hate the snow as much as I love my dog. If you met him, you’d completely understand.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Saturday Afternoon in 1986

I was 22 years old. My friends and I had gathered near Chicago for a reunion. It was a 3-day party with lots of booze and anything goes shenanigans. My friends were wild women, but within our little group, I was the restrained naïve intellectual one. I was too inexperienced to be anything else.

We were staying in a hotel outside the city but had decided to spend the day downtown. No one wanted to drive because we were tired and hung-over after days of drinking and mayhem-making. It was easier to melt into an uncomfortable seat on the L and let somebody else drive.

The train was nearly empty so we spread out and relaxed in relative silence. After two days together, it seemed like we were all talked out. Our together-solitude was inturrupted when a man near me tried to start up a conversation. I don’t know why he picked me. Maybe I looked easy. Maybe I looked stupid. Maybe I was the only one who made eye contact.

The man was unremarkable, except for his persistence. Eventually, I decided he was interesting and let him draw me in. I don’t know how he ended up sitting next to me. I don’t know how we started kissing.

We kissed each other for the rest of the trip. It could have been 10 minutes or 30. I wasn’t keeping track. My friends and a handful of strangers were witnesses to my broad daylight spectacle, but it didn’t seem to bother me. I just kept kissing the man, whoever he was.

When the train stopped, everyone exited. The man said goodbye, left the station, and presumably went on with his life. I think I went with my friends to the Art Institute to look at pretty paintings.

A few years later I wondered if it had really happened. Had I mixed up my dream world with reality? I mentioned it to one of the girls. She confirmed my Saturday afternoon make-out session on the train. She also reminded me that the night before I had told her a secret about something bad that had happened to me.

Mad scramble to push the pain away? Inane attempt to gain control? Frantic need to feel normal … anything better than what I was feeling?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

What’s the Big Deal About a Silly Dress?

Why do we sometimes change our clothes 5 times before we walk out the door?

Why do we need to shop with our girlfriends?

Why do we say things like "I’m not in the mood for that outfit today."

Our clothes have meaning to us. They make us feel a certain way. They send messages about us to the rest of the world.

Oh! I’m not talking about the kind of sick and twisted messages sex offenders and people who are complicit with sex offenders think (ie: she was asking for it). No! Our clothes AND the way we wear them make us visible or invisible. They make us confident, sexy, earthy, smart, snuggly, safe, wholesome, slutty, sophisticated, and powerful. We make a conscious choice in the way we look when we walk out the door. It says something about us.

The message might be: I’m a Mom and I don’t have time to give a shit about the spit-up on my sweatshirt.
Or: I’m invincible, untouchable and powerful in my navy blue suit and smart little pumps.
Or: I want to blend in with my unremarkable sweater-set and slacks.
Or: This hot slinky dress makes me feel sexy as hell and I want to be noticed.

We also know that women are more likely than men to notice one another for our outward appearance. While it’s true that both men and women are judged this way, it’s different for women. When was the last time you overheard a bunch of guys whisper that another fellow was wearing last year’s jeans? How often does a guy shout out "Hey Steve, that color looks great on you. It really brings out your eyes." And, do men commonly share fashion tips in the washroom?

These behaviors are taught to us. It’s the American way. We’ve grown up with the cultural expectation that we conform and fit in. For young women, who are more likely to be judged by the way they look, this is especially true in terms of clothing. At the same time, we’ve grown up with an opposing cultural expectation that we express our freedom and individuality. In other words, be yourself, but not if you’re too weird. This is why our teenagers love to shock and challenge society with their appearance.

Adolescence is the time of our lives when we experience the power to think and chose for ourselves. We individuate from the people who raised us. It’s an important task. If we don’t do it, our parents will be stuck with us until we’re 35-years old. Interestingly, teens often express their individuality in faddish trends. They stop looking like us in an effort to look as freaky as other kids do. In my day it was Madonna and the Punk look. Now, piercings and tattoos are as common as lipstick.

So for adult women, we’ve been trained to accept idea that the image we portray on the outside is significant. When a gal is in the exact right mood for the exact right dress, she feels great. Add the perfect pair of shoes, a matching handbag and jewelry . . . watch her spirits begin to soar. It gets really amazing when she pulls off the hair and make-up.

For an example of what I’m talking about, go here to see how beautiful Zoooom looked the day she married The Idiot. That sexy Hot Chik is absolutely glowing!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Tell Me I'm Beautiful

I’ve illustrated this poem with two distinct paintings. Each seems to evoke a different meaning from the words. In a way, both are true experiences for me.

See through
To the Me within my unsure flesh.

Hear the grace in my voice
When I speak of earnest longing.

Taste the fragile flavor
Of joy and pain in my tears.

Breathe in my scent,
Rare fragrance of vulnerable passion.

Lose yourself in my eyes,
An accidental invitation to my heart.

Tell me I’m beautiful.
When it becomes your truth,
Tell me I’m beautiful.

You can find the first painting here and the second painting here.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sex with the Mentally Ill

Those of you who read this blog regularly are aware that I have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). What that really means is that a bunch of "experts" got together and decided to create a name for a pattern of behaviors. They listed those behaviors and called them symptoms. Then they decided how many of those symptoms were required for a person to earn the stigma, ooops, I mean identification, ADD. Once they figured all this out, the experts had to decide what the hell they were gonna do with us. So, they also agreed about the recommended treatment for ADD and ADHD (the "H" is for Hyperactivity, but I like to think of it as enthusiasm, so I leave it out of my label. When they come up with ADED, I’ll sign up.)

These experts wrote a gigantoid reference book called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). They review it every few years or so to fix their mistakes, keep up with current research and trends, and add new mental health diagnostic information. The whole point of the book is to improve communication between professionals. If your doctor in New York is talking to a therapist in Tokyo about ADD, they both understand what the other person is talking about.

This is all a long-winded introduction about sex and ADD. People with ADD have symptoms (or maybe we should call them traits) that can effect their sex lives. Some of these traits can enhance the sexual experience, while others can present challenges. The traits that are challenging may require a little flexibility by your partner (and I don’t mean the bendy kind of flexibility) however, the benefits may make it well worth the effort.
*Note: Not everyone with ADD has the same symptoms/traits, nor do they present themselves the same way in every circumstance.

Positive ADD Qualities for Sex

  1. Enthusiastic (Who doesn’t like an enthusiastic sex partner?)
  2. Good sense of humor (I’m laughing WITH you, not AT you)
  3. Creative (Let's start slow with some edible body paint and a feather)
  4. Hyper-focused (Imagine your partner being completely into your pleasure…)
  5. Intuitive (Sometimes I know what you want before you do)
  6. Boundless energy (Do you honestly think you can tire me out? For the Love of Pete, I’m the Love Goddess!)
  7. Warm and compassionate (When seeking a Lover, most prefer this over cold and merciless)
  8. Flexible (I really am rather bendy)
  9. Quick to grasp essentials (That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m fast … but, then again …)
  10. Good judge of character (This is helpful when avoiding assholes and serial killers)
  11. Charming personality (Have I told you today how sexy you are?)
  12. Hypersensitive (Think *Nipples*)
  13. Easily forgives mistakes in others (It’s okay, Honey. It happens to everyone.)
  14. Intense (This includes sexy noises, right?)
  15. Interested in many things (I’ll try almost anything once)
  16. Passionate (About everything)
  17. Willing to take risks (I wear my heart on my sleeve)
  18. A perfectionist (If at first you don’t succeed … practice, practice, practice!)

Not so Positive ADD Qualities for Sex

  1. Often late for appointments (Just start without me and I’ll be there as soon as I can)
  2. Easily distracted (Sadly, some people with ADD have this problem with sex too. Thankfully, I’m in the Hyper-focused group)
  3. Forgetful (What’s your name again?)
  4. Immature (How much do you like that cheerleader outfit?)
  5. Disorganized (Damnit! Where did I leave the lube? Condoms? Riding Crop?)
  6. Clumsy (To avoid a visit to the emergency room, let’s avoid the choreographed dance moves and gymnastics)
  7. Always losing things (Bah! Like boyfriends…)
  8. Low self esteem from years of thinking we’re stupid, lazy and crazy (Be nice! It’s not funny and it sucks. You know what would make me feel better? ... ... mmmmm, I thought you did)

Now you’re fully informed about the risks and benefits of having sex with the mentally ill (at least those with ADD or ADHD). After years of collecting anecdotal evidence by having sex with someone with ADD (myself), I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Do I Look Fat in This?

American women are fat. We hate our bodies. And, we spend too much time and money trying to make ourselves look like the 2% of women who fit the current standard of beauty. Instead of striving for genuine physical health and self-acceptance, we settle for the quick-fix "lose ten pounds by Saturday" crash diets and superficial approval from others.

  • The average American woman is 5'4" tall and weighs 140 pounds. (Yes, I feel like a freaking Amazon). She wears a size 14. (okay ... feeling a little more normal).
  • The average American model is 5'11" tall and weighs 117 pounds. (Cripes! Just slice me in half and make two of them!).
  • Most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women.
  • According to a 2002 CDC report, average adult Americans are about one inch taller than they were in 1960, but nearly 25 pounds heavier. The average BMI (body mass index, a weight-for-height formula used to measure obesity) has increased from 25 in 1960 to 28 in 2002.
  • 80% of us say we are dissatisfied with the way we look.
  • Every day, nearly half of all women in the U.S. are on a diet.
  • The incidences of eating disorders triple that of Schizophrenia. I’ll do the math for you ... that’s almost 7 million people. (One million of those are men and boys … yeah, some of the guys are getting sick wondering if those slacks make their ass look fat too).

We spend over 40 BILLION dollars a year on dieting and goofy shit to help us diet. I could spend that kind of money so much better. We could have an International Hot Chik Shoe Convention … with scantily clad hottie House Boys to bring us cocktails while other scantily clad hottie House Boys deliver gorgeous shoes. Or we could feed the poor, cure a disease, help clean up the Gulf Coast, or something else worthwhile. What's the point of throwing our money away if we continue to hate ourselves and get fatter and fatter?

The only way to get healthy is to like the stuff on the inside of our skin. Take it from a girl who’s gained and lost and gained and lost 80 pounds (yeah, I meant to type that twice), self-loathing is short-term motivation. Even worse, it's a mean and nasty way to treat your Hot Chik self. The road to wellness isn’t found in wonder pills or silly late-night infomercial contraptions. We don’t need to look like runway models to be healthy. And most of all, we don’t need to wait for a magic number to appear on the scale in order to feel good about ourselves. Accept who you are right now. Don’t compare yourself to air-brushed, computer-morphed fashion magazine images. You’re beautiful because you are. Cherish and care for that beauty. Maybe once we Love and accept the inside, Loving and accepting the outside will happen naturally.

Next time I’m fretting about my fat ass, remind me I said all this stuff!

Sources: Crowther et al., 1992; Fairburn et al., 1993; Gordon, 1990; Hoek, 1995; Shisslak et al., 1995., US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC Obesity Report, 2002.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Starting Right Now

Today is the first day of the rest of your life …

That’s kind of a sappy cliché, but it seems appropriate at this time of my life. I find that I’m beginning several new things and I’m open to possibilities. It feels a bit like when I was in college. I was aware that I could do anything I wanted to with my life. I could be whatever my imagination allowed me to invent. I just had to choose. Except at that time, I didn’t choose, and I was inexperienced and naïve. I still prefer to let things happen rather than forcing fate. I also remain rather naïve, and I seem to repeat some of the same mistakes over and over again. However, I’m more forgiving and accepting of myself nowadays. Maybe that’s the key to this whole maturity business. Learn and grow with more courage and grace.

To begin with, I find myself sort of single today. In an effort to protect the innocent, I’m not going to explain what "sort of single" means right now. All you need to know is that I don’t cheat or lie in relationships and I take my commitments seriously. With that said, I’m back on the market. There are open spots on my dance card. I’m ready for Prince Charming. So if you know anyone who would look good on me, feel free to pass on my resume. You can find it here.

My new job is going well. There’s a lot to learn. It seems like more pressure than my old job. I like that. However, I don’t expect this particular job to fill my soul with a sense of purpose. I’ve had that job and it took over my life. This job is easy to leave behind. No one calls me at home, and I never feel inclined to go in early or stay late because someone’s life will be impaired if I don’t. It’s enough that I’m contributing, I work with pleasant people, and I’m not bored out of my mind. I'm not changing the world with my 9 to 5 efforts, but who knows where this job could lead? Life has a way of changing directions when you least expect it.

It’s time for a new and improved body. When I got all my winter clothes out a couple weeks ago, my waistbands were snug. It’s time to watch the calories and hit the gym extra hard. I don’t want to become a slave to the scale, but I’m also not willing to buy a whole new wardrobe. Besides, there are cute guys at the gym. The more time I spend there, the more I can gawk . . . Oh, and it’s healthy for me too.

My baby sister had her first baby yesterday!!!!!!!!!! HOORAY, I’m a new aunt again. She had a beautiful boy. We’re calling him Ducky, but his birth certificate says something else.

My housemate is finally moving on and moving out. I will have new space and new privacy. It will feel like a whole new house! It will be mine and I’ll have room to breathe and create even more new things. The first new creation is a new rule: No one else is moving into this house unless I’m moving out.

Learning, changing and growing seem to provide the substance of life. I Love the freedom of reinventing myself whenever I choose. A close friend and Lover once gave me a pewter polliwog (tadpole) as a symbol of his acceptance. He’d been having difficulty accepting how much I seek new experiences, people and challenges. Eventually, despite his sincere gesture, it was too much for him. I still treasure his gift, and occasionally I ponder its meaning. I wonder if I'll always remain a polliwog. If not, I hope I find a really rockin' lily pad and a hunky Prince Charming.