Monday, May 2, 2016

Young At Heart ...

This meme was posted by a pastor I follow on Instagram. I asked if I could share it, and he said yes, so here it is. I don't know why, but I really love it. Maybe it's because there are some people that I still see as their younger versions, as well as what they have become as they've grown older. Or maybe it's because I feel this way about myself. I'm 51 and I guess I've never felt my age ... nor have I felt like I've truly ever really grown up. Just one look at my Instagram or Twitter accounts and you'll see that it's filled with posts and pictures of kids, pets, toys, cartoons, children's movies, kid's books, candy, and other silly stuff.

I guess that's why I find it so bizarre when people follow me on those sites who are into things that are totally the opposite of who I am. Oddly though, I get the strangest followers who are into a lot of things that I never talk about, such as news stories, politics, adult fiction, and so forth. Just yesterday I liked a couple of sites relating to my hometown in California. A few hours later I noticed I had a slew of Bernie Sanders supporters following me. Bizarre. I don't post about politics. I might follow a few sites, but I rarely comment on them. It's just funny because all my profiles state that I'm a homeschool mom who loves hiking, red plaid, thrift stores, music, Star Wars, the Seahawks, etc. I post silly things ... there's nothing adult about me.

Below is another I'm fond of. I don't really need to say why because I think that's pretty evident. However, I think the two memes/sayings go well together. The trick is finding the perfect balance of loving yourself for who you are—no matter how old you are—but still not lose sight of who you used to be and what things shaped and created you as an individual. 

"You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old." — Author Unknown
"The heart that loves is always young." — Author Unknown

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Day

When I was a little girl, May Day was a big deal at my elementary school. We spent weeks preparing for the celebration. It was a big event, and all of the students' families were invited. I remember practicing the May pole dance over and over and over. I don't have many fond memories from grade school, but that was one. It wasn't so much the dance itself ... but moreso seeing the pole decorated once the dance was over. To me, that was the fun part.

Another thing we did was make May Day baskets. They were usually made of construction paper, so they weren't anything fancy. We'd fill them with flowers (probably weeds!) and placed them on doorknobs of nearby houses. I grew up in a pretty rural area, so there weren't a lot of homes around. And, as with everything else, my memory might be distorted (or gaslighted) as to how often we did this. Obviously, elementary school was only six years long, so it's not that it was a life-long habit. However, it still stands out in my memory as a pleasant experience.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Is this unfair?

I saw this meme on Facebook. It's a few years old, and I've seen it before. However, I honestly don't like it. The lady on the left is Ernestine Shepherd. She's 77 now, so this meme is a few years old. She didn't start working out until she was 56 years old. Obviously, she looks great, and I'm very impressed to hear you can start at a such late age. That's awesome. Perhaps there is hope for me yet. {{snort}} I'll start tomorrow ... {{double snort}}

But anyway ... I don't like the meme because it seems unfair to the lady on the right. I don't know her name, but she looks like a wonderful woman. She's my idea of the ideal grandma, if there is one. She looks like the type of grandma who'd have homemade cookies—still hot from the oven—waiting for you when you came to visit. The image, I think, seems cruel. It shows her looking out a window longingly, almost as if she's waiting for someone to show up, or wondering why no one ever does. The one on the left looks like keeping her body in shape takes up all of her time. She's probably not into baking cookies, but then again, I could be wrong. Even so, it takes hours each day to keep your body in that kind of shape. If I were to guess, I would say working out consumes much of her day. That's not a bad thing. Neither is sitting by a window and watching the world go by. Both women are beautiful.

The meme says, "The choice is yours to make." Perhaps that's true, or perhaps it's not true. Ironically, it also says, "Both of these women are 74 years old." What it doesn't say is their story, or their background, or what they've been dealt with in their lives. That's what I don't like about it. It's obvious that both are alive, regardless of who is in better shape. It's impossible to say who will live longer. It really doesn't matter. And this goes back to my last blog post about simply loving who you are. Perhaps both of these ladies are completely content in their lives. I hope they are. I just couldn't help feeling sad for the lady on the right. What do you think? 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Body Image Movement

I bought this book, EMBRACE by Taryn Brumfitt recently. Quite some time ago, I saw a short video clip on Facebook that was floating around. It's about five minutes long, and you can find it by clicking here. It was powerful the first time I saw it. Recently I saw it had made a comeback on Facebook, so I watched it again. Then I decided to check out Taryn on other sites such as Instagram and Twitter. She's all over the place, including her main site at the Body Image Movement. I was so intrigued by her story that I ordered her book as well. Once it arrived, it was one of those books I just couldn't put down until I'd finished it. The first part had me in stitches, and I actually had to pause from reading because I was laughing too hard. It turned serious soon after though, and the whole thing really made sense to me.

"From crying in despair on the bathroom floor to stepping out in stripper heels onto a brightly lit bodybuilding stage, Taryn Brumfitt has had one hell of a journey from body loather to body lover ... and she's ready to share it in EMBRACE. After posting a less than tradition 'before' and 'after' photo on social media in 2013, not even Taryn could have anticipated the attention it would gain worldwild in the media, propelling her Body Image Movement into the hearts and homes of millions in Australia to the U.S. and every country in between. Taryn's brand of honest and witty storytelling will have you both in stitches and in tears. From losing her brother to a heroin addiction and being bullied in school, to embarrassing (yet let's face it, relatable!) toilet tales, EMBRACE will challenge you to reconsider the relationship you have with your body, but above all, will inspire you to embrace a life without boundaries, so that you too, can love the skin you're in."

Taryn Brumfitt is a mother of three and lives in Australia. Like many of us, she struggled with her weight and was unhappy by her appearance. It got so bad that she was only happy when she was pregnant because she had a reason for looking the way she did. Been there, done that! Eventually though, it began to destroy her social life, her marriage, and her family. It got bad enough that she did something radical—she entered a bodybuilding contest—and for several months she trained to get her body in shape so she could compete. And, she did it! Just watch the video. In her book she mentioned that she nearly got into a car accident on the way to the competition. Her first thought was that she was thankful the other car missed her because she wouldn't have been able to compete. It wasn't about her husband or children, and I could tell that upset her. She had become so consumed with the competition that it was all that mattered. Another thing she mentioned was that getting her body to that level of physical condition was literally a 24/7 job. It took up hours of her day, which took away from her husband and children. A lot of people won't mention that. Taryn found out the hard way that getting her body in that shape meant time away from her family. Most of us don't have that kind of time.

It made me sad to read in Taryn's book about all the people who left nasty comments on social media, claiming she was fat and had really let herself go. What many probably didn't realize was that her 'before' picture was actually after she had three kids. Usually people post before and after pictures the other way around. People were mean though, and that bothered me. I don't know why people have to be so concerned about other people and what they eat, do, or wear. Some folks just need to mind their own business. EMBRACE isn't a diet book. It's not even a book that teaches you how to love your own body. When reading the reviews, I saw quite a few people mention they wished it had more details on how she got to that place in her life. That's not what it was about. At least, that's not how I took it. It's a memoir. It's Taryn's story, not a how-to manual. No book or video is going to magically teach someone how to love their body. We have to get to there on our own, and books like this only help to inspire us.

Right before I started blogging, I came across an article online entitled Why The Body Image Movement Is Bad For Women. I don't think the author was referring to Taryn's movement specifically, but I could be wrong. If she was, she's way off in her article. She mentions how she found herself telling her daughter to love her body, but realized she's never said that to her boys. She's stereotyping that what we all do that. It's not true. I've discussed body image with my boys. She also mentions that she didn't know how to define good food from bad food. Seriously? That's sad. Maybe she didn't take Home Ec in high school, or maybe she just lives under a rock. But anyway, I'm not sure if the author of the article was referring directly to Taryn's movement or not. If she was, she certainly hasn't read the book because Taryn covered all those things the author of the article complained about. It's about loving yourself for who you are, not what you look like. It's not about letting yourself go, or eating whatever you want. It's just about acceptance. If you can't accept yourself for who you are, you certainly won't be able to accept others for who they are.

Friday, April 15, 2016

I never said that!

Oh wow, this cartoon is totally me. Over the past few days, Rick has told me things I apparently said, but I have no memory of saying. This isn't like me at all. I usually remember everything vividly. It wasn't like I made the comments years ago. He says I said them just a day before. Huh? That can't be possible. To top it off, I sent him a link to a Las Vegas hotel that I didn't know existed the other day. He texted me back saying, "Yeah, we drove by it last time we were there." What? I have absolutely no memory of seeing it. I can however, remember finding an orange circus peanut under the kitchen sink when I was freaking TWO! Explain that ...

I've read that Ginko Biloba helps with memory function. Has anyone tried it? If so, have you noticed any difference? Or do you not remember? I take a lot of vitamins and supplements. There are constant mixed reviews whether they actually help or not. My optometrist says I have dry-eye syndrome, and suggested I take fish oil supplements. I do, but I don't know it helps or not. Frankly, I didn't know my eyes were dry until he said so. Maybe they are; he looked at them closer than me. I also take calcium and Vitamin D because I'm old and it's just a matter of time before I fall and break a hip. I am curious about the Ginko Biloba, but this cartoon ... me, again!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What New Nativity?

So, a few weeks ago I came across this wall hanging at the thrift store. It's about ten inches in height and pretty heavy. It says it was made in Italy on the back. With a price tag of $3.75, I knew I had to get it. I finally got it up on the wall the other day. Now many of you know I collect Nativity scenes. Most are very, very inexpensive sets. I have probably around 100 now, if you include ornaments. I get them out every Christmas and they literally take over the house. Often times Rick will stare at one confusingly and ask, "Is this new?" I've gotten pretty good at bending the truth a bit. "Oh, no, I've had that one for awhile." His idea of "for awhile" might be different from mine, so it's not technically a lie. Anyway, when he saw the new one above, he seemed a little baffled because I usually put them out for Christmas. He seems to be under the impression that they're taking over the house year-round. I don't know why ...

The new one is on a wall between a window and some French doors in our living room. On the opposite side are some Nativity plates that I decided to keep out all year. In my mind, the new one balances out the plates on the other side. Symmetrical balance, you know. ;)

Then there's a wall hanging in my front entrance. It's definitely a Christmas one, but it fits the section of wall so perfectly that I just leave it up year round. The one below is also in the entrance area, but I don't consider it a Nativity. It's actually the Flight into Egypt. I still display it when my Nativities are out at Christmas, but this one stays out year-round too.

So, I guess Rick is right ... they are taking over the house. Oops.