Monthly Archives: February 2008

LIVE BIG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have always been a doer. If something seems interesting or exciting to me, I like to try it out. Nothing dangerous, mind you, I scream like a baby when I am scared, like an amusement park ride that is too fast and too high off the ground kinda scared. But, if I like the sounds of something, I try it on for size.

I was reading one of my affirmations today, and was thinking about how there are so many people in this world that don’t take chances. That don’t try something on. They may read about adventure, inquire about travel, think about changing jobs, or dream about meeting that special person. But, they don’t just do it. I know that I take for granted that I have that drive in me, that many do not.

What is it that holds people back from just doing it? Insecurity about their own abilities to do it maybe. Maybe a fear about what others will think. Maybe in striving for perfection they believe that they will fall short. Wanting to fit in they don’t want to rock the boat. Maybe because they envision their lives in a certain way and cannot envision change for themselves. Now, I have had many of those thoughts, fears, and insecurities as well; I have worried what it may look like to pursue a certain path, strive for a certain goal; I may worry that I will fail, or at least, be not very good at it. I worry that it isn’t the right decision, that I should just stay put.

However, a couple of things are at play with this that help me through it. First of all, I always want to be able to say to myself that I at least TRIED something if I was interested in it. At least then, the mystery is no more. The other part is bigger though. When it all comes down to it, if I don’t like that new job or I am not happy with my new hobby, I don’t feel satisfied with the person I am dating, I always have a choice to change it. No decision has to be the end of the line; it is always okay to realize when something does not work out for us, and to check out what our alternatives are. And, I don’t ever believe that time spent on something that doesn’t work out is time wasted. There is always a lesson in it, some more profound than others, but always significant and always pointing us more toward where we need to be going.

Life is good, and I want to live it, and live it big. I don’t think I know how to dream small anymore, or how to tell myself that I can’t do something. How grand!

Why is it that people just don’t understand?

When I was growing up, I imagined and daydreamed about one day, meeting the man of my dreams, getting married, living in a house with a white picket fence (no, really!) and a dog, and having a few kids and being happy for the rest of my life. Even driving a station wagon, which today, would be a mini-van. I really believed in the dream.

Then, one day, late in my adolescence, I discovered that the dream would be a bit varied from my original imaginings. Instead of the man, it would be the woman of my dreams, not sure I wanted a white picket fence anymore, or a station wagon, but for sure wanted the kid, or kids, and the secure way of life with the woman of my dreams. Doesn’t sound so strange, does it?

I feel like most days, and on some of those, most moments of my days, are spent on finding a way to either hide who I am, tell people that appear to be safe, or justify to others why my relationship and family is perfectly okay the way that it is. To try to convince them that it is not sinful, it is not perverse, it is not abusive, it is LOVE, pure and simple. I am a high energy person, and also a person with a lot of patience, but frankly, I get damn sick of it after awhile.

I mean, who can argue with love that shows itself in every thought, every word, every action, every moment? Who can deny the level of commitment that we have made to one another, and to our child, our home, our pets, our livelihood? Who can call it a “lifestyle” and really think that the term can fully describe what we have or who we are?

I know that much of the problem that persons have with lesbian identity is based on religious beliefs. I have heard the Bible quotes used; never used on me, but on others that I know. I know that for some of those people, they really care about my salvation and well-being. I know that they believe that they are being God loving, or maybe, God fearing people by enlightening me on the right way to live my life.

But, you know what? I am also a child of God. And a follower of Jesus Christ. Proudly following the teachings and example of Jesus. And, I believe not in a God or Jesus that serves my selfish needs. I am not trying to make God something that fits me, rather than me going to Him on his terms. But, my representation of God that I most want to emulate and reflect upon is Jesus, His son. And I feel confident in Jesus’ love for me, and respect for all aspects of who I am. I live my life as a good person; my partner and I are both very loving, giving people. And, we are raising our daughter to be that way as well. And, we go to church, and have a church community that openly embraces us. They don’t appear to have any problem with who is in our family, and don’t seem to think that we aren’t a reflection of God’s love.

What more can any human being do, except be the best person that he or she can be, and try to be happy without hurting others along the line? I know that we have the right idea. I just wish it weren’t so hard for others to view us so harshly. Maybe that means I am closer to God than they want to believe……

My journal.

I have had to learn many lessons in life, about many different types of issues. Being gay. Being a parent. Being a counselor. Facing challenges of addiction in the family. Love. Death of loved ones. But one area that has been a struggle for me most of my forty something years of life I see whenever I look in the mirror. My weight.

I am not a person that obsesses over my appearance due to some misperception of how I look. Well, in part it might be that. But it is rooted in the fact that since I was eight years old, I have been overweight, sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. I currently am about ten pounds more than I should weigh for my height, but I have been as much as eighty pounds overweight in the past.

When I was a kid, I was teased, got called names, and not just once in a while: ALL THE TIME. Every day in grade and middle school, less in high school, but by then, the damage had been done. I tried to feel good about myself, but it was difficult when I had been teased so often. For so long. It really sucked.

I did every diet and diet plan there was. I counted calories. I did the cabbage soup diet, I did Slim Fast, I did pill supplements, I joined TOPPS (Taking off pounds sensibly); there, you weighed in weekly, and got on the scale backwards, and then, they announced your loss or gain in front of the entire group. Public humiliation. I was 13.

I never had to fight the battle alone. My whole family battled with weight, mostly being overweight, although my younger sister fought anorexia. Both were eating disorders; food was a friend, a consoling means, a boredom fighter, food became more than nourishment.

Over the last few years, since I gave birth to my daughter ten years ago, I have lost probably seventy pounds, slowly but surely. Maintained for periods of time, then gained a few, then got back on track. Weight Watchers seems to work the best, as far as an eating plan. That is where the journal comes in. I do much better when I write stuff down. Each meal, each measure, to keep a general idea of my intake and what I am actually eating. It may sound funny, but I need to be aware of my eating to keep it in control. I have to be a conscious eater.

This task, my journal, my eating journal, that is, is the easy part to me. With the right level of motivation, I can stick to any eating plan. The hard part is the other reason I want to resume using an eating journal. I cannot wake up in the morning and look in the bathroom mirror without doing an assessment of my body. Does my waist look thicker than yesterday? Are my thighs touching today? Are my hands swollen? Do my thighs spread out more when I sit on the toilet than they did yesterday? On the days that I think I overindulged the day before, I will purposely not look at myself naked in the mirror, because of how horrified I will be at the sight of an extra bulge or two. May sound strange, but ask any person who has struggled with weight for years, I bet these are some of the same types of behaviors they engage in. But what I realized this morning, is that my mirror perception is as large of a part of this issue that I need to address as what I eat, and how much exercise I get. I don’t even know if my perception in the mirror is accurate, but I gauge my day on it.

So today, I made two commitments to myself. First, I am going to buy an actual journal to keep track of my eating, and my thoughts about my body and my weight. I need to kick this monkey the hell off of my back. Next, I promised myself on this very day, that every time I look in the mirror, which I will intentionally do every morning, I will say/think something positive and actively loving about what I see. I need to embrace all of me, and I have done so much for the inside, I need to love the outside, too.

Waiting for the snow.

I am an early bird. And I am a night owl. How can the two species thrive in one body, and possibly get enough sleep, you ask? Simple, I DON’T get enough sleep. I am always so afraid of missing out on something, so I stay up late because I am not ready for the day to be over, to just have to sleep and wake up and start work again. And, I love getting up early to greet the day, enjoy the quiet, drink hot coffee, and be thankful to be here. Unfortunately, there is not always that many hours in between late night joy and early morning caffeine.

I have recently been trying a new regimen. Less caffeine in the evening. Not turning on the television. Reading which helps me to wind down and get tired. Until I just fall asleep out of pure exhaustion. Tonight, though, besides watching the Presidential debates, in part, so I can really decide where I am between Barack and Hillary (I think I know, actually; it has been a challenge since I REALLY wanted John Edwards), I am waiting for the snow, hence, the title of this blog entry. We are due for, yet again, a REALLY BIG STORM. Snow, sleet, freezing rain, starting any minute now, and going throughout the day tomorrow. For the rest of you northerners who have snow more often, are you aware of the quiet in the air, just hours before snow begins to fall? The streaky, cloudy sky, and the moon barely visible through the pre-snow mist? The change in the pressure of your head and sinuses? The crispness of the air? Believe me, I am ready for the spring. I want to see the flowers blooming and feel the warm sun, have it be light out when I wake up, and not have to shovel. But, one more BIG STORM would be fun, to not be able to drive anywhere, just be stuck at home, cozy and safe, and not having to do anything.

So, will I be up early tomorrow? You bet. I need to see what schools are closed. And see if I get a snow day, too.

What a long, strange trip it’s been!

I have had the weirdest, most significant two years of my life. I have been through so many changes, ups and downs, moments of despair and moments of pure joy. Losses, gains, love lost, love regained, health good and bad. I can easily say, in looking back on it, that it has literally been the most profound personal changes that I have ever been through. No small task, considering that I have most of life, felt like I was in a constant state of change and evolution.

It began two years ago, when I left my long term relationship after months of struggling. It was the hardest decision I have ever made. However, I really believed that we would self-destruct as individuals and a couple if I didn’t leave it. As much as it was about us, as a couple, it was mostly about me. Selfish, huh? No, more like self-loving in my eyes. I had really stopped loving myself, even stopped liking myself much. Actually, as I say that, I don’t know how much I really ever had liked or loved myself. I don’t know that I had to BE ALONE to figure it all out, but at the time that seemed like the safest way to do so.

Then, I got sick. Really sick. Sicker than I have ever been in my entire life. Sick enough to need my mom close by, and she was with me, thankfully. So sick that I wasn’t sure I would get through it. Overdramatic? Not really. Just felt that bad, that powerless to what was affecting me.

Then, I got REALLY depressed. So depressed, that I told a friend that I just wanted to crawl into a corner and just disappear. I cried more than I think that I ever did in my whole life. I cried some more. I spent time alone and time with others. I wished and prayed for my life to get better, but believed that it wouldn’t. I tried different paths that seemed to go in the right direction, but were totally wrong. I drank way too much and too often. I isolated. I smoked. I gave up, in a way.

Then, I woke up. I have to say, that I believe that 12 steps saved my life. Not because I went to meetings; not because I got sober, although I did stopped drinking every day. I read, and read, and read, affirmations every day. Affirmations about love, loss, hope, redemption, forgiveness. It really was/is the main thing that gets me through. I faked it til I made it, acted as if I was okay until I was okay. Acted like I was lovable until I believed it, until I embraced myself with self-love in the most open way I could imagine. This is one example of an affirmation that got me through, by Melody Beattie:

“Many of us have been pushed out of the nest. Something unexpected happened, and our world changed. We may have fought valiantly to get back in the nest, to return to the safety of life as we knew it. But life had pushed us out. We had no choice but to flap our wings and learn to fly the best we could. With all of your fears and resistance, it has still been a grand and powerful time. You flailed around a bit, wondering who to trust. You tried to trust others, then found that didn’t work. Finally you understood. THE VERY LESSON YOU WERE LEARNING WAS THAT OF TRUSTING YOURSELF. YOU WERE LEARNING TO LISTEN TO AND TRUST YOUR INNER VOICE. YOU WERE LEARNING TO OPEN YOUR HEART. DESPITE ALL YOUR FEARS, YOU HAVE DONE A GRAND JOB. LOOK HOW MUCH YOU’VE CHANGED! YOUR INSTINCTS AND INTUITION ARE FINELY TUNED. YOUR INNER VOICE IS CLEAR. AND DESPITE ALL YOUR FEARS ABOUT BEING ABANDONED, YOU NW SEE HOW MUCH YOU ARE LOVED.”

I do see it now. I see it reflected from those I love, I see it in my dog’s eyes, but most of all, I see it in myself. I see how I have come to love this quirky person I call me.