Not Everyone’s Slice of Cake

So I don’t have my person by my side.

So I’m not sure what I wanna be when I grow up.

So I have very few answers.

But, ya know what?

I woke up this morning. The roof over my head is intact & I have every opportunity to make this day count. I can do nothing or everything. Learn something new or watch the same movie for the 608th time. I can spend the day in solitude or surround myself with love & laughter. I can wallow or embrace what is. I can simply dream or I can formulate concrete plans.

I can smile.

I can cry.

I can be.

Best of all, I can eat carrot cake for breakfast.

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The Relationship 15 

There I am. 

A little skip in my step (it may actually be a limp from plantar fasciitis.) 

Marcia & her siblings singing “Sunshine Day” in my medulla oblongota. 

Feeling pretty gosh darn good. 

And then… 

BAM! 

I see a picture of myself on the social media & my mood crumbles like blue cheese. I rub my eyes, shake my head & blink three times, hoping the figment will disappear. 


Sadly, it does not. Who IS that person?? Where is the Me I know, or think I know?? Ugh. Double, triple Ugh. 

I’ve never really cared for pictures of myself (aside from my three year post divorce binger where I lost nearly 80 lbs & had a constant buzz-induced grin on my usually overly tanned face—– but that’s a whole other story.) I’ve always preferred to be behind the camera, I look better that way. Overweight has been my way of life more so than not. You’d think I’d be used to the look. Unfortunately, I am not & it stops me dead on my contentment train tracks. Those nasty buggers, anxiety & depression, make an unwelcome appearance. The Jerk Twins take turns beating my ego, heart & soul to bloody pulps (ewwww, pulp.) I accuse myself of so many nasty things with the overall theme being You Feel Like A Dog Turd Dipped In Mud, Coated With Sticks And Pebbles, Yet You Do Nothing To Change It. 

The worst part? I’ve done it before. I did it without shakes, powders or booty-buster pills. I did it without expensive home gym equipment. I did it without someone telling me how to do it. I did get my butt out of bed at 5 am & drag it to the gym for 2 hour workouts, but only for about 6-8 months. After that I walked, biked & workout DVD’d. I gobbled up info from magazines, books & online. I kept a food diary & weighed myself each & every day, sometimes twice a day. In short, I was obsessed. It was my entire life. At the time, that was perfectly acceptable. I was all I had & this gave me a focus. A positive to outweigh the negative subconscious nagging pestering me as to why I didn’t have anything else. I gave it my all & I looked Tony the Tiger Grrrrrrrrreat! I think I also felt good, but that could’ve easily been the Blue Light/Crown supplements. 

Enter “The Boy”. We both tripped & fell deep, almost overnight. With the snap of a finger, I now had more to my every day. Those early morning alarms were quickly silenced & the diet put on it’s stretchy pants. 


In the Pro column, my bar days came to a halt. The storm clouds parted, revealing a choir of Hallelujah crooning angels. (I don’t know how people continue to live like 22 at 45… another future story.) Predictably, the pounds found their way back. A couple years in, we both decided we needed to find some health & our long lost waistlines. We donned our Fitbits & supported each other in our separate but parallel fitness journeys. We managed to shed some of our Relationship 15 (ok, 40). He more than I, of course, stupid male vs. female metabolism. Woo hoo! Go us! Then, guess what? Yep. We patted ourselves on the back that we COULD do it, we just chose not to any longer. We settled back into our uninterrupted sleep, tv watching, yummy grease consuming lifestyle we treasured over our new found physiques. 

Here we are. Six years later. I’m back up to my heaviest. I’m tired. I have unprovoked mood swings.

I feel old. 

I know I need to make changes, more for my inside than my out. I want to be around for a little while. I have a ton of things I want to do, learn, see. I’m already well equipped with the shoulds & need to’s. Fingers crossed this is the good swift kick in my portly backside to jumpstart my baby steps strategy to a better Me. I’m making a new plan, Stan, hopping on the bus, Gus. 

Wherefore Art Thou? 

Feeling a bit lost tonight. Questioning my decisions. Doesn’t do any good, can’t rewind & do over, right? I had to do what I did for me, my sanity, my well being. Well, then, why does it feel like I made a major faux pas of biblical proportions? I don’t want to milk the system. I don’t want anything for free, no handouts. I simply want to do something I can enjoy, even partially. Not all of us want to live in the corporate world. Who says that’s success? I’ve discovered I can live without a lot of what I once thought I couldn’t. I prefer to live simply. But I feel as if I’m judged for that. Is it not normal to be content with a small quantity of quality? Why is the norm to strive for more? More money, more material possessions, more of a house, more new vehicles, more lavish vacations. The only more I’m interested in attaining is more inner peace, more everyday awareness, more happiness. It sounds completely acceptable to me, even as I type it. So, again, why do I feel as if that type of aspiration isn’t worthy to most of society?

TMI 101

I was taught there are three things you should never discuss with anyone besides your closest true blues (even then, it’s a crap shoot.):

Politics

Money

Religion

Throwing any of these into the social ring is a sure fire way to find yourself meandering down Frenemy Lane. Truth is, no one cares! Bob doesn’t want to know how much Tom is bringing home in his weekly paycheck. Ruth could give two figs (mmmmmm, figs) who Joan supports in the upcoming election. Bill surely has no interest in which altar Patty & her brood kneel before. So why poke that bear? Why throw water in your neighbor’s face & force them to listen to The Story of You?

Now, I’m not implying your beliefs aren’t valuable or valid. They certainly are, to you & that’s great! You should believe in you & all you stand for! It’s when you start feeling the need to convince everyone within five counties that your way is the right way that you need to take a timeout. Friendly discussions are good. Condescending debates, not so much. Your buddy’s favorite color is red, yours is green. Is it acceptable to call your long time friend every name in the book (I still want to get my hands on this ‘book’, by the way. Seems like a good read!) & shaking your fist in his face, insisting he’s wrong & should join the green side? Of course you wouldn’t, because that’s just plain ridiculous! Well then, why is it any different with the Forbidden Three? Absolutely stand your ground, just don’t insist your coworker, bestie or fourth cousin twice removed stand directly beside you. We’re all in this together, yes, but respect & compassion for one another is going to get us so much further than mud slinging & blind hatred.

Deadly Schmeadly 

Everything in moderation, right? With so much hate, confusion, selfishness & discord in our world right now, sometimes we need to retreat into our own little safe zones & partake in a couple of deadly sins. Personally, gluttony & sloth are my faves. We basically shut the doors, turn on the tube & order in. No deep thinking or cooking. We brush our teeth, but showering? Well, that’s optional. A good binge fest is always good for recharging the soul. Trying to figure out the next move of the main villainous character on a television show is a welcome distraction from the World War T going on outside our window. Constant worry & debate causes wrinkles. Bet you didn’t know that, did you? If everyone would take a day or two every know & then & simply veg out, the world might not necessarily be a better place, but I bet your friends wouldn’t want to thrust punch you quite as often. 

Boomshakalaka! 

I’ve tried. 

A lot.

It’s just no use. 

My name is Jennifer & I can’t do flat. There, I said it. 

Now, I’m not one to usually paint a solid piece of wood furniture. I used to look at it as a mortal sin. Wood is a natural beauty that simply shouldn’t be messed with. Like a goygeous gal spackling her face with makeup, looks pretty, but not necessary. I’m now coming around to the realization that it’s not going to stop the Earth from spinning on its axis. If throwing some paint on a piece means it will be treasured by someone for years to come, who am I to judge? My issue is, I cannot, for all the tea in China… wait, I don’t drink tea… ummmm… oooh! I got it! …. for all the vino in Italy, I cannot paint a surface a flat, single toned hue. It doesn’t look right, it doesn’t feel right. I like texture. Texture speaks to me, makes me feel all deep & stuff. 

It would be sooooo much easier to slap on a coat of paint & send my one of a kind on it’s way, but that’s not me. I need to look at it & get that tingly sensation in my toes. I love when my heart swells & a smile comes to my face as I say to myself, “Yeah, you did that. You go with your bad self.” (Yes I talk to myself, usually out loud. I pretend I’m talking to the animals, but we all know better.) Adding more colors, taking extra steps, waiting longer for dry time… it’s all worth it in the end. 

It’s the same in life. Could you take the easy way? You sure could & sometimes should. But, other times…. take that other path. Challenge yourself. Instead of simply coasting by, you could find yourself taking a step back with a big ol’ toothy grin & saying to no one in particular, “Damn, I’m good!” 

What if… 

What if we all practiced turn the other cheek, live & let live, treat others the way you would like to be treated? 

I’ve never been a political type o’ gal. I perform my civic duty every four years. That’s it. (Wipes hands.) I am of the belief that my vote really doesn’t count, yet I also believe I can’t say a word, one way or another, if I don’t cast that futile vote. People have fought hard & worked tirelessly for me to be able to color in that little circle, so it’s the least I can do. But that’s where my political affiliation comes to a screeching halt. For the most part, I do not partake in the seemingly endless debates about whose figurehead is better. You know whose side I’m on? I’m on humanity’s side. If you’re a decent human being, I’m rooting for you! Of course, there are differing levels of decency, but I can look past the fake, egotistical, needy drama royalty if your heart shines through. How is it, ‘we’ can still stand on our pedestals & declare to anyone within earshot (or on the other side of our keyboards) that our ideals are the only & correct way to live? People become so arrogant in their views that they cannot even notice when they’re contradicting their very own mightier than thou beliefs. 

How ’bout we all take a step back. Take a nice deep breath & an honest to goodness look at the great big picture we’re all part of. In the World Class Pic of 2017, you are that teeny tiny little face right there. See it? 148th row, 7,426,001 over. Right there, that’s you. Teeny tiny, but you’re there & so am I. So is that person you just berated online because they didn’t agree with your thoughts. There they are, on your right. Seeing them face to face, do you want to continue your incessant rant or would you rather shake hands & agree to disagree? “But he said, she said, they did…” Whoooooo gives a hairy rat’s behind?? Just because you don’t see eye to eye means you need to attack. This is not eat or be eaten, go grab a Snickers for goulash’s sake! 

I’m learning, or rather, teaching myself to be like Elsa & let it go. Holding on to hate & the likes only accomplishes one thing, making ME miserable, stressed, ill. Who wants to live like that??? Not this girl. I’m in no way saying to turn a blind eye & not participate. I’m simply asking you to think before you speak or type. Be kind when you respond. Behave the way you would like to see those around you act. Ask yourself, “WWJD”… What would Jennifer do?? Bahahaha! I kid, I kid! 

In all seriousness, try kind, even if for just one day. Try it on, see how you feel. I betchya you’ll want a whole wardrobe of it. 

Let’s try this again, shall we? 

I was so very excited to start a blog last year & then I fell off the wagon. Damn bumps in the road! So, here I go again. 

New year, but not a new me. Same me, just a different version. I have so many wants on my list that are extremely attainable. I want to write, read, paint, draw, create, build, learn &, of course, live, love & laugh. I have the world at my fingertips. NOW is the time! 

I enrolled in a year long painting class. I’ve lined up my books. I have my list of immediate projects. My journal is at the ready. 

May 2017 be a year of development & enlightenment. 

Sunday Morning Sentiments

This is my favorite part of the day. Up before the rest of the house. All is quiet. Poring over the going ons of social media, checking the local paper & weather, collecting the night’s emails… While enjoying my java. The good stuffs. 

Well, our little bundle has yet to show her face, putting life on hold for us here. Is it strange that I feel as though her birth is bringing the rest of us a rebirth? We’re all waiting on her for this new chapter of our lives to begin. A chapter filled with love, laughter & hope. Along with late nights, early mornings, dirty diapers & loads of laundry, I get to experience life through a little one’s eyes. This is a blessing I never thought would come. To have the chance to create an everlasting bond from birth twice in my life is more than I could ever ask for. (Rocco will always be my first.) 

Will she know me? Will my voice soothe her? Will she look for Mama Jen’s loving arms when she wants to be held? 

Love, pure & unconditional. 

Hurry, baby girl, we’re all waiting to meet you. 

XO 

Necessities 

Sunday morning. 

A balmy 20some degrees outside. 

Lake effect snow warning in effect until 4am Monday. 

Better get to the store & grab what we need. 

This is what wound up in my reusable grocery bag….  

 Bananas – because I had every intention of beginning my meal replacement shake regimen Monday morning. (I’ll try again this Monday) 

Cheetos Puffs – for my guy’s munchies. 

Chocolate chips – to make cookies for the preggers. (I was researching how to start a blog & left them in a wee bit too long. The chocolate chip stones went in the garbahge)

Peanut butter, 40 oz – Hi, my name is Jennifer & I’m addicted to peanut butter. 

Eggs- always need eggs. 

Tissues, 2 boxes – I need a box of tissue on my side table next to my big comfy chair at all times & I ran out on Friday, I was about to lose it. 

Coffee, dark roast – cofffffffeeeeeeee, for me. I use my reusable k-cup for coffee. My guy, not so much. Only Timmy Ho’s k-cups for him. 

T.P., 12 double rolls – if I had the room I would buy by the pallet, just for convenience. 

Margarine – yes, I know butter is better. But margarine is cheaper & makes yummier cookies (when you don’t over-bake them) 

Strawberry preserves – because subconsciously I knew I wasn’t starting those shakes & I’d need this for my breakfast of peanut butter toast. 

True necessities? Maybe not. But necessity is dictated by circumstances.