Ok, so I am a few days late past two weeks, but not bad.  Not 3 months between posts.  I have partially completed one of the three quilts I needed to do work on. I should finish it tomorrow and since I have until the end of the month, that goal is looking pretty good.  As far as yoga once a week, I just don’t see that happening.  I need to reevaluate how to make exercise work for me.  So far, I haven’t gotten there.  I have not picked up the book that my son bought me either and I’m still hovering around 192.  I have some work to do.

But speaking of quilting, I have decided that it’s really not my thing.  I like to pick patterns and then colors to fit in that pattern and that’s about it.  Everything past that is kind of frustrating for me.  So I need to find a new hobby and something besides reading (which I used to love to do, but find difficult to do now).  Any suggestions for a hobby that would appeal to someone with a great sense of color and design but little patience?

So where do I stand in the month?  I still need to work on my diet.  I am beginning to wonder if that is ever going to help.  I’ve been eating vegan at least 60% of the time and my weight is not budging.  And I’m certainly not eating ice cream the other 40%! Getting discouraged and feeling like perhaps acceptance is my first step, then weight loss.  Also, I’ve never been an athlete and have always had trouble getting any type of routine down when it comes to exercise (except for those 10 months when I thought I was going into the Marine Corp reserves, but that is a story for a different time).  I like yoga, it makes me feel good, most exercise classes make me feel good, and yet – I can’t bring myself to go on a consistent basis.

Ok, to sum it up, I’m on track for two of my five goals? Not so good.  Guess I need to step it up in the next two weeks so that when I post again, I have better news to report and new goals to set.  Until then…

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So, it’s been almost a month since I was last here.  I had started the blog again in the hopes that I would post at least once a week.  I joined the club at Whole Foods hoping that I’d take yoga at least twice a week – that’s happened once.  I wanted to be under 190 lbs, that’s happened for one day.  I just don’t seem to have much “stick-to-it” ness going on in my life right now.  I guess you could say, I’m still tired. 

Will it do me any good to set goals when I don’t seem to stick with them?  Am I too hard on myself?  I know that second question is true.  I rarely give myself credit for anything.  I have been trying to change that, but still a work in progress.   I guess the only way to find out is to set some definitive goals instead of just having some ideas floating around in my head.  If I give them to you, I will be held accountable (since I know my sister always reads my posts 🙂 )  Here goes:

1.  I want to finish the quilt that I started for my nephew Lucas and also my nieces Eliana and Kerrington.  My stated goal is to finish in order to give them at Easter when the family is together.  Kerrington’s might be a stretch (still a little piecing to do) but there is no excuse for not finishing the others.

2.  I will post to this blog at least every other week.  We’ll start there and hopefully work up to more time.

3.  I want to get below 190 and stay there.  I will set lower goals, but first I need to hit this one.

4.  I will take some form of exercise class at least once a week.  I’d love to do four, but at this point, one would be a great success.

So, there are my goals for March.  They are a good place to start.  Oh, I have one more!  My son bought me two books on Feminism for Christmas and I’ve only read one of them, Woman by Natalie Angier (I highly recommend it to everyone).  My final goal for March will be to finish reading The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir.

Let’s see if having something to accomplish will help move me forward.  In fact, I will revisit this at the end of March and reevaulate for April.  Perhaps this will be the right way to stay on track.

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, but I’m going to try to move back to once a week.  I’ve been going through a lot of changes this year.  I graduated from Rider University with my Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies, summa cum laude after completing a research project for which I was granted $5000 in tuition.  It was quite an accomplishment for me and I’m very proud that I’ve finally reached that goal.  Now, it’s time to get healthy!  My son became vegan sometime during the last year and as a family we decided that it would just be easier if we made all of our dinners vegan.  That started the first transition.  We bought an amazing cookbook called “The Veganomican” by Isa Chandra Moskovitz and it is by far the most amazing cookbook that I’ve ever owned!  We’ve actually thanked our son for making the choice that he did because we never would have figured out how to cook this way if he hadn’t.

My next transition on this journey was to join the Wellness Club at our local Whole Foods store.  This gives me cooking classes (all vegan), nutrition classes and exercise classes.  I just joined on January 8th and have taken two cooking classes and two yoga classes.  I am scheduled to take two more yoga classes tomorrow and two more nutrition classes this week.  I am getting my money’s worth and enjoying it.  I’m hoping that this will be the push that I need to finally lose those extra 40 lbs of baby weight I’ve been carrying around for 15 years!  I will continue to blog about my experiences at the Wellness club, but for this post, I’d like to focus on change and how it affects others.

You would think that other people, especially your relatives, would be supportive when you are making positive changes in your life.  However, that’s not always the case.  In many situations, these very people seem to want you not to change.  Why is that?  Is there fear?  Do they feel threatened?  Do they feel guilty because they’re not willing to make the same change?  I’m not sure exactly what the psychology is, but I do know that I hate it.  I try to cheer people on in any endeavor they make in their life which will result in further happiness.  I don’t understand why people take changes that I make in my own life personally, perhaps I never will.  Any insights?  Have you made changes in your life and found people, especially relatives to be less than supportive?

Many years ago, the Pilgrims came to this country to escape religious persecution.  It was so important to them, that the message was passed down through the generations.  By the time our founding fathers put our Constitution in place, they made it a point to say, in the laws of our land, that no one was to be discriminated against based on their religion.

Fast forward a few hundred years and the World Trade Centers were attacked by Extremists who were also Muslim.  I capitalize the word Extremists because not all Muslims feel the way about those of us in the West as this particular group of people do.  Also, we have Extremists living in our own country who happen to be Christian (Timothy McVeigh).  Yet, were they to build a church on the site of the Federal Building that he blew up, I do not think that anyone would have protested. (And perhaps they already have, I am not aware of what has happened in Oklahoma since that horrible day.)  However, because these particular Extremists claim to use their religion as a reason for the attacks, we are going to deny other Muslims their right to practice their religion; a full two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center, I might add.  In addition, the Imam who wants to build this mosque is someone who has been trying to heal the rift between those of us in the West and Muslims who are not Extremists.

When I read that the construction workers would not work on the mosque, I knew the Extremists have won.  They have won the battle to turn the United States into a nation that is no better than the countries from which they come.  They have turned us into a country who is willing to now go against our very own Constitution, against one of the very reasons our country has been so successful, Freedom of Religion.  Really, the very reason that this country was founded.  This is a very sad day for the United States and I would personally like to apologize to every single soldier who have put their life on the line in defense of our Freedoms.  Apparently, a few Extremists have defeated you all.

As someone who is overweight, I know a thing or two about food.  Mostly, how much I like to eat it.  My husband is a great cook.  When I went back to school, he took on the responsibility of feeding the family and even does half the shopping every week.  He soon found that he loves to cook and our family soon discovered that we love him to cook for us.  We were just shopping today and realized that we were shopping the perimeter!  We are eating healthy, we know that, but why aren’t we losing weight?  Probably because we eat lots of the deliciously healthy food that we make for ourselves.

We’ve also been going to the gym.  So far, I’ve only averaged two days a week, however, I am working my way up to four.  Still haven’t lost any weight though 😦  It’s all very frustrating.  My husband keeps reminding me that we are doing this for our health and if, and when, the weight loss comes, it will just be a bonus.  We love each other no matter what, so if our bodies change for the better, great!  If not, well it won’t matter because we have to be getting healthier with these new habits, don’t we?

Being a student of sociology, I know intellectually that society is encouraging me to think less of myself because I’m not thin enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not…enough.  But if I continue to allow my heart to listen to that, I will never be satisifed because I will never measure up to societies standards.  However, I already measure up in plenty of ways: I’m good at my job, I’m a good mom, I’m a good wife, I’m a pretty good quilter and I’m a thinking person, in addition to the many other things that I am.  So why is it so hard to filter out all of those shoulds? 

I guess the trick is to constantly remind ourselves of who we are and why we are good enough.  The advertisers are good, but they can’t beat good ole self-confidence.

Well it’s Monday and I need to post something but I have nothing to say.  Work has been busy, which is good.  I have not been feeling well lately, which is bad.  Hopefully just the crappy weather.  Can’t wait for the semester to start so I have some intellectual discussion every week.  I have already read one book for the class and it is going to be a good one.  However, with graduation so close, I feel pressure to decide what I want to be when I grow up and I can not see past my experience as an administrative assistant. 

Perhaps being an administrative assistant is what is best for me.  After all, I am very good at it and I have always been considered a valuable member of any team for which I have worked.  Did I really need to get my degree to continue that work?  Probably, the job market is tightening and I have the feeling the truly challenging administrative jobs will require it.  And perhaps, my perfect job is out there, somewhere.  It may even be where I am now, only time will tell.  Realistically, I would have always regretted it had I not gotten my degree anyway and I am proud to say that not only will I be graduating, but with highest honors and I won a research scholarship to boot.  So, if I only ever just finish it, I can be proud.  There is nothing wrong with taking care of others, which is what I do as an admin, as a wife and as a mother.

I had an interesting conversation with my son the other day.  He wrote a blog entry about something that had occurred in his life and mentioned that he had called a girl a “ho.”  Well, this feminist mom was not going to stand for that!  I made him promise me that he would never call a woman that again.  He said the she was a demon from who knows where and I said fine, I’d prefer you call her that.  Which led to, “You’d rather I call her that?”  I had to go on to explain that whore was a word that was used to oppress women and limit their choices and has been used for centuries for those reasons.  It is ok for a man to have sex with multiple partners and while there is now the term “man-ho,” it is still used with an “atta boy” attitude.  Why is it ok for men to make this choice, but if a woman owns her sexuality and chooses to have more than one partner, she is a bad person?  Why?

It forces women to be the gatekeepers of morality while men can go ahead and behave however they would like, without circumstances.  It is shaming language that is only used against women, for which there are no equivalents to use for men.  If having multiple sexual partners is immoral, then the language should reflect that in a non-gender way, but it does not. 

Therefore, my son has promised me he will never use that word again and I trust that he will not because he respects women, his mother in particular 🙂

I am being self-reflective these days, most likely due to the death of my grandmother.  After her memorial service, I had to go into work for an important meeting.  Now I know people think, what could be that important, but this meeting involved a huge responsbility that was given to me.  As an admin, I don’t get that feeling of authority and importance too often.  I’ll revisit this later.  So anyway, because of where my grandmother’s service was held and where my work is located, I had to drive past many of the places that were important in my childhood.  As I drove through, I couldn’t help but think that this would be the last time that I might see many of these places.  After all, I have very little reason to ever go back to the town where I grew up since my grandmother wasn’t there anymore.  It almost felt, at that moment, that my childhood had officially ended. 

Understand, of course, that I’ve been supporting myself for over 20 years now, but still, that did not seem to define the end of childhood.  I lost track of old friends, had children on my own, and yet, I still felt like one of the “younger” ones.  I am the oldest granddaughter, so at the service, my aunt gave me my grandmother’s grandchild charm bracelet.  Although I do not have any grandchildren and won’t any time soon, my children are the oldest of my grandmother’s great-grandchildren.  I guess it felt like the crown was being passed.

The reason that I also marked this post as education is because being grown up, I feel like it’s time for me to figure out what I want to do with myself now.  I will be graduating with my Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts degree in May and I feel strongly that I want to continue, particularly if my company will continue to pay my tuition.  What should I do though?  Within the confines of my job, there aren’t many options.  Do I abandon my 20+ years of administrative experience and go in a totally new direction?  Or do I stick with what I know, my strengths, so that I can continue to grow with my current skill set?  I really don’t know the answer to these questions.  I do know that I cannot afford to pay for my own tuition since I will need to help my children with their college tuition in a few short years.  From that standpoint, it seems like it would be silly to find a job making less money.  But when do we finally say “uncle” and go for our bliss?  And how do you figure out what bliss means for you?

Why is it that every morning radio show is full of misogynistic jerks and women who allow them to be?  I have not been able to find a morning show where women are not talked about like pieces of meat.  Do women not listen to the radio in the morning?  Where did this come from?  And even men who seem otherwise nice, think nothing about constantly referring to women as sexual objects or to their wives  as nagging shrews.  Where is the value of women in morning radio?  Is it to sit there and tell the mostly male DJ’s what naughty boys they are, because that’s all I hear them saying.

This won’t be a long post, because there’s not much more to say on the subject.  I have switched to listening to my mp3 player on shuffle.  I know it does nothing to fix the current state of talk radio, but not listening is better than just “putting up with it” so that I can hear one or two good songs on my way into work in the morning.

Do any of you have good radio stations in your area that don’t discuss women in stereotypical and sexually explicit ways or do most of you have the same experience as I do?  What do you think we can do about it?

Well as I mentioned in my blog last week, my grandmother has been ill.  She passed this morning.  I have been going over this in my head all day.  What does this mean to me?  I’m still not sure.  I was with her on Saturday and she was not doing well so I know that she is at peace now and for this I am grateful.  I had visited her several times over the past month with my children and they were lovely visits and for that I am also grateful.  And I’m grateful for the chance to have this venue to reflect on what having her in my life meant to me. 

What I realize is that my son is more like me, than I even knew.  He tends to grab onto the bad things and remember them as opposed to remembering the good things.  I do not think I do that any longer, but upon reflecting on my grandmother, I think that I had that same tendency when I was younger.  I mostly remember my grandmother yelling at me, especially about getting out of the trees (we liked to climb them, a lot).  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized there were a lot of good times.  We used to sit for hours and work on puzzles.  We used to play cards, a lot.  My aunts, my mom and my great aunts would come over and we’d have huge card games.  They were very competitive too.  We’d bet pennies and these games were viscious.  No one wanted to lose their $2.  I looked forward to those nights.

The most fun I remember having with my family, the times I felt most loved, was during those card games.  Working on puzzles taught me patience.  Being yelled at to get out of trees made me realize that whatever a lady was, it was not something that I wanted to be!   These were all important lessons.  I guess the most important lesson, though, was the lesson it taught about women needing other women.  I always came out of those card games feeling validated, knowing that if there was no where else in the world I belonged, I belonged there.   I was a member of the women’s club.  Thank you grandmom for welcoming me there, I’ll miss you.

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