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This will be the third time that I’ve started this blog.  Hopefully this time will stick, but only time will tell.  So much change has been happening in our lives since the last time that I blogged.  Both of my kids have become adults – one struggled a bit to figure it out and is still trying (I think we’re on the right road now), while the other is thriving in school, starting her second co-op (internship) in April.  I left my comfortable job of ten years to try to do “something more” which didn’t turn out so great.  I ended up back with my “comfortable” place in a different division in a very different place – I went from Princeton, NJ to Philadelphia, PA.  I have to say, working in the city has been the best gift I’ve ever given myself.  It makes me feel young, it makes me feel relevant and most of all, I work with some of the greatest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.

For some reason, I’m not still entirely sure what that reason was, we started looking at houses in Collingswood again and found the perfect cozy downsize for us and our dogs which led to us putting our beloved house on the market.  Much to our surprise, it sold in three months and we’re now happy residents of Collingswood, NJ.  This town is filled with people that we can relate to and we can walk to so many wonderful stores, Cooper River Park, and so much more.  It was a great decision, but felt like it wasn’t going to happen, and then it did and then my husband was let go from his job.

Fast forward a few more weeks – he’s still looking, but things are looking up.  A few more weeks later, my oldest child moved back into our cozy downsized home.  It’s all good!  My kid needed a stable place to get their feet back on the ground and figure out where life was taking them (in case you’re curious about my pronoun choices, the one thing my kid is sure about is that they are gender queer, which means that they don’t recognize gender as it is a social construct and I agree and support).

Ok, that’s kind of been a bit of a rambling post, but as with everything in life, there is so much change that is interrelated, it’s difficult to separate it all.  I will, however, attempt to do so over the next few blogs.  My current goal is to post every Wednesday, documenting my journey after graduating college (about where I left off on my last blog) and focusing on all of the change that has been happening with our family over those past few years.  I’d love to have you all on this journey with me.


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…

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?

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.

Well since I have vowed that I would post every Monday and low and behold, it’s Monday, I need to post.  There is nothing getting on my nerves in particular today, so I thought it might be fun to write about summer.  Watching the Phillies game prompted me to think about this.  I love baseball, although I have only just recently rediscovered just how much.  Last year, my husband and I went to a Phillies game for our 20th anniversary and we had a great time!  Almost as much fun as we have going to the theater (to which we also renewed our subscription this year).  We’ve already been to one game this year and have decided that it will be our new anniversary gift to ourselves every year.  So in August, we have great tickets for the ballgame on our anniversary.

I also remember when I was a kid, going camping.   We went camping every year, usually to Lancaster, PA, sometimes to farther away places.  We had relatives in Ohio who owned a campground and I remember driving out to visit them a few times.  Camping was always fun there.  I remember one particular time when we were playing softball and I caught a line drive and thought my thumb was broken.  But I kept playing because my dad was actually playing with us!  It was always a lot of fun.  I loved camping then.

With my own kids, we haven’t really established any traditions as far as summer goes.  I’m kind of sad that we didn’t and they’re teenagers now so I’m feeling like it’s too late.  When they were little, we used to go to Lancaster often because my son was a train fanatic and they have some of the best train stuff around.  We always stayed at the Fulton Steamboat Inn because they had an indoor pool and we had to get back to the hotel early enough for them to swim.  That was fun.  More recently, we have not really done anything spectacular and this year will be no exception, lol.

Mostly though, summer meant freedom.  Getting up every day to the new possibilities available to you.  Running barefoot in the yard, riding my bike, swimming in our pool, hanging out with friends, the possibilities were always endless.  I’m sure there were times that we were bored, what kids aren’t, but I don’t think of those times.  Summer is still refreshing to me as an adult.  It’s a break from all of the hustle and bustle that the school year can bring when you have children.  Work seems a little slower, but the weekends do go by much faster!  It still reminds you of all of the possibilities, if you only you stop a minute to dream about them.

Since yesterday was Father’s Day, I thought I would talk about parenting.  I was always what you would call a “Daddy’s Girl.”  Of course, now that I’m older, I realize that’s because my Mom always had to be the bad guy because my Dad wasn’t home too often.  It was easy for him to be the hero.  I’m not saying that my father was a bad dad, because I’m not.  I idolized my father.  But what I am saying is that my mom was a far better parent than I’ve ever acknowledged.  My dad was great on vacation and at Christmas, when he would be there to participate in all of the fun.  And he’d be really there and I remember many of those moments as some of my favorites.  However, I’m sure that my mother planned those vacations and those holidays and did a lot of the work (if not all of it) to make them happen.  Yet, it was the time spent with dad that I remember most.  Fair, no.  Now that I’m a parent, I get it.  And boy do I ever owe my mom a big thank you and a big apology.

My husband is a very involved father.  He participates in my kids lives completely.  I am still usually the bad guy, but he’s the bad guy enough that he doesn’t always get to be the hero.  Parenting is a tough job and doing it as partners is even tougher.  It’s easier to say, this is how I do it and so this is how it must be done.  It is very hard to say, well you do it your way and I’ll do it mine.  Not to mention that there are a million things that you have to come to a concensus on.  But it is better, oh so much better, for the kids. 

I used to play my parents off each other because I knew my mom would say no and my dad would say yes.  That really hurt their relationship with each other and it hurt my relationship with my mom.  My kids do not try to play that game because they know it will not work.  My husband and I talk to each other constantly.  Granted, sometimes with stuff like me floating my son a few extra dollars or letting my daughter have a few parakeets (in addition to the rest of her menagerie), I get to be the hero, my husband the bad guy.  But for the really important stuff, we stand together.  After all, when they are gone, we’re still going to be here together.

Wow, where have the months gone?  Since my last post, I finished another semester at school, won a research scholarship (which will occupy a lot of my time for the next 11 months), been told I should try to have a paper published and made Dean’s List.  Oh, and did I mention completely renovate my main bathroom with my wonderful husband?  It’s been a very busy, very productive 5 months.

In that time, I’ve become a regular reader of many feminist blogs out there.  There are some amazing women in the blogosphere and I’m very proud to be among them.  Of course, they are all much more read than I am, but perhaps that could change if I ever started to post regularly.  I finished an amazing class on global women writers in May.  It was a great class with everyone engaged and many interesting discussions on various feminists topics.  The paper in which it was recommended that I have published was about the important of literacy for women.  This goes back to a former post of mine about the importance of education, especially for women. 

Currently, in New Jersey, our governor is at war with education.  Yes, the state is running a deficit, but is it ok to take it out on future generations?  It seems like all of the cuts that are planned hurt the middle class and hurt children.  Really, I thought New Jersey had a comprehensive program to combat bullying in our schools.  Unfortunately, it was not in place in time for our current governor to have gone through it.  He is picking on the weak and those less fortunate than himself.  We need people who care to speak out and let them know that his cuts are unfair and misplaced.  We need EDUCATED WOMEN to tell this bully that we will not allow that type of behavior on our playground.  So, if any other New Jerseyites read this, please comment.  Perhaps our voices will be loud enough to be heard in Trenton…

This weekend, I was in rare form since I started to debate with someone on Facebook about what actually constitutes Socialism.  This was after they made some blow hard statement about racism that somehow changed into socialism but was really a rant about Obama.  Then later at a picnic, some other idiot started blustering about how no one will  invest in bonds because of how the government took over the car industry.  So, the government has never done anything like this before?  Give me a break.  Try Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman.  Learn your history.

These people just spew what they hear on Fox News and they assume that everyone agrees with them.  Normally at a family function I would just walk away, but this time, having just gotten off of the previous mentioned debate, I couldn’t help myself.  Plus this guy comes to every one of these picnics and let’s his kid bug everyone else there.  So basically after I told him he was full of crap, in a completely intellectual way, he got up and walked away.   I then apologized to those at my table for not remaining the meek woman that I’m supposed to be.  They just laughed.

Why do these people (it seems men in particular) think that they can just go around reciting Fox News and that everyone should just allow them to do so?  I’m tired of this.  We people who do not agree with this propaganda need to get angry and fight back.  To hell with politeness.  It didn’t work while Bush was in office and it’s obviously not working now.  I have personally made a promise to myself that when someone is saying these things in front of me, I will confront them.  If they have better facts then me, great!  At least that means they’re thinking for themselves.  More than likely, however, I will win the battle.  They will never concede, but maybe they’ll shut up for a while.

Well, my husband has been bugging me to write a blog for a very long time now, so here I am.  I was inspired by the movie, “Julie and Julia” as I’m sure many people have been.    I’m still trying to decide exactly what my blog should be about, since I have many passions – good food, drinking wine, reading, quilting, sociology, gender issues, motherhood, and the list goes on and on. 

Since this is my first post, let me introduce myself.  My name is Bonnie, I am 41 years old and I will be celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary next Wednesday.  I am middle aged, overweight and out of shape (all of which I would like to change and probably won’t).   I work full-time as an Administrative Assistant at an international consulting firm and I am in college part-time.  I have 8 classes left before completing my Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies.  I am considering continuing on to graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in Gender Studies, but that will have to wait until my kid’s are done with college. 

I have two kids, one starting high school this year, which is a sure fire way to feel old and the other on their second year of middle school.  They are great kids, both very smart and talented and I’m proud to be their mom.  I love teenagers, they are a lot of fun to be around and would love to teach middle school, unfortunately, Social Studies teachers are not in great demand.

I had interesting assignments for a few classes that I had taken last year, one, the Psychology of Gender and the second, Youth/Adolescent Psychology.  I had to journal on issues that were relevant to what we were studying and I pretty much wrote about my new found understanding of some of my difficulties growing up.  I think that I will post them here, maybe one a week and take it from there. 

Anyone who stumbles upon this blog will know me very well after the first few months.  That is one of the things that my husband both loves and hates about me – my brutal honesty.  Please drop me a line if you find anything that I’ve written about interesting or you disagree strongly or for any reason whatsoever.  I would love to find some kindred spirits.  I know you’re out there!

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