Archive for February 2011

I asked this question out loud today while I was attempting to shop for new clothes. Specifically I was looking for a nice outfit to wear to a very important dinner where I will be doing lots of networking and catching up with friends I haven’t seen since the last dinner a year ago. I was also hoping to find some clothes I could wear to work everyday. Mom’s xmas present to me was new clothes that we would go buy together. This is the first chance we’ve had to go so we set out on our journey. I’m always nervous when I go shopping for clothes. I’ve changed sizes over the years but I’ve always felt like I didn’t fit in the different sections in the stores. I’ve said on more than one occasion that it’s because my astrological sign is in the cusp between Leo and Virgo so therefore everything else about me is in the cusp. I remember looking for clothes as a teenager and not finding any tops that would fit because my breasts were so big. I remember having trouble finding pants that fit right because my butt was so big. Now, I was not “big” as in obese or humongous. I just didn’t fit in any of the clothes for my age because they didn’t account for girls having curves. Most of my friends were pretty much stick thin except for one or two, but I always seemed to be the biggest of the group. I was always very active growing up. I would ride my bike everywhere I went and take long walks in the woods with my dog Kisses. I played softball all the way from age 5 to 17. I played 4 years of field hockey in high school. So, I was fit, I just had these beautiful curves. I remember one time standing in the isle between the juniors section and the women’s section thinking “where do I fit in?” I’m still asking this question to this day.

My body has changed quite a bit since then. I am not nearly as active, in fact, I’m hardly active at all. I work at a job where I sit at a desk most of the time. I do get up and walk around the building for errands and such occasionally, but it’s not much exercise. Every now and then my friend Kimberly will need to vent so we’ll go take a walk around the building and she walks pretty fast. Since high school I’ve gained 70 lbs. Geez that’s a lot! It didn’t happen all at once. It’s happen gradually and I can’t tell you exactly what caused it. I had Jackson almost two years ago and I’m only about 5 or 6 lbs away from where I was before I had him. Granted my stomach muscles aren’t as strong or as tight so that adds some clothing wearing issues since I’m shaped differently. I guess it’s just my lack of physical activity and my continuing my same eating habits. Somehow I’m still in the cusp. I went to Kohl’s today and they have a women’s and a misses section. That in itself is confusing. I always thought those were the same. Evidently my style is more “Misses” but my size is somewhere in between. The smallest in “women’s” is too big, but the largest in “misses” is just a little too form fitting for my comfort.

I AM TIRED OF WEARING BLACK CLOTHING! I don’t even want to think about how many black shirts I have. I told myself I would not buy any black tops today. My other choices were god-awful patterns or thin stretchy solid color shirts that would have show everybody the minute details of my shape. I’m not trying to hide it all, but I don’t want to give it all away either. I know I have lots of curves and I’m not ashamed of them. But I also don’t want everyone to see every little curve on my body. I’m in the cusp when it comes to body image too. I tell everybody who will listen that they need to love their bodies and I know that to be true. It’s also a lot easier to say than to do, so I have my moments, like today, when I stare at myself in the full length mirror and say “what the hell happened?” I happened to look up at my face while I was thinking this and saw a big ol’ frown. That’s not like me. I immediately perked myself up and said “this is me, deal with it and move on”. It’s not like I purposefully set out to be this size. I think that’s the message that advertisers and weight loss pill/surgery sellers tell you. That somehow you have done this to yourself on purpose. I think it’s more of a lack of caring for yourself. I was talking with my best friend Lisa about this the other day. Women tend to take care of everybody else before they even think about taking care of themselves. Then by the time they get around to taking care of themselves it’s easier to skip it because you’re so exhausted from taking care of everything else.

In my case I wear myself out at work mentally so when I get home my body is tired and I just want to sit down. Not like I haven’t been doing enough of that all day already, but it’s all I want to do. What energy I do have is spent playing with Jackson and tending to him. You know what they say about an object (person) in motion will stay in motion, but an object (person) sedentary will stay sedentary. Well, I get home and once I’m on the couch I’m done for the night. There is no desire whatsoever to get up and exercise. I tried swimming after work but they changed the pool hours and by that time I was over having to change and shower at the gym. I tried a kickboxing class and that was way over my head. I absolutely hate those stationary machines and I don’t run. Too many curves for that. I might give myself a black eye. ūüôā

So, basically, I haven’t found anything that works for me. I can’t find clothes that fit the way they should so I don’t feel like I’m really representing who I am with what I am able to find that stays on and doesn’t cut off my circulation. I do have this one awesome pair of jeans that I absolutely love because they make my butt look fabulous. So, this is something that I’m going to have to work at. It’s hard because there are so many emotions tied to how I look and what clothes are out there and how they make me look. Like I said, I do ok when it comes to body image, but it’s a constant struggle.

If only we could walk around naked! That would solve that problem. Seeing what real people look like minus those clothes that hide everything would make us all realize that nobody is perfect. Those people we see in the magazines have been Photoshopped and airbrushed. Those people we see in the movies have been edited and/or have starved themselves to be so thin. There is only about 3-5% of the population in our country that is that thin. The rest of us need to learn to love ourselves, and each other, the way we are. In the mean time, can someone PLEASE design an attractive line of clothes for us voluptuous women and girls?

Next time I go shopping for clothes I’m taking reinforcements! (My best friend Lisa) ūüôā


It’s Monday and I’m sick. ¬†I don’t get sick that often. ¬†In fact, everyone around me has been sick it seems since December and this is the first time I had to stay home from work. ¬†I had lots to do today. ¬†I had people depending on me for things. Yet, I knew that if I went in I would not be able to hold my head up or get anything done. ¬†Plus, I would be spreading more germs. ¬†I have been laying in bed all day except for some trips out to the kitchen to get some food and to say hello to my baby. ¬†His Poppa (my dad) is looking after him today. ¬†Thank goodness! Otherwise I wouldn’t really be resting now, would I? ¬†Little Jackson is a ball of energy and I can barely keep up with him when I’m at 100%.

Anyway, this got me thinking about being depended on. ¬†I’m a dependable person. ¬†I like to help out whenever I can. ¬†If I say I’m going to do something, I do it. ¬†However, being at home sick has also left me with a humungous feeling of guilt. ¬†I feel guilty about not being there to set up a display and do a presentation for Eating Disorder Awareness Week. ¬†I feel guilty about not being there to help with the leadership program this week. ¬†I feel guilty that there’s probably something going on that they need me for and I’m not there. ¬†I hate this feeling. ¬†I should not be thinking about work. ¬†I should be thinking about taking care of myself and getting better.

I wonder, are women more resistant to taking sick days than men? ¬†Do they feel as much guilt about not being there as women? ¬†It may not be something that’s divide along gender lines. ¬†I’m curious though. ¬†Do you know men who feel guilty when they take a sick day? ¬†Or are they just happy to have the day? ¬†Do they spend their time worrying what could be going wrong at work instead of resting? ¬†Or, is it just me who worries about these things when I should be napping? ¬†I think a little qualitative research is in order. ¬†I put the question to you, whoever you are, that is reading this. ¬†Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

Time for a nap!

I refer to myself in this manner repeatedly. ¬†However, today it was especially true. ¬†I had set up a crazy schedule for myself today. ¬†I had a 3 hour training in the morning, a doctor’s appointment at lunch, two appointments with students about volunteering back to back, Stitch A Bit for two hours and then a brief presentation on healthy relationships at 7:30. ¬†I started out on my way to work at 7:30 AM and got home at 8:00 PM. ¬†That makes for a long day. ¬†All of that wouldn’t have been as crazy if it weren’t for the busy office I came back to in between all those things. ¬†At one point someone actually yelled my name down the hall looking for me! ¬†The whole office is tiny so yelling was not required and the question that person had was not time sensitive. ¬†It kind of took me by surprise and I almost laughed out loud, but since it was a student I decided against that. ¬†It may have felt urgent to her. ¬†In addition to all that we had Freshmen coming in for information about our services for their scavenger hunt assigned by their professor. ¬†We also had students coming by turning in applications for the Art Show we’re putting together. ¬†And then there the guys who came in for the “I Love Female Orgasm” buttons. ¬†That at least kept me laughing. ¬†So I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, to¬†needs and student questions all the while trying to answer the 51 emails I had received since 5pm the day before.

My point in telling you about my craziness it to talk about multi-tasking. ¬†At every point in my day I was partly doing whatever it was that I was doing and partly thinking about the things I would have to do later and the next day. ¬†I had to keep catching myself from doing that so that I could be present with the task at hand. ¬†I tend to avoid making too many general statements because there’s always an exception to the rule. ¬†However, I think multi-tasking is a mostly feminine quality/skill. ¬†I don’t know how we do it, but someone we juggle multiple important tasks at once. ¬†It makes me think of the Hindu goddess Kali with all her many arms. ¬†If only we had that many arms it would make multi-tasking so much easier. ¬†Of course, then we’d have lots of arms.

Some say that multi-tasking is a bad thing. ¬†I think if you try to do too much at once then things start to suffer. ¬†For example, I just got distracted by cheesecake and I lost my train of thought by the time I finished it and came back to this post. ¬†LOL ¬†But, I think that makes sense so I will continue. ¬†ūüôā ¬†So, my challenge is to find a good balance between all the things I need/want to get done and the actual time and energy I have. ¬†I’ve been eating bananas more and having other little snacks like that so maybe that will help.

I’m also a mom and that has it’s own balancing act. ¬†Luckily I don’t have to try to do that at the same time I’m doing all of this other stuff. Otherwise, I would just play with Jackson all day and none of my work would get done. ¬†He’s just so darn cute, a genius, and super sweet!

Wait, I just got distracted by the rest of my cheesecake. ¬†Oh, wait, I’m done. ūüôā

So, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. ¬†We walked through Walmart yesterday and saw heart balloons, potted tulips, stuffed animals with hearts, cards, and lots and lots of candy. ¬†I read a cartoon on NPR this morning that showed a couple talking about how romantic the snow was in December, then getting aggravated about having to shovel it in January, and by the time they were arguing in February it was time for Valentine’s Day and all was right in the world. ¬†The punchline was, “why do you think we put Valentine’s Day in Februrary”. ¬†I never thought of it that way, but it’s very good timing. ¬†I know I’m tired of the cold weather and am anxious for Spring. ¬†Hallmark, Russell Stovers, and florists across the country are very busy this weekend. ¬†I should know. ¬†My father owned a florist for 30 years. ¬†I used to love to see all the roses, especially the non-red ones.

However, I choose to focus on the meaning of Valentine’s Day, not the materialistic culture that has been created around it. ¬†I don’t know who said it first, but I’ve repeated it many times: “you can’t love anyone else before you love yourself”. ¬†So, let’s try an experiment. ¬†So far today, have you said, or thought, anything positive about yourself? ¬†Have you said, for example, “I am lookin’ good today”? ¬†Or maybe, “I am so smart to have figured that out”? ¬†How about “damn, I’m strong”? ¬†When I had the idea for writing the post today, I thought “that’s an excellent idea (self)!” ¬†I am a pretty happy person and I try very hard not to think negatively about myself. ¬†However, I am not perfect in this regard, and there are many thinks working against me. ¬†For example, I don’t fit the “ideal” beauty standard in our culture. ¬†I work hard to not let that get me down and to love my body the way it is. ¬†Now that I’ve had Jackson, I am aware of how strong and capable my body when it comes to reproducing. ¬†That definitely added to my self-confidence. ¬†But even before then I was pretty proud of how strong I am. ¬†I played sports for most of my young life and had very strong legs. ¬†I may not be as active as I once was, but I’m still pretty strong in my own way. ¬†I’m also strong in a non-physical way. ¬†I have been through some tough emotional times, especially in the last few years. ¬†But, being that I am a resilient person, I made it through and still have a smile on my face. ¬†I’m not telling you all this to brag, because that’s not the kind of person I am. ¬†I am giving you examples of ways to love you. ¬†Maybe the things you love about yourself are not the same, or even similar to what I listed above. ¬†We’re all unique and we’re all worth loving ourselves and being loved by others. ¬†So, take a moment and think about a few things you love about yourself and the try to do that at least once a day. ¬†I guarantee it will make you feel better. ¬†I’m already feeling pretty good just from writing this post.

Another way to love yourself is to surround yourself with good people who care about you. ¬†I’m not talking about people you want to love you, because sometimes our love isn’t returned in the way we want it. ¬†I’m talking about people who have proven that they care about you. ¬†Let the rest go because they will just cause drama and allowing drama to stick around in your life is not a good way to love yourself. ¬†So, if you’ve got a “friend” or someone in your life that only brings drama and doesn’t consider your feelings….llletttemgo. ¬†They’re not worth it. ¬†And, hey, maybe once they realize you’ve let them go, they’ll figure out why and straighten up. ¬†There’s hope for everybody.

If you’ve got a special someone in your life, show them, or tell them, or both, everyday. ¬†Flowers and candy are nice, but they only last a short while. ¬†Besides, Valentine’s Day is only once a year. ¬†I don’t know of anyone that could survive in a relationship if they are only told once a year that they’re loved. ¬†Doesn’t everyone want to hear “I love you” or feel loved as much as possible? ¬†I know I do! (And I’m not fishing ūüôā ¬†It’s also good to tell yourself that you love you as much as possible. ¬†Give it a try. ¬†I know I love and care about you! ¬†So, there’s a start! ūüôā

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody! (Are you smiling?)

A few years ago I started a blog to talk about knitting, feminism, and random thoughts I wanted to share with the world. ¬†Shortly after, I discovered I was pregnant and the blog became a pregnancy journal. ¬†I shared all the details about what I went through with my first ectopic pregnancy and the second more successful pregnancy that produced my beautiful baby Jackson Shane. ¬†Through that journey I discovered the trials, tribulations, and joys of pregnancy as well as what many of my friends had experienced as well. ¬†That made me realize that even though there’s this big industry around pregnancy and baby supplies, nobody was really talking about the knitty gritty of pregnancy and childbirth. ¬†That’s why I didn’t spare one detail about my experience. ¬†I blogged about everything from the pain of expelling an ectopic pregnancy to the tiresome, but totally worth it, 23 hours of labor I went through to bring my son into the world. ¬†I discovered that as a result of my blogging/journaling about those experiences, I was able to better cope with the emotional pain and strain reproduction brings. ¬†Had I not talked about my experience so openly, I might have felt more depressed about the whole thing and still be dealing with those feelings. ¬†Now, I am proud to report that while I do occasionally remember the loss of that first pregnancy, I am able to reflect upon it and move on.

So, here I am again starting a new blog. ¬†No, that does not mean that I’m pregnant again. ¬†I want a little more time between Jackson and his future sibling for sanity and money’s sake. ¬†I have started this blog to continue my original intent for blogging: to talk about knitting (and now crochet as well), feminism, and random thoughts and reflections that I want to share with my friends and send out to the Universe. ¬†So, what can you expect to find on this blog? ¬†The UNexpected! ¬†And also the expected. ¬†Yes, I will enlighten you with my feminist rants, excite you with potential (and hopefully completed) knitting projects, and catch you off guard with random daydreams and thoughts.

For now, my sick baby boy needs his Mommy.  More later!

P.S. I took the background picture in a cotton field back home.  Enjoy!

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