Archives for January 2014

Balance is the New Skinny (and BOTH are overrated)

Since my last post I still haven’t been to the gym (10 days now) or on a run (2 weeks, but who’s counting). I have cancelled a huge race, I have nothing on the calendar, and I don’t know when I will decide to sign up for something else.

Why?

Because I have other shit going on right now.

Life is doing what it always does – changing.

And standing in my kitchen yesterday doing yet another load of dishes, mentally planning an amazingly long Saturday,  attempting to prioritize a million and one things into what I would like to do, what I have to do, and what is required for basic survival (because, let’s face it, that is probably the only thing really going to get done today), I began to once again feel like an utter failure.

bitchfaceI had once again demonstrated that, as a woman, I was lacking. I had lost my “balance.” Which is awesome, because really, who doesn’t need One. More. Thing. to feel inadequate about.

Screw that. I put on my bitchface (evidently this is the new “big girl panties”) sometime ago and made a beautiful discovery.

I. Am. A. Good. Person.

In fact, I am pretty effing cool. Sure, I have my flaws, my points of weaknesses, my low points in history, current errors in judgement that I need to tender apologies for, and areas in which I can learn and grow. But, overall,

I. Am. A. Good. Person.

So, while I am open to improvement and growth, I will not entertain ideas of lacking. I am working really hard to be comfortable in my own skin. I decided standing right there in that kitchen, “balance” was just as likely to be the culprit as my moral fortitude. It deserved to be judged for merit as intensely as I did. And damnit, I chose to let “balance” go first.”

Mark-of-the-mindI have come to realize I have been looking for balance my whole life. Learning to walk, ride a bike, skateboard – balance has been the purposed goal, the need for accomplishment.

One of my most scarring childhood failures was my inability to ever do a cartwheel. To this day, I have never been able to do one. As a little girl, this can be devastating. For me, it was.

Now in adulthood, womanhood, most particularly, motherhood, we are taught that balance is key. You have to find it, own it, wrestle into your masterful submission, then take pictures of that shit in action so that you can instagram it and post it on pinterest like the grown up version of a girl scout badge sash.

Then we must compare ours with others to make sure we are doing it right with the right ratios. Are we taking enough time for ourselves (because that’s what strong, independent women do), while still making our spawn the center of the universe (because that’s what good mommies do), while personifying the wife of the century to our beloved (because that what good wives do), in between which we go to school, excel at out careers, be vigilant friends, sisters, daughters, nieces, save baby whales, and vow to single handedly destroy big pharma, big government, big business, and big asses.

Seems reasonable. All you need is…balance.

And if you can’t manage it, you are the one lacking because balance has all the answers. It is perfect in its design, ability, motive, and quality. It is the belle of the ball and you are the little ash covered girl beaten into submission by stupid half wits with only mice to help you out.

Nope, I think, for me at least, balance, the illusion of balance, the effectiveness of balance, has gone the way of skinny – shit that has been promoted around me my whole life as the ideal, the way to greatness, that really is completely and totally unattainable and useless.

minionsI have said before, I don’t need skinny. I need strong and comfortable in my own skin. I like to do physical work. I enjoy chopping wood, pushing a lawn mower, building a shed. I like carrying my own boxes, lifting my own children, opening the new jars of jelly. I like the way my muscles look and the way The Dude looks at me still, after 16 years and 4 kids, STILL looks at me. That comes from strong – not skinny.

I like that life can throw some crazy stuff at me and I can adjust. I can rework a schedule, tear down here, build up there. I can totally remove sections knowing that they will be there when I get back and take on less than desirable tasks knowing I won’t have to do them forever.

I don’t need balance. I need confidence.

For about two seconds I let this idea of balance rob my confidence. Okay, maybe 2 minutes. But the verdict is in. April may have some improvements to make, but this is not one of them.

P.S. I AM (barring some crazy development) going to the gym tomorrow. Wish me luck 🙂

Boots, Malware, Schnitzel, and Monarchs (weird, huh?)

I keep getting this stupid little bug in my browser. It changes my homescreen, my search engine, and randomly opens weird ass tabs with stuff I never looked for, asked for, or searched for. It is irritating.

But everything has a purpose I think. And trying to get to this blog today (and too tired to remove the little bug from the browser), the little bug decided that, while I thought I wanted to actually GO to the blog, what I REALLY wanted was to search Bing for the blog.

Whatever. It’s one more click and I am too tired to give a shit.

And this is the way my little neglected blog showed up on Bing.

Bing results

And I just couldn’t help but be overwhelmed.

Jerry MaguireUnderstand I don’t expect you to follow all of this. I haven’t been on a run in a good many days. I haven’t been to the gym in 5. My brain isn’t the most organized and functional places right now.

But this is also not the 2am, bad pizza, Jerry Maguire epiphany either. Okay, maybe it is – except I have had a full night’s sleep (as relatively as that can be called with 4 children), and a cup of coffee. So, there’s that.

This was not the post I sat down to write. If it was, you would be watching this awesome clip.

Ok, you can watch it anyway – but we will have to come back to it’s point at a later date.

I really wanted to write something this morning – mostly because I haven’t written anything in weeks.

That’s a bullshit reason to do anything, really.

The truth is I really wanted to write what I wanted to write this morning and not some warped version of what I thought I was supposed to write.

It’s why I can’t make money at it. Why my freelancing gigs never work out. Why I have felt the need to reinvent, segment, redesign my online writing space too many times to count anymore.

I just want to write what I want to write.

Sometimes it is about me whether you think it is or isn’t…and some times it

Just. Isn’t. About. Me.

Sometimes it is about you whether you catch that fact or not – and sometimes, it

Just. Isn’t. About. You.

And sometimes there is more to the story and irregardless of schools of thought on internet transparency or openness, my southern upbringing trumps social media guidelines. Tacky is still tacky – virtual or not – and I won’t have it.

And sometimes the story is edited because it just makes for a better damn story. I mean seriously, who wants to read the normal version of how pancakes get made? Or the full conversation between children? No one. Just tell the story as it mostly happened.

And at the end of the day, I just want to write what I want to write. And this search screen, as crazy as it sounds, insisted that I do just that.

The woman in those images works hard, loves life, and has made some pretty positive changes to become a better person.

That woman has a lot of love, a beautiful family full of wonderful children.

That woman has no idea why in the hell a picture of a boot showed up – could it be any more out of place? But, as fate would happen, this woman does have moments of feeling totally and completely wrong for the situation.

And then there is my cute little facebook page. As you are probably aware, when you create a facebook page, you have to choose a page category (i.e. book, music, person). Within that, there are subcategories (i.e. musician, author, politician). And there, at the end of my little search blurb, is my choice – monarch. There is a whole post brewing about that decision. Until then, feel free to speculate.

And then there is the blog link – Tan Toes, Strong Woman. How I thought long and hard over a way to succinctly attempt to describe myself. Have you ever attempted to break yourself down to a bumper sticker? Not part of yourself, not the family, or job, or hobby, or spiritual side of yourself – but your whole self? You should try it…it is very enlightening.

As you can see from the blurb, the tagline I created for my blog is “Life, Love, Faith, Family, Fitness, Fun.” I guess I could have added doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles and wrapped it up with brown paper and a few of my other favorite things.

But don’t you love how in the link, in the big blue letters, the main thing stays the main thing? I haven’t written very often on that blog because, well honestly, I just haven’t felt very healthy. I don’t particularly feel very fit. The whole of it has lost a bit of it fun. And who wants to read about that?

Moreover, doesn’t a detraction from that render the blog “off topic?” Is it a bait and switch for the readers there? I thought so. I didn’t write.

But like the boot, sometimes the out of place is completely appropriate.

And like the monarch, I am the freaking “Queen Bee.” (New readers stick around – that’s a joke more than a bitch statement, I promise. Seriously, I can provide references! While I am feeling a bit bitchy, and there is a tinge of that there, really, you were really just supposed to laugh just then.)

Then, to cap the whole thing off, the rest of the link blurb proves without a doubt that my blog has been infected by some type of malware, which I totally obliterated so that the search would revert back to it’s appropriate Knockaround Guys, 500 self.

Knockaround Guys Search (Sorry, I gotta post that again…indulge me).

And that’s okay too…malware…as is my blog, so should I be. A constant evolution of righting the ship and taking on water. Bailing and sinking. Healing and hurting. Growing and wilting. It is all part and parcel of the beautifully scandalous journey that we take.

And if Jerry Maguire and I wanna write about it in a totally “holy shit” kinda way, then, it is what it is.

Loves.