Keep It Simple, Sistah

Wednesday, March 9th.
Day One
I admit I’ve been very unfocused in my writing. I write about this, about that, and nothing ever really gels. But recently, I’ve been inspired.

I have a new goal.

I want to make my life as simple as possible in the next 40 days. Why 40? For those of you who are Catholic, you know that this is the Lenten season. I’m not Catholic, but I always admire those that set goals for themselves and follow them through.

Keep it simple.

It sounds “simple” enough.

Where do I start to make life less dramatic and complicated? I think I start with looking at myself. What is complicating my life?

One thing for me is taking care of everybody but myself. Granted, I have gotten better. The word “no” flows from my lips a lot more than it used to. But, I still need to work on it.

So the first goal is to focus on myself. Selfish? I don’t think so. In order to take care of others, I need to take care of ME first. I want to do one simple little thing for me everyday. It make be taking a little walk. Or cooking a quick and simple dinner (Lean Cuisines are getting old). It could be taking more time to read.

Now, on the goal number two. I need to streamline my finances and clear the “fat” out. Working two jobs does not contribute to “simplicity”. I’m challenging myself to cut enough from my budget in the next forty days to justify not having to work extra. I do love my second job, so I probably won’t quit completely. BUT, my extra pay could contribute to goal number one. Taking care of ME! I would have extra money for travel, books, concert tickets…..Sounds good to me.

A good friend of mine once told me I should always pick three goals to work on. In order to continue to simplify, I’m going to clear some clutter. I’m going to pretend like I’m moving and a clear out absolutely everything I wouldn’t want to take with me. Clothes that don’t fit or I haven’t worn in years? Gone. Books lying around that I’ve read and are taking up space? Going to Book Rack. I may even have a yard sale. I can get rid of crap AND have extra money in my pocket. (Again, this helps out with goal number one. ME!)

That’s it. Three goals for making my life a little simpler. Hopefully, in forty days, I will emerge a less-stressed, rejuvenated, happier ME!

Here’s to keeping it simple!

I’m out!

Dumped

“This just isn’t working….I’m moving out.”

I blinked through my Demerol induced haze from a tooth extraction the day before and struggled to make his words make sense. It didn’t take too long before I realized that I was being dumped.

Dumped. The word sounded about as bad as it felt. As in, I took a dump. Dump truck. That place looks like a dump.

This was the first time I’d been dumped in a long time. First of all, I’d been single for quite a few years before I got together with him. Second of all, I’d been the one to leave in all but one of my other relationships and that one wasn’t really a relationship. It had lasted less than six months.

Thirty four years old and never really been dumped. I guess now was the time.

So, what did I do?

I drank. And I drank. And then I drank some more. Luckily, I was on vacation at the time and didn’t have to worry about work the next day. Or unluckily, considering that I didn’t have to worry about work. Depends on how you look at it, I guess.

Finally, I sobered up…you can’t stay drunk forever. Plus, I had some really good friends who would’ve kicked my ass if I wallowed in drunken self-pity for too long. And besides, I’ve never done self-pity well.

I started resuming my life. I finally went back to the grocery store where we shopped. I finally watched the morning show that had always been playing when we got ready for work. And I finally stopped sleeping on the sofa and slept in my room.

And I lived.

And I started noticing all the wonderful aspects of single life. I took off on a moment’s notice and went to a concert, a concert my ex probably wouldn’t have been interested in. I hogged the covers. I slept sideways in the bed. I ate Chef Boyardee out of the little microwavable bowl for dinner. I discovered Yoga. And I realized that even though I had lost one friend, the friendships I did have grew stronger, and I even gained new friends. I guess that old cliche’ is correct. When one door closes, another one opens.

I’m spending a lot more time on me now. Spending a lot more time by myself. It’s almost like a caterpillar entering a cocoon. I’m dieting, working out, enhancing my physical appearance. But I’m also working on me. What is it I want? That’s something I haven’t thought about it a loooooong time. I’ve given so much to others that I haven’t spent enough time on me. Eventually, I’ll emerge from this stage of my life a littler wiser and with shiny new wings! I’ll be a butterfly. 🙂

It’s going to be my very own Eat, Pray, Love. But without the carbs and the travel.
For now, I’m out.
Peace!

You’ve Come a Long Way Baby

About six months ago, I finally committed to losing the weight that had slowly snuck up on me as I hit my thirties.  I went out and bought the fancy scale, the one that tells you how much water you’re retaining, how much body fat you have, and exactly how much body fat you have.

Two months ago, four months after I bought it, it broke. I tried new batteries, I tried re-setting it, everything.  Needing some kind of measurement to keep myself motivated, I went out and bought the old-fashioned kind with the dial. I’d had one of those for years before I finally had to just throw it out because it was getting all rusty and gross.

I brought it home, unwrapped it, and got ready to step on it the next day.  So, the next morning, I get up as is my routine, and weigh.

Now I have a new scale and a new problem.

Either my eyes aren’t like they used to be ten years ago, or those little spaces between the numbers have gotten smaller. I can’t exactly see how much I actually weigh. I can kind of guesstimate between two and three pounds, but exactly not quite.

I instantly begin complaining. Now I have to go back and buy yet another scale. Because I NEED to know to the pound what I weigh.

This went on for about a month. I’d get up in the morning, and I’d gripe. Sometimes because I couldn’t tell, sometimes because I’d been bad the last few days and gained a pound or two, or three.

Then, a few weeks ago, while I was griping and standing on the scale,  I realized this scale gave me something my other scale couldn’t. A daily reminder of how far I’ve come. I can see how much I used to weigh and I can see all the little pounds I’ve worked so hard to lose.

I may not always be able to tell exactly how many pounds I’ve lost, but I CAN see how far the scale has moved.

And then I realized something else. That scale is a lot like life should be. We should be able to look back and see how far we’ve come. Sometimes I know that I get frustrated. I can’t always get to where I want to go as fast as I want to get there,  just as my weight loss is going, but the important thing is that I’m working on it.

And that I celebrate the small milestones in between. Even if they are a little blurry sometimes. 🙂

And that, my friends, is Guideline Number One. Always appreciate how far you’ve come, even if you can’t always see EXACTLY where you are.

For now, I’m off to get ready for another hectic day of work and home.  Here’s to life and lessons learned!

Peace!

Queen out!

🙂

Top Five of ’09

I was reading through some of my blog subscriptions earlier today. That’s one of my favorite things to do on a Sunday. I can get caught up on some of my favorite bloggers, and I can get some ideas of writing ideas for the next week.

Stephouse Lifehack posted a blog recently on their top blog posts. I thought that would be a great idea. I’ve acquired a few new subscribers recently so maybe a little walk down memory lane with some of my older and more popular posts is in order.  So, here we go. Here are my “Top Five Posts of ’09”

1. “Guys, Tattoo, and Anne Rice”

I never thought that one would be as popular as it has been. That is actually my top post of all time, not just for 2009. It does have one of my favorite quotes ever, a quote from Anne Rice’s Queen of the Damned.

2. “Tribute to New Orleans”

Surprisingly enough, this blog is actually a shout-out to another blog. Just goes to show how networking can add readers to your blogs.

3.  “Happy Endings and Unfinished Stories”

This is one of many blogs inspired by one of my good friend Cowboy and how his little nuggets of down-to-earth wisdom keeps me grounded and growing.

4.” You Take the Breath Right Out of Me”

https://soonergirl.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/you-take-the-breath-right-out-of-me/

I’ve always been inspired by music and lyrics, and this is just one of the examples of one of my musical blogs. This one is about that one love that just drives you crazy. And not in a good way. It leaves you banging your head against the wall, and wondering just when you lost your mind.

5.” Do These Shoes Make Me Look Fat?”

https://soonergirl.wordpress.com/2008/06/24/do-these-shoes-make-me-look-fat/

A humorous look at body image and how we perceive ourselves…

That’s it. That’s my “Top Five for ’09”.  Hope you enjoy!

I’m off to check out some more blogs! Thanks so much for checking out mine!

Peace! I’m out!

*To see the blog that inspired this blog, see below.*

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/the-90-best-lifehacks-of-2009-the-year-in-review.html

Supermoms

 

I’m reading a book right now. Yeah, I do still read every now and then 🙂 Not nearly as much as I used to. I just have a really hard time finding stuff to read that interests me.

I picked up a book yesterday, Red River. It’s by the same author who wrote Cane River, Lalita Tademy. I LOVED Cane River. It was a semi-fictionalized account of the Tademy from slavery to freedom. It was incredible. I just started Red River, but it’s already hooking me. 

I was reading last night while Keith and Ian watched a scary movie. For someone who used to watch every scary movie that came out when I was a teen, I’m sure a wimp now. I can’t even read a scary book anymore. Jeesh.

Anyway, I digress yet again. The book is set in the 1800’s, and the opening scene is the woman getting up an hour earlier than the man to cook breakfast and get the household going before he got up to work the farm.

I thought of how times have changed. Even since my grandparent’s time. I can remember staying the night with my grandma and grandpa and she’d get up and cook him breakfast and he’d get up when it was ready. Of course, by then he was retired so he would have his breakfast then go visit with his buddies.

My other set of grandparents were not that different. My Grandma still gets up and cooks breakfast and they work the cows and all that farm stuff.
Two generations later, I’m barely making it out of the door in time to go to work. Breakfast? What’s that? That’s that meal I sometimes cook on Saturdays or Sundays.

My mom is an awesome mom. She had and still has dinner on the table at a certain time a good majority of the time. Dad walks in at around four-four thirty and comes to the dinner table. It’s ready and waiting.

I tried to fit this mold that I grew up with. Trying to keep the house spotless and a home cooked dinner on the table. What did I get?

Frustration and disappointment. Feeling that I couldn’t be a Supermom because I couldn’t cook every night, or couldn’t get the house spotless all the time.

Hello?

Single mom here.

I’ve had to make a conscious effort to teach myself to cut myself some slack. So what if dinner is from a box? There’s food on the table, isn’t there? So what if the house isn’t spotless? There’s a roof over our heads, that I bought myself by the way.

It’s impossible to do two roles perfectly all the time. To be the breadwinner and the care-taker.I think that like me, a lot of women get upset with themselves because we put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect; the perfect wife, the perfect mom, the perfect professional, the perfect friend. And we can’t. Number one we can’t be perfect. Number two we can’t possibly be everything to everybody. Something will suffer in the process.

It’s about balance. That’s another lesson I’ve had to learn. I can’t go out every night and still do a decent job in my career. But I can’t put in 50 hours of work each week and expect to have any kind of life, socially or with my family. But, I can go out a couple nights a week, cook dinner and clean house a few nights a week, and grade papers or make parent phone calls a couple nights.

See, B-A-L-A-N-C-E.

Something I’ve never been very good at. 
 
Does that make me a Supermom?

I don’t know.

Sometimes I think that in my next life I’d like to be a housewife. I’d like to get up, cook breakfast, get the kids off to school, clean the house, all that good stuff. And then sometimes, I think that I would go insane.

Who would I talk to?

I don’t know. My life is what it is and to be honest, I quite like it. No use wondering what might have been or what might happen.

And if I can get dinner on the table a few nights a week, and keep the cops from breaking down my door after mistaking my house for a crack house, I think I’ve done a pretty good job.

Maybe I’m not a Supermom, maybe I’m just a mom doing the best I can. 🙂 And maybe that’s what we’re all doing.

For now, I’m off to have some breakfast.

Here’s to all the Supermoms out there. All of the moms doing the best they can.
Cheers!
I’m out!

Do These Shoes Make Me Look Fat?

 

 

 One night a friend of mine told me that some people have “gravity”. They are the center of their own world and attract people to them for whatever reason.

I think this is true. I think this is what some call “charisma”. Some of us have it, some of us are attracted to it. It’s a magnetism. A presence.

I think it comes from knowing who we are and being self-confident and comfortable in our own skin.

An example, one night my friend, the same one who said I had “gravity” called me up to go out.  I actually dressed up, usually I only dress up on the weekends. I knew he would definitely not be in a t-shirt and jeans so I went the extra mile myself.

I have this pair of boots that I love. They’re black leather with a three inch hill. I’m 5’7. In three inch hills, I’m as tall as most men and taller than some. I feel incredible wearing these boots.

I wore these boots out that night.

*Grin*

The rest of my attire was modest, something I was comfortable in and felt good in.

We ended up in a club later. We were sitting there talking, laughing, having a good time, watching people. (I love to watch people.)

I watched some of the women, and I thought to myself, “They’re trying too hard.” The hair’s too big, there’s too much make-up, and for some, there were way too many body parts hanging out.

I have two words of advice for these women (and some men).

BE YOURSELF.

I was sitting there with the most attractive guy in the club. I was having a great time, and I was being myself.

I don’t worry about impressing people or wondering if my shoes, jeans, shirt, socks make me look fat. Well, most of the time. I have my moments of self-doubt. Which brings me to another point.

Later, when we were back at our normal spot. The bartender and I started talking about weight. I made the remark that I was trying to lose weight and one of the patrons told me “But, Alisha, you carry your weight well. You’re pleasantly plump.”

I was definitely outraged for a moment.

Plump my foot.

Some say I’m curvy in all the right places.

Which brings me to the whole point of this blog.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Some say Angelina Jolie is beautiful. I don’t think she is. I think Brad was crazy to leave Jennifer. Angelina’s lips are too big and she’s just weird. Some people would disagree with me.  Some people would argue that Jennifer’s too plain, or too girl-next-door.

You have to find your own beauty. If that makes sense. What matters is what YOU think of YOU. You can’t please everyone and you can’t be attractive to everyone.

The most important person to please is yourself.

And if wearing a great pair of boots makes you feel attractive, then by all means wear them.

And never wonder if they make you look fat. 🙂

Until next time……

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