Be REAL

I deleted my account on a particular dating sight. Everyone has their thing but goodness….gross is gross.
 
I’m going to create my own dating sight that fits my particular needs right now…I’m sure there are countless others who are with me.
 
There are a few rules.
1) No open relationships, legally single people only.
2) If you are caught lying about anything at all or misrepresenting yourself in photos/words, you will automatically be permanently deleted from ALL online dating sights.
3) No shirtless or bottomless pictures accepted. None. No nekkid pictures either.
4) To meet additional qualifications, Be REAL.
(Reach out and respond, Ego left at the door, Authentic please, Literate is best).
5) Seriously…not a hook up sight. There are plenty of those.
6) Must be capable of valuing and looking into the heart and soul of someone and not only into the outside package.
7) No cheaters
8) I get to make more rules as I go along, if they are deemed necessary. No complaints accepted.
 
That’s a good start.

Loving me isn’t easy…

So…for dinner tonight we had our traditional Irish meal of freshly baked Irish soda bread, Corned beef with cabbage and potatoes and cherry cheesecake (because the one of the young leprechauns asked for it).
We aren’t Irish at all (I don’t think) but the preschool teacher inside of me will always enjoy these themed days.
Also, I should correct this to say “for dinner, I prepared” rather than “for dinner we had”.
We are a family of differing dietary preferences.  Stella enjoyed Irish soda bread with vegan chicken nuggets and cabbage (and made her own butterbeer floats for dessert). John had beef with potatoes and cheese on top, and of course bread…and I enjoyed a nibble of each.   He will probably have no problem finishing the cheesecake by himself…Stella won’t eat things containing gelatin (did you know it is made of animal bone marrow?) and it’s not on my diet…but it was fun to make.
I almost did not make this meal; the days of green eggs and ham are over and I know all about everyone’s individual needs.  Also, everytime we are around a holiday that was once celebrated as a family tradition (before divorce days), it’s a challenge for me to still celebrate.  It’s all about making a new normal, letting go of the old and building the new.  It’s hard work.
This season feels like it’s one of transition, and I must constantly tell myself to just hang in there.  Typing that out doesn’t even seem accurate.  Life, it’s all about transition and change but these days, it just feels very in my face.  I’m facing some old demons and really being given the opportunity to see who and what I am.  Simultaneously, there are new adventures and a bundle of fun.  I wonder if this is how my teenagers so often feel.
At the end of this month, my current work position will end and a new one will begin in April.  That seems like a good flow.  April is my favorite month, a time of new beginnings symbolically in now, in reality too.  My internship is getting busier and I really can’t believe that I will soon be a ‘real’ therapist.  It kind of freaks me out and I just pray that I continue to trust I’m equipped for this and step all the way into my gifts.  This part…it’s not about me.  It’s about so much more.  I can’t even express right now how grateful I am to be at this part of the journey.  My kiddos…I am catching on.  They really love each other but love looks different with teen siblings!
While this is all commencing, I am working on being the best me I can be.  I have a plethora of negative cognitions that I am trying to understand and reframe.  Why?  Because what once served to protect and serve me is now a futile energy force.  An example…
Recently, one of my dear sisters commented on how my body was so much smaller.  I immediately ‘phhhh’ed’ her and let her know I hated how slow my progress was.  She asked how much weight I had lost.  I told her I didn’t know bc  I was choosing to stay away from the scale, because it had way too much power over me.  (I keep intending to take measurements but haven’t done that yet.)  You know,  “I’ve looked at many before after photos of people who had lost weight and worked out…their scale said the same number but their bodies were completely different.”   She got exactly what I was saying….I don’t know if it’s a girl thing or a sister thing or whatever, but it’s nice to be ‘gotten’.
I didn’t (at that point) have a clue what my weight was.  I hadn’t weighed on a scale in six weeks.  What I did know…my jeans fall off of me without a belt; I’ve worked out every day for nearly 3 weeks; my energy is steady throughout the day and my skin looks good (except for a few breakouts).  That should’ve been sufficient, yes?
Nope.
I got right on that scale as soon as I got home from my sister’s house.  Guess what?  The flipping number is .07 more than it was the last time I weighed.  Guess what else?  This number sent my brain into tailspin mode. You see, it’s not just a number on the scale to me.  It’s a loud voice screaming inside my head that I will never be ‘hot’, it doesn’t matter, I should continue to seek out men who aren’t best for me because girls like me settle, etc, etc.  Ugly fucking thoughts that erased every positive thing I have noticed in the moments (hours) I spent going down that path.
It has taken me two days to begin to get into a better mode of thinking about myself.  There is so much negativity tied in a bundle for me around body image.  I am so thankful that I have strong legs, a healthy heart, a never ending ability to think and learn and so much more.  I hate that I get wrapped up in superficial shit, but I’m human, and I do.
It was not until Stella (my 14 year old daughter) was in the bedroom and she overheard me talking to myself in the mirror.  I don’t know my exact words but I know they were defeating and probably included the use of F-A-T.  She zipped into my closet and stood there with her hand on her hip; “Mom!  What do you think you are teaching me is important right now?”  There was no squirming away from the discomfort of her question.
How can I tell my children how very important self-love is and at the same time, demonstrate self-hatred at any level? I can’t, and it sucks.  Either I say what I mean and mean what I say or I don’t.
I’ve got work to do. It’s part of the transition. Maybe transformation is a better word. I don’t want to carry negativity forward.
Digging deep and learning what all of this is really about matters. There is certainly a part of me that feels more comfortable holding on to my image of a very pure, very good girl, and that girl is always wearing a mask.  Part of her mask is a cushy body.  There is another part of me that is very much enjoying my femininity, my sexuality and womanhood.  For some reason, I have it set up in my mind that she must look very different than me.  “She” must be in supreme shape in order to be worthy of those things.
I am trying to consolidate (still) that I can be very pure hearted, very good hearted, very God loving AND very authentic, womanly, sexy AND enjoy every minute of who she is.
I dream of a love story that I’ve yet to experience…it’s the one where I love myself deeply so that I can love others better.  People say loving me is easy…I am trying to find that truth for myself.

A Heart Kind of Hip

this is a post I made last year and I think it’s worth a re-share.❤️

In honor of the heart kind of “hip”…..

I just read a well written, light hearted article from a local magazine that targets families…mostly moms and kids. It was chock full of wisdom from ‘hip’ mom’s who answered such questions as: Where do you shop? What are you favorite cosmetics/hair products? Do you follow a fitness regime? Final tips on how to be hip? It ended, appropriately, by summing up the real secret to being the beautiful, hip woman…self confidence, poise, sense of self and sense of humor.

What is ‘hip’ anyway? The (hip) Urban Dictionary defines it as, “Beyond all trends and conventional coolness, cooler than cool, a pinnacle of what ‘it’ is.” Hmmmm…. I try to consolidate the array of emotions and questions that are welling up in me after reading this. Am I hip? Am I defined by hip? Do I have hip friends? Is there a hip club and am I part of it? What better way to absolve my ponderings than to interview myself on the matter?

Where do I shop?

I have heard of most of the places mentioned but I am not in a place right now where I can shop there. I feel a little bit jealous. I can tell myself over and over that ‘stuff’ doesn’t matter but the truth is I really love pretty clothes. Why did nobody mention shopping in your Momma’s closet? Thankfully, I have a Momma who has great style and it’s a privilege to borrow from her. Oh yes, and sisters too, my personal fashion mentors.

What are my favorite cosmetics and hair products?

I love make up and I love skin care, perfumes and hair products? Currently, I am using the last of my Mary Kay Timewise skincare…unless I’m too hurried in the morning and when I have energy left at night. Morrocan Oil is my favorite hair product, and though I love fancy, delicious smelling shampoos, we are on a Suave budget in this season. Strawberry Suave reminds me of being a teenager and whipping my blonde locks strategically so the cute boy next to me would be held captive by my pheromones. The pink bottle of Chance by Chanel is scrumptious, and I’m savoring the last portion of mine. My most favorite products are the fabulous lotions and soaps I got from my sweet Kindergarten class at Christmas. One of the little angels in my class asked me, “Mrs. T., why do you always smell like that?” (I was a little fearful but asked anyway), “Why do I always smell like what?” He burrowed his little face into my shoulder, wrapped his arms around me and took a big whiff. He looked up at me with twinkling eyes and a smile and said, “when I do that you always smell so really dood (good). Winning.

Do I follow a certain fitness or health regime?

I laugh! Regime indicates some level of consistency, right? I walk for days in a row until I don’t. Then, at some point I start all over again. I drink hot lemon water each morning and my skin looks fantastic, then I run out of lemons. I journal furiously for my mental health and then I stop. On the upside, I laugh, cry and pray daily…those things are essential to the fitness of my heart and health.

Additional Tips?

Tips to myself….

1) Hip looks different in my world. While I agree that self confidence, poise, sense of self and sense of humor are indeed awesome assets, I know from personal experience that it’s quite possible to present these on the outside and not feel them on the inside. That pretense is exhausting. Hip in my world is authenticity, transparency, joy, grace, love, and being a safe place. Hip is living who you are on the inside, at your core, whether it is currently trendy or not, out loud!

2) I am where I am. You are where you are. Everyone in their own season. This reading has been a little prompt to remember that it’s okay to take care of me first, it’s essential if I want to keep my speed up. What does that look like? Tennis shoes by the bed so I actually remind myself to go walk. A little corner in the house to myself with a great pen, my journal, my Bible and whatever awesome book I’m reading…and a lovely candle with my favorite coffee cup. Grace. An overwhelming abundance of grace because I am human and that is sometimes very not hip to the untrained eye. Ah…but to those who see deeper there is deep understanding.

3) Remember always the truly heart hip women I know. Momma’s making their way through life and working hard to provide for their children. Momma’s living in the midst of horribly unhappy marriages but because the are afraid risking what that might look like in their social circles, they have become actors worthy of an Academy award. Women who struggle every single day just to get out of bed and keep breathing, everything within is a fight and every baby step is momentous. The precious Nana’s who are now caretakers for the loves of their lives and are letting their dreams of winter years die? The widows who all of a sudden have to make it without their mate? Momma’s chasing 4 little ones around 24 hours a day who are blessed to brush their teeth much less take a shower. A heartbroken Momma who has lost both of her grown children just years apart…both in car wrecks. A precious woman who deserves the best is coping with the worst prognosis.

These are just a handful of the women I know that are the pinnacle of what ‘it’ is. I know that the ‘hip’ the world sees can coexist with these…but given a choice I am going with the heart hip sister walking down the street. I recognize her. I see her. I see my reflection….and it is heartily hip.