challenges, family

Body Shaming

Where to start with this one? I’m confident in my body and its outward appearance to others. I may not be a size two with an hourglass figure but that’s okay. I wasn’t built with that frame.

I’m thicker. I have more padding. Some muscles. Some fat. For years I didn’t always make the best eating choices. Those minutes on the lips last a lifetime on the hips is a true statement. Since I can’t change history, I live in the skin I have. The weathered skin. The unbroken shell. The thick-by-design to ward off all those who try to poke at my body image.
This is me as an adult. Have I always been this strong? Probably not, but it’s where I am today. Now for a young impressionable girl, she may struggle with body image. Why? Because the digital world is an unforgiving place. Let me just share a few examples:

  • You are a female athlete. A boy can feel intimidated if your body is stronger than theirs. What do they do? Bash you online. Why? To feed their own ego or soothe their own inferiority complex.
  • You are a female with some meat on your bones. Thick thighs. Big booty. Full chest. Are you different from others your age? Maybe. Does that make you a target? It could. Others may feel the need to pass judgment on you only because they are not confident in themselves. This isn’t always a male. Sometimes females act negatively.

What is wrong with kids today that they think it’s okay to ridicule another female’s body? Body shaming they call it. When the girl cries herself to sleep at night or does not eat for a year, who wins? Nobody.

Words hurt. Pictures tell stories and mark journeys. They should not be used to target somebody’s ego in a negative manner online. Unfortunately shallow folks choose the latter. As sad as it sounds. It happens. 

I am a social person. I’m also an online presence. One can take my pictures and poke fun for them. I am okay with that as it takes all types to make up a world. However a young impressionable girl may not have the same mental strength to do the same when their photos are misused.

If you have a son, raise them right. Teach them to respect women/females. If you have a female teach them that they should lift up other females not degrade them. Neither action is progress. Don’t allow your kids the ability to body shame anyone. It’s not right. It’s hurtful.

Every parent has the responsibility to talk to teens as they approach teen hood to young adults and let them know how the internet can be a tool as well as a weapon. Without that conversation they may not realize how their keystrokes can be damaging.

The repeat convo over and over is the next step. Teens need constant reminders from adults. Their brains are still developing. They may not understand that their actions have consequences. 

If this message reaches you, do your part if you are a parent and have the difficult conversation. If you are in the teen to young adult age group. Read and reread this post as many times as you need to. If you are not in either age group, pass in on or share the overall knowledge. 

family, friendship

Hello Sunshine

Hello sunshine was on my mind this Christmas. Why? Because that’s what my dad would have said to me on Christmas. Unfortunately this is the first of many Christmases without my dad. 

Instead of being down in the dumps about missing him, I’m opting for spreading sunshine around. A little joking means laughter. Some games mean smiles. New memories and adventures mean giggles and excitement. A new way to honor his memory while making memories each and every year. 

Today I awoke to a dusting of snow. I immediately captured the spirit of the season on my camera as it doesn’t snow often in my area. For today I’ll call it an angel dusting from above. Later in the day I got a pack of gum as a random gift. You are My Sunshine it was called. No big deal to some but a universe whisper to me. A heavenly smile from above. Even when skies are grey from the snowy mist, sunshine is around. The warmth of the rays.

There were many heavenly winks this holiday season. Blessings of new friends to celebrate with. New firsts with my mom. New places to enjoy the festivities. Adapting to the change that has been lingering in 2020, all with a smile as best we can. Different was good this year.

Family meals that had everyone busting at the seams to erecting the most crazy looking gingerbread house covered in sweet treats. Each sugary piece placed on that gingerbread house by my tribe. Whether in spirit or in person. It was named Nana’s house. The crazy year was summed up with an array of sugary treats. A hot mess of sorts like the year of 2020.

To the unexpected text I received on Christmas morning from a new friend I met in 2020:

Merry Christmas! Thank You for making me laugh every morning you are a special person and thanks for your friendship

The text above was an unexpected blessing but one that made me smile ear to ear. As I live my life to the fullest I want to spread joy to others. Laughing, smiling, joking and having a fun spirit is one of my ways I like to spread sunshine each day.

Hello sunshine. A good morning of sorts or just a peppy greeting while I working on a special holiday gift for my mom. Hello sunshine from a new friend in a message. He would never have known those were the words my dad spoke to me often. He made my day. Was it a heavenly wink or an angel kiss from above? Either way I got the message. I felt the message.

My dad is with me in spirit. Now it’s up to me to spread joy to others one smile, one giggle, one joke at a time. Somebody is watching. Somebody is listening. Somebody might just need that joyful pick me up.

If you need a pick me up today, I hope the rays of sunshine are coming through this blog. You deserve to be the sunshine in the day today.

Hello sunshine!

family

Fresh Air, Fresh Hair

Don’t underestimate the value of fresh air or fresh hair. Today I had a little of both. This weekend I had a plan for me and my mom. Normally my weekend involves toting kids to activities or getting to point a, b and c at set times. This weekend was different. No have tos. Only want tos.

First event was sunrise yoga. I got a fresh start on crisp morning with some wonderful gal pals. This step was important. I stepped outside first thing in the morning. I had clarity of the mind. I was all-around peaceful. Ready for the rest of the weekend.

Stop two was a pick up. A kidnapping of sorts. I got to grab the beautiful, one-of-a-kind mother of mine. I was taking her from her home to get some fresh air and a haircut. 12 weeks she had been cooped up thanks to Corona. The opportunity was there and I took it and her. Off we went. The haircut didn’t take long but how she enjoyed the shampoo and the cut. She felt like a million bucks. Even if you can’t go places often feeling good about yourself is important. She needed and wanted the hair cut for that sole purpose: to feel good. I felt amazing for making it a reality.

We didn’t stop there. We packed up for a mountain escape to the amazing cabin in the woods. A short drive but one that yields gorgeous views.  From icicles on the rock formations to mist on the mountains, it’s part of the experience. She doesn’t like to eat in the car but I packed her some sweet treats for the ride and it made for a perfect picnic. No crowds in a restaurant to worry about. Just yumminess to go. 

The weather was perfect. The cool mountain air was just what was needed. Fresh air. No smog. No mask filtering the air. Just fresh, crisp mountain air. Secluded. Peaceful. Surrounded by amazing views. What more could we ask for on our escape?

We baked a chicken. We made a salad fresh from the garden and it was ever so tasty. Fresh bread warmed in the oven topped off our meal on girls weekend. Off we went into the darkness to view holiday lights. First stop was the small town decorations. Then into the hidden homes that each played 20-minute light shows set to music. It was a new, fresh holiday treat for us. Windows were down, fresh air flowing, holiday music was blaring and lights were flashing. A great way to make new memories in a new place away from the crazy of life the dark shadows 2020 had cast on many.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed. I never know how much time I have with my mom. For now, I enjoyed the peacefulness of fresh air and many smiles and giggles with the woman I have adored for years.

Many I know don’t have the luxury I have of still having their mom. I share mine when I can so others can have a sliver of her wisdom, her personality, and her sweetness. Getting to your 80s is a milestone. Still moving about and experiencing new things and places is a gift. Living through a pandemic and bending and flexing to rules and lockdowns is draining. Fresh air and fresh perspective can put the fog of tomorrow in the rear view, even if it’s just temporary.

challenges, family

Throwing Shit On the Wall

Today is a whole new breed of parenting in my mind. All the pandemic rules and woes that challenges today’s kids, especially teens. The entitlement attitude that’s hard wired into today’s kids that I know I never had with my folks. It all collides!

All the things taken away. I get it but I’m not not in control of the changes nor do I have the power to fix them. I can just put my head down and mutter through the chaos.

Kids on the other hand struggle. Their brains are not fully developed. They may not have foresight. Their executive functions may be clouded at best. They can easily fall into a dark place and not be able to find their way out.

Yet they still have academic expectations. Those don’t change. Our society doesn’t bend or flex. It’s all about everyone fitting into a simple box. The boxes are fixed by society. They were made many years ago and they surely didn’t take a pandemic into account. Pandemic or no pandemic, kids today are expected to put their head down and plow through the chaos and the changes. Can they handle this daunting task? Maybe the vast majority can but some just can’t.

What about those who love people and crowds? Those who are ignited by passions of others? Those who are hungry for engagement with others socially? Those who are stimulated through observations. A very creative style person who is high energy, high output? Do they get lost in the shuffle academically? I am living through this currently. It’s a hot mess to say the least. I’m not a bad parent nor is my kid bad. We are just dealing with the ramifications of life and the upside down world of today. Will we get back to normal? Is there even a normal anymore?

I’ve tried the reset button. I’ve tried the take away loved items. I’ve tried restrictions. All fall on deaf ears and limited action. The real world is a tough place. Adulting is around the corner. How will they understand the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the street?
Parenting has no manual. Life has no manual. I’m running out of gas In The emotional tank trying to keep things going.

Today life’s lesson is life sucks. You move on to tomorrow even if the same problem is right there again and again.  Off to find solutions for my many problems. I must be consistent and persistent to win the teen war. Here’s to throwing shit on the wall to see what sticks! I hope you enjoyed the fuckery of this post because it’s truly representative of my fucked up day and the people around me. Here’s to wishing 2020 goodbye. No wonder why their is a toilet paper shortage…shitstorms are everywhere.

family

Take the Detour

I had a weekend getaway on the books. About a 4.5 hour drive. Not super excited about it but the dynamic duo was on the move. In the car. Gassed and ready to go go go.

The departure time wasn’t set in stone but time was on our side. No rush rush rush. We had a cushion built into our drive. How would we use our time? What would we do when we arrive?

There was a stop for gas. A stop for a coffee. Then there was a spontaneous adventure. A detour that took longer than the drive itself.

A quick chat at the coffee window led to a sweet downtown spot with some unique shops to browse. We may have been masked indoors but outdoors we could enjoy the fall weather and stroll in the quaint city.  We walked. We talked. We browsed. We never bought anything, but we looked at many things. We smelled the crisp fall air. We went in stores with so much flair. We people watched. I’m sure we were watched.

 As the evening arrived, We smelled all the scents of restaurants prepping for dinner. We explored a new city. A small city tucked away off the highway path. It was just what we needed.  We smiled. We giggled. We enjoyed our time. We snapped a few pictures. It was fun. Oh how fun spontaneous turns can be.

We can all get bogged down from time to time. Find a way to step away and enjoy what’s around you. Take the unplanned path. Visit a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Take the scenic route to your final destination. 

The hotel was still there when we arrived. We didn’t miss a beat but it seems we missed a lot of traffic. Roadway construction it seems. Our unplanned detour saved us some time while yielding many memories. 

Thank you coffee guy. You added some extra sunshine to my travels unexpectedly.