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The Treachery of Images

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Once I saw world and thought exactly meet,
But only in a picture, by Magritte."

~The Human Condition by Howard Nemerov

After I read this line years ago, I got interested in Magritte's work. And this interest took on a new twist this weekend! I was talking to my mom and one of her friends/co-workers, and we were sitting in the lounge staring at a blank wall. They told me they were waiting for a jumbo flat-screen TV for their students, it was going to take up the whole wall.

I said: "Instead of encouraging them watch TV, you should give them something to really think about." They said: "Like what?" I said: "Put up The Treachery of Images." They said: "What's that?"

What is it? It's a painting of a pipe, with the words "this is not a pipe" beneath them.

They both laughed when I told them, and joked about the irony. And it hit me, that's not irony, those are words to live by! That image might be a perfect representation of a pipe in one moment in space, from one angle, but it's not the whole thing, it can't be touched, or smelled, or tasted!

To all my Sparkfriends, remember that those pictures you have on your pages are nothing more than images of you, not the whole you! I wasted too much time in my past avoiding cameras, hiding pictures, missing out and not capturing precious moments because I was afraid of my image. But that's not all I am, and it's not who I am....never forget that you are more!!

In honor of my latest epiphany, I have decided that I will try to capture more of my life, so that I will have the images to provoke memories. Here is the first: a picture of me with my two best friends over Labor Day weekend.

Yes -- I'm wearing my glasses instead of contacts. Yes -- my hair is up in a very messy mess instead of styled. Yes -- I'm wearing a big baggy hoodie. Yes -- my face is bare and free of make-up. So what? I'm not a supermodel, and this is closer to the real me than any of the pictures where I'm dressed up and my hair is done!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SM-ARTGIRL 10/4/2011 5:36PM

    Wow! This is one of my favourite blogs ever!
Thank you so much for your insights.
I read this to my nearly 7 yo and he insists that, indeed, "this is not a pipe" - " Maybe it is a bubble blower?"
We had an awesome discussion on lived experience and watching.
Off now to bike ride to the farmers market.

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IGSBETH 9/13/2011 9:51PM

    I love this blog!

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EILEENV3 9/13/2011 6:52PM

    I never understood the comment below the pipe. After you explained it, it made so much sense.

Thank you for sharing your insight & your picture. Loved both.

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JEN-LOVES-LIFE 9/13/2011 4:14PM

    I love this blog! You are right on, pictures are just a moment in time and they do not tell the whole story.
I'm glad that you posted your picture here with your friends. That is what life is all about. If we all wit until we are perfectly "made up", there probably would not be too many pictures of ourselves.

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APIRLRAIN888 9/13/2011 12:41PM

    woohooo love your blog! and you look GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
come join my watch me shrink.... i never took a single pic bef spark. i still don't have real world pic... but with each pic here, i am closer to accepting my 3d me

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Reminder to stay grounded from my BFF

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

My BFF moved back to the states with her new hubby about a week and a half ago, and they came to see me over the holiday weekend. There was a part of me that thought it would be just like old times....we'd hit a few dance clubs, bars, drink a lot, sleep past noon. You know, the old college days.

I guess we all have to grow up!

On Saturday, we went to Adelino's (only tapas place in town). We ate a lot of good food, drank a great bottle of wine, and chatted a lot. And of course, reminisced about the foods we used to eat.

Eating back then was, well....atrocious! We had an open campus lunch in high school, and every day we would go to a very cheap Chinese buffet or to Mad Mushroom pizza. We'd haunt the coffee shops on campus, drinking about a gallon of milky chai apiece, and then we'd go to the Purdue union (back in the days when they had a real pool hall) and munch on nachos or more pizza and guzzle red cream soda while we played.

Living in the Netherlands and having a hubby that cooked was what turned her eating habits around. She laughed when I told her I made everything (even marinara) from scratch now. Three years ago, when she left for Amsterdam, I was still in my whole "I'll never cook, that's so antiquated and anti-feminist" stage. Even when my friends and I got together in the kitchen, it was boxed mac n' cheese (which I usually burned because I forgot about it) and pizza rolls.

I hadn't really thought about how much my diet had changed...or how much my habits had changed. I knew I was eating healthier, but I had never realized just how bad I used to eat!

We also talked about exercise. Moving to Kentucky from Amsterdam, my BFF was used to walking, riding her bike, or taking the train everywhere. Not so much where she is now. She was complaining that she was starting to get lazy, since she never walked anywhere and didn't even own a bike (they bought new stuff when they moved back here) -- luckily for her, our other BFF from high school owns a bike shop here in town!!

She asked how I exercised, and said it was "obviously working." Coming from an August where I was working all the time, pretty much didn't exercise or cook any of the fancy, gourmet dishes I used to cook, I laughed and said thanks. Her response: "You were always skinny in high school, but you didn't have those kind of muscles back then!"

Who, me?

All this time, I was worried about the fact that I weigh more now than I did back then. I was worried because my cup size had gone up, and I was worried that my metabolism had slowed down and I wasn't losing weight as fast as I used to.

We all grow up, though. And I grew into someone who takes care of herself, has muscles, cooks healthy and gourmet foods from scratch, and at the end of the day loves herself and her life!

My friends are lucky, they've really grown into the same type of people. They eat healthy, they exercise, they take care of themselves. Far from our usual routine back in the day, on Sunday we took a hike through Happy Hollow park, then walked around campus for a few hours before heading over to the pedestrian bridge. On Monday, we grabbed a couple of coffees from our old haunt and played with my other friends daughter (who just turned 1 year on Sept. 4!!), and just talked.

When my BFF was packing up the car and getting ready to leave, I asked if she had had fun, seeing as how we had a pretty slow and lazy weekend. She told me that she had slowed down too, and that the lazy weekends are the ones where you really get to know each other. E.g. -- I had never known before that she was allergic to bananas and melons. We never really ate healthy food back then.

It's good to stay grounded as you grow into the person you want to be. Remember where you came from, visualize where you're going, and love yourself every single step of the way, even on the hard steps. There are times when it's easy to feel like you're losing ground, or at least not gaining ground....and those are the times to get together with old friends and remember who you used to be!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Great blog. It is funny how it takes meeting someone from way back to find out how much we've changed. emoticon

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    I just have to say... Go Boilers! :)

Congratulations on living healthier and on reconnecting with your BFF. Friends totally rock, especially when the friendship can evolve along with the people in the friendship.

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    Sounds like a great visit and some great lessons.

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APIRLRAIN888 9/7/2011 12:34PM

    Woohooo yes change for the better

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FITJANE6 9/7/2011 11:52AM

    Great weekend! It's awesome to catch up with old friends, and even better when they share a healthy attitude towards life!

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IGSBETH 9/7/2011 11:32AM

    What a great moment for reflection!

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    Loved this blog! After seeing some old friends over the weekend as well, I, too, was realizing that we and our friendships are getting better all the time. We're still silly and do a lot of laughing, but it's no longer from a barstool or a booth at Pizza Hut! We talk about our last victory at the doctor's office and what our kids are doing, instead of whom we're dating and what party/concert is coming up next. LOL And congrats on knocking your old friend out with your tough, sassy self!!

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Bad day turns around!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Yesterday, I was having one of those days. You know what I mean -- you feel fat and bloated, you're freaking out about the zit that appeared on your chin once you were in the office (where you don't keep a cover stick), you brought a salad for lunch but your co-worker ordered pizza and you're fighting the temptation to have just one slice!

I kept trying to talk myself up, and pull myself out of it. I didn't completely succeed, but I also kept myself from eating that pizza by telling myself I'd regret it at the hot yoga class I signed up for --only to get a call that the class was canceled! I kept myself from completely giving in and just having a miserable day right up until 5 or 5:30, when I finished up a meeting on a very low note. But at 6:00, I finally left the Indy office knowing that I had to do at least a couple of hours of work when I got home (which wouldn't be until 7:30) -- and I was slumped and trudging when I left. I knew I had to work very late the next day too, and I was mentally giving in to a horrible Wednesday.

On the hour and a half long drive home, I decided that I was not giving in! I was NOT letting the rest of my night be ruined because of one bad day, and I was not having a bad day tomorrow too! So I called up my parents, told them that I had some work to do still but I wanted to have dinner out. I had resigned myself to the inevitable and comforting Taco Bell, and the guilt that comes after, so getting someone to go out with me was a good first step.

After dinner, headed to the office and finished up the last of my work. Then, with 20 minutes left before the mall closed, I decided to treat myself! I wanted to get a new top to wear the next day...which is already starting off as bad as the other, so the special treat is helping me keep my spirits up somehow!

I found a pair of white slacks for $10, and a gorgeous blue-violet top for $6. Whole outfit, under the budget I set for myself! I was practically skipping out of the store!! Big deadline today, extra work tonight, and an even bigger deadline on Friday -- PSHAW!!

So even though I'm literally the only one in the office today, I dressed up, did my hair and makeup (which happens maybe once a month when I have an important meeting, so if any of my co-workers decide to actually come in today, they'll be shocked!) and I'm ready to face the world! I really suck at those bathroom-mirror photos everyone else seems to be so good at, but here is me smiling through another long day!

Sometimes one little thing is all it takes to head off a bad day before it starts!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OUBACHE 9/1/2011 12:32PM

    You look great!

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STRAYMONET 9/1/2011 12:10PM

    There's nothing like shopping and finding a great bargain to boot to give us girls a boost!! Awesome attitude adjustment with the dinner choice and how to turn it all around! Looking forward to trying it on my next rough patch!!
emoticon emoticon

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    Gorgeous girl, gorgeous outfit, GORGEOUS ATTITUDE!! I love reading your blogs!

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APIRLRAIN888 8/31/2011 9:54PM

    woohooo beautiful!

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    Lovely outfit :) emoticon

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LOOZINITNOW 8/31/2011 2:31PM

    Beautiful outfit and pic! Keep the great attitude!

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BRAVENEWGRL 8/31/2011 11:59AM

    I love retail therapy!

Awesome job turning things around!


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ABISMITHY 8/31/2011 11:31AM

    Great outfit - you look fabulous! Great bargain hunting too! I'd love to go shopping with you!

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IGSBETH 8/31/2011 11:20AM

    I'm glad your day got better, and I love the outfit!

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CASILAYNE 8/31/2011 11:13AM

    You look way gorgeous!! Way to turn a stinky day into a great one!! You're so inspiring! :) :)

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KAYOTIC 8/31/2011 10:19AM

    Great pick-me-up! What a great bargain, and way to get out of that negative spiral, turn it around and create a win! emoticon

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DEB2013 8/31/2011 10:10AM

    Wow, you did great and you look great. Now that is fortitude. Congrats emoticon

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Short and sweet little check-in

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I know I tend to write longer blogs, but I honestly don't know what to say today! But I still feel compelled to say here it goes!

Losing the warm summer weather is always hard for me, and I find myself in a very pensive mood today. I'm going to be starting P90X on Thursday (working late yesterday and today, and going to Indy tomorrow, so realistically not sooner). I cooked a lot this weekend, so I've got tons of healthy and delicious foods in my fridge. And I have the cutest kitty in the entire world cuddling up on my bed (until about 4-4:30 every morning, this morning she made a loud crashing sound and scared the heck out of me!)

What more could anyone want? Life is good, even if it is starting to feel like I need to pull out my sweaters and sweatshirts.

What's good in your life right now?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITJANE6 8/18/2011 3:20PM

    Good luck tonight with the P90X--that scares the crap out of me!

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JOAN_HEO 8/17/2011 6:49PM

    I dread winter!! I can't imagine not being able to kayak but it will be difficult when the bay is frozen and guys are out there ice fishing! I can't imagine what I am going to do for 6-7 months. In the meantime I'm trying to paddle as often as I can and to enjoy every second of it.

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JULESRULES78 8/17/2011 10:38AM

    Good job with the cooking and can't wait to hear about your PX90 experience. That is a really good question...what is good? I guess I don't have anything to complain about. The weather was awesome Monday evening after an afternoon rain, so I took a short run outside with a nice cool breeze. That was awesome. My husband has finished his Associates Degree, so that is good. I'm having a better food week so far than I have in a month, so that is great. Life is good.

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TEENY_BIKINI 8/16/2011 9:26PM

    Life is good. I love it!


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DUSTYGIRL25 8/16/2011 5:02PM

    Still enjoying the summer life here! And I love it!

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DUSTYGIRL25 8/16/2011 5:01PM

    Still enjoying the summer life here! And I love it!

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DUSTYGIRL25 8/16/2011 5:00PM

    Still enjoying the summer life here! And I love it!

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APIRLRAIN888 8/16/2011 1:58PM

    I need to restart p90x too ;p thinking next month ;p

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ABISMITHY 8/16/2011 1:49PM

    Life is good! I completed my first half marathon on Sunday and I can still walk! ;o)

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SHARILEE_OHIO 8/16/2011 1:03PM

    It is wonderful you are satisfied with your life right now. Except for some health issues, my life is going well right now, very happy with my life, loving husband, wonderful kitties and puppies and love being able to wear clothes I have not fit into for years.

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PURESTILLWATER 8/16/2011 12:57PM

    Sounds like a great life

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PWILLIAMS7 8/16/2011 12:51PM

    Life is good. You can tell that from reading my blog yesterday that I have a lot to be happy about. Just being able to hang out and enjoy your family is great. I'm not ready for the cool weather either. Here in MS it's still very hot and I'm very thankful for that. The cooler weather will be coming before we know it, but I'm looking forward to it as much as I do summer lol.


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THINAGIN2 8/16/2011 12:48PM

    It is wonderful when you are satisfied with the life that you have! We are not even beginning to lose our summer weather as yet. Supposed to be back into the triple digits today and the rest of the week! Have the best day!

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GOTTALOSE47 8/16/2011 12:07PM

    What is good in my life right now is that I am walking again everyday and even though when I get ready, I try to talk myself out of it but once I get started, I feel good and go until I am tired. It is one exercise I can devote myself to. Each step helps toward my weight loss goal. emoticon emoticon

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Find the silver lining in EVERY situation

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I was driving to work this morning, and it turns out the road I usually take was closed. WHAM!! Just like that, it's suddenly hard to NOT be tense. I got worried about being late, I was frustrated at the delay, and I was getting madder by the minute at the other drivers.

Road rage is an ugly beast, that rears its head far too often.

Those negative emotions weren't doing me any good. In fact, they were very likely to get me, or someone else, hurt. So I took a few deep breaths and started trying to figure out the positives of the situation.

Positive one: it was in the 60s, not the 100+ weather we've seen for the last month and a half! This gave me a chance to slow down a little and take in some of the scenery that I usually blow right by. And it gave me a chance to practice NOT being a control freak. I had a full cup of coffee, a full water bottle, and a full tank of gas...and after a few minutes, I started to relax and ride out the wait.


After being parked for about 10 minutes, I saw another driver get out and walk away from his car, trying to get cell reception probably. And it made me realize, I'm not chained to this car. It often bothers me that I have to work through the prettiest parts of the day, that I don't get enough time for ME. So I jumped out, walked into the grassy area beside my car, and started doing some gentle yoga stretches.


After about 10-15 minutes of stretches, traffic started to move a little. I jumped back into the car and inched forward to the next parking spot. When I stopped again, I was next to a guy and a girl who were SCREAMING at each other! Their windows were down, my windows were down, and it was getting a little hairy! So I pulled out my IPod and car adaptor, pulled up my happy soundtrack, and started singing along and air-drumming/air-guitaring to the music.

At first, they glared at me. Then they shook their heads, then they smiled, and finally they laughed. But when Paint It Black came on, they started singing along. Voila, no more yelling!!


No one can be in control of every situation, and anger doesn't fix the problem. It makes it worse. Find the silver lining in the situation. Ditch the anger, ditch the frustration, and learn to get through every problem without panicking or hurting yourself! If you can weather life with a smile on your face, you'll find yourself a lot happier...and people around you will follow your example.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOAN_HEO 8/13/2011 8:35AM

    If you can't laugh, you're lost! Great observations!

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PURESTILLWATER 8/12/2011 10:02PM

    what fantastic examples. Talk about making the best out of any situation. Only negative is now I have Paint it black in my head.. LOL. your story was so well told that I heard the song! emoticon

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STRAYMONET 8/12/2011 7:58AM

    emoticon emoticon

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IGSBETH 8/11/2011 10:09PM

    Way to go!

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OUBACHE 8/11/2011 8:26PM

    I wish I could have been there to see that. Well, maybe not, but you know what I mean. It's really great how you could turn things around. Who knows what kind of a ripple effect you started today!

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JJENZSLIM 8/11/2011 5:30PM

    What a fabulous ripple effect you had...I wanna be just like you when I grow up!

Good for you!

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    I love it! As a fellow I-will-sing-along-with-the-tunes-ev
en-if-someone-else-is-watching person, ATTA GIRL! It never fails to make others smile! I love your positive attitude!

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SHERRY257 8/11/2011 3:55PM

    Marvelous! Thanks for sharing. It made me grin from ear to ear. emoticon

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