Saturday, June 26, 2010
So, my final assignment for this class is to write an autobiography. My head is stuffy, I'm not thinking clearly, but I've got it done. I am going to post it here-it is LONG, but if you WANT to read it and let me know what you think-along with any typos I might have created. The purpose is to show the reviewers a glimpse of our writing technique, let them get to know us and it can be as creative as you want. It should not be dry or boring-a standard application essay. So here it is...would you want me at your school?
Almost exactly 41 years ago, at the time this is being written, the world was forever changed by the birth of one little girl. Little did her parents know what they were in for, little did they know that they would need to know all the information in the world to satisfy their daughter. For several years her inborn abilities lay dormant, but by the time she was four years old it became apparent that this child had a gift, a gift called curiosity.
At a young age the child started asking questions. Those questions that all children ask: Why is the sky blue? Why are there clouds? Why do we need gas for the car? She asked all those questions and more. The real problem for her parents was that she never seemed to stop. From morning until night the child asked question. One day, while driving in the car, they finally asked her to just stop, for just a few minutes just stop asking questions. And for a few minutes she did. The little girl grew some more and started school. Finally some of her questions were getting answered. She learned to read and she never stopped reading. As soon as words started making sense the little girl learned that words had power. Words had the power to answer her questions.
The little girl read everything she could. One day her mother gave the little girl a special book to read. The mother explained that the book had been hers when she was a little girl. She told the little girl that there were more books too and that she could read them as long as she took good care of them. The little girl thought she had been given a treasure chest. She read each book and devoured the information inside. The books were about people, very special people, people with names like Clara Barton, Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Boone, Amelia Earhart and George Washington Carver. There were other books about events more than people, events like the Klondike gold rush and the Oregon Trail. An entirely new world opened up for the little girl, a world of heroes and heroines, a world of adventure and catastrophe. The books failed in one thing though, they failed to answer all the questions. In fact they created more questions, questions that had to be answered. Why did Amelia disappear? Where was she now? What happened to John Wilkes Booth, why did he shoot the President? What happened after the Alamo?
The girl grew and read and kept reading about all those people and events in history. In High School the girl already knew what she wanted to do when she grew up, she wanted to be a History teacher, a college History teacher. Junior year she studied her favorite subject of all American History. The teacher was surprised to find that only one student knew anything about the War of 1812-the girl. An assignment to write a research paper resulted in a detailed history and oral report on Amelia Earhart and the possibilities of where she was and what happened. The question of why did Amelia disappear was finally answered to the best of anyone’s ability.
The girl left for college and for the first time wavered in her devotion to history, thinking maybe English was more the thing she should do. That diversion did not last long though and she came back, begging for forgiveness. The girl, now a young woman, attained her Associate’s Degree and went to BYU for a year, then decided she needed to serve a mission. Her mission to Germany interrupted her studies and when she got home, she somehow never made it back to school. A job, then later, a husband kept her from going back. She dabbled in school classes at the local community college, but the desire to finish what she started never diminished.
The girl had three children and now two of them are in school. The “baby” at almost 4 years old will start pre-school this year and the girl, now a woman, started thinking. Her oldest came home from school one day and announced he wanted to be a teacher. The girl’s heart swelled with pride. She started thinking about the example she was setting for her son and her daughters. Someday they would ask her “THE QUESTION”, the question of why she never finished school and she would need an answer. She did not want the answer to be that she just hadn’t done it. With all her heart she wanted to never have to answer that question. All the answers seemed so feeble, so much of an excuse. She had never done anything in her life to be ashamed of, except maybe that one thing…that failure to finish what she started. Other reasons came into play, worry about the economy, the idea that some jobs would always be more in demand than others, the idea that a degree, any degree can be a door opener in tough times, but the idea of having to tell her children that they needed to finish college, when she hadn’t was the decisive factor, along with the fact that she had never stopped asking those questions. What was it like to live in ancient China? Who created the terra cotta soldiers? What was life like for my ancestors? What was up with the Borgia family?
She sent in her application and waited with bated breath, hoping for the chance to fix what she had done wrong. The fact that she is sitting here on a Saturday afternoon, days before her birthday, writing an autobiography with a head that is not working due to a horrible cold she’s contracted, demonstrates that she is getting that chance. At 41 years old she is “going back to school”. There are more people to learn about, more events that need to be discovered, that love has not died and it is time to show her family what can be accomplished when you love what you do and you have the determination to get it done.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
The last few days I've been thinking about grassroots movements. I'm not talking about the TeaParty or The Medical Marijuana movement...more basic than that. Simply, the idea that normal people can make a difference. There are a million examples of people who see something that needs to be changed and they say something, write a letter, get some friends involved and poof! the thing changes. It usually isn't as easy as Poof! but it happens.
I'll take an example from Karvy09-thanks Kristina-see her blog here... www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
omment_page=1 the more people who put pressure on any given restaurant to post their nutritional information...the more likely that restaurant is to actually post the info. We here at Spark, as well as Spark itself are in a unique position to effect change.
First of all we are all focused on similar goals, it doesn't matter what activity you participate in, we are all focused on living a healthier lifestyle and therefore more attuned to things that are not healthy.
Second, this is a HUGE network. I haven't looked up membership numbers, I'm sure FB is bigger, but we form different kinds of friendships here on Spark. Instead of being wary of becoming friends with a name we've never heard, we reach out to others and get to know people with absolutely no relation to us and with whom we may never personally meet. Through Spark friends my area of influence covers a much, much wider territory than my FB network. Most of my family and friends on FB are west coasters stretching as far east as Idaho, Utah and Arizona!! Wow, huge!!LOL! My sparknetwork spans all of North America including Canada (hello northern neighbors), England, and other far countries. Just met a girl (woman) this morning living in Italy!! Our influence could be felt worldwide...
So, I've been thinking, there is probably something, just about everywhere, that could be done better. My personal grassroots movement is getting a race in MY city!! My town offers a marathon, and a triathalon which I think is pretty cool. However, if you are looking for a 5K or a 10K-tough out of luck!! And the REALLY funny thing is this, well a couple things actually...A) this town is totally flat, offering a variety of potentially FAST courses. B) We are surrounded by hills, offering a vast potential for trail run. C) Our summers are horribly hot, but fall, winter and spring are ALL great for outdoor activities. No snow to interfere with winter runs, mostly sunny, yet cool days, temps usually ranging in the seventies and sixties. If my town was more health oriented we could have a race every month October through April or even May, this year June is still beautiful too. Yet we offer NOTHING. Not a turkey trot, not a bunny hop, not a spring fling, not a single 5 or 10K. We will have the occasional Relay for Life, etc, but not races. Susan G. Komen comes to the town over the hill, they are a bigger city, not a big city mind you, just bigger than us, complete with the traffic congestion and all, and they have to cope with the prevalent hills in that town. Our town is flat, come here!!!
So, after searching for my next races and finding out the the next 5K will probably be at the beach, and the next 10K and the first half will be only 40 minutes away (if there is traffic), I figured, that's not too bad, but I still felt the need to have something closer. Several weeks ago I wrote our local recreations organization. Valley Wide parks and recreation. They have this complex, they run the mommy and me, the are the location of the AYSO league, they, offer football, basketball and baseball for the kids, they have dance classes, blah, blah, blah, but they never offer a race...they used to... I send them an e-mail requesting/suggesting that they bring back races. Nothing big, just a 5K fun run here and there, maybe something bigger to fundraise for the local Police Activies League, etc. NO RESPONSE...Seriously, not even an "you are insane and it will never happen". I was a little disappointed in my first effort at bringing a race to town....
So, the other day I am thinking, for some bizarre reason about my town's number one claim to fame...nobody ever knows where Hemet is unless they, or someone they know lives here, but we do have a claim to fame. Hemet is the home of "America's longest running outdoor drama-since 1923". Cool huh? The play is called Ramona and is based on a book by Helen Hunt Jackson and portrays the plight of the California Indian during California's settlement by Americans moving west. It is a pretty big deal-well actually it is the city's biggest deal. Fourth grade students get to take a field trip to see the play (the year they learn California history). Residents are encouraged to participate as characters and young boys and now young girls are encouraged to participate as "rock indians" -not a tribe, a description of their part, they hide behind large boulders and rocks on the hillside and make a dramatic appearance part way through the play-if it is your first time seeing it-it takes you completely by surprise and is really cool. So for some reason Ramona is on my mind...about a decade ago or so part of the opening ceremonies of the play was a 5K race (there might have been a 10K option, but honestly walking the 5K was my only interest).
I sent them an e-mail. I told them about how I was part of the 5K years ago and how I would really love to see the race come back. I told them how I thought a Ramona finisher's medal would be a totally beautiful thing-there is this logo that has been around for forever and it would translate to a finisher's medal in a really awesome way, I think and might increase interest. I told them how I thought the Ramona logo on a race shirt could be something that makes the race stand out too. I told them how other cities and organizations are having success with races as fundraisers and that I thought Hemet was missing out on something by not doing the same. The pageant has had difficulties in recent years with fundraising. Ticket prices have had to go up, etc. and I think races would really go a long ways in supporting the pageant.
I got a really sweet reply that the board had been discussing the race as a fundraiser that had fallen by the wayside and that it was being discussed to bring it back. The lady who answered my e-mail forwarded it to all the board members (I could see their addresses in her reply to me). My grassroots movement has taken root, whether or not something comes of it...we'll have to see.
I forwarded the message to my sis and she wrote one too. Maybe this spring we will see a 5K or even a 5K/10K come to town. Wouldn't that be awesome!! That darn finisher's medal is not even close to a done deal and I already want it so bad.....lol!!
I am taking a long time to get to the point...being...everyone has a voice and everyone has friends with voices. I am reluctant to put the address out there and inundate the pageant board with messages (small board, nice people, good cause, want to be nice), but trust me if the year goes on too long and I don't hear anything more on the Ramona race-you just might be asked to add your voice to mine even if you won't be running in the race because you live in like Toronto or Boston or something. If you see a cause, if you know a company that needs to improve their nutritional information, if you are aware there is a way to make where you live a better place...I think you are obliged to speak up!! And if you want some help, just let us all know, we'll be here to help, because we want your place to be a healthy place to live too!! All the voices that added their's to Karvy's are bound to make a difference. I've noticed the ads here on spark (some people haven't noticed restaurant ads, I think that the ads can be tailored to region so maybe somewhere there is a sparker that doesn't see any restaurants at all??) and tried to ignore them. I appreciate that this site is free and that takes sponsors, neccessary evil (not that any sponsors are actually evil) but we can expect that even the restaurants that advertise here will do the minimum neccessary to make sure that their patrons get what they need to make wise decisions. We can also expect that our towns offer events, or locations that help us be healthy. No running track in town?? Write your city council, if they have a location see what needs to be done to start organizing the labor and sponsors to make it happen. No races where you live either? Look around, which organization is always in need of funds, contact their board, ceo, whatever, and get something started. No running club? Pick a location, time and date, make a flyer and visit the closest sporting goods store and ask if you can post it. No sporting goods store? How about a Wal-Mart or a Target with a sports department...do they have a bulletin board for community announcements. Our Target has one for tooting thier own horn, but maybe they would post a flyer for a running club...Never know, maybe someone will show up. There is something to be said for grassroots movements...
Speak up, step out, make a difference, it's what we were put on this planet for...that and love...
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
It is kind of funny how blogs from different people will sometimes hit on the same theme on the same day. I visited Toronto Grrl 79's blog this morning and her theme is similar to the blog I've been planning for several days now. It has taken several days because I needed a picture of me in a certain outfit and kept forgetting to get the pic. So, finally got the pic and here we go...
I am a visual learner. A VERY strong visual learner. My husband and I once listened to this book on cd about making your relationship stronger. Part of the book was a test to see what kind of learner you are. The author thought this was important because it makes a difference in how you receive love. For instance...since I am a visual person, I relate more strongly to things that I SEE, so if my husband says I love you it is not going to resonate as strongly as bringing me flowers or doing the dishes while I am out. Things I can SEE. My husband is an auditory learner. I can clean the house and do his laundry till the cows come home and it won't stay with him as strongly as meeting him at the door with a kiss and an I love you -glad you are home.
So, this relates to my journey to health because since I am a visual person I should be able to be motivated by things I can see. A picture of a new pair of shoes, an item of clothing I want to fit into, etc. And, I SHOULD be able to SEE myself at my goal. No to both. I have a skirt, actually now two skirts, hanging on my wall, they've been there awhile, so long that I no longer see them, they've become a part of the decorations in my bedroom. Wall hangings.... That's the smaller of the two...I think it is absolutely adorable and I should be fitting into it by now, but I'm not. I should be able to "see" how cute it will look on, I don't have a blouse to go with it yet, but I am thinking a sweater set in butter yellow, maybe some little frillies on the sweater somewhere. You probably can't see them in the pic, but there are butter yellow stripes in the pattern. The whole putting up an outfit you want to fit into-not working for me...
I also have a couple pics posted on the bathroom mirror of me in college, where the clothes I took with me no longer fit right because I had lost so much weight at school. Trouble is I am also a logical person. Spock is my hero, Kirk is the hotty but Spock has the brains. My brain KNOWS I will NEVER look that way again, NEVER, no matter what I do, short of surgery, the body I had then is unobtainable. I now have 3 kids, I am 20 years older. The fact of the matter is that even if I obtain that weight I will not look the same. Saggy skin and saggy boobs, wrinkles and maturity have left that person far behind. And in so many ways that is a good thing. That person was young, naive, had never left the country, etc., etc. The pic doesn't help because that person does not exist anymore.
I am working on a collage but I'm still collecting pictures. I might have to go and buy a mess of magazines just for the pics. Hmm, good excuse to get some mags I haven't read for awhile!!
I have come up with a new plan. Looking to the future and looking to the past do not motivate me, but what about looking at the now? I can see how clothes are fitting me now, and I can see how they used to fit and compare the two. I kind of stumbled upon this idea when I posted a blog a bit ago where I had put on the exact outfit I was wearing when I was considerably heavier. Looking at the differnce of the two pictures motivated me...
I have this swimsuit. I LOVE this swimsuit, my favorite of three suits. I wear it whenever I can. I try to keep it available because it covers, it flatters, it is fun. Here is the suit...BTW-I just got back from swimming so the suit and I are both a little damp and my bangs are doing some weird, I've been swimming thing.
. My sister gave me the shorts a few years ago. You probably can't see, but the pattern down the side is a hawaiian print with Mickey Mouse mixed in. When I first got them I couldn't get them on. Last year I was finally able to get them on!! So I went and got the Tankini top to go with them. The suit fits this year, much like it did last year, not exactly what I had planned. The plan is to see how loose I can get it by the end of summer. Will I be in danger of indecent exposure? I sure hope so!!!!
My other plan is to do something about this.... . My bat wings have got to go as much as is possible. Genetically speaking, my Grandma had baggy arms, but still I can tone these suckers and get them looking a bit better. So now I have to decide when the end of summer is....when is the cut off point to see how I've done? School starts August 23rd. That isn't really the end of summer though. I think I will go with the end of the FITS challenge, whenever that is...sometime around the real end of summer, in September. Let's see how baggy these shorts can get. Maybe I'll even be able to take this skirt off the wall and see how it looks....
I'm taking this step by step, day by day, workout by workout...hopefully it works....
BTW-forgot to mention that I can put on that second skirt. Get the zipper up? Not a chance...Move around? Not a chance. But, it is a START!!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Sorry I've been quiet for a few days. Struggling to finish that one assignment for school, busy with kids, I did have a blog all ready to go on Saturday and then it disappeared and I just didn't have the heart to recreate it. So, here it is Tuesday, I'm tired again and catching a cold and have lots to do. Today I can focus more on exercise and home and not so much on school work so of course now I am torn as to what to do next so I am here on Spark.
I did bust my excuse for today-I was soooooooo tired this morning when the alarm went off I tried REALLY hard to talk myself out of running. But, the running won and I got out of bed. The plan for today said a two to three mile run. I didn't really feel like hitting the three mile route so instead I got ready and headed a completely different direction than normal, in fact exactly the opposite direction of where I usually go. I had no route, no plan, no idea what I was doing. I ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN!!!! My recent assignment for school was on learning styles-the Kolb learning styles-I think I mentioned this...but, these learning styles had me all confused and turned around, they finally started making sense while I was sitting by the pool yesterday and the character traits of each finally started to click too. The MAJOR character trait of my own learning style was the only one that really clicked from the beginning because I could truly see myself in it. There are several other points where I was nodding my head and thinking "yep, that's me", but the MAJOR one, so major that it is the nickname for this learning style is "Planner". That's me...I'm a planner. A completer maybe not so much (procrastination-one of the character traits), but definitely a planner!! The real name in case you have heard of the Kolb learning styles or are just curious is Assimilator. I pull lots of information together into one cohesive thought. Yep, that's me alright. Unfortunately, sometimes I think I need more information before making a decision or taking action. Sounds familiar too. Anyway, babbling is not a character trait...So taking off for a run with out a plan-TOTALLY out of character, but kind of fun just the same...
I have not done much running in the direction I headed-north, I usually head south and west. I ran down this part of our street on the way back from my first 6 mile run and that is it. So I just keep running and checking my watch to see when I have to head back. I get to the street that served as my main return route on that 6 miler and decided that was far enough, time to head back-I've never gone further north than that street, something to try one of these days...Came home tracked my route and found out I'd gone EXACTLY two miles. Good enough!! I kind of felt that it had been right about two miles and was amazed to find out I was right, my husband thought it was less...
No route, too tired-both busted (too tired gets busted A LOT).
A bit later I am in my kitchen doing dishes and thinking about a casual dinner I am cooking tomorrow for the missionaries from our church. I'm making home made pizza, salad, and I don't know what else yet, maybe some bread sticks, kind of redundant with the pizza crust, but they do it in the restaurants all the time...I start thinking about what I have to pick up at the store...some tomato paste, parmesan and soda. Wait a minute back it up....
Because it is what you serve to company...
Really? Why not juice, or water, or if I still wanted to give them something not healthy and super sweet I'll give them Kool-Aid, at least it doesn't have HFCS.
You've seen the t.v. add--you know there is nothing wrong with HFCS.
I trust what I read not what I see on t.v.
Then why did you drink soda on Father's Day?
Special occasion...hey, I'm getting a little uncomfortable with this conversation.
That's okay. I think I've made my point.
Just keep having those "special occasions"....
Conclusion I came to...it is time to say good-bye to an old, old friend. Saying good-bye to soda was a hard enough thought, but then a couple old friends came by to ask what I was going to do about them...
(not beer-rootbeer float and his friend sherbet/lemon-lime floats) If you say good-bye to soda then what about us? Are you seriously saying you will never have another float in your entire life? We have been there for you through thick and thicker!! We have stood by you during hellish hot summers and emotional meltdowns. We are your consistent go to treat!!!!
Guys, I gotta do this for myself. It is my health at stake. You guys know how many calories are in you, and how I just can't have just a little one. Not right now. I'm not saying it will be forever, but I want to see what I can accomplish if you aren't in the picture. Maybe someday I will be able to say, just a small one and have it be true. But, this summer I am going to have to find another way to get through the heat.
(Rootbeer float) How can you leave me? Don't you remember? One of your earliest memories. One that you hold dear and that is why you love me so much, don't you remember?
I remember. Shame on you for playing that card. I have to separate you from that memory. That memory is not about you anyways. It is about the people in the memory. I remember sitting at the kitchen table at Grandma and Grandpa's house. The little table inside the kitchen, not the dining room table. I remember the table. Today it would be called retro chic. The 50's style table with the aluminum trim around the edge, the glittery vinyl covered chairs. I remember the curtains in the window. I remember Grandpa sharing his favorite treat with us at that table-a root beer float. I remember one time we made it with chocolate ice cream because they didn't have vanilla, but they always had root beer. Grandpa's absolute favorite soda. My absolute favorite soda. You are making me cry thinking about it...sometimes I miss him so much....
I remember other occasions when we went, as a family, to the A&W drive-in where we ordered our meal and of course the floats through a speaker and then the girl brought out the tray that hooked onto the window. The glasses were always so cold that they frosted over. I remember eating those floats in an old blue VW bug.
I remember the "punch" at Grandma's piano recitals. Really just a sherbet and lemon-lime soda float. Ahh, those piano recitals....
I remember it all. I know the role you've played in my life. You play a part in an awful lot of my memories. But, you are not the people. You are not the body of the memory. Hate to say it this way, but you were just the accessory.
Sorry guys, bye.
You are so harsh.
Floats storm out and don't look back.....
hmmm, wonder what I could do with sparkling water and lemon sorbet? Would that be totally disgusting? Maybe I'll drink the sparkling water and treat myself on the hottest days to a fruit pop....
Get An Email Alert Each Time ITSHOWYOULIVE Posts