Wednesday, September 02, 2009
I've been having a rather rough time of it lately in terms of work stress. I don't want to get into it but things seem to be lifting a bit so I am hoping that will last. But I did want to put out this song as it's been kind of a meditation for me lately. Music helps me, lyrics always have. I guess they mean more to me than they should, but it's the title of this blog that has kept me going.
It's karma, you know, the cosmic cycle. The world breaks apart and then is renewed, over and over again. Even my own little world. And so, I hope, a renewal cycle is beginning.
But melancholy takes a while to lift, so this year (because it is my birthday today), the party will start off slower than it did last year.
At age 47 I can honestly tell you that I still feel a bit like 17 and a bit like 27 or 37 and even 7. It was exactly 30 years ago today that I got to my first college dorm. My parents helped move me in and gave me a chocolate cake and a can of chocolate frosting. Y'know how many friends you can make with the line, "Wanna help frost my birthday cake?"
Every year I take stock at this time of year. Partly it's because it's my own personal New Years' Day but also because it's the start of a school year so it's easy to get into that mode. I've accomplished a lot. Last year I got a lot more weight loss out of the way, but this year I am considerably more toned and in better shape. I am starting to live the life of a thin person, not just a dieting person. It's a good life.
And it's got room for cardio. Cheesy cardio.
Happiness doesn't always come. But with you, my friends, it comes more often, and more easily and it lasts longer. You lift me up and make things so much better. You're gonna make the next 47 rock even more.
Because I'm geeky, because I'm silly, because I relate way too well to Office Space and Napoleon Dynamite, because I know all the lyrics even as I've forgotten High School French, because I've got canned heat in my heels, and most of all because I love you all, this one's for you:
Monday, August 31, 2009
I now weigh 189, also known as less than I have since, I dunno, early 1991? I moved my ticker again; now my intermediate goal is 180. My long-term goal continues to be 146.
Yesterday, we went to a Red Sox game. It was fun (I always have a super time at Fenway) and I paid attention when the players' weights and heights were revealed, which is during the second run through the line up.
Well. I'm lighter than almost all of the Red Sox now, or at least lighter than the players they fielded on 8/30. Only Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia weigh less, and not by much (185 and 180, respectively). Pitcher Paul Byrd is a pound more than I am. David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, Rocco Baldelli, JD Drew, Kevin Youkilis, Alex Gonzalez and Victor Martinez all weigh more.
Last year, I outweighed all of them, and a lot of them are a good six or so inches taller than I am. Next year I have little doubt that I'd be able to sit on even Dustin Pedroia's lap without squishing him.
This is assuming he'd let me, seeing as he and I are married, and not to each other. Plus if I was on his lap I'd tell him to tidy up his beard. I figure it's gotta be adding at least a pound to his total.
After the game, we walked home from Fenway. My husband thought it would take us up to two hours. It took an hour and a half, for about 9,000 steps, which is close to four miles.
This year, it was a question as to whether we would walk, and Mr. J asked me more than once if I wanted to stop.
Next year, we will walk, and there will be no question.
Even if Dustin Pedroia fails to tidy up his beard.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I was there.
If you are looking for some diet or exercise advice or inspiration today, well, feel free to click elsewhere. 'Cause it won't be in this space today. And if you feel that you simply must drag politics in here, or speak of someone's imperfect life (as if our own lives were perfect and, therefore, superior), I do hope that you'll turn around.
Not today. Please, not now.
I live and work in Boston. And today was Senator Kennedy's last trip through the city.
It was a strange, stressful day, like the planets had aligned oddly, and there was an unfamiliar tilt to the axis. I suppose that's only fitting, as when people who are larger than life, they really are -- they affect so much. And so when they are gone, the tilt changes.
So, the tilt. Today work was a strain, which it has been lately. I very nearly snapped at a coworker, a perfectly lovely woman who only wants to work with me, and work well. But I saw her after that, and smiled, and we started to talk, about this of course because it is a very big deal. She is an immigrant, here for decades from India, and so her axis has tilted many ways, I am sure.
The immigrant experience is the story of America, whether you came here by boat or just stepped off a plane. She said, she had donated to some charity or another years ago, and her name was sold, and somehow she ended up on the mailing list for Irish Immigrant Aid. So for years, she'd get mail from them, including invitations to meet Senator Kennedy. I told her she should have gone, she could've said she was from Southern Ireland. WAY South. But she didn't; the dinners cost too much. And now it's too late.
I, too, have a tale. It was around thirty years ago. I was 17, just starting school here. And friends were going to the State House to hear Ted announce he was running for President. I didn't go. I don't know why, after all, 1980 was going to be my first year voting. But I just didn't. And now it's too late.
But there's something about that moment, the Globe mentioned it, they said Teddy was asked why he wanted to be President, and he just couldn't articulate it. That had doomed that candidacy, even absent Chappaquiddick, it was just, who wants an indecisive President? Or at least someone who's not sure why they're there, or even if they want to be there?
I tell you, I can totally relate. I am going to be 47 soon, hey, just about the age he was then, and I still can't tell you whether what I do for a living will make me happy in twenty years, or ten, or even five. I have always had that kind of indecision, that kind of not being sure why I'm there, and I can feel what that feels like because that's the country I live in.
Today at least I knew why I was there. I get out of my office early (my schedule is an hour shifted earlier from everyone else's) and today was no different. My office is across the street from City Hall Plaza, so I stood and waited. A crowd slowly gathered. There was a family, speaking what I think was Portuguese. Tourists. Elderly folk. Mailmen. Office workers. Students. People in wheelchairs.
And then it happened. The motorcade came by, and behind me I heard a man clapping, so I clapped, too, and pretty soon we were applauding, only stopping to wave back at the family as they waved at us. I know they heard us. I know they saw us. And I saw Patrick sitting in the front seat of the hearse. And in the first car behind, oh, it tore at my heart, I saw Victoria. And in the car behind her was Jean, the last of the siblings. And dozens of nieces and nephews. All somber. But many of them waving. They saw. They heard. They knew we were his people. They acknowledged and we did so in turn. They knew why we were there.
When they had passed, I realized I was standing next to a coworker, but not the woman I wrote of earlier. He turned to me and just said, "History." I agreed, and wished him a good night, for it was all I could say.
As I walked away and dabbed at my eyes a little, I hoped she had gotten a chance to see and be a part of it. To be a piece of that silent dance of "thank you -- no, thank YOU."
Luck did have something to do with it, to start, I suppose. But bad luck also had something to do with it, and mixed in with all of it was a boatload of hard work and also a dollop of "I don't know why I'm here".
I know why you were here.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Note: the music is good but some of the imagery on the video might be disturbing.
In web development, there's a phenomenom called WYSIWYG, It stands for, well, the title of this entry's song: What You See is What You Get.
And I've been thinking about that a bit lately, and I've decided that when it comes to clothing, from now on, WYSIWYG.
See, way back when, in the dark time, before Spark, before I gave a damn, it was all elastic waists, special little slimming panels, Spanx and control top pantyhose and the like. Everything was restricting or overly loose or deceptive or just, well, a tad surreal. Nothing actually fit.
What you saw was not me. I fooled myself into believing that I looked good or at least decent, that it took off the pounds and the inches and I looked like things were at least not out of control. But the reality was that the only person whose eyes were getting any wool pulled over was, you guessed it: me.
I've woken up, you could say, and decided to go back to what I really look like. I look at ads, at magazines, at catalogs. I suppose we all do. Use this to enhance your bust! Pick this style to hide a protruding waist! Just a little lift to your keister is all you need -- and here's what you need in order to do it! Quick, put this on, it'll hide your hips! Do your makeup this way and your second chin will magically disappear!
Naturally it is all very money-driven. After all, if a store can sell you a sarong to go along with your swimsuit, or Spanx for your evening gown, or a push-up Wonder Bra for your tee shirt or whatever then they make more bucks. No one needs a degree in economics in order to figure out that equation.
But what if -- whether you *need* them or not -- you tossed the Spanx? You ripped the slimming panel out of the front of your jeans? You still wore a bra, for sure, but not one designed to make you look two cup sizes larger?
And instead you let people see that you've still, maybe, got a muffin top. Or your hips are wide. Or your bust sags because, dare I say it, you're not 20 any more? And you don't look perfect because you're a work in progress and you're real and there's something very, very beautiful about that.
I am not saying that I will abandon things that make me look good. If anything, I care more about my appearance than I did before. I like having clothes in colors and cuts that fit and flatter me. I like it when I look better (yes, slimmer) than I truly am.
But I refuse to do it with panels and elastic any more. This is, I know, why it is taking me longer to lose this size than it's taken me to lose the other 7 (yes, really) I already have.
It's because the game is being changed. By me.
This may not be my absolute greatest motivation (my health is), but it is there. I want to be the woman who looks like she's wearing Spanx.
Get An Email Alert Each Time JESPAH Posts