Monday, June 28, 2010
My parents just left. They visit here maybe once or twice per year or so.
And ... I have to be the bigger person.
It is not bad. No, not really. No, no.
But it -- eh, you know -- the dynamic does not change and now, as they get older, I find I lace it with considerably more guilt than I did when I was in my twenties and thirties. Here they are, staring eighty in the face, and I am staring at fifty, and guilt just pushes up, like some unwanted, demented weed.
I think some of it, on my part, is the heat. And PMS. And the routine being disrupted, even though I invited them in. Of course this wasn't unexpected. But we, y'know, we have our routines. Our routines differ from what they were a few years ago but we still have them, and want to follow them.
Oh and another thing is that I've had a boatload of restaurant meals and very little exercise. Yeah, that'll add to it all.
And then -- oof -- politics.
I gotta say, I truly hate talking politics. I am online a lot, and it is a large topic of conversation on the site that I manage, and I mainly steer clear.
Include me out.
And, of course, that was dredged up this morning. Why don't you care? Why aren't you more active? Yadda yadda yadda.
I do care -- I just don't want to rehash it. The world's problems aren't going to get solved here. All we're going to do is piss one another off. Enough, already!
Gaaah, just listen. I'm starting subtly, I'm being ignored. I get more vocal, I'm being ignored. Finally I out and out say -- I.Don't.Want.To.Talk.About.This.And.Please
Okay, now it stops, but not before a last, parting word.
God. Just quit it.
This is done less than an hour before they depart, hence it not only looms large in my head but also helps to color the visit.
And, neither do they. Life isn't all sweetness and light, and I am totally okay with that, but just let the damned thing go for a weekend.
We went to Maine over the weekend. World's fastest LL Bean shopping spree. I was a whirling dervish. Inexplicably, I was only given 20 minutes. I actually got 4 things, tried them on (there was a 5th that fit but I didn't like how it looked on me, so I threw it back) and purchased them. I should submit that to the Guinness Book of World Records or something. Tank top, shorts, pair of jeans and a yellow hoodie. Right now I'm wearing the 1st 2 as it is pushing 90 degrees here.
So ... that was the chief reason for going to Maine. Pretty scenery, to be sure. Something to do. I know they get bored silly at my house but what can I do? Mr. J works, I have blogging (I should say: I work, too!) and we don't give a damn about any movie that's out right now. Air conditioners are not in the windows although that could be changed if need be. Museums and restaurants aplenty here, plus scenery is not too far away.
But, it's getting harder and harder. For Mr. J and I, it is easier. It's almost like the ease has been sucked out of the earlier generation.
And, Maine. It has some emotional connections for me. Not just because I attended Summer camp there as a teenager. It's also the place where, in 2007, I almost fainted in monster heat. And I could tell, the thoughts were -- if you weren't so goddamned fat you wouldn't be in this predicament.
Well, I was. I was goddamned fat.
I'm not any more. And I talk about it plenty, but I am also a bit tired of that as well. Not as sick of it as I am of politics and, no, I am not sick of you, fellow Sparkies.
But I am tired of what is the internal dialogue. The one where I say, well, I used to be this way. I'm not any more.
I need to let that go. It's done. It's over with. Can it come back? It's certainly possible. The chiefly annoying and unfair thing about weight loss is that it never really ends, you never really stop and you can never really slide without major massive freakin' consequences.
I don't think my parents are watching me, eagle-eyed, to see if I'll fall. There are people who do (those people should occupy one of the seven circles of Hell after death, so far as I'm concerned). There are folk who mentally rub their hands with glee.
Oh, I TOLD you she couldn't do it. Stupid fat girl. Never thin for long. Always fat, already fat again, don't let that appearance fool you! She can't be this way permanently. Leopard, spots, you know the drill.
I guess this post is a real downer, and I'm sorry about that. I am, yep, there's that ole guilt again. Why am I complaining about this?
But, bottom line, it is also my own fears bubbling up to the surface. It is also seeing thirty years into the future. Who do I want to be? The one who still walks every morning, or the one having trouble getting up off the couch? The one who climbs stairs with no problem, or the one who huffs during the ordeal?
So, it is guilt. It is imagination. It is fear. It is some sorrow, knowing what was before. And can never be again. And I know what is coming, the hard decisions that will have to be made. I fear I will not have the courage to make them.
Hence, if I leave with you with any takeaway today, what I can say (and some of this is the heat talking -- oh, look, it's 90, oh joy) to you is the following:
Perpetual dieting sucks.
Parking far away when you just want to be closer sucks.
Drinking water all the time sucks.
Cardio, whether you want to do it or not, sucks.
But not doing those things sucks even more.
And at some point, I hope you all live long enough, and you'll see the consequences, one way or the other.
Extreme old age sucks.
All we can do is make it a long time before we're in extreme old age, regardless of our true birth dates. And, when it does come, to make it suck as little as possible.
Thanks for reading. I suspect I'll be more cheerful next week.
Monday, June 21, 2010
I think the first time I became aware of what my body could and can do, I was probably about three or so. I was in a high chair. I had finished all of the cereal but not the milk so my mother poured the milk into a plastic cup. There were, naturally, little pieces of cereal floating around in there. This sufficiently bothered me that I threw the cup across the kitchen.
And so began my twin love affairs, with food issues and body issues.
Then there were my school years. I was not a heavy child but I was also not particularly coordinated, either. I came from a family where you didn't play sports because that's what the tradespeople's children did and we (my brother and I) were going to college so we were told that we didn't need such things.
As a result, and despite playing with friends when I was a child, I had a basic grasp of the rules of baseball and I knew that for basketball you were supposed to get the ball into the hoop and that about covered it. I recall going to a Flyers game with my family when I was 9 (we lived just outside of Philly then) and it was way, way, way up in the old Spectrum and when it was my turn with the binoculars I didn't follow the puck around and instead I just tried to pick out cute guys, either on the ice or in the stands.
As a result -- and our moving to Long Island right before I started 6th grade didn't help one iota -- I was always, and I mean ALWAYS chosen last for sports. This was the 60s and 70s, it was the era of "make the best athletes AKA gym teachers' pets the captains and let them choose the teams so that they can inevitably select all their friends first and then look the rest of us over like pieces of meat". See: Janis Ian.
There was but one exception to this pattern. I was friends with a girl named Crystal who was kind of a tough girl. I'm not so sure why we were pals; we did not go to each others' homes, but we were friendly in a nodding, hey, how ya' doin' kind of way. I was a Drama Club and International Club girl, on the Honor Society. This was an era where girls were only just beginning to be able to take shop. Crystal was, like I said, kind of tough.
We had a girls' gym class together, and it was divided into quarters. It was the Spring quarter of our Senior Year. I had been accepted to more than one college and had made my choice. Crystal, I think, was headed for a community college and probably out to work. But it was Spring quarter, and I digress. The unit was basketball, and we all knew the Janis Ian song, "At Seventeen". Well, I was sixteen but hey, close enough. The gym teacher decided on a round robin tournament. We'd have a half a dozen teams and no subs. We'd just play each other; team 1 would play team 6, then they'd play team 5 or whatever.
For some reason, Crystal the tough girl was chosen to be a captain. I suppose the gym teacher ran out of pets. Girls were being picked. I was, as per usual, waiting with the leavings. Fourth round out of five. Crystal scanned the remainders and found me. And, she picked me!
I could scarcely believe it. I was not the last one chosen.
Now, we did not win a single game, I'll have you know. When it came down to the final week of the unit, even if we had won every single game, we'd've still been dead last. But we didn't care. We had fun. We joked around easily. We enjoyed each others' company. Yes, we played. We did get a workout in and we did try to win. But getting good at it was not in our plans. We were not there to do anything spectacular on the court.
I wish I could tell you that I had kept up with Crystal, but I didn't. We went our separate ways although we have reconnected on Facebook. I don't think she remembers quite what she did for me and I have not reminded her. I don't want to remind her -- I'm not quite sure why. *I* know what she did. And that's all that matters, I feel. It all happened, by the way, over 30 years ago.
While you are going along in your struggles, and it seems like things are so hard, and the deck is stacked against you, look around at the remainders, and look beyond the trappings and the facades. Help others like they have helped you, because underneath the scratched exterior, I know that you will find a beautiful crystal.
Monday, June 14, 2010
The past week has been interesting and different. This one promises to be a bit more normal. Er, the new normal.
Last Friday, we hosted our first event. We didn't even send out invites and the like until, ewps, Wednesday. Maybe it was Tuesday. We got two guests. This is not bad for absolutely no notice whatsoever. Hence I'm going to create a company protocol for events. This will help to just have something to refer to any time we want to do this again, e. g. which calendars we can get on, etc. But we did get a good 77 clicks (I don't know how many unique users this translates into) on our event link. So there is interest -- more notice will convert that into more attendees. Of that I am sure.
And we are thinking about something for early September. Stay tuned.
But back to the event. After the two guests departed, we went to a coffee shop. This was the Pres, me, the Head of Dev and his girlfriend. We talked for hours! It was just such a delight. I am feeling like I am knowing the guys better. And I like what I see. One of the things the girlfriend said, I feel it was totally unprompted -- "I've been dating K___ for five years now and I don't know anyone with a stronger work ethic. He doesn't understand something, he learns it. He keeps at it." And what more could you ask for from your coworkers?
Then yesterday we had another Sunday work meeting. Working on the weekends is, well, I just have to do it. It's okay. I get rest and exercise during the week so I can just sort of shift my schedule to accommodate this. This was out in Worcester, where K___, A___ and G___ all live (this is where the four of them -- B___ is the boss, but he's moved to this area -- went to college). I got to see the Lab.
The Lab is a confusion of parts and wires and soldering guns. A few empty Diet Coke bottles, too.
Then we met. We're in discussions about funding (I cannot say any more at this time -- I'm under a Nondisclosure Agreement). We are talking about an office in Cambridge. We are talking with suppliers. It is all very heady.
They liked what I've been doing, and understood when I explained what I'm looking for from them. We work well as a team. Everyone is recognized, everyone contributes.
Oh yeah, my husband met B__. And his reaction was the same as, well, everyone's -- B__ is sooooo young. But, I reminded Mr. Jespah, B___ is the same age he was when we first met. Ready to get down to brass tacks. Not flighty young -- energetic young.
Diet is interesting these days. I was off yesterday as I knew I wouldn't have dinner, due to colonoscopy prep. So I had -- gasp! -- fries and a pickle at lunch. My God. They were ... okay. I can't honestly say that they were oh my God oh so delectable I have missed them for years or anything even remotely like that. It was more like, meh, so? For this I got outta bed?
Without even counting the electrolyte prep drink, my sodium level was off the charts yesterday (I also had chicken broth and jello for dinner, with the same for breakfast this morning -- Gawd). Hence I'm up again. It'll all even out soon enough. I am not thrilled with the idea of a colonoscopy, but the prep wasn't too awful. Since I'm used to drinking a lot of water, and I was on alli for over a year, that helped a lot. Just draw on those experiences.
Today, of course, is the actual procedure. And, no, I will not be blogging about THAT.
Monday, June 07, 2010
Last week was significant, not because I gained almost 4 lbs. (oops, too many restaurant meals, not enough working out) but because of signing the employment contract.
So ... I am working.
And it is a freakin' blast.
What happened was, I went to my usual networking-type rounds during the week but talked up not so much myself as the company. I didn't even have company business cards so I was writing the company name on my own.
Then on Thursday my boss and I got together for dinner and biz. We were supposed to be going to a barbecue place but I got there first and it was locked.
Back up a sec. I had decided to kinda go all out, as we were going to an event afterwards. It was fairly warm out so I put on a black skirt. Nope, didn't like that one, went with the black pencil skirt. Okay, now I have no pockets. Didn't want to wear a sweater. Okay, the black blazer. Now wearing sandals looks bad. Put on hose and black ballet slippers. Grabbed black heels and threw them in the car, just in case.
When I got to the originally planned restaurant, I left the blazer in the car. So I was wearing, um, a green top, black skirt, hose and the aforementioned ballet slippers. Nice but not super-formal. Then my boss came over from where he was parked. He works as a software engineer by day (I am still collecting Unemployment -- this is the life of being in a startup -- you make other $$ until the real funding comes in; hopefully very soon) and the dress is casual. He is wearing a tee shirt with a button down shirt over that, shorts and sandals.
Since the dude is over 2 decades younger than me, we really stand out as the odd couple. We end up going to a Mexican place. We're eating, chatting, talking biz and whatnot and I start writing down my food. I can't recall if he asked or if I volunteered it but I said, I've been writing down my food for over two years now.
Because I lost a lot of weight.
You don't need to lose weight, he says.
You haven't been looking at my website, have you? I say.
Uh, no. Sheepish grin.
We pull it up on his phone, and I direct him to the page about the weight loss. There's my before picture, front and center. His jaw drops.
What? Is that really YOU?
Yes, it is. I was 346 pounds.
Oh my God. It's ... I would never have guessed ... you look like you've always been thin.
Nope, I wasn't. But, thank you.
We finish dinner (neither of us finished our meals; I think diet talk has that effect on everyone) and go back to my car for me to drop off my briefcase and all. I grab the blazer, I change into heels. He looks me up and down.
Is it that formal there?
No, I say. I just felt like doing this.
We go in, we see a bunch of people I know, and a lot I don't. We have new business cards. We have a nonworking prototype with us. It's a little thing, smaller than the palm of my hand. I've put it into a little change purse I got from CVS. The change purse is zebra-striped. It is a tad silly, to be sure, but it stands out.
We have one of those evenings where you break apart, circle back, break apart again, etc. as you go along. We are joking with people. We are making impressions. People are smiling. A good blog is written up later, and it mentions us very favorably.
We just ... it was fantastic. It was that kind of give and take you want with, well, with everyone. And I was able to get out there and do it, shake my not-so-big-anymore hips in a skirt and show off my calves with higher heels than I've worn in a decade. So much of this business is sheer flirting (who'd've known that would be a good job skill for a legal job?). I never, ever thought I would be in sales and marketing.
I never had the confidence before.
When we went back to my car, I grabbed my boss's hand for a second and just said, "Thank you for believing in me."
Thanks to all of YOU, too.
And now if you'll excuse me, I've gotta go back to stoking the star maker machinery.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Every song on the planet should start with the line that this one starts with:
'You Don't Have to Take this Crap."
And you don't have to.
Nope. Not YOU.
Now, you may be saying to yourself: what the heck is jes on about NOW? Gosh, she's not making any sense.
No. Wait. Hear (read) me out.
Almost everybody here got here because they settled.
They went along to get along.
They ate what was put in front of them.
They lazed when others did.
They finished the stuff off their children's plates so as not to waste it.
They took what was given or foisted upon them. Even if they didn't want it. Even if they were already full, they ate it. They settled, they compromised, they laid back and took it. They SWALLOWED it, both literally and figuratively.
But it does not have to be that way.
You can be the one who says no.
You can be the one who zigs where the others zag. Hell, where the others are standing still and doing absolutely nothing.
You do not have to wait for them. You do not have to live your life tailored to theirs. You do not have to live up to their expectations and be their good little girl or their darling boy.
You are you. You are an adult. They are not responsible for your happiness and your health. And you are not responsible for theirs, either.
Sure, it's nice to help them out. And it's great if you're not being undermined and sabotaged at every turn by all or some of them.
But, ultimately, it is on you.
And you can throw off the yoke of oppression and break free of the chains. You can be you. The beautiful, powerful, sexy, dynamic, focused world-beating YOU. The one who climbs the mountain. The one who gets the girl. The one who gets the promotion. The one who aces the test. The one who they line up for. The one with the happy ending.
I am not, specifically, talking about being thin. Sure, it is a great and grand thing. But the way things can be DOES NOT HAVE TO WAIT FOR THAT.
It is independent of that.
YOU. You take control. You bring the power, and don't give it away to others. You forge the steel. You blaze the trail. And you are thin, or not, and it doesn't matter insofar as this kind of power and attitude are concerned.
But, you say, I am all alone. I am scared. I am in my home in Oshkosh or Dubai or Beijing or Moose Jaw and I am only one of a thousand, a million, a billion and it is so very, very hard to stand alone and keep back the tide.
I know. I really do. Oh God, do I know that feeling. You tremble inside, and you feel lost, and the world is black and bleak and your little candle is flickering and the wick is drowning in a pool of wax and about to sputter out.
I totally get that, because I have been there and I have held that dying candle, that dim and seemingly insignificant spark.
Here's some lighter fluid for it.
Unity and togetherness.
Teams. Gathering together. Making friends. Being as one. Because your little candle in Hicksville and mine in Boston and that other one in Siena and the one in Kiev and the one in Rio and and and they all add up and together, if we are together they are synergistic and they make more together than they ever could apart. 1 + 1 does not equal 2 here; it equals 20 and more and more and more.
"You don't have to take this crap
You don't have to sit back and relax
You can actually try changing it
I know we've always been taught to rely
Upon those in authority -
But you never know until you try
How things just might be -
If we came together so strongly
Are you gonna try to make this work
Or spend your days down in the dirt
You see things can change -
YES an' walls can come tumbling down!"
"And like Jericho - You see walls can come tumbling down!"
Let our unity be like Jericho. Let us break down the barriers between us and become the people we have always -- and I mean ALWAYS -- been meant to be.
Goodbye, walls. Hello, new, excellent you.
Damn, you're beautiful.
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