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Enough with the "hissy fit"

Monday, July 09, 2012

We need to talk about where this phrase comes from. And it has nothing to do with cats.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, doctors believed that ranting and raving and carrying on - in short, "hysteria" - was caused by female hormones getting out of balance. Forgetting their places, as it were. The cure for this was to remove the uterus.

Yep, "hysteria" and "hysterectomy" both come from the same linguistic roots. "She's just a hysterical woman." Take her uterus out and she'll behave better.

I don't want to get into whether it worked, or the whole sexual politics of the thing. I just want people who choose this phrase to know what kind of his-tory (different linguistic root altogether) they're dredging up. Personally, I wouldn't use the phrase "hissy fit" at gunpoint.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THE_MIGHTYQUINN 7/15/2012 9:14PM

    Scooter, I teach feminist theory and I never made the connection! Yikes, I use the phrase all the time (usually about my male partner, actually)! It's going to take a bit of work for me; thanks a million for this blog post!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/10/2012 3:35PM

    LOL!! Unfortunately I've been known to have a few of these so I better guard my uterus.

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HIPPICHICK1 7/10/2012 12:14PM

    That's his-terical!
Sorry, couldn't resist!!
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VALERIEMAHA 7/10/2012 9:23AM

    There's a movie running currently called "Hysteria." And it IS hysterical...and to the point (pun intended). HIGHLY recommended. I saw it at our indies/foreign films theater here.

http://www.imdb.com/ti
tle/tt1435513/

It wasn't a phrase I "turned" in any case, but even less so now!!!
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Maha

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 7/10/2012 9:14AM

    Why is that men tend to blame and fear women? Perhaps the Amazons were tired of being the weaker sex. I seem to remember a study where women's chromosomes actually were stronger than men's. Women have endured many atrocities just because we are women. That alone might be making us stronger. I never understood why equality did not exist. It is better now at least in America but still has a long way to go.

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AUTUMNBRZ 7/9/2012 11:58PM

    very interesting


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RUSSELLORAMA 7/9/2012 11:54PM

    They also thought using vibrators to bring about orgasms would cure hysteria. Your so-called doctor would be all too happy to administer that "treatment" to you.

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Comment edited on: 7/9/2012 11:55:32 PM

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SLIMLILA 7/9/2012 11:44PM

    And if we had a "her-story", we would have a lot of different terms for things.... I was reading a book today called, "Elderwoman" and she was explaining something I did learn back in Women's STudies at university.... Crone is the old word for a "wise woman", but it now seems to have a negative connotation

Having medical terminology, I knew the background of Hysterectory and hysterics, but hadn't heard of "hissy fit" either...

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SLIMMERJESSE 7/9/2012 11:26PM

    You are such a riot. Thanks for the interesting info.

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NORASPAT 7/9/2012 11:06PM

    I wonder if that is in the oxford English dictionary.
I knew the Hysterectomy Hysteria connection from the Edwardian era but never HISSY-FIT till I got over to the US. Must look in to that. GD is sleeping where My Oxford is so i must wait till tomorrow HUGS Pat in Maine.'
Thanks, you have more knowledge than the Readers Digest. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 7/9/2012 10:09PM

    Those early doctors and philosophers were rather frightened by what they thought was a "wandering womb". It did not seem pinned down, so it could get out and wander wantonly!

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A short (we hope) clarification concerning regrets

Monday, June 18, 2012

"Non, je ne regrette rien" (Statement made famous in a song by the incomparable Edith Piaf.)

It's been pointed out that we learn from our mistakes - certainly far more than from our good moves - and that energy and emotion is wasted on regret. And while I agree with that in theory, I think we have to make a couple distinctions here.

Do I regret, *for myself*, the idiotic things I've done in the past half century or so (yeah, I started young, playing "who can jump out of the tree the highest")? No, because I believe/agree that the happenings and doings and decisions that we've made have in turn made us who we are today, and I think that I've turned out rather well. It took a good deal of patience on the Good Lord's part, but all in all I wouldn't trade me for someone else.

What I do regret, and what I think we all need to come to terms with and pardon ourselves for, is the harm we have inadvertently (or..what's the opposite..."advertently", I suppose) done to others.

Let me think of an example....okay. In high school, my boyfriend and some other buddies broke into the old Philadelphia Armory and stole two cases of soda. Then we drove down by the airport and drank Seven Up all night, watching the planes take off. (From there, I think we set off some cherry bombs, but it doesn't matter for our story here.) At the time, it was just one of those adventures that, as we said, make us who we are today.

But with grown-up hindsight, what about the security guard (assuming there was one.) Did he lose his job? Did the money lost in soda make a difference? Did the Armory have to make a new, expensive alarm system? We can't just assume there's no fallout.

The regret doesn't come from my own experiences, it comes from the "collateral damage" caused by recklessness, ignorance and arrogance. I suspect I left a pretty wide path of destruction. And *that*, my friends, is what I found I had to forgive myself for.

It just doesn't make as good a song.




(Hey, I did pretty well with "short"!)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WONDERFUL2BME 7/9/2012 5:34PM

    I think it is a good thing to have rebelled when you were young and lived through it. I never did the rebel thing and I have to fight hard to not do it now. It would look really silly for a mother of 5 and grandma of 7 to start rebelling.

I love myself so much more now than then though. I stand up for myself more so now. I say no when I mean no which saves a lot of regrets later. Most of all I am learning to tell my bratty self no when it wants to eat things that will make me miserable later.

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2BMYOWN 6/19/2012 3:42PM

    Well, for what it's worth, they have found that the area of your brain stem that governs consequential thinking does not even fully mature until the age of 25 or later, so I think that explains a whole heck of a lot! LOL I mean, geez, who HASN'T done harebrained stuff as a youngster?? So honestly, you don't even stop to consider that your actions always have a reaction til you're much older. I've stolen one thing in my life, and that was one of those little plastic puzzle thingies with the sliding squares that you slide around to try to put the picture together. It was in the back seat of a friend's mom's car who was driving me home after I spent the night with her. I think I was about 9 years old or so. LOL Of course, being raised Catholic and attending parochial schools (and Mass six days a week to boot) went a long way toward ingraining the old guilt thing, so I felt guilty about that one act for YEARS and YEARS and it was enough to keep me from ever doing something like that again. LMAO Which was probably a good thing, since most of my friends were kleptos in high school, so I never was one to go along with the crowd in that respect. But it's true that our experiences define us, and make us who we end up to be. So I think a lot of our mistakes serve a worthwhile purpose, perhaps even to others, who knows? It's all life.....

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SLIMLILA 6/19/2012 1:47AM

    and they now have a song out about it too, :Whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger.... and I still claim if I live long enough, I will be quite a character.... guess I've lived long enough and can make that claim... emoticon

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FLORIDASUN 6/18/2012 10:25PM

    Ahhhh yes our collective experiences make us who we are today. And as I look back...I think ours were well worth the adventure. I'm still 'finding myself' as they say and I imagine I will continue this journey well into the next lifetime...or two...or more! emoticon When I was a young adult..maybe 18 or so..I worked in an employment agency for a fuddy duddy old man who cracked the whip on his career counselors (me) HARD! You were supposed to go by the book and the rules in that book were SO long I had to pinch myself to stay awake reading them.

Long story short...I had a little lady come into my office looking for a job. She needed this job BADLY. She told me her story and although I was a young whipper snapper I was full of empathy for her situation. I had a job that was listed with our career firm. BUT it was also listed in the newspaper and I had just happened to see it. I could send the woman over from our firm and she'd have to pay 1/2 of our fee which would have been a few weeks of her first month's check and then the company that she would be working for would pay the other half. I didn't care much about the company's half coming to us...BUT the thought of her working two weeks for FREE to pay US when she could have gotten the SAME job just by applying for it out of the newspaper gave me pause.

Now I SHOULD have considered that some of that fee would be paying MY check...but being a young whipper snapper that thought never occurred to me.

Listen...I whispered to her on the down low. I can send you to XYZ Company for this ABC job..BUT you have to tell them that you saw it in the newspaper ...DON'T tell them that I referred you to them or your will need to pay us a pretty hefty fee.

She looked me square in the eyes...and said..."YOU know you are a VERY old soul and I SO appreciate that you are doing this for me. You are going against your boss and you are actually going against yourself...thank you for doing this for me!"

Now of course when she told me that at age 18 it just totally creeped me out. But now when I look back and remember it...I think...hey..it WAS the right thing to do and I MUST have been a very old soul..and still am. I LIKE that about myself!

She sent me Christmas cards for several years after...I don't have a clue how she found my home address..that was LONG before the internet.

Your blog tripped this GREAT memory...thanks a BUNCH! emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 6/18/2012 9:36PM

    The local neighborhood watch lady has her yard plastered with signs "Do NOT pick flowers! You are on camera!!" She has, like, 7 of them around a huge daisy tree. It's a big tree with yellow daisies all over it, just pleading to be picked. So last Friday when I was out for a walk, I up and picked one! emoticon Wonder what the collateral damage will be. emoticon

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NORASPAT 6/18/2012 6:09PM

    Been there done that naughty stuff and yes it emboldened me
I too was lucky not to get caught. I look back on it as my fun in the sun days. Yes there was collateral damage but I like to look back with joy that i had my wilder times. They do tend to define me.
Anyway all of the wonderful girls books back then were supposed to show us we could do that kind of stuff. I was the only girl in our Neighbourhood so I was the ultimate Tom Boy who has to go along or stayed home alone NEVER.
As the other song goes. Girls just wanna have FUN!! and I sure did manage to.
Still no regrets,
I love who i am and as a homeless girl in those days, I never thought I would be any kind of success I had no Mentor to look up to. i have done my mother proud for sure. She was my driving force wno I only rarely encountered till I was 12 years old.

HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUSSELLORAMA 6/18/2012 5:50PM

    If you look at regret as having sorrow or remorse for something (which I think is one of the definitions), then technically I have regrets. What I don't do is beat myself up over mistakes that I made. I accept my responsibility for them, make amends where I can, take a lesson from the error, and move on.

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PATTOMMC3 6/18/2012 5:38PM

    emoticon

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Thought for today - a quote that changed my life

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I'm 57 years old, and looking back over that last half century, I can honestly say that I have made some of the dumbest, most reckless, self-destructive, self-serving, bone-headed, and just downright stupid maneuvers and decisions I have ever seen any one person make.

(Yes, I've done - perhaps accidentally - some pretty decent things, too, and had a few remarkably clever moments, but if you're at all like me, you know those aren't the ones we focus on. Nooo, we only pay attention to the other ones - the roads not taken, the balls dropped - the ones that bring us, at 3:00 a.m., grief, shame, horror, regret, remorse and all the other horsemen of our personal apocalypses. )

It's taken me a along time, and I'm still not perfect at it, but I've come to understand that having done something idiotic decades ago is not the same as doing the same idiotic thing now. At twenty, you don't appreciate that accursed ripple effect; you don't see how a harmless flirtation with a married man could cause a divorce (not saying that happened), or how a night spent carousing instead of studying could drop one's GPA the tenth of a point that kept one out of grad school (not saying...etc.) When you're young and do something ill-thought-out, it's because you just don't *get it*; if you do it now, though, you should be feeling the guilts because you have the understanding that comes with time, with simple miles under he wheels.

I'm learning to forgive myself for all those things I listed in the first paragraph. Not to ignore having made certain mistakes, or forget that I made them, but to stop toting around the burden of embarrassment, of regret, or those especially heavy "what ifs".

(As an aside, here's a memorable pardon, the culmination of wheels within wheels that started forty years ago today: http://watergate.info/pardon/ford-pardons-
nixon-address-to-nation )

So, yeah. I'm pardoning myself. It's first cousin to forgiving. It doesn't mean all is forgotten, or that the fallout never happened or mattered. It does mean accepting that what's done is done, there's no do-over, and to go on carrying around yesterday is cheating today and tomorrow. Instead, be gentle to yourself, and speak to yourself and your own past with the love and patience you'd unhesitatingly use when speaking to someone else. Then step up and use your new-found knowledge to improve life for yourself and those around you.

The quote is:
"We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better" - Maya Angelou.





  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 6/18/2012 10:36PM

    Love Maya Angelou...one of the TRUE great role models of our time. Hey...even Oprah looks up to her! I totally agree...I nail myself to the cross far too often for things that I once did that were so STUPID and so self serving at the time.

Now I use those sad sometimes disastrous stories to hopefully keep some other unsuspecting parent's train from going off it's tracks. Yes it's humbling, yes it's sometimes hard to admit how really really stupid one humanoid actually can be...but all in all if just one sparkling friend takes a glimmer of enlightenment away that helps them or their family it's worth it.

My new mantra is "the truth shall set you free...even if you have to wipe the mud storm off your face whilst sharing it." emoticon

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SLIMLILA 6/18/2012 4:47PM

    Great blog! Some of the lessons that take us longer to learn, eh?

Also thanks for stopping my blog and offering encouragement as well. I thought when I woke up Sunday at 5am and my back felt wonderful, that I was all better.... but I guess really it was just all the drugs. OOOOH....a l-shape caused by a spasm sounds really painful and scarey. Guess I will just keep taking the naproxin, but I did quit the job... I know for sure that was the major cause, so end of.

Live and learn as we continue our journey.... emoticon

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KRISLEEB 6/18/2012 3:15PM

    ah, simply put..... Live & Learn!!!

I watch my 16 yo son making foolish mistakes but know HE has to make them, I can't do it for him.

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IDEBORAH 6/18/2012 11:32AM

    This is a quote I say to the girlfriend at least twice a month. The forgiveness part is a hard nut to crack. I like what you said about robbing our present and future. Thank you for this blog and the reminder. Looking back on my life and its stupid festival, I just tell people I have adult onset intelligence (late adulthood).
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BETHGILLIGAN 6/18/2012 11:06AM

    I'm 61 and have made so many "stupid" decisions (and I have 4 years on you). Some things make me feel very embarrassed; some make me thankful that I even survived!!! I work a lot on forgiving myself for being young and stupid. Now I am old and stupid!! Just kidding! I am older but wiser---still making mistakes and bad decisions but am more aware of who I am and able to admit, forgive, and move on. I really like who I am becoming although it continues to be a lot of work!!!

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NORASPAT 6/18/2012 6:18AM

    I love Maya Angelou.
Alas i missed her when she came to UMA, we were in NY that time.
I really have come to the 'It is what it is"
I picked that one up from our eldest son for whom very little goes right. He struggles on and I am so proud of him and his attitude. I do what I can as well as I can and if I cannot do it I will find out how I can do it better next time.
My heart weeps for his situation but he is still able to have a wonderful sense of humor and compassion. He is every bodies friend and some days his worst enemy.
HUGS Thanks Scooter, Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PEPPYPATTI 6/17/2012 10:07PM

    I am 57 as well & have done a lot of stupid regrettable things in the past also. But I have learned to let go & have learned a lot along the way.
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KRISKECK 6/17/2012 6:27PM

    Oh so true. I have been thinking about those things lately too...and looking at some of the things i continue to do when I should know better...your words are very wise. Thank you.

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VALERIEMAHA 6/17/2012 1:45PM

    Doubling the emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/17/2012 1:46:54 PM

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VALERIEMAHA 6/17/2012 1:00PM

    Thanks for opening wider the window to your soul through sharing your healing journey.
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Maha

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SUZYMOBILE 6/17/2012 12:53PM

    Here's another one for you, which I ran across last night and like a whole lot. You can apply it to all sorts of miserable situations, whether or not they are "your fault":

"Everything is exactly how it is supposed to be."

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HIPPICHICK1 6/17/2012 12:40PM

    That's a great quote.
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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 6/17/2012 11:17AM

    I think I understand your thoughts here. I, too, am bemused about many of the choices I made--which is several steps of progress up and away from the previous mortification I have felt.

Think also about the strengths you had as a college student, as a 5 year old, and as a 30 year old.

Sometimes I feel outraged that there are no do-overs, that I cannot go back and make course corrections and reverse maneuvers. We are at the age (worth remembering on Father's Day) when many of our most important relationships are with the dead. It's a huge emotional and philosophical adjustment.

I think you are a most delightful person.

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SLIMMERJESSE 6/17/2012 9:23AM

    I have been working on forgiveness and find I have to repeat mantras of forgiveness in order to truly wrap my mind and heart
around each forgiveness in order to get it.
Each time I forgive someone, I then have to
remember to forgive myself - which is the
hardest of all.

Yesterday, I watched an indie movie where
this elderly, terminally-ill wise inmate casually says, "Make friends with your troubles. Otherwise you'll always be angry." Doesn't sound like much as I write it, but the way he said it struck a chord. That cliche "it is what it is" has been something I've just begun to adapt to. Acceptance. Accepting that each event did happen. Then forgiving and letting it go.

Big hug, Scoot.

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SOXYINMO 6/17/2012 8:16AM

    Words are so powerful!

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AUTUMNBRZ 6/17/2012 7:47AM

    I regret nearly nothing. Every choice-good and bad, every event helped to shape me into who I am. I love my life. If I could go back in time I wouldn't change a thing.

Perhaps the contentment I feel comes with the learning. I definitely learned from every stupid thing I have done and there were many of them! but I wouldn't take any of them back because I am happy to be me. :)

I haven't quite arrived to where I want to end up but i am well on my way. The joy is in the journey!

xoxo

I love that quote btw :)

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SLIMMERKIWI 6/17/2012 7:20AM

    Given your comments and observations, that quote is perfect :-)

Kris xx

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We live and learn.....

Saturday, June 16, 2012

(If anyone is wondering how I got in this position in the first place, it's in the intro and in the blogs. Regular readers - including this one - can't stand yet another recitation.)

So now I've got a 5000 square foot, 200 year old farmhouse that is totally clogged with Other People's Stuff - either people who have passed on to the other side or daughters who have passed on to Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, a lot of their Stuff is getting wet, because I really need a new roof. It's not good, lying in bed at night listening to water dripping...in the hallway. Especially with plaster ceilings.

That and a bunch of other, ground-level repairs have taught me to address things whether I know much about them or not. I've discovered that a basic tool kit, a good DIY book (I like Reader's Digest) and a little common sense will get you a long way in home repair. It isn't brain surgery, and if it gets too icky, you can always call a repairman - except in my current experience, the only thing they have going for them that I lack is not having a stupid fear of spiders. (I don't mess with electricity - if you screw up plumbing, you won't drown in the night no matter how much the faucet leaks. Electricity, though....)

I've learned to mow the lawn *before* it gets to be a foot high. And I sprung for an electric start mower because I can never get the string-pulling kind to go. I've also figured out that one of the joys of living out in the country is that nobody gets after you if your lawn gets knee-high. In fact, instead of criticizing, they're liable to volunteer to mow for you.

I've learned that, just because I bought bread at the grocery every week for thirty years, now that I live alone, if I don't want to eat something, *I don't have to buy it*! If i don't think I should be eating something, all I have to do is skip purchasing it. Now, if I really want bread, I have to bake it. It's come to that a couple times, but not often. I belong to a CSA, so I have fresh vegetables coming in every week, and whatever I can't use I freeze for the winter. I get two big heads of lettuce right now, plus leaf spinach, so I'm eating a ton of salad. Yay!

No one checks to be sure there are no dirty dishes in the sink when I go to bed - and no one notices if I make that bed in the morning. Not that I'm turning into a horrible slob (I make the bed anyway, just because I like it that way) but I'm the only one who knows if I vacuum carefully, moving the furniture, or if I just do what my mother called "vacuuming up the big lumps."

I can handle the Other People's Stuff however I wish - and whenever I wish. I got rid of a ton of my husband's clothing a year ago, but I'm not ready to get rid of his Hawaiian shirts yet. Maybe next week, maybe never. Nobody's business but my own. In a perfect world, kids come home and deal with their own Stuff - in my world, they won't. I check with them before I jettison anything of theirs, but if they don't want it, it goes to the Salvation Army. I'm also learning that its better to give a lot of stuff to the Salvation Army (or whomever) than to try to sell it on eBay - sometimes that's the way to go, but it's time consuming and the profit isn't always worth the effort.

I don't especially care what I eat, and no one is going to fuss if the same thing is for dinner three or four nights in a row (a big crock of chili, or a turkey breast in all its various manifestations.)

If I'm the only one living here, I can decorate to suit myself, not the Better Homes and Gardens people that I always expected to show up at any moment. I can paint the walls the color I want, no matter how odd, and use the rooms for whatever purpose I see fit (family room is now art studio!) if there are people I feel would Judge Me, (and if I care), I simply don't invite them over.

In short, instead of being all lonesome and out of control, I'm learning that I can handle what absolutely needs to be done, delegate (as in hire someone) some things, and ignore the rest without guilt. I can do what *I* want to do, when I want to do it. I can get up at 3:00 a.m. to read or paint (and have done so, many times) without anyone giving me grief. I don't have to keep doing things in a certain way, just because I've "always done it that way."

I've also discovered that no one is standing over me watching what - or when - I eat or insisting that I exercise, so it's totally up to me whether or not I'm successful on this weight loss/health gain adventure.

All these things seem so obvious to someone outside the situation, but when it's you, it's different. I've had to learn to be my own therapist, housekeeper, gardener, home-repair person, decorator, mechanic, organizer, accountant, secretary/assistant and exercise buddy - and realize that if I don't do it, it won't get done - and maybe that's okay, too. It's been quite a revelation so far, and I'm still learning.

  
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FLORIDASUN 6/18/2012 10:46PM

    Aha...I have to say...from one Supa Woman to another one....you rock! I LOVE your little Ms. Independent spirit. I do most of the repair work around our house..I kid you not..the hubs with a screwdriver can be a VERY scary thing! emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 6/17/2012 12:36PM

    Simply put, You ROCK!
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NORASPAT 6/16/2012 10:11PM

    Hey Scooter way to go for you. I love to hear about your independence. I love that you can live in the boondocks alone. I am alas a city girl and I have to be able to see street lights and people close by. I think that is why i do like Maine so much. There is a peaceful existence here most of the time. But it is not too quiet for my scaredy cat mind. My neighbors are close to me but not in my face and definitely not in the houses either side of me. I could never live in an apartment where I would here other peoples lives but I most definitely need people.
I tried to join a coop but they had their quota already. I had tried during he winter and waited since they were not sure of their produce and I did not pester them. When i did they had decided to stay with the organic eggs and meat. We had such poor weather I guess. I will try next year,earlier. HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 6/16/2012 10:08PM

    It's a big chunk of stuff to have to learn so quickly. I've been greatly successful in getting rid of much of my own stuff---giving it away is indeed better than trying to sell it---the now middle-aged children have left the basement crammed with various things that they claim to cherish. That urinal--it's found art. That life-sized Bart Simpson doll---it's pantheonistic!

You seem to have risen to all sorts of melancholy occasions with wit, wisdom, and fortitude. I'm serious here---you seem to have found the "secrets" that King Lear and Hamlet realized in Act V. And you've found them well before Act V. I am impressed. With all best wishes.

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REDWRITINGHOOD 6/16/2012 5:46PM

    I totally understand, although I do have the help of my 19 yr old son (who knows less than I do but is willing to get dirty and help me), and my dad (who shouldn't do too much but knows how to do almost EVERYTHING).

It's kinda freeing and scary to know that all that is up to you.

Try to enjoy it (((hugs)))

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VALERIEMAHA 6/16/2012 4:42PM

    I'm SO right there with you on ALL of it. Though I don't have the skills that you possess for basic (and not-so-basic) repair and remodeling (I KID THEE NOT...I've tried different projects over the years) I still subscribe to your basic philosophy with abandon and glee.

My solution is to consider relocating to South America where I can find help for those things that bamboozle me within the confines of my limited $$ resources. (Of course, that isn't the primary reason I'm considering this move, but it is a factor.)

YIPPEE! to organic AND local...the best, forget the rest.

And YES! to "The best thing I've found for memory is meditation - it seems to keep me from allowing my attention to scatter in other ways." This has scooted under my radar: "I've been playing that Lumosity thing - too soon to tell if there are any good brain changes, but it's fun - and fun is good medicine too." FUN is DEFINITELY GOOD MEDICINE!!!!!!

Let's see what the "next page" brings each of us!
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Comment edited on: 6/16/2012 4:47:00 PM

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SUZYMOBILE 6/16/2012 4:23PM

    I just plain love this! This is putting a positive spin on what could have been a big, long whine. I'd sure be whining if somebody wasn't rushing on over to fix my leaky roof. I might even be lookin' for a man, God help me!

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AUTUMNBRZ 6/16/2012 3:33PM

    emoticon

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Losing without trying?

Monday, May 28, 2012

I've been called on my meaning of this, making it sound so simple, so I'll try to explain. It's not "simple" so much as just where you put your head during the process.

Perhaps "not trying" gives the wrong impression. The thing I hate about dieting is the constant obsessing over every bite, labeling and tracking and planning and being constantly vigilant. Some people find comfort and stability in that, and I'm glad that works for them. For me, it hits the rebellion switch. I think in some ways it's the same dynamic as people who find comfort and stability in working for others, while I find that absolutely loathsome and would much rather succeed - or crash and burn - on my own than "do as I'm told", regular paycheck and benefits be damned.

For me, it's too much diddly@#$% work, and all it really succeeds in doing is focusing my brain *constantly* on food, which isn't helpful or useful for me personally. What works for me is to decide, "This is what I shall be eating for breakfast - and no cream in the coffee." "I shall have a salad for lunch - largely greenery, with bits of interesting cheese, maybe a few dried fruits and nuts, with a splash of straight up aged balsamic, washed down with lots of water." "For dinner I shall have a nice piece of something, usually fish, with plenty of non-starchy vegetables (until corn comes in season, then all bets are off.)

Then I have a nightcap and go to bed before I get hungry again. I hit the ground running, because that is my basic nature, (at this time of year, between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m.) and have the dogs walked and most of the cooking done before 9:00 a.m., because that's how I was raised to operate in the summer.

If I can manage to lay off the alcoholic drinks and keep reasonably busy (which out here in the country is easy - there's always something that wants doing), then yes, the extra weight does tend to go away - not by next week, but over time. And since I weight myself about once every month, if that, I'm usually pleasantly surprised.

This week, I'm getting back to my old friend weight lifting. As always, the main problem in weight lifting, for me, is finding a place to put the weights that is visible enough to remind me, but not in a place where I continually fall over them. A large source of conflict with my late husband was his tendency to leave his 35 pound dummies lying around - I invariably tripped over them. I've also purchased a FitBit, which I would love to use but keep losing - I think a daily goal of 10,000 steps sound totally do-able and is the sort of thing I could incorporate into my "losing without trying" thing.

So I guess it's not really, "not trying", it's just doing what I need to do while putting my mental focus elsewhere. I habituate to things like meals and exercise routines relatively rapidly. I don't care too much what I eat as long as it's reasonably good and doesn't require much work - ditto exercise. If I have to have special togs and drive to a gym, it won't get done. If all ("all") I have to do is throw a thousand small bales of hay out a window, that I can accomplish, because that's just my life.

I don't know. I just try to live simply, the way my grandparents lived. I eat healthy but whatever I want as long as it's organic, in season, and raised by my neighbors, work hard at what needs doing, sleep the sleep of the righteous most nights, and try to leave the rest up to the good Lord (whichever Lord that is for you.). I say, "thank you" a lot, try to focus on what good things I can make happen in the future instead of the not-so-good ones that happened in the past.

If I lose weight, fabulous. If I don't, my conscience is still clear. Believe me, there are a lot worse things in life than being a little chubby.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THE_MIGHTYQUINN 6/11/2012 11:14PM

    I find this post very inspirational. (And I, too, have a rebellion switch, so that resonated for me.) Thank you for posting this!

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KRISLEEB 5/29/2012 6:59PM

    I couldn't agree more!!!

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NORASPAT 5/28/2012 9:53PM

    Thanks for thie insight SCOOTER. I do not really feel rebellious but i do do it my way. I have a bit of a scientific mind so i do not mind thinking of my food and exercise as parts of the experimant. I never get bored with it . Just maybe I have none of the heavy work I was used to doing. I am loving whacking these trees in the little yard we have.
I like your wisdom and your honesty. HUGS Pat in Maine emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 5/28/2012 8:27PM

    We agree on a lot of things. I hate being obsessed with dieting too and just want to live and have things fall into place. I used to be naturally thin and want to be that way again. I want to eat and exercise intuitively.

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SUZYMOBILE 5/28/2012 12:05PM

    Well, since I'm in the midst of a "gaining in spite of trying" trend, obviously all my anal logging and tracking isn't exactly working now, is it? I've even flirted with (just short of actually jumping whole hog into with both feet) eating whatever the hell I please. That usually means DRINKING whatever the hell I please, which is alarmingly easy to do while sitting at a tiki bar overlooking the water.

Hmm. I think I just pinpointed the source of the "gaining" trend.


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APPLEPIEAPPLE 5/28/2012 11:40AM

    I agree that sticking to someone else's diet is not mine. I try to select the best from what I find and work them into my life.

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JANEDOE12345 5/28/2012 10:00AM

    I am jealous. You seem to be able to prioritize unusually well. Your script might read "Set it and forget it." Your ease in developing routine is a blessing -- I need a squad of Valkyries to get me to stick to an exercise plan, and having a touch of OCD, as my therapist terms it, means my desire to be healthy is usually overridden by my obsession with food. Call me when you need a one-armed, pudgy, love-struck and spiritually arrogant hay-pitchin' b*itch. Got gin & tonic?

emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/28/2012 8:35AM

    I can relate to this blog, for sure! What's with this rebellion I feel? I have tried to analyze this for years but cannot figure out what drives this in me. I'm typically a rule follower!!!! LOL Maybe I should follow your plan----just "be" but be aware of me and my needs. HMMMMM--something to think about. Have a great day!

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AUTUMNBRZ 5/28/2012 8:20AM

    I totally understand the mental rebellion when there are too many rules and restrictions. My brain goes there too. In fact a gf and I were talking yesterday and she said this weekend was a bad weekend to go on a "diet." I told her I wasn't on one. Diets imply something temporary and restrictive. I explained I am eating healthy and have been for months. What I did start doing yesterday was following a new meal plan, full of foods I was already eating. You know what? Yesterday I broke my healthy eating pattern, kinda went hog wild. The word diet triggered anarchy in my brain. lol I had already planned on splurging for dinner a little but I splurged quite a bit plus I had a soft pretzel and pop at Sam's club.

Anyway I feel you! You need to do whatever works for you! Big Hugs!

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HIPPICHICK1 5/28/2012 8:19AM

    Every time gardening season comes along that where I spend my time - in the mud...one way or another, eh? So I can certainly relate to the lots of hard work and eating what you raise or what your neighbours raise.
I love that you are doing things the "Scooter way." It's just as we should all do. Do it our own way.
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SLIMMERJESSE 5/28/2012 1:27AM

    I almost wrote a similar blog the other day as I'm always feeling rebellious about having to be so self-absorbed with all this healthy
stuff. You've read my mind once again.
Seems like the older I get, the more of a rebel
I am.

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CHANGING-TURTLE 5/28/2012 1:27AM

    I agree with you, if some one tells me what to eat (a diet) I rebel. I eat what I want to eat when I want to eat but I make wise choices from what I have learned here on Sparkpeople. And It seems to work. emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/28/2012 1:27:38 AM

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ROOTIHAUSMAN 5/28/2012 1:04AM

    How does the FitBit work? I appreciate your honesty. I agree with some of what you say. It is a constant reminder that I have to measure my portions because when I don't I gain back what I have already lost. Thank you for your honest words!

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