Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yes, Boobs and Brains CAN Co-exist!

Verizon came to repair my line today. I called them on Saturday while it was raining to tell them that there was a problem (losing my connection to my employer is not a good thing). They said 24-48 hours but didn't show up until today (I did get three automated phone calls telling me how important I am, which makes that all better).

When the man came I explained that there must be some cracks in the insulation because the problems I experienced only happened in wet weather. He said he didn't see any problems, and I pointed out that it was sunny. He said I might have to wait for it to rain again. I said that was not acceptable and that I did call while it was raining and if he checked the line test from Saturday he could clearly see the issue. Mostly, though, he didn't seem to believe that I could possibly diagnose the issue. (awww, look at the little woman...she thinks because she spends all day talkin' on the phone she actually knows somethin' about it!)

Half an hour later he shows up at my door, proud of himself for discovering that there was some cracks in the, really?

See, I am an old-fashioned girl. Well, not a girl anymore, but you get my drift. But old-fashioned doesn't mean Neanderthal, people! Yes, I usually wear a skirt and yes, I enjoy having doors opened for me, and it kills me that women have scared or cajoled men out of behaving like gentleman, but yes, I also am fairly intelligent and appreciate being taken seriously. Find the line between patronizing patriarch-ism and militant feminism, please, and walk it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Our View of Ourselves

I was going through photos of myself as a child today. I kept saying, 'Oh, I was so cute!' and Nate kept looking over at the photos and saying, 'Gee, you look just the same.' And I would see photos of my mom and say, 'My mom is so beautiful!' and Nate points out, again, that I look just the same, LOL.

How does that jive? Although I have been redefining my view of beauty, and have come to believe that I am beautiful, I guess I still had myself graded pretty low...and looking at the pictures I was thinking I
used to be adorable. Nate set me straight, I guess.

I have heard/read/seen women talking about themselves lately and it makes me so sad. One woman who hopes she can lose weight so her husband might finally love her, one who says she'll never be pretty but she wants to at least be thin, etc. I cry for women. We have a very low view of ourselves--all of us! We need to overcome that...and I have no idea how.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Murphy's Law, the Snow Day Corollary

The day you get up at 4:30 to be showered, dressed and ready because your boss is doing home inspections, and your son gets butt-dialed and woken up at the day your boss is home sick and school is on a 2-hour delay.

Actually, since I have never been a public-school parent, we very nearly forgot to check for a snow delay and the kid almost walked to German class two hours early!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

So Has I

Generally my job is answering phone calls, and it can be quite entertaining (plus..seriously, I get paid to talk on the phone. Had I known, as a teenager, that this could be a career, my life would have been quite different). This weekend, however, due to unforeseen events on the other side of the globe, my job has been changed to answering emails. This is even more entertaining!

Today my favorite email, in its entirety, was this:
I has stopped everything.
I'm not quite sure what they are getting at here, and I am confident that I was no help to them whatsoever, but various things occur to me. Is stopping everything good or bad? Were they in need of a vacation? By any chance, does 'everything' include typing? Is there a particular reason I needed to know that everything has been stopped? Or was this just to make me feel ultra productive for the day?

You know all those people who complain that tech support instructions make no sense? This is why, folks. This is the audience we are trying to cater to.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Mental Exercise

Lately I have had fun with an exercise, I believe from Intuitive Eating, which goes something like this:

Imagine that a spell were cast on the world that locked everyone into their current weight. Nothing anyone would do from this time forward would change their weight one iota. Nothing you do will change your weight one single ounce! How would you live life differently?

Scary thought? It was for me, at first, as well. I could not imagine being happy at my current weight, so in my imagination, decades of misery stretched out before me. So sad!

Three years later, the story is different. And, that story in my imagination is much, much closer to my reality.

I eat freely, and in a way that feels good. I don't deny a hungry tummy the food it needs, and I rarely overfill it (and when I do, it's only by a smidge, no more pants-unbuttoning, uncomfortable belly!). I eat a variety of foods as my body requests them, from the 'healthy' foods to the 'fun' foods.

I move for the sake of moving and because I like how my body feels. My goals are different--to have strong legs, to go cross-country skiing, to have fun.

I buy and make clothes that fit me, right now. No more buying things that are too tight with the goal of fitting into them! No more denying myself clothes because I am too fat to deserve them! No more trying to hide or disguise the real me! And no more do I feel, after trying on something that doesn't work, that my body is the problem. Now I know it's the clothes.

I stop seeing myself through others' eyes, or my imaginary picture of others' eyes.

I love my physical self. I see all the positive things about my body now. It's strong and sturdy, with nice, dense bones, and curvy and sexy and it takes me where I want to go and it does what I want it to do.

What does your picture look like? What would letting go of the number on the scale set you free from? What richness could be added to your life?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Wish All My Customers Were Kids

My last customer today was about 11 years old. From time to time, I get a child on the phone. I wish all my customers were kids! Now, my view is probably skewed a bit because, of course, the kids who call tech support are clearly kids whose parents allow them to do so (one would assume) and who, therefore, are probably the kind of kids who are encouraged to be thoughtful, polite, etc. But this is what I know--they do what I tell them to do, without arguing. They explain the problem they are having quite clearly and generally without telling me what they think went wrong (and when they do tell me, invariably it makes me smile). They are extremely honest about what they did to their gadgets. And they are very, very tech-savvy.

More than once, I have been on the phone with a parent who is calling about a device they have never used. I usually ask to speak the kid. After all, if I tell the parent and the parent tells the kid...well, playing tech-support telephone is not a recipe for great results. Plus, I love to talk to kids.

I think there's a lesson here. Children are very capable, of more than most parents realize. And if we treat them like regular people, and expect them to conduct business like we would expect any over-18-year-old person to conduct themselves, they generally have no problem doing so. They don't need to be babied when it comes to interpersonal relations. (I think that's one of the reasons I dislike the standard school system--keeping them all cooped up in rooms full of people just the same age keeps them from developing adult-level social skills.)

Everyone I Know Is On A Diet

Ok, so not literally everyone. Nate, for instance, has never dieted and never will. But, you know, he's 14. Of course, he serves as a pretty darn good example of intuitive eating (rather than 'controlled' eating). It certainly seems, though, that everyone is dieting right now.

One would think that after years of work in this area, I would be ok with other people's food talk. But when it comes to talk about diets, controlled eating, etc, it still seems to be a bit of a trigger, and if nothing else, drives me nuts. Plus, I usually care about these people and it hurts me to see them hurting themselves...and being so gleeful about it much of the time. History does repeat itself, however, and I know that the glee is temporary and the misery is sure to follow.

Part of my problem is pride. With everyone talking about how 'good' they are being, my only counter would be...I have learned that I don't need that kind of good. No one that hasn't also taken this journey is going to understand. I am sure that most people think I have simply given up, and see that as a moral failing. It isn't a moral failing, though, it's a physical and mental healing. And it isn't nearly as quantifiable. I can't give you a dress size, scale number, whatever, to prove that I have made progress. And most people wouldn't be able to see the progress that I have made through the fuzzy lenses of diet thinking that they have on. Not to mention, it would be totally rude to answer, "I'm down two sizes!" with, "Well, we all know that won't last."

Part of it is hurt feelings. Probably childish ones, but they are there nonetheless. Nice for you that you lost what you are telling me is that you are more beautiful than I am? That beauty is quantifiable in numbers? I don't believe that, but occasionally the overwhelming strength of others' beliefs throws me off balance.

All in all, I have been on the path they are on, it's rough and it leads to nowhere. While it's frequently hard to remember that (and boy am I dreading the new year's diet push!), I don't want to go back. I don't need outside validation that intuitive eating is the way to go, at least for me. I don't need everyone else to see their own beauty in order to keep seeing mine. I don't need other people to enjoy physical activity in order for me to enjoy it and not see it as punishment of some sort. I do, apparently, need to keep telling myself all of this over and over, though!