Unique and Great

Our society does not embrace anything about anybody being unique. The goal we are taught from a very young age is to be like these people we are told should be our idols. We are taught to be like other people. Uniqueness is not celebrated.

Greatness is more often than not only considered being achievable when you’ve accomplished what society says success is. There are only a few people who are typically recorded as having achieved greatness in their life.

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Valentine’s Day

I hate Valentine’s Day. There, I said it.

So why am I writing about it? Because there is a stigma and way too much fucking pressure on our society to honor this holiday. We have to stop letting the commercialization of holidays dictate how we live. Yes, this post is all about a rant that I have with our society. Keep reading, or don’t, but I suspect I am not the only one and I want you to know that you aren’t the only one.

Flowers. Chocolate. Fancy dates. Surprise deliveries. Expensive jewelry. Money.

I don’t want any of that because of some date on the calendar that has morphed from the original intention of honoring a person, or something. That’s the thing, who the fuck even know’s the true reason of Valentine’s Day? I am willing to bet that 90 to 99 percent of my generation does not. Even the Encyclopedia Britannica indicates there is conflicting information. What it does say is:

The holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day. It came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century.

After that, Encyclopedia Britannica goes on to explain that there are many accounts of where the day may have taken its name from. It goes on to say when Valentine’s cards were first given out and it’s been a really long time. Like hundreds of years.

I don’t care how long it has been. I still feel like our current society puts so much pressure on everybody to take part in this day. Some people ask if my distaste in the day is because I’ve never received good Valentine’s gifts. No, no it is not. I hate being forced to do things and spend money because everybody does it. I could go into a rant on many other holidays, but I will spare you.

When my husband and I first started dating, I told him not to get me anything. The first year his mother convinced him to even though I said no. If I recall he chose yellow roses to meet me and his mother in the middle. Okay, that works. Since then, he hasn’t done anything and I am happy about it. Prices on everything gets stupid and I don’t want to spend money on it. There are plenty other things we can and probably will buy that is overpriced. One thing he does tend to do after Valentine’s, depending on what day of the week Valentine’s falls on and what our schedules are, is go to Costco and buy the much discounted Stargazer Lily’s for me since that is my favorite flower. I’m okay with that, even if the quality of the flowers aren’t perfect because they’ve sat there longer.

If you don’t like Valentine’s Day, then don’t do it! You do you and don’t give a fuck what society says.

I was more than happy to have a work trip that brought me home late on Valentine’s Day. No need to do anything special, I don’t celebrate this one by spending gobs of money.

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day?

Live Creatively

Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been.

When I saw this quote, a lightbulb went off for me. You see, I have always thought that being creative meant you had to be an artist or the like; someone who made something from scratch and it was beautiful or useful. I equated creative people as being artists, painters, those who sewed or crocheted, or those who came up with awesome wood or metal designs. I never once considered writing a blog or sharing life as being creative. Until I read this quote.

If you had asked or mentioned anything about me being creative, I would have laughed in your face and told you that I don’t have a creative bone in my body. I would have told you that there is nothing creative about me, I only know theory and project management.

This quote by Alan Alda opened my mind to a larger world of creativity. Creativity isn’t about what society says creativity is. A person can be creative in so many different ways and he/she may be the only person who thinks what he/she is doing is creative.

I can look at so much in my immediate life and see creativity. Our garden. We are creative in how we plan our garden and care for it. My flower garden. In planting the bulbs, I was creative in how I organized them. My writing. I am creating right now. I am being creative. Our home renovation. We are being creative in the designs we make up and how we choose to build within our home. My photography. I may not be a professional photographer, but I am being creative.

Creativity comes from within. Creativity is a gift that we hold special to ourselves. Creativity may be defined by the typical thoughts of what creativity is, but to our soul, creativity is anything.

What are you creatively making that you might not have attributed to being creative?

Weight

Why do we care so much?

Why do we berate ourselves about it?

Why do we develop eating disorders to battle it?

Why do we feel less than if we aren’t a specific weight?

Society. Social media. Movies. Hollywood. Modeling. Media.

Everything we created as a society to put people front and center in our lives. That is why we care so much. Our society has created this ideal body for men and women and if you don’t have it, you aren’t good enough.

The pressure to be a specific size isn’t just for adults. It starts in elementary schools. That’s where it started for me. I was called fat all through school. My parents loved to call me by their beloved nickname for me: bubble-butt. I was the heaviest of the three of us kids. My parents always told me I was big-boned and would never be skinny.

For most of us, this weight complex is introduced to us when we are young. Then it is engrained in our way of thinking and living. It is everywhere we turn. Some of the areas that I’ve encountered the stigma in just the past year or so include: extended family who is smaller than me saying how fat they are making me feel like a heifer; social media glamorizing the skinniest models; the celebration of “plus-size” models; friends yo-yo dieting; exercise programs only talking about working out for the weight loss benefits; people who truly battle weight with their health; my lack of movement and other health issues causing 20 pounds of weight gain; clothes not fitting; friends talking about how fat they are.

The talk and thought of weight is so prevalent that I doubt each of us can go a day without hearing about who’s fat or who needs to eat more. I’m tired of it.

A few years ago I became a Beachbody coach because I liked the product and saw a future business. After a couple years doing that, getting down to a pretty skinny state, and focusing on weight with everything I did, I still felt fat. I was nit-picking at specific areas on my body that were soooo fat.

It wasn’t until after my back surgery, after being unable to workout for 10 months, after battling hormonal changes with IVF, after finding the “plus-size” models in Instagram to follow, and after doing some serious work on my emotional state, that I have finally come to a point that I don’t feel fat.

I have fat. My pant size is no longer a 2. My shirts are no longer extra small. I had to buy a new winter coat because my old one couldn’t close over my ass. My arms are flabby. So are my thighs. I have a gut.

I am fat by societal standards.

To me, I am healthy. My body is healing and I’m eating healthy. I have started to love my body where it is at. I still have my days that I look at a part and want to hate it. I interrupt that thought and then find a reason to love it.

I’m tired of hating my body. I’m tired of feeling less than just because of the size of my clothes.

When I talk about the walking I’m doing, it isn’t about walking to lose weight. I’m walking because it feels good to move my body. I am more energized and focused when I can move. Someday when I get back to working out, it will be to become stronger. Not to lose weight.

I have stopped caring what society says about women’s bodies. I have to care about and for myself. That is what is important. Eat to be healthy, not to shed mass quantities of pounds. Move your body to feel good, not to beat your body up for the number on the scale or the donut you had.

Weight is something all of us will battle most, if not all of our lives. We need to do the emotional work to love ourselves. We need to love our bodies. We have to break the cycle of weight defining us.