Too Busy Being Awesome

While scrolling mindlessly through Facebook yesterday, searching for funny cartoons or cat pictures (the only things really worth seeing on Facebook, in my opinion), I came across this:

Real Women

If I roll my eyes any more vigorously, I might strain something.  Lord knows we were in dire need of yet another method to judge and scrutinize women.  I have one response to nonsense like this: BITE ME.  Hard.

It’s a rare weekend that I don’t make time to do my nails.  Guess what?  The house is already clean, the kids are taken care of, my husband is content, and nothing in my household is on fire.  I like my nails to look good.  When did that become a federal offense?

I have not conducted any stringent research on the matter, but I will hazard an educated guess that a woman’s appearance, nail polish, and cell phone choice have zero correlation with the status of her kids or her household.  How patently absurd to suggest otherwise.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  If a woman relaxes, wears sweats, doesn’t do her nails, then she is a slob.   If a woman does her hair, make-up, and nails, then she is self-centered and high maintenance.  Oh, and her family and household apparently fall to helpless pieces.  Blah, whatever.

And what, pray tell, is wrong with a woman taking care of herself once in a while?  Why is it considered so saintly for a woman to play martyr and sacrifice all of her time and energy for others, at the expense of herself?  I call bullshit.  Everyone needs time for themselves, and everyone deserves self-care.  So there.

Think whatever you want, I say.   I’m too busy being awesome to try to please everyone on the planet.

I have better things to worry about, anyway.  Pretty soon, I am heading home early to get ready to go see my stepkids.  We already have some plans this weekend, so it’s going to be busy and will fly by much too fast.  I’m ready to enjoy every minute of the weekend while it’s here!

What My Mother Taught Me

With Mother’s Day around the corner, I want to tell you today a little about my mom.  While I was growing up, my mother struggled with her weight, and she was constantly going on a diet, going off a diet, joining Weight Watchers, leaving Weight Watchers, starting a walking program, quitting a walking program…you get the idea.

I remember going for walks with my mother when I was very little, strolling beside her up our quiet neighborhood street, listening to her say, “I have got to get this weight off.”  She always sounded like she wasn’t quite sure that she ever would.

For a while, my mother was on so many medications, it was getting hard to keep them all straight. Blood pressure, heart issues, you name it, my mother had a pill for it, bottles lined up neatly near the kitchen sink so she wouldn’t forget to take them.  I never got used to seeing them there: tiny, labeled reminders that my mother’s health hinged on chemicals and capsules.

Then, one day, something changed.  Instead of sticking to it for just a little while, my mother dug in and hung on for the long haul.  She joined a small gym, did her workouts every day, cut soda, all the little and big changes that added up to her losing quite a bit of weight.  And one by one, those medicine bottles disappeared from beside the sink, as her doctor weaned her off of them and deemed them unnecessary.

Today, my mother is in her 80s, and she still works out.  It’s funny to hear her gripe about traffic on the way to the gym, or how someone was hogging the leg machine.  She was honored with her picture in the local newspaper for hitting a milestone number of workouts at her gym, and she proudly clipped that article and mailed it to me.  I still have it, folded up and safely stored in a small box of sentimental letters, cards, and pictures.

I would be blind to not see the similarities here, as far as starting a diet, falling off, working out and then quitting, losing weight and then gaining.  As I was typing that first paragraph, I paused and realized the exact same words apply to me!  I honestly never thought about it, though, until I started writing this post.  Hmmm.

I don’t, for one second, blame my weight issues on my mother.  That would be profoundly lame.  Obviously I picked up many habits of hers, though, and I do worry that if I don’t get a grip on this, my own kitchen counter will soon be lined up with a colorful assortment of prescription bottles.

I am fiercely proud of my mother.  She never gave up, and she finally conquered a long-term battle with her weight, took control, and has maintained a healthy weight and an exercise routine for many years.  My mom sometimes needs a cane to get in and out of the car, but she still goes to the gym, tells me to eat more salmon, and still brags about all the medications she no longer has to take.

Brag away, Mom!  You earned it.

My mother has taught me a lot of things: wear sunscreen.  Eat my vegetables.  Work hard.  Write thank you cards.  Stand up for myself.  Speak up.

And, by example, she has taught me that even if I have started over a million times, even if every other time has failed, even if I feel like I am not sure anymore that I can do this…make one more effort.  This could just be the time that magic happens.

Mother Lean On