I stole this from Just Eat Real Food's Facebook page, but it sums up how I feel about life now...
I wish people would stop food shaming.
Last night, my daughter babysat these two, great kids. They come from a nice family, they're well-behaved and creative. But when they wanted a snack, and my daughter ran through the list of choices--two of which were some candy treats or ice cream (ok'd by the mother) the children refused saying, "They're not healthy choices."
Ok. But what about when you just want a piece of candy or a dish of ice cream? What I took from hearing about this conversation was that these children have already gotten the message: that it's not "right" or "good" to choose candy or ice cream. I mean, if they really wanted an apple or banana, great! More power to 'em. But if they wanted the candy or ice cream, that "should" be fine, too. But they're already reciting the mantra. They're drinking the Kool Aid, certainly with no sugar added.
And what if my daughter had wanted ice cream? Well, I know my daughter. She would've had the ice cream and enjoyed it whether the two kids deemed it a "healthy choice" or not. She's strong like that.
I know there may be people who may read this and give kudos to the kids for making "healthy choices" and I get it. Most kids in the U.S. today don't know about healthy choices. I guess because of where my head is at the moment, I see the food shaming side of this scenario more so than the healthy choice argument. It just kills me that these kids--ages 10 and 6--are already making comments like this.
We humans and our food issues. We start young, don't we?
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Friday, September 26, 2014
For those of us old enough to remember, this is Nellie Olsen, from Little House on the Prairie. The queen of "Negative Nellies."
How do you handle negativity and negative people?
I received some great advice from my mother when I was younger. She said, "Whenever people vent, or share something negative about someone else, put it out of your mind. Try to forget it." These words of wisdom helped me in two ways: first, I learned that by putting negative thoughts/opinions out of my mind helped me not repeat what I'd heard. Second, I learned not to carry the negativity of others around with me. I have enough baggage of my own; I don't need to take on other peoples' problems.
I've put this advice into practice so much over the years, that I feel I've perfected it. This past week, a a "negative" issue arose where I had forgotten some key pieces of information. One of the people with whom I was speaking about this issue thought I was nuts; at least, that's how I felt when this person reacted to something I'd said. How could you not remember that? I had to explain that when negative information is being bandied about, I listen with half an ear. I don't want to be drawn into the negativity. It's not that I'm being disrespectful or uncaring about a person's upset. It's more a matter of self-preservation.
I know many people who thrive on this kind of emotional interplay. They listen as the "Negative Nellie" goes on and on about something or someone, then the person or people get sucked in. It's like a tornado of negativity. Before you know it, everyone's up in the funnel, being tossed about. One person passes on the negativity to another and so on, and so on.
This isn't the case with my friend who thinks/thought I was nuts this week. Her problem is that the Negative Nellie is impacting my friend's life and she can't seem to get away from the swirling vortex of detriment. The Negative Nellie may have some serious emotional issues, which only makes things worse.
I beat myself up for a few days because I felt stupid for not remembering important bits of information regarding this negative upset, but now I'm comfortable with how I handle this sort of thing. I don't remember because I've put it so far out of my mind, and I'm happier for it. My friend can't help but be impacted by this bad juju. She's closer to the Negative Nellie than I, and has more cause for interaction with her. So I keep everyone in my prayers in hopes that things will get better for them. Meditating helps as well. I'm finding that meditation is the cure for many emotional issues I encounter in life.
This clip sums up what I'm feeling and what I'm trying to say in this post:
Now on to the positive side of my week...
Last weekend, the group of which I'm a member, Women Who Write, held their annual (soon to be bi-annual) conference last Saturday. I met with three agents regarding both of my WIPs, my novel and my memoir. I got good feedback on both! Two of the three agents told me I could submit to them after I make some revisions. I was thrilled! I haven't had positive feedback on my writing in a while (outside of my wonderful critique group) so this was just what I needed. I feel motivated and energized to get some work done. So I should probably stop blogging and get to "real" work.
I hope for anyone reading this that if you're dealing with negativity in any way, you take my mom's advice: listen, then forget it.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I came across this great article on the Atlantic.com website. It's by Megan Mcardle, and the title grabbed me because it picked on writers as being the worst procrastinators. You can read the article here:
The gist of the article is that writers are procrastinators because we often were the ones who excelled in English class in high school, and while our teachers were busy explaining mundane grammar rules to our fellow students who didn't "get it" as easily as we did, we were learning that we were smart and it came easy and we just understood things like grammar better than other people. In short, we learned that being smart and successful was "easy" and didn't take much work. This translates into our writing careers now as that writing and publishing should be easy. We shouldn't have to work that hard at it or, God forbid, fail at all, because it's always been easy for us. That "success in work depends mostly on natural talent."
We procrastinate because we fear failing, or submitting something that's "bad." We put it off until the last possible second, as a deadline looms, then turn something in. Because turning something in is better than not meeting that deadline.
I guess it's nice to know that I'm not alone, that I'm in good company when I procrastinate. But man, I hate that I do it! In fact, by writing this blog post I'm procrastinating right now. I should be working on my "elevator pitch" that I'm supposed to practice with my writer's group tomorrow. I should be working on a practice query letter for a writing conference I'm attending this Saturday, but I absolutely HATE query letters. I've been working on this letter for the past two days. It's killing me. It's harder to write then the darn book I've been writing! (Why are queries so challenging??).
The truth is, I spend most of my days procrastinating. My dad asks me all the time, "How's your writing coming along?"
"Great!" I lie. And then I think of how I've spent the last week doing things other than writing...
- researching colleges I think my daughter would like to visit (SHE should be doing this, not I!)
- email, email, email
- buying mums and pumpkins (things like this can always wait, can't they?)
- Candy Crush
- Words With Friends
- menu planning
So I'm going to stop procrastinating now and get back to work on my "practice" query letter.
Any writers' thoughts on procrastination and how you deal with it would be greatly appreciated! Let's commiserate!
Saturday, September 13, 2014
I've been told by three different people on three separate occasions that I have a "blue" aura. I've never seen an aura, personally, but I'm open to their existence. I'm open to the idea of faith. I have a strong faith in God, so I lean towards believing in things I can't see for myself. Especially spiritual things.
I imagine this is what I look like to those who can see auras:
The three people who've seen my aura have told me I'm "bathed in blue light."
Ok. So what does that mean, exactly? I went online and read up on blue aura personalities and I have to say I fit the bill. I'm not going to list everything here, but this is the site that provided me the most information:http://www.whatsmyaura.com.
The "blueness" of my aura has nothing to do with the blueness I've felt this week, but I thought it an interesting juxtaposition, so I mention my blue aura here.
The sadness of my week has revolved around a number of things:
- my oldest daughter growing up and away from me
- my younger daughter's emotional/anxiety issues
- my evolving yet still tinged-with-strain relationship I have with my sister
- my rejected ED/memoir essay
Yes, this week has been a sucky one, to say the least. I let all of these issues overwhelm me, then unleashed it on my girls. I've apologized and made amends, but still...when am I going to keep my composure and act like an adult?? I've had to admit to myself that I'm human and let go of unrealistic expectations. It's hard.
As far as my ED issues go...I did almost give into emotional eating this week. I found myself grabbing the bag of Ruffles and heading towards the couch. I made it there and ate ONE handful of chips when I decided that behavior was no longer serving its purpose in my life. It really doesn't work for me anymore. I folded up the chips and returned them to the pantry. I was proud of myself for that. I was fully aware of what and why I was reaching for the chips, but they didn't satisfy me, so I put them away. Two years ago, the bag would've been demolished and I would have had to hide the evidence from my family. So...there's one bright spot of the week! Also, there's this:
I used to live my life like this, and I no longer do. This cracked me up because I could so relate, but this was another bright spot. I'm no longer doing this to myself. ;o)
The rejection letter is something I've come to accept in my life, although I haven't submitted anything in a few years, so it's been a while since I've received one. Still, I sent out (what I thought was a) great essay about something very personal to me and it was turned down. :o( Rejection is a big part of a writer's life, but it still stings me. Every time. I think because I was already having a bad week this rejection letter hurt just a bit worse. That, and because it was about my ED. Oh well. Time to send it out again. And again.
I'm happy to say I'm feeling better now. I would be interested to know if anyone else is aware of what color their aura is, or if they can see auras. And for the writers out there, feel free to commiserate about rejection. Ugh!