Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

One Doesn't Always Equal One

I was at the gas station yesterday putting gas in my car. This particular gas station is self-serve so I had to get out and pay for the gas. Well, inside they have a whole bunch of stuff--you know the regular coffee, tea and . . . candy. I got a Tootsie Roll pop figuring I'd work the Weight Watcher's points at home.

That sucker was 1 point. Know what else is one point? A cup of grapes which certainly would have been more satisfying and healthier. Now, I know that sometimes I'd just prefer to have the Tootsie Roll pop and I can give myself that but it's interesting to go through the list of one point foods and think about just how many other things are also one point but that pack a lot of bang for that buck.

I just took note of that for future reference: one doesn't always equal one. And I'm really liking the program so far.

Photo Credits: "Tootsie Roll Pop" by william couch on Flickr.com and "Grapes" by joyrex on Flickr.com

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What's Really Real.

I've been in a reflective mood of late. It most likely has something to do with me marking my 28th year on this good Earth and also me starting a new moon cycle.

I think about how sometimes I get into the craziest funks because I didn't do "all the things" young people are supposed to do like party and travel. I didn't even live on my own because when I got married, I was still living in my parents' house. I start to feel like somehow I missed out and will never be able to get my youth back. But then I look around me and hear so many Black women worried and/or complaining about how difficult it is to get (and keep) what I have and I feel so grateful. I may not be doing what most other 28 year old folks are doing but I'm doing what I want to do, what it's my joy to do, what I'm supposed to be doing and I'm doing it now when I'm young. By the time my children are grown, I'll still have the get-up-and go to still do those things I "missed out on" (albeit with a different set of folks and a whole different mindset). I won't begrudge or be jealous about the road someone else chose to take. I won't covet the perceived success of my peers. Instead I'll focus that energy on doing my best where I am and on santosha.

You see, my road has not been the straightest road or the easiest and definitely not the most popular but I've come to see that some of my actions were actually reactions--responses to the actions of someone else. In that realization, I'm empowered to make my future actions authentically my own.

I think about all my past relationships and I can give heartfelt thanks for the good ones and the bad ones. I give thanks for the good ones because it felt good to be wanted, accepted and loved. In these good relationships, I learned things that will carry me through life. One old boyfriend in particular stands out as the person who helped me shed my prudish upbringing (where everything about one's body was a sin) and to learn to appreciate my body. It was liberating and pleasurable. Other particularly terrible relationships helped me to really understand how damaged my self-esteem was. I watched myself do things that I knew were not healthy but I felt powerless to stop. Even in those relationships, I learned a lot. One boyfriend helped me let go of the idea that the Bible was the end-all-be-all when it comes to The Truth. He introduced me to Fela and some of the best vegetarian restaurants in the city. This boyfriend also brought me unspeakable pain. I think about the man who I was so passionately attracted to in such an inexplicable way who played with me like a toy and never even acknowledged how he hur t me. Somehow after all this time, though, I'm able to embrace all the things and people that are a part of the tapestry of my life. It's all that stuff that makes me who I am today.

And I'm happy to say that I am loving who I am more and more each day as I become more adept at sorting out the bullshit from what's really real.

Photo Credit: "Tapestry Box Project 26" by slowlysheturned on Flickr.com

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

. . . and all the shiny accessories

It's winter time and I drink much less water than I do in the summer time especially while I'm out and about. The other day I was on my way to work packing my lunch. I was getting ready to put my 40-ounce stainless steel water bottle into my bag and realized that it just took up way too much space in light of the fact that I didn't actually need forty ounces of water that day. I thought about what to do. I went to my cupboards and got out a 20-ounce plastic Rubbermaid bottle but I felt . . . funny. I remember feeling a similar way when I forgot my reusable bags for my groceries at Trader Joe's. I remember feeling a similar way hoisting out my mismatched hodgepodge of re-useable bags at the "upscale" Whole Foods.

"What's this?" I asked myself.

My mind flashed back to this article and I had myself a good chuckle. See, far too often, it's the shiny accessories that announce that one is living a green lifestyle that become most important. It's the highly visual evidence that one is not a mindless consumer but rather a consumer that puts careful thought into each of his/her purchases. It's the symbol that says, "I care about the Earth" and "I am doing something". Or so the merchandise would suggest.

I thought about buying a smaller stainless steel water bottle for myself. Maybe borrowing Z1's (after a good scrub down, of course). But I decided to take my little plastic Rubbermaid bottle. I was only putting plain water in it anyway and certainly not in the mood to spend any extra money. I already had something to carry my water in.

I'm not interested in the look of being green. And I'm especially not in it for all the shiny accessories.

Notes on a Scandal . . .

The title is so scintillating as to be a complete let down but I was pleasantly surprised by this very interesting novel. What was She Thinking?:Notes on a Scandal is Zoe Heller's second novel and while I'm not running off to read her first, I do have to say that I enjoyed this book tremendously. How it's described:
Barbara Covett, a sixtyish history teacher, is the kind of unmarried-woman-with-cat whose female friends sooner or later decide she is "too intense." Thus when a beautiful new pottery teacher, Sheba Hart—a "wispy novice with a tinkly accent and see-through skirts"—chooses Barbara as a confidante, she is deeply, even rather sinisterly, gratified. Sheba's secret is explosive: married with two kids, she is having an affair with a fifteen-year-old student. The novel, Heller's second, is Barbara's supposedly objective "history" of the affair and its eventual discovery, written furtively while she and her friend are holed up in a borrowed house, waiting for Sheba's court date. Barbara has appointed herself Sheba's "unofficial guardian," protecting her from the salivating tabloids. Equally adroit at satire and at psychological suspense, Heller charts the course of a predatory friendship and demonstrates the lengths to which some people go for human company.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

I think the book was masterfully done and the way that Heller reveals the nature of each character is what held my interest so much. When I finished it, I was convinced that Barbara was really out of her mind and it's so ironic that at the end of the novel, she's the only one Sheba had left--and that's just fine by Barbara who can't imagine going back to her previous existence--one of abject loneliness. I don't want to give away the story but I can say that this read was fun. It wasn't terribly heavy and it was humorous but not in an outright kind of way. You definitely get a feel for the British sensibilities and I always get a kick out of reading things that refer to a flashlight as a "torch"--like my parents do. Tee-hee.

It's funny how I ended up reading this book. I had wanted to watch the movie after hearing Oprah talk about it some years ago. I couldn't remember for the life of me the name of the movie but I knew that it had won an Oscar. So I searched for all the Oscar winners for the last ten years until I finally found it. I went to put it on hold at the library and mistakenly put the book on hold. By the time I realized my mistake, the book had already come in so I couldn't cancel it. I put the movie on hold and I picked up the book at the library but since I was still reading The Color Purple, I didn't get into right away. A couple of days later, the movie actually came in (shockingly fast) and I went to pick that up. Since I intended to read the book and I absolutely hate seeing movies before the book, I powered my way through What was She Thinking? Now, I'm looking forward to seeing the movie.
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape
I hope you enjoy my musings that I share with you here on my blog. If you would like to use any written content on my blog, please ask and/or reference my blog correctly. Thank you.