Sound advice, as I keep thinking next year will be easier, next year this will have happened.
A strange sense of contentment has reached me this week. I’m enjoying it.
We had a good Christmas. 1son and I spent several hours in the pub on Christmas Day which was great. I found myself in the same place on New Year’s Eve and had a fun time without wishing I was somewhere else. We actually totally vegetated for the whole fortnight not going out at all but not really falling out either. I didn’t have an attack of the miseries at all.
On Sunday and Monday night this week I found myself awake in the wee small hours of the morning not being able to sleep before we go back to school hours. Rather than worry about it, I thought I must get back into mindfulness and stop doing this. My brain continued to wander and I just let it rather than getting wound up. After all, I could go back to sleep in the daytime if I felt like it. Continue reading
I wrote this post and then deleted it. Don’t ask me how I could make it unrecoverable but I managed.
“I am plain” – I look at the face in the mirror and I don’t like what I see. I see plain, dull and boring. I remember the years when I could walk tall and proud without hesitation and I miss that feeling, even though I’m fully aware that I’m never going to be 17 again and my body certainly isn’t.
I tend to wear my hair tied back at home as well, to keep it out of the way of 2son’s nits and because it’s practical. But it doesn’t look as nice. I dressed up on Sunday to go out, rather than not bothering or only half dressing up. It felt good and pleasing. I need to do it more often.
What I also need to do when I look at myself in the mirror, however casually, is smile at myself. I can smile at my friends so why can’t I smile at myself.
“I am fat” – well yes, and?
Practical implications of this is that some bits of me chafe or ache more than they should. Some parts of me I haven’t seen for a while. Finding bras that are comfortable but still fit after a couple of months isn’t easy and the bigger the size the higher the price by far, and the less pretty they are. I used to enjoy buying clothes and now I don’t even try. The styles that I want don’t really suit me now.
Do I want to be stick thin? No I certainly don’t; when I see people who are model thinness I feel sorry for them and think they look dreadful. But would I like to lose weight? Of course I would prefer to be a few sizes smaller. Can I accept me for the weight I am? Not at the moment. I recognise the irony that I almost have to stop caring about losing weight having regained confidence in myself before I will lose weight, and then it will be a by-product of life changes rather than a goal in itself. But do I look forward to the time when I stop putting on weight? Too bloody right I do.
Beautiful You, by Rosie Molinary is available at Amazon (click on the picture) and her website is Rosie Molinary
It’s hard to focus on me with all the chaos that is going on in London. At the end, people are rebelling because they feel they haven’t been heard and can’t have a voice unless they do stupid things. One person commented that there had been a peaceful protest with 2000 people and no cameras recently, but put 200 people together with bricks and look at the press turn up. Feeling frustrated because you feel you don’t have a future is something I can empathise with although it by no means signifies that I condone the violence.
My father has a very rigid view of life. He was seemingly brought not to put faith in other people and to rely entirely on himself and he would appear to have learned his lesson well.
When my maternal grandmother died it made him realise how little of a story of her life there was to pass on. He’d never had much of a relationship with his father because his mother didn’t let it happen and was aware that his father had died without them getting to know each other. He wanted to leave a legacy to his future descendants and as well as gathering some stories from his mother, wrote his own biography to be preserved for the future generations. He didn’t initially want my sisters and I to read it but my mother and I persuaded him that it was necessary. After all we might have questions.
It’s interesting because of what it leaves out. It omits two important episodes in his life: firstly that 1sis isn’t his and secondly that he had an affair. I wasn’t really surprised about either. What I didn’t realise was the extent to which he planned his initial move abroad when I was a child, creating the idea of the post and selling it to his employers. He didn’t make use of an opportunity but he created the opportunity in the first place. And this wasn’t the first time. He makes detailed reference to his salary and mortgage, to show how each move made him better off financially and was planned and prepared for. He also cites the two or three occasions when my mother put her foot down and said no to decisions he was making. He still speaks of these occasions with awe and talks about my mother being formidable. Maybe she should have done it more often.
What is also clear from this autobiography is that he sees his life as a simple progression from job to better job, with more interesting work, better conditions and pay, with more money coming in from one year to the next, and of course, his favourite mantra, having a little bit more money come in each month that goes out. Wise words for us all. We also moved for a number of these jobs, never staying anywhere longer than five years. He’s just about acknowledged that frequent moves might not have been good for us children.
That’s it. He had one friend from school/university who he fell out with in their 60s because the guy left his wife for another woman after decades of marriage. He found this unacceptable and was unable to understand that there could be reasons. He couldn’t respect his friend’s decision but has not spoken to him since as far as I know. He’s got a couple of friends he keeps in touch with but no-one is close to him.
He might have achieved financial success but he has no friends, no empathy for or understanding of other people. He has limited awareness of music, fiction, art, all the creative media. He doesn’t get people.
I’m not writing this to explain or analyse him, although that’s partly what I’ve ended up doing. But challenging him as I’ve tried to do, at any age, doesn’t work because he only has those conversations by his rules. So my point is really that I reject his rules, I reject his game. I don’t want to play by his rules. I don’t want to play his game.
It’s my life and I decide what I value and what I want. And how can I possibly want to copy someone who says he doesn’t believe in being happy.
The last post left me feeling upbeat, that I’m doing something positive to make a difference, not just to my life but to that of my children. I said a while back to my eldest that if he doesn’t need therapy when he’s my age I’ll feel I’ve done a good job.
The opposite happens when I watch a soppy sentimental film, the kind I used to eschew as being beneath me although I’d watch the occasional one for just being fun. Now when I see our heroine having stumbled around in the dark, not seeing the hero standing in front of her or having whatever twists in the tale to deny her him; when she finally sees the inevitable light and it all ends happily ever after I cry.
Not with sappy tears of happiness, but with tears of misery, of jealousy and envy for that one perfect moment when you think life’s going to be happy ever after, even if it’s not true but for that one moment when you can believe in that possibility.
I suppose, thinking about it rather than just crying about it, that my parents denied me that hope that that one true moment could happen, let alone that it could last. While they told me I had to make plans, they didn’t tell me to dream and to chase it, but to be realistic and get what I want by planning and working hard.
But I want to cry when I see grandparents picking up their children, or whole families visiting a special assembly, or when families and friends get together for a celebration to have fun. When I see people together and they’re happy, it hurts. People being there for one another as my parents never were. And I wish I had that, just once.
This may sound over-dramatic, but when you’re crying in front of a film that isn’t that good, that certainly isn’t true and yet you still yearn to be that person and have that dream, even though you know it isn’t real but you want it anyway, well it’s a mess.
I’ve got to the point now where I can be with a group of friends, that I have enough to be called a group, that if I’m lonely or sad there’s someone to talk to, whether with sympathy or just to make me laugh. I’ve come such a long way in the last five years or so.
But that doesn’t stop me feeling that I’ve missed out and that I’m still missing out. I don’t look forward to the future because I still lack hope that tomorrow might well be a better day and the thought of ten years from now is just not somewhere I want to go.
I’m sure I’ll get there eventually, but in the meantime it’s a lonely place to be.
This follows on from a previous post as I go through HAES.
I love this chapter. It’s so full of joy and happiness. I’d like to quote the whole lot really.
No matter how many times or how authoritatively the message is repeated that diet, exercise, and discipline can get you what you want, it doesn’t change the fact that it has not proven true for any but a tiny minority of people.
Isn’t that interesting?
Your hypothalmus helps regulate your weight in an unconscious process, altering your body as it sees fit. What it also does is change your appetite and other conscious behaviours. With diets you are trying to fight your body’s natural weight mechanism and the system breaks down.
No long-term studies have shown that diet works in the long term for any but a remarkable few. More than that though, depriving your body of the food it needs seems to move your setpoint up, the point at which your body is comfortable, which therefore puts weight on you. So although a quick fix (get into that dress) diet may work, anything longer will be counter-productive.
No long-term studies have shown that regular exercise makes any difference to your weight either. This does not of course take away the other health-giving benefits of being more active.
Stress, sleep deprivation, certain viruses, certain stomach bacteria, environmental chemicals; all these can contribute to weight gain.
All those accessories to diets: pills, potions, staples and other surgical procedures; all rubbish. This, I knew.
So, again, throw all the diet books away and try to stop worrying about what you eat and how much you eat. Easier said than done but it’s a happy thought.
Quotes are taken from “Health at Every Size” by Linda Bacon