Blogging Again

I went to see Glennon Melton of Momastery speak Sunday night.  I was so excited and happy to see her in person that I went completely out of my mind and didn’t bring any tissues with me!  “Luckily”, I had brought a fleece cardigan incase it was cold in the church and after crying for 45 minutes I finally started wiping my face with the cardigan.  Not very comfortable, nor pretty, though.

She spoke right to the place where I was in that moment.  Without even knowing she was doing this, she answered questions and calmed doubts I’ve been having about myself and my blogging for quite sometime.  What she was saying about life, marriage, parenting, friendship, Jesus and blogging were all how I felt, too.  She inspired me to start blogging again and blog for me – not worry about who’s reading or what they do or do not want to hear – but blog to purge my mind and soul of what is pressing on it and let everything else just fall where it may.

As part of our admission, we all got a paperback copy of Glennon’s (I call her Glennon, not Mrs. Melton, because she’s my sister now, see.)  book, Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life.  I love books and especially love owning a copy of a book!  There are different ways in which people love their books.  Some people love hardcovers more than paperbacks and vice versa.  Some people love their books with reverence and feel they are precious collections to be cared for gently.  They are carful not to break the spines, they do not write in their books and they use bookmarks instead of folding down pages.

I love my books differently.  If I am lucky enough to own a book, I don’t care if it’s new or used, hardcover or paperback, pristine or stained and ripped.  I love them all the same.  I read with a highlighter and a pen handy, highlighting things that resonate with me, words that cause those Oprah “A-HA” moments, and write notes in the margins about why something spoke to me or what in my life is an example of those words.  Sometimes when I get wrapped up in a library book, I find myself reaching for the highlighter.  Thankfully I come to my senses before I I use it!

There is so much highlighting in the 1st 37 pages of Carry On, Warrior that instead of highlighting the sentences, I started circling whole paragraphs.  In those 1st 37 pages, she is writing about me.  She describes herself, her feelings, needs, fears and even coping mechanisms and they were or are all mine at some point.  I’m keeping a notebook with me while I read her book and started writing my thoughts down in it when they wouldn’t fit in the margins.  I realized I was writing down blogs posts.

Blogging Again

I circled the entire 2nd paragraph on page 25.  It begins, “If, anywhere in your soul, you feel the desire to write, please write.  Write as a gift to yourself and others…Writing is not about creating tidy paragraphs that sound lovely or choosing the “right” words.  It’s just about noticing who you are and noticing life and sharing what you notice.”

OK, I told myself, here is the sign and the help you prayed for.  I had a talk with the hubs about all my worries and doubts and lack of love for blogging recently and what I really wanted to blog about and he told me to go find my smile (anyone seen City Slickers?)  So, here goes…

I weighed myself yesterday morning and I am 176lbs.  My weight this past year has not been this high since I was pregnant with B.  I gained 44lbs with B and topped at 187.  However, when I left the hospital after delivering him, I only weighed 10lbs more than I was before the pregnancy – yeah!  But it took me 10 months to take those 10lbs off – boo!  I gave birth to an 8lb 1oz baby boy and lost 26lbs of retained water during our 4 day stay in the hospital.

I’ve been bigger than I want to be most of my life and it’s always bothered me.  I’ve rarely been comfortable in my skin.  That is, until I turned 40, 2 years ago.  I had always bought clothes that were mostly comfortable when I was standing but pretty uncomfortable, read: tight when I sat down.  I was over my mom’s house and lamenting over my weight and clothes and she brought out some capri pants that no longer fit her (they were too big for her to wear) for me to try.

I scoffed in my head, because every bottom my mom owns is elastic waist – no buttons, snaps nor zippers for her.  That was old lady-ish to me.  Oh, how the judging comes back to bite us in the ass every time!  I tried some things on and they felt nice.  I sat down in them and they felt nicer.  I couldn’t believe it!

I took 2 pairs of capri pants home with me and something wonderful happened when I wore them – I was completely unaware of my clothes for the 1st time in decades!  I hadn’t really been uncomfortable in my skin all that time, I was merely uncomfortable in my clothes.  I was constantly aware of how my clothes felt and was constantly pulling, tugging, adjusting, stretching them away from me.

Without focusing on my clothes I didn’t think about my appearance at all.  Well, at least not until I looked at myself in a mirror.  *sigh*  But that was OK!  I only looked at myself in a mirror while washing my hands after using the bathroom.  The rest of the day I was free – literally and figuratively.  I might not be the size I want to be, but I was finally comfortable wearing the size that I was.  The mental freedom from that was enough.

Then my hair started going kaput after turing 40 and no matter what I did or what I used on it it looked terrible!  No more volume, hardly any curl, and it only had 2 looks – dry and frizzy or dirty and greasy.  I even tried the baking soda and vinegar method of washing my hair from April 2013 – January 2014.  It took over 2 months to get the right formula for me and for my hair to adjust, but my hair looked good all Summer and Fall.  Then it just died on me.

So, for the past couple of months, I’ve been using Salma Hayek’s Curls & Waves hair products.  I saw her demonstrate her skin, hair and makeup products on a talk show last year.  She and I have similar hair but I refused to try it then because I’m cheap; I’ve bought Suave and V-05 for decades because it’s $1 or less.  But I had to step out of my box if I wanted to my hair too look better, just like I’d stepped out of the box with the clothes.  I’m so glad I did!

Then B and the hubs helped me pick out some liquid foundation at the drug store in March (never worn it before) and I’ve been doing my hair and makeup most days.  An amazing thing happens when I do my hair and makeup – when I look in the mirror, I can’t take my eyes of my face.  I think I am pretty.  I’m proud when I look in the mirror and I don’t even think to look below my chin at the rest of me.  As long as my clothes are comfortable, I don’t even think about my body.  Most of the time.

When it’s shower time, I’m painfully aware of how big I am in that mirror that starts over the double sink vanity and stretches to the ceiling in the bathroom.  But I’m not beating myself up about it.  I know what I’m doing to stay this way and I know what I have to do to change.  And when I’m ready to do something about it, I will.  The hubs wants me to be healthier and he wants me to be happy with myself.  Now I know how he felt all those years I wanted him to quit smoking.  Ain’t nothin’ nobody can say to get you to want to change and sometimes you dig your heels in deeper just to spite someone else.

But I’m learning from Glennon that the holes in me cannot be filled with food and I can’t escape them in a bottle.  Years and years have proven that to myself, but it’s still hard to let them go.  However, I need to try.


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