Category Archives: Our World

Something is changing in how others see me…

Back in November I made a decision.  It was one that has changed my life in a lot of ways – in some ways I’m still uncovering.  The biggest unexpected change was the weightloss, and I’m honestly not sure how I feel about that.

I have had a long battle with both my physical and mental health.  With Fibromyalgia and it’s host of associated issues (IBS, TMJ, and others) my body has rarely allowed me the freedom I crave.  But it had gotten to the point where I had to do something.  It hurt to move, it still hurts to move…  but it hurt laboriously so.  I couldn’t keep up with my daughter, and I had far more bad moments than good.

Now!  It’s important to note, that while my body may not have FELT good physically, I loved my absolutely FLABulous self.  I loved my curves, my bends, my plump, fantastically round self.  I was glorious in my fatness. 

This was not about losing weight.  This was not about fitting into societies view of what can be considered PURDY.  In fact, my desire to do better for myself had NOTHING to do with how I looked.  In all honesty I was shocked when my clothes stopped fitting.

I don’t know what I expected…  honestly.  I mean.  I knew my body would change somewhat.  I figured my clothes would fit better and that I’d lose some weight.  But I figured I’d probably drop from my 188 lbs to about 160 and that things would just fit nicer.  The end. 

I was working out daily for 45 minutes to about an hour for several months and tracking what I was eating, making healthier choices.  I never cut out any foods.  If I wanted it I ate it (and still do).  But I don’t need to eat an entire bar of chocolate to get that marvelous high that comes from allowing a perfect square of chocolate to melt away in your mouth, it’s gooeyness spreading through every crevice filling your senses with it’s delectable self.  In fact, I eat between one and three squares of chocolate a day.  LOL  I love it – especially when it has something salty in it too, like a peanut or pretzel or popcorn.  Mmmmm….  so I’m not about to deny myself that pleasure.

Even now that I’ve moved into what I consider “maintenance” mode, I am still losing weight.  And I truly am not sure how I feel about it.  Like I mentioned.  I LOVED my fat self.  Fat is beautiful.  This body of mine now seems strange and odd, and I’m not entirely sure it’s mine or how to embrace it the way I did before.  I’m sure I’ll get there…  but I haven’t yet.

It’s an odd thing.  Being secure in yourself.  Loving yourself…  and then changing so much.  I’m still FLABulous on the inside – but people look at me differently now.  In the span of the 20 minutes it took me to drop the girl off at the library for book club until I walked home and started blogging I was checked out by two people.  And, okay…  I got checked out before too.  And it was the nice subtle “yeah she looks hot” nod I’d get, respectful, but with a little hint of the good kinda bad.  I got one of those today.  I like those, I think most people do.  But today I got checked out in the creepy way that makes you want to rush home, lock your door, and have a searing hot shower to wash the scary grossness away.

I didn’t worry for my safety or care how others saw me when I was bigger.  Now, someone like the guy in his classic car today…  who stops close enough to the curb that he could have hit you, and then drools over you, memorizing your body and the way it moves as you cross the street in front of him, locking you away in his horrifying spank bank?  Now people like that make me feel fear.  And that is SOOO not okay.

In a quest to get healthier, to keep up with my seven year old (yeah, she turned seven this July… mind-blowing, right?), to play and run, to go on hikes, and carry arms full of treasures, and backs full of growing girl…  and to do it all at the same time.  Somewhere in these awesome wonderful goals I have also opened myself up to those who leer, ogle, and make one feel small and afraid.  It’s a pretty shitty thing to realize about our society.  And I knew it all along.  I had just figured that things were getting better, but they aren’t.  They really aren’t.  They aren’t better at all.

So here I am, 45 pounds less of a person than I was before, feeling things I don’t remember how to feel.  And it’s time to walk back to the library to pick up my daughter from her book club.  I need time to process, but I’m a Mom… time to process is one thing I don’t have.  I’ll continue.  Because that’s what I do.  And I may not be as FLABulous as I once was, and people may have started looking at me differently, devaluing my personhood pushing me into a little spank-bank in their brain, but I’m still the same fabulous me.  I just need to learn how to live within this new body and appreciate her for what she is… because who she is hasn’t changed.

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The last day of school…

It’s the last day of school before the holiday break, and so the whole school is having a pajama day.  Everyone looked super cute, and as we were waiting in the class for the bell to ring, the teachers and administration gathered in the hall to sing carols.  It was so much fun.  I’ll admit, quite openly, that while I am excited for the break I am sad to know we are losing one of our two fabulous teachers.  Miss Begg is an intern, and is finished her time with us.

Unlike many interns, who find themselves overwhelmed, and stumble through their internship Miss Begg came in already ready to teach.  She so clearly has found her place with these kids, and has been such a wonderful addition to their class.  We were already super excited to have Ms. Jackson – who is one of the most amazing teachers I’ve ever known – but then to have added Miss Begg to the team?  It’s been absolutely fabulous, and I’ll be sad to see her go (as will the kids).  I’m also excited for her too, as I know wherever this journey takes her she is going to touch so many little lives.

Anyway…

Because tomorrow is Yule, we brought gifts for both Ms Jackson and Miss Begg today.  Normally it’s about a month before Yule and we start to plan.  We’ve made scrapbook pages, blown up pictures, given plants the girl propagated herself (wrote “thanks for helping me grow” on the planter)…  but only a few weeks into this year Lily-Ann told me she wanted me to make tutus for her teachers.  So that’s what I did.

The tutus I’ve made for Rhonda get borrowed and passed around between all the teachers.  They all just adore them.  And I’m thrilled to report that the two newest tutus were equally well received.  Lily-Ann and I both got big hugs, and I’m so glad to have made Ms. Jackson’s and Miss. Begg’s day.  The put them on immediately and began showing them off to the rest of the staff.  LOL  Lily-Ann was just tickled (as was I).

After putting on a Disney Christmas movie for the class to watch, the four of us headed into the hallway to snap a quick picture.  Everyone in their PJ’s (and tutus) next to the tree:

No-one in a kerchief, none in their cap,  but tutus and smiles, and my iPhoto app.

None in a kerchief,

none in their cap,

but tutus and smiles,

and my iPhoto app.

And because this is during the 30 Days of Disney…  Lily-Ann is wearing her velveteen Cinderella PJs.  😉

WDW Here We Come… again!

We are now one month our from our second trip to Walt Disney World.  We loved our first trip (in January/February of 2013) sooo much, that shortly after returning we began planning for a return visit.  This time we’ll be heading off on January 14th, once month from today, and will again be staying for ten days (two of which are devoted to travel).  Unfortunately we couldn’t afford to bring my sister along this time, but I’m sure it will be just as magical though very different without her.  Oh!  And the girl doesn’t know about the trip yet, so don’t spill the beans.  We’ll be revealing the surprise on Yule!  hehehe

Anyway…

To get in the spirit of things I’m planning to blog “30 Days of Disney”.

I realized in my WDW posts from our last trip that I had barely scratched the surface.  There was still SOOO much I hadn’t shared, and just a ton of pictures that never made it onto the blog.  I can’t wait to start talking Disney with the kid, but until the 21st I’m stuck trying to keep my excitement bottled up.  I’m hoping y’all won’t mind being a bit of an outlet for me.  I am crazy excited about this trip.

So this is the first of 30 Walt Disney World posts.  For now, let’s just recap where we’ve been and what we’ve seen:

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/disneys-magic-kingdom/

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/disneys-animal-kingdom/

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/disneys-hollywood-studios/

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/epcot/

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/downtown-disney/

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/disneys-art-of-animation-resort/

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/character-meets-at-walt-disney-world/

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/from-youngling-to-padawan-at-disneys-hollywood-studios/

https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/disney-nighttime-magic/

Each of the above posts is graphic-laden.  Tons of photos!  And I highly recommend clicking on the pictures to see them a little larger than the thumbnails allow.  They are worth it!  I promise.

And just for good measure, here’s a favourite post of the Pinterest crew:  https://td365.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/doing-disney-the-smith-way/

I am not ready to give her up!

It may be ridiculous, but all I can be right now is sad.

Summer hasn’t even started yet, and already it’s too short.  Two months?  That’s barely enough time to picnic, forget finishing our unpacking, fixing up the house, gardening, heading to the lake, and all the other things we want to do.  We’re going to blink and it will be time for school again.

Autumn used to be my favourite time of year.  I loved the weather, the leaves, the fact that most folk stopped coming to the lake – leaving it just for us…  I loved everything about it.  Now I’m dreading it.

Autumn this year means my baby is leaving me.  And the kicker?  I’m the one who convinced her to give grade one a try, she wanted to stay home and have me teach her.  But Ms. Jackson, the grade one teacher at Mayfair?  She’s fabulous.  Is so obviously passionate about her kids, and I just know Lily-Ann could learn so much from having her be a daily part of her life.  I’m just so not ready to give her up.  Not even close to ready.

Moving from Pre-k to Kindergarten was hard enough.  I still miss our Friday afternoons.  But the idea that come Fall I will only have my girl for a few hours every day???  It’s just too much.  I honestly cried myself to sleep last night.  It’s ridiculous, I know.  I can’t help it though.  I am not ready to give her up.

We haven’t even started Summer holidays and already I’m depressed and upset over Summer coming to an end.  How the heck am I going to make it through?  There isn’t enough time in the world to prepare me for giving up my daughter full time to the school system.  Can’t she go part time?  Honestly?  Truly?  Is that an option?  Because THAT would make it all better.

A Woman’s Razor, a Tool of Oppression?

When I was young, I shaved my legs every day; EVERY day.  Spring, Summer, Autumn, AND Winter; every day.  The media told me that having smooth, moisturized, soft legs was an important part of being pretty – and as a teenager and young person I bought into it.  I believed the myth of beauty society fed me.

As I came into adulthood, I still shaved – though not with the same frequency.  I spent a great deal of my time as a young adult sick and in pain… pretty just wasn’t as important when you hurt so bad that you can’t get up and down stairs without dissolving into tears.  But I still shaved and moisturized.  It was part of being a girl.  We couldn’t have people thinking I actually grew hair on my legs.

Then I became a Mom.  And yes, even then I shaved my legs.  By then it was just one of those chores you do.  Going swimming?  Better shave.  Wearing shorts or a skirt?  Better shave.  Just part of the self-grooming routine.  Something I didn’t think about.  Something I did in a rather robotic fashion, another member of the trained masses.

I want my daughter to grow up knowing these things are choices – even if we don’t always feel they are.  Not all Women shave.  In some parts of the world it would seem odd to do so.  My daughter believed this until she was three.  Then one day she laughed, astonished, at the ridiculous notion that a Woman could choose not to shave.  That was the day I stopped shaving my legs.

Lily-Ann has other Women in her life who are non-shavers, my sister for one.  But clearly this was something she needed to see with more frequency.  It may seem like a small thing, but I needed her to know that we have a choice.  We don’t have to shave.  We don’t have to buy into the view of beauty that the media is selling, we can choose something different.

I may be the odd Woman out here in North America, sporting hairy legs all year long – without shame and, quite frankly, with a little pride.  And yes, it may seem like a strange thing to take a stand on…  but I couldn’t let my daughter grow up thinking she has no choice, that she has to go along with whatever ideals society sets before her.

She has options and choices.  We all do.

Sure, I could have kept on shaving – but she shocked me out of it.  Sometimes, that’s what we need.  Something to shock us out of that robotic state we get lulled into.  Something to bring us back into personhood.  A sudden splash of cold water, a bucketfull dumped on us while we lay half asleep, lounging in the sun.  Something to remind us we’re alive, and we have the right to make these seemingly small, seemingly insignificant, choices for ourselves.  And sometimes, those small choices end up being some of the biggest.

my hairy leg out in the sun

Out working in the yard, clearing away the Winter ick. My hairy leg enjoying the Spring sunshine.

Winter still going strong… crazy.

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately.  I’m sure it’s the weather…  we’ve been breaking records left and right for the cold and snow, records that go back as far as they’ve been recording temperatures here in Saskatchewan – and that’s 120 years of recorded cold and snow levels.

It’s not unheard of to have a freak snowfall in April…  but we’re not talking about an odd, one-off, Spring snow.  We’re talking about a Winter that appears to be never-ending.  We still have over a foot of snow covering most of the yard (and three feet in some corners).

I have seeds awaiting planting.  And I’m dying to be spending time with my hands in the good dark earth.  I need to put on a pair of clam diggers, and get out in the sunshine.  This weather is just making me feel like curling up into a ball and never emerging from my bed.

Normally I spend my birthday outside, having a picnic or bbq.  Heck, on several occasions I’ve spent it on the beach.  Never in my now 36 years have I been kept indoors by snow.

In spite of the weather though, I had the best birthday I’ve had in a very long while.  Lily-Ann insisted that she and her Daddy go to great efforts to make the day special – and I am so grateful that she did.  I love Damon, but he’s never been one to make a fuss or do anything to make someone feel important on their day…  which means I’d gotten rather used to having crummy birthdays.  LOL  If I’d had one of those along with this crummy weather?  I’m not sure I would have gotten out of bed.  😉

My girl really did make me feel so special.  She got her Daddy up in the morning and the two of them made me breakfast in bed – something I’ve never had in my adult life.  Then we all watched a couple episodes of Friendship is Magic before heading out to build-a-bear…  where Lily-Ann and I picked out, and put together, and chose clothing for a Pinkie Pie stuffy.  Whom is now sitting beside my bed being super cute.  On our way home we all got smoothies, then vegged for a while before Supper.

My parents had bought me a gift card for Persephone Theater, and with it I bought tickets for Damon and I to see Ride the Cyclone – a musical about a group of dead teenagers.  It was very well written, and had us laughing all the way through.  Some fabulous performances as well.  It was a great way to wrap up a wonderful birthday.

So.  I’m 36.  I wish it actually looked like Spring, but I had a lovely birthday just the same.  Yep.  That sums it up pretty well.  😉

Where are you Spring?!?!?

Okay.  Yeah.  I’ve been a really bad blogger lately.  Well, maybe not by most standards.  After all, there are MANY bloggers who post once a week or even less frequently.  😉  But for me?  This is bad.

I don’t know if it’s the weather, or just the physical exhaustion after working so hard getting Breaking the Silence up and running then following it up with a very physically demanding photo shoot…  Whatever it is?  It’s kicking my ass.  I’m just done.  So I am VERY grateful that the Easter break is now upon us.  Not having to worry about our regular schedule, and getting the girl off to school, should help a great deal.  And even better?  The next couple of days we’re actually supposed to see plus temperatures!

I am so done with this cold and all this snow.  I am dying for it all to melt away.  I want to cultivate the ground.  This house has a nice big garden space (that was unused for who knows how long) and I’m just itching to get out there and plant something.  I have so many plans for the outdoor space here, and this extended Winter is making me a little itchy…  seriously.  I’m so irritable I’ve definitely got a case of cabin fever…  Spring just cannot get here fast enough.

Misadventures of a snowbound photographer

Tonight I have to direct you towards another url.  As I’ve already chronicled this particular misadventure on my photography website.  I do promise though, the many photographs of our frosty day are well worth the visit.  I know you’ll laugh as much as we did as we battled the environment to get these important shots.

http://tdphotography.me/2013/an-unexpected-snow-filled-adventure/

Hip deep, completely stuck, immobilized in the snow and ice.

Hip deep, completely stuck, immobilized by the snow and ice.

 

And a big thank you to Jamie for not only volunteering as my assistant today, but for capturing the entire thing with her iPhone.  LMAO

Seek no more

On Thursday, February 28th I felt a sudden need to light a candle and to send love out into the universe.  I didn’t know why I needed to, I just knew that I had to.  So at 4:30 I let my daughter choose a candle and we lit it together.  Shortly after that things became all to clear.

Bran Everseeking, who was known to some as Thomas Dunbar, was a treasured friend.  At 4:15 his wife, Naomi, had posted to FB that he was having a heart attack.  It wasn’t until later that evening I would learn of it…  after seeing another post she made at 6:04.  Bran had left this world for the next.  Gratefully I didn’t learn the news until after Lily-Ann had gone to sleep as with it came a slurry of tears.  It honestly felt like some cruel joke.

The last couple of days have been absolutely draining, and I really have no words – which is why this post is more dry facts than anything else.  I’m simply trying to relay information without breaking down again.  For now all I can share are images, something I believe Bran (as a fellow photographer) would appreciate.

The candle I lit at about 4:30 on Thursday, burned until 4:54 Saturday morning.  I know this, because the change in light woke me from a troubled sleep and I saw the last ember go out.

Goodnight my dear, dear friend.  Know that love follows you from this life into the next.  Seek no more.

The plane ride and Epcot!

Another long exhausting day… But this one completely wonderful. We’re all sore, and the girls are both asleep, no doubt dreaming about all our adventures.

For the January challenge today I had to take a photo of what’s in our fridge. So I did, yummy resort food and drinks:

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And now for something a lot more fun. Here are a few iPhone shots from yesterday and today… Just some little highlights from our trip this far:

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