Thursday, January 29, 2015

There's this thing called Weight

I got off really easy for the first 24 years of my life. In regards to body weight, that is. I had other body image issues, but a naturally good metabolism and being constantly nauseated in my early twenties kept me on the low end of the ideal weight for my height. I wore size 6, then size 8 jeans pretty consistently for years. (There was one point when I was so sick, I was underweight. That was scary.)

Then something happened. I don't know if it was getting married, being happy and healthy more often than sick, hitting the 25 mark, or just indulging in too much sugar on my first year living away from my parents, but everything changed. I gave up wearing jeans for months because none of mine came close to fitting me. I tried to loose weight, but kept getting sick too consistently to manage a solid exercise routine.

On Tuesday, I was in a thrift store and decided enough was enough. I needed new jeans, time to try and find some that fit. I ended up with one really stretchy size 10... and one not so stretchy size 14. I also realized that the new weight was consistently in my tummy. I no longer have the teeny almost Scarlett o'Hara waist of my younger years - and I don't have the excuse of prior pregnancy.

And yes, I KNOW I look thin. Thin arms, narrow shoulders, long legs, and curves a Victorian would envy. It's an illusion, folks. I have a friend who is five months pregnant and my tummy is almost the size of hers - and I'm definitely not pregnant.

I haven't given up hope entirely. Being sick and unable to regularly exercise is something I can't control any more than I am already doing. I have great confidence that my body will continue to heal and eventually I'll be able to trim some of that fat away... but I have no idea how long that will be.

I'm not writing this to complain. I'm writing it to say that "I get it now." I get why telling a lady who has mathematically irrefutable too much weight "you look great!" can either come as a compliment, or can be frustrating because what you want is not affirmation, but rather recognition of an issue you are struggling with. Today I don't want compliments. Today I want recognition.

Nor am I looking for suggestions of what else I could do. I've got a good health support team and right now fixing my health has to come first and that will solve part of the weight problem and allow the exercise problem. (Yes, I am really cutting down on sugar and dairy, and I'm trying to trim out as much excess grain consumption as I can. Yes, I eat good fats and stay away from bad ones. Yes, I try to move and not sit in front of the computer all day - costuming is actually pretty physically demanding).

Some of you will read this and most likely be annoyed because you're dealing with even larger size issues. I understand this - I feel the same way when someone with a DD cup complains about being 'too big'. But I try to be understanding of their issues, even if they're smaller than mine, and I'm thankful that they understand my struggles as well, even on a lesser scale. I hope that this 'confession' of mine will do the same for you.

This isn't a fun experience, but I do appreciate that it's bringing me greater understanding for the struggles so many of my friends have dealt with for years.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Social Media Status Check

I'm trying to wean myself (a little bit) from social media. Not because I think it's bad - it's actually been a huge lifesaver with my hearing loss - but because I'm getting just a bit more addicted to it than I'm okay with, and my hands are paying the cost.

You see, a year ago I finally caved and bought a smart phone. I adore it and it has made my life easier in so many ways. However, I tend to stay up late scrolling through Facebook after I've gone through bed, and that is not good for my sleep cycle and definitely not good for my fingers. Ugh. My fingers!

Also, I'm trying to just stay away from controversial subjects even more. I always do that, but it's hard because people can get offended by just about anything on the internet, no matter how innocent it seems, and without being able to see each other face to face, it's a ripe ground for misunderstandings. I just don't have the emotional energy for that right now.

So the plan is:

  • Less engagement with potentially tricky topics
  • Less bedtime phone use
  • Less typing/more voice recognition for texting if I can figure out how to make that work.
I'm also trying not to define myself by the photos on my instagram. I adore instagraming. It might be my new favorite social media app. But it is much too easy to become obsessed with sharing and getting likes on my life. It's not a bad thing to enjoy that, but I can't let it take over me.

Monday, January 19, 2015

So, if you're looking for some new blogs to read...

So, I'm sharing this because if a friend hadn't specifically let me know, I would have had no idea that I'd been nominated. I'm not asking you to run over and vote for me, but rather letting my readers know (especially my Catholic ones) that there is something called the Sheenazing Awards (in honor of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen) and there are a lot of cool blogs being nominated and even if voting isn't your thing, it might be a fun way to find some new blogs.

(I don't even know if I'll vote, because the New Wave Feminists have been nominated in the same category as myself and I'd feel rather silly voting for myself over them. But I've got a few friends nominated as well and I at least ought to support them, so... we'll see.)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

One Year since we put on the rings...

It's been a year since I married my best friend and love of my life. I may not be feeling quite as bad as I was then, but ironically  I am sick once again on January 17th... but thankfully my man is still by my side. 

No long wordy post today, since I'm saving my energy for enjoying my time with Nathan, but I would like to share again some of our favorite photos from the day.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Little Thoughts on Literal Conversations with God

I don't really understand how I could feel so tired all day yesterday (cold/sinus infection), but spend an hour and a half laying wide awake after turning the light off last night. I finally gave up and just took some Zzzzzquil because I need the sleep to get better, but first I spent lots of time thinking about random stuff.

One thought that came across my mind was that I felt bad for God because he couldn't actually hold a two-way conversation with us. (Yeah, I was tired, okay? even though I couldn't actually sleep). Then I thought - "wait, why am I feeling bad for God? He's GOD. He's got the power to do anything. If he wanted to just talk to us, he could."

Then I thought about that some more. Our sin separated us from God in the Garden of Eden. God can't walk with us day to day anymore. And quite honestly, if he were to start speaking directly to us, most of us would probably have a major freak out! We'd think we were possessed or going crazy, right? I mean, it's no wonder the first thing any angel says in the Bible when making earthly visitations is "Fear not!"

So God speaks in the small ways to us, and that doesn't make for tremendously satisfying communication on this side... and though I'm no theologian, I rather imagine that God is also looking forwards to the day when we're all up in Heaven and he can have a proper two-way conversation with each of us where we can't mistake exactly what his saying (or pretend we don't hear).

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What Are We To Do About Lady Mary?

Season 5 of "Downton Abbey" is here in the USA at last and aren't we excited! We wait longer for this show than any others (except "Sherlock") and going back to Downton is like going home.

Indeed, it's almost surreal how familiar the Abbey and its inhabitants feel. They're the same as they always were... except...


...except, really, Lady Mary, what are we to do with you? I mean, I get that it's the raging twenties and you're a widow with your own fortune now and Gillingham is a respectable suitor, but still. There's no guarantee that this proposed week of 'discovery' wouldn't end up in a pregnancy and then you'd have no choice but to marry him, would you? And what if, after that week, you didn't think he was so hot in bed after all? Then you'd be stuck! Roaring the 1920's might be, but as your sister Edith knows, they're not that roaring. And after how your last out-of-wedlock bed adventures went, you're the last person I'd expect to entertain any sort of extra-marital experimentation.

Every now and then, "Downton Abbey" breaks free of it's historical shackles and interjects a very modern viewpoint. It's not prevalent, which makes it rather more jarring when such a thing pops up. This is one of those moments and it's hard to reconcile Mary's interest in Gillingham's proposition, apart from one thing. After living for so many years in fear of someone judging her for a scandal in her past, it might very well be Tony's openess to non-judgement about a test arrangement that makes it so appealing and liberating for Mary. It's a sign that he is certainly not going to judge her for youthful indiscretions.

Still. It doesn't make practical sense, and Lady Mary is nothing if not practical.

Anyhow, the rest of the episode was regular good ol' Downton fun. Moseley trying so hard and failing so miserable. Thomas scheming, nearly getting caught, and then getting blessedly forgiven by a waaaaay too nice Cora. Daisy working her way every so slowly upwards. Carson and Lord Grantham dealing with the ever changing world. Lady Rose being sunny and gay and full of naive good intentions.

Actually, my favorite part of this episode was when Tom went and apologized to Robert for arguing with him at dinner. It was not something that Tom had to do, but it was the mature thing to do and proved him to be the bigger man. He's come a long way from being the brash rebel who was more concerned with his pride than with the 'right and kind thing to do.'

I also am growing quite fond of Miss Sarah Bunting, Tom's schoolteacher beau. I know it would be a frightfully drama ridden match, but honestly, how can anyone expect Tom to make a more respectable second marriage than that? It's not like there are dozens of young heiresses lining up to marry a widowed ex-chauffeur, even if he is the son-in-law of the Earl of Grantham, and uncle to the Earl's heir. Sarah is poised, intelligent, and extremely socially aware. I was impressed by her intense questioning of Rose before agreeing to come to the party. Could she have been a little more circumspect? Well, yes, but the whole theme of the show is "it's a changing world" and Sarah is exactly the kind of woman you want on your side as the next era ushers in.

Edith nearly burns Downton to the ground, and is saved by Thomas who immediately is forgiven his blackmailing of Baxter. Burnt Downton or forgiven Thomas? Which is worse...

(Please know that I say that most tongue in cheek. Downton would not be the same without Thomas.)

We await next week to see how matters progress with Edith becoming her daughter's godmother, and whether Mary will actually accept Gillingham's risque proposition.

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Guide to Eating With a Lipreader

When people eat with me for the first time, they can find themselves in a quandary. What to do when there is food in their mouths, but they want to say something immediately? They can't cover their lips, because otherwise I cannot understand them. Even if you're not likely to eat dinner with me in person, there's still a good chance that you'll end up at the table with a deaf person at some chance, and it's good to know ahead of time what the most problematic areas are, right?

Now, if you're really good at being a tidy chewer, and it's something containable and not all creamy, you might be able to get away with it (my family is actually really good, which is quite nice!). If in doubt, you can ask, "am I chewing discreetly enough or should I just finishing chewing first?" I certainly don't mind waiting - especially if you're eating sour cream. Please, please finish that sour cream and take a drink of something before talking. Watching a mouth full of sour cream move is disgusting. (Cream cheese and other sticky things are problematic as well, but sour cream is the worst).

Another thing that really helps is brushing your teeth before dinner (some dentists are now saying this is better for your enamel anyhow). Foods like beets, cherries and wine that normally stain your teeth will not adhere so well to freshly brushed teeth. Otherwise, even if you're done chewing, you could still be presenting your resident lipreader with a mouth full of purple teeth. Eeeeew. (Yes, this has happened to me. And hence the reason that I never serve beets or cherries).

Discreet chewing and tidy teeth will be appreciated everywhere, from business meetings to lunch with your grandmother, but probably nowhere more so than by a lipreader.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Reflections on Anniversaries of Many Things

Today I'm feeling weird about the fact that it's been fifteen years since I was a little girl in my parents living room waiting for the calendar to flip over to "2000" and possibly usher in the end of the world. It's interesting to look back and see how many problems were averted by programmers ahead of time - and how many weren't that we never heard about.

But for me, it's more interesting to look back and realize that this was fifteen years ago. In less than two months I'll be 26, and it's already been a decade since I was a sophmore in high school. Oy vey.

This entire past year has been an anniversary of a different kind - marking ten years since my friends and I made our first feature length movie. Gosh, we were crazy kids. Ten years and three weeks ago we premiered it to a hundred friends and family members - and I was just 15. Since then I've made three more films, including "The Shadow of the Bear" which is probably the most insane undertaking I've attempted in my life (and one of the most amazing).

And on February 5th, it will have been seven years since I started this blog. Now that's crazy. Have I really been part of the bloggersphere for seven years? Well, I'm glad I didn't go with my original intention to wait until I had a book published because otherwise I'd still be blog-less and my life would have missed several interesting turns that my internet adventures brought to me.

Like, you know, meeting my husband.

Guys. It's just two weeks until my one year anniversary. Can you believe it? I'm guessing maybe not because everyone offline keeps asking me "can you believe you've been married almost a year already?!?"

My answer is that "I can and I can't." In some ways it feels like it can't possibly be a whole year already. On the other hand, being married to Nathan feels so completely natural, it's hard to believe that there was ever a time when we weren't together.

So those are my reflections on January 2nd, 2015. I wonder where I'll be in another 15 years, when the calendar flips over to 2030?