Musings from the Midwest

Month: February 2022

Forgetful me

Oh, I forgot,

I am only supposed to love a neighbor who looks like me,

and a foreigner with the same theology,

and only those with power who can favor me,

and screw the sick with their infirmities,

and love the money and not those who labor for me,

and scream for liberty and condone shooting sprees,

and chant to lock up those who disagree with me,

and snuff out lives of black and brown bodies

and lock children in cages to separate families,

and spread lies and mistrust on life-saving vaccines,

and spread my virus freely with all the songs I sing,

and deny entrance of those who look different based on my comfortability,

and protect at all costs the patriarchy,

I’m sorry, I forgot, please forgive me.

I forgot this “real” version of Christianity,

Power, fear of strangers, guns and blasphemy.

Excuses are like…

I never feel ready to make New Year’s resolutions on Jan 1st.  Somehow the week between Christmas and the turning of a calendar doesn’t seem to be enough time to evaluate and create actual goals for a whole other year.  The non-stop insanity of costuming, creativity and curating of holidays that start at the end of October, with additional demands on parenting that only stops at the end of December, leave very little brain space left for making a path forward.  My sugar comma from the holidays is barely lifted and sure, I could promise I’d lose those pandemic/holiday pounds, but should I?  They seem perfectly content with being my companion for my book reading, instagram scrolling, meal-fixing, laundry-folding, child-tending self. I’m not preparing for the Olympics, people! Do I really need to shame myself for hibernating for the long winter? I’m a mammal doing my thing.  

Sure, I can make some better choices, or try what hibernating animals are doing and actually fast at the end of my feasting (& maybe I will try intermittent fasting, sounds like a blast…don’t eat while sleeping -done!), but let me just encourage you all out there, it’s maybe OK to be OK with where you are.  The just TRY HARDER approach only works for some and for the rest of us it’s just a crock. You can try harder and just be on a spinning wheel.  And sometimes we are trying harder on things that should just be accepted as hard and move on. I have a middle aged body and I will look middle aged. Apart from some miracle skin cream or injecting myself with freezing toxins– my wrinkles will remain and deepen with laughter and grimaces as the years progress.  And yet again in February we are reminded to once again turn the page as the Lunar New Year is celebrated worldwide.  Another gentle nudge of washing up and setting right things for the future, to put on our new clothes to welcome what is to come.

I love the statement I saw online where someone said they don’t try and make their bodies fit clothes, but buy their clothes to fit their bodies. This also isn’t a post shaming those who are trying. Props to those who are trying different things, loving their bodies by tending them, or moving them or giving them different fuel for the fire.  It’s not wrong to have a goal, to set achievable accomplishments and feel good about getting there.  But let’s be kind with ourselves.  The path to happiness may not be pants that are a different size, but may be the little affirmations along the way that we are worth the time to tend to ourselves, worth the time for tasty good for us food, worth the time for playing and doing things that bring us energy and life.

My inability to lose weight while not currently doing any of the things that count as “trying”, may not be a surprise, as apparently just thinking it would be ‘nice’ to lose some pounds doesn’t equate magically waking up to my former 20 year old self. I’m in a debate with myself. Do I set a goal to lose weight and fail, or do I not set a goal and just let time and life take its course? Or, do I set a goal of intentions on how I move and how I do my day and how I feed my body well and let the chips fall where they may?  How do I do a post about weight and being a woman with intentions and not cause a shame filled, guilt trip, or simplistic approach to the gravity of our identities which involves loving & caring for ourselves?

A friend a long time ago said “excuses are like armpits, they all stink.”  But maybe that’s not true.  What if excuses are like armpits and they’re all natural and we shouldn’t be using aluminum deodorant anyway and maybe should just get used to our natural aroma?  Or maybe we need to find natural methods that help us with the root of our problem rather than masking and blocking the right answer for a healthy sweet smelling body? What if the excuse is just a sign that we don’t have the tools we need yet?  What if the excuse is because we are conditioned for a certain outcome that maybe we need a permission slip to just accept?  What if part of the journey is learning what to accept, when to accept it, what to challenge, when to challenge it, what to infuse with our life giving energy and what to release?  And that just can’t be figured out by January 1, but is a lifelong, yearly challenge, a day by day journey, of moments by moments of mysterious moods and mindfulness that get us from who we are now to who we soon will be, whether our pant size changes or not.

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