Not Exactly About Skinny Jeans

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Skinny Jeanz and a Mic

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 I use the scale as one tool to lose weight; many of us do.  But thank goodness for the skinny jeans.  Okay, not exactly skinny jeans; a couple pair of Dickies, size 30 waist.  Currently they are baggy around the legs and although I can cinch up the button or clasp, they are tight around my waist and squeeze my belly, which is not big but it is still there.  I don’t have any grand illusion (or desire) to be skinny like all those skinny boys out there.  I’m 43, after all.  I know I can never get into a pair of pants size 24 or 26 inch waist.  I’d have to lose bone density to get into them, and they still probably wouldn’t be baggy like they are on those skinny boys.  My body wasn’t made that way.  My hips are too big.  But I almost fit into my 30 waist pants a couple of years ago before I put the recent weight back on.  Now they fit less comfortably, but I know with real work I can get back into them. 

I know there is an epidemic of obesity in countries that actually can eat what they want when they want.  I don’t worry about whether I will eat each day, for which I am eternally grateful, but my eating habits aren’t exactly what I wish for.  I have work on that front, as well. 

So I need those 30 inch waist pants to tell me that I have reached my goal.  And it isn’t entirely about fitting into them.  I suppose I could do major diets and weight loss products.  It’s more about eating healthy and exercising to give me all the energy I need to allow me to do most anything I wish and not feel like I need to take any breaks.

If I used the scale alone, I could drive myself a little crazy.  I run, and almost without fail, lose about a pound for each mile I run.  I’m running about 15 miles a week.  When I first lost all the weight, I probably ran more than that.  I shouldn’t say “ran.”  I jogged.  I’m at more of a pace now that I can say I’m running more than jogging.  And then I put most of the weight on, or more, by the time I hit the scale again, which is natural.  I eat enough to sustain myself.    I could really nitpick my weight.  And I know some clothing weighs more than other.  I know I don’t have to check my weight each day, before and after the workout, but I kind of want to know how I’m progressing.  And I’m getting there; this time I will fit all the way into those pants. 


Please Commit to Commit One Selfless Act Today

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Image by dancing+bambi via Flickr

The world is spinning way too quickly these days.  I’m sure technology has something to do with it, but I’m sure there are other factors as well.  Even end-of-the-world factors, if you believe that.  But whether you do or not, it is often difficult to find enough time in every day to do all the thing you need to do.  There are undoubtedly thousands of ways to slow time down.  I’d like to offer a suggestion.

Please commit to commit one selfless act today.
And don’t even concern yourself with whether it has any consequences that you can observe.  If you assume that it will have positive consequences, you can probably be certain that it will.  If we all do so, we might find it to be as self sustaining as the air we breathe and the water we drink, and perhaps we can make such a difference in the world.


Happy Birthday to My Mom!

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Today is my mother’s birthday.  She is 82 years of age today, which is not desperately important.  For me, in this little posting, all that really matters is that I love, and like, my mother very much.  I probably wouldn’t be here writing, or have the desire for many things creative if it weren’t for her.  She is very much my emotional ground with all the crazy live wires out there in the world.  Happy Birthday MOM!

Why I Hate Long Distance Relationships

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Various M8 motorway (Ireland) photos

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I have been in a long distance relationship for nearly two years.  Supposedly that should end on or around my birthday next year February.  Until then, all the horrible things that can be said about long-distance relationships I’m sure are true.  When two people live together, and fight about something, it is much easier to make up later, even without sex.  In person contact beats any other form of communication by a long shot.  There are too many opportunities for misunderstanding when apart.  Just think back to any email you have ever written that the person you sent it to asked for clarification; worse, misunderstanding associated with text messages.  And it is so much easier to fall into the trap of playing tag by phone or email.  There is just no substitute for in person communication.  All the nuance of body language and facial expressions make communication in person much easier.  And why would you want a long distance relationship?  For people who confess love for each other, the only reason to persist in one is because financially things are difficult.  It takes some serious soul searching to mend that financial rift, to do the right thing by both parties involved.  But let’s face it.  People are stubborn, and sometimes can only see the little world, which often doesn’t seem so little, that they have created, and can be unreasonable and uncompromising nearly to a fault.

Valuing the Writing Process

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St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writin...

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Writing is one of the most rewarding, aggravating, amazing endeavors one can undertake.  Because writing anything of significant length and writing it well requires time, it requires physical stamina and mental fortitude that those who don’t write cannot understand.  I’m not belittling anybody who does not write, nor those activities which others do for a living.  I appreciate the variety in life, and writing makes me appreciate more the value of human beings, and helps me to see where change in our world might be a great thing.  I’m trying to make the point that the difficulty, the complexity, the sheer aggravation and joy that comes from writing, because it is a solitary activity, cannot be understood by those who don’t write seriously.  And  I don’t necessarily consider this a gift of the gods, or of one God; in fact, sometimes it feels like a curse.  Writing is generally considered a craft.  We are all endowed with the gift of language and the ability to communicate; however, for most, this doesn’t equate with a desire to write, much less to write well.  I do believe anybody can write well if they learn to respect the language that is innate in humans, as important in many ways as the air we breathe and the water we drink.  The creative process of writing well is a physical and mental nightmare.  I have written, by hand or on one computer or other, for many years, and taken a seed and transformed it into a tree.  Maybe not a tree suitable to withstand a great storm, or even for a small child to play in.  That is where revision comes into play.  Revision is like playing chess with a master with your hands tied behind your back and blinders on; you have to rely on the amazing parts of your brain to guide the process.  The logical part of your brain tempered by the emotional part. You have to be sometimes impartial, sometimes completely engrossed, and sometimes cut throat, to revise. I have started hundreds of writing projects, small and large, from poetry to short (and short short) fiction to novels, and many are sitting on a computer (some in folders or boxes) somewhere waiting for inspiration to strike so that I can return to revise them. I don’t hold out a lot of hope that I will return to them. So I start more projects, and sometimes life happens and I don’t write much for awhile. But I have a real job and I don’t pretend that I will ever write the great American novel. I don’t know that I care if I do. I enjoy the writing process, like a significant other, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. And then I will be published…posthumously.

Grief as Protection

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Grieving, I suspect, is a much more complex process than we will ever know.  In retrospect, I can comment on one aspect of it or another, and were I to make a note of other aspects experienced by others, I might begin to paint a more complete picture of it in my mind.  One thing I noticed, and recounted to others, after my father died, now more than 15 years ago, is how my perception of things slipped often into surreal moments.  I can recall many things now, but there are many more things that I only have a fuzzy recollection of, as if I were in a cocoon.  I think it is simplistic to just believe that because you are grieving that you will brush aside, or repress, that which is difficult to deal with.  And perhaps in traumatic cases, there is some good measure of this happening.  And I think it is equally simplistic, to believe that the chemistry involved in grieving is the sole protection from the pain involved.  As I continue to move forward in life, I will always respect that as human beings, we believe in a great deal.  It is that acknowledgement which I use to color my writing process, which color my word choice.  That said, I acknowledge that there are many that do not believe in a supreme being.  There are so many things for which science can offer an explanation.  The grieving process included.  But how can something as universal as grief, for which we all experience things outside of the normal physical realm be explained away by simple processes.  There are, I believe, supernatural forces at work protecting us from grief.  I think anybody who has lost a loved one knows, upon examination, that this is so.

Running, Lazy, Love-to-Eat Fool

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I’m 43 years old, I’m healthier and happier than I have been than at any other time in my life, but I still have work to do in my effort to make my life simpler. OK, so maybe I’m a little Monk-ish, without really the germophobia. But I’m trying to lose about twenty more pounds, and they are the most challenging twenty pounds of my life. For various reasons. After I became seriously out of shape (approximately forty pounds overweight), I started eating better and running.  I pretty quickly lost about thirty pounds, over about the next couple of years, I put about ten of it back on.  I know part of the weight is a change from fat to muscle.  But I’m also a little lazy.  I still do work out about 4-5 days a week, but it takes every effort to get myself to do it.  My Monk-ish traits often get me out of the door.  If I get my bag ready the night before, then I cannot tell myself no.  Once at the gym, I try to convince myself that I don’t feel well enough to run what I am scheduled to run that day.  Usually the endorphins fix that problem.  So I end up running my quota most weeks.  Life happens sometimes, and so I don’t always.  The problem I guess I ultimately have is that I love to eat.  And often I am not as discriminating as I should be.  Sometimes I’m just plain tired, and I will eat the quickest, easiest thing possible, if not the healthiest.  So I’m determined to get the chaos out of my daily consumption.  I don’t consider myself a control freak, per se.  I don’t try to control other people.  But I have to have some control over my life.  So I feel I need to have a little more control over my eating habits.  Wish me luck.

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