Archive | December, 2011

Epic New Year’s Resolutions

30 Dec

What. The. Fork. Listen, I am one of those people who scoff at New Year’s Resolutions. I get annoyed that for the first 2 months of every year because I have to deal with parking scarcities when I go to the gym or to yoga. There should be some sort of seniority system for parking at gyms, I tell you! Or in my case, the YMCA. Anyway. Holy crap do I have some things on my mind. Things that could be disguised as resolutions but they’ve been churning in the ol’e noggin for a while now. Several things I’ve recently add to my list. And since it’s “lose weight and eat right” season, I figured I’d air them out here on the blog.

I don’t make any claims that I’m not a complete nut job. But I recently decided I want to see my body in as close to it’s “natural state” as possible before I 1) get really REALLY old and 2) before I die.  So I haven’t shaved my legs or underarms in 3 days. Yes, that is what I mean by natural state. Don’t laugh. I smell you dreadlocked, patchouli-wearing, hippie crazies laughing at me! I haven’t decided if I will again let my eyebrows grow out. I mean I’ve already seen them. But it would probably more sincere if I was COMPLETELY natural. Meh they grow fast. I’ll decide once the legs & pits get furry. So yeah, that is one resolution you could say. No, I am not giving up deodorant. I tried that once and once was enough. I’m letting my hair on my head grow out as well and I never really went back to my pre-brazilian habits after it grew out. I’m over stubble. And now I’m always ready to go get one. Just in case the Brazilian Wax Bat-phone rings, you know?

Another long-standing goal of mine is to develop a home yoga practice. And what that means is just to practice the asanas at home, by myself. With a herd of two toddlers galloping around 3 feet above my head. The idea was “neat” when I first started yoga 2.5 years ago. Then I became very serious about wanting to practice at home in September. I still haven’t really done much more than a pose here and there to relieve an ache or pain. My plan is to buy the bare essentials in props and try to force it. Very yogic, right? Lately I’ve had some really poignant spiritual moments that are really pushing me to get past whatever fear is keeping me from doing yoga at home. If I had to guess, fear of failure. But this is my life, there is not much of it left and it’s accelerating from what I can tell. So, I guess I need to just DO IT, for the love of God!

Somewhat related…I would like to eat better. ARRRRRGGGGGGGGGG, the cliche is eating my soul! But this is not your run of the mill resolution to lose weight or inches or whatever. OK, it sort of is. I really want to get to a point where I have emotional eating under control. I’d also like to feel better and have more energy. And I would truly like to treat my body like a temple because I do believe it is the house of my soul for the time being. I think that means I’m going to have to do something about my McDonald’s habit.  This is nothing new just because the clock is about to strike midnight on the last day of the year. Ever since Dooce wrote that post confessing she’s on the Paleo diet, I’ve been jealous of her alleged newfound energy. I’ve been fighting the urge to look into it because it’s a goddamned fad diet. Ridiculous fad diet…

Then today I had this idea. What if I did a fast. What I originally thought was a month long fast but underlying reason is just that I want to know what it’s like to be hungry. To understand what needy people go through. Of course I could never truly understand without having a drastic change of circumstance. But when I whine about food and berate myself for eating junk…I don’t know…maybe I would be more motivated to treat my body as a temple if I could experience a small bit of what it’s like not to have that choice. I’ve been feeling incredibly grateful for my life lately. And very aware that I have so much when others have so little.

The rest is mostly a full-on assault of my consumerism “problem.” Which you are somewhat familiar with if you’ve read any number of posts to this blog. My fantasy goal in 2012 is no recreational spending. No retail therapy. NONE. There are…a GAZILLION problems with this one, all of which I have not addressed. But whatever. Right now it’s there floating in my head. I still need to define recreational and decide if I will allow myself to spend gift money. Or which things fall into the category of recreational. To further this goal of no recreational spending I called and almost doubled the electronic withdrawal for our mortgage payment yesterday. Which in turn supports my longstanding goal of paying off this house ASAP so we can drag the kids around the world to various ski resorts in various hemispheres’ winters. So there’s that.

And more along the lines of consumerism I’ve also considered many times over the years trying to only purchase things that “give back.” I think it’s totally possible to only buy stuff in which a portion of it goes to “a good cause.” But then there’s the whole paying extra part of that which drives me nuts. For example, I don’t think Tom’s shoes look like they would last very long and I think they seem expensive for what you get. Granted I have never tried them. And I am in the shameful habit of buying stuff that is made by child slaves somewhere in Asia (by that I mean “cheap.”) I suppose I could just buy stuff that I think is a good value then give the difference in price to a “good cause.” I don’t know. It’s not a solve on the fly while I am typing up a blog post kind of problem . What I DO know is I need some black flats and I need them before this whole recreational spending moratorium kicks in. Because THAT’S the whole point right? O_o

Do you do resolutions? Have you done any of the above and want to offer me advice?

P.S. I will try to post some pictures soon…and next post will be a 2011 family update that I’ll email to all the extended family I have email addresses for.

Is The Stuff The Tangible Manifestation of Our Emotional Baggage?

17 Dec

This post is a response to “What Will We Do When We Have All The Stuff?” by Britt Reints over at In Pursuit of Happiness. Which is an incredible blog that provides much validation for my bewildered soul.

Oh, woman. Our souls are travelling parallel paths, it seems.  Several weeks ago the same question, “What will I do when I have all the stuff?” sort of smacked me in the face. I immediately knew what I would do. Find a need that requires more stuff. Of course, I don’t like that answer. But it’s the truth of what my habits will manifest if I don’t learn a new way. SN: Isn’t strange what sources coalesce to form an unexpectedly coherent train of thought. Anyhoo! Realization for me, is often the key to changing course. So I have been on the brink of achieving a change in course on this whole consumerism thing. The ideas are coming together, but the habits are not dying. Shopping is almost reflexive for me, I am ashamed to admit. I am fully aware of using it as a band-aid when I don’t want to examine what’s really bothering me, or think about the meaning of life or my mortality or…yes, I am serious. I ponder my mortality on a daily basis.

Anyway, the whole life list thing and keeping it at the forefront of my thoughts…always watching for ideas for that list. Always measuring my thoughts against the mantra, “Do I want to let my existence pass without even attempting this?” sort of amplifies things like habitual consumerism into a much more urgent issue to address. And instead of thinking of these issues as flaws and what’s wrong with me and failures. I’ve been trying to think of them as habits that are subject to breaking. That’s not really a good explanation of what I mean to get across here. It’s epic. For me anyway. I’ve been able to somehow…FINALLY…observe myself and my unsavory habits without as much judgement. OBSERVE myself. Without JUDGEMENT. Just like they told us to do in mindfulness group therapy. It is incredible and I honestly did not believe it was possible for me. This month my hormones opened up the heavens to me or something. Last month the mouth of hell swallowed me and this month…well. It was slightly transcendental. For the first time in a very, very long time I have been able to appreciate my self as a soul within vessel. Have I achieved the first yoga sutra? Without even having been practicing asana? Unlikely. Haha. But I feel as though I have glimpsed it. And with that came incredible measures of peace.

But anyway. I started this posted talking about consumerism. You didn’t think consumerism was so deeply entwined with existentialism, did you? Oh yes. I bring everything back to that. I find a way. It always comes back to our inevitable demise. I suppose it is my nature to see things through that lens. Unlike shopping and buying things I don’t need and stockpiling crap that I don’t have time to use because I’m too busy buying MORE stuff. (Which I would call a bad habit. Emotional baggage. Albatross.) I guess that was the big AHA! for me. I realized as I was paying for some craft supplies, and random neat stuff to put into my “gift stash” that I would 1) not get around to completing or even beginning said craft project for weeks, maybe even months and 2) I couldn’t even recall half of the things already in my gift stash. So I have been attempting, with very limited success (Squee!, nonetheless) to be a thoughtful consumer. The momentum of a shopping trip and the fear of missing a “deal” have defeated me many times since, but I am failing with a weird kind of awareness that makes me stronger every time. It’s like I’m able observe what is driving me to do things , in this case, habitually buying stuff I don’t need or even truly want to buy. I feel like I’m able to peel away a layer of the cognitive onion each time I fail. And that is encouraging. I am holding onto this positive perspective with a death grip, praying it doesn’t dissolve into sand.

As to what I would do…back to that first question. That’s where the constant mental maintenance of the life list comes in. The life list is not for some obscure future date. It’s for next Monday, my Mama’s Night Out.

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