Welcome to Fall! Of course, I live in the South so Fall doesn’t really start until around Christmas when the humidity stays down. But October is my favorite month. My two favorite holidays, Halloween and my birthday, are both in October. I have decorated inside the house. We don’t get trick-or-treaters because we are so far off the road. But I have my twinkle lights Everywhere!
I also turned 50 this year. I’m still processing how I feel about that. And about being married again. Although my partner and I are much closer than I ever was with my first husband. The ex was an Aries and just way too volatile. But enough about stinky baggage.
So I am 50, married for the second time, and in college. I’m ready to win a big lottery and create a writing retreat for mature, Southern poets.
Oh, who am I kidding?! I’m not mature. Hahahahahaha…
Yes! It’s Tuesday! I got married on Saturday. I’m still catching up on sleep.
We had a small ceremony with family here at home. A very dear friend officiated. It was very nice. It was a lot of work in the days ahead of the wedding even with all the planning we did. And trust me, I planned. And there was so much food! It was busy but it was a good day. And now I am married to my best friend.
The weekend also marked the end of my first term back in college. I am attending Southern New Hampshire University. I have tried college three or four times. It was always for the wrong reasons. It was to fulfill someone else’s expectations for me, or to prove someone wrong, or I was taking a program someone else would have approved of. This time around is different.
I’m studying creative writing with a focus on poetry. This time is all for me. I’m actually excited for school. It feels weird being in school again at 49 years old. But it feels good this time. I’m not stressing about it like I used to. And the writing is not the only area where I’m feeling creative these days.
I’m finding myself looking at my yarn stash and seeing completed project ideas. Drawings of those ideas are starting to take up residence in my sketch pads. And the more I draw those out, the more the itch to paint again grows. During the cleanup from the wedding I got all of my yarn organized. (I have a lot of yarn!) I also organized my work spaces so that I have an art/writing space that has more room and access to a computer, and a crochet space with a chair and room for my project bag.
It’s been a good couple of months. I even managed to write a couple of poems in all of that chaos. Now that everything is settling down, I hope to get a lot more done in between classwork.
I’m not talking about in the bedroom. I’m talking about clothes.
I was looking for dresses online. Went to the site for my local super store first since I knew I would be going there later in the day. Then hit up Pinterest since I do have a sewing machine. It didn’t take long to see the problem.
Even on Pinterest which has a plethora of ideas for any type of dress I could possibly want, size is a problem. I am not a small woman. Short, yes. Skinny, no. I’ve never been skinny, not even as a child. I have curves. I shop the plus size section. The fashion industry is no where close to recognizing how to dress us. They’ve started to see that we exist but they are still not getting it.
I first searched just dresses. Then I got more specific with sundresses. It didn’t help. Either the models are not plus size models. Or the dresses are too tight. Or they go in the opposite direction and have no shape at all. Or worse, they will have shaping and detail but it’s in the wrong place.
I’ll give you an example of one the worst offenders: the waist line is too low. Like this one from Wal-Mart in the picture. How does that work, you ask? What most people think is there waist line sits just above their hips. That’s the natural waist line of your body. On more curvy people, we are trying to de-emphasize our hips which are usually the largest part of us. The best way to do this is to move the waist line of the clothing up to draw focus to the bust line and face.
An empire waistline does this perfectly. So does putting the waistline just below where an empire waistline would sit. The difference is that empire sits just under the bust, like right under the bra line. If you put the waist a couple inches below that around the bottom of the rib cage, you get the same effect without having it right up under your boobs.
This creates focus around the bust, drawing attention to the upper part of the body away form hips or stomach. Focus can be on the cleavage, the face, jewelry. Anything you do above that line will keep the focus up. It’s not hard to design stuff with this in mind. Even a simple wrap dress creates a line that pushes the eyes higher.
This is not a new concept. I heard it for 10 seasons of What Not To Wear. Where are Stacey London and Clinton Kelly when we need them?!
It is very frustrating to continue to see models who are only plus size because they are either well over six foot tall or because they are a size 12 or 14. Really?! There are a few truly plus size models now but we are still tremendously under represented. Come on, fashion industry. Take an honest look at who really buys the clothing in the world. Snobby rich people are the only ones who care what goes down the catwalk. The rest of us are shopping at Wal-Mart and Macy’s and Amazon.
I realized today that once you put a name on something it can make it bigger, scarier, more recognizable. For a long time I just thought I was having back and hip pain. Now I know I have sciatica and scoliosis. Those are scary words that come with medicine and tests and shots. The words make them more real. Before it was just pain that I could try to ignore and work through and go about my business as best I could.
Now I know that I will have pain if I forget my medicine. I know I will have follow-up appointments to keep in the coming months. There will be other doctors to see.
The point is that we let things grow until they overtake us. But do they really need to? If we are getting on with our bad selves before we know the names, do we really need to stop living our lives once we know those names? I saw a new doctor today who said he was running tests for a lot of things including a brain tumor, of all things. Does he really think I have a brain tumor? No, but he needs to rule it out. Does it scare the hell out of me? Yes, but I’m not going to let it change how I’m living in the week or two while I wait on test results.
To paraphrase my favorite nerd, fear of the name only increases fear of the thing. Learn the names, yes. Do research so you know what it is, yes. But fear it, no. Stand strong in knowledge and get on with your bad self.
I’m not sure why I came up with the name Veronica for my muse just now but we’ll roll with it. At least until she shows up and decides if she likes it.
Yep, she’s gone AWOL. I haven’t heard from her in a while. Well, I’m not sure that’s completely accurate. The ideas Veronica and I generate are not missing. It’s more like
Veronica and I are not on speaking terms at the moment. I’m not sure which of us is to blame for that. Or if either of us is to blame for it. Blame is an ugly word. Let’s not us that.
Veronica and I are…socially incompatible at the moment.
…that sounds just as weird. *sigh*
This is November. It’s National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo. I’m supposed to be letting the words fly from my fingertips and writing fifty thousand words or more in 30 days. This is my second blog. Do Facebook posts count? Granted, there was a death in the family last month but I have had no desire to write. Not like I used to. Historically you would find me with no less than two notepads of various sizes and half a dozen pens in multiple colors. People know me for this so well they often gift me with writing paraphernalia.
At the moment, I might have a pen or two in my purse. My phone has a notepad app on it but I’m not sure I have a piece of paper on me other than a tissue. How does this even happen? I have felt distanced from my writing for a while now. For a long time, the writing was an escape for me. I don’t have as many things I need to escape now. I’m not sure how to channel the same energy into the writing now that the emotional need is different. I’ve tried really hard not to let go of the writing. When I look back at some of the things I’ve done, I really like the work I’ve done and think it would be publishable if I keep at it. But then I don’t do anything with it. I don’t write anything else. Veronica does come knocking. I get more ideas and I do write them down so I don’t lose them. But they don’t grow into anything more. It saddens me to see notes scribbled in a notebook between shopping lists waiting for me to shape them into characters and plot.
Sometimes it feels like I don’t know how to get motivated. Which is absurd when you think about it. As many blogs as I’ve written about how to get your ass in gear over everything else, I should be able to figure this one out. Yet I here I sit with Veronica looking over my shoulder wondering why I’m not working on the idea she gave me. Hopefully she won’t get too mad at me.
Lately I’ve been studying something new. Well, it’s not totally new. It’s a topic that I’ve flirted with for a long time but I’ve been…wary of. The few instances I’ve had close encounters with it have been very personal and intense. Those reasons alone have made me block out much of my own talents in regards to this topic. And yes, I am intentionally being vague. It’s something many people view as a pseudoscience. They think it’s bullshit. But once you’ve actually had experiences with it you know that it really does exist.
I’ve had those experiences all of my life. I wasn’t allowed to talk about them as a child and learned to hide them, to not react when they would happen depending which relative I was around. You see, one side of my family believed in it and the other did not. But certain talents run in the family, an inherent skill for this particular topic makes us super sensitive to it. The problem I’ve run into now is that I’ve blocked those skills for so long that I’ve almost forgotten how to use them. Until I came across this class.
I’ve felt for a long time like something was missing, like something just wasn’t quite right. My last couple of jobs haven’t felt like the right match even though I’ve been with them for quite some time. I feel like I’ve been searching for something, as if a part of me has been missing. I had no idea what. Late one night the pieces started to fall in place and the hints all lined up. I got the point. I followed the clues.
They led me to the classes I’ve been studying over the last couple of weeks. Self-paced online classes that I can devour because I’ve finally found what my soul was seeking. I have been very excited over these classes. I even started with the longer one because I knew the one I really wanted might still scare me a little, even though it teaches you how to not be afraid of it. Denying ourselves, denying who we truly are can make us sick. It’s unhealthy to force ourselves into situations that we don’t want to be in. That’s why we end up with stress, anxiety, high blood pressure.
Remember those toys with the different shapes that you have to match the right shape to the correct opening? Yeah…people work that way, too. You have to find the right place or your soul will not fit and you’ll be miserable. You really do have to make your own happiness.
It’s supposed to get close to 80 degrees today. I’m taking my boyfriend to the park. He’s new to the area and hasn’t been there before. It’s going to be a pretty day. But really, 80 degrees in February? Enjoy the sunshine when it comes. Enjoy the rain, too.
Make the most of whatever comes your way. Being happy is not dependent on the weather. It is a choice. I realized this a long time ago. Some people are miserable no matter how good things may be in their lives. Job, home, car, family, friends, food, clothes, kids, pets, vacation. They can have all of these things and still not be happy. While there are people who may not have half that and be happy all the time.
Some people seem to enjoy complaining. They enjoy finding the negative in a situation, in other people, finding something to degrade in other people. I’ve found that it means they are usually unhappy about something with themselves. It’s not something they would ever admit, not even to themselves late at night after a lot of drinks. But I can tell when I look at them. It’s written all over them. They wear it like an old coat that smells of moth balls and mildew.
Make a choice to look for the positive in each situation. Choose to make the best decision for yourself regardless to what others think. Choose to be proactive with your own happiness. Finding happiness can be a lot closer than you think. Yes, this is February. Let’s go dance in the sunshine.
It is that time of year when the air is crisp. Everyone hurries to get inside and nobody wants to go out. We all want to get stuff done and go home to try to warm up. We try to plan so we can be exposed to the cold as little as possible.
But the Earth needs that cold. We need it to kill off germs and overpopulated bugs and make the spring a little nicer. We need to go through the rough spots. It’s how we learn to appreciate the better times.
I have recently realized how far I’ve come in my decision-making processes. I don’t enjoy those rough spots but I recognize that sometimes they are necessary to get me to the next bright spot. It’s how I grow as a person. It’s called maturity, emotional and spiritual. And that’s important. I gave up on established religion a long time ago, disillusioned with the whole deal. I prefer to find my own path. And it continues to amaze me. That is why this recent growth spurt has been a good one.
I have made some tough decisions that needed made. Yes, I should have made them sooner but I did make them. Timing is always an issue but I’m getting better at that, too. At least I did make the choice to make the first move this time. I didn’t wait. I didn’t hesitate. I got tired of waiting and did something about it. My happiness is in my hands. I get to say what magic happens. And the new decisions are leading to some promising new magic. I’m looking forward to it. So bring on the winter.
Yes, Christmas is almost here. Traffic is bad. Shoppers are running over people. Kids are out of school. It’s not safe to leave the house. The most wonderful time of year, right?
This year has been rough for a lot of reasons. We have had a turbulent political scene with a hotly contested presidential election as well as many highly contested state elections. There are still several major issues in the news as well. We have also lost many well-known icons of pop culture this year, most recently Zsa Zsa Gabor who passed yesterday. But we still made it this far.
We can still celebrate the simple fact that we made it this far. We have passed the halfway point in the last month of the year! Yay! It’s less than a week until presents and turkey and ham dinners with family. We get to eat too much and watch more parades and football and sappy movies. We can slow down for a few hours and forget about work and deadlines and bills. We can be nice to each other. Maybe it should be Christmas all year long.
It’s that time again. November is upon us. We are a few short days away from the beginning of another NaNoWriMo. Some of us are brimming with ideas and research, plots, characters and dialogue, just waiting for the stroke of midnight on November 1st so we can start writing. And then there are others of us who are still staring out the window trying to decide which idea we want to write about.
I’ve got my idea, and some notes and an outline. I’ve even cleaned my desk and cleaned out my laptop bag for road trips to write-in locations. I need some chocolate and I’m all set. But there’s more to check on before we write. Do you have writing buddies? They help keep you accountable and on target to reach your word count, even if they’re not writing. And plant some reminders in odd spots that you’ll come across throughout the month to remind you why you’re on this crazy journey called NaNoWriMo. Stock up on coffee and chocolate. Charge your laptop battery. Plan your backup copies of your manuscript: email it to yourself and a trusted friend, save it to a zip drive, send it to the cloud, print it out. Keep it in more than one place that you can access it more than one way. Okay, are you ready now? Let’s get ready to write…