Friday, February 24, 2012

Weight, I’m Coming!

As skinny little girls, my sister and I marveled at the shape of the Antiguan woman.  From a particular angle, she looked like the letter S.  With her blouse or T-shirt tucked into her jeans, she proudly strutted her ample behind and equally ample belly.  We thought that was the funniest thing.  Well, back then we thought everything was funny.  Okay, fine, we still do.

But it wasn’t funny when several months ago I saw that same woman looking at me when I passed my mirror.  Who invited her into my house, much less my bathroom?  Why is she here and how long is she staying?  Who forgot to tell me that I too would someday transform from an I to an S?  

I’m blaming something or someone for this. 

I cannot blame the kids because I was back to my normal size after I had them.  So no, I’m not using the baby fat excuse 12 years later.

I can blame moving to the country seven years ago.  Yeah after the move, I had to drive everywhere, so that caused me to put on some weight.

I can blame losing my job six years ago.  Okay I was downsized/job eliminated, but I still wasn’t working, so whatever.  Yeah because of that I no longer had a set schedule and had plenty of time to watch TV.  I no longer hustled from one floor to the next.  I no longer walked off my lunch by strolling around Manhattan.

I can blame so many things, but the truth is, only one thing caused the weight gain --- IMMOBILITY.

How do I know this?  I worked in 2008 as a Financial Advisor……okay I was a door to door salesperson, but I only found that out later and the hard way.  So in March I had to get new suits to go to Head Office for training because my old suits didn’t fit.  We went to the store, and I had to buy…gulp…gulp…gulp….one size up.  Somebody who shall remain nameless -------------my husband----------- suggested that I buy TWO sizes up, but I was like OHN (oh hell no).  Plus, men don’t understand these things.  The suits were a bit snug, but I was determined to bear the discomfort because I was still in denial.

However by July, after visiting hundreds of homes and businesses, those pants were swinging on me.  Thank God I didn’t listen to him!  But fast-forward a couple of years after I lost that job too.  Okay I was fired.  Hey I got tired of begging strangers for money.  My mother didn’t raise me like that!  But that’s neither here nor there.  The point is: those pants were now busting out.  I probably should have gotten THREE sizes up!

But I refuse to give in, mainly for two reasons: A) I’m too cheap to buy new clothes.  Because they are still in good condition, in my eyes that’s like brand new.  And 2) I just cannot get used to this new body.  I had my old body for about 20 years straight, give or take a couple pregnancies.  It’s like family.  I’m not ready to say goodbye.

And I know you are probably thinking, why is she complaining?  She is still small.  What does she have to worry about?  You are right, but remember, you are seeing me in clothes. 

I’m seeing myself when I step out of the shower.  And let me tell you, it’s like night and day.

My kneecaps used to greet me from any angle.  Now I have to pull my belly in AND lean over just to see them.  (Yeah, I know I’m still lucky that I can see my toes.)
I have muffin tops, yet I don’t bake.

I have bubbles on my sides.  You call them tires?  Yeah they do look like the Michelin man, now that you mention it.

And I have paddings on my shoulders…..yes still just fresh out of the shower.
And am I the only one who has brushed something off my blouse only to find out that it was my belly and it wasn’t going anywhere?

I hope I don’t sound vain or shallow.  Because it’s not really about the weight gain.  Well it is a little.  But I’m also realistic enough to know that I’m going to gain weight as I get older, and as I become less active.  But why can’t I channel where it goes?  Why does it have to go to the butt and the gut?  Why can’t it come in the form of muscles?  Why doesn’t it go to the calves?  After all I would need them to be strong to carry the rest of me around.

The other day I’m scolding my boys and when I stuck my arm out, I caught the younger one’s eyes deflecting from my eyes to my arm flap.  Yes I have those too, so clearly I’m not being petty. 

But, back to reality.  I know I will never have the body of a 22 year old again.  Heck, I’ll never have the body of a 32 year old either.  And I probably could if I worked really hard, but let’s face it.  I have neither the time, energy nor inclination to fight that fight.  

But since I’m perspectively speaking, I will say this.  I am going to embrace all of it and get used to be because in 20 years, I’m going to be begging to look like this.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pick me, pick me..........last!

Coming from a large family, I oftentimes wonder about this.  And let’s be clear: it doesn’t keep me up at nights; it doesn’t consume my every thought; but every now and then, maybe once or twice a year, I wonder which one of us is going first.  You know…..there….to that place….the Great Beyond.

Am I selfish for hoping that it won’t be me?  Because there are a few good reasons why I should go last.

First, I’m the youngest, so I should definitely go last – at least second to last, but I’m still vying for last.

Second, I’ve always heard “the good die young”, and over my lifetime I have tried so hard not to be good, that it would be a damn shame if this strategy backfired.
Lastly, most if not all of my siblings are born-again Christians.  How come I don’t know for sure?  Well, I have six siblings, and it’s not easy following their spiritual journeys, which have had different lengths and breaths.  Look it’s complicated.  Go ask them, okay.

I just know that they try to lead Christian lives, while I try really, really hard – don’t always succeed, but I try really, really hard to live by my God-given conscience.  Say what you may, but that life is hard, and life is full of enough stresses as it is, for me to add trying to be Christ-like to it.

First, I live in the Poconos.  That place is cold.  Granted we’ve been having an unusually warm winter, but there is no guarantee it’ll be like that every year.  Can you imagine me wearing sandals all year round?  Can you say frostbite?

Next, the minimalist that I am, can you see me giving away the little clothes that I have and just living off a few meager items?  And that orange dress I wore to my friends’ weddings in 2005, I’m hoping to fit back into that, so you can count that out. 

Speaking of which, am I the only one who wonders if Jesus had lots of robes?  Whenever I see pictures (or alleged pictures) of him, he is wearing either a wrap/sheet or a couple different robes. 

I did mention how cold the Poconos is, right, but I think I’m digressing here. 
But seriously, I wonder if he puts his robe out on any given day and say, “This is the robe I’m wearing today.”  After all, he has to find one that matches his sandals, but since brown goes with pretty much anything, I think whatever he chose would have been safe.

Yeah, you caught that.  I wore that dress to two separate weddings in three months, but who was going to know?  It wasn’t even in the same country.  Smart, right!

But my point is that my siblings are Christians.  They are ones who want to go to Heaven.  They are the ones who don’t have to worry because they will be going to a better place.  I have nothing personal against Heaven, but I really like living on Earth and hope and pray that I have several more decades here.  It has its problems, for sure, but for most part, it’s a really cool place to live.

And don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to lose any of my siblings.  I hope we all live to ripe, old ages.  Well, I hope that is what they want also.  Personally, I’d like to live to 103 years.  But not just that.  I’d like to look like I’m 83 and feel like I’m 63, or else what is the point?  Then a few months after my birthday, I pass away peacefully in my sleep……right next to my husband who will only be 105.

Because God forbid I have to live without him.  And by then, our children will be in their 70’s and able to cope with my passing.

You noticed I say passing and not death, right.  Passing sounds a whole lot more peaceful, don’t you think?

Anyway before you accuse me of blasphemy and want my heretic head on a platter, just remember that I was created in His image, so He must have these thoughts.

And I’m perspectively speaking.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crack is whack!

Whitney Houston’s tragic end has again made clear to me how powerful love is and how dangerous it can be.  The romantic I am, I strongly believe that love can happen between any two people ……or three; but that’s a different topic.

Okay we do not know the entire story, and the jury is still out as to who influenced whom between her and Bobby Brown; but one thing is certain, no one should allow anyone else to lower his or her standards in a relationship.  Instead the presence of another person should be cause to raise one’s standards.

A relationship is simply a partnership; and in any partnership, there will be a dominant figure.  The trick to success is to ensure that the person with the positive trait, in the specific instance, take the lead.

If you are more cultured than your partner, do not let him decide if you should attend the theatre or a monster truck show.

If you are more fun than your partner, do not let her decide if you should go the amusement park or the museum…..on your day off.

If you are more subtle than your partner, do not let him ask the person who just stole your parking spot at the mall, why.

If you are more money conscious than your partner, do not allow her to go shopping with an open check on payday.  However if you are both thrifty (present please), just skip to the next tip.

If you have more self control than your partner, do not allow him to have that last drink at the club, if he intends to drive home.

If you are more selfish than your partner, he should not allow you to purchase the extended family’s Christmas presents.

If you are more miserable than your partner, she should not allow you to accompany her to her friends’ functions.

If you are cleaner than your partner, do not allow him to be in charge of household chores.

If you are more sensible than your partner, do not allow her to run the household finances.

Now these are definitely not scientific facts, although in this day and age, I would not be surprised if there was an “expert” in the field. 

I am just perspectively speaking.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Perspectively Speaking

Hello and welcome to my blog, “Perspectively Speaking”.

First, I want to thank you for visiting.  And I hope that even when we disagree, you give my words a reading chance.

Next, I want to give a little introduction as to the purpose of my blog.

The older I get, the more my ideologies change.  I realize that I no longer see things as black and white; I no longer answer with a resounding yes or no.  Lately, I notice that it depends on the circumstance, the event and the people involved.  Also, I try not to base responses on my own opinions, but more on what is right, what is just, and how I would feel if it were me.

I will be touching on a plethora of topics and will be giving my current beliefs.  My perspectives, like in the past, may change again, but basically, my intention is to open dialogues about social, political and economic issues.

For instance:

Age & Weight: - First I put these two together because it now appears that they truly go hand in hand.

The much younger, much skinnier me never worried about either.  I could eat anything I wanted, when I wanted, as much as I wanted; and there was no effect.  And aging was so far in the distant future, that I never gave it a second thought.

Now when I talk to or hear about a 60 year old, I say, “Wow, that’s pretty young to ___________”.  Anything you fill the blank with will be perfectly acceptable to me today.

And if someone tells me she is 150 lbs, I now say, “Oh, that's not big at all.”

It’s truly all relative.

Abortion: - Formerly a strong pro-lifer, I thought that was the ultimate sin.  Okay, I was a teenager who thought that all killing was wrong and wondered how anyone could do that to their own baby.  Although I’m still opposed to it as far as my life is concerned, I no longer judge.  I believe the involved parties struggle with this choice.  I believe they think that this is their last resort, if not their only viable option.  Yes, there are some who use it as a form of birth control, but whatever the reason, it’s their bodies, their choice.

Premarital Sex: - I’m not promoting that minor children have sex; and I’m not even a fan of casual sex for consenting adults.  And whereas I don’t regret waiting as long as I did, I sure wish I was spared the guilt.  Yes, it’s serious and involves not just the body, but mind and soul, but if two age appropriate people feel that strongly about each other, why the self-torture? 

Since God created everything, he certainly created libido; and I don’t care how strong someone is, s/he can only fight it for so long.  It’s not like putting money on a table and telling someone not touch it.  Well, unless that someone is a kleptomaniac. But this is biological; this is natural.  Show me someone who can run in the tropical midday sun and not break a sweat, and then and only then will I show you someone who can resist the urge to be intimate with someone for whom they have strong feelings.  

Well, not without going nuts!

Like my almost 8 year old son said to my 14 year old nephew, nearly two years ago, “How do you expect me to wait until I get married?  How am I going to know what to do?”

Now that’s some perspective right there for you.

Homosexuality: - Born and raised in Antigua in the 1970’s and 1980’s, it’s hard not to be homogenous.  But having worked, spoken to or hung out with gay people, I now think, “I wouldn’t want anyone telling me who I can or cannot love.” 

And for me, it’s as simple as that.

Religion: - That sole woman in the village who never attended church services or church functions seemed really weird.  Now I get it.  As one of the biggest, longest running scams ever, I’m surprised that organized religion keeps growing instead of fading.  Whereas I thought people saying that there were too many hypocrites in church to socialize with was just a cop out for not going to church, I now clearly see that so much more is at stake.

Drugs: - First, let me just say that I never have or never will snort or inject drugs.  I’ve never smoked any either, but I no longer consider marijuana to be a drug, dangerous or otherwise.  If it were as bad as illicit drugs, there would be prescriptions for medicinal heroin and medicinal crack.  And apart from the munchies, the side effects cannot be compared to tobacco and alcohol. 

And that’s that (for now).

I still would not smoke a joint (at this age, why bother), but I would no longer scramble for the door of a marijuana smoke-filled room, while vigorously holding my breath.  After all, the smell wasn't so bad, come to think of it.

Wealth: - I always said I would rather marry for love than money.  And I thought people who admitted the opposite were shallow. With this recession and economic downturn, boy has my mind changed.  With people losing their jobs and homes, with people crippled with little or no healthcare during a medical emergency, money sure would have come in handy.

However, as the ultimate romantic, I will compromise and say – marry for love, but surround yourself with people who have money.

Politics: - When I lived in Antigua, I would never have considered voting for the Antigua Labor Party (ALP).  Since I started voting in the United States, I have always voted Democrat.  Now that I consider myself an Independent, I wonder if I could ever, anytime in the future vote Republican or for ALP.

I say a resounding, “Hell no!”