January has been a hard month for me to write in. I’ve been frustrated with many of the posts I’ve started. Or, once I’ve read through them, they sound petty or angry, so I haven’t posted much. All in all, my attempts haven’t been very uplifting, meaningful, or soothing. I’ve struggled with writing posts that lay down what I want you to pick up, while we sit together in the stillness I hope I’m creating here on this blog.
During a little Facebook therapy, though, it was suggested that maybe I should just put my frustrations out there. Maybe if others share my struggles, it will help them to know they’re not alone. After all, that’s kind of what my writing is about, isn’t it? It is. I don’t like to ruffle feathers. I like to smooth and encourage. But, let’s be honest, not all real conversations are pleasant. Sometimes when we sit at the kitchen table, it’s to hash out something we don’t all agree on.
So, here goes…
This month is hard for me because I feel like the vast majority of marketing is meant to make us feel like less than we are. We’re meant to believe we need to get back on track, turn flab into fab, and get bikini ready. We’re told we should call to find out how to get thicker, more luxurious hair. Celebrities come out of the wood work to tell us how to lose weight. Pseudo celebrities who have made their names yelling at people to exercise until they puke smile and show off their six-pack abs while telling us that ten minutes a day will transform our lives. People I don’t know feel like it’s okay to suggest ways to fix my hair loss or cleanse or get rid of that tummy.
Seriously. All of those things happened in the last two weeks. Two different people offered two different solutions to my non-existent hair loss problem. Yes, I have thin hair. Yes, I always have. Yes, I’m sure I’m not losing more than normal. And three different people have suggested a cleansing or weight loss strategy. And yes, one even said, with a wink, “I can help you get rid of that tummy!” For the love…it’s my tummy! It’s my thin hair! It’s my not flawless skin! It’s my body! Leave it alone!
It all makes me want to cry. And scream.
I don’t need a NEW ME in the New Year! And while I see the importance in being healthy, I don’t see the health in telling everyone that they’re not okay as they are. It does nothing good for our mental health to hear we could lose 40 pounds in 40 days. I can’t imagine that is even physically healthy. It does nothing good for our spiritual selves to get up half an hour earlier to do the latest burpee or push up or plank challenge. It does nothing good for our emotional health to beat ourselves up for ‘going overboard’ during the holidays and ‘making up for it’ now.
I don’t think it’s healthy at all!
I feel good about celebrating the holidays. I feel good about the last month. I baked cookies with my children. We made gingerbread houses and ate the candies that didn’t make it on the houses. I baked a delicious ham. I saw my chiropractor – once, because by back is healthier than it’s been in a long time. I had sex – not saying how often. We got treats in our stockings and ate them. I climbed over trees with the kids in the woods as we camped in the cold. I drank myself into the New Year. I danced for an hour at my husband’s command holiday party. I got a massage. I bought new yoga pants…and used them in a yoga class – and new sneakers. I just ate a Reece’s at the Y while typing this paragraph. I laughed with friends. I cried with friends. I felt joy and sorrow and love from and for so many. I sent energy to those who needed some and said prayers. I smiled, a lot. I felt confident and good.
I am all of this. And I’m in love with all of that.
I love me.
Isn’t that good enough?