an·ti/ˈanˌtī/ / Opposed to; against. A person opposed to a particular policy, activity, or idea.
Ad on Facebook sidebar: “Woman is 53 But Looks 27!” Uh huh.
Advertisers suggest how we must go out and conquer the Age Beasties because we are worth it! We are beautiful—but only after we use their products! We can live forever looking as if we haven’t lived at all!
Well, in some ways they have a point. And in some ways they are full of shit.
We all are going to age until we die. You can practice every bit of “anti-aging” in your arsenal but you still are going to age your ass off—if you are lucky. Some people aren’t lucky enough to age their ass off. Some people wish they could age their ass off. Some people’s family wishes their loved one could have aged their ass off.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good at any age, or for your age—the problem is when you continually and detrimentally grieve for your twenties and thirties or whatever your magic number is where you thought you looked and felt your best, or felt you were at the top of your game and now you feel you are at the bottom of the barrel.
Some scientists want to classify aging as a disease—one that can be treated, slowed down, and send people into their older years healthier and more vibrant. That we shouldn’t just accept aging as something that continues to devastatingly take away our minds, bodies, and attitudes. When it comes to aging and how our minds, brains, and bodies feel and look, genetics play some part but our lifestyles play a bigger part. Scientists are studying how some people they call Super Agers stay so much more healthier and active until they are 100 or more. Super Agers aside (and maybe I’ll be one!), we are living longer due to medicine, yes, but also due to piles and piles of ready information to educate us on how to live a healthier life.
If you are feeling decrepit already then do something about it. Consider how you can Kick Ass and be AWESOME where you are in your life Right Now. And you can do it without surgery and injections. Now, if you want to have surgery and injections, then you go for it! First, google “plastic surgery gone wrong” and after that, then, um, you go for it!
In the Superman franchise, Kryptonite is the one thing that makes Superman weak. While that glowing green rock is made up, scientist have found a Kryptonite and believe the conditions could be that it could form on other planets that have the extreme pressure to create it—not the glowing green rock kind, but a Kryptonite all the same. To read more, click HERE.
Also, The Daily Mail: “An influential astrophysicist claimed to have found Superman’s home planet Krypton after being hired by DC Comics to find its location. The fictional planet Krypton would have orbited a red dwarf star called LHS 2520, says Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium in New York City. The star is 27.1 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation Corvus, also known as ‘The Crow’, says Dr. Tyson. The star is cooler and smaller than our sun. Read more CLICK HERE.
We all have our Kryptonite—in life, in people, and for the purposes of this post today: in our food choices. And my Kryptonite left me feeling weak and unhealthy–more on how I “experimented” with my body’s health, in a minute.
In today’s post about dating and relationships, I want to talk to you about your health. What’s that have to do with dating and relationships, Kat? Well! A lot! If you are not healthy and strong, everything is more difficult—and that includes dating. This isn’t about “looks,” though if you are concerned about that, then make it about that if you like. This is about respect. Respect for our bodies and minds, and dating or finding a relationship with someone who respects their body and mind. Food and movement are two relatively easy ways to do that—I write “relatively easy” because food choices are often jam-packed with other “issues” that have nothing to do with food, but that’s thoughts that will make this post even longer than it is!
Your weight on other planets–just for fun–I usually include our weight on other planets as part of my planet posts, and that’s where I find that information.
In my travels about the galaxy, okay, only on Earth, I notice this little phenomenon: When some humans are single they go on “diets,” and work out, etc, in order to feel “attractive” to the potential partners. Suddenly, it’s important to them to look their best, feel their best, act their best, be their best. Then, when they enter into a relationship, they drop it all and go back to unhealthy lifestyles. What.Is.Up.With.That.Y’all?
Don’t you respect yourself and your body in relation to You, and not in relation to whether you are with someone? Don’t you want to feel strong and independent and capable and healthy both in and out of a relationship? Don’t you love You first? If you don’t love and respect You, then will you attract those who love and respect themselves?—because that combination is a healthy one: you respect/love You and they respect/love Themselves, and together is a powerhouse of mutual love and respect. Entering the dating world, arm yourself with healthy-choices armor and you can decide to expect good health from your dating partner(s). I am not talking about judging here. I’m absolutely not talking about body shaming: Stop That People who are doing that! And for gawd’s sake I’m not talking about “changing someone.” I never want to change someone; why would I want to? You shouldn’t either.
My healthy lifestyle has been a part of me for many many years—in relationships and out of them. It is a huge important part of who I am. I like feeling healthy and strong. It’s not just about your looks and weight, folks. It’s about strength and power. It’s about a clear mind. It’s about good sex—yes! How do you expect to have really great sex if you aren’t healthy?
If you are huffing and puffing before you get to the good part? Or what if you cannot achieve the good part because you are unhealthy? Hmmm? If that’s “not important to you” then why the hell not?
No matter what our physical bodies look like, or how we perceive them to look like, if you are strong and healthy you will be beautiful or handsome. And I am not talking about “skinny” or “thin,” I am talking about Strong. You will feel powerful, empowered. You will stride about the Earth, or any planet at all, with confidence and grace and power and good health.
Take a look at the photos I am scattering here and there. Are any of these things in your pantry or refrigerator—and I don’t mean with mold on them—are they? No? Why not? Fresh fruits and vegetables, plenty of water, nuts and seeds, homemade sauces instead of always purchasing them (you control what goes in your sauce), (not shown-)brown rice. I don’t eat a lot of meat, but when I do it’s usually poultry or some kind of seafood, and other days I find other protein sources.
Being the Lonely Woman, it’s difficult to cook because it’s only me. And if I prepare something
delicious, there’s no one to share it with. As well, except for rare occasions, I don’t particularly enjoy cooking. But I refuse to go schlepping to some fast food place—ugh! Or fill my pantry/fridge with a lot of processed foods—but I did fall into this trap, as you’ll read below.
Do you work out? At all? You don’t have to be a member of a gym. I converted a small part of my garage in the lil log spaceship to a workout room. There’s a mini trampoline, some weights, a bench, a boxing bag, yoga mats, etc. Doesn’t take up much space, and right there in your own home! Walking and jogging/running is free. I have exercise bands and tubes. There is yoga/pilates, but be sure to have good instruction so you don’t injure yourself. (And, see your doctor before starting a new exercise program). Get off your ass and move, y’all. That’s my old personal trainer voice—but seriously, folks—this is important. Especially the older we become. When you are in shape, you walk across a room and feel your muscles move—there isn’t that jiggly feeling of unused muscles. Feel your power. Feel sexy and alive. It’s not just about looking good in your jeans, but in how it changes other areas of your life. I’m not just referring to women here–all my posts are for both genders!
This year, I did an experiment of sorts. I thought, “Maybe I’m blowing smoke up my own ass. Maybe all this working out and eating right is bullshit.” I became one of those hungry black holes snarfing
up foods I’d before only eaten occasionally. Potato chips—hand em over! Ice cream: oh, those Magnums are delish! French fries—give me more! Candy—mmmmm! Lots and lots of CHEESE! Ohhhhh, cheese! Alcohol most every day—which is full of sugars.
Sugar is my Kryptonite, y’all. We all, as I wrote above, have a food Kryptonite: sugar, white processed carbs, nothing but meat in our diet with no fruits or veggies, fast food, fried foods—find out what your Kryptonite is and resolve to control that craving.
During my “experiment” I thought, “So, this is what it’s like to eat and drink whatever you want and how much ever you want! Well Dang! Maybe this isn’t so bad after all.”
Ha. Yeah. Then the problems began.
At first I didn’t notice anything. I needed to gain back a little weight I’d lost (when you ‘starve’ yourself, your body will cannibalize itself, including beautiful muscle. You may be “thinner” but you aren’t healthy). After several months of this, the weight came on fast. But this was not healthy muscular weight and instead was bloaty sluggish weight. And, worse, I noticed other things, bad things, happening to me. I’ll list a few here and see if you are experiencing any:
Daily headaches, painful stomachaches, aches in my body that I didn’t have before and I injured easier; my hair lost its luster and there was a lot more hair strands in my comb (eeek!). My pants became tighter around my waistline in an unfamiliar uncomfortable way. I began to have sudden woozy feelings and a foggy head.
I gave up my running—something I really loved, because I “just didn’t feel like it,” and my weight training declined because “Whatever. I’m busy.” I wasn’t boxing the bag—because “I just wasn’t in to it.” I still walked, a lot, and had my healthy foods still here in the lil log spaceship, and that saved me from completely ruining my health.
Enough was enough. I wanted my Self back.
The only way to completely move away from your Kryptonite is to shove it out of your house until the cravings pass. Once you feel better and in control, you want to allow a treat every so often.
I quit purchasing the sugary treats. I cut out the alcohol in the lil log spaceship—I will only drink in a social situation and keep it to 2 drinks. I stocked my fridge and pantry with my fruit and veggies and brown rice and other healthy foods. And I’m not referring to “Diet Food.” I have my peanut butter (I use the “Natural” brand-no added sugar), and jam (I choose the less added sugar brand), and I drizzle honey on my fruit. Until I get over the Kryptonite sugar craving, the treats have to stay Out.
As I began to feel better, my other good habits returned. I’m running again, boxing the bag again, weight training. My headaches—gone. My stomachaches—gone. My hair is responding too, because I haven’t been seeing the strands in my comb like before. My clothes are fitting better again. My muscles are toned and strong. My mind is clearer and I stopped having those woozy off-balance feelings.
Ah. I’m back! I literally looked in the mirror and thought, “There I am.”
So you tell me, my lovely friends: which lifestyle do you think I prefer? Which lifestyle do you want to live?
Are you having any health issues, even if they seem “minor” that plague you? Perhaps it is time to change the way you think about food and your body and your muscles and your well-being.
I promise you this: when you begin dating again, or even if you are now, or are in a relationship, everything will feel better—you will feel stronger and empowered, the sex will be better, your energy and outlook on life better. You’ll feel sexier and more alive. You’ll show that you respect yourself, because you do! Aren’t you worth it? I say do this no matter whether or not you want to date or find a relationship—do it For You!
First stop: open your refrigerator and pantry and consider its contents. Second stop: do not go on a diet! Please do not. Look at that dog food photo—yeah, I know, but that’s such a great example, ha!—one side is the regular dog food and the other side is a “healthy weight” diet dog food. Notice how the regular is brighter colored and plumper looking, more appetizing, than the dried up diet stuff? Yeah, it’s like that. You can still have treats, and alcohol, and even your Kryptonite—make sure you know your Kryptonite and then don’t keep it in the house, or purchase just enough for one serving.
Third stop: Move. Move. Move! Get off your ass and MOVE!
No excuses—yes, being lonely sometimes sucks. Yes, cooking for one can be boring. Yes, eating alone can feel, well, lonelier. But we can decide that we’re going to enjoy life and good food and even the preparation of it because We Are Worthy.
Are you ready? Hop in your lil spaceship and head to Earth Supermarket or Farmer’s Market and fill your basket with good healthy alternatives to Crap. And what did I say to do? Yes MOVE!
Try it, and then tell me how it is working out for you. I want to know.
Still time to comment/like here or on Facebook for the “Kat’s Choice” drawing, which I will only be doing a drawing about once every now and then. This blog isn’t about finding people to “like” me or comment. It’s about me having fun and doing what I love: writing about things I enjoy.
And my novel The Lightning Charmer is on sale August 16 – 31, for $1.99, e-books only! It’s for all e-books, not just Amazon, though the link above takes you to Amazon. There’s actually some delicious, or disastrous, dating in there, too.
A haunted man shadows the Smoky Mountain forest. A lonely woman returns to what she left behind. A legacy unfulfilled calls out to them both. .
The sky darkens, the lightning seeks . . .
The Lightning Charmer is full of whimsy, enchantment, ancient secrets, and dark earthy seduction. Magendie taps into those primal secret places we all harbor, with a powerful story of learning where one fits in a world that may not fit us. Braided with color, humor, and loyalty to family, this is storytelling at its best! Sharla Lovelace, Bestselling and Award Winning author of THE REASON IS YOU
If you like Southern/Appalachian/Family Saga fiction (sometimes with a supernatural touch), then I hope you will consider one of my novels (or short story “snacks”) by clicking on this link to my Amazon Page. I appreciate your support!
I’m not an expert on nutrition and certainly not as educated as a nurse or doctor or nutritionist–but I do know my body, and I do my research, and I Pay Attention to people, and my former clients’ experiences. Personal Trainers run the gamut of education and training but often we know our “business” through personal experience and research along with whatever educational training we experience. See your doctor; talk to a nutritionist; do your research. However, there are some things you can do easily on your own, and can reap the healthy benefits.
Get off your butt throughout the day. Studies show that even if we exercise regularly, we aren’t realizing the full benefit to our health if we sit most of the rest of the time. Yes, exercising regularly is good for us, but so is moving our bodies throughout the day. Find ways to remind yourself to rise to your full height, stretch, walk about. Your body will love you for it. And, if need be, so will your waistline.
Eat an apple every day. For a healthier heart, for whiter teeth (though don’t expect miracles—but chewing crunchy apples does help produce saliva that will “wash away” bacteria). As well, the fiber binds to cholesterol and out it goes from your body—no, not all of it; you must eat well and be mindful of your family history. Apples are filling and can help satisfy a sweet tooth—often, I will cut up an apple and put it on my plate first, then put something sweet that I’ve been craving; I’ll eat less of the sweet part when I have that entire apple on my plate. There are more benefits to eating apples, so rush to the store and purchase some. Honeycrisp are my favorites.
Get more sleep. I can hear some of you laughing: you call this easy, Kat? Maybe, maybe not. But aside from the nights where our minds won’t shut up, there are the nights when we do the “just one more thing” thing. Or we stay on our phones/tablets instead of leaving our bedrooms dark and cool and comforting. Sometimes it is our own fault we aren’t sleeping well! Research over the years said we should have 7-8 hours, but actually, new research shows that at different ages we require different amounts of sleep—it could be even that different people at the same age require different levels of sleep. Perhaps 6-9 hours is a nice range for this or that person, right? Tune into your body–it’ll tell you. People underestimate how important sleep is to our health and well-being. While we sleep, our brains work out the stresses and activities of the day; otherwise, we’re just tossing around with circuitous thinking, right? As well, sleep helps with weight loss: there’s a hormone called leptin that helps to make you feel “full;” leptin levels will decline without enough sleep. Better memory, better sex, clearer thinking, better mood—it’s worth it to figure out a way for a good night’s sleep.
Eat less refined/added sugar (and less processed foods!). When you purchase a “pre-packaged” product, look at the ingredients list. Often you may be surprised at how much sugar is in that product. The listed ingredient order tells you a story: ingredients are listed from most to least. Try to find foods that have fewer ingredients, and where sugar isn’t listed as 2nd or 3rd on the list–better yet, find those that do not have added sugar. If you must purchase processed foods, do your research—pay attention! Find out just what is in that food and in what amounts. Sugar is a sneaky ingredient—it’s in the savory as well as in the sweet. If you purchase something that has fruit in it, the sugar content may be higher, but how much of that is “refined/added” sugar and how much is “fruit sugar.” Some may say, “all the same” but I do not. If I buy trail mix with raisins in it, the raisins are the “sugar” part that will satisfy my sweet tooth in a healthier way, but if I buy trail mix with raisins and M&Ms in it, there’s that refined/added “bad sugar” that will make me feel a tiny burst of energy and then quickly sap me of it. Best thing: the less processed white-four sugar-filled foods you eat, the better you will feel, the more energy you will have, the less weight gain you will experience, etc. etc. etc.!
Find something or someone that/who gives you joy. We spend too much of our lives chasing after some dream, working hard to achieve that dream, running full speed ahead to whatever lies ahead of us. I will tell you that when you reach a certain age, you often look back and think, “Well, dang—where’d that time go? And why did I wait so long for such and so?” While I understand we often must work jobs, raise families, and do the “shoulds” of our lives, it is important to take time out for those things that are OURS only—the thing/things that often make you feel guilty or selfish: well, you are not selfish! If you are unhappy and stressed, then it not only effects/affects you, but your loved ones. Take a moment to breathe and figure out what makes you and only you happy/contented and then go for it. And if it is a person or place who/that makes you happy–then what are you waiting for? Time isn’t banked like money, y’all.
Now, go do this day right, eat an apple, move, stretch, and get a good night’s sleep tonight. So let it be written; so let it be done.
I’m exhausted! A few hours of non-continuous-multi-interrupted sleep, and an anxious but excited brain (more on what’s causing that later). Today I’m supposed to haul myself to the gym, in the rain, with my tired but anxious excited brain, and do an aerobics then weight training workout for at least an hour and a half. Do I really want to? (ZOMG! I just stared at my keyboard for waaaaay longer than cool trying to find the italics maker—um, Kat, the italics maker is at the top of your screen, where it’s been for the upteen years you’ve been writing on word, and to infinity and beyond. Lawd. And I thought this was Wednesday. And I keep losing my train of thought. And a bird keeps chirping and I both love it and want to throw a rock at it. And my brain has cotton-clouds floating in a sea of mush. One coffee down and it ain’t touching the WAKE UP AND BE ALERT button yet.)
Well, since I’m one of those weirdlings who loves to exercise, perhaps I really do want to—this is the answer to the question above. Yeah. My thoughts are organized, y’all! Haw! But really all I want to do right now is climb back in bed and sleep a few hours and worry about the gym another time. After all, I’m in good shape, right? My body is strong. My heart and lungs are fit. Welp, y’all: how did I achieve that? Not by climbing back in bed and going back to sleep knowing the workout will not be done, since there’re other things I must accomplish today, as well. This reminded me of a post I’d written a few years ago when I was re-shaping my workouts, and my body–it was supposed to be a post for Wednesday, but who cares? Tuesday, Wednesday–meh. Laugh. I know I’ve reposted or rewritten many a post lately, but my world is soon changing again–and in that change comes the flood of words, the vomit of words, the torrent, the Mt. Vesuvius of bellows of writing of words to ensue, because . . . because . . . I can’t even breathe it out right now. Later.
So, my beauties, that day, I was completely exhausted and didn’t wanna workout—thusly, with a few tweaks, y’all—
—during my run/treadmill aerobics, I wanted to stop multiple times. I didn’t want to challenge myself. I wanted Easy. To go along at this slow steady pace, or better yet, walk, or better yet, jump off and go do something else. I became so frustrated with myself, that I yelled in my head like a red-faced coach, “HOW BAD DO YOU WANT THIS? HUH? HOW BAD DO YOU WANT THIS?” And all of a sudden, I knew I wanted it BAD! I bumped up the speed and tore off on the treadmill.
During one particular song, I pushed off on my leg and hovered in the air before slamming down, and did it again and again. As I hovered there, it felt as if I were suspended about a foot in the air, when in reality, I probably only came up a few inches—but the Perception was I felt myself higher. Does it really matter if I only came up a few inches? Or is the Perception of what I felt I accomplished a just-as-important reality? I like to think the latter, for it inspired me to take it further and farther, to run stronger, to push myself past the point of what I thought was my limit.
HOW BAD DO YOU WANT THIS?
Take what I said above and apply it to your writing life, or your musical life, or your artistic life, or your work life, your home life, your Life. How bad do we want what we think we want the most? How hard are we willing to work for it? How often are we willing to feel uncomfortable? How often are we able to face a disappointment and still go on? And how much are we willing to push ourselves past the point where we think we must stop? And when we push off, hover in the air, feeling powerful and strong, do we let that wonderful Perception spur us on to do more and better and stronger? Or do we say, “Eh, I was really only inches off the ground. No big deal. Other people can jump higher. Eh.”
How bad do you want this?
Bad enough to sweat and push and sprint and, as well, sometimes to feel pain and set-backs and exhaustion but pick yourself up and do it again. And again. And again.
I’ll tell you what giving up or giving in gives you: Not a danged thing but regret. And the flipside of that is this: you can work your ass off and still not reach all of your goals, but I can guarantee you’ll have accomplished more than you ever dreamed you could if you do not give in to negativity and fear and doubt. You’ll have jumped up, hovered higher than you ever thought you could soar, grow stronger, faster, more determined. Note the accomplishments and savor them, for even the smallest goal reached is A Goal Reached. Why do we disregard even the smallest of goals? They weren’t so small when we were arching towards them, were they?
Once I step onto my yoga matt, I leave everything else behind but the moment. There are no racing thoughts, no worries about what I have to do next, for I must concentrate on breath, on maintaining internal silence, Antar mouna. I am careful not to overextend, such as in forward and backwards bends, or to take my body too far into the pose in those areas where I am not as flexible; I must respect my body’s abilities and its limitations. My eyes look inward as I concentrate on a spot or object, Bahiranga tratakanot. I stand in Mountain Pose, Tadasana—feet together, hands at my sides. I bring my hands to prayer position, then raise my arms up to the sky, feeling a gentle stretch, my balance, my focus, and from there, I fold and move into the sun salutation, Surya-namaskar.
If my back is bad and legs are in Extra Pain Mode, I will let yoga take me only to where I feel safe, as in a gentle cat and dog stretch, or perhaps hold downward facing dog, Adho Mukha Svanasana, a bit longer. It is just me and my matt and my heart; there is no one to tell me how much or how little I must do. I like that. I feel the freedom of making the yoga my own. Perhaps that is what is intended, but if not, I can only ask forgiveness for my ignorance.
No matter which yoga poses I do, I always include child’s pose at the end. It is hard to feel anything but peace and serenity when folded into a facing-down fetal position. My face is hidden from the world, my body tucked tight, yet my spine is vulnerable to the sky and anyone who may come near me. It is at once both a trusting pose, while a very private and protective one. I breathe in and out, slowly and evenly. I stay that way until I can face the world again. Then I curl up and sit into half-lotus pose, ardha padma-asana, bring my hands to prayer position, then lower my head, close my eyes, and sometimes, if I’m feeling extra meditative, which is very difficult for jittery jittery me who is rarely rarely still and rarely rarely meditative, I may whisper, Namaste, which is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another, or when alone, my own acknowledgement of my heart. How can I feel anything but contentment, peace, and gratitude when in this beautiful pose? I cannot.
I used to tell my clients I trained to “listen to their bodies” to let them know how much they could do or when to pull back so there wasn’t over-use or injury. And that is mostly true, all y’allses beauties out there. However, I also recognize how this isn’t always the case. Sometimes our bodies/minds want to fool us, because what we are doing may be Haaaaaaard, and why oh why would our brains want to do the Hard Thing when it can at times easily convince us to do the Easy Thing? Even if the Easy Thing isn’t as good for us. Sometimes we must re-wire our thought processes.
Folks, there are times we must push through when our bodies/minds tell us it wants to slow down or stop—not to the point of exhaustion or dangerous over-working, but to the point of Kicking Our Asses and doing the Hard Thing—and not “once in a while” but “several times a week.” (Though, you must always consult a doctor before beginning a workout program!)
Some days I just ain’t feelin’ it, you know? Well, Kat, suck it up. Sit your arse down in the chair, fingers to keys, and write. Timed writing isn’t going to do it for me. If I watch the clock, then just as with my aerobics workout, I’ll be ever aware of that clock ticking: 15 minutes of writing? Okay – tic toc tic toc tic toc. *Yawn!* The work also isn’t going to be done by my whining about how haaarrrrd it is to be a wrriiiiiitteer.
Stop whining! It’s time to re-wire our “minds/bodies” from telling us we caaaaann’t to that of I can do this!–we have to, at the least, give it a try, right? Books aren’t written by rolling our eyes and sighing. Royalties aren’t paid to writers who aren’t producing books. The work is done by doing the work.
I used to crave junk and loads of chocolate. (Honestly, I still do crave it. And, I’m a Sweet-a-holic.) There were days I wanted to sit on my ass and do nothing but eat chocolate and feel depressed and not do a danged ole thing. Some days are sucky and I could fall into that trap again if I weren’t careful. But if I were to sit on my ass and gobble down an entire box of chocolates, feeling sorry for myself and the state of Everything, well, dangity it all to dangtown, but I’d feel even worse. My body would be bloated and sick from Chocolate-Junk-Sitting on my Arse Overload. Sluggish, tired, cranky, like in this pic from a few years ago–I was being silly, but there was truth behind this photo .
The more I work out, the healthier I eat, the better I feel, and the more I want to do those things to continue to feel better. Then when I do treat myself, it tastes/feels even better than it ever did before.
Sometimes I want to sit on my ass and do nothing but feel depressed and not write a danged ole thing and eat junk and drink vodka. Some days are sucky. Well, guess what? If thousands of us sat our asses on the couch and did nothing because life is haaarrrrdd, who’d write the books?; who’d deliver the mail?; who’d bake the bread?; who’d teach the kids?
This book/writing business isn’t always easy, but ask yourself: Is this what I really want to do? Am I ready to be in this for the long-haul? Am I ready to sacrifice? Can I handle rejection? Scrutiny both good and bad and in between? If not, then what do you want to do? Reorganize your thought-processes.
Sometimes being a published author (or an unpublished one) is the easiest best job in the entire danged ole world, and other times it sucks like a big fat suckity suck black-hole sucker—but I love it more than my right arm. Get back to work. Whatever that “work” is for you–if writing novels isn’t truly what you love but you’ve been slogging through it, then maybe there is something else in this business you will enjoy more? Or maybe you’ll discover a direction/road you never considered.
At the end of a grueling work-out, find time to stretch those muscles, and then just as important as the work-out and the stretch, comes the quiet moment of reflection. Time and distance and wants and needs lift away as we respect our bodies, minds, hearts. The old saying “you only have one body, one life” is true (reincarnation doesn’t count – because you’ll be someone/something else, right? so no excuses!). We have this one chance to make the best of our lives. To honor our bodies. To give ourselves the gift of good health and well-being. What will you do with yours?
When the writing day is done, find a moment to reflect on this writing life. Calm the voices, the rejections, the expectations, the harried hurry and the long-ass frustrating waits, and remember just why you love this writing life so much. Recall the raw beginnings of it, when it was just you and a white space of whatever in the world you wanted to say to anyone who would listen, even if it was only your own ears. Find that joy in quiet reflection. Time is going to pass anyway. A year will pass, and a year from now, where will you be? Will you have written a year’s worth of words? Or will you have angsted yourself to a wordless mass of messy nothing-on-the-page-ness. Time will pass no matter what we are doing with it; make the best of it by stretching your writing muscles.
Night comes. Time to rest the body. Rest is as important as movement. A good night’s sleep prepares you for the next day’s challenge. Your body/mind deserves and needs this rest. Requires it. Be grateful for the body you have instead of fighting against it. Why would you dislike your beautiful self? Our bodies are a work of art; a gorgeous scientific biological wonder!
When laying your head upon your pillow, remember to give gratitude for what you have accomplished. This business is so much about looking ahead to what we “should” accomplish, or what may come, or what we hope will come, that we must remember what we did achieve. Hold on to it, let it come with us into our dreams. “You Did This! Good for You!” Sleep. Dream. Going to sleep with a heart of gratitude will ready you for the next day’s challenge.
(post taken from a previous post. soon I’ll be writing original posts again, but this is a start to getting back to blogging regularly!)
When Angie’s nekkid husband comes in (but we didn’t get to see him – lawd!) and Ann says she flaps around her house like a bird – well dang — and I receive texts that Ann interprets as inappropriate (because they usually are – teehee). But we do manage to stay on topic, a little anyway.
And yes, I have neglected my blog and for that I offer up only discombobulated grunts. One day my life will fall back into place, but won’t that be boring? haw! My life, right now, is all about exploration and discovery and wild rides and meeting new people and seeing new (and old) places and experiencing things I’ve never experienced because I’ve been afraid or busy or made excuses or was hiding — now, well, WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE HAAWWWWWWWWWWW! watch out, Kat (or watch out, World – maybe I should say!). All many of these experiences will go into my new novel. Yeah. WHUPOW!
Don’t drink too much. Okay, allow yourself that one night where you slug down some vodka and dance around the living room to techno trance (for the first 30 minutes) before feeling sorry for yourself and throwing a mug against a tree and railing against your fates and . . . and then just don’t . . . don’t allow yourself to drink yourself into a stupor where you curl into a ball in a chair and sob and fall asleep and wake up with your mouth dry and your pea-headed brain full of cotton and then unsteadily climb into your bed where you wake the next day feeling like crap on a stick that’s been beaten against a tree. Don’t. Find another way to cope. For that alcohol habit is not one you want to find yourself embedded in. No scenario has you drinking too much and then going, “Sure am glad I did that! I feel great now! All my problems are SOLVED!” Yeah . . . no. And especially do not drink and text . . . .
Don’t text whiny self-indulgent messages to anyone but your most trusted BFF (or post Facebook updates). No one wants to read that shit. No one wants to see your dark depressed underbelly. Believe me dangity do, that if you DO text/message/FB update with your whiny ramblings, you will forever regret it. Yes you will. YES YOU WILL! Do whatever is necessary not to bare your darkened squishy brain ramblings to anyone other than that trusted bestie. Later, when you are back to your strong kickass self, you will rather that you had not let people see a side of you that you’d have rather not—you will forever wonder if they now see you differently and not in a completely positive self-respecting I know my worth way. Remember, once again: NO ONE wants to read that shit—not even your BFF, but the contract of BFF’dom says they have to, so they have to suck it up. Only them, and you’d do the same for your BFF.
Don’t further isolate yourself by further isolating yourself. Give yourself a little time–a week? two? three? four? oh oh-five? six? oops . . . seven? erk . . . to push all the nasties out of your system, and then it’s time to stop wallowing. Get out with friends. Go for a drive. Invite someone(s) over. Workout. Smile at people. Talk to people. Be aware of your surroundings and remember where you once found joy. Remember that things are not all BAD, just different, and if there is some BAD, then remember it will not last forever unless you give the bad POWER—don’t give away your power. Find excitement in that different—isn’t this what you wanted? *Did you think this would be easy?*
However, pertaining to Number 3, don’t spend time with people you don’t give a rat’s big ole ass about or who don’t give a rat’s big old heiny about you, just so you won’t feel alone. Self-Worth! Say it to yourself, in your head and then aloud: I know my worth! I am worthy! Look about your psyche-house until you find your self-worth and self-respect – are they under the bed, all dusty and rusty? Pull them out, dust them off, and let them back onto your life. Say it with me: I am worthy; I know my worth. You do not NEED people or company or that “friend” or that man or that woman or that crowd—be with the ones who give you joy, or are fun to be with/around, or you complement each other’s psyches or whatever. “I am worthy; I know my worth.”
Beating yourself up? Don’t. Stop it. Yes, even if you’ve done the above. Give yourself a big fat break for being human. Beating yourself up will only make things worse. Even if you are the one who made the decision to dive into dark terrifying unknowns, who cut ties, who said, “I do not want this anymore,” why are you punishing yourself? Why are you saying, “Oh well, this is what I get. This is what I deserve for shaking things up.” Nope. Not reality. Be your own BFF for a while. Use this quiet solitude time to discover just what kinds of guts you have. Recognize how you are doing exactly what you wanted and needed and considered for quite some time—and did you really think it was going to be easy? Hell no! Not much worth doing and having and obtaining ever comes “Easy.” Be kind to yourself. Love yourself. Give yourself some credit for Going For It, whatever that is, despite the initial feelings of grief and terror and stark-raving-madness.
Do find gratitude—every day. Every morning take a deep breath and consider just what you are grateful for. And throughout the day, remind yourself what you are grateful for! Don’t forget to let out that breath. Ha.
Do get out and breathe in some fresh air; and definitely get some exercise. Your body and your brain will love you for it, and you will feel GREAT. I promise you this. If you have never exercised, then take a simple walk, and then another, and then another, and one after that, and another after that, and feel your body grow strong and your brain feel centered.
Do live in the NOW, not some future. Remind yourself throughout the day to calm the voices in your head, stop for a moment, and BE IN THE NOW. What scents are surrounding you? How does your skin feel when you touch it? How do your lungs feel as you fill them with air? Your feet as they connect to the ground? Find the NOW, the present, this very moment in time, and savor it. The future will come soon enough and it’s rarely exactly how you envisioned it.
Do reach out to your BFF(s) and your family. You can allow yourself a few whiny self-indulgent messages to the BFF (and maybe, MAYBE a trusted close family member), but after that, work with your besties and/or family on solutions to how you can transition from Old Life to New Life. There will have to be some grieving of the old life, even if you were ready to move on. So . . . .
Do allow yourself to grieve. If you don’t, then you are only denying what was once an important part of your life, no matter whether it wasn’t all healthy or perfect or wonderful or enlightened, it was still YOUR LIFE. Grieve the old as you step into the new.
The farthest thing from a young woman’s mind is that time far off into the future when she will be considered “Middle Aged And Menopausal.” Who has time to think about that when your toddler is crying and your eight-year-old just threw up all the pizza, cake, and, I’m not kidding—sushi (sushi?)—he had at a birthday party where the parents spent more to please Bobby or Suzy than what you spend on two-weeks of groceries? Or your boss has asked you to work late and on the weekend—again. Or you’ve over-extended your obligations to (fill in obligation blank here)—again.
Listen: how you treat yourself and how you ask to be treated by those around you will forever affect the person you will become. Who are you?—I mean, the real you, the Woman You, the one you must face in the mirror from now until, well, until you can no longer look into a mirror, or perhaps not care to (look anyway, for you are beautiful!)? For one day in your future you will gaze at yourself (even if through others eyes) and see the woman you have become from the experiences you have now. As your big sister, I want to tell you to care for yourself. To think in terms of gratitude, and health, and well-being—one decision at a time—in what you eat, drink, behave, grow, and how you perceive the world and react to it (or how you expect it to react to you).
Consider the benefits you will receive right away, yes, but also think about two years from now, five, ten, twenty—your body and mind will become healthier and stronger so that you will have more energy for your busy life, and further, when you reach My Age, you will have fared better with such a healthy physical and mental base. You will be well-prepared for the Next Stage, even if that next stage is “simply” to be as good a grandmother as you are a mother. Your future you will thank you. Trust your big sister—she knows.
Finally, when is the last time you patted yourself on the back for a life well-done? Have you been perfect? I bet not. Has every day been a gloriously sunshine-filled day of joy and happiness? Probably not. Have you lost your temper, been in a foul mood, screamed at your kids/husband/co-worker/the person in line at the grocery who has fifteen items instead of ten in the ten-item line? Maybe. But if you did not do these things on occasion, I’d wonder what you were trying to prove. We’re all human, and we all need to give ourselves a little break now and then to consider just how hard it is to Be Humanly Human. You have permission to love yourself, to have gratitude for your days, to love yourself enough to care what happens to you now and then later and for the rest of your life.
*note: My friends – The Lightning Charmer $1.99 sale has been extended for a couple more days on Amazon Kindle. It’s been steadily moving up the charts – all because of all of you! Thank you! I am grateful for every single sale. Y’all are awesome! And if you haven’t yet checked out Lightning Charmer, I hope you will.*