That’ll Do Pig

Picture – me as I was some years ago. I was a chubby lady jogging and hugging through my neighborhood in old running shoes and shorts, a disposable water bottle. I can’t say my pace was worthy of applause. My GPS phone app clocked me at 5 K in 57 minutes. And that’s estimating that my last 30 minutes will be the same as my first, which was not happening. More likely, I’d lean on a tree and watch a few birds fight with the squirrels. By the time I got another mile and a half (about 2.4 K) of running in, I was sweating like it was August in Texas. My calves were burning, and my knees hurt. Not a picture of athletic prowess.

-Gotta love sweat humor.

We feel silly when we start. The first step out the door in a strange outfit. But time passes. We practice, we learn. Hopefully, we develop good habits. It’s why we need good training early. I muscled up enough to run a few miles. My calves couldn’t fit into most of the dress boots in the stores. That was fine. I was proud of my legs. I could run up the hills in my neighborhood, and if you saw, you’d understand my satisfaction. Yeah, I felt good.

Aside: Running vs. Jogging.

The two are technically the same. Jogging doesn’t become running at a certain pace. Jogging is just an uncool word for some people.

– Me

Why debate the words? Run or jog. Possibly it started in the marathon running group. You don’t jog a marathon. When I looked up the terms in all the online running blogs I could find, no one was sure of the difference between the two. Jogging implies that you are trotting through the neighborhood with no purpose. In the case of running, people mean they are training for a run or a marathon. But that’s speculative.

When I began, with my out-of-date shoes, I felt awkward. So I purchased expensive running gear. Funnily enough, the models displaying running shorts and tanks are 5’10” and 100 pounds. Their BMI is probably 5%. I know, it’s really 14%, and I’m exaggerating, but they are thin girls. Lanky. Anorexic. My BMI is higher. All those chubs on my body are well-earned. It took a lot of cookies and pints of ice cream to build them.

Remember at the end of school? No more summer of lounging. Probably by now, the zeal of the first job is gone. Parenting, hobbies, and vocations are that way. It feels strained. Not quite right. Everyone sees you’re stumbling and fumbling. That makes me smile. Even though I may not run forever or attain a gazelle-like grace, I can stroll about the neighborhood dressed in trendy shorts and bright-colored shoes. And I tried something new.

Need something new? Here are a few suggestions.

Wed March 16, 2021 – Wed August 31 2022

Running Into 2021 Like…..

Virtual FUN RUN. Sign up to burn off the CRAZY that was the year 2020 with our Running Into 2021 Like…. Virtual 5k/4 Mile/10k/1 Mile Fun Run! Run or walk the virtual race from anywhere, on your time.  We’ll ship the premium t-shirt/tank, race bib and medal right to you!  🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

Complete your race any time  and then submit your results with a fun photo to our Facebook Page or tag us on Instagram #runninginto2021like and #findyourhappypace  Don’t have Facebook or Insta? No problem! Submit your photos  📸  to fyhappypace@gmail.com and we can share them for you.  

Logo

November 1-30, 2021

What Is NaNoWriMo?

National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write #50,000 words of a novel in thirty days. Now, each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand new novel. They enter the month as elementary school teachers, mechanics, or stay-at-home parents. They leave novelists. 798,162 Active novelists 367,913 Novels completed #NANOWRITMO

Now- Current day

Be brave and speak up. Squeal like a pig. Do you have a sweat story or funny phrase? I would love to hear it. Share in the comments.

The Keys to Life

This is an updated version ofWants, Desires, and, Actions

There is an inherent order to life. It’s as old as the earth herself. Desire plus response equals fulfillment. A baby’s cry causes a mother to feed her baby. Want plus action equals satisfaction. It’s how we all function.

I grew up in a time when, as the saying goes, men kept their word, and a handshake was as good as a contract. I’ve known people who practically killed themselves to finish something, not because they wanted it, but because they promised to do it. They desired to be trustworthy. Honest. Culture has shifted, and we now allow more leniency on contracts. Marriages end. Jobs change. We’re more flexible. Some would say that society’s gone downhill because of this—some, but not me. People still do what they desire the most; it’s just that what we want has changed.

Woman on patio

The secret is promoted by many as a hidden treasure, a hoarded bit of knowledge. But it’s as simple as scratching an itch. So the next time you have a desire or urge to accomplish something, ask yourself how big your appetite is? The next time your back itches, how desperate are you to relieve that itch? What hoops will you jump through? Which laws will you break? How many zombies will you kill? Your craving will tell you how dedicated you’ll be to achieving your goal. It’s not just willpower; there’s desire too.

You Already Have Permission

Just saying.

You have permission to create, to speak up, and stand up.

You have permission to be generous, to fail, and to be vulnerable.

You have permission to own your words, to matter and to help.

No need to wait. —- Seth Godin

Like Nike’s ad – Just do it.

It’s different from planning, pushing, and forcing life to conform. They’re two different viewpoints, two different stories, as diverse as a Mac and a PC. Nike and Reebok.

Sunny Side

I’ve been a blonde since as far back as I can remember. That’s how I think of myself, a blonde. I don’t say I have light hair, or I’m the one who streaks bleach through my short strands then masks on some vanilla toner. Nope. It’s a self-portrait thing. This is me, The Blonde. As a teenager, my method was a cocktail of lemon and peroxide. Then, with a bit of music, hot sunshine, and my stinky stuff on my hair, I had my own spa and salon.

The ridiculousness of color and identity isn’t lost on me. So I’ve been pushing those boundaries, trying to gently explore new possibilities. But there are limits. As a child, I wished to be as dark-eyed and brown-haired as my cousins were. My mom’s youngest brother has almost black eyes, and in my memories from my childhood, his hair was dark and wavy brown.

Across the Border

A girlfriend and I decided to walk across the border from Brownsville, Texas, into Mexico. We were on vacation one summer around 2005 and had driven 18 hours to get away, to be free. This was our wild moment. So we walked our very American-looking selves into the crowd and the cars already filtering toward Mexico. Neither of us had been here before. My friend, “C,” had recently lightened her hair a lot. Ordinarily, she’s a brunette. She was 5 foot and prayer tall, with a good dose of the short person’s complex, or as she called it, Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Personally, I think C just had a rough life.

Cigarettes were cheap on the other side. And it was C’s smoking habit that encouraged us to make this trip into Mexico. I was excited to do a new thing. We stepped onto brick streets and entered a narrowing old-world city. The roads were willy-nilly, and we came with no map. C became agitated, which surprised me. For all of the time I had known her, I had thought of her as bold and brash. Finally, I said we should walk on, just remember the way we came in.

Hey Blondie

While we walked through markets that were selling blankets, bags, dolls, and rugs, the male stall owners hollered in English, “Hey Blondie, Over here. You come. Buy.” over and over again. “Hey, Blondies.” Now, my friend was ready to go. And I understood. I’m sure she had been catcalled and whistled at before, but she was feeling like prey. It made me reconsider how I have been treated. The men didn’t upset me. This concerns me.

As a child, I was blondie, even to strangers. I didn’t choose my identity or my name. The culture I was born into chose my religion, politics, dress style, and education. Somewhere in all of that, I made choices. Our identities guide us. Yet, we are blind to the choices we make because of their influences.

For another version of this story read my earlier post from 2016 Profiling Me.

Sound Triggers

I had a discussion with my mom recently. She asked why we have specific generational issues, such as fear of falling. Trauma or birth? I said it probably is due to our shortcomings both in the parents and the baby. This is where forgiving each other comes in.

In truth, trauma causes so much damage it makes it hard to find the natural person. What could a child have become if there had been love and healthy interactions instead of the fear-provoking experiences. The ones who did well in school were usually the ones with support at home, encouragement. Instead, certain people feel as if they belong. They walk alongside their peers.

Trauma, nurture, or birth? Is ADHD, Autism, Addictive behaviors, or any other adaptive issue, a preventable disorder? They are complex. I was conceived by a mom from a lineage of stressed and traumatized women. Mom was tired and probably depressed. Panic attacks. Anxiety. Afraid of doing life. When I was growing up, I watched her, trying desperately to help reassure her.

Babies developing in high adrenaline flooded wombs can have underdeveloped nervous systems. 

My issue currently is annoying sounds. This is how my ADHD/Aspergers works. People are talking at work, doors opening and closing. They are more than distracting. I feel anger. Rage. It is something I’m trying to understand. Currently, I am allowed to shut my office door. I’m fortunate.

Misophonia

Misophonia is a disorder in which certain sounds trigger emotional or physiological responses that some might perceive as unreasonable given the circumstance. Those who have misophonia might describe it as when a sound “drives you crazy.” Their reactions can range from anger and annoyance to panic and the need to flee. – WebMD What is Misophonia?

Earplugs and Earbuds sometimes solve a problem, listening to books or music, or sometimes I use white noise. So I’m looking at these special dBuds – earplugs as an answer.

Flawed

Humanity isn’t perfect, is what I tell people. Incomplete parents are having babies. We train them and love them with the best we have. It’s not always enough. Our hope is always to do better than the last generation, put in a little more knowledge, a bit more assertiveness, and sometimes another dose of love. Those kids have to make it.

Urgency, The Weakness of Leadership

Before my recent surgery, I had a hilarious incident with a nurse telling me the RIGHT way. I should use the rigid collar after surgery and take only that one into the surgery. She was abrupt in a way to let me know there was no argument over this. No purse, no shoes, not a damn thing else would go with me other than the rigid collar. She grabbed the item, tossing it onto the bed, and let my boyfriend know that he would be responsible for all of the other things.

The nurse’s instructions were different from my doctor’s instructions before my hospital visit. My doctor had instructed me that I was to use the foam collar. The rigid collar was only for the car ride home. I mentioned this to her, but she was insistent. When the doctor was in for his visit, he changed the whole of it all back. The soft collar came out, and the stiff collar was stuffed back into the plastic bag. I trusted the doc’s judgment because he was to be in the operating room and knew what I would need after it was over. He also had a history with me.

I’ve experienced this over and over recently. The pharmacy updated my doctor’s prescriptions without permission. I’ve had doctors change reliable medications, canceling some which I had previously used so they could replace them with a brand of their choice. I picture this as a male lion killing off the children of the former males to ensure they are the top sire.

I have been at least a week without access to a needed prescription due to pharmaceutical restrictions and the narrow sightedness of the healthcare system. One doctor was in surgery all week, and another didn’t have legal access to prescribe.

Leaders may not realize it at first—and some start with charitable intentions, but the game changes over time.

Two things-1. Leaders believe they know the right way, so they need to show everyone else. 2. It’s easier for the person in charge to decide how it needs to be done and dogmatically enforce it.

I’ve had the feeling for a while that most—I do mean only most and not all—wish to silence the masses. Big groups have opinions, and it’s such a freakin’ hassle sometimes to try to explain the WHY of your decisions, then you should take polls asking what that LARGE GROUP wants. Exhausting.

I have watched businesses with big plans and high ideals start by saying they had an open-door policy with nonjudgemental discussion, and management was always available for the employees. A former job of mine was like this. When it was small, you could speak your piece without reprisals. They wanted your opinions. Later, as the company’s debt grew and the structure changed, they held everything you ever said against you. It didn’t make a hill of beans if you were valuable or if you got your work done. You started feeling the cold shoulder of isolation.

That’s my thinking. What’s yours?

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.

Harry S. Truman, Special Message to the Congress on the Internal Security of the United States [August 8, 1950]

Whenever someone listens to me, at least tries, I like to acknowledge it.

Are You Worth It?

Do your words command attention? Or do they fall flat, shriveling, sliding onto the ground? Most of us want to stand tall even if it’s not behind a podium in front of large crowds. We value the strength it takes to stand up. Our words show our values.

How do we measure worth? By the pound or by meter? Obviously we recognize pride and the ability to command in someone who is small. We respect achievement, merit, and grit.

The North Wind

The North Wind and the Sun had a quarrel about which of them was the stronger. While they were disputing with much heat and bluster, a Traveler passed along the road wrapped in a cloak.

"Let us agree," said the Sun, "that he is the stronger who can strip that Traveler of his cloak."

"Very well," growled the North Wind, and at once sent a cold, howling blast against the Traveler.

With the first gust of wind the ends of the cloak whipped about the Traveler's body. But he immediately wrapped it closely around him, and the harder the Wind blew, the tighter he held it to him. The North Wind tore angrily at the cloak, but all his efforts were in vain.

Then the Sun began to shine. At first his beams were gentle, and in the pleasant warmth after the bitter cold of the North Wind, the Traveler unfastened his cloak and let it hang loosely from his shoulders. The Sun's rays grew warmer and warmer. The man took off his cap and mopped his brow. At last he became so heated that he pulled off his cloak, and, to escape the blazing sunshine, threw himself down in the welcome shade of a tree by the roadside. - The North Wind & the Sun from Aesop's Fables

Importance, & Weight

I pondered the topic of importance and wondered if nature ever thought about its value. Would rocks regard their elements? Water, can it worry if it has enough flow? How do we determine our worth? If we decide to measure our efforts and existence, should we try to grow our lives’ value? Thinking of value in this way seems egotistical. Who judges it to be the correct amount of worth? It seems rather odd, if not wholly foolish, peering at it in this way.

You exist. You belong. Your worth is inherent because of this existence. There is a lie that brings torment into our reality. We feel it in the fiber of our culture. If we believe the lie of a sin birth, broken, already marked as lost and worthless, then we start living from the lowest dregs of power. To know you’re powerful and can achieve happiness, we need to think we can overcome the generations of guilt. This is deeper than any merit-based system of worth.

You is kind. You is smart. You is important.

The Help

Here’s where I find the division of values—ego-based versus love. Explaining the importance to others is challenging. Many believe you can get to interior worth and love through merits. Maybe at times, it’s possible. I’m uncertain. We long for belonging. We need family, but blood-ties aren’t the only solution for a community. Many times there is more little solace in traditional unions. Society will need to rethink its ways, but the individual pioneer’s way isn’t the answer. We need each other, and we need love.

I Want Things

As a second-grader, jealousy gripped me and possibly taught me a lesson. A schoolmate had a Mickey Mouse watch with the gloves of Mickey that turned to show the time. I knew that she was rich. And for a few minutes, I convinced her to let me wear her fantastical watch. It didn’t matter what else happened that day. This girl and I had bonded, and I was wearing her Mickey Mouse watch. If I were persuasive enough, maybe she’d let me wear it home. At times I had guts. Raw desire made me bold.

Decisions

I always thought it was logic. Truthfully, it was about pain. Choices—which option didn’t hurt as much as the other? If I saw a new phone I wanted, I would think the process through in my mind. It cost x amount, and currently, I am in debt xx amount. But in my thinking, it was a smart purchase if I could purchase it immediately or somehow arrange it into my budget. Logic—as I was calling it—was a lie. Peel back a layer, and you see the pain.

“A lion runs the fastest when he is hungry.”

Salman Khan

As a very young kid, I learned how to earn money from labor. We had a farm. All pecans that fell onto the ground were mine to pick up, and I could sell them by the pound if the hogs didn’t eat them first. Back then, I made about ten dollars. I felt a thrill at having that money. My life also developed a good dose of shame.

Around two years ago, I went to a group meeting to learn how to organize my life. My expectations were too high. And I was clueless on how little the teacher knew. It was far too simple. Don’t hoard, Sort your clothes, and so on. But I was there with people who had five sets of chinaware.

There’s nothing shameful about wanting things.

The teacher, who I knew from therapy sessions, said I had a poverty attitude. I left angry. These people were downsizing and trying to throw their shame onto me. I have no reason to be ashamed. I’ve lived in her world—the money—and like her, I suddenly lost it. So yes, I want things.

Living Today – After Pain

I hurt for years. It was bad. The pain enveloped me, which made it impossible for my senses to find clear guidance. I don’t want to go through it again, nor anyone else. For the love of God, let it stop with me. The rolling tide of generational abuse doesn’t need to continue. People pleasing, bowing to bullies, and narcissistic abuse should not be normal everyday life. But it was my life.

I never knew what it meant to be “Present.”

Working with therapists on emotional healing and emotional literacy to recognize my pain has helped me see more panorama.

A child recites her alphabet. She sounds out the letters, combining them, and struggling to form words. When the connection happens inside the child’s mind, it resembles magic, but it’s not. With enough stimulation and fuel, one begins creating words. They will comprehend. Looking back at the alphabet, I don’t grasp why reciting the ABC’s helped me become a proficient reader. I know that it works, and I know that I practiced until I learned. It’s training in the most basic form.

I couldn’t understand the purpose of therapy even though I knew it would be helpful.

Becoming a healthy person takes a process. Some of the stuff I have in me may never completely heal, and I need to live with the limitations of who I am. Overall, I have made significant progress. So can you. Commit to doing the work and learn how to live.

I live now. If I become angry because a coworker says a thing, I’m offended now. I have worked on my emotional literacy and I can respond to the anger itself.

You need tools

What is Emotional Literacy? It’s the ability to identify the feelings you are experiencing. Most people are shallow in noticing our feelings. Feeling scared is different than me knowing I’m terrified and panicked. Name your emotion.

#Trauma: I evaluate the emotion. Is my flashback from an older, emotionally charged time? My childhood was angry. (This is part of the emotional literacy.)

#Emotion: If it is new and not something with a deep root, I handle it differently. Current emotions deserve a valid response also. We have rights as humans and must care about ourselves.

The first step to developing empathy is emotional literacy, or the ability to read or recognize your own emotions and the emotions of others so that you can figure out what they are feeling.

Children and Empathy: Teaching Emotional Literary

Excerpt from The Jungle of My Emotions – “This rage is my jungle. I should know my way through it by now, but I don’t. A therapist will tell you to name the emotions. Instead of rage, get down to the baser emotions. Fear. Insecurity. Feeling utterly alone and vulnerable. When I was negotiating, I was taking it personally. She was attacking me and saying I was wrong. Backed into a corner, I felt powerless. So, I defended my territory.”

Related Content

Melancholy

I’m battling through overgrown weeds of depression and the bramble of my mind, getting my thoughts in order. Following the confused tangle causes me to lose my balance. And direction.

I indulge in my despair and failure.

I’m comfortable sitting on the forest floor, and I cry. Scream. I can’t stay here forever. So, I get up and go …again..

Janet West
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

The holidays are a difficult time for me. Our culture has high expectations, and there’s no way for most of us to live up to those. We are disappointed. Somehow I must change my way of living. I need a new view of life, so I will not cry half of the day for two months.

My challenge is yours. Start your own traditions by creating a holiday or non-holiday for you and your family. Live on your terms. Release yourself from other’s chains. And may each year be better than the last

Happy days ahead!

Makeup and Neckties, Following Social Norms

If orange is the new black, I find myself wanting to wear blue. Colors are trendy. Early summer may be eucalyptus blue, while in the middle of Autumn, people will be tired of the pale colors and want vibrant colors. Oranges and reds will seem comfortable. It never seems to change my mind about what I should wear, though. My palette comes from an inner need.

What drives you?

Wearing makeup is about fitting in and blending for some women. For others, it’s a statement. “This is who I am,” they say. Audrey Hepburn had a classic style. Bold eyeliner with black lashes. Crisp and classic. We love this style. Marilyn Monroe had a rigid formula for her makeup. Besides the eyeliner and eyelash routine, she added a white line on the outside corner, which extended her eyes’ width.

Statements.

When I read the article, Kamala Harris wears white, I had forgotten about the suffragettes. I didn’t remember Hillary Clinton’s white pantsuit or Geraldine Ferraro wearing white when she accepted the nomination to become the first female candidate for vice president in 1984. Heck, I didn’t grasp the significance of women and white suits. 

First Lady Melania Trump wore a blouse with a pussy bow to a presidential debate in 2016.

USA Today

There are groups, movements, non-conformists who refuse to wear what the tribe wears. Few men wear suits today, just as few wear hats or wigs. But there are still those who love to wear matching khakis and shirts—uniforms. There are many more who enjoy following the trends.

What Your Clothes Say to You, Not About YouAnd how they make you feel.Forbes

Style can be a statement or expression. I like options.