Friday, September 28, 2007

A basketcase. Check!

So, I've had an anonymous comment left on one of my archived blogs.

J says he knows. He's good with it.

Jealousy and the negativity that surrounds us

Why is it that women (maybe men too...) are raised to look at the world negatively? Why are we taught to be jealous and competitive of other women? Not consciously, of course! It's not like we get into home ec and we're brainwashed into seeing our sisters as the enemy, but it seems we're gradually taught to compare ourselves to other women in so many ways. We use other women as the scale to judge ourselves - all the better if we're standing on them at the time.

We judge based on a purse, a haircut or the colour of lipstick. Even the cars we drive. I've been guilty of it myself and consciously changing such ingrained behaviour is difficult at best. Standing at the bus stop, I automatically assume the girl with the pink purse worships Paris Hilton (could it be she just likes pink?). Sure, it could be true once in awhile, but even if it is, does that mean she should be automatically dismissed?

Why is it that people making choices I wouldn't are automatically bad or less than me? And I know it isn't just me. I've overheard women on the train, in coffee shops, at curling and in the gym. In order to feel good about ourselves, we must push down those around us.

What causes this? My theory this morning is "modesty." Many women are raised to not brag. To think well of yourself means that you're egotistical - a horrible affliction for a woman. Sure, taken to an extreme, ego and confidence is a bad thing. Take a look at hollywood. Then again, hollywood is this bizarre world filtered to us through the media and the spin they'd like to put on things at the time.

In order to be proper, modest girls; we should not crow about what is good about us. It's even worse for those who are unpopular. They start to feel unworthy. I know I did. Why bother taking the time to do my hair in the morning, wear make-up or find fashionable clothes? In the end, I'm still the same person and it won't change how people see me. At least not in my home town.

So we find ways to make ourselves feel better. Rather than saying good things about ourselves and appearing vain, we take other women down. If we point out their shortcomings (OMG! A pink purse!!! Or, heaven forbid, white after labour day!!!) we clearly stand out as superior without actually saying anything about ourselves. Out loud. We leave it for others to infer.

Over time, this creates a downward spiral. In our heads we find something wrong with every woman. She's too thin - eating disorder. God, how much time does she spend getting ready in the morning???? Why on earth would anyone pierce THAT??

In reality, what business is it of ours? I know I've had women look me up and down when they get on the elevator in the morning. Sheesh people. The runners get me through my walks to and from the train. I have appropriate shoes at work. But does it matter? Should I receive raised eyebrows because I wear runners at 8am? Is it really worthy of that?

The hardest thing is recognizing that we're doing this and consciously changing the behaviour. I've started stopping myself mid-negativity (dear god, where did all of our negativity come from???) and changing the thought. "Why? What does that get me?" If I'm jealous that the woman looks better, then I take that bit of information and look at making changes to myself to improve. Do I want her purse? Her shoes? A better gym schedule? Maybe a different haircut? Maybe just the confidence to walk out the door not worried that the world is judging me and finding every flaw.

5 lbs closer to Paris

Well, I'm down 5 lbs and after a few days of obsessively weighing myself... it seems to be true and not just my body laughing at me for one day. My clothes fit better, I'm loving my walks at lunch and now that I've moved offices, I'll likely join Club Fit as it's 1/2 a block away. Yes, I know the irony surrounding choosing a gym based on how short the walk is. My lunch hour is limited though so I'd like to be able to focus on that workout, a quick shower then back to work.

Friday, September 21, 2007

To Las Vegas and back

Well, the trip for the truck was successful. At 4:30AM on Sept 14, we stumbled into the airport half asleep only to find out that customs didn't open until 1 hour before boarding. So we sat in a waiting area eating croissants and trying to maintain consciousness until shortly after 5 AM. A short explanation at customs and we were through.

While taking a last wander before boarding our plane, I noticed D waiting for another flight. Had a chat with him for a few minutes while J watched our luggage. He was off to Arizona to speak at a conference. Sheesh.

Anyway, the plane was much more comfy than a similar one that T and I took over a year ago. We had the exit row. J got the window though because there was no seat in the row in front of us so he could stretch out his legs. Must be tough being tall and all. I managed to catch a bit more sleep on the plane. Likely a total of 1 hour interrupted often by fears of loud snoring.

It's tough landing in Vegas then driving out. I should've known better. The strip is spitting distance from the airport so logically any drive out of there would involve many views of the strip. I'm happy to say it all seems to still be there. The new hotels are going up fast and I can't wait for the next trip down there.

Rob picked us up at the airport and whisked us off to the red rocks of Utah. A whirlwind tour of the dealership later and we were off in a used 2006 Nissan Titan. Most of the fears over the state of the truck were settled very quickly. It's in excellent shape!

The first day saw us through Utah. A quick stop at Cabela's in Lehi helped. We got to stretch our legs and spend our money. Thankfully the Cdn dollar is almost at par! I didn't find a whole lot though, with a big part of me not wanting to spend money until I drop some pounds. When in Vegas, I'll hit Bass Pro Shops anyway so it's not like I completely missed out. Not to mention the online shopping both offer.

Upon arriving in Pocatello, Idaho, we sought out a hotel. Our first stop was the Best Western. At 10pm, they're willing to give deals on their rooms and I got the king suite (sweet, sweet giant tub!) for only $5 more than a regular room. We had a short soak, then off to bed. Good thing too since I was wide awake at 6AM on Saturday.

I've gotta admit I was pretty impressed overall with the US. We had a continental breaky at the hotel and it was good. Eggs, biscuits and gravy, toast... a good selection of food, even if the selection of fruits could've been greater. At restaurants, the service puts many Cdn restaurants to shame. I'm sorry, but I don't know what's happened to our teenagers to make them sullen, rude individuals with no sense of customer service whatsoever. I expected things to be worse in the US, but I was wrong. Perhaps it's the stronger reliance on tips to make a living. Who knows.

We were back on the road by 8am. Our original intended stopping point was an hour up the road at Idaho Falls. We still stopped in for some pictures of the falls. They have a really nice looking quilt shop there, but we were far too early for it to be open yet.

Day two took us to Great Falls, Montana. Montana is an interesting place. It's my first time there in the daylight! Everything seemed to be a casino which was off-putting. We didn't realize until much later that many of the restaurants were connected to casinos, but not casinos. It was hard finding a lunch spot in Butte, but we ended up at the Perkins. When 2 people are trying to lose weight, a road trip like this doesn't make it easy, but we managed to avoid fast food for the most part.

The evening in Great falls was eventful. We again stayed in a best western complete with a Red Hat Convergence. Wonderful women, even if they know how to party late. J managed to give me a bit of a black eye. Complete accident. He was moving one way, I happened to think he was getting out of bed so I moved to readust my position and his elbow connected with my eye as he sat back. It hurt. A lot. Funny thing me laughing and crying all at once. Got that iced and headed to bed only to have one of my nightmares.

I was half out of bed when J woke up. He grabbed me to keep me from running into the hallway (snicker) and in my struggle against him while waking up, I managed to do something to my neck. It started to spasm - OW! But hey, my eye felt better. And I got a bit of a massage until it subsided enough for me to sleep. The next morning we hit a Walgreens before leaving town. Did you know they can't buy muscle relaxants without a prescription? No Robax for me. Had to settle for Ibuprofen gel caps and one of those self heating muscle wrap things. Worked well enough.

Crossing the border took an hour - including the duty free stop. We missed US customs on the first trip through (oops) and had to go back through a second time. At 10 am on a Sunday everyone is happy and telling jokes. It was almost surreal.

We made it back safe and sound. The truck had no problems at all. I don't suggest Salt Lake City at rush hour (yikes!) - they're insane! I have a ton of snapshots on my camera from the trip and I haven't even bothered to download them yet. Have to get to that soon.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Another day, another week.

My cats are settling down to a point where I can sleep through the night. Either that or I've settled down to a point where I can sleep through the night. In the end, the reason is irrelevant, my insomnia seems to have subsided - for now. Thank heavens because when I'm short on rest I'm short on patience.

J and I are doing remarkably well. The house is tidy, meals are cooked every evening - although I think during the week that task will fall to me more and more. Which is fine - means weekends are his fabulously yummy creations. And it also means that kitchen cleanup is his job. Guess I shouldn't complain, he makes fine scrambled eggs for breakfast as well! We both seem to be entering a budget induced hermit period in an effort to save money for Vegas, his new truck and (of course) Paris. My goal is next spring. In reality, next fall is likely more realistic, but having someone with me who's trying to lose weight as well should be very motivating.

I almost wish I could find complaint with my life. It seems the blog is going to get dreadfully boring with so many happy posts. Update: I'm happy.... yep, still happy... Imagine that.... still happy!

Curling season is getting underway. I've had lots of phone calls regarding the league and hopefully can meet my goal of 2 new teams. It seems I may have enough people, but may be short on skips/thirds. I might have to take my lead up on her offer to skip a team if necessary. Looks to be another great year!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It's an adventure

Life in general is to me. I'd prefer it to be as drama free as possible, and I've achieved that. I've found this peaceful place and I don't want to leave it, however I still seek adventure when possible. I know, it's a contradiction - peaceful adventure - yet it seems to be where I am.

Overall, my life is peaceful. Not in that "just another day in a long line of identical days" kinda way, but in a great, happy, content way that brings along it's own surprises. September brings a flight to Vegas with a return road trip, camping, moving and evenings spent on the deck. It's apples and pears and pies. The changing seasons from summer to fall and watching movies in the home theatre.

My stress seems to have melted away. T and B are adapting to their new digs and the other T is just plain confused about where he belongs. The competition there for attention is funny in a way. T and T seem determined to prove they're dominant and B spends her days under the bed.

November brings another trip to Vegas, and if all goes as planned, it could be Paris as early as next spring!

The wonderful T (my last Vegas trip partner in crime) is experiencing the same - peace, strength and wonder at where we stand. Acceptance of all that has been and is and hope for what will be. Finally feeling as if I'm really staring at the rest of my life, rather than an endless path of unhappiness and unfullfilled dreams. Our lives are what we make them and I'm finally ready to make mine into what I'd always dreamed it could be.

Yes, that makes me selfish. Oh well.