Monday, July 23, 2012

mirror, mirror on the wall...

Vanity.  The quest for beauty.  Our desire, as a culture, for perfection.  As I push myself to run each night on my treadmill, I think about why I am really doing it.  I could say that "I am doing it to stay healthy," which is true...but it's not the WHOLE truth.  The whole truth is that I am vain.  I want to be thin and attractive as well as healthy.  I want to fit into my size 6 and 8 pants again.  I want to sheld pounds.  Now, getting healthy is important too...I will never say that I don't want to be healthy, because I do want to live a long, joy filled life, but to be completely honest about it - I want to lose weight and look good in my clothes. 

Now, this raises an even bigger question, "what does look good" actually mean? 
For me it means my pants fit without having to use a hair elastic to close them.  It means I don't get to show off my back fat when I wear my pre-baby bras.  It means that I feel more confident in my clothing and in turn will be a better wife, mom and teacher.  There is a sense of power and freedom that comes with "looking good."  Right before I got pregnant with Benjamin, I was getting to that point.  I was losing weight, my clothes fit well and I really felt good about myself.  The confidence I felt was an amazing thing.

The vanity inside me comes from a good place.  It comes from the fact that I truly believe that confidence, looking good and feeling good are all interconnected. 

Look good - feel good - be confident (repeat).

Sunday, July 8, 2012

making the most of it

Recently, I learned a friend of mine, another mom, was diagnosed with cancer.  The thought of a woman, who is the same age as me, diagnosed with cancer just seems impossible.  But, sadly, it's not. 

My friend, Tegan, is a woman who I knew in high school, and by "knew" I'm going to say we had some of the same classes, didn't have really many of the same friends, but went to a small suburban HS together.  It wasn't until 2006, through the magic of Facebook that we really reconnected.  She was heading out west to a 2-day music festival in Indio, CA called Coachella and my best friend, west-coast sister Amy and I were going.  We met up at the festival and spent two days enjoying the sun, the music and the adventure.  We walked around in the hot sun, listened to bands, had a few festive beverages and just enjoyed this experience together.  I will never forget playing hacky-sac, drinking and laughing with random guys we met who were there from Vermont.  I actually still have the hacky-sac from that day hidden away in a box of momentos I keep from my travels.  It was a weekend I'll never forget not only for the musical experience, but the chance to connect with Tegan.

Now, hearing that she has cancer and will be going through treatment makes me think alot.  We both have 2 children, who oddly enough, are the same age and were born within months of each other.  We both are working moms who need our income to help keep our children fed, clothed and the lights on.  If it was me, I would need as much help as possible.  I know that if I was missing work for treatment we would run the risk of losing our home, have trouble providing necessities for our children and in general would struggle. 

Reading Tegan's facebook updates and posts about her treatment schedule along with the comments and words of encouragement from her friends and family have really reminded me to make the most of every moment of everyday.  It is so easy to become caught up in the commercialism of life, the hurried pace, the rush to do everything now and the desire to have all the things we want as soon as we want them.  You never know when things can change or how they can change.  I'm taking the time now to just enjoy the days and enjoy the kids.  It's scary to think about what might happen and who could be.  I think it's best to just take it one day at a time...