25Mar

Stop Telling Me How and What to Eat

I don’t know everything about food and nutrition.  But there is no way that you know more than I do. I am 58 years old, I am fairly intelligent and I love good food.  I have spent my entire life in the kitchen, that is 50, count them, fifty years.  I am also engaged.  I listen, I read.  I know enough to know that gluten free is a fad unless you have celiacs disease, do you?   How old are you, 24?  You have not been alive as long as I have been cooking.  You are presumptuous, you are ignorant enough to think you have the answer, even though you have asked no questions of me?  You know nothing of me.

Who are you to tell me that cauliflower is better for me than potato, you put butter on them and they become the same?

The fact of the matter is that women my age need 400 less calories per DAY, not week, not month, but day, every day.  That’s right, because older women need less calories, we often gain weight.  Do you know why women my age need less calories?  Because for the last million years older women have sacrificed their own needs for others eventually responding to “survival of the fittest” we made our bodies work on less.  We just don’t need as much as men or as the young.  We get by, we thrive, we live on less.

Now, in this day and this age, women my age don’t need to eat less, because there is more food in this world.  We just need more patience to put up with people who give advice without knowledge.

30Jan

Letters to My Granddaughters

Letters to my Granddaughters;

  1. Understand that there is billions of dollars in advertising aimed at you *to get you* to believe certain things that the marketing industry is selling: Here I state the opposite of those commercials.
    1. You do NOT need expensive shampoo to get clean hair.
    2. You do NOT need an expensive hair color to feel “worth it”.
    3. You do NOT need to buy $231.00 of make up to “feel pretty”.
    4. You do NOT need to wear size 2 in order to be sexy, or pretty.
  2. You are being virtually bombarded with untrue images of women on a minute-by-minute basis.
  3. Use this information to gain what you want, not to be what “they” want.
  4. Do not believe that your life is about sex and sexuality: it is not. Sex is an important part of life, yet it is only a part.
  5. What you look like and who you are is separate, it is not the same.

Listen, listen to your body.  Again, the advertising industry wants you to believe that you need, or you must purchase something in order to have good health or perfect digestion.  Your body will tell you what you need.  Read research on appropriate self care, and then listen to your body.  Your body will tell you what kind of vitamins you need and when.  I did in-depth research about why I was craving chocolate before my menstrual cycle.  I found out that I was missing a crucial dose of magnesium.  I began taking magnesium for a week each month and I was able to get chocolate cravings under control.

Listen, listen to your intuition.  Your own intuition will never steer you wrong.  You know when you are making a mistake, when that voice in the back of your head starts screaming “Stop!”, listen to the voice, it is your own voice, it never steers you wrong.

Be proud of who you are.  I was 13 years old when I became aware of ‘Jordache’ jeans.  I remember thinking “I don’t want someone else’s name on my behind.”  There is no designer who is as good about your looks as you are and you can be proud of that.

This is letter number one, there is more, so much more to being a woman.

28Jan

We Must Take Action

Take Action

23Jan

My Quest for a Perfect Appearance

New Years Eve 2016

New Years Eve 2016

No one notices it quite like I do. No one is at all concerned about the perfect match of my earrings to my outfit. I was quite deflated when I realized this. But then, something happened, I became immersed in my own standards. To heck with whether or not others realized that my lipstick was a perfect match for my fingernail polish, I realized it and I cared. At some point, I became the approver of my perfect appearance. When that happened, I was relieved! I didn’t become less caring about my appearance, I was the same.

21Jan

Our Brain Can Change the Reality of History… And What is the Point of Guilt?

My own mother evoked gratefulness and love.  I am not sure why I was particularly present with her, but I was.  I invited her to be with me as much as possible.  Before my mother passed away 21 years ago, we spent an entire day together, one on one and I enjoyed every minute.  She was the kind of woman you could feel comfortable with and it was easy to respect her.  When she died, I didn’t feel regretful because I told her over and over again “I love you, Mom.”  ”You are the greatest mom.”

For Ella Mae, my mother-in-law, it was quite a different matter.  When she passed in 2005, I had not prepared in the same way I did my mother.  I loved her and told her so, but she never knew how important she was to me and our family.  Because she was a formal woman, there just was not the casual love that was available in my family of origin.

I have valued Ella Mae more in retrospect, than I ever did while she was alive.  My own mother knew how much I valued her, I wrote cards and letters and expressed my joy and love in many different ways.  Ella Mae, not as much.  I am very grateful for her contribution to our family and for this reason, I have for the last 12 years been valuing her “things”.

I know better than most that guilt is no replacement for current action and present love, and yet, here I am indulging in guilt because I did not treat her the way that I would want to treat her today.  I find myself thinking “I must hang onto to Ella Mae’s china so that I can pass it on to my daughters.”  Why would I want to imbue value onto the china if I didn’t feel some measure of guilt?  I didn’t value Ella Mae enough while living and so now I must value her china to show the kids how important that she was.  It’s just not necessary with my mother’s things because her value was so well established while she lived.

In this case, I think the point of guilt is so that I can convince myself that I loved her enough and that she knew it.  If I didn’t love her enough while she lived, I am trying to make up for it.  This is a burden for all of us.  It is a burden that I do not wish to bear, nor do I believe that there is any way to make up for my behavior once someone has passed away, nor will I make promises about future behavior.  I simply must say that Ella Mae gave us much, she taught manners and in this way made us comfortable in any environment.  Ella Mae taught me that birthdays are important, my family never celebrated birthdays, it was Ella Mae who brought that tradition to us.  She loved step grandchildren and biological grandchildren and tried very hard to be fair.  She was not fair; the attempt was there.  For this I am grateful.

Ella Mae was a very gracious woman who welcomed everyone into her home.  She saw holidays as a means to give me a rest and she would never let me lift a finger or ‘bring’ something.  She cooked like a chef and hostessed like a queen, and it was those talents that she passed to me.  She had a beautiful silk hanging in the dining room.  For some reason both of my sons had to touch it every single time they passed by on the way to the kitchen.  She may have grimaced and she may have said something, but she never got mad.  Her graciousness extended to everyone.

Maybe now that I understand why I am hanging onto the china, I can actually put it down.  No one wants that stuff anymore.  I do hope that I can pass on graciousness, that’s a gift worth giving.

18Dec

The Kind of Woman I Cannot Be…

What happens when you are faced with a person who embodies all of the things that you have been taught are wrong?

I do not condemn women who are manipulative and indirect in their communications.  I believe that it has been and continues to be an evolutionary imperative.  Women (with very few exceptions) have always been dominated and often by those who are careless of their wants and desires.  In this environment, it has always been far safer for a woman to keep her peace and find her own means of gaining what she needs and wants.

Our history tells us that if a woman disagreed with the men around her, she could be beat, tortured and in some cases, even killed.  I was taught to make my own way, to not depend on a man for my own sustenance.  My mother role modeled independence and the direct way to get there.  She did not appreciate indirect communication, if you wanted something, please say it.  If your desire was not a popular idea, it doesn’t mean your desire should be abandoned, it means you can re-evaluate, including others input, but you do not change your mind because ‘another’ has told you to change your mind.  I was taught to be direct, which leaves very little room for the fine art of manipulation.

Many women I know did not have the benefit of a strong and direct mother.  It seems that the alternative to being direct, indirectness, teaches us to be manipulative.  Often, there is a very good reason for manipulation.  Often, being manipulative turns into a default zone that a person operates in.  Over a period of time, this personality can become unable to be direct and even honest.  For some relationships this can be a satisfactory state, but for business relationships, it can be disastrous.  What happens when you have been taught to rethink commitments, and change agreements to suit yourself?  In most business environments this kind of thinking will damage relationships, particularly relationships with a boss or supervisor.

The other part to this indirect and manipulative personality style is a feature of secretiveness.  Sometimes, even often, the secrets are unnecessary, yet there is a piece to secrecy that can make one feel powerful.  Practicing secrecy is the hallmark of this personality style.  Secrecy, when recognized, can make those around you feel very uncomfortable.

The alternative, direct communication, can cause disruption and create confrontation.  “Can”, but not always, often the direct personality style is assertive and possibly aggressive.  It’s important to delineate between direct communication that can be confrontative; and aggressiveness, as aggressiveness only causes the indirect person to become more manipulative and secretive.  Aggressive people just want their will to be done.  Direct communicators are not necessarily focused on their own will.

So it is that my entire lifetime, I thought that the manipulative woman was somehow “less than”.  I do not respect this woman and I cannot communicate with her as she is completely unreliable.  How do you have a relationship with a woman such as she?  Yet, on the other hand, it is the evolutionary imperative, necessary for survival in a world where everyone is larger and harsher than you.  Where is the balance?  And how do you navigate when dealing with those who may be damaged?

I don’t know.

 

14Nov

Cash, Guns and Food

Justice is a human construct and therefore only exists if humans make it so.  I often tell people, “do not expect justice, it doesn’t exist on its own.”

I know this and I preach this.  The wishes for karma, the wish for a vengeful God, the wish for the rich to be rejected from heaven, are all just that: wishful thinking.  Religion is a structure that gives the peasant, the working masses; reasons to keep going from day to day.

America gives a chance to live beyond a survival mode and an opportunity to actually experience life.  It is an epic growth opportunity, but it requires choice.  What I mean by this is that, you must be consciously willing to go past the ego’s survival to another consciousness that includes more than just the self.  It is a conscious choice and cannot be made by an unconscious ego that concerns itself with only self, and is in survival.  This living, which is a step up on Maslow’s hierarchy, requires the self to be concerned with others, to think of others and ultimately to have compassion for others.
maslow

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is all in the background of my mind and so affects how I view how the presidential election played itself out.  I am deeply ashamed by what we have done here in America (and of course, we have done worse).  I am embarrassed that people I love actually support Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.  I understand that justice does not exist, so I do not fight the idea that the electoral college “trumps” the popular vote.  The majority of America prefers Hillary Clinton, but…too bad, so sad.  Bruce and I each have a young nephew that supports Trump, one posting on Facebook “I’m not racist or bigoted, I just like Trump.”  The other posting on Snapchat “I am a deplorable.”  There is a thought by these young people that Trump will change Washington ~ and I am sure he will.  I don’t know if they noticed that the same old republican senators are following Trump around.  Capitalism will continue to reign supreme in this country.  It will not be beneficial to the working person, not at all.  Capitalism in America is just like Trump, concerned with self and with no other.

In the back of my mind is the thought that this is a white man’s war against anyone and everyone who challenges the authority of the white man.  It’s been a comfortable position for the white man here in America, and who would give that up willingly?  Capitalism has been the white man’s weapon and they have used it well to repress all others.  White men owned Madison Avenue and spun their own stories of reality.  It is almost unbelievable how many Americans keep falling for the fairy tales that Madison Avenue keeps spinning.  From the cigarette industry to the current mortgage catastrophe, advertising companies have sold Americans a bill of goods that Americans keep buying.

No wonder the uneducated working class white male voted for Trump, and their women, who voted the same!  The problem identification is so wrong.  Working people will not have their life improved by an emphasis on capitalism, witness the last 10 years, capitalism has almost wiped us out.  Capitalism has decreased the middle class by more than 15% – all of those people are now poor.  The loss of homes still proceeds at an epic rate.

I am more scared than I have ever been, even when Bush was president.  I believe that egos are in control and egos are always about survival and self.  This is bad news for each and every other person.  The person in power will always chose self when the ego is in control.

Cash, guns and food ~ Bruce and I have decided to launch a defensive campaign, just in case.  We are putting together a reserve of cash, guns and food.  But make no mistake; we are able to do this.  There are millions who cannot.  Twenty percent of Americans live below the poverty level.  For those in poverty, there is no such thing as a reserve.  We are looking towards some very bad times here in America, and I am scared, not just for me, but for everyone.

 

06Nov

Women, a New Day

One of those obvious things ~

It never crossed my mind that I would need to explain feminism to my daughters.  After all, I lived a strong and independent life and worked hard for my own accomplishments.

I never told them how lonely it is to fight for women.  I never told them about the personal prices that I had to pay to defend women who were being raped by the current culture.  I never explained to them the reality of how difficult it was for my mother to get a job as a bartender.  My mother was, literally, the first female bartender in a free standing bar in 1968.

The biggest prices that women pay are the economic ones.  After all, if you have money, everything else can be bought.  Women have always, systematically, been kept out of the most lucrative jobs available in America.  This is why it was so important for my mother to get that bartending job; it was the highest paying job in the industry.

At work in the 90s: when I spoke out against a male physician who was denigrating women in our treatment facility, I was marginalized and had to work in a hostile environment.  Ignorantly, I finally resigned and the women who came to the facility for treatment continued to be put down and insulted by the Latin physician who thought shaming was okay.

My daughters were with me when these things happened to me.  I didn’t explain any of it.  I realize that in retrospect, it only meant that mom didn’t like her job anymore.  I must have discussed it; I must have made some words for it.  I didn’t explain it enough.

Being independent was not about getting away from men, it was more about ensuring that I had choices in my life.  I thought I was demonstrating the right life, in spite of a male dominated culture.  It wasn’t that a man beat a woman: it was more that nothing would happen to that man when he beat that woman.  I was fighting the structure of a culture that allowed women to be beat; that kept those women in minimum wage jobs, that made child care impossibly expensive.  When I was young it was actually impossible to get child support.  Fathers of young children roamed free while the mothers were chained to child care and bare minimum wages.  That was my world reality at age 20.  Women stayed in hurtful marriages because the alternative was so much worse.  Add to that, the fact that many women were sexually blackmailed by men more powerful than they.  Landlords would demand sexual favors and no woman without money or family was safe in this environment.

Today, life is much better for women, but not nearly as good as it should be, not nearly equitable.  My daughters are not aware ~ perhaps~ of this long and dark road that women have had to go down in the last millennium (or so).   Trust me on this, it has been a dark road.  When European daughters were being raped by uncles, brothers and fathers, Freud called it penis envy and the whole world believed that hundreds of women were just having sexual fantasies.  Indeed, it has been a dark road for women of all classes.

Today, we are able to articulate so much of what was deprived of us before now.  Now I hear people talking about the “pink tax” and I am so thrilled that it is now “a thing”.  Yes, not only do women make less money than men, but then women must also pay more for everything that they need and purchase.  Dry cleaning a woman’s shirt is 4.99 and a man’s shirt is 1.49.  I am told by the dry cleaner that a woman’s shirt is more difficult to press.  Why?  No answer.

This culture is a structure that many men do not wish to be a part of.  My son is passionate about fairness and would not participate in any of these crimes against women.  But these crimes continue unabated.  Women are still being beaten and murdered by their spouses at an alarming rate.  Incest continues and perpetrators walk about freely with no one the wiser of the crimes.

We still don’t have enough female senators and certainly not enough female CEOs, and those women in power are often there as a function of being co-opted into the male world.

Why would any woman in her right mind, in America, vote for Donald Trump?

 

13Sep

Is Obesity the Latest Moral Failing?

We have treated addiction as a moral failing since drunks started drinking centuries ago.  “There must be something wrong with him, he wasn’t raised right…”

Those who could not or would not stop imbibing were thought to be degenerates, not deserving of social care and concern.  In recent years addiction medicine has been able to pull us away from this paradigm into a broader understanding of how people become addicts and lose control of their lives.  Science tells us that it is not a moral failing, but rather a complex combination of nature and nurture.  There is DNA involved in addiction, as well as brain chemistry which reacts to primal pleasure sensations, seeking rewards by repeating behavior.

Addiction is not an easy illness to understand and this challenge has made it into a medical “stepchild” no one really wants to claim ownership and the illness keeps worsening.  Addiction is now claiming lives in the thousands, daily, who overdose on opiates and heroin.  At least society now sees a glimmer of reality by calling out the profit hungry behavior of big pharma and physicians who over-prescribe.  We begin to see that addiction does not thrive in a vacuum, it thrives by virtue of hundreds of factors: social, medical, economic, individual and by the infinite possibilities in the strands of our DNA.  Blaming an addict for using substances, doesn’t produce any good results and yet our society has done it over and over again.

Obesity is our latest moral failing in America, and like addiction it does not earn the appropriate attention for resolution.  I read a billboard yesterday that was advertising liposuction, the billboard said “Get Your Sexy Back!”  The assumption is: Of course you can’t be sexy if you are fat and of course, if you are a woman, you must be sexy.  All through my youth there was a part of me that admired the woman who was not sexy and therefore did not have to glamorize her self.  This woman was not being watched or looked at and had long since decided on a lifestyle with different demands.  I deeply admired this kind of woman.

But the point is, that people are being denigrated and disparaged because they are overweight.  Many will righteously criticize the obese making statements like: “fatty, stop feeding your face and you are a tub of lard.”  Public Health appears to be much more concerned for the overweight than the addicted, which has been helpful for the overweight.  Public Health brings a validity to this condition.  All forms of healthy recognition can be appreciated, as long as the public understands that attacking those who suffer from addiction or obesity does not make for better public health.

What really needs to be said is this: People are not bad because they are obese, just as they are not bad because of addiction.  It doesn’t help anyone to denigrate those who struggle with their behavior.  There are no easy prescriptions for recovery and our culture does not support the discipline of sobriety, nor the task of healthy eating.  Just the opposite, our society is concerned with selling booze and hamburgers to anyone with a dollar.

While our society spins relentlessly to the music of a dollar bill, in the meantime, our part of change is to be kind, kind to everyone, everywhere and at all times.  

This means that we don’t blame, denigrate and demoralize anyone for any reason.  Obesity is not a moral failing and neither is addiction.

23Apr

No High Heels for Me, Not Ever

I know they are beautiful and sexy.  If you check out National Geographic you will see that most societies put their young women on display via the high heel.  Arched back, Breast thrust forward, and you have the true makings of the young in pursuit of mating.

The high heel is uncomfortable and discourages walking.  For many, many years I wore them anyway.  My legs are gorgeous and always have been, but boy, with a hi heel, they are magnificent.  It wasn’t the best choice.  First, I did not need to mate.  I had a great husband and more kids than I could handle.  I received so much positive attention, I thought it was worth while. In retrospect, not so much.

Walking on high heels damages your body and leads you to a sedentary lifestyle.  Both of these facts are not good for you as a person.  I have been reflecting on why women do these things and I think it has something to do with advertising and emulating the rich.  Advertising tells us to emulate the rich and unfortunately, we do it.  What is nail polish but a way to prove that we don’t engage in manual labor?  What are hi heels, past mating, they are but a way to prove that we live in leisure and elegance. Unfortunately, advertising has a powerful effect on human behavior.

I am very proud of my second cousin – www.Whitneydolo.com, as she explores body mythology and body identity.  Whitney was born missing an arm and a leg.  She is committed to finding herself and being a woman. She is doing a great job.

She encourages me to speak out.  I have long believed that the female culture is a farce.  I say so now because it is time.  Thank you Whitney.  😍😝