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Loving Ourselves — and Our Bodies

Show me a woman with no insecurities and I’ll show you a cat with a dog’s personality.

Even those most confident and successful with self-image, I feel sure, see bits about themselves they pick apart from time to time.

My arms are flabby.

I’ve got to lose weight.

I’m not tall enough.

The pores on my face aren’t small enough.

My stomach is not sexy.

My ears are too huge.

My boobs are too tiny.

I’ve got a weird mole. A gap in my teeth. Hairy forearms.

And so on… These things are said under our breath, or are common in our thoughts, and they become more than detached observation. They grow big enough and strong enough to feel wrong, and to distract us from our greater beauty, and our wholeness.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

We spend unnecessary amounts of time fixated on our blemishes, when in truth, we’re usually the only ones who absorb them.

Why are we so critical of ourselves?

Think about your daughters. Your sisters. Your best friends.

Does Becca Jane’s double chin overshadow her tried-and-true integrity?

Is Sonya’s Comedy Central-worthy sense of humor threatened by her overbite?

When was the last time you rolled your eyes at Tina’s thinning hair, or crinkled your nose because of Dominique’s funky toes?

Why should our own imperfections be so big? Weigh so much? We shouldn’t love ourselves any less, or be any less forgiving of our flaws than we are of our daughters’, sisters’, friends’ imperfections. It’d be pretty duplicitous of us.

On our favorite people we see tummy rolls, pock marks, wrinkles, with only detached observation. It doesn’t figure into our assessment of them, because we love them regardless. We love them for their loyalty, for their excellent listening habits, for never hesitating to help, for mad creative skills. Their giant blue eyes catch our attention. We ogle their gorgeous hair. We appreciate the softness of their voice, the strength they show when tested, the way they juggle so much in life like the best of experts.

We see our loves ones’ physical flaws — if even aware of them — as only a small part of their whole being. It’s part of their realness, that’s it, nothing more. And this endears us to them.

Who would Nina be without her trademark frizz? Would anyone recognize Sabrina if she laughed without the snort?

I would never want my girls to be as hard on themselves as I’ve been on myself over the years. One of my daughters has some warts, the other some scars from a childhood virus. These are physical flaws they’re aware of — much in the way I’m aware of the keloid on my ear, and the excess of my body that I see before anything else when I look in the mirror — but my girls are so much more than their “defects.” And so am I. None of those things should get a second thought from us. They add up with lots of other things to make us who we are.

Loving my girls for so many reasons, definable and not, and knowing the kind of confidence I want them to have as they come into their own, has taught me to go easy on myself. Why would I ever talk to myself in a way I’d never think to talk to my sweet girls or my dearest friends?

Why would you?

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” — Buddha

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What Does “Unplugged” Mean To You?

When contemplating what to post today I thought about the name of this blog – Women Unplugged. I don’t recall who thought of the title but I like it. It’s unique and appropriate. Why?

I notice that there are few, if any, men who read our posts. I don’t wonder why since it’s obviously a blog for women who want to read posts that are, well, unplugged – out of the norm, different, not what you’d expect, et al.

I enjoy reading what’s written here because I never know what to expect. Every woman’s post is uniquely different than any others that have been written before. No posts “fit” into any particular category or theme. That’s what makes them all “unplugged”.

I see the posts in my inbox and, just as Forest Gump would say, “you never know what you’re gonna get”.

So I’m taking my “day” for posting on the Women Unplugged site to say “thank you” to those women who are not only writing the posts but reading them as well.

What does “unplugged” mean to you?

 

Time in Get OUTside!

After my whirlwind year of 2013 when writing took up a good chunk of my existence, I’m going back to the garden. Taking a break, if you will, from the fervent typing in exchange for the rhythmic till of soil. It’s good to be outside, especially on a day when it’s sunny and 70! Florida living…. Not that the polar vortex missed us. It didn’t. But we do get a reprieve where many of you do not. My condolences.

My plants have missed me but are loving the cooler temps. Cabbage and broccoli love this weather.

cabbage is happy

Brussels Sprouts are coming along nicely, plumping on the stalk.

Brussels are sprouting

Onions, too. The warm bed of hay mulch helps.

sweet onions are snug

I also have carrots, kale and lettuce in ground. A few peppers, plus, we planted some potatoes today. All seem content. Miraculously, my tomatoes are not brown and dead from last week’s freeze.

frozen but not dead tomatoes

Not sure how that happened but I’m not chancing a bite of the fruit. I think I’m good until spring. 🙂

Spring. In Florida that’s only 6 weeks away! I hate to boast but life is good here in the South.

Celebrate!

I find myself whipping through the holidays against my every intention to slow down and enjoy the moment. I want to consume the scent of evergreen–something we don’t get a lot of here in Florida–and linger in the beauty of the lights, the magic, the meaning of the season. My children have been counting the days, of course, hardly able to contain themselves as they anxiously await the big night. (Who knew there was something called Christmas Eve-Eve-Eve?) Thank goodness the actual day has arrived!

gingerbread house

It’s a beautiful time of year, one we celebrate with friends and family, sharing our hearts and time, contemplating our blessings. It’s a time to give, a time to receive, a time to take stock in where we’ve been, where we’re going and what it all means. This year has been a whirlwind for me. I’ve completed my new series, Ladd Springs, releasing book 5 out of 5 later this month. It’s been exciting, exhausting, challenging and rewarding but well worth it. Now, I take time to breathe and simply “be” before continuing the process of marketing and brainstorming the next set of books from Dianne Venetta. (Does it ever end? ;))

Kids are great

Hopefully not. Hopefully, for as long as I’m living and breathing I will have the spirit of creativity in my heart, the passion that sustains me and gives back in the form of entertaining stories which provide escape and release from the everyday stress and strain of life. We all have busy lives. We live in a time where technology propels our minds at the speed of light and thrusts us from activity to activity, goal to goal. I, for one, am taking a breather. If only for a day, an evening, a moment, I’m jumping off the “merry-go-round” of obligation and duty and sitting calmly at home with my husband and children.

Trying to, anyway, and I hope the same for you. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year. See you in 2014!

What’s YOUR guilty pleasure?

Do you have a guilty pleasure? As for myself, naming only one may prove difficult. Or perhaps I could rationalize this one away and say there are NO guilty pleasures. I’m an adult. Everything is fair game. (So long as I’m calling my mother and paying attention to hubby and the kids, right?)

Oh, but I do love fantasy play! Alright, my number one guilty pleasure…

Does flirting count?  It’s not chocolate cake (that I so desperately yearn for), but it is equally as fulfilling. I am a living breathing woman with needs and, eh-hem, ego. I am getting older, wider—er, I mean, wiser.  Yes, older and wiser is what I’m getting and when the bag boy at my local supermarket smiles bright and asks, “Are these your kids?”

As though he’s surprised that a woman of my youthful appearance could have produced elementary-aged children—upper elementary-aged children, to be exact. Well, it’s an easy mistake to make (a lie I’ll continue to tell myself) so I smile in reply and say, “Why yes, they are.”

“Wow…” he utters in shock.

Sweet child.  Of course he must be younger than he looks because if he had a lick of worldly sense about him, he would know that no woman in her right mind would take another person’s child to the grocery store, let alone two. Shoot—it’s not even wise to take your own kids to the store let alone someone else’s!

And to think I had grown older and wiser.  (Perhaps I have a few years to go before that particular feature kicks in.) Yes, well, can we get back to chocolate?  At least I’ve grown wise enough to distinguish between good chocolate and bad chocolate.  You know, as in:  I only eat dark chocolate. 

Okay, that’s a lie.  The best chocolate pudding cake is not made from dark chocolate but my ever so favorite milk chocolate with caramel between the layers, topped with milk chocolate frosting…

Speaking of frosting, I believe I’m plum out.  I think it’s time I head to the grocery store right now—without the kids.  Heaven knows they’ll want some of my cake if they see me buy it!  (Told you it wasn’t a good idea to shop with children.)  Now if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s time I practice my “innocent” look—before the kids and hubby get home.

How about you?  Any guilty pleasures you want to share?

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