Life

Learning to Love Myself

There’s a movement afoot, and it’s one that has been a long time coming. It’s a movement for overweight people to love themselves, regardless of their size.

I have disliked myself and lacked self-confidence for a very long time, all because of my weight. I have been working on learning to like myself for years; surrounding myself with some very positive and loving people who accept me for who I am and lift me up when I am low.

What I have come to realize is just because I wear plus-sized clothes, it does not mean that I am stupid or ugly or unable to be successful in other areas in my life. My weight is only one of many characteristics of who I am, like hair color or eye color, it does not define me or negate the fact that I am a caring, empathetic, and open-minded person.  Nor does it mean that I should live in a world of shame where I should stay hidden in the shadows of life, wearing a muumuu and waiting until I am thin to be happy with myself. I can wear trendy, cute clothes and participate in activities I enjoy and anyone who has an issue with it, that’s their problem, not mine. I don’t have to carry that negativity or allow it to make me feel as if I am not worthy.

By no means does this mean that I am not going to work to get healthier; just as I will not stop learning new things because I am an adult. Just because I am learning to like who I am does not mean that I can’t also work to improve myself.  I realize there are areas in which I need improvement, but now I can embrace that and accept that those areas and that lack of perfection is what makes me human instead of hating myself because of it, and by liking who I am, that will make it easier and more enjoyable to take care of myself.

I now understand that you don’t have to wait until you get to your destination to love yourself, it is possible and also very important to love yourself where you are in your journey.

Categories: health, Life, Musings, nobodyshamecampaign, selflove, weightloss | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

What are you reading?

Recently, I received a Facebook post asking me to list ten books that had the most impact on me, but that’s difficult because any book I read impacts me in some way. So, I decided to post my favorite books and a list of books that are on my to-be-read list here to share with all of you.

Favorites:

1) The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

2) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

3) The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

4) The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

5) Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice

6) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

7) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

8) The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

9) Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

10) Sarah by Orson Scott Card

To-Be Read:

1) Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

2) Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

3) Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

4) 1984 by George Orwell

5) The complete works of Flannery O’Connor

6) Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

7) The Complete Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

8) Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

9) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

10) Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

So there are ten of my favorites and a list of books on tap to read. There are many more on the to-be-read list, but I thought ten was a good place to stop.

Feel free to write down your list in the comments below, I would love to add your recommendations to my list!

Categories: Books, Jacksonville, Life, Musings, NaBloPoMo2014, Reading | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Thankful

Many of my friends are posting daily thankful posts on Facebook to celebrate November and the American holiday of Thanksgiving, so I thought I would provide a list to share what I am thankful for this year.

1) I am thankful for my two daughters who challenge me to be a better Mom, friend, and teacher – every day.

2) I am thankful that my Mom and Dad have opened up their home to let my family move in until we are able to get established again.

3) I am thankful my parents are still around

4) I am thankful that I have a husband who puts up with my lack of self-confidence, crazy mood swings, hair-brained ideas, bigger-than-life dreams and goals, and keeps me grounded, even when I don’t want to be.

5) I am grateful for friends who I know will always be there, no matter how far away or how infrequently we see and speak to each other.

6) I am grateful for social media that allows far-away friends to feel closer than they are.

7) I am grateful that I am able to wake up every morning and take my kids to school, complete mundane errands, and, if I choose, do household chores like laundry and making dinner, without assistance.

8) I am grateful for four dogs who love me unconditionally.

9) I am grateful for one cat who loves me when she feels like it.

10) I am grateful that I have experienced love and loss, and have a better appreciation for the ‘good times’.

What are you grateful for?

Categories: Gratitude, Life, Musings, NaBloPoMo2014 | Tags: | Leave a comment

University of Florida Tour

Spent the day in Gainesville touring the campus for the High School Junior. It’s a beautiful campus and close to home — bonus!
Gator Head

 

Bookstore

 

Auditorium

 

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

Categories: Life, NaBloPoMo2014 | Tags: | Leave a comment

Writing Jacksonville

Today, I attended Jax by Jax, a literary arts festival designed to bring awareness to Jacksonville’s growing literary culture by showcasing writers who live in Jacksonville, writing about Jacksonville. This event was the first of its kind.

2014-11-08 18.05.34

The festival organizer, a local college professor, worked with a variety of businesses located in a historic, semi-urban area of Jacksonville known as Riverside. These businesses agreed to host artists, usually two and mostly writers, by giving them a space to read samples of their own writings or those in their literary magazines in twenty-minute increments. They would then allow ten minute breaks for the next author to prepare while the audience purchased drinks or food or meandered to the next venue to check out a different group of writers. The event lasted only three hours, and could have been longer. This model was beneficial to both artist and merchant as it created foot traffic for the merchant, and provided exposure for the writer.

Overall, the event was inspiring, and even though I was unable to see every reading and was too shy to really talk to anyone else, I took away a great sense of hope for the growth of the arts and entertainment culture in my hometown and pride in the quality of talent that resides here.

Who knows, perhaps one year, I will be the one reading my pieces to the audience, inspiring a want-to-be writer to embrace her creative side.

NaBloPoMo November 2014

Categories: Jacksonville, Life, Musings, NaBloPoMo2014, Writings | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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