A New Approach

A New Approach

At 44, I am tired of hating my body. Or wishing it was smaller or didn’t have cellulite or stretch marks. Or I didn’t have my FUPA. I am so incredibly exhausted from the daily struggle. I have had a lifetime of being told by family, social media or strangers that there is something wrong with my body. That it is not the ideal. I am taking a revolutionary approach; trying to appreciate my body for all it has done for me so far. Saying I am going to love my body felt like a stretch after swallowing so much negativity. I can start with appreciation and build to love. After all, being a mother of a daughter, this is another cycle I want to break. I do not want my daughter to spend her life hating her body. My goal for her is the same one I aspire to: to love her body unconditionally. To think of it not in terms of a number on the scale, or a particular size, but in terms of what it can do for her and how strong it is.

This body has done so much for me. It has survived being run over by a three wheeler (only a fractured cheek bone!). Fallen off countless horses. Gone ass over tea kettle down a ditch in a wheel barrow (thanks sissie!). Been through multiple car crashes, including a rollover and hitting a deer, without so much as a scratch! This body grew a baby to full-term and then some, and then pushed that beautiful, perfect baby out. This body has breastfed for several years, creating an unbreakable bond with my child. This body has carried me to 40 states, 14 countries, with countless more to explore. This body has carried me over the finish line of multiple 5ks, and even one half marathon. This body has survived the loss of loved ones, including my dear father, and been able to pick up the pieces and somehow still manage to carry on, despite the hole left in my heart. This body is currently surviving a divorce, one where I have decided that above anything else (my marriage, my child, my security), I have chosen myself first. I choose me, above anything else. I could go on and on about what my body has done and continues to do for me.

In a radical step, since it is summer, I am starting with appreciating my body in swimsuit. An area so many women struggle with. I bought myself several new swimsuits, ones that a past version of myself would have NEVER! bought. And you know what? I am rocking them. I feel good in them. I feel sexy, which is an entirely new feeling I am slowly getting used to. But the best part? I am not hung up on any imperfection or what my body looks like, because I am too busy having fun cannon-balling and belly flopping into the pool with my kid. Women, I would encourage you to try this yourself. It’s been so incredibly liberating! I have dubbed this the summer of zero f*cks and am enjoying the hell out of it. I dare you to try this too.

Not Going Back

Not Going Back

Seeing my newsfeed and Tiktok flooded with the leaked decision of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade, I feel like screaming this from the rooftops: “WE ARE NOT GOING BACK!” This applies to that situation as well as many others in my life at the moment. I am not alone when I say I will make DAMN sure the women of this country have bodily autonomy for their own healthcare decisions. Women are not breeding livestock you can legislate to just keep pushing out babies. We are humans and we have rights too. I refuse to be silent when my daughter’s (and daughters everywhere) future is at stake. We are not going back to the time in our country when the only person considered in our laws and our society is a white man. Mediocre white man: your time is up!

I’m overwhelmed with rage about the state of things. This is on top of the ludicrous cries of corporate America everywhere to “return to the office” and we “need to collaborate in person”. Really?!? Working remotely worked just fine during the past two years of the pandemic, but suddenly it no longer works? We all watched as millions of people around the world lost their lives as a result of this pandemic. The world is not the same as it was before. We, collectively and individually, are not the same as we were before. The pandemic enabled me (and countless others!) to see through the capitalistic, hustle, and work-until-you-die grind culture, and I am no longer here for it. I refuse to give my mental or physical health to a company that would cut me in a heartbeat in order to make the numbers look better for their shareholders.

And I have recently left a marriage that drained me of my time, mental energy, money, health, and self-confidence. Studies have shown that women’s health suffers during the marriage, while men thrive. And when divorce does happen? The reverse is true…women THRIVE while men take a hit. Is anyone surprised by that? I am most certainly not. We are the supporters, the cheerleaders, the taskmasters, the organizers, the soothers, the doers, the love, the glue. We hold families together. All I can think now, having time to heal and repair some of the damage from my marriage is, what took you so long to decide to leave? And that is even without being 100% done with the divorce process itself!

I am fucking DONE. I am not going back to the way things were before. I’m not nostalgic for old times. I am here, along with women everywhere, forging a better, more inclusive, more empathetic path forward. Not just for women, but for all people. If you are longing for the past, watch out, because we are about to mow you down. Burn the whole damn system down to the ground.

A Day of Baking Bliss

A Day of Baking Bliss

We went from almost 80 degrees last Sunday to snow flurries this morning! The day was cold and windy, and I have the weekend all to myself, so I decided to get my Betty Crocker on today. Before having my daughter, I used to bake a lot, and today made me realize how much I really do enjoy baking. I don’t know if it’s the creation of something new (and usually something sweet!), the smells emanating from the kitchen, the warmth from the stove. Maybe it’s all those things. But I find myself very relaxed and contented when I’m baking. It brings me so much pure joy!

This morning, I craved something warm and nourishing with the cold weather, so I found a recipe to make Blueberry Breakfast Oat Bars. I don’t have a gluten allergy but they looked and sounded good. I threw in some protein powder with it, because I didn’t have flax, and then dolloped the mixture on top. I assumed the dollops would melt down and cover the rest of the fruit in the bars, but nope! My dollops just sat there like lazy ass lumps. Needless to say, these tasted way better than they looked. Because from a presentation perspective, they pretty much looked like shit. LOL But, they were damn delicious. I enjoyed these with some mixed berry yogurt for my breakfast.

Berry Breakfast Bars

The second recipe I tried today I saw on Tiktok. It was an Irish Soda bread, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day this week and it just looked so tasty. Off I went to the store to get the ingredients I didn’t already have at home. I was on the fence about the raisins, even though I got some from the store. Raisins are ok, but not my favorite. Plus I worry about dropping them, the dog eating them, and dying (just a smidge dramatic I know). After seeing someone comment about using chocolate chips instead, that’s what I went with. And I was not disappointed one iota.

Irish Soda Bread (with chocolate chips)

First of all, let me say, make sure you have a big enough bowl for this mixture! It is a one-bowl mixture, but you do need a big bowl. Second, get ready for an arm workout because this dough is D-E-N-S-E. Between the weight of the dough itself and the cast iron pan, I got a mini-arm workout in.

It took an hour for this to bake, and it was well worth it! The outside texture is crunchy without being too tough, and the inside is soft and cake-like. I cut down the sugar from 1-1/4 cups to just a 3/4 cup and used only about 1-1/2 cups of chocolate chips. The bread has enough sweetness to be satisfying without being overindulgent. I absolutely loved the Irish Soda bread recipe and plan to make it again.

Ahhhh, baking my old friend. It’s nice to see you again. We have to get together more often.

(I Need) Sexual Healing

(I Need) Sexual Healing

Ah, Marvin Gaye. I realize I am showing my (old) age with that song title, but I don’t give a shit. This song came on in the car during my morning commute, and my grin spread from ear to ear. The universe and its serendipitous timing! All I kept thinking was, “THAT is exactly what I need!” Let me explain.

I am in the process of getting divorced from a 14-year marriage. And during the last few years of our marriage, I completely moved out of our bedroom, into the spare bedroom. Needless to say, our sex life, which was on life support to begin with, completely tanked. We barely did *it* anymore, and even in the times we did, it was never earth-shattering (at least for me). Part of that I attributed to how long we’d been together, but there was an underlying feeling that I was more or less a receptacle. Which I genuinely hope you, dear reader, never have to personally experience, since it is a soul-crushing feeling. That you could swap me out with any. other. vagina. and the outcome for him would still be the same. I didn’t feel seen at all, and I started to seriously wonder what happened to my sex drive. I know things change after having kids, but there was nothing there. I contemplated if I was genuinely asexual. Like was my sexual being dead inside?!?

Then when I finally managed to tell him I wanted a divorce, we lived together for several months while he was trying to find a place to move into. We spent our days trying to be civil to one another, often failing, as we navigated our feelings about our breakup while trying to keep it together for the sake of our daughter. I spent those months collapsing into bed from utter emotional exhaustion. Sex? The thought never crossed my mind. I was too worried about getting through the next day or stuffing down my rage over some shitty passive-aggressive comment he made so I could get up and do it all again.

Fast-forward to today. We are alternating custody and my ex has been moved out for almost 2 months now. Much to my chagrin (and complete fucking surprise!), my sexual being is not dead inside. Holy shit, quite the contrary…this mama needs some action! It felt as like some switch was turned off, and someone turned it the hell on. I am daydreaming of fantasies quite often. And as much as I can and have utilized battery-operated toys, that doesn’t even compete with the feel of another body pressed up against yours. Or someone gently kissing your neck. Or pressing you up against a wall.

Here is the conundrum I currently face. I haven’t had sex with another person in over 10 years. I feel so old and decrepit when it comes to the hookup and/or dating scene I’m not even sure what to start. Am I looking for a husband? Gawd no, I just sent one packing! Am I looking to seriously date? My lip grimaces as I type this so I’m gonna go with a big N-O there. But on the flip side, the thought of a one-night stand makes me cringe. As a woman, the thought of bringing someone back to my place is a non-starter just in terms of my own physical safety. And with dating apps, how do I being to weed out the misogynists, creepers, and abusers? Ideally, a friends with benefits option sounds REALLY great right about now. Except I don’t have a friend that would fit that scenario. SIGH.

All I know is I could definitely use some sexual healing. And soon. Until I figure this shit out, brb, while I go invest in some battery company.