Month: October 2013

Happy Halloween 2013

For some reason October has historically been a tough month for me.  I think with the end of summer and cold weather my psyche rebels and is unusually sensitive to everything around me.  Sometimes I just feel sadness and it won’t go away, like a pit deep in my stomach trying to drag me down.

I don’t always have a good reason but it just seems to happen that way.  Do you have periods of the year that you are more susceptible than others to the blues?  March is also a tough month because it feels like winter is never going to end.

At least there is Halloween to look forward to in October.  Growing up my Mom made costumes for us every other year and we gathered quite box of dress-ups to play with throughout the year.  I was everything from Raggedy Anne, to Sleeping Beauty to Pocahontas.   Then during my college years Halloween kind of died out and I stopped dressing up (you think that would be prime dressing up time but not for me).

I went on a mission and one Halloween we were angels with little halos and another we wore fairy wings to the ward party.  When I got home I lived in Orem and then moved to American Fork with Megan and Camille.  During our 2 years as roommates we threw some great Halloween parties and I started dressing up again  I was Tracy Turnblat from Hairspray, a Geisha, and Dorothy.

We kept the tradition of the Halloween party going for a while but as is usually the case people moved, things changed and last year I found myself not doing much for Halloween.  Luckily I invited my friend Rachel McGary over and we had soup in pumpkins and chatted.  I also went to a church dance where I dressed up as superwoman.

This year came and October was particularly grueling what with date-gate and the great church meltdown I was hoping to do something for Halloween but nothing was coming up so I didn’t get a costume.  Then my ward announced a party on the 30th and my friend Melissa invited me to her Halloween party.

So, I began the happy task of finding a costume!  It was a welcome distraction believe me. I am not a sewer so that leaves me with either assembled costumes or purchasing a costume.  I usually go for the latter but it can be difficult as I am out of the sizes of some costumes and I don’t want anything with the word ‘sexy’ before it (it’s so strange how many things they are able to make sexy for Halloween!).

Eventually I settled on a witch and I am thrilled with how my costume turned out.  I think it looks like Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter.  What do you think?  I love it!

What are all of you doing for Halloween?  Whatever it is, I hope it is very happy and full of a lot more treats than tricks.  Sure love ya!

mcgonagall halloween2

Pleasing No One

writing_is_a_struggle_against_silence_by_amazinganimegirl-d5f157w

So I learned a lesson in the last few days, one about standing up for my writing in a new way and that by trying to please everyone I pleased no one, least of all myself.

A few days ago I wrote a post I was very proud of about the commonly believed myth that weight has anything to do with finding a life partner.  This is something I have been told all my life and never really believed.  I see too much to argue against it everywhere I look.  As I mentioned in the post, even in Hollywood we see the movie The Heat has 2 actresses, one skinny, one plus size.  It is not the skinny one that is currently married.

Anyway, I used a framing device for this piece a horrible date I had been on where I was told I was fat, needed to diet and exercise in order to attract a suitable spouse.  While I felt hurt I felt the piece was fair as it disclosed no personal information and it could have easily been John Doe for all anyone knew.  He also had every right to write his side on his blog, get his friends to defend him.  I also had given him more of my personal information than he had of me so if anything the power play was in his hand.

Nevertheless, the post sprouted a wide array of opinions- most of the positive and I will admit many of them coming on my request, as I asked for defense (my friends are the best and so loyal).  There was a small minority that felt I had been a bully and unchristlike.

This was hard for me to hear because as a bullying victim I take that type of behavior very personally.  I sincerely didn’t believe that was what I had done but the idea that anyone, especially one very close person, thought that was what I had done bothered me.

So, in a moment of weakness I took the post down but this didn’t feel right either.  I saw the positive effect it was having and one girl even said “I needed to read this today! Thanks for posting, sometimes I feel like the only women dealing with this. You rock!”  If for this woman alone I felt the information needed to be out there.  What to do?  Again in a weak moment I decided to edit it to not include the date and just the weight discussion.  This was a much weaker post but i figured it was better than nothing.

Unfortunately when I did this the comments made no sense so I tried to change them in nominal ways, keeping their core content but a friend rightly pointed out this was censorship and not ethical.  I knew it wasn’t right when I was doing it but was down the rabbit hole at that point.

Eventually I reached a status where nobody was happy with me and for good cause.  Worst of all I risked alienating readers and especially hurting my friends who had come to my defense so quickly.  I reluctantly decided I’d made such a mess of things that I erased the post and moved on.

I would like to apologize for this whole episode and for deleting the comments you took time to craft.  My only defense is that I learned a lot from the experience.  I learned to trust my voice and trust my readers who overwhelmingly agreed with me and liked the post.  If I had just let it be and not worried about it everything would have blown over and been fine.

Writing is a bold endeavor and I am very proud of the fact that I have never held anything back on this blog.  It is the proudest thing I do.  It is the best part of my life.  In a way it is my life.  I need to honor my voice and writing and feel confident in what it tells me to produce.  Lesson learned.

If I can end with a plea.  If you were offended on either side I am sorry.  Please continue read (and thank you for the nearly uniform understanding and support I have felt in the last 2 days), share, comment and ponder.  I have written 720 posts over 6 years, what I conservatively estimate is 400,000 words.  If one post was handled poorly please give me a second chance.  I know what I have to say is important.  I have no editor but I do the best I can and I believe in my voice, now more than ever.

The greatest thing we can do in life is to be true to ourselves and serve God.  Sure love ya! To 400,000 more words and 6 more years. I will keep writing.  Thanks! Now on to Nanowrimo!

The Only Happy FAT Woman in America

One more. This one was at the beginning of my fitness quest and I had some who doubted my sincerity. I really was happy then and am happy now.

Smilingldsgirl's Weblog

This is kind of a continuation on the last post but I was so angry  I just had to write about it.  Today I went to the gym and worked extra hard to burn off some of 2 pieces of pizza and a breadstick I ate for lunch. (Did I mention pizza/Italian food is my weakness?). Anyway, I decided to do 35 minutes on the exercise bike and then my usual swimming (ended up doing 25 min in the pool- 1 hour total one of my longest exercise sessions!).  As I was pushing myself on the bike I started to watch the Oprah show.  She was doing an episode profiling extreme weight loss with fitness guru Bob Greene (who I might add has a promotions deal with McDonalds….Strange?).  As I watched the program I found myself wanting to throw a shoe at the screen.  Once again the people were portrayed…

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Should or Want?

Today is classic blog post day. This is the second blog I ever wrote in 2008. Enjoy. Totally relate to it

Smilingldsgirl's Weblog

Lately I have been thinking a lot about my motivations in life. Being in between jobs means that most of the activities I participate in are by my own choice. What I mean by that is I don’t have a boss or authority figure telling me how I must use my time. It has caused me to wonder about the following question- how much of my life is dictated by what I want and how much by what I should want. For example, a woman may not want a family but feels that she should want a family; therefore, she forces herself to want a family.

I suppose there is another facet to this question- there are some choices that are based on needs and not wants. For instance, I will eventually have to get a job because I need money but what type of job I get could depend…

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Classic Disney

This is one I don’t think enough people read. What’s your favorite classic Disney?

Smilingldsgirl's Weblog

I have always been a huge Disney fan. I love Disneyland and eagerly look forward to new animated films each year. My favorite movie is almost always animated with Tangled being in my top 5 movies of the last several years.  I love the music, artistry and characters we get in any Disney film.  As a child my favorite movies were The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.

Recently I have been getting classic Disney films on netflix and watching them in order of release date.  It is a fascinating exercise.  I just finished Bambi and one of the things that stuck out to me is how dark the films all are.  All of them have near-deaths or deaths and are painted with a somewhat somber tone.  This is interesting because you would think the last thing audiences in the 30s would want is a sad picture?   Perhaps there…

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Things that Make Me Smile

Smilingldsgirl's Weblog

Since I just did a post on pain I figured I need to lighten things up a bit.  I do after all smile a lot.

So here are some things that make me happy:

1. Fresh Cut Flowers- I wish I could get them every day or even just go into a little flower shop and stare at them, smelling them and feeling of their cheerfulness.  One of the things I love about New York is the flower shops.  I wish I could find a place like that in Draper.  They have one flower store but it is pretty sterile. I love fresh flowers and wish I didn’t have to buy them for myself all the time.  Someday!

FRESH-CUT-FLOWERS

2. Hallmark Original Movies- In fact I am watching one right now and loving it.  It is called Remember Sunday about a man who has no short term memory because of an…

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Warriors in Pink

I have been having a rough go of it lately and honestly felt like most things I do have been a mess.   What is the best thing to do when feeling depressed?  Usually find a way to serve so I’ll ask for you all to keep reading my blog if you’ve found any of the 720 posts helpful over the years and forgive me if I have offended you in any way along the way.  I have certainly done the best I could to make this as compelling reading as possible.  My choices haven’t always been great but don’t give up on me!  We’ll get another 720!

But let’s focus on other people and let the chips fall where they may.  I want to tell you about the Warriors in Pink program because its pretty awesome.    It is a program of outreach and well made/attractive products that helps to prevent and find a cure for breast cancer.  The goal is to “keep the topic of breast cancer part of everyday conversation and encourage women and men to engage in self-exams. Greater awareness can lead to earlier diagnosis, which in turn, could save lives”

I can’t think of a much better goal than that!  Breast cancer is particularly important to diagnose early because it is so treatable.   The American Cancer Society says in 2013:

  • About 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
  • About 64,640 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • About 39,620 women will die from breast cancer

So clearly if we can spread the word on diagnosis and treatment we can save lives.   To read about how to do a proper self-exam and to know what to look for go to nationalbreastcancer.org.  This is important stuff so if it feels awkward, do it anyway.

After monitoring your own health, would you like to contribute as I desired to?  That’s where Warriors in Pink comes in.  They sell wonderful clothing, scarfs, bags, and a variety of items for reasonable prices with 100% net proceeds going to 5 breast cancer charities- Susan G Comen, Susan G. Research Foundation, The Pink Fund and the Young Survival Coalition.  You can give to one of the 5 or all 5.

I was really impressed with the quality of the items I got and just the apparel proceeds since 2006 adds up to almost 5 million in donations.   Pretty great!

The prices are very reasonable with beautiful scarfs selling for $35 down to keychains for $10.  There are also beautiful ties for men to show their support.  The more women we can keep around for their families the better off this country will be.  I firmly believe that.

So its a win-win situation.  You get a quality product at a good price that looks cute and you donate to a very important cause with 100% net proceeds going to the charities.   Please follow my lead and contribute if you are able.

Thanks, Rachel

I love the big and wide pink scarf.
I love the big and wide pink scarf.
Scarf and bag.  Bag has a nice lining in it.
Scarf and bag. Bag has a nice lining in it.

Want to see them up close and personal on this video!  Go for it!