Saturday, May 29, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
So, if you are like me, and need a blog post that says it: here it is. Today, forgive yourself every time you think you've failed. And congratulate yourself on opening up your eyes, blinking, breathing in and out, and continuing to be in your body and in your head.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Recently over at Shapely Prose, snarkysmachine wrote a post called The Last Dragon where she discussed giving up things that were holding her back from true fat acceptance. I really related to one of them. Earlier this year, I went out and bought pants that actually fit me as opposed to trying to squeeze into pants that fit me several years ago.
I've been thinking about that shopping trip again recently for two reason: I am so sick of all my winter clothes and cannot wait to start wearing spring stuff and I'm having fantasizes about buying clothes that fit a different body.
In 6 months or so many friends from college will be coming back into town for reunions and for a mutual friends wedding. I've found myself scheming a lot for how I'm going to be a knockout (including losing lots of weight) by June. This morning it occurred to me how ridiculous I'm being to use the occasion of seeing friends to hate myself. My friends aren't going to care what I look like; they're going to care about catching up and whether or not I'm currently happy.
The last time I wrote here it was to poo-poo life lists (for me, not for anyone else) because I felt that they fed into my misguided conception of my body/life as a house that needs renovations. I am not a project. I am a person. And what I need from myself is love, not improvement plans.
Since I wrote my life list post, I returned the idea of the list and realized the problem isn't that it's a list of goals; the problem was *my* goals. I wrote one out for myself focusing on the idea that the list is to help me (1) incorporate things that I already love into my life on a more regular basis and (2) remain open to things that I think I *might* love, but have been scared to try. (The only really self improve-y thing that ended up on there was a goal to better understand my finances...)
This week I've been working on:
7. Try out 50 new recipes a year.
23. Make a CD, preferably with bands discovered that month, once a month for a year. Distribute. ("discovered" is a very loose term)
For my recipe goal, I am currently working my way through the soup and entree sections of the Better Homes and Gardens Vegetarian Recipes book and picking things out of the Best Recipes 2010 of Cooking Light. Last night I made the Bistro Braised Chicken.
Making the February CD was really good. It reminded me how much I like listening to new music and how much new music is out there. If you'd like a copy let me know.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Somewhere on the internet recently I ran into one of those "bucket list" memes. Only instead of 101 things to do over a lifetime, it was 101 things to do in a year. You can see a variation of this over at Mighty Girl's Mighty Life List.
The idea of listing out 101 things to achieve and then going out and documenting their achievement appeals to me. A lot. So much so that as I was thinking about it tonight I was thinking, why not take it to another level and plan 101 things to do in a month! They would have to be small things! But that way I would have to get started right away! And every day I would be DOING! DOING in the sense of making things happen, improving myself, getting back on track, finally figuring out this big old mess of me.
I've lived long enough (and set myself up for failure enough) that I now know to resist these kinds of ideas. And to consider that maybe instead of doing, I should concentrate on BEING.
For me, "doing" very quickly turns into being a way to not deal. Dreaming of transforming myself into the kind of person who runs marathons, knits blankets, writes novels, and socialize three nights a week is an excellent way to delay accepting myself for who I am.
I don't think we give people enough credit for just being. There are times when I'm going to be able to take on an extra project (one at a time, rachel!), but there are also going to be times when feeding myself, dressing, and going to work is all I can handle. No matter how many to do lists I dream up. And that's OK.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The internet has evolved a new species of magpie reader, gathering bright little buttons of knowledge, before hopping on to the next shiny thing...
If the culprit is obvious, so is the primary victim of this radically reduced attention span: the narrative, the long-form story, the tale. Like some endangered species, the story now needs defending from the threat of extinction in a radically changed and inhospitable digital environment.
Macintyre's arguments do not ring true to me for several reasons.
First, he is unable to prove that email, texting, twittering, blogging, etc cannot exist side-by-side with more traditional forms of story-telling. In this very article, Macintyre claims that America's rapt attention to the Obama narrative this past fall indicates our "hunger for narrative." One could just as easily argue that our ability to sustain interest in Obama's life story indicates that narrative story-telling is alive and well.
Second, a story does not have to be long to be a good story. I really didn't like how Macintyre was really criticizing damage to the long narrative, but did not make that distinction consistently in his article. One might argue that our attention span has shrunk to a ridiculously short amount, making even the most simple narrative impossible to digest, but hour long dramas on television would beg to differ. Perhaps television or a four page email from Mom, isn't what Macintyre has in mind, but it reeks of snobbery to pretend that something has to be printed and the length of Moby Dick to qualify as a narrative.
Third, even if we presume that narrative story telling is in trouble, I don't think that there is good evidence at all that the internet is the source of damage to the long narrative. In Claude Fisher's book, America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940, Fisher argues "telephone company management shifted advertising during the 1920's to reflect the demands of the private consumer. Prior to this shift, managers marketed the telephone as a practical, rather than social, tool. Once they realized more Americans were buying automobiles instead of telephones, the telephone companies changed their marketing strategies to reflect the predominant use of their product."
Consumers drive how content is developed and marketed. If internet technology is used to break communication down into smaller and smaller pieces, I don't think the technology that enables this is to blame. A better culprit would be societal forces that demand that people spend less and less time communicating and more and more time working or consuming.
Also, it's a little weird that a newspaper article is criticizing the loss of a long-form narrative. Pot calling kettle black, dude?