Dog Tired: The Ugly Truth About Weight Loss in My Forties

PC: Instagram @sir_russell_the_frenchie

This blogpost is almost 5,300 words long so it may have to be read in segments. That’s okay, because it was crafted in segments. A little over ten weeks ago I set out on a disciplined journey to lose 20 pounds over the two-month summer break I have off from teaching school. I did everything mostly the way you’re supposed to and miraculously, I finished all the way to the end.

This story will not contain methods that everyone, or anyone, would recommend. The purpose of documenting my thoughts as I went through this was to do all the hard work for you, in the event that your weight is something you also constantly obsess about, like I do. Secondly, I need my journals to remind me that I really did try my very best. Read more

Ideal

PC: Instagram @monikaklicks

#relationshipgoals  When you see a sultry black and white picture of a gorgeous young couple tied up together like snakes under blankets on the couch watching Netflix.

#bestfriendgoals  And you wonder who you would invite to go hiking through Europe with you, if  you and a best friend could actually take a trip like that.

#lifegoals But then you come back down to earth because you know you probably won’t ever really own a home off the coast of Greece, overflowing with a garage full of race cars.

#fitnessgoals Because let’s face it, this is real life and we are all just regular, normal, average people who don’t spend hours and hours of each day staying in shape, looking perfect and making millions of dollars.

What is ideal? and What is unrealistic?  These are questions everyone asks themselves quietly, like I do, as I try to set goals for myself while at the same time being honest about who I am as a person and where I am in my life. They’re questions that trick me sometimes because (1) I’m an eternal optimist and (2) I don’t like to think of my behaviors, my habits, my future and my body as things that I can no longer control. Read more

The Horns of the Bull

PC: Instagram @_becky_newman

Go five years in reverse from today and you would’ve found me getting adjusted to living all by myself for the first time ever in my life. I was in the middle of a heartbreaking divorce, holed up in a tiny, sterile apartment grieving, wondering how I could ever be happy again without the safety of my marriage and my family…a marriage that, incidentally, provided me with many years of a different kind of grief altogether. Obviously, I was forced to get used to it against my will. Some things are completely beyond our control and divorce is sometimes one of them. In the beginning of my transmutation from couplehood to spinsterhood, I still had a small child at home but since then he has grown into an independent young man with an affection for X-treme sports and his own vehicle. As a result, I’ve stayed home by myself a lot over the last few years. Yes, it gets too quiet sometimes, but I’m thankful for the slow boil of my seclusion over the years in this state. Read more

Fountain of Youth

Photo Credit: Instagram @sarahpeakemua @destini_dmc @lucysteinerphotography.

If you have perused the pages of this website with any depth you have gathered by now that image means a lot to me. I fight getting old with a furor. I utilize uncomfortable and inconvenient methods for staying young-ish because I am just not yet ready to throw in the towel and start knitting, canning and wearing Christmas sweaters. It’s vanity at its worst. Still, in spite of my dedication, life often takes a jab at me anyway, just to put me in my place.

It’s my knees. They scream and moan at me every day. If knees had naggy voices, mine would say, “Oh dear God, what were you thinking walking a mile down the beach, woman?” or “Yep, this is gonna be a four-Advil day. I hope you’re happy.”

It’s my hair. It looks every bit as old as I actually am. I grieve for the old days when I whined because it took an eternity to blow dry it. (Sigh) Oh, those days are no more.

And it’s my eyes. They are tired and unfocused, handicapped and aimless without a good pair of reading glasses. READING GLASSES!

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bad day

Photo Credit: Instagram Princess and Empire Builder Extraordinaire J. Burch. Instagram: @jm_burch @theburchhouse.

Sometimes my students grow up to be my friends. Sometimes, strangely, my students even grow up to be extraordinarily special to me in ways I never would have expected, like when they turn out to be hugely successful and I actually seek them out for help or advice.

Under strange and special circumstances, a student even grows up to be the kind of person I deeply admire and envy. Now, that doesn’t happen as often as you might guess, because age and wisdom usually only flow in a single direction, in the way the influence of mentors is supposed to trickle uniquely downward. It happened here though, with this young scribe I once graded and critiqued. She has grown into a mammoth talent, a lifestyle photographer with crazy skillz-with-a-z behind the lens. She is becoming her own Southern wedding empire with three small children in tow, and her #dearjason tributes to her husband belong in Taylor Swift song lyrics.

But that’s not what draws me to her — it’s her writing. Read more