compassion, family, Life, Motherhood, Unschooling, Women

Family is our heritage

Eat. Chocolate. The heritage of the family. Or, as Blaise Paschal would say, the heart of the family.

I have often written of this heritage as  ‘strength’. That ability to cope, to keep going, to persevere. The heritage of strength. To never give up and, rightly or wrongly, to stick to being themselves, my family, with their agency and decision-making, both individualistic and collective.

Present, too, in my family, has been the strength to know when to cut your losses and make a change.

So, strength has been a theme, a thread, in the heritage of the family.

But I think there is more. To be honest, when I think of family love and family battles, of parties fading to fights, of solidarity and connectedness, I think of family itself. I realize that the heritage is more than a character trait or a story weaving its way through our lives, a tradition that keeps on being traditional. No, to reduce the family heritage to such simplicity is to do the heritage injustice. Because, ultimately, the heritage of our family is ‘family’ itself.

The ties that wind and bind, with love and sometimes dislike, inexplicably wrap us together as family. We pass on the intensity of the experience to our children. They, too, come to know family as a heritage that one can never quite escape.

And, surprisingly, we come to understand that the heritage of family is something you do not want to escape. It is you, your heritage. It is in all the good and all the bad. It is both the utopia and the dystopia.

It, family,  is there in the books and movies and music and quotes. The shared memories of childhood. The standing together against all odds, even in the busyness of life and the rare opportunity to gather as family.

We know life because of family.

This is our heritage.

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Life

Cranky women

Do you know a cranky woman?

Do you hear people complain about cranky women?

Yeah, I do too. But you know, sometimes, the crankiness is just plain tiredness. Sometimes the crankiness is just plain hunger.

What this post calls “hangry”… You yelled at your kids or significant other because you were so damned hungry. Acted bitchy because you were starving. And finally threw all caution to the wind and ate, ate everything, no regards to calories (even though you have been stupidly counting them all day..) or nutrition, a slave to feeding your hunger.

I think we women can be the worst culprits here. Simply because we are so good at meeting everyone else’s needs and putting our own needs, yes, even a need for sustenance, last.

Or because we try to exist on low calorie diets to fit a thin ideal.

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Thurs: I had actually eaten and thus : not cranky…

Apparently, women also need more sleep than men. If we don’t, over a prolonged period of time, we are more prone to depression.

Yep.

So what about just taking on self-care, looking after ourselves, not with rules on what to eat and when or on cutting out sugar or adding more on to do lists or whatever is your issue, these are mine… but with being gentle, eating, resting, exercising, smiling, working on our issues and why we, or those next to us, don’t value us. How about taking care of ourselves and who we are, as we are.

Yep, I’m talking to me again.

Life

The way of the happy, healthy woman.

A fitness instructor, one whom I respect, one whom has energising, feel good workouts, wrote a post about the ways of skinny women.

I felt disappointed. Betrayed even.

When will we stop categorising people, and most especially women, according to their weight?

Since when is skinny a compliment, a goal to which to aspire?

I’ve had eating disorders. I’ve been thin, very thin, but never thin enough to please the significant others in my life.

I’ve had exercise addictions.

I’ve been a “normal” weight.

I’ve been obese.

I am “overweight”.

But I am no longer obsessed about weight and appearance. I am no longer cold and tired and achey all the time, in retrospect the side effects for me of dieting and exercising to maintain a “good” weight. My health and blood tests are good. I’m healthy. And I am no longer willing to maintain the level of obsession needed for me to have a certain look. For there was a level of obsession. And now I have other things to think about, other dreams to follow.

I take care of myself, or at least I aim to. I aim to look like me, a good enough me. I aim to be heathy and happy. I love working out, for my health, for my “me” time, for fun, as a challenge. I aim to spend time on my looks but more time on who I am, on prayers, in using my mind, on my vocation, my work, on others, on my dreams, on the me that is more than weight and looks.

I think I can be me and still look good.

And so do “Intuitive Eating”, “The Rules of Normal Eating”, “Beyond Chocolate”, “Nice Girls Finish Fat”. (You can find those books on Amazon or Kindle or the groups on Facebook.)

It’s the way of the happy, healthy woman.