Unsolicited Comments : Mark It as Spam

We’ve all gotten comments and opinions we never asked for or invited. Things like:

“Oh, you started working again? I guess your husband’s income isn’t cutting it.”

“Your body may not be ideal but at least you’ve got a beautiful face.”

“It must be exhausting having a downs child.”

“You’re so skinny. I wish I could eat anything and not gain weight.”

“I can’t believe you still use the microwave. It causes cancer.”

Think of these messages of ignorance and stupidity as flagged messages in your inbox and send them to the spam folder.

Do we open messages in our spam folder? No, because based on the subject line, we know the content may be harmful or that the message is meaningless to us.

In that same line of thinking, I’ve been relating it to the unsolicited comments I’ve received in real life. It sucks that sometimes these comments are said by people close to us, but the fact is their comment doesn’t do any good. Before letting a hurtful comment fester – giving time to internalize their words, and opening myself up to their message, I simply sort it to spam. The real life version of “unsubscribe” is to respectfully tell them that topic is off limits, what they said was rude, or brush it off by changing the subject.

Don’t open their loaded email. Don’t let their words ruin your day or get you down. Treat spam as spam: delete. Keep your inbox for what makes you feel good and builds you as a person. Don’t let messages that don’t fit that filter ruin the good stuff.

As a rule of thumb, I also sort gossip to junk mail. Bye bye, BS.


The Worst Mother’s Day…Though it got Better

Miscommunication is a monster. Outside of evil itself, it is the most insidious thing. Often times, no one is wrong OR right, but the resulting hurt and damage is done regardless of fault. That was what happened here.

On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, I drilled my dad. His senior brain doesn’t work like it used to, so I felt that driving down the facts TWICE would help him remember. I told him I had a debriefing all day Saturday for the organization I volunteered with to help plan next year’s event, and that on Sunday, I was covering both shifts for coffee ministry at church so the moms that usually help could enjoy their day. I told him that we should plan on celebrating Sunday afternoon sometime after 2 when I’d be home and my brother and his wife we also done with church and lunch.

He complains that he wants to take my mom to dim sum and insists that’s what she wanted. And dim sum ends at 2. I told him we could go somewhere else.

On Friday, he tells me matter-of-factly that he and my mother are going to dim sum Saturday. It’s exactly what I asked him not do. I was rushing to my painting class so in the minute I had I asked, “Did you at least ask if N and R could go?” He replies yes, he planned this with my brother (N.)

Ouch. Freaking Ouch. I walked out that door with a bullet in my heart. At least my brother and sister in law could go, but what about me? Why did they have to deliberately celebrate when I couldn’t be present at all?

I got home late that night and waited to speak to my mom. I told her I heard about their plans for tomorrow and wondered why they couldn’t do something all together on Sunday evening. She explodes at me (whether she wants to admit it or not) and calls me selfish for wanting to do what I want on her day. She told me it was for her and she could do as she wanted. She added that she in fact, did not necessarily want dim sum.

Stifling showing my hurt, I offered to contact my group and tell them I couldn’t go last minute to spend part of mother’s day with my own mother. This is the second time she has called me selfish this month so I am incredibly wounded. The fact that they planned to exclude me and that my own brother didn’t mention a thing to me was painful. And to add insult to injury, that word selfish was thrown in.

On Saturday, I got up and stayed quiet in my room. I built a bridge and got over all the hurt from the night before and focused on being home after everyone came back from dim sum. I hear my dad’s voice booming to my mom, “She’s still here, did she oversleep for her meeting today?”

Minutes later my mom comes up to my door and asks if I’m joining them for dim sum. As politely and respectfully as possible I tell her I wasn’t invited to join them but if I was invited I’d go. I only meant to not assume, but she translated that as me testing the waters and trying to sound petty. I hear her complaining and tell me she doesn’t want anything and I’ve ruined her mothers day. Then she goes to tell my dad his plans made me feel excluded and they start bickering. I come out and try to say my piece but my dad is yelling at me and my mom is fed up and walks out to the backyard.

My dad then proceeds to call me a liar and says he told me yesterday what he planned to do and he planned it because I wasn’t available.

I’m very emotional at this point, like any fucking human being would be. I walk outside and tell my mom I’m sorry and that I want her to have a good Mother’s Day and didn’t mean to cause all this. She is freaking out that the neighbors will hear me and is further angered by my actions. I. Can’t. Fucking. Win.

Finally N is on the phone and several phone calls later we finally resolve enough to go to dim sum.

My dad is losing his marbles. It’s frustrating but also sad. I could hear by the way he answered my brother he never took time to understand me. I was telling him my schedule and to plan to celebrate on Sunday after lunch. He took it to mean I was too busy all weekend. His lack of rationalizing is what made him assume that dim sum was what my mom wanted, and that the priority of night church service was more important that working around his schedule to celebrate when we could all be together. N tells me on the phone he specifically told my dad to tell me that while they’d go to dim sum together, the main celebration would be on Sunday.

So yeah, the first half of our celebrating was hell in a hand basket. Even at dim sum, the first half hour felt so awkward, with everyone contemplating if they were even in the mood to eat.

Once again, I had to remedy how I was feeling inside and I went out of my way to be nice to my dad. My mom and my brother told me to excuse him for his actions because he’s getting old and any grudge I held may turn sour if anything happened to him. I know that to be true, but the fact that I have a right to feel hurt is what really complicates things. Much later in the day he finally told me he was sorry and didn’t wish to see it turn out so badly. I’ll accept that.

N+R had to run after dim sum (gotta celebrate both sides, so two brunches!) , and we did get together on Sunday. This is R’s first mother’s day, as she’s expecting, so we did a little photoshoot. That was probably the highlight this year. They got to use those pictures to announce publicly via social media that they are expecting. And you know what they say, “It’s not official until it’s facebook official.”

Now I can freely share I’m going to be an auntie. ❤

A Great Workout and an AMT Review

My posts tend to get pretty heavy and pedantic. I don’t really write to delight or keep the attention of my readers (although I appreciate all of you!). But I also don’t like keeping a negative focus. So, I have good news and a much shorter post this time around.

Last night I watched my heart rate climb, felt sweat pouring down my brow, coached myself through two cramps, and ran my heart out on an AMT for 20 minutes. I gave it my all! There was something gratifying about being the heaviest person in the little line of machines and going faster than all of them with my head in the game. I stepped down and the pay off was immediate- my legs felt like they weighed a ton each but I was so pumped.
Have you seen an AMT? They are like ellipticals 2.0. but so much more. It stands for Adaptive Motion Trainer and the beauty of it is a more fluid motion and broad range in strides.



                          The AMT-885 from Precor                             Photo Credit: amtfitness.com


Imagine a machine that allows you to bounce so that your movement isn’t rigid and isn’t guided by a track or wheel. You can bounce up and down like skipping on a jumprope or swing your legs far apart and feel like prancing gazelle. You can change your stride length from zero to thirty-six. You get a full range that feels like you’re running on air without the pounding of a treadmill or the stiffness of a crosstrainer or elliptical. You can go up and down like climbing stairs or do big large ovals like treading water.

I like that this is much less impact than running on a treadmill or on concrete but still gives enough bounce to get the benefits of some impact. Impact is a friend and foe to one’s body, especially with obesity. I know that some impact on my bones and joints is a way to keep them healthy and strong but I also know that high impact exercises work against my body since I’m carrying way more weight on my frame than I should. When I first tried this machine at my gym, my knees were not happy. I was dealing with knee problems and so I approached this machine carefully and tried to limit my time on it to 10 minutes initially. I found the impact really helped and feel my knees to my knowledge are benefitting from it!
I typically do 20-25 minutes of cardio followed by weight machines and then wrap it up with another 5-15 minutes of cardio at a more leisurely pace for cool down. I’d like to increase that number to 35 minutes of cardio, some weight machine, some free weights, and a 10 minute cool down.

I have a book coming my way to help me learn more about the machines and exercise moves so I can confidently do them with the right form and knowing what muscle areas they target.

If you have this type of machine available at your gym but have been intimidated to try it, I say give it a go! It’s so much fun!

Living and Existing

More spewing and self-examination. You’ve been warned of this wordy whirlwind!

I’m in existence mode a lot and I’m finding that sometimes it’s just what we do to survive. Inspirational posts tell you to live each day like it’s your last – and that’s valuable, but not always plausible. Sometimes, you are storming through trials, mundaneness, sickness, depression, exhaustion, rough work days, etc., and you just need to coast through that part and recharge so you can truly live and be renewed. The clincher here is that you aren’t supposed to stay E mode. Existing is like driving in the slow lane: your journey is gonna suck if you don’t merge over and end up just riding it out there the whole time.

My biggest problem right now is the house being a rotating door. It’s not about me not being gracious or a good hostess, it’s the stress of sharing a bathroom and trying to get ready for work and getting a call late at night in a panic from my mom saying relative X is coming over that evening or the wee hours of the morning and to clean up and be ready. I can’t do this. This is effing up my schedule and sanity. Is it worth moving at this point and time? No. But I’m putting my darn foot down. It’s true, I don’t have all my shit together – and so when more people are here, I freak out and have to put myself in E mode to get by. The messiness I’m trying to resolve can’t be tackled when guests are here and I HATE when I’m blamed for stuff laying around when the reality is it’s not all mine, it’s just easier to lump it in as MY problem.

Back to the first paragraph. The problem with my first sentence is the “a lot” part. I feel like I’m in a junky car that just can’t keep up to speed to stay in the L lane, so I switch back and forth and depend on E to get me through.

So I’m fixing parts of my car (me) first.

Sanity – my week and a half long trip should help with unwinding and best friends are good medicine. I hope to get in a lot of love and laughs and come home ready to thrive.

After my trip this month, I’m chomping down on the bit as far as diet goes and upping exercise. I’m so glad my boyfriend is on board with me – he helps me out more than he knows! And he even enjoys the crazy diet foods I make.

I’m also in the process of adding three rules to help with cleaning and sanity:

1. Tidy my desk before bed. This is my command center. I gotta keep it accessible and ready to work at.

2. Keep my bed clear so I can sleep without folded clothes and whatnot.

3. Remind myself that it’s better to stay sane and recluse in my room than drive myself mad trying to be Holly Good Hostess. I don’t need to wait hand and foot on people. It’s a fear based on being a people pleaser but I need to let it go.

If I can commit to those changes I have a clear space for studying and creating and also for better sleep. The rest of my room can slowly change but I need these two spaces to work in my favor.