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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Drippy Thursday (but warm and cozy inside).

Sometimes there is so much information to process, ideas to sort and creativity to harness that I spin my wheels and get nothing accomplished. At least it appears that way to me, when it comes to viewing my own life.

Perhaps most things can only be seen with anything resembling objectivity when it is in retrospect. Perhaps.

Since I was laid off in September I have been relatively free-flowing and enjoying a distinct lack of pressure, although financial worries can encroach upon that sense of freedom. Sometimes, too much time to think, others, too much time to let relaxation turn into inertia.

But let me give myself more credit. I've more of a sense of who I am rather than who my employer would like me to be. My creativity has been gently explored through some writing and photography. I'm available to my children before and after school, and I've had the time to be a homemaker full-time. Feeling the rhythm of that, here, now, in this new-ish environment, with my fiance and with my newly re-located children feels profoundly right and rooted.

I am currently jumping through many hoops and rummaging through red tape in preparation for doing something that I've wanted to do for a very long time: return to school. Once I have met all of the requirements (that is, once I've convinced the provincial government to extend me my rights and grant me my funding for tuition, living expenses, materials, etc., not to mention once I've passed the preliminary academic tests, and successfully submitted other strange and fussy papers), I will be going to college for Graphic Design.

Going in this direction requires that I do not settle for the status quo again as I have so many other times. Taking whatever job I could manage at the time in reaction to immediate and pressing needs was a survival tactic. Choosing to better myself educationally is moving from surviving to thriving.

Dreams that make sense are starting to take shape in my daily vision. Previously deferred goals seem more relevant now, in context. I still feel tender and vulnerable and tentative, but going boldly in the direction of my dreams and living the life I imagine is what I have to do. The alternative is stagnancy, denial, and discouragement.

Courage is required in this life, even when things are good and safe and blessed.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May. 14th, 2008

Lately I have taken more of an investigative interest in The Beauty Myth - both the book by Naomi Wolfe (which Warren purchased for me earlier this week - the darling!) as well as the idea itself. As shown in the Wiki entry (which, yeah, is always good for a drive-by), a portion from the Introduction:

The more legal and material hindrances women have broken through, the more strictly and heavily and cruelly images of female beauty have come to weigh upon us...During the past decade, women breached the power structure; meanwhile, eating disorders rose exponentially and cosmetic surgery became the fastest-growing specialty...pornography became the main media category, ahead of legitimate films and records combined, and thirty-three thousand American women told researchers that they would rather lose ten to fifteen pounds than achieve any other goal...

More women have more money and power and scope and legal recognition than we have ever had before; but in terms of how we feel about ourselves physically, we may actually be worse off than our unliberated grandmothers.Once I am finished The Beauty Myth , I may be interested in reading Camille Paglia's Sexual Personae, mainly because she apparently has an opposing view to what is written in The Beauty Myth . I'd like to see how Paglia portrays "... Western culture as a struggle between masculine, phallic, productive, sky-religion on the one hand, and feminine, chthonic, consumptive, earth-religion on the other...' as well as how "... Christianity did not defeat, but rather embraced Paganism." (Again, Wiki).I myself have been going through a huge transformation in the last few years regarding my perception - both intellectual and emotional - of these things...beauty, gender roles, identity. I know that I have very strong reactions to the whole idea of the Feminine Mystique as well as the thousands of messages that I - and my children - and hell, everyone - am bombarded with every day. The more I think about it, the more gigantic I realize it is. Even if it is confined to my own life and my own self-esteem, which I wrestle clumsily with day in and day out, it is an enormous issue. I'm ready to stop reacting emotionally and start investigating. That way, if I want to deliver something passionately, I can perhaps can have some critical thinking to balance the raging emotional fire in my belly.

There's Power in The Blood

Today, I went and did it, something I have been afraid of: Giving blood.

There was a blood drive in my office building again today, and without thinking about it too much, I made an appointment and went in. The volunteers and staff were incredibly affirming and welcoming, and I got a shiny new donor pin!

Aw, look at it there, all shiny on my lapel!

Warren, who was working at Chapters a few blocks away, came over to meet me. Because he is The Man he held my hand while they drained me of my lifeblood, and he was extravagantly attentive and supportive throughout.

We had lunch after and each went our separate ways for the rest of the afternoon. I'm really looking forward to being home with him in a few hours.I feel only the slightest bit woozy, and just a little bit proud of myself.

And I feel very smug about my precious blood type - being O negative and all. ;-)

Special Renée is Special - in more ways than one.

It was also nice to know that my iron levels and blood pressure are decent.

It feels good to identify a fear that follows in the shadows, to stop and turn on the light and dismiss it. That is something worth doing whenever possible.I shall give blood again.

Apparently each donation saves 4 lives. Good karma. :-)