Thursday, June 5, 2014

I Posted Pictures of Myself in a Bikini and Why I Did It

Yes, I did that. Today I broke down and posted pictures of myself, on Facebook, wearing a bikini. This is something I swore I would never, ever do. My reason for not doing it were many. Most were because I didn't feel my body was good enough to be seen in a bikini, in short - embarrassment and shame.

I am 41 years old and have had five kids. My body certainly wasn't good enough to be seen...right? This is what the internet and society would have me believe. Unfortunately, it is something I believed and it had to stop. I am not 6 ft tall with legs up to my neck. I am not a super model and I am shaped like a pear, not an hourglass and certainly not a freeway.

A few weeks ago, I started getting serious about getting into shape. I enlisted the help of my buddy Shawn. He's extremely fit and I know he would force me to keep going even when I wanted to give up. Still, I just couldn't visualize the progress I was making. This past week a lot of things happened that gave me pause about my anti-pictures-of-me-in-a-bikini stance. My friend Dan has been working out and posting pictures of his progress. I think he's doing a great job. His body isn't perfect yet either, but here he was embracing the progress he was making and being proud of it. Owning it! Then yesterday I watched a video of a "big" girl pole-dancing on Britain's Got Talent. That woman was out there doing stuff I could never do. I don't have that kind of upper body strength. Her confidence was amazing to watch and I admired her for putting herself out there.

I have been working hard too so why shouldn't I be proud of my progress and show it off? Well, there came that nagging idea that my progress wasn't good enough to show off yet. I hunted around the internet and saw many sites recommending taking pictures to give yourself a better perspective. We are all so hypercritical of ourselves that sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees.

Of course, I also witnessed the internet being cruel. Shaming people for their size, lumps, bumps and imperfections. Girls being shamed for not having breasts, breasts that were too large, being fat, having cellulite, etc and you know was happening to men too. When did it become okay to belittle people for trying? There is a heavyset, older man that I see at the track nearly every day. He comes there to jog and is obviously trying to get healthy. The other day a group of teenagers were making fun of him. They were laughing at how slow he ran, his jiggling belly and how hard he was breathing. I dearly wanted to slap them silly and felt protective of the man that was just trying to better himself. We were both trying to accomplish the same thing and  no one has any right to shame him for being a work-in-progress.

After all this, today I decided I needed to put up or shut up. I needed to get a better perspective of myself, my body, and realize that I am worth being proud of. My hard work needs to be celebrated and the naysayers can bite me. I need to not worry what some insecure, immature idiot is going to think of my body so long as I can stand up proudly and say, "Look at what I have done so far! Look at what I accomplished!"

I did this for my daughters, myself and those friends/family that are trying to do the same thing I am...get healthy. I did this for all the people out there that just don't feel good enough. You are good enough and fuck what the internet says. Put down the fashion magazines and embrace yourself. If you don't like something, by all means change it but don't compare yourself to society's idea of perfection. Be your own perfection.

So I my body isn't perfect and it will never be perfect by everyone's standards, I accept that. Just look at what I have done so far. Eat a dick if you think my body is disgusting because I am proud of it.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Moral Compass

Morality...a rather intimidating word, isn't it? It brings to mind rules regarding which aspects of life are good, bad, dirty or clean. It's an imposing word but also, completely vague. What IS morality and whom decides what is moral and what isn't?

I've asked this of different people over the years and more than once they've responded with the idea of a moral compass. Okay, but who decides how this magical compass works? I had a friend cite the Bible as the author of all things moral or not but what if you aren't a part of a religion based on Christianity? Does this mean you are instantly immoral because your moral compass isn't guided by biblical teachings? What if you do not agree with everything in the Bible or maybe you follow the teachings of less popular scripture? 

Then there are the societal rules. The rules that society, as a whole, put forth as the guideline to what is moral and immoral. These are, of course, based on the personal opinions of those ancestors that have gone before us and very few have changed with the times. Many are outmoded ideas those some are completely relevant and necessary. Murder is immoral, unless you kill someone protecting yourself/family. All these nuances to the moral code, nothing set entirely in stone. 

Recently, I was having a discussion with someone and they referred to several people I know as "immoral" with regards to their views on sex/sexuality. While I might be considered more traditional in my personal sexuality/sex life; I'm pretty broadminded about sex/sexuality in general. I was offended by the idea they were immoral people just because they weren't in traditional "Christian" relationships. 

I'm sure you are wondering what I mean by that last statement, so let me explain. I have friends that do not follow the idea that a relationship is made up of one man and one woman. I have friends that believe sex should be adventurous and shared with others. That maybe a spanking isn't something you do to naughty children. I have friends that are homosexual and friends that are in relationships that might include more than two people. I have people that have fetishes or closets full of "martial aides" and friends that think porn is awesome for a couple to watch together. They are all in loving, long-term relationships that I would consider healthy. Healthier than some of the "traditional" relationships I've seen. 

While in this discussion with said "moral judge", I asked why these people are immoral and they responded with, "well, I wouldn't do that and it's wrong." Wait....what?! Just because it's not something you'd do, it automatically makes it immoral? How does one become the moral compass by which the world should judge themselves? I'd like to assume the role of Moral Ruler. Does it come with a crown? A throne?

Seriously though, just because you don't like something, doesn't make it immoral. It makes it distasteful...TO YOU. Whether someone is gay, polyamory, into BDSM/S&M, swinging, swapping, fetishists, traditional or long as it's between consenting adults, I don't see how it could be considered immoral. They are happy, healthy, and content. They are not affecting you and your relationship. They aren't knocking at your door asking to drink the Kool-Aid and convert to their way of thinking.

Maybe my moral compass is a little wobbly and doesn't point North, as was implied by the "moral judge". I think I'd rather be immoral and see people happy than be their kind of moral and walk through life hating everything in it that doesn't think like they do.

By the way, I was told I was "raised better than this" for thinking this way. Oh well, someone save me a seat in Hell. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Dancing With Myself

It's Saturday night, and I am home alone with my two youngest children (aged 3 and 7) and despite the continued winter temps...I find myself feeling peppy.

I cooked dinner for my family. My oldest girl and her boyfriend are vising from Cleveland and they traveled down to see the local high school play. My 16 yr old son is helping with the behind-the scene stuff and my husband went to see the play as well.

I found myself throwing on my headphones and dancing around the house. It occurred to me that this feeling of freedom, this total lack of self-consciousness, does not happy often enough. Not only for myself but, as I suspect, for others as well. Why do we become so worried about how we look? My youngest children will flail about to music like they are having seizures, all the while pure joy is apparent in their every action.

I think that we, as adults, forget how to just let go. Let go of ourselves and lose ourselves completely in a moment. Whether it's to sit quietly or to dance like no one is watching, we forget to just live. We all seem too concerned with how people view us, or being vulnerable because someone saw us doing something goofy - like dancing alone in our living rooms.

We have so many responsibilities and worries that weigh us down, why shouldn't we enough moments of feeling light and free? I was caught by a friend dancing around with my kids once. When I realized that person saw me, I was momentarily mortified but then they chuckled and said it was the most fantastic thing they had seen in a long time. From that time, and for a long time to come, I stopped worrying about people seeing me being silly. Of course, another child and an added 15 lbs made me go back to being self-conscious though I hadn't realized it did until this very moment.

At this very moment, I decided to take back my personal freedom, my freedom to stop being so damned serious about myself. Not only did I dance around my house like an insane woman, I found myself smiling for absolutely no reason. My two youngest children walked up to me laughing and told me they loved me, just randomly. I assume they could perceive my contentment and wanted to express their feelings about it. Either way, I promise to be free and goofy more often.

As someone as said before, why take life so seriously? No one gets out alive.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Missing Things

During one of the many sleepless nights I have had recently, I came to a realization. I am completely in the dark whether this is a good thing or not but, I have discovered that there are only a a few things I will miss when I leave Ohio.

Of course I shall my miss my daughters. They have their own lives here in Ohio and will be staying. This is the major downside to raising capable adults, however, it is nice to see they are settled. I shall miss my home. I love this old house and I doubt I will find anything remotely as charming in Colorado. At least not that I can afford.

I will miss the few friends I have. I say few because honestly, there are only a handful of people I can call friends and count on. The vast majority of people I know here are merely acquaintances and some of those I though were friends but once they didn't need anything from me anymore...they stopped talking to me.

I will miss the "small town" feel, the ability to let my kids play in the yard and not worry someone is snatching them from my backyard. Knowing the schools and the kids that attend them. Knowing the police officers by sight if not by name and the things that make small communities adorable. The Struthers Day BBQ is always a good time. Being able to decide to walk to Circle K at 11pm at night and not worry about having to carry mace.

All that being said, I am also missing things already. I am The past two and a half years have changed me and I am not sure it has been for the better. Working nights takes its toll on a person's psyche and personality. It wears one out in more that just energy, it wears out your soul. My spirit is exhausted and I am hoping that I can find the woman I was because I am not content with the woman I am now. I used to be cheerful and energetic. Now I just want to be left alone. I don't have the energy to be a part of the world around me. I know it's temporary but it's still disheartening. I want to feel like the bright light I used to be and not the dim bulb I am now.

I watch people around me and I know others feel the same way I do. That the heaviness of life has turned them into hunched over shadows of their former selves and I also know that this is not irreversible. It can be corrected but it takes time to find the proper "remedy".

No I am not depressed so don't anyone worry. I am just truly bone tired, as tired and a human can possibly be. :D

Monday, January 13, 2014

PAX East - Battlefield 4 - Life

Since people have been asking me, no I am not attending PAX East this year. The reasons are many but it comes down to some pretty basic facts:

1. I don't get paid to be there and no one pays my way to get there. This means that a trip to PAX can cost me around $1800-$2k all said and done. I am planning to move to Colorado this year and my money is precious. Plus, with the new company taking over my husband's place of employment, vacation time is a bit odd.

2. I am not writing much anymore. I moved over to new website and am doing more editing and guiding than writing. Plus, there are far more people trying to get those few press passes that are available to our site. Honestly, I could probably get one easy enough but, it's not really fair if I am not writing as much as someone else and again, see above.

I do wish I could go though. I have many people I look forward to seeing there every year and I absolutely adore haunting the Indie Game area. I could spend an entire weekend there. Alas, it cannot be and I am not sure if, or when, it will ever be again. Maybe one year I can go as a normal human type and just enjoy it without working.

So I played the Battlefield 4 multiplayer and I can say without hesitation that DICE brought back the fun that was missing in BF3. Battlefield Bad Company 2 is still my favorite but BF4 comes in at a close second. That being said.....FIX YOUR SHIT! There is nothing more annoying that playing online and when an explosion happens - the entire thing freezes and the only way to rectify it is to shut down my xbox and restart. This means a loss of unlocks and valuable XP. It happens at least once a day and it's pretty fucking annoying. *gasp I cursed! I must be mad*

So last night I had a weird dream involving crew members from Star Trek TNG and a group of people trying to bury their grandmother next to a lake. I have no idea why these things combined. There were aliens too but I seemed most concerned with the people trying to illegally bury this woman next to the lake and how awful the stench was. The TNG crew was running around scanning crap. I'd hate to think what Freud would say.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Battlefield 4 Campaign/ New Year's

I hope everyone had a nice holiday, I know I did. 

My lovely daughter gave me Battlefield 4 for Christmas and I finally got around to playing the campaign, on hard. The story was pretty good and I enjoyed the challenge but I did notice that while playing the last chapter, the audio got buggy. It would fade in an out, and it wasn't due to where my character was standing. In fact, I missed a bit of the dialogue because it would get impossible to hear.

Also, I got the absolute worst checkpoint. I died and literally the checkpoint was 1.5-2 seconds before my death. This meant that if I tried to start again from that point, I'd die immediately. I had to replay the entire mission over. It was rather disappointing, honestly. 

Other than that, it was a great experience. I didn't feel bonded to the characters but it was entertaining to play. I liked the fact there are collectibles within the game and the point system is interesting though I don't know if I will attempt to go back and try to beat the point levels to get achievements. I don't know if I liked the story enough to replay it over and over. 

I still need to delve into the multiplayer but first, I need to finish up other games. 

My New Year's resolutions: finish getting back into shape, get more organized and OMG get rid of some of my gaming backlog. The backlog sits there and mocks me. So does my husband. He just loves pointing out how many games we have that I haven't finished or played.