Happy New Year 2013 – What’s Your Style?

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As I sit here in disbelief that it is already 2013 I must reflect on the past year – as we all do.  There was good, there was bad, there was love, there was learning and there are as always many areas for improvement.  BUT I HATE RESOLUTIONS!

I will be making some changes to take better care of myself in the New Year since I usually put myself last and it frankly is taking a toll.  I will share more of my goals and journey later, but I refer back to a New Year’s post I wrote 2 years ago which still rings true now:

Self-Esteem: What’s your Style?

It is a new year which means you know what… those dreaded resolutions – (do you hear me screaming???) No seriously – that blood curdling scream where you go in a closet and block your own ears and scream as loud as you possible can. You ought to try it sometime – for real… not just your cartoon self doing it in your head (I would so draw a picture if I had any talent at all).

I am screaming because in my mind it is another set up for failure.  Another time I can setUNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS for myself and FAIL, FAIL, FAIL. We never aim low with resolutions… it is always I will lose 50 lbs (not 5 -10), have the best blog, have the perfect budget, be the perfect parent, the perfect spouse, the perfect housekeeper, the perfect everything.  OK – I have perfect child syndrome, but we will talk about that later.

My theory as to why resolutions fail is two-fold:

  • They are UNREALISTIC goals – I mean really, think about it.
  • They are usually for someone else, not YOU

We set such lofty goals because we are NUTS and for many more reasons we will touch upon later in the series – including feeling self-worth, a feeling of success and more.  At the same time women are also trying to meet everyone’s needs…

The BRA – A Barbaric Restraint Apparatus

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Do you ever wonder WHY we, as women, put up with all the CRAP society throws at us, as if we are not already cursed enough by Mother Nature.  WARNING GUYS – talkin’ gross girl stuff here…

Last month as I was rushing my kids through a furniture store, I had that unnerving monthly GUSH that all women – especially those who have already had children (it is worse then…) FEAR MOST.  Let’s just say thank GOD that white pants went out of style in the 80’s (they did, right?)  AND thankfully I had an Always Infinity on – those things ROCK and are seriously an engineering miracle – have you tried them yet?

Simultaneously, if you can even imagine it getting worse, I had this horrible STABBING pain in my chest.  Was it a heart attack?  You know heart disease is the number one cause of death in women and February was American Heart Awareness month.  As I thought how ironic it would be to to drop dead just then, in February, I realized what the stabbing pain was.  YES, you know the one – the underwire from my BRA broke out and literally STABBED ME.  I tried to subtly adjust it to avoid a puncture wound, but it was STABBING me in a way that there is no way to eliminate other than to TAKE MY BRA OFF and let it all hang out.

Photo Credit – Cardrona Bra Fence, New Zealand

So why do we wear these BRA’s anyway?  I mean seriously do we need more agony on top of screaming children, bleeding (literally) like a stuck pig every month AND uncomfortable underwires not only stabbing us, but also getting us complimentary medical procedures (FREE xrays and breast exams) at airport security.  All this followed by incontinence and hot flashes – lots to look forward to.

Now the word BRA is supposed to be a shorter version of the romantic sounding french word brassiere.  Sounds super romantic right – conjuring up an image of Pierre pouring a sumptuous glass of wine, glaring at your supple breasts and ready to answer your every whim.

In reality it stands for a Barbaric Restraint Apparatus

AND they do not even leave it on us long enough to be any kind of romantic anyway – LOL!  What were they thinking creating these torture devices.  Hold them down, lift them up, separate them, make them forever perky!!  If the good Lord and Mother Nature intended for our breasts, boobs, jugs, tatas to “LIFT and SEPARATE” then by golly they would.  Unfortunately, through age and children, the OBVIOUS intent of nature and GRAVITY is for them to follow that foolish song – “do your boobs hang low?”  Well of course they do!  Need I explain Newton’s Law?

Unfortunately, I never appreciated mine in their prime.  I could go through my litany of stories of being called perky while getting fitted for a bridesmaid dress and how I hid my endowment through college wearing baggy sweatshirts, keeping the best hidden secret – I had a decent rack. Why oh why did I not take advantage of the perky days?  Little Animation has a much more amusing and perfect depiction of the life of our BOOBS. Need I say more?

There are loads and loads of articles on the history of the bra, but basically the BRA began as a corset – another torture device you do not even want to get me started on.  Though most women wear bras for a variety of purposes: to improve the perceived shape of breasts, to reduce or to enlarge the perceived breast size, to restrain breast movement during an activity such as exercise, to enhance their cleavage, to overcome sagging, or to facilitate nursing – many women wear them and SUFFER in order to “LOOK” a certain way for others perceived idea of beauty.

You have to ask yourself – would a MAN wear something to make his appendage “LIFT and SEPARATE”??  I doubt it – especially if it was going to STAB him.  SO before you all go postal and think I have gone uber feminist and am planning a bra burning party, I AM NOT.  I AM demanding a bra designed to be comfortable AND make us look good.  These over the shoulder boulder holders should treat my givers of life and sustenance better than a rock!

Most issues I found, stem from wearing a bra that does not fit.  I found this amusing article about the ridiculousness of finding a bra that fits, which led me to an interview with John Tyrer, a British engineering professor at Loughborough University who actually believes “The whole design is fundamentally flawed. It’s an instrument of torture.” AMEN BROTHER!!  I saw a  design article - In many respects, the challenge of enclosing and supporting a semi-solid mass of variable volume and shape, plus its adjacent mirror image-together they equal the female bosom-involves a design effort comparable to that of building a bridge or a cantilevered skyscraper. I LOVE THAT!  I totally should have done this for my senior project.

As I was moving I realized that all I had in my bra drawer were old perky underwires there was no way these babies were fitting into again, AND stretched out nursing or “your grandma’s” bras. In addition to getting back in shape to help these puppies perk, I need new bras. You all know how I hate to spend money on something I am not going to like. So as rocket scientists ponder the perfect bra design, have you found the perfect bra?  Have you been professionally fitted for a bra?  PLEASE tell us the most comfortable bra you have ever worn and made you feel sexy – because really, it IS all about us!

We need to not only look good, but feel good as well!

Who are you When I’m Not Looking?

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I have been very behind in continuing my Renew for You series as well as my promised 2Happy4Tuesdays posts. BUT I am hoping to get off that “not meeting commitments train” and back onto the “YOU GO GIRL” train. Today I am thinking a lot about this song by Blake Shelton:

WHO ARE YOU WHEN I’M NOT LOOKING?

The lyrics speak to how we always show a good front – “Hold yourself together like a pair of bookends”, but asks some questions we all need to ask ourselves.

Who are you when I’m not around?
When the door is locked and the shades are down?
But who are you when I’m not looking?

I hear this song on my morning commute almost everyday and it reminds me that I DO NOT KNOW the answers to those questions. Have you figured out your style and stripped down all the crap to figure out who you really are? Until we do that, how can we truly be happy and take the leap to LIVE LIFE. Nothing reminds me more of the need to live life to its fullest than the recent tragedy in Japan.

I still struggle with this daily. If I did not have to be mother, wife, daughter, friend, blogger, WHO WOULD I BE? What would I do? What makes me happy? Sometimes it is not even a matter of hiding yourself to be someone you are not – which we all have done at one point or another. Sometimes in all the chaos of life, we just lose track of it.

So WHO ARE YOU when no one is looking?

As I continue to consider these questions, I will share my 2 Happy 4 Tuesday this week. I am way behind staying on track to find 100 Things That Make Me Happy, but I WILL GET THERE! Here are my 2:

  • Watching Dancing with the Stars with my kids – while they attempt the dance moves simultaneously.
  • Seeing the Liberty Tax dude dancing on the side of the road. Have you seen him? I will tell you that if that is not a prime example of making the best of a crappy job, I do not know what is. I have seen them in MA and RI. They are always active, waving, dancing, jumping – rain, snow, sleet – IT IS NUTS! But it ALWAYS makes me smile and believe things can be better for everyone.

What are your 2 for this week?

Self-Esteem: Take the Leap

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WOW – it is hard to believe it is Tuesday again and time for out 3rd RENEW for YOU series on SELF-ESTEEM.  I hope you have been following along with the previous 2 posts:

Have you started identifying all the unnecessary “accessories” you are carrying around?  Have you been able to peel them all back and STRIP down to see WHO YOU REALLY ARE?  I have begun thinking of my 100 things that make me happy – do not worry the post will be up later today where you can list your 2 for this week.

This week I wanted to talk about putting off what you can do today.  I always find myself saying I will do this or do that as soon as…

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Self-Esteem: Stripped NAKED

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photo credit

This is the second installment of my Renew for You series on SELF-ESTEEM.  Last week we talked about our style and what “accessories” (ideas, influences, experiences) affect our self-esteem and our need to compete and not feel good enough.

Before we delve deeper into my series on self-esteem, let me start by saying I AM NO EXPERT – not even close.  I am writing about this because I need help.  My self-esteem is not where it needs to be.  My goal this year is to work on accepting myself for who I am and I hope you will join me…

So what is SELF-ESTEEM?  Websters defines it as:

a confidence and satisfaction in oneself : self-respect

OK – great, so now what do I do with that?  Well Dr. Nathaniel Branden who is deemed a pioneer in the psychology of self-esteem has a series of books, articles and more you can read – if you are interested.  (There are MANY self-esteem resources and I am in no way saying he is the authority – I just stumbled upon it and thought it may interest you.)

One article that peaked my interest is his entire theory about his entire theory of self-esteem and the need to practice continual self examination in what he calls the 6 Pillars of Self-Esteem –  Living consciously, Self-acceptance, Self-responsibility, Self-assertiveness, Living purposefully and Integrity.

Self-acceptance: Being willing to experience whatever we truly think, feel or do, even if we don’t always like it … facing our mistakes and learning from them.

So this self-acceptance thing cannot truly be done until we STRIP NAKED from all our “accessories” we have piled on over the years.  The ones that make us doubt ourselves and compare ourselves to others.  Do you even know who you are underneath everything – what you like and dislike, what you truly think and feel?

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Renew for You: Self-Esteem – What’s your Style?

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Self-Esteem: What’s your Style?

It is a new year which means you know what… those dreaded resolutions – (do you hear me screaming???) No seriously – that blood curdling scream where you go in a closet and block your own ears and scream as loud as you possible can. You ought to try it sometime – for real… not just your cartoon self doing it in your head (I would so draw a picture if I had any talent at all).

I am screaming because in my mind it is another set up for failure.  Another time I can set UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS for myself and FAIL, FAIL, FAIL. We never aim low with resolutions… it is always I will lose 50 lbs (not 5 -10), have the best blog, have the perfect budget, be the perfect parent, the perfect spouse, the perfect housekeeper, the perfect everything.  OK – I have perfect child syndrome, but we will talk about that later.

My theory as to why resolutions fail is two-fold:

  • They are UNREALISTIC goals – I mean really, think about it.
  • They are usually for someone else, not YOU.

We set such lofty goals because we are NUTS and for many more reasons we will touch upon later in the series – including feeling self-worth, a feeling of success and more.  At the same time women are also trying to meet everyone’s needs and do things for others.  If you are losing weight for your guy or because you think you need to look like those crazy models on TV, you will FAIL.  You need to lose weight for YOU!  It goes for all resolutions – you need to save money and organize for YOU… take time for YOU. The reason most resolutions fail is that we do not have support AND we are NOT doing them for the right reasons. Too many times we are competing with others – striving to be just like them.  This, I believe stems from self-esteem and not accepting ourselves for who we are.

Though I have been very successful “outwardly” in many phases in my life, this is one of my biggest issues that I am hoping to put a dent in this year.  (NOTE… I did not say completely overcome or beat or any other crazy unreasonable goal.) You may say, Lynn, it is all in your head – AND YOU ARE RIGHT – but it is a HUGE elephant in my head that affects my happiness, my actions and my mental well being.

Before jumping into the New Year and figuring out who we want to be, let’s talk about who we are and why.  I want to share with you the commencement address I wrote for my college graduation 20 YEARS AGO – yes, I am THAT old.  Believe it or not, I had to retype it since the only existing copy is a yellowed typed copy since computers were only just beginning to be used at the time.  I left it as originally written… sorry for the length of the post…

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