Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm Just Lazy (or Crazy, pick one)!

I have the beginnings of two amazing birth stories just sitting in my draft section. They've been there for weeks. I haven't been inspired to finish them. I loved being at those births. I love thinking about them. I love talking about them. Why won't I finish writing them out?

The perfect example of my Laziness/Craziness is that today I finished an essay that was the final piece of my requirement to be a certified doula through DONA. I've been a doula for almost 3 years, finished all the other requirements for certification over 2 years ago, attended many births, become a childbirth educator (my certification with that is still pending because I've done all of the work except for the writing), and attended several continuing education classes and workshops. The only thing that has kept me from being certified all this time is the fact that I refused to write that last stinkin' essay. Not only did I miss the two year deadline they give you, I got an extension and missed that deadline too. Why you ask? I have no idea. I just couldn't make myself write.

Finally, I allowed myself to be backed into a corner by a dear friend. She finished her certification packet and offered to help me get mine ready to send in. I would never have done it without her pushing. She literally sat next to me as I typed the last paragraph. In less than one day I wrote something that I've been putting off for over two years. Part of me feels great for finally finishing but a huge part of me feels a sense of resentment that I can't put my finger on well enough to describe.

Most of the time I tell my self (and others) that being certified has nothing to do with my abilities as a doula, and I really do believe that. The rest of the time I'm not as confident. The biggest why I had such a mental block when it came to writing that paper is because I have this weird issue with self esteem. I guess if I never turn in my packet I don't have to worry about having my writing judged. And before you say it, blogs don't count. My writing on my blog isn't being used to determine whether or not I get to put extra letters behind my name.

I so desperately want to be a good writer. I read the writings of others like MB, Leigh, and Jane, and think of all the reasons why I will never be as good as they are. I envy people who seem to write so effortlessly, whose words feel like melodies as they talk about the simplest things. These women, along with many other writers, tell stories that touch my soul. I want my words to be like that. I want them to dance, to flow effortlessly across the page (or screen), to move other people. I want people to be able to feel my passion when they read my words.

Maybe there are classes I can take, something that can bring out, or put in my creativity. Maybe I need to just write and stop being so critical of myself.
I don't know, any suggestions?

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

My Guest Blogger

My dear friend Mani wrote this piece and she agreed to let me share it with my readers.

A Public Apology

I'm sorry for all of the times I called you names, for all of the times I looked at you in disgust, for all of the times I thought about the many ways I wished you would change. I am so sorry for minimizing your achievements, for allowing my selfish quest for perfection to shame you, for doing things that hurt you for reasons that don't matter in the least.

I'm sorry to my daughters, because however much I tried to hide it, I know they picked up on my abusive behaviors, and it terrifies me to know they might someday become perpetrators themselves. I'm sorry to my mother, my grandmothers, my great grandmothers, and generation after generation of female ancestors.

My apologies to my best friend, to my boss, to my preceptors, to my clients, to women I don't really like, to women I pass in the grocery store, and to women I've never even met.

Please forgive me for being a part of this societal illness. I promise to try harder. I promise to catch myself mid-thought and redirect my energies. I promise not to take part when everyone around me is doing it.

I am five feet four inches tall. I weigh one hundred and fifty-nine pounds. I have a poochy tummy. I have stretch marks on my breasts, my belly, and my hips. I don't have toned muscles, and I have imperfect teeth.

And I'm going to do something culturally unacceptable and tell you the truth about myself. All those years I've joined in when women were criticizing their bodies and tried to make them feel better by putting myself down? The hundreds of times I looked in the mirror and curled my lip in disgust? I was wrong. I no longer mean it. Not a word of it. I am a woman in the process of falling in love with herself. The truth is, I'm fabulous.

The truth is, so are you. You won't be popular for thinking so, but that's okay. Some women might be intimidated. They might think, how dare you feel good about yourself when you weigh thirty pounds more than them, and they still feel like shit about themselves? Men might not like it, because you'll certainly be harder to control when you stop giving a shit what they think about your arms, your eyes, your ass. An entire diet and beauty industry that has depended solely on your low self-esteem to survive will implode. Nobody will make a single penny off of your belief that your face is pretty without foundations, shadows, blushes, concealers, or surgery. They certainly won't rake in millions when you discover that drinking their nasty fucking "meal replacement" shakes is a joyless way to live. They'll be pissed. They'll be terrified. They will do everything in their power to convince you that you're wrong, but it will be too late. You'll know the truth.

Please accept my apologies. I was wrong.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Weekend Recreation

This past weekend started out great. Hubby and I woke up Saturday morning and started cleaning. His mother was coming to watch the kids for us so we could go out to dinner. Once she got to our house Hubby said he had plans for us for the day as well. First we went to get manicures and pedicures. It was fun and relaxing. Hubby got his toes painted the color of his favorite baseball team. The ladies in the nail salon got a kick out of that. They look so pretty!
After our pampering we went shopping for an outfit for me to wear to our fancy dinner date. Ugh, I hate shopping for clothes. Hubby thought that it would be a simple in and out thing, that we'd pick something that looked nice and be done. He had no idea how difficult it would be. We spent a couple of hours shopping and finally found something that looked nice on my long legs, short waist, big boobs and fluffy tummy.
We went home to get ready for our date. I quickly got dressed and headed out the door to drop off a gift for a good friend of mine. Her Blessingway was that evening. Earlier in the week I had done a belly cast for her. Another friend of ours decorated it for her and it was on display for everyone to write a special birthing message to her. It looked beautiful! I'm really happy it turned out so well.
So many of my favorite women were at this gathering. The energy was incredible and the food looked great. I really wish I could have stayed longer. It felt so good to be around so many wonderful people who were all there to love, honor, and nurture our friend on her path to becoming a mother for the second time. It made me think more about the book that I will eventually get around to writing. I really want every woman to find her "village" of sisters (cousins, aunts, mothers, grandmothers). We really need to be loved and supported by other women in our everyday lives.
I stayed and chatted for a little bit but then I had to rush off to go pick up Hubby so we could have our celebration dinner. We arrived at a beautiful restaurant overlooking the city. As soon as the couple we were dining with arrived, we were seated. The view was spectacular. Everything on the menu looked delicious so we decided on the Chef's Tasting Menus. The guys had Tasting Menu 1 which came with Foie Gras, Lobster Bisque, Pan Seared Austrailian Barramundi, some kind of lamb dish (poor lambs) , and dessert. My friend and I decided on Tasting Menu 2 which was all seafood (except for the dessert) and "created with spontaneous passion and customized" for us. Both of the tasting menus came with wine parings and everyone drank except for Hubby. After all that food and several glasses of wine, I was pretty wasted. The four of us sat and talked for another hour or two then we all went home.
Hubby and I quietly "celebrated" a little bit more when we got home (we had to be careful not to wake up sleeping children or my mother in law) then I fell asleep.
I woke up Sunday morning with the worst sore throat (a couple of the Things had been coughing all weekend), no headache but I still felt pretty yucky. Hubby and the Things took pity on me and let me stay in bed most of the day.
Later that night I had another gallbladder attack. It must have been all that rich food. This time I took a couple of pain pills (through out the night, not all at once). I didn't feel as much pain but my body still feels worn out from this weekends events.

It's a good thing anniversaries only come around once a year.