Just to make November a little more interesting for me you know with: college apps, NaNoWrimo, Thanksgiving etc… I’m now part of an exciting new launch called The Loft.
It’s a new Facebook page from Macmillan for contemporary women’s fiction, romance and chicklit where I’m the moderator! And those that know me know how much I like to talk so this should be fun!
I’m so excited for this new launch where we’re chat about all sorts of goings on in women’s fiction and chicklit is not a dirty word! Please stop on by and “like” The Loft on Facebook. Join in the discussions so that I’m not talking to myself it would feel too much like home and teen talk that way. Eee.
Also friend us on Twitter @loftromance. Oh and please tell a friend. Thanks so much!
I'm rolling hard this month with my NaNoWrimo 50,000 word challenge and am still heavy in the college app game with the twins. Hey, I may come out with bruises and bumps but I plan on coming out alive.
This image gives me so much peace. We just got our wood delivered for the winter and it filled me with so much happiness. Just the thought of winter warmth and quiet moments with my mind in front of the fire with nothing to do but sit fills me with ease.
I'm floating along here which is not as good as stepping solidly but much more like drifting. So I've got lots of work to do in all sorts of ways to get on that sure footing that I want. I'm up for the challenge.
Ever feel like you're wading, treading, dipping in and out and at times floating through life? Well break through the water and head to the shore with me.
Me? Lately, I’ve been feeling like that character from Airplane and thinking I’ve picked an awfully bad year to make this the best year of my life. But I’m surging ahead and no, I’m not ready to give up on my claim. It’s way too early in my endeavor. So despite the arthritis not subsiding, but seeming to ramp up along with the migraines and senior stress I’m still forging ahead with my Best Year plan.
Like I was saying my RA has not improved. I had that setback with a run around trip to the city which should have been easy but I suffered way too long after and my doctor has put me on a quicker acting and hopefully more effective medication. It’s week two, I still have to be patient because it takes at least a month. It’s amazing to me now many things I’m waiting on right now. Tick and Tock.
In the meantime I just want to get on more sure footing.
Today I'll be drinking lots of tea and putting up my sore foot since running across town in 'those' shoes that shall not be named last night was clearly a bad idea. But really folks my ratty New Balances with the orthotics were just not going to cut it for a literary evening in Manhattan. Really.
I’m just back from the arthritis doc where I had a good heart to heart. I really do like him with his sweet, kindly presence and long anecdotes. While there I also look a turn (literally) at the foot doctor to assess my orthotics which I still don’t like and had adjusted a bit. We’ll see how that works out.
My rheumatologist and I decided to switch my meds to a slightly more aggressive faster acting drug since the Paquenil is having no effect on me and the shooting pains in my foot are just as strong as ever. I mean it’s not fair to have to pay with a night of pain after only a 20 minute walk. So I’m now trying Methotrexate (big scary name there).
I asked him once again, could I avoid all this with vitamins, diet and exercise? He was kind, and patient, but told me in all seriousness, no. Sure diet and moderate exercise were important and he was not a pill happy doctor by any means, but for my age and with my numbers what we were trying to do was prevent further rapid advancement and without the medication that is what I would have in a few years. Yikes!
I told him how with all the talk of “but you can do it the natural way” or “all you need is to just get out and move more” I feel guilty about taking the medication. But kindly doctor dude set me straight. He told me to tell people to walk a mile in my shoes because right now they are free since I can’t walk a mile in them because of the pain.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with life’s challenges and mine may not be the same as everyone else’s but I don’t have to feel guilty for doing what I think is right for me and you don’t either.
Now this video from Derek Sivers goes so against me and even my blog a bit, but it does kinda goes with my Nana's "keep things close to the vest" way of thinking and gives me pause. Hmm... This chatty Gemini would love your thoughts.
Today is the first day of school. It's always a tough day for me and this one will probably be the toughest since my twins are seniors this year. Mama is feeling mighty old. Oh well I'll try and take it without too many tears.
The first day of school in a way always feels a little like the start of a new year for me. It's all about new beginnings and a chance to make a fresh start. Time to get back in the saddle with staying on top of the old to do lists, health, fitness, nutrition, goals and then there is fashion.
I've got some studying to do. Here is my study guide:
I'm stopping to smell the last of my garden's roses (these were clipped by my DH) this holiday weekend as Fall is ushered in by BBQ and a windy storm. I hope you enjoy and get time to stop and smell the roses for yourself!
So while my twins were away the other week with the grandparents I did see Eat, Pray, Love, but for some reason I was hesitant to talk about it here and I wasn’t quite sure why. I enjoyed the movie well enough though I wouldn’t call it a rave. It was clearly a like and something I would see again once it comes out on video or on cable.
The scenery was lush and beautiful as I knew it would be, Javier was lush and beautiful as I knew he would be and Julia was lush and well, you get the point. But the movie as I feared it would, did not live up to my love of Elizabeth Gilbert's book. The book (which this is part of its criticism) was a perfect escape from life at a time when I truly needed it and the movie somehow made light of that. Turning what were much more real characters in my head into caricatures.
Now my biggest problem with the movie which I had going into it as soon as I saw the trailer many months ago was the Viola Davis character of Delia who for the life of me I could not remember from the original. Where did this Black best friend come from and why is she suddenly in the movie when she wasn’t in the book? The book that sold millions and I thought was near perfect, but suddenly Hollywood thought needed a Black sidekick to what, throw us a bone to get us into the theater? I was insulted and continued to be throughout the movie.
I talked to my DH about this (probably more than he would have liked) getting into characterization and internal dialogue all trying to reason out the reason for this character. In the end I couldn’t do it. I didn’t need to be pandered to in that way. You see I would have seen the movie either way because I loved the book and Julia and well there was Javier.
And being a lover of good acting and people who know their craft I would love to see Viola in her own starring role which this Oscar nominated and Tony award winning actress deserves. It doesn’t matter that she is a Black woman, but me being a black women, yeah that would make me pretty happy too. So are you listening Hollywood? More money from me and I think more women like me if you just smarten up and get a tad bit creative and open minded.
But the bottom line is this….I am over the Black sidekick role. How long is this tired role going to be replayed because at this point Netflix is becoming my BFF.
So I’m just sitting down in on my favorite no frills on the water restaurants while my DH goes to order food after one of THE most stressful days ever when I feel a tap on my shoulder. So I turn and it’s a lady I know by face only coming to say hello. She saw me from across the restaurant and wanted to say hi and congrats on my being pregnant. WHAT? Stop the presses. Hold. The. Phone.
Now I have my issues with food and weight that I’m dealing with and this is not the first time I’ve heard this congrats line in the 16 years since I’ve had my twins and my stomach was stretched beyond the great beyond.
After I got a hold of myself I looked at the women and said, no baby here it’s just fat and she tried to cover by saying that she’s got weight to lose herself, but by then I was done. I could barely enjoy my food or my husband’s company (he had returned to our table by then and missed the comment but could see I was put out).
Part of me wanted to say to her what was her deal assuming something like that when she was not sure? What is it about people that makes them think that whatever is in their head can come out of their mouth and we should all be ridiculously food and body obsessed? Can we just get some manners or do I have to wear a tee shirt and label myself?
Maybe I could go couture with Gaultier?
Whatever. I’m going to try and not let it get me too down. When I left the house I thought I looked good, my husband told me I looked good so, I can’t let one comment ruin my self image.
If only good old Bernarr was right in 1937 I could be pain free. But I'm guessing he wasn't because right now I'm on day 2 of what I suspect is a 3 or 4 day migraine that so far none of my prescribed meds are working out. This stinks because it's my week of FREEDOM. Oh well I can't have a little debilitating pain stop all my teen free fun. Must. Carry. On.
This dedication goes out to me in honor of having a few days of Freedom without the teen twins as they are gone for a week with my Mom and Step-dad. I hope to take many luxurious baths and get lots of writing done. There be self imposed deadlines and challenges thrown down there. So I gotta get on that.
As a wife and mother of teens I have to come to the realization that at any given moment one or more people in the world are probably going to be pissed at me and I have to accept that that's ok. I can't make the world happy.
That said I have to figure how to still have The freaking (snort) Best Year of My Life while at any given moment I'm may not be having the best day.
How does one do that when they have to deal with a host of emotions from all different directions? I think the only answer is to say bring it on, then you take it in and then you have to let it go.
Sure it would be nice to put up your Wonder Woman deflector bracelets announce to your family and to the world, "sorry I'm not taking your emotional mess because I'm HAVING THE BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE", but we all no that's not going to work.
So you have to take it on, feel what you feel when the world of friends, family, etc. are feeling what they are feeling but somehow still stay on course with your plan to nurture yourself, love you and pat yourself on the back for being there and loving through all the Waaaas!
It would be so easy for me to have The Best Year Of My Life if I could have a fantasy year like in Eat, Pray, Love one of my favorite books.
Hop a flight and just sort of check out and go off on a new and uncharted adventure and come back with a bestseller tucked in my Gucci bag, but, uh, that ain’t happening as there is a hubby and teen twins that are seniors in high school this year at chez Kwana and come 7:00 somebody would be getting mighty hungry and notice something was up.
So to help me deal with the desire to have the best year in MY reality I’m reading Debbie Ford’s The Best Year of Your Life (very slowly) and I have to say it’s an excellent book filled with Oprah like aha moments that say I have the power to make THIS life of mine better than ok. To make what it is, to me and for me, pretty great, well, at least good enough for me.
If you are thinking of going on your own Best Year Journey or have some things in your life that have been running you down a bit I say give this book a go.
This video from Angus and Julia Stone perfectly conveys my feelings today as I amble slowly around the house from task to task with Jack at my feet and now with the teen twins racing around I'm in a daze and currently in a strange haze. Yeah, my mind is in the air today. How about you?
This year, my self proclaimed best year, I have given up on diets. I know for some of you that know me that may seem like a radical or maybe even crazy thing to say. How can I give up on diets? me, Kwana who clearly could stand to use quite a few pounds and has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis?
Well the idea of intuitive eating has been hopping around in my mind quite a lot over the years. Sometimes as a rational thought and sometimes as one of desperation when I just felt frustrated and overwhelmed and like "oh screw it the diet is so not worth it." But now after watching Oprah (sidebar: yes my friends know my motto, "All roads lead to Oprah") and her show with Geneen Roth on Women, Food and God I've given myself permission to go for it.
Mind you, not to let myself go but to trust in myself and live my own life, not someone else's dietary standard that is only going to make me crazy and lead me to a binge and then the next diet and the next binge and the next round of guilt and unhappiness and that's sooo is not part of my best year plan.
You see I've been on Weight Watches more times than I can count over the past 20 years and then there's South Beach and Atkins and Jenny etc. I've tried it all for a time. A short time. It's no way to live your life. The constant living for the plate and no enjoyment in the food and the company or the moment. Crazy. It's made me a bit mad. In the head and at life. I've felt mad at myself more days than I can count and gotten more well meaning advice than I know what do do with which makes me mad at people who may not deserve it. But come on, do people really think it's a matter of not knowing what to eat?
So now I'm working on being my own guide to fueling my body, mind and spirit. Eating when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm not. Actually feeling my feelings and continuing to work out. I'm going to see where that takes me and you know what? I'm not feeling guilty as I ride past Weight Watchers. That weekly fee is staying in my pocket. Lately I've been using the money to buy bangles. Why? Because they make ME happy.
Love You, Love Me,
P.S. you can go to Oprah.com to find out more here. And I did read the book and really enjoyed it. I will read it again and again I think.
I've given up on traditional diets (more on that later) but this is a diet that I think I can get behind though for me I may need 10 items with gym clothes. I also like the no clothes shopping at least for the next month. That I can do right now.
I really like the idea of freeing your mind for more creative endeavors and the fact that accessories are not limited.
What do you think? Find out more here about 6 items or less and here about the Great American Apparel Diet.
It’s after midnight as I write this and I’m in my basement because it’s just too hot upstairs in my bedroom even with the air on. I don’t know it’s not all due to the oppressive humidity or if part of it is due to my racing mind. I’m tired right now but clearly not tired enough. The true meaning of one of my manuscripts: RUNNING IN MY SLEEP.
This has, so far, been a disappointing week and I’m still wondering how to do this best year of my life thingy that it seems I not so smartly came up with. What up with that, Kwana? And my whole perspective over position deal is a lot easier on bright sunny days then it is on dark humid nights.
Oh well, humid nights don’t last forever (just about 12 hours or so) and then a new day comes with whatever that will be (maybe some sun and a breeze. Whee). How will I attack the next one? I’m not sure but at least my gym shoes are ready by the door.
"Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul." Oscar Wilde
When I'm feeling creatively empty I find an artist date is essential even if it's just an hours getaway and with my life an hour is a precious gift. I gave myself a couple of hours recently and went to the MET to see the Picasso exhibit and the American Woman Exhibit both of which were so fulfilling.
Going through the Picassos, which I can do again tomorrow I'm sure and it would be like I'm seeing it again for the first time, what struck me as amazing was his fearless power of reinvention. My DH was with me and made the comment as we entered another room, "Is this still Picasso?" Yep, I said, it was still him but you wouldn't know it. It seemed in the blink of an eye or in his case a change of perspective he took on an entirely new persona. He refused to just be seen as one type of artist. He was the artist that he envisioned himself at the time. Ever evolving but always true to himself.
In this day of labels and branding yourself this is something I can really respect. I'm about to embark on a new project, something in a style I've never tried but always wanted to and honestly, I'm afraid. Seeing Picasso in all his many forms gives me courage to be something other than what's expected.
How about you? Have you wanted to try something out of the box but have been afraid. Maybe this is your year.
Happy Friday! Welcome to the weekend. If your life is anything like mine the weekends don't hold the same charm that they used to BC (before children). Life is just so much more busy and there is not really any down time on the weekend. You know how it goes Mom is ALWAYS O.N.
But I hope you find a little time for you. Take a walk or a drive or make that errand run extra long and escape for a bit. Maybe to the bookstore and hit the travel section and linger there on the destination you'd like to be for the weekend. Me? I think I'll be going here: