Archive for January, 2007

The Sports Fanatic

I grew up playing sports and loving sports as a child. I even played football and water polo throughout high school — winning the state championship in water polo my senior year. As a boy, I was greatly influenced by my social environment to not only love sports, but to also worship them. I worshiped them through clothes, conversation and the way I spent my leisure time.

Sports always seemed to be like the weather — it was something that anyone could talk about at anytime. It also let the other person know that you’re okay — a regular, normal person.

Like most Americans, I spent my weekends in front of the TV watching football, got excited as the Super Bowl approached and was depressed when the season was over. I found, like I did with video games, that I wasted a huge amount of my time watching and talking about it.

As I got older (during my mid-twenties) I started to have aspirations for more meaningful things — writing, starting new businesses, psychology, etc… As my pursuits were juxtaposed to sports, it soon became clear just how completely meaningless professional sports were/are. I began to ween myself off of sports — avoiding games on TV, checking scores on the Internet and conversations about sports.

Removing professional sports from my life allowed me to spend more time with my family, read more and focus on the things that I wanted to accomplish in life. It also made me stand out socially — not something I was going for, but it was unavoidable. When people would strike up conversations with me about an athlete or a big game, I would have no idea what they were talking about. I tried to act like I had some clue of what they were talking about, just to avoid the awkwardness, but once they figure out that I was clueless, they generally gave me an emasculated response. It wasn’t with their words, but more with their facial expressions. It was usually an “are you a real man?” look.

I say all of this, because a recent article about a woman inducing birth early so her husband could go to a football game absolutely perplexed me. For me, I see a man who has devoted his time, money and energy into loving something that’s absolutely meaningless — an NFL team. The NFL is a giant commercial outfit designed to solely make money. It’s the antithesis of intellectualism and attaches itself to the tribal mentality of human beings — belonging to something and conquering all others. The problem is that like most things, it’s make believe. What happens after someone wins the Super Bowl or any other game for that matter? Nothing. At its best, it’s a distraction (which we all need to some extent). But to make it as important as things that have meaning, like a new baby and the health of your wife, is shamefully pathetic and off balance.

I’m not anti-sports. It doesn’t mind me that people are interested in sports and spend time watching and attending games. However, like anything that’s ultimately meaningless, it should never take precedence or equal importance to the things that truly matter in life.

Posted in Lifestyles, Relationships, Daily Living, Mental Environment | No Comments »

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Thursday we migrated to my inlaws’ turf in Pensacola.  We had a beautiful family Christmas on Friday and then a huge party on Saturday for my mother-in-laws 60th birthday… They are a very “historic” and involved family in P’cola - we celebrated at the Yacht club which was, suprisingly, not the least bit fluffy or snooty (which were my own misguided stereotypes).  That’s the neat thing with “old” southerners with prestige or community clout - they have no care to act like people with prestige or community clout.. They are people who have worked hard to get what they have and are loving every minute of life and loving every minute of the people around them.  Such a massive difference from the people in Nashville with money or prestige, but damn my new year’s resolution of not saying anything negative unless absolutely necessary (which, never you fear,  I will take great liberty with)…. I had a blast and fell more in love with my husband’s family than I was before.

But. 

But.  But.  But.  There is the instance of the sisters-in-law (John’s sister and brother’s wife).  I’ll just say, we’ve come a long way.  What started out as a friendly and fond courtship between the women in the family, turned ugly for a few years and we are just now pulling out.  I hope, anyway.  I’ve wracked my brain and I honestly can’t figure out where the hate came from.  But trust me, it was bordering on hate..  John swears that it has nothing to do with me (excepts it’s aim) but that, unfortunately, they have both had bad experiences in the family and haven’t gotten over them.  I can’t say.  All I can say is that it would be nice to not be the outsider, as far as the women in the family go.  The fact is, they are all older either in years or in lifestyle and, even though we are in different places in our lives and I am completely comfortable with that, it seems, they are not. 

They have been a collective of married people raising kids for the last ten years - taking vacations together, living in the same town, sharing all levels of life experiences - and it seems, they are not ready to let anyone else into that fold - especially if that person if younger and of an entirely different ilk than them.  So, I find myself pulling back a lot from them and giving all my energy to John’s parents whom I am blessed to be wholly embraced by - which, I’m afraid, probably only makes matters worse.  I will just take a deep breath, try to reflect on mistakes I may have made and try very hard to be myself around them, even though they make it hard.. I never get nervous around people damn it, and 9 times out of 10, if someone doesn’t like me I wouldn’t think twice about it (honestly, it just doesn’t happen.. I know that sounds so egocentric, but I really do get along with people so well…).  But this is my husband’s family and it does matter.  A lot.  Because I respect them. And, I’ll admit, I never once thought that it would be like this.  I thought that I would finally have women to be a family with - to be tight with and strong for and vulnerable in front of..   But I can’t force myself into a picture that they want to keep all to themselves…  All I can do is be mindful of what I say without indulging in the great desire to keep entirely to myself and leave it alone all together.  Happily though, and on a positive note, the rest of the family and I adore each other.  The aunts and uncles and cousins always have and always will have huge open arms for me..  So, why should the fact that these two women aren’t interested bother me so much?  Can’t tell you.  All I can tell you is that I guess, maybe, it seemed like (in my weird, overly literary mind) getting married was like joining a tribe - and in that tribe you have a group that you belong.  And, it seems, my group doesn’t want me.  And, I can get all tough and say “well, who wants to be in their stupid ‘Creative Memory’ selling, church fundraiser crap life anyway?” - but that’s not the truth in it.  The truth is that, even though we don’t have a lot in common as far as lifestyle goes, we are really working toward the same goal.  And, when did lifestyles matter so much in a family?  I thought the whole point was to be a part of something much greater than miniscule day to day matters - I thought the idea was to be in a family with people who could bring you up and make each other wiser for the wear… Maybe I am just a kid with far fetched ideas about how the world is supposed to be and how it can be better.. Maybe their right… and maybe that’s why they can’t let me in… But I just don’t want to believe it. 

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Fat Suit

It always happens.  I get to my parents’ house and eat like a five hundred pound football player.  It’s pretty disgusting.  But, I can never seem to stop myself.

I spent the whole week the kids were gone reintroducing myself to a more familiar style of eating (you know, more familiar than the stuff your face when you get a chance and eat your kids’ leftovers style that most most moms live by).  I was eating very balanced snacks and even more balanced meals - and ONLY when I was hungry.  As a very busy mom with several other jobs, I find myself eating meals that I don’t want just because I know I won’t have time later.  It makes for a lot of random weight gain and even more weight loss.  So, I spent the week letting my body tell me what it needed - I listened very diligently and found myself feeling good and healthy and energized.  Now, the worst of two eating worlds have collided:  I am back with my kids (cooking three squares for them and helping them eat it all AND the typical overindulgence that always comes with visiting my mom and dad).  I feel so gross.

With the chocolate brownies innocently lying around staring at me, urging me to take just a nibble to the decedent pot of Hoppin’ John that my mom made New Year’s day getting better and better by the day in the refrigerator, I just can’t stop myself.  Top off the complete imbalance of food to people ratio with my unnaturally sensational love of food and eating and you have one big mess.  And one big me.

Granted I haven’t actually gained any more weight than like a pound or two.. And, I know, there are some of you out there looking at my skinny picture on the right and rolling your eyes.  But, come on.  Any woman out there reading, thin or not, knows how awful it is to not fit into your pants in the morning after a pan of pecan brownies with mint chocolate chip ice cream on top was shoved in your mouth the night before.  It’s feels as dirty as waking up in a stranger’s bed with no clothes on and a flask of whisky in your hand.  Not that I know what that feels like.  I would just imagine that it would be about the same.

So.  That’s where my holiday has taken me thus far.  Over-indulgent and feeling fat as a hiefer.  Happy f#@*! New Year to me and all my fat rolls.

 

Posted in Lifestyles, Healthy Eating | 1 Comment »

A Little Something if You’re Bored..

I have become addicted to checking out the Mammarazzi website at least a thousand times a day… The ladies over there have started out 2007 with a bang - but don’t let that stop you from indulging in their archives.  You’ll be sooooo pleased you did!

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On the Road Again..

Today we drove down to Florida to reunite with our babies after their Disney World fiasco as well as spend some quality post-holiday time with our family.  It’s just a long enough drive to get you thinking about things but just short enough to let it end before you become obssesive or negative about your thoughts.  It was a quiet ride - just me and John - with both of us (however trite it may seem) reflecting on the past year and, more importantly, the year(s) to come.

I will sum it up by saying just a few things.  #1. I feel, most days, like the luckiest person in the world.  As I drove the six hour haul today, I realized that even with all the mistakes I have made (and more than likely, will continue to make) I have managed to eke out a very sweet life.  While I am proud to say that I have made rather difficult decisions which, eventually (over two years of great struggle) proved to be wise, I can only attribute it to the fact that I am surrounded by such great people.  #2.  I, finally and after 29 years on this planet, trust myself and my decision making abilities.  I feel strong and confident and like I have made, and will continue to make, solid choices.  Having faith in your own ability to steer your life, I think, is quite possibly one of the greatest gifts you can ever give yourself (or earn, depending on how you look at it).  AND, last but not least #3.  In my childrens’ absence I realized that the life of a single, young, unattached adult is not for me.  The ability to indulge in constant self gratification became borderline grotesque for me.  I found nothing redeeming about it.  I can now say that my struggle as a young mother who never quite felt like she had a good go at being a 20something go-getter is over.  My family is a defining quality of me and I will no longer daydream about the life I never had - because, honestly, this is better than anything I could ever have dreamed.

So.  Happy New Year to you all.  See you tomorrow….

Posted in Uncategorized, Daily Living, Holidays | No Comments »

            



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