Friday, March 12, 2010

Jennifer, The Moody Poet

I think I'm a funny person. I love to laugh and joke around and I have a good sense of humor. At least, I think I do.

When I wanted to start my blog, part of it was because I read several that are so incredibly witty and amusing and entertaining. And, since I've always loved writing, I assumed that I could create something like that, too. But, the thing is, it seems that every time I sit down to write it just comes out so melancholy.

I started a blog about a year and a half ago, but after about 10 or 15 entries that were just so damn depressing, I stopped. I think maybe a couple of my friends were reading, but I decided that no one should be subjected to my despondent ramblings.

I think back to when I was young, and I scribbled pages and pages full of poetry. Notebooks and journals filled with gut wrenching accounts of unrequited love, heartbreak, and the journey of coming of age scattered across my bedroom floor. Even then I considered my teenage angst a little over the top, and I was intelligent enough to understand that I was a living, breathing cliche. But, I just didn't know how to express myself in any other way.

When I met my first husband and settled into adult life (ADULT!?! I was such a baby, but that's another story), I felt pretty happy and I wanted to write about it. I would sit down with a journal, but nothing would come. The only time the words would ever flow freely from my pen was when I was feeling somber or troubled. This held true as the years flowed by, and if I pick up my journals now and look back, it is very rare to find an entry that is not tinged by at least a little bit of sadness or discontent. I suppose that is somewhat telling of how my story has played out, but I swear that there really were some happy times. There had to have been. I don't view myself as a miserable person, but somehow in my writing that is always how I come across.

I'm going to continue to write, and I'm going to hope that if I keep trying, my sense of humor and my joy in life will finally come through in my words. At least, sometimes. Because, frankly, even though I am happy and more in love than I ever imagined I could be, life is a little hard right now. I'm never quite whole splitting my time between my daughters and my husband. There's always at least one little piece of the puzzle that is out of place.

And, well, that tortured poet girl doesn't live too far under my skin. I can't ever keep her buried for too long. I guess I should just embrace her, because she is me.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Weekend Fun

Here were are on another Monday. The weekend was good, but once again we were foiled by the weather. The Sunday baseball game was canceled and while it was so cute and very entertaining to watch the little one in his first game of the season, it was COLD!!! I was under the impression that one of the benefits of living part time in Southern California was the sunshine. From what my girls told me, it was nicer back in Idaho than it was here. But, such is life, I suppose.

We sat huddled together under blankets and endured the wind and the threatening rain during the game. Then, we hit up a 5 year old's birthday party, spent some time with family, and then headed home with some tired kids. A couple of them climbed right into bed, and I curled up in bed with a book while the others cuddled around me watching "Grease". Ron and I had to roll our eyes and laugh when Alex looked at us and said "Are all of the people in this movie dead now?". The span of time is a funny thing in the eyes of a 12 year old.

Sunday was very low key since the game was canceled. Alex was bummed. We needed to take Rachel home, so met her mom at a mall and dropped her off. We walked the mall a little and then had lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. The kids got some of the cutest balloon animals I have ever seen made for them there. Of course, they didn't all last very long, but at least I got some pictures.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Body Image

The main goal in my life is happiness. I strive to find complete contentedness in my existence, and to provide for my children a clear and open path to their own happiness. I feel that it is my duty to them to be an emotionally and physically strong, healthy and happy person. Most of the time I feel like I am getting it right.

There is this one issue that never seems to go away, though. These little tentacles of self doubt and self criticism that creep up out of the ground and wrap around me like vines, threatening to pull me down. This one thing that so easily moves in and strips away my confidence. My body image.

I am not technically overweight. I am at the high end of what is considered healthy for my height and frame. I am athletic and in good shape. I exercise regularly and I have run an average of 1000 miles a year for the last 4 years. So, why is the image in the mirror something that bothers me every single day?

I don't know precisely when it started. Sometime around jr. high, I suppose. I know I'm not alone. Many of my friends began to worry and stress about their bodies and their weight at the same time. And, just like me, most of them were not anywhere near overweight.

As an adult, I see these concerns and self doubts beginning in girls at a younger and younger age. Is it something we can escape? Can we teach our daughters to see that the true meaning of beauty lies not in their physical appearance alone? Can we free them of this burden that so many of us carry around?

I want to be released from these feelings. I try. I get there some days. Sometimes after a good run I feel beautiful and healthy. And, then there are the moments when my husband looks at me and bathed in the glow of his admiration and love I forget any negativity and feel only pure bliss.

But, then, I turn on the TV and the media tries to tell me what is beautiful and appealing. And, it is something that I am not. Or, a woman who is much, much thinner than I am calls herself a 'fat cow'. And, a senior citizen (who is also smaller than I am) says she has to diet. I begin to wonder, if this is how they see themselves, then how do they see me? How does the world in general see me? How do my children see me? How does my husband see me? What if I am not good enough?

It's just so tiring and I want to be free of it. I want to tear down this roadblock on my freeway of happiness. I want to spare my daughters the doubt and uncertainty, and have them only feel beautiful and confident. But, how do we get there?

Hello Blogging World!!

How do you start a blog? One of my bestest friends in the whole world told me the other day that I should blog about the adventure that is my life. The adventure that includes being a newlywed and a mom and step mom to 7 beautiful children, the transition from working 40 hours a work in retail to pursing my dream of making a living as photographer, and doing all of this while traveling 1000 miles between my two homes (one with my husband and step children and the other with my daughters) every two weeks. It sounds interesting enough. I should be able to come up with something to write about while doing all of that, right?

I love to read blogs. And, I've always loved to write. I've kept diaries and journals since I was 6 years old. I would like to hope that I could be as witty and inspiring and insightful as some of my friends who blog, and as some whose blogs I've recently come across and begun to read. But, who knows. I stumble through life just trying to do my best.

So, here it goes. Fasten your seat belt, and hopefully we'll be in for an interesting ride.