To be the Queen of Chaos, you have to be a little warped.

Posts tagged ‘summer’


Last summer sucked.  I was embroiled in anxiety, overwhelmed by life in general, and so unable to enjoy most of the things we all think of a summer pleasures.  I have the good fortune now to be much happier and more comfortable in my skin, and hence have promised myself that this will be the Summer of Reclamation.

I have always been a summer person – born in July and raised on summers of drippy popsicles, backyard barbeques, and swimming until my eyes were red and my lips were blue.  It genuinely irks me to think of last year as a summer wasted, so here are my goals to ensure that this summer makes up for the last.

1. When in doubt, do it.  When you’re trying to avoid stress, it is easy to think that staying in a predictable comfort zone all the time is the safest option.  It is also the most boring and least enlightening choice, and it’s not even foolproof.  Just as much stress can be had at home with three kids as anywhere else.  So when I have the chance to go somewhere or participate in something this summer, I plan to do it if at all possible.

2. The caveat to number one – don’t do anything you don’t WANT to do.  This is different than avoiding possibilities based on fear; this is taking ownership of the fact that my life is mine to do with as I wish.  Which means I have no obligation to participate in something that I know full well will make me miserable or be an utter waste of my time and energy.

3. Get one productive thing done each day, then go play.  As long as my house is sanitary and our basic household management needs are met, I’m not sweating the Martha Stewart routine this summer.  If, at the end of the day, I can say I did a load of laundry or picked up a birthday gift, that’s good enough for me.

4. Detoxify my relationships.  This one is already in motion, with at least two “friends” who are no longer good for me psychologically put out to pasture.  That’s hard for me to do, since I don’t like confrontation and I am hopelessly sappy, but it has become a matter of good self-care.  Hurtful words, thoughtless actions, and incompatible priorities create stress for me, and stress can lead me down a path I don’t ever want to travel again if I can help it.  If minor issues come up in otherwise healthy relationships, I am determined to advocate calmly for myself.

5. Unapologetically be myself and like myself.  That means going about my day with a confident attitude, not caring about the opinions of others.  I’m going to do what I feel like doing, without worrying about looking foolish or ugly or censoring my actions for the benefit of others.  In other words, I don’t care if you don’t want to see my fat body in a bathing suit – it’s a free country and I’m going swimming, asshat!  I’m going to try and avoid self-deprecation as well, and talk and think about myself the way I’d talk about my best friend or my daughter.

The title of this post is in reference to the popular corporate saying, “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”  This probably doesn’t sound like a very simple plan of action, but it really boils down to the sole concept of increasing fun and decreasing stress.

In the spirit of my fifth goal, however, I think I shall change the acronym’s meaning to, “Keep It Simple, Superstar!”  If anyone doesn’t like it – well, you know what they can K.I.S.S.  *wink*


Bitch-Free Beach

Now that bathing suit season is officially upon us, I’ve been thinking about self-esteem in the face of summer fashion.  We probably all know someone (or are someone) who suffers through 90 degree days in long pants because they feel their legs are not fit for public viewing.  Then there is the refusal to “bare arms” that so many women fall prey to, and of course the swimmer who is too self-conscious to remove her oversize t-shirt in the water for fear of people judging her bathing suit-clad body.

It pisses me off when I hear people talking smack about other people’s bodies.  Hey, everyone has a right to their own opinion of what constitutes attractiveness, and I don’t expect everyone to like or appreciate the visage of every human who crosses their path.  But at the end of the day, my body is my business.  So is yours.  No one has the right to offer commentary on it, and you have the right to not give a flying fuck what anyone else thinks about you.

The following passage is quoted from a great book I read recently:

“At some point in your adult life, you’ve probably walked into a party and felt a frisson of relief upon discovering at least one woman there who was fatter, uglier, and/or dressed more inappropriately than you. We sure have. But if you want to have any hope of making peace with your own body, you need to knock that shit off.

We’re not even telling you to stop just because it’s nasty, petty, and beneath you to judge other women so harshly; it is, but you’re not a saint, and neither are we. We’re telling you to stop because it’s actually in your own self-interest to stop being such a bitch. ‘Cause you know what happens when you quit saying that crap about other women? You magically stop saying it about yourself so much, too.

Judging other women negatively creates a constant stream of nasty thoughts in your head. It is inevitable that you will end up applying those same standards to yourself. We think we’re building ourselves up when we do this but, really, we’re just tearing other people down to our level. And we hate to go all Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood on you, but tearing other people down isn’t really productive. It leaves you in the same place you started, which is full of loathing for your own body.”

~Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby, “Lessons From The Fat-o-sphere”

I really hope to impart this lesson to my girls through my words and actions.  I hope other parents will do the same, for their kids and for themselves.  So grab that tank top, shorts, bikini or whatever you love and feel good in, and work it!  And if the haters start hatin’…