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suddenly this gets deep.

2004-11-15 - 10:25 a.m.

We're building custom bookshelves in our house, and soon I plan on having some pictures to show you all. Meanwhile, we have tons of books sitting in the living room, as we emptied out one of our crappy bookshelves in order to make space for the beautiful new custom shelves. Last night our neighbors came over, and the four-year-old girl started freaking out. "This is such a big mess! I can't clean this all by myself! What a big mess!" Thanks, sweetie. I had originally planned on forcing you to put all my books back, making sure to code them by genre and then alphabetize them within the genre, but now I shan't. There's nothing as much fun as getting schooled by a kid because your house is a mess. We hadn't exactly been expecting visitors, and even if we had, where else were we going to put the books?

Yarrgh. I'm just feeling generally disgruntled today. Went to bed really late last night. I was trying to make brownies, but the kitchen timer refuses to work when I set it--it now will only work for my husband. So the brownies didn't get cooked enough, and had to be put back in. It took over two hours from start to finish to deal with the damn brownies last night--by the end I didn't even want to eat any. I mean, it was 11:45 at night, I was tired and the brownies were still in the oven.

I was listening to NPR this morning, and they were discussing Eve Ensler's new work about what women do to their bodies in order to "be good." Ensler talked about visiting a 74-year-old Masai woman who was truly happy and at peace with her body, and she said to the woman "I want to be like you! Tell me how to be like you!" Girls start dieting in this country before we get to middle school. I'm 26, and I've spent well over half my life criticizing my body. It's so exhausting, this constant monologue of what's wrong, constantly comparing oneself to others, constantly monitoring not only what I eat, but who's around when I eat it, what they're eating, and how the quantity and quality of their food and the speed at which they consume it compares with my food. I'm so ready to lay down this burden, and I have been for years, but it is so hard. I've been listening to "Speaking of Faith," also on NPR, and a couple episodes have dealt with "bad" things like alcoholism and depression. A Native American man was talking about his alcoholism, and how he realized he needed to treat it as a relative and respect it and honor it. Last night a Quaker philosopher was talking about his depression and how a therapist asked him not to look at depresion as an enemy, but rather has the hand of a friend pushing him down onto safe ground on which he could stand. Perhaps this is the attitude I need to take with the body issues our society forces on women. Instead of the constant fight, perhaps I need to honor and love my feelings of inadequacy. Perhaps I need to recognize this issues, bring them into the light and love them for all their flaws, and only then will I truly be able to love every part of my body. I constantly tell myself that I want to work out and loose weight to be healthy and strong, and that's true. But I'd be lying if I said a more powerful motivation wasn't my looks, what size I fit into, whether or not I'll be able to wear a bikini this summer. I've been desperately searching for a way to put that aside, but that doesn't seem to work. So maybe it's time to honor that desire, to accept it as a relative and not let it take over my soul. Fighting hasn't worked very well for me and I am becoming exhausted with the struggle.


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