(Story by Mir, from WouldaCouldaShoulda.com)
It's early January, which means we are legally obligated to engage in smalltalk about our feelings regarding the new year and all of the great things we vow to accomplish therein. As a middle-aged woman with a tween and a teenager, I should:
A) Reiterate that I am not sorry to see the past year depart. B) Be repenting for my holiday overindulgence and vowing to lose weight. C) Make sure I am too drunk at all times to even discuss. D) All of the above.
In reality, I'm not gonna lie---part of me is far too busy recovering from Christmas throwing up all over my house to even consider this topic, but another part of me resolves to stop resolving. Yeah, I said it.
Look; I've been through this New Year's thing plenty of times in my life. I've stayed home and I've partied. I've tried to ignore it; I've tried to embrace it. I've made resolutions and I've refused to change one bit. I've broken habits, forged new ones, eaten better, exercised, focused on my family, focused on my work, focused on ...
(submitted by Off Our Chests: 12.10.10)
So this is what we wrote about us one year ago today. Gotta say, it's still all exactly true. Happy anniversary everyone, and thanks to everyone who's stopped by, read, shared of themselves and a given a little bit (or more than that) to others. Onwards Blitzen, on Dancer...there's much work still to be done. XO, OOC
The truth...it’s freakin’ hard to be a truly, madly, deeply, happy woman in today’s world. Expectations, messages, norms, standards, ideals, images, the absence of images...whether they’re yours, cultural, your mom’s, dad’s, friends’, or your sister’s boyfriend’s cousin’s, what we see, hear, watch and listen to...can all combine to be quite the buzzkill on happiness, no?
Their cumulative effect can be like a mad-wing-flapping-albatross around the neck of feeling as good as we can. And at Off Our Chests, we think it’s high-time for each and all of us to stop letting anyone hate on our happy.
See, we’re all about the pursuit of happiness. Yours, and hers. (Hey, we’re not man-hating, we’re just lady-loving). Our job? Help make it easier for women (and all those little girls that’ll one day grow into ...
(story by Mir, from Woulda Coulda Shoulda) I know that holiday mishaps are the things family memories are often made of. Heck, you see it in the movies, read about it in books, and everyone's got a story or two about the time so-and-so passed out cold in a plateful of mashed potatoes or some relative took a wrong turn and by the time they showed up, the turkey was a charred hunk of sawdust. Holiday disasters are pretty much the reason they invented the phrase, "Someday we'll look back and laugh." But my family never seemed to look back on holiday mishaps fondly, growing up. We most often traveled over winter break to see relatives, which meant spending a lot of time in airports on some of the busiest travel days of the year, and for Thanksgiving we usually stayed at home and had a traditional dinner, just the four of us. Only, instead of dinner being cozy, it was usually incredibly stressful. My mother---who is probably reading this right now, and is poised to be embarrassed by something I ...
(story submitted by Mama's Tantrum, a Chestist)
The tragedy that are the events we've all heard so much about these past weeks has inspired a lot of conversation, consideration and emotion. Here's one chestists' thoughts, seen through 2 prisms...her role as mom, and her past as a victim of abuse. Here's her story:
I’ll ‘fess up that when I see Nugget skillfully kick a soccer ball I think that she may be the next Mia Hamm. Or when she places the “tethescope” on my belly and provides the diagnosis that I have squirrels in my stomach I conclude that she will be a brilliant doctor. Or when she attempts to negotiate every term of her dinner it’s clear to me that she’ll be a damn good lawyer. Or when she jams on her guitar like Ani Difranco it’s just a matter of time before she’s a total rock star, but only after she gains a good sense of herself so that she doesn’t Lindsay Lohan her life.
Regardless, we’re one of the few lucky American families that have just enough disposable income to sock away a ...
(story submitted by Brooke Peterson, a Chestist)
My name is Brooke Peterson and I am a mother. I just put my angelic 15-month-old daughter to sleep in her crib with a full belly. She just learned to talk and when she finished her bottle tonight she looked up at me with her big blue eyes and said ‘Mo’, which in her limited vocabulary means ‘Mommy I am still hungry…get your ass up and get me some more milk!’…And I did. Because I could.
But what if I couldn’t? For days? What if those big blues eye had sunken so far back into her head and her little locks had fallen from her head because not only could I not give her more…I couldn’t giver her any? What if we had to watch our children starve to death before our eyes? I just walked into my daughter’s room to watch her in her crib and every part of my soul wanted to cry out for any mother who would have to bear that horror. Dear God help them.
Untold numbers of children are dead from starvation. Not AIDS, Not nuclear attack. Not genocide. ...
We've all been there, haven't we? Um, it's not just us...is it? That would be so embarrassing.
Ok, you get it (even if it wasn't very funny). Let's talk embarrassment. When were you, where were you, what happened? Does it still hate on your happy and make you cringe or are you over it and can laugh like everyone else did?
Us, there was this one time at band camp....
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions."
What action can you take right now? Right now? Big or small, we bet there's something. Come on, declare it and then make it so. X
(submitted by Guest Contributor Zoeyjane)
Consumption theory says that the more we're exposed to something via media, reading, basically any well-used medium, the more we start to believe its depiction as reality. And we subsequently start comparing ourselves to what we see.
Supporting consumption theory was the drastic increase in eating disorders during the three decade span of the mid-80s to 2005. Like, doubling of prevalence, drastic, mostly only in societies with marked dependance on media. Arguing consumption theory is evidence wherever you walk around - teen pregnancy is down, women are focusing on healthy eating for themselves and their families, and there are few, if any Snooki-twins.
Yet we blame media for giving us a measurement of what we might aspire to. I think this is both right and wrong.
We're marketed towards, with sexy, beautiful, thin images portraying our assumed ideals and futures if we ...