Archive | May, 2012

In the Past

29 May

In the Past.

In the Past

29 May

It’s inevitable, I tell myself…but still, whenever I am with my mother–seeing her I am unbearably close to weeping. She is aging and seeing her sagging skin, and twisted arthritic knee sometimes angers me. I am angry because there’s little time remaining. And the time we spend together is not how I want it to be. But she’s 80 years old, now.

This Mother’s Day we just drove around the city. She told me why our family moved from South to West Philadelphia. The South Philly home she said was rented. I never knew the home there on Dickinson Street. Anyway, my grandmom wanted a house with a porch and that’s how she, my granddad, my mom and her three siblings–two brothers and a sister ended up living in the corner house on Parrish Street.

I drove Mom to Manayunk so that she could get some sugar-free water ice. But since there was nowhere nearby to park, we just cruised along Main Street and people-watched instead. I pointed to an old brick building and reminded her that it used to be the bargain shopping center where she and I used to shop often. She remembered.

We drove around  the city for hours. As we headed toward Center City, I listened as Mom rehashed her childhood memories and talked about the people and the times they shared a lifetime ago.

Some memories made me sad because they can never be…I know we’ll get older. It’s just not easy when I see my mother’s youth, and mine, in the past.

Venting?

20 May

My boyfriend claims he’s listening to me even though I claim he isn’t. More often than we like to be, we are apart. But when I get to the point when I feel completely isolated from him, I tell him so.

Well, according to him–he expects it, and accepts it, too.  He says he knows and expects that it is time for me to complain. And then realizing that he expects me to complain, I become annoyed. I am annoyed because by saying he expects and accepts it implies that I am simply venting. I am not. But I am becoming frustrated.

That’s when the sound of my voice changes, I enunciate every single word, and I omit contractions altogether. Satisfied, having made myself perfectly clear, I continue to voice my concerns. Again, this is not venting.  Instead, I am not simply expressing my concerns just for the sake of being listened to. No, I am instead expressing my discontent in a manner suitable for discussion with the intent of gaining a resolution. In other words, I want results–I want what I am complaining about to end.

I am not venting because I know that venting is complaining about something that will not and cannot change. Venting, you see, is a way to stir up the necessary ingredients to gain sympathy.
Venting is an outlet–a way to let others, anyone who will listen, usually a girlfriend–someone who will hear your complaints because they have them too.

 

Weight on me

20 May

Weight on me.

Weight on me

20 May

Hearing, “I’m carrying more weight.” to offer a reason why one can’t, and/or won’t keep up is simply, unreasonable. I mean, really?

By now, everyone is weight conscious. But apparently, not everyone understands weight management. I, like many of the people I know, have access to many modes of media.  And because I do, I use it to learn many things. One is weight management. Thankfully we live in a nation where media reports on various opportunities to lose excess weight and how to control weight.

I have learned that eating more fruits, and vegetables than red meat, and processed foods is one way of controlling weight. While another way is to move. Exercise.  And by the way, by exercise, I mean whatever it takes to get up from the sofa, or chair.

In Philadelphia, PA we have a fairly decent transportation system. And even though it could benefit from lots and lots, and lots of improvement, I take it five days a week. It gets me to and then from work–period. Anyway, I get off and walk about six blocks to my work site, and then I walk up a mere two flights to my office. That’s just about all the exercise I get. Nonetheless, it’s an opportunity for me to move. It’s my chance to help regulate and/or stabilize my weight. I could, instead, take two buses and get off at a bus stop that is right in front of my building; and then take the elevator the rest of the way. I don’t.

And that is why I maybe “lighter” than some of my friends. They’re the ones who have excuses why they don’t walk and why they don’t take the stairs. Oh, I forgot to mention, I take the stairs instead of the elevator to my six-floor apartment just about four days during the week. And sometimes, I’m carrying more weight–groceries. You see it’s yet another opportunity to move–Okay, I admit it: I’m an opportunist–I guess.

Since I don’t have an income that allows for discretionary spending, I cannot afford to pay health club fees. But I can afford to walk. The issue becomes how to walk, and even when. There is a stroll and then there is a walk. I walk briskly to rev up my heart rate; it’s best when trying to lose weight and/or manage weight. I know this because the media reports it all the time–Americans are more over weight than ever before.

By now, nearly everyone knows that walking is one of, if not, the best way to manage weight. It may not be the quickest route, but it is the most simplest form of exercise sans those bound to a wheelchair.

Since I walk often, I like to spice up my walk, so every now and then I ask a friend to come along. Well, that doesn’t always give me the boost I expect.

Just a few hours ago, I called a walking buddy. She agreed to come along with me to the store.  While walking at a moderately brisk pace, I turn my head awaiting a reply during our conversation. I find that she is more than a few paces behind, which explains why, there was no reply. I call to her and say, Hey whatcha doin’ back there? To my dismay, she responded, “I have more weight than you.”

Still walking, I turned completely around to respond. I wanted to say, Yes, I am “lighter” than you are and the reason I am is very likely because I walk more than you and, therefore, faster than you. Instead, I tried to convey to her that walking often, and briskly helps me to management my weight.

Even though I have plans to resume a more active lifestyle, to include swimming, and cycling, I currently eat more healthily in addition to walking. And if you’re reading this and thinking: It’s genetics. Well, that’s not altogether true.

Aside

I am relaxed

20 May

I vaguely remember when I decided to grow out, and then cut off the remainder of my chemically relaxed hair. But I can certainly remember why I went back to using a relaxer.

The first time I began relaxing my hair was so long ago I can’t remember how I began relaxing my mother’s, and my sister’s hair too. Regardless, I became a hairstylist of sorts. I spent about an hour several times each year retouching my kinky roots–making my hair silky and smooth, as well as aesthetically appealing when I got it wet.
In other words, my relaxed hair retained a style I preferred, and it is easier to maintain than when my hair was in its natural state.
Non relaxed hair required lots of care–I spent hours each day trying to keep it from tangling, and becoming matted.  Furthermore, my hairstyle rarely lasted through the day. And, even though some believe natural hair is manageable in hot, and humid weather, it is not.
My so-called twist out hair became puffy and styleless in a matter of minutes. And even when I paid a stylist to straighten my hair–pressing it out without using a chemical, the pressed hairstyle deteriorated in a day or two causing me much angst and more.
Furthermore, my lifestyle of fitness changed the day I quit relaxing my hair. I stopped swimming, playing tennis, and cycling too. Because sweating is a natural part of exercise, immediate hair care is required.  With a relaxer, it’s simply washing, drying, and then styling my hair—easily accomplished in an hour, or less, and without having to pay and wait for an appointment with a professional hairstylist.

What’s the Matter

10 May

What’s the Matter.