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Monday, July 21, 2014

Yeah, I'm from Jersey.

Admittedly, this post may not portray me in the very best light.  I can't say this is ALWAYS me, but it is definitely me quite a bit of the time.  It's my Jersey.  Not all of us are Jersey impatient.  I am most definitely impatient!  I want it, and I want it NOW!

Before anyone gets all Jersey defensive on me...

I'm a Jersey girl.  I'm a North Jersey girl.
I've been Jersey all my life.
I am not great at tact.  If I think it, I speak it.
I say what I have to say - then I'm done.
I think you should be done with it too.
Unless you don't agree.
Then we'll tawk more.

When I want it, I want it NOW!

I don't think I'm all that much different than other Jersey folk. We have a way that only other Jersey-ian's - Jersey'ites get.

You know what I'm tawkin' about?

Yes, I say tawk, cawfee and dawg.
I'm Jersey.
It's not an accent.
It's how I tawk.  :)

Being on vacation in Massachusetts I made some observations.
One of them is that people in other places aren't like us.

I think I'm starting to get why people in other regions don't get me, and maybe they don't get some of you other Jersey folks either.

Most of my life, I was under the impression that I was a super nice person.

No, I don't take any crap - but I try hard to be a good person, helpful & kind, do things for others, give a smile if you don't have one and be loyal and true.  If I have it and you need it, please take it.  I'll get another.

I may not be the "too nice" I'd been accused of when I was younger.  I've jaded with age - but I still think I'm OK.

On a regional note, I am probably correct.  By the standards of other states, maybe not so much.  I've even been referred to as "abrasive" at one time.  I don't see it???

We just got back from vacation in Massachusetts.  Salem, Boston, Lexington, Concord & Plymouth. Very cool, historical trip.
Wicked Pissah!

I totally recommend this type of vacation!
Especially if you're an American History geek like I am.
(I'll blog about it another time.)

People in that region are super nice, super friendly and super chatty.  At least this was my experience.  I have nothing but nice things to say about the attitudes of the people of MA.

Here is where the Jersey attitude doesn't quite fit...

I am from Jersey.  When I am looking for information.  Please just give me the information.  I don't need a conversation.  I don't want to hear in 20 minutes what can be told to me in 3 minutes or less.  I'm from Jersey.
I don't have a ton of patience.  I'm in a hurry.  Always.  Even on vacation.
I have a schedule and I plan on sticking to it.  I'm used to things being at my disposal.  I'm used to people hurrying me along and getting me where I'm going quickly.  They don't want to talk to me any longer than I want to talk to them.  This is what I'm used to.  I get this mentality.  I especially don't want a conversation at 7 am, before I've had all my coffee.  Please understand.  You're nice and all, but...

Wow, that sounds awful.  Doesn't it?  It probably is, um.... abrasive.  eek

I'm actually not nearly as harsh as that all sounded, but sadly - that's not too far from the truth.  Well that and the fact that you lose me after the first 3 1/2 minutes & I go into deer in the headlights mode.  All excessive talk is wasted on me.  I've heard nothing.

Easy there people...  I'm not generalizing here.  This is my issue.  (but I know some of you other Jersey folks get what I'm saying.)

So on this vacation, we went out to eat, every day, almost every meal.  I didn't rent a condo or have any desire to cook.  I was on vacation.  I wanted to be served & have the short one's food pre-cut for her.  I wanted things done for me.  I wanted to relax.  "Relax" is clearly relative.

Every where we went, we waited.
I would never say the service was poor, because it was awesome every where we went.  Food was great, people were friendly, etc.  It's just in this area - the NY/NJ Metro area - things are FAST. When you go for a meal, they want you fed, up, out and gone so the next person can sit and eat.  It's not like that every other place in the country.  That is what we are used to.


When we went someplace where the waitress was totally "on it" - and I mean super fast sit us, serve us, get us fed and out "on it" - I appreciated the amazing service.  I felt the immediate need to compliment her on her rock star service.

I mentally wondered if she was originally from the NY/NJ area because unlike our prior servers, she was extra quick.

A beer and a half in, that thought wandered out of my mouth....
and I proceeded to ask her if she was always from that particular area, 
because her service was so amazingly quick and efficient.  

Ug, awesome.

I could immediately tell by the the look on her face that she didn't hear my intended "Your service was EXCELLENT.  You are a rock star.  Thank you!"

Instead she may have heard something more like, "Wow, the people around here are really friggin' lazy.  Thank you for being one of the only people around here who actually work."

And so goes another chapter in the life of "Jenn, shut the hell up - will ya?"  Massachusetts version.

I really was trying to compliment her.

Mercy on the Jersey girl, huh?

Another illustration of why people in other states look at "you" like they've smelled something funny when you say you're from Jersey.

I meant well, REALLY.
It's just that somewhere between what it sounded like in my head, and what came out of my mouth got completely lost and all twisty.

Or maybe that's just me.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

OK, so I'm fat.... You might be too. Whatever....

If you follow me on Facebook you see that I'm always joking around about dieting and having a little extra weight on me.

The fact is that since I was diagnosed with Lupus & went through my whole medication roller coaster - weight gain has been a tremendous issue for me.

That, coupled with a hypo-active thyroid makes it virtually impossible to get weight off and keep it off.

Well, that and the fact that I like ice cream.  I REALLY like ice cream.

Well, damn it.. I think I will!  Hmmpf!

Seriously... I was totally kicking ass at dieting and kick boxing - but then this Lupus crap suddenly sucked all the energy from my body - leaving me absolutely exhausted.  I haven't kick boxed for MONTHS and that sucks, because I love it.

I'll piss an moan for another second then I'll move along....
Last year around this time, I'd lost more than 25 lbs by exercising and watching what I eat.  I know, right.  :)  Anyway -- It took me several months of really hard work and dieting to get those pounds off my body. I felt good.  I looked better and I was happy with how I was beginning to look and feel.  And then the friggin' Lupus energy drain.  Well that was fun while it lasted.

As much as I'd love to be a size 5 - It's fine.
Why?  Because I'm good with me.

I had a conversation with someone a while back.  I have to phrase this delicately so no one reading can trace the source or the subject.  I don't want to get anyone in trouble.  Anyway, in this conversation the person I was speaking with was referring to another individual, stating they had body dysmorphic disorder because what they saw in the mirror didn't match what they appeared to this person as. More specifically, the person being described was overweight (sorta like me) but constantly stated she was a size 5.  This was annoying to the person I was conversing with.

Nothing against the person I was speaking with, 
but ya know what I think??
Who friggin' cares?

I think that it's AWESOME to be able to look in the mirror and see awesome looking back at you - no matter what your size.

We ALL struggle with something to some degree or another; too fat, too skinny, flat chested, big tummy, fat thighs, no ass, wrinkles, acne, bad hair, too much hair... what-friggin-ever!

I'd rather be able to look in the mirror and smile, than look in the mirror and be horrified.

Who cares what anyone else thinks?

I'm not, by any means, saying body dysmorphic disorder is a good thing - because in some cases, when it's extreme, it can be really awful.

Do you understand what I'm saying?

I wasn't always a super skinny mini growing up.  I mean, yeah - in high school I was a size zero - but mostly in my 20's I fluctuated from size zero to size 10.  I was never super skinny all the time, and when I was fat - I didn't know it until some a'hole pointed it out to me.

Back then.  I cared.  Back then, I really cared.  Back then, I didn't have the life I have now.

Now, I'm a pretty lucky chick, and I'm incredibly grateful for that.

Do I have the perfect body?  No.  I do not.  Who cares?

Truth... even if I worked day and night and ate lettuce every day - I would still not have a swim suit perfect body.

Sure, I could go under the knife & have it sucked out and nipped and tucked and pulled and whatever - but I don't want to.

I don't want to.

I am blessed.  I am happy with who I am and what I have.

I don't want what you have.  I don't want what you think you took from me - because I have all I need & if there's something I really want - I still have it.

I don't need to stress over 5, 10 or 20 lbs.  I don't care if you think I'm fat.  I don't need to care - because as far as I'm concerned - I have it all!

This, my friends - is the attitude that I have taken on.

Yes, I still diet and exercise.  I'll always be dieting and exercising.  I'm getting O.L.D.  I want to be healthy, not skinny.  I'm pretty certain that Victoria's Secret isn't coming to knock on my door to beg me to do a cover shot, so I will eat the ice cream.  You should too.

Now, go on over to the mirror and look past that zit on your chin.  If you keep looking you will see that you're pretty friggin' awesome!  All of you!

And if you don't think so....
Get your butt over to that mirror.
Smile at that awesome individual looking back at you and tell them... OUT LOUD...

Y.O.U.  A.R.E.  A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

If you don't think you're great - chances are no one else will.
It starts with YOU!
Go be the awesome that you are.
If you dream it, you can be it.
~Do it~
Believe that you have it all!

Why are you still here??  Go!  <3

Love you to bits and pieces <3

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

What moments in your life (good or bad) have changed you forever?

I posted this comment on my Facebook page to see what kind of response I'd get.

Of course I already knew what I was going to write about, but before I start... I want to pay humble homage to those of you who commented on that Facebook post.  Some of the comments I was not surprised about, but others I was in absolute awe of.  They were all fabulous.  You have amazing strength and heart.  All of you.  Thank you.  Really.  I'm honored that you shared yourselves with me.

For those of you who don't follow me on Facebook, have you really given thought to the moment(s) in your life that have changed you forever?

It's something I'm totally hung up on.

There's never just one moment, because the moments change.
Life changes.  I look back through my life, and I see the "me" that I was through different decades. I don't even know her anymore.

What defined me?  What changed me?

I can immediately say for certain, that my husband helped to shape the woman I've become over the past almost 15 years.

My childhood and early adulthood made me the very strong, independent woman that I am.  I was someone who had endured more loss than anyone should have, and someone who wasn't very trusting as a result. I totally expected people to check out on me - one way or another, so I learned to do things for myself and didn't get too attached to anyone. That attitude isn't fabulous when you're trying to have a relationship.  It has a way of blocking you from moving forward.

Eventually I learned trust.
More times than I can count, my husband has said to me,
"Relax - why do you think you need to do everything?"
It's a good reminder that it's OK.  I CAN rely on him.
Breaking down my wall and allowing him to take care of me was not an easy thing.  It was something that I really had to work at to change.
To grow.

Just when I started to believe that people don't check out on you, my brother committed suicide.

...another life changing moment.

That loss tore me down and completely changed me, robbing me of everything I finally began to trust.  It's made me hard in ways that I can't explain.  I'm not over it.  I don't know if I'll ever be completely over it. Most people can't see it, because I hide behind a smile.  Only the people really close to me can see it.  Only the people really close to me have all of me.

I really needed my husband's strength and support to get through my brother's death.

His suicide brought my wall back up and made me more distant and on guard than I had ever been.

I, once again, keep people at arms length.  I no longer give people an opportunity to get close enough to hurt me.  I'll make casual acquaintances, but that's it.  I have a few close friends, whom I know I can trust.  For certain - You hurt me, you screw me?  I'm out. I'll forgive once, maybe twice - depending on the offense, but if given a big enough red flag - you can see the flames shooting out the back of my heels as I run away.  Done, over.  As if you'd never known me.

It may not be the best way to handle things, but it's what works for me.
I get to check out first.


I know it's hard to imagine that part of me, here through the web-o-sphere.  Here it's easy.  I can love you all.  I want to take care of you all and make sure you're all happy and lovely and safe. That part, I'm super good at.  Just don't try to take care of me.  I'm good.  I've got this.

I was changed again when my friend Ed died.
This time I felt mortality smack me in the face.  I mean, I was the sick one.  Yeah, I knew he already had one heart attack and yeah, I knew he wasn't the healthiest guy on the planet - but ya know... your friends? They aren't supposed to check out.  Yes, I know - it wasn't his choice.
It was almost as if mortality were saying to me... "Hey listen chick... just because you got over your little health issues doesn't mean you're going to live forever.  Heads up!  Oh, and appreciate what you've got."

For a while, I went on the "life's too short" for whatever the situation happened to be going on at the time. I still feel that way in most situations, but you can't both have your wall up and forgive and forget all the hurts around you.  I took stock of what was important and tried to make things better in some situations - when they weren't better at all. Then I began to think about what's worth fighting for. What's an illusion?  What's real, and what's not?  Is this situation really worth the effort, or should I just chalk it up to illusion?

Living life to its fullest doesn't mean accepting toxic relationships just because you've had them for a long period of time.  It's about being happy about the relationships that you are in.  Realizing what works in your life and what doesn't.

I've changed.  Many times.

For certain, those changes have opened my eyes to things I've chosen to not look at until I had no choice but to see.

Sometimes you need to see.  Like it or not.  Sometimes you need the really awful things to change you, so that you can move toward the really great things ahead.

At times I wish I didn't have to experience certain things that I have. Those moments - but I embrace them for what they are - my past.

A past defining moment that has set me on the path to my future.

So what moments in your life have changed you?

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