Monthly Archives: November 2015

Ups and Downs

It has been a wild couple of weeks.  We have successfully transported all our belongings to our new log cabin home in a country-ish setting.   We have a glorious view of the new snow cover in the woods that is our backyard– it is stunning.  While it may become less awe-inspiring as the winter inevitably wears on; for now it is a humbling reminder of nature’s power and beauty.

We had been expecting to spend these weeks sorting out our new home, purchasing some furniture and ‘nesting’… however… there have been a couple unexpected turns.  Day 2 in our new home, my 88 year old father was visiting and took a tumble in the unfamiliar terrain of our living room.  One does not bounce back from a hard fall at the age of 88.  He has had two surgeries to re-locate and re-assemble his broken shoulder/arm; and is currently recovering in a skilled nursing facility.

The week between surgeries dad was at home– by himself.  My brothers and I tag-teamed to ensure someone was with him for several hours each day; during that time we became increasingly concerned about the wisdom and safety of his living arrangements. (Side note:  I have awesome brothers. Side side note: my sister has  her awesome moments as well–but for purposes of THIS story, she lives too far away to be of any real help. )  For now, dad is getting the level of care he needs; we anticipate difficult discussions and decisions ahead.

The second unexpected event that put a damper in our new-home glow was the last-minute collapse of the deal to sell our prior home.  I won’t go into details (my lawyer has advised the less said the better).   That home is back on the market — just in time for the holidays!   Looking at the bright side: while we currently have two mortgages, we are not in dire straits; although there will be fewer Christmas presents than usual around our tree this year.

On Thursday morning I attended a work-sponsored event that stressed the importance of resilience in our modern lives, and in the afternoon I transported dad to his temporary home in the rehab unit.  The timing of the two events served to reinforce the messaging of the morning: Appreciate beauty where you can and keep your sense of humor.

This morning I am reveling in the beauty of the snow fall and hope that Dan can find his sense of humor while he is blowing out not one, but two driveways.

Dancing with the Stars v. NPR

I don’t watch very much TV.  However, one of my biggest guilty pleasures is Dancing With the Stars on Monday nights.   Dan shakes his head in wonder at his  normally TV-averse wife settling in with glee for such a mindlessly cheesy display.

Monday night, two aspects of my own world unexpectedly collided, when one of the (quasi) stars,  Alexa PenaVega, was dancing to a song “Make It Rain”; which is about dealing with inner demons.  She shared her own 6 year struggle with bulemia that started when a director called her fat when she was a child actor.   Alexa proceeded to perform an astonishing contemporary routine exemplifying the struggle to break free from her eating disorder.

Alexa was incredibly brave to discuss her eating disorder in front of such a large audience, and in such a positive and truly beautiful way.  Unfortunately, Alexa’s perfect score and standing ovation for her dance didn’t prevent her from being voted off the dance floor later that night–a vote that was based on her performance from the prior week.  While I was sad to see her go, I was thrilled that she set such a positive example for others that may be watching and silently struggling, thinking they are alone in their pain.   What a great example of ED advocacy in the mainstream media.

A few days later I was listening to NPR – I love NPR, and I do NOT consider that a guilty pleasure. Most of the time, I find their reporting fair, intelligent and interesting… at least I did until Wednesday when they aired a report on the rising incidence of obesity in America.  Even NPR didn’t challenge the notion that skinny=healthy; even NPR didn’t cite any actual science around the notion (which many studies have refuted)  that heavier adults have poorer health that their skinny counterparts;   even NPR got caught up the blame game for people who struggle with their weight;  even NPR didn’t spend a single second of air time addressing the food industry’s culpability in saturating our collective diets with added sugars in most of the foods we buy.  Even NPR didn’t point out that the single accepted measure (BMI) for obesity is horribly flawed,  Even NPR bought into one of the single biggest lies of our culture, which is that skinny people are disciplined, good and healthy and heavy people have no self control and are lazy.   Can you tell that it pissed me off?

This week,  I have greater respect for Dancing With the Stars and less Respect for NPR.   I can now fool myself into thinking I am watching DWTS for its socially redeeming features;  versus as a mindless escape.  Nah – I don’t think I can sell that one!