Hen and Friend and Me Makes Three

4 May

Gender neutrality. Can we truly ever have gender neutral societies? Or just ultra liberal, politically correct societies? Why can’t we all just be people?

My head is swimming in a pool of confusion. Do I really long for a simpler time when guys were guys and girls were girls and no one dared to question those invisible lines that separated our species into two distinct camps?

Hen is the new Swedish word that is an expression of gender neutrality. Instead of saying “boys and girls” or “men and women” or “ladies and gents”…it’s just “hen”. If a child is just a child and we don’t want to offend the child by identifying its gender…we say “hen”. Right? I thought hens were female chickens. Or maybe I’m just too American to wrap my head around a new word.

To me, the whole gender neutral thing is just odd because I don’t see what people are making such a fuss about. I wouldn’t care if I had a son and he wanted to wear a dress up gown and child sized heels around the house. Just like I wouldn’t give a rip if my little girl wanted to run around shirtless and play in the dirt.

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Homemade Laundry Detergent

6 Apr

This is the first of many practical, “how to” posts I plan to write. Yeah, there will be a lot of existential musings and social commentary on this blog, but breaking away from apathy requires action – a lifestyle shift. It’s not enough to say it’s bad (the negative), but now what to do in response (the positive).

Teaching people to be positive. Wow. Considering how cynical I am, that statement just seems weird. Maybe there’s an optimist hiding in me somewhere (more like an anarchist).

Anyway. Laundry detergent.

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Personal Paralysis

20 Mar

Lately, I’ve been considering this quote quite a bit:

“If you just once give up everything for the Lord Christ you will never again be in chains. If you walk away from everything–just once in your life– you will be able to do it again.” — Fr. Dwight Longenecker

I came across this quote while browsing through my many blog subscriptions. One blog I’ve been subscribed to for awhile is Conversion Diary. I found it while searching for blogs that dealt with topics related to converting to Christianity in adulthood. While my path is similar to hers in some ways, in others it is quite different. Most notably, I am not Catholic. Anyway, this quote was posted a couple of weeks ago on her quick takes page and I’ve been fascinated with it ever since. I have trouble walking away from things. Even toxic situations. I seem to experience what I’ve dubbed “personal paralysis” in regard to those sorts of situations. I freeze up when faced with the agonizing choice of having to choose. “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” plays in the back of my mind and somehow, whatever situation I’ve found myself in suddenly seems not quite as bad as I imagined it to be.

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Survive or Thrive?

14 Mar

The title tells a choice we all must make. The adaptive powers of the human body never cease to amaze me. Humans can survive in all kinds of circumstances. The human body can go weeks without food and days without water. Our bodies are designed to survive, no matter what. (Of course, driving lawnmowers while intoxicated and eating tapeworms can still end up being fatal, so don’t go all “1000 Ways to Die” after reading this article.)

We can survive just about anything thrown our way. The problem is, despite surviving in a variety of situations, us humans aren’t thriving. Surviving and thriving are two different things, folks. Survival is a test of endurance. Thriving is a condition of well-being, of growing and flourishing. How many of us can honestly say that we are well? Sure, we all manage to force out a quick “fine” when asked how we are doing by a well-meaning acquaintance or colleague, but how many of us really mean it? If you’re anything like me, saying “fine” no matter what is a knee jerk reaction to years of being raised under an aura of forced civil hospitality. I often dream of telling people that I’m not really “fine”, that “I feel like s%*t today, thanks. My knees hurt, I have a migraine, and my dog is sick. My grandma has lung cancer and I’m flat ass broke.

That would be an honest assessment of my life. I’m surviving, enduring through life with a “same stuff, different day” mentality. Nothing ever changes, things don’t ever get better. Things get worse, but my standards keep sinking lower so I don’t realize just how craptastic my life has become. I believe that is the case for many people.

Then you read about people who are really thriving. You know the types. Maybe you even know those types of people in real life. The type of person who falls in a big pile of crap and comes out covered in gold. Those beaming Primal-ites with their ripped bodies, urging the world to purge their sins through bacon consumption (ok, if sin could be purged by eating a few slabs of bacon, count me in…this former vegetarian loves the fried pork strips.) The beautiful athletes that jog effortlessly at the asscrack of dawn in front of my house. They shout about barefoot running over the blare of their earphones and the sounds of minimalist footwear slapping the pavement. I sometimes fantasize about tying them up and force feeding them some Paula Deen-esque snacks…

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Diet is a Dirty Word

24 Feb diet, lifestyle, illustration, analogy, health, fatal sequence, fs, icons, symbols, aiga

When I say “diet,” I do NOT mean:

“such a selection or a limitation on the amount a person eats for reducing weight.”

You know the mentality: eat this way for ___ days, lose ___ pounds, then go back to whatever you were doing before.

I DO mean:

“a particular selection of food, especially as designed or prescribed to improve a person’s physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease.”

I’m referring to the part of your lifestyle encompassing the food you eat – what you choose to put (or not put) in your body on a daily basis. Your lifestyle refers to “the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level, etc., that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group.”

This matters because of the principle of homeostasis:

“the tendency of a system, especially the physiological system of higher animals, to maintain internal stability, owing to the coordinated response of its parts to any situation or stimulus that would tend to disturb its normal condition or function.”

In other words, the body is always trying to achieve balance. As unpleasant as it is to accidentally touch a hot pan on the stove, the reason those nerve endings are there is to tell you to run away, thus preventing further injury. However, external physical pain is (fortunately) not the only way the body communicates with us. High blood pressure, extra weight, even skin problems like eczema are all methods the body uses to declare there’s a problem. A symptom, after all, is just “a sign or indication of something.”

Let’s say you choose to “diet” in the traditional sense of the word, and successfully lose weight and lower your blood pressure. It’s because you corrected something that allowed your body to achieve homeostasis. So if you reach your goal of losing ___ pounds or lowering ___blood pressure, then return to your lifestyle before the diet, you will throw your body back out of balance, effectively halting, if not reversing, any progress that might have been made. Make sense?

Health problems caused by your lifestyle can be corrected by your lifestyle.