This is a letter to the Dirty Old Men at my gym…..

Dear Dirty Old Men,

Since I was a little girl, you’ve been lurking around the edges of my life. I remember seeing you sitting in the window and watching me play in my backyard. And I noticed you walking down the halls of my elementary school. Somehow you even showed up to my softball games.

Because you loved looking at teenage girls, you taught in my high school.

I couldn’t avoid you in the workplace because you were my boss.

But now you’re older than dirt and have discovered that the gym is the right environment for you to do what you’ve always done.

You sit on the stationary bikes and stare at the ladies playing racquetball. You plant yourself on the weight machines so that you can watch the group exercise classes.

You should know that we are still aware that you are there. Even though you are old, you still make us uncomfortable. When you stare at us, we feel like bugs are crawling on our skin. We do our best to avoid you when you try to talk to us. And we hate it when we hear you stage whisper, “damn that looks good.”

You used to be young, strong, and powerful. We used to be afraid of you. But not any more. You no longer have the power to stop us from doing what we love. We are younger than you. We are stronger than you. And we’ll outlive you.

JOY

It’s been a weekend of movies for us. We went to see 13 Hours on Saturday and Joy on Sunday. But the one that I’d recommend for all of my girlfriends who read this blog would be Joy. It’s the story of one woman who stopped listening to what everybody said she couldn’t do and began doing what she knew she could.

I think that we are all a lot like Joy and know that deep down there is greatness within. Yet, like Joy did for so many years, we get caught up in living the life that we’ve been given instead of creating the one we want. But you know what? It’s never to late to start.

What is it that you’ve always wanted to do? If you didn’t have to work to make money, what would you do? Would you paint? Would you sew?  Would you build? Would you write? Would you give?

Like Joy, do you have an idea that could make life just a little easier for someone?

Let’s you and I decide to stop wasting our free time watching television, scrolling Pinterest, mindlessly wandering through Facebook, or whatever it is we are doing. Let’s make a commitment that we will use  that time to develop the greatness that lies within.

 

Deuteronomy 8:18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

(The only downside to this movie is that she never found the courage to separate herself and her children from those who had been intent on destroying the dream within since childhood.)

 

Book Recommendation

51mm2b3zte1l-_sx322_bo1204203200_I just finished reading Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss.  I think it confirms what we already know.  Big Food is only concerned with our well-being  only if it affects their profits. They are not in the business of making food that keeps us healthy. Their only concern with the obesity epidemic is if you and I stop buying their products.

To me, it was scary to realize that Big Tobacco companies own many of our food and drink manufacturers.

As you know, I’m all about eating as healthy as I can and try to avoid processed foods as much as possible.  And after reading this book, I’m thinking that I’ll probably eat even less of the stuff than I did before.

If you are concerned about what you eat. And if you wonder why you crave what you know you shouldn’t have… then I’d suggest you read this book.

 

How old are you?

My two and a half year old loves to say no to anything that she does not want to do. She’ll tell you no when you ask her if she wants to eat. Ask her if she needs to potty and the answer is no. Ask her if she’s ready to go to bed and she gives an emphatic no, no, no!

And she hates hearing it as much as she loves saying it. My daughter tells me that my little princess can throw a royal tantrum when she’s told no.

Aren’t we just like her? Think about it for a moment.

Our love/hate relationship with the word no has caused us to gain weight, be out of shape, go into debt,  destroy relationships, and walk away from God.

No means that we can’t have our way and, like any two and a half year old, we absolutely hate not getting our way.

Liberty is a child and has someone who will back up her no with discipline but we don’t. We’re adults. We get what we want even when we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s bad for us. We have money and can drive so we can go and get what we want when we want it. We can eat whatever we want. We can charge it if we can’t afford it. And if someone gets in our way, we can leave them because they’re not making us happy.

With God, we throw royal tantrums when he tells us no. We question if he’s real. We throw his promises into his face as demands. And if he still tells us no, we walk away because he’s not any use to us anymore.

Like a two and a half year old, we think that no‘s sole purpose is to deny our desire and we don’t like that at all!

For a moment, think about this from a parent’s perspective. Hannah is telling Liberty no because she’s loves her. She knows that cookies for breakfast are not a good for her. And pooping in your pants is just gross. She tells Liberty it’s time for bed because she needs rest to grow. For Hannah, no is another word for love.

And it’s the same for us. Remember, I wrote about loving yourself awhile back.  If we truly love ourselves, we can harness the power of no and come to understand that we are not being denied, we are being empowered!

 

 

Just Say No

littlemermaidOkay, I have to preface this with a disclaimer. When Hannah was a little girl I would not allow her to watch the Little Mermaid because I felt that Ariel was rebellious and still got everything she wanted. I did not want Hannah to think that life worked like that…. Remember, I was teaching her that disobedience brings pain.

Now Hannah is a mom and she’s decided that Liberty cannot watch the Prince and the Frog beca2071417-princessandthefrogposteruse of the voodoo.

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But not every one thinks the way that we do.  Today, Hank and I went to see The Revenant staring Leonardo DiCaprio. I gotta be honest here. I had to leave before the movie even started because I couldn’t watch the previews for  Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies or the The Conjuring. (Up to that point, I was beating the popcorn temptation but I had to go somewhere and found myself at the concession stand.)  Once I was sure that the previews were over, I made my way back to my seat and was totally horrified to have to scoot by a three year old!

I know that we live in a different time but I still believe that our little ones are to be protected from the scary things in life even if that means that we deny ourselves.

We have got to learn the power of the word NO! whether we are telling ourselves that we can’t see certain movies because we don’t have childcare or if we are explaining to our children why they can’t see a Disney movie.

There are so many areas that need a good firm no….. So, parents and grandparents, let’s do what Nancy Reagan taught us and “Just Say No.”