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Archive for January, 2011

Well, I’m happy to be up and typing again. I managed to strain my lower back at the end of the holiday break (for the record, I didn’t do anything strenous) and have spent the past three weeks in varying degrees of pain. When I say varying degrees, I mean I started the first week in excruciating pain which has gradually decreased. I’m off the Vicodin now and am feeling a lot better.

The start of 2011 turned out to be a very bad time for the whole department. Our student assistant broke her wrist, two of my fellow staffers were ill, another has bursitis in her shoulders, and a third was summoned for jury duty.

I’m hoping this means that 2011 will go out like a lamb.

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“Free your mind and the rest will follow…”

En Vogue, “Free Your Mind”

If you’re a woman this New Year Eve, I’m going to bet that one of your resolutions for the coming year is to lose weight. That used to be my perennial favorite, too, until I read “Succulent Wild Woman” by Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (SARK). Talking about her own struggles with body image, Kennedy says that “women are always trying to shrink themselves.”

That sentence brought me up short because I immediately recognized myself. Aren’t we always trying to lose weight, pare ourselves down, press ourselves into the mold of “proper beauty” even though we know that mold was not designed to fit us or most other women? Aren’t we always trying–in every possible way there is–to be less than what we are and what we were meant to be?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I started taking singing lessons this fall. It was incredibly liberating to learn that yes, with a little practice, I could do something I had long regarded as an impossible dream. That one action made me re-evaluate all the limits I had imposed on myself over the years. You know the kind I mean. All the rules about what you’re too old for or no good at or don’t have the time for. I realized that I had been setting up arbitrary rules that had kept me from having new, rich, and rewarding experiences.

So in this coming year of 2011, I resolve, not to “shrink myself”, but to expand myself. To worry less about stretching my waistband and more about stretching my mind and my abilities. To have more fun. To do more. To experience more. To take up more space. To demand more. To be MORE.

Join me. There are no limits. And have a happy New Year!

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