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Archive for the month “March, 2013”

Say It Like You Believe It

In the throws of crisis, when you haven’t the answer or you don’t know where to turn; what do you do? Well for those of us who have faith, the answer is simple. We all know exactly what we need to do, the problem is do we actually “practice what we preach”.

All of us have been there, in these places that challenge our very being. Things get difficult and at first you are steadfast, but as time continues with no relief in sight YOUR strength is under attack you begin to falter.  We are weak and must realize that we cannot always do it alone. Depending on where you are in your journey with your faith there are”booster shots” available. The trouble with that is generally shots hurt a bit, if nothing more than a sting and in your weakened state even a sting can seem unreasonable, as though you cannot take anymore pain or discomfort.

The truth is you will endure and survive this your current trial or test as you have ones before.  It is the way you will get past this particular one, that you question. Just as the pain or discomfort from the shot dissipates, and the medicine needed begins to make you feel better. My experience has been during these times you have to realize your faith has some partners you must keep with you; they are bravery and trust. All the strength in the world is meaningless if you are unable or unwilling to come forth and show your strength. Your faith cannot sustain itself without trust in a time when you are being tested.

Finally knowing these things are simply not enough; you have to say it to yourself and say it to others like you believe it, but more than saying it you have to actually mean it.

What A Beautiful Smile

I love to look at pictures. It may seem odd seeing as I do not like to pose for pictures. Amateur or professional, I have been the subject of some truly awful shots. I dream of the day a true artist will capture a shot that will make me look like I want. Now for the right price I am certain there is such a magician, I mean photographer, out there.  For now I am waiting, patiently?

Many years ago what was left of my self-esteem was permanently scarred by a “friend” in middle school ( back then it was called Jr. High School). We will call her “Darlene”. She was a rotund vertically challenged individual we walked to school together with another friend every day. “Darlene” a name that might lead one to make a connection with darling, was far from that. I learned from her fashion improprieties and mistakes that I could ill-afford to make (i.e. wearing your gym shirt under/instead of  your regular blouse to prevent the time guzzling of dressing for class). She also made me painfully aware that I did NOT have a smile that would light up a room. I remember going home looking in the mirror in the bathroom and thinking,” Uuuuuh, I do have an ugly smile”. I would not smile in pictures for years after that.

Every time I saw an ad for toothpaste,where the actors flashed toothy grins I’d ignore them completely, and remember what my “friend” had brought to my attention. I did not have particularly crooked teeth, nor were they rotted out or even discolored. To be honest there was NOTHING remarkable about my teeth or my smile. Then I saw them( actually I just began to take notice of them), they would stop me dead in my tracks for life. They were dimples. I immediately decided to and did in fact dub them the single most important factor in a good smile (not ignoring teeth). After all how could you not display your pearly whites, when you had dimples to accent them. I began paying attention to them I found my father, my younger brother and sister all had them. They were all around, yet they still were cause for notice.

Off we go on a tangent; defined as (believe it or not) a facial deformity of the zygomaticus major, these little indentures have managed to grace the faces of some of the most beautiful people you know or know of. They are hereditary and some of them disappear with time, as the muscles which are”too short” stretch out with age. Thus one may have them as a child but lose them later in life. We associate the dimple with children or babies, perhaps this is why we think they are so cute and are continuously admired if one manages to hold onto them in adult life.

Think about it from your senior classes prettiest smile recipient to the cover of “People Magazine”. They are the quote marks to a smile.  From Tupac to Brad Pitt, Linda Ronstadt to Gabrielle Union, and the many in-betweens; the thought of their smile makes you smile. While I do not remember my senior classes recipient I do remember one from previous year, he was a green-eyed fellow named Warren. So the good Lord graced Warren with unusually pretty eyes, beautiful teeth, and dimples. The stuff crushes are made of, right? I did not know Warren personally and while amazingly I did not have those kinds of feelings for him; I do remember his name, and it is because of his beautiful smile. I invite you to examine the people you know or simply have seen who possess these little marks on their faces, and see if they do not coerce a smile from you.

Of Course It Is Noticed

Remember the first time she let you kiss her, or the first time he called you? These things are becoming increasingly passe’, however the feelings attached to them are not. Technology has made us strange and cold. People connect in the most distant and unattached manner. I used to look at my sons with disdain for not leaving a message when they got someone’s answering machine, but the youth of today would rather text than talk.

Under the guise of not having enough time for “this or that” we convince ourselves these disconnects are productive and we can get back to the human side later. The problem is if you let the human side alone for to long it suffers, becomes afraid, and departs. Like the texts that begin without a greeting, thrive for a little while and then drop off and disappear without warning. You see it happening, but have a built in repellent that makes everything okay.

Now she pulls away when you try to touch her, now he is far too busy to call to let you know he is thinking about you let alone running late. At first the changes are subtle, maybe excusable or explainable, then they become blatantly and angrily apparent,  finally they are as a-matter-of-factly commonplace and ignored. Here in this place of seemingly no change, the biggest change is taking place. Silent planning is going on and there is no sense of it in the conscious state.

The subtle changes take over as he sits at the dinner table with her and doesn’t hear a word she is saying, but doesn’t notice she is not saying a word. Flirty smiles from co-workers and kind words from strangers occupy a place in their respective psyche’s that would have otherwise been dismissed. Why, because of the disconnect.

Special people do not need to  mechanically hear they are special everyday; what they do need to hear it/ see it/ feel it  regularly enough that it does not become commonplace, and they are comforted enough by it’s presence that they know it is there without the reminders. When you demonstrate the way you feel do it in a manner that lets them (the ones you love and care for) know they were not an after-thought, but an ongoing existence in your heart and mind.

Everything Has Shifted

The things that I thought worked no longer did. This was not a good look for me.  It was tight where it should be lose, lose where it should be tight, and the color was all wrong. I quickly put a towel around myself. Gravity and time, you gotta love them.

Go on and laugh, because I know you already are. My longtime friend says she has a” DGAF attitude“, do your research on that one. Of course she still can sport a bikini on the beach, and no one would be able to say anything but “WOW”. That is something I do admire. We are oftentimes our own worse critics, then other times we don’t critique ourselves enough.

About a month ago I watched a special on one of the reputable cable channels, cannot recall which one and now I have difficulty in deciding which one(s) qualify as reputable, about a particular plastic surgery that young women are now having. Now we all are very aware that you can have just about anything on your body fixed/modified/altered/improved, but this one made me really mad.

I watched as the young woman’s mother tearfully explained that she would do anything for her daughter and that this was going to make her happy…”Happy”, I thought, ” this is just glorified mutilation”. This surgery is a bit more risky than a” simple” rhinoplasty, although the long term results are similar. It may improve or modify the appearance, but has little or nothing to do with the function. At the risk of sounding too provincial, one has to think who is really going to see the results anyway? Furthermore, these surgeries are still considered unproven by the ACOG.

I remember that campaign in the 1990 that revealed FGM  oh-so-well.  Young women from African nations and Islamic cultures telling the horror stories of primitive tools cutting and tearing at their flesh, loved ones or just other women who died as a result of this type of ritual. Now here we are the nation of “beautiful people” succumbing to the idea, once again, our bodies need tweeking. Do you ladies remember what our dolls used to look like when their clothes were removed? Why are we trying to look like molded plastic.

We are so easily manipulated into believing what is popular is what is right. The mainstream dictates to us, right or wrong. During the Renaissance Age people(especially women) were portrayed and envied for being heavy. Countless painting depict semi-nude or nude women frolicking about in forest smiling, we gain a pound or look at a part of our body that is meant to be fleshy and we are suicidal. Factor in perceptions as to what does/does not look good, what is too big/too much, and you have someone guided by emotion instead of knowledge on a matter that concerns health and well-being.  So it is true everything has shifted; our bodies, our ideas and our ideals. It is fine to want to make improvements on oneself, but try not to carry it to the extreme.

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