Monday, July 25, 2016

Seeing True Colors

I took another break from Facebook.

During the height of the shootings in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis, and Dallas, a friend posted a very offensive meme. The picture was a group of black men who were part of a Black Lives Matter protest running away from a black child. The caption read "How do you clear a Black Lives Matter protest?" The speech balloon from the child read "Are you my daddy?".

I was sick. I was speechless. I was angry.  I showed the meme to Husband. He asked me "Who the fuck posted THAT? That is so racist and so wrong!" When I told him, he was dumbfounded.  I asked if I was crazy. He said "No. I'm White and I'm offended. But, I'm even more upset that a friend did it."

Never mind the obvious stereotype that such a meme presents. I've helped many White women go after deadbeat White fathers who don't pay for their kids. That is beside the point. This was a purely inappropriate, racist, prejudice, meme that someone I grew up with, spent time in her home, shared secrets, and all the things that teen girls do, posted on her FB page.

It wasn't the first inappropriate comment that I've seen on FB. It's not the first from someone on my friend list either. Many of these have come from people who I grew up with and still remain in my rural hometown. Most of these people have not experienced life beyond the town's boarders except for the occasional trip to the city an hour away or the beaches on the east coast. Those people were quickly un-friended with little afterthought.

But, the meme from my former childhood friend stung big time. Does she think of all Black people in that regard? What does she think of me? Has she always harbored those feelings? How could someone that I've known since middle school think like that while having a friend like ME? I was so disgusted that I un-freinded her. Then, I posted a piece that I would not tolerate any racist, prejudice comments or meme on my timeline. I decided to take a timeout from that space. I honestly needed to regroup and think about what that space is.

My mom went through something similar last year. She ended a friendship with someone that was her best friend for 50 years. In a conversation about some recent crimes in the area, my mother's former friend used the N-word to describe Black people in general. My mom was livid. This person knew that she was in an interracial marriage for 21 years and had two biracial children. My family never used the N-word...ever. My parents would not allow rap music in the house that used the N-word. Needless to say, my mom cussed her former friend out. They have not spoken since. My mother said that some peoples' true colors take time to show. Unfortunately, we are in an environment where this is happening more often. It just hurts more when its someone close to you.

After my exit from Facebook, I received a couple of private messages from people supporting me. I did check my post and a few people commented their support as well. A few suggested that I just un-follow or just pray for them, as if that will make things better. I shouldn't judge their intentions. Maybe people just don't know what to say. Maybe they are afraid to say what they know is true. Maybe they are questioning what they think is right.

I started thinking about my upcoming high school reunion. I seriously considered not going. I didn't want to have deal with a bunch of racist hypocrites. These are the people who are nice to your face. They have "black friends". But when push comes to shove, their true colors shine. At the same time, there are some good people who do not fall into that category, that I would like to see. But boundaries will be set. I will be respectful, should I run into my former friend. But, I will have no other contact with her. She chose to burn that bridge. It can never be rebuilt. If she asks, I will tell her. I will not yell, cuss her out, or anything like that. But, I will let her know what she did has lasting consequences.

As for my return to Facebook, it is to be determined.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Ups and Downs

My weight has gone up a couple of pounds. It's about two pounds within my original goal, but about four pounds higher than my "sweet spot'. That is the weight where I feel my best.

There are a couple of things that could be the reason. One of the downsides to my PT position is the amount of food that in the office. There are a lot of student events that our office sponsors, which means a lot of leftovers. Also, folks bring in all kinds of sweet and tasty treats. Needless to say, it has been a challenge for me to stay on track.  I do my best to ignore the temptation, or to just indulge a little. But damn, it is so hard! I do try to take breaks to go for a walk and I take the stairs as often as possible. Even when it's crazy outside, I will walk the halls, just to get my butt moving.

I have increased the number of days that I run and the distance. I am being mindful of how much the joints can take. I don't run every day; it's more like three days a week. However, I do walk Junior every day. The joints have not been too angry with me. Also, I've increased the number of days that I do yoga. I wonder if that is part of the reason for the weight increase. More muscle? I mean, I'm pretty sculpted right now. 

The other thing that crossed my mind, and this is probably where I will get a little TMI, but my period has returned after a 7 month hiatus. Not uncommon, since I am in the homestretch of my 40's. But, Auntie Flo's return has put me back on that up and down roller coaster with weight gain (Hello...bloating!). 

Lastly, I've been feeling rather sluggish for the past couple of weeks. Even with eating well and exercising, something is "off".  I am eating well; I usually do in the summer. I drink plenty of water. My calorie tracking does not show anything off. I do wonder if with the chaos of the last six months has finally caught up with me. Perhaps the exhaustion is my RA body attacking itself a little harder than it normally does? 

So, I am trying to figure out where to go from here. All of my usual tricks, hacks, and strategies are not working. Or, they are working for a short period and then I bounce back to being in my current state. I shouldn't complain. I still look great. My current size still fits, for the most part. But, I am just not feeling my best. I've scheduled a physical with my PCP, so maybe she will have some insight. Something needs to be done because I have about a month before my final year of coursework for the PhD kicks into high gear. I will need all the energy that I can muster to make it. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Still Alive

Yes...I am still here. 

OK, so I've been a bad blogger. In my defense, and I need one, the spring semester and early summer were crazy. The last time I wrote, I started a part time job at PhD U. With that job, my adjunct gig at HBCU, nine credit hours, and presenting at two conferences kept me beyond busy. It was the most busy I've been since my law school days. 

I am surprised that the RA did not go into full blown flare and completely knock me out of commission. I did a have a day or two where it was a little rough and I had to take a day off to rest. But, of the most part, the RA cooperated with my intense schedule. Part of the reason was that I made exercise a probity, rather than the first thing to go. I ran and walked with Husband and Junior. I got back into regular yoga practice. Additionally, I ate healthy meals. Husband and I cooked on weekends to ensure there was enough leftovers to get us through until Thursday, which is our dine out night. 

Most importantly, I really listened to my body. If I was tired, I slowed down and took care of myself first. Not an easy thing to do, but it had to be done. I have this awful habit of pushing myself to the point of exhaustion. That exhaustion would ultimately lead not only to an RA flare, but the depression and self loathing that comes with burnout. This time, I said  "NO" to that perfectionist, anxiety-driven voice that leads me down that self destructive path. I had to let some things go and redefine what "Good Enough' meant. "Good Enough" does not mean perfection. It doesn't mean half-assed.  It's when I can objectively say that I've done enough. And, that's good. 

Now that most of the heinousness is over and done, I am getting ready for my last year of coursework with the PhD. I resigned my adjunct position at HBCU. I got a research fellowship in my program, which comes with a full tuition wavier. This means that I Iwill be able to focus on research in my field   No more paying out of pocket for my PhD. No more adjuncting. Once my position in my temporary position ends in August, I will roll right into the fellowship. 

So, that's the short version of where I've been fo the tast couple of months. I didn't include the races I've completed or some other stuff, but I'll save that for later. Truth is, I miss writing in this space, any space really. Hopefully, I will be more proactive about that.