I found this fun “ways women are disconnected from themselves” article today.
This “line em up and knock ‘em down” list of what we’re doing wrong and how to sort it out bothered me for two reasons. First was because these gender-wallow articles always make me feel like I’m part of some melancholic coven. Like if Daria, Janine Garafalo, and the daughter from Roseanne had all started a sorority under the tree of knowledge, and we’re all carrying on some cyclic tradition of eating the sinful apple whenever we “disconnect” and then absolving ourselves by reading this listed drivel and promising to do better. Men go through stuff too. I feel like this “sisters are doin’ it for themselves” shit is akin to adults in skirts and overalls thumbing noses at eachother on the playground.
Oh, and what’s the second thing, you ask? Why, this picture they added, of course:
The black and white. The matronly duds. Clutching herself with bowed shoulders.
This looks like a still outta some Cymbalta commercial: “Depression hurts. Eating feels good. Eat this pill.”
And speaking of eating, we’ll kick off a bit of this list analysis – with food:
Author says: “Rushing food, under eating, over-stuffing, following the “best” way to eat. etc. Food is very simply our fuel. When we fill our gas tanks we don’t put $1 in there because we’re worried the car will be too heavy, and we don’t keep filling the tank until the gas flows over because we are trying to soothe and distract the car from its feelings.”
I’m guilty of having used this car analogy a lot.
But I think we’ve all gotten enough mileage outta it by now. Food is fuel, yes. But, if I wanted to nitpick, I could say: does that mean if I “fuel” up and don’t “drive my car” (burn enough calories) then I can’t eat again until I do? Even if I’ve just had both my legs removed? Then again, there might be something to glean from it. Because eating organic is on par with purchasing premium – so expensive that I should just fill up and try not drive anywhere so I don’t have to go back to the station to empty my wallet again. Food is fuel, but it’s expensive fuel. I think that’s half of why people have such a weird relationship and make deviant associations with it. We equate it to the product of money spent to afford it and errands run to acquire it. We earned it. We deserve it. We own it. We’ve got conjugal rights! So instead of anyone thinking “This apple came off’a tree! From earth! That’s where I’m from, too!” it’s more like, “This apple pie looks like a vagina! I’m going to put my dick in it!” Chicks would if they could. But can’t. So we settle for breaking our faces open at the temporo-mandibular joint, turning our dental homes into a violently offensive face vagina with a vendetta against feelings, and putting the entire fridge inside. Because we gained five pounds. (#Logic) Self-awareness about this helps us laugh about and fix it rather than feel guilty, though.
Takeaway : Yeah, food is fuel. But sometimes, you might slip up and that’s okay.
(Like after a good workout – or if you’re a chick – once every few weeks…)
2. THE RAG
(Okay, this seems like a chick specif one, but hear me out):
Author: Our menstrual cycles are incredible revealers of our health, our moods and our burdens. Our relationship with menstruation can reveal our relationship with our bodies. Our cycles are cyclical gifts to help us rest, restore and release each month. Learning to appreciate this mini rhythm of nature that lives inside of us can do wonders for connecting us to ourselves.
Mini gift? Gift? (one more time, and with feeling): Gift?! Maybe if I just got porked without a jimmy hat between last “gift” and this one. Yeah, then it’s a real gift. Thank god for that. Better this pain than the thoroughgoing life pain of what sentient something this sanguine rain in my lady basement could’ve been. So, comparatively speaking, yeah. That’s the silver uterine lining, I suppose. I’ll take it. I may not call it a gift, but I’m all about latching onto the positive instead of worrying about my womb’s schedule and other stuff I can’t manipulate.
Takeaway: There’s no sense getting upset over stuff you cunt control. #zing
That’s a takeaway for all – whether spend a fourth of the year hemorrhaging or not.
Author: Walk through your day in your mind. So much of it is filled with the tidyings and necessaries of life—so much so that we often don’t get to the things that are most important to us. What’s interesting is that if we start our days with what is most important, then we often store up excess energy that can easily and lovingly guide us through our day as we tend to the more mundane tasks of life.
Okay, I half agree with this one. I wrote a while ago how we should have something to look forward to at the end of the day so that we can wade through the mundanity of task-based daily living. But, I may have to tweak it to inject an A.M. thing in there. Days when I get up and do something energizing and endorphin boosting are generally all around better. Usually that means a jog – hard to force myself but awesome after. Then, some days (like this one), it’s blasting Pandora really early. I like this one because it’s a form of gratitude (which my guru says I should be offering daily) – my neighbor’s thought I might like to hear their music all night till 4 A.M.; so I’m just graciously accepting the auditory baton they’ve passed by keeping this race of bumping bass going on into sunrise. (I sure hope they can hear my thankfulness up there!) It feels nice to feel like I’m a part of something.
And if I didn’t make these feel-good things a priority, the rest of my day would super suck, wouldn’t it?
Takeaway: Start your day with something endorphin raising enough to make you hate the world less later.
4. STOWING SMARTPHONES FOR SLEEPTIME
Author: We have addicted ourselves to these mini computers that we never leave at home, never turn off, and sleep with next to our beds. For most people, their smartphone is the very first thing and the very last thing they look at each day. We are so fascinated with other people’s lives that we forget to connect with our own. First place to smarten up? No phones in our bedrooms!
I was all, “Yeah, man!” for the first few lines of this. I have this boomerang relache with my phone – I throw it across the room, but it always finds its way back to me. That latter part was beautifully demonstrated when I got to the end and I felt my eyes and soul deaden a little and close in on myself: no phones in… the bedroom? But… but? Even thinking of it now, I get this little twinge of hopelessness like I did the first time I thought about quitting Valium. (“But how will I breathe?) But I quit that and can still breathe, so maybe I can quit my phone’s bed proximity. Maybe. Though the end result would probably be it charging in the restroom, where I’d check it every time I got up during the night.
Takeaway: Use your phone less. Especially at night. And espesh-especially around actual people, ya rude dick.
5.ENJOYING “ME TIME
Author: For most women, we come last. We meet the needs of everyone else and if we have anything left over we guiltily share it with ourselves. Not such a great equation.
I hate this one. I hate this one because of the ending part. And I hate the ending part because if you’re feeling guilty after a day of helping others, you need to check in with your motives. And see if they were actually altruistic. Ego’s always gonna get slightly involved, but generally when I feel empty or guilty after a day of giving as much as I could, it’s because my motives were something more ego motivated than not. I wanted things to turn out a certain way and they didn’t. I expected praise for my heroic efforts and didn’t get it. I expected validation and didn’t get it. When I meet others’ needs with zero expectations in mind, ya know what? I’ve met at least half of my intrinsic needs (AKA the help-someone-who-isn’t-me-quota).
And, as for “me time” personal needs?
Well, if you “prioritize” properly (like they say you’re supposed to), then your personal needs will already be met. Half at the day’s beginning, and the other half wherever you “prioritize” it. And, yes, those personal needs are just as vital as eating because the whole problem here is cyclical: when you don’t meet your personal needs, you inject your personal needs into situations later when you’re supposed to be meeting others’ needs (which makes your motives egoic), then you feel guilty later during attempted personal time for that, then you don’t have your personal needs met because you feel like you don’t deserve personal time. Rinse, repeat, suffer. In fact, maybe that gas tank analogy we’ve been using for food would fit better here. So we’ll finish with that for you all as the final takeaway:
Takeaway: Think of your “you time” and meeting self needs not as indulgent.
Think of it as being like that fuel.
If you don’t turn off your car and gas up, you won’t be able to help anyone get anywhere later.
I don’t see why we’re excluding men here. Aren’t a lot of these suggestions gender spanning? We all need to detox from technology a bit, accept reality, start the day right, realize me-time is a way for you to not be an egoic asshole later when you’re serving others, and stop turning mealtime into a 50 Shades Of Rape adventure. But we also can’t beat ourselves up about it. Defeats the purpose. That’s just wallow fodder. In fact, let’s start with the reality acceptance right now. Are you ready? Here’s lesson one: we’re all gonna fcck up. It’s human nature. The key is to recognize it, laugh about life’s foibles, get back on track fast, and don’t end up like that girl in the picture wistfully staring off into a colorless ocean.