Conformity Won’t Know What Hit It

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Sorry… this just made me laugh.

 

Conformity ~

Compliance with standards, rules, and laws. Behavior in accordance with socially accepted conventions or standards.

Conformity involves changing your behaviors in order to “fit in” or “go along” with the people around you.

Ahhhh conformity. We are all bound by it to some degree or another. Some of us willingly and unflinchingly go along with things even if we might have other ideas in our heads. Conformity silently and effectively directs our paths, thoughts, and ways of doing things.

Now hold on…. I already sense some of you might be thinking…well… you can’t just do what you want all the time….

So true. Catch the first part of the definition. To me it applies to the things in life that are kind of non-negotiable.

You have to follow laws and rules of government. You have to respect signs when you’re driving, you have to act like a respectable, decent citizen, you can’t just go blazing your way through the day and have no regard for the “structure” that we all operate in… and we have that for order and a lack of chaos.

Although… sometimes… when I get mail that states “Open now! Urgent! Open immediately!” I love just shredding it and ignoring it’s demands to do what it says. The bulk mail stamp gives it away as “junk mail”

I’m such a rebel. haha

Anyway, I digress. Now that we’ve established my post isn’t about disrupting world order by not conforming….

Let’s address where I’m coming from. The second part of the definition…

behavior in accordance with socially accepted conventions or standards.

I like how Webster’s defines it :

Simple Definition of conformity

  • : behavior that is the same as the behavior of most other people in a society, group, etc.

  • : the fact or state of agreeing with or obeying something

 

Again on some levels, we will all conform. We do it most likely, unknowingly at times. Other times, we move along with others to just not make waves, stand out, or be different. We don’t want to cause “conflict” or have others think of us in a different way so we just blend in.  We keep out thoughts, opinions, personal likes/desires to ourselves as if being different was… a bad thing.

Having a daughter in high school, that theory is very much alive and well. I’m always telling her not to be a “sheep” following along with everyone without thinking for herself and doing what she wants. I might be having a margin of success with this but I fully understand it can take some maturity to get to that point too.  When you are in high school you simply must do what everyone else does.

conformity sheep

Like sheep, we often go along with the herd. It’s comfy, right? You’re all alike and have the same focus and it requires no effort. Trust me….I’ve been a sheep too. I still am in many situations. Sometimes it’s ok to just be in the herd and hang out in the safety of all being focused in the same way.  Sometimes… for me… it’s easier to stay there because it requires no effort to push me out of the fold.

But…. even then… my sheep mind is very, very active. And really, I wanna be the different sheep.

I guess with age I’ve learned some things. Yes, my mother taught me well to be polite, respectful, courteous, pleasant even in the face of difficulties,  to respect those older than me,  and to obey appropriate laws, rules and authority.

But…. I’ve also learned it’s ok to be… me. To think for myself, have my own take on things even if it doesn’t mesh with those around me or even closest to me.

It’s ok to not conform to an “expected” social norm. I make jokes about there being some societal “rule book” but who the heck wrote it ? and why am I supposed to blindly follow along with it…like a …sheep ?

As stated, getting older and understanding myself better and really at some points being unwilling to stay in “the box” it has allowed me to move into some areas of life where I freely, and unapolgetically feel no need to conform for anyone.

For instance, years ago when getting multiple ear piercings got boring, I had my nose done ( and yes it made my eyes water some ha) I still have it. I love how fun and carefree it is. I remember standing  in line for coffee one day when a man asked me if it was just “stuck on”. I gave him my best smile and said… “nope, I have a hole in my nose” … the look on his face…. I also got a couple other unique piercings after that one…simply because I wanted to, and why not?

Or the fact I’ve been around people with tattoos for years. I have admired the art work and reasons each person had for doing it. I never felt led towards getting one… just to “get one”. To me, that is one of the most personal and almost intimate things a  person does with themselves so I just wouldn’t do it to be “trendy”.

Until a specific thing began to get very real and very personal to me… enough to move me into the commitment to get my first one. And if you’ve read my other posts, you know I collected a couple more tattoos since then, pretty much a half sleeve worth. Each one with meaning and importance to me.

Maybe it’s not what a lot of middle aged women are doing…but then as mentioned… I’m not interested in conforming into a societal “norm” of what everyone my age is supposed to be doing.

I want to be out of the box… I don’t mind pushing back against the status quo…I want to experience things and don’t want to be forced to conform to expectations that are blindly followed by the majority.

“You are supposed to do this”, “You can’t do that”, “You must act this way, not that way”…

I don’t want to “conform” to those patterns.  Does that make me a bit of a rebel? Maybe.

I’ll take that chance.

Or maybe it just makes me free to be who I want to be without worrying about someone else’s thoughts or opinions… to be free from staying in the box of conformity…..

To voice my own thoughts (respectfully) but be able to speak them and not feel like… I can’t or shouldn’t…because those around me don’t feel the same… to view the world through my own eyes and not someone else’s….to find beauty in things others don’t… to live out loud…. to embrace my own style through how I dress and ways I express myself.. well.. it’s hugely freeing.

There’s nothing I love more than encountering people who march to the beat of their own drum and who are doing it quite unapologetically.  Inevitably, these people resonate with me.

In this world, we will all share many common things that do conform us. It’s a natural, and in some way, a necessary part of society.

But don’t forget, you, are still a unique individual designed and purposed to stand out on your own… let that shine 🙂

conformity

 

 

The Sacrifice Of Self Caring

I was chattering away at hubby over breakfast on Sunday talking fast and excitedly as I’m prone to do when I’m really passionate about something.

He made careful work of his breakfast while I was shooting things off at him wondering when on EARTH the waitress might wander back and bring me more coffee….for real.

What passionate thing was I engaging him in ?

Something that has gotten closer to my heart more and more in the past couple years.

Health. Fitness. Wellness. Being empowered and strong… and more importantly… wanting it for others… to help them achieve that.

Here you thought I was gonna say running… didn’t you ? Well, you know I’m passionate about that, but we’ll save that for another blog 😉

I am passionate about people “getting” it. When they figure out there’s no magic pill or secret formula, shake, drink or potion. When they get off the crazy carousel diet wagon. When they understand they can do things in a sane and sensible way and lose weight and still have a life….

When they find the balance that works for them that’s sustainable and allows them success.

I freaking love that.

But what I was particularly going on about with hubby was this…

I was reflecting on how people give up, give in, and walk away from the very thing they want to accomplish.

They quit. As if quitting is going to get them closer to their goals they have set for themselves. Why do so many quit? Give up? Throw in the proverbial towel ?

I’ll tell you. (uh… did I mention this might be a rather hard hitting post? )

Losing weight and getting fit requires A LOT of sacrifice. It requires a level of discipline that can make people uncomfortable. It means getting out of your comfy comfort zone. And honestly, it’s more than some want to give, and they quit.

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I saw a meme on Facebook recently that said “There are only two options: Make progress, or make excuses.”

If we are to be successful in our pursuit of being healthy, fit and strong, we need to focus on slow, steady, and constant progress.

The other option is where people make excuses and quit.  There’s always a reason “why” they aren’t being successful or a reason why they can’t eat better or exercise or ate half a tray of brownies.

I’ve worked with some people who I (think) expected that somehow I’d lose the weight for them, or be along to slap food out of their hands.

It doesn’t work like that. It does come down to this….

You’ve got to determine you want it bad enough…for you. Not for your bf/gf, husband, wife, or anyone else… it’s got to be for you. And no one can do it …for you.

And then… then comes the hard part… because to do this…to get on the wagon and get moving… requires that sacrifice I was talking about.

Self care requires sacrifice.

Sacrificing old ways, old beliefs.

Sacrificing ways of eating, things that you do eat, how you eat, and how much of it you eat.

Sacrificing time to get out and get your body moving in purposeful exercise on a daily basis. Sacrificing your comfort for discomfort that comes with exerting your body in new ways.

Sacrificing your sense of “entitlement” that you should be able to have or eat certain foods in the amounts you want.

Sacrificing old habits for new ones.

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It’s not easy boys and girls. I’d be lying if I said changing ingrained eating habits you’ve had for years and training your body to like exercise ( and look forward to it!) is easy.

On my journey I’ve had good days and bad days. Days I didn’t WANT to exercise and couldn’t imagine a day that it would be so ingrained in me that I couldn’t imagine NOT doing it. I’ve had days where I knew I ate more than I needed or ate when I knew I wasn’t truly hungry. I just shook it off and kept moving forward. In time, the bad days became less, as my new habits settled into place.

Remember what I said about so many quitting the process….you must take some not so good days on your journey along with the ones that make you feel on top of the world… and keep moving forward.

But… it’s so worth the effort invested… the sacrifice you will make.  So worth your time to take care of your body…. which contributes to all of your overall health ( mental and spiritual too) and no, it’s not selfish. ( we’ll talk more on that in another post)

Which brings me back to my passion… to help others get it.. to encourage them that those daily sacrifices they make will in time add up and it really will get easier and become much more of a habit to do than something they have to “make” themselves do.

Maybe you’ve sidelined yourself more times than you can count. Perhaps you’ve given up after a few weeks declaring it was just “to hard” or “nothing is happening”. You’ve allowed self-defeating talk to rule you and your choices.

Come closer and I will tell you something…. are you ready ?

You don’t have to stay in that place. You have everything in you to be successful and achieve your goals.

Yes, sacrifice and struggle will be involved. Yes, there are times it will not be easy.

Don’t quit… you’ll never arrive if you do.

In the end though, you’ll see, it was all worth it.

 

 

Let’s Do A Book Review

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I love to read. My entire childhood I was a classic bookworm. I’d spend summers dragging home bags of books getting lost in them. During school if there was free time in class, my face was in a book.

As an adult with kids during the summer I still loved heading off to the library this time looking for more adult books. I’d still drag as many home as the kids. The danger of getting in good ones was just camping out and losing track of time…. sigh… when you’re an adult there are adult tasks to be dealt with so I’d have to drop the book and scurry around being productive and then dash back to what I was reading.

And oh joy! If I stumbled in a series I loved. I was covered for the summer lost in the stories the author had crafted.

I also challenged myself to look for interesting biographies on people… there are some wild, cool people in this world, do you know that ?

One of my fav’s was called “Fearless” about Adam Brown a Navy Seal on Seal Team 6. I will never, ever hear them mentioned again without an amazing respect of what they have to go through to be a part of such an elite, superhuman group.

Given my love for reading it’s no wonder I just love words, right ?? haha 😉

So I just finished off a book my son gave me for my birthday. I finally grabbed it and got started reading. He thought I’d like it cause of my interest in health/fitness etc.

Based on the title, I loosely thought it was a humorous fiction book.

Actually, it turned out to be a memoir of one woman’s journey and battle with body image and self esteem. Proclaimed fat by her mother at age 11 ( when her first diet started) she chronicles a life of negative body image, constant diets ( and failing them) painful moments through school, constant struggles and self loathing, and ultimately, (yay, figuring it all out)

As I’ve shared in previous posts, I’ve had times in my life dealing with diets (yuck), wanting to lose some weight, having the “skinny” clothes, the “fatter” clothes, and the ongoing goal to get back to the “skinny” clothes ( yay, I don’t even deal with that anymore 🙂 I never felt like I had bad self esteem or wasn’t comfortable in my skin. I did know when I needed to drop a few pounds and it bugged me. Bugged me that I was at that point and bugged me ’cause it felt like it would take eternity to get it done. This was such an interesting and eye opening perspective to me helping me understand the painful and difficult struggles so many go through in a battle to be “thin”, when really, that isn’t the source of happiness nor as it turns out, is it the ultimate goal.

All that to say, reading the book, my heart broke for a young child who was already under fire by her mom for being in her words “5 lbs over weight” and how it affected her childhood years and then into adulthood. Diets, dieting, and the constant cycle became a ongoing way of life for the author.

It is well written, humorous in a way that I enjoy, straightforward and brutally honest.

The book is an easy read and I highly recommend it if you’ve struggled with body image/ self-esteem… or know someone who has. The author shares her struggles, but also her victories and shares how she overcame the constant diet rat trap and her body insecurities, to being comfortable in her own skin. It does have a nice happy ending 😛

I also enjoyed the “reading group” section at the end with various Q&A’s, and an overall “wrap up” since the book published.

Tell me… have you read anything fun or interesting lately? What types of books do you enjoy ?

Blogging, Words, And All Things Writing

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I read in an article a month or so back how women use more words in their day than men. There were varying “tests” done,  but overall showing females did use more words in a day than the guys.

Ok, I might buy into that, after all, I rarely find myself without words 😛

In fact one day I decided I’d try and text and talk like a guy… using less words… did I say a day ? I barely made it through a couple hours haha

Words. I love words.

They abound in my head, ideas leaping around and thoughts clamoring for attention and to be set free. Sometimes those words and ideas bug me during the night. Other times I’m out doing my daily schlepping through life and I get this great idea and I’m digging for something to throw it down on lest I forget later ( hey, I’m older! My brain is often scratched out on a legal note pad 😉 what’s worse is if I’m out running… I almost turn the idea into a chant to keep it in my head. Truly, it’s when I do some of my best thinking.

I get inspired from so much of the world I operate in.

People. Situations. Observations. My own thoughts ( scary, I know) Sometimes, even laughing at myself 😛

Words paint wonderful pictures. I love how you can take an idea in your head and shape it into something that people can see and “get”.  Or when you have something you feel passionately about, write it, and it resonates with the people who read it.

Nothing…is more satisfying.

So imagine my frustration? Perplexity ? Shock ? When I contemplated a few weeks ago what I was going to write on and…..

Silence. Crickets chirping. Nothing. It was hard to even come up with ideas. I didn’t come up with ideas.

Well, let’s not overlook my son was getting married (that happened Sept 12 and you’ll be hearing about that 😉 and really my mind was on that constantly. Not to mention juggling some family things and life well, I guess it just left me feeling, blank.

I was semi-horrified. How does this happen?

I’m a woman. I’m loaded with words. A plethora of words on any given day. What. the. heck.

So I did what any smart woman would do. I hit up a friend of mine who is a published author ( her third book just released… look her up… Jolene Navarro)

Anyway, I asked her as an author if she ever got “empty” “wordless” left holding the bag basically. She laughed and assured me she was currently 5,000 words behind in her writing.

Ah, sympathy. Just what I needed.

I told her I loved writing on health, fitness and of course all things running, but I had all these other ideas tripping through my head and those words had stories to tell, because they’re the stories of …. life……

She nicely reminded me that my life is what makes me real and 3-D ( I kinda like that illustration) and not just flat and focused on one area. Sharing life and things that happen make me real and people can relate to that.

Ok… that all sounded good.

She then put me on mission to write a “100 idea” list of all kinds of things about me… likes, interests, thoughts, passions, whatever.

I knocked out 50 at one sitting. I tackled more today. It’s getting harder… much harder.

Almost like… “hey, I’m Cathie, I like peanut butter” haha I’m not giving up though…..

The idea being if I hit a spell where nothing is firing in my head, I go to my list to (hopefully) propel  insanity  creativity 😉

So I guess I’m telling you all of this to say I will be bringing you “life” things from time to time. Sometimes hard topics. Others whimsical or funny. Maybe thought provoking. If I’m successful, entertaining or inspiring.

Not for one second is my focus of bringing you health, fitness and all things running on the backburner, I just want you to experience ALL of life with me.

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It’s a heck of a journey.

Get on with me and let’s go for a crazy ride.

3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge

Emmanuel Muema has nominated me for the 3 days, 3 quotes challenge. Thank you for the award =)

I’ll do my best to deliver the goods.

The rules of the challenge : 1. Thank the person who nominated you. 2. Post a quote a day for 3 days. 3. Each day, nominate 3 new bloggers to take part in the challenge.

My quote : 

” You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror.” I can take the next thing that comes along.

~Eleanor Roosevelt

My nominees:

1. Movin’ it with Michelle

2. Peeled Wellness

3. Bubbles and Booyah