What have you outgrown?

Detail of socks with holesAbout 20 years ago, I had a medical situation that caused me to gain a lot of weight quickly. I then added some extra pounds after having two children, being inactive due to an injury, and — I’ll admit it here — too much junk food. This year I have finally lost enough weight that I’ve moved from a BMI that was “obese” to one that is normal.

Throughout these 20 years, I hauled around my “thin” clothing. This was a pair of tan, Lands’ End pleated pants and several pairs of Eddie Bauer shorts. I remember that I’d had the cuffs removed from the shorts, so I’d probably paid $5 a pair in alteration fees. My goal has always been to fit into these clothes.

Finally my goal was achieved. I dug the clothes out of my closet and they were too big. (Yippee!) But they were also horribly out of style and actually had some holes in them. It dawned on me that I’d been dragging around this clothing for two decades and using it to beat myself up for gaining weight. After the first 2 or 10 years, why didn’t I just accept I’d outgrown them, and pass them along to someone who they’d fit?

Today, blog about something you’ve outgrown. Maybe it’s your tiny apartment after your child was born. Or a friend that you can no longer relate to. Maybe it’s your business or your way of looking at life that has changed. Share something about your old ways with your readers.

 

Surviving Spam

Nerd Robot hacker with blue binary code on backgroundSince I’ve spent much of my career helping people with writing issues, I felt like I’d heard it all when it came to “why I am not blogging” excuses.

I fully admit that I was wrong. Getting Spammed is totally demoralizing and sucked away every ounce of my blogging enjoyment.

I usually check my email every hour or so. All of the sudden, my legitimate messages were buried under thousands of WordPress comment notices. While I could bulk delete comments using a WordPress widget, that didn’t help the spam filters learn that these comments were unwanted. I felt that someone (actually, many people) had violated my blog and had no desire to create posts that would encourage more spam.

Yesterday I installed Akismet. (I have no relationship to this company, other than as a customer.) The business version is $59 per year. It immediately stopped the spam comments and my email is once again manageable.

This morning, I felt renewed energy to continue posting. Hopefully my days of being spammed are over.

Failing at Parenting

????????????????????????‘Tis the season where the kids are returning to school. For many of my friends, this is the year that their eldest child is leaving for college. Since I endured the kid-leaving-for-college blues last year, I am especially sympathetic to the painful transition from home to a dorm.

My son had been a camp counselor for a couple of years before leaving for college, so we weren’t worried about him getting homesick. I did make him a “mommy doll,” which was an 18″ high soft doll with a photo of my face affixed to the head. He found this doll as he moved in and quickly stuffed it into the back of his bureau, totally unappreciative of its significance. That was the extent of our warm-and-fuzzy gift giving.

Meanwhile, my friend wrote a beautiful letter to her daughter and hid it under her pillow in the dorm room. Then, when they got home, the daughter had written heartfelt letters to every member of the family. Sweet, right?

Somehow this letter-giving idea derailed me. Clearly my friend was a better parent than me and more attuned to theĀ  emotional nuances of her eldest!

After a day or so of beating myself up, I recalled the letters I had lovingly written my son each day he was at camp — only to pick him up at the end of the month and discover he was too busy to even open them. So maybe it was okay that he started his college adventures without a written sendoff from his mother.

Parenting, like everything else, is not a competition. However sometimes it feels like it is and I’m on the losing end of the contest.

Today, blog about a special gift that you gave or received. Or share with your readers an important content that you won or lost.