BJWPost

The Flawed Mother

Nov
11

On a whim I picked up a book today, “How to be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits” by the quad  Parisiennes ~ Berest, Diwan, de Miaret, and Mas.

It was the “Bad Habits” that hooked me, cause let’s face it, if you know me at all you know I am a keeper of bad habits (and an enthusiastic one at that!).

So I thought, hey, if the iconic Parisian women also have bad habits then well,  je bascule! I don’t consider myself anything as classic, fashionable or even remotely a woman with that, ummm… je ne sais quoi. You know, in short, nothing like a Parisian woman. Yet, I deeply admire them (at least our stereo typical view of them, because that’s really all I know of them) and I find them fascinating.

But then I read something that made me feel somewhat akin to these amazing women. The section titled “A Mother with Flaws.” Now this is something that resonates with me!

I eagerly devoured every word on the page. It’s a short section but filled with truths for me. As I read, these four mothers, these four authors who put their feelings, emotions and realities on the page for us all to see, admit to being selfish women. In the first line no doubt!!

Yes, I am selfish as well. I’ve struggle with my needs versus my duties as a mother. I feel guilty when I do put mine first and I frequently fall victim to feeling that I am not as good of a mother as I should be (no surprise if you’re a mom, or parent for that matter!). That I should give more to my son, or that I’m not creative enough or entertaining enough for him. That a lot of the times what I chose to do with him is what I like or know. I often feel a lack of parental creativity so I fall back on what I know, which tends to be more adult like or things I would do.

And then in comes the guilt.

Let’s face it, all parents struggle with balancing our needs with those of our children’s, and often to the detriment of ourselves. I know countless women (and men) who put their own needs so far at the bottom of the list that they never get to their needs and that isn’t good for anybody. But neither is putting our needs ahead of theirs at all costs.

So what’s a parent to do?

Be yourself. Revel in who you are and what you have to offer.

So as I read on I noticed something: I am more Parisienne-like than I thought, at least in motherhood and maybe this isn’t a bad thing.

“Let’s be honest: the Parisienne is a selfish woman. A loving mother, yes, but nonetheless incapable of forgetting herself completely…. The Parisienne does not stop existing after she has a child. She does not give up her somewhat adolescent lifestyle…” the section goes on to explain. I can soooo relate to this. I’m feeling better about my own selfishness to some degree at this point.

“She wants to be there to educate her child, to watch him grow up, to pass on her values, her culture, her philosophy… Her child is not king, because he is a satelite to her own life. At the same time, her child is omnipresent because this satelite follows his mother everywhere and together they share valuable moments. He might join her at a lunch, accompany her to a boutiqiue, end up at a concert or cocktail party, where he will fall asleep on a sofa where she watches over him with equal parts guilt and tenderness.”

Yes. Yes I have done that. On more than one occasion. And yes I have felt the guilt but also felt the excitement of him living in the moment and being a part of the “real” world around him. And it is here that I fully connect with these Parisiennes. That these moments that detour off the schedule, where he sleeps in a pub in Hong Kong or a football game that goes past his bedtime, will show him moments of what lies ahead for him in the adult world. Together we share memories and experiences of life beyond childhood. These are the parts of life we dream about as children! It is also here, the authors point out, that what he sees as these joyful moments are also his future, or this joie de vivre, according to the Parisienne. And also “…the best way of inspiring children to grow up. And the best way for mothers to never miss the lives they led before they had children.” I love this because as I’ve stated before I believe in living life to its fullest, to experience life and loving what it has to offer.

And what better way than to than to share your life with your child, to show him that being a grown up is just as fun as being a child.

Asleep at the pub Honk Kong nights.

Asleep at the pub Hong Kong nights.

Love Punch

Feb
06

Now this is a Valentine’s Day tradition I can get behind. Yummmmeeee!

Get Fit on a Bike Fast

Aug
13

Get Fit Fast On A Bike

BY BARBI WALKER

If your goals this year include getting fit or losing weight, biking is an ideal choice that’s not just for athletes anymore. Biking is a great way to lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, and gain muscle strength and endurance all in one sport. Bicycling burns a lot of calories. Riding at a moderate speed, around 13-15 mph, you can burn upwards of 500 calories per hour–done daily that equals 3,500 calories, which is enough to lose one pound in a week! Bicycling is a high-reward workout.

Fully geared and single-geared bicycles (also called fixies), mountain bikes, road bikes, and cruisers–anyone from out-of-shape beginners to fitness fanatics can find a bike to suit his or her needs. Even the heaviest of riders can reap quick health benefits from riding, and without risk of joint injury. Cycling is a non-impact exercise so your joints won’t take a beating f rom repetitive jarring or pounding. Getting started is as simple as getting on the bike and making a commitment to ride every day–just ask Jason Robert of Tempe.

Robert’s story

In the summer of 2009, Robert was watching the Tour de France while vacationing at his in-laws’ house in Nova Scotia when he had his epiphany. “I couldn’t believe the f itness levels these guys had, some of them older than me,” he says. Robert was 36 years old and weighed 285 pounds the day of that race, and it was then that he decided he wanted to change.

“I decided by the time I turned 40 I wanted to be in shape and fit,” says Robert, and it all started the minute he

arrived home. Robert says he was so serious that he went straight f rom Sky Harbor International Airport, luggage and all, to REI to buy a bike.

Making the commitment to get up every morning at 4:30 to ride through the quiet Arizona State University Research Park before it was busy with morning traffic was challenging, he says, but worth it.The time and location gave him a safe place to ride while increasing his confidence and fitness level. Working out and fitness were new to him, says the much slimmed-down cyclist, who completed his first half-ironman last December. To date, he has completed the Tour de Scottsdale, Tour de Tucson, and many triathlons.

Establishing a routine

Establishing a regular riding routine (or any fitness routine) is the first and most important step in slimming down and getting f itter. Commit to riding at least an hour a day, and at least f our days a week, to speed up your f itness level and weight loss, but aim f or seven days a week to get the greatest caloric def icit. Cycling builds lean muscle tissue, which causes your body to burn calories at a higher rate, upping your basal metabolic rate (BMI), and allowing you to continue burning calories long after you’ve peeled off your jersey. Once you’ve established your regular cycling routine, up the ante on your caloric burn with interval training.

Interval training speeds up the fat-burning process. One can accomplish this by alternating between bursts of high-intensity speed, pedaling as fast as you can for about 30 seconds, followed by returning to your regular speed. If you do this during your regular hour ride on alternate days over a two-week period, your ability to burn fat increases by 36 percent, according to research in Journal of Applied Physiology. In just those 30 seconds of full-throttle, all-out sprinting in your highest gear, you amp your body’s furnace.Astudy by Laval University found that sprinters who burned only half as many calories during a regular workout still lost more weight and burned more calories than those who worked out at longer, slower speeds.

Robert agrees. “High-intensity intervals a few times a week spike your metabolism, and we all live time- compressed lives, so make the most of your one-hour ride,” he says.

The important thing to remember is to ease into interval training. Build up your endurance, confidence and comfort if you are brand-new to fitness or cycling, then add in your 30-second sprints.

Proper nutrition is the last component for maximizing your fitness and weight loss. Think in terms of nutrition, not diet. Most fad diets will not provide the proper nutrition to maintain performance and sustained weight loss–any diet that isn’t balanced will fall short. “There’s plenty of disagreement about what to eat even among seasoned, successful athletes, coaches and sports nutritionists,” notes Selene Yeager, writer for Bicycling.comandcyclingexpert.Onethingtheyallagreeon,however,istheimportanceof eatingrealfood. Eatfoodthatisunprocessedandinitsnaturalform.Eatplentyof fruits,vegetables,andleanprotein,and avoid unsaturated fat, and you will see results quickly.

Few exercises can beat bicycling for quick and effective weight loss. With its low-impact nature and the ability for all ages to join in, bicycling is a sport to consider.

Barbi Walker is a freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. Barbi lives in Phoenix with her husband and young son.

SOURCES

bicycling.com

“Ride Your Way Lean: The Ultimate Plan for Burning Fat and Getting Fit on a Bike” and “Every Woman’s Guide to Cycling: Everything You Need to Know, From Buying Your First Bike to Winning Your First Race” Selene Yeager, Bicycling.

greenlivingaz.com https://www.greenlivingaz.com/2013/02/08/get-fit-fast-on-a-bike/

4-Star Accommodations

Sep
07

In my quest to figure out my direction as a writer and blogger one thing has always been constant: my desire to become a travel and food writer. As a flight attendant I traveled on my own to many countries and continents to see the world. But once I went back to school and had a child at the same time, traveling took not only a back seat but another whole dimension. Travel writers weren’t in demand and I didn’t really know how to break into the area. Plus there’s this other little dark secret: I was intimidated to travel with an infant. In fact my son has only been on an airplane twice in his four short years, really quite sad if you ask me.

But here’s the thing, I believe strongly in visiting other countries besides the one you live in. However, I somehow found myself too comfortable in my day-to-day routine to venture out and take a stand-by seat with my son and husband in tow. At least I was until my conversation two weeks ago with my good friend (and also former flight attendant) Elizabeth. My “plinky” answer sparked her comment on my blog about travel and the importance of children experiencing other cultures and places.

Travel is a form of education and parents need to make financial planing for travel as much a priority as education and college. We are a global economy and learning about the other global players is key to developing a successful future. Parents need to take time to research, as a family,  places to go, what to do while there and if the kids are old enough have them take part in planning  the budget for the trip. All of these skills are real world skills,

But I’m sort of a throw back hippie/surfer (did I mention I grew up in Bisbee?) wrapped up in a modern, high tech bag of over achieving thoughts mixed up with my old school values. And so I see travel as a way to just be. But to learn from it too, learn what the locals do, where they go, what they think, become a local if you can and then just experience life as it comes to you. It’s the Zen side of travel that needs to exist. So when my friend, Jen, offered us her friends’ house to watch, and to look after Albert the unsinkable goldfish, we said “Hell yes” that, and it was 115 degrees in Phoenix.

I realized my long time purpose/goal or whatever you want to call it, is my desire to show Henry the world. To let him see it with his own two eyes, to come to his own conclusions of what he likes or dislikes about certain places or experiences. Which is what propelled me to bust out of my own confinement and shovel a disarray of clothes into a too small suitcase with my  toothbrush solidly embedded between my teeth to fly to San Francisco on a 7:45 a.m. flight.  I raced my family to the airport unprepared (hippie/surfer) to hop on the flight. Didn’t happen. Didn’t have all my ducks set up the night before.

But we decided to eat breakfast and wait for another flight. The surfer was rubbing off on all of us and we chilled and laughed while we ate a decent breakfast at the Home Turf Bar (they don’t have an online menu – I don’t understand this), anyway the food was good actually. Eggs and toast for Henry & Paul. Fruit and yogurt for me. I’ll give it this: it was fresh and good.

Needless to say we did NOT make it on the flight, so we left and ran errands. Got back in time to make the 1:15 flight.

Henry’s first subway ride was good, he enjoyed putting his mouth on every hand rail and seat back he could find. Paul was starting to OCD on washing Henry’s hands after every object he touched but I said let’s just attack the biggest battle, “Henry, KEEP YOUR MOUTH OFF OF EVERYTHING!’ after a while the message sunk in and I think we only had to disinfect his mouth half a dozen times… k not really.

Living in Other Countries

Jul
15

Living and pretending abroud.

Never. Wish I had. Always looking for ways to get out of here….

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JK Rowling saved a writer

Jul
15

Well I have to say I have no idea what I am doing, other than, well writing (and blogging I guess). I started this blog and a few others for some ungodly reason (well I have them but meh…) and haven’t done much with any of them. I’ve had some nagging thoughts, which are fast becoming headaches since I’ve ignored them all to long, about my blogs.

So here’s the scoop: This page is dedicated to blogging. Sound ridiculous? Yeah well, to me too, but bear with me. I created this blog as a play on letters of my name. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to blog or write or journal under my byline name, plus I was trying to be clever (not always a good idea) but either way my thought was to have a site where I blogged, reported newsy/newsworthy stuff (journalist) and wrote (not sure the difference really – maybe my fiction and tragic poetry, who knows.

Either way, I’ve been stumped and stopped about this whole thing that I almost got writer’s block. Then worse, I stopped calling myself a writer and then the world got black. My enthusiasm for my freelance writing at Green Living AZ dulled. My green thinking turned to green envy at my friend, Becca, who is new to blogging and is blogging away like nobody’s business on . I poured over “ways to blog” and “don’t make the same mistake I made blogging” sites and e-books.

I felt hopeless, lost. If I’m not a writer then what or who am I?

But then my husband (and biggest supporter) handed me an article on JK Rowling and the last series in the “Harry Potter  books. I’m no JK Rowling, not by a LOOOONGGGG shot, but a girl can dream right? A writer can aspire to be like her, right? Especially when Rowling has such an underdog’s story, was born the same year I was and, well, used her initials to create a new identity to sell books. I could be like her right? At least until I read the last paragraph, the closer, the clincher of the article:

Ever since she finished “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in 2007, Ms. Rowling has given tantalising hints of future ventures. Now Pottermore, a website that goes live on July 31, has been announced as the sole source for electronic downloads of the Harry Potter books, as well as any prospective future texts. Still only 45, Rowling seems ready to step up her game. From Dickens, with his 20 novels, she must know that what a writer does is write.

“…she must know that what a writer does is write.” 

This phrase scared the shit out of me. I wasn’t doing that, not much at all. In fact I was feeling no “what a writer does is write” kind of thing. I started feeling really dark, really lost. But I also thought a lot about that phrase, about her and her being rejected 12 times by London publishers, according to the Walls Street article.  I even thought of the article’s writer, Norman Lebrect, whose talented and well choosen words hit home on such an important day for me.

I also thought about my newly blogging friend and her beautiful writing exposing her scars for all to read. She’s brave. She’s capable of writing her thoughts and experiences in a humorous and thoughtful way. She, my friend Becca, inspires me in her blog, Team Hope Chest to get up and write and to quite whining about not doing it right or whatever I may be thinking. Her posts inspire me to “just do.”

I also thought about my husband Paul and his faith in me and what I do. Sheesh even he has a blog, albiet, waaaay off the kind of stuff I read, but he just writes what he needs to and moves on.

And then I thought, who cares what I have to say, who cares if I “do it wrong” ? I don’t, not anymore. I’m not even afraid of the Big Bad Big Brother Eagle Eye in cyberspace clocked wolf’s clothing reading my shit. In fact if no one ever reads it I am okay with that too. And I mean that in the nicest way possible, really, because I have something to say, a lot really, and I’m tired of letting all my thoughts go to waste. Because I’m a writer and that’s what writers do, we write.

Negative Feedback

May
06

I am just checking to see if all the negative feedback on Apple’s App page about the WordPress app are accurate.

So far I am not having any of the issues the majority of posters/users are complaining about.

My app opened perfectly on my iPhone, all of my posts are there, everything is working as needed. I’ll finish by “posting” and see what happens.

My Biggest Challenge Right Now

Apr
25

Time (management) is not on my side.

Time management & prioritizing what I need to do. Lately I'm just horrible at it.

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How I Stay Healthy

Apr
23

Workout hard, mix it up and eat your vegetables.

I workout at least five times a week and I do something different every day. When I am in the 'gym' routine, I do an intense weight lifting workout one day, then a killer kick box or power yoga class the next, Spinning the next day, yoga following and on my last day either a dance class or I lift again. I do at least 1500 abs a week. I have been a fitness instructor for almost 30 years but I got into my best shape ever following this routine. Plus I eat a lot less than I used to.

My best advice for people wanting to change their body with exercise: you MUST work hard to see changes. Most workouts leave me feeling like a rung out towel. But I see so many people in the gym doing the same workout day in day out and their body NEVER changes.

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The Sky Is Not Falling

Apr
05

Chicken Little ran around scaring everyone with his cry about the sky falling and sometimes we do the same.
With access to media and viral emails we often extrapolate more fear than is necessary and the radiation fall out from Japan is one such topic.

In today’s New York Times, an article discusses the amounts of radio active material from the reactors in Japan versus the amounts after Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the effects on people.

“Dr. Douple emphasized that at very low doses, the risk was also very low. But he also said that there was no indication of a threshold, or a level below which acute radiation exposure would have no effect, or a smaller effect than would be predicted based on higher exposures,” according to the article, read more here.

The article goes on to point out that,

“Outof 120,000 survivors in one study group, 219 with radiation exposure had died of leukemia from 1950 through 2002, the latest year with published data. But only 98 of those cases, or 45 percent, were excess deaths attributed to radiation.”

Granted to the relatives of those patients and the patients themselves this is little consolation and as a cancer survivor I truly do understand. But as a scientist and journalist the point is, in the big picture it is not “the sky falling.”

So the next time a disaster strikes or fear sets in, take a few moments to read solid information. Seek out smart, educated, scholarly and well documented research before you let your imagination run away with you, your heart, lungs and all your cells will thank you for it.