Monday, April 4, 2016

Finding Your Niche In All You Do



         We tell our kids the same thing all the time. Try, try again. Try until you get it right. Don't give up. Start again. Practice makes perfect. We have ingrained this mentality into our culture. We say the same thing to our friends, co-workers, parents, nieces, nephews, etc...

         Stop and think about this though. What happens when as hard as you try, you still fail? Let's be realistic here. Not everyone is going to make it to the top. Not everyone is going to be drafted to the NFL, or the NBA, or any other national sports league. Not everyone is going to make the team. Whether it is the middle school team, high school team, AAU League, or any other league.

         And lets face it, you might write that novel, edit it, edit it until you just run out of changes, query it and get rejected. Do you stop? No. You try again. Why? Because that is what makes us better writers. And you should. You get back on that horse. You take that master piece of yours and it edit it again. You send it to partners and you are thrilled when they rip it to shreds. Now we are getting somewhere. You edit again, and again and again. Now you tackle that query. You work on it night and day. You walk away, you send it out for critique. You edit again, and again. Until you just don't know what other changes you can make.

     You do your research on agents. You send your query out in small batches just to get more rejections. Finally you get a request for a full. You are on cloud nine. Nothing can upset you now. Months pass as you try not to think about your baby. You start to work on another manuscript, although that first baby is never far from your thoughts. Finally you hear news. The agent isn't interested. Suddenly you can't decide if you want to scream or cry.

     Seriously though, what happens when a manuscript just isn't working? How long do you play this game until you finally put it aside and say. Okay, I love you but I have to move on. And when you do look into yourself and see your work as other people see it? Maybe the style of writing isn't working, maybe it's the genre, maybe it is the demographic?  Try didn't styles of writing, different genre, play with YA, Adult, Picture Books. You might find you actually enjoy one more than other, or you at better at one over another.

     We all have gifts. The trick is not to dwell on our weakness, but to find our strengths and work on perfecting those. We are all good at different things. That is what makes us unique. Find what you are great at, work on that, and excel. That is goal for this year. What is yours?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Body Image



This picture is perfect. Notice the caption. "The Perfect Body." Yet all of the women in this picture are different. Yup, diversity is perfect. No one is exactly the same. The same size clothes never fit the same on anyone. It is time clothing ads change to conform to the every day women. In fact I personally believe models for the run way as well should be all shapes as well.  Well it looks like we finally might be heading in that direction.

According to an article I read on the Today Show website, The U.S. Health Department says the United States should start to regulating the BMI (Body Mass Index) mass of models. This finding is coming out after France just started regulating it for models. They, in fact need a doctor's note stating they are healthy enough to work in the country.

Click on over and read the article.

I hope this regulation is put into effect. There are to many girls and women out the fighting anorexia. It is a horrible disease. I pray everyone fighting it, finds inner peace and health. I am so glad DOVE has taken the initiative and has changed their mission on body image. I know you have noticed their adds support everyday women of all shapes, sizes and color.

Girls need to know they are beautiful just the way they are.  I also hope the ballet industry has the same regulations.

On a side note. Notice this is about girls. Well I have boys and I worry about my boys because believe it or not young boys go through the same thing. I found this article over on the Today Show as well.



Now like the women in the article, my boys are healthy in their weight and in how they view themselves, but if you think you don't have to keep tabs on it, you are wrong. Check in on your kids, your nieces and nephews. Make sure they love themselves as much as you love them. Them and only then, will we be rid of negative body image.

Monday, February 1, 2016

It's All In the Genes




This is an older post, but since I my numbers have changed, and after 3 years I'm back to changing my medicine, I thought now would be a good time to remind everyone how important it is the know your family history.

It is very rare that I post anything personal about myself.  I'm a private person and I see no need to involve my readers in my personal life, but once in a while, I feel a need to reach out and connect. By the time this post airs I'll be getting ready to go to my doctors for my six month annual visit to check my thyroid.

There are many women who have a thyroid condition.  Notice I said condition not disease.  I call it that because it is something we live with not die from, and trust me when I say I live with it every day.  Thyroid problems run in family like they do in many families.  My aunt has it (hyper) my mom's sister and my mom had it (hyper). I found out I have it as well last year it right after my sister found out she has it. Funny how we found out within weeks of each other and we are only a year apart.  My sister has hyper as well, so how in the world did I get hypo?  Sure, everyone else gets the one that makes you skinny, me, I get the one that makes you fat.  Like I haven't been struggling with my weight ever since I can remember.  Don't get me wrong, I am far from fat. At almost 5' tall and ranging between 109 and 110 I'm not complaining.  I'm smaller now that I was in high school. In college I gained the freshman 15 and then some so I know what it is like to be overweight. I worked my ass off to get my weight down so I'll be damned if some thyroid problem is going to change that now!  My point is thyroid conditions are not easy to deal with.  As soon as you think things are working out- your medicine is working and your gain your energy back- Bam the medicine isn't working like it should and your numbers are through the roof again.

It amazed me when I found out how much of the body the thyroid controls:

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism (An underactive thyroid)
fatigue, exhaustion
feeling run down and sluggish
depression
difficulty concentrating, brain fog
unexplained or excessive weight gain
dry, coarse and/or itchy skin
dry, coarse and/or thinning hair
feeling cold, especially in the extremities
constipation
muscle cramps
increased menstrual flow
more frequent periods
infertility/miscarriage

Symptoms of Hyperthryodisim (An overactive thyroid)
nervousness
irritability
increased perspiration
thinning of your skin
fine brittle hair
muscular weakness especially involving the upper arms and thighs
shaky hands
panic disorder
insomnia
racing heart
more frequent bowel movements
weight loss despite a good appetite
lighter flow, less frequent menstrual periods
(thanks to about.com)

Notice even monthly cycles are on the list.  I actually had to go off the pill because I couldn't stand the anxiety anymore.  I'll swear I'll never go back on.  I feel sane again.  And the monthly cycles? Trust me when I say I feel like a teenager again. You remember pimples right?  Yeah,  not fun. :-(

Anyway, I had my blood tested for my visit to see how I'm doing and I found out my numbers are up again. Not a good thing. I got the call on a Friday but missed it so I had to wait until  Monday to call back. So by now I have already spoken to my doctor, but I still have my appointment. I have to say my numbers being up are almost a relief, because it explains so much.  I knew something was off, but I thought it was just my monthly cycle, apparently I was wrong.  Now I know, so now with my doctor's help I can take action to fix the problem. 

Now that it's Thursday I've seen my doctor. So I have an update for you. My numbers show that I'm showing symptoms of Hyper Thyroidism.  This means I'm taking to much medicine, but since I stopped taking birth control (could not stand the anxiety anymore) my doctor said my body is still trying to get back to normal and the numbers can be "fantom."  Hey that's the word she used, not me.  Meaning?  When your body is working hard because it is under stress- fighting something (infection, sickness, other med's or lack of in my case, etc..) the numbers can and will change.  She has seen it many times and sometimes the numbers go back on their own some times they don't.  Solution?  None, it's a numbers and symptons game-always will be. I don't have any symptons just numbers so she is going to monitor me very closely for the next 6 months.  I have to get my blood work done again in 2-4 weeks, then again in another 2-4 weeks.  If she doesn't like something, she is going to call me, and I promise you she is very good with calling me.  So that's my update.  I'm okay, just under my doctor's strick watch, which is a good place to be.

So please now your numbers, know your family medical history. My mother made sure me and my sister knew ours and I'm going to make sure my boys know theirs.  It's our first defense in helping ourselves stay healthy!  Remember, talk to your family and find out your numbers, I know many of you have little ones to think of.  We need to stay healthy for them!  Now go and have that talk,  you'll feel better that you did.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Lost in Your Own Back Yard




It's the simple things in life that are funny.  It's those unexpected adventures where everything goes wrong and all you want to do is cry and you laugh about it later that I love the most. Laughter is what keeps us going sometimes, and sometimes it keeps you sane.  How many times have you said, if I didn't laugh I'd be crying?  A lot I bet.  Now, my last adventure didn't make me want to cry, but my nerves were up a little since I was in a time crunch and alone with my two young boys. And what was  my adventure you ask?  Don't laugh but it was getting lost while driving my boys to their new in-home day care.  Okay, laugh if you want to, I know I did, later that is. 

Picture it:  It's a beautiful summer morning and I have to go to work.  It's the first day my boys are going to an in-home daycare, recommended by a close friend of mine.  I'll called the in-home day care provider Tiffany.  (No, that is no her real name).  Anyway I have been to Tiffany's house only once and my husband drove.  Now in order for me to remember how to go somewhere I need to drive it myself, but I didn't.  So I printed out directions and followed them to a T, well as least I thought I did. The worst part was, I wasn't even far from my own house.  You see Tiffany lives in the same town as I do.  The problem: I live in a BIG town, and I am not a native to my town, not even the state, so back road, and twists and turns in neighborhoods can get tricky.
Anyway, after spending too much time driving in circles and getting even later for work then I scheduled in, I caved and called Tiffany. At the time I was a little irritated because I knew I was right around the corner from her house, and I didn't want to show my boys that getting lost can be scary, and annoying.   My conversation went something like this.

Me: "Hi Tiffany it's Cynthia, where are you?" 
Tiffany:  " I'm home.  Where are you?"
Me: "I don't know.  I know I can throw a stone at your house, I just can't seem to get to it."
Tiffany:  giggle, giggle  "What street are you on?"
Me:  "I'm on the corner of Alice and Wood street." 
Tiffany:  I don't know where you are, Cynthia."
Me:  "Tiffany, you live around here and you don't know where I am?  That doesn't help me. "
Tiffany: "I'm sorry I don't know. What else can you tell me?"
Me: "I'm staring at woods."
Tiffany: "Anything else?." 
 Me: "I'm staring at woods, what else do you want me to tell you?  They are brown with green leaves." (I laugh)
Tiffany:  "I don't know what woods.  I can't think of any woods by me."
Me: "Well there are, I'm looking at them."
Tiffany: "What road did you take to get here?"
Me: "Black Rock Road." 
Tiffany: "That's the right road, but I don't know of any woods."
Me; "Okay I'm going to go back the way I came and give you a road. Okay I just drove by Dell Street.""
Tiffany: "Hmm."
Me:  "I see a house staring at me now.
Tiffany:  giggle, giggle
Me:  "The road ended with a house in front of me, I'm at the intersection of Alice and Pine."
Tiffany:  "Oh, how did you end up all the way over there?"
Me: "I don't know.  If I did, I wouldn't of done it."
Tiffany:  Giggle, giggle "You're right around the corner from me."
Me:  "I know.  That's what driving me nuts.  I'm right there but I can't get to you."
Tiffany:  Giggle, giggle. "Here's what you do."
Me:  "Oh no you don't, your staying on the line with me until I get to your house, I'm not calling you again when I go in another circle." (I laughed)
Tiffany:  Giggle, Giggle, "Your funny, you remind me of Kathy (another fake name).
Me:  "Oh, no I knew I've been hanging out with Kathy for too long."
Tiffany: Giggle, giggle. 

In the end I figured out how to get to Tiffany's house.  It was an adventure.  I called work and told my boss I'd be late and why.  We all got a hoot out it.  The moral?  Sometimes, you just have to laugh at yourself.

What have you done recently that made you want to laugh at yourself?  Share, I did.