26 May 2016

The definition of feminism, politics making you an asshole, career goals

I've been feeling SO HEATED about Being a Lady in America lately. This elections cycle has really brought it out in me.
Regardless of your political leanings:
  1. If you do not believe in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes, you are not a good person. Being a feminist does not guarantee that you are a good person, but not being a feminist certainly guarantees that you are not. 
  2. If you do like Donald Trump, then you like bigotry and misogyny. Being okay with this person is being okay with all of his beliefs, even the vile, hateful ones. I understand if you do not agree ideologically with the left, but if you agree ideologically with Donald Trump, you are a bad person.
  3. If you align politically with Bernie Sanders, but would vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, I guess you just REALLY hate women. I can think of no other explanation.

The particular balance a woman has to strike between wearing makeup, but not too much, being attractive, but not sexual at all, being smart and capable and just ridiculously good at her job, but not being threatening to anyone with a penis, even if that threat is entirely in their own mind: bullshit.

I would love to throw it all aside and not get up two hours early to do hair and makeup and apply spanx before big business days, but here I am in this system, and I DO want to get ahead. I don't make the rules, and if I don't want to be cast out, I have to abide by them.

In Badass Lady News, in 2010 I was making about $28K/year, living well below the poverty line. I sat down and wrote out a list of well paying jobs that I thought I wouldn't hate, that I could do well.
Then I researched the qualifications I would need, and picked the job I could get to (from where I was sitting) with the lowest commitment of time and expense.
So now I'm a CPA.
It was a calculated decision, and I don't regret it one bit.
I wanted to be able to support myself, support Gabriel, and not feel so nervous financially. 

The career goal I set for myself then was to earn 6 figures, after taxes and deductions, by 2020.
It is 2016. I'm not there yet, but I'm on the path.

I enjoy parenting boys as a strong, financially independent woman. I am very much enjoying raising my sons as feminists. Which, I will remind you, means that you think men and women should be treated equally, and is one of my requirements for being a decent fucking human being.
I am glad that my boys have a mother who is also a Badass Lady.
I am glad that I myself was raised by a woman who is a Badass Lady.

Is it shallow to make my career goals entirely about money?
Maybe.

But I don't live to work. I work to live.

23 May 2016

Baby Comparisons, Book Rediscoveries

You know what's fun? Comparing children.
Everett, 7.5mos
Gabriel, 6mos
For the most part I don't think that Gabriel and Everett look THAT much alike. They share the basic features of a cute baby (CHEEEEEKS, mainly), and they have the shared vague ethnicity of being half black, but I think that Gabriel looks a LOT like his dad, and Everett looks a LOT like HIS dad, and, despite Gabriel's third grade teacher*, their dads really look nothing alike.

*Gabriel's third grade teacher could not tell Gabe's dad apart from Quentin. Despite the fact that share no facial features, have very different builds, different hair, beardedness versus not, glasses versus not, Gabriel calls one of them "dad" and one of them "Quentin", etc. etc. Literally the only feature they share is blackness. THEY HAVE TOTALLY DISSIMILAR FACES.

Anyway, sometimes, like in the pictures above, I DO think they look a lot alike, and then I think maybe they look more like me than I generally THINK they do, I guess.

I went stand up paddle boarding for the first time yesterday! It was not as difficult as I was expecting it to be.
I have very poor balance; I go all wobbly when I'm asked to stand on one foot in yoga, and standing on a thing that is on the (very wobbly) water, seemed like something that I would definitely not....excel at. Well. I didn't excel at it, to be sure, but I was not terrible! I fell in once, on dismount, but otherwise stayed upright and afloat.
My feet are sore from it though. You somehow end up using all the muscles in your feet to stay balanced and not too wobbly.

Gabriel got the fifth Harry Potter book on CD from the library. He's read all of them, and seen all the movies, I suppose this is the next step in his Harry Potter vision quest.
I read all the books, but as they came out, so it's been.....well it's been years.
The audio versions are EXCELLENT. I normally hate audiobooks because well, they read it ALL WRONG. The Harry Potter ones are read in EXACTLY THE RIGHT WAY, with the RIGHT voices. I'm getting sucked back in. I want to reread the series now.
And sit down and watch all the movies. I've only seen the first movie straight through. I've seen bits and pieces of the other ones, but I haven't sat down and ACTUALLY WATCHED them.
I'm inspired!
A pretty cool thing about having a 10yo is rediscovering and rereading books. I recently reread My Friend Flicka, and wept a lot. I got it for my nephew, who is very into horses, and very frustrated by how girly all things horses are.
Why is that, do we think?
It doesn't SEEM like horses should be a Girl Thing, does it? Or a Boy Thing for that matter.

10 May 2016

Dieting, Baby Updates, Various/Disjointed/Etc

It turns out that 7 months after having a baby is where I hit a wall on my appearance.
I stopped feeling like my postpartum body and I were working through some issues and started to feel like god damn, I'm just fat.
So.
I've pivoted from dairy factory to fitness.
I'm not making major or dramatic diet changes, because history tells me that I'm not successful unless I do something gradual and sustainable.
So I've quit alcohol during the week.
I've quit buttered toast.
I've quit white bread peanut butter sandwiches.
I've changed breakfast from Carb Party for One to protein shake plus fruit.
And I still AM a dairy factory, of course, I just decided not to make that my MAIN PRIMARY NUTRITIONAL FOCUS. If my supply dips a bit, that's okay. The baby is not so tiny anymore, and we shall persevere.
Mental health is important too, and all that. 

Anyway.
Exercise:
Upped my lunch walk from 1mi to 2.
Added in 7 minute workouts after each pumping session at work.*
I'm doing a month of sweaty yoga.**
I signed up to run a 5K with my sister in July.***

*I searched the app store for 7 minute workout and downloaded a couple of the free ones. They are surprisingly GOOD workouts, but so blissfully short that they feel very attainable. It's EASY to fit them in. I don't quite break a sweat when I do it so I don't mind doing it at work. Recommend.

**Hot yoga is so fucking gross. The room is CARPETED. Also, the first class I went to, my sister billed as a hot yoga class, but it was IN FACT A HOT BOOTCAMP CLASS. As in, a bootcamp class held in the hot yoga room. As in, doing burpees in a 105' carpeted room. I SUBMIT THAT THIS IS AN INNER CIRCLE OF HELL.
It's SO gross, but I will say that it's like, a weightloss/waste trimming MIRACLE. I think because you don't really want to eat much before, and then you don't feel like eating much AFTER, it has this all day appetite suppressant effect that really CARRIES YOU THROUGH.
Plus by the end you just feel high as a kite on the endorphins of sweating out your body, and grateful to be alive. I'm not sure that I'm recommending this. Well. I'm sure that I'm NOT, and yet, I would do it again.

***Currently I run 0K. I figure if I can get myself up to running 2 miles, social pressure should more or less carry me through on race day.
--
Well that was fitness.
How about a baby update?
The baby is a joy.
Truly and absolutely, a joy.
I'm just so PLEASED with him.
He started crawling at right around 6 months. And then standing RIGHT after that.
No walking yet, which is REALLY JUST FINE THANKS.

He sleeps like a baby, which is to say, terribly and with lots of interruptions.
Nevertheless, we are all just crazy about him.
Of course I was crazy about Gabey too, but this is such a different baby rearing experience.
A planned baby, and we have adequate financial resources to raise him as desired, and a happy home, and he's so delightful.
--
My brother is in town with his wife and kids. My nephew turned 1 on Saturday!
Babies - pretty much the best.
Life has been just humming along, really.
Work is fine.
Home is nice.
Oh! Quentin had his surgery, it went well, he did not die. He is now internally plumbed, which we all prefer.
On Sunday (Mother's Day) Gabriel and I went ocean kayaking. We saw a grey whale and her baby! They were only about 30' away from us. It was magical.
I am quite enthused about outdoor activities right now.
We are planning another kayaking excursion in a few weeks, and I found a friend to try stand up paddle boarding with me.
Gabriel's been surfing too. I drop him off with my 12yo nephew. I found a wetsuit at a thrift store for him. No one tell him that it's a ladies' wetsuit, please.