Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Bittersweet: Cherry Bomb

Recently a friend asked to borrow my copy of Atlas Of The Heart, figuring I would have a copy as a devoted reader of all things Brene Brown.  I, of course, have a physical copy and an audio version.  As I pull out my copy of Atlas,  I started to wonder where my other copies of my Brene books where.  Most I own the audio version so those were easy to locate in my Audible account but one book was noticeably missing:  Braving The Wilderness.  I immediately used my September credit to buy it.  As I drove home today, I started the book.  The theme of the book: true belonging.  I'll spare you my watered down version of her point. UT you at least needed the setup for what happened next.

I stopped the book at Chp 3.  I needed time to digest the 2 chapters I had just heard and needed some music to help soothe my mind.  What should happen to play: Cherrybomb by The Runaways.  Great song but one of the most bittersweet songs in my world.  Why?
Cherrybomb was the first song Sould Sister ad I ever choose for our band.  We were at a function, on opposite sides of the room when the dj played this song.  It was like kismet, we both instinctively went to find the other to say this song is for us.  It wasn't our best song but it was a song that made me feel like a real bass player.  The last time we performed it, at Punk Rock Prom, right before our friendship and then our band imploded, I felt my hottest, series, coolest self ever.

It is bittersweet because I don't believe I'll ever have that feeling again.  The trifecta I always want but always fall short of achieving. The bestie band mate that gave me cool by proxy is what I miss most of all.  The sense of belonging to a band but most of all to myself.

When the song finished I cried.  Grieving the loss of Soul Sister all over again but really grieving how I felt that last performance. Yes, I am hot, at times, and sexy , at times, but never cool.  Today I'm a tired mother of 2 trying to find my way as an academic librarian. I feel miles away from the woman who performed at the Punk Rock Prom.
This past weekend, I played bass with someone. It was the first time I played with another person in 8 years.  I'm rusty.  I struggled. Honestly, it felt pretty crappy.  He wanted to yell out notes but I know bass tabs.  I struggled to understand what was being asked of me.  It was like starting all over again.  I hated it.  I hated him.  I hated the shame I felt.  I put my bass away feeling like a failure.

You would think this was a negative experience but it was the fresh start my bass and I needed.  I can't go back to Punk Rock Prom.  I'm beginning all over again.  I have an opportunity to make new memories with music.  After 8 years, I don't want the old me.  I want this me to play bass, badly especially at first.  I doubt I will ever play bass in public again but I can relearn the bass cleft again and not freeze when someone says play an "E".  I can play Cherrybomb with new people and smile at the memories of that old me, not today, not yet, but I am well on my way.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

A cup of tea

 I have recently started listening to Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole by Susan Cain on the recommendation of Brene Brown.  The entire concept of being able to be whole when we are able to experience the sweetness of life along with the bitter really speaks to my soul.  It was in listening to the first chapter that I had a realization about my relationship with tea, the actual drink.

So I have been a long-time hot tea drinker, mostly herbal teas given to me by my Mexican grandmother to obtain healing of one kind or another.  Because it was my grandmother that gave me tea when I was hurting or sick, a cup of hot tea represents caring to me.  Now before this moment I wasn't aware of this connection but it's importance comes into play later so keep reading :)

When I was in college, I became fast friends with a fellow tea drinker.  She came from a British family and of course tea is a big thing in that culture.  When we were in college, she and I would go to the opera and enjoy fancy tea together afterwards. After college when we would get together, we always shared a cup of tea.  She found an amazing blend of Lavender and Earl Grey.  I absolutely loved it and the conversation we would have while drinking tea together.  And then after a very hurtful attacking email, the friendship was over.  On the verge of becoming a mother, my friend attacked my entire way of life.  I lost a friend but I also lost my deep love of tea and the ritual of sharing tea with a friend.  For about 10 years I couldn't stomach the idea of drinking Lavender Earl Grey because the pain was just so deep in my soul.

So a few years back, I met a new friend who is a tea drinker.  Now, in the last almost 12 years since I have been back in Texas, I had all but given up tea in favor of coffee.  It seemed all of my friends were coffee drinkers so outside of the occasional London Fog, I drank fancy coffee drinks.  It is uncomfortable to be the tea drinker among coffee drinkers and compounded by the bitter memories around tea, I saved tea for when I was alone.  I had all but completely stopped drinking tea if I was with anyone.  

Then this new tea drinker in my life.  A massive tea collection to rival any serious tea drinkers stash. This new tea stash to drink my way through if I allow myself to enjoy tea with someone again. 

I guess it has been a couple of weeks now, I was handed a cup of tea.  This cup of tea was perfect.  The perfect temperature.  The perfect brew time.  The perfect amount of sugar.  The perfect amount of cream.  I didn't have to ask for anything.  The perfect cup of tea handed to me just because.  

Part of the start of Bittersweet is analyzing your heart for its base longing.  What is that thing you long for?  That thing you need?  For me, at my core it is to be taken care of, to be shown care without an exchange.  To be loved and careful just because.  When I realized this base longing, it clicked that I was handed a cup of love and care just because.  My base longing was met without me having to do anything in exchange.  No words, no deeds, just because.

I am the oldest of three children with my brothers being twins and only 15 months younger than me.  I wasn't alone with my parents for long and when my brothers came along they required a lot of care and I was moved the role of caregiver.  It was my job to keep my brother safe and make sure they were doing well in school.  We were latch-key kids to very hard working immigrant parents.  So at my core, I often feel overlooked and used.  I am loved for what I can do not just because I am.  Then I up and married a man who loves me dearly but doesn't do a lot o
f celebrations or just because.  He is very practical and I really love him for it but that does mean this base longing just gets pushed to the side.

I was handed a perfect cup of tea.  Tea that means love.  Tea that means caring.  Tea that took me back to the love only a grandmother can really give because when you are bad she can hand you off so she can feel free to spoil you.  A warm hug in a cup.  A cup to soothing liquid to help heal a wound caused by bitter words.  A cup that helps me move on from bitter end of one friendship to the sweet start of being able to trust myself to make new friendships.  So much meaning and need for that perfect cup of tea.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Gymgirl Update - Becoming Blaxican MMA

 So if you have been a long-time reader of this blog then you know that it started when I found out I was expecting my first child.  That child is now 12-years-old and y'all she is just amazing!  

In 12 years we have gone from gymnastics to martial arts and that is where this update picks up.  I am going to retire Gymgirl, much like I did Ravebaby when she was well past being called a baby, and she will officially be BlaxicanMMA.  

So why that name?  My GymGirl is still at the gym just a martial arts gym.  She is there around 12 hours a week.  She has committed herself to becoming an MMA fighter.  It is not what my momma heart wants but it is what she wants so I'm having to learn all about MMA!

So far, I have learned that MMA moms have to watch their children get hit in the face.  I do not like this lesson.  I watch her at practice.  Honestly, I'm so clueless I have no clue if she is doing well or not.  I find it very confusing.  She had her first Brazillian JuJitsu tournament back in September and the first fight when it was over, I wasn't sure if she had won or lost.  It just all happened so fast!  She won by the way.  She brought home 2 gold medals and the best smile.  I was so proud of her!  I still don't want to watch her get hit in the face; I worked hard on that beautiful creation for 9 months, but she has goals and dreams so here goes!

Back to the Blaxican MMA thing, so part of being a professional fighter is social media presence so she has her own Instagram account for her fighting!  Can you guess the name?  Yeah, we went with Blaxican MMA.  Why that name?  Well, we decided that we wanted her to embrace her full ethnic/racial identity from the start, and what better way than to put it right in the handle.

This need to stand strong as a Blaxican fighter is part of the thing that makes me nervous with the world of MMA if I'm honest.  The roots of MMA are firmly in White supremacy, as in skinheads, not just the concept.  It is still a male-dominated sport.  I don't want to hear my baby called ugly names just because she is good and Black/Mexican.  I don't want to hear men say that if she was a man she wouldn't be considered good.  I want to protect her from judgments about her body shape.  I want to protect her from so many things but this is the world she wants to enter and to dominate.  

Y'all BlaxicanMMA is tough.  She is so much stronger than me.  I'm sure people have already said stuff to her.  She holds her head high and learns to punch harder.  Me?  I don't want to hear some sore loser dad saying anything ugly about my child because she just beat the shit out of his kid and I know the place they are going to go is attacking her Blackness/Brownness/Womanness.  How am I supposed to hear someone say shit about my daughter and hold my tongue?  I don't know.  At the tournament, she fought in an all-Latina field so nobody was ugly.  It won't always be like that so I worry about me and my actions.  I want to be strong for her and support her.  I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Anyways, my beautiful strong DD1 is officially on the 'Gram so give her a follow.  

Instagram - @blaxicanmma

You can watch that tiny baby that started it all grow into a full-blown MMA fighter!

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Random Update: Isagenix Collagen Elixir Review

 So do you ever get so busy and talk things out with actual people that you forget to blog?  Cause that is 100% what happened here at Wheatless Mama.  I've just been so balanced that I forgot to come back and talk to you guys!

I'm sure the number question: Are you still running?  Yes, I don't have a major goal at this time.  I had planned to run my first ultra this year but that ultra is suddenly not happening.  I happened to start the Hanson Method - Just Finish Marathon training, I just finished week 2 after running Week 1 twice.  So I should be ready to run a marathon for my birthday so I think that is what I'm going to do.  Get a fresh base marathon time and maybe work my way to an ultra with TROT but we'll see.

Have I avoided COVID?  At this point, my house has been blessed.  Truly both of my girls now ages 12 and 5 are fully vaccinated.  All of us adults are vaxed and boosted.  100% both of the girls will be boosted when it is their time.

Other projects?  I do have a super-secret project I am working on.  Not sure if that one will ever come to the light but we'll see.  The other project is sort of an odd direction for me.  I have a new side-gig! Isagenix! (Update: 1/23/23 side-gig is over)

So what the hell is it?  Well, it is like an MLM with health products.  You know don't endorse what I don't use so here is the tee:  their Collagen Elixir has changed our lives.  I originally bought it because Zaida, who was the other lady featured in the Ultimate Directions Latinas Run campaign with me, was selling it.  She was pushing their weight loss line.  I have zero interesting weight loss products.  But she started featuring their Collagen Elixir.  Now I have been using collagen in my coffee for over a year, as a runner is it really essential (at least for me), so I decided to try it.  Isagenix pushes it as a beauty product.  Yes, I was hoping for some lessening of my fine lines because they are sure are appearing!  I didn't see much change in my face but I started giving it to my husband and that is where the change is amazing.

DH has many allergies but one of them is beef.  By in large the collagen I could buy locally was all beef.  In fact the one I was taking was beef.  It would tear his stomach up.  So that was a no-go.  Isagenix uses marine life collagen.  He took one and that didn't tear his stomach up.  He used it for a week and his joints suddenly didn't hurt anymore.  2 weeks later, he is grabbing me and dancing with me in the kitchen.  Y'all I didn't realize how much mobility he had lost until it was back.  He is playing his guitar again.  He is talking about doing cardio kickboxing classes.  He is like aged in reverse 10 years.  If I had not watched it, I wouldn't have believed 1 little bottle a day could do it.

My mom started taking just last week and she has said her hands are feeling so good again.  She knits all of the time.  She had stopped knitting so much because the pain was really getting to her.  Well in 5 days, she is 100%, I need to drink this every day.

Y'all I'm not trying to sell you junk.  Will you see changes in your face?  I don't know.  DH does actually look younger.  It is kinda strange.  I haven't noticed anything for my mom yet but it has only been 5 days.  

Now, I know you are asking what about you Martha.  What changes have you seen?  Well, I stopped drinking it because the stuff ain't cheap.  A 1 month supply is $150 if you get the hookup.  That is a little high for me when I run 10+ miles a week and am doing just fine with the dollar store collagen.  You know I try to keep it 100% real here.  It is good stuff.  It tastes good.  I'm watching it change the lives of some folx that are close to me but buddy it cost.  

Point of the post?  I'm selling it.  I hope to be able to buy some for myself soon but DH and my mom keep taking it before I can get any!  Here is my link for the Collagen Elixir.  Isagenix has a bunch of other products but until I use them or see them used by people I know and trust I won't write about them.  I'm not endorsing junk periodt.  Drop me a line if you have questions about the Elixir.  Look around at the other products.  Buy them, try them, tell me if you saw a difference.