Michele Williams

Tales of Life from a True Renaissance Woman…

Yes admittedly Am I Soup Yet? is borrowed from the Lipton Soup commercials of many years ago ie Is It Soup Yet? I think about this in terms of am I done, am I ready, meaning am I done with worrying about how I look and what I have accomplished and if I am popular enough. Everyone can substitute their own categories for this. Here goes my take on my top three.

The first I discussed in my last post on channeling my internal Marilyn Monroe. I decided to pick a date six months out and try on my clothes then and keep what fits that I like, deciding that I will officially stop dieting that day. At that point I will have been on approximately a 21 year on and off diet and that feels like enough is enough. The world doesn’t care if my clothes are size 4 or size 10 and I would rather be a very cute size 10 then a wrinkled up size 4. Check back July 13th for an update about this.

The second area is have I accomplished enough. My late great therapist said that my resume is long enough. I have two Master’s degrees and have been to real estate and bartending school and have studied painting and singing for years and I write, paint, sing, teach, counsel. I wanted to add in voice over work, mock patient work, and extra work but have wisely put those on hold.

The third area relates to am I popular enough. This has been the hard one for me. I was always very cute and very slim for many years and my many interests has made for a very fun if sometimes overwhelming life. However as a child I was shy, ugly and unpopular and there was a lot of family strife in my childhood home. Since I went away to college I have had plenty of friends, however up until recently if I was in a class with 30 other people and just one of them didn’t like me I would get so focused and distracted by this. This changed when I was laid up for several months with a broken hip several years ago and had 50 visitors. I never felt so well loved at any other time in my whole life and realized that I had plenty of friends to last a lifetime and then some.

I realized I am a beautiful, popular and accomplished soup. I hope that you feel that you are as well!

We are a society obsessed with weight, why we have it, how to lose it. Now we can sit in the privacy of our own homes perhaps stress eating over the state of our own lives and watching tv shows about other people and their attempts to lose weight. Perhaps not the best use of our time. We could be painting or exercising or studying French or doing many other things. I came to the need to think about weight at age 45. I was always skinny, my late great father made me awesome malts to try to fatten me up. This changed at 45 when the wight started sticking to me and surprising at that age as I underwent surgical hysterectomy at 27 that that often middle aged woman phenomenon still affected me. I like many have tried lots of diets. Atkins and Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig all worked as well as using Cheerios on one diet as my snack food and using orange juice/strawberry smoothies as my snack food on another. I am now 65 and and I decided spending 20 years on a diet was plenty so being inspired by just reading the book the Life Changing Magic of Tidying up where it is suggested that you put all your clothes in the middle of the floor and examine each item one at a time and decide if you are keeping them, I decided I would do this. My plan however is to do it six months from my initial date of reading about this idea which is July 12th. Here’s how it will work. I will do what I can between now and then in terms of diet and exercise and on that date what I like that fits stays and everything else goes. It will be judgement day and acceptance day. So if the sexy black velvet size four dress doesn’t fit, then I will get a replacement one in size ten if need be. I feel freer and lighter just thinking about it. The basics are the same eating less and exercising more lead to better health and weight.

Two other thoughts, a friend mentioned that a friend said to her that you need to think if you want your ass or your face to look good. I have been told I look good for my age but have noticed that since I have gotten older that if my weight is as low as I would like it to be that my face looks too haggard and wrinkled. As a single woman in the dating market at my age I need a good looking face. I will spend time with Lady Clairol and 24 hour stay on lipstick but won’t do injections or surgery.

My other thought is where do we draw the lines between skinny to fat and everything in between ie when does thin become skinny and when does zaftig become fat for example. There are issues of health and issues of self image and self talk as well as societal pressures as well as realities of aging and gravity. So it might mean that I was a Twiggy and now the real me is more like a Marilyn Monroe. She was beautiful and curvy and sexy and there is nothing wrong with that.

 

It is so easy to feel depressed. Perhaps it is due to world events or events in your own city or perhaps things are not going ideally in your work life, it could be family or friend or health or romantic or housing issues for a few examples. My usual ways of dealing with this tend to be talking these issues to death and  luckily for me I have a lot of friends who listen to all this and unluckily for them they have to hear all this. Also I am a stress eater which is why 20 extra pounds keeps finding its way on and off my body. So on a recent Sunday when I was feeling depressed I decided to have a love fest day. Perhaps this is a cousin to a gratitude day. It was very simple I sent out some I love you e mails to friends. One reported that she was going to contact me anyway to see about my picking up my annual Christmas gift from her,  homemade hazelnut bread. She invited me to pick it up, also had some lovely pins for me from her collection that look fabulous on my beret and I was able to snack on pecans dipped into peppermint buttercream as she was baking away when on got there. It was a lovely day when the world is feeling like too much I recommend a love fest even if just for a day.

I am a big believer in enjoying  life to the fullest and I encourage others to do so. I live a big life. I am a writer, singer, painter, therapist,  life story specialist and college instructor. I don’t believe in making life more narrow or focused than feels natural, even though many do recommend narrowing to one or two interests. I am not a person that can do that. So if you have varied interests I say take pride in this and enjoy. It may mean some fatigue from trying to do it all or doing a lot. Getting enough rest is often an issue for me. Life if very interesting and I rarely get bored. I have learned to be better at juggling and dealing with the paperwork and supplies of all my interest areas and time management is often an issue. Rejoice in your many skills and interests and look here further for tips on life, love, creativity and enjoying life.

About Me

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Michele Williams , a true renaissance woman,  has both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in continuing education. In addition, she is a certified oncology social worker from the Society of Oncology Social Work Board and  is an ordained minister from the Universal Life Church who can conduct marriage ceremonies and eulogies. She has been studying voice for over 25 years and studying painting for over 20 years.  She is a mental health provider for numerous managed care companies and has been a  long time Public Speaking Instructor at Columbia College Chicago. She has held numerous social work positions and has worked extensively in medical social work specializing in oncology, critical care, and end of life issues.  She is the owner of a business entitled Life Story Services, where she helps others tell their life stories and market and promote their skills. She has published her autobiography Happy Girl Michele, tales of a true renaissance woman which can be viewed or purchased from the Blurb.com bookstore which features her watercolors and poetry and has had numerous personal and professional development articles published. Her paintings and pins are for sale at the Andersonville Galleria at 5247 N. Clark Street in Chicago and can also be purchased online. To see Michele’s artwork on everything from T-Shirts to Ties, visit her Zazzle store here and her Cafe Press store here. She can be contacted at happygirlmichele@earthlink.net or thru renaissancewomanmichele.com