If you have a Facebook account, you might be familiar with a semi-new feature called, “On this day”. It allows you to look back on your posts that you made that day, from years ago. Some days, the memories are ones I don’t care to remember. Others are one that I can’t believe I had forgotten or immediately bring a smile to my face.
Since 2012-2013, when I discovered I had Celiac’s Disease, during one of the hardest times in my life, losing my sister and mother within a year of each other, I started undergoing a body transformation.
Can I pinpoint exactly what has caused the weight-loss I experienced? No. There’s been a combination and I to say which one has done more is virtually impossible. Obviously, having to change my diet to a gluten-free one was a factor. Having a stress-level, that probably reach an unhealthy level was another. Then there were the days and weeks that I was accidentally “glutened” or just didn’t care and ate food that would hurt me. My body responded appropriately and emptied my system (rather violently at times) and/or caused great pain to remind me that I can’t do that. Eating healthier, giving up soda, becoming addicted, and competitive, on with my basic FitBit, drinking more water has all played a factor in my weight loss.
So what does this have to do with Facebook? On July 6, 2016, I had “memories” to look back on and there was one from 2013. I couldn’t believe looking at the picture how much I had changed. Ironically, that morning, I had my daughter take a full body pic of me (almost never do this). I had her do it because I liked the comfy outfit I was wearing and the jeans now another size smaller.
I decided to put the two pictures side by side. I was blown away. So much so, I shared it with my Facebook friends. Those who know me, know I don’t share many pictures of myself, esp. full body ones. Even my eldest child, who loves to give me grief and isn’t known for compliments, gave me credit for my dramatic change. I didn’t spend money I didn’t have on a gym, diet pills, or even increase my exercise level dramatically. I walked a bit more and watched what I was eating. Ok, I had to watch what I was eating because of the Celiacs, but it was still an opportunity to evaluate my food and beverage choices. I occasionally will have a soda from time to time or on a bad day, eat half a tub of ice cream, but I still am dropping the weight because I choose to make a conscious effort.
I never thought I would lose as much weight as I have; over 40 pounds. It’s staying off because it’s been gradual. Slow and steady wins the weight-loss race.
Yesterday, for our art class, my daughter tried soap carving for the first time. It’s a relatively cheap, fun and engaging activity. First, I had her take a plastic, serrated knife and sand down the serrations, until it was smooth. Now she had a knife that will work to help her carve. I also gave her a wooden food skewer, in case she wanted to make fine lines in her carving.
The goal was not to be able to recognize what she created. The goal was for her to feel the texture of the soap; see how it reacted to her tools. I want her to experiment with her new medium and get comfortable using it. After she’s gone through a few bars, then templates will be introduced.
When we do art, it’s what’s called “process art”. It doesn’t require a recognizable, specified outcome. Instead, it relies on the steps of learning and knowing your medium. It’s creating where the inspiration takes you. It’s using specific items to learn how they work together.
Most schools rely on “teacher art”. It’s where there are pre-cut items, assembled in a specific order, to create a specified outcome. It limits creativity and pits children against each other to see who did it “right”. It’s been proven around 9-12 years of age, is when children become overly critical of their own work as they compare it to other students’ work. This is the time when many will decide they “hate art” and that perception will stay with them.
I was humbled when I was told yesterday, “When I was growing up, I would have loved the support and encouragement you are giving by allowing her to develop her creativity on her own.” The person who said that is a professional artist. I hold his opinions in high regard and appreciate all the support he offers me.
This soap carving is called, “The Circle of Life”. The circle is surrounded by a cloud sitting among other clouds (the shavings). This is what my daughter relayed to me when she finished her carving. This is what she came up with. As any good artist does, she names all her work; no matter what medium she is using.
On Friday, on our way home, my daughter and I stopped at the grocery store for a couple of items. Fate made sure I was delayed by reuniting me with someone; my daughter’s first grade teacher. Ms. B was the teacher who gave me such tremendous support when I pulled my daughter from her first grade class in mid-January (two years ago). We haven’t seen each other in about a year and a half.
The lil miss and I were chatting, as usual, on our way into the store. A woman was on her way out. Next thing I heard was my daughter’s name being called. There she was Ms. B and my daughter immediately ran into her outstretched arms to receive the big hug Ms. B was waiting to deliver.
We spent the next half hour catching up; standing right outside the entrance to the store. She told me how often she thinks of us and she’s wanted to see how the lil miss was doing, but just didn’t want to stop by the house. She was so pleased to hear how well our homeschooling was going. We brought her up to date on our field trips, what’s she been learning, etc.
She gave me more encouragement. She told me how the schools are changing. How so many children are having difficulty with the work and she had to create a homework club. She did say the school throw out the Common Core testing because so many people are fighting it, but the math is still being taught that ridiculous way. Even her son in college, who “gets” math, is now having issues. Her high school daughter had THREE pages of work for one math problem.
It was the pick-me-up I needed. As I can only join online groups for home school support with my work schedule, being encouraged by someone who truly cares about a child’s educational needs, is priceless. I am blessed and thankful to have someone like that in my corner.