My relationship with food had been complicated for as far back as I can recall.  When I was fast approaching 50, I believed this was a unique situation.  Turns out, not so much.

             Our culture has raised generation after generation of fucked up eaters.  It’s as if we set out to do as much damage as possible, then sit back and collect all the money from ways to make it better.  (And by “we” I don’t me or you, at all.  I mean the MadMen, the misogynistic and selfish white shitheads who have been holding our power for far too long.  And by “better” I mean far worse.)

             Now that I am closing in on 60, my education on this topic has been deep and painful.  I have spent the last nearly nine years climbing out from under a lifetime of shame, guilt, and man-made (literally, made by men, and sure, a few women) falsehoods which, quite honestly, nearly killed me.  (And I can’t say whether they factored into the death of my sister or not, but I will stand strong in my belief that they didn’t help her health at all.)

             In a restaurant the other night, as our meal was nearly concluded, a young woman sat down behind me.  Well, she tried to, but my chair (and the empty one next to it, where I’d piled up a stack of personal belongings) was in her way.

             I began to rearrange furniture, as she laughed and said that this was something she herself often did.  I was glad to hear it.  She was a lovely (and funny) girl.

             It had been on my mind earlier that the fantastic tearing down of diet culture and enhanced inclusiveness movement is really gaining momentum.  We are all seeing the signs and messages of how, collectively, WE are no longer going to take the lies and the garbage any longer.

             As Dan and I were leaving, our table-neighbor and her dinner partner told us goodnight/have a nice evening, we did the same.  But then, I turned back to my new friend, and said:

take up space!

             A huge smile appeared on her face, and she replied enthusiastically, “you, too!”  We shared this small sisterhood, we knew what we were saying.  We were part of the change, not part of the problem.

             This message, this phrase, is about self-worth.  It’s a way of being in our own skin, and feeling good there.  It’s something we should all be sharing, at every opportunity.

             She and I connected because we knew that no matter our  size, no matter our age, no matter our gender/identification, no matter our ANYthing, we have the right to be treated with care.  Basic rights are our basic foundation.  I couldn’t have been more proud of her if she had been my own daughter.

             In that moment, we both knew each other.  We shared a connection which is the new direction our world is turning.  Hope, lovingkindness.  It’s our future.

(For more on “taking up space” all one needs to do is run a quick search and a huge number of hits will appear.  If this is something you’ve not heard of until now, I highly encourage following-up.)

Today’s Sharing:

             is below, it’s my most recent view.  My January page.  I spent the month looking at this tranquil scene.

tide charmers

             One of the hashtags I’m currently following (for my mental health, and self-care) on Instagram is Sea Glass.  I found THESE FOLKS from there.  And I can’t even say how very happy their calendar makes me.





4 thoughts on “Rising Tide

  1. I hadn’t heard of “taking up space” before but I love it, so powerfully simple. It’s so ingrained in us to make ourselves small and not take up space, whether it’s size, stuff or personality…for me definitely personality, not talking too much or sharing my ideas too much because I don’t want to ‘take up space’. I am adding “take up space” to my list of things to focus on this year and am off to do some googling about it 😁

  2. My personal “take up space” mission lately has been with regard to pedestrian usage of common spaces and assumed right of way. (Yes. I am a numbered person and speak in such language). Most often, in my observations, it seems that men, and usually larger (wide and tall) assume that they have the right of way when two folks meet, say rounding the apple display and heading for the avocados, or making a right turn out of a longitudinal aisle heading for a main aisle. I have been intentionally not giving up right of way when I have the clearance to do so, and have been pondering collision courses as a potential further option.

    1. My apologies for answering in such a tardy fashion. There is no excuse, but there are reasons.

      Anyhoo, I love this response to taking up space. In fact, I just read about a woman who is doing it as a social experiment in England. Her results are not surprising, but they are entertaining as hell. The befuddled look, the startled shock on a man’s face when you just stand there, not getting out of his way is hilarious to behold. Yes, it’s also a sad and disgusting comment on how our society has raised him. BUT it is also a great lesson. And aren’t we all about learning?!

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