Midnight Thoughts

Late Night Thoughts about Life, Love and Happiness

The Battlefield Within April 14, 2018


I am overweight…again.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not morbidly obese but I’m definitely way over an acceptable weight for my 5′ 4″ body.  I also don’t care and will still go to the beach in a two piece bathing suit and have some days that I feel absolutely fabulous.  That doesn’t mean I’m happy with my weight though.

I don’t know about you dear reader, but I feel as though I have been fighting my body over my weight since I was a kid.  It’s the never-ending battle within myself.  Up and down and then up and down again.  All I can say is that it sucks and it’s exhausting.

The irony is that I was never really overweight when I was young.  I was actually a very healthy and normal weight.  I believed that I was fat because I was constantly comparing myself to other girls and to the beautiful, stick-thin models I saw on the pages of my favorite magazines.

My clearest memories of feeling fat began in junior high.  I felt I was fat because other people said so.  I am 51 years old and to this day I can hear my soccer coaches in Holy Cross Elementary calling me “panzona” (Las Cruces, New Mexico…this means you have a fat belly) because I was a slow runner.  I think I was 12 and yeah, I was a slow runner.  I hated running.  That didn’t make me fat nor did it make it okay for two grown men to make fun of me or try to make me feel bad about my body.

My younger brother and sister would tease me because I didn’t want to play with them.  They’d call me fat and lazy.  I wasn’t.  I just didn’t feel like being their victim in whatever new concocted scheme they had.  I still remember it though.  Though I brushed it off with my own little insults, it stung.

I’m not sure when I started using food to comfort myself when I felt anxious or insecure or lonely.  I know I certainly never liked exercise. As a kid, I played sports because my parents wanted us all to be a part of a team.  I was always one of the least athletic players on any team but I was on but I’d like to believe I was a good sport about it.

As I grew into a woman, my emotions ruled my eating habits and therefore my weight.  I don’t believe I ever really felt confident about my body.  I was all curves and still am.  There is not one straight line on my body.  Every heartbreak either brought on significant weight loss or weight gain.  The long stretches of being alone (no man) brought on boredom and loneliness and a propensity to at least enjoy the pleasure of good food.

Here I am…again.  But this time, I can’t keep allowing it to happen.  I’m a cancer survivor, I’m post-menopausal, and I can’t keep screwing around with my health.  I’m tired of fighting my body.  I’m tired of the toll this battle is waging on me.  I’m tired of judging myself based on what I did or didn’t eat.  I’m exhausted from looking in the mirror and seeing my hips and arms grow or shrink and feeling guilty or angry about it.

Just under two years ago, I got into great shape yet again and I met my 50th birthday head on, feeling good and with no fear.  Then I got some bad news and just shut down again.  I stopped caring and ended up standing in front of the mirror in a dress that is too tight and hating myself for it again.

A few days ago, I was listening to a recorded meditation (for weight loss of course) by Deepak Chopra.  One particular phrase he said struck me like a baseball bat: “I AM MY BODY’S ALLY.”   Wow.  I am my body’s ally.  Mind officially blown.  It might be an obvious thing for most people but it is a shocking possibility for me.

So I am going to approach this a little differently this time.  Instead of going to war with my body, I’m going to try to make peace with it.  I’m going to try to talk to it diplomatically and maybe even try to be friends.  I’m not going to starve it and I’m not going to surrender and just feed the hell out of it to see if I can feel pleasure again.

As I try this new approach, I would like to share my journey with you and hope that you reach out and share your experiences with me as well.  I’m not going to say what I weigh because it embarrasses me but I’m willing to be honest about my progress.  Up or down, I’ll share it with you in the hopes that by doing that I can help myself and maybe encourage you too.

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My Old Man June 16, 2017


Our FamilyMy old man made me, literally and in so many other ways.

He rocked me to sleep. He loved me.

He gave me my nose and my chin and my stubborness.

He taught me.

Some of the lessons were good.

Some of the lessons were not what he intended.

He was occasionally kind and often he was rude.

My old man was so smart…and so stuck.

He loved. He feared.  He lashed out.

He didn’t know how to say he was sorry.

He prayed the rosary daily, dedicating each section to one of his children.

He cursed like a sailor.

My old man suffered, more than I will ever know.

He knew loss greater than I have known.

Sometimes he made me proud and a lot of times he really pissed me off.

In the end, he taught me compassion and forgiveness.

My old man, my father,

I will always love him and miss him.

Happy Father’s Day Dad.

 

Anna Figueroa

 

For Those Who Want to See You Fail April 24, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — annafig19 @ 10:21 pm

Couldn’t have said it better myself. #bestrong #advertising #adagency #dreambig #likeaboss #buildwiththebrickstheythrow 

 

Evolution February 23, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — annafig19 @ 7:56 pm

The world will continue to evolve with or without you. You can participate and influence that evolution or you can watch from the sidelines and become obsolete. – Anna Figueroa

Time for something new on blackboard with businessman

Time for something new on blackboard with businessman

 

La Habana November 28, 2016


I wrote this years ago and at the request of a friend, I am sharing again.  I pray for the Cuban people on the island and around the world.

 

LA HABANA

Vieja ciudad, tan bella y tan terrible.

Capsula del tiempo mal sellada;

la sal, la humedad y la separación te comieron de adentro hacia afuera,

derrumbando lo que parecía eterno.

Vieja, misteriosa ciudad, llena de historias y de mentiras,

de ilusiones y de vacíos, de héroes y de villanos.

Tu historia no se ha acabado de escribir.

Como una mujer bella quien, al no encontrar un buen amor,

envejeció descuidada y gris de la tristeza.

Te encuentras abriéndole la puerta al extraño,

quien viene a curiosear tus leyendas.

La Habana, ciudad dorada y oxidada,

tu gente sueña con lo que fuiste

y con lo que pudieras ser,

acá y allá, allá y acá.

Sueñan tus hijos con noventa millas de mar,

con lo que debían saborear en tus calles y no pueden.

Sueñan con dejarte, sin saber que se pasaran el resto de sus vidas soñándote.

La Habana, ciudad esclava de un pueblo libre,

elegante a pesar de tus tendederas y extranjeros.

Tus edificios son los huesos más bellos del mundo.

La Habana, ciudad irreal que vives en la memoria de todo cubano,

hasta la de los que nunca han caminado tu malecón.

La Habana, donde todo era mejor

y dicen que todo mejorara…algún día.

La Habana, donde nuestros padres dejaron sus ilusiones

y nuestras madres dejaron su juventud.

La Habana, donde nuestros abuelos fueron felices,

hasta que te vieron transformada en una ciudad desconocida y violenta.

La Habana, cuna de tanto dolor.

Tu sol, tu brisa y tus palmeras acarician a mis seres queridos,

mientras tus sombras los mantienen alejados.

Pero eres la preferida del mar,

la más amada del sol,

la más recordada y añorada por la libertad.

Por eso serás de nuevo el futuro,

La ciudad de la patria libre y renovada.

Tus calles se llenaran de la alegría de tus hijos

quienes solo soñaran con quedarse en tu cálido abrazimg_7272

 

Fidel Castro is Dead. Why the Party? November 26, 2016


Cuban President Fidel Castro touches hisWhy would decent people celebrate in the death of someone? What would make them take to the streets to sing and dance and bang pots in a seemingly callous celebration of a persons’ death? The Cuban people are unlike any other people in the world. Our history, while like that of some nations, is unique. The Cuban exile psyche is the creation of fifty years of loss, pain and grief. As with all things Cuban, joy and pain are dealt with the same way. We cry, we laugh, we joke and we make noise. I ask those of you who do not understand and are repulsed by this celebration some simple questions:

How would you react if the person who jailed your father simply because he did not agree with the revolution died?
How would you react if the person who sent your brother or uncle to a firing squad with no trial died?
How would you react if the person who ordered your grandmother and aunt stripped and body cavity searched because they were getting on a plane to leave the country died?

I am not one of the people on the streets banging a pot and dancing. I love my family in Cuba and pray daily that this chapter in Cuba’s history ends peacefully. But I cannot judge those who are celebrating on the streets. I have no right to. I do not know their history, their pain or their loss. Neither does the rest of the world.

 

Human Family by Maya Angelou November 15, 2016


Human Family

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I’ve seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I’ve not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

Maya Angeloumaya-angelou1

https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/maya-angelou-s-human-family/