I love learning new things. Last week we were having dinner with friends from out-of-town and as our waiter walked away one of our friends said: “Our waiter is a lumbersexual.” I had not heard the term and my eyes widened with interest. My mind wandered with thinking of all the hipster Portland men with proper fitting jeans (sometimes rolled), nice shoes and shirt, hair well taken care of and of course either a mustache or beard. Usually I have thought of those that fall into that realm as “hipster.” However, lumbersexual is such a better descriptor.
Of course I came home and spent some time reviewing the Internet of recent articles pertaining to those deemed lumbersexual. I am not completely out of the loop. The term is fairly new of the last few months. Beards, beer, jeans, tattoos, flannel, loves the outdoors, and shops for beard oil. What? Beard oil. Yes, it is all the rage in Portland. A few articles heightened my interest. Of course I love when one mentions my backyard of the Willamette National Forest and even a comment on moisturizer:
“It goes without saying that virtually no man ever called himself a metrosexual, which really just referred to men who shopped for their own pants, went to the gym, and used moisturizer. (That was a big leap. It really was.) So don’t expect the term Lumbersexual to blow up, no matter how ubiquitous Lumbersexuals become.”
I have never been able to get Chris to use moisturizer. Why is that so hard for us women to get our men to see the benefits? If you live in Kansas, or Tokyo, or London and you have no idea what I am talking about, take a trip to Portland. Lumbersexual men abound. They are all things Portland. You will find them in coffee shops, wine bars, brew pubs, you name it.
There is always someone else in our life that has it worse off than we do. No matter what the situation, every life is different and has extremes of good and bad. When you are in a funk, or just cannot understand why you are still in the continuously spinning hamster wheel, just remember that there is someone else in the world that is probably struggling worse than you are, or there is someone who could actually use your help.
I think of that often when I have a bad day. I ask myself questions such as: “Will I care about this situation in a day, week, month, year?” If the answer is no, then I should probably let it go. Or, “Is this really so bad?” Whatever the answer we usually have options to change our life. Sometimes we just do not know which direction to walk or which door to open. I just finished a gut-wrenching memoir titled: “Chanel Bonfire” by Wendy Lawless. It takes you through her life and her experiences with her crazy (yes truly crazy) mother. She and her sister handle their situation differently. Her sister, Robin, fights her mom and reacts. Wendy is the caretaker and the smooth-things-over daughter. The result, she loses herself:
“Talking to him made me realize that I couldn’t talk about my plans or dreams because I didn’t have any. I was amorphous. I had no idea who I was, what I liked or disliked. I had spent so much time as Mother’s warden, and Robbie’s bodyguard, that I had subjugated a large part of myself that was, from lack of tending, small and undeveloped. When I walked into a grocery store, I would walk up and down the aisles, like a robot, aimlessly looking at all the boxes and jars wondering what I should buy. Did I like green beans? Cheerios? Cheddar cheese? I didn’t know. Living my little half-life, I was so used to not thinking for or of myself. I was just going along. Just existing.” page 266
While I did not have a crazy mother (far from it) or childhood that was in any way similar to Lawless I still felt I could relate to her. She goes from socializing with the upper class in London and Paris as a kid, going to some of the top schools, to having her mom lock her in closets and threaten to kill them all. I relate to Wendy because I found that after taking care of my mom for so many years (with my sister) I felt I could relate less and less with my peers, and quietly retreated into a quiet place. Since there was no one that knew at all what it was like to be 12, have a mom who was bedridden, where we had to support her every need, what was the point of talking about it at all? In so many ways it was my little half-childhood. I was just existing.
Lawless’ memoir will remind you how vastly different families live. A similar situation could be happening at your neighbor’s house. Be grateful for the good in your life, and help those that you know might be in similar situations.
I have been looking forward to the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics that happen in London tonight. I rarely ever watch any TV live, with the exception of the Super Bowl and the Opening Ceremony for the Olympics. It will be interesting to see what London has up their sleeves to wow us this year. I can still remember the opening ceremonies in Beijing. Incredible visuals that are still in my memory.
What I am really excited about is that the women are BRINGING it this year! For the first time ever, there are more women than men on the US Olympic team. There are 269 women and 261 men. You can learn more by reading this article by Marlo Thomas in the Huffington Post. Marlo is right, it is amazing that on the year of the 40th Anniversary for Title IX, that more women than men are on the Olympic team. Pretty cool.
Here is an excerpt with details that must be shared (in case you decide not to read Marlo’s article):
“With the introduction of women’s boxing this year, there is no Olympic event left that is exclusively for men. And with Saudi Arabia sending two women to the London Games, for the first time in history, all participating nations will have female Olympians competing.”
I love what Marlo says:
“But who will be the breakout stars of the gymnastics and soccer teams? Who will amaze and inspire us this time? Who will come to symbolize the very essence of their sport — and in doing so, inspire millions of girls around the world to go for their dreams?”
I hope the Olympics do just that for girls all over the world. If the Games inspire courage, wonder, inspiration, and the knowledge that girls can do anything they put their minds to, then the Games are a success. I, myself, am looking forward to watching Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh in Women’s Volleyball, as well as some swimming, gymnastics, and track. I also look forward to watching Usain Bolt run. I will be setting my DVR for these events so that I can enjoy what is left of this Portland summer and sun, and watch what I can when the sun goes down each day.