Tuesday, February 28, 2012

District 14 Tribute: The Girl Who Shared Too Much

When I started my blog eight years ago, I meant for it to be an extension of the journals I’ve kept since I was a tween.  What started out as an outlet for my daily musings and dry humor turned into an intimate portrait of my life.  I started my blog right after quitting my job and beginning a series of tests, surgeries and infertility treatments in the hope of one day becoming a mom.  I shared with the world the emotions and physical side effects of going through the grueling process of Artificial Reproductive Technology.  My readers became my refuge, a safe place where I could turn when I was feeling down, which was most of the time.  Usually I hid my sadness behind sarcasm and humor, but on occasion I’d let my comedic shield down and allow my true emotions come to the surface.  It was during those times that my readers reached out to me to help me over the rough patches.  I shared my failures and my successes and as my reward, people read my words.  It is a basic human need to feel heard, and my blog had been the vessel through which people blessed me with their attentiveness. 

So why did I stop?  Did I shed the need for “blog therapy?”  Was it because I became a mother of two active boys and simply didn’t have the time?  Maybe in part, but the real reason has much more to do with fear.  Fear of the judgment, the shame or worse, the recriminations I fathomed in my mind.  I feared putting my feelings into words, public words, would make them all the more real.  I feared letting the world know that:

My husband and I are getting a divorce.

It has taken me a long time to get those words out.  The advent of social media has increased traffic to my blog tenfold, so my once intimate group of readers grew exponentially.  I struggled immensely with coming out with such private news.  I could easily write about my ovaries and cervix and the most intimate parts of my body, but the real test was when I faced revealing the most intimate parts of my heart.  Being diagnosed with endometriosis and premature ovarian failure was not my fault.  But revealing my divorce opened me up to judgments of failure I wasn’t sure I could face. 

You see, my walls were caving in around me.  My marriage was buried under the rubble and I was too afraid to share.  I kept writing, but I kept my thoughts and words to myself.  I had lots to say; my personal journals are filled with more than two hundred thousand words, written in a span of  five years.  I turned inward.  I abandoned my blog, and as a result most of my readers left. 

I am back but the landscape is not the same. 

I changed my direction with writing.  I decided to pursue my lifelong dream of being a published author and started working on my first novel.  I’ll still blog about my musings and crazy mom antics, but I added some other features to my blog as well, including book reviews and creative short stories. 

The one promise I made to myself when my troubles began was that I would always stay true to myself.  I believe in order to be a successful writer, one must expose the innermost parts of their soul.  Characters can’t come alive through a writer who is cloaked in falsity.  No matter how scared and vulnerable it makes me feel, being less than truthful is a crime.  So as I make the promise to be true to myself, I make the promise to be true to my readers as well. 

I am grateful, so very grateful, for those who read my words. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I am ready for Mensa

Today is a banner day.  I, Shannon Sinanian, of questionable mind and hungry body, corrected my father on a math problem.  That’s right.  The English major caught a mathematical error made by the former computer programmer and data analyst, the Man, the Legend – my Dad.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

I had a lot of quality time with my toilet today after consuming nearly two pounds of vegetables, several pieces of fresh fruit and  drinking two Swamp Thing smoothies.  I now rename today Ass Wednesday.

Day one

In preparation of my new eating habits, I bought the entire grocery store.

All the food

This is the rest that I hadn’t unpacked yet:

Rest of the food

As you can imagine I had to do a massive fridge clean out and employ some creative thinking to make all this stuff fit. 

I think putting all of this away counted as my exercise of the day, although I couldn’t find “unloading groceries” in my fitness app.

I woke up this morning and blended myself up a concoction of strawberries, peaches, apples, ground flax seed and spinach.  Looks delicious, don’t you think?

Day 1 Shake

Halfway through drinking my breakfast, my stomach started gurgling and rolling like angry river rapids.  I’m certain that Mount Vesuvius will erupt from my, ahem, body as the angry Spinach Gods wreak havoc on my intestines.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dear God, what am I thinking?

Happy Mardi Gras, ya’ll!  I’ve binged all day today in celebration of Fat Tuesday, being the good Catholic that I am <not>.  I’ve eaten chicken and waffles for breakfast and a cheeseburger with tater tots at lunch.  For dinner I had pulled pork ragu over pasta paired with a cabernet and I topped off my evening and my belly with an ice cream cone.  A Drumstick to be specific.

As it were, this Fat Tuesday I had an epiphany.  I am a larger, sadder, sicker, tired-er version of  myself and by and large I’m sadly sick and tired of being sick and tired.


I want to live my life again, not just lie around and watch the time pass.  I want to feel vital and energetic.  I want to feel healthy.  And by healthy that means that I’m not breathless from taking the trash to the curb.  It means I can play soccer with my boys and not poop out after one goal kick. 

I need to exercise.  People say that P90X really works, but I watched that shit for two hours straight and I didn’t feel a thing.

I’ve heard the key to good health is your efforts should be 90% in the kitchen and 10% in the gym.  I can honestly say I sweat every time I take the brownies out of the oven. 

I dunno, maybe it’s the stress.  I’ve had lots of it the past ten months which accounts for why I look like I ate myself.  I have realized that I need to change my eating habits.

What better time than the Lenten period to make a sacrifice and do something good for myself in the meantime?  There is something fundamentally wrong with that, methinks.

I’ve always had a problem with Lent.  I think that forty days is a long time to sacrifice something dear to me, and when I if I were to fail, I’m not only failing myself, I’m failing GOD.  I’ve thought of choosing less sacrificial things like giving up bowling but either way I feel like a cheat.  I know He’s got the whole forgiveness thing going on, but I’ve never even tried.

I’m turning over a new leaf.  I’m going to give up the foods that sap my energy.  I’m going to Eat to Live!  Or at least follow this particular diet. 

Here are the parameters:

1.  Unlimited vegetables (goal is a pound of cooked and a pound of uncooked every day).

2.  Unlimited fruits (goal is 4 whole fruits per day).

3.  Unlimited beans (at least 1 cup per day).

4.  1 ounce of nuts/seeds per day.

5.  1 optional serving (1 cup) of grains or starchy vegetables per day (squash, corn, potatoes, rice, cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, breads, cereals).

Like most of you, I’m still stuck on the TWO POUNDS of vegetables a day.  Hello toilet, want to be my new BFF?

I am adding a sixth parameter, which is optional for this diet.  It is that I can have a total of twelve ounces of lean meat a week.  I just can’t imagine giving up meat for forty days.  For those of you who think I am taking the easy way out, I have this to say to you:  You’re absolutely right.  I’ll be lucky to survive the first week of sugar withdrawal and a girl has her limits.  I’m going to eat dead animal carcass and I don’t care what the hell Dr. Fuhrman has to say about it. 

So, I’m off to bed and I’ve put my intentions out on the internet, so by default that means I’m accountable.  I hereby declare the right to renege on my Lent offering at any time if the withdrawal headaches prove to be unbearable. 

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Excessively used adverbs are annoyingly common.

Recently in writerly circles, the use of adverbs has been unfairly dubbed as “poorly selected word use.”  I hardly think using an adverb means a writer is lazily choosing their words.  Practically all authors use adverbs occasionally.  Harshly judged criticisms of virtually all “–ly” words are unnecessarily extreme.