08 April 2010

Three Themes?

I think this blog, if I sustain it this time, is going to end up being quite different from what I started. I’ve noticed that, with the many links I post on facebook, they generally fit into one of three categories - libraries and literature, health and fitness, and marijuana policy reform. How did that happen?

Well, I think no one on earth who has ever met me would be surprised by the focus on the world of books. Family legend is that I taught myself to read from a very young age, well before kindergarten. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that I have loved books forever, since my memory begins. So, that’s a no-brainer.

But health and fitness? That story is a little longer. For much of my life I was overweight. No, let’s be honest. I was fat. And I was not fit or very physically active. And, for the most part, I was okay with that. I felt like I wasn’t eating that much and I thought I was pretty healthy.

I met Science Boy when I was fat and he loved me the way I was (although he did encourage me to exercise with him because, he claimed, he wanted me to be a little healthier, not because of my weight). I was determined not to give into societal pressure or to make myself miserable trying to meet someone else’s standards. But then, on (I think) July 5, 2006, something changed. I don’t even know what, exactly, it was. SB and I were in Grant Park at the free India.Arie concert and I announced to him that I planned to lose weight and that I needed him to be supportive to let me do it my own way. He was and I did.

Now, although I have not yet reached my goals, I see that I have made tremendous progress. For the first time in my life I am athletic. Maybe not an elite athlete, but an athlete nonetheless. I am eating healthier. I have lost more than 70 pounds. I have muscles. I do not know everything, not by a long shot and I have yet to conquer my relationship with cigarettes, but I am a work in progress and I am going to keep working toward progress.

I have become passionate about learning more and sharing information, particularly with children and families. (Lucky for me, the amazing corporation that funds our grant project has recently asked us to make fitness and nutrition a part of programming.) I think a lot of people just don’t know some things because no one ever told them. I just want everyone to have access to the information (that’s the librarian I am at my core). What they do with the information is up to them, but they should have access to it. (For example, I think restaurants can serve 3,000 calorie chili cheese fries if people want to buy them but, as a consumer, I want that nutritional information available so I can make an educated choice.)

So. That’s the second focus.

And now. Marijuana Policy Reform. That one either shocks the hell out of people or doesn’t surprise them in the least. First of all, I am not a frequent – or even regular – user. I have indulged (and inhaled). However, in general, I have control issues and prefer to have complete control of my facilities. (This is the same reason I very rarely drink much.) For me, the issue of Marijuana Policy Reform is one of Justice and Fairness.

As I have done my whole life, when I began to wonder why marijuana is regarded so differently than, say, alcohol, I started to research. I have read many different books and articles as well as considered personal accounts (both written and oral) on both sides of the issue. I have thought about medicinal cannabis and whether it should be considered in a different way than cannabis used for recreational purposes. After much thought, I think it is ridiculous to enact Prohibition against cannabis when alcohol is legal and far more sinister. I hate the drug testing laws. In theory, I can drink all weekend, beat the shit of kid or partner while drunk, maybe drive drunk and endanger a few lives and show up to work Monday with a raging hangover headache and keep my job.

On the other hand, if I take a hit of week Friday night, maybe eat a few more cookies than I should and go to sleep, then show up to work stone cold sober on Monday, I could lose my job if a random drug test is demanded, regardless of how exemplary my performance at my job. (That goes for if I have used cannabis not recreationally but under a doctor’s advice to ease the nausea caused by chemotherapy.) How does that even make sense?) So. I think that the Prohibition of Marijuana is ridiculous. (I won’t even go into how legalization would lead to regulation, which could enable taxation which could help many states that are currently in dire financial straits, plus ease the hold of some drug cartels, plus actually make it harder for kids to get weed – a business owner who stands to lose his license and face a huge fine is less likely to sell to a kid than an unscrupulous thug on the street corner. At least right now I won’t go into all that. No promises for later.)

So, let’s see where this goes and how long I maintain it this time. Maybe having the netbook will help. Both of these entries were written when I had no internet access and then posted to the blog that evening. (I recorded the time when I wrote them.) So, that gives me more opportunity to write.


Clare said...

Awesome! I'm looking forward to keeping up with you this way, too! :D

Felix said...

Greetings from another sporadic blogger. Congrats and best wishes with everything you discussed here.