Women Worth Knowing: Meet Christine

I met Christine through LiveJournal.  Isn’t the internet amazing?  You can meet all these people from all over the world and be enriched through their writing, and the way they share their lives.  Knowing Christine has certainly enriched me.

Honesty is impressive.  Christine is one of the most honest women I know.  Since I started reading her, she faced down the question of her faith in an astoundingly practical way, unafraid of what her personal answers would mean to others.  She faced down questions about her own self-image.  She faced down questions about her career.  She’s done it all with gravity and fearlessness, and utter respect for herself and the people around her.  See, she remembers what some forget:  That when you are changing your world, you are changing the worlds of those around you.

She can tell you about herself more eloquently than I.

Meet Christine.

Name: Christine

Age Range: Newly Forties!

Job Title: Administrative Assistant

Industry: Manufacturing/Environmental

Who are you? I am first and foremost a mother.  Mother to two daughters ages 15 and 13.  Then, I am a wife and a daughter and then finally, I am a woman.  An American woman.  A woman who struggles daily with her responsibilities to her family and her body.  I am an Atheist.

Describe Your Family: My immediate family consists of my husband, David and our two daughter, Doc and Boo (monikers).  But my family also includes my father and my mother (divorced for the last 27 years) and my in-laws.

What does the first hour of your day look like? 6:30AM David leaves for work and The Boo starts to wake me up.  I will either sleep until 7:00 when she gets serious about dragging me out of bed, or I’ll get right up…it all depends on how much rest I got.  As soon as I’m done with the morning potty, I will strip down and weigh myself.  If it’s Tuesday or Thursday, I’ll put my sweats on and get myself on the treadmill for the next half hour.  If it’s any other week day, I will make myself my morning iced coffee/protein drink and then park my butt at the computer for an hour.

What does the last hour of your day look like? Usually I spend the last hour of my day sitting here in front of this computer screen.  I’m either reading Blogs or playing games on Facebook (I’m addicted to Pathwords and Tetris) When I get blurry-eyed I take my meds & supplements and head to bed, where I’ll read for at least twenty minutes before nodding off.

What makes you feel successful? More than anything?   My daughters.  They are high honor roll students.  They both play instruments.  They both play sports.  They are both loving and intelligent and thoughtful and interesting people.  They are my greatest success.  Secondly, my marriage.  I have been happily married since 1991.  We are good to one another and we work together to make our life what it is.  Our children are a direct result of our love and dedication to each other and to them.  Third? My weight loss.  Yes, I had gastric bypass to help me lose the weight, but it’s all me when it comes to keeping it off.  I could easily gain it back…but so far I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do to keep it off and I’m successful!

What brings you joy? When right wins over wrong.  When justice is served.  When my daughters are happy.  When my boss praises me.  When all feels right in my world.  Music. Music. Music.

What were you like in first, sixth, and twelfth grades? In first grade I was Advanced.  I lived in Georgia and I was able to skip Kindergarten and go right into first grade because I already knew how to read and write.  In first grade I felt smart.  In Sixth grade we moved from Georgia to New York.  In Sixth grade I still felt very, very smart.  But I was also The New Girl.  I was different.  I had a thick southern accent.  People loved that I said “ya’ll”.  Sixth grade is when I first started to want to kiss boys.  Sixth grade is when I played Mrs. Claus in the Christmas Pageant.  Sixth Grade is when I sang “The Rose” with two of my friends for the school talent show.  Sixth Grade is the last time I played any type of school sport (intramural basketball).  Sixth Grade was the last year of my parent’s marriage and the last year that I felt safe and loved for a very, very long time.

Twelfth grade…I only made it through the first two months of twelfth grade, then I dropped out of school.  I had a boyfriend.  I had no parents.  I had no one to stop me.  I didn’t realize what I was doing.  I dropped out and ran away with my boyfriend, never to return to high school.   Twelfth grade was the beginning of a long, hard road.

What advice would you give yourself at each of those ages? First Grade:  Eat your veggies.  Learn to swim.

Sixth Grade: Your parents will always love you, even if they don’t love each other anymore.  It’s not your fault.  Smoking is a really, really bad thing to do.  Eating fast food is an awful thing to do.  Don’t worry about your mother, she’s going to be fine in twenty years.  For the love of all that is holy, eat some vegetables and go ride your bike!  Pretty soon, they will invent soft contact lenses and you will be rid of those Coke bottle glasses! The episodes that you’re going to start experiencing next year?  That make you feel a sweaty and sick to your stomach and like you are losing your mind?  There’s a name for those.  They’re called panic attacks.  And just knowing that they have a name and that you’re going crazy will probably make you feel a little better.  In twenty years everybody and their brother will know about panic attacks…but in 1980, no one’s ever said those words where you live.

Twelfth grade:

Christine…you need to stay in school.  For the love of all that is good, listen to me and STAY IN SCHOOL!  You do not want to miss out on Senior year, prom and graduation just because of some dirt-bag, dead-beat loser.  He doesn’t love you…he just needs you to fill a void in his life.  Don’t be so stupid, girl!  Get your diploma.  Leave that idiot. Listen to your father, he really does know best.  Oh! And I almost forgot!  That seventeen year old body that you hate so much? That you think is so fat and so gross?  Girl, you need to know that it’s never going to get any better!  You need to enjoy it while you’ve got it…love it…feel good about it…realize that it’s sexy and beautiful!  Your forty year old self would like nothing more than to have that seventeen year old’s body back.  You’d better appreciate it.  Also, that whole panic attack thing?  It will end faster if you face your fears.  Those things that you avoid daily?  You should force yourself to do them.  It will help.  Also, go to the doctor and get yourself some medication.  Because you actually have a chemical imbalance in your brain that is causing you to feel so depressed and anxious.  One last thing.  You are worthy of love.  Just the way you are.

Who do you admire? I admire anyone who is willing to sacrifice of themselves to make this world a better place.  I admire people who take real risks in order to make progress happen.  I admire people who are willing to stand up and say “This is wrong and I will not pretend that it’s not”.

How would you like to be remembered? I would like to be remembered as a good mother who raised two healthy, happy, successful women.  I’d also like at least one person to remember me as someone that taught them something or opened their mind to a different point of view.

2 responses to “Women Worth Knowing: Meet Christine”

  1. I had completely forgotten about this. It’s actually a good thing to see it today, so much later than when I wrote it. Sometimes it’s really good to be reminded of who we are and what we value. Thanks so much for allowing me to do this, Lane. It’s an honor. And thank you even more for the kind words. You may know how much they mean to me…but if you don’t…they mean more than I can express.

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