But It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way Anymore


My new favorite thing to say is “But it doesn’t have to be that way anymore.”

I want to say that all the time now.  About nearly everything.   I want it to be my new catchphrase.  Is the sky blue?  Yes….But it doesn’t have to be that way anymore.

Oh, we can’t go out for breakfast – we woke up too late and now life is blurry and I’m already exhausted.  True.  But it doesn’t have to be that way anymore! And it wasn’t! So now I am full of the Universal’s Cornbread Rancheros and

So, I’ve made a firm decision.

Tomorrow I am not starting a diet.  Everything says yes, gung ho, now, do it, 20 carbs, total comfort, 30 minutes on the bike, throw in a walk, strip all the sugar out of my meals, start doing yoga, start to the power of 20.  Because this is the window.

No.  I just am not going to play the three-weeks until my birthday game, then I throw myself on some chain restaurant food because I “deserve” it and then guiltily struggle through the next three months, have a another summer surge and then because of stress and life, spend fall and winter trying not to think about wasting time.  How many years has that happened?  Only every year since I became aware that dieting was a thing, more than that, “my thing” and high and low tides aside, it hasn’t worked out.  I am just one of the statistical masses.  Hate to say it, but it’s true.

So, it doesn’t have to be that way any more..

That’s kind of a relief.  I may, in fact, drink an Atkins shake.  I am going to do some cleaning and some (10 mins+) time on the bike. Try and suss out some vegetables to eat.  Drink some water, write it all down as best as I can recall.  But that’s it.  There is no carb limit.  There is no step counter (yet). I might check my weight for the first time in six months.  I might not.  There is no perfection. It’s just a start to get a few good habits comfortable enough to take root.  There is nothing to flub up.  No promises made.  I just want to be elsewise, so I’m doing other things.  Goals are distant guideposts.  My focus is in here, on me.  On writing and reading and showing up and building up capacities to be open and ask people into my life and keep progress I’ve made over the past two years rolling and growing into something easier for me to show.  Validation is okay.  Wanting to have someone talk to you about your life and choices and your struggles and absences and tell you they see you is not shameful.  I want to be able to do some work and get it packaged up and sent out into the world.   The greek chorus only knows what it knows.  What I know.

Also, princess stories, Kate Beaton, Miranda, hot bath, talk of bummer moon wars, the delights of Mark Hamill’s twitter account, Regina Spektor (as is required), and so freely not sad about a goddamn thing.

Life in the Fast Lane (Theabild)

coffee-laptop-notebook-workingThis song has been stuck in my head – just the first line of the chorus and the earwormiest notes.  The worst!  (It had gone away, but I came back and read this line and suddenly, it’s in my brain again!)

So today, I was thinking that now is the time to know – if I know about 10 minutes of physical activity + 10 situps + tracking, what do I know about the needs of this blog in the coming year?

If I relieved myself of this “burden,” what would be improved?  I would not experience those brief, but real mental wrinkles I have every single day when I wonder about how I need to stop everything and Summarize! I would not have to stop everything and gather my brain into one spot.  I would not need to pull myself out of games and reverie, where I have spent another day idling, pleasurably, but yet, idling.  I would not be able to say that this, this daily blogging thing, is a thing that I do and have committed myself to.  I’d have to say, if I was asked, that I stopped because I found those fifteen to sixty minutes tiresome and I prefered to think of myself as a successfully non-writing writer (which is still the very edge of the qualifications I can affix myself with.)  I would have to, I assume, find a more haphazard schedule with which to approach the page – any page – and relieve the writing bug, jones, need, addiction.  I would have to assume I would even if I know, five years ago – nearly six – this habit was started because I was failing to do just that.

I don’t want to give it up.  I don’t need to.  No one is making me.  I just find myself keenly aware after having written posts beyond counting about this keen awareness that I can spit words like nobody’s business.  Just words. Not well-curated, elegantly crafted, viciously pertinent language.  Without editing and a trajectory, this becomes just like anyone’s life – not that there’s anything wrong with good ol’ Anyone’s life, but it isn’t my dream.  It doesn’t feed me and make me a stronger, more able writer.  It is sugar.  You can live on it, but only just, you goddamned humming bird.

Do better, you say?  That should be the answer.  And in it lies a greater truth than perhaps we either of us realize.  I am willing to step forward and write puff and fluff and call it good day after day.  Because it takes nothing of me.  In all of these areas, success is about me not accepting bare minimums anymore.   More not less, forward and not away, not giving up because the way has greater resistance than we first envisioned.  I need the pumping up, I need the daily reminders, I need this, but better.  I need this, and more.

So next year.  500 words, but I need to incorporate the diet side.  A real check-in, every day as to what I’m doing with my goals.  And the other writing on top, beyond, more.

Sounds plannish.

Stella Maris


So I found the functionality that publicizes these posts on my Twitter account and for the time being, unless something dreadful comes of it, I’m going to use it.  I don’t think I mind if my dear friends see these posts or the occasional random person who can snatch it as it crosses their feed – it’s really no different than here.

Obviously, people who arrive this way will not have the benefit that you and I have, of knowing how long and how stupid the hard road of daily blogging has been.  They will not know how I am toying with changing the paradigm, but how fretful I am that it will fuck my brain up and I will stop writing altogether.  Now, really, how could I stop writing altogether?  Way too many leashes pulling me towards it in this life even if I snip one, I would still be turning up.  I don’t know.  I just know when a thing feels stale, it loses its ability to challenge.  That whole obnoxiously phrased business of leaning in becomes required.

And tonight, even though I know better, is reserved for celebration.  The past nine months have been hard.  The next nine look no easier.  Especially when the agenda is disrupting my status quo and trying for a fresh portion of my allotment of humanity.  Looking forward at that process, well, fun is in short supply.  But this girl is on vacation.

I have needed this for a long while and now, finally, despite all my misgivings about completing tasks and having things shipshape, it’s here.   No going back to work until January 4th.  I put together a box of work I intended to take home, but I have enough to do here without trying to entangle myself in thinking about that right now.  I wouldn’t work on it at all, I have to say, and it’s meant for the office.  Not for this little room where a girl sits around and thinks about elves and long eyelashes and how much straw does it take for Rumplestiltskin to make a bar of gold?

I need to detach my twitchy eye, my hot foot, my bad plans, my good plans and every other little list I have rolling behind me and just start flapping and skipping with the arms and legs I have.  I know what I mean.  Sleep and sugar boil and bend it, but I know where I am going with this.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  I still have some shopping and combining and gathering up to do.  We’ll have Miss Fisher, we’ll have drinks (I hope, I may have to buy drinks), we’ll have Oliver, we’ll have presents and sleeping in and coffee and company and wrapping presents (and probably, unfortunately, some last minute buying of a present or two.) I don’t feel beholden to the power of the day because I have this whole other thing going on, at least, not right now.  Right now, all I feel is freedom.

Also. FYI: Star Wars name: BRAKR MCWHE


Crackalacka: Day Three Hundred Sixty-Five


I am sober.  I am suitably grossed-out by the amount of food I have forced down my throat today. Not against my will, but totally against my spirit.  I am ready to do this shit.  Let’s review.

This year I quit my job.  The job I spent four years  (and 4 more prior to the start of this blog) talking about hating (and loving, but mostly hating.)

This year, I went to Italy by way of Ireland.  And Salida, Minnesota, and Atlanta.  But mostly, let’s face it, Italy. I walked in the Sistine Chapel.  I strolled through Rome and ate gelato.  I rode a train to Florence and ate the most ridiculously delicious pasta.  I ate all the most delicious pasta.  I danced in a night club.  I didn’t completely panic (except for that one time I totally did, but it ended up being okay) I met my amazing friend who was legitimately amazing in person.

This year, my grandmother passed away.  We drove, my parents and sisters and my sister’s boyfriend and the dog in my car + their car, up to rural Minnesota for the funeral.  We’re still, I’m still, sorting out what that means.

This year, I got a new job working with my sister.  Definitely still trying to mentally unpack the impact this has had and will have and what it will encourage me and discourage me from doing.  There’s so many positives – paid health insurance, the fact that I’ve had from Christmas to New Year’s off as a paid holiday, working with rad people.  But I worry that I’m getting baby-fied about driving (even more so) and that I’ve jumped into a universe that has the same problems of the old one, just wearing different clothes.

This year, I held my own writing group.   That needs more attention right now than I am giving it.


So next year (which will be here shortly after I finish this post, I expect), my plans are thus:

Atkins for at least 2 weeks.  At least.  Maybe longer.  Maybe forever.  Maybe I’ll be the jerk to tell you I’ve changed my lifestyle and now I’m one of those people.  Maybe I’ll get so much energy from my new way of eating that I’ll jump through the ceiling and never come back.

No Chipotle.  None.  I couldn’t even finish it today.  My sister even joked to say goodbye to the familiar, but still nameless employees who shovel it to me on the regular without, to their great kindness, too much overt recognition of my addiction.  It is so easy.  It is so massively easy to just apply it to your emotional wounds and cracks and irregularities like a giant blob of cilantro-infused spackle.

No soda.  None.  I love the carbonation and the sweetness, but I hate the way it makes me feel.   It makes me feel like my bones are bending like crazy straws and that maybe, maybe I can see through walls.

Writing a story for myself about Lavellan and Solas IN LOVE (and heartbreak, but MOSTLY LOVE, right?)  A STORY THAT YOU, MEANING YOU, will never read.

That I will get myself a new therapist.

That I will be here, same time, station, channel, firing away, giving it a bit more of my all in both my real life and whatever it is I do on this page.

The Octopus of Evil Habits

Don’t want to write this post.  Nope.  But it would be a bad way to go out on the final day of the year by blowing off the post.  I keep thinking that the lesson I’m supposed to be getting is that it doesn’t matter at all and I should just not post because really who gives a shit?

Yay for a panic attack.  It does wonders for people who already suspect you’re mentally unsound.  And it’s keen if you really desire that feeling of wanting to tear your own skin off.  It doesn’t make sense, of course, and since you can’t explain it, it’s not really worth talking about and oy, I feel pain inside about it and confusion and frustration and I have zero answers.  Zilch.  So I’m going to see the therapist on the 9th.  I wish so much there was a switch to flip.  I’m just hoping that 12:00 midnight will have some sort of supernatural power over me.

My positivity is taking it in the shorts today.  I don’t know why.  I’m sure it has to do with blood sugar and caffeine and maybe the fact that blood doesn’t get to my head.  It’s also got to do with empathy and love dreams and this vast expanse of nothingness that I’ve been running in and only found false edges to.  Like a misty moor with only more mist and more moors no matter now many times you run until you collapse in a heap.  This is not when the love dreams come, either.  All you get is this sinking sense that in a year, you’ll be eating soft foods and staring out the window in some sort of agoraphobic haze.

Nothing is completely unqualified. I just, really can’t take my situation right now and while I know it can get better, I feel full of fear and doubt and anger and stress and it’s settled in me like a big head cold.

I was so sure yesterday and whammo, I feel like the rug came out from under me.

Which, I guess, it’s allowed to do every now and then.  It being a curious sort of fate I have cultivated.

I am going to take the unlikely position that maybe being around people and drinking alcohol will do something for me.  Even if, right now I am dreading it completely.  Then, the actual remedies of getting back on board the health wagon.  My half-sister has given me a Door #2 present of a psychic reading which I am taking her up on.  The therapist, of course.  My overcoming anxiety book.  My friends.  My trip to Italy.  Exercise and self-care and tapping and the things that I haven’t been doing because those are for crazy people or people who are broken in some way that I certainly couldn’t be broken.

If it’s going to be a good year, and I hope it is, I want to believe it will be, then it will only be so if I face down some of my problems.  And give up coffee and the things that are making my body generate this level of anxiety.

A promise I can keep: I will see you tomorrow.


You can let it get you for a minute, or you can let it get you for an hour, a day…

I’ve let it get me far too much.

This is what I said elsewhere and I mean it as a start to say some things this evening and as it falls within the hours, I’m calling it fair game to copy over.

“Sometimes I feel like the world is small and lame and that I have some of those qualities by virtue of choosing to show up here at this time in our tempestuous history, however, then I come across such a thing as this and I feel rather in awe of humankind. (Also, the universe seems to be looking down on me and laughing tonight, for which I am greatly relieved.)”  It was a picture, it should be noted, of the world’s biggest cylindrical aquarium which is in a hotel somewhere but seems to me a delightfully massive reminder of the power of human engineering and interest.

I finished playing my video game – by which I mean I hit that odd moment where you wonder why the hell you’re playing checkers with a Colonial man who is kicking your ass and letting your life pass you by – and I got up and turned off the lights and felt gross after the McDonald’s meal that is part of this miserable end of the year food hurrah I am participating in willfully.  I suddenly felt rather disconnected and full of despair.  I felt like my friends were doing different things, my family was doing different things, and I was just in this shadow, being lame and unwanted and running through weird motions.  I felt, briefly, numb.

But, magically,  breaking away from that world where I have no personality, only that of my rather personality-free avatar, brought me back to a happy state.  Happy enough, anyway.  I remembered countless things I loved.  I remembered the great effort I had put in today to wash my clothes and vacuum and think positively.  I remembered that I am moving forward and giving up things that are worthless, one of which are these assumptions that I am worthless or that anything I do is permanent.  I remembered that I loved those who I have chosen to be in my life.  I remembered that crack is wack yo.  I remembered that I still have two days off.  I remembered that I do well with joy.  I remembered that I am not bound to anything.  Not permanently.

The wangst.  It’s not permanent.

So, off, I go, getting ready for one more day of crap mixed with starting to get things right.  Mixed with putting my real needs first.  And those needs are good food, clean house, open heart, words on the page.  And so much laughter it’d make an honest man cringe.  A vortex of Adventure Time-style good times.

Even with all the stress and anguish of this year, and all that still to come, it flew by so fast.  I know that if I take it bird by bird, day by day, week by week, month by month and don’t lose track of my goals, I can feel amazing in 2014 and beyond.

That is what I want.