Before You Say No


I have felt what I would call depressed this past week.  Low-energy, depleted, deflated, self-abnegating, overwhelmed, trapped, thwarted, so thwarted, and scared out of my wits.  I am not sure that many people who have interacted with me would be able to tell, but I have.

It is this wet, heavy coat.  I have not taken it off, but I have let it fall off my shoulders for a bit.

I was surprised today.

It is a curious thing how as negative as you care to be, the world will sometimes extend an arm around you and gather you up if only for a moment in a gesture of warmth and caring.   Sometimes this happens just as you are realizing that there is a life beyond your panic, that you’re a sunny-side up girl at your core, that okay, eventually, you will get your teeth handled and eventually your neck won’t hurt and as spazzy as you are in this instant, you will be alright.

Sometimes this happens when your boss and mentor decides that the necklace you’ve put on layaway (the one you secretly think bears your soul in the facets of its vintage glass that can turn five colors when you hold it towards the light) should be yours.  Your boss/mentor and her husband who you adore and respect up and decide that you are doing a good job and you just deserve it.   You just get to have it.

I don’t know, precisely, how to deal with things like this.  My dad giving me money (which in turn lets me give money back to my sister that I owe her).   My other sister saying Let’s go to this show you love.  My mother making me lunch.  People doing these kind things that say that you have been on their minds.  You exist, if only as an idea, to them.  When you are away, they think about how to make you happy or happier.  This is odd to me.  The people I have love me, they just love me.  And that just is, but this is an act of love and support.  Makes me want to be a better person.  To be thoughtful for others.

In that vein, I put my writers group on hiatus.  It’s just not fair to show up there without really having shown up – without really doing the work that I’m asking everyone else to do.  To not be interested, to be around people who are less interested, it just becomes a drain.  I will see if the new year will find me in a better position to do it, but right now…I look at things like that in terms of gas money and just driving that far to hear one person’s fanfic is not something I am into right now.

It’s not in service of building me up.

I am thinking too big right now as far as that goes.  Right now, getting myself into the bath is as big as the dream is stretched.  That’s okay.

Happy Galentine’s Day


Google search: Edward Somerset, 2nd Marquess of Worcester

Head-on collision with .4 pounds of imperfection.

You say you’re totally cool if the scale goes up.  You say that.  You say, you got this whole year to do this.  You feel, the night before, that you’re open to anything.  But then the scale goes up and the realities of now, the stress you’re under, the two nights of pizza in a row, the fact that you’re crossing the Red Sea are all forgotten.

God, I wanted in that moment to say what in the ever loving fuck is happening?   I have a plan.  The plan’s a pound a week and we can’t go backwards.  If I start to spin my wheels, I’ll give up! I always give up!

Which is true.  At the first instance of adversity, I feel as though stars aligned against me and that I may as well turn back.  Or that I’m rattling a safe and comfortable status quo (which I am) and that means I might feel something risky and new.  It’s 30 seconds on this platform and already I question the whole concept of tracking.  Suddenly, everything becomes unknowable.  Everything I’m doing feels loosey-goosey, without authority, as you like it.  Not this confirmable, one to one match with a plan outlined by God, put only this much in your mouth and run until you gasp and then, and only then will I, the god of belly fat, withdraw, mathematically, your pudgy stomach.

I want the failure to be clear as day.  (If it is a failure, it IS clear. It’s the two pizzas and the Blood Moon, and a couple apathetic exercise days.  I just don’t want those things to add up to failure, maybe?) And they don’t.  Maybe I built some muscles? But the “failure” also includes the success of having tracked those pizzas, having gotten on the bike and moved my body to the point of dancing yesterday, of having done twice as many situps, eating a 1000 times less than I would have at the Galentine’s Day party today because I was aware of what was going into my gob.

I am building those kind of habits.  That’s pretty great.

I wasn’t planning to stop.  I am not planning to stop.  But of course, I never PLAN to stop.  I never hit these moments of adversity and say, OH NO, I CANNOT! and throw a white flag.  It’s tiny, tiny slides.  It’s saying, I will start fresh tomorrow rather than I start fresh now.   It’s saying, I’ll just have this calorie-laden thing because it’s too much to handle right now. It’s saying, I’ll just guesstimate on MFP, because it’s too embarrassing to put down what I know I actually put in my mouth.

So I don’t know, precisement, how many calories are in the mimosa I drank or what the single cream cheese spinach wrapped thing contained, but I know enough to guess at it.  I can get pretty close.  I can do something more than nothing.  I can exercise through these cramps.

The party was nice.  Very nice to talk to a couple old friends and see them in a context free of the entanglements it used to have with work. Already there are pictures up on Facebook and I find myself having to settle myself down and say it’s okay to post this on your timeline.  No need to act like you weren’t there in the body you have.
Talking to my mentor, equally, but differently nice.  Feeling someone’s interest in my life without having to explain anything.

My feet feel about 50% better, too.  My driving panic  was held at bay, even going so far to try and reclaim a road this morning.  It helps with the time of the year, this deep dark shadow that wants me to lay down, very still, and wait for the last morning.  Valentine’s Day and the long rope it can go piss up.

I just feel real talkative about it all.  It’s early enough, the money is going to work out for Tuesday, I got done what needed to be got done and there’s some real time to relax.  So.  Yes. Yes.  Yes.

Come on, belly, let’s have another day of dancing.

Chatoyance: Day Thirteen


There are no five paragraph essays to be had this evening.  I am evolving towards health.  I am not there yet, and am enjoying today’s new symptom: cotton mouth.  The coughing has been in ragey spurts, mostly this morning and it comes, it’s stressful as hell, but I’ve been able to breathe most of the day and haven’t upset too many people by sharing their space while being less than in the finest of fettles.


I have been, though I think it is quite easy to forget, well before and will be again.  At least now, I’ve got the advantage of a week and a half of curative experience and have the humidifier back on after finding it burdensome to setup last night.  But I like the nightlight and the subtle bubbling sound it is making. A very nice sort of white noise.  I have a cup of decaf chai.  When we’ve settled this daily debt here, I may find it doable to watch Austenland.  Not sure if my mood is up for muslin and swoonery.   I have you, of course, me hearties, and I have the day that has been.  And in that day I got the three big must do things done – the books which seemed to go too smoothly and I’m willing myself to get up early enough to account for proper drainage time so that I have a moment to review things before I send them off willy-nily.  Aside from the books, I got the Monday email out.  It does make me look forward to the new boss being in place so that we don’t have to generate content that the old boss used to.   I also got the oodles of event tasks the old boss was unexpectedly frantic about having done early done.  All between gasping for breath and pondering who the young man working for the tenant upstairs might be.   It doesn’t matter, of course, but I am curious to know who he is and where in the grand scheme of things he belongs.

This sick spell has not clamped off my appetites, I can tell you that.  Not of any stripe.

Idle fancy.  I think it is a sign of recovery.  It’s always healthier to think of things outside of yourself, especially if you find yourself falling victim to the most vile solipsism.  You are just one egg in a vast chicken coop and it’s time to start pecking your way into the light and the warmth of your fellow poultry.

Okay, there’s a lovely metaphor that needs to stop.

While the above sort of covers the general question I’ve been asking myself lately – essentially, you could read it as Stevie doing the Heather Smalls’ voice in Miranda and singing  “What have you done today to make you feel proud?”  I also drove through my continuing grumpiness about night driving.   I’m trying to get to the nut of the illogic and have that be as powerful as my sense of nebulous, impending doom.  All I can do is do it.   That’s all we can do.






Tortoise Shell

Mild, short-term case of illumination.  Wee little flicker of hope.

I have a half-day tomorrow.  I am quite full, over-full really, with home-cooked food.  Vegetable beef soup and some garlic toast.  Well, neither of those things was really home-made.  More Sandra-Lee’d, much to my chagrin, but I must point out that I actually went to the grocery store and bought food I intended to eat and then eaten it.   I want to be sane in that regard.   That’s a goal.  To not treat fast food as a salving experience.  As a compulsion that cannot be curbed.  To remember that I like cooking and I like being domestic.  That I do not need to eat the same thing every night and as much of it as there is to feel calm.   There’s a thousand domino goals that come after that, in eating real, fresh vegetables and fruit with every meal, drinking boatloads of water, cooking more complex and better things and putting things away properly once I do, finding time for healthy food.  But this is a big step, a big habit to start making part of my life: eating at home.  So for now, as I mentioned yesterday,  I just bought food I knew I would eat and I am making it and eating it.   I’m going on two months without soda which has been incredibly un-traumatic in light of what I would have told you two months ago…that I would probably be drinking a soda on my dying day.  That I’d have my lips on a Diet Dr. Pepper within two days of going without it.  That I was less water than I was Diet Pepsi.  But nah.  Not so much.  It’s gone.  It’s not missed.  My teeth feel better.  I mostly feel better.  Small change over time becomes huge change.  Albert Einstein said something about compound interest being the most powerful force in the universe and I believe it.

So I practiced my guitar.  I am considering a few things that I need to buy soon and naturally, now that I know where a few chords are, I think I need a new guitar.  Well, I don’t.  I need new strings and lessons and fingers that can press harder than I currently can, but I don’t need to spend four hundred dollars on a new guitar.  That’s way too 1st world problems for me right now and I know that if I buy a new guitar, I’ll immediately lose interest.  So, yes.  I am going to get these new chords incorporated sooner or later.

I also got on the exercise bike for ten minutes.  One more thing I tell myself I can’t do until I start doing it and it’s nothing.   It’s literally nothing.  But you add these things up.  You go forward and not backwards and it’s not nothing.  It’s a new course for yourself.

These myths we are so bound by, these stories we tell to ourselves or were told to ourselves and which have informed our choices since we were old enough to choose,  they are powerful bindings and we stay inside them out of fear.    But they’re not more than knotted strings.  We outgrow them and we either cut them loose or lose the extremities they encircle.  I want a whole life.  An A-Z life.  Everyone told me I wasn’t musical.  I can’t sing.  I have no sense of timing.  I can memorize, but I can never understand the theory.  And maybe all of this is true.  But it doesn’t mean I can’t try and find such joy in the struggle.

See you tomorrow.


There’s a great quote in Miranda where she talks about becoming “a new me.”  I won’t post it here to distort my count, but basically, she wants to be one of those women who have it together, are Janies on the spot and are not the awkward miserable people she sometimes and in some ways sees herself as.

Today, I could have really used a new me.  Because the old me is doing things completely worthy of a Miranda episode like leaving the house to get food with two different shoes on.  No, really.  I woke up from a nap and sort of gathered myself so ridiculously quickly that it wasn’t until I got out at the restaurant that shall not be named when I realized was wearing different shoes and also my jeans were way too short over my bright white socks and basically I looked like…an idiot?  Is that too unkind to say?  This would also be the day where the makeup was decent and the coat was okay and there was a nice guy holding the door for me at said restaurant and I had to completely shuffle along with my head down on account of the fact that I was wearing TWO DIFFERENT SHOES.  God.

But other than random moment of FAIL, today wasn’t that bad.  I did go over to my parents and am 99% done with my taxes, just need one more form, I think.  Our most wonderful aunt came over and we did take a walk just as prescribed yesterday which was good, a very good start.  Also, we did figure out how we were going to do our July vacation/trip to my cousin’s wedding in Minneapolis and booked the flights which astonished me that we were able to get done without major fighting and rolling of eyes and shoulders.  No car crashes to or from, either, though I need to stop listening to the same 3 songs on the Apocalyptica CD otherwise, I may burn right through the cd and set the car on fire.

In the light of a successful weekend, I am writing this post and friend tweeting and feeling not wholly uncreative or ill-humored so I feel that’s something of a success to note.  I also did read today and I did have water.  Edging closer to not necessarily a new me, but a less whiny, self-doubting version of the current me which is a joyful result.

Uh, what else?

I am not looking forward to tomorrow, but who is?  I’m kind of crunched in every single way with trying to get things done that should have been done ages ago and dealing with the drama of the co-workers and the growing suspicion that I need to just be away from them for a long, long time and I can’t have that right now, so I am just going to get some sleep tonight (after hopefully flipping the mattress of evil) and promise that I’ll take small steps forward to make things not only better for myself, but awesome.


Your Life Passes Through Me Like Lightning

Murphy’s Law for the Modern Era: All the best movies on Netflix are always DVD-only.   Some nights would be made infinitely better by a good movie and you can just intuit what that movie would be and tonight’s movie was definitely Bridget Jones’ Diary, but ah-hah! Netflix! Confounding good souls at every turn.

Um, I done fucked up.  Not savagely or recklessly or with disregard for human life.  I just am at the base of a foothill of circumstances I’ve spent all day rolling down, waving my arms and smacking my head on every rock on the way.  Cerebellum Slalom.   The diet will be saved not by good food, but by doing my exercise and not murdering myself.

We had no real food in the house.  No meat or vegetables or yogurt or anything but pretzels and ramen noodles and tortilla chips and I may have relegated myself to very small portions of them, but I was home alone all day with my squirelly ridiculous hunger-thoughts as the snow came treacherously down and I know I’m out of whack today.  It was one of those awkward days where I called off sort of just on account of being a fuckhead?  I own that.  I knew I got done what I needed to do so that missing a day wouldn’t destroy the universe and the thought of driving in left me completely paralyzed, wholly and utterly.  So, it was a mental health day that ended up sort of imploding.  Playing hooky, if that’s what this was, even though I made it clear that that’s why I wasn’t coming in and that I’d make up the hours throughout the week and this weekend, feels terrible.

My parents’ work ethics, which they so graciously passed down to me, are that you are the one who comes in early and stays late and works through lunch just because that’s the right thing to do. You have to give it your all, even though, they’ve been the perfect object lesson as to what corporate America really thinks about that generations’ consideration for their workplace.  Which is they really don’t give shit one about how much you care, they’ll take what they want and break the rest.   Those ethics kept me running about doing laundry and scrubbing the bathroom and doing the pots and pans because goodness knows, if I was going to wimp out on driving to work, I couldn’t actually enjoy the time off.

But in between all that, I managed to watch Miranda (not the BBC series that I adore so intensely but the 1949 classic?) It’s a movie about a mermaid who basically gets yanked out of some jetty in Cornwall by a doctor who is not really a philanderer but has the face of one and he pretends to cure her by brining her to London, wrapping up her legs, and letting his wife teach her how to smoke while she makes all the surrounding men go ga-ga over her.  Then she announces she’s pregnant right after they all propose and she heads off for the South Seas.  Very odd movie.  But I liked it.

I also liked the calzone at Old Chicago along with the waiter who served us.  I have an hour before it’s time to exercise and forget today.