The Track, The Rut, The Path

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Things we do tonight:

Pack the bag for tomorrow – this will mean that there probably won’t be a post tomorrow now that I think of it.  I do want to get up early enough to hit the library to print my resume, just in case.

None of that is of particular importance to me right now.

I am looking back at tweets and posts and thoughts from two years ago, digging into the massive digital archive I have of my emotional wellbeing or lack thereof, and realizing that it was precisely two years ago that I gave my notice.  That it was precisely three years ago I started the writers group (which, despite my hiatus, is carrying on in my absence, which I love because that means I can bring a fabulous draft back to them when I am ready and present and attentive).  That it was about this time four years ago when the driving panic really set in.

There’s a moving forward and a pulling back and I don’t know what it all means, but I know, know, know, know that I need stability so that I can work on myself and never be consumed by my job again.  So that if there’s a Mumford show, it can’t sneak up on me and I have thoughts about whether or not I’m capable of enjoying it.  Whether or not I’m capable of experiencing it with anything other than this hairshirt distracting me from the joy that is my reality.

I am wildly frustrated at my boss.  She’s so wigged out about everything that she’s at the fully checked out stage.  Nothing is working so there’s just goofy ideas about cat cafes and…Nothing and I  find myself unable to carry the spear that will pop her and bring her down to earth.   There’s just constant bad news, we have to move from the massive, free-rent office space we have, and the few co-workers that remain are exhausted by this drama and being let down day after day.  It’s just not acceptable.  It’s daily regression.  It’s not fair after everything I’ve given up to see it work.

Here’s the trajectory I want.  New job, potentially at the place I am visiting tomorrow, though, it’s just talk.  The thing about whatever new job is that it will be steady, regular work for regular pay. This means I get my weekends back.  Evening and weekends, that’s time for writing.  Getting your hair cut on a regular basis, starting this whole exercise routine that improve my disposition.   Put this story to bed, start writing articles, doing little things that build my capacity to write fiction on a daily basis.  Really dig into my projects and eventually, eventually, write full-time at home.  Do that whilst being in mad love with someone.

That’s the glory I want, I am gunning for, I deserve without changing a hair on my stressed-out head.

And now, Sleepytime tea, no computer glare to wake me up, a good try at catching Queen Mab as she sails.

Lego My Ego

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I am going to try and do double duty as some kind people on MFP have noted my absence there and I am trying to both rev myself back up to start tracking again and empty my brain of all of the resistance I have.

Confessions:

I obviously did not track while away for the funeral and vacation.  I didn’t want to.  I didn’t want to think at all.   I don’t know if I wanted to float as idly as I did, but that’s what happened.

So I’ve drunk soda.  Quite a bit.  That’s happened after more than a year of not drinking it.  I think I’m still capable of turning on a dime and not drinking it again, because the return is infinitely diminished, but I have to actually make that turn and stop.
I have eaten…not great things.  Cupcakes and lava cakes and tacos and random hamburgers and basically hardly even a green thing at all.  My body doesn’t like that at all.  We just sort of ate out constantly, first because of the stress of the funeral, then because we were vacationing and everyone had that mantra of food feels good and there was a lot of good tasting food to be had.  The idea of ordering a salad or having a smaller portion honestly did not occur to me.
I did drink less coffee, if there’s anything to be said for doing that.
I didn’t eat as much as was physically possible if I can get any points for that.

I think the deal is…the new you.  The new iteration.  I’m back in my house, back in my patterns, back in my thinky-thinky brain and you’re just a nice guy I get to think about who likes my facebook pictures and posts and whose pictures and posts I am daring now and again to like.  You live very far away.  You’re not a threat to my creepy little existence.  You, unless I really fuck up wonderful, can’t make much of an impact except in one important little way.  You can make me feel good, like I exist, like I have a draw and a pull on another human being even if that pull isn’t any stronger than a refrigerator magnet.

So I need to get back into the diet.  There’s this impulse, like hey, you’d be more willing to be confident about this if you were confident about you.  Then, the impulse that he seems to just like me and he’s very far away so I don’t have to race.  But he didn’t even exist before and I wanted to do this then so what’s the deal, yo?

Ego.

I am just going to spend the next three days tracking whatever goes into my mouth.  I can do that.  I have done it before.  Then, tracking and adding back in the exercise and getting myself rolling.  Get back on the scale.  It’s not so terrible.  It’s just a habit I have to make by repeating the motions.

 

 

That’s Pretty Dang Good

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Strange how even making tiny life changes does sort of give you a bit of a hangover.  I didn’t drink at New Year’s this Year and today I feel like I blacked out – possibly for the past 10 days.  A head and neckache to beat the band. Strawberry red in the face for no apparent reason.  Precious.

Melodramatic? Yes.  True…eh, possibly?

Today has been a mentally manic sort of day. Reliving the halcyon days of watching Radio Free Roscoe live, thinking about how much I love Loreena McKennitt, continuing to play an excessive amount of Sims 3, needing to play Dragon Age and allowing lovely shippy, spoilery YouTube videos to suffice, put my can on the seat for 10 minutes on the bike that I am going to have to work hard to not allow to keep me up all night (last night, I must report, went really poorly as a result and I gotta be doing this earlier – I thought it was cool, but it wasn’t, omg, it wasn’t), laid down on the floor and did 10 situps despite reading some new report that suggests they are destroying your body, logging my embarrassing food choices on MyFitnessPal, getting a delightful shitton of information and recipes for my new food processor including stir-fried grated sweet potatoes, working hard and enjoying working hard on good ol’ Bookerie McBooken, finally turning the phone back on and hearing from the boss and not learning that the sky has fallen.  Maybe it has, but we don’t have to do that whole stressing so hard we practically bite our tongue off when we sleep thing anymore.  At least not tonight.  We have two more sleeps till Reality Bites and instead of hunkering down, I’m enjoying who I am right now, outside of all of that.

Things are happening, but it’s not all the things.  It doesn’t have to be ALL THE THINGS.  I can’t be.  I feel the desire to do more than I am doing which is such a nicer feeling than constantly being let down by not being able to all or nothing my life.  You are not a letdown when you’re imperfect, you’re dead-on human and you’re worth recognizing for turning up.

People laugh at that, but it’s one of those laughs where you respond because it touches truth.

+139 random story words from editing and futzing on the novel.

Bright as a Daisy

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Have no fear, we’re here, we’re really here!  Bright as a daisy, sunny as a buttercup.  Sentences at a time, but present and accounted for.

Your little turn of energy becomes mine and mine becomes yours.  Winds beneath wings and all that.  It is as simple as having chosen to begin.  You can spiral down and out, but you can also go up and in.  Ahem.  You can.  It is just a change in direction.  It is just a willing, scullery maid’s spirit.  There’s work to be done, but here we are to do it.  Even if we mouth the words, we know the words so there’s a start.

The new year is coming.  It is unavoidably nigh.   You can choose other than you chose before.  No one will hold your evolution against you, not really, not I think, if you believe in its necessity far more than you believe in the heartsick that others throw up at you when they’re frightened.

The habits already decided on are 10 minutes of physical activity everyday + 10 situps.   Will I get to the point where I can do 20 or a 100 every day? Gee, I hope so, but for the moment, we’re thinking 1×1 inch picture frames (thank you, Anne Lamott) and doing 10.

Interrogating my thoughts.  This is rather huge.  It is a habit that needs building, though.  Saying yes things are possible so often that you lean towards the assumption that you can get up and tackle your life, thank you Cheryl Strayed, you can frigging murdilize it as needed.  Rather than acedia, plodding, exhaustion and accepting nothingness.  You can’t get out of bed ever now?  Not ever, ever, ever?  What if you have to pee? What if you need to eat?  Someone will come, someone will encourage me, someone will bring me food.  No.  No, they won’t.  And even if they did, you wouldn’t like what they brought you anyway.

This is the sort of internal dialogue fight we have to fight 24/7 until we get strong enough to avoid the fighting entirely.  Right now I’m just getting ambushed all the time by oddball freak-outs.

If there is some secret inner vault where we keep the beliefs we hold dearest, contrary to what we talk about or espouse or intend, it is time to crack it open and let it be awash with light.  What lives after the lustratio deserves to remain.  We will walk the long walk, we will give up the pig and the ram and the bull and drive the evil spirits out. Look to the birds, let the gods call it as they see it from their side of the fence.

Enough with the blather.  I got up, I got food (and coffee), I have therapy tomorrow, I checked my email and made sure of that.  Then, my friends have made genius plans for Seattle that I am delighted to turn up and experience.  Yes.  We have to get out of bed at some point because the only people they fly horizontally, at least for my ticket price, are corpses.

Crow Eating a Persimmon

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Writing related to my therapy discussion today:

I am at my best when I can work on my own, but get regular feedback from others..
I will try to prevent times when I feel I can’t use my creativity to find solutions..
I will enjoy my work by finding employment where I can complete short assignments that help others get things done.
I will find enjoyment in my personal life through pushing my creative boundaries and expectations.
I will find opportunities to use my natural talents and gifts such as writing, acting with empathy, being a friend, thinking creatively, being self-directed, being even-keeled.
I can do anything I set my mind to. I will complete my novel and write like mad for publication and myself everyday.
My life’s journey is.about integrating the parts and pieces of myself, overcoming fear and anxiety and taking hold of my worthiness. Once I do this, I benefit, the people I choose to have relationships with benefit, everything becomes gilded with joy because I won’t be closed off to the world anymore.
I will be a person who at 80, is  surrounded by people I love, my husband and a kid or two and their kids and then lots of different friends from all walks of life. I would like them to say that I loved each of them so much that they felt safe and inspired to do their own great things, make their own lives remarkable..
My most important future contribution to others will be that I will have broken down the barriers I have built around me and within me so that I don’t have to peer over them and call that connection. To have fought for a true self that will feed my work, relationships, and experiences so that I can express myself fully and don’t live in fear.

I will stop procrastinating and start working on how:

  • I often allow fear or thoughts of imperfection to keep me from completing promised tasks for myself or others. Work sits undone, waiting for a better, smarter person to do it.
  • I do things well enough to get by, but I let my drive for excellence get swallowed up by insecurities.
  • I reason my way out of eating better, being socially vulnerable, or taking important risks and I reason my way out of being upset about that when I know they are steps I need to take to have the life I want.

I will strive to incorporate the following attributes into my life:

  • empathy
  • intelligence
  • creativity

I will constantly renew myself by focusing on the four dimensions of my life:

  • Have exercise be a ritual, let it bring regular comfort and renewal to my body rather than a reminder of imperfect health.
  • Let the Faithful Light speak. Meditate and let her come forth fully and as loudly and as often as she likes.
  • Read and write. Trade other ways to spend time for creative pursuits. Fail at more things. Confront my fears at as many opportunities as I can. Reinforce my values and goals daily. Demand projects are completed before new ones begin.
  • Put myself in the position to meet people and not yoke that goal with the goal of falling in love and having a family. Let myself be available to imperfect partners. Recognize there is no shame in wanting physical intimacy and emotional support in this life.

Take Your Time

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We are not here to rush.

We are not here to have done or to have known.

We are not here to sign off on anything.

We are in the middle and there is no mile marker to count us towards a finish line or record how far we’ve come.  The thick of it is in every direction.  Today may not be the cleverest of all the clever days behind me or ahead of me, but I am trying to make it so.  I am trying to accept and strive at the same time.

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I am working on my story.  My piece of fiction.  But it’s not words

 

Sometimes I look down the hallways and see the light from the window play against the wall and through the door, it will hang on something in the darkness, a weaker, more amber sort of light that seems to take a living form.  A wavering flame behind a smoked-out glass, but sentient, but waiting.  Not a monster you fear in childhood, nothing that wants your blood or your soul, just a passerby.  A thing that is for a moment, a coincidence of spirit.

And a blink brings it back to just blocks of light coming through the window in a particular way.  I like that sort of bifocal lens in my eyes, to see both, at once, the real and the real enough.  Losing one sort of sight is blindness.  You think it’s only the logic, the ability to parse and make sense of the world around you that your vision provides, but it invents.  It plays, it stretches and pulls the thread of your body deftly through its eye.  To look and see twice, it’s a bit of a superpower, and one I thought I had to protect by being very particular where I laid my eyes.

Now, I think, just let me see.  Whatever there is, just let me see it, and my eyes will decide what stays and goes.

Tomorrow, we march on the old battlefields.  We are not perfected for this reunion.  We are not slender blades of flame and steel.  We are just girls.  I am just a girl in pants and ill-fitting sunglasses goggling about at the way things might have been if the leap hadn’t have been made.  If I turned left instead of right, if I’d been mauled and left for dead in Rome, if I’d been swallowed by the Atlantic ocean, I could be right back there worrying about the rainstorms and their impact on the event.  Now I’m just a visitor, a coincidence of spirit, just passing by.  I refuse to regrip those old woes, I have fresh stresses I like better.

And then, a haircut and a new floor and several other items that will root me in this life, this place, these problems.  No long reveries for me, no aching memories.  I’ve made more progress in this seven months of struggle than I did treading water there for eight years.

So, put that in your pipe and smoke it, see.

The Sea That Divides Us Is A Temporary One

Tonight, I will attempt to not drop off any sentences in mid-air.  Apologies.  I understand how that might make this a less desirable blog to read on a regular basis.  I guess I sort of have come to this feeling about the blog that I need and want to do it, that I desire the feeling  of completeness and catharsis it provides, but I certainly do keep my eye glancing down at that word count tally.   I don’t pore over this day by day for that very reason – tomorrow will arrive and there will need to be another post – so how can I stand on the circumstances and emotions of the day.   Psychologically, it’s much more revealing to look at the trends and the seasons and the way I have sort of gone up and down over the years versus the reality of this Saturday on this month from this spot.

But you don’t know about any of that, more likely than not.

All I can tell you is that today feels like a fresh beginning.   Maybe that’s a bit premature to announce.   I don’t have a lot of time left in today, but I feel really lovely.  I have done a lot of the things on my list.   I drove my mother to the store which was definitely out of my element and she didn’t wig out.  Long ago, too long, I’m afraid, I had a panic attack while I was driving with her.    This, coupled with a few other incidents, made me very certain that I was not fit to be behind the wheel.  This state of affairs has lasted much longer than any of us really anticipated.  This sort of spiraled down into the summer where I kinda/sorta/basically went crazy right before I graduated college and was so anxiety-ridden that it was difficult for me to climb stairs for fear that they would collapse beneath me.   Given how many classes I had in the upper levels of big English department buildings, it was a bit much.   Slowly, now, I can drive myself to work and I can handle most staircases, but anything outside of the ordinary drive to work and back throws me.  So driving my mother – who has a very shifty perception of my ability to get us somewhere without destroying the car or sobbing as I drive – is a big deal.

And I ate right, tracked it, walked about 2 miles, did an inordinate amount of laundry, made my bed all military, got some more shakes, got some stuff do start doing my exercising on the Wii again, scrubbed out the tub, cleaned out my makeup case and brushes, drank out of my liter bottle of water, flicked at my ukulele, threw out some old cd cases and refolded all my jeans and pants, and I am working centering myself in process and plans and not worrying too much about outcomes.

This is how the future comes to be.

Not so much music: Eddie Izzard, Glorious.