Plastic Love: Day 40

I have to turn off the light on the dryer.  As soon as I hit five hundred words, I will do that.

Too many cut corners and you end up not knowing where you are.  So tonight, even though I am tired, and there’s technically only 30 minutes left in the day to do it, I am going to buckle down and write my five hundred words.

I had a good day, actually, dear diary.  I did a few things that mildly improved my lot.  I am thinking about all the books I read about cleaning and organization and the one thing that truly helps me is getting things into containers.  Containers actually do force me to visualize how much of a thing I should have rather than believing I have at least as much air as is in my house to cram random shit in.  No,  I have two bookcases and that is sufficient for the number  of books I need to treasure and own.  The rest can live at the library or online.  I now have dividers for the socks and underthings (sorry internet for informing you I own underthings) and I already feel as though I have so much room.  I am trying to kind of Unfondo?  Sort a combination of my own making of Unfuck Your Habitat and Marie Kondo teachings.  Seeing what makes me feel good and glad to have in about 20 minute bursts.  In my case, I have a lot of things I know I want to get rid of, but what holds me back is the idea that I have to do the whole house at once or in one process.  I will never get to that stage.  Probably ever, ever.   So instead, to whirl around and say, shit, I have 5-6 misshapen and useless sports bras that I dig through every time to find the one I like and still wear, along with a huge armful of tights that have runs in strategic places where you could still wear them if they stayed exactly where they should.  Mostly this never happens, but I keep the tights because you’d have to think about yourself as an inordinate destroyer of tights and an overall bad person were you to grant them to the garbage pile.  I have tried to avoid such determinations, but perhaps, in the end, that is exactly what I am.

The dear cat is very unwell, and back to the vet she went today to get IV’d and have fluids put under her skin because she was refusing to drink or eat.  Now she’s perked up a bit, a very little bit, and her eye is all sorts of gross, but I’m hopeful about that.

I’ve watched a lot of Abroad in Japan, for a bit of culture.  There’s certainly more on offer in every respect, things to do, things to read, things to worry about tomorrow.  I’m feeling positive, generally, mostly because the alternative feels so exhausting and there’s boxes out there to put all your bobby pins in so…stay calm.

Snowblind: Day 37

I am feeling positive this morning.  Not entirely sure why given the fact that right behind me is a veritable whiteout situation.  I don’t have to immediately leave work, which is the only way that I think I’m not flipping out.  I will, I suppose, have to eventually leave work.  I’m deciding on the bus, but it’s a matter of whether or not I’m driving myself to the bus station or no.  I’ve got boots in the car, at least.  There is an element of peace working here where I know, on these days like this, crap flying from the heavens upon us, I don’t have to necessarily find the huge well of resources within to sort out how I’m going to sleep at my house tonight.  How, in this 1-3 inches, I will endure?

Maybe it’s the activation energy! Which I announced with an exclamation point as I got myself upright relatively quickly this morning for an early meeting.  Up I rose, careening into the heavy, extensive fog.  It didn’t feel impossible.  Days with an hour later start and I am on the constant edge of death.

For now, at my desk, with a charger possibly in my car, possibly not, typing away as I eat my salad.  I do not violently hate the fact that I have to eat this salad on Day 6 of episode 900000 and 1 of my weight loss “journey.”   It could definitely be a worse salad than it is.  It’s mostly fresh and the dressing only had 3 carbs, and sure, this is the sort of content that brings all the kids and their milkshakes and their music to my lawn.
Spent the evening working on some writing. Not happy with it, but it’ll do for what it needs to be.
Counting that towards my total.  Happy I saw Dimash on my CBS TV.  Feeling decent save for the snow.  Shoulda grabbed those boots yesterday!

Habitland: Day 36

Start early. Get the window rocking in its pane, just ever so slightly, so you can pop through it when you must.

I would like to write on what I would like to write on. Just mark it down under the long, long, interminable list of things that are out of my hands.

Lunch today was bacon-wrapped meatloaf and a salad which I definitely need to make some time next week for myself. That could make a good number of meals. Alexa, I would say, if my electronic overlord had access to me here, remember the meatloaf. I’d also have more control over the random wheat carbs that were in it because it’s institutional meatloaf and institutional mushroom gravy and everything needs a little sawdust to puff it up for another 100 mouths. It’s a good idea.
There’s something nice, settling, relaxing, protective about the realization that it doesn’t really matter in the end if I do low-carb, or low-cal, or keto, or some pickle soup diet. It is never about the exact restrictions or the exact ideology or scientific benefit. What matters is that I feel it working and I stoke that feeling and that belief and that discipline long enough to see a difference. Then, I’m standing with enough elevation to decide something. From down here, from the place of the same 5-20 lbs, nothing really changes or hooks. The habit is simply a habit. But you can’t get to the whole “lifestyle change” garbage/personal heaven without passing through habitland. You have to walk in the direction of your dream, regardless of how you’re thinking about it, so the muscle memory.
So I don’t want to frighten anyone, but my goal, I think is to change enough to frighten people. Not in terms of being unhealthy looking, not in terms of having so much control over this that I lose control and become mostly skin and bones.  A walking sack.  No, that’s not the vision at all.  The goal is to make people realize how much I can do when I settle in and dig down and put my mind to it.  To make the discipline that dances in and out of my life so permanent, so powerful, that I can’t be seen as I was before.  That I get all the power and praise that comes from effectuating that level of change.
That I get that moment where everyone understands an inside the same as an outside.
Fuck, it feels very trite, save for the fact that when you haven’t had a moment like this, ever…and you’ve lived through eons of cycles pretending you don’t mind, you don’t care, you can be ignored and forgotten and made to be secret and unnamed…maybe I need to accept what my trigger actually is. What actually motivates me rather than what is supposed to.  Good health, body security, ability to not get fluttery over hills.  Yes, to all of that.
But maybe part of good health is a good body image. And maybe a good body image can happen when you accept that you have a body – one you want to carry your skull around and show off your genius.  Maybe having someone tell you something good might interrupt the sonic shell of bad news.  Maybe it’s alright to feel like you could get a compliment and it wouldn’t be about anything more than that.
Maybe!

Potatoes Are Not What We Eat…Currently: Day 33

Take yourself to task.  There were far too many items in the washing machine and it damn near exploded.

The cat is slurping as she washes herself over and over again on the floor.  I am not sure how to make this post today.

I’ve been trying to be creative and limit social media today.  This has been not an altogether successful mission, but lately, I’ve been feeling the sense of doing such a thing.  I’m feeling bombarded, both in good ways and bad, by ideas.  Things to worry about.  Things to do.  Things I could think about and build into other things I’m trying to be creative and achieve.  And it has become more than the small dustpan of my mind can handle.  So I have taken a certain percentage of the day to do what I do best, and that is, fuck all.

This, when it doesn’t coincide with someone’s plans, can be…a touchy thing.  We so rarely have touchy things.  But he says nothing and I say, tell me if you’re tired and want to sleep and aren’t going to go to bed unless we speak.  Don’t wait around for me.  I’m not…as I’ve heard it said…your girlfriend.  I am bending over backwards as it is to be generally available, to be generally present and picking up the phone.  A few hours without having to drop my train of thought to get on yours is all I’m asking.  One night to not have to live the reality of this half-fulfilled existence, to take my ball and go home.

Ah, sigh.

Instead, writing projects.  Instead, some MST3K.   Some Sunless Skies once I worked that little bug out. Some not giving into sugar and carbs so I can say Day 2 of the low-carb till ECCC plan is actually happening.  Going into a few fugue states – metaphorical ones, in actuality, more of a Pinterest freefall for writing inspiration that is a really bad idea on a number of levels.  More of that digital overwhelm when I just need to rely on my own brain to think up the details rather than relying on constant predigested inspiration.  That’s the worst, least effective kind.

Tomorrow:  we cook.  We see my mother and I square how she sounded on the phone with how she looks.  Nobody’s called me so, I’m assuming it’s okay for now.   Like she said, what else can you do?  Like Prof. Brian Cox said, the forward motion of time is a constant: everybody’s going to tomorrow, there’s no getting around it.

I’m yawning.

Let’s wrap this up and emerge from our psychic chrysalis tomorrow, fresh and awake and ready for life.   I’ve picked my spells.  I know what I’m needing to do.  There’s some intent in the haze.  Time to give myself the sleep necessary to make some of that happen.  Sleep sounds really, aggressively, objectively wonderful right now.   I think I am going to close this laptop up just after I press post and try and make shit happen in the land of Nod.

 

 

Stuck in a Vortex: Day 30

Paraphrasing from a recent TED talk I heard: The energy it takes to get you out of a warm bed into a cold room is the exact same energy required to change your life.

I heard this two days ago and still hit the snooze button until the last of the last possible moments before the hellfire and threat of unemployment finally rousted me from my agitated half-slumber.  This morning, at least, I found a way to get myself moving at 6:15am and in that pre-dawn hour, get out the door with enough time to swipe the massive drifts of snow from my car and get to work by 7:30am for an event that in no way required me to be present.  But here I am, with that extra half-hour of work time under my belt and enough positive energy to start writing this now.
I want the time tonight.  To do taxes, to think, to write something else, to deal with some true truths.
Therapy was today.  And after rushing to get myself out and there, it was sort of this agonizing, powdery exploration of the basic terrain of my heart.  Stomping in the dry, musty fields of teenage hopes and dreams.  Trying to excavate and tamp down at the same time.  To circumnavigate it all and yet not move a foot.
I’m so confused.  I answer the phone almost with a weird feeling of self-awareness.  Of falling for the ol’ three-card monte.  Just enough vigor on his part, just enough exhaustion on mine and suddenly, he’s crazy about me.  Thrilled and desperate for me, wild about me.  Rapturously moonstruck over me.  For 30-40 minutes, I am entirely convinced that I have it all wrong.  I am his and he is mine and all the things one thinks when one is cooed over and the center of attention.  Even in my terrible mood, I feel immediately beholden to his better mood.  I feel silly and girly and cared about and chosen and selected and accepted and flattered.  Ultimately, flattered by the intensity of the whole intimacy thing.  Eventually, I say I can’t work on the writing project until this weekend, he says no problem.
We hang up.
I think, beneath the roar of the heater, about how my therapist told me to think about things – about the things I’m choosing not to think about – and I feel in this moment like I’m trying to take a sobriety test.  I go back to the usual rack of tabs that await me, including FB, and see the same post that was driving me mad last night.  I see at the bottom, and there’s a comment indicating he finds this woman a cool drink of water.  An hour’s passed.  Or something.  One can register these things lightly or heavily as one chooses.
Sigh.  All of which is within his purview, I suppose.  All of which is in his remit as a person on this earth who has no commitments to me.  She’s as far away as I am.  She’s surrounded by heaving, turgid masses, of men, each of which appears to be hoping to be chosen, in a casual, text-based way.  She’s probably a real human being with feelings, thoughts, personality – about which, in this moment, I’m electing not to give a shit. It’s all a game. Nothing matters and the longer I hold onto hope, the longer I stand in the fire.
I re-read the first sentence of this post and would like to dive into the sea.  The frozen, vortex-locked, endless sea.

Pertinent Information: Day 29

That feeling when you’re way too fragile, self-esteem-wise, to handle someone the avoidant-obsessive game.   Everything justifies everything else.  I said we needed to know where things stood so we wouldn’t accidentally hurt one another.

Why does he need to tell some British redhead her smile is great?  That “damn…that smile.”  It’s a group for single people!  I don’t know.   He just does.  Meanwhile, I feel as though I’ve crawled out of some terrible, pilled sweater cocoon an even greater, more shlubbier bit of nothing.  Meanwhile, I’ve got a chair half-full of pizza.  I’ve got this exhausted anxiety.  I’ve done what I could.  But everyone’s better being themselves than I am these days.   My feelings always have this edge of plausible deniability until the moment someone tries to deny them.

I want to tear off my skin and tear the bone from the marrow and get back to dust and air and weightless, speechless things.

We aren’t dating.  We’re single.  But we’re not, you know?  We’re honestly not. But we are, apparently.  This is the shit you have to just blink and determine has no power over you.  But it does.  I want to be passive aggressive and shitty like the bad sitcom wives who hold shit over their unwitting husbands’ heads – the ones I swore my relationships would have no single common thread with.  I want to post cold-hearted, snide, acerbic things.  I want him to feel bad for thinking whatever probably innocuous thing he was thinking.   Probably.

Everything is fine except in the ways, you know, it ain’t.

Everything is grand except in the ways you’re actively eating shit.

I’m glad that therapy is tomorrow.  Even if it means I have to mess with running around like an imbecile in the middle of the day.  I’m trying to learn.  I’m trying to do what I can.  Trying not to dwell on how I feel so awful I can’t even think.

Just a momentary vent.  It’ll heal.  Along with everything else.  Fuck.

For Best Results: Day 27

So yesterday was a longer post, I don’t know what tonight will bring when I really want to work on at least two other things and the thing I most want to work on is delayed until Tuesday at the earliest.

I have tasks I have to complete.  I’ve been arguing in some ways with J all day as our motivations and interests collide and diverge.  I need the time to think about and address my own stuff.  This morning we did not do breakfast.  No fancy final eggs benedict to swallow me up, however, the absence of breakfast lead to me holding firm on the idea of needing lunch.  So my birthday lunch ended up being my younger sister and I eating tacos quickly and splitting the bill so we could hurry and get my mother the pho she wanted.  This was important because she’s changing the chemo formula next week and things are continuing into a positive, but nebulous place.  A nebulous, but positive place?  One spot going away to reveal another spot.  The cancer in the bone holding steady.  Things not progressing, but the medicine not attacking like it should.  Somehow the new medicine will be less harsh.  Maybe her hair will grow back.  If she wants pho, or she wants the moon, we do what is required for her to have it.

You stop thinking about needing some grand party in moments like these.  You stop thinking that the day needs to hit some watermark of ego-stroking to matter.  They gave me a big gift card for Amazon.  They let me watch Critical Role for over an hour with nobody making too many comments.   That’s lovely.  If I can’t have them sitting there, engaged with something I care about, I’ll take being able to just enjoy it around them.  It’s nice to feel as though I could give myself 5 seconds of not being beholden to an idea I have and how much air is in the room when I do that.

I don’t have to be made to be a princess.  I have to make myself happy.

I’m doing that by writing, and slowly, painstakingly, taking care of one thing I need to take care of at a time.  I’m doing that by letting myself think about the plans I made and set out in the future, how day by day they’re moving toward me…but also, I can move towards them.  I can find the mechanized walkway they have in the airport and walk fast as I can on it and zoom by rather than lean on the side.  A labored metaphor, but yes.   I can think about what I want.  And another day of Starbucks and pizza and refusing to track and pay attention to your choices is not going to make for better posts.  Must lay your head down in new places to have better dreams.

Tonight before bed: find your bus pass, please.  Pick out some clothes that you can wear to survive the snow.  Buy the book. Charge your fitbit.  Check your email.  Take your hand off the stove.

Phone calls.  Other things to note.  I apparently leveled up in our game.  I’m excited about that, given that it’s never happened before.  I’m excited to be able to do more, to use the information I have.

That’s enough for you for today.