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.

Shifting The Numbers (14/365)

When I woke up like a bolt of lightning had run through me at nearly 5:00am, I was curious as to how the remainder of the day would go.  I woke up and got up and got shake and lingered a bit, laying there, drinking what I actually find as enjoyable as any Starbucks I’ve ordered.  I actually finish my shakes more often than not which I can rarely ever say for the former.

Well, it seems, that the energy has stayed with me.

Energy that has allowed me to exercise for forty-five minutes without feeling panicky and nervous and heart-fluttery which usually freaks me out just enough to stop.  My music was fast-paced and my stomp walking with Leslie Sansone felt like…exercise. It felt legit even if everyone and Cindy Crawford is lifting weights and doing yoga.  It was forty-five actual minutes and I felt every drop of that serotonin moving through me.  Oh, this, this is why people do this?

I have to imagine that just the regular walking and getting up and moving around that I’ve been doing in January has helped make it easy to shift a bit.   I’d half-planned just to see if my XBox would even play the DVD or if it had been scratched and ruined at some point between now and the last time I attempted this.  Caffeine, I’m sure played a role, but today…I don’t know.

Energy that stuck with me, too, to take garbage and recycling out, to wash pots and pans, attempt to make chicken stock (celery but no carrots, it is going to need work.), go to the store and try and find size 6 riding boots to zero avail, but ended up coming home with some random chicken, random Bordeaux-hued lipstick, some more gum, and some soda.  Slowly working on pushing that pop out of my life again.  To do laundry.  Order groceries.  Contemplate if in the next month or two if I want to try making keto bread.

And soon, hopefully, if I can stop distracting myself with random nonsense, make up my bed with some nice, clean sheets.

That’s a lot for me.  Maybe you and yours have all this shit locked down, but I am in a constant state of personal revelation when I handle anything without spending hours letting the thoughts run around in my mind, percolating a few drops of high-octane willpower before collapsing in a heap of your own making.

I know that better habits – habits at least like not buying Starbucks, even the low-sugar macchiato – make for days like this.  And if you can stack a few days like this, you can make your surroundings a place where you can trust that you have a clean bowl to cook your slightly more complicated low-carb food in and you’ve got space to move around in and you’ve got time as well.  So you don’t block yourself out of your own plans.

A little scary, mostly wonderful to contemplate.

The eventualities of sticking with this for a full year.  What it will mean.

Everybody Wants to Rule the World: Day Thirty-Nine

Sunday is burning its last few inches of wick.

I am happy.

I have used pockets of time well today.

I’ve set some clothing out for tomorrow.  I’m going to plan my food for tomorrow.  I’ve set my alarm.  I’ve drunk some water.  I’ve worn my pedometer. I’ve spent 10 minutes on the bike.  I’ve cleaned up in the bathroom.   I’ve finished the last run on Bioshock Infinite and am working on the DLC.  The roads can do as they like because it’s been warm enough that some snow tonight won’t make them impassable.  Not for me and Suzy Suzuki, the pearly mountain goat I drive around in.  I was not sick on shakes or anything else.

Instead of dreading, I’m organizing.

At least for today.

Tonight – shower, have something else to eat that is small, perhaps some more popcorn – which I will come to in a second here, blow out the candles

Tomorrow morning – 10 minutes on the bike
Drink my shake before I go
Finish my makeup before I go instead of trying to tell myself I’ll have time to do it at work.
Bring a bag of trash down to the dumpster before I go to work
Leave at 7:45 rather than 8:00a.m. so as to have two moments to think.
Go to the grocery store and buy food for dinner that is healthy and that I’m willing to make after a long day.  (Not pizza.)
Stand up and walk around while thinking.  Try and get 5000 steps in.
Sign up for a massage on Sunday.
Remember dodgeball because God knows I’d like to forget about it.


Tomorrow night I’m going to start on my vacation budget.  I have some money set aside since my friend and I have started talking about this, but I have got to start doing a lot more research since even though I get to stay somewhere for free, I both don’t want to be a burden and take advantage of the fact that I’m going to Italy.   My thought is to stay overnight in Florence.   At any rate, there’s just a lot more thinking to do on how to make all of this happen.  Though a key part of being excited about it is feeling comfortable in self so…I’m working on that, foodwise, exercise, lifestyle change-wise.  Whatever the road is, the destination is the feeling.  The destination is the pride I’d like to have and currently don’t.  So I’m doing more low-carb, but an imperfect version, for a few days, anyway.  Fuck, I really don’t even want to talk about it, because I feel guilty and then I feel annoyed and then I feel self-righteous and then I feel like the only way anything happens is from ground zero, day one and I destroy everything I’ve got to get back there.  That’s the cycle I need most to break.  So imperfection is accepted and assumed.   Still doesn’t mean I can’t exercise and try and build in some better habits and seduce the positive rather than eschew the negative.   And yes, you can embroider that on a throw pillow for me, please.


And Every Muscle Rested: Day Nineteen

Starting, my friends, first thing in the morning.  Change of pace, kind of a bit of encouragement for the desire I am feeling to rebuild my personal universe, and a reminder, I think, that I can do so much without demanding I do everything right now, this very instant.

Work and rest and play.  That’s how I want my life to go.

As for place, I’ve always had this dream of a little, arts and crafts, English bungalow, tucked away behind the trees, with flowers, and inklings of the dichotomy I’ve struggled my whole life with, a little magic and a little stability.  Fairy footprints, a wooded backyard to wander through, flowers both wild and weeded, and yet, neat as a pin, with signs of real domesticity, a place where all the Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker, Good Housekeeping strains of madness that run through me could be honored.

A cottage, like something you’d see in the distance of some Maxfield Parrish painting, but of course, warm, safe, and with internet access.

That’s where I dreamed of living.

But that’s, obviously, not the arrangement at the moment.  Still, I want it to be and I am trying to train myself to believe that even if it’s unlikely that I’ll ever be habitated in such a spot, I can move in that direction.  I can get closer than I am now, staring at piles of clothes and messy bookshelves and things forgotten simply because they’ve been hidden away behind other things I care less for.   My guitar and ukulele. CD’s.  Organizational lists.  It becomes, while not monstrous like a Hoarders episode, functionally the same.  It becomes another wall between me and a relaxed, fulfilled self.  It keeps me from saying, come over and see me where I dream and write and play games and eat.  Because I’m not in this perfect cottage in the woods with dried lavender hanging from the rafters and until I flip the invisible, unreachable perfect switch and move there, I’m not worthy of visits.  And the mess proves and demands that belief.  

You can get so caught up in your own false assumptions that it causes some sort of deep rupture when you try and realign yourself.  I’m always afraid of bringing that pain to myself, that I’m betraying something by calling the lies I’ve invented to protect myself by what they are.  Fear can make you behave in ways that interlock with one another until you can’t get back in one leap of thought to the porch of that bungalow and call it your own.  But it’s just right there.  Same as comfort and faith in yourself.

And it feels ridiculously good to spend even half a day pushing in the the right direction, not piling on guilt, just doing, putting away, giving away, giving up the anxious thought and moving one’s arse.   This is my agency, my choice, to not be a sour patch kid and to rally for a while. Even if rallying means just breathing in and out.


Neutral Good: Day Fifteen

Okay, so here’s the five hundred word dash.

I’ve had a very good Saturday and I want to squeeze the last little bit of juice out of it before I have to collapse into bed, so I know you’ll forgive me if I rush along and make perhaps less sense than the typically tiny iota of reason that I provide here.

It was good because I cleaned like a madwoman for a while and got the massive wads of clothing in my room sorted a bit – winter clothes out, summer clothes put back away. There is a great deal of floor visible in my room.   Now I have that second level cleaning that is so hard for me to do for some reason – the detail work, pulling books out of the bookshelf and organizing them so everything isn’t sideways and full of askew paperwork.   But a major chunk is done, with lots of clothes set aside to give away that I don’t care about whatsover and were just bulk in my closet.   The cleaning, too, was really physical, and given that I was at it for four hours or so, I feel like that I got something of a workout in.  Even if the Pandora 80’s Cardio channel did not live up to the hype.  Come On Eileen is not exactly going to get your heart pumping.

So I’m proud about that.  Also proud that I did not eat terribly and I did not cave to hunger and make a bad decision and actually ate vegetables today which were fresh and delicious and filling along with some sugar-free teriyaki sauce.  I added in some carrots because it’s been two weeks without them, so we’ll see if some carrot apocalypse will come down on my head as a result.   Unfortunately, I’ve been so home-bound and stuck-in, cleaning and watching the Broncos fight it out and win over the Cowboys, that the grocery store trip I needed to make didn’t happen.  So I’m telling myself I can just get some and put it on ice when I get to work.  Or just have coffee, though that doesn’t exactly make me super happy and I think will lead me to gnawing feelings in my stomach and Monday stress + hunger typically leads me into bad places.  So, we’ll do what we can to avoid that.

I have played some games in here – to distract me from all of this work that depresses me and interspersing the two actually has made me relatively productive.  But I apparently killed the wrong rakshasa in Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark and I’ve spent way too long trying to figure out how to get around that without having to go back to a way earlier save point and now I have the item code that should be a good workaround and that’s the reason I’m putting so much haste into today’s post.

Suffice to say, I am good.  I feel like a very industrious Anna Bates, you know, before she fell in love with Mr. Bates.  Just neutral good.

Metal and Steel

I had a good night’s sleep.  I had a good day.    No boss, no coworker, so. Tomorrow, I have some more crushing impossible, time slipping bullshit situations that are inducing freak-outs that I am pushing away from for the very simple reason.

I did actually do another load of laundry and put it away.  I didn’t get myself overly het up about doing more since I know it’ll happen if I just keep doing one a day and building the habit.

I did actually only spend .95 cents today.  I used my gift card and got an eh sandwich and an eh gluten-free muffin I tossed most of and that was 10.95.  Kind of amazing when you think about it how much you spend willy-nilly when you’re not watching your money.  How excessive that is.  I, however, should have bought something else to drink, because we ended up not having any bottled water at work and I tried to drink out of the water fountain but it tasted nasty as fuck.  Whatever that is.  It just tastes like…no.  So I sipped my coffee and considered drinking some Diet Doctor Pepper and it was really only a matter of being thirsty that it even occurred to me as a possible choice.  I gave up soda over a year ago (soda pop? pop?) after what I felt then was going to be some impossible losing battle with the beast that is Diet Dr. Pepper.  I’d written solemn paeans about the overwhelming power that brown fluid holds.  I was pretty sure I was going to die surrounded by cans and bottles.   But all of a sudden, one day, I read some tweets by Alton Brown about how bad it was and it stopped being something I could justify in my head.  And now I’ve definitely cut down on my lemonade drinking which had become my alternative of choice just because I can’t take the sweetness.   So.  That’s good.

I did print out my materials and will be putting together my organizational notebook.  I’m not going to let it overwhelm me so it’s just a few things at a time.

Right now, I’m just doing my best to put away what I’m taking out and not leaving it set behind me.   I’m doing my best to sort of shift my desire for distraction into cleaning and organizing or writing and daydreaming and away from food and self-destructive activities.  Like…binge-ing on whole bags of caramel microwave popcorn because that activity sort of takes up your whole psyche.  I was over at my mom’s.  Everyone had gone to bed and it was so quiet that all my anxieties and fears and frustrations had space to surface and I had to stop them.  When she woke up the next day, she just seemed so sad I’d done that.  She just said, Oh…you really shouldn’t do that.   Cue a really unfortunate guilty feeling and a cycle continued.

So I’m trying to deal with it.   Will try and remember that for the therapist next week.

Bless you all for reading any of this.  I hope you understand it helps.

Hasty Cakes

So, I kind of think I’m gearing up for a good start to 2013.

How do I know this? I did a load of laundry tonight and I put it all away.
I have a new business purse.  Tote bag.  It’s not a briefcase.  It is, however, more professional than my Mumford and Sons bag that I don’t want to hold by the cloth handles for fear they’ll rip.

I didn’t die today.  I should have, at multiple junctures, but I didn’t.  I was, instead, treated much more kindly than I deserve both by friends, co-workers, and strangers.  I attempted to be kind in return, though I don’t know if I’ve quite covered it.  I am still, you know, panicky and stressed, and it may well grow back up exponentially, but the sick little mass that seems to grow (metaphorically, hyperbolically) every single day, seems to be back to a manageable size at the moment.

I am drinking water right now.  There was Atkins talk (unspecific and I agreed to nothing because I need, nay, demand this to be on my terms) and my mother is making me omelets-cupcakes for breakfasts.    I had some impulse to get on the bike which was cut-off at the knees by doing the laundry.

I also ordered with the etsy gift card my sister got me some printable planning stuff I’m going to put together tomorrow once I can print it and which I’ll share with her since…who knows, maybe it’ll be helpful for us both.  It has all sorts of different areas to track and it cost about as much as my planner did last year so we’ll see if I can bring it to work or maybe just keep it at home and make better use of my time.  Since so often I get home at 5:30 and turn around like I’m doing right now and observe the clock and it’s 11:16pm and I wonder how I can ever be expected to do anything.  Well, a lot of that time was falling to a create channel haze of cooking show delirium.   Seriously, I was watching America’s Test Kitchen bloopers last night.  And listening to their podcast and I want to cook the chicken cordon bleu recipe they were making tonight.  It makes me feel sort of grounded and domestic and proto-wifely.  A feeling which will pass, but what the hell.

I have some clothes picked out for tomorrow.  I’ve got a gift card to pay for my lunch at the coffee shop so I can save a little money there.   I will, in future, be doing my level best to save a little bit to help with these expenses.  I know my sister’s doing absolutely all she can with handling her two differently obnoxious jobs, but I hope that somehow she can find something that pays a little better and doesn’t involve so much rigamarole. Hell, I hope that for myself.

I feel rather determined.   Sometimes it’s awesome to know that you have things to do and you get to do them.