We Want Freedom For Ourselves, We Can Give It To Eachother

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There is now plenty of time for reconnecting with life as it is.

It will take me a moment to do that, though.

How strange, how deeply and fundamentally frustrating, that the impulse I have right now is to take the ennui of the past three hours and extrapolate that to the rest of my life.  A life wherein, I am currently in a state of intense motivation and positive change and willingness.   On a day when I was lavished with moments of genuine attention.

Here’s the bottom line.  For me, for you, for everybody, birthdays can be rough.

This year, while I have caved somewhat to the emo, I refuse to give in to any nonsense weepiness or to take this forward with me into the 24th.    I think the emo, in part, is just a reaction to the fact that my body’s realizing I’m pushing it.  And parts of me are enjoying the push.  Going from a very sedentary lifestyle, one that consisted primarily of rolling from my bed to car seat to chair to chair to car seat to bed, some parts of me are not.  My legs are aching from this new regime – which isn’t much, just a few miles of walking a few days in a row or cycling…nothing that feels too intense in the doing of it, but it is the persistence of regular activity that which I think is making me feel the difference.   I also need to do a better job of stretching before and after.

Today, after last night’s walking, I did more.  Another two miles of kicking and waving your arms around and ostensibly burning the calories which would have otherwise just hung onto me. Imagine that.  And then, after the cake and all the food which I am currently doing my best to track, we walked the dog for a bit and because of the earlier walking, I felt like I could just turbo my way around.  I felt like I could go forever.  And now, I ache more than before all the way up and down these gams.

This would formerly be a sign that I need to quit.  Quit because it was painful (albeit so mildly painful that it’s almost indistinguishable from the basic twinges of daily life).  Quit because something about this is not status quo.  It’s change but not complete, perfect revolution.  It’s just the work of work.  The plodding of the plodding.  The muscle is trembling and I am not holding it tight, softening around it, saying we don’t have to do anymore.

Because we do.  Just not tonight.

And none of this is really what I need or want to say.  What I need and want to say to the universe with its constant eavesdropping…is thank you.  Thank you to my sister for making me an omelet for my breakfast and being so solicitous all day.  Thank you to my friends near and far for acknowledging me and wishing me well.  Thank you to the Faithful Light for suggesting that the best way to avoid trouble is to just say what I want to say and accept the chaotic nature of online repartee.  Thank you to my younger sister for helping me split the birthday into something else, with a dinner out on Tuesday, which kind of creates a bit of an Extravaganza!  Thank you to my mother for cooking things that felt special.  Thank you to my father for being such an incredible dork that I feel looked after and cared about.  Thank you to me for putting on a little makeup and finding those winter clothes I thought I lost.   Thank you for the dutch oven and thank you for beginning already with answering the wish I made when I blew out my birthday candle…

 

 

 

With a Taste for the Melodramatic

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Dear Sugar didn’t really take me where I wanted to go this week.   Maybe.  Still spiky.  Still full of a headache.  Feeling really okay with being 7 calories over.  Not subtly adjusting things where maybe I over-estimated to make it “perfect.”  Today was just a seven calories over sort of day, but I feel full and not deranged.

….

A sort of written tapping.  I used to do this a lot with my first therapist and it helped me quite a bit.  I tend to stop doing things that work.

I just want to feel good right now.  In this time.  Without any glancing forward or backward, just now.  As I am.  In this body.  With this brain, these hands, this touch.I am going to take a breath and release some of these past few days’ negative emotions.   Some of it has a basis in reality, some of it is just self-punishment for imperfection.
I am going to stop dragging myself through the worst possible scenarios.  They almost never come to pass and even if they did, I can survive it.  I have survived things that have knotted me up for months.  I have been brave in so many ways so many times.
Nobody benefits from me hurting.  Nobody thinks more of me or more about me for taking on all the pain I can reach.  It doesn’t take it from anyone else, it doesn’t ease anyone else, it just hurts me.
I’m doing good things with my food and this means that I am not being run by it.  I’m learning and trying it out and I’m not afraid of getting to play around and fine tune and go over calories
I get to make art with my writing.  It doesn’t have to come to anything, to anyone’s attention, because it is real and of my heart and it’s going to happen anyway.  Regardless.  I think so many things are glorious and beautiful and worthy of elevation.   The way the sky looks in late January now that we’ve turned towards spring, seeing a new road and all the ticky-tacky houses all in a row, imagining what it is to live life as they must at that angle, what it would be to know that right turn on Meade St. would be the right turn towards home.
I have a small case of who knows what might happen.   Out of the shadows of insistence, someone flew a little flag that says you can’t count me out yet.  I might like you.  I don’t know you, but I might.
I like the stories I’m working on.  I like the characters I’m learning about.  I like getting chance to create everything they need.
I have a several larger mysteries I can soften into, that I don’t have to resolve, just explore.
I really love incidental music for self-help videos and public access tv shows.   I love birthday wishes from kind souls who couldn’t ever know what they mean to me.  I have chocolate oranges.
I have a future that I’m interested in seeing play out.  I have Tribe episodes to live tweet.

It is okay.

 

 

Day for Night (Via Orestiada)

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Things the stock photo guy never imagined he’d be promoting when he took this photo: my bullshit life.  Ha-ha, tee-hee!

Odd, odd, odd day.

I woke up this morning feeling ripped out of the land of Nod by my shoulders and birthed back into reality with not so much as a how do you do.   The dream I left was extra-weird, with me insisting a kitten-centric railroad calendar (think Chessie the Railroad Kitten, only with real, modern day kitties! omg!) would we highly saleable, to no one’s agreement.  Apparently, I dream of kitties and fascists who debate religion and philosophy.  I clung to my alarm, minute by minute, until I absolutely had to get up.  I felt hungover, sour, exhausted and all of my plans to get up early and workout (by which I mean walk about a bit or get on my bike and pedal) felt cotton candy in a quick moving stream.  Just gone.

Then, as happens so much lately, as soon as we hit the road for work, there’s a call and shit to be handled and in this case, the shit was ton of boxes that had to be loaded into cars from last month’s event.  Things had to be done today or else sort of situation.  So, we hauled boxes into our cars for half an hour before I returned to my post as chief of holding the carpet down while attempting to file and do whatever the heck else it is I do with myself.

It was not, however, so bad.  It was not, as I presupposed, the end.  It was, as per usual, more of the same wacky same.   There was no reason or purpose in going to go eat my way out of the emotions I was feeling.  There was no cosmic imperative to cake myself to numbness. I could just eat a bit, write it down, and know there was more later.   I want to walk closer to the things I’m dreaming of, let the ripple of confusion run through me, tilt all the little filaments and cilia a new direction.  At the moment, it’s in that sweet spot, where we’re in a partnership, the eating and the thinking about eating and…the me.  Nobody’s getting too far ahead of anyone else.  Nobody’s demanding the stage.  We just are supporting what one another wants to do which is mainly to eat for pleasure, to eat thoughtfully,  and to be fed and live.

I hope we can carry on like this.  I really do.

Dinner was at Tokyo Joe’s.  Now I am so loaded with rice and vegetables that even though I have room for a little dessert, on ye olde food diary – I’m pretty sure I don’t want it.  We’ll see.  Isn’t it nice to just…see?

What else, my lads and lassies?  What is worth spinning from flax to cloth?

The rest of the night is devoted to building more story bones, caring about mules, reading about writing, putting myself on the bike regardless of the clock, and stretching the muscles where the stupid lives and grows like crystals.

Someday, I will learn to stop liking lists.  And on that day, I shall die.

 

Something More than Nothing

pexels-photo (2)I am not sure how long this will take.   If yesterday was the exhilaration of realizing I can do more than nothing when it comes to exercise, today was about realizing “oh, you mean, today, too?”  Having the day off – one more day of having an excess of freedom with my time, means that I have the ability to do more than might otherwise be necessary.

Did it, though.  Wasn’t leaping out of my skin with the same joy, but I did it, because I want the habit more so than anything else.   There was a little bit of soreness in my legs, nothing felt the same capacity to leap and herk and jerk as yesterday, but it was possible to do the exercise with vigor and not with rage or fear. Do the situps, do the tracking, do the tromping around to Missy Elliott and hope that it’s adding up, not worrying about calculating it all today.  Nothing needs to be decided or changed after 3 days of real effort or 18 days of cleaning out bullshit ideologies.   We have plenty of time for reassessment.  Now are the days of derring-do.

Reading Big Magic, avoiding the fumes of whatever lacquering or shellacking or staining they are doing downstairs unannounced, watching more of the Tribe, working ever so slowly on the novel, but sometimes breaking through a wall and the tortoise transforms into the hare.  Also, thinking about a secondary story, secondary worlds, secondary hopes and dreams.  Living creatively by chewing all the gum I can get my jaws around.

Accepting the new week.  I cannot push it away with my feet.  I cannot draw it nearer with a curled index finger.  It is just as it is.    Ah-hah!

All this and +200 story words, too,  I can’t even believe it! Look at the girl go!

L’Ananas

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I don’t know.  If I’m honest about it, it feels weird.  But one of those weirds that is based in curiosity and interest and the unsettled feeling running through me is foreign, but not unwelcome.  This is the second day – it’s not even enough of a trend to feel like it might take root into a habit.

I used to think I would exercise more if it made me feel something other than discomfort.   I don’t know why today, as I was traipsing around my bedroom to an oddball playlist and a muted Leslie Sansone 2-mile walk, I thought..this feels good.  And then, out of the surprise of that, I thought back through the general sense of exercise experiences in my life.  Most of them have been fraught with the same kind of fear that informs my driving/life anxiety and panic.  I recall some gym class where we asked to do situps and other physical activities and needed to do a particular number in a stipulated amount of time.  Running a mile in fifteen.  I would come face to face with these tests and find my muscles shivering.  I thought there was something really fucked up with me.  Everyone else could do it and my stomach shook and got stiff and refused to pull me up.  I remember this as scary, as shaming, as embarrassing.  Just don’t do it and the feeling stops.  The fluttering, elevated heart rate needed to be slowed – nobody can live at that speed! The idea that you just needed to strengthen the muscle didn’t occur to me and no one mentioned that I was fine, I just needed work a bit more and strengthen up.  My body was, and is, this traitorous pedestal for my thoughts.  Pushing it to do more risked it turning off all together.  Not unlike Amelie’s incorrect and uninformed diagnosis from her father that she had an irregular heartbeat and that exertion was a potentially fatal risk, I decided for myself that I didn’t have a body meant for full bore living.

I don’t imagine this is a unique experience – being shaped by the first sensation that your body is different and doesn’t necessarily behave the way everyone else’s does.  I do think that my reaction might be a bit off the bell curve.  Over the years, I’d pick up exercise programs and throw myself into them with no premeditation.  When I got lightheaded doing something gentle like yoga, I thought, stupidly, viscerally, out of the powerful, out of whack pituitary that it reinforced the truth.   Then, my self-identified Emily Dickinson-inspired writerhood has no room in its mythos for sweaty armpits and

Exercise can’t be fun if you’re doing it on a knife’s edge.  If it’s an all or nothing proposition of skinny, rock-hard muscles training for marathons that would explode your heart with its intensity or laying very still and waiting for death…I thought for a long time that, by necessity, by logical standards, I had to pick the latter every time. Nobody was putting that choice in front of me, but that’s how I saw it.

Today…did not feel that way.    Today’s half an hour felt bouncy and buoyant and let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!  That 30 minutes felt the same as ten.  I felt like I could keep going.  It felt like a brief, natural high where all my worries and griefs could be shifted to one side.

And we have another walk planned in an hour or two for the dogs and I feel fine about that.   More walking means, I think, more ice cream and dried apples and more of whatever I eat for dinner after this morning’s lengthy attempt to make huevos rancheros needlessly complicated.

And writing! There’s time and energy to write now.  I feel several percentage points clearer in my skull.

This is good! Remember this when tomorrow I’m made of custard and hate everything.  Remember this when I can’t remember my ability to crawl out of bed.

I am always trying to measure and control and reduce excessive excitement.  If I start believing in something, especially related to my own dreams and influence over them, it’ll boil over and come to nothing.  I miss the bubbling.  The OH SHIT, this is possible.  I keep doing this, I give myself more security over my health, not less.  My little year-end secret knickers project for myself becomes more viable.

Come here with me, into my little teapot.  Here there is a roaring tempest and the storm cries: It’s good! It’s good! It’s good!

 

 

Merry as a Grig

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I know I need to write on the novel.  I do, I do, I do, or at the very least start editing a few other things, having some word fun.  The Faithful Light (i.e. the very cleverest, most loyal part of my inner eye that watches all and guides towards higher ground) said today that it is only doing the work that will save you, not the dreaming of doing the work.

So I heard her, but I have applied it in a different arena today and have tracked food, eaten a little that felt like a lot (still have room for some ice cream, caffeinated ice cream which I don’t need), and have done a little in-home cardio for 30 minutes rather than the baseline 10.  Also, it appears that I have nearly (.8) lost the first pound of the however many I end up losing and leaving lost.  Almost wish it was frameable and could be stuck on the wall to remind me.

But it’s not even a whole dollar’s worth of a pound yet.  And who can say what my body will do as I collar it and yank it around the exercise pen.  There’s always push-back.  There’s always stress headaches and skipping food and long days rather than three day weekends and food cooked for you to fuck it up.  It will happen.  But today, today was grand for its clarity.  Also washed all the pots and pans and watched a bit of The Tribe, so I feel well sated for intentional living.

As shitty as yesterday was, we boomerang around to feeling alright.  Thinking about my birthday coming up.  Happy about it, actually, because I’m both working on myself so I’m not Queen of the Slugs, and because I’m free to enjoy it.  Actually enjoy it and not have to consider how much I have to pinch and cut to make it “justified,” or insisting that I was going to throw caution to the wind and just gorge myself.  Now, it’s just going to be a nice day and I’ll read on it and write on it and dance on it and sing on it and possibly cry and mope on it and it won’t be catastrophe.

So long as I get my dutch oven.

Alright.

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+300 story words.

 

Lust-Cult

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Learning about when British women could get drinks from a pub.  The answer is currently unclear.  Probably never.  This may mean I need to rewrite something.  Not sure.  Displeased by historical accuracies.

Feeling like a beast that skulks the frozen wastes at the same time I feel like Betty Homemaker, skulking the frozen internet for Huevos Rancheros recipes that have calorie counts.  Fuck, sometimes I am over myself.  I find myself annoyed by every possible direction my brain wants to run out of this briar patch.  Language is failing me.

It is a nice impulse to cry.  To reach towards a catharsis rather than shrug it off.   There’s been such death, such dark spectres, the feeling of winter if not the weather hanging low and close to me of late.  Enough that I want to throw everything out the airlock and, not even start fresh…not even start anything until I can know for certain it won’t curdle under my attentions.

I can work my way out of this.  Might just have to get on the bike.  Those ten minutes are nothing, probably, if you’re asking for giant weight loss leaps, but they are, also, precious.  Vital and restorative. Every time I haul myself up on the seat, I am proving that I can do more than nothing.  Something more than sitting in my own despair and circular thinking.

Today – I noticed – and I only noticed because I was tracking that I ordered way less than I normally do from Panera and I felt more full than I usually do.   I also figured out that the low-fat mango smoothie I like is so goddamned sugary that it should be illegal.  At least in terms of what I’m trying to watch.  And that a clementine is often sufficient dessert for me.   They’re perfectly ripe right now, as good as any candy.  I used to hate it when people would say that, but it’s true.  All I wanted to be able to do was track and I’m doing that!

Alright.  Endorphins are bubbling up.  I’ve been amused by a few clever people on the internet.  I’ve gathered a bit of a sense of my own reckless frustration not getting me anywhere and I do, actually, want to go so somewhere.  Breathe, the Faithful Light tells me. Now that I have stopped banging pots and screaming, I can hear her clearly.  It is not horror! to have a dental appointment in a month.  It is not DEVASTATION to have to re-write this scene in one way or another – I’m smart enough to figure that one out.  It is not the deepest, most seismic desolation that will cause me to evolve.  It is the tiniest of the tiny earthquakes.  You don’t even feel the shift, but you keep shaking.

Okay.  Okay.  Enough.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll stop, but I haven’t stopped today.

….

No more rhapsody.  It was funny.  The fact the boss called me to laugh that she had figured out why the skin on her feet was so dry.  The creepy delight I am taking in a Twitter joke and some YouTube videos.  Eddie Izzard.  You laugh or you revert into the primordial muck.