Complete and Total Meltdown: Day 42

I think, briefly, I capitulated to the great despair.   I am not sure if I am still on my knees before it, but I think, perhaps, I will not be long down.

I gave myself an inch and that inch became a hundred miles.  I feel tired and bad and like a devil just has been awoken from the tranquilizer dart I thought would see me through to safety.

I was thinking about Valentine’s Day and how nicely nebulous the dark space is where my heart is seated in my chest.  I was thinking about my mother and how I don’t like how the chemo seems to be using her in the way you would imagine the cancer would if it had its way.  Exhausting, wizening, enervating.  She’s upbeat, she knows what’s up, but I have to overwrite the story in my head.  I am not seeing her enough so every time feels a bit surprising.  I’m not seeing her because I want to hold everything at status quo in my mind.   I want everything to push forward for me without doing a dang thing, and I want everything to stay steady for her without doing a dang thing.

Meanwhile, at work, we learn about a little boy who has benefited from the things we make.  A bajillion heart defects and issues and surgeries and problems and finally – we do a thing and he is free to be a little boy.    I mean, I don’t do it, but I answer phones for people who make ads for people who do it.   Or something inexactly, but legitimately related.

So I haven’t lost any weight, despite a non-zero effort.  The kitchen’s a nightmare, I don’t want to cook in it.  My car suddenly turned on a low tire pressure sign halfway through the drive this morning, causing an inadvertent panic.  They’re asking me to do things I don’t know how to do.  It’s fine, but I’m unsure.  Tired.  The activation energy over the past few days – I know what I need to do. I just do not do it.

So I ordered a pizza and have sickened myself on it and it’s here next to me and I’m contemplating which is the greater evil – to eat it and swallow the shame of having bought it and blown yet more money on one-off food fixes, or to toss it and blow that money and risk constantly daydreaming about wasted pizza and use that to justify another wave of carb-tasia.

It’s not good.  It’s just not.  I am thinking about how I didn’t even think or care about my goals.  How I didn’t feel qualms about breaking the plan.  How I know how this feels and I know how it feels to string yourself out on guilt aftershocks after the initial binge.  I know and I know that I don’t know if anything is going to be different even though there’s a thousand and one reasons to make this time the time.

Why can’t we make this time the time?

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.

 

 

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.

An Exclamation Point Too Far: Day 26

A long time ago,  I had a friend with a celestial last name.  It’s her birthday today.  Just thinking about that as I pour out a toast and contemplate a week of birthday, D&D, body image, surfeit, and surely other things.

So, last night, was another fun night of D&D.  Me and a bunch of nerdy boys.  Boys and men.  Boy-shaped men.  Man-shaped boys.  I really only get comfortable and remember what’s going on once it’s about done.  But there’s always that one moment where you go OH THIS IS GENIUS, I AM GENIUS, EVERYTHING IS FUCKING GREAT!  And then it rolls into you being unable to tie your metaphorical D&D shoes.  The highs and the lows – as anyone with any experience will surely tell you.

The dangerous thing I’m coming to realize is I have a crush.  A crush on tin whistlin’, very tall, charismatic and unbothered guy at D&D. Guy with a girlfriend who also plays D&D. Guy who is pleasant, sociable, but I refer you to the aforementioned exceedingly unbothered about me.  Times being what they were, this once would have been the sort of mental drink I thrill to just nurse for ages.   I would spend a great deal of time despairing over the reality of the situation (and probably still will, though I think it will of much shorter duration and intensity), but I would, as an ultimately rational being, accept the facts as they are.

However, I have been told I am single recently.  Even if this information has been followed by an inverse desire to speak with me and pat my head and flirt and behave as before – as someone might cling to a life preserver.  Sure, life preserver, if you’d be happier floating adrift at sea, I’m fine with that.  But if you’re not doing anything, keeping me from drowning seems like a noble way to spend your time.   Sigh.

So I’m letting myself scan the world around me for a boyfriend who wants to be my boyfriend.  I mean, I guess.  That’s awful forward of me, but death dances close and brushes my hems with her own.  No harm in looking, single girl that I am.  And I go to D&D and suddenly I’m surrounded by wry, clever boys making dick jokes.  It’s that one silly slice of high school life that I deserved more of and never really got.  And suddenly, I think of that girl that I hated so who had all of the goths and nerds and offbeat guys in as much love with her as I knew existed at the time – because she played Magic: The Gathering.  How they would swirl around her and her piercings and go out to the Pit and probably had a lot of other pain and issues going on in her life that I was mentally incapable of seeing because I was this sensitive ball of hot wires that was constantly rolling away from anyone to keep them from getting electrocuted and me from losing the one thing I had – that useless circulating power.  I was outside of all of that, but I always believed that’s where I belonged.

Now, somehow, at the table, I’m the only feminine force.  Now I’m the one that makes them at least cognizant of the dick jokes…after the 3rd or 4th time.  I’m the unattached single girl who is both trying and not trying to be the cliche I cast my high school nemesis.  I want the tall D&D guy to see me and approve somehow.  I want validation and to rewrite those years.  Damn, it’s ridiculous and bizarre and The Onion headline-worthy and far too much pressure to put on myself, but it feels like if I just stay in the awkwardness long enough, something’s got to happen, somehow. Maybe.   As of last night, there was already wry, sardonic, clever boy #2 who may or may not be dating anyone but does have a “last girlfriend” who lived in New York with him and may or may not now be in a freezer.   This is America. Never assume.

So, given the fact that I am this explosion of bad ideas lately, I am trying very hard to use my dead-end crush to a good end.  I am trying to convert it, rather than into whinging posts and mournful emotional exfoliation, into motivating myself into becoming the sort of woman who would have the option, were she immoral enough to take it, of breaking his heart.  I wouldn’t, of course.  I have boxes of evidence to prove I wouldn’t.  But I want my self-esteem and regard to be at the level where I would be pretty sure that were I to press the issue, there would be an issue to press.  I want that sort of slow-boil ego.  Not spilling out on the stove narcissism, just steady, constant faith that your shit is together enough that he should want a bit of it.  It’s a much nicer idea than rolling up in your rumpled sweater and sitting there stiffly in worry and fear and wondering how terrible you’re doing and how shitty you’re RP’ing and being shaped in the shape of garbage in the world. In both worlds.

It’s funny how you begin even to think about how much you need to act in a bit of self-regard, how you let one dream, one person, one thing that is no longer…sparking joy, ahem…go and the energy shifts around you.  Marie Kondo is on to something.  Suddenly, J wants to do some writing with me which feels like a far more productive thing to do together than where we are right now.  Suddenly, a couple other writing opportunities are opening up – personal things I that I want to do – suddenly, rather than clinging to the life preserver in J – I feel like, maybe, metaphorically, I know how to swim.

And painted in the background is the siren song of eating shit.  Sugar and salt and shit.  Tomorrow, after heading to a restaurant to visit with m cousin and ordering the wrong thing today, a nice tasting but overich croque madame heavy with bechamel sauce, I’ve been invited to invent a quasi-birthday meal out.  Everyone’s sick.  After just wave upon wave of dining out in a, damn, if I don’t want to stop and just have a piece of celery and walk calmly for 1-2 miles.  But my brain won’t allow it.  There will be tiramisu and maybe waffles and I’ll submit to the unknown calories and draw a line. So I’m hopeful that we eat early, I get home, and I can just begin the hard work of getting out of my own way here.

I have not, as of this writing, been to Chipotle this year…which is the hill of guacamole I’ve chosen to die on, I guess.

And I’m finding myself too irritating to stand, and publish…

Endless Rush: Day 22

Take a breath. Take a breath before the next frenzied announcement that you’ve written lots today, stuff you feel decent about, stuff that was, you daresay, inspired.   Take a breath before you dash, because you, my dearest girl, are in a hell of a lot of hurry when you don’t have that far to go.

This is not so difficult, nor time consuming, that you cannot take a few peaceful moments and reflect.  Look back on this one single day, this infinitesimally small slice of all reality.  Don’t make this carry the universe inside itself because, of course, it already does, and your prodding will not improve matters.

Think about that small victory with IT, helping to fix that guy’s computer rather than wait for a hundred thousand years for a tech.  Think about how that next step in the hotel process has moved forward.  Even if it’s wrong, the needle moved.

No need to barrel ahead and say nothing just for the sake of the number.  No one is in charge of this, but you.  This isn’t saying that it isn’t important to keep your word – because it is  – but you also must understand the spirit of this place.  There is no value in communication a long-form single stream of consciousness that is in response to nothing.  Twitter’s already questionable as hell.

You can think about how marvelous it is that tomorrow is your birthday and you are not actually on fire.  You’re not dating anyone, but you’re not on fire, either.  You’re not drowning in a vat of formaldehyde, so you’re one up on Miss Laura Bow, too.  It’s not entirely shabby.  You have a bottle of water and a writing assignment that makes you that giddy nervous that you’re going to mess it up but it’s so delicious that you’re even curious to see just exactly how that fuck-up will come to be.

It will be a reckoning, no matter what you do. The spirits of Birthdays Past, Present and Future will crowd around with a pack of cigarettes and some half-empty 40s between them, shaking their heads.  It will be quieter than I want, way more innocuous than I might desire, but it will pass without me setting the village alight.  I won’t take anyone out with my annual birthday bloodbath.  It’s just me, sawing on the moon, with my sharp as diamonds little womb.  He will be disappointing.  I think it’s just the relationship now.   I’ve swallowed the truth and now everything tastes a bit of it.

He told me to get some rest tonight.  He told me to run off and sleep.  I said I would and thank you.  As if that time was both agreed upon as allotted and it was his to give back so graciously.  I have to change that.  I have to not live and die by his whims, his timetables…not when the boundaries no longer exist.

Five minutes to spare and oh how you worried.  No, we can do this…if we try.