How to Make a Mental Leap

It’s the title I’m putting on this post and I don’t know how to do it, but maybe if I assert that I already do know, I’ll figure it out.

I know that I have to suddenly become prepossessing.  I have to be able to be in charge.  I can’t dither, or dally, or leave a comma where it need not be.  I have to move mountains and light years and I’ve been given the direction that I should really have already pulled Fuji a few feet to the left.  Bare minimum.

I know this and I know I do not know how to do it.  I have been given kindly words by kind souls who believe or purport to believe in my skills, but I don’t know that those skills actually exist.  Maybe all of the lead-up to being in this job has been some sort of fever dream and I am awoke, ass on the pavement, blinking myself awake as though I’ve just been born.

What I thought was simple is not simple.  What I think is complex is meant to be the mental calculation of a moment.  It is humbling.

So I sat in a room and described how I felt I could do things better and one of those things is improving my connection to this level of work by improving my wardrobe and getting my hair cut.  I said I would do that, so I trotted out and spent a lot of money to have hair I like (though not the sort of hair that were I financially free I would choose.) Tomorrow, because the places I went today seemed to have inadequate quality fabric (though the sort of things I’d be perfectly happy to wear were I not shopping to look like I wanted to be employed where I am currently employed), we will go out into the world and buy something that upgrades some bit of old awful that I used to wear.

In the middle of this, J. is drifting in and out of consciousness on the phone with me as I encourage him to both sleep and eat at the same time because he hasn’t been doing either in a consistent way.  And he sounds pitiful and endearing and maybe a few hours earlier he’d told me I was beautiful so I think this is a good time to ask him to Thanksgiving.

I’d been thinking about this a while, but I still couched it in tentative terms.  Like, I know it’s forever away, and it’s so unlikely and dumb, but I wanted you to know that…like, the holidays are awful and hard and I don’t even know on the getting…but you’re invited to Thanksgiving.

An immediate thank you returns my volley.  An immediate “But I have to work the day after Thanksgiving.”  I say oh, okay.  There’s a few more encouraging blurts before I hang up the phone to go find the confident clothes that are going to transform my life.

I end up finding nothing.

Spare Change

dirty-old-truck-1475644-639x503Okay.  So.  The thing in the way of my happiness is me.  If I am to gauge that I would experience a noticeably larger amount of happiness were I to follow up with my plans and attempt to struggle towards my dreams.

So, weight loss.  Right now.

I hesitate to write this because I certainly wouldn’t want anyone writing about my status when I’m working on myself, but my sister is doing great with her low-carb.  I don’t know how much or how little she’s lost, but she’s feeling good, she’s doing it and I can see a difference and I hardly pay any attention to anything.   There is, not an insignificant amount of jealousy, in that I feel bloated and starving and exhausted all the time and she seems, from the outside, alright.

And I am making no money at all, (so it seems) and running out and buying fast food and eating out at places that aren’t really in my poor person budget, acting in old habits, airporting as I defined yesterday.  Just thinking about the

I think, okay, vegetables.  And my whole body gets pissed off.  I get pissed off about everything that’s out of my control or seemingly so…my job situation, the fact that you can have one of these lingering powerful romantic interactions with someone and be strung along for weeks, my mom being sick and having to suffer to do what we can to destroy the sickness and getting messages from my vacationing sister about how I need to be reacting and behaving right now.  And in that space, being able to have a sandwich or a piece of pizza or four or five peanut butter cups to quash hunger and everything else attached to hunger, is magic.

It feels like sidestepping the effects of time.

Yesterday’s truth: There is no day outside of the chain of days, time does not stop and restart, we don’t escape life to some other place.  We just live in or out of fear.

This is the story of the fat people of the world.  Sometimes.  Some of them.  Of me. The Brene Brown bonafide truth that you feel freaked out and vulnerable and you do whatever you feel is necessary to excise those feelings.  Eating, when you’re scared of your own power, is this magical shield that is also a sword.  It just shuts off the thoughts for a while.  I feel like if I am vulnerable to my thoughts, I’ll lose ground, not gain it. Start panicking about driving which I’ve mostly avoided for the past three or four months.  I’ll look around and see what I’m currently half-blind to – real unhappiness with the treatment I accept, real fear, real sense of time slipping out of my hands.  It’s all the mental surgery I don’t get anesthesia for.

I’ve put forth this diatribe before.  I’ve danced the dance, lit the candles, stood very still and waited for signs to emerge.

Yet. At the bottom line, it’s will I do it or won’t I do it?  Right now, I don’t have the strength of will to curb things slightly.  Right now, I want a big act or nothing.

Hmm.

Firewall

I don’t know if it’s just because the house is quieter at night, but holy frijoles, this new washer is a little noisy.  And by a little I mean eardrum-bleeding  and it makes me so nervous.  I don’t want to be responsible for a rogue appliance tapdancing on someone’s ceiling.  That was kind of the problem to begin with.   It makes me nervous that maybe we have a rocket taking off in our closet.  But I’m not complaining.  It’s our washer and we’ll love it whatever it’s flaws.

I did my strength training tonight and marveled at how different the snow looks and feels when you don’t have to worry about venturing out in it.  It doesn’t seem like any impediment at all.  Just an element of the winter shedding its skin, working through its phases, exerting its power and on me, it doesn’t have its usual gravity.  Its usual horror.

Oh, I am still deathly terrified, but my boss is an amazingly kind and socially astute man.   My co-workers do what they can, out of their own senses of kindness, to make me aware of the oncoming weather so that I can try and get ahead of it.  The thing is, they’re so hyper about it that even if I wasn’t an empath at all, it would transfer into me.  He’s noticed this and finally told them, in so many words, that it’s nothing and they need to shush and go back to work.  He didn’t use the word shush and really, it was much more calculated than even I can detail here without making myself feel a bit exposed, but he told me that it was for their benefit that he said all that and if I ever needed a ride, to not be afraid to ask, and he made me feel completely cool about the whole thing.

Sure, I’d love to conquer the snow driving.  Sure, I know I need to living in a state that six months out of the year can get snow in substantial quantities and sure, I know that sometimes my inability to handle this can cause difficulties and burdens on other people.  But right now, I’m running at about capacity in terms of revolution and personal growth.  I’m kicking the ass of this dieting thing and eating in the range and giving the exercise my all and cleaning up the house and working on making sure my finances make sense and I’m saving and paying what needs doing and I’m busting that same ass at work and I’m trying to carve out another little sliver to help the sister with our novel which is something that sounds really wonderful despite how distractedly I deal with her about it.  I’m really doing this all right now.  Not trying, not half-heartedly, pathless journeying.  No, I’m marching towards my goal of 130 and I’m laying out my clothes and being excited to getting to wear old ones that don’t fit anymore and Sparkpeople and doing laundry and being domestic and self-caring and all of this is orbitting around my skull and this fear…this fear.  It’s all I can do to just not let it root deeper, but there isn’t a pinch left of strength in me to pull it out.

 

Small Bites

Well, hidey-ho!  I think some of you or some of me was pretty sure that I’d not show up today.  Well, I don’t know.  I mean, I knew I’d be here but I wasn’t entirely sure if it would somehow be weird or mean less or not feel like it counts in the same way.  But everything counts.  The smallest cobbling together of willpower and accidentally not flaking out and getting lucky and just happening to have to deal with some bizarre situations can add up to mean that you’re suddenly where you want to be.

Suddenly, I’m where I want to be.  At least in the mental sense.  Physically, I’m in my old room at my parents’ house waiting out the heating guy who should call us tomorrow, I would think, after the holiday.  I don’t want to be at home, freezing, but I am looking forward to getting the furnace looked at and fixed and then working more on the house.  I was doing so well with my cleaning at night and being excited and revved up about it and then, situations – life, I suppose – have intervened and suddenly the whole place feels torn up again so that other “better” people can come over and clean it “properly.”   But that’s a stupid frustration that doesn’t mean anything other than me wanting control and ownership and the praise I would supposedly get for cleaning the house top to bottom and making it perfect, which is, admittedly, something I would never do.

So having gotten over my first emo convulsion of the new year, I realized that I had sort of made a commitment in the same way I committed to writing.  This commitment is about doing something with myself to lose weight and feel better.   If I was committed, that meant I had to take some kind of action today otherwise it’s just another resolution crashing and burning before it even gets out of the gate.  I need accountability and a method, just like I needed this site and the concept of 500 words.  So, I’m sparkpeopling it again.  I’m doing their 28-day bootcamp along with, I assume, hundreds of thousands of people out in the world who want to be back on track as the new year opens up.  This means exercising.  Not a lot, but a little bit every day.  At least ten minutes which is also like the five hundred words in that it seems like a lot until you get into it and then you realize you could just keep going and going and it’s as natural as swimming to a fish.

So I’ve done today’s exercise, I’ve eaten reasonably and am drinking water.  I need to finish the cup over there, actually.  I’ve taken before pictures.  I have all the tools, I have no limitations but my own brain and my own feelings.  It’s a matter, really, in the end, of letting it happen.

I can get so scared that being skinny is a loss of control.  Being healthy means facing the possibility that you might be unhealthy.  The anxiety and unhealthiness is in control.  Not me.

And today, I’m doing a little bit to take it back.

I’m here! And you are too!

And I think, just so I’m official, if we’re trying this again: I will participate in wordpress’ daily blog challenge thing, too.  Might as well if we’re already taking on the universe.

Somewhere Over Siberia

Seven o’clock on a Sunday night, with frigid, stiff fingers.

This should be the time of year when I wrap all this up, review it, and come up with some conclusions.  What worked and failed and what it all means, what this year of daily, determined blogging has been about and for.  There’s an impulse, too, to not do that.   That whatever I could come up with would be trite and lack focus –  it has been a lot of writing, a lot of pontificating, a lot of big epiphanies and promises and yet, I’m here at the end of December feeling like come January – I really need to try and lose weight.  And I think if I summarized that frustration, I could overlook the epicness of 2010, I could begin to think of myself just in terms of this one goal and this one failure.

And as much as my superego would appreciate the validation, it doesn’t do any good.  It doesn’t.

Instead, I want to look ahead.  Not to 2011’s year-end where I would, magically (or by a hugely powerful application of work, exercise, willpower and positive stress resolution) be fit and in love and evolved, but to day 1, minute 1, 12:01am, 2011 where nothing is new per se, but yet we are all collectively able to pretend that it is.  It is a grand, cultural delusion that we are all free to participate in if we so choose that a window of fresh air opens when a new year begins and you can throw yourself through it and get out of the stale reality you know so long as you keep up that belief.   And we delude ourselves further that if we can maintain that belief long enough we can build a structure that supports it even when it fails so that the belief starts to grow into the construct itself.  This is what we tell ourselves, that it’s all possible, and this is why we get so disappointed with ourselves when it turns out that life is complex and these delusions have to fight with all our internal defense mechanisms that fear change and this is why we turn up in late December, desperate and ravenous and raging and bored and willing to believe in something just to have a location to march to.  I’m hoping that having my phone will make me able to food track with consistency, sort of a weight-loss GPS.

I’m hoping 2011 means the pathless journey gets a path.   It might actually help me get some place.  What this entry is about is that if I get all gung-ho on January 1 about dieting, you won’t treat me like a loser bound for failure.  I’m getting out in front on this and saying I probably will fail, but I’m going to do it anyway.

Today’s been fine if a little food-mad, but what else is new?  I’ve tried to clean the bathtub, but I think I used an organic pumice stone and I don’t think it cleaned anything at all, really.  I also straightened up a bit and don’t feel so terrible with myself and tomorrow’s bound to be shit so let’s just enjoy the universe as we know it right now:  dimly-lit, with Wagnerian/Scandinavian metal as the soundtrack from the other room, and littered with sneezy cats, and not so seppuku-worthy as my superego might demand.

The Joy of Cooking

It’s a tricky brain that can feel guilty about going home sick when it – the body that holds the brain if not the brain itself – is verifiably, snot-dripping, eyes itchy and weeping, sore joints sick.   I still feel bad physically and really tired, but at least it feels like this is the tail end of the bug.   Thank goodness.  I’m getting rather bored of slugging back DayQuil and vitamins and feeling like an invalid.

And the thing of it is, I went to work from 8:30am-1:30pm before finally sort of feeling like I was able to cut out and I still have this curlicued thought spiraling about my brainpan that says: you probably could have finished out the day and been fine.  I don’t know what it is that I feel like I’m taking too much or that I’m causing trouble or that I’m giving into a whimmy, childish desire to just not be there and instead go home and play video games until I pass out.  Like this is something that all grownups have stood up in solidarity against.

Likely not.

In fact, when I was explaining to the volunteer that was sitting next to me, folding brochures, that I was probably going leave early (I told her this like seven times and things kept coming up) and she said sometimes you just have to do that.  I sort of nodded and said, yeah.  And she said, No, sometimes you really have to take care of yourself.

And sometimes, even if it is inconvenient or frustrating or not Miss Perky Sunbeam Secretary 24×7, you have to take care of yourself.  That’s today.

But I have not fucked things up dietwise, so you can all let go of those breaths you were holding on my behalf.  It has sort of redoubled my resolve.  I brought my lunch to work in a bag in case I ate it there – orange pepper, chicken salad, cheese stick, jello.  And I ate it when I came home.

Now, I’ve realized/re-remembered (re-re-re) how much I really like cooking.  I’ve made myself a taco salad sans taco shell and didn’t completely wreck the kitchen in the process.  I made it just so and it’s delicious and I feel good about what I’ve done.  I haven’t used the fact that I’m feeling exceptionally out of it as an excuse to just not begin.  I also haven’t used the fact that Wednesday is a special full-day meeting where I can’t bring my lunch, but instead have to eat the sandwiches as provided by the caterer as a reason to not start now because there is just no two weeks on the calendar for me that don’t have some kind of food conflict.

Instead, I have to just enjoy doing healthy things like this – for myself, by myself, in the way that pleases myself and let that help me go forward.  I am my own best resource and instead of looking for new things outside of myself, I’m trying to look within.

 

Nevertheless

Purpose.

This blog has a purpose beyond being a medium and vehicle for my venting.

When this began, early on, I was watching vlogs rather voraciously and it spawned a huge desire and urge to work on losing weight.  More than that, it made me feel full of purpose.

I’ve started to do that again.  This has started with one video from one vlogger.  I really like her ideas, but I know that when someone who is my age seems to have it all together and has a viewpoint and a sense of themselves in the world that doesn’t involve a bowed posture…they grate on me.   I get all green-eyed monstery and competitive and on some levels that’s a good thing and I just try and stay on those levels.  So in this video, she says start with one thing you can make a habit.  One stupid thing.

My one small thing so stupid and ridiculous and hopelessly simple (but for whatever reason I’ve never done consistently) is having one cup of water every day for a week. Don’t care what size at this point.  Just doing and proving I can do it is the main thing.  Also, its  almost …just after nine and I haven’t had any actual water today.  Which really is not at all out of the norm considering the morbid and organ-preserving amounts of embalming fluid slash soda pop products I imbibe on a daily basis.  I need some H2O.  Like the real stuff.

So.  Excuse me a minute.

Done.  Genius.

At any rate, I’m starting to drag myself, kicking and screaming, towards September 1st, towards the miniature reckoning come upon me.  I had a strange compulsion tonight at my parents’ house.  My parents had gone to bed, I was watching my serving of liberal media given that our TV hasn’t been hooked up since the great remodel (and I haven’t missed it whatsoever) and a weird old habit creeped up.  I went, solemnly and silently to the pantry and opened it with a certain sense of naughtiness on the brain.  What could be taken that would be sweet and delicious and infinitely more than one person needs?  What could be adulterated and mashed together and microwaved and take me over? My eyes scanned the larder and didn’t see much until a muffin mix swam into my ken and then a tub of frosting.

Something, praise whatever higher power you will, inside me woke up with a start and said WHAT IN THE FUCK?  SERIOUSLY?  ARE WE DOING THIS?  HOW CAN YOU DO THIS? FUCKING FROSTING LIKE YOU’RE SANDRA FUCKING LEE?  ARE YOU A KWANZAA KAKE NOW?  It was very loud and demanding and it was something like a shade of self-respect and it bid me shut the door and go home.  So I did.  I did and I drank a cup of water.

So two little snowflakes today rolling into the big katamari of self-respect and willpower.  Add some thumbtacks and buckshot and you’ve got a gameplan.