Ain’t No Gimmick: Day 16

Stitching in time, trying to save way more than nine.

It’s frustrating how the dreams one has at either end of the day never seem to make it through to the other half.  I wake up and am plotting how much power and juice I have tonight to whirlwind some house organization.  Not exactly KonMari it, but do something with the free time and I know I will get there all bleary and ravenous and distracted by the chemistry of my body and collapse into sleep far too late – just before thinking that somehow I will wake up early and be level-headed enough to pack my lunch and do my makeup and be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and hit work early and make something of myself.   Then I always wake up, holding on with my fists, digging nails into the last little segment of sleep as it tears itself free of my grasp…I stumble into work, late, distracted, with more caffeine in my system than I can properly absorb and the cycle begins anew.

I have things to do that help with this.  My plans for life help with this.  I am not, at this moment, following these plans. I need to fill out my daily paperwork.  I need to read the blogs.  I’d allotted for this grace, but dang, it feels wasteful to flagrantly spin about in it.    Let us have a moment of recognition that my suffering is entirely self-induced and can be resolved only through my own instigation.  No one else can stop this train, save me, and the cliff in front of me.

Lame. I thought it was all going to be that piece of proverbial cake.  Just goes to show the power of a little sugar on a plan of austerity.  You let someone remember their hedonism even for a moment and you loose the reins.

I wrote a whole post yesterday about my new, marvelous dentist.  Marvelous mostly for the fact that he didn’t leave me feeling elated just to have gotten out of there alive and having spent less than $200.00.  Boy o boy. High art.  I feel like that’s where the stories are right now for me.  In the extremely specific happenstances of my small and generally uneventful life.  It is in the looking that I will begin to see something and when I blot out my vision and clap shut my dictionary in favor of the blurry images inside my mind, a blindness reigns my spirit.  I forget all.  I find myself at those melted candle ends of day with nothing to show.   This year, I spose, we gotta pour the sugar there.  The energy, the thought, the images, the will.

Today, though, we are able to report that the one or two very specific things I was requested to do in her absence are done.  We traumatized the cat and gave her the medicine she requires.  We scooped her shit.  We’re shortly to wash our hair and selves and somehow find our way out of the Royal We.  We and I also drove the way I wanted to drive, no turning about for the longest long way.   Small, concrete, factual tasks.  Slow and steady.

 

 

And the dish ran away with the spoon

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I am perfectly capable of finishing this scene.  I have this chunk attached from the first iteration and I’ve been clinging to it in hopes that I can so

Having the day off and the day off tomorrow for the holiday is glorious.  It is helping my brain reconnect with the rest of me.  I am hoping in some way that the intensity of the organizational aspect of my little retail job will spur me into scullery mode back here in the privacy of my own chambers.  All day long, you leap up to thoroughly review the racks for singles, mismatched hangers, sizing out of order, anything amiss.  If those are suitable, your eyes are meant to searchlight the rest of the shop for any paper, any fingerprints on display cases, the gift wrapping shelves need a restock.  You are meant to correct imperfection.  Imperfection is gross.

As one co-worker explained, everything has a place.  There’s nothing that needs to be left out.

It is funny how my mind wants to chastise them for this.  No one is asking for perfection. No one takes a severe tone about it.  It is just normal for the clothes to need to be put back on the rack so that someone else can find them and buy them.  It is just good business to be ready to make a sale, to have the view clear and unobscured.  In my mind, I take it as though I am being asked to maintain a glass bottom boat.  That a thing wrong risks everything.  It’s carryover from the other job where I was told we can’t seem to get anything right.  I want to not pollute it with my wrongness.

It’s laughable how strong that statement feels, but it also rings true to me.

My mother used to be as these mothers I work with are.  She’s also someone who does what we do, albeit in a massive retail chain and not an individual store.  Looking around the house, wanting it to be like the pictures in Better Homes and Gardens, and encouraging us to clean things up. All the while, my head was in fifty feet of cloud.  Always just around the bend from another cleaning binge because between them, I just leave this wake of unattended crap. But thinking back, slowly over time as we grew and she had far more pressing issues to attend to, she gave up on the severity.  She cleans her place because she wants it clean.  She doesn’t focus on the minutiae in corners.  She maintains her glass-bottom vessel because she lives in it and she’d like to see the fish.

It’s not about drowning.  It’s about happiness where you are.  Would that I could come down for a minute and stop the all or nothing thinking and just…breathe in my boat.

That’s weird.  I didn’t really want to write about cleaning…there’s plenty of other things to talk about, actually.  But I will save it for the morning, friends.  Save myself.

Unaccountably Peckish (Here’s Hoping)

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And now we wait.

For boys to wake up, for cards to turn, for time to run out, for hair to dry, for itches to take to the scratch, for London to rise, for bravery to outweigh procrastination, for earworms to crawl toward their exits, for the revelation to be revealed.

Boys that aren’t boys.  Boyz that have gone through the whole process and have properly turned 2 men.  Ahem.  Sorry.  It’s late and I have a sugar-headache and there’s no shaking it as I took some aspirin and quickly had a nosebleed so I am just going to drink some water and stop my excessive thinking.  Boys.  Men.  Ones who have expressly stated that they need to be bonked on the head to realize a girl might like them.  A lady.  A woman.  Funny how funny that feels, like five glass marbles I’m trying to mumble through.  A woman and a man called so by virtue of nothing, really.  I’ve always prefered being a girl.  Ah.  So, it is entirely up to me if I feel anything whatsoever to Charlotte Lucas it.  So not my strong suit.

And in the wings, a kind person I feel, completely arbitrarily less for.  Hovering.  Curious.  Asking how I am doing and I care, but on several orders of magnitude less that I do for this man I have arbitrarily decided is the pick of the litter.  Neither of whom are in anyway positioned to knock on my door and invite me to dinner.  All of this is talky-talk trouble.  But that’s where I do my worst and best work.  Where I conjure marvels, where I skin my palms and knees.  He just wants me to say hi.  I feel like saying hi is a minor betrayal.  It ain’t, but I got my plans, and this is a complication in that it requires me to grow some parts and say, I am delighted for your friendship, but we’re both here for the purpose of finding someone for whatever lies beyond friendship and I don’t want to waste your time when I am pining…waiting…scrying out a good moment for someone else that will probably come to naught and yet, even then, I don’t think we’re compatible anyway so don’t be mad at me for letting you bark up this tree because it feels nice to be appreciated.  Just because friendship itself feels warm and nice after so many long years out in the open air.

I know how this shit goes.  I had to throw one tormented artist to the proverbial curb to take up with a devil-may-care, honey-addled jewel thief.  It’s the chase! We wish to be better than that, but ah, life is meant to be fun at some point so it might as well be now.  At least it’s not a Rubbery Man.

Ah!

We had all the cupcakes and frappuccinos and tacos and orzos and oh nos that exist in the world if you end up looking for some tomorrow.  I also have a Chipotle gift card I attempted to give away five months ago.  Once that is spent, I believe I will also be well and truly done.

Here’s hoping!

L’Porc Est Fort!

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All these impossibilities – vanquished!

….no.  But.

Odd things.  Good things.  Things that don’t need to be made to mean immediately, but can just be and breathe a bit.

Dreaming about my grandmother who had passed, she looked herself until I fully recognized her and remembered she was on the other side, and then she looked horrible, and in a sort of misery, turning almost into the fetal position on the couch.  She moaned “God has taken almost all my family from me, but it’s alright because of the good ones we have coming up…”  And then, startled, feeling her hand on my face, I woke up.

In the interests of confession, I ate poorly today again.  I am thinking about why that is and how I can still feel okay about myself in light of it.

I read maybe a page of Rilke.  I want to just read the rest of it tonight.

Went and did the taxes over at my parents which is actually a huge financial relief, heard that my grandfather is not doing well and I see this ripple everywhere…in my father…in my sister…in me as I remember my grandmother’s dream words to me.   We – my younger sister, older mother and I – also went and walked to the neighborhood spot, ostensibly for brunch, but I ended up with a French dip.  I always order them and I always wonder why since I hardly like them at all.  Habits.  There we talked about about the usual: the no longer thinly veiled references to grandchildren, my younger sister’s biological clock, my traveling, how nice it was to have a restaurant like that so close to home.  A lot of not really saying anything.  My little sister who hasn’t seen me in a while wanting to encourage me by saying I looked good, that I should keep it up.  Me feeling guilty for the past week of not keeping it up.   We didn’t talk about how deeply painful and frustrating it can be to feel my own clock running, my own personal sense of sand rushing through the hourglass, but feeling as though my clock is a clock we don’t talk about.  A fat clock, a clock with its numbers out of whack, a clock that’s on daylight savings time.  It’s a metaphor that is about to sicken me so I’m letting it go.

We went on a walk and I was ready, I thought, to speak earnestly about that – about how it all felt and how I wanted her to tell my mother to consider how it hurt me.  Instead, my sister reports to me that my father worries we don’t go to the doctor enough.  I said we were fine and she let it go.

I am so glad, though, that we didn’t talk about my sadness or discomfort with being constantly blackballed from the baby/romance talk.  Or about practically being furloughed or only just getting the health insurance back or about the random dude who I talked with the other night when I was just playing at being a girl who was comfortable talking with random dudes.

I have to do this work.  I have to get comfortable. I have to sacrifice, time and treasure and the pacific mind.  There’s nothing they can say that changes that.

So we did not have a fight.

As I was leaving, my mother drug me upstairs and showed me this new lipstick she got.  She pulled my arm as I curled my lip, immediately attaching the semiotics of the thing to memories and hurts she has no idea exist.  It was pinky in a shade that I would never buy, but she put it on my face and stood me in front of the mirror.  And I was okay.  Right then, I was okay.

 

Ergo, the Ego and the Ergot

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This Kayla is a petulant sort of girl, it seems.  All day long we commented – because this is the thing that people of our age give shits about – how the storm had not fully presented itself as per the weather reports.  We were supposed to get knocked on our asses with snow.   It snowed, but didn’t stick until just now as we were leaving work.

It is hard to say at the moment if the snow will keep us out of the office tomorrow or not.  I have my opinions, but it’s up to ol’ Kayla to help me out.   We’ll see, I suppose.

In the interim, I have to get up and put my bones on the bike and do that late night stationary biking that is both good for me and bubbly for my brain.  I’m already a touch perked and giddy because of the Moscow Mule at dinner.

Dinner.  We went to Old Chicago…which means we walked over through the intensifying but still ambivalent snowfall over to the restaurant from the house after work.  I was, actually, quite grateful for a couple different things.  Their website is great because you can put in exactly what you order – in exact detail and it gives you the nutritional info.  You don’t have to monkey around and estimate and assume and enter the wrong thing and double-check yourself in horror to realize you did in fact eat 2000 calories in one meal.  Which, according to their website, you could fall over chair in there and get 2000 calories in your mouth.  Still, Knowledge! This is why I was able to order the pizza I ordered and if I get my ass on the bike, still be under for the day.  That, and being too bogged down with the finally happening work situation that started today to eat much of anything.   That left enough room to justify one small pizza and some booze.  A little Moscow Mule in the little copper cup that tasted delicious and tart and made me feel as though it was possible to soften against the sharp edges of the world and slide down into myself without a fight.

And wonder of wonders, after eating that, I am just hungry enough to eat a clementine and drink some water and don’t feel as though I need to savage the heavens for not allowing me just a hundred more calories to eat garbage with.   Should we have had vegetables and boiled chicken.  Probably.  But there was some release and control at the same time tonight and I feel proud of both aspects.

It is odd.  It is 3 pounds and a month away from where I started.  By any scale, that is not all that much.  It is not visible, but at the same time, it is not invisible.  I feel better.  I feel like I’m working on something good.  Is it the same as any other attempt?  That, I don’t know.  I just feel willing right now to do more than nothing.

Committed to the Cape

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  • About 75% done with my first adult coloring book page after buying a book and some markers last night.   I used to have a giant box full of markers, but as far as I can tell, I’ve given them away at some point. Adult?  It’s just a picture of some flowers, but working with the colors I have available has been interesting.  I do feel way less stress and way more focused while I’m doing it so it makes sense that it’s become such a popular trend lately.  I have a friend who is dealing with brain cancer, which…I can hardly even begin to imagine the stress involved with that…and she finds it very soothing.  While obviously, I don’t have that level of worry at all times, I do get these inane spikes of agonizing apprehension.  This just sense that my breathing is weird, labored, sort of as though I’ve got a gas bubble in my chest and I can’t deal with that, so I have to somehow subsume the thoughts around that by stopping my brain.   It is also still a great possibility that I am just looking for it because it scares me.  The part of myself that likes scaring me even if it’s for my own good and trying to get me back to exercising and doing low-carb again.   That’s lame.
  • We are going to a production of As You Like It – but I am running off to get some lunch first.  This lunch includes many things but does not include pop.  I have not had soda pop in about a week.  I am not planning on starting drinking it again.  I don’t know if this is possible, but I know I didn’t drink it today as clearly as I know I am here, getting my words on paper.   It is a step in resetting, in starting myself back where I need to be.
  • So the play was lovely.  It was so charming to just see something that warm and full of heart and well-acted and not reliant on violence for its drama.  I was also pleased that I could walk into a Shakespeare play more or less blind and the staging made the language completely explicable.  It was fun to follow along, to never get lost in the rhetoric.  The actress playing Rosalind reminded me of my Dragon Age Inquisitor, actually, as well as another long time character.  I just enjoyed being there.  I had some panic-driven thoughts, but I know how much I love and enjoy and get inspired by live theatre so they were banished.  Letting myself be convinced I have to go stand somewhere and collect myself would have been a day wasted on worrying about worry rather than just being an audience member.
  • Now, I help the little sister with the Christmas tree design by pinteresting bits of 70s nostalgia.  Hoping to take a bath, continue coloring and chilling out and lowering expectations of Superwoman suddenly appearing and offering to take over my body.  Just me in here, doing a bit better day by day.
  • I am a girl who is handling this bit of shit.

Where the Veil is Thin

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Couldn’t possibly find five hundred words.  Could only watch more videos and lay still, chained and rattled by the idea that this day should be a certain way – meaning the way all days have always been when we are in the midst of a much more complicated discussion.

I told my mother the thing I meant yesterday to tell you, blog.  That the therapist essentially said that the therapeutic model the insurance is based on is one of obvious improvement.  Of issues being resolved, cases being corrected, things being handled and bettered.  It is not based on patients finding comfort in spending an hour venting and re-situated their brains on the challenges in their life.   There needs, in all cases, but particularly in mine where the issue is one regarding pushing forward, to be progress.

Or I could lie and press the buttons on the diagnostic box and say that no, never in the past two weeks have I felt overwhelmed and found social situations difficult to deal with.  Not once.   And that would mean that, at least in terms of the box and the data attached to my name in the records, that I am improving which would lead to ending therapy because well people don’t need to be coached back to wellness. Or we can set up a short series of four or five sessions and try and knock some of these problems out and end the therapy.   This seems intense and not something I know how to do.  I immediately doubt this is possible when she says it.  Or I can still go, once a month, and do this thing of pressing the buttons on the box that say that I still struggle, which will be utterly true.  Because it’s either sometimes or not at all in the registry of the box, and just a little bit or less and less is a therapeutic addendum.  A note that matters in the specific, not in the aggregate – it matters in my relationship with my therapist but not  at all to the materials her bosses see when they are considering how well she is doing at fixing people.  So I get that she sees my holding pattern as an all around liability to all of us.

So as I took this in, I felt a bit threatened.   Like I was boring her.  Like it was either get well, or…not get out…but languish.  This was exactly my rationale for ending therapy the last time.  I was just going there to vent my spleen, to be mothered, to be supported and get the sour patches repaired in my brain.  It was a short-term solution because I wasn’t working on the problems.  We just mopped up the milk.   So, the threatened feeling passed, and I saw the opportunity she was presenting.  The Faithful Light nodded through me and said, no, we need to accomplish something here.  I said, how do we do this?  She said SMART goals.  I refuse to second-guess, to roll my eyes, to do anything but just follow through.

I told my mother this over dinner.  There was no comment.   I wanted to let this cause me doubt and upset and to feel ever more alone in this process towards a life unchained from fear, but I realized how much I am her daughter.  How she, despite having never phrased it as I would, is off in her head, thinking her thoughts as arbitrarily and autonomously as any sonderous soul in the universe.  That my demanding her meet my wavelength and see my troubles in the first instant I declaim them is as likely as pigs flying over the mountaintops and dancing down 36.

I only want to show myself.