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.


Your Mother and Her Combat Boots

I drove in.  I didn’t do it just to spite my most miserable sister, but that was a feature.  Right now, I’m willfully staring in the general direction of the sun in hopes of convincing it to melt those last little patches.  This is what neurosis and anxiety looks like.   Glorious, no?

Whirlwind of a day after conquering (not really – driving home, I totally drove like an old lady in a blizzard and I was pretty sure I was going to throw up even though I knew it was okay) my fears and getting there. I don’t know how it is that I can barely have enough time to eat and yet manage to make no progress at my job at all.  I did manage to do really well thus far food-wise.  I put in a Whopper with Cheese and a small fry into the tracker on SparkPeople.  Something that would have been no big whoop (ahem) to eat in pre-diet days.  It would be fast, easy, convenient.  All the selling points that kind of food has to offer.  But that sucker is 1,000 calories.  1,000 goddamned calories.  This is a gutbomb in its truest form because that’s going to go off in your belly and have reverberations for weeks if you’re not careful.  I know I could eat it and forgo dinner, but you know what?  I like dinner.  A lot.  I like coming home and getting myself calmed down and having dinner.  This is something I’ve always suspected about myself even when that dinner was just whatever you pulled out of the paper bag.   I don’t want to give up dinner for a burger in the middle of the day that isn’t going to factor into my decisions when I get home.  When I get home, I’m hungry and something has to be done about it no matter when I ate lunch.  It’s Pavlovian.

So instead, I went to the grocery store and got frozen lunches and some pasta for dinner and some chicken salad and a really yummy green chile thing I’ll eat tomorrow.

It all comes down to looking at the landscape of the day and prioritizing.  Some days are better and easier than others.  Today I surmise that I was able to keep it together for a couple of reasons.

One, I have events coming up that I would really like to look nice for.  I have our big luncheon and my birthday. I want progress for those things.  I have a little maybe progress but I do not trust that dumb scale.  So, I can’t feel super comfortable wanting myself to be svelte and lovely when I turn up for those things and then turn around and eat a Whopper.  Well, I can and I have, but I don’t want to and luckily, this time, I didn’t.

Two, I wasn’t sure if I was doing this right or not.  I mean, I had this little wavering in the back of my head.  The critical, snow-bound, impossible to please voice within that wants me most desperately to not do this.  To not lose weight and to not better myself.  And there was something about today that made me equally desperate to tell that voice to shut the fuck up and get out of my way.

I like that mood.  A lot.  I’m going to try and visit it more often.

The Road to Ruin

Second to the last day of the year, second to the last post on this mad quest and I am here, still proving a point to myself.  I was laying in bed, sort of trying to take a late afternoon nap and I startled awake concerned that it was midnight and I’d somehow let the time slip by me and ruined everything.

I haven’t, in fact, ruined EVERYTHING.  Not EVERYTHING whole and entire.  And I’m here, same as before, same as tomorrow, same as forever – I guess, writing down the day.    Story of today is snow.  We haven’t had it the whole month of December and it turns up on December 30th with its snub nose and milky eyes and it goes and lays its lumpy body wherever it sees fit. Like some unfortunate relative.  Like the not-so-very-pleasant fairy the king and queen in fairy tales always decide to not invite to their firstborn’s Christening and the fairy always retaliates in some infernal, world-sucking method like putting all us jerks into a chilly white stasis.

I was hoping to wake up to such an unmovable feast this morning, where calling off would be natural.  But the roads were clear and the sky limpid, disarmingly so, and I battled with myself and put on my bright pink skull and crossbones t-shirt under my hoodie where only I could know how anarchical I was approaching the day, and I globbed on the most obtrusive eye makeup I thought I could get away with and I drove the half an hour to work.

At work, I did very little of consequence.  Boss wasn’t in, co-worker was fine, my whackadoo volunteer who shows up possibly once a month and expects me to give her the lightest of office work while she tells me about how wonderful she is at office work turned up in her usual sexy septuagenarian kit (which involves a pretty flimsy glittery green shirt, skirt and cowboy boots all flashing and sparkling against her fried green hair and pink frosted lips – and I already feel like I should be offended on her behalf for writing such a description and posting it somewhere online for public consumption as if we’re all just a few hits away from virulence and me from a slander suit – but that’s what she chose to put on and I’ll always own up to the mildly inappropriate clothing I have on, today is a case in point.)   At any rate, whoo, we futzed around for an hour and a half and then there was snow.  OH SHIT there was snow.

And everyone knew I was leaving early, my boss even told my co-worker yesterday that I could leave whenever I wanted so as not to be driven into some holy ditch of terror by my inability to snow-drive, but she decided to go to the post office and I couldn’t wait.  I’d spent all morning trying to decide if I could just call off to avoid such a situation, and I decided against it and 10:30am, drove home.

Kind of a lame-ass story for today.  No broken-hearts.  No facing fears (well, I got myself home in the snow and I was proud of that but I’m not surprised if no one else finds that all that praiseworthy).  No grand finale.  Just me in the world today, avoiding ruin.

I wish vodka went with Diet Dr. Pepper.

Dirty Limerence

I have just chewed all the flavor out of my gum.  But will that make me stop chewing it?  No, sir! No, ma’am!

Tonight should be, I hope, a very quick and painless operation.  I provide, you decide.   No Hoarders since I think that yesterday’s episode was traumatizing enough and I’d get distracted by it and possibly I’ve seen all the episodes on instant queue and I question the sanity of ordering season two to stare at these obviously unwell people so that I can empathize with them and attempt to psychologically overcome their disorders at a distance.  It makes you feel like it is very easy to fuck up and get straight.  Like it’s a thing you could do for health every few months, like turning your mattress.  Not that any of those hoarders every gave fuck one about turning a mattress.

I…digress.  No tv at the moment.  No xbox.  Just me and the machine.

I am being good against my will.  Today I had an unexpected sandwich.  I was ready to go to the store and get myself on track after driving in and realizing that I was just fine.  I’d practically made myself sick last night with the assumption that a snowflake equals a snow apocalypse to follow within the next three minutes and that surely I would die.  And I make jokes’ about the mental deficiencies of others.  Really, girl?  I was pretty upset and woke myself up an hour early to plaster my face against the window and count snow spit as grains of sand falling towards my impending driving doom.  But…the roads were just wet and I took extra time and went the back way so as not to upset the more aggressive, regular-type drivers and was fine.  I was fine. Remember that when I start sobbing about the hazards of snow driving.  Even though, I promise you I will.

So sandwich, shoulda happened but work decided it was important that all the volunteers and staff go to get food.  I should have had eggs.  But there was more, very sad co-worker drama and everyone was having milkshakes and diner food and I did abstain from that and the fries and (despite my best efforts, pie) and had a sandwich.

I had a very large woman volunteering and she was both great and a bit of a know-it-all and when you’re feeling attuned to the great whatever and someone else wants to clean for you, shit gets cleaned.  It is a good thing.  She wants to help more, but with all the huffing and puffing just from office work and how it’s freezing out and she’s in a tank top so she won’t die?  I don’t know.  This was a nice piece of shakabuku though and I’ll take it.

At least now, instead of giving in to the powerful internal logic that says this screw up creates, through divine providence, a very good reason for me to eat Chipotle – I am home.  I am eating food that is appropriate for me, I am keening with love for a man who does not love me back, I am chewing flavorless gum, I am not giving in.

It is such a sin to live asleep.

I Alone

Hoarders again.  This one is really, terribly horrifying with dead cats.   It’s hard to even process it.  I just wanted a nice thing to put on TV to watch while I was typing this up, but goddamn!  Wrong choice, girl. Wrong choice!

I had a goof up at lunch, but I have gotten right back on track so dwelling doesn’t seem super appropriate.  I let the desire for “normalcy” and for the short-term over the long-term.   But, I’m thinking now and I’m home and it was really just a blip.  I’m eating something good and appropriate now – broccoli and chicken and I have had a long good look in the mirror about what I want and yes, I want to continue on the track I’m on.

Let’s talk snow.  It didn’t happen last night.  It’s supposed to becoming in the morning.  I can handle it in one way or another.  Right?  Right.   The day was chilly and the drive in was through clouds of fog, but I was well.

Tomorrow, whatever the snow situation, I have two community service people to help me with I have no idea what.  I’ve just got to keep them busy for a few hours – one all the damn day, actually and the office is not that terribly messy and I can’t think of projects I necessarily want them to do so it may be rough.

I am sort of at a loss of words, I don’t want to focus on negative things in an effort to hit my word count because I’m working my way past them.  So, what’s positive?  I got my last three vacation days scheduled.  I figured I may not know about the next blizzard from hell early enough for it to matter, so I might as well make as many of my own four day work weeks until 2011 as I can.

I definitely need some me time.  Which is weird since I write this to the world during what is a very quiet, me be alone in the house time.  But I still have to take care of a few things, and I should take care of even more and having these responsibilities is not so unusual, it’s just that I always seem to be falling behind both what I should be doing in terms of “real life” and my dream-life is always tapping its toes, twiddling its lengthy, spindly green thumbs, frustrated that I’m putting it off.  It leans in over my shoulder and sighs and howls, and the only thing I can make out is that it’s  threatening to run off and find some Spanish artist, and it will sneak into their wine bottles as they lay on the beach and give them bold dreams of revolution, of true animal, soul names, and the architecture of the future.   Me, it intones, will barely get a goodbye note on my pillow.

Well, there’s only so many hours in the day, muse, and at least you’re on my list.

Chicken and broccoli and an eye on the clouds.

Negative Egg

I do not know.  I really don’t.

I tried to start writing this earlier at work and I was completely distracted by both work things and deeply retarded things like…the weather.  Whether or not it snows is entirely out of my control and I can’t help but chafe a bit at that solemn absolute. I keep thinking it’s a karmic reaction or a plague of a willful sea goddess whom some unthinking hero has bound, now eternally landlocked, into Mount Zion and from there she breathes her frozen hell unto us all.

A bit grandiose to describe something that everyone else seems to regard with such…sangfroid? I hate that it’s getting to the point of really causing discomfort for me.  Leaving work today, the road was just wet and the sides of the roads were just barely beginning to get dusted and panic was setting in.  It was dark and I don’t know!  I know I’m fine, but the thought of sliding at all, the thought of losing control and getting hurt/hurting others is really intrusive.  So I watch the skies all afternoon as the gray, thick, opaque clouds descend like a cup of flour falls in a heavy clump into the bowl.  Only there’s no stirring these away.

I have options, people to give me rides, and technically, I didn’t die.  I want to be grown up about this and I should probably work on getting a new, snow-capable car, but I guess it’s easier to whine when you’re safely ensconced on your couch, eating your chicken salad and dreaming your dreamy dreams of death and destruction on the slushy back streets tomorrow morning.

So, aside from the anvil of Mother Nature’s scene change, the day was okay.  Got the books done in one day without nine thousand questions, just enough questions to make me feel like I could have done more or better.  Now I have only one more month of the year left.  I’ve done it more than fifty times now (the books, that is) and I never feel settled or right when I turn them over.  Thank goodness for people who know what they’re doing and are gentle with you when you don’t.

We went to one of our many local coffeeshops, one that I remember has incredible pastries from back when I was eating and caring about those things (ahem), for lunch.  I got a salad and did the best I could with it, given all the random tortilla strips and corn and black beans I got and the negative egg I wanted.  It was fine and far too big for a human being to eat in one go so I basically have another styrofoam box full of radicchio and leaf lettuce on the counter to eat, too.

I feel okay.  More and more, I want to have a break, but not just a break, I want to have an open-mouth slip and slide run through one of those cafeteria restaurants where it’s all you can eat. This is stress.  This is me wanting the people around me to sit and spin.

I’m not hungry, I’m looking better, clothes are fitting better and I’m disciplined.  But the planned deviation is coming on the 16th and it makes me nervous as hell.  About as nervous as a blizzard, really.

This Warmth Within

Mother Nature has made her ruling.  We all are to go home and go to bed and let everything else be damned to hell.  It seems as though the earth has violently vomited up this phlegm and it’s eating everything alive.   It was treacherous driving home.  Well, I don’t want to be false, it was treacherous on my ride home.  I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.  But when do I ever know?

I would love to run away from this.  I say that all the time.  It’s true, though.  I am sick of overdramatizing and overexerting myself and failing .  I want happiness, health, and to be a good egg.

Breathe.  Slow down.  Take a moment before making the new line in the sand.  Let’s find a little center, a little footing, balance, aim before we start shooting and dancing on the minefields.

I want to feel the strength of a self reaching for something.

Today, I felt a lot better, actually.  There was a little less stress at work despite the jokes put upon me regarding the storm, there were creepers, but they behaved a bit.  Someone who is sick is not as sick as we imagined he might be.   I managed to barely be clothed but keep what clothes I did have on – on all day, save the panty hose.  I looked entirely too much like The Little Match Girl. People smiled today, although, there was a bit too much gossip about a traveling co-worker than I cared for.  Makes you wonder when you hear that what they say about you when you’re out of the office.  Nothing good, I’m sure.

I wonder what I’ve said in people’s absences.  These are the three fingers that point back at you when you accuse the world.  Sigh.  Oh well.   I’m listening to Vienna Teng.  My cell phone is at Target where I left it.  I’m trying to figure out how to let people know I need a ride tomorrow.  I’m fantasizing we could just close the office tomorrow instead.  I could use a snow day if only to pay off some of this sleep debt.  To find that balance.  At least to fix this bed frame, although it looks a little dadaist and askew and perfect at the moment.

I would really like to feel fit again.  Apropos of everything.  Fit.  To not see what was previously perfectly possible as SO IMPOSSIBLE.  The snow will break and melt and the moisture will bring its benefit without its dangerous form.  There is a future with a blue-black sky full of stars and not gray, bristling cold.  It is trundling towards us, a frame on a reel, as inescapable as this day was before it.    I have things to do, and a piece of peace.  I have a poem to write about Deborah Franklin – yes, THE Deborah Franklin – and I have other pieces to work on.  I have music and fake rain to play over the sound of silent snow.  I have a bath to run and catch.  I have a heart.   The world seems quite beautiful and fair in light of these revelations.