Some Lady

incredible-strange-creatures-1568522Okay.  60 days in.  It was bound to happen.  Fred is on his way.  I feel the physical impulses and urges changing, just overriding my good sense and causing me all sorts of wayward thoughts.  Add on that a day where life at work felt particularly scattery and insecure beyond its usual scattered insecurity and my boss was particularly vulnerable and stressed with me and every empathic tendency I claim just wicked all of that up into my system so that I could offer succor and support and underline my loyalty.

All the while, I’m working on the copywriter angle, and contemplating bugging out when the window re-opens.  I absolutely care…I just need…money.   And to not have the burdens I have.

And so…food.  Today.  Shit.  I didn’t FUCK up.  I just fucked up. Lowercase.  I just said I didn’t care and ate with “abandon.”   Meaning I got a thing of crackers out and ate a bunch of crackers without counting them and then a few handfuls of chocolate chips.  Then I had pasta for dinner with one glass of wine.  Like a maniac.  But it felt for a few minutes like the old ways where shoving it in my mouth blurs any sort of mathematics attached to it.  The little noises, the little yelps that make me sad and nervous, I have to shut those up somehow when I do care.  I just sort of hit a wall.  I think I’ll be mad at myself in the morning when I get on the scale.

I am tracking, right now, as I type, my crappitude because of my stalwart desire to sweep it all away and not track it because it’s not Under.  But it’s still in the position where if I get my ass on that bike, it could be under.  I think I’ve guessed as accurately as I can right now. If I do this, it is going to have to go imperfectly because the bike surely doesn’t burn at the rate it tells me it burns, but I could do it even if it’s 9pm.  I could do something more than nothing.

…..

So, yeah, that happened.  I did get on the bike and I did pedal it until it says I burnt 200 calories.  I did that.  I did the sit-ups.

That feels oddly marvelous and because I was sweaty a bit from actually using these legs of mine, I got in the tub and the ending to the story appeared, magically, in my mind.  One of those Einstein playing the violin situations.

….

Oh, shit, while I’ve been sitting here trying to wrap my brain around reality and back again and figuring out the last fifty words on my post, it’s almost midnight.

Tomorrow is Saturday and that day is mine, free and clear.   I don’t have to give it to anyone else – except go check on the cats at my parents.

The way to get in the groove is to be in it.  Snap your fingers, simple as that.

Scullery Mode

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It’s a curious thing how you don’t post personal stuff for a while, a need, an urgency builds.  You just want to reaffirm your humanity, your presence, you want to wipe away all doubts.  Both mine and yours.

The diet continues, but it needs me to have more money and focus.  I can give it the latter and pray for the former and just not eat so much. I’ve been under the line every day, doing more exercise than zero exercise, and yet, I know there’s a better way to go about this.  I just don’t think kicking my ass over the good I am doing is going to suddenly knock out the shitty parts – like having half a sandwich for lunch and the other for dinner because that sandwich is that calorific. Vegetables, come on.

I am meeting with my cousin/the business coach on Saturday.  I am hoping to figure out some sort of plan from there…if there even needs…well, it’s just hard to say what has to be done and what could be done and what is just this angst that OMG WHERE DO WE FIND $$$? (Don’t say the Dollar Store.)

I did read an excellent article on The School of Life about relating to your job and ways to contemplate where you should be and why it’s natural and okay to get het up about these things.   A cursory tour of Monster just depresses the hell out of me.  I don’t want to do anything, but write – or be a cog somewhere where everything is steady and I could just be invisible.  But I don’t want that either.  I need a bit of purpose, a bit of fame, a bit of support.  I want, perhaps, what my job was meant to be rather than holding a tiger by the tail.

Ah.   Tomorrow, we will dance about.  We will not sleep in.  We will get our roots bleached.   There will be a bit of magic growing in the middle distances. We will sip at it.  We will dance for it.  We will sing its praises.  We will take it with no regrets.

I had a dream about you the other day.  It doesn’t matter, you don’t matter (insofar that I am fixedly aware that you are far away, you don’t know me, you are surely attached elsewhere, and whatever heartbreak this gives me is no fresh fissure.  I’ll live, darling, no matter how deeply you stab me), and one dream matters little more than another.  However, this dream did involve us hunting down a topless, radioactive monster in the shape of Helen Mirren in a Beetlejuice suit.   She had that snake neck he had in the end.  We were in some sort of haunted mansion and were somehow coerced out of the one safe place, the bed…to protect it from her Stygian powers.  I believed you could do anything.  It was a warm one.  I could feel you through your t-shirt.  I could believe it further than is right for someone that matters not at all.

Come by again tonight.  I’ll turn down the covers, leave a mint, and set your wakeup call so you’ll be gone well before I open my eyes.

We Would Never Break the Chain

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What no feels like today:  a long walk in the snow to a car you know you have to dig out in shoes that aren’t waterproofed.  But I’ve said it once or twice.

Which is why 1/4 or so of that pizza I bought at the grocery store is now in a plastic bag in the fridge.  I got there, but be-fucking-grudingly.  And really, it’s only because I wanted to also have some popcorn and ice cream (and not the cauliflower or the apple I also bought) and wanted to be able to quasi-justify it under the new tracking regime.

I am, frankly, astonished given my mood that I was able to say no.  As the lady said once, it doesn’t always have to be like it was.  It’s a mood that’s based on things around the edges and not the meat of the day. The marginally attractive, but entirely earnest looking project guy who was in on Monday and for whom I, in some part, dressed up was not in today.  Probably tomorrow, but there was so much angst and worry about needing to be sharp and ready for today when I couldn’t be…that I possibly spent too much of today being relieved.   I did get a few things done for tomorrow – what I was asked to do, but that took most of the day.  It was just one little innocuous problem and my dealing of it as we were almost ready to leave that has rattled around in my mind.

I feel convulsively pissed.  Like nobody’s anywhere in sight and I just feel like shouting Don’t Touch Me, Don’t Touch Me, Don’t Touch Me!  There’s a Stevie Nicks song I’m thinking of that is perfectly illustrative of my mood.

 

Maybe it’s just that time of month…I can’t…I can’t be fucking bothered with this sort of shit every single day.  There isn’t enough time to get it all in and work myself over for crap that I didn’t know beforehand or managerial decisions I made on my own.  It was imperfect, but I did it the best I knew how.  Ca suffit.

Onward and upward.

I have to exercise.  I have to write.  I have to keep eating, only not the pizza in the fridge.  Pizza, you and me have got to take a little break from one another.  I’ve cooled it with Chipotle.  So I know I don’t NEED you.   Even in the short time it’s taken to write this, I feel as though I have a bit more sense in my head about how much power you have over me, pizza. I have got to stop anthropomorphizing my food vices.  I have to read.  I have to buy S. I have to write this dude back.  I have to lay very still and endure the usual reckoning that my anxiety requires.

Nah.

I don’t have to do any of this.  I certainly don’t have to be miserable in the same world as coffee ice cream and meta romantic mystery novels and boys who know how make plays on words.

The Dance: Exercise 1

fire-dance-1189315-1280x1920So after some conversations with friends last night, and feeling good for some reason about today, I thought I might share this with them if they see this and anyone else who might find power in it.  If you are feeling overwhelmed by low or absent self-worth, perhaps use this.

The voice, the idea, the feeling of negativity has a body.  It has a look.  It has a language it uses that is familiar and tailored to be its most effective for each of us.  Mine is not yours and yours is not mine.  This negativity, this fear masquerading as wisdom, steals opportunity, it puts you on pause, it turns you away from what might be because of assumptions you make about your ability to proceed not to an acceptable result, but to the perfect landing pad that has the power to fix not just the issue at hand, but EVERYTHING.

I have such a negativity in my head.  And I’m just now starting to deal with her.  If she thinks she’s got an evolutionary purpose to fulfill, then I have decided she’s got to start paying rent.

When I imagine or experience this negative voice now, I have a visualization…thing I do.

I try and visualize the two of us in what looks like an interrogation room.  I’m seated at the chair, looking confident, as she, the so-called detective, grills me about my intentions – it could be about anything. In her eyes, I am constantly fucking up.  “You really think you’re actually losing weight?  You really think so.  Well, I know you ate ice cream.   And it was probably more than one serving.  You are doomed to a life of diabetes and disease.  I just need you to acknowledge that for me.”

And first of all, if it is this petty, and sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t, I am lucky when I am able to laugh and say, “holy shit, I’ve been arrested by the fucking Ice Cream PD?”  Occasionally, she’ll simper and sort of mentally evaporate just at the clarity of how useless she is. Other times she’ll dig in with more cruelty than I’ll be able to approximate here.  “Well, maybe if we caught you sooner, you could get a fucking date.”  And on weak days, or days when I’ve had this sort of mental interaction countless times already, that will be enough to shut me down.  And probably eat more ice cream while she folds her arms in front of her and sneers, throwing all the invectives and belittling comments we both can invent at me, accusing me and shaming me for everything I’ve ever failed at since the beginning of time until the power of the sugar takes over and I don’t think anything whatsoever until the cycle begins anew.

But on REALLY good days, days when I’ve been taking care of myself and accomplishing tasks and balancing ego and id, there’s a second sequence.  It helps if you have good music for this.

She leans back, thinking her potshot has landed, that’s she’s really got me.  She’s put me down and in my place. I close my eyes for a moment until we both hear a laugh. As the interrogation light rises up, the dark room spreads out until we are in an enormous, Mines of Moria-sized gallery ringed with darkness.  The negative force and I turn and see who is laughing.

It’s a warrior woman.  I don’t know her, but I recognize her as personal, mine, a part of me as inextricable as the Negative Detective.  Her eyes are dark but gleam in the single beam of light spilling into the room as though the moon was centered over the opening in the ceiling of the Pantheon. She is painted, a circlet of metal holds back her hair, she is the definition of fierce.  There’s a knife in her hand so sharp that it makes a Ginsu look like a rolling pin.  She scares me in just the right way.

The negativity might respond, might shudder, might try and grow, to fill the room, to throttle me, to in some way insinuate her power.

And then, another, different laugh from another dark corner of this space.  We turn and it’s some romantic hero or interest that matters to me, brooding and comely, maybe smoking a cigarette because there’s no lung disease in imaginary cigarettes.  “Leave her alone, you pointless bitch.”   Maybe at this point he pulls a gun out, just to underline the point that he’s willing to go that far for me, that he’s just that over her bullshit.  I will admit to being a little bit thrilled by this.

We stand up from our seats, the table is gone.  It becomes obvious that we are not a few souls in a giant room, we are surrounded by hundreds if not thousands.  There are warriors, there are friends, there are moments of joy embodied by people I admire, video game characters, heroines of books, Anne Shirley’s there, Mumford, it doesn’t matter.  They are people I find beautiful and powerful.  It is the beauty of my mind, mentally personified. They are all at their most beautiful, most ferocious, most epic and cinematic.   They’ve all got weapons, serious and hilarious, but all of them clearly deadly and drawn.

Everything emanates a single emotion.  A single thought drives them: This girl is ours, she has made us and given us life and force, she has drawn us here and we will defend her against anything.  She had poured her heart into us and we will destroy any threat to her peaceful, joyful existence.

The negativity tries to get meta on me. “They’re just imaginary.  I’m real, I see you, I have been here since the beginning watching you slob and wretch your way through life.”

I can literally hear more laughter.  Voices call out things I typically don’t let myself believe are important – “We have preceded you.  We have seen her in her greatest glories. This is the girl who flew herself to Italy.  This is the girl who gets up every day and strives for the light. This is the girl who is so clever she’s thought to bring us here.  She can do what she needs to do.  We adore her.  We want nothing other than to be near her.  We believe in her.  You are in the house of our spirit and we cannot be destroyed.”

Then, because of who they are and who I am, and if the music’s going…they dance.  This big tribal, happy, stomping dance as they close in on us.  They shriek and holler and spin one another around.

The negativity doesn’t like any of this, but there’s nothing she can do, really.  The power of the beat, of this army of lovers I deserve because I deserve them, because I am strong enough to create them, starts to explode her little pea brain.  Then they whack her with pots and pans and sometimes stab her with knives.  It can get gory like Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? – at the end when his head cartoonifies and acidulates into goop.

But what always happens if we get this far is I feel their strength become mine and I will grab somebody’s weapon, maybe Hotness McLately’s gun and say, with every fiber of myself, all, Gandalf to Wormtongue-infested Theoden, “You have no power here!”   I use the weapon if I have to, joyfully emboldened to wipe her the hell out. I feel the absence of the negativity in my whole body.  It’s been driven back. It doesn’t matter if she returns, we will dance again.

And then, I go about my day.

Give it a go sometime.

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…

 

 

 

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!