I’ve been doing a thing for a couple of months now. It feels like a secret, like something I should be ashamed of, like people will judge me once I say it out loud. To most, it will almost certainly sound woo-woo and strange, maybe even like I’m taking an extended ride on the pseudo-science train. But here’s the thing: Continue reading “I eat beans.”
Here’s the awful truth, y’all: I have resting bitch face like you’ve never seen.
I started noticing it about six or seven years ago. I’d catch a peripheral glimpse of it in a mirror or in the glass part of a classroom door as it shut and I’d be momentarily stunned at the face I saw looking back at me. It always took me a minute to react, to try Continue reading “RBF”
Sometimes, I feel a little less than inspired. Granted, I haven’t let the lack of inspiration stop me in the past couple weeks, but before that, I went months without writing at all. I’d feel bad about my inaction when I remembered — which was usually about the time I looked in the direction of my bookshelf and caught a glimpse of the beautiful, empty notebooks stashed there — but usually, I really didn’t think about it. Obviously, my urge to write has not always been so easily forgotten or dismissed.
In high school, for example, I carried a mid-size, spiral Mead notebook wherever I went. I wrote in class and at home, at band rehearsal and play practice. I didn’t bother to hide what I was doing, and I took more than my share of flak for doing it. Truth be told, somewhere in the back of my head, I’ve always felt a bit like Harriet the Spy when I carry around my notebooks. I can write whatever I want and it’s true and no one can debate me on it. I can think what I want to think and how I want to think it.
Writing in this forum has been an adjustment.
Nowadays, of course, my fallback excuse when I don’t get the writing done is the children, the chores, the cats, Donald Trump, The West Wing, and/or the insurmountable and all important READING LIST. Naturally, I’m only making these excuses in my own head; I set these arbitrary deadlines and quotas for myself. No one else is asking for my word count. But for some reason, it feels important that I (figuratively) get off my ass and do something, in some area of my life. There’s no two ways about it: our current political situation (which is also very personal and immediate to me and so many of the people I love) has got me down. I end up saying “fuck the diet” every day, regardless of how honorably I begin. I also say “fuck the cleaning,” “fuck the reading,” and “fuck everything else,” because even seven months later, sometimes it’s still difficult to put one foot in front of the other.
Writing makes me move. It makes me get other things done first before I can allow myself time to do it.
Today, while I was staring at the blank screen and fishing for a sentence with which to start, my sweet husband managed to convince me that instead, I should really come lay down with him and take a short nap. I never take naps, but Step-son was gone to a friend’s house, and even the cat looked exhausted. I had nothing in my head to write, so I decided to take the hand of the man I had to wait half my life to marry. Sometimes, it seems like I don’t choose him often enough or well enough, even though I try to be grateful for and mindful of every moment I get to spend with him. I slept draped over his chest like I haven’t since we were dating.
When we got up, I cooked supper and ran a load of dishes. My husband went to the store for a Coke and ended up with a pack of cigarettes and a pair of lottery tickets. We hope the lottery tickets win us enough change to send us to the Netherlands for the rest of our lives. The cigarettes are because they won’t.
Don’t worry, Mom. We’ll quit again tomorrow.
I still don’t know what to write.
It’s Saturday afternoon, and my house is peaceful enough that I’m actually enjoying the cats weaving between my feet in the kitchen while I’m trying to cook. Usually, even the people in the house can’t get by with that kind of proximity. But cooking just now is striking me as a leisurely activity — I’m steaming my broccoli, zucchini, and carrots for the week, and it’s become such a rote thing that I can now actually blog while I do it. And ignore cats, apparently. I’m freakin’ zen, y’all.
It’s five o’clock nowhere, but I’m standing here seriously pondering the virtues of getting liquored up while I cook. I’m supposed to go to a meet-up at 6:00 with about twenty people I barely know and my sister (in-law), who (as you may or may not know) I love. Truth be told, I’m going for her, though I also (kind of) know a few of these people from high school. I’m figuring that my sweet sister will get busy visiting with folks (many of whom she considers family) and I’ll be left wondering what the hell to do with myself. Thus the early contemplation of booze. My dear husband was initially planning to go with me to this shindig so I’d have a fallback person (I’m pretty sure this is why people get married), but he’s asleep after working all night, and I’m not inclined to get him up early. He had eye surgery this week, and it literally looks like he was punched in the face. I’m sure he’s in pain, plus, I don’t really want to spend the evening occupied with assuring people I barely know that I did not punch my husband in the eyeball for smarting off. I mean, if he was normal, I wouldn’t have to ever say these kinds of things, but he isn’t (not at all), and I’m forced to grin stupidly and shake my head in the direction of my towering giant of a spouse in some kind of mocking gesture that I hope says as if! or see this dumbass? I married him because I loved him beyond reason.
My youngest brother became a first-time father last night. The baby will be my fourth nephew; I also have two nieces. All of us kids are step-parents, but until last night, J and I were the only ones who didn’t also have biological children. Now I’m alone in that, and at 43, my biological clock has long been sounding a lot like pounding, overwhelming, disgusting death metal. I’m unbelievably happy for my brother, but beneath the surface, I’m also pretty sad. Since I was 12 years old, I only ever wanted to be a mom; I guess it just wasn’t in the cards. I’m a killer aunt though. Seriously. And my sister (in-law) has always been great about sharing her kid with me. (She calls her “our girl.” As in, “you’re not going to believe what our girl did yesterday.” She’s now 13, and though she almost entirely grew up with me six-hundred-and-some miles away, my sister swears the kid acts more like me than her.)
Anyway. When shit gets a little real, I fantasize about getting sloshed while I’m steaming my broccoli. It makes me feel better even though I’m too old to drink much anymore. Plus, I’m the child of an alcoholic so I really shouldn’t, and I’m trying to watch my calories, which means that all the really tasty drinks are now way out of my league anyway. The best I could do and still stay within the budget is eat nothing but vegetables for supper; then at least I’d have room for two or three shots. Not that I’d want to take them…that shit’s nasty without a mixer.
Y’all, I can pass right on by the fried chicken and the french fries and the mozzarella cheese sticks and anything else that’s cooked in fat and sold in fast food restaurants. But Jesus on a bicycle with no helmet, I cannot pass by the Sixlets…or actually any chocolate, come to think of it. And the soft serve vanilla ice cream? To echo a certain badly written Twilight character, it’s my own personal brand of heroin.
I’ve done so well in the last few weeks. I managed to get ten pounds down after our return home from the beach. But today has not been good. I went grocery shopping with my step-daughter, and ended up buying all that cheap, nutrient-void junk food that tastes so good you just can’t make yourself stop eating it till it’s gone. Long story short, I ended up going over my calories for the day by 200. Tomorrow is likely to be more of the same, and probably worse; it’s my step-son’s birthday, and there’s a damn Dairy Queen ice cream cake in the freezer. I probably don’t need to tell you that I didn’t go for the small one. Mama always says that “for a dollar more you can go first class,” and in this case, two dollars took the cake from “probably too small to feed four” to “almost big enough to feed ten.” I’m counting on there being leftover cake that everyone else will forget to eat and that I will probably obsess over until it’s gone. If I had any sense of self-preservation, I’d make a vow to not log a single calorie for the next couple days, but knowing how very Type A I can be, I can pretty much guarantee that each one will be meticulously counted regardless of what it does to my self-esteem.
I did go swimming this morning with Mom though. We took the water weights and moved around a little while we visited and talked about the other people in the pool. You’d think we never saw one another, the way we carry on. Maybe this is just the way maturing mother-daughter relationships are, but I feel like we’re probably a little more appreciative of our time together than most. Until the end of 2014, I had been 650 miles away from her for 14 years. I’m hopeful that we’ll have many more years together to continue being inappropriate in public; the women in our family tend to be unnaturally long-lived, even when they chose to spend the majority of their lives doing unhealthy things like smoking and drinking.
Actually, now that I think about it, I’m going to blame today’s transgression of the diet on those girls in my gene pool who lived way too damn long. If it weren’t for them, I might be a little more careful about how I treated my body.
L’chaim, grannies. And shalom, y’all.
I turned 40 in 2014, and as I was staring down at my much over-candled birthday cake, I made a decision: I was tired of being fat, and I was going to make sure I never was again. In the succeeding six months, I lost 60 pounds, which got me within 15 pounds of a normal BMI for the first time since I was ten years old. I managed to keep it all off for a year before I started dating my sweet husband, and…I guess I can only agree that it’s true what they say about happiness and heaviness: if the former is a new thing, then it will almost certainly cause the latter. By the end of 2016, I had to put all of my “skinny” clothes into the boxes that had previously contained my “fat” clothes, but from the moment I did it, I knew I couldn’t stand to keep things that way for long. I could not go back to plus-size clothing, not with my pear-shaped build (read: I am not so blessed in the boobies department, and plus-size clothes are made for women who are).
But I ended up keeping the weight longer than I intended. It turns out that feeding a couple of teenagers means keeping in the house a lot of Oreos, cheddar and sour cream potato chips, ice cream, and pizza, and after more than a year on a calorie counting diet, I found not a single thing on that list that I could resist. That is…until this week.
A week ago last Saturday, we got home from a week in Myrtle Beach. It was the first vacation we’d ever taken as a family, and the first vacation that the kids had ever had in their lives. It was a good time, even though the heat was stifling and led to much less time on the beach than we wanted. But despite the good time and the total joy of being in a place I love with the people I love most in the world, here is what I primarily took away from our vacation:
THERE IS NOT A SINGLE PICTURE OF ME FROM THAT WHOLE AWESOME VACATION THAT I CAN STAND TO LOOK AT.
So I came home, ate about ten more Harry & David’s chocolate covered cherries, and decided that come Sunday, it was back to counting calories for me. I’ve done great. As of this morning, I’m down eight pounds and back on the road to being able to wear my sweet American Eagle jeans by fall. But I’ll tell you what, it feels even more amazing and unbelievable than it did the first time–I can’t believe I’ve found the willpower to do this on top of so recently giving up smoking. The first time, all I had to do when I felt like eating was light a cigarette. This week, I haven’t had that fallback and so I had to find something else to occupy my mind and my fingers. It’s been rough though, I’m not going to claim that it hasn’t.
I have, however, really tried to make lemonade from the lemons. I started writing again–every day, whether I felt like it or not. And then, a few days ago, I came back home to online journalling…for the first time in more than four years. It’s great to be back, and I intend to stay long past the time when I can stand to look at pictures of myself again, perhaps even after my fingers stop itching for a cigarette.