Bastet

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Very interesting. I feel like the font changed on this thing – or this particular posting screen, as it seems there are several.  I don’t know why I like it, but I do.  Maybe it makes me feel more professional or erudite than I, or my topics, generally require.

So, my cousin/business coach + a strong macchiato (one of those artisanal, hand-roasted, coffee beans were psychically encouraged and played Mozart sort of places – only, you know, with a result that feels really worth the extraordinarily cheap price) meant I feel better.  This is also the coffee shop where I’ve been on two dates which also ended two amusing and somewhat fulfilling flirtations, so I think of it now as sort of an emotional bug-zapper.  I go there and feel big things – for better or worse.

She said if it were possible to set aside the anxiety about the money – could you look at this time like a gift?  After some hemming and hawing, I think, I think I might be able to do that.  I can buckle down and get something written beyond these posts.  I can do some work and get something out of this even if I didn’t choose it.   So, I guess, my plan for the first week is to just to feel that one out by making myself come home and use the afternoons for writing and, potentially, for sussing out a new job if that comes to be something I need to deal with.  She also gave me some ideas in that regard, too.

At this moment, for open projects, I have the novel that my sister and I are working on, my short story that I am doing for writers’ group/pleasure, my big novel of love and pain that has to eventually be finished, and now this whole weird collection of excerpts from this whole daily blogging adventure woven into some other essays I’ve written and other ideas I have about fear, anxiety, and where I am at and aiming for.   That one is obviously personal and the major block is I need to change enough to justify continuing it.  If that makes any sense at all.  I just feel like maybe there’s something I have to say that might be of value.  It’s weird.  Every time I want to throw that one out, I find a reason to keep plucking at it.

That’s a bit too much, really, and so I have to pick and choose and I constantly think I’m choosing the wrong thing and feel as though I’m cruelly neglecting the others.  Really, what I need is to finish something.  So I am forging ahead with whatever I can do when I can do it.

Maybe it’s the shot of caffeine, but I feel pretty creative and energetic right now.  And I still have one more day off, holy smokes!

Weight this morning indicated that I lost 1.8 lbs last week.  Okay.  So about 8 pounds in 8 weeks.  Okay.  Sure.  Well.  I am good with that. I don’t know what the next month or two of privations will mean, but this is a result of tracking on My Fitness Pal, fitting in exercise, eating much less, messing up, messing up again.  Just working on it.  Prioritizing it.  So.  Yeah. Let’s not count any chickens or any eighths of chickens.

But yep.  Onwards and inwards.

 

 

Blonde Over Blue

 

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Did it happen?  Did my whirligig cleaning frenzy take place?

I’m happy to report that I don’t know how – but the spirit overtook me and I have floor!  Vacuumed ‘n all! I have clothing washed and folded and put away.  I have a nicely made bed.  I have a desire to do more tomorrow, but crikey, I am tired now.

Having one of those evenings where I can forget just about everything and feel alright.  Those are far rarer than they should be.

Got an email from a writer at writer’s group with extended feedback on my story which is making me continue to be intrigued with continuing it.  They do make a good point about the little tagalong character, but it does make me realize that a woman in the early 1900s on her own isn’t something I can just force through.  I am not sure she would agree with me, but I was starting to think that my Amelia needed the ballast of a lady’s maid hanging around to slow her down. The expectations for a young woman to settle down and have a family, well, you can’t pretend those don’t exist.  But then I read about Isabella Bird and Gertrude Bell and Jeanne Bare and I know there is a path for my character to follow.   It’s an odd thing.   I don’t think Amelia should be slowed down and I think the advice is worth paying attention to.

Dietry: it was a day here by myself and I needed that.  I just needed that.  It is hard to explain how I can have my own room and never be bothered and still need to have time by myself.  Need to feel as though there isn’t some impending noise or problem or story or intrusion or expectation of being one way or another.

I enjoy my own space.  It makes me froth at the mouth when I think I might have the chance to get it.  It brings me back to par.  It makes me realize the energy I have invested in myself and what I’m gunning for with this year-long diet/exercise/build a better body/upgrade the housing for my everlasting soul situation.  So, I was able to eat pretty okay today – also got on the bike.  Happy with it, imperfection and all.

I don’t have to look five hundred years down the road.  I’m just doing what I can do today.

Also got the hair cut. It’s really champagne blonde – like almost Daenerys blonde.  Like…blonde.  I am fine with it (it’s pretty on me with my red lipstick) a little bit dismayed at the cost to get it my roots bleached and trimmed.   I did sit in the chair while she was mixing colors which I usually hate because it involves sitting and looking at yourself or trying not to look at yourself in a mirror.   Usually, I see a sack of pasty potatoes looking back.  Today, I still saw potatoes, but I didn’t wholly mind the potato head sitting on top of it.

Progress?

Happy Galentine’s Day

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Google search: Edward Somerset, 2nd Marquess of Worcester

Head-on collision with .4 pounds of imperfection.

You say you’re totally cool if the scale goes up.  You say that.  You say, you got this whole year to do this.  You feel, the night before, that you’re open to anything.  But then the scale goes up and the realities of now, the stress you’re under, the two nights of pizza in a row, the fact that you’re crossing the Red Sea are all forgotten.

God, I wanted in that moment to say what in the ever loving fuck is happening?   I have a plan.  The plan’s a pound a week and we can’t go backwards.  If I start to spin my wheels, I’ll give up! I always give up!

Which is true.  At the first instance of adversity, I feel as though stars aligned against me and that I may as well turn back.  Or that I’m rattling a safe and comfortable status quo (which I am) and that means I might feel something risky and new.  It’s 30 seconds on this platform and already I question the whole concept of tracking.  Suddenly, everything becomes unknowable.  Everything I’m doing feels loosey-goosey, without authority, as you like it.  Not this confirmable, one to one match with a plan outlined by God, put only this much in your mouth and run until you gasp and then, and only then will I, the god of belly fat, withdraw, mathematically, your pudgy stomach.

I want the failure to be clear as day.  (If it is a failure, it IS clear. It’s the two pizzas and the Blood Moon, and a couple apathetic exercise days.  I just don’t want those things to add up to failure, maybe?) And they don’t.  Maybe I built some muscles? But the “failure” also includes the success of having tracked those pizzas, having gotten on the bike and moved my body to the point of dancing yesterday, of having done twice as many situps, eating a 1000 times less than I would have at the Galentine’s Day party today because I was aware of what was going into my gob.

I am building those kind of habits.  That’s pretty great.

I wasn’t planning to stop.  I am not planning to stop.  But of course, I never PLAN to stop.  I never hit these moments of adversity and say, OH NO, I CANNOT! and throw a white flag.  It’s tiny, tiny slides.  It’s saying, I will start fresh tomorrow rather than I start fresh now.   It’s saying, I’ll just have this calorie-laden thing because it’s too much to handle right now. It’s saying, I’ll just guesstimate on MFP, because it’s too embarrassing to put down what I know I actually put in my mouth.

So I don’t know, precisement, how many calories are in the mimosa I drank or what the single cream cheese spinach wrapped thing contained, but I know enough to guess at it.  I can get pretty close.  I can do something more than nothing.  I can exercise through these cramps.

The party was nice.  Very nice to talk to a couple old friends and see them in a context free of the entanglements it used to have with work. Already there are pictures up on Facebook and I find myself having to settle myself down and say it’s okay to post this on your timeline.  No need to act like you weren’t there in the body you have.
Talking to my mentor, equally, but differently nice.  Feeling someone’s interest in my life without having to explain anything.

My feet feel about 50% better, too.  My driving panic  was held at bay, even going so far to try and reclaim a road this morning.  It helps with the time of the year, this deep dark shadow that wants me to lay down, very still, and wait for the last morning.  Valentine’s Day and the long rope it can go piss up.

I just feel real talkative about it all.  It’s early enough, the money is going to work out for Tuesday, I got done what needed to be got done and there’s some real time to relax.  So.  Yes. Yes.  Yes.

Come on, belly, let’s have another day of dancing.

Lay Very Still

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I have been encouraged by the other writers in group to hurry and continue with the next chapter/sequence of this strange little bird of a story.  I have the first taste of an idea, but I’m a bit nervous about trying to pin it to the board just yet.

It’s hardly even breathed in the chloroform.   So I think I will give it a minute to stiffen up and just write about me instead.  Because I come to you in my usual state: light as a feather, stiff as a board.

Certain issues continue apace.  In one quick swell, the wave drew back and splashed me out to sea.   I have good faith estimates on when I will be allowed to take one step towards made good that I did not have to solicit.  I also have problems that have also arrived hand in hand with solutions and these solutions include calling earnest sounding experts of the masculine persuasion to fix one stage of this unending fuckery.  It was flirting, maybe, (in case you, dearest K might be reading this), in the briefest, most professional fashion.  Don’t even know if he’s married, don’t even know if he’s gay, could be that he is an octogenarian with the voice of a twenty-five year old (looked him up, he’s cute as a button but clearly about forty)…it doesn’t matter at all as he lives well away from me.

At group tonight, the guy who wrote the shit I was less than comfortable with brought something of the usual vein.  Which means a good, action-packed (sort of like a pale Tom Clancy novel that isn’t aware of itself like it should be) story with a beginning, middle, and end.  Stuff I could find lots to like in.   At any rate, he asked me as he always does about the projects I have on the boil and where things are and asks why I don’t take a week off to write on them.  It is easy when you are retired to just write until your fingers fall off, apparently, but  it isn’t a terrible idea given this backlog of vacation hours I have.  I’m actually kind of contemplating it.

But would I actually write?  I’m not sure I would right now.  So.  Maybe just another one of those bad ideas that would be good if I’d hold still and let them be good.

The driving was much better.  It is such a matter of exposure and practice.  Having a recent muscle memory of being behind the wheel and taking the turns helps tremendously.  It continues to always be possible.  It is so rarely completely impossible.  So rarely important to be perfect.

Eating…less so.  The not being able to go buy food has not, apparently, stopped me from going to buy food.  After eating a tiny lunch, and drinking coffee for breakfast,  I basically dug up all my loose change and bought myself a decaf macchiato at the Starbucks for group, and then another purse dive got me the pizza that swallowed the rest of the days calories and a sliver over that I may not exercise back tonight.   Heaven forfend…not so diety, but it was 10PM and I wanted it and it is not illegal.

I actually do feel shifty about that, but I am glad it is tracked.  The scale will punish me if I deserve punishment.  I will just have to figure out the next few days and then, perhaps, some breathing room.

The Dollop

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If I could bottle a Saturday night feeling into a bottle, I’d be the richest woman the world over.  Of course, that’s probably what you’d call a good buzz but I think there’s a bit of nuance to be had here.

A Saturday night feeling is uniquely secure.  It’s this moment by moment reassurance that you get one more sleepy morning, one more day of being a private wreck, one more day where the air can get you because you’re not platen over with masks and personae and fakery.  One more day to walk around with your heart unbuttoned.

I checked the scale this morning and it suggested on the first go and with minor verification that I had lost 2 pounds this week.  This adds up to five pounds lost for a girl who has had a fair amount of pizza in her last five weeks of dieting.   That’s…exciting.  It is not, of course, so exciting that it feels worthy of some sort of food-based reward.  It is not so great, five pounds, that I want to start trumpeting “I have this new perfect diet plan – eat pizza and lose weight!”

Instead, it feels, really precarious and odd.  Like I must have goofed up somewhere.  I’ve been reading a few different MyFitnessPal threads and articles.  Getting ideas like what can I eat to get more potassium (which I apparently care about when they show it at 21% in red) and then, of course, reading things that suggest maybe I should allow myself more food.  More calories, anyway.

And immediately, my brain starts to glom onto that.  I hear devilish little purrs in my ear.   This means a bit more butter, a bit more popcorn, a bit more cream.  This means you could eat, really, whatever.  You don’t want be to starving yourself…restricting TOO much…you don’t want to set up a new bad relationship with food.

Ugh, of course I don’t want any of that.  But I also don’t want to suddenly not know what the hell is happening and where the deep end of the pool is.

I know that I get so terrified of breaking the rules I end up blowing them off spectacularly when I set a toe outside the line.  In for a penny, in for a pound cake.  It’s odd that this is working.  I feel…fed. It’s 1200-1400 calories and then I try and exercise back my overage.   Right now, I feel a bit hungry, and I’m trying to attend to that as it crops up by tracking first, but it’s almost 11p.m. and I can probably just get some sleep and eat in morning.

I don’t know.  This is a lot of minutiae cluttering my mind on a first benchmark reached celebratory sort of day.  It’s, in its own way, resistance.  It’s a desire for perfection even in struggle.  The worry that maybe I can’t lose 2 pounds next week again.  The worry that everything is fluky and I’m going to suddenly have that weight back.  The idea that I want to succeed at this whole year-long process so well that I can get it done in a week or a month.  That sense that I need to do what is right and what works and what is documented and hit those marks and then I can forget all of it.  The fear that I am losing weight – at some level, at some pace – and if it continues, I will lose control of it, but more than that, I won’t have it lurking as this unchecked to-do.  That it wouldn’t be an excuse.  That it would free me and that freedom is downright petrifying.

None of this matters at all.

I am not changing tactics until the tactics don’t work or I find myself unable to follow them out of excessive, uncomfortable hunger.  The rest is just me trying to build a case to get out of doing this and the court is not hearing that case.  We’re not letting that one get to trial.

AND LIVE FROM MY BEDROOM, IT’S SATURDAY NIIIIIGHT!

 

What You Can’t Undo

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I have to write, but I also have to write this because it’s taking up an excessive amount of space in my brain.  Okay, darlings, no fucking around.

Things you DON’T need or even care to know, but things I will tell you nevertheless:

Last night, I rode the bike to the Green Butterfly song, felt earnestly great about pushing myself to 200 calories burnt, felt happy and progressful and good about it.  It might have been Sunday Syndrome or something else, but I am fairly certain the exercising so late in the eve meant that I couldn’t feel the slightest bit tired even when 2am rolled around.   I am sure that I must have slept, though I kept waking up so that I was awake again a little before my first alarm went off  – the one that was going to get me up and rolling again on the bike.  I laid there, instead, for the next hour feeling as though I had been tethered to my bed, to keep me from floating through the ceiling.  Work, as you can imagine, went super well as a result.

I just am really, really, really off my game.  You may ask if I have ever been on my game, but I can’t reach you with this wooden spoon so you’ll never be witness to my utterly amazing feats of dexterity when it comes to beating you senseless.

The day wasn’t bad, it just was me being lame against the usual backdrop.  Actually, when I think about it, it was a lovely day.  If only I had gotten my act together.

Such as my birthday work lunch.  I had half-forgotten and when I was asked what I wanted – I had no new diet gameplan.  I stared at my boss blank-facedly, knowing she had a hundred things to do, so she suggested Chipotle and I thought….eh, uh, um, ah, well, sure!  Oddly enough, after a month away from the stuff, I think I could almost take it or leave it.  I knew it would be a calorie bomb regardless, so I just ordered the best options and swore I would make sure to track it.  I should have picked a salad.  I should have not gotten guac.  It was too much, but even so, I would have just squeezed in under the calorie total if I wasn’t also presented with a cake.  1/12th of the tiny half-sheet cake was 300 calories.  I blanched.  Aware, but still, frustrating that social mores really dictated what I ended up eating.

I need to take hold of the power of no.

This is silly. An artist co-worker gave me some collage art of his, which I adore, with turtles and Basquiat references.  I felt briefly there, engaged and in the moment, rather than tied to my tether again.

Ah, life and time and snow, I got the X-Files on, I got my book on my kindle, I got random cookie recipes to make when we go on vacation (not before, mind you), I have to find 10 minutes of physical activity and the bike is closest to hand, so that will probably have to do. Gentler, though.

Papancha

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I don’t know how I feel about this stock photo site.  Have I mentioned this before?  Everything is a little too evocative.  A little too composed and processed.  The old site would just have a slightly out of focus picture of a pencil and I’d think, YES, that’s my life.  My life is that pencil in this moment – it is the single most compelling, yet absurd, yet complete metaphor for who and what I am at this very moment and if it’s not, it’s a perfect tool for which to create dissonance and surreality.

A really nice shot of a beautiful rural scene sort of makes me paler in comparison.  Maybe it’s better this way.  If I don’t say anything of note or value or tickle your narrative bones in my posts, at least they’ll have some aesthetic value.  Even if it’s sort of regurgitated, culturally-approved aesthetics, processed through photoshop and cropped to within an inch of its life, it’ll have that.

It is Sunday night and the syndrome threatens.  Anxiety about the new work week, anxiety even about happy things like going out to eat on Tuesday (in a nano-second, I have considered: wearing that dress that draws attention to my legs, doing my hair and makeup which always turns out poorly when I actually try and not just half-ass it, do we have time to go to the movie and eat?,  what theatre would we go to, she won’t want to go to the movie, will I eat the right things?, that place has really delicious items with unknowable calorie counts, will I totally blow my diet?, when will I exercise, I will blow off exercising that day and I can’t and don’t want to do that).  It all feels like a treadmill floating above of pit of fire.

So.  I am aware I do this.  Today has been nice in that even though it’s been a quiet day, the Broncos are going to a Super Bowl – a fact I care about just enough to mention it here and very little more than that – but it will make people generally more pleasant to deal with this week. I have also read.  I have also read an interesting On Being article about thought proliferation which you see in action here all the time if you’re the one lucky person on this earth who doesn’t experience it themselves.   Essentially, the way one negative thought or an physical action or experience that leads to a single negative thought can suddenly sour your mindset for hours, or even days and beyond.  The Buddhist concept of papancha. How we torment ourselves for the thoughts we do have and our reactions to them.  I dunno, I’d recommend it.  I also read more of Big Magic, nearly finished with that one.  It’s not Bird by Bird, but then, what is?

I am really wanting and hoping to kick that wanting into deciding I will get up tomorrow and get on the bike before work.  It does make me feel good and I have earbuds so I could blast music and not upset anyone.  I did it today and felt outrageously good – the soreness is fine, present, but fine.

Enough thingnesses happened that I didn’t get too het up about the demands of the Universe that I dreamed up somewhere between yesterday and today of myself.  Wherein dudes write back or dudes are polite or dudes are in any way under my control.  They’re not.  But other thingnesses are like thighs

What do you think, sirs?