Archive | January, 2017

Weighing in

31 Jan

This morning I put on a pair of pants that usually fit quite nicely, and they were tight. I mean, uncomfortable. Part of the reason is that I washed and dried them yesterday. You know how you feel betrayed by your clothes when you put them on after they’ve been in the dryer? I felt betrayed.

The other part of the reason, I presume, is that I’ve gained weight.

scale

I don’t weigh myself because it makes me crazy. I just looked at the notes from my last weigh-in, I think in November, and I wrote one word: fuck. In six months, while I was training for a marathon, I lost 8.6 pounds. Up and down, up and down. During the weeks when I ran like 25-30 miles, I gained weight. It was maddening.

So today, since I was feeling so bad about myself, I signed up for a weight loss program again.

This particular program is a good one, I think one of the best. But in any sort of program, there is a potential to hook up with people who have negative and unhealthy attitudes about food and their bodies. I mean, I do, so there you go. The last thing I need is to feed that fire. So I’m doing it by myself this time (no meetings). At least that gives me a fighting chance at staying on the saner side. Except I’m going to be alone, which means I’ll spend a lot of time in my own head, and that’s not always good.

That is, I suppose, where you come in! I could use some help. I think what I want more than anything is someone to say 1) I feel you, sister and 2) I support your efforts to be healthy and strong, regardless of how much you weigh.

Thanks for reading and “listening” and for sharing your struggles with me.

 

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Trying to figure out love

28 Jan

The other night I was Skyping with my friend who is a man, and he asked me, “So…what is love to you?”

Geez.

Couldn’t have asked me what my favorite ice cream flavor is or if I’ve ever had any broken bones, huh? Had to go right for the question I can’t really answer.

I couldn’t really answer. He was like, “Well you’re the one with all the feels.”

I mean, I tried to explain that while I have declared feelings of love for several people in my lifetime, there were two men in my most recent past with whom I thought I might have a future longer than a few months. One — a man I truly believed would spend the rest of his life with me — turned out to be a sociopath (look it up) and a pathological liar. The day I found out he’d lied to me about almost everything, I was on the phone pacing around my apartment thinking I’m on Candid Camera, and I am sure any minute now someone’s going to pop out of my closet and yell “Surprise! Just kidding!” The other, who I thought was my soul mate and with whom I had a deeper spiritual connection than I’ve ever experienced, was a very sick man. I actually went through a ritual to sever my bond with him because I thought it would kill me. I know, that’s freaky, but you can find almost anything on the Internet these days. Anyway, on the last day I saw him, he said, “Don’t ever try to contact me again.” And that is what I plan to do.

loveisIn both of those instances, I felt a strong attraction to the man almost immediately. So I thought, maybe love is the opposite of that. Does that mean, I wondered, that real love is when you don’t feel that, or you can’t have real love if you feel that scary awesome thing right away because it’s not real and cannot be trusted?

Given that I have “loved” such fucked up people, it stands to reason that my idea of love is not emotionally, psychologically, or spiritually sound. In other words, what the hell do I know?

As you might imagine, this question has bothered me for a few days. I don’t know the answer. I mean, I don’t even have a clue. But last night while I was running I figured out that I do know what love isn’t, at least to me.

  • Love is not dishonest. Love does not lie, even about stupid shit that doesn’t really matter.
  • Love is not being afraid to honestly express your feelings or fears.
  • Love is not always easy or fun or sparkling or magical.

That’s about all I could come up with in the 45 minutes it took for me to finish my run.

Maybe one day I will have a better idea, and maybe I never will. I don’t suppose any of us can do a whole lot better than to come up with a list of what love is or is not, because there probably is not one perfect or universal definition.

What is love to you?

Loving Melvin

26 Jan

It’s a life goal for me to find a man I can love as much as I love my cat. 

This is Melvin. He has been with me for almost 10 years, much longer than any romantic partner I’ve had.

Melvin is a normal cat, which is to say he’s kind of an asshole. He does not listen or come when called. He thinks 5 a.m. is feeding time, and he claws at my head if I don’t agree. He will only eat specific kinds of cat food. He does not like strangers and takes a very long time to warm up to people. He will not drink water out of a bowl but makes me turn on the bathtub or kitchen sink so he can drink.

Lately, almost every night, he whines and scratches repeatedly at the kitchen cupboard doors and runs as fast as he can across the apartment even after he’s been fed and his litter box is clean and I’ve given him a dose of kitty crack (a.k.a. catnip, which he eats).

At times he is a sweet boy. When I am home, he is usually close to me, even if that means he’s on the table when I am sewing. At bedtime he snuggles up next to me and puts his head on my shoulder and turns on his loud purr.

Sometimes I get really frustrated with him, but I still kiss him and tell him I love him about a hundred times a day. He is my bibbity bobbity boo.

I can’t say I need him to approve of my next partner, because he doesn’t really approve of anyone. But you can bet your sweet potato that no man who hates cats, or will not tolerate my Melvin, will stick around very long in our life.

Ending the day

25 Jan

What do you do at the end of the day?

I put on my pajamas, if I haven’t already put them on the moment after I walked into my apartment. I sleep in rather embarrassing clothes — currently flannel Christmas cats wearing socks and a shirt from the first Turkey Day 5K I ran in 2009. And sometimes I wear socks because my feet are always freezing until, magically, in the middle of the night, they are on fire.

I brush my teeth because I am a little bit obsessed about dental hygiene, and I use a plethora of products on my face. A “repair” regimen, it’s called, because I am at that age where one starts to think about the “signs of aging.”

And then I crawl into bed with Melvin, who curls up on my left side and sets his little head on my shoulder and turns on his loud purr motor, and we rest.

I literally fall asleep most nights with a smile on my face because I am so excited about drinking coffee in the morning. Well, I used to be that excited. I drank French press coffee mixed with about 1/4 c. heavy whipping cream, an egg yolk, and a teaspoon of coconut oil. It is the most delicious concoction you can imagine, but it’s high in fat and acid and it made me develop horrible acid reflux. So now I’m off it, which feels like punishment for all my sins from at least the past 10 years.

I don’t pray anymore, or meditate at all, or make a gratitude list, or take my inventory. I should. I should do all of those things. But instead I fall asleep thinking about coffee and sometimes breakfast. I suppose that means I live a rather un-examined life, or perhaps I’m selfish.

When I lived with my ex, we borrowed a ritual from a former coworker of mine. Whether she and her partner were together or not, they would end their day by sharing their best thing from the day and what they were most grateful for at the time. Today, my best thing was Skyping with the man I am getting to know, and I am most grateful for the mild temperature and lack of wind during my run tonight.

How do you end your day? What was your best thing, and what are you grateful for?

Flying off the handle

24 Jan

In the last few days, I have eaten copious amounts of butter. I use food, you see, as a coping mechanism. I’m not saying it’s right or good, but it’s better than some of the alternatives (i.e. hitting people, breaking things, yelling, drinking, using drugs).

It is necessary for me to cope because a lot of shit is going down — in the world and in my personal life. And I think it’s true to say that it is rare for me to get angry, or at the very least to show my anger. I usually stuff it. I’m not saying it’s right or good. I just figure most of the time when I feel upset about something, it is best for me to wait a day or two to gain some perspective rather than expressing my feelings in the heat of the moment.

But sometimes…

I’ve been seriously pissed off several times in the last few days, and I have communicated my frustration to people who I believe 1. care and 2. can actually do something about the situation.

I try very hard to be civil and to clearly express myself in these situations. I use curse words only if they help to emphasize the severity of the infraction. I offer reasonable suggestions to remedy the problem. And then I thank the listener(s) for his/her/their time. Sometimes it helps, and other times it just gets me labeled as a whiny bitch.

A lot of shit is going down, you guys. People (friends and family members) are saying nasty things to each other without listening or offering solutions. I don’t think we are more divided now than we were six months or a year ago. I think some of us now think it’s acceptable to call names and insult people who don’t agree with us, and I’m sad to say our leader is a prime example of that notion.

So, get pissed, but use your words wisely. Whether they are a matter of public record or not, they are important and cannot be erased once you’ve uttered them.

And eat a ton of butter if that helps.

Taking action 

22 Jan

In case you couldn’t tell, I am a very far left-leaning feminist bleeding heart liberal. I do not hate anyone. I know how to have a debate about issues without swearing, attacking anyone’s character, or introducing logical fallacies. I know how to critically analyze what I read in the media. 

And I have been completely overwhelmed the last few days, first by the inauguration and then by the marches. I did not march myself, but I thanked every single friend who did. 

We live in a country where we can say almost anything we want about our elected officials without fear of retribution or imprisonment. That is not the case in some other parts of the world. Yes, he is my president, but I did not elect him and I am terrified of what he will do. If you want to know why, ask me. 

I could hide in my little North Dakota bubble. I could stay still and quiet and fly under the radar. But why should I? Instead, I’m going to participate in the 10 actions in 100 days movement. It’s my obligation and my right as a citizen of this democracy. 

In addition, I will do my best to make the world a better place. Here are just some ways I can help:

  • Clean up my messes and clean up after people who don’t clean up after themselves 
  • Give a few bucks to the guy standing on the corner 
  • Donate my time 
  • Donate my money 
  • Write letters (to friends and elected officials) 
  • Smile and say hello
  • Bake brownies 

What can you do? 

 

Listening

21 Jan

You have to listen to James Arthur cover Ariana Grande’s Into You.

The first time I heard it, I was in my car thinking about why new relationships are so scary for me, and I said aloud, “I don’t trust myself to make good decisions.” And then I cried. Hard.

Clearly this is an issue of importance in my life, as I have blogged about it several times. I keep repeating this pattern, choosing partners who are destructive. I make the choice in some cases knowing exactly what I am getting into.

A large part of the tragedy of codependency – the insidiously dysfunctional nature of the disease – is that by repeating the patterns we keep setting ourselves up to be abandoned and rejected. To feel betrayed by our own unworthiness. To reinforce the lie that we are inherently, and personally, shameful and unlovable.

— Robert Burney, Heal Your Inner Child

There is a way to break the pattern. I don’t know what it is. Maybe I already am.