Archive for the ‘Deep Thoughts’ Category

Purging

November 21, 2012

I’ve been slipping through the years
My old clothes don’t fit like they once did
So they hang like ghosts of the people I’ve been

-You Can Do Better Than Me, Death Cab for Cutie

The day I had to put Abby down, I thought about taking off work but figured after so much crying and reflection, it would be better to stay busy. I worked all afternoon and happened to have plans to hang out with Ern that evening. She lives about an hour-and-a-half south of me, so we sometimes meet at a Panera that’s halfway between us to chat and work on whatever crafts are currently occupying our attention. That night as I sipped on iced coffee and knitted, in the back of my mind I’d preemptively begun worrying about going home to an empty, Abby-less apartment. In fact by the time I actually got home, I’d worked myself up into quite a tizzy, thinking I would have a meltdown and cry for 100 hours and not be able to sleep and howl pitifully at the moon. When I finally walked through the front door, I felt a twinge in my gut but was determined not to obsess. Without a plan, I wandered into my bedroom closet, which was a HELLACIOUS mess, and dove into the disarray head first. That poor closet had been neglected for far too long and was full of stuff that needed to be sorted and donated. I ended up spending hours in there and the fruit of my labor was several garbage bags full of clothes and purses. As I’d been losing weight, I’d given some clothes away but was afraid to deliberately go through my entire closet and purge, thinking it akin to asking the God of Cellulite to smite me with hundreds of wobbly pounds. That night though, I managed to overcome my ridiculousness and let myself live in the present moment. It’s finally time to let go of all of this, I thought. Before I stumbled into bed, I hauled all the bags to my living room, planning to make a Goodwill run as soon as possible. But as it often does, life got in the way and my piles sat neglected for a few weeks until tonight when after a bit of straightening, I decided I had to get that stuff out of my apartment. I felt sort of melancholy loading the bags into my car, not because I’ll miss my clothes but because I got the courage to pass them on the day I lost Abby. That really good thing happened on a really sad day. Funny how life works, isn’t it?

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Unearthing

November 10, 2012

I’m getting ready to buy a new laptop and having used several different ones over the last few years, am trying to consolidate all my files. I’ve finally managed to get everything onto one machine, which is major progress. Now I need to go through the lot and purge and re-organize. Like, for example, do I REALLY need a high-res version of this before photo of my storage closet from 2006?

Before

Ahem. Amongst all the silliness, I found a list of goals from January 2009. Happily, I met quite a lot of them! Here’s the rundown with updates:

  • Read a book a month
    • This seems like a reasonable goal but I fell short in a big way. There are sooo many great books I want to read – my Amazon.com wishlist is a shameful 29 pages! It’s not that I don’t have time; I just haven’t been making time. The last book I started was Tina Fey’s hysterical memoir, Bossypants. I definitely want to re-commit to this goal.
  • Get & keep alive 3 new plants
    • Done!
  • ASSORTED HEALTH COMMITMENTS THAT NEED (ALL CAPS stet – ha!)
    • I’m guessing I planned on expounding on that deep thought at some point but never did. I’m proud to say that in the last few years, I’ve made major progress in the health department. I started consistently exercising again in the spring of 2010 and aside from temporary breaks after surgeries, haven’t stopped! (For me, that’s a major accomplishment because in the past, I would only exercise in fits and starts and give up after a few months.) I’m also doing all kinds of things to keep my issues in check, including journaling, writing down my food, & attending a support group weekly, all of which has helped my mental health tremendously as well. I can always improve on this front but am pleased with my growth.
  • Bubble bath once a week
    • Done, at least once a week and usually more often.
  • Manicure once a week
    • I feel compelled to clarify that I meant at-home DIY manis, because they make me feel fancy, but I definitely did not do them once a week. I think once a month is more reasonable. (Sidebar: I’ve never had a pedicure because I think my feet are ugly and they’re very ticklish and I’ve read too many fungus/infection horror stories. Maybe 2013 will be the year to overcome my neuroses and get a pedi?)
  • Learn to do something cool with new camera
    • I’m not exactly sure what I meant. I started Instagramming in April of 2012, which has encouraged me to take more pictures more often and to think more creatively about the ones I take. I would love to experiment more, especially with Instax and light paintings.
  • Buy: couch cushions, new vacuum, tires, bed
    • Aaaand consumerism rears its ugly head. I ended up not getting new couch cushions but this summer finally got a new couch, which I love! (More on that and other fascinating home-decor dets soon.) I also got a new vacuum but again, not until recently. The tires and bed I did get in 2009.
  • Start a vacation fund
    • Sadly, I did not meet this goal. It’s added to my list for 2013.
  • Learn to knit in-the-round
    • Nope but still dying to learn.
  • Try to be less judgmental of myself and others
    • ♥ this one and think of it often. So important!
  • Make shower curtain
    • Nope but that hasn’t stopped me from buying fabric for it. 😉
  • Don’t be afraid to write some query letters for writing projects
    • I didn’t do this until this summer. More on this soon, hopefully.
  • Score a freelance gig
    • At the moment, I can’t remember if I did any freelance gigs in 2009. There may’ve been one I ended up bailing on because I didn’t have enough time? I’m definitely seeking a freelance writing gig but am less concerned with taking on Web design projects. There’s other stuff that’s more important to me now.
  • Re-quit sugar
    • Done! This time it’s been almost a year.
  • Remember that baby steps matter
    • ♥ this one too and could do with reminding myself more often.
  • Embroider
    • I did some cross stitch but actual embroidery didn’t happen until 2011 and I still haven’t finished my 1st project.
  • Journal every other day
    • I don’t journal that often but much more often than I used to – I’d say at least once a week.
  • Recommit to recycling
    • (God, I’m such a dork.)
  • Walk Abbs
  • Church twice/month
    • A few years back, I started going to church more often but stopped and let this goal fall to the wayside. I went with my Dad a few weeks ago, which got me thinking about this issue again. I’m still mulling over where I want to take this goal.

I have to say, I’m surprised and pleased with my progress overall and so glad I found this list! A few years ago, I realized that after some painful setbacks, I stopped making goals for fear of not achieving them so I’m glad I got back on the horse and am inspired to keep at it in 2013!

Perdóname

June 6, 2012

Ahhhh, finally – a new masthead! Here’s hoping it will inspire me to blog more often. Life post-surgery has been quite an adjustment. I already struggled with time management and now, often feel even more overwhelmed. Sometimes it seems like I can barely manage with meal planning & preparation and exercise and vitamins and protein and and and. I wonder how on earth people stay on top of everything when they have big families and busy lives. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that eating well and taking care of your body take a lot of time and continued effort. For most of my life, I only dealt with those needs in fits and starts and I definitely paid for that.

All that is to say I feel busier than a 1-armed paper hanger and yet also feel I have very little (other than a changing body – 106 pounds down at last check) to show for it. I often want to blog but actually making time to do it happens more and more infrequently. But what spurred me most recently was getting into a car accident. It was on the Friday before the Indy 500, which I know nothing about except that it wreaks total havoc on traffic here in Indianapolis. I rear-ended a mini-van in busy traffic. It was totally my fault and I felt like SUCH an asshole. It didn’t help that the couple I hit was completely adorable, a sweet pair both in their 70s. Of course the most important thing is that everyone is alright but I still felt awful. Their mini-van sustained very little damage but my poor Civic was undrivable. Luckily it’s being repaired and life goes on but the timing of this incident was of particular interest to me. Only days before, I’d been mulling over how I misused food my whole life to deal with the pain and discomfort I felt when I made mistakes. I was thinking, “I really need to learn to practice self-forgiveness. Mistakes aren’t the end of the world!” And then BAM (literally), a perfect opportunity to apply that wisdom. Naturally it’s far more difficult in practice but I’m giving it a whirl – safely, with my hands at 10 and 2 o’clock. 😉

P.S. If you have a chance, please go see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I can’t say enough good things about it!

This Could Get Hairy

January 7, 2011

This morning right before I got to work, I found my first gray hair. I’d noticed something glistening eerily in my otherwise brunette mane a few days ago but chose to ignore the truth. That was until today when after close inspection I found a coarse, gray strand right below my temple. I summarily yanked it out and inspected it carefully, half expecting it to justify its existence, promising me an air of wisdom and distinction. But instead I was faced with the cold simplicity of time’s silent march toward the end.

Now who’s up for a game of Kerplunk?!

Actually the gray hair didn’t bother me all that much and judging by the response I got on Facebook, I’m apparently lucky I haven’t found one sooner. I have started getting these weird eyebrow hairs that are gray at the root and brown at the tip. (Overshare?)

Now I wonder if many grays are soon to follow the first. If so, I would probably want to color my hair and I’ve always avoided that because the maintenance seems expensive and irritating. Still it would give me an opportunity to experiment with different colors, like Joan Holloway red.

This issue of course makes me ponder how unfair it is that women with gray hair are often looked upon as old, while graying men are generally considered sophisticated and sexy. Moxy’s boyf is a young 31 and yet already sports a salt-and-pepper coiffure, which I think suits him well. My brother was bald by his mid-twenties and now keeps his noggin shaved. I like that look but am not a fan of those creepy hairless cats, which I suppose means I have my own double standards.

P.S. Speaking of my brother, he lives in Atlanta and at the gym today, worked out right beside Lisa Wu, former Real Housewives of Atlanta star. If you’re not watching that show, say because you’re above hedonism and pop culture or translating Sartre’s L’existentialisme est un humanisme from its original French, please have a change of heart and tune in immediately because everybody needs to hear Nene say “That’s some bullshit” at least once in their lives.

Reflekshuns

June 9, 2010

February came and went, silently marking the start of my fifth year of blogging. It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this nebulous activity, a delightful amalgam of journaling and oversharing, for that long. Sometimes I look at my archives and think, “What a load of crap I’ve amassed.” But most often, I’m so grateful I’ve put time into this endeavor, as irritating as that sometimes is. I’ve documented the rolling terrain of my life and somehow unearthed my true voice. I didn’t know it when I started blogging but most of my goals are contingent upon finding that voice and using it to help myself and others. I finally see a measure of progress on these pages and while I don’t have many readers, I’ve managed to catch my attention, which has allowed me to slowly and clumsily decide what I want for myself and start heading toward that, after a beginning of fits and starts, like a baby’s slobbery gurgles and first ambulations. Thanks for sticking around and occasionally holding out your hands to steady me.

P.S. Stay tuned for my usual droll offerings, which may or may not include a riveting exposition of soft cheeses and a detailed account of how I felt when I learned someone pooped in the pool where I’ve been doing water aerobics.

*yawn*

May 17, 2010

I woke up at 4:30 this morning, thrashed about for a few minutes, and finally acknowledged that I couldn’t go back to sleep. I’m so unaccustomed to being sentient at such an early hour, I hadn’t the faintest idea of how to be productive so I ended up taking a bath, reading, and catching up on my Google Reader feeds. I’m afraid to say what I’m about to say but I’m going to say it because it’s been happening long enough that it seems like a legitimate thing. And that is that ever since I switched to a vegetarian diet* about a month ago, I’ve felt less lethargic and require much less sleep to feel rested. Now part of my problem has been that I’m anemic, have low vitamin D levels, and my thyroid is out of whack (all of which I’m working on fixing with meds) but it is unavoidable that I’ve had more energy since I cut meat from my diet. It could be a fluke thing but it’s interesting to note and spurs me on when I’m craving something beefy.

This looks to be a busy week but after careful inspection of my calendar, it will be a leeeetle less busy than I originally thought. I happened to notice an appointment on my calendar to teach a Fireworks class at 1 a.m. on Wednesday. I’m not sure how that appointment got there but after checking the master schedule to be certain my employer hadn’t started a workshop series for insomniacs, I’ve confirmed that I am in fact not teaching a Fireworks class at 1 a.m. Wednesday morning and will therefore probably be sleeping instead. Phew!

*For the time being I’m occasionally eating seafood, which I guess technically makes me a pescetarian. Eventually I plan to eschew all animal flesh but during this initial adjustment period, am making this concession SO PLEASE DON’T JUDGE ME OR I WILL CRY!

Mish-Mash

April 5, 2010
  • After my last post, I was all chuffed about how I seemed to be in a good groove of posting more often and now here it is April 5th and I haven’t posted since. Me FTW!
  • Some people are surprised by my interest in the NCAA championship run but it’s pretty hard to grow up in North Carolina and not get the fever this time of year. I think all kids from the south are micro-chipped and coerced into fandom via satellite. Of course this year is especially exciting because Butler made it to the final dance. It was a tough call but a few years ago when IU played UNC in the Final Four I decided my IU alumnae status trumps my ties to North Carolina. For Butler, I’ve painted my nails blue and learned a cheer: B-U, T-L-E, R-you a bulldog? HELL YEAH!
  • In other local news, I only just figured out that Indy is called Naptown because of the “nap” in Indianapolis.
  • I love how I can buy kalamata olives and leave them in the fridge for weeks and weeks but when I finally open that deli container and have one, it still tastes SO good I’m instantly transported to that unassuming little restaurant right on the Adriatic in Opatija.
  • You know what annoys me? When people back into parking spots. I mean what is this, The Dukes of Hazzard? Do you really need to get out of your spot so quickly when you leave? And you know that the time it takes to back in is at least equal to the time it takes to back out, so you’re not thwarting Father Time or anything?

3 Important Things

March 10, 2010

  • You know how some people like the edges of brownies so much that they bake them in a special pan designed to create only brownies with edges? Yeah. I’m not one of those people. In fact, had I baked brownies last night AND I’M NOT SAYING I DID, I would’ve trimmed off any icky edges and instead savored only the moist, decadent, fudgy interior pieces.
  • Isn’t it satisfying when you actually use up all of a pen’s ink? It hardly ever happens to me because I lose them or get bored and switch to another one but this morning was auspicious indeed. I had the pleasure of being present for a noble Bic’s final scribbles. What a time to be alive!!
  • It’s fitting that the Academy Awards were last Sunday, given that I scored free passes to see a film tonight that’s destined to earn many accolades. That’s right, it’s Hot Tub Time Machine! I’m sure it will be nothing short of uproarious and ridiculous but come on, that one guy from The Office is in it and he’s pretty funny. John Cusack also somehow found his way into the cast. Frankly I’ve been a bit shocked at some of the movies he’s chosen to be in recently. 2012? Really?? I miss Say Anything…/High Fidelity Cusack. Perhaps this will be his reimmersion into the world of notable films. I shouldn’t get my hopes up though, considering it’s a movie about a hot tub that transports people to the past.

Table for One or An Exposition of My Insecurites

March 7, 2010

I do not like eating alone at restaurants. In fact I never do it unless I absolutely have to. Today is one of those days because I’m having my car detailed across the street and have to loiter somewhere for a few hours. I figured I should order something since I’ll be here for so long but I’m pretty uncomfortable, worried everyone feels sorry for me because I’m alone. I want to shout “I HAVE MANY FRIENDS AND A VERY FULL SOCIAL LIFE” but I’m guessing that would be frowned upon. Instead I quietly noshed on my granola pancakes and now am blogging with my head down. One mean lady kept staring at me and I was afraid she was judging my old laptop. (I know this is RIDICULOUSLY self involved and that most people couldn’t care less but please indulge my neurosis for the next few minutes.)

Just last night Moxy and I were talking about feeling insecure being alone in public waiting for someone. I sometimes use my cell phone as a crutch to pretend I’m very busy with very important texting matters. That got me thinking about what we did pre-cell phones. I think in so many ways they’ve hindered our ability to be comfortable alone. I remember during my undergrad when it became more common for students to have cell phones. It seemed like everyone was talking on them while walking to and from class and I always wondered how much you could possibly have to say in that moment. “Yeah, I’m walking to Bio. I’m near the Union now. I could stop for coffee but I won’t. Oh there’s a dangerous-looking puddle up ahead, HOLD ON!”

So what’s my point? That’s a great question! Maybe if I spent more time alone at restaurants I’d figure it out.

P.S. I IMd with Moxy for a while and told her about my secret desire to shout “SERVICE IS NEEDED IN LAYAWAY!” I always have odd urges like that with the goal of seeing how people would react to such absurdity. Am I alone in this? Anyone…?

Bursting with Flavor

January 22, 2010

Grapefruit image courtesy of Muffet
http://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope/ / CC BY 2.0

I just ate a juicy pink grapefruit and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t delicious! While I regret the carbon emissions that facilitated such a luxury in the dead of an Indiana winter, I delighted in the fleeting moment I was transported to an island oasis, where a soft breeze feathered my hair and a buff Islander laughed at my TWSS jokes.

This morning while getting ready, I actually said out loud, “I’m too tired to put a bra on.”* It’s been a long week, culminating in the realization that I now have to wear my glasses to drive when it’s dark and rainy. Last night I nearly had 10 accidents on the way to an appointment, veering hither and yon into exits and onto curbs. Just before arousing too much suspicion, I remembered my glasses which seemed to help a little. Then I snapped, “I’m not driving in the dark in the rain ever again!” As I heard the words coming angrily out of my mouth, the inevitability of becoming just like my parents landed in my lap with a smug thud. Ahhh, adulthood!

In the interest in full disclosure, I need to address two rumors you may’ve read about in the press:

  1. I haven’t taken down my Christmas tree yet, and
  2. I thoroughly enjoyed, nay reveled in every single moment of Jersey Shore. I know it’s shameful and obnoxious but I was hooked before Pauly D. had a chance to finish his blow out. Each episode, I sat before my television completely transfixed, unable to parse the bombarding stimuli of a cultural phenomenon being born. Afterward the girls and I would debrief, discussing which moment was the most outlandish from each episode’s plethora of insanity. I even tried out the Jersey Shore nickname generator and would prefer it if you refer to me as The Tan-trum from now on. GTL 4evah!!

*Rest assured I ended up wearing a suitable foundation garment. As Truvy said, “I haven’t left the house without lycra on these thighs since I was 14.”