Fast Times

March 27, 2015

At my house.

Not at Ridgemont High.

Not also the fast times you are probably thinking.

In approximately half an hour I will be having my last snack of the day and then there will be no more food until probably 3:30/4p.m. tomorrow.

I am having to fast.

I do not want to fast.

I do not like to fast.

I am not one of those ladies (or gentleman, I have known a few guys who will) who do that whole cayenne, maple syrup, lemon juice Master Cleanse thingamabobs.

Nope.

I like my food.

I am not a undereater.

Never have been.

Probably never will be.

Although there are times I wish I could be, which is not healthy, and is just fantasy, but there it is.

I shared tonight that one of my first fantasies when I was a kid was not a sexual fantasy.

No.

It was a fantasy about going to the grocery store and eating whatever I wanted.

I mean not just being in the grocery store, but being alone in the grocery store, aisle after wonderful aisle, all to myself.

I would sleep there and eat there and I would fall asleep at night dreaming about what aisle I would start in and how long it would last.

Most of the time I never made it past the cereal box aisle.

Oh cereal in a box, how do I love thee, let me count the ways.

Honeycomb.

Cocoa Puffs.

Captain Crunch.

Cocoa Pebbles.

Rice Crispies.

Corn Chex.

Wheaties.

Corn Flakes, but only for a minute, they lose their crunch too fast.

Grape Nuts.

Corn Bran, Quaker Corn Bran Squares, don’t know why, but love them.

Raisin Bran Crunch.

And I am sure I am forgetting a bunch of them.

I haven’t eaten box cereal in such a long time.

And I really don’t hanker for it.

I don’t fantasize about supermarket aisles or candy aisles or beer and wine aisles, either.

I stick to the outside aisles of the store if I’m at a SafeWay, even at Whole Foods–although they have become sneaky with their placement of the hot tables and prepared foods daunting you near the check out lines.

There is a sound psychological reason for the fantasy, scarcity and poverty.

We just didn’t have the much money growing up and my mom comes from a family that also went through the Depression.

My grandparents had a huge garden at their home in Lodi, Wisconsin.

And I remember with much fondness all the wonderful things that grew there.

I miss that garden a lot.

And although my grandparents are many years gone now, I still have this unwavering belief in the existence of that garden.

It is still there and I can go to it some day when I go home for a visit.

Not that I see myself in Southern Wisconsin any time soon.

There is not much left for me there.

Some memories, and a few acquaintances, but my best friend lives in Northern Wisconsin just across the river from the Twin Cities in Minneapolis.

Should I head back to the land of all things dairy, it would be to go up North, not to Southern or Central Wisconsin.

My family subsisted often times on food stamps, welfare, school lunch assistance programs.

Government cheese anyone?

Ramen noodles.

Hot dogs.

We never had sugared cereals, it was a huge deal.

Popcorn was a big treat.

Or my mom might make a cake or when I was older I might bake a pie, there was ice cream when there was a special occasion-Mitchell’s Frozen Custard if it was a really big deal.

I remember though, my mom would eat bags of Lays Potato Chips and drink bottles of Mountain Dew like it was water.

I never really liked Mountain Dew, but I could and would drink it when it was offered, mostly because I liked peeling the label of it and making weird origami like designs in the bottle with the paper shreds, which I would stuff back inside the empty.

I fantasized about food because there wasn’t enough.

I also fantasized about food because I am a compulsive eater and that was a way for me to check out.

I could make six pieces of cinnamon toast and eat them all.

If given the chance I would over eat and I never really understood why.

Now.

With time and patience and love and recovery, I don’t.

But fasting.

Well.

That freaks me out.

Not having food when I need it.

I mean.

I just did a big bonk the other day, Tuesday, when I ran around all day long with the boys and had dinner one hour later than I typically do.

The good news.

It will only be half the day.

I will skip my breakfast and morning snack.

No oatmeal with an apple and unsweetened vanilla almond milk for me tomorrow morning, no hard-boiled egg.

I will have coffee though.

I can do coffee in the morning.

No low-fat string cheese at 10:30 a.m.

No big green kale and spinach salad.

Oh.

I had the best salads the last two days.

Yesterday–kale, spinach, raw almonds, strawberries, cauliflower, carrot, brown mushrooms, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar–so good.

Today–kale, spinach, Roma tomato, swiss cheese, chopped turkey, carrot, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar.

Both days a big Aztec Fuji apple from BiRite sliced up and dredged in cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and sea salt.

The days have been warm and sunny, hell I even rode my bicycle home with out my sweatshirt on, a true rarity.

Grateful it was warm.

I forgot my sweatshirt at work.

It could have been a miserable ride home.

I am so glad I have recovery around my food, and well, so many other things as well.

And although I am nervous about going without, it’s not because I can’t afford to eat well, it’s a doctor’s request to do a blood test (one I’ve been putting off for over a year because I didn’t want to do the fast) and I will survive.

I will also take myself out for a nice meal after.

Nothing crazy.

Mexican beans and rice with chicken chunks at Herbivore with a mixed green salad.

Then off to the Inner Sunset where the real treat will be getting done with work early to get my nails done and hit up some fellows I don’t get to see normally on a Friday.

And it will be the weekend right after that.

Fast times indeed.

The week it does go by.

So too shall the fasting.

For like so many things.

This too shall pass.

 

Walk Away

March 26, 2015

Let him go.

Those were the words in my head when I saw my friend sitting outside the burrito joint on Judah and 44th smoking a cigarette.

He doesn’t see me.

Which doesn’t mean that he didn’t see me.

He did.

I saw him.

And we did the weird, uncomfortable, yet oddly enough, familiar dance of people who need to be in the same place at the same time who don’t have anything to say to each other.

Which says volumes.

It did not hurt as much as I thought it would.

I knew he’s been around and I know, know without a doubt, that he won’t have anything to do with me even if I did approach him.

Which I have been directed not to.

And if you know anything about me, have read even one of my blogs or seen me around the block, you know, that the one thing I do well is take a suggestion.

Leave him alone.

Walk away.

Let him go.

Surrender.

Again and again it comes down to surrender.

Gratitude as well.

I am grateful for the time I got to have my friend in my life, for the words and books, the conversations, the music, the poetry of our time together, the love, the in bed the out of bed, the growth and the loss.

And the grief and joy and weirdness that is life.

One day, I hope, I’ll run into him and the past will have passed and we will be able to smile at each other, have a hug, share a moment, maybe get a cup of coffee.

Or not.

It is not for me to decide.

I choose, respectfully, to move on and keep moving forward.

These dreams.

True dreams of Wichita.

….Where you stand with keys and your cool hat of silence, while you grip her love like a drivers liscence…

These dreams lead me forward.

I know, in my heart, of hearts, of hearts, that I am not alone and that my circles of friends and lovers and relationships and employers and family may change and melt and merge and coalesce in different ways.

I have loved so many people.

And so many of them are no longer in my life, my daily life, not because they have died, although a few have, but because life has happened and they moved on or I moved on.

Yet.

I get to still hold space for these people within me.

That is the fallacy of my thinking prior to having gone into recovery, that I would always have to hold so tight to anyone in my life, regardless of whether or not they were good for me to be holding tightly too.

I get to let go, softly, gently, even though I have not always done so gracefully or graciously, I get to let go even too, of that thought, that I have to move on in a certain way or manner.

I don’t have to do anything perfect.

The only thing I can do perfect is love all those in my heart and hold them, whether they know or not that they are held there.

In some ways I believe, a person is truly alone, there is no one who is ever going to know the exact depth and weight of my life or my soul or my heart, there are some that will get more inside my sphere and I will get to share with them to a greater degree than others, but on some levels, there is always this alone.

There is not, however, this loneliness.

I am not lonely.

Which is a lovely revelation to have.

I am never truly alone.

And it is not important that anyone other than myself know the inner workings of my heart.

It’s my heart.

I do hope that I can share some of it with you.

There is that.

That I can love you and that you will know it, even if we are not together.

Even when we used to be so close.

Where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

“Sit next to me Carmen,” he said in his sleepy cat voice, fresh-baked from his nap, small sweaty head imprint on his pillow. He rolled over in his ‘big boy’ bed and made room for me next to him and then tucked his Meow Meow under his arm.

“Sing me a song, Carmen,” he said, opening his raccoon fringed eyes, brown and soft and sweet, at me, before shuttering them down again, the weight of his eyelashes pulling his lids shut.

I sang him a song.

My sweet boy.

I have so many songs to sing, but they all sort of come out sounding the same and that, too, I believe, is as it should be.

I don’t know how to change you, so I change me.

Sometimes the lyrics to the song will be different from what I think and I will forget the refrain or chorus, or make a jumble of the words, but the feelings remain the same.

Instead of sorrow I feel joy.

And perhaps it is tinged by a touch of sorrow, but the sadness makes the joy that much more bright and palpable.

When I think of all the people I have met in my life and all the people I have shared a moment with, or a year, or more. When I think of all the people who’s hands I have held or the hugs given and received, whether they are to be given or received again matters not, I have been given the gift and to ask for more is greedy.

Though, I suspect, I will be given more, I think my purpose is still evolving and I know that I have more in me to let out.

More heart to wear on my sleeve.

More love to give.

More love to receive.

 

Time after time you’ll hear me say that I’m so lucky to be loving you.

A God Box

March 25, 2015

And a hot shower.

Then.

Everything got right with my world.

I was exhausted after work today.

Exhausted.

I don’t even want to think about how tired I was.

I was meeting with someone at Church Street Cafe prior to going to the 7:15 p.m. thing where I do that thing, and while riding my bicycle up 17th Street I thought, Jesus, sweet fucking Jesus, I am tired.

If I am this tired, on a Tuesday, how am I ever going to have a boyfriend?

How the fuck am I going to get through graduate school.

I forget that, “this too shall pass.”

Tired is not a state I am good in.

I suspect that no one is.

The littlest guy is a heavy napper, bless his little sweet soul, but like a lot of moms I have worked with, the parent gets worried that a long nap equals a long night of not going to bed on time and thus I am admonished to wake up the monkey after a certain amount of time.

I believe this leads to some inopportune things.

First, no body likes being woken up.

I don’t.

I was woken up with a startled poke this morning.

My brain shouted at me, “holy shit, you forgot to set your alarm, get up!”

It’s true.

I had forgotten to set my alarm, not something that I do very often.

I have it set for tomorrow usually as soon as I wake up.

I just sort of automatically switch it back on.

However, on Monday’s I go in an hour and a half earlier than I do the rest of the week.  The family likes me to come in one day early and stay an extra hour to help out with errands and organizing and such.

Not a problem for me to do.

But that means I am up and going well before my set alarm for the following day.

I set the alarm on Mondays for 6:30 p.m.

The alarm on Tuesdays is set for 8 a.m.

But when I went to set it yesterday, when I thought about it, it was still before 7 a.m. and I just never got to it.

Completely spaced.

Nothing is quite so disconcerting as waking up to realize that I have not set the alarm.

I woke up at 7:59 a.m. this morning.

That was a pleasant surprise, but it was still a jarring way to wake up.

And that is the issue, I think.

The little guy gets woke up well before he’s ready and then over compensates by juicing up with adrenalin and then he’s wonky and that is what I think makes bed time at night so hard, he’s getting to worked up.

That’s my theory anyway.

I hesitate to share that with many a parent, but I might just have to.

Tomorrow is another day and I will let it play out the way it needs to, not worrying about it right now.

Especially since I am so nice and cozy and relaxed, and well, not tired at all.

When I was riding my bicycle I was close to bonking, I realize now.

Dinner for me was nearly an hour past the time I normally eat with the boys.

There was a potty emergency and instead of coming home from the park and digging into some dinner, I came home from the park and striped down the boys and hustled them into the bath.

The schedule throws them too, unfortunately, they both were ready to eat as well and so, well, bath time was lively, yo, let me tell you.

By the time I got them into pjs and had them back down stairs for dinner I was a little wonky and needed to eat.

I typically know better.

And sometimes things like this happen, but my reserves were stretched and when I was boy wrangling after dinner, dish washing, plate scraping, composting, picking up, rearranging, shoving food into my mouth when I could.

God how I hate that.

I really have grown to like sitting and eating my meals, as mind fully as possible.

I don’t always succeed in completely unplugging from my phone, but I do usually have success with sitting down to eat my meal, rather than cramming in a bite here standing up and trying to multi-task eighteen different things.

I did eat.

I did manage to get through the last hour of the day.

I did make it to Church Street Cafe and sit exhausted and near to tears, and by the end, in tears, at a table in the front and discuss with my person how I need to advocate more help from the mom and dad at certain times and how I can say that without coming off like I’m telling them that I know better, I don’t, I just have the experience I have, and asking for what I need.

“It’s not a confrontation, its communication,” he said to me.

Ah.

Yes.

I still have that old idea in my head that asking for what I want is confrontational.

Nope.

I am just communicating my needs and they have told me before they don’t want me to get burned out.

I don’t want me to get burned out either.

I sat.

Cried.

Prayed.

Held hands and let myself be held.

Then I sat for another hour and in that time felt myself come back into my body, the food had kicked in and I could feel my batteries recharged.

I even enjoyed the bike ride home.

I also notice my God box, the reading I had read out loud tonight, the one paragraph that I had as the book passed into my hands talked about putting a note in the God box and letting it go.

And rediscovering later what I had given over, usually things that I had completely forgot about–because they, the problems, had been taken care of.

I got this God box in Paris about two years ago and had not opened it since. I randomly pulled out notes, mostly about how am I going to pay my rent.

One especially that made me breathe in, knowing I had been so taken care of, even though I could not see it at all at the time, dated 1/29/13–Please help me pay February rent–I don’t know what happened, but I do know I did pay February rent, but on the 29th of January I did not have the funds and didn’t know where they were going to come from.

One slip, 3/9/13, where am I supposed to live?

I had written down Paris, New York, San Francisco?

I found centimes and Euros and pence from when I had gone to London.

I found a note I had written more recently that I had completely forgotten about–Please help me with >>>>>I am miserable–that one was dated 1/7/15.

The next I pulled out?

Dated 1/14/15 Please show me what to do about <<<<<<< I don’t know what to do.

Well.

He broke up with me just days later.

I got my answer.

So I put the bottom back on the bank, my hot pink fuchsia rabbit from the Pylones store in the Marais, and I wrote out a note to God asking him to help me be of service to the family I work for and to advocate for what I need.

And yes, I asked about a sign in regards to a boyfriend.

I damn sure am due one.

Then I got into the shower, oh hot shower, how do I love thee, let me count the ways.

I washed my hair and gave it a deep conditioning and then slathered myself in cocoa butter lotion and made a cup of tea.

I feel ever so much better.

My bunny bank God box smiling benevolently on my book shelf.

My sweet home, a home I know I am covered for rent for, a job that I know I am loved and appreciated at.

And God’s got the boyfriend, he always has.

He took care of the last one, he’ll take care of the next.

As long as I take care of myself.

And keep turning it all over.

Again and again.

And.

Again.

Everybody’s Got Their Own Agenda

March 24, 2015

I heard her voice in my head as I shouted at the woman who passed me on the right and pushed me into traffic on the commute into work.

I had already had a few moments of uneasiness on my bicycle.

It rained last night.

Not a lot.

But enough.

The roads were slick this morning and as I was pedaling across Lincoln at 20th my back wheel slipped under me a moment.

I righted and breathed and continued forward, cautious, but aware.

Again the wheel slipped, just a touch, rounding a corner in the Pan Handle.

When it’s just damp enough to cause all the street oil to sluice up to the top of the pavement it feels scarier then when it is a full on down pour.

Slick roads are worse in my estimation than rain.

I thought about the rest of the commute and that I had time.

I always give myself ten minutes more than I need to get to work.

I like to get off my bike, stretch out my shoulders, wiggle out any kinks in my legs and drink some water.

I like to also have caught my breath and had a moment to get centered before entering the fray.

Monday’s especially can be a ruckus, especially after having two days with mom and dad, the charges are not always grateful to see me, despite having fun moments after I arrive.

Upon arrival I often hear a “no!” or “go away!” or the pitter patter of feet running to mom and dad.

That’s ok.

I’m used to it kid.

Sometimes I get the opposite response, but not always.

So, lots of time for me to travel my way cross town.

Monday’s are also a challenge for me as a bicycle commuter.

It is the one day of the week that I go into work early and as such I am in actual commuter traffic.

Not just car commuter and Google Bus commuter, but bicycle commuter, traffic.

I will forget, have forgotten, most other days that there are many, many, many more bicycles on the road then there used to be and also that four days of the week I am riding in to work outside of busy rush hour traffic.

Not so Mondays.

I generally am hitting the end of the rush, but I can get caught in it, or catch up to it, almost always on the Wiggle, sometimes in the Pan Handle if the lights are not in my favor.

I was doing alright after negotiating the Wiggle until I crossed Duboce and hopped onto Sanchez.

As I was crossing over Market headed toward 17th, a rider passed me on the right.

DON’T PASS ON THE RIGHT!

I yelled, startled.

Damn it lady.

You’re forcing me into traffic and riding in my blind spot.

Stupid lady.

I didn’t say bitch.

No.

I was annoyed though and thought about giving her a lecture on being polite to other bicyclists.

I mean, I pass cars all the time on the right, except when they are signaling a right turn, then I go around to the left.

Bicyclists and pedestrians, though, I always pass on the left.

And yes.

I am that annoying person who hollers out, “on your left.”

Sometimes I will whistle sharply if I think a person can’t hear me who may be crossing an intersection while looking at their phone screen.

But most of the time I pass on the left and I let you know that I am there.

It’s something I learned on training rides in 2010 when I rode in the Aids LifeCycle tour from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

I learned a lot on those rides.

How to fix a flat, how to carry momentum to get up a hill, how to ride clipless, how to ride a back to back, how to ride a Century (100 miles) what it felt like to bonk, what I needed to do to not bonk, how it felt riding Whites Hill in Marin the first time.

How it felt climbing Mount Tam and doing the Southern Hills Climb.

How saddle sores felt.

I happily will skip having that experience again.

I occasionally rue not having registered for the ride this year, I was thinking about it a lot, but I decide to apply to graduate school and go to Atlanta for the International Conference, and see my grandmother in Chula Vista and go to Burning Man.

That’s more than enough for my plate this year.

And I still have a few ideas up my sleeve for travel.

I learned a lot of courtesy on those rides and what it felt like when another rider did not extend the same courtesy to me.

Sometimes I can be an asshole and need to prove a point and I could feel that come up in me when I saw the woman on her bicycle stopped at the traffic light at Sanchez and 16th.

I wanted to lecture her.

I wanted to tell her how it’s done.

I know better though.

It’s not my place to tell another person how to live their life and I had a flash of a driver yelling out the window at me to “wear a fucking helmet!”

Which doesn’t do much from saving my startled self when I get screamed at.

Hey asshat, when you are so focused on the behavior of someone else you’re ignoring yourself.

Just saying.

So when I coasted in to a stop at 16th and Sanchez I held my tongue.

I looked at the woman.

She was oblivious.

She was not seeing me as I was straddling my bike waiting for the light to change.

She also was fiddling with her phone and had ear phones in, so the likelihood that she heard me holler about passing on the right was nil, and she wasn’t going to hear me and my “friendly” I know better bicycle protocol about passing on the right.

I paused.

And I brought my attention to the road ahead of me.

The trickiest part of the commute, especially when its slick, the turn at Sanchez onto 17th.

There’s a great bike lane on 17th, but turning left I have to cross two sets of MUNI train tracks at a parallel instead of simply cutting straight across.

It is far to easy too slip on them.

I have in the past, but never gone down.

I kept my counsel, the light changed.

The woman hadn’t seen the light change, she was a bit behind me.

I signalled a left turn.

I signalled that I was slowing down, that’s a flat open palm hanging down at a right angle waving back and forth (think of a reverse beauty pageant queen on a float waving).

Then I signalled that I was coming to a slow stop.

A squeezing in of my hand into a ball.

I turned left.

I crossed at a diagonal and made it completely over the tracks with no slippage, I turned my head, the woman was directly to my left, riding in between the train tracks, not even in the bicycle lane.

“It’s your life lady,” I thought to myself and then, out of no where, I should move over, she’s going to pass me and cut me off again at the light.

I could just feel it.

Except.

Well.

She wiped out on the tracks.

She went down.

Hard.

I am still not sure how I avoided hitting her.

She was passing me and her bicycle nearly toppled me, I weaved to the right, and rolled off my pedals, sliding my feet out of my foot retention straps (oh how do I love thee my Hold Fast straps) and squeezing slow and steady on my brake so I wouldn’t slip too.

It all happened in slow motion.

I can still see her right hand, fingers spread, reaching to catch her fall, I can see how if I hadn’t swerved just at that moment, how I would have rolled over her hand.

I shudder.

She broke her basket on her bike and bananas flew into the street.

A car drove over one and the smell of ripe banana wafted over the tracks and assaulted my nose.

“Are you ok?” I asked, stopping, looking back, “do you need help?”

“I’m ok, I’m ok,” she stood.

I watched her pick up her bicycle and shakily run her hands over her body.

“Are you sure?” I asked again.

“Yeah, thanks,” she said and waved me off.

The car that had rolled over the banana was stopped a few feet a head of me.

I rolled up on her.

“She ok?” The driver leaned out the window.

“Yeah, she’s ok,” I smiled.

The driver smiled.

“Whew.”

Be careful out there kids.

I was a little discombulated but so grateful that I hadn’t yelled at her.

That I kept my lecture to myself.

I am certain she learned what she needed.

That’s the thing.

We all learn exactly what we need when we need it and I can’t hurry any one’s process up.

Mine included.

I can be right.

Or.

I can be happy.

And today I was very happy to make it to work in one piece.

Very happy.

Connection

March 23, 2015

That is what I crave.

I was thinking about that today as I walked along the beach.

I had just gotten off the phone with my little sister.

She may be 40, but she’s still my little sister.

I had been thinking about her and I realized, you know, why not give a call?

We had a half hour conversation and without me even realizing it I had walked from the Judah entrance on Ocean Beach to Sloat.

It was a nice walk back.

One in which I ran into a couple other people I knew.

We exchanged hugs and pleasantries, then parted.

Father and daughter walking the beach at low tide.

Before I had even made it down to the beach I ran into a fellow walking up Judah to Trouble.  He and his friend had just been down at the beach as well.

“Neighbor!” He smiled and we hugged.

It’s nice to be known.

It’s nice to be seen.

And with these thoughts in my mind I signed out of OKCupid tonight.

I have not eradicated my profile, but I am offline with it for a while.

“I realized,” I said to her while explaining my experience, strength, and hope, hopefully, “that I long for someone to travel with, to have adventures with, to go to Burning Man with.”

Which for me, means traveling, having adventures, and going to Burning Man.

I love to travel and I love adventures and I am down for camping in the heat and dust, as long as there’s loads of love and light and art, please, oh pretty please, give me some art.

I want to live as full and rich a life as possible.

And though a good part of that life is documented here, not all of it is and when I find myself not connecting on OkCupid, or Tinder, or Hinge, when the emoticon becomes the template for my communication with another human being, it’s time to scale back.

I don’t care for texting.

It’s emotional shorthand.

It’s cave man communication.

And it’s too easy to read all sorts of things into it.

I want to actually talk on the phone, I know that’s even becoming outmoded in the land of looking at our phone screens.

Sometimes I wonder if folks are going to actually stop using their phones and just text and facetime and spout emoji’s on one another.

I need contact.

I need touch.

I need to hear the emotions in a person’s voice.

I am not saying I am lonely.

Far from it.

I am fabulous company.

I spent my afternoon after doing the deal with a lady at the kitchen table, cooking homemade chili, and hanging in the back yard, watching the ravens swoop and the cats lazy, prowl the roof tops for the warmest patch of sun.

I looked at the yellow flowers in the weeds and marveled at the wild geranium, soft lilac with splotches of deep red and violet on its petals, careen toward the sun.

I closed my eyes and turned my face toward the sun as well.

Don’t worry I had my 45 sunblock slathered on.

I, like a cat, love the warmth of the sun though.

I drank sparkling water and ate large kale salads.

I read a Vanity Fair.

I read my book.

I made some phone calls and left some messages.

I thought about connection and how I want to connect with the world.

I thought about dating and realized that the action is to not pursue.

Rather to be pursued.

I like being courted.

I need to let that happen.

I reflected on the best parts of my time with my ex boyfriend and realized that it was all before we had sex.

The feeling of holding hands, sitting next to one another, the building up of emotions.

That I want to have more of.

I am not saying sex is off the table.

I am saying, though, that when I am at my absolute rock bottom honest, I want more and that more has to do with emotional intimacy.

I’m not trying to figure anything out.

I’m not sick of dating.

I am, however, sick of trying to figure it out.

Thus.

I say I stop.

I signed out of OkCupid and I don’t know when or if I will sign back in.

I want to be signed into my life.

“I’m really glad you’re getting your knees checked out,” my dear friend told me yesterday as we wandered around Alcatraz.

Holding hands, at that!

I think about some of the nicest hand holding and it’s been with her and my best friend back in Wisconsin.

Whom I am contemplating going to see and when that might fit into my busy life.

Christmas?

I know, it’s March.

But after having just sent my employers my official time off requests for going to Chula Vista to see my grandmother, then the time for my graduate school retreat, and the week of Burning Man, I realized I may not have time to do any other travel until late fall/winter.

And I’m not even including when I go to Atlanta in July–I don’t have to ask off for that time, it’s 4th of July weekend, so I’m off already.

My friend continued, holding my hand as the crowds pushed ahead of us, “you should do couples dancing, I think you would have fun and meet people.”

That sounds nice.

Meeting people in person.

Engaging face to face.

Human being to human being.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned and I should really re-think staying on all the sites and things and doings.

But.

Despite wanting All The Things.

I don’t believe that I will find them there.

I am more than a sound bite.

Hell, I am more than this blog.

How could I expect anyone to get a grasp of me via a text or a tweet or a post?

I want to get to know you.

Face to face.

Not facebook to facebook.

I know you’re out there.

I am ready when you are.

Let’s go explore this great big amazing world together.

Hand in hand.

 

The Rock

March 22, 2015

Not the wrestler.

The island.

Alcatraz

The view from Alcatraz

I went out to Alcatraz today with my dear friend whose birthday celebration happens to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the penitentiary closing.

The last inmates were shipped off 65 years ago and they shut the prison down.

Thank God.

I cannot think of a worst place to be, and I am sure there are worse, but to be stuck on a rock in the middle of the bay and see the beguiling San Francisco just across the way is a kind of torture I just don’t think I could bear.

“Don’t worry, we’ll be back in San Francisco soon,” my friend patted my arm as we waited for the ferry, the line was long, so many of us, though not many of us from San Francisco itself, were waiting that I did have a moment of panic.

I laughed out loud.

I am that obvious.

Take me out of the city and I am itching to get right back to it.

Although my friend and I agree, I seemed to have out grown the Mission, and though I don’t look my age, 42 (and thank you Uber driver for the flabbergasted look on your face when I told you my age), I do feel it quite often, and I am a grown up living in a grown up place.

The Outer Sunset.

Oh.

There’s some kids out here, surfers and guys and gals, and some hipsters and the like, but it does seem a community less focused on the hip, slick, cool, and of the moment.

I am not a tech girl, but as I realized, again on the Uber drive to the Ferry Building (when the bus rolled over the hill on Judah I remembered that there was construction on the Sunset Tunnel between Duboce Park and Cole Valley and I was about to embark on a journey that would put me way behind schedule, I called for a lift), just from living in San Francisco I am often a head of the curve with tech and its uses.

I’m still not savvy enough to use my google map or to know how to delete apps of my phone.

Thank God a friend noticed me struggling with my Iphone and showed me how to get Tinder off it.

Complete and total side bar.

I got rid of Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid on my phone.

I kept OkCupid online though.

A girl has got to have a few balls in the air.

Or a cute tour guide to flirt with.

Dude.

The cute guy at Alcatraz knew my girl friend and I were there for the @Large exhibit by Ai Weiwei.

“Anyone from San Francisco,” he hollered as we joined a small group clustered below the penitentiary sign.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

 

My girlfriend and I nodded.

“Here for the art exhibit?” He asked.

We nodded our heads, it was pretty obvious, yes, we’re locals and yes we came out to see the art, not so much the cell blocks–we were the only folks in the group to acknowledge we were there for the art.

Though it was pretty impressive to see the prison.

And spooky at times.

Especially when the fog started to roll in.

Fog

Alcatraz

The guide gave us directions and we went to the exhibit.

It was truly amazing.

Ai Weiwei

Ai Wei Wei–Blossom

The light was one of the things that would have saved me if I was an inmate at Alcatraz, little else.

The artist, Ai Weiwei, though confined to China, seemed cognizant of the light, spectral, haunting, smashed by the sea and melting through the wired panes of windows.

It was dreamy and dangerous and affecting.

The first piece was a large floating Chinese dragon kite.

Dragon

Dragon

It was astounding and wound through a large holding cell space.

Dragon Body

Dragon Scales

 

 

 

 

 

Dragon head

Color and light

Then the portraits of various activists and artists laid out on the floor with Lego’s.

Legos

Edward Snowden in Lego’s

Lego Art

Lego Activists

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I do encourage you to take the trip out.

I don’t know that I would have gone out otherwise and I am glad to say that I did.

The art was exquisite and the juxtaposition of it in the prison was superb.

Haunting.

Depressing.

There was a room, “Hydro Therapy” that gave me the goosebumps.

It was like someone had stepped on my grave.

Bathtub

Hydro Therapy Room Alcatraz Psych Ward

I had a flash of an inmate disrobing and being hosed off with high pressure water, the light refracted around the enamel bathtub and I took the shot and shivered.

I had no desire to walk through the cell blocks are take a photograph in one of the tiny cells.

Although, I laughed and acknowledge that a few of the cells were actually larger than my studio.

The light better too.

But I would not trade what I have for a prison cell.

Even if the square footage was impressive.

I counted a lot of my blessings today talking with my dear friend as we traversed the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building (a bit over priced–$7.00 for two Aztec Fuji apples, albeit delicious and gigantic) and picked up lunch and snacks for the afternoon adventure.

I had divine boxed salmon sushi from Delica and two of the most amazing rolls I have ever had that I bought ala carte, sushi rice with rare roast beef (sushi doesn’t have to be fish, fyi, “sushi” means food on rice, it is often vegetables and fish though, the beef was exquisite and I couldn’t even bring myself to share it with my friend, who thankfully had brought her own lovely lunch) draped over the top of it topped with fresh wasabi.

Oh my goodness.

I get to live in San Francisco being very near the top of that list.

I get to go out on ferry boats and travel the bay and see amazing national park areas, Alcatraz is part of  The Golden Gate National Park System, I mean, basically right in my back yard there are all these incredible parks and land marks.

Plus.

You know, the Burning Man community started here, Bakers Beach, baby, and all that Burning Man is to me.

My friend and I discussed that a lot today as well.

I have started my list of the stuffs that need to be gathered.

Another reason to love the event, it brings out the inherent hunter/gatherer in me.

And of course, there was much talk of the graduate school program and just how far I have come in a short time.

I mean.

Really, it was not quite two years ago, I was coming home from Paris and when I got to Berlin to change in my Euro (the only money to my name) I got back $10 American.

I came from that to where I am now.

I work my ass off.

I took a moment or two to bask in my glory, to reflect on my gratitude for this city, for my dear, darling friend, and when we saw our photograph taken by the tour guide on the trip,  we didn’t have any problem shelling out the $30 bucks for two copies of it.

I’m lucky.

Or graced.

Or lucky.

I got to open up the cell door of my own imposed prison and walk out of it.

Free.

Clear.

And moving forward.

Becoming even more myself and more in love with my city by the bay.

It was with much gratitude and love that I stepped off the gangplank of the ferry and hopped the F-Market back downtown.

It was truly an experience to see the city from Alcatraz.

But I prefer to see Alcatraz from the city.

My home sweet home.

San Francisco.

Take A Moment

March 21, 2015

And bask in this.

“Have you done that yet,” she asked me over the phone, “when did this conversation happen?”

“About a half hour ago,” I replied, under the partial sunny skies, blue streaking out behind the lengths of clouds.

I was on the basketball court at Mission Pool and Playground with the boys kicking around a soccer ball and corralling them, to the best of my abilities, in a fenced in spot while I made the phone call.

“I hear the boys,” she said, “they sound like they are having a good time.”

They were.

And so was I.

I had just had my “review,” a process that was really quite short and very, very sweet.

The mom had actually said, “can we do this next week? There’s just so much happening today for me.”

I acquiesced, “of course, there’s really no hurry, I just really wanted to talk about dates proceeding forward, I don’t have any thing other than that to bring up.”

“Let’s do it next week, then,” she said, as the dad came into the kitchen.

“Really, we don’t need to, unless there’s something wrong, is there something wrong?” The mom and dad stopped in their tracks.

“No, no, not at all, I, well, I just was offered a ticket to Burning Man and I really want to go and it doesn’t coincide with the holiday time that you are taking,” I said.

I might have blushed.

And may I just say, how nice it is to nanny in San Francisco, where for the most part, the population knows what Burning Man is.

Of course, most of that comes down to a profound relief to be able to find a parking spot during Labor Day weekend in San Francisco, but you know.

“You have absolutely earned that vacation time,” the mom said as she was gathering up the snacks I had prepped for pre-school pick up and grabbing the milk container in the fridge, tossing it all into a cloth Mission Farmer’s Market maroon bag.

“Well, the other thing is that I got my graduate school schedule and I will need to take a week off for the retreat that is a part of the program, adding that to the two days off I’m heading to Chula Vista to see my grandmother, I will have gone over my vacation time.”  I said, “I just wanted to make sure that…”

The mom cut me off, “you have nothing to worry about, we can take the time out of your personal days off for your grandmother, I’m sure you need to talk things through about your dad and we want you to be able to do that.”

I think I might have felt my heart swell two sizes bigger with gratitude.

“I wanted to let you know I can make up the hours, or help out a little more in Sonoma,” I replied.

The family will be going to Sonoma for two weeks in July and another week in August.

Serendipitously, neither Burning Man or my graduate school retreat happen to coincide with the week in August that the family will take in Sonoma before school starts up for the boys.

The youngest will be starting pre-school and the oldest, kindergarten.

“You don’t have to worry about that, we can play that by ear, we will have extra help in Sonoma,” the mom said, adjusting her purse and digging out her car keys, “besides, we don’t want to burn you out, we really like how you are when you are at full energy with the boys.”

“We’ve had four nannies,” the dad interjected, “and you are by far, the best nanny we have ever had.”

“Hands down.”

“Oh, thank you,” I said, “I adore the boys, I really do, I just wanted to make sure that all the scheduling was ok with you.”

“It’s great, we can talk more next week,” the mom rushed out to grab the eldest from school.

“Do you have your dates for school,” the dad asked.

“I do, I can e-mail you the full set of dates, Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 just went up on the site,” I explained the timing.

Three days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

About every three weeks I’ll be in class.

Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Sundays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Woof.

The retreat is August 9th through 16th in Petaluma.

The first weekend of school is September 11th-13th.

I’ll have two weekends in October, one in November, one in December, one weekend each in January, February, March, April, and May.

There is no school June and July.

I’ll have “summer vacation.”

Which means I’ll work a lot, but let me to not jump too far ahead.

Pull back.

Bask.

“You’re HP is really working for you, graduate school, Burning Man, the job review, really, take a minute and appreciate what they told you.” She admonished me on the phone.

I am not good at recognizing or accepting this, but as I stay at the work of taking suggestions I have gotten better and it would not be in the spirit of humility to not acknowledge the compliments.

I do a good job.

I do a really good job.

I do.

And as the boys chased a red soccer ball around the court at the playground, stopping once in a while to run up and grab me and tug my hand and engage, I could feel the sun on my face and accept that I am a good nanny.

Doing a good job.

Being of service.

How many nannies pray to be of service before going into work?

Not sure that there are a lot.

Not sure that there aren’t others who don’t, but I really do wish to be of service when I go to work and the pay off is great.

I am loved and I get to love.

I mean I sat under the table in the kitchen today with the littlest guy after his nap before mom got back with his big brother and had a total conversation about his stuffed cat Meow Meow and we sang songs and cuddled and had snacks, well, he had snacks, I wiped snacks off his face, and to have such a tender (though wildly rambunctious at times) little boy crawl into my lap and kiss my face with his cat makes me tear the fuck up.

To not put to fine a point on it.

I get paid to love.

How lucky am I?

And I get to go to Burning Man?

Shut the front door.

 

Of Course You Are!

March 20, 2015

This was the response to a text I sent out this morning.

This morning delirious with joy.

“I’m going to Burning Man.”

Was the text I sent out.

Like, I’m really going to go to Burning Man.

It’s happening.

Funny thing too.

I had done a lot of writing about it this morning and this constant let go, I don’t know how to let go, idea of going this year and how it’s going to play out and what’s going to happen and the how of it.

Never the why.

There has never been a why.

I don’t think I have ever asked myself why I want to go to Burning Man, I just do, there’s not a reason for the high heat, high desert, high altitude, the dust, the odd ball weather, flash flood last year anyone?

The long hours driving there and back, the preparation, the planning, the frankly, obsessing, what boots, how many pairs of socks is the perfect amount, should I color my hair pink this year or purple or blue or just go full on blonde?

The wrangling of time off, when I have worked for other families not in the Burning Man community.

“We actually need you to work that week after,” the mom said, “do you think they could change the date on the event?”

This was a real question.

Sure, let me get back to you on that.

Why would anyone in their right mind go?

“You don’t drink, do drugs, eat sugar, or flour?”  He asked as I ticked off the list, “why the hell do you come out here?”

“I like salt and caffeine,” I replied and cackled like a mad woman.

And there’s that.

I am crazy.

Crazy like a fox and crazy in love with the Universe who listens and hears my desires and peers into my heart and goes, “ah, there, that’s what she needs, let’s see what I can do about that.”

And boom.

I’m off to the burn.

I was writing, like I do every morning, before heading out to work and being realistic about what I wanted to ask off for with the family, I’ll be sitting down with them tomorrow to discuss moving forward as it marks my 6 months with them, and I was thinking, do I bring up Burning Man or not?

I want to go.

Can I afford to go?

How do I get there?

What’s the plan, Stan?

I realized that if it was going to happen it would happen naturally and organically, without me mucking about in it, without me manipulating it, without me being dishonest.

I could tell the family that since my school dates coincide so nicely with the event that I am basically going to ask off for it and throw caution to the wind.

That the going would happen if it was supposed to happen.

I did say a prayer, write it really, for God to show me the way forward with it.

I don’t usually go back and re-read what I write in my morning pages, the point is not to write a readable book, it’s to get the gunk out of my head and clear space for my day (a day I must say that I needed to be clear and present for, it was hella busy at work), a way for me to be balanced and have perspective around the day before heading out into the world.

But.

I really did write a lot about Burning Man this morning, ending my morning pages with this: “God, please show me if you want me to go.  I want All The Things.  I do want to go.”

I’m not going to bullshit.

I want all the things this year.

I mean, it’s nice to have someone advocate that for me and my friend, who’s sticker I bear so proudly on my laptop, certainly pointed out to me years ago that I deserve them.

But sometimes it takes me a minute, or a month, or a year, to get that I really want all the things.

I do, I do.

I want to go to Burning Man and I want to go to Hawaii and I want to go to Atlanta and I want to go to graduate school, and hey, look at that, things are happening.

I want a boyfriend who wants to go to Burning Man with me.

Not a boyfriend who makes fun of me going to Burning Man.

I didn’t make fun of your motorcycle club man, don’t make fun of my dust bowl, ok?

I wanted a clear sign.

And well, ha.

I got one.

I was riding my bicycle up Lincoln Avenue, that part where the hill is the hilliest and there’s still blocks to go, but if I am in a good groove, it’s not so bad.

Ping.

I heard the messenger app on my phone go off.

I had a feeling.

But I mean, I didn’t know.

I thought briefly for a moment who it could be and then forgot and got on with my bicycle commute.

I have to pay attention to traffic and though the commute is rote for me at this point, I am still riding a bicycle in traffic and I’m in it for about 35 minutes in the morning and another 35 in the evening.

That’s over an hour, more usually as I don’t always go straight home after work.

And in that hour a lot can happen if I’m not paying attention.

I got to work, the ride was smooth, lovely, light wind, high clear, blue, blue, blue skies, I smiled at the world.

I was ten minutes early and I did my long draught of water, followed by some stretches and then I sat down on a bench across the street from work and checked the message.

It was a message from God.

Not to be dramatic or anything.

It was a message from my original playa mom.

The OPM.

Or in other words.

The Action Girl.

Oh damn.

Oh yes.

I read the message and my smile got so big and I think I made some unintelligible yelping happy noise and bounced on the bench in glee.

The family is planning on going and they wanted me to come and help out and the getting of there and back will be taken care of and the getting of a ticket will be taken care of and I can camp with them.

OMG.

Yes!

I’m going to Burning Man.

I didn’t even really think, I just replied, yes!

And yes again and yes some more.

Happy, happy.

Joy, joy.

Not sure the specifics yet, but I don’t really need to be.

I can sit down with mom and dad and the Junebug and see what needs to happen and when and how.

But never why.

I don’t need to know why I need to go.

I am just going.

I’M GOING TO BURNING MAN!

Of course you are.

Bahahahahahaha.

Thanks for the sign God.

xo

Mary Fucking Poppins.

 

 

 

 

While I’m Blogging

March 19, 2015

There’s an egg cooling off in a pan on the stove.

The new late night snack for me.

Protein.

Delicious.

Although I will miss my little apple and yogurt duo, it’s time to try something new.

It helped that I had it one last time last night and it was like saying goodbye to an old lover that just wasn’t treating me right any longer.

And I was checked out when I ate it.

So tonight I committed to try something different.

It will be what it will be.

I promise I won’t blog this entire post about a hard-boiled egg either, though it will be lovely, warm, creamy yolk, Judy’s Jumbo organic brown egg, with a sprinkle of pepper and sea salt.

Every time I eat a properly, for me boiled egg, I am always reminded of that movie about the woman who blogs all the Julia Child recipes after having made them and then eaten the results.

She, the character, grouses about eating a poached egg and then when she finally does eat it, all the richness and complexity of it, if it’s done right, a poached egg is heavenly, almost cheesy in its flavor and texture and really delicious.

A soft-boiled egg is the same for me.

And I should be able to eat it and not check out and it should be enough to tide me over until the morning breakfast comes.

I had lots of nice food today too, it was a busy day with the boys and the parents have friends visiting in town, so take out was ordered.

I had the burrito bowl from Papalote for dinner.

A burrito bowl, for those of you not in the know, is a burrito sans skin, meaning, no wrap.

“Will you get sick if you eat bread,” my five-year old charge asked me on the way back from the park, “can you touch it?”

“Of course I can touch it, I made you a sandwich yesterday with bread, I just can’t eat it, it makes me feel bad,” I said.

Which is far closer to the truth than most people can comprehend.

I am not a celiac, I am not gluten intolerant, I have an allergy to processed sugar and flour.

I break out into more.

And I want to eat it all.

It is no fun and I don’t like hiding pastry in my bag, so I don’t do it.

And I have a solution around it and active recovery.

Enough said.

Was it not a lovely sunset tonight?

It was glorious.

On Wednesdays I get done with work and instead of doing the deal in the Mission or the Castro, I rock my bike home and hang out in the Outer Sunset.

“You live out here?” He asked me as the lights came up in the candle light room.

“Yup, about a year and a half now,” I said, “right down the street, 46th and Judah.”

“Man, I want to live out here, it’s great,” he said, “I’m jealous.”

It’s not bad.

It’s pretty fucking good, who the hell am I kidding.

I love the ocean being so close and the sunset on my bike ride home through the park, then cresting down Lincoln Ave from Chain of Lakes, the air was bedazzled with burnt umber and gold and glowing with the sun floating into the sea.

I was blown away and smiled as I drifted down the last few blocks to the home front.

The only drawback is that I am riding my bicycle directly into the sun and it’s hard to see.

I don’t like riding without my glasses though and I don’t have prescription sunglasses.  Which I am starting to think I better get.

Especially for Burning Man this year.

I’m going to have to prepare myself for a lot more time outside.

A lot.

This means extra sunblock and some sunglasses.

Last year I went to the eye doctor and found out that my eyes have developed an astigmatism and I can’t wear contacts.

Which would have been perfect for the playa, but nope.

In the past few years, especially the last two, I have not done a lot of out and about during the day, I ended up being in the trailer of the family I worked for.  The little guy was super heat sensitive, so we spent a lot of time in the a/c.

I don’t foresee a/c in my next Burning Man adventure.

Although, who knows what’s going to happen.

I still don’t.

“You were a nanny at Burning Man?” The visiting mom and dad said with incredulity.  “Really?  Did you have any fun, did you have any time off to go and play?”

“No.” I said pretty succinctly.

“Oh tell them your playa name,” the mom I work for said, “it’s just awesome.”

I laughed.

“Mary F’ing Poppins,” I smiled.  “One of the mom’s I used to work for said I was like Mary Fucking Poppins with tattoos, and thus, my playa name was born.”

“Wow, I had no idea people do that,” the mom said, poking at the dad, maybe we could go…..”

I smiled and left the room to attend to the monkeys at the table, two visiting girls and my two guys.

And my burrito bowl.

I am going to be having a bit more of a conversation about Burning Man with the family come this Friday.

I realized that Friday is our six months anniversary working together and we should have done a performance evaluation at 90 days, which never happened.

Suffice to say I know that the family loves me and I love working for them and it’s a great fit, but I did think to myself it would be good to touch base about moving forward, especially since I know what my graduate school dates are for the retreat and the first weekend of classes.

And since I want to go to that thing in the desert where they burn the man, dude.

Both the mom and dad said we don’t have any criticism of what you’re doing, when I brought it up today, we don’t need to do an evaluation.

That was nice to hear.

But I made it clear that it was also about defining our goals moving forward and what they want from me and I from them and starting the communication process now instead of waiting until a month before the event and saying, uh, yeah, and I want to go to Burning Man too.

Mostly it’s because I want to take my vacation time separate from when the family does theirs.

Meaning I want to be paid for my time off.

And that may take some navigating, but I know that I can.

I feel really lucky right now.

Graced might be a better word for it.

I have a good job.

I have a good home.

I have a good life.

I am going to graduate school.

I am going to Atlanta.

I am going to San Diego.

I think I will be putting “I’m going to Burning Man,” onto that list soon.

And now.

It’s time for my egg.

I almost didn’t write my entire blog about my snack.

Almost.

Heh.

Untag That Photo!

March 18, 2015

Sweet Jesus.

I have a double chin in that one.

Take it down now!

Ah.

Social media.

How I do love to hate you.

I mean, everyone else in the photo looks amazing, but I look huge, huge I tell ya.

I also have body dysmorphia, but don’t let that sway you, it was a yuck picture.

There are a few reasons for that.

One, the person taking the photo was not a professional photographer, not everybody knows my best angle after all.

Two, I was wearing a really busy dress, big floral pattern, it’s a pretty dress, but when I wear it without anything else, which is what I was doing since it was warm, it can come off as too busy against all my tattoos.

In the photograph I lost my shape, there’s not femininity there, I just sort of all blur together.

Now.

I doubt any one is paying any kind of attention to it.

I mean.

Please.

You all have facecrack profiles to obsess over, nobody’s looking that hard at mine, that I am aware of anyway.

I untagged the photographs and I let the feelings happen.

And I had a little bit of a come to Jesus moment.

I have been seeing some changes in my body and doing what I can, in small quiet ways to rectify those things.

I started taking an iron supplement again.

I was finding myself more tired than usual, muscle fatigue, some dizziness and light headedness at certain times of the day, and that means, for me, that I’m getting anemic again.

I also know that at 42, my body is slowing down its metabolism and that is just the way it goes.

I am exiting the fertility goddess stage of my life, I don’t think baby is in my future, unless it’s one I am watching, and entering into a different phase.

My body, whether or not I wish to acknowledge it, is breaking down.

I still have more than half my life to go, but I was pretty rough on myself for the first part of my life.

I wasn’t brought up with the greatest food or nutrition either and when I look back I can see that I also had a pretty bad sugar addiction when it could be sustained I was going at it.

I checked out.

That was something that I can trace back all the way.

My first sneak of a food.

My rationalization, as a child, as a five-year old who had just been through a lot of trauma, when my mother slapped my hand away from the sugar bowl on the table.

“That’s enough,” she said with a smart rap on my hand.

She turned back to get coffee and light her cigarette and I calm as you please, took the top off the sugar and dumped a heaping spoonful over the top of my cereal.

I remember, quite distinctly, thinking to myself, “after last night I get to eat as much sugar as I want, you would too, if it had happened to you.”

I mean, verbatim.

The other thing.

I remember that it was too much sugar, it, the cereal had gone from something appetizing and sweet, to too sweet and nauseating, the sugar at the bottom of the bowl so thick it wasn’t dissolving into the milk any longer.

But I ate it anyway and I remember the feel of the sugar granules on my tongue still.

I was five.

And it wasn’t the first time I had checked out with sugar, but it was the first time I remember doing it deliberately.

The photographs brought up a few things for me.

I have no control over how I look and I have no control over my body and sometimes I leave the house thinking I look magnificent, then five minutes later I can see an unflattering reflection in a store front window and my whole idea of my outfit is shat on.

I left Saturday feeling pretty fucking cute.

But when I saw those photos I was horrified at my outfit and my hair and my total appearance.

Again, perception, but it did throw down a gauntlet of sorts for me.

As I finally got honest with my person around one thing in my food routine, that though abstinent, the behavior I have is not so much.

Mainly that I am checking out with my last snack of the day.

I get home, I do my little get home routine, I roll out my back on the yoga roller, light up my candles, put away my stuff, refill my water bottle, boot up the lap top, make some tea, check my e-mails, and then start blogging.

After I sign off on my blog I make another cup of tea and I have my snack and watch a video.

Sounds innocuous, no?

But it’s not.

I’m checking out and I know I’m checking out and that’s not what I want to be doing with my food.

I don’t do it at breakfast and lunch and usually not at dinner either, but that last snack of the day, I’m hiding out from the world.

And I am loath to miss it and I like to do it a certain way, and it’s almost always the same thing.

1 apple.

3 oz of berries, whatever’s in season.

1/2 c plain, non fat yogurt.

Yeah.

Sounds crazy doesn’t it.

But it’s a little more than I need at the end of the night and upon reviewing my food diary I am seeing I need to eat a little less fruit, I’m having four servings a day, and little more protein.

Last night and this morning I was going to throw my snack away, not have it, nope, I am done, no more.

But I realized when I got home tonight and even on my bicycle ride home, that I was hungry, dinner was actually light.

I’m taking some suggestions and pausing tonight around changing anything up, except writing about it and praying, because that’s what I do, because the efficacy of prayer cannot be argued, so I will, and then letting go of the idea, again, and again, and again, that my self-worth is tied up in how I look.

I am an attractive woman and I aware that I was when I was heavier and I was when I was lighter and I am now.

It really comes down to the behavior.

And also knowing that I have been told before, less fruit, more protein.

I will be switching up my snack to a piece of string cheese.

I won’t really check out with string cheese and I will get the little something I need and fewer calories as well.

Because when I was asked did I want to drop my snack because of the photos or because I was not actually hungry, to really be truthful and see where I was at.

A little hungry.

Not enough to do the big snack I have been doing.

But a little guy won’t hurt and I think is the thing I can try.

It’s a small things, but sometimes the small stuff will muck with my mind more than the big stuff.

Really.

I mean.

I just wrote a whole blog on string cheese.

 


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