Promise You Will


She said as we parted ways, I to hop on my trusty stead–that one speed whip that has been getting me around so well for the past few years, and she the other direction down Church Street.

I had just met with my person and she was giving me some parting suggestions.

“Promise me you will do it before you leave,” she repeated, and gave me a great big hug.

“I promise,” I said.

I made a lot of promises tonight.

Actually, I committed to a few things tonight.

Things that will help me to travel.

Things like committing what I am and am not going to eat while I am in Paris.

I have other issues beyond the alcoholism and drug addiction in my life.

Food.

My number one, my first, my always.

And since it’s not necessarily something I can do without.

No one ever says, “Oh, I definitely need more cocaine in my diet,” at least not with a straight face.

Or.

“I could certainly be healthier if I had some more whiskey in my meal plan,” I mean, everybody knows that alcohol is empty calories anyhow.

But no one.

No one that I associate with anyhow.

Has said, I sure could stand to just not ever eat again.

See.

I can say I’m not going to use or drink today, one day at a time for a really fucking long time, like, fingers crossed, the rest of my life, which is going to be long and amazing, but I can’t say I’m never going to eat again.

I have to do that.

So.

I commit what I am going to eat and what I am not going to eat and that is super helpful.

It’s also super helpful that I have lived in Paris before and know how to shop, even in the winter season when the foods are not as fresh, and I know how to order in restaurants.

But.

I also was on a slippery slope in Paris and I had a major relapse in my eating behaviors about three weeks after I got back from Paris.

I am committed to that not happening and I laid out a plan of eating to help me through.

It will look very similar to what I already do here for breakfast–oatmeal with fruit (that’s my sweetener, fruit) and a hard boiled egg and coffee.

I will go to the market, buy breakfast stuffs and cook at the studio every morning.

I will have snacks, which will be fruit.

I will have lunch out or dinner out and that is cool.

I will have steak, oysters, roast chicken, vegetables, and lots of salad.

I will NOT have bread, crepes, sugar, chocolate, croissant, baguette.

Or.

Le sigh.

Les pommes frites.

French fries.

They are my slippery slope.

They were last time I was in Paris and I don’t eat them here, so I’m not going to there.

Bring on the fucking steak tartar though.

Oh yeah.

I will eat cheese.

But in moderation.

I rarely eat it here but I do once in a while.

I committed and made a plan and talked about self-care and it was suggested to me that I focus on what I need.

Not anyone else.

Just me.

To take a good look and talk to my God and make sure that I was taking care of myself and having a good time for me and not worrying about taking care of anyone else.

I am a care taker.

It is what I do.

But.

I know.

I know deeply.

That I can better take care of others when I am taking care of myself.

So.

Yes.

Some thoughtfulness around my food.

Which, truth be told, will be when I am in the airport.

That is always the challenge.

I have go to’s, but I have learned, the hard, hard, hard way, to bring food with me.

Because when you say no sugar and no flour and no potatoes they look at you like, “you crazy.”

Especially if you wave off the free cookie.

And.

Ain’t nothing free anymore on air travel, it seems, anyway.

I’ll have some apples and raw carrots, I always buy a packet of almonds, I let myself eat bananas and Naked Juice smoothies, probably the only time I do, when I travel, I prefer to eat my fruit not drink it, but sometimes it’s all I can gather.

Anyway.

I still have a couple of days here and really what my person most wanted was to hear me say that I would write my last paper before I left.

“Oh, that totally does not work for you!” She said with great emphasis.

I told her that I had two papers left.

One of which I am almost done with.

In fact, for all intents and purposes, I am done with it, I finished it today before work–I’ve been working on it everyday before work since the Monday–but I have to proof it, which I will do in the morning and send out before I head into work.

Then, one last paper.

But it’s not due until December 28th.

“You have to do it before you go,” she said, “otherwise you’re going to be thinking about it the entire time you’re there.”

Don’t I know it.

I thought about even just writing it on the plane, but frankly, that sounds fucking awful.

I am going to write it Saturday.

Tomorrow.

I am not doing school work.

I am going to let myself off the hook on my birthday.

Yes.

That’s correct.

Tomorrow is my birthday.

I will be 43.

I have one hour and 27 minutes left of being 42 years old.

It’s been a good year.

Ups and downs, that’s for sure.

But overall, a year of much growth.

Oh.

Jesus god, so much growth.

Sometimes it astounds even me that I have space for all this growth, that it just keeps coming, that I have yet another growth opportunity in front of me.

Again and again and again.

Anyway.

I digress.

Tomorrow.

No homework.

Work, yes, can’t get out of that, but it will be a fun day, my last day with the boys for a while and they have a half day at school, so we’ll do a big park adventure.

And then dinner with friends.

Easy.

Sweet.

Light.

I am grateful for it.

My present to me is that I won’t worry about papers or schoolwork and I’ll do it all on Saturday.

I promise.

 

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