Posts Tagged ‘swimming’

Vacation!

February 16, 2016

It’s official.

I am off the next six days in a row.

I’m not freaking out.

Yet.

I have had a lot of loud, however, conversation in my head about the kind of exercise I should, would, or could be doing.

It is in fact driving me a bit bats.

But better to be obsessed with figuring out the best work out for my time and schedule than wondering about what I am going to do with all this time.

Just take it easy.

One day at a time and all that jazz.

I do have plans to meet with a ladybug tomorrow and do the deal and things of that nature are happening, but aside from that, my day is pretty wide open.

I have some pretty wide open days coming up, little things here and there, but lots of opportunity to do things and go places and hang out.

And.

Oh yes.

Sleep in.

I have gotten up at 6:30 a.m. or earlier for the last four days.

I am ready to not have an alarm go off.

I will be sleeping as long as I like.

I tell myself it will be a good long time, but it will be whenever my brain wakes up enough to rouse my body from its slumber.

I did take some actions around looking into things.

I went and talked to a woman at Laughing Lotus on 16th and Guerrero and got a schedule.

I also have done a lot of online trying to figure things out.

I have to say.

I am over trying to figure it out.

I got a great suggestion tonight from a fellow to surrender it and ask for direction and see what shows up.

I don’t have to know tonight.

And I can and have been driving myself a little nutty with it.

I have other things to do.

Homework is one of them, but I think I will at least let myself off the hook for that tomorrow and not worry about delving back into the homework right away.

I actually feel like giving myself the entire day off tomorrow to not think about any of it at all.

Just show up for my commitment and let whatever happens happen.

I am sure the day will show up.

It did today and I got to go into work and happily so, on my scooter.

I got my SFMTA Child Care Parking Permit and I am now allowed to park anywhere in the area of the permit for up to 72 hours without getting a ticket.

I can’t imagine leaving my scooter there overnight, but if something did happen, it would be ok for a few days.

And it means that I will be using my scooter to commute to work starting next week when I go back in.  I will want to have some sort of exercise routine in place, but I don’t have to have it right now.

Rather I can just enjoy looking at the day and the fact that I got to walk around a bit outside, have a nice lunch at Herbivore (I’m not a vegan, but I occasionally play one on tv, I actually just realized that everything I had today was vegan, huh) and in between taking care of things at work and meeting my friend for an iced coffee, I also got a manicure pedicure.

And a new vibrator.

Just saying.

I have some down time.

And.

Um.

Ha.

It works well.

Thumbs up.

Ha!

Anyway, I did pop in and out of a few other places, but nothing else caught my eye and truth be told, I haven’t felt too compelled to buy anything.  I will probably still take some time and do some clothes shopping, but nothing on Valencia Street was doing it for me and I was still sorted of at work, so I didn’t really take time to do a lot of looking.

It was better to hang out with my friend and catch up than worry about new clothes or what yoga studio I should check out.

My friend also mentioned ODC and she’s the third or fourth person to recommend it, so that is a place to investigate too.

I keep trying to get back to that and I really just want to let it lie right now, I am not about to go put on my yoga pants and grab a mat and…

Um.

Hahahaha.

Fuck me.

I am in yoga pants.

I put them on after I tried on a new dress I ordered on Modcloth.

I think I need to stop ordering on Modcloth.

I think I need to go down to the fit shop instead.

The dress is cute and it was one of the things I allowed myself to get when I got my tax return, I’d actually forgotten I had ordered it.

However, although it’s a perfect fit, the bodice is bizarre.

It makes my chest look really strange.

I mean.

It is NOT flattering.

Which is a bummer since it perfectly matches my new John Fluevog shoes!

OMG.

They came today and I picked them up from the shop in the Haight.

I am so wearing them tomorrow.

They are magical.

Maybe I should get dressed up and go to the museum and have a little artist date.

Stop thinking and get into some art.

Put on my fancy new shoes and scooter over to the DeYoung.

That would be fun.

I could have lunch at the cafe or I could go to Park Chow.

Oh yum.

Then, who knows.

I am meeting my ladybug at the Church Street Cafe at 6:15p.m.

That’s the earliest I have to be anywhere.

I can really sleep in.

Heh.

Again, I doubt it will be a long slumber, but it will not be getting up at 6:30 a.m.

No, nope, not at all.

Ah.

Perhaps a nice leisurely breakfast, some writing, a walk on the beach, it’s supposed to be nice tomorrow then rain for a few days, so it could be the right time to do the beach for sure.

Life is good.

I don’t have to know anything.

Be anything.

Or go anywhere.

I am exactly perfect.

Right here.

Right now.

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Go For A Swim!

August 19, 2015

What?

You haven’t gotten into the pool yet?

Go for a swim!

When your person, the person that I check in with almost daily, meet with weekly (except when I am out-of-town with work or Burning Man), and trust implicitly says get into the pool.

Well.

I thought about it.

Then a dear friend and I chatted this early evening and when I told him the same thing I could hear it too in his voice, what the hell am I am waiting for.

Well.

You see, I have a lot of reading to do and some papers to write, like four, I think, could be five, but let’s not talk about that quite yet, and I have things to think about and worry about and why, I’m quite the person for self-abnegation, why the hell would I do something I like to do.

I could feel the disinclination to want to do it.

I was balking.

I don’t know why, perhaps some sense of I just don’t have time to enjoy that stuff.

I must always be doing the working and the things and the figuring it out.

And oh what the fuck.

I got into the pool.

It was preceded by a pretty honest and open communication with the family I currently nanny for in regards to the discussion that was had about my not getting paid vacation pay for going to Burning Man and I re-iterated to the mom that I understood her viewpoint, I was taken aback, that I had gone back over the contract and that I saw she was right.

I can be happy or I can be right.

I am not right.

Nor was I very happy when the initial conversation happened.

That being said, I saw my part so fast it was sort of spooky.

I saw where I assume, I saw what happens when I make assumptions, I saw what happens when I act out of fear and don’t have clear communication.

I saw it all and again, the mom was right.

Was I still a little pissed at myself this morning when I woke up?

Damn skippy.

I wrote, I prayed, I ate a healthy abstinent breakfast, I took the time to make some phone calls and I did another spot check inventory then called my person.

Who was perfect and clear and blunt, but not mean.

She knows how the fuck to communicate.

I hear her so well and it was good to have the talk and get grounded and get my principle for today, which was “just for today” and it was soothing to hear her and be on track with my life and job and recovery.

The recovery piece has been a little bumpy since I haven’t had my normal menu of places to be and church basements to sit in, since I have not been around a metal folding chair and some over cooked coffee in a few days.

I have been a touch self-reliant with my program, doing the deal on my own, but also checking in with my friends and fellows and making myself available to be checked in with by my lady bugs, confirming with them that I will be in San Francisco this weekend.

Which reminds me I have one more phone call to return, I just remembered there’s one I haven’t slotted into the schedule.

Anywho.

It was good to touch base and be held accountable and see how my perceptions are skewed and what I can do to rectify that.

Get into the pool

Oh.

You mean, get out of my head and into my body!

Duh.

I haven’t ridden my bicycle in a week and a half.

I haven’t done much exercise, not nearly enough.

I have been sitting a lot and reading a lot and processing a fuck load when I was in school and the only exercise I got was a few dance exercises (which thank fucking God that happened when it happened or I might not have made it through that last day of T-Group) and walking to and from the dining hall.

I knew when I had a cup of tea after dinner and was on the phone with a friend that I needed to out myself.

I wasn’t really in the mood at the time of the phone call either having just finished dinner and sitting on the porch swing looking out towards the rolling hills of Sonoma county and the grape vines tiled along the hillocks, the glint of sun on the underbelly of a red-tailed hawk soaring high in the dusky blue sky, the oak trees bending into the twilight and the rising song of crickets in the grass serenading me.

No.

Really?

I don’t feel like changing up and putting on my swimsuit.

But.

One little three-year old came out to snuggle in my lap, then the five-year old, the mom came out and dad and the next thing you know we are having an open conversation about what we can do moving forward and if I felt that it was unfair not to be given some sort of compensation for the week I’ll be missing work (I’m not even talking about getting paid for the two days extra, well, extra in my calculations, not in theirs) while I am at Burning Man.

The funny thing?

I had pretty much forgot the whole thing by the end of the day.

I was enjoying being in the moment with the boys, we went black berry picking and had a really nice walk and lots of snuggling and being silly with each other and time on the porch swing too.

I had legitimately let it go and had moved on.

Fucking unreal.

And.

Awesome.

The mom and dad and I talked about moving forward, when my contract was ending, what they wanted to try, not signing another year-long contract, but giving all parties a two month trial as I enter into graduate school and see what works for them and what works for them.

ASIDE

I just re-read that in my editing.  “What works for them and what works for them.” How amazing, I am still, unconsciously deciding my life on what works for them.

Fuck.

End aside.  And I’m keeping that piece in un-edited to remind myself that this is not about what works for them, but what works for me.

Now aside ending.

That maybe I would work extra household stuff, marketing and cooking and organizing while the boys were in school, to look at what I wanted for hours and that they would guarantee I got them and if I worked less, as they didn’t need me, or I had to take more time for school, that during those two months, my pay would stay the same.

Super generous.

And it felt right.

I said my gut wanted thirty hours a week.

My head wants 35 hours.

But I think I want a guarantee of 30 hours and if I need to supplement I can say so.

I can also work outside the family and do cash jobs, baby sitting gigs for families I used to work for.

Maybe just put it out there in my circles.

I don’t also have to stay with the family, I am aware too, though I did not say that to them, that I have options and if it seemed that I would do better financially to find  different situation that plays better, that I go with it.

Ultimately.

I am the only person who is going to care for me.

Though I have been assured by some lovely friends that I will be taken care of no matter what.

I believe that too.

I always have been, why the hell would it change now?

I also asked for a raise come my year.

The mom balked.

She replied that it was not standard to give a raise to someone who was going down in hours.

In fact, she intimated that when that happens the person involved makes less money.

I was taken a bit aback, but I reiterated that it was a year, that it felt right to ask for a raise, and that despite my hours lessening, and not exactly by my choice (they’re children are going into school), that my level of care and the quality of my work was not going to decrease.

We left it at that.

I also found this good information to know moving forward.

I’m not going to cut off my nose to spite my face, but I do deserve a raise and I felt it appropriate to bring it up.

They want me to continue working for them, I adore and love the boys, it could be the best of both worlds, I am just not going to not look at all my options, as again, I’m the one paying my rent in San Francisco.

I don’t see cost of living going down any time soon.

I felt good.

I communicated.

We will have another discussion.

And I went back to my room and put on my swim suit and got into the pool.

Into my body, out of my head, and my heart swelled and the old familiar comfort of swimming assuaged me and I felt connected with my body and limbs again and resolved that I would swim again every night while I am here.

Then I took a bath with French sea salts I found in the cabinet and soaked in super hot water.

I almost fell asleep in the tub!

I did good.

And I read for an hour after getting out of the bath–putting me at two hours of reading today–finishing up the reading that I needed to do for a class so that I could move into writing the paper for it.

Not too shabby for a Tuesday.

It’s nice to be reminded to take care of myself.

It’s nicer when I actually do.

Hello Sunshine

June 21, 2015

Good bye fog.

I am actually going to where the sun is, where the clear skies are, where the weather is what most of the rest of the country thinks about when they ponder travel to California.

Not this cold, chilly, overcast, grey, did I mention cold?

Fog.

I tried to go swim suit shopping today.

Epic fail.

I bought a scarf.

Yeah.

I know, its June 20th and all I could do is buy a scarf.

And a bag, and a cute bag at that, I’m looking forward to using it for some travel time adventures.

But I could not muster it to get a swim suit.

I did manage to get my nails done and that was nice and relaxing and a treat, especially as there was no one else in the salon and I was getting all the pampering and attention.

I’m a good tipper and I usually get some solicitous treatment when I come in, and I engage with the woman, we like each other and talk about my hair color, which is rapidly becoming blonde and will likely be blonde for the next two weeks.

I am just not going to go pink again until after I know I won’t be in the pool for a while.

The last time I went swimming at UCSF with the family, the chlorine stripped just about all the Manic Panic Hot, Hot Pink, and Cleo Rose from my hair.

Although there are a few spots underneath the bed of hair that is on my head, that have licks of bright pink in them, I am assuming that a week of working in Glen Ellen and swimming with the boys will leach the rest of the color out.

Yup, that’s right, tomorrow I will head out to Sonoma, land of sunshine and temperatures in the mid 80s to low 90s, and there will be pool time.

I am going to head out to the airport tomorrow, late afternoon, and pick up the rental car from SFO then head back towards the city, I’ll have to go back through San Francisco and cross town to get to the Golden Gate Bridge and over to Sonoma.

I figure I will hit the Sports Basement in the Presidio.

I’ll take a quick detour and grab a real swim suit.

The one I have is more of a lounge by the pool and rub sunblock on yourself will sipping iced tea, swim suit.

Not a “I’m going to be nannying two rambunctious boys and their playmates (another family will be there for three days with their two boys and baby girl) in the pool for hours” swimsuit.

I figure I’ll get a competitive suit like I used to wear on swim team in high school.

I was relating some of my adventures in high school to my new friend last night in front of the fire in the back yard.

Yes.

That’s right, there’s a fire pit in the back yard and the old white-painted Adirondack chairs were pulled up and he started the fire on one wooden match and it burned merry and bright for hours as we talked.

And talked.

And talked.

And decided.

Wait for it.

To be friends.

Sigh.

I knew it was coming at some point.

It was too good to be true.

But.

And this is such a big pause, such huge rearrangement of my inner landscape, I am grateful and feel great joy at having gotten to a place where I can hold a man’s hand and be completely vulnerable, completely myself, and listen to what the other person is saying.

Really be present.

So present that you don’t realize how late it’s getting and it’s 3:30 in the morning and my feet are cold, but my heart, oh it is on fire.

I felt so tender today when I woke up, tender, smitten, sad, full of love, full of the feels.

I didn’t want to get out of bed, the weather was not helping, it may be summer everywhere else, but Ocean Beach, San Francisco?

No.

This is winter time and it’s grey and it reminds me of how I can slide into depression if I’m not cautious and aware.

My disease wanted to harangue me and poke me and for a moment, it might have gotten under my skin.

I picked up my phone and called a girl friend while still in bed, burrowed under the blankets and head snug down in the pillows.

I said my piece to her voicemail.

I sniffled.

I cried.

I felt sorry for myself.

I put on the self-pity party hat and asked to be passed a very small violin, or in my case a junior size cello.

I mean really, I’m not a violin type of girl.

Then I called my person and said some more stuff on the voicemail.

Then I looked at my room.

All the colors, the blues and corals and the postcards and the laughter and stories that I told about them last night, last week, the last few days as I have spun through a metamorphosis of becoming, yet again, a little more my authentic self.

I got up and drank some water and tossed myself in the shower.

What had happened?

We moved too fast.

And the best thing that happened?

We talked about it like grown ups with spiritual words and kindness and compassion and utter vulnerability.

I have not had all that many relationships in my life and I am full well aware as to the whys and whereof’s; however, I will say without much thought, as it is clear and true, that I shared more with this man about myself, how I feel, what I believe, what my dreams have been and where I am going, than I have with any other man (well, any other man other than one other man, who remains anonymous here and will only be alluded to) in my life.

And I dare say, he shared at the same level.

There are no mistakes in Gods world.

I read.

I prayed.

I got on my knees in front of my fresh made bed and felt grateful, felt joy, felt such an overwhelming field of love engulf me that I knew that nothing that happened last night or the days and nights previous had been wrong or hurtful or malicious.

Just warm, bright, as honest in each moment as a person can be with the other.

There is more to come.

It’s just going to be pulled back a bit.

“I can’t be your boyfriend right now,” he said.

I deign to say how it was said or with what emotion, the words suffice, the feeling is mine to have and to cherish inside my wide open heart.

But we can be friends.

So we move forward by backing up and seeing what a friendship looks like and as I look at the void left in my life by the changing of my friendships over the last few years, the loss of some, some to marriage and babies, new careers, new cities, new states, some to relapse into the horrors of drugs and alcohol, I see quite clearly how desperate I am for such a friend.

A companion.

Someone to stand in front of a Rothko and hold hands with while the luminous colors wash over our faces.

We’re still planning on going to LA.

Sonoma is not the only place where I will be getting my fill of sunshine.

The museum adventure is still a plan.

Just with a friend.

Rather than a boyfriend.

And that.

Surprise.

Is just right by me.

My heart grows ever bigger and I know that I am becoming ever more me.

Just one more step towards God’s, not mine, perfect image of me.

Unadulterated Auntie Bubba on tap at a foggy beach near you.

At least for the next 24 hours.

And More Will Be Revealed

May 1, 2015

And it was.

I learned that I could make it much longer than I thought without dinner.

Now.

I know that’s not revolutionary news to many.

But to me.

It’s a big deal.

I didn’t like the prospect of waiting until after I did the deal and covered my commitment at Our Lady of Safeway and then the bicycling home and the not having dinner until after eight this evening.

But as I sat there in that same chair I have been sitting in for years.

I realized something.

I wasn’t hungry.

Oh.

I was a little annoyed.

I like having things my way.

But I learned by doing what I “thought” would be uncomfortable, that I could go through it and be just fine.

Work is work is work.

That’s why they call it work.

And the work that I put into my job is considerable.

However.

I do have breaks and I do have down time and I made myself sit for a nice long leisurely, late lunch.

It was perfect.

I was anxious about what the day would bring.

I always am when it comes to my food stuff.

You can name 1800 different reasons why and none of them would really matter, I have a disease of perception and more is always the answer.

More donuts.

More sex.

More ice cream.

More vodka.

More blow.

More cigarettes.

More attention.

More drama.

Gimme.

More, more, more.

So I don’t have to sit in myself and feel uncomfortable.

Anything to not feel uncomfortable.

Hate to break it to you disease.

Life is uncomfortable.

Oh.

There are times when it is not, but we all have problems, life happens to everyone, it’s not like I’ve been singled out.

Some things in my life have been harder to walk through and some experiences I would not wish on a person I don’t like, but I have gotten through all of them and there is so much that is wonderful and amazing and awesome about my life.

That too can be uncomfortable.

For completely different reasons.

I didn’t have the greatest day at work, I was a bit in dread of the late afternoon family swim, but it actually went off without a hitch.

Of course I also realized some things.

And that is I’m around the parents all the time.

I forget that now and then.

And I don’t have to act different or be different.

I’ll put on a happy face or a bright face and muddle through.

I did put on a bit of a tolerating the entire scene attitude, but it was more of a, I’m being quiet to reserve my energy and see how I cope with another change-up to my schedule.

I’m a creature of comfort and routine.

When my routine gets thrown, so do I.

But it doesn’t mean I need to freak out.

I freaked out a little yesterday and admittedly, I was tired and Wednesday’s well, they can be the hardest day of the week, the weekend in either direction is too far away and I felt dangerously low on my reserves.

A good night of sleep.

A good breakfast.

A lot of coffee.

Sunshine.

Oh so much sunshine.

And I was ok.

Not great.

But ok.

I felt pretty emotionally hung over all day and it did lift, but it took a while and a lot of reaching for tools and taking extra time this morning to get right with God and do all the things.

Of course.

I now have a full tummy and a good dinner under my belt, so I feel expansive and uplifted as well.

Good food will do that.

The other nice thing that I realized.

This has been the only dinner I have had this week where I wasn’t admonishing a child to sit his bottom down and face the front or to not feed the dog, or stop spitting milk at your brother, or how did you get humus on your feet?

The only dinner in a month of Thursdays when I didn’t feel rushed eating my own meal to accommodate the families schedule and the boys bath time.

I usually have a scramble on Thursdays to feed myself, and the boys and there have been too many times where I am sitting next to the bathtub eating an apple that sits resting on the sink top while I help facilitate toothbrushing, hair washing, not throwing the 17 toys out of the bathtub, not telling one boy to stop saying “penis, penis, penis, look at his penis.”

Dude.

It’s the same penis as yesterday’s bath time.

Let’s move on.

No.

Rather I rode my bicycle home, enjoying the late dusk and glow of the sunset, the ocean as I turned onto Lincoln Avenue from Chain of Lakes felt like an Impressionist painting.

It really did, like I was riding right into the heart of one, the light shimmering on the water and the smoked clouds and smudge of the fog out on the horizon.

So beautiful.

When I got home.

I sat down and wrote my rent check for May while my dinner was heating up and popped open some sparkling water and had a really nice, quiet, slow, enjoyable meal.

Flexibility.

That’s what I learned today.

I can be flexible.

I can fall into a rut, get in a certain scheduling groove, finding the comfort of routine, despite knowing that change is always happening, I clutch onto that modicum of comfort and get rattled far too easily when it is shifted.

I can’t say what tomorrow will bring.

It’s tomorrow and I really would rather stay in today.

But.

I don’t believe I will be emotionally hung over.

I dare say I may be quite happy.

It is Friday after all.

Another day.

Where more will be revealed.

I am certain of it.

Hello Monday

April 14, 2015

Let’s be friends.

I wrote that this morning as I was sitting and thinking about what my day would look like, how it would go, where I would go, what I would do, and then further, how I was going to be.

Happy.

That was my choice.

Happy is a choice.

Sometimes happy happens all on its own and that is lovely and surprising and I am always grateful for it.

Then there are other times, Monday’s, when I have to put myself in that mode and get happy.

I put my hair in pony tails.

I wore some electric blue and some purple.

I stuck a couple of big purple and teal flowers in my hair.

And I did my make up to match–shimmery purple glitter on the whole lid complimented with some teal eyeliner set off by a black winged cats eye and two layers of black water proof mascara.

Waterproofing.

I should have known.

I think I was subconsciously telling myself, but i didn’t hear it.

I was busy getting happy and doing my writing in my pink glitter notebook and thinking I should make a run on Flax and pick up a notebook and that I needed some new stickers, I’m almost out and what could I do to guarantee I would continue bright and upbeat and not let Monday have its way with me.

“Swimming, swimming, we’re going swimming,” the mom was singing to the boys when I walked in this morning.

“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” I whispered under my breath.

Of course.

It was a family swim day.

Spring Break you’re going to kill me.

But, I put myself in the happy place, breathe and pray, and got into it.

“Carmen? Carmen! Carmen!”  The oldest came hustling down the stairs and ran into the kitchen where I was putting together stacks of snacks for the trip to the pool and back.

Swimming makes for hungry little boys.

“You’re here!” He hugged me, “it’s so good to see you, I missed you!”

I missed you too, my sweet guy.

I picked him up and gave him a big squeeze.

“Sometimes you hug so hard I think it’s going to hurt,” he told me, “but it never does.”

I felt a small hand reach inside my heart and squeeze it.

These kids get me.

I have thought before when transitioning to a new family from another that I wouldn’t love the kids as much or there would be differences and I wouldn’t be accepted or, whatever it was, that there wasn’t enough love in me to go out to another child.

And yet.

There always is.

There are times when I have a moment with the little guy and he’s my favorite and the best and wouldn’t trade him in for millions.

Then the oldest does something like hug me and kiss my face and ask me to sit by him and write out “a very secret story that only you and I share,” and he snuggles into me while dictating the words to the secret story, so secret that I can’t even look, and then, yes, he is my favorite.

The best.

The most awesome.

Then I see my little Junebug and Charlie Reno squished up on the top bunk of Charlie’s bed–my screen saver on my phone, Junie’s eyes wide, saucer like, glowing like love lamps and my heart squishes and she is it, oh goodness, so much it breaks me in half and then in half and in half again, times infinity and beyond.

“My favorite number is 20 hundred plus infinity,” the older one informed me out of the blue.

Yeah.

Like that.

Love it doesn’t wear out or go away or get smaller, it just grows, and like a flower forever blooming it only grows sweeter and better even when the person is not close to me or gone another way.

I have this note that a dear friend, who is currently not talking to me, but that’s another story, wrote me this past year about how much I inspire him and that I will never understand how much and that I have loved him more than he deserves and that for that he will always love me more than I will know.

And another note, on two yellow stickies about me on my playa bike and how she thinks of me with love, and it accompanied a necklace sent from my best friend in Wisconsin.

Then there’s the photograph of me and my darling girl friend, who takes a lot of random ass, I’m freaking out, need to talk me down from the ledge moments, of her and I doing the tourist photograph from Alcatraz.

I have postcards and note cards and “love letters” all over my fridge.

I have the most amazing print from a friend who signs it “Love you Carmen.”

And I know she does.

And I love her.

Love.

It’s so nice.

And it’s a good thing to remember when the two and 3/4 year old boy, half-naked, then completely naked, launches into the longest temper tantrum I have ever experienced.

Second only in severity to the one he threw in the bathroom at Mission Playground.

This one happened at La Petite Bailene, in the locker room, that space that is the echo chamber to end all echo chambers, a locker room.

The screams.

It was horror.

He lost it.

Lost it.

Lost it.

The tantrum was prefaced by him not wanting to get out of the pool, which is so amazing, a few weeks ago he was adamantly against the pool and I remember telling the mom that it would change, patience and practice and gentle repetition and before you know it, he will love the pool.

He loves it so much that when the family swim was over, and my eye makeup had been dashed and sprayed and doused in water and he was swimming with nanny the raccoon, he wouldn’t get out.

And he didn’t have a choice.

Open swim was over.

Try telling that to a stubborn child who has his heart set on swimming and all the wonder of it.

Poor baby.

The mom and I managed, the older brother managed, the snickering of the German mom changing her small children out of their co-ordinated racer back swimsuits in the corner, I could have done without, but you know, what ever, tantrums happen and one day you’ll get yours lady.

The mom got him out of his swim suit and wet trunks, but getting him into clothes was impossible.

Executive decision time, out to the car naked, but he pulled the one trick out of the bag to get back into the swimming pool facility.

He stopped wailing and in the calmest voice ever, said, “I have to pee.”

Oh good gravy.

Kid.

You are killing me.

I looked at the mom, “I’ll do it, give me his clothes,” I ran him back inside, got him in a stall, he tried to escape, I knew he wanted back to the pool and the tantrum exploded again.

Mad little naked monkey.

I did eventually get him changed and dressed and out the door and into the car seat and back home and he napped and then the world became a much quieter place, but for a moment, I had the Monday blues.

Oh yes I did.

Then the day ended and he sat in my lap and snuggled and said, “please, oh please, eat your food,” he likes my beans and rice dishes.

He curled up with his stuffed cat in my chair and ate beans and rice and I fed his brother and we did bath time and it was all good.

Love.

It doesn’t go away when things get hard or screaming happens, all the emotions, all the big feels, they are just a part of the journey.

And even though Monday was not quite as happy as I had planned it to be.

It was still full and wonderful even when it was tough and heartrending.

That might be the best definition for love I have.

And I can always use a little more.

Or a lot more.

Like.

20 hundred plus infinity.

I Made It!

April 11, 2015

At one point, as I looked out over the bay, Alcatraz sitting like a rough hewn jewel in the blue waters of the bay, I thought, how am I going to get through this day?

So much stuff.

It was jam-packed.

And yeah, of course I remembered we were going swimming today and did I have my swimsuit.

Oh fuck.

I actually thought that swimming was going to be earlier this week, open family swim at La Petite Bailene in the Presidio.

No.

Swimming was for today.

Ack.

I mean, yay!

Let’s go!

Of course it was the day I was wearing kohl eyeliner.

I never wear kohl eyeliner.

Ok.

I obviously did today, but 28 out of 30 days in the month, I’m not wearing kohl.

Yes.

I do wear eyeliner, I can hear some of my close girl friends ahem’ing as they read this, I wear the make up folks, that is part of the Auntie Bubba package.

There’s going to be make up.

There’s going to be glitter.

There’s going to be tattoos and funky hair.

I’m going into my colorist in two weeks.

Can you say excited?

I am.

Last time I went in and got colored up it was shades of violet and purple with some deep indigo and hot pink.

Not that this time.

Although, to tell the truth I have been flirting with a number of different ideas.

I’ll probably get some blonde highlights.

I know, how pedestrian of me.

I’m loving the wild, long, curly, California beachy hair mess I have going on.

Most of the time.

I knew it was going to be a pain in the ass today when in attempting to secure all the things to go to the pool–bag of snacks/lunch (sunflower butter sandwiches with marmalade, strawberries, bananas, string cheese, apricots, Joe’s O’s, mandarin’s), bag of towels, swim diaper, swim trunks, epi pens (peanut allergies for one of the boys means always have epi pens, Croc’s, extra pants (potty training is happening), socks, diaper pad in case potty training is epic fail, sunblock (because before we get to the pool we’re going to run around on the beach at Crissy Field), hats, sweat shirts (because it’s San Francisco and you never know), I realized I didn’t have a hair tie for my hair.

Great.

Kohl eyeliner and no hair elastic.

I am screwed.

But at least I have my swim suit.

I borrowed a hair tie from the mom and peeled out of my leggings.

“You’re wearing Meow Meow pants!” The little guy said this morning and took his stuffed cat and kissed me with it (I wore my leopard print leggings into work).

I do love this bug, he is just the bomb.

Except when he is tired or hungry, then watch out.

Things will fly.

Stuffed cats being the least likely to cause injury.

I’m not entirely sure what he did to me today in the pool, but I got walloped at one point and I have a tender pinky finger, it’s got a bruise from some sort of little boy rambunctiousness.

Before I have even been at work twenty minutes I have secured the swim package and the snacks and threw a cup of reheated coffee down my gullet and I’m gearing up to get in the pool and smudge the make up and yeah, let’s do family swim.

And play at the beach.

Shit.

Wasn’t expecting that one, but ok, I can roll with it.

And oh, there’s a play date at three p.m. in Dolores Park too.

Ack.

I got uptight in my body and I could feel myself slipping out of the moment, the serene blue of the water, the sky, the sun, the tops of the trees feathering out like umbrella pines in Italy cascading through the hills winding down the road in the Presidio.

I breathed.

I’ll get through it one moment at a time.

It was a lot.

It was too much.

Mom agreed.

We got through it.

And decided no more play dates on days where there is swimming.

There’s a lot of activities happening right now.

Spring Break.

Not for me.

That’s for sure.

I just rubbed my face and smelled chlorine.

Ah.

I love the smell of chlorine.

Swimming saved my life when I was in high school and I always have such a fondness for being in a pool.

There will be plenty of opportunity for me to be in the pool next week, family swim is planned for at least two of the days and there’s talk of exploring the Mission Bay UCSF Campus.  The family may get a membership there.

Please oh please.

I love that pool.

The outdoor pool can be a little chilly sometimes, but the facility is great, and they have an indoor pool too.

I miss swimming laps.

The mom mentioned being happy she skipped the gym today, she decided last-minute that there was too much happening.

I nodded in agreement.

“You probably don’t approve of the gym, do you, you aren’t really a gym person are you?” She asked as we crested over the hills and toward the Marina.

“Uh, no, I would go to the gym,” I said, without much thought behind it, “it’s just not a luxury I can afford,” I finished.

I wasn’t thinking much and continued, “I mean, rent is two paychecks out of the month, I can’t really spare a membership at a gym, I’d go in a heart beat, though, take a yoga class, go…”

I stopped.

“San Francisco is so expensive to live in,” the mom glossed over the awkward pause and we continued forward.

I wasn’t telling my employer I don’t make enough, but I think it came out sounding that way.

And in some ways, I do make less than I was making before, I was working all under the table though and not declaring anything.

I didn’t have insurance, I was working for three different families, and though they were all generous in different ways, I didn’t have benefits.

I do at this job.

“I know today was a lot,” the mom said as we sat watching the boys on their play date in Dolores Park, “I just want you to know how much I appreciate all the things you did today and dinner is being delivered to the house, Tacolicious, we got you a Marina Girl salad with chicken.”

Thanks mom.

I am taken care of and I do have exactly what I need.

And I made it through the day.

One chlorine scented moment at a time.

And now it’s the weekend.

Yes.

It’s Not The Woman In Your Life

November 4, 2014

It’s the life in your woman.

The life in your woman.

I am one lively woman right now.

Just got off a brisk, oh its almost time for more layers, bicycle ride down Irving.

It is November.

Although, a lovely November, warm, I mean yesterday I was in flip-flops most of the day.

It was a bit of a manic day for me, not intentionally, not that I was looking for mania, it just struck, as it does at times, on a Monday.

The boys were just super high energy with me today and I had to step it up to keep up.

There was also some sugar involved, which I had completely forgotten about, and when I asked one of the boys who had slipped them the caffeine pills it struck me, that’s exactly what’s going on, too much of something–the  special cookie treat at school when the mom and I picked up the eldest to head to swimming.

The two-year old was really affected and a bit of a handful.

The last few hours of the day went by so fast I could barely catch my breath, in fact, a few times I asked the boys to pause and take big deep breaths.

I think I was telling myself to pause and take really big, deep breaths, I needed to slow down.

I did get them to settle down when I challenged them to tongue twisters.

The eldest boy got completely caught up in rubber, baby, buggy bumpers.

The youngest just winged around the room like a whirling dervish and I am still amazed that I got out alive.

Monday’s are my longest, busiest day.

I get there early for the family and have the youngest quite a bit before nap time, there’s always lots to do for food prep and errands and children’s laundry, and there’s the swimming in the afternoon, which precipitates a lot of prep to get out the door, to the school, to pick up the four-year old, navigate through San Francisco traffic from the Mission to the Presidio, get all the gear, and the boys, and the bags into La Petite Bailene, then changed, then to class, then out of the pool, showers, changed back into clothes, back into the car, and fed with snacks and milk, then back to the house for dinner and baths.

I am breathless writing about it.

Fortunate for me, swimming only happens once a week.

It’s a big deal, and the classes are only a half hour-long.

It’s a humongous amount of work for a half hour class, but the boys love it, and truth be told, I am a little envious.

I miss swimming myself.

Not sure when I would get myself into a pool, but there it is again, a longing to swim.

Though not the longing to pack up all the gear, the washing the hair, the in and out of the pool, the getting back and forth.

It’s not the swimming that is exhausting, although it can be, it’s the deal of doing it.

Now that I am back on the scooter, one payment left!  I might reconsider going to a pool again.  There’s a YMCA close to Stonestown that I could hop into and the membership looks pretty reasonable.

It might be nice to hop in once in a while on the weekends.

I am feeling more and more in my body since I have been back on my bicycle for the last six weeks.

The ankle is holding up and though still has a twinge or two of pain or a bit of stiffness, it’s healing.

Tomorrow marks five months since I had the accident and it really does appear that it will be the full six months of recovery the doctor told me.

Those doctors, they know their stuff.

I find it hilarious that I would even question someone who has more knowledge of something than I do, but I do it all the time without even realizing it.

Maybe you don’t want to try that, maybe you should pause, maybe you could try something else, maybe you don’t have that right.

Nah.

I got this.

I got nothing.

I do, at least, have an aggregate of experiences which seem to be pointing me in a general direction and that’s nice.

Still a struggle, and the crazy, well it leaks out.

But I have such an awesome support network of women that I was able to get some perspective today from a friend and I feel like we both talked each other down from mutual ledges in regards to basically the same thing.

Fear.

Fear of fucking it up, mainly.

Fucking what up?

EVERYTHING.

As though I am just that all-powerful.

I can get that thought stuck in my head and be going round and round with something and then someone says, “hey call somebody, ask how they are doing,” and what do you know, I feel better.

Life is really lovely and I don’t have answers to anything.

I do have experience, but I tell you, things are constantly a surprise, I should think by this point that I would not be surprised, but life sneaks up and says boo and whoa, what just happened?

Life.

Just life.

And I am so over awed that I get to be a part of it.

I mean really.

I live in San Francisco.

I am surrounded by the most beautiful city, landscape, the ocean is out my back door, I mean, come on, who rides along the Pacific Ocean, Great Highway, to go grocery shopping?

I do.

Ha.

I also ride through Golden Gate Park, I work on one of the prettiest blocks in the Mission, the house I am in is full of light and art, I am surrounded be beauty.

And I am beauty too.

I get to live this scrumptious life.

It’s not perfect, I am not perfect.

But it is perfection.

I am perfectly imperfect.

Learning again and again how to shift my perspective, how to show up, how to walk through fear, how to surrender, how to be more authentic.

How to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

I jest.

But that’s what it feels like sometimes.

Just the day-to-day living can be a leap of utter faith.

Good thing I have  a lot of it.

Faith, that is.

Follow Your Bliss

February 10, 2013

Sure.

But does anyone bother to tell you that it is a lot of work?

Or that you will have sore arms that ache so much that you do not know how you can possibly type out an entire blog, let alone pull a brush through your chlorinated hair to get the tangles out.

I have officially discovered the secret to the messy Parisian bun.

Swimming.

I had absolutely no desire to shampoo or condition my hair after I finished my swim.

Why?

The locker rooms and showers are co-ed.

It’s like Burning Man.

But French.

Which means it is just weird.

I was expecting to have a women’s locker room and a men’s locker room.

Nope.

One big open space.

Granted, it’s not quite that non-private.

There are a number of cabines that have doors for privacy.

And the women’s side is apart from the men’s side.

However, the showers are all of the same.

They are not really showers for washing up and shaving and doing your hair, at least not that I could tell, not that I would want to even try.  They are showers for rinsing off before you get into the pool and rinsing off after you get out of the pool.

I have no desire to shave my legs in front of a pair of seven-year old boys all a goggle at my tattoos.

Thank god I live close to the pool.

Thank god I walked through the fear.

Through the doors of the gym center, showed my pass to the same man who sold it to me yesterday, my you’re a cheerful fellow, and then followed a pair of pre-teen girls down three flights of steps to the pool locker rooms.

I will say I quite like that the lockers have keys and you deposit your one Euro coin into the slot and then you get a key on a buckle bracelet.

I will feel comfortable bringing all my gear with me and leaving it securely in the locker area when I swim.  Even if I am not comfortable with the act of showering down co-ed.

I did it however, I did it and I am proud of myself.

It was no easy feat walking through the fear.

I mean I was literally talking myself down from the edge.  I laughed out loud when I was meditating, what do I think is going to happen?  A wild pack of French people are going to hit you and strip off you swim suit and make you walk outside in the cold?

You’ll be ok, you only live a block away, you won’t even get frost bit on your toes.

Relax.

They are not going to hit you.

Wrong.

I got smacked on the head today swimming.

Poor lane etiquette.

The guy decided he wanted to pass me and tapped my foot to let me know he was there just as I was heading into a flip turn.  It was too late to stop and instead of letting me finish the turn and pull aside, he decided to swim over me, effectively bonking me on the head.

I swam it off, annoyed, but not overly so, it was an accident.

We gave each other plenty of space there after.

I did not swim for a very long time, I realized when I got back to the house.

I probably spent more time in the last few days thinking about swimming than I actually did swimming.

Two things happened to cut short my swim-I got a cramp in my foot, then I got cramps in both my hands.

I wasn’t swimming fast, but I was stroking efficiently and kicking well, and my muscles have not had this kind of work out in a while.

The fact is I have not been swimming, lap swimming, for over three years.  I told myself I would be happy to get in 500 yards.  I lost count around 500 yards and probably did around 750.  Not bad.  Not great.  But not bad.

I am not going to be able to get right back into the pool and swim like I did on highschool swim team.  Just not going to happen.

But I can use the skills that I learned there to enjoy my time in the water.

Once I was in, and in the correct lane, I was asked to move by a life guard, turns out the open swim hours were only for three of the five lanes, I was at home pretty fast.

I could feel the water slip past and my anxieties about my body, about the language barrier, about my tattoos, all fell away after that first flip turn.

Pulling myself through the water and into a different mind-set.

I know it will continue to be a challenge to get into the pool and that made me laugh.

Laugh.

If you had told me a year ago that on my Sunday I would go see good people in the 15th and have coffee and hang out, then make a nice lunch at my place in the 9th after which I would write for a half hour, meditate, then go swimming at the pool a block away.

I would have said, dream come true.

If you had added then you’ll come back to your apartment, send out an agent query on your finished memoir and have tea.  After which you will wrap a new scarf around your neck, it’s cold out there, put your notebooks and a new novel in your bag and walk less than a quarter of a block to a cafe to write for another hour, then read over a hot cafe creme.

I would have said, you are joking, that is my dream.

Funny how living in reality is different from fantasy.

I got my fantasy.  I am here in Paris, I went for a swim, I worked on my book, I sat in a cafe, I read a book, I drank a hot creme and watched snow fall on the streets and the pavement gloss over with the glistening moisture shining with reflections from street lights.

I heard the babble of French voices in my ears and music I love, the sound track to the Triplets of Belleville, and then I came home and got to write some more.

Fuck me that’s brilliant.

Yet, allowing myself to have these things was hard and it is work and it is discipline.

My fantasy does not talk about the sore arms and the cramping muscles, it does not talk of the fear or the walking through.

But the reality does and in its own way proves better than the dream for the pain and effort taken to walk through.  The actual reality of having pursued a dream and continuing to let myself do so.

Even when it means having the life guard tell you to get out of the lane.

He was cute, anyhow.

My fantasy only sees the glide through the water.

My reality says the glide through the water is better for the work taken to get there.

My suit is drying on a rack.

My arms are sore.

My reality is better than any fantasy I can imagine.

Walking through the fear pays off.

Even if the only pay off I see right now is sore arms, they are sore because I did it.

I will continue to follow my bliss, co-ed locker rooms and showers be damned.

Piscine Municipal Paul Valeyre

February 9, 2013

Yup.

That’s right.

I bought the swim pass.

No I did not go swimming today, my schedule of events was such that I was too busy to get in it.  In other words, I have not yet worked up the balls to get nearly naked in front of a bunch of French people.

I am, however, getting there.

Here is the pool.

It is a half block walk from my house to the water.

The walk from the house to the pool was cold today.  It was so cold I nearly talked myself out of going to the pool to purchase the pass.

Like the pool is outdoors or something.

I got inside the front door to the sports centre and the warmth of the building snuggled right into my bones and some one, such timing, walked out the doors from the pool and a warm rush of chlorinated air washed over me and literally fogged my glasses up.

Ah, home.

I am a fish, a porpoise, a killer whale.

You think my shame from childhood has anything to do with being nicknamed “Bubba”  try this on for size, “Orca”.

Yeah, thanks mom.

What the fuck?

I should not have been allowed to see the movie when I was as young as I was and I still cannot believe my mom let me.  You think Jaw is bad, try Orca on for size.

Orca, The Killer Whale”.

What kind of nickname is that for a kid anyhow?

Especially a fat kid.

Again, thanks mom.

I was probably genetically inclined to an eating disorder, but this sort of stuff certainly does not hurt to reinforce the idea.

“You got a swimming pass!” She said with much excitement, “you are going to love it.”

“I am actually really nervous about it,” I said admitting my anxiety.

“Why?”  She looked at me quizzically.

I paused, “because I’m fat.” I thought in my head, then paused, this is not true, a feeling is not a fact, fat is not a feeling either, fyi.

I answered, “because I have a lot of tattoos.”

“Oh! That.  Whatever, have fun shocking them,” she said.

I still have body issues.

I may always have body issues.

But I am not fat.

I am big and I do have a body shape I am not always in love with, but I am more and more in like with.  I cannot control how I look.  Oh, I have tried.

I have really, really tried.

The things that work, still work, though.  And for that I am entirely grateful.  I have abstained for over three years from sugar and two and a half from flour.

Yes the smell of a boulangerie is tempting.

But not ever going back to wearing a sized 26/28 when I am a size 10 now.

Fuck.

What ever.

I got in the pool in Wisconsin when I was heavy.

I am just scared of a new experience.

I will probably enjoy the fuck out of it once I get in.

Follow your bliss, he said to me yesterday.

Yes.

Why is it, then, that it is sometimes, for me, for my brain, the hardest thing to do?

That which will make me happy I disallow myself to have it.

Acting as if I bought the pass.  Acting as if I bought the swim suit.  Acting as if I will go swimming tomorrow.  I will float through the water and sail through a flip turn and I will feel free and serene.

I will feel that all too familiar ache in my arms after doing a few hundred yards of freestyle.

I will feel transcendental.

A state I reach when I swim.

Some get it doing yoga or running.

I hit the sweet spot a few times doing Shaolin.

Every time I swim I get it.

I get a kind of lucid dreaming high.

Yet I am afraid to change my schedule or get up early or go do it.

I bought the pass and the swim suit and I know myself well enough to know that just that effort will get me to get into the pool.  I won’t waste the money.  When it’s been paid for I feel obligated to do it.  I know I will have fun.

Taking the plunge will be literally taking the plunge.

Tomorrow I will do what I usually do on Sundays then after I get home from my doing the deal I will go for a swim.  I will dip my toe in on the slowest day of the week and let myself enjoy it.

Then I will go to Odette and Aime and I will write.

Oops!

That reminds me, I need to send out an agency query, I have not yet done that today.

I did, however, make a trip over to the Left Bank after I had procured my swim pass and had lunch.  I was going to go to Shakespeare and Company, but I discovered the San Francisco Used Book Store.

Used English books!

Yes.

I got lost.

Yes.

I was looking at the map on my Iphone and something caught the corner of my eye, The Berkeley Book Store?

What the?

Turns out I was standing right in front of a used English titles book store.  It was not the one I was looking for, but it was right there.  I hopped on in and was enveloped in the arms of a bookstore, replete with a cranky older man with a little pot belly and glasses reading a book behind the counter.

Berkeley Books

Berkeley Books

The titles were sort of by alphabetical order.

Sort of.

I just perused the stacks and wandered.

It was lovely.

I picked up a used copy of Douglas Coupland’s “Miss Wyoming” and a copy of Zadie Smith’s “On Beauty.”

So happy to have new books to read.

Turns out that The San Francisco Book Store was only two blocks away.

Two used books stores with English titles in the same neighborhood.

Love.

I finished The White Review today.

I will be returning it to the lender tomorrow.  I am going to ask him if he has any other books to lend.

And perhaps work in there, “how old are you and do you want to go on a date?”

Ha.

Won’t matter if he says no, either.

I have a date to go for a swim.

In Paris.

 

Act As If

February 8, 2013

Done and done.

I went shopping for some things I needed.

Although I will say it was a little more challenging than I thought it would be and by the time I got to the store I wanted to buy an umbrella at, I was too overwhelmed to do anymore, even though I regretted not making that one last push.

When I got off the Cadet stop on the Metro it was raining/snowing/pouring.

I was soaked walking up the hill.

I was however, happily drenched.

Despite being a little cold and a little wet, I did pretty damn good today.

I took the leap, although not quite yet the plunge, into the pool.

I went to Decathlon and I bought a swim suit, a chamois, a swim cap, and a pair of goggles.

Can I just say that I win the brave ex-pat award of February 2013?

I won’t say for the whole year, but I win for February.

Yeah, I don’t care if you are proposing to your girlfriend under the Eiffel Tower with a 3 carat diamond ring on a surprise trip to Paris to canoodle on Valentines Day.

What I did today was far braver.

I went and tried on swim suits in a foreign country.

Tips: work you way up to it by sharing to your friends that you are going to get a swimming pass at the local pool.  Thus setting yourself up for the absolute need to not look like a flake or a fake or someone who says they are going to do something then don’t.

I believe this means being accountable to your decisions, but I look at it from the adolescent stand point of, shit I told my friends, I got to go through with it.

It’s like telling your best friend in high school you’re going to ask that one boy out, that one boy you have had a crush on since freshman year in highschool.

Then really doing it.

Tip: make sure you are not hungry, but also not too full.

I had a snack around 1:30pm, a couple of clementines and a small apple.  I met with a ladybug at Bert’s and after slaying some doing the deal, I traipsed down Avenue Merceau toward George V on the Champs Elysees to hop Metro line 1 to La Defense.

I knew I was going to need more sustenance to go shopping, really a kind of lunch, but I did not want to shake the confident feeling I had.  I knew I had to get out there while I was still in a spiritually sound frame of mind.

I hate spending a lot of dough out to eat in that neighborhood, everything is tourist price.

I slipped into a Monoprix and grabbed a bag of salted peanuts, a single serving portion of Elemental cheese, and a Pink Lady apple.  For  1.93 Euro.  Cheapest eats in town.

Thus fortified with some protein and a little sugar from the apple, I was ready to hit the sports store.

I had been in the store the previously, so I had an idea of where things were located.

I went straight to the swimming section and grabbed suits from the racks.

Tip: Do not buy the cheapest suit.

If you put your hand behind the suit and you can see through it, no good.  The chlorine is going to nibble that suit down and there is nothing worse than the swimmer with the gobbled up swim suit.

You know what I am talking about, every pool has that dude who is wearing some spandex swim pants that are worn out in the ass and you can see all that hairy glory.

Or the lady with the pink swim suit that is not lined, oh lady, what are you thinking.

I picked out the mid range suits.  I lusted momentarily for some of the top of the line.

There is no need for those suits right now, I just need one decent suit, I am not on swim team anymore, I am just a little old lady who is going to hop into the fast lane and annoy the faster swimmers.

A little old lady with a fuck ton of tattoos.

Tip: get a suit that doesn’t clash with tattoos.

I am going to get stared at.

I already know that, at least make sure the color is complimentary to the skin art.

Tip: get more than one style and size.

The one you think is going to be it, is usually not it.  I think my body looks different from it is.  I may be a medium most places, but in Paris I am often a large and I can let my ego get in the way or I can go up a size.

Tip: don’t be afraid to use bad French.

“Pardon madame, s’il vous plait, ou est les chambres pour utilisez les vetements?”

Ok, that was shit, try again.

But I got across what I was looking for and I found out the word for dressing room is “cabines”  which was handy to know as I also made a dash to H&M for socks today and I found a 5 Euro sweater that matched my tights I was wearing!  I also tried on a dress that was 5 Euro, even if you think it is perfect and it is only 5 Euro, still try it on.  The sweater was perfect and I might as well have burned a 5 Euro bill if I had bought the sale dress.  Knowing the word for dressing room saved me 5 Euro!

Tip: take off all your clothes to try on the suit.

Yeah, I know, tempting to leave something on, especially since la cabine was only a curtain and I was standing stark naked in the middle of a curtain with groups of men and women and children inches away from me.

Let’s talk nightmare, the image of standing in my birthday suit in a busy department store in Paris.

Yeehaw.

That got my adrenaline up just re-living the memory.

Tip: breathe.

You will not die.

I did not.

I found a suit, I got the goggles, I got the chamois, I picked up a swim cap and for, drum roll please: 39 Euro.

Fucking not bad.

My tax return treat is half fulfilled.

Now the really scary part, tomorrow going to the pool and buying the pass.  I am going to bring my suit with me, but I don’t promise to get in the pool, my palms are sweaty typing about it.

But I will buy the pass.

And if I don’t go swimming tomorrow I will certainly do so on Sunday.

I was also given the heads up that the pools are generally slow on Sundays.

I will continue to act as if everything is alright.

Because it already is.

Man, I can do anything if I can buy a swim suit in Paris.

Watch out world, here I come.


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