I’m inside today. It rained.
My favorite minister had a saying. I think it was based on a joke about someone talking to a man with a performing bear act in a circus, and he asked how hard it was. The answer was, “somedays you eat the bear, somedays the bear eats you.”
Yesterday the bear at me. After a marvelous afternoon with the Avengers and dinner at Olive Garden, things came crashing down with a vengeance. My child had a crisis, my son was blowing up at home, yelling over the phone at his GF for an hour while Richie just kept out of the way, and I fell apart at this end. We have a real, intrinsic need for Jenny & Lani & I to go to the aquarium together, plus i simply couldn’t face packing. Couldn’t face moving. Even a rewatching of Simon Baker in “Something New” couldn’t do it for me.
So I’m a mess. I was too worn out to make up my mind when to fly out — Thursday or Saturday or Monday. Monday’s the cheapest. I hate like hell to leave Richie on the front lines but he told me to take as long as I need (and was surprised when I said I’d come back on Thursday — he encouraged me to stay longer. Richie is the finest man in the universe).
So. Like Martin Luther, here I sit, I shall not be moved. (Jenny and I both grew up as Lutherans). I need to stop crying all the time. I need to calm down and sort myself out today, figure out a plan, etc. Sweetness graduates today so I think I’ll hunker down and work while they go to the graduation. I’ll get the proposal finished and then start in on the new book, I’ll lose myself in my world. And I’ll figure out how the hell to deal with my world falling apart around me.
When children are little they want to run away from home but they don’t have the wherewithal. Richie and I really really want to run away from home. From our kids and responsibilities — we just need to get the hell out of Dodge. But we can’t. Because somewhere along the way, when we weren’t looking, we became grown-ups. We can’t run away.
So I’ll look at cheap flights and see what I can do about my meds. And soldier on.
Sorry I’m late — I got up and we had to have a family confab about my son (the three of us, son and Richie and me) but it’s all good. He’s pretty frustrated by work and by the wretched shape of his body. He has a lot of back and knee issues, and yet he needs to earn his living via physical labor given his relatively severe learning difference, which we now simply call dyslexia since there’s less of an onus on that. His are worse, involving math, etc., but dyslexia will do. A lot of his past drug issues (pretty much over since he’s been with my DIL) were self-medicating his feelings of inadequacy.
But I digress. So he’s interested in big equipment school, and that seems a great option for him. He’s always liked machines — obsessed with tractors when he was a toddler, loved snowmobiles and go-carts and 4-wheelers. When he works at the mountain he loved the snowcat, etc. So this is a good option.
The schools are outside of Portland, OR and Madison, WI. We have family near both places. The prices aren’t too expensive, there are loans, plus he probably qualifies for Voc-Rehab. He’d have to be gone 6 weeks, and that worries him, but he needs to have a career, not just do odd jobs and mowing lawns and making snow (the latter is fun but it only lasts 3 months a year).
He’s going to meet with a councilor at the state (we have lots of job training help here in VT) and he’s got some education money from working both the Nevada and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (working in the woods, making trails, moving boulders — he loved it).
Really, the perfect job for him would be forest ranger or something in one of the big western parks, but his GF won’t leave here or her family.
But this would be a good option, and I’m hopeful. We just have to help him find the money to pay for it.
So I’m starting off the day feeling energized and hopeful.
I wrote four thousand words yesterday! I haven’t written that much as my daily quota in a long, long time. (When I’m finishing up I write huge amounts of stuff, but a regular daily amount is usually 2k or less). So I was stoked, plus I got to play with Alex for a while. Good times.
I’m going to have to leave my lovely fictional world, though, the place I’ve been living for the past few weeks. I’ve written almost 100 pages and it’s time to send it off into the world and see if anyone loves it. And next week I start on contracted work, which I also love.
The thing is, two guarantees of my feeling good are my kids being happy, positive and having a plan (the son) and working. I can’t control whether anyone else in my life is happy, but when they are everything goes up a notch.
What I can control is my work. I only feel good when I’m writing, and I’ve been writing steadily. I can shut out all the other worries, at least temporarily.
It’s funny that it’s taken me so long to figure out what I need to do to feel good. I need to work. It’s that simple.
Are other people like that? Have one simple thing that makes everything else bearable? I know for some people it’s exercise. If they walk, or run, daily, it gives them the endorphins and the peace of mind to work through everything.
For other’s it’s a nightly glass of wine and quiet time. Or rocking your baby.
In fact, all those things are good.
I’d like to come up with a list of zen-inducing activities, just in case I’m between books and can’t write. For me it starts with writing and goes from there:
3. Hugging Alex
4. … sewing?
5. for Jenny it would be crocheting
6. For Lani, knitting. and maybe her evening glass of wine with Alastair
7. For Lani it’s probably sex with Alastair but I don’t think that’s an option for the rest of us.
Any more ideas? The more the merrier, since Alastair is out of the question.
I’m rushing around looking for last minute things like my tarot cards (writing exercise) and the new Tom Tom and my brilliant Kindle that Jenny decorated, but I’m popping in to announce the wonderful news that I weigh 237.5. Now most of you will see that and go, oh, no, she gained a pound and a half, and give me words of encouragement.
But the thing is, I’m an old hand at this game. And weight never simply plummets. Well, it does if you weigh once a week, I suppose, but the scale tends to be my friend. When it was giving me trouble last month it was trying to tell me something, namely that I was eating too much, even if it was healthy.
So I pop on every day or so, just to remind myself that I need to be honest.
And the brilliant thing is, I never trust low weights. I finally cracked the 230s (squeaking down to 239) and that was lovely, and then everything went to hell and I didn’t eat and had … er … gastrointestinal upset (we’ll have to decide how honest we want to be about such things) so I knew I’d be down a lot and I was 236. Which I didn’t trust. So getting on the scale and being at 237.5 feels like a real triumph, a real weight. It’s not going to go up from there — well, you never can tell given water weight etc. but it’s unlikely. It’s going to go down. And I can now celebrate being well and solidly out of the 240’s, not just dipping down or being freaked out.
So I’m off to the wilds of Syracuse with a happy heart. The child situation seems to have stabilized again, which reminds me — I’ll talk about anger when I have time. It’s a loaded issue for me, and for a lot of you too, and at the heart of my relationships with my mother and son.
Because this year is about losing weight, and decluttering my house, and getting healthy (oh, god, colonoscopy here we come), getting finances in order, creating fun things, trying new projects, and getting my relationships in healthy order.
All this refurbished fabulousness just waiting to burst forth.
Nothing but good times ahead.
Hey, does life with Cats and Dogs also cover our families? Trauma erupted last night, brewing between my son and his fiancee, who is the best thing that ever happened to him. He’s going to lose her because he’s being such an asshole, and there’s nothing I can do about it.
Let go and let god. That was always the hardest part of the 12 steps for me. Step number three, … forget the exact words, but it’s turning things over to a higher power, because we admit that we can’t deal with it any more. I do that. I turn things over. And then I always take them back. Continue reading