I’m up and at ’em fairly early this morning, even though I didn’t sleep terribly well last night, so I have some time to talk.
I wanted to start this blog to reclaim my fabulosity (yes, I know that’s not a word). But I had become bogged down with grief, totally isolated, depressed, fat, wearing dumpy clothes, my house was in chaos, my children were in chaos. I was resenting the hell out of my mother,and I wasn’t enjoying much of anything, including my writing.
Well, time for an update. Getting bogged down with grief — my sister had died two years previously (after brother, close cousin, adopted away niece, brother, nephew, and father) and I was stuck with my mother, who was a narcissist with a history of raging mental illness). Well, my mother died that first year, meaning I didn’t have to resent her any more, but it didn’t do a whole lot for the grieving. It’s taken a little longer to get that under control. When the people you love (and yes, that was an astonishing thing I discovered — my mother actually did love me. And I actually did love her). Anyway, when people you love die, the grief never leaves you entirely. You live with this little empty spot in your heart, but you do your best to fill the rest of you with joy. Some people can, some people can’t. Fortunately I’m one of those people who can.
Totally isolated — well, you’ve watched me change that. The first year I saw they were doing Sound of Music and you know me and nuns. I wanted to be a nun! I thought I’d just sing in the chorus, but I ended up with a bunch of lines and some solo singing and had a great time. The next year they had a role picked out for me, though they wanted me to try out, and then this year I didn’t even have to try out. It takes a huge amount of time, a huge amount of energy, but there are all these wonderful people and I love them all, particularly Charlie our directory (he’s about 23 and already been nominated for a Tony). Theater people hug you. I love being hugged. My only problem is my cousin Helen, but I’ll talk about her tomorrow.
Depressed — well, that comes and goes. We fiddle with the meds and hope my kids don’t explode (one is close) and I do my best. It’s all I can do.
Fat. Ah, well. I’ve done what I usually do. I lost about 30 pounds and then gained twenty of them back, bringing me to a lower set point. That’s not how it usually works — most people lose an amount, regain it all and add ten pounds. But it’s frustrating. I’m in really bad pain (my knees are so swollen and I can barely walk, so I save all my walking for the play). If I could take forty pounds off them it would make such a big difference. For the first time I’m playing with surgery. Amanda, one of the people who’s usually in the play, had it last year and she says it’s been wonderful. So I may go for a conversation, just to discuss it. I’m so tired of feeling wretched. But that’s for later.
However — I’m off diet sodas and artificial sweeteners for good! That’s an amazing accomplishment for me, given my life-long addiction to sodas, and I should be very proud. Right now I’m getting more exercise than I can handle with the play but when it’s done it’s back to the pool I go.
I’ve given away a third of my clothes and have another third to go (Mean Cousin Helen on Saturday: “How many skirts do you own?” in a slightly contemptuous voice). My house is in far worse chaos than it’s ever been but that’s because we’re trying to get rid of things and pack things up and we’ve taken out furniture that used to hold things etc.) It’s a work in progress.
As for my children — what can I do? They’re a mess, I do what I can, but I watch them do these stupid, self-destructive things. I guess that’s what being a parent of grown children have to do. Tim’s messed up his relationship with Erin and he’s sleeping on our couch, Kaim is in love and uprooting her entire life (though she’ll finally graduate). We still support them too much. But we’re making out plans to escape. (More on that later).
And damn, I love writing. Which is sort of what fuels everything, literally (financially) and spiritually. And when the writing is a joy (or even if it’s not a gift book like this one but one I love, and I love most of them) then as long as I write I can handle anything. I need to write for my own mental health. Maybe I need that release – to force my own emotions through the Magic bullet into a giant smoothies of a dark romance (how’s that for imagery? I was going for “crucible” and then I wanted to vomit at my own pretentiousness so I went to the absurd).
I’m closer with Jenny and Lani than I’ve ever been, too, in the last two and a half years, and that’s been a gift.
So, for this week. I’ll just keep on trucking’. I’ll rehearse like crazy, we open on Thursday, I’ll try too write, try not to hurt too much, watch the food intake (I turn now chips and things like that when offered at rehearsals). It’s the final week of madness, and then we’ll settle down (three performances a week through 8/14).
But I’ve learned a lot. I’ve regained a huge amount of joy and fabulousness through the plays, and whether it matters or not a lot of people are realizing how fabulous I am.
So how are you going to be fabulous this week? What do you have to slog through, and can you make that fabulous, or can you find a bit of fabulosity (I guess that really is a word, since word check doesn’t turn it red) in your weekly grind?