Friday, May 27, 2005

The new deal

I am having trouble with balance. I am tending to look after others before — way before — looking after myself. There are things I want: to exercise daily, to eat well, to rewrite my novel, to spend time with Taco, to have a nice house, to deal with my grief and assorted other issues. But so far, I haven’t been able to balance all those desires, all those needs. Or maybe, I haven’t been trying particularly hard to do so.

In fact, it’s possible I’ve been paddling pretty furiously in the exact opposite direction.

Why would I do this? Who the hell knows?

Am I worth the trouble it would be to balance all these sometimes-competing desires? The intellectual part of me says hell yeah. The other part? The part that lately makes a lot of my decisions? That part is not as sure. In fact, that part, quite possibly, says no, probably not.

It pains me to even write those words. It pains me to admit that there’s a part of me that is small and fucked up and spends its time finding ways to sabotage the efforts the rest of me makes. I used to think I’d made friends with that fucked up part, that I’d found a way for us to live together and all. I thought I’d found a way to acknowledge that part, but also to wrest the power away from it, to put it in its place. A very small, insignificant place.

But then, I guess it’s been a while since I tried to do something so…difficult, yes, but also so demanding of change. Of honesty. Of self-searching. Not that it took much self-searching to bring my old nemesis, the Nay-sayer, to the surface. Apparently, she was lurking there all the while. Waiting for an opportunity to gain the upper hand again.

And the opportunity is definitely there. I am feeling weak, in many, many ways. Emotionally, I’m tired. Grieving is hard work, especially when you pretend it’s not happening. Physically, I feel like my body is falling apart. I cut myself definitively on the weekend, sawed into my flesh as if it were the loaf of sourdough I was cutting. And now my left index finger is bent and sore and swollen, and maybe I should have gone for stitches after all because I cannot straighten the top third of it. The battle with the yeast beast continues. I feel like I am always on the verge of a yeast infection, plus I have cystic-acne-like eruptions in a couple of places…boy, aren’t you glad you stopped by Mighty Mighty today? My hair is still thinning, which I find extremely distressing, even though no one can tell but me because my hair is so thick to begin with.

It would be very easy, right now, to just lay all these burdens down.

Except what would that prove? And who would that help? Physically, it will not make me feel better to stop working out, and to start eating crap. Emotionally, it will not serve me to accept defeat.

And so, I have gone the other way. I have flipped into planning mode, my happiest mode of all. There is a plan, people. Which is not unusual. I almost always have a plan. But the best thing about this plan (which I realise needs some kind of snappy name. I am working on that) is that Taco, the least planningest person I’ve ever known, is the mastermind. Taco! It is to laugh! And yet, behold the goodness of this plan:

· Continue with yoga/pilates every work day morning
· Taco will prepare suppers of my choosing each afternoon so that I don’t have to a) cook when I get home and b) freak out that I can’t eat what he’s made
· Not having to cook supper means I can get to the gym at least four evenings a week…
· Where I will do a combination of classes I enjoy, and nice mindless treadmill walking, because walking helps me think
· On Saturdays, we will go for walks by the water, which will serve two purposes: one, exercise for the day; and two, grief-management homework assigned by shrink and not yet touched or even thought about constructively by me
· On Sundays, I will write. Or edit. Whichever seems most pressing, book-wise. Meanwhile, Taco will attend to the housecleaning etc.
· And finally, on Sunday afternoons, there will be a treat outing. Like, to a matinee. But no movie popcorn, because movie popcorn is the devil in a bag. Because you might as well eat SIX BIG MACS as eat a bag of movie popcorn, and that’s without the golden topping, and if you didn’t know that, now you do. So we will take our own excellent snacks like cherries, which can kick the ass of movie popcorn all around the snackbar any day of the week anyhow.

If that’s not a plan that’s bursting with goodness, well, I guess I don’t know what goodness is. As Taco pointed out this morning while devising this plan, he is basically a house-husband, except that I’ve been taking on most of the cooking and house chores. Why? Because I am OBSESSED that’s why. And because being obsessed with the house and looking after it and him means I don’t have to think about things I’d rather not, like why I’m shying away from dealing with my grief, and my weight, and my writing, and my SELF.

Ha-ha! Well, there’ll be no more of that! Seriously, though, I’ve been putting it off, putting it all off, for probably fairly goodish emotional reasons, but those emotions kind of aren’t helping me go forward in…well, in ANY way. So. The Goodness Plan. It goes into motion today.


Blogger canknitian said...

First, good timing on the movie popcorn comment. I'm going to see Madagascar tomorrow and might have made that "fat"-al error.

Second, thank you for your comment over at RTA. It's...encouraging to know that not everyone thinks I'm spinning completely out and that things aren't totally hopeless, etc. I am such a perfectionist that I don't seem to be able to get away from it. Like it or not, in myself, imperfect equals failure. Ridiculous, I know. Thanks for reminding me of that and more. It has been a crappy couple of weeks and your comment helped turn me around a bit. And, like you said (paraphrasing like crazy here), a bit is better than none at all.

Third (now who's the long commenter?), I'm glad you're taking care of yourself. Between your comment and this entry, I feel a big urge to go for coffee and shoot the shit with you. If I start walking now, I might be there by Sunday. Which Sunday? I'm not sure. This one if I stop at my Mum's and convince her to drive me the rest of the way, and next Sunday if I do the whole thing on foot. :)

Take care,

11:42 PM  

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