Monday, September 06, 2010
I know I said, on Monday past, that I wanted to clean out the corners of my life that were filled with unwanted, unused, irrelevant clutter, making my life cleaner, crisper, more real. Ha! I didn't think I'd have to deal with some unwanted clutter from my childhood. Events last week really shook my world, uncovering some deeply embedded bad juju and slappin' me upside the head with painful memories. Not the mental memories we carry in our heads, but the physical memories that actually make you start to shiver and gasp for breath. Big Deal Family crisis with a very difficult parent stirred up some stuff that I had thought had been put neatly in its place. Evidently not. Some things, those fundamental things that define you early on, still have power to make your body quake with emotions. They can cast a look on your face or arrange your limbs into unmistakable poses that speak as loudly as words.
Right now I feel like I was caught in a flash flood and carried way down the valley, tumbled with all the detritus the waters had already picked up, pretty bruised and shaky. I 'm not exactly sure where I landed nor exactly where I'll end up as this situation plays out, but there are things I know.
I left a bad thing behind me 40 years ago
I chose a clean good path and lived it for decades
I didn't pass on that bad thing to another generation
I decided when I was very little that I would never let anybody make me a victim and I never have.
Needless to say - in this difficult situation my food choices have not always been so hot and exercise has been a little short changed. But only for a day or two, and even on those days I managed to drink lots of water and get in a little gentle walking. I see some tricky steps ahead ... or to continue the metaphor, I see some rapids ahead that i'm going to have to steer through, but I think I've got what it takes to make it to calm waters safely.
At almost 60 I'm surprised to be caught up in the same horrible situation I was in as a teenager. There's something almost bizarre about it - like being in a surreal time travel movie or a long bad dream. But dreams and movies are not real and they aren't what I choose to play around in either. If I have to walk away from the last dregs of a bad thing, well, there you have it. I did it before. I can do it again.
Monday, August 30, 2010
First off - I want to recommend Meralo's blog post - because it's good and because - coming from almost exactly the opposite direction, she has arrived at the same place I am.
A lot of threads have been coalescing around me, ready, I am sure, to weave themselves into a new cloth. It's a strange, but delightful sensation. I thought I'd try to lay them out and identify them.
I've been reading and listening to a lot of books this summer, most of them about pushing through the cobwebs and dust of the status quo into a more fulfilling place. This is common in late August as the summertime winds down and we gear up for all the busy-ness that's autumn. Fall explodes on my life with the first of September - my BirthdayMonth (which I celebrate all month) but it is followed swiftly by professional meetings, holidays, anniversaries and civic events. Although my summers are always busy - as they are for all public librarians - my autumns are BUSY.
At the same time, I have a friend who is preparing to move out of a house she's lived in for 15 years and move to a new city, a new job, a new life. As she winnows out the chaff of her life, she's left with just the gold - the pure clean useful kernels of what she needs in her new situation. And I am both envious and inspired by how sleek things will be for her when she finally settles into her new place.
For all that I have been wrestling and not wrestling with weight and size issues, I have been pretty much the same size for about 4 years - and it was about 4 years ago I bought 4 cotton poplin skirts that have become my summer work uniform. They're slightly casual, but with the right top they can pass as business attire in my rural and very casual community. Now - I take pretty good care of my clothes but even the best things wear out and as I pressed these skirts this weekend I realized that not even the heaviest steam iron is going to erase the signs of wear on these skirts. They're kaput and when cool weather comes they will not be stored till next year. I will have to replace them come springtime. And while I love to go shopping and I enjoy buying new clothes, the thought of bringing One More Thing into this house is overwhelming.
Which brought to mind a statement in The Spark - Get rid of stupid stress - and I realized that I have been lazily hording stupid stress all over the house. I have too much clutter and too much yarn, too many magazines, too many books, too many unidentified photos, all the family papers from my parents house ..... the common thread here is excess. So much I can't enjoy any of it. So much, I have abandoned an entire room in my house to it. And because I am tolerating all this stupid stress in my physical setting, it's no wonder I'm tolerating it on my body.
And so I spent the whole weekend uncluttering. I started in the bathroom where the cabinets had filled so that they had begun debouching their contents onto the floor. Tossing all those almost empty bottles of "perfectly good body lotion" (oh la - what a Virgo thing to think) and expired antihistamines not only left me with a usable collection of products but also prompted some storage solutions for all this stuff.
As a reward for cleaning out the bathroom cabinets I dove into my yarn stash - just the Spare Bedroom Stash, mind you - not the other stuff. (fellow knitters will know) That was a more daunting task but I am now slightly more organized and, if no longer filled with that first flush of passion for Cleanitis, certainly more sure than ever that I am on the right path. That if I get real with my surroundings I will probably also get real with my body.
And so - both Meralo and I have seen that we often treat our bodies the way we treat our surroundings. If we are callous and thoughtless - either by senselessly tossing out the useful or by hoarding every last morsel and crumb - in one area of life - we are very likely to be so in another.
May your life and your body be sleekly maximized with zero stupid stress.
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