Sunday, January 18, 2009

You Can Dance...Every Dance With the Guy Who Gives You the Eye


Save the last dance for me.


Sunday night. I am wrapping things up before another work week. Because I try to limit airtime of the job here on ye olde Smoke, I will only say it's step two of Boundaries Training this week on the job scene--I am training myself to eat a HEALTHY lunch that I have prepared myself with love and minimum packaging. This week lunches consist of the following:
  • Sandwich on whole wheat with roasted bell peppers, roasted turkey breast, sunflower sprouts, spinach, and mustard
  • Carrot sticks
  • No Fat/Skim milk in a little Sigg
  • Honeycrisp Apple
  • Cloth napkin (treating myself to elegance AND saving the environment)
  • Sandwich and carrot sticks packed in Rubbermaid containers also to save the environment

In coming weeks I would like to pack a poem in there every day, like a love note to myself, but for now I'm still wading through a fat, creepy novel on the Kindle ("The Story of Edgar Sawtelle"), so I will allow myself that luxury during my lunch. When I start a new book then I'll pack the poetry. Or maybe just save the environment and pack the whole damn book of poems.

All this fuss is occuring because it occurs to me that this year is feeling a lot like last year. I'm trying to stay afloat, when it should be EASIER. And I continually make it harder. Yes, I said I make it harder. I go to Facebook and watch 20 people have the life I wanted 17 years ago. I go to the New York Times and watch 750,000 people in Washington having the adventure that I traded everyone else's Facebook life for, and I'm not having that life, either.

So today wasn't church and a movie to write about. Today was about making peace with boring Jo that I want to spend time with.

I got up and made myself breakfast. I wrote the morning. I walked to Andronico's listening to music in the sunshine and loaded up two bags of fresh food for the week--I should be able to get away without eating out for all meals but two (my writing nights--I don't want to pack a football cooler for those two days, so I'll give myself the luxury of eating out on art nights). I took a lot of deep breaths today, stopping anger, loneliness, the thickest parts of stillness. I was pleasant to clerks, despite finding bananas at the bottom of the cloth grocery bags. Ah...bruised...who cares? It's still whole. I drank lots of fluids. I took my chances with peanut butter and laughed on it. I checked Cake Wrecks and laughed on that. And I finished an age-old New Yorker from last year.

I can exercise whenever I want and eat whatever makes me healthy without worrying about whether the family will like it. I don't have the Facebook life, which is good for something this year--I can eat healthy without excuse and exercise without abandoning my world.


There's a wonderful columnist/writer that I found on Slate last week, Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen has a rather saccharin-sounding blog entitled The Happiness Project. Normally I would see something like that, glance at it for the bullshit factor, and then move on (reminder: I'm not much on self-help since Mom passed--too close to the Chicken Soup fairy tales with no happy ending, I guess), but this one seems to have me hooked for the moment. She's on a quest and for the moment she's not laying out the Keys TO ALL SECRETS OF THE WORLD in a book. (That comes later, and NO, I'm not buying the book. I don't buy those things, 'member?) Her blog not only shows you how she literally gets inspiration from ANYWHERE, but she encourages you to find happiness ANYWHERE too. About a half hour with her and I read novels like a kid just given a crystal dish full of sugar-jeweled and soft gumdrops--I enjoy words by taste and linking and relish the pleasure like a glutton. She makes it okay to be happy with what you are happy with, more or less.

If you think I'm recommending this site you are absolutely right. This ain't no sermon, chile, but it certainly made me feel good in my own skin again. Her blog is a relief, and not in a false-net-under-the-trapeze sort of way. Our loves will change. She sees this. Just look around, though--can you see your life? What are you happy with? What would you change? She doesn't have the six steps to change it. She wants you to discover how your body/mind/soul works to want to change it.

As always, I bungle the descriptions, but the reason for the bungling? My lit advisor in college always said: "If you can easily describe it, it's not the best, really, is it?"

So I save the last dance...the best dance...the one who takes me home for a project of sandwiches and poetry and boundaries...the last dance is for me.

Sleep well, dear reader.

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