So, in the past week I have had about a 4-day midlife crisis, followed by the discovery of Amanda Palmer’s “In My Mind” song and video, which triggered 2 days of feeling pretty goddamn good about myself; a feeling which involved various vows and “realizations” such as “If you want to weigh less you just need to exercise more and eat fewer potato chips” and “It’s really all up to you, and what you do or don’t do is actually a choice in any particular direction.”
So I tackled the piles of crap on my table and did all of my grading and cleaned off my dresser (okay, I was looking for an iPod cord that I still haven’t found, but I did clean off the dresser; I’m really tired of being “someone who loses things”) and captured all of the dust bunnies in the living room and dug out my list of topics I’ve wanted to blog about, including:
an NPR report on the adverse effects on children’s attention spans from watching SpongeBob SquarePants (who knew?) and the benefit of watching shows like Sesame Street (which my more-than-the-average-boy-ADD son could not tolerate) and Caillou (whiny bald child; helicopter and apparently-unemployed parents)
there’s some activity in the direction of taxing sugar in sugary drinks and snacks in an effort to turn back the trend which points toward 1 in 3 children being diabetic and 1 in 2 adults being obese by the year 2030 (how about we also get rid of all the excess sugar in even the most minimally-processed foods like yogurt and “healthy” cereals and granola bars, and spaghetti sauce; while we’re at it, how about NO MSG ANYWHERE!!!???!!!)
how great it felt to do yoga this morning, including side planks and a pretty long headstand (against the wall, but still) and a kick-ass Pincha Mayurasana preparation pose that I love, where you’re on your forearms with your heels against the wall and you walk your feet up the wall until your body makes an upside-down L and you stay there feeling abdominal and arm muscles you had forgotten you had
(someday I will do this, just like that, without the wall and everything!)
there’s evidence that, contrary to popular (and my occasional) opinion, adolescent brains aren’t actually “damaged,” they just evaluate risk against benefit differently, and because the “benefits” they are evaluating are relatively elusive and/or unimportant to most adults, this evaluation still ends up leading to what looks an awful lot like risky behavior.
I even have a probably-not-that-profound-or-unusual revelation that I should stop evaluating my successes and/or failures in terms of what I have or have not accomplished, but in the fact that I have never stopped wanting to learn and challenge myself and grow — that life might actually be more in the seeking than it is in the finding (I know, duh, right?)
And then I go try on clothes to wear to a wedding we’re going to this weekend. And not one of my “dressy dresses” fits.
Of course everything in my husband’s closet still fits — he has suits he bought in the 80s, that, if you overlook the excessive shoulder padding and plethora of pleats, (ah, the 80s), still look pretty darn good. And, they fit him. This isn’t fair. Yeah, he eats way more healthfully than I do, and he exercises vigorously and regularly, and drinks gallons of water every day, and all of this only makes me feel worse because I know what I need to do and I still don’t do it. Okay, so maybe it is fair.
I’ll spare you all the saga of weight lost and found again, and a recounting of each outfit tried on and rejected, although maintaining a certain level of stress, or living and working outside in cold climates (fishermen, Norway) can produce “brown fat,” which reputedly increases metabolic rates. Don’t think I haven’t considered it.
The discussion about the “shapewear” I was hoping would help was amusing, basically Husband asking me “Is this ‘Spanx’?” and me answering (in between gasps as I tried to breathe while being suffocated by my underwear), “Yeah, but it doesn’t seem to be working very well.”
It is interesting to me what a blathering idiot we can turn into when we feel, as I put it, “old and lumpy.”
I’m also trying to spare myself the 5-year plans, and to remember that not only must we live in the moment (there isn’t really any other option), but that the bitterest irony of all is to look back and realize the person you weren’t happy with being was actually the best version of you you could be at the time.
So, let’s keep it simple: more time on the treadmill, more yoga, more water, fewer potato chips.
A couple of questions, though:
Is it bad to decide to feel good about how you look because the person you love the best loves how you look? Isn’t this supposed to come from yourself first?
Would I look ridiculous if I got a tattoo? I want a little swoosh of stars around my ankle. Maybe something like this.
But I never, ever, want to look ridiculous.
Oh, and tomorrow, I might be shopping for a dress.