2021-05-03 Thinking About What’s Got Me Down is Like Having Bronchitis

It may not be the same for everyone, but the struggle is real. It’s a popular saying for a reason. 

I’m constantly having internal conversations with myself that I can’t seem to quit having. There’s no resolution that I can see or feel and it puts my brain on spin cycle and it’s wearing me down. Like a rock in a rock tumblr. 

In a way I wish I could just turn it off. But there’s no off button for that except the ultimate off button and I’m not ready for that. I’m thinking of a Cake song.. “End of the Movie”. 

***

People you love

Will turn their backs on you

You’ll lose your hair

Your teeth

Your knife will fall out of its sheath

But you still don’t like to leave before the end of the movie

People you hate will get their hooks into you

They’ll pull you down

You’ll frown

They’ll tar you and drag you through town

But you still don’t like to leave before the end of the movie

No, you still don’t like to leave before the end of the show

People you hate will get their hooks into you

They’ll pull you down

You’ll frown

They’ll tar you and drag you through town

But you still don’t like to leave before the end of the movie

No, you still don’t like to leave before the end of the show

***

I recognize I’m responsible for my own happiness, and my own sorrow but I don’t know how to handle myself. I’ve been self medicating with certain indulgences—eating and drinking mostly. These temporarily soothe but once the moment has passed, I’m left with regret and deciding to “start new tomorrow,” with a cleaner way of living. 

I don’t find joy in the the things I like to do or in trying new things. My tried and true go-to set list is not working. Music, exercise, planning future activities, gardening. Typically writing all about how I’m feeling, here and now, from my beloved treadmill would improve my mood or at least help me get to the point where something makes sense. 

When do I write the lines that spark the lightbulb above my head and I get the answers I’m searching for? I guess not yet. 

Repeating lines inside my head:

  • It’s just a funk and I’ll snap out of it naturally. 
  • It’s just hormones and I’ll snap out of it naturally. 
  • Tomorrow will be different. 
  • If I get better sleep I’ll feel better. 
  • I should cut out alcohol.
  • Remember last year at this time when I was working full time and miserable and had a problem taking lorazepam and was feeling really horrible? Life is way better now so what gives? 
  • I’m being too hard on myself. 
  • I’m not doing enough with my life. 
  • I’m a failure parenting my kids. 
  • I’m a bad wife. 
  • I just want to lose 10 pounds. 
  • I’m struggling with my dependence on another person. 
  • Why can’t I just enjoy my life? 
  • I’ve got everything I ever wanted.. why aren’t I happy? 
  • I should talk to my husband about how I’m feeling. But he’s got more important things to attend to. 
  • Who else can I talk to? Maybe I need a counselor or therapist. 
  • What should I do now?

I wrote a poem last week, the first I’ve written in a while. I had to go to an accountant to sign my taxes. Maybe my problem today (and all damn weekend) has to do with a tangentially related happenstance. Probably. Everything is related. Here’s a link to the poem: https://shyspark.com/2021/04/30/before-i-sign-my-2020-taxes/

I have a ton of stuff to get done today and can’t simmer on any of this anymore. Ain’t nobody got time for that. 

Until tomorrow,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-04-17 On the Eve of the Next Big Adventure

If I had to pick a theme for my life lately it would be “Practicing the Art of Letting Go.” So many things have slid off my radar and the biggest thing I feel like I’ve let go of is worrying about all of it. In that sense, it’s been quite positive. 

It’s definitely not like me. I typically check my steps several time a day and tend to scramble at 8pm if I’m close to my goal and check my sleep first thing when I wake up and check my cardio duration at the end of a workout. But not lately. Lately I’m not checking like I normally would.

I also typically spend a lot of time focusing on my eating and drinking habits and general productivity. It’s just how I move about the world, with the goal of living a healthier life. It’s part of what this blog is about—the daily musings of a girl who is just trying to figure it all out.

But even this blog has been neglected lately. Neglected is such a negative word and that’s the wrong way to frame this post. I’m actually reflecting on the phenomenon of my “letting go” lately and thinking very positively about it. 

It’s one thing to check in on ones self to make sure good choices are being made. It’s another altogether to take it to a level akin to obsession. Now I’m not saying I’m necessarily obsessed with my “stats” but I have been known to run around the house at 9pm to hit my step goal.

I’m not sure what has changed lately to cause me to care a little less about stats and productivity and meeting certain expectations, but whatever it is, it’s been a breath of fresh air. 

Perhaps it’s the arrival of spring or maybe that I’ve been getting better sleep and don’t feel as exhausted all the time. Perhaps it’s the choke hold of Covid being loosened or finally accepting my new role as full time household engineer. Perhaps it’s pondering my moms new diagnosis (stage 3C ovarian cancer) and realizing that life is too short to worry all damn day about what you are doing or not doing or eating or not eating.

Maybe it’s the combination of all of this, but whatever it is, I’ll take it. New Burdens have been placed upon me this year and others have been lifted. Lately I’m just rolling with the punches and not worried about “success” so much. It’s a great feeling. 

I’m being kind to myself, and forgiving. And I’m not putting guilt on myself like I normally would when I have not met my own expectations. It’s glorious. 

And today?? Today my focus is shifting into vacation mode. Today I’m packing and gathering all the plans I’ve compiled for the coming week into an organized document to share with my love as we skip town. 

Tomorrow I’m getting on an airplane for the first time since my honeymoon which was just before Covid lockdowns began in early 2020. Tomorrow I’m taking “letting go” to the next level and that, too, is glorious.

So the next post, if there’s time, will be posted from a yet undisclosed location somewhere in the United States. It could be anywhere folks… and you’ll have to check back to find out where. 😉

On that note, my time is up today and I’ve got to get packing. 

Cheers to letting go, loving yourself, and embracing the next adventure one moment at a time,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-03-30 Woe is the Melancholy Way

Today is the first day in 3 weeks I haven’t had to either go to the ER, the hospital, or my moms house. My sister is driving from Denver as I type this and I feel a weight lifting. 

Last night everyone at my house was otherwise occupied doing their own thing and I took the opportunity to drive out to Flannigan Lake to watch the sunset alone. No talking, walking, music, or writing. Just me and the sounds of nature as the sun slid behind the hill on the opposite side of the lake. 

The sunset was entirely unremarkable, but the moment was still emotional. It could have been a hormone surge or the release after holding my breath for three damn weeks or just a general sadness listening to the prairie birds’ song light up like a signal fire, one after the other, all around me. 

Their coded message traveled from across the lake through the grass field I was sitting criss-cross-applesauce on to the unplowed soybean and corn fields to the north. A trill tale that ended with the start of a response elsewhere. 

I watched one land on a tall reed shooting out of the lake. The reed swayed with the weight of the bird as it gripped the vertical stem. The silhouette of the scene stark with the setting sun behind it. At that moment I thought I should write a poem about it. 

One second later I thought myself out of the idea. Who cares anyway. What’s the point. It’s all just meaningless. That might be what made me want to cry. 

Later that night I had a talk with Jim. I didn’t mention the birds or have the sky looked after the sun had set or the meaningless feelings but I did tell him I felt sad and couldn’t explain why. He just said he understood, and that it made sense to him. 

I’m glad it makes sense to someone. 

I’m not sure where the last 90 minutes have gone. I’ve barely written anything and haven’t yet achieved my daily step goal. But it’s past 10am and I’ve got lots to catch up on so this is gonna be it today. 

Peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-26 Dealing With Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde

I’ve been awake since before 3am. What time I don’t know because I’ve been told looking at the clock is waking up my brain. Ok. So the first time I looked at the clock was about 3:15am. It’s not the light of the clock waking up my brain. I’m pretty sure my brain does that all on its own.

I had a slight headache and think it might be the alcohol consumption from last night. That could have something to do with the not sleeping well. It’s not rocket science, but what came first? The drinking or the poor sleep? No matter.. these are not the thoughts that consume me at 3 and 4 and 5am. Nope.

What is it then? I had a brief conversation with Jim last night where I was lamenting about my thoughts always being consumed with something. In my margarita’d state I described a pac man that was chomping furiously through my mind perpetually consuming my thoughts. I’ve got a limited amount of dots, you know, on the screen everyday and the pac man is always navigating the map of my brain, searching and chomping.. rounding corner after corner, chomping and searching, and eventually all the thoughts have been eaten and the day ends.

What about the ghosts?? 

Yes.. Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde are there. They are there to drive the pac man’s decisions on which way to chomp next. 

Fun fact: Each of the four ghosts in the game has both Japanese and English names. In Japan they started as Fickle, Chaser, Ambusher and Stupid. In my case these alternate names seem more appropriate. Their current personas are defined further as follows… 

Fickle: Always something I can’t decide and am continuously analyzing and weighing options in. Currently this is the question of what to do about my title with the GLR? GLR stands for the Good Life Review and is the online lit mag I founded last year and am currently trying to keep afloat and moving in the right direction. When we first determined the masthead, I gladly accepted the title of “managing editor” and let Ed take the EIC title, but over time this had started to grate on me in ways I could not have predicted. My issues have do with perception, the division of responsibilities-who is doing the work, and traditional patriarchal roles, and also frankly the way Ed throws the title around as if it gives him more authority. Great guy, but I don’t care for that. 

The fickle thoughts I have gravitate between removing the titles completely, and all manner of variation in between. I can’t tell you how much brain power I’ve wasted on thinking about this. That alone drives me kind of batty. We’re still in our first year and have such a small fooorprint or following that it matters not. But it matters to me apparently. 🙄 

Chaser: The endless quest to lose 5 pounds and look better. This is often disguised as attempts to eat healthier or exercise more or detox. It’s an endless chase that never leads to success. Always failure. Always disappointment. And then forgiveness and then beginning again. 

Ambusher: This is the random thing on fire that seems to pop up out of nowhere to hijack my plans. It might be a sink that won’t drain, a car that won’t start, a kid with an F in English, or a show that demands to be binge-watched. They appear randomly and with varying degrees of severity. Whatever it is, it drives pac man in a different direction. 

Right now it’s a one-two-three combo of my sons school performance and feeling like I’m not pulling my weight here at the house PLUS my pending book contract. All will require a lot of effort to resolve or get through and any effort spent may not result in a solution. 

Stupid: Stupid is just stupid. 

No matter what I do, the pac man goes the way he goes. The ghosts pursue. The dots on the map get eaten and the sun goes down. The sun comes back up, there’s a fresh map full of new dots, and it starts again. 

Sometimes, like today, I get a new map before the sun comes up. There I am, lying in the dark and the pac man appears and immediately starts chomping. 

This morning it was the GLR stuff. Not just the title, but also the next release, the social media issues, the website that I’ve failed to update all month, the contest, the promo effort (or lack thereof), the lawyer and nonprofit establishment. All the dots. All the dots. All the dots.

At 4:30am I worked in the GLR website and updated the home page, the masthead, and the sound bites page. I’m going to try EIC on for size and see if that makes me feel any better. Cuz.. you know it’s all about how I feel. 🙄😜

Other than that I was thinking about my lack of sleep and not sleeping because I’m thinking about not sleeping and well… that’s just stupid. Thanks Stupid. 

There you have it folks. My Friday morning in a nutshell.

Cheers to the Weekend,

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-02-24 Some Days Just Need to Be Forgotten

Yesterday was a doozie. I’m not sure what exactly what it was besides a series of random, unrelated events but it was a miracle nobody was murdered. Scratch that. I know exactly what it was that started it.. the incident with the trash cans. After that, there’s not a thing that could happen to fix the mood for the rest of the day. But there were several things that made it worse.

Said incident made me sooooooo angry, I really wanted to punch something. And that’s not like me. I might get emotional and sad and cry sometimes but I rarely get that angry and almost never angry enough to want to scream and throw things.

Talk about raw, honest and organic… what I’m about to write will not seem like that big of a deal, but that’s what makes it a big deal in my mind. There’s absolutely no reason I should have gotten as mad as I was. And not having time to work it out all damn day did not help. Everything else was just fuel for the fire. 

Here’s the short version of what happened that started it all… about 8:30am I’m doing chores and opening mail and realize the paper recycling is full so decide to swap out the grocery bag for a new one and put the full one in the big recycling bin in the garage. What I quickly discovered is that the bin was FULL. It should have been empty since they picked our recycling up last week (which they only do every other week). 

I’m in charge of the recycling and trash so nobody puts things in the big bins but me (strictly forbidden as I can’t stand when people carelessly put stuff in without rinsing clean or whatever and bins get sticky and gross). Instead, the recycling goes in the old short green and blue bins elsewhere. So finding the bin full was a shock.

But it was obvious to me it was because the recycling was not picked up last week. The items I had on top were still the same ones. I took the bin out to the curb myself.. which means that when Jim wheeled it back to the garage he didn’t look inside to see the recycling truck had not been down our street yet. What the hell??!!

The recycling is a mess at our house as it is. We always have too much than what will fit in the container every two weeks and that’s resulted in me breaking down the cardboard and driving it to another drop point. Now we have this full bin, and enough recycling to fill a second one and running out of places to put it. 

Goodness knows the recycling is a trigger point for me already because nobody cares but me. Despite repeated requests for members of this household to comply with some simple rules, it’s still a problem. I’ve got several bags of combined trash and recycling that needs sorting and the thought of going through the efffing sticky trash irritates me to no end.

Now this. This just pushed me over the edge. I went mental. I screamed out loud and stomped my feet like a three year old having a tantrum. It was absurd. 

I mean this is small potato’s people. Like have I become so spoiled that these small things need to be a big deal?? No. 

Well.. stuff kept happening all day and I never could pull myself away from that angry feeling. I literally carried it all the way to bed with me last night. And unfortunately took it out on Jim a little. It was a strange night and then I ended up moving to the spare bedroom In the middle of the night because of the snoring. 

I never really got good sleep and you know what? The sun came up and night turned into day anyway and I’m writing this thinking “what is there to complain about?” 

Nada. That’s what. 

So what if I have to make some more trips to an alternate recycling location. It’s not the end of the world. Good grief!! 

This is what I don’t get about life. Why is it one day something is such a damn big deal and the next it’s like ‘shrug’? 

One day I’m grumpy and the next it’s all good again. And I can’t even blame PMS this time. 

Anyway.. today everything seems fine and manageable again AND I can eat whatever I want. A friend of mine reminded me yesterday that my life is great right now. As if I should need a reminder. I should not, but there it was anyhow. Thanks Vis!

As for the rest of this day, I’m gonna do my best to keep the positive mood I have going into the afternoon and evening. I’ve got loads of lit mag stuff to take care of plus some planning for a future adventure. Planning almost always makes me happy, so that’s good. 

As for living in 2006.. it’s going about the same as the last two days and I can’t say I’ve got more to say about than that. Maybe I’ll have more as the week goes on but I’m still just feeling out what’s good and what’s really tough. 

I think that’s it for today. Time to get on that GLR train…. 

Peace and Love and Recycling, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-17 Reminiscing With My Daughter About My Daughter

Day 2 waking up with cringe-worthy cramps. But.. I’m not going to let it keep me down today. I can do better.

I have a little time to collect my thoughts and get my act together. Yesterday I may have “let go” and tried not to let my mood control the day. I may not have been a complete success but it wasn’t too bad either. 

I spent a lot of time with my daughter and though we didn’t find what we were after, we had some great talks and she asked me about topics we’ve never discussed before which gave me the opportunity to tell a few stories. Chief among them was the story about my decision to have her and the journey I went on to make that happen. It’s one of my favorite stories to tell. Then of course she wanted to know about her brother which is a good one too.

After that, and running around town in a mask I was done for. We ended up at Target and I just hit a wall. We still needed to go to office max so she could look for packaging supplies, but went home after that. Much of what we were after are items for her new business. I’m impressed by her focus and determination when she has her mind set on something. And I want to encourage that spirit, so I’m being as supportive as I can. 

What started our conversation was just that. She’s 18, almost 19 and heading into semester #2 of her freshman year at college. I think about this sometimes. How when i was her age, I had just met her dad and also working through a 2 year program at community college. I talked about how farther along she is with knowing herself and what she wants from life. At her age I was clueless. 

Getting engaged, married, and moving to Vegas we’re not on any life plan. I had no life plan. I was just cruising, you know, doing the next thing. I have regrets for all that aimless wandering, but I don’t regret getting married. I was in love and it got me away from my family which is what I desperately needed. Of course that led to having two beautiful babies. Would not change that for the world. 

That’s how the stories began yesterday, with the events that led to her dad and I becoming more serious instead of just hanging out as friends. And then to the circumstances that brought her and her brother into my life.

All that reminiscing might have contributed to my exhaustion. I also haven’t been out much lately and was really shocked to see all the people everywhere. It’s as if there’s no pandemic and thousands of people aren’t dying every day. I think deep down I was kind of sickened by it and also that I was among them. After a few hours I was ready to go back into my hiding place. 

And so we did. 

We watched movies and ate leftovers and I was, you guessed it, in bed by 10. 

It’s Sunday today and I’m ready for the weekend to be over and get back to business. Ready to let go of letting go and start kicking ass again. The best part of Sunday is making my to-do list for the coming week. So much hope, and promise, and so much to accomplish. It’s the push and pull of thinking and not doing that causes me grief. 

Once I actually just start “doing” I feel better. That might be why last week I felt so good. I was making progress on several endeavors and that feels good. Tomorrow I’ll be back on that train and I’m ready. 

I think that’s it today. Cutting short again to get started with my day. 

Ready, Steady, Let’s Go, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-01-09 True Introvert

I’m pretty sure I mentioned yesterday my mood is volatile. You know yesterday was well rounded and satisfying and things were good but the day before that was kinda rotten and I found myself grumpy and exhausted. It’s not like anything big changed and this switch is pretty typical so I ask myself.. what gives? 

I think these swings might have something to do with demands on my time and my ability to get some quality “me” time. Sound selfish? Yes. But I’ve got my reasons. Mostly I think it’s because of the way that I was built. The part of human design that people talk about as personality traits like introvert and extrovert has everything to do with it.

The other day I was on a drive with my daughter and we were talking about her personality traits. She’s in the midst of evaluating profiles for roommates for her sophomore year at college. This, of course, requires self evaluation to fill out your own profile. She put down that she’s an introvert. I agree she is. But she talked about a conversation she had with her dad where he told her she was an extrovert.

I disagreed. She said he described her as being an extrovert around people she was comfortable with. I’m like, well duh. I countered that comfort level and the phenomenon of being talkative around your best peeps does not equate to being an extrovert. I think everyone can be outgoing when they feel a certain security. 

Being an introvert or extrovert isn’t dependent on how you are with other people, that’s just the easiest way to kind of tell, the behavior provides insight but isn’t really the defining factor. 

As I understand it (and I’m by no means an expert, but have been interested in the topic and have done research) the categorization is more based on where the individual derived their energy. Simply put, the extrovert gets energized by interaction with others and the introvert builds up their energy stores by being alone.

Flip the script and it stands to reason that the introvert would be depleted of energy after long sessions of interaction or not having the right quality time alone to recharge. 

In this way, I feel like my daughter is an introvert. And so am I. I also think Jim might be one of those self-professed introverts that’s actually an extrovert. He seems to thrive on interaction and gets more energized having lots of folks around. My son is definitely an introvert and my kids’ dad is definitely an extrovert. I digress.

The dynamic with my kids and I, when we lived alone, just the three of us was very much a situation where we were happy to be together for family time, to chat, play games, and watch shows, but then we’re glad to retreat to our own separate spaces to recharge. It worked.

It’s a bit different here. More people, always more going on, and less opportunity to retreat and recharge. And let me tell you that the pandemic does not help. It means all the other opportunities for those extroverts to get out into the world and get their fix are minimized and they end up needing more interaction at home. 

I also think the Covid just fucks everything up. Everyone is stressed and sort of depressed and just trying to figure out how to feel ok. I miss meeting people in person too, and that has nothing to do with my personality type. I just miss human interaction and conversation with different people. I think we’re all suffering from being just a little bit extra broken. Or a lot bit. 

Anyway so back to the being an introvert. I think some days this may be my problem. I mean, it’s not a problem but definitely plays into the mood I’m in and the puzzle I’ve now resolved to figure out. I think if I had more dedicated “me” time, it would improve my daytime fatigue and perhaps even improve my energy going into the evening of each day, instead of being “done done” and checked out by 9pm.

Of course it’s one thing to come to a conclusion and want to make a change and actually take steps toward improving, 

I said yesterday I think meditation might be part of the answer. I’ve since had advice from my friend Vis on a few apps to try and a Headspace series on Netflix to check out. I’m excited to get started. I’m hopeful. 

I also think that this is no different than anything else in life, that balance is key. And that change can be slow. I need to figure out where the “me” time fits into the routine and then form a good habit. It won’t work if it’s an afterthought that gets skipped everyday because something else is demanding attention.

This is part of the reason I’m backing off in my other goals. I’m not abandoning exercise, but instead will be devoting less time to it. Same with worrying about it (or healthy eating or productivity in general). I swear I spend more time and energy thinking about these things than actually doing anything about them. So why not let it go mentally and focus on the “here and now?” Good thought right??!! 

So that’s it today. Time to quit writing about it and just do it. 

It’s Saturday and I estimate I have about an hour before people start needing stuff. Gotta take advantage of that while I can. 

Cheers to the weekend! 

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-12-17 One Way to Save a Life

It’s December 17 again. I see the calendar and think, “This day again.” We all have them. A day in time, a date on the calendar we recognize immediately, a date that takes us back to the past. We may have several, but for me, December 17 will always be a day that gives me pause. Whatever it is I am planning to do, I have to stop and think. I have to nod to what I have accomplished in my life and what I have made of myself and my time. And my children! 

Long before my children were winks in my mind, I spent a lot of time alone. I spent a lot of time thinking about relationships (that I didn’t have). Not just romantic relationships but also relationships with my parents, siblings, grandparents, and acquaintances that I daydreamed could be friends if I tried hard enough. It was teenage stuff, sure. 

Common I’m sure. But to the melodramatic teenager, the isolation, angst, and constant daydreaming was a sort of maze I could not figure out how to get out of. 

By the tender age of 16, I had already turned to writing to find my way through that maze of endless walls. So there is some verifiable proof of the events of my life that led to what happened the night of December 17 (the year escapes this current recounting). 

I don’t intend to recount the events. That’s not my aim. My angle today is one of gratitude. More than anything it’s gratitude for writing. The ability, freedom, and its saving graces. 

By December 17 I had already begun writing a fictional story about a set of twins, Stacia and Elizabeth. Separated at birth and suddenly back together as teenagers in high school. It’s not lost on me that these girls were me. I gave them and both characteristics I felt in myself. As is often the way with young writers. 

Their chapters unfolded with events I dreamed up, both hardships I was enduring and daydreams of scenarios I wished for my own life. By December 17 I had chapter upon chapter of their lives on paper, with no goal of a conclusion. No earthy idea how the story would end. I understood that there should be some climax, resolution, and anti-climax, but was not concerned about that. 

The night of December 17 events Of my own life seemed to find their way to a natural climax. It was dire and I could literally take no more of what life was offering me. 

That night, as I cried and wrote and wrote and cried, one of the twins made her way through events of the the alternate universe I had created. The house and the conversation she had with her mom, the woods where she would wander alone, the high-school with its winter dance in progress, and finally the street with its concrete curb. The place where she tiptoed over the edge, into oncoming traffic, and died. 

I’ve long since come to terms with what had happened, both in reality and in the story. I don’t remember writing any more of that story after that. I suppose it was the climax I didn’t know I was looking for, didn’t know I desperately needed. As for an anti-climax, well, I suppose this will have to do. 

I still have some of that writing. Some was lost to the fire, but that’s another story altogether. I was such an emotional teenager. 

In 2019 I wrote a poem about some of this. My experience with isolation and suicide as a young adult. This poem was published this year in an online literary publication, Boston Accent Lit. The Poem is titled “Nothing Can Kill You” and is still online at the site here.

I suppose that’s part of the resolution too. Writing how it had been my constant companion and savior (and still is). Now I make beautiful art from my pain. It’s a therapeutic endeavor. And I know that it will be there, reliably, for my whole life.

There’s been a lot of introspection lately about writing and the path of my life. The journey of the poetic voice (the topic of my MFA lecture). I would be remiss if I didn’t nod to my own experiences, my personal evolution, and somehow (without being too preach-y) encourage people to evaluate their own writing to discover what it has to teach them. 

As a part of my MFA I’ve studied the poetry of people like Louise Glück, who this year won a Nobel Prize. But it isn’t until I began studying their life that the puzzle pieces begin to form a more complete picture. 

Said poet finished high school while undergoing psychiatric therapy that continued for 7 years and caused her to not enroll at a college or university in a formal program post HS. I wish I could ask her if she feels writing saved her life. 

Of the 4 writers I’ve included in my lecture, she’s the only one still alive. That’s a good reminder too. This life.. it doesn’t last forever. Better use it till you lose it. 

That’s it today. Time to listen to some “Sweet As Whole” by Sara Bareilles to get in the “write” frame of mind to write the conclusion for my lecture. 

Stay Frosty, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-12-13 “We Will Send a Car to Find You…

… if you ever lose your way.”

Last night I took my FitBit off because I went to bed somewhat early and realized that text messages buzzing my wrist were keeping me from precious sleep.

Consequently I have no idea how long I was asleep or what my sleep score was. I know I put the device back on just after 6am and that I feel pretty well rested. Perhaps that should be the measure instead of sleep duration or score. 🤷‍♀️

I stopped keeping track of my eating habits a few weeks ago. Thanksgiving week I think. I originally had a goal of boosting my protein, as a test to see if that would have a positive impact on my energy levels.

No definitive conclusion there. Too many variables to tell I think and the act of logging food (calorie counting) was having a negative impact on my psyche. Jim noticed it and made a few comments and that’s when I began noticing too. The calorie counting had led me to set (and continuously readjust) my expectations.

What started as a check mark next to healthy eating if my protein was 75grams a day became a check mark if protein  was > 30% of total calories (Not so harsh). But then it became a 1250 calorie diet with protein > 25%. Then 1000 with > 20%. Then any day < 1000 calories.

< 1000 is Drastically delinquent. I had days of less than 900, 800, 700. That’s a problem. Of course my energy tanked. Some switch in my brain flipped. I began equating the numbers with the weight I was able to lose and that was enticing. It’s far too easy to fall back into patterns of reckless behavior.

I look at myself in the mirror and the thinner I am, the better I feel about myself. That’s the mindset of a person whose self esteem is in some way attached to the way they look. And having been conditioned to think that super-skinny is sexy, I naturally strive for that.

It borders on eating disorder and when I begin to limit myself to under 1000 calories a day it crosses over into that territory. I know this. I know this and yet I did it anyway. The same way I know sometimes when I begin to binge that it will make me want to purge. I have to recognize it and limit the amount of food I eat.

It doesn’t happen very often but it still does. A couple of times a year. That’s the thing about eating disorders. They never really exit your body or mind. It’s not an experience you can suffer through and not have it haunt you. I’ll probably always be obsessed with the numbers on the scale. I’ll probably never believe it when people (like Jim) say I look great.

He worries of course. He sometimes engages me in conversation about it and, as it was with this last endeavor to get more protein, calls me out when he sees the slipping into bad behavior. It doesn’t matter how smart or logical a person is, the brain can still trick you.

I actually set my weight goal to 110 in the FitBit app. 110 is ridiculous. Like I said drastically delinquent.

So I stopped logging my food and calories. If I put some effort in I can probably get back to counting grams of protein but it’s not as easy without an app. The truth is, however, that even with the protein goal I don’t really alter what I eat that much. I end up substituting a protein bar or smoothie over an actual meal. Cuz I’m also lazy I guess.

So for the time being I don’t have a good measuring stick for healthy eating or a goal. Perhaps internally  gauging if I’ve made good choices and giving myself a check mark for that is the best I can do. It’s just such a slippery slope.

I could do the same thing for sleep. I mean, I do it now for productivity and mood. If I feel good and feel like I’ve gotten enough done during the day, then I give myself a check in the box.

I’ve been a poor accountability partner. I promised my friend T to check in each week with stats and how it’s going and that’s sort of been waning too. The week of the death and funeral I gave myself a pass but feel like today is the day to reach out and start checking in regularly again.

I think that’s it for today. It’s 8am and I’m going to take advantage of the quiet in the house to do a bit of reading and maybe writing. Put the fake fireplace on the TV and sip a coffee. Doesn’t that sound lovely?!

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

PS. The opening quote is from one of my favorite Cake songs, “Comfort Eagle”

2020-12-07 I’ve Got Crocodiles Now

I don’t have much. My attention span feels thin today. Reading Poem-a-day, something about a duplex, I’m left uninspired by the language and really wondering when “This” will appear. Some days are like that and I just want to let it be. I’m giving myself a pep-talk as I write this. You can do it.

I am always hopeful when I make plans. Hopeful that when that day arrives I’ll still be hopeful enough to see plans through. I can’t cancel again, it’s too suspect. Three strikes and I’ll be out, so I have to keep my plans today.

The caffeine doesn’t seem to be working today. Maybe a shower will do the trick. Other things need attendance today. Check boxes empty and waiting. Unpaid bills bulging in my paper planner.

I travel briefly to Paris and find a Quarter, but the only trigger in that town was a dime. Inadequate. I wonder why they made the dime smaller than the nickel. Who decided that was a good idea? This question is about as far away from poetry as one can get. Like standing on Earth and looking up at Mars in the night sky, neither tragic nor romantic. Just a red question that never looks any different and is entirely inconsequential.

Typical. The over-explanation. Still working on that.

I open the messaging app and see where I left off—an open thread with my dad. He’s alone and I offered yesterday to come back over today and walk the lake with him. But like father like daughter like chickenshit. I don’t text, I close the app and toggle back to this.

Then board the Commuter Train. It’s an amusing story about babysitting crocodiles but it’s not amusing. It’s tragic. Poor girl and her invented words and broken heart and dead crocs. Written well enough to make you feel sorry for the babysitter too, who neglected them and let them die.

I get the metaphor. And it makes me think of my own crocodiles.. and also those of the friend I have plans with today and also my dads.

I’ve never been in charge of his crocodiles before. Now suddenly I am. Suddenly is the worst kind of tragedy. Suddenly the lake by his house has turned from dream to daily reminder. Suddenly everything is a reminder.

A week ago he stood between my sister and I behind the dining table and said “Why’d you have to leave me” and “I was supposed to go first.” And Just like that I’m tearing up again.

I need to put pants on and text him back. Or better yet call.

I suppose I can afford to cut this short if I’m headed back to the lake today.

The bills and checkboxes can wait. I’ve got crocodiles now.

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie