2022-01-17 Much Ado About a Monday Status Update… ✅✅❌

We’re now over half way through the month of January so it’s about time I check myself before I wreck myself. 

In other words.. how am I doing on the New Years resolution front? 

To be fair I think I only officially declared my set of goals a little over a week ago so anything that happened before that doesn’t really count. Plus, several of my objectives are monthly which means I’ve still got time. Without further ado… 

  1. Read a book a month. 📕 This past weekend I read the latest Rattle cover to almost cover, but that doesn’t count as a book I think. I’d better get to reading here soon.
  2. Write a new poem or free write once a week (this blog doesn’t count). ✅ First week on it was a success!
  3. Do 20 minutes of yoga twice a week. ❌ No yoga.. no bueno.
  4. Maintain my 100 active sub count. ❌ Oh the rejections! I’m not there yet because I’ve been taking my time on research and working on some higher quality submission. I did get a rejection from Threepenny review right away. Now THAT’S aiming higher!
  5. Lose 5 pounds. 👍🏻 This is a longer term goal too. On the right track as I’m down 3 already.
  6. Get 420 Zone Minutes each week (it’s a Fitbit exercise measure). ✅✅💃 I went above and beyond with 639.
  7. Average 30 minutes of custom cardio each day (another FitBit score). 🧐 Hmmmm… the short answer is that it looks like I hit my goal. The longer answer is that it looks like FitBit doesn’t tally up/average out the daily numbers. There’s a few pretty graphs but they are for BPM and Resting heart rate. I had to go look at each day individually and nobody’s got time for that! I might need to change the measure to something a little more readily available.
  8. Meditate at least once a week (failed last year but that can’t stop me from trying again). ✅ I logged 3 meditations last week and that’s stretching my goal!! Woohoo!
  9. Reduce my screen time on my phone by 30 minutes each day.😬 Another funky goal that’s not easy to measure. I guess in order to know if I’m meeting my goal, I’d have to establish a baseline. But the apple data only goes back a month. So I suppose looking at that month, my average is about 2 hours and 45 minutes a day. The goal would be 2 hours and 15 minutes.That would mean last week was an epic fail but so far this week I’m right on target. However, the numbers are skewed by the fact that I’m typing this on my phone RIGHT NOW. I’d have to minus productivity minutes from all the calculations and I ain’t got time for that either! 🤦‍♀️
  10. Participate in at least 2 workshops and or readings each month. ✅✅✅ Winter Res counts. A virtual reading at NPS on January 4th counts. My next reading at the RRR series counts (January 25th.. message me if you want details). And two more events I’m planning to attend by NPS (Nebraska Poetry Society) later this month. STRETCH!!!

So it looks like I’m doing my stretching in all places except for yoga! 😜 I’ll definitely need to work on that this week. 

I was going to try and go to a class this week but we went into household lockdown again so that’s out. Plus I returned from Nebraska city to a cold zone in my house as one of the furnaces went out. It’s like I can’t leave town for even a minute without some disaster befalling the Castle. Last time it was the duo of dishwasher fail + clogged kitchen sink and this time the furnace. 

At least we have another zone we can live in until the Donovan Bros. can come to our rescue. 

I think that’s it for today. Good gravy, it’s enough! 

Until next time, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2022-01-16 Where’s the Magic? 🪄

I promised myself yesterday that if I couldn’t switch gears and write something new here at the Lied Lodge, I would not be hard on myself. I want to be kind to myself and make space for some grace. 

While this place has historically been pure gold where generating new work is concerned, this 1-day-only opportunity is far from the same. For one thing, it’s one day and not 10. In that amount of time I’m still in transition from the druthers of my regular daily routine to that special place where the writing just flows. 

For another thing, the magic is probably the atmosphere created by all the other similarly minded people that are usually here for the same purpose. Not to mention all the lectures and talks that serve as the perfect springboard for all kinds of thoughts. Yeah, the magic is in the people and connection. 

I’m waking up feeling ok. Not quite as refreshed as I’d like but that’s due to a less than stellar night’s sleep. Still it was good not to wake up to Darth in the middle of the night and not be able to go back to sleep. 

After I met my friend for dinner at the restaurant last night, I went back to my room and tried to read. After reading much of the latest “Rattle” cover to cover, I felt a tingle of thought, but failed to make the conversion to the page. I typed a paragraph and then backspaced it all out. 

At dinner my friend brought up “morning pages,” which is, as I understand it, the practice of writing three pages each morning before you really start your day. I asked her if she writes longhand or types. She said longhand, “three pages.”

I asked what kind of notebook. Three pages in an 8×10 is much different than a 6×4 and wide ruled versus college would make a lot of difference too. And there are no pages when you’re typing into a phone on Google docs. It just goes on and on and on. 

I guess the point is that you have to write for practice and to get the mind going. Supposedly that third page is where the magic starts to happen. Sometimes it takes a measure of thought and writing to begin to get to the heart of what is most concerning you. I agree with that. 

I’ve experienced it so many times right here. My mind will meander around and then suddenly stumble over the topic that really matters. I can feel that it hasn’t really happened yet today. I’m not sure how much I’d have to write to find it. 

What’s consuming my thoughts instead? New Years resolutions and Good Life Review work. I woke up thinking about what day it is and that our contest is supposed to be open today. Donuts to dollars if I don’t get it open on submittable some Jack-hat will email me about it. I’ll probably go back to my room after this and open something right quick just so it’s out there.

The sad fact that I won’t be able to focus my attention elsewhere until it’s done is just that… a sad fact. I guess I see it as my job now and my sense of responsibility and dedication overrides my purpose here. 

Back to Rattle though. It’s such a wonderful publication. I would love to have a poem in their pages. It feels like a pipe dream. Almost all the poems were top notch. Many sparking thoughts about ways I could approach writing, and I thought about it, but don’t have a topic. Nothing is burning inside me. Nothing is trying to claw its way out. 

The person who is here at the lodge with me is a vegan, except she sometimes eats fish and a few other things if she knows the animals had good lives. I’m thinking about that. 

I had a poem accepted by a publication a few weeks back and it’s supposed to go up on the web today. I’m thinking about that. 

I’m sure that before I leave the gym this morning I’ll hit the WORDLE site to unlock today’s word. Maybe my goal should be to use the word in a poem. Maybe I should break out those books I bought, one with 3000 questions and the other with about 500 story prompts. But is that too fabricated? Will I care enough if that’s the source? 

Back to the New Year’s resolution… what did I promise myself I would try to accomplish each week and month. I should go check on that too, to see if I can further distract myself with the short time I have left here at the lodge before shoveling my car out to drive home. 

Maybe I’ll sit in the lobby by the fireplace with a hot coffee like I promised myself I would yesterday. 

The sun is coming up now. There’s a window in this workout room and all that white out there is beginning to look a little brighter. That must mean it’s time to go. 

Peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2022-01-14 Giving My Brain a Creative Jump-Start ✍🏻

I’m back at the Lied Lodge in Nebraska city today. I was invited by an MFA friend who is also struggling to get back into writing. The regular routine of life often doesn’t leave enough space for flexing that creative muscle. I know I was just here a couple of weeks ago but that was mostly business and alas there was not time to just sit with my right brain self and reflect and write. So when she asked me, I jumped at the opportunity.

The Lied is where our low-res MFA program does their residencies every semester. It’s a ten day immersive experience that often leaves my head spinning and full of things I want to write about. My hope is that just by being here, it will kickstart something in my brain.

It felt good to pack a bag and break away from the castle. It felt great driving in my car solo, with my tunes turned up on the stereo. And it feels fantastic being here without any pressure to lecture, attend events, or socialize. I’ve stayed here enough times that I know the place inside and out. 

I know enough to ask for an odd numbered room on the 3rd floor (odd numbered rooms are on the north side of the lodge which faces a green space and a copse of trees instead of the parking lot). I know there’s hardly ever anyone in the exercise room in the basement (which is where I am now) and I know that in winter there’s not much going on so there will be few distractions. 

What I don’t know is whether or not I’ll be able to mentally break away from all the things in my life that have kept me from writing lately. I have to resist the urge to check email or work on the GLR or waste the precious time I have searching old poems for potential revision opportunities or submitting the same old shit to more places. 

I’ve turned notifications to camera events off and made sure folks know not to contact me unless it’s an emergency. I’ve brought a few books in case I need a little jump start for writing or to keep me occupied if the writing doesn’t happen. I hope it does. 

My friend will be here at about 5:30 and we’re meeting for dinner at 6. The bad weather is supposed to roll in any minute now and it would be lovely to feel a little stranded with a hot coffee next to the big fireplace overlooking the patio and the woods beyond that. 

It will also be nice to catch up with my friend and just talk about our big plans for the year without some timer going off. No mom taxi, no dinner to cook, no dishes or litter boxes for 24 glorious hours. Hell, now that I think about it, I don’t even care if I write anything. It’s like a whole day of “me” time. 

To be fair, I don’t want to spend a ton of time journal writing either so this is gonna be it for now. 

Time to get busy doing whatever I want! 

Ciao for now, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2022-01-10 Another Year in the Rearview

And what a year it was! Am I right??!! 

Sometimes when I’m on vacation and I have extra time, I elect to write about how it’s going. If I have a lot of extra time, there are pictures. That’s lovely to revisit later, but who has that kind of time? 

I’m usually more about the future than the past and once a vacation or event is over, if I haven’t written about it, it fades into the abyss of collective human existence. 

It used to bother me if something noteworthy went undocumented, like a road trip, barcamp experience, or all those years from 1994 to 2008. Poof.. gone! Oh the regret. 

In more recent times, however, I’ve gotten better at letting it go. I’ve been coaching myself to not get so bent about missing what I cherish as a perfect reason to write. The lack of time helps.. if I don’t have it, there’s little I can do about it anyhow and being upset doesn’t help anything. 

Now that that’s been established, I have to flip the script because when it comes to talking about a whole year, I feel a little different.  Yes… we’re talking 2021 now. I need.. NEED to reflect a little bit so that I can turn my full and complete attention to the year ahead. 

About a week ago I went all numbers nerd on y’all and I believe that had a healthy recap of my stats for the year. Step count average, sleep duration, creative writing submission counts, and blog stats.

https://theorganicsugarcookie.com/2021/12/22/2021-12-22-its-a-numbers-nerding-kind-of-day/

But not everything can be translated into numbers.

For example, in match my mom went through a hell of an ordeal and the result was a diagnosis of stage 3c ovarian cancer, which is pretty grim if you google the statistics. She’s now had two major surgeries and undergone 6 months of chemo. The short story now is that she’s been declared cancer free. For now. 

The visitor restrictions due to covid meant only one designated visitor was allowed. That would be yours truly. Daughter number 1. It was a rough time for her for sure, and I do not mean to demean that at all when I say it was pretty terrible for me too. Like a full time job managing a situation with zero in return. When I say zero, I’m being serious. 

Cold, yes, but frightfully serious. I suppose that’s because I’ve never had a great relationship with my mom. It’s only proximity and availability that I was put on good daughter duty instead of my 3 other siblings; two in the Denver area, and one local but already has a full time job. 

I’m the end we all did our part. Mine was just bigger. 

My mom is already chomping at the bit to have more surgery to reverse the ostomy. It will take two more procedures. She’s schedule this week if she could, but the rise in Covid again has put the kibosh on anything considered elective. I’m secretly grateful for that as I’m personally not ready for that circus again. I digress. 

This year I also navigated the publishing process for my first book. So quaint and optimistic I say “first” as if I really think there will be another. But there might! 

Anyway, I don’t believe I’ve learned anything new about myself through the process other than I really can get over my angst about social media and post modestly for the sake of self promotion. 

The process has been mostly hurry up and wait. I got the requested materials to the publisher in late summer/early fall which included cover design, pictures, bios, and blurbs they could use to promote the book and put on the back cover. The rest of it has just been waiting. 

Waiting for it to go up on their site, mostly so I could tell people about it. And now the waiting game during this pre-sale period includes me randomly posting about it and emailing folks. I get an email every couple of weeks on how it’s doing; how many copies have been sold. Last count was the magic 55. 

See how hard it is to find the words to recap a year without going down all the rabbit holes along the way. I’m sure my year had more about it than my moms cancer and my book. 

I did have seventeen poems published in 2021. That’s something! 

I traveled to Beaver Bend State Park in Oklahoma, Arizona and the Grand Canyon, Dubuque Iowa, and Austin this year. 

My daughter turned 19 and is dominating the school scene at UNL. She’s also navigating her way through the early stages of her first relationship. 

My son turned 17 and is a senior in high school. I was successful getting him to take drivers ed this past summer so now he’s driving. That’s a big win. He’s also getting closer to making some decisions about his future which is great. He’ll have more of a plan than I ever did when I was a senior. In my book, that’s a win too. 

Jim and I had our 1st anniversary as a married couple. We celebrated by going out to dinner for the first time in a year. That was last February, so the next me is coming up quick. 

I’m struggling to think of anything else noteworthy and I think that means it’s time to wrap. 

Perhaps if I think of something else I’ll return to update this post so it’s all in one place. Hey… I can do that. 🙃

Cheers to Endings and Beginnings,

~Miss SugarCookie

2022-01-08 Where’s the Bullseye This Year? 🎯

I’ve been thinking (and thinking and thinking and thinking) about goals, plans, resolutions, a new day, a new month, a new year. I’m getting closer to zeroing in on my target(s). 🎯🎯🎯

My good friend Rebecca always picks a word at the start of the year that will shape her year and help her focus on her goals. Sort of an overarching theme to the year that she defines. I guess this is a thing now but she’s been doing it for a long time now so in my book, she’s my inspiration. 

We don’t live near each other so communication is almost exclusively text. I texted a few days ago to find out what her word is this year to try and get my mind going in that direction too. I’ve had a few words bouncing around in my brain but nothing really stuck. 

This morning I thought about her word again and how it has multiple meanings (the word is light) and I like that. Then I thought about what I would like to do more of physically this year and the answer that came to me was yoga. So I decided that this year my word will be “stretch.” 

I can stretch my body and my mind and have stretch goals. Reaching beyond the mundane and the everyday for more. Yes, it’s kind of the antithesis of what I was striving for last year (which was to do less and de-stress) but if you read yesterday’s post you know how well that turned out. 🙃

The next step is to really put some concrete goals on the list. Here are a few I’m considering. 

  1. Read a book a month. 
  2. Write a new poem or free write once a week (this blog doesn’t count). 
  3. Do 20 minutes of yoga twice a week. 
  4. Maintain my 100 active sub count. 
  5. Lose 5 pounds. 
  6. Get 420 Zone Minutes each week (it’s a Fitbit exercise measure). 
  7. Average 30 minutes of custom cardio each day (another FitBit score). 
  8. Meditate at least once a week (failed last year but that can’t stop me from trying again). 
  9. Reduce my screen time by 30 minutes each day.
  10. Participate in at least 2 workshops and or readings each month. 

Each one is a means to an end and if I can do at least this, I’ll feel super successful. If I can “stretch” one or two and do a little more (or less depending on the objective) then so much the better.

***

Well, friends, I’ve been distracted and completely lost the thread for today. 

Perhaps I can pick it back up tomorrow. 

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2022-01-07 Kind of a White Rabbit Start to 2022 🐇🐇🐇

There’s something about the end of one year and the start of another that puts me in a tizzy if I don’t have time to reflect on the past and also spend time musing about resolutions and planning my goals for the coming year. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m very goal oriented. Checking things off a list is my jam. 

That, of course, requires time, and a fair measure of solitude to really get into. Neither of which I have had for about 7 straight days. Who am I kidding it’s been since Christmas Eve. That’s about two weeks now. With no end in sight. 

A few days ago I happened to get a new like on the post I wrote a year ago about my 2021 resolutions. What a hoot to go back and read what I thought I was going to do with my year. 

In short, my plan was to work on not over-committing myself, reduce the pressure I put on myself to get so much done all the time, and meditate more. All of this was going to help solve, once and for all, the larger problem I have with daily exhaustion. Truly laughable. 

Not that I didn’t try, but most of the concrete things I had decided upon ended up not turning out. 

I did reduce my daily step count goal from 12k to 10k. It’s an easy thing to change in the app, but in practice my actual step count went from about 10k in 2020 to 12k in 2021. Oh the irony! 

My sleep stats went down instead of up,  I failed to meditate more than a handful of times, and I ended up pushing myself just as much as I always do despite dropping the daily “checklist” of goals off my planner. Yes, I still use a paper planner. It’s a more pleasing experience for me I guess. 

The irony of having a resolution to do less and ending up doing arguably more is not lost on me. The minute I try to make life easier for myself, I’m feeling crappy because I get the creeping feeling I need to be doing more. Good gravy, a girl just can’t win. 

Regardless, I’m trying to find more time to reflect on 2021 and plan for 2022. I’ve had scattered thought all through these first days of the year, but they’ve been easily supplanted by all that actually needs to get done right now. Plus the Bachelor started again this week so that’s high on my priority list now too! 🤣

I’m half tempted to dive into it right now but I know I’ve got my GYN appointment in an hour and the few minutes I have left to write would be a sad appetizer for that healthy main course of a post. I’m already running late. Just like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. 

“I’m late, I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say ‘hello, goodbye,’ I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!”

Yeah, that about sums up my year so far. 

On that note, I’ve gotta git to all the gitting. 

Hello, Goodbye, 🐇 

~Miss SugarCookie

2022-01-05 Decisions Can Be Difficult but Sometimes the Path is Clear

I fielded an email yesterday that I initiated with the counselors at my son’s school. I had asked about the possibility of him dropping Algebra 3 for the second semester. He’s a senior and has one semester left before graduation. 

Their response asked if we’d considered the consequences. He’d no longer be eligible for most 4 year university programs without 4 full years of math. Yes. We considered that. 

We’ve been considering that for about two years. We considered it when he failed Spanish. We considered it when he dropped out of German half way through the year to avoid another F on his GPA. We considered it every time we begged him to put in more effort and he got exhausted from us asking and we got exhausted from him refusing. 

My son doesn’t want to be a failure and it weighs on him that he’s quitting. But he doesn’t need algebra 3 to be a healthy, well-adjusted, successful human being. And when I say successful what I mean is by his own definition of success. (As long as that extends beyond his current “eat.. sleep.. game.. repeat” lifestyle.😉)

Hell, I had 4 years of math in high school including the tough-as-nails AP calculus class. I know for a fact it won’t help him on his path any longer. The last semester was, at a stretch, only good for raising his ACT by a few points. Even THAT probably doesn’t matter. 

If he wants to follow in my footsteps and go into software development, math with the left brain logical thinking required and he’s got that shit down like a wizard. He’s got an analytical brain and is sharp as a whip. Yes, he struggles with the written word but he’s been blowing reading test scores out of the water since he was in 3rd grade. His vocab is bomb. He’s a strategic thinker and can argue his way out of most things in a smooth way you don’t even know what hit you.

I replied back to the email politely and said I would speak to him one more time to be sure. I also added that his decision at this point is to pursue a focused two year program or other boot camp in the Info Tech space (hey, just like mom). Those programs are better at teaching application whereas the 4 year schools are more about teaching theory AND making a person well-rounded by having them tackle more core curriculum. In my opinion he doesn’t need that and what he does need he can learn and hone during his time in daily life and on a job.

He admitted to being a little disappointed but also that a weight had been lifted. I told him having that mixed emotion was human. And I told him that I love him. 

Today his winter break is over so that final semester has officially started. I drove him to school because his car is sitting in his dad’s driveway and won’t start. The Universe only knows when that will be fixed.

It was kinda nice to play mom-taxi again, an easy ride with a little conversation but mostly quiet contemplation. He’s a great kid and I have a feeling that no matter where his path leads, he’s gonna go on and do some pretty incredible things. 

Love you C!

~Mom

2022-01-03 It Can Be Whatever You Want…

I have collected and carry with me a number of sayings. Mantras, if you will that I often turn to in times when I’m in need of grounding, or a reminder about how to live life properly.

Now is one of those times and the phrase today is “It can be whatever you want. You just have to know what that is.” 

I’ve spent the last four days solid immersed in doing what everyone else around me wanted, expected, and demanded. I’ve had almost zero time to myself and as an introvert, I know that continuing on in that way spells disaster. 

The next few days seem pretty booked up already too and sometimes when there’s this much going on, and I have a spare moment to come up for air and do something else, something that is just for me, I struggle. Because it’s tough to pull your brain away from the endless sea of to-dos and switch gears to something else. 

It can get bad in that in that spare moment. It should be glorious and filled from one side to the other with me spending time on what I really want to do. Instead I get paralysis from over analysis. I end up waffling and wasting time worrying that I’ll choose the wrong thing to do next. Then I’ve really done a number on myself because I’ve done the exact opposite of what I want.

It can be whatever you want. You just have to know what that is. 

About 45 minutes ago I returned home with my daughter with Qdoba for her and I and my son and we sat in our broken kitchen and enjoyed some tacos, chips, and queso together. I knew when we were done, we would all part ways and that would be my first break in four days to do whatever I want… for about an hour. But what did I want to do with my time?

One damn grand hour. What indeed! 

Then it started. I began to waffle. 

It’s the third day of the year and I haven’t written out my final reflections on 2021 or declared any resolutions for 2022. I should do that. 

I haven’t exercised at all today. I should do that. 

I have a new idea in my head for a project I’d like to dive into. I should do some research about that. 

I haven’t scooped the kitty litter in a while. I should definitely NOT under any circumstances do that. 

I haven’t had a real conversation with my husband in three days that’s not about our broken dishwasher, clogged sink, or disposal that is probably toast. I should hang out with him. 

I habitually consult my email as if I’m inviting the Universe to make my decision for me. There’s no new mail (thank the Stars). 

The kids finish eating and depart just as predicted and so I leave the kitchen as well. I wander toward my bedroom and have a disagreement with myself along the way. Do I change out of my day clothes into pajamas and head upstairs to write or should I change into something to get treadmill time? I do neither. It’s the paralysis thing rearing its ugly head.

Instead of going to my closet, I detour to the stairs and visit the room where my husband is settling in to read. Maybe I should read. That’s a novel idea too. Pun intended! 

As soon as I sit down in a chair adjacent to his and begin to get cozy with a blanket, I get this creeping feeling that I’ve chosen wrong. It takes me a minute, but I have to trust this instinct. 

I get up to leave and explain that I need to do something else. We agree to wrap whatever it is we’re doing at 9pm to meet again, elsewhere. I head back down to our bedroom. By now, I’ve waffled for nearly 20 minutes. What a waste!! 

I change into something that I can walk in and also later peel off pants and sleep in. Waaaaa-la! I make my way to the treadmill in the basement and here I am!!

It’s sometimes way harder than it should be to figure out what you want and want you need and that’s why I have those little mantras. 

Tomorrow my husband goes back to work. The day after that my son goes back to school. I’ll then have more time for that reflection I’m craving and documenting that list of resolutions grinding around in my head.

I am capable of looking on the bright side. In this case, no official resolutions equals no official acknowledgment of failure, self-loathing, or accountability for lack of progress. Three happy New Years cheers to that!! 

Just then one of my four cats, Gus Gus, eyes the treadmill as if he’s thinking of stepping on while the belt is moving. I immediately hit the stop button. 

I sit down and he climbs on and I pet him for about 5 minutes before finishing this post. 

And that’s it. That’s exactly how it all went down. Hopefully next time, I’ll figure out what I want a little sooner. 

#TrueStory

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-12-29 In What Universe is it OK…

… that the answer to the question “Do you like pizza?” is different than the answer to the question “Do you eat pizza?”?!

The answer to the question is that in no Universe is it OK (unless you have some health reason not to). I am surrounded by people who can’t eat things. Gluten intolerance, IBS, lactose intolerance, shellfish allergy, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, peanut allergy, and the beat goes on and on and on. What has happened to human beings?

Do you know what is arguably worse than that? I am one of the only people I know my age or older who can still eat anything I want but I don’t. We’ll I sort of do, but I really don’t.

Hold up. What?! 

I like ice cream. Scratch that… I LOVE ice cream. But I don’t eat ice cream because it makes you fat. And by you, I mean me. I love cookies, and candy, and chocolate, and pie, and Lucky Charms, and THAT beat goes on and on and on.

I’ve got a real sweet tooth and always have. When I was a kid I used to spend every dime of my dime-a-chore allowance on candy from the corner store on Harrison Avenue. Empty pockets and a satisfied tongue were just a short bike ride away. I also got in tons of trouble stuffing the empty wrappers under the cushions of our velvet blue and gold flower couch. But now every time I think about eating something sweet I have this self-loathing argument in my head about it.

Every, damn, time! But why? 

Because I’m damaged, that’s why. You don’t get to be my age without some sort of damage. Life is like that and it’s frightfully unavoidable. 

My damage was an eating disorder I developed at the uncanny age of 34. Might have started slightly earlier than that, but it was full-blown by the time I was in the midst of my divorce and trying desperately to control one of the few things in life that I could control–my weight. 

I became so obsessed with being in control that I began to take extreme measures to push my body to see how low I could go. And because my soon-to-be ex-husband had conditioned me to think that paper-clip thin was sexy, I actually thought I looked good. To be fair, people around me also supported this notion by telling me that I looked great so part of my distorted self-image came from society as a whole lifting up a slender physique as the ideal. What a load of garbage. 

I think by now everyone can guess what “extreme measures” means and that’s not really my focus now anyhow. Right now I’m mostly concerned about the mental scars I still suffer from because of what I went through. 

Once I was on the other side of the problem, which is to say, once I felt like I had overcome my obsession and was really back in control, I kept that shit inside like a dirty secret no one could know. For a long time. I felt as if I was over the worst of it but would carry those experiences with me for the rest of my life. I guess one could say, never really cured. Which is how it went. Always a little nagging magpie in the back of my brain pecking away about fat and carbs and quantity and calories and numbers on a scale. There were no more extreme measures, but there sure was (is) one hell of a body-image issue.

That, however, was small potatoes compared to other things I had going on in my life. I was a single mother of two, a full-time working woman, and a homeowner with a desire to have more of a life than just those three sides. I didn’t have time to worry about the numbers but I didn’t really need to either. 

I ate right, exercised enough, and had a pretty good metabolism. When my clothes got a little tight, I just cranked up the exercise and paid a little more attention to what I was putting in my mouth. It balanced out naturally. But it doesn’t anymore, which IS the focus now. This struggle I find myself living with day in and day out. 

In the last year, I’ve gained weight. I’m not getting any younger and my metabolism isn’t getting any faster so it has become more and more difficult to lose a few pounds. My sizes have all gone up. The clothes, the bra circumference, and yes, even my underwear drawer is in serious need of an upgrade. Everything I own is uncomfortable and I have started getting mad about it. Really mad. 

I created a “Goodwill” pile and every time something doesn’t fit, I toss it on the pile. I’m getting thicker and my wardrobe is getting considerably thinner. I hate it. 

I don’t want to give up. I want to fight harder but I also don’t want to deny myself all the food that I love. Including pizza and cheeseburgers and fried fish tacos and yes, ALL the sugar too. This daily struggle has become too much an obsession. 

I wake up thinking about it. I constantly argue with myself about whether I should eat breakfast or not, if I should have coffee with cream and sugar or try to give it up, how much I eat for lunch and if it should be simple and healthy or 

Something I want because I like the way it tastes. And the best goes on and on and on like that until the last decision of the day is upon me. Do I allow myself to have an evening snack.

I use twisted logic to convince myself of doing what I really want in the moment and then get angry thinking about how I need to go shopping for new clothes. It’s ridiculous. 

My husband says I’m sexy and beautiful and at the perfect weight right now. He wants to “deprogram” my lines of thinking and help me to see what he sees. He tells me to treat myself to some new clothes and says that I deserve to spend money on myself. 

It’s not about the money. It’s about the shame of not being able to fix something I’ve always had control over. But have I always had control? 

That’s how it started, yes. As I said, I could control my weight but in the thick of bulimia and anorexia, it’s definitely a situation that was completely out of control. 

The question I have to ask myself is am I out of control now? What can I really do to help myself and fix this? 

Therapy maybe. Set a modest goal yet allow myself to indulge and enjoy. Be reasonable. Take my husband’s advice and go shopping. Be kind to myself and try to make peace with these 10 extra pounds. Take the pile of clothes that don’t fit to the Goodwill. All I can say is that I’ll try. Keep trying actually as a lot of this is already a part of the daily conversations in my head. 

Actions speak louder than words though so I think it’s time to end the conversations and make up my damn mind so I can stop wasting so much time arguing with myself. If I like pizza, which I do, then I should just eat the damn pizza.

With that my time is up. 

Peace and love, 

~Miss SugarCookie

2021-12-26 The Christmas Unwrap 🎄🌟🎁

Hello Friends. It’s been a strange holiday indeed. Where to begin? Where to begin? How about everything that feels normal?

Both of my kids have been home since last Monday, almost a week and that, in and of itself, is comforting. Even if they are independent and don’t really need me anymore, it is nice that we are all under the same roof and I was able to have them in tow when I went to my Mom’s house on Christmas Eve. There’s just something about going to sleep and waking up knowing they are home and safe. It has also been nice that my daughter has been driving the two of them back and forth from their dad’s house and to go shopping and to get food. Not playing mom taxi is great! I think the normal ends there. 

The first thing that is not normal is the weather. Fog, warmer than usual temps, and no snow makes it feel more like October than December. That kinda sets the mood, you know. The whole not-feeling-like-Christmas-at-all mood. 

Yes, I did the last minute shopping and wrapping and tried to get into the spirit by listening to Christmas music but it all sounded like garbage and I found myself skipping a lot of songs that were in the amazon music streaming queue. I’m more of a Christmas classic sort of gal, but even Bing didn’t seem to hit the spot. Who came up with that name, Bing?! I guess his real name is Harry and if my name was Harry, I’d probably adopt a nickname too. 

Feels like the week flew by and when that happens, and then you hit the actual holiday, it is time to slow down. I don’t think I’ve had a busier Christmas Eve in all my years. And that day started at about 3:30 AM. Not a typo. 

When I woke, I was immediately wide awake and thinking about the organization I have been doing with regard to my laptop, google drive, and external hard drive. It is the end of the year and some reorg and backup were high on my priority list. And I wanted to get it done before the holiday so I could relax and rest easy knowing that it was already done. I think I pretty much wrapped that all up by 7 AM so at least waking up so damn early meant I was productive. 

At 7 AM I finished that task and celebrated by going back to bed with Jim for an hour. 

At 8 AM I got some cardio in while watching the season finale of the Bachelorette and that was very satisfying. 

At 9 AM I hung out with Jim and his boys for their gift exchange. They open gifts on Christmas eve in the morning like it was Christmas day. Then his boys go back to their mom’s house.

At 10 AM I had an appointment at the bank to open a business checking account for the Good Life Review. I should write a whole post on the process of establishing a nonprofit organization in the state of Nebraska. Such a long ordeal with the very last step is getting acknowledgment from the IRS that they have approved the 501(c)(3)/tax-exempt status. The meeting at the bank took almost two hours!! 

This left very little time for me to come home, cook food for the family gathering at my mom’s house, AND get ready to go. By 3 PM I was exhausted and fried and in no mood to be festive for the next 4 hours. 

Originally, I had wanted to play games with my sister(s) and the kids and anyone else in our small-ish crew that was interested, but the dinner seemed to take forever. Then gift opening. Then desert. Ugh! By the time we got to 7:30, I was done for and really kinda losing my ability to focus and even carry on a conversation. Plus, I had developed a headache. All I could think about was getting home. 

By the time I arrived home, I had a full-blown migraine. I took a hit of my sumatriptan nasal spray and some anti-nausea med and persevered through 8:30 picking up, unpacking the car, and putting myself to bed. Such a sad ending to a day and event I’ve been looking forward to. 

***

December 25.

My sleep was really quite rotten, and I woke up every few hours. My headache persisted and I had developed a pretty nasty stomach pain too. Still not sure what that is from. When 3:30 AM hit, I was ready to be done with the night and so for the second night in a row, I was up and at it before 4 AM. Ugh!

On the bright side, I still had to play “santa ” filling stockings and putting the remainder of the gifts out. But when I was done with that, I tried to sleep on the couch and that was a no-go. Between the cats fighting at 5 AM and the owl hooting endlessly in the backyard, I just laid there feeling done with the day before it began. Not a great way to start Christmas day.

I never did go back to sleep. Instead, I waited until 9AM and then woke my kids up to truly begin our typical Christmas morning festivities. That includes opening gifts and having our traditional cinnamon rolls and bacon breakfast. 

They had to leave by noon to head to their dads house at which time I cleaned up all the mess and proceeded to do almost nothing the rest of the day. I did have to drive to check in on my friends Kitten, Stormy, but really never changed out of my lounge clothes all day. 

Jim and I ate leftovers and frozen pizza for Christmas dinner and then drove around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. 

When we came back home I managed to stay awake while we watched a movie “The Waterman” and after that I fell into bed and was asleep before the lights were turned out. 

***

December 26.

The early mornings continued the next day with another 4 AM wake up. Three strikes and I’m out. Something has to change there. 

Anyway. Today was pretty good despite the continued exhaustion. My sister who lives in Denver came over and we chatted and played board games with the kids. We played Trash Panda, Settlers of Catan, and Azul. I was glad to have the chance to play with them while they are all here because come Monday, people are scattering back to their regular routines.

I also cooked a traditional Christmas dinner because none of the meals I had over the thanksgiving and Christmas holidays satisfied that itch. 

Thankfully I was able to find a 12 pound turkey which was just right for our crew. However I also discovered that just about everyone favors dark meat so the leftovers are mostly white meat. Perfect for turkey sandwiches! 

The rest of the bones and scraps will go outside to our neighborhood cats, Noir, Bootsie, Garfield, Slinky, and whatever else roams in the night. It’s satisfying to know that not much of it will go to waste. And I’ll be heading into the new year with a renewed sense of eating healthier and working on those 10 pounds I gained this year. 

I think that wraps it up for another year. And about time..:Christmas is exhausting! 

Happy, Merry, Joy, Joy, 

~Miss SugarCookie