July 26, 2009
i’ve been noticing that i have dealt with all the changes in my life over the past year with a series of negotiations. food and exercise, certainly the two biggest categories to be subject to large change, are telling. with food, i promise myself everything. then, when faced with the possibility, i negotiate with myself. ‘just wait another 1/2 hour and you can have that.’ ‘yes, you can have that cheesesteak, but i bet you could find a good hearty salad around and why not just have that cheeseteak tomorrow?’ ‘i will only walk a short walk on my elliptical…ok, 2 more minutes…ok, if you start running a bit you can say you ran for 3 minutes which is the length of this new song you just put on your ipod…ok, actually feeling ok at the moment, i bet i can run another 3 minutes.’
somehow all these mini-deals — mini-negotiations — have added up. but sometimes i’m tired of them. tired of myself. i just want to be that ok person who *wants* to exercise for 30 minutes and feel the sweat run down my face and neck. i just want to be that regular person who *wants* the salad and boneless chicken breast over the chicken parmigiana with a side of pasta and just a few pieces of that yummy garlic bread.
ironically, i like salad. i like my silly 100 calorie fudge pops. and, please don’t tell anyone i said this, i like how i feel after i exercise. it’s the getting to it all that’s difficult. i see so many people stuck in their lives..unable to change anything – their attitudes, their friendships, their relationships .. and i swore i would not be that person. i want to be open to change even as i leap into my low-50’s. as usual, i’ve figured out how to change the back-end. it’s just that i’m still slowly sliding into the front part …a series of carefully-negotiated deals with myself. good thing i’m buying, huh?
July 19, 2009
i took a very long walk with my lovely husband this evening. you’d think that wouldn’t be such a big deal but during the summer, with teenage daughter away at camp, we have some time to choose some things for ourselves – to get into new patterns that we haven’t had a chance to generate during the rush of the school year with all it’s multiple obligations. last summer, i remember lots of movies in manhattan. we’d hit the sunshine cinema to see something slightly eclectic and then up 2nd avenue to a sweet little sicilian restaurant that we seem to fall into time and again whenever we’re in that neck of the woods.
this year, without ever discussing it, it just seemed silly to go galavanting all over handing out $20’s for this and that. and both of us, in our own ways, are trying to make our bodies move forward with more health. he’s found that long walks are actually helping his back. i still like to go shut the door to our basement and commune with big bertha while i belt out parts of the hits! but i have started to take to agreeing to these long walks. tonite, i even proposed it. of course, i have to have a goal and tonite’s goal was the longest walk we’ve taken yet but it’s mid-point was a delightful icey joint that would be dessert before dinner – a true summer prize. and it was. after walking through beautiful victorian brooklyn neighborhoods, we ended up with the most glorious small cup of peach-lemonade and black rasberry ice. inhaled, we walked back. and 4 miles was had by all.
July 10, 2009
i sit here, waiting for a delayed flight in the new MUTLI-SCREENED, EXTREMELY LOUD jetblue termimal. traveling alone on this portion of the flight, i arrive with enough time to deal with security and luggage and i always make sure i have an extra 1/2 hour to go to the ladies’ room to put on my compression sleeve and glove. i’ve traveled a few times a year since my surgery and treatments and have dealt with some mild lymphadema. that’s a post for another day but this is just to say that i have an amazing lymphadema physical therapist who has helped me through a few times when i was filled with fury about this pissy side-effect of lymph surgery. anyway, the upshot is that i wear a compression sleeve and glove on all flights. said sleeve and glove usually put on about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes before i board. i used to put it on at home and then go through security but that only earned me a complete body pat-down and major wanding to be sure that i wasn’t packing anything dangerous under those bandages. so i’ve learned to zip it on in the women’s bathroom. for our airfrance flight to paris, we were running late and i actually had to put it on in the security line and another time the line to the bathrooms was so long that i put it on standing in line. LET ME TELL YOU (caps intended) that there’s truely nothing like seeing the looks on your fellow passengers’ faces as i put the green rubber dishwashing glove on my left hand to help guide the compression sleeve (tug, tug, TUG, SLIDDDDDDDDE, TUG) up my arm – wrist to armpit – and then check to be sure the seam is in the correct place and then, oh and then, the GLOVE. i become the feared creature. WHAT could possibly be wrong? i’ve developed a benevolent smile and, truely, if someone asked, i would just tell them. no one ever has. my teenage daughter is no longer phased by my creature-from-the-beige-lagoon look.
but this is all to say, that i hate delayed planes. how am i supposed to time this tugging and pulling? don’t they understand??
July 8, 2009
justification. there. let’s get that word out there. plain and simple. there’s much talk of gratification and over-gratification but rarely is the concept of justification brought into play. as a real estate broker, i see justification all the time. ‘but i shouldn’t have to sell for less because [insert answer here: e.g., even tho i’m a 4th floor walkup my place seems so much nicer than those jerks’ on the 2nd floor]. i am coming to realize how much i use justification in my own life. or, how much i have used it…i’ve been trying for a cleaner-meaner existence lately. see what’s truly there. the problem is, can you ever see what’s truly there? what if you see one thing and the person standing next to you sees another? is there a compromise in the middle or is there just a truth in both versions?
i have often justified eating indulgent foods as a defense against the circumstances of my life. i’m frustrated or i’m feeling boxed in and judged or i had cancer. so i eat. and there’s such a difference between just eating and truly loving food. i truly love food. i love the look and the colors and the smells and aromas and tastes and the slow making of. but i’ve justified that love as an excuse to eat at will. until the eating is, sadly, no longer about the food. it’s about the filling up of the need. as i try to clear the garbage off the rails of my subliminal subway tracks, i have had to address what is real and what is justified. had to? have to. every day. on the drive from my office to my home. on my walks on my elliptical. at night after 9pm when i really really really really want a ‘small snack’.
i was trying on some clothes today in a store. since i’ve lost some weight, i’ve been occasionally going into ‘regular-size’ stores and just trying on larges and xl’s to see what fits. because, as all women know, one brand’s L is another brand’s S. i feel frustrated because, for the past few years, i could hide in big clothes. now i can’t hide in those big clothes (read: plus) but the large regular clothes make me look big. see? justification. i guess the truth is, the regular clothes don’t make me look big; i’m big for regular clothes. justification – sometimes a happy place to be.
July 4, 2009
i joined facebook with caution. over the years, my friends and colleagues have always complimented me on being up-to-date with technology. it’s true, i’m a hardcore palm user: i’ve had every palm product that ever existed (except the centro) and use them all for everything they’ve got. i like to find shortcuts with computer programs that will allow less duplicated work and will keep me organized. colleagues always think i’m organized but it’s all about dropping the file in the right place. otherwise, at home, it’s all about dropping my clothes in an every-growing pile and my husband would not categorize me as organized in the smallest amount!
but i was feeling technology-fatigue in the last year or so and the pressure to join facebook was mounting. well, a few months i did join and, as i suspected, i’m a willing and too-often-contributor to my status remarks and looking at everyone else’s photos. however, i’ve decided it was all worth it. i found computer ‘lexulous’. let’s be real. SCRABBLE!!!!!!!!!
i LOVE scrabble. i have always loved scrabble. some of my nicest memories of scrabble were playing with my gran when i was, i guess, a young teen. she was kind and helped me to build words. i felt safe learning the rules of the board with her. i recently found the saved bag of fading scrabble tiles that i kept from her set and it made me so happy to remember those games and that time together. sadly, neither my husband nor my teenage daughter are interested in my scrabble dreams. so i have had to wait for the every-other-month visits from my sister-in-law to have a few scrabble marathons over the past year. it’s so incredibly satisfying.
when i was coming out of the chemo and radiation fog 3 years ago, i used to play little ‘matching’ games (tetris-like and bejeweled) on my treo or my computer and how well i did was a barometer for how much fog was sitting low over my functioning brain. trust me, there were days when i didn’t function well. then i remembered scrabble. between middle-age, forced menopause and a sometimes-still-hovering fog, scrabble has become the bellwether for how well my brain is functioning. a few weeks ago, my sister-in-law was in for a visit and we sat down to a first game of the weekend and i remember staring at the board and thinking: i just don’t know how to make a real word here. i had to coax my brain cells to organize into coherency. but they did.
now: scrabble online. oh. my. god. as many games as you like going at any one time. i feel like i was given a big holiday gift!!!! come play with me!! i hope you don’t mind if you’re game 9!!!