Finding Copper Frost

46 years ago I found my color lipstick. Years of trying every color on, drawers and drawers of discarded colors. Writing on my wrist with samples because you don’t want your lips on the samples – germs – elephantitis, gram would say.
And then suddenly there it was – Revlon’s Copper Frost – the right coral with a coating of cream – it was perfect. I had found pure gold. I would always buy two or three at a time so I had enough to have one in the car, one in the bathroom, one in my purse. And then one day thirty years or so later I began to not be able to find them. I went to the usual places and bought all of them up where I found them. I sent letters to Revlon – no response. Whenever I traveled I looked for them in stores. I looked online the minute there was such a thing – it was yahoo first. It was gone. As magically as my color showed up, it disappeared.
I was then back to looking, and buying and writing on my wrists. Finally Revlon came out last year with something close to it. Then that was gone again. When I went to look for it again online I found it! I ordered 12 of them and thought while I am it I will look for my copper frost. And there it was – for sale in Britain. Had it been there all along?
I ordered two to see if they were the same and they arrived yesterday. It is the same color – amazing. But alas, I am not. I am grey and yellow and the beautiful coral color isn’t so me anymore. But I am going to wear it anyway for a while. Just because …

Something’s Changed

As I leave my therapist’s office I say, “This is helping. I get to whine here. No one else in my life lets me whine.”
And she responds, “In therapy we call it expressing your feelings.”
I laughed out loud. Ah yes, I remember that, expressing my feelings. What happened to expressing feelings? I remember what happened. I remember all of us in therapy, pouring all our feelings all over everyone else. I remember thinking of a friend as being over-expressed. I remember embracing ACN as the end to therapy, of wallowing in my feelings, pouring out my feelings all over the place. I liked it a lot – say it then look at it, then take a stand, then move on. Truth be told I don’t really like hanging out with other people’s feelings. I don’t like hanging out with my own. It is so uncomfortable. I wasn’t allowed to have them when I was a child. I bottled them all up and kept them inside. Sitting quietly on the chair in the living room while the madness ensued around me. If I am quiet enough they won’t know I am here. I can make myself invisible.
I think that was why my relationship with tom was so important to me. I could be myself totally all the time and he loved me. And that was a wonderful time in my life. And the truth is that it is over. I no longer feel like I can be myself totally with him. I don’t trust that he loves me. And I am sometimes torn by thinking fuck him I will be myself and alternatively I don’t want to be alone.
The reason this past time has been so hard on me is that I have been in mourning – my uncle, my mom, my dog, my friends Kathy, Scott and Pete, my special house that was really where my heart was, my job where people appreciated and liked me. Losses within a few years and then tom leaves and there was my marriage – gone. It has been a tough time.
And while tom is still around – the relationship we had that I so trusted and treasured is gone. What we still have remains to be seen.
I make my amazing blueberry pancakes this morning and once on the plate I know I could have just had one and that one would have been enough for me to eat. I take the two upstairs and share them with my dog.
I notice that the meat sort of feels heavy and strange next to the freshness of the berries and the natural sweetness of the maple syrup. So one pancake perhaps, more butter, no sausage.
I eat all the time – I have given myself permission to eat the six meals a day -to listen to my body instead of ignoring and balming it for my problems. Now if I can just make them smaller and healthier I think I might have something. I am hungry. These tapes tell me that if I eat I will be hungry. I remember learning that if I ate breakfast in the morning I would be hungry all day and that is so correct because it starts the metabolism. So you burn the fuel and the body says more more. So right now I am feeding my body. I am feeding my soul too. I am saying what is so and I am feeding myself.
Relevant to the human experience. Lily Tomlin just said that.
Writing that is relevant to the human experience – good goal.

Why Did I Start This?

Saturday

I forget why I started this – what was the point of all of this. I forget why it seemed so important a few days ago, why I thought I had a good idea.

I just ate a bowl of pasta with meatballs and one slice of bread. Breakfast was a scrambled egg sandwich on toast with butter and ketchup. I discovered this many years ago – the more I eat, the hungrier I am. Science says it is because when you eat your metabolism kicks into gear.

I internalized it as if I don’t eat then I won’t want to eat so don’t eat. Don’t eat breakfast. Who knew I was shutting down my metabolism.

Another person on TV with no mind. Reminds me of Beverly – that lost look in their eyes. Who am I? What am I doing here?

Who am I?  What am I doing here?

So I am going to remind myself this is why I began this:

Because I am tired of being fat and I need a way to be with food that works for me. A way to be with food that is healthy instead of addicted.

These are the things on that list I can do easily:

  1. Eating small meals – anything like a normal meal and I want to go to sleep
  2. Eating frequently – keeping the fire stoked makes perfect sense
  3. Lots of water – first diet – Stillman way before Atkins
  4. Lots of salads and vegies

These are things I can do with some modification:

  1. Not eating after 6 pm – always good for a pound or two in the morning
    1. I can do this with regard to heavy meals – as long as I can have my sweet snack
    2. High protein/no carbs
      1. Think I can do this within a balance – some carbs – a half potato, small piece of meat, vegetable and salad

So today – I did not eat breakfast, I am not eating small meals. I am not drinking water. Defeating myself on many levels.

What could I do without today. I could have lived without the piece of bread and butter.

The first thing is to make a list of the foods I cannot live without. What I know is that when I feel deprived of anything I want it more. Not only that I notice when I am planning to give something up I eat tons of it because I am going to miss it. If I keep all the things I love in my normal diet then there is no reason to pile it on – stuff myself.

After this initial realization I had three days of peace. Three days of no cravings, no stuffing – just peace where food wasn’t the most prevalent topic on my mind from wakening to sleep. How pervasive this has been for so many years – most of my life.

A gift from my mother and one I have passed on – poor body image and food addiction.

Questions to become conscious about food so far:

  1. What are the top three foods you cannot live without?
    1. Pasta
    2. Coffee in the morning
    3. Hazelnut creamer in my coffee in the morning
    4. Other foods I would rather not live without:
      1. Bread
      2. Fruit – watermelon, pineapple, apples, berries
      3. Butter
      4. Cheese
      5. Occasional glass of wine, beer
      6. Seafood – lobster, crabs, shrimp
      7. What are the top food practices you can’t live without? (work on this for a while)
        1. Practice – like I have to eat something sweet before bed every night.
        2. I cannot eat for at least an hour upon waking.
        3. Sour cream on baked potatoes
        4. Fresh pepper on pasta

 

Months Away From the End

it’s snowing. weather – i can’t control it – how great. it keeps me home and tucked safely into bed. the storm is called nemo. i worry about my house in NH that i couldn’t finance to get a new roof. will it weather the storm. will i weather this storm. tom is like some long lost friend i really like but i am not in love anymore. i do love him and truth is i believe if you aren’t a little in love with someone people become so boring. will it come back if and when he does. who knows. who knows if he will come back. i sort of have moved on emotionally having this roller coaster ride the last few years i have elected to get off. i am tired. of many things but mostly of taking care of him. he is so preoccupied with himself and what he needs and wants and i am not that partner that cares anymore. left to care for my own well being i no longer care how he fares in his life. not exactly – i do care – i just don’t have the energy to help or sometimes even watch. as it was in the beginning – he was taking care of him and i was taking care of him and no one was taking care of me. so now i do.
a part of me feels pressured and anxious when he is home. he has opinions. he wants me to be a certain way. he wants to control the atmosphere. i feel so tired by the time he leaves that i am relieved now. many changes. a lot of pain i come full circle. i can be alone. i even like it. and then ryan comes home so what is that. me noticing how people show up in my life – wanting things from me – unwilling to give. it is an interesting life.

Dog Run Over

what is up with my life – seriously. i leave my friend’s house and a block from her house i watch these people chasing this cute dog around trying to catch it. i stop my vehicle so they can catch it and watch as they clap for it to come and chase it around and seconds away from his front door the dog dodges into the 4 lane highway and gets hit by a car. it was the worse thing i have ever witnessed.

not as bad as a child getting killed in a war or people being blown up but for me watching that puppy get hit by the car was devastating. i cannot even close my eyes without seeing it happen over and over.

so how do people live through war, and killings, and the halocaust. how do they survive it.

since i was screaming so loud someone from the family came to see if i was okay. they were worried about me. i asked if he was alive – are you taking him to the hospital. i watched as they loaded him first onto a kid’s wagon and then into the back of their jeep. they yelled to me – he is still alive. then they took off down the road.

i prayed to scott and my mother who loved dogs to please help – to save the puppy because god is too abstract for me. people i know, people can help.

what does it all mean. i have only questions, no answers. just keep hearing the thud of the car against the dog. just keep seeing the puppy run into the oncoming traffic. just keep screaming no no no no no. but he keeps running anyway.

Movies Alone

In the last two days I have gone to 2 movies alone and had my hair permed.

at the hair dresser I sat across from the 25-year-old me, long thin shapely legs, long hair being bleached. we made eye contact, we looked at each other, no we studied each other warily. I remembered what it was like to be that age, she was wondering what it would be like to be mine. she wondered if she would let herself go and vowed she never would. she wondered if I had a career, made a good living, had a family, a man who loved and cherished me. a man who was devoted – a concept I love.

I wondered if she owned herself yet, if she would face her life on her own terms, on her own ground. if she would grow and change and become everything she could become. or if she would become me…

the familiar smell of the peroxide wafted across the room and I remembered the pain of that experience when I also thought I might not be a blonde and made my hair dark, only to quickly return to the blonde me just as she was doing.

over 30 years later I am also returning to myself – my curly-haired self. ringlets abound my forehead as I write this. I look like me again. the me I created at 36 when I was transitioning from one life to another.

am I transitioning now. I wonder. suddenly one day I looked in the mirror and didn’t know who that woman was staring back at me. I knew it didn’t fit, my life didn’t fit, my hair didn’t fit.

this curly hair, this feels like me – like a me i choose to be, i select myself to be. i create myself to be. i invent myself to be.

i took this new me on a long walk with my dog. i took myself to the movies. i invited a neighbor in with her dog to play with Vegas. i looked online for a place to live in town.

i threw away old clothes i knew i would never wear. rid myself of painful shoes my old feet would never find comfort in again.

i can see this is a process. this rediscovering of what makes me happy. 

the moment my friend Rebecca surrendered to the idea she might die she sent her children out to buy the most expensive champagne they could find. living thrifty on a passive income and too sick to work, she lived well, but did not splurge. four days before she died, she was still eating microbiotic cardboard food that would save her but on the day she agreed to death, she splurged. what is that.

i pay my bills on time, i take care of a lot of people and i do not want to wait until the day i give into death to splurge on myself.  i want to do that today and next week.

when i think of my lone life – wake up alone, eat alone, go to work alone, sleep alone i wonder what is it really is that i long for in tom. we came home every night, we ate, we worked, we watched tv. i would hope he didn’t come to bed when i did so i could just watch tv by myself without all the clicking and stupid shows he liked. he awakes talking and asking me questions in the morning and never shuts up while i am not awake for hours.

this is actually helpful.

i think the truth is that it is less about missing him and more about feeling left. rejected. like that.

 

Hello world!

 So – why do this? Because I am alone in my life at 62. my husband tom decided one day his working life wasn’t working for him and he decided he needed to finish college. sustainable living – iowa. why there – college for meditators which he has been doing for 40 years. his friend said, go there, everyone will love you there. and they gave him money and they accepted him so – there he is.

in all honesty i believe it is the absolute right place for him to be. i believe he is going to learn a lot and he is really happy and i think this is what is so right for him is so wrong for me.

what can you do – you can’t say – hey no – don’t go and change your life, no don’t go and be something you finally figured out you wanted to be, no don’t go and grow.

or even better – if you go i will leave you, or it’s me or living the life you want.

none of that seemed reasonable or who i want to be in the world. so we packed him off to school and i pined and pined for him for months. february, march, april, and then in may i went to la and smelled the air, took a bike ride on the beach and i began to see a glimpse of something i lost – me.

april was a little weird – tom came home for spring break to clean out his room and then left for 6 weeks. my libido came back so that was too long. then he came home in june and that was a spectacular interlude. and he left and i was okay mostly.

it is that life is  not turning out the way i expected it to. so it’s not terrible but i have these very sad lonely days, and i have these very angry resentful days, and lately i have been having okay days and i work and work and work all the time. and i listen to self-help books on tape and see a therapist, and so on, just trying to figure out how to be with this.

and we talk about it – how do we make this work so we can have a relationship while having a life apart. like all those couples living through deployment. how do people survive this because what i want to do is not feel the pain. eat through it, drink through it, cut out the heart of the problem – reject the person causing me all this pain and move on. that is how i handled it in the past.

people leave. and it isn’t always about me. or is it?