Thursday, February 28, 2008


In the spirit of "Common, everyone ELSE is doing it..." I am commencing my list of 103 things you may not know about me.

1. I rarely finish anything. This may be a list of 54 things you may not know about me. Or 13.

2. I am afraid of the dark. Really.

3. My secret vices are fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies (okay, that's not a secret!) and The Simpsons.

4. I know the words to virtually every Barry Manilow song ever written. And I can sing them to you upon demand. This request is not something, oddly enough, that happens often...

5. I am a professional musician. Or rather, I WAS, in a former life. (Like, when I HAD a life!) You can read about that here.

6. I read about six-eight books at a time on average. I finish about 40% of them. There's a lot of poorly written CRAP out there...

7. If I could do anything, I would find a way to become independently wealthy so we could travel the world and see all there is to see. I have a longing to travel that is unfortunately not matched by our budget.

8. I bait my own hook. I have also gutted my own fish, caught a snake, and held multiple frogs. I cannot, however, stand to clean off someone else's plate to put it in the dishwasher. GROSS.

9. I am a Trekie. Hold your laughter.

10. My husband has recently gotten me hooked on the new Battlestar Galactica. NOW you may laugh.

11. I love to watch cooking shows and read recipe books. I said once to a friend that I "read recipes like romance novels." She didn't get it. But I know some of you do!

12. I talk in my sleep. According to my husband, I am completely nonsensical.

13. I am a neat-freak, but not a clean-freak. I pick up the house daily. I dust quarterly.

14. I wanted to be the next Sandi Patti. Really. (I can't believe I'm sharing THAT one...)

15. I also wanted to be the next Amy Grant.

16. I do a pretty good imitation of both. Again, not many requests for either these days...

17. The ideal year, to me, would be for there to be spring (sunny and 75) until the beginning of June, then fall (sunny and 75) until the middle of November, and then it could snow from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day and then start all over again.

18. I drink my tea with cream. Or, at least I did until I started this new diet.

19. I abhor meatloaf, peas, lima beans, and pot roast.

20. I have been known to eat cereal three meals a day.

21. I make "happy eating noises" when I am enjoying a particularly good meal.

22. I do not like to share my food. I am worse than a dog. I have actually GROWLED at my husband. And my children, well...

23. I love baby-butts. I think they are the cutest things in the world.

24. I have peed in the woods and lived to tell about it. (And not dribbled on my shoes!)

Gotta get to work... maybe more later, maybe not!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

gains and losses

I knew better, but I did it anyway. At some point this morning the voice of reason was drowned out by the voice of immediate gratification, and I went ahead and did it. For the third time this week. And the outcome hasn’t gotten any better.

The reassurance I sought as my feet met cold metal was replaced with despair. A beep, a whir, and a blinking number. 144.0 … 144.0 … 144.0 … 144.0 I slunk down off the scale, my thoughts racing, and began to prepare for the morning ahead.

Crap, I thought, digging through my fat clothes yet another time. What the heck? I’ve been on this diet almost two weeks now—the scale is supposed to be going DOWN, not up! I tried to quiet the tirade, to no avail. Why won’t my body do what it’s supposed to? I’m following the diet perfectly—how the heck did I GAIN two pounds over the last few days? The food itself couldn’t have even weighed that much! MAN I hate this…

I laid the clothes on the bed, remembering it was a work-out morning. Hearing the kids playing peacefully below, I decided to boot up the computer and email one of my “talk me down off the ledge” friends. “Tell me I can do this,” I pleaded with her. “Tell me this is going to work. And tell me to stop getting on this stupid scale!”

Of course, she’s told me all of this before, many a time. But listening is not my forté. Being impulsive and neurotic is. Fortunately, she is not put off by my neuroticism, though I would not blame her, after seven years of listening to the same ol’ same ol’, if she finally told me to just shut the heck up and get over it. But, of course, I wouldn’t listen to that, either.

These last ten pounds have been the bane of my existence for, oh, I dunno, about two or three years now. But the weight itself, well, that has been a lifelong preoccupation. Another of my “talk me down off the ledge” friends reminds me with great regularity that it’s all about perspective. I’ve lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off for several years now—who cares about the last ten pounds?

I care about the last ten pounds. Despite my best efforts, I care very much. Not because of the number on the scale, but because of how my clothes fit. Because of how my body feels when it gets there. Because of how my body looks when it gets there. And ultimately because of what that number represents.

The moment I first became aware of my body a life-long tug-of-war began internally and hasn’t let up since. I have cursed my body. I have hated my body. I have tortured, tricked, treated, and tormented my body. But I have never once, in 37 years, come to trust my body. That is, perhaps, the greatest loss of all.

I have gained strength, I have lost weight. I have lost self-control, I have gained muscle. I have gained confidence, I have lost hope. I have lost flab, I have gained perspective. My husband has weighed a steady 118 lbs since the day we met. His attitude toward his weight remains likewise unchanged. I am not as fortunate. For me, life with my body is a constant roller coaster of gains and losses. Perhaps one day I will be at peace with this fact.

Perhaps one day.

Monday, February 25, 2008

fear or trust?

I've posted this quote once before, but it strikes a chord with where I am currently, so I decided to post it again:

Writing...I've discovered, has much in common with resolving weight issues. You can proceed from the fear that unless you force yourself to do it, you won't. Or you can proceed from the belief that you want to do it, and will, but that doing it may sometimes look like not doing it. One way is as difficult as the other; both require perseverance and commitment. The way you choose depends on how you want to live. You can fear yourself or you can trust yourself.

Geneen Roth

"...doing it may sometimes look like not doing it..."

Brilliant. Just brilliant. I can't say it any better.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

stormy weather: a haiku

The surface reflects
clear blue skies and sunny smiles
to the passing glance.

But underlying
currents run deep and dark and
strong—poorly hidden

from those well-knowing,
who see the storm clouds gather,
threatening rain clouds.

Friday, February 22, 2008

the stats say it all...

"When are you going to post again?" he asks me. Every time he sees me. It's endearing, in a guilt-inducing sort of way. It wouldn't bother me so much, were it not for the fact that I am particularly prone to guilt.

He is the same one who innocuously asks in writer's group this week whether or not we write because we love to write or because we want to be published. I sit back in my chair, caught off gaurd by the emotion his question stirs within me. Later I return home and check out the blog of a friend I have been remiss in reading, to discover that in my absence she has joined the blog365 movement and is truckin' along at a post per day. Again this stirring. I do not care for stirring. Not here. Not now. Not ever, as of late.

As for me, well, I've been a part of the blog-once-every-few-months-movement here lately. Fourty-five whopping posts in 2007. What does that say? I don't know, other than "my husband is in grad school and I don't have a single, solitary moment to myself and it's beginning to wear on me." But it's there, every night--that same stirring, that same draw to the computer, that same guilt, that same tension. As I am not one for dealing with emotion lately, avoiding it all has been my m.o. But a handful of you, thankfully, are not content to allow me to continue in that avoidance. And so, here I am.

At some point, for me, writing and blogging became synonomous. That was a mistake. Rather than being about "I have a neat thought/quote/picture to share," it became about needing to post because I was "expected" to post. And while I don't disdain that for others, it is not working well, apparently, for me. It began to create pressure. The pressure to post, to read, to comment, to keep up, to out-do. Too much pressure in a life already stretched tight. I dealt with it by laying down my laptop.

But therein lies the tension. The desire to write is still there. And the desire to have an audience for that writing is even greater. And so, while other friends have chosen to deal with this same quandry by giving up the blog, I am uncertain that is the path for me. Because while I want to believe that I really write just for the sheer joy of writing, the truth is that the joy, for me, comes in the sharing. And at this point in my life, this is the only available outlet from which to share.

And so share I will. I've made a few minor changes to the layout because I was bored, as was my pestering friend. If they are hideous, please let me know. What this writing thing will look like as this winter season approaches an end and graduation rounds the corner is uncertain. But what I am certain of is this--this will be a writing thing, not a blogging thing. And so my promise to myself is this--I will write. I will read. I will take pictures. And as I have the time, I will share them.

Because I need to. And because my friend won't leave me alone if I don't.

Catching up

Here are some pics to bring you up to date. This is Christmas Eve.

start spreading the news...

The hubby and I in NYC for our 15th anniversary.

have i mentioned lately... much I adore my kids?

one big happy...

Taken this fall by a beautiful young woman at our church.