Category Archives: clothes

Should I stay or should I go now

I leave in 32 days. On one hand… I’d like to leave tomorrow. On the other hand… I am scared. I’m scared of pain and failure. My hands hurt. Sometimes gripping things is a problem. Notice how good I’m being about not typing much? Trying to heal.

My belly hurts. I’m hungry. Dinner was light.

So many feelings. My shrink is pushing me to change how I interact with people. Make my plans and move forward. Don’t try so hard to get people on the same page. Don’t ask for specifics. Don’t try to nail people down to actual agreement. Either they show up or they don’t. Either their plans work or they don’t. She wants me to stop canceling a whole day of plans when someone in an inner circle speaks up and wants time. She wants me to reserve less time for people based on the emotional weight I give the relationship.

People will show up or not and I burn a lot of energy on planning and trying to get people to commit. Folks don’t like committing.

I feel like my shrink is being really fucking bossy lately. She’s given me more specific feedback on “X friendship doesn’t seem to be meeting your needs and you should step back” over the past few months. She’s pushing me to push people away. I have feelings about that.

She wants me to have more boundaries around me.

One of my lovely neighbors asked if I wanted her to come over so she can help me weed the garden. We will work on my abysmal Mandarin and her moderate English at the same time. Sounds fabulous. (Oh, Pam: she was sad when I said you were not available to join us. She wishes your grandmother a speedy recovery; she wishes more grandchildren were so dutiful.)

Splitting the kids into separate rooms was the right choice. As was coming down like a box of hammers over eating out. That stopped the fighting that was reaching a fevered pitch. Calli hasn’t felt the need to get in my face and tell me off since. Thank goodness. Having separate space is such a fabulous novelty that when I declare cool-off-time in separate rooms everyone is cheerful and excited. I’m aware that it will change over time.

We are going to have adventures with “I get to decide who is allowed in my room”.

We are still slowly dividing up belongings to figure out what gets stored where. It’s a process.

I think it is funny that Shanna wanted her bed flipped back into a bunk bed because this way it has sides and she doesn’t fall off the platform. A low bed isn’t safer for her.

Calli has been exhausted lately. She must be growing. She’s been napping more days than not for a week or two. Good timing. Outgrow your clothing now, before we leave on the trip.

I’m bleeding. This will be my last period using cloth pads until December. It’s disposables for most of the year. Ew, tampons. Owie, yucky, fuss, and ick. And yet the cloth pads hurt my tail bone.

32 days to go. I’m slowly getting the house cleaner. I’m not sure why I prioritize this as much as I do other than… when we come home it will be such a pleasure. I won’t have cubbies of delayed work waiting to crash on my head. I’m even doing my fucking filing.

My garden is wonderful. I have taken pictures. I should post them. Which means I should plug my phone in and transfer pictures. erk.

I like changes.

Things are moving around in the house. This is glorious for me. I love rearranging. Lots of furniture has left. Very little is going to replace it. We will get a small dresser for Calli. But the armoire and huge dresser are gone. This means Calli’s room and the garage feel much more open and spacious.

The van is mostly packed. Tomorrow I will probably get everything else out of the garage and side shed. Food won’t be packed and that’s ok. There are a few hanging details left to arrange, but things are plugging along.

I ordered Shanna a larger bathing suit because all of her size 6 stuff is getting ridiculously small. She’s between size 6 and 7–it depends on the brand and the style of clothing. It’s kind of funny, this is the closest her age and her size have been in her life.

Signed on for AAA. The ultra-woo-hoo version where they will tow you for 200 miles. Card is in the mail.

Emailed the travel itinerary to most folks. I’m sure I missed some people.

Because I’m a dork I now have Shanna’s birthday present, Santa present, Christmas jammies, and a new fun outfit. Most of these things have just kind of been sitting around waiting for her to get to this size. They are not new purchases. So I will have to look for Calli on the road. They both have ornaments for this year, barrettes, and a glitter tattoo thing for their stockings. I am not going to be willing to come home from this trip and do a lot of Christmas shopping. So I’m trying to be mostly done before I leave.

I have a bad habit of buying stuff WAY too big. Which means stuff sits around waiting for Shanna to grow into things. Then I scramble to have Calli get something. But, she actually gets stuff she wants. Shanna gets whatever I bought however long ago. Ha.

I’m resettling the school stuff. Only 12 more days in our school year. Things are going so fast.

Verra good convention

It has been occurring to me for a few weeks that I should probably buy some clothes before the road trip. This is because I do not have a pair of non-yoga pants that fit me. All but one of my “casual” dresses has multiple holes in the seams and they are fraying. The one casual dress that is still in good shape… I’ve had since I was 14. I need to find a seamstress and have them make four copies of this dress and I’ll be set for clothes for life. But that one dress isn’t going to be enough clothing for a five month trip—even though it is awesome.  I am not especially comfortable in yoga pants and t-shirts because “Why yes, this is my butt. Why don’t you COMMENT ON IT BECAUSE APPARENTLY IF A WOMAN WEARS FUCKING YOGA PANTS ASSHOLES HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMMENT ON HER BUTT.”

Being at the con is fascinating for me on this front. I dressed up more than usual. I have read lots of studies about how people treat women better if they dress better. When I’m feeling scared and unsure of myself, I’m more likely to put on makeup. Because I’m me, that means lipstick and eyeliner. I wipe anything else off by accident. Doesn’t look so hot after a while. I can keep on lipstick and eyeliner.

In the past when I’ve gone to conventions dressed very schlub-like (as in: more normal for me) people didn’t talk to me much. I haven’t walked more than a few feet this time without people wanting to talk.

I like wearing knee length dresses over yoga pants. That’s kind of the ideal coverage for me. Folks don’t comment on my ass and I still have as much comfort plus freedom of movement. In this environment I look quite conservative, which is sorta funny to me. I look so unusual compared to the crowd that women feel free to tell me that I’m overdressed and how I must by overheating. Uhm, actually I’m cold.

Just because I’m at a convention does not mean I should be running around in a bikini or similar cosplay. Not My Scene. (I’m totally ok with folks doing that. I’m not hating! I just don’t want to be told I should be doing it just because other people might enjoy looking at me dressed that way. Your fantasy should stay in your head and I shouldn’t have to hear about it.)

This con has been a weird hybrid space for me. Lots of the adults are con-regulars. They go to lots of kinds of conventions and the conversations get pretty racy. There are also a lot of kids here. This is hard for me to handle. So far I’ve been directing my kids away from festive conversations “They are talking about boring grown up stuff” or I try to watch my mouth in front of the teenagers who are here.

Had an incident with Shanna and Calli running ahead of the child care people to get on an elevator alone. Cue heart attack. Layers of adults were upset. Shanna…. Kid…. This needs to stop. This is not the first time this month you have run off. I think the leash is going to have to be tightened up a lot because you are not behaving responsibility. If you want a longer leash and more responsibility, you need to bloody well act like you can handle it. Right now that isn’t happening. If I spent over an hour (cumulatively) in the past month searching for you because you disappeared… this is becoming a problem.  No. No. No. It has happened on multiple outings.

Do you really want to go back to not being allowed to be farther from me than being able to touch me? I thought we outgrew that space. But we can go right back to it if necessary!  It is more important to me to keep you safe than to give you distance. You bet your buttons little missy. At like 10 we can renegotiate checking in before you wander off. Not at 6. Not when we are places we have never been before. No.

I bought too many books. By “too many” I mean… it’s a good thing Noah came on Friday and brought a load of books back with him mid-weekend because I bought more and I probably would not have been able to get them all home on public transit alone….

I found SO MANY wonderful looking books I’ve never heard of. And many of the authors were right in front of me! How could I turn down such an opportunity.

For the record: I am not alone at the conference with the kids. Sarah has been a lifesaver on so many levels. She did kid programming with the kids while I was doing panels. She hangs out with them when I want to do stuff. This is so awesome. I am having a lot of fun and a lot of that is because of Sarah’s company and help. I’ve missed her a lot.

It is funny to me how relationships drift and change. There are folks who have passionately made declarations of loyalty and love to me. Most of them have left nothing but a vapor trail to remember them by. Some people have said, “Motherfucker you treat me right or I’m walking”… and mostly they are still here. Because I’m working hard on how to treat them. I think it is important that they be treated well and I’m really sorry when I fuck up.

I feel guilty for waking Sarah up so early this morning. Otherwise it’s been a great trip. This convention has been wonderfully fun for me.

Reading kids books was fun and it was a super good idea that I brought a whole stack. We went through lots. I thought that one of my co-readers in particular put me to shame. She works at a childrens book store and she can read upside down so the kids can see the pictures better. I’m so spoiled with sitting on a couch with two kids. Totally different reading experience. I suppose saying she shamed me is an awful way of putting it. Ok, better reframe: I saw someone truly inspirational. She was amazing at reading aloud and making it accessible to kids. She also picked hilarious books I will have to look around for and get. I will try to steal tricks from someone who is so wise in the management of young feral animals. The other reader brought some really interesting books. I will look for the one on Chinese musical instruments. And his other book, The Shy Creatures went through all kinds of nifty, historical, fantastic monsters. It would be a great introduction to all sorts of Western Lit stuff.

I was alright. I had too much caffeine so I was literally shaking the whole time. Good things kids don’t care. I was “a little tired”. Next time I’m a “little tired” I’m having more tea and not a damn Foosh mint.

Then I went to the imposter syndrome panel! Apparently we were up against the most popular event on the schedule. Whoops. But we had a full room! People were standing against the back wall and sitting on the floor on the sides! That was SO COOL! Not that they were there for my star power or anything. But it was great to have a packed room. I’ve been to lots of panels with 3 person audiences. They turn into group discussions instead of panels.

The chair of the convention asked me to moderate, which is my idea of a good time. So I wrote up a document with information about imposter syndrome statistics and data, ways to deal with it, and ways to assess how much danger you are really in. I made a point of saying that there is a difference between imposter syndrome and feeling incompetent. If you have a long and impressive resume and you tell yourself that you suck… you have imposter syndrome. If you haven’t done anything yet…. you don’t have imposter syndrome you have low self esteem. BUT! The treatment for low self esteem looks VERY SIMILAR to the treatment for imposter syndrome so let’s tackle both problems.

I talked about how to tell the difference between ambient fear/anxiety that “I’m not good enough” vs. evaluating that some demographics are in *real danger* when they write. You need to honor the fear that is trying to keep you alive. There are reasons for some demographics to be terrified. It *is* dangerous. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are being melodramatic. Writers are killed to be silenced on a fairly regular basis. History is littered with such stories.

I talked about how different people have different intersections to explain and why that is so important. Often in that intersectional identity is where you feel the most repression and you must get over it. Your voice must be heard. You are needed.

We talked about dealing with emotional blocks. We offered suggestions from video games to hysterical crying. Truly we covered all the bases. Ha. (Obviously I was the crier.)

Afterwards a bunch of people came up and told me they got a lot out of the panel and they were so glad to hear me speak.

*happy dance*

Also, yesterday in the con suite I had a long chat with another mom. We were both in the disabilities in writing panel and she mentioned having a disabled son and how that impacts her life/reading/writing/etc. When I saw her later I felt a little awkward interrupting… she was sitting there typing and minding her own business. But it was super wonderful. We had a great chat. We talked about dealing with the special ed system and home schooling and unschooling and benefits and pitfalls. We talked about having PTSD and managing that.

I love conventions. I meet such interesting people.

I specifically love writing conventions because THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE TOLD ME COLLEGE WOULD BE LIKE only they were fucking liars. Smart people getting together to have fun conversations about books. My college experience wasn’t much like that. But how much of it is my fault because I went through college sleeping in a steel cage.

Ok, I didn’t sleep in the cage every night. It hurt my back too much. It was only 3’x3’x4′. When I wasn’t in the cage I was chained to the foot of the bed. I wasn’t sitting out all night long having fun conversations about books.

Maybe this is why I love conventions so much. It is the ideal of what college could be if college weren’t so shitty.

Kind of like how every once in a while there is a positive medical experience and you’re like WHY CAN’T IT BE LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME?!

Next con, I am not going to have working shifts on every day. It means I miss a lot of stuff because I’m in transition periods to and from work shifts and I can’t really engage in other things. 6 hours of working split over three days doesn’t sound like a lot. But it always blocks me from doing things I want to do… I like volunteering. I’m not complaining about helping. But I think I need to work on how I schedule my time.

I feel like this convention has been very positive for me. I’ve had a lot of fun. I have felt included in community. I have felt like my tribe is happy to have me back. I’ve run into a lot of folks I met when I was 19. It is shocking to me how happy they are to see me. They are thrilled to meet my kids. They want to hear all about home schooling.

Sometimes I think I am entirely blind to what I mean to other people. I really don’t see or understand the impact I have on other people. They are interested in me–even though I think everyone has no use for me. A lady writer I have admired for many years said, “Send me an email. We need to have dinner together. I want to spend more time with you and your wonderful children.” My heart went pitter patter. She’s one of those awesome educators that taught me about having boundaries and having a self. And she wants to come hang out with me and have dinner.

Squee, flap hands, jump up and down, all those mature things. Yes. Yes I will invite you over.

Because clearly I have buckets of free time. But, like the smallest chicken says in Chicken Big “But we’ll make room!”

Today is our last day of the con. I work in child care. Not sure if I will see another panel. The final panel I could go see is one that I was supposed to be on but I backed out because I didn’t feel comfortable. I’m not sure I can name any Sci/Fi Fantasy books set in suburbia…

That’s ok. The kids and I can go swimming instead. I arranged for late check out so that pool access will be easy. Whee!

It has been a good weekend. A really good weekend. I remember why I used to go to these sorts of things more often. I’m a writer. I like talking to other writers. We are a weird breed. In particular this crowd is very ok with the mentally ill existing. I feel safe here. I feel like announcing that I have PTSD is just a way for more people to know to introduce themselves and say, “Me too.” I don’t get shamed here. I don’t get put down. No one makes fun of me for being crazy. The attitude is a sage nod of the head and “That sounds hard.”

I love my tribe.

Packing for Hawaii

I hardly ever post pictures, so here is what I’m taking to Hawaii.

Including what I will wear on the plane.

Including what I will wear on the plane.

On the left, we have a blue shirt, hippy dress, and purple pants I will wear on the plane. Next to them is a skirt and tank top. I will probably wear the purple pants under the skirt. I’m like that. Above and to the right of the purple tank top is the black semi-sweater I like to wear. It isn’t a real sweater. It doesn’t cover your belly or your arms but it keeps your shoulders covered. Then the BRIGHT ORANGE shirt of delight, which I’ll be running in. I will lean down and borrow my bathing suit pants for running. (Between the pants and the skirt lie two lonely pairs of chonies.) Then landing all the right you see my sexy bathing suit top and my swimming hat.

I take *all the sexy* to Hawaii, baby.

First aid kit. I am so a mom. And an accident prone runner.

First aid kit. I am so a mom. And an accident prone runner.

Bandaids, latex gloves, trash bag, period supplies (I bleed by surprise these days), caffeinated mints, and medicated head ache rub. Works pretty well.

This is basically the bathroom section.

This is basically the bathroom section.

You get to see the other side of the period supplies. I have enough Q-tips to clean out… I really don’t want to think about it. Moving on. Tooth care (I don’t do well at shoving my hand in my mouth with dental floss so I use pick things–multiple kinds). Sun block. Anti-chafe stick (I don’t use it much but I will be hot.). Nail file! Don’t leave home without it!, The little makeup I own. Hair tie stuff. And an emergency rain poncho. Oh, and my hankie. Always need a hankie. All the liquid-ish stuff goes in a quart bag (with room to spare) and everything else fits in the little black bag.

Ted wants everyone to know that he is excited about his next adventure.

Ted wants everyone to know that he is excited about his next adventure.

Ted travels with me everywhere. In fact, he has already been to Oahu. We’ve been talking about how not to be a snob about it. Humility, Ted. He’s holding my eating utensils, extra bag, running belt, charging cord (and adapter), headset, and the only wallet I will be bringing. My phone isn’t in the picture, but it is the only screen I’m bringing. Yay for music and books in one place.

And of course, the most important stuff.

And of course, the most important stuff.

I hate swallowing pills. But I’m told they will help me be “healthier”. Fuck health.

And it all fits nicely together like so.

And it all fits nicely together like so.

I will probably actually also wear the shawl from Jenny’s wedding because going from airports to our house will be chilly. It packs down small when I don’t need it but it is wonderfully warm. I wear it a lot.

I’ll try to ask Noah to take a picture of me all dressed and ready to set off. It’s been a while since I’ve really gone off on an adventure like this. Going to Guerneville wasn’t very adventurous.

Now I only need to go to sleep five more times.

I’m so excited.

Oh, I tripped and twisted my ankle today while out on a walk. And the festivity continues.

Running and body stuff

Bodies are weird. People are weirder.

I spent 2012 running because I wanted to be able to check “run a marathon” off of my bucket list. I had not been much of a runner before that. In the process I found that my body changed substantially. I was already riding the wave of lower-than-usual-weight because my Uncle Bob had recently died and I had divorced my biological family and that was really hard on me and I lost a lot of weight from not eating. I was down to the weight I had previously only reached while starving myself on Weight Watchers and exercising five days a week.

So having the “thinner” body is associated with lots of bad stuff for me. I get there when I’m starving myself and/or dealing with a lot of psychological pain such that my stomach hurts too much to eat. It’s not fun.

Also: when I lose weight the amount of street harassment goes up.

Think about the implication of that. I lose weigh *because* I am already having problems and then all of a sudden the ambient harassment I get in public increases.

Folks ignore the chubby chick running around the neighborhood. When I get thinner men start telling me they want to “come with me” or “distract me” or they just yell shit. And my neighborhood is pretty safe. I know enough of the neighbors that if I have a problem I can go three or four doors down, bang on a door and say, “I’m sorry to interrupt but I’m having a problem.”

I love my neighborhood so much. I appreciate that my neighbors are so friendly with me. I’ve been here for eight years now. I know people.

So it’s not like I’m scared but I really don’t like dealing with it. I feel worn down and tired. Being “thinner” feels more like being a piece of glass that gets thinner and more breakable with time. It’s not a good thing losing mass.

I don’t own a scale and I haven’t in a while and I don’t want to. I don’t care about tracking the number. Knowing it occasionally is just to have data. My recent doctor visit says I went back up to 170. Given the running schedule I’ve put together for the rest of the year… that won’t be true long.

Right now I have a belly. I like my belly. It means my forking pants fit. At this weight my “skinny” pants are tight and my “fat” pants are a bit loose but I can wear everything. It’s convenient.

If I lose a bunch of weight again I should probably just buy some clothes that fit instead of holding my pants on with rope the way I have been doing for a while. I don’t like most belts. So I use the rope belt that Jenny made for her Renaissance Faire costume years ago. She made it by braiding really bright ribbons.

I use this belt all the time. Every time I run it holds up my pants.

Every time I wear the belt I think of Jenny. I think of her kind of silently blessing my endeavors. Jenny loves me. Jenny wants me to keep on keepin’ on.

Being smaller is a weird thing for me. For one thing it means I am more shaped like my mother and that’s a mixed blessing. On one hand, she’s pretty cute. On the other hand… when I catch a glimpse of my body abstractly in a reflection I miss her so much I feel like I get hit with a solid fist of pain.

I want my mommy. I’d much rather be fat and never see her in the mirror again.

But if I’m going to run I don’t think I’m going to pull off fat. No matter how much I eat and let me tell you I try to keep weight on while I’m running. I eat like a hummingbird–my weight sixteen times over a day.

Running puts a natural limit on how much I can eat. After I get accustomed to the pace again I won’t be able to over eat very often. When I’m running my stomach picks a size and that is the size it is. I don’t get to under eat and I don’t get to over eat any more. It’s a really weird feeling. I didn’t exercise as a kid enough to know if that happened then.

So I do my best to eat a lot. I up the calorie density of everything (mmmm butter). But it turns into muscle and I melt away. Because apparently the me I see in the mirror is composed up of a lot of fat.

I don’t actually come from a family of heavy people. The only people in my family background who are heavy are the people with severe mental illness who are entirely sedentary. Everyone who isn’t so depressed they stop functioning is pretty fit.

I think I’ve tried to ignore that most of my life. I’ve always been sedentary and chunky-to-fat.

Losing the label of “fat” is weird and hard. It has been part of my identity for most of my life. I’ve been one of those prideful and hostile people. I don’t mind being fat and I will yell at people who act like it is a problem.

The heavier I am, the less sexualized I am to random men. Of course, there are guys like Noah who like heavy women but they generally are the kind to be chatty and friendly at a party and not the kind who yell things on the street. Which is to say: getting laid isn’t a problem at any size. But I like the invisibility of being heavy in day-to-day life.

My joints bother me off and on. Particularly my hand joints. I now compulsively make the same hand gestures as my mother. This getting old business sucks. As a result I semi-regularly don’t wear my wedding ring set.

I picked a platinum monstrosity. It’s gorgeous and I still feel a giddy thrill of “ohmygod someone let me have this?!” when I look down but it’s solid. Some days I can’t wear it because it makes my finger burn like fire. Which is unpleasant.

Oh holy shit do men feel like it is ok to just get close to me. I don’t remember this from when I was younger. “Hi” is usually the limit of the conversation with the strangers because I think my facial expression is not “welcoming”.

That being scary business is useful.

I wish I could be friendly without getting harassed. Gosh that would be nice.

I can. When I’m fat. So I look at my running schedule for the rest of the year and I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I sure like being fit and strong and there are a lot of things I want to go do with my body that require as much or more fitness than I have now. On the other hand… being attractive kind of sucks.

I’m really kind of funny. I spent most of my early life working as hard as possible to attract as much sex as possible and now that it is appropriate (hey–at least more than it was when I was a kid!) I’m trying to figure out how to make it go away. I’m kind of stupid.

I seem to never be willing to do what is expected of me.

It is easy for me to be loving with my body when I’m fat. I feel less betrayed by my presentation to the world. When I’m fat it is easier to take long baths and rub in lots of lotion and give myself gentle touch. When I’m skinnier I tend to take showers and try to get “being naked” over with as fast as possible. I don’t really want to look at or touch myself.

I can tell by my clothing that my weight is shifting a bit. I’m trying to be conscious of the nicer things I do to myself and I’m trying to not stop.

I’m not sure if stopping the nice stuff is because I was that skinny during periods when I was insanely busy or depressed and most of my “me” time available was spent on exercising or working. I didn’t have as much time to sit around and take a bath.

So is it the chicken or the egg? I don’t know.

There are all these layers of things. When I’m running I mostly eat a reasonable diet… only I can’t keep my sugar under control. Sweet bread. That’s my down fall.

The difference is the exercise. When I get into a good routine for exercising, training for longer distances means specific conditioning, it’s a shit-ton of calories. Not to mention that I’m building muscle, which is more efficient at burning calories.

I think I partially stopped running cold because uhm… I was starting to have thigh gap. I think I stopped having thigh gap when I was eight. I don’t feel all that good about having it now. Yes, I’m aware some women are obsessed with it. I do not want to be in that camp. I don’t want to be associated with that camp.

I want to be strong and fit and have the fucking body I’m used to. God damnit.

If I could be a marathon runner with a size 16 body that would be perfect. That’s what I would want if I got to pick a body out of a hat. Unfortunately when I’m seriously training I’m more in the 8/10/12 range depending on brand. I hate the brands that tell me I’m an 8. First of all: no I am not. There are standards, you fuckers. Stop lying to people. Second of all: it is really fucking frustrating to have to take three or four sizes of something into the dressing room in order to find something that fits. Fuck all you fashion bastards.

I fucking hate buying clothes.

And where am I going to store my “fat” clothes? I sure as fuck am not getting rid of any of it. I’ve very carefully found my wardrobe. Maybe under my bed? Oh man.

I like being strong. I don’t like that it seems to come packed with being thin. That seems stupid to me. See, no one asks me what I want. Whine whine whine.

I understand that I live in a time and place where being thinner is a fucking billion dollar industry. (Many billions? I don’t track.) People seem to waste their whole lives on trying to lose weight. I don’t get it.

Ok, I did Weight Watchers when I hit my lifetime maximum weight and I could no longer ride the rides at Disneyland Paris. That bothered me. Being kicked off a ride because I was too physically big was uncomfortable emotionally. So I didn’t want that to be true. Also: I was in the bdsm community and I was on the verge of leaving my Owner and I needed to hunt. So I did lose weight on purpose then.

Then it came back and I was a lot happier.

Then it went away and I wasn’t so happy.

Then it came back and I was a lot happier.

Here we go round again.

I think my lowest adult weight was 148 when I was depressed after Puppy left me and I stopped eating for a month. I was living on a Jamba Juice a day. I got the big size. Sometimes I could swallow cheese. Sometimes it made me puke. This happened right after I moved out on my own to live alone for the first time ever. No one was there to care. So I didn’t care.

My highest non-pregnant weight was 218 as measured at Weight Watchers. I suspect I was a bit heavier a few weeks previously when I was at Disneyland Paris. Pregnant was 222. In between pregnancies and for a lot of my life I hung out in the 180’s. During my previous “more fit” periods I hung out around 165. Running leads me into the low 150’s.

I know some people gain and lose more than a hundred pounds. I know people who have gained and lost more than two hundred pounds. A range of 70 pounds isn’t that extreme. But my body changes a lot. I understand that in the world of Fat Acceptance I max out at what some people consider “skinny fat”. But if I’m fat enough to have employees of department stores sneer at me and tell me I won’t find anything in their store and if I’m fat enough to have people yell it at me while I walk by… it counts.

And every time I gain and lose my body changes shape. I’m hoping that soon I will look matronly enough to be left alone. I notice the dangling chicken wings below my arms with delight. I have old lady arms! Yay!

I’m not dead. I get to be an elder. Even though I’ve never respected my elders, most other people do. People are getting nicer to me with every passing year.

I note these changes with happiness. I feel kind of confused by the people around me who want to remain as young looking as possible. Being young has not been a good stage for me. I want to leave it behind. Far, far behind.

I like being bad ass. I even like being hot. I don’t like being treated like I am responsible for the random desires of men I don’t know. Yeah, I used to be interested and I didn’t mind so much then. Things change. Figuring out the signals is really hard.

I don’t want to be hostile but I haven’t found a better way of getting men to take “no” the first time I say it. Any softer “no” leads to extra pushing. If I am sure the answer is “no” the first time I must say it with great conviction. Otherwise they will push much farther than I want them to. This is consistent.

Anyway. I’ve been running on schedule for about a week now. I’d been running inconsistently one to three times a week for a while. I trained semi-efficiently for the Oakland half in March and I seriously hurt by mile 11. I need to treat my body with more respect and train better this time. Which means being a lot more serious about my cross training and weight training and stretching.

Which means my body is going to change pretty fast. My body, much to my surprise, likes picking up muscle. The more exercise I do the more it snowballs. I come from a family of fit people. My brothers were sports nuts. They had some talent. Tommy’s team was on its way to the Little League nationals when he got hit by a car. (Not literally on the way. The game was a few weeks? days? away. I can’t remember. I was little and living in a different state.) Oops. I never did hear what came of the team. I was too little to care. My other brother was sixth in the state for cross country in high school. But he was expelled two weeks before graduation for having alcohol on campus so it didn’t go anywhere for him. He could have gone to college on scholarship. Whoops.

I understand more now about genetics. When I was a kid I mistook the fact that I was learning for being unable to learn. I thought that because the people around me were so much better than me and they always won that meant I always would lose and I had no ability to improve or ever win.

Now I feel really sad that no one ever stopped and said, “Dude. You are four. Stop comparing yourself to people who are five and eight years older than you. Go compete with people your age. You are doing just fine. Keep trying.”

I gave up before I ever tried. And moving the way I did meant that I never had… anything. I just stayed home because it was the only way to be safe. Being sedentary was mandatory. So I never improved and it became a self-perpetuating “I can’t because I don’t”.

The things I know now…

If I had somehow had the will to exercise I probably would have been a much scarier kid. Probably better that I preferred reading.

But my kids are buff. My kids have so much freedom to move. Sometimes my inner eight year old weeps at how unfair it is that my kids have so much freedom compared to her. That was probably one of the worst periods of “can not leave my room without pain being inflicted on me”. That piece of me is specifically alive and well and bitter as a pull out of my inner child. It is as close as I come to having multiple personalities. The traumas I incurred at different ages have left specific big knots of scar tissue.

I wasn’t hurt physically for all of my life. For most of the time I was just left alone. Even though I am an intensely social person. Just like Shanna, I came alive at the sight of another person. Shanna can, and does, play alone–but it’s very different from her interactions with people. She gets to be with people all day every day. Well, sometimes I tell them to go play and I spend an hour in the garage. But they have never ever been left actually alone in the house. Well, not beyond taking the trash out. I don’t forking count that. I’m on the property. I can hear them.

Stopping to pay attention to this connection (my inner child acting up means my body has more activation and energy and I feel pissy) is part of the re-parenting process. I feel self-conscious and bad because this is part of what I want to get from the home schooling process.

I have to work through my resentment of other people getting “better” than I had. It is a lot of conscious effort to relax and calm down and be able to be present with my children. I have to actively forgive myself for having the childhood I had. It was not my fault. Both of my children are well into the ages when I was out finding neighborhood kids for oral sex. My kids don’t know what oral sex is. It has never entered into their fuzzy little brains. They are too busy whacking things with swords. As they should.

In being nice to my children through their developmental stages I work through understanding what should have happened to me. I learn what appropriate behavior is by reading multiple developmental books and educational theory books. I cross reference and design a model of an “appropriate” teacher for this stage. And I embody it to the best of my ability.

When I fuck up I apologize, explain what I should be doing and I do better next time. Just like my kids do.

We are all in progress here. I tell them, “I have never been a mother to a six year old AND a three year old at the same time before. I am still learning how it works. I’m sorry I made a mistake.”

Our mistakes are small and our forgiveness is huge. It works out.

My children will never remember anything other than a mother who is physically fit. They will not understand that I spent most of my childhood in a depressed haze sitting very still watching the same few VHS tapes over and over and over.

I’m in one of those phases where I understand why the “Trauma Recovery” people say that you have to forgive. My mom was not in a position to give me what I needed. Not at all. Not even a little bit. I can see why I was so hard for her. I’m actually impressed she didn’t beat me more often. Now that I understand the context of her life better… oh poor Mom. I’m not being sarcastic. I feel really bad for her. But I don’t think she could keep from fucking up my kids. Maybe in thirteen or so years I can look her up. We’ll see.

I am a very active person. It’s kind of insane that I spent my childhood as stationary as I did. I get why it happened. But it was really crazy-making.

I did have periods of activity. Auntie was good about making kids go play in the woods. Well, more accurately… she worked night shifts and I was alone most of the time when I lived with her. So I went out into the woods. I couldn’t wander neighborhoods in the random other places we lived because I got lost or got into fist fights. Auntie’s house was consistent enough that I could learn the lay out.

My relationship to my body has always been one of frustration. I have always been torn between being mad that I’m not bigger and being mad that I’m not smaller. Ok, I’ve lost the desire to be smaller. When I was younger and trying harder to pick up sex partners I was wildly jealous of the women who were 5’1″ or shorter. Now I think it would be inconvenient. I retain my desire to be bigger so that I could be more physically capable. I just don’t have the leverage to do some things. It is really annoying.

It has always been weird how much I trade off using my actual weight for using strength as I get smaller. Many of the tricks to use my weight as leverage stop working. Even twenty pounds of difference is a lot. That’s a lot of strength to make up.

Bodies are complicated.

Who am I?

Today as I get dressed I stopped to think. I’m meeting my “niece” and my “nephew” today. One of them for the first time and one for the second time.

Wow. What do I want to wear? Who do I want to be in their memory?

Noah, you say I dress for comfort and not for style (or you did once and you will rue that day for eternity [I love you so much, thanks for putting up with me.]) but there are actually a lot of style choices in the whacky-ass way I dress.

I start out with the requirement that as much skin must be covered as possible. That narrows the field of my clothes quite a bit given the leftovers from my more festive life periods.

I’m pretty happy that my pants fit again. Yay for gaining weight. Ha. How many women do you know who say that?

Ok. I picked a dress I bought with Jenny in Inverness. Because I bought it while nursing (i.e. my breasts had to be easily accessible at all times) of course I have a shirt on under it. HA!! MY BOOBS ARE MINE. Ahem. Sorry. Got carried away there. Those were a long four years.

With the black and white dress I like to wear red pants. Capri’s? Long shorts? They cover all the way down to my shin bone but you can see my Hobbit-hairy legs under them.

Still haven’t shaved. This is getting more interesting.

You can tell I haven’t shaved with the shirt I have on under the dress. There are sleeves, but they are short and kind of flippy.

Cause I like flippy stuff in my clothing. It’s a style choice.

And of course I’ll wear purple shoes. Cause that’s what I own. And I have a red cowboy hat for my sun hat.

Tell me there’s no style there.

(Tongue in cheek.)

Drips, drabs, ups, and downs.

We went up to San Pablo yesterday to see some friends. This is after that specific friend coming to my house monthly for ohhh four years now? I am starting to try and do some trips up there in exchange for all the trips to my house. The distance between us is not shorter just because he is a guy with no kids. I can do effort too.

And when I drive up there I get to spend time with his lovely wife. I find the visits to be highly educational in diverse arenas. For one thing: she knows way the fuck more about gardening than I do and she’s happy to talk about plants. Lately getting near someone with lots of plant knowledge who does not eschew my children is somewhat tricky. I’ve tried to sign up for gardening classes THAT ARE BEING ADVERTISED ON AN UNSCHOOLING MAILING LIST and I was told I would have to get babysitting. Stop fucking advertising in this space if my fucking kids aren’t welcome you fucking fuckers. I didn’t say fuck to the people in question. I just dropped it.

Beyond the gardening stuff, I am having a bit of trouble with Callidora. Well, phrasing it that way sounds more extreme than it is. Many of my parenting approaches work really well for Shanna and don’t work at all with Calli. Luckily my friends’ wife seems to identify really strongly with Calli. They are very similar temperamentally and she is giving me a lot of feedback for how to tweak our interactions so they work better.

I feel so much gratitude I don’t have words. Someone is willing to look at me and look at my daughter and look at our relationship and say, “You are doing ok, but you both might be happier if you did……”

Err, in defense of my hubris more than once I have said, “I’m afraid I am going to have to do ____” and her response was “Yes. That is exactly what you have to do.” So she isn’t entirely telling me new information. But she is very good at skimming out the bullshit and getting to the heart of the matter. “This is failing because of x.”

I don’t trust many people to give me feedback. I’m not sure why I trust her feedback as much as I do. For one thing she doesn’t use the word “should” and I’m not sure if that has become a specific trigger. Maybe I explode at people for that word rather than because I am completely unwilling to accept advice? It’s hard to tease out.

Also, she tends to say “Calli seems to be a lot like me. When I was a kid I had x and y and z experiences and this is how it went well and this is how it went badly. If Calli is as much like me as she seems right now, you are going to have to deal with a and b and c. It’s not a good idea to do d.”

I guess there is an implied “should” in that but she doesn’t say it.

It also occurs to me that I push Calli in a way I have never pushed Shanna. When Shanna was three I had a one year old. We did not spend a lot of time pushing the absolute physical limits of what she could accomplish until she collapsed in frustrated tears.

I’m having a hard time understanding fully that Calli wants to be able to do things she isn’t ready to do yet and I need to find a tactful way of bailing her out even as I push Shanna to try. Differentiated instruction is a bitch.

(Err, the bicycle riding project is coming along. We’ve hit a few hiccups. As my wise new running mate commented, “Dude. You’ve been out with them four times? Relax and do more low pressured practice.”

Yeah yeah. You may have a point. But we bought the bikes because we want to ride to the park. I need to decide in my adult brain that even if that is the eventual goal… we sure as shit can’t start by doing that. I should probably not try to leave our housing development again until June. We need more low-stakes practice than we have had. Hours and hours and hours and hours.

It is not just a form of transportation. It is about entertainment. It has to be about entertainment at first or they won’t gain enough proficiency to use it as transportation later. The transportation part doesn’t have to be worked out at three, instantly. Relax you bitch.

Medication has been spotty this week. I (re?)noticed a pattern. Whenever I get to the point of using sufficient medication that I actually feel good instead of having just the edge of the pain taken away I punish myself for days with under medicating so I feel a lot more pain. I’m not supposed to be using pot like a pot head. I’m not supposed to be trying to get high. I’m supposed to be just managing the pain.

I think I am too much of a Puritan. My sister told me I had ancestors on the Mayflower (Not her–different fathers.). Maybe it is too deeply buried within my DNA? I can’t stop believing that I must suffer. Anything that feels good MUST BE BAD.

I have been very consistent lately about giving up my morning “off time” to wake up with the kids. I’m not sure if this is good or bad. On one hand I’m more frazzled and I’m not taking a compensatory amount of time later. On the other hand… we are getting along better. When the kids open their eyes in the morning to me in their bed smiling at them… the whole day is easier. The first thing they hear every day is, “Good morning. I’m so glad to see you again. I’m looking forward to our wonderful day together.”

They smile back and say, “Me too!” then grab my neck and pull me close. Then I get a sleepy “Good morning.”

Sometimes it feels weird knowing that I do this as a parenting gesture in large part to make up for the hole in my heart. No one was ever happy to see me during my childhood. I was a terrible, unwanted burden.

I completely support mothers who need to abort children born of rape. I wish my mother hadn’t allowed her religion to force her to keep me. I was not wanted. And they made my life hell.

Now I have something different. It is so very nice. But it’s a lot of emotional and mental and physical work. And I get really tired.

When I’m tired it is harder to be consistent. When I’m scared I start screaming. That’s consistent.

Calli has asked me to stop raising my voice at her when I’m repeating orders/requests/whatever you want to call them. Demands? She told me (while making eye contact so this is serious as a fucking heart attack) “I will be able to listen to you better if you get close to me and whisper in my ear that it is important.”

If a three year old can so clearly ask for the kind of interaction she needs then I am a fucking asshole if I ignore the request. This is how I teach them ownership of their body and consent and boundaries.

I’ve been working on it. I kind of feel that I should create some accountability tool for myself. Maybe another sheet of paper on the wall. I can ask Calli to help me decide whether I approached her correctly or not and we can decide if I get a mark in the “right behavior” column or the “not so right” column. It will also help her clarify which aspects of the raised voice stuff are a problem for her.

My kids are not going to grow up thinking adults are perfect and kids need to bend to the adults around them. Ha. Ha. Ha. No. We want to live together. We need to adapt to one another.

I’m happy about the upcoming social stuff. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed that people are agreeing so delightedly to come to my events. My RSVPs fill up fast. (Err, RSVP for Easter if you are coming… not many spaces left.)

I have had something like six people in the last two weeks get really excited when I confirm that I’m hosting Easter again. “OH! You throw the best parties!”

I do?

Oh.

Well that’s awesome. How do I do that? What makes them “the best” for you? Because I spend my parties in kind of an anxious hell hoping I don’t offend everyone and run them off such that they never want to come back.

And yet I keep hosting. Irony.

I don’t seem to be running people off. I mean… I do… but I don’t. I run some people off.

I feel very guilty when I admit to myself that I run off people who need things from me that I can’t give. My anxiety and shame around not being able to meet their needs makes me angry and cruel. It isn’t my fault I can’t meet their needs. It isn’t their fault I can’t meet their needs. It isn’t their fault they have needs. I have needs they can’t meet either. But I get mean. This is a major character flaw of mine.

I don’t do this with people who have small needs I can easily meet. If people need something from me that is going to be an up to five hour commitment one time… I love doing that. That helps me feel like I am part of a community and I’m useful and all kinds of good feelings. When someone starts to need 3-10 hours of work from me every fucking week in order to have a relationship with them…

I get mean. I am awful. I am not a nice person. I don’t know how to have healthy limits without being an asshole. I’m not making excuses or justifying my behavior. It’s wrong.

I have been talking to a friend a lot about how different it is in America versus other more crowded countries. Americans apologize for bumping into someone. In China you would never say any word other than “sorry”. So they don’t bother.

I spend a lot of time apologizing for taking up space. I spend a lot of time apologizing for being inconvenient. I spend a lot of time apologizing for not being able to do/be what someone else wants/needs.

I am sorry I am so inadequate. I clearly see that I am.

Right now I’m having anxiety attacks because some folks are mad at me. Folks I don’t really need to “care” about per se. They aren’t my friends. They are the close friends of one of my friends. They are mad at me because my vomiting on Friday caused them some inconvenience. I have apologized profusely for inconveniencing them. I’m sorry they were brought into the situation by our mutual friend. But yeah. I’m the bitch.

And I feel consumed with shame and I have for days. I inconvenienced them. I stole hours of their life and made them about me when they already kind of hate me. I’m really sorry. I did apologize. I have not been acknowledged and that is what I assumed would happen.

I get into these situations. I’m sorry I inconvenienced you. I have very little control over when I vomit. I’m just glad I didn’t make a mess on my floor.

But it impacted your life. And you wish I didn’t impact your life. So you are angry with me because I popped up and existed in a way you couldn’t tune out.

I’m really sorry.

This is more or less why I avoid that whole segment of the “community”. I don’t really like feeling like I am doing something wrong by breathing in a way they can hear.

So yeah. I don’t think I will teach with my friend again. There is a bunch of stress in the lead up and if I get sick there is lots of acrimony, blame, and anger. Not from my friend. He was mellow about the situation. But he didn’t feel qualified to handle the class alone and those are the other people he has in his life to turn to for support.

Yeah well, me hanging around near them feels like an abusive family reunion where they all wish I would drop dead. The sooner the better.

More one of them than the other but… well that’s not a story I’ll write down yet. Maybe a few more decades. It being thirteen years ago still isn’t long enough. Some day.

It’s not all her fault. I was a bitch. But man. Oh man. Ok. Shiny change of topic.

I’ve been having a lot of feelings all week over that. I was doing great last week until I started vomiting on Friday.

I associate vomiting with letting people down and being a bad and weak person. When I get sick my association is that I will also be in trouble for some reason. I am inconvenient when I’m sick.

Noah is working hard to change some of these patterns. He’s nice when I’m sick. He does a lot of telling me that it isn’t my fault and I didn’t do anything bad. I feel really pathetic for needing it. But I do. And he does it. I am so grateful for him as a partner.

I like teaching though. I will look for more opportunities to teach. Just no co-teaching in a situation potentially wrapped in shame-inducing trauma. When I had to cancel a class as a professional teacher… no one made me write a formal apology. I’d like to go back to that kind of treatment. Thanks.

My running mate wants me to stop thinking of writing as a hobby and start thinking of it as a business. I’ve sold enough forking copies of my book that I can stop pretending I’m not a real writer. I shouldn’t have to pay for my book editing and publishing stuff out of my “fun money”. It’s not my hobby. Noah doesn’t take his business expenses out of his fun money. It’s a separate category in the budget. It’s not very healthy for me to demean myself in this fashion.

I will severely limit my career as a writer if I can’t employ an editor until I save up enough fun money by denying myself everything. Denial as a full-time lifestyle in a household that otherwise has a lot of privilege… that’s kinda self-hating. It’s being weird. It’s unhealthy.

Why do women do this to themselves? My writing “doesn’t count”. It’s just… something I do. Like the laundry. And when there are expenses for it, well, they are “mine”, right?

I developed a lot of habits over the years of having the annuities and living with men. What I could have was very strictly limited to what I had in that $1200 every month. I didn’t over extend. And now I have no real personal income and… I’m flailing. The $100/month of fun money is… not enough. Not for me to feel like I can track all of “my” spending separately from household stuff.

We just have a clothes budget. It is for all four of us. If someone gets something then the other three have to wait a while. *shrug* But it changes how I think of things. Although… when I bought the pretty clothes in Portland I took a big chunk out of my personal money. I spent more than $500 on two items of clothing. It didn’t seem fair to make my family give up that large a share of the clothes budget on me getting two items. So more than $300 came out of my fun money. That seemed fair to me.

When the kids really get a big clothes splurge… it goes in the “kid” section even though mostly they come out of the main category.

The kids have a big section of the budget that is amorphously used for classes, home school supplies. books, toys, gear of whatever kind (was baby carriers and diapers now it has moved on to bikes), and rarely clothes.

A long time ago I consciously went out and started spending time with older men. They could talk to me about money. How they got it. What they did with it. I made my own judgments about who lived in which kind of house and who had how much money. I’ve always been tactless as fuck. I would point blank ask them how much cash they had in the bank and whether or not they had investments.

I didn’t understand most of what they told me. But I remembered it. It’s kind of funny to have little memories float up now and again as I’m trying new things with investing.

Be sure you are right, then go ahead. I will, Davey. I will research and research and research and I’ll figure out what I think is right. Of course I know I could always be wrong. Some minute change in my life might make all of my careful risk calculations moot and irrelevant.

I have no way of predicting that. So I have to just act and hope for the best.

Save.

Debt is evil.

Make your money work for you.

Pay yourself first.

Sometimes I think I turn to these mantras as the only way I have of blocking out all the voices in my head who want me to think I am stupid and a bitch and I should just stop inconveniencing them by breathing.

I’ve been really stunned by the intensity of my suicidal ideation this week.

I also haven’t been doing my daily check in calls with my friend. She’s really busy on a project. She’ll be back in a week or so. I support and respect her participation in this event and that means she has no time to think about me. I am a big girl and I’ll keep my big girl panties on.

It is interesting how suicidal ideation is not always about depression. I don’t feel like I am feeling depression symptoms. This is more on the anxious/overwhelmed side. Manic is a word people like. But I’m not… doing anything manic.

Just out of the blue driving on the freeway I see a weird opening where it would be possible to turn and be hit by a semi-truck and I want to do it more than I want anything in the world. I want in that moment to feel a lot of pain and then die. I want it as much as my heart wants to beat. It is immediate and visceral and all encompassing.

I have to breathe very lightly and lift my hands so I have a very light guiding pressure on the steering wheel. Sometimes I get off the freeway to breathe and stretch my neck and remind myself, “Not today.”

The reasons I don’t like driving are varied and complicated and… I’m willing to bet that someday I will not be able to drive any more. It is part of the reason I am as strongly motivated to make friends near my house as I am. Walking will always be a good idea. Forever. For my health.

Thanks, Pam, for letting me write this morning.

My head feels better. I feel a lot less shame. Writing it down helps.

I don’t need to feel shame because other people would prefer that their world didn’t overlap with mine. I could reject our mutual friend so that they never have to hear about me again, but given that he values his relationship with me that seems kind of awful.

But I think I should have different boundaries. Still working on where those need to be. Boundaries are tricky things. You only find out you have them when they are transgressed. Ha. THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE CLASS. And what I got out of it is: I need to make sure I never have to deal with your extended friends again. Awesome.

That’s a lesson I can learn.

They aren’t going to like me. No matter what. Ever. I need to not care about that. They are allowed to have their experience of the world where I am… something. I don’t know what. I shouldn’t speculate. I would surely overstate my importance. I certainly don’t suspect that either of them while away hours just hating me. I’m not that important.

So I don’t need to feel shame because they are feeling irritation. That’s not something I need to take on. I gave an apology. I offered restitution to the best of my ability. That’s what I’ve got. Move on. I didn’t vomit on purpose.

And when I feel shame for my social behavior I rush home to assure myself that I am managing my money properly. No one is going to be able to force me to move. I’m allowed to stay here. I’m jumping through all the hoops that actually matter for my life. I don’t have to care that they dislike me. There won’t be any consequences.

And then I can stop thinking about it.

Thank you internet. That’s the end of my confession for today. I have some dirt to play with and a fence to sand. Tomorrow a bunch of little kids are going to come paint a few sections. We are adding more year by year. Drips and drabs. It’s really fun.

Saturday is the Girl Genius Volume 1 read aloud. Email me for details if you want to come hear Noah do all the hilarious voices.

I have a very fun life when you stop and think about it

I’m packing for Disneyland. It is raining so I don’t have to water or garden. Ok, it isn’t raining hard–I could go put seeds in the ground. It would be a great time. But I’m hanging out in the house instead.

The girls told me that I could pack for them. They expressed preferences for matching beautiful dresses. Luckily we have a week of those. Because they are into that kind of thing. They pick these dresses out. They go into the store and say that they want matching stuff. I don’t push this.

I feel a little weird about how much they want to be like one another. I think I am afraid of doing that.

I get to have a really easy life. I get to have all the wonderful fun stuff I can imagine having in a childhood.

Today, despite anxiety, I’m in a good mood. I love the planning stage.

And I have home made cupcakes. Banana-pecan-chocolate chip cupcakes. We win. It’s the little things, right? My day is going to be very good. Next week will be very good. I’m limiting my life down to what I can do.

And it’s going pretty well.

Just keep swimming

I saw my therapist yesterday. I told her, “This won’t be a deep processing session because a lot has happened and I don’t have the bandwidth to get emotional about any of it right now.” I asked her if my reaction qualified as mania. She asked a few questions and confirmed that I’m not manic. I didn’t think so but I am not always sure. She said, “Hyper-productive coping methods” and I’m comfortable with that.

I got through several big things on my to-do list yesterday with a bunch of big things left today. The kids and I have our work cut out for us today. Lots to do to prepare for camping this weekend.

My therapist patted me on the head and told me it was a good idea for me to bring books and require myself to sit and read. It’s all calming and shit. I will get through. Hopefully I won’t alienate anyone by being an asshole on this camping trip. Luckily we are all responsible for our own families. That way I have no reason to feel anxious because of responsibility for other people. I am less likely to be nasty. Two more days.

The wedding is in nine days. I am going to spend the next few days reading my speech over and over. I need to work on pauses and breath because I will have to project a lot and I am out of practice. I’ve spent the last few years trying to be less loud. Oh well. Maybe I’ll just end up a yeller again. I’m not good at moderating my voice level overall–no wonder my kids are so loud.

Ten days till a kid weekend at the Godmamas. Nineteen days till Disneyland. The Amanda Fucking Palmer concert date was announced–luckily Noah’s parents don’t want to go to Disneyland in December so we probably won’t go either. May and September will be enough for this year. Then I can save those points and use them later. I can save enough to go during a school vacation next year with friends. I haven’t been getting much traction on going during the school year. It’s like the state of California will take you to court if your kid misses school or something. Oh wait. They do.

I’m trying to figure out when I can get to Portland. Not sure. I’m already very booked through June. I’m not sure how I got this busy. It trickled in. Today will be busy. Yesterday was very happy. Dress shopping will probably be stressful. At least it will be fun with Shanna and Calli. They will tell me extravagantly how beautiful I am. I won’t believe a word of it but I will let them take pictures of me and email them to Noah.

I think that losing friends will hurt less from now on. I feel like I have a protective bubble of love. It doesn’t really matter if anyone else likes me. Noah likes me. My kids feel they are getting a good deal. They don’t have a choice about being here yet but they will. So far all they want from life is lots of time with me and access to having fun. I do that.

This is what I’m doing with my life. This is what I want to be doing. I’m doing it well. I am meeting my obligations. I’ve been sleeping better. I ran out of sleeping pills over a month ago and I haven’t refilled it. I haven’t needed them.

I am mid-way through season seven of The West Wing. This is my fourth run through of the show. I think I partially don’t watch television because I have a violent hatred of watching random thirty minute snippets of peoples lives once a week. I like this show because it has a whole story arc and point and when it is over it is over. I don’t want in medias res for my brain candy. I want to learn about people and love them. I don’t know Seinfeld even though I have seen a bunch of it.

Time to go snuggle.

Oh man. I spend my life waiting for the next person to be mad at me. When it happens I experience a big surge of emotional reaction but the anxiety goes down. That’s predictable. I wonder if I should start tracking my anxiety in comparison to when that kind of thing feels looming. Probably not. Go snuggle.

Personal time

This morning I am enjoying my personal time while doing reading on the internet. I am appreciative of that for a few reasons. I’m going to be going over to try on the mock up of the bridesmaids dress that is being custom made for me. I cannot express the excitement I feel at the thought of having a custom tailored dress. And it will be a 50’s style dress. And it will fit me. And I can nurse in it. And I like it. And I like the material. And I like the color.

I think I just died and went to femme heaven. You see, I’m not normally much of a femme. I’m actually a low maintenance girl in that way. But, like most every woman, I have a funny shaped body and clothes are rarely comfortable. I talk to Noah dreamily about a custom made wardrobe all the time. It just occurred to me that it doesn’t have to be a lottery fantasy. If I do it slowly, one piece at a time… why not? The clothes I am ordering from a website are nearly as expensive. If I find a seamstress who is interested in a steady commission it’s totally possible. And that sounds really nice. I would like to be comfortable in my clothes for once.
I don’t even know where that came from, but I like it. I like that I have time to sit here this morning and think about taking on that kind of many-year-long project because I will be here. This will be my life going forward and I’m allowed to have things I like. Once we get through this early childhood period we will even be able to have extra time so things like that are easy to do. Oh that sounds wonderful.

I like that I have requested that I am not “on duty” until 6:45. If I want to hang out in a closed room by myself doing whatever it is I want, I get to do that. (OF course this is after nursing Calli.) I can sit here and stare out the window and watch as the sky gradually changes from black to purple to navy blue to a saturated blue with white showing through, and now I can see the shapes of the clouds. It will be very cloudy today and probably rain. I think the sky will stay at a blue tinted gray.

I was thinking about that faith in gray thing again today as I watched the movie The Karate Kid. It’s cheesy, but I feel vaguely inspired to do more reading about Zen Buddhism. I’ve been doing a lot of focusing lately on the task at hand as a way to stay balanced and focused. I like having my early morning time be fairly quick reading of the people I enjoy on the internet. I have a lot of time during my day when I have moments of being trapped under Callidora. I am really struggling with my resentment of nursing right now. If I have something to think about, something that connects me to the outside world then I don’t feel trapped and angry. This allows me to have a part of my brain that always feels like me and I can settle into having the whole rest of my attention focused only on the kids. I imagine it works the way I used to use knitting in class. If I have one other track plugging along I can settle into focusing hard on one big one. I am not good at having just one focus at a time if I dislike the task. I have to have something that makes me want to keep enduring. That is carrying and building part of me. If I don’t have this time then I spend Calli’s nursing sessions trying to surf the internet and she interrupts and I am angry the whole time and I resent her.

I like that I have this time to come in here and try to relax into the knowledge that I am not the only responsible person in this house. I don’t need to feel anxiety at all times that I have to be responding in whatever way my children want whenever they want. I don’t have to have a child centered house. Ok, maybe that sounds obvious and preferable to many if not most other people. I grew up in a child centered home. I think a lot of the problems in my family were because we moved at the whims of children. In order to have a peaceful house we need larger and longer patterns. Those can’t be set by children. That’s my job. Oh man. I’m not sure I’m ready to be a responsible adult yet. I have 16 more minutes! Until then, I can be as big of a slacker as I want. So I’ll close this, send a good morning message to my wonderful online girlfriend and have a great day with my friends and my kids.