It is quiet at work, unusually and blessedly, and I am sitting here alone in the proofreader’s office with my vitamins all lined up in front of me. I pulled out my vitamins after spending a good 20 minutes with a notebook and a pen, writing down all my big goals, and then all my little goals, and then breaking up my big goals into little goals, and then breaking up the whole giant list of goals into bite-sized chunks to fill up pages and pages that say 9/25 and 9/26 and 9/27, et cetera, et cetera at the top. If I am not careful, I am going to schedule my whole year and that sounds kind of pretty damn okay to me, right now.
The whole thing is weird, and maybe a little obsessive, and it is the most comforting thing I could have possibly done for myself. It also means, if you will note, that I have my vitamins all sitting in a row in front of me. I have already swallowed the B vitamins, and am about to embark on my nasty-ass chewable multivitamins and in that way I will have accomplished something today, and lately, what I really, really need is the feeling that I have accomplished something, anything at all, because the last thing I need to do is sink down into a Mire of Despair and become a Lump of Tragedy.
I’ve done it before; I do it a lot. I get sad. I give up a little. I
wallow. I give more and more ground each day, shifting over on the
couch every night to leave a little more room for the big black cloud
that puts its feet on my coffee table and spits popcorn kernels onto my
rug and then I’m off the couch and down the hall and in my bed and not
getting up, never getting up again, no not ever. I feel that coming on,
and I don’t want to go there. I do not even want to visit, and if the
chamber of commerce doesn’t stop sending me packets of brochures, I’m
going to start getting really pissed off.
Exercise helps. Part of my big list of lists and items and action items
to be checked off on my big list is writing down my schedule of
activities–what I’m doing, where I’m doing it. Sublists include music
to put on the iPod, things to pack in my gym bag and fitness goals over
all of which hangs a faint aura of hope with the slightest tinny patina
Control. It’s all about control, obviously, and me feeling out of it. I
dislike, immensely, to see it reflected in my weight–I had hoped very
much that I would have left that behind entirely. Not just because oh,
hooray, it’s a miracle and I never have to worry about weight again!
Which is of course a terrible lie, because I had hoped to have
figured out how to stop that automatic reflection–that mirror my
eating patterns hold up to the state of my life. Things are good–I eat
okay! Things are bad, I eat a Snickers Dark ice cream bar. Of course,
with the surgery on my side, it is not a pint of ice cream and a bag of
Doritos dipped in cream cheese and also when I’m done I feel as
physically wretched as I do emotionally wretched.
It is not every time, and it is not all the time, and it is not an
automatic reach-for-the-food situation. Every time I recognize that I
feel bad, and yet I appear to not be eating, I am thrilled, and
congratulate myself for once again Breaking Free of the Chains That
Bound Me. And yet, here is an ice cream bar on Tuesday, and there is a
bag of Sun Chips on Sunday, and the pattern stutters on and my weight
creeps up and hovers and I start feeling hopeless and stupid. And then,
I start writing things down.
That’s never really worked, though. It has felt good, to write down
everything I need to do and every way I need to be, and then it has
become overwhelming and impossible and ridiculous, thinking that I
could possibly accomplish any of this, ever, and who am I trying to
fool? As if I were planning on leaving my notebook lying around
casually for a passerby to pick up, and flip through, and go hmm, yes.
The clearly attractive and intelligent person who wrote out these lists
of goals is a very ambitious and organized person with whom I should
like to have a lot of unselfish sex! Maybe I can hope that a little,
but still give myself a damn break, and maybe the benefit of the doubt.
This time, it feels a little bit more workable. Maybe because writing
down “run” gives me something to look forward to, this time, instead of
something to dread. I’ve found I like to run; the fact that it makes me
feel good, better, best about myself is something that’s actually
managed to stick in my head. Having gotten so far in my couch to 5K
program previously makes me feel like sure as hell, I can do that
again. And as it turns out, thinking that you can accomplish just one
thing on your list makes you think that maybe the other things on there
are tackle-able, and worth doing, and might make you feel just as good.
Which is why I made my list, and made a note to pack my gym bag, and
then pulled out my vitamins and lined them up in front of me. They’re
all gone, now, and tomorrow I’m going for a run.