Taking responsibility, the neurosis void

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It is funny, you know.

Everything is going swimmingly in my life.

Except that I have porked up a bit. That has filled the neurosis void.

And I gotta say – I forgive myself for porking up.

Hard months, travel, new romance, not being able to run…….not excuses, just what has happened.

I have gone (mostly) off the grog for 1 month. I found it hard, and got resentful.

The calm before the binge, right? Diet, binge, diet, binge….it is exhausting. I hate counting calories.

I am coming around to the fact that I have to be vigilant. I can’t eat or drink whatever I like. Most people can’t.

Preparation. Vigilance. Responsibility.

Droptober?

I’m here! I’m here! I’m not going.

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Lots of things going on in my world. I have been meaning to post, but time has gotten away from me blah blah blah.

Things going on.

1. Boyfriend.

Yes. It’s official. And wonderful. And I am not (that) scared to talk about it for fear that it will go tits up.

I have heard it said that good relationships are easy. Relatively free of angst (had to separate my own baggage from what was actually happening, which was all good), red flags, tears, anxiety. The butterflies flap gently rather than make you sick.

That you can be yourself, slowly letting it all out, and having it accepted and indeed embraced. Feeling comfortable.

Wanting to do the best for and by the other person.

I wasn’t expecting this, but it seems to be.

And that is all I am saying about that.

2. Wine.

I’ve gone off it for the month, with a hiatus for a girls night out.

I am a bit scared, as I love wine, but I have gone too hard recently, in celebration and in commisseration. I need to give my liver a rest. It also makes me over-eat. I have a wine or two and think “oooh! dessert!”

So I have to think of other nice drinks to drink. I have in my fridge diet agrum, diet ginger ale and soda water.

I shall post on how it goes.

I am watching the food, too. I have eaten in comfort and celebration. It was all understandable but it needs to stop.

3. Exercise:

Gotta. My boyfriend runs. He runs slow to keep up with me.

4. Fun:

A trip to Lorne, done. A trip to the Queenscliff music festival in November. Gotye in December. Maybe some Clare Bowditch. More weekends away? A trip to Cuba pencilled in.

5. Money

Need to get some money paid back. Need to pull my finger out. Tax return. Salary packaging…. Scholarships…..

6. Reading.

I am finishing up Shantaram. I have bought the book “Gaysia” by Benjamin Law.

 

A change of topic.

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Enough waxing lyrical and hinting about love…. It is but one part of my life.

Another part that I wish to work on is exercise. Fitness.

After the marathon, I had some post-achievement blues, I am sure my three faithful readers are familiar with them. There were a few other things going on at that time. I came home

Also, I was injured. I had a nerve root injury before the marathon, and 6:10:47 of running did a bit of damage. Unfortunately. I tried going back to running, but just got pain radiating into my buttock, hamstring and calf. I also got a bit of numbness in the side of my foot. Not good.

Frustrated, I went back to the sports doctor, saying “I wanna run”. He sent me to the physio, gave me some anti-inflammatories and mentioned the MRI/nerve root injection pathway.

I went, determined to run, but scared to.

The physio has been a bit more balanced about running, and has suggested a much more measured approach – 3 x 20 minute runs per week, to progress ONLY if no pain going below the buttock.

She also said that I should do some cross training. Gently, but she did.

I have come around to the fact that this might be a good idea, so I joined the gym.

As a student, it is cheap. The amount per fortnight is the price of a cheap-ish dinner out.

I went there with a bad attitude “I hate the gym, it is sweaty and crowded”. Before too long, I was bopping along on the elliptical, singing loudly to my iPod. 

Yoga, spin, Zumba classes….even a 30 minute core class! Wow! A new exercise world awaits.

While running yesterday, I got down on myself for being slow, for having put on weight. I then talked nicely to myself, saying “hey, you have done something huge, you have a neurological injury, you are doing well, just exercise, however you can!”.

Roller coaster #2.

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Nowadays, the more that happens in my life, the less I say on my blog.

I had made a decision a few weeks ago, which I alluded to.

I wanted to stop longing for things I didn’t have, to instead take ownership of my life. To be content. To find joy in the simple things and to rejoice in what I do have.

To take notice of them.

To spend more time holding on to what matters, and letting go of what brings me down. I had given the internet dating a break, shut up shop.

And all of a sudden, great things have been happening, or perhaps they were always happening, but I have just been taking a bit more notice of them, increased their value.

My crazy Auntie June has been in hospital, in Granny Jail. She is demented. She has no family of her own. My sister has seen her decline recently, her memory failing. She has been taking care of Auntie, taking charge, and I have been driving my sister around to visit her.

It has bought my sister and I closer together. It is lovely, really nice to see the best in each other. We have spent some lovely times together, including some of her birthday celebrations.

My mum arranged a dinner for her and the family at Longrain – I was so proud of my mum for picking it and driving into the city. She has always been too anxious to drive inner-city, but she dealt with it recently. A thoroughly enjoyable night.

I have been approaching my studies with enthusiasm. I have entered a public speaking competition, 3 minute Thesis. And duly got Laryngitis. Sigh.

I have booked a trip to Cuba.

I have been seeing lots of my friends.

My romantic life, which I had written off as being a disaster zone put on the backburner for a while, has just become a little more interesting.

Experience has told me that I can’t rely on such things. That I mustn’t get my hopes up et cetera.

I don’t want to be cynical though. I want to enjoy it. I get so frightened that it will all be ripped away from me too early, without much in the way of warning.

It’s happened before, it has been my experience. Natural to be frightened.

For the first time, I have been able to express this fear. To put a name to the anxiety, and to say it out loud. I have become good at doing this.

Even though it doesn’t make the thing I fear any more or less likely to materialise, it certainly helps take its power away, so I can enjoy the moment more freely.

Rather than lowering my expectations, as I have been advised to do, I am concentrating on keeping my own house in order.

What was that song about life and rollercoasters and just gotta ride ’em?

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I hate cliches.

I hate them more when they ring true. It makes me cringe a little inside.

Last week, I decided to temporarily shut up the dating shop. It was all fucking with my head just a little bit. I wanted to concentrate on being my most awesome self, holding on to what is real, doing what I wanted to do.

I decided that I didn’t know how long my singlehood would last, and I had to enjoy it, make it meaningful in and of itself.

I sashayed out on Saturday and had  an awesome day in the city. I had a shopping list of things to buy in the city, which was:

  • Benefit “They’re real” mascara
  • nespresso coffee pods (for my new $90 nespresso compatible machine)
  • shampoo (not necessarily needing to be bought in the city, but still…)

I also can never resist a sashay into the Leona Edmiston area of Myer. I love her frocks, they are so pretty, they wear well, they wash well and I just feel a million dollars. I managed to snare 2 of the frocks for $180. A little shopping whoopsy, but enjoyable! I met a friend for brunch and explored some laneways on my own, which I always enjoy. I am very much a Melbourne girl.

I made plans for a trip to Cuba, going to the adventure travel agent. It is all exciting.

I have started yoga. Some Yin to all the Yang.

I made a resolution to do 3 runs in the upcoming week. I would love to re-join running squad. I am sick of being injured, and am finding the Olympics inspiring.

I make bedtime at night a time to look forward to, just snuggling up under my doona reading a good book. Away from everyone. Nobody can touch me then.

Anyway, you get the idea.

I had arranged to go to a meetup dinner at the Panama Dining Room. PDR is a great space, up a few flights of stairs. I enjoy the meetup crowd, they are friendly, fun people. An older mob, mostly in mid-late 40s. The plan was to have dinner and then kick on to the Night Cat.

aaaaaaannnnnd

I met someone.

I had the most wonderful night. And then another a couple of nights later.

It’s nice. And exciting. And unexpected.

But part of me is really, really scared……I have had so many ups and downs this past year. I just need an even keel.

Part of me is going “no, no, no, this was where it was all going to be about me…MEEEEE!” Yet it would seem foolish to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Part of me is berating myself, thinking “this is what you wanted, right, why do you have to overthink it?”

Part of me is saying “here we go again…”

Lots of thoughts. My head spins.

Luckily though, I am not overwhelmed by them, or bogged down. More like standing on the outside of them, looking at them, bemused.

It’s ok to be scared. You’ve been through a lot. I say to them.

You are doing just fine. Be yourself. You are great. I say to them.

You will be fine, whatever happens. I say to them.

But all that stuff about finding your inner awesome and doing what you want to do and holding on to what is real – keep that up. That is important. No bugger can take that away from you. I say to them.

I am getting my hair done this evening, and looking especially forward to cuddling down in my bed afterwards as the weather has been shite today.

I have some nice things planned for the weekend.

I will keep going much as I was. All I have is now.

Dating Dilemmas and Discourse (the other Ds)

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The lady on the right is not me, just to clarify.

Sigh.

I have come along way, me.

I can travel on my own. I can spend a night at home with a book, or a good telly show. I have gone and met a lot of people. Some great value and some I wish I could expunge from my mind. I have a good social life. I have forged bonds with friends that were previously perhaps not as well nurtured.

I am putting myself out there. Yes, I would like to be in a relationship. But, happily, not badly enough to be in any old relationship.

The whole experience that most people have in their teens and 20s, the chase, the courting, the love and then the rejection and over and over. I never had that. I am learning about all of that now. Hopefully, with a bit more confidence and wisdom than I had in my 20s. Perhaps things are more time-critical now, but, hey, I am still young.

I know what it is to take things slowly. I had to learn that. That thing about protecting my own feelings (not at others expense, of course) – learned that too. And hell, I like sleeping on my own without somebody else in the bed slobbering or farting or snoring or kicking me. I can put full concentration into my own things and value them. That’s a new thing.

I have a stronger sense of my own value, and can walk around most of the time with my head held high. Not just in an intellectual sense, but in a way that is integrated into me, and is less assailable to outside insults.

For example: I am clever, I can perform CPR, I can make a person laugh, I cook a mean lamb roast and I have run a fecking marathon. Among other things.

I feel pretty good about myself, most of the time.

Sometimes, I don’t.

I still occasionally feel self-conscious about my appearance.

I fear that certain aspects of myself (even the good ones, like my achievements) might be offputting.

It is all a bit evocative of 9 year old me, at primary school, being the last picked for the team. That’s what I feel like, sometimes. It’s not the truth, but cannot separate the awkward 9 year old self from the confident 33 year old.

Know what makes it worse?

Internet dating. It is a bit harsh and the lack of accountability makes it all the more amusing.

Knockbacks. The bait and switch. Things that are not particularly harmful, but frustrating nonetheless.

“oh I am going to have to stop emailing you because things have just progressed with somebody else” [Sigh]

“You seem like a nice girl and we would get along well but I think I am out of your league..” [Leagues? I wasn’t aware there were any, we are not football teams]

Or this doozy:

“I usually go for more attractive girls than you but you seem clever and brains are important” [That little bit of gold was after I had politely and briefly knocked somebody back]

Or worse, people just ignoring you. That you aren’t even worth the effort of clicking “no thanks”. I once quite appreciated a guy emailing me and saying “sorry, am going to have to decline further contact”. Simple, clear and non-patronising.

As much as I say “it is their loss, more fool them” and I don’t get TOO bent out of shape, most of the time.

But it does grind on me.

Yet the orderly queue of suitable men will not, I fear, appear at my door, so what am I to do?

I have breaks sometimes. That helps clear the head.

I will just keep trying to cultivate my most awesome self. No random fucker can take that away from me.

On alcohol (or, a whine about wine)

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I loves my wine.

Red in the summer, white in the winter. I love it with food, and I love it with cheese. I love it by itself, by myself, or in company.

I respect the grape, and enjoy the food that goes with the wine. I appreciate it.

I have also developed a liking for cocktails too. Especially when travelling where the wine is neither affordable nor good. Margaritas have been my poison of choice. They are awesome with Mexican food.

I have done a really awesome job of going out and meeting people. Expanding my social circle. Going to new bars, restaurants, hangouts.

A glass or two of wine just takes the edge off the anxiety of meeting new people. Even though I am normally quite a social person, it is still hard to confidently introduce myself to new people. Absolutely mandatory

It serves a gustatory and social purpose.

There are a few problems, though, mostly to do with overconsumption. I have been drinking too much recently. I have been having a drink on most days. I have been hammered more times recently than I had in my whole life before. My body (and dignity) does not cop it as well as it would have when I was younger. But I didn’t do it when I was younger; I have, in a way been making up for lost time.

The problems are

  • Too much wine makes me ahem flirty, or maudlin. That poses a particular problem in certain situations….
  • It has added to my spare tyre
  • The thought of a night on my own at home without grog is a bit much to bear.
  • I have a history of depression and the ethanol goes and scrambles up my happy little neurotransmitters
  • I have a family history of alcoholism. But that’s another story.

I have joined up with Weight Watchers, on their pro-points program, more on that later. The new pro points system, while allowing a weekly margin for error which would appear generous, deals with alcohol quite harshly. 4 points for a glass! It used to be just 2!

Being a glass half full person (!), I thought that this would be the perfect impetus to cut back. Save it for the weekend. Not give up entirely (I am not a quitter) but cut back in frequency and quantity. A glass of wine with dinner out? Sure. Two, three, half a bottle? No. Damn….

Perhaps I also need to make my nights at home alone more pleasant in other ways…..I have had a think about that too.