Life is full of choices. Every minute, you have to decide on something.

What to eat. If you should go to the bathroom now or at the commercial. If you should wear the red shoes or the black ones.

Food is tricky though, especially if you are prone to making poor choices about it.  I don’t think I have an eating disorder, exactly, but it is hard for me to set limits for myself. I tend to be either perfect or totally out of control. It would be easier to choose to abstain like an alcoholic does. Having issues with food impulse control is a bit like being an alcoholic who has to deliberately choose to eat several times a day and still not drink “too much.”

Whatever that is.

Being on a course of action that may lead to surgery (unless my job and insurance go away) I have been trying to make healthier choices about food. Eating real food instead of junk. Eating rational human portions. You’d think it would be easier, since I feel better when I eat this way.

Yesterday I didn’t eat any real food. I ate popcorn and ice cream for dinner.

And I felt like crap. Physically and emotionally.

I knew this would happen and did it anyway. Why is that?

Eating popcorn won’t make stress go away no matter how hard I crunch. Work is a disaster for almost everyone at the moment. My personal life is a shambles. I’ve got ghosts from my past coming back into my present and I am happy but shaken up about that. My coping skills are a bit stretched.

So I’ll breathe, hang out with a ghost after work if all goes well, and keep moving forward. I’ll try not to kick myself in the ass about having ice cream for dinner. It will all work out.

If I have to choose something, I’ll try to choose to remember the awesomeness of my friends and family.

And if that fails, I can always choose to clean something.

Side note from fat camp: at class the other night, the psychologist mentioned that crunchy foods are what people seek out when they are angry. While it is true that anger is a rider on my current emotional roller coaster ride at work, I like crunchy snacks when I am happy too. Or sad. I like things that are salty and crunchy in general.

What do I want, anyway?

Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true.

The devil is in the details.

I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want
So tell me what you want, what you really, really want
–the Spice Girls

In this time of personal and professional upheaval, I am once again confronting the joys of change. Which is always a good time to think about what the fuck it is that I want on both levels.

Like everyone, I have a hard time with change. Like everyone, I have to deal with it because shit happens. A lot. I actually think that having your life tossed up into the air is ultimately a good thing, or can be. It isn’t generally a pleasant experience at the time though.

Over the years I have learned through both sad and happy experience that “what I want” is a shifting target. Oh, the basics are what everyone wants. A good job that I enjoy doing (mostly) and friends and family who love me and who I love back.

Professionally, I am still trying to figure it out. This might be a great time to totally change my path. If only I knew where the road was. More on that later, because I just have to sort of get through the next few months.

Personally? Since my personal life is more important to me than my professional life, I’ve given it considerably more thought. (Side note from my self: why is that? I spend a lot of time at work, and need to do things like pay my mortgage. Doesn’t that deserve some attention too? Shut up, self!)

What do I want? A partner who has my back. You can’t choose your family, but you definitely choose your romantic partners. And it’s not a simple thing. You have to not only  love them but also like them, they have to like you back. And in the right way, too. That is pretty simple.

Details, though, are a tricky thing.

I need someone, probably a man,  who communicates and doesn’t let me hole up in my introvert hole. It sounds good in theory, but might it also mean someone who talks my ear off and wants to drag me around to a million social events? Or someone who wants  me have  and share feelings about things I actually don’t have feelings about?

Someone who will take care of me  would be nice.  Sure, but not so much that I feel like I’m being constantly surveilled or forced into subservience. Sometimes I want to be alone. Me and Garbo. Also, I can take care of myself most of the time. And I want to. But the physical and emotional backup would be great.

I want some space. Not too much space, though, or I’ll just drift off.

Someone who wants to do things with me? Yeah, as long as he doesn’t try to try to do EVERYTHING with me.

To be needed, but not to the extent that I feel like everything is my responsibility.

To be dominated or let someone take control at times, but not be beaten up either mentally or physically.

Someone who has strong opinions, but still thinks mine are the most important. Er, who is willing to listen to mine. Note from my self: you may still need some work on listening to someone else’s views.

Strong willed without being a mule about it. See above.

Smart. But he can’t think he knows everything.

Funny, but not using it as a weapon or to evade discussion.

Principled without being a religious, political or racial bigot.

Flexible but not so bendy you never know what they stand for.

Sexually oriented without hounding me to put out every second.

Maybe the saying should actually be that the devil is in the balance of the details…

Maybe I am too picky. Or too something else. Not enough something?

I’m still not good at just being present. I drift off mentally. I’m inpatient. Too blunt. Well-intentioned, but awkward about how I say things. Still inclined to not say things at all if someone might react badly or has reacted badly in the past. And we all know what happens when you bottle things up. When they do come out (and they always do) there’s a bit of an explosion.

So I’m willing to admit that it’s probably me. The Mentos and Diet Coke of internalizing.

Unsteady as she goes

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
–Lao Tzu


Yeah, sure, change is great but who’s going to pay my mortgage? Fuck you, Lao Tzu!

Every now and then, it seems, life decides that the best thing is to throw everything into the air and see where it all lands.  Sometimes life is an asshole, but since life is all there is, I do the best I can to improvise and stay with it. Try to, anyway, but sometimes the situation does sort of teeter between hysterical laugher and tears.

So what do I do? I make plans, which sometimes seems silly in the face of a life that delights in upsetting the plans people come up with. I make lists. I consider career counseling. I consider finding a sugar daddy. I cut expenses. I make more lists. I make sure my bills are paid and I’m as equipped as I can be to deal with whatever happens.  I laugh. I read. I cry.  I do all the same things I always do, but with more wild contingency plans about renting rooms out and less shopping for the ultimate black eyeliner.

Luckily, I enjoy contingency planning, but when everything gets tossed into the air my ability to focus is impacted. I get forgetful. Scattered, like everything around me. Short tempered? Well. It could happen. We all know that I have issues with patience in the best of times. It gets harder to do things I need to do to move forward, and my ability to pay attention is just not there.

I keep trying  to find the balance between rolling with the changes,  being open to what life brings and finding the best path for myself among the options. Trying not to do something wildly stupid but wondering if I need to throw my innate cautious nature aside for the moment and do something I wouldn’t normally do.

I do think that life’s game of 52 Card Pickup can be an opportunity.  To take chances that you wouldn’t normally consider. To think seriously about things you wouldn’t normally even look at when things are going according to “the plan.” I am risk adverse. Very. When life tosses my plans into the air like a deck of cards, then I get a chance to take a chance I wouldn’t normally take. Or even be in a position where I have to take a chance.

Trying to look at it as a wake up call rather than a knock on the head is not easy. Maybe being knocked down is a chance to look at things from a different angle.

Maybe it’s just all fucked up. Maybe I’ll end up homeless. Maybe I’ll get sick and die without health insurance.

I suspect it’ll all work out in some way I hadn’t even expected. It always does.

If it doesn’t, I’ll rent out my spare bedrooms and get a job as a greeter at Wal-mart. “What the fuck to do want” is an appropriate greeting, right?


Also, Fuck You Lao Tzu would be a great band name.