June 2, 2013 by Julia
I’ve been struggling lately with thinking of fresh things to write about. Although I don’t feel burnt out after these nine months of blogging – I’m still loving and needing it, in fact – there has been a lot of time spent on false starts and staring at blank pages. Part of the problem is that there are only so many subjects to be covered before you start repeating yourself. I know some unintended repetition can’t be helped. But if trying to write about something I’ve already analyzed to death here bores me, it’s not going to be fun for me to write, or you to read.
Also, there are only so many epiphanies one person can have. I’m not going to try to force one out of every experience (although I do have that impulse). But there doesn’t always have to be a point, you know? Sometimes we just need to hear about what others are experiencing in their lives. Connection through shared experiences is more powerful than imparted wisdom any day. And when we can hear the ring of truth in others’ words, rather than posturing, we take comfort.
So the plan blog-wise, is to just start from where I’m at, even if it’s not dramatically happy or sad. We all have random memories and ideas and feelings floating around in our souls at any given moment, even if the waters seem especially calm that day. All you have to do is drop a line and accept what you pull up as something that might be interesting.
I hope my deep-sea creatures of the soul are interesting. I’m going to treat them like they are, because otherwise I’ll run out of things to blog about. And if I run out of things to blog about, we ALL suffer. Okay, me a lot more than you. Let’s be honest.
Also, this: sometimes you don’t know what you really want to write about until you start writing. And just the act of it will hone your craft…so if I write on less important subjects for a while, it is still good practice for when the really meaningful stuff comes up, or for the next novel. I’m not going to let a silly little thing like a seeming lack of material stop me. I’ll just go fishing in those soul depths, and bring out even the muddiest of creatures into the daylight.
It would be a little disingenuous to apologize in advance, here – I am aware that the dirt is what people crave, anyway. So…you’re welcome, in advance?
I’ve gained about ten lbs since the holidays. Yes, I realize it’s now June, and yes I’m referring to Christmas, etc. And yes, isn’t it super-annoying that I’m going to complain about my weight like every single woman EVER? (Slight exaggeration alert – no need to mention the mass generalization of my gender in the comments, please.) But the truth is, we’re all thinking about our weight a LOT of the time, aren’t we? I already wrote about this once, and I don’t want to repeat all of the reasons I don’t diet anymore, but I do want to say that since then I’ve felt more roly-poly and uncomfortable in my own skin, and there has definitely been some stress-eating going on, and I’ve been unsure about how to deal with this.
I go back and forth on the diet thing. Last week I attempted to enforce some rules for myself, like ‘don’t have more than one bowl of cereal in the morning’ (cereal is my weakness), ‘don’t eat your children’s leftovers mindlessly,’ and ‘don’t use wastefulness as a excuse to overeat – that’s why we have Tupperware.’ But the rules took up a lot of brain space, as reasonable as they were, and after about 1½ days of happily following them, all I wanted to do was rebel against them.
So this morning I decided to renew my vows against dieting, even though I’m at my highest (non-pregnant) weight. I just feel that there are happier ways to be healthy and confident and accepting of myself. I don’t want to expend so much energy on sheer vanity. (Which is what I believe seventy-five percent of diets are really about, regardless of all the health talk.) I want to enjoy eating, and even allow myself to stress-eat if that’s what will get me through a rough afternoon. And in that mental act of allowing myself, I feel kinder and more confident, already. Also, less likely to stress-eat, and more likely to get back to my natural weight than if I’m stuck in that old shame spiral.
Anyway, it just feels right to have this mindset. I’m so tired of that old weight-obsessive one that clattered around in the background (or foreground) most of the time for almost twenty years. I’m going the way of trusting myself. There are so many women out there who are just normal…not long and lean, but with muffin tops and gorgeous deep eyes and not-tight arms and luscious hair and dimples and curves in all the right places, and those women are pretty, and so am I, even if we don’t have personal trainers or lucky genes or the willpower to starve on purpose. So that’s how I want to carry myself. Like I know I have an extra roll around my middle, and I don’t give a friggin’ hoot, because I also have blue-green eyes and a heart-shaped face and lots of other non-physical attributes.
In general, I’m convinced we need to figure out how best to feed ourselves, both food-wise and life-wise, rather than starve ourselves in some attempt to be fulfilled through our own beauty. Our own beauty is not something that could fill us up, anyway. (I assume. Not sure how it feels to be Natalie Portman, for example.)
It’s a lot harder than it sounds to stay positive about one’s self. I can get all gung-ho about female empowerment, and I mean it about all those other beautiful women, but when it’s my own reflection, well. Fiona has a low-hung mirror in her room that only reflects my lower half, and it’s potentially depressing to see only my lower half in skinny jeans. In fact, just an hour ago that mirror’s reflection almost sent me into another shame-cereal-eating-spiral (aka SCES).
I’d love to insert here an unflattering photo of myself eating a huge bowl of Cinnamon Chex while reading at the kitchen table, but for me cereal-eating is a private activity; I would never do it around other adults other than my husband or immediate family members, and oddly enough none of them have thought yet to take a picture of me in cereal mode.
Um, that’s it. Post! (Not the cereal brand, but the act of hitting the “publish” button here on WordPress.)