art and a reboot

OH MY have I been in trouble with myself. Ever since the nightmarish election, I’ve been in trouble. I keep trying to stand up, find myself, breathe, reorient my mindset. I’ll make headway — return to the mat, the street, the vegetable market — and for a moment I am back. But I’m back in that moment, still surrounded by chaos. And it’s a specific kind of chaos that’s my own worst nightmare. The incessant (even when it’s nonsensical) lying and gaslighting, and a country of people who are just fine with it. (Mercifully almost all of my own people see what I see, but not all do.) And that’s not even considering the hideous political stuff he’s doing, the destruction, the looting.

And so I’ll rally and pull it off for a few days: oh yes, yoga, how delicious. A daily walk, hard again at first but after a week getting a little easier. My wonderful food, lots of cool water, clear mind. And I won’t put pressure on myself about it (great! Now I’m completely back! That’s all behind me!) but the constant falling off and then struggling to right myself has been especially awful. I’ve tried being gentle with myself, tweaking expectations, setting low bars, surrounding myself with people who support me, and that’s all gotten me through but I haven’t sustained a reboot.

At this point I’ve gained 22 pounds, from my lowest weight. I’m not quite back where I started a few summers ago (and having sustained my comfortable self for a couple of years, this is hard to take), but I’m in the neighborhood. I was talking to a friend yesterday who asked if I wanted to let HIM have this effect on me — and of course I don’t, of course, but that doesn’t make this stop. It’s actually a thing, the “Trump Effect” — like the ‘freshman 15’ people are eating their misery.

This past week I’ve had a social date every single day, a meal or a drink, and all week I’ve been anticipating today as my next reboot. I’m taking a class this afternoon (watercolor, “bold blooms” — flowers and blossoms, just the perfect medicine) and stopping at the grocery store on my way home to buy fresh, beautiful, healthy food. After dinner I’m either taking a walk or taking a restorative yoga class. It’s not a clear, sunny day here, but I’m filling my day with beauty and color in the hopes that it helps.

Intro to Watercolors: Bold Blooms Workshop
Sriracha Rainbow Noodle Salad!

Fingers crossed, y’all. Is there any worse feeling than just being out of control, unable to stop yourself from doing what you don’t really want to be doing? Unable to start yourself in the direction you really want to go?

How are you?

10 thoughts on “art and a reboot”

  1. Feeling out of control has been a constant recently and it is proving to be my undoing. Other people and situations are wearing me away, rubbing me out. No one wants this but as you say, that doesn’t stop it happening. Sending you every colour, every day xx

    1. OH….wearing me away, rubbing me out, what an evocative phrase and how terribly I feel that grinding. If only recognizing this could stop it all from happening. I guess that’s always true. I send you a big dose of love, strong enough to make it all the way around to you. xxxxxxx

    1. I’m so sorry, and can commiserate and only wish I had some new and exciting ideas for a sure-to-work reboot. So far I’ve made it through this one day, and that’s all I can say. Time for that Anne Lamott line, “I wish grace and healing were more abracadabra kind of things. Also, that delicate silver bells would ring to announce grace’s arrival. But no, it’s clog and slog and scootch, on the floor, in the silence, in the dark.” It feels mighty dark and my butt is worn down from all the scootching.

      I sure hope you find moments of grace — enough at least to keep going for the next one. Maybe that’s how it is for us now, like cartoon characters just heading for the next oasis and hoping it’s not a mirage. xoxox

  2. I’m in the same boat. Actually, the Titanic – all my resolve to lose weight, i.e. start walking again, eat better (damn sweets) has sunk to an all time low. No motivation, no resolve – it’s a terrible/herrible thing.

    We’ve had so much facing us in the last months (Dad’s death and trying to get things settled with his house (nightmare), trips back and forth to SA almost every weekend (usually for less than 24 hours), 2 siblings battling cancer – the list actually seems endless . The monster that’s taken over our nation – such a pall seems to have settled over most of us and the negative influence on our very beings is palpable.

    I don’t know what to do. I guess we’ll just keep trudging along the best we can and wait for better days – they’re just around the corner, I’m sure.

    I love you, Lori – you’re my hero. xoxoxo

    1. Oh Dixie, y’all REALLY have been through the ringer. And of course it’s been going on long (long, long, long) before Wilton’s death. That roundtrip to SA is just brutal, I didn’t know y’all were doing that. I sure hope it’s nearing the end, that just can’t be tolerable for too much longer. You are such a generous caretaker of others, I wish I could just sneak up to your place and surprise you with a bottle of wine and a pizza and a magic wand to make all the rest fall into place. I love you, my darling dear Dixie. So much. xoxoxoxox

      1. There is no one I’d rather have wine and pizza with – we just have to make this happen.
        Dad’s house is full of everything (nearly) that’s been there since Karl was in junior high. Try as we might, no matter how much time we spend trying to clear out, it usually looks like we haven’t made a dent. The legal stuff is all done and that’s a blessing. Karl would like to ultimately rent it out, so his cousin was there yesterday giving him a bid on painting the inside and outside. Thank god Karl didn’t decide to do this himself. At some point we’ll get an estate company to come in and do a sale. Meanwhile, we are paying for electricity, water and a yard man ’til we can get it in some shape for the estate people to come. It’s just been so overwhelming. I know that it will eventually all get done.
        I love you, precious Lori.

        1. THANK GOD Karl didn’t decide to do all that himself! Even though it often feels that way, y’all are not superhumans (only super humans) and that would’ve just been too hard. I think getting rid of all the stuff is the most overwhelming task — it was, when my dad died. It’s emotional, making ‘throw it away’ decisions even though you finally get to a point where that becomes easier, and then there’s just all the detritus of a life. Overwhelming. I’m really glad his cousin is there and can help; I had been wondering about him. You and Karl must just be worn down to the nub, I wish you could take a week-long vacation to the destination of your dreams, a place where you would be waited on, and where you could just relax and do exactly and only what YOU wanted to do. How I wish that.

          My darling Dixie. I sure wish I could help you in some meaningful way. You are so good to everyone in this world. I love you dearly. xoxoxoxo

  3. I hear you! This entire semester, on my sabbatical, I’ve had intentions of getting it together. Where “it” means doing yoga every day, meditating, eating right, etc etc etc. I manage it for a few days, and then I lose the thread again, somehow. And I find myself having dessert after dinner, even though I’m full and am thinking – what am I doing? Or wasting time reading articles on the NYT about the latest national mess, instead of sitting my butt down on my cushion and doing what I know will make me feel better. What’s that about?

    1. I don’t know what it’s about, but let’s make a deal: if either of us figures it out, we’ll share! It’s just so frustrating, the in-the-moment awareness and yet going forward anyway. “What am I doing? Why am I doing this!” It’s frustrating and maddening. In Fierce Attachments, Vivian Gornick wrote:

      It was through the discovery and exploration of the unconscious that Freud made his major discoveries, chief among them that from birth to death we are, every last one of us, divided against ourselves. We both want to grow up and don’t want to grow up; we hunger for sexual pleasure, we dread sexual pleasure; we hate our own aggressions–anger, cruelty, the need to humiliate–yet they derive from the grievances we are least willing to part with. Our very suffering is a source of both pain and reassurance. What Freud found most difficult to cure in his patients was the resistance to being cured.”

      I’m no fan of Freud and think he got so many things WRONG, but this is true. This resistance to being cured. So bewildering.

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