I am completely overwhelmed and anxious about how much stuff I have to get done in time for this magazine photo shoot and then for Burning Man. I set such unreasonable goals for myself sometimes. Every summer I come up with this enormous, (impossible really), list of things I'm going to make sure we get done before Beau starts school in the fall again, things that we need to improve. We're actually getting some of it done this time, (exercise, weight loss, travel, guitar classes), but the house, oh Lord the house, feels like it's falling down around us like some old crumbling castle.
Ooop gotta go outside for a second -- we have three phone lines, one for the public and people who we don't really want to talk to, so I know not to pick than one up and will sometimes let the voice mail service get it when I'm feeling too anxious or reactive to deal with drama coming from my Mom's corner of the world, (she can always reach me on my cell if it's an emergency and she has the other numbers, but her housekeeper, secretary, and lawyers don't have these and neither do any telemarketers), one for Scotty that I always pick up, and one for the housekeeper's and Beau's friends -- it was this third line that I just picked up.
Stephen's, (or Steven, I'm not sure which, I'll have to check this out), Mom, Beth was out front with a plate of Ethiopian food for me to try. I answered the phone and heard, "Do you like Ethiopian food" I thought, "Wow, I've gotta give this gal points for the most creative, opening telemarketing line I've ever heard," but instead I said, "Uhhh, who is this?" "It's Beth, Stephen's on his way down with his guitar and I'm here with some leftover Ethiopian food. You've got to try it. Bring a plate and fork out and I'll give you some." So I did.
It's really good, completely vegetarian, a soft, airy, pancake-like bread that you use to eat the various beans and vegetables with, a little overspiced for my sensitive constitution but delicious nevertheless. Yum, and just in time, I was getting hungry and I didn't want to bother poor Anna who isn't feeling well.
I had really weird, scary dreams last night about spending the night in my old bedroom at my Mom's house with Scott. My Father was alive and sleeping with my Mom in her bed and there were a lot of children there. There were huge floods happening all over the country, one of them killed Keith Richards or one of The Beatles and people were watching this on television and crying. The flood was so bad that several fast moving streams were coming through my parent's back yard and flooding everything, we were surrounded by water.
One of these streams had made its way into their guest bedroom and was flowing through it along the South wall. I kept asking for help, telling anyone who would listen that the room was in danger of collapsing and that we would need to move everything away from the outer walls of the house that were sure to fall away. No one seemed too concerned but a few people half heartedly helped me lift some of our furniture and things away from the flowing water. When the stream really started moving fast through the room I went into my parent's bedroom and forced them to get up and come look at the situation.
We had a mini-electrical fire here last Wednesday night. It was kind of scary, Beau had gone downstairs to get a glass of milk, and when he tried to turn the light on in the dining room it didn't work so he flipped this other little button that caused a short. Sparks started coming out of the outlet and then smoke started to come out of the cans in the ceiling and the room began to fill with smoke. Yikes. He came running up the stairs to tell me and I called the fire department who came with a big fire truck -- flashing lights, a siren, the whole thing -- three big strong firemen who were terrific as always. We shut off the power to that part of the house, then they opened the wall and found the short and capped it off. Now I just need the damned electrician to keep his appointments. I waited for hours for him on Thursday and of course he never showed. I'm sure it's this kind of stuff that makes me dream about floods and collapsing houses.
I took our little Boston Terrier, Lulu, the pig dog, (I mean it lovingly, I like pigs, we had one as a pet for a little while), over to play with my neighbor Karen's dog Nikita, (I looove Niki, she's just a perfect dog -- some kind of sleek shepherd mix), yesterday and then later I went back over with my big wolfy dog Jack. It was fun sitting on her porch swing and watching the dogs play.
Karen and Gina, who lives across the street from us, get together almost every day so their dogs can play together in Karen's fenced-in yard. I always hear them over there having fun and wish I had the time to go over. I feel guilty that my dogs aren't getting to play as well so it was nice to be able to do that for a little while.
I've been going to Curves at least three times a week, usually more -- pushing myself to keep going even when I don't feel well, and it makes me feel good and accomplished. The only hard part for me is dealing with the muscular pain I feel afterwards knowing that I will not choose to take any kind of pain medication for it.
I couldn't go to Curves yesterday and since I wasn't going to be seeing Scott, (no sexercise), I decided to go for a late night bike ride in order to keep up with my commitment to exercise. So after I dropped off Beau at Stephen's house I went for a long happy bike ride. I put on my little radio Walkman, tuned in Art Bell and rode off in the nice cool dark evening. I felt so much joy at how easy and good it felt to be moving around. I rode around for about an hour and was swinging my legs, singing, and shouting, "Weeeeee," as I rode downhill around corners. When you don't or can't use your body for a long time you forget how good it feels when you move -- you forget why other people are all out there in the world exercising. I used to look at joggers and think, "Oh man, why?"
Being a smaller person -- having a smaller body that moves better, is a wonderful thing. I was thinking about this last night -- that I want to share these feelings with other people who are struggling with their weight and wondering whether they should have this surgery or not, that no matter what happens from here on out, even if I were to gain all the weight back, (which I will fight to prevent happening), it will have been worth it for the gift of this experience; being a normal size woman who doesn't have to look for the widest booths in restaurants, or ask for seat belt extensions, or panic at the idea of someone sitting next to me in the movies, and all of the kind compliments and support I've received.
Sometimes I feel guilty for having taken this out, and for having abandoned my fat sisters and brothers. I don't know if this surgery is for everyone, and I am very aware that it's cruel and unfair that people who don't have good insurance can't afford to get this surgery, but I want everyone to have this experience.
I am so acutely aware of how hard it is to be a big person in this mean, fat prejudiced society that even though I feel guilty for having climbed out of the trenches in some ways, I will never abandon my comrades and surrender the war. I'll just have to work as a smaller spy from behind enemy lines.
Is anyone out there getting this? Are my analogies too vague? What I mean is that now that I am normal looking, still fat but within in the realm of normal, as opposed to being the three hundred plus pound target for fat hatred that I once was, I am privy to conversations about big people that I never was before, and it's frightening, the ignorant, insensitive things that people will say. But I am continuing to fight this, just not from inside a very big, worn out body. I'm standing up to injustice and prejudice from here and maybe this will work to my advantage.
While I believe that big is still beautiful and the world is a much better place when there is love and acceptance for the rainbow of sizes and colors that we all come in, I do think that for me there was a point where I grew beyond what my health could withstand. But I will stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone who is told that they should change something about themselves, or that they are less than, merely because of how they look. Basically I'm still here with my arms open wide to anyone who suffers prejudice of any kind, and I am grateful for the experience of knowing what it feels like to have people treat me poorly just because of how I look, but I am so glad to be able to take a wee break from the battle. I wouldn't be able to do this if I were black or gay now would I? Something to think about : (
I remember having this little phrase all packed up and ready to use on someone who would say anything snide about my size, "Oh yeah, well, I may be fat but you're ugly and I can always go on a diet." I always thought about how inaccurate that sentence really was because although I had tried and tried I really couldn't lose the weight, and implicit in that angry little sentence was a kind of complicity in the very prejudice I suffered, ugly VS pretty, fat VS thin, straight VS gay, black VS white. Stepping off the soapbox now...
I rented John Sayles', (Oh man I love John Sayles, and Haskell Wexler is the
cinematographer, oh God and David Strathairn, I would marry him in a hot second, not
that he's asking, sniffle), Limbo on Netflix and watched it yesterday while I worked on things here in my bedroom. Even though there was a lot of fishing in it, which is hard for me to watch, I thought it was really beautiful. Some people find his movies too slow or character driven but that's just the kind of thing I look for in a film, the interpersonal relationships, small versus big, indie versus commercial blockbuster, not that the big blockbuster films aren't fun but I'll take John Sayles' socially conscious work over a Spiderman any day.
Okay, off I go to live my life. I haven't had a chance to add some of you to my friend's list yet, or to respond to some of your posts. I just need a good stretch of free time here at the computer where I'm not writing an entry or trying to do ten thousand things at once.
Big loving Live Journal hugs,