Gratitude

Lately, I’ve realized that despite feeling quite alone and unsupported, actually my various friends have given me quite a lot of support. One gave me a big monitor, bigger than the one I have. It’s nice, makes work easier and play a little richer. Two others let me stay at their homes while I travelled to a conference. They appreciated talking to me. They fed me. Thay had time for me! Even my ex wanted to help me.

One of them even dumped out three days of my urine and toilet paper from a chemical toilet in the camper. Now, that’s a true friend, no? Last time I made sure to empty that toilet myself. I had to ask for help how to do it. I bet usually she does it for everyone, but I felt like I should take care of my own bodily fluids, ya know?

And then today I got a chunk of good luck, a bit of freedom. My divorce papers came through. There was some technical glitch with the format, so they were refused last month, but the kind registry clerk took pity on me and resubmitted it to another judge, who ended up approving it. Whew! I’ve been hoping and hoping for that all month, because my ex got into blaming mode and didn’t want to redo the papers, even though it was all by consent. Even though I redid the papers and printed it for him. But now it’s done, and I feel numb. I never wanted to be divorced, but since that’s what he wanted, I’m glad it’s finished.

So what about gratitude? Yes, I’m grateful for the luck today and when the clerk took pity on me, but I’ve talked to people who say gratitude changed their lives. I need my life to change! I don’t want my life the way it’s been. I tried to practice gratitude, but it didn’t do much for me. I read a lot about it. I tried the exercises repeatedly. So… anyone of the very few rarified people reading here have the solution? I don’t know. Life ain’t worth living, and I’m trying to change that.

 

 

Take time to enjoy life?

That’s what the guy at the job centre said. For me, the problem isn’t time. It’s capacity to enjoy. There’s not much I really enjoy. Oh, sure, a movie is an escape. Food is great while eating it and alcohol makes the worries fade away, but both of those things are extra calories, especially the second one which has no nutritional value. At my age, I don’t need to eat much, so most every bite should be a nutritious one.

So suddenly I got the bright idea to go get a massage at the massage therapy school.  Something I’ve been planning to do for over a year. It’s only $30 for over an hour of therapeutic massage. I checked their online schedule – only one booking left for today, in 15 minutes. I had to dash down there after leaving them a phone message.

It felt great though I feel oddly stiff now as if things were stretched and I should take a hot bath and then ice my sore foot that got killed with all the activity over the past week. I had some strenuous forest hiking that overdid it for me and triggered old injuries and weak points.

So I did something nice for me that felt good. Hurrah for me!

Makeup

I have never understood makeup. That is, I have never worn it. I don’t mean, “only on special occasions” as when other people have told me they “never wear makeup.” I have never worn it in public. I’ve mucked around in the bathroom and I looked like a freak, could never make sense of it.

Oddly enough, I’m quite excellent at painting on paper or canvas. It’s not the painting skill I lack. I’m in the top few percent of colour perception. But social perception – somewhere in the bottom. And makeup is about social perception. I … don’t … get it. See, women dress up colourfully to impress each other, but somehow that also has to do with getting a mate. As with birds. I relate to the crows and robins – both sexes look basically the same. They mate forever. They don’t need to have breeding plumage each year to compete for a new mate. I don’t play that game. I am a geek, I might as well be a guy, with t-shirt and shorts or jeans, depending on time of year.

And then recently I saw a performance by the male bellydancer I’m so fond of. I captured a screenshot of his pleased side-glance, with heavy kohl-type eyeliner.

Now, finally, I want to wear makeup. I don’t think heavy kohl eyeliner is the best thing for a pale, white-haired, pink-faced woman over 50 with zero fashion sense, but it’s what appeals to me.

I never had the experience I imagine is common for most women – the playing with makeup with friends experience of teenage years and later. I mean we didn’t have the Internet in those days, so we couldn’t google makeup techniques. I assume people did it together.  There are books, but probably most people learned from each other.

From books, I learned how to pluck hair out of my face. The book, “The eyebrow,” yes, a book only on that topic, instructed me. But now I spend 4x as much time plucking hairs out of my chin. Pretty much every other day. It’s not makeup, it’s not adding anything. It’s removing something to create a more groomed appearance.

I might as well throw in that I’ve been accused of wearing makeup at times!!! Wow! Actually it was just that I used Facercise by Carole Maggio, awesome facial exercises that plump up muscles and create bloodflow, resulting in rosy cheeks and brightened skin tone under the eyes. Wonderful stuff.

Looking “good” makes it easier for people to connect, to look at your face. It’s good for confidence, too. I just have never worn makeup to get those effects.

But now I want the heavy black kohl eyes. Probably like what the Rolling Stones had back somewhere in the late 60s. Which video was that again? I’m kind of a pop music fiend, but it escapes me right now.

White hair and black kohl eyes. Right.

Shame/Fail

The best thing that happened today didn’t. I didn’t get in a car accident, I didn’t totally lose a friend, and I didn’t shit myself during my dance class or any other time.

The dance teacher had a sore right upper trap and so I offered some massage. She also has fibromyalgia, she said, so I said if anything hurts, you must tell me to stop. At the end of the class she thanked me for this massage. At the beginning, she complimented my weird fashion belt, hand-me-down from my mother, which I use to hold in the bulge above the belly button. The diastasis/hernia bulge. I hate that bulge.

I hate all the bulges, the square ones on my hips that make them like a pumpkin ready to burst. The waist roll that makes all the hip movements look like nothing, as they are buried in fat. My face is a puffy moon, too. Eyes lost in a shapeless pool of jelly.

I have nothing. I have no joy, no solace, no refuge, no purpose. Well, my job search is a purpose, but rather than a soothing one, it’s anxiety-provoking. Hence the need for cider for soothing. Not that high in calories, but displacing my nutrition.

Ashamed of my life, my body, my fail.

My dance-class buddy sounded so relaxed when talking about the conference. Sounded excited that it would be a great opportunity. But I doubt myself, as I suck with people. If it’s about “fit” and people hiring you because they like you, then fuck it I am doomed. People DON’T like me, probably because I fear and thus don’t like them, overall. I mean I could like them in a way, as individuals, but it’s not like with an animal. With an animal, I like them all from the start. If I don’t like one as an individual, I probably like them more than people. I start with good will, with animals. With people, I start with fear.

So much for filling my evenings with learning. Worked for a couple days. Lately I’m very stressed from the conference push. The other day, when I started this post, I had cider and burned my mouth on pizza! I felt ashamed, and almost ready to blush even now, but on the other hand I can credit myself that I am exercising more, generally eating well, and feel my body getting firmer, not larger. Just sometimes I feel the grossness of it all and it overwhelms me for a while.

The conference starts in the morning. I’ve prepared as best I can to be calm, professional, curious, and to make my requests and mention my various intentions to as many people as possible, but in an appropriate way that feels right. So, up to now it’s shame/fail, and I am going to keep marching through my fear, as usual.

Makeup and your mind

The other day my friend wore makeup for the first time that I’ve seen. She’s over 60. It looked good. She looked professional and even a bit younger. I noticed that, but it didn’t make me want to wear makeup, something I’ve never done. Oh, I bought some at the drugstore when I was a teenager, and tried it on in the bathroom. No idea why. I was never going to wear it in public. Other people say they “never” wear makeup and they mean only for special occasions. They don’t mean NEVER, like with me. I didn’t have any. I didn’t have a makeup bag or a purse to put it into. I still keep my wallet in my pocket, like a guy.

And I never had that experience that probably 99% of girls did, that is pretty much a stereotype of being a teenage female: doing makeovers on each other. Never did it. I couldn’t even tell you if my friends wore makeup. Thinking back, I guess they did, at least sometimes. And I never wanted to. I was adamant. I don’t remember talking about them with it, but if I did, it was probably that I’m not interested. I tend to be blunt, like that.

And just this week my point of view changed. I saw a makeup look that I could never achieve, and yet it made me want to try and copy it. It was my favourite fusion   bellydancer, who I apparently have not posted about before. Towards the end of one of his wild performances, he turned to the camera and paused, looking pleased with himself. The heavy black painted shadows around his eyes gave an exotic drama. I just wanted to be like him. Of course it would be nice to be 30 years younger and male, too.

See, I could never get into female gender roles, and the female body isn’t that great either with its extra floppy bits. Not as strong as a male, generally. Would have been nice to be a guy and have more social privileges. And to top it off, be a bellydancing male with long hair who can be not-macho (I wouldn’t call it feminine) and still be male. Would have been perfect and pretty much the opposite of what I was, someone cut off from my body and perfectly avoidant about gender roles.

We should be like crows, with no difference between the species. Birds like that mate for life, like me. Different from birds that have special breeding plumage so they can play the mating game each season. I don’t want to play! I don’t know how I flirt. I know how to commit, forever. And it didn’t work, so I’m done with that. I tried and failed. I’m like a crow, but a crow alone.

But anyway, I’m going to bring up the makeup topic with my friend or friends at some point. Maybe the makeover session can still happen. Surely I can’t do this on my own. I can paint a wall or a painting, but not my face. No clue on that. I haven’t been paying attention to how that’s done. I know what I don’t want – thick cakey layers that are going to wipe off on my clothes. In fact, this probably won’t work because, after all, I’m not girly. I’m good with a power drill or an axe or a shovel, not a makeup kit.

 

Swim-giggle

Swim-giggle

I woke up terrified, as usual, because of the networking events I’m committed to. I paid good money to attend these, sometimes without great certainty. I mean two of them, I am going to learn something useful, and they aren’t that expensive. Two of them are more expensive, more time, and I’m not sure I’ll fit in. I’m looking for my peeps and a world I can really connect with. Somewhere I can belong, and find a career. So it’s big, time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally challenging. Once I’ve figured out how I’m going to approach it, what I want, my networking agenda and followup plans, I can do those. While figuring them out, I’m terrified with doubt about myself. Am I doing the right thing? I donno, but I wanted the early bird discounts, so I went for it. If I wait till I’m certain, nothing will ever happen. At some point you have to jump or you’re gonna hit the ground anyway.

But I have some good self-management habits, like regular exercise. Swimming is one of my regular things. I go and swim lengths for 30-60 minutes. And the hot tub is my soothing reward. If I don’t have to share lanes too much, the swim is pretty soothing, too. And I love that I look 5-10 years younger after as my facial complexion looks so much better.

So today I swam. Took the new-to-me swimsuit from Value Village. I’d gone shopping for an expensive proper sports-style one to replace the one that’s over two years old, but for almost $100 didn’t find anything I liked. I don’t want to have to reach over my head and undo a plastic clip that looks like I’m gonna break it somehow. The clerk said she’s never had one returned broken, but then she looks to be barely out of high school. And most people aren’t as rough on things as I am. If I don’t rip that clip apart with my bare hands, I’ll probably step on it or slam it in a door at some point.

So, I got a $5 swimsuit at Value Village. It even had a cute little skirt to hide some upper thigh flab. I liked the colours, too. The skirt caught on my arm when I was swimming, so I had to tie it up on one side. When I got out, I noticed the skirt was pretty much down to my knees. Felt weird.

Best of all, as you can see, the suit has an impressive bustline, hills like white elephants, major uplift. This gave each side of my chest a room of its own. In other words, I didn’t need these capacious carapaces. However, when I got in the pool, it seemed these hollow handfuls contained magnets for male eyes. I felt them on me in a strange way, lingering like never before. I’ve never had a bust that stood out, particularly. But now I did. And it made me laugh. I had a couple of good giggles at the end of some of my laps.

Dill seedlings

Dill is up. I stood there staring down at the dirt that doesn’t seem to change quickly. So cold, so slow. Record moisture – even some of the seedlings are too wet and yellowing around the edges.

This is tax weekend, in Canada, for those of us who don’t always plan ahead. Got mine done in 3 hours or so. Maybe next year I’ll file electronically, and it’ll be even faster. I keep my biz records all year, so by tax time they are all ready to go and just need to be exported to a document to print out.

Yeah, so not eating or overindulging tonight. Considered it. But my go-to talisman is my own body. Tuning into it does not make me want to eat. I feel bulky and shapeless, despite having a strong core, despite dancing well for an hour, despite riding my bike and all. Looks like flab-reduction surgery is in my future. But first… stay away from the emotional eating and create even more loose flab. Yech. It’s enough to drive you to drink, but that’s not gonna help. Guess it’s time for a movie, some more dancing, or some creative project after a nice hot bath.

My habits of calmness, happiness, and lightness are relatively new. Small, pale green, and weak, just like those dill seedlings.