self reflection

May 15, 2020

I cannot escape myself. Have I said this already? I refuse to go back and re-read recent posts to find out. I want to try and write from this moment. Knowing me, it’s hard to believe I haven’t recently said this thing about not escaping myself. And yet every time I realize that inescapable truth it feels like a new discovery. Aha, I say to myself – look what I’ve figured out. But I bet if I read back, I would see I’m going full circle with this self discovery. I just keep coming back to the same place.

Today, on my bike ride, I was thinking about about how the one that changes as you age, if you’re lucky, is you get to know yourself better. And in knowing yourself better, you get the chance to be more real with yourself and people around you. This probably sounds like platitudes, but I mean it on a deep level. When I say know yourself, I mean know who you are how you act when things are going to pieces in all the ways things can go to pieces, big and small.

Take jealousy. When someone says, I don’t get jealous, that throws up a big read flag to me. It says to me that person is living some kind of fantasy about who they are. Because of course they get jealous, and what’s important to for other people and that person to know is who are they and how they are in their jealous state. Are they mean and petty? Do they shut down? Get clingy? Get vindictive?

You get into your fifties and you’ve probably experienced more jealousy, more disappointment, more anger . . . more ugly junk than you did in your 30’s. Just through accrual.

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Television

May 15, 2020

May 7th, Right now MTB is in the other room watching an old season of Love Island. Sometimes I watch with her. I often need to turn on closed captioning because I can’t make out the accents. It’s as good trash TV as any.

I’ve been watching Real Housewives of Atlanta, starting with the first season, in 2008. It’s like opening a time capsule. Every now and then it makes me feel nostalgic, but it doesn’t make me miss real life, the way watching High Maintenance or Insecure does.

TV is my thing right now. Podcasts were my thing, but the podcasts I listen to to pile on the bad news until it turns brutal, and I am only good for so much brutality. So instead I’m deep into TV. Reality shows, because they are so far from my real life that they are provide a much needed escape valve – Top Chef, Vanderpump Rules, Summer House, Drag Race, The Challenge, Listen to Your Heart, in addition to the aforementioned, Real Housewives. I’m also re-watching The Wire, inspired by Jemele Hill’s recap podcast, Down in the Hole. I’m saving Normal People and the Michael Jordan documentary. For what I don’t know. Worse times? I wish I hadn’t already re-watched the L Word and the Real L Word this winter, as those would be perfect binge worthy vehicles for escape.

I’ve not watched any of the TV on zoom, the disney sing alongs, the late shows, Saturday Night Live, the Parks and Rec reunion. I love the idea of adaptation, but it’s not what I want from my TV shows right now.

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do the damn thing

May 1, 2020

A short bike ride is better than no bike ride. Doing 10 squats is better than doing none. Lifting weights 2 times a week is better than not lifting weights at all. It should be obvious, right?!?

One thing happening for me during this pandemic is I can’t distract myself from inner self saboteur and the stranglehold of my perfectionism. When I jumped myself into BH’s daily squat regimen of 4 sets of 30 squats, before I’d even completed a day’s worth of squats, I was texting her about how every week we were going increase our sets by + 1 until we were doing 300 total squats a day, at which point we would increase our reps. That was at the start of the month. Since then, there’s not been even one week where I’ve even knocked out all 4 sets every day.

Normally, I would give up. Not only because I wasn’t getting the minimum squats done, which my 300 squat aspirational self made sure of, but also because my future self makes my real time self feel like a loser. So fuck you future self. Saboteur wins.

The saving grace is BH doesn’t care about my saboteur or my future self/aspirational self. She just sends texts that say “squat.” And many times I do, and sometimes I don’t. Same for her. Even better, we jumped our friend, MD into our squat club, so now the 3 of us text each other, “squat,” Every week, inevitably one of us gives up part way through a day, or for a day or two or three. But then we start up again.

I had no idea that my squatting with these friends unravel my saboteur a little. It’s an unexpected experience.

Today, I was riding up a short and steep hill. Effortful. But as I crested the top, I noticed I wasn’t thinking about all the bullshit I usually think about, like why am I not going so slow. . .this wouldn’t be so hard if road more hills more often. . .I’m gong to do that tomorrow – ride mores hills. I got to the top of the hill and was just like thinking that was hard but doable.

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