So Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions – I’ve written about that before – but it is a reflective time of year, and lately I’ve been thinking.  A lot.  Some would say overthinking.  The end result of all this thinking?

A want list.  A very personal, very selfish want list.

I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want.

1.  Health, or the semblance thereof.  Many of my Bikram Yoga teachers will say, as we are in savasana, to “visualize yourself in perfect health”.  I want that.

2.  Staying with a theme…I have noticed that almost all my Bikram teachers compliment the same things about my practice every time I see them (and I basically see the same teachers every week).   And for whatever reason, those things are the ones that come a bit more easily to me.  In the meantime, I’m over here all like “hey, did you notice I didn’t fall over even ONCE in the balancing series?”  Or “I stayed in Rabbit despite being so far into it that my cleavage inhibited my breathing”!  Crazy, I know.  I want them to notice the things that are so hard for me that I am surprised.

3.  I’ve been thinking a lot about love.  I would like to know that there is someone – maybe more than one – that loves me (whatever love means, anyway) without it being an assumed condition of our relationship.  (For example, I love my family, even when I don’t like them.  Would I love them if they weren’t my family?  Well, some of them, sure.  Would they love me if I weren’t family?  Well, some of them, I think.)  Love, offered with no conditions, is something I want and want to give.  And I think everyone deserves it.  (And before you say it, no, I am not talking about a romance.  Sigh.)

4.  One thing I want I completely control.  2016 will be the year I get the weight back off.  I won’t say “get back to my goal weight” as I’m not sure what that is anymore, but I will be at the right weight for me in the new year.

5.  I also completely control my reactions to the bad behavior of others, and I want to stop letting others’ bad behavior get to me.  Both friends and strangers, in fact.  I may want to talk about it, but it is not going to upset me any more.

6.  I want to remember to be nicer to my cats.  And myself.

And, oh, World Peace.

May your 2016 be the year of getting just what you want.

Not (necessarily) what you deserve. 

 

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I Got Nothin’

Actually, I’ve got a lot.  I have so much to say that I am unable to say it. I am tongue tied. When I start trying to explain, I stutter with the urgency of what I need to say. And then I just fall silent.

IMG_0504Right now, I am sitting in a hotel room in Las Vegas. I’ve been up for hours, due to the time difference, and unable to do much due to pain from a recurring injury. So, I’m watching Law & Order (thank God), reading, playing on the iPad, and trying to form coherent thoughts. No, not simultaneously.

And the final task evades me. I am overwhelmed with the volume of my racing thoughts, and none of them are settling into coherence. Incoherence is more like it.

So, while my scrabbling monkey mind is in ascendance, some random thoughts for your amusement:

-I can almost understand people who purge. My breakfast sucked. But then, saying that is probably both offensive and insensitive. Still, it’s what I was thinking.

-Why is so hard to verbalize feelings? I think it is in part because the words we use to describe them are so weighted with cultural context. “Love”, for example, has a whole set of meanings that society places on it, and while you might feel it, saying it is a whole ‘nother ball game.

-Why does WordPress not have an effective app for the iPad, and at the same time make working from Safari so annoying?

-If my first post of 2015 is this trivial, what does that say about the upcoming year?

-Why isn’t it lunch time (or even better, bedtime) yet?

 

 

Aside

Bad Attitude

I just missed being expelled from high school due to my “bad attitude”.  (Okay, well, to be honest, the owner of what was then a for-profit school threatened to pull my scholarship, which would have had the same effect.)  And I’ve always found it more “natural”, whatever that means, to be angry and even unhappy than calm and happy.

I always knew these things about myself, but what I only realized a few years ago was how true it is that misery loves company.  It’s been a very tumultuous several years for me, and I finally realized I needed to make a change to continue.  I guess the first change was actually before all the upheaval, in 2005, when I started my Bikram Yoga practice.  Or maybe even in 2004, when the Evil Ex was finally out of my life – finalized by my moving into an apartment he never shared, early the next year.  Certainly my weight loss journey, which started in 2008, reached a goal in 2009, and is again a journey, was part of it.  But whatever.  Change takes time, and for me, at least, it needs to happen in stages.

And so, I made a conscious decision a few years ago (almost four years ago now, actually), to just stop.  Stop having a bad attitude – stop trying to make it someone else’s, anyone else’s, fault – stop being the force for negativity in the room.  It’s been really hard, and I catch myself backsliding all.the.time.images-5

Most recently, as part of this journey, I came to a very difficult conclusion.  I realized I cannot be part of those circles of people who are like I was.  I cannot participate in those gatherings of negative energy, that no matter what, will spill over into everything else I try to do.

And all of a sudden, I looked around, and realized that I had far fewer friends than I thought, because so many of my supposed friendships had been based on mutual unhappiness.  Now, of COURSE there is still complaining, and sometimes even whining, but now I try to vent it – appropriately – and just fucking move on already already.  It’s been hard to see that distance grow with old friends, and I’ve tried, in many cases, to explain to them how we can stay friends (generally, though I find myself reduced to stammering out something like “I just can’t do it.  I need to stop this.  This negative thing.”), but I know I’m better off.

I mean, we all know that as we move through life, we add and lose friends, for various reasons.  And sometimes, those reasons are because we have to make hard choices about personal well-being.  But in the end, you can only control your own behavior, and you are the only one you can improve, so why the hell not?  At least that’s what I think.  And I’m going to keep trying to move forward, even if it means sometimes I have to leave people behind.  After all, I’m the one person I know for sure I’ll have with me my entire life.

Oh, and this…which I just couldn’t resist: 

I’m Sorry

A while back, during my Bikram Yoga class, I realized I say “I’m sorry” a lot.  And how did my wandering brain land there, you ask?  Well, I was having a crappy class…I even had to ask for an Emergen-C halfway through…and as the class was with a teacher I really like, I was kind of humiliated.  I know my practice is for me, but I still prefer an approving glance to an “are you okay” face.

More recently, the topic of saying “I’m sorry” came up with a friend.  I was saying (okay, bitching) that another friend had done something really kind of, oh, let’s just say – not nice.  And I said, “Really, she could just f–king say ‘I’m sorry’.  It costs nothing!”  You know, like when someone accidentally bumps you on the street and you say “Oops, I’m sorry”.  Generally they then realize they were at fault, apologize, and the world keeps spinning.images

And that’s really the point.  So many times throughout the day, a simple “I’m sorry” can make all the difference in the world.  It doesn’t even mean you’re wrong.  It just means, in many cases, that you’re ready to move on.  No biggie.  Drop it already.

But there is another kind of “I’m sorry” that I hear coming out of my mouth sometimes, and it’s not one I like.  Occasionally, I will catch myself saying it when what I really mean is “Oops, did I just say that really honest thing to you?  Now I’m embarrassed, and I’ll pretend it was a mistake”.    Have you ever done that?   Yes, of course you have.  We all have.  And there are those moments when the reaction to your statement indicates that an apology (or recanting) is in order.  But then, there are those other moments when it’s just, I guess, shyness.  Or a desire for affirmation.  Or a way to fill a shocked silence.

Did I have a point?  Well, maybe not.

I’m sorry.

No, I Can’t. And That’s OK.

Before we start, I will say I’m not talking about saying “no”…as you know, faithful readers, my default answer is “yes”.  I’ve been thinking about failure.  Honestly, I’ve not failed that much…professionally.  Personally, well, there you go.  But yes, I have failed.  We all have.wrong+turn+okay

There is an attitude out there, and while many people, myself included at times, blame the Gen Ys and Millenials for it, I remember hearing it as a child… but not from my mother (thank God).  It’s the idea that you can do anything.  And while when I heard it first, it was tied to “if you work hard enough”, lately (and for this I do blame parents of people of a certain age), it is simply stated as a fact.

Well, you know what?  Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, will fail at some point.  And there will be things you cannot do.  Now, I’d never say don’t try, but c’mon, do you really think everyone can be an Olympic athlete?  A brilliant, innovative scientist?  The author of a novel that is both a bestseller and critically acclaimed?  Win a Tony?  Or more basically, never fail?

I had a conversation with a friend recently about goals.  And mine have changed.  I now acknowledge there are those things that while, maybe I COULD do them, I could not do them to a standard of excellence.  So, at least professionally, I choose to go down a path that I hope leads to excellence.   I do still try and fail, though.  As I learned in my Bikram classes, “it’s a practice, not a perfect”.

So, no, I can’t.  And yes, I will try.  But if I fail, I know that’s just fine.  It’s OK.

Next!

What’s Wrong With That?

Recently – and not for the first time – I was called a shameless flirt.

It was clearly not meant as a compliment, but my instant reaction was “what’s wrong with that?”  I’m not hurting anyone, including myself, by what some may call shameless flirtation.  And some of what they think of as shameless flirtation may only be the “touchy-feely” way I was raised.  I’ve read all kinds of articles about how some scientists think casual touching should be interpreted, which seem to clearly disregard the intentional aspects of such touches.  I mean, really, when I touch someone, I generally know what I mean by it.   Don’t you?  And if you don’t, shouldn’t you?

And then we hear all the heavy analysis about what it “means” if I play with my hair, or touch your arm, or hold my elbows, or cross my legs, or whatever.  Not that I think there is nothing real about “body language”, but it seems we’re trying too hard.  We’re over-thinking.  Maybe my hair is in my eyes.  Maybe I’m making a point.  Maybe I’m cold.  Maybe I’m showing off a great pair of shoes (highly likely).

Halloween flirting.

Halloween flirting.

Or maybe, just maybe, I am flirting with you.

September 11, 2001

Yes, before you say it, I do know it is not yet September 11; not yet the anniversary of that day we all remember with such sadness.  But today, for whatever reason, I was thinking about that day, and musing on something I learned.  74651d1315288532-twin-towers-twin-towers-img

We all have stories, many of them tragic.  This story is just a small part of my day, but one that changed me for the better, though I did not see that for a long time.

After we saw the towers fall, after I reached those most important to me (or they reached me), after our office closed, and while I was making the long trek home (a story of its own, for another time), I spoke to a friend on the phone.  Someone who, at the time, I would have called a close friend.   She asked me what I was doing, and I told her I was headed home.  She then told me that she and a number of others were going to a mutual friend’s house, and to get home safe.  She said good-bye, and ended the call.

I went home.  Alone.  I spoke to a few people on the phone, cuddled my cats, dealt with work calls (what a day to be on the emergency beeper…), and after a while, stopped watching news coverage in favor of bad movies.   And wondered why my friend had not said “come join us”.

It was a long time before I asked her that question, and her answer was basically that I should have asked to come, or just showed up.  I was deeply hurt, and said so – and she did not understand why.  And that she did not know me well enough to know that neither of those were options for me, especially that day, told me a lot.  About her, but eventually about myself.

How could I have someone I considered a close friend with whom I had shared so little that she did not have any idea that I needed to be invited?  That I always wonder if I’m welcome?  And how could I could I consider myself a friend if I was withholding those trusts?

So, now, at least to close friends, I tell all.  I mean, after all, what do I have to hide?  I am the person I am, and if you’re sharing your life with me, the least I can do is the same.

But still, I like to be invited.

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