Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thank You, and (Another) Discovery

First of all, a HUUUUUUUGE "Merci" for the responses to my last post!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot express my gratitude for your support! Sometimes I forget how blessed I am, and having you guys in my life, even though we've never met in person, is not only a reminder of that, but one of the blessings.

The other night I had a dream that Hubby and I were screaming at each other.  We never do that in real life, but the sense of frustration at not being heard was so huge.  Then when I woke up I remembered the theory that everyone and everything in our dreams represents an aspect of ourselves.
So, in essence, there is, and has been, a part of me that has been screaming at other parts of me, and not being heard. For a very long time.


And I'm finally ready to listen.

Emotions are kinda like kids: If you ignore them, they're just gonna keep getting louder and behaving worse until you give them the attention they need.  Have I said this before?  Because it's true.
It's better to take some time, put your arms around them, and listen.To treat ourselves the way we treat our kids.  (Unless you treat your kids like crap, but that's a WHOLE other issue!)

I think back, again, to the time I was 9, 10, and 11 years old.  When I had constant stomach aches, and was given test after test after test to figure out what was wrong..  Except that nothing was physically wrong; I was anxious.  And it breaks my heart to imagine my kids (WG is 9 and LG is 11) feeling ANYTHING close to what I felt during those 3 years.  It got to the point where I LITERALLY couldn't bear the thought of getting out of bed & going to school. It kinda breaks my heart to remember feeling that way at such a young age. And I wonder why no one recognized it.  It was, after all, in the late 70's/early 80's, the days not long after EST and scream therapy and Being In Touch With Your Feelings. But my parents, and my pediatrican, were from an earlier generation, and there was still a stigma attached to anything therapy-esque.  Even though my dad had developed an ulcer by the time he was 23, he scoffed at relaxation techniques.  And because I needed his approval so much, I hid the fact that I did yoga and meditation in grad school. In my 20's.
Because we all learn from our environment, and we all do our best.  My parents weren't happy that I was "sick" all the time, and I'm sure they were frustrated at not being able to fix it.  Just as I can't shadow my kids everywhere and make sure no one ever makes fun of them or does anything to hurt them.

So I guess I need to do a little re-parenting of myself, as well.

Finally, my tennis elbow has returned.
It's REALLY ironic, given my history with tennis.  Which I'm sure I've written about. In short, despite my mother's best efforts (and considerable amount of time and money spent) to turn me into the next Tracy Austin (you'll probably have to google her, lol!), my inherent klutziness and utter lack of hand/eye coordination prevailed, leaving me with an appreciation for watching but absolute loathing for playing tennis.
And skiing.
And baseball, racketball, football, basketball, handball, ping pong, anything requiring a ball and/or skill.
Except kickball, dodgeball, and tetherball.
Those were fun!  And my long arms & legs helped there.

Anyway, it means I've had to forgo yoga and weights for most of the week.  I'm doing some Ballet Beautiful and LOTS of walking.

Oh, and Saturday is Ride A Wave!!!!!!!!  When the kids get to go to the beach in Santa Cruz and surf, kayak, and boogie board with pros, all volunteers!!!!!!  It's WG's favorite day of the year, and it's supposed to get into the 90's this weekend, so it's perfect for the beach.
It's always an amazing day.  :)

OK, have a great weekend, peeps!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sunrise, Sunset, Swiftly Fly the Years

Something happened today that has put me in quite the funk.

I looked at a picture I took of myself with my phone.
And I did not like what I see.
The image in the picture did NOT jibe with the one in the mirror, and certainly not with the one in my head.

And because I know I often see what I want to see, rather than what is actually there, I showed the picture to Hubby and asked if that is what I look like.

He said.  "Not really.  Well, kind of.  In the morning, yeah."
And it just went downhill from there.

He tried to make me feel better, he really did, but saying things like "There are just a few wrinkles and gray hairs" and "we're all getting older" did NOT help, because, although we are the same age (and, in fact, he's a few months older), he does not have ANY wrinkles or gray hair.  At 44, he could still pass for early 30's.  On stage he still looks like he's in his 20's.  He's barely gained an ounce since we met 18 years ago.

It was bad enough that I'm currently 40 pounds heavier than I was then (although, to be fair, I WAS anorexic...), but I don't want to look 20 years older than him, to boot.
It was bad enough knowing that, as a mom in my 40's, I'm basically invisible to society. But to have completely lost whatever looks I had, at (not quite) 44, is a huge blow.

I look at pictures from just 5 years ago, and I have aged A LOT. Heck, even from 2 years ago.  Gulp.

Granted, these past few years have been eventful.  Continuing, of course, to raise our 2 autistic children, losing my dad to cancer, my mom getting cancer (which is in complete remission, thank G-d), losing our home, moving in with the in-laws, and now facing pre-adolescence with both kids.
Add to that the lack, for a long time, of any kind of creative or social outlet, and it's not very surprising that I now look the way I do.

But it's making me ridiculously sad.
I was never all that confident about my appearance.  But there were a few good years in there.  And when I look at these recent photos, I don't see the person I feel like I am. I see someone old and tired and worn.  Yes, I'm frequently tired (the whole 2 kids thing), and I joke about not getting any younger, but I don't FEEL old.
I'm NOT old.
I just LOOK old.

I always told myself I'd age gracefully.  Which is easy to say when you're 29 and dewy.  When you're 44 and look like you're older, it's a lot harder to accept.

So, what to do?  Botox and surgery are absolutely out.  I want to look natural, thankyouverymuch, and I'd like to be able to move my face.
Juice fast?
I've got the juicer.
But I kinda like chewing stuff.
High raw vegan diet?  Drink even more water (and spend even more time running to the bathroom) than I currently do?  Cut out all caffeine (The Horror!)?  I don't smoke or drink, so I can't cut those out.
I honestly don't know.

Hubby said the reason he has no wrinkles is because he uses moisturizer.  Well, so do I.  But I have to be careful, because  I STILL break out like I'm 15.
Plus, now I'm getting facial hair!!!!!
How is this at all fair?!?!?!
Why am I hairy AND wrinkly AND pimply AND fat?!?!?!?!  Can't I have ONE good thing, looks-wise?

I'm also trying to remember the last time I had a real night out with friends.
And I think it's been about 13 years.

Surely that is not what I intended?!

Obviously I have got to make some changes.  I've got to start doing some things once in a while that are mine.  And not just to make money, either.  Yes, the yoga helps, A LOT, but so many things have been left by the wayside.
Like that improv class I was going to start taking.  A year and a half ago.
That never happened.
Maybe it's time it did.
Just for me, for fun, while the kids are in school.
Because I used to do comedy improv, and I LOVED it.  And, to toot my own horn here a bit again, I was pretty darn good at it.
Maybe it's time to start working those muscles once more.

Friday, May 17, 2013

An Ode to Talent and Hard Work.

Yes, I saw "Star Trek" today!  And I enjoyed it immensely, even in 3-D.  Actually, the 3-D was pretty cool at times.  It's better in movies that were shot with 3-D in mind, and not when it's tacked on at the last minute.  Still not my preferred way of watching, but it was the only option available.

So what is it, I've wondered, that makes me and tens of thousands of others so crazy about Benedict Cumberbatch?  I've said it before, but it bears repeating, I think; in my case, it's because he's AMAZINGLY good!  Whenever I see him perform, I come away inspired.
And that almost never happens.  At least, it hasn't in a very long time, not on this level.
It's like seeing a great work of art, or hearing an inspirational speaker.  It lifts me up and makes me feel fulfilled.  I believe that's what art is supposed to do, at its best.

I also feel a bit humbled.  If I do say so myself,  I got to be pretty good back when I was acting.  But never THAT good! I understand, at least to a point, how much work goes on before he steps on stage or in front of the camera, and, as an audience member, I appreciate the time and care he takes with each role.  It makes me feel respected, that the work is important and he respects it and us.

And after so many years of so much mediocrity in L.A., seeing greatness is a huge relief, lol!  And I do believe he is, and will be, one of the greats.

(BTW, Zachary Quinto is pretty brilliant, as well.)

So, that's my 2 cents.  I've been thinking about it all day, and just wanted to get it down on paper...well, you know what I mean. It's now nearly 10 PM on Friday night, and way past my bed time.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Evil Plan is Working, Mwahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Got Hubby hooked on "Sherlock."  I showed him the first episode, "A Study in Pink," on Saturday, and we've watched one episode a night since.  2 left: "The Hounds of Baskerville,"  one of my personal faves, and (gulp) "The Reichenbach Fall." Girding my loins for that one again.
But the new episodes are being filmed as I type this.  Probably literally.  And, apparently, PBS is in talks with the BBC to show it here at the same time it's shown in the U.K.
Which would mean we wouldn't have to wait an extra 4 months, and risk all those spoilers.

He's also been watching "Doctor Who" with me sometimes.

On Friday I'm going to the first showing of "Star Trek: ID" at our local multiplex.
So it's been a good geek week.

As for real life, well, that's been a bit harder.  Usually the case, isn't it?
Our living situation is rough.  There's simply no denying it anymore. The only thing to be done is to alter my reactions and my perspective.  At least until we can afford to move, and who knows how long that will be?

The most important thing I need to remember is that it's not about me.  It's COMPLETELY, utterly, totally about THEM.  As I've noted before, it's impossible to please people who are only happy when they're either complaining or lording it over someone else.  Trying to please them, as I have done for far too many years, only leads to heartache, frustration, and the Urge To Destroy.

I have gotten the message:  After 18 years, I am still not really "Family."  Not to them.  I am the conduit for their first 2 grandchildren, and that's about it.  That's how it feels, anyway. In their minds I do almost nothing right.
So, OK.  Fine.  At least I know.  And I'll keep doing what I'm doing, and not feel badly about it anymore.
I'm not asking them to love me.  I don't particularly need them to.  As long as MY family, Hubby and the kids, are OK, then we're good.  Yes, it's a pain in the a** dealing with everything else, but it's not going to break my heart or crush me.  The situation will often piss me off well and good, but that's the extent of it, and I can live with that.

On a COMPLETELY different note,  I'm finding lately that I want to do yoga and cardio, and that's pretty much it, workout-wise.  I KNOW lifting weights is good for us, and I know it can get me into shape.
But I just don't wanna!   WAH WAH WAH!!!!!!!!!!!
So I'm taking a wee break from it.  Just for a couple of weeks. Then I'll come back to it.

(And that's a wee as in SMALL break.  Not a bathroom break.)

Maybe I can take some time before the summer school vacation (cue blood-curdling screams!) to channel all this energy, rage, etc. into some creative stuff.  Especially the writing.

Maybe I could write a good old-fashioned murder mystery, lol!


Sunday, May 5, 2013


I bought a juicer on Thursday.
And Life Has Not Been The Same Since!

OK, that's a bit overly-dramatic, but I've been buying produce and juicing like a madwoman since.  I even managed to get to the farmer's market yesterday, which I'd been meaning to do ever since we moved here last June.
I bought a book of recipes, but have ended up liking my own improvised creations better. This morning it was carrots, spinach, pineapple, apple, and blackberries.
It was delish!

Now, I know that juicing isn't quite as good for the bod as eating the whole fruit or veg or even blending it into a smoothie, but we eat lots of salads and raw produce, anyway. And I'm hoping LG & WG will drink some when they see me throw some watermelon in.
The nice thing is, my in-laws drank some of my beet/carrot/blueberry/apple concoction yesterday, and even made their own creation.  Then THEY went out and bought some produce to make juices & smoothies.  Yay!
And all the pulp, so far, has gone into their garden.

I feel like such a hippie!  Living in (what can feel like) a commune, walking to the farmer's market, juicing, composting...
Of course, we then had sushi delivered for dinner.  So, not so much with the hippie thing, I guess.

We've also been dog-sitting.  Which is weird, because he lives with us.  But My S-I-L et famille are in Sacramento this weekend, so Chopper has been sleeping upstairs with us.
Which he's been doing more of, anyway.
I have to say, I don't know what I would've done without him after losing Luna.  Sometimes you just need to snuggle with a pet, and a 70-pound pit bull who thinks he's a lap dog is JUST the ticket!
Plus, he's just such a sweet boy.  He's one of those dogs who will always be a puppy, no matter how old he gets.

Let's see, what other news? The tapping continues to amaze me. I find myself becoming more and more comfortable in my skin.  Yesterday I wore a sundress that, previously, had made me feel very self-conscious: A reminder of the 20 pounds I have yet to lose, and LOTS of cleavage.  But it was hotter than Hades and I wasn't gonna wear long pants.  My one pair of shorts was in the laundry, so I put the dress on.  And felt, if not perfectly comfortable, a lot less awkward.
And Hubby loves it.
For obvious reasons, lol!
I'm learning to not only appreciate my body, but to actually enjoy being in it.  Tomorrow is yoga, and that makes me ridiculously happy!

I also watched a bit of a press conference for the new "Star Trek" film (Less than 2 weeks!!!!!!) and was reminded that those actors worked HARD to look like that.  Those Starfleet uniforms are pretty unforgiving. They all had trainers and nutritionists and little packets of food & snacks they kept on set (no craft services for them, apparently). It's NOT easy to get into that kind of shape, and I don't have to berate myself anymore for not looking like that.  If someone wanted to hire me to be in the movie, then yes, I WOULD get a trainer and a nutritionist and work that hard.  But that's not gonna happen.  That part of my life is over.

And I must say I loved hearing Benedict Cumberbatch say "Now I know how girls feel. Dieting is shite!"

Yes it is.

Anyway, today we're going to do a Costco run.  I think Costco is just so inherently American: a GIGANTIC box store, taking up loads of space in suburbia, filled with extra-large supplies of Everything You Could Possibly Need, Plus All The Stuff You Never Knew You Wanted.

And food samples. Around every corner.

But, hey, we can make one trip and not have to buy toilet paper or Pull-Ups again for MONTHS! :)

And you know what else they have there?
Which can be thrown into a juicer.

So we've come full circle.

Ba Da BOOM!!!!!!!!

Peace out.