Monthly Archives: January 2019
I told Doc last night, “All I talk about any more is the gym and my feelings,” but you know what? Talking about feelings is OK. Here’s part of a poem about them (the full text is here).
From “A Poem for My Daughter,” by Teddy Macker
It seems we have made pain
some kind of mistake,
like having it
is somehow wrong.
Don’t let them fool you—
pain is a part of things.
But remember, dear Ellie,
the compost down in the field:
if the rank and dank and dark
are handled well, not merely discarded,
but turned and known and honored,
they one day come to beds of rich earth
home even to the most delicate rose.
There’s a scene in Mad Max: Fury Road when the escaping women watch satellites in the night sky from post-apocalyptic Earth and say, roughly, “Every one of those used to be a show. There was a show for every person.”
I don’t watch a lot of prestige TV but I do read a lot of personal essays on the internet, and there is an essay for every feeling. This is one I found recently and it is beautiful and painful and how we are feeling at the moment. Here If You Need Me: Learning to Be Present While Fighting for Your Father, by Beth Kephart, on Catapult.
When fighting on behalf of someone you love, the fight must end, the love must be the art of being present. I am slow to learn, but I am trying. Pastrami lunches. Riverbank afternoons. Conversations in the shade of village gardens…I feel myself wanting more for him, more for us, more (the wanting hurts) for me.
Now that I have embraced leggings, I have decided I need more leggings. (This is partly because yes, I always want more, but mostly because I have three pairs and I’m at the gym four days a week, which makes Laundry Math tricky.)
My eternal struggle is finding things that are ethically made that I can also afford. Take, for instance, these from Athleta, which are sold out but were $89:
Or these, from Teeki, which are amazing and recycled and made in the USA, but probably sheer and $72:
The solution is to become my own sweatshop and try my hand at making leggings. It seems daunting, because they have to fit so tightly–but really, I think the fabric will be doing most of that fitting. And the Super G tights pattern from Greenstyle looks pretty promising.
When I was sick again over the weekend, I didn’t get any sewing in but I trawled every online spandex source and found a couple matches for the tights above:
Stripes from Stonemountain
Clouds from Spandex House
I think I know what I need to do.
When I said last week that our particular brand of illness at Chez Plague lingers, I wasn’t joking–I had a mid-week relapse and Doc is still getting everything cleared up, so we didn’t do much of anything over the weekend.
However, Toby would beg to differ about the lack of adventure: Doc’s mom made me an afghan for my birthday and Toby was very excited to have a new blanket to sniff and claim and burrow under.
1. I love bad movies deeply and unironically, so I was delighted to have a friend point me to someone who shares my feelings about Roadhouse and is writing an essay a day about that movie, (gloriously) filed under the category “Pain Don’t Hurt.”
2. Another appreciation of something I like: Watching ‘Daria’ Made Me Feel Seen And Known
My two friends and I send a lot of cat pictures around our group text. I snapped this one of Toby posing in front of a background earlier this week and sent it to them with the caption of “Sears Portrait Studio.”
Yes, this IS the best use of Photoshop in the history of Photoshop. Yes, I DO have 8×10 glossies of this on order at Costco.
I’ve been drinking my entire adult life. Even after my partying 20s, I’d have at least a glass of something a night, every day of the week, without fail. Often more than one glass.
I told myself it was French, it was good for my heart, I wasn’t drinking to the point of a hangover, I didn’t have a problem. (I could honestly say that it wasn’t hard to give up…because I’d never tried to give it up.) But two things changed back at the beginning of November: My bottle of Zoloft told me DO NOT DRINK WHILE TAKING THIS MEDICATION and I thought, “Maybe I should stop ignoring that?”–and I realized that I wasn’t even enjoying my nightly drink. I was just drinking it because it was there, because I always had.
So I tried not drinking for a few days. Then for a week. Then for a month. Now I generally don’t drink, and never on the weeknights. I thought I was waking up stiff and creaky, with bags under my eyes and blackness in my heart, because I was old. Nope, it was the booze.
I sleep better, I look better (honestly, sometimes vanity keeps me from my allowed weekend drink, because I know it will make my face puffy and gray), and I feel so much happier in the mornings.
Recently, this essay has been making the rounds and it’s been my experience pretty much exactly. File this under “Things That Are Obvious But Make You Feel Like A Wizard,” like getting enough sleep and getting help for your mental issues–but not ingesting a poison every night really makes you feel great!
From “The Unifying Theory of Alcohol,” by Dan Kiernan:
I have no idea what it means to be the adult version of me without taking a drug that makes you depressed. […] I have walked a path of morning grouchiness my entire adult life without really being aware that it was something I was choosing to do.
I have also never been a adult without suffering some kind of mental health issue…Could there possibly be a link between my use of booze and perpetual anxiety?
[…] Giving up booze turned out to be incredibly easy once I thought of it not as denying myself something but as deciding not to regularly ingest a depressant. Above all it was a relief. When you home in on the absence of that grouchy feeling, not drinking makes you feel like a superhero. You wake up every morning and feel good. And if you remember how you used to feel waking up hungover that feeling of waking up with a spring in your step becomes incredibly addictive. Like happiness even.
Since we last saw my Cline sweater, it’s been mostly seamed up (I followed Other Karen’s construction notes to check the sleeve length) and I got the neckband knitted. That meant it was finally ready to try on and see if this thing I’ve spent a year making will even fit.
Reader, not only did it fit, I can’t believe I knitted anything so nice. I said a year ago that I’d try this complicated (seamed) pattern because everyone said the details were so nice–and they ARE! That folded neckband is beautiful. The shape and proportions are going to be great.
I’m pretty blasé about sewing any more–of course I can make complicated things that look really professional–but I’ve never been a very ambitious or successful sweater knitter. So the “I made this?!” feeling is both unusual and pretty great.
Doc caught whatever I was sick with–and this crud lingers–so we took it easy for the weekend.
Highlights included spending an hour shopping for fabric online and then raiding my stash and realizing I already had even better fabric (metaphor!), eating a lot of cookies, and celebrating my birthday with my family, who gave me a punching bag. I love it and felt so understood!