I’m always fascinated by the way my husband’s mind works. If there is something to worry about, a loved one’s health, for instance, he will quietly worry. But the constant, everyday crazies that I get, he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get anxious, or claustrophobic, or worried that the plane we’re on is going down. he doesn’t fret, or stew, or brood over what might have been, or what horror might be lurking around the next corner. The fact that he’s only 13 years younger than my mom? Hilarious! I envy that. The smile he almost always wears, the way he can miss something he had with a minimum of regret, and move on. I’ve been working with a therapist online, (Online! It’s either brilliant or ridiculous!), and I’m starting to see that all the fear and doubt and shame and regrets are like storm clouds in my head, always blocking out the sun. I can’t change the past. I can’t go back to my twenties when I was always dieting and say, “You are not FAT! Ya wanna see fat? Look ahead 30 years!” Or “Listen to your father! Put $5 in the bank every week! ” We all make choices, we settle, we win, we lose, we live, we learn. And we can’t predict the future. All we can do is laugh and love and dance and work hard and change what we can and live with what we can’t, smiling, with our face to the sun.
Here Comes the Sun
So, I’m entering week two of the “Conscious Cleanse”, a regimen in which I don’t eat dairy, gluten or sugar. No caffeine, tomatoes, eggs, or alcohol. It is vegetable-heavy, with legumes, nuts, seeds, lean “animal protein”, and healthy fats allowed. I was inspired by my sister, who is pretty health-conscious in general, and had chosen Passover to start her cleanse. I, of course, thought she was insane. No chocolate-covered matzohs? No fruit slices? What’s the point of having a Seder if you don’t eat hard-boiled eggs like you’ve never seen one before? Isn’t that one of the four questions? Nonetheless, inspired I was, and as I have been feeling like Jabba the Hut lately, I thought now is the time. I initially thought I’d wait a week, to “prepare”. But as anyone who knows me knows, “preparing” generally involves talking myself out of doing something I really don’t want to do. So I bought the book on Sunday, stocked up on nuts and seeds and raw almond butter and dove right in. The first couple of days were, to put it mildly, a little rough. I was cranky, I had a caffeine-withdrawal headache, and I really wanted a bagel. I hated Jo and Jules, who perkily informed us we might want to get our own nut milk bag, so we can make our own hemp milk, and if we wanted our puréed soups a little warmer, we could leave them in the blender for 5 minutes. Yeah, I’m not making my own almond milk and if I want something a little warmer, I’m tossing it in the microwave. And isn’t hemp the stuff they make rope out of? So, I bought organic hummus, I treated myself to an iced coffee with store-bought almond milk with the girls on Sunday, I probably went a little heavy on the fruit and avocado, and light on the veggies, and one night I had turkey kielbasa in tomato sauce. But at the end of the week, I realized I liked a lot of what I was eating. I love Swiss chard sautéed in a little coconut oil and garlic, I like almond milk and stevia in my coffee. And I lost quite a bit of weight. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t as raw and perfect as the authors might be, but baby steps are steps. It just takes a little longer to get where you’re going. And if you step on a crack, or pick the wrong square, turn around and pick another. Checkmate.
Marriage of Metals Checkerboard Pattern
So I spent the whole day Wednesday on a guifinesen high. This occurs when you take one too many Mucinex pills and follow that every several hours with a chaser of cough syrup meant to be taken once every 12 hours. Now, I can hold my cough medicine. There is very little that can take me down, but people, I was flying. I asked a colleague, “Do I seem different to you?” And she responded, ” hmmm, a little quieter, maybe….” I guess I had enough sense left to know that it was better to be quiet and focus, rather than spinning around in my office chair, yelling, ” I LOOOOOVE YOU GUYZZZZZ…” At some point, I must have eaten lunch, because I was covered in lettuce bits. I do remember taking a walk on my break and trying so hard to walk normally, fearing I looked like an old drunk. I finally decided I was rocking the stoned, hippy vibe and smiled placidly at everyone and everything. Somehow, I got through the day, navigated public transit and the drug store and was yards from the safety of home when my uber-cool purple Doc Maartens got caught in a crack in the sidewalk and I went flying, ripping a hole in my jeans and skinning my knee. As I hoisted myself up and stood there, straightening myself up and brushing stray lettuce out of my cleavage, it occurred to me how often the universe will give us exactly what we ask for. I wanted to feel young again. And there I was, skinned knees, ripped jeans, still wearing the detritus of lunch, lower lip quivering, determined not to cry until I was home. I had become a giant toddler. The lesson here is, be very specific when you wish on a star. Somebody is listening.