I go on these kicks. I’m all about reading. I’m all about gardening. I’m all about makeup. Oooh! Nail Art! One obsession at a time please, or it will result in my brain imploding or my back account taking off like Madoff. As one rabid concentrated episode takes over, all the other tiny buttons and levers on the dashboard of life start dwindling. Balance, what’s that? Fader, I know that one. It just …fades.
Here’s my current epiphany… that surely will not last:
- Freshen up, fugs! I look ravishing in the mornings. The trick is: keep your face on. It falls off as the day goes by. I don’t freshen up compulsively like I used to when I first learned how to be a girl. Lips dry off and flake. Oils secrete. Pores rage. Wisps of hair fly away, every which way. Descending liner makes eyes look sad, tired, old. Or the whole scary trifecta. I’ve attempted carrying a moderate size toiletries bag with the essentials, but it quickly snowballs into a mom beach bag, with everything but my hair dryer. I carry my regular purse around, plus a carry-on suited for a body bag, and maybe another one in case somehow it all doesn’t fit by the end of the day. It soon begins to surface all the questionable behaviors that come with pack rats. I need a make up zipper pouch-ish container, relative in size to my current handbag, with just the basics. Gloss, translucent powder, floss, teeny deodorant, and a shiv. Which I will lose anyway at some point. And a timer set, in not-obvious intervals (so i don’t rise suspicions of incontinence), to prompt a ladies room break to fix the face that people have to look at. Poor people.
- Look into dry shampoo. Yes, hoisting my arms up over my head for 5 minutes plus everyday? I’m not keen on that. If you are, you’re lying. Plus, I don’t want a dry scalp that looks like a snowy White Christmas from city water overkill. But, oily hair, ew. Disgusting. Time to research and test products like a lab rat.
- Breathe. Dammit, breathe. I forget this. Living in the city, and working with all men, it slowly pushes my buttons and steadily decreases the length of my breaths. Creeping up on me are short staccato gulps of air that confuses my body to thinking I’m anxious. And I am. And I’m one loose screw short of a breakdown. I’ve been getting so comfortable in this panic, so sure that hyperventilating just means I’m alive. Frankly, I need to start having less than one mid-life crises a month. It’s supposed to be one per lifetime. In the middle. The plan: go home, practice my breathing yoga at least once a week. BEFORE I get zombie’d into watching Prison Break, if I know what’s good for me. And I usually know, but I just forget. Come back to the middle. I need oxygen in my muscles. Or my muscles will conspire against me and make me look like a spaz.
- Read more. Which Nook has been helping, that along with other detrimental and disgusting habits like clicking your Google spending account like it’s morse code and surfing their book shop for hours, weaving around their -shockingly popular- smut (and oh my God do they have a lot), just to find a mediocre literary steal for $3.99 that you’ll never get around to unless you finish the complete work of Sherlock Holmes because it was only $1.99. However, when I read more, I imagine more. I make brighter and stronger and funner connections. I start getting interested in things, like when I used to take Adderrall to synthetically make the boring people more interesting. Plots, stories, and visualizations are bread for my brain. I like it. It’s carbo loaded. It’s sugar and spice and high in caloric content.
- Meditate on personal goals. Yes, I have to meditate on the things I value and appreciate and keep me in balance (diet, long distance friendship, clothes that fit), because otherwise I kind of just relax my gut, throw on a ratty t-shirt, and veg out with my —- out. This directly relates with the first note of staying pretty during the day. I need constant reminders to myself that the doughnuts make me feel ucky after I’ve inhaled it, the wine makes me narcoleptic, that corn is not as fun going out as going in. That even if I feel woes and aches, I feel better if I take a walk instead of sleep it off. Granted, there is a balance. With my precious hollow bones, I need to give in to repose a bit more than the average fitness buff. But for the most part, keep lifting apples, put down the cookies, and move my lumpy ass into a tight clench. That may make no sense, but i wanted to use the word clench.
- Sing more often. Horrible as it may be for the miserable bystander, I notice I do this when I’m relaxed. Simply listening to music is not enough. When I stop singing during the days, nothing but non-musical whines and complaints emanate from my rotten stinky core. My common excuse is that sometimes there are too many notes I can’t hit and too many lyrics to remember. (Don’t you hate those people who can rap along to Eminem after hearing the song just once. And they don’t even like him??? Cause who does, really?). If I’m not singing the same ol’ three stanzas of a song, I end up mad-libbing lyrics like Elton’s Johns, “Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza”. Haha, just kidding. I don’t ‘do’ Elton. But call me a butcher cause that’s how I cut it. Solutions:
- * Stress headache? Listen to Chinese meditation string-plucking, chi-aligning music.
- * Don’t know what to play? That’s why God invented shuffle.
- * Nothing will cheer me up? Hello!? You have the whole Britney Spears discography!
- * Desperate for a picker-upper that not even Brit-Brit can fix? Pop in the Annie DVD and fricking sing along with a broom.
Rounding down to the point: don’t be too lazy to turn on my slow-loading iTunes library and wait for the processor to get rhythm into my head. I do not like myself when I don’t murmur along to songs, much less belt it out for the cats to witness.
Author’s note: I still maintain a blood pact with the universe to never, EVER, willfully engage in karaoke. I don’t have to explain myself. No I don’t.
- Keep writing. Keep journaling. Keep getting rid of the excess junk in my head. Use up the female word quotas of the day before they fall upon the days of hormonal psychosis once-a-month and all hell breaks loose…for my husband. I’m fine with it. Poor him. Keep categorizing my thoughts, or at the least letting them free before they’re tangled in my head and I end up staring, open-mouthed, at things. Just random things. Even if I have nothing of value to share, a trivial fact I have gained in my absorption of vague book smarts, is that this is how women build oxitocin to regulate stress cortisol and make us deal with the male gender more readily. Not oxicotin (whole other story). We share, we communicate, we stay engaged in the things that matter: like keeping my face from melting during the day, morphing into an old uptight cat-lady who doesn’t crank it up, a deaf-mute who has not spoken in so long, she forgets how to exercise her vocal chords, and dry lizard skin.
To the readers: I’ve been thinking of you. Sorry I was gone so long. Sorry I promised I wouldn’t be gone so long. I won’t make any more promises I can’t keep. So I can keep it together. When I do write, it will be whole-hearted. Miss you. Love you. Xoxo and other keyboard characters that express emotions.