Sunday, September 29, 2013

I Think I May Have a Plan...

Transformation. Re-creation. Ch-ch-ch-Changes...

I find myself in the throws of a reinvention and thus, unable to actually concentrate. Who am I reinventing myself into? Well, pretty much, best as I can tell, I am reinventing myself into a stress eating gerbil with ADHD who suffers from an emotional disorder that triggers uncontrollable crying when exposed to precious commercials for Cheerios. I believe this is somewhere between the caterpillar and pupa stages. Those stages of feeding and then cocooning of a butterfly.

Our oldest is moving to his first apartment. Our youngest is working towards her first job in her chosen field. Bart is working out the details of his retirement next year. It's all part of evolution. And things around here have been evolving so quickly that the Darwin Society has asked for a study grant. And me?

I have loved being Mommy to small children but I am ready to move towards the person I have dreamed of being since I was sixteen. That person who exercises every day, writes every day, looks totally put together in every situation, has sparkling conversations and can truthfully say "the other evening, while preparing dinner, I caught myself humming along to Vivaldi". This woman lives in a spotless turn of the century apartment or cottage within walking distance of her favorite cafe and the beach. She has just returned from a three month stay along a lovely river in Spain where her husband fished and she wrote and each evening they drank Rioja with the locals. (Oh wait, that's Hemingway and one of his wives. Whatever. I don't think there are copy write laws governing lifestyle.)

How is this reinvention going? Well, according to what I have read about reinvention the first step is to make a decision. Unfortunately my first decision is to move down the path of least resistance. This pretty much involves eating an entire bag of OkeyDokey Styrofoam popcorn with a carton of New York Fudge Chunk Ice Cream and inventing devastating scenarios of my poor parenting worthy of a Lifetime movie. When I am not imaginary-ruining my children's' lives I am feeling guilty. Not about anything in particular, just a world encompassing guilt. This ends with me lying in bed at 2AM, flat on my back, poking my Michelin man belly and contemplating just where it was that I went wrong. (Never mind that our two kids seem to be quite happy, well adjusted adults who routinely do nice things and like hanging out with us. Of course, that is probably due to me smothering them which probably stunted some inter-personal skills...Oops. Sorry. Guilt could be an Olympic event in my head.)

For a real transformation, change must begin within, like that pupa inside its cocoon. I have to report that as of today, I have accomplished three days of abdominal exercising. I get home from work, close and lock the bedroom door and do planks and crunches. I can't risk anyone seeing this spectacle. What muscles I have are attempting to contact their embassy as this is clearly an all out terrorist attack. I have also taken to eating oatmeal. Which makes me feel better about the junk food graze that will inevitably occur later in the day. And my intestines have never been happier. Which is about as 'inside' as it gets, I suppose.

I did put on some classical music while preparing lunch the other day. It was quite enjoyable. Until I nearly cut my pinky finger off and exploded a can of roasted red peppers all down my t-shirt. Suddenly I was Dudley Moore. Because Dudley Moore is the first person who comes to mind when I hear classical music. I can't explain it.

The intention of reinvention is important. Having a mission reinforces all those difficult changes. It is easier to make specific sacrifices or changes to long instilled habits if the goal is concrete. My intention? My mission? I wish I could put it in concrete terms. Its more of a feeling than an actual goal. I get brief glimmers of it – the mornings when I get up early, go for breakfast and stop at the farmer's market; the afternoons when I sit quietly and write, the evenings spent on the deck or at a favorite restaurant with family or friends. If only I could just roll each of these vignettes into one full twenty-four hour span. And then roll that span into a week and then a month. Lets be honest. I want to Ponzi my life into one enormous pyramid scheme of creativeness. But with more happy, spread the wealth fun and less bankruptcy and jail time.

Which brings me to the SUPPORT portion of my reinvention. Its very difficult to maintain change without support. My family is very supportive. They tolerated the classical music all through lunch without saying a word. But when I turned the radio off in favor of ANACONDA, one of my favorite bad scy-fy movies, they gave a collective cheer. And they collectively mock my love of bad scy-fy. Except for Sharknado, which I predicted to be a HUGE hit. Which it was. They never say a word about my vacuum cleaner style of grazing, although there was delicious, healthy soup waiting for me when I got home from work the other night. No one laughs when I say I actually worked on the novel I have been working on for nearly three years now.


They do not know about the secret ab exercises. So please don't say anything.

But at the end of the day, even with all that support, the only thing holding me back is me. I am watching my son and daughter let go of their carefree childhoods and move forward to the independence and excitement of adulthood. I am the sounding board for my husband as he makes decisions regarding retirement which will ultimately move us both towards our goals of comfortable living and travel. And you know what? I have begun to let go of some of those habits which masquerade as excuses but are actually enormous walls confining me from the discomfort, fear and adventure of something new and challenging.


I have been writing every day.

I can now hold my plank for thirty-five seconds.

My shirt actually matched my skirt last night when I went out.

I am not quite ready to give up the New York Fudge Chunk and I haven't turned to the classical station in a week but as David Bowie says:

Ch-ch-Changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time*


Okay, I don't really get that last line but you get the gist...




Not used with permission as I don't know Mr. Bowie, but included with the utmost respect. 





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