“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.” Ernest Hemingway
“There is an enormous distance between thinking and the act of writing.” Eric Hoffer
“I also noticed, as the months went by, how myths and legends came floating into my mind. It was some time before I realized that the myths dovetailed into a pattern, that they were telling a coherent story.”
I haven’t been here (my blog) in a while. I’m not entirely sure why, but I’ve been trying not to beat myself up about not posting anything. Aside from some poetry that hasn’t felt relevant (or ready) to post here, I haven’t been writing much, and I guess that for the moment I am OK with that. I have been reading and thinking (two of my favorite activities) and have picked up some handy quotes in the interim, which I have posted above.
It seems that while living my life provides the material for my writing, that living also gets in the way of my writing. Fully living causes me to switch from observing life, to really being deeply engaged in life, which feels important to do (at least every once in a while). While I have been in a transition of sorts for several years now (could be my own little mid-life crisis), it seems that just recently my husband may have entered some transitions of his own too. And that’s a lot of transition for one household to handle, thus fueling my need to really be engaged in the living of my life/our lives currently.
I’ve been having a bit of a paradigm shift along with all of this, due to the reading I’ve been doing, a new church we’ve been attending and the realization that my assumptions about some of my husband’s motivations in life may have been way off the mark.
More on all of this I am sure will follow, when the writing compels me more than the living.
I have a dining room full of girl scout cookies right now. My business-minded seven-year old is thriving under the prospect of selling all 90 boxes, counting the money she has collected and the boxes she has left to sell, and wondering about what event her troop will spend the money on. It’s been a good lesson in business, counting, collection, customer service and goal setting for her. However, it has not been so good for my waistline. You see, I like to eat sweet things, especially cookies. I always have. Despite having the experience of being sick from eating too many girl scout cookies (thin mints) as a child, I still indulge (though to this day I will not eat chocolate and mint together, in any form). So I stay away from the thin mints, but not the other kinds.
Yesterday, I started my day off with quite a few cookies right after breakfast, and continued a downhill slide into sugar oblivion until the early afternoon. Later in the day I wasn’t feeling so good. I even took a nap on the couch in the afternoon, causing my daughters to wonder aloud “what’s wrong with mom?” Aside from the physical ill effects of eating too much sugar, I was also beating myself up mentally. There have been times in my life when I have struggled with emotional and compulsive eating of sugary foods, but I had thought that I was beyond that. A few years ago I read the book Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth (which I highly recommend if your relationship with food is not as healthy as it could be). After reading the book, I took a hard look at my relationship with food, especially sweets. I also have done some inquiry as to how the status of my relationships affects my want of sugar.
In the past I would have characterized my overindulgence in sugary foods as a way to run away from emotions that were hard for me to process; I don’t think that was the case yesterday. It was more like revisiting an old habit, in the form of an almost out-of-body experience of not truly living in myself. For each round of cookie eating, I wasn’t really tasting them that much beyond the first cookie, but I was still eating. I wasn’t inhabiting my body and really experiencing the cookies, which would have caused me to eat much slower. Instead it was a mindless rush of sugar ingestion with a certain numbness to it, after which I felt worse than when I’d started, leaving me with the question of “why did I just do that to myself?” The overindulgence seemed to be a way to revisit some old feelings of self-criticism and self-contempt; and I didn’t really like what I found there. I was left feeling empty and not whole. That feeling stuck with me until I went to bed last night.
One of the beautiful things about life is that today is a new day, a new start. And I’m back to feeling whole and loving myself with all my faults. I had one cookie this morning, and stopped at that. And thanks to yesterday, we have that many fewer cookies for which to solicit purchases from our neighbors and friends.