The Shape I’m In

The boy has gone for the week. His Transformer cup sits waiting to be washed, that leftover morning waffle goes into the trash, and things change here from “ours” to “mine” in some fashion; mostly that I have plans almost every night this week, but also that there is much less of a chance of me stepping on tiny junk toys and hurting my feet. Last night I cracked a glow stick for him before bed, and he stayed up late, waving it around in the dark, hiding it under the covers and playing. He was thrilled to discover it was still “on” this morning when we got up before the sun managed to struggle out behind the gray shield of clouds that so often covers all of Northeast Ohio in the winter.

It was to “warm up” to about 34 degrees today, so I went out for a long morning run; my longest distance ever, 8 miles. Which, again, probably isn’t impressive if you are a runner, but it was damned hard and I’m proud of myself. That last mile was like the longest eleven and a half minutes, ever. Everything hurt – knees, feet, joints, my back and hips, which are taxed from heavy deadlift workouts over the prior week. But, sans-boy, I was able to come home and take an indulgent epsom salts bath and now I feel slightly more normal.

A dear friend gave me a gift card yesterday as a belated Xmas present. It is very hard for me to spend money on me and not the boy, but he has just about everything he could want or need right now, and I could really use some clothes, since I’ve lost enough weight that many of my clothes do not actually fit anymore. I discovered last week that I only have one belt, when I needed to wear a pair of dress pants for work that I haven’t worn in ages, and they were too big. And the belt’s notches stop way, way before I needed them too, so I had to wear something else. So yeah, I need different pants and I need perhaps at least one belt so I can get continued wear out of the pants I already have. I really enjoy shopping but do it really, really rarely. If I have spare money, I usually spend it on food.

The last time I went shopping was with another gift card I got for Xmas, at TJ Maxx, where I invested in some new cold weather running tops. I’ve been looking for running leggings (not sweat pants) with a drawstring but there aren’t any to be had locally, and the ones online are either not in my size or are $80 and up. For 80 smackers, the leggings had better get you off while you run and have gold thread sewn into them or something. That’s just not happening. But the two tops I picked out exceeded my gift card and I bought them anyway. Then I felt guilty about having spent the money for the last two weeks, so I left one of the shirts in the bag with the tags on it and the receipt in the bag, and yesterday took it back so I could get the money back. It’s a shitty way to make decisions about your clothing purchases, but sometimes it’s necessary. I just need really specific things for running at this point and I can’t find what I need at the goodwill. Bah.

This week will prove to be a very busy week, which is probably good as my heart is struggling, feeling a little pulled and pushed like a child’s silly putty. There are several people I need to see and spend time with and right now, it’s just not happening for a variety of reasons. I’m trying to find the road ahead through the fog, but it’s rough. I get reckless when I feel desperate, so having additional structure of things to do will help, as they involve seeing people who love me and get me. Tomorrow night I get to do three of my favorite things; eat pizza, watch surgery videos and hang out with my friend. Yes, we are weird. Tuesday night I am part of a podcast being recorded at a local theater – the first of 11 episodes and I am fortunate enough to appear in each one. It’s a fantastic cast and a really cool script and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. If there is time after the podcast, a scene I wrote may be read by some of the actors assembled for the open mic portion of the night. Wednesday night, I am reading aloud a (true, as is required for this event) story I wrote at a sort of “talking with” night. Should be interesting and a lot of fun; I’m looking forward to spending time with my girlfriend there, who I don’t see often enough and who invited me and encouraged me to submit a story. Thursday I am supposed to go out with two girls for happy hour and snacks. I’m taking them to a friend’s restaurant that neither has been to – I love sharing places with people who haven’t been there yet, it’s really one of my favorite things to do. Friday is still shaping up. I probably will just want to go home and go to sleep at that point, ha.

The potential writing gig for a national website has gone bust. In their advertisement for writers, they neglected to mention you would also need what appears to be expert-level HTML coding skills, which I simply do not have. I spent more than an hour alone looking for images that are “safe” (not Getty, AP, owned/used by another media outlet, etc.). After spending about 3 hours in total yesterday reading and re-reading the 7-page instructional manual on how to post articles and trying repeatedly to make it work in my head, I realized it just wouldn’t work for me. One of the best things about getting older is knowing when to say no, this is not worth the effort, not in my time or in compensation, and I cannot do this, and so that’s what I did.

I have some new books I received as gifts that I want to dig into, but I need the light outside, always the light, even though I was out in it for an hour and a half pounding through the snow. So, in goes the coffee, and out goes the rockandrollmama.


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