Tag Archives: resolutions

I hate change

So innocent sitting there in your clear plastic pouch like you have nothing to hide

A few days before ringing in the new year, we ordered Chinese takeout.

As I ate my shrimp with lobster sauce, I stared at the fortune cookies that sat on the coffee table in their cellophane wrappers.  This is it, I told myself. The defining fortune for 2014. The single thought that will guide me in the 365 days to come.

This is how I make all of my important decisions.

This is how I live my life. Giving things like cookies and totems and Magic 8 Balls way too much power.

Holding my breath, I opened the plastic wrapper, snapped the cookie in half and carefully slid out the white strip of paper.

“Welcome change,” it read.

Whaaat? Obviously, there had been a mix-up at the fortune cookie factory. This fortune was intended for someone less uptight and rigid. Miley Cyrus, perhaps.

I handed the fortune to W, and she just laughed. (A very robust, hearty laugh.)

Because here’s the thing: I hate change.

It’s probably because we moved around so much when I was a kid. We were supposed to pretend that we had outgrown our house and our friends like last year’s blue jeans, even though none of that was true.

While my fortune advised me to welcome change, I told W that wasn’t happening.

“This is the year that I teach the universe a lesson,” I announced.

I had this visual of me trying to stop the world from spinning, tendrils of smoke rising from the rubber soles of my Dr. Marten’s as I tried to hold on.

“Yeah, good luck with that,” she replied, returning her attention to her chicken mei fun.

She knows not to encourage me.

Of course, it would be crazy to think that there won’t be change in the new year. But change is scary, and I don’t do scary.

I like same and comfortable. My pillow that has been perfectly flattened from years of use, a well-worn T-shirt, my morning newspaper, my car radio tuned to the 24-hour sports channel.

Back to my fortune. Failing to heed such ancient fortune cookie wisdom would be bad.  But change is bad.

People, your favorite butch blogger was caught between a rock and a hard place.

Sometimes when I get stuck with my writing, I look up words in the dictionary.

a. To cause to be different.
b. To give a completely different form or appearance to; transform.

That’s when it hit me.  Transform. I might be resistant to change, but I can transform. I’ve done that. I’m still doing that.

I think transform seems less scary, because it implies keeping the old and just tweaking it.

When you change a tire, you substitute a new one for the old one.  When you change your mind, you turn a “yes” into a “no” or vice versa.

Monarch butterflyWhen you transform, you get to hold onto a part of the old.  A caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, but both have the same DNA.

So, if I were to welcome change or transformation in 2014 — not that I plan to or anything like that, Universe — here are some transformations that I might actually embrace:

  • Transforming into a writer who writes everyday (or almost everyday).
  • Transforming into a published author.
  • Transforming into a person who forgives more easily.
  • Transforming into a person who readily gives praise and compliments and thanks.
  • Transforming into someone who is constantly in awe of the greatness of God and gives daily thanks and praise.
  • Continuing to transform into my best butch.

* * *

What about you? What transformations do you hope to make in 2014?

Yes, you can fail therapy

Failing GradeI told W last night in bed that I’m failing therapy.

“What are you talking about?  You can’t fail therapy,” she said.

“Well, you’re wrong about that,” I responded.  “I’m definitely failing therapy.”

She just looked at me and waited.

Me: So, I have therapy this Friday.  And, I told you about my two homework assignments.

W: Right.  Start eating more healthy.  Which we did this week.  Remember, we had salad?

Me: One salad doesn’t really cut it.  But, that’s not what I’m talking about.  I have until Friday morning to start dieting.

W: Ok.  You were supposed to sign up for that art class or something.

Me: Yeah.  Which starts tomorrow.  At 10 a.m.

W: (laughter)

Me: And, that’s how I’m failing therapy.

W: (laughter)

Me: I didn’t feel like calling today and signing up for the class.  And I don’t know that I’m that into mosaics anyway.  But I do have a back-up plan.  So that I don’t fail therapy.

W: And that would be?

Me: There’s a writer’s group that meets every Tuesday morning from 10:00 to 12:00 at that new independent bookstore.  It’s free.  I thought I might give that a try.

W: There you go.  That sounds like a plan.

Me: Crap.

W: What?

Me: I forgot about those deadlines for work.  And I have to pick Kid #2 up after school.  Tomorrow is not going to work.  Looks like I’m failing therapy again.

* * *

WritingSo, I’m passing therapy, barely, because I actually went to the writers’ group today.  I’ve been talking in therapy about doing something just for me like taking a class or joining a group or doing something like that.  My deadline is this Friday morning when I show up for my therapy session.

About the writers’ group: The instructor is using The Artist’s Way as a guide.  We worked on some writing prompts from that book and actually wrote two short pieces.

Maybe I’ll share some of what I’ve written here in this space at a later date.

For now, I’m going to hang with this writing group and see where it takes me.  I liked hanging out with people.  Especially people who like to write.

So, yay me for doing something that took me way out of my comfort zone and following through and actually talking in a group and not seeming all weird and wallflowery (I think) and for squeaking by in therapy, at least for a couple more weeks.

* * *

One writing prompt from today’s writing group and my response:

Ten Tiny Changes (small changes to make in your life)

1. I would like to eat healthier, especially by eating more fresh and less processed food.

2. I would like to learn how to cook some new meals/recipes.

3. I would like to ride my bike more.

4. I would like to spend more time reading.

5. I would like to take an art class.*

6. I would like to get at least one piece of writing published this year.

7. I would like to spend more time with friends (and make some new ones).

8. I would like to be out in nature more.

9. I would like for the TVs in my home to be off more.

10. I would like to volunteer for something this year.

* Apparently not a mosaic class.

Being kind to myself in the new year

Middle-age butch has been feeling under the weather.

There’s nothing sadder than a sick butch.  Well, perhaps a crying butch, but it’s the new year, people, and no one wants to start 2013 with that disturbing image.

Anyway, I woke up a few days ago with searing pain on the left side of my throat.  Which put me into a panic of sorts.  I was afraid that I had come down with another case of strep throat.

I am prone to sore throats and strep.  I have huge, enlarged tonsils that attract the Streptococcus bacteria much like The L Word’s Shane attracted every lesbian in a 50-mile radius.

(Note: Cool TV lesbian attracts other lesbians.  Middle-age butch attracts bacteria.)

As soon as morning came, I grabbed W’s bedside table light and hurried to the bathroom.  I positioned myself in front of the mirror, stuck out my tongue and ahhed several times while bouncing the light off of my red, inflamed tonsils.  I didn’t see any white patches, which eased my mind a tiny bit.

It still could be strep.  But I haven’t been running a fever and don’t seem to have any other symptoms besides a sore throat.

I have had strep throat so many times that I can pretty much diagnose myself.

Throat ChakraMy throat has always been my Achilles heel.  W insists that my throat woes are tied to my throat chakra and my communication problems.  “You haven’t been blogging,” she notes.

“Right,” I say.  “Or, maybe I’m sick with a serious, life-threatening bacterial infection.”

I like to shoot arrows in W’s new age theories.  Even though I secretly believe in them.

“Good God, I haven’t been blogging,” I say to myself.

Yesterday, I came to the conclusion that I’m on the cusp of a mild cold.  I ruled out a trip to the doctor for a strep test and possible antibiotics.

I made sure to sleep in.  My body needs the extra rest.  And, gargled with warm salt water.

I hit the health and beauty aisle at the grocery store.  I bought a bottle of chewable vitamin C tablets that weren’t on sale, three kinds of cough drops  and a new box of tea, even though we have 30 kajillion boxes in the pantry.

See fruit floating near top of bottle

See fruit floating near top of bottle

I knew we had an ample supply of ginger ale and orange juice at home, as well as half a bottle of my grandmother’s tried and true cold and flu remedy, Rock and Rye.  It’s whiskey.  And fruit.  So, it’s totally good for you.

Even with the last of the holiday before us, I took it easy.  I put my feet up when possible.  Watched part of a Wife Swap marathon.

It hit me this morning that I should try to be kinder to myself in 2013.  Not just when I’m sick, but every day.

  • I should take care of my body and nurture it with non-whiskey-soaked fruits and vegetables and vitamins and antioxidants and other things that are really good for it.  (With a little bit of whiskey thrown in on occasion.)
  • I should indulge myself more.  With new kinds of tea, magazines that catch my eye, books and music and other items that will add to my day but won’t break the bank.
  • I should make time to do those things that are important to me like writing and reading and, yes, blogging.  (Apparently, the lack of it messes with my throat chakra.)
  • I should gently prod myself to break out of my comfort zone and volunteer, take a class, take a risk, go somewhere new, meet some new people.
  • I should forgive myself for little things and big things, old sins and new ones.
  • I should love myself a little harder and a little better, which would give me new reason to be kinder to myself.