Hindsight 2020 Vision Board!
If my social calendar is any indication, I’m benefiting from the intention I set for My Last Chance Midlife Make-It: Regular lunch dates, comedy club weekends, cooking, crafting, old repairs “I’m meaning to do” … DONE!
The bullet journal is the key. It’s so simple. Annoyingly simple. I’ve thought about bullet journaling since the craze began. It appeals to every piece of me: LISTS, LISTS, checking off LISTS. LISTS, colorful LISTS. Organized LISTS, LISTS, LISTS!
Look at everything I’ve done! Marinate in delicious minutia! How I adore you, shimmering pens. Leaves and glitter climb columns of beautiful lists, lists, lists! Oh, the euphoria of checking off LISTS!
DO WHAT YOU LIKE. For the love of all that’s holy, what are you waiting for?! It’d be amusing if it weren’t so annoying. It would be infuriating if it weren’t so fun!
I’m seeing old friends, making plans, making food, watching less TV. I’ve joined a Book Club! I’ve always wanted to. I read a lot. I’m constantly asking friends or family to read this tome or that so we can talk about it. No one bites. Or a tepid response to something that inspired me is so deflating, I don’t ask again.
A girl from belly dance invited me to her group last year. She lives in BFE Suburbia. The last thing I want is to navigate some paltry transit extension out there – in the dark, cruel middle of winter – and, worse, try to get home again later, when even downtown options can be limited. At last, I got noisy on the group page. Week after week, I asked if anyone would be willing to hop off the freeway, pick me up from someplace I can bus to, and hop back on. It worked.
I’m loud. I’M NOT QUIET. Fear and insincerity yield nothing. Everyone knows this, but living it is something else. I have a voice, goddamnit. I need a ride.
It’s going to be wonderful! The book, right up my alley. The women, just who I was looking for. Mothers, daughters, lawyers, hippie dippies, and at least one miscreant.
So far, so good. Thank you, Hindsight 2020.
Oh! New glasses. (Check!) Restored to 2020 Vision, I can see behind; I can see ahead.
We talk so much of resolutions and goals, but what are you proud of about 2019? What’s on your Ta Da List?
I’ve written about mine extensively. It’s the work of my life, the reason I started this blog, but it wasn’t until 2019 that I really saw results. I saw improvement, but I hadn’t yet managed to sustain it, or found a way out of my pattern: crisis/recovery/crisis/recovery. It’s all I’ve ever known. It’s how my family relates.
I see it now, the shift. I believe in it. I’m so encouraged and excited by that! Time and again, I’ve met with resistance, rejection, assault, attack, or heartache and upset, and I’ve responded with strength and calm.
My biggest success is the biggest loss, but it was my biggest trigger – my mom – and I DID IT! Poorly, but I did it. That was a toddling argument, full of mistakes and regret. Falling everywhere, bumping, crying, anger, re-centering and starting again, in one stilted conversation. If given the opportunity, I could build mutual trust with her. We could get better at discussions of thorny or painful issues. I could build a real relationship between us, with depth and substance. I understand, too, that it’s not available. She won’t.
Acceptance was the huge Ta Da for me in 2019. I can’t force it. I love us both enough not to ask again. The sorrow, of course, is that I feel hollow and unsatisfied by such a superficial connection, and it’s the only other option to shunning. The sole interaction they permit feels uneasy to me, inauthentic, like being loved with an asterisk.
But love it is. Just as Mom doesn’t have the right erase my origin story, I can’t pretend that love isn’t love when it doesn’t behave exactly like I want it to. For now, I can appreciate that. I accept her limits for our relationship, but meaningful acceptance of this quasi-“love” from my family is beyond my skill set for now. It makes me mad. I want to open my heart to it, but I’m not there yet. Layers…
Perhaps I’ll always feel second-class. It’s still love, the only way they know how. Today, it’s insulting. “Isn’t it a shame?” they condescend. “If only she’d stop causing so much trouble, we could welcome her.” I just won’t receive their embrace. Tsk, tsk.
As for their religious estimation of me, “pearls before swine” sums it up, but I don’t mind them seeing me as Esau, tossing my birthright for sin. We both feel superior in that regard, which is sad, really, and antithetical to love, but I can only handle so much. It’s unfathomable to me how they refuse to examine their thoughts. It’s positively willful, but they don’t see the action verb in their behavior. They’re so used to believing without thinking that they’re blind to the blinders they wear.
There’s a song in Book of Mormon Musical, in which the missionaries dance to a wonderfully irreverent tune about those dreaded, creeping questions. Before allowing themselves to complete any thought, the chorus interrupts: “TURN IT OFF!”
I know plenty of Mormons who think for themselves. I know plenty of courageous, intellectually curious individuals who explore truth on their terms and land in their own place on the spectrum of orthodoxy, but my family is culty. Gross.
Look down on me, then. We share that.
Our problems are behavioral, not theological, but I can see how that refusal to look deeply at an issue came from our religious culture. I believe, too, in genetic memory. Studies show that trauma alters genes, which are then transmitted to subsequent generations. When we feel history in our bones, we really do!
I’ve found a lot of understanding and healing in that notion, and when I sit in it, I feel my ancestors. They’re in my blood, pumping and alive. Whether they’re angelic or not (They are), they’re now.
“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” -William Faulker
I don’t think we’re doomed by genetic memory. In the context of ancestry, we’re all the perpetrator and the victim, and I believe we can heal our spirits and bodies in real time. For me, it’s overwhelming and so fulfilling to consider recovery in a larger framework, one that challenges my understanding of time. The cosmos itself offers too much discovery to bend my mind to, that tells me time isn’t linear. Time is both real and unreal. Can I heal the past? Yes. I’m healing me, and the past is never dead.
I love symbolism, and what could be more refreshing than New Years to hit reset and start again on the things you didn’t do last year? (I’ve been swearing I’d be “fluent” on the didgeridoo for, what, 10 years?)
I place a lot of importance on New Year’s review. This has a been a hell of a year for it.
It started in 2017, when Jax and I broke up. Finally, I knew something about my future: I was never having children. It was sobering and surprising, and so freeing!
A year later, I ran into my favorite old flame – best lover/real emotional affection/worst match – and persuaded him to see me again. We’ve been together now for months.
I’ve never had a carefree relationship. It isn’t superficial. It just doesn’t have to mean everything. I don’t have to understand it. In other words, I don’t have a picture in my head of how this will look in the future, and it’s fantastic! I’ve never had that.
I love him. I’m loving him so much better than I did before. We’re happy.
He’s a ski photographer. Christmas and New Years are his bread and butter, so we parted company two weeks ago and haven’t spoken. We texted once. I invited him to a New Year’s celebration – he is the person I want to kiss right now – but he declined. He had to work New Year’s Day. I expected as much, and went alone.
It’s perfectly equal with Galen, what we want from each other, how we feel about each other, what we offer each other. I can’t say enough how different this is from anything I’ve felt or experienced in my life.
So that’s the biggest thing from 2018, this free, authentic feeling of being with someone purely, not because I have a goal or fear in mind – or in the back of my mind. It feels so good to love someone! I don’t think I appreciated how desperate and selfish my love has been in the past. I was aware, but… yeah, you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s wonderful to love him so wholly.
I quit smoking two months ago. I bought a Vape for the holidays, so I wouldn’t go around bumming drunk drags at parties, or walk to a convenience store and buy a pack. (You know that hangover. “Ah shit! Now I have to finish these cigarettes!” Maybe you could throw them out, but I hate waste, throwing away my money, and regret – for the day down the road I wish I hadn’t thrown those cigarettes away.)
The Vape did it! I’m smoke-free and more confident than ever before that I’ll stay that way. Just bring it to any party and you’re set. That melon-flavored metal cylinder accompanies me only when drinking, and I’m perfectly satisfied. Problem solved.
I’ve lapsed on my cooking. Of course, that’s my #1 plan for 2019. Get back into trying new recipes and healthy meals (i.e. lose weight). Galen’s good for that (vegetarian/solar home cook) but, like I said, I got the holidays off from him.
It’s the worst binge, maybe ever. For two weeks straight, every day, everything I can eat, all day, and no real food or fiber. I’ve actually thrown up, actually morphed from Binge Eating Disorder to Bulimia, except I didn’t mean to puke. I just made myself so sick, up it came. So gross. Wow, my life.
I imagine if I hadn’t held onto to Skinny-Is-My-Superpower for so long, I might have figured out some form of food discipline before now? I can’t say. I only know I didn’t. And it’s only gotten worse. Binge Eating Disorder doesn’t sit still, so now I have to make it better. That’s it. Skinny is officially no longer a freebie for me, but I’m more concerned, like any midlifer, with the rest of my life, with comfort, energy, and longevity.
And, let’s be honest, good diet is the last piece of living peacefully with Fibromyalgia. DO IT. If you’re not doing everything in your power to manage your pain, shut up. When you’ve exhausted every option with total integrity and effort, bitch all you want.
Til then, binge less. As a treat. Enjoy it. Accept it. Move on. In 2019, I will binge no more than once a month. Ooh! I just got punch-in-the-gut panic. I can do it.
I can’t believe we’re only a year away from 2020. For a decade, I’ve been excited for Hindsight 2020. What a time for review! I feel so lucky to be newbie-middle-aged at this epic symbolic time. I’m young enough to get back into shape and stay that way. (Figure out in therapy this year how to really face Binge Eating Disorder…)
I’m young enough to regain and retain my youthful beauty, and old enough to know that that’s not what matters in my life, but something I enjoy. Thank god I get to!
I have a 5-yr plan for the first time in my life. Penny will be my family for the next 2-5 years. Then I’ll be 50. Fit, brave, happy, free, and ready to TRAVEL.
I’m finishing the process of getting out of debt. (In 2018, my student loan fell to ZERO!!!) I’m not planning to travel much in the next few years. Instead, I’ll save, dream, and plan. I think I’ll drive cross-country with a friend first, then live in South America for at least a year, to teach and travel.
I’ll definitely be in Brazil for Carnival sometime in the next 5 or 6 years. I started doing Samba a couple of months ago. I’m not bad. I’m not good yet, but I will be!
Oh! Be careful what you wish for! I always wanted to join Samba Fogo, Salt Lake’s world-class Afro-Brazilian drum and dance company. (Our founder is 2018’s International Samba Competition winner. This is for real.) In 2018, I did!
I’m in Ala, which means “We.” It’s the community branch of Samba Fogo, and Alas exist all over Brazil, so it’s part of the cultural tradition. We’re performing at the Samba Queen contest this month, and at the annual show in April, which I’ve been attending for years. It’s in that audience that I first began to dream of being on their stage. And now I am.
2018 was tough. I came down hard with some boundaries that I’m not second-guessing anymore. I made cuts. I didn’t have the emotional wherewithal to write about it as it was happening. I just did it.
My circle has grown much smaller, and my family’s pretty much out. I never thought I’d fail there, but I have to love myself enough to make unapologetic choices for my safety, even when my mom lectures me in a Christmas card about the need to forgive.
I have. I forgive and forgive, but I continue to be disrespected and disregarded. I give myself permission to leave, whether that’s demonized or not. I don’t need them to understand or stop gossiping about what a bad, withholding person that makes me.
Am I adulting?! Not around them. In their company, I’m everything they say I am.
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about etymology, specifically the phrase, “You make me sick.” Most of us are guilty of projecting on someone in that way. I’ve been asking myself lately, “Why do we say that?” “What a strange way to blame someone.”
Why? Because the feeling is one of illness!
It was always there. My family makes me sick. No one respects my boundaries, so I get pissed and pissy, and the cycle roars on. I have a role, but it’s a family act. I’m the screaming, suicidal girl. They scapegoat me for all our problems, because I make the most noise.
When I was young I said all the time, “You think when I leave, everything will be great. It won’t. Just you wait.”
It didn’t. I didn’t start it. I was born into malfunction, but it’s my fault now. All of it.
I’m a symptom, but for them I’m to blame.
So I can’t be around them. It’s sad, but it’s the right thing to do. I act like a child. I hate myself. I hate them. I don’t sleep for weeks. I binge. I trigger mom (who’s already triggered anticipating family togetherness, so she jumps on my buttons).
The rest of them are openly bigoted, dutifully silent, or subtly cutting. (I hate it when people skirt responsibility for “jokes” that hurt. “I was kidding.” Bullshit. You’re cruel.) They don’t care that hate-mongering hurts me. I’m just being difficult.
We’re sick. A family is only as healthy as its sickest member, and I actually get sick with them. 2019 is about respecting all of my health and honoring it, even when my family calls me a horrible person, even when I want to hit three fast food joints in a row.
I ache for the loss of a treasured, long-time friendship, and the bruising of another, but I’ve changed. Things have changed. Twenty and thirty years ago, I’d tolerate nearly anything not to jeopardize relationships that replaced family, but I won’t now.
Without intending any shift in dynamics, that’s what’s taken place. It ended one relationship, inasmuch as I’ve made peace with allowing that friendship to belong to its time and place, love her always, and move on without her.
Another friendship is dinged, badly, and the aftermath remains to be seen, though I can say she’ll always be in my future and vice versa. There’s assurance in that, but sorrow knowing that I might be disappointed forever by what I get back: nothing in the present. Never a text, never a phone call, rarely an answer to same, not even acknowledgment.
It’s so rude. I don’t deserve scraps. Not even social decorum for your best friend?
I give more. It’s reasonable to ask for more. I may not get it. History wouldn’t say so.
Holding on to what no longer serves us is immature, and I’m not. I’m 45 years old. I’m kind of a bitch and I’m a good person. I’m whole and complex, and I don’t want to spend my time with assholes who piss me off.
I want to have fun. I’m smart, deep, compassionate, impatient, intense, and FUN.
Happy New Year.
And I ate everything!
I learned that some girls in my school had what they called “The Christie’s Thigh Diet,” because my legs didn’t “splat” when I sat down in my cheerleading outfit.
So I ate more. To show off.
Well, 40+ happens to everyone, ha! I bought a car on September 1st and gained 19 lbs. in 4 months. (9 years on a bike, and damned proud!)
I am 5’5(+)” and 159.6 lbs! I think 5 lbs/mo. is healthy weightloss. I’d like to reach 130 by Summer, and stay there this time.
When I got home from Spain last year I was 129 lbs. But, you know, being held captive and fed once a day will do that to you. I told my best friend that “The Brian and Chrissy [forced] Diet” was more effective than the one those girls named after me in high school, and at least one good thing had come from the trip.
But my visit triggered dormant PTSD, which triggered a loooong binge, and I ate everything. I finally got it under control after 6 months or so and held steady at 140-145, not minding if I did or didn’t lose weight.
So that’s what I’m doing this New Year’s. Diet and exercise, like everyone else. I don’t mind being average. 🙂
And quit smoking. (For good! 20 YEARS in May! Unacceptable.)
I quit Diet Pepsi in October! Hey!
I expect Salt Lake Power Yoga to bring me back to my athletic body and relieve the newly unremitting pain of Fibromyalgia. (Since Spring, 2015 was spent in constant pain, with a week to 10 days off here and there. It was aching, exhausting, and extremely challenging to retain my signature enthusiasm. Before this year, I never considered medication. Now I’m studying.) (It seems awful. I really hope to keep it natural, and controlled.)
I have to say, I hide weight well. It’s pretty evenly distributed. It’s like everything just puffed. I got as much back fat as I did boobs but they fill an A cup now, so there’s that.
Oh, guess what else happened in 2015? Psoriasis. *sigh*
Coconut oil seems to help, but I’m still finding new patches every so often (since November). I’m hoping to avoid steroids or immune suppressors.
I’ll continue djembe lessons and drum for dance classes. I’m joining a guitar class on the 13th. I’m anxious. That’s what began my journey with Fibro 4 years ago. Refamiliarizing myself with chords and frets, I developed pain in my left wrist until it seized up to the point of requiring a cortisone injection to move freely again without screaming agony that woke me up nights. Other joints joined in, but only the left big toe needed cortisone. None of those joints is 100% now, and that wrist is particularly moody, but not unbearable.
I have to try. I want to play and sing! I want to write shitty music.
Life is strange. I would have thought it untenable, my reality. My body hurts. I’m tired and lack endurance. Aching like I do – worse and worse, in ever-new muscles and junctions, then finding scaly patches of goddamned skin that spread and won’t go away – is very frustrating. And I like my life. Huh.
Everyone has something. Some people have lots of somethings.
Hope you’re rollin’ with it and having a good time, too.
Blessings in 2016.
Turn 40! Jump out of an airplane – at last! – on my birthday, April 27th… weeeee!
Go paragliding on my bestie’s 40th – June 18th… weeeee!
Fit and Fabulous and Forty is living AWAKE and all the way. Here’s how I’ll do it:
Eat actual food… Learn a new recipe every month… Play with slowcooker and solar.
Lose this 15 pounds! No reason not to be my high school weight. Healthy, strong, trim. (Binge-eating/food addiction journal?)
Coffee and Diet Pepsi are occasional treats, not daily necessities. Green tea.
I am smoke free. Completely smoke free. Not one cigarette. Bright, clean, pink lungs!
Move to a place with more space, SUN SUN SUN, and cheaper rent (suburbs, gulp).
Surround myself with plants.
Write every day… journal… blog… poetry… vignettes… articles… Write every day.
Master circular breathing… Didge daily… Play with others… Meditate…
Pray every morning… Angels said Leaf Pose for me… Pray every morning. For reals.
Choose gratitude every day, even the bad ones. I sit peacefully at the center of my life.
Read A Course In Miracles! A miracle a day for me in two, zero, one, and three!
Study throat chakra blockage and clearing… Heal it… and others… eventually…
Get voice coach… Learn 2 each, upbeat song and ballad… Have them at the ready.
Identify and perfect 2 monologues, comedic and dramatic… At the ready…
Audition for everything… Fail gloriously!… Relish every chance to improve and learn… Have fun! ENJOY the practice! “Thank you for the chance to celebrate my craft!” I love to audition! I love to audition! I’m so good at auditioning! Can’t wait to audition!
Invest in good headshots… ? blerg… hate to spend money… Can’t my bestie just do it?
Get one paying gig… anywhere… anything… Rebuild resume… Network… PERFORM! Love the stage again. Revel in the play and laughter of rehearsal and take it seriously.
Perform with Africa Heartwood Project… traditional chorals/ basic percussion…
Get a drum of my own.
(Re)learn guitar… Progress… My wrist is tight but fine. It will stay fine. Play through it.
Play the piano. I have such a pretty little [poor neglected] piano.
Travel. Go to a new state. See a new country.
Cruise for the first time, possibly (friend’s June wedding if I’m not in a show)
New York for another wedding (and if so, all of New England!)
At least one old festival and one new festival
$ Oh yeah, money. I’m over it. Poverty is not this life’s sacred! Money. Thank you. $
Continue African Dance… Add Afro-Brazilian (Samba Fogo) and/or Zumba weekly…
Add three elements to hooping repertoire… PRACTICE… more fluid and dance-y-like…
Conquer blinding dizziness of LED hoop… Use it, silly! (smaller diameter than I like)
Get my own fire hoop… ? … At least spin again in someone else’s.
Jog the steps of the Capitol at least once a week.
GET UP GET UP GET UP! I slept the first half. Now it’s fun. Wake up and LIVE!
When you joked, “… epitaph will read, ‘Lovingly gave half her life to sleep,'” you didn’t know you were manifesting the first half, did you? Get up, little wildfire. Don’t be afraid anymore to live out loud. It is what you came here to do. Get up and do it.
“If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.” Emile Zola
me, too… 🙂
I only just began to understand that I can let go my Screaming Banshee and live out loud. She had a job, to protect me and insist on personal truth. I don’t need protecting anymore. Life isn’t so scary anymore. My truth is finally pleasurable. What a relief!
I freaking love 40. Happy New Year!
(P.S. Totally didn’t mean for my [first] vision board to match my bedroom. Isn’t it pretty?)