I can't say for sure yet, but I think this week is going to be about detoxing.
I woke up this morning able to do what I could not do last Monday morning, which was to cut sugar and gluten from my diet. Lunch was a salad with chicken sausage, the kind that is Whole 30 compliant, and dinner will be haddock with asparagus fresh from the field and more salad. I just had a snack of smoked trout and an arugula salad with a few shaves of a good Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. I dressed it with a good Extra Virgin olive oil, fig balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard whisked together with a fork. I had some tea this morning and some La Croix water this afternoon. I usually buy myself some of that to feel like I'm having a treat when my usual treats are verboten. I've got beef bones in the crock pot to make some broth and, come to think of it, I had some broth this morning before I had my tea. I keep it frozen in cubes for just such occasions. It makes for a great sipping breakfast. Broth is also delicious and comforting.
The detoxing started almost immediately, as if it was the decision and not the action that was important. I'm feeling flat in the affect and low energy. I'm being gentle with myself and not pushing too hard. I've been doing some reading. Some light tasks. Talked to a good friend.
But to tell the truth, I don't feel much like doing anything.
My dreams are crazy and I'm having mad insights. Strange happenings abound.
Things like looking in my closet, where there is lots to choose from but nothing to wear, and experiencing deep insights that suddenly come unbidden. Things like the realization that I've bought most of my clothes for a woman who does not exist.
And down the rabbit hole we go.
So it usually goes something like this. I find something I like and want to buy, but I want a different body to wear it, one that is at least one size smaller. So I buy the item one size smaller, especially if it's expensive, and tell myself that I'll get to wear it when I've lost the weight.
I have a lot of clothes in my closet that would fit me if I would lose one size.
That's simple enough. Lose one size. It's sounds really stupid when I write it out like this, but when it's knocking around my head it takes on a different kind of power. The kind of power that is fueled by self talk which is not always so kind and by other voices throughout my life that always seemed to express how disappointed they were with me.
Yeesh. The things we say to people.
And the things they say to us.
The tragedy here, though, is that every time I do this I am telling myself that there is something wrong with me just as I am.
Remember that wonderful line in Bridget Jones' Diary, when Mark Darcy tells her that he likes her just as she is? Everyone loves that moment so much because we don't usually hear it in real life.
That we are lovable just as we are.
It's about at this point that I feel like I want to jump up and run as far from this writing as I can get.
But I think I'll stay.
A noteworthy time I bought a wardrobe for a woman who doesn't exist was when I first separated from my husband. I called them my "divorce clothes" because they were going to be the clothes I would wear when I started my new life. If you have to get divorced, at least you should make yourself over in the process, I reasoned. And, actually, that is true.
I bought some great tops and a little black dress, or at least my version of it, an off-white suede jacket with a faux bobcat lining, some drop dead sand colored suede ankle boots that are the sexiest shoes I've ever worn, a pair of bronze sparkly pumps, and a pair of red patent leather pumps. A black pencil skirt with black leather-like side panels. Some of what I bought was just a little bit too small for me. I had been between sizes at the time and needed to decide what direction I would go.
I went down, of course. And, actually, it was the right choice.
There were some other items in that wardrobe, and I suppose you could call it a capsule wardrobe because it was about 33 pieces and self-contained, could be put together in a lot of different ways, and made me feel lighter. I actually did get into the clothes and some of them I even wore, but the woman who I dreamed would wear those clothes and do the things I dreamed she would, never really completely materialized because the divorce turned out to be a little more contentious than I thought it would be.
And it took all my energy just to stay present and to get through it with myself intact.
I look at sections of my closet and think about the memories or hopes or dreams attached to the clothes and realize that sometimes I buy clothes as a kind of vision board. I think about the woman who might wear those clothes and how much I'd like to be her. I think about the life a woman like that might have. The truth of the matter is most of the time I dress very casually, choosing from a handful of items, and right now my favorite piece of clothing is a hat I wear when I tromp around the desert.
I have a note on my to do list today that says, "Get real about my closet."
And what that means, really, is to get real about the woman who wears the clothes.
Who is she? What does she love? Who has she become since all those life changes initiated six years ago?
What I can't ask myself is where the hell all that time has gone.
On the hook on the back of my closet door I have a very special jacket. I got it at the Borrego-Springs Outfitter. It was on sale for a ridiculously low price. Felt more like a gift than a purchase. I saw it from across the store when I was there over New Year's in 2017. They had my size. The size I want to be in one day. I was not far from it then, a little farther from it now. But it's definitely doable. It's the perfect jacket for hiking in the desert in winter or for hiking in the mountains at other times. I look at it and my heart leaps. I want to wear it hiking. I can see myself doing that.
I think instead of using paper and pictures from magazines, I'll make my vision board for this year, what's left of it, from clothes in my closet. Then I'll set a couple of goals and create some action steps to get there. This is actually an interesting idea that captures my imagination.
I think I'll also get rid of a few things. Might take me a while. We'll see.
For now, I won't force anything. It's the loving thing to do.
The Summer of Self-Love is a daily writing practice birthed June 1, 2018 as a container for harnessing three months for thriving. The goal at the end is to host a dinner party. Sound's like an odd Hero's Journey, doesn't it? Most of them usually are.