I confess. I do many of the things sleep experts warn you no against like having screen time right before bed and screen time while in bed. There was a time when I tried to stay off of the computer/phone/tablet after 8 pm. That rule lasted about two weeks.
I sleep with a husband, a small dog, and a large dog. Sadie is the big one. She sleeps on my side of the bed so it’s always a struggle to find leg room. I don’t tell my doctor about my sleep problems because he would tell me not to sleep with dogs. I won’t give up my pooches!
A sleep hygiene guideline I do follow is the one that says not to drink coffee too late in the day. I’m proud to say I adhere to this rule on most days.
The sleep scientists say you should adopt a soothing pre-bedtime ritual. Sometimes I sit down and write in a real non-electronic journal. By sometimes I mean hardly ever. I’ve been known to have an easy yoga or stretch session before bed. These are things I should do more regularly.
I won’t get into a discussion about my problems with pillows. It’s not worth the trouble.
I felt a bit broken the other night. I was watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (like I do). They did a musical number that was a Soul Train. takeoff. You know the bit where the dancers make two lines and people. take turns showing off their best moves for the camera. Heather, the character played by the gorgeous Vella Lovell, took her turn. As I watched her, I started feeling sad that I can’t dance like that. I started feeling sorry for myself because MS has taken away my ability to do what I want to do with my body.
The truth is that although I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in dance, I was never a great dancer. So me thinking that I could dance like before MS Vella is ridiculous.
I was in bed with my husband when I had my crying meltdown. He reminded me that I can still dance. I can. I don’t use a wheelchair or a walking aid. He also brought up the fact that I’ve been a bit burned out on dancing for several years. He also suggested that any dancing that I want to do would be easier if I lost some weight. I do need to lose about 30 pounds, but let’s not get into that right now.
The day after the meltdown I felt some measure of shame. If it’s true that I chose to have this illness (when I was between lives), as a means of fostering spiritual growth, I have no business whining about it.
Also, there are so many people who have it worse than I do. I should be grateful for the strength that I do have. I’m not broken. I am perfect.
I made a list of topics I wanted to cover in the blog. Weight loss was one of those topics. It seemed like a good idea to combine a daily prompt word, with the weight loss topic. The word guilty was an obvious choice, so I’m going with it.
I weigh too much. I’m not sure if I’ve ever tipped the scales at this particular weight before. Perhaps I did in junior high. I feel so bad about it that I’m not willing to type the number in this post. I might still be in denial.
For me, I think it’s more about food than exercise. I used to have the idea that it was okay for me to eat something sweet every day. If it was in the past, it’s not anymore. I’m getting to the age when fat on a woman wants to migrate to the belly. I don’t like that one bit.
I know that visiting my father every evening at his assisted living facility had something to do with my weight gain. My eating habits were about the same, but I didn’t have time to exercise as much as my body needed me to. Also, I was probably still carrying some of the weight I gained from being on steroids during my MS flare-up.
My Plan and My Fear
So now I have cut out sweets and junk food except for my Saturday ice cream fix. I don’t crave sweets anymore, but I worry that being this restrictive will lead me to revolt. I’ve lost a few pounds, and my pants are fitting better, so I know this plan is working. I’m scared that a more moderate approach to sweets will send me in the wrong direction. What I have now is a problem with food. That’s not healthy.
“Just exercise more,” you say. I would love to be able to work out really hard most days of the week, but with MS comes fatigue. The workouts I used to do are not possible for me anymore. I have to break exercise into smaller chunks. Fitness is still possible for me, but I can’t stay in the high-intensity fat-burning zone for very long. That feels like an excuse.
Time and Priorities
It all comes down to time management and planning. I took the time to write this post, so I probably have to choose between hula hooping and making art this evening. I also need time to fix something healthy for lunch tomorrow.
Although I thought I knew what the word aesthetic meant, I Googled it to be sure. I found that the official definitions jibed with my concept of the term, so I was ready to start writing. I considered talking about a declaration I made years ago to improve the world by adding beauty to it. The statement was a response to my inability to fix the world’s problems. I figure the least I can do is make a few people’s lives a little better by showing them beautiful works of art.
My search brought up more than standard definitions. Urban Dictionary defines it as “Something that tumblr weirdo’s say way too often and use it for every damn thing under the sun. A generally annoying word.”
A site called Know Your Meme says, “Aesthetic, often stylized as a e s t h e t i c, refers to retro-inspired visual art and music associated with the vaporwave subculture, which typically include Japanese lettering and nostalgic themes from 1980s and 1990s computer operating systems and video game consoles.”
What is Vaporwave?
Vaporwave sounded interesting, so I did a search. I skimmed an Esquire article about it and found myself not caring. There’s a YouTube playlist you might visit to see what the genre is like. I’d say that it’s not my thing.
Back to the word aesthetic.
Vlogger, Ben J. Pierce did a fun little song about the word aesthetic.
It looks like aesthetic is a word tossed about by hipsters hanging out in independent coffee shops and talking ironically about hipster topics. Here’s a guide to being a hipster if you’re looking to get involved in the movement.
Is it a good idea to sit down and list the things that are gone from your life? Let’s see how it goes.
1) My childhood (but, not really)
2) My modern dance technique (mostly)
3) My mother (but she’s always with me)
4) My Cincinnati Reds toboggan – some call it a knit cap (lost a few days ago)
5) My strong desire to perform (mostly)
6) My beer can collection (from childhood)
Some, but not all of my fears have disappeared. I’ve lost some bad habits and gained new ones. Counting losses doesn’t feel productive, but it may be a legitimate way to evaluate one’s life. Self-evaluation is something we should add do from time to time. Right?
The writing prompt is open. I like the word because it feels right now like everything is open. Things are up for grabs. I don’t know what the future holds for me. Of course, none of us can really know that we have a future. One could be hit by a bus, or swept up in a tornado, or swallowed by a sinkhole. You would think that given life’s uncertainty, I would be able to enjoy each of the precious moments that I’ve been given. No, what I’ve been doing is spending most of my waking time in a state of anxiety.
The world’s tragedies are wearing on me. I’m wondering if I can give myself art therapy. Are there any “do it yourself art therapy” books? I’ll have to look into that. In the meantime, I plan to get more serious about my art journaling. I started a new blog to share my experiences with making art. I’m hoping my art blog will be the one that eventually makes money. The first post is about the fact that my cat room doubles as a studio.
I’ll be able to blog more since my summer class is over. Speaking of the class, I wrote in another post that I thought this class was the last one I needed before graduating. I was mistaken. I need one more. I plan to take Digital Curation in the fall, and it’s actually a class I’ve been wanting to take, so it’s all good.
Here’s wishing that I’m open to new possibilities in the coming week.
Before responding to one of these prompts, I usually look up synonyms for the day’s word. While checking the word diverse on Thesaurus.com, I saw an ad featuring Kate Moss. I clicked it just to see what it was all about. It went to a video called Kate! The Making of an Icon that showed a bunch of images of Kate Moss. This was part of a promotion for Ms. Moss’ new fashion line.
This one showed highlights from a runway fashion show. At the end of the clip, all of the models paraded in a line to the front. It struck me that they all looked very much alike. I had found something that was the complete opposite diverse. The ending to that story would have been better if I had been initially seeking antonyms. I could say that while looking for a word that was an antonym of diverse I found an example that was an antonym.
There’s a book by James Gleick called Chaos: Making of a New Science. I started reading it several years ago. I didn’t finish reading it because I wasn’t really smart enough to understand it. I’m not saying that I’m not smart. I’m just not the kind of smart you need to be to read this book. I do know that chaos theory has something to do with fractals. Fractals are cool.
I’ve also toyed with learning about physics. This was also not my thing. I listened to an audio book about physicist Richard Feynman. I understood the book because it was more about the man than the physics.
It’s like when I tried to learn computer programming. I tried and tried but found that my brain just doesn’t work that way. I finally let go of that dream.
This is a reminder to put more effort into the things I’m actually good at so I can get better at them. That’s a crazy idea isn’t it?