Overwhelm, Frosting Tub, and an Invisible Thread

I am drinking coffee with hazelnut creamer in it. I don’t even like hazelnut. That’s why I bought it. I bought it so that my partner would drink it and I wouldn’t. But, here I am drinking it. My life is out of balance.

What the hell are you talking about? Are you, dear reader, asking me?

I’ve got to make this quick. I’m supposed to be reading for a short paper for my graduate class that is, of course, due by midnight tonight. But, I have to do something for me or my mind will be muddled. I will resent having to write the paper at all. I will whine and bitch and throw my hands up in the air. I don’t have time to really write, so I must write something. Even if it’s crap. Even if it doesn’t make sense.

The drinking of the hazelnut coffee, seemingly against my will and good judgment, seems to be some sort of bat signal in the chaos of my life. I have been diligently, for six weeks, eating a 1200 calorie diet, weighing carrots and chicken breast, swapping out cauliflower rice for the real deal, switching from 2% to skim. That sort of thing. I’ve lost around 20 pounds. That’s great. But today. (Yes, I’ve been told that everything after the word “but” is bull shit.) But today, I ate half a brie, turkey, and raspberry-mustard sandwich on thick white bread, jalapeno potato chips, homemade tortilla chips with guacamole, at least a pound of chicken, French onion dip, another handful of chips, birthday cake, fresh squeezed rosemary lemonade. I scooped some frosting out of the container and ate that too. And, now, the hazelnut creamer.

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A Life Wasted?

I have made many a party faux-pas in my life. I’ve spilled drinks. I’ve started fights. I’ve made crass comments. But, I don’t party anymore. I’m sober three years this month. And, somehow, I feel like this qualifies me as someone who doesn’t do or say ridiculous things.

Pshaw!

I turned 40 last weekend. 40! It doesn’t really bother me. I’ve been told that 40 is the new 30. Shit, I’ve been told it’s the new 21! I’ve been told that the 40s rock the casbah. That you start to really know what you want and what you don’t want and you don’t giving a flying frog what people think of you.

Sounds good to me!

But, there is still this nagging closer-to-death thing. And, when I start to think about getting closer to death, I start thinking about all of the things that I wanted to do in my life when I actually was 21 and it was just opening up.

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Under Pressure

After graduating from college, I worked two jobs—at a music store during the day and at a restaurant during the evening. I was an English Major and had no career plans whatsoever. I was saving cash in a tin with a picture of an old Rolls Royce and Rte. 66 on the lid, trying to fund a solo trek to California. Of course, the money never stayed long in the tin as I also had to fund my bad habits. So, there I was. No plans. No money. No sense of responsibility. I didn’t really stand a chance, but at least I was having fun.

I wish I could say that I was a starving artist, but my party plans always took precedence over my art. So, I worked and worked and put a little cash in the tin and pulled a little cash out of the tin and stayed up all night and then did it all over again. I remember believing that I was handling the long hours and little sleep like a real champ. I was pushing CDs at the mall, delivering steaming hot plates of lasagna at the restaurant, and dancing and laughing and making everyone around me generally happy. Or, so I thought.

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