Home/Body

TV

My apartment is pretty small – just a little over 400 sq. ft. It’s still the perfect size for me, even though having the three cats makes me fidget a bit. They have plenty of surface area to explore, though, which gives them considerably more “floor space” than I have. They can climb anywhere they’d like, and they take turns sitting on the fridge and looking out the window, or sleeping on top of the kitchen cabinets, or exploring the shelves in the closet. I don’t mind, and let them go where they will. The only reason I’d ever want to move into a bigger apartment would be to give them more room to roam, so to me, allowing them free reign to explore every level in the apartment is completely worth their mental and physical health. One day we’ll move into a place where I can build them all sorts of tunnels and trees and hopefully an enclosed porch where they can watch the birds of a morning.

But this post wasn’t meant to be about their health, though it is entwined with mine, for better or worse. I came here thinking about interior design and modern living. I came here to talk about turning my living room into a home gym.

When I moved in a little over three years ago, the apartment was partially furnished. Straight away, I got rid of anything that looked cheap or was a space-waster (with the landlord’s permission, of course). The only things that I kept, out of necessity, were the mattress in the bedroom and the couch in the living room. The mattress is its own post – I dream of completely revamping my bedding and turning my bed into something akin to a spa experience – but today we’re going to talk about that damned couch.

The living room is minuscule, and the couch is HUGE. It’s a three-seater, deep and overstuffed, and takes up most of the only full wall in the room (the other three walls all have doors – the front door, French doors to the bedroom, and the walkway into the kitchen). With the doors being where they are, the layout of the room is rather forced. The couch takes up a wall, and I set up the television and media center just under the lip of the kitchen counter. That means that I don’t get to add seating to the kitchen counter, which is OK, but not ideal. There’s very little floorspace still available, which is pretty annoying.

When I had a boyfriend, this setup seemed necessary, though I often dreamed of selling the television and having a TV-free home. I never felt comfortable telling him that, though, because as a writer, for him TV was life. This is not to say that I don’t also enjoy watching television – I get caught up in binge-watching shows the same as the next person. And I love my horror movies, and my BBC, and documentaries, and movies about food and traveling. It’s just that I’ve started to realize how much of my real life is being stolen by screens. I am hooked up to a computer for 8 to 16 hours a day at work, and I write this blog on a computer, and when I don’t have a computer open, I’m on my phone or a Kindle or watching Netflix on my television. It’s just daunting. I want out.

And what’s funny is that I’ve turned on the television twice in the last two weeks, or however long its been since we broke up (three weeks? I’d be a shit annal-keeper, though I guess that’s what I am, in a way, the Annals of Anna, as predictable and bland as they might be). I’ve been reading, working, sleeping, and hanging out with my cats. I’ve been thinking. I’ve been planning. Now it’s time for action.

Bottom line is that the couch has to go. I don’t have the strength of will yet to toss the television to the curb, but I can very swiftly turn my living room from a TV-watching station into a gym and craft room – a place to inspire me to be myself, rather than to cater to the whims of others. I want to imbue it with feminine energy, and intensity befitting of my true personality, the one I seem to keep constantly tamped down.

Long ago, I worked for an interior designer who explained to me that the living room used to be centered around the hearth, for warmth, for community. Now it is centered around the television, which provides no warmth, and essentially allows us to pretend we’re part of a community without having to engage in any of the messiness of actually talking to one another. I’m tired of having the television be the center of my home – so I’m going to move the idiot box over to the corner. I’ll get a futon that takes up less space and allows for guests to stay with me more comfortably. I’ll install bar stools, and use the kitchen counter as a craft station. I’ll use the floor space for a new elliptical (I’ve been dreaming of a replacement for my old Tony Little Gazelle for years now), and a yoga mat. I’ll still be a homebody, but I’ll be bringing magic and intention back to my sphere.

Cinnamon Girl

I really like cinnamon toothpaste. Cinnamon and clove, cinnamon and fennel, double cinnamon, whatever – I just feel like my mouth is cleaner after I use cinnamon toothpaste. I’m also very particular about my toothpaste, but you’d never know it. For some reason, when I’m in a relationship, toothpaste is the first line of defense to fall.

Well, that’s not exactly true. It’s not like there’s ever even a skirmish over it. Basically, as soon as someone writes their name in my dance card, and I just naturally assume that they will hate cinnamon toothpaste, and go out and buy a decent, respectable mint toothpaste that very day. Mind you, I keep some things sacred – I prefer a paste to a gel, wintergreen to peppermint, no weird colors, lots of scrubby texture and/or special whitening power promised on the box. Yes, I am a toothpaste snob. But, as I’ve realized this week, I naturally assume that my tastes in pastes will neither be appreciated, nor tolerated, by someone who wants to brush their teeth at my sink now and then.

Isn’t that sad? Not only do I willingly give up a thing that I typically find considerable joy in – I give it up without asking, and with no idea of whether I’m right or not. I automatically assume that my choices are invalid, and that I should make way IN MY OWN HOME for the obviously superior (and completely imagined) tastes of my visitors. My head is reeling at this. It’s one thing to be amenable to others, another to be a good hostess, another to take the desires of those we love into account. It’s something completely different to assume right out of the gate that you are absolutely in the wrong and must change a fundamental portion of your hygiene routine (something that wasn’t broken) to suit someone else’s tastes.

Ugh. So. I didn’t realize all of this last weekend – not yet. I just woke up with a mad desire to go and get new toothpaste, even though I still have half a tube left of some pretty decent mainstream mint. The urge to get new toothpaste grew over the course of the day, until I couldn’t really concentrate on whatever else I was supposed to be doing. So I dropped everything, went to the co-op, and bought the exact thing that I’d been dreaming of – cinnamon and clove toothpaste, with activated charcoal and bentonite clay. It’s black! It’s so fun to use, and it really does work. My teeth feel very clean, and my gums feel less irritated than they typically do. If you’re interested, check out My Magic Mud (no, that’s not paid placement). Along with the toothpaste, I bought a new mouthwash, cinnamon and neem. A tiny swig goes a long way, and caps off the whole tooth brushing experience quiet well.

There’s no real end to this story. My breath is warm and spicy, like my heart, like me. It has inspired me to look at other belongings I own, and products I use, and consider why I use them, and who that serves. How else have I been capitulating? Who else have I been bowing down to, needlessly?

Predator & Prey

Today’s Daily Post Prompt is “Symbiosis,” about which it turns out I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately. Well, that’s backwards, really. I’ve been thinking about relationships that are supposed to be symbiotic – both organisms surviving together, with mutual, reciprocal benefit – but are not. I guess we’re talking more about codependency, or probably any number of other relationship types of which I’m not yet aware.

First, let’s consider my cats. They’re the most innocent of all of the relationships I’ve been considering. They can survive without me. If I opened up the door right now and shooed them all outside, sure, they’d have a rough week or two, but barring getting hit by a car, they’d be OK. Isabel would find a spot in the sun and sit there, looking frail and vulnerable, until some old lady came along and took her in. Munky would probably run into the first open door and demand kibble and a back rub. Charlie would go feral in no time, and his size and natural ownership of all situations would make him king of the block. There might be some tussles with Kuzia, but they’d work out a way to hold the title jointly without either getting too ticked off.

All that being said, they stay here with me. I feed them very expensive food, take them to the doctor whenever anyone exhibits signs of pain or illness, am constantly refilling food/water and cleaning out litter boxes, and everything I own is covered in cat hair/litter/cat footprints. One of the top reasons I’m stuck in this tiny apartment is because having cats makes me wary of trying to find a roommate, and landlords either don’t want pets or just don’t want three of them, so when I do find a place that would work with three cats, it’s WAY out of my price range. But I love them, and when I’m lonely, there’s always a furball to curl up next to, and when I cry, Charlie loves to lick tears, and when I take showers, Isabel loves to get petted through the plastic shower curtain liner, and when I brush my teeth, Munky loves to have me pet him with the non-toothbrush-holding-hand. So we count on each other, and here we are.

I know too many people who are in negative relationships. Relationships where one of the participants has taken on the role of caregiver, and gives the other participant way too much leeway to not be present, active, giving. I also know more people than ever before who are in desperate need of therapy, or at least some sort of help, whether it’s coming to terms with an addiction, or dealing with childhood trauma, or mental imbalance based in health concerns like PCOS. And I know too many women who can’t come to terms with the fact that you can’t keep from being alone by forcing someone else to depend on you. You’ll still be alone, just alone with someone else in the house. And believe me, that’s much worse, loneliness without being allowed to find a way out of it. And YOU doing it to YOURSELF! What a pity. What a waste. I wish I had the guts to tell every one of my girlfriends that I see in this situation to get out. It’s better to be on your own than alone and stuck under the influence of a man who somehow believes that giving 1/4 of the effort amounts to participation. Relationships are very hard work, and we shouldn’t have to put in 3/4 of the effort for no reward, especially in this day and age, when there’s just no more reason to suffer. It used to be that you needed to be under the protection of a man, and that there was financial security in it, but not anymore. Come to think of it, I don’t have any girlfriends who aren’t the more successful partner, financially speaking.

On that note, I was thinking about romance earlier, and why it is that we have this trope of the handsome, romantic, experienced foreign man (you can set this story in Spain, Italy, Greece, anywhere in South or Central America – just make sure that the men there are dark and handsome, and are rumored to be skilled at seduction). Wouldn’t it be satisfying to have a story where the down-on-her-luck American woman visits a foreign island, in search of romance (a la Eat, Pray, Love), and finds herself unfortunately paired up with a bumbling, analytical, completely inexperienced foreign guy? Like, the only available man on the island is available for a reason, and the resulting pairing is hilarious. I’d enjoy that story.

Well, it’s Sunday afternoon out there, and in a few hours I’m going to go buy some eggs at Dollar General, then hit up my weekly Refuge Recovery meeting. I went to Zumba this morning, so I’m feeling good about being back on track at the gym. Just hoping it’s possible to avoid catching a cold or flu or whatever other bugs are there every time I go for more than a few days in a row. Today I washed my hands before and after Zumba, didn’t touch anything in the classroom, and the equipment that I did use after class, I sprayed it off before and after. I’m trying to be very conscious of when I touch anything, and not touching my face, but we’ll see.

Blueberries With Broken Wings

It’s Day 3 of no Facebook (and coincidentally, no alcohol). It is also Day 3 of Lent, but not Day 3 of anything else. I have yet to give up caffeine, or sugar, or dairy, which is good, since I just drank a lovely Vietnamese iced coffee containing heaps of all three. Yes, I know that they’re terrible for me, but just don’t have the extra willpower necessary to cut out all joy in one fell swoop. I’ll give the social media withdrawal symptoms a little while longer to subside, then recalculate.

Anyway, yeah, where was I? Day 3. Also Friday. Also two days after rent was due, and a few days before a bunch of other random bills are due, and one day before I get kicked out of magick school for not checking in for the month, and one day before I meet up with a friend from the Camino who happens to be in town to visit, and two days before I have to go back to work, and four days since my cat came down with another UTI and cost me my rent, and…meh, who cares what day it is?

I only typed Facebook into the URL by mistake maybe four times today so far, but I did go to Zulily to “window shop” four or five times, and I definitely reread my last couple of blog posts on here a few times, so it’s not like I’m magically no longer procrastinating online. I’m just not procrastinating in as disjointed and turbulent a way. Hopefully that means something.

As far as conversations with real humans go, I’m currently at the coffee shop with the boyfriend, and we’ve been talking about going to watch a movie. And a friend/coworker of mine came over to see me at the shop, bringing his new significant other, whom I’d never met before, so I met a new person today (and he was very nice, but that’s Canadians for you, eh?) Also, the guy at the table behind me has been kicking my chair pretty consistently over the last hour, so that’s a form of interaction. He’s lucky I’m a very patient lady, and my only response has been to move the chair a little to the right to hopefully give him more foot room. It didn’t help. He’s just one of those jerks who doesn’t pay attention to his surroundings and later gets run over by a bus. Probably not, but a girl can dream.

Also, I got invited out to dinner with a group of friends! I’m not hungry, though. But it was nice of them to ask.

Emotionally, all is good. I’m feeling especially fat and bloated today, and my face looks like a solid sphere when I look in the mirror, but I’m not sure if that’s true or not. I do seem to remember that last time the anxiety and depression were this bad, I was suffering from a touch of body dysmorphia, too, so it’s a good bet that it’s half and half – I’m both fatter than I want to be and seeing myself as a giant blueberry creature because I’m a tad off in the head. Oh well. Only so many things I can tackle at one time.

Speaking of tackling things, I FINALLY scored a doctor’s appointment. Not a psych appointment, because I’m still having trouble finding one that takes my insurance plan, but at least I was able to arrange to see a gynecologist in a couple of weeks. Which is great, because I am very ready to start proceedings to get my tubes tied and get this whole fertility question answered once and for all. I’ll take “No Babies Ever” for $1,000, Alex. That’ll be an incredible load off. A little sad, since I’m officially the last of my line, being my parents’ only child, but I have no interest in producing offspring from scratch, or giving anyone else permission to ruin what’s left of my figure and give me more wrinkles in the process. If I’m ever in the financial position to take care of myself like a real adult, you know, with a little nest egg, and an apartment that’s larger than the back seat of a Volkswagen, I’d love to consider fostering children. But that’s a question for 10 years from now. Right now is the time to start going through the motions of explaining to any number of doctors that no, I don’t want kids, and yes, I’m qualified to make this decision all by myself, without a man calling the shots. We’ll see what happens. I’ve heard too many stories of women who aren’t trusted by their medical professionals to make up their own minds about how to use (or in this case, not use) their own bodies.

There’s a man here at the cafe with the most beautiful blue and purple hair, complete with a big blue and purple beard AND a blue and purple handlebar mustache. His hair game is on point, and I am filled with awe and a touch of envy. I miss my blue hair. I miss living a less structured life, even though I know that it wasn’t healthy for me, at least in the state I was in. I’m not thriving, and I don’t think I know how to. But I do know that when I’m left up to my own devices, without any structure, I fall right out of the nest and linger, starving, on the sidewalk. At least the structure acts as a kind of safety net. Either way, I’m restricted, but I guess it’s better to get fat in the net than get stepped on on the sidewalk. This analogy is tedious. I’ll leave you with the song of the day…

Fear of the New

This morning on the walk to work, I had a tiny flash of inspiration, then put it aside for later contemplation. (Dear all – welcome to my later contemplation.) Anyway, the thought process went like this:

“What keeps me from being more?”
“Fear, duh.”
“But don’t people tell me all the time that they wish they had the kind of courage that I do to go off to new places, and to try new things?”
“Well, yeah, but that’s different.”
“How’s going to a new country any different than going to a potluck at your neighbor’s house?”
“One involves hanging out at the airport and people watching, then taking a flight and getting one of those cute little boxed dinners, and maybe a wine and cheese snack, plus movies on demand…”
“Smart ass.”
“OK, yeah, I know what you’re getting at. Travel should be much scarier, but it’s not, because I won’t let it be.”
“Bingo.”

There have been plenty of times in my life that I’ve been terrified of new things. Not quite on the level of actual neophobia, just scared to take the plunge. And I’ve done it anyway. It takes guts to put yourself out there. It’s hard to strip off all of the armor in front of people – even people who love you, whom you know for sure won’t laugh, or hurt you intentionally. But to be more, to be bigger, to have more fun, even, you’ve got to trust that the fear isn’t going to kill you. And it’s a platitude, but in this case it’s true that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

There are some things that I probably just won’t be able to do again until I get the proper mental help, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t gently ease myself into other new situations, like going out to see music, or to the opening night of an art show. So maybe it’s nerve-wracking to go to a house party and be stuck in a bubble full of people and talking and alcohol and too much interaction. But I know that I’m happy going out alone, on my own terms. And I know that I’m good with one-on-one situations, and even small groups. So let’s plan a few of those over the next 39 days, shall we?

Deactivation: Tiny Update

So I spent the better part of my evening building a new Spotify account, since it turns out that if you don’t have an active FB page AND your Spotify account was opened using FB as the login credentials, you can’t access the Spotify account. So I opened a new account using my email address, rather than FB, then painstakingly recreated all of my playlists. After that, I cancelled the old account, because by that point I was incredibly ticked off. I’m not even going to try to imagine how many more sites or apps I’m going to have to do something similar with later on in the week. Ugh.

On the other hand, I finally got around to using the Messages program on my Mac, and that’s pretty cool. It blends your phone’s SMS capabilities with the handiness of your computer keyboard, which is useful if you’ve got friends who prefer to talk through text, but you hate trying to use the little touchscreen keypad on a cell phone. Had a short conversation with a friend I haven’t seen in a couple of weeks, and got to actually talk instead of being the texting version of monosyllabic.

I didn’t mention it earlier, but another source of stress is my cat, Munky. He started getting sick with another UTI on Sunday night, and I took him to the vet first thing on Monday. They couldn’t keep him overnight, since they were closing early for Lundi Gras, and weren’t going to be open on Mardi Gras. So they sent me home with a bunch of meds, and instructions for watching to see if he was going to pee. Oh, and a $500 vet bill that represents my next chunk of debt (what, you thought I magically had $500 on hand?). Anyway, they gave him X-rays to see if he had any blockages, since crystals or stones can be fatal to cats, but just like last time, no blockage. Last time it was bacterial, so we’ll wait for their samples to culture and see what pops up.

They already gave him an antibiotic shot, which is nice, since they sent me home with syringes and two different pills, to be given twice daily, and both Munky and I are very unhappy about that. I have a huge gouge on my palm from him not taking kindly to me trying to wrap him into a kitty burrito, and he isn’t talking to me after last night’s rounds of meds. I’ve got a new pill syringe and a cat isolation bag thing coming, since we’re going to have weeks of this, and one of us will probably not survive if I don’t make some high-tech moves to improve the situation.

The biggest way to improve the situation would be to cut down on his stress levels, by giving him (and Izzy, and Charlie) more space to roam. I know that getting a bigger apartment would definitely would cut down on my stress levels from being overrun by cats. And wouldn’t it be great to have access to a washer and dryer that wasn’t literally a mile’s walk away? (For that matter, could you imagine having a car? Oh, the luxury.) I’ve been looking around, but there’s just nothing in my budget in a neighborhood I’d feel safe living in. Plenty of places just slightly over what I’m paying now if I’m happy with hearing gunshots on the next block, but I’m just too old to be brave about that kind of crap anymore. Plus, what if I lost my freelance gig? It’s feeling precarious lately, and my hotel gig definitely isn’t covering all of my bills right now. I’m so tired of squeaking by. They say that you’re supposed to dress for the job you want, but how do you do that if you can’t even afford a new pair of pumps? I started this job with a wardrobe of thrift store finds, and those already old clothes are just getting rattier. I can’t seem to catch a break, between things breaking and the cats. And I could make more money if I could handle the idea of dealing with 10 clients’ social media accounts all day, every day, but I’d be dead or committed within a year. I just can’t be a marketer anymore. My brain is stressed to the breaking point as it is. There has to be another way forward. Just have to hold on, promotions happen like clockwork, gotta have patience.

And just like that, my blood pressure rises.

OK, time to not think myself into stress circles over all the things I can’t do anything about. Gonna pop on a hypnotherapy recording and call it a night. Turns out Spotify has a bunch of Glenn Harrold recordings; he’s my favorite disembodied voice when it’s time to catch some shuteye, though it’s an acquired taste. If you’re like me, and haven’t had success with meditation yet, you might like hypnotherapy recordings as a way to bridge the gap a little bit. I’ve found that some of the subliminal messaging does end up rubbing off. My favorites of Glenn’s are Relax & Sleep Well, Detox Your Life, and Spiritual Weight Loss (which is weirdly less about me wanting to lose weight, and more about loving the fact that it consistently puts me to sleep in under a minute or two). Do you ever listen to hypnotherapy to fall asleep? If you’ve got a favorite, let me know.

Edit: I forgot to mention that I totally forgot and typed Facebook into my URL bar somewhere close to five times today. Usually it happened while I was online doing some other mindless thing, then got sidetracked, and suddenly found myself trying to get to my Facebook page. Which obviously didn’t happen, since I deactivated first thing this morning, but it was still really weird to find my fingers having a mind of their own, and deciding it was time to go to Facebook.

Deactivation

Just deactivated my Facebook account, and am feeling a little ill. I took the app off of my phone this weekend, went a few hours without it, added it back, went a few hours without…etc. Finally took it off for real last night. Instagram was easier, though I did see a really funny Instagram account called @tchoupacabra that had me looking through the photos one last time this morning. I mean, who doesn’t adore a (really poorly) taxidermied raccoon in a miniature police uniform, attending various Mardi Gras events?

Anyway, I think that the first week or so is going to be pretty hard. I know that sounds lame, and weird, and like I could possibly need mental help (spoiler alert – I do). But I realized on Sunday that Facebook (well, my phone in general, but Facebook more specifically) is where I go when I’m bored, when I need validation, and when I need an update on news. OK, and it’s a great place to share kitten videos. Guess I’ll just have to share them here now.

But what makes it worse is that it’s become a community for so many, yet it is empty, so empty. It’s where a LOT of people go when they’re bored, need validation, want to get up-to-date on whatever new horrible thing is happening in the world. Somehow we’ve managed to become convinced that Facebook is the real world, a true hub for finding out all the things you need to know to be a successful and connected human being. And maybe that’s not all that bad for more extroverted folks. But along with the fleeting promise of online connection, people like me receive the gift of real-world isolation. We’re so busy being plugged in, checking on who likes our latest photos or music recommendations or snarky updates, that it’s easy to ignore the things that make us uncomfortable: everything outside the front door (well, you know, other than trees and rocks and other inanimate, outdoorsy things). It’s easy to convince yourself that online existence is more meaningful than it really is. It’s easy to ignore that there are real people out there with whom we could be making meaningful, in-person connections.

And if there’s anything I should be sure about, it’s that real friends are made in the real world. Yes, I have two friends that I’ve met online and have never spent time with in real life. It’s not impossible to get to know people over the internet – especially if you’re actually writing TO each other, and not just commenting on the same posts – that’s just having a modern day pen pal. It is, however, extremely unlikely. If anything should remind me that it takes depth of interaction for me to make true connections, I only need to look back to the Camino. I met hundreds of people over 45 days of walking in Spain. We all had at least one thing in common, and there were quite a few superficial conversations, to be sure. But out of those superficial conversations, a few deeper ones grew, and out of THOSE conversations, a tiny handful of friends were won. Good friends. Lifelong friends. People I love like sisters and brothers. However, had I not been forcefully removed from other online options, I might never have started talking.

Here’s the thing – friendships are beautiful, and I truly believe that making connections on that level can make life brighter. But making friends is HARD. It’s uncomfortable. It’s painful. It’s not quite as bad as having a tooth pulled, but honestly, it’s close to it, and it lasts longer. It is also fraught with pitfalls, even after you’re pretty sure the other person likes you (but DO they REALLY? What if you screw this up? What if you say something that upsets them? And do you know ALL the things that could possibly upset them? Isn’t it easier to just not make the friend you’ll inevitably piss off at some point, and just forgo that pain?). And after all that, after you overcome what feels like insurmountable fear, you press ahead, you ask the person if they’d like to hang out sometime, you become friends, it weirdly turns out that you’re complete opposites but still enjoy each other’s company…and then the other person abruptly moves back to Minneapolis and once again you’re on your own. (You know who you are, and I’ll be up to visit soon!)

As Carrie Fisher said, “Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” I’m not certain that I’ll ever be confident about anything. I’m only ever confident about traveling and trying new things that don’t necessarily involve having to interact with other people. Give me a flight plan and a suitcase, and I will go. Don’t care where it is, I will happily traipse right off to whatever foreign desert or jungle or metropolis you’ve chosen. I’ll enjoy the hell out of it, too. But ask me to attend a house party a block down the street tomorrow night and there’s a 99.9% chance that I won’t be able to force myself out the door. But maybe this is just the first step of feeling slightly more confident. Maybe this will help me start to feel less like curling up and dying whenever I get invited to a social function. And if not, well, maybe it’ll give me the extra time I need to start a new hobby, maybe learn to knit, like a proper crazy cat lady. (Actually, my bestie gave me a paper piecing kit, so that’ll be the first crafting attempt.)

Overall, I think there are going to be three major things that will suck in my social media detox process:

  1. Being comfortable in public. On Sunday morning I was supposed to meet up with a friend for brunch, and arrived early. Since I was already trying to get used to not using the phone, I started to read a paperback while waiting in line. Even though, technically, I was doing exactly the same thing that every other person who was in line and on their phone was doing – reading – I caught people giving me weird looks. Which of course took me right back to the days before phones, when I always had a book or a notebook with me, for reading or jotting down thoughts as I waited in lines or had a solo lunch. Back then I wasn’t suffering from anxiety (that I know of), just experiencing introversion, and though I felt like I was under scrutiny for my nerdiness, I let it roll of me. It’s going to be interesting trying to recapture what that felt like.
  2. Sharing music. This is probably the worst. I connect to other people through music. When I hear a song that touches my heart, I want to share it, to share a feeling that I can’t describe in words with the people that I love. On Facebook, only a few people interact with my music posts, but they’re all my favorite people. It feels good to be jamming out to a song on Spotify, hit “Share” and share on my FB wall. Now I won’t be doing that anymore. I know that when a tree falls in the forest, it still makes a sound. The song has still touched my heart; does it matter if anyone else knows? But who are we without sharing our experiences? Well, for the next 40 days, we’re confining that kind of sharing to my blog. Probably not too much music, though. It’s not as impactful if it’s not of the moment.
  3. Not creating beautiful photos via Instagram. This isn’t that bad, really, because I’m just going to get a different photo app. Instagram makes you post your picture in order to make the filter and editing last (otherwise you’re asked if you want to discard these changes, or if you want to save as a draft). I don’t want to discard or save as a draft. I want to edit my photo, then keep it. I don’t really care about sharing, or getting likes, etc. I just want to take a picture of my cat, edit it to look nice, and save it.

Today, though, my big focus is just not losing my cool and logging in to Facebook. We’ll fill the void with work until 4:30, then it’s home to check on the cats and clean the house, and after that, well, it’ll probably be time for bed, but maybe I’ll get to start a new book. Did I tell you guys that I’ve already read 13 books so far this year? I’ve almost beaten my (sad, oh so sad) record of 15 books read last year. I’ve been working on putting together a list of feminist comic books to share with my book group, but I just realized that I won’t be able to access our group Facebook page for awhile. Hmmm…