Letting Yourself Go

"Much of your pain is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self." ~Khalil Gibran~

“Much of your pain is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.”
~Khalil Gibran~

Sometimes just letting things go is therapeutic. Some call that kind of letting go ‘surrender’.

That’s not the kind of ‘letting go’ I’m talking about though.

No darlings. I’m talking about letting yourself go, as in go to hell. Not in a ‘handbasket’, for doing something devilishly delightful and hedonistic, but letting your beauty go the way of polyester leisure suits and leg warmers.

Two days ago,  at what I hope to be the beginning of the end of a bout of some weird viral infection/allergic reaction combo, I worked up enough nerve to give myself a little kick in my ample ass.

Since I’ve become way more selective about the company I keep…in the nude, I’ve kinda let my body go the way of the dull housewife.

My previous philosophy of keep it in shape in case the opportunity arises (and it did many, many times), eroded into; if you’re worth gentlemen, it I’ll wax it. Which, of course does not radiate the sexy aura of the wanton-duchess-of- sex that I’m going for.

Not being able to see my own bikini line over my boobs also makes it easy to let things go a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I still go to see my aesthetician, just not as frequently. This is the same one who offered to wax my nostrils (I’m not kidding).

In retrospect, I believe that’s what set off my denial of all things carnally delightful. Stretched out with only my sweater, undies and socks on the waxing bed, I had visions of how I looked with my pale thighs exposed under the harsh waxing light, and racing  thoughts of the much-younger date I was scheduled to entertain that evening, crawling on top of my  fleshy mound of deliciousness, looking up my nostril and losing his erection because I had some abnormal nostril hair happening.

I took her up on the nostril waxing (doesn’t hurt like you think it would, and she did if for free), and then stood the poor kid up, leaving him high and dry with no good lovin’s from yours truly. I stayed in and drowned my old, naked, hairless-nostirled self in wine.

The next day after I read his rather harsh email, I knew I deserved it. It’s just poor form to stand someone up because of your own insecurity.

That was the beginning of letting myself go.

It’s no reason to despair or send your recommendations of good self-esteem programs though sweeties. I did eventually end up  having a lovely date with the young gentleman.

At this age and stage, I’ve had the good fortune of good company from a good number of good men. Men of my vintage however are all married with children, or just beginning divorce proceedings, a nastiness that I will never expose myself to. In other words, I have a grand selection of much older, and much younger men.

That’s not a terrible predicament. It’s just that much older men all seem to need some assistance with their less enthusiastic erections, and the much younger men all hump like bi-polar jack-rabbits in a manic state (In all fairness, much older men know how to go about romance and much younger men are eager to please and entertaining).

Needless to say, it’s a rare shag that inspires the effort for properly scaped pubic hair and firm thighs.

But two days ago, I had a good hard conversation with myself. I knew it was going to be tough, so I sat myself down in a candlelit bubble bath with a little Marc Cohen playing, a platter of chocolate dipped strawberries and a glass a bottle of champagne.

Mid-winter depression and lack of joy in daily activities makes for the perfect storm of self-doubt and negative self-talk. It was time for me to have a firm but gentle, loving chat with my worn out self.

I have finally let myself go enough to upset myself, to want to repair the damage done, and to want to like crawling into bed with my own body at the end of the day.

That’s what matters after all, isn’t it ladies? How we feel about ourselves makes our days good ones or bad ones.

Any woman can find a man eager to have his deliciously perfect man- bits cuddled, but it’s a rare woman who loves herself enough to dig out of mid-winter depression in order to nurture her own self.

Go ahead, wax it, pluck it, trim it and firm it up ladies….if you build it, they will come.

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Less Talk More Music

morning radioDid video really kill the radio star? Are we (mostly meaning ‘me’) trying to hang on too long to local radio?

Every day I have at least a half  hour commute. It can stretch to an hour and a half if the weather is bad and every single senior citizen in the city decides to break out the Caddy for senior’s day at the pharmacy.

Every day I listen to the radio. I like the news, weather and traffic updates. I like to keep current in case I need to make small talk. Small talk is highly under-rated when it comes to my career, but that’s another blog for another time.

My car is akin to a superbowl dressing room in that I use it to mentally prepare for my day. On the way home, it’s a decompression chamber. I turn up my music and I sing my heart out all the way home (at this point in the day I have no patience for advertisements and just play my iPhone).

The music is so loud that I can’t even hear myself swear or honk the horn at idiot drivers. The decibal level is very, very, theraputic.

What?! Did you say something?

Anyway, the point of this whole rant is that morning radio is more annoying than having to talk to someone who has spit accumulating in the corners of their mouth.

My typical morning commute involves switching between 5 and 7 different stations.  There is always one dj who has a forced laugh. None worse than the Roz of Roz and Mocha. It makes me want to stick my tongue into an electrical outlet and call it lights out.

During the morning commute, the less talk the better. Unless I’ve turned the dial to talk radio, or there is a breaking news story, please, for the love of all that’s holy, just let the music play.

Enough Winter Already!

slushIt’s the end of January in the GTA.

That means it’s cold as hell, and the snow, when it’s not making driving as dangerous as blind Formula One racing, is a depressing shade of dirty gray that blends right in with the horizon.

Our snow drifts are like leering mounds of immortal soul-sucking-sand-of-satan.

Needless to say, sun-loving, lushes like myself are a bit irritable at this stage of the winter the season.

For you, I provide this week’s top ten annoying as all-get-out ‘things’.

1) Photos of the brownish, grey shit that you’re eating. Seriously. Unless you’re a food stylist AND a professional food photographer, just don’t. It’s a wonder I’m not much more thin considering the mass amounts of bland and frightening looking crap that you post on social media. Stop it.

2) The viral promotion of entitled assholes. Post a pic of your favourite artist or your dog, but just put the brakes on promoting what you’re trying to put down. It’s the behavioral equivalent of the oxymoron.

3) People who don’t make appointments for matters that are going to take a while. Respect other people’s time folks, or expect to be disappointed. Which leads me to number 4…

4) Price matchers. That’s right. Put on your fat pants and do your research at home like the rest of us. Watching you flip through pages of newsprint while my milk curdles doesn’t really do it for me you annoying prick.

5) Tech support’s first response being, “That shouldn’t be happening”. No kidding Einstein, that’s why I’m calling. Now get on it!

6) Rogers ‘customer service’. It should be titled ‘sales-knobs-in-training’. If I wanted to spend 30 minutes talking to a 19-year-old trying to sell me something else, I’d go shopping for sunglasses at the mall.

7) Stupid drivers. I’m sure you can relate. Why is it that the first person at an advanced green always has more important things to do than actually make a left hand turn?

8) It’s still dark at 6pm. That’s right mother nature. I’m sick of your little four-month affair with old man winter you lazy whore. Get on the sunshine would ya?

9) There are no long weekends in January. Every weekend should be a long weekend this month. The first political party that campaigns with that little gem gets my vote.

10) I’ve been to the grocery store no fewer than three times this weekend, and I keep forgetting the vanilla frozen yogurt.

BONUS;

11) Self-righteous peckerheads who will comment that these are ‘first world’ problems. That’s right moron, they are. You’re a genius.

Wishing you a week ahead full of joy, and very few annoyances.

Authenticity

authenticWorking with a new database, I was prompted to input information about my ‘contact’s so that at pre-determined intervals, the ‘system’ would send out a reminder to little ole’ me to give them a call and chat them up.

Sounds like a great idea considering I’m a bit of a bubblehead, and tend to forget dates and time easily. I do however have a deep abiding intuition about people that has served me well throughout my lifetime.

That means that when I meet a person in a business or in a personal situation, I often am attracted to them or not based on how authentic in their work and being they seem to be.

When I contact them, it’s because they have entered my mind, and I hope that they’re doing well.  It’s authentic, it’s real, and I think people can sense that.

Don’t get me wrong, my radar has been off a few times, and there have been times that I’ve chosen to ignore it…for years…but for the most part, I know another genuine, gentle, on-the-path-to-enlightenment soul when I meet one.

With the loss of small towns and close-knit families, we have lost our accountability to one another. We are not ‘we’ anymore, functioning within the boundaries of our role within the community. Just as with any other circumstance, there are benefits and drawbacks.

For the most part, we are a bunch of I’s, going about our daily business, caught in our worlds managed by databases and duties tied to our own prosperity, reminded by machines to stop and call someone to inquire about how they are, and of course, what they can do for us.

Beyond techno-prompts (which, I have to admit have their place), we have the living hell of group emails and texts. For the purpose of transmitting the who, what, where, when and why of logistical information, group texts and emails are heavenly.

It’s the ‘REPLY ALL’ option that makes me want to launch my iPhone off, into a never-ending journey to the depths of Amish hell.  Inevitably someone goes off track, and begins an entire conversation that has my desk, hip or handbag vibrating like a night at the motel on the edge of town.

For the love of all that’s sacred, pull-eaze just make some time to spend with your ‘REPLY ALL’ buddy and go for a drink and an in-the-flesh-I-can-see-your-facial-expressions-and-hear-the-tone-in-your-voice conversation.

There is nothing like a face to face encounter to make your intuition hum, and awaken your human spirit. Instead we have messages emailed out that are either carefully crafted, or shot from the hip.

I suggest that our true selves have fallen victim to technology. We dust of different persona’s too often that it confuses even ourselves.

The bottom line for me is that my friendships are true. If I email you it’s not because I think it’ll pad my savings account. It may induce belly laughter, tears, or a sense of connection.

That’s not just true of my personal relationships. It’s also true of my business ethic. If I don’t believe you’re a good person, I don’t want to do business with you.

Do you know why? It’s because I know from experience that there are always good people out there, authentic people, who are as qualified as you to do the job, and will treat clients with deep respect and care.

That my dear ones, is what our work is all about. It doesn’t matter where you work or what you do, your job is important, and the rest of the world relies on you to be kind, authentic and to work with good intentions.  It’s not just work, it’s life. Life doesn’t know what 9-5 is, because it’s everywhere, all the time.

It’s not someone else’s responsibility to make the world a kinder place to live, it’s ours.

 

Lost Inside Myself; AKA New Year’s Resolution Fail

Well, we’re 19 days into the new year. How are your resolutions going?

Mine is down el toiletto.

Since having fun was on the agenda, I thought I’d made a pretty easy-to-keep resolution…and then the universe had other ideas.

Having been lucky enough to get a virus that managed to even attack my eyes and salivary glands, the most fun I’ve had is lying still and having a warm cloth rest on my eyelids. Combined with the sudden death of my cat, it’s been one heck of a challenging month for having fun.

I saw this little meme today;

lost inside myself

…and I thought, “That’s it! That’s exactly how I feel.”

It’s that cold, muddy-grey time of year, when most days are a palette of black and white smudged together into some icky-thick grey that’s hard to wade through. Yah, that’s January in Toronto, folks.

Being sick can make anyone feel a bit lost. Being a woman of many fascinating hobbies, and wonderful friends, having to stay in does not lend itself well to fun.

Fatigue trumps hobbies, and staying warm inside trumps heading out into the cold. Furthermore, duel-layered flannel somehow just feels like the right thing to do under the circumstances.

Too tired to read, too congested and sore-eyed to clean with anything that might be an irritant, I rediscovered my stash of chick-flicks and needlework.

Fun. Yah, seems like a great resolution for the new year.  When you’re housebound, mourning your cat, and the best thing you’ve worn in days looks like something someone’s grandmother died in, fun is an elusive creature.

I guess I’ll get up tomorrow and try it again.

 

 

Suck it Up – Sadness is For Sissies

sadnessOr maybe not.

After all, we live in a culture of perpetual youth and denial of our own mortality.

Forty is the new thirty, celebrations of life rather than funerals, weekend warriors, and ultimate sports – life is not for the faint of heart.

It seems as though sadness is a marginalized emotion. It is the most discriminated emotion of our emotional spectrum. Being sad, like being overweight, is something that we tend to look down our noses at.

Our culture is so fast paced, that after three days we’re expected to suck it up and get back to work following the loss of a loved one. Sadness is not ok. That’s the message.

Not only that, funerals have turned into grand celebrations where smiling and laughter are the ultimate  tribute to those who have shed their mortal coils. Sadness is something we do behind closed doors. There is shame associated with it and we tend to express sadness in private – kind of like smoking.

Deaths and funerals offer us a variety of rituals that embrace sadness, acknowledge the loss to our communities, and create space for sadness.

Parents are famous for saying, ” I don’t want to cry in front of the children”. Why? Don’t worry about answering sweeties, it was a rhetorical question. Trust me, I’ve heard it all.

If you can’t show your children how to cope with real, gut-wrenching sadness (an emotion that none of us are immune to), how will they learn to cope?  Seriously.

The answer is that they won’t learn, and they will likely perpetuate this appalling  harder, stronger, faster culture of robotic functioning, falling victim to their emotions through addictions, unhealthy relationships or an eventual complete emotional breakdown.

Every single one of us will have to say good-bye to a loved one at least once during our lifetime. That’s even more certain than having to have ‘the talk’ with your kids. We’re all guaranteed death, but not so much good lovin’,  if you know what I mean.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not denying that laughter and smiles have their place during the grieving process, but I am saying tears, sadness and all of the not-so-pretty emotions (anger, self-doubt, fear) have an important role to play during healthy and whole grieving.

The next time you feel like crying, like pulling the covers over your head and never getting out of bed, think about how you’re coping, and how the people around you cope.

I’m sure you’ll agree, we can do much better.

As it turns out, sadness is not for the faint of heart. Sadness is not for sissies. To be strong enough to allow yourself to be vulnerable takes incredible strength.

Farewell My Friend

"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." ~Robert A. Heinlein~

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”
~Robert A. Heinlein~

A few months ago we adopted a kitten.

True to his namesake, Willie Nelson is a mellow, laid-back version of any other cat who made their way into my life.

At nine and a half years old, we figured Leonard Cohen (our older cat), would be a wonderful mentor, and train the wee one in the ways of catdom.

Since all of my cats have lived well past fifteen, Willie Nelson would also grow to  be the caretaker to faithful old Leonard as Leonard was to Whiskey.

But that wasn’t to be the case. Poor old Leonard was taken from us this weekend very suddenly.  He had yet to teach Willie Nelson the art of napping quietly on my bed, stretching out on my belly while I read, or curling up on the footstool while I meditatively stitch my needlework.

There’s something about an old cat. Well, something about my Leonard anyway. We were attached at the ankle as soon as I woke up,and as soon as I walked through the door from work.

Leonard was everywhere I was. He saw me through broken hearts, surgeries, and long bouts of gut-hollowing sadness.

Leonard had a man radar that I could only hope to have; he knew the good ones from the bad ones with just a few short passes around their legs. He knew when I was sick or sad or just plain tired out, and he loved me unfailingly despite my shortcomings.

Friday night, just after he left us, I curled up in my soft flannel sheets and cried.

I missed the bulk of my big, fifteen pound mass of kitty fur and purring. For nine and half years Leonard stretched out on my tummy while I read just before falling asleep. I only had to say, “Ok, Leonard” and he knew it was time for lights out and to crawl onto the passenger side of the bed.

I feel an echoing  ache whenever I think of my old pal, and I miss him terribly.

Willie Nelson seems no worse for wear, batting around toys and chasing his tail until he collapses in a heap of legs, tail and ears, and falling into a deep sleep like only a kitten can. One day Willie Nelson will grow out of his bouncy kitten curiosity and take to the ways of an old lap-cat.

I remember Leonard’s kitten antics; setting his tail on fire (not once, but twice), falling into the toilet, falling into the bath (while I was in it), and doing flying stunts from the top of bookshelves.

We’ll always miss old Leonard. He was a once in a lifetime feline friend.

 

Neruda For My Sweetheart

heartonfireOne Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII

By Pablo  Neruda 1904–1973 Pablo Neruda

Translated By Mark  Eisner

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

How Do You Stay Young?

i owe it all