Advent is not officially upon us, but the shitty greyness of November sure is.
We are smack in the middle of the time of year when everything is bare, grey, and tired.
Not quite officially Advent, the season of mystery, of waiting, of germinating in the darkness so that we may blossom in the light is definitely upon us.
What better way to embrace it all than to try some new stuff?
This year, it’s all new to me; my home, my relationship status, and most significantly, my role as a mother. Whatever you call your celebration of light in the darkness that you celebrate, the reality is November is often a month of feeling less than sparkly.
As always, I’m embracing it. All of it. Well, at least I’m trying to. Trying ‘new stuff’ may help ease the doldrums, but is it the solution? I’m not so sure about that.
Being able to be still in the darkness takes incredible strength of mind and spirit. Allowing yourself to feel it deeply without running from the discomfort may be the secret to rising into the light refreshed and enriched. It may also send you to the psych-ward for a few weeks. Chacun son gout.
I try to remember the significance of the tiny lights twinkling in the cold and the darkness. They are the symbols of hope when we are not sure of our place and where we belong, and sometimes that’s all we have.
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.
When it rains it pours, ’tis true my darlings. But how much rain can your delicate cup hold before it cracks and shatters, making one hell of a mess?
There is nothing worse than someone spouting paternalistic clichés like , ” The universe only gives you what you can handle”, “Everything happens for a reason”, or some other clap trap that offers little more than a convenient, thoughtless response to someone else’s suffering.
Of late the universe has been dishing up some pretty ugly entrees. After getting bad news at the office, I managed to tear my leather boot,flood the bathroom, break a wine glass and I remembered a bill I had forgotten to pay in the meelee of holiday madness…. Hang head and sigh. Le sigh…….
But, I also had a text message good morning, a call to say someone changed their long distance plan so they could call and cheer me on, an e-card to wish me luck, and an email of a complete sutra that I’ve been searching for to no avail.
I suppose it’s not all that bad. I think they’re cheering me on, not only because they’re fabulous people, but they’re also terrified I’ll show up with my ornery cat, attack bird, 6’1″ teenager and running MAC eye-make-up, penniless and needing shelter.
You see, if it weren’t for the kindness of friends, I might have floundered, fell into the deep end of the depression vortex and succumbed to a gullet full of self-pity, cheap bubbly and an overdose of naturopathic melatonin.
What has saved me from knitting my own Etsy-inspired, beaded and fashion coloured noose? My friendships, my support system of the people who prop me up every day. Making healthier choices has also played a big part in limiting my suicidal knitting.
As a result, I have a list of suggestions to keep you mentally, spiritually, and emotionally afloat if you’re feeling like the world has chewed you up and spit you out;
1) Get outside and move your body. Walk, run, skate, ski…whatever. Just soak up some of that dead-of-winter- rare vitamin D and loosen up your endocrine system’s hold on those precious endorphins
2) Meditate. Even if you can only sit still for a minute or two, do it. Just concentrate on your breath, and you’ll be amazed at how relaxed you’ll be in such a short period of time.
3) Distract yourself with a good book. A total escapist piece of clap-trap.
4) Make space for a night of wine and lusty sex. If you have a partner, that’s great. If not, try to get over your fear of the one-night-romance darling, and indulge. After all, you’re only human, and the power of human touch is incredibly…healing. Poo-poo any partnered pals who peer down their schnoz at you, they don’t know what it’s like to curl up alone every night. “Do not judge lest yee be judged”, I say.
5) Reach out. Not with your arms, text, call, email. Get outside of your own head for a while. Consider how someone else is doing. Talk, share ideas, and know that life does go on, and it can be good.
6) Be honest. If someone asks how you are, feel free to say, ‘Well, rather shitty darling. The entire world seems to have their heads up their asses.” And then smile. Smiling can make every statement pleasant, but no less true.
7) Cry. Let it out. The only time I have to cry is driving home from work, or in the bath after my kiddo is asleep. You have to let it out or you’ll explode. Here’s a link for you my little bundles of love, I don’t have the patience to try to explain it all.
8) Go to an art gallery and make some art of your own. Viewing and creating art stimulates your subconscious and helps work through problems, even though you feel like you’re not.
9) Get some great sleep, but not too much. If you need help with it, go see your doctor and ask about healthy, temporary options like melatonin.
10) Do something nice for someone. Doing something nice helps you feel like you’re doing something good with your life even when nothing seems to be going your way AND you get to give back to someone who likely feels as icky as you!
11) Persevere. No matter what you’ve lost, what you’ve been through, or what you feel you’ve missed out on, keep working at the life you want. After all, you deserve it.