Another reblog from another time…
Been a long time between posts. I wanted to write but people and things kept cutting into my bloggy brainwaves and once they were gone they sulked till I came grovelling to get them back. Cognitions can be a bitch that way. You remember things you would much rather not; not because they are unpleasant but you don’t want to be stuck replaying the same happy shit from 5 years ago in your head. You want new happy shit!
You also want, need, desperately crave your own bloody, friggin’ space! I finally know which way my life is going. I’m a bag lady in disguise as an urban woman. I’m cranky, I want to wander about when I feel like it. I don’t particularly want to feed pigeons and smell of stray cats but I want the freedom to sit on a park bench and watch life go by from time to time.
This particular epiphany occurred a few days ago when I was being talked at (not talked to mind you) from all directions. I hate being talked at. I don’t talk at people unless I’m pissed off at them or I want to show my derision, disdain or other words starting with “d” having negative connotations. And having people talk at you in your own home gets you riled.
It turns out I was in the wrong. I often am but admitting it is tougher as I grow older because as a kid you think when you’re an adult you can be as wrong as you want unless that means you chopped off someones’ toes. I’ve been a mean grouch for the past few months. Moments of tranquility have been less because I didn’t know where to look but damn being a grouch can be fun.
People give meanies a wide berth. It’s almost like you’re a monster truck everyone else makes way for. You speak only as much as you want to and grunt your assent/ dissent the rest of the times. You sink in silences which people can misinterpret as gloom or ire but actually your mind is taking delicious trips with glorious technicolor images and yeah, you down more quantity of alcohol than usual.
The alcohol isn’t a must-do but it someone worms its way into the whole thing so why fight it, eh?
Another benefit of being grumpy is that you can bitch, moan and gripe to your heart’s content and NEVER have people question your need to do so. You’re a grump. Ergo you must exercise that grumpy bone. You can start with injustices of your kindergarten days when someone got the last lollipop to when you had your last yeast infection and the world’s your oyster!
Try to bitch without being a grouch and people (read women) come in droves and ask you what’s wrong. They start with the obvious- PMS and move into break-ups, fights, bad hair day, bloating, cramps, unending issues with the mother, or something to do with the person you share your life with. Seldom does one hit the nail on the head- you *want* to bitch and spread bitchiness the way you do when you’re happy and the world seems brighter and you want to pull people into your little rainbow&unicorn world. What? Wait…that was a bad hangover post too much girly time. Scratch that scenario.
But grouches have it good. They can shoot from the hip, get excused for their behavior and can tell it as it is and be labelled moody and yet speak their mind.
That’s 1-up from the rest of us yuppies who’re conforming with our smiles and hellos and air kisses. Think about it.
Kids are trouble. If our parents had known that then and unless they were full of the love of humankind our existence would be voided.
But this is a more realistic and non-candy floss way of looking at having kids. The making of the kids is probably the best part of the entire deal but then again it only takes about a few tries so you’re jipped in the end anyhow.
The birthing and that carnage aside kids are plain and simple parasites. You love them to bits and wouldn’t stomp on them or spray pesticides at them sure, but till they strike out on their own and sadly often, long after that, kids are parasites. Only this kind of parasitic relationship is one we encourage so in the end it turns out to be a whacked-out symbiotic relationship of sorts since we derive these gurgles of pleasure from them feeding off us.
And when I say feed, I mean the the kind of feeding that bleeds you dry emotionally and physically long after the actual weaning has been done and dusted.
YOUR life, YOUR space, YOUR bubble of YOU that is a kitschy mix of sanity+kookiness+idiosyncrasies is made to go on an undefined time out and it’s like you’re made to face the wall without being able to see your earlier self for an unknown amount of time.Do NOT pass go. Do NOT collect $200 and no hope for parole.
Parenting is exhausting. Rewards not always visible. Discernible, And it’s scary as hell to have a hand in how the course of someone’s life will shape up, how their personalities will blossom or not based on how YOU play YOUR cards. Having kids is the closest you get to playing God and that’s an area that’s fuzzy enough for humans with our heady mix of believers, heretics and agnostics. So, to willfully do that with another human being is nothing short of crazy! And it’s completely selfish. No one really needs kids. We just want to have them.
The saving grace (and there are many) is that you experience intense emotion in a manner that’s akin to a knee-jerk reaction, the love is fairly unconditional and makes you rise above yourself and put someone else’s welfare before your own. We seldom do that for anyone consistently throughout our lives barring our offspring. That does help you grow in some ways but it doesn’t stunt your growth either if you don’t indulge in it. And the crux is that parenthood changes you SO much and none of it is change you wanted or planned for. And it’s the change that the kids bring that we instinctively fight back against all our lives.
Loving your kids is the only safety valve to that bit in life. Or is it?
But you have to admit, if the little humans we pop out are cute lil things, the whole grin&bear-it becomes so much easier! Just saying.
I’ve lived in quite a few places. Changed houses, states, countries and a continent in the process.
But the longest I’d lived anywhere till date was the first place Red and I bought after we got married. It wasn’t that much of a well-thought out decision. We didn’t factor in any green space close by, or schools.
The place was BIG, we had the room that we needed for our books, clothes and kitchen stuff. When the parents came to visit, they each had their own rooms with attached loos and the view from the balcony, while not spectacular, was cozy and I had flowering plants on the parapet for the almost the entire duration we lived there.
We planned a family in the apartment, had a kid who learnt to walk there. We had our fights, plans for the future, packed for trips and ultimately made it a home. And now, 4 years later, it’s gone back to being an apartment again.
We had tenants living there till recently and when they moved out I realized that I’d cut my ties with the place well and truly. Earlier, I used to be able to see glimpses of my kid toddling about the house along with other memories of us going about our lives; without getting hauled in for hallucinating.
But this time around I felt like it was someone else’s space that I was visiting. I still knew where the light switches were (Red doesn’t remember them for the place we live in even now) but there was not tugs felt once I switched off the lights and locked the door on the home we’d lived in for 6 years.
People move on. Sometimes it’s a such a smooth process that you wake up one day and realize that you no longer possess a particular frame of mind. And there are other times when you literally browbeat yourself into moving forward.
The people we couldn’t do without once- we can now go without talking to them for days on end and things still seem alright. The lifestyle we held to be an absolute truth gets swapped for another one and we ease into it so seamlessly it’s almost as if nothing else ever existed.
It’s a heady and yet a very reassuring thought…I for one am relieved.
Have a good weekend people.
I usually write a blog post every year on my birthday but didn’t get around to it this year. Reason? I was busy and happily so.
From the cutting of the cake (usurped by the offspring) to a 2-margarita lunch with a good friend, to the usual suspects barging in to wish me a happy birthday; it was a good day full of good moments turned into good memories.
What’s been happening since I hit 36? Well, work is rewarding as ever. I play multiple roles and am a self-titled bouncer and I have to say I like it!
I don’t think saying ‘NO’ to people is the draw there. It’s more about having some semblance of order and things being systematic; quite a few things I regularly struggle for in my everyday life. And while that makes it sound like I live in perpetual chaos, it would be fair to say that the “order in the disorder” is a good way to sum up my home front.
A good friend of mine always says that she can turn her OCD on and off and I’ve embarked on the same path. There are days I can spend oodles of time straightening up, making more space and keeping things tidy and there are other days when areas of the house look like we’re ready to hold a good ol’ fashioned garage sale!
The biggest change for me is going to the gym from January of this year and while the results are not earth-shattering, they are steady and they are real…what more can you ask for while stomping your way to 40?
More books are being read, more pictures are being taken and more is being learnt about the self on a fairly regular basis. And new goals, essential and non-essential, are being set to explore more meaning, more fun and to mark the passage of time in more memorable ways.
So this is me at 37…looking forward to 38.
This Thursday my trainer started me out on a slightly ramped up routine. Either that means that YAY! my stamina is increasing or that I really need as much help as I can! Am sure it’s a good blend of both because I do find it easier to get back into a groove without getting into what I call my “soggy-sweaty-mess” state and also because there is extensive help required in getting to desirable levels of good health.
Anyhoo…for the most part this particular regime has me moving my whole body more than the previous ones did and the way that’s happening is partly comical and outright ouch-inducing.
One of the exercises consists of me jumping onto a set of mats from a bent-knee position with arms swinging to give me momentum. But there’s a catch- I MUST NOT THUMP! My trainer lands like a cat. Barely any sound. But I THUMP. Quite thumpingly. He asked me not be terribly consciously of myself while jumping and to do it the way I used to as a child. I took him at his word and he said in his I-want-to-praise-you-but you-aren’t-there-yet tone, “That’s better. Now do it without the sound”. And therein lies the rub. Chunky people create sounds. We haven’t been light on our feet in a while so our movements overall including treads, gaits are fairly heavy. So I have many jumps to go before the thumping stops.
Now comes the more painful part of my story. The dreaded nemesis of the gym, the foam roller with the pokey thingies poking out all over it, has made a return in a vile form. And my thighs are begging for mercy. I’m supposed to lie down in a plank position and keep the instrument of torture under my thighs and just roll back and forth. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yeah, so were the circles in Dante’s Inferno!
But all drama aside, going to the gym has shaken loose one of my biggest fallacies: that my lard is going to protect me, dull some sensation of pain etc because there are layers of it just under my skin. But nooo…pokey things are designed to cut through fat and poke away to glory and make you cry for mommy. I really, really, really don’t think I’ll ever like that thing and am pretty sure that my thighs are getting permanent grooves in them from all the back and forth rolling.
Onto the jelly arms. No guesses here. I started on weights. And after the first 8 reps there was mini earthquake measuring around 5.7 or so in the Richter scale in my arms. And then there were aftershocks. I couldn’t fathom how wobbly my arms got. And this was with just a 3-kg weight.
The reason going to the gym often ends up being a slap in the face for many and leads to drop-outs is due to the image of yourself that you see emerging. Stamina, endurance seem to be words in a dictionary and you really don’t know how to summon any up and want to just lie down on the mat, have the world leave you alone to curl up and sleep away the hurt from the pokey things.
But those who can endeavor. Sometimes by getting their angst out via blog posts. Those who can’t, take a step back to less intense activities or attack the bag of chips with a new-found love or vengeance. But I decided that very day; the only jelly I wanted to see was on my plate and not in my limbs.
PS: The next post may need to be posted with Google Docs Voice typing because the era of jelly arms isn’t over yet.
My routine for going to the gym is pretty regularized now; am happy to report. Nothing worse than a break for legitimate reasons and then feeling the pinch while trying to get back on the metaphorical horse.
I realized a few things over the last week and here they are in no specific order-
What you wear is quite important. You may want to hide the bulges by wear loose clothing or comfort fit pants but when starting to get your groove back you need stuff that moves with you. Loose tees create a drag and when you see yourself sweaty and tired; you also see a person in rather shapeless attire which does nothing for the self-image.
Wearing seamless pants/leggings goes a long way in helping you move, bend and stretch. Soft capris and sweatpants maybe comfortable but the stitching for the pockets etc restrict movement rather than facilitate it.
This one is for the women- those of us who are top-heavy may invest in innerwear which contains but again it needs to be the kind which helps you move rather add more weight to a particular part of your body and make you feel heavier than you actually are.
I for one started out with the cozy, comfortable clothing that I had lying around at home rather than kit myself out with “proper” gym attire; not knowing if what I had was adequate or not and there was always that niggling doubt of sustainability. Why invest more money if you don’t know if you’re going to be able to see things through. But it makes a huge difference in achieving your goals if there are enablers along the way; even unlikely ones like one’s attire.
Getting a good night’s sleep on the day before you hit the gym is essential. Unless you and your stamina haven’t parted company with each other and can wing it with just 4-5 hours of sleep, a good night’s sleep is restorative in ways one can’t imagine!
Taking a quick nap on the days you feel you need a nap is also sensible rather than a sign of weakness. When your body is fatigued it needs rest in some form or the other. People whose work hours aren’t as flexible as required need to find a way out of that one, but for me, a 30-45 mins catnap does a lot to make me feel more energized and actually soothes the tinges of sore muscles.
So what’s the underlying moral of the story- listen to your body. Dress it fabric that breathes well, allows more freedom of movement and invest enough time in vegging out because it does add to your overall health and always workout to funky beats!
For all the smart alecky stuff I’ve written about my gym experiences, one thing stands out sharply in my mind; people have no business not being healthy!!
The larger you get from eating unwisely, the flabbier you get from not having adequate activity to stay fit and strong; the longer it takes to get to even the starting point of good health. And it’s hard; to say the least.
Being a short and heavy person, it takes me that much more effort to leverage my body up when I’m trying to tone up my torso. My upper body gets in the way of my trying to tone up my lower body and due to a sedentary lifestyle, even my wrists and ankles aren’t as steady as they ought to be. The problem is we seldom break down our bodies beyond the cellulite, chunky parts and consider the wrists, elbows and ankles unless we sprain them somehow. The fact that they need to be and should be strengthened as well does escape most of us. Ironical since they are the levers and fulcrums that keep the body moving.
Today I was feeling Sisyphus‘ pain. Imagine doing something that’s supposed to get you to a better place and feeling bone-weary at the end of it; then resting up just to do it all over again. The means justifying the ends or the ends justifying the means has also never been more garbled for me.
And all this contemplation isn’t because the sweat got into my eyes, burning me this morning but because each time I came up against resistance in my body, I kept thinking that all this could have been avoided. And should have been. But hindsight is usually 20/20 and all it can do is help us learn from the choices of the past.
So here’s to more protesting muscles, sweaty and dishevelled me staring back in the mirror but hopefully headed to a lighter tomorrow when climbing stairs, swimming laps continuously aren’t going to be viewed with trepidation but as something that’s can be achieved as a norm and *not* as the exception.
PS: Tomorrow we will return to the usual tone of the blog posts. Reflecting too much on what could have been is giving rise to major existential angst and my brain is too tired from the hip hinges I did today.