“So, you’re still master of your domain.”

Adidas Alphabounce Em

It’s hot today (86° F.)  The outdoor pools opened and are already busy.  I’m happy because I’m wearing my new running shoes.  Adidas Alphabounce EM’s.  They’re fabulous and bouncy.  They also make me an inch taller.  Bonus.  New sneakers bring me so much joy.  Props to Adidas;  the quality is impressive.

I can’t wait to break them in.  I’m changing up my fitness routine.  Running alone isn’t a sufficient exercise regime for me.  (I’d have to run a lot faster and farther for it to suffice.)  It’s more a stim with minor cardio benefits.  I’m going back to what Jane Fonda taught me, (because she’s 80 now, and she could probably kick my ass.)

 

High-impact aerobics is the best workout I’ve discovered so far.  It’s a full body workout in an hour.  It includes music and dance-like movements, which make it fun.  It sucks at the beginning because it’s 45 minutes of cardio similar to running at 75% speed, 10 minutes with weights, and 5 minutes of stretching.

My 5-miles a day runs at whatever pace I feel like running won’t save me from huffing and puffing my way through the first few sessions, (at least.)  I plan on using my marathon stick often to prevent soreness.  I have one for my feet, too.  I remember how fantastic I felt when I was at my peak fitness level.  I’m going back there to stay.  Bring it, menopause.

It helped so much when I was in school, too.  I’m planning to take a writing course next semester.  Now that I’m writing a novel, I want more information, and I have questions.  None of my previous coursework dealt with things like character development.  Most of what I know is from being a voracious fiction reader.

Aside from feeling like I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, the writing is going well.  The novel I’m creating is series of interrelated short stories of a speculative fiction nature.  I’m having fun in the process.  I write for a while, then sit on my balcony and think for a bit, with a little pacing in the mix.  It seems to be my method.  I’m off to band practice.  ✌🏽

 

“My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be.”

orange in apple box

It’s beautiful and crisp with a breeze today.  I slept in for the first time in recent memory.  Yesterday was surreal because I finally broke out of rote mode completely.  Say hello to Alison 5.0.  I’ve gained some insight into how to control my ability to be present.  I hate how it sounds like psychobabble, but it’s too important to ignore.

I’m astonished by what I’ve discovered.  For my entire life, I’ve been told my way of thinking, feeling, and behaving is odd.  Abnormal.  Strange has been my lifelong companion.  I’ve accepted it as my default.  I don’t take on the negative connotations as part of the deal, though.  They only show up when The Depression Monster is lurking.

I’ve identified it as fact rather than flaw for the most part.  As I grow and learn myself, I notice behaviors I want to abandon along the way.  My methodology for achieving these changes is where I’m focused.  (I’m probably too excited about this to explain it well.)  My perception of the world has been my greatest asset all along.

I often joke about how I live life on a 3-second delay.  It turns out; it’s an advantage.  Yay.  Also, my constant internal dialogue is a skill, not a quirk.  It’s the key to my superpower ability to focus on one thing for several hours without losing that focus.  The hard part was learning to control my reaction to being interrupted.  (Being a child was the biggest obstacle in that regard.)

inner dialogue

New rule:  From now on I will not attempt to refrain from talking to myself.  I suspect I do it aloud when I’m either alone or if background noise is threatening to distract me.  I prefer being dismissed by others on sight to being interrupted.  When I slip into a rote mode, it’s because I’ve let go of my inner dialogue.

Instead of being present in the internal conversation, it allows all the background noise to take over.  It’s an extremely vulnerable state.  It’s like leaving the door unlocked in a shady neighborhood.  I don’t want to spend any more time in that state.  I’m kicking that shit to the curb now that I figured out how it works.

The background noise is a welcome mat for The Depression Monster and Anxiety.  It’s the opposite of focus.  It’s mental chaos.  Every fleeting thought gets an equal voice because my bullshit detector is offline.  All those times people have yelled at me out of exasperation for having no common sense comes to mind.  Sense requires being there to activate it.

Background noise is my ego unchecked in reaction to the world around me.  So, I’m donning some (figurative) background noise canceling headphones.  At the moment, I’m embarrassed it took me this long to notice.  45 has spent over a year demonstrating how an unchecked ego reacting to the world is not the path to a joyful, peaceful existence for anyone.  Operation Mute is in effect.  Peace.  💜

“Happy, Pappy?”

Happy

I’m floating on anticipatory joy.  Soon, I’ll be attending a Fleetwood Mac concert.  It will be at least a few months after going to see Beyoncé in August.  (!!!)  I don’t know when or where exactly as the show is a gift from M.  I can barely contain my excitement.  It’s intended for my birthday next month, but he knew it was too big to keep completely secret.

M understands my preference for mental preparation.  And my need to jump up and down whenever I remember what’s coming up.  (No wonder I love him.)  I feel like I just finished a 200-meter dash.  I had to let the cable person in my home office earlier to upgrade my internet.  They’re gone now, but my body hasn’t caught up.

This room is my happy place in the universe, so I hate feeling anxious in here.  At least I’m recovering more quickly than Amelia Bedelia.  She’s still hiding in her fort atop her climbing tree.  She probably won’t come out for another hour or so, then reluctantly forgive me for allowing a stranger in her space.

The Depression Monster is pouting in the corner.  Heh.  (Stay there, asshole.)  Wakanda Forever!  I watched Black Panther in Playstation VR yesterday.  The immersion was incredible.  I forgot I had a body until it was over.  I took a half-hour break in the middle, then resumed through the end.  That’s a new record for me with an action film.  (They usually require several short viewings.)

I’m going to do it again with The Color Purple next.  It’s a movie and novel that affected me so profoundly; it’s part of my journey.  I have fond memories of watching it often with several other women in the barracks while I was in the Army.  I discovered I’m not the only one who says the lines verbatim while it’s showing, (practically by compulsion.)  None of my Army buddies ever told me off for doing it, and many said them with me.

Whoopie Goldberg in The Color Purple

I remember when Whoopie Goldberg did standup comedy.  My sister Heather and I watched her specials on HBO religiously.  She was the first black woman we encountered that we could relate to as teens.  She showed us our isolation from other African Americans didn’t exclude us from the experience (or the jokes.)  We were right there with her all the way, laughing uproariously.

Robin Williams, George Carlin, and Eddie Murphy also left us quivering in puddles of giggles on the floor.  Good times.  Remembering has calmed my anxiety.  Yay.  I’m off to practice with my band.  Hopefully without grinning like I just won the lottery.  I need to find my war face or something.  Squee!  I mean, huah!  💜

“I don’t know. Last time, I got the tap.”

Humans, the game.

I’ve been speculating about a pre-life scenario in which we choose our families before we’re born.  Sometimes, I wonder if this is the case for me.  It seems to me my life was specifically designed to aid in rejecting hate.  I suck at hating people.  I literally can’t do it for very long.  It’s like having a bug in your nose.  You divert all energy to removing it as quickly as possible.  Nothing else matters until it’s gone.

Hating takes a lot of resources.  It also has a lot of unfortunate side effects.  Like premature aging.  (There’s a reason people associate oldness with intolerance.)  Also, hate makes people ugly.  Dogs and toddlers react to hateful people instinctively.  That’s a lot of detectors.  If your dog is wary around someone, you notice, right?  Same with small children.  It’s a survival mechanism.

I’m glad I suck at it.  I’m pretty sure I’m as bitter as it’s possible to be about racism, without becoming racist.  Everything I’ve experienced and witnessed so far reinforces the fact we’re all the same.  Skin color is no more significant than eye color.  Whether you exist on soil A or soil B matters not at all.  What matters is what you do with your avatar.

We have varied interests; our characteristics shaped by our ancestors.  What we experience, process, and reflect upon affect how we perceive the world.  But we’re all the same, too.  There are no differences that make one group more or less worthy of life than another.  The groups are only significant because we make them so.  We react to our subtle differences as if we’re pre-programmed to encounter aliens at some point in the future, (or as likely in the past.)

We’re little creators.  We create our world and everything it holds, then create stories about ourselves and our lives and exchange them.  I’m hoping for aliens in the very near future (because I’m exasperated by racism, and I think it would put things in a more realistic perspective.) Hating brown skin will seem silly when the green guys with three heads show up, don’t you know.  It might be the only thing that makes all of humanity cherish all of humanity.

I wonder if I chose my family because I knew living on a planet with 7 billion or so others would at least require tolerance of others.  Tribalism doesn’t work with billions of people on one earth.  It’s a straight path to species annihilation, which I hope isn’t the goal.  I hope whoever programmed this game we call life included numerous scenarios in which humans exist in future expansion packs.  I’d like to think the next update will be Humans: Post-physical Shenanigans.  It’ll be like the internet on steroids.  😂

“Touch this, feel that. Seventy-five bucks.”

We had a thunderstorm last night, and are expected to have another today.  I’ve been wearing noise-canceling headphones to compensate.  Fortunately, the new episode of Gettin’ Grown with Jade and Keia podcast is out.  It’s something I look forward to each week.  My Amazon Prime membership expires in a few days.  Buh-bye to my former impulse shopping addiction.

In celebration of this wise decision, I ordered one last thing.  I purchase fidgets and sensory toys every so often.  I can’t recall a time when I didn’t.  I’m pleased with the recent popularity of fidget toys because now they’re conversation starters, too.  I ordered Super Cool Unicorn Poop.  (It’s purple and blue, glittery slime in a cute little bottle.)  It’s odorless.

unicorn poop

It feels like jello that wasn’t allowed to set long enough, without the sticky mess.  (It’s non-toxic.)  My skin feels wet after touching it, but it leaves no residue.  It’s right at the limit of my grossness tolerance.  I won’t play with it often, but it’s ridiculously fabulous when I do.  (I was even more amused by the fact someone is selling a single used bottle, last I checked.)

I got the 3-pack because slime shrinks over time.  There’s a negative review by someone who was irate over receiving partially full bottles.  They may have overlooked the limited shelf-life.  Or perhaps they bought a used version.  Heh.  I don’t think of myself as stuck-up, but when it comes to slime, I prefer new.  In fact, I insist.  😂  Also, I want to see this on How It’s Made.  So much.

My body seems to have recovered from my recent dietary fiasco.  The only lingering effect is my broken off-switch.  Unfortunately, it’s broken all the time, so I’m probably just hyper-aware of it lately.  I’m trying to be careful about what I begin because I’m likely to continue for quite some time.  I usually track this by how often I complete 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles.  Ideally, it should take at least two sessions.

I do them daily as part of my winding down routine before sleeping.  I love puzzles.  If I start completing one a day, I know my broken off-switch is operating unacceptably.  I use this method because I notice, even when in rote mode.  Eventually.  I have a love-hate relationship with my broken off-switch.  Part of me loves how I’m able to complete time-consuming tasks more quickly than others.  Another part of me recognizes the need to sleep sometimes and resents it.

Rock 'n Roll jigsaw puzzle

I don’t like it when I can’t stop, though.  It doesn’t often happen, and usually results in pacing until exhaustion.  Coding marathons used to trigger it as well.  I’ve always been this way.  It used to frustrate my mom when I was a teenager.  My days and nights were backward until basic training.  I was glued to my computer every night.  The rest of the time, I was on autopilot.  I guess it’s all that interested me at the time.

I also missed school more often than I missed a run as a teenager.  It’s always been my favorite stim.  I was training for the Army, so my mom never interfered.  The funny thing is, when I was on active duty, I ran PT in the mornings with my unit, then ran again at night on my own time.  I started doing this in El Paso because of the heat.  Then it just stuck.  It only backfired once when I had a surprise PT test after running seven hours prior.  I still managed to pass, but my legs were sore after.  I’m off to read.

p.s.  Stevie Nicks is on the above puzzle twice!  (And Michael Jackson looks like someone just told him Tito killed his rat, eh?)