Thursday, July 2, 2009


I really know there's a lot to do when I'm tempted to "blog". Is blogging becoming outdated now-going the way of Myspace and whatever else used to be cool, but now isn't. It's not cool to just have an amorphous blog that's not related to some topic or theme. I should totally have a legal theme or young lawyers theme or graduating with a shitload of debt and chronicling my poor ass life theme. I'm just too lazy and I always get too distracted with surfing the Internet for celebrity gossip or free feminist porn (which is really hard to find-I guess if you want to feel morally justified in looking at porn you're going to have to pay for it).

As I've started to move into my summer, I've noticed my OCD really flaring up. Since I now have time to read I've spent hours on the Hennepin County library website searching through books I've heard of and wanted to read or just searching for books that sound appealing-and I can't even judge them by their cover since I only have the titles to go by. That's how I end up with books like, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Changing Old Habits for Good" and "The Advocate's Devil" I left the library yesterday afternoon with a pile of 30 books, embarrassed by my library greed, as I stood behind a small child with curly hair and sticky fingers standing on a step stool, waiting to check myself out. The little girl was painstakingly checking out each book, not understanding that she had to put the bar code under the damn red laser thingy, before that satisfying beep would sound and the book would be hers for a few weeks. I was fumbling with my huge pile of books trying to shove "DON'T PANIC: How to Stop Anxiety Attacks for Good" to the bottom, so I didn't look more like the anxious skeezed out crazy lady that I have obviously become.

I get home and sorted my books into piles that don't really make sense. General books about food and cooking in one pile, self-help/reference in another (ranging from a memoir of a women who disparages all forms of self-help advice spending a year taking self-help classes, to eating for my metabolism) It's like I don't even read the books I just spend hours picking them out and meticulously organizing them into piles by the bed. My husband, in the middle of making dinner last night, came into the bedroom while I was doing this. Small stacks of books on the floor by my side of the bed, next to the "Total Yoga Kit" and Yoga ball I never use, and the laundry baskets full of clothes-some of them folded others balled up after I threw them on top of the folded piles. He just stared at me and said, "You're so messy. With all of your piles. Are you a hoarder?" I looked around the house and realized I do have little piles everywhere. I get so interested and obsessed with things. I looked up at him slightly shocked. Like he saw me for the first time doing something I've been doing all of my life. All of my private moments and rituals are coming unbound to the point that he is able to witness them.

I sit and think about all the places I want to go. San Francisco and wine country-touring through vineyards on an antique train car. Prince Edward Island in Canada to fulfill my childhood dream of visiting the place where Anne of Green Gables lived (I've always wondered if it was my huge, unruly hair, tendency towards chubbiness, and my overbite that led to a life of utter nerdiness or if my early tastes in literature destined me to a life of unhipness) A vacation on the east coast exploring the haunts of our founding fathers. Taking my husband to Spain where I lived what were some of the most glorious months of my life-drinking Sangria with him in the Plaza Mayor on a warm summer evening. I will take out every book on yogic practices and lifestyles and meditation practices and nutrition and just constantly want to absorb, absorb, absorb. My mind is moving so fast that the only way I can seem to slow it down is through alcohol or sex. Wow. How novel. I must be the only person on earth that uses those two vices to achieve some sense of being in the present.

All of this, all of my piles-literal and figurative-push this fear I have of not having enough time. And this fear keeps me stuck and I don't do anything. It's not money, it's not being busy with other things. I have to accept that there is not enough time. Not enough time to do everything that I think would be fulfilling and exciting. But all this thinking about it and planning for a future I don't even know if I can finance prevents me from experiencing the things I am able to. Right now.

My little-teeny house in Robbinsdale. I have to tear myself away from the paint peeling around the window sills and the stains on the roof. Here I am. My own little piece of home. I can keep it clean and beautiful-it's not opulent and never will be. But it's my own.

Reading about yoga, meditation, being present is wonderful-but it's not the practice. When I don't slow down and sit with my fears and my breath and feel all of my weight-instead of judging it- that is when the anxiety comes rushing up out of my abdomen and comes crushing down on my chest. All the planning and thinking in the world will not take away from the sacred and eternal/internal reality that is my breath flowing in and out of my body-a breath that will someday cease-but a breath that moves through me now.

Being alive is a scary thing. Especially when you step away from your piles of stuff and begin living it.

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