Weighty Matters

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Random Thoughts Heading into the Weekend

on April 25, 2014

I’m watching today’s episode of General Hospital. There’s a lot of drama with the delivery of a very premature baby on the side of the road following a car accident, two seriously messed up people having angry sex in the family crypt where the man they shot was just buried, and a fair amount of angst, anger, lies and manipulation.

The stories are complex and involved but for some reason, instead of fixating on the tales, I am absolutely riveted by the shirt one of the characters is wearing. It’s snug fitting in purple jersey with sleeves that go from wrist to mid-bicep but that leave the shoulders bare. There’s this sort of criss cross of metal studded strapping. I tell you, I have serious wardrobe lust for this shirt. I want it. I think right now my shoulders look great, and so do my collar bones and neck. Those jazzy sleeves would cover the skin sag of my upper arms. I wonder if I can find out the designer and where it was purchased. Maybe if I write to one of those soap opera magazines? I think they do features like this.

Anyway, that totally distracted me for a bit, but I’m back paying attention now. It’s Friday night. TG-to-the-max-IF! These last two weeks have been crazy busy, stressful, often emotionally draining and just good old garden variety exhausting. I’ve craved more sleep and, honestly, have slept a little later than usual. To me on a weekday that means 6:20 am to 6:30 a.m. instead of getting up between 5:45 and 6. Trust me, I could easily have convinced myself to sleep even longer, but I was determined to keep up my exercise. The wind stayed down pretty much every morning, so even if I started out later than usual, I still got in good bike rides of 8 to 10 miles before getting ready for work.

I have designated tomorrow as a complete Mary day. I have a hair appointment at 12:30 which will take care of the lovely gray stripe I see on my head when I part my hair. Every once in a while I consider letting my roots grow out completely and just embracing the gray hair. That consideration lasts about five minutes before my vanity comes to its senses and I banish the thought. I’m not ready. When I reach that point, I plan to first cut my hair really, really short so that it doesn’t take that long for the gray to grow in all of the way. If I’m still writing this blog when I get to that point, believe me, I’ll chronicle the transition.

Since I already had a mid-day appointment, I knew I wouldn’t be going out for an early boat ride. I’ve not only felt the stress and tension in my emotions in recent days. I’ve begun to really notice tightness in my neck and shoulders and in my jaw. Plus I’ve had some tension headaches. Yesterday, as I was eagerly anticipating the weekend’s approach, I texted the massage therapist I go to. Luckily, she had an opening later tomorrow afternoon, so I booked the appointment. Other than these two events, which are relaxing, feel-good experiences in self-care, I don’t have a single place I have to be. I plan to sleep in tomorrow, even if I have to get up and feed Nat and Pyxi at their regular time. I can always go back to bed. I won’t neglect my exercise since that makes me feel good too. Then I’ll just enjoy my hair appointment and my massage. If I spend the rest of the day lolling around on my porch, and take a nap or two, it’s absolutely okay. I’ve worked hard. I deserve it.

I spent a couple of hours at a friend’s new town home this evening. In the course of the conversation, we touched on how we and other people often internalize our perception of a situation or relationship and it becomes our truth. Sometimes the other parties involved really don’t feel the way we think and their actions and attitudes aren’t motivated by what we think. Still, our perceptions are strong. We often reinforce them. Once we form those “truths”, it is extremely hard to change our emotions and thought processes.

This made me think of when I was about 21, 22 and working at this radio station right out of college. Even though I was very good at my job, overall, my self-esteem still hovered about ankle high. That’s how awful it was. I always felt less than or lower than everybody else, even within my family. I don’t remember how we got onto the topic, but I clearly remember very tearfully telling my Dad one night that I felt like I was his biggest, actually only failure. Daddy was aghast, appalled, and pretty devastated that I felt that way.

He asked, “How could you think that, honey? I’m so proud of you. To hear me talk, you’d think you owned the radio station!”

I told him the truth — that he might tell other people, but he didn’t tell me so I had no sense that he was proud of me at all.

Honestly, I don’t think for a minute that my father ever intended to convey that message that I received and then internalized. He was proud of both of his offspring. He deeply loved us, too. However, somewhere in the mishmash of adolescence, I perceived that I was not as good as my brother in our father’s eyes. I just wasn’t good enough by any comparison. I didn’t think that I measured up to Dad’s expectations.

It’s a helluva burden to carry, that weighty false self-perception.

When I was on my cruise, I heard singer Ty Herndon perform a not-yet-released song called Lies I Told Myself. It’s all about a young man’s life and the lies he told himself throughout — like he was too small to play football, he’d never get anywhere playing music, church and praying were a waste of time, and so on. The hook is that those things were lies. The lies he told himself, he’s glad he didn’t believe. I heard the song again on the radio when I was driving home from my friend’s place. It dovetailed neatly with the conversation she and I shared.

It got me thinking all over again about how we make our perceptions reality and hold onto them and then just how many lies we tell ourselves that keep us from pursuing or realizing our dreams, that prevent us from trying or those that make us feel like we aren’t good enough. I know I have them and, while I can’t say that I don’t believe them, I can say that I’m learning to not take them as Gospel truth. I need to pick through the lies and find the kernels of truth and wisdom.

Okay, this sounds terrible, but I am literally dropping off to sleep while I’m typing. Sorry to bail, but Mary Me Time starts right now. I need some restorative sleep!

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One response to “Random Thoughts Heading into the Weekend

  1. Your father, your brother — and female you, feeling low, lower. Do you think possible gender dynamics?

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