“morning” pages

Decidedly UNmorning pages.

It is a few short minutes before 2PM and yet I sit here at my computer, still in pyjamas. It’s raining and grey outside, and I have no intention of putting any real clothes on today.

I’m tired. I’m recuperating from a very busy week which consisted of two “normal” work days, each evening ending in my attendance to a conference call in my TWSO (writing) program, and then three “normal” work days followed by three evening shifts at my second job at the grocery store. It was a long week, busy yet somehow leaving me feeling unproductive in all of the “important” ways.

I always think that on my single day off I’ll get All Of The Things done. It’s an ambitious hope. Mostly I end up resting in a semi-vegetative state. This morning the cats woke me up at somewhere in the neighbourhood between 5 and 6AM. Little buggers. I did manage to fall back asleep and ended up lounging in bed until around 10AM. Again, an unusual occurrence for me, but clearly a much needed one.

Last week, after a particularly disheartening moment of pulling up freshly washed slacks and having to suck in my gut more than usual to tie them at my obstinately expanding waist, I decided to set up the second of three personal training sessions that I had purchased at this time last year and only went to one of in January.

The first one was a dud – the personal trainer was clearly not enthused to be helping out an extremely out of shape middle-aged overweight woman. He prescribed a few stretches and exercises that I had requested that he email to me, because contrary to my middle-aged spread, my memory has unfortunately been receding and the detailed movements to three exercises (if I was expected to do them on my own) would largely be forgotten. He never followed up with the email and I resentfully never returned.

So yesterday I lugged in my gym bag to work and took an early lunch, showing up at the appointed time to meet with a new trainer. This one was a young woman and she was by far more helpful and motivated to Do Good. We did little but I learned a lot. I discovered how much more out of shape I am than I had at first imagined. It’s not just the excess weight, but also body mechanics due to multiple injuries (and various surgeries) that have never been properly addressed. So I reckon that progress will be slow, but better that with steadiness than attempting things that will injure me further (which would ultimately result in further inactivity and continued distress on my body).

This poor ole body. Holder of so much cellular memory, good, bad and indifferent.

Today I can feel the work we did yesterday. It’s not a bad idea to let me rest the body and the mind and the spirit for one day. I truly am in need of the respite.

I confess that I am not feeling any holiday spirit this year. Things are tight both financially and in space, our space glutted with furniture and stuff that needs to be attended to (which I never seem to have enough time to attend to). We also have two youngish cats that are relatively new to our home but whom I fear will not do well with a big Christmas tree – or rather the Christmas tree will not fare well with them. There is simply too much for a feline to be drawn to, whether as an ornate scratching post, a thing to climb into, or the associated baubles to hunt and bat around, perhaps even to take bits out of, just as a flavour experiment.

So I’ve opted for a tiny little potted Grinch tree and not much else. Christmas arrangements are largely up in the air; guests or no guests; cooking or no cooking; working or no working. I took the week just before Christmas off as vacation from my office job but I’ll still be scheduled to work at the grocery store for several of those evenings and on both Sundays. So a bit of a break but not a nice stretch of nothing-doingness, or doing what I will for a stretch.

After working two jobs for about a year, that year off while unemployed feels surreal in juxtaposition. I appreciated the time SO MUCH as I was experiencing it, cognizant of its transience, but all of the restful zen-like quality to how I felt in its throes (despite a rather high level of stress in regard to our financial situation) has all but dissipated during this year of working too much just to be able to live. It’s crazy that one needs to work this hard at surviving with some level of comfort. No wonder people give up.

There are a few things that keep me afloat – my immense gratitude for being able to participate in the TWSO program, thanks in part to my day time employer, because writing (creating in general, really) has always saved my life, and my son, whom I adore more than life itself.

I love all of the colours of the decorations this time of year. I sense a falling-down-the-Pintrest-rabbit-hole moment this weekend.

I want to get started on some holiday baking, inspired by the various emails I get from baking or cooking newsletter lists that I subscribe to, but just feel the process itself to be too overwhelming. Instead I write, which is what I ought to be doing anyway, and I read, because ditto on that one, too.

I finally finished reading one of the requisite books for my writing program, Breathing the Page: Reading the Act of Writing by Betsy Warland. It was a slow read, for me, imbibed in short bursts from station to station during my morning and afternoon train rides to and from work. The book lends itself well to this sort of reading because of how it is written, minute concept by minute concept expansively building into a holistic unfolding of the act of writing from an inner perspective. It was absolutely wonderful – beautifully written both in form and content. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading it, I highly recommend it.

And now… I will write a bit on my novel and then I will be off to research recipes for our meal for this evening, and to go do some housekeeping – little and probably not (definitely not) enough, but it will have to suffice. I just don’t have enough time or energy to do more.

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