No Pain, No Gain

yoga-1883359_640 A week ago I finally dragged myself in for a long overdue doctor’s appointment to figure out why I’ve been having a lot of hip and shoulder pain during and after yoga. Hobble-around-for-days-like-a-crippled-old-woman level pain, in case you were wondering.

For months I’d been envisioning the worst, like them telling me I had deformities that would prevent me from ever getting in shape or keeping up with the yoga goddesses in my class. Why? Because apparently, I am both super dramatic and a little bit of a hypochondriac.

But, only a little bit, because as it turns out, it isn’t the worst case scenario (phew!). It isn’t the best case scenario either, however, proving I was right to ignore the naysayers (read: my mother and occasional adversary) and to finally finally seek help.

Life stressors have taken a toll on my body apparently, and the doctor believes I have some serious tendinitis. This shouldn’t be a surprise, really, with how crazy juggling work and editing the novel have been, and of course, all while our precious democracy is dangling by a thread and a madman is waving the scissors around. I’m sure lots of people have been developing stress-related issues of late.

But, what a difference a day makes! I cannot believe how much better I feel after a short stint on the anti-inflammatories. I actually feel like a human being again, complete with a functioning body and everything. It’s like all of a sudden I’m not thirty-something going on ninety. Who knew, right?

And, I’ve even noticed that I am profoundly less irritable since my poor neck and shoulders have gotten some relief. I might go as far as to say I feel downright carefree. Okay, scratch that. The novel’s still not done, so ‘carefree’ is going a bit overboard, but the point is, I feel like I’m reasonably able to tackle the shit show that is my personal and professional life with relative ease. It’s amazing, really. Who knew a bit of pain relief could make such a profound, life-changing difference?

Mother F*cking Girl Power

img_0627So, stating the obvious, I’ve yet to get a blog post up this month. I’ve been trying to focus my free time on finishing up my manuscript, which (both conveniently and terrifyingly) seems super relevant since the election. After all, what once seemed implausible, at best, in overall concept, now seems downright probable. And, in short order, nonetheless.

That said, writing has been tough; feeling creative and hopeful has been tough in light of all that we are facing, so editing has plodded along at a painfully slow rate. Still, I persist, because I know that courage and resilience is what is required in these dark days (both personally and politically).

But, despite now feeling like I wake up at the epicenter of hell itself every day, as it turns out, living in our nation’s capital also has its perks. Like yesterday, for example.

I have honestly never participated in a protest in my life, nor have I ever felt particularly compelled to do so. Walking in the Women’s March on Washington, however, has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. Being there for people who could not, and standing with and for all of us, has been an honor. I am so unbelievably proud of the millions of women, men, and children, not just here in DC, but across the globe, who came together on that day, A HISTORIC DAY, to send a clear message to the new administration: women’s rights are human rights, and you will not take them away from us without a fight.

And just like that, HOPE has been restored. Creativity and light and life have been restored. May it continue, may it grow, and may it illuminate the way forward.

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First we rallied. Then we marched! This is just one tiny snapshot of the crowds as we marched along Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Trump Hotel. Just me and hundreds of thousands (if not a million) of my girlfriends (and supporters)!

Unpresidented

directory-1187128_1920Well, there we have it – reports of evidence that our election was hijacked (in spectacular and yet-to-be-fully-disclosed fashion) by a foreign dictator. It’s not exactly unexpected, but what is stunning is the total lack of concern by so many *ahem* patriots. Don’t worry though. Presumably it’s just that their patriotism mandates supporting a FOREIGN DICTATOR’S STOOGE over *gasp* A WOMAN to run this country.

And, fortunately for these patriots, the idiotic manbaby of their choosing has been making such a laughable spectacle of himself every day that it actually distracts quite a lot from the very real horrors that are about to befall us as a nation, so of course they’re not thinking about the implications of this pesky, election-hacking business.

Regardless, today the Electoral College votes to confirm this pathetic windbag, and because no amount of wishful thinking is likely to change the outcome, the nightmare officially begins for all of us. My question is how quickly can this nightmare be over?

The Dilemma

There really is no way to begin this post other than to acknowledge that I’ve been off the grid since the day my country voted that man into office. You know the one I’m referring to.

Since then it’s been an exhausting roller coaster of emotions each day – shock, horror, fury, confusion, helplessness.

After starting and stopping this post every couple of days since the election, I realized the reason I could not get through it was because there was simply too much that I needed to say, that we all need to say, to feel, to express. It was just too much to expect that one tiny blog post could adequately embody it all.

And, there’s an even bigger issue. It’s that sinking feeling that the more we talk, the more we feel, the more we express, the more we fight back, the more we are walking right into his trap.

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Yep. This looks about right.

The man is a raging narcissist. His entire existence in recent years has been about saying and doing whatever it takes to get his face plastered all over social media and the news.

And how are we reacting to his stunning win? By talking about every damn thing he does. And, how is he rewarding us for this much-sought-after attention? By giving us even more to talk about every damn day. The more we express our horror/ frustration/ outrage, the more misery and fear he happily dishes out.

So, what do we do? How do we stand up for the good in this world – whether it be fighting to save this planet, or civil rights, or even our fucking sanity – without fighting the man himself and in the process giving him all the sick gratification he is so desperately seeking?

I just don’t have a good enough answer, and I so wish I did.

I do believe that we need to stop reacting to him, stop re-tweeting him, stop indulging his whims and his tantrums. I think we need to send this bratty man-boy to sit in the corner for a timeout just like we would a petulant child, and I think we need to do it NOW. Our country and our very lives may depend on it.

I’m Combining All The Holidays!

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Today, I’m taking a certain orange political candidate’s lead, and proposing some extensive changes to our nation. For starters, Tuesday will no longer be just Election Day. Instead, we’re going to tack on a few applicable holidays from the previous weeks so we can celebrate them all while only sacrificing one frickin’ day in their honor. That’s what I call killing two birds with one stone (which is an awful saying. Who the fuck thinks it’s appropriate to be throwing stones at birds anyway? Sociopaths, that’s who.)

So, as stated, Tuesday will no longer be just Election Day in our great nation – no, no. Now it’s also going to be National Stress Awareness Day, as well as National Candy Day. Why? Because, we deserve it after suffering through this awful and seemingly never-ending campaign “season” (umm, hello? The word “season” implies this bullshit shouldn’t last more than three months, am I right?).

Here’s to all the meditation/ yoga/ deep breathing and candy/more candy/oodles  of candy you can stomach this Tuesday! We’re going to need it folks!

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Confession: This is me everyday.

Oh, and while I’m at it, I’d like to give an additional shout-out to NaNoWriMo, which is keeping my fingers very busy this month, but no stress there, right? Right!?)

National Cat Day. Again.

Well, it’s National Cat Day again today. Big surprise there. And, in honor of that, I’m posting a status update about the leadership structure in this house.

As you’ve probably guessed, I’m still at the bottom of the org chart. In fact, it’s so bad, I think I now rank below those corrugated cardboard cat scratchers. But, that’s reasonable, right? I mean, my two little demon spirits seem quite fond of them, after all. And, before you ask, yep, I’m pretty sure I’m outranked by cardboard boxes as well.

Fortunately, pathetic as my situation is, I’m not alone, as evidenced by this picture I stumbled across:

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It’s pretty obvious who rules the roost in this house.

In any case, I need to wrap up, because as we speak, one of them is yowling at me, because it’s almost feeding time here. That’s right; I’m sitting on my lazy ass, instead of caving to their demands. I bet I don’t survive the week if this performance issue and pattern of behavior (on my part) continues. If only they weren’t so darn cute though, right?

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Another day, another snuggle.

But, I Was Doing So Well!

Sigh.

I tried to stay above the fray, I really did. But, SOME people just won’t leave you be to enjoy your happy, reasonable place.

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You mean you didn’t want to be told off today by the office’s designated angry lady?

This week I made the mistake of asking an innocuous question at the office, and got treated to a rant lasting several minutes as a result. Why are people such assholes these days? Anyone?

A woman I work with had a picture on her desk calendar that looked like a well-known republican politician. I simply asked if it was him. She confirmed it, and I was about to walk away when she informed me that she was not happy with him. Why, oh why didn’t I flee the scene like a thief in the night!? Because, I am a glutton for punishment, that’s why.

Instead, curiosity got the best of my dumb-butt, because I mean, who doesn’t find extremists fascinating, right? And, I already knew she was quite the personality. What I wasn’t anticipating was the level of vitriol that was to be directed against me personally for taking a relatively moderate stance on things.

She started yelling immediately about how election day was the choice between the salvation of America or the total annihilation of the whole world should that “liberal” win the election. I think once my eyes stopped bugging out of my head and I’d picked my jaw up off the floor I casually muttered something about how I’d heard those liberals felt much the same way about what would happen if a certain orange, reality show “celebrity” were to win the election. I laughed nervously and started sidestepping away as fast as I could, but she lunged in front of me to block my escape route. I was trapped!

She continued to yell about our country’s healthcare system, and about the e-mail scandal. She started citing examples (real or imagined) of all the perverted behaviors displayed by our current and former president in graphic and definitely not office-appropriate detail. Ironically enough, her conservative behind seemed shocked and dismayed by their distasteful behavior, but she didn’t even bat an eye about her candidate’s long (and documented) history of inappropriate and discriminatory behavior towards women.

When she started delving deep into sordid conspiracy theories I once again tried to make a polite exit to no avail. The diatribe went on endlessly. Finally, I just threw up my hands and said, “Well, I haven’t heard any of that.”

That’s when she really blew her top and she screamed, “Well, of course not! Because, the whole thing is rigged! Because, the media is out to get him! You know what!? I can’t even talk to you anymore. You need to leave. NOW!”

Like, I was the one who had been doing any of the talking. Like, I was the one being unreasonable or trying to cram my opinions down her throat.

But, you know what? Keep all the crazy to yourself then, lady. It’s no skin off my nose, certainly. And, I happily left her office. Because, you don’t need to ask this girl twice.

And, A Dead Animal Carcass To Boot!

Well, it’s Friday! We survived the week and I got my faulty airbag replaced today, so that’s one less thing threatening to kill me every time I get behind the wheel. Although in truth, with DC tempers being what they are these days, the odds of that killing me were always pretty slim in comparison to the maniac road-ragers who swerve in and out of their lanes and run red lights, or the crazies who can’t drive more than a block without releasing a cacophony of obscenities and horn blasts and hand gestures as they go.

Tempers seem to be flaring uncontrollably this year, and it certainly isn’t restricted to the horrors of rush hour traffic. Is it just me, or does it seem like people are super judgmental these days, completely intolerant of other points-of-view and completely relentless when it comes to public shaming?

And, people seem to be particularly vocal about their opinions as well, as if of course everyone else wants to know how they feel about this controversial topic or that.

Some funny examples from my week:

There was a woman next to me in yoga class who was wearing, I kid you not, Bernie f’ing Sanders yoga pants. His face was plastered in every place you can imagine, and I wanted to say to her, Look, you may be comfortable with The Bern staring up at you from your own crotch while you stretch and what-not, but I’m not comfortable with the way he’s glaring at me from your left butt-cheek right now.

Even he was giving me a sour, judgmental look, as if my chaturangas were a HUGE (get it? 😉) let-down.

Yesterday I was driving, and couldn’t believe the outrage of the guy in front of me. He had a bumper sticker decrying the evils of same-sex marriage (complete with helpful gender symbols, I suppose, for the illiterate masses), a bumper sticker denouncing a woman’s right to choose, and to top it off, he had antlers in his back window, I guess to declare his love of killing unarmed wildlife. Now that, is a lot of opinions for one teeny little compact car.

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Doesn’t this just say stick me to the back of your car?

If That’s Not Love, Then I Don’t Know What Is

I’ll admit I’ve been a, shall we say, reluctant cat enthusiast.

So much so that I dedicated my very first blog post, and many others, to the monstrous little beasts.

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They’re VERY special, obviously.

This week Snugs was curled up on my bed and looked so darn snuggly and cute that I just couldn’t help myself. I lay down, encircling him in my arms, and put my face down between us. After a long and tiring week I felt myself drifting off to sleep in the safety and security of his loving embrace. He reached out with his little white paws, and gently probed my face as if to say I’m here for you human-mama.

This. This is as real as love gets, people.

Then he slowly and intentionally pressed both paws as hard as he could against the sides of my nose, blocking both nostrils, and stifling my breathing.

Because apparently the noise or the “wind” from my breathing was irritating him. Because apparently he’d sooner murder me than put up with a few minutes of my breathing on him, because apparently human-mamas are totally replaceable.

I’m not taking it personally though, as you can clearly see.

My Signs Mean Business Y’all

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Most jobs come with both positives and negatives, and mine is no exception. In one particular aspect though, I can say it’s both a blessing and a curse. I am talking about the junk food, people.

My current supervisor (bless his heart), likes to keep us fat and happy, so to speak. There is a never-ending supply of treats; we even have a whole cubicle area dedicated to the goodies.

This is awesome when I’m having one of those days when only shoveling handfuls of chocolate into my mouth can console me. Or, stop me from saying hateful things to my wildly unprofessional, immature colleagues (Someone actually huffed at me in irritation yesterday, because I didn’t want her to pawn off mail on me that wasn’t addressed to me. The nerve of me, right?).

I know I talk a good (yoga) game, but yep, I have days too when only junk food will do.

On the downside, this is not helping my forever intentions to lose ten pounds. I think I’ve been planning to lose ten pounds for an entire decade, and while I am glad the number hasn’t gone up from there, it’s almost comical at this point that it’s been on the to-do list for this long.

Also on the downside is that these ass-hats I work with actually think it’s my job to clean up after them. For the first year or two I was forever cursing them. Why the hell can’t these idiots close box lids!? Why can’t they put their wrappers in the fucking garbage can that’s literally sitting at their feet!?

I’D HAD ENOUGH.

I typed up very professional, albeit seething signs with giant arrows to point out the locations of the two garbage cans in the cubicle. I reminded these morons that food would either get stale or we’d get bugs if they couldn’t be bothered to close box lids. And, of course, I ended it with a very cheery Thank you! which I am sure they all knew meant Fuck you! and called it a day.

And, you know what? Those mother-fucking signs actually worked! Not a hundred percent, because assholes will be assholes, but it’s been about a year, and the cleanliness of the whole space has been substantially improved. At least I no longer cringe when I walk in there, and I don’t think I’ve had to scrub mystery goop off of the desktop even once. That’s a win, people, if I’ve ever had one.

I’ve even got a back-up plan, should the situation deteriorate again. I’d read somewhere that people behave better when they feel like they’re being watched. Even fake eyeballs will do. So, mother-fuckers, here’s your one and only warning. Cross me again, and I am going to line the walls of that cubicle with the creepiest dolls I can pick up at the dollar store. It will be like every horror movie you’ve ever seen. Just try me!

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In hindsight, I’m not sure writing a blog post about candy is doing anything, but fueling my desire to cheat on my diet.