I have the almost unimaginably good fortune to live alone in a nice apartment in a sunny, tree-lined complex atop a cliff overlooking a slow-moving river. This afternoon, gentle breezes rustle the leaves, birds sing, traffic hums on the distant highways. Much of the Northeast is cleaning up after a lengthy series of paralyzing storms and floods but I am fine. My neighborhood is quiet. I can hear church bells ringing. The temperature in my living room with windows thrown open and curtains tied back feels perfectly lovely to my skin. It is the kind of afternoon one idly imagines when winter winds bite. I’ll be blunt: weeks ago, through the accident of meeting someone who mysteriously didn’t seem like a stranger, it dawned on me that while I was as happy in the here-and-now as I’d ever been all that happiness obscured the fact that I was damn lonely.
It was a shock. I mean, who knew that being so self-absorbed left time to think about anyone else? Obviously, I’d discovered a chink in my armor of selfishness. I’ve thought it over and I’ve decided to patch that hole with more Me. Yes: Me, Me and more Me. That’ll fix my wagon. So I’m proposing a new venture that’s much like my every other venture, only this time with your eyes on my progress and a finish line. I’m going to devote my July to solving a few problems, and you’re going to heckle Project Me. Don’t throw fruit because I won’t be replacing your monitors. Got it? Now then: today is 1 July. In four weeks, I’d like to see what I can accomplish through focused effort and accountability. I won’t lie about what I’m doing or fudge my results. And if I’m full of shit, you’ll let me know.
Through reasonably healthy eating practices and daily exercise, I would like to lose 1-2 pounds per week. I weighed myself yesterday. I will weigh myself every Friday morning – and only Friday mornings – and report back what I have gained or lost in Week 1, Week 2, etc. – because if you think I’m going to tell you what I weigh while I feel fat you are seriously smoking the good stuff. In any case, I will report the truth because lying about weight loss is like faking orgasms: what on earth could be the fucking point?
I’ve been in this apartment since 19 August and boxes still sit in my bedroom, curtain rods lie on the floor and I’d like to finish the unfinished project of moving in. My bedroom air conditioner is on the floor as I await Sears’ ongoing efforts to mail me parts they can’t identify. I’ve received two packages of parts so far. The last one contained a piece I can’t identify and it plays no role in the installation of my air conditioner. I’m waiting for an envelope containing 24 screws. By the end of July, I want that air conditioner be up off the floor and installed, and I can do it. I’d like to put up the curtain rods and get curtains. I’d like to unpack the boxes. Sometimes we catch ourselves acting on our real motives, and I’ve caught myself redhanded: symbolically, if I unpack and live here, if I stay and make this place my own, I’m afraid it means I’ve decided I’ll be alone for the rest of my life.
Well, Sparky, that’s crap reasoning, and I want my subconscious to quit hedging bets. I’d like to live here because I live here, and fear be damned! I’m talking tough with Me! And I’m pretty sure in two out of three falls I can take Me.
Related to Goal 1, I’d like to take at least one yoga class a week. I have to be just this specific with it because otherwise I will do what I’ve been doing: excercising without stretching properly. I know better. I’ve been an athlete and a dancer since 1968. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me but I’m not stretching and an overweight middle-aged broad with arthritis has to do better. Taking a class means committing time, money and attention to the body and peace of mind. If I procrastinate, razz me with extreme prejudice. You know you want to…
There are other things I’d like try but they can be incorporated into life as I go along. For instance: tomorrow morning, I’m going to bake banana bread. It’s a modest endeavor but I feel strongly that where I can I should make my own basic foods. I make yogurt every week. I make refreshing pickled cucumbers for those times when my brain is playing the I Don’t Feel Like Eating Healthy game. Anyway, I’m very excited about a Sunday morning that includes walking and running, and baking banana bread. I have cream cheese. Don’t call me, I’m busy!
I’m proposing Friday reports for Goals 1 & 3 and Tuesday reports for Goal 2. Those would be logical times in the cycle of my work and exercise schedules. And before we get all bitchy with each other, I’m only asking you to help me keep Me honest. You don’t have to do anything – unless you want to. Are you of a mind to make a change, for a month, and give yourself some progress toward something you want?
What do you want?