Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Inner Boot

Good for me
I scrawled those words in my morning pages this week and immediately wished them back in the pen, unwritten, even unthought.

I hadn’t meant them in a self-congratulatory way. I’d been writing about activities that are fun, intellectually stimulating, healthy – “good for me” in the way that omega-three fatty acids and a thought-provoking novel are.

Still, my own brain reared up and said, “Whoa there, little lady! Who do you think you are?”

I retain (barely) enough control over my mind to wonder “What the heck is that all about?” What do I gain by reining, repressing, censoring my own thoughts? Is that mean little beast in there protecting me somehow? If I were to say aloud, “This is what I did and isn’t it cool?” is anyone going to A) care and B) shoot me?

Not likely.

But boy, I’m quick enough to jump all over myself.

So here’s my new task this year. Instead of trying a new sport or voice lessons or an art class, I’m going to work on getting that inner boot off my neck. 

Isn’t that cool? (Glances furtively around the room before stiffening backbone) Good for me!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Friend

A man I know died last week. He was a brilliant scientist, thoughtful writer, delightful raconteur, and character of rare determination. But to me, above all that, he was a friend.

“How often are we to die before we go quite off this stage?” wrote the poet Alexander Pope to Jonathan Swift. “In every friend we lose a part of ourselves, and the best part.”

Now I know what he meant.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Heart Day

Those of you who were here last Valentine's Day know that I don't really know my sweetie. I call him the Saint, after all. That should be your first clue.

So I think he's not romantic. I mean, this is the guy who, every spring, says, "So our anniversary's coming up."
Only it's really a question; he's just trying to be subtle about it.
"Yes," I say brightly.
When it's obvious that I'm not going to be any more help than that, he ventures, "The, uh, sixth, right?"
"That would be D-Day," I say.

So he gets around the whole concept of specific dates for special occasions by marking them in other ways. A few weeks ago, we went to Point No Point on the west coast of Vancouver Island for a couple of days of togetherness. And, apparently, photography.

He took pictures of driftwood wrapped in a Gordian knot of kelp

He shot the path to China Beach

And he was captivated by the most romantic bench

Happy Heart Day, Bryce and Emma!

Whoever you are.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Three-Way Win

I lost a bunch of weight last year, which is all to the good from a health and self-esteem perspective, but there is a downside.
I hate shopping for them and even more I hate forking over loads of money for them. In fact, I can’t pay a lot without taking my credit card farther than I’m comfortable going, so for many years I have relied on a staple of the community: thrift stores.
There are a lot of these where I live and most of them support useful social programs, so I can even feel good about my frugal ways. But that’s a bonus. My primary payoff is that I get quality clothes very inexpensively.
Last week, for example, I picked up a luscious new brand-name softshell jacket for walking and riding – “And skiing!” says the Saint hopefully – 
as well as a lovely, slightly dressy, Ann Taylor sweater. 
Sleeveless! The last time I was comfortable showing my upper arms was…never mind, you’re too young to remember that far back.
I have even (shhhh!) bought gifts in thrift stores.
Last year I found a gorgeous retro glass jug as a wedding present for a friend who’s totally into all things 1950s.
More recently, I scored a handbag.
Do I need a purse?
Do I want one?
But this sweetie is a polka-dot Kate Spade.
Did I mention that my friend Lee McKenzie is a KS fan? And that the signature look for her brand of charming novels is polka dots?
And that, to my mind, makes it a perfect fit!