Saturday, April 3, 2010

:: poetry, spiders, answers, oh my! ::

i swear, my brain is like a housecat: when it finds a spider it just tortures that spider, slowly, slowly, slowly, until finally the spider just dies from trying so hard to get away. in my case it's like the spider is a particularly leggy conundrum that my brain just thinks and thinks and thinks at until finally the conundrum curls up into something shaped like an answer.

in the meantime, though, forget about trying to entice my brain with anything else. no catnip or wet food or flashlight game will distract my brain from the spider.

which is to say i'm thinky. very, very thinky. i've got a few capital-Q questions squirming around my head, spinning webs and making it very hard for me to do anything or speak to anyone. as natalie portman's character in garden state would say, i'm in it.

and so here i am hitting the keyboard hoping to kill these damned spiders dead.

spider number one is work-related. i am plagued, of late, by the feeling that the work i'm doing is too diverse. i feel very sure that if i could limit my scope a bit i could give myself the opportunity to be a lot more creative, and more creative is what i'm craving. it seems a little bit counterintuitive, perhaps, that limiting myself is what will really ultimately free me, but i just know it to be true. only i can't can't can't decide what to "give up" in order to find that focus. it's driving me insane.

i've got one idea that really excites me (and it's an idea i'm not yet ready to share) that potentially allows me to be super creative, but it's an idea that brings with it some things i'm not sure i like: it takes most of the production out off my hands and puts me much more in the role of marketer than maker. also, it's risky from a business perspective, which i don't mind except that it is risky financially and i'm in no position to take financial risks. creative risks, yes. financial ones, not so much. i don't have much cash to lay out and whatever cash i do lay out i pretty much need to come back to me in one piece. and relatively soon. i'm no tycoon.

there are other ways to focus what i do. i really like working with my wedding clients, for example, and i could choose to focus on weddings. doing nothing but weddings would let me focus my energy better and would allow me to be more creative about how i design and create wedding stationery. it would let me work with clients on custom projects, which always pushes me as a designer and which helps me push the boundaries of my comfort zone. but working on wedding designs takes a lot of time. i'm hoping to recover a little bit of time for my life, to make my business a little bit more self-sustaining. weddings are decidedly not the way to do that.

and so i spin. and spin and spin. i bat that spider around like it's my brain's personal plaything.

spider number two is personal, and while i'm often quite personal on this blog (i mean, hello, i blogged my way through the very worst of my postpartum depression thank you), it's personal in a way that i don't like to be personal here, because it's something that i don't like to obsess over in life or in the interwebs (and obsess i definitely can if i allow myself to). but i'm going so crazy from it that i think i just need to share it and get it out of the way.

spider number two is about this baby weight. and how it's still here. and how i can't decide how i want to feel about that and how i want to react to it.

with evan, i gained a normal amount of weight: 28 pounds. without altering my life, that weight had more or less all come off within the first six months postpartum (and whatever remained i lost when anxiety ate my brain and filled my stomach too full for food, but that's another story). i remember loving it that practically every day i could see a difference. i was back in my old clothes in no time. one week after evan was born i put away all of my maternity clothes.

this time, i gained only slightly more: 31 pounds. by 4 weeks postpartum i had lost about half that, but here i am ay 4 months and i have made exactly zero progress. i recently made a somewhat concerted and yet still very laissez-faire effort to lose a few more pounds, during which time i lost (and gained) exactly zero pounds.

i do not believe in diets or diet food. i spent my late teens and early twenties memorizing the calorie content of every food in existence and then i spent my late twenties trying very very hard to forget all that. i believe in moderation and balance and just living a healthy life. i hate watching people torture themselves about food or obsess over exercise. i don't want to count or track or journal, even though i know those things to be effective measures for motivating progress, even (and maybe especially) for me. but then again i've never, in my life, had 15 pounds to lose.

and yeah, yeah, i know. fifteen schmiffteen. i'm still at a relatively healthy weight. my BMI is still (barely) within the "normal" or "healthy" range or whatever. i feel guilty even complaining about fifteen pounds. but i don't feel good about myself. i can't wear any of my own (favorite!) clothes. i'm not the healthy version of me that i want to be.

the spider that creeps through my catlike brain is this: i'm torn between (a) wanting to be very accepting of the changes that have taken place in my life and my body and wanting to just be patient and believe that living a healthy life each day will lead to a healthy body, even if that body is a size or two bigger than the body i used to walk around in, or even if it takes a while for it to settle into its new normal size, and (b) wanting to be okay with the fact that i just don't feel good about this body and that it does't have to make me a capital O-obsessive person if i decide that i want to actually set out to lose some weight by taking some kind of specific action (oh, what kind of action is a spider in and of itself, another little conundrum that my brain is just batting away at - would i want to meet with a nutritionist? join a gym we can't afford and don't have time to drive to, join weight watchers (online or in real life?), train for a marathon? i just. don't. know.)

i just know how my brain works, and i know that i am going to be paralyzed until i can just make a damned decision on both of these issues and move forward already. but in the meantime i'm paralyzed by the very decisions themsevles. i'm sitting here in the backyard, still in my pajamas at practically-noon, writing a ridiculous blog post while my family is out running errands because i just can't decide what to do next.

and oh my god i swear there is now a very fast, very large spider heading in my general direction and i think i'm going to have to get up and move. is that poetry or what? if only it were poetry with answers. damnit.


Bego April 4, 2010 at 6:14 AM  

i understand what you say about being paralyzed when you have to take a decision. i feel the same very often. the comforting part is that you know it'll go away once you have reached your decision. and when you come to think about it, it's not that difficult. even if you make the 'not-so-good' choice, you can always correct it later. if there's something i've learnt (and which brings me a lot of peace of mind) is that you have to give yourself the chance of being right but also of being wrong. there are very few things in life that cannot fixed and changed.

LLH Designs April 4, 2010 at 6:50 PM  

Totally with you on the spider thing. My husband accuses me of "spider-webbing" all the time. Creative minds are like that, and yet the organized, researching, paper-writing English major makes you want to weave that spider web into a tight, concise, focused creation. Keep working it out. You'll get there! With ya...Linsey

P.S. Glad I found you in this world wide web of spiders!

mom April 4, 2010 at 8:46 PM  


take heart..losing the 2nd child weight is always more difficult or at least takes longer than the 1st. Even though you think you are moving more and eating less, you really aren't. You start spending a lot of time in the "waiting" mode. I think you are doing great, and you look great.

Here is a website I found, quite by mistake

You don't have to join anything, but it sort of puts some things in perspective or at least lets you see another point of view.. I actually enjoy almost every daily tip I read.


bridgett April 7, 2010 at 4:31 PM  

I can relate to you in so many ways. I still have God knows how many pounds left to lose and I only have 1 child! And I too am trying to come to grips with the "new" me and be happy with the way I am. But am I truly happy? Oh the web we weave.

Cali April 9, 2010 at 1:36 PM  

I can relate, more completely than I'd like. I think and think and become immobilized, and then I beat myself up for not being able to move forward, as if that's helpful.

I didn't lose my babyweight from my 2nd until 12 months. (and with both the last 5 didn't come off until after I stopped breastfeeding.) She's only 4 months, right? I think you're putting an awful lot of pressure on yourself. That you were able to get into your pre-pregnancy clothes so quickly w/ Evan is VERY unusual. Maybe that's not the right yardstick to be using? That said, I know the frustration of not feeling good about your body and yourself. I hope you can get to a peaceful place, whichever road you take.

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