Thursday, July 31, 2008
DH asked me if I was "happily married" again. You may or may not have noticed that I removed the "happily" from the married part under my profile on the side when I got the elephant in the room talk. I told him I was. Happily married. And then the dog died and we were catapulted back into the world of grief, tears, anger, loss and depression. We've shared some tender moments, true. Amazing. We always pull together when times get rough. We can be an amazing team when we put our minds to it. It would be nice if we could look forward to a momentous occasion where there wasn't grief and loss attached to it. Do you hear that universe? We should be excited and happy and anxious to be new parents. And right now, those feelings are on hold due to extreme sadness. It's times like this when I wish we had a little one here to brighten up his day after work. And I don't mean a puppy either.
On the other hand, it seems like tragedy seems to shake us (me) out of our slow way of doing things. Well, I'll speak for myself. Miss Procrastination. Taxes are done - we're seeing the accountant tomorrow. Check that off the List of Unpleasant Things To Do. That makes me nauseous actually. I'm sure we owe, but the question is how much. Ewww. The only saving grace is that my career has been spectacularly bad these past 2 years, so my expenditures may have outpaced my earnings enough to make me not have to pay too much. But I made enough from notetaking to exceed the basic personal allowance. Or I could be seriously kidding myself. The problem with being an actress is that your earnings are so unpredictable and erratic, it's hard to save money to pay taxes as you constantly have to spend money on such things as new headshots or gas or IVF or .... food.
I have a list of pretty serious Unpleasant Things to Do list and I have noticed that things that have to do with money or numbers or massive amounts of paperwork never seem to get done in a timely fashion. I have to say that I think I have developed a neurotic aversion to such things. I always have a million excuses to avoid such tasks. Suddenly the laundry or housework or email seems more urgent. With no dog to walk and feeling energetic in the morning thanks to my happy pills, I guess I'll have more motivation to tackle the List. I hope. Next year, I have every intention of hiring a student or somebody to just tally up my expenses for me. I actually have a filing system, but I can't seem to get it done on my own without a huge amount of stress and anxiety.
And speaking of happy pills, they've made my skin break out. I'm not happy.
Monday, July 28, 2008
I had to tell her a friend of hers was dead and she said, "Oh, no!" Thoughtful silence. " So where are we going?" and that was about it. She doesn't really cry at that kind of news. I don't know if it's the dementia or the drugs she's on. (I wonder if she'd share some of that stuff. "Hey, you didn't get that part you really wanted - again." "Oh, no! So what's for dinner?") We saw her again on the weekend and she seemed to forget that he had died but then remembered on her own. It was one of the few times that her and I can actually sensibly converse with one another and I'm actually getting something out of it.
Hung out with Mum last week. Had to explain to her AGAIN that the dog had died. The worst part is that she is genuinely surprised and I have to go through the whole thing again with her. Sigh. It would be funny actually if I hadn't been so depressed. We walked around and then hung out on the Starbuck's patio. We made our usual stabs at conversation and then I read the paper while she people watched. When I dropped her off back at the home, I just let her out the elevator and took it immediately back down. I don't usually do that, but I was on edge and I had to get away. I hate it when I get like that.
Hubby came home early that day and immediately set out to go biking in the Endowment Lands. It's about 10 km away and once you get over the bridge, it's all uphill. And I do mean uphill. Not one of his best ideas, but you can't tell a guy that. He survived and evidently made a stop at his buddies before returning home. I had biked a few km myself over to a district chant and by the time I got home, he was on the couch and a bit stoned. To his credit, he did BBQ some excellent steak (ala the Incredible Hulk - You wouldn't like me when I'm hungry). It always makes me feel so alone when he does that. Yeah, I know, his dog died. Can't say I blame him. I drank every day last week. Fortunately, the stagette broke my habit.
I had a stab of panic that the same thing would happen to us - that he would retreat into his world and I would retreat into mine to deal with the grief. And separately we worry about one another. Yeah, I know, communication is the key. In my efforts to keep moving forward and keep frantically busy, I need to keep in mind that just because we don't have our dog, we don't have a child, we're still a family and we need one another. Compassion is the driving force behind perseverance. Okay, gotta keep that in mind.
Friday, July 25, 2008
I had my friend's stagette/shower last weekend. She was completely surprised because she thought that no way would I have one for her because my dog had died. But it had been planned for a while and frankly, it kept me busy and gave me a chance to take a break from moping around. We all agreed to do a spa/dinner/dancing event. The place was decorated, while I was frantically trying to make 6 molten lava cakes to be baked after dinner. A friend arranged to have two student aestheticians come and do pedicures, and then another friend was supposed to bring dinner (salmon) for a BBQ. Unfortunately, that particular woman had been ill and didn't arrive for several hours, so dinner started a bit late, but once it was done, it was delicious. We kept ourselves busy with pedicures and a LOT of booze. Okay, let's see mango martinis, cosmopolitans, wine, champagne......
Next up a limo ride with champagne. Woohoo! When was the last time you stood up in the sunroof of a limo in the cool night air hooting like an idiot? I admit it, I howled. OMG. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I felt like a drunken teenager at prom. It was really fun, champagne was consumed and we even had a little pit stop for those who wanted to get a little "air". Not me. Then off to a club where the bride to be (dressed all in white thanks to kidnapping some of her clothes earlier that week) toddled off to get a shooter from a bartender friend. We all would have gone in with her but unfortunately, they wanted a $12 cover a piece and we were planning only on staying for 15 minutes. One disgusting drink later, we jumped back into the limo and went a club that a friend of mine had put us on a list. Unfortunately, half of the gals left for various reasons and thus it was down to the mighty trio to finish out the night! We didn't have to wait in line but we did have to pay cover. $14! What the hell? We don't live in New York! This is why my club days are long over. They make you wait in line for an hour to get in to a half empty "trendy" club, pay an outrageous cover, and watch pretentious people not have fun. People actually started to dance after we cracked the floor open.
Well, two of us danced. The other girl beat a hasty retreat before she got messy. I would have given her my keys, but the likelihood of her passing out was pretty high and we would have no way of getting in. (She did make it safely home, no thanks to my drunk ass.) Just me and my gal pal left standing. We danced, had more drinks (no, just me) and we laughed and we eventually headed back to my place to devour some delicious chocolate molten lava cake.
At that point I thought it was a good idea to have a little "air" with my gal pal - BAD IDEA! BAD!, cause suddenly the room was spinning. Aww, I knew it was a bad idea! So I decided haul my drunken ass to bed. My stomach had other plans and I..... well.... let's just say I didn't keep my delicious dinner and dessert down. Ughh. I managed to stop up my bathroom sink. Seriously. As in when I woke up the next morning, it was still plugged up. That bad. Salsa bad. Ewww. As in not even boiling water, Drano or whatever noxious liquid (notwithstanding my own) I poured in there could fix it. I had to throw out a pair of plastic gloves, people.
This is why I refrain from serious over imbibing, but at least once a year, I forget my golden rule of not mixing my drinks and going over my limit. Mind you, I don't generally do it in public, but still. I ought to know better. Aw, fuck it, I was grieving.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
When at home, Sampson preferred to have the both of us in the same room. In our place now, he would have to go back and forth from room to room. If a door was shut, he'd butt it open. I remember one time in our old place, we'd had an argument and I went off in the bedroom and I'd slam the door. Sampson eventually came and butt it open (it never closed properly) and he just stared at me and then he'd go back into the living room and stare at hubby and he'd continue butting the door open as many times as I closed it. We ended up laughing and talking to each other again.
Taking the day off bootcamp. I hurt inside and out. I still have a lump below my ankle bone which I have a hot water on at the moment and I tweaked a muscle underneath my shoulder blade doing rollover side planks. I'm tired. But that's not unusual. Yes, I went back to the doctor. My other blood tests (thyroid, liver) came back normal. Which means I have no bloody excuse for my lack of energy and malaise. Yes, I know, my dog died, but I had made the appointment before that happened. I'm aware that grieving is a separate process that doesn't require intervention, but she did say I had all the symptoms of depression. No surprise there. You all mentioned it, I didn't want to whisper the dreaded word but having been through it before, I suspected it. I just had very concrete reasons before and this time it didn't seem so apparent. What was going on beneath the surface? I was looking for a catalyst, but the doctor says there doesn't need to be one. Mmmm. Not sure I believe that, but whatever. I know me. When I stopped losing weight, I got really frustrated with myself. I was doing all the right things and I had plateaued and I was not happy about it. It felt like a setback and I think that was it. Or I could be completely bullshitting myself. I haven't worked in the industry for a while and all the other auditions, came up nada. I don't know. I don't suppose any of my reasoning matters at this point. She said I was doing all the right things for myself, staying active, keeping busy with Buddhist activities - chanting always helps, and I feel grateful for that. Going to meetings always feels like drinking a glass of cool, clear water on a hot day. Just what you need even if you didn't think you were thirsty.
So whether or not I'm too impatient to slog through a summer feeling like I'm dragging around a fridge on my back or scared of swimming too long in the pity pool, I took a prescription for Wellbutrin XL. I had used it years ago and it worked without most of the pesky side effects, like vertigo or no sex drive. I don't have a libido now, no point in making it worse. She told me I would be on it for at least 3 - 6 months, but the last time, I managed to cut it down much sooner. I just feel like a need a springboard out of this funk. As for the grief, I know how to do that. I know how it goes. Been there, done that, it doesn't kill you, it just is what it is for as long as it takes.
Though worldly troubles may arise, never let them disturb you. No one can
avoid problems, not even sages or worthies.
Drink sake only at home with your wife, and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both
suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
no matter what happens. How could this be anything other than the boundless joy
of the Law? Strengthen your power of faith more than ever.
- Nichiren Daishonin
I'm watching the high fructose (it's everywhere!) and the coffee. I've got hubby leaving me notes and calling or IMing several times, but I tell him that I haven't hung myself yet. Frankly, he's pretty mopey himself. He is not sleeping well because he stirs at every noise during the night. He still has half an ear out for the dog I think. Or taking over the dog's job, I don't know which. I've got a get a dress made for my friend's wedding. And then there's my hair. See? Lots to do. Oh, yeah, and I now have to remove reference to my beloved Baby Bear from our renovated adoption profile. Sigh. Lots of room in our life now for a little one.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
If you're anything like me, you associate clothes with different periods of your life or certain memories. The special occasion you bought something for or the day you were really sad and you needed some retail therapy. Now I've been known to shop for hours on my own or with a partner. During vacations, it's something I just gotta do. As I've gotten older and wiser, I'm much more selective. I tend to clutter, so I really have to think twice before I get something and one of my rules is that if it doesn't have a purpose (i.e. vase, bowl), then it's just a knickknack waiting to get dusty. I love shopping, generally speaking. I like shopping for other people as well. Even when I got FAT, and shopping for clothes become a fucking nightmare, I still liked to shop for shoes or purses or housewares. Sometimes, when I have extra money, I buy something and squirrel it away, waiting for the right occasion to bring it out.
These pants were something like that. They didn't scream maternity wear, though I did wander through that section of the store, quite surprised that a Roots warehouse would even have that section. It was more like a whisper. A secret. I waited in the long queue with my secret hope that I'd be wearing these pants in just a couple of months.
I might have eagerly worn one pair, I think, when I was quite swollen after an egg retrieval. I guess when we moved downtown 2 years ago, I thoughtlessly included them. Every now and again, when I had to go rooting for workout clothes, I would catch a glimpse of them, and I'd quickly push their purpose out of my mind. I have a few things left that remind me of that rollercoaster period of my life, I just love souvenirs, but when I'm feeling heavy, I just gotta wonder why I like to cling to reminders of the past. The "unproductive" past specifically.
So in an effort to let go of sadness and malaise, I'm going to start divesting myself of things, root out the crap, so I can see more clearly. I attended a young women's general meeting yesterday afternoon and they talked about the unlimited potential of your life. And then I went to an awesome study meeting later on, and I felt so much better. Everyone struggles. Everyone questions, but as long as one continues to seek with an open heart, there is hope. And wine. :)
Friday, July 11, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Things I dislike doing:
- getting my bikini area waxed
- doing my taxes
- going to one year old's birthday parties
And yet, what did I do yesterday? The last one. It was combined with a housewarming. Why did I go? Well, it's my husband's godchild. Remember, the one he took to for his circumcision because the dad was out of the country on business? They had done an extensive renovation on their new home as well. Well, the place was gorgeous, as was the little one. Did I mention they were oops pregnant again? And from what I hear she wasn't happy about it? I guess I could understand that - if I had given birth several months ago. But I haven't. So I don't.
We walked into a gathering, that is quite familiar in this city - what my husband and I have dubbed the Zebra Club. Most of the couples there were interracial, black men with white women in this particular venue (other times, it's Asian and Caucasian); we came in and reversed it. Seriously, we should have ID cards. Hence, there were a lot of beautiful mixed children running around. Add two baby bumps into the mix. I know for a fact that we could not have been there a year ago. My husband even asked me before we left how long we were going to stay. Lucky for me, I had ended up talking mainly with two women who were not mothers and the guys who never, ever talk about personal stuff.
We also reacquainted ourselves with one of the mothers-to-be again. Years ago, she was the girlfriend of one of my hubby's sports buddies. Now she was a wife and on her way to a 2nd child. And you guessed it, she said, "Do you have any kids?" "No." (Just a simple no. No need to tell her we're adopting and open up that can of worms for public consumption.) "Well, you two have been together for a long time". "Yes, we've been together since 1854." And then other people interject with other lines of conversation and she either picks up my subtle mind control or she remains puzzled as to how that could possibly happen. Either way, it's another trip to the curried meatballs and wine for me. And hubby wonders why I gained so much weight.
I did interact quite a lot with the children. I couldn't help but think that they all looked like what our (dearly departed) imagined child would. I also enjoyed the company of a young boy who was visiting his father for the summer. He had actually seen me on TV, and was young enough to be impressed by this. He had that innocence that pre-teens have before they get all snarly and know-it-all. I gave him a big hug before I left. I still have that maternal feeling.
This explains my sullen mood this morning. A little guilty about the meatballs, chocolate brownies and wine. We're also seeing some other friends (just had their 2nd) today. I keep thinking this is all good, this is all good. Because when we get our child, we'll appreciate their friendship. Let's get it all done this weekend. Bring it on!
Happy 4th to my American friends!
Saturday, July 5, 2008
So what can I say about being a Buddhist for a decade? What enlightenment have I received? Well, this Buddhism sounds so simple and it's quite easy to start. But like an onion, it has many layers and when you think you finally get something, you can just as easily realize you don't understand anything. It's been a lot of fun, I have a lot of happy memories with my fellow Buddhists as we've produced exhibits and events in the city. United, we chant to achieve what a lot of people think is a waste of time - world peace.
I've learned that I'm a lot stronger than I thought. I don't cut and run from difficult situations anymore. I stand and fight. My practise has helped me to cycle through therapy in half the time. I've learned that I get a lot more from people when I give more. You can gain compassion through suffering, but you have seek true, unshakeable happiness.
I've lost faith. I've found it again. Slowly, gradually. Infertility can make you question your worth as a woman, your self identity. How many times have we asked, why me? Why can't I be like everyone else?
You don't have to practise a particular religion or philosophy to have faith, but you do need to nurture it. I like ritual but I hate dogma. Ten years ago, I had no idea of just how connected people on this planet are to one another. I've gained a certain level of equanimity. Just a tiny, tiny fraction. I've found happiness not in flat screen TVs, but in nature, in moments in time, in great parking spots. To believe in myself is one of the hardest tasks that I have in this lifetime. I don't think it's an accident that I picked the worst career in the world to try and accomplish this. I've learned the difference between what you do and what your mission is.
I am grateful. And occasionally, fleetingly, when I am in rhythm with the universe, I get the flash that I am not who my mind says I am, I am something so much more. It's those moments when I don't feel fear.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Gorgeous, eh? (that's Samps near the bottom of the frame, moving out of camera range.) No, it's not one of those very popular cruiser types. No nancy bike for me, folks! They're nice, but it's like riding in a chair with wheels. I prefer hybrid bikes. I like the real dangerous, fast ones, there's a possibility that your brakes could throw you over the handlebars, the pedals can rip up the back of your legs if your foot slips off, grrrrr. Of course the downside is your ass is not too comfortable on those seats. All the spinning prepared me, though, I still swapped out for a cushier gel seat. My ass would have liked the big comfort seats but it didn't match the edgy bike. We already gone around the Stanley Park seawall twice. It's 10km, people. I haven't done that since 19mumblesomething.It was lovely actually, the sunset was great, the crowds are out, the gelato store is open late .... oops, this isn't going to be easy.