Category Archives: exersize

Today is August 14, 2017. I am alive and well.

Wearing makeup is an apology for our actual faces.  Cynthia Heimel

This quote struck me as hilarious. I’m not certain why. And then, I had to decide if I agreed with it or not.

Coincidently (which I don’t really believe in coincidences), I read an article in Glamour magazine today while walking on the treadmill at the gym that was about wearing makeup to the gym. The article targeted the population of people who judge those women who wear makeup as being vain. This population often thinks it’s bad or sad that women are moved to do so. In all honesty, I fell into that category until the article changed my mind.

The article stressed feeling good about the self in all situations. It stated that the women who wore makeup to the gym felt prettier for having done so, thus trained harder. It would have never occurred to me to think of it that way.

Cosmeticians even make makeup that is specifically for the gym; makeup that allows the skin to breathe, not clogging pours. Then of course, there is water proof mascara for those who sweat a great deal.

So, do I agree that “makeup is an apology for our actual faces?” I am saddened that the standard of beauty for women seems to include makeup. It would be nice to see models bare their skin occasionally. I have tremendous respect for Alicia Keyes, the singer, who decided to not wear makeup. That said, I consider makeup an art. It’s not to apologize but it is too alter.

From my own experience, I needed to give up makeup for a period of time. Between the ages of 16-18, I wore a lot of makeup because I modeled. I was so brain washed to think that makeup was necessary that I couldn’t go to the grocery store at five in the morning without it. I stopped wearing it so I could return to myself.

Today, I don’t wear any because I don’t want to take the time to apply it. I don’t want the extra expense. I want to be able to rub my eyes and scratch my face and not leave makeup on the shoulder of anyone I hug.

Joy to those who wear makeup and joy to those who don’t. I just hope that those who do wear makeup are at peace with their actual face.

Today is May 22, 2017. I am alive and well.

I miss clothes shopping. There is no money in my budget to do this with. The truth is I own 17 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of dress pants, 5 blouses, several shirts and several jackets. I don’t need anymore clothes. To think I can wear a different pair of jeans everyday for a week and a half is mind blowing. And I don’t grow out of them. My weight is stable.

People think I’m naturally thin. This is not true. I work at it. If I had my druthers, I would eat cake with butter cream frosting on a daily basis. I love butter cream frosting. I always go for the flowers. If a cake has whipped cream frosting I am disappointed. Cake is an elixir. Cake is a joy. At Safeway Grocery there is four different kinds of cake, single serving of all, in the same container. Whoever thought that up is a genius! And yes, I would eat it all at one sitting.

I also exercise a great deal. I’ve been lifting weights and walking on the treadmill for years. Guy, my ex, is a personal trainer and set me up well with this. Currently, I weight train with Christy for an hour four times per week and walk on the treadmill six times per week for 50 minutes. Believe it or not, I don’t like exercise. I wish I could send my body to the gym and leave my mind at home reading books.

I’ve been thinking about homelessness a great deal, lately. My sister did telephone me. She is homeless. I asked her where she slept, hoping she would say a shelter. She didn’t; she sleeps on the street. Maybe there’s a park nearby. There is a big park by the library where I work. People commune in the grass. People sleep in the grass.

I wonder about little things being difficult. Where do you charge your phone? You’re on FaceBook…where do you use a computer? How do you shower? How do you maintain your clothes? I mean, c’mon, I have 17 pairs of jeans and they’re all laundered.

I have a full refrigerator, a stove/oven combo, and a dishwasher. I don’t use my dishwasher, but I do have one. I also have a microwave I use to heat water often in order to make coffee. I have coffee, by God. No, God has nothing to do with my coffee, but God has given me life; I’m talking spiritually. I say in respect to my sister, “there but for the grace of God go I.” I spend time in the hope of growing my spiritual condition. If I were on the streets, would I do this? Probably not. Where is God in my sister’s life? Maybe that’s not a question for me to ask.

I love easily today. I love my life today. Any problem today is a luxury problem. And have I mentioned?…I have two cats who curl up to me as I write in bed. Heaven.

Today is May 1, 2017. I am alive and well.

The first thing my sister said to me when I ran into her after 7 years of no contact was “Wow, you’re still alive.” And then my uncle said to me yesterday “I bet you didn’t think you’d see 53.”

It is true. I had no intention of living to 53. A driver has no intention of holding up traffic when her truck stalls out. I have had somewhere between 15 and 20 suicide attempts in my lifetime. The last one was in 1999. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to die since then; that’s simply the last time I attempted. Maybe the East Indian doctor with the soulful dark eyes, smelling of lavender, rubbed off on me. She told me at my bedside in the hospital ICU that I had a lot of life to live. That I had something special to offer. A five-year-old gets excited when she opens the door of the restaurant for her mother for the first time, offering entrance. I got excited about my book being published in 2014. It documented my recovery from schizophrenia and alcoholism. And yes, my time away from my last suicide attempt.

I have been free from the obsession to die for sometime now. That thought had plagued me like wanting a cigarette, needing a cigarette, in a smoke free coffee house. All thinking got set aside as I prayed for God to take me after swallowing handfuls of pills.

I am very bad at dying. It is hard to kill one’s self. I believe that those who do die from suicide were meant too….I can’t tell you why I believe this. Some ice cubes in a glass of tea float to the top while others remain at the bottom. I can’t tell you why all the ice doesn’t float to the top, getting in the way of the straw.

I am in the way of death. I have floated to the top. God removed my obsession to die. Life is new to me on a daily basis.

I remember the first time I tied my own shoes. I was excited to be able to do this on my own. On occasion, my shoe becomes untied while walking on the treadmill. I push the pause button and then bend over to tie my shoe. Ready to walk again, I hit a button and the treadmill resumes.

Life resumes. I love breathing. I love eating cake with butter cream frosting. I love that my cats woke me up this morning wanting kibbles. I take care of two living things. They thank me by curling up against me while I’m on the bed napping, writing, or reading.

There is no time to die today. Afternoon approaches. I know I will eat vegan chili, salad, and cornbread. I know I will wash my hair later. I will leave the house today to go to a sobriety meeting. I am 53 and loving it. So I say to my sister “I am alive and well.” She responds with a “thank God” and “it’s good to see you.” It is good to be seen. It will reach a 115 degrees here in the desert. And then there is air conditioning to be found inside.

Today is April 24, 2016. I am alive and well.

I don’t like my ankles to itch. Another lifetime ago, with Guy, I had two little dogs. Shih Tzus. They would come in from outside and bite my big toes. I don’t like my feet to tickle. I would discourage them from their activity by kicking my feet forward from the chair upon which I sat.

A lady bug flew in from the open window. She settled nearby. The little dogs went after her in a black, brown, and white fury, their paws the size of a quarter. The lady bug is sharp; she flies off before her impeding death.

I no longer fly away. My body is of earth. The bloom that I am flourishes with clean air. I no longer seek gas or exhaust.

I would wake to walk the little dogs. They vibrated with excitement as I clipped on their leashes. I can only wish to be that excited, to have my skin tingle in anticipation of connecting with the sidewalk, of leaving the safety of wood floors and lowly light for the far reaching sun.

Today is my new life. The little dogs are in Florida with Guy. The two black cats I have leave my feet alone unless I have on shoes. Then they sniff. I read that when they sniff shoes, they are discovering where it is I have been. I wonder what the grocery store smells like. I avoided the spilled peach juice while my hands got lost in the avocados, hoping just one would welcome my squeeze, give in to my fingers.

I’m certain the floor of the grocery is mopped regularly. It is not the produce at waist high that Grams and Annie smell, but rather the wax that leaves the floor shining.

I am connected to the sidewalk without the little dogs. My legs bend rhythmically, no march here. The military at one time called to me just as the nun in the cathedral. I was desperate for discipline, for a plan, for structure, willing to stay my virgin self or to muscle my way through boot camp. Neither manifested.

Today, I am disciplined. I have a plan. I have structure. I fill the cats’ bowls with kibbles. Often, I miss the little dogs but Grams too gives me kisses while Annie stretches on the bed, resting her head on my leg. I have grown use to their unleashed lives. I wake to walk myself, and walk I do for an hour. My heart pumping. My mind intact.

Today is April 8, 2016. I am alive and well.

My mind rests in my lap. I have just come from doing an hour of cardio on a tread mill and 45 minutes of weight training legs at the gym. My mind is suspended while I am there. I don’t like exercise, although I do it daily. Why? My body craves it like a dog does a bone or a cat, birds. I say my mind is suspended because I don’t feel my mind is in my body. Movement is like pretending I’m hooked up to a remote control, a helicopter in a young girl’s hands.

I believe working out for me is a form of meditation. It differs not in the sense of empty mind, but in the sense of active body. My body motors around at the gym, sometimes with difficulty if the weight I chose is too heavy.

A friend once said to me, “I like how you move around the gym.” I’m not certain what she meant by this. Maybe she was speaking to the comfortability I feel in the gym; I started weight training at eleven. Maybe she sensed my confidence as I worked my bicep up down, up down. One, two, three and four, five, six, to a total count of twelve.

I am happiest when my mind rests in my lap, suspended once again, but attached to the page, the pen, or the key board. Being in the zone is better than a chocolate cupcake with coconut icing. It is almost as good as the smile the two-year-old gives me when I tell her I like her princess shoes.

I love being suspended. When my mind comes to rest in my brain, it is with a weight like a tug of the string of a flying kite. But it is here, in the brain, that I’m able to work and make out bills; here that I grocery shop for avocados; here that notes when it’s time of go to bed.

It is good to love both, the suspension and the weight. I feel solid. I feel complete. I stand in the grass radiating with the rays of the sun, or on the sidewalk radiating with the glow of the moon. Pretending I’m in the sky is as good as pretending I’m in the gym. Both rock my world.