OFF THE RAILS
I wish I were the type of person who could easily have just one glass of wine or one brownie or shop for just one pair of shoes. I wish I were the type of cool chick who could stay on a consistent budget or stick to one goal I set for myself and just make it a lifestyle change because I feel so frickin good when I do. I wish I were the type of woman who had the discipline to stay focused on one idea and completely execute it from beginning to end.
But I am not. And this is who I am. And I accept myself for who I am. And I am wondering if any woman I know actually is this type of person. Where does the notion of all of this start to finish and completely following through on all of the ridiculous amounts of goals I set for myself even come from?
“You’re too hard on yourself,” my friend who is also the manager of my Providence location said when I was telling her that I wasn’t drinking (again). Of course she is of the French variety- stunning, thin, and eats chocolate and one, or more likely two, glasses of wine every day since I have known her for about thirteen years. I am too hard on myself- always have been. The good news is that I completely recognize this in myself. The upside of this trait is that it propels success. In business and in so many other facets of my life this invisible driving force makes me jump out of bed in the morning and carpe fucking diem pretty much 365 give or take a few.
I have a lot of energy and I really rely on my daily inner compass to set me on a path for the day. I may wake up one day with a plan and look outside and end up doing something totally different. This is one of the many luxuries of owning my own business- I don’t have to answer to anyone except my beating heart. This works for me most of the time.
My pattern with eating and drinking and spending money though comes from a long line of women before me and around me who have struggled with these three hot buttons. Like Pavlov’s dog I have found myself in auto pilot for most of my life trying to lose weight or see how long I can go without eating sugar or shopping and when I just can’t do it anymore, I splurge. Go big or go home type splurging. Almost self defeating on purpose and I know that this sounds absolutely crazy. But here I am. No Cape. Stripped and Bare. Open and Honest. Fucking Pure Raw Annoying Truth. But as I get older and head towards my sixties which still seem so far off but really less than seven years away, I am getting more comfortable with the ebb and flow of alayne’s brain. What I am curious about each and every time I set some off on some new plan is that despite the fact that I feel so good, great actually, I wonder what makes me do the slide backwards into almost manic shopping, eating or drinking.
With the wisdom of retrospect, I do know what causes the downhill slide and each time it happens I get closer to the realization of where its momentum stems from. But seriously, how much can I blame my mother? I am a grown up and I haven’t lived with her for almost forty years. It is too easy to blame external forces when the work that needs to be done always is the internal ones. I think that when a mom button gets pushed though even when it is not from my mother, but the essence of behavior that is familiar, this is when the dive down is usually the cause. In this case it is because of a major change in what I thought was a deep and solid friendship and this sad shift has created some apparent need to go rogue on myself. And this time around I have consciously allowed it to take its hold and just have fun with the escape. This is an interesting turn for me because in the slide south this time, I knew what I was doing in the middle of it and I just went with it trusting that it is what I needed to care for myself. Knowing that the jump in with both feet doesn’t have to sink me. I can come back up to the surface for air and swim out, dry off, get dressed and feel refreshed from the plunge. This is a unique shift for me as in the past when I have unconsciously and recklessly shopped till I dropped, (often a car purchase, which I know sounds completely insane) eaten sugar with total abandonment and every other carbohydrate that I had previously deprived myself of had lead me in a downward spiral of irritability and slight depression, this is no longer a part of who I am. I am so in tune with my body and my mind that I know myself inside these days. Emotional eating and shopping is definitely my nemesis as it is for lots of women I know. I write about it openly because I do think that the conversation helps us know we are all part of the same party. It is the awareness of the triggers and how the triggers show up in my behavior that is most evident in my quest for constant growth. It is like I am my own science project and I am constantly researching what makes me tick.
We all have our ups and downs, I have learned how to lasso the downs with a little more frequency and poignancy, but more important patience. I have always said that grief is important. We can not circumvent it, we must go through it. When someone dies, grief comes more naturally, but grief shows up as a force in many other life experiences. Loss of friendships must be grieved too. Downs are a part of life; Life coming at us as my dear man likes to frequently say is part of the life we live. When the dearest of friendships leave us without so much as a goodbye, I think it is good enough reason to buy five pairs of shoes and let the boxes lie at my feet as I spoon hot fudge sauce on my ice cream and drink a glass of proseco with a tear in my eye. After all what is chocolate and bubbly for anyway?