It amazes me how quickly my sense of self can teeter off the board. Today was a good day. I got MidLifeBloggers accepted for BlogHer Ads and I wrote a Belated Intro to the site to post on BlogHer.
Maybe the teetering started when I couldn't download the second part of the BlogHer Ads app. Maybe it got a little worse when I couldn't get the intro uploaded without some strange code attached to it, despite trying twice, and so I deleted it, twice. Frustrating, yes, but ultimately fixable.
Then I read Dooce and her friend Carol's twin posts about the diet they're doing together, and I thought I want to go on that diet too. But I immediately realized that it wasn't the diet I envied, but their friendship. It's been a while since I've had that kind of closeness with another woman where you can absolutely trust that she wants what is good for you--and cares enough to say so.
The coup de grace happened when I sat down to dinner. I had a plate full of food, chicken arriabiata and basil pasta and fresh green beans that I was enjoying, I thought, when suddenly my perspective changed. It was as if I had an out-of-body experience, and I looked down and I saw myself as I was, sitting alone, working my silent way through the chicken and green beans. The thought flashed through my mind: is it worse to always be sitting alone, eating alone these nutritious meals. Or would I feel less pathetic if I was eating on the fly, just grabbing whatever, like I did when I was in my twenties?
That's a rhetorical question, by the way; no need to answer with encouraging words about respecting oneself and caring for one's body. I know all that. Hell, you don't get to this stage of midlife without having internalized a whole heap of magazine articles and books about How To Live Successfully Alone. I'm really just registering that instant of altered perspective and then only to say how it was as if the lights went out.
I know what my problem is, and I know how to solve it. It just takes time, but patience has never been my strong suit.