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It was brave, it was bold and it was totally spontaneous.  Last night, I attempted to meditate at 7pm.

Normally a crazy busy time (sorry Carla) around our house, on this night all the needy men-children were occupied.  The boys were enthralled with a new movie and Jim was enthralled with a new attempt at cooking steak.  I came to the computer to look at a recommended website for the kids and my guided meditation reminder popped up.  Why  not?

It mostly worked, but I had to continue to refocus and work to drown out the distractions.   It wasn’t the giggling from “Ice Age Continental Drift” – I’m already pretty good at tuning out animation music and sound effects already.  And I’ve been around Jim’s muttering while puttering long enough to serve as his ventriloquist.  (He’s going to read this and have a little hiccup that I used the word “serve” in relation to him.)

Nope, the distractions that caused meditatus interruptus were my own thoughts.  Of course.  This will come as no surprise to anyone who meditates.  I can finally say I am in this category instead of the “attempting to meditate” classification I struggled to get past for so long.

As I was settling in, I thought, if this works, I should write about it – it’s brave, it’s bold, it’s spontaneous!  And that was it.  Everything I’ve been planning to write about came slinging on through, words, phrases, metaphors, similes.  The yoga class I finally took this week.  How happy my body was to be doing it, I started crying.  Body image.  Women’s walking groups, the kids cute sayings, the generator across the street, the yoga instructor.  On and on, each image had to be sandblasted away.  That’s my current method – a swirling sandstorm that turns my brain’s images into pixels and they rise up into the sky.  Gently, of course, dear meditators.

So, a classic meditation experience in a non-meditative environment.  My experiments to fit in the things that I need instead of waiting for the perfect time continue.


Accoutrements.  Say eet weeth a verry French accent.  Come on you language-immersion generation … accoutrements!  As in accessories, armaments, equipage, trappings, coverings, complexion, Cover Girl clean make up by Noxema.

To mark the passage of time and transition to a new life;  I present the old and new life equipages:

My calendars for the last 10 years

What can I say?  If you find something that works; stay with it!.   I can’t tell you how many colleagues I converted over the years to the Mead At-a-Glance #76-05 with monthly, weekly and daily achievement spaces for you to fill with the to do list that never ends.   No matter how many times you cross something off, all you get to look at is the shit you HAVEN’T DONE.   Note, it’s not called a Day Planner or a Calendar, it’s entitled a “Self Management System.”  If you still can’t get it together with this tool, then you’re obviously a loser.

My calendar for 2012

Hello 2012!  A new outlook on life and body armor.  Smaller, lighter, brighter.  More fun, less stuff.   This ones says “Act Responsibly” on the back cover.  I thought it was a charge to me for 2012, but it’s just Mead’s enviro slogan from their website.  Whew!

Meet the purses!

Standard purse prototype from the last 10 years

You’ve seen them in every meeting you’ve been to.  Black, professional,  shoulder bag with multiple outside pockets to access phone, keys or a pen sans hunting.  I’ve had various over the years and wear them until they die, so no old ones to line up on this rare occasion that the coffee table in the front room (“rum”) isn’t littered with crap.

2012 "Across the Body" purse from Etsy shop: Fabulosophy

For 2012, I’m giving up conservative and professional for:  I need comfort;  my shoulders won’t hold straps; I need 2 hands to corral the wild things; and I need something completely fun and slim.  It’s actually slightly challenging to find an across the body purse that’s not a “messenger bag.”  Note: check measurements before you buy!

And don’t worry, those who know me, no viewing of the real body armor, the 2012 wardrobe.  A colleague in my former life asked me to help counsel a woman we hired who had just come off of welfare and needed to look more professional.  She thought my casual style would be the next step up.  That’s my fashion style – post welfare.  So you can imagine what it is now that I’m working part-time, some from home, and some from a place where I don’t have meetings so much as conversations over breakfast!

Bienvenu 2012 – je t’aime!

Jim and I worked out together just once.  We were desperate for some activity, after fluctuating from comatose to mute despair watching the hurricane Katrina coverage .  We went to the small gym in the corner stall of the strip mall of my hometown.   It was where I used to stand as a teenager by the dumpster waiting for the Greyhound bus to take me away to New Orleans.

As I gazed at him working way harder than me on the stationary bicycle, I had an epiphany that has stayed with me through dating and married life with my Gem.

I realized the exact degree of complication to simplicity that separates us.  Complisimplicity is what causes the majority of our disagreeable conversations (?), huffy morning silences, and a whole host of who the hell is this person thoughts.

6 to 1.

Jim needs 6 things for every 1 thing that I need.

The Workout 6:

1-head band, 2-knee brace, 3-water, 4-walkman, 5-croakies for glasses, 6-shoe insoles.

My workout requirement:  water.

That day, (and we all get extra leeway during that hellish period in 2005)  if he couldn’t find each and every item, he was damn well not going, which he told me a dozen times as he sifted through the rubble of our things that were piled in Mom and Dad’s playroom.  We lived there for 2 months after disastrously built levees flooded our city following Katrina.  We couldn’t find anything and were usually on edge.  So, to workout to workout we go….. once.

I began to apply the 6:1 to everything that drove me crazy.  It helped.  Followed by a little OCD torture.

The Salad 6.  Oh, how I have come to suffer the salad.  If it is missing an ingredient; out comes the accusative tense (they really have this in Russian), the stop and stare, the about to get up and add to the salad until he sees my face.

1-butter lettuce only, 2-shredded cheese, 3-nuts, 4-dried fruit, 5- my homemade salad dressing, 6-specific plastic container.

Speaking of Plastic containers

Plastic containers plus kitty

The Plastic Container 6

1 – Leftovers, but only at home and never in the microwave. Also the hallowed salad container

2 – Microwave leftovers, only at home (bottom)

3 – Store dried goods only (brown sugar here)

4 – Take leftovers to work (microwaving allowed)

5 – Holds water in the freezer so it operates more efficiently. (currently 6 in freezer)

6 – Only cup he likes to drink morning milk out of – I know I know; it doesn’t fit, but I have to make 6, so it works for me and my little justification world.

7 – Cute kitty Rio waiting to tip the cup over.

I survive with easy little tortures (yes Abram, we torture our men to stay sane).  After exclaiming about a delicious dinner and how great it would be to take to work for lunch tomorrow, I’ll casually reach for the wrong container category just to get a reaction out of him.  What can I say, I’m twisted and evil.

Guilt alert: 6 Great things Jim did lately

1.  Asked if he could get a potty reward since he used the same spoon twice during breakfast, instead of dirtying up 2 clean ones.

2.  Set me up for diapers ready to go to the preschool, to the car, and in the “changing table”.  I will never have to run to the grocery store at midnight for emergency supply.

3.   Trimmed the lower limbs on the trees in our back yard so I can run around without bashing my head and scratching my eyes while playing soccer monster.

4.  He dances with me in the laundry room and dances with my son in the kitchen.

5.  Refills my PJs coffee card without comment

6.  He hasn’t asked me to make the salad for dinner in a very very long time, and not just because we have kids now.


Six to one.  I can live with that!