the cool girls

I wish I was one of the cool girls.  I have always been about 3 degrees of separation away from them, I know them.  They smile when they see me, if I can catch their eye.  They may say hi, if its unavoidable, in a store or at a restaurant.  But they never call me.  They don’t invite me to the luncheons, or the weddings, or, way back in 6th. grade, Vee Jame’s birthday party — to be held at the pavilion.  (“Sorry Cindy, I have a limit of people I can invite.  You just didn’t make the cut”). 

I see their children’s cookie cutter  weddings on facebook.  Why do I even look?  These drippy, saggy armed women in their polyester dresses — women whose kids went to school with my kids.  Women who have been friends for God only knows how long, who drink cocktails and embrace each other.  I resent them, their comraderie, but I wish I was one of them..no, that’s not true.  I wish they wanted to be like me…

My daughters had wonderful weddings.  My three best friends and their husbands were at both of them.  I have friends.  I have a good life.  But, man, just once, I’d like to be one of the cool girls…

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Today I advocate for ME!

Today I work for me, for my mental health, for my emotional wellbeing, for my future.  Selfish ?  Maybe.  Out of character?  Definitely.  Needed?  Damn Straight.

I have recently come to terms with the unhappy truth that I am one of “those” people who holds onto bad memories.  Ive been married to my husband for almost 35 years, and when I allow myself to sink into “miserable me” I cant tell you why.  I can go, almost year by year, hell, month by month, through the “bad” times. The mistakes, the arguments, the ugly moment in an almost perfect day.  It is harder for me to see the good, the joy, the laughter that, of course, have made up the most of this marriage.  Well, knowing is half the battle right?  Im working on it.  Working on recall of and celebration of the fun that has been so much of the entity that is my life.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

And then I return to center

ImageAs I stumble through my days, focused on the “issue of the moment” whether it be how to salvage the green beans I bought a week ago, or how to help my son with the custody battle for his daughter, I find myself losing focus on what truly brought me to this particular point in my life.  As impossible as it may seem, I attribute everything, everything that I am and want to be and work for to the moment my child told me she was bulimic.  For the past 7 years a day has not gone by where I did not think, if just for a fleeting moment, about that night.  It has shaped my intention and my drive.  But life moves forward, and the intensity drops.  Other things happen, other issues beckon, and my advocacy for families of those with Eating Disorders takes a back burner.  And I feel guilty that I am not out there fighting, hard, every moment of the day.

,    This morning I read an announcement that Jenni Schaefer, an inspirational voice for those suffering from eating disorders, has decided to “retire” from the field.  She has been a voice in my head since 2007 — her wisdom and insight has helped me help my child.  But, she is well. She is recovered.  She is moving forward with her life and is leaving the field of Eating Disorder Treatment.  Bells and whistles went off in my head.  Alarm?  Concern?  Joy?  All of the above.  You worry that without the support of the network she has woven, she may relapse.  You worry that her voice will be silenced, and she has said so many good things that you know that her message needs to resonate still.  But, I find myself wrapped in joy that this young woman is moving forward.  Her eating disorder does not define who she is and she doesn’t have to think about it every day. 

And I think of my child.  My grown up, married mom and mom -to -be child.  She too is well, recovered, moving forward.  Am I, with my continued focus on ED, holding her back?  Does she still think I’m timing her when she goes to the bathroom after a meal?  Am I timing her?  Does she see “treatment” or love when she looks at me? 

 

This deserves some thought.  My center is shaky.  How do I continue to fight the fight without bringing my daughter into a battle she has already won?

 

Ah. The family vacation.

Back from the annual ( well almost annual, we missed last year, but that’s another story) family vacation.  A week on Cape Hatteras, sitting in the sand, listening to the grand  babies laugh, and fight. boy can those 4 find stuff to argue about.  You see , they are 1,2,3 and 4 years old.  You get the picture. 

 

But, in the midst of it all I was struck by the lack of urgency.  Often we get to the island and we hurry, gotta do this, see this, spend this much time in the sun…shop, whatever.  None of that this time.  Each day began in the sun and ended on the deck.  Bathing suits and flip flops.  Fried fish and steamed clams.  Blue claw crabs.  MInnows in the bait trap and oysters under our feet.  And no sense of ,” oh heck, its almost over:….just a feeling that we were supposed to be there, and that we would be there again.  Good stuff.  Good stuff.