Let me tell you about my favorite part of my day. It's called bedtime and I look forward to it starting at around 8:00 pm. I really love bedtime on days when I've been at work for an extremely long time.
I usually decide to go to bed insanely early but I never really get around to it 'till a much more culturally acceptable time so as not to appear elderly. But once I make that final decision to get up off the couch and lumber into the bathroom to wash my face, it's great. It feels like Friday every night. By the time I make that decision, my body has gone stiff. I try to limit the amount of ibuprofen I swallow in a day, so by the end it's all worn off. I walk and stretch and hurt and wash my face and brush my teeth.
Between the stiffness and the general sleepyness, it takes forever to find my way to and up the staircase but I finally make it and set the mood. At night time, the overhead light in my room does not come on, side table lamps only please. Really, the best part is when I shut the door and can finally take my jeans off. Seriously, the second the door is latched is the first time of the day that I quit making an effort to keep my pants up. It's an all day struggle for me. My pants never want to stay on. Sometimes I just get tired of all the fighting and give up the ghost.
Stand in front of the mirror. Look at thighs. Wonder if it's hopeless. Smear blue stuff on my face and then finally, finally, crawl into bed. And that's when the good hurt starts. My feet are in love with me. They take me everywhere. But sometimes they say, "Why did you make us walk ten miles in a restaurant today? Why didn't you let them get their own extra napkins? Why did you tell your boss you'd stay another hour? Why don't you love me?" And I tell them, "I gave you a pedicure two weeks ago." And they say, "We will feel better in the morning." And they always do. All three of us do.
I lay on my tummy and write things in my journal that I'm too embarrassed to mention out loud or that are too boring to even bring up in conversation. Then I read Anne Lamott. I try to read her every night. I know good Christian boys and girls read the bible but I haven't been able to do that since I was a good Christian girl. So I rely on Annie to tell me about myself and give me things to disagree with and things to appreciate and things to wonder about. And I always fall asleep very aware of my spirit and my body and very appreciative of both of those things.
It took a long time and I know I'm not there yet but I'm finally at a place where my body doesn't make me want to drive my car into oncoming traffic. My butt, as small as it is, keeps me cushioned when I sit down. And my arms, as loose as they can be, hold lots of plates and give me a paycheck. And these trunky thighs walk me all over my world. I'd much rather appreciate my body than think it was smoking hot. It can only get better from here, so I've got good times to look forward to. I'm getting much better than I've ever been. It's a fight built on a balance between pretending to be in love with myself and actually being okay with myself and a few bouts of existential dread peppered along the way. It happens and I recover and life goes on.