One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in turning the page to this new chapter of my life, is that it helps to claim ownership of things. This is true of my new cookware, my new wireless earbuds, and my health. Discovering my decorating style and claiming the bathroom space as my own – marking my territory, if you will – served the same purpose.
Revamping the bathroom was one of the first projects I took on after creating my Memory List. I knew I was going to enjoy the new towels and a fresh coat of paint, but I had no idea how amazing it was going to feel.
It’s been almost 3 months to the day that I moved into my new place, but I certainly haven’t waited this long to cook for myself. One of the first online orders I placed was for new cookware.
Cooking is therapeutic for me. Not only is it a mindful experience, but I also put a lot of loving energy into the food that I prepare. And since I’m now frequently the only recipient of these dishes, the love I put into the meal comes back to me, nourishing both my belly and my soul.
Tourists may know of Weeki Wachee Springs as being the home of mermaids. It’s apparently an attraction that draws a high number of visitors. I can pretty much guarantee you, though, I will not be one of them. Seeing humans dressed in mermaid costumes, swimming in a pool, will never be on my Memory List.
For me, the draw of Weeki Wachee Springs is its crystal clear water and lazy-river current. That’s what I was thinking of when I added this memory to my list. I’ve been kayaking there before, and I really enjoyed it. I wanted to experience that again.
As with many things that I’m doing because of my Memory List, getting a tattoo has been something on my mind for a couple of years, but I never made it a priority. I didn’t really know what I wanted, and without being sure of a design, I wasn’t going to go through any sort of pain to get something permanently applied to my body.
In the days and weeks after I decided to leave my marriage, the idea of getting a tattoo popped back into my mind. A small, simple, black bird, with spread wings on the inside of my right wrist felt the closest to being true to me and how I was feeling. A bird flying free, unrestricted by the limitations of the Earth’s terrain was the poeticism I was looking for.
This is the memory I’m most proud of. At least, so far.
Exactly a month ago, on the last day of August, my weight was the highest it had been in over a decade. For the days, weeks, and months prior, every time I got on the scale, I watched the number creep up. Every time, I told myself I was going to start changing things and getting back on track to losing weight. Every time, I lied to myself.
I suppose it was a couple years ago that I first learned what hashing was. My first assumption was that it had something to do with the cannabis plant. Although I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the intoxicating resin from the plant co-exists in the hashing community, members of the Hash House Harriers (a.k.a. “hashers”) describe themselves as “drinkers with a running problem.”
The running part of the activity always kinda turned me off from it. I’ve never seen myself as a runner. And, honestly, I’m a pretty cheap drunk, too. So, I worried that joining a group of people focused on running and drinking wasn’t going to be for me.
It wasn’t until a friend of mine, who’s a hasher, told me that some people walk and some people just drink water, I started to entertain the idea a bit more. The fact that the community also prides itself on its musical prowess, littered with incessant sexual innuendos, convinced me to at least try it out once.
Last weekend was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Just after sundown on the Friday, with my challah bread baking in the oven for the first stage of my memory, I received the news that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died. I was gutted.
In some respects, I feel like the tiny, 5’1″ Ginsburg was holding this country together. I haven’t only been mourning her death this week, but I feel as though I’m also slowly saying goodbye to the democracy of the United States.
I’ve been carrying around so much existential dread since the results of the last presidential election were confirmed, I could write a novel. A long one, with table of contents and a bibliography. But, you’re not here for that. You’re here for fresh baked bread and a french toast breakfast.
I have a feeling that 2-for-1 memories will be an extremely rare occurrence, but I intentionally aligned the stars a few weeks ago, and got a complete hair makeover. I had been tempted to get a mohawk for the last 2.5 years, but I never seemed to have the guts to get it done. I never seemed to be able to, well, cut it.
When it came to dyeing my hair a funky color, it had also been something I wanted to do, but struggled to commit to it. Other than my freshman orientation week, when, on a whim, I bleached and dyed my hair fire engine red myself, I had been staring at the same natural brown hair color in the mirror my entire life.
In writing my Memory List, it just felt like it was time to take the plunge with both of these styles. I was simultaneously nervous and excited. Scared and eager. Hesitant and ready.
I see the bumper of my car as a blank canvas. What do I want the lucky folks behind me at a stoplight or people walking by in a parking lot to read? I certainly like puns, but I’m not sure a bumper is the best something like that. Maybe I want something deeper, something that will make people think.
But, what? It’s a question I’ve pondered for a number of years. When I added this memory to my list, it was my way of forcing me to finally stop and figure out an answer.
By the end of August, I had finally gotten fed up with witnessing the number on my scale consistently climbing. I wasn’t happy with myself, and I no longer wanted to be caught in the downward spiral. I knew that if I could put a strong effort in, for at least a few solid days, it would be enough for me to get back on track to improved fitness.
So that’s exactly what I did. I threw out the remaining 2 pints of ice cream from my freezer, and set some goals for myself. Each day I would hold the plank for as long as I could, I would do at least 25 push-ups (modified ones were acceptable), and I would see my Fitbit reach at least 12,000 steps. I even printed an exercise log to document it all.
And you know what? For the past 12 days, I’ve been doing it.