Feeling blue as a result of being stuck at home? Join your hosts for a rundown on the books and TV shows they’ve been enjoying in an effort to stave off cabin fever on this week’s Told You So!
This post and photo appeared on November 8, 2018 after I lost my NH Senate race–I received 42% against an eleven term, 82 year old Establishment Elite incumbent with almost half-a-million dollars in his war chest. (I had $25K and a lot of grassroots support.)
Positive reflection: I am very proud of myself for not cheating on my #Keto lifestyle at all during this entire election cycle–well, except for those damn little choccies at AFP once in a while!
I could ignore pizza laden tables at events without ever having that “OMG, I’m going to die, I’m so hungry” feeling. When contemplating how I would like to “reward” myself after the race, I ran down a litany of “naughty food,” (poison) and realized, burger? nope, pizza? nope, cupcake? nope, mac & cheese, well, yes, but I can make a yummy, almost-as-good substitute. I now know fueling your body with the nutrients it deserves can change your life by giving you stamina, focus, and balance.
My sister, Lizette Cloete, who kindly cooked us a volunteer “thank you” meal on Monday night even got “a-talking-to” when she wanted to make a traditional meat and bean chili. “No,” I said, “I am living my principles and that means serving food that I can eat.” She made two separate pots and people could mix and match according to their desires. Thank you!
Other than once over a lunch date with myself at a fancy hotel while waiting on a print run for mailers, I didn’t have any urges to drink alcohol, either. (I ordered a ginormous sparkling water instead because I like that tea and water glow I have now!)
I’m down 65 pounds, and think my weight is probably close to where it wants to be. This morning, Louis and I both had the exact same thought…
Louis: “When we’re in South Africa in December, let’s set a goal to do yoga every day.”
Me: “OMG, I was literally just thinking the same thing!!!”
For me, this journey is about being the best me I can be, and I’m getting there, and then some… Get ready to be amazed! <3 y’all!
Procrastinate much? I do, and I don’t. In my quest to put off whatever it is I am supposed to be completing at any given moment, I will finishing several other tasks or chores. This means shit. gets. done. Not always the right shit, in the right order, and not always perfectly, but somehow, one procrastinated task after another, my life goals progress.
Except my writing.
Except my “It’s-Taking-For-Fucking-Ever” book-in-progress. Word of advice: It is very difficult to write a memoir in conjunction with living your actual life. Arrests, lawsuits, rallies, protests, elections, and whatnot else, tend to get in the way.
It’s like being your very own reality TV star while also producing, directing, and shooting the show, which sometimes, in your life, is The Shit Show. So you are living your life, but also, you know, having to record what’s happening as it is happening. That’s… hard. Basically, it is the closest I’ve gotten to legit (mental) time travel, so you will excuse me if my book is, let’s say, taking a tad–by which I mean a decade–too long to write.
To drive this point home, the (fantasy) actress who is supposed to play me in the (fantasy) Oscar-winning movie version of my (fantasy) bestselling memoir is now too old to play my younger self, which, when you calculate this out in Hollywood years expressed as Common Core Math where Actress X = 47 but looks 37 because of the infused blood of lithe 18 year olds plus Vitamin E & K divided by Botox, you still get: Finish your fucking book!
So this year, I am committing to NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, kicking off on November 1st. You are supposed to commit to cranking out at least 15,000 words, but I am shooting for 30,000 at a rate of 1,000 words a day, because I am nothing if not a very accomplished over/underachiever with a sadomasochistic streak. And don’t forget: I am also a Master Procrastinator, so this should get goal/soul-crushingly interesting fast!
I’m super-pumped for several reasons:
- It’s been 11 years since I received my Masters in Creative Writing from City College of New York. While I was completing my degree, Professor Mirsky always said: “Writing is the unraveling of the riddle.” I didn’t understand what he meant at the time, but now, since I have finally cracked the key to my own riddle, I do, and now I am ready to write the living BeJebus out of this book. (Unlike certain writers who unravel the riddle on the manuscript page, I needed to unravel it in my journals and mind first, because in my writing process, I needed to know where I am going before I can go there. Now I do.)
- I have wanted to do NaNoWriMo for all 11 of those years, but have never been in any sort of life position to make it happen. I knew I would blow it, and I didn’t want to set myself up for that kind of failure. But, in the ensuing years, I have learned a lot about failure, and setting and meeting goals, I have learned to prioritize myself in my life–if YOU don’t do it for yourself, trust me, NO ONE WILL–and I know I can nail this because I am, er, telling you I will.
- I am willing to be selfish to make this happen. If this sounds a little cray-cray, work with me. I am a natural people pleaser, and tend not to put myself or my goals first. I am also a bit batty, obsessive, and weird, and actually have a phobia about going off the “deep end” as an artist (dirty dishes, wrecked relationships, overflowing ashtrays–and I don’t even smoke anymore!), and so I hold back. No more. November is my month to yell at the world: Sorry, Sammy, I will not be doing X, Y, or Z because I am WRITE. (Say it like, “I am Groot!”)
This will be my mantra for November: I am right to write, and everything will be alright. Keep your fingers crossed for me because I will be needing mine to type. One word at a frigging time! One thousand words a day. One manuscript finished by Christmas. One book published in 2020. See? Easy-peasy, pudding and pie!
Last year today, Facebook reminds me, I had lost FORTY pounds by switching to a Keto lifestyle. I’ve lost another 25 pounds since then for a grand total of SIXTY FIVE pounds. I haven’t had a drink of alcohol in 450 days–I had to look that up because I don’t track this number because I don’t think about it, AT ALL. (Yeah, color me surprised too.) I quit biting my nails after 45 years, and now enjoy bimonthly manicures as a reward. On Sept. 29, 2018, I started journalling daily. I know because the first entry reads: “Diary of my last 37 days of my second Senate race against ‘the lion’.” I lost my race, but I am 100% confident my book is going to be better than his. This brings me to my point… Of all these things, here’s what I am most proud of: I have perfected the art of the humble brag… Nay, I have become an EXPERT HUMBLE BRAGGER, and YOU should too!
Seriously. I have been thinking a lot about how much we choose to get in our own way, and what societal stimuli we choose to follow. As a literature and arts junkie, I am only now realizing that drinking yourself to death, or fucking up your life “‘cos YOLO,” is not aspirational. Why are these people elevated and touted as role models? Reading memoirs of authors documenting their alcoholic slides to death is pretty fucking bleak. Hey, Ernest (or Anthony Bourdain), put down the bottle, it only makes the anxiety worse! I guess we revere them because they’re “not boring,” but know what’s not boring? Setting and meeting goals. Achieving what you want. Being your best self.
Which brings me back to HUMBLE BRAGGING. I want YOU to become an EXPERT too, because regardless of whomever decided “humble bragging” was a bad thing, I am here to reclaim it as a POSITIVE.
Why? Because we should be PROUD of the things we achieve that are meaningful to us and improve our lives, even if it is, “I made my bed” or “Today I brushed my teeth.” (Hey, I’ve struggled with depression, too.) Because life is hard enough without taking away or diminishing our own personal pride–which is a wonderful feeling that we should encourage in each other (without being assholes about it). Because we deserve to love ourselves enough to admit it to others.
This is why I love the concept of “humble bragging.” It’s got just enough yin and yang, just enough balance to keep it real. Go on, now you try it! Let me know in the comments below what you are proud of in your own life, some improvement you have been working on and feel good about–big or small! And… go!