Wednesday, January 30, 2013

750 Words: the art of worrying and real art

I worry a lot, which is counterproductive.  I worry I won't make it in "the real world" because I'm such a nervous wreck.  I worry I'm gaining weight, especially since I have a lap-band and lost a lot of weight. I eat fruits and vegetables, plenty of protein and try to avoid sweets.  (Avoiding sweets is the hardest part.)  But I'm not as active as when I was teaching, and I'm getting older, so it's harder to lose weight.  I've probably gained twenty pounds over the last year, which is scary.  When you take a drastic step like getting bariatric surgery, you're appealing to a last resort. 

I've thought of getting the band filled, which means I will have to eat less, but if I get it filled too much, I won't be able to swallow my medicine.  Plus, it costs $180 per fill.  But the real thing holding me back (and this is ridiculous) is stepping on the scale at the doctor's office.  Scales have always scared me, no matter how many times I tell myself "It's just a number."  I'm not a numbers person.  Numbers are evil abstracts that only hold the meaning we give them, except they maintain tremendous status in our society that insists, "Math is logical."  But numbers are only a made-up language.  I've been having this argument with people since high school.  My older brother, who attempted to tutor me in algebra, became tremendously frustrated because he's a math believer and insisted you can't succeed at math unless you are at least willing to go on faith that there is some truth to it.  He turned out to be a very religious person.  I didn't.  I'm a frequent visitor of the spiritual salad bar, probably known as Unitarian.  He's Catholic.  He's also thin.  Hmmmm.

It takes a lot of courage for me to go any place that requires getting on a scale.  I avoid going to any doctors' office as much as possible--though unsuccessfully because of things like sinus infections.  So it's not like I ignore my health.  I have good blood pressure and sugar levels.  My knees don't hurt as much since I've lost weight, so I can exercise.  But I never, ever want to go back to depending on a cane like I did when I was 265 pounds.  The threat of knee surgery hovers in my consciousness.

Maybe I'm writing this so I can sum up the strength to make that appointment.  While I'm at it, I might make that request to send my medical files to my new primary care physician whom I have not yet met, but whom I'll need to see, at least for medication refills.  And I will finally make that appointment to have my teeth cleaned.  After all, in 2013, I promised myself I would take better care of me.  It wasn't quite a new year's resolution, since I don't really believe in those--more of a goal to work toward.  It's occurred to me I've been taking better care of my animals than I have myself--making vet appointments, monitoring their food intake, ensuring the dog gets walked.  We've had family stress that has thrown me off track, but maybe now is the time to take action.  It's probably the correct time, since my psychiatrist will no longer be accepting my insurance and will refer me to a new shrink anyway.  Why not take the proverbial plunge all at once and get it over with?  The water might be cold at first, but body temperature rises with movement.

On another note, one that I've might already discussed, I'm rediscovering the relaxing effects of art (see http://katherinegotthardtart.blogspot.com/).  For a long time, I didn't paint because I was frustrated with my lack of ability to create anything "real" looking.  Though over the past few weeks I've produced work that moderately resembles our physical world, I've gotten more enjoyment from letting my paint, hands, brush and brush handles fall where they will.  In doing so, I've birthed some pieces that translated well into note cards, which I will attempt to sell.  They won't yield much money, but it give me great pleasure to have produced something (though admittedly, I stole the idea from Becca at http://beccagivens.wordpress.com/).  I'll bring the cards to upcoming arts/crafts fairs, along with my books (http://katherinemgotthardt.wordpress.com/). 

I'm about to add last night's creation to my art website now, so I'll sign off with this thought: there are few freedoms more important than the right to self expression.
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