There is a saying that “when you’re inspired, write. When you’re uninspired, read.”
I’m uninspired lately. So I should be reading, right? I have been. A lot. And I ordered another new book about all things spiritual from a new author I discovered that should arrive tomorrow. But for now, even though I’m currently uninspired, I need to write.
This week has kicked my ass, with feeling like crap since having a “Cool Peel” laser treatment on my face (I’m sure I will love the result, but the first few days are sucking for me). My skin is constantly itchy, tight, dry, ugly, swollen, acned, peeling, and miserable. My jaw is tense because I’m annoyed, I only want to eat comfort food (trying to balance that with not giving in at every meal), and part of me feels glad for having done something to improve a part of my appearance that has been bothering me and part of me feels like a vain jackass. It’s put me in a crappy mood.
And the icing on the cake for me ALWAYS is if I am also restricted on exercise. When you do an intense laser treatment on your skin it’s recommended you avoid heavy exercise or sweating for a few days, which also makes me feel restless and irritated. And, because of the influx of “new year, new me” participants overfilling every gym class coinciding with an Omicron surge, I’ve been working out and doing yoga at home instead of joining the masses. But it’s taken me completely out of routine, not going to my favorite local gym for five weeks now, and my workouts and their results are not as effective. It’s really cold out (relatively speaking, of course) here in Arizona during December and January so lately I’m starting the day later than usual because I want to stay warm and cozy in bed longer, trying to stay warm from the morning chill that has taken over my apartment during the night. I slide on one of six possible options I own for cozy sweatpants, pull out a standard brushed-cotton Gap tank top and layer a sweater or sweatshirt over top, every day. On my feet are a rotating lineup of either sherpa slipper-socks or Ugg slippers. I’m pathetically sick of all the layers of fleece I continually wear, launder and rewear every day for the last several weeks. And I live in the desert, where using the word ‘cold’ to describe my weather or my indoor temperature is downright offensive to 30 million other people in North America this month (I speak from experience, having lived in winter climates for my first 35 years).
I don’t know what I’m writing here tonight. I just know I need to express some creative energy and the only place I have to draw from is my uninspired current situation.
I’m single AF. And not particularly happy about it, but for some reason the universe is sitting back and having a perverse laugh while it makes me wait longer to meet someone. It’s been well over a year since I’ve had anyone hold me or kiss my lips with any depth of passion. I hate that it’s been so long. I miss that a lot, and I’ve never had this long a dry spell of connection in my life.
I don’t date. Ever. I never did much, even before I got married. I had a few boyfriends but only one blind date ever. And not that I have made a decision to “avoid dating”, but in order to date, I require three simple things: someone I find attractive enough to imagine sleeping with at some point; someone with a personality that engages me (including a reasonable alignment of morals and beliefs); and someone who is geographically near me. And also - as if I should have to even say it - NOT a player. My time, my energy and my heart are too valuable to do random one-off dates with someone I wouldn’t consider being in a committed relationship with. I never had that feeling some people get where they just enjoy dating for the simple fun of meeting new people. It’s terrifying and exhausting to me, an extroverted - introvert! (If you aren’t sure what that means, or what you are, you can research Carl Jung yourself.) It actually still surprises me how challenging it is to check all three of those boxes, but then again, Carrie Bradshaw made quite an impression on pop culture by writing about these exact struggles for many years. So it’s a thing.
So here I am at 11 PM on a Saturday night, alone, uninspired, annoyed (with the skin on my face post-treatment), unattached, under-sexed, and one month into my 54th year. I do have some great things that I’m looking forward to coming up for me soon: exploring Sedona with a group of absolutely amazing women next weekend; a four-day spiritual retreat in California wine country in March, followed by two days of winery exploration with a couple of great girlfriends before I come home. In June, the trip I’ve always wanted to take but never have yet, to Bali, Indonesia (if the universe doesn’t throw any more unforeseen Covid bullshit at us forcing another travel ban), and Paris in the fall. Paris will be such a highlight, reuniting with my mom, my sister and my favorite uncle, who all live in Canada. We did a few days in Paris together about 12 years ago and it’s very rare for us to all be able to see each other. I miss them, and I miss the city of Paris, and bringing the two together again will be an important and memorable occasion for us.
Speaking of Paris, I was google-searching a former French lover tonight. We lost touch about a year ago and I was curious what he’s up to. He is an extraordinary man I had a brief affair with two years ago, when we were vacationing at the same Caribbean resort. I met him on the second night of my “girls trip” holiday and never slept in my own room again for the rest of the trip. I’ve always heard French men make great lovers but I will tell you, I was utterly unprepared for just how much higher the bar has been raised for me after that experience. Despite being a couple of years older than me, his energy and intensity and fire were the most intense experience I’ve ever had with someone in bed. Beyond the bedroom, he is witty with a great sense of humor that vibes well with mine, and very intelligent with a remarkable list of professional accomplishments. He combined insane sex appeal with incredible life experience and brilliant intellect. He was so attentive, complimentary and affectionate with me all of the time. He loved to dance, sleep completely tangled up with me, and was full of class. Because of our very distant home cities and Covid interruptions, the affair wasn’t meant to last beyond the sunny beach resort where we crossed paths but I still think of him from time-to-time with a very big smile. I bid him adieu and send him thoughts of loving kindness for the memories.
Food. Notice how I go straight from ‘undersexed’ to ‘let’s talk food’? Yeah, that’s my stand-in comfort when I am sexless. Isn’t it for everyone?? Comfort food, chocolate - both known to be huge pacifiers when our second chakra sexual energy is not flowing well. The problem is that I hate cooking. I don’t like my own cooking, I’m not adventurous or good with knowing innately how to blend the right flavors together, I hate a messy kitchen and I don’t have proper kitchen knives or tools, as my sister will tell you. She’s the very successful owner of a retail business that specializes in high-quality kitchen tools. It was her dream to have a store of her own like this for 14 years before it became a very successful reality. She’s thoughtful, diligent and creative and it’s reflected in her shop and the products she curates, and her customers recognize and appreciate that. Anyway, food. I love to eat, I just don’t like to cook. Baking is easier for me because it’s a more precise craft, with very exact measurements of things usually combined in specific order. If you follow the instructions exactly, you should have a successful result. Cooking is much more intuitive, and my intuition has a different agenda. Lately food has been uninspiring for me too - like if I have to continue to eat the same 10 things I continually and repeatedly prepare to eat, I’m gonna lose my mind. So I ordered one of those organic, fresh prepared meal services to deliver to me this week to try it out. Someone else can plan the menu, buy the groceries, do all the prep and cleanup, and I will happily pay 10 bucks for my meal if it is healthy and tasty and saves me all of that other BS. I’ll report back after I’ve tried it this week; wish me luck.
So what does whiskey in a teacup have to do with any of this? It’s making me feel comforted tonight. It’s the end of dry January (okay, “dry-ish” January for me), so I decided to add a shot of peanut butter whiskey to my chamomile tea tonight. So I actually have whiskey in my teacup tonight, the one in this picture. It’s also the name of one of my absolute favorite songs, by Dean Brody:
“So when you find a boy you love, make sure he's man enough
To hold the liquor that he's 'bout to drink
You better like whiskey, you better like smoke
A little bit a burn when you take a toke
A triple shot of buzz in your espresso
When you take a sip, when she's on your lips
She might look like Sunday morning
But she oughta come with a general warning
If you think that you can shoot her straight
You better pucker up
'Cause she's whiskey in a teacup”
I think that since radically changing myself and my life and all of my growth during the last four years, my personality has become a bit more like whiskey in a teacup too; a bit of calm and mellow and a whole lot of strength you might not see at first glance. Here’s to all the great moments of inspiration, and to the days like this one of feeling less than inspired but soothed by a little whiskey in your teacup. Bottoms up.