Tag Archives: Self-doubt

Confidence is My Faux Finish

Every time I believe I know what I’m doing with finances, it freaks me out.

That’s usually when I find out I’ve forgotten to pay the electric bill or haven’t checked our bank account in two weeks and now we’re overdrawn by several hundred dollars or, as just happened, miscalculated our IRS tax payments, which caused our anticipated refund to drop by eight hundred dollars.

Even when I get things right, I experience heavy sweating, just waiting for the next fun monetary surprise. I’d like to feel good about the little things I do well, but that feels like total hypocrisy.

What’s it like to experience a sense of confidence that doesn’t lead to a panic attack?


I believe in me_public domain



Accepting my Inner Slob

I just lost another round of Compare Yourself to Someone Else: You’re sure to win this time!

Yesterday one of our condo board members was distributing new building keys, so I went to his unit. I like this guy, but I hate his place. Everything is impossibly aligned with everything else. Knickknacks are set askew with perfection, and I think he organizes his shoes in the entryway with a T-square.

And everything’s so clean. It’s blinding. Even the floors. He could employ a five-day rule in the kitchen.

Then I come back to our place, with the empty plastic litter bins lined up in the front hall, judgmentally waiting for someone to recycle them.

There’s the occasional piece of kibble that bores into my heel when I step on it, sixteen feet away from the food dish because Molly enjoys her dinner to go.

I accept that I’ll never be like Martha Stewart, even if I had a rap sheet, but I’m afraid of dying in this mess and somehow still managing to be embarrassed when people discover my body nestled between a mountain of dirty laundry and a pile of clean, unfolded clothes.

Virtue Smirchoo

I’m angry at my ass. It isn’t downsizing on its own. At least not anymore. After I gave up sugar last August, I lost eleven pounds and even kept them off for a long time.

It seemed true what no-sugar guru David Gillespie says. The pounds will just fall off if you avoid that evil, sweet, delicious poison. Plus he says that being off sugar doesn’t mean I have to totally give up wine or spirits. Just no sweet wine or mixers. This made my brain swoon.

Check out this site. Great message. Love the Sweet Poison Quit Plan Cookbook. (No endorsement paid here. You probably assume that. I mean, how successful and famous could I be at this point where people would pay to advertise here? God, what an ego.)

We’re eating whole fat everything now because—and you probably know this—“low fat” is synonymous with “We’ve dumped a shit-ton of sugar in this in order to make you feel great about avoiding fat. It’s going to turn you into a dirigible. Enjoy!”

I’m loving the butter, whole milk, and fatty-mcfat-fat sour cream. Plus the good-Lord-you’re-full-so-for-the-love-of-all-that’s-holy-stop-eating-now mechanism works again, so I don’t overeat. Well, I didn’t at first.

My translation of this new-to-me information is: Have all you want, as often as you want. It’s a party! Crush that baked potato under a brick of butter and wash it down with a half-liter of chardonnay. Every day. What could go wrong?

Then the weight loss stalled, and I even gained a few pounds back. Still. Off. Sugar. Except for that cake I ate last week, but it was for my birthday. So wisdom can just fuck off.

After a few months on my latest plan of action—Wait and See if Anything Changes, Part 654—I realize I might be missing a point in all this, but my hope remains: Magic will handle everything. I’m frustrated that this isn’t easy. And a little angry.

My ancient ancestor, just as pissed about the weight-loss struggle. Evidently there’s a long family history of flipping people off. And floppy-gut.


All these months later, I see that my enjoyment of gallons of chardonnay, truckloads of butter, and nearly zero exercise have not transformed me into a super model. Now I realize effort is required in order to feel healthier and look better. Was that always a thing?

I have to work for this?

Doing something good for myself just because it’s the right thing to do is in direct conflict with my assumption that I deserve nothing good. Paul goes rowing because it makes him feel good and keeps his weight down. It’s as though he believes he should be treated well, even by himself. I don’t get it.

I guess I’ll walk the whole block to the gym and do something. Tomorrow. For sure. My brain just hissed, “Liar,” which is fair enough.

I am a BLT

I have a confession about one of my biggest fears: becoming a bag lady, with cats. It isn’t like having cats is a fear, but combine that with bag lady, and there’s something disquieting and stereotypical happening there.

I can’t even look elderly female panhandlers in the eye because I’m terrified they’ll peer into my soul and see the future bag lady within, give a little wink, and say, “See you soon, dear. Just remember this is my corner. And I have a knife.”

Recently I told Paul, “I need a little wheeled cart for all my trips to the store.”

He freaked and blurted, “You’re not that old!” But when I assured him that he didn’t have to be seen with me and the cart at the same time, he started breathing again.

I’ve found a pretty stylin’ trolley that can handle the thousand pounds of cat litter we have to buy every week for Mimi, so I’ve been feeling kinda hip as I trundle around the neighborhood.

That is, until I came home from getting groceries and Amazon packages the other day. Then it hit me: I’ve become a Bag Lady in Training, and I might need to accept my destiny:

Just need a hairnet and some semi-used tissue in my pocket for a complete ensemble.

* By the way, my cart is called “The Sholley Trolley.” I’m not getting anything for telling you about it, but I just have to share the info ‘cause it’s great for local shopping without a car: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00S75L252/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Also I think some people assume I’m pushing a baby stroller around. I’ve noticed a little smile until they get closer. Then there’s a look of dismay as they begin to suspect I’ve got a child in there, and it’s not allowed to breathe. Just another bonus.

Toileting Choices

Every time I prepare a lesson plan for tutoring at the local college, I wonder if I’m making a positive difference.

Then I remember the sign that’s in every women’s bathroom I’ve visited on campus (and with my old-lady bladder, that ain’t no small number of visits)*:

If maintenance has to post this, I think I should keep trying to help.

* I added the “women’s” because I was concerned you’d think I was visiting men’s rooms. Why does my brain do that?


A Balanced View

Our Molly has been sick lately. (See half of her in the header photo. Isn’t she gorgeous? Also stealthy.)

Of course I assumed her diagnosis would be dire. She’s almost nine, which is killing me but not fast enough. I couldn’t concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes. Except food. And vodka.

I’m fed up with my brain. It doesn’t want me to even know there’s a bright side, let alone look at it.

My thought when Paul says, “Let’s take a trip!”

In fairness to me, though – and in the time-honored tradition of parent-blaming – my mother and father taught me to be this way.

My mother’s favorite phrase was “Don’t get your hopes up.” When I asked her why, she said, “I don’t want you to be disappointed.” This sounds protective and motherly, but what I learned was: Disappointment is horrible. Avoid it at all costs.

On the positive side, this lesson saved me a lot of tuition over the decades. As soon as a class got difficult (usually in the drop-now-and-you’ll-get-all-your-tuition-back period), I’d bail.

My father knew disappointment was inevitable, though, so he modeled coping skills for me. Like the time he jumped up from the kitchen table, holding an empty frozen dinner box in one hand and smacking it with the other. He screamed, “The Salisbury steak isn’t the same size as the picture on the box!”

I think it’s great when parents work together to raise a healthy child.

The Anti-Socialite

Today I’m going through Facebook and unfollowing everyone and everything that upsets me. I’m down to cats and comedy and comedic cats.

Just in case I die and someone snoops around my follows, I’m including NPR, National Geographic, and the Dalai Lama so I appear intelligent and caring. No one needs to know that I just watch videos about the feline Stars of the Internet.

I figure if I’m on social media less and my home is getting tidier-ish, I have more time to host gatherings, which, as you know if you read my previous post, I’m eager to do.

When I envision throwing a party, it’s always a bore for my guests, if any show up. I feel pressure to be an amazing hostess:


And then there’s the fear of people staying long past my comfort limit, but if they do, I figure I can end the party by feigning death.


Maybe I’ll just keep the place a mess and let the idea of human interaction go.

The Happy Highway to Doom Town

This morning I realized I’ve been happy for a while. Then my brain snuck in ninja-style to tell me, “Your cancer’s coming back.” Not true so far, but my mind isn’t concerned about facts.

Last week I saw how much progress I was making tilting our household detritus into a bin. Décor was happening. It was weird. I thought, “Shit. When everything’s organized, I’m going to drop dead. No. Worse. I’m going to feel obligated to have people over.”

When someone compliments me, my mind whispers, “Just give it a second. They’re going to figure out you’re a dirtbag.”

Paul challenges these notions by asking, “Why do you think your clients keep sending you work?” I’ll let you know if I think of a credible response.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep trying, although floating in a 24-hour drunken oblivion remains an option.

Egomania and Beef Broth

I’ve got the bread in the oven. I’m getting the beef bones and veggies ready for roasting. Then I’ll simmer them for eight hours. I love doing this stuff, but now I’m getting flashbacks to the last time I did more than one thing in the kitchen at a time.

Ever since I cut out sugar five months ago and (most) alcohol somewhat more recently, I’ve got more energy and clarity than I’ve had in years. I hate it. I feel like I’m supposed to achieve amazing things now. I imagine blogging about my amazingness, but in a humble way, and my followers can’t get enough of me. I’m so inspiring.

I work at home, and time is flexible. It seems like everything is possible. But I’m haunted by my history of starting projects, especially buying all the gadgetry that goes with them, while finishing nothing. In a sense, I’m being true to my life motto: “If it can’t be overdone, it’s not worth doing.”

But I’m fifty-seven now, and I want to be more mature, or at least appear that way. So I figured I’d be sensible and start with just one or two goals. I feel in charge, mature, balanced.

Now the couple of goals have grown into:

Make bread, salad dressings, and broths to avoid processed crap with all the sugar and chemicals, while feeling smug about the poor saps stuck with store-bought junk. Check out my awesomeness:

Crossword my ass off in a book so large that the editor, Will Shortz the authentically amazing, questions the sanity of anyone buying so many puzzles at once.


Crochet snuggle blankets for animals in shelters. Current status of Blanket #1:


Start a cross-stitch project I’ve owned for ten years and just broke out of the packaging. What it should look like:


Current status:


Learn to knit:


Tidy and decorate the house:


Write my memoirs:


Exercise regularly:


I suppose this is all just a different kind of obsession, but I seem to be kicking domestic ass today. And there’s the red flag I always miss. Just in case I forget about it when the broth is ready to strain tonight, I posted this above the kitchen sink:


Maybe I’ll do okay. Today.