Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Missing in Action

[For those of you checking in for Healthy You Challenge, I am down another .6 pounds, for a total of 5.6 pounds lost since January 2nd. I also managed to have a good meeting, did not cry/bitch/whine/pule or otherwise annoy Thomas. Which is good, because he's got a new and difference annoyance. His company, Evil French Corporation (or EFC for short), did a reorg, dividing the company into a couple of segments, IT Architecture and IT Operations... this put Thomas squarely reporting directly to the Director of ITA, Brent.

Thomas hates Brent. And has, pretty much for the better part of a year. Brent has a tendency to say he's going to do a thing, forget that he said it, deny that he said it, and blame someone else for not getting it done, particularly when that someone is on vacation or having a work from home day and cannot immediately counter the denial. Thomas ran into this problem at least four times while working on the server transfer thing last year. Fortunately, his old boss didn't believe that Thomas would do something so stupid, called him on the phone, and conferenced him in with Brent while they discussed it. Brent was forced to admit (since Thomas is a rabid email collector and keeps all his meeting notes) to admit he'd just forgotten about it, which made him look bad, and did not exactly endear Thomas to him.

I forsee... more months of having a pissy spouse. Oh. Joi.

But Thomas lost 2 pounds this week, bringing his total up to 7.4 lost.

As a side, side note, I seem to have come down with a stomach bug of some sort or other. I woke up last night at 3am with serious stomach pains. Around 3:30, I started throwing up, which I did on and off until 5. Then I took a shower and crawled back into bed at 5:45.]

You wouldn't know it to look at me now, but I was quite the tomboy when I was growing up. Fed up with the older girls who snubbed my "New York" accent and my dubious fashion sense (you try buying your own clothes on an allowance of $10 a week that also has to pay for your school lunch, books, toys, and entertainment, and see how fashionable YOU are) my best friends were the younger brothers and cousins. I was a huge Star Wars fan and had two cases of little plastic action figures. My best friends were Curtis, Benji, and Kevin, all of them two to four years younger than I... we climbed trees and dug an elaborate Hoth Ice cavern under the roots of this ancient beech tree (In retrospect, we're probably damn lucky that the tree didn't lean slightly to the left and collapse on us, as we dug out at least half of its root structure.) and rode bikes (I remember a particularly bad accident when Kevin was looking behind him and ran front ways into a car - which had stopped, but couldn't exactly get out of the way - and broke his arm) and screamed and yelled and generally acted the bohemians.

I would throw my books down as soon as I got home from school and then I was outside from then until dark. Then Curtis's parents got divorced and his mom moved across town. So I only saw him occasionally at school. And then Benji's parents got a new house and moved away. I don't know that I ever saw him again. And then Kevin wasn't allowed to play with me anymore because his sister set fire to the shed in the back of the house, and somehow I got blamed for this. I'm not entirely sure why that happened. I mean, I know why the fire happened. Deedee was smoking in the shed (It was something I did with her from time to time, even though I really didn't like her much... but I started smoking when I was ten, and she was the only other person I knew who did...) and didn't snub her butt well. I had been in the shed earlier that day, and I know someone saw me. But I hadn't smoked that day, I'd just gone in to grab my comic books that I'd left in there the day before. No one could prove that I'd started the fire, but likewise, Deedee was not about to admit that she'd done it. So, I didn't get in trouble about it, exactly. I just wasn't allowed over anymore. Which was mostly ok, since of the three boys, Kevin had been the one I liked least anyway. And it hadn't been much fun, just the two of us, playing, as it had been when it was the four of us. I was philosophical about my loss.

After that, though, the only people in the neighborhood for me to be friends with were all the girls. The boyfriended, kissing-obsessed, fashion magazine, who's too fat, have you gotten your period yet?, have you ever kissed a boy, not THAT boy! my gahd! what size bra do you wear, oh, well mine's BIGGER, girls. Girls who didn't know who Han Solo was, who thought Luke was one of the Dukes of Hazzard, who were not at all interested in climbing a tree, or heaven forfend, getting dirty.

Ick. I might have spent a little too much time with boys at that point, as my first thoughts on this development were "My god, girls DO have cooties."

I started staying home in the afternoon after school. I read voraciously. Science fiction, fantasy, horror, and (forgive me) Sweet Valley High. But it was ok. I was still active during the summer. My parents always shipped me off to my grandparents during the summer. From the end of school, to the beginning of school, I was in New York. And not the city part. My grandparents lived about 10 miles from the Canadian border, on a big farm. There were woods to play in, and streams to fall in, and horses to ride, and chickens to chase, and apples to steal and the playground was right across the street in case of failing imagination, my cousins and I could always run about on the swings and slides and monkey bars. We biked or rollerskated down to the local corner store (about a mile and a half away). And when we weren't at the farm, we were at Camp, my grandparents lake house in the Adirondacks, where we swam all day or canoed around or ran around in those woods and climbed up on enormous glacier-moved boulders that seems to be dotted across the woodlands. My favorite boulder was somewhat larger than a house, easily climbable and actually had a tree growing on top of it.

When I went off to college, I signed up for the most interesting Phys Ed classes I could. Adventure Games and Introduction to Rock Climbing. (The advanced rock climbing class wasn't really a class per se, it was a week long trip during spring break to go climbing and camping).

Adventure games was a blast. We did rappelling down the sides of school buildings, we did an obstacle course set up in the tops of trees, some twenty feet above ground. We did canoe racing (and sinking each other's canoes) and played paintball, and took a zipcord across the lake. We took two classes worth of fencing lessons. We did a day's worth of archery.

Rock Climbing was also fun - it didn't hurt that my partner for rock climbing was Latney, who was just about the most lovely man I'd ever met. He was charming and good looking and athletic and fun. We did more rappelling down the sides of buildings, and we practiced climbing up the rock wall in the gym. Then, over fall break, we went on a trip to the mountains, where we put our practice to practical and climbed up several cliff faces. It was freezing the weekend we went, and I'd forgotten to buy gloves. Kim, our instructor, was very pleased with me when I'd managed a crack-climb of about thirty feet, which quickly dissolved into rage when he saw my hands. A crack-climb involves wedging your fingers into a split in the rock and leaning back, putting most of your weight on your feet and your hands, pulling yourself up manually, and then re-positioning your fingers. I'd torn all the skin off the back of my hands, and hadn't realized it because it was so bloody cold. What I said in retrospect about that weekend was that I'd never had so much fun being entirely miserable.

So... the question I'm wondering is... Where did that girl go? She just seemed to fade away, some time after my sophomore year of college. Was she a casualty of war; my parents got divorced (finally) and I got married and then divorced (inside of eight months, even!). I developed my first case of adult asthma and ended up in the ER nine times in six months. I was put on steroids. My bike got stolen. My mom let me bring the car to college. I got a job working at the candy shop (where you could eat all you wanted out of the bin candies - since they knew we were going to do it anyway...).

That girl, the one who used to ride horses in competition... the one who was the first to go face-down rappelling off the side of the gym and who grinned at her classmates cheering her on... the one who could climb up the pine tree next to her house, edge out on a narrow branch and drop onto the roof (but only when her mom wasn't home...) The one who spent extra babysitting money on a bike, rather than a book...

Have you seen her? Because really... I miss her a lot.

7 comments:

dietbook said...

It really sucks how much life and adulthood and just general crap can suck the "you" right out of you. I think our focus becomes so much more immediate and we tend to only have enough energy to do the really "critical" stuff...or at least, we think we do. And we don't have the luxury of accepting adventure and physical activity and fun as "critical".

But...you're well on your way to getting that girl back. She's still there, she's just been deeply asleep. But it sounds like she's waking up. :-)

Valerie

Jeanne said...

Heh... sounds a lot like my childhood (running around, playing hard, mostly with boys, living the life of a Lost Boy (Peter Pan, not vampire, thank you)).

I know *exactly* what happened to my wild child, though-- an increasing addiction to books and TV, and then an injury to my knee junior year of high school that kept me out of action for close to a year and a half. And then the freshman 25, and studying, and discovering a social life on the computer... and now an office job, and more of the same.

In Japan, people cut their hair to rid themselves of a painful memory, or to signal a change in life, like getting over a broken relationship... a symbolic getting rid of the piece of you associated with that time. With dieting, it almost seems to be the reverse... losing inches is making you think about everything that put them there in the first place.

Felicia said...

Yup I so know what your talking about.

In High school I was in tons of sports. I lived and breathed Volley Ball and Foot Ball. When I wasn't doing school stuff I was training and showing horses. I was a busy little bee all the time. And YUP boys were a big part of it too lol.

Then some where in college it all started to change and before I knew it slowly but surely over the years I got less and less active. Before I knew it well lol life had bitten me in the butt and it had become quite a large butt at that.

I can look back now though and pin point all the turns I shouldn't have taken that got me where I ended up. I am working towards getting back to that active self. Even thought about getting back into riding lol.

Best wishes to you on finding that girl. If you do, see if she has a friend with her that used to be me ok!!

Have a SUPER great day!
*huggles*
=0)

Cammy said...

Congrats on your loss (Thomas, too!) Part of the excitement of this journey is sorting through our lives, figuring out what parts of us to keep, or what's missing that we want to retrieve, and then moving forward to claim the new person you've become.

Chanda (aka Bea) said...

Oh, Im willing to bet that girl is still in there, cheering you on as you get closer to your goal. She will start to show herself more and more as you get more confident about your new lifestyle change. Never fear!

Congrats on your weight loss! Oh, and thanks for the French Onion dip idea. Then next time I get the hankering, I'll make my own.

Lidian said...

I think I may have seen her hanging out with the girl I used to be, who ran around in college organizing the literary magazine and chatting to her friends all night and swinging on swings in the playground even though she was 20 years old -

They're both still inside us you know, and they do want to come out and have fun -

HappyBlogChick said...

Oh, I'm so so sorry to hear about your husband's job. That kind of thing takes its toll. My husband is having a heck of a time right now, too ... he had to work late - very late - I called him at the office at 11 PM last night to say goodnight. And yes, he *was* at the office. ;-) Anyway, I know it does not make a fun household when the husband is unhappy at work. Hang in there.

Your active childhood => inactive adult story ... I think a lot of people have that happen. What happens to us?

The good news is that if you're really looking for that girl, I have no doubt that you'll find her.