Sometimes, there are no words. Other times, there are too many; a thesaurus full of descriptive possibilities. Today, only one, and one of the simplest: fun. Last night was fun. In many ways, it was just what I needed–from start to finish.
Having the opportunity to reconnect with old friends, to make new ones, to laugh–awkwardly and nervously and artificially and surreptitiously and incredulously and spontaneously and completely–all of the above: priceless. But it only cost me a box of Girl Scout cookies for admission (yes, really!), and $4 plus tip for a glass of wine. And the entertainment that awaited us at home–well, you had to be there. Let’s just say it completed the absurd track of the evening, and ended…oh, the way I really, really needed it to end.
And although today I am sleep-deprived, achy, and slightly hungover, I feel re-invigorated. Satisfied. And yes, at last, inspired.
Despite this, I am having trouble getting started with today’s writing on the WIP (work in progress, for those not in the know). The children and a few other factors are pulling at me from all sides. It leads me to wonder whether I might have a little ADD myself. My mind is flitting from one idea, to alight briefly on another task, only to dash right off and move on to something else. I have no less than 6 tabs open in Chrome at the moment, and (this is slightly embarrassing to admit) several open on my phone’s browser as well. I know what I need to work on: my novel. But with all the distractions happening, that’s impossible, so I’m trying to find something else to do. I thought I’d write today’s entry. Something that’s still productive, but it’s just not the same. It’s not what I’d really like to do.
The situation reminds me of a dieting issue I’ve had on occasion: when you crave one thing, let’s say Peanut M&Ms. You really, really need some Peanut M&Ms. So badly, you can practically taste them. You can almost feel the candy shell dissolving in your mouth, taste the melting chocolate covering that crunchy little peanut. But you don’t think you should have them, so instead you try to distract yourself with something else.
Something healthy, perhaps: an orange. You think the orange will be enough to satisfy you, because there is work involved in the eating of it. It takes time. And it’s such a multi-sensory experience: the fragrance, of course; the hiss and slight crackle of the skin tearing apart; the sheer mist that sprays from the rind as it’s torn; the bits of skin that become stuck beneath your nails as you rip it away. Then, if you’re a bit anal-retentive like I am, every tiny bit of white must be peeled off as well. And then you get to tear the sections apart, one by one–and as you eat them, the little pockets of juice explode between your teeth. My favorite part.
Still, this isn’t enough. That orange didn’t quite hit the spot. Sweet, yes, but now you need something crunchy. So back to the pantry you go. Maybe a bowl of cereal this time. Those Special K commercials must be on to something, right? But no…still no. Salty: Pretzels. No. Protein, fat: cheese. Glorious, delicious cheese. Maybe you melt it in a dish. Maybe you dip things into it: more pretzels? Or maybe you just eat it with a spoon.
Forty-five minutes and 1000 calories later and that gaping maw that is your craving has yet to be filled. Because it’s not about the food itself. It’s about something else, another craving, not always identifiable or describable. At this point, your best option is to just walk or drive to the damn store and buy a 220-calorie bag of effing Peanut M&Ms. Really, it’s the only way you’ll get it out of your system.
Just as I have learned over the years that dieting and deprivation don’t do it, that you need to live consciously and mindfully, and listen to what your body and mind are telling you in any given moment, so have I learned to obey my urges (within reason) and do what I can do, when I can do it.
And now I need to write the scene that’s in my head, because the characters won’t leave me alone. I can’t tie it into my current novel, because they have nothing to do with it. There’s no way to finagle that. But I cannot get them out of my head until, well, until I get them out of my head and down on paper, as it were.
And there are no words to describe how badly I need–yes, physically need–Peanut M&Ms right now.