I go through phases where I want to be a completely different person. I want to be one of those women who shops at the weekly farmer’s market and knows how to pick the best produce. Or how to be bold enough to even talk to the vendors about their products. More than anything, I want to love vegetables and have the skill to prepare them for my family. Today was the fourth day in a row I had cheese and crackers for dinner.
I want to have fashion sense. Even if I maintain my granola girl style, I’d like to be a put-together granola girl. Since I had V, I’m a little too big for my pre-pregnancy clothes and way too small for my maternity clothes. I have work clothes that fit okay, but they aren’t “me.” At least, they’re not the “me” I imagine when I consider my self-image.
I want to have a clean, organized home. I’ve always been sloppy. I do not have a place for everything, nor anything in its place. I envy my late Grandma Marge this way. She had an immaculate condo. Immaculate to a fault. She kept a toy closet for us grandkids, and whenever we came over, we made beelines for it, prompting her usual response: “Oh, don’t haul all that crap out.” In my house, the crap is hauled out and left out. My living room has toy carnage everywhere. The biggest obstacle to cleanliness is pet hair. Our dog and one of our cats shed like they’re on chemotherapy.
Right now, I’m sitting in my “throne,” which is a chair and a half I bought from Z Gallery back in 1996. It’s dark, moss-green, and it was once beautiful, but time and cats took care of that. Now it’s an eyesore, like every other piece of our furniture. We don’t have the money to buy new furniture, and I’m not crafty enough (or at all) to make covers or refurbish it in any way. I used a sewing machine in my home economics class in middle school back in the eighties. I made an ill-fitting pair of khaki shorts with a too short in-seam. I don’t even trust myself to make curtains. But I can see how my life would be improved if I could sew. First of all, I could make curtains.
It isn’t my mom’s fault. She did try to teach me how to do these womanly arts. She sewed and cooked and even cleaned. But only because she had to. When she married a wealthy man as her second husband, she got a maid, started taking us to restaurants, and got rid of her sewing machine. I know how to bake and steam and boil because of her. With some practice, I’d probably be okay at it. Maybe even great.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to the cleaning and organizing. Odie and I would just have to bite the bullet and get it done. Some couples “complement” each other by having opposite qualities. For example, one person is messy, but the other is neat. One is a couch potato and the other is go-getter. Odie and I are both messy and lazy. Inertia rules our love nest.
That’s where The Bloom Project idea was born for me. I wanted to be different. I am continually amazed at how hard it is to change. People have always complimented me on my “willpower” to be a vegetarian, but it actually takes none. Meat is repulsive to me. Not eating it isn’t even the tiniest sacrifice. Ten years ago, I gave up sugar and “white” foods. That was terribly hard. After a while, it became easier, but it was never easy. After about a year, I started slipping a little here and there, until I got to the point I am now, where I’m eating cheese and crackers for dinner. The “clean” eating I used to do is a distant memory and thing of the past. Every time I think about going back, I feel all of this dread about how hard it will be and how Odie and I already eat so differently and have such a hard time having meals together, that this would just make it so much harder. At the same time, now that I’m pregnant, I have aversions to almost everything edible, so it would be a good time to get weird and demanding and picky about my food.
The Bloom Project was also about being more of a girly-girl, caring about make-up and moisturizer and clothes. Being a girly-girl is expensive, though, when you’re starting from nothing. And the really frustrating thing about all of this is that I’m in that phase of pregnancy where I’m not showing, but my pants are too tight from the bloating. I’m eleven weeks along, so I’m told my uterus is now the size of a grapefruit and it’s pushing my intestines and stuff out of its way. My face is covered in little red pimples. I mean covered. I look like I have the measles. Luckily, they’re not gross, ugly, swollen pimples, just little red dots. I could probably improve my overall visage with some nice quality make-up, but I’m as clueless at Sephora as I am at the farmer’s market.
But I can’t think about that right now. I’ll think about that tomorrow. In fact, tomorrow is always a great day for a new beginning. I can start with something small, like laundry and unloading the dishwasher. We have inertia, but I know the cure, or at least the treatment: momentum.