The house is clean. At least until the dust settles and the cats shed all over the rugs. It's almost embarassing how accomplished I feel once I've cleaned the house. And how much better it makes me feel. Clutter makes me antsy. I sound obsessive, don't I? I promise you, I'm not. I've pared down in the last few years and that's made it easier for me to give the appearance of order. Cleaning the house pays off quickly because it really doesn't take very long. Just don't look in the closets.

Today I was thinking about the upcoming dinner party. It made me think of my friend Christa, who used to throw the best parties. She made it seem effortless. Whether it was really the case or just the appearance she gave, she didn't seem to sweat the small stuff. The atmosphere was relaxed, the food was delicious and everyone had a good time. Most of the time she'd still be cooking when people arrived, or maybe that was because I always arrived a little early. She helped me grow in more ways than she'll probably ever know. I never had the courage to dance in front of other people until Christa coaxed me onto the dance floor; literally and metaphorically.

I love to cook. I love to have friends over. Unlike Christa, it does make me anxious. I think it's because, until recently, I was too focused on 'the rules.' The way I grew up was... mom invited people over... they showed up... we ate. There was a lot of stress involved in the preparation because everything had to be perfect. I'm trying really hard to break the cycle. To relax. Eventually I'd love to invite people over and still be getting things ready when they show up. Maybe even involve them in the process. I think that cooking with other people is fun. Right now though, I try to have it all done before they arrive, because I don't want them to see me freaking out. I'm getting there. I don't feel the same tension I did about the last dinner party. I'm still a work in progress. Until recently I was so afraid to screw up that I never invited people over at all... not for dinner anyway.

As you can tell, I do a lot of introspection... I like to understand why people act the way they do, even myself... maybe especially myself. Sometimes I worry that it makes me sound pathetic because I admit to all my neuroses, but mostly I think that a lot of people have the same questions, the same hangups, the same doubts, and they appreciate when other people admit to them. I always do, it makes me feel better to know that I'm not the only one.

Yesterday I fell off the wagon. I had two sodas because I thought the carbonation might make me feel better. Being nauseous, I also didn't hop on the treadmill. I did stick to the food part, and being queasy certainly helped me cut calories. Tonight I'm back on the horse, one soda, stuck with the food, and I'm about to hop on the treadmill and burn some calories. Crisis averted. =)

Leave a Reply.