trying trying

Lately I've been focused on trying new solutions to old problems. WAIT WHAT? WHAT IS THIS REVOLUTIONARY IDEA ELLIE PLEASE TELL US MORE.

I know. But when it comes to lifestyle behaviors and habits, I've not been, historically speaking, the most flexible person. I probably get this from my very stubborn dad, who probably got it from the Navy (and before that, a pair of emotionally repressed parents). A thing was done how it was done, period, no exceptions, no deviations. Saturdays were for errands, no matter how beautiful the day was. A pasta dinner should be a simple, cheap affair comprised of jarred sauce and canned cheese. The silent space after that dinner was for the evening news, or maybe a movie - rarely conversation or play.

I have my own similarly rigid programming. I'm extremely linear in my thinking. A before B before C, or you may as well just throw the whole fucking alphabet out. I can't possibly sit down to write until my apartment is clean. What's the point of going to the gym if I don't have a healthy meal already prepared for when I come home? Sneaking in a quick two hours with Timo is stupid and frustrating - I'll just wait and see him on the weekend.

The problem is that I'm not satisfied by the results of sticking to such limiting rules. I know I could feel more productive, more accomplished, more centered, and more joyful. So I'm trying new tacks.

"Playing it by ear" when it comes to seeing my boyfriend hasn't worked particularly well. At the last minute I panic, feeling overworked, tired, ugly. But believing that I have to be my most sparkly, prettiest self in order to deserve and enjoy his love - that hasn't worked so well. I barely see him on that plan. So now I'm--we're--trying preset days at my place and at his place. And I'm trying to embrace the intimacy that comes with sharing even my dullest, deadest self with him.

In the past, my creativity has peaked in the late evening - the smallest hours, in fact. I've always been this way. Some idea hatches during the day and I let my brain fill and fill until in the quiet and in the dark, it's ready to spill over. Except now my late evenings are a haze of pure exhaustion, and the lies I tell myself (tonight I'll write tonight I swear tonight) just pile up higher and deeper.

So I'm trying writing first thing, rather than last.

Trying just trying is easier than it sounds for me, but I give myself an escape clause: if you hate it, you can stop. Or, you know, try something else.