Sunday, September 1, 2019

Myocentric Gaslighting, Local Beauty, Dog Yen

Last week, for the first time in forever, I went in to see a doctor. There’s nothing physically wrong with me, I just didn’t have a doctor that I had established care with, which is slightly ridiculous considering I work inside of an actual hospital that is part of a very large regional healthcare system. I’m pretty healthy, so I personally wasn’t all that worried about it, but Mr. Typist was, and he set the appointment up for me. So now I have an official doctor. She’s nice. While she was palpating my stomach, she stopped in the middle of the exam and exclaimed, “Whoa! Are you working out your abs? I can feel those muscles in there.” Yes, in fact I am working out my abs, and it really sucks. It’s a grimace-inducing fight to the death every time, my endurance never gets any better, and my tummy never looks anywhere close to Gisele Bündchen’s. Nonetheless, I was very pleased that someone noticed, even if it was a doctor in a private exam room. Then later that week I had lunch with an old friend who was in from out of town. We got to comparing notes on our personal trainer experiences, and I told her that I now have a tiny little bud of bicep going. “Really?” she said. “Flex your arm. I want to feel it.” So I did and she squeezed it and jumped up down with excitement and said, “Ooh, girl! You go!” 

I was musing about this in the shower this morning. I can’t really see my progress physically, since it’s been so incremental. I don’t think my abs or my biceps are much to write home about. Then it occurred to me that maybe I’m being gaslit. Maybe people are just saying these things to me because they know I'm dragging myself to the gym all of the time in some misguided effort to wrestle with my own inevitable age-based decline and mortality, and they wish to encourage my healthy habit even though no real muscle is actually present. What if I’m like that singer in the Meryl Streep movie who can’t actually sing but everyone tells her she can and she’s the only who’s not in on the joke? These are the moments when I realize it’s time to fire up the mindfulness app again. 

In other physical news, Mr. Typist dragged me out of the house this morning for what I did not realize was to be a monstrously epic walk. He said it was “only about four miles” but it was five and half and he knew it, and I was crawling by the time we got home. However, I will admit it was a beautiful walk. A large part of it was through Discovery Park. I’ve gotten so cranky about the overdevelopment and crowding in Seattle that I refuse to go anywhere anymore unless I have to. I realized today that my bitterness has blinded me to the beauty that is in my own backyard. The route we took through the park was deep and cool and woodsy, with little streams and ferns and dads carrying their toddlers on their shoulders and sun-dappled leaves everywhere. I had forgotten that these lush and precious spaces still exist all over the city, and that they aren’t that far away. I also forgot how healing it is for me to spend time in the woods. So I’ll probably be flinging on a pack and doing more of these walks with Mr. Typist, or even solo. It’s nice to know I still have some hope and love left for my city. 

The other thing we saw on the walk was dogs. Many, many adorable dogs. There’s an in-joke on a podcast I’ve listened to forever, about what one of the hosts calls his “dogalogical clock.” Every time he has an experience with an awesome dog, he says that he feels his dogalogical clock ticking, which always makes me laugh. I think I have something of a dogalogical clock myself, which is new and faint, but nonetheless there. Sometimes I relax by watching cute dog videos on Imgur and Youtube, and I always smile at dogs on the street. I can’t have a dog right now, but one day, I shall like to have a dog. A big, brave "Journey of Natty Gann"-type dog who can do things and go on my walks in the woods with me. A girl can dream.

My musical nostalgia kick continues. I am regressing further and further into the 80’s. Here is a blast from the past for your long-weekend enjoyment—the original video from Stevie Nick’s “Gypsy.” The fashion is amazing! When are legwarmers with prairie skirts coming back?


--Kristen McHenry

4 comments: said...

Fabulous song complemented by a fabulous post and very enjoyable writing!

Dale said...

Your blog is making me so happy these days. I mean, I've always enjoyed reading it, it's always entertained me, but now it's actually making me happy: like, somebody is actually out there making a good life, using only the materials at hand, in a world that I recognize. Thank you.

The Good Typist said...

Thank you, Master Poet! And Dale--I'm so glad to hear my humble little blog is making you happy. I'm not doing much if any other writing right now, so I'm tickled to hear that my little corner of the internet is having an positive impact on someone. Thank you as always for reading!

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