It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. Sorry.
There has been plenty to write about, but not much spare time to post it in (or much time to comment on people’s blogs – if you think I’ve been quiet recently, I am probably still reading!). Over the past few weeks, the D. B. and I have spent a lot of time looking at houses (we even put an offer in for one, but didn’t get it), chosen and ordered wedding rings, decided how the marriage service is going to go, chosen our music, and applied for our marriage schedule at the registrar’s. I’ve changed departments at work, which means I work with the public all day, which was rather exhausting at first. Oh, and been for two wedding-dress fittings. The D. B. has been to the doctor and is taking antidepressants again.
I’m not thrilled by this last development – neither is he, after being medication-free for over two years – but it’s difficult to tell whether or not it’s worth trying again. Although we’ve never felt that the antidepressants he’s taken in the past have had any noticeable effect, this is a new one, so we’ll see what happens. Some days have been pretty bad, but by no means all of them, and cheerful days come as a blessing. We’ll just have to be patient and hope.
After all the hand-wringing in my last entry, I am still exercising as usual. In fact, the running is going particularly well – during the last few weeks, I’ve managed to get past the 20-minute mark at which I had been stuck for about six months, and have gradually worked up to 23 minutes. That may not sound like very speedy progress, but the last run I did, I didn’t even feel particularly tired at the end. The only thing holding me back is blisters – my feet seem to be quite happy until the last couple of minutes of my run, and then they rub. It’s true that the length of time this takes has increased along with my stamina, but I’d love to be able to avoid it. New trainers might be the answer, except that my current ones feel absolutely fine for the first 20 minutes, and I’m hardly going to be able to do that long a test-run in the shop…
I’d like to be making quicker progress with the weights, but I have finally increased my weights for bent-over rows and tricep extensions, and am concentrating on form for the other exercises. The other week as I was finishing my deadlift set, a boy who was waiting to use the platform asked me if I was training for rugby! On the one hand, I was flattered that he took me for an athlete; on the other… I’m not sure rugby players are known for their lithe and elegant appearance.
I’ve become aware that although I may not notice much change in my outward appearance, some has occurred nevertheless. Someone at work told me I was looking thinner in the face, and I’ve dug out the odd T-shirt I haven’t worn since summer, only to find that they’re looser than I expect. So is my black velvet jacket. Though I don’t see any difference in my upper arms, sleeves are looser on them, so I have to admit they must be slightly less bad.
Since Christmas, I seem to have acquired more new clothes than I meant to. Partly it’s the lure of some things being a size 14, but mostly it’s because I love clothes. I think of them as costumes: they can be a way to express how you’re feeling, or an armour to conceal it. It’s not that I want to look fabulous all the time. I will defend with all my strength a woman’s right to wear clothes that don’t do anything for her if that’s how she feels most comfortable and happy (for this reason, I don’t like What Not To Wear. If your rainbow-coloured baggy jumper gives you pleasure, why not wear it?) Much of the time I wear jeans, Docs and a T-shirt (the Eternal Student look. A lot of thought goes into it). But I love dressing up as well.
I’ve always felt I looked OK, dressed up for special occasions. That’s one reason why I never like photographs of myself – I’d remember that I felt elegant and together, and then in the photo there would be this chunky ungraceful person with a silly expression on her face. You may remember that one of the main stimuli for engaging on this whole quest was so I wouldn’t hate my wedding photos.
This isn’t one. But looking at this, I’m quite happy with the way I look*. Yes, the silly expression is still there, and I’ll never be tall and willowy. Tall and willowy people are seldom suspected of being rugby players. But working with the materials to hand… I actually might manage to carry this off.
If I can learn to wear a veil without giggling like a mad thing. Is it normal to have trouble taking the whole thing seriously?
*The writer, if questioned, will admit to a certain fondness for The Lord of the Rings. If pressed, she will further admit that she fell in love with Eowyn’s white dress in The Two Towers despite not even being engaged at that point. She does not claim to look anything like Miranda Otto, however, and nor will she be making the D. B. dress up as either Aragorn or Faramir. Really.