Laurie’s Independence Day

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ToonaCat in front of fireworks

This is a freeform ToonaCat. The first I’ve drawn my old friend since I took down the site as an active place in 2000.

Today is my country’s celebration of Independence. It’s traditional to have Barb-B-Qs, parades, get togethers and fireworks at night. But instead, I decided to have my OWN celebration of Independence. I have the luxury of doing whatever I want today, and so that’s what I’m trying to do.

Can I identify what would make me happy today…

Sounds easy, right? But if you have been prone to people pleasing, or perfectionism, it is easy to get stuck in your own skin and not even KNOW what would please yourself. I decided to experiment to see if the work I’ve been doing on getting to know myself has paid off in progress yet. Can I identify what would make me happy today and even more, can I actually DO those things without fear.

My first item was easy to decide, but not to do. I decided that I needed a rest day from exercise. I’ve been pushing hard lately, so I’m ignoring the critical nitpicking voice in my head that reminds me the scale hasn’t been my friend lately.

Me: “F-you voice! My legs need a day off and the scale can go to blazes!”
(Well, that’s what I’d like to think. I actually kind of whimpered, hangdog-like, “Well you know, inner critical voice, I HAVE been working pretty hard lately, and it IS a holiday…”)

Inner Critical Voice: FINE! See if I care, you can lay around and be FAT FOREVER!!!!

Me: “But I really AM pretty beat, and we’re biking hills tomorrow…”

Inner Critical Voice: “Fine, I wash my hands of you!”

Me: “Well THAT went better than usual!”

Next I want to listen to Alen’s new podcast and drink coffee.

Inner Critical Voice: “Great, you ALWAYS listen to Alen while hiking uphill. This is a wonderful chance to move your ass after all!”

Me: “But I would REALLY rather listen in a leisurely bath while drinking coffee.”

Inner Critical Voice:”What???? you might SPILL coffee in the bath! That’s UNACCEPTABLE!”

Me: “To whom?”

Inner Critical Voice:”Er, um, well it’s JUST NOT HOW WE DO THINGS”

Me: “We do now!”

After listening to the excellent, timely podcast about the inner perfectionist that lives within us who can make us miserable (you hear THAT voice!), I decided I’m in the mood to bake pie and the inner critic can just go hang!

I went off to Trader Joes and bought only food I wanted to eat. Damn the calories. Damn the fat. Damn the fiber content. (Though I still buy organic when I can, as I prefer the flavor).

What did I buy today?

Laurie’s Shopping List:

  1. Spinach Quiche
  2. Nice Chardonnay from Santa Barbara
  3. Blackberries
  4. Blueberries
  5. Bananas
  6. Organic yogurt cups
  7. Organic unsalted butter
  8. Organic heavy whipped cream
  9. Beer for Mark
  10. Potato Chips
  11. Baked Beans for Mark
  12. Parmesan Rosemary rolls (freshly baked)
  13. Salted Caramels

Now usually, the inner critical voice would be shaming me for buying unhealthy “binge” food. The Robot Aliens would be circling my planet in glee, and my tummy would be in knots of pre-guilt even as I salivated at the thought of eating this.

But I had a slice of quiche, toasted buttered roll, small glass of chardonnay for lunch WHILE watching TV. (So you think you can dance), Afterwards, I slowly enjoyed one caramel and a cup of decaf coffee that I had left from the pot I’d made for my bath earlier.

The critic was gone. In its place was a sense of expansive, unexpected, and mature freedom as I enjoyed this lunch. It took me the better part of an hour to eat it as I LOVED everything so much. These were foods I hadn’t let myself eat in a very long, long time. I didn’t want to stuff them down quickly. I wanted to savor them. I slowly sipped the wine as it paired perfectly with the quiche. By the end of the meal my body felt fine. Not stuffed at all. Not sick, no tummy trouble. It felt better than fine, it was singing.

What next? What haven’t I done that I would love to do.

“Draw ToonaCat”, I thought.

Me: “Oh no, I can’t do that, I haven’t in years.”

New kindly voice: “Why not?”

Me:”Because ToonaCat was ok for kids to see, but since I don’t do the site anymore, everyone would make fun of my art.”

New kindly voice: “And if they do?”

Me: “I’ll feel bad!”

New Kindly Voice: “Do you draw ToonaCat for approval?”

Me: “No, I just love to be in ToonaCat’s world. When I draw him or write the ToonaCat stories I’m in a different place. A magical place, where people are creative, kind, and encouraging.”

New Kindly voice: “Let’s go there then today. People are free to enjoy your art or not. It feels good to get approval, but it feels even better to be true to your heart.”

Me: “Wow, my heart misses ToonaCat. I so miss all of it.”

New Kindly voice: “See, you KNOW what makes you happy. And you deserve to be happy. Let’s go draw.”

Me: “Ok, and then let’s bake a blackberry pie!”

Brave companions, I hope YOU have a wonderful Independence day today and every day. Try to do your own version. Find what’s in your heart and feed that. It feels so good. Much better than chips!

Until next time, Take care, because I care!

Comments box:

6 thoughts on “Laurie’s Independence Day

  1. Cheryl

    Sounds like a fabulous day. I did what I wanted to do, too. I spent the WHOLE day writing! Didn’t pay any attention to anyone. Then last night we skipped fireworks and went to the movie. And I didn’t feel one bit guilty about any of it. You know, when I’m doing something I like, I hardly ever thing about food…

    Geez, your bath, coffee, and podcast sounds really enjoyable. I may have to try that! (Though I’d probably fall asleep.)

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Oh I’m so happy you got to spend a day “getting away from it all” by writing. That’s so cool! I’m also glad you went to the movie if that’s what pleases YOU. Learning to figure out what we want and then to make opportunities to actually DO what we want is so empowering, and so not in our usual repertoire. Brava for celebrating your own Independence Day too! 😉
      PS, I LOVE to spend hours in my bath. I used to read all my technical journals and study materials there. But NOW, trashy books, podcasts, coffee and even a bit of chocolate has been known to hop on my plate among the bubbles.

  2. Stéfanie

    A day of true independence, celebrating freedom from binging , I see 🙂
    Toona’s very cute 🙂
    What do you write about Cheryl?

    1. Cheryl

      Hey Stefanie! I’ve got one manuscript that’s a Gothic Mystery (sort of) that’s just shy the middle of one chapter. When that’s done I can print it off and do a first edit. The other one I’m working on is a Middle-Earth-type fantasy. I’m just learning the difference between outlining first and flying by the seat of your pants! LOL It’s been quite a learning experience. I just know I’m enjoying it. Thanks for asking.


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