I am not a fixed point. I am always moving, always changing. Everything comes and go in cycles, waves and swirls, even tidal waves sometimes.
My body changes. It changes size and structure. I regularly cycle up and down through 50 or 60 pounds and several dress sizes. It happens every few years, regardless of diet or exercise. I don’t mind the size change so much. I always feel the same in my body regardless of size. What bothers me more is losing access to clothing I love and getting stuck in clothing I don’t love because it happens to fit right now. I’ll make a favorite skirt when I’m up, then can’t wear it when I’m down until I take it in, then I go back up and can’t wear it again. I’ve stopped following the old advice of purging things that don’t fit or haven’t been worn in years unless they are terribly ugly because it saves me plenty of time and money not to have to buy yet another wardrobe when the cycle comes around again.
I change in strength and fitness. I go through periods of pretty solid physical activity, biking and walking as a teenager, skating, running, biking again. In between, I end up getting flabby and soft and weak. I like being strong better than I like being weak, but there’s usually some reason, some block in my time or energy, to keep me away from whatever activity is current. I have to accept that and work with it.
I change in what I eat and drink. If you’re my friend, you can’t assume that you know how I like my coffee or what to order at the bar, although I won’t complain if you offer me something. I cycle from drinking my coffee black to taking both cream and sugar, and everything in between. I just shifted from black to creamy. I cycle through food obsessions, back and forth, queso, popcorn, bread, oatmeal, cooking everything from scratch or buying everything ready-made. Diet soda or regular soda or tea, beer or sweet cocktails (I don’t think I’ve ever gone through a bloody mary phase!).
I change in what I like to wear, in how I present myself to others. One year I’ll be more butch and utilitarian, always in jeans, never with a purse, rarely with earrings or makeup. Another year I’ll be all over the skirts and thinking about accessories, putting makeup on every morning, playing with my hairstyles. Back and forth.
Money cycles, too, just like in the macro-economy. Some years we feel flush with cash, plenty for eating out, vacations, clothes, whatever we need or want. Other years we are strapped, counting every penny and dollar. This doesn’t seem to necessarily match our income, either. Sometimes we feel more cash-poor, more limited in our lifestyle, even with more income coming in. Strange how that works.
For the past decade or so, the pain comes in cycles, too. Sometimes I think it’s connected to physical activity. Sometimes it seems to relate to the temperature, or the weather, or the humidity, or to stress (my husband’s favorite candidate). Most of the time, when the pain is up (like it is now) I just want to give up and not care anymore. When it is down, I try to forget about it and just take in as much as I can while it lasts.
Maybe this year I want to date, and maybe next year I’m happy to stay inside my apparently normal hetero-monogamous marriage. Maybe this year I’m all about the Craft and practicing my religion daily and always in the open, maybe another year the gods have taken a backseat to daily living and never get noticed much. Maybe this year I want to sing, and another year I’m performing piano gigs, and another year I’m trying to see how many new instruments I can learn. This year I’m knitting, another year I’ll do cross-stitch, and another year will be all about crochet. This year I’m reading science fiction, next year I’ll be back on fantasy. This year everything I do is inside, another year I’ll be outside every time tromping through the woods with my herd.
Sometimes I feel like the cycling leaves me a perpetual novice, never sticking in one area long enough to become a true expert. Other times, though, I am grateful for the constant searching for new things, new perspectives, new combinations that come together as all my cycles twist and turn.
One thing is for certain: my life is never boring.