Tipsy Blogging by I.P. Freely

Hah. Whenever I make up a fake name for a book I always add “by I.P. Freely.” I think it’s hysterical because it comes from that old joke, “Yellow River by I.P. Freely” and people just don’t get it. So I laugh some more. It’s a personal inside joke. Is it weird to amuse only yourself?

I don’t drink often, maybe a glass of something two or three times a year, so naturally I’m a lightweight. I don’t really have a taste for wine and I feel like I should, so now and then I buy a nice bottle of wine and then drink a half a glass from it and waste the rest. That’s one downfall of not having a life partner or b.f.f. to share stuff with.

So tonight it was just one glass of Pinot Gris and I’m feeling no pain at all. I’m feeling I could get my ears pierced again, or my nose. Anything, really.

I told a friend I’d light a candle for her at church today, and I did. I said her name in my mind as I held the match to the candle. It’s such a soothing thing to do. I light a candle almost every Sunday. Sometimes I pray for one person, sometimes I mentally list all the people I know who could use a prayer. It’s become sort of a habit so that if I don’t stop after service to light a candle, I miss it later.

I’ve been attending my church (Episcopal) for about 14 months now and for the first time today I drank directly from the chalice instead of having them dip my communion wafer in it. You see, I’m a bit of a germaphobe, but also I just really don’t want to bring an illness home that might do my dad in. You don’t mess around with respiratory issues when a household member has COPD. Man, that red wine is good, sweet, and strong.

As an aside, I read somewhere that between the wine, which is higher than most wine in alcohol content, and the silver cup which is somehow antibiotic, people aren’t really known for getting sick from sharing the communion cup.

Today I also gave thanks for my dad being better. He’s really been improving and I am so, so grateful.

The assistant priest is offering a catechesis class for those of us who aren’t members of the Episcopal church yet, so I’m looking forward to that. This June I’ll be confirmed in the church by a bishop and while I already feel this church is my home, this will be special.

I’ve been pondering what to “give up” for Lent which starts this Wednesday and luckily it came to me as the Priest gave his sermon today.

Last year at this time I had a bad addiction to reading my now ex’s emails. One day on a whim I tried to log into one of his many email addresses and entered his old tried and true password and it worked, so for several months I tortured myself by looking at photos of him and his very young girlfriend as they got prettied up for the opera and saw that he was sending my stepchildren pictures of them together. And then I saw what he was buying for her online.

Morally it’s wrong to read anyone’s private correspondence (not as wrong as cheating and discarding your spouse, though), but what made me finally decide to quit doing it was that it was just hurting me so deeply. At first it did me good to realize how despicable he is, but then it began to feel like self inflicted torture.

So for Lent I gave up reading his emails and I won’t lie, it was hard, but I did it and I haven’t looked again. I wonder if 40+ days is a good amount of time to change a habit. I was proud of myself for doing it, and prouder still of not doing it again after Lent was over.

So this year, other than being overweight, I feel pretty happy and satisfied with life but I don’t want to make Lent be about dieting, per se, so I’ve come up with my plan which I feel pretty good about.

I eat a huge amount of food late at night. Sometimes I can barely quit stuffing my face almost all the way until bedtime. I’ve gone to bed recently with my stomach just bulging and then can barely sleep due to discomfort and heartburn. Ick, I know.

So for Lent, here’s my plan.

A. Switch to natural sugar in my coffee and consume no white sugar in anything.

B. No eating after 7 p.m.

But I’m going to call it “fasting” after 7 p.m. because I think it’ll help me to remember why it’s important. During that time, when I think about mindless eating, I can ask God to be with me and guide me.

I’d like to add, “C. go to water aerobics every night after work.” but I just don’t think I can keep that goal.

I never invite my parents to church. My mother thinks Catholicism is a cult and Episcopalian services are very Catholic in looks and behavior. She’s not used to all the sitting, standing, and kneeling, not to mention the crossing. I love all that.

My father is an Irish Catholic, and was an alter boy, but hasn’t stepped in a church since he was a kid. But he’s very Catholic in his generosity and caring — that part stuck with him.

On a whim I told my parents today that on Tuesday the men’s club serves a pancake breakfast for Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent and said they were welcome to go with me. Dad said yes right away just because he’s open to new experiences and I could almost hear my mom thinking, OH MY GOD. NO. But eventually she said, “Okay, We’ll pick you up at work.”

I’m really a new Christian since I haven’t been to church since I was 12 or 13 and I have enjoyed learning about the seasons of the Episcopal church and it’s fun to see them come back around again (although I missed my 2nd Christmas there because I was so ill).

This Wednesday I’ll go to the 7:30 p.m. service which will be beautiful, but somber and I’ll get a cross of ashes on my forehead to remind me how short and precious life is.

I love this season.


P.S. while I’ve been tipsy blogging I’ve been rocking out to this:


6 responses to “Tipsy Blogging by I.P. Freely

  1. Christianity isn’t about when you went to church. It’s about your belief and intention. Jesus wasn’t going to church he was going to temple, he was a Jew. Don’t be so hard on yourself in that way. I love your lent commitment it’s about intention. It’s about going something up, for your relationship with God. And it’s supposed to be hard. Now—- if what you do is spend some time at the pool so you keep your mind off of eating, that’s a win. But whatever your heart leads you too.

  2. ML, thank you for the Brandenburg Concertos. I forgot how much I love them. When I was in high school back in the 80’s I played violin and arrangements of those pieces featured heavily in our playlist rotation.
    SO did your parents go with you to Shrove Tuesday? I think it would be awesome of them to get out and socialize with some new people.
    I really loved attending my Episcopal church until I was in my mid 20’s. The parishioners were all very old WASP money and lots were teachers at Milton Academy. You would have loved how anglified the whole scene was. Church would be a nice thing to attend once again, but I really am looking for the vibe I got when I was younger…
    It is just awesome you have come so far that you are not even wanting to look at LN’s e-mail. I feel I have done lots of growth on my end, but I am having issues with FaceBook, not that I am stalking the x wasband. My FB is clean of anyone even remotely associated with the x, but here is the weird thing… He keeps popping up in the background of pictures in bars where he plays. My cousin who lives across the street from my old marital home posted a video of the children’s party in her front yard and I could see my old residence in the background and then I saw “him” walking around in the yard. It was so freaky… I am not seeking this out yet it keeps finding me and I have such weird feelings when I see this and have to get off the internet.
    I am considering taking a break from FB, but it is a source of human interaction for me.
    The no food fast after 7 PM sounds awesome. I am so terrified about my weight lately. I have gained almost 20 lbs since the summer and I am really working hard not to eat gluten, grains, sugar, dairy, etc but it is only getting worse and I think I am rage eating things at night like salads, nuts, fruit…
    My meds have been changed so much since last summer and I am really feeling that this is having a disastrous effect on my weight. I would like to jump in on giving up food at night for Lent.

    Sorry I am so scattered and have been absent or late to your posts. This getting a life thing is hard and my family is so toxic. When there is down time, I find myself really wasting loads of time in useless thoughts.
    It is so good though to hear your private stories and how your new life is going.

    • ENM, I have had no internet for five days so was not alerted there was a comment here. Thank God it’s back! I have grown so accustomed to being online constantly.

      My parents did come to the pancake breakfast on Shrove Tuesday. It was fun, it was naturally for families, but I was glad they came and I was able to introduce them to a few folks. I showed them that the back wall of the chapel has places where one’s ashes can be interred and I told them I was thinking of doing that.

      This particular church is so incredibly welcoming, but overwhelmingly older population. Older than me by far! The priest is early 30s with three young children so he’s doing what he can to bring in families. The assistant priest is a young 50 and he’s gay and I just adore him. This is not a rich church by any means, but it seems to be an educated one, and I do appreciate that.

      If a church and church family are something you are seeking, I hope you find one that fits you and welcomes you.

      It’s not hard for me to not look at LN’s emails, but if he used FB I’d be a wreck. I am sooooo lucky he does not use it. Or perhaps he has me blocked! Either way I can’t see a thing he does and we have no mutual friends so I’m grateful. I’m so sorry you are subjected to your ex just by being on FB minding your own business!

      I was doing very well with the sugar thing, but have had a rough several days now. I hope I can get back on the Lent bandwagon, so to speak. Let’s make the commitment together to not eat after 7pm, at least until Lent is over. Maybe we can encourage one another that way.

      I doubt you waste time in “useless thoughts.” I imagine you take mini vacations when you can grab them. God knows you deserve that and more.

      Thinking of you always! Hang in there, please. xox

  3. Thank you ML.
    I am glad you have your internet back up and running. Being without makes me feel isolated…
    I do not have issues with food self control during the day… it is at night that I am just so disgusted with everyone around me, I find myself waking up and looking for things I would not normally eat (carbs and sugar). The cravings are worse since I stopped drinking regularly (maybe 2-3 drinks a month now). Before, I would wake up and not be able to go back to sleep, so I drank a shot of vodka.
    Have you ever tried gymnema? It is an herb. I am going to start using it twice a day again (dinner and bedtime).
    I find that when I take gymnema, I do not get as much of a thrill out of eating something really carbie, so it gives me time to think about what I am doing and makes carbs self limiting. My friend claims it makes sugar not taste as good…
    Are you considering the Yosemite trip?
    I want to go, but I really think I should be getting my act together and ready to buy in VT within the next year…
    I can’t wait to hear about your next steps in meh and the new lives we are creating.
    Peace and Love

  4. ENM, I finally told God today I was sorry, but the no sugar for Lent thing was just not happening! I’m fighting a cold and I flipping need comfort foods. I am the same as you, I eat normally in the day time, but can’t stop at night. I will definitely look into gymnema — I’ve never heard of it before.

    I considered the Yosemite trip for a little bit, but I know I will not be able to part with the money at that time. I hope to be knee deep in buying a house and every penny will be needed. I love that area — it’s so, so beautiful!

    I hope things are a little more calm at your household. xox

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