Saturday, April 18, 2009


In my e-mail yesterday, a friend said "Go ahead, do it! It was something I wanted to do. I don't remember what, just remember being pleased with what my friend said, but annoyed with myself for needing permission.

Sometimes you need a "Go ahead, help yourself," to eat what you're craving, like another scoop of ice cream. I'm not a dieter, I'm quite slender, but I used to weigh myself every day -- dancer weight is generally about ten pounds below what your body wants it to be.

Bang-crash! I got lucky in an unlucky head-on collision. My small intestine was severed, had to be mended, shortened and spliced together. It creates complications. My 3 ½ feet of small intestine doesn't do what your 35 feet does. I don't get nourishment or energy from food the way you do -- I can eat a lot, even pig out, and not gain weight.

So, "lucky Em" doesn't need permission when it comes to food. I can eat whatever I want, indulge in chocolate cake, peanut butter cups, buttery mashed potatoes, french fries, fried onion rings ... you name it.

But, I need permission NOT to work. Permission to SKIP my daily barre. Permission NOT to review money figures in the yellow sheets that arrive every month and tell us what we've spent. Permission NOT to worry about landlady things.

(The building we own needs to be painted and pointed. Whew! That means a scaffold, employees, permission from the Department of Buildings, a permit from "landmarks" because we're a landmarked building.)

Writer Em invents ways to give herself permission to put it off. For instance -- put "paint building" on a calendar. When the date comes, and we're too busy, put it on another date.

Also I use my friends. They give me something better than permission -- give me a posture, a tone of voice, and their relatively easy-going selves to imitate, take on. It's an acting, method actress technique. I become that person for a while. And enjoy slowing down, loafing, doing nothing in particular ... relaxing.

Yes, it's a little weird. But it works!

Getting permission, allows me to give permission to JC and JD and Fran, Sue, and Shareen, to take it easy, don't do what you're not in the mood to do.

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