Archives for category: Epsom salts

I’m mostly moved out of my old apartment.  Hell, for that matter, I’m mostly moved in to the new house, thanks to the coordinated help of friends, and professional movers, and the bonus that is being able to afford to take time off to manage it. Nothing precious to me got broken, and the only box that got dropped was in my own hands when it fell, hit the sidewalk in front of the new house, and spilled its contents from the split-wide-open box into the driveway. It was a macht nichts moment; just this-n-that from the bathroom cupboards. No harm done. I did manage to startled the professional movers, though. lol I’m tired. Still tired. There’s more to do, of course, mostly of the moving in and getting settled variety. Exciting and fun and… I’m still tired. LOL My ankle gave me far more grief than my back ever did, and by Friday I was back on my cane, and had worn out my ankle brace beyond repair. More than once, I made a point to pause, rest, and give myself a moment to recover some little amount, before continuing. There is still more to do.

I’m eager to see my Traveling Partner again, and welcome him to this new, different, lovely space. My deck is big – huge in comparison to small apartment patios – and there is water right there, making caring for my garden easier than it has been for me since… 1995. There is so much excitement in this process now! I feel that release of tension as sleepiness, more often than I’d like. I smile and remind myself that fatigue is a shout out for rest and ease. I gotta remember to do that, too.

The view from my bed, feet up, taking it easy for a few minutes between tasks on moving day.

I double-check my list of things to do and tenderly add “take care of me”. Soon enough the work day will end, and I will head to the apartment to tidy up, and remove anything left behind from 4 days of moving. There are definitely more verbs involved…

 

Thinking about the future. “Here it comes…“. It is a morning with a theme song. 🙂 It’s also 4:30 am. So… a theme song, and headphones. Again this morning I am thinking about the reality and the fantasy, considering options, considering needs, considering what it takes to take care of me, over time. What do I really need, versus what do I yearn for but can so easily do without? I continue to plan this next move, and in the planning I find my anxiety and stress about it greatly reduced.

I ended the evening last night in great pain. Yoga, physical therapy, acetaminophen, medical cannabis, a hot soak in Epsom salts, meditation… I did the things, it was still a struggle. I managed to avoid reaching for Rx pain relief, though, which is a win. I woke without much pain, in spite of the very rainy morning and the chill in the air. My calves ache from muscle cramps during the night, a weird new development along life’s journey. The thought distracts me with the idea of pain, and I find myself mentally listing all the things that hurt, or are uncomfortable, and before I know it – I’m completely immersed in the experience of pain, and actually hurt more than I did minutes ago. We really do create a lot of our experience with the power of our thoughts and our words.

I take a moment to breathe, relax, and let go of (at least the thought of) the pain. I set a reminder to call my doctor for an appointment to discuss changes in my health, and pain management in the coming winter months. What’s to be done about the neck fracture recently identified in X-rays and a CT scan? That’d be good to know…

Pain again? Damn it. I change the music to something more defiant. Sometimes it helps to tell pain to fuck right off. No bullshit. I have an entire playlist of music with big beats and great grooves that all basically tell someone, or something, to fuck right off with great enthusiasm. Some days defiance is what it takes to move past the pain. I remind myself to be very mindfully aware of the things that don’t hurt, and the moments I am not in pain – however brief. Soaking in those experiences, savoring them, appreciating them fully helps preserve the memory of not hurting, and improves my implicit experience – otherwise, over time, I’d slowly lose touch with having any experience other than pain. This morning, I teeter on the edge of pain; when I am not thinking about it, this morning, I don’t hurt nearly as much.

This morning is a good one for music and dancing, for yoga and another cup of coffee, for meditation (on a timer – it’s a work day!), and for taking care of me. On the other side of the work day… a quiet evening. In between: rain, meetings, spreadsheets, questions, an important task hand-off, deep-diving some puzzles, lunch, thoughts of love, a couple miles of walking, and a new look at a view of the city I love. Each day a new beginning, a step on a much longer journey to becoming the woman I most want to be.

Every day has its own qualities, its own joy, its own suffering. Begin again.

Every day has its own qualities, its own joy, its own suffering. Begin again.

Up at 4 am works for me; I don’t fight it. There’s time for coffee, time for words, time to change the tone of the morning, and regain the leisurely feel of the morning that I enjoy so well. Today is a good day to take care of this fragile vessel that serves me so well. Today is a good day to slow things down a little bit and enjoy the morning without rushing. Today is a good day to embrace what matters most: perspective, mindfulness, sufficiency – and love. 🙂

It takes time to recover from an injury. I over-eagerly pushed myself to complete a longer than usual last Monday, and arrived home with a sore knee. Tuesday I stayed mostly off of it and it felt much better by day’s end. Wednesday, it felt better still, though not fully recovered, and I undertook some nearby errands on foot – and worsened the injury. I knew better. I chose poorly. Yesterday, with some discipline, I stayed mostly off of it again, and this morning find myself ‘better’ although I still feel it aching, and occasional twinges if there’s any hint of lateral movement…and my brain happily chimes in first thing with hiking suggestions! No. I’m staying off it today, too. 😦 It’s a more difficult choice than I’d like it to be.

A good day to relax in the garden.

A good day to relax in the garden.

Doing what I know is the correct thing, the most effective or appropriate choice to take care of my long-term needs well, is not always the easiest choice. It is, in fact, most often not at all the easiest choice.

After a night of rain showers, and a morning of sunshine, the garden needs little help from me besides enjoying it.

After a night of rain showers, and a morning of sunshine, the garden needs little help from me besides enjoying it.

I think about choices. I think about growth, and progress. I think about the world. I wonder about all the people who seem never to have taken time to reflect on that person in their mirror, to reflect on their choices, their actions, the outcomes. I can’t actually imagine that the vast numbers of ignorant hateful people shoring up our badly broken culture actually ever pause to reflect on what they do, on what they’ve done, or on why it matters so much that they learn another way – that we all learn other, better, ways. (We are each having our own experience. Most people, even really vile hateful people, imagine themselves to be the good guys in their own narrative.) I think about how far I’ve come myself, growing up in ignorance, and learning so much to come so far – to discover how very ignorant I remain. Different things. The more I’ve learned of life, of love, of things universal or specific, of science, of violence, of art, of madmen and monsters in the darkness, of the fictions I craft for myself, of journeys to be taken, and of all the many practices within reach to become a better person than I was yesterday… the more there seems to be to learn. About all of it.

"Where did I get that idea?" "Why do I think so?" These are important questions to ask myself.

“Where did I get that idea?” “Why do I think so?” These are important questions to ask myself.

I’m no longer so frustrated by my own ignorance; this is a journey, and I continue to grow. I may have observed that I am unsure what other purpose life has, than growth, development, learning. We become. We become, in fact, what we practice. (But what we think we know weighs heavily on what we may choose to practice.) I began life knowing nothing. I know so much more now – and so little compared to the vastness of all there is to know. “I am only an egg” says Valentine Michael Smith. I can’t argue with that.

It's a good day to begin again. A good day to learn, and to love. A good day to change the world.

It’s a good day to begin again. A good day to learn, and to love. A good day to change the world.

Today I will spend my time being – and becoming. Painting. Practicing. Breathing. Loving. Treating myself and others as I well as I know how to, and learning to do it just a bit better while I’m at it. Today that’s enough.

I woke in pain this morning, to a chilly gray rainy day. Yesterday’s sunshine is a memory. Today, pain takes a firm determined step forward; I am often in a lot of pain on the rainy days I love so much. It’s an arthritis thing, I suppose. Still, it’s a lovely morning so far in spite of that, and I sip my coffee and make my list contentedly. I look at my list and realize I’ve jotted down a task I’m unlikely to be physically able to do today…I cross it off. Tomorrow, maybe.

Yesterday's sunshine...no more real now than any other memory unless I savor it and make it my own.

Yesterday’s sunshine – a lovely memory.

It’s early, still. Meditation, yoga, a walk, and a shower – the morning is well underway. My physical pain distracts me. I pull my mind back to other things – things that matter more to me; it’s ‘date night’ with my traveling partner. Our time together is so genuinely at ease, so deeply connected and passionate, so emotionally supportive, so playful… I’m still awed by this amazing love we share. 🙂 It’s worth pausing often to appreciate it, especially with impermanence being what it is, and change being a thing. I don’t know what obstacles may exist on the path ahead, or what twists life may sneak into future of love. I am learning to enjoy what is, without wailing over what isn’t – or taking every damned thing so personally that I am unable to understand that we are each having our own experience. Incremental change – incremental progress. 🙂 I keep practicing.

We choose our path, but sometimes the way ahead is not obvious until conditions are right.

We choose our path, but sometimes the way ahead is not obvious until conditions are right.

There’s plenty to practice, isn’t there? Life is rich with complexity, full of stress, and so busy it all seems to happen so fast – too fast, sometimes. Yesterday morning, I could feel how very precariously poised I was, between a full on meltdown, and something different from that. I was uncertain I would be able to maintain emotional balance, perspective, and contentment in the face of the numerous stressors piling up, and the growing feeling of being overwhelmed somehow. I took the day, and I took care of myself. Meditation. A walk in the sunshine. More time meditating. Time spent in the garden among green living things. Some time enjoying coffee in the sunshine on the patio. Meditation. Healthy nutritious meals made from whole fresh ingredients. Adequate sleep. Mediation. Comfortable clothes. An orderly environment. Appropriately timed medication. I spent the day being purposefully kind to myself, and as much as possible taking action, rather than reacting. By mid-afternoon, I felt reliably, sustainably content, comfortable in my body, safe with my thoughts, and secure physically and emotionally. 🙂 My results vary – it could have gone quite differently, and I was prepared that it might.

There's more than one path, more than one way, more than one choice; there are a lot of verbs involved.

There’s more than one path, more than one way, more than one choice; there are a lot of verbs involved.

So here I am today. Today seems nice so far… the pain is not relevant to that, and it may not be an impediment to enjoying the day in relative comfort. Even here there’s a balance to be found, the balance between distracting myself from hurting, and being sufficiently aware of it to take appropriate measures at regular intervals: moving around, taking those effective pain relief measures available to me, taking ‘yoga breaks’… It’s easy to get mired in the sensation of pain and overlook that it would ease if I got up and did something else for a few minutes. 🙂

I keep practicing.

I keep practicing.

Even my heart is at ease today. That was not so much the case yesterday. Ah, but it isn’t yesterday now, is it? I begin again. Today is a good day to take care of me. Today is a good day to enjoy the things about life that I find most enjoyable – and maybe find some new things to enjoy as well. Today I begin again – again. 🙂

Today might be too much, I feel it already. Rare these days, so the feelings really stand out –  helpful, more than aggravating, and I could use more of it. I can’t put my finger on something specific right now, or be certain things will go sideways at some point, but the potential for it exists as a distinct recognizable set of physical sensations that add up to an experience I recognize. It’s been a difficult day or two, and although I’ve adulted through it with considerable skill, generally, I’m quite human and there’s simply the possibility – leaning toward likelihood – that today it may all catch up with me. Can I make use of this awareness to treat myself well and gently, still get the day done, and perhaps dodge a meltdown, too? I guess I’ll find out as the day unfolds.

Well, sure. This.

Well, sure. This.

“Too much” is sometimes a thing to deal with. It’s not any more real than a lot of what I find myself mired in. “Too much” often reflects an unhealthy attachment to an outcome, or expectations that are unreasonable, or assumptions that are incorrect, piling up with circumstances that don’t bear that sort of emotional weight well. It’s that way today. A date with an acquaintance became a disappointment. The new job felt like a certainty, but fell through. A routine visit to a doctor becomes a referral to a specialist to rule out cancer – first. Disappointment adds to insecurity, which adds to worry, which adds to fear, which slowly becomes a soup of darker emotions, and a high risk of an emotional moment…or two…or some sort of meltdown. All very real. All very human. I could cash in my ticket for “a good cry” – haven’t done that, yet. As is so often said, it would probably do me good to just let go…once I can. Making a clear distinction between ‘balance’ (and treating myself well) and ‘repression’ (just sort of squashing everything down into a manageable presentation that seems appropriate to others) has huge value; hiding from my hurts doesn’t really work for me. “The way out is through” is real and meaningful today.

I have my ‘to do list’ for the day. I have events on my calendar. Purpose. A plan. I’ve also got this fragile vessel of flesh and bone to tend, and that’s rather non-negotiable for general wellness. I reconsider my list, move some things around, ensure that I keep a compassionate eye on myself today. I decide to trust my judgement – who knows me better than I do? – a meltdown today, you say? I think I have an opening on my calendar for that… if I must. lol Maybe later? Sometime after lunch? (Maybe not – that would be quite nice.) Either way, it won’t be necessary or useful to take it personally; I’m here for me.

Storms pass.

Storms pass.

Looking my concerns in the face eases them somewhat, at least for now. I sip my coffee, and start going down the list of things to do today. Today is a good day to be, and to do. 🙂