Archives for posts with tag: drink water

I’m drinking water and counting myself grateful to have indoor plumbing, hot and cold running potable water from a tap in the house, and additional filtration that ensures the water is clean, and free of weird tastes or sediment. It’s nice. I’m drinking water because I’ve already had my coffee and frankly I do need to be drinking more water. Recent longevity-associated articles reporting on the value of being well-hydrated did not go unnoticed. I started paying attention to the differences on days when I am not well-hydrated vs days when I am – and nights. Yes, drinking more water definitely results in getting up to pee more often during the night, but that doesn’t seem to have anything at all to do with whether I sleep well and deeply, or how easily I return to sleep, so… small price to pay? Well, I guess I hadn’t previously thought so, until I noticed that being well-hydrated seemed to also reduce my snoring (noticeably), as well as improving my ability to lubricate naturally (still a pretty big deal for me, personally, in spite of being post-menopause I really enjoy sex), like, a lot. So I’m pretty committed to drinking more water.

Keep practicing.

…I learned quite recently, and yes “the hard way”, that one bad spell with my mental health can wreck that progress in mere hours. Friday evening I went through some shit and had a nasty flare up of my PTSD on this whole other difficult to describe level. It was bad. I put my Traveling Partner through some bullshit over it (always regrettable and complicated). It got bad enough that I actually had a flashback, and those have gotten to be very rare. The ridiculous level of hysteria I ultimately reached (calling it a “panic attack” doesn’t do the chaos justice at all) caused me to cry a quantity of tears that finally resulted in a loss of moisture that definitely resulted in me more than a little dehydrated by dawn. I woke Saturday morning with a stuffy head, swollen eyes, and feeling like “everything had come crashing down”. It passed, but… it wasn’t good. The low point was the painful awareness that even medicated, I am at risk. I am grateful to have the partner I do. The chaos and damage don’t reliably “take no for an answer” once shit skitters sideways. The self-directed shame and disappointment immediately add an additional gut-punch that makes bouncing back hard. On top of all of that? Damn few people actually “get” what flashbacks are actually like, and they aren’t portrayed in the movies or in media very skillfully (how could they be?).

It’s important to take care of myself. Regardless of the chaos and damage, regardless of my personal starting point on life’s journey, or where I am standing when I begin again. Problematically, this is true for everyone; self-care matters. I don’t “get a head-start” when I practice good self-care – I don’t even get to start at the same starting point as “everyone else”. I’ve started this journey where my starting point happened to be. Self-care is a thing that it is very helpful to do – for everyone. I’m still me. Still have the issues I have. Still have to work on those issues. Still have to trust that incremental change over time will improve things. Still have to recognize that my results are going to vary. My demons got the better of me on Friday night in a big way. I’m fortunate to have a loving partner willing to support my long-term wellness and growth. I’m grateful that I can understand that there is no implicit promise that having a loving partner will actually make this shit any “easier”. I’ve still got to walk my own hard mile. I’ve still got to do the work. I’m still going to fall down now and then, and have to pick myself up and start over. Begin again.

Some practices are more critical than others. Some practices are more emotionally nourishing than others. Some are more or less effective for me as an individual. I did not imagine the simple act of drinking enough water would be one of those very simple very big deals among all my practices, but here we are.

Selecting good practices is a bit like building a healthy diet… fruit is delicious. Sooo tasty. Filled with nutrients we need. Yum. The thing is, though, it’s also full of sugar. Like a lot of sugar. For many of us, building our diet around tasty fruits is not notably healthier than building it around any other tasty sweets. [Note: I am not a nutritionist or dietician, nothing I say in this blog should be construed as medical or dietary advice. I am using “diet” and nutrition metaphorically here.] Veggies may not be as sweetly delicious and tempting in the way luscious ripe fruits can be, but they do make a far better foundation for my diet. So… it matters to choose with care. Whether we’re talking about a healthy diet, the practices we choose for our emotional wellness, the partnership in which we spend our days (and nights)… or the practices we choose for our physical wellness. Turns out some of the most basic practices for my self-care support both my emotional wellness and my physical wellness (looking your way drinking water and eating more veggies!!). It’s worth thinking about for more than a moment. Abandon any one of those cornerstones of a good life, and the foundation isn’t solid enough to rest upon.

Get right down to it, and there’s just no magic bullet, or pill, or single solution to “all of the shit we go through”. No partnership can bear the weight of all of our bullshit. We’ve got to do all the things we can – everything we know to do, as reliably as we’re able to learn to practice. Through practice. Sounds like a huge thing to commit to, but taken a practice at a time, doesn’t it just amount to living life? I think about it a while, let the songs play. Watch the tiny bar of sunlight creep across my desk.

My partner comes in and rubs my shoulders and neck for a moment. “You writin’ a book?” he asks with a laugh. I laugh back; there are no shortcuts.

It’s time to begin again.

I am sipping coffee in the stillness of the local co-work space. It’s quite early, and there’s rarely anyone else but me here at this hour. I enjoy the quiet time. Good for writing, reading, and thinking. I woke quite early. I woke with a vicious headache. Not the usual, that’s there in the background, too – no, this one is “special”. I think I must have slept on my neck wrong, and instead of waking with a kink in my neck and pain in my shoulder, the aggravation is painful at the top of my neck/base of my skull – like a tension headache, but more intense. I’d kind of like to just… twist my head off and toss it in the bin next to this desk. LOL Fuuuuuuuck.

As with change, headaches are – and this one will pass. I mean, eventually. lol

For now, I am sipping coffee and drinking water, more or less in alternation. The handful of medications I now take on a more or less set schedule results in choosing to carry a small pill box. I start the day with each of the medications I take right there in my pocket, and when the relevant alarm goes off, I take a moment to take my medication. Unavoidable evidence of aging, I suppose. I’m okay with it; the pillbox is a change that has resulted in being “more on time” and I haven’t missed a dose of anything even once since I started carrying the wee screw-top enameled tin along with me. It does mean that having planned ahead, I’ve got adequate Ibuprofen for the headache. lol That’s something. It’s not everything, but it is helpful. I take a couple with a big drink of water, feeling quite adult being so prepared. πŸ˜€

…I’m probably totally screwed once I have multiple pills that look alike all jostling each other in a wee pillbox, but for now they are easy to identify.

It’s Giftmas already?!

It’s almost Giftmas. My beloved Traveling Partner has been busy in the shop, and still managed to slip a couple gifts under the tree for me. He’s got a festive little assortment waiting for him there, too. Happily, and without any stress driving the decision, he’s given me a couple of mine already – can I just say I love presents that are so clearly selected with genuine affection and a deep understanding of “who I am”? πŸ˜€ Practical or silly – he gets me. I sit here with that thought, grinning to myself and thinking about my two new Barbies. (Yes. Even as I approach 60. lol) I feel loved. Another gift was given as it arrived; it was just so much bigger than he’d anticipated, and it was going to be a pain in the ass to wrap it – and no way it was actually going to fit under the tree. That and I think he was just really excited to see it in use, and try it out himself… My first Instant Pot! It’s a bit fancy and has an air fryer lid and 11 functions. Just…wow. So much to learn and to try. πŸ˜€ This may be the secret to (me) making a proper pot roast, at long last! (My attempts to cook a good pot roast have been pretty dreadful in the past… I am eager to do better.)

I hope I never feel “too old to play”.

Barbie-wise, can I just say how much it delights me that Mattel now makes Barbie in various body types, skin colors, ethnic features, and levels of ability (far beyond what they ever had originally). I love seeing Barbie as an astronaut or the president – and I also love seeing her in a wheel-chair, or as a very dark black girl. I love “seeing myself” in Barbie with pink or teal hair, in jeans, with a camera in her hand, or a backpack on. I love seeing the many other sorts of beauty and lived experience in Barbie, too; it makes for a more complete “world to play in”. My partner got me my first “curvy” Barbies! They look more like me than the classic tall/thin/weird/white Barbie. πŸ™‚

I did indeed make pot roast, the night before I left for the coast, and it was very tasty. I probably could have cooked it for a somewhat shorter time (the roast was on the small side of the recipe recommendations), and although it wasn’t “dry”, it was a bit more done than my partner and I prefer generally. On the other hand, it made amazing roast beef sandwiches a couple days later. Success? I think so. πŸ˜€ My partner made french fries using the air fryer (as part of lunch the day I returned from the coast). Super yummy. Another success. πŸ˜€ I’m not surprised that I’ll need some practice and some learning. I think back to his gift to me of a wok earlier this year and how that completely transformed my cooking in wonderful ways… I’m excited to discover how this new tool fits into my experience.

I’m excited for the holiday, and it is approaching quickly. I laugh at myself when I think of how little time and planning or effort has really gone into it so far this year. Different. I’m okay with it. It’s a gentle approach, and with all the goings on in my partner’s shop and developing his business, it was very much a conscious decision to make the holiday a modest one, more about love than exchanging gifts, and more about the quality of the time we share than elaborate dΓ©cor or parties. I smile like a little girl when I think about my new Barbies. So far it is an awesome Giftmas.

Work pulls my focus for a moment. A calendar notification reminds me that the work day is beginning. A ping from my boss reminds me that my work is valued. It competes for my attention briefly; I check the clock. I’ve got about an hour that is still “all mine”. I smile, sip my coffee, and get ready to begin again.

Awake. Okay with it.

I woke thirsty. Drank water. My neck felt twisted and my shoulder felt cramped. I did the exercises from my recent physical therapy work.

My tinnitus is loud in this quiet. I listen to it. I listen to my heartbeat. I listen to my even, relaxed breathing. For a long while, it seemed like. I realize I am drifting in and out of my dreams. I am dreaming that I am awake. Realizing this wakes me – the sound of a single startled out loud laugh breaks the stillness.

I sit up, check the time and write these few words. I sit quietly for some little while…

I guess I am for sure sleepy enough to sleep, at this point… I suppose I’ll do that next.

I’m drinking water. It’s a sunny Saturday in April. The weather is mild and well-suited to getting outside into the garden. At least at the moment, I’m not “there”.

I’m fighting off a UTI, and I’ve been very fatigued recently, though I feel decently well-rested today (and since the antibiotics started doing their thing on this infection). I made a delicious scramble for my Traveling Partner and I to start the day on (he’s working, I’m… doing things that definitely require effort, but don’t “seem like work“). This antibiotic is best taken on a full stomach, so breakfast definitely made sense.

…After breakfast, I cleaned up the kitchen and did the dishes…

…I broke down a bunch of cardboard and took it out to the recycling bin…

…then started laundry (towels mostly)…

…then I made the trek down to the city to pick up a snap-together little garden shed to put all my gardening gear in, to get those items out of the shop space that my Traveling Partner needs for other things…

…then I came home (very cramped drive back, since that shed, even in pieces and boxed, barely fit in my car at all) dropped the shed off at the house, and headed out for some quick grocery shopping, and to return an item that didn’t suit the purpose for which it was purchased. Thankfully both tasks could be done at the same retail location.

By the time I got home again, it was lunch time – so I brought lunch home with me and sat down for a few minutes with my partner over a bite to eat between tasks in the shop. He’s got multiple projects in progress. I do my best to be helpful and supportive where I can.

…After lunch, I put the little shed together. Once completed, I asked my Traveling Partner if he’d like to help me decide specifically where to place it – he must have misunderstood my question; he came right out and put it where he wanted it. I’m cool with that; it isn’t heavy, this shed, but it is awkward, and it’s nice to have help. (I could have moved it into position, I’d just forgotten where we had talked about putting it.)

…Then I broke down the surprisingly large quantity of cardboard that the shed arrived in, and stuffed it into the back of my car for a trip to the disposal place next week; it’s too much to fit in the bin here at the house.

…Then I realized I was already feeling fatigued, and it’s not even 2:00 pm (at the time I noticed my fatigue, that is)… so… I sat down, here, with this glass of water for a few minutes of restful self-care. There’s still so much to do…

I had thought I’d spend the day weeding the garden and maybe painting… the decision to go get that little garden shed sort of threw that plan out, in that instant of spontaneous decision-making, and the discovery that there was exceedingly limited local availability of these specifically sized small sheds. I still feel the motivation… but for the moment I am wiped out. I need to give myself a proper break.

…Then…maybe…I’ll get a short walk in, out in the sunshine, around the neighborhood, checking out the progress of Spring in everyone’s flowerbeds along the way, and pick up the mail on the way back… I definitely want to do that; I’ve got new seeds waiting in the mailbox. They won’t do me any good there.

Soon the towels will be dry, and they’ll need to be folded and put away. There’s still plenty of weeding to do in the front flower beds… and my clean laundry (from days ago) has yet to be folded. “Fuck how am I already this tired?” I think to myself, drinking my glass of cool water. I know the answer; resources are finite. That’s it. That’s the whole truth of it. Whether we’re talking about acreage, or fresh water, or cash money, or our actual living life force expressed as our capacity to do work… it’s all dreadfully finite. It’s important to “stay within our budget”, but it’s not always entirely obvious that there is one…

…I felt so incredibly free and energetic – boundless energy and sheer force of will, on demand, at any hour, any day (pretty much) when I was younger. I’m thinking teens and 20s, when I make this observation. That kind of seemingly unlimited individual energy probably wasn’t as unlimited as it seems looking back on it. I do miss having just a bit more to draw upon, when fatigue seems to set in well-before I’ve checked off my to-do list, and before the afternoon can become an evening. Sometimes, a break to rest, to drink water, to sit for a moment with my thoughts, is enough to recharge for the next little while, and I get a few more things done. Yesterday, I even managed to push past my fatigue to prepare an excellent evening meal that we both enjoyed immensely… I wasn’t good for much after that. LOL I had “used up all my spoons”. I went to bed early(ish).

Today I tried to budget my energy – and my time – a bit more wisely. I don’t know that I succeeded at all… but if I stopped right now and did not one fucking thing more, I’d be pretty okay with that… but oh! there is so much more I do want to do today…

…It’s time to begin again…

A week ago, I stumbled and fell. For days afterward I’ve felt rather as if I had received a serious beating (and yeah, I do know what that feels like), between the pain of falling on uneven concrete, and the usual aches and pains. It’s been much to take. The heat, the profound hotter-than-it-seems-it-should-be heat of this pandemic summer has surged back toward record-breaking temperatures, and is expected to get hotter before it cools off to more typical hot summer temperatures over the weekend. (Camping next week should be fairly comfortable, for many values of “comfort”.) Today? Just a day. Yesterday, mostly pretty pleasant. Another fine day. I don’t feel as if I’ve done all that much, really, and I don’t hurt quite as much today as I have for the last handful of days. How the hell am I so g’damned tired??

…Right at the moment, I feel like “my brain can barely lift a finger”. Or something like that. So tired. I could tumble into bed right now, quite content to sleep through the night.

Why am I so tired??

I take a deep breath. Exhale slowly and evenly. Repeat a couple times, feeling various localized points of pain or discomfort come to the forefront of my awareness and once acknowledged, recede again into the background noise of pain that is just… there. I sip this can of name-brand fizzy beverage – the human equivalent of “nectar”, it’s got so much sugar in it. I take a moment to appreciate these small cans that are everywhere now. I never could finish an entire soda by myself – these are perfect. I know this boost of sugar will lift my spirits and my energy for a short time (very short) (too short), and likely find me crashing sometime soon after, even more fucking tired.

I could sleep. I’m an adult. It’s my time. My bed. My general well-being… I could just go the fuck to bed and get some rest, like a proper decision-making adult…

…I don’t want to. I want my energy back. I want to feel eager to make a great meal to share with my Traveling Partner. I want to feel engaged and alert and interested in hearing what he’s been up to, today, and what his plans are for projects-in-progress, this week. I barely care enough to even wonder what might be convenient to throw in a bowl and call “food” for the two of us. Am I even hungry?

…Am I over medicated? Incorrectly medicated? Under medicated? Misunderstanding where my energy went or what consumed it? Did I sleep so poorly that I did not rest? Maybe I just need a drink of water? Or…?

I actually feel so tired that I’m cross with it – have been almost all day – and finding myself on the edge of tears again and again, simply from the fatigue. That tired. Literally stupid with the fatigue. I’m stupid tired. But could I actually sleep? I’m doubtful. So… what now? My partner let me know he’d love my help in the shop, even as he acknowledged his awareness of my fatigue – I almost went to help, even knowing how fatigued I am. It’s a dumb idea; in addition to “stupid”, I’m probably also quite clumsy, or prone to a lack of attention that is actually dangerous around machinery. So… yeah. I figured I’d write for a minute, instead… I mean… how badly can I fuck this up? (It’s probably shot through with spelling errors I just don’t see, if nothing else.)

How I ended up just on and on about how tired I feel in this one limited mortal moment, I have no idea. I guess it’s just the thing on my mind. πŸ™‚

…I could begin again…