Archives for posts with tag: MBSR

Remember that day I said I need to get some rest? (Was that only yesterday?) I eventually arrived home from work, bone tired, brain tired, so tired… that down deep, long gone toward stupid & clumsy tired. I careened around the apartment for some little while. I don’t recall when I went to bed, but I can gauge my cognitive fatigue, specifically, by the disarray I woke to.

My cell phone was left on a side table and never recharged, fitness tracker carelessly left on its charger and never put back on, half a dozen coffee mugs left behind pretty much everywhere I paused thinking I’d have a cup of decaf…tea…broth… forgetting as the short evening proceeded that I’d already made something, and left it elsewhere. As I changed from work clothes to comfy clothes, I carelessly left things laying about, which is not my habit. My hiking boots in the living room, my socks oddly left draped on the shoe stand by the front door, my jeans draped over the side of the bathtub (?!), my top dropped on the floor and left there, my earrings on a bookcase… I can follow the path I took, from the front door, to the neatly stacked yoga pants and t-shirts in my closet, back to the kitchen – the cupboard with the coffee mugs was left standing open. When I did I go to bed? I don’t recall that at all, but I don’t guess my state of mind counts as “awake” to begin with. lol

I woke at 5:15 am. I slept in! (Yep, it counts.) I slept deeply, dreamlessly, restfully, and I had no intention of getting up so early… so I went back to sleep. When I woke again, to sunlight streaming into my room between the slats of the blinds, I eagerly got up for coffee… no coffee. I’d meant to go to the store last night. Clearly, though, I was in no condition to be operating a car, so I’m rather glad I didn’t. I throw on some jeans without any particular effort to be particular, and grab the nearest clean top and drag my brush through my hair, step into my sandals, and make a quick trip to the store for coffee, salad greens, and… tangerines. Why the tangerines? Why the hell not? (Actually, it is in part a rather practical thing; they are the right size for a serving without being cut in half, and they are quite delicious in recipes, too.)

I returned home, wandered about the place putting things right, and getting myself organized for a day of… getting organized. LOL I find creating order from chaos very relaxing when there is no deadline or agenda, so a day of tidying up, laundry, and housekeeping sounds just the thing for a relaxing day. At some point, the windshield replacement technician will show up, do that thing that needs to be done. I hear a contented sigh in this quiet room. Me. A side glance confirms what my lips reported last time I took a sip from my coffee cup; it’s empty. It’s a good time to begin again. πŸ™‚

By the time I got home last night, my brain was just… done. I don’t even have any particular recollection of the evening, aside from a brief chat with my Traveling Partner. I crashed out a little earlier than “on time”.

I wake this morning to a gray storm-cloudy not-quite-sunrise of a dawn, after an interrupted night of otherwise deep sleep. The morning seems both very ordinary, and also a little strange, and a bit surreal. I have the peculiar subjective sense that I’m seeing things differently than usual, but can’t pin down anything obvious. A potential sign of mental fatigue requiring better rest than I’m getting. I’m not surprised, if that’s the case; I’ve been giving a bit more than all of myself at work for the past several days, working to complete a complex bit of analytical work in advance of a deadline. I haven’t been sleeping particularly well. I dream about work. I’m super glad this is the last work day in my week. I’m ready for some rest.

I pause to appreciate a small change that has developed over time; I am more aware of the rhythms of my experience. I more easily observe when poor quality sleep becomes, over time, an impediment to cognition and emotional balance. I am more likely to be aware when the pattern of my emotional “weather” changes over the course of the day, in such a way as to indicate I am more deeply fatigued than I may realize. I am more able to recognize when – and how – I need to step up my self-care, to support and nurture this fragile vessel for further lifetime’s enjoyment. It’s nice. (It took – and takes – practice, and my results vary.)

I think about a friend I know is suffering right now. I think about how far I’ve come, and how little certainty I felt then that my experience would change. I had no understanding that change could bring me to “now” – or that “now” could be this good. I still have some shitty moody angst-y despairing or angry or irritable, frustrated, rage-y moments. That’s what they are, too. Moments.

One moment of many.

Lately, for the past 2-3 days only, I’ve been waking feeling pretty generally content but finishing the day feeling moody, disappointed with life, frustrated, and angry without any particular cause that makes sense. It was last night, sitting quietly with my fatigue and making no point to distract myself from it, that I became re-aware that deeper, prolonged mental fatigue, tends to also coincide with that pattern of slowly losing emotional resilience over the course of the day. I am more self-aware and inclined to observe my experience without judgement these days, and it’s delightful to note that the pay-off seems, in this instance, that I will be able to avoid some unfortunate meltdown or freak out, that would ordinarily go down just at that point that I am not aware how deeply fatigued I am, at the end of some long (probably joyful and exciting) day, because instead I’ll get some damned rest this weekend. πŸ˜€

…I make a point of checking my calendar, of course… Well. Obviously, a weekend which I am counting on for rest is that rare weekend fully booked with events, errands, and tasks. LOL Shit. I sit smiling under my furrowed brown, chewing on my lip, mildly frustrated, a tad annoyed… I’m replacing the car windshield; a non-negotiable errand that needs to be done. No room for change there. An appointment with my stylist for Saturday… I could cancel a haircut and reschedule… but it’s hard to get those Saturday appointments. So. A great opportunity to point out how good self-care intentions go sadly wrong. You can say “I told you so” when I’m cross and moody on Monday morning. πŸ˜‰

I won’t be running myself ragged this weekend, in any case. I’ll make a point of resting, and treating myself with care, gently, because I matter to me. Camping next weekend. My birthday the weekend after that. I suddenly feel tired before those events even get to “now”; my brain is reminding me to take getting some rest seriously. I sass myselfΒ silently with a smile and daydream about relaxing out among the trees next weekend. I’ll certainly get the rest I need then, but I know that doesn’t change how much rest I need, now. πŸ˜€

Fatigue changes the emotional weather, and the emotional landscape. Just saying. I have become more aware how important it is to get the rest I need.

Speaking of rest… it’s already time to go and do and be. One more work day – then rest.

 

I went to bed feeling sort of moody and irritable, and in a lot of pain. I woke smiling. No particular reason, although I suppose sleeping well and waking rested is reason enough. I have learned, over time, the value in enjoying what is enjoyable – and making a point of it – even something as small as waking comfortably with a smile is worth pausing to appreciate the moment. πŸ™‚

I spent a precious hour or so in the company of my Traveling Partner last night. By the time I returned home, I found myself wondering moodily why it didn’t occur to me to invite him to stay over? I miss him greatly. It feels like a long summer ahead of missing him greatly. lol I will surely appreciate his presence even more when autumn comes. πŸ™‚

It’s definitely been “summer” this week, so far. The apartment was hot when I arrived home last night – hotter than it was outside. I remind myself to ask my neighbors to give me a hand fitting the A/C in the window… then I second-guess myself, recalling the burglary in November; the one window this A/C unit will fit in is the studio window facing the park. The window through which a burglary relatively easily gained access to my apartment one rainy November afternoon…so… Do I really want to remove one pane and replace it with a piece of acrylic secured by a tight fit and taped in place, on a window that faces a public park lacking any impediment to the approach of strangers? How much risk is comfort worth? What would stop someone stealing the damned A/C? How annoying that I am even having this mental conversation? lol More consideration seems required.

I sip my coffee and watch the sky lighten with the approaching day. I start my playlist with a track my Traveling Partner shared with me yesterday. As I often do, I find another version that I also like, and prolong the joy another couple minutes. Somehow I wander into live videos of favorite DJs at huge venues, filled with huge crowds, light shows, all of the everything. lol I lose about 20 minutes before I realize I’ve been pulled in; a favorite trackΒ follows, and I am crying. I don’t know why. Heartfelt tears without any particular cause, perhaps just celebrating the strange sometimes fragile beauty of love and missing the company of its manifestation in flesh, over my morning coffee. I have emotions. I ride the roller-coaster.

It’s cooler this morning. The breeze through the open window quickly dries my tears; I’m not actually sad, and the tears didn’t last long. The playlist, and the morning, move on. It’s a good moment to move on, and time to begin again. πŸ˜€

I woke ahead of the alarm after a restless night. The apartment was 77 degrees when I woke, which was 5 degrees cooler than when I went to bed. Even some strategic open windows and a fan going were not enough to cool the place down much. Now I sip my coffee, all the windows wide to the pre-dawn breezes and cooler air. I’m hoping to get the indoor temperature down to 70 or less before I go to work; it’s another hot day, but forecast to be only 82. Tonight won’t be so stifling hot in here, if the day is no hotter than that, out there. πŸ™‚

Because the windows are open, I am listening to the chorus of birds waking as the sun rises, and it is now, in every practical sense, summer. The birds were up before the sun. The cacophony of peeps, chirps, tweets, whistles, calls and responses, twittering, and trilling become a more complex grander song of morning than any one bird could sing. The commuter traffic beginning in the audible distance, and the sound of a later-than-usual freight train on the siding a mile or so away are not enough to drown out summer birds. πŸ™‚

Just before the sun breaks over the horizon, I see the slimmest crescent of moon just at the edge of the treetops. As the sky begins to lighten, it disappears. The lawn at the edge of the patio is revealed with the sunrise; it is covered with geese and ducks contentedly sleeping in, heads tucked down, just one sentry looked out for cats and kids.

Summertime

My Traveling Partner checked in yesterday, just at about that time when it had become more difficult to stave off worrying, having not heard from him for more than 24 hours past the end of the calendar event. The timing was most amusing. I’d barely completed my thought, “how long would I wait before doing something about nothing hearing from him reasonably becomes a thing I’d want to do…?”, when my phone buzzed with a message from him, letting me know he was on his way back. Well…so… clearly the answer to my question was “a little longer”. lol I feel more at ease now, in some subtle way, just from knowing he’s okay. I definitely don’t enjoy having doubts about that, real or imagined. πŸ™‚

The sun is not yet quite “up”. The sky is light, a pale wash of cerulean blue, with a hint of orange along the horizon, showing through the trees. No clouds. Still… it’s a good moment to begin again. πŸ™‚

I’d just barely hit “publish” on yesterday’s blog post when a severe OPD storm blew in. Other People’s Drama splashed all over my doorstep, and a tsunami of emotion blasted my morning, my afternoon, and my day generally.

In moments of gloom, there are often still flowers.

I am not the sort of person to turn someone fleeing domestic violence away from a moment of safety, though, and my OPD-free zone is certainly a safe space. I invited my friend in, and started working to help her calm herself; difficult decisions in life are most easily made from moments of calm, I find. I make a point of checking in with myself regularly, too, because this shit hits all of my buttons, and I am myself on the edge of panic being around domestic violence, at all.

When conditions are right, flowers bloom.

My friend and I took a walk through the park, “enjoying” the flowers. To be more precise, I was enjoying the flowers, my friend was moping along beside me, less than fully engaged in the moment. I didn’t really intend to give up on 100% of the beauty and fun of my weekend, just because someone else has drama to choose to invest in. πŸ™‚ It was a lovely walk, and I’m sure the fresh air and sunshine did her some good too. She talked. I listened. Sometimes I talked. I hope she made a point of listening, but it’s not something I can confirm with any confidence. We walked in silence some, too. I did my best to respect her emotional experience and be present, welcoming, and comforting.

I’m not always sure what one flower or another actually is, and this does not stop me from enjoying them.

She figured out what to do with herself in the short-term, and where to go. Her things were already packed up and ready for all of that. I gave her a ride. I gave her hugs. I gave her my time. I came home. The evening from that point was very quiet. Her now-ex is a friend, too. I know he must be hurting, and I’m here, even for him, if he wants to talk. He hasn’t reached out. I don’t expect that he will. The situation saddens me. Not my circus. Not my monkeys. Not my drama.

Sometimes, a closer look.

I slept restlessly, waking often toward the end of the night. My restlessness got me out of bed more than once, to walk through and around the apartment before returning to bed, no particular purpose in mind. It was a weird night. I sip my coffee contemplating the weekend behind me, and the day ahead. Yesterday’s investment in drama was time-consuming; I didn’t get my laundry done, and I didn’t paint my nails. I didn’t read that book I started. I didn’t get much housework done. All of that will inconvenience or annoy me this week, at some point, more than likely…but… what I did do counts too, and comes up less often; I spent time with a friend who needed me.

It’s a journey.

Still, I’m looking around the place this morning and recognizing opportunities to take better care of the woman in the mirror. Today seems like a good day to begin again. πŸ™‚