Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


March Comes in With Anxiety

I am having a bad "Whinnie" night. That's the name I gave to my inner jerk after working on an art therapy project to make a portrait of her.

It's the usual soup of feeling like I don't get anything done. I don't prioritize getting the "right" tasks done. I need to much rest and I waste to much time.

All I can think of is what isn't done.

It's triggered by the upcoming pandemic anniversary, "Pandemiversary", my Mother's birthday, making progress on the taxes (great of owing) and, the match on the fuse, scheduling time to have our realtor look over the property to help us prioritize some work.

Hoping a hot shower helps.



It finally happened this week. The 500,000th person died from COVID.

We still don't know when we'll have access to one of the vaccines. Many of my students and friends have been at their wit's end trying to get an appointment. A student in Ohio got hers at a grocery chain pharmacy, no trouble.

Meanwhile I'm making progress on hard tasks. I sent a pile of 2018 paperwork to our tax people today and I already have a question back to answer tomorrow. I sent an email today that officially kicks off The Great Big Change; asking questions that help us know where to begin.

CK is still having numbness in her lower body. Still surface based, but persistent. I sent a detailed chronology of all the weirdness she's had going on the past few weeks.

Meanwhile, I have a telemedicine session with said doctor in the morning to discuss my heart and general health. It's all been good news, but it's a recap on everything with my doctor.

Managed to capture Ursa alerted on a "Sparkle Beast”, what I dubbed a reflection on the ceiling or walls that makes his prey instinct go off. The results were hilarious


Times They Are a Changin’

Last week we received news that we're still integrating and strategizing the first steps to take in response. It will result in a significant change. We haven't talked much about it yet, not a huge amount ourselves or with others.

It hits as we approach the anniversary of shutting ourselves aways from social interaction, except a few outdoor occasions last summer. Who knows what this summer will bring, eventually our local friends and family will all manage to get vaccinated.

My Mother's birthday is next week, March 5, and it still seems to loom on the horizon like a leaden, grief balloon. I suppose it doesn't feel quite as big or heavy, but it's still there. I've been calling CK's attention to it earlier this year, so I don't suddenly collapse in a heap of anger/grief.

All of this gave me a big rush of anxiety this morning as I tried to get ready to teach. When my Dad's clock started chiming that it was 10am I jumped back into focus. Thankfully I'd had the room well set up already and just needed to turn on Zoom, and lights. I just told people, thanked them for their patience.

I'm really enjoying a set of pens I got for myself to write in the household calendar/diary. Hoping they encourage me to keep it up. I need all the help I can get!


Too Tired for Donuts

Today was the reschedule of Beignet Day at Doe Donuts. Since it was an icy mess on Mardi Gras, they opted for this safe choice.

I like to take beignets to students on Mardi Gras. It's not a family thing for me, we didn't make a big deal out of Shrove Tuesday or Lent. It's more an expression of of love for New Orleans and the spirit of Mardi Gras.

We eat fried food on Mardi Gras because you've got to celebrate the "fat" of life. The fat is where all the richness and goodness is, it's got to be celebrated when we have it. For people who observe, they abstain from richness for a time, so they're sure to celebrate before that withdrawing and after, it makes that Easter feast all the richer.

I like to pass that on. It's one of many fine lessons I've learned from New Orleans.

Pandemic Days means no classroom with students; nearly a year now without students in shared space. I was going to drop off beignets with friends this year to still have a little of that joy.

Only today I've been worn out and more headachy than just my sinuses complaining. I think 3 hours of breathing through the double mask, doing chores part of the time, took it out of me today. It felt like my asthma was acting up, so I think today I'm just depleted.

Like so many COVID losses, this isn't tragic. It's donuts. Special donuts that take me back to a city where a small piece of my heart most certainly lives, but still, donuts.

Yet, it's another chip of grief. One more small loss and disappointment, amidst many.

I realized I'm counting down the 14 days after the plumber visit. We've been so careful for so long, it would be hell to have a clogged drain bring this virus to our home.

Ursa is sleeping with Dora, whether she wants to or not.


Ants in Pants

I wanted to write about gratitude and how grateful I am for how our community is keeping connected and supporting one another. Especially because I get to avoid a Costco trip!

But for the fifth or sixth night in a row CK has had what she calls "ants in the pants" when she lays down to sleep. Previous nights a hand rub helped and she fell asleep. Tonight, no luck.

I've been reading about Restless Leg Syndrome.

I know it's not a good idea to research late at night, but here we are. I'm worried about her. It did give me some good ideas too.

Another plus to keeping a household journal/calendar is that I started noting the nights a hand rub was needed. It is unfolding in usefulness!


COVID Nightmares

Although it felt like I slept ok compared to the tossing and turning the previous night, but I also had a terrible anxiety dream.

There had been flooding, I got swept up in it, lost my stuff, and got separated from CK. I was going up to people begging them to call her for me.

As that happened we all watched Portland be bombed by military jets!! Very much in the style of Atlanta being bombed in the first season of The Walking Dead!

It made for a tiring day. Ursa was adorable though.


Wisdom on Wednesday

Moved ever closer to sending taxes! We're being sure to get a Certificate of Mailing to prove it was sent, this can only be obtained in a post office.

I checked with the local UPS Store and they confirmed this, with apologies! I was then given advice to not go at the time I was calling, around 2:30pm, because the neighborhood post office is busy in the afternoon.

Pre COVID I'd have gone and listened to something while waiting out the line. It's just a queue.

Now I'm taking the advice to go when they open at 8:30 tomorrow. Not my favorite thing to do, but it will reduce exposure and I'll be home to teach in time.

I was grumpy today because my sinuses hurt which makes me slow. This means I didn't get to make happy checkmarks of accomplishment in the calendar journal. Which means my head hurts and I feel like I'm not doing my share of the work.

I am grateful today for the arrival of a new electric kettle! It should be more impervious to ants and looks snazzy!


A Collection of Calendars + Shame

We slept in this morning. I'm really grateful we aren't awakened daily at 6am by an anxious cat who never could soothe himself. Ursa mews when he hears us up and starting to move, but not earlier.

Despite the late start I felt like I'd nod off just about every time I sat down. COVID times have me feeling so weary and emotional.

I got this fancy desk calendar in this month's art blind box, Maido-in-Box, and I'm undecided about using it. It is undated, so I can start using it whenever I feel like and go forward from whatever Day One is. I can decide without a clock ticking.

I'm undecided because I stopped using paper calendars a while ago. They were heavy and added to the weight in my bag. This one is designed to be more of a journal than a date book, it has a section just for tracking habits, and pages it suggests for sketches.

Since I have already begun two art projects for the year, including my handmade journal each month, I worry that I don't need another daily thing I'm trying to do. Adding these posts is also something I added in the past year.

Then again, I'm creating a whole new life again. Maybe a journal that helps direct my goals and projects as a hausfraü might be really valuable!

Since I'm having such a mixed reaction to the book, and feel like the box had a real miss to it, I'm feeling guilty about buying it. I splurged on the deluxe box and the fancy calendar journal was a big part of the extra cost.

It also came with an adorable, playing cards sized calendar. I bought myself a desktop calendar for Christmas. Then I ordered one from an artist online, which already felt overindulgent. Now having a tiny desk calendar and this journal thingy arrive adds to my sense of overspending!


Hoping Machine

Woody Guthrie used the phrase "Hoping Machine" in his lyrics and his resolutions. We, our hearts, are those machines.

I'm reminding myself of this because my heart feels heavy and my chest tight. My hoping machine feels slow and quiet. A bunch of chores and a couple of errands done helps me feel more settled, plus CK and the creatures.

I feel like the weekend was suspiciously quiet likewise demonstrations that happened today. The usual white people inappropriately quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Are we in the eye of the hurricane?

I picked up groceries today, getting more tomorrow in addition to therapy. Yet more as the week progresses.

Unless there's civil unrest, then we'll deal with all the things I've already stocked up.


Too Tired to Think

I want to write about what's been kicking around my head since therapy last week, learning how to focus on working for myself as opposed to always seeing myself as working against my family.

It has to do with how I'm feeling nearly 18 years after deciding to work on my heart health. Pushing against the examples in my family of origin and doing what's nearly impossible; losing over 130 pounds and lowering my cholesterol without medication.

Anyway, I have to go back to that sometime. Since the coup attempt last week it's been hard to make my brain sort out my thoughts.

My brain is focused on what should be restocked in the event there is civil unrest next week.

It's exhausting.

The kitten, who is nearly cat sized, helps us both. He and Bertie played wildly together this evening, making us both laugh.