Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.

23Mar/210

The Best Plan

I made the perfect plan for chores last week. I carefully made notes rainbow colors to help me remember! I started using the habit tracking pages in the calendar!

I thought I'd made progress getting the drain running again. I was feeling hopeful even as I was getting referrals to have the sewer work since.

Then CK took a quick shower and water came up through the overflow drain.

My two days of laundry aren't happening. CK suggested all the stuff I've been trying with the drain counts as the daily chore.

She's torture and I'm also irrationally irritated I can't enjoy 2 else without a failure of process somewhere.

22Mar/210

Sewage

We have a plumbing issue in our basement. The same one that's come up a couple of times because work wasn't done correctly when we purchased the house. Water and debris from inside the pipe running from the utility room out to the sewer backs up into the floor drain.

It's pretty gross and has derailed my weekly chore plan! I've been shifting chores off the weekend so we have more time to rest, play games, and work on things together. Monday and Tuesday I've been trying to use for changing the bed linens, laundering them, and doing the same with all the towels.

I like to run laundry on the timer so the load finishes just before I wake up. It dries in the morning and I'm able to more easily fold and put stuff away.

Until I trust the drain not to back up when a bunch of water is drained from the washer, no laundry.

I've asked our realtor for a referral for this work. It needs doing and we'd just as soon not have to keep babying the drains until such time as we leave. I also went to get landscapers getting the yard presentable and maintained. It will be a huge relief to have someone taking on the blackberry that wants to eat the shed.

I got an email about more vaccine availability and rechecked; I'm still not eligible.

19Mar/210

No Title, No Problem

I marvel sometimes at the way I get stuck at a title for a post. If I don't will myself to just start writing and sort it later, I'll just stare at the field for the title for many long minutes, painfully aware of the time ticking on by. I'm getting better, speedier at noticing my stuckness and moving to just writing.

Today we survived expanding our bubble! More tests being run on CK's fluids. I got to go to a special bakery and get treats for CK and our friend J, who didn't get treats on Monday and have PT for my neck.

It was a really busy day, but I allowed myself to lie on the bed with Bertie, under the weighted blanket, dozily listening to an audio performance of The A.B.C. Murders with an ice pack on my neck after my appointment.

I've succeeded in doing some chores each weekday this week, giving me more weekend time with CK! I'm hoping I can keep this up, maybe making a little chore time on the weekend for sorting and getting rid of stuff.

I'm working hard to just be glad I'm figuring out how to coordinate all the chores and the work I'm still doing. Sometimes I get down thinking how I feel like, at 51, I should have already learned all of this stuff a long time ago.

I morbidly joked this week, mostly in reference to CK possibly having some kind of autoimmune disorder, that childhood trauma is the "gift" that keeps on giving. It leaves us prone to all kinds of physical and mental illness and it may have hampered our access to life skills. There's so much assumption in the world about what people are taught at home when so many of us didn't have functioning adults parenting us.

Our parents didn't model home ownership or making a budget. There's so much we're learning.

18Mar/210

Laziness Lie at Work

I was trying to figure out what I did today. Again. I was thinking to myself, "Did I only do 2 loads of laundry all day? I was sitting with my laptop, what did I DO?!"

I also take care of two meals, fed all the creatures multiple meals, cleaned the kitchen up before getting ready for bed, and took out the compost. I wrote emails that were important, including one to what I'm going to call my Yoga Family about my oversharing shame, and I shared good news.

I thought a lot about what types of "community" mean and I realize I'm making peace with the word "family"; recognizing it as something I have, not something I'm excluded from.

In a study this year I'll be one of the people teaching online yoga therapy interventions for fall prevention in older adults. The study is looking at how to use online tools to expand the reach to rural folks who don't have community centers and senior centers. It's funded, so I'll get a little money for my work. Most importantly, I'll be a part of the study! I'm enormously excited about it and really like the colleague I'll be working with.

At lunchtime I helped coordinate a visit to the doctor's office for CK. Her lab results came in and we need more labs to pinpoint the findings. Our doctor wants her to come in tomorrow, a day when she usually is just writing reports. There is something showing up that indicates something autoimmune related.

It all happens to be at the time I have physical therapy, which I'm really needing between therapy and re-injuring my neck falling asleep in the chair in the living room (which makes me feel all my 51.5ish years). This means we need to finally expand our two-person bubble where I occasionally see a small handful of responsible friends, while masked, to have one of those friends take CK.

Oh, and I finished the book about the Laziness Lie.

Reflecting on this tonight is really helpful. Yes, I'm up late, but walking through the mental work I did today helped me balance the feeling like I didn't do much physical work.

17Mar/210

Post-Sharing Hangover

I shared emotional stuff today with my close yoga community and ever since I've been awash in remorse in the form of a barrage of self-judgement coming from Whinnie, my Inner Asshole.

You shared TOO MUCH! What were you thinking? No one wants to know terrible details about your life? Even your therapist doesn't really want to hear it, they have to. You derailed the whole conversation and made it all about YOU! You talk too much, you monopolize everyone's time. You're so selfish!

et certera, et cetera, et cetera.

I'm getting better and figuring out what she's saying to me, discerning the exaggerations and outright lies more quickly now. For years it was just the somatic overload of crushing, physical shame, now at least I get the rest of the message. It makes it easier to tell Whinnie to fuck off.

I also cleaned the kitchen floor, which helped physically burn off some of the energy of the shame of sharing.

Ironically, we were talking about friendship and community. How we do it as adults. I burst in with how I'm really getting hit hard by Richard Miller and iRest's revelations. How I've been trying to become a part of this community and grow into working on studies for yoga interventions around aging and hospice care, but now this and it hurts. Particularly because it's the same kind of disappointment.

My life has been shaped tragically by white men behaving horribly. If you just took the instances of sexual assault and harassment I've experienced over my lifetime alone, without taking into account all the stuff from my Mother and family, it is terrible and traumatic. From my very conception onward.

When you add that to my family, my Mother's ever evolving abuse, including moving constantly, it's no wonder I feel like I never fit in comfortably and feel sometimes at a loss as to how to have relationships with people.

The conversation got steered back to community and friendship. It made me think a lot about how community can be so multilayered, it starts from mere shared interests, but that can only create a really superficial connection. In order to have supportive connection, we need to have values alignment in addition to common interests. When there is an overlap in values, it creates the structure needed to grow trust and love.

When I think about the "Yoga Therapy Community", it's really pretty big. It's easy to assume we're all aligned on some values, because there's ethical standards and guidelines we all agree we adhere to. We're all practicing with the same yamas and niyamas, but we end up on all different sides.

I wasn't feeling very creative today, but I did enjoy the emphera gifts from RS today.

16Mar/210

Donuts and Friends

Monday I decided to take donuts to several friends. It went mostly well; I failed my timing in getting CK something special as well as forgetting to even stop at the bakery. Since I had picked up something especially delicious for dinner, she wasn't too sad.

Seeing friends, albeit briefly since the weather shifted to cold, windy, and hailing or sleeting, and the super special treat of fancy donuts, was pretty delightful. I also got to exchange presents with a friend; she gave me topographical maps, old library catalog cards, and a few computer punch cards!

I started listening to an audiobook called, "Laziness Does Not Exist" by Devon Price Ph.D., and it talks about how so many of us who come from poverty, blue collar families, or are queer, are even more likely to be pulled into the lie that we're lazy if we're not spending every waking moment producing. I absolutely see myself in this book; all the times I'm up at night half convinced I haven't done enough to deserve rest. I call it the "Productivity Trap", the author calls it the "Laziness Lie", which is pretty powerful!

Last night, realizing I was tired but hadn't made a blog post yet, I decided it was ok to skip it and just get to the restorative yoga pose that would help me sleep.

Tonight my mind's still buzzing a little, so it's post time!

Had a therapy session today where I kept being struck by how alone and lonely I am as a 6-7 year old kid. The memories of the specific instances of trauma weren't as present, so much as the aftermath. I realized how largely absent my Mother is, she shows up in brief explosions of anger, but I'm often so isolated and longing for connection.

None of these memories will ever be transformed into something beautiful, but as I integrate them I am discovering my child self. I'm seeing how creative and inventive I am, how tenacious, and how I find or create, cultivate resources that help me feel safe, comforted, and nurtured. Sometimes it was actual people, more often than not finding adults who cared for me in ways both small and great. Or just making a part of my bedroom really soothing.

I love my child self and appreciate her. I'm proud of what a clever, resourceful, resilient human she was and I remain.

14Mar/210

Expressive Writing

I made an effort to spend all my accumulated Audible credits today. It's a step in getting rid of my account. Next I need to have CK show me how to get all my books downloaded into our NAS. Then the account goes away and that's one more monthly expense that's reduced. When I want a book, I can give money to CK and she'll get one and put it into the NAS.

Yes, it's more overhead, but having 2 accounts isn't really cost effective. I don't listen to one book a month. I am also happier to get some books from the library anyway. It's a step towards less money being spent.

Along the way of doing this I found a book about the "Laziness Lie", as the author puts it. It's an excellent look at what I've called the "Productivity Trap". It's an excellent listen for someone who's often up past midnight worried that've not done enough to merit going to bed to rest, resenting that I need to rest when I have so much to do.

In it the practice of Expressive Writing is mentioned and it piqued my curiosity. It's an approach of writing non-stop, without editing, for 20 minutes about your feelings. Then, at the end, you've the option of just throwing it all away. It's been used a lot with vets and populations that have often struggled to connect to emotions.

It made me think about some of the ways I'd try to "trick" my brain into letting me express to another person some of the things that had happened to me. Using my touch typing ability and making the font too tiny to read or/and taking my glasses off and just typing as fast as I can. Printing it out and giving it to my therapist. I wouldn't really look too closely at it myself and often I'd not save the file.

In another kind of expressive writing, I find myself thinking more and more about poetry. Perhaps I've taken enough of a break from writing it that I'm yearning to return.

14Mar/210

Another Disappointing White Man

Today I caught the news that a teacher I've drawn inspiration from was investigated for sexual misconduct in 2012.

The claim was found to be valid and a mediation occurred. Later, when the person harmed left the teacher's foundation, she was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement about the whole thing.

I'm so tried of this same old flavor of disappointment.

13Mar/210

Friday Night Blues

I am not teaching a workshop tomorrow so I'll have to find some other way to mark my pandemiversary. I suspect it will involve yard stuff and moving boxes of books into the van.

My friend was sent to the ER early this morning because she was so exhausted and having problems controlling her breath. After 3 hours she was seen and told she was still stick with COVID, not sick enough to need any other care.

I spent part of the day writing up notes asked making them accessible to her online. She said they were better post-visit notes than from her doctor. This is true because I could dedicate a couple of hours to just doing this work.

I also found out that I'm in the running to be one of the teachers for a yoga intervention study that's been funded! It's on fall prevention through yoga, targeted to rural older adults using technology to reach folks who don't have access to local resources. I'm so excited to be part of this and so anxious I won't be chosen.

I just feel so heavy tonight and continue to struggle with feeling like I get nothing done.

12Mar/210

Staggering Grief

I did a short session today for my friend who has been sick with COVID since January 12. Running a fever every day, a little bit. Quarantined in the bedroom, her husband has been sleeping on the sofa this whole time.

She's told me, "I'm too sick to do anything or be around anyone, but not so sick I get additional support."

Last night her husband held her legs, both of them masked, while she cried. It's as choose as he dare gets.

We talked honestly about the trauma she is enduring. She cried some when I told her that her life will be permanently changed by this. Even if her body recovers 100%, the emotional effects will need to be integrated.

She tries hard to let people distract her with news. It's too hard to be present to what's happened.

I told her as little bit about what I've been learning about Long COVID, no one has told her anything at all. I explained why yoga can help.

We did a tiny bit of breath work. My experience with folks with COPD helped me pick an approach right off that was accessible and helpful. She's coughed for so long now that breathing hurts because her muscles are exhausted from the spasms of coughing.

I'm going to put together a package with a yoga strap to send her. We're going to do 2-3 thirty minute sessions a week. Short because she's so quickly exhausted by everything.

Later today she's posted a video update sharing a little of how she's doing and mentioned that the breath practice helped.

After that I spent a little time painting and sat on the deck with Ursa and the dogs. We had an impromptu Zoom happy hour and saw friends. I'm glad I had all that to support me since I'm feeling a lot of grief about the world.

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