Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.



I felt low energy, sad, and a little angry all day. It isn't helped that I'm going through a period again where food isn't appealing. Making it feels harder than usual, smells ate hitting me harder, often leaving me faintly nauseous.

It also occurs to me to wonder how long it would take for me to notice if iron is low. I accidentally got the wrong multivitamins, without iron. I've been taking them so I get my B vitamins, but I tend to run a little low on iron normally, with supplements. Without, perhaps that could be it?

I also could be integrating the latest therapy session. It's been a hard month too. Today Dora threw up and was slow all day, extra pokey. It's been hard not to catastrophize given everything else this month.

Next month I'm going to try and train myself to write these updates during the day! Should help with the poetry too


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.



It was a day that was careening a bit over individual and mutual grief over a pandemic that stretches onwards to summer as we're iced inside our home, going we don't lose power.

The the GOP acquitted T*. Just like they said they would.

I don't know why I'm so angry and despairing over something we knew was happening. The incomprehensible, incompetent, speedy defense was so for show since the Ghouls Only Party made up their minds to acquit.

My day has also been plagued by neck pain making it hard to turn my head and my right knee swelling for no reason I can recall.

Ice then snow then ice then snow, etc. meant no mail today. The Valentines I ordered should have arrived yesterday, but didn't. Now next week sometime. I'll save them for the belated cake we couldn't have this weekend because the bakery closed on account of snow.

Ursa offered uncomplicated nose boops and snuggles, thank goodness!


Small Delights

My physical therapist encouraged me today to keep focused on the progress being made and reminded me that most countries are having fiascos around getting vaccines administered. Last month we'd compared gratitude practices and this is a kind of extension of that.

She mentioned it because of shared that I'm feeling down this month. It's just felt like so much, too much for too long. I'm sad and angry.

I'm also still practicing gratitude. I told her about the practice of small delights or wonders I've been sharing with students. Next week I'll share her suggestion about having a progress focus.

Today I'm grateful I could shop for the friend who's done it for me recently. The weather was sunny when I needed to wait outside before I could enter the store. There were only 2 people in line ahead of me to enter; there were over a dozen when I left! I found nearly everything both households wanted and a few, yummy extras.

I'm especially glad that CK slept through the night. I was hypervigilant, worried any move was her waking, but she rested! We repeated Tuesday night's order tonight; she hasn't woke up yet!

My special delight was being able to score the last loaf of walnut bread at Ken's Artisan Bakery, the best bread ever.


I Hate This

CK has been experiencing surface numbness in her side, neck, arm, hand and hip. Can't feel water temperature correctly and has some pain.

We don't think it's anything life threatening, but it's still freaking me out somewhat. I really want CK to finally go see our physical therapist because I feel out of my depth to help with massage and traction.

She notes, "Not while there's COVID."

I spent 30 minutes angry-cleaning dishes as I couldn't stop crying. This happened late last night too, the tears just falling uncontrollably. I hate all of this pandemic life we're living.

I hate the panic I feel if I don't leave the house with my full respirator mask. I hate that we need to wear masks of any kind. I hate that people pull them off outdoors even though there are people around them. I hate that people won't wear masks at all.

I hate that they're not running drive-thru vaccine clinics 24x7. I hate that we don't even know when we can get vaccinated. I hate that there aren't enough vaccines. I hate that we're still having shortages of PPE and equipment like pipettes to do better testing.

I hate not feeling safe in this way. I hate takeaway and not dining out. I hate that they're trying to open up dining again.

I hate feeling exhausted by the thought of going into a store. I hate that being in a store is an exercise in anxiety. I hate not ever feeling safe to just dash up to the market to get something because i changed my mind about dinner.

I hate this.

I want to stand on the beach and hear nothing but waves and gulls. When I am damp and chilled to the bone I want to go into a cozy restaurant to have tea and pastries and french fries.

I want to hug people besides CK again and I'm not a hugger.

Ursa is sitting on my lap purring as I write this. Thank goodness for his sweetness.

I'm also enormously grateful for the beloved friend who offered to go to Costco for us. Since I had a panic attack and flashback in Costco last year, it's made it more tiring to go to than it already had been. I broke down in tears for the first time today when I got a text asking if it would help. At least those were a break of gratitude tears.


Suicide Prevention

The Question, Persuade, Refer training today was really helpful. It provided better language for talking with someone who might be suicidal. We were encouraged to practice asking people if they are in danger of self harm.

Most people respond positively to being asked and open up. Many who turn away from an attempt become less likely to attempt again.

Suicide is preventable.

As someone who's been affected deeply by the suicides of friends, I can't help but think of them. I feel the complicated grief come up again, yearning for those friendships. I'm also aware of the even more complex grief about my Mother and the way she weaponized her depression and suicidal ideation to get sympathy or compliance.

After the workshop I napped a little under the weighted blanket. I'd had another terrible night's sleep, so I was feeling like a wall hit me!

Ursa was extra snuggly today, which helps so much!


Good Hard Opportunity

I was offered an opportunity to learn how to recognize signs of suicidal ideation in older adults and steer someone skillfully to appropriate assistance. It's a workshop targeted at folks who work with elders and the organizer knows me, they extended an invitation yesterday.

I spent a little time moving a physical therapy session I had scheduled at the same time. I had something two weeks out, but by the end of the day the wait list yielded a session next week at a time that works better.

I'm truly grateful to have this come up. I see so much depression showing up for folks of all ages. As the reality of Pandemic Year Two sinks in people are feeling all the isolation and despairing.

My therapist shared yesterday that the rate of suicide attempts showing up at hospitals is shocking and is mostly children. A recent weekend saw 10 people admitted, all children. Two older people is the usual. It keeps getting worse and calls Child Protective Services are way down because teachers aren't seeing students the same way.

All that drives Oregon's decision to push teachers to be vaccinated first even though kids can't be vaccinated. This decision drives older adults further down the list to get vaccinated and depression rates are jumping up.

It's continuous, national trauma without a real end in sight and mutations around every corner. I'm grateful to get yet a little more training in helping people survive this.

In ordinary, but delightful, news, Ursa gnawed on my arm until he knocked his second baby fang out. It was equally gross and endearing.


Sea of Grief

I'm listening to an audiobook of one of Ursula K. Le Guin's collected essays, speeches, and criticism, The Wave in the Mind, and was reminded through it of Primo Levi's work. I was looking at some and this stood out.

"The sea of grief has no shores, no bottom; no one can sound its depths."

I felt this inner pull, twisting of energy in response to them. Grief answering grief.

Perhaps that's the best analogy for Pandemic Year Two, the Sea of Grief.

I'm so weary of students crying because uncertainty, loneliness, and fear are getting to them. I'm also feeling really sad to still be here, to still have no real idea when it will change.

At least Ursa remains very cuddly.



I felt both tired and blue about the state of the pandemic. It was showing up as self-directed anger, again. Despite this I plugged away at laundry and feeding us. Leftovers and things I can make from the freezer, although we did have freshly made coleslaw with dinner.

I also encouraged us to spend some time with the new Magic the Gathering cards. We opened up our prerelease kits and determined neither made a fun deck alone so we just got all the cards sorted into tribal sets. We both were pretty sore this morning, so we left it at that.

CK tried resting while I worked on chores and did some planning. After lunch she had the idea to summarize the most urgent issue at work, the one that affected the team greatly. It made for a long day, but it’s important work.

Ursa enjoyed "helping" with the card sorting. From one angle he looks nearly full grown, from another he's tiny cat!


Social Blues

I'm fighting the blues about vaccine plans and COVID. While we all get better at living lives removed from one another, it's also hard. With the way things have gone it is likely to be a year before life gets back to socializing safely again.

In response to this I went out for fresh mochi this morning. It felt excessive going for this special thing when we didn't need groceries.

It was delicious and worth the effort, although I felt over tired.

Yes, staying up past one AM regularly had something to do with being tired.

And yet, it has more to do with feeling soul weary of pulling on my respirator and yelling to be heard at all through it. Weary of feeling like every trip or is fraught with mortal peril. Missing the beach and the mountains.

I napped some, Bertie was really happy about that choice. After talking with a dear friend we had Japanese bowls for dinner. I felt ashamed for not working in our yard while the sun shined, but I truly felt done in despite my nap?