Archives for May 2015

Self-Care: Hurrying up is slowing you down

(I’m participating in Laura Lynn Brown’s Self-Care summer blogging project at MakesYouMom.com. Please read her post here.)

 

Today one of my boot camp friends (the exercise class—not the military) showed up at yoga. At the end of class, I asked her how she liked it.

“I have trouble slowing down,” she said, sweat dripping from her face, because Tuesday yoga is only slow at the beginning and the end. The rest of class we kick butt.

When I went to my first yoga class about a year and a half ago, I cried at the end when we settled into the corpse pose. It was the first time in months my mind had stilled. I’d managed to spend the entire hour focusing on the pose or the flow or on the music instead of the increasingly chaotic situation I was living through.

For those first nine months of yoga, I’d leave class only to have an urgent text message on my phone: “Call immediately.” And I did. I had to. Back then the only two hours of peace I had the entire week were my two hours at yoga. Even in church my thoughts were distracted.

Life has calmed since then. There was a hurry I had to live through, and there was no way around it. In an emergency you don’t get time to ponder. You act quickly to save lives.

That’s not the “hurry” most people are talking about. They are talking about the kind associated with the four-letter word “busy.” And yes, we all are.

But now when I need to move quickly from thing to thing to thing, it’s more like the fast flow at Tuesday yoga: plank, child’s pose, scoop, cobra, down dog, repeat. Do it. Do it well. Leave it all on the mat. Then, rest. Rest well.

When the time comes that I need to hurry, I know I can. Thankfully, I no longer live in that zone all the time. But sometimes something happens—maybe my phone rings in a particular way at a particular time, and zoom. I’m gone, baby, gone. Counting the hours till yoga.

Self-Care: Assess your situation

(This is a blogging project with MakesYouMom.com)

Well, my situation, huh? Hmmm.

My situation began about seven years ago. It kicked into crisis mode two years ago. Now the dust has mostly settled.  Nothing is the same.

I suspect it never will be.

Some things are better. Some are worse. It’s like trying to get back to life before the tornado, the hurricane, the earthquake, the fire. It’s simply not possible to put it back together the way it was.

For a long time I think the only reasons I got up in the morning were because 1) I hadn’t really slept anyway, and 2) my dogs needed walked. But get up I did, and work I did, and little by little I found other reasons to stay awake.

Folks, my reasons were not big reasons. I’m sure I’m supposed to say, For my husband! For my children! Some days my answer was as simple as, For the rain!

Today my sweet husband aired up my bicycle and loaded it into his truck, and I drove to my favorite road, Old Center Point, for a ride. A lot can change in two weeks. I wanted to see what those 30 miles looked like with rain.

Last year when I’d ride up Old Center Point, the lake was practically a puddle. The cypress trees looked dessicated. Private ponds were dried up. Now, there’s water, water, water, water, water. The spillway is spilling over. The fellow with the rooster statue seems to have two tanks instead of one. That ditch has become a stream.

No, it’s not back to normal, but it’s coming back. The underground aquifers are recharging. Our county is still classified as being in Extreme Drought, but that’s better than Exceptional Drought, where we were. We’re recovering.

Assess your situation? The land is coming alive again. So am I.

Makes You Mom.com summer blogging project

It all started with L.L. Barkat. (It always does.)

She wrote a post at Makes You Mom called “How to Make a Self-Care Plan (and lure butterflies).” Then Laura Lynn Brown responded. Now it’s officially a thing. For 12 Fridays this summer, beginning May 22, I’m going to join this summer blogging project, talking about self-care.

Here are the topics from Laura’s post, and the book from which they sprang, How Did I Get So Busy? The 28-Day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule, and Reconnect with What Matters Most. I have not read the book.

1. Assess your situation (May 22)
2. Hurrying up is slowing you down (May 29)
3. Make a heart-to-heart connection daily (June 5)
4. Work to live, don’t live to work (June 12)
5. Have fun at least once a week (June 19)
6. Eat good food, preferably sitting down (June 26)
7. Get good exercise, preferably standing up (July 3)
8. Address your adrenaline addiction (July 10)
9. Create deliberate daily rituals (July 17)
10. Allow space for what you want (July 24)
11. Stop striving, start trusting (July 31)

Why am I participating? Simply because reading the list made me start writing. And, as often happens, I went in a different direction.

I don’t have a lot to say about busyness. I have a lot to say about self-care.

Join me? I’d love to hear what others of you have to say.

Poem on my pillow

A week or so ago on May 5 was Poem On Your Pillow Day, a Tweetspeak holiday. One of the things I love about Tweetspeak Poetry is how they continue to find new ways to celebrate poetry.

As I scrolled through their offerings, one poem caught my eye—it was one I’d seen before, though I’m not sure where. It’s called “with faith” by Sarah Elwell. A friend once told me it meant a lot to her while she was letting go of one professional adventure and beginning another.

So then I had my poem, but it was all for me. Not for my husband. Not for my children. Was it okay to put a poem on my own pillow?

Well, I did.

photo

I love the boating imagery: “tides, float away.” It’s not much, but enough to know there’s a boat. I like the prepositions in “hauling up and stacking out.” And what are we hauling and stacking? Dreams, “dreams all over the place.” Maybe there are so many of them that they are no longer too special. If we let one go, there will be another.

And of course, there’s the wind, which is such a factor when heading out on the big blue. It has work to do, “the hardest work.” It works “for you,” for me. I will see “the frightening things float away / don’t be worried.” Oh, but I do! Look at those things move out to sea … what am I to do? “just let it go.”

What a “small perfect” poem.