Catching up, part deux

19 02 2012

My day job has ‘dark weeks’ – weeks with no work/no pay. This past week was one of those, and it came just in time. I had lunch on Friday with someone who is involved with the company, and he asked how I had survived the previous five weeks – that’s when I realized that it had been a time that was noticeably more stressful than usual.

My November was stressful at work and I added NaNoWriMo to the mix. December was supposed to be relaxing, but my vacation was anything but that. Then came January and the above stressful working conditions… no wonder I was exhausted, when you add in my likely medical condition. Uff da.

Like a lot (most?) people, when I’m in the middle of things I don’t notice what’s going on, or the affect that it’s having on me. I just do what needs to get done, and if I’m having physical symptoms, I push through it. Now, at fifty-four, with a newish medical condition, it’s not working so well.

And what am I going to do about it? It’s times like this when I need a nurturing mother to stand by my side. Yes, my Mom is still alive, but at eighty-one she has her own issues, after a lifetime of being hard on herself (a lesson I learned in SPADES). So I’m going to step up to the plate and be my own nurturing mother.

It’s not that I don’t have resources – I do! – and it’s not that I don’t have ideas of what could be helpful. The first thing is to stop running long enough to breathe, pause, and take stock of my condition. When I do that, I’m not pleased with what I see. The inmates are running the asylum.

I had an interesting experience last night. I recently signed up for Holly Lisle’s “How To Think Sideways” class, and the first exercises were about busting through blocks by seeing, among other things, the false beliefs that one holds about what is the ‘safe’ way to live. It took me three weeks to sit down and actually do the exercise, and when I sat down to do it I was like a fidgety 7-year-old kid with ADHD. And when I actually finished, I realized that the most important thing that I can do is to Be My Own Mother.

And what does Mother think that Little Julia needs? To be present with her own pain.

Ouch. Did I just write that? I guess so, since my first WIP is about the disaster that one man’s life becomes when he is unable to do just that. He’s constantly medicating his pain, running away from it, with work, with cigarettes, with alcohol, with women. Now, I don’t do any of the above… but I can see why someone would do that.

Just be present with my pain, my frustrations, my anger, my disappointments.

Just breathe.

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4 responses

19 02 2012
Ali Dent

Boy, being present with your pain. That’s a hard one but very healthy. My go to is to “dread” it away. It only makes things worse. Glad you completed your exercise.

19 02 2012
Julia Indigo

A friend told me that I should add “and I know/feel that I am okay, no matter what happens”. He’s a wise man. 🙂
Dread. Hmm. That sounds like what I call ‘awfulizing’. Equally useless!
Thanks for your comment, friend! 🙂

19 02 2012
Karen McFarland

Well Julia, sometimes the only person that will take care of us, is ourselves. If you don’t, no one will. I am in a similiar position. I’ve had health issues for most of my life. Got to listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Eat well, get some much needed rest. I know you have a lot of demands on you. Please take care and pace yourself. Unfortunately, we’re all getting older and we’re unable to keep up with the schedules like we used to. Take care Julia! 🙂

19 02 2012
Julia Indigo

Thank you, Karen. So, instead of practicing tonight, I edited a 1400-word scene that I’m quite happy with. Lots of stuff that didn’t get done, but I was inside it.
And if my goal is 500/day, then I’m 2/3 of the way to my goal for the week, since the blogpost was almost 500 words.

And yes, if I don’t take care of me, there’s no one that has permission to do it for me. And no one who can! xxoo

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