Self Care: Reaching out

Sometimes, telling people you’re having a hard time is the hardest thing to do. Especially when you know everyone is busy and dealing with their own stuff.

But it can be the best thing for you– and maybe for them, too. My friends and I call it the “Bat Signal.”  Tell someone you need help. Mine usually goes like this: “Hey, I could really use some people time.” And just like that, friends hop into making dinner plans.

Last week, all it took was an hour long dinner with friends, just chatting away. As we walked away, one friend asked “did this fulfill your need for people time?” And you know what? It did. All I had to do was reach out.

I am often alone. I live alone (and have for almost 7 years), I’m single, my job involves people but there’s not always a connection. Add in weeks or months of busyness of my people, and I start feeling a bit unmoored. Even we introverts need people every now and again.

When’s the last time you put out a Bat Signal? Maybe this evening is the right time?

What I read in August

Yes, this is a bit late, yes, I thought I’d at least get this in before October. But… you do what you can, you know?

ESPW

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

What I liked/didn’t like– this book is full of a culture I know little about, but I loved getting to know. It’s a Punjabi population in London, filled with their own stories, idiosyncrasies, fears, and traditions. A writing club turns out to be so much more– surprising the modern Punjabi female teacher, the women in the club, and the community at large.

I LOVED this book. I rooted hard for the women finding their own voices, their own enjoyment, their own… lust for life? It was a thoroughly enjoyable book. My only quibble was that the climax (*snicker*) happened rather quickly and seemed a bit rushed towards the end.

Rating- 4.5/5

 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle (and A Wind in the Door)

What I liked/didn’t–   This was actually a re-read for me. Or at least, Wrinkle was. It was required reading in sixth grade and I remember thinking it was weird. But I have some friends who are still huge fans, and I’ve become much more open to fantasy/sci-fi, so I thought “Why not give it another shot?” As it turns out, my friends were right- A Wrinkle in Time is delightful. Charming in every sense of the word, from baby Charles Wallace to Aunt Beast.

A Wind in the Door? Now that was a bit weird. Less charming, more made up words. Honestly, it was a sci-fi/fantasy written in the 60s, so I can’t knock it too hard. I guess. I have the other 2 books left in the quartet, I’m hoping they get a bit more palatable. If not, L’Engle still throws some gems in there to be plucked out. I see you, Madeline.

Rating- 3.5/5

LF

Little Feminist by Galison and Kleinman

What I liked/didn’t like– I bought this little box of cardboard books to keep at my house for my niece. We read them several times, I think she liked the pictures. I know I did. They don’t get too in depth (duh), but tells a tiny bit about each woman. There could have been more WOC.

Rating– 3/5

Wake up, dig in

My goal for September has been to wake up. I’ve talked about why recently, and I’ve talked about a few things I’m doing to push through this sleepy/self-cloistering period.

Another phrase that has popped into my consciousness is dig in. Not like “gut it out” like we hear in exercise (was anyone else a runner?), but like in putting in roots. Going deeper. Getting stronger. Connecting. It feels like time.

We had a “Community Conversation” this evening at the church I call home, and I was pleased to hear that a lot of people are feeling the same way. Maybe it’s the end of summer, which feels free and transitory. Maybe it’s the beginning of “cuffing season,” but people are looking to invest, to dig in, and I’m here for it.

I’m excited to see where it leads. Myself, I have a newly set-up walking date with a friend with a new baby. I’ve messaged an out-of-state friend about having monthly Skype dates. I’m ready to pour into and be poured into. I’m looking for ways to connect and deepen. I feel a craving that not even mac-and-cheese can fill.

Anyone else feeling a shift in the weather? What are you digging in to?

The Struggle is real: Anxiety and a wide-open schedule

I’ve talked about it quite a bit– going out on my own, ditching the 9-5 office job. And you know what? I haven’t looked back, on that part. But let me tell you– sometimes my lizard brain has a mind of its own, you know? In the month that I’ve been a free bird, anxiety has been NO JOKE.

One of my biggest responses to both depression or anxiety is to SHUT IT DOWN. Meaning,  I don’t do anything. I sleep, sometimes 16-20 hours a day, if I can. Yeah, not healthy. But it’s been my go-to method for a long time.

And in the month of September so far, I’ve been woozy and dizzy, and I’ve fully passed out (twice!). Sound crazy? Feels even worse, I can assure you. A few years ago I had heart tests run, and I’m fit as a fiddle. But those psychosomatic responses aren’t here to play– so I have heart palpitations and fits of blackouts. It’s a great time.

I think all this stems from the fact that I don’t transition well and I have so much free time and what if clients stop booking massages and I don’t make any money?! You know, the normal stuff.

So what am I going to do about all of this? Here are my actionable plans:

  1. I have already emailed my therapist to get back on her schedule
  2. I have to get out and do more– I am running a 5k in 2 weeks and I think I may go (alone!) to one of my favorite comedians who is coming to town
  3. I’ve been taking slow walks daily, about 20-30 minutes. Slow enough so I don’t get dizzy, but enough to get my heart rate up and hopefully keep my heart healthy
  4.  I need to start advertising and reaching out more. Know anyone in Indianapolis who could use a massage? Refer them to me!!

 

What do you do to combat your anxiety? How to you populate your free time? Do you have a walking buddy (where did you get her?!)?

What I Learned- Summer 2018

Here are a few things I’ve been learning lately:

  1. God cares about the small things. By small things, I mean my cat, who was lost for over 20 hours outside and for whom I prayed for about 20 hours straight. She’s home, safe, and healthy. I am sure God heard those prayers, as trivial as it may seem.
  2. Speaking of cats– it was Iris doing the “mystery wees” I blamed Sammy, my boy cat, for the mystery pees throughout the house. Only to have Iris, girl kitty, hop up on my bed (while I was in it), happily wee, then cuddle with me until I realized. Hm. Mystery solved. Sorry, Sammy!
  3. Good body mechanics are vital! Full time massage therapy is no joke! I’ve learned rather quickly that I CAN’T be too lazy to hold my body correctly, or I’ll pay for it dearly in the coming days.
  4. It’s good to have connections. So my sister’s friend’s boyfriend works for an HVAC company and as a result I got a pretty sweet deal on an air conditioner! My Grey Cottage is about 98 years old this year and never had central air– until now! It’s going in to the off season, by the way– now is the time to give your HVAC people a call for discounted work!
  5. Show Up. This one meant a lot, and seemed to be a theme from about mid-July through August. I kept showing up, and my schedule filled with clients. I kept showing up, and went deeper with friends. I kept showing up, and have new opportunities coming up as a result. Sometimes, it’s not anything big– just keep showing up!

Why I didn’t post a “Books I read in July”

Uh oh– we’re nearing the end of August and I never posted about the books I read in July. Wanna know why?

Because I didn’t read any.

That’s not entirely true. I started two books. And I didn’t finish them. I struggled. I tried. I kept picking them up. I kept putting them back down. Despite my love of reading, I just did not love these books.

I’m not going to name them, because it’s not the poor books’ fault. I just wasn’t that into them. And you know what? Even though I felt bad, it felt okay when I finally returned them to the library. I told myself “it might just not be the right time for this one” and it made me feel a bit better.

Do you have any unfinished books lying around? Give yourself permission to give up on them. It’s okay, find something that grabs you, instead. Life is too short to read books you’re not into.

Unrequited

LandscapesEastHawaii-5
Meredith Bradley Photography

How to know if they love you

You already know.

What to do about this.

One, they do not owe you anything. Two, you do not owe them anything. Three, the one you owe is you. Just like you already know if your love is returned or not, you know the thing(s) to do. Do them.
Be good to yourself. Be good to the other. Move forward, life and love will come.