Yesterday I woke up early. Well. I woke up late but early. Later than I needed. Earlier than my usual.
I was late for a yoga class. But I headed down town anyway and zoned out awhile with coffee. Settling back in after our hard and hot trip. After “vacation” after work on the new boat and after some super long road trips with pets.
I just wasn’t with it for awhile
I went to another coffeeshop… A brighter one. Time to lift my mood. I wasn’t in a bad mood. But the coming down of vacation and new boat high and constant go go go and then Joe had just left. I may or may not even see him for 70 days. That’s hard. We do 30 easy. 70 after just having done 54 is hard. And that 70 could even crawl up to a closer to 90. Even harder.
So there was some mood. I’m just not even sure exactly what it was. I kinda felt zombie like. I wasn’t totally feeling anything. But I was feeling everything. I was also sunburned and physically exhausted to boot. The over all of my mood at the time.
I sat in a bright place with energized people and wrote some descriptions. A writing exercise I’ve begun.
I contemplated going home and back to bed.
I instead went and managed to slip into a later yoga class. I’m glad I did.
But I could not keep up. Part way through I just needed to stop. I sat with my legs folded underneath and meditated. Breathed. Calmed. Brought myself back to present. Caught myself up to now. Instructor gave me my time, whispered if I was OK. I nearly cried. But at the same time I was. Very. OK. Just then. I did end with the class as well. I can’t pass up a much needed warrior pose. I stood back up. I grounded my feet. I called upon the energy and strength. And I breathed.
I wasn’t upset that I couldn’t keep up with a very easy class. That my muscles shook. That my body gave out. That my right shoulder had this weird curl. That I had zero balance. That I just knew I needed to stop for the time that I did.
Because I listened to my body. In fact I’d been a little in tune to it all day. The first of several weeks. And trying to figure out how I really felt… Beyond the just tired from a lot of goings on and travels and physical work and hot sun and Melting heat and worries over hurricanes and other things. I’d been slowly picking through how I felt. And when my body said rest, I rested. In fact I think I stilled for the first time in… A very long time. I didn’t need or want to go back to bed, where I would not pay attention to my needs but drift elsewhere. Here, on my needs. Palms up. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. I stilled. And that’s what I needed. Not sleep. Not jumping back into work. Not running. It working. Not scrubbing. Not worrying. Just being still for one moment… But in that Stillness, being aware. And receiving. And just… Breathing. When was the last time I’d taken a real breath?
I came home. I steadied my house back to after travel norm. I prepared my work and organized for tomorrow. I ate a healthy meal I made after stopping at the grocery on the way. I walked the dog. And I rested and read a moment. Then a long comforting shower and bed early. Too tired to read. And then I slept. And then that was what I needed, too, as a part. As a whole. But not as an escape.
Some days we just need to still. Listen to our needs. And give ourselves just that. Not even embarrassed of not keeping up in a very easy class. But also giving time to breath and not just bury ourselves away in sleep. So many things can make us feel “tired” in a way that sleep by itself isn’t the cure for. Though bed early, sometimes a nap as needed, and rest peacefully is a part of self care, too. But not the whole. That moment of being still in the middle of yoga class gave me exactly what I needed yesterday.
An article to share. Read this if you need to still or find work life balance. Or reset your mind.
I have been struggling with sleep… My whole life.
As a kid I couldn’t sleep. I would read the entire huge dictionary to get through the night and try to get to sleep. I moved on to phone books for a time. But when I did get to sleep I was hard to wake up, always.
At one point, after my best friend moved away, I had to lie in bed and make up dreams. This may have been the starting path of my writing career. Often, then, I’d dream of a better life for my family. Which usually involved a farm and a lot of animals.
As a teenager I began sleeping in late in the mornings. Pretty typical. But I understood then that something was a little wrong. It felt wrong. I struggled too much.
That time in life wasn’t easy. And the sleep was never good real sleep.
In my late teens and twenties I barely slept and did perfectly fine. The only nap was on Saturday afternoons after a super early morning hike in the California mountains.
Thirty came and suddenly things changed. I needed sleep for the first time ever. Deep good hard sleep that pulled me into no dream darknesses and began over time to become harder and harder to pull out from.
Now I need too much sleep and I struggle. I can’t seem to fit in going to bed early and it doesn’t help waking up late. This has become a bad habit. I don’t like it. It ruins half my day. I struggled to see the Scottish Rite museum in San Antonio because they had a closing time of 2:30pm and I could never make it with time to explore it.
I knew then sleep was becoming a problem, encroaching on my day. For awhile early mornings became easier last summer because I’d beat the heat and hit the beach. But by end of summer that was failing.
When I say it’s a struggle to wake, I am not joking. You could hold guns to my head, Swat could be raiding, and I’d turn over and bury myself into my pillows.
I did go through an odd time that we call Tahiti where sleep became my meditation and my escape. I know that ruined me greatly for being back in the world.
Awhile ago I began a Better Me… Thing. This included seeking and living a healthy life mind body and soul and just a better version of myself instead of accepting what was. In this I began reading many things. One was the Sleep Revolution. But the problem wasnt that I wasn’t getting enough sleep now, but too much.However, was it quality? And healthy? Well, it was deep. And only dream filled (and always odd and left me emotional) in the mornings, my last hours of deep sleep. But I still woke tired. And I was waking late and then going to bed late because of waking late. The waking late did come first. Still now, much later, I struggle.
I have tried so many things to force myself awake early so that I’d begin being able to go to bed early. And I’ll try and go to bed early but I’ll struggle to sleep or still wake up late. Alarms all over the house mean nothing. Setting alarms with my coffee, near a shower with my clothes for the day picked out mean nothing. I zombie and turn them off and climb back into bed.I’ve tried exercising l, dieting changes, sleep pattern changes and tricks, no TV or phone, different alarm times, creating places I had to be with an obligation in the morning, pre-bed rituals, morning rituals. But I struggle and right now I am failing greatly. For awhile it seems I simply wasn’t one who could settle at 8 hours of sleep. So I allowed 9. But then my body began asking… No…taking… more. And more.
And no, I wasn’t going to waste my life being one of those “its OK to sleep 14 hours” people. I felt quality over quantity was a better was to go. I’ve tried many things but the hardest is just that discipline in the mornings. Working from home and being unaccountable doesn’t help this.
I’ve put myself into positions to have to be somewhere early and to be accountable. Months of such things paired with presleep rituals and better waking rituals, healthy eating, good exercise, and so forth… And yes, ruled out doctors and health issues, haven’t helped or changed or created a better habit. And then when I backslide again I do so very hard. If I was productive and that “artist who does best at night” I’d accept a late night and late morning schedule. That is not the case with me. Sometimes, but mostly not.
I’ve never been a morning person. Or a day or afternoon or midmorning person. Or a night person. I was born at 11:06AM on a weds day. The middle of the week. Middle of the day. I’ve never grasped or found what kind of person I am. What MY best time is. I envy those who have that.
My mother never slept at night and later by day only because of the come down of drugs. But truly, from a young child, she suffered insomnia.
Many of my sisters do the same (without the drugs). Most thrive on a four hour sleep habit. I’ve tried that, too, and 6 hours and 8 hours and allowed 9 and I refuse to allow more, though fourteen has easily happened against my will and the zombieness that turns off even hidden around the house alarms.
Now, in stressful times, I shut down. I have explored the depression and mental health section of Better Me as well and greatly. If there is chaos I just turn fetal and sleep. I grow bone tired. I hurt and ache. And I just can’t. Years of a traumatic childhood where I didn’t do this likely catching up. I first noticed it when in a small spat with my fiance I just felt my body and mind unable and I tried to sleep, he wanted answers. I just couldn’t give them. I felt myself collapsing on the bed, begging for him to shit up and let me sleep. I then walked home. He followed and in the parking garage I remember turning to him in a zombie haze and begging him to understand that it wasn’t in my power. That if he held a gun to my head I would likely just collapse and sleep soundly right there in the middle of the parking garage. After that my sleep reaction to chaos began. To stress. To fights. To hurt. To nervousness. To emotional situations.I did seek professional help. It was contributed to a way the body reacts to protect and quite normal. I’d been through a lot of trauma and dealt with it, well, lived it and constantly in survival mode. My body was now reacting differently. My brain was. But even when life is good and calm and such is actually much of the life we have created. Rarely is there anything to stress me out now… Except my sleep habits.
And I’ve checked my depression.
Typically my body seeks 9 hours of sleep. But I can’t seem to get myself to bed prior to 2. Then I can’t wake myself up earlier than those 9 hours. And the problem continues. A cycle.
A ways back I tried staying up all night. It that backfired to needing even more sleep. And I try going to bed earlier but it just doesn’t happen no matter how hard I try. And then I literally can not make myself wake up and get going in the day after that with less than those 9 hours of sleep.
But I’m still working on it. I do love the smell and coolness and freshness of the dawn and I wish to wake daily to see it. Especially as I will soon entering life living on a boat and on the water. I truly want to experience every dawn morning in that time. Every sunrise. I miss out on too many sunrises.
I want a full day. I love the day. I love my mornings to hike and do things out doors. Especially in the heat of summer trying to beat the high risen afternoon sun is important. I do my best writing and work in the afternoon. Mid-day-ish. I then love enjoying my evenings back outdoors, again, especially in summer. Watching sunsets. Walking after an afternoon storm that passed over. Bike riding then is my favorite. And there is dinner and things to do that must be done and jumble about that time as well. And yes, I’ve tried cutting the times things take as well to help ease all of this.
I love taking a break after my day or work and enjoying porch sitting and a book. Or an afternoon coffee. (decaf) or tea. And yes, in all my sleep I have also stopped TV, coffee, tea, caffeine, sugars and other tricks on those lines. In the evening there is supper, later in summer because I enjoy the cooling of the day again.. Because the day ends later. Walking my dog, patio and a book. Sunsets not to be missed. Bike rides. And then there is cooking eating cleaning and last puppy walk for a pee and showers and maybe tea and a book in bed and pre-bed rituals. But I swear it’s nearer midnight before I even manage to get into bed. And read because I am far from tired. No TV or phone or laptop allowed in the room is the current rule and one I’ve tried a lot before as is often recommended for good sleep habits. So the cycle begins of sleep by 2 and waking late again.
Shaving off on the prebed time is hard to do because I’m not tired and struggling to sleep makes me sleep even longer. Shaving off time in the morning and thinking I’ll have had a long day and be extra tired from waking early and will go to bed early A. Doesn’t work that way if I do manage to get up early, in fact I’m usually wired later in the night and tend then to stay up until dawn and well past 2. And a nap in this kind of day doesn’t help, either. I’ve tried. And B. It’s the getting up early. Again, no amount of alarms and obligations seem to help. Heck, even a puppy didn’t help because he’s so good at house training and also loves his sleeping in. Though he’s much better at an earlier bedtime than I am.
Healthy exercise. Set alarms. Healthy diet. No stresses. Obligations. Prebed rituals. Morning rituals. Reading books on sleep. Trying 4 hour sleeping. Trying 9 but with adjusting the bedtime and wake time. I just can’t find the non struggle and the right fit.
But I’m still trying. Perhaps sleep is a journey in itself. And a part of learning a Better Me.
#sleep #sleeping #rituals #struggle
#schedules #betterme #journey #sleepjourney #thesleepjourney #sleeping #sleeppatterns #health #mindbodysoul
I had found a letter once, laying on the ground in the street. Me, being the read everything person that I am, picked it up and read it. I couldn’t tell who it was written to or who was the writer so to me it was from and to a total stranger. I didn’t feel I was invading the privacy of someone I knew but rather reading a short story found in the universe.
Yeah, I read it.
I took it up to my loft. I made a fresh coffee and I sat down on the floor in the afternoon sunshine streaming in my eleven windows.
It was an I’m Sorry letter after a young lovers (obviously very young from the reading) quarrel. Maybe even a forever break up. I would never know and, not knowing where to send the letter and not knowing if the letter had ever made its destination, had ever been read by the person it was written for.
Had that person read it and then thrown it into the gutter it lay in? Had they thrown it out in the trash and the street was where it landed? Did the letter reach their heart with the outpouring of the writers?
Did they care? And should they? Me, not knowing the whole story?
I sat there sipping my coffee, sitting cross legged, after reading that letter and thinking about all the letters I had written to a guy my heart was breaking over.
When I was young.
Gosh, I haven’t done that in a very long time. And I kinda wonder now…why not? I mean not just break up letters, though those as well, but, love letters.
And should I? Well, I mean, I doubt they ever did much or would do much for those I wrote them to. I doubt most had ever really even been read. But perhaps they benefited me in some way. And I wonder if not writing those kinds of letters anymore somehow doesn’t? As if somehow me not allowing myself the writing of letters, sent or not, the outpouring of my heart, my soul, my love, my passion, and my hurt, harms me now, when I am older and wiser and less apt to throw myself into someones arms, less apt to be completely unpractical, less apt to cry for or over anyone.
I think it’s a little sad to have lost that bit of me. That bit of youth. When did it stop? What stopped it? I try and think of this, pinpoint the moment my heart seemed too cold, or perhaps too weary to do so any more.
I laugh now at the memory of some of the letters I’ve written. I don’t remember all the words but always the feeling that went into them. And for whom. I laugh at that, now, too. But at the same time I don’t laugh AT it at all. I yearn for being able to ugly cry over a love spat. I yearn for feeling just THAT deeply and desperately.
When do we grow up? When is that point that we become so…LIVED…that we stop feeling like that? I will never call a young person stupid for their over dramatic feelings and for their show of them outwardly. God…be young…feel so deeply it hurts. Because that is some of what you will remember the most at the end of life. Even if it was bad, it is good to remember, to have had.
A big part of working well. Accomplishing well. Creating is stopping. Just stop everything. Set the To Do list aside. Set down the pen. Close the laptop. Push back your desk chair and walk out. Walk away from it. Leave your phone behind. Don’t bring music because nature will supply that for you. And sometimes…silence is the music needed.
Walk outside. Open your mind to what is there. Hear the crunch of the pone needles underneath your feet. Feel the hard packed clay Earth give way to sand, your feet slide a little with each step.
Smell the pine needles. The Earth…wet after rain. Ripe with years of fallen needles and leaves composting to feed and nurture and strengthen the dirt, the Earth, beneath your feet.
Hear the birds. Their mating calls that keep them thriving, alive, coming back. Their migration. See their flight. Their stance. Watch them catch a…
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Sharing from my Writer’s Blog…
And then there is this old beat up scratched upon scribbled in filled up gem. This one is a keeper. It is the not let anyone else read one.
When I came back from “Tahiti” as we call it, the women in my life rallied around me… Well, not all. Not my mother. Not my sisters. But those two women who were better than. Once stronger than, came back to rally even while holding aside their own judgements, questions, gossip, lies, sadness, disappointment, hatred even maybe, and the things we’d fallen out for… before.
They didn’t care…. There they were. Then. When it mattered most. Regardless of all.
I had lost everything. I didn’t have a home. I didn’t even have family. I had trudged four miles in a freezing driving rain of January wearing Summer clothing.
One of the things given was this book from one. A suitable pen by the other. Not a cheap pen or any pen or a nearby laying around easy to reach pen, but a “proper pen for a writer”. Roof over my head and food in my belly and silent resilience of women set aside, and opened arms… This… This is what said to me “you are still you and we know that” when for too long I’d lost my entire identity, even so I was unsure, forgotten to myself.
The blank pages of a brand new green (of fresh new beginnings) leather bound book to…. Put it all in. Those things in my head. “Don’t explain anything. You don’t owe them. They can buy it later for $17.99.” Was said.
And while I was free I was still felt unable to escape, but this was where I could turn.
#btwg #wip #writing#writinginprogress #writer#lookingfor #literaryagent#behindthewhitegate
So. Joe and I NEVER want kids. But that doesn’t stop my hon from getting up after midnight and going to the store in his pj’s to solve any and all cravings I suddenly have.
First of all because he likes bad foods and a lot of it and any excuse to eat any especially after midnight he will jump to for without much of a push. Especially because I have a really healthy home most of the time.
Second, me on my period on top of a day I have had no caffeine on top of a day that our usually quiet and sleeping pets decided to both be total assholes during an attempted nap and I was grouchy all to hell all day was just not a day to mess with ….my attitude on a good day isn’t nice. War tours survived and that man don’t mess around.
I laughed and said “You are going dressed like that?” and he says that “he will meet the eyes of any man and say “The woman’s on her period” and that any other man will nod and his eyes will show sympathy and he will say…here brother, step ahead of me in line.”
So…long story short. I got chips last night. I think the last time I ate chips was once last summer at a BBQ. I didn’t beg or even ask for them. I just simply sighed deeply and said “man, chips would be so good right now”. I could have easily gone and gotten them myself. I am pretty sure he is feeding his very own fat boy over my cravings and simply uses the excuse to his benefit. It isn’t the first time he has run out in the middle of the night at a slight suggestion from me. But, whatever, I got my chips.
Yesterday was Monday and Monday meant tedious as shit errands and stuff and things.
George needed his one year updated vaccinations. While traveling we don’t always get the chance to use our same vet, who we love, and is in San Antonio. But for some update vaccs we felt ok to have them updated elsewhere after some research into the location.
Our poor bubba. He was taken to the “back room” for a fecal exam and brought back as a no go they reported he was “not having it”…the rest of the day I did George voices to Joe “Don’t even go in there, dad”, “They tried touching my no no spot, dad”, “Those ladies are into some weird shit, dad”.
The vet and tech and experience was not BAD…but it was also not GOOD. Where our amazing vet in SA always takes the time to “talk to George” who literally has conversations with her which is funny because he is a super quiet dog otherwise. These kept trying to sell us their own form of flea and heart worm meds (he is on all of his meds regularly) and I felt it was a very long sales pitch the entire time. I didn’t even get a chance to ask some questions that I had. They kept trying to push the heartworm shot (over monthly med), I pushed back on that. Tech says “I like it because I forget to give my dog things like that” I deadpanned “I don’t”. They kept not understanding that I still wanted him heart worm tested even though he is on heart worm prevention meds monthly. Like, dude, we’s in the south. Just test him. (I always test 6 months to a year regardless as well as any time before a vaccination or surgery.) They were super overly apprehensive with him and he is very sweet, though he was hyper (we had even run him out and taken him prior to petco to try and tire him out but he was a hit hyper still) but while weighing they literally had a dog lunging at him two feet away and “waiting” rather than taking him (the tech was handling it) around the corner and getting Georges weight who wanted to pay more attention to the boxer that was lunging at him close enough to touch noses the entire time. SHE got frustrated that they couldn’t get his weight then. I kept saying “Please remove that dog” and then got him to be still just fine finally but had to totally butt in to do so.
Then the vet seemed super apprehensive with him and two of them like totally clobered him to restrain while he got his shots which made him upset. Again, not aggressive upset, but wiggly and panting and drooling upset. He was simply confused because they kept moving all around him and grabbing at him on the floor the entire time. I mean..they didn’t even try and be nice about it…they just grabbed him and took him down. For the bordetella nasally done she got upset that he got upset (not aggressive at all) when she clamped his mouth shut and held him really tight. Of course he wiggled. (Another issue I had is that they went for nasal B rather than injecting b after asking them to do injecting). And yet they were big on me not helping, which is fine, but our vet techs in SA also do restrain him while he doesn’t FEEL restrained. Honestly though the vet and techs there in SA work super well together, here, not so much. At the end the vet told us a story about a neighbor chow chow she once took care of and (unwarranted) she obviously just had a fear of chows. Even in his most agitated state he wiggled but he never got mean at all or scary in any way. They made what could have taken seconds last several minutes and just made everything stressful for everybody. At the same time…they still weren’t TERRIBLE. I just wasn’t really happy. Also, I had taken plenty of treats for George to get his attention in a distracted situation. They kept pulling out a tub of peanut butter with a used by other dogs tongue depressor to give to him and I kept telling them he hated PB then they would not listen and kept trying. On this dirty by other dogs nasty used double dipped tongue depressor tub of PB. Then she just stuck the PB on his nose and when he licked it off she was like “see? He does like it!” Umm, no lady, he was getting the shit off his nose and still not interested in licking the PB off that stick”.
After that, there was a small cozy outdoor supply store next door so we walked over and George lay on a rug while I sat on a chair in the shoe section and the lady there came right over and sat Indian style on the floor and belly rubbed him and he got lots of love and attention. So he ended on a really good note. I calmed my own nerves.
As we walked out, Joe and I began discussing a bit about the vets issue with Chow’s being a large problem in it all. He says “I kinda hope the next ten dogs she gets are Chows. Though I kinda feel sorry for the dog, too at the same time of course so I guess not” Just then…we see this super fluffy HUGE lion head chow chow show prancing his big ass head from car to clinic and I said “Well, if any chow chow is going to give some attitude deserved, that diva will be it and there is your wished for train of chow chows for the vet today happening.”
And then the rest of the day I continued doing George voices about the “back room” and the Not happening fecal test to Joe. “Was that a vet or a church, dad?” “Dad, you do NOT wanna go back there. Let. Me. Tell. You.”