Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Shampoo Press Get You Out Of My Hair

It’s been the longest twelve days I’ve had in sometime.

I had Kieran for the entire summer. It was magic.

Well, I'd like to say it was. I mostly felt depressed I had him crammed into our small apartment. But, I  already miss him so much. Honestly, I miss all three of the Littles, especially as they started back up at school yesterday.

It is so hard being away the older they get. It use to be, I felt bad being away from them, because they were small and I felt they "needed" me. Now, I feel their absence. I feel them not near. And, I watch them grow up in pictures, and in glimpses.

It makes me feel sad. I feel like all I've been doing is crying since the 11th with a steady increasing in crying on the 13th on. A continuous ball of tears, in a glass case of emotions.

Then on the way home from Utah, I drove back topless (tender breast), and I got a sickening feeling. What if I was pregnant? What if in all our carefulness and watchfulness, I ovulated late, and the unprotected sex I had with my husband on the 6th (the 16th day of my cycle) left me an emotional hot mess, because I was pregnant, and therefore going to miscarry again?

I'm four days late for my period, but I also have taken so many pregnancy tests I feel positive I am not pregnant.

However, I cannot help the emotions it has brought up, and the feeling like I can't talk to anyone about it. I felt nervous to even mention to my husband that I was taking a pregnancy test, because I didn't want to "upset" him-- we've been talking about possible adoption after Nursing school for the last couple of years, and we've decided to wait on any family planning.

This non-existent scare has me feeling sad, and lonely. Recently, there has been an onslaught of people in my life that are pregnant-- with six people in my life expecting. Did my body do this to me as a cry for attention? Did my body do this, as a result of everyone else's good news? Like I said, enough pregnancy tests have been negative to tell me to prepare for a bad period at this point, but instead I feel like crying and being a shut in.

The other day one of my girlfriends asked me if I was excited even a little bit (at the prospect of being pregnant). I told her about the last time I got excited. I sat and recounted my experiences: my three "chemical" pregnancies while with my ex prior to Hawai'i (2006-2008) (chemical meaning obtaining an at home positive test, only to start my period prior to confirming the pregnancy), and then the pregnancies after Hawai'i-- the one confirmed by blood test through Papaver Midwifery in 2010-- I miscarried on a trip to Oregon while visiting my mama with my ex, my miscarriage in 2013-- my longest pregnancy, and the healthiest I've been in my adult life, and my ectopic pregnancy in 2014-- we tried for this pregnancy, and even got our positive test on my ex's birthday.

These last two weeks have left me feeling hollow as I've thought about the last three pregnancies and losses in particular. This feeling has left me with time to evaluate friendships, work relationships, and my partnership with Bradford. While letting the negative engulf me, and the dark drag me down for the week I've explored feeling crappy: I feel empty. I feel sad. I feel fat, and bloaty. I feel like binging all the time. I feel unhealthy, and unwanting to leave my house. I feel ashamed and unable to move on from the past. I feel like I should be above and beyond this.

And, I feel like a mother without a baby.

So, when people ask me if I'm happy to have my house back, that isn't an appropriate question. I gave my baby back to his family last week. Thankfully, most anyone that matters in my life has just asked "how have you been without Kieran?" (Thank you, guys.)

But, mostly, the last week I've felt, in my heart, that I am a mother without a baby.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Dalaudid: King of Morphines

It's been a tiring and an interesting 7 days between posts.

On Monday morning I went into the ER due to left arm pain and numbness, accompanied by weird "hiccups" in my chest area. It started on Saturday evening, but my vitals were good, however Monday morning my Blood Pressure went crazy high.

They ruled out heart attack Monday morning with an EKG and a troponin test, they ran labs, and did some imaging. And, even went as far as to say that they believed the discomfort I am feeling on my left side must be musculoskeletal, however my triglycerides were a little high, and they wanted me to get additional testing done with a follow-up appointment, because there is some concern about possible coronary disease.

Today, I have a follow-up appointment with a family practice physician that specializes in cardiology.

I am feeling nervous, and plain scared. I generally feel pretty impartial to my health care at this point-- affordable health care has not been a consistent or reliable thing in my adult life. "Oh, look at me! The millionaire who goes to see doctors!"

Anyways, I have been looking up ways to lower triglycerides as a proactive measure to help alleviate any future potential heart problems. It looks like if I even lose 12lbs of my current weight, I'd be looking at quite the improvement in this area. Obviously, I am going to do my appointment, find out what is wrong, and be an active member in the plan for correcting anything that may need correcting. In the meantime, it gives me some level of control in the situation knowing I can do something on my own.

On a side note, after my nutrition class this last fall term we discovered our sodium was too high, and our potassium too low, so, at the end of November, beginning of December we started actively working on lowering sodium intake and increasing the potassium in our diets. My labs showed that both potassium and sodium were within standards-- with sodium being on the lower side of within those standards, and potassium being on the higher side of those standards.

It felt good to see that improvement.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Barely Gettin' By-- It's All Takin' And No Givin'

My seasonal depression seemed to set in earlier than usual, however having school seemed to be the ultimate distraction. I plowed through Fall term with determination-- keeping my eye on my goals. I seemingly excelled for the first time in my adult life in an academic setting. I raised my GPA significantly, and even earned a B in my Math class.

In the meantime, December, was scheduled lightly at work-- lots of doubles and less days present at the facility, in the hopes to avoid care-giver burn out. It did not work. I was asked every single day to come in on my off days.

Then, in January it really sank in: financial aid never came through, I owed for my Fall Term, and all of my Winter Term classes were dropped. That's when the question first popped into my head, sometime in December while on winter break, only to work it's way from my brain, and really cement it's self into my soul:
"If I am not actively in class, why am I here? Why am I not in Florence?"

Since then I've been asking myself if I have made a mistake. I really don't feel like I have, logically: I am closer to Lane's campus, I am making a great deal more in the valley than in Florence (with a $2.22 pay increase from the start of 2018 versus the end of 2018), and I am expanding my knowledge and experience. I am closer, in proximity, to friends and family.

Then, right before I was to be engulfed in the abyss that is trying to figure out my life, it was time to go to Salt Lake, Utah, and see Jess, Ian, and my Littles. I was there just shy of two weeks-- it was needed, and I never left anyone's side while visiting, nor did I go and see anyone that wasn't directly related to the Compound. It may have been rude, and slightly selfish, but I just needed solace, time in Jess' bed, and lots of baby snuggles.

It was impossible to leave. But, here are some highlights from my visit:

Cheesecake Date with Kieran and Violet--

At the Cheesecake Factory

We went on a couple of hikes --


And a lot of time with my favorite Littles, and people --


Church with Mum-mum and Papa

 It was a really good family staycation, and I am really grateful we all had that time together. But, now that I am home, I am seemingly in deeper.

Thankfully, I know that feeling this low won't last too long. It stinks in terms of needing to start back up real life. It stinks in terms of planning our future, and executing said plans. It stinks in terms of not having 3 beautiful sets of eyes to gaze into and feel more inspired and in awe of life.

It stinks.

So, I have a game plan:
1- Today: I wallow. On Monday I had a surprise day off, and I forced myself out of the house to pick up my paycheck. Tuesday, I made myself go to the bank, and WinCo. Followed up by making some freakin' bomb ass Pad Thai. Today, I slept long and hard. I've spent most of my time naked. I have snuggled cats, and felt low, and been unapologetic about it. Today, I am not going to allow myself to fake anything, or force myself out of the house, I  will just be sad. Admit to being sad. A big portion of why I needed to go to see Jess, Ian, and the kids is because I feel sad.
2- Tomorrow, I will focus on being the best damn CNA I can possibly be. I will focus on 8 hours of five days-- I will focus on helping others, and feel good that I do what I do for a living. On my off time I will set and execute goals from each day. I will get those little things done; silently smashing the shit out of each and one of my daily goals, and I will high-five myself each night before bed. 
3- I will continue to try and make things work here in Springfield, but I will give things a timeline. I moved here with specific goals in mind, but I am not happy, and really haven't been happy the entire duration of me being back in Springfield. That being said; I worked fucking hard to move to Florence the first time. I worked fucking hard to move back to the valley. I can't keep doing this to Bradford, who, by the way, just says; "baby, I want whatever will make you happy."
4- I am going to practice gratitude like a mother trucker. That saying "Fake It Till You Make It," is sometimes the best thing I've been able to do for myself. If anything it's a great survival tool while wading water.
5- It's been a hard 8 months. I have learned and have grown so much. Now, may be a time for a lot of Tarot and self-care. I just need a lot of self-love and self-care.

In the meantime, aren't Kieran, Robin, and Violet just the sweetest grown up kids you've ever seen? I can't help getting emotional at the thought that they will be 16, 13, and 10 on their next birthdays. Where did the time go?!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Seven To Eight and Mabon Blessings

late summer rain
It's been well over a year since my last blog post, though my drafts are littered with random ideas, and personal posts that just never quite made it online. I guess a general update is in order due to my lack of presence.
In 2016 we had moved to Florence, Oregon out on the coast, we eloped out there in 2017, and this year, as we get ready to say our goodbyes to 2018 we are back in the valley. It was a difficult decision to make-- I love, love, love being out on the coast. The rain forest feels so different, out where it meets the ocean, and I, personally, could never get enough of beach combing.
Washburne District
However, we eventually got to a place where I knew I needed to grow. We had been stuck in the same crappy, moldy apartment for some time, and I felt strongly that while in school I needed to be closer to my friends and family. Not to mention, being physically closer to actual school.

So, now, I am working as a Certified Nursing Assistant a half mile away from our little place in Springfield. I am gearing up for school to start in a couple of weeks, and I am determined to do well in the hopes of being accepted into a Nursing Program when the time comes to apply.

And, for the first time since being back I have started feeling an ease as we slink our way into Autumn.

I've gotten into the habit of randomly wandering my neighborhood feeling the familiarity of it all: this is my home. It's that indescribable comfort of knowing a place, because you are from there. It's the sights and sounds. It's the old mixed with the new. It's getting a library card as an adult at the same library I got my first ever library card.

Today, and yesterday were both examples of being able to let go some negative feelings, and feeling grateful as my lungs breathed in that cool, crisp, not-quite-Fall air. 
Along the walking path at Island Park
 I've been dealing with Financial Aid headaches, and yesterday was an extremely emotional and difficult day to get things done. Once Bradford was off of work we ran some errands and had a little Springfield date-- which can either be terribly fun, or just terrible.

 We ended up at Giant Burger, where Bradford attempted to eat a 1lb burger, and I ate a Krusty Burger, because why wouldn't I eat a beer-battered hamburger?

Afterwards, we went out for some decaf, and Bradford noticed I was dressed as Wesley Crusher in the first season of Star Trek the Next Generation. Eventually we ended up at Island Park, because its one of the many places Bradford has not been, as he has learned to really dig living in Springfield.

And, naturally, he loved it. We went walking for well over forty minutes as we walked alongside the Willamette, and I pointed out quirky things, and Bradford and I talked about our plans for over the next year.

And, that is just one example of how we have enjoyed being back in the area. There is also the proximity to people. Bradford is not super social, but he LOVES having people over at our home. And, that actually happens with some regularity now that we are back in the valley! Plus, I have actually been able to see people, which is amazing, as I get ready to kiss spare time goodbye and hello to full time work and school.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

If Midwifery Had a Gothic Little Sister It'd Be Caregiving, and The Rainman of Vaginas

   "When somebody does something unforgivable there is only one thing to do: forgive them.
   We need to exit any interaction that is toxic, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too. That means we don't volunteer to carry around hate. 
   Wishing someone ill-- hoping that they get what's coming to them, wanting them to suffer, because of what they did...we think that thinking this way makes us feel better, and lighter, but it makes us feel worse, and heavier-- weighed down by the bitterness in our hearts. 
   We think we are making the OTHER person suffer by not forgiving them...that they would feel bad all the way to their grave. 
   But, it is not possible to impose conscience onto a person. When we don't forgive it just means we are the only one who STILL cares.
   Forgiveness is the key to truly ending our own suffering.
   If you've already suffered once, because of someone else's actions not forgiving them is suffering twice or a million times. Because even if you don't see the person anymore, even if time has passed, you'll still feel the pain every time you think of the person, or the incident.
   When someone has wronged you think of how much they must be suffering; to say these things. to do these things. Only someone truly unhappy would BE like that to another human being. Every hurt they inflict, every temper they throw out, every abuse they mete out-- it's because of their own inability to be happy.
   The best thing for us is to NOT be like them. It's to live a happy life.
   Maybe they've left physical scars, but don't allow them to leave emotional scars too. Forgiveness is hard, but only if we think of it as a sacrifice to our pride. or justice. Forgiveness is simply letting go.
   We forgive to let go.
   Letting go is never for the person who has wronged us it's for ourselves.
   Letting go of hate, is the best gift we can ever give ourselves. You've already suffered, now don't continue to suffer.
   Forgive, let go...and allow yourself to move forward in life, and to be happy, always."

Monday, November 14, 2016

Soul, I Hear You Calling!

I have four songs I sing to residents when I know they're close to passing.

It's not as morbid as you think-- it began in September when my first resident passed. I really loved this person, and I felt my heart grow heavy as I learned to accept the gravity of what was going to happen while working as a caregiver; yes, I provide a means for people to live, however my position is so much more than toileting people. It is providing hugs, comfort, reassurance when someone feels lost, scared, lonely, and I help provide quality, end-of-life alternatives to a hospital.

I felt helpless the first time I watched life slip away from one of the residents; I remembered how I felt when my grandma lived with us during her last days. My Mama had spent the entire summer praying to Jesus, asking for another day with her mother, and begging that when her time did come that all four of us kids were not in the home. She didn't want our last memories of grandma to be of them taking her body away. She did not want us to ever see our grandma died.

It's weird. I had a paper route when I was 13, so I never slept over at other people's houses. I spent my summer working, and staying up all night, doing my paper route, then sleeping in all day. In between these activities I helped out with my then 2-year-old brother, Andrew, a 7 year old Devon, and hung-out with an 11 year old Amanda. Moreover, it was a summer at the hospital, and a skilled nursing facility, before finally my grandma came home to live with us in our house on 51st Street in Springfield.

The night before my grandma passed, miraculously all of us children were elsewhere. My Mama had agreed to do my paper route, and I was at my friend, Katie's, sleepover for her 13th birthday. I think my siblings were at Shannan's. We never saw my grandma's eyes gloss over, or hear her breathing become ragged as it rattled to alert that death was near.

I've watched people pass away several times now. I am not nearly as afraid of death as I use to be-- I've had haunting dreams since my biological father passed away in 2009, that have only increased after my jeje (2012) and mama's passing (2015)-- it was a reoccurring topic when I was in therapy after my pregnancy losses. And, my job has, actually really helped alleviate those dreams and that fear.

I've seen good deaths, and ugly ones. I've cried a lot, and have learned to feel peace, and gratitude as the person we say goodbye to frees themselves from this mortal coil-- their souls going on, and their bodies become part of the the Earth. They are stardust and part of this magical universe in away that I am not yet. And, as for the act of dying?

I have learned to sing in the face of that fear.

I hold that person's hand and I sing. The first time I did this, it felt so natural and right. It felt comforting for me on levels I could not understand, and the person I was singing to, seemed at peace.

And, I do this by singing the songs I have continuously sang to Violet throughout the years. They're songs that soothe a warrior to sleep, the songs that comfort me, and though I don't sing particularly well, in these precious moments where we hold hands, all there is are feelings of peace, and love-- I feel like in some small way Cash, jeje, the babies I have lost, and especially my mama knew in their hearts in their last moments how deeply they were loved. That they weren't alone.

And if I should falter
Would you open you arms out to me
We can make love not war
And live at peace with our hearts

She broke down and let me in
Made me see where I've been
Been down one time
Been down two times
I'm never going back again

So close your eyes
You can close your eyes, it's all right
I don't know no love songs
And I can't sing the blues anymore
But I can sing this song
And you can sing this song
When I'm gone

"What's this dying for"?
Asks the Stork that soars
With the Owl high above
Canyons mighty walls
Owl said "Death's a door
That love walks through
In and out, in and out
Back and forth, back and forth"

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hoch poH muSHa'ghach Hot pIm: Every Time You Feel Love It Will Be Different

I wrote a blog that was about four paragraphs in, but erased it, since sitting for a few days, has made most of what I wrote irrelevant. Regardless, this morning I feel the call to write, so I sit here-- heating pad on abdomen, cats, and partner snoozing around me, feeling enormous feelings trying to articulate the things I need to get out.
Heaven's Gate?

Let's just get the big one out of the way, so I can quickly focus the microscope in a little tighter. As a Native American, woman, rape survivor, and someone who has identified a lot with Margaret Cho's comic bit about "slut pride" ("am I gay? am I straight? Turns out, I'm just slutty")-- I would be lying to say that I am not sadden and scared currently after the election.

I don't want to open this blog up for politics talk. I also needed a safe space to say that.

Moving on, I feel really guilty about calling in today to work. I woke up at 2 this morning in phenomenal amounts of pain. Yesterday, my period came a full 8 days early, and as a result my whole body feels broken, and out of whack. I don't know why I feel so guilty. It's not like I am faking, it's not like I don't show up, and work as hard as I can while at my job. I guess the reason I feel guilty is because I WANT TO BE THERE.

I hate calling out because of pain. I always feel guilty, and like I am not doing my part when I am like this. I get grumpy in my home life, I never take it easy, and I am just mad. It is something I have never learned to accept-- living with chronic pain means that I experience pain often, and though I have learned to deal with it on a near daily basis there are times, when I simply can't. So, as a result I become incredibly angry on the days I can't manage the pain enough to go to work.

It's a frustrating cycle.

But, it is my hopes that since I found us an apartment in Florence things like self-care will be ultimately easier. And, that is one of the best things going on currently-- it looks like after working so hard, and looking for what seemed like forever, we have finally found a place that will suit our needs, and I am so excited.

Bradford and I were talking about our place in North Salt Lake-- how much we both felt like that was a home, and not just a place we were staying, how even when we lived at the Parkside we never quite felt like it was home. And, I am really looking forward to building a home again. We need it.

Anyways, our new place was once a large house, and has been converted to five apartments. Ours is a little one bedroom on the end, it is located on the west side of 101, near the Safeway, and within walking distance to Old Town, and about a ten to fifteen minute walk to work.

To say I am excited would be an understatement. I feel like a major goal is about to come to fruition for us, and Bradford and I have worked hard, and have had such amazing support getting this far-- starting with even our relocation last year to Utah. Though, an extremely painful step, it helped us in so many ways and we couldn't be more grateful for the people and help we've had every step of the way. The only way we can even begin to repay the people that have helped this far is to continue to pursue all our goals-- one step at a time.

Random date before an extra swing shift pick-up
 I can't believe we are this close, this close to finally be living in Florence, an intended spot for us. A place we've talked, and prayed about. We've had so much support; Jess, Steve, Skye, AJ, Ann, family, Annie, Brett, Stephanie, Colbi, Theya (the KIDS). As I sit here reflecting it is overwhelming, and I hope over the next few months we can start properly thanking people-- suppers, thank you cards, locks of chest hair. You know normal things that say gratitude and love.
North of Florence

In the meantime, its been 24 days since Jess last spoke to me-- it's incredibly weird, but okay as well. We've actually gone longer periods of time not talking, just not when upset with one another. It feels peculiar to lessen her as an option in my go-to daily. It's like an insincere, but necessary time for both of us, and though Skye has reminded me several times that when you're close like sisters these times are bound to happen I still find myself so upset that I continue to find solace in my decision to let things lie as is for now.

But, I also still can't help feeling dumped for the stupidest reasons imaginable. I had expressed feeling undervalued and unimportant to Jess, feeling a distance grow between us, and me trying to tell her that I have lost five souls since starting my job, in addition to people moving out, and new people being placed into the community (I have signed a privacy clause with work, so this will be the last I speak of stuff regarding residents, or coworkers), and needing her-- trying to explain that I no longer wanted to feel one sided in our relationship. Plainly; I need Jess to call and text me, even if it was feign interest, I need to feel like she cares. 
The day before moving home to Oregon

8 days ago I saw Jess had unfriended me on Facebook when I went to share something on her Wall. I blocked her, and have pitched several fits, not to mention me getting pretty damn passive aggressive when we were texting last. It's because of me acting like a child I've decided that Jess can worry about Jess and Sari for Sari.

It's hard, though, because even though I haven't interacted with her, or seen her online even in 24 days, I've been sick, so I am sure she has been too. It's weird how things like that happen when you've lived with someone for years. I know that all my hurt, and angry feelings she is feeling too. I know that we are both going over in our heads what the other person has done wrong. I know we are both assessing what things we've done wrong ourselves. And, my final conclusion goes as follows; it's okay.

We are both okay.

I can't help be a little sad that we have our first visitor from Utah coming (baby Jacob!!!), and it's not Kieran-- I kinda always thought when we got into our new place in Florence he would be the first person in our Utah family to sleep on our floor for a week. I am beyond words stoked to have Jacob for a weekend, and hope that either Jess or Kieran are our next visitors from our Utah family to come and stay (Kieran because he is old enough to visit for a Spring break). 

Bradford and I have talked about this repeatedly through the summer; both of us think a week on the coast is exactly what Jess needs-- no kids, beach access, clouds, hikes, rain, and a week of us cooking together. And, that's what I am looking forward to-- pitching the idea of her coming for my birthday right around her birthday. You never know. It could happen. 

I guess now that I am rambling for rambling sake I should wrap this blog up.

Friday, October 21, 2016

October 14, 2013: "There is no substitute for hard work or integrity..."

After work today, Bradford and I spent $12 on a little date. We've been trying to make the time to explore, adventure, get out, and smile a little more often. So, this late afternoon/early evening we took advantage of some spare time we had.

We drove to the Florence drive-in A&W and grabbed a couple of burgers to go, then headed 5 miles North out of town to Darlingtonia Natural Site. The little state park is the only Oregon state park dedicated to the protection of a single plant species-- and, Darlingtonias are awesome, interesting, carnivorous, and pretty!

We ate our burgers in our little two door car, as the rain hammered outside. Once finished, I was grateful I had changed into my hiking boots while I was still at work, because my Columbia boots are well insulated not to mention water proof. We spent a good portion of time looking at not just the cobra lillies, but at different mushrooms growing wildly on the 18 acre park. After hiking around the bog and peat, Bradford and I drove up Mercer Lake Road up to the boat ramp, and saw beautiful views of clean, clear blue waters, as the fog started to roll in.

We took that fog as a sign to start heading East, back to Eugene, to enjoy a much deserved weekend.

I think it is really neat how easy it has been for us to find things to do, look at, and enjoy. We've done a couple different trail heads at Sweet Creek Falls, we have plans to travel to Triangle Lake soon so we can look at the Salmon at the rock slides (fish ladders, yo, look it up), there is a county park that we often stop at on our way from Florence, that we are constantly enjoying, because of the changes in the Siuslaw River, and little hidden trails, and I imagine it is only a matter of time before Bradford discovers the endless new things to see around the Siuslaw forest-- including, my fear of him deciding he must see Drift Creek Falls for no other reason to look at the suspension bridge.

It has been fun getting to know our soon to be new town. Bradford goes for walks, almost daily, on the Oregon beaches. It makes me jealous most days. He recently was hired full-time for a new position that he will be starting soon. I can't help feeling a little sad that I'll no longer have him all the time. He does a really fair job of catering to my needs with the high stress that comes along with my job. It has really made me appreciate him. The caregiver's caregiver.

Honestly, I have a great deal of appreciation for the support I have received since starting this job. I've been combating the negatives by being a little more social with friends, and it has been nice. I see Skye, and Juliet the most (proximity), but I have been lucky enough to see my friend Stephanie and her husband a few times, and I had supper last week with Brett and Colbi and may have also watched Dances With Wolves.

In the meantime, I've decided to take a break from hashtagging everything "Fit Girls Guide." It isn't that great, or interesting a thing-- it is simply not for me at this time. 

Last Jumpstart, I mentioned (on IG) wanting to try FGG stylechallenge for no other reason than thinking it would make Jessie happy. I participated in twelve days of both fitgirlsguide's photochallenge, and of the FGG stylechallenges, and I started to take note of a lot of things I did not enjoy. First, participating in both challenges for that short period made me realize how much time and effort was being invested online, instead of being present with my partner and friends when I am in my off time.

I've mentioned before that I work a four day on, two day off rotation, however I also work twelves, and pick up shifts, within reason-- in a four day span of time (that's 96 hours)  I worked under sixty hours, when you add on top of that the 9 hours and twenty minutes of driving we did during that time that only leaves me with 29 hours of free time. Naturally, I slept during that time, so, really I have no free time during my work week.

Doing the challenges was a type of shallow stress I couldn't handle. And, for me, it does feel extremely shallow to spend that time on social media when I could be doing yoga, walking Jack, spending time with Bradford, meal-prepping, balancing my hard work life with brevity and time with loved ones, and legitimate care for myself versus being one of many just "friend" collecting under the guise of being supportive.

I haven't been online much, but when I have my social media accounts have been getting an overhaul-- my Instagram in particular has been whittled back down to a manageable number. My feed still has a lot of the Fitgirls on it that I have met over the past several months since finding the community, because despite my inability to focus on some aspects of challenge, I still long for community and support, but it's a lot more legitimate fitness orientated men and women, a lot more positivity, more workouts, more outdoors, and meal prepping ideas, and a lot less foolish selfies and licking one another's taint for drinking a glass of water.

It is the stuff I need to see to keep me focused on my goals of caring for myself without the pain and anguish I feel as I desperately struggle to keep up, and stress when I can't participate the way I want to. So far, I've liked this jumpstart better, so far, doing my own thing while still enjoying watching the community participate. And, hopefully, soon, I will be participating to some degree again, but until then I am feeling happy, and free setting and smashing the shit out of my goals, a little more quietly.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Go, Go, Go -- Action at The Raisin Ranch

Yogi wisdom

Four days on, two days off schedule rotation has me renaming the days of the week to better suit me. That is one example of how my life has changed the last 28 days. Funny enough, the last 28 day Jumpstart began on my first day of work at my new job as a caregiver.

And, things have changed, drastically, and I find myself reeling from all of it sometimes. The biggest change can not be seen-- my faith has been awaken after eleven years of sleep, and it feels surprising, new, insincere, and jarring.

I guess it's not overly surprising, seeing that I have a clearly agnostic view on life, and I have quite a few spiritual practices I do on my own-- mostly honoring tradition, and seasonal change. I guess the surprise is the feelings that I feel at work.
Owens Rose Garden

I see truly miraculous things every single day at my work.
I see truly ugly, and heartbreaking things every single day at my work.
It has been 28 days of personal growth, new adventures, discovery, new stories, unexpected change, and real, quiet reflection.

If I weren't shaken at times from the experiences I've undergone the last month then I would be heartless.

In the meantime, I've been really struggling with the fitgirl community. I honestly feel that the struggle must be stemming from jealous feelings; I want to commit and participate 100% in the group challenge, however with adjusting with my new schedule I fell behind on the photo challenges. Then I started feeling angry, because I see a lot of the same girls being featured on fitgirlsguide, and the more I viewed things as a weird popularity contest the more I felt put out by the idea of participation.

What originally attracted me to the community was the go-at-your-own-pace, happy comradery. I don't feel that anymore. I feel like unless you are online constantly, non-stop then you are not part of the community-- which was fine when I was miserable in Utah, however being happy in Oregon, and with the new job now certain aspects of participation feels shallow. Which is funny, because for the most part, I LOVE my instagram feed during my breaks, because my feed is full of fitgirls and positivity, and is a million miles away from shallow.

So, here I sit, feeling grateful for meal prep days, grateful for being active, and grateful for the commitment I feel toward my health, but feeling like it's okay to need the space from Facebook and Instagram to focus on human connections versus the approval, likes, and validation of strangers. I love social media for making far away people feel close, but I hate how social media makes me feel, and overall fitgirlsguide is all about social media.

My time lately is precious, and I've been making it a point to keep some resemblance of a social life to help balance work. Normally when I work this much, I counteract that with sleep only. Lately, I've made it a point to work 40+ hours a week, have over a two hour commute a day, meal prep, yoga, hoop, and walk, along with trying to visit friends from time to time, and keep up on our home as we look for a new place closer to where I am working. And, soon, Bradford and I will be studying again together!
Partying down at Stephanie's house
We've both been so active (Bradford and I), and so excited about moving soon (fingers crossed, happy thoughts, prayers, and warm wishes welcome while we look). I've been trying to enjoy flowers more, hike as much as possible, participate with Jack Harvey as much as I can, appreciate every moment I am on the beach looking at the Pacific, take pictures when I can, and now that my phone is activated(yes, it was disconnected for a little while) I want to make it a point to send more texts to my family more often (pictures included), and I plan to start writing to Jessie, Ian and the kiddos again once we are in our new place, and I can have a writing area for myself.