Thursday, August 25, 2011
As if I needed another reason to embark on a journey of self care, I had a crucial wake up call at my massage appointment yesterday.
Now let me start with this: Massage is a total luxury in my life. I'm dead broke just paying the bills and I don't have money for massage. Good thing I don't pay for it, LOL! I trade bellydance lessons to my massage therapist, an hour of my time for an hour of her time. That said, even tho it's "free" I often don't use my weekly appointment or give it to my partner. I think "I'm too busy for that hour today" and I put it off. One of the lines in my self-care manifesto is: USE your massage coupons!!!! So, even tho I was really tired, had a student coming in the evening and sort of wanted to reschedule it, I went.
And got a big wake up. She'd worked on my back last week when I was in pain, and this week I said I was pretty much pain free and working on getting back to normal.
When she began on my back in the problem area, she could still feel the knots, inflammation and problems. As she worked, one area not being touched began to "jump" - the muscle was fluttering and jumping all on its own and I laughed and mentioned it. She said "that's because it's getting blood again. I don't think you realize just how tight you are back here Lisa" Afterward she sat me down and said we needed to talk. This is not normal, LOL.
She said I am not better, I'm actually worse. She said some of those muscles (like the one that began to jump on its own) were so tightly seized they aren't getting appropriate blood/oxygen and I'm a walking time bomb for another back episode or worse. She talked about how my muscles are so tight that they are pulling on my bones, keeping me out of alignment. Finally she finished with "I think you are so used to this that it's "normal" for you now."
I walked out of there and felt my body and how it moved, and I knew she was right. I hold so much stress in my body that I'm in a permanent state of tightness. I MUST find ways to heal my body, heal my stress, and keep healthy...
Lastly, I saw on Facebook a woman I only new peripherally (friends' friend, not mine) has died of a massive heart attack. She was 2 years older than me and in better shape/health...but her life was stressful crazy like mine.
Ring ring ring ring. That's the alarm going off. It's time to wake up....and work on the body that's going to get me into all my tomorrows.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I pulled my back 14 days ago. Every day since then, I've had pain....from immobilizing to nagging aching.
Today is the first pain-free morning and I'm damn near giddy with it! I surprised myself with the first thought of "oooh, I could run today!!!" and felt excited about it, LOL.
I'm not going to push it tho. I've had constant pain for days, I'm going to stick to my "no running till I'm relatively pain free for one week" decision.
The constant aching and pain really zapped my motivation and made it REALLY difficult to be positive. A small taste I'm sure of what my friends with fibro and really bad arthritis deal with day in and day out for weeks/months/years at a time.
My dance troupe has an art walk performance this Saturday night, and I was truly afriad of it. Afraid for one, I would be laid up with pain right through it and not put on a decent performance much less enjoy it at all. Today, I have a glimmer of hope I can bring more of my best to it AND have a good time doing it!
My kids fly back in late tonight from their two-week visit with their dad in Florida. Two weeks out of 9-10 years hasn't been much of a break, but I do feel better emotionally. My son apparently showed some of his bipolar colors there, lol - which I think is probably good. Good his dad can see how much his kid NEEDS him and hopefully begin stepping up to the plate more.
Eh. A girl can dream can't she??
Friday, my partner flies out to Louisiana to visit her family for 19 days. That begins my "Jump Start To Radical Self Care". Self care including down time, rest, creativity and EXERCISE and HEALTHY FOOD. While I'll miss her of course, I'm excited about "my time" too.
Still no call on the jobs. She volunteersat one of the county offices she has applied at, and someone took her aside and said they had 300+ applications, and it's taking a lot of time to go through them and decide who to interview (three weeks no less). They have not even begun interviewing. We really, really need her to get a job SOON...so your continued thoughts are very, VERY appreciated.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Not looking forward to Monday, even tho I usually do.
Emotions in a knot. Last night, someone that I have repeatedly given "scholarships" for my dance classesn was a lil ugly to me. My first reaction was, "seriously? after I have given you classes for FREE literally more times than I can count?"
When I was young and married, my husband was very selfish. It was okay for HIM to spend money in any way, but he resented me spending a dime. To keep the peace, I barely spent a penny. Finally he came down to refusing money even for my dance classes, which were basically my sanity. My teacher then gave me classes for free - because she knew my desire to dance and his refusal. To give back then, I give complete or partial scholarships to women who love to dance...but can't due to finances.
So, I reminded myself I was kind to this woman as a way of honoring MY teacher..I did it because I felt it was right and certainly not for any kudos or whatever.
But her words went straight to my heart. One of my first reactions was, FINE, I won't be giving classes to anyone anymore...see what happens??
But that's not true. I will continue...because there are women out there who need it and again, I can honor someone who did it for me.
I just feel sad and hurt. This has been a really sucky summer. Perhaps I'm not sad to see the end of it after all!
Sunday, August 21, 2011
I've had a realization. One of my greatest pleasures in life is "art". Quilting, polymer clay, knitting, scrapbooking, collage...I've always really enjoyed artsy craftsy stuff. It feeds my spirit - playing with color and texture...
and I realized...I feel guilty making anything for myself.
I often feel guilty about ANY money spent on something "for" me - the result of years of working my butt off to keep my four children and myself housed and fed. I put myself on hold to put the needs of my family first...and it was viciously NECESSARY. It had to be done. Even today, we're struggling.
But when I DO have a bit of money to play with....I feel like I "should" use it for someone else. Christmas gifts...birthday presents, whatever.
I don't make things for myself. In fact looking back, I've given most everything I've made away. I told myself that it was the process of making it that was the enjoyable part for me, I wasn't attached to the finished product.
That is somewhat true. But it is ALSO true that I have not made anything for ME in a very long time, and when I think of it...guilt rises to a panic stage.
What's the cure for this? I believe the cure for this is to choose something pretty...with materials are comprable to those I'd chose for someone else...and just do it. My first inclination is always to spend the least amount on myelf...buy the generic. Buy the lower quality.
Are generics and low-price options bad? Of course not! But there is something wrong when you feel you must purchase the cheapest thing...because it's "only" for you!
I've no money to play with currently, so this is all in theory. But...perhaps that is good! It gives me time to look around at my options and choose something, save up for it and DO IT.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
8 days after my injury, yesterday was my first day back to dance practice. I'd toyed with the idea of running today (Saturday) even tho I told myself I would wait a FULL week after getting mobile again - which would be Tuesday.
While dance practice went well, I woke up stiff with tight muscles this a.m. and thought "let's stick to the original plan...." so while I will work out this a.m., I'm not running till Tuesday when I'll restart C25K.
I've done a lot of thinking about goals, motivation, self care this week. Lots of thought, reading, research...I think I'm in the "planning to make a plan" stage, LOL. My partner will fly out this Friday for 19 days to visit family in Louisiana. I've set that as my start date for Radical Self Care which for me includes:
* A training program to increase my cardio function - i.e. the C25K program
* Obtaining the HABIT of stretching DAILY
* Beginning training for re-certifying my level 1 SSBD format in August 2012 (more on this below).
* Vigorously planning and then making sure I follow through on ART...quilting, sewing, knitting...the playing with color and form that FEEDS my spirit.
* Step by step removing over-processed foods from my diet.
I'm working on putting a plan in place to achieve those goals, rather than as I usually do, saying "on Augst 27 I'm going to start doing all these things!!" I don't plan, and so I'm not prepared and things get in the way or don't work the way I thought....and I crash and burn.
Two years ago, I achieved one of the hardest things I've ever done, after months of training followed by a three day "bootcamp" and a LOT of money invested, I tested for and passed Level 1 in the Suhaila Salimpour Bellydance Format. This has been liked to "the army....for bellydancers" and it was HARD. It was physically demanding in a way my then 45-year-old obese body thought it might not make it through...but I did it.
To keep that certification, I needed to complete 20 hours of continuing ed or test for Level 2. I planned on doing a 5 day workshop which would have given me those CEC's and then testing. But, the stress of my son's mental illness and the financial burdens that followed made me face a choice...and I chose to let the certification expire so I could afford to do what needed to be done for my son and relieve myself of the pressure I would have to put myself under to train for that weeklong workshop, whether I tested or not.
It was VERY disappointing to make that decision. I cried. THAT disappointing. When I made that choice two months ago, I didn't know if I'd ever get back to it or it would just fade away.
I gave it a LOT of thought in those months...and this week I picked a workshop in August 2012, and set the goal of re-certifying. It will take some creative money saving and a lot of determination, but I'm going to do it....for me. I've put aside a lot in my life for others, because they needed me. I don't resent it - it's LIFE.
I'm doing this for me, because I need it.
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