Sunday, July 27, 2014

On Joining the Hyster Sisters

For the last ten days I have been trying to figure out how to share what is going on in my world right now because I need all of the healing energy I can get.  Most of the time, I am so busy telling myself that it isn't going to be any big deal that I don't have time to think about the fact that it IS kind of a big deal. I wish it felt like a better one. 

One week from Tuesday, on August 5th, I will join the noble ranks of the  "Hyster Sisters," when I have a hysterectomy of my very own.  (Cue the fireworks!). Again, I keep telling myself that it is nothing. Millions of women have them every day, many of whom are very close to me. They are all fine. I should be, too. Right? 

I am making To Do lists, making lists for my lists, checking things off, and adding new things to my lists at breakneck speed.  I am exhausted! But the minute my heads hits the pillow, my brain kicks into overdrive and I have to listen to the Buddhify meditation app over and over just to get to sleep.

My dreams have been ridiculous! I remember them when I first wake up, but they are so bizarre and disturbing that I'm pretty sure I am blocking them out completely within the first hour after opening my eyes. It is so loud in my head!   Does this happen to everyone?  Does it ever stop?

They tell me my recovery depends on many things, including whether or not it is laparoscopic, traditional cut, or a combination. That could mean anywhere from two weeks to two months or so!  I am a teacher. School starts for me eight days after the surgery, and the kids return exactly two weeks after the surgery.  This is one of my biggest worries.  I know that my school family is supporting me through this, and they will do all they can to help, but what do I do about not being there when the kids start?  How will that work? How do I prepare someone else to start the year with my kids in just a few days? I have so much that I want to do with them... I have so much that I want to do. Period.  The important stuff will get done, right? It always does, right?  All will be well, right?  Those are the things I have saying to other people for years. Why is it so hard for me to listen to it when I say it to myself now?

Hyster Sisters out there, have you wisdom to offer on this subject?  Thoughts from anyone would be most welcome. I am trying so hard to be calm, Zen, and accepting of this change.  But, good gracious, it is hard in the quiet moments!  At least I finally wrote some of it out of my head.  Now I need to go make another list.

Peace, love, and light.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Day Three

"Longing for Gravity

You are on a mission to Mars. Because of the length of of the journey, you will never be able to return to Earth. What about our blue planet will you miss the most?"

If I left Earth, never to return, what would I miss most about it?  I would miss the air, the water, the fire, and the earth.  Driving with the top down, the sun just warm enough on my face, and the wind rushing over my skin.  The sound and sight of the surf moving, waves kissing the beach, or water giggling over rocks in the creek, and the feel of it tickling my toes before I plunge, head first, into the surf.  Being outside is my oxygen.  I can breathe in freely, deeply, and openly, suddenly overwhelmed with the (mostly) beautiful smells held in nature.  

I am renewed when I step outside, away from my desk, my chair, my kitchen.  I am strengthen and energized. I am now reminded to take more time to go outside.  Mars trip or not, I miss the wind, the water, the fire (light), and the earth.  I miss the balance that the four elements offer me when I take time to accept their gifts.  I need to step outside now.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Day Two

"Unsafe Containers"

"Which emotion(s) — joy, envy, rage, pity, or something else — do you find to be the hardest to contain?""

I have to be honest, I was not a fan of this prompt at first.  It frustrated me that an answer didn't immediately spring to mind.  In fact, I fought against every possible answer that popped into my head. I didn't want to do it.  But the whole point of a challenge is to, well, challenge oneself, so I decided to examine my reluctance more closely.

Which emotions do I find the hardest to contain?  After chewing on this for a while, I realized why I had been so reluctant to touch it.  I find ALL of them diffficult to contain.  When I am happy, everyone knows it.  I will tell total strangers how amazing everything is.  I feel like I am exploding  with joy, so I have to share it.  The same, I have found, is true when I am unhappy.  Whether it is sadness, frustration, or anger.  On me there is no hiding it.  

Through my students this year (middle school girls) I have learned that I actually wear the way that I feel in the way that I dress.  I was stunned by this realization.  I am a pretty happy person, and I typically dress for work in bright, vibrant colors, putting together accesroies that will add just the right pop of color.  I came in to school one day wearing khakis and a grey shirt, and my girls thought something awful had happened.  I was mindboggled.  I was just having kind of a blah day, a little down, but nothing earth-shattering.  I was told, in no uncertain terms, by my girls that I should never dress like that again unless something was really wrong because it scared them.  I have worn black to work twice since then, first when we lost Nelson Mandela, and more recently when my very dear friend lost his mother.  Both times I explained to the girls the reason behind my choices, and they understood that grief sometimes comes in darkness, and it is okay to feel that pain.

It seems that even when I don't mean to, when I don't think I am wearing my emotions on my face, I am wearing them on my body.  So it seems that the "unsafe container" is me.  I feel everything, and I show it.  I'm fine with that, and don't consider it unsafe at all.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Day One

The challenge today is to just write, whatever comes to mind, just write freely for twenty minutes, then publish what you have written.  I have my students do this all the time.we call it "Clearing the Clutter" and it always seems to help them immensely.  I, however, rarely participate. Today that changes. This is the start of another new habit for me, on this day of firsts. 
took my first yoga clas today at the most beautiful, relaxing, inspiring studio called The Lotus Pond. It is a lovely log cabin on a pond with a little waterfall in it.  What could be more relaxing? I am painting tonight in one of my mom's classes with a dear friend.  That should be fun.  I always enjoy my mom's classes. Wine, music, Mom, a paint brush and a canvas, what's not to love? And I am also starting a thirty day blogging challenge today.  I haven't posted to the blog since the fall, so that changes today, too.  So far, I love this day!
We are in the middle of The Great Purge of 2014 here, so if I don't need it, use it, or love it, it is out the door! The goal is for everything to have a place, a home, somewhere it belongs in the house.  Closet is already done: two garbage bags full of clothes for donation, and two garbage bags full of shoes to donate.  Still need to do bags, but there is time.  Books have been collected from the overflowing bookshelves and only the essentials were kept.  The ones we released went to gain credit at the used book story so I can continue building my classroom library, and the rest were donated to the Hospice thrift store.
Busy seems to be the name of the game. I picked out a yoga class for every day this week, then I have things going on every afternoon and evening.  People to see, celebrations to enjoy, work to do.  It has long been my practice to put all of those things ahead of taking care of myself, but no more.  I realize that if I always feel awful, I am of no help to anyone.  I will find time for yoga classes.  I may even work in time at the gym.  Wouldn't that be crazy? It is just time to feel better and focus on wellness.  I have had a headache or migraine almost every day for at least the last month.  Now we work on changing that.  It is time.  This is the time to do one thing for myself every day.  That will be my yoga class. 
We have seen so much loss this year, dear friends, parents of dear friends, spouses of dear friends, it is time to grab life by the shoulders and make the most of every day.  It is crazy how quickly it can all be gone.  I want to do whatever it takes to be healthy enough to stick round for the long haul.
My sweetheart and I celebrated eight years together last night.  Eight more will not be nearly enough.  We talked at dinner last night about what have been the best things, most surprising things, and most enjoyable things in the last eight years.  What is all comes down to is that we both feel so damn lucky to have found each other.  Have the last eight years looked like I expected them to? Not even close, but that have looked outstanding! I wouldn't trade a minute of them.
So now we begin the next phase with ridding ourselves of clutter, making time to reenergize, and to reflect every day.  But we do this one day at a time.
That's twenty minutes of writing! Wow, the kids are right, it helps a lot!
Peace and Namaste.