Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Resurface your skin

Thankfully, my unplugging is helping.
Another massive tragedy has hit my town and everyone is reeling and tender.
This came after I was scrolling the local paper for events for the extended weekend and found a mugshot of a man that was often our waiter at a local restaurant. 
In our interactions with him; he was kind, remembered us every-time we visited and had the kind of polite manners I remember we all were suppose to have as kids.
He was arrested for stabbing to death two people he knew. 
I think I am still in total shock about that too.
Then, like a morbid cherry on a fucked sundae, 
 I read about a friend (peer) that I use to work with loosing her husband unexpectedly in his sleep.

I have been doing yoga, 
working in the studio and making meals.
The Barren and I have been spending quiet time together 
and talking about all the scary reality that is hitting us all at the same time.

Parents aging and acting older
What do we want with our lives as we head into older years
Watching kids/nephews/nieces/ godchildren grow
facing responsibilities and taking care of our bodies
it all really sucks
I long for those carefree days of naive bliss

I read somewhere that to help maintain your mental cracks
when you are feeling depressed
overwhelmed and under-prepared
start with thinking about how you want to feel.
It seems quite patronizing but in my mind...I make it into an image.

I imagine a beautiful sun filtered field, butterflies flickering above the tall grass
a soothing breeze and the calm that comes from stepping into that image.
It has been helping me direct the overwhelming feelings into a space I can breathe again in.

I hope that the world has not overtaken you dear warriors
We have been walked over by hopes way too many times already.
Please try and fight to seize the joy that is still yours.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019


This week was the closest I've been to actually having a mental break.

Everything seemed to tumble into me
I was overwhelmed by the news
I was overwhelmed with my life
I was overwhelmed by driving
I was overwhelmed by having to choose what to eat
I was overwhelmed my responsibilities
I was overwhelmed and emotional
I was overwhelmed by the sense of loneliness

I made myself go to yoga on Friday thinking
this is your social moment,
this is what will keep you from floating away.
I had been sitting at home staring at submission screens thinking: why?!
I had gone into work that week
I had made dinner for us that whole week
I had paid bills and did laundry
and then the whole world seemed so big and sad and burning and angry
and upside down and wrong, so so wrong.
I could feel it all and it made me tip
I forced myself out of bed, even though I wanted to spend the day sleeping and under the covers
I functioned but felt empty.

After yoga class
I went home and cried some 
(I don't cry much these days so I thought that was a good sign)
then my mother called and I told her now was not a good time.
(conversations with my parents have shifted as of late and require a lot of emotional strength and effort to simply listen and not try and say much of anything, which seems to go unnoticed)
I showered and got dressed and sat.

The old man cat laid on me like a tiny weighted blanket, checking on me 
as I laid there and stared into nothing.
I slept a little
and then The Barren came home from work
I ate something
and we crawled into bed.
I promised him I'd not look at news anymore
I had attempted to empty my FB account of personal images
leaving my business one with only work

Yesterday I took the news off my phone, 
so no more notices of the next bad and horrible that has happened.
I called senators and congress people and asked them to support important issues
protect our planet and our under-represented people.
I unsubscribed from political emails that I get texts from every hour 

The Barren made me promise to protect myself
I feel sooo much sometimes it is dangerous to my mental health.
so I have been focusing on quieting my mind for a little while
I have been asking myself what else I can do to make a difference as one person.
buy less 
less packing

I have been focusing on the things I am doing
and how it means something.
I am trying

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Broken Lines

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I have been commenting on blogs, but they never seem to appear on the comments section.
So I read what you are writing and have been leaving comments, 
but for some reason they are falling into the ether.

Please know I am trying, 
I try via anonymous and with the website and google logins...
all voids

So sorry that you are not getting my messages of support and hope and sisterhood.

I needed to say that first and foremost.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

One on One time

It seems to have become an annual event.
Every July we get some serious one-on-one time with our closest nephew.
Closest, meaning proximity.

*(there are two other nephews, but their parents and years of no responses to requests or cards...has created a distance in what we had hoped to be a relationship with them.)

this year was the longest amount of time with our nephew, he was at our place for three nights.
He is 11 and totally into Manga comics and video games and cartoons and KITTENS
Our old man cat wanted nothing to do with his attempts at snuggles or pats...
he chose to spend his time curled under my desk sleeping on the power strip and sulking
 at HIS unwanted company. 

So I suggested that we go to the Humane Society and check out kittens.
I am not sure I totally thought the idea through when it came to my own mental health about seeing touching or interacting with kittens....
I am still quite broken from the loss of our kitty back in February and now the aging cat at home...
I am dealing with a lot of mortality in felines.

We went for half an hour on the first visit because we were meeting Uncle for lunch and and needed to pick up food before seeing him....I thought it would be and easy in and out...
It was easy to get in and out...but I was very standoff-ish with all kitties.
The following day he mentioned he wanted to go back and visit them again....
I figured it would be fine and it took a chunk of time of the day and it made him happy.
We returned and there were twice as many kittens and cats...
9week old kittens, to mature cats...
he wanted to snuggle them made him so happy and smile so big...
I watched him, and offered help when claws were too sharp or wiggles too strong.

This sweet little kitty is the one that made me cry.
As I was handed this kitten, so he could play with another eager soul...
I held it close to my chest and it melted into purrs and I turned away from my nephew...
tears welling in my eyes, feeling the soft fur and rumbles of the purr against my chest.
Before the tears could fall, I told him that my heart hurt and that we should move on to the older cats...or dogs.
He was a little confused but was willing to move onto the next room.

The second visit was all about making sure to see and say hello to every kitten and cat, and then hello to every dog. That sweet little boy even sat with a dog that had a "I'm shy" sign on her kennel for almost a half an hour to make her feel better.
When the time came to leave, he said goodbye to every dog, cat and kitten.
and told me that he felt badly that he could not take them home.

I assured him that what he was feeling was empathy and compassion and that those are really wonderful emotions and that means that you are a loving person and capable of loving other beings.

The next morning I saw that one the kittens he was crazy about was adopted, and shared the news with him, his smile was huge...and he said- that is so great!
He is still to young to volunteer without and adult....but I mentioned it to him and his parents.

I spent three days, all day with my the evenings The Barren made sure I took some quiet time for myself before bed.
I was exhausted, the nephew would have active dreams at night and call out waking The Barren and myself. He was fighting with his sisters in his dreams...having things taken by them. He remembers none of the dreams and awoke each morning happy and ready to be entertained.

I loved the time, and tried really hard to give him loads of space and time to just be.
Pool time, puzzle time, reading time, park time, making cookies, we even watched surfers and he declared he wanted to do that too.
I listened to exaggerated stories and claims, I sat and watched cartoons and simply soaked him in.
I introduced him to Bob Marley music and we sang along to Queen songs.

I do hope that he remembers being able to just be himself when he is with us.
I really love being his Auntie

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Letter

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"Yoga Goddess, 

I have debated reaching out...but felt it was important for you to know that you have a secret ally in your corner.
I am sorry life is sucking so very badly...
This is not the way you imagined....anything.
I can not imagine what you are going through, but I can empathize as we spent nearly a decade trying to build a family.

When we were trying there was not a lot of resources and still a lot of stigma.
I found this site very helpful for resources and knowledge:
she has organized everything (left side) under topics and it might help in some way.

Please forgive me if I have overstepped or made you feel like you haven't thought of this yourself.
I am happy to answer any questions you might have or 
help in anyway you might find you are in need of.

I continue to be a dedicated yogi, and friendly face in the crowd.
Smiles and hopes,
The Barreness "

I was haunted with words of advice for the owner of the studio I practice at when:
 she made the start of her IVF journey public knowledge. 
Then came the public spreadsheet of drug costs 
then came the crowd funding page set up by a friend. 
I was going to tell her that pain does not equate your desire to be a mother.
That simply putting the desire out was enough 
but then I realized that she is most likely getting an I sent the email above.

She responded soon there after, kindly:

"Thank you so much Barreness this means a lot to me!
I’m proud of you for reaching out, and so happy you did. 
I will definitely check out the site you sent over. 
Love you tons!

Yoga Goddess"

At the end of the day I saw it as a call to action.
It was more important to reach out to a fellow woman in need than
sit and watch how this all unfolded...

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Like it was no big deal

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So we had an earthquake this morning.
As a native Californian I have ridden a few out.
My mom tells the story that when I was a baby 
there was a really big quake and it rocked me back to sleep in my crib.
I am no stranger to quakes.
In 1990's there were a couple big bad ones that I was privy too...
one had me rush out of a bathroom in a restaurant because the walls were bowing.
The second was so big, it cracked my grandmothers apartment building and my mother and I drove in to be with her and return to her blackened home for some valuables as the aftershocks kept rattling it, it was like being in a bouncy house but the house was a 3 story apartment building.
(I do not recommend this and my mother does not always make the best decisions)
I think there were 10+ aftershocks that day....

This mornings earth movement was mild compared to those.
It has rattled a lot of people near the epicenter and 
there are no serious injuries reported which is great!

I was on the phone with a cousin who lives in Mexico and said
" oh we are having a quake"
the line was silent 
and then I said "it is still rolling but we are fine."
that is how caviler I can be when I identify the type of quake.
it rolled for 20 seconds.
the plants swayed, the coo coo clock chains swayed the cat paced up and down the hallway...
then it was settled.
No need to take cover, no bowed walls or cracked foundation or turning off the gas.
I have not felt any aftershocks.
We are about 200 miles away from the epicenter so that comes as no surprise.

As soon as it stopped I got a call from a friend who lives around the corner
frantic and panicked and out of sorts and firing rapid questions my way
she is from Florida, so is not prepared for earth movement:
" OMG what was that !
is there a Tsunami warning
where do we go if there is one
I don't like those
I am shaking
What should I do
what is the protocol
hubby is just sitting here like it is no big deal "

I tried REALLY hard to not laugh and assured her that what she just felt was a 
MELLOW experience for an earthquake and that she was safe
Normally you brace yourself in a doorway
DO NOT run outside
wait for the shaking to stop than go about your day.
If there was a Tsunami warning out cell phones would siren
and that street across from your house is taller that your house...
go up there if there is a warning.
stay away from windows and anything that could fall on you
BTW your house is a single story...
the safest kind
you are in the safest house for an earthquake...
you are safe and laugh it off.
(I think I said safe a million times to try and soothe her)

She thanked me and hung up
I checked on her two hours later and she said she was still shaking.
She takes her time processing things I guess...

I laughed a bit while making breakfast
it was alright...I could not do anything to prevent it
we were together and safe
it was over
just a normal California day as far as I was concerned.
 Happy Thursday!
I am going to make some 4th of July tacos now

a little laugh

Wednesday, June 26, 2019


So I am on "summer vacation" which looks like
 a week of not commuting and me trying REALLY HARD 
to focus on all the art things that have fallen to the wayside.
Updating websites and social media and professional sites.

I am also looking for new opportunities and waiting on word from other 
submitted competitions.
I am going to class as often as I can and trying to balance it with having "fun"

I am alone for this week, meaning The Barren has next week off for what we loving call
"music camp"- which is an event that happens annually for him. Where he takes a week off to just play music both intimately with a friend and perform open mic nights.
During that week, I rarely see him and so it is like having a roommate who leaves dirty socks and dishes behind but never seems to be here.
This year, he is taking a second week, so that should be stranger.

When I told him that I had this week off, he said he'd support me by making sure to bring home or make food so I didn't have to think about it.
work got super stressful for him and I am doing what I normally do
cleaning the cat box
paying bills
making my own meals and trying to work in the studio
last night we had a blow out because, he came home asking what I wanted for dinner and I told him after a day of reading submission requirements and making a newsletter my brain was blown...
this lead to an argument where neither of us wanted to Adult and make choices for food and so he made himself dinner and left to practice music
I made myself dinner and watched a movie alone and cried.

My yoga classes are good and I feel stronger...
but the owner of the studio is suffering from infertility and is being very open about it on social media and I think I am being a little triggered by it.
ok, maybe a lot triggered.
I feel so deeply for the struggle and the path that she is taking...
first surgery for endo and now they have several failed IUI cycles and declared today that next month they start IVF.
I wished her the best and am trying to not focus on it and just do my practice.
I have also found myself choosing to not attend her classes as I would only think about her struggle instead of my own journey.

I go my period a couple of weekends ago...
52days late.
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I had two train crash days where I was bleeding hard and heavy 
and then it was gone again.
I am thankful and now know what it might be like next time.
strange indeed

The day before my period I fainted before yoga class...
I got up before class started to pee, which I do a lot more than I'd like...but normal stuff
and I got light headed, also know how your vision is dimmed because your blood pressure is trying to regulate...well it just came at my wave after wave and the world started to tilt and I was thinking " what the hell is happening?!" and then I was awake. 
I have NEVER done that and I fell into the yoga mat storage

I came to fast and because that has never happened to me before 
I just went back into class and did class.
No one saw me faint, and aside from some gnarly bruises it has not happened again.
Although, I am taking precautions when getting up from the floor and in transitions.

So that is my summer so far....
oh and I delivered a HUGE project for a new hotel...
that had been in the making for over a year.
and it will knock down a lot of my credit card debt...
having an inconsistent income has some downfalls.
I can't imagine doing anything else...but it will be nice to have less personal debt
and maybe be able to start putting some money into my IRA again...
even if it is just $20 a month.

I think I'm gonna gather coins from the laundry and maybe buy myself an ice cream
it is summer after all!