Thursday, October 15, 2020

A collection of shit

***below contains sarcasm, frustration and doctors and shit*** 

So things are cruising along...

We have all voted early and continue to do it, at least it seems like that...and we all want the white supremist racist baboon out of office and he needs to drag all his misogynist friends with him like toilet paper stuck to his shoe.


It is tense here. In fact I chose to get my annual exam before the election as I mentioned to my doctor I was afraid of what may lay ahead until we can get this asshole out of office/power. (like the early fear and an influx of IUDs when he took office)

She mentioned that she read that dentists have been reporting an increase in chipped or cracked teeth in the last year!

I have been wearing my bite plate at night since 2016 election night created a chipped tooth

We are a mess! and fighting the good fights but night time dreams, continued quarantining and additional stress from working at home is taking a toll.

Our cat had, what we assume was, a stroke the night before last, he lost all ability to control his right side legs and mobility and we thought that was it. He laid down on his pillow on the floor, we sat with him talking, petting and saying goodbyes as his breathing was slower and more erratic. Then, he slowly recovered the use of his body...when he stood on his own two and a half hours later....we realized we have a serious badass cat, who just reset his body for the 6th time...when he got up and ate, I looked at The Barren and asked " so is all my hair white now?"  He continues to be stronger and aside from slowing his roll a little more, he is mobile and self driven. I am thankful and still in shock, in fact I think we all are still quite.

So as I mentioned, I went to get my annual check up at the doctor. At 50 you get two new features of the check over: a rectal exam and an order for a colonoscopy. Two gifts I struggled to have enthusiasm about. I was unfazed about the exam, I am a little nervous about the procedure, although almost everyone I know has had it done.

I also got the results from my mammogram I had two days ago and it seems that is a 5mm "subtle nodule" that needs to be looked at more closely.  That has me more anxious, and I am trying to play it all calm in front of The Barren who is clearly quite unsettled by it. I have my super uber ultrasound on Monday (which I pay for because insurance won't) and between that and the extra mammogram and ultrasounds the mammogram place wants to do I hope to have a better sense of what it might be and if a needle biopsy is needed. 

(I am trying really hard to not freak, as a friend had a small change like this on a yearly mammogram and she ended up with a double mastectomy ) 

2020: Like I needed to have another concern or terror this year! 

Oh but according to the scale at the doctors office I was down 14pounds and not a single word about that, except "your BMI is good." So that felt anti-climactic from the doctor that kept telling me to lose 5 more pounds!

Most of my concerns about weird skin textures, and stiffness was attributed to perimenopause and that I will have a unique experience as my mother had a hysterectomy and so I am free floating in that pond of unknown information.

I had blood taken and left and got lunch. It was 100* and I ordered a hot chai, because I just made it through yet another exam.

So how are you all doing? Still locked up like us here in the US? Please share holiday plans, as we will be socially distancing for those too...

On the good news front, hubby's wish came true and we have crows that come to our patio daily and eat peanuts we leave for them. This makes him happy and smile and that makes me feel like there is something really bright and wonderful too look forward to every day! 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Self care and reflection

 


So after a primal scream, deep scary toxic rage , a good long cry, and staying up to 3am to sit and process my feelings...I feel like I am on the other side of my grief from the loss of RBG. 

I am planning and acting.

I am slow on the uptake. Proof being that, today... I decided that I do not need to make political statements in every piece of art I make from here on out. I have nothing to prove to anyone. My actions are my own and I do not have to announce/make public what I do and contribute to make my actions more valid.

I think my shutting down my facebook has highlighted this for me....I spent several hours over a couple of days, manually deleting my history and photos and tags. My page is stripped down to simply my name and I have spent the last two days just taking down information from the things I still want to keep on my radar. Like art groups. My final post was about the loss of RBG and how if you are a woman or know a woman you need to vote and remove the assaulting racist xenophobe and his minions out of office.

I feel set afloat, and quite untethered.

Most recently, like so so many others, I am struggling with feeling overwhelmed and overtaxed emotionally and so in an act of self-care I am focusing my energies on what I hold closest in my heart and plan my actions accordingly.

I enjoy spending time giving, so I am continuing to do that.

I have stepped outside my comfort zone a few times now and it makes me feel better.

Still being sheltered, is getting harder and harder and I was listening to this neurologist on the radio and understood more about a quarantine brain. We need new experiences to allow us to form memories, being in the same place for days on end doesn't allow us to form new memories so it is important to do things that are out of norm; brush your teeth with you less dominate hand, approach a know act from a different direction. If you are driving this could simply mean taking new routes home. 

This adulting thing is becoming a super sucker of fun.

I made an appointment to have my yearly exam with my doctor, I wanted to make sure I would not miss a breast exam or a pap...as this might be harder to come by as we approach November. I have broken my appointments up into several days, to see if that helps reduce my white coat. 

Although...since making the annual appointment I have thought more about my weight than I have all year, and that is a direct reflection on my fear of hearing my doctor tell me I need to loose 5 more pounds to fit on her BMI chart. So maybe it is just my fear of disappointing her, how fucked is that!

I am constantly checking off a list of things in my mind, did I eat this than make sure to do that, make sure you are drinking enough water, not too much caffeine, take your vitamins, YOU FORGOT to take your vitamins, if you mix this with that it is wrong, you are wrong...you messed it up...she is going to tell you how wrong you did this or that...you need to still do this or that...

Anyone see "The Good Place" the above is quite similar to a rant on the show...I  actually got tearful when I realized it.

My dentist can wait - I don't need any guilt from them either.

Has anyone else felt this way about their doctors, post infertility treatments/care? It feels like I want all the other parts of me running without notice (perfectly) so that the drama or the fear of a doctor is abated....I must be nuts...doctors are there to fix, maybe they will always find something wrong regardless of the patients input of efforts?!


I know this entry is mixed up and upside down...so is everything else in this world!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Molehill

 

I tried something new last week.
I did my meditation practice in the park, 
with my teacher and other students, 
at a social distance+, 
while wearing a mask the whole time.
It was a nice change, and something I am going to try and do again this week.

I watched the sun come up
I sat on my mat while bits of green pine cone rained down on me
from the tree and the squirrels eating above.
It was a lovely change.

After class a student that is always in virtual class came up to me and we chatted for a little while.
I was awkward from isolation
spoke in fits and starts
but it was nice to meet someone new!

This same day, we had a mandatory 4 hour power outage at home.
It was planned and I had gotten ice for our perishables.
(this is the foreshadowing part)
The power ended up only being out for a little over an hour...
but...The Barren had taken the day off.
We spent the day fighting the current heatwave.
We don't have AC, and so the fans were on and we were laying (literally) low.
Later that day, I realized
I forgot the ice in the coolers and it leaked all over the  living room floor.

As the week went on, our fridge seemed warmer than normal,
but I simply figured the heat wave made me want everything cold cold...
so I turned the temp down further.

By Thursday, The Barrens' stress level from work was through the roof-
I was giving him personal space and quiet.
except for when we called to wish 
Our niece happy 7th birthday wishes. 

 This same day, my state had registered over 500 individual active fires.
Many started by lightning, and with our decade long drought it was easy to ignite.
The smoke is starting to bellow all over the state and so we close all the windows and doors, 
so as to not get sick from the air.
Then...
My father called with an update from his recheck with his neurologist 
and was this time diagnosed with 
and had stopped his prescribed steroids (for a "viral infection" in his brain)
 and was prescribed an anti-seizure med 
(ironically the same med my cat is on)
He gave me bits and pieces about the visit, peppering in his "toxic positivity" over it all.
When I asked a few questions about the visit, my mother was handed the phone and 
I could hear her voice shake as she mentioned her fear
from witnessing memory loss and balance issues she was seeing in my father.
I did my best to let her know I heard her, and that I thought it was a really good idea to mention these things to my fathers primary doctor. Fear of addressing them was not going to do any good.
I phoned my brother and told him we need to sit down and have a super sucky conversation about our parents and where our lines of involvement are.
I felt like the big sister again, and I could hear in his voice my little brother.
It was terrible.

Meanwhile the old man cat, is miserable from the heat and is lying around looking dead.
Like, have to check he is breathing, looking dead!

Then we had two small earthquakes 
and when I got up to get myself a glass of water.
I realized nothing was cold in the fridge but everything was still frozen in the freezer.

I started to spin., and the room was getting dark.
(I had gone shopping on Sunday before the outage and the new food was bad or going bad)
At this point, 
I was just able to vocalize to the stressed out Barren, before I shut down, that I was:
" really really stressed"

I don't think I spoke the rest of the day.
I sat and watched TV and went to bed to stare at the mountain of laundry 
that had formed in the corner of our bedroom.

Yesterday night, we went and bought a new fridge.
We should get it sometime in the next week, ideally.
Turns out everyone is sold out of fridges and with the heatwave and rolling blackouts
and fires and earthquakes and a virus that is still killing thousands...
things are a little backed up.

So how is your week going?

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Stupid & Contagious


***Below I ramble, mostly because it felt like a conversation with someone other than myself, 
in my head. I talk about race, isolation and frustration***

I am thankful that we are all healthy and bored, let's just start there.

I visited my parents home two weeks ago to deliver food and sit in the back yard with them.
mom working the "invisible man" vibe
I walked through a side outside gate, and met them in their backyard.
It is still very foreign to still not hug them or touch them.
They gave me my birthday present from April.
We sat, made small that and then had heated discussions about race and climate and how things are never going to be like they remember them again.
We talked about the grief that surrounds that and how they are or are not dealing with it.

My father nibbled on the cookies I brought, as he rolled his eyes at me, and told me how he wanted me to act. Make no ripples, stay below the radar.
My car and the sign that made him "freak out"

My car was the reason for most of his outbursts, and me telling them that a Hell's Angel pulled up next to me and gave me a side eye at a traffic light.
Later that same day, a group of those same "angels" drove into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators narrowly avoiding children that were in attendance.

I have another sign in the other back window that says: "No Justice/ No Peace"
I have left them in my windows since our parade attendance for the local BLM rally.

I was able to calm him down and simply say, we both want to be good people, doing what is right.
I can not be silent when so so so so much is wrong.
I would not be able to sit with myself by being silent.
These are the kind of conversations that are happening all over now.

The state I love in and the country I reside in is upside down.
We are " stupid and contagious" (to quote Kurt Cobain)
We had another 550+ cases over the weekend, just in my county!
I have made and given out over 200 masks personally...
I don't know what else to do?!

I spend my days trying to make art, when I am not sewing masks.
I do all the house work and run all the errands, as The Barren* has become more and more concerned about leaving the house for ANYTHING.
I do yoga daily virtually and often times the teacher, 
and anyone who has their camera turned on for class, 
are the only other people I see that day.
I am terribly lonely, even with another person in the house. 
(whom I love and I am thankful we are together though this...but we are both becoming more and more fragile from the isolation)

I have been staying away from the news, as every time I dip my toe into that swamp, it is far more infested with the most horrible things, that I can't really comprehend what has happened.
People talk less to each other when out at the shops.
Neighbors talk less to each other.
The beaches are crowded, the streets are full of tourists.
We are doomed to be in this home forever at this rate.
As a rule follower, I am saddened by nobody else doing the work.

I wake up each day, with a bright disposition, hopeful that I will make something lovely or moving.
Hopeful that there will be different news from this current world.
It is harder and takes serious focus to carry myself through the sludge of energy pulling me away from that brightness and hope.

My bestie and I had a facetime call the other day, we both were feeling very heavy in the heart.
it helped to see each others face, and talk real talk and admit that we are both feeling all the feels!
An old boyfriend reached out to me the other day too, 
just to see how I was, it made me feel so very loved.
It sparked a long chain of emails reflecting on the things we miss, and how it sucks.


** The Barren is currently enrolled in a songwriting class and is finding great joy from that. His mood is vastly improved when he finishes each class. He has been writing and I now find him researching music theory and deep in word thought.



Thursday, June 18, 2020

fighting against it all

We attended a Black Lives Matter rally two weekends ago.
We paraded around (in the car) the protesters with hand-painted signs of support.
(this was our social distancing version of protesting)
I am reading new books and learning how to be a better anti-racist.
but there are people that didn't support the cause...
one of our favorite Vietnamese take out places put a Black Lives Matter sign in their storefront window and some customers asked him to take it down that it made them uncomfortable.
He refused...and thankfully he mentioned it on his social media page
and received a load of support!
PEOPLE!! Seriously!
I am feeling the water creeping closer to my head in this fight...

I was reading what other countries are reading and understanding about the US.
and I was not surprised.
We are a train-wreck and then this happened...


This is why Americans are still dying and contracting the virus.
This is an example of people I live near.

I fight everyday to think the best of people, believe that most people are good.
I do hold that as my starting point.
This is why it is questioned every day and why I am terrified to go get groceries.
Thankfully the city council voted to mandate masks 
for all indoor businesses, and government offices, it was a close vote though!!
4-3 for masks
My town is on a watch list now, as we have had a spike in cases.
over 100 new cases over the weekend and an increase in hospitalized cases.

This is how the US is dealing with the virus.
we have a peeing section in our pool.


If you are outside the US, know that there are millions marching against this.
We have more registered voters than ever before.
Most of us DO NOT WANT this reality.
MANY of us believe in equality and justice.
We want a change to the establishment.
WE ARE FIGHTING.
if you are an american and live abroad
PLEASE VOTE!!

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Twisted


I have been keeping up with my home yoga practice.
Many days it is like pulling myself through taffy, other days it is total joy.

This practice is healthy for me, as things are upside down in my country.

I am ashamed, angry, heartbroken and yet still hopeful.

I have begun a re-education of myself and some days it feels as though 
I am studying for a huge exam. 
I am learning to understand where and how my white privilege has benefited me.
I am understanding how many of my brothers and sisters have been denied opportunities and treated differently because of the color of their skin.
I am not talking about simple understanding; I am trying to understand the depth that white supremacy has taken a hold and been a part of culture here in the US.
The scary stuff, the hard stuff....the deep understanding of what I don't see and why.

Example one:
I am a hippy kid, a child that was raised in a multicultural neighborhood.
I had friends from all backgrounds and my mother made a point that we 
be "color blind".
I realize that was a mistake now, that by not seeing the beautiful color of my friends, 
I overlooked/ did not acknowledge, the beauty of their skin and missed out on their cultures.

I am looking into my fears and prejudices and trying to understand where they come from and if they are from trauma or outside influences.
It is hard work, but I know the hard work needs to be done to make big changes.
For myself, my relationships and our future.

I was exhausted and was watching Former President Obama speak in a town hall. When he came on the screen, I felt my whole body relax....like the safety of a familiar friend had arrived.
Then, I listened to Dr. Bernice A. King speak and say:
" don't be afraid to make mistakes"
I am feeling the responsibility of the world,
a frantic need to understand everything from everything all at once...
these words made me feel a little better.

In my readings I have discovered so many beautiful wonderful non-profits.
Amazing artists, beautiful poets and writers.
Activists and support systems.
It has been a supreme enlightening, like turning a page in a story and discovering so many new treasures just around the corner.
Even on my meager income, I am thrilled to become a donor to a number of groups.

We are attending a peaceful protest rally tomorrow.
I am looking forward to it.
Masks, glasses and social distancing in place.

We are starting with "parading" which is driving around the protesters with signs of support..
then if it appears safe for us to join the crowd*...we will.

*There are new cases and deaths from the virus every day in my town. Two weeks ago my city was one of the first in our state to open up patio dining, beaches and parks... and so floods of people from larger cities descended into our little beach town....ignoring many precautions.

I am working on so many things right now mentally.
I am trying to be an artist and create things,
but have found that the pressure for an artistic response about:
 the virus 
the Black Lives Movement
the isolation
the loneliness
has made creating impossible for me.
During meditation the other day I came to understand that...
I don't think I have processed it all or enough yet to create a response yet.
I am recalling Elizabeth Gilbert's Ted Talk about the "Elusive Creative Genius"
and taking heart in it.


So I am starting back at square one and beginning my walk again.
What is important to me
What brings me joy
what do I love to do?!
I am ready to twist myself into whatever shape I am suppose to be.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Alone with my rants

I think the isolation in starting to get to me.
I am sleepy a lot and not really feeling creative.
I have taken to making more masks. 
I had to stop last month because I made my neck spasm from looking down 
at the sewing machine and ironing board.
© The-Barreness.blogspot.com

When I finally stopped I had made close to 90 masks for family and friends.
This time I am breaking up the parts and so far it has protected my neck.
I am up to about 25
I am hoping to sell some...my other job is non-existent even after installing a remote desktop to try and capture anything that might fall through the cracks.

***
Silly rant to follow
***
I am cleaning/tidying up a lot too.
It seems to have totally fallen onto my shoulders.
I cook 90% of the meals, clean, do laundry and the shopping.
I think it is starting to become too much,
I test the waters every once in a while to see what would happen if I didn't stop in the studio and dinner time arrives...it arrives and then I am asked what I was thinking of making...and then I end up stopping and making and cleaning up dinner.
The Barren has taken to baking bread regularly and often I end up cleaning up after that too.
After dinner my dishes are collected and then I find them stacked on the counter, left for cleaning.
I clean them as I find a full sink in the morning massively distracting...
so I am trying to perform an act of kindness for myself.
I am not going to complain about it as I figure it would only leave to an argument and I don't want that energy in the house.
OK rant over...a rant about silly things!
***
-Second rant-
I went to pick up online orders for groceries yesterday. It was a warm day, and I was SHOCKED by how crowded the beach was, the streets were filled with people.
I mean I guess as Americans, just like all the memes I've seen:
we got tired of the virus, so it simply does not exists anymore.
As a rule follower, I am short circuited, by this.
I see new cases every day in my county, and there was a rise two weeks after Easter, and now I expect there to be another two weeks from now.
People have died locally, and still so so so so many people ignore the request to wear a mask.
It is still "suggested" that you wear one.
***
Onto Uterus news:
I made some gifts for two baby showers that are coming up.
I made them and then made sure to get them out of the house ASAP
I didn't mind making the burp cloths and printed onesies, 
but my gosh, I could not have them stay here.
Virtual baby showers!
I mean is this a new hell...??!!
I normally do not go to showers...that is my no-go line in the sand, but
The Barren RSVP'd that we would attend a virtual one...so I am going to a baby shower.
OMFG

I am thankful that it is just us in the home.
We have a small place and the idea that a kiddo would be here too pacing and trying to do school and be occupied is a scenario I can not imagine.
So in that regard, yeah for being Barren.

Also my period is 26 days late so far...
Aside from a pandemic, it appears that I have officially kicked open the peri-menopausal door
Struggles of Having 3 Young Kids | POPSUGAR Family

I feel a little shaky mentally
I am taking everything slowly...and methodically 
I guess I am grieving the loss of what was, and realizing that it will be a long time before I can go to art shows, or galleries or museums.
It will be a long time before things seem like a new normal.
Maybe it will never be a new normal.
I am just kind of lost for an anchor of okay.

My yoga studio is moving to streaming classes next week...
that might be closer to like being social kind of...
it all feels off.

I do hope you are all feeling less lost and shaky.