Thursday, October 24, 2019


Body Maintenance
I finished all my yearly doctors appointments last week!
then finished the week with my period
Just in time for national period day.
(here in the US)

I am unconsciously themed it seems.

I get white-coat and so I try and make all my appointments at once to sort of
  "pull the band aid off in one fell swoop" 
It kind of works...I am a basket case for the times I have appointments and usually fall into a nap afterwards because it stresses me out so much. 
Eyes and teeth were in September.
Last week was the physical/pap, mammogram, pelvic ultrasound, breast ultrasound, 
flu shot and blood-work.
I found the doctors scale is 7 pounds heavier than the scale at home and so she told me to loose 5 pounds. She tells me every-time to loose five pounds.
"Keep up my healthy lifestyle choices and check in again."

Hormones tested for menopause and they came back normal as well, no signs of the change yet.
All in all good news and all reports point to a healthy body.

My loss anniversary is next week and I have found myself in a mood...
staring a lot, melancholy and simply kind of lost in thought and feelings.
I lack motivation, and drive.
I spend the days that should be productive days in the studio staring and napping.
I try to fill my days with activities; planning grand ideas of what I could do in the course of the day, but instead end up eating ramen and watching movies.
When I am in yoga class I think of all the things I should be doing in the studio and then when I am in the studio I think I should be in yoga class.
In reality I stare at the papers from past entries and print out other opportunities that I end up not submitting to.
Some BIG stuff happened recently,
I got a cover of a magazine
I got into an international art guild
I am having my artwork installed in a new hotel

All really good things...but I still seem blue and unfulfilled.
I am trying to figure that out.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Duck and Cover

Hiding from the world

I work with a sibling, we've worked together for decades...
either at a family business or an outside business run by someone else.
Regardless, we are still siblings and so that dynamic is still very much in play.

Yesterday was a tough one....
we fall on different sides of the spectrum on many issues and we are both strong willed so conversations can get heated but always civil.
Yesterday they arrived and put their soap box down and stepped on about a half an hour after arriving. 
The difference is that I recently have been listening and not commenting back-

firearms was the first topic
then meat
then critiques about how I respond to situations.

When tensions are highest, is when the business is under stress from deadlines 
and family responsibilities outside the office.
Yesterday, I knew was going to be tough because we are understaffed and there are A LOT of orders I usually brush it all off and most things don't stick.
yesterday was an entire 8 hour shift of things being flung at me.
Our parents visited during that time and even commented that the day seemed to be lobbing a lot at me verbally.
I smiled and did not engage still.

When it was time to go, I was TOTALLY spent from holding up my mask of calm.
I got into the car and drove the hour home in silence.
I came home and feed the cat and fell into bed (fully clothed) and burrowed myself under a blanket despite the 80 degree F weather.
I fell into a daze for an hour...mentally housecleaning.
letting things out...letting things go...pulling words and situations off and out of my skin.
I ate a comfort meal of miso and ramen noodles and went to bed.

This morning I was awakened by the cat throwing up 
(most animal companion caretakers can shoot out of bed from a deep sleep to these sounds) 
I decided that today I was going to skip yoga class and simply be kind to me.

My take away was how it made me feel.
I need to tell them that their words hurt me.
That those same words spoken at home would hurt
I adore my sibling...and often we are a great team 
but yesterday was wicked

Today my state (the whole damn state) is on power shutoff notice....
Autumn has arrived.
the poison oak is in bloom and the wind and fire watch is at extreme.
and apparently tempers as well.

If you have gotten this far...
thanks for listening to me
I think you are amazing and kind and good 

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...