Posts Tagged ‘HALT’

Be Gentle

October 25, 2015

To yourself.

He said to me on phone as I sobbed into the receiver.

The receiver.

Please.

As though my little phone has a mouth piece and an ear piece.

As though I am in a corner of the house in Windsor, the kitchen nook, on the old yellow rotary, oh yeah, that’s right, I had a rotary phone, out dated even for then, but completely functional, with a long curled cord that would get tangled up in itself.

“Have you eaten yet?” He asked, discerning the most important thing, “girl, you’re totally in HALT.”

Hungry.

Angry.

Lonely.

Tired.

I might add sad to that.

Halts.

But it doesn’t sound as good and crisp as HALT.

“Of course I have,” I said into the phone, “I know better than to call you without having first put some sustenance in myself.”

I had eaten the bowl of soup, Tom Kha from Thai House (Vietnamese coconut milk soup with thinly sliced onions, lemon grass, carrots, and chicken) with some brown rice, standing up in my kitchen trying to catch my breath and focus on what was in front of me.

Damn it man.

This is the second time I have done this to myself.

I am acutely aware of my part.

My feelings, though, they were hurt.

Hurt.

And so it goes.

I had my feelings hurt.

Things happen.

How do I recover?

How do I take care of myself?

Shakily spooning soup into my mouth like an idiot who had waited too long to eat, tears snaking down my face co-mingled with eye liner and snot.

Sexy.

I tell ya, I got sexy all locked up, don’t try to get anything by me.

I fell down this hole and I should have known better, in fact, I had an intuition to eat my dinner, call, text, and say you can’t wait until after school to eat.  But I got caught up in a conversation with a professor.

And.

Then I thought, no, just soldier through.

Gird your loins and get it.

It’s not so bad.

And.

The thing is.

It’s not too bad, my feelings, my tender heart, tender, but was I going to die?

No.

Did it feel like it?

Yes.

That is the nature of a panic attack.

Welcome to graduate school, land of panic attacks.

Someone in my cohort admitted to having had one yesterday, maybe they are in the air, catching, like a cough, a soul sickness, a salty sadness, bereft in the elevator shaft of my soul, the cars rumbling up and down, but only stopping mid-floor, caught up in the sinews and entanglements of my heart.

Second panic attack since I have been in graduate school.

Good times.

At least I know what to do, but it was hard to facilitate that where I was.

I closed my eyes and prayed.

I asked to have it lifted.

I slowed my breathing.

I got into my body.

It was hard.

My body was a bit depleted.

I am going to take a moment here, now, and breathe.

“Don’t tell someone who is in a panic to breath,” my professor said today during lecture, “why?”

“The client will feel judged,” I said.

I felt judged.

Scared.

Vulnerable.

Then abandoned.

On the doorstep.

The front gate.

The wrought iron rails dipped in safety orange paint.

I held a crumpled brown paper bag of take out soup in my hand.

My ride pulled away after declining to come in.

I was a mess.

I felt like I showed my most vulnerable self and was dropped like a sack of kittens outside of the car and as I sobbed inside, I shut the door to the car and walked away.

My feelings were hurt.

Yup.

Give it time, give it time, give it time.

“You have every right to feel like that,” he said to me sweet as pie in my ear, “girl, maybe what you have to do is just submerge yourself in your school weekends, nothing but that, stop trying to fit other things in when you are in school, a dinner date after class all day is too much.”

He paused, “and pack some more snacks.”

He was soft, but firm.

Then he told me about falling in a hole.

And climbing out.

And walking down the same street and saying, “oh, there’s that hole again, better skirt it,” but walking right into it again.

Pulling myself out again.

Then.

Going down the same street and saying, “oops, there’s that hole again, maybe I should give it more room, but still skirting too close to the edge, which crumbles and I fall in.”

I laughed, yes, I have done this.

Then.

“Then, one day you walk down the street and cross over to the other side,” he continued.

And.

“Finally, you just don’t turn down that street anymore.”

“Be gentle to yourself,” he admonished me again, “maybe go for a walk, get some fresh air, or do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself.”

“Now, I got to go and eat some food myself,” he said.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

We hung up.

I drank some tea.

I put Coleman Hawkins on the stereo.

I decided to pause on writing my blog and sent off some poems to a friend in my cohort who asked for a copy of the sonnets I recently wrote.

Then.

I realized I wanted a really, really, really hot shower.

So.

I did that too.

Washed the hair, shaved the legs, dried the hair, lotion, put on some yoga pants and a cozy sleep shirt.

I looked at my phone.

I couldn’t help it.

Then.

I knew it was all ok.

Because it always is.

When I focus on all the abundance I have.

When I know that emotions they come and go and I can write it out and let it go and pray and ask for direction, love, guidance.

So leave your things by the sea.

And when the thieves come in.

Just let them take what they need.

And wash it out.

Wash it out.

Wash it out.

Just wash it out.

I put on The Mynabirds and sang and breathed soft in my heart.

I am taken care of.

I am alright.

I am taken care of.

I am loved.

I love myself.

I forgive myself.

Regret doesn’t undo a single thing.

I hope you’re happy today.

If we could go back to the beginning.

We might not have had any wall between us.

I hope you’re happy at the end of the day.

I hope you’re happy today.

So very happy.

I hope you’re happy today.

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Fear Of The Apple People

April 12, 2015

Part Deux (The original Fear of the Apple People was one of my first blogs on this site about five and a half years ago–maybe I should call this a “reprise” instead).

The fear is not as bad as it used to be, once upon a time, but the fear is still there.

God forbid I look stupid.

I can’t call a help desk.

What if they find out I am an idiot?

What are they going to do, Martines, take away your laptop?

REALLY?

Fear of not knowing what I am doing will stop me in my tracks all the time.

Every time.

But, what I have learned, and I have learned so much since I first became a proud owner of my first, slightly used, refurbished MacBook, is that I may be stopped momentarily with fear, it does not get the best of me.

“Men of faith have courage.”

Courage is walking through fear.

It is not the lack of fear, I’m always going to have fear.

Fear is a part of the human experience, it just is.

However, I have a disease of perception and of over blown fears.

My fears are irrational and unconstituted in fact.

They are baseless, groundless, little mindless animals, voles, shrews, grommets.

I know, a grommet is not an animal.

However, doesn’t that sound like what a little fear animal is–small brown tatty fur, sharp little teeth, scrappy claws, yellowish beady eyes, nocturnal–a grommet.

“Sorry honey, I didn’t mean to snap at you, too many grommets attacking my brain today.”

I have had my new laptop for about a week and I am thrilled.

Thrilled.

The battery last like forever and the receptivity from the key board really does make it feel like I am thinking the words and they are just popping up on the screen.

Lovely.

It’s light, easily a quarter of the weight my old laptop is, that old brick.

But, for what ever reason.

Well, I suspect the not so hot internet connection I have in my little studio by the sea has something to do with it.

The migration of my files on the old laptop to the new MacBook Air took over 24 hours and when it finally happened, something glitchy happened.

The MacBook Air and the old laptop both tell me the same thing–that the files have transferred, but I can’t seem to locate them.

I would like to locate them.

All my music files.

10,000 plus photographs.

Who knew I was so prolific?

Well, you might.

Considering I have been writing this blog on a fair daily basis for the last five years and each blog is on average 1,000 words.

Prolific is not an issue for me.

It has taken me a week, however, to acknowledge that I can’t figure it out.

“Figure it out is not a slogan,” he would say to me brusquely on the phone, and depending on where I was I would burst into tears.

But I want to figure it out!

Damn it man.

God forbid, I repeat, that you find out that I don’t know what I am doing.

I have no clue what I am doing, in case you had any thoughts to the contrary.

I’m following the fault line down the mountain, the path of least resistance, to my heart, to my knees, to my soul.

“If you’re falling down the hill, you’re in God’s will,” she told me at a cafe in Paris, it might have been the Lizard Lounge in the Marais when she first imparted this wisdom upon me.

She then told me about how a snow ball rolling down the mountain takes the path of least resistance, equating it to, if it’s simple it’s the choice, if it’s convoluted and means double back tracking and going around that tree and uprooting that other one, and moving the snow fences, then maybe it’s not meant to be.

I try to figure it out all the time.

Then I remember.

I can’t.

I don’t need to.

And.

Yes.

I can ask for help.

So, I finally got my butt on the Apple site and booked a phone call help session for tomorrow a half hour before my first lady bug of the day flits her way to my doorstep for tea and singleness of purpose.

I can’t imagine it will take more than a half hour to resolve the situation.

If not fifteen minutes.

Probably only five.

That’s the thing.

I often will be given the solution in a nice tidy compact package, but I have to fret for a while.

It’s not as bad as it used to be and I count that as progress.

And bravery.

I am a brave person.

I showed up for a blind date today and I have another tomorrow.

I’m not thrilled to be doing this.

“Geez you sound so excited,” she giggled at me last night when I described going on a date in Golden Gate Park for a picnic on the lawn somewhere.

Yeah.

Not excited.

Not because I didn’t have some rapport with the man, I obviously wouldn’t have accepted the date if there was nothing to talk about.

Which there was nothing to talk about with another guy that tried to contact me today.

Dude.

Did you even read the profile?

And please, I can’t promise I won’t break your heart, no one is responsible for breaking your heart, you break your own heart, so don’t even bother to ask me that.

There are no victims, only volunteers.

I did not volunteer myself to go on a date with said man.

Let some other woman break his heart, I’m too busy breaking my own.

“I’m so over internet dating I told my friend,” my date was running late and I was hungry and boohoo’ing in my coffee.

“Honey, have a snack, I’m sure there’s good reason and he’s making an effort and a MUNI is MUNI, and don’t delete your profile until after you have eaten,” she admonished me.

Yup.

So I’ll be off to try another tomorrow.

Coffee at Java Beach and a walk on said beach, Ocean Beach, with his dog.

I can be afraid of not being enough.

Pretty enough.

Young enough.

Smart enough.

Blah, blah, blah.

Or I can walk through these silly fears too and keep on going.

Every time I take a little leap forward the fear is dispelled a tiny bit and the faith grows larger and larger.

One day this will all be laughable and I won’t worry about calling the help desk and asking them to fax me over a ream of paper and I’ll be ok with looking silly and I’ll keep wearing flowers in my hair and glitter on my face, turning it toward the sun, the blue skies, and the birds flying over head in the park.

“Look, there,” I stopped him, the picnic in the park date, and the story he was telling, “red tail hawk.”

I watched it silently as it circled lazy on the wind and sun, the music of a guitar drifting from the bandshell by the DeYoung, a little boy on roller skates tumble bumbling by, the grass green under my bare feet, I breathed in and closed my eyes to the sun, soaking it up and relishing being exactly who I am in the exact place I am supposed to be.

I think that’s called acceptance.

Face it.

I live in San Francisco.

By the beach.

With a MacBook Air under my fingers, Cat Stevens on my stereo, and nice food in my fridge.

I have nothing to fear.

But yes.

Fear itself.

And even I know that there really is nothing behind that too.

Just another opportunity to grow.

Graceful.

Beautiful.

Loved.

Are You Riding Around On It?

June 27, 2014

Uh.

No.

He apologized a few minutes later and explained he had not noticed my walking boot.

Of course I wasn’t riding around on it.

I won’t be for a while yet either.

He was not the only person who did not notice the walking boot.

The great thing about walking with crutches is that people see the crutches, especially my bling bling gold get around sticks.

Which are just used exclusively to get me up and to the bathroom now in the morning before I put on the walking boot.  Or in the evening when I have retired the boot for the day.

I have graduated from the crutches to solo walking in the boot.

And it actually looks like I am walking now.

Not so much the wobble, hobble, roll.

I just walk very slowly.

And folks are in their own bubble, just like I am, not paying attention, having my own agenda, doing my own thing, get out of my way please.

Oh.

Wait.

Ah.

I see it now.

I probably run over just as many people on my bicycle, in my job, walking about, as do people me.

I am self-involved.

Just another quiet kick in the pants bit of perspective I had today while taking public transport after my appointment at Kaiser Geary this afternoon.

Transit that took so long.

Not necessarily because it takes MUNI a long time, sometimes MUNI is pretty fast and reliable, no, it was user failure, I suppose you could say, not system failure.

I have the MUNI app on my phone, so I know when the next bus is coming and where to get off and where to transfer.

Except that app doesn’t tell me how much time I need to add in to compensate for how slowly I perambulate.

I missed two connections because I was not moving fast enough.

I also swore a bit more than usual after missing the second bus and realizing that I had fifteen minutes until I was to get picked up by the next bus coming down the line.

I could get mad.

Or I could realize I was in HALT.

Hungry.

Yup, doctors appointment navigation led to me not having lunch before hand, it was too late, but by the time I was done at Kaiser, it was way past my lunch time.

Angry.

Gods yes.

Did I not just write that I missed not one, but two buses.

The first one I missed was the Geary 38 and unfortunately for me the bus stop was under construction so there was nowhere to sit and rest my foot for the fifteen minutes it was going to be for the next bus to poke along.

I was only going up the hill to Masonic, but that walk would have laid me flat in the boot.  Too much hill.

Lonely.

Not so much.

Thankfully, I had met with a wonderful lady before my appointment and we had tea and talked all things humility, love, tolerance, patience, and service.

Proper way to get my day started.

Plus she gave me a lift to the appointment.

I couldn’t be upset about that.

I think I might have lost my marbles if I had to take MUNI in and then out from Kaiser.

Tired.

I wasn’t.

Then I was.

I was tired of standing.

The 38 Geary finally arrived.

I got on.

Gaggle of teenagers oblivious to their surroundings all up in the handicap and elderly seating.

I actually did it.

I leaned in and asked a fifteen year old girl to move.

I was nice about it, but firm.

She hopped right up.

Then I got glared at by passengers getting on the bus when some elderly got on.

I thought, well, I don’t need to explain my situation or my condition, and what you think of me is none of my business, but fuck off you know.

Again, I am self-involved, my agenda the only agenda out there.

After the brief and tortuous ride up to Masonic I transferred off the 38 and crossed the street, oh so slowly, to the other side, I decided to pop into Target before I transferred to the 43 headed toward the Inner Sunset where I had a commitment to get to by 6:30 p.m.

I knew how much time I had.

That app thing.

And I only had a few things to pick up at Target, which is not a place I normally choose to shop at, but I was there, I had twenty minutes, and I needed a couple of travel size toiletries for my imminent trip to the land of Cheese Curds.

Wisconsin.

I got the few little things I needed and got stuck at a register that was malfunctioning.

By the time I exited the store, yes, you guessed correct.

There was the 43 pulling across the intersection at the stop I had to be at to catch it.

Damn it man.

I was not about to run across the intersection.

I wobbled across.

I had a moment of thinking I would make it.

I saw that the bus was still sitting with its flashers blinking.

“Hold the bus.”

Nope.

Women turned, looked at me, stepped up, doors closed, bus departed.

Motherfucker.

I sat.

At least this stop had benches.

Next bus?

Fifteen minutes.

ARGH.

I was very much in HALT.

However, I was also taken care of.

I had grabbed a bottle of water at the store and drank it.

Sometimes I think there should be another “T” at the end of the acronym–hungry, angry, lonely, tired, thirsty.

I felt better.

Then a friend called me back.

We chatted until the next bus came.

Gone was the lonely.

I got to where I needed to go.

I got some food in me.

I got some humility.

And I got a ride home afterward.

Lovely.

And now, I am cozied up, with Karl the Fog doing his romantic it’s summer in San Francisco routine, in my studio.

I am grateful today for the experience if only from the standpoint that when I get back on my feet, whether it’s walking or riding my bicycle, or yes, eventually, my scooter, that I will have this to look back to and know how amazing it is to be mobile.

I have a depth of appreciation for this beautiful body I have been given to walk around in.

And a deep gratitude.

Now the only thing I need to do is continue to be gentle and nurturing to it.

To not listen to myself when I get into HALT.

To do the best I can to avoid it.

To love myself all the way to full recovery.

Kindness.

Tolerance.

Patience.

Love.

Check.

Check.

Check.

Double check.

Pain, The Touchstone

November 8, 2013

Of all spiritual growth.

Well, what do you know.

I have been in pain.

A lot.

My right shoulder is tweaked.

And I can’t stand it any more.

It is so bad, I am having a hard time typing this blog.

It is bad enough that I don’t want to write my morning pages.

I have been keeping it mum to myself, but I need to get some work done.

I suspect I am this close to doing it some serious damage.

This has not been helped by the busiest nanny week I have had in months.

I started the week full on with a twelve-hour shift and have worked nine to ten-hour days every day, with two charges every day, and will end the week with another twelve-hour shift.

The good news?

My bank account won’t be short funds.

The bad news?

My body is trashed.

It hurts to ride my bike.

I mean, I can do it, but it’s not going the fuck away and I can’t stands it no more.

Normally I would try to muscle my way through this, but after the week I have had, the emotional roller coaster I have been on, mostly my own fault, and I can see that, I certainly did enough writing and inventory around it, I am just not prepared to go another couple of days waiting for it to get better on its own.

So I am going to get some body work done.

I don’t go get massage very often.

The last time, well, it’s been awhile.

There’s that.

Then there’s the crying on my bicycle to work as I was suiting up to do another full day with the kids and thinking, always the thinking that leads to the tears, now isn’t it? I was thinking about what a friend said to me about what I am making as a nanny and what I could be making and what people are charging on Task Rabbit, etc.

I just got off craigslist and saw an ad for a nanny share full-time $24 an hour, with full benefits.

I wanted to start crying again.

I am not going to apply to the position, though I thought about it for a minute.

The location is SOMA.

The hours?

8a.m.-6p.m.

Monday through Friday.

The money would be great and I more than matched every qualification they were looking for and then some.

But I don’t want to bicycle commute from Ocean beach to the SOMA.

Not to get to work at 8a.m.

Oof.

That’s all I would do.

I know it.

Back and forth to work.

Exhausted, do my daily writing, do my daily get my head straight, and live for the weekend and be too tired to do much else.

But the money.

Fuck.

To not be juggling the three families right now, to just have secured full-time work, benefits.

I am grateful to be working, I remember how tight it was in Paris, how I was just getting by on the barest of the bare, but it really hit home today, in a painful way, how much I am working and how little I am getting.

I don’t get over time if I work longer.

And despite not always having one child for the full length of the day, when I start early for one family and stay late for the other, I am working a day with overtime in it.

I am also juggling three different baby nap times.

None of which currently sync up.

I had no real break away from the babies today; or for any day this week, as it turns out.

I did sit quietly, letting the toddlers play kitchen and chase and destroy, sipping some tea in the sunshine.

What could be nicer?

Not having my back feel like this.

Fuck.

This is hard.

I am sure it is something small, but it is throwing everything off.

Bad.

It all just smacked me as I rode my bicycle up Lincoln avenue this morning.

And shall I forget about HALT?

Hungry.

Mmm, yeah a little, pickings in my pantry not so full, not empty, but I am tired of three bean soup, let me tell you, even though it is quite tasty.

Angry?

Not too bad, but it is there, a sort of low simmering boil.

Who am I angry at?

Why, me, of course!

Shouldn’t I have figured this out yet?

Maybe it’s time to get a government job, I did go on the SF City and County website and look over the employment opportunities, but nothing really caught my eye.

Go get a temp job.

Go get any job.

Lonely?

Yup.

Thank God I got out last night and saw friends and went to see Mike Doughty, that saved my ass, such goodness.

Tired?

Uh, yeah, see above, out past my bedtime on a school night.

This equals me knowing that my rationale is not rational.

I don’t have clear perspective.

I have a sore shoulder and I am tired.

I am not eating the way I care too, although that will go back to normal tomorrow.

I don’t care for the discomfort of just getting by.

Living hand to mouth is an old habit.

An old idea.

One that I seem to get stuck in again and again and again.

There is lots to work on here.

“Aren’t you glad that you were given all this to work on,” she said to me in a cheery voice, “keeps you coming back and working the solution.”

Argh.

Lady.

Except, I know she’s right and I know enough as well that I would rather be happy then right.

This leaves me with getting, let me write that again, getting to work on these things and be, yuck, but yes, you heard it here first, grateful, that I have come to a point of such pain in my life that I am willing to do some more work and find the solution.

Which I know is not necessarily a new job or a new set of families, it is a new way of looking at what I have and what I can give and who I can help.

I also am more than well aware that unless I help and take care of myself, I can’t help anyone else out.

Massage this weekend.

Some writing and soul-searching about what would work better for employment and how to best take care of my finances.

Asking for help.

I don’t know how to live this life, I just know that I want to.

In a wonderful, desperate, mad way, I want to live this life.

There is so much yet for me to do.

I just got to get this shoulder taken care of so I can go do it.


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