Posts Tagged ‘it takes a village’

Panic At The Disco!

September 27, 2015

I mean the SafeWay.

I mean the MUNI.

I mean in the garage.

I mean.

Ugh.

I woke up much later than I had planned, I obviously needed the rest, I remind myself instead of flagellating myself, which is sometimes so much easier to do–beat myself up.

I woke up from a weird dream.

I woke up to the phone ringing and the feeling that I had too much to do and nowhere near enough time.

One foot in front of the other.

Just do one thing at a time.

Breathing, always helpful, do that.

Breathe in again.

I forget sometimes that I have actual clinical anxiety and clinical depression and it sneaks in there sometimes, I have had times when I was on medication for it, but it’s been years since I have and I forget that I can get to that place of anxiety if I am over stressed.

I mean.

I don’t have reason to be stressed.

Please.

Graduate school group projects.

Panic.

Work.

Just asked for a raise.

Just took out 20,500 in student loans.

No biggie.

Living in one of the most expensive cities in the United States, if not the world.

Stress?

What stress?

Bwhahahahaha.

So.

I did what I do.

The next thing in front of me.

Make your bed.

I mean, yeah, I break it down that damn simple.

Make the bed, kneel and pray, read some stuff, say some stuff, go brush your teeth and wash your face, put some clothes on, put the hair in pigtails, stick a flower in that shit, make coffee, make oatmeal with fruit in it–yay! Persimmons are back in season! Sit down, check e-mails, eat breakfast, drink coffee, try to not freak out about already being an hour behind on the day, look about my lovely home, purposely ignore stacks and stacks of readers, books, notebooks, all the effluvia of the student life, and focus on the beauty of your home, eat your oatmeal.

Write.

Write it all out, put the neurosis down, put down the plans for the day, laugh out loud at the idiocy of my schedule, get panicked, but not acknowledge it quite yet, write some more, make second cup of coffee, decided to go do the deal, because really, that’s what has to be addressed, and go out the door and into the world.

Wait for MUNI.

Wonder why I didn’t take my bike.

But then immediately have gratitude that I didn’t, because I did stash my Human Development reader in my bag and I was too overwrought with the feels to actually have paid good attention to the traffic.

Besides the car traffic in the Inner Sunset on Saturday afternoon is idiotic.

I don’t need to die today.

I got on the N-Judah and called my best girl in Castro Valley and had a good commiserate talk about work, school, orientations, doing the deal, dating, more work, more school, not enough time ever, ever, ever.

By the time I got off the train at 7th and Irving I was feeling much better.

Still a bit overwhelmed.

But still trying to just put one foot in front of the other.

I sat for an hour.

I got my head screwed on better.

I cried a little.

I shared.

It was good.

I went to the nail salon and got a super fast manicure, then over to Crepevine for a late lunch and more Human Development reading.

I contemplated going clothes shopping, but I did not have it in me to really shop and I only lasted 20 minutes at Cross Roads.

The good news.

I found four tops–two sweaters, one a Helmut Lang!! And two button downs, which I desperately need.

Then back on the MUNI.

I had the panic creep back in.

I started making phone calls.

I left a lot of messages.

I took out my reader and read the ride home.

I hopped off the train, hopped to the house, hopped on my bicycle and rode off to SafeWay to grocery shop.

While I was in line one of my friends called me back and asked me where I was.

I told him and he said, I’m on my way, go buy some more groceries and I’ll throw your bike in the back of my truck.

Thank you jeebus.

I paid for my groceries and made a second trip through and thoroughly stocked up.

That had been part of my stress, figuring out how I was going to get all the grocery shopping in for myself.

Not only to have groceries in the house, but also an adequate amount of things to cook and prep, because next weekend I’ll be in school full-time and I won’t be able to do any cooking or grocery shopping.

I left the store with an over full messenger bag, a super big thing of toilet paper, and two more bags of groceries.

My friend was parked right next to where my bike was locked up.

We tossed it in the back and I just about burst into tears.

I started hyperventilating a little in his car.

I started the full on panic attack and practiced breathing and staying in the moment and my, look at the ocean, look at how pretty it is (look at the ocean and everyone at the beach, they’re not worried about having their Human Development reading done, asshats, they’re having fun in the sun), look at the sky, look down in my lap and let the tears fall.

My friend talked me off the ledge, dropped me at the house and gave me hugs.

I wiped the eyeliner off my face, hey, hey, Tammy Faye, and went ahead and did the next things in front of me.

Put away the groceries.

Balance the check book.

Heck.

I even made food–black bean and chicken chili with corn, yellow bell peppers, onion, garlic, spices, and a pot of brown rice.

Then.

I sat my ass down with a cup of tea and an apple and I read.

And read.

And.

Yes.

Read some more.

I finished all the chapters in the fucking Arnett book of hell, thank you Human Development.

Plus a bunch of articles.

Then I faced my Waterloo and opened the Power Point presentation my Human Development partner had worked on and I dove in.

I actually got a lot done.

A ton.

I was elated.

How the hell did that happen?

Next thing I know, text from a friend, how you doing, almost done?

And I was.

I ran out, grabbed some sushi, thanked my friend for talking me off the ledge, and in turn gave him a quick hand moving some stuff into his new place.

Then.

Home again home again.

Jiggedy jig.

I gave my friend a Mason jar with homemade chili in it and got back in the saddle.

I communicated with my partner about our project and lined up the readings for tomorrow.

And.

Guess what?

No more panic.

Because.

As noted before, and as I will, I am sure, note again and again.

It is the showing up that is the deal.

I showed up to do the reading and it got done.

When I am in my head though, where there is no time and the world is collapsing around me and I am just not ever fucking enough, then I am screwed.

I don’t see how far I have come.

Oh.

And baby.

I have come so far.

So very far.

I am so lucky.

Perspective is what I have.

Much preferable to panic.

Let me tell ya.

And love.

I have lots of love.

Thank God for friends.

Love you all so very much.

I could not be doing graduate school without you.

Seriously.

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Go Where the Resistance Is

January 29, 2014

Sheesh.

Why did I call you?

Oh yeah.

Perspective.

Ah.

Go through the difficult stuff, accept that there will be challenges, but I don’t have to allow myself to be hurt and I can get out of my own way.

“Darlin’ you’ve been resisting this for years,” he paused, “you crying yet?”

Affirmative.

I have to stop wearing eye makeup.

Or just surrender to the fact that on the occasion when I connect with certain people in my life I feel safe enough to cry around them.

I was not feeling so safe tonight in my normal spot on Tuesday evenings, there was some disturbances in the force, so to speak, and I felt for the first time what it meant to have some PTSD in my life.

Like I flippantly will acknowledge that I am most comfortable with my back to the wall.

I like to see what the fuck is coming my way.

I like to be prepared for all eventualities.

“Diapers, water, sunblock, sweatshirts, snacks, water bottle, wipes, sand shovel and bucket,” I patted myself down, “phone.”

“Oh yeah,” I said and smile, “babies.”

Or boys.

They are boys really.

I am a good nanny because of that but I forget that just because I am adept at my job that it is an easy job.

It’s not an easy job and I think that I am just some lazy person who has to work really hard to just get by, that struggle means I am doing a good job.

That is such bullshit.

I don’t have to work so hard and I bet if I wasn’t trying so much things would come easier.

I can advocate for myself and as I have been writing about I have some amazing people in my life who are urging me to do just that.

I am the one blocking my way.

Which is why it’s great to have some folks in my corner to give me suggestions and I am, defect of character that still works, a people pleaser.

I don’t want to let my friends down so I will take their suggestions.

Besides I know when I am balking that this is where it’s at.

“You only get hurt when you resist,” he concluded.

And then the tears really did overflow.

I looked up at the tops of the trees brushing the low hanging sky, the fog starting to rumble in like the wet wooly beast it is, weaving through the tops of the trees, obscuring Twin Peaks, a few dense, bright breaks of blue, then grey.

I think that my life is grey.

When that is me resisting.

I am resisting going over to that blue light, that clean, brightness scares me.

You know, I am most comfortable in the dark, hiding behind some clothes.

I used to have nightmares that would keep a therapists in caviar for decades and I remember often in them that I would hide in the closet to escape whatever was coming for me.

I would get in the back of the closet, beneath all the low hanging clothes and burrow under the dirty laundry scattered along the bottom and hope fervently that I just looked like a crumpled bit of laundry in the heap and not the scared child I was trying to still my breath to non-existent.

It wasn’t until recently that I began to wonder if those were really dreams or perhaps memories.

Just because I felt safe did not mean I was.

Hiding in that closet did not save me from being hurt.

It didn’t then and it won’t now.

So, here’s to traveling through the resistance and finding out what is on the other side.

“Honey, I have been doing this for 29 years, and I’m in my sixties, how old are you?  In your forties, you have 40, 50, maybe even 60 years to go, get the fuck out-of-the-way.”

Yes indeed.

Get to living.

“Go to Paris,” he said.

“Paris sucked,” I said, in a hot flash of tenderness that felt like I was poking a canker sore I thought has healed but is still there just below the skin healing slowly.

He laughed.

“No, your perspective sucked,” he said.

“Ah, yes,” I said, “Paris did not suck.”

Sigh.

I know this all sounds vague and nebulous but things are cooking and I am loath to take the cover off the pressure cooker until the meal is done.

Suffice to say I am walking through the resistance, taking the next action in front of me and listening with open ears and an open heart to my advisors, friends, and support network.

It takes a fucking village.

But fortunately I know that my walking through this and all other things that I have gone through, enhances my life and is of great service to others.

I mean I help a lot of people and I don’t do a lot of talking about it.

There’s just no point, it’s just what I do and it keeps me in the mix, in life, showing up, again, so that others will be pleased, but also, because, it saves my life and gives relief from the consistent wah, wah, wah in my brain.

Habits of a life time take some time to break, I have to wear some new grooves into my brain channels.

To that affect I am also going dancing, ecstatic, with one of my best girl friends on Saturday.

Can’t tell you how long I have told to go get my dance on.

Time to suit up and show up and I don’t know, dance, meet new people, spend time with my dear friend.

You know.

Rocking my life.

Because the real resistance is thinking that something needs to happen.

HAPPEN NOW.

To make me better.

I am better, for fuck’s sake, I am great.

I don’t have to always be on this improvement kick–let me stuff yoga, surfing, maybe re-pledge to do the AidsLifcycle ride in 2015, lose some more weight, finish a book, get published, go back to school, take a class in sign language, French, accounting, or make up–the list goes on.

I dont’ have to get up and do a thousand crunches.

Oh yeah, I did that once for about two months.

I was nuts.

Let me stop, pause, look at the resistance and say, go here, rather than go run a marathon, you don’t need to improve.

You just need to take a deep breath and go through.

Going through I am.

Here’s to seeing you on the other side.

I Am Not A Coward

November 20, 2013

I said to myself this morning as I once again was having a conversation about justifying my needs, my rates, my time and the compensation of said worth.

Oh for fuck, sake, I thought, just do it.

Just have the uncomfortable conversation so I can stop listening to the melee in my head.

And I did.

And I got the raise.

At least from mom number one.

She was so sweet.

So endearing.

And insisted that I actually start today with the wage increase.

Instead of waiting until December 1st like I had offered.

We also agreed to salary my position with her and how I really love her and her boy.

Do I.

I love both my boys.

Adore.

I usually fall for the kids, hazard of the job you could say, or I could say it is one of the perks of the job.

I don’t have a lot of bosses that I fall head over heels for, constantly snap photographs of and sing funny songs to.

I suspect that not a lot of my bosses would have been amused by that kind of behavior.

It was such a relief.

My head was quiet all day.

I mean fucking silent.

It just had nothing to chew on.

Thank God.

It did wind up a little bit on the way home, I knew I was going to have to bite the bullet and send an e-mail to the other mom who is out-of-town.

Not my preference, but it had to be done.

I just did that.

I have practiced it all week.

I cut and paste my revised twice e-mail that I had sent off to get approval elsewhere, added in a hope your time out-of-town is going well, love to the baby, and please let me know when you can.

I suspect her answer will be the same.

Then I can stop asking for rate changes as I will be current with market rate.

“I need  a goddamn team of people to support me,” I told my dear friend over soup at Sunflower Sunday night, “it takes a village is no fucking joke.”

I have talked with more than one friend who has advocated again and again and again that I raise my rates.

It only took a few months and some really uncomfortable work to get here, but get here I did.

And now I can stop.

Sigh.

Relief.

For the next day, then I need to tell my solo day family that my rates are going up too.  I am offering them the same explanation, keeping it simple, to the point, and hopefully without tears.

I doubt, actually that I will tear up, I am not as emotionally connected to their child, though I think she is an utter peach, plus I have only just gotten to know the family.

The mom I spoke with today has known me for over six years.

She was in the office at the Burning Man HQ when I started nannying there.

First temporarily, once a week for a board meeting, then for the retreat, then for the holiday party then for Juni and Reno, who good lord are both six.

Six.

I met her when she was six weeks.

Now she is six years.

Amazing.

How much I have grown in that time.

I remember her papa once looking at me and saying, “girl, you got to ask for what you need,” when I finally broke down and asked the family for a cost of living increase that I had needed for months but couldn’t bring myself to do.

I see a pattern.

Anyhow.

I am grateful to all the friends who have been in my corner saying all those positive things, I actually do believe them, but old habits, self-effacing ones especially, die-hard.

I am still nervous to hear back from the other mom, but I took the action, let go of the results and did the best I can do.

That’s really all I can do.

That and sit and write.

And do some stretches.

I received my e-mail from the Physical Therapy department at Kaiser, lot’s of stretching, lots of water, continue the ibuprofen, rest, hot and cold, and get a yoga roller.

Ok then.

It was also suggested that I need to get ergonomic with my desk.

Who told that it hurts to type?

Oh.

I did.

Sheesh.

The blog is the last thing I want to give up.

The mom showed me her set up in her private office.

As it turns out, she has a similar issue, which is why there are tennis balls scattered around the house–she uses them to work out muscle soreness.

I had never heard of this before, and it was recommended to me by the PT doc too, use a tennis ball and roll it over the sore spot.

I dug into it today at work while the baby was napping.

Lots of stretches, lots of rolling the ball around my shoulder, more stretching.

And yes, Virginia, I will get myself an ergonomic set up for my computer.

Along with some rain gear.

Wow.

That was a long, cold, wet ride home tonight.

It wasn’t bad to begin, the November rains began today, and despite holding me hostage in the house, fell soft, gentle, with a noise of hushing reassurance, and the entire world smelt fresh and dewy.

However, after an hour detour this evening at 7th and Irving, I came out into the night to find it down pouring.

Ah, damn.

I was soaked by the time I had gone five blocks.

Slow as slow could be.

All bike lights on, collapsible rear fender pulled out of my bag strapped onto the frame, and hood up on my sweatshirt.

I made it back, stripped down immediately, threw my clothes in the laundry and climbed into a hot, hot, hot shower.

Oooh.

The goodness that is a hot shower, especially after that kind of ride.

And a night-time shower, I don’t know why exactly, but it feels some how decadent.

I suppose because I am not in a rush to get out the door like I am in the morning, I can savor it.

Boy did I ever.

Tomorrow.

Rain gear.

I can afford it.

I got the raise!


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