Posts Tagged ‘radical self-care’

Better Late to Blog

September 1, 2014

Then never.

Monday, September 1st, approximate time 1:20p.m.

I hear it’s a holiday out there, but I am still here.

Here in the dusty remnants of Burning Man, which is no longer Burning Man, fyi, mister high as a kite spinning poi on the Esplanade.

The event is over.

Go home.


Here at camp, the breaking down continues, without me being broke down.

I am so far, so proud, so good, so on point with the self-care I have never actually felt this ok at this juncture in my previous journeys on playa.

Typically I have been pretty beat up and burnt out and done, done, done.

Not to say that I’m not done.

I am.

I am packed.

I am ready to go.

I have my bins sorted and stacked outside the door to the trailer and my exodus outfit ready to be put on, speaking of, exodus has been really mellow, longest wait I’ve heard of today was about an hour.

Most folks seem to be getting out within thirty minutes.

Peak population happened early a.m. Friday morning, hitting around 65,000.

Then the people, well, they started to leave.

The fear of the great wait in line is intense and I see many folks packing it up and hauling out before Man Burn or Temple Burn.

I understand completely, sometimes you just got to get out.

For right now, for me, it’s just the sit tight and wait.

The bug is asleep, mama and papa are wrapping up what they need to do for their jobs and I am in a holding pattern.

It’s a little like waiting in the gate to the airport for the plane to be cleaned off from the previous flight.

I can see the copilot and pilot cross checking their perspective duties, I can see the land crew doing their job, my job is to wait.

I am ok at that.

It does make me a tiny bit anxious.

I have places to go.

Things to see.

New York, New York.

But there is not much to be done except quietly take in each moment as it comes and accept that I am here for another twenty-four hours.

The plan is to drive two vehicles to Reno, one I will drive and the other mom will drive.

The vehicles are both rentals.

One will be returned to Reno and then the other will take us back to San Francisco.

The mom has one more meeting she has to attend at 11 a.m. tomorrow morning.

I will be ready at the time she needs to go to her meeting.

All my bins, four total–three medium, one small–will be in the mini van that will drive us back to SF. Then I will hop in the other mini-van and drive to her meeting with her.

My charge and I shall hang out while she wraps it up and then once the meeting adjourns, we’ll hit the road for Reno.  The first rental will get dropped off and then I’ll climb aboard the second and hit it to SF.

We should land sometime late in the evening.

I am hoping for a quick pit stop at Whole Foods to grab road food–all things fresh, my god, I am grateful to the Commissary, but the food is getting me down–apples, fresh water, an iced coffee, a big salad for the road, and then on to the City by the Bay.

I am missing her.

I see that the majority of my friends have made it out and back to SF and I am a teeny tiny bit jealous.

However, I am grateful that I won’t be staying as long as I did last year.

Tomorrow will mark 19 days.

Last year it was 22 days.

I was not exactly broken last year, but the ten-hour dust storm white out the day we were supposed to leave did not help, I definitely felt cracked by the time we got off playa.

Fingers crossed all will go smoothly and we shall enjoy a pleasant and non-eventful trip back.

Not everyone is so lucky.

One of the team members came by today with a broken thumb.

There was a camp mate who broke his heel early last week and had to leave.

Then there’s all the folks who get dehydrated or sick or lost or broken in other odd and uncomfortable ways–today a gentleman confused a bottle of kerosene with a bottle of water.

Last night someone drank a bottle of water that was not water but GHB.


I am pretty damn lucky, dusty, yes, dirty yes, I can’t wait for my shower, but my health has held.

Lots of fluids.

Lots of naps.

I probably took more naps this event then I have done in my prior seven outings.

I also have been meditating.

That does not hurt in the least.

And going to bed early.

I haven’t gone out dancing.

Unless you count the ten minute shake my booty at Distrikt that I did last Thursday for a hot second.

I have, however, ridden my bicycle a lot out here.

And I am happy to say, the ankle is holding up.

A twinge now and again and the ride up was pretty uncomfortable, but I don’t think that will be an issue the way back, but good for the most part.


I can tell it’s still not 100% but it’s so much better.

I should be able to ride my regular bike when I get back to the city.

I am certainly going to give it a go.

I slowed down a lot with this event and really kept the focus on the job and the duties that I needed to do.

It means that my event was quite a bit different then the last seven, but it also means that I won’t be returning to my regularly scheduled life needing a week and a half to recuperate.

I suspect that there will still be tiredness and some dusting off of self to do, but so far, so good.

I’ve got about 23 hours left on playa.

Fingers crossed they are uneventful, restful, easy.

See you soon.

Nothing Like A Nap

August 22, 2014

And a shower to bring a nanny back to life.



Just like that and I like my job again.


It’s funny, I can spend a lot of time advocating for self-care for others then blithely go my own way and completely ignore that advice.

But after last night it was really obvious that what I needed was some sleep and a shower.

I went to bed at midnight, which is not much different from what it’s been for the last few days, but it was an extra fifteen minutes that I was able to give myself.

I also slept solid until my alarm went off, well, with the exception of getting up in the dark, wee hours of the night when the golden cusp of the crescent moon was low on the horizon to visit the port-a-potties.

I love my night-cap of Bengal Spice tea, but it does make a gal have to pop out of bed at odd hours of the night to relieve the bladder.

But I went straight back to bed, I didn’t try to capture any sunrise photographs or do anything but get right back into the sack.

And it was good.

Just that extra fifteen minutes, astounding.

I also asked that I be allowed a trip to the showers.

Six days with no shower and this lady was ready for some scrubbing.

I was informed that I had a shower pass icon on my laminate the entire time!




I will try to get out there a little more often knowing that.

I did arrange to be allowed access to a vehicle and it was granted to me this evening after dinner.  I got a shower, I got to comb out the rat’s nest of my hair, which though photogenic, the playa is great for texturizing your locks, was a snarling thing with a life all its own, I got to shave.  I got to layer up on the lotion and wash off the dust from every nook and cranny.

Oh sweet jesus.

What a shower can do.

And the nap.

Let’s not forget that either.

I got a nap today.

It could not have been more than twenty minutes, maybe fifteen, but I also had a lie down and I meditated before I drifted off.  I didn’t think I would be able to sleep having had a whopping seven hours of sleep last night, but I knew that it was important to lie down and rest.

And what do you know, I did drift off after a bit.

So, the lie down of thirty minutes segued into a little nap snack and I was able to get through the day.

Sleep and a shower and I am a new woman.

And though the playa calls, so many new things out there, so many photographs to be had, I am not going out tonight.

In fact, I think I am going to go to bed just a tiny bit earlier if I can than I have been, make it 11:30 p.m. say, because I do want to go out tomorrow and take some photographs.

I have seen the art being built up and I would love to do an afternoon ride out to check out the progress of some of it and I would also like to just get in a bike ride.

My ankle is a little tender today, I suspect from the bike riding, but if I go slow and coddle it and avoid deep playa–which is not so nicely packed down–I should be able to go for a nice cruise.

I want to get some shots of the Calico Mountains and one of the installations pieces is up that I want to get a few photographs of before the swarms come in.

I am already hearing of waits at the gate, which is just plain crazy to me, but there it is.

The bell has started to ring and the Greeters are out welcoming fresh Burners to a new experience that will change them forever.

When I left the Depot after my shower I was stunned to see the string of car lights snaking along Gate Road as the cars and transporters and trucks, campers, vans, and various other vehicles were heading in.

It’s exciting.

It’s happening.

What else is exciting?

I got a coffee drip cone!


Thank you Polkie Dot!

You saved my life lady.

Nothing like discovering that I had forgotten my drip cone in my dish rack at home.

I didn’t scream out in agony, I can still get coffee at the Commissary, but it’s so much nicer to have it here at my little home.  Besides, it’s Stumptown Holler Mountain, that hands down beats the Commissary’s coffee.

Things are coming together nicely and it’s such a good feeling to be centered again.

It really does amaze me how much my mood can be altered just by not having quite enough sleep.  I can get by a few days, but the third or fourth I start getting wonky, and yesterday was the fifth day with short sleep.

No wonder I was a cranky sad little teary mess.

Oh well.

It really was nowhere near the worst playa melt down I have had and fingers crossed, it will be the only one.


I know better than to expect that, the emotional weather out here is intense, I will sob again, but I believe out of love and finding that deep spiritual connection to the sky and the mountains and the sunset that just blows up my heart every time.

My life is pretty grand when I think about what I get to experience and the manner in which I get to be a part of the event.

It doesn’t hurt that I ran into Heady, she’s been with the event for a while you could say, either and just got the sweetest hug and connect from her–she assured me that though I had lost the little guy back in San Francisco that there were loads of opportunities just waiting for me.

If you nanny.

They will come.

If you nap too.

That doesn’t hurt either.

Crunch Time

August 9, 2014

This is it folks.

My last weekend before I head out.

Which means that I get it all done this weekend or it won’t get done.

Not that I have a whole lot of things left to do, a few errands, the optometrist tomorrow for contacts being the biggest one, but the niggling little things that need to be taken care of that I can’t really do other than this weekend.

Plus there’s the getting in to see everyone that I need to see before I leave.

I met with one of my lovies tonight, who came into the city from Moss Beach and brought her amazing little dog, a red Boston Terrier, with her and picked me up from my gig in the Castro and drove us over to Waller and Masonic to get right with the Universe.

Then out to the beach.

Literally, we had to park way out, there’s Outside Lands happening in Golden Gate Park and my little neighborhood was overrun with cars.

We found a spot after much circling and adjourned to the Thai Cottage and caught up over Tom Kha coconut soup with lemon grass and prawn;  chicken satay and pumpkin curry with chicken and brown rice.  So good.

It was such a lovely way to end my week.

A week of much ups and downs and some second guessing on my part.

Days of wondering what is the right thing to do and how do I move forward with work.

Today, this morning, specifically, I just felt horrible, like I had messed things up, made things complicated, trying to appease everyone and make the situation work for the entire world and I realized that I don’t need to figure out anyone else’s needs.

Just my own.

41 fucking years old and I still am trying to figure out what other people need so that I can respond accordingly and appease all outside sources.


But I recognized it and for that I was grateful and though I spent more time than I would like ruminating on the situation, I finally left it alone and focused more and more on what was happening in my day and I reached out to a lot of people, made phone calls and asked others how they were doing.

Man, does that help.

Not focusing on me.

Because there is nothing to worry about and when I am anxious over things I can’t control I just ruin my day right away.

I practiced by being as happy in the moment as I could be.

I wore my headphones into work and listened to upbeat music and even sketched a little dance move on the last block to work.

I danced in my studio last night.

Not very hard.

Not with complete abandon.

But as if no one was watching and I was happy.

It felt so good to move a little, to sing, to listen to music and feel buoyed up by it.

I tried to keep that a recurring theme in my day.

Just move a little, laugh a little, love a little.

Or a lot.

It was my last Friday with my little guy who is heading off to pre-school.

We will have more days together, next week for sure, but this was our last solo day and I was so happy to have a day with just him and be sweet and snuggly and laugh with him.

His sense of humor just makes me roar out loud laughing.

One might think I am a little insane with it, but it does my heart good to laugh like that.

And I ran a few errands with him since I was in the Castro and picked up a couple of toiletries that I still needed to round out my supplies for the playa.

I went over my accounts, my check book, my inventory of what few things there are left to procure and made sure that the rent and the phone would be covered and I would still have something left for groceries through the week before I leave.

I need to pay the rent before I go and I also need to ask my landlord to water my plants.

I still wish I had been able to Air BnB my studio and offset my rent for the month, but oh well, I am just glad I have a place to come home to and a place to live in San Francisco.

And grateful I get to go out to Burning Man again.

It really is a great gift and I hope that I will bring my services to bear well there.

I also found out that my first playa bunny will be there pre-event for a few days with her folks and I get to have a Junebug reunion!  I am over the moon to hear that the family will be there and I can’t wait to see her, it’s been almost a year–last year’s Decompression Party in the Dogpatch, I believe.

Crazy that this will be my 6th year on playa as a nanny.

Six years.

And my 8th Burning Man.

I am a lucky girl.

I really am.

So, I don’t mind the crunch time coming, it’s all falling into place and my ducks are in a row.  The logistics of getting here to there and all the little self-care things I need to do for myself as I wind down to the final countdown of days, are in place.

The event focuses on radical self-reliance, which for me means focusing on radical self-care.

Many of my friends are going this year, but I won’t be having the same experience, nor will I have the ability to wander off into the playa and be a goofball with no conception of responsibility.

I have to be on my game to nanny.

That self-care that I do is brought into high focus out there.

I don’t stay out late.

I get up early.

I write.

I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at pretty regular hours.

I shower as often as I can.

I nap as often as I can.

I eschew a lot of the experiences that folks go to the event to be a part of.

But that’s ok.

I am a quiet, small piece of how the event gets to be what the event gets to be for so many folks.

I am part of the support staff to the people who need to manage the people who put together the event.  It’s a really lovely thing for me to know, that I get to help, in my own quiet small way, by doing what I do as a nanny to that the organization can put on one of the most amazing events in the history of the United States and of my time.

It’s an honor.

One I prepare for with diligence.

One I am just about ready to go get it on.

It’s crunch time folks.

T-minus six days.


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