Posts Tagged ‘Yoga Beach SF’

How Did I Do All That?

April 17, 2017

I mean.

I am not really sure, but man, it flowed, lovely and smooth from one experience to the next.

Until now.

Sitting here at my table doing my little evening routine, listening to some old school-house music, Tortured Soul, in my bunny slippers, it is Easter after all, with my belly full of warm homemade soup, I am rather astounded.

I am.

I got a lot done.

There is still so much more to do, I have so much paper writing yet to attack, but I know how I am going to handle two of my papers, which is a relief, sometimes just knowing what I am going to write about makes the process so much less stressful.

It’s still anxiety making.

I mean.

I have three papers due.

Yet.

I took a huge leap forward today.

It started slow and it started with not wanting to get out of my bed when the alarm went off, but I knew that danger, and I knew I wanted to go to the earlier yoga class this morning, I had to be up in the Castro to do some homework by a certain point and going to a later class wouldn’t have worked.

And.

I just knew I needed up and out.

The class was hard, but really good and I’m grateful I went.

I had a lovely breakfast here at the house (organic oatmeal with banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw cocoa, sea salt, and blueberries; a soft-boiled egg,  and an amazing toasted coconut/almond milk latte) and did some morning page writing.

I checked my syllabus, packed my books, got my notebook, my class folder, and put on some makeup, pulled my hair up in a bun, hopped into my rain boots and headed to the MUNI.

I caught the N-Judah to the J-Church.

I read the entire time.

I finished two chapters in my Trauma reading.

As well as getting into a third on my ride back from the Castro.

I got off the train at the Castro Street Station and marveled with glee at the little rainbow lights lining the escalator.

How I do love you San Francisco.

I do so much.

I strolled through the main drag with my umbrella and my rain boots and smiled at all the fellas in their Easter finery.

I ran a couple of errands then went up to Firewood Cafe.

I met with my person and another friend for lunch then we adjourned to another friends apartment up on Noe and 19th.

God.

Rent control.

How I envy folks who have it.

The apartment is a huge one bedroom with front room, dining room, big bathroom, hard woods, fireplace, huge kitchen.

I was definitely having some apartment envy.

It was the perfect place though, the big couch in the front room, the table, the chair I put in front of the couch.

We all got settled and I started the recording on my phone.

And this time I got it!

I got a half hour session of a Couples Therapy dyad.

“You’re good!” They both exclaimed after we finished the session.

Thank you guys!

It felt really good.

I had a few moments when I was unsure which way to go or what to say, but I didn’t think to hard about it and I noticed my counter transference and actually noted to myself in the session, “hey!  That’s countertransference! Remember that!”

Of course, now, in this moment, I have no solid clue what it was or what it was in regards too, but I knew I had it and I used it in the session and I know that when I go back and listen to the recording again I’ll be able to hear it in the recording.

So happy I got that out-of-the-way.

And while I was on the train riding to the Castro to meet with my friends who were going to help with the project, I had an idea about what to write for my Trauma paper.

Very happy about that.

Part of my “stress” if you want to call it that, is that I need to listen to things again before I write the paper, I can’t just pick up a book or a class reader or an article or my notebook and get the information there.

I have to take an extra step for each paper and listen to a recording, break down what is happening in the recording and use it for the papers.

It is a lot more work than a normal paper for me.

That being said, I feel so much more competent about what I will be writing about and I feel a lot better about the state of my papers.

No.

I did not do any paper writing today.

Although I did write a lot.

I thought about it, but I also didn’t want to stress myself out about it.

If I got to it, great, but that I did so much footwork for the material that will go into the writing, for two different papers, is huge.

I actually accomplished a lot.

Plus.

I got to see two wonderful men in my life who mean so much to me and have a nice Sunday lunch and walk underneath the cherry trees in the Castro and be seen and be helped.

It was truly lovely.

I hopped back on the train and was heading back to the house and my smart feet actually hopped up when I hit Church Street Station.

It was ten of four.

Oh!

I could go check out a spot I used to go to way back in the day.

And I did.

And it was good.

I got to see some folks I haven’t seen in a long time and get grounded and then hop back on the train and come home.

Home.

Home to cook my soup.

I made homemade hot and sour soup today.

I took a large Mason jar of my chicken stock (made from last weeks roasting chicken), 1 bag of large wild caught shrimp, a container of organic tofu that was cubed, a small box of Hen of the Wood mushrooms, a small box of crimini mushrooms and tossed them in my soup pot.

I added a good heavy splash or five of Bragg’s Amino Acids, instead of soy sauce, loads of fresh ground white pepper, some rice vinegar, ground ginger, garlic and sliced in a fat organic carrot and some chopped Swiss Chard (I would have used bok choy, but the store was out and the chard actually worked really well).

I put it on the stove, set it to simmer and then realized it was going to be at least an hour before it was ready.

I could do more reading.

Or.

I could sneak in another yoga class.

Yoga won.

I slipped into the studio three minutes before it started.

It was not Vinyasa yoga, like I did this morning, but restorative.

I could not have done another Vinyasa class.

But restorative, lots of slow, soft, warm stretching, yes ma’am.

It was perfect.

I got back, tasted the soup, oooh, added a little more white ground pepper, lit some candles, put on my bunny slippers and had myself an amazing dinner.

The soup was so good.

Umami bomb.

I am astounded and I have a new favorite.

I am very happy how my Sunday went.

Not upset that I didn’t get the writing done I was thinking I might, but I got the things done that I needed to do and I did exquisite self-care.

Happy day.

I saw friends, chosen family, ate delicious food, did yoga, not once, but twice! Made tons of progress on my homework and walked underneath blooming cherry trees in one of the prettiest cities in the world.

Where I live does not suck.

Nope.

I am the luckiest girl.

I really am.

And now I’m ready for Monday.

Night all.

xoxoxoxo

 

 

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I Had A Day Off

April 11, 2017

And it was good.

I slept in.

I did not set my alarm.

I woke up a little before 10 a.m. and had a lovely, leisurely morning, couple cups of coffee, four pages of writing long hand, some quiet to connect with the day.

I had a few ideas of what I might do, but no specific agenda.

I really wanted to be open to whatever came up.

I knew I had to go grocery shopping and I had a little bit of an urge to go and get my nails done.

Groceries were gotten.

Nails were not done.

When I got back from grocery shopping I just decided to stay put, I wanted to be in the neighborhood, I wanted to chill out.

I also.

I realized.

Wanted to go for a bicycle ride.

The weather was perfect, 61 degrees, not too breezy, nice sunshine, scattering of clouds, no fog.

I pulled out my camera, my messenger bag, a bottle of water and pumped up the tires on my bike.

It had been a while.

I rode down 46th Avenue to Sloat Avenue, then on down to Great Highway.

I crossed Great Highway and pulled into the parking area at Sloat.

I haven’t been there in over a year.

There’s not much reason for me to get down to Sloat, I can just walk to the beach access point on Judah, but it was the perfect bicycle ride destination.

I was so glad to be on my bicycle again, so happy to be in the fresh sea air, in the sunshine, to see the stretch of the coast line.

How lucky am I to get to live here?

So lucky.

After hanging out at Sloat for a while on a big rock I hopped back on my bicycle and turned down Great Highway.

I realized after biking about a half mile or so that the other side of Great Highway was still closed off for sand removal.

But.

It looked really clear and clean.

And.

There where bicycles and skateboarders and joggers just cruising down the middle of the highway.

I crossed over at Lawton and rode my bike back down to Sloat again and then turned around once more for the thrill of riding in the middle of the highway, the wrong way, on my bicycle.

I stopped and took a few pictures with my camera and just was super happy to be out, to have a day off, to not be at work, to not be thinking about school.

I promised myself I would take today and not do homework, not stress about the internship, not get myself worked up.

I wanted to be relaxed and not rushed.

And I was.

And it was divine.

I rode down Great Highway towards Lincoln Ave and then on a whim, I passed my turn at 46th and headed up to 41st.

I wanted to check out Swell, the bicycle shop on Irving at 41st.

I had an idea about seeing if maybe they had beach cruisers, you know, since I’m going to Burning Man, I wanted to look for a playa bike.

They do not have cruisers, but they had some beautiful bikes.

And.

“Carmen?” I heard my name being said out loud as I ogled a Brooks cut out saddle in Navy Blue leather.

“Hey, it’s Yuri! From Pedal Revolution? Do you remember me, I’ve got long hair now,” he said with a laugh.

No shit.

His hair was super long.

“Oh my God, Yuri!” I said and we hugged.

Yuri sold me my first bicycle in San Francisco.

And saw me go through a lot of bicycle commuting, upgrades, and challenges.

Pedal Revolution is a non-profit bicycle shop in the Mission that teaches and trains underprivileged kids how to work on bicycles.

They also sell bikes and parts.

Swell is a swankier version of that shop.

We shot the shit, caught up, showed him my whip, I talked to him about thinking that I might actually get a new bike, not that I don’t love my one speed, but it’s a one speed and working in Glen Park (yes I know, I scooter there) but that I might want to at some point invest in a road bike again.

We also talked about the Pogliaghi I used to have.

And he showed me a gorgeous Bianchi touring bike that has a three-ring shifter on it, perfect for hill climbing, that was really super reasonable.

$1500.

I am seriously considering it.

Well.

I’m putting it on the back burner, but I have been thinking that I miss my bicycle commute.

And that was a big part of getting out today,  I also wanted and needed the exercise after spending three days of sitting on my ass at school.

Anyway.

It was nice to be recognized and to talk bicycles and get a little geeked out about a possible new ride.

I love my whip, but the knees get older and I am not as up to doing the hills on it that I used to.

The flats, no problem, but hills are hurt and I don’t want my knees to hurt.

I was also thinking that it would be nice to do rides again over the bridge.

I do miss those long rides to Marin when I was training for the Aids LifeCycle ride.

After my chat at Swell I rode home and signed up for a yoga class.

I had some time to kill before the class so I walked over to Trouble and treated myself to a cafe au lait and some neighborhood people watching.

I haven’t done that in a while either.

45 minutes of sitting in the sunshine and watching the world go by.

Then off to yoga.

A great class.

And when I got home I had a message on my phone about joining some friends for dinner in the Haight to celebrate an anniversary.

I said yes, I didn’t even shower, I jumped out of my yoga clothes, into my bib overalls, and hopped on my scooter.

Dinner and hang out with friends at the Citrus Club in the Haight with one of my all time favorite bowls of hot and sour soup that the city has.

Making this a fantastic day off.

Really.

So good.

Grateful beyond words for my sweet, full, happy life.

Seriously.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

Wanted Woman

April 5, 2017

I got a text today after coming out of my second therapy session, went great, thanks, in regards to some services that someone wanted.

Specifically.

My former employer wanted to know if I could be available to cook for them every few Sundays.

Um.

Uh.

No.

Then my head was like, but it would be great to see the boys and I could make some extra money, and…

Fuck off head.

You are not working on your day off.

NO.

NOPE.

Not going to do it, there really is nothing that I could ask for that would compensate me enough to go into work on a Sunday.

I work 35 hours a week.

Go to graduate school full-time.

Meet with three people on a weekly basis for doing the deal.

Go to do the deal 6-7 times a week.

Plus.

In May I’ll star an internship that will be an additional 15 hours.

May is next month.

The last thing I want to do is spoil the few remaining Sundays I do have off.

And when my internship starts, I will only have Sundays off.

For a year.

One day off a week.

That’s it.

I’m not going to go to my former bosses house and make food.

Not going to do it.

Just saying.

Although, truth be told, I was hella flattered.

It’s nice to know that you are wanted.

I have actually said no a lot lately.

No to some baby sitting gigs.

Two specifically that come to mind, no to this idea of working on my day off and cooking.

No, thank you for thinking of me, but no.

Funny thing too, is how often I get this, “I know you’re busy, I know this is a long shot, but….”

Yup.

I am busy.

And yes, it is a long shot, and nope, still can’t do it.

I have also been asked by three different people to read their writing.

I know I write a blog every day and I write morning pages and I want to be able to read every thing that is sent to me, because that’s what good writers do, they also read, but I’ve got so much reading for school I haven’t even touched the two pieces that were sent to me an there’s a third heading towards my mailbox.

Maybe I’ll read them next year.

Bwahahahaha.

What I am recognizing though, is that I am sought after for my skills and as such, I’m really flattered, it’s nice to be thought of, it’s nice that people want me to weigh in on their writing.

I believe it means that folks think I might have some skills and something to offer.

I was asked last week about writing a blog and what tips I had.

I gave loads of tips.

But basically it comes down to, just write it.

Sit down.

Do the work.

There is, however, only so much work I can do, and as I am on day 9 in a row of working with out a day off, I might have an idea of how precious my time off is.

I have two days coming up, April 10th and 11th, next Monday and Tuesday.

I have to get through two more days of work and three days of school.

Then.

Freedom.

I couldn’t fathom picking up more work right now.

There was a time when I would have, the allure of the extra money is big, but really, I want to have a full rounded life.

I want to have some fun and I want to have a tiny little bit of social life.

I also want to have rest and I want to be able to do yoga.

I have to keep tabs on myself and my self-care, I can’t show up to work or school or my soon to be happening internship if I’m not taking care of myself.

It’s an ethical issue.

It really is.

So I was proud of myself for saying I was unavailable.

I responded with kindness and acumen.

I was nice, I’m saying.

And that felt good too.

People will ask for what they want, and they’re allowed to ask, but I don’t have to people please and say yes to everything that is offered.

I believe that something better than money will happen for me on my Sunday if I’m not busy literally slaving over a hot stove.

God wants more for me than that.

Dating.

Friends.

Life.

Adventures.

Rest.

Recuperation.

All the things.

Not cooking all the things.

Anyway.

I am looking forward to school this weekend, even though my school days are long days, longer than my work days, they are days filled with thinking and showing up and learning and friends.

I am really excited to see my friends.

I have missed them.

I have some catching up to do.

Yes, I do.

The only thing I get bummed about, who would have thought it, is missing yoga on Saturday and Sunday.

Although I may try to sneak in a restorative yoga class Sunday after I get out of classes.

That is a good possibility.

I’m sad to miss my favorite teachers class on Saturday, but so be it.

As long as I can try to get into a Monday class in the morning, I will be making up for the loss of class on Saturday.

I get a head of myself

Let me stay in this week, where, yes, it is full, but there’s wiggle room here and there.

A coffee with a friend.

Catching up with my fellows tomorrow night.

Wrapping up the last bits and pieces of my school preparations.

Doing a little laundry.

And yes.

Chilling out a bit.

Like right now.

A cup of tea.

A video.

A snack.

And bed.

Sounds just about perfect.

No more cooking today.

No soup for you!

Unexpected Free Time

February 25, 2017

Not a lot.

But.

Oh my God.

More than enough.

I got a text this morning from the mom saying, hey you worked such a long day yesterday, come in an hour late and we’ll probably let you go an hour early.

Grandma visit.

At first I was annoyed.

I had plans!

Then I was flustered.

Shit.

I could have made plans.

I could have snuck in a yoga class this morning.

Then.

I got over myself.

Get grateful you boob!

You just got two hours knocked off your work day, be happy.

I did some extra writing.

I made a cafe au lait and read another two articles in my Couples Therapy reader–in fact, I’m only two articles away from being completely done with all my reading for the next weekend of classes.

I am super psyched for that.

I took it leisurely getting ready for work and I had a nice shower and really, my hair was on point today, I had a hella good hair day.

And when I got into work I found out that since the grandma was going to be leaving on Monday she wanted to spend extra time with the kiddos and take them on a special trip to the toy store.

Grandma, toy store, extra time with the kiddos=getting off not one hour early, but two!

“Happy Friday,” the mom said, “if you can just fold up the rest of the laundry and take these things up to the dry cleaners, you can go early, I don’t think we’ll be back from the toy store before you would be leaving anyhow, you don’t need to futz around here and twiddle your thumbs.”

“Really?” I asked.

I mean.

Yes, please and thank you, but also really, I haven’t had this much leeway in my job in some time and I realize that although I loved the family I was working for a lot, those boys, oh those sweet boys, I was under a great deal more stress to constantly be doing something.

I had to put up a lot of boundaries around taking breaks and having down time, or time to eat my food.

Not so at this job.

They are just the bees knees.

And the mom and I had a very sweet talk today about the whole process and how happy they are to have me.

I mean.

Really happy.

And I am really happy to have them.

It feels like such a good fit.

Granted I know the honey moon period will pass, issues arise, conflicts happen, but over all, wow, wow, wow, just such a great job for me.

The gaggle of baby, mama, brother, sister, and grandma headed off to pillage the toy store and I happily futzed about the house making sure everything was in order and tidy and putting away the laundry.  I did a double, triple check on things, then headed out to Noe Valley to drop off some dry cleaning for them, and killing two birds with one stone, I also dropped off some mending I needed done on my two favorite cardigans.

Then I asked for direction.

Where to next?

I had a thought about running downtown to go shop at Gap, but realized that wasn’t necessary, I didn’t have to put myself through going downtown to use the coupon that I had.

In fact, right before starting to write this blog, I just went online and applied it at the online store, basically saving $70 on my order.

I got the same dress I am currently wearing, one of the causal interview dressed I bought, in a different color (mom made a really outstanding point to me today as the baby had a huge whoopsie down the back of her shirt, pants, and yes, all over the floor, that I should have a back up set of clothes for having at the house in case such a thing happens, hence another dress like the one I’ve got on) and a racer back maxi that I was thinking, oh, yes, Paris in Spring, with a pair of sandals.

So.

Instead of going downtown into the madness, I just took the roads up and over Twin Peaks and headed to the Inner Sunset.

A quick run to the bank.

Then.

A manicure.

It was really nice to do that.

Just sit back, read a trashy magazine and get my nails done.

Such a little pleasure.

Then I took myself out for some carnitas, because, carnitas, hello.

Afterward a nice cafe au lait, decaf thank you, and I made sure it was decaf, and some fellowship with a friend from the neighborhood before doing the deal.

It was good to catch up and it’s nice to know people in my neighborhood.

I am officially a Sunset person I think, it’s been three and a half years of living out here now, I think I can call myself a part of the Sunset for sure.

After getting right with God I hopped on the scooter and made the executive decision to do my grocery shopping for the weekend.

It may rain tomorrow, already put the cover on my scooter, and I just figured, get it out-of-the-way.

And like that.

I did.

I also paid rent today for March and signed up for two yoga classes this weekend.

Fuck.

It feels good to be on top of things.

Plus.

I touched base with my supervisor at my internship and we set up a time for me to come in and fill out all the paperwork and talk about next steps.

I’ll be doing that in March, after my next weekend of classes.

So, although, yes, I do have a full weekend, it’s not so full since I got some errands done unexpectedly and let myself skip out on needlessly going downtown to make myself crazy in the shopping district.

No thanks.

I’ll take a nice mellow night in and yoga in the morning instead.

I’ve got a meet up with a lady to do some reading and then my dentist appointment at 4p.m.

Fingers crossed.

It’s been awhile, but happy to be addressing it.

Then a small dinner party in Noe Valley with some ladies in my cohort and a T.A. from the summer session of classes at the beginning of the school year.

Feels like a nice way to start the weekend.

I’m ready.

Happy Friday!

Poetry In Translation

February 6, 2017

Is like taking a shower in a raincoat.

Yes.

I went and saw a movie today.

That was a line between two of the characters.

It was lyric and sweet and the sweep of it was soft and gorgeous.

I was unexpectedly free this afternoon.

I had some things come up and I had to change my plans.

I had managed to get up and go to yoga, even though I really didn’t think I was going to after the late night I had last night.

I had turned off my alarm and just planned to let myself sleep in, but I was up in time to make the late morning yoga class and I went.

I really didn’t think I was going to, even after I had gotten out of bed.

I went and washed my face and brushed my teeth, drank a glass of water, took my iron supplement and flax-seed oil and went to get dressed.

I opened the door to the closet and pulled off my yoga pants from the rack and put them on.

I almost laughed out loud.

It was just so automated, my body telling my brain what it wanted to do and just doing it regardless of the brain that was like, no, you’re not going, my body was like, sorry Charlie, as my hands pulled up my yoga pants and then my sports bra and top, I actually chuckled at myself, I was that surprised.

Sometimes I have smart feet and they just carried me along despite my brains weak protestations that I could just go at another time.

Yeah.

Sure brain.

You get me into some hot spots you know, why don’t you just take a back seat today.

The yoga was good, but hard, I mean, it was a super challenging class, but I found myself letting it be hard and doing what I could to keep up and just being there was more than good enough.

I came back home, changed and made breakfast.

I did some inventory and decided that I needed to change-up my plans for the day, but I was till going to head down to Let It Bleed and see my tattoo artist.

I need some touching up on the star tattoo I got two weeks ago.

But.

Shoot.

It’s not fully healed.

“Nope, I’m not going to touch it, the skin’s too tight, it’ll end up tearing, you’ll scar, we need to wait a little longer,” he told me.

So.

No tattoo for me today.

Suddenly having time, I called a friend in the Mission, let’s hang out, I said on the message.

I started to walk towards the Mission and decided to go see a movie before I headed over to my friend’s house.

I ducked into Opera Plaza and saw Paterson.

It was just the perfect reprieve and the perfect place to watch a matinée on a rainy Sunday in San Francisco.

The theater was actually quite a bit fuller than I had expected and it was cozy, smelling of warm buttered popcorn and the soft warmth lulled me and the movie with its fluidity of images and poetic moments, its small details and artistry drew me in.

I left happy and content and meandered a nice mellow walk to my friend’s house.

We chatted, had tea, he fed me an apple and a thick slice of brie, we caught up, compared notes about this and that, school, mutual friends, life.

It was just right.

Then I headed over to Firewood Cafe up in the Castro and had a big heart to heart with my person about the events of my day and got some suggestions and afterwards we went over to Diamond and 18th and hung out with a big group of fellows and I got to be held and it felt so good to sit next to someone who loves me and gives me perspective and also doesn’t sugar coat anything and yet advocates for me in a way I am not sure anyone has ever done before.

And now home.

Some Jeff Buckley on the stereo, I was just talking about the show that I saw him in when he was on tour with his album Grace last night with my friend in Oakland.

I love you.

But.

I am afraid to love you.

How I heard the news when he died, drowning in a river, the Mississippi to be exact.

I was setting up the Angelic Brewing Company for that night’s dinner service and had cued up Grace to play on the sound system and one of the waitresses walked past and stopped and said, “God, weren’t you devastated when you heard he’d died?  I haven’t been able to listen to this yet, thanks for playing it now.”

I gasped.

I had remembered only that day wondering when he was going to be on tour again, impatiently waiting for his long over due album My Sweetheart, The Drunk.

I ended up giving him a eulogy in my speech class that semester and crying shamelessly during it.

Music moves me.

When he sang Leonard Cohen’s version of Hallelujah during the encore at the Barrymore Theater in Madison I just about collapsed with the joy and the exquisite pain of the music.

But you don’t really care for music.

Do you?

Things change.

But somethings are indelible on my soul and that song, those words, landed and stuck.

I have a great deal of perspective since then and have grown, moved, changed, evolved, but poetry is poetry is poetry.

And when I walked through the streets of San Francisco in the overcast grey and threatening rain I was glad for the light and the rain and the soft forlorn grey and the sweet surreal beauty of the sky over the Opera House, in the alleys of the Mission, the graffiti murals washed clean and bright in the tepid grey of the day, my heart shifted and the bloom of the umbrella over my head sheltered me and led me forward into the heart of the city that I am so-called to be a part of and belong to.

I am.

Even when the day was different then what I expected.

The open window lets the rain in.

The open heart lets the love in.

Thank you San Francisco.

I do so love you.

I do.

Thank you for loving me back.

It has not gone unnoticed.

No.

It has not.

 

You’ve Lost Weight!

December 16, 2016

The counter woman at the postal office said to me today as I dropped off the last Christmas package that needed to go in the mail.

“Thanks, yes, I thought it was starting to show a little,” I smiled.

“You look great!”

That was a nice way to start my day.

Especially since I haven’t really lost weight.

Although, I am looking smaller, I’ve been doing so much yoga, signed up for a class tomorrow morning, because I still can before my schedule at work completely up ends and I have to figure out how I will make time with the new job, I haven’t, in fact, lost weight.

I’m just tighter, stronger, and my posture is a lot better.

I can feel it when I walk and I do feel lighter in my body, even though the scale said otherwise.

I don’t like using a scale, it’s a number that has a lot of connotations attached to it that aren’t mine and they don’t serve me.

But looking in the mirror, I do, in fact, see a slightly smaller body and I definitely feel stronger in my person.

And that’s nice.

“Have a good night kiddo,” the Uber driver said to me as he dropped me off tonight.

So much rain, I was not taking my scooter out in it today, so a ride to work, a ride to meet my person at Firewood Cafe in the Castro after work and a  ride home, good thing I’m selling back some books tomorrow!

I leaned back into the car, “thanks for saying that, I turn 44 on Sunday! Have a great night!”

My driver waited while I got into the front gate of my house, then leaned out the window, “you look amazing, you do not look 44!  You’re still a kiddo.”

Thanks man.

Hey, I’m single too.

hehe.

Anyway.

The yoga, it shows.

And I am grateful to be doing it especially as the holidays, though jolly, can at times be a little melancholic for me.

I don’t think I’m alone in that.

That being said, I am super happy to have the family and fellowship and friendships that I have and I am realizing where I need to cultivate them, those relationships, and where I need to let them go.

“You are like me,” my person said tonight, “one act of kindness and forever in the other person’s debt.”

Oh.

Damn.

So true.

Things are changing internally and some relationship changes are occurring and have been occurring and I realized that I could be grateful for the time I have had with people, with relationships, and not have to hold onto them or force them to work.

The only relationship I really need to cultivate is one with myself.

And others will follow.

Being respectful to myself, loving myself, taking care of myself, it shows and it’s nice to give it back to the world.

“We’re going to miss you around here,” the girl at the register said to me today as I picked up a few extra supplies for the dinner I made the family tonight–lobster, corn, sushi rice, and teryaki roast salmon.

Yeah.

Like that.

“Do you like lobster,” my employer asked me today when I was going down the list of things to do and cook and make.

Um.

YES.

My boss had picked up three and it was a lobster boil tonight.

I haven’t had it in a little while.

I even clarified the butter.

Damn Gina.

It was good.

I had to dash out in the rain to the corner market and get some extra ingredients and had a sweet chat with the woman who works the register and wished her happy holidays and told her about leaving my current job and moving over to the Glen Park neighborhood.

The aforementioned complement and a request that I not forget them and come in for a visit once in a while.

I loved that.

It feels so nice to be appreciated, to be seen, to be acknowledged.

Although I don’t act nice for the acknowledgment of it, or for accolades, it just feels better to be thoughtful and kind.

Heck.

I even got a hug from my yoga instructor today.

He’s become a favorite of mine during the week and I won’t be able to take his classes anymore since my job schedule is changing.

Today was my last Thursday morning class.

He commiserated with me about my schedule and school and said he was really going to miss having me in class and he hoped that I would stick with the yoga.

I am sticking.

I just don’t know what it will look like.

Story of my life.

I don’t know what anything is going to look like anymore.

Which, really, if I admit it, is rather a relief.

I like surprises.

I just know that I am going tomorrow and after that I will take a shower, make coffee, eat breakfast, and go sell back my books.

Then work.

Then the big paper on Saturday.

That is sort of all my focus at the moment.

Get through work.

Get through this paper.

There will always be something to work on, to do, to be, to become, so I also wish to just stop and acknowledge that it was a hard day, work had some challenges I didn’t really feel like writing about, and I’m grateful for every moment, because I keep learning about what I want and don’t want, in relationships, in employment, in school, in life.

It’s good stuff really, even the challenging stuff I can be grateful for and when I look back over the arc of the day I could complain about the difficulties, but really, when I was treated so warmly, so kind, with sweetness and compliments, and well, love, why the fuck would I bother to focus on the negative?

No thanks.

Today was a good day.

And I’ll end on that note.

Because.

Well.

lt was.

 

 

End Days

December 15, 2016

I had my last day with the family up in Noe Valley today.

My key ring is just a little bit lighter.

And my heart a little bit softer and sad.

But a sweet kind of sad.

A grateful kind of melting in my heart, all the brood wrapped up in a blanket on the couch, even the dog cuddled under my arm, the oldest boy reading his own book, the middle boy and I counting meerkats in the find the meerkat book, and the littlest girl on my lap intermittently reading Pete the Cat with me.

It was pretty awesome.

We even had a special bubble bath, heaps of bubbles and finger painting soap.

It was hilarious.

I was a little remiss to discover that I had the full afternoon to myself and the baby and the boys were getting picked up by grandma to do cookie baking.

I had thought I would have all three the whole day.

I had plans.

Oh well.

But.

I still got to have some time alone with all of them and it was good.

I also kicked myself a little for not bringing my Psychopathology with me to work on, I could have knocked out another couple of hours.

But this morning I decided I wasn’t going to lug around all the books and notebooks, I have never had a Wednesday when I was able to get time alone to do homework.

Let alone breathe, most of the time juggling three is a new level of nannying for me.

It was good practice though and the experience will not be lost on me as I transition to the next family and their soon to be three children–mom is due on December 30th.

I start on January 2nd.

That’s not so far away and yet feels like years away.

So much in between here and there.

Just knocking them out day by day.

Doing yoga.

Got up again today and went.

It was hard.

Super fucking hard.

There are some poses that my body just can’t get to, I’m too tight, too stiff, have had too much damage done, bad ankles, bad knees.

I leaked tears.

I have a really hard time doing any of the squatting poses and I tried, I really did, but between the shoulder that’s been a pester and my ankles being awful (I mean I may have sustained that ankle injury two years ago, but that bitch flairs up all the time, ALL the time) I ended up seizing up.

My legs cramped.

I got a Charley horse.

And my foot began to cramp.

I fell out of the pose and tried to catch my breath in child’s pose while the rest of the class blithely went about doing it as if it were nothing.

I cried, but it was not an angry kind of cry.

It was sort of surrendering to the moment cry and the tears were yes because I was in pain, but also, there was some emotional baggage there that I just didn’t even realize until a little more time had pass and the class was winding down.

As I lay there on the mat, eyes closed, tears sliding down my face, I made an amends to myself.

Out of nowhere, this part of me just sobbed, inside, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”

And then.

I forgave myself.

I beat my body up.

I used my body as a shield.

I over ate to protect my too tender heat not realizing how harmful it was going to be later down the line.

I took relief and succor where I could find it.

It did not serve.

My brain perhaps, it alleviated the pain of being in my body, in this world, with all the suffering contingent therein.

I didn’t know any better.

And I did the best I could.

I wore shitty shoes and didn’t exercise and ate crap for decades.

Until I didn’t.

But it took awhile and instead of going to that place I do sometimes in my brain when I want to explain to everyone around me why I can’t do something, why my body, older by far than the whippet lithe bodies of twenty year olds around me, wasn’t capable of doing what everyone else could do, I stopped.

I don’t need to tell anyone my story, I don’t need to justify my experience, I don’t have to explain.

I don’t owe anyone an explanation.

All that matters is that I showed up.

And when I think about all the abuse I have been through and all the abuse I have heaped upon myself and all the things I put into my body, well, fuck, thank  God I still have a body to walk around in, to do yoga in, to make love in, to sleep in, to enjoy eating food in.

Because if life were fair.

I’d be dead.

Seriously.

So as I lay on that mat, softly tearing up, welling with emotions, I forgave myself, I forgave myself for it all and I made a promise, to my body, from my heart, I will do the best I can to take care of you, body, I will love you and nourish you and treat you kindly and exercise and keep showing up for yoga and it will be a life long amends.

I felt soothed and relieved and wiped out and it wasn’t even time to go to work yet.

A hot shower.

A hot cup of coffee.

Some oatmeal.

And work.

And love.

And yeah, so I didn’t get to that paper today, it would have been interrupted anyway, I did have a wonderful day with the baby and the boys and I took a long walk and I wrote the last of my Christmas cards and I sent out little reminders to friends about Sunday and brunch on my birthday.

My birthday feels so far away.

Until I finish the last paper, it all feels very far away.

Anyway.

Right here.

Right now.

I’m tired.

I’m going to make some more tea and snuggle into my cozy bed, watch my Christmas tree, revel in my body, grateful for all the places it has carried me today.

So grateful to be in this body.

Especially.

As I sit quietly waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in.

Seriously.

Let Go

December 14, 2016

Move the fuck on.

“Block his number,” my person said succinctly and to the point.

HOLY FUCK.

I had not thought of that.

Then I thought.

Shit.

That’s the right thing to do.

I just unfriended as well off social media and each small step was a little moving in the right direction.

There’s nothing wrong with the guy, fyi, in case you’re wondering.

What’s wrong or perhaps not quite right, or perhaps better yet, what wasn’t working for me, is that I was falling into the same stupid trap again.

Better to let go the person and move the fuck on.

I don’t do myself or anyone else a service when I’m up in fantasy land.

And it wasn’t that good, I remind myself.

No.

It wasn’t bad either, it just didn’t serve, it wasn’t good for me, it didn’t fulfill my heart, I was left wanting a lot more and wanting more from a person who is not capable of offering more is something that I do and I have often crumpled in the face of change, when oh, that rut is so comfy and I know it so well.

And.

Didn’t you see?

I just redecorated and got a new couch for the space.

Fuck me.

I expressed to my person today that I was actually relieved that the guy I was supposed to spend time with last night cancelled.

But in a twist I wasn’t expecting my person added, you deserve to be respected, block his number.

What?

You mean I deserve the time of day, the respect of my schedule, that my needs are important.

Stop the fucking presses.

Yes.

Of course.

And if I don’t step up to that it’s my own damn fault.

So rather than fall down that hole again, Alice decided to take the elevator up to the top of the hill and look around.

See what she can see.

I see yoga in my future.

Signed up for a class tomorrow.

Went today.

Hella stiff and sore and snaggle toothed and old, man I just felt stupid and old.

Then, as I relaxed a little, I did think to myself, lady pants you sat in a desk chair at school for 29 hours, of course your body is out of whack, and you didn’t get more than five or six, max, and I do mean max, hours of sleep for the last four nights.

Give yourself a break and be happy you showed up to the mat.

Expectations always do take me down.

They just lead to resentment.

And a life lived on resentment is not one I wish to have.

Nope.

This lady is all about happy and fun.

Let me repeat that.

Happy.

And.

Fun.

Fun does not need to be roller coasters.

Fun can be writing Christmas cards or sending packages in the mail.

I got my oldest niece her gift today, I saw it last week at Rainbow and was quite taken with it, granted it was more expensive than I had planned on spending, art supplies, but, fuck, I just knew it when I saw it, had her name written all over it.

So.

I got it.

And then I mailed her card and my mom’s Christmas package and my sister’s too, which included a few things for my youngest niece.

It really felt so sweet and good to put their packages in the mail.

I feel blessed that I can send them gifts.

It wasn’t always that way and there were years and lapses in time that I didn’t send my family gifts.

It feels right to make up for that now and to continue fostering connections.

Even if it’s just a card in the mail.

It means I love you.

I do you know.

So much.

Breaks my heart.

I’m ok with that, heart break, I’ve had my share, I’ll probably have more before my days here on this plane are done.

And that’s ok too.

It means I’m alive.

What a fucking gift, this, to be alive, to be in this skin.

It’s not perfect, but it’s mine and I’m ever so grateful for it.

Yup.

A beautiful gift that I get to treat well and respect and care for and love.

I’m getting better at that all the time.

And I do deserve respect.

It felt good to remind myself of that this afternoon.

I had made the phone call check in to my person this afternoon while I was at the beginning of my work shift, although certainly not the beginning of my day–that had started hours and hours before I even got to work.

But I did not block the phone number until late in the afternoon.

When.

Ha.

I was wondering vaguely in the back of my head if he was going to text me today and what would I say and.

What the fuck, Martines?!

Ugh.

Block the number now.

It’s like a dangerous default, I don’t even know my brain is going there.

This is why I work with people, this is why I make myself accountable to others, their perspectives are so fucking important.

I walk around with god damn blinders on.

“He’s totally interested in you,” my girlfriend said to me years and years ago.

“No he’s not, he’s gay,” I told my friend.

“Gay?  Are you out of your mind, he’s literally beating your face with his penis, Carmen, he’s so not gay,” my friend said with incredulity, then dipped her french fry into the pool of ranch dressing on her plate.  “Seriously, he has a great big boner for you and it’s a not a gay boner.”

Turns out.

He wasn’t gay.

Once in a while.

I think.

Oh, look, a new perspective, I’ve taken off  the blinders.

But.

You know.

I’m always in my way.

I’m the one thing in my way.

So, pray to God, I’m serious, get the fuck out of your own way.

Go have fun.

Go play pinball.

Go to yoga.

Let go.

Move on.

And don’t worry.

You’re on a collision course with what is supposed to happen.

You just can’t see around the corner.

You’re not blind.

But you’re not a mind reader either.

Just saying.

Grad School Death Bed

December 9, 2016

A friend asked me how I was doing today and I rattled off all the things school and all the books and all the papers and all the presentations.

And.

Fuck me.

I’m so done.

But.

I’m not done yet.

Nope the death rattle on this semester has yet to start shaking.

I have papers galore to turn in tomorrow and yes, my Child Therapy presentation to do, but the big puppy, the big paper, the Moby fucking Dick final for Psychopathology is not done.

Nor shall it be for a while.

I won’t be able to touch it over the weekend.

I’ll have my three days of classes to attend.

And.

Yes.

A wedding in the middle of it.

At least I’ll look cute for it, I am hella stoked for my dress and pretty new blue shoes.

I’ll take some pictures, don’t worry.

I don’t believe I will actually be able to write the paper until next Saturday.

Sigh.

I’ll, fingers crossed, work on it while the baby naps, please God, on Monday, but I don’t see having it done on Monday.

And that’s ok.

Or Tuesday.

And that’s ok too.

It will get done.

And it will get done by the end of day Saturday.

I refuse to have that thing hanging over my head on my birthday.

I can’t believe it’s next Sunday.

I still have a few days left of 43.

I’m so not really focused on it, it’s dim and hard to see, these next few days are really all I have on my mind.

I am ready for them.

All I have to do is show up.

My books are packed, my notebooks too, my files and folders and pens.

My lunch and dinner.

My coffee and tea.

Yeah.

I roll like that.

I bring all the things.

All of them.

And I’m happier for it.

The day after tomorrow, Saturday, when I will be leaving early to head to a dear friends wedding, I won’t roll with anything.

Not even my school books.

Nope.

I’m just going to come to class, check into Family Therapy, have lunch with a friend, sit through the first half of Psychopathology and then bounce at the break.

I will be taking the gift for the wedding and me.

That’s all.

I don’t feel like hauling shit all over the city.

Especially since it calls for rain for the next few days.

And yes.

I did ride my scooter today.

The rain was not as bad and the weather report showed that there would be no rain at all, so I chanced it.

Of course.

There was rain.

But it was not as bad as last night and it wasn’t as cold.

I took it slow and gentle and got home safe and sound.

Granted, a bit damp, but home safe.

I won’t bother taking it in tomorrow, I don’t want to worry about morning rush commute.

I always have to deal with it on Friday mornings when I go to class, the rest of the time I manage to avoid rush hour, and I just can’t fathom lane splitting to get to class.

I’m just going to take the train, N-Judah style, all the way in.

It picks up one block from my house and I’ll get off one and a half blocks from school.

I already have my fare set aside on the table.

Like I said.

I’m ready.

I’m totally ready.

I even snuck in one last yoga class today.

And holy fuck.

It was just what I needed.

It might have been one of the best classes I have ever taken.

It felt so good and I felt the anxiety of school melt off the back of my shoulders and I was actually bummed when I realized that I won’t be able to get to another class until Tuesday morning since I have an early start Monday and a long day.

And a date after work.

Yes.

Like that.

I make some wiggle room for fun when it comes knocking.

I have to.

Just like I need to do the yoga.

I need to do the fun too.

It’s no fun when I don’t make an effort to have some injected into my life.

No matter how busy with the work and the school.

It’s important.

So.

Yes.

Lunch with a friend from school Saturday, the wedding–there will be dancing, and a date on Monday after work and doing the deal.

Then yoga Tuesday morning.

The yoga, though, damn it was good, and I am hella grateful that I let myself go.

I had momentarily thought about not going and doing some prep and running some errands before work today, but I realized that I’d rather be a little sore and get that last day in at the studio.

Very grateful.

Funny how sometimes it takes me a minute, or a month or three, to do those things that are so good for me.

The yoga is fantastic for me and yet I had those three months I just balked at doing it.

And no regrets, it was the experience I needed to have and I am pretty sure that with all the things I was processing emotionally I just needed a break and I took it and I got the emotional and mental rest I needed.

I didn’t drop into a depression.

But it was damn close and I’m super grateful that I got back into the yoga before it could develop.

I tend towards it, having had major clinical depression diagnosed back in 2007 and clinical anxiety and PTSD, it can be easy for me to fall into the hole.

Exercise helps a lot.

And what with the not so much on my bicycle and the lapse in the yoga and the emotional pot that was stirred early in the semester, I was certainly flirting with it.

Thank God I glided through.

Although, I am contemplating get myself a sun lamp since I do have seasonal depression as well, that was the first depression that I was diagnosed with in Wisconsin.

Fuck.

Who doesn’t have seasonal depression in Wisconsin?

Ha.

But.

It’s looking like a wet winter and darker than it’s been, so maybe some pre-emptive sunshine is on order.

Anyway.

I get a head of myself.

Just here.

Just now.

Just going to wrap it up and get ready for bed and have a little more tea and get ready for school.

Last weekend of the semester.

Let’s do this!

Have A Great

December 3, 2016

School free weekend!

My boss said to me as I headed out.

Ha.

Ha.

Ha.

Fucking ha.

I have a lot to do this weekend, a lot of writing, as much writing as I can get to.

Tomorrow, granted, I may not do the writing, I sort of have some time ear marked toward it, but I have a lot of errands I have to run, yoga to do, meeting my person who is celebrating a big anniversary, 29 years, with a cake at Tart to Tart and I have to be there.

I mean.

29 fucking years.

Amaze balls.

My hero, my confidant, my help, my perspective, all the damn time.

I’m so grateful for her in my life, it’s a big deal.

So yeah.

I will be there.

And then the errands that need to be addressed so that I don’t have to address them during the work week or next weekend.

Because I will be back in school next weekend.

And we all know, or I should say, I know, that the weekend before the weekend of school is always fraught with the busy.

I can’t do anything but school when I’m in the weekend, so all the laundry, groceries, and food prep for this week and the following week, I have to attend to.

Or let me rephrase that.

I get to attend to.

The self-care that I do prior to my school weekend leaves me feeling taken care of, supported, nurtured, and loved.

Loved by myself, so that all I have to do is show up for class and participate.

The great news is, that all my reading is done, so it really is just writing the papers this weekend, to the best of my ability, as much as I can.

I will write my Family Therapy paper on Sunday.

I may get it started tomorrow, but I don’t see that I will actually get to the writing.

I have a few too many errands to run.

I did get one out-of-the-way today, got the wedding gift for a friend’s wedding that happens to fall smack dab in the middle of my school weekend next weekend, but hey, I got to go.

And I wanted to make sure I got the gift today when I had a soupcon of extra time.

I got up early.

No.

I did not do yoga, but I looked fondly at the yoga studio when I zoomed past it on my scooter this morning.

I will, however, be in yoga tomorrow morning, I already signed up on-line, so I’m committed to going, which is always a good way for me to roll and the class is taught by my favorite teacher who I haven’t seen in a few weeks, so I’ll be getting up.

The alarm is set.

No, this morning I zipped over to the Fillmore.

Yes.

That’s right.

Hair fucking Fairies.

My third.

And.

Yes.

FINAL.

Visit.

I was cleared today.

No lice.

No eggs.

No babies.

Nada.

They still gave me a treatment, but it was quick and the comb out took about 45 minutes instead of the hours and hours I have had to sit before.

It felt so good to walk out of there with a clean head of hair.

So.

Fucking.

Nice.

“If you want we can book you one more time, just as a safe guard, it’s a free dry check,” the receptionist said as I “signed” my bosses credit card slipped.

“No thanks, I’m all set,” I smiled, and headed out the door.

I don’t need to see that neighborhood again for some time, thank you very much.

I hopped on the scooter and had an hour before work.

So I actually went shopping in the Mission.

Which I don’t do very often.

I work in the Mission and cafes and parks are my office, not so much the retail.

There are stores opening that I haven’t even seen since I never go in them with the boys, too many small hands grabbing for the bright and shiny things.

“Touch with your eyes, not with your hands,” I have suggested to the boys on numerous occasions.

Some times it works, more so than you might think, but I can usually tell they’re not going to make it very long in any kind of retail store, they are just too curious.

So.

Today.

An hour.

On Valencia Street.

Before work.

I covered a couple of blocks and even stopped in at Ritual for a very hot latte.

The temperature has dropped and it feels like winter is here.

I took a moment after getting my coffee and sat in the parklet in front of the cafe and admired my French braids in the reflection and basked in my clean hair and shiny braids.

Then, off to shop.

And yes, I found what I needed and made it to work right on time.

One more small thing off the list.

Tomorrow I hope to do a little shopping for the wedding, personal shopping, I am thinking of wearing a certain dress and though I do have shoes that will work with it, I feel like that might be a little too much for a wedding, so I want to see if I can just find a simple Mary Jane heel instead of the Mary Jane platforms I have.

They are hella cute, and sexy, but might be just a bit too much for a wedding.

Plus.

Since I will be busy with school next weekend and then it’s my birthday and then it’s my last week at work and then I’m flying to Wisconsin, I realized I need to do a tiny bit of clothes shopping to be prepared for the cold weather there.

Not a lot.

But a few things, some thermals, and maybe another coat if I feel it’s appropriate and it’s something I will use here in SF, and also a hat, I don’t have a hat that will cover my ears, I do have plenty of scarves, thank goodness, and a sweater or two.

Not a bunch of things, but depending on where I go it may take up some time during the day and I have a commitment at 7p.m.

I could feasibly be out all day from yoga onward.

Busy.

But.

Busy in a good way, in a way that will support me through my last weekend of school and moving forward through the month.

Super excited for all the fun December has in store.

Even if it means having to write a few great big papers before I get to have all the fun.

The fun.

It will happen.

Believe it.

I do.


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