labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
it didn't feel like being crabs in a bucket
too lonely an experience for a plural metaphor.


though definitely there was a dragging down experience:
  • anything exceptional
  • anything experimental
  • anything that broke the status quo


I expected we'd be raising each other up
not pulling someone back to toe the line
I expected us all to reach for the stars
not speak only when spoken to

I didn't realize my teaching internship
landed me in a diploma-mill
churning out inferior product
with very few value-add options

Should I have known better?
I didn't.
I have always been too trusting.

I was sent into the trenches
to build bridges with cardboard
and I was guilty when the bridges failed.

when I asked for lumber they said
"There's no budget for that
You'll have to find that yourself."
And some of them smirked.

I was a hero
but I couldn't see it
all I could see was
muddy trenches and disrespect
for miles in every direction

and when I was discharged
grateful and ashamed
I took my papers and went away
glad and sorrowful
that I was too soft for these wars.

I tend my garden on this faraway hillside
watch the struggle from a distance
climb the cliffs seeking perspective -
and maybe some new way to stop the war.


(this is my entry for this week's [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol.)
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
You'd think, with how good my life is now, that it'd be easy to pretend.

Pretend WHAT? says the acidic voice in the back of my head...
Pretend that you were happy? Pretend that you felt loved? Pretend that you ever felt safe?

"Yeah," I shoot back at the Nasty. "Pretend that I had a 'happy childhood.'"

I'm an optimist now. It feels as though I have always been an optimist, and perhaps I have. I'm not SURE, though.

From a very early age, I remember... melancholy, and a sense of disconnect from the world around me. I remember deep suffering, and an almost equally sharp despair. I remember a fierce yearning to BELONG somewhere, or to someone, as I never did at home. Convinced that would never happen, I still determined I would somehow learn to be happy. I knew that people were happy, somewhere (though not my family, except in brief glimpses.)

Wasn't it Tolstoy who said that unhappy families were all different and happy ones were all the same? I disagree. I've met so many people from unhappy families, and we all have so much in common... It feels like Tolstoy had it backwards. The folks I know who had happy childhoods seem to me like visitors from another planet.

My own childhood feels as though someone else experienced it. It feels like a story I was told long ago that no longer apples to me, so I have mostly forgotten it.

It's no longer relevant to my current life, my childhood, but it's still true. And it's still a part of my story.
*thinking*

Joy staining backwards. That's how Lucy Maud Montgomery defined it... In her book The Blue Castle, the main character has a miserable life under the thumb of her family and the small minded society of the small Canadian town she lives in. Valancy has a brush with death, determines to make a change for herself in the short time she believes remains to her, and finds happiness for the first time in her life. Her joy in her new life with her new husband is so vivid and rich that she finds even her memories of the miserable grey childhood of neglect, control, and verbal abuse, seem happier as she looks back on them. Like looking on the past with rose colored glasses, her past did not change, but her present joy gives her a new perspective on the horrible events and the grim family that were all that she knew for most of her life.

Sometimes, nowadays, it does seem as though my life has only been contented, full of love, happy, and with my needs met. It's because the contrast between then and now, makes THEN seem completely unreal and distant. Now is what's real. This hilltop I live on now, these woods I ramble through with those I love and those who challenge me and make me laugh. I don't delude myself anymore that I was truly happy, back then. I was lonely, miserable, heartsick, and friendless.

But I am none of those things anymore. Even when I am completely solitary, I am none of those things anymore.

I am standing beneath the same moon as my childhood self, and it is a comfort to me... a comfort that I still have a childlike sense of connection to the universe, to the impersonal unending beauty of nature and the cosmos. I have joy, I have courage, I have friends and family and beloved community. I have plans and goals that draw me on to the next chapter, the next goal, the next adventure.

I know that this moment is just a pause to rest and refresh myself. Anticipating the next big adventure, like my heroine in The Blue Castle, doesn't mean I've forgotten my past, or am in denial of what life was like, then.

Now is different. These hiking boots don't come with a rear-view mirror. They do help me carry my permanent sense of wonder, along with all the other tools I now possess. Life is amazing, NOW.

And Now? That's where my focus is.




This has been my entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol, week 11. The prompt was "recency bias."

I'm enjoying writing within this community very much. If you enjoyed this post, or got something out of it, please consider voting for me so I can continue to write with these amazing and supportive people. The polls are available HERE , and I'm returning back in Tribe One.
labelleizzy: (strong)
The last three weeks or so have been really tough for me with regards to getting to the gym on a regular basis. There was a gap where Tal wasn't working one week, and since I've cut back my sessions with her from twice a week to once a week, it's been difficult to motivate myself to haul ass over to the JCC for a minimum of two days of movement per week, and my joints and muscles are COMPLAINING. Seriously, yo. There is no bullshit here, I'm not sad or cranky or disappointed, because it means I have, to borrow a phrase from [livejournal.com profile] karenbynight, Upped My Game. Body has accustomed itself to enough regular movement and strength building exercise that it puts me on notice when I do not do that thing.

And that's precisely the kind of asskicking I require. Good.

Since I've had trouble getting the minimum of two-three hours healthy movement per week, I wanted to return here, and chain my habits together again. The good habit (writing) should support the struggling habit (movement and strength-building) until I can get back on board with regular gym visits and other things.

Benefits of regular movement include:
* mood elevation/evening out
* physical strength has increased
* decrease in regular back pain and other bodily pains
* increase in flexibility of body and mind
* increase in ability to focus for long periods of time at a task (like making art or jewelry)
* improved digestion, appetite, and food choices
* increased stamina and agility and self confidence
* investing in my own future self, my aging in strength and health.

please feel free to comment on this topic, as I strive to improve my habits it's good for me to engage in conversation with others who have similar interests.

\o/
labelleizzy: (networking)
[livejournal.com profile] ghost_light is having an Anniversary of her LJ, friending friendzy over at her journal, OVER HERE, so if you are looking for people to interact with here on LJ, you could probably find some new interesting folks.

(I saw [livejournal.com profile] tatjna and Frank over there, who I'd met on someone else's friending Friendzy, so there's still a few die-hards over here who are interested in sticking around.)
labelleizzy: (asskicking)


Just like two weeks ago when I had that shift where my shoulder released, this week goes workout, massage, workout. Massage was today, and I told Danniel about the progress of two weeks ago on the left shoulder, and asked him to work on the right, and a bit on places where I am sore from yesterday's workout...

 

 

 

working with Danniel feels like Safe Space. He has proved i can trust him.  But it is WORK, sometimes more than others... to trust, to consciously relax and let someone cause me PAIN because I know if I can relax, and let him do what he's proved he's excellent at, I will make further physical progress in my struggle to gain full body Strength and Flexibility. (your mileage may vary, of course)

 

 

 

Today was excruciating all through both shoulders, down the pectorals, and through the big muscles that form the armpit, front and back.

 

 

 

part of what makes Danniel so special as a massage therapist is that I... well. I am very vocal during massage. I make a lot of what I know are noises not generally OK in public spaces... and I've never had him make me feel weird or wrong or even an iota uncomfortable for doing so.

 

 

 

and he does deep painful work, and uses my sounds as guides, digging in or holding steady as is needed.
Today there were a few moments where I was hyperventilating because the pain was pretty intense, but I could feel the muscle fibers lengthening and the moment where I conquered the pain by enduring it was the moment that the muscle relaxed and gave in, and then the pain got less. (story of my life in a nutshell, right here.)

 

 

 

I had an odd moment there this morning, where I felt like all the hollering and moaning and groaning was actually deep releases of very old pain, pain from times in my life when it wasn't safe or smart to grieve or express myself out loud.  it's being an incredibly valuable experience to VOCALIZE when it hurts, even if, or maybe because, it's nonverbal noise.  And because it's safe.  I didn't have the privilege of crying with someone there to comfort me till I was well past 30... I appreciate this deeply on account of I didn't get to have it growing up.

 

 

 

I'm proud of myself for doing this healing work even when it's not "fun" or pleasurable. I'm learning to value myself in the physical realm and to do what's needed to take care of and maintain the health of my body.

 

 

 

my goal is to be a spry and flexible and juicy old broad, who laughs too loud and too long, who amuses and offends the neighbors, and who goes on all kinds of adventures with all kinds of friends.

 

 

 

And what I am doing now, is building strength and good habits slowly and carefully, so I can achieve that goal.

 

 

 

Looking cute was never enough motivation for me... but comparing confident and strong old ladies and weak, tottering old ladies at the gym?

 

 

 

well. which group do YOU want to be in?
Best. Motivation. Ever.

 




labelleizzy: (do it)
Maybe it's an inconsequential thing to notice (but it doesn't FEEL LIKE IT) but I can see my ankles now, they look bony and strong, and we've uncovered a long elegant sweep from foot to calf.

The arches of my feet are lower, my feet are more flexible and rarely cramp up nowadays.

My legs are gaining muscle, I'm finding many weight bearing movements are becoming more fluid and graceful (getting in and out of the car for example), and I'm starting to feel muscles in my waist and belly also.

My muscles are frequently sore and tired from twice weekly hard workouts. Tal wants me to do cardio a minimum of three times a week, pretty hard cardio, like periodically huffing for breath kind of cardio. Its a fair cop. I'll get stronger faster and hopefully hold it longer if I get in the habit of regular cardio, and I *should * have more confidence for small physical adventures.

I'm embarrassed by the fact that it has taken so long to try and get fit but I've got to remember that my knee was messed up for close to fifteen years and that I believed the doctors when they told me nothing was badly wrong, in spite of not consistently being able to walk straight, and I internalized a lot of the wider culture's fat shaming. And in this regard, I need to relax and forgive myself. I need to allow myself to be proud of the fact that I'm less than two years post knee surgery and I'm making progress and gaining strength and muscle and wind and the habit of movement in the last two years. After a long time of being mostly stationary and mostly flabby, this is good.

I do have some shame around "having to hire someone who teaches me how to move and how much" and I have some of my version of white liberal guilt" that Jeff's salary (& not my own) is paying for this. Working on feeling like I am worth the spending money on. Its an ongoing thing.

That said, I feel stronger and like I am moving forward in the physical part of my like.

Now, I need to generate more of that towards the occupations finding part of my life and much more should improve. Like kicking my bike into higher gear.

Okay.
labelleizzy: (brain dump)
*grin*
I've been studying this for *years*, no lying. I knew I grew up in a house of clutterholics, I knew it was uncomfortable and didn't feel healthy, but for most of my growing up years I had no idea how to get out of the collecting, and, let's be honest, packrat habits.

Here's the first principle, in my opinion the most important principle involved in getting over "hoarding" behaviors. YMMV, of course.

1) Hoarding is never about the *stuff*, not really. It's about your feelings.

In my family, we held on to a lot of stuff we didn't need. I've come to realize there was a real fear of lack involved. Grandma and Grandpa on mom's side both lived through the Depression, and came out with a "save everything, it might be needed someday" attitude.

*narrowed eyes*
This led to junk drawers of all kinds throughout the house, filled with random screws, rubber bands, office supplies (broken and whole), kid's toys, eyeglasses someone had outgrown, small lengths of thread or yarn, twistie ties, and, well, I'm sure you are mostly award of this trend and how it's manifested in spaces you are familiar with. Linen closets with lots of ratty old towels, taking up the space for the good towels. Clothes in the closet that haven't fit for *years* or are a style you'll never wear again but were "too good to give away". Broken tools in the workbench drawers because "someday we'll get that fixed".

Useless JUNK.

I came out of that house and clung to all my STUFF. I conflated my STUFF with my memories, with my feelings, with how people would think of me, with how I saw /myself/. And it was paralyzing.

Too much STUFF! Almost all with mental and emotional associations of scarcity, lack, worry, fear, and not-feeling-good-enough.

And I KNEW that I had too much stuff, and I knew it was helping me hold onto all these unproductive feelings and ideas, but the overwhelm and paralysis meant that it was a lot easier to shuffle stuff around in order to find the useful stuff, than it was to GET RID OF the stuff that was useless.

I'm not sure of exactly my tipping point.
I know I had one, or several; points of OMG WTH have I been doing with my life?!?!

One:
When living with my exspouse, I determined to go through one of the many boxes-o-junk we'd stashed in the "storage room" off the landing to the stairs in the condo we were living in. It was full of mostly papers, mostly five to ten years old, many envelopes unopened.

I was ashamed.
I went in anyway, with a bag for recycling and a letter opener.

And in that box were bills addressed to my college address. Five+ years old, never opened. *toss* *wince*
And in that box were papers that had no meaning to my current life. *toss* "Why have I been KEEPING these?"
...
And in that box was an envelope from the university, and a date-stamp for around when I graduated.
(no, it wasn't anything cool, it was embarrassing.)
I open the envelope, and it's the information on where when and how to return my graduation cap and gown.

So. Much. Headdesk. Something like 7 years later.
I think that I was sometimes too scared to open the bills when I was in college, because I didn't have money to pay them, and in my house you just didn't talk about money. or bills. or owing people money. or ask your parents for money you knew they didn't have, to help you out.

So I guess I learned to stick my head in the sand about things that scared me that way.

And it took a rare bit of courage, initially, to dig in to all that STUFF and to face all of those old, fermented feelings, let them out, let them crumble to dust or evaporate into the air.

Yes, sometimes I did get hit with the big feelings, letters from loved ones, job evaluations (good or bad), or reminders of things I had promised to do and hadn't actually done. Disappointments, old pains, frustration with myself and with others.

But mostly, for me, (eventually) the satisfaction of clearing out the dreck and the useless overcame the Other Feelings that were triggered BY the dreck and the useless.

And sometimes you'd find treasures in the dragon's hoard. That helped make it worth it.

Your STUFF is not the same as your self-worth, nor is it the same as your feelings, or your reputation.

I do tend to admire people who live tidy lives, for many reasons but not least of which is that it seems a lot easier to do the things you want to do without having to paw through a bunch of Old Shit to find the things you need.

I work towards that, myself.

And that? That happens A Little Bit At A Time, which will be my next musing on the subject.
labelleizzy: (Default)
I walked to work and back yesterday, my last day teaching (supervising) the choir class at the high school. Had a great chat with one of the ninth graders in the Womens Chorus. She challenged me to do something I've been saying I would do for a decade: join the ACLU. She has a point there. I also walked out on my errand to try and find a new pair of exercise pants at Target. Unfortunately that attempt was made of fail. BUT! but I did get a new package of cotton underwear! that fits! and doesn't have holes! and they are all blues and purples~!

such is my life that I am excited to spend <$10 for 6 pairs of cotton underwear. Heh. Feels a bit like pampering myself. And so, a fair bit of walking yesterday. Did not get to gym.

Going to gym today after shower & breakfast, flip laundry, start dishwasher, & library drop off. I'm really looking forward to it. Planning to ask the desk for one of the trainers to do an orientation on the machines so I can be sure I'm using correct form and to have an idea of the kind of challenge they think I can go with. I am probably not challenging myself *enough* to really build muscle mass, but I am challenging myself enough to warm up the muscles and get them and my joints to start to be flexible again. So I'll get some professional advice. =) Planning to spend about 2 hours there total, though I think I'm missing the window to try a class (today), I think it will be just right after two weeks off.

Medical TMI behind cut, or, why I can't yet use the pool at the gym, dammit )

I want to get to swimming. I really like swimming. So I am totally taking care of this detail both so I can swim and so I can get back to (ahem) other things as well. Heh.

This much said, time for my shower so I can go get brunch so I can finish my other errands and get my butt to the gym around 1 pm. Ought to ping [livejournal.com profile] angelkatharine and see if she'd like to meet me there.
labelleizzy: (creating yourself)
[livejournal.com profile] morlith had a good piece on the 9th about manifesting what he wants in his life.

Therefore, this:

I manifest in my life a rich and vibrant social network with people who think both as I do and as I /don't/. Plenty of opportunities to be with neat people who stir me up, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Friends and acquaintances challenge me to be the best I can be. Plans, are carefully considered and laid, and are carried out with casual flair (and flexibility)... I spend more time in real life with people than I do connecting with people through a computer terminal.

I manifest in my life a healthy, inclusive attitude toward health and wellness, and I attract opportunities to help me become more fit, stronger, more flexible, while having a ton of fun!

I show my thankfulness daily for the abundance in my life, in large part by sharing the abundance I have. I have an abundance of security and an abundance of resources, and an abundance of calm and love. I draw friends and loved ones who help me develop my learning-edge places, and I accept that I won't always be comfortable or happy during the process. I trust that I can ask for what I need and have it manifest for me in some form, and I am willing to work toward those needs (and some wants) getting filled.

I find plenteous opportunities to make beautiful things manifest in the world - art, dance, jewelry, meals, hospitality, and word-creations are just the beginning, as my imagination cannot contain all the potential my future may hold!

I seek relationship with bio-family, including warm, comfortable, frequent connection. I try to do nice things for my nieces and nephew at least three times a year, including random non-birthday non-holiday things.

I continue the welcome trend of playful, respectful, romantic connection in my love life and I am patient, (PATIENT I TELL YOU) about new adventures unfolding as they need to. I prioritize healthy over titillating and friendship over fucking (mostly). =) New relationships need to nourish brain and spirit as well as connecting to astrality, and will come with good interpersonal boundaries and priorities. New partners will understand their own responsibility to their own selves and will be wanting to develop communication skills and real, deep honest vulnerability (if those skills don't already come in their toolbox).

I manifest in my life a variety of chances to do meaningful work. I manifest the opportunity to explore the world and a myriad of its joys and challenges. I manifest heart-connected sincere relationships with people who matter and who want to build connection with me.
labelleizzy: (multitudes)
Finding myself lately, looking at a lot of older people. I see people with white hair and wrinkles, in athletic shoes and support hose, walking confidently or with a walker or in a wheelchair, hand in hand with a companion - a sweetie, a daughter, a son (or so I assume), or a caregiver (again I assume)...

and I realize I am indeed at middle age.

42 is a good age to be at, but I will be exceptional for my family if I live to significantly past 80.
So now is a good time, especially since I HAVE the time right now, this year, this season, to think and plan out what I want middle age to look and feel like, and to think and plan and imagine what eldering will or may look and feel like for me.

I think I need to really re-examine what I think I know about getting older, and what it will feel like from the inside. I think I am learning that a lot of assumptions I used to have about how the world worked, drove COMPLETELY off the tracks after I discovered a pagan practice, after I discovered a polyamorous lifestyle, after I realized I don't, and I can't, fit tidily into the boxes that pop culture seems to want to put everyone into.

I overflow. I am large and abundant and have way too much love and hope and earnest curiosity and quirky interests. I am not nearly sarcastic or bitter enough for "what it feels like is expected of me". I'm an idealist. I'm inclusive. I'm passionate and frequently relaxed and forgiving. I like to make things myself, to find things out myself.

I don't think we have enough dialog about what it means to leave the Youth Culture behind and move into ... what? What does it *mean* to "get older" or to "become mature" or "adult"?

Who are the models of behavior? What do we need to do to move from here to ... wherever there is? What can, what MUST we shed and leave behind to make the journey?

If I think of this process in a pagan context, I can use the five-stage model, which goes Maiden-Mother-Teacher-Warrior-Crone. (the last four steps, I feel, interchange and interweave in women's lives as we grow older and more experienced and sure of ourselves, rather than being concrete, definable stages we progress through in an orderly fashion.)

I've been through Maiden, Mother/Teacher stage (my teaching and librarianing all had a deeply maternal caretaking quality), have spent some time in Teacher/Warrior stage and want to spend more there and gain in strength and confidence. I want to return to Mother/Teacher stage as an artist, birthing words and images and inspiration... since I can't birth my children, I will find children to mother and mentor and teach; I can't "lose myself" in childrearing, so I will strive toward finding myself in artistic and community endeavor. I will find my own teachers, and worry later about Being Teacher, if I choose to return to that. Teacher/Warrior needs community, and I've let my community drift away from me for too long. If I rebuild and regrow Community for myself, I think that over time, my other needs will gradually be met: needs for people time, needs for meaningful work, needs for playful and productive connection and belonging. And my need for FUN. =)

Have been living in "stuck" mode for too long. Been struggling to do *anything* productive. I've been homecaring, and taking care of my own body. The good part of that, is that for the first time in my life, taking care of my physical self is an unconflicted, unguilted, first priority. Too many "wake up" calls about my health in the last few years.

No more "shoulds": The change is here. I *am* moving my body. I *am* finding the foods and activities that help me feel strong and healthy and good. I *am* looking to the future, to 50, 60, and yes, to 80. I'm Off The Path. I have NO idea what these years are "supposed to look like" and you know what? I don't care. I can survive in the wilderness, I can feed myself and take care of others and make all my own tools.

Not getting any younger. (in some ways, thank Gods for that!) Therefore: NOW it is time to take stock/inventory, time to truly see where I am as I descend into the season of Dionysos, into the dark and the cold, into the introspective time and the Lesser Madness. Sink my Roots. Allow myself the time to make my Tools, talk with others about the Path Ahead, laugh and eat and drink wine around the fire, love hard and plan to Do Important Things before I die.

Ripples in the pond. Are my ripples from a big ol' PLONK or are they the cascade of light, sweet rings shimmering out from a single smooth stone skipped far across the pond? I'm hoping for a many-times multiple skip with a surprising dogleg hop at the end before the splash...
labelleizzy: (jump for joy)
Thankful:

1) gorgeous crisp clear sunny day
2) art supplies
3) idea for art that Jeff has and wants to explore
4) tons of food in the fridge and freezer and pantry
5) friends who love me
6) family who love me (even though I'm weird...! they haven't said that for awhile though.)
7) warm cozy clothes
8) warm soft cozy bed
9) better-than-decent health, better than decent body
10) good brain that works on solutions in conjunction with heart and body
11) tea (mmm tea, time to go boil a kettle)
12) beautiful things in my life like movies, furniture, jewelry, this house
13) my cats (of COURSE my cats are #13!)
14) the sea, the sky, the trees, the earth, the flame - all so beautiful and so different!
15) my vegetable garden
16) medical insurance (fucked up that this is something to be thankful for instead of everyone just being covered!)
17) texture of objects - my teacup, my sweater, this desk, my cat's fur...
18) peace I've found since figuring my shit out and uprooting the unhealthy stuff in my heart
19) clarity of thinking since #18
20) children I get to work with
21) dedicated teachers and students I get to work with
22) cool people I have yet to meet(!)
23) adventures
24) learning new stuff (and getting frustrated and figuring it out)
25) the internet and all the friends I have found in it
26) really good pens and crisp strong paper
27) self-knowledge
28) intuition and having learned to trust it
29) breakfast at 11:45 am
30) and breakfast for dinner last night =)
31) the bike friendly town I live in which also has decent public transit
32) learning new things about how my body works in particular (see #24)
33) toast with cream cheese and fig spread (and all the other tasty foods!)
34) autumn leaves backlit by the descending sun
35) sunlight breaking through the clouds during a rainshower and how the world glows
36) my faith system and the deep thorough nourishment it brings me
37) rereading favorite beloved books (I just found Freckles on Google Books! I think I'm going to cry with happiness!)
38) Everyone reading this. You are appreciated and loved.
39) Second chances
40) Everyone who ever extended a hand or said a kind word when I was down. You made a difference.
41) A fresh and shiny new year to learn, love, grow, work, and change the world for the better.

Love,
Liz
labelleizzy: (Default)
as seen on [livejournal.com profile] apocalypticbob's Livejournal.

15 years ago I was 25. That was the "existential birthday" because after 25, I hadn't imagined at all what my life would be like. I had detailed expectations for every year up till 25, then 26? No clue what I should be doing with myself. Interesting, I haven't thought of that in a long time.

At 25, 15 years ago, I was back living at home with my mom. My dad had just died, about 6 months earlier. We were living in a house we rented, very near to the school that she worked at (also my old junior high). Our house had a little cement and stones waterfall-pond in the backyard, and mom spent hours dredging out that pond, shortly after we moved in. We wanted to put some goldfish in it. We discovered, once it started raining, why it needed mud dredged out of it: the rest of the yard was on a slight upslope, and the dirt from the lawn and garden flowed down hill when the waterlogged dirt... yeah. =) I loved that yard: spending time watching the fish, practicing kata on the back porch. I had just started the librarian job in the Grant district, was doing taekwondo at the community college, and feeling physically strong for the first time in my life. Emotionally, not so strong, though.

Advice for the Me of Fifteen Years Ago: (Granted if I had taken it I wouldn't be where I am today:)

* Gods, DITCH Francis already. He's not emotionally available, he's sarcastic and unsupportive, his parents are clutterholics, and so is he. He wants to keep everything the same. This is not a relationship that will help you to grow.

* Keep up with the Taekwondo. But: find a mentor who you feel comfortable going to for help in breaking down complicated moves, find someone who you can ask stupid questions of, regularly (and get used to asking uncomfortable, stupid questions). Practice jumping kicks at home, and ask for specific drills involving falling and getting over the fear of falling. And if this Do-jang doesn't do that, find another class to take, because it was the fear of asking for help/looking foolish and the fear of falling and hurting yourself that caused the knee-sprain. Twice.

* When you realize after about a year that you are still PISSED at dad for dying and everything else, give a call to that 800 number for employee mental health, and find someone to talk to about this, keep calling till you find someone. It's not natural nor good for you to be angry for six years and to be unable to remember any of the good things about your father. Also, that headspace puts you as a good match for another emotionally unavailable, sarcastic first husband. =( Talking to people is a Good Thing, and asking for help, well, you won't get help unless you do, and you won't know if you'll get help UNTIL you do ask, so talk to people.

* In that same vein, say yes more often to social events with people you like and who like you. It's good for you and builds your self-esteem and the friendships with those people as well. (The number of social events I flaked on, to have a date with a boy who didn't really make me happy...!)

* Make more stuff. Actually USE your craft supplies, you'll be sorry you didn't. Make gifts for friends and family, even if you "don't think it's good enough". The pillow that Scotty saved the dog's hair to stuff? Make that first. =(

* Do more professional development in the librarian gig, and find more ways to interact with the kids. Follow up on the mobile mini-library idea for classroom projects. Pick the brains of the English and history teachers more. Go do social stuff with Sandy and Cathy and ask Regina and Sharon out to tea. Knowing smart, experienced, older ladies is Good. Also, look into academic counseling at Sac State, you won't finish the teaching credential your first time through, but they'll understand, what with dad dying. They might be able to help you stay on track or find support services, bereavement counseling, stuff like that.

* Call your brother more. Find out more about his life, his girlfriend Sarah, have him tell you more tacky fraternity stories and explain why his fraternity was so important to him. Ask him about the trip to Hawaii, and about coaching his baseball team. Find a way to get down there and go out to dinner with him and Sarah.

* Call your sister more. Even awkward conversation is better than no conversation. Get to know Matt, and you and Jen can learn ways to support each other, and to support mom (and Scott) as well, through the grieving period. (I don't have any memories of spending time with my sister during the first year after dad died. I may be misremembering but yeah.)

* Try casual dating, and dates-with-friends. Also, dates-with-self. Strengthen the muscles of independence and self-sufficiency.

* I'd say "purge the clutter" or "get rid of the crap" but I know the crap is a security blanket that isn't going anywhere till you feel better about yourself. In addition to working on your social skills and other crafty things, try going to Al-anon, and hell, learn more about being an Adult Child of Alcoholics. Fran gave you that book because she recognized where you were, even if you didn't. Believe her. Try a meeting.

* Learn to give yourself manicures and pedicures. Seriously, you ARE worth the effort to learn to do such small things that make you happy, make you feel pretty.

* Hug your mom more. Take her along when you go out to walk the dog. Talk to her more, ask for stories of your dad from college and when they were early dating.

* Take your mom out on social events as often as she will let you. She was very very lonely for a very long time, even married to your dad and with you kids and the social life she did have... and she was primary caretaker of your dad during his final illness, even if you helped. She deserves some good times with loving, friendly people, and she won't meet them on her own for over 10 years. Help her out, it'll help you out as well.

* Enjoy the pagan community you're on the verge of joining. Talk with those folks more often, they'll be good for you. Read the books they recommend, seriously, READ them. All the way through. And read some more original sources, too, and as much other mythology as you can lay your hands on. This will be more fun and more useful than getting lost in crappy romance novels. They're good people. If you have to be shy, be shy, but ask them about themselves, learn more about who they are, how they problem solve, and the obstacles they've had in their own lives. This will help you problems-solve, and overcome your own obstacles, and again, give you confidence in your friendship-building skills, coincidentally more friends as well. =)

* Just so you know, you are sexy, and there are often people who think you are cute and want to see more of you. Don't grip so hard onto a relationship because you are worried no more are going to come around. There is enough, you have enough, you are enough. Feed yourself before you feed EVERYBODY else around you. You know about being alone, it hurts but it's not the worst pain ever.

* BTW, the worst pain ever? It's yet to come. You will handle it, and you will learn what you're made of, and it will open your eyes to who and what you are, where you are, and what your path is. It's a kind of birth. Remember that, and treat it as such.

* Be honorable, and be honest. Live by those two rules as much as you can, and treat yourself with kindness and respect.


... If you like, write a letter to the Yourself of Fifteen Years Ago, (assuming you're old enough to have figured out some life-lessons to share with that Yourself), and share with me.
labelleizzy: (green path)
Struck me rather suddenly today, that animal-taming might make a good metaphor for overcoming personal fears.

Bear with me a moment:

When you begin, the animal (the fearful part of self) is skittish, angry, violent, in pain, unpredictable (add your own adjective here). You don't know what motivates it, you aren't sure how to help at first.

So the first step is to gently build trust. You do gentle things, comforting things, calm, quiet, predictable things. Perhaps you find ways to nourish the fearful animal, as frequently they are hungry. You do this until the fearful animal calms down a little, and you begin to have positive interactions. Perhaps at this point you can start to explore what is causing the fear: is there an old or current injury? Is it a habit of thinking or behaving that can be changed? Perhaps it is something as basic as a self-reinforcing loneliness. (not that THAT is easy to cure necessarily but knowledge of the problem is half the battle to solve it.)

Trust is building, it's an ongoing process. Like Androcles and the Lion, trust itself is often its own reward. If the fear-animal is internal to self, learning to trust the part of yourself that does know better, that does know that fear is a chain that binds you to old ways of living and thinking which no longer serve you and which even hurt or harm you, well. Learning to trust the part of yourself that wants you to be stronger, happier, and more free, and is willing to work for the privilege... that leads you closer to wholeness. Closer to real health.

You have to be brave to work on your fears, work with your fears. You must be gentle in parenting the fearful child within, firm and reliable to train the fearful-animal to strength and reliability within itself. Think of animals that have been poorly trained and how they behave. Think of children that were parented unreliably or who were victims of neglect and abuse. Now, if you have fears that behave like bratty or desperate children, fears that mark their territory like feral cats or piss the floor like (you'll forgive me) my mother's dog, fears that cling to you and don't let you Get Stuff Done?

You may have to start from the beginning. And you may find that no matter how much Work you Do, there is still more to be Done. You may find that even once you are firm, reliable, gentle, loving, and consistent? There will still be days (weeks, months, years) when your inner feral cat or terrified toddler re-emerges and leaves messes all over the landscape.

Guess what?
*sigh*
We are the grown ups now. We are the ones who can choose to take charge, to put those gentle, loving, trust building routines into place. We are the ones who get to build our own internal strength and improve our personal discipline. and to keep ourselves fed so we can Do This Work.

But keep the end goal in mind. Remember the hunchbacked, starving, irritable, cringing, unpredictable, even vicious 'animal' you first knew?

Think of a beautiful, well fed horse running in green fields and coming to eat apple slices from your hand, snuffling warm grass-fed breath into your face. Think of an intelligent, clear eyed dog, attention focused on your face and your hand-commands, waiting eagerly to fetch the ball you just threw, knowing ear-scruffles and praise come after their expected success. Think of a child so funny and smart and upright and trustworthy that your heart aches when you see them achieving their real potential, when you watch them soar high above anything you have ever achieved previously.

That could be you. You can DO THIS.

Stand up straight. Take the first step.

No hobbled horse is joyous. No chained-up starving dog has perked up, laughing ears.

Take the chains off. Be the reliable, loving, gentle friend your inner child needs to grow strong and free.
Love them. Love YOU.

... and if you're already there? Lend a hand with someone else's animal taming.
I haven't met anyone who couldn't use the help.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle..."
labelleizzy: (Default)
My ACoA meeting went great tonight. It was good to be back.

The "shares" went deep, scary, trusting places. One person shared that her sisters told her, six months ago, that her nickname in the family was "Doormat". WTF? How could they call her that, how could they tell her? But maybe it's for the best thatshe know now. Seems she's slowly transforming herself...

In spite of deep, scary places, it was inspirational & uplifting to be there. I keep realizing how incredibly blessed & lucky I have been on my journey toward wholeness and growth & love & honesty & compassion. And uplift, my own, and the pay-it-forward kind I try to do for others.

Blessed & lucky. I made connections tonight. I was seen, I was heard, and I walked out lighter than I walked in.

And I offer this: if you want to go to a local ACoA/Dysfunctional Families meeting and you live <two hours drive from me? I will drive to go with you. Because then we are no longer alone with the crazy inside our heads and habits. And together we can achieve something we could not do alone.
labelleizzy: (Buddha think and become)
TUT... A Note from the Universe

The Universe
to me


Life, what a trip! One minute you're born, the next you die. Then, one day, you stand back and say:

"Aye yai yai! Was that ever believable, or what?! First I thought I was this and then I thought I was that, then I became this and then that. Hold on now, why are you looking at me like that? Wait a minute... OHMYGOSH! There was a pattern! Holy cow! You mean I could have thought anything... and been anything?! But what about limits? How could that be? What do you mean pie in the sky? Dreams come true? Infinite possibilities?"

Fortunately, Elizabeth, there's still time...
The Universe
labelleizzy: (Default)
From my mom, forwarded via email, and re-formatted slightly by me:


A Great Dog Story
I really liked this story, particularly one line in the last para of the story... enjoy... )
In Memoriam:

My brother Scott, my cousin Jeff, my grandmother Bert, my uncle Leo, are all gone.
My mom's best friend Vicki is a breast cancer survivor. Her husband Walt passed last year from lung cancer.

People love you. You love people. Tell someone you love them who needs to hear it, in whatever language you can.

<3
labelleizzy: (planets to save!)
Hi LJ!

Been offline for two days. It's been surprisingly good; rewarding and productive. My house looks better than it has since we moved in, I cleared almost all the surfaces (including the floors, I could actually sweep in here and probably will in honor of Samhain before I leave for class tonight...) I threw a bunch of stuff away, recycled a bunch of stuff, and took at least 40 pounds to goodwill (my mom's trivet collection was HEAVY... *g*)

Saw the podiatrist yesterday for the pain I've been feeling in my right foot. It's been on the top of my foot and making me limp a bit, enough that I was worried about doing my back an injury or insult again. (it's happened before when I have been gimpy!) We looked at my x-rays and nothing was broken. *whew* and wow, what they can do with x-rays now! they were sent directly to his computer, like 15 minutes after they were taken, and he could tweak the resolution to clear up the picture in case the tech only took a mediocre picture... measure my bones in their real sizes, right there on the screen, it was pretty wow.

he manipulated my Rt. foot a bit before we looked at the x-rays, and a bit more afterward... he also checked out my calf and shin for a bit, and then he explained what he could see on the x-rays.

The places I was feeling more pain were metatarsals 2 and 3, though all 4 of the smaller metatarsals were sore! (as I discovered once he was pressing firmly on each one and I was yelping! And this is true on BOTH FEET!) On the x-rays he measured and showed me how 2 and 3 (the bones just next to the big-toe bone) were measurably thicker in the dense, structural bone, than 4 and 5.

Then he explained why that is: my calves (and I assume by extension, my hamstrings) are SO TIGHT that they are putting stress on the arch-bones of my foot! (No shit, there I was!) Mind-blowing...! He also explained that the reason I love my Chakos (and by extension the mules from Keen) is the slight heel (on top of the arch support); calf muscles like that make the body want to walk on its toes all the time (hum, that explains why I sit with my heels up on the chairlegs all the time when I'm on the computer!) The stress from the muscle constantly pulling works to strengthen the bones, but taken too far, you can get stress fractures... and DO. NOT. WANT.

The PT for this crazy tension, is to do those calf-lengthening stretches, hanging your heels off the kerb, sort of thing, but this morning I've been exploring my body's flexibility and it feels like, well, EVERYTHING is tight - hams, obliques, quads, the IT band, adductors, abductors, and the little trapezoid-shape over my lower back... (let's not even BRING my shoulders and neck into it right now...) Had a lovely massage from a new guy at Massage Envy Wed night, but you couldn't prove it by me today. (Ow.)

So yesterday after coming back from my appt, I did some more housework and organization, put some Rush on (Snakes and Arrows, for those who know) and was trying to dance and move around the place. Yeah, all kinds of muscular tension, ALL OVER.

I've been saying for a long time that I wanted to get fit, get strong, inhabit my body more, but now I have literally SEEN what it does. WOW. Sitting on my ass for too long is double-PLUS-ungood!

You'll see me moving a lot more in the upcoming years, and for the rest of my life. Thank goodness I'm in the Waldorf program, it's really about learning BALANCE between the realms of your life - artistic, physical/kinesthetic, mind, spirit, social...

My habits are changing. Which means folk won't find me here QUITE as often, but _I_ will DEFINITELY be healthier for it.

And now I think I will get dressed and go for a walk to the grocery store.
labelleizzy: (Default)
I find that 80's love songs still speak to me and comfort me.
Local radio station (100.5 The Zone) has an "80's after 8" program, and as I drove home from mom's last night I heard several favorites, among them "Don't forget me when I'm gone" and the Pretenders, "Brass in Pocket", which is the best tune ever for putting me in a confident, sexy attitude.
So I was singing in the shower this morning, Paul McCartney and the song listed above in the title to this blog entry.
Sappy love songs
Read more... )
So... It's a time in my life when I'm inclined to be looking to the past, in a thoughtful fashion. It's not nostalgia, it's milder than that. I'm looking at my past life, past friendships, past relationships.
Izzy looks back and thinks awhile. Humph.
Read more... )

Inertia sucks. *grin*
Unless, of course, you are already in motion, in which case inertia rocks, rolls, swings, runs, boogies. Interesting. There's a metaphor there, which I just don't feel clever enough to nail down at the moment.

Oh, moment of discontinuity last night as I fell into slumber after a long and cheery chat with Jeff...
Heard the not-so-distant train whistle and rumble, here in Rio Linda, and for moments I was confused, thinking somehow I was back in Santa Clara, being woken by THOSE trains...

This morning I have a brunch scheduled with former coworkers in the Grant District - the annual "Librarians' Luncheon" for librarians past and present. They're a fun group, I miss them & am looking forward to seeing them again.

Thanks for listening to my morning ramble, and thanks to the folk who expressed sympathy for yesterday's lack of "intestinal fortitude" on my part. Almost back to normal, yay!

Next time I post, should be about the travails of getting registered as a substitute teacher...
Umm. Do I have enough clothes that are nice? I may have to go thrifting again. Anybody up for shopping?

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