Hoarding...

Jun. 6th, 2017 09:27 am
labelleizzy: (dealing with demons)
My sister in law suffers from something I still fight against, which is hoarding.

She said, "I sort and organize but the actual removal of stuff... is so hard to get my mind around why I have such attachments."

I said, "I can only speak of myself but I had attachments because I had fear. Fear of forgetting, so I kept all the papers commemorating things I went to, movies and shows and concerts I saw. I kept all the birthday cards, even from my childhood, and people I didn't remember anymore, because at one point, someone made the effort to give me a card, and that was meaningful to me then."

I didn't feel loved. I didn't feel safe or secure. I came to an early conclusion (younger than 10) that "stuff was supposed to make you happy" because that's what they said all the time on TV? And back then I thought they weren't allowed to lie to us on TV.

It took me a long time to realize that what I was and what I wanted, was different than what the TV or my family or stories or magazines wanted me to be and want. And to put aside those messages that weren't ME.

I was well past 30, not gonna lie.

I started by reading more about how other people had gotten organized, had purged their clutter.
Clutter's Last Stand.
The Flylady's mailing list and website.
SARK'S concept of "micromovements" to get started.
Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui.

And I realized that thoughts and feelings and attitudes were clutter too, frequently. (*)

Is it useful? Do I love it?

William Morris, the English designer, said, "have nothing in your home which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

I try to live by that one.

I don't yell at myself or best myself up anymore. My self chastisement is gentle, infrequent, and frequently full of humor. Blaming myself for the past, or for my mistakes, was a toxic cycle that helped NOTHING. Just bogged me down in misery.

I didn't want to be miserable. I started making different choices.

What I wanted was for things to be simpler, and to be happier. So I worked on those things, like I work on a rosebush. If something's dead, you cut it off. If the branches are too crowded, or the flowers are, you make choices to maximize beauty, health, and growth, and you cut away the rest and discard it.

But sometimes the rosebush isn't flourishing, and it doesn't need to be cut back, cut down. Parts of our life can be like that too. There's a lot of times where there's not ENOUGH to bloom. Not enough water, or sunlight, or fertilizer.

Sometimes you can nurse a rosebush back to health, if you can figure out what is wrong.

Sometimes you can't figure it out, and the bush dies. And then you have to discard it and start over.

But honestly? Sometimes you don't even WANT a 🌹 (rose). Sometimes you don't even know that you didn't want a rose, maybe you wanted a 🌷(tulip) or a daisy. Or an oak tree! Or a tomato bush!

But if you started with a rosebush, or your whole family takes care of roses, maybe you didn't know you could choose something different.

I'm just saying. It's YOUR garden. Nobody else's. You spend all your time in it. You spend your LIFE in it.

It should be, it IS, your choice what you cultivate, what you grow, what you discard or compost.

I know nobody gets to choose how they spend 100% of their time. But that doesn't mean you don't have choices.

You do.

Now I'm going to go do some household chores.
Gonna go weed my "garden". :)

(*) Slightly different techniques are required to ditch/purge/prune ugly, dead, or impedimentary thoughts and feelings.
labelleizzy: (Default)
Still healing up from the broken bones in my hand. The tracking of the healing isn't... addictive, exactly, except where it is. =)

Got the cast off a week ago tomorrow, week 4 1/2 since the breaks. From Wednesday to Thursday, my hand was unusable, horrifically swollen. Suddenly moving one of my fingers, or my thumb, felt like it does when you stub your toe. It didn't last, fortunately, just a flash of pain. It took two full days of ice packs and paracetamol and gentlest of wiggling to start getting any mobility, by Saturday I had convinced my thumb to just barely touch my forefinger. I could almost hold a piece of paper.

I had resigned myself to two weeks or more with sausage fingers as the swelling slowly reduced itself, but on Monday had a visit from my genius massage therapist and bodyworker, Nadine. She's the reason why I'm typing two handed, with only slight discomfort, tonight, Tuesday night. She does various styles of massage but is particularly skilled at Bowen therapies, in my experience. She worked on trigger point releases for my muscles that must have worked on my lymphatic system...

Was sat in bed midafternoon, feeling blarghy something like 3 hours after she'd worked on me, paying attention particularly to my injured/healing arm that had been crazy hot and swollen, and it was still kind of fat and swollen. Thought to myself "Oh, lymphatic drainage, let's raise the arm up over my head against the wall, see if it helps some more" and within moments got that cool, slight pins-&-needles feeling of "oh, I've held my arm up in the air for ages" but then a feeling *inside my arm* of WATERFALL. It was so weird and so cool.

AND the hot swelling hasn't returned. I still have to gently stretch out the muscles and tendons to return to normal flexibility, gently flex and expand to wake the muscles back up again and get my strength and range of motion. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at things) my life has given me plenty of opportunities to understand how to do physical therapy WELL.

Today I have been able to hold clothes, even to help pull my jeans up with the hand that's healing. I've opened and shut the car doors and more than once the doors in my house, with that hand. I was able to unload the dishes and hold/grasp certain items securely with the hand that's healing... narrow gauge cups, certain pieces of silverware. Fine motor control is lacking, though (couldn't drop the spoons with accuracy into their slot in the drawer) and I can't grip anything much wider than 3" securely as I have no strength yet in my pinky, and the pressure sensitive nerves in that finger (the one that broke in the car wreck) don't seem to be registering yet. I don't think it's damage, because I can feel scratches of my other hand's nail just as clear as ever, I suspect it's just the severe immobilizing from the cast and healing from the break that's making my pinky slow to recover.

I swear if I ever write a fighter character, or a big-bruiser character, breaking a finger, breaking a wrist, won't be a thing that gets written off in like two sentences. This shit is awkward, even if it's not painful (my definition of "painful" is fairly extreme, ask me about my hysterosalpingigram sometime, ... or maybe don't) and it's taken a ton of my meatspace CPU cycles to adapt to having one hand to use for five weeks, and my left (aka nondominant hand) to boot.

Also I'm going to be more forgiving of people's little imperfections: to wit: typos on the internet, and crooked parking in parking lots. Both of which I'm doing because I simply CAN'T, or because I've run out of either spoons or fucks. Example: like the apostrophe key (') that I have to stop, hit with my ring finger, because the pinky won't reliably hit it yet. However I *can* type with both hands and 9/10 fingers which is a lot easier in some ways than voice to text and swype, or straight up one handed typing on the keyboard.

eh.

Promised the cat I'd go to bed ten minutes ago. So I will. It's getting chilly here, February at midnight, and enough typing that I'm looking forward to the pain meds I'm allowed. Have overdone it a bit.
labelleizzy: (Default)
Rob Breszny's Free Will Astrology for Scorpios this week suggests that it would be a good idea to think about the parts of one's past that it would be good to protect and to carry forward into the future.

Ten things I have learned that I would like to carry forward:

1) Brainweasels are liars, and usually are due to low blood sugar or loneliness. CF: The Desiderata.
2) I am stronger, much more competent, and a lot more lovable than I believe I am by default.
3) despite 2) I am just as prone to fuck up my communication as the next person, or to fuck up period.
4) It is possible to apologize for a lot of things. Nobody really likes doing it, nobody's great at it.
5) I deserve self-care.
6) I am allowed to ask for help with my self care, and people will often say yes. (thanks to Eeyore42 and Wrenb for teaching me that)
7) Enjoy what you have, share with others, don't feel guilty for having more. Help as often as you can.
8) Life is short. Enjoy it while you can, and tell people you love them if you do. Kiss their faces too.
9) Tenderness, kindness, and warmheartedness are underrated in the world. Value them, teach them.
10) Feed yourself. Feed your people in whatever ways you can. It makes everyone happy.
labelleizzy: (greatness)
Today's workout with Tal and [livejournal.com profile] tshuma was challenging in different ways than these used to be.

There was a balance exercise that was physically challenging: stand on a curb with one foot, keep your hips square, bend the knee of the supporting leg and lower your other toe to the ground. Straighten, repeat 10 times on each leg. Whoa.

But the part that's emotionally challenging is to realize that I have made HUMONGOUS progress in strength, flexibility, and balance since I started writing about this journey nearly two years ago.

Cognitive dissonance, man.

Like, I do know that I'm stronger than I used to be, but parts of my brain are still expecting those gains to vanish as soon as I stop looking at them. I have an old script running "this is what my body looks like and this is what it can do"
AND THE SCRIPT IS WRONG.

Not sure how I change that, because both my head and my heart need recalibration.

Tal says that I don't give myself nearly enough credit; that much, I believe! *laughing*

Okay. Here's what I can do:

I can hang out in Table position and extend alternate arm and leg for many seconds with no discomfort or huge effort.

I can hang out in Down Dog for many seconds without discomfort or huge effort.

I can do a dozen inverted rows hanging from the TBX with no discomfort and little effort. I remember how sore my hands wrists elbows and shoulders were when I first started that exercise, and how I did it all wrong.

I can do plank at my knees for ages, and then I can detach one knee or hand at a time, repeatedly. Not up to full plank all the time, but I'm getting there.

I can hold Bridge pose for a good long time, even on a squashy surface like my bed.

Properly warmed up, I can put my foot up on the railing at shoulder height to stretch, with no pain and very little effort.

Each shoulder moves independently, and the adhesions seem to be totally gone, shoulderblades move fluidly and the shoulders are normally down and back instead of hunched up and forward. This is HUGE.

Lower back pain, foot pain, hip pain, pain in the shoulder, has essentially vanished. Knee feels stable.

My curves have been smoothing out as the muscles get stronger and settle in closer to the bones.

I can reach things atop the fridge or at the back of that one shelf without standing on my toes or stretching diagonally, my shoulder just GOES FURTHER NOW.

Deep breathing is my normal way of breathing. Actually scored 100% when I last saw a doctor and the nurse took a blood O2 test! Yeah!

I stand and sit straighter more often. Today I got my hair cut and it felt more natural to sit up straight than to lean back in the chair.

These are all true things.
How I was is not how I am now.

I want to come to terms with that. Internalize it, incorporate it into my self image.

I have become physically strong.

This gives me a sense of peace.

I still have more to say about this but I need to leave it there for the moment.

I am strong.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

labelleizzy: (asskicking)
Second meeting with Tal, who'll be my trainer for the next little bit.

...she totally kicked my ass. In half an hour, dudes.

What we worked on went well with the work Danniel did yesterday in the massage-therapy department; we did free weights, which worked my pectorals, top of the shoulders, that triangular muscle at the point of the shoulders, and those sad sore little tender neck muscles. Plus did a tiny bit of cardio (I got winded easily by what were my standards in the long-ago) and some work on adductor-abductor, abs/glutes.

My homework is to a) eat breakfast every day *hangs head in shame*
b) take one cardio class at the gym in the upcoming week before I see her again on Wednesday.

I think I will also try to repeat a few of the exercises she had me do today, tomorrow if I can, to help with kinesthetic memory.

Now today will be a Git-er-done kind of day, lots of little household tasks I can work on.
labelleizzy: (changing habit)
I'm not getting to the gym, and muscles and joints have been getting painfully crunchy, and I'm not even exaggerating.

So last night I picked up the 5# hand weights I thought I'd graduated out of, and sort of danced with my upper body only. Swimming motion, Tae Kwon Do punching motions, swooping motions, tennis-racket and baseball-bat motions, until I was tired. Tried to find all the ways of moving that *hurt*, tbh. Not hurt like HURT, but hurt like OMG I can't believe I haven't moved that muscle in so long! I think I haven't done any damage, i.e neither elbows nor wrists nor thumbs nor shoulder joints are sore... and I do feel much more flexible and stronger again.

I think I will do the same or similar tonight. Especially since I will soon be on a plane for 8 hours? Nine hours? yuck.

Need to go make plans for a decent dinner. Maybe I will take my sweet husband out for dinner... oh crap, it's VALENTINE'S day. Never mind! I think we will order a pizza or something, damn. Or maybe he will let me come join him for dinner at Google. That could be fun.

*goes to find the phone*

Whoops.

Jan. 15th, 2009 01:09 pm
labelleizzy: (Default)
That thing I said yesterday? about not getting dressed till choir?

Umm, no. That won't work.
Jeff needed at BART by shortly after 9. I came home and started tea and to cook breakfast... it was a bit after 10 when a synapse fired and I thought, "it's Thursday today? waitaminnit" checked calendar - nothing. Found business card for Acalanes... yup, the appointment with their personnel office was for Thursday, 10 am. *facepalm* Fortunately I was STILL dressed and had eaten and had tea at this point. I phoned, apologized, asked if it would be all right for me to come over shortly, answer was yes. Covered the food, put deodorant and the breast-containment-device on, boogied out, found that my house is literally a 4 minute drive from their district office.

Got there, cooled my heels for a bit (okay, I did deserve it - next time I have GOT to write it on the calendar immediately once I get out to my car and not trust my memory or the little business card).

Discovered there was to be an interview with head of personnel. Okay, wished I'd dressed up a little, done something with my hair, but okay.

Here's the nice part. The head of Acalanes personnel was the one person during my first try at jobhunting after learning I'd be losing the job at my former school, to give me encouraging words. He probably doesn't realize how much of an effect his kind and reasonable words had on me, but I intend to write him a brief thank you explaining that. He's the one who said, at the right time, "Sometimes, the job is just not a good fit. (emphasis mine.) We have teachers who start out with us, leave after a year or two or don't receive tenure, change districts, and are perfectly happy in their new position and stay there till they retire. And the same thing in reverse - we hire teachers from other districts who weren't happy there but come to work for us, and it's just a better fit."

*happy sigh!* And on top of that, the interview was intellectually challenging, and despite the surprise, not a worrisome affair at all. I did well, expressed myself coherently and without fear, and I believe I made a good impression, despite my casual attire.

I think this is the payoff of all that Work I have been doing.
Calm. Clarity. Positive self-image.

I like where I'm at. =)

After the interview, Gail was going to fingerprint me but the machine was glitching (even ctrl-alt-del didn't fix everything, lol!) so I'm to phone her and come get prints done when it's convenient.

So I have just a little while before I have to be heading over to group, not the homework-o-rama kind of day I was expecting, but quite, quite rewarding anyway. Now to apply with Lafayette, Orinda, and Walnut creek districts, since they share fingerprinting results with Acalanes

Still to do: 3 chapters of reading in Steiner's Kingdom of Childhood lectures, one writing assignment: "write about an event in your life that didn't make sense to you at the time, but is beginning to now, with a new perspective," and a self-evaluation for the last class we took.

I got it. *grinning*

God, I feel good about all this. Ducks in a row, and all. I know this is a peak, that it won't always go as well as this, but I also know that there was a moment of release and healing a few weeks ago, and it wasn't temporary, it wasn't a stopgap measure or a bridge... something really really has changed.

Really, really, a paradigm shift, a change in me, toward solidity and centeredness and wholeness.

There is nothing wrong with me.
I just have had to learn to get RID of everything I've been carrying along, that was NOT me, still working on it, but I can't begin to put into words how this all feels, and the Potential for Greatness that I finally perceive.

In myself.

Whoa. How about THAT?
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 forget if I've mentioned this before, but I'm remembering again something I've been learning and been having driven home lately.

There are somethings I learn fast. Facts, new words, stuff I read, individual items that can be hooked into my trivia-brain or easily attached to prior knowledge in a chain or network...

However. Yes, however much I have in the past prided myself on my ability to learn, and learn quickly, there are MANY THINGS THAT HAVE TO BE LEARNED SLOWLY AND GRADUALLY. New physical skills (bicycling, yoga, taekwondo, and remember fencing? yeah.). New thinking and concentration skills. New musical skills (yes, those in particular) MUST BE PRACTICED so they STAY.
Practiced SLOWLY AND GRADUALLY, Elizabeth, yes, you have to practice, yes, regularly, yes, it has to be a habit, yes you can do it, you need to develop the positive habits. *pats self on shoulder* You've done it before, remember how good that felt? Go find that feeling again.

Also, there are many things that cannot be simply done ONCE and then you're DONE with them.
*sigh*
No matter how many times I wash the pans that are sitting in the sink, there will be more.
Ditto laundry, ditto sweeping the floor, ditto taking out the trash, scooping the litterboxes...
Yeah, I KNOW you just DID them, they need to be done AGAIN.
*rubs eyes wearily*

Again, with regular habits built a bit at a time, huge stuff can get done. Make your habits your servants... I think that's a Franklin-Covey philosophy or quote, Habit is an excellent servant but a poor master...

*goes to look up the quote*
labelleizzy: (calm)
One of my homework assignments for the Waldorf teacher training program I am taking, is to do daily meditation exercises to strengthen my brain's/mind's ability to focus, to perceive, to learn, to problem-solve, to know what I am actually seeing/feeling/experiencing... Steiner's term for this translates to something like "training the Organs of Cognition." Your emotions can be used to analyze and to help you think.

For example, every time I heard John McCain say, "My friends, blah blah blah..." (it doesn't matter what it was he was saying, because) once he used that phrase to start off, with that particular tone of voice, I was not hearing anything he had to say because I was feeling /rage/ and /outrage/...

so then I can take a moment now, in the quiet, to think about why I was feeling that, and why it basically blindsided me.

... more in a minute...

Resuming (I either need to get more hydrated, more regularly or to go to the optometrist for new 'eyeballs', probably both)...

I think [livejournal.com profile] ozarque would parse this out much more coherently than I can, with her detailed background in linguistics and subtext. But EVERY TIME I heard McCain say "My friends...", I felt
Patronized.
Looked down upon.
Like my head was being patted.
Like I was being manipulated.
Resentful - he is NOT MY friend, how dare he refer to us all that way?

I was thinking about it in moments when I wasn't mad, and realizing I resent W's verbal tic of "Mah fellow 'Mericans" much less, in spite of not liking him, because that much is actually TRUE.

There were other moments that pissed me off - his persistent fear mongering and doomsaying about the future, his apparent lack of concrete plans, his meandering past actually answering the question, spinning his own tale more times than not and then POINTING OUT at the start of a particular rebuttal, the first time Obama tailored an answer that didn't directly answer a question (Pot, Kettle.)

I felt condescended to. I found myself looking for examples of a meta-plan to sabotage an Obama presidency, prior even to full gestation. I heard him use the subjunctive tense when referring to an Obama presidency, which (IIRC) would seem to indicate McCain subconsciously expects Obama to win, but in those statements he (McCain) was also at his most slanderous, poisonous, and fearmongery.

I read an article linked on [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political about the meta-plan to move the US closer to a fascist state by driving wedges of no-confidence and resentment between the people and the government, and (my perception was that) I seemed to see indications of that mindset in McCain.

But the end of it all, is my gut reaction.

McCain troubles my second chakra. I don't feel secure or hopeful when listening to him. My throat chokes up, and I feel red energies of anger shooting from the top of my head and the base of my spine. McCain feels to me like a carefully camouflaged, cleaned up and well-dressed, doom sayer from the soap box at the corner of the marketplace. Or he sounds like a preacher from a pulpit, who condemns in fiery terms those who have an angry heart and no mercy on their neighbors. In short, a hypocrite, lacking self-knowledge or self-examination, and insincere.

Obama makes my heart feel clear. I can see his vision of a hopeful future (6th chakra) and it's like standing on a hill, looking down the valley, with a clear path scrolling down the hill, through the valley, to a restful destination that will be a long walk away but is definitely achievable, BY ME, right now.

The moments after the debate were very telling, for me, as were the candidates reactions to one another while speaking. Obama was unfailingly focused on McCain, politely attentive, while he was speaking, except in a couple cases where McCain made some outrageous charge or direct attack on him; then I saw Obama look away briefly, smile, and shake his head. Obama looked relaxed and comfortable. When Obama spoke, McCain was listening and taking notes but only rarely watched the senator from Illinois, and certainly fell short of being polite and attentive.

Then at the end of the debate, the candidates went around the studio, glad-handing the spectators/participants in the town hall meeting... I watched both Barack and Michelle Obama shake hands, lean forward, make eye contact, have short conversations with people, and I saw their lips say "thank you for being here" more than once. McCain also was shaking hands and talking to people, but Cindy McCain? um. She had her hands locked together behind her back. I may be overreacting, but I definitely got a "not MY job" vibe from her... not quite the 'upturned nose, remove these ...persons from my presence' arrogance, but dude, was she COLD. Impeccably dressed, coiffed, and made up, but not THERE at all; not PRESENT. Obligatory.

Dudes, I knew who I wanted before the debate started, and I had to listen to almost half in the car due to traffic on the way out to [livejournal.com profile] masterfiddler's, but once I got to see AND hear the debate? It was all about the non-verbals for me. Obama was positive and confident and respectful, McCain was petty, repetitive, and spreading teh fear.

Yeah, I'm going to the Deomocratic HQ tomorrow to volunteer.

I want Obama IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

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