labelleizzy: (Default)
I'm supposed to have a list of goals for the therapeutic process. I did write some of them down, and I'll add them either here or in my bullet journal once I have my head in order.

I was thinking earlier today about jobs I've held, and my favorite job. And why it was my favorite job, and I wanted to break it down a little, in hopes of reproducing the conditions someday. In part or in whole.

this is the job I held for eight years and a bit.
it's the reason why every smartphone I've ever owned had "librarianing" added to the spellchecker.
=)

I used to be a junior high school librarian.
I just wanna list the things that I loved about that job, because there's a lot of things I loved about it.
  • It had a regular daily schedule with rhythmic breaks in it.
  • ...but I got to choose my daily tasks, and when to do them.
  • High responsibility, low supervision, I got to determine when something was done.
  • some built in regular deadlines occurred weekly (overdue notices compiled and sent out)
  • some deadlines quarterly (grades for Library TA's), or at other calendar dates (budget deadlines, book ordering, etc)
  • Lots of time with people, specific agenda of helping people (students and staff both)
  • lots of time alone to do one on one tasks (repair, budget work, tidying)
  • Teaching. computers, dewey decimal, how to process books for circulation, some basic book repair, how to circulate books, how to pull records for books that were overdue, how to research, how to use the card catalog, how to find books you wanted... so many teaching opportunities, all in small groups, and NO GRADING.
  • I could take pee breaks as needed. That's a fucking luxurious situation to consider after teaching full time in a public school. I swear to god you can't get five minutes to pee, because it takes you 3-5 minutes to just walk to the other end of the school where the faculty bathroom is, and god help you if you're on your period or have to poop. it's *exhale* inhumane. actually.
  • Professional development funding.
  • Networking with the other librarians in the school district on a monthly basis.
  • Training to be a union site rep and shop steward, learning the history of unions in the USA
  • generally speaking, high interest high novelty work, high number of positive social contacts with students and staff. Decent respect from peers and students. Increasing responsibility the longer I was in the position.


  • There's more of course. Some damn wonderful people really made the difference for me in that job. They got me through the first six months after my dad died, with challenging, interesting work, taking care of tweenagers, teaching and helping and finding and fixing, sorting and throwing out and organizing and tidying. Always something that needed doing. Always something that MATTERED that needed doing.

    It's still MY library. In my heart it's still mine.
    I miss it. Actually.

    so I mean I want another job with some more of what that job had, without the soul deadening paperwork and jumping through hoops that teaching in the public school required.

    And really I want more of that in my life. I've been trying to find that, build that myself, but it's just been so crazy challenging on my own. I miss the community, the sense of rightness and purpose, the ability to HELP SO MUCH AND SO OFTEN SO MANY PEOPLE. I was proud of my work there. It was crazy and sometimes boring and wonderful and the kids were always so amazing and my co workers were always weird, wonderful, dedicated, amazing.

    Okay.
    Okay.

    I have more on this but this is a good starting place.
    I'll go make myself some dinner and dig into my homework reading pretty hard once I've eaten, take some notes to be ready for tomorrow.
labelleizzy: (thinky thoughts)
Last night I was telling Nick about a (possibly apocryphal) Buddhist teaching story:

The master has a large jar, a bucket of big rocks, a bucket of gravel, a bucket of sand on the table.
He instructs the student to fill the jar with the big rocks, as full as it can go.
Then he asks the student, "Is the jar full?"
The student replies, "Yes, teacher."
Now the master asks the student to add the gravel to the jar. Most of the gravel in the bucket fits into the spaces between the stones.
And he asks the student, "Is the jar full now?"
The student replies, "Yes, teacher."
The master indicates the bucket of sand, and the student knows what comes next, and pours the sand into the jar, and it settles in around the gravel and the stones.
"Surely it's full now, teacher?"

The master smiles, and pulls out a bucket of water from beneath the table.


I heard this story used by Steven Covey to talk about prioritizing your life according to the values that matter to you. In the video, the Big Rocks all have words painted on them. Words like "Family" "Romance" "Health" "Job Advancement" "Planning" "Self-Care" "Spiritual Development". All the kinds of things people talk about as their Highest Values.

Only Covey told the story backwards.
=)
He had the folks taking his seminar fill the jar with sand first, and then try to fit the big rocks in on top of the sand.
All of the taking care of yourself kinds of Rocks got left out, and it was a pretty powerful symbol.
Then he had his demonstration victims Subjects dump the sand out, and fit all the Big Rocks in FIRST. THEN add the gravel, THEN add the sand.

So, he points out, if you take care of the big Values first, you can fit the Projects and the Everyday Little Tasks in around them.
But you can just as easily let the Everyday Little Tasks take up All The Time You Have, and get to the end of your day not having taken care of any of the things you really find VALUABLE.

I'm finding myself dealing a lot in Sand, and not so much in the Big Rocks as I would like to.

So I'm making a drawing, and trying to set up a visual reminder of my priorities.

I've marked one "rock" as Dance, Music, Art, and Writing. I'm struggling for brief vivid descriptors. I could put Roles in, i.e. Wife, Friend, Sister, Aunty, Daughter, Lover. I could put it in as Nouns for the things I value: Self-care, Artistic Expression, Kindness, Philanthropy. I could use a personal pagan metaphor: Persephone, Demeter, Hermes, Artemis, Athena, Dionysos, Cerridwen, Brigid, Argante.

I'm leaning toward the Nouns at the moment. How about you? How would you describe the things you Value above all others?

How do you fit it all in?
labelleizzy: (strong)
Made it to the gym today! Awesome!

and I'm starting a workbook to try and track what the hell I'm doing when I go there, so I can refer to it easier than LJ entries.

so. Briefly, I did 13 minutes of cardio, then 7 machines? 3 for legs, 4 for arms... then some time stretching and doing yoga stuff at the end.

My hips feel better than they have all week, as do my knees, but my ancient nemesis of Neck Muscle Spasm has returned. It has plagued me since childhood. Argh! Sometimes working out my shoulders helps it go away. Other times, not. This seems to be a "not" evening. Red wine sometimes helps, and tonight it did, a bit, but I still have stiffness and ouchiness. Last ditch efforts include microwaving the neck-wrap, and taking the srs muscle relaxants. I think I'll try the neck-wrap and skip the Srs Drugs tonight, bearing the red wine in mind. Lots more water before bed.

Good night, my loves.
labelleizzy: (Not Afraid)
I've been napping a lot during the afternoons this week. I think the skin problem I'm currently dealing with may be the culprit, it recently got rather worse and is probably sapping my energies.

Am hoping to make it to the gym tomorrow. Picked up a couple more pairs of exercise sweatpant-dealies that should be cute and comfy. Looking less like a schlemiel when I go, when so many fitter ladies have cute coordinated outfits, will help me look forward to going.

I don't have any fear about going to the gym anymore. This was not the case when I last had a membership, something like 8-10 years ago. I was full of feelings that I was being judged, was worried people were staring, stuff like that. I was also judging myself. Lots. Feeling guilty and lots of should-have's.

I love that my life for the most part isn't full of fear anymore. My motivation does not come (or perhaps 10% instead of 90%) from fear. Wanting to be strong comes from a place of security and a desire to do what's necessary to plan for the future I want. I want to be a strong, flexible, vibrant old lady. Period.
labelleizzy: (strong)
Walked two miles again today, to the school and back home again. Plan to bicycle was foiled by a fresh pile of empty boxes between bicyle and garage door. Hmph. Need to plan ahead if making a change in habit is going to be effective.

Bit like how you can't make dinner without planning ahead to buy groceries.

I need to do other workout things. My shoulder that had tendinitis is stiffening up. Need to lift some weights and loosen up some.

At the moment I am feeling quite discouraged. And lonely.
And that does not help motivate me.

Am getting headbutts from my cat.

One thing I can do is have a big drink of water.
Another thing I can do is start preparing dinner.
A third thing I can do is one of the stretching protocols I have established, and like.
A fourth thing I can do is pick Just One of my PT exercises to do till I tire myself out.

Okay. Sounds like a plan of action.
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: (tea)
In my refrigerator, we almost always have a small carton of cream. =)

That's because Jeff likes to make cream sauces and add cream to soups and things. It's convenient for me as well, because my habit of taking tea every morning is a reliable drain on our whole-milk. And then sometimes we run out of milk, and then I get to have cream in my tea instead. Which can be really REALLY nice, once in awhile. It's too heavy for everyday, but nice.

Not long ago, I went to the cream carton (I hadn't managed the necessary grocery run to refurbish milk) and surprised, only got a few drops out of a carton that felt, to the heft, to be half-full.

I peered inside.

Swirls and chunks of creamy clotted goodness clung to the sides of the carton.

By george, I thought, we've *made* clotted cream! *heart flutter*

I'm an anglophile, if you didn't know that already, and started to develop the daily tea habit 20 years ago when I lived in Wales for an Education Abroad Program year. I used to put sugar in my tea, then when I went on weight watchers I was putting the blue stuff in my tea, but that crap gives a weird chemically-flavored aftertaste. Nowadays I usually put honey in my tea, then add milk.

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, I'm drinking Decaf Irish Breakfast. I didn't want to have a caffeine headache atop the other likely post-surgical pains. Seemed a reasonable precaution, and I'm glad I thought of it.

Today for breakfast I had a pair of fried eggs, a sliced apple, the Decaf Irish Breakfast, (with just milk, because I also had) two slices of toast with the homemade clotted cream and a bit of the Rose preserves that have probably been in the fridge since my last tea party (don't ASK me how long that has been!).

Absolutely delicious breakfast.

Planning ahead to have the supplies in the fridge and pantry so you can make scrumptious things you love is a skill hard-won over time. I am so glad I, and we, do that now.

Food is a simple pleasure. I love that somehow I have rooted out the Puritannical guilt I used to feel around eating delicious food.

Life is too short for that baloney. Eat the mortadella instead.

=)
labelleizzy: (wandering)
I can sit and dwell on the past. Going through old boxes, reliving old memories, reading documents that were pertinent to my former life, feeling feelings about how things used to be...

or

I can move more deliberately in my current life, accomplishing tasks and organizing my environment for success in the now-time, working to Get Stuff Done and build the new relationships that will nourish where I want to be...

or

I can plan and move into the future that I imagine for myself and for Jeff, and work to accomplish things that continue moving us forward into the unknown, with hope and faith in myself, in us, in our love and relationship and future goals and dreams.


I don't really think I get a choice, I think I need a little bit of each of these things, but I can choose to focus mostly on the last two. Feeling these feelings about the past are unavoidable but I don't need to live there or dwell on it.

I have choices.
I want to move forward.

This means I have to do different things than I have done before, if I want different results.


So. Different things. Adventures, I hope!

Today.

Mar. 25th, 2010 07:24 pm
labelleizzy: (quiet before the work)
my teaching day was good, then okay, then ARGH with unnecessary student craziness and outright cruelty.

*headdesk* I had to write a note to the vice principal as well as to the teacher.

Then I got home, and [livejournal.com profile] eeyore42 was there! I didn't have to manage my frustration alone! It made me feel so much better to talk about it, and to eat some food. Then I phoned [livejournal.com profile] chinders about delivering compost-food to her house, then I got to go visit her and check on the progress of her garden (yay), dog training (yay) and behbeh chickens! I got to hold baby chickens! (almost adolescent chickens!) One perched on me for awhile, it was awesome.

Came home a little while later, started layout work on my poster for class this weekend. It's challenging - I'm doing art that requires a certain amount of precision, and well. Precision has rarely been my strong suit, but it is coming along.

I think that this is going to be great. AND I can put off one of the assignments I thought I had to do, till next weekend: read three more Steiner lectures and make a poster for THOSE. well.

Back to it then!
labelleizzy: (Default)
Tonight was a special festival performance for my Waldorf teacher program.

Several of the teachers performed: Glenda did 3 eurhythmy performances, Sybilla spoke several pieces, including an adaptation of a TS Eliot piece which I want a copy of, and Christof sang, I believe operatic pieces. All performances were infused with energy, that part's not the problem.

I realized after leaving the performance space, that, to put it in pagan terms, I don't feel Waldorf all the way down into my root chakra.

And I realized something else. While this training is giving me a firm grounding in certain intellectual, emotional, and spiritual balance, the approach is entirely to Apollonian for my freaky little self.

I miss the dirty jokes and innuendo, I miss goofy word play, I miss that kind of cuttin' loose that is fun as hell when you're with the right people, or even when you're by yourself. I miss the exalted feeling I get (got) from being out in storm winds at sunset, the feeling of nature being vibrantly, even violently alive (not calmly alive) all around me.

I miss the Dionysic stream.

I am still getting loads and loads of Good Stuff (tm) from this program, and what I might end up doing ultimately, is taking the new core of calm confidence this program has been helping me to build up, and take the rest of the fearless simplification and heart-warmed thinking philosophy of meticulous care and respect and preparation, and take it to teach in the public schools anyway, like I initially thought I would. Goddess knows I can handle the Dionysic style chaos the public school classrooms often wind up coping with... Especially to work with the kids who need remedial study which I can provide.

I think I can do a beautiful job to ground the classroom and kids and provide the Safe Space so many children need in order to heal, grow, develop, and soar. I might not choose to do it in pure Waldorf, but I love Fusion art and music and cuisine and... that's much more ME anyway.

...
Still thinking thinky thoughts...

<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.

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