Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Things I Do...

Last Thursday Best Guy had a show at a local bar. As he got home late, he decided to take last Friday as a sick day. Ironically enough, I had a slow day at work so I ended up getting the day off as well.

Three-Day Weekend!

Oh, it was so lovely. It was three days of doing whatever we wanted. Brunch, shopping, a road trip to Middlebury, amazing Indian food, a walk around town... I think it was just what both of us needed.
Apparently what we needed included walking on a still-frozen Lake Champlain.
Which did not bring up any "falling through the ice" phobias for me at all. 

Last night BG had another show. Yeah, on a Monday night. "Metal Monday" it's called. They sounded so awesome.
That's my man, front and center. With vikings horns and braids.
(Photo courtesy of Elephants of Scotland

Chilling this morning before work. Thinking I might do some yoga this morning, once the coffee kicks in. It turns out, I'm not 20 anymore. Staying out late on a school night has its consequences.

Worth. It.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Compassion: It's Not Just for Everyone Else

I have (finally) scheduled a vacation in April. As per my usual habit, I have waited too long to schedule any kind of break for myself and am now in the awkward position of having to care despite having a difficult time of seeing beyond my own burnout.

Whatever it was, it happened at some point about two weeks ago.

I have yet to figure out why I continue this habit.

It is at this point where I am doing my best to retain my compassion for my clients. This may be the one massage they are able to afford a year. Maybe they are going through major stresses or life changes. Maybe they're in pain.

They deserve compassion. They deserve the best I can offer. They deserve peace: of mind, body or soul.

I also need to remember, however, that I deserve my own compassion too. Knowing that I've waited too long to pick up the self-care habit and that I'm feeling burnt out, I need to do what I can to support myself for the next few weeks. Whatever I can do to let go and ground, I need to do. If that means spending the morning before work in bed reading, then do it. Ahem. If that means a yoga class then go. If that means a Dollhouse marathon on Netflix one night because I can barely think from the exhaustion, then that's what I'll do.

And maybe my next order of business will be to figure out why I feel so guilty about taking time off to nurture myself....

Monday, March 23, 2015

Daycation: Montreal!

Yesterday (Sunday) morning, Best Guy and I were laying around in bed after having gotten up for a while and then deciding that horizontal was better than vertical, trying to decide what to do with the day. It was gearing up to be a spectacular Lazy Bastard Sunday when I once again voiced my overwhelming need for something - anything - green to prove that the world is not going to get stuck  in Winter.

A half hour later, we are dropping the dog off at Doggie Daycare and heading north to Montreal for the day.


There happens to be a botanical garden up there, and after much driving around and getting the name of it wrong, we found it. Much to my delight, we went in and walked around. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

This guy was just some random turtle. I didn't see any other wild life while I was in there. I have named him George.

 I could move in there right now, but it was enough to be able to touch some actual greenery. We couldn't stay long because of Best Guy's allergies, but it was enough to get me through another few weeks in the frozen tundra.

After that, we found BG's favorite music shop and spent a good amount of time there perusing the CDs.

After that we briefly wandered around Old Montreal. It was a Sunday afternoon and the high might have been about 10 degrees up there with wind, so we didn't stay outside for very long. Had dinner at a pub there and then headed home.

It was a lovely, spur-of-the-moment getaway that was much needed. We both had a load of fun, and we've got a list of things we want to hit later on when the weather gets better: more of Old Montreal, a Tim Horton's and poutine!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Swimming in the Muck

We don't really ever understand the pressure we put ourselves under, do we?

We don't notice it. We're so busy going, moving, reaching, running that we put ourselves under tremendous stress for what amount to no good reason. We have all of these goals, things we need to accomplish by such and such a deadline, else we are failures at our own life.

When did it become okay to live like this?

And it's really all in our own heads, too. Other people looking at us aren't saying "Well, jeez. She only did X, Y, and Z this week. She totally didn't do A at all and she didn't even attempt Q." We're the only ones saying that, to ourselves.

I don't know where I'm going with this. I'm certainly not harshing on goal setting. Not by a long shot. I guess I am in the middle of confronting my own expectations right now. For some bizarre reason I thought that I could pack, move, work, renovate and find a new job* all within the space of 30 days. And because I haven't been able to find a (good) new job closer to home yet I am a failure. Which, as you all will agree, is silly. I am not a failure. I am just not willing to work at a terrible place.

And that's the kicker, isn't it? I have the luxury of choice. I am not going to go hungry or homeless if I don't immediately find a new position closer to home. I am working at a fabulous place and I have the support of Best Guy. Really, I've got it pretty damned good right now. So why am I so stressed out?

My independent nature is so used to having to do it all and rely on no one that my poor little brain simply cannot wrap itself around the fact that I can let go of some of these stressors. In fact, it's added on a new stress - that in order for things to be "fair" I must be contributing just as much as Best Guy. Even though as a Massage Therapist I could never hope to make even half of what he does as an IT guru. I still must hold up my half of this bargain. And as half is never possible, I'm always feeling a little bit guilty and a little bit a failure.

What would happen if I let those stresses go? If I let go of the pressure to find a new job NOW? If I let go of some of that famed red-headed Taurian stubbornness and this skewed definition of what constitutes a fair contribution?

Why am I even looking at these things negatively? I am turning positives into negatives. It's time to turn them back into positives.
  • I have an amazing job that I love, and I am grateful I am able to hold out until I can find something equally wonderful.
  • I have accomplished so much in the last month and a half. 
  • I have a wonderful, amazing guy who wants me to be happy and supports my decisions
  • I am doing my best, contributing my best and offering my best
Why swim in a river of dark negativity when I can swim in a sparkling ocean of Gratitude? Let me dive deep into that water and be carried in its light.

* Normally I never post about job searching or any kind of details when it comes to employment (nor would I ever suggest anyone else do the same unless you really don't want to keep your job). In this instance, my employers are well aware that my commute by necessity means that I am looking for a job closer to home. No one is under any illusions and this is a rare instance where I have the freedom of not having to job-hunt in secret. I love my job and would keep it if I could; it's just not feasible in the long-term.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Just Show Up.

It's been at least six months since I've attended a yoga class. It is entirely possible that the number is actually higher than six. It has been so long that I've forgotten how long it's been.

And I call myself a yoga teacher.

Actually, I have issues with the term "yoga teacher" as it applies to me. I went through the training, and those I have led in classes seemed to have truly enjoyed my offerings, but the term "teacher" makes me want to shrink back and say "nononononononono".

Many of my yoga friends are confounded by this, and when pressed for an explanation I really can't give one. I am unsure where my hesitation comes from. I guess I don't feel like a teacher. To me, a teacher has been immersed in the subject for many years, has become an expert, someone who has far more knowledge than I could ever hope to have. I still very much feel like a student. Of course, any good teacher will be the first to say that teachers are the eternal student. There is always more to learn.

A couple months ago, I got into a conversation with a belly dancing friend/teacher who no longer dances for a myriad of reasons. Cultural appropriation has been forefront in her thoughts lately, and we were comparing our mutual reticence in regards to teaching. At one point I said "it's not mine to teach." American culture appropriated this practice long before I was even a sparkle in my parent's eyes. So, am I perpetuating the appropriation or am I just passing on something that is now part of our culture? Where do you draw the line? Especially when so many people get so many positive things out of it, me included?

Maybe I'm calling myself the wrong thing. Maybe I don't call myself a teacher. I feel less awkward when I think of classes as something I am offering up. Like the massages I give my clients: I am offering up my practice in the hopes that those seeking it will find something they need. Much like I am a Massage Practitioner, perhaps I should think of myself as a Yoga Practitioner. Sometimes a slight shift in perspective is all you need to see things differently.

Perhaps it is time I found my way back to the practice. Back to the studio - any studio. Hell, even back to the studio that taught me. I will admit to feeling embarrassed and guilty and hesitant to show up after so long an absence. But one of the biggest bits of advice my yoga teachers (and I do honor them as teachers, very much so) ever gave was "just show up."

I think it's time I did that.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Today I Yelled at the Cats. For Being Cats.

That made me feel very big. They wanted to cuddle and I was trying to get things done. I was trying to pay the last of my apartment bills. Then I was on the phone with the cable company trying to figure out why I got a bill when I shouldn't have when one of the cats decides the perfect time to devour my houseplants is when a customer service representative picks up the phone.


It occurred to me that if I had kids the exact same thing would probably happen. Oh, the irony.

I also wasted half a dozen eggs because apparently in the last three months I've forgotten how to hard boil eggs.

Ugh Ugh.

Today is my Sunday. I went into work for three hours. Which is actually five hours if you count the near-hour commute I have.

Ugh Ugh Ugh.

There is something wrong with the dog. He never ate dinner last night and it took him until 3p today to eat anything at all. He barely drank anything in the time I was gone (which is unheard of for him) and he has spent the vast majority of the last 18 hours sleeping, I think. I am worried.

Ugh Ugh Ugh Ugh.

It's too late to nap, so I'm camping out on the couch trying to enjoy the rest of my Sunday while I can.

Thankfully the sun is shining and the temperatures are above zero. I was able to correctly accomplish what I went in to work to do today (I am covering for the manager while she is on vacation). After the egg fiasco, I successfully made egg muffins for work snacks this week. Well, successful as of right now. I haven't tried to take them out of the tin yet.

I have a good book, and I intend to read it. Good books make everything better.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

It's A Boy! And a Girl! And another Boy!

I am, apparently, a pet Momma now. So be forewarned that pet pictures will probably be a new feature of my blog. Let me introduce you to my new wee ones.

Esmerelda is no longer my couch. She belongs to the felines now.
The one with the hair sticking up on the left is Bauer. The one in the weirdly impossible position is his sister, Beck. Those are the names they came with when Best Guy adopted them. Something hockey-ish, I'm assuming? I dunno. They love to cuddle and I am convinced that Beck is no ordinary cat, even though she sometimes likes to pretend she is. Her eyes give her away; she says too much with them. Bauer, on the other hand.... he's just a cat. 

This is Buddy. I've posted pictures of him before, but I'm making it official now. He's having some mysterious issues right now that are not easily diagnosed, but are causing him to be very thin. He's still in great spirits and is his usual punk self. He's got me pegged as the softy and tries to get away with an awful lot. Sometimes I let him. 

In other news, the move went very well and I am now mostly settled in my new place. We're still doing renovations on the condo, but we've hired someone to do the worst of the painting so it's nearly over. Once it goes back on the market, we're expecting a quick sale.

Crazy, wonderful days!

Last Chance.

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