My weekend project is now concluded, written, wrapped up and ready for delivery. I feel good about it, although that will not stop me from obsessively rereading and checking my figures and conclusions in the morning.

I have been in an almost obnoxiously cheerful, happy place of late and it is a very good thing. Work has been overwhelming – and after logging more than 30 billable hours since Friday night, I should be a lot more tired and perhaps even cranky. But strangely, I’m not. While I did little other the go to the gym and work nonstop on this unexpected and urgent project all weekend, I have a sense of satisfaction that it is my little firm and the glory of success or crash-and-burn of failure is all on me. I am extremely proud of my effort and what I email tomorrow morning before my self-imposed 8:45 a.m. deadline, 15 minutes buffered for the client’s requested 9 a.m. cutoff. There could be revisions or tweaks, but I crunched those numbers down into a fine dust and there is no doubt in my mind they are accurate. However, presentation and interpretation can be manipulated for emphasis, extra spin added to make his proposal more advantageous, but the basic framework of what they mean has been broken down and made transparent and can now be compiled differently if they wish.

So much of that same thing can be said of what J has been so patiently teaching me these last several months. I had this terrible nightmare Friday night that I had arbitrarily been assigned to another trainer and had no method or basis to appeal the decision with gym management; they kept telling me they had to redistribute clients to make it “fair” for all of the other trainers (J has the best and hardest working clients in our gym). I was stuck with a featherweight trainer who was not even in the same galaxy as where I dwell much less a similar wavelength. The dream was so realistic and so vivid I woke up and was really panicked and worried … for about 5 seconds until common sense returned. Work stress and reading something about Bernie Sanders is my only excuse for the relapse in my gym crazy.

Then Saturday night I had unrealistic nightmares of being arrested for drug smuggling. Even as I was waking up I was recognizing that I was dreaming, that getting arrested … ME? … for drug smuggling? Completely out of character. From there I went back to sleep and into another nightmare, this one based as some earlier time in the last century. It was terrifying, whatever it was about, and again, despite my more sensible, rational brain quadrants recognizing that I was having a bad dream, it seemed so real until I woke up. Hopefully tonight will be nice, dreamless, peaceful rest.

Makes me wonder if my general insecurity and feeling poorly about my own abilities is transferring from my waking life to my sleep. Either that or M’s spare earbud has been broadcasting the sound from whatever he was watching overnight into my subconscious. How anyone can sleep watching television is a mystery to me, hence the earbuds for nights he stays up later and then falls asleep with the TV still blaring.

This weekend I finally found that mythical and unexpected outlet in my practice. I mean, everyone talks about exercise as a stress reliever, but this was probably the first time I have genuinely experienced it. Saturday I got there just after the gym opened at 7 a.m. and had to leave by 8:15 to be on time to meet with my client at 9:30. Typical Saturdays I have more time, but this was obviously not a typical weekend. Today was something similar, but mostly because I was in the thick of work and felt like I needed to get back to it. After going through my latest upper body sequence on Saturday and then doing a lower body sequence and a simple run-through of upper body on Sunday, my mind seemed much fresher and attentive to the number crunching. Plus my shoulder and hip of all things were still feeling the effects of Saturday’s blunder. And I think so much screen time has an impact as well.

I have been giving a lot of thought to writing lately. The blog is an outlet as well as a self indulgent form of keeping myself occupied. I frequently think of writing here as opening a vein and letting myself bleed on the keyboard. Sometimes I am much more verbose and prolific than others.

The purpose it serves for me is priceless, though. I get to download my thoughts and sort them out into piles of stuff that makes more sense. That I have people who read, comment, and share their viewpoints in comments or emails or texts and phone calls seems miraculous. I appreciate the encouragement and feedback so much. It makes me feel less like a fringe nut-ball and more like a regular person who sees the world through her own unique lens.

This year, this month marks 20 years since my oldest daughter left this realm of life. Not a day passes that I do not think of her, miss her, wish she were still here. Not a day goes by that I do not realize that this is one of those profound events over which I have/had no control. Yet every March I find my heart breaking a bit all over again, even after 20 years.

I’m writing about it earlier this year – birthday 32 is a week from Thursday (3/17) and 20 years since she left us behind is Tuesday, 3/22. But this year already feels different. I miss her as much as I always do, and my sad-tinge is to be expected. Yet there is a hopeful whiff in the air, a sense of wonder at the potential of new possibilities and change. It’s being off most diabetes medications, less caffeine, more protein. It’s my 2 younger kids getting married and opening new chapters in their own lives. It’s my career changes. It’s new friends and old friends. It’s the improving emotional framework with TM, it’s the training with J and practices associated with that endeavor. It’s a lot of little adjustments and changes adding up and accumulating to a realistic sense of how wide my world of possibilities.

Life is genuinely satisfying and good. I feel very fortunate indeed.

Around me there are people teaching me things directly and merely by setting a good example. I’m paying attention, watching, listening carefully. People all around me get their crap done without a lot of drama or fanfare attached, and I am motivated to upgrade my own habits and behaviors to become more like that. This year feels like I may be able to get through March madness without an uphill battle with grief and depression. This year I am doing so many things that are not handicapped by sadness and grief. Exciting events other than sadness and grief have the lion’s share of my attention and are bringing out all sorts of positive emotions.

I am not a particularly patient person; I want what I want and I want it yesterday. But it took awhile to develop existing habits and behaviors and it may take even longer to alter them. A good friend is waging battle with her own control-related issues, and I do not envy her in trying to unlearn those autopilot responses. But chatting with her reminds me of other battles I have fought and overcome, for the most part. It reminds me that my hope for my budding confidence is not false or misplaced; I can and will find my sustainable balance of feelings and thinking and my own self esteem. I no longer view this journey as one of losing my humility so much as being more mindful of my reality, with its strengths as well as its weaknesses.

It has been a good weekend, with work and otherwise. And I am looking forward to another good week ahead.

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