Tinkering under the blog hood

Chatting with fab trainer J this morning, I verbalized a new epiphany about blogging: it keeps me focused and on track with my objectives. While we were primarily discussing my blog on the better health quest (makingprogressgettingfitter.blog), it also applies to this personal blog as well.

Small cakes in the epiphany universe, but through the past few weeks of hardly writing at all, I have become the incredible shrinking woman with regard to my better health quest in particular but my life as a whole as well. Not because I am faltering in my self-employment business pursuits or anything else, but because I have very gradually become more and more withdrawn and feeling boo-hoo blue about my job and the overall status of my life in general. And I have absolutely nothing to feel sorry for myself over – work is busy/hectic/crazy kind of good, health and fitness pursuits continue to be productive, relationships and healthy and rewarding. So it’s not because I’m doing something so terribly wrong or reversed directions and am splattered all over the couch with favorite sugar addictions methodically moving from hands to mouth and not taking care of myself or my business, but because I allowed myself to be distracted by other people’s problems and let that take away from my own more promising priorities.

Since today was my last training session for the next week (fab trainer is leaving on a well-deserved vacation), I thought I would return my focus and energy on catching up around here AND returning to something akin to a regular posting schedule. Because frankly, I do a lot better when I write regularly. No matter how busy I am in other aspects of my life, I can always find a few minutes to jot my thoughts and reflections.

Only as I said, I have been distracted by other people’s issues and trying to be a good and supportive community member. To my detriment. Either I fade away feeling like I am trying to extinguish wildfires by tossing single teaspoons of water at it or I am being smashed to smithereens by wrecking balls seeking care and attention and uninterested in doing that hard work.

Neither are good for my overall mental and emotional health. Me and social media: not a good fit. I have accepted it now and gone back to my 5-minute timer for Facebook a couple of times daily unless it’s something of interest, i.e., written by someone I know and whose thoughts and ideas interest me.

Only another item on my to-do popped up this month: returning to my pursuit of self-hosted blogging. I have been promising myself to get it done sometime before my next renewal, which is now less than 30 days away. While I know this is something I can and should learn to do myself, right now my time is more valuable than the cost of paying professionals to do the work for me. So, I expect to continue to be offline for the balance of this week while they pros move the blog.

And I wonder – what the Hell have I been waiting for to do this? On the one hand, I’m not superwoman; I have plenty of other revenue-producing activities that are a much better use of my time. Besides which – I’m unlikely to be moving the blog yet again after this, so I should leave it to experts … experts I can verbally eviscerate if they screw it up. But they won’t, and not just because they might be worried about what I would do if things do not proceed well.

Which means while there will be no new posts going up after this one, I will continue to be writing offline and publishing as quickly as possible after the move is complete, hopefully Saturday and Sunday.

Because I need this outlet. I’m far more successful and have a much better outlook toward my progress when I’m downloading the thoughts and emotions associated with my life. Honestly, it feels (to me) like my distraction shows in work and the zillions of ideas and things I want to say and to share with my corner of blogville. To say I am feeling rather negatively toward myself the last few weeks as I feel my dedication toward  and enthusiasm for my self-employment business creep away is a lightweight understatement, but I know myself quite well and understand how much worse I can be when feelings of personal failure come into the mix. I’m human, and just like anyone else, I have a lot of days where I feel yucky about myself or tired or just not in the mood to work for a living. I’m not unhappy, depressed, or crying in my water bottle, but I feel off and can accurately pinpoint where it’s coming from.

So I expect the migration process will start this afternoon. Or my willingness to not change anything on the blog will start this afternoon. Hopefully the move will be completed quickly and any new “look” I have for the blog will happen in this timespan as well.

Fingers and toes crossed all goes as uneventfully as expected, and I look forward to seeing you on the other side.

 

 

Revisiting days gone by

For another blogging project, I have been revisiting old posts from 2015 and 2016. It’s something I rarely do, and now after having done so, I wonder why I don’t more often. Well, there’s the typos and wrong word choices and maybe I could have stated something better, but with my stream-of-consciousness blogging style I suppose it should be expected. And really, those should be small cakes issues in the larger picture of taking a peek back at what I memorialized here on the blog.

It made me feel good about my life and it’s progress. I reread some of the comments received and was touched all over again by how great my readers. It’s an emotionally squishy time for me right now; I get that I am likely to be more moved than usual by words and acts of kindness that mean a lot to me. Still, while bawling is a little overreactive, I do not take you who read me for granted. Sometimes the reminders of where I was, where I presently dwell, where I will venture is so overwhelming and positive.

Life is fluid. Sadness will not last forever. While friend J is irreplaceable and I miss him terribly, I am grateful for so many other old and new friends who fill up my life.

But right now, work is slamming me, as is concern for C and A out in Tampa and experiencing their first hurricane season. We are concerned, of course, but not precisely worried. What can we do from here? They work at the same company and their center closed at noon on Friday and will not reopen until at least Tuesday, so they are hunkered down in their apartment and stocked up with recommended supplies, batteries, flashlights, water, food, etc. They have bags packed and the animal carriers at the ready for the fur babies if they are told to evacuate. If there were more we could do for them, we would, but it is simply a hope for the best, plan for the worst scenario right now. And from clear across the country, we just read the news and text back and forth.

So just a brief post today, because I need to get to the gym and then onto a very long work weekend ahead. No complaints, though. I would much rather feast and feel the pressure of work than famine and feel the pressure of not enough.

Blogging – from there to here

Last year I wrote and posted here frequently, nearly every day, sometimes more than once per day. These days, it seems like a Very Big Deal if I get something written and published once a month. One difference – I was blogging A LOT about my better health and exercise journey. Since that part of my life into it’s own blog, much of my blogging energy goes there, with training recaps and anything and everything related to diet, exercise, better health. In case you’re curious, find me talking extensively about my better health quest at makingprogressgettingfitter.blog,

When it comes to this blog and blogging in general, I feel sort of one-dimensional and made from cardboard. On more fatigue-laden days, I feel like recycled cardboard and completely lacking in color and details. Because my life is busy, work is demanding, and my hobbies and interests are primarily health and fitness related, it is often a challenge to muster the energy to write about other things.

Attitude adjustment is in order. Inventory and assessment of my time management as well. Because honestly, my little life and corner of the universe has a lot more color and range than I am presently allowing credit. Not because I am in a bad or negative headspace, more because I am letting life run at whooosh pacing and everything goes by at blurred speeds.

Not a lot big events in progress in my world this year. After 2016 and both kids getting married and C and A moving across the country, it has been a relatively placid period. K is in moving on in her career – accepted a generous offer from another firm only to have her dream job come calling and in the final stages of negotiation for an even more generous salary and benefits package. C and A are doing well in Florida, getting settled and enjoying their annual Disney passes. G is working hard and contemplating the next steps in completing his education.

Busy times for all of us.

M and I are working our summer project of decluttering and reorganizing our stuff. We are still working on the rented storage space, getting rid of stuff we have held on to for far too long, labeling and organizing what he/we feel cannot be separated from us just yet. From there it is our garage – an absolute necessity if M’s dream of a work bench and work space next to where I park my car is ever to come to fruition. There is much crap to be culled and shelving to be relocated to either the storage unit or the small storage building (the little house) in our back yard. The little house is our final frontier, the repository for all the crap treasures we tend to both become irrational about. For me, I cannot fathom why we need to retain the volume of easily identifiable shit stuff M feels is going to be useful someday, and for his part, M cannot understand my craving to live in a house with empty drawers and mostly empty rooms.

And believe it or not, despite the doom-and-gloom tone of my describing this process, our current decluttering effort is a big step forward for us. The truckloads of stuff hauled off to the dump, put in the trash, or donated is testament that this project is long overdue.

Funny, but I was actually considering shutting the blog down, because I seem to find myself incapable of stringing a few sentences together with any regularity. The minute I think that, though, I get this feeling of dread and anxiety that says I am not yet ready to relinquish my personal address in blogville.

Because I’ve said it before – this remains my safe space. I can talk about things here that I rarely to never bring up in the outside world. Or that I need to process in written form so I can behave appropriately in real life. Or work, always a favorite. Or just to talk about whatever so my family and friends do not start avoiding me because I talk too much.

Honestly, from the start of my blogging journey to now, the course has been unexpected. I never thought I would write as much as I have in the past few years, until I blink and realize that a few weeks have passed since I last published here. Maybe that’s a good thing, that nothing so significant has happened that I’ve felt inclined to jot it all down. Yet I know that’s not really true. Life has been busy, but for every hour of busy there are pockets of minutes spent vegging scanning headlines or letting my racing thoughts hypnotize me into paralysis.

I have missed writing here. It seems odd that I fail to recognize just how much until I sit down and just let ‘er rip with downloading my thoughts. In my drafts folder, 90 posts languish. Some will be recovered, updated, published eventually, but the majority are a few short lines or paragraphs demonstrating my distraction and need to process. Always I think I will return to this and publish it soon, but rarely does that happen. Mind and circumstances are different when I log back in, and another draft is begun or an actual post gets written and published. The former fragment sits, eventually forgotten.

Today I am resolving to be better about this, to carve out some me time for blogging, just because. I do have a lot to say, and in the immortal words of Nike’s marketing department, Just. Do. It.

I will. And I will engage my type A- personality and strive to be more consistent about it.

Happy Friday and weekend everyone. I have missed you.

 

3 years, 3 days, 1132 posts later

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.    – Marcel Proust

I missed my 3 year blog anniversary – I officially published my first post on 12/19/2016. But oh well. My ongoing amazement that I am still here, still writing and posting something most days is far more significant than commemorating and celebrating the actual day. It’s not quite a cake occasion, after all.

But it is so significant to me. Wow! I am actually surprised I made it 3 months of regular blogging much less 3 years. And other than a 2 week span the first year, I have rarely gone more than a day or 2 without posting something, even if it is lighter and fluffier than my typical content. Who knew I had so much to say? (Me, me, me … says everyone who knows me.)

As the time has passed this year I find myself more and more dependent upon the writing to keep process my thoughts and emotions, to find my balance in life, and to simply document events I want to remember and dates I cannot seem to forget. Both my children married in 2016, very different ceremonies yet both fitting and perfect for the couples involved. Our deck was finally replaced, and now the front landscaping has begun in earnest.

The better health quest continued and opened a lot of new doors for me as well as my heart and mind to possibilities I never dared even contemplate much less seriously consider. Truly, I found a stronger, more confident voice as the months passed and my many small wins began to pile up with health and fitness.

While “need” is sounds a little strong for my use of this outlet, I know how much I would miss writing if I were forced to stop. It seems impossible to have these ongoing conversations about what is on my mind with everyone I would want to participate in the discussions or to listen and to hear me, so the blog fills that gap nicely. I never dared dream how many would ultimately follow and read my missives out into the great unknown.

So this is my big giant THANK YOU to my followers, readers, family, tribe, and friends for sticking with me, for hanging and hanging on. The writing process and the discussions and doors opened have all reaffirmed for me how truly fortunate and blessed I am.

And so begins the next chapter in our ongoing adventure. Let the posts continue!

Not quite goodbye, but change is in the works

My life is not a mess, but it pacing has been relatively brisk the last few months, particularly the last several weeks. Part of it is my own doing and design, and part of it is just the nature and fluidity of life.

But what does that MEAN, you could possibly be thinking?

My focus in 2016 has been heavily slanted toward my adventures and ongoing health and wellness journey. It’s not at all what I anticipated when I began this blog almost 3 years and 1000+ posts ago, but little in life is truly predictable. This not me apologizing for changing directions, going from mostly non-themed chatting about anything and everything that popped into my head to talking endlessly about exercise and eating strategies and health improvement stuff. But I admit to coming to the conclusion that my better health quest has taken on life of its own in my blogging endeavors.

I like writing about it. I like sharing it here in blogville. However, I am feel the weight of this being my personal blog, where one post I am giving you a training recap and the next day I am venting my spleen about the young whippersnappers at work or talking about shopping.

It is because of that dichotomy, I have come to the conclusion that change must happen.

So coming soon to a browser near you:

http://www.makingprogressgettingfitter.com

Yep, this will be a completely separate blog devoted to my better health quest and all that entails.

This new endeavor does not mean I am or will be abandoning this space anytime soon. I may not be posting as frequently or with such long tomes (thank goodness, they all said in unison), but this space will return to what I originally intended – my safe, and personal, space to sort out my stuff. I will most definitely still be around and writing about the rest of my life and times. But if you’re here to read my perspective on what we did in training or my latest arch nemesis in the gym and instead find me whining about my first world problem of nothing to wear in a closet stuff with clothes, a separate blog on health and fitness is a huge relief.

Once I get the new blog up and running – possibly as early as November or as late as the first of January – my training recaps will be going up there as well as anything and everything else about my better health pursuits. To round out 2016 and well as direct attention to my new gig for those with an interest, I will be posting links to the new blog once I begin publishing training recaps over there. However, since that space will be exclusively devoted to health, exercise, diet and eating, I hope to will have opportunity to explore and encourage guest posts from those in my realm and to highlight aspects of other types of fitness and health going on around me. For example, my son coaches a training group primarily focused on people who have never run a marathon before. M is a retired ultramarathoner and many of his/our friends are still active competitors and racing frequently throughout the year. Friend J and RD have both participated in weight lifting competitions, something I find both fascinating and horrifying at the same time. Trainer J directs my attention to books, articles, even other blogs that I want to write about and/or promote. I meet interesting people doing intriguing things at yoga and pilates and would love to share more of their stories. My experiences as a diabetic and details of things I glean from my medical team may be written in more detail sometime as well. Products – believe it or not I have actually been asked on occasion to try products in exchange for writing an honest review. To date I have declined such offers, because while hugely flattered and more than willing to write an honest review, it seems weird in a personal blog.

No, there are no plans underfoot to sell my soul for a lifetime supply of amazingly tasty but not very good for me protein powder, but there are things I use now that I like and would talk about in a more a dedicated forum. Again, no expert here. If you want to know whether or not something works well or is nutritionally balanced, there are far more credentialed experts out there. If you want to know if I think something tastes good or like soap, I’m happy to share my thoughts and experiences.

Truly, I think my perspective as average middle-aged woman trying to improve her health is my primary (maybe only?) selling point. That and I am not an audience blogger; I write for me and hope you read or find something interesting or useful in my content.

The possibilities to be more direct and (even more) verbose about my fitness endeavors seem endless to me. It’s not a passion or a hobby; this has truly had to become a way of life for me. What you have all been witness to the last 15, 16 months is my accepting that I have to exercise and alter a life of less balanced/less desirable eating habits. I am learning to embrace the reality of that, while feeling its overall challenges become less drudgery and more fascination. In this I feel very average Jane, but I also know I have had to practically reinvent myself to make it this far. Perhaps there are others out there who have more ideas and experiences to share with me, that we can learn from one another. But even if I am some super special special snowflake in all the world, I have enjoyed the process of writing about it, even if I were the only one reading. Looking back, reading posts from this time last year, I marvel at how far I have come and how infinite the road ahead.

And because this is a personal blog, I do not highlight or promote it, never ever plan to monetize it in any way, shape, or form. I am presently on the fence about promoting or even attempting to monetize the new blog, because making money from the blog is very low on my list of objectives for writing. However, I like having options, and right now, here, I feel very limited in what I can or am willing to give up for my more defined writing efforts.

As of right now, I have purchased my domain name and gotten the basic shell of a blog started. There is still a lot more to do before official launch. But as I said, hopefully the grand opening will be the first part of November. Not to worry – I will be announcing it all over the place when it finally goes live.

♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥

In other news, my daughter and son-in-law are both impacted by recently announced Verizon’s call center closures. While this was a bit of a shock, it is not really much of a surprise considering California’s prohibitively expensive business climate. C and A have made the decision to relocate, because it is a really great opportunity to see/explore/live in another geographic location with the advantage of relocating for jobs and relocation expenses paid. It is definitely a more advantageous to just moving to get away from where they live right now.

M and I are 110% supportive of their decision, so much so that when I read about the closures in the local paper I immediately asked M where he thought they should go from the choices listed. Turns out there were other options available, but nothing is known yet except they are ready and willing to relocate to remain employed. As of right now we are all anxiously awaiting more details on their choices for where they are going and when, whether it is before the holidays or after. In the meantime, they are looking at all their belongings with a very critical eye of whether or not they need to cart it across state lines to their new life. Of more concern is their multitude of pets – moving out of state with several cats and dogs is not ideal under any circumstances. Since I work with a couple of nonprofit pet sanctuaries that care for as well as rehome pets, I have put them in touch to “interview” their cats and dogs so C can be assured they are not going to be lethally injected 5 minutes after she and A leave town. It is hard enough to have to leave the vast majority behind (C’s first kitty will probably go with them no matter what) without worrying about euthanasia. Fortunately their animals are relatively well socialized and get along well with people and other pets, so the likelihood of finding suitable homes seems good.

No matter how positive a spin we strive to put on it, this is a very big change for them and for the rest of the extended family. M and I are pretty laid-back and accepting, but A’s family – Freaking. Out. This sister in mother-in-law-hood is not tactful or measured in her reactions, and she told A that they would never visit because C doesn’t like them as well as expressing her anger that they talked to me about their decision-making process before her and her family, indicating that poor A has been brainwashed by C and her machiavellian parental units. Okay, I’m extrapolating that based on what I was texted while the conversation was happening, but honestly, in my most overwrought emotional state I would never say that to either of my kids, even if I privately suspected it might be true. To be fair to me, I might and probably would state bring up the thought and ugly feelings that come with it when calmer and capable of having a rational discussion.

But the kids are adults and capable of thinking for themselves and making sound decisions. I may wish my daughter were not soon to be living in another state, but planes fly to the locations where they could end up every single day. In my most selfish, I view this as another opportunity for M and I to expand our choices for vacation destinations.

Primarily, I want the kids to be happy. They both like their jobs, enjoy the work they are doing, the promotions and advancement opportunities they are chasing. Corporate ladder-climbing is not for everyone – been there, done that, bought and shredded the damn t-shirt – but for them at this point in their lives it is work they enjoy and allows them to pursue personal objectives simultaneously. All good. Living in another state is an opportunity to expand their horizons and see what life is like elsewhere in the US. I mean, it’s not like they are moving to Dubai or Bosnia; they are talking about Arizona, New Mexico, South Carolina, Florida. Each has its drawbacks – hot and humid immediately come to mind – but probably not terribly different or unsafe.

So … change is coming. I’m both very excited and a little apprehensive, but change is inevitable and resistance is futile. I am well armed with big girl capris and ready to step forward into a brave new world.

Now, if I can only find enough bigger blocks of time to make it all happen ….

Avoiding a B word

It feels as if my blog is languishing. I know it’s not, but the perception in my head and life is one of abandonment. I have been here. I have been reading. I have wanted to write something of substance but simply have not. Damn real life interfering with my blogging!

The “busy” word is bandied about as a catch-all and I tend to find it annoying. Truth is nearly all of us are busy with something; prioritizing the thing we are explaining away is a lesser priority, be it blogging or housekeeping or taking care of ourselves. Busy could be caring for an ill family member or work blowing up and spreading consuming any and all available time and mental processing power. Busy covers a myriad of reasons for faltering on what we might want or need to do to keep ourselves moving forward.

I actually hate the word “busy” as used be nearly everyone. I hate the catch-all-ness of it that says “I’m involved in other, more critical, more important agenda items that whatever you want/need/expect from me about honoring my commitments.” Here on the blog, I feel a certain responsibility to post something on a reasonably predictable schedule. Content might not be fabulous or even interesting, but it is a small, bland taste of my days and a sense of what is going on in my life during that brief snapshot.

I actually hate the word “busy” so much that I hope to never lose that sense of responsibility (to myself as well as any of my regular readers) that allows me to blithely begin a post with “sorry for my absence – I have been so busy!” and then on to whatever I am talking about that day. I believe myself to be hyper-responsible enough to follow the “busy” comment with a detailed explanation of where I have been, what I have been doing, and why I been incapable of generating even the most basic, banal of posts. Seems like telling you I was tired of blogging about the mundane minutia of my life is fine. Saying I’m suffering from depression (if I were, because I’m not) is probably a better thing than not. Describing the work drama with only the most general of details about events and people while making it painfully obvious that it was overwhelming, disturbing, or both. Won the lottery (should I ever break down and actually purchase a ticket) and sailing around the world and forgot to mention I’d be offline in my excitement seems understandable.

While I am talking about me and my blog for the most part, I find I hate hearing the “busy” word at work as well. Self-employment clients paying me to do a job and then being too busy to get me the documents and/or information to complete the work. Then wondering why they are at the bottom of my pile and their convenience deadlines are not being met. When I point out the clearly stated dates I needed things to ensure their work was completed on their preferred timetable, I so frequently hear or read the “sorry, I was busy” or “sorry, it was a busy period” to the point it becomes white noise. Sure, sometimes stuff has happened – a serious situation, an emergency, a move, delays beyond their control – but 98% of the time it is simply something they either did not prioritize or count on my good nature and professionalism to save them from themselves.

Over the course of the last year I have become less and less tolerant of blandly accepting such excuses and requests for accommodations. Looking over my year thus far I am on track to surpass lass year’s earnings and it has me contemplating some changes to the ways I do business.

I have a contract I was not going to renew, because I actually do not do the work, instead subcontracting it out to another friend. When they requested a proposal for renewing in 2017, I increased my fees by 20% and fully expected to be rejected in favor of someone else more cost effective. The friend who has been doing the work was disappointed that I was choosing to extricate myself from this client, because she enjoys the work and it is an easy, flexible way for her to bring in some extra money (she’s not equipped to take it on directly at this time). To my surprise, the telephone call we had scheduled today was not about protesting or trying to negotiate better rates but to expand and increase the workload, nearly tripling the scope of the job. I discussed it with my friend – if awarded, she’d have more to do every month as well as make more money, both of which she’s delighted about – and submitted a revised proposal. I did not lower my rates, although I am now second guessing myself about whether or not I should have to ensure I got the work.

From a numbers standpoint, this is a lucrative job for me. It is not my most profitable, unless I view it from the standpoint of the hours I must actually utilize to administer the contract and review the work done by my friend versus the hands-on work I actually perform for the rest of my folks. The client, while nice, is a demanding and requires regular amounts of hand-holding.

For a 20% increase fees, I can suck it up and deal. And should they choose to reject my proposal based on those fees, I will be fine. I will have learned a valuable lesson as well no matter what happens next.

Work from home Tuesdays on self-employment clients are morphing into work on Tuesdays and at least 4 to 6 hours both days of the weekends. The law firm, while technically only 24 to 28 hours, rarely is less than 28 hours every week. Once the move is concluded in December, I will be backing down to 24 hours in 2017.

But today I have been busy. East coast conference call at 6 a.m. PST was scheduled for an hour and ran 96 minutes. Fasting blood draw took another 75 minutes. Then to the gym, where I got in a pretty good workout but had to be out of there by 10 to shower and dress for a lunch appointment AND take a scheduled phone call with client described above. Lunch meeting with client (another chicken caesar salad), more phone calls driving home, checking and responding to email at home, and now getting ready to go to a gentle yoga class at 4. Doing a skin consultation tonight, then finishing up checking/replying to emails and preparing tomorrow’s to-do for what else needs to be done.

It has been and will continue to be a busy day. But since I had a larger meal for lunch, I will have a protein shake for dinner. Day 3 on my eating protocol and so far, so good. I am watching the time between meals and not letting it stretch so far out body burns every last bit of fuel.

I am not complaining about the pace of my days and my work life. I have a lot of control over my schedule in general, but Tuesdays I am the one who dictates and schedules what needs to be done, what priorities I follow. Gym time is non-negotiable; I wish I had gotten there before 8:40, but oh well. Yoga is for my work/life balance as much as anything. Following the new eating protocol and giving it an honest, fair shot is critical to me. The rest of the stuff on my list is flexible and workable. If I have scheduled something with clients, I make sure it happens.

And so it is with blogging, my outlet for sorting out my shit. It’s important to me as well, something I make a priority. As such, I myself deserve a reasonable explanation of why I cease blogging when it happens, something more than I was busy. Even if the only explanation is that I just didn’t feel like it or felt I had nothing left to say. Not happened in quite awhile, but I know it is a real possibility.

With that, I’m off to my yoga class and the rest of my zoom-zoom-zoom day.

Friends, worry, restorative yoga

One of my friends is a chronic worrier, so much so that it has started to have an impact upon what I write and post on the blog. It has not censored me so much as I stop and think about what I’m writing, wondering if my dear friend will pick up upon it and have a poor (worried) reaction. My recent series discussing my struggles to get back on track after the distractions of this month culminated in a text exchange yesterday where she expressed her concern about my recent posts and stated I sounded more unhappy than negative. She misses my happy.

Each of us reads and processes events through the lens of our own experience. But I have mostly been letting it go, working to shrug it off and not let it bother or impact me. Unfortunately it had become a niggling issue for me, and I suggested she cease reading my blog. I seem to be incapable of stating myself clearly enough that people do not get hurt by my words, and therein lies the rub of trying to set boundaries and take care of myself. I had to express how much I dislike the feeling such sentiments of worry over basically a temporary, transitory emotion inspire. If it were something deeper or more significant, I bring it up in more detail in personal conversations, texts, emails. I need to protect this sacred space for me to sort my shit out.

Depression, anxiety are real conditions and probably more common than any of us realize. TM and I had an informal conversation tonight over a cup of a kava-based drink about recent events in my life. I have a good and happy life 99.8% of the time, but sprinkled through the happy-happy-joy-joy are the normal crappy things that happen to everyone. Life’s irritations are small-ball is compared to other people with more shattering issues. Anymore, I try not to compare. Anymore, I try to simply live my life and keep my angsty whining to a bare minimum.

The blog is a safe place for me, the space where I can download the purity of my thoughts and raw emotions, uncensored and unfiltered. Much of the time these are positive, happy, upbeat, but sometimes they are reflective of my doubts, fears, anxieties. I don’t audience blog; I just write it as I think it/feel it/report it. Way too often they are scattered and not linear enough to suit me upon a reread after publishing. But oh well.

I am not much of a worrier. I have emotional reactions, and sometimes those result in really angry outbursts. One of my own was seriously ill with a sudden illness that could have resulted in death; he chose to not tell me about it until after the fact and yes, I was super-sized angry about it. Thing is, I don’t hold grudges. I get over things relatively quickly. He’s still recovering, and while I remain concerned, my energy toward him is better spent writing distracting story-telling emails about the minutia of my days. I don’t want him to die; I would be devastated and inconsolable if that ever happened to anyone I love. But my mind does not obsess about his well being. My mind instead turns to writing amusing notes.

My life is good, my most recent mercurial moodiness (if it can even be characterized that way) will resolve itself.

To that end I am trying some new things. Like a restorative yoga class after a cup of kava with TM. While I did not intend to discuss worry with him when we set up our kava date, it was on my mind and it came up.

TM came as close as he ever does to demanding that I not censor myself on the blog, that I maintain it as a sacred, safe place, even if it meant taking it private and making it for invited readers only. The horrified expression on my face must have spoken volumes, because his Plan B was that I should be honest about what I think, how I feel, set appropriate boundaries with my friend that let both of us be ourselves and good with our overall relationship.

TM has informally pronounced me as still okay, which near as I can tell is shrink-speak for not in need of immediate psychological intervention. Despite my being out of sorts and hair-triggered on the spin cycle right now, it is a temporary situation likely to resolve and right itself in time. He whole heartedly supports my regular exercise routines and sees how these relatively new habits could be disrupted by the upheaval of September’s distractions.

So I have a professional opinion that I’m okay.

Restorative yoga seems to be working pretty well for me. I’m learning to use yoga props, which for an unbendy person like me are a huge boon. We hold the shapes for longer than I’m accustomed to in a more vigorous hot yoga class, and with the props it makes me more successful and able to figure out the breathing and the meditative aspects of the practice. I find myself relaxing and unwinding my zoom-zoom-zoom thoughts set on fast forward. I only wish it was longer than just an hour.

Or maybe it was the kava. Either way, it was a good experience, one I will try to repeat weekly.

Balance is not something I achieve and then kick back, relax, enjoy. Balance is apparently another constant, life-long quest. It just looks and feels a little different, depending on what else is going on in my life. And this week, it’s looks and feels like overcoming irritation and frustration with events mostly beyond my control.

Training Thursday. Things are looking up already.