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Archive for March, 2012

She flies through the air with the greatest of…ease?

I tried something totally new on Wednesday.

Image

Aerial yoga.  No, that’s not a photo of me, but I did that move.  It’s called “Monkey Pose.”  I actually really wish I had photos or videos of me in the class, because it would be really amusing.  Anyway, this type of yoga seemed pretty fun to me, so I decided to give it a shot.

But here’s where the story comes in.  I don’t exercise these days, not in the way most people thing of exercise.  I’m active- walking to the store when I can, daily walks with Honey, moving around all day, but anything else gives me an exercise-induced migraine.  This is how bad it is…  Last fall, I did just three gentle, stress relieving yoga postures on the floor of my living room and ended up with a killer migraine.  I’ve tried many different types of exercising, but nothing’s worked.  Recently, though, my headaches have lessened overall and I have back-up prescription drugs if they start, so I thought I’d give exercise a try again.

Bad idea.  Because I haven’t worked my core muscles much, I keep throwing out my back.  Last month, an easy hike on a familiar trail had me limping around for days.  Today, “monkey pose” and “vampire” have me gingerly moving.  It’s the “Weekend Warrior” problem.  My body just isn’t ready for what I ask it to do, like this:

Shoulder stand

As I’ve written before, I thrive on trying new things.  This is important to me, so instead of doing new activities and then being laid up for days or weeks on end, I’m going to start doing core exercises on a regular basis.  That way, I’ll be able to try whatever I’d like and only get the sore muscles that go allow with that exercise.  One little step at a time, right?

At least I won’t be walking like a monkey- just hanging like one!

Cocoon

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No, It’s a Good Thing!

My sister, Sarah, is coming to visit next month.  She is coming because she loves me and wants to spend time with me.  The trip was spurred on by the fact that I didn’t go back for Christmas this year because it was too big of a push for me mentally; I just needed some down time.  Chris and I got it by staying in California, but we really missed being with our families for the holidays.

Sarah decided to come visit, because she knew it would bless me, build me up, and care for me.  We and I are super close, can tell each other anything, and love each other immensely.  She is one of my best friends, and I couldn’t imagine my life without her.

I explain this, because it got kinda twisted last week in my mind.  All the sudden, I started thinking about this future visit as a stressful time.  It was actually really strange, because she’s really low key and just wants to be with me.  Honestly, even if we sat on the couch all week, I’m sure she would be happy to have some time to relax and talk in person without two little munchkins (the cutest kids on earth, Elijah and Norah) running around.  Plus, she’s coming over my students’ break, so I don’t even have to juggle work!

But my odd response to the visit was another sign that I had my head on backward (see this week’s previous posts if you don’t believe me).  So I changed my mind.

In this situation, that change was really easy to enact.  I’ve been thinking about the fun things that we can do while she’s here (Año Nuevo’s elephant seals, Sonoma wine tasting, Santa Cruz, walks to take in all the California flowers in bloom, antiquing in my neighborhood), the way that we’ll stay up way too late chatting like we always have (since we shared a room when we were young), and getting to meet her little boy, Benjamin, for the first time.

Maybe we won’t do any of the activities that I’ve envisioned…  but who cares?!?  My little sis, who knows me better than the entire world, is coming to visit!  Maybe we’ll just cook and drink her yummy margaritas.

I am so excited now for her trip, but it took me realizing that the time together will bring joy and love and life instead of added responsibility.  And what little extra duties are required of me, I’m willing to take on, because that time together is totally worth it.

Even if I give up my bed for a few days.  But you would, too, if you knew how cute Benjamin was!

A Few Extra Minutes

I stayed in bed until 10 am this morning, and it was transformative.  I woke up late and then totally ignored all the responsibilities that lurked beyond the boundaries of the bed.  I lounged around, just breathing and taking in the softness of the sheets and how cushy the pillow was.  Utterly amazing.

I knew this was meant to be when the dog slept in, too; this never, ever happens.  She usually demands a walk by 8:30, but usually we’re up and moving much earlier.  Today, she was still snoring at 9:30.

It is really, truly incredible what those extra minutes in bed did for my mind and body.

Finally, after a long week and a half of being so. very. tired., I feel like myself again.  When I got up, I didn’t even rush into the things I had to do.  Chris and I took Honey for a walk and then had a chill birthday breakfast (his, not mine) down the street.  After coming home, I slowly tackled the day, taking care of one thing at a time, and working at a sensible pace.  I stayed peaceful and relaxed all day.

It’s nice to be back.

Not Sooooo Much!

I made a pledge to myself this weekend:  I am going to take better care of myself.  The last month has been a whirlwind of taking care of everyone but me, and the migraines every day last week were the proof in the pudding.  While I love doing things for others, it shouldn’t come at such a heavy load on me, my mind, and my body.

The apathy that I talked about in my first post (click here to view) has lessened since January in most aspects of my life, but it crept back in my actions toward myself.  I was eating badly (in my terms, not in the terms of the average American), overscheduling, running myself ragged, and wearing myself down.  Boo for me!

The reality of this cycle was that I wasn’t my best for anyone, and I wasn’t even really taking care of people as well as I could.  I wasn’t saying “no” to anything that came my way, and I just wasn’t being realistic at all.  My motto, “Be Your Best; let go of the rest,” was being totally ignored.

In fact, I was taking the rest, gathering it all up in my arms, and trying to cram it into every little nook and cranny of time and mind that I could find.  Exhausting carrying all that extra load.  It had to stop.

Each day, I will do something for myself.  Most days, that will take the shape of a blog post, which I love and helps cut through the crazy.  Some days will include reading the Bible for longer than usual, soaking in a bath, relaxing with a glass of wine, reading a magazine, taking an extra long morning walk, or sitting outside with my feet planted on the ground.  In fact, I’ve already started one thing- a daily change- that I’ll tell you about later this week.

I’m sure that on some days I will fall back into old patterns, but realizing my problem will help me make the changes that are needed.  I know that some of you out there are great at self-care, so give me your tips!  What do you do to take care of yourself?

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