Thursday, November 12, 2015

Shit's Getting Real
 gratitude edition

I have historically not gotten gratitude, basically feeling like I was naturally grateful and not needing to pay particular mind to gratitude. Which, maybe that was legit. Also being pretty severely inclined to doing rather than being, and so treating gratitude like a verb: identify what you want! Get rid of what you don't want that you have! Go out and get what you want that you don't have! Chop chop! You know what else I have historically not gotten? Forgiveness. I sort of get that now. Also unconditional love. I still ...don't really get that. Not sorry. Just saying if you're looking to get advice from me, I'm not offering advice and I'm a person who doesn't understand unconditional love.

Things look different from the bottom of a sinkhole, though. This is my version of shit go down when it's a billion dollars on an elevator. LOL bully for you Beyonce, I woke up like this. So in September I figured I'd give gratitude a chance, and I have to say it worked for me this time. Because I'm me, I made a google form and then in October I tuned up my form a bit:

grateful and proud

Where I structured it a bit so that I phrase my gratitude in the form of I am grateful for [x] because that means [y] so that [z]. Where Y is something that caused the thing that I'm grateful for, and Z is something that the thing I'm grateful for caused, little gratitude centipede. Then I dropped the Doubler, which I didn't get, and I substituted pride. Why not. Where gratitude is for something that was done for you, and pride is for something that you did yourself, I think that's another nice way to divide the waters from the waters. You can see that I am operating at a 3:1 ratio of gratitude to pride, possibly because I thought I would only be able to think of one thing that I did for myself per day. That number is up, but I still think it's spiritually healthier to be balanced toward gratitude.

My point: there's no right way. Not only is there no right way for all the people in the world, there's no right way for just one person for all time. Different things are going to be right at different times. Writing is hard because it's hard to get things to sit still so that they're in focus, but I'm writing this because I want to show something in the act of not sitting still.

At the same time as this is happening, my meditation is also shifting its feet and I've been thinking about that, and while I was thinking about that, this popped up, another example of the universe providing in the form of the internet.

For what moment today am I most grateful? For what moment today am I least grateful?
Woah, an anti-gratitude practice. In some ways I appreciate even more that it's all couched in uncomfortable (for me) talk about God's loving presence, you kind of assume that the godly people are the ones who are out of touch with how life can suck, and by "you" I mean me. Me kind of assume. Me U ass.

Anti-gratitude! Mind blown!

Again I will say, different things for different times. I think I was pretty well drowning in anti-gratitude at the bottom of the sinkhole, so thanks but no thanks! But now that I'm more or less at street level, the queen will see you now. Wait, I forgot again what gratitude is:

the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness
So then, anti-gratitude is the opposite: the quality of being not thankful; readiness to show that you do not appreciate...haha I don't think I have to go full "he sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue" here, baby steps, but how often do you politely accept something that you DO NOT WANT, let's just try do not accept and send it back. Frankly I don't think I have the ponytail even just for that, I was raised to be politeAF. I don't know if I want to be impolite. Let's start with saying to myself that I don't appreciate, fetus steps.

Because the goal is not sunshine and lollipops. My goal is not. Sunshine and lollipops are just to lure me so that I'm not quite so far back in the cave. And sunshine and lollipops are loud, so you hear about them. The cave, sort of, is silent. But my goal is not to be sunny all the time! I mean I've read Dune, that way lies drinking your own pee. My goal is to be sunny at times and rainy at times, sunny when I'm sunny and rainy when I'm rainy. My goal is to be balanced. My goal is to be real.

And real talk, some shit you just do not appreciate.

Anti-gratitude, it's an interesting choice.

00:06:10 Yeah. Yeah, I'll be fine.
00:06:13 It's- It's no problem.
00:06:16 Bacon, it's an interesting choice.
00:06:19 Yeah. Yeah.
00:06:22 A lot of interesting possibilities for bacon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Grief and the Maiden

lunch on the stoop

So I'm done with therapy (for now) and this is what I learned. If you're just catching up now with this story 1) I was planning to retire from roller derby after IKC, but then 1b) I had a stroke so I didn't actually get to play in IKC, and then I retired. About which I was fiiiiine, where the extra Is mean maybe not as fine as I thought. So then I was getting my act together and taking it on the road, and then 2) I fell into a sinkhole--i.e., a deep but as it turned out not too wide depression. I was pretty deeply depressed for June, July, and August, climbed out in September, and Cup of Jo wrote this piece about her postpartum depression that was just like mine, except mine was summer and no baby, all the way through where she says "I woke up one Tuesday morning, and it was over." It might even have been a Tuesday for me, too. I love Tuesdays. Just like that, though. Just as if night had ended, and the sun came up like it always does.

I mean, "just." Three months of therapy and Power 30. Where I used my Power 30 for self-care: sleep, hygiene, hydration—it all started with drinking that glass of water—nutrition, movement, and meditation, all of which I hope to be writing up soon. And where I guess in therapy I learned to feel my feelings, which I feel dorky even saying, which in itself says something. I say everything now. Where everything doesn't mean literally everything, obvs. If you want to know why I say everything when I don't mean everything, here's a thousand more words about that. Fiiine, I say a lot more. Terrifying. I feel like I was saying a lot to begin with.

Very early on, like on day one, my therapist brought up that we could talk about why I felt sad about being done with roller derby, literally right after I had just said that I didn't feel sad about being done with derby, which honestly was a little triggering because what really consciously bothers me is that sometimes people don't seem to hear the words that are coming out of my mouth. But then again there I was sitting on her couch trying not (another clue) to cry, so I thought maybe I should keep an open mind. If you're really interested, you should take a break now to see Inside-Out because that will explain everything. Which she actually gently suggested to me.

Okay, so. Let's say that I was suppressing my sadness about being done with derby, what is that about. I think one of the things to remember is that emotions are there to initiate behavior, they're so closely linked that I forget they're not one and the same. I almost said "we forget" but I don't want to ass U me, even though I think it's a decent assumption that would make me feel like I had company. But, write what you know. I forget. I conflate. I think I was conflating a) feeling sad about being done with derby with not being done with derby. Which for me there could be no question of, not even because of the stroke. Because reasons, reasons why I had decided to retire in the first place. But also, I had a stroke! Therefore, no feeling sad. Then I was conflating b) feeling sad about being done with derby with doubting that being done with derby was the right decision, and I personally don't like going around doubting my decisions if I'm not going to change them—which this I wasn't— I think that's undermining to my confidence. Therefore, no feeling sad.

Essentially I was protecting myself from going back to derby and from doubting that not going back to derby was the right decision. Neither of which I was actually, ever, in any danger of.

When the actual danger I was in was, well, stupid Joy running around in my head trying to keep Sadness out of my core memories and fucking up my entire internal infrastructure in the process.

Because you can safely feel sad about c) death. Or worse, things similar to death that don't seem as inarguably final as death. I'm actually pretty decent with death, having had a decent amount of practice. Death is kind of easier, it just is what it is being that I don't believe in an afterlife. I mean, death isn't great. Death is bad enough, I want only death to be death and everything that isn't death to be not death.

But some things that aren't death, are death. A thing like that is almost harder to accept because it is what it is ...or is it. Because in some way it's up to you, which is awful.

Things that suck but that can't be fixed, they are what they are, sucky and unfixable. Or you choose not to fix them and let them suck and maybe die, because you can't save everything. That is a very sad situation, there's lots to be sad about that doesn't involve a) going back or b) doubting that not going back is the right decision. You can just feel sad because c) death is sad, because you'll never get that back now. I mean that's what's sad about it, that there's no getting it back. It is lost. It's okay to feel sad about losing something! It would have been okay just to feel bad that that's how my derby career was going to end. Ah endings, another clue. I'm a writer, I always want a pretty ending. Can I say we? There's a great thing to insert here that Athena said about hardly anybody's derby career ending how they want, it's the whole ride that matters. I mean, think about it: consider the sport. Consider the odds. So if not a pretty ending, a pretty story? It's like everything with pretty, you know? You can lose yourself trying to fix all the parts you don't think are pretty, when you can just feel sad about that part not being very pretty, accept your actual face—er, story—for what it is and what you can do with it now.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

October Review

Now we're cooking with gas, no whammies!

October's picks:


1. Clean kitchen to finish! Let's do this! Before the holidays!

Okay, no. But because reasons!

I did take a mighty cut at the front room though, omg sooo much better. Now it's an even more neatly, almost attractively stacked warehouse. The sweetie man continues to work on his project, which has been making for very harmonious home life :)


2. Review all (seis!) client charts, get all them straight in my head, and get them all situated in their slots in my schedule.
3. Read The Power of Posture, very stoked!

Done and done, and I also set up google calendars for all my clients to keep track of who's starting and finishing their sessions. This matters for cash flow, and also for desk work—i.e., who needs a workout written when. It's funny, the difference between four clients, which I had forever, and six. Four I could pretty easily keep in my head. Maybe my brain will grow and I'll learn to keep six in my head, but for now it takes more superstructure to keep them straight so that I'm not like a mom calling her kids by the wrong names.



4. Nom Phase I to finish.

Nooo, because reasons.


5. Actually watch when we're watching. If not, hey, do something else.

The CSI beast got out a little bit; but this like every indulgence is not about being banished, but being managed. Because sometimes the right thing to do at a given time of day is wind the fuck down, and CSI is good for that. It's important, actually, to communicate to yourself that you are a creature who ebbs and flows (and if you are a person who mostly ebbs, you would shift the emphasis to the right. The tricky part of this, high-flow people are hyperfocused on their ebbs and always think they need more flow. I can almost guarantee you that a person who calls herself lazy is working herself too damn hard. A true lazy person never thinks that he's lazy, and yes I totally did assign them genders. But, not sexes. This is a very hardworking paragraph! But ...does that mean lazy? Haha.)

I didn't really need to test this, but I have more test results that Cosmos >>>>>>> CSI for going to sleep at bedtime. Ahhh I love Cosmos, I'm finally almost done with the series. I probably can start back from the top, but I've learned from Jeff Bridges sleeping tapes and ASMR videos that things stop working when they get too familiar. So maybe I will switch to the new Cosmos on Netflix, but idk about that because I'm still mad at Neil DeGrasse Tyson about Pluto. This is not technically PASTIME, by the way, this is Sleep.

We've mostly been watching season four of Longmire, which is now out on Netflix, despite what I said about preferring movies to TV series. I really prefer one-off stories for TV series, though the trend for a while has been season-long—or even multiseason—story arcs. Aagh, a multiseason story arc: a movie is like two hours long, right? A TV season is like twenty-some episodes times forty minutes, so like thirteen hours. That's just too long of a story for me. That's the style nowadays, like I don't doubt that Breaking Bad is an artistic achievement but from episode one I knew that I couldn't commit so much time and feelings to that. There's an intermediate style where they lure me in with one-offs, but eventually the long story arc always snakes in. Longmire sort of seems like the opposite, it started with the long arc and kind of abruptly switched back to one-offs... like maybe somebody who actually makes TV shows was thinking about the stuff that I think about. The upshot being, I'm continuing with Longmire when I was thinking I could take it or leave it.

TV is interesting these days, TV is changing. TV is one of the things that makes me aware of the passage of time.

Moviewise we watched Snake Eyes because Shanna reminded me about the Nic Cage film festival project, and also The Bank Job because der schweet brought it up to backfill our ongoing Ouevre of Jason Statham project.


So, let's talk about these reasons. They were good reasons!

6. Taco Ride with Problem et al.
7. Long food date with wifey.
8. We Meat Again at the Aloha Palace a.k.a. Boxstone.

October was a huge month for seeing people, it was really great. And also, the inverse proportion between how much I see people and how much housecleaning and writing I get done was in full effect. C'est ├ža. If I'm going with the Biggie paradigm (one month on, one month off), that means November will be OFF; but there's that momentum (and also the holidays), we're invited to a fall chili night and wine party next week. And the round robin bout is coming up.

Haha, I guess I'm not going to talk about them. This post is long enough. Each of those could be a long post on its own, with pics. Idk, do I want to document my life that way? Maybe? Maybe not.

November Picks


1. Clean kitchen to finish?


2. Last neurologist appointment!


3. Revisit muscles and movement, per The Power of Posture.
4. Maybe one admin project per month, maybe order postcards.


6. Nom Phase I to finish?
7. Not to mention, alla Poppy is changing. Maybe pay a little mind to that.

8. Longmire season four to finish.

9. Chili weeknight at the Aloha Palace.
10. Wine party.
11. WCR round robin.

Happy Halloween!

happy halloween

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Happy Birthday Kevin!

happy birthday kevin

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Do You Wanna Taco Bout Day Breakfast

fresh apple clafouti with greek yogurt and toasted slivered almonds

Fresh apple clafouti with greek yogurt and toasted slivered almonds, served on the tray that I can now get to since Power 30 convinced me to throw away the two trash bags' worth of egg cartons that I had been compulsively saving on top of the tray on top of the refrigerator.

Taco ride today!!! I am soo not going to make it to Don Pedro by 11, still in my pajamas...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Review

More huge assist from my Power 30 group, self-care on fleek! And starting to GTD even.

September's picks:


1. Clean kitchen to finish?

Not finished yet, but I did do an emergency mop of the main floor after der schweetum's project tracked a lot of grime in—erk I cannot stand to feel dirty floors with my feet, which is why I always wear socks in the house, which I recognize doesn't solve the problem—and I also went Kon-Marie on the pantry shelves, oh and all around the fridge. That was awful. Here, I will draw a map:


I've done where the gear crates used to be (omg that was the worst, that was the corner between the sink and the bedroom), the sink corner, the island corner (but not the stove corner), the pantry corner, and the fridge corner. Down the middle kind of always gets washed with whatever corner just because it's always open, it sure doesn't hurt it, and maybe it needs it because it's the most trafficked. In any case, that's where I'm doing my yoga and my church, and for church I don't use a mat and am rolling around the bare floor; so, that's nice. So I need to do all around the stove, the coffee cart corner, and Kon-Marie the equipment shelves. Oh, and the hutch over the sink. I might be done with this by the end of the year.

The sweetie man's project is going apace, most of the apartment is quite liveable. Even the front room is liveable if you don't mind living in a neatly stacked warehouse. I think the front room will be my big project for 2016. I WANT FURNITURE.


2. Draft budget/business plan, how about that. Or maybe write up where I am with sun salutations, that's been a real bright spot for me.

Done, done, and done, how about that.

Ughghghgh I have dreading looking at my budget since 2013, and before that I wasn't dreading it because I wasn't even thinking about looking at it. It's not half bad, I seem to have just enough income to meet my expenses. It could be better, but it certainly could be worse. Actually I'm $11 over budget, and Hulu is $11.99... then again, between Netflix and Hulu, I can cover a lot of entertainment for $20/month. Truly we live in a golden age.

Business plan
I'm so not an expert on personal finance or running a business, so I don't think it really merits a post, unless you want to read a post about a total innocent stumbling into business without even trying. I already have a title: Mistakes Were Made: How To Succeed In Business Without A Business Plan. Because truly, and I know this might seem surprising, I don't believe so much in plans. I believe in knowing where you are, which is what's good about having looked at my budget? So three years into my business, I know where I am. What does that mean: I know roughly how much money I need to live the way that I live. I know how much money I make from my office job and how much money I make from my training business, and happily there doesn't seem to be a gap between income and expenses. In some ways I'm not sorry that I didn't look until now, because I'm pretty sure that there used to be a pretty big gap and I think that's all I would have been looking at. A pretty basic thing I used to teach in skating was that your body follows your eyes. Look into the gap and you'll find yourself in the gap, look at the work and you'll find yourself with work. And by keeping my eyes on the work for the past three-plus years, I know a lot about the work: how much work this work is, what kind of work this work is, etc. I feel like you can't know that stuff about the work unless you do the work. And therein lies my business plan: I know this is what I like to do, I know this is how much time it takes me to do, I know this is how much money people will pay for me to do it, I know this is how much time I have, I know this is how much money I have, all of those things are like slips of paper that go into a mason jar and ::shake shake shake:: out comes a slip of paper with an idea of what to try next. I mean, mason jars don't work like that. My brain does, though; the mason jar is my brain.

I know, I'm demented. But somehow all of the above is how I have a full boat of clients now. SEIS! (That's an El Mariachi reference.) Until I get a bigger boat—i.e., reduce my hours at the office to open up more training slots. And just under the wire to intake my newest client, I redesigned my new client intake forms. Though I guess how much am I going to be using them, being that I'm not taking any more clients for the time being.

Write up sun salutations
Well, I didn't write them up. I videoed them for my post about practice, and that sort of scratched that itch. They sort of resist writing up because a) I'm no professional yoga teacher, and I don't want to come off like this is the right way to do sun salutations, and b) there's always something that I'm working on and changing, faster than I can write it up, and c) it's always something really little that really would be best shown with animated GIFs, and frankly I'm not all that used to having photos of myself on the internet, let alone video, let alone animated GIFs. Of me possibly doing sun salutations ALL WRONG. And d) if you do take up sun salutations, it's going to be your own thing and maybe showing you my thing gets in the way of that most important message.

I've always had the least to say about what I used to call "fitness" on this blog, and it's becoming clearer to me, now that I call it Movement, why that is. It's because what I'm really passionate about is movement, and writing— though well, I'm also pretty passionate about writing, I suppose writing can capture movement, I wouldn't be a writer if I didn't feel that writing can capture anything, though what I'm really passionate about is that writing captures everything very imperfectly and there's nothing wrong with that, that just is what it is. And that there are other ways of capturing and expressing, ways you can get at what writing doesn't get. Which tangentially is why I love emojis so damn much. Anyway. Writing isn't the best for capturing movement. Pictures are a little better but not much better. I like pictures for yoga because poses are such a big part of yoga. Obviously pictures are fine for poses, not so much for the movement between the poses. Video is fine for movement, and now that I've finally learned how to video I might do more of that. But to break down movement, really I think animated GIFs are ideal. The upshot of all of which is, capturing movement on a flat screen can be done but it's a lot of work to make it worthwhile. It's definitely worth it when it's done right like that GIF blog that one derby girl does, God bless her for doing all that.

But see, there's already an easy way to capture and communicate movement: move. You know, your actual body. And talk about it. With your mouth. Which is what a training session with me is. So like the way easier end of the stick is also the money-making end of the stick, and the more difficult end is the end that takes six years to make a hundred dollars... sooo...



This blog continues to be brought to you by Power 30! But also, I finally started working on my new blog, which is 62% complete at this point. I mean, define complete. There's a certain point in my mind that I want to get to, after which I might soft launch it. Might. Anyway not to be coy, it's nothing groundbreaking, pretty much all recipes that I've published here, but I'm scratching an itch about how I want them to be organized. The project has phases, I'm working on Phase I right now. Phase I will give me what I need to work on Phase II, something I've always wanted. The soft launch might happen after Phase I or it might happen after Phase II. After Phase II, the idea is that I will shift into maintenance mode and it will just be live going forward. Whatever. Keeps me off the streets.


The CSI beast is back in its cage, not roaming around snacking on my life and der schweetum's life. We are tuning up our watching "practice," and our relationship practice in general--trying to be more present together when we are together, trying to watch stuff that we will actually, first of all, watch. We're both terrible about sitting down to watch something together and then separately looking at our own things; you can file this right next to how I need to practice taking a shower, I need to practice watching friggin television with my boyfriend. So far we've watched Black Hat (meh), Furious 7 (the feels!), and Spy (lolz), and we started Narcos. Did I say this already, I actually prefer movies to TV series for this, OITNB notwithstanding... and I have maybe a deep theory why, but I feel like TV series are more affected by commerce? And I can see the commerce, it's like being able to see the strings holding up all the puppets and the scenery.


We didn't see any movies this month, which remember means go out and see. Which sort of goes with having just done my budget, going to the movies is esspensive. I have to really want to see something on the big screen to shell out the bucks, otherwise I'm good with Netflix and Hulu and the food is better at home.

I also didn't see any ...people this month? Except for sitting on the stoop with Biggie that one day, and Box and Brawla's Labor Day BBQ. Nobody since then. Except clients, obvously. I may have needed the rest. Also don't think I don't notice the inverse proportion between how much I see people and how much I write, which is important to me. Not to mention the inverse proportion between how much I see people and how easy it is to stick to my food plan and my budget. I don't think not seeing people is a long-term solution, though. It's tricky because momentum: it seems like the formula is to get up to a certain critical mass of seeing people and then momentum takes over; but if you just need and want to maintain a relatively low level of seeing people, you kind of actively don't want to get picked up by momentum. With momentum, you tend toward eleven. Without momentum, what you tend toward is zero. How do you maintain one, or two? Is my question.

[ETA: Sparty with the save, I also had a brunch date with her, TS, and Ska (and Rudy!) at Bang Bang Pie Shop. And I visited Brawla in the hospital. And MJ and I saw the super blood moon eclipse. And Biggie and I went for a walk, and actually she gave me a great idea for how to manage seeing people: one month on, one month off, eh? Eh? I think it is genius, and October is ON.]

October Picks


1. Clean kitchen to finish! Let's do this! Before the holidays!


2. Review all (seis!) client charts, get all them straight in my head, and get them all situated in their slots in my schedule.
3. Read The Power of Posture, very stoked!


4. Nom Phase I to finish.

5. Actually watch when we're watching. If not, hey, do something else.

6. Taco Ride with Problem et al.
7. Long food date with wifey.
8. Steak date chez Boxstone.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

My Lover's Got Humor

p: let me tell you how my "dance" is going

p: first of all, sliding on your head hurts

p: that's why i'm wearing this hat

p: i guess that's why breakdancing kids wear hats

m: how are you sliding on your head

p: like this

::big supine arch::

p: if you don't slide on your head, you can't go up

p: the hat doesn't really help because your head slides in the hat

p: okay so, then this is where he does that huge jump nevermind that

p: i do this instead

:: ipsilateral bird dog::

p: but look, i never used to be able to do this before

p: this for three minutes really hurts your knees

p: so i put on knee gaskets

p: also i'm wearing sweats because the floor is cold

p: so sweats, hat, knee gaskets, and some of this stuff is pretty hard, and i've been doing it for like twenty minutes

p: i'm basically dying here

m: so shower before brunch, then?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Church on Sunday

So for my little bit of morning movement, I walk to the train MWF, do sun salutations TuSa, bike to therapy Thursday, and that leaves Sunday. I had originally planned sun salutations TuSaSu, but they actually made me sore! And if I've learned one thing this summer it's that if I don't respect my body, undermind is going to send me to the cornfield. I could have done sun salutations 3x/week if Thursday had been available, the spacing would have been better. Two days in a row though, not so much.

The idea then was to add days when I got stronger at sun salutations, which I have already. I think sun salutation adherents say that you should do sun salutations every day—what's with everybody wanting to do everything every day, sheesh. There are other factors: first of all, there's what organically works for the day, like walking works for walking to the train to work and biking works for biking to therapy. My pattern-loving brain wanted to bike on Sunday (walk three, yoga two, bike two), but really what organically works for Sunday is something I can do in the kitchen. Which brings us back to sun salutations, and I'm strong enough, sooo... let's go? But secondly, there's keeping it fresh: if I only do sun salutations on Tuesday and Saturday, it changes in my mind from "I have to do sun salutations" to "I get to do sun salutations." Not only can I keep it like that for sun salutations, I can have it like that for something else that I only do on Sunday. So what to do on Sunday. In the kitchen.

This is what came to mind:

Sergei Polunin, "Take Me to Church" by Hozier, Directed by David LaChapelle from David LaChapelle Studio on Vimeo.

If you're starting to worry about me, I am not insane. I'm not thinking that I'm going to take up ballet at the age of 48, having studied dance in my life never, and match the performance of a principal dancer with the British Royal Ballet. Even if I practiced more than once a week! No no, I am a student of small things. I was thinking it might be nice to sit like he's sitting in the first seconds and just drool at this beautiful thing, I can think of worse Sundays than that.

And hilariously, I could not even do that. I don't have that range of motion in my ankle yet, because of the sprain. I literally could not just sit. It wouldn't take my body weight, not even for one second.

Which meant, I had something to work on.

But I only get to do it on Sundays! That was last week.

This week I worked out sitting on a cushion, and I watched the video and took notes up to, ha, 47 seconds:

breaking it down

Now I have a LOT to work on:

  1. Sit with ankles plantarflexed
  2. Sit up to half side plank
  3. Half side plank collapsing to supine—this is the get down from a Turkish getup
  4. Supine thoracic arch to sit cross-legged (not boat)—this is SO. HARD.
  5. Sit cross-legged roll forward to quadruped
  6. BIG JUMP—right, nevermind this
  7. Quadruped roll to supine
  8. Supine bridge flip to prone
  9. Prone pushup to side plank
  10. Side plank drop to prone
  11. Prone pushup thread legs through to L-sit
Except for the crazy big jump in the middle, these are all familiar, doable movements, worth doing in themselves. Ten reps each of each of these, just saying, that's a workout. I'm going to need a bigger kitchen. It's going to take thirty years for me to string together the first 47 seconds of this video. By which time I will be ninety, which will be remarkable in of itself.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


The idea of practice came up in my Power 30 group, treat everything in your life as practice and that takes away the idea that it has to be perfect and more importantly it gives you the idea that you're learning and getting better at stuff. At life! I am of course 100% down with this idea. It's absolutely central to how I work with my clients, I'm not a trainer who just drives my clients through umpty repetitions of burpees to TORCH BODY FAT NOW! I'm a trainer who teaches my clients how to do burpees, and if that's too hard --burpees are really hard, people-- I break a burpee down into all its little burpee parts. Because nothing rends my soul more than seeing somebody doing hundreds of repetitions of really wonky burpees. Because what they're doing is practicing really wonky burpees, they're getting good at wonky burpees. Now at some level, and I'm just starting to work with a few of my clients at this level, the wonky burpee has something to teach us, because life is wonky, but let's not go there just yet. I just mention it so I don't wall up the idea of the wonky burpee forever: there's a door here and let's keep that door closed for now, and we can open it later.

sun salutations after a month 2x/week

Speaking of practice, here's where I'm at with sun salutations. Actually there's a tiny burpee inside sun salutations. That I'm not even up to yet.

Anyway, I'm not even talking about burpees here. Another angle on this word practice for me comes from my roller derby side and it's that practice is something that you show up for. That's why I started to say cooking practices, I need to show up for cooking like it's a practice, because nutrition is part of my training, and then fold in the idea that it doesn't have to be perfect, it's an active process of learning and getting better. At cooking.

I'm not actually talking about cooking, either. I'm talking about taking showers. Oh my god Poppy, you're talking about practicing taking showers. What, did you fuck up taking a shower?

Yes. Yes I did.

SO I'VE BEEN UNDER A LOT OF STRESS LATELY, and I believe in the concept of allergy load. Your body can only handle so much, physically and emotionally; so like your allergies might get triggered when you're emotionally stressed. This is also known as the concept of I Can't Even. Fun fact: when I was married, I was lactose intolerant. So, anyway. My arms have been breaking out a little bit, I am not into that at all. At this point I've started all this self-care around here, and I figure a good thing to do would be to add neti pot and oil pull to my shower routine. The doctor actually recommended neti pot to me when I had my sinus infection to rinse the bacteria out of my sinuses. Oil pulling supposedly pulls bacteria out of your teeth. The shower is perfect for me for both of these, just get it all done. Neti pot and oil pulling adherents say that you should neti pot and oil pull every day and I only shower every other day—for that matter, I guess shower adherents say that you should shower every day—but nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little (that's not me, that's Edmund Burke.) And really, neti pot and oil pull four times week is a lot more than a little. And it's going to add time to my morning routine on work days, which is when I shower, and I may or may not have time for that. Well to find out which, I have to try.

I'm going to try. (Shut up, Yoda.)

My very next shower I'm standing in the shower and I'm like, shit, I forgot the neti pot and the oil. Welp, it's too late to go back out and get them. I mean, it's literally too late. Welp, next time.

So I'm down to scrubbing my feet—so like, twenty minutes later—and I'm like, Why is my hair still dry? Great Scott. The whole point of showering on work days is to wet down and condition my hair so I don't go to work looking like Christopher Walken.

I wet down and condition my hair, finish scrubbing my feet, and I think to give the conditioner a little more time to work I'll just brush my teeth and wash my face in the shower. What a good problem-solver.

I get out of the shower and go to the bedroom to dry off and get dressed, and uh, facebook. Now you know: if you see me on Facebook in the morning, I'm generally naked. Then I go back to the bathroom to blow dry my hair.

So I'm drying and styling my hair, and my hair feels really odd. Like, weirdly thick.

Mein gott, I have not rinsed my hair.

At this moment, I do actually think it's cool, it's just practice! as I'm sticking my head under the faucet to rinse out the conditioner. I'm even laughing a little bit, which is more me than I've been all summer. That's good! It's good to be resilient!

To be able to bounce back and laugh when you walk to the train and you're at the turnstile when you realize that you've forgotten your wallet!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

My Shower Routine

Oh god, please tell me that I am not writing a blow-by-blow account of how I take a shower. I'm just doing it so I can get it out of my head and stop thinking about it.

shower products

Okay so, first of all, showers are only every other day. Other days I just wash what needs washing, go on to my skincare routine, and get dressed.

Secondly, I just added a little bit to my shower routine that, who knows, might go the way of the toner and serum in my skincare routine; but for now I am neti-potting and oil-pulling every shower, which takes a little prep before I get in the shower:

  • Prep neti pot - First I put on the kettle, obviously not to boil the water, just to warm it a bit. When the kettle starts making a little bit of noise, that's usually warm enough. I fill a pint measuring cup with warm water, add a teaspoon of kosher salt, and stir well.
  • Prep oil pull - Then I scoop a spoonful of coconut oil into a little cup and bring the salt water and coconut oil into the shower with me.

1. Neti pot.

First thing when I'm under the shower, I fill the neti pot and pour half the salt water through one nostril and then the other half through the other nostril. I'm not giving instructions because I'm no expert about or at this. In fact the reason I do this in the shower is because in the shower it doesn't matter if salt water goes everywhere.

2. Oil pull.

Oil pulling is supposed to, at the very least, pull bacteria out of your mouth. I'm doing this because I figure my poor old immune system could use all the help it can get, and I'm doing it in the shower because you're supposed to do it for twenty minutes and I shower for about twenty minutes—birds, stone, no need to time it or anything. And I would never do it otherwise.

So I scoop the spoonful of coconut oil out of the cup I brought in the shower with me and pop the coconut oil into my mouth. It's that time of year when coconut oil is solid, so it's like a chunk of coconut oil. So I chew it up until it melts and then I just swish it around in there for the rest of my shower. I will say this, you have to be a little careful about getting water up your nose when you can't open your mouth because it's full of oil.

3. Shampoo, 1x/week only.

So yeah, Biggie says I only need to shampoo my hair once a week; dirty hair styles better. Most days I just scrub water through my hair before the next step...

4. Conditioner.

...which is conditioner. I use Herbal Essences Honey I'm Strong Strengthening Conditioner (also shampoo) now that Jewel doesn't have None of Your Frizziness, which I used for years (because orange). They're both fine.

5. Scrub!

This is the real right part of the shower to me, nobody scrubs like a Korean. For soap I love Dove soap despite their questionable advertising, I put that on my scrubby that I get from the Korean store a.k.a. Joong Boo Market and go to town. This is why the shower takes twenty minutes.

6. Rinse.

Rinse hair, rinse body, and turn off the water.

7. Now spit.

Finally I spit the oil into the toilet and flush. My teeth do feel cleaner after oil-pulling, I do have a coconut oil aftertaste, but Imma brush my teeth in a sec so it's all good.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Habit Stacks

Month two of Power 30 so far:
Week 1 - under the bus
Week 2 - goodbye bus, getting up

So like I said, I am really focused on self-care for this challenge. Sooo many things about self-care are like, oh that's a nice idea, drive on by! Listen, self-care is just like exercise: the best self-care (or exercise) is whatever self-care, however small, that you actually do. Paying lip service to self-care, well actually, is a step toward self-care, but the next step is shall we say foot service. And right away you can shoot yourself in the foot by taking on too much (just like with exercise).

So, foot service: things that I am actually going To Do for self-care.
Not shooting myself in the foot: really little things.

I have these things organized into "habit stacks." Do you remember when Shabby Chic was all the rage? The Shabby Chic lady said a thing back then about how to make shabby look chic, something like, Three things make a story and not, presumably, a pile of junk. So like, I have a morning story, and an NEW! afternoon story, an evening story, and a bedtime story in neat little stacks:

# drink water
/ do 750 words
// walk or bike or do yoga

This story I started when I started Power 30, and it has saved my life. Water is elemental, you've heard a million times that humans are mostly water. You dehydrate a little bit when you sleep, through respiration. Drinking water to me is like adding the human back or topping off the human or whatever. You can't take a walk in the blogosphere (including in this blog) without tripping over Drink warm water with lemon; but if you ask me now, the warm and the lemon are just decorations. It's the water, man.

If humans are mostly water, I am mostly ...words. I wonder if I respire words in my sleep, maybe that's what dreams are. Do you know what I think though, this depression was me dying from lack of words. Words are also kind of like water in that... like you know how when you're dehydrated, you hate water? I mean, I think that's where the lemon comes in. I felt like I didn't need writing the way I used to feel like I didn't need water. Once you drink the water, with or without lemon, you wake up the water demon, which is to say the human, and now I'm passing through How Odd, I Actually Want Water to Obviously, Water. Though for water that took years, for writing it was maybe a week—if not a day— from How Odd, I Actually Want Words to Obviously, Words. YMMV!

Last but not least, life is movement. So it's very nice for me to start the day with a little bit of movement. On the one hand, I'm the world's biggest fan of whole day movement: if you get out of bed and walk to the shower, that is movement. There's no level below which it doesn't count, it all counts. Your whole day movement counts more than the thirty or sixty or even hundred and twenty minutes a day you spend "working out," not saying that a hundred and twenty minutes a day isn't a lot, but it's not more than a thousand, four hundred and forty minutes—though presumably for four hundred and eighty of those minutes you're sleeping. On the other hand, and this is what's positive about working out, I want to this to be a mindful nod to movement like working out is. So MWThF I take the walk and bike that I already do and just add mindfulness, and that's the level of movement I'm looking for. Because I am going to run a half marathon when I get out of bed never. TuSa sun salutations fit the bill though they are actually quite hard, I will be working on these for a long while. I'm still figuring out what to do Sunday. (And I don't think that Sunday needs to be a day of rest, in this case. Of course you do need rest days from working out, but you can move every day. You do move every day.)

} be curious and present

I had initially put /gratitude here, and it made me angry. Haha. So I deleted that and since then, this idea of being curious and present has really come into its own. The idea here is to have lunch and then do just a little something-something kind of again like a mindful nod to self-care and connection, and also I guess something different than scrolling through Facebook and Feedly, which was my default. I'm not reflexively negative about social media or screen time, I think there's good and bad in everything and the cloud is like home to me in a lot of ways. But. Sitting on the stoop with Biggie or with the sweetie man, or going out to lunch with my really nice co-workers. Or singing a song (not at work). Or a dance break, I love to dance and do you know in the depth of my depression Athena posted this really great self-care PDF and one of the things was to dance... and I did not want to dance. Sort of like when you hate water, I guess. Do you know what about Fury weekend though, I danced.

Not only has this been a lovely spot in the day for discovery, but also I think this has improved my ability to GTD in the afternoon. Which I had not been doing for a long while, that was where the CSI was coming in.

There's nothing wrong, by the way, with collapsing and watching a lot of CSI. There's this article doing the rounds about Ignoring Your Feelings and focusing on what you have to do. I will always say different strokes for different folks; but as for me, I'm real good at focusing on what I have to do and when that falls apart, then I have to shell out for a therapist to even realize that I'm sad that I'm done with roller derby. Even though Obviously, Roller Derby is totally a place that people have told me about! Sometimes what you have to do is feel your feelings and when you do, it's a serious To Do like on a To Do list and it pushes other things off the list. Because it's important.

\\ tidy bedroom
:: meditate
\\ tidy kitchen

Every day now.

\\ fill water
\\ sheets temp lights
# stretch
/ gratitude

I initially made this stack too big and wrote to myself, Your stack doesn't have to be a Dagwood sandwich. I like a sandwich that fits in my mouth, personally. The essential things that need to happen are:

  1. I have to fill the jar that I'm going to drink my water from the next morning.
  2. I have to be mindful about turning things down so that I can go to sleep, but these can be a set of little grace notes, a little bit of night music.
  3. I do really like to stretch, just a little bit. Remember the best exercise being the exercise that you actually do, the best amount of exercise is the amount that you actually do. An hour—or in all honesty, fifteen minutes— of stretching is stretching that I'm not going to do. But like, two minutes of stretching in bed every night is going to add up like woah. I mean, I don't time it. I just play with whatever stretch I'm playing with at the moment. For a while I was doing PNF stretching of my hamstrings, let me tell you that is witchcraft. I just changed to these 90-90 hip openers from Onnit. Generally by the end, I get excited and do headstands up the headboard but I don't actually recommend that. I don't think it's entirely safe. Headstands on fleek, though.
  4. Finally, I put gratitude here and first I thought, Rule of threes. Is this not one too many. But actually I have been training to fours lately with the breath counting, maybe gratitude can be that last exhale of the day. Then I thought, I prefer gratitude to be random. But seriously, what would be wrong with routine gratitude. Besides, I made this form.

Speaking of night music, I was wrestling with Turn down brain because surely turning down the sheets and temp and lights, and stretching, and being grateful, were sufficient to turn down my brain, but really because you were going to have to pry my nightly episode of CSI out of my cold, dead hands. Again I'm not reflexively against watching TV to fall asleep, as long as it's not stimulating. CSI though is lit generally dark but punctuated with flashes of light and also is generally quiet compared to most police shows but punctuated with The Who's Who Are You which has very loud guitar riffs. So I would drift asleep to the sound of them, you know, running DNA, and then wake up to the flashes of light or dunnn-DUN-DUNNN. So I switched to Carl Sagan's Cosmos, which I know nothing about because I've never stayed awake more than four minutes in.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015



So like, I'm not trying to Accomplish Something with my life. This may sound weird, but I've accomplished what I wanted for my life. Though I would someday like to live in a bedroom big enough to get out of both sides of the bed. I'm not, like, done with my life. I'm just finally in the right ballpark and am settling down to play ball, that's what I wanted. What I need is to be happy about my life. So my Power 30 goals are less about GTD and more about self-care habits, and here's another thing that I scooped up from my feedly: Do these exercises for two minutes a day and you’ll immediately feel happier, researchers say—five two-minute exercises for instant happiness, first of all, LOL, one of them is fifteen minutes of exercise.

To wit:
1. Three Acts of Gratitude
2. The Doubler
3. The Fun Fifteen
4. Breathe
5. Conscious Acts of Kindness

I figure the ones I need are the three acts of gratitude and the doubler, which is doubling the effect of a positive experience by recalling it in great detail. I figure I have the fun fifteen covered, though I'd like to get my heart rate up more. I'll get there, I'm still getting a ton out of sun salutations. Breathing I do when I meditate. Conscious acts of kindness I sort of naturally do, I think. I think I used to be more naturally grateful, too; that's sad. Oh well, things will need tuning up now and again.

So I made a Google form just so I have a cute interface for my gratitude, sort of genius I think! There are lots of themes already made, I love this carnival theme. I used the camping theme for my form for dealing with frustration—i.e., dark night of the soul. I bookmarked it so I can launch it off my browser, and if I care to I can look at all of my gratitudes and good experiences collected in a spreadsheet like Google Forms does.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

An Example of Dealing with Frustration

Month two of Power 30 has begun! The first week of which was spent mostly just lying under the bus and waiting for the bus to move on, if you can picture me under the bus making plans on my smartphone. Which if you know me, you can't because you know that I'm still rockin' my Motorola RAZR—but soon! I join the world!

Anyway, I was fumbling for what my Power 30 tasks could be, and Schwartz had put Vent as one of hers on the spreadsheet, and that really seemed as good as any task, so I thought when this bus rolls off my kidney, I will vent, and then I was scrolling through my feedly on my imaginary smartphone and A Guide to Dealing with Frustration & Disappointment in Yourself popped up, because the universe provides like that.

So then the bus rolled off to wherever buses go to, I felt pretty beat up but reached for my water and launched 750 Words and about 150 words in, I remembered that I had this guide to disappointment and cut and pasted it right into my words:

Step 1: Noticing the Signals

The first step, as always, is awareness: pause right now and turn inward, to see if you are feeling frustrated or disappointed with yourself for anything.

Idk if I'm frustrated or disappointed. I am tired.

Are there any goals you haven’t accomplished? Habits you haven’t stuck to? Eating you haven’t done perfectly? Relationships you’re not being good at? Skills you’d like to learn that you haven’t devoted time to? Errands or tasks that aren’t getting done? Projects that you’ve procrastinated on?

Jesus, what a list. Well, now that you mention it! Of course my routine fell apart this week, I expected that. Words fell by the wayside now and again, eating went off-road for the first time in months... everything else—relationships, skills, geez I'm supposed to be learning skills? errands and tasks, projects—isn't even on the radar.

What kinds of feelings come up for you? These feelings are signals that you have expectations of yourself that you aren’t meeting. We all have them, all the time, and we can’t help but continually hope we’ll do better. These expectations aren’t realistic, but when we fail to meet them, we tend to think they’re realistic but it’s our actual selves that are the failure.

Feelings, idk. Just tired and ...maybe disenchanted, I guess. I woke up this morning, and also yesterday morning, and I sort of had to talk myself into waking up. Like I'm not going to bother waking up if I don't feel good about whatever I'm supposed to do today, so what am I supposed to do today? Yesterday I got out of bed because I felt good about doing yoga, but I'm still deciding if I feel good about doing yoga on Sunday too.

Step 2: Giving Yourself Space

Now that we see the signals, we want to give these feelings a little space. Allow them to be here in us, without trying to push them away, without wishing we didn’t have them.

Give the feelings a little breathing room.

How do these feelings feel in your body? Where are they? What kind of energy do they have?

How do these feelings feel in my body. What, my tired? It feels heavy, I guess. It's weighing me down. Where is it, I guess in my heart. What kind of energy does it have, uh, it doesn't. It's tired! It has a blackish color, melancholy, a little sick, like dark black green slow-moving swirls. Maybe I should start my feeeeelings notebook again, I used to draw my feelings every morning.

See that you’re feeling bad (“suffering,” the Buddhists would say) and know that this is normal, and perfectly OK.

I am feeling bad, this is normal, this is perfectly OK.

Step 3: Giving Yourself Compassion

If your friend were hurting like this, how would you comfort this friend? Could you give her a hug, some words of compassion, some love?

I would sit there and listen to her. I probably would not hug her, I do (((hugs))) but actual hugs not so much. I might think of something wise to say to her. I guess I'm more the words of compassion type.

Take a moment and do the same for yourself. You are no less worthy of a hug, some love, some kind words. As silly as it might seem, tell yourself you deserve this compassion.

Okay so, words of compassion for myself: welp, you had a stroke! You retired from derby! Who knows what's going on there, maybe how you're feeling is the physical aftermath from the stroke or the psychological aftermath. You saw that thing that Ska posted about people leaving the Army, I'm sure you --especially you, Miss Structure 1967-- feel that a lot.

This is sort of sucky compassion, isn't it.

WWBBD (What would Brene Brown do?)

I don't even know what to say right now, I'm just so glad you told me.
Okay truthfully, that made me cry a little bit. Lately btw, I don't cry when I feel bad. I do nothing when I feel bad. I cry when I feel good.

(LOL, words of Brene Brown appear in bold.)

Step 4: See the Greatness of the Present

Now that we’ve comforted ourselves a bit, let’s change the story we’re telling ourselves.

The story so far has been: you aren’t good at X. (Whatever X is.) And so we feel bad about not being good at X.

The story so far has been: I am not good at life. And so I feel bad about not being good at life. Idk, idk if I feel bad about myself for not being good at life. I think if you're not good at life, life doesn't feel good. I feel bad about life.

Let’s turn from the self we haven’t been, to the self we have been. This self might have “failed” at X, but it has also succeeded in lots of other ways. This self has tried. It has gotten a lot done. It’s not perfect, but it has good intentions. This self has been the best it can be, even if that means imperfection. This self has cared, has loved, has strived for better, has made an effort, has wanted the best for others. Not always, but it has. This self deserves that kind of recognition, and love for being the best self it can be.

I might have "failed" at life, but I have also succeeded in lots of other ways. I have tried. Lord, I have tried. I have made myself sick with trying. Oh and, I have gotten a shit ton done. I think I think about that the least because that's not what I care about. I care about how I feeeel. I'm not perfect, but I have good intentions. Can I just say, I really don't give a shit about being perfect. I'm really anti-perfect. Perfectionists make me roll my eyes, and if you are actually trying to be perfect in the real sense of the word perfect, I reserve my right to roll my eyes at you. Really, give me a break. Give yourself a break. But, maybe I could have more compassion for perfectionists if I could hoist myself with my own petard and understand that perfect doesn't mean perfect here. Here perfect means enough. And if you are trying to be perfect in the sense of the word enough, I get that. I'm so far from perfect... I'm not even enough. That is much, much more honest and poignant to me. That I can work with. If I have a life philosophy, it's that nobody is perfect and everybody is enough. I am enough. Maybe self-help is written against perfectionism because it's easy to talk people into not being perfect, and hard to talk them into being enough. Perfectionism is low-hanging fruit, it's the straw man of self-help. It's perfectly polite to ask people if they don't feel perfect, because it's dumb to feel perfect. It's not polite to ask people if they don't feel enough, because it's not okay to not be enough. Even if what you're getting at is, you are enough. I suppose for some people, enough is not enough. I suspect most people want to be more than enough. Anyway if you ask me, enough is the real problem and perfect is the fake problem.

Anyway. No, I don't feel like I'm enough, but this is enough: I have good intentions. I'm being the best I can be, even if that feels like not enough. I have cared, I have loved, I have strived for better, I have made an effort, I have wanted the best for others. Not enough? Enough instead of perfect makes this more meaningful, because it gives even me pause. If I say to myself, you haven't always strived for better, I snap back, pssh, nobody does always! But if I say to myself, you haven't strived for better enough, first I say Oh god and then I stop and think, how much is enough? I have done as much as I could under the circumstances. I have done more, I have broken myself now and again doing more than I could. I deserve recognition and love for being the best I could.

Now turn to the present moment: in this moment, what are you like? What about yourself, and the moment that you’re in, can you be grateful for? What is great about yourself, and the present moment, right now?

In this moment, I actually feel pretty good. I'm grateful that I know how to do this, scoop self-help off the internet and churn it around and make myself cry and strike something true. Something good enough to write about. I'm grateful for my feedly which is like a conveyor belt bringing stuff like this to my attention, I'm grateful for 750 Words where I can churn things, and I'm grateful for Blogger where I can plate them up, and I'm grateful for my Power 30 group for being a tiny audience who I can serve this to, and to bring this back to full circle, giving me little clues for what I should be looking for on the conveyer belt. I think I'm supposed to say that this is great about myself, which doesn't seem very humble to me. But. This is. Sort of great about me.

My self-help apparatus is an ice cream factory, apparently.

Step 5: Work with Curiosity

Finally, going forward, let’s practice tossing out our expectations of how we’re going to do today (and in life in general), and instead adopt an attitude of curiosity. We don’t know how we’re going to do at work, or in our relationships, or with our personal habits. We can’t know. So let’s find out: what will today be like? How will it go?

Be curious, in an attitude of not-knowingness.

Well, this happened. I made myself cry. I had an epiphany about enough. I churned up this sort of raw blog post to plate and serve. Lord, what this blog is turning into. Come for the racerback tank, stay for the journey through depression.


Look, I made a Google Form for when I need to run this script again.

It’s fun to find out things!

Yes, expectations will come up for us, and we will fail to live up to them, and we will feel frustration and disappointment again. This will happen, and this too will be a bit disappointing, because we want to be perfect at being curious and present. We’ll have to repeat the process when we notice this happening. That’s OK. That’s how it works — constantly renewing, never done.

But as we get better at this, I promise, we’ll learn to see things with a new curiosity, with a gratitude for every moment that we meet, and with a more loving and kind view of constantly failing but constantly striving selves. These selves are wonderful, and that realization is worth the ever-constant journey.

Monday, August 31, 2015

August Review

I got a big assist in August from Juanna's Power 30 challenge, in which I mostly re-established my self-care routine and that's certainly not nothing. Though it's not quite ...something, you know? I would actually like to start doing something with my life, when does that start?

August's picks:


1. Clean kitchen? Please?

Kitchen cleaning HAS BEGUN. In no way did I think I would get it all done in a day, so far I sorted through and mostly threw out the stack of things I was saving by the refrigerator, including two really cool styrofoam coolers that the Omaha steaks I get from my BIL for Christmas came in. Regret! But, no regrets. And then I sorted through and threw out a lot from the stack of gear crates by the sink, and actually swept under and behind them for the first time in years, and washed the floor in that general area.

That said, the sweetie man simultaneously closed out his storage unit; so the kitchen and the front room are looking like the warehouse at the end of Indiana Jones. Sigh.


I didn't pick anything for this, but somehow picked up two new clients and also hired an accountant?



Blog posts seem to have been the by- or possibly waste products of doing Power 30. It's not really where I want to be with the blog, but the gears are turning again at least.


The beginning of the month was terrible with CSI, which doing Power 30 right away helped to control.


We didn't see any movies this month, but it's been a pretty social month, starting with Biggie's bachelorette pary, rehearsal dinner, and wedding and reception. I had brunches with Ernest and Killjoy and also with meine frau, a red lipstick date with Biggie, and last but not least Fury weekend.

September Picks

1. Clean kitchen to finish? Depends on how the sweetie man's project shapes up...

2. Draft budget/business plan, how about that. Or maybe write up where I am with sun salutations, that's been a real bright spot for me.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Set Up For Sleep SuMTuWThFSa

Last but most definitely not least, I'm tackling sleep for the last week of Power 30. "Tackling" doesn't seem quite respectful enough, it's more like I'm making a little bower and dancing a little mating dance for sleep. Nothing new here, I've written about sleep before; actually, I can update how I'm doing on those sleep habits:

how i'm doing on those sleep habits

As you can see, the other four ur-habits all support sleep. And, vice versa. I keep meaning to write a series where we look at each ur-habit as the top point of the star, and how the other four support it. Maybe soon. Right now we can look at sleep as the top point, why not. In all this depression the worst is when I haven't been able to sleep. Sleep is the alpha and the omega for me right now, everything I've been doing for Power 30 has been to support sleep, so that sleep can support everything right back.


Hydration is really on point for me right now, I'm going by this newish rule to drink half your body weight in fluid ounces of water daily. I start with the 12 oz when I first wake up, then I just take it from there: 16 oz with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and lately I've been downing another 16 oz in the afternoon. So that's what, 76 fl oz, and I weigh 136 lbs divided by two is 68 fl oz I'm supposedly supposed to be drinking, done and done.


Nutrition has also been on point, I have a good food plan in that it works for me: protein and vegetable required for breakfast (subbing fruit for summer), lunch, and dinner, starchy vegetable or whole grains allowed for dinner, nuts allowed for afternoon or evening snack, and alcohol, sugar, and starch allowed 3-4x/week. I'm not drinking at all anymore and it's to the point that I don't even really enjoy too much starch, my poison is ice cream for the most part. Oh and, potstickers from Mon Lung, love those. I'm allowed my indulgences but the better I eat, the more I want to eat better—boring, but true.


For movement I finally settled on walk 3x/week, yoga 2x/week, and bike 2x/week before 9:00 AM, getting up at least 4x morning, afternoon, and evening, and stretch every night after 9:00 PM. I'd like to do more, but this is where I am right now and I'm getting surprisingly a lot from sun salutations. I'm still not doing full sun salutations, mine are modded down until I get stronger at chatarunga and also until my ankle heals and I can jump my feet between my hands.


Meditation is happening every day now, I look forward to it.

Apart from the above, the major change in my life is: no more derby. So first of all, bedtime is not midnight, lol. Bedtime now is more like 9:30 PM, asleep by 10:30 PM. So that means stop caffeinating by 4:30 PM—I'm so highly motivated to sleep, I generally don't have caffeine after noon; stop eating by 7:00 PM, sure, I'm a lot less hungry at this activity level, I pretty much eat dinner and I'm done; stop exercising by 7:00 PM, well, I train until 8:30 PM sometimes, but I'm going to interpret "exercising" as moderate- or high-intensity movement, which I am currently doing none of, so, check.

That leaves the actual sleep habits, which I'm focusing on this week:

Actually be in bed eight hours before you have to be up, right?

Really my problem right now is not getting into bed right after dinner. Or who am I kidding, for dinner, on nights that I don't train. So for now how about not eating dinner in bed, and do something with yourself in the evening to earn your sleep.

Straighten sheets

Easy enough, I sleep so much better if the sheets are straight and smooth.

Turn down temp

Windows open if it's a cool night, AC on if it's hot.

Turn down lights

I.e., my computer. When I did that sleep study, the doctor said dimming the screen to two clicks was low enough, so that's good enough for me. I also put blue tape over the power light, which helps a lot. I know, how about not having my laptop in the bedroom... I'm not ready for that...

Turn down brain

...there's the rub. My worst habit is that I fall asleep watching TV on my laptop. I mean, I watch procedurals on the theory that they're formulaic and not super engaging, and sometimes this works like a charm and sometimes it really, really doesn't and I'm up all night, either half-awake or fully awake, it doesn't matter which, it's just awful.

I've been bargaining about having my laptop in the bedroom for years, I've slept with my laptop in the bedroom for years and years. In fact before the sweetie man moved in, I used to sleep with my laptop in the bed. It's my security blanket. I'm not giving it up if I can watch one episode of whatever to wind down and then go the fuck to sleep. Which I could do when I was playing derby, because exhausted. The issue then was not wanting to wake up. That part is good now, I like waking up at 6:30 and drinking my water and doing my words. I just need to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep. I don't feel like my actual sleep is under my control, though. I only control my sleep habits; once I'm adhering to those habits, I can assess the results I'm getting from them. If the results aren't good, then I have to change my habits. So pretty much I'm trying to get all my other ducks nicely in a row and hopefully, result! So I can still watch TV before bed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rescuing Sympathy

I love the meaning of this video, but I have a little bone to pick with its definitions:

I'm in complete agreement that it's disconnecting to respond to somebody's pain with problem-solving ("You want a sandwich?") or silver-lining ("At least...") and that what makes something better is connection. I mean, I think that's really deeply true and worth spreading the word about. I'm just not sure why sympathy has to be defined as the former, why can't that be called, you know, sucking, which is more what it is.

Sympathy's too good a word to be ruined like that, if you ask me. For what it's worth, sympathy to me is with + feeling. So to me, sympathy has a kind of side-by-sideness, which doesn't seem like a bad thing to me. You feel something the same as somebody else feels, that's lovely and not lonely at all. Like when you're on a good sports team, you have that side-by-side feeling; it's really one of the great feelings and one of the top reasons to play derby. There was that scrimmage where it was just me, Mah, Beaux, and Kate, so we played with the Manics and went in every third as a Fury squad and killed it, we all just knew what we all were doing at any given moment; honestly I think that night was the high point in my derby career, and I've had a bunch of them.

Empathy, on the other hand, is in + feeling: there's an I'm-going-in-ness to empathy. So I guess I can see why she assigned these terms as she did. Sympathy is often a happy coincidence, but maybe more often than not doesn't happen like that. Enter empathy, you don't feel something the same as somebody else so you enter what they feel or you take what they feel into yourself. I do think that's a higher order thing than coincidentally already feeling what that person feels, I'll give you that. Maybe you access something in yourself that did feel the same at a different point, but maybe you never felt that at any point and access it anyway.

Big ups for empathy, for sure. Big ups for Brene Brown, I love Brene Brown. But a hand up for sympathy, too. We can use all the good feeling that we can get.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Forty Eight!

red lipstick date

Red lipstick date! Actually 8/25/15.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Meditate SaSu

I put "try to fit in meditation" for Saturday and Sunday on the Power 30 spreadsheet, where I was going to get my little check mark if I even gave a little thought at some point to maybe mediating now?

Which Saturday, I did think that. And then I thought, nah. I was laying in bed watching TV and the sweetie man was next to me taking a nap, and that seemed like a fine way to spend the rest of the afternoon. Which I'm not saying it wasn't or that I regretted it, just that I spend kind of a lot of time in bed lately and I sort of imagined I'd have a little more to show for my life than a really better than average track record at guessing who the killer is on CSI.

So then Sunday was already enough, I mean in the way that you're supposed to think of yourself as enough. Sunday I drank my water, did my 750 words, got out of bed and washed up and got on my bike at 11 to have brunch with TS. My birthday is tomorrow so this was my birthday brunch. TS had said that her Sunday was pretty full, so I had it in my head that we'd have brunch and then I'd head back home to do Sunday things. But after brunch she said that she still had a bit of time and we could hang out, so we walked our bikes to the park and sat on a bench to talk. Where we remained until, like, five. This is what is so great about TS, I don't hang out with her a ton and maybe because this is what always happens. It was great to talk to her and great to be in the sun, really just what I needed. Though by the end what I really needed was to pee. So we walked our bikes out of the park and I dropped her off at her corner and then I rode home. That was enough. It didn't need to be made better.

Still when I got home, well, first I peed, and then I thought, maybe meditate now? (Check!) And then I thought something like


The resistance was really incredible. I told you that resistance is a little bit of a red flag for me, right? I'm really not in the business of forcing myself to do things that I don't want to do, but I think resistance is sometimes undermind's way of saying I NEED THIS. So I thought I'd give it a try, and then I could watch TV. Though the thought of putting my legs up the headboard made me feel like kicking and screaming, so I said, fine, we can do it in corpse pose. So I started my timer and had a little savasana... is that what savasana means? Corpse?? What did you think it meant, naptime?

The first thought that popped into my mind was, remember how you wrote to yourself in your 750 words this morning not to forget to email Nora about her appointment Tuesday?


And also don't forget to bring your tax returns to work tomorrow so you can scan them and send them to your NEW! accountant.

Which is how meditation goes, until the timer goes off.

Now TV?

I can at least manage to boil some eggs for lunches. Boy the day that you can't manage to make seven-minute eggs, you need to give Wellbutrin a chance, that's all I'm saying, seriously, it's seven minutes.

Okay but, I'm making a smoothie for dinner.

That's fine. You need half an avocado for your salad kit, though. If you make a rice bowl right now, you can have half an avocado for that and the other half for your kit. I assume you want salad. I mean, you're already making the eggs.

Salad kit is a quart-size takealong container that has a handful of cherry tomatoes, half an avocado, and lately I've been doing half a zucchini, plus two hardboiled eggs, which I take to work and make into a salad for lunch, sprinkled with lemon juice and salt. Rice bowl is what I eat for dinner, the most bare bones version is rice with a bit of meat, half an avocado, and kimchee. Actually there's an even more bare bones version, just rice, tofu, and kimchee, but though nutritionally sound that's edging towards tasting like sadness so I try not to go there too much. Avocado and kimchee as a combo is the bomb. When I was better, I was making more veggies and those bowls were soo many flavors.

I'm sure you can manage to cook up this broccoli, right?

Okay but, just the broccoli. Not the kale.

My super easy recipe for broccoli is: trim, cut up, and wash broccoli, heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large skillet over high heat, throw in the broccoli, cover, and cook for five minutes, then uncover and cook for five more minutes. I'm in super sad shape, but even I can manage this. And it's super good, the broccoli gets charred a bit and smells great. Sometimes I add a little bit of crushed red pepper.

So easy and so good, you know, if you just wash the kale and massage it a bit, you can cook it right in that same pan and all your veggies are done, awesome rice bowls all week.

Okay but, it's just going to be plain kale, can you live with that?

Sure, sounds good.

Really though it wouldn't be any trouble to crush a clove of garlic in the garlic press. Right?

So I had rice, a little bit of leftover orange chicken pieces, broccoli, garlicky kale, kimchee and avocado in my bowl tonight.

It doesn't always work like this, but sometimes this is how meditation works.

It would be easy enough to write all this up in a blog post, wouldn't it?

Then can I watch TV??

Then you can watch TV.

Don't forget to brush your teeth, though.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Meditate MTuWThF

What's my next Power 30 goal going to be? I was going in order: sleep (save for last), hydration, hygiene, nutrition (skip for now), movement, and that brings me to meditation. Okay.

I've been practicing meditation for maybe fifteen years, I was going to say "practicing meditation on and off" but decided not to say "on and off" because that's redundant. But then decided to say "decided not to say 'on and off' because that's redundant" because that seemed necessary. It's necessary to show how the sausage is made, I think. I don't want to give an impression of myself as a delicious sausage springing from the forehead of Zeus (but I may have just given you an image of a delicious sausage springing from the forehead of Zeus that you may not have wanted, I apologize for that.) Honestly I think that's what we're working against, we're bombarded with images of delicious sausages and it's considered distasteful to show how they're made. I'm not even saying so much that we're lacking in instructions for how to make sausage, I'm just saying that it would feel less lonely if there were more images of people up to their armpits in sausage fixins. Possibly I would feel like less of a freak, not that writing this paragraph is helping me out with that. Whatever, I'm a freak, so what.

Meditation. Is by nature an on and off thing. Meditation is for mediating our on and off natures. So when I say that I've been practicing meditation for maybe fifteen years, I'm telling you that I ain't no Buddha. But I am fifteen years past where I started, which ain't nothing. I like to remind folks now and again that this blog isn't for me telling you what to do, it's just me telling you how I do. Though I acknowledge the potential for interpretation that the me telling you what to do is silent, so every now and again I like to say I ain't telling you what to do out loud. I also acknowledge that perhaps you might take my how I do into your how you do, so every now and again I like to say go you and you do you and in this case, keep in mind the fifteen years.

I think the last time I wrote about how I meditate, I was hiding in the stairwell at work. I don't do that anymore, instead I've been doing it after I get home from work MWF. So my week three Power 30 goal is add it back into the other days of the week, starting with Tuesday and Thursday.

This is how I've been doing MWF:

Really all I have to do to get this into TuThu is to set my intention to meditate before I go to the gym for clients, and do everything else the same all the way through getting my dinner and then go to the gym. And if I want to get this into SatSun, figure out how to set my intention for that.

Last but not at all least, I said before:

the crazy thing is how it turns into so much more than just fifteen minutes counting your breaths. I guess it's because basically you're practicing calmly bringing yourself back to the task at hand, over and over just in the fifteen minutes, then day in and day out, then week by week and so forth. That is a lot of practice, a ton of repetitions. You know what it is, it's WAX ON WAX OFF. You wax on, wax off for fifteen minutes every day, and then somebody tries to sweep your leg and WAX ON comes out of nowhere! Except not nowhere, it came out of those fifteen minutes.
Except Ska told me that if I actually tried wax on against sweep the leg, I would find myself flat on my back. You know what I mean though, right? Because I'm telling you that if you ever find yourself being loaded into a CT scan with the left side of your body disabled, which I truly hope you never do, you'll be glad that you have a bunch of nice, calming breath counting under your belt.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Do Sun Salutations SuTuSa

Or walk to the train MWF, or bike to therapy Thursday. Just a little bit of movement to start every day. So my morning stack so far is:

# drink water
/ do 750 words
// do sun salutations or walk or bike

Then breakfast, if you're curious; in summer it's nut butter fruit smoothies like I'm on almond butter cherry right now.

So tomorrow starts week two of this Power 30 challenge, and I've been thinking about this. My backstated goal is to re-establish my self-care routine: sleep, hydration, hygiene, nutrition, movement, and meditation. I started with hydration because it's easy, remember EMILY's list? Early Money Is Like Yeast, it makes the bread rise? So, hydration: early in the challenge and early in the day, get two birds started with one stone. Now what? Sleep, hydration, hygiene, nutrition, movement, and meditation is written roughly in the order that I encounter them in the day, obviously circularly. I didn't start this challenge with sleep, sleep to me is the hardest and most important. I'm working on it all the time. I'm working on it now. I mean, not right this minute. Though I sort of am—everything that you do all day contributes to how you sleep at night. Anyway, I've written about it before. I guess I'm counting words as mental hygiene, and otherwise I'm all right with hygiene. I'm depressed, but I do still shower. So next would be nutrition? I hestitate to say this, because every time I say something like I'm falling apart but dagnabbit I've got [fill in the blank] together, that's fill in the blank's cue to burst into flames. But ::throws salt over shoulder:: nutrition is actually on point, has been for months. So next would be movement, which might be where all this trouble started.

I was super great about joyfully resting and healing after I got out of the hospital, and I thought I was starting small, very small, with putting movement back in. Not small enough, apparently. Or maybe small enough, aggrieving my undermind at how small like when I first realized the tiny cube that 1 oz of cheese is. It'll get better, I don't even really like cheese anymore! Or maybe not social enough, after all my physical self has been my social self for eight years. Whatever it was, I was getting sick hand over fist for like a month straight and then I got depressed.

Now when I say "social" I mean a tiny drop of social like those butterflies that drink the tears of turtles. I don't have social anxiety. I like being social, just in microscopic amounts. Pretty much the way I used to drink, which I don't at all anymore because being drunk is too much like having a stroke, not that I have PTSD about that, just that I don't want to be having a stroke and be like, nah it's just that thimble of wine I drank at dinner. So Saturday was Biggie's wedding and it wiped me out. The only reason I didn't stay in bed all day Sunday was to get brunch with Shanna who was in town from Atlanta. We had brunch at Stax Cafe and then we walked a bit on the Bloomingdale Trail until it was time for her to go to the airport, before which she did me a solid and confirmed that she also has no signal in my apartment on her T-Mobile phone--that might be a future goal, tackle this business of switching my cell service and upgrading to a smartphone. I'm mostly excited about Instagram! So then I got back in bed and stayed there for the rest of Sunday, watching CSI. Monday was horrible, but I knew to expect that and then it's not as bad, then after work I get to lay on the bed and meditate, and then I'm supposed to tidy the kitchen but the sweetie man came home and said he was going to do the kitchen so who was I to stop him. I ice bucketed my ankle instead, while doodling in my notebook what my next Power 30 goal could be.

Finally I figured out that I'm certainly not going to solve my whole movement problem this week. I just need a little thing that I can do, a little thing that represents movement the way drinking 12 oz of water represents hydration (and I suppose 750 words represent mental health, lol). I do hydrate like a champ for the rest of the day. Or actually, I guess I've been blogging again since I started the 750 words. So I decided that after the water and the words, every day should start with just a little bit of movement. On work days, that's actually already covered with walking to the train to work—so that's like the free square you get in Bingo, well three free squares. Though I haven't been running the stairs like I always do, obviously. For the past, what, five years I've had this commute, I'm often tired and often think to myself on the platform, is today an escalator day? And my inner mom says, Are you injured? And finally last Friday I answered back, I sure as shit am! And I rode that escalator like the Queen of England, waving at people and shit (in my mind). I mean, that only takes out one of flight of stairs, there's still three others. Boy that Friday I was crutching down the stairs and somebody bumped me from behind and I twisted around with my face full of rage, but it was a blind woman with a dog. So it was okay, she didn't see my rage face. So MWF walk and eventually get back to myself on those stairs, Thursdays bike, and NEW! SuTuSa is going to be a little bit of yoga, a little sun salutation:

  1. Google "sun salutation"
  2. Pick a sun salutation. Yoga Journal was near the top, I like Yoga Journal.
  3. Actually Yoga Journal had like six sun salutations to choose from, I picked Sun Salutation A
  4. Which weirdly is by Kelly McGonigal, the identical twin sister of Jane McGonigal who does the SuperBetter site that I was talking about earlier.

yoga is like sausage, it looks good but nobody hardly shows you how it's made. but i do.

Yoga is beautiful, yoginis are beautiful, so much love and light and all that. If you were looking for a yoga video that's all dark and I have to keep checking WTF I'm supposed to be doing next because you have to start somewhere, look no further because I'm your gal.

ETA: Sun salutations are actually making me sore! So, Tuesday and Saturday only.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Drink Water, Do 750 Words

Is my Power 30 goal for this week, just that, every day this week. I am the queen of baby steps. I am also the queen of process-oriented goals, which is a little different than the prevailing wisdom of results-oriented SMART goals. I wish I could think of a metric that starts with H, because then I could get famous for being the person who came up with STAHP goals. Specific, timely, achievable, H, process-oriented. What. STAHP seems negative, right? STAHP and smell the roses? Ah well. Anyway, I rarely have a specific result in mind. Always a specific process and see what happens, the result flowers from the process. If I like the result, I keep the process. Important: IF I like the process! Wait, I feel a table coming on:

 like processdislike process
like resultkeep processtweak process
dislike resulttweak resultdump process

Like I'm never going to subsist on chicken breast and do cardio seven times a week so that I can get ripped abs, I hate chicken breast. So dry. I have the abs that you get from eating chicken thighs. So I'm going to gently interrogate myself about how I feel about abs, maybe adjust that? Yes? No? Maybe gently interrogate myself about how I feel about chicken breast, maybe try them again? Back and forth like that. I mean, not in regards to chicken breast. I'm pretty decided about that.

ANYWAY. Overall I'm trying to snap all the pieces of my self-care routine back into place: sleep, hydration, hygiene, nutrition, movement, and meditation. Hydration is as good a place to start as any: drink a glass of water when I wake up every day, I will write about that later. Right now I'm going to write about doing 750 words, which is sort of hors the above list. I suppose it's sort of mental hygiene, or it's meditation of a sort. Whatever. Words is words. Words is pretty much the same as morning pages, and what I use for them is 750 Words.

Which has a lot of bells and whistles that are just for funsies, he even says that they're just for fun. I find them distracting and just ignore them. I further ignore some of the parts that might be considered fundamental to the practice--e.g., writing every single day, and keeping a streak going. In the past I've done just Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday because how much sleep I needed because of derby, and that was fine. I've also done long streaks when words were really helping me, punctuated by long breaks when they really weren't. I may not be sure about captaining a big ship with a lot of souls, but I'm darn sure that I'm the captain of my own little boat with my one little soul. I sail how I want! I use 750 Words for its very basics: a white page, a keyboard (agree, typing is my most free-flowing writing), and a counter and a little green flag that pops up when I've hit my 750 words.

750 words

As for what I use it for, it depends what I need it for. I'm not writing a novel or anything. Probably 80% of the time I'm narrating my life to myself, talking myself through getting through the day. First you drink the water and then you do the words and then you tidy the bedroom because they say that making the bed every morning gives you a little brain cookie to get you started and then you tidy the kitchen and then you fix your breakfast... it's horrifying, really, day in and day out. But that is pretty much why I picked this as my first Power 30 goal: if I want to rebuild my self-care routine, then I'll need to talk myself through it and it's better than buttonholing somebody on the bus.

But also there was an idea like what A-Bomb posted:

The moment after you wake up is one of the most vulnerable times in your whole day. Start it off by thinking about yourself. You can’t make a difference in anyone else’s world unless you take care of you. So focus on you for a moment, not what other people are doing on social media (because we know it’s all a lie anyway). And don’t think about what other people are thinking about you. YOU think about YOU.
I'm not so down on social media, though; that might be a blessing of not having a smartphone. I don't think it's all a lie, either. Anyway I haven't been starting my day thinking about what other people are thinking about me, I've been starting my day solving murders (CSI), Claire wrote this thing a while back about watching TV at bedtime just because you can't stand your own thoughts, that, only lately like every waking moment, so like twelve hours of CSI a day. I could start that job today. Except, stomach contents. But I haven't been watching CSI since I started doing my words again! Good thing, because I seriously am about to run out of police procedurals. Do you know how many of those there are? Law and Order, CSI, Criminal Minds, NCIS? I have watched. Almost. All of Them. So, words. Starting the day by looking at myself: I feel like crap I slept terrible I dreamed that horrible dream, sure, I do that too. And then also sometimes I'll just write what needs to be written that day, which I could launch Blogger and write my post, it's the same white screen, it's the same activity. But Blogger doesn't count my words for me. So I write it all in here, cut and paste to Blogger, and hey, I have a blog post for the first time in six months. And hey now, TWO blog posts.

(See? Do 750 words is the process, two blog posts is the result. Also now I only watch CSI when I'm ice bucketing my ankle.)

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