Thursday, May 22, 2014

So, Optimism

Let's the start off with the bad: My head hurts and I'm nauseated and my neck and shoulders are sore and creaky and my eyeballs ache and there are other things, but hey, that's plenty enough isn't it?

I haven't been writing here much lately. I've been feeling like I have to scrimp and save every scrap of energy I have, but it's my own fault because I spend more of it than I should hiking with the dogs almost every day. They say exercise can be addictive, and I can see how that could happen. Dedicating ten to sixty minutes a day to doing some kind of aerobic activity or strength exercises has improved my overall mood, made me stronger, increased my stamina, and improved my self-confidence.

And usually it's hiking, but I've also broken out the Wii fit (which I still kind of hate for it's body-shaming, but I find talking back to the screen with profanities and rude gestures helps) for a little indoor jogging or yoga. I dance to music, especially when I clean the kitchen. I do pushups and situps sometimes.

I'm holding onto a dread that makes my heart heavy, because I'm going to have to stop exercising so frequently eventually, and I'm afraid I'll lose the improvements I've seen in my head. The heat has already been keeping me more inert, and I often feel the urge to do something more with my life than exercise.

I miss school, but I'm still really undecided about the direction I want to go, and frustrated with my limited options as an online student. I've been "working" a few hours a month at the dog sitters up the street, which is pretty much a dream gig for me. It's even on my usual hiking route so I can get myself there most of the time, it's run by really low-key people and populated by awesome dogs and I've grown to consider them and their dogs like an extended pack.

I've struggled to find motivation otherwise. Sewing, gardening, I want the results of both but they both seem impossible right now. The latter for the drought, so I can hardly be blamed for that, however I do take ridiculous hot showers when my body hurts. Forgive me, unless someone rips me out of that blessed heat, when I ache I can not leave until I am blanched. Sewing on the other hand has no barriers besides my own frustration. I just need to make something new.

There was a wedding a few weeks ago, a cousin married his long-time partner. I made it through the ceremony with earplugs, but as soon as we all started filing out of the space they'd reserved for the ceremony and towards the the building in which the reception was to take place, I found myself surrounded by the perfume of a thousand old ladies, which compounded the effects I was already feeling from the sun and wind, the drive there, talking, the loud pre-ceremony music, and the stress of wearing uncomfortable clothes, makeup and heels. I was suddenly feeling quite ill and volatile and because I very much do not want to insult people unnecessarily, especially on a special day, I shut my mouth firmly in a pleasant smile and steered myself towards the parking lot for an early escape. I did try to medicate before ordering my boyfriend/chauffeur to whisk me back to the forest, but there wasn't enough pot in the world to counteract the overstimulation of that wedding.

My favorite part of dressing up always has been the taking it all off because the feeling of ease is so delicious after all that pinching of shoes and scratching of fancy fabrics; I could not wait to get back into my comfortable clothes, so I did that before we were even on the road home. It felt silly to have gone to all that trouble (makeup, hair gel, properly fitting undergarments, lint rolling my nice coat), but of course I intended to at least try to go to the reception, at which sweatpants would have been unacceptable.

The motion sickness seems to be coming back with the warm weather. It eased some for a few months, only getting bad in the car, but now it's a 24/7 struggle not to guzzle ginger ale all day again. I've got to find an alternate, something with a little less hfcs.

I'm dealing with the heat pretty well so far, though we've only really had a few hot days. One day we hit the mid-90s, and I soaked my head no less than four times, drank water and ate fruit like it was my job, and stayed out of the sun totally, only taking the dogs for a short walk under the trees, and I survived pretty well! So, optimism.

And as a final note in this wandering post, I'd like to share that asking for help is something I don't do easily, but it's something I've had to do recently. I'm very afraid of being rejected or laughed at for my feelings and my failings, or of appearing foolish or weak, and I worry that my relationships can't take the strain of my problems and my needs. These fears aren't the worst things that could happen to a person, though, so I'm realizing that maybe it's worth the risk to share my vulnerabilities, especially if it helps me get to a better place. I've got choices to make and I certainly can't do things alone, so I have to hope that those I turn to for help are open. These are murky, uncharted waters and without a map or compass I can only rely on those around me to help me keep moving forward. Wish me luck.