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So my mood has improved and I'm working hard to use Good Coping Skills. Not succeeding at everything (healthy food and exercise went right out the window, I'm sorry to say...back on the wagon), but there's a lot to be thankful for and celebrate.

One of our pets had a major medical emergency last week, but she pulled through and is on the mend. I had to miss a bunch of hours at work because the husband has continued to be consumed by his work project so I was stuck holding down the fort at home, but he's finally wrapping it up and I made it very clear that it's MY TURN to get some shit done. I'm covering for someone at work who will be away for a month so I will be making up the lost time.

The party is coming together and I'm finally getting some help. I knocked 9 out of 10 things off my to-do list yesterday, which felt really good after feeling like I've been spinning my wheels for weeks. I finished The Book of Joy and look forward to re-listening to that little gem anytime I feel out of sorts. I'm currently reading The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Very excited for Game of Thrones next week! I booked my flight to Peru in 4(!) months. I attended my first meditation group a couple weeks ago- not sure how I felt about it, but it was interesting and I may go again when things settle down.

Rescue and church stuff has been...tumultuous and I've been worrying a lot. The rescue may close very soon and the future for the animals there is uncertain. It's caused me some sleepless nights. There is conflict at church and my volunteer group is still struggling this rotation to cover its responsibilities. I was proud of myself for taking the initiative to reach out to the leader and state what I could help with this Sunday, drawing a good boundary. Then the leader left a pitiful message begging me to stay longer and take on more tasks because, again, they can't get the other members to cover all the tasks. Admittedly, I took pity and agreed to do the extra work this week, but warned that I'm unavailable the next two Sundays after that due to prior commitments. Ugh, there go my boundaries because I'm such a pushover.

Anyway, I need to sit down and redraw my boundaries. I'm exhausted and feeling stretched thin again. I'm sacrificing the things that are important to me in order to help others. This is falling back into old habits and I need to put the brakes on that.

I matter. I matter. I matter.

I do not need to make myself responsible for other people's problems.

I am not The Fixer of the Universe.
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Gave up on the low carb diet earlier this month because it's bullshit. Diets are bullshit and that's all I really have to say on the subject. Still exercising regularly- watched both seasons of Castlevania on Netflix, that was fun. Watching American Gods and deciding what else. Maybe more anime on Netflix- it's been so long since I've enjoyed a new series.

Listened to Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder and The Last Girl by Nadia Murad. Read the Good Shufu. Still plugging slowly through Refuse to Choose (brain is fried, honestly). Also currently Listening to The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu because the last two audiobooks were excellent, but heavy stories.

Last week was a really challenging week. Things weren't going the way I wanted and I was in a really bad mood over it. I was irritated with everyone (the PMS wasn't helping, admittedly). I'm trying to plan a party for next month and I hate planning parties. The people I need to discuss it with have been ignoring/avoiding me. And the husband is utterly consumed with a big project right now so all of our plans are on hold until gods know when.

I'm still not in a super great mood, but it's getting better. Today I'm tired. I didn't get enough sleep last night. I just want to fall into bed when I get home, but that's not going to happen. Will chug along and take care of my responsibilities like a good adult should, then I can go to bed. Later this week I'm going to bake a cake for a friend's birthday- I'm thinking chocolate with pink frosting, her favorite color.
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Finished Lincoln in the Bardo and The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. Currently reading Refuse to Choose! by Barbara Sher, which is interesting because it's a sort of self-help book for people who are insatiably curious and get overwhelmed with wanting to learn or do too much. I've felt like such a weirdo most of my life and especially out here because I'm often restless and enjoy learning about new things. But I also get frustrated with myself because I'll be on fire about trying something for a while and eventually it dies out and I'm on to the next thing. Anyway, she has some tips I may try to see if I can feel a little less overwhelmed and pulled in 50 different directions.

Husband is away this week for a trip with friends so I'm holding down the fort. As long as nothing goes seriously awry, I'm happy to have the solitude. Just getting the daily stuff done- work, shopping, volunteering, tai chi class, therapy, chores, etc.  I've lost a couple of pounds in the past 2 weeks (water weight, I know, but still) after agreeing to join my  husband on a low carb diet. Sigh. I'm not fully committed to it, but apparently it's enough. Also exercising regularly during the week. It's tempting to go back to old habits and focus only on the things I didn't do so this is my reminder to myself that a lot of important, productive shit got done this week.
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Finished reading The Song of Achilles. Working on Lincoln in the Bardo. We went out last night for dinner to celebrate Valentine's day a little early. V-day is a complicated day, like wedding anniversaries. This year I just tried to enjoy it and not dwell on the shitty stuff. Picking out a card is always a bit of a fraught situation- they're typically so sappy and romantic and we...well, aren't. I wish there were more cards for people in relationships that acknowledge things aren't super great, but we're trying! :/

I had an unexpected opportunity to find some emotional closure with a friendship that ended 15 years ago. I had a lot of unanswered questions, a lot of conflicted feelings. I won't get into details here because it was awful and involved serious crimes (on their part, not mine), but it was seriously healing in a way that surprised me. I hadn't realized until I confronted it how much of an emotional burden it's been. I'm very good at taking painful things, putting them in little boxes in my mind, and shoving them back into a dark corner.

It was good to be back at tai chi class this week. Haven't heard back yet about whether yoga classes will resume. I don't want to spend twice as much to go to the other place right now so I may just need to work on some home practices. I could combine that with some sitting meditation. I'm trying to find that balance between what to say "no" to and what to bring into my life right now. When I start feeling better, I want to take more on, but should stay vigilant about getting overwhelmed again.

February

Feb. 2nd, 2019 12:55 pm
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Still missing my sweet girl, but life goes on and we do as well. I have moments when I think of her and the tears come, but I'm more at peace with it now that the shock has worn off. Her death made me think of that strange, dream-like experience I had so many years ago where my soul left my body and I felt peaceful and desired nothing except to return to...wherever I come from. Home. I hope her soul has joyfully returned home. And I don't torture myself with "what ifs" like my husband does. I refuse to go down that road. I take some comfort from knowing that we couldn't control what happened and that every choice we made for her was made out of love. We did the best we could. It was her time. Not even love can stop death.

My lungs have fully recovered from bronchitis so tonight I'll ease into a new exercise routine to prepare for Peru in the summer. I almost backed out due to wanting to get my finances in order first, but then my sister said she wanted to pay for my trip in return for me paying her share when we went hiking in Europe several years ago. So I agreed to go. My flight, hotel, and the hike itself along with quite a few trekking supplies have been gifted to me. So I'm going. I'm terrified, but I'm going. Trying to just take it one day at a time as far as the physical preparation.

I got waylaid earlier this month and never finished The Song of Achilles so that's on my list to finish reading this month. I have a stack of wonderful new books to choose from, but am tempted to order one for my Kindle next called The Good Shufu by Tracy Slater, which has intrigued me. I also just downloaded Lincoln in the Bardo in audiobook format- it won the 2018 audiobook awards and has an impressive cast of voice actors. I watched The Favourite last night- this was the second movie by Yorgos Lanthimos that I've seen (the first was The Lobster). It was absurd and lovely and uncomfortable and intriguing. I've been rewatching Aggretsuko on Netflix while lounging with the dogs because the past week I've desperately needed something familiar and light. In a couple of weeks I'm hoping to go to the movies and see Alita: Battle Angel because it looks amazing. James Cameron's attempt at adapting a manga/anime? Yes, please.

Otherwise, I've just been...I dunno, poking around the house a lot. Tai chi was cancelled this week due to awful weather so I'm looking forward to jumping back in next week. Going to church tomorrow. Volunteering has been going OK. Work is bleh, but I just keep my earbuds in whenever possible to block out all of the bickering amongst my coworkers. *shrugs* Haven't had a lot of energy lately. Sometimes at night when I'm restless and listless at the same time (how does that happen??) I get out my coloring book and markers. It's something to focus on and is relaxing.

Gone.

Jan. 26th, 2019 11:26 am
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My sweet, beautiful, smart, loving girl is gone. My 13 year old lab, my first dog, my heart. She seemed to be in excellent health, still vibrant and happy as labs tend to be. And then in a split second everything changed. The seizure. Then more seizures. Struggling to breathe. Empty eyes that looked through me as I called her name. We hoped against reason, trying a treatment to see if it helped, wanting to give her a chance. She crashed shortly after while we were at home, anxiously waiting for news and in agreement that if the treatment didn't work, we'd say goodbye and send her on her way that evening. Our vet and her wonderful staff were with her when she died.

We are now a house in mourning. Even our other dogs clearly feel the loss. Her soulmate and lifelong companion, my sweet boy who is also 13 and struggles with arthritis, he looks so lost and sad without her. Both dogs are restless and clingy. My heart is broken.
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Last night was the first time in a week that I got a good night's sleep. I honestly don't know how people with insomnia cope. A week of waking throughout the night and laying there, tired and miserable, was awful. I usually think of my bed as a happy place, a sanctuary where I could happily (and easily) drift off to sleep each night, but last week it was a lonely, sad place to think about lonely, sad things. I must be on the mend.

I've been thinking about what I accomplished in 2018 and what I'd like to focus on in 2019.

Last year I worked so hard in therapy to change my thinking, attitude, and certain behaviors. I definitely feel more at peace with myself and my life. It's not perfect and I don't expect it ever will be- I still have moments every week where I feel sad and frustrated, but my anxiety and depression is way down. I read so many books too! In the depths of depression I gave up a lifelong love of reading and really wanted to make 2018 the year that I fell back in love with books- I definitely did and had a lot of fun doing it. I also got involved in some activities that I'd been wanting to do like yoga and tai chi. I still miss my yoga classes (they were cancelled in the summer due to construction in town and haven't started back up yet, I should message the teacher to ask if there will be classes again soon), but tai chi starts up again this week and I'm looking forward to it. :)

For 2019, I want to focus on more traditional, but still important areas. Physical health (eating habits & fitness), personal finances, organizing/housekeeping/decluttering, and my marriage. I want to feel good and prepare for hiking the Inca Trail this summer, a major item on my bucket list. I want to pay down my credit card debt and learn to budget better. I want to create a tidier and happier home. And I want to be a healthy, positive, supportive partner because we both deserve that. I deserve all of these things and I've neglected them for years because I numbed myself out to avoid the anger and despair I felt over my unhappy marriage.
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That cold I mentioned in my last post? It was the beginning of the flu. Saturday night was *not* a fun night, let me tell you. I've been sick ever since and my pathetic lungs will probably be struggling with bronchitis for quite a while, I'm sorry to say. I worked Monday and Tuesday, but raised the white flag on Wednesday and stayed home, congested, exhausted and still struggling to keep my fever down. I'm back at work this weekend trying to play catch up. Absolutely kicking myself for turning down the flu shot in November. This is twice in 6 months and this past year I've had more illnesses than probably the past 5 years combined.

Aside from miserable and run down, I'm just frustrated. I wanted to come home and get a running start out the gate. I didn't get as many hours in at work this week as I'd hoped, nor did I get all of my errands or housework done. >:( And forget about exercise, breathing without moving is an effort.

Anyway, enough complaining. I did get some of my hours in at work, got some errands and chores done, took the Christmas tree down (finally), went to therapy, did my volunteering, visited with family on Friday, and signed up to start the new semester of tai chi next week. So the week wasn't a complete wash. I think I'm just a bit cranky because I haven't slept well since I got home. @_@
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2019 has been pretty good to me so far. The holidays were lovely and I just got back from a vacation that included palm trees and 85 degree weather. I'm sick with a cold, but that didn't happen until last night when I got home. The critters are doing well and I'll be in the office all weekend getting caught up on work (and earning a much needed paycheck). I read a great book on vacation called The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness. It was a true story about the author's experiences meeting several octopuses (not octopi, fun fact), volunteering at an aquarium, and learning to scuba dive.

I had hopes of learning to scuba dive myself, but my hopes were dashed when I learned that my exercise-induced asthma precludes me from taking lessons. It wouldn't be safe for me or anyone with me, too many factors that could trigger an asthma attack. Ah well, maybe I'll learn to scuba dive in my next lifetime. :/ At any rate, it was a wonderful book to read on vacation and it also had me dreaming of aquariums again. No plans to set one up this year, too expensive and not the right time, but I will have a tank again someday.

I might, maybe, possibly get a betta just to scratch the itch a little, but we'll see. Debt comes first.

I watched a couple episodes of Marie Kondo's new show on Netflix last night, Tidying Up. It was sweet and inspiring. I also watched Aggretsuko, the animated red panda who works as an office lady by day and sings karaoke death metal by night. Really cute and amusing. I'm reading The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I guess that's it for now. Busy couple of weeks with fun stuff and now it's back to regular life.


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I could laugh at the timing, it's almost funny. After a couple of things happened this afternoon, this reading suddenly became eye-openly clear: it's about me and my relationship with money. I've been struggling to budget and handle some credit card debt for a few years now and it smacked me in the face today as I was pondering the reading (and checking my bank account post-holiday shopping, oof). >.<

The entire reading suddenly makes a lot more sense.

What will die with the darkness? The Knight of Wands refers to me, enthusiastically charging head-first into something that I haven't planned out (traveling, hobbies, spending habits) and the 7 of Cups refers to the choices, wishful thinking, and illusions I've held about how it'll all work itself out without careful planning on my end.

What will be born with the light? The 10 of Swords is my painful wake-up call that things can't continue as they are. I caused this- not some outside person or force. Refusing to make changes will only bring pain and self-destruction of a sort. The woman in the 8 of Swords is me, literally. I've chosen to remain stuck in bad habits and blind to my poor financial planning, but the truth is that the bonds holding me are loose enough for me to free myself- I have options and it's within my control to execute them.

What will remain the same? The 2 of Cups is my relationship with my finances, not my marriage or anything else! And the 7 of Swords is my own self-deceit and betrayal of my interests. Again, refusing to deal with the situation at hand, trying to find the easy way out. This card offers guidance- act with strategy, not with impulse. This is also my challenge because it would be easy for me to stay stuck in old habits and continue to deny reality.

So, basically, I'm up shit creek at the moment, but I do have a paddle or two. Here's the plan right now: I'm staying home an extra day to work so I can finish up some office tasks and make some extra $$ before I leave for 2 weeks. I'll go home, enjoy Christmas with my family, go on vacation with my parents as planned (they already paid for my flight and room so I'm not going to be an asshole and back out now), and I'm going to be careful with my budget for the week. I'm also going to talk with my sibling about finances and get some advice because they are amazing at budgeting. When I get home, I'm going to make a budget and pick up extra hours at the office. To be honest, this year I've cut my hours back simply because it's been so nice to have extra time at home, but it's screwing me over. I'm going to work really hard at paying down my credit card debt.

I don't know what I'm doing about Peru in the summer yet. It's been a dream of mine and I'd be going with my family. I really want to go have this incredible experience with them and I'm willing to seriously work to make it happen. Much to think about.

Sooooo...there you have it. An incredibly illuminating reading that came at the perfect time.

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It's been a while since I've looked at the cards. Figured the solstice was as good a time as any to take a look ahead six months. I did a simple spread:

1. What will die with the darkness? 7 of Cups (add'l detail: Knight of Wands)
2. What will be born with the light? 10 of Swords (add'l detail: 8 of Swords)
3. What will remain the same? 7 of Swords (add'l detail: 2 of Cups)

Cheerful, yes?  :(  That last bit with the 7 of Swords combine with the 2 of Cups- betrayal or deception within a close partnership. My marriage? A relationship with a family member or friend? My volunteer work with the rescue? It's enough to make me paranoid. o_O;; I've been checking my books and some websites for other possibilities. I'll fully admit I'm not especially nuanced with tarot interpretations. Perhaps it has to do with not be honest with myself, not looking out for my own best interests? I've struggled with that in the past, although I feel like I'm getting better about it.

Anyway, there's a lot here to unpack.  I'm still mulling over this spread and am genuinely curious to see how things play out. That's part of the reason I'm posting it here.

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I completed my 15 week tai chi class and we begin again in January. I can now perform the 8 form tai chi routine very, very badly. Still, I am feeling a little accomplished! If my regular yoga classes don't resume next month, I am planning on trying to switch to another studio because I miss yoga. I also need to get on board with exercise after the holidays.

I spent a zillion hours this month making handmade gifts for some friends and am pleased they came out well. This week I'm focused on all things holiday season- decorating, wrapping, finishing up my shopping, and packing for my trip home this weekend. Looking forward to a few days at home, then a week on a warm, sunny island over New Years. Fingers crossed I can try scuba diving!

I finished Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon, absolutely incredible book. Looking forward to catching up on some more reading over the holidays. Haven't had much time for TV or movies this month. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, but I've got a better handle on it this year than I have had in previous years. The truly important stuff will get done and I refuse to let my perfectionism spoil things.
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It's recently occurred to me that my mother has become vociferously politically and socially conservative right around the same time that...

A. Her eldest child (me) has made it unmistakably clear she's not bluffing about being childfree and will not provide her with the grandchildren she wants for bragging rights.

B. Her middle child married a Latino man who is the son of brown, Spanish speaking immigrants (the horror!).

C. Her youngest child is trans and preparing to transition.

I don't know if there's any connection between these things, but it feels like there might be. And it's a chicken-egg scenario, if it's true. I just know that these facts about her children drive my mother crazy and she's full of visible resentment about it. This has not helped her relationship with any of us.
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My transgender sibling has announced they will begin medically transitioning in a few months. This is wonderful, exciting news! And then, predictably, my mother freaked out, made a big scene, and suddenly it was all about her. I'm trying to support my sibling as much as possible since our mother is incapable of offering support at this time. It's a little scary because change and the unknown can be scary, but I've watched my sibling struggle for so many years. I really hope this decision will bring them some peace.

It's been a revelation recently that my mother is an incredibly self-absorbed, emotionally domineering person. I mean, I kind of knew it before, but in recent weeks it's hit me in the face. In therapy I mentioned my frustration with my mother's inability to handle the slightest whiff of criticism, her emotional manipulation, constant bragging about herself, and her utter lack of interest in other people- including her own children.

"She hardly ever even asks how I am, she just launches right into a monologue about herself and her life. And when I share how I am and things that I'm doing, she acts bored and immediately switches the conversation right back to her. My siblings concur that she acts the same way with them." I told my therapist recently. I was baffled about why this was suddenly such a sore spot for me and my therapist suggested that as I continue to get emotionally healthier, the unhealthy stuff in my life will become more noticeable. I think she's right. I love my mom and want to try and have the best relationship with her that I can while maintaining healthy boundaries. So this is some new homework.
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Books:  I'm still listening to Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon, it's been absolutely fascinating. I finished Pachinko by Min Jin Lee about a family of Korean immigrants living in Japan during the 20th century and their uneasy, complicated identity. One of my favorite books of the year was Circe by Madeline Miller, about the legendary witch goddess from the Odyssey. Very powerful, feminist book.

Movies/TV/Theater: My husband and I went to our first opera, Madama Butterfly and it was a fun night! We both agreed we'd like to see another opera or a play again soon. We also saw Fantastic Beasts in theaters and it was an overwhelming, flawed movie, but still a lot of fun. I also saw A Private War, the biopic about the journalist Marie Colvin who died in 2012 covering the Syrian civil war. Absolutely incredible, one of my favorite movies of the year. I'm watching season 3 of The Good Place and This is Life by Lisa Ling on CNN.

Doing Stuff: I got together with some crafty friends last month and we're having a potluck holiday party in a couple of weeks that I'm really excited about! We do a little exchange of handmade gifts so I'm busy working on some Christmas ornaments for everyone. I also mailed out some Krampusnacht cards to a few close friends and relatives who get my sense of humor. I skipped tai chi class this week, but still have two more classes to finish learning the 8 form. I'm exercising regularly, doing some cardio about every other day.

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This week I encountered one of our more awful clients. We don't have many of them, most people are perfectly civil and easy to deal with. This one though? Oof, I don't use the word "toxic" lightly, but it applies here. This client has been trouble from Day 1. Mean, vindictive, dishonest, manipulative, you name it. Anyway, there was a problem that had nothing to do with us and that we couldn't fix for her, but the problem impacted her services with our company. She needed to get that problem fixed and then her services with us would be fine. Cue the yelling, the threats, the misdirected blaming, the irrational accusations. We're lying and out to get her, we're just one of a million assholes in this world deliberately trying to make her suffer, nobody cares about her, nobody has it as hard as she does, etc.

We tried a couple of times to help in they way of offering some free services, a courtesy we occasionally extend to people in difficult positions, but each time she screamed and swore and hung up before we could even bring it up. Eventually, my boss shrugged and declared that some people would rather be miserable than help themselves and we let it go. What a shame that she missed an opportunity for kindness because she was too busy being abusive to the people trying to help.

Buddhist teachings have taught me to view a person like this less as an inherently evil entity out to ruin my day and more like a wounded animal snarling and snapping. And also to see my own pain, anger, fear, and confusion reflected in their behavior. I wonder what this person's life was like.  I wonder how I can avoid making myself and everyone around me so miserable. I'm trying my best to deal with my own pain so I don't poison myself and dump it all over others. When life got hard and I recognized that I wasn't coping well, I sought outside help. I try to be honest and self-reflective about my issues. I try to be kind and compassionate- toward myself and others.

After that unpleasant encounter and some rumination on the subject, I find myself thankful that I have the chance every day, every moment, to choose a different path. And I wish that person some peace in their life so they stop spreading misery to others and because I can't imagine how much it must suck to exist like that all the time.
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Wow, October flew by. Went down the shore for a week and visited family back home. Treadmill still broken, not exercising regularly. Still enjoying tai chi classes. Work is going OK. Haven't been to church in a while. Decorated for Thanksgiving in the cat rooms at the rescue.

Finished 3 books since my last entry.

I Should Have Honor: A Memoir of Hope and Pride in Pakistan by Khalida Brohi, a young women's rights activist. Her book was about honor killings and how one in her family drove her towards activism. Listened to the audiobook and Ms. Brohi herself narrated, it was great.

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison. The first of a trilogy about a post apocalyptic America where the majority of people died of a mysterious illness. Very few women left, mass infertility, societal collapse. A nurse/midwife goes out on the road dressed as a man for safety and tries to help the women she comes across. It reminded me of The Handmaid's Tale except even more horrifying and brutal in a way.

The Book of Etta by Meg Elison. Second in the trilogy (final book doesn't come out until next year). Fast forward 100 years and the protagonist from the original book is now a legend in a small community. A young transgender character is out on the road trying to save others. I liked it better than the first book.

I'm currently listening to Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon. The audiobook is over 40 hours long so it's gonna be a while. I'm reading Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.

Finished binge watching Rick and Morty (loved it) and two seasons of The Good Place (also loved it). Watched the first 4 episodes of House of Cards season 6 last night. Trying to get the house tidied up (haha yeah right). Family from out of town are coming in this weekend for a baby shower so I'm at work today and will meet my parents nearby tonight for dinner when they get in. I have another baby shower next weekend, which kind of makes it easy because I got identical gifts for both showers. The only thing different are the greetings cards. I have tickets for me and the husband to attend our first opera performance in a couple of weeks: Madama Butterfly. Looking forward to it!
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So that last entry was heavy, but in a good way. Now for the slightly less weighty stuff.

The awful, stressful news combined with a broken treadmill has lead me astray from exercise. This week has been mostly TV and junk food. One must having coping skills and I'm sorry to say that I fell back on Sloth and Gluttony this week. I don't have anyone in my daily life to commiserate with, this here being Trump country and all. Tomorrow I can at least sit quietly for an hour in my UU church, knowing that I'm surrounded by people who share my horror. When I feel like I'm about ready to boil over with impotent rage and despair, I practice tai chi. I'm getting the hang of White Crane Spreads its Wings.

I've also thrown myself into decorating for Halloween because I've been in need of something cheerful. I decorated our house, the reception area at the office, and the cat rooms at the rescue. I'm aware that the cats don't give a crap, but it makes me a little sad to visit during a holiday and see no sign of festivities. The rooms are nice, of course, but since most of our cats will probably spend their lives at the rescue, why not celebrate a bit?

I finished  _A Three Dog Life_ by Abigail Thomas via audiobook. It's a memoir about her life after her husband's traumatic brain injury. She has a wry sense of humor and expresses her complex emotions well, it's not nearly as heavy a read as I'd assumed it would be, considering the subject. Lots of food for thought. I also watched a quiet, unhurried movie called The Bookshop about a WWII widow who opens a bookshop in a little English village where most of the population has no interest in reading for pleasure (boy can I relate to that) and influential people conspire to drive her out of business for their own ends. The owner and her allies are all lovely and the ending was a surprise (to me, at any rate). I watched the Fred Rogers documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor, which was sweet and also sad in these times that, I'm sure, Mr. Rogers would be disappointed by. I'm also powering through season 2 of Rick and Morty.
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I decided  this week that I was sick of going to therapy and announcing in defeat that I had, yet again, failed to find my courage and talk to my husband about the pregnancy and subsequent abortion so many years ago. So I gave myself a pep talk in the shower, summoned my courage, and blurted out while he was cooking, "This is going to seem very random and awkward, but I have something I need to say."

That was the hardest part, actually. I was shaking, my heart was pounding in my ears, and I felt slightly sick, but I did it.  It was scarier than the times I've gone skydiving, in that precarious moment before tumbling out into nothing when my lizard brain was screaming "NO NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOO!."  I had decided beforehand that I would have absolutely no expectations about his reaction- my goal was to speak my truth and I did. Slowly and with many long pauses as I searched for the right words, but I did it. And it turned out OK in the end.  I felt...satisfied. And lighter, like I had set down a heavy burden and was finally free to choose to walk away from it.

I ended it by telling him that I'm tired of feeling angry and sad about this. I want to forgive him and move forward. I don't want to drag it with me through the rest of my life and let it fester into bitterness. Eleven years has been long enough. I'm so very, very tired. And in that moment I knew that I did forgive him and I was learning how to let it go for my own sake. I'm saving myself and I don't need anyone to do it for me. That felt freeing and empowering.
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Y'know, I don't want to end my Saturday entry with such heavy stuff after all. That's not my entire life. So let me list a few things that ARE going well...

I watched Mary and the Witch's Flower by Studio Ghibli the other night and it was cute. Not my favorite film by them, but the animation was lovely and the story was sweet. I'm also watching Rick and Morty, which is decidedly less sweet, but certainly amusing. I'm also hearing positive things about The Good Place so I think I'll check that out soon too.

Haven't started a new book yet and undecided which one I want to read next. I also need to choose a new audiobook.

Tai Chi is going well. I've learned Wild Horse Parts its Mane and Brush Knee Twist Step. This week in class we started learning White Crane Spreads its Wings.

This weekend I have plans to tidy up and put out our Halloween decorations. :)
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