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I started running last week; it became apparent that yoga was going to take some working to make happen (I may have to drive to school for one of my classes on yoga days, to make yoga without completely sacrificing the whole evening, just with the placement of schedules and the general awfulness of buses) and my shoulders were sore and I'd just been generally neglecting my body. Starting to drink soylent in the mornings for breakfast got me past worrying about not having enough calories in the day (eating can be a challenge for me, let alone eating within my time and money budget) and so the next good body step was exercise.

So it has been a week. I'm starting the same couch-to-half-marathon schedule that injured me a couple years ago, but spacing it out a little but more to avoid that same outcome. It was pretty magical, last time, the way following a relatively scientific schedule got my body doing so much so fast, and I'd like to experience that again. I'd also very much like to be in good shape when I start work in May.

I still need to find a way to get yoga in, but in the meantime I'm not doing nothing.

And of course, my sleep is better now, my energy level is up, the swings in mood I was starting to experience have settled a little bit, at least so far. And... I'm feeling things better, as in, my emotional apparatus is working in a more nuanced way, and is more integrated with my thinking bits. Also, food tastes better, etc, all that normal exercise stuff. So I guess school wasn't as far from hitting my depression triggers this year as I thought, I was just maintaining a high mood while losing a bit of functionality.

Good save, self. Keep running now.

Incidentally, my mom completely self-medicates her depression with running. My mom's life is always both an inspiration and a warning to me, in this as in so many other things.

This whole thing is helping a great deal with sorting through my complicated poly/partner/identity/desire situation. My identity seems to be stabilizing somewhere between relationship anarchist and solo poly. I'm finding a middle ground between trusting my misgivings and just plain trusting. It helps to remind myself that I can place my trust in the future, in my ability to navigate the future, rather than in particular outcomes. It still leaves me in a shaky place sometimes, wanting things from people who in turn care about me and therefore don't want to hurt me (but maybe can't give me what I want) but wrestling with the issue is no longer taking up all my spare thoughts.

Without interpersonal demanding all my attention, I'm free to get back in touch with myself, and also with my career. The issue of stewardship is arising. Stewardship is forestry code for thinking in the long term, thinking in the bigger picture, thinking outside the axe and pile of logs that comes to mind with the word forestry (okay, fellerbuncher and processor, but those didn't start attaching to the idea of forestry till I started doing it). Stewardship over the forest is something that arose this summer: I was working with a 'stewardship-focused' person when I found a happy place this summer. Principles of stewardship also apply to friends and community. There's an underlying responsibility, I think, that if I can gently steer the future towards a place I consider to be better, I should do so. With forestry that might mean not cutting certain areas, replanting with a wider species mix than necessary, working in partnership with people who have other interests than I do. With community and relationship that has meant, lately, making safe space for emotions and human tenderness and just generally those things that make us feel a little vulnerable and also connected.

Well. Time's up, so have a lovely day. There will most assuredly be more later. And: this is also more, from later. For instance, my life will once again be mine soon:


Oct. 25th, 2016 09:43 am
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Today I am deeply grateful for the years I've spent learning myself, assembling a user guide so that when I need to work with myself in challenging circumstances I can do so. I can catch myself when I begin to spin into dark places, I can accept love and help where needed, I can sense what forces are at work and come up with a pretty good idea of what's good for me and what's not. I can self-monitor pretty well. I can be brave about my needs because I know they are actual needs, relentless, and heading them off at the pass is the simplest way to deal.

I am grateful for my people-picker which surrounds me with folks who really do seem to care and do good things in my life.

And I am grateful for my hope for the future, for my ability to envision a life that is better than my current one, reach for it, take it or something similar, and therefore iteratively improve my situation. Over and over.
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I'm getting stronger at being myself.

I'm getting better at recognising my patterns, at predicting myself, at shaping the container of my life which I create to better fit my self which I suppose I also create but seem to have less control over. There's a core there I will not change. As time goes by I have less and less will to change it.

Change is inevitable. I'm moving into it with as much measured deliberation as I can muster this time. We'll see how those ripples make their way under my skin over time. School starts in a week and a half. My hobbies are turning under my hand: a little less brewing, a little more cooking, a little more travelling, maybe some sailing. I've changed my financial stuff significantly. I'm nosing back into the kink scene, or rather dipping my pinkie toe back into that pool. Change.

I'm comfort-reading again; burning through the Dresden Files a book or a book and a half a day. Reading is private for me. It takes me to the inside place that's totally walled off from the world, where nothing can get at me. I think I get the kind of rest from it that other folks get from vacations. I don't know if I'm hiding something from myself or just very tired of the world sometimes or maybe it's normal to need or want that escape.

I'm not as willing to eat or hold other people's pain as I have been in the past. I find myself acting straightforwardly more often and managing folks' feelings less now. It's colder towards other people, who have to deal with their discomfort, but gentler to myself. My life is feeling generally less intense than it has in the past, and also more solid. Picture the difference between jumping exhilarating stone-to-slippery-stone across a creek and walking across a solid wooden bridge.

So I think I'm in pretty good shape; not the greatest, but good. But tonight I am lonely.

I think the internet brings loneliness with it. I only had it reinstalled today after a summer away, and only reluctantly because I want to have it for school. But. It came today, and now tonight I feel cavernously empty, sad, like I'm all full of echoes of voices with no flesh to them. This is superstitious thinking, equating correlation with causation, and further ignoring complexities such as the way that writing allows me to recognise my emotions when, without this writing, I might just have been restless and gone for a walk before sleep.

Maybe I've been calm and stable because my emotions have needed to knock pretty loudly to get my attention without this focus?

I've missed rituals that give me time and attention and ability to look into myself. I think I can budget for a couple months of daily yoga again, like I did last winter, and use that repetitive ritual to check in with my body and my mind in a leisurely but frequent way (body and mind, two words as if separate, and yet 'self' seems so vague) to see how I am doing over an extended period of time. I'm not especially sure how I'm doing now, and here school is starting and my relationship is slowly turning towards more serious under my (yes, quite deliberate) touch. Change.

Whatever else I'm feeling, I am feeling so strong lately. So capable. So able to go through life in my own shape, on my own feet, creating my own connections and responding to opportunities as I decide to: not perfectly, but well enough to be mostly happy enough most of the time and sometimes very happy indeed. Strong enough to feel unhappy sometimes, or lonely as now, and almost shrug it off.

I'm afraid of this feeling strong. I'm afraid of having ability and responsibility gathered together in my own hands so completely. I'm afraid of being the one who can steer myself _best_, of not having someone else with the rules book because there are no rules to this game. I always come here to write when I've lost my compass and I'm feeling a little lost tonight.

There's a line from one of my favourite songs of the moment that always destroys me right now:

My first day walking on my own/ Well what if I'd been made that way?

I really am walking so much on my own this year. So much. And it's of my own making: so much effort put into slowly straightening my spine over the years. So much.

I'm rambling now, so I'm going to put the keyboard away. Goodnight.

Sweet dreams.
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Dave says, going to your place feels like a vacation.

It's only after he's left, when I've spent the evening eating hot dogs with home-canned tomato jam and tending my booze and animals that I realise: living at my place feels like a vacation for me too.

My space is perfectly suited to me. There's nowhere in the world except outside in an interesting ecosystem that I can go and be this much myself, with my skin off and my mind filling the container I'm in, out to the walls. There are few other places I can go and have so many things I love to do available to me, set up for my pleasure at a moment's notice. There's nowhere else in the world I can go and be so undisturbed by the outside world.

So tonight I do an enjoyable activity with myself, and exchange a bit of online chatter with people, and drink and spill tastes of a bunch of my wines &c, and hang out with my bunnies, and snuggle myself into a blanket. It feels like a good date with someone I really trust and who loves doing cool things. I do simultaneously feel an outward-reaching, a desire for company, but this kind of joy in myself can't come in company easily or often.

More and more I think about having a wedding with myself, buying a proper ring, having a ceremony (big & conventional or private, I don't know) and wearing that ring with the knowledge that should I ever form a partnership with anyone else again their ring will, not replace mine, but be beside it. That formal commitment to myself is awfully compelling.

Because even when I fuck up, I'm always here for me. I can always rely on myself to come through in the end.

And that's pretty important.


Sep. 30th, 2013 10:55 pm
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Nothing says security like a full pantry and a fireplace.

Nothing says wealth like gallons of wine made free from things the ground gave you and wildharvest salad every night with your steak.

Nothing says love like... hmm, maybe it's time for a couple in-front-of-the-fireplace-snuggle-puddles-and-food events?
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Getting past the angst for a bit, I want to say that getting my house back in order, extending my skin out to the walls again and shaping it to fit me, is an excellent challenge for me right now. There is SO MUCH to do, so it feels incredibly frustrating sometimes, but there are enough tiny pieces that I can usually do *something* and feel accomplished.

And I can do a bunch of things and see measurable progress: house doesn't smell bad anymore, I can see the floor, computer is in a useable location, etc. And then I can make a list of concrete things I can do to make it better: clear off the diningroom table, wash the windows, wash the walls, empty the fridge, sort the fabric stash. And if all else fails, I can do a load of laundry and stare at a wall and make some sort of a dent.

It's great therapy for me.

Not A Week

Sep. 13th, 2013 08:33 am
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I haven't been eating enough; I'm shrinking physically, my breasts hollowing a little bit to what I consider their normal size, my belt suddenly another notch too small. I hadn't been eating well; broke and not wanting to go home to where all my food was, that's how it fell out.

Payday happened yesterday, and a counselor's appointment (free through work benefits, my boss doesn't even know) with someone I really hit it off with and now I feel super encouraged about counseling in general. I'm hopeful that I might not have to figure out my hard stuff totally all on my own, with no way of differentiating good from bad resources. The dude actually laughed when I said funny things, or winced when I said painful ones, and answered thoughtfully when I looked him in the eye and said, "do you honestly think..."

Then the rest of my tattoo got lined on. I had thought I'd feel a little sad to look in the mirror and know I'd never see my body free of those lines again, maybe a bit wistful for it sometimes. Right now, I look at myself in the mirror and feel complete. When my shirt rides up by my waist, my body reminds me "a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew". When I wear short shorts, or a short skirt, it tells the world "and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God".

How can that not make you feel complete?

I have been reconnecting with so many friends. So many! Crushy architect okcupid boy is keeping himself pretty busy, which is good; I'm not resealing myself to one person. I am migrating back to my dear friends, to my heart, to my web; I feel so loved and people are so gentle to me and so caring. I feel lonely and weird pretty frequently, but I can more or less always text someone if I don't want to sit with that feeling and they will respond.

And some people (like you reading folks who responded) just spontaneously be nice to me. Seriously, guys, it's like being wrapped in the strongest cocoon ever.

So I know this is the crest of a wave. I haven't been sleeping well; date with okc boy followed by a night in the livingroom (Blake didn't want to sleep beside someone who was tainted by the touch of someone else, I suppose) and then another last night. This morning he came out of the bedroom and said I could sleep in the bed with him if I wanted. I do want, but it wasn't the time or place for me to have a discussion about how I had every intention of being an icky dirty slutty slut slut and having sex or sex-like encounters with my friends on and off as I felt like it, and did he want me to disclose that before I took him up on the offer?

My sex drive has apparently woken up. Not surprising, I guess, that it wandered off after being poked by a painful stick whenever it stepped out of line (and honestly, mine is always out of line). Gonna be a challenge to keep it pointed in productive, non-harmful directions. I've gotta remember my pretty fantastic options for lovers are mostly available to me now and not automatically cross them off the list because it's too much hassle to come home to a sad house after.

Um, but I did eat well yesterday, and the plan is to find somewhere better to sleep than my livingroom tonight (Taoshi the rabbit has learned that if she rattles her cage beside my head I will get up to feed her to shut her up, which causes her to rattle the cage more, unless that was Mella doing that). I'm having food with people tonight, so another full meal, and hopefully my stomach will expand to a reasonable size again. I told my counselor that food and sleep were my priorities this week, and he agreed that pretty much made sense (totally by his facial expressions, not some weird formal counselor-language. I seriously love this guy).

And apparently I'm kind of back to journalling. It's pretty damn good right now. You'll no doubt hear when it's not.


Oct. 9th, 2010 08:00 am
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It's the season of seperation of indoors and outdoors. I suppose this is one of my major seasonal divides when it comes right down to it: weather where you have to prep to go outside, where windows can't all be wide open, strongly affects my feelings of being connected to the world. My ties with nature, if you like, have been severed now and I'm on my own.

It's not all bad; my place is remarkably comfy. The heat is free and plentiful, and in fact the completely non-adjustable hot water system allows and even requires me to leave windows open some, without which I go crazy. The floors are hardwood and so they're welcoming to my senses. The rain is appropriately loud on the windows. There are plenty of soft places to curl up with blankets, there's a kitchen, and my bathroom is finally clean. All these are important to me.

I spent four hours hiking around the woodlot in Maple Ridge with my Ecology class yesterday; there was a test at the end. The pace was nice with lots of long stretches where I was working at heavy-breathing-but-not-panting pace. The woodlot looks mostly like this and was a paradise. There's a lodge on the property that we students, as members of the forest professionals of something something, can rent out for events. We can go to the lot whenever we want. I am doing the right thing.

The class was fantastic, though, probably worth my whole semester's tuition just in the pleasure I got out of it. Ecology ends next week with the big exam and we go on to surveying. I am particularly sad about that.

My sick is receding and it's about damn time.

It's raining right now, and it's early enough that I want to go run around in the park some. There's a track right by my house and though I don't really like running, running in the rain is relatively pleasant and I know it would help clear my head. I've been doing nothing physical lately; between relatively-sedentary work, totally sedentary class, and homework I'm in terrible shape and the muscle's finally finished falling off me. My sanity is definitely the worse for the wear: I've been spiky, irritable, swingy, and difficult lately and a lot of that is due to poor self-care in this regard.

This morning I feel like that's a problem. If I go for a run or a bike ride today it'll be good; there's no point in making promises to myself about other days right now because that's not the point.

I will also do some homework this weekend. Next week I have the Ecology exam; the following week the Math midterm. If I do the two communications assignments this weekend (9 hours total), the SRMT timeline/summary of environmental conferences (3 hours) and my maps assignment (1 hour) I can focus on Ecology during the week next week, studying instead of turning out homework. That'll be good.

You wanted to know that, right? Good.

Well, time to crack a textbook.
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I've been neglecting this in favour of my written journal this week, especially last night when I sat down and wrote for an hour in my brand new paper book because, well, it was new. I went to dinner after that and my friend asked me, "what do you write about?" I gave him the list: the way the book smelled, the way I ended the last journal (with a half-finished paragraph and a pen that ran out of ink, which seemed inappropriate), the difficulty of starting this new journal vs the last one, the biomechanics of writing, how to carry a pen with the new book when it has no spiral binding to slip it into, then I begin to write about the topics I should cover... By this time he's laughing at how meta the list is.

And here I'm writing about talking about writing about writing.

I woke up this morning at 7:30, having decided last night I just wasn't going to freeschool this weekend. After a morning twitter scan I went back to sleep and had an apocalyptic action-romance dream starring an author I've never met or read, but know only through his tweets. The dream was a perfect two hours, had a lot of flooding and engaging camera work and emotional punch, and ended on a happy note.

I immediately got up and came here into the livingroom to write to you, livejournal, because I miss you. I definitely type more quickly than I handwrite, which perhaps might be remedied by several years of practice but which is a legacy of MUSHing with four character windows open or whatever for so long. I can generally type faster than I can think; I can handwrite about as fast as I can think.

My life is pretty good right now. I have this huge expanse of time, through August, unfurled in front of me like an empty banner and I have a paintbrush in my hand. I have work, but I don't have plans, and August is my favourite month. I mean, sure-- there's a Leo party one day, a West Wing marathon with the Writer one weekend, and a wedding-- but that I think is everything I have written down for the month. The usual suspects will fill some of the time; there's monthly Korean movie night, weekly movie night at Andrew's place which I often attend, if the Writer is doing Ramadan I think I have some business with him right about the beginning of that; I have some stuff going on on the 13th involving a movie and maybe a party. Still, I feel like I've been let loose in a playground. I have the incredible luxury of seeing people I don't normally have time to see (some of whom I feel pretty guilty about not seeing for awhile) and just doing... things. Walking down to the park and swinging on the swings is an option; going to the beach is an option; just walking in a direction or sitting in a coffee shop is an option. Taking myself out to dinner is also an option.

I can spend late evenings at work if I want, watering plants as the sun is going down around me. It's a mellow time to work, and quite lovely.

There are some flies in the ointment to set against this, of course. Now that I'm not running full steam through everything I see that I probably shouldn't spend the money and time on PAX the weekend before I start school. I know someone who wants a ticket, so this is probably okay with everyone else, and it avoids-- I'll be honest-- one of those stupid awkward poly situations which always stresses me out.

The roofers threw boards on my tomato plants, which together with the weather means maybe no crop this year.

School is really rather expensive, and so although I'm making more money than I've ever made in my life it's not disposable income-- but that always happens to me, whether it's with rats or gardening or feeding people or whatever.

My house is an incredible pigsty because I have been so busy. I expect this weekend will help remedy that.

In the last couple of weeks I've picked up the very good habit of starting every morning with a smoothie-- usually banana and some kind of milk (almond or soy) with some flax thrown in for texture. Even if I end up eating a second breakfast, having that first thing makes the whole day go more smoothly. I'm learning not to make the smoothie with blueberries (they curdle the soy milk into soft tofu) and thinking about experimenting with a grapefruit and some sort of sweet juice base. I'm considering getting some of Brendan Brazier's vegan smoothie powder to throw in there too-- I lived off it for breakfast one year and it works --but until next paycheck the answer is a definite no.

I'm really really getting better at being aware when I need care-- either self-care or when I need to ask someone to do something nice for me. Sometimes I don't do those things, but the secret is that you don't have to do -everything- if you make it a practice of generally taking care of yourself-- the base level is high enough that it doesn't bring ya down not to do one thing. Life becomes less a seething mass of need and more a matter of this or that. I expect there will be periods where I backslide, as there have been in the past, but this is not one of those.

For now I feel I am the recipient of extraordinary good fortune: I have a lovely home, very good friends, I come home to someone who loves me, I eat well, my garden is lovely if a little flattened, my job engages me, my bosses are excellent, my innamorato is thoroughly engaging, the weather is fine, there are good prospects on the horizon both near and far... I have made this life with my own hands, and I have also been blessed with it. I will set myself to enjoying it for awhile.
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...because she's easy, and nice. She never says anything very complicated, though, and she isn't very imagist, so there's not a lot of impact in her poems for me. Still... this one makes me think of 'Mary Oliver covers ee cummings' and I am rather fond of it:

I don't want to live a small life

I don't want to live a small life. Open your eyes,
open your hands. I have just come
from the berry fields, the sun
kissing me with its golden mouth all the way
(open your hands) and the wind-winged clouds
following along thinking perhaps I might

feed them, but no I carry these heart-shapes
only to you. Look how many how small
but so sweet and maybe the last gift

I will ever bring to anyone in this
world of hope and risk, so do.
Look at me. Open your life, open your hands.

Mary Oliver

I'm tired this morning. Maybe it has to do with the lack of sun; I haven't got noticably less sleep than other nights, but it was actively difficult to get out of bed this morning and that never happens to me. There's a meeting at work this morning so I need to be out the door soon, but I think I'm gonna scrap some of the extra stuff I was going to do today and just clean up the mess on Monday when I get in. That'll make Monday a long day and both today and tomorrow an exercise in not thinking about things, but otherwise there won't be much left of me for the folk fest, and I need that folk fest. Already I'm not sure where I'm going to fit in packing.

Fireworks last night. [ profile] dillen_dagen is a powerful ally when it comes to making a space or a group of people act like 'my people'- things slide that much more easily towards touch and physical closeness than when I'm the only one doing it. I appreciate this like I appreciated the party on the weekend where I wasn't 'the naked one'-- it's my natural environment and very comforting.

Tired. Tired tired tired tired. The walk home after the fireworks was every bit worth it, the night was skin temperature and I could have walked forever. Still, today I pay-- along with my bosses, who were there and out late too, so that won't be so bad.

I just wish it were sunny now, to burn away the sleep.

(my cycle seems to be shortening. I'm pretty sure I'm ovulating again, and my last period was a couple of days early. Not sure what that's about but it makes dealing with people occasionally inconvenient. I wish every part of it were not quite so much of a ride)

Waking Up

Jun. 1st, 2010 04:54 pm
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Came home, stared at the wall for awhile, went to sleep. Woke up to Angus coming home with cookie ingredients; not I'm up, have licked off the beaters, and am prepping to go to 'SOUL Chickens' with [ profile] dark_sphere. I am unbelievably glad that I came home when I did; I know I was making mistakes, and that's saying something because I'm good at that work. The weather is being kind to me; in the rain my body is more able to rest, and also my work is lighter.

I've been thinking about asking mom to stop letting me know about what's going on. She doesn't tell me much, and generally not a lot of details, but it's pretty painful. On the other hand I really want to know-- my brothers do, and they're involved, but maybe I should wait and hear it from them? I so cannot be here for mom in this. I so would be here for my brothers if they chose to talk to me about it, which they don't much. There was one magical night when they were all over and no one else was here-- I should recreate that, actually.

Sleep definitely cut the panic. I can handle myself at this point. I could not this morning.

I keep wondering-- there's definitely the possibility that this journal or anything else of mine on the internet could be found and used in this battle. I hope it isn't, but I refuse to keep off the internet just in case.

Enough of that. Here's with the not thinking about it. I need to do more one-on-one social stuff, snuggly and comfy, and also knock things off my to-do list. That makes me feel productive, with nothing hanging over me, and loved, with neat and interesting people to distract and fulfill me in their various ways.

Also, gotta limit the sugar and refined stuff, and zero my caffeine. I've been lazy about it in the last couple of months and is it ever showing.

Bike loaner coming from Walker, makes me happy. I'll get my own wheels next paycheck or two.

I think I can pack dinner to eat during the presentation this evening. I've been having trouble eating food in my own house or made by my own hands-- always a sign of stress for me --and it's led to too much on-the-fly eating out and then not eating at all sometimes.

Time to get back on track. Luxuriating in dysfunction is over.


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