Gym

Remember how I mentioned that Katy Perry song last night, “Teenage Dream”? Well, guess what song played at the gym this morning! It was so fun to have that happen, especially considering how that song does not usually play at the gym – nothing of its genre, even. So, that was a delightful start to the day for me.

However, speaking of the gym, I totally cried during the workout today. We were doing these deltoid press-downs with stretchy bands looped over the pull-up bars. I had attempted my left arm first. I always ask which muscles are managing movements (if I am not already sure), so that I can do the movement correctly and at all. (I’ve definitely been unable to do something simply because I was using, say, my arm muscles, when it should have been shoulder and back muscles, and then it totally worked when I got the right muscle group going.)

But something just didn’t click for me this morning – I couldn’t make the band go down. As soon as I hit the point of the band’s genuine resistance, I just could not make it go any farther. And yet, that was hardly half the distance to my body. I looked around, and saw everyone else doing it with somewhat ease. I took a step closer to the bar, to lessen the tension on the band. And then another. And I still couldn’t get my arm all the way down to my body, as we were supposed to be doing – as everyone else was doing. I was bordering on tears… from embarrassment, perhaps? I was also quite low on my sleep from the past couple nights – nightmares had plagued Sunday night, giving me minimal rest then, and last night hadn’t been much more restful, though the nightmares had mostly all gone.

The coach saw me and told me to move away from the bar. I moved a bit, and he said with more emphasis and volume for me to move, suggesting that I needed to take a huge step away. And I did, but I was beginning to panic. It is not a comfortable feeling when the body does not do as we wish it to do for something that it, by all means, ought to be able to do. Nor is it comfortable to feel oneself beginning to cry over such a simple little movement in a gym workout.

But I reminded myself that I was behind on sleep, which always seems to affect my ability to remain calm and not crying in situations. And so, I struggled and mostly failed, and then switched to the right arm, just to see if it would be any different. The band went right down. It was easy like how I had seen everyone else doing it… So something is wrong with my left side, I thought. Even more stress.

I moved on to the other activity for that round, and aimed to take a mental breather from the fact that I was supposed to do that four more rounds, and yet I hadn’t even been able to do it one time out of the 20 repetitions with my left side.

When I returned for the start of my second round, I tried again, aiming truly to figure out if there were a way that I could do it, despite my body’s not being able to do it fully as intended. A modification would be fine, if I could find one. The coach saw me again, standing too close to the bar as I attempting the modification. The earlier process had repeated, and the taunting tears from before no longer taunted, but fell forth. He was immediately in front of me, standing very close, talking calmly and gently to me, asking me what was going on, what was happening in that moment. I told him that – after a solid ten seconds of being unable to speak, for my tears – I was frustrated because I couldn’t do it. He evaluated, looking to the bar where I was, and the bar I had used the first round. This one was higher, which increased the tension, he pointed out. And I said I hadn’t been able to do it before either. The bands, too, were new, and so were harder to use than the ones we had had until recently. I told him that it was just my left side that I just couldn’t seem to make do the movement. He aligned everything for me, adjusting exactly the angle of my arm and elbow, and altering my handhold to decrease resistance.

And then I did it. I was still crying and, even, shaking, somewhat, but now there was relief in my tears, not merely stress and embarrassment. And I did it again. And I kept going. I nodded, making it clear that I was okay to continue on my own now. Before he walked away, he said to me, “You don’t need to be frustrated. You’re doing f***ing pull-ups,” and it made me laugh through my tears. He was right, after all. I was crying from stress at a tiny movement that I hadn’t been able to do, thinking I was too weak – I could do it, now that he had helped me figure it out, so it hadn’t been that I was too weak at all. And yet, after the workout today, I did three pull-ups, and attempted a fourth five or so times (making it about 90-95% of the way up each time on that fourth), wanting to get in one more than I had done after yesterday’s workout. I most certainly was not too weak.

I took one deep breathe, let it go, and I was breathing fully and easily again. I’m sure my face and eyes were still rather cry-looking for a while after that, but everyone was busy working, so I doubt anyone else even noticed. By the time I started the next round, which I was able to do with ease – relative ease, that it, as it was still hard work, but I could do that hard work now – I was fully calm and focused. While doing my left side, the coach caught my eye from across the room and gave me a visual clapping with his hands (because it was meant to be seen and not heard – there was loud music playing, after all).

I smiled sheepishly, but with immense gratitude. He is always there to encourage us to push ourselves beyond mental barriers (But he is extremely careful to keep us always safe, especially regarding physical abilities. Once, he told me, after I had cried at some back squats, never to do something that actually scared me or made me uncomfortable, where I didn’t feel safe doing it. He wants us safe, but not lazy cowards. That’s why he pushes us.), but, if ever his push of encouragement does not land as intended, he is at our side to help us how specifically we need in that moment. There was no hesitation when I started crying this morning – he saw that something was not okay for me, and his full focus was on helping me clear up whatever it was. And he did exactly that. And today was just one of the many reasons that I love this gym and its owner (today’s coach). Both because of the ridiculous song choices for the morning and for his clear love and care for me when I hit a roadblock.

Post-a-day 2021

A year ago

A year ago today, I was still on the high that arose from the musical on which my mom had been working and with which I had been helping. It is a glorious musical, and it was brand new. Its opening night never even happened, as they had to cancel everything after the dress rehearsals. It was, nonetheless, a lovely show with wonderful music and some stellar cast members and voices. One in particular actually made me cry several times – and I have a hunch that it would do it again, if I were to hear it sing those certain songs today – and two others were absurdly lovely and inspirational. The show came to mind the other day, and I pulled out my music notes for it today, and I sat on my front porch swing, playing through and singing some of the songs… just like I was doing a year ago, possibly on this exact date.

And I didn’t even plan it.

Kind of cool, huh?

And simultaneously quite sad, considering it might as well be a year ago right now regarding the show. At least then, there were prospects of eventually having an opening night, possibly later in the year. Now, it seems far too uncertain as to whether the show even will happen again, and most certainly not with the same cast, and not necessarily even in Houston. Man…

Well, with that, I go to bed. Goodnight, folks. May we all have lovely nights to follow my lovely day. 😉

Post-a-day 2021

^Not too hard

Breathing emotion

Have you ever had the experience of being filled with emotions – ones you hadn’t even realized were building until they reached the point of crying to escape – without even knowing whence they came, or why they came?

It’s times like these that I find myself wanting to step out of myself, and watch movies or some TV show, so that I can go through the gamut, experience fully all the emotions, and using the reasons of the characters in what I am watching as my foundation for experiencing those emotions… it is through them that I am able to release what is built up inside me, all of these things whose origins I cannot seem to identify. I do not know if it is my body preparing for menstruation, and my mind taking on the emotions of those around me, or how I might perceive their situations in life. But it happens every so often for me… I cannot identify what I am feeling, aside from an intense urge to cry and let everything express itself powerfully and fully…, but I always end up taking the time to stop and cry, somehow, and it is always most effective when I go through some movie with lots of emotion and sop, so I can really get all the tears out – a real weep fest of a movie.

Today, I went through nine hours of that…

But, boy, can I already tell that I am going to sleep well tonight – at ease, released, breathing again.

Post-a-day 2021

Turning insignificant into loved

I started working at a clothing store as a part-time job recently. And kind of ‘just because I wanted to do it’. I had never worked in retail before this, and I had often felt that I might be well-suited to being paid to organize and fold stuff (something I already do when I go into stores as a customer, anyway, but, of course, not for pay). So, I am giving it a go.

Walking to the store today to work, I had geared up for the pouring rain: Waterproof boots, a long raincoat, backpack waterproof cover, and an umbrella. The only thing not covered directly by waterproof material was my sweatpants – odd how that is singular yet not…. a single item of clothing, yet referenced as a plural for its two legs… yet we do not reference a shirt as plural for its two arms/sleeves…

Anyway, so, I am being very careful as I walk on the sidewalk. It is placed directly beside the road, with no buffer – genius, I know (meaning What idiotic brain fart planned this sidewalk?). Whenever I come up to a spot where there is a puddle in the road, I quickly run a large arc away from it, before joining back with the sidewalk, doing my best to avoid any possibility of being splashed by passing cars.

Just after I cross the train tracks, when there is nowhere to arc , and I am just running in a straight line to pass a puddle, a single car comes speeding up from behind me. There are no other cars around, and the car easily can move into the left lane and avoid hitting the massive puddle on the right lane… and the bright yellow individual who cannot be considered invisible right now.

The car does not move over. I notice just in time to jump forward and pull up my legs as best I can in front of me.

Almost my entire left pant leg, and some of my right, is suddenly soaked, completely through to my skin. My leg is actually dripping wet on the left.

I curse in an outraged yell, as I continue on my way, somehow embarrassed.

After setting everything down in the back at work, I change into my regular shoes, and head out to check in, eyes already beginning to burn. The moment she asks me how I’m doing – the standard check-in – I starts to cry. I cannot help myself.

I’m okay, but I’m not okay right now, I manage to say a couple times. I explain briefly what happened and that my pants are currently soaked through, and that, as I am now seeing with clarity, I am not only physically uncomfortable, but I am living in the experience of having been unworthy of being noticed. Insignificant out on the street, thus completely missed by the driver. That was my experience, no matter what logic told me, and I was still processing that experience and all the emotions that went with it.

She got it completely. Do I want to go change? she offers. I don’t have anything to change into, I reply, still in active tears.

“Okay, do you want to go pick out some pants?” I hesitate, considering how it doesn’t work for me to go buy something for myself right now.

“I’ll get you some pants,” she clarifies at my hesitation to respond. “Go pick something out from the sales rack, and come check back in with me, and I’ll get them for you. And then you can go change.”

And so I did. And she did. And I changed into dry, fancy, brand new pants. And the world was suddenly a lot easier to take in when I was no longer soaking wet and mentally preparing how to survive the next five hours as such, and somehow be in a good mood and help people and walk around with ease.

I checked back in with her once I was changed, expressed clear and direct gratitude for handling the situation so well – so immediately and so effectively – and for creating a space for me to clear things up for myself by removing the strong physical discomfort aspect of the situation. (Think how we are miserable and can’t function properly when we are super hungry, and then our brains suddenly work again after we’ve gotten the needed nutrition. Better yet, think about how a bull or horse will buck and buck like crazy, even after the cowboy is off its back, until that miserably tight burr strap is loosed off its hindquarters.) It has been a no-brainer for her, and she was glad to have been able to help clear it all up for me. After all – and she didn’t say this, but we both know it – I can serve the store and its customers best when I am at my best… and wet and miserable is certainly not my best. So, it was beneficial to the store for me to have the new pants, more so than just the cost of the pants, but for the cost of all the customers with whom I would come in contact the rest of the day.

I don’t know if she bought them herself, or if there is a budget for the store to be used for such odd, here-and-there occasions. And I’m okay with it either way. I am nonetheless grateful that this person considered such a solution, whatever the details of it, and made it happen. And immediately. It made a world of a difference for me, and I was and still am extremely grateful.

Plus, I actually really like the pants. They were comfy to wear, and they are a really pretty color. Thank you, K. You turned a terrible experience into a lovely and loving one. And I am grateful.

Post-a-day 2020

The Fall

So, here’s the short but sweet – well, you get the idea – version of what happened yesterday evening around 5:30.  I had a pretty bad fall at approximately .68 miles into my run.  I was supposed to do a little 5k to be in a sort of solidarity with a student I tutor, because we had to miss tutoring yesterday due to her mandatory participation in a 5k with her school.  (She is neither fan of outdoorsy things nor of running.)  I had already run just over that on Thursday, and I didn’t necessarily feel like getting out to run and do a whole workout (core upon return to the house, of course), but I’d told her I would do it on Friday, and I knew I always felt great after such a workout anyway.  So, I headed out.  It was an amazing start to the run, and the weather was great.

However, when my eye was caught by a mother doing a sort of super-protective stance between the road and her small child, possibly as a means of preventing his sprinting suddenly to the street when a truck was passing, that great feeling changed quickly.  Since I was caught off guard by her stance, and, of course, I had to process what I was seeing before moving on in life, I was mentally focused on the mother, even though I turned my head back to the road ahead of me.  And, though, I was looking at the road again, it was not quite enough time to process that one of the manhole covers a step and a half ahead of me, while it was supposed to be flush with the road around its rim, and concave for the actual cover, the indefinite-looking roadwork of the street turned that flush edge into a lip.

And yes, I did trip on that lip.

Put simply, I flew forward.  I got another step and a half-ish under me as I began to fall, but I was already turning Superman, and I knew I was not going to recover my feet.  I had a brief thought of not wanting to fall simply so as not to freak out the poor onlookers – it has to suck to witness someone fall hard or be part of some accident… I regularly think of how terribly frightening it must have been for that angel driving behind me when I went down on my scooter on the road that night last year.  Nonetheless, I saw before the thought even finished that, oh, well, they were just going to have to witness it, and I was just going not to worry about it, and to do what I needed to do for my own health and well-being.

And so, I went down, and I went down not just hard, but with a hard forward slide.  Man, it was like I were Speedy Gonzales or something, because there was no way I could have been running very slowly to slide that hard and that far, and so quickly.  And I always thought my longer running was slow.  Good thing I’ve been working on improving that for myself… it really paid off yesterday evening.  Not.

(Note: I’m not at all bashing improving one’s skills or athletic abilities – not at all.  I am merely having a fun thought and play at how, in this particular instance, being better at the sport actually made for a worse situation.  Think, I might not even have fallen, if I hadn’t been going so fast.  However, that changes nothing in my plans to continue to improve in my running.)

Anyway, so I went down, and I knew people saw, and I had slight concern for them, but also didn’t care and didn’t have the mental space for almost any thoughts aside from dealing with my own body’s safety and survival at present.

It really sucked.  I immediately rolled to my back.  I was just lying in the street then, tears pouring from down my temples and upper cheeks, as I quickly examined my hands.  They were a total mess.  Gashed terribly, tissue fluid and blood already everywhere, and grainy gravel bits of all sizes and dark colors everywhere on them, mixed in with the blood and peeling skin and tissue fluid.  My knee was stinging slightly, and I had a feeling it was much worse than it was letting on, hidden beneath my spectacular running pants – I could look at that more later, perhaps when I got home… it only would get worse once I let my attention turn to it.  The pants had held up, so I knew they would hold in most of the bleeding that likely was underneath.  Not that I spent more than a moment of thought on my knee… I just glanced and moved on mentally.

My hands… oh, my hands needed help.

While I was dong this self-evaluation and feeling growing intense pain, crying somewhat calmly yet entirely uncontrollably, the mother was talking to me from her spot back on the sidewalk.

Was I okay?  Did I want them to call an ambulance?  Did I want them to call somebody else for me?  I answer with obvious shaking of my head to all of them.  I was grateful to hear, when the husband was trying to move along, the wife (mother of the little kid) said pointedly, “No, she’s not okay. She’s really hurt.”  Though, I only slightly processed it, what with the pain and my own mental focus at the time.  When she asked if they could get me anything, I managed, after another several seconds of gasping-like breathing, to ask, “Do you have any water?”  After which I resumed the intense breathing.  The crying, of course, never paused.

I was still lying on my back in the road, and it had been at least a minute at this point.  Granted, I was to the side of the road, but I was definitely entirely in the road, at least a yard or two from the curb.  So, I ask again about the water, figuring out how to get water, if these folks don’t have any, and she answers to me that they do.  A few moments later, I hear someone begin to approach, and a hard plastic cup being set on the driveway next to me.  I say next to me, because it was perpendicular to the road, st the specific spot where I lay.  It was not, however, actually very near to me.  It was at least three yards away from me.

“Honey, just bring it to her, ” I hear the wife say, followed by the husband’s hushed, “No.”  Her response was borderline furious, and something within me felt like there would be a rage in their house tonight.

Alas, there was water, and I needed it for my hands.  There was no possibility of my getting up from my spot in the road, so, I stuck my hands above my head, Superman-y again, and rolled two-ish turns toward the driveway.  I then forced myself to sit up – though I’m really not sure how, seeing as my hands were no real use at that point.  But I grabbed the little blue sippy-type cup, and started carefully tipping the limited, precious water onto one hand at a time.  And it hurt.  And I knew it wouldn’t be enough – there was far too much blood and dirt that wasn’t going to come off by just dripping a single cup-full of water onto it with no real rubbing.

Not that I wanted to rub my hands…, but I needed to do it.

A truck driving past as I fell, – the one from which the mother had possibly been”protecting” her child – backed all the way up the block, and stopped even with me in the road (in which I am still sitting, of course, but I’m by the edge now).  It was, for lack of better descriptors, what I would call a Mexican work truck.  Likely, the guy had been working on building a house somewhere down the road – one of the new builds I had passed on my way there, perhaps.  The driver exited the truck and was doing something with the truck bed for a minute.  I was almost certain what would come next – it’s just a part of the culture, you know?

After a few moments, I finally comprehend that the guy is standing near me, setting down a bottle of water.  He then hands me a white piece of cloth and says, “Clean.  I’s clean.”  (That’s “it’s” without the t, by the way.).  I could barely form any words in any language, though I knew he spoke Spanish and possibly almost no English.  I believe I thanked him then.  I set down the sippy cup back on the driveway, and picked up the icy cold bottle of water.  This will hurt, I think, but I know I need to do it.

I struggle for a few moments in my efforts to open the bottle, but I cannot manage it – this simple task is impossible for me in this moment – and so I set the bottle back down on the ground.  Within seconds, the guy was back at my side, picking up and opening the bottle for me.  He then holds it out in a way that I know he is offering to hold it and pour for me, and so I extend my hands and allow him to pour.  I cough out some tears at the pain of it, but we can both see that it is helping clear away the mess.  When I’ve wiped away as much as I can tolerate, I nod and thank him a couple or few times, as I press the white cloth into my hands, absorbing what excess still remains, and shooting pains into my hands at every press.  I was barely able to see his upside down face through my tears.  But I saw him and thanked his face, even if I couldn’t see his eyes.

Meanwhile, the couple stood with their child on the sidewalk, watching, mumbling.  As the Mexican guy stepped back into his truck, a white Mercedes that had been briefly waiting, with the guy and me in full view on the side of the road, and his truck parked in the middle of it – keep in mind, this is a neighborhood road, not some throughway or anything – decides to squeeze between me and the truck, now that the guy isn’t standing next to me anymore.  When the mother on the sidewalk commented with fury at the fact that the woman had seen us and easily could have just gone around the block – and these are tiny blocks, by the way, in a traditional square arrangement – I genuinely agreed with her.  Though, I also felt sad at the driver of the Mercedes.  How miserable must one be to be such an a** during an obvious “situation” of someone sprawled in the road?

Anyway… I really liked the wife/mother.  Not so much the paranoia of the husband, though.  Which, by the way, he picked up that cup after I set it back down to give it back to them… Just saying.

Okay, so everyone moves on.  I have my keys and my phone again, and I roll myself the rest of the way fully onto the driveway.  I lay there a handful of minutes, still crying.  I hear a dog collar approaching on the sidewalk behind me, and am unconcerned.  Minus the tiny hope that the owner won’t be too distraught at the sight.

It turned out to be an older guy, out walking his dog.  He asked if I was okay, and I carefully told him that I wasn’t but that I would be – I could talk now.  Kind of.  He offered to bring me bandages, saying that he lived just right nearby, and I said that that actually would be really great.  His walk turned into a cautious jog of concern, as he raced around the corner, heading to his unseen home.  I hardly even knew how he looked.  I still couldn’t process such details.

And so, when her returned a couple minutes later, I sat myself up again, and got to work.  I poured the hydrogen peroxide on my knew first, then my left hand, and both were okay.  It hurt a bit, but it really just foamed and mostly was okay.  The guy was surprised at this.  He’d even said he would look away while I poured the peroxide, clearly indicating that he didn’t want me to be embarrassed at my likely reaction of intense pain.  An old man had approached at this point, and was asking questions.  I had already worked hard enough to answer them for the first guy – what happened; yeah, I’m definitely hurt; I’ll be okay, just not yet; I live about .62 miles that way – so I let him answer them for me.  He didn’t seem to mind, once he saw that I clearly wasn’t up to it.  Then, while they chatted, I poured the peroxide on my right hand.  And that, my friends, was the exact memory I had had of hydrogen peroxide from my childhood, and the reason I was terrified of it as an adult.  I had used it a couple times recently, and couldn’t understand why I’d been afraid of it.  My mom had given it to me last year (?), saying that alcohol burns, not hydrogen peroxide.  And it had been true so far in my adult life.  Until this moment, in a stranger’s driveway with two older guys chatting about me and my present situation.

My body took over control as I convulsed and wailed, and even more tears poured from my eyes, the rate increased significantly from the original fall’s.  I felt bad for this pour girl on the side of the road.  I couldn’t imagine how the onlookers felt.  (There was a secret onlooker across the street in the apartments, who had clearly been considering off and on whether to come help.  She, too, looked hispanic, and I fear her concern was one not only of COVID-19, but mostly of a fear of not being able to communicate.  I don’t exactly exude Spanish (or any language other than English, really), so I get it.

Anyway, so that really sucked, and I had to pour the painful cold water on it to make the pain go down at least somewhat – I couldn’t take it anymore.  Funny how that cold water was suddenly not so big a deal anymore, right?  Eventually, I blew my nose a bunch more with the rest of the paper towels the guy had brought, and I put a compress on my knee.  I had raised the pant leg while still in the street, and, aside from the clear layer of skin that was plastered to the fabric, my knee didn’t look like it needed too much immediate attention.  So, after the quick rinse of water and the peroxide, it was good to go, in terms of germ-prevention and safety until I made it home.

Now, all this time, I had been evaluating how I would be getting home.  No family lives anywhere near me, so that was out as an option, if I couldn’t walk it.  I considered a high school acquaintance who lived nearby.  I was rather sure he would come get me and drive me home, if I really needed, but I didn’t want to turn to that except as a last resort.  So, my options were really either to walk or to run home.  If I ended up being able to run, I knew I would end up finishing the 5k.  It was a slim chance, but it wouldn’t’ have surprised me.  However, walking was the most likely of the three options.  And, at this point in time, I noticed that I still had not felt that moment of, Okay, let’s get up, that we always get at some point after a fall.  And, so far as I could tell, it was nowhere nearby either.  I wasn’t going anywhere for a while.  I mean, I hadn’t even fully stopped crying at this point, and it had been ten minutes already.

I had started “chatting” with the younger of the two older guys, during the times that I could use my words, and, after I had finished all my dressings,  he offered yet again to drive me home – “We can put the windows down, be safe…” – I said, at last, “I think that would be a very good idea,” nodding and speaking with obvious effort, pinches of tears falling.  He hopped into action, and took his first aid kit and hydrogen peroxide and, even, the trash back to his home.  A couple minutes later, a Jeep came roaring around the corner, windows down.

I struggled to find the least painful way, and managed myself to my feet without too much disruption.  But, oh, did it hurt to use my right leg/knee…  The guy opened the passenger door for me, and I struggled my way into the seat.  I fumbled for a while, throwing in involuntary cries of pain, getting the seatbelt on myself and shutting the door… I just couldn’t use my hands almost at all: no pressure on them from the outside, and no muscle flexing within them.

We chatted on the brief drive back that almost-three-quarters-of-a-mile path, exchanged names, and wished one another well as we arrived and I struggled my way out of the Jeep.  I thanked him over and over again, both during the ride and at the end of it.  And also before it, too.  And then I slowly and painfully stumbled up the walkways and stairs, managed to unlock and open the door, and get myself inside.

I had sent my mom a couple photos after the first group had left, before I lay back down on the driveway, and then had called her when the guy had gone to get his Jeep.  I had known that she was driving before then, so I waited to call when I knew she would be able to see the photos.  At my first, “Hey,” she knew something had happened.  “What happened?” she asked, concerned, but not freaking out.  She probably had figured I’d had some terrible interaction with someone mean – that’s usually the answer to What happened?.  I told her to look at the photo I’d sent her.  She looked, and understood immediately.  I told her the present situation and that I thought I would be okay.  Now that I was home, I called her again, just to let her know that I was there, and also to see what she recommended I do to help myself at this point.

She prescribed me some time with an ice pack of sorts and an elevated leg, a shower, and then just before bed, rubbing gently hydrogen peroxide into my wounds with a Q-tip (cotton, you see), since I couldn’t get all the dirt off my hands.

The shower was long and hot and extremely painful at first, but it helped significantly by the end of it.  The hydrogen peroxide left me, yet again, wailing involuntarily in pain, pouring tears, and practically shouting half-comprehensible phrases and annoyances.  By the way, blowing your nose with a tissue and non-usable thumbs sucks.  That’s to say the least.

When I woke up in the middle of the night with a need to pee, I not only had to detach my palms from the sheets (painfully, of course), due to sticking tissue fluid, but hobble down the stairs, squat down to the toilet seat, and then attempt to wipe myself with a clumsy and burning left hand (the right was a solid no-go).  This repeated itself when my alarms went off at five forty-something to get me up for test proctoring today.

Today, my knee hurts. More like my upper shin than my kneecap, but it still hurts.  It’s kind of like a super bruise feeling, but the skin doesn’t really hurt.  My hands, however, have been bad. I still have no opposable thumbs for the time being… if I try to use them, I involuntarily wail from the instant pain in my lower palm. The right is the worst.  The left, starting this evening, has actually started to come around a bit.  They were both still producing tissue fluid 20 hours after the incident, but have since mostly ceased.  But any sharp movements or pressure, and they resume it.  They felt like fire last night period.  Tonight, they only get that feeling when they are either bumped or wet.  Or, of course, I attempt to use my thumb for any kind of grip, or clench my fingers in an attempt to grip anything.  (I almost couldn’t get out of my room this morning, because the doorknob is very thin and takes a lot of pressure to get open…)  In fact, it is extremely difficult even to type this right now.

All in all, that totally sucked, and it still sucks now, but I am mending safely, it seems.  And I am grateful for that.

On that note, I shall sleep.  But first, the photos:

This was yesterday, after rinsing off and rolling into the driveway.

This was the darned manhole cover with the “lip”.

This was after my shower last night.

I had to set the phone timer for this one.

And these were this evening, about 25 hours after the fall.  I had to set the timer on these, too, because I couldn’t both hold the phone and click the shutter button… no thumbs, remember.  (I tell you, it is one thing just not to have opposable thumbs.  It is something else entirely not to have them in a world designed for opposable thumbs.  I am having to learn drastic new ways of completing the formerly simplest of tasks[!!!].)

Post-a-day 2020

Total weep fest

I tend to think, as probably do most people, rather unconsciously that, when I am in a not-good mood, a movie of the very happy persuasion is the way to go – laughter and fun, right? However, when I actually pause to think about it, I think the weep fests are the best option.

Oftentimes, what benefits us most when we are struggling is catharsis, a release of all of the emotion and struggle that we have been carrying. A good weep fest film practically yanks the tears out of us, forcing out more emotion than we imagined we even had available to release at the present moment… over and over again. And, by the happy ending of the film, while we are exhausted and our eyes just might be burning more than a bit, life just kind of makes sense again, and we feel so much better…., we finally can breathe fully again. Which is rather ironic, given the constant crying and nose-blowing throughout the film. 😉

But that is what weep fest films can do for us… and just about every time. So, it is extra worth giving them a watch when we are down in life. Laughter may be the best medicine, but catharsis and an inspiring story and happy ending are the perfect way to move forward from struggles and pains, taking that first step back to the laughter.

Post-a-day 2020

Oklahoma, OK

And so the adventure has begun…

I had a bit of a cry fest this morning, on the phone with my mom, after I asked her to help me clear my mental space, and prepare myself fully for this whole trip.

I couldn’t handle the packing and all, and hadn’t yet started almost any of it, because the sheer volume of what all needed to be done to be gone for three plus weeks was really starting to stress me out… and I had only determined this the day beforehand, and gotten home late that night, after sitting and waiting for hours at one place, and then sitting in absurd traffic that supported the unfortunate and extreme unconsciousness on which our country tends to run, for another couple hours.

And I needs to leave home by 1pm.

So, I was stressed in terms of packing, to say the least.

Add to that my intense stress that has had me feel such an urge and almost-need to take this road trip ok the first place…, and we have some rather intense and almost incomprehensible levels and quantities of stress… it’s no wonder I was asking for help.

But, I used a lot of tissues, and I cleaned out my sinuses really well, and, though my mom went on tangents at times, the clearing really helped me to clear the space for myself, and get to work… and not just get to work, but get to work excited about it all.

And I left well after one… more like 2:35pm…

But I am here.

And I am happy to be here.

And my cousin is happy to have me here.

And I am going to sleep now.

Goodnight. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Love, love me do

Today, I have been angry and frustrated and annoyed with most of the world around me.

The simplest of things have sent me emotionally flying off the handle.

Though, I have maintained calm enough in my interactions so as not to have this be obvious and/or offensive to anyone today… the whole digital interaction certainly makes that easier to manage.

Nonetheless, I have felt myself ready to curse and throw things at people throughout the day, and have been borderline tears at almost any given moment.

For weeks, I have already been stressed as people ask me, “How are you?”

I already wrote and shared a song that declares ‘No, I’m not okay, so, please, stop asking… I’ll get there eventually, but just stop asking for right now, please.’

I have begun opting to decline answering the question and to move forward in the conversation… people find it odd, but they get over it, and I don’t have to be further stressed in attempting to answer the question.

(Because no, I will not lie and say that I’m fine, when I am not fine… period.)

Today, too many people were asking me about how I am, and in various ways… I wanted to yell and throw things at all of them…. and at the people who couldn’t get their s*** sorted when I explained how to do such-and-such for them…

It’s been rough and tough for me today, and on many levels…

And no, it is not premenstrual syndrome, aka PMS… wrong time of the month.

My closest friend here in town left today, moving to VA.

And I don’t miss her yet – nothing like that – but I have been presented more and more strongly with each passing day the question of whether I am living my life properly right now.

She’s not only my closest friend here, but the only one I see regularly… and I usually see her multiple times a week.

And it usually was just to hang out – nothing special (which made it all the more special as a friendship).

This now presents me with the fact that I have no close friends, and no daily friends here anymore.

I don’t have anyone to check in with or who will check in on me… I don’t have anyone just down the street anymore… I don’t have anyone to love me simply by spending time with me.

I’ve thought a lot about it today… what I want most right now is to have someone:

1) Tell me that I am loved,

2) Tell me, practically speaking, that what I am pursuing in my life right now gives value to the world around me, and will continue to do so the further I pursue it,

3) Tell me that I am on the right path for myself and my life right now – and that he/she has full faith in my ability to succeed profoundly with it all, and

4) Laugh with me… a lot… until my body hurts so much from the laughter, I don’t know if I can take it anymore.

For now, though, I will do my nighttime stretches and reading, and I will go to sleep.

The irony of this is that my daily reminder today is “Today, I remember to love and to be loved”… I still haven’t marked it as completed…

One fun plus to all of this stress and crying tonight – I managed not actually to cry until this evening for the first time, when a friend who knew I was struggling actually called me to check in for real on me – is that the slight bit of allergy edge to my nasal cavity right now makes it smell like a swimming pool whenever my nose starts to fill up with snot… and so, I am transported to sunny pool days of my childhood right after I blow my nose every time (from the crying)… and that makes me smile genuinely. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Phew!

Okay, yay – this is exactly what I have wanted and needed these past several weeks.

I wanted a more definitive feel for the situation, and I now have it.

Sure, I totally cried really hard for a while, but it was what I was wanting… truly.

Now, I’m clear that it isn’t happening and that it isn’t meant to be (for now, anyway, but that’s good enough for me to be at ease about it).

I said what I felt I needed to say to let it go, and I am starting to be filled with this feeling of breathing deeply, and as though I hadn’t experienced such breathing for ages, somehow.

Ha.

It really is nice to breathe…

And, though it is an extreme disappointment that things are not working out as I had hoped, even wished, I have full faith in the World, in the Universe, in God… there is absolutely something better on the horizon.

This was an opportunity for me to learn, and I definitely have learned much from it… definitely.

(And I do not mean just a bunch of surface-level nonsense, but true and deep insight into myself and who and how I want to be and when and how I can be at my best, and what that means in terms of the people who are around me [on many levels] and the relationships and interactions we all have with one another.)

Yes, this has been quite valuable.

And I am so grateful to be able to let go now of the stress I was building within me because of it all…

Yes, it is lovely to begin to breathe freely again.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Post-a-day 2020

The pressures of production

So, I just did this for productivity tonight:

I felt a need to do something tangible… as though the list of today’s accomplishments weren’t already long enough (Trust me: It is long enough already.).

It is called an anti-stress coloring book.

Just like the rest of its kind, though, it stressed me out with all the details.

So, I went for how I really felt.

And I actually like it a lot better this way…

Sigh

Do you ever feel tired of being productive? Like stressed out about it, I mean…

I have been so productive the past couple weeks or so, I feel that I now have the pressure of a standard I have set to be very high…

For example, this past week, I discovered song-writing, right?

I wrote three songs, one right after the other, spending about two days on each, beginning last Friday.

By this Friday, I felt sick about writing songs, because I felt this huge standard weighing on me suddenly, in the form of ‘another week means another two or three songs’.

And I just felt like I would fail, which has made the pressure even worse…

(Plus, on that topic in particular, when I even begin to revisit writing a song now, I grow instantly annoyed with the fact that nothing feels real – feelings and emotions from within myself – except my worried, upset, annoyed, and longing-for thoughts in relation to this guy I DON’T EVEN KNOW…. [Like seriously, I barely know him, and getting to know him better has not been going very well… he seems way less interested in getting to know me now than he did at the start…] Can I get over this already, please, so that I can return to my regular set of absurd emotions?… I can totally handle crazy, but it needs to be my crazy, not whatever these past three weeks or whatever have been… exhausting is what they have been, and I’m tired of it…)

So, I feel all this pressure continuously popping up to hang around for a while – maybe even a long while – and to make me feel like snuggling up and crying into a large stuffed animal in my bed – because we all know that I have no person with whom to do this – and sleeping the world away for a while…, I love being productive, but it has somehow become more like a contest against myself, and I very much dislike it – it is not empowering for me… just stressful, and it makes me want to give up and run away…

So, yeah… that’s about where I stand tonight… sigh… and I don’t particularly want to do anything to turn the emotions positive right this minute – I just want to be heard (because, again, we all know there is no one out there calling to see how my day went, and to wish me a lovely night’s sleep tonight).

Post-a-day 2020