Category Archives: Create | Produce | Flow

What would Grandma say?

Another week, another round of trying to get healthy.

I thought I had done well trying to ease myself back in after a round of the flu. But two nights of dance class and a night out drinking with the girls were fun … but perhaps overly ambitious. I spent last weekend in bed again, and have been pretty non-functional again this week.

The benefits of being sick:

I’ve been out of commission for so long, I’m having to step up my practice of asking for help. I’m so overly independent, I hate asking for help. I can’t even figure out what I need until I’m in tears and making jokes like, “Thank god I have the flu and have no appetite, so it’s no big deal that I have no food in the house.” Uh. I need to eat. And I know some damn good cooks who are happy to feed me if they know I need food.

I’m checked out of work enough, that I’m giving my co-worker plenty of space to step up and shine. Which she’s doing amazingly, of course.

I am remembering that my spiritual practice for now is to practice taking care of myself. Cooking meditation. Eating meditation. Resting meditation. Walking around the block and not any farther meditation.

My favorite new tool is “invoking Grandma.” My friend and I decided that we both needed a mom in our lives, someone who would yell at us, and know magically when we needed to get our asses in bed, and when we were just being lazy and needed to get up and face the world. In my head, she turned into a crotchety old Grandma who says fuck a lot, and won’t put up with my whining.

“Put some goddam socks on! I don’t care if you are wearing a skirt and it looks stupid! You are sick, and you need socks if you are going to go outside.”

“If you want to eat, you need to eat at the table like a normal person. What is this eating in front of your computer anyway? It’s so rude, and a waste of a perfectly good meal when you could be eating on the porch and get some sun while you are at it. Get your ass out there!”

“Are you on that Face-thing again? Why do you need to see what Janey Whatsit and Joseph Sonofagun ate for breakfast? Who the hell cares? And if you care so much, why don’t you just call them and ask?”

“What are you doing out of bed missy? Do you want to be sick the rest of your life, or do you want to get better?”

Grandma is kicking my ass. But I just might get healthy in the process.

Fuck Off 2012! Welcome 20…OOF. Let’s Try That Again.

The theme for New Year’s Eve was “Fuck Off 2012.”

While there was a lot of good in 2012, it was mixed with a lot of hard times for me and other friends. It felt good to close that chapter and move on to a new year with new energy!

And then I got the flu. I’m an epidemiologist’s nightmare, picking up the flu in Colorado, flying in airplanes for a full day before depositing my virus-infested body in California. Which had been one of three states reporting minimal flu cases. And I was hoping to leave my “Typhoid Mary” status in 2012 …

So I’m raising my head again, midway through January. We’re calling those first two weeks a false start. Hello January! Hello New Year! I’m ready for this new energy to arrive!

As I turn my attention toward next week, I feel a little overwhelmed. I could promise to jump back in to all the things that I’ve had to put off, but I’m guessing my priority should be on getting healthy. What does this look like?

1. When in doubt, rest.

2. For the next 10 minutes I could goof off on Facebook, or I could get X done. (Especially when X is filled with regular chores I’ve been avoiding).

3. Play Clue. Not the murder mystery version, but my dorky life organizing version. Where there’s a room, a “weapon,” and a persona to channel. (It’s awesome. Everyone says so. Even though everyone also agrees it sounds even more dorky than my normal dork-tastic self-help productivity tricks.)

4. Remember that I have a limited number of spoons this week. Use them wisely.

Back

I’m back.

Back from Italy.

Back to work.

Back in the dating game.

But I also don’t quite feel back.

Maybe it’s jet lag. Maybe I’m still recovering from being sick for 2 weeks on vacation.

Whatever the reason, I feel a little floaty, disconnected, unsure where I am and where I’m going.

My inclination is to set some goals to help ground me, but every goal I can think of seems terribly inadequate or way too much.

Possible Goals

  1. Work hard at work. It’s crunch time. Get it!
  2. Catch up on all the episodes of The Voice. And Grey’s Anatomy. And Glee. And anything else I’m feeling drawn to. Watch ALL the TV!
  3. Get my dating life in order. What do I want? Who do I want to draw in with a revised profile? What do I like / not like about the folks I’m currently dating?
  4. Get off my butt and move to Oakland.
  5. Get serious about all the boring, everyday stuff that keeps me going – cleaning, cooking, meditation, exercise. Figure out what it takes to just do it and get it done and enjoy doing it.
  6. Read ALL the books. So many in my pile and I keep adding more!
  7. Plan a Ballots & Beyond fundraiser
  8. Get writing & editing on personal projects
  9. Call people! Hang out!

Too many goals! All feel important! Or compelling (The Voice is on in the background right now)! Can’t choose tonight … but trying to do all the things only leads to doing none of the things.

Happy August!

Hello August!

Hello to my brand new niece, born today!

Hello to a month where I will be in town the ENTIRE month. This might have happened in March? And perhaps the previous October? In other words, this is rare.

What do I hope for this fine month?

1. Relaxed Motivation toward Work

There’s a lot to do at work. I even want to do much of it, as we’ve just dreamed up a cool project that weaves together so much of what we’ve been dreaming about since I started a year ago.  I want to find both motivation and relaxation – not striving too hard, not lazing around too much. Remember the 7 Factors of Enlightenment as a tool for balancing relaxation and motivation!

2. Refrain from judging things as “good” or “bad” – especially when it comes to dating

Because I’m no longer clear what I want from online dating, it’s felt kind of confusing as some people I was excited about fall away and other people I found so-so seem more interesting. It’s hard to know whether some of these things are temporary or permanent, whether they are good or bad in the long term.

I’m reminded of this great story from Buddhism:

Once upon the time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“Maybe,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.

“Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.

3. Get Everything Settled for Italy

I leave for Italy September 13! I need to brush up on my language skills, reserve a rental car for part of our trip, get a new suitcase, and probably a hundred other details I’m not even thinking about yet. It’s time to think about all the tiny details!

4. Have a BBQ

I’ve been slowly working on the back yard. It’s time to get some patio furniture finally, and pick a date to host a little party.

This makes me panic a little – what if I pick a date where no one can show up? Ahhhhh! Get a couple of people lined up, and the rest will fall into place. It will be fun even as a small party.

T-minus 10 Days

I am preparing to go on a meditation retreat. I leave in 10 days. A mini set of goals for the period from now until then.

1. Get butt on cushion.

Even if it’s just for 5 or 10 minutes. My body can really get overwhelmed by meditation, and I’m signed up for 16 straight days of it. I’d like to at least remember how to focus and settle my mind.

2. Get Italy travel plans in place.

I’m going to Italy this fall with my folks to celebrate their 60th birthdays! We leave in mid-September, which will be less that two months after I get back from retreat. My mom and I want to have all the lodging in place before I leave, because the good places are already starting to get booked up.

3. Get fundraising letter finished

I keep writing and rewriting this one. I have many things I want to say, many of which are not appropriate for a fundraising letter.

I also need to figure out the mailing process, and who/how the approval process will work while I am gone.

4. Schedule some posts from all the writing I’ve been doing

All that writing I’m doing does belong SOMEWHERE, even if not in a fundraising letter. I’d like to write up some of it for posts on my work blog.

I also have some posts to write for Treasure Island. There is writing and more writing to be doing.

5. Have some fun!

Online dating is still (mostly) fun, and I even met some new folks the old fashioned way – hanging out in dance clubs!

I’d like to hang out with several of those folks before I leave, if possible. I worry that if I don’t keep the fires stoked, I’ll lose any steam and folks won’t be interested in hanging out when I get back. Especially folks who have already played the waiting game through my other various trips the past month.

My travel & meditation schedule is putting a serious crimp in my dating life! I may have to curtail travel for the second half of the year (besides Italy of course) so I can actually hang out with people here for a change.

If I could only do one thing well this month, I’m glad it’s online dating

In May, I decided I wanted to be diving deep. I wanted to explore more of what brought me out to the Bay Area, and discard anything that wasn’t fulfilling my needs. And I wanted to play with proxies for things that felt hard.

I did one of these things well, and the rest got brushed aside, forgotten in the rush of online dating energy. I can’t decide if this is fine, or the root problem of one of my patterns.

1. Practice the energy of destruction

I forgot about finishing my project of cleaning out my iTunes library.

It feels like a pattern for me. Things get screwed up, I freak out, and my brain just erases any reminders that I should be working on a project.

Or maybe not. I did leave town for a week, which didn’t help matters. I also made progress on other goals (like getting an online dating profile), which is a WAY MORE FUN project than deleting music files.

But this is the pattern, yes? Leaving messes behind so I can go get distracted by pretty shiny things!

I feel lost about how to resolve this.

2. Play with online dating

I am rocking online dating. Who cares that I left a mess of an iTunes library when I can go find cute people to date?

So far, I’ve mostly responded to people who have messaged me first. Luckily, they have not all asked me about Richard Gere.

I do want to spend some time looking for people I’m interested in. Just the practice of identifying what I desire feels important!

3. Do what I love at work

I feel like I lost sight of this since I’ve mostly been grumpy about work this week.

I’m pretty sure my grumpiness is only partly work related, but now that I read this admonishment to “do what I love” at work, I’m not sure that’s what I’m spending most of my time doing.

Instead, I’m sending email responses to people who sent me pretty snarky, and sometimes offensive notes. I’m doing my best to be on point and not feed the trolls. But I wonder if  I need to remember what I really want to be working on?

4. Play with incorporating other activities

I was outside all week while visiting Colorado. It was lovely.

Now that I’m back in the Bay, I am not getting outside nearly enough. I blame it on living all the way up in the attic (two flights of stairs before I can get outside!). I blame it on not having good patio furniture.

But really, I just need to do it. Walk more. Go sit in the sun more. Have breakfast and coffee on the back patio instead of at my desk. Lunch too. Enjoy the warm sun while it’s here.

Diving Deep

New insights on what I’m up to right now!

I’m diving in deeper with the things that brought me to the Bay Area – Buddhism, activism, and hanging out with queer folks. I’m getting more precise about exactly what I do and don’t want to be doing, who I want and don’t want to be hanging out with, how I want and don’t want to be doing it.

(Precision isn’t exactly a new thing in my world. But I’m diving deeper into precision).

 

 

 

 

 

Fig. 1: My post-it note reminder to seek precision while I’m diving in to explore things!

What does this look like specifically with this month’s goals?

1. Practice the energy of destruction

Destruction is an important part of precision. I have to be willing to cut away what’s not right to focus on what is right.

I cancelled some plans with folks – things I thought I would enjoy doing, but am realizing are not precisely what I want. I decided I would rather spend the evening on my own, reading and journaling, then doing something with others that wasn’t precisely right.

My initial project – fixing my iTunes library that is an organized mess – had a major hiccup when I deleted most of my library accidentally. Thank goddess for back up!

Part of getting comfortable with destroyer energy is getting comfortable with that hiccup of, “OMG, I totally just screwed that up.” To stay calm and present and able to look at options for remedying the situation.

I’m glad to say the music is back (Ani DiFranco! Aimee Mann!), but I’m feeling cautious about jumping back in to deleting music. There’s a lot more confusion about multiple folders than I thought. It’s turning into a project that needs thought about, not just one I can do mindlessly.

I do think the next steps are to keep deleting the songs I know are duplicates. That feels like it will keep the energy for this moving.

2. Play with online dating

So, I found a couple of people I’m interested in messaging. But I haven’t finished my profile yet! How will they evaluate me if my profile is incomplete?

In the meantime, I’ve just left tabs open with their profiles. It feels like so many steps to message them!

  1. Finish my profile
  2. Worry over and edit my profile some more
  3. Re-read their profile 429 times
  4. Draft a message to them
  5. Send it to 3 friends, asking “Would you want to meet me if you only read this message?”
  6. Edit my profile some more
  7. Edit the message some more
  8. Get drunk and finally hit send

I have to remember that I will be more interesting than this d00d, who just wrote me, “hi im horny.”

Oy, welcome to online dating.

3. Do what I love at work

I am not sure that happened this week. I put some fun projects near the top of my list, but they got sideswiped by meetings and emails and a push for fundraising.

I did some interest writing on Tuesday. While at the beach, trying not to work. Part of my dilemma is that I want to do more than I’m actually getting paid for.

Part of this is resolved by my decision to dive deep, including into Buddhism & activism. I’ve decided not to count my work hours so closely, to not stress out so much about keeping things to 30 hours per week. To think of my pay as a stipend, and do what work I can and want to during the week. To track my work loosely, so I know how much I’m working and to make sure I’m at least working 30 hours. But to embrace the work as all part of what I love.

I think in that, there will also be precision about what I don’t love, and either ending or changing it.

4. Play with incorporating other activities

I noticed this week that I have the most ease in having a balanced life when I’m busy.  This week, I have been writing blog posts, getting to dance class, reading, getting outside a lot. Meditation has been part of the week too. And it’s felt rather easy instead of strained.