0059. (7 days: doing)
It’s been such a relief to have competent, not horrific people in charge - the immense fog finally lifted. There are also dear and personal matters that are slowly improving, and well - that's the crux. My drafts seem too heavy when I feel as light as the tiny snowflakes sprinkling outside my windows.
Despite this lightness, the full moon always brings (me) a full range of emotions and last week I found myself in a bit of a gully. Tired from the lack of sun, exhausted thanks to a boiler problem... On Friday, following a restless 90 degree night, I decided to take it easy, cancelled my afternoon client and went home to relax/work on my writing. After accidentally mashing my elbow into my husband’s face while trying to type and cuddle, I realized - I need to listen to myself and actually rest. Even though I love movies, I’m terrible at watching them. I have a hard time committing a couple of hours to the moment. I’m also a forever saver so I endlessly put off movies I know I'm going to enjoy. AB is the opposite and always trying to start movies. Post-mash it seemed like a nice thing to do/exactly what I needed. We’ve been making an 'ABC' list on HBO and without hesitation or debate I hit play on A: Akeelah and the Bee.
To my surprise, it was nonstop tears, my eyes literal faucets. In a year where I really miss my students and schools, it was bound to be. It also wasn’t a sad release, more of a joyous, cathartic one. I've always been sensitive and an easy cry - traits too often perceived as weaknesses. From listening to my body, I’ve finally learned - tears aren’t bad. Even when I'm fine, they are welcome and necessary release valves for the many emotions within me. The proof is in the pudding: post-movie I felt energized, realizing because of this lightness, it had been a while since I last cried. As if I needed further evidence, that very night this came to me via my NYT newsletter: tears teacher. (A short video, no paywall. Grandparents always get me too!)
In this new decade I’ve seen so many articles commending the benefits of journaling, gratitude, taking it slow, accepting and honoring the spectrum of emotions that make us human. Fighting hustle culture, scarcity mentality and other aged conventions. Resting, growing, regenerating. It’s something I’ve been practicing for years and how nice to see science and data backing me up. I don’t know if any of you know this - I’ve been a teacher/educator with a focus on mental health for most of my working life (~15 years). I have a BA in psychology but no formal training and it's this lack of degree that always keeps me feeling 'unqualified.' This year I want to change that. I may or may not pursue further education, but I will let go of this feeling of inadequacy. Ultimately, I've never needed a master's to continue learning or help people. Later, as I worked on the eternal task of clearing photos, I found this in a screenshot:
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." ~Anais Nin
Hmmm. Thanks, Anais/old me. It beautifully reiterates another favorite: you are only confined by the walls you build yourself. On Saturday, inspired by my 'A' success, I broke routine and clicked on an unplanned bonus for B: Buena Vista Social Club. Talk about travel via television. I was transported to Cuba and saw and heard a place that felt like home: ocean, pastels, Spanish, hands that reminded me of my grandfather's. So beautiful, and again just what I needed.
Because healing, feeling, family, rest - these are not things I'm proficient at, just things I'm always thinking about, always examining and working on. A social scientist through and through. After all, these are concepts that are unique to each of us. Only you know you best. The secret is learning what helps you rebalance and actually doing it. Not confining yourself to old notions, routines, ideas, or limitations about yourself. What do you think?
We're entering prime winter days over here, February finally bringing a fresh, snowy face - I love it. Every year I accept nature's nudge to slow down and regenerate: get extra sleep, read in bed, watch movies, think, make. Rejoice in the magic of life, snow, goals, another year, a flowery spring ahead. The perfect time to balance resting with GSD (getting shiz done). This tiny list helped propel me into action one small task a day and I'm currently updating /adding con gusto.
7 DAYS OF: DOING
2) small health step [-> call doctors]
3) #12 [proyecto uno]
4) money check [always enlightening]
5) reuse: donate + scope [a new guideline - these are best combined]
6) finish a knit [an example of not giving myself enough credit - days after jotting that I realized: 'I did this already!' two tiny babies - they count.]
Happy February! What are you working on, looking forward to, or enjoying?
PS. More 'notes to self' here.
PPS. Adding to my 2021 goals: monthly reflection.
(snow day. february 2020.)