There were a few happenings this week that seem – in hindsight – to have been Universe-given wake-up slaps to take care and provide self care. Not in a bad way, and thankfully not that hard, but still. Definitely a couple of brain dustings.
Last weekend was good. No big, extra chores and no extra outings. And that arm stretch I'd found was still helping reduce nerve pain in my left elbow to an amount letting me almost function normally, too.
Then on Monday morning, only about an hour after drop-off, the school called and asked me to come pick up my 6 year old. She'd told her teacher she felt like throwing up, and the sweet lady who runs our school's front desk said my little one was pale and shaking. My youngest has been dealing with anxiety since the pandemic started (her teacher has been so amazing and understanding with the kids in her class), and Monday morning her anxiety monster got a hold of her and gave her a stomach-turning, heart-racing, tear-inducing attack in the middle of class. She was fine once we got home, and over the rest of the day we brain stormed some new coping skills which got teacher approval for becoming part of class. Things have been going pretty well for her for the rest of this week, and my youngest now has key word sentences and a comfort fidget. Total win!
On Tuesday I was talking on the phone with my uncle, who also has chronic pain, and I realized (through a bit of nudging from him) that I don't have to "earn" feeling better. We have benefits right now through my husband's work and I can go for a physio treatment when my arms aren't working. I can also go for an extra chiropractor appointment to deal with the new issues my neck has given me during the past few months. I currently feel like I was beat up, due to going to both a physio and a chiro appointment one day apart, but feeling post-treatment "bruised" (because of muscle tension release) is a lot better than the nerve and muscle spasm pain.
So, because the Universe decided I needed these three reminders, please take this blog post as your reminder that self care isn't some big, grand thing. It can be discovering you have fifteen minutes of unexpected time to enjoy the first sips of your morning coffee and actually using those fifteen minutes to enjoy your coffee. It can be creating a free day by not filling up a day off with chores, or taking an extra day away from your regular duties to get all the chores done that have been piling up.
Self care can be giving yourself new coping strategies, remembering you can ask for help if you need to, reaching out to an understanding ear when there isn't help available, or binging your favorite shows or books for however many hours are needed until you can engage reality again. For me, whatever I can do across a moment to recharge my battery, accomplish in a day to refill my spoon count, and/or use in a heartbeat to balance out the dark monsters in my mind with some light, those are my best self care... as long as I remember to use them. (Reminder to self: use them!) I hope you have a good weekend! :)
Leo pushed back from his desk. He needed some air and his personal cabin had gotten very small during the research he’d been doing. The bland walls surrounding his desk and bed broke for the closed door to the main hall and then for the open door giving a view into his clean, the mirror above the sink taps reflecting clearly the nausea he was feeling. His name and Trevor’s were announced on the intercom before he had a chance to stand up, and the ship-wide message requested both of them to the bridgeside immediately.
It's going to be a short personal blurb today. The first reason is because writing is going well, but I can't share any of the things I want to gush about due to it all being in first draft condition and I refuse to subject you to anything before it's edited. And edited. And edited again. And that process repeated multiple times. Lol.
The second reason is because I've had eczema my entire life and currently the skin on a few of my fingertips is dry and cracked and typing hurts more that it should. I'll keep using my cortisone cream and have better fingers in a few days. Today, however, there is ouch and I don't want to suffer.
Content Warning: I know I said I'd do warnings for the big terror attack and the violence / injuries in this story, and those are still at a distance from now, but I feel there needs to be a warning here for the history of the Daions because of the plague and then mistreatment the survivors went through. These happenings are not presented as detailed accountings and this summary of the history in this story's universe forms part of its current politics. This warning is here so you know the flavor of this chapter.
Leo shut off his personal comp hours later. He’d been good at history, but the refresher he’d just given himself left a queasier feeling than he could attribute solely to the quickly eaten galley meal.
The last two worlds with signs of habitation Dockland had scanned were Daion worlds. The first was one of their historical First Landing Colonies, and this one Dockland was scanning right now – planet sixty-eight – had been a home world. Planet seventy-four had also been a Daion home world but, more than that, it had been their Central World.
It's Friday again! This week seems to have flown past, and been productive in spite of hours flipping by at what feels like an accelerated rate.
I finished the first draft of my sci-fi side story, picked at a few edits in my big manuscript, and not much else because my left elbow is still whingy and doesn't like too much typing. Thankfully a few of my physio exercises are specifically for releasing the nerves throughout the whole arm and I no longer have the extra stabby-stab of nerve pain now that the elbow is moving properly again.
I've still been able to do my small cardio workouts despite the whingy elbow (with appropriate icing and stretches / physio exercises after). I do a half hour of Just Dance three times a week because, although I'm happy with my body shape and weight, the amount of loose jiggle I experience while doing basic activities is getting out of hand.
For those of you confused that I have good self body image and knowing I have an eating disorder, my E.D. is (luckily) not tied to body image. Mine is tied to anxiety and control, which makes exercising a part of it. This means working out – for me – is pretty dangerous to my mental and physical health if I don't constantly monitor and check my activities (which personal history has proven becomes the mental load of a full time job). Activities I enjoy will auto-trigger an E.D. compulsion which spirals really fast into an unhealthy mental state and self-harm. (I have chronic injuries. Overdoing any activity can hurt me a lot, but controlling pain = control, and my E.D. is a control thing so... I hate my brain sometimes.)
I'm actually working out! The control trigger in my brain to DO MORE hasn't switched on automatically because I don't like the activity I'm doing for workouts. My fight against this part of my E.D. is rigged for me to succeed instead of it having the upper hand. It's a struggle, of course, but one I've set up so I can win in mentally and physically healthy ways. Plus, once I get bored in the game with one version's songs, there are so many more to get for new songs, and oodles of videos free on YouTube. (I do think the game needs to be rebranded as Just Tried to Kill Me through Musical Cardio, but only because I'm kinda old and kinda fat :D...). Working out is fun and I hate it. This is perfect for me!
Speaking of Friday cardio sessions, it's time for me to get to it. Today the kids don't have school so they'll likely sit on the couch and heckle me like the old men in the balcony on The Muppet Show. That's what they've done previously when they didn't have school and I did my Just Dance workouts. It's hilarious! Half my core workout today will come from laughing about their "critiques" while attempting to fling my limbs and groove my torso in a coordinated manner. I hope you're staying safe and well! Have a good weekend :)
Leo smiled at his smart. <I will definitely get back to you when I have a solid answer> he wrote, and then smirked as he deleted the last part to edit the message so it said <I will definitely get back to you when I have a hard answer> before sending it to Trevor.
Bit of a rough week this week, but only physically. I've bunged up my left elbow somehow. I'd thought it was getting better and then overdid a few activities due to believing it was getting better... which landed me back at recovery square one; icing, rest and pain meds. Learnings: it was not better enough lol. Today I can mostly use my hand and arm normally again – and in about half the recovery time as the first bunging a couple weeks ago – so I'm considering that a win.
For writing, the big manuscript edits ended. They spurred a couple of smaller ones for fixing up, but overall the story feels like it's breathing easily again and ready to start into new drafting. My prompt word story is nearly done drafting, just a few more sessions, and then I can start cutting and gutting in edits. This smaller story is d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g as it gets closer to the end. I'm already excited about how much hack 'n slash is needed to fix it, and grumbly about how much overwriting is needed to find the gold thread of storytelling in all the backstory and side tracks.
Trevor elbowed Leo gently and he laughed. “Plus, having kids isn’t actually a concern right now if you and I do decide to have a relationship,” Leo said. “Lindsay didn’t want children when we were together because she felt we were too young, and I just never bothered to stop taking repression.”
Trevor burst out laughing. “Really, Leo? You haven’t been touched by anyone in three standard years and you’re still taking repression?” she asked.
A weekly blog updating on Fridays with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free!