Thursday, January 9, 2020

Transitions

Just checking in to report that I am alive—but only barely, because I’ve gone back to eating keto, and there is a Transition Period after your body has used up its very last carb, during which you feel like the human embodiment of the sound of someone trying to suck the last drops of soda through a straw. It is January, so I’ve also been heroically doing my meditation and yoga, taking winter walks, and getting back to work.

There is a transition period on that last front, too—meaning that any urgent work gets done and all longer-deadline projects get patted on the head and set aside for another day, maybe, if I ever pull myself together.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Cry for help

I just reread my last post, and it’s safe to say that, generally, I overreacted to it being December. AS USUAL. It’s an annual cry for help, honestly. It’s the month when my brain says: “Even though you may not think you’re living by a restrictive set of rules, you actually have been, and those are canceled. There will be no meditating at all, let alone for 45 minutes; it’s a perfect time to binge all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer; you’re going to be sleeping for 11 to 12 hours a night; you’re going to be doing the bare minimum of work that keeps you from getting fired; and, here, have some more chips.”

I don’t have a New Year’s resolution, but I did start a 30-day at-home yoga thing that I do every January, and as part of that I set an intention to be the best version of myself. This is of course much easier now that December is over.

In fact, here’s a picture of me and M.H. in January: We wanted to take a walk and also needed to go to the grocery store, so we bundled up, grabbed a backpack, and walked the nearly two miles to Albertsons, where we bought $8 worth of loose produce, walked home, and made soup out of it.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Over it

Thursday: 35 minutes sitting
Friday: nothing to speak of
Saturday: 25 minutes sitting
Sunday: 25 minutes sitting
Monday: 35 minutes sitting
Tuesday: 35 minutes sitting

In a fit of “I can’t believe this is our country” I started listening again to a socialist podcast that I had been letting my phone collect episodes of for about a year now. (Actually, maybe it was the low-memory notification that prompted me to start listening again.) The episode I just heard featured a woman being interviewed about her proposal to require companies to offer their employees one paid sabbatical year out of every seven worked, and what an infusion of creative energy and sanity that might bring to the world in exchange for a slight reduction in corporate profiteering.

I thought, “Is that my problem? Not that I haven’t taken enough days off in my career, but that I haven’t taken enough years off?” Because I have a generally interesting, well-paying, fulfilling thing going here, and I AM SO OVER IT. Of course I also don’t have an employer, so even if a socialist utopia suddenly broke out, I personally would have a really difficult time arranging an entire year off. Maybe, though, in 2020, I should figure out how to do two weeks or something. Or maybe I’m just overreacting to it being December, still.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Busy-mind month

Saturday: 35 minutes sitting
Sunday: 25 minutes sitting
Monday: 25 minutes sitting
Tuesday: 35 minutes sitting
Wednesday: 25 minutes sitting

I put a “bail-out gong” on my meditation timer so that if things were going badly at 25 minutes, I could, well, bail out. Things have been going kind of badly lately! I blame it on December, a month during which I always seem to fall apart in some way, and on Twitter, a social platform whose only apparent purpose is to make me angry at everyone and everything.

I have been taking Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays off of Twitter for a little while, NOT in the sense of imposing a strict new rule or a New Life Plan but just as sort of a “every other day seems like a good time for a mental-health break.” That is helpful, but I don’t quite know what to do about the December problem. It’s just a distracting time, even when you’re a holiday minimalist like me. All I ever want to do is lie around—it seems like everyone should get one month a year to do that, and why not this one?—but I still have to work and feed myself and think about what to get people for Christmas and stuff.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Obscurity

Tuesday: 35 minutes sitting
Wednesday: 35 minutes sitting
Thursday: 35 minutes sitting
Friday: 35 minutes sitting

Somehow a good portion of my job now is researching and writing blog posts about things I had very little prior knowledge of—I would love to tell you all about it, but it would make my clients unhappy, since the posts are all under someone else’s byline. (Oh, if you knew all the Online Things that are secretly my doing!) Anyway it sort of drains my energy for writing these little, unpaid journal-style posts.

I guess I need some clickbaity premise to start from—like 4 Ways Meditation Has Changed My Life So Far, and 4 Ways It Definitely Hasn’t—to provide the proper framework and motivation. That’s probably also a better way to build a blog audience, except that I don’t particularly want a blog audience, just an outlet to say stuff now and then, to you people.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Dopamine binge

Tuesday: 35 minutes sitting
Wednesday: 35 minutes sitting
Thursday: 20 minutes sitting
Friday: 20 minutes sitting
Saturday: 25 minutes sitting
Sunday: 30 minutes sitting
Monday: 35 minutes sitting

We had a nice but decadent holiday weekend, which probably crossed over into being self-destructive—but for me “self-destructive” means I ate a lot of bread and stayed up too late watching TV and skipped a swim and meditated less, not that I was, like, shooting heroin. But I need to remember: This is what happens when I don’t take a day off work for three or four solid weeks! A tired, deprived brain inevitably goes on a dopamine binge.

I have a plan to spread out the next huge work project that should help a little.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Slowing my roll

Sunday: 35 minutes sitting
Monday: 35 minutes sitting

I reread Eat, Pray, Love, but it didn’t have the stuff I thought I remembered about trying to find a happy medium of jaw tension or whatever. (Must have been some other memoir involving meditation; those are pretty much my jam, and I know I’ve read a few.) EPL is a really good book, though, and this time I identified a lot more with the Pray section that’s focused on meditation. (Last time I remember liking the Eat section best; my guess is that the Love chapters will never not be at least a tiny bit annoying for various reasons.)

Rereading a book I know I like was so nice that I then reread Eleanor & Park and have started into A Handmaid’s Tale. All part of the “Go easy on my tired brain” master plan.

I’ve also decided to slow my roll with meditating; rather than jumping back to 45 minutes now that my big project is done, I want to sit just as long as I can without having to change positions at least once. It’s so much more pleasant. My legs have still been falling asleep, but not in a way that bothers or distracts me. I’ll try to ease back to longer sessions as my body allows it.