June is just about over -- our apple trees are bearing fruit (the Anna's is already too mealy for me, but I'm picky about my apples being crisp), Steve is reveling in his tomatoes (he and the kids made $6 the other day selling origami paper cups that Maddie made full of pear, cherry and early girl tomatoes to the neighbors) and the weather is heating up.
I'm in this curious place of being intensely antsy to have the house sold and not believing it will ever happen, that we will never really leave here. Summer here, with its intense heat, makes me a bit dazed anyway, and that, combined with the utter unknowability of what life in Colorado might be like for us, makes any thought of moving seem like just a dream.
I'm trying not to waste this time waiting for the future, as I so often do even when I'm not busy planning major life changes.
I woke up the other morning and noticed how dread seeped into my consciousness as my first thoughts were about what I had to get done today -- "got four clients to get through, I need to get the kids to my folks house, this house needs to be picked up."
And I looked at Harry, sleeping next to me (I started the night in his bed, since Steve and the kids had fallen asleep in the big bed listening to a book on tape, then Harry wandered in at daybreak to sleep a few final hours with me) and thought about how he and Maddie wake up and start their days -- he padding quietly downstairs, she bounding out of bed loudly enough to make me jump when I'm in the kitchen downstairs, but both of them always curious and open and ready to engage with the day, and I wondered how I have gotten so off-track.
Looking at Harry, I vowed to be more aware of how I'm framing my life with my thoughts (I don't *have* to get through four clients, I *love* working on people and making them feel better, though maybe I need to pare my day back to three clients, to keep it from turning into work) and to find ways to inject a sense of freedom and fun into my days. All the work of the past few months on the house has me in a chore mentality, and I need to remember to relax and play again.
Summertime, too, is bittersweet for me, because I remember how it seemed like a time of such freedom, so relaxing (even boring!) when I was young, before 40-hour-a-week, 50-week -a-year jobs, before babies and kids who never stop needing help, food, drink, an ear, comfort, diversion. I wonder will I ever get back to that experience of summer that I had as a child and teenager?
I don't know, but I can create some space for myself to relax in right now. It's funny, now, with the house as clean and the yards as tidy as they've ever been, I still find myself jumping up to water a plant or pick up a toy or wipe down a counter. Truly, it never stops, neither the list of things that could be done to fight entropy nor the voice that insists I must do them now.
One thing that I have done that I'm very excited about, is touch my toes. It's been several years that stiffness and pain has been creeping into my back, burning down my hamstrings and making my achilles tendon ache. This started before I began doing massage, but I'm acutely conscious of it now that I am so focused on muscle and fascia. I've been internally berating myself for not doing yoga regularly, but frankly, on many days I'm tired out by massage, child rearing and housekeeping (or the internal resistance to any or all of the above) and I rarely have the energy at the end of the day, when I'm loosest. As far as morning yoga goes, it undermines what little determination I have when I'm so tight that the poses are painful to hold.
I've found a book, Pain Free, (recommended first by a client months ago, then by another massage therapist last week) by Pete Egoscue that has just what I've been looking for -- slow, deep, static stretches that release the fascia without being difficult to hold, a lazy woman's path to properly aligned joints, pain relief and greater flexibility. I've been doing the exercises a week and already my back feels 80 percent better and I can touch the floor, after several years of being 3 inches away from it. Now that the back is loosened up, I'm going to go through the stretches for neck pain, which is among the most intractible of the pain conditions I see in my practice and will hopefully be able to recommend the book enthusiastically to my clients.
So, this evening I was laying on my yoga mat on the back patio with my legs propped up on an ice chest, enjoying being able to lay down and claim to be doing physical fitness at the same time, listening to Mossflower on CD with Maddie, as she picked handfuls of rosemary and mint leaves and carefully shredded them and piled them on my arms and legs to ward off mosquitos (I am apparently ambrosia to mosquitos. Steve can stand next to me and get one or often not a single bite, and I will get half a dozen), until a couple of bites on my unprotected wrist made me flee into the house, and I didn't in the least bit register how wonderful a moment it all was, until I was finally laying in bed at midnight, unable to sleep, remembering how my daughter had carefully anointed me with fragrant herbs.
I don't know whether to despair that I can have such a charming experience and practically sleepwalk through it, or applaud myself for at least seeing the magic of it before I fell to sleep...
I know that moving somewhere with new people, new routines, new climate, will make me feel awake and present for a time, and that's a big part of the allure for me. But I also know that the new becomes familiar and routine, and if I don't figure out how to maintain mindfulness, I'll sleepwalk through life in Colorado in a few years as much as I do it here. Steve was suggested I return to sitting meditation (which I abandoned in Maddie's early months). I'm sure it's a good idea. I just wonder if I'll have any better luck with it than I did with my aspirations for a daily yoga practice. Hmmm, perhaps there's a lazy woman's path to mindfullness as well...
New blog - So, made a new blog. Click here if you wanna check it out. Will have more serious stuff there.
6 years ago