abundance · mortality · self-care · time

The Teapot Enables You

teapot 8 15 17

You must note the way the soap dish enables you,[…]
The kettle is singing even as it pours[…], the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and seen the good in you at last.

David Whyte, Everything is Waiting for You

My coffeepot, perhaps like yours, is electric with a clock and an auto-brew timer feature.  I have never in my ownership used this feature.  Until today.

Because of my new work schedule, new commute, and the relaunch of my daily blog, I am currently awakening at 5:30am, and it will have to be earlier once we move from “teacher prep” days to “omigod the students are here!” days next week.

Each morning past, I have woken up, pet my cat hello, and klutzed open the machine’s lid to pour in new water and grounds.  (For my own good, I have been forbidden by my boyfriend to brew a whole pot to drink throughout the week via microwave swill reheating…!)  This takes about 10 minutes from alarm to first sip.

But, this is inefficient in the industrial, technological age; I need my teapot to enable me.

Last night, for the first time, I pre-loaded my coffeepot with its daily matter and as I pet my cat and yawned in darkness this morning, I was greeted by the glug glug of the machine doing its work. I bumbled into the kitchen, ready to sip.

This may seem simple, banal even, but it’s progress for me.  For several years now, one of my aims has been efficiency, effectiveness.  Wanting to use the time I have on Earth performing actions that are aligned with who I want to be.  I don’t want to be the groggy-eyed medusa filling a daily water reservoir; I want to be the slightly-less groggy-eyed medusa sitting down to her daily journaling, meditation, and blog.

The coffeepot enables me to do this. Enables me to be present in the work I truly want to do (writing, creating, discovering, softening), rather than inefficiently toiling at Sisyphean tasks.

In this way, the coffeepot gets to fulfill its purpose and I, ten regained minutes at time, get to fulfill mine.


codependence · interdependence · relationships · self-care

Come on, you know you want it

giving tree 8 11 17

I walk through this life like a battlefield water-bearer, insisting to each person I meet that they need some of my light and life:  “You can’t get along without it!  Look how thirsty you are, needy, barren, bereft.  I can help, I have the magic secret sauce, and I’m the only one on earth healthy and able enough to give it to you!  I am your answer, savior, and absolute finite resource.”

Running around the world attempting to feed all those Sally Struthers children and Sarah McLachlan puppies is horribly exhausting, besides being awfully narcissistic.  But when you don’t trust other people to get their own needs met without you, you become the Giving Tree.  Here, have an apple, a limb, a torso.  I’m fiiiine without it.

This is where the pain arrives, and I finally become aware that something is terribly out of balance.  I am not fine without my torso, and guess what?  You do actually have your own.

I have assumed for so long that you’re inept (subconsciously, you know!) that I don’t allow you time to prove you’re not before I shove an apple in your mouth and run away before you demand more.

But the thing is, I don’t actually need for you to prove it.  Are you missing things?  Love, affection, validation?  Wow, that sounds like a pretty shitty place to be; I hope you get help with that … you know, from your own Source.

Because when I trust that you have your own well or tree or metaphor, I am free to tend to my own and to sit with you in gracious companionship.  Relieved of my self-imposed burden to watch for all your signals of need I am open to watch for my own.

Not gone grocery shopping this week, Moll?  Sleeping with a pile of clean laundry again?  Hey, lady, what’s going on, what do you need?

Oh, shit.

I’m going to have to answer that.


career · exhaustion · self-care · uncertainty

"Waiting" to "Pausing"




I’m waiting to hear the outcome of my third, two-hour long
interview from Monday. I was put in a mock session of what the job would
entail, and though not mind-blowing, it would be a nice stop-gap for the time
being, I think.
But, there’s the trouble. I’m thinking about it a lot.
Trying to angle whether this is a good fit for me, if it’s better than the
unknowable, and … I’m tired.
I’m tired of the questioning, I’m physically exhausted,
emotionally, mentally. When I was on the phone with my mentor on Sunday, after
unloading and processing through a lot of muck, she began to respond, and I
stopped her by saying, hang on, I just want to finish:
then I told her all the plans I had for the week. Everything
I was going to do to support my job search, cleaning up my home, other
housekeeping style work like going down to the parking ticket office.
And when I was done with my litany, she said, Wow, it’s
really hard for you to let yourself rest, isn’t it?
And here I was thinking that my “positive action” sequence
was … positive. That it was showing I’m not slipping into despair, that I’m
keeping the jackals at bay with all my activity. Isn’t that what an unemployed
person is supposed to do? Keep busy? Do the footwork?
Even if they’re so tired they are on the verge of tears?
And so, this morning, already two cups of coffee into my
day, with plans to get out of the house and meet up with people, I went back to
bed for an hour. The caffeine kept me from sleep, but the resting was good. I
am exhausted. It’s been mentally and spiritually challenging to show up as I
have these past few months. It’s been hard, and I feel at the end of a
grin-and-bear-it period, without the relief that comes when you stop grinning.
So, … not today, but perhaps tomorrow, I’ll commit to
letting myself actually sleep in, to restore what’s been missing, and to gather
energy for what’s next.
There’s already a lot to do today, tomorrow, Friday. You’d
think being unemployed would mean a break, but I’ve got shit to do I can’t
excuse myself from. However, I can sleep in, and let myself have that relief. I
can allow it not to mean I’m lazy or going to fail or am being irresponsible.
Turns out, the most responsible thing I can do for myself at
the moment is to take extra special care of myself, even if it makes me squirm. 

anger · disconnection · equanimity · family · love · self-abandonment · self-care

There always had to be a fly…




…in the ointment.
If things were going well, there was always the knowledge
that my father’s parents were shut-ins and deleterious hoarders. Or that my mom
was manic-depressive. Or that my brother had a horrible stutter.
There was always the reminder that my clothing was bought at
discount stores, that my father had an awful temper, or that my mom’s parents
had died under circumstances that ripped her family apart and isolated us against them.
If things were going well, there was always a skeleton or two
to whisper in your ear about not believing good things were for you, about
being dragged down, about not being allowed to be happy.
Today, those long-quieted skeletons, imagined they’ve been
exorcised for years, have begun their murmurous palaver again.
Yesterday, I had a phone call with my mother. She is sick.
Again. It’s the same or similar cold/sinus infection she’s been struggling
against for over a year. And when it came up last year, when she didn’t know
why she kept getting sick, when doctors didn’t immediately know why either, I
called my psychic.
Because at the time, all roads led to cancer. Did she have
it? What was going on? What can I do?
No, said the woman on the phone. It’s not cancer, but
whatever it is, if she doesn’t deal with this, with what’s underlying it, it could be the beginning of a long road to the
end. This could be the thing that takes her out.
Whatever your thoughts about intuitives aside, I’d worked
with her enough that she knew of what she spoke. And from all indications since
that phone call over a year ago, it’s proving pretty accurate. My mom is still
sick. Healthier, Sick, Healthier Sick.
And I’m dragged immediately back into a curtain-drawn
bedroom where she’d curled up against the light, fighting another one of her
chronic migraines. I’m dragged immediately back into being a child taking care
of her mother, telling her to get out of bed. Leaving her there, and getting my
brother and I out the door for school.
My mother is a woman of chronic ailments. And this newest
one, whatever its cause, reason, purpose, is dragging me down again with her.
What is love, comes the question? What is equanimity? What
is detachment, enlightenment? Fate? What is the caustic, oxidizing rust that
others’ baggage leaches onto you and your own path?
And what is my responsibility in helping them through their
Especially if they don’t recognize it as such.
So much has come up lately about codependence versus
interdependence. About leaving others to their experiences and feelings, and
letting that not affect what I’m doing and how I’m feeling. Even something as
simple as the play, and trying to not let the audiences’ reactions sway my
I feel angry. I feel angry this feels like it’s happening
again. I feel angry that I’m powerless about how she cares for and treats her
body, about how she schedules her work in the 12-hour days without lunch
breaks. About how she spends her off days flattened, recuperating from her over-working.
I’ve had to do so much work on letting her have her
experiences, despite my opinions, and
yet. And yet. I’m human. And I love her, and I don’t want her to be in pain.
And I don’t want her to deteriorate.
And moreso, I don’t want her life to affect mine.
When does a child grow up? What is the role of a loved one?
How can you, and can you, let someone crawl along the bottom of their own
experience, while you make strides in the direction of your own fulfillment?
Because that’s what’s at stake here. Callous as it may sound, it doesn’t matter,
ultimately, what happens with my mom. What matters is what I take on about it. How
I allow it to affect me. And mostly, can I continue to make my life what I want
it to be when there are still murmuring
My whole life, I’ve been distracted by the flies. I’ve
allowed my attention to be derailed in fishing them out, or I’ve simply allowed
them to decree that I cannot be happy because they exist. That I cannot find
success because there are flaws in the tapestry of my surroundings.
Obviously, I write about it today because I’m upset and I
don’t have the answer to these
questions. Because I don’t know
to move forward when there are tendrils threatening to draw you back.
So, for today, I’ll leave it both as an open question, and
as evidence of a success. Because, today, I get to tell you about it. And
darkness can’t live in the light. 

action · caree · exercise · recovery · scarcity · self-care · work

The Dailey Grind

So, here I am, back to my Monday morning shift at The Dailey Method exercise studio! My 5:30am Monday morning shift…!

I arranged to have a sub for me during the weeks Addams Family was in performance (and then an extra one last Monday, since, hey, I was tired!). Now back to a 5am Monday morning wake-up call again. But I do think it’s worth signing people into class and folding towels for three hours in trade for the free unlimited classes I get. Granted, I’ve been so tired and busy lately, I haven’t been able to come at all. And my muscles feel it. But I’ll be back soon.

In the meantime, I get to use this time (despite the thumping music in the studio room) to do job research, … and do a little line memorization. Today will be the first run-through of Act 1. There’s a lot more for me to learn, but I’m glad I decided to take it (more) easy this weekend.

I still didn’t get done all of what I wanted, or study my lines as much as I’d have liked, but progress. I feel like I’m staving off the cold that I was about to succumb to. I got to clean some things up in the apartment, and I cancelled the non-necessity engagements.

Interestingly enough, I was approached yesterday after rehearsal with some potential work opportunities, but until there’s more conversation, it’s all ethereal. That said, it was gratifying to see that people notice what assets I can add and what skills I have. More will be revealed on that part.

It’s also time to work on the final (for now) section of amending relationships that don’t sit well with me. Third and final is, huzzah, work. Specifically my current employer.

Funny to me that I wrote this list back in the summer, and now as it’s my last week of work there, I’m getting the chance to work on this now. There’s nothing in specific that I need to necessarily “make amends” for; it’s more about attitude. It’s also about showing up on time(!), which this week will be harder, as I flit from dentist appointment to interview to… another dentist appointment.

Did you know that Covered California doesn’t cover dental? I didn’t! Until I was reclined underneath my dentist’s light last Friday afternoon, and she said, Yes, you do need these fillings — and then dropped the “not covered” bomb. Hence the several appointments this week.

So, that’s more information as I continue on my “looking” path. In fact, my dentist had a great recommendation for an alternative private school, and I just applied to them a minute ago.

I have my second interview tomorrow with the alternative private school I met with last week — whom I told I would only be available to work 30 hours per week. And that seemed to go over fine. With the wage I asked for (which I’ve been regretting I didn’t increase), I’d be able to make the same amount as I do now working 40 hours a week. I have my fingers crossed — but if it’s a good fit, it’ll happen, and if it’s not, it won’t.

The school is also located in the middle of an industrial park, office-building wasteland in Walnut Creek. Which is quite the far cry from the verdant landscape outside my current office in North Berkeley. But, sometimes you make compromises!

In the meantime, I’m going to focus on what I can do at the job I’m at now, watching my attention, (my facebook time!), and how I’m interacting with my coworkers. It’s not any of their faults that I am not fulfilled at work and therefore it’s not fair for me to seethe toward them, or show up late as a petulant rebellion.

I have no doubt that part of my amending my relationship with my current job is, a) to leave, and b) to understand what it is that got me into that relationship to begin with so I don’t end up here again with another employer.

All of those on my list are relationships I have stayed in too long, out of fear, out of scarcity, out of an idea that I can’t get what I truly need.

(I hope) I am taking action and self-inventory that will help me to move forward differently. That I’m gaining a semblance of understanding that I don’t have to sell myself short; that with work and vision, I can get where I want to, and be the person I want to. I can have the life I want to live, and I don’t have to demonize those who are not behaving how I want them to.

The only person’s behavior I can change is my own — and, well, I believe I am. (Come what may!)

action · community · faith · perseverance · recovery · self-care · spirituality · writing

Don’t Freak Out: A How-To.




When I was sick, I became extremely diligent about my
spiritual practice.
Despite, or perhaps including, the conversations I had with
a few select friends about the nature, existence, purpose, and questionable
benevolence of a Higher Power, I knew that my safest and surest course through
all that uncertainty, fear, and buzzing activity around me was to touch base
with my center.
It really was only after the first month, though, that I was
able to write. I found my first journal entry in a notebook friends had brought
me in the hospital just days after I was diagnosed. It begins Saturday, September 29, 2012.
There’s one on the 30th, and then it stops. Until after my month of chemo and
recovery in the hospital.
But, thereafter, I made it a huge part of my practice to
journal, meditate, and eventually write my near-daily blog. I even made the
nurse put a sign on my hospital room door that read, “Meditation in progress;
Come back in 20 minutes.” (I personally loved that this meant people would
continually be turned away without a firm time listed, and I could have some
solitude in that busy and anxious place!)
But, I think about this practice now (journal, meditate, blog), one that was common
for me before I was sick, one that was essential to me during my treatments, and one that still needs to be a part of my
daily life.
Meetings, Movement, and Meditation are my recipe for sanity.
And most recently, with all the hubbub, I’m lucky to get even one in there.
But I know very specifically and with assurance that it not
only works, it also helps to light my way through.
I am in another place of uncertainty, fear, and buzzing activity. And my only way through is to have the anchors of my
There’s a phrase I’ve heard, “Most days I meditate for
thirty minutes, but on really busy days, I meditate for an hour.” Not that I’m doing that! But the intention is there; the intention to give myself even more time and space to coalesce, to touch down, to get
grounded, and to listen.
I have less trouble listening as I do heeding. It’s all well
and good to listen, and I can do that, and sometimes get answers or guidance;
but if I’m not following through or up on the information I receive, what’s the
point? Then I simply know what I’m not
doing and get to beat myself up for it!
And, I guess that’s not the point either.
I get to remember this morning that I have been in more dire
straits than the one I’m currently in: Job ending Friday; uncertain income
sources; uncertain path toward fulfillment. I get to remember that I’ve been
here before with previous job changes, and I’ve emotionally been here before
because of cancer. Nothing puts things in perspective like cancer!
And if I could have gotten through what I did, using the
recipe I know works every single time, then I am bidden to use it again. Journal,
meditate, blog. Meetings, movement, meditation. Heed the information I’m given.
This career shift is all about buying myself time to see myself more
clearly, to see my future more clearly, and to create the space and time in
which to build toward those goals. This isn’t about busy work, or a brain
fogged with anxiety. This isn’t about despair or hopelessness.
This isn’t even about simply “getting through” this time.
This time is important; being in this
transition space is
It’s not simply, Batten down the hatches til the storm passes. This isn’t about
ostriching my head into the sand. It will be important for me to be aware
through all of this time, to listen through it, and to be aware.
To not hide from my own change, because then I won’t know
where I’m going or what I’m doing. I have to stay present with this change. I
have to acknowledge that I’m uncomfortable, and that I’m taking positive steps.
I have to acknowledge where I’m neglecting myself and acting out my anxiety in less than healthy ways. And in order to know any of
these things, I have to be present.
And that’s ultimately what each of these “recipes” does for
me – they help me get and stay present.
So, yesterday I did
cancel that modeling gig. I went to meet up with folks I hadn’t seen in a
while. I got my vacuum cleaner fixed, went to the farmer’s market, put that bookshelf into my closet. I
bought dish soap.
The more I engage in my recipes, the better I feel. The
better I feel, the more able I am to take care of myself and to take actions
that support me. The more I take action, the better I feel.
It’s a continuous positive feedback loop that has carried me
through the most atrocious and trying of circumstances. With grace.  

And if I can remember that — I am voraciously confident, it can carry me through this. 

change · faith · recovery · self-care · spirituality · work

A word, if you don’t mind?




Dear Molly,
First of all, congratulations on closing the Addams Family.
I heard it was a fantastic run to packed houses nearly every night. And brava
on finally getting that one song that was giving you trouble. Fist pumping is
highly appropriate!
But, I’m moved to write to you today because I want to make
sure you realize how many irons you have blazing right now, and ensure that
you’re taking the proper time for yourself. (Although, I must say, I wouldn’t
be writing if I thought you were!)
As soon as the show closed, you began a new one the next day, yes?
Rehearsing almost daily with a dozen monologues to memorize by next Friday? You’ve been
searching for a new job or jobs, as well as having interviews or coffee dates with folks several times a week. You’ve been sitting on weekend
mornings for a portrait artist in order to make some cash, and you’ve begun
teaching on two weekday afternoons after work and before rehearsal.
Forget about your dishes, we’re way beyond them now! Have
you seen your car? Your apartment? Where is the calm space you so crave at
home? How about that outstanding parking ticket you need to dispute at the
Berkeley parking office? And the fellowship meetings you are barely attending and
the crispy, crackling nature of your office interactions right now?
Is it fair to say that you’ve got a few things on your
plate… AND that you’re not taking the normal care of yourself that’s necessary
for your health? Is it true that you’ve been feeling tired and coming down with
Something’s got to give, my friend, and I don’t want it to
be you.
Yes, I know this is an uncertain and shifting time, and your
home is always a reflection of your mental state. I know it feels like there’s
no time for meetings, but doesn’t there have to be? It’s terribly uncomfortable for you and those around you when
you’re this wound up.
However, I do want to come back to say, I am writing all
this because I am in support of you. I
want you to achieve your best in all you do. I just want to remind you to set
first things first. Weekends, which have been your farmers market and cooking-for-the-week days, as well as nesting and organizing days, have been robbed by
all this new work.
Maybe — and I’m just throwing this out there — you tell the
artist you can’t sit with him until after your show opens? I mean, the worst he
can say is no, right? Maybe you ask a friend to help you with the enormous
bookcase you inherited from your upstairs neighbor that’s been standing, disassembled, in the
center of your apartment for a week? Maybe you really schedule that time to go
to the parking office, and don’t blow it off this time because you’re running
late for work?
Look, the bottom line is you’re in a huge amount of
transition right now. You’re taking a leap of faith that you’ll land somewhere
new and different than where you’ve been. You’re doing this to support your
art, and to support the idea that you have more to give to the world than a
well-crafted spreadsheet. I am in awe of you for taking the risk.
In truth, both ways are risky: to stay is a risk to sanity,
to leave is a risk to livelihood. But, I do have faith that things will turn
out well for you (Yesterday’s interview was promising & the second interview is set.). You are doing all the right things… you’re just not leaving
time for the rest of the “right things,” and that’s where I’m concerned.
So, take a minute to consider my suggestions. See if you can
come up with your own solutions, and talk to your friends to help you through
this quite chaotic but exciting time.
As a friend once said, The only difference between anxiety
and excitement is breathing.
So, breathe, Molly. And I’ll see you when you land, safely.

compassion · disappointment · family · self-care · self-preservation

Stay in Touch.




I received a birthday card in the mail from my father the
other day.
On the front are printed all these large, cartoony instructions saying, “Daughter, Whatever you do, don’t open this card!”
On opening it, the message inside reads, “You still don’t do
as you’re told.”
And there’s a handwritten note, wishing me a happy birthday
and telling me to stay in touch.
It’s both funny and tragic. It’s funny, not for it’s printed
content, but for the fact that it continues my father’s understanding of me and
our relationship: He’s the good one, I’m the fuck-up. He makes the rules, and I don’t follow them. What a set-up. 
This is “funny,” because it’s sad. Because it’s continued
confirmation of how unrealistic our relationship is, and because it confirms
that this is not a person I want to be in communication with.
Lest you think me harsh to judge or condemn a relationship
based on one tin-eared card, believe me, this is the softest of these messages
I’ve received. And continue to receive from him.
On Saturday, I got the chance to talk to my mentor. We were
talking about amending relationships where there is discord, or where I simply
don’t feel at peace.
This, of course, is one of them.
But, my father was listed in a category of others, too:
People I’ve fallen out of touch with out of self-preservation.
I wanted to talk to my mentor about whether I’m in the
wrong… that still-lingering “good daughter” or “good friend” guilt. Shouldn’t
you show up no matter what? Isn’t that love? Or is that obligation? And does it
Isn’t it my job to adjust myself and meet these people where
they’re at, regardless of how they’re harming me?
Because as painful as it is to know how intractable the
situation with my dad is, I still lash myself with reproval.
I should be able to withstand my crazy aunt’s needling about
my family’s ills. I should be able to listen to her constant health complaints
and victim-laden phone calls. I should be able to because she’s family and because she’s alienated nearly everyone else
she’s related to.
I should be able to sit in a car with my manic friend, even
though I get quiet and withdrawn around that kind of unpredictable behavior. I
should be able to meet her level of enthusiasm and kookiness because that’s
cool, right? Why can’t I just be cool, like her?
I should be able to be in relationships with people I don’t
want to be in relationships with, because that’s what “good” people do, right? Because
that’s what we’re told good people do.
But, to quote that myopic card, I rarely do what I’m told. …
What my mentor offered me was there are some relationships that
are once or twice a year out-reaches. And that’s okay.
Send your aunt a birthday and holiday card, and call it a
Allow your friend who makes you uncomfortable to have her
own experience, and you don’t have to be a part of it if you don’t like how you
feel around her.
Reply to your dad’s occasional emails, thank him for the
card. And leave it at that.
There are relationships that we invest more in and there are
those we invest less. It doesn’t mean that we don’t care for the person. It
doesn’t mean that they are bad, or that I am.
It just means that my self-exacting standard of
communication needs relaxing.
You don’t have to invest in relationships that cause you
Believe me, I’ve done enough work in trying to make these
particular ones work. To find common ground and compromise and a way of
communicating that is healthy, or at least not harmful. And unfortunately,
there isn’t one.
I wish and try and hope and beg Universes that they were,
particularly with my dad, because who wouldn’t? But, this is an intractable
situation. And I have bloodied my fists knocking on a closed door, trying to
break in through a side window, and torn fingernails trying to dig underneath
all the battle defenses that each of us have drawn to come to a relationship with him that I can be in.
But, when you come to the end of the line, it’s time to get off
the train. This one doesn’t go any farther, no matter how much I wish it did.
And I do. And I probably always will.
But in the reality of today, these relationships are not serving
either of us. I can’t demand someone to show up or behave how I want. I can
only adjust myself to what is. And allow myself the compassion to stop
haranguing myself for not being able to adjust them.
And I can do that by staying in touch. Just barely. 

balance · fun · health · joy · love · responsibility · self-care · theater

In Training




Dear Blogosphere,
Apologies for the sporadic posts these few weeks. First
there was sickness, then my mom in town, and then, of course, the Monday 5 a.m.
shift at my gym.
And in thinking about the structure of the next few weeks, I
don’t know that I can promise you anything more than a few pixels.
This Sunday began the first full week of rehearsals. 4 hours
Sunday, 3 each night this week. And assumedly, each weeknight until opening
night on September 19. It really is like a part-time job!
And so, I’ve come to think of my approach to this time as
though I’m training for a marathon. To the best of my ability, I am going to
aim to be completely conscious of the food I eat, the breaks I force myself to
take from my desk at work, the sleep I manage to slip in between rehearsals and a
day job.
I have this phrase I wrote down a hundred years ago that is
taped to my closet wall and has taken me as long to come to understand and
believe: Treating myself like a precious object will make me strong.
And I believe this is the perfect time to begin to implement
“acting as if” that’s true (because, I somewhere believe it is). The body is a cautious and delicate scale. In these few weeks and months, I’ve gotten to see that my own scale is
particularly sensitive (liver trouble, K.O.’d by a virus, my acupuncturist saying my body was ripe with signs of stress).
So, balance, intentionality. Vigilance. Yes, it’s the
absolute busiest season of my work year – like a retailer between Black Friday
and Christmas. But, as we’ve seen, I can’t show up to work if I’m not healthy,
and I’m not healthy if I’m not intentional. So, I have to be my own trainer,
stopping the clock to take a walk outside. Deciding, No, I won’t have 4 cups of
coffee to power through my day. Yes, guy at the store who watched me put the apple
back and reach for the organic one that’s a dollar more expensive, yes, I do
need to eat this instead.
I’ve set up a “crash-pad” at my friend’s house who lives
between work and the rehearsal theater so that I can go and chill out a few
hours after work without having to either rush home and back or sit at a café
and spend money or be interactive with anyone.
I’m going to begin going back to my gym a few mornings a week,
instead of the once I’ve been doing. I’ve been meditating almost every morning
for 10 – 20 minutes. And, we’ll see where the blog falls on the self-care
scale, considering the few moments of sleep it ticks away.
Finally, I’d like to make sure that I get time in with my
“brain drain” crew, spending an hour with people who normalize my experience
and help my thinking to turn down in decibels.
“Meetings, Movement, and Meditation” has arisen as my
prescription for health, and I am hoping to treat myself as the worthy
patient and doctor of such self-care, which will enable me to show up fully,
mind, body, spirit.
Because… I gotta tell ya, This shit is So.Much.Fun. !

anxiety · connection · family · honesty · love · self-care





Enjoying my last moments of solitude in my studio apartment
before I pick my mom up from the airport this afternoon. Delighted though I am
that she’s coming to visit, I look forward to someday having an apartment where we both
have bedroom doors!
Also, my voice is going, a combination of sickness, rehearsal + yesterday’s voice lesson, when it really began to go. My voice
teacher advised that I avoid talking as best as I could during the next few days…
I replied, (Fat chance!) You know my mom’s coming into town, right? 
That woman and I could talk until all the stars burned out
and still have things to talk about that were interesting. It’s who and how we
are. How we’ve been. But, I need to “rest my voice,” as the teacher put it, so either my mom
will do the majority of talking, or she’ll get really good at lip-reading!
I’m excited to see her, to have her here. But, I also know
that it means three and a half days of mostly “up” energy, or at least engaged
energy, which is hard for me. Because it’s a “visit,” it means that we have a
lot to talk about, and a lot to try to “fit in” to three days, since we see one
another maybe once or twice a year. Oakland may be the Brooklyn of the Bay, but
it doesn’t mean I can get to her home of Manhattan by
the Q train.
What I realize is that I’m going to have to police myself
these few days, getting over a bad week of being sick still, but also, just for
general self-care.
My mom, whether it’s the New Yorker or the mania in her,
runs on an elevated frequency. As her child and a game partner, I tend to rise to
her level. Some people call that level anxiety(!), but as someone once said to
me, The difference between nervous and excited is breathing.
So, I’m going to have to remind myself to breathe, to take
time to be a little more still and not quite as participatory as perhaps I might be, and to also let her know that’s my intention. Also, I’m going to have to inwardly remember to un-constrict, to let her
vibrate at whatever frequency she wants to without feeling I have to meet her there. That’s my
part in this: she’s not asking me to be all abuzz with her;
I’m doing that myself.
It’s hard, as I’ve said, when people change the rules to a
game you’ve played for a long time; but I also don’t like partially dreading
spending compacted time with her. It’s a litt– a lot exhausting to try to
match that level of up-ness and on-ness, and, well, it’s why she’s the one with bipolar disorder, and not me.
There’s also a crash when you’re up that high.
I’ve tried to learn to moderate my own extroverted and
introverted behavior, balancing a few hours of out-ness with a few of
aloneness. It doesn’t have to be inside my home, away from the world; just
alone-ness is enough, on a walk, at a museum alone, at a movie alone. As much
as I thrive on connection and conversation, and could indeed talk to the end of
time, I’d be working on fumes by then.
Self-care will be the name of the game. I know that’s
changing the rules a little from how we’ve always been and always communicated, but if I let her know that I’ve introduced a new
rule to our relationship, at least for now—for even one hour out of the 16 we’ll
be spending conscious with one another—I think it will be respected and
It might not be a smooth transition into a different way of
“being together,” but I think in the long run, it will help us both to be
present with the other in a way that feels nurturing.
Which, I think is what a mother-daughter relationship is
supposed to be anyway.