Self-care

I think I first discovered zines in my later years of high school. My crash course was through two books: Pagan Kennedy's book "Zine", and then this compilation called "A Girl's Guide to Taking over the World". It would be years before I'd get my hands on an actual zine...

I've been super duper laid out with a chronic illness flare for the last couple weeks, and as I've embarked on a Facebook fast, I guess I'm posting more here instead when I have things to say! 

For better or worse I usually use FB to kind of numb out and passively entertain myself when I'm not feeling well, so this has been a real challenge - I even let myself off the hook for a few of the worst days, cause frankly I wasn't actually losing any time to do more productive things. But I also use FB to stay in touch with friends, as do many people with chronic illnesses who can't get out and socialize in person as much as they'd like. Communicating online can be a huge way to avoid feeling completely socially isolated when you're sick a lot.

I came across this again today, it's as wonderful as the first time I saw it. Had to share it here for posterity... 

It's been turned into a book now too. Tanya Davis wrote and performed the original poem.

I'm reading an amazing book right now, recommended to me by my friend who passed away earlier in the year. I wish I could thank her for bringing this book into my life, but since I can't I'm going to make sure to share it with as many other people as I can. I've been sharing bits of it on my various online channels, but I wanted to write a bit about it here for anyone who's not able to see my other posts. Every one of you should read this book! 

It's called How to be an Adult by David Richo, and it is basically a guide to how to behave and think like an adult - responsible, assertive, self-actualized, healthy relationship boundaries, and all that good stuff. It's so clear and specific, and it's a short book but it's absolutely packed with insights.

Goodbye 2013. 

BB Day 27

You rivaled 2012 for how shitty I often felt, both physically and emotionally. But I also had some reprieves and glimmers of hope, showing me that change may be slow, but it's still possible. 

You were at once one of the hardest and most important years of my life. I'm tempted to say "good riddance", but that wouldn't be quite right...instead I'll say thank you.

This afternoon I got to do something really special, and it occurred to me I should get these thoughts written down before they start to dissipate. I figured why not share them with all of you, lest they be of a tiny bit of help or inspiration to someone else... The special thing I got to do was join a few other women on a Google hangout (ie. video call) with two of the creative women who I admire the most: visual artist and illustrator, Lisa Congdon, and founder of Design*Sponge, Grace Bonney!

diamond studded

Earlier this week, I was inspired by Vivienne's "word of the year" post, and really challenged myself to come up with one of my own for this coming year. I've half-heartedly considered choosing a word of the year before, but I've never actually done it (and I certainly felt a level of resistance around it, not sure why). This time I felt ready, but I didn't really know where to start, so of course I googled it and found a helpful worksheet that helped me to hash things out.

I've been feeling very stuck these last couple years, like I've been trying to get somewhere, and can't seem to figure out where it is that I want to go or how to get there. I've been feeling this immense pressure to figure it out, to get healthy, to get going... but it's so counterproductive - pressure is the enemy of an anxious person with chronic illness! Round and round I've gone, wanting, yearning, but feeling held back by my body or my mind or my history or pretty much everything. It's not a nice feeling and as much as I've wanted to, it's been hard to shake. The reality is that I had expectations about where I'd be by now, and they haven't been met.

When Vivienne announced later in the summer she'd be doing a special edition of Be Your Own Beloved called "Beloved Body" in the fall, focusing on seeing our bodies with love and compassion, I was pretty excited. 

BB Day 1: embarking on a very long day with compassion

As part of my health and healing adventures, I've been working towards not seeing my body as the enemy. Even more challenging, I've been exploring how not to see my body as separate from my self or my mind, feeling like "it" is ruining all my plans and all my fun and getting in the way of things. Instead, I'm starting to see it as an ally and support that's doing its best every day, appreciating it for all that it does for me and how magical being alive at all truly is.

Since my creative energy started flowing again over the last several months, I've been frittering a lot of time away on various projects. Writing Chronically Yours, sewing, drawing, painting, working on my 365 project. That on top of the usual things I do these days: self care (sleep/eat/exercise as able; go to appointments/get tests/take supplements and medications), house stuff, garden maintenance; rest, rest, rest... I've been feeling a little all over the place. Not exactly what I was going for.

You got to push, got to shove
I've got to eat before they eat me
Got the crown and the cup
I've got to write to my family
And say, "I'm calm and feeling warm."
I'm not quite there, but I'm close
And it's a world of difference​

(Life on the Nickel, Foster the People)

Sometimes life is fine and dandy, and you can just let it flow. Just live. Just be. Other times, life smacks you upside the head and says WAKE THE FUCK UP. You realize that a lot of things are really wrong, and they have been for a looooong time. At this point you can either stick your head in the sand and maintain the status quo, or answer the wake up call. If you answer, you're signing up for hard work. If you don't answer, you're signing up for more of the same. Neither one is pleasant, but one at least holds the potential for things to get better.

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