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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Starting Fresh

Can I admit that even I think it's strange I have a desire to start fresh in September?  I'm harvesting my little garden... tomatoes abound, and we've been enjoying cucumbers, even though our bell peppers don't seem to have any desire whatever to do more than flower.  September isn't about starting fresh... and yet it is.

David starts back to school in two days.  He will be in third grade, which is the grade in which children take the first in a series of Nastily Exhausting State Mandated High Stakes Tests.  The series ends sometime in High School, when, if you have passed them, you may graduate.  If he doesn't pass the third grade ones, it's just noted in his records, held against the school when they're looking for funding, and probably labeled on his forehead for life, so it's really only sort of High Stakes, for now.  But they will be the focus of his public school education for the next nine years.

He will go off to school with a new lunchbox, a freshly laundered backpack, clean (but not new) shoes... we bought them last spring and though apparently he walked through a swamp in them, they are still good.  Still must go out and buy a new water bottle and a spiral notebook, but basically, he's ready.

Starting fresh.

For me, I find that my thoughts of starting fresh linger on my health.  I passed my physical exam a few weeks ago with flying colors; except for a vitamin D deficiency which we're now correcting with supplements, I was within healthy range for everything.  This makes me happy, but still leaves me wondering why, if I'm so darned healthy, I feel so blah.

For my depression, the doctor recommended seeing if getting more sleep would help.  And I am convinced it absolutely would.  The problem is, I go to bed--sometimes even on time--and I lie there.  And my hip hurts.  And my lower back is crunchy.  And my nose is stuffed up.  It sometimes takes me an hour or more to get to sleep.  Now that I'm not living in a state of constant sleep deprivation caused by staying up too late and getting up too early, I am back to my habit of insomnia.  At least when I am only getting 6 hours of sleep a night, I fall asleep when the time comes.  Melatonin doesn't help these days, either.  It gets me sleepy, but not enough to overcome the pain.  Advil before bedtime helps that, some.  Not always.  Last night I was just awake, almost all night.

Which brings me once again around to the things I probably should do to keep my body, mind, and spirit healthy.

Yoga.   I need to stretch.  I've started just doing a mountain pose-into-forward bend, letting my head and shoulders relax as I gently hold my elbows.  I just do this about 10 times a day, and I can feel it helping, especially if I manage to relax enough to let my lower back let go.  I should commit myself to at least 30 minutes of yoga every day to get myself back to something resembling flexibility.

Tai Chi.  Why don't I practice daily?  I couldn't tell you.  I think it's both a time and a space constraint.  I feel like I "should be doing" other things, that if I don't get up very early to practice, I've missed my window for the day.  Really I could spend 15 minutes a day not sitting at the computer, doing Tai Chi instead.

Massage.  My hip really needs it.

Walking.  Could I go out every day and get exercise? Yes I could. Do I? No.

I have a serious mental block when it comes to self-care.  I couldn't really even tell you where it's from.  I procrastinate about doing things that would, in the end, make me feel better.  I eat too much, I sit at a computer, I don't do things for work, or clean.  And then I feel bad and beat myself up.

Why on earth would I do this to myself?

That, I believe, is a deep question I'll be trying to answer.  But not today.  Today I still need to think, and maybe walk, and maybe get some paperwork done.  And stretch, and do laundry, and make dinner.  I shall try to take babysteps on the path to redemption, but take them I shall.  I don't think my body can take it much longer if I don't.