Burning Man

Fires in the distance

Wow, this year continues to crush us. The west coast is on fire. We left home because the fires in the mountains were causing so much smoke I couldn’t sleep. The other morning my husband woke up next me in a hotel room in a pandemic 90 minutes from home and he was stressed. He turned to me and said what if all these fires mean we can’t sell our house?

I don’t know. I really don’t know. I mean, we’ve been saying things are getting worse for years but we haven’t been able to understand what getting worse looks like on an individual scale. We’ve been a bit protected in our careers and our privilege. These things that are happening are a constant back drop of dispair and now personal impacts that show up in ways we don’t always expect. On a macro level, you say of course the west coast is on fire. Of course this administration has failed us in a pandemic. But then you find yourself trying to book a hotel in a not crowded place to work from during a pandemic with better air quality without spending too much money and you think- what the fuck is this life?

Hey, I get it. I am lucky. Lucky I have a job. Lucky I had $600 to spend on a hotel for 3 nights by the ocean. Lucky I have a car. Lucky I am not sick. But some days lucky doesn’t feel so fabulous. And I can’t help but wonder, how did people survive WWII? How did people rebuild Japan after the bombing of Hiroshima? How about Vietnam after the US pulled out? I think a history of terrible things and wonder how do people recover mentally, spiritually, and emotionally?

But then when I think about that, I feel like I’d rather bury my head in good fiction or mindless television or play music loudly. Maybe that’s how people survive. Maybe other people’s art is literally how people survive. I wish I could say my faith is carrying me through. But it’s not. It’s me going through the motions. It’s me wondering how faith matters in the face of climate change, pandemics, racism, and willful ignorance.

But that’s just part of today. Today I also went through boxes of slides, photos, developed negatives, and old camera equipment with my husband. We made piles to keep or not keep. I’m taking Teddy to the vet so all of his shots are in order for a move. I am continuing on as if things will continue on. And that’s how we are getting through another day.


Self Care Saturdays

When I was planning my transition out of my weekend job, I started thinking about taking some time for myself. It was something I started calling self care Saturday. I usually left for work at 0540 in the mornings on Saturday and finished up at three in the afternoon. I realized I was pretty tired on the weekends. Most days, I took a 15 minute nap when I got home.

But when I found another job during the week, I was able to plan leaving my weekend job. At the same time I had been thinking about how I needed to take care of myself. On a weekend that my daughter was home from college, she and I got some face masks to do one Saturday. I also bought some tea treat oil and started doing a foot soak on Saturdays. Sitting in my back yard for 15 minutes with my feet soaking in warm water with the smell of tea tree oil is really relaxing.

I have also started a exercise routine with my running buddy, Teddy. I drag myself out because I know it makes me feel better. It helps my mood. And I know there is tons of evidence that exercise is beneficial for your mood, but sometimes I really forget how true it is.

I really want to continue this kind of self care into my 40s. I’d like to do more things to honor myself and my time instead of watching TV or scrolling through the internet. What are you doing for self care? Do you have a routine?