Put it away.

Oh put that away… it’s not good enough.

Oh shut that down… that doesn’t belong here.

Too much passion? Oh no… not in this industry.

Ideas? What ideas? Why are you getting ideas on how to do things differently? You’re nobody.

You wanna be a teacher? Why would you want to do that? You’re too poor, nobody will respect you. You can’t go to college. Why would a poor white girl like you ever get into college?

Skills? Talents? Abilities? You have those? Oh great, but we don’t like you so you can’t use those tools here.

I have constantly felt like I am not fit for the world. Like my god-given dreams and desires are not welcome in the worlds where I live. I feel stuck. I can’t be my true authentic self in so many facets of my life. It’s heart wrenching. Why do I get shut down? Why am I constantly questioned? Why do my colleagues think they have some sort of power or control over me that they can just waltz into my office anytime and question me? Like where is the professional courtesy and respect? It’s persistent. It happened three times today alone and by three different people! What do I do to garner that much distrust? What is happening in the world that as a professional amongst colleagues at the same pay scale that they can treat me this way?

You know that Christian song from childhood? This Little Light of Mine? Yeah, you know the one… “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine… hide it under a bushel, No! I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!”

Y’all, my little light is sputtering out from being under the bushel. It’s getting the life choked out of it from all the yuck in my life. It’s so toxic and so sad and so unnecessary.

I want to be the best version of myself that I can be. I don’t want to feel like I’m under constant scrutiny and ridicule. I want to enjoy my work, I want to do best by kids, I want to feel affirmed in the efforts I exhibit for the benefit of kids, I just want mutual respect and kindness. I don’t need trophies or awards, just allow me the professional courtesy of doing my job. That in itself is enough. Get out of my way, let me do my work, and sit back and watch kids thrive.

That’s all I want. I just want to be the best for kids and remove barriers for them and work tirelessly to meet their needs and watch them find their voice and their place in the world. Set the stage to watch them soar and succeed in all they do. Let me do that and stop getting in the way…

Hastily yours,

The Repressed Peach

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Reality

It’s really a kick in the teeth when you realize you don’t really fit anywhere in life. And you don’t really belong.

My family— I don’t really fit. I’m not accepted. I don’t feel loved. I never have.

My workplace— I don’t fit there. My values don’t align with what we are doing. I’m not accepted. I don’t feel like I’m valued for what I bring to the table.

My relationship— I’m a second choice. I’ll never be number one. I won’t be loved in the same way I love him. I won’t hear I love you back after I say it to him. I won’t have birthday celebrations and parties together. It won’t happen.

It’s a hard reality to face in so many ways. I’m not feeling love reciprocated in any domain right now except from my child and dog. I can be grateful for that at least. The hard thing is knowing how much I give and how little I get back in return. I don’t ask for much, I don’t like to make demands, I don’t want to seem needy or whiny. But at the end of the day, I have needs and I have a heart and soul. I have a soul that feeds on love and right now my love bank is nearing depletion. I just want love to be reciprocated in natural, authentic and sincere ways. Too much to ask? Maybe but probably not. I’m thinking most of this is natural belonging things, like things most people do to show love. But for whatever reason, people don’t think it’s something I need. I am pretty independent and self sufficient but that doesn’t mean I don’t need to be shown kindness and love.

I’m not sure how to effect change in these areas of my life. Or how to teach people how to love me in the way I need it. I am not good at asking for things I need, never have been, and I don’t know where to start to change that either. I’m used to my needs being dismissed, my feelings being dismissed, and my overall well being not be cared for or about by others. So I work to figure things out on my own. I worry when asking for things that I am going to push people away or cause them to view me as needy or something. So I immediately feel defensive about these things. My emotions bubble up in my throat and chest then I feel like I’m choking on my words. It’s a peculiar feeling really. I tend to actually feel a tad nauseous as well. I hope in time that I can work through some of this in therapy so I can find the words and create change in my relationships. Time will tell I suppose.

Sincerely yours,

The Repressed Peach

Soul

Tonight I was told by my son that maybe I could be a CEO of a company. I had no idea he looked at me like that or thought so highly of me.

Another one of my favorite people, my aunt, told me my soul isn’t all that deep and I’m pretty superficial. I had no idea she thought so little of me.

I’m equally as surprised and devastated by both of these sentiments tonight. I cannot wrap my mind around the idea that my son thinks I have the potential to be someone of great leadership and importance as a CEO which is a humbling and sweet idea. I’m so glad he sees that in me and looks at me through those lenses. If you’ve read anything in this blog you know I am less than perfect and my son could see all that mess and more but he doesn’t. Thank God. 🙌🏼

Then there’s the gut-wrenching words of my aunt… I’m superficial compared to my sister who is a recovered meth addict, current alcoholic, and all kinds of mess. According to my aunt, I need to repair my relationship with my sister because she’s done great things and overcome great odds and she has more soul than I do and is more loyal than I am. My sister’s is so deep that it cannot be seen. My sister’s loyalty is something that is uncanny and unseen. My sister is apparently a saint in my aunt’s eyes. And I’m superficial.

Wow. I had no clue that I was held in such little regard. I’ve spent countless hours talking about all things great and small with this woman. I’ve looked to her for so much over the course of my life and have regarded her as a role model in many ways so this is devastating to me. I’m confused and fumbling for words to express how I’m feeling and all I can do is cry, well up with tears and shake my head. I just cannot believe this.

Why do I even care? Generational issues still at play here and I know that so why does this hurt so bad? Why do her words cut so deeply?

It’s taken me the better part of a year to come up with the answer. I trusted her and I loved her and I thought she loved me too. But her words cut me. She wounded me like I’ve been wounded by others in the family but she hadn’t ever done so. Not until this night, not to my face anyway. That’s the part that hurt the most I suppose. I thought I was safe from harm from her and I wouldn’t need such strong boundaries to protect myself. But I was wrong. My heart is broken about this as I’ve wrestled to learn what it all means. I don’t have many more answers. I just feel like a wall has been built between us, nearly instantly. It will not be an easy wall to remove either. She taught me that I need different boundaries with her now.

It seems I’ve discovered a bit of a pattern. People hurt me, I wall them out, cut them off. I don’t teach them what they’ve done and how they’ve impacted me and so the relationship dies in some way. I harbor no resentment per se, but the hard boundary is in place. I feel cold and distant. Trauma response? Probably.

Thoughtfully yours,

The Repressed Peach

Forever and ever…

Boy it’s been forever since I dropped a blog post… but life has been craziness since the pandemic began! I tried to write every so often at the beginning but the words wouldn’t flow. I felt repetitious and mundane… same stuff different day and not much different than what everyone was hearing on the news.

Today I begin my writing again because my head is too full. I’m out of RAM, or is it ROM? Either way… I can’t process things easily right now because we have a backup of emotion. I’m experiencing some emotional constipation, if you will. So this is my softener… I’m going to work through all that ails me mentally and emotionally so that I can heal myself and relationships with others. I need to start with divulging some ugliness I’ve spoken lately and some feelings I’ve felt that weren’t awesome.

First at work…ugh. Work is hard. Work is the hardest job ever right now. Making it harder is my constant state of flight or fight and I’m living in defense mode. As a result I’m super anxious at work and am highly reactive to the most innocuous of slights. If it even remotely smacks of being a sideways remark or attack on my character I come unglued. I am cursing too much. I’m talking badly about my supervisor. I’m frustrated with my colleagues. I’m irritated at some of my customer base. And when I sit back thinking about it all, I realize it’s all symptoms of something much bigger. I’m angry and irritated that I feel like I can’t influence the improvement of the organization. I feel like everything I suggest is futile as it falls on deaf ears. I’ve felt dismissed so many times. We all only want to be accepted and be able to contribute positively to the world around us. I have big ideas and a passion that runs deep for my profession yet my ideas are squandered and my passion pissed on. Since day one. I’ve worked to push through the phase and grow through it but I’ve reached a point where I’m not growing, I’m regressing and lashing out. I’m losing skills I felt proud to possess. I’m speaking ill of people who are not in my presence. I’m speaking hatefully about others to others in the organization. I’m not being my best self. At all. In many situations. I am not living up to the same standards I set for others. I’m not communicating and expressing myself well. I’m harboring so much anger and resentment. It’s eating me up. I’m full of so much toxic energy towards my workplace. I don’t feel like I can be a positive influence and I don’t think this situation will be repaired with the current leadership. Nothing will change.

I’ve started taking some small steps towards a resolution that is in my span of control:

1. Started anxiety meds to get my brain out of flight/fight mode.

2. Working on getting into therapy

3. Started applying for new jobs in a different industry.

4. I’m writing again to process my emotions

5. I need to change my gym membership so I can work out away from colleagues and customer base.

6. Stay connected to my faith and dig deeper right now.

I need to remind myself each day to exercise patience and kindness as I work to remove myself from this organization. I want to leave with a clean slate, a clear conscience, and a legacy of greatness as much as I can. I can’t completely undo all the yuck I’ve done but I will work to repair what I can and not do anymore. I will remind myself of my purpose as I walk in each day and I will keep a servant heart and mind

Tomorrow I will start jotting down some affirmations and a daily reminder of my purpose. I will stop and think before I react or respond to anything. I will breathe and let myself feel before acting on any stimuli.

We will work through all the things in time. Until tomorrow…

The Repressed Peach

Attachment

Attachment is an amazing thing. It affirms to another’s soul that they belong, that they exist, that they matter. It allows security and stability to form, allows for exploration of self to learn who you are and who you aren’t. If attachment bonds are created then love forms and souls flourish. It’s the nutrient rich soil in which roots take and grow deep and continue to find life giving water and nourishment for a lifetime.

Somehow I have been able to create this type of healthy attachment experience with my child. I don’t know how or by what miracle this was allowed, but my son is a happy, healthy, balanced, connected, thriving young man. He just hugged me and sang off key in my ear for over 20 minutes after spending a weekend with his dad and through all of it all I could think is how much I love him, how much I accept him, how grateful I am that he likes me even though I don’t like myself so often, how much he must love me to hold onto me like that and sing to me. And then I realized I didn’t know what parental attachment felt like until that moment. I didn’t know what it could look like or how it was to feel that.

As a little child, those attachment bonds are easy to create and see from a parent perspective. You tend to their every need, you create meals for them, tend to wounds, usher them to appointments and school, you do all of their everything. So attachment is easier to see. As they become more independent, it morphs into something else, something different that needs to be created just the same. You have different needs to tend to as they age into young adulthood. They have different requirements to find their place in the world. They need support and love in a new way so that they can still feel those attachment bonds deep in their soul. They need to know where home is. They need to know where they can find safety, security and love when the world gets too big, too bad, too ugly.

The attachment bonds are thick tonight. I don’t know what I ever did to deserve my son or to be blessed with his presence but I thank God for him every day. I learn more about myself and life with every passing breath. I am better because of him. I am more because he exists. He is my purpose and my most precious contribution to the world. He is every jewel in my crown.

Growing up was difficult for me as you’ve maybe read in my previous posts, but what made it harder is feeling alone, unwanted, and uncared for during the most difficult times. Feelings of being unsafe and unattached didn’t heal because the circumstances ended, they’ve lingered for decades. Tonight I feel the pain of that wound left so deep in my soul; pain I thank God I have been able to shield my son from and create a different life for him. Here I am 42 and still wounded from the tragedies experienced in my childhood because I didn’t feel attached to anyone who could protect me and love me.

Moms and dads— I implore you… protect your children. Save them from monsters, real and imagined. Create a safe home for them to grow and live a happy, healthy childhood. Make sure they know they’re loved regardless of how much or how little they talk, how long their stories take, how off key their singing is or not, how beautiful they are as human beings, how much you cherish their essence. Make sure they know they belong and they are the most incredible person you know. Help guide them to refine their character. Guide them to develop strong values and principles upon which to live. Love them through their missteps and mistakes. Stand beside them in the wake of their heartache created by disappointment and grief. Love them even when it’s hard and you’d rather do anything else besides…

I promise that you’ll all be better off. In the end you will create lovely, lifelong memories and attachment bonds that will carry you to the end of your days. I can’t imagine anyone else beside me except my son when my end draws near. I pray he will never be too busy or too far away to love his momma and that he will always know he has a home to come back to no matter how far away he roams. I pray the bond we created when he was just a tiny little jellybean growing in my tummy and have continued to nurture into his 16 years of age, will continue through the rest of my natural life and beyond. I pray he can do the same with his children and that we have broken the cycle of dysfunction within our family.

Just as roots of a tree grow deep where there’s nutrition and water, your attachment bonds grow deep where love abounds. 🌳

Expressly yours,

The Repressed Peach

I am because you were

Today would’ve been either your 85th or 86th birthday depending on which document or story you refer to. Either way, today is your birthday. And today I am sad like I have been sad since I ever considered your death and the fear of how devastated I would be when that day came. I started feeling sad about that fateful day years and years before it ever arrived. I do that with everyone and everything these days. I start feeling the sadness of the death or loss of that person as soon as I realize I love them. I have even done that with my dog. I’ve already come to realize I’ll maybe only have 13 or so years with him before he’s gone and I will be sad about his death. I’ve already mentally prepared myself. My relationship, I already know that one day, whether it’s soon or not until the day one of us passes, it will end. And it makes me sad. I realize this sounds depressing or grim, but it is what I do for now. It also makes sure I don’t ever take a moment for granted as every second shared is a second gained and a memory made that deepens the connection which carries us longer together. Every single second counts. And because I know it will end one day, I make sure to savor those moments even with the undercurrent of sadness of the inevitable.

With the times we shared in the last years I knew that your days were numbered grandma. I knew that after grandpa died it wouldn’t be too long thereafter we would have to say goodbye to you. But this is thing… losing you to the monster of death just rips me to my core. It reminds me that no matter how lovely, wise, good gardener, good cook, loving Christian, generous and kind, death robs us of our life and leaves holes in the hearts and lives of the people who love us. There will always be a piece of my life missing because you are gone. I know it’s childish to wish for invincibility or long for more time when we aren’t in control and the human body is fallible and weak. But God do I wish I could’ve had one more day. One more memory. One more time to watch you wrestle my son or race him in the parking lot. One more chance to learn a recipe from you. One more chance to watch you tend to the garden or complain about one of the kids.

I am because of you. Because you lived I too am alive. Because of the life you lived I am more whole and more able. Because of you and your persistence I have a drive that is endless. I aim to be a good gardener and have the green thumb you so easily possessed. I aim to create a legacy of love and goodness that you left for me. The good stories I get to tell my son from my childhood are because of you. The good lessons I have learned came from you and your example. Because of your generous spirit you gave and provided for me for many years. I’ll always remember and always be grateful.

Grandma, I know a birthday in heaven isn’t quite the same and I know you have arrived where you’re supposed to be. But I can’t help but be sad and wish for all the time I still want with you and want time for my son and all the other great-grandkids who now can’t know you like we did.

I keep seeing these damn cardinals all over my yard and home and I feel your presence. I don’t know why but I feel your spirit with each visit I get from them. It might be silly to some but I have to know that you’re still here in some way. That your spirit still exists in this realm in some way. That you are not gone. That because you were, you still are and there’s a permanence to your existence.

My birthday and Mother’s Day happen to fall on the same day this year and it will also be two months exactly that you’ll have passed. I don’t know the significance of that beyond the alignment of such things. I do know that because you lived I have life. Because you are my mothers mother then this Mother’s Day is a little emptier than usual but serendipitously because you’re my mothers mother then I am and I am my sons mother who is the shining star of my life. And without you there would be no me, and no me there like be no him and he is good and will do great things in life.

Thank you for existing. Thank you for being the you that you were in this life and giving what you did. I am grateful for you in so many ways. 🎉❤️ Happy birthday in heaven, grandma. 85, 86, of 39 again, have a blast celebrating you and God breathing life into your lungs and wooing you into existence. 🎉

Hole-fully,

The Repressed Peach

Legacy

While in Arizona for my grandmother’s funeral my family members and I got to relish the opportunity to sort through hundreds, maybe even thousands, of my grandmother’s photos. She had a vast collection spanning many decades all thrown together in a couple of suitcases. Pictures from back when she was likely in her early thirties (before I ever met her) and all the way through the last two or three years of her life. My aunts, uncle and I all picked through the pictures recalling old memories and sharing them with some of our children. It was truly wonderful in many ways. I saw pictures I never knew existed. I saw my mother in various forms of her life including teen years and as a young mother. I loved sharing this time with my family. We were all hungry for good memories and to find the next treasure in the chest. It was very cathartic for all of us and really bonded us in our grief.

And this was all my grandmother left behind for the most part. Anything of any value actually. She had a few trinkets and knick-knacks, but all essentially worthless. And no meaning in any of them. When I first walked into my aunt’s home she had some of grandma’s jewelry laid out on the kitchen table. The first question to me was, “would you like to have anything?” The last thing I want right now is to pick apart my grandmother’s life piece by piece and parcel everything out. It seems strange to me in so many ways. We work so hard to have the things we have to enjoy life. We labor over these things and worry about them. We pack and unpack only to pack again and move them about with us as we travel from home to home in our moves through life. Yet at the end of the day when the death bell rings and we have ascended to glory, all we have are some old pieces of costume jewelry and knick-knacks that nobody really wants. We are reduced down to the few meaningless possessions which are split amongst those who care about us the most. And then I wonder, does it even matter? Those things are just things and do not represent her or why she mattered to me. She was a person whose life mattered. How she loved me mattered. How her infectious attitude and laugh mattered. Her zest for life and her love of Jesus mattered. She mattered, not the things she possessed. I guess this is why I didn’t want anything of hers. All she could give me she gave while she was alive. She gave me the greatest memories and taught the best values. She left a legacy that cannot be associated with any sum of money or equated to treasures to take to the pawn shop, she left a living legacy of love, hard work, happiness, joy, and family.

At the end of my life I hope someone can say the same for me and what I’ve done with my life. I hope that whatever material possessions I have remaining aren’t riffled through with reckless abandon but are treasured and respected while also not being valued over my life. I hope that the people who surround me while love each other, reminisce on their time with me, cherish each other deeply, support each other in their grief, and leave the event better because it happened.

With love,

The Repressed Peach

Self-quarantine: Days 3 & 4

3/24/2020: Day 3 was chock full of looking at transcripts, course selections, flipping through binders, and managing emails as they hit my box. I found myself easily distracted by things in my home office so I took some time to organize and rearrange my craft closet. I felt a bit better after that and pushing the vacuum. Sometimes that “heavy” work when I’m feeling anxious or stressed really helps me breathe better. I enjoyed working in the office and the liberty to move around more freely in the comfort of my home is very nice. I truly love my home and it’s a safe haven for me so it’s nice to enjoy that and work. And I love my work too, so that’s definitely a bonus. I know not everyone can say that. For the most part, day 3 felt like a typical day that I would have in summer break.

3/25/2020: Day 4 is starting out good. I feel more tired today but I think that’s because I’ve been dreaming of the virus and all the associated stressors for the last couple nights. I feel the tension in my shoulders and my jaw is a bit tighter than usual in the morning. I think I might need to take the dog for a good long walk today and get some fresh air. Last night we got an email that said our school closure has been extended through April 24th and surrounding towns have gone to “stay home, work safe” protocol. I think it’s lingering in my mind that if our town goes to that I will feel even more restricted than I already am. In reality I won’t be but that’s what’s running in my head. I feel the burden of restriction weighing on me. It’s nothing compared to what others in history have endured but it sure gives me a glimpse into the heir experience. I’ve seen so many memes about Anne Frank and her family being tucked away in the attic for years and I can only feel uncomfortable for her. What a terrifying and terrible feeling to live like that so long. This is why though we, as a nation, enjoy our freedoms and don’t take them for granted. I have the perspective that I appreciate the opportunity I have to get up and go anywhere I want to, eat what I want, spend what I want, wear what I want, and do as I please each and every day. I’m a law abiding citizen, but I enjoy all the freedoms of my life. I can’t imagine being in a prison.

Well the day continued with relative ease. I felt myself well up with tears a few times just from latent emotions lingering around. It really got me when my son participated in his first zoom meeting with his JROTC classmates. It was so sweet to hear all the kids talking and laughing with each other and asking if everyone was alright. It was a sign of such compassion as well as humanity. I loved it. And I love that he has that with other young adults in his life. I recently asked him to reflect on his strengths and weaknesses/struggles from his freshman year in high school and he said he didn’t feel as though he had any weaknesses or significant struggles but he definitely feels like his strength is in his social skills. He then added, “I feel like the friends I’ve made this year are friends who would go to my funeral and I would go to theirs.” I lost it. I was caught so off guard by that remark but so happy to know he feels so strongly about the connections and the friendships he’s made this year. What an amazing blessing to him!

Back to quarantine life… so groceries have been tricky since we are in self-quarantine and I cannot go out to get anything myself. Although we are not symptomatic we are taking as many precautions as we can. Social distancing, the new buzz word in society, has been easy since we are home bodies for the most part, but it’s very hard to do in a grocery store. So we have been ordering groceries through delivery services like Shipt. We were getting low on puppy food for our sweet Duke but not dangerously low. I just didn’t want to run out and then have to switch foods because we all know how hard that is on a pup’s tummy. Last thing I need is to have a stinky house. Anyway, finally got the dog food we needed yesterday as well as some other staples that we needed. However, the store was out of my ice cream! I know, I know… first world problems, but it’s my guilty pleasure and I can’t go hunting for it right now. I guess I will enjoy it more once I can get it again.

Anyway, work was uneventful. No meetings to attend via zoom or crises to handle. So it was a day of paperwork and binders again. But my work laptop is small, and the screen is not conducive to long periods of time and all the data entry I have to do. So I reached out to my neighborhood through our Facebook page and asked if anyone had a spare monitor laying around that I could borrow for the time period. Within three days I had several people offer but didn’t have the correct connection (I needed an HDMI port on the monitor). Then I got a hit that worked out! My neighbor lives just up the street from me brought me a 20” monitor hand delivered to my doorstep and a nice bottle of wine to boot! 😊 I was so surprised and so grateful for the kindness and generosity! The monitor is working out great and making my life a smidge easier in these wild times.

To add to that I’ve had time to appreciate all the little miracles of beauty around me in nature. The lizards running around my back patio eating the crane flies. The beautiful hibiscus flowers blooming in the pot outside. The beautiful wild flowers lining the side of the back roads. It’s been a nice time to slow down and take things in… like not just “see” them, but see, appreciate and wonder at them. It’s nice.

Wild flowers alongside the back road
First hibiscus bloom

We will get through this. It’s just gonna take some time. Hopefully we will be better on the flip side of this tragedy.

Expressly yours,

The Repressed Peach

Self-quarantine edition: Day 2

I’m a day behind… so this should’ve been written and posted yesterday:

Today was day one of tele-work for our school district. I got up with ease and hopped into my work clothes and put on my work face. I feel like some sense of normalcy is important for my mentality and to get into the zone for productivity. Once done I zipped up to Starbucks to get my venti iced caramel macchiato through the drive thru after ordering from the mobile app. No person to person contact at all, never got close enough to anyone to breathe on them or them on me either. I hustled back home and jumped right into work mode. I felt like I was in my office on campus although the digs were a little more homey and comfy. Even had my work buddy on my side. He was chewing on a pig ear while I worked.

I did a teleconference via FaceTime with my counselor colleagues which lasted about an hour or so. It was intense with so many people talking and so many faces to watch. While intense I felt like it was actually more productive than our meetings in office. Everyone was more relaxed and attentive to the tasks at hand. It was interesting to see the different dynamic. I even felt different, I felt myself listening attentively and refraining from jumping to conclusions or feeling antsy and judgmental. I definitely felt more relaxed compared to our usual meetings. Anyway, then I got to talk with a parent, send some emails about transcript updates, and then got ready for a professional development zoom meeting.

I’ve zoomed before, but this was different! We had over 300 participants! I couldn’t believe it! All those people from all over our region “calling in” to one place to talk at the same time. Technology is amazing!! The moderator muted everyone so we couldn’t hear all the craziness in people’s homes and such, but video was still on. Lol… oh people… it was comical at times. And it kinda felt intrusive, I didn’t know but maybe 8 people on the call, but I can see more than that and they’re in their home offices, kitchens, living rooms, etc. I felt like a voyeur on accident. Technology has given us access to so much, and sometimes to things I don’t want. Anyway, the professional development session lasted two hours. It was long but very useful information. At the end of it I only had one hour left to be on the clock. And boy was I grateful! I was tapped out on being so connected to tech. I had a laptop in front of me and a phone in my hand the whole day. Not to mention the binders and paperwork I was rifling through. I was worn out! Once the school day ended I silenced my phone and put it on Do Not Disturb for more than an hour. I couldn’t look at my phone or anything… I was done.

Then I made dinner. I can certainly feel myself thinking more about meals and planning them more intentionally. It’s a strange sensation actually. In a way I feel guilty for being such a consumer before and living on autopilot in some regards. It’s sad to think about really. I like to think of myself as a rather intentional person and a good planner, but this is one area it’s very apparent I have work to do. Even feeling myself rationing certain items because I’m being conscientious about going through it too fast. It’s an odd sensation in my mind. It’s a new way of thinking and one that I could stand to maintain after this crisis passes.

Once dinner was done and the kitchen cleaned, my son and I went outside to play some baseball. We stayed in our front yard and didn’t contact other people although there were many children and families outside walking dogs, riding bikes, playing basketball and more. It’s amazing how alive our neighborhood felt despite this crisis. Everyone seemed happy and there was joy where I haven’t heard that before in my hood. So we played baseball with a weighted ball, it’s nearly one pound heavy, and stayed outdoors for over an hour. It was a warm evening but nice and got even better once the sun started to set and a cool breeze washed over us. It was rather lovely really.

Here are some insights that I’ve had since this whole thing started:

  • technology is great, but I’m now in a position where I am overstimulated by it. I wonder how many of our kids will experience this when we start virtual learning.
  • Autopilot is for planes only, not my brain
  • Rituals are critical to creating balance and wellness in these trying times
  • Moving your body is an important thing to do when you’re cooped up inside for long periods of time
  • Working from home doesn’t give me any more time than I had before and it in fact makes other people forget to maintain boundaries
  • I could get used to this! I wonder how our district will change its policies based on this new learning of infectious disease and contagion
  • I generally suck at grocery shopping! But I have room to improve!
  • As a parent it’s important to talk to your kids about their stress, but you shouldn’t talk to them about your stress. They shouldn’t be alarmed by the things you’re hearing or reading.
  • Work hours and tasks have more flexibility in them than I am currently allowing. I need to create a ritual and create space for me to exist in the midst of it all.

As you can see my brain is taking in all this new data and trying to sort through as much as possible. It is overwhelming at times and stressful, but I do believe everyone on this planet may become better through their opportunities.

Wholly yours,

The Repressed Peach

The Self-quarantine edition

So we went to Arizona for my grandmother’s memorial service which made us leave the sanctity of our home and travel via airline to our destination. We all know airports and aircraft are breeding grounds for major bacteria and viruses alike. What with this pandemic, we took major strides to limit the potential for infection but you can only do so much when accompanied by 30+ passengers who have all been in contact with at least 30+ others themselves. So we are self-quarantining for the next 14 days at least. In effort to save my sanity and explore the new dimensions of what I might learn of myself I thought I would blog my adventures each day. And here is my day 1:

I got up this morning around 8:30 and took care of the dog. Let him outside for his potty break and fed him. Then piddled around the kitchen tidying up a bit. Around 9:00 I sat down in the media room and started putting together the new patio furniture set I purchased from Wayfair. It was definitely an interesting task although not as cumbersome as an IKEA purchase. A few minutes into this adventure and my dog tried eating the directions and simultaneously lost a puppy tooth. It was a tiny little molar! I was so surprised because I haven’t seen a puppy tooth before. It was precious! So I set that aside to show my son when he woke up later. I put the dog in his kennel so I could work with fewer distractions and to ensure the directions were salvaged to get me through the building of the furniture. Finally got the project done around noon but in the middle of it I stopped for breakfast, and to collect the groceries I had delivered to my front door. Thank the lord for grocery delivery service during this pandemic because I don’t know what we would’ve done. Thankfully this grocery delivery I was able to acquire meats. In previous orders the meat department was entirely sold out of products so I couldn’t get anything delivered. This time I got a two pound package of ground chuck, a four pack of chicken breasts, bacon and sausage. I generally don’t split packages of meat up because I’m lazy or don’t think of it, but this time I spent the time needed to split the packages into smaller serving packs to ensure I only defrost what I need and will use in a meal. I thought that this was definitely something I need to do better about all the time so I don’t waste meat. I felt myself appreciating the meat and thankful for the grocer and farmer who worked to provide for me in this instance. Even more so, appreciative of my shipt shopper who went out into this uncertain world to provide a needed service to me. After I finished that task I completed my furniture project and let the dog back outside. While he was doing his business in the backyard, I placed the new furniture outside on the front patio. It is a drizzly, wet day outside so it was sprinkling lightly. It was a little cool outside, but still pleasant. I sat down into one of the new chairs and rocked. I found myself enjoying the rocking and actually rocked myself to sleep a little bit. I dozed off sitting in the rocking chair outside in the sprinkling warmth of a strange spring day. Before I fell asleep I marveled at the growth of my flowers in the front garden. I admired the many buds about to bloom and found some plants that need to be tended to. Just little trimmings here and there then they’ll be good as new. Grandma would’ve gotten up right then and pulled those things off or out of the ground, she wouldn’t have waited. She also wouldn’t have complained or remarked about how she felt doing it, not a gripe about her body or her hands hurting, not a slow rise from bending over, nothing. She was mighty and strong in so many ways that I’m not. Anyway, I thought this thought and found tears well in my eyes and a knot form in my throat. I swallowed it away and dried the tears. I didn’t want to cry right then.

The remainder of the day was relaxed. I ate a little bit of lunch, showered, and then took a good nap on the sofa for a couple hours. Although it wasn’t a perfect nap it was nice. Too much light in the room and a little noisy from my son playing video games in the media room, but whatever. I napped and enjoyed it. Shortly thereafter I made dinner. We enjoyed New York strip steak, baked potato and bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers as an appetizer. Gosh did we love those poppers. I wish I would’ve made more but then again, I’m trying to ration some of our food stuffs. Bacon is a prime commodity right now and I don’t want to go through too much in one night. Strange the adjustments we make in fear of inaccessibility… The steaks were from a couple weeks ago that I ended up freezing because we didn’t eat them when I thought we would. Each steak was just a smidge over 0.5 pounds so we ate well tonight. The potatoes were good with light butter and shredded cheddar cheese.

After kitchen cleanup was done I headed to the home office to set up for tele-work tomorrow. Our school district has gone to virtual learning with the school closures and counselors have to provide support during certain hours. Therefore I wanted to organize my office and prep for the first official day of work from home. It wasn’t challenging at all, but I realize I need an external monitor to connect to my laptop. The screen is small and my keyboard is sticky so I have to use a wireless keyboard which is easier to use when I’m using an extended screen. Trivial things at best, but def an impact to my comfort. I made a community post about someone lending one to me and got a couple offers that I will follow up with tomorrow. This set ablaze an idea about creating a community app where people can post their excess items where others can shop and can digitally pay for said items. However I don’t know the first thing about creating an app so there’s that. Good idea but not feasible right now.

Once we settled down a bit, we enjoyed a bite of ice cream. We each had a pint we had opened a couple nights before so we finished those off for dessert. Tonight was a good night. Today was a good day. I feel relaxed and calm right now. I feel motivated to take on this challenge and grow in ways that I’ve needed to but haven’t had the impetus to change. To start with, I’ve wanted to be a bit more flexible physically. So tonight I did 25 squats, 35 jumping jacks and some other light calisthenics. Not too much, but enough to move a little in the right direction. Maybe this can become a daily practice for the rest of my life. It has to be good for me.

So that’s it for Day 1. We are doing fine. Neither of are experiencing any symptoms or anything which I’m very grateful for. See ya tomorrow for day 2 and all that my day will entail in self- quarantine.

Hopefully yours,

The Repressed Peach