Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

My spouse and produce shopping.

A moment at Smith’s this weekend:

I’m coming back to the produce section after grabbing a few items from the aisles. I find my husband explaining to to several people why and how he’s been tapping on apples to determine their crispness:

“If it sounds like a ‘thump’ when you tap it with your finger, it’ll be less crisp. If it sounds like a ‘ping,’ or a brighter sound, then it’ll be a crisp. Of course, this doesn’t apply golden delicious apples because they’re not crisp by nature.”

This isn’t the first time I’ve come back to find him in mid-explanation after people expressed curiosity about what exactly he was doing by holding and tapping individual apples. I’m sure it won’t be the last, either.

After the moment is over and the people have gone back to their shopping, I smile at him and give him a hug. “I love you,” I say. After all, how many people can say that their spouse gives produce-picking advice at grocery stores?


Practicing mindful existing.

Watching from the second-floor window of the doctor’s office where I waited for my doctor to come in and see me on Thursday, I noticed a cat wandering around the grounds below. I first saw the cat by the bushes, where it unsuccessfully stalked a group of pigeons. It then walked closer to the entrance of the medical center, where other people noticed it and tried to coax it to come to them (being a true cat, it didn’t).

The sky was a bright blue that began to fade as the afternoon went on. I looked at the details on the nearest palm tree, the patterns on its tall trunk.

I also noticed details inside the room as well, such as the new technology of a tablet-like device on the wall that flashed images and different offerings: from an anatomy library to contact information about support groups. I didn’t go up to it to investigate further, but it still caught my attention every so often.

Sitting on the exam table, I practiced several of the Nia moves with hands and fingers: finger flicks, creepy crawlers, finger extensions.

By knowing roughly the time I got in there and the time I left, I could estimate how long I was in there. But during the time I was waiting, I didn’t look at my phone. I didn’t know what time it was or how long it had been.

In the past, I might have allowed myself to space out while waiting in a doctor’s office. I would drift off, allowing my thoughts to wander from this to that. Ultimately, I would detach from my own experience. That no longer feels like an appealing option, especially since it can mean that I might feel out of my body during the actual appointment, which doesn’t improve the overall experience or how I feel afterwards.

During my time in that office, I was practicing mindful observing and existing. I could have grabbed my phone or my iPad from my purse and given myself something else to do, but I didn’t. It wasn’t about impatiently waiting for the doctor or thinking about what I would do once I got home. I gave myself quality quiet time just to exist.

It’s often hard for me to carve out time like this, as there are often things to do at home, and I often go places with the specific intention to actively do something. But perhaps I can find more opportunities like this and create the space to just be.

A resolution towards more gentle self-talk.

Last week, I accidentally hit a button on my phone that somehow ended up with Instagram recording me live in a tired and vulnerable moment without my knowledge.  I had just gotten home after a busy day without a full night’s sleep the night before, I was muttering to myself, and I was having somewhat of a sensory meltdown. I turned to my phone and realized it was recording live video…and that there were at least two people watching, one of whom was an acquaintance who I’d seen that day.

I alarmed her, and she did message me and then called me out of concern. She had good intentions and meant well. I hope I reassured her enough. I had to remind myself that I don’t owe anyone long explanations on why or when or how. It was enough to tell her that I was really tired, that I was safe, and that my husband would be home soon.

Aside from feeling embarrassed and self-conscious that I could so easily accidentally record my own actions while I was alone and completely unfiltered, I’ve also had the thought: I need to speak more kindly to myself, even when I’m alone, even if there’s no one around to hear it. And that’s not because I might accidentally hit that record button again, but because it’s better for me. It is less distressing overall and keeps me in a more open and less reactive emotional state. Speaking gently to myself helps me receive myself with more love – even when, and perhaps especially when, my energy is low.

While I don’t really remember the exact words I might have said in this instance, I do know that I do sometimes say things to myself at home that could be distressing to someone on the outside. Sometimes that’s out of habit, coming out of a past where I did mean those things in a more harmful way. Sometimes I say something and what it really means is, “It’s hard to function right now. I need to rest.”

But no matter what the reason, there’s other ways to comfort myself and meet my own needs. It’s also an importance practice to say what I mean. It’s a lot more affirming to say “I need rest and quiet right now,” rather than “I don’t want to deal with people anymore, ever.” The “ever” adds a sense of extreme finality; I may not want or need to interact with people in that moment, but the “ever” part is not actually true.

So, here’s to not accidentally hitting that record button again. I also resolve to work on speaking gently and truthfully to myself, whether I say the words out loud or not.

From 34 to 35

It’s about 9:30 p.m. on the eve of my 35th birthday. And so I write to 34 before I turn 35.


sometimes, I felt in between
settling in,
living a full year
in my new home.

some hesitation
what’s right and when and how

and also: finished a course. started a new business.
got clients. making money,
working from home on my own terms.

contributing more to our household
cherishing the love we have that grows stronger and
stronger each day.

it’s still hard to give myself credit
for all I have done
all I am doing
it’s a work in progress —
I am

giving myself more:
time to be

thank you, 34,
and all you have brought me and
taught me.

35, right in the middle of the 30s,
maybe not significant in some big way
an age demographic shift in surveys
where the choices are 25-34 or 35-44

maybe time is running thinner on some things
but it’s expanding in others

welcome, 35, whatever you bring
whatever I bring into being this year
as the day turns,
I shed this age and take on

I am tired…

I am tired.

I am tired of hearing about another shooting.

I am tired of watching the back and forth of arguments after each shooting.

I am tired of seeing people (especially on social media) making their arguments by belittling people that disagree with them. I see this on all sides on a variety of issues, so this is not meant to be a pointed finger at any particular ideological group. I know it can be challenging to do, though. But I would like to see more people say what they believe without telling others how wrong they are. Tell me why you believe what you believe. List personal reasons. Include some references and links. I may not see what you see or feel what you feel, but I may have more of an idea of how you got to your point of view.

I saw a Facebook post that linked to a Twitter post by one of the survivors of the recent Florida school shooting. The poster (on Facebook) said that it wasn’t about gun control, that that particular person just needed to “grow up.” I was like, well, that person just survived a mass shooting where other people lost their lives. Opinions or anything else aside, where is the compassion for that experience?

Also, opinions put forward: clearly, something needs to change.

My current TV show list

Here are my favorite current TV shows. Maybe I’ll make a list of favorite shows from the past sometime, too.

The Good Place. I’ve been a fan of Kristen Bell’s since watching Veronica Mars years ago, so I was excited to see her in a major role on a sitcom on network television. Plus, Ted Danson (originally of Cheers fame) is in it, too. The main story: it’s about four people who die and find themselves not where they expected to be in the afterlife. The Good Place manages to include philosophy and ethics about what it means to be a good person and how people can change. Plus, it’s a sitcom and there are plenty of funny moments.  I would love to be a fly on the wall in their writers’ room — there have been quite a few plot twists I didn’t see coming.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. It’s a musical dramedy, which, well, there aren’t many of those on television.  The main character is Rebecca Bunch, a neurotic (also quirky, passionate, etc.) lawyer who moves from New York City to West Covina, California, where the guy she dated at summer camp in high school happens to live. There’s definitely romance, heartbreak, and drama in the series. I also really like how the series continues to develop its characters. It also addresses mental illness in a refreshing way. Here’s a link to a sampling of songs from the three seasons.

This is Us. Stellar performances by its ensemble cast. The story of one family’s love, joys, heartaches, and loss across the years. It can be overly tear-inducing and heart-wrenching at times, but I think its strongest scenes are its portrayal of the characters in everyday moments.

Since I got distracted by The Good Place and This is Us (and freelancing and living my life) over the past few months, I haven’t been watching the fourth season of Jane the Virgin. I’ve pretty much watched it from the beginning besides that. It’s played off like a Latin American telenovela. It definitely has intrigue, mystery, and drama, but it’s also so much more. I love how it portrays the relationship between Jane and her mother and grandmother.  Also, Gina Rodriguez, who plays Jane, is a great actress.

Past seasons of The Good Place, Jane the Virgin, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend are streaming on Netflix. This is Us is available on Hulu.*

*This is not an advertisement for any of these services or shows. I’m posting this because I wanted to share.

A moody week.

I had a moody week this past week. It was the kind of mood, heavily influenced by hormones, that creeps up on me every once in a while and makes me grateful that it isn’t always like this.

But in the midst of it, it felt downright depressive and it was hard to see much light in anything. And it was hard to do much of anything, aside from what was absolutely necessary.

To give myself credit, I probably did more than that. But there’s something frustrating about starting a week with a “this is the week I’m going to get organized and do the things I need to do” and then realizing halfway through that I’d have to narrow it way down.

I sat with the mood sometimes: it felt heavy and slow and sucked the meaning out of activities. I distracted myself from it at other times. I cried at the drop of a hat at moments and knew that it always didn’t make sense and it didn’t have to.

Sometimes I judged myself for it, and had thoughts that I should know what I want and I should be clear on what all my next steps are. Despite these moments of “shoulding” myself,  I also knew that it wasn’t a practical time to make decisions other than what to make for meals or what to do next in that particular day.

I have moments where I see moods like this as something to be wrestled with, to get through, to overcome. Perhaps if I add something to my day, a formula of getting enough sunlight + Nia + good food + whatever else, that it will lift, voila. While self-care and doing these activities help, there’s not a fail-safe guarantee that I’m going to feel better and stay feeling that way.

I used my DBT skills and checked the facts of what was really going on. This doesn’t always make feeling and being easier, but it does allow me to see my vulnerabilities. It takes me a few more steps closer towards accepting the mood rather than fighting it.

Now, the mood continues to lift. There’s more grays in it, more rays of sunlight, more hope and desire. I still feel somewhat exposed and cautious. I feel the fear that this mood will continue and become something more. If it does, I’ll take steps to take care of myself. Last week felt deflating; this week may feel different.

Now, I breathe in. I look at the first thing on my to-do list. And I begin my day.