Sunday, March 26, 2017

All Things All At Once

    I feel I have been avoiding writing because I don't want to spend too much time dwelling on all the external forces that are doing their best to make me feel beaten down. But it builds, with the inevitability of a pending storm. Today I feel it looming over me with dark storm clouds that are more oppressive than the ones I see out my window. So much. Some little, some overwhelming. Our current political situation has me constantly on the verge of panic, Fight or Flight, but it is mostly beyond my control. But all adds up to the straws that may break this camel's back.
    My car is dead, from a deep water incident followed by an attempted theft. It is too rainy to work on it with my meager knowledge and I can't afford to have someone else fix it. Thankfully I have my truck, but it has dodgy tail lights and guzzles gas like a parched alcoholic; Work is maxing me out with the ongoing "do more with less, and for less" mentality that is pervasive among most companies these days. I would like to find a different job, but can't until I have more dependable transportation; My dogs are fighting, so they have to be kept separate all the time, cutting into the peace of my home life; The rain isn't stopping, so everything is squishy, muddy, soaked. My plants are drowning and my septic is backing up; It is cold and wet, preventing spring plantings, and keeping my heating bill high and my spirits low; I have back taxes that are coming back to haunt me, with threats of wage garnishment, and I have no money to pay; I have chronic pain that drags me down over time, makes me feel tired and drained, and hampers my wishes to run and train with any intensity; My weight is up a little, and my energy is down a lot. Cause and effect, one way or the other? Metabolism? Hormones? Weather? I think the long, cold winter is the biggest culprit, sapping my will, encouraging hibernation; I am feeling a twinge of loneliness, knowing that a partner would make a lot of these problems have less of an impact, but having little desire to have to conform my life around someone else (yes, I do love my solitary life 95% of the time... it is that other 5%)
    Financial, physical, emotional, meteorological. It feels as if all aspects are dragging me down, weighing me down. Every small task takes a major effort. I am doing what I can to manage all the forces that seem to be coming down against me:
    Weather? There is nothing to be done there, but I am going out into the cold and wet to handle the chores that can be done. I have been cutting blackberries with a vengeance, starting out easy then going all Edward Scissorhands until I am bloodied and I have piles of brambles higher than my head.
    Taxes. That is the big stressor, no doubt about it. I was notified in November that I had failed to file my Oregon taxes for 2011 (?) and by their estimated filing, with interest added, I owe about $3500. I can't argue. That was when I moved into my new home, was reeling from a disastrous, toxic relationship, and was having a mental meltdown. I don't know if I filed or not. But I have to pay. I finally called and talked to a nice rep, I am trying to work it out, but it has me stressed to the max. I will do what I can, but you can't squeeze blood out of a rock.
     Financial. See "Taxes" above, but also the ongoing stress of living at poverty level. Yes, this is partially my own doing, because I am choosing to work less and spend time on the things that money can't buy. Even if I were working full time at my job I would still be at the poverty level, but I would be stressed beyond my ability to manage. I would be dysfunctional, depressed, and angry. I would not be able to spend time with family, or working on my own home. I would still not have enough money, and would have no time for what I need to keep my sanity. So, sanity takes precedence. The frustrating part is doing a job that should pay about twice what I am being paid, and knowing that there is no raise anywhere in my future. It just won't happen where I work. But, again, I am working on finding ways to increase income and reduce debt, so there is that. I still lose sleep over it though.
    Physical. Damn, this is a tough one. I hate that my body hurts all the time. I keep swimming, that has been my fountain of youth. I have increased my strength training with the idea that if I can't be fast I can at least be strong (ish). I am currently doing 30 days of no grains, no baked goods, no dairy, and very minimal added sugar (I decided I still want my tea sweet). In some ways this is not that tough for me since I am already gluten free, eat minimal dairy (cheese only, and that in strict moderation), and don't eat many sweets (I am missing dark chocolate, I admit), and don't add much sugar to anything (except tea). On the other hand, being vegetarian it is tough to not have whole grains. I am used to rice, quinoa, teff, and some pasta now and then. But in the week that I have been doing it I am down a few pounds, feel less sluggish, and seem to have less tendon stiffness and pain (that might be a coincidence, but I will take what I can get).
    Emotional. Nothing to see here, just move along. Seriously though, I am not looking for someone to "complete me," I am very complete as it is. I have had too much experience with emotional vampires, manipulation, lies, betrayal, toxicity. But everyone has, so I won't dwell. My past has made me who I am; tough, resilient, self reliant, independent. These characteristics, fertilized and grown to fruition by past relationships, are also what makes me disinclined to pursue another relationship. I am not appreciated for who and what I am, there are expectations of making me change, become somehow less than what I am. I won't. I will not change who I am to conform to anyone's idea of what I "should" be. I will be me, all the way, head up, and confident. No more, no less.
     So life goes on. I dream of sunshine and warm breezes. I envision my gardens, herbs, and fruit trees growing verdant and laden. I will swim, train, and fuel my body. I will treat my body as the temple and fortress that it is. I will let magic and art into my life wherever and whenever I can. It is all I can do. And hope for sun.

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