Friday, January 28, 2011

Feral Mindfulness

I've been dabbling for a few years with the idea of mindfulness as a way of climbing out from under the giant, ever-growing tsunami that is my life. The whole idea- that I can better manage by focusing myself on the present moment, not yesterday or next week or 5 years ago- seems lovely, in a polished wood, watercolor, home-canned jars of peaches sort of way . I imagine that, in my totally mindful life, I'll be patient and smiling and very Caroline Ingalls. My world will be filled will candlelight and moonlight and I'll be lovely. It will all be lovely.

I've had a couple of good friends with me on this exploration. One of them I pay. The other I don't. The one I pay asked me a really good question which, after a little thought, came down to this:

What if the whole mindful-acceptance- be in the moment thing is intrinsically at odds with my deep need to have something to push against? What if the "battle against" is the only thing moving me forward? What if the only way I can be in the moment is if I'm fighting hard against the present in an effort to bring about a new future? What if the feral, refuse to accept the boundaries me is the me that the world needs?

I have to say, I really like the idea. My need to fight back isn't in the way of my acceptance of the present- it's how I accept the present. I think that's sort of Badass- in a sort of feral way.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I can't sleep. Technically I suppose that's not true- I can sleep. I can close my eyes and doze off. I snore a little, drool a little, have a little dream- and then I wake up. (It's the waking up that clues in me in to the fact that I was actually asleep. I'm pretty clever you know.) So actually, what I can't do is stay asleep past about 3. Or go to sleep before 11. I can go to bed before 11, but rarely does sleep actually occur before 11.

Get your mind out of the gutter. I'm not doing anything interesting- I'm just lying there. I'm just Not Sleeping. In a really big way.

I'm coming up on day 5 of this and it's wearing thin. I'm not cute when I'm this tired. I'm not bitchy either- bitchy takes effort. I mean, bitchy done well takes effort because it requires wit. Wit requires west- I mean rest. Which I'm not getting. Because of the whole "not sleeping" thing.

Someone told me today that I'm not sleeping because I'm worried about something. Well of course I'm worried. If you're not worried, you're living in a cave. Things are sort of a disaster in general and my particular corner of it isn't any great shakes right now either.

See, my darling TMOTH is sick. Not ManFlu sick, really sick. Chronic, life-changing, bad medicine sick. Thankfully, though, not life-threatening sick. Certainly sleep-threatening sick. And Wit-Killing sick. So yeah- I worry. I worry about everything from the time I was mean to that guy in high school (sorry!) to what I'll do if TMOTH gets sicker and can't work. I worry about the house, which seems too small and too messy and too rundown to represent the pinnacle of my income potential. I worry about my kids and how they're coping with the New Normal.

Mostly, though, right now I worry about being able to sleep. "Not sleeping because you're worried about not being able to sleep" feels ironic. Is it ironic? I"m too tired to know. What I want is to be mad- to fight back against something. There's no Zombie Apocalypse to deal with, no contagion or Super Villian! to foil. In the movies, there'd be something powerful for me to do. Something meaningful and IMPORTANT. Something that would require a clipboard and a purposeful stride. And maybe a microphone. Or a megaphone. So that everyone could hear me make big important updates about the situation. Don't panic. Our best researchers are on the job. A solution is coming!

But I fear that the people who would listen are also tired of hearing about it. I worry that there is no solution, no research, no important updates. I'm starting to suspect that this And that is unacceptable.

There's no way to be Badass in this, nothing Badass about managing a chronic autoimmune disease.

Maybe the Badass is in getting out of bed in the morning, but I wouldn't know. I'm too tired to tell.