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Thursday, May 8, 2008

A.M. Journal 5/08/08

Journal 5/08/08
I can actually feel my body beginning to fight this disease. It is starting to feel strong, hard and powerful like it did before my husband and I had a car accident on 3/09/08. At that time I suffered a sternum fracture when our car was rear-ended on the highway and slammed into the concrete median. It actually didn’t hurt all that badly (about a 3) but that was the first time in the last two months when I really thought about death. I also thought about how my injury might take its toll on my attendance of yoga teacher training in June. That was actually all I really cared about once I realized I was not dead and that I actually felt ok. I only took Vicodin for a couple of days and then switched rapidly to Ibuprofin. I was back at C1s (An easier, non-heated form of my usual Vinyasa yoga practice) within just under two-weeks and I was already running physical circles around my classmates within a week. What was strange is that although I felt super-ready for yoga teacher training, I had this sense that it was going to be a transformative experience for me and I expected to encounter challenges and deep fundamental changes within myself. I thought of the accident as the first of those challenges.
I think there are a few reasons why I am beginning to feel like my old physical self again. 1) I am completely listening to every inclination of my body. At first I fought them, locked in old habits, but in the last few days, especially since Monday I have started to do exactly what my body tells me to do. If my body says, "Eat a 3:30 a.m. banana," I eat a Banana. If my body says, “lay down and rest for 10 minutes” I do. If I hear, “sing!” I sing. If I here meditate, I deep-breath, pray and/or sing. If by body says, “eat raw food,” I do. If my body says, “Take Yin Chiao for your cold,” then I do just that etc… I have stopped fighting the battle with insomnia now. If it feels good to lay down in bed with my husband, snuggle, sleep or make love then I do. If I need to get up and perform a ritual in my dimly lit bathroom then I do. I deep breath, rub my body in lotions, do yoga and hang out until my body either directs me back to bed or downstairs to watch the VH1, top twenty video countdown and write or work. 2) I am learning what really matters most to me. My priorities are changing and my focuses sharpening. I am spiritually fine-tuning and losing much of the baggage that weighted upon Nadja Yse Tizer. I am separating what is fundamentally best about me from the need to compete or compare myself with others. Despite the massive changes brought to my life by the diagnoses of MS I am finding that the old anxieties that drove me are swiftly fading into a landscape of my past. 3) I have let go that old self, not because that self was bad or inadequate but because that self was limited by all the rules of educated, white, upper-middle class society. 4) I have vision, purpose and time. I still have a month to get in shape for yoga teacher training. My health and my marriage to Matt are my ultimate priorities over the next four-months. I am also driven with raw, creative energy for writing and research that has never felt as pure and rich. I have always been most charmed by the idea that if you are going to do anything, no matter what, you should try to do your best. The problem is that in the past that gave me anxiety because I always had deadlines, and to meet them, I didn’t skimp on the work, I just sacrificed in another area of my life. I would skip yoga in order to correct a stack of papers for students. I would work on the weekend during time I could be spending with my husband. I would work through lunch every day and allow kids to hang out in my classroom during my “duty free” lunch. I had the discipline but lacked the balance. I committed myself to getting a good , long sleep every night and if I woke up, I would spend hours trying to fight my way back to sleep instead of just getting up and letting it happen naturally as it would. The good news is that now I have nothing but time on my side. I have assured pay and insurance at least until August and most likely beyond since I want to stay at my job so I can focus on my new priorities. I can learn to balance my life so that when, and if, I go back to work I will really be ready to maintain a life-style more in tune with my needs and priorities. I plan to really cut back on my activities when I do officially return to work. I have decided to only be on one committee (the instructional leadership team), to stop tutoring and resign from my school’s Positive Behavior Support Team even though I love it. I hope to actually start a yoga club at my school and to see if I can teach one or two other yoga classes a week. 5) I am not over-committing myself to anyone and anything but I am formally committing myself to Matt and changing my last name to Stringer. I am only committing to the things I plan to prioritize. For the summer those things include, my health plan, my yoga teacher training, yoga in the park for kids with my niece and working on my MS management, blog and life-style adjustment. Damn, it took an hour but it felt great to put all this into writing. It has really brought deep clarity to my meditations of this week.
I know that as my primary support and care-giver that Matt has some massive concerns but I am feeling positive about just truly being present in every situation and adjusting our life as needed. A time may come where I am home-bound. There will be times like now where I don’t feel like I am confident enough in my visions and senses to drive. I may have to give up teaching public school. I may need to shift or broaden careers. There may be times where we fear we will lose our quality of life but I believe that we can find ways to simplify and not give up much. I have about five or ten different ideas of things I can do and ways I can earn money even if my current profession proves too much. Having stared death right in the eyes and found that he hunts me, I am no longer afraid of this spectre. As long as I draw breathe, as long as I have this beautiful mind to work and shape I will fight for my life. There will be hard times but as long as I do not lose my faculties and I can dictate my thoughts to a computer if I can’t type, I want to live, love and laugh. This is my commitment to myself. If the planet ceases to hold the resources we need for basic survival and we must select the fittest to survive, I will only make myself a candidate if I am fit but if I can save another, fitter life by sacrificing my own, I will do so in a heartbeat.
BTW- As a newly-born, late-night non-sleeper I have become an expert on the top twenty songs. I have really cheesy taste sometimes (I admit it) but I have had Madonna and Justin Timberlake’s single from “Hard Candy” stuck in my head. It’s not great but it’s catchy and there is a portion of the message that has been driving me (I quoted it the other day) but below I copied some of the lyrics that I found compelling from the “Hard Candy” website (also linked at the bottom of this entry) so that others can check it out and tell me what they think of the lyrics I pasted and their relevance on our world right now. The info from the website that I chose to quote begins below in bold.
This is the first single from the album Hard Candy. It's sung as a duet with Justin Timberlake, combined with Timbaland's signature heavy hip hop beats and his usual shout-outs. Lyrically the song is a sexual but playful teasing between Madonna & Justin. The single premiered on radio on March 17th, was released digitally on March 25th and is available as a physical single from April 21st (29th in the US).
Lyrics (not complete just the ones I liked)
(Timbaland:)I'm outta time and all I got is 4 minutes

Come onYeah
Break down
Come on
(Madonna & Justin:)Time is waiting

We only got 4 minutes to save the world
No hesitating
Grab a boy
Grab a girl
Time is waiting
We only got 4 minutes to save the world
No hesitating
We only got 4 minutes, 4 minutes
(Madonna:)The road to hell is paved with good intentions, yeah
(Justin:)But if I die tonight

At least I can say I did what I wanted to do
Tell me, how bout you?

1 comment:

mdmhvonpa said...

I cannot listen to my body too closely ... it says 'Eat Fast food' way too often.