So, when I get like this, I need reminding. And I go reaching. And tonight followed a day that could have ended one way. But ended another.
I spent last night with my mom, and told her about a tough week. She's the best sounding board.
Then it was time for writers' group, and I just couldn't play the prompt games today. So I tucked into the other room with my pad and my pen and a dog snoring on the floor. I wrote and I wrote it all, and got no comfort from it except to hear the prompts from the other room and realize that if I'd been there, I'd have probably been a snot-producing mess of tears and hiccups. And so I kept writing for myself and not for the group.
I thought that maybe, when I got home, I could pull apart the eleven pages into something that I could make meaning from. But at that point, the words simply reflected the chaos of my mind.
I had an anxiety attack. At least, I think that's what it was. I know that the stress this week was like artillary fire, and at one point Thursday night I couldn't breathe and wondered if I should go to the ER. But it was a trip to the ER that landed me in the place where I had to take a day off for a silly test Wednesday. So I elected for a hot shower and an early bedtime Thursday instead.
On Friday I reached. My students were on day five of a project and knew what they were doing, so I tucked into my desk to grade their last assignment. It's one of my favorite kinds of teaching days. They're like a hive of happy bees, and the energy just hums through the classroom. I answered questions and helped them do some problem solving, but for the most part I just marked papers and recorded grades. About halfway through the first class I realized some music would be OK. Turns out I don't have much music in the room, except for what I keep for lessons. What I did have, though, were my back-up discs for the Disneyland 50th collection I bought in 2005. I ended up reaching for an imaginary trip to my happy place and listened to my heartbeat steady and my lungs expand.
I walked home, then packed the car for the trip to my Mom's. We had dinner at my favorite restaurant, and talked. This morning I woke early and did some embroidery on my quilt until it was time for writers'. And after writers' then went back to my favorite restaurant. I was tucked in for some good food and good people watching. The foursome at the table directly to my right left, and two women were seated there. I must learn to pay attention to that table, as the most amazing things have happened the last two times I've been there. Last month I was seated at the same table, and someone sat in the chair directly in my line of sight who was almost an exact double of someone who was a friend for a while. Tonight, again, I thought that one of the women who was seated as the same table looked familiar.
What a happy moment! As I was leaving, I intruded on her dinner long enough to confirm that she was my friend - my best friend - from high school. 44 years. The restaurant was very busy and they were needing my table, so I quickly passed over my card with my electronic identity and hope that she will contact me.
The Universe is always working for us.
After I got home I checked in on facebook, as I always do, and In-Q had posted something. This time last year, Tom Shadyac was starting up his Coffee Talks in support of the message of his documentary, I AM. I have watched it at least a dozen times, and attended all the coffee talks. Tom introduced us to several amazing people (he is pretty amazing himself), but it was during the gathering when Tom spoke of Shadows and Light that he introduced us to poet In-Q. Tom's message (or, at least what I perceived as his message and what I needed to be reminded of after this rough week) was that we need to FEEL the shadows because they help us to see the light. I'm so lucky to have learned happiness over the last three years. But the flip side is that while I feel happiness and joy often and well, when the shadows come they are deep and scary.
Anyway, I was grateful that Adam showed up when he did, and I followed into youtube to take advantage of his powerful energy and to hear again his powerful message.
I'm feeling better. The goldfinches are back in the garden, and tomorrow I have a ticket for the Gay Men's Chorus concert at the First Congregational Church in Los Angeles. Here's a clip of their stunning performance of "Bohemian Rhapsody" last year. Yes, stunning is the right word. Just wish there was a REAL way for you to feel that 10,000 pipe organ.
For now, the real world calls. Gotta put in some laundry and pull the directions into LA so I don't get too lost tomorrow.
A new week next week, ending with a birthday trip to Disneyland for my mom on Saturday, and my spring break a week later.
Recovery in progress. Attitude adjustment underway.