Monday Michelle this week was a little less Mad Max Fury Road and more “I got no fucks to give.” I had trouble concentrating and sticking with things this past week (as you may have noticed), especially on the weekend. Brazilian Helicopter Pilot had to keep reminding me about my Portuguese lessons. Because of his diligence, I did not disappoint the Duo Lingo owl, but I fell behind on Mango and boy did it show. BHP and I had a couple small spats (a.k.a. me snapping at him and him just looking at me and calmly stating that he was just trying to help) over proper pronunciation. The male speaker on both apps eats his vowels harder than me stuffing my face with chocolate the day before my period starts, which makes it hard to have correct pronunciation.
Tuesday last week was my center’s annual board meeting and, besides the bone deep dread and panic that Zoom would revolt or our tech guy would get the fainting sickness and leave me on the hook, it went well. Unfortunately, I understood less than 5% of what anyone was talking about at any given moment because I have a bit of a mental block when it comes to science and math. Anything past A + B = C and VERY basic introductory-level science classes and my brain starts to fail. I think I sacrificed the ability to understand higher level math and science when I opened myself up to the existential crisis of understanding and knowing what post-modern literary theory was. Long story short? I put my brain in a blender on Tuesday and didn’t even get a fucking t-shirt.
The rest of the week was one Zoom meeting after another. I took two trainings – one on mindfulness in the workplace and the other on faith in the workplace. With the mindfulness training there were a few exercises geared toward grounding yourself, reorienting attention when it wanders, understanding what brings us rest, some techniques for being mindful with technology, building resilience, and self-care. Some interesting nuggets I got were: half of our time is spent with our mind wandering and worrying, we take in the same amount of information in one day that people in 1986 took in during one year, and that our attention spans have shrunk to 8-12 seconds because of this inundation of information. The facilitators had updated the training to acknowledge the stress and trauma of COVID, which I thought was interesting and helpful. My main takeaways were: I need to rest and, in order to rest, I should plan it into my day; some techniques for being mindful with technology; and a different way to think about my emotional landscape. All-in-all it was helpful, but I haven’t received my certificate yet!
The faith in the workplace training was pretty much a refresher course for me, but I really enjoyed it. I got to bond with another cradle Catholic and it was fun. I struggle with my faith, Catholicism, and organized religion in general so it was nice to chat with someone else who had some similar experiences. I also enjoyed the reminder that while the Catholic Church can be a huge dick, a lot of the people who are Catholic don’t believe in the worst they put out there and are actually loving and accepting. Maybe someday the Catholic Church will evolve to look like the best of its people and beliefs, instead of its worst.
Highlights of the week were yoga, D&D, talking with my family and friends, and my weekly walk in the park. Yesterday, my favorite yoga instructor made me cry for the last ten minutes of class. She played the song “Lean on Me” and had all of us stand at the top of our mats and lift one knee up. She told us to stretch out out arms to the sides in a “T” and imagine we were in a room with everyone that was on the Zoom call and that we were holding the hands of the people next to us, supporting them and being supported in return. We moved into Warrior Three and then Tree Pose, all the while imagining holding each others’ hands. When we finally laid down in Corpse Pose and I had my arms stretched out to the side, instead of leaving my hands open, I lightly closed them and pretended I was holding hands with my unseen yoga practitioners. Needless to say, BHP was worried about me, but he wisely waited for me to come to him for a hug.
Remember that while someone might not be there for you to physically lean on, they are therefor you in spirit, you just have to reach out and take their hand.
P.S. – According to one of my meditation teachers, constipation is the first symptom that you don’t feel safe. While I found this helpful and insightful, I have so many jokes that I can’t share because none of them will make sense.