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Heidi

Heidi: Press Release

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Ever since joining the Druids, my approach to the Challenges has been to use the dates as bookends, identify the pieces of my life that are in play during that time frame. In the process, what I'm worried about or excited about, or fearful of always shows up, and those are the real challenges: to navigate my life peacefully and with contentment, mindfulness, and presence in the moment even when there is chaos, conflict.Goodness knows my life certainly knows how to bring it in heapfuls. 

 

In the past decade, but especially the past five years, there was so much to be overwhelmed by that there were days I had no idea what to do or which way to turn. In these moments I learned to be still and sit with the uncertainty. This is a magnificent tool and it continues to serve me well. 2018 was the darkest year of the lot, and I don't think I will ever be so beset again (or at least I hope not), but if I find myself in even that level of hell again, I know that the answer is to stop, breathe, and be in hell. Last year I survived the hell of 2018 only to find myself in the literal dark and suffering from a head injury that has resulted in a permanent TBI. I found myself physically off-balance and unable to read, a manifestation of spiritual imbalance and illiteracy. I was absolutely incapable of doing anything other than sitting some days, sometimes for days in a row. I learned to be non-productive, a lesson that was brutal -- you would think that it would be easy to simply accomplish nothing, but it almost felled me spiritually. I had to confront my inability to "no," and to learn how to value myself for myself, irrespective of what I accomplish or produce or do. While I still have days of suffering and periods of imbalance, I have learned to value myself as a spiritual being having a human experience, and a frail one at that. As the days unfold with opportunities, I am learning to choose carefully and mindfully, opting for a few quality endeavors with built-in accommodations for my own care needs. Rest assured, my ability to get excited at each and every opportunity that comes along is not diminished. The lesson has been to learn to act in the belief that the Universe loves me and wants me to be happy -- there is no scarcity of wonderful things ready for me if I am willing to be available for them. This is so hard for me!

 

Anyone who has been part of this journey has gotten accustomed to the Court-date-per-challenge routine, and this challenge is no different. [For the record, I've been on this treadmill with my daughter's dad for over four years, and I know there's a day that it will end, but -- like being on a treadmill at a fast walk and having the power go out suddenly -- I have a feeling that it will be unsettling and weird and might feel like a bit of a faceplant.] The court date comes at the very end of the challenge this round, and her dad has already started with his annual autumnal tug of war. What is it with him and September? Anyway, I have learned well how not to play this game with him, and my focus remains on healing my relationship with my daughter. All the rest is immaterial line noise.

The challenge starts out with classes beginning, a Writing workshop starting, and the commencement of my new position as an editor. Remember when I said the Universe had a million high-quality opportunities for me? It totally does. And now that I have an armload of them, it’s time to practice some of that balance and boundary setting that I spoke of, too. I can get panicky at new things that matter to me -- what if I’m not good enough??? I have (finally!!) begun to know that I am enough. I am kind and good and worthy of love and compassion. I am pretty good at what I do, too, when I stop shooting myself in the foot with panic. So there’s a weekly rhythm to be found, and if I let it unfold, the Way will open.

The first official week of the challenge I’m moving house, and that’s always a beast. I’m looking forward to it -- expect pictures, since I have no idea where everything is going to how it’s all going to fit. Maybe it won’t and I’ll go through another Druid-esque round of minimizing my earthly possessions. Stay tuned.

Through all the struggles, insults, and injuries, I have found that nothing matters except how we treat ourselves and each other. Thanks for being along with me. Having a place to be honest about everything is huge. Successes are all alike, and their universality makes them meaningless, in a way. Our sufferings and struggles are unique to us, though, and unique to a particular time in our lives; they individuate us, and in sharing them, we get to know each other. This is what community is for me. Thanks for being part of mine.

 

Some dates

September 14 Pack Sabbatical House stuff into Jeep

September 15 drive to Virginia; pick up new key. Unload the Jeep while I Wait around for the Cable Guy.

September 16 counseling with Vivian; communication counseling with Vivian’s dad

September 17 drive to North Carolina; clean sabbatical house, pick up Little Dog Tiu, pack the jeep of Very Last Things

September 18 Walkthrough of Sabbatical House; drive to Virginia

September 19 move stuff from storage.

September 21 Paper Due

October 1 Paper Due

October 16 Court

 

Every Week

Monday: The Republic
Tuesday: Demography of Families Response
Wednesday: Visit with Vivian
Thursday: Demography of Families article; 8 pm Writers Workshop
Friday: Republic response paper; 3:30 pm Philosophy accountability zoom
Saturday: Visit with Vivian; APA Posts
Sunday: Workshop pages

 

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32 minutes ago, Heidi said:

The first official week of the challenge I’m moving house, and that’s always a beast. I’m looking forward to it -- expect pictures, since I have no idea where everything is going to how it’s all going to fit. Maybe it won’t and I’ll go through another Druid-esque round of minimizing my earthly possessions. Stay tuned.

You say this with such aplomb. One might be led to believe you have moved a few times in your past.

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That is quite the schedule :) 

 

Also: snagged one of the last bits of the printed bedgown fabric for you (half a meter); will shoot you a DM before shipping - it’ll be a few weeks, I’m about 3/4 of the way done with my current project to be shipped. 

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21 hours ago, Heidi said:

The first official week of the challenge I’m moving house, and that’s always a beast. I’m looking forward to it

Remember to point me the right way so any letters don't end up displaced.

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So yesterday I was writing about Demography of Families, strolling along at cruising altitude, when my brain broke. Honestly, it felt like a whole new injury -- eyes twitching, tongue spasms, vision dimming, dizziness, while nine yards. I set my notes aside and faceplates onto my bed with my eyes closed until the spasms stopped. I was a wreck. Clearly I was done thinking for the day. I ran a bath and meditated, letting my mind spin until it could rest finally. In the process, I got two shitty emails from Vivian's dad (wrote a reply to one and drafted a reply to the other; it can wait).

 

Today I was still wobbly, but I wrote the rest of the paper in small bites, with rest periods in between. I'm wiped out and emotion (crying jags were never my thing, but here we are in TBI land. Water is boiling for tea? Let's have a good cry! Opened the refrigerator, did you? Cry some more.🤷)

 

I dropped a note to my neurologist in case she wants to see me before our next appointment in November. Resting now. Watching Away on Netflix because I love Hilary Swank. (O look, astronauts! Grab a tissue!)

❣️

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2 hours ago, Heidi said:

Today I was still wobbly, but I wrote the rest of the paper in small bites, with rest periods in between. I'm wiped out and emotion (crying jags were never my thing, but here we are in TBI land. Water is boiling for tea? Let's have a good cry! Opened the refrigerator, did you? Cry some more.🤷)

 

Sometimes when I'm on Neuro floors in the hospital talking to patients who have had strokes they cry with even less provocation than what you listed.

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Aaaaaaaalll the hugs. Neuro stuff is crap, but somehow being betrayed by a thunderbolt crying jag just feels (at least when it happens to me) to be a damn betrayal. At least mine are usually relegated to times when I’m alone(ish) and physically moving. 

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12 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Sometimes when I'm on Neuro floors in the hospital talking to patients who have had strokes they cry with even less provocation than what you listed.

Whoa. I knew it was 'normal,' but this puts it in perspective. Thank you!

 

19 minutes ago, darkfoxx said:

Aaaaaaaalll the hugs. Neuro stuff is crap, but somehow being betrayed by a thunderbolt crying jag just feels (at least when it happens to me) to be a damn betrayal. At least mine are usually relegated to times when I’m alone(ish) and physically moving. 

Thank you, my dear. I'm never really prepared for the emotional rollercoaster, you know?

 

Today seems much better, more solid physically and also more mental bandwidth. I'm not going to go hogwild tho!

 

I keep returning to the idea of a solar-powered cabin by a creek, patches of oats and wheat and quinoa growing near the orchard beyond the garden. This is a vision that has never left me, and perhaps it's time to start feeling into it again. 

 

Did you know that wheat produces over 2000 pounds per acre? I use about 100 pounds a year each of red and white. I use quinoa instead of rice and it produces even more than wheat and is simpler to grow and harvest. 

 

I miss my farm, but not in a mourning sort of way anymore. Who wants to grow apples and blueberries and raspberries with me?

 

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1 hour ago, Heidi said:

Thank you, my dear. I'm never really prepared for the emotional rollercoaster, you know?

 

Is anyone ever? I suspect that if we could see them coming and plan for them, they wouldn't be roller coasters.

 

Brains are tricky on their best days. A medical condition makes them more tricky. There's nothing inherently good or bad about that, it just is. :) 

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My brain is still Very Tired 

I was productive-enough this morning, then hat a restorative lunch and promptly slept for seven hours. 

 

Updated my D&D results, tho. 🙂

 

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Hello! Have you survived moving, or are you still doing it?

 

I followed the link in your old challenge and mixed the beginnings of a sourdough started this afternoon, and now I have questions!

 

The first is just a request for suggestions on how to cover it. The guide said "loosely" which I interpreted as a reminder that the starter needs to breathe, and the container needs to let fresh air come in. For now I'm using a small clean towel. Second questions is on the texture of the starter. Following the directions in the guide my starter did not look like the one in their pictures at all, so I kept adding water until it did. And now I am of course second guessing this entirely and wondering how much water there should be?

 

No hurry in answering if you're very busy with your move. This isn't exactly something urgent... sourdough is supposed to take a while to develop after all. :) 

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I'm wrecked with the biggest push of the move today. Frankly, I'm glad I had already scheduled some blackout time from work, and had a lot of physical activity; RBG has sent me into active mourning.

 

@Scaly Freak About the sourdough: loosely with a clean towel is grand. As for texture, I followed the recipe. It will work, and you don't want to overwhelm the flour with water. If it doesn't percolate or release some liquid of its own, you might want to restart.

 

Frak. I'm so tired. I ache everywhere.

But here's a picture of the place before I hauled a bunch of stuff in, just my new sofa and the fireplace:

IMG_20200915_194950_498.jpg

 

The final drive from NC to VA (about 3 hours) was lovely this morning. It's officially heading towards autumn. I listened to Lenny Kravitz and Eastmountainsouth as I drove. Little Dog spent far more time in his crate than he thought was warranted, as friends and I picked through the storage unit and hauled a bedframe, desk, several tables and a few chairs in, piled unceremoniously in the living room. They all scattered once the heavy lifting was done, and I finally got the bedframe together -- this is not a one person job, and I couldn't find my toolbox, and and and. Somehow I have no pillows, sheets, or comforter. Whatever. 

 

Last week was a crush of work items and meetings. It seems the universe decided to give me all that I asked for, in abundance. The editing position just expanded dramatically and I've been made senior editor of a new series in Philosophy. It has no name yet, and won't run its first article for a couple months as we firm up the details. The SOPHIA group is taking on a lot of new chapter development initiatives, and I'm the office in charge of nurturing it. Very cool, and very exciting. The Honesty Book looks like it will become a curated series that will see the light of day initially as a special series at The Civil American (think Scientific American for Philosophy). Writing workshop went very very well this week -- there was a prompt that was just fun to write. There might be a year-long podcast to go with it. And of course there are still classes. In theory, I'm reading a book tomorrow and writing a paper on it on Monday. 

 

The biggest news, though, is that I got to see Vivian, in person, at the therapist's office. I think there was some really good communication, and we had a lot of fun at the sand table -- she kept burying a jewel and making me uncover it. We meet again on Saturday in the park, weather permitting. I hadn't seen her in person since March.

 

I haven't begun to unpack boxes or arrange anything; my clothes are still in the footlocker; empty hangers are in the closet and I don't have a clue what it is I've missed out on in the rest of the world today. Which is fine.

 

I'm too tired to sleep, so I'm knitting a bit, working on a scarf for the wife if a friend. Everything aches (did I already say that?)

 

All is well, or as well as it can be just now.

 

Much love, Nerds.

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3 minutes ago, Heidi said:

@Scaly Freak About the sourdough: loosely with a clean towel is grand. As for texture, I followed the recipe. It will work, and you don't want to overwhelm the flour with water. If it doesn't percolate or release some liquid of its own, you might want to restart.

 

Thank you! Especially thank you for taking the time to answer when you are dealing with all the things you are dealing with, with the move, with mental health, and with the tragic loss of RBG. (My home was a dark place last night - we did not handle RBG's passing well at all. We still are not.)

 

Your fireplace looks amazing. Are you planning on an area rug or a coffee table?

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11 hours ago, Heidi said:

@Scaly Freak About the sourdough: loosely with a clean towel is grand. As for texture, I followed the recipe. It will work, and you don't want to overwhelm the flour with water. If it doesn't percolate or release some liquid of its own, you might want to restart.

 

Since I had to be up early (by weekend standards) I snuck a peek at the starter, and it appears to have created liquid for itself, that has lots of bubbles in it. Which is exactly what that guide said should happen, so I'm considering this a good starting point and now I just need to remember to feed it regularly. Task reminders have been set up :)  

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18 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

I snuck a peek at the starter, and it appears to have created liquid for itself, that has lots of bubbles in it.

This is perfect!

Welcome to the Land of Sourdough!

❣️

 

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Today dawned before dawn, and it's going to be busy, even though I feel like crawling under the covers to sleep for a fortnight. Moving was physically difficult, and I'm bruised; grief has been taking a deeper toll. 2020, y'all.

 

In the midst of it all, though, there are little (and not so little) reminders along the way that small steps matter, and that we are more than our wounds. Today my piece Procrastination sees the light of day (beyond all you wonderful Readers), and I'm reminded that the Universe has a place for me. It's official: I'm an author.

 

Today I'm writing a paper about the history of marriage in America, specifically about the 20th century revolution in the idea. And then I'm attending the Kickoff Event for Climate Week NY, representing Philosophers for Sustainability at 11 (eastern). I suppose I might need to brush my hair and put on RealClothes.

 

And at long last I'll be picking up milk again!

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Yay, publication! And daughter time! That’s fantastic :)

 

And I loooooooooove the bones of that living room. The perfect place to curl up and winter. 

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2 hours ago, Heidi said:

This is perfect!

Welcome to the Land of Sourdough!

❣️

 

 

Thank you! I think I might like it here. Home made sourdough bread is one of those things I remember fondly from my childhood, and I'm looking forward to recreating it. 

 

2 hours ago, Heidi said:

Today I'm writing a paper about the history of marriage in America, specifically about the 20th century revolution in the idea. And then I'm attending the Kickoff Event for Climate Week NY, representing Philosophers for Sustainability at 11 (eastern). I suppose I might need to brush my hair and put on RealClothes.

 

Both these things sound super interesting! 

 

And if you sit, you only need RealClothes above the waist. ;) 

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57 minutes ago, darkfoxx said:

Yay, publication! And daughter time! That’s fantastic :)

 

And I loooooooooove the bones of that living room. The perfect place to curl up and winter. 

Thanks!

I wish I could invite you over for tea and scones! But let's zoom when I (laughing, no really, laughing) have time. Let's make time, since I'll never be genetically available again. 🙂

42 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Congrats oh published one!

Thank you, Dear Leader.

🙂

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1 minute ago, Scaly Freak said:

if you sit, you only need RealClothes above the waist. ;) 

Good thing, since I can't find anything other than sweatpants and my bed gown!

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