My yoga instructor reminded me of something so beautiful during one of her classes. As we were moving our bodies into a more difficult pose, deepening a stretch, she reminded us that when you’re uncomfortable your body can’t relax until you tell yourself that the discomfort is okay. Once you remind yourself, out loud if needed, that you’re okay in that moment the body instantly softens. The slight pain you think you’re feeling isn’t pain, it’s resistance. So when you think you can’t possibly touch your toes or balance on one foot - remind yourself that the awkwardness you are experiencing right now is okay, and you’re safe, and the body doesn’t need to be afraid.
When you do that you find that what was a sensation (and just that, a sensation, we are not talking about hurting yourself here by overdoing things or experiencing pain) but when you feel that initial tautness in the muscles that say “this is usually how far I can stretch, okay?” If you wait, breathe, tell yourself you are okay… that pain dissolves away into a warmth and you can see your fingers reach a *tiny* bit further. This isn't a game of feet. It isn't a game of inches. It's a game of small, nearly imperceivable improvement. Breathe. You got this.
Which is exactly what I have been doing here every day for this past month. I need to remind myself, often, that I am doing okay. That as unmoored and hectic as this month has been, and as anxious as I am about making last month’s mortgage still and worried about upcoming bills - that I am still doing so much better than years previous. So much. I am heading into 2022 in better shape than ever before.
I qualified for Health Insurance through Healthcare.gov with assistance, something I always qualified for but didn’t apply for correctly in the past because when it comes to finances I am a great falconer. So I will be covered for the first time in a long time. When you are making it by just a few claw marks ahead of danger in a pandemic - this is a game changer.
I have a good car. Not fancy, not new, but good. Under 200k miles and a pristine service record and AWD. I got a small loan for the $4,200 vehicle - and while I do have that to pay that back, the car is 100% paid for and I own the title. It passed inspection last week and for the first time (in maybe 7 or 8 years?!) I have a vehicle that can safely drive me outside of Washington County! I can visit my family in PA if I desire. I could go hiking in the Adirondacks one weekend! I have the mobility for a better job, dating eventually, life in general. It’s a long story how I got that loan but it’s queer magic and amazing community and with that car outside I feel like I can fly.
I’ve been creatively driven all month. I applied for an artist’s grant for 2022. I am working on a new book with a new energy. I may share some of it here, as I write.
I've been focused on work. Really focused. More output and organization than ever before. I have sales now set up in google docs and monitored. I still have this part time writing gig that basically pays the equivalent of 20 hours a week at Stewarts but I can do it from the farm and I hope it leads to more work.
The plumbing in the house is totally repaired and I can shower on a cold morning without any water pooling at my feet instead of draining or worrying about flushing. In the past the plumbing has all but shut down on this farm due to poor drainage but now it is sound and it’s another lovely upgrade! I can’t thank Jeff enough, local plumber of magic and majesty.
My parents mailed me a new mattress for Christmas. I have never, ever, owned a new mattress. My childhood one was a hand me down. My college ones were in dorms, used, or loaned. My first apartments and homes have had the same mattresses since college. I just lugged them around in moving vans because it was better than sleeping on the floor. When I bought this house in 2010 it was partially furnished and there was a bed in the master bedroom I used here, but it wasn’t new. It was the previous homeowners. Now that mattress is in the spare guest room, and my new mattress is on my bed. My good friend Patty loaned me a giant wool and fleece comforter for winter. I am rested. I am warm.
I am out trapping again. Looking for another bird to hunt beside because damn if I don’t miss it like a bad habit.
On Jan 1 2022 it will mark one year of not drinking. It has been hard. It has been missed. It has been better.
I’m excited for spring’s return. I know we are days away from the darkest night of the year, but I am excited. Already planning spring chickens, turkey poults (here I go again), and piglets. I am getting seed catalogs in the mail. I am making a new garden plan to expand and improve on what was started here last year. I am waking up motivated to tend to what I have, plan for what’s ahead, and excited for the seasons as they unfold around me.
I’ll be okay. Deep breathes, feel yourself soften, reach just a little further...
I am okay.