I am going on retreat this weekend. My last scheduled retreat through Quest. It took me signing up for a 2-year program and promising to go to all of the retreats (6 in all) in order to allow myself to take time for myself. Now, I need to make sure I keep it up — like exercise, like practice, like anything out of my daily round, I can forget so easily how important self care is.
When I was part of a couple, it was not necessarily easier to remember to take care of myself, but there was . . . I don’t know a word for it. Couple-time. Down time together. We took time — as simple as a walk or a late night tea, sitting on the couch cuddling watching a movie. There was self care and also care for the beloved and most of the time that was enough to fill me. Perhaps that is another reason to couple. I did not have to work at care. I cared because I loved.
Now, it needs to be deliberate. And so be it.
My sphere is small. Sometimes smaller than I realize. A friend called from England last night and my phone was turned off. When Julia went to bed, I went to call back and discovered that I could not make an international call on my cell. It struck me that my world had shrunk very small if, in the last four years, I had not even discovered that I could not make international calls. Of course, now I remember that it was not a concern when I had a landline and then we used Skype all of the time when Cheshire was traveling. But in truth, I have not thought about this is a long time. The idea makes me claustrophobic. How small I have made my box. How insulated. I understand the urge and the need for such diminutive size. Healing, at least for me, is not done in a large forum. Small feels very safe. And after all of this change, change is still a challenge. I find I must be vigilant to support it. I proclaim and most of the time imagine that I have readied myself to accept and embrace change. That it has become my way of life. But however true that may be in some realms in others it is a true lie.
I have stopped using commas. I have overused them for years and now . . . when?
Julia: Very happy to have me away for a weekend and to spend the time with one of her beloved therapists. I could wonder if this means good attachment or bad. I both fear and embrace wholeheartedly her need for independence. We are working through a trauma book with Marilyn (attachment/trauma therapist). Julia has been drawing pictures of a “sad, mad, scared” brain and of a happy brain. The pictures are quite amazing. She captures feelings. When we ask her to make these drawings, after reading a description, she happily trots to the table and begins work. Yes, I think she thinks in pictures, and although I can talk about it and read about it, I really do not understand it. I so definitely think in words.
Last weekend, I wrote down “rules” for solving simple math word problems. The rules are illustrated — at least as well as I can do that. We have been using the rules. I had Julia do her paragraph writing for the week about the rules for problem solving. Another way to get the rules into her brain. I am not interested in any math work — which I imagine will always be a challenge for Julia — for its own sake. No “two trains departing from opposite sides of the world going different speeds with some finite number of stops each and where do they meet.” I want her to be able to go into an art store, order supplies, and know if she has sufficient cash to pay for them.
Julia broke her first easter egg. Her thumb went right through a shell she was working on. It is inevitable to break a few eggs in the beginning. Who knows how careful you must be with eggs until you break a few?! She handled it very well — felt badly, didn’t really want to throw it away but didn’t want a smelly eggs around, and moved on. There is evidence of her years of intensive therapy!
And my Curriculum Training Course with Mindfulschool.com began last evening with an online video introduction. It is a big class — 40 on the call, at least three times that in the class. I am excited to get going. I can almost feel myself crossing a threshold.