Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: fleas

#30daysofdresses – day 8

The heatwave continues to it’s uncomfortable rule over the city. Luckily, this dress is made for hot, hot heat.

I originally bought this dress for my engagement dinner July 2010 (same trip as this story) and I’ve worn it a ton since then. Again, no bra required, loose and cool to wear, and super flattering.

Plus, the pattern is my favorite thing ever.

I wore this on Monday, and while it was a very successful day of work, I still can’t shake this feeling of major blahs. Or frustration. Or upset-ness.

Whatever you want to call it – it feels unshakable – waking up rested and then the anxiety seeping in as I realize I have to get out of bed and go about my day. Feeling happy and then not. Worrying that I’m not fun, I’m not easy-going, I’m too emotional.

Mercury retrograde, heat wave, full moon, hormones, anxiety, big work event, feeling responsibly for everything, f-ing fleas on the dog, carrying around ridiculous expectations of people who probably don’t even think about me, and certainly not with the knife-cutting precision that I dissect each action I take.

It’s a lot.

I can say that the dress helped. It makes me feel comfortable in my skin. It feels powerful and sexy and comfortable all at the same time. It’s a good friend to have on days like these.

Because I can’t seem to process this enough to articulate it right now, I’ll leave you with Jill’s words from What I Don’t Want To Talk About:

My life rehab started with the simple wish to “be a better friend to myself.” Not to be a better person, not to become successful or accomplish things and make stuff, but to practice maitri — loving compassion towards the self. I have a strong sense that right now that means two things: to accept help, to seek out connection and community, and to be gentle with myself.

Today I rollerbladed 3m alone. I went to the library and carried home an armful of books. I’m writing this blog post. I exercised, got dressed and made the calls I needed to for work. I wrote morning pages and wiped the kitchen counters clean. And during all of that, I felt happy.

And then there’s the overwhelm of emails, the aggravation of the flea problem, the pressure of work events, the feeling like I’m completely alone in all of it. And that I’m being unreasonable (where did I even pick that up?).

I know I’m a better friend to myself than I used to be, but the relationship still hits major bumps in the road. And all I can keep returning to is truly and absolutely doing what I want to do, emotions, feelings, thoughts and all. Loving compassion for myself. Accepting help and seeking connection.

Being gentle with myself.

Dress and flip-flops are both Kohl’s from ~4 years ago.

Advertisements

Sad To Be Home, For Once

Usually my “back home” posts are ones I look forward to – full of relief and routine. My last post was written ~12 days ago, and if you’ve been following along, you know ALASKA happened.

And Alaska is something that resonated in me so deeply, I am not sure how to tell you about it yet – though I did keep a travel journal which is half-way done, so I do have some notes on it all…

But that’s not what I want to write about this morning.

Like every August, our trip ended with us coming home to a dog full of fleas. Flea season gets us every time, usually August/September, when the weather heats up and Carter Cash spends a lot of time outside. Luckily, we have our new vinyl floors downstairs and my sister cleaned our apartment while we traveled, so I wasn’t freaking the shit out after noticing fleas all over Carter’s butt right after the taxi cab dropped us off.

In less than 20min of being home, Carter and I went into the tub for a full-on-offensive-attack bath.

Then we biked him to the grocery store to restock our fridge. Henry suggested I make chili for dinner, so as he unpacked the groceries, I chopped veggies and browned turkey meat. We ate on the couch while watching a National Geographic show about Alaska (I know, I’m obsessed).

Later on we unpacked suitcases, vacuumed the dog’s crate, washed dishes and took hot showers. We were asleep by 10pm.

I woke up this morning at 7am, with the blazing SoCal sun beating through the sliding door.

Our dirty vacation clothes were packed already sorted into whites / darks / colors (because we’re crazy like that) so I was able to run a few loads of laundry this morning as I cooked breakfast. I did a hiit workout and ran the dog 2m. I drank water, hung up jackets, put away travel sized toiletries, and folded laundry. I tried to not feel overwhelmed by the piles of stuff left from the frenzied day before we left or panic about having to go back to work tomorrow.

I’m reading Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr and sinking into his descriptions of being a new father in a new city – his detailed descriptions of Rome echoing the fleeting grasp I have on Alaska. “As it always is with leaving home, it is the details that displace us. The windows have no screens. Sires, passing in the street, are a note lower. So is the dial tone on our red plastic telephone…”

Usually the details of home settle me back in – my travel is work or family related – and I crave my own boundaries and comforts. But this time I am sad. Our trip was packed, full of amazing happenings and really great family time, but it went so fast – I can’t believe it’s already over.

H went to play roller-hockey and when he returns, he’ll be transferring and backing-up the almost 1000 photos and videos we shot during the 11 days away. I hope spending some time with those captures helps this feeling of loss, and that writing about it in my travel journal and here for you keeps the deep satisfaction of my experience right where I can hold it.

Sundays Are For (Week 30)

Starting Week In The Life, creating an insert for my One Little Word class, slow-cooking sausage and peppers, eating chili cheese dip, hanging with my sister who came over to watch the Giants’ game (they lost). A trip to the dog park where I felt good and then breaking the vacuum somehow battling the fleas, and having a meltdown. Taking a hot shower and relaxing. Feeling insane and then so good. Walking outside in jeans, feeling the breeze and no more heat wave. Being thankful for H and his calm, for his new skill of making us omelets, for chai tea and saying ‘no thanks’ to alcoholic beverages. For getting enough sleep but still being so sleepy. For Amazon video so we can finish season 1 of Homeland and cookie dough ice cream and creating. For days off and weekends and life.

See more Sundays Are For.

 

Taking The Offense

It’s that time of year again… Flea season.

This time, we’re taking the offense. To sum it up, here’s an excerpt from an email to a friend re: this dog-owner chaos (though I’ll take a moment to figuratively knock on wood – so far, we’re doing much better than last year).

Also note that I ignore punctuation in emails and the below is rated above PG13 in language, but it definitely sums up how I feel:

The flea thing is balls. I hate it. Last year was much worse b/c we didn’t deal with it soon enough – but this year I am taking the offense. The vet last year said vacuuming, nuking their stuff in the dryer (like doggie beds) and baths help…topical yes… and basically picking them off. Carter knows the command “you got bugs?” and he lays on his side spread-eagle — poor kid. I probably spend an collective hour a day looking at his under carriage.
The only thing that helped last year – b/c we have carpet – is this: Diatomaceous earth – apparently it’s a fine sediment (?) and they use it to kill bugs in food like grains stored in towers… so you can breathe it, eat it, rub it on your skin and it won’t hurt you — but it dries those flea suckers out… of course b/c it’s so fine, it leaves a white powder residue all over your stuff like a fucking crime scene investigation — but that helped a ton last year. Haven’t used it this year yet. Fingers crossed I don’t have to.
I would say the worst part about the flea issue is that my husband doesn’t seem to think this is a BIG DEAL situation. Also, I get all the bites. *awesome*

So ya. Good times. Here’s to your weekend being a little less buggy than mine. xo

Returning Home

This is what returning home after 5+ weeks of travel, events, flights and friends looks like:

  • The dog still has fleas
  • I can’t seem to get up before 8am
  • I’ve gone into nesting mode – cleaning my desk (above), fixing a towel rack, hanging frames on the wall, cleaning and cleaning some more, taking things out of the house, and making room
  • Set up the autumn decorations just in time for Halloween
  • My sister is here and crashing in our spare room (the office / music space) indefinitely
  • H is so busy with school that I’ve seen awake him for less than 6hrs since I got back Sunday
  • I unpacked but there are piles of laundry
  • The bathroom is dirty from giving the dog a bath and our daily use
  • I desperately need something new to read
  • My body hurts from my San Fran trip and my epic biking of the city (hopefully its own post soon)
  • My brain is shot from too many events, too much email, and way too much socializing
  • Digital photos are scattered and yet to be cataloged and shared
  • I have a burst of excited energy in the morning while I write, which quickly dissipates after exercising the dog
  • I’m taking the space I need even though I panic every few hours that I’m not doing enough

How’s your week going? I’ve opted out of Halloween this year, but my friends had some sweet costumes: the house from “Up”, Popeye and Olive Oyl, sexy Edward Scissorhands, a 70s couple (Afros included) and Where’s Waldo.

 

 

Fleas

The pup’s been flea-infested for a few weeks now. We think he picked them up from a friend’s backyard, and with the hot weather and lack of strategic elimination on our part, they weren’t going away. While I vacuumed a ton and bathed him, it just wasn’t working.

H never seemed particularly alarmed by this, which only served to drive me nuts. I kept myself on the neutral side of complete melt-down by reassuring myself the humans in the house weren’t experiencing the fleas (yet) and that the problem wasn’t getting worse. Each day I’d ask the dog to lay on his side and pick a few fleas from his bottom. Then we’d go on our merry way.

While our travels are not over, one of us will be home the next few weekends and the dog won’t need to stay overnight anywhere. And so, today was the day I dealt with the flea issue.

An 8:30AM call to the vet gave me a boat-load of information. I was to buy diatomaceous earth, vacuum the carpet, cover the carpet with this floury substance, bathe the dog and treat him with flea prevention meds of only the highest quality.

3 hours of my evening went to this project. The good news: I haven’t seen a flea on the dog since. The bad: our apartment is covered in a fine film of white dust. H was not impressed, so much so that when he came home he suggested we just rip up the carpet and live with the concrete temporarily… which was my gross-carpet-fix suggestion all along, even pre-fleas!

“What changed?” I asked

“White powder all over the carpet…?” he said.

Whatever. I didn’t continue the conversation. I am annoyed that I finally took action to fix this problem, and spent my entire evening doing so, and it seemed to do nothing but drive him to take a drastic measure (one I had suggested and he had shot down for 2 months now).

Shitty for us tonight. I got into a hot bath and soothed myself with water and a book. It’s most aggravating when I think I’m doing something for us, even for him, to lessen the chore burden because I know he’s tired, to improve the quality of our life and home, to check something off our list… but it just doesn’t ring the same for him.

Someone suggested I read this book, and after a quick read through of this PDF, I can see tonight was a prime example of speaking different languages. Now the question is – what to do about it, when he’s gone to bed and I’m still feeling unappreciated…?