It occurred to me today that it’s been exactly a month since I last posted a blog entry here. It’s been a busy, eventful month. My job has gotten lots busier; that’s both good and bad, good that I have plenty to do, bad because I always stress out too much over my work. So I’ve tried to step back and take more time to sleep, improve my eating habits, walk more. I went back to meditating, but I’ve yet to be able to concentrate through an entire session without falling asleep—even sitting up. I’m making an ongoing effort to relax (sounds like a paradox), but I’ve lived most of my life like a tightly-wound spring; perhaps one day I’ll get the hang of actually feeling peaceful.
I finally bought a new bathroom scale; my weight is about the same, but I’d been in the habit of weighing myself once a week for years, and was missing doing so. Just knowing the scale is there is enough to make me rethink eating more than I should; well, sometimes, anyway…
Through Facebook I was able to reconnect with a very dear friend from long ago, and we’ve enjoyed catching up with each other. Thank you, Facebook!
I started painting again; it’s been ages since I last painted anything at all. My sister and her husband generously sent me a watercolor travel set, waterbrushes and enough paper to last me quite some time! This was something I needed in my life and it’s fortunate that it came along when it did. I’m pretty rusty, but I’m working at shaking the rust off now. I’m looking forward to painting “en plein aire” over the coming months.
In the week preceding the horrific earthquake in Japan, there had been two less intense earthquakes there that were still worrisome. My friend in Fukushima and I talked just a couple of days after the first one; the second hit just four hours after we’d hung up. We had been discussing what would happen if the “big one” hit either of our respective areas. On Friday morning I woke up at 4 a.m. when my dog pulled the covers off me. I couldn’t go back to sleep and was looking at Twitter on my phone, where people were talking about the poor people of Japan and how terrible it was, etc., and I felt a sense of dread as I hurriedly looked at CNN.com and learned that the “big one” had indeed hit. I sent a message to my friend right away, but was unable to get through. Her daughter lives in Sendai. I was frantic all day and it was hard to keep my mind on my work, but finally a direct Twitter message came through late that afternoon. “We are OK. No water. No denki” (electricity). Like most people, particularly those with family and friends in Japan, I stayed glued to Twitter and online news sites for the next few days.
My friend has been fortunate. The electricity was restored after a day and a half, followed by the gas and water. There was no structural damage to her home. She was able to find out that all her family members and friends were all right. The main worry has been the radiation risk, and she and her husband are taking proper precautions. We exchanged emails four days after the quake, and finally talked again last Wednesday evening (Thursday afternoon in Japan). Although heavy-hearted over the loss of life and misery of so many survivors, I was greatly relieved regarding my friend’s situation, and felt I could concentrate on my work again and was also better able to sleep.
During the days of worry over the fate of my friend, I also learned of an extended family member’s serious troubles; the feeling of helplessness to do anything to change that situation added to my mounting stress level.
The thing is, these are acute events that would raise anyone’s stress level, but the daily, ongoing, underlying stress is what bothers me most; relationship, financial, work stresses. I’ve spent most of my life trying to get a handle on coping with stress. I wish I was a type B personality and was able to roll with things better. It’s just that ongoing battle for balance in my life.
Have I been writing? Some; I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit these past few weeks, but that’s about to change, too.
It’s been an eventful 30 days!