Monday, October 15, 2012

What a difference a week makes!

Unbelievable! A week since the last post!

It feels like a lifetime has passed since last Sunday. Here it is early Monday morning, probably up from the residual adrenaline from the big weekend, though I'm still pretty tired.

That Sunday, we had the beginning of a multi-project week - visitors from Okinawa until Thursday, more Bazaar planning, scholarship process - yes, all for work.

Had our visitors come on another week, I feel we really could have done more, but I'm relatively pleased how much we were able to discuss and hear from them. I am excited for the possibility of what this Wakamono Youth Taikai can do to impact our young Uchinanchu from the mainland US. We had meetings and site visits, all of which were productive. Looking forward to putting a summary together of their visit for our members.

Caught a cold mid-way... I wonder if last Sunday was an indication that my body was wavering.. on Tuesday, I knew I was going to be sick. Sustained myself on fresh grated ginger tea laced with Blue Agave, staying pretty bundled and making sure I got 8+ hours of sleep each night. (The sleep was amazingly hard and simple to achieve...)

As a result, ended up slacking majorly at the end of the week on a lot of semi-vital tasks regarding the bazaar. It was a crazy weekend, and through it I feel I'm finally at the end of the cold, our sales may have been much, much better than initially imagined, and a lot of little unforgettable moments. (Some unexpected drama along the way...)

It's the morning after the bazaar and most folks are taking the day off. Alas, I do not get the day off, so I will trudge into the very, very chaotic office and do my best to restore. Today will be light on the "overall" picture and try to do the "menial".

I just have to say how much I appreciate the volunteers (apart from the fabulous planning committee). Particularly Sayuri, Sachi and Amy from my dance dojo. Without the three of them, I would have been much more frantic!

This Monday morning, I look forward to going to work to have a quiet cleaning day. That is my intention. (And to heal, say proper thank yous, and hopefully "celebrate" soon!)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Starting with physical blah

Third day of continued entries!

I went to sleep yesterday feeling really blah. I had tension in my neck and shoulders and I think dinner was a little too short on the veggies. I indulged in green tea ice cream and I wanted to blame it on that! It was like feeling like in a food coma, fuzzy, body uncomfortable. I was right cranky.

Sterling did give me a good neck massage but he couldn't adjust it because of residual tightness. That's another sign my body gives me with this stress stuff. This morning awoke from a dream that was tense. Body still feeling alittle out of whack...

So our performance went without a hitch - backup plans for costume worked, email to the young women from Okinawa was fine, just a few things I couldn't catch on the to-do list. It was good to watch the other performers that were there.

Today, I need to coordinate an airport pick-up, final food ordering for the Welcome Party, possible El Segundo pick-up prior to the party.... probably will miss Taiko practice, some sanshin practice. Tomorrow I'll miss dance practice for a bazaar meeting...

This is all work-related today. I need to squeeze in the sanshin for it is to prepare for next week's performance at our bazaar.... the one that will then really occupy my mind for this next week...

But I get ahead of myself. I need to take one day at a time. Am going to the gym for a short workout to get the blood pumping.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Reducing Stress (may) = Letting People Down

To do today:

Send email to Okinawa guests
Prepare and pack costume for performance in Rosemead
Prep songbook and make copies
Send email directions to a member
Perform at Moon Festival in Rosemead
Plan supplemental foods for Welcome Party on Sun night
Create final week to-do list for Bazaar
Post flyers in local businesses
Call AAA re: dad's driving test
Update OPG scholarship process status - inquire with other kenjinkai, etc.

Yah, it's mostly work.
I crashed early last night, I had had an exhausting day, trying to hold it together though there was a lot going on internally.

I wasn't feeling overwhelmed mentally, so that was a good sign, but my body knew better. My body always tells me, "that's great that you're not mentally freaking, but we know you're under stress..." My IBS has been non-stop. And the fact that I meant to just take a nap and slept through until this morning from about 8:30 last night, post dinner.

I had two doctor's appointments this past week - funny how that happens. When things are going well and I'm on track with my blood sugar and my blood pressure and my eating and exercise habits, I'm not reporting to anyone, but when things start going haywire, right in the middle of the chaos is when I have my check-ins and check-ups. It is a reminder that health as a priority means maintaining that priority through all tides of life.

Because of the doctor's appointments, I am acutely aware that the stress is affecting me physically and I feel a little trapped about how to reduce the stress - or at least, reduce the effects of stress. Countering with breathing and taking breaks, instead of working non-stop without eating or proper rest. It's a catch-22, though, because I feel better mentally uninterrupted because I can plow through the major energy-consuming tasks. But I've worked like that since my 20s. And now I'd like to try the "put self first" to the test to see if that doesn't still produce good results, but better physical health.

Just this one life, and really, will "At least I finished all my work" comfort me when I'm at the end of my life? I highly doubt it. So, my mind imagines, creates scenarios of extrication from the stress. Part of me just wants to quit everything. Just stop EVERYTHING. And that includes the things that I thought brought me sustenance - the arts.

It's not a good sign when those soulful things are also contributing to the stress. My life temporarily without sanshin, dance, koto. Without the Katayabira oral history project, without board meetings and event planning meetings.

What would I do instead?

I would finish going through organizing my things from when I started moving into my current apartment. I would seriously sit and plan for a wedding. I would think about creating creative streams of passive income. I would spend time helping my nephews with homework and learning. I would take more walks, maybe even go on hikes. I would WRITE. I would read more. I would listen to music more. I would write letters to friends that I dearly miss. I would attempt to cook (ha!). I would mend all the clothes and things around the house that need mending. I would do more YOGA. I would definitely meditate more. I would work on developing intuition. I would work on building Qi. I would put time into thinking of "perfect" and not-so-expensive Christmas gifts for family and friends. I would ride a bicycle. Start thinking/training for the triathlon (bucket list). I would help Sterling with developing his practices.

So why can't I do these things now? The truth is, there is a lot of mental clutter from my current commitments. And also, a lot of time is taken from my current work and commitments. If I tried to squeeze these things that I would do "instead, " I would need to get rid of sleep or magically find ways to extend the 24 hour day...

So, I can feel where I'm heading (i.e., the path I need to take), but not mentally ready to let things go. Because to let some of these things go, I understand that I will be letting people down and also letting some of my own hopes for the future of some of those commitments go. I think the letting people down is actually a big one. I just kind of honed in on that.

Ah... Really need to digest that.

And I need to start on the tasks for the day, too....

Grateful for the time to just reflect. Grateful for words. Grateful for Sterling, still sleeping. Grateful for my body that does its best to keep up with me. Grateful for my mental acuity. Grateful for this life and opportunity. Grateful to God and the Universe.

Friday, October 5, 2012


It's a Friday morning. And things are only going to ramp up for the next week and a half. A bit tiring to just think about, actually. This feeling of overwhelm is not unfamiliar, but thankfully, not a constant. But even this temporary overwhelm is damaging - I can feel it's physical and mental toll. And I don't want the strength of the negativity to grow...

I need to write. I need to reflect. I need to sit. And I need to "make space."

I know this, even as I multi-task, work late hours, try to get sleep, and worry about a multitude of things--family, health, work, future, commitments, money, work, work, work. (argh)

If I could get to those "needs," I will find centeredness, calm and probably renewed energy.

This morning, I was "led" through small connections to write a little...

The concept of Wounded Healer led to learning of the Medicine Buddha - Yakushi Nyorai in Japanese - which led to thinking of Buddhism in general, which led to an acknowledgement of a tool I have been considering for years to start a site, and then on to meditation, then spirituality...

The thought of writing regularly on things that inspire me, made me happy and of course, also terrified me. Clear signs - but when will I get to that?

So, I am carving with a spoon, this moment, as an attempt to "make space."

No promises, no judgment. Just this present moment.

Breathing, being still, listening to the trash truck nearby... Today, I will consciously breathe more.