Security measures

In the midst of considerable stress, I’m taking steps to protect myself. Up until the past three weeks, I’ve thought of the demands of this master’s program as requiring organization, creativity, flexibility, dependability, warmth, and scholarship. Unfortunately, a bad situation has also required me to institute self-protective measures. Disheartened and sick, I am writing to think my way through to the end. If I am to continue, I have to find a way to feel happy and healthy while I do it.

Build in white spaceRethinking white space goes a long way for me. A long walk can serve as white space. On Friday after school, I walked from the high school to Pier 52, and the rain lashing my face never felt so welcome. A 30-minute lunch break means I eat quickly in order to walk twice around the track—fresh air and quiet for 10 minutes is precious white space in the middle of the day.

Rely on routine Start of day, end of day. These are my encaustic teacher Richard’s words. Start of day in an encaustic studio means opening the windows, warming the pans, laying fresh paper on the workspace, etc. In the classroom, I’m still figuring this out. (Right now, this takes some sleuthing and some trial and error on my part.)

Get enough sleep I am doing better at going to bed early, but still cannot figure out how to overcome insomnia. Five a.m. waking time is brutal on a couple hours of deep sleep.

Distance yourself Watch the raging river from above. Be the dual creature Whitman wrote of, “Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it.”

Practice non-attachment I am still trying to crack this nut.

Eat healthy food Also, keep a travel mug of hot tea close at hand. In disheartening times, it is a comfort.

Laugh Laughing yoga or Marcel the Shell with the kids.

Take sick days –Yes, I am writing this on a Monday morning from my sickbed at home, sweet home.

8 thoughts on “Security measures

  1. I have started prioritizing two things each day even though it feels selfish and trivial sometimes: Barefoot outside time each day (I feel like actually planting myself in the earth does “ground” me.) This usually means hanging out or bringing in the laundry (we don’t have a dryer – noone does) with bare feet so it’s still work but I’m refocusing it as something that’s good for me. And laying down on the couch for at least 15 minutes in the afternoon. It usually feels like I just can not squeeze it in because I have so many other more worthy pursuits that require my time, but it makes me more capable of doing them because of the little recharging I get. Sitting down with a cup of tea is great and I do that too, but there’s something different about properly laying down in the daytime.

    Good luck, my friend. It’s comforting to me that this intense studying is just a short time in my hopefully long life. But I still need to find peace now and survive it all somehow.

  2. I’m glad that you took a sick day – hopefully it was more emotional renewal and less physical sickness. Also glad that you’re finding successful coping strategies. Hang in there.

    • Hi Suzanne! I have some sort of upper respiratory malaise that’s still hanging on. I’m staying home tomorrow as well, and hopefully things will be looking up by then.

  3. Thank you for this post. These security measures were incredibly timely for me!

    Hang in there. Thinking of you and hoping your day tomorrow goes well. 🙂


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