Calm Down Squad

#52SlicesOfChingonaLife #52EssaysNextWave 13/52

Isn’t it the truth?  Someone says, “calm down“, and my instinct is to do the complete opposite.

Why?  Because why should I have to tone down my feelings 24/7 in order to calm/placate/please/make someone else feel better or more powerful?  However, I’ve learned that it’s not realistic nor healthy to go OFF 24/7 so it’s all about choosing your battles, being informed, and working it which I would think would automatically calm you down.   This calmness scares people, I have seen it time and time again in my dealings with people.

Which brings me to ‘The Squad’, the four congresswomen embroiled in drama with the 45th occupant of the White House.   I’m not really going to get into the details of the fight between them disgusted as it makes me…I am, however, more interested in the reactions on both sides.

I watch/listen/read news constantly and I find a distressing trend — people just seem to want these ladies to “Calm Down”. Take a look at the reporter’s/colleague’s faces when they discuss or interview The Squad — you will see visible flinching sometimes, straight-up ‘cagado’ deer in the headlight looks and nervousness. I was very disappointed to see looks of judgement from certain reporters, some of them women,  to members of the Squad, “why are you going there?”, “are you willing to work/meet with the Speaker, the President?” and looks that silenty screamed to “calm down” and one could smell the fear in the reporter.  Fear of how the Squad would respond, how they would react to the questions.

As I listen to each member of The Squad, I find them to be very informed, connected to their districts, confident in knowing who they really work for, unafraid to make change or to do things as they’ve always been done — if it didn’t work before, what guarantees are there that they will work now?  They are trying to make things happen by working it.  These 4 women rode a wave of change into Congress, yes.  However,  they are far from token members — they have moved forward always, fearless, with more huevos than many of their counterparts.  I would think that in 2019, that they would be applauded for their bravery. Sadly, we get to see/hear chants of “Send Her Back“, and at this writing, el muy cobarde is now trying to backtrack from encouraging his racist, bitter, and abusive diatribe.

Many of us have been in a type of cultural firestorm within our familia, the workplace, with friends and lovers.  Why?  Because we try to step out of the box that people would like to keep us in.  Family members think differently with each generation and it’s difficult to keep up with the constant change and remain calm, add to this, issues with domestic violence, addiction, machismo and abuse and it’s ‘lumbre‘.   At work, we speak up/stand up and it’s “she’s so passionate”, “dial the emotions back”,  the oh-so silent “stay in your lane”, and “calm down“.  The crazy thing is, I have seen grown men in the workplace lose it, go OFF on clients, on subordinates, on each other and I have seen them cry tears so go figure, more drama than viejas.  Some friends/lovers want only to keep the status quo, keep things as they always were, change is encouraged many times in words only.

We, women of color, have lived with this type of push back our entire lives.    The look on the Squad’s faces seemed to mirror mine:  looks that said “really?!?“,  “y dale con lo mismo!“,  “been there, done that“, “here we go again”.  This is likely WHY The Squad goes straight to the issues only to find that people don’t want to deal with the issues, they want to deal with the drama of it all.  People trying to tell them to “calm down” when it’s apparent that The Squad are the ones who ARE calm.  We see this mess coming a mile away and it is irritating AF that folks want to see us in the pretty little boxes they have created for us, nothing more, many times less.

If we all would embrace and accept change, that things will not stay the same forever, that we ALL must change with the times, the situation, the issue in all aspects of our lives,  there would be less room for judgement and fear, more room for collaboration and actually getting things done.

Standing up is more powerful than standing back.  It’s time for others to “calm down” enough to listen…and learn.

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Part of Their Village

#52SlicesOfChingonaLife  #52EssaysNextWave2019  12/52

It’s after 10pm at the Ranch.  My little ones have now been picked up by their mama.  Within 10 minutes, I leave the house to get to somewhere cool and quiet.    I’ve been pretty much home for the past few days spending time with kids.  So now I’m finally at a place where I can hear myself think.  Somewhere where I can write.  Somewhere where I can get back in touch with Carmen.

I laughed as I turned on the radio – it’s on “their” station and, yes, I now know all of the top songs and surprised myself by telling them one day, “ooh there’s my song” (it was a Jonas Brothers song).

We were, my little ones and I, completely on each other’s last nerve today.    At first, it kind of hurt my feelings when they were rude to me.  But then, InnerMama kicked in, and I had to break out the “no, you do not speak to me like this” and I had to do an actual time out.    All the while, I was doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, getting them in/out of the shower, handling dinner, and putting them in their favorite place to relax in the entire house, my room.  Last words out of little one’s mouth was, “is my mommy going to come?” and then she was fast asleep.

It felt kind of weird to not be the “favorite” as one angrily stomped into the shower and the other one was acting up.  Surprisingly, it also felt weird to care but not care.   It was one of the first times that I realized that I needed to make a boundary, and to accept that I wouldn’t be popular BUT that, deep down, it was all good and that we would all be the better for it.

When I first decided to step up and be there for my lil ones, my only goal was to make them feel loved and supported, to always have a routine whenever they were with me.   Today felt like we made a step into that direction – that NinaCarmen would not hate them forever because we had a bad minute, that NinaCarmen has their back 24/7, and that we all needed to respect each other (and each other’s space).

I’m not a mother per se.  However, I’ve always felt, that as much as possible, I must respect my godchildren by being honest with them.   So, this weekend, I’ve answered questions ranging from “why don’t you have kids?” to “where’s heaven?” to hearing them tell me,“do you love me?  Because I love you”.

I was also very proud of them for telling me that they wanted Mama, and, at first, I almost took it personal, like “why don’t they like me anymore?” but, when I sensed it wasn’t part of a fit they were throwing; I promptly called their mother and asked her to come for them.  They needed their mother, thank God they have her.

There’s nothing wrong with being a part of the village to raise our children.  I realized today that I cannot do it all and, God help me, I do not want to do it all, that in order for me to be present for my godchildren, that I must not lose my essence, that part of me that draws them to me (and vice versa),  that energy that I have to take them on, throw them into the Jeep and do something fun and important.  I also realized that children need that space too, they need to be with their gente, among their things, in their own beds.  That they love spending time with NinaCarmen is great, but I’m not their entire village, I’m part of their village.

And I’m ok with that.

Get Your Hands Around Life

#52SlicesOfChingonaLife  #52EssaysNextWave2019 11/52

So much happening.  Complicated things.  Things that, eventually, must be dealt with.  My head is spinning.

For some folks, my issues may seem like nothing.  However, I feel that, anything that knocks you out of your lane, no matter how little, will eventually need to be addressed.

The only way that I can see out of this desmadre is to take things one at a time, get my hands around one thing and try to make sense of it.  Make sense of it before I try to fix things.  Maybe it’s not up to me to fix some of these things.  Maybe I will only need to listen to people and, why lie, sit on my hands so that I don’t try to control the outcome(s).

Bottom line:  I need to find the courage to learn how to do things in my own time, my own way while, at the same time, helping others however I realistically can.  I was always the one who plans things, who does it all who finds solutions.  A lot of this I did at the expense of myself, my nervous system, my Type A personality.   While I can never say never, I can, today, say, let me get my hands around it first, and then I’ll see what I can do, if I can do anything.

Pause.  Breathe.  Repair Your Universe.  Proceed.

The Rain of Shame

#52SlicesOfChingonaLife #52EssaysNextWave2019 10/52

I took a different route home the other day.  It was a beautiful, clear, sunny afternoon.  I actually enjoyed the ride for once.  Usually, I’m all up in serious bumper-to-bumper traffic and I was able to notice the still-green hills, the fields and open spaces.   This tranquility made me think of the ride the night before…

I was driving home late on one of the busier Bay Area freeways and, although there was virtually no traffic at that hour, I found myself stressing out big time.  It seemed that, at every exit, there was something that I saw that made me feel the heat of shame.    The majority of the memories that assaulted me were negative and violent, the fight where he took the keys out the ignition and left me stranded, the time I used my last dollars to pay to have his car towed when it broke down, the time where I waited for the police to arrest him and they never showed up because, as they put it, I was the 68th person in line, the time he took the phone from my hand and practically left a moving vehicle, and the times I had to “trap” him in order to serve him papers, the times that..

This rain of shame is akin to PTSD, it really does hit in waves and it is so overwhelming, it is hot, and sometimes it hurts.    I move twenty steps backward, I start calling myself names like SonsaTontaPendeja with rage, I am taken back to that point where I was helpless and had completely lost my power.   It really does hurt to go back to that dark place.  Sometimes it lasts days, sometimes it lasts hours, and this time, thankfully, it lasted minutes.   Somehow, InnerChingona brought me back from that dark side.

What do I do to calm myself?  Pray.  Listen to songs that I can sing to.  Pray.  Think about how far I have come.  Pray.  Thank GodJesusVirgenOfG that I have a great familia, friends, work projects, and, most days, peace.

I always wonder why these rains of shame still hit, maybe it’s to remind me that light always comes after dark, that, in the long run, I am the one who has always had the power within me, even if InnerChingona has to get all up in my face to make her point.

Sadly, we cannot stop the rain of shame, but thinking about the good in our lives may bring us back from that place where we beat ourselves up for every single decision that wasn’t smart, healthy or positive.

Embrace the rain.  Clean and calming.  Clearing out all of your shame and fear. I try to remember that I am not the mistakes that I have made or, more important, I am not responsible for the stupidass mistakes of others.  That, and keeping things moving forward, no matter how slow or how far you move.

 

Love Your Lonjas (or Not)

#52SlicesOfChingonaLife  #52EssaysNextWave #9/52

Had a hilarious conversation this morning with a woman in a taquería this morning.  I love talking to these women, 90% Spanish, 10% English, 100% Funny, sharp-witted, they miss nothing, and tell it like it is.  This particular woman asked me if I wanted my ‘taco de papa con todo’.  When I asked her what “everything” was, she said ‘salsa, crema, and queso fresco’.   I tell her that I want very little sour cream and cheese.

Instead of getting an answer like “ok” in regular restaurants;  I get this CLASSIC response from this señora:  “Anda peleada con la leche?” which literally translates into ‘are you fighting with milk?” (dairy).   Just like that I answered, “ no, con la leche no;  ando peleada con la lonja” (I’m fighting with my lonja/spare tire, roll of fat, love handles, etc.).  This lady then LAUGHS and tells me “tuvo buena esa” (good one) LOL.

As I thought about this exchange throughout the day, I smiled because these señoras are super-sharp and whenever you can make them laugh, the perks are extra food, extra salsa, etc. as your plate is handed to you.

I also thought about how mexicanas and Latinas in general all know what it’s like to have a lonja, to battle that muffin top, to know intellectually that you must ditch carbs, sal, dairy, carne, sugar, you name it, but to know that culturally, our food is amongst the most satisfying cuisine ever.  While you know you should stick to a salad,  it is really difficult to say no to señoras like our mothers, abuelas, tías, comadres, friends who cook, and the señoras in taquerías, when they have a plate of Mexican food in your face.  And know that you WILL be teased if you try to eat better.  Like me this afternoon, for not having sour cream or cheese, or asking for frijoles de olla/whole beans versus refritos!

Aside from the funny reaction, I think that, deep down, this señora respected me for letting her know that my struggle with la lonja is real and know that others will respect you for trying to deal with your own lonja because they ‘get it’.  No need to go into a taquería or restaurant insulting the crew for the amount of fat and/or calories are in the carnitas, why is lard used for the refried beans, deep-fried chicharrones and the like;  these folks are just doing their job, making great food.

It’s up to you (and maybe your doctor) to deal with any nutritional issues, weight-loss plans and to know that there are enough Mexican food options that are healthier and CAN be enjoyed.  I have a friend who orders a veggie burrito without the tortilla.  I laughed at first but then, when I saw how the plate looked, with all of the filling, beans, rice, onions, avocado, tomatoes, and salsa on the outside:  it looked really good.

Plus, you can always drink more water, walk a little longer, run a little faster, lift a heavier weight, etc. when you overdo it.  A lonja does not disappear overnight.  Some of us hate our lonjas, some of us love them, and most of us, simply learn to live with them.

The journey is trying to stay on that road to the #NoLonjaZone.

 

 

One Step At A Time

#52SlicesOfChingonaLife  #52EssaysNextWave 8/52

So blessed to have a full life.  The past 6 weeks, however, have taken their toll on the little time that I spend on myself, to get myself in order.   While I have no regrets on things that I’ve taken on:  taking Interpreting classes, taking care of my lil nieces on weekends, trying to make a lot happen with not enough staff, etc.  I noticed that my attitude was not right:  impatient, tired, irritable, tired, overworked, tired.

While I don’t want to stop doing what I do, I do know that I want to work smarter, not harder;  to take time for myself as I strive to complete life goals; to admit when I’m tired/burnt out instead of acting like I should handle it all asi nada mas, to make my self-care a daily part of my life. As I work my way out of the quemada/burn-out zone, I decided that, no, I didn’t have to follow ALL of the tips I find on taking care of myself all at once, so I decided that I would try to handle ONE of them within the next month.

In no particular order, here are 3 self-care tips that I’d like to learn more about:

Don’t Give Up The Time You Set Aside
No matter what your profession, you should keep boundaries to preserve your work-life balance. Blocking time on your calendar to decompress is only half the battle: actually utilizing that time for personal care is the other. Hold yourself accountable to keeping the time you set aside for yourself. If you slip, then learn from the moment, reset and restart. – Tracy Avin, MBL Benefits Consulting >>It could be walking for 20 minutes a day to writing in my journal to drinking water, algo es algo.

Leverage Your Commute Time To Decompress
As much as we all want to carve out time for ourselves, the reality is we often get pulled in a different direction given the demands of our everyday lives. One thing I can always count on in my day is commute time. Instead of driving, I take the bus and use the time to relax by reading or listening to music. Our Microsoft CFO, Amy Hood, openly talks about how she takes the bus and does this, too. – Rakhi Voria, Microsoft >>One of the reasons I love taking the train so much,  I don’t have to deal with the traffic mess — Iately, it’s been watching YouTube and taking naps LOL

Follow The Two-Minute Rule
David Allen’s bestselling book, Getting Things Done, explains the two-minute rule. It simply states that if a task takes less than two minutes, then do it straight away. This eliminates procrastination, which reduces stress and allows you to stay organized, which grants you time to decompress at the end of the day. Practicing this rule will surely provide you with personal balance. – Dane Matheson, Sourcebits  >>This is one I will try ASAP, I want to see how much more I can get done in one day!

I guess I’m tired of being tired.  Ready to learn how to make positive changes.  It all starts with one step.

Signs

#52SlicesOfChingonaLife  #52EssaysNextWave  7/52

Yesterday I was a mess.  I was in a state of overwhelm.  It didn’t help that I woke up with remnants of a migraine, late, and rushing around.   Part of my morning routine is to turn off all of the lights and I always look out of the kitchen window.  It’s like my way of saying hello to the universe as I wake up.  The first thing I saw was Mama’s tree, covered in pink blossoms, her ‘popcorn’ tree she used to call it.  I took this as a sign that she was with me that second.

As I posted this picture on my social media, here were my thoughts:  I’m “off” this morning. This pic of Mama’s tree will help put things into perspective today. How this señora willed herself to wake up and be grateful for a new day, no matter how she felt, astounds me and propels my stressed-running-late-negative-ass forward to make this an important day. Thanks for the signs Mama. #MargaretLivesInMe

Regular readers know that my mother was left partially paralyzed from a stroke thus, for the most part, she was confined to the house and dependent upon us to drive her wherever she wanted to go.  Sad, because one of the joys of Mama’s life was to pick up her keys and take off driving in her car, her “me” time.  I remember she was a morning person and would wake up in a good place – she needed that positivity to deal with her family of night owls, morning people we are not.

So later in the day, I was still not right and was stressed going back and forth trying to decide on taking a class or not, I then saw another sign from Margaret:

Whenever I’m struggling, I always see pennies in random places, this one was on the seat on BART. Sign from Mama that I’m doing the right thing. It may have taken me 3 weeks to decide but I showed up to yet another Interpreting Drills class and talked my way in. I got called on a lot in class (maybe she was testing me LOL). Happy to know that my sense of aventada-ness is alive and well – fell on my face as much as I nailed it. With my crazyass life, these classes keep me focused . This next month, especially, will test my stamina and my time-management skills. No pain, no gain, no guts, no glory. I will handle this :).

I’m learning to pay attention to the signs when I see them.  Mama was reminding me that my goals are important, that they do matter, and that no one else but me can take care of my business.

DO NOT BE AFRAID to get back on your wagon for your health, for your truth, for your career or for your life goals. DO IT FOR YOURSELF – don’t let yourself down. Late or not, show up for you!

My Ordinary Day

#52SlicesOfChingonaLife   #52EssaysNextWave2019   6/52

Ordinary Days. For years and years, I ran from these days, too square, too much of a routine, too mundane for my busy life.  All I knew, or wanted to know, was moving fast, planning one event bigger than the next, moving from one town to another and another.   I always had something to do, somewhere to go, moving, moving, moving.  No time in my life for ordinary days.

Don’t get me wrong, it was (and is) exciting and a lot of fun.

But there came a time where I had to be there for Mama and for my family.  In 2014, Mama was walking her last journey on this earth.   I rarely left home, I helped my familia to take care of Mama and I was the one who kept the house up and kept everyone on schedule.  I super-surprised myself by being the one to move Mama when needed and to help change and dress her.  I remember one time I made her laugh when I pulled out a splinter from her finger como si nada.   Mama laughed because she never expected this from me, I was her miedosa daughter, scared of everything.  However, at the time, her comfort took precedence over EVERYTHING in my life.

I went right back to work a couple of days after her funeral and something had profoundly changed in me.  At the time, I couldn’t put my finger on it but I was different.   I was exhausted from weeks of caring for my mother, out of it, way off of my work-routine, and, I sensed that I was barely getting through the day, I didn’t know what I wanted to do anymore.

One thing I knew.  I got great comfort from the schedule that I made, week after week, for my family.  I knew exactly who would be at the house and when.   I was very happy that my family had agreed to keep the schedule going so that we could be there to take care of our father.    It was as if this simple, mundane, activity was keeping me on point so that I could get myself up out of bed every day to make it to work, to handle my everyday survival.  Day after day, I’d see members of the Torres5 doing what had to be done, and, some days, I’d see the same profoundly sad face that I wore on a daily basis.  I didn’t feel so alone.

Our sadness eventually lifted, as if we had all been in a fog.  Our household started feeling like home again.   It took a little longer for me to become accustomed to living back at home and, once I got into work and events again, I found that I was “back” and having fun again working it.

What shocked me was that I was starting to really look forward to ordinary days, days where I could just be, somewhere where I could breathe and recharge, where I could do cool things like laundry (my task yesterday) to organizing our spare room (which I did this morning).  OMG, my years of living my personal life on such a regimented schedule, was actually working for me!

The one thing that kept me from enjoying ordinary days was my lack of commitment to anything other than work.  Once I committed to our basic family schedule, it seemed as if more possibilities opened up, I started spending more time with friends, working out, writing, reading, and doing things that I loved, things that were, dare I say it, boring, mundane, routine, ordinary, and at the same time, glorious!  On the days I’m not “on the schedule”, I’m able to do “me” things and, truth be told, there’s no place I’d rather be.

My life might have been very different had I embraced the ordinary years ago.   Especially as I’m now convinced that this is where my true peace, joy, and happiness reside, inside of my ordinary days.

Now, it’s all about work hard and handle my business, so that I can enjoy my next “ordinary day”!

Rainy Day…Music Day

 

#52SlicesOfChingonaLife

5/52 #52EssaysNextWave2019

It’s raining outside.

Rainy days and nights are perfect for listening to music.   In fact, this is what I’m doing as I wait out this California storm.  Looking out of the window, watching the cars go by, watching the colors and reflections of the stoplights, store lights, car lights, watching the raindrops on the window change colors as this all happens…all to the sounds of music that I love.

Took me back to when we had records and would make a conscious decision to listen to music.  All of us Torres5 had a record player in our rooms and a stack of records that always made it onto that turntable.  You would go thru the box of 45 records, mine were kept in a couple of shoeboxes; or go thru our vinyl albums, check out the covers to see if there was a song you wanted to hear, reject the records that you knew were going to scratch or skip LOL and, of course, someone would have to be “dj” and physically put the 45 or LP onto the turntable and get the needle into the correct groove/song that we all wanted to listen to.   And listen we would, for hours on end.

I don’t know that many people take that kind of time to enjoy music anymore, kind of makes me sad that our little ones may never know that kind of fun – the fun of reading album liner notes, looking at the face of an artist/singer as you listen to their music that you “know” s/he is singing just for you, laying on your bed daydreaming, sometimes looking out of the window, sometimes not, sometimes with the lights on, others with the lights off , letting the music take you away to another place, freeing you from life’s problems, helping you think about your next move, helping you recover from a broken heart.   Or falling asleep hearing that unmistakable click over and over telling you that the record/album has ended.

Radio, iTunes, mp3s, Pandora, Spotify can bring us all of the music we need and, I can get the same enjoyment blasting my music on the commute, a long drive, train rides and in my headphones but I do miss those days when we actually took time out of our day specifically to listen to music.   In my case, I loved to sing along (and still do) to great songs.  One of the reasons I’ve loved working in the radio industry is precisely because, in certain moments, concerts and station events specifically, you’re able to see the power of music and the joy listening to music brings to our listeners.  There’s no way that I’m the only one who loves music listening days (and nights).

In my family, we cannot listen to music at night, because we always want to hear the next song and we get no sleep LOL  And now I’ve decided that I am going to break out our vinyl and show our TorresBabies what it’s all about 🙂  I think that they will love it.

Here are some of the songs that we Torres5 listened to a LOT, so much so, that I associate the songs with said sibling and, believe me, there are thousands more songs in both English and Spanish, but I decided to go with the first song that popped into my head.

Here’s one that brother Mikey always loved and I wonder if he still sings it at his gigs today (probably):

Hollywood Swinging/Kool and the Gang

 

When I hear any Santana song, my thoughts automatically go to my brother Martin, who loves, “the number one Chicano in the world” as he puts it.

Incident At Neshabur/Santana

 

This album holds the record for never leaving the turntable for MONTHS and months.  We TorresSisters know every single song on all of the Heatwave albums because Kiki wouldn’t let us take the record off :).  But no one like sister Kiki to sing these songs and she would work the high notes too.

Mind Blowing Decisions/Heatwave

 

As Christy is the youngest, she had to listen to whatever we wanted and was, many times, the one who we assigned to be ‘dj’ to change the records LOL.   This is one of her absolute favorite songs and, by that time, it was likely on CD.

Kiss From A Rose/Seal

 

Most of the vinyl I bought back in the day was Tejano and the mighty Latin Breed was the first Tejano band I remember hearing.  I can safely say that I was one of the first of the Torres5 to really get into musica Tejana – now we love it and everyone always thinks we’re from there 🙂  Still love tejano music and the Latin Breed never gets old.

De Que Te Quejas Mi Amor/Latin Breed

In 2019 Hay Comida En Casa

#52SlicesOfChingonaLife  #52EssaysNextWave2019  4/52

 

When I first saw this ‘advice’ on my social media, I had to laugh because who hasn’t heard this in one language or another?  “We have food at home”, I know that I heard this many times come out of Mama’s mouth.  Then later, as I was going through my receipts and bills, I thought of this again and really thought about it:  a big chunk of my receipts, and I always have a mountain of receipts, were for a coffee here, un McDonalds alla, and on and on.  Not only did I need to rethink my food spending, I could probably save a good chunk of money and live a healthier life by taking advantage of the fact that “hay comida en casa“.

Something clicked in me in that instant, and I decided that, yes, I had complete control of everything that goes into my mouth.  I also cook for Dad a lot as well.   We could both benefit from eating healthier and, what if something happened to either of us?  Something that would make a doctor tell us “this is it, if you continue eating this or that, you will die”.   I had heard of a friend’s wife being told something similar, that she would have to change her eating habits that second or she would die.

I noticed that I had begun to eat emotionally.   I remember going home after an emotional day and chowing down.  I didn’t even enjoy it.  Then there was the day where I had gotten it into my head that I needed to have chocolate every day, bought a candy bar, which I didn’t really even want, and ate it, so unsatisfying.   And THEN, because truth does not lie, I saw a picture of myself and I look like I swallowed a giant ball, lonjas for days.

After seeing the picture, I realized that I hadn’t felt healthy for a couple of weeks.  That something had really been on my mind bothering me during this time, didn’t think “I should call someone and talk this out”, no, it was “I need to make some guacamole”.   I hadn’t been checking on myself lately.  Taking care of myself had become a battle with my sick ‘woe is me, no one checks on me either’ mind.   My lack of self-care was showing (literally) and, after I realized it, it was ‘ON’.  That day, I even wrote in my journal, “this is IT, there has to be another way”.  I started listing the things that I could do in that moment to save my life.

I had a list of about 5 or 6 things that would need to be handled immediately.  I decided that I needed to brown bag it with real food, not jusgueria junk food,  drink water, SLEEP more, rest when I needed to, think about the real food that I liked to eat so that I would have more of it at the house,  choose better foods for Dad as well.  I also felt that I had to be much smarter about my commute which was tearing my patience and rest to shreds.   If I could tackle these necessary things, I might feel better and have time to do more of what I really wanted to do.

The first night of “taking care of myself” saw immediate results, I slept better than ever, the aches and pains, both physical and emotional, suddenly felt more manageable.   Taking leftovers, oranges, apples, bananas, water, etc, to eat was actually really satisfying and, while I did ‘need’ a piece of chocolate that first week, it was nowhere near the desperation that I had felt the week before.   And surprise, how productive was I?  I got soooo much done that I amazed myself.

The takeaway from this post is that, if you don’t take care of yourself emotionally, it WILL catch up with you physically.  Look at your emotional health before spending money on that huge meal or shiny new toy — you’ll end up with a bigass lonja and a lot less money in your bank account.  I want more for myself in 2019 and, like all new endeavors, it will take time to get there.  I’m ready.