Seems like life does that to us every now and then, yes? It’s not always bad but it does leave us gasping for breath. From November to February I was sick at least four times with sinus infections and bronchitis. Which, what the fuck, I quit smoking and THEN I get bronchitis? Fuck you, Lady Fate, you’re not funny. So there were holidays and sickness and doctors and urgent cares and bottles and bottles of prednisone. Then there were dog surgeries and dog injuries and then we all got the stomach bug from Hades and everything is just insane. Somewhere in there, I was supposed to have breast reduction surgery. I had it all planned out so that it coincided with the kids’ spring break and they could spend the first week up in Dayton with my family. Best laid plans and whatnot. I rescheduled quickly because I’m experiencing a ton of anxiety and really need to get the surgery out of the way. Really, they just don’t make enough clonazepam for another month of this. So surgery is one week away, on the 3rd. I’ve been scrambling to reschedule sitters and rides and dog training, and flooring installation (because, let’s do everything at the same time!) all while holding back hair while someone pukes. Which led to me feeling very much like pulling a Wreck-it Ralph.
So it’s time to break out the big guns. It’s time to actually put to use the coping skills I’ve been learning – and mostly ignoring – for 20 years. How do you soothe yourself when tensions are high? Some things are easy and obvious. Get a massage, buy expensive chocolate, smoke a little weed! Some things are more personal, more self-driven and usually more effective. These are mine.
This is my soothe song. I can’t explain it but the first time I heard it I could feel everything in me release just a little, like a long sigh. I also listen to Imogen Heap when I need to relax but only when I’m going to bed. I can’t sleep without white noise. I pack a fan to stay in a hotel or even to visit family. I can’t have a tv on, no audio books*, no music; even instrumental music keeps me awake. But Imogen’s ethereal qualities lull me into weightless sleep like the mythical siren. I only use it on the rare occasion that I really need extra care for myself, the days I’ve been fighting tears that I don’t understand. I recommend Ellipse with the bonus instrumental tracks, start with Little Bird. Anyway, here’s Life by the Avett Brothers:
The other thing I do lately is tea. I was having trouble making coffee that I like because I’m a leeetle picky and I’ve been trying to make small, healthy changes to my diet so I ventured into a Teavana. $800 later I can actually make a cup of tea. I’m kidding but they really are very expensive. I could sing you the praises of My Morning Mate, a nutty black tea that is replacing my morning coffee. I’d like to tell you about the BEST TRAVEL MUG EVER INVENTED and I’d encourage you to look at the Perfect TeaMaker because it’s cheap and easy and even fun to use.** But this is a post about soothing so let me just say, nothing soothes like a nice white or green tea in the evening. They have a ton of ultra-fruity stuff; teas that are really more like reconstituted juice made from dried fruit with a tea leaf or two thrown in (voila! healthy!). That didn’t work for me and required a lot of their awesome German Rock Sugar (made from beets!). So I exchanged the ones I didn’t like and got Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls Green Tea.This stuff smells just like a jasmine flower, it’s very mild and perfect for relaxing before bed. Plus it’s got a rad name.
Now, if I can find someone to play with my hair I’ll have the trifecta.