My body has all of a sudden been craving a lot of sleep lately, and I have been going to bed soon after my children, sleeping in as late as they will let me, and sleeping very deeply in the time I have. And in this deep sleep, I feel like my body is repairing itself in ways that I’ve been longing for.
I couldn’t understand why I was so achy, but I think I was getting minor readjustments all over because this morning I woke up feeling amazing. My psoriasis patches that I’ve had since December 2016 are finally shrinking up. I’ve started vividly dreaming again these past couple of weeks, which has been sorely lacking. And I feel more grounded than I have for a long time. The only downsides are that I’m having a really hard time focusing through this process and feeling achy last week was not fun. And I still struggle with feeling like I’m “wasting” time by going to bed early and not having that time to create or to spend with my husband or to clean the house. But it isn’t wasted. My body is doing what it needs to do to allow me to live my best life while I’m awake.
So, listen to your body. Don’t abuse it. All pieces of yourself should be working together as a team to achieve what you want out of life. This is a lesson I continually have to put into practice for myself.
I finished working as set costumer on my first feature film, and rather than feel my usual depleted of all energy and on the edge of sickness or post-project depression, I am mentally energized to jump back into all the good things I had started to do for myself. Which is awesome, and while I am honestly nervous about seizing control of my destiny and not having a reliable routine, life is too brief to settle.
I had another one of those profound self-reflections during the work on the film, and that is that I have always had a really easy time stepping outside of the chaos of our shared reality and becoming an observer of it. This ability used to make me feel really uncomfortable on occasion, as I would feel like an outsider for not being a part of the group (not participating in the “crazy”), and I would get really upset that I wasn’t able to fix the pain people were inflicting on themselves or others. But in the long run, this is a gift, and I have been able to utilize it so much more, which really does give me more opportunities to live a healthier life myself and to encourage others to find their own path when they feel ready themselves.
I shared my painting of “The Inner Maelstrom” above to show how chaos feels to me.
So, I wanted to offer some tips to you for practicing lifting yourself out of the stream. Even just trying to do this for 30 seconds in a stressful situation can help you immensely.
- Turn off the guilt. Is whatever chaos going on your fault? Probably not. If it is, then learn from your mistake and stop creating chaos. If it isn’t, then don’t create more problems by internalizing it.
- Remember not to take things personally. This goes with the above. People bubble over with anger and stress. Acknowledge any truth you can see to what they are saying, but don’t engage unless it’s to defend yourself or another in an abusive situation.
- Take a few deep breathes, focus on the quiet spaces between your heartbeats, and find stillness.
- Really think about the situation. Observe what is going on. Is there anything helpful you can offer to what is going on? If so, do it, but most of the time, people are creating the chaos for reasons that are beyond your control (lack of communication, lack of planning, sheer exhaustion). I am a firm believer in helping as much as possible, but you also have to protect your integrity and safety as well.
Anyway, normal organic chaos can be beautiful. I’m really talking about the disorganized extra chaos people bring to themselves and others. We don’t need to engage in that. Again, life is way too short for that nonsense in our lives.
I’m just past mid-way working on my first feature film in the costume department. The hours are excruciatingly long but I have met so many great people and learned so much in this process and am being paid very well for my time, so it is worth the exhaustion of a few weeks. The designer I’m working with is so well-organized and creative, my hard work has been very appreciated by everyone involved, and the sheer juggling of all the pieces is interesting to watch and learn.
Yet as a side note, it is insane to me the amount of effort that goes into making a theatrical production or feature film, and even though I do enjoy film and theater myself personally, I can’t help but feel like the creative and monetary energies of everyone could be so much better spent elsewhere in the world. There is just a whole lot of waste going on. Even down to the number of cases of bottled water that we go through on set each day, and of course there is no recycling at most of the locations so it all just goes into the trash (I take some of my empty bottles with me to recycle at home, but when I’m super exhausted after a long overnight shoot and trying to clean up the mess in our area, I just scoop it all up into the can). I felt the same way on my first theatrical production I got hired onto after the break I took when I had my son. Here is this gigantic set built with beautiful costumes made from scratch, and it is a five week run and then it gets stored or destroyed. And then onto the next show or film. I can’t help but see the irony of all these really green creative people adding to the waste of the environment with everything involved. But I’m still here and a part of them, and seeing how costly things are, it would be incredibly difficult to produce a truly low-footprint production.
Every other thing in my life has been put on hold with the filming schedule, but yesterday and today on my days off, I am still filled with so much creative energy. I start my other long term costume job for the spring tomorrow, filling in as costumer of a college dance department while their’s is on maternity leave, which requires me to miss 3 days of these last two weeks of filming, and I am looking forward to diving back into my personal projects while doing the work for the college and spending more times with the kids once the film is done. I will need to readjust my timeframe for releasing certain things, but the work will be coming. Life is very interesting and exciting for me right now.
Tomorrow is my last day working as a seamstress full-time at the bridal shop. I feel both excited and nervous taking such a big leap into freelancing, but it is time.
I am taking a week off, then have two costume freelance gigs back to back (with a little overlap), so I am set til spring, and I left it with the shop that I may come back and freelance with them in the busy season. I also hope to open two small online shops when my 2nd contract is done. February is going to be a crazy schedule, then things should settle down and give me lots more time and flexibility. Time with my family. Time to create.
It is funny… when my son was about this age was when I quit my office job and moved cities. Both times things just happened organically, but I still needed to make that choice to leap. Which is so empowering to do.
And yet, I’m still so tired. My daughter started working on another molar this week, I feel so drained and sore, and this morning as I was getting things ready for the day I could clearly see and hear an aspect of myself crying and whining “But it’s all so haaaaard. ” And it is hard, so I need to pat that inner self on the head, give myself a little time to relax and play and hopefully sleep, then finally emerge into this next stage of my life. It is time.
This is inspired from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Fun fact, Beatrice and Benedick are my favorite Shakespearean couple.
I am combining my year-end reflection and look to the future this year, as this is the first chance I’ve had to really sit and think things through. I dubbed 2016 my Year of Change, 2017 my Year of Recovery from all the change I went through, and 2018 was supposed to be the year I started living the life I’ve always wanted, to step into my full being. Things have not worked out the way I wanted to or as fast as I wanted it to, and I had to contend with some serious disappointments and sad moments this year. I’ve felt ready, but stuck, and I came to the realization yesterday that it’s all been in good time. I’ve been like a seed that has begun to sprout but still needs to work it’s way through the dirt until the sun and air can be felt fully. I’ve done so much to push that dirt out of the way, and now, now I am finally feeling the freshness above me.
So 2018 was a year of internal adjustments, of letting go of some resentment, of recognizing limitations and yet still pushing against them for personal growth. I didn’t get to create as much as I wanted, but I managed to do a little. I finished three paintings and an illustration. I wrote a lot of poems and chipped away at my novel and wrote and published a short story. I wrote one song fully out and really love it. And I created a couple of cool fiber art pieces – one for myself to hang and one for a friend’s wedding gift. I also did and continue to do so much planning.
This coming year, 2019, is a year of Spiraling upward and outward, both for myself personally and collectively. I can feel it. I will be giving notice soon at work, but hopefully leaving myself open to freelancing there if I need to later. I have two big costuming gigs lined up that will take me through spring that will hopefully provide income so I can focus more on the kids and personal creative projects this summer. But I know things will happen as they will. All I can do is say yes to opportunities as they come and make the effort toward creating as I can do so.
I hope you all feel the spiraling energy and let it flow through you this year, that we all have a year of action and of love.
It is the winter equinox, and it is the first time in many years that the day hasn’t hung like a stone from my neck. No feelings of discontent and exhaustion, despite my lack of sleep and still being in the same situation for at least a short time longer. No deep despairing over the bleakness and pain of the outside world, though there are many ongoing situations that I still care about. And I haven’t even been good with the vitamin D supplements lately!
So what is the shift? I don’t know, really. Maybe it’s the reading I have been doing lately on the illusion of time and our holographic reality. Maybe it’s a part of the internal shifting i have been doing. Maybe it is a deeper connection to the earth and her movements and being more in sync with everything. Maybe it’s because I have been allowing myself to see the shining light of everyone else lately, and that has been keeping me energized and hopeful.
I wish you all a joyful end of the year, with stress free gatherings for whatever you celebrate, and I hope you allow the lengthening days to energize you in the year to come. I will do my usual end-of-the-year wrap up and New Years post, but til then, keep on shining.
Don’t speak ill of the dead
Or of the lies they said
Be ready to forgive it all
Don’t challenge their glory
The official story
Is all that you need to recall
Don’t speak ill of the dead
Forget all the bloodshed
And the dirty deeds they have done
Feel deep shame and remorse
For questioning their course
And the wars that they have begun
Don’t speak ill of the dead
Give thanks to them instead
And wipe the slate clean of the past
Don’t you dare to bother
On sins of the father
Or the legacy that will last
Don’t speak ill of the dead
Or think what lies ahead
Just keep on shedding those sad tears
Keep it all buried deep
Keep on acting like sheep
And don’t worry about your fears
Copyright 2018, Kat Micari
Can you guess whose death this was written in response to?
Also, I feel like this could be developed into a song maybe. We shall have to see.
I am finally beginning to feel like I am reclaiming myself after the birth of my daughter. With both my children, the first few years of sleep deprivation and wanting/needing to spend time with them over everything else, I had this disconnection from myself. My children were the center of my world, and everything else, even frequently my creative work, just kind of went on autopilot. A necessary sacrifice, and truthfully, when I finally reclaimed myself when my son reached about 2.5 years old, my inner growth the following year more than made up for the pause I took. And my life is about ready to push play again, and even though I am still sleep deprived and still learning self-care again, I feel ready.
Despite feeling on pause for the past couple of years, I have learnt so much about myself. I have tested the absolute limits of my physical and mental strength when I worked myself sick two years ago and had such a slow recovery. I have finally grasped the notion of true care. I have made decisions regarding my work in the future in that I have no interest in doing “bargain” quality work for lower pay but prefer to do the very top quality and detail work and be recompensed fairly for it. That is something I had a hard time with in the past, especially working for nonprofits. I have learned to truly listen and hold space for people. And I have continued questioning and studying, although much of what I have been doing has been internal rather than external. Maybe that is the biggest lesson I’ve had… learning to keep silent not because I have to but because I can learn more in the silence sometimes than in shouting my views out. Comes back to that notion of being an active listener. All very important lessons, but it is now time to step out of the blurry haze of newborn and toddler parenting and into the steadier tread of helping to raise decent human beings and reclaim my sense of self again. I’m very interested to see where my creativity and personal growth leads me. And hopefully you all will be interested too.