Thursday, July 16, 2020

covid notes 14

Life feels like it’s going from bad to maybe worse but at least just as bad. I want to write and don’t. I keep thinking I want a little chronology here, that I need to say more about March and style school before moving on to April, May, June, July. I mean, these notes don’t have to be chronological, and bouncing around is fine—I’m just not sure how to get into the big stuff until I have time/energy to think about the big stuff.

For now, let me say this. Everything I’ve been trying out—therapy, meditation, style school—is pretty much some form of cognitive behavioral therapy. Not necessarily trying to change the things themselves, but my reaction to those things. I can’t change the family I was born into or what I didn’t get as a kid. I can’t change my mother or her behavior. I can’t change my body much, and if I want to, why do I want to? I need to somehow stop clinging to the past and worrying about the future. Breathing. Accepting. Embracing the good in the moment. Being kind to oneself. Seeing oneself and letting go of judgment.

This shit is hard. It’s just easier to criticize myself.

Earlier in the year, pre-covid, my therapist suggested I try a free 21-day Deepak Chopra meditation, hosted by Oprah Winfrey. I tried it, I did the whole thing, I liked it. Another freebie was recently offered, and I find I’m not into it. Different host, which is fine—all the host does is say a few things and introduce Chopra—and I like the messages from Chopra, but the meditation time itself is making me really tense. Around day 9, I decided it was the music. Something very grating about the quiet, minor-key, new-agey notes puts me on edge. I wonder if the same music was used in the Oprah run, but I have no more access to those sessions. I said something to my therapist about it—she had told me she was doing this session too—but she said she had stopped early on because she wasn’t into it this time. Hmmmmm. She’d look into the music thing. [Update: She sent me a note today: “I listened again today and I agree. I wouldn’t even call what’s in the background music. It’s more like a whine in an annoying pitch.] I’m going to listen to the last lessons and let the sitting part go. I’ll go through my Headspace tutorials again (I like that better) and maybe even decide that Headspace is worth money, even though I don’t have any money any more.

Ooops. Guess I’m worrying about the future again.

Friday, July 3, 2020

covid notes 13

Time is messed up. I was moving photos off my computer the other day, onto an external hard drive. January 2020 came up, and there were photos of Paul’s 80th birthday party. What are these doing here? I thought. How did they get in the wrong place? I figured it had been at least a year since Paul turned 80. Then I did the math. The photos were taken five months ago.

Similarly, this morning, I flashed on the days when my neighbor’s mother was on the Westerdam—I think it was that ship, that last one that left Hong Kong or some such and then no one let them dock anywhere until at last they were allowed to disembark in…Cambodia? Please forgive me if I’m getting these details wrong. There was a photo of his mother and her husband disembarking, possibly in the New York Times. I tried to find it, but couldn’t, and I swear I was thinking this must have been in maybe November? Nope. February. Oh, that’s right. They were stuck out there over his birthday, I think. He had begged them to not go.

But it is already Friday again and it feels like time is speeding by and I have accomplished so little. I haven’t even gotten back to talking about style school.

I’m trying.