January was a hectic month for me, although my life has been pretty hectic so it’s hard to even notice any changes these days. My husband and I are currently living in a kind of bubble that we are trying to keep positive and uplifting, even though most of the time we are feeling emotionally drained and defeated, but most of everything is out of our control at the moment, so we are just trying to focus on what we can control…our feelings and our reactions. We are just taking it each day at a time and doing everything we can to keep pushing forward. This all may seem pretty vague as I’ve shared some details of what our lives are like currently, but feel it’s better to discuss it when it’s not so present in my life, that way I can look back on this time with hopefully some insight.
The weather reports are always something to approach with caution. I guess a motto for it could be, “prepare for the worst and don’t expect anything concise.” They always say it is going to be terrible, but then ends up being rather mild. My husband and I had to drive 6 hours away for an interview, so we weren’t paying that close of attention to the weather reports. We wanted to stay the first night because we didn’t want to drive back in the dark, but that turned out to be a mistake as the weather was getting very serious and so we had to stay another night. It was my first winter storm and I wanted to be home with my cat and everything that felt comforting. We decided to drive home the long way (because the highway reports said the main route had road closures) and that also turned out to be a terrible idea. If you do not already know this, do not blindly follow Google maps directions. The route we took was on some small two-lane road through the country of Indiana. The roads were entirely covered with ice, as we slid numerous times and white-knuckled it for hours. We finally came to a freeway, which was slightly better, but not by much and drove on that until we reached Chicago and the roads were cleared up. This was all during the first storm, the following week we had another one, but we were better prepared.
Getting on the Mat
I’ve picked up yoga again! Before we moved I was doing yoga every single day and felt amazing. I wish I never stopped, but things got in the way. Not things…I did. I got in my own way, isn’t that how the story always goes? Well, I started doing yoga again on January 1st. I cannot afford to go to a studio, so I just practice at home, but I really enjoy it that way. I will do stretches in the morning and then practice in the evening when things are quiet. I like to sweat and really move my body, but some days it’s hard. Some days my head is killing me and I can barely move, but I don’t let that be an excuse not to get on the mat. I just approach the practice with acceptance for my pain and also nurturing. Maybe I won’t do any movement, maybe I will just lay there with some peppermint or lemon oil and try to breathe through the pain and calm the sensation of pain. I listen to my body every single day and don’t force anything that would cause it more pain. It’s been working well and I’ve been loving myself for committing, even though I cannot commit to a workout like someone who doesn’t experience chronic pain could. Any sort of physical movement is good in my books.
I am going to be starting a weekly newsletter in March. I have a lot of plans to initiate a community which is my ultimate goal. I will eventually set up a member tier list, which will include a Discord (community/member chat) where a ton of topics can be discussed and just have an open chat option as well. Along with a live stream and some other goodies. You can see that those links are set up on the homepage, but do not work yet. That’s a process though.
For right now I am really focusing on this newsletter as an introduction way to foster a community here at Bee & Birch. I have chatted with quite a few of you readers on life, chronic pain, and books and enjoy it so much. I want to expand on that and nurture a safe and fun place where we can all have more of a conversation.
With that, I will be aiming to release more content regularly. I’ve been terrible at this, as this is not my job, but something I do on the side, but I am putting a lot more work into it.
I’ll be making a more official post on my upcoming weekly newsletter really soon. It will share more details on what to expect from it. Meanwhile, if there is any content that you would like to see from me or any topics you like reading in a newsletter, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org