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April 20, 2007

posturing

The leg bone is connected to the thigh bone is connected to the ankle bone...

I've been going to a chiropractor for a year and a half now and getting regular massages for over year. This is the only way I've managed to keep chronic shoulder pain at bay. I also noticed that since I started seeing the chiropractor on a regular basis I almost never get sick. Previous to this addiction it seemed I came down with a virus every six weeks.

In reevaluating my financial situation and also realizing that I don't want to be chained to the doctor's office I've started to be curious about ways I can take care of myself instead of having someone else take care of me. I figure if I can pay someone to get these results, now that my life is pretty steady (love life, job, living situation...) I should be able to take this responsibility on myself.

So I tried a kick-boxing class with a friend and was impressed with the results - my two weak spots are my shoulder and my hip. Kick-boxing works out both of these. After the class though, the true revelation came.

My friend is also a fabulous massage therapist who views the body as a puzzle. She commented on my posture and how that might be affecting the rest of my weaknesses adversely. Granted, this was not the first time she chided my on my posture, nor is she the first person to comment on it, but on Sunday I was all ears.

Suddenly it clicked into place - by having bad posture in one spot - I tend to tuck my hips in too far - it was traveling through the rest of my body and causing all sorts of ailments. When my hips are slanted forward I notice my back muscles and stomach muscles work differently - possibly causing some digestion problems. My knees and shoulders tend compensate for hip location as well by both working harder. My knees stay more bent - keeping pressure on them and my chest tends to lean forward bringing my shoulders with it. Furthermore in order to tilt my hips forward I tend to keep my entire pelvic region flexed which has all sorts of other repercussions.

My posture still sucks - I've stood this way for years so it will take awhile to retrain my body. However I am so excited that I can do something to improve my health that doesn't involve sweat or money.

April 13, 2007

wake

I didn't know what to do with myself. I was depressed and couldn't focus on anything yet I had been still too long and felt restless. So I called my mom. I miss my family so much. She and the rest of my family were busy planning my grandmother's funeral and the wake afterwards. What would people eat? What would they drink? Was the house tidy enough?

It sounded like so much fun I wish I was there to help them. I decided to do a mini-wake here. My brother was already planning on coming over. I called an ex-boyfriend who knew grandma, my best friend who had met her a few times, and some close friends who knew of her through my stories. Planning this get together energized me. Suddenly I was able to clean the house and go to the store to get flowers, cookies, cheese, and crackers. I pulled out all the good pictures I had and set them around the house with the flowers. I read from her diary and prepared for my guests. I finally felt moving again. It amazed me how healing this process was. My friends sat around the table and talked about grandma some but not excessively. I shed a few tears but the smiles far outweighed everything else.

I understand now the importance of funerals and death rituals. It is away to process - to keep moving and busy while honoring the dead - to share your grief with those you love. Until I went through this I wasn't able to move on with my life but in throwing a wake I feel I started the transition from grieving grandmother's death to celebrating her throughout my entire life.

April 12, 2007

good byes

My grandmother died last night. She had just turned 95.

When my brother died I felt like I lost a limb. With this grandmother gone I feel a protective shield that I didn't even realized existed has vanished and suddenly I am more naked than ever.

I lived with her a year and gobbled up stories of her long windy life.
Hopefully some day I'll be able to write about them and do her life justice. Right now I am too sad.

April 03, 2007

baggin it

A favorite site of mine is "rustle the leaf", a humorous environmental comic. Every week the authors create a new comic and post a great short essay about an environmental issue. The comics are usually funny - in a deliciously dark way. The essays have a bitter sense of humor as well. This week they talked about plastic grocery sack - I thought the below paragraph was worth excerpting:

Standup Comedian Jim Gaffigan does a bit about our strange relationship with plastic bags. Here's a loose paraphrase: 'It's so weird...I go to the grocery store to pick up some trash bags. At the checkout counter, they put my box of trash bags into a plastic grocery bag. Then, when I get home, I open my box of trash bags, get one out, and use it to throw away the plastic grocery bag I brought it home in. Isn't that weird?'