an image from last april, when the sun was out and the heat was mostly here,
and i wasn't surrounded by sneezes.
stepping outside one's comfort zone.
"To step out of the comfort zone raises the anxiety level engendering a stress response,
the result of which is an enhanced level of concentration and focus."
i do this occasionally. on purpose, i mean. i go places that scare me, i do things that make my belly uncomfortable, and what i've found is that, for me, recuperation takes a while. it's supposed to be good for you - this not being comfortable business - and i know it is, but i always need some time to myself afterwards. i get angry at myself for even thinking it's good for me - noises sound too loud and i am annoying and the words don't come and i am not pleasant to be around, and i don't even care. i say adios words, who needs you anyway, and i turn on a baseball game or read a few pages, and i breathe a big sigh of relief. never again, i tell myself. never.
it is a lie i tell myself. myself doesn't believe it, but she listens anyway.
i originally, mistakenly typed that muself, and there you go. the truth. myself is the muse. muself knows what to do. muself knows to take a week away from writing or people or washing the dishes, or whatever, and just let myself find my way back to myself. muself is smarter than me.
and with that, another awakening, and i will say the words, and then i will just hush. one last thought about two years ago, the year my mother died, the year i drove to florida to meet beth and other wonderful women. way way way outside my comfort zone, but i did it anyway, and i had a wonderful time, helped by them and by the ever-wonderful michael, they all knowing i could do this, all there to catch me if i fell. when i got home, i did fall - into bed and into work and into trying to catch my breath, but before that breath was caught, my mother was hospitalized, and then gone. i have never caught that breath, and i never knew why until now.
"Anxiety improves performance until a certain optimum level of arousal has been reached.
Beyond that point, performance deteriorates as higher levels of anxiety are attained;
if a person steps beyond the optimum performance zone they enter a "danger zone"
in which performance will decline rapidly as higher levels of anxiety or discomfort occur."
i'm a little stunned. of course. of course.
it is sunday morning and my sneezing has stopped. yesterday i bought white flowers for the back porch and dried apricots and almonds drizzled with dark chocolate. i bought key limes and organic onions and i drove places and didn't take my camera and that felt like freedom. when i saw a roadside covered in blue wildflowers i stopped and stood in their midst and used my iphone to take pictures - i will show you later. i am at last catching that breath.
quotes from wikipedia