Checking in

I’ve been working on a post for two weeks or more, about something that matters deeply to me, but it’s still not right. So, I’ll have to save that for another day. Thought I’d just stop in with a few updates via what’s saved on my phone.

Last week was so busy, I couldn’t get to the grocery store until Friday. This meant eating what we had, something I know I need to improve on, anyway. Not only because it will be better for our financial health, but also because of the environmental impacts of food waste. So, this was lunch one day. The meat was left over from a recipe from my new favorite cookbook. (I know: meat production is also terrible for the environment. Progress, not perfection.)

This is from a book I wanted to think didn’t really apply to me: The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness by Meghan O’Rourke. O’Rourke details her experiences with autoimmune disorders, which I apparently don’t have. But this book really is for anyone with chronic and poorly understood conditions that impact functioning and quality of life. For the last three weeks, I’ve had 3-day migraines, and this particular passage resonated deeply. My fibromyalgia symptoms are also acting up. I’ve been doing so many of the right things I’m supposed to do–exercising, meditating, eating regularly and hydrating. But. But. But.

It helps to feel seen, and I’m looking forward to reading more of this book.

Ending on a high note! My very part-time gig this school year is developing SEL (social-emotional learning) curriculum for the school I taught at last year, which still Cane teaches at full-time. He and I create the curriculum together and provide some supports for teachers to implement it. Our most recent lesson happened to fall on Tuesday, which was Valentine’s Day. Instead of doing a typical lesson, we planned a love poetry slam, which provided an opportunity to talk about a core SEL skill, social awareness. We got to talk about how not everyone loves VD, and how there are lots of different kinds of love and ways to love, in a way that was fun and built community. Our teachers were the contestants, and they delivered poems conveying a wide range of perspectives on both love and poetry. Some wrote original works, some used song lyrics, and two incorporated AI-written poems into their performances. It was sometimes funny, and sometimes touching, and always so, so good. And it was poetry! (I felt like a stealth English teacher.) Students were pretty much glued to the slammers, but I was glued to them. So many smiles and so much engagement. With poetry! At the end of the day, Cane said, “This was the best Valentine’s Day I can remember in a long, long time.” It really was.

Hope you have a good week, and maybe I’ll get that dang post finished. Maybe.

I also got new socks. (I forgot to pack socks on a trip to my parents’.) Apparently, these come with a lifetime guarantee. How can you do that for socks? I’m betting they think no one will really take them up on that. I will. I’ve got that kind of time now, and for what they cost, I want a pair for the rest of my life.

8 thoughts on “Checking in

  1. Kari says:

    I ‘ve also worked on posts for weeks or months, but that never saw the light of day. This makes me feel better, and I intend to publish them. Sometimes it just takes time to assemble one’s thoughts.

    “My fatigue felt like a problem with me…” Oof, I felt that. I am really sorry for your three-day migraines. I understand how debilitating migraines can be, and I am sending you my love.

    Your Valentine’s Day sounded lovely.❤️

    • Rita says:

      Oh, I have a lot of posts that get started and never finished. I think that’s part of a good process. 🙂 And I know you know about migraine and other chronic conditions that we can see as a problem with ourselves (menopause, anyone?). I appreciate what you’ve contributed to my understanding.

  2. Marian says:

    The poetry slam sounds amazing. That’s great that you still get to participate in such things, and that you get to do them alongside Cane.

    Those socks are so pretty. 🙂 (I’ve never seen a lifetime guarantee on socks either, although I have knit some with yarn that comes with a ten-year guarantee.)

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve been dealing with migraines as well as a resurgence of fibromyalgia symptoms, Rita. I hope these things ease up soon.

    • Rita says:

      The poetry event was so sweet, and I feel so lucky to share that kind of work with Cane. I was so glad I got to be there at school that day. About the socks, I will admit that I took longer than I usually do to choose them–asking myself, What socks do I want to wear for the rest of my life? I decided that I wanted pretty ones. 🙂 As for the symptoms, I know that they will wax and wane. I’m getting to where I’m grateful for the waning, and I’m trying not to fight it when it comes. That’s working a bit better for me.

  3. Kate says:

    The poetry event sounded amazing. I would have loved that as a kid. I’d love it now!! How awesome that you and Cane got to both help facilitate!

    Your socks are lovely! I like the name – though if they are lifelong that makes me think you wouldn’t need them to be “darn” tough. (I’m sitting down tonight to darn some socks I knit Jesse a few years back.) I’ve started adding a pair of purchased fun socks to the stockings every year – and I love picking out thinks that reflect their personalities!

    Good to see an update from you!! Looking forward to seeing your post when it’s ready. In the mean time, hope you are on the upswing. I know chronic conditions have good days and bad days, but I’m wishing you a long string of good ones!

    • Rita says:

      Ha! I never thought about “darn” tough! This year my mom got all of us socks for Christmas, all meaningful in some way. (Mine featured ice skating.) She tucked money in with the socks. We all loved them. But dang, nice socks are expensive!

      And the poetry event was a highlight for both of us. I wish I could share the photos I took (but don’t want to show any faces). It’s so great that we have gotten to share this work this year. I’m very grateful.

      Hope you are doing well, too! I’ve been better, but I often remind myself that everything always passes. 🙂

  4. Ally Bean says:

    About 40% of the posts I start never make it to publication. Sometimes I cannot, cannot get the ideas to meld together on the page. So I delete. I’ll admit that I don’t entirely understand [believe?] bloggers who say they never have any difficulties writing things. Good for them.

    Like your line: “I felt like a stealth English teacher.” It made me laugh out loud. Hoping you find the words you need to express your feelings adequately, but in the meantime I’ll be smiling about your snazzy socks.

    • Rita says:

      Maybe the ones who never have any difficulties publish a lot of posts that are…not so great? (Did I say that out loud? I think I did. Oh well.) Yours are always top-notch.

      Being a stealth English teacher is the only kind I can really be now. I think that’s why I wanted to be a librarian. Different means to very similar ends.

      Snazzy socks are a comfort for multiple things, for sure.

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