Thrihyrne's thistle by eccequambonum

Welcome, Yule!

Kristi and Evan xmas morning

Of all things, this morning my memories led me 11 years back to a Christmas time spent in Kingsville, OH, with Wolfie and Kosh and PGH Patronus. Despite the actions I'd taken to get there, once there, I had a very good holiday. That said, I'm relieved how much time has passed and the condition in which I'm spending the solstice/xmas/yuletide/holidays this year. A very merry from Evan and me!

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Thrihyrne's thistle by eccequambonum

Writing again, and roller skating

So I haven't done this in... years, but I'm finding myself writing in small bits during my 15 minute morning break and 30 minute lunch. It seems like it was back when I was at Rosetta Stone and writing Wraeththu and Slave Breaker fanfic that I would eat my lunch in the back seat of my car (back then I had an hour) and just write and write in my composition notebooks. It feels delightfully familiar to be doing that now, though it's the third and final novella of my original Reggie/Kelp "Surprised at Nothing" set. I don't know what the ultimate plot line is going to be, but the characters already surprised me when I was at sauna last Sunday. That was when the new ideas came to me and I started writing on them Sunday afternoon. Sauna is such a gift to me on so many different levels!!

Tonight I'm going to my first group class at Oaks Park. SO EXCITED!! Not least because the class cost includes skates and you can stay afterwards for the general skate to practice your new moves. I'll definitely post how it went!

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Thrihyrne's thistle by eccequambonum

Dumbing down, being safe, and patience

Last night after having a really blissful, productive yet also leisurely, weekend, I found myself somewhat unexpectedly in tears and asking Evan if he thought that I'd need to sacrifice truly compelling/engaging/challenging work for the rest of my life in order to be 'safe' in regards to my disorder. In other words: is the ultimate sacrifice in having a mostly stress-free life in which I'm not drawn toward alcohol as any kind of coping mechanism (but also not bored, because that's an even more compelling trigger for me, longer term) that I don't challenge myself in a work environment? That I'll never be paid anything close to what I believe I could earn, and more importantly, be in a role in which I'm learning new skills, taking on more responsibility, and feeling like I'm actually being challenged? He was very encouraging and supportive and said, "No, what you're doing now isn't going to be permanent. Once you have some real time under your belt and your brain and body and psyche have had an opportunity to really heal and you're feeling much stronger, only you would be able to hold yourself back. What you're doing now is temporary. Goodness only knows how things will be a few, much less several months or a year or more from now. You'll be working for at least a couple more decades, if you want. This is just how things are now."

I really, really, needed to hear that from him. If any of you, most of whom have known me for a decade or longer and haven't seen me function in an alcohol-free mode for more than 7 months at a time (and even then, that's only happened twice since... 1988), if you can envision how much more potent and fulfilled I will be in the future and can share that, I'd be grateful. No pressure, however. 😍

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Thrihyrne's thistle by eccequambonum

Lots of positive shifts

There's so much going on in my inner and outer worlds right now, but I do want to note some major shifts that have happened of late. One is the idea of rather than closing myself off as I commence down this road of quite conscious transition, I'll use my languishing WordPress blog that I created when "Surprised at Nothing" was being published as my more public-facing blog. That, rather than Facebook, which I've been moving away from anyway. Sure, WP will be monitoring my content just as much as EvilCorp FB, but it's still not FB. This is particularly relevant as I'm returning to a chapter in I Promise Myself, a book I checked out from the library a couple of months ago. Chapter 5 focuses on composing a vow to support conscious transitions, and this dovetails perfectly with the other book that had come across my radar just at the right time (2 weekends ago I was detoxing, which meant no sleep, so it was perfect for reading the book in one night), The Way of Transition. At least right now, the idea of having a celebration with people here in Portland who love and support me as I mark the transition into being someone who is post-alcohol is a very compelling one. Why not let people celebrate that decision and other holistic healing decisions and triumphs (and console me during setbacks) with me, in real time, in person??! There's really no need to put up barriers to that.

Another element to this that has come to me is an informal post-work schedule for the next few weeks. This will keep me on track in regards to a daily mindfulness practice I share with Evan, exercise, project work (this vow process or creative writing or any creative practice, really), and still allow plenty of downtime.

The third and final new-ish life quality aspect that has become manifest in my consciousness is that perhaps in addition to treating myself to jewelry at different milestones on my journey, I've decided that I'll gift myself once a month or so to a 1:1 training/exercise/lesson of some kind. The first thought is roller skating, so I can be taught how to skate backwards and to do crossovers with grace and confidence. But maybe some aerial work (especially after missing that aerial yoga class, wah stupid train), maybe another 1:1 with Jessa at Mod Physique, perhaps some contortonist training... there are so many options all over the city. And a 1:1 would be focused and not involve any kind of package of classes. For those here in PDX with any recommendations, they are welcome!!

Lastly, referencing one of my recent posts, I also think that taking the Wyld cannabis has helped my sleep. Some of that may have to do with the utter lack of stress in my life since last Monday, but I've also noticed that evenings when I have one of the gummies, I sleep like a rock. More yay for finding those!!

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Thrihyrne's thistle by eccequambonum

Grief during the holidays

This holiday season my heart goes out especially to those for whom this year everything is ALL WRONG. A loved one committed suicide and isn't here for the first time. A loved one has inexplicably gone missing, and there is still no word. Others look around and are confronted with a precious-one-shaped gaping absence-- the departure perhaps expected, but just as permanent. A lap is bereft of a lifetime furry (or feathered, or otherwise) companion. It seems as though there should be unique cards to send to those suffering the traumatic first 'celebration' in which loss and grief are around every corner, and heard echoing in every bright tune.

For you to whom this is relevant: you aren't forgotten, or shunned. I (and others) hold your pain, so as to share the burden. You are not alone. We hold you gently in light and love.

burning votive candles shaped in a heart

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Thrihyrne's thistle by eccequambonum

Accumulating names, book rec, cannabis gummies

After a short brush with a reminder as to why it is so incredibly important for me to put my healing, wise choices and self-awareness above all else, I'm having a great week! Work is going very well and I even enjoy being there (it's not a dream job or anything, but for what it is, it's phenomenal and I feel incredibly supported), and we have wintry weather. Cold and bright and quite windy. My office is up on the 3rd floor of the building and we stay pretty toasty, so I wear layers. ;)

As part of my job, I see lots and lots of names every day. I've snatched up a few (ie: written them down) as a habit from when I was writing all the time. Nothing like being inspired for names!
    Jansuk Duku
    Jaxon Zarkades
    Cedar McGinty (a personal favorite, as McGinty is my heritage name on my dad's side!)

Two other things/concepts that have come my way recently that I've found so supportive of my healing path and journey: this book. Reading this alone has illuminated to me how profoundly what I'm going through now — and for months or years to come — is a transition. I'm making changes, yes, but the start and end of them, such as they are, I won't recognize until I've gone past them, if it makes any sense. I'm in a time of extended transition, walking in a terra incognita, but I feel well protected.

And then, there's my not every evening, but many evenings, sort of treat to myself which I'm finding to be a very satisfactory alternative to alcohol:
These are a 1:1 CBD/THC cannabis gummy. They give me such a lovely, tingly buzz about 40 minutes after ingesting one, lasts about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, and I feel great in the morning. They honestly had me at the packaging when Evan brought one home to try- just a beautiful, unexpected shape, and just plain pretty. So, so happy that cannabis is legal in Portland and I have a great dispensary literally 1 1/2 blocks down the street that gives both a neighborhood and age discount! (the latter only applies to Evan, but I'll be there pretty soon!!)

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Thrihyrne's thistle by eccequambonum

Returning to fanfic, and really wonderful days

I found the Gimli trip fic I'd been working on back in '09 (helpfully labeled on the flash drive as 'Gimli Trip Fic, lol, and I really like the title I had/have for it, "A Journey Measured in Friends"), and it's a good 9.3K. The problem? I apparently at the time had some big secret that Gimli was going to tell Pippin and Merry once he arrived in Hobbiton (this is set post-WR when Pippin's second daughter is about 6) but for the life of me, I have no idea now what he was going to tell them. Do I hope it comes back, or just go back to it and ignore that part and potentially re-write it? Oh, the questions. ;)

I've really been enjoying my time off work spent mostly with Evan, but also taking some intense, focused classes at Industrial Barre which is close to me, especially when borrowing Evan's car. Yesterday he and I did something very spontaneous for us (ie: planned out in under 24 hours): we went to Mt. Scott Community Center so I could get my roller skating fix for free!! We were able to visit briefly with our friends Holly and Elizabeth, who walked up to see us and chat and look around at a First Nation fundraiser, and then we went to see Jocelyn at her house. So much socializing in one day! But it was a good time. And here I am, skating! I really prefer Oaks Park, which is a proper skating rink (not a converted basketball court), and there were way too many children, but I at least got to skate for about a half hour or so.

(if the link doesn't work, here it is just written out:

In joyous news, I discovered a whole new season of The Great British Baking Show streaming on Netflix, so we've been enjoying that and also the newest season of "Sheltand," which arrived on disk. That, my beloved, and knitting, and it's been so wonderful!!

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Thrihyrne's thistle by eccequambonum

Owl Cardigan project

Pictures of my current knitting project! Was talking about working on this Owl Cardigan with my sister and mom last night and realized I'd not taken any photos yet. Link to the project on my Ravelry page is here! But since I'm me, if you don't want to click, the photo is below as well. ;)

And 2 mini posters I liked enough to download from an occasional glance over at FB:

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Thrihyrne's thistle by eccequambonum

Postal office kudos

What joy! At last I have a resolution about why my mail's gone missing for weeks. I received an incredibly thoughtful and articulate response from the main person at the post office associated with my zip code. He personally responded to all 3 of my requests! As a kind of full circle amazing moment from my early childhood when I got my first pen pal and was able to write letters to someone, this morning I posted a thank you card to this postal employee.

The response was so gratifying, I'm posting the whole thing.
Dear Ms. Lee,

I regret learning of the inconvenience you have experienced.

The Postal Service is aware of the frustration and disappointment caused when we do not live up to our commitment of safe and reliable mail service.

Upon reviewing the forwarding information in our database from you, I discovered your mail has been looping due to two forwards in our system from you. When you move from one location to another, a change of address is needed to get your mail to you. If at any time you return to the previous address, cancelling your change of address is the correct step to do. By submitting a new change of address from the current address back to the original address, we have two active forwards for you which means the mail circulates back and forth. Your parcel, and your mail, is stuck in a loop right now.

I have contacted the Central Forwarding Service and cancelled the forwards for you so the mail will restart at the original address, and not forward to 97202. Eventually, all the looping mail should make it's way back to our station for delivery. It could take anywhere from 1-3 weeks for all of it, depending on where in the loop each piece is.

An apology is no substitute for good service, but I want to offer one on behalf of the Postal Service. We appreciate your reporting this matter to us. It helps to know the kinds of difficulties our customers have so we can work toward improvements. The information you have provided will be shared with management as they continue their efforts to improve service performance in your area.

Thank you for the opportunity to address this matter with you. Please accept our sincere apology for any inconvenience this matter may have caused you.


Bryon J Suski
Lents DCU Supervisor

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