Self Awareness: Yoga Alone At Night Works For Me
It’s hard for me to take care of the planet and patients and keep Nurse L alive and COVID-19 free. But I have realized that this late in life that I have to take care of myself as well. Yesterday between 830-2pm it was all about others- the kids, patients, work, the world and my job as middle manager. Someone sent a standard text asking if I still do staffing for our after hours clinic, and I replied back – yes Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays and some weekends. They don’t see my heavy hand in the department, but I’m still doing my job – I’ve just mechanized it and not making a big fuss about it anymore. But I guess it wasn’t really a mediocre day because I realize that in little ways I am learning to care for myself. I got up yesterday early to take care of the blog, which is really important to me. It’s amazing what you can learn just by Ecosia (not Google) searching something. So I parried this continual brute force attack of the website from France by changing my username, strengthening my wordpress password, and changing the settings for log-in attemptes. If the attacks continue, I’ll change to a two identifier authentification. That was the first thing I did in the morning yesterday along with blogging about my new trash art, and those things I did for myself. Those were self caring acts.
The picture above is taken by our tween daughter. Honestly, I don’t think I could have ever taken that picture. As I was taking a late afternoon nap (remember I don’t get paid in the afternoon so it’s okay that I’m napping as it’s my own time), my daughter asked me several times if we could take a walk around the neighborhood together. No Trash, she told me. So we took a walk, and my tween who is taller than me and wearing a baggy sweatshirt and leggings and I walked around our neighborhood. She wanted to hold my left arm tight and she prattled away about her concerns and her worries. She is very aware of me and when I am listening. I was chatting with a mother in clinic about youngest daughters early yesterday. Her daughter is not quite two, and having problems sleeping. The little toddler gets up 5-6 times at night, and therefore getting her mother up at night. I referred her to sleeping advice by my friend dr. craig canapari, because really why should I recreate the wheel if he has already written everything down on his blog and book? I provided her compassion and understanding. We commiserated about youngest daughters and the mom said something that really stuck with me, an insightful comment that only another mother could understand. The mother was referring to her toddler who was eyeing me warily in clinic. “She’s like my stalker, always watching me.”
Indeed my daughter was very similar when she was a toddler. OMG, she was so awful and would throw tantrums and self-induce herself to vomit. I think I now realize that was also one of the most difficult work-times I ever had. She was probably making herself vomit and throwing tantrums because she was trying to get her busy mother’s attention. I was very distracted back then. So yesterday I was a more attuned tween-mother than I ever was a toddler-mother. I listened to her talk and did not interrupt her once (which is sometimes hard for someone of my personality type). She several times turned to me and said, “I’m sorry for talking about myself so much mommy. Do you want to talk about your day?” I told her briefly that I blog in the mornings already and I got my feelings out, and that she should continue. She talked and talked and talked. And I listenend feeling only a little bit tired of her prattling. She told me that I needed to remind her over the weekend about history day, and to put some gentle pressure on her to get some tasks done. She also explained her personality type, and later that night she analyzed our respective personalities and we are exact polar opposites other than both being introverts. I learned a lot about this tween that I’ve been parenting for her entire life. It’s amazing how many layers there are to all our personalities.
The walk did her good. She also took the photo above. It’s a beautiful shot of leaves and a persepctive that I don’t think I could have ever taken. She is a truly beautiful soul that cares about her friends and the world, and one of those personality types that needs to be protected by more cynical and analytical and judmental personality types like me. So I listened to her and helped her modulate her own emotions, which is how I parent. I’m intuitively a much better tween-parent than I ever was a toddler-parent. Actually as a very self aware pediatrician, I need to own up to the fact – I’m a really good parent in general.
So I guess yesterday wasn’t quite a mediocre day. I didn’t pick up a bag of trash. No trash art pieces. I was a parent yesterday that went to work and parented my two children, but more the youngest yesterday because she needed it. The teen was watching Game Awards night avidly, as it’s the Oscars of their generation. That was interesting as well. I watched it briefly with him and I have no idea what they were talking about. I watched with him to make sure they weren’t saying bad words.
And when dinner time rolled around, Mr. Plastic Picker called and was going to stop by the grocery store. I had pulled out the ingredients for a vegetarian curry since I bought tumeric last weekend. But listening to our tween, which was wonderful and needed, really tires me out. It’s a naturally more difficult task for me. So I told him despite us trying to be imperfect vegans, “Can you pick up a rotissiere chicken? Some french bread? I’ll make some vegetables.” Then when Mr. Plastic Picker got home the size of the Rotisierre chicken from our local grocer was hilariously small!!! OMG it was so small. I have the size of the Costco Rotisierre chicken in my mind. But the hilarious small Rotissiere chicken from Vons was so much better tasting and I bet you that is what the size that a chicken is supposed to be. So we had the chicken with some french bread, and I was creative yesterday. I cooked parsnip for the first time with peas. That’s it. It used chicken broth and left over gravy to season it, and the kids really liked it.
I thought it had been a medicore day but as everyone was heading off to bed, I turned on Yoga by Adrienne and did a short video. Our daughter was bustling around at night, wrapping a special present for her friend’s birthday. The crazy puppy was alternatively running downstairs barking at an unknown danger in the backyard, but wouldn’t go outside. I’m pretty sure its the same racoon that she is in a spiritual epic battle with (never physically just with her nighttime barking). Mr. Plastic Picker was falling asleep again watching his iPhone. Our son was finishing the last of a mathy/sciency assignment.
I made sure to brush my teeth at night and put on some loose clothing. I turned on my iPhone to the short Yoga by Adrienne video. I followed the first half with her, but she was going too quickly in the latter half. Her voice and presence on YouTube is familiar to me now and soothing. So in absolute concordance with my personality type which my daughter had read in painstaking detail to me last night and we laughed at how different we both were, I kind of did my own thing. Per my daughter’s assessment of me and my previous assessment in our HMO leadership development type, I’m an “Architect.” I’m analytical and judging. I’m irreverent and don’t like following nonsensical rules. I work well alone or in small groups, and have little patience for small-talk or social niceities. I’m a chess player and very strategic in work and life. And I have a great belief in my own intelligence and abilities and will take on seemingly impossible tasks. These are the things my daughter said about me. And it’s true. She’s like the toddler of the mother in clinic, she is my now tween-stalker. Always watching me and analyzing me. And that is okay, because I’m her mother and we are securely attached and I’m letting her develop her independence. I’m her stalker too. I did my yoga moves last night. Downward dog stretches out my achilles. Tree pose shows me how out of balance my core really is. I’ve figured out the most comfortable seated pose and where I feel most comfortable with my hands. Head over heart, heart over pelvis, pelvis over feet, and I have added – feet over earth. As I’m going through my yoga moves, I’m also listening out for her sounds around the house. Her room is right next to ours, which when we built the house – I purposefully did. I did that as I know she needs me to be nearby but not too close.
I always knew she was watching me when she was younger. I know she is watching me now. And I feel so lucky. Because remember she almost didn’t make it out of the NICU. She is my bonus baby. She’s my mini-stalker because as a young baby, it’s the great strength of mothers that keep them alive. They know that. As a mother, you have such a great responsibility and a great power. And for me no matter how life turns out and how my career turns out, to see my youngest grow and mature is always my greatest responsiiblity and accomplishment. I have long-term health care insurance and never want to be a burden to my children. But I’m pretty sure she will never put me in a nursing home. I told her that she doesn’t have to physically take care of me, just make sure the people we pay to care for me are treating me well. But I expect to life a long and healthy life, as I’m doing yoga which really helps me sleep deeply and hopefully deep sleep wards off dementia. I’m going to be one of those uber-cool grandmothers that is flexible and does yoga and looks HOT! And I’m going to make sure we have a liveable and breathable atmosphere for our shared grandchildren.
That’s what Dr. Plastic Picker thinkgs about at 6am in the morning! OMG I have some work emails to answer right now and I promised Chief Boss comments on March’s schedule. I’ll do it now. My best work is in the morning which is why I saved it for the morning.