Rhythm Replaces Strength

It’s one of those weeks where I’m relying on habit, and grateful I have a few good ones, because I just don’t know what to do with myself.

The world has been a particularly scary place to inhabit lately. It appears to have careened off a cliff into an abyss of violence and fear.

In the midst of the cataclysmic events of late in the big world (Michael Brown’s murder, beheadings by ISIS, public sexual assaults and so many outward manifestations of hatred I can hardly stand the horror), I have a bunch of things in my little world stressing me out to the point that I fucked up my neck so bad I had to stay in bed for a week and then see an acupuncturist to get relief. Financial stresses mostly, but also some big deadlines, and some exciting, positive new endeavors that mean good things but also mean CHANGE and I want to hide from it all.

This morning was one of those mornings – it was foggy, and going back to bed seemed like the best response to the daily news and the news from within. But I put on my dance clothes, because that’s what I do on Monday mornings. And I went to class, and shook my ass, because that’s what happens. On the way home I got snacks, because it is my habit to get nice things to eat when I am afraid (this time it was veggie chips that are mostly oil and baba ganoush that is mostly mayo). Then I called my best friend in Chicago, not because I had anything new to say, but because this is the time I usually call her. Now I am showing up to write, because that is what I do. After my afternoon meeting I will go get library books to read to my daughter when she gets home from school, because that is our habit. These little touchstones help me be in my body, instead of flying out of it into anxiety about shit I can’t control anyway.

Rhythm replaces strength. I’m following my daily routine, even though it feels scarier than usual to do so. I don’t have the strength to take good care of myself, so I’m relying on the foundation of sanity I’ve created over time. Of course there’s some bad habits thrown in there too (let’s not talk about my Netflix addiction right now, okay?), but I have this weekly structure that mostly works for me. On Fridays I do a home manicure. This week I tried something new, to slightly witchy results.

witchy home mani

There is mercy in the mundane.

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5 thoughts on “Rhythm Replaces Strength

  1. Routine helps me stay sane, too. Walk the dog. Sit down to write. Etc.
    Lately, my new job has thrown off the old routine, so I’m trying to create a new one, and I feel a little lost, a little anxious. And as you said, with the world going crazy, that’s not a good thing.
    Aside: Love the nails! I did a witchy dark burgundy, totally out of character for me but it makes me feel very vampy.

    • I’m excited to hear what new routines you find around your job, and just hearing more about that badass job! Also, I wanna see pics of your witchy dark burgundy nails. Isn’t nail art a fun, temporary way to try on a new persona?

  2. “Rhythm replaces strength”–I love that, as well as the notion of routines as touchstones and the importance of just showing up. My daughter said the best advice I ever gave her was to pick one small thing she could do every day–like making her bed, putting on lipstick, doing the dishes, brushing her teeth–then do it . She chose making her bed (not that she ever did this when she was little!) Falling out of rhythm is so discombobulating. Hope yours keeps a steady beat until you are feeling more afloat.

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