Earthing

It’s like everything runs into the earth when I lay on it. All the worry. All the pain. All the anxiety. Just laying in the grass, with the sunshine warming my skin and hearing the life happen around me. The breeze caresses my face and plays with my hair. It’s the most calm I have felt all week.

My husband and I are trying “Earthing” or “Grounding” as it is also known as. A friend of mine had mentioned it to me as something that assisted with cysts she had in her uterus and was desperate to keep this particular child after having miscarried 5 others before. She tried it for the entire first trimester, every night all night while she slept. Her cysts reduced in size as much as 60% according to her doctor. I figured even if my issues were not the same as hers, I would give it a try too.

I started by walking around in my yard with my shoes off more frequently, and while I did feel really great, I didn’t want to attribute that completely to the Earthing, since I can be a bit of a skeptic. It could have been the sunshine and increase in Vitamin D. It could have been the movement since I was so used to an office job. Still I noticed that chronic swelling in my hands seemed to experience relief when I would go outside, and I would notice the swelling to return when I got inside or stood on the sidewalk. So I started looking into Earthing methods a little more.

My husband and I watched several documentaries and TED Talks about the nutrients of the ground, the electromagnetic fields of the earth, and the bodily responses to natural stimuli and phenomenon. Not all of them were necessarily related to one another, but all of them were worth researching and helped us figure out a bit of the claimed science behind Earthing. My research was more based on understanding the medical uses of earthing for physical illness, because to be completely honest, I do not find myself buying into the metaphysical sort of stuff that everyone seems to lean towards in these scenarios.

After I was satisfied with the findings, I figured it couldn’t hurt us to try, so I found an inexpensive indoor earthing kit and figured if it didn’t seem to improve anything or feel like it was helping, I could probably get my money back by selling it on eBay or something. So the day it arrived we went to bed with it. Here are the things we noticed:

1) My husband who has snored every night since we got married, stopped snoring and does not snore every night he uses his earthing band.

2) I woke up with blood sugars in normal range for the first time in years and continue to do so since using the earthing band.

3) My husband has noticed an improvement in mood.

4) Chronic swelling in my hands is gone and has not returned.

5) I’m not waking up as tired.

6) I’m not sleeping as lightly.

7) I’m less depressed and more motivated.

I suppose that all of this could just be a placebo affect, but it could be real too. All I know is I’m doing and feeling better. Even my husband has noticed his mood and anxiety improve. So we’re starting to take it a little more seriously now and are starting to tell our friends and family about it. All in all, I hope to see more results as time goes on.

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The Vacation That Wasn’t

When one goes on vacation in the area that family lives, one really isn’t on vacation. I have noticed this since becoming an adult, and it was further reinforced when I got married. We come to MI to relax, and we end up leaving way more tired than we came.

Were it my choice, and had I the funds to stay in the area without and family knowing, I would simply not notify anyone that I was around, and take time to myself to recover from the busy hustle and bustle of my own daily life, unfortunately, my husband is not that way. He would rather let everyone know we are around, and then let all others instigate our plans, by making them for us…because as I’ve said before, he is not a master of planning.

While well meaning, my family is not exactly a relaxing group of people to be around. They are intense, opinionated, loud, and not always the wisest. Still, they’re well meaning. They just think everyone should be happy. An opinion I have mentioned in previous posts, that I do not hold. I don’t think life is about being happy. I believe it is about doing the right thing, even when it is not in our nature to do so and can mean personal unhappiness. So I often just smile and tell them that everything is wonderful. Because that is easier than arguing with them about learning to ride the waves of that which we do not enjoy or find happiness in.

Coming to visit the family is very much a chore, but one that is an act of love I try to put efforts into all the same. I want to have a relationship with my family, even if it is a shallow one (because my family struggles with depth) and I want them to know that I am willing and glad to love them to the extent they’ll let me. However, this takes great effort from me, because the emotional toll of giving them my time when it often feels a bit wasteful, is difficult. I’m not good at small talk. I’m not good at talking about myself verbally. I’m not good at being around groups of people for very long amounts of time. So spending time with my family exhausts me. Which makes vacations to visit them, no vacation at all.

My husband, of course, is completely in his element on these occasions, so much of the time he drags me around to the homes of friends and family at his own pace, and often I have to tell him to leave me be for a bit and go visit people without me, simply because I cannot people anymore. Only yesterday I had driven two hours from where we were staying to visit my brother and sister-in-law because we had not yet seen their new house up north. It’s a lovely place, but of course, after having driven two hours back home, my husband wants to go spend time with his own grandmother, by this point I’ve spent a total of 9 hours driving in two days time and seen not only both brother and his wife and my aunts (whom we are staying with), but also my in-laws, a couple friends, and my grand parents. In two days. That’s just too much for me. So I sent him off to visit his grandmother on his own, because I just couldn’t make it happen. I was too exhausted.

This afternoon we have a lunch at my grandparents house. Both my aunts, my in-laws, and us will be there. After that we may go spend time with my sister-in-law to watch movies, or I’ll just send my husband and hope she understands that is have spent far too much time with people to have energy for that sort of thing. I just need to take a long nap or something.

Confession: Lost Boys and Long Drives

When my vacation time was officially approved, I felt a sense of dread. I enjoy visiting family for the most part, but it’s the freaking driving I cannot stand. Five hours through two large cities. I can’t handle it. Not this week.

Still, I’m doing it.

Unfortunately, my husband does not do long distance driving. Firstly, he isn’t a good driver when he doesn’t know where he is going. Secondly, he tends to fall asleep at the wheel. Thirdly, he is anxious. Very anxious. Which clouds all his rational thinking. So of course, I have to drive. Which is exhausting. He never even offers to drive, it is always assumed that I will.

It’s days like this that I miss pieces of the people I grew up with. People who were good friends and familiars. Mostly, old exes sometimes that I think about who used to take me on drives because it helped me sleep in college. Exes I used to call dear friends now long since unhappy from the breakup and much more distant in spirit than in miles. It’s days like this where I whisper their name to my heart and while I feel no romantic love for them, I still feel for them and some days I miss the friendship even if I don’t miss the romantic relationship. I miss the acts of service they provided gladly towards me to show they valued me. I miss being able to give to them in the manner that showed them I cared. I wish that something, whatever it was, never got ruined the way it did.

How interesting it is that years can go by without a second thought of that person, and then suddenly, all at once, they become some kind of fixture in a pivotal point in your life that you refuse to let go of the memories of? Still, while important, they still hurt. How much more interesting that you start to inspect the flaws of whomever you’re married to and still compare them to people you were once attracted too? What people never tell you about marriage is that you still find yourself attracted to past or even new people in your life. It never stops, and while you’re in a marriage it doesn’t make your ability to become attracted to someone new, or even someone old, comforting, and familiar. Perhaps more familiar than the spouse you have now.

While no one teaches you these things happen, there is still that part of you that is glad that exes are exes. There is still that piece of the puzzle that helps you keep that in check: the hurt. The hurt of the end and whatever betrayal that caused it. While it isn’t the best reason, nor is it the most healthy, I think it’s still a good point to recall and feel over and over again when you need to remember it. While most people in life try to avoid hurt, I find that it’s important to learn from it and recall why it hurt.

I tend to have the perspective that life is not about being happy. What it’s about is doing the right thing, and while doing the right thing can be messy and painful, it makes the right thing no less the right thing. Because I am now married, and have made the choice to be so, I have to do the right thing and not let my mind, heart, and body stray away from loving my husband, so I remind myself that no one else can love me the way my husband does. No one else tucks me in bed after long days of work that exhaust my introverted nature. No one else can make me cry tears of joy. No one else is worth my tears of sorrow. No one else has ever tried so hard to understand. No one else has ever come so close to understanding.

Still, I wish he would drive so I don’t have to.

Saturday 

I don’t know any of you.

I don’t know what that means really. How significant is that to my life? To yours? I pour out my soul to you every so often. Share some of my most intimate feelings and concerns with you. I know none of you. To be fair, even with the short paragraphs I write here,  you probably really don’t know me either. Read more

A Drive

“Dude just needs to get a girlfriend. I don’t know why he does this kind of thing! Why do people confess this kind of shit to me?”

“Um, because you go to drinking parties. You know…drunk people are involved.” Read more

College Kids

I didn’t ever recall the internet being that fast when I went to school there. Then again, it was a Saturday when I visited, and besides myself there were only two other individuals in the room, one of which was reading a paperback and not at all interested in internet use at the time. 

Things were quiet, even the dining hall had only a handful of visitors. But, I kept reminding myself it was only 10am on a Saturday. Students would be sleeping in from their all nighters and co-ed open hours the night before. It’s was still practically dark out with the cloud coverage anyway. No one probably knew it was morning yet. Who could blame them? 

On my way through the parking lot I had heard a voice I recognized. I didn’t see his face, but I knew who it was. I hadn’t seen or spoken to him since graduation, but we had spent a great deal of time together his freshman year. I was over at his dorm room almost every weekend my senior year, because all my guy friends lived together. Had he even seen me? Would he recognize me? He was only shouting out his car window to another student. Probably a fellow athlete. He was a jock, but the kind who was an undercover geek. So our weekends after the games consisted of playing Fall Out: New Vegas and watching Sponge Bob or whatever good cartoon series we could borrow from whoever had it. 

It was strange to hear his voice at all, because what made the visit weirder was realizing that few to no one I knew was on that campus. Sure a few professors, and maybe one or two people were still going on their sixth year trying to graduate, but the rest? The rest were long gone, married or engaged, and living their lives wherever they ended up landing a job. Not much different than myself. All trying to make it on our own. Living without the lending hands and community you were used to. 

That was one of the things I missed about college. Communal living. You didn’t have a movie, a complete stranger would offer to let you borrow it if you mentioned looking for it. You didn’t have a ride, students would let you borrow their car, or drive you wherever if you offered to get them lunch or help them do their homework. You could walk yourself up in the library to study and the next thing you knew, seven of your friends were there with you just to hang out with you as you all tried to focus on school work. 

Soon my friend would be finished with work, and we could hang out beyond the bubble of campus. Until then I had to wait, by the fire place in the student center for her to finish work. Continuing to have flashbacks to the days gone by, and missing those moments again. 

Trouble

“I wonder what socioeconomic class you have to be in to want and actually  own a sail boat.” 

Only he would ask an intellectually charged question, and breed it with the shallow and meaningless. That’s just how he is though. He uses his intelligence for the temporal and tedious. He shames social climbing, but desires to understand how, so one day, when he realizes he actually does care, he can climb that ladder like the rest of them. 

His life in the underground drug culture of our local community was catching up with him. His parents never liked him and didn’t really raise him. He raised himself along with his druggy friends, who now we’re leaving him, by death, by deals, or by disagreements. He was lonely, but would never say it. So as we watched sail boats on the lake, he could only pose that question to distract himself from the wafts and strays of his fraying life burning into ash and falling into dust. 

As he drove back to my apartment, he pointed out some drug hoses that I could avoid, talked some politics, and then dropped a few names of political figures whose rallies he attended. I hadn’t been paying enough attention to know who they were. 

He dropped me off. “Stay out of trouble.” I said as I got out. He made a face. Mumbled something. Then smiled and pulled away. He would try. I knew he would. 

He never really understood that trouble doesn’t always mean getting caught. 

Friendships

Today, I found myself angry about something. So raring angry that I felt the need to call an understanding friend, and talk to her about the thing that made me angry. When I called I began it casually, and asked her how she was doing. Turned out she had a rough weekend, so we spoke of it. I let her say her feelings. I let her feel her feelings. I felt them with her. Along side her. We vented about life, the universe and everything. Because life is hard, and we need those people. We encouraged each other. Told each other that we loved each other. Affirmed our feelings together.

I am continually amazed by the support I have found in my female friends. I have so few female friends (and far too many male friends), and yet, in all things I have been loved and supported so well by them. They don’t necessarily even know each other, yet one friendship has helped me to love on the others better.  We have made each other better people because of our friendships. We grew together. Changed together. God kept us together.

Tonight I never even got to talk about what upset me and initiated the call, but that didn’t matter, because talking to her reminded me what the REAL issue I was having was. I was insecure. I was afraid. Though I am healing very well from my break-up, I find myself still with a great deal of anxiety and insecurity about my ability to be loved. Yet after my conversation with her, and listening to her, and being listened to as well as heard, I was reminded how grateful I was to be loved. Sure it isn’t a romantic love. But I am cared for by people who chose to care for me. I found them and they found me, and we have built this relationship together by our own choosing.

Friendship isn’t like family. Family sometimes gives me the impression that I am loved by obligation. Because I am stuck with them. Now that isn’t true all the time, but there are moments (usually followed by the phrase that is often uttered by parents when they do not mean it: ‘I hate children’) when I am not sure I am actually liked or loved. With friends? My friends are the people I chose because they shared my interests and feelings (which can also be dangerous mind you). They are the people I can express myself to and often they will have an objective view of my reactions. They help me become better based on who i was when I met them. They don’t have predetermined assumptions of who I am because of who i have been.  I build my relationships on a kind of kindred compatibility that then becomes a deeply emotional relationship. There is more there than similar interest and humor. There is conflict, but the resolvable kind. There are hardships, but we support each other. There is tragedy…oh is there tragedy…but we are sustained because we are built on a beautiful loving friendship.

I don’t need a man to be loved. I just need a human being to connect with. I need a person I can tell my concerns to. One who reminds me to turn my concerns to God. Because in the end, we all have very similar concerns in life. My friends are those people. My family can be those people as well, but there are those things you fear telling family sometimes. Yet, there are friends. Friends with depth and security. I have those kinds of friends. I am overwhelmingly blessed by those friends. I am lovingly reminded how wonderful I can be. I am reminded of how horrible things could be. I am reminded that I have a God who loved me so beyond conditions and frail human understanding, how could I ever feel so overwhelmingly inadequate?

So I have found encouragement today. I hope you all find the encouragement you also need.