Smokers and Caregivers and Migraines, oh my.
Well, we finally bit the bullet and bought our own smoker. It is this large black grill-like thing that looks like a little steam engine, like the ones up at Tilden Park. My kids (and I) used to love those little steam engines so much. I remember Jack used to be able to describe how a steam engine worked when he was just a tiny little boy of 4 or 5. He would rattle on for 20 minutes or so about how the firebox worked. And we loved to go up there in Tilden and ride on the railroad through the woods.
And now, we have a little steam smoke engine in our yard. It is a good thing that Jamye and Chris like cooking and eating as much as we do. Willi has planned the inaugural smoking to be a giant brisket for the whole household to share. He has been setting up the accessories, tinkering with the seals and making this thing run like a suped-up muscle car. I like to see him so excited. Yesterday I was very low, and I don’t think I was giving him the kind of “Yay! I am so happy for you!” that I feel, but I am very happy for him. And glad that at least one of us is getting to express their creativity in their chosen medium. You can all look forward to lots of tempting smoked meat photos as he gets going!
Saw my primary care provider yesterday to ostensibly talk about my shoulder pain. The visit started with an overall wellness survey that I had to fill out online and a few of the mental health questions prompted her to ask about my insomnia and sadness. Ended up talking about a lot of the things that are weighing, explored some ideas for helping (fixing my nutrition, getting back into therapy etc). Somehow, having this kind, intelligent woman see that I am having a hard time, opened me up and let a bunch of stuff out. Messy stuff. Hard stuff to talk about and ask for help on. I told her she must be exhausted from holding space for so many patients every day, and she acknowledged that so many people are struggling. And that the work was exhausting. I think about my brother and the thousands of health care professionals who are trying to hold us all together and take care of our health. And I am sharing it to just remind us all that we are living through some really difficult, uncertain, messy times. And that some of us are feeling more unsettled than others, given our career paths or relationship status or support group or health, both physical and mental. And that it is OK and IMPORTANT to find help, lean on friends, do what you need to take care of your body and your heart.
And then, of course, because it is this time of year when they often appear, I came down with a migraine. I have had cluster migraines since I was in high school. When I was younger everyone freaked out and did all sorts of tests because my dad was a survivor of a brain hemorrhage and they were worried that my intense, one-sided zapping pain was an indicator of something serious. All serious worries aside, they are still incredibly annoying and frustrating. Intense zaps of pain, all located on the right side, high up above my ear, that come and go in a matter of seconds, but happen every minute or so, 24 hours a day. Sometimes they last for days or more than a week. There have been years when I finally went to a doctor to get some reassurance that it was just these stupid cluster migraines and not something crazy, but now I know that it just happens. And sometimes are linked to stress or being run down or depressed, but sometimes it’s just because it’s this time of year. Ice on my neck helps, lots of water helps, extra sleep helps. And also knowing that it will go away eventually.
I am glad that I get to see the little Walnut Creek girls today, and drop off a surprise to another friend along the way. I am grateful for my quiet morning time at my altar and the insight that comes when I get quiet, ask questions and listen. I am grateful that my partner is willing to wade through the muck when we need to and is not afraid of my sadness. I am grateful that my son comes to hug me for no reason. I am grateful for my friends and the mutual support that comes from sharing these difficult times. I love that three different people gifted friends through us this week. As usual, if you want to gift a friend, I waive all delivery fees so your recipient can use the entire gift amount.
Meals on Heels this week is the first big event that gets to reap the benefits of the new smoker. We have been marinating chickens and planning our process to be super efficient, and looking forward to being set up enough to attend the Shit and Champagne premiere on Thursday night! So exciting to see this project come to the screen! I did background casting for the film and it was a pleasure to work on. Thinking about some fun themed snacks to bring!
Orders for Meals on Heels should be placed by tonight. www.toasttab.com/oasis/v3 Orders for our regular menu Friday should be placed by tonight as well, for SF and South Bay delivery. www.marthaavenuefood.com
Take care of yourselves. We are all holding so much. And it’s ok to fall apart and need help and feel scared and ALSO, it’s ok to be doing great. To be finding new ways to live that suit you better than the way we used to live. To be thriving and feeling strong.
I am going to baby my head today. Ice and good healthy food and an early night, if I can manage it. Maybe I will even get an hour in my tub. I hope that you can find ways to give yourself the care you need as well. Hug yourselves for me. xoxo