It’s not often that I have very little to say about writing. But the truth is, I haven’t been very productive over the last two weeks and, I don’t feel guilty about it. I can only speak for myself when I say this, though I suspect Ashley has been feeling this somewhat too: I needed a break.
I barely know where to start, as I feel like a mountain of things have happened over the last few weeks. Things have been piling up on me, and I’ve been feeling the old anxiety creeping back in. My news is good news though! If you listen to our podcast, you’ll know that recently I got my Graduate Nurse permit, which is like an interim permit which allows you to work while you study for the final registration exam, the NCLEX. So, I have been applying to several jobs and, once again, buried my head in textbooks. No luck yet on the job front, but I’m hopeful.
And of course, health issues snuck in with the perfect timing to clash with exam stress—not serious so don’t worry, but it’s more of a private nature so I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say that, between everything that’s been going on, I definitely needed to unwind, and writing was just another thing on a huge ‘to-do’ list.
So, I took a step back, and restarted my daily yoga practice to recalibrate and take a moment to process the changes in my life. Which, if you ever want to take up yoga, I highly recommend the YouTube channel ‘Yoga with Adriene’. The vibe there is calm, positive, and caring. And to be honest, after trying plenty of in-person and online classes, I have never found a teacher as great as Adriene at correcting technique.
In fact, I really wanted to share with you all a great method for keeping carpal tunnel at bay. I haven’t been diagnosed with carpal tunnel, but I’ve noticed that I’m beginning to see the odd symptom crop up, like some minor tingling down the fingers of my right hand when I type. This technique really, really helped to release the tension in my wrist. If you’re interested and want to give it a go, the technique I’m talking about is in this video (timestamp 15.08). It’s probably better if you watch how she does it than let me explain it to you, because you do have to be very gentle and careful, must protect those wrists!
Lastly on this topic of yoga, Adriene also shared a mantra which I have taken up over the last few days, and I think it’s perfect for how I am feeling. Sometimes, you need to feel grounded, and you need to take things one breath at a time. You can probably guess what the mantra is by the title of this post:
My breath is my anchor; my anchor is my breath.
Another thing that helped was getting outdoors. This weekend, Dan and I took a drive out to a cemetery to take some photos. This one has some really old and pretty gravestones, but also has rolling hills that overlooks Calgary city. Unfortunately, my skyline shots of Calgary were rather substandard, but I did get a few nice pictures of the headstones. If you’re a writer, you may have heard of the term ‘McGuffin’. It’s alluded to at the start of the book (or movie) and is an object, device or event that gets the ball rolling and motivates the characters, but in and of itself, it’s fairly insignificant. Dan pointed out this headstone to me, and so if you’re looking for the McGuffin, we found it. The other photos are of the soldiers’ graves from World War I, and of a beautiful, sad woman mourning her loss as she sits atop a giant headstone.