The question of burnout

Burnout can be a huge issue for many of us: I joke, at times, with other people doing things, about the problem of Witches Who Do Too Much, but there’s definitely a group of us out there. A recent discussion on an email list about this got me thinking about some things I do.

Now, anyone who’s read some of my ‘day in the life’ posts has the idea that I’m insanely busy. It’s gotten better this year. This year, I’m working full time, actively job hunting, starting a new coven, and trying to have a social life. This time last year, I was working full time, taking two graduate classes, actively involved in my Pagan group’s leadership (rituals, some teaching, and meetings/initiate work one night a week.) Oh, yes. And trying to have a social life/some down time. Both years, I’ve been part of our Pagan Pride Day board, which has some variable time commitments (for most of the year, monthly meetings and in-between work I can do at home.)

So. How to do that?

Continue reading

Ten things I love about my body

Sylvan, whose writing I adore, posted earlier today about ten things she loves about her body – and encouraged those reading to do the same. Here’s mine.

1 ) I adore my hair. It is long (waist-length) and fine. I adore it. It is dark brown, with silver coming in, shot through, but with a silvering strip running back lightly from each temple. I love the silver in the midst of the brown, and I love the two strips that are forming.

I almost always wear my hair up – it’s impractical down, and especially in the winter, it tends to be all static, all the time. But I wear it down for ritual, and for special occasions. I love the feel of it down my back, and twining my fingers in it behind my back. I do hack the end off with scissors every few months to get rid of dead ends, but I haven’t been to a hairdresser in almost a decade.

2 ) I love my eyes. My driver’s license says they are hazel, because they don’t have an option for ‘pale green with a copper-brown ring around the pupil’. But really, that’s what they are: a gorgeous pale green with a rich brown inside. An ex of mine called them topaz, which is near enough to get the idea.

I also love that my eyes work: I wear glasses infrequently for computer use, and they have quirks, but my eyes are what lets me read and learn and experience so much cool stuff in the world. (I read far faster than people talk, so books on audio, while a useful thing when I’m doing stuff where I can’t read, like driving, don’t make up for it.)

3 ) I love my ears. They have a tiny little angled point at the top which amuses me greatly. (I also love how my ears work, because the other thing that really gets me going is music.)

4 ) I love my height. Which sounds a little weird, when I add that I’m 5 foot and a half inch. But really? I love my height, except in crowds. I almost never have to duck my head under anything, and it means I’m often really comfortable in smaller, enclosed spaces. And my feet never hang off the end of the bed, and they’re almost never up against the back seat in an airplane or car.

5 ) I love my feet: they are relatively small, and I have quite high arches, which means I can play with leaving amusing bare foot prints if I’m careful. More than that, the feet work, and they do what I tell them, and it’s all good.

My toenails are almost always painted some shade of blue, too – it’s part of a deity devotion I’ve done for years, as a small personal reminder during my day. (I have a extensive collection of blue nail polish. You can never have too much.)

6 ) I love my hands – they are not conventionally beautiful, being short-fingered, stubby, and small. But they’re mine, and I’m continually amazed by all the stuff they do, and do well. They play harp, and sew, and knead bread, and spin yarn, and type, and draw, and doodle and pet the cat, and braid my hair, and feel all sorts of things.

7 ) I love my curves. My favorite description of myself to people who haven’t met me in person yet is that I come from a long line of European peasants who were good at surviving famines. This is very true. But I love the curves that gives me, especially the one from the waist to the hip.

8 ) My lungs. It’s hard to say, entirely, that I love them, because I have a very complicated relationship with them. Besides the obvious staying-alive part, it’s my lungs that let me sing, and talk, and teach, and hang out with friends, and play music, and so on.

But it’s also my lungs that are my most overt medical issue (asthma) and the one that scares me most. The past year has been a lot better, though: work with a herbalist has helped keep the asthma far more manageable, and they’ve had a chance to heal. (And how cool is it that lungs heal in the first place?)

9 ) My calves. Anyone who knows me knows I almost never wear short skirts – my legs are fairly bow-legged, still. But my calves are very strong, and very much about the muscle, something that started with horseback riding when I was young (and skiing, swimming, and biking didn’t hurt) and that I’ve come back to with walking regularly. I’m amazed by them, honestly, especially when you think about all the different ways a leg has to move.

10 ) My shoulders. My father was required to play rugby when he was growing up (he was over 6 foot, and built for it.) I got his shoulders and build, and Mom’s height, which is not the ideal combination. (I also got his teeth size, and Mom’s jaw size, and some excavator 200 years from now is going to write down that I am 8 teeth short as a result. I digress.)

But I like my shoulders. They carry things well. They match my hips proportionately. And when I was growing up, one of my cats would sit across them. There is nothing more satisfying than a cat draped warmly across your shoulders in the winter keeping the back of your neck warm. (Current feline resident is very much a ‘sit next to’ cat, not a ‘sit on you’ cat, or she could too.)