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05 February 2013

Reboot

 

snowberries

 

There’s been quite a lot going on behind the scenes here at mirrormirror global headquarters over the last month or two. The mysterious backpain has been coupled with days of utter and total exhaustion and nights of bizarre dreams, insomnia and very unrestful sleep. 

I read everything the Internet had to offer on piriformis syndrome – the clenched muscle in my left buttock that was squeezing on the sciatic nerve and radiating pain all down my left leg making it impossible to sit and often to sleep – and discovered that some people think it’s stress related, that the muscle spasms due to stress or anxiety in the same way that we might get a tension headache when we’ve got too much on our plate.

And just believing that I needed to relax and that the pain wasn’t due to a major structural issue, and that I could walk and sit as normal, immediately started to bring relief and now the pain is pretty much gone. I’m convinced that for me the pain was stress-related.  I can even feel the muscle start to tighten again if I get agitated. (If you think you might be going through something similar, you could do worse than check out John Sarno’s book Healing Back Pain. It’s a terribly written book and could be condensed into one chapter if you got rid of all the padding and filler. But I’m certain he’s onto something.)

As all this was going on, it slowly started to dawn on me that, what with being the mother of a young kid, moving countries, trying to run my business from afar and finding time to blog, I’ve actually been living with a mountain of stress for years. I’ve always been a very type A personality – rushing about everywhere, and with a ton of stuff on my plate – and although many of those stressors have now abated, I realised that  I had absolutely hit a wall, that the chronic insomnia I’d been suffering from since the Minx was born was not going to go away on its own, and that the exhaustion I was increasingly feeling  during the day was not exactly normal.

And then I started reading about adrenal fatigue – where you are literally running on empty and caffeine, - where your adrenal glands, worn out through years of pumping adrenaline and cortisol into our body in response to stress, stop producing the cortisol and adrenaline you need to make you feel wakeful and energetic and just respond to stress and anxiety. I was waking up exhausted, struggling through the day, getting more stressed, producing more adrenaline and cortisol in response to the stress and then ending up so stressed out that I had trouble sleeping. And the following day the whole vicious cycle would start up again worse than before. 

So I’ve been resting and relaxing as possible, clearing a lot of stuff on my plate and working with a naturopath to rebalance my sleep cycles. Hence the lack of blogging in recent weeks. The good news is that I think I’ve turned the corner. I’m sleeping better, though not always soundly, and the dragging exhausted feeling during the day has lessened. So I’m hoping to start up regular blogging again. To my one remaining reader, I have missed you!

Reboot – Part 2

The other big change has been in what I do with the rest of my life.

I closed mirrormirror over Christmas. It’s been pretty much on hiatus for the last couple of years and you might have noticed that I’ve been completely uninspired by it for the longest time. In fact you probably thought it was already closed.  It just became too complicated running it across the different time zones and since it seems that we are here in Seattle for the foreseeable future, I had to bow to the inevitable. It was HARD to say goodbye to my baby – at one point it seemed like we were running a successful little shop -  but I wasn’t doing right by her. Sometimes you just have to let go. 

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported the shop in the past, by buying from it or promoting it. I really appreciated all your help and encouragement. I was hoping to hold a big sale before Christmas but all my health issues got in the way, so we do still have a bit of stock. If there’s any stuff you remember liking let me know and I can give you a fabulous price. I’ll also be hosting some ‘Bargains of the Week’ via the blog over the next couple of weeks and months.

As to what I do next, that’s a good question. All I know at the moment is that food and photography are drawing me somewhere.This blog is probably somewhere in the mix too. Where it’s all leading I’m not exactly sure but I’m intrigued and excited to find out. 

I’ve signed up to do ace commercial photographer Don Giannatti’s Project 52 PRO course, which is a year of critiqued professional level photographic assignments, which should help me build my portfolio. I’m renting some beautiful studio space so I’ve finally got a proper place to work. And  I’ve committed to working really hard at building my blog, my photography and my foodie credentials over the next year and I’m excited to see where I end up. Watch this space. And I hope you can join me on the ride.

And yeah, just while I’m supposed to be relieving stress we start our kitchen and bathroom remodel next week. Oh my lord!

Oh and as a further aside, our first Project 52 assignment is to ‘photograph a stranger’. Is there a Seattle-based blog reader whom I’ve never met who would like to meet up for coffee and a quick portrait session? I don’t normally take many people shots, except of the Minx, so I don’t promise they’ll be any good, mind you.  If you’re interested drop me a line.

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Comments

finally. a blog post.

I know. Baby steps...

Glad to see you back, Paola, and glad you are feeling better! I look forward to your foodie adventures!

Glad to hear you're focusing on making yourself feel better Paola and I'm sure the food/photography combo will take you to some interesting places. We all should take a leaf out of your book and take the time to reassess and refocus more than we do. As for the shop, I have some treasured items that I bought from you and if you have any Karin Eriksson ceramics or Abigail Percy jewellery left then I can probably take it off your hands! J x

That fifth paragraph describes EXACTLY the state of mind and health I have got myself into. And while I know I need to rest and relax, it just isn't an option at the moment. Last year we took three holidays - all press trips, but nice ones - but was so knackered after relentless six-day working weeks and trying to balance the different factors/demands in my personal life that I went on holiday a wreck, and returned a wreck. If naturopath has any handy tips for balancing sleep cycle that would be easily condensed here, would LOVE to hear them...x

PS sad to hear of demise of MirrorMirror. Lovely little shop x

OMG that could be me! I have experienced the exact same symptoms except my pain is in my stomach and after a 3 day stay in hospital I did loads of research which drew me to the conclusion it was all stressed related (the doctor doesn't agree) so, good to hear that it actually can be and that you've have managed to sort yours out. Glad to hear you are getting better and now I think I'll search for a good naturopath in Victoria! Looking forward to more posts! :)

Adrenal fatigue is *part* of the reason I moved to Seattle, I needed to slow the heck down. Seattle is slower than SF, but I've learned you can speed up a life anywhere. So I do my best to watch it and remember to say no as needed. Glad to hear you are finding your own solutions. Endings are often hard, but essential to make room for the new. I'm looking forward to seeing where your new takes you!

Just a quick note to say hello and that it's so good to hear from you! Just for the record, I won't be leaving, no matter how infrequently you blog. MirrorMirror is one of my favorites! I will always love your writing style and fabulous pictures. Blessings to you as you heal and rest. I have been where you are.

Paola, carissima...you can run (maybe if your right cheek let's you) but you CANNOT hide. We will be here, we will wait and when you can write...we will read every word you print. We number more than one remaining...

B

Sounds really good, Paola. I'm glad you're feeling better bit by bit. If you need to blog just here and there to keep the healing going, do it. We'll be here.

what are "foodie credentials"? because if you don't have any, I don't think they're worth having

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