Friday chickenIn which I cover the good stuff and the hard stuff in my week, trying for the non-preachy, non-annoying side of ritual and self-reflection.

And you get to join in if you feel like it.

I am inordinately pleased about week ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY in a row.

That’s because past-me (hi, sweetie!) from a hundred chickens or so decided to create a blueprint for chickening.

And, as a joke, she named the blueprint template thing Friday Chicken #180. Because that seemed like a million years away.

So each week I pull out the blueprint and save it as the chicken of the week and fill in my hard and my good. And I change the number to the correct one and add a title (which is the hardest part of chickening).

But guess what? We’re here. Chicken #180. And I didn’t have to update the number. Though maybe now I’ll change the blueprint to 280.

The hard stuff


This week was full of some incredibly challenging moments for me.

There were fits and tantrums. Many of them.

And lots of tears.

And some shaking of fists.

I got mad. And I don’t get mad very often but yes. This was worth getting mad over.

Monday night.

Monday night was the TWENTY FOURTH night in a row of not-sleep.

I mean, there is sleep. But with waking up every hour and with nightmares and with not falling back asleep.

And I was doing all the things that work but they weren’t working, and this was a new situation, and it was torture and I was done.

Nonfunctioning because of the tiredness emergency.

I got to really experience what it’s like when you cannot do.

And when you cannot not do.

Because all of it is one awful horrible fog of doom.

Nothing gets done.

It can’t.

Not when you’re so disconnected.

Nothing is working.

Normally when everything hurts, I run away to my uncle in the woods and rest up.

But this time that didn’t work. It always works!

And a bunch of other things that always work didn’t work. That’s because everything is changing. And transitions are hard. And I’m still discovering what the new things are.

And dancing, which also always helps, didn’t help because it turns out that when I’m crazy-malfunctioning-tired, my body won’t dance either.

I was sadface mouse about all of this and so much more.

Not being able to get things done because of the stupid card thing.

So two weeks ago (as you may remember from Chickens past), our business credit card was compromised.

And this was the week it was supposed to arrive.

Bills, expenses, orders, merchant payments, it all needed to happen this week and we didn’t have the card.

Rawr! Rawr! Rawr!

So many crappy things this week! So many! Rawr!

The endless recushioning and substicushioning.

Forcibly being substicushioned is my new phrase for this situation that I cannot stand which kept repeating itself this week.

The this-is-the-example situation: I bought a giant expensive red cushion but then it turned out they’d given me the brown one.

Which was fine because the brown looked great in my office, but I still felt frustrated: we’d agreed on red, they wrote down red, we said red at the storeroom, I watched the woman write it down on the form. So how come brown.

We agreed that the our lease on the new Playground space would begin March 1st and then the start date was pushed back by two months with no recognition, apologies or consideration for how this impacts our plans. The new date is also fine. Starting in May gives me more time to plan.

But I also feel frustrated and anxious because there’s no acknowledgement of the fact that this is something other than what was emphatically agreed upon at our last meeting.

We agreed I was paying for red! We clearly said March 1st! I don’t need a a red cushion. I don’t need the date moved back to March. But I feel upset. I want to be ASKED for input: “Hey, is it okay if we give you brown because we’re out of red? Hey, we want to move the lease two months so how would you feel about that?”

So I’m calling that being substicushioned. Unauthorized recushioning! And it happened like, ten different times this week in various formats. And I am really in my stuff about this, and feeling vulnerable. So that’s what I’ll be processing over the weekend and next week.

* Thank you, Shannon, for the word.

It’s time for a new sherriff in town.

I didn’t want that job but someone’s going to have to take it. And it will be me if no one else does. We’ll see what happens this week.

The short version is that the situation with the bully in our building has come to a head.

I invest endless time, love and money in the physical home of my company, and I am done.

Blowing! Off! Steam!

Also, this entire situation would be way easier to deal with were I not completely exhausted. So there’s that too.


When is the new Playground space going to be available? When will I be able to tell you guys about the new things? Is it even possible for people to take ownership for their stuff and their experience? It works at the physical Playground but can it work online?

These are the questions that I have been working through over this long, hard, exhausting, fascinating week.

The good stuff


On Tozday everything crashed and then it couldn’t crash anymore.

I broke down and got homeopathic stuff even though I have Ludicrous Fear Popcorn about this and try to avoid it.

The wonderful Shannon (graduate of Crossing the Line — she can tell you how amazing it was!) came by the Playground and did a magical hypnosis session for me.

Toozday night I finally slept. And then Wednesday night I really slept. The whole! Night! Through!

Sleeps! Sleeps!


Sleep, you guys. I highly recommend it. Everything is better when it is there.

Everything is okay.

Yes, it is.

It just is.

I learned that this week and I knew it in my bones, and this was wonderful.

Everything is okay!

And: everything that is against me is an illusion.

I finally wrote the thing I had been putting off writing.

I wanted to tell my Kitchen Table about what I’ve learned about leadership over the past three years of running the program.

But then I couldn’t.

And finally I could. It worked. Relief and joy!

We got the lease. Joyful jumping for the new space!

We got the lease. There is going to be a new beautiful Playground in addition to the current one.

Even though the date was pushed back by two months without anyone asking how we felt about that, we got the lease.

We still haven’t signed, and are working through a couple small details, but this feels so much closer to the new gigantic space and the new things we’ll be doing there.

This is the best!


Wonderful friends.

Especially Briana and Shannon and the gentleman.

Things that keep me sane.

Dance class. Once I’d slept. YAY DANCE.

Yoga. Breathing. Shiva Nata.

Hiding. Nesting. Reflecting.

Stretching. Crying.

Conversations and negotiations with walls and monsters.

RAWR-ing. Stone skipping.

All of it.

My wish room.

The useful part about discovering all the things I am DONE with this week was that I realized it is time to take care of my wish room.

That’s my home office that I pretty much always avoid.

So I bought a throne for it. Not really a throne. It has a brown cushion instead of a red cushion, but it is still a kick-ass throne.

And the gentleman took down the shelves and is going to repaint!

Again, everything is okay.

Just when I start to worry that maybe it isn’t, I am reminded by all the ways that it is.

It is only lack of sleep that makes it seem like it isn’t .

But look, all the things I need are right here. Just where they always were.

I can trip over them or I can make homes for them. So I’m making homes.

Roller derby workshop!

Taught another Shiva Nata workshop for the team I sponsor last night.

It was awesome. We were gearing up for the season opener.

Unrelenting domination! (That was position 1:6 for you shivanauts out there).

Anyway, fun! We wore costumes. We flailed it up. Epiphanies, they are happening.

I have a polar bear and I don’t know why!

The cutest polar bear ever. Schmoo! Adorable.

Apparently whilst I was in the throes of Extreme Sleep Deprivation (which I still am, retroactively, but it was way worse then), I announced to the world one morning — very emphatically — that I needed a polar bear.

The gentleman got me one. It is the softest and the snuggliest and has the most intense expression. Fierce, but also curious.

I am not sure why I thought I needed a polar bear. To be honest, I don’t even really remember declaring to anyone who would listen that having one was necessary and vital to my life.

But this makes me happy. Polar bear. MINE. His name is Darlington Sloth. He likes to be scratched under his right ear. And I also call him Paws for short. Paws!

I am learning the things I need to learn.

Part of what made this past week so challenging was not knowing what the useful part was.

But now I know. Got it. Onto the next piece.

The fun part of the Chickening happens here.

Tabstravaganza! Or: what’s Havi been up to with all those open Firefox tabs?

I didn’t read much this week but I want to share with you Pauline’s beautiful piece about the greatest pain.

What a courageous and accurate description:

Oh my goodness the pain.
Sometimes very, very quiet but burning and then explosive and needing kettle drums, full orchestra and choir, requiem to acknowledge the sheer bursting massive scale of it.
I thought walking in the stormy winds this week would be powerful enough to make some impression on it, but there’s been nothing strong enough to match it. Storms rage outside me and it rages within me.
And my goodness that is good stuff.
To let the pain meet its match in force, in music, and see that it’s allowed to be as strong as it is.
See that I’m not frightened of it, that it won’t kill me, that it’s going to be allowed full expression and need not be less than it is for fear of my not being able to bear it.

From the archives.

Some old, weirdly pertinent posts that I don’t remember having written, encountered while looking for something else:

Playing live at the meme beach house — it’s the Fake Band of the Week!

Background? Ez and I make up bands. Stu (retired Bolshevik-fearing voice-to-text software) once translated “people will hate me and be jealous” to “they’ll hang out at my Meme Beach House“. It’s just one guy.

This week’s band is possibly-probably related to Ludicrous Fear Popcorn…

They’re called:

Terrified of Pi

And that pretty much sums it up.

Though, of course, it’s really just one guy.

Hallo Hallo! I am saying Hallo Hallo. Announcement time.

Picture me wearing that crazy hat

  1. You’ll need the Art of Embarking if you want to join the Floating Playground. Or any of the things we’ll be doing in 2012.
  2. I’ll be sending out the announcement about the Floating Playground really soon, to everyone on the Havi’s Announcing a Thing list (you can sign up on the events page).

I think that’s everything. If not, I’ll add stuff to the Very Personal Ads over the weekend.

That’s it for me …

And of course you can join in my Friday ritual right here in the comments if you feel like it.

Yes? Anything hard and/or good happen in your week?

We let people have their own experience, which means that we’re supportive and kind, and we don’t give advice (unless people specifically ask for it).

And, as always, have a glorrrrrrrrrrrrious day, a restful weekend and a happy week to come. Shabbat shalom.

p.s. It’s okay if it’s not Friday anymore. There’s complete chicken amnesty — join in whenever (or not) and it’s no big deal.

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