Tosca Reno


Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Cleaning - Good & Bad

Perhaps a massive clean out is part of this process of grieving. Perhaps not. Either way, the need to clean seemed to strike my family and I hard this past weekend.

I cleaned my daughter Kelsey's house in Kingston for hours on Saturday, while in Toronto my other daughter Rachel was doing the same in her apartment for 7 hours! I also spent several hours in my own home sorting out winter and summer clothing, tossing items into a bin for the Salvation Army and sorting out my linen closet.  I wish sheets came labelled in BIG letters with the size.  I can never find the right set for the right bed.  I then moved my need to scrub and scour to my garden yesterday where I tilled the land (without a Rototiller - prompting others to call me ROTOBICEPS). It was a profoundly cathartic process, much like lifting weights in the gym.  In fact I used it as my cardio, weight session, using glutes, abs, biceps and back to do the heavy lifting.  Unfortunately I overdid it.

Last night I was unable to sleep I was in so much pain. And this morning I called my chiropractor for an emergency appointment because I could barely walk. Wow! I've really done a number on myself. I suppose it was bound to happen. After weeks and months of caring for my Robert during his illness, dealing with the formalities of his passing, and now trying to pick up all of the pieces, I haven't been taking the best care of myself. I learned my lesson today.

Are any of you in the process of spring cleaning? Please remember to take care of yourself while you're at it. Ask for help, protect your back and shoulders, and take breaks.

You can also make sure your being environmentally cautious by checking out this list of earth-friendly, homemade cleaners to use in your home. I picked it up from cancer-warrior Kris Carr's CrazySexyLife blog.

We've now made the switch in my home to natural cleaners, including these, so at least we're taking care of the environment. Now onto taking care of my back...


  1. I know this is a difficult time and it's hard to find your way, but please take care of yourself. Sending lots of hugs and prayers your way.

  2. I'm so sorry for your devastating loss. Love and prayers coming from Wisconsin.

  3. I have been thinking of you over the past few weeks. You are still in my prayers. Cleaning is a great way to help the grieving process. When my first husband died I really deep cleaned a few weeks later and it was very helpful. Hang in will get better.

    I too overdid today and can hardly walk! Yard work is a lot harder workout than most people think, plus, I know for myself I do not lift and bend properly when I do it. That is most of the problem right there. Hope your back feels better soon.


  4. The cleaning you are experiencing is a form of denial. When we keep ourselves so busy we dull the mind into feeling pain. It's easy to overdue it and forget about ourselves. Take the time to feel your pain Tosca and you will heal. Much love and blessings to you and your family.

  5. an idea for your bed linens. once you fold a set of flat and fitted sheets you can tuck them nicely into one of the matching pillow cases this way it keeps a set together, and then label it. I came across this idea a few months ago.

    I lost my mother 4 years ago and life for me crumbled. I stopped looking after myself before she passed because she was ill so I took on the role of caregiver. Mom always said "take care of yourself girl cause its going to get harder as you get older". I stopped running and going to the gym cause I need to be with her. Now 4 years later I'm finally learning to do it all over again and let me tell it's a long hard process...Mom did warn me. :-(

    Take it easy Tosca, take the time to experience the loss and the feelings that go along with it. It's not easy but you do see yourself growing in ways you never expected, and with that honouring their legacy. Remember to Breathe.

    Sending hugs ((((((((Tosca)))))))

    1. The pillow case suggestion was exactly what I was going to say. Then the set is always together.

  6. Even without the difficult grieving process, spring cleaning can be tough on one's body. Prompted by the season's change, we try to do too much in a short period of time, often injuring ourselves in the process.
    I overdid it last spring with the work in and outside of the house, causing a disc to bulge in my lower back and needing over a month of strong painkillers and bed rest (no chiro or physio would even touch me, my back was so badly inflamed). The healing was slow and frustrating, as every little movement would send the electric pain straight into my brain.
    Dear Tosca, please take the time needed to grieve and heal. I hope you will find some comfort in the love and the care of the family and friends who surround you.
    Hugs from Toronto.

  7. Oh no - I hope you're feeling better Tosca! I have chronic back problems from a car accident years ago and I find a heating pad, a hot bath, deep heat rub and/ or a light very easy paced run (to get blood pumping, increase bloodflow and healing to damaged muscles, and to give you a mental boost) all seem to help. I hope you're feeling better soon, back pain is no fun!

  8. I'm sure you'll be on the mend soon...Just stay vigilant in listening and staying in tune to your body...AND where your emotions are taking you. As a massage therapist I recommend coupling massage with your chiropractic care once the inflammation is not so acute. They go so wonderfully hand in hand.
    I made up a batch of my own natural cleaners a while's been lovely using them in the house. What a difference natural essential oil fragrances are compared to chemicals! Healing in and of itself.
    Take care....Allow youself to feel your pain, it's what your brain NEEDS in order to process all that has gone on. Once it has the opportunity to do that, the raw emotions with calm and ease up.
    ...and ask for help when you need it....

  9. My mother passed away what will be 5 months of Friday. The day before Thanksgiving, I took my content test for the State of Texas to teach. That alone was highly stressful. The monday after Thanksgiving, we placed mom in the hospital and on Tuesday with Houston Hospice. I took a leave from work during this time to be by her bedside, along with the family. She passed on a Sunday morning. The next few weeks were insanely busy after her passing. The next week was her funeral. The week after that (I debated about attending) was my college graduation and leave for Arkansas for a week,the week after that was Christmas, then new year's. I volunteer for the Chevron Houston Marathon. I had merchandise and equipment pick up the day after her funeral. All while grieving, or at least attempting too.

    I was so booked with important things to do. I knew if my mother knew I didn't do any of them, she would be very upset with me. I did them because I knew that is what she wanted of me. After marathon weekend, I forced myself to take some time for me. I still tended to my husband and son, but made a point to get alone time to process my loss. I think everyone goes through this cleaning process and it can become overwhelming. I read your Best Body Know while at mom's bedisde. It relaxed me and I still refer to it when needed. You kept me going during my last few moments with mom.

    We all need that moment to breathe, to cry, to mourn, to laugh, to love. We are allowed the time to grieve. Take the time to process your loss. Sometimes we become so focused on a goal after a loss that we over do it. One step at a time...

  10. I think you are right about the cleaning being part of the grieving process. I think it is a need to take back control of our lives where we have been powerless. --To "set things right" as best we can as we figure out who we are now and what the next path is. For a formally very fit person your journey into fitness at 40 and the remarkable love/friendship you found with your husband is inspiring. I find myself life situation mirroring yours and use it daily to slowly put the pieces back together. We are all behind you in spirit! Be good to yourself! And do it all in your own time.


Tosca's Instragrams