There are more days than not that I don’t feel like doing anything. Days where I feel I need a shovel to pry me off the couch. I’ve gone through a bout of insomnia. Now I feel like I have sleeping sickness. I’m sleepy as soon as I get out of bed. Life is difficult as M. Scott Peck says in The Road Less Travelled. He wasn’t kidding.
The reason I don’t stay down is it is more exhausting resting than not. So I pushed myself up and out. By now I have trained myself well to get up, dress up and show up even somnolent. I am like a trained seal, performing in life’s circus. Don’t worry if I do sound dark and sardonic. This is my tapping voice. I’m speaking mostly to myself, sorting out feelings and problem solving. I’m feeling the hibernation response – nature’s call to slow down. I should have been a bear.
But I am not. I must rise to the call of being human as best as I can. I am probably not as slow and despondent as I feel. My chili peppers are dehydrating on the deck, the tomatoes are saucing on the stove and the pork roast is in the oven. I will finish my tea, Dyson the floor. Then Sheba and I will head out for our walk and some sunshine. The fresh air will perk us up. Another day.
I always look forward to my Saturday morning swim no matter the weather. It was a chilly -8 Celsius at 7 am. The petunias are maybe blooming their last hurrah. They have done well, cheering and showering me with their brightness into October. They have earned their rest.
As always, it is relaxing and restful to glide into the pool and let the warmth of the water wash over me. More so when I have the luxury of a lane to myself. I can just swim back and forth at my own pace. I don’t have to worry about anyone grabbing my toes because I am too slow.
I went into the fast lane as it was the only one empty. It was on the opposite side of where I am used to – the slow lane. There is always something different for me to work up to. Even the flow of the water felt different. It was all good though. I practiced at accepting and working with all these ‘differences’. I tried not to worry about a fast swimmer arriving and kicking me out of the lane. When I worry and panick, I flouder. I would get water up my nose. Then I would be coughing and struggling more.
Today, I worked at not panicking and floundering. Ok, I tell myself. I have a right to be here. I stilled my thoughts. I stopped thrashing around. I slowed my kick and swam steadily up and down the lance. No one booted me out of the lane.
I’m slipping, sliding on the slippery slope. Hard to find traction though I’m digging my heels in. Hope I don’t fall too far down the hill. There’s no Jack around to catch me. Well, what can I do but my best?
From experience, when I’m feeling like this, it is best not to do anything grand, daring or new. It is best to just hunker down, read, knit, doodle and other such safe activities. This is not the time to go desperately seeking happiness or feeling good. It is also not the time to contemplate what it all means. And by all means, I should not try to solve those world problems. Just breathe. Put one foot in front of the other. And smile. Smiling relaxes you. That’s what the yoga lady says. I smile. It works. It breaks up my face and scatters pesky thoughts.
Now it is evening. I’m fed, watered and showered. I’m in the home stretch. I’m going to doodle and call it a day. Tomorrow I can try for better.
It’s Wednesday. Sunny. Calm. I’m making lunch and trying to tap out a few words. I have a sense of being ‘stuck’. So I thought I better not skip on my aerobics class this morning. I counted down 5,4,3,2,1 and away I went only to be thwarted by no place to park. To avoid being completely pissed off by circling and circling, hoping someone would leave, I left. I saved myself from a bad mood.
So here I am, instead, tapping myself into mindfulness. I’m making sticky rice the fast way with no soaking, in my Instant Pot. I will tell you in a few minutes how it turns out.
The sticky rice turned out wonderfully sticky and delicious. A few hours have passed since then. I’ve just returned from The President’s Lecture Series: Saskatchewan’s Indigenous People. This week’s speaker was Dr. Keith Carlson on “Settler-Indigenous Relations”. He was a very interesting, exciting though fast speaker. I couldn’t catch up to what he was saying at times. But he certainly had material as compared to the previous week’s lecturer. Not all professors are the same. Some are better than others.
Not all days are equal. Somehow today feels like a lost day. I cannot argue a case or win a tug of war. I better just save my energy for another day.
So it’s Monday, Thanksgiving Monday to be exact. Like every other day, you can’t predict what the day will bring. Well, it was darn frosty in the morning. -3 Celsius, almost long johns temperature for some people. Monday made me think of the Mommas & Papas with their song, Monday, Monday. Remember those days when life was simple and oh so mellow? Today was like that for me – not too much thinking or soul searching.
Then I got to remembering their California Dreamin’. Such sweet music and warm memories. It was almost like driving down to California. It’s a nice way to spend this Monday.
Thanksgiving Sunday. It is cloudy, breezy and cool. I am a bit melancholic. Holidays, no matter which one, have lost their magic for me. I am no longer filled with whatever it is that I’m supposed to have. I am no longer starry eyed. I have no wants for someone else to buy for me. And I have no desires to buy others’ love. I’ve grown old and definitely cynical. I’m calling it as it is. You can like it or not. You can like me or not. What you think and who you like are none of my business.
I am preparing sticky rice as my contribution to supper tonight at my sister-in-law’s. I still believe in something, doing my part in the grand scheme of living. I still am pursuing excellence in living as long as I am on this planet. Some days I am more cynical than others. But I still put one foot in front of the other, move, and smile if I can.
My sticky rice turned out well. 70 minutes on steam in the Instant Pot. Thanksgiving supper turned out well. My siblings and I agree to no more gifting each other at Christmas. I think we all breathed a collective sigh of relief. Takes a load off everyone’s plate. Getting together for a meal is plenty of celebration. Gifting each other with good food cooked and shared is plently. Keeping it simple. Today is just another day – lived to the best of my ability. I give thanks as always.
I love Saturdays. This morning was especially beautiful. The streets were still wet from the rain of last night. The rain clouds were lingering while the sun shone between them. The trees were in their dress of gold and orange. I felt awed as I drove towards YWCA for my swim.
Strange that I feel more tired after getting back my sleep. I almost didn’t go for my swim except that Saturday mornings was the time I mostly likely will get a lane to myself. So I gave myself a mental push, got the get up and went. Glad that I did. I had a lane to myself. I had a great swim. I had one of those aha-break through moments.
I felt I was gliding with my backstroke instead of my usual struggling to get to the other end. It felt effortless. It was blissful. I was happy that I came. Later back at home, I learned that I have been using Mel Robbins’ 5 second rule. Even though I didn’t feel like swimming, I did it anyways. I got up and went just as I have been getting up, dressing up and showing up regardless every day. I didn’t consciously count backwards – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – go. Our brain is not wired wanting to change. We never feel like exercising or wanting to do. We just have to do it. So hurray for me for stumbling onto something that works.