I took a day off from skiing. There’s quite a few things that need my attention. While skiing is a very good activity, it is also an escape for me. I’m chasing the skier’s high and I’m always get it. Everyone thinks I’m so dedicated. What I am is addicted. Once in a while I make a deliberate effort to take a day off. It’s good for my muscles. It’s good for my brain and mind. The house gets tidied and cleaned. The bills get paid.
Sometimes I need to just stop and do nothing. But that hasn’t happened yet. I’m on the treadmill. It’s hard to get off. For now I’m happy if I can just slowed down a little, sit, sip tea and read a book for an hour straight without my mind thinking in every which direction. Once upon a time I was an expert at that. What the hell happened to me?
Well, I will let that sit for awhile. Maybe the answers will unravel for me. And maybe I need not know and just practice on doing nothing for short spells now and again. There’s no place I need to be. There is nothing that needs fixing. Let it be. Let it be.
It’s another day, another dollar. Life is strange and ordinary. Another shooting at a school in Nashville, killing three 9 year olds and 3 adults. It is the 90th school shooting this year in the United States. Strange that there are no stricter gun control laws after all these shootings and killings. I guess lives are dime a dozen, contradictory to mantra of every life matters.
Our spring is rather strange, too. It’s almost April and we had temperatures in the -20sC last night and this morning. I thought it would be a good day to bake bread and warm the house at the same time. It was a very relaxing and meditative process, mixing all the ingredients and then kneading the dough. It held the outside world at bay. I was happy in my own little bubble.
I love the ordinariness of my life- of watching dust mites in sunlight. I sometimes do wonder why I don’t have alot of wants and yearnings of more, more, more. But I can’t seem to make myself want more than what I have. So why bother?
I’m beginning to enjoy my daily chatter as much as my daily draw. So far it is pleasurable and relaxing. There is no one to interrupt my steady rhythmic tapping of the keys. I get things off my chest and work out a few kinks in my head. It’s all good stuff. It’s a good practice. It’s much better than seeking understanding from another. We all want to be heard and understood but it is very difficult to see and hear with an objective eye and ear. I find most people can’t even wait for the other person to finish his sentence before jumping in with their own story. We are all too human. We want to tell our stories much more than hear someone else’s. It is wise to pay for a therapist when we are in dire need of being heard and understood.
I’m feeling a little more joie de vivre today. I’m feeling a little more peppy and it’s not all due to the spicy and sour wonton soup I had for lunch. It helps some. Every little thing helps. So no matter how I feel, I get up, dress up and show up. Most mornings I show up at the Wildwood Golf Course to cross country ski. And this morning I did the best and longest ski ever since I took up the sport in November of 2020. I am still not what you call a good skier but I have the ambition and drive to improve myself every single time I’m out there. I’m feeling jubilant having skied the whole inside track, minus one very steep hill. I walked up, then down that one. There’s no shame in being safe and smart.
It’s good to keep this conversation going now that it’s started. If I stop now, it might be difficult to get it going again. Though it is a conversation of one, I like it. I’m not interrupted and I can’t be misunderstood. It is all here, in writing and in black and white. I hate it when I’m not heard. It is very hard to be and to find a good listener. So often when I’m needing just an ear, I get advice on what and where I have gone wrong. What I really want was someone to listen and hear me and to acknowledge my feelings and give me comfort. What I really don’t need was someone defending and explaining the other person’s actions, right or wrong. Then my heart is broken not once but twice.
I’m writing this for myself. I don’t want to be that person who doesn’t listen and hear. It’s a conversation I need to have with myself over and over. And then when my heart gets broken not to take it personally. They don’t know better. It is not their fault. It is not my fault. We are just imperfect human beings that still needs alot of learning.
I’m OK. I hope you are, too. Life is hard but it is so very good, too. I’m feeling a bit of joy, a tad of sadness sometimes. It is all very normal – the flux and flow of things. Some days are cloudy while others are sunny. We’re here today and gone tomorrow. So I’ve gotta live where I’m here, putting one foot in front of the other, tapping one letter, then two. Sometimes when I can’t write, I draw. Aren’t I fortunate? And sometimes I can do both at the same time. Double fortunate.
There’s no easy way to get going again once you’ve let yourself get stuck at GO. So I’ve given myself a kick in the ass, wiggled all my fingers and started typing. I’m feeling no better nor am I in a better mood. I’m not feeling any joy for myself or anyone. So please, don’t ask that of me. However, I am moving, doing what I need to do to live hopefully with purpose. My purpose right this minute is – not to feel this way. Not to have these feelings dwell in my cells. It’s not good for me.
I think there’s a lesson here for me. I just have to live peacefully with all these for awhile. They will tell me what it is that I have to change. In the meanwhile, I will try to be a good sport and not upset anyone’s wagon cart. I don’t have to fix my wagon. It might not be in the right track but it isn’t broken. In the meantime, while it is searching for the North Star, I will carry on with the activities of daily living. I will pay more attention so that I don’t fall into the same damn holes again. Then my wagon can truly get broken. It might be wise to consult Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements. The four agreements are:
Be Impeccable With Your Word,
Don’t Take Anything Personally,
Don’t Make Assumptions,
Always Do Your Best.
They sound pretty simple and straight forward but I haven’t mastered them yet, not even close. They are something to work toward when you are lost and wandering in the desert – as I am at the moment.
I’ve become a stranger to my own space. Now I don’t know how or where to start. How to get the words flowing again. So don’t expect much from me tonight. I’m just flexing and warming up my fingers to write a post a day for the Ultimate Blog Challenge in April. I wonder if I still have it in me. Once upon a time this was my come to place to air my triumphs and failures. Once upon a time it was my breathing space. What is it to me now?
I’ve become a stranger even to myself. Life seems strange and unreal. I feel and know I am getting older. I don’t believe in the getting better and wiser horse shit. What I feel is vulnerable. Things are changing at lightning speed and there’s no place for the getting older crowd. You can see and say that I’m not exactly in the best or cheerful form. I’m still the ever say-it-as-it-is girl/woman. I think I am a little bitter, too.
So what am I going to do about it all? Maybe it’s something I could work on in April. I could stand to have a make-over physically, spiritually and emotionally. I’ve already started on shedding a few pounds. And I could lighten my outlook of the world and everything in it. I’m feeling deaden and weighed down. It’s too heavy a subject to chew on right this minute. I shall put it on the shelf to rest till April fool’s. Maybe it’s a good time to read Dark Nights of the Soul.
Today is a cool and breezy day after the unusual warm spells we’ve had in the new year. I’m happily esconced in my sunny sunroom watching Bones on Prime Video. Murder mysteries is my rabbit hole/escape hatch from everything that needs escaping. Bones is perfect. It has crime, intrigue, humour, romance and science. It leaves me feeling good afterwards. I do try to keep it in check, allowing myself 2 episodes max at any one time. I do have an addiction disorder. I don’t want to let time roll away on me. After all, there’s real life to be lived.
I do have another addiction that also gives me a sense of well being. Can you guess what? I post photos on social media about it almost every day. It is cross country skiing. I almost feel embarrassed about how much I love it. Why do I love it so much? It is a solitary activity like swimming. I’m not good at either so they challenge me. I have no athletic talent whatsoever. In public school I failed tumbling. I was not on the track or volley ball team. Back in the days, swimming was a mandatory university class. I failed it but not university. I did drop out though – university that is. I was a very matured adult when I took up swimming again and a senior when I took up skiing.
I guess you can say I’m in my second childhood. The second time around is better. I have a little more confidence. I’m not as easily embarrassed or care if I look stupid. I’m not competitive. I race only against myself. Skiing has taught me alot about life. There are slippery slopes everywhere. It is risky, life and skiing. Much as I love it, I’m always a little nervous before I go. I’m never raring and tearing to go at it. I’m the reluctant scarity cat, dragging my tail. Heading out in the car, there’s this video playing in my head about my fears and where I will fall. Once I’m on the track, I feel better and when I start out to meet the rising sun, a contented sigh goes through me. That is, until I come to a slippery slope. Uphill is a physical struggle. Down hill is a heart dropping free fall. I take a deep breath at the top, focus keeping my knees and ankles soft, give a little push and mutter my prayers. I never get comfortable enough that I don’t go through all the same thoughts and feelings each and every time. It’s a good thing. I will never lose the edge or the love. It’s the way I want to live my life, too.
There are days when I don’t feel that brave or strong. I have my rabbit holes along the ski trail where I can circumvent my scary spots. I just follow the rabbit tracks. In the words of Mary Oliver,I do not have to be good. I do not have to walk on my knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. I only have to let the soft animal of my body love what it loves.
Lately when I go out for breakfast with the girls, I’ve been forgetting to ask for decaffinated coffee. I forgot again yesterday, remembering only after I’m halfway through my cup. I thought, Oh, what the heck. I can live a little dangerously. It was so good I had a second cup. I think I’m paying the price today. Though I had no problem getting to sleep, I couldn’t stay asleep the whole night. Nature called at 3:40 am and after that I couldn’t get back to sleep. At 5 I finally got up. I might was well have a cup of tea and do something useful.
Though I had almost 5 hours of sleep, it’s not enough to be on top of the game. Good thing I’m not a brain surgeon. My head is thick and foggy. After breakfast, I had the dishwasher stacked, put in the soap and even ran the tap till the water was starting to warm. I turned off the tap and walked away without turning the dishwasher on. Not a big deal. I’ll run it after lunch. Hope we got enough cutlery or else I have to wash a couple by hand. My morning is not totally disastrous. I got a start on homework for my art class. My present state of being foggy and loose might be good for that. I didn’t fuss about being exact and perfect. It’s a good time to experiment and play.
The coffee gave me energy yesterday. It gave me enough oomph to clear and dust my whole desktop. It’s not perfect but pretty amazing. I haven’t been able to do it for a long, long time. It was dragging me down. Losing a few hours of sleep was worth it. I even had enough energy to spare to work in the greenhouse a bit. Every little bit and snip adds up. I can see that I will be having a very busy spring and summer. Getting the seeds started and the greenhouse cleared and set up is a big priority. I cannot afford to be feeling maudlin, wishy washy and falling back into my old clutterbug ways. I need a daily plan of to do’s. I want to stay focused and on top of my life. I do not want to get blown every which way by whim or chance. I want to be the captain.
I’m lucky that there’s YouTube. I’m lucky someone suggested Cas of Clutterbug to me. I’ve done just a quick check on her but I can already see that she can be of great help IF I DO the job instead of just reading her posts and watching the videos. This video – The Best Home Organizing Ideas for 2023 – is very good to begin with. I’m going to do it. I’m going to do whatever it takes to let go of useless clutter, whether they be things, thoughts or habits in order to have a life I want.
These days life feels so uncertain and full of perils. I awoke with a feeling of unease. How shall I live? How shall I go on? These questions were in my mind and body. I shivered with them for I know that I cannot go back to what was – back to the old normal. It’s a frightening realization in the dark of the early morning. It freezes and immobilizes me. I cannot remain there. It is not sustainable. I have to work myself out of that mindset. I am grateful to receive these words from Caroline Myss this morning.
“These are perilous and challenging times. But they’re important times and it’s a great gift to be alive now because we all have a role to play in moving our species ahead to its next state of awareness and consciousness.”
It’s from an email about her new Reflections course with Matthew Fox called The Fire Within. It’s based on the life and writing of John of the Cross. The course consist of 6 lessons of 90 minutes each. I have enrolled. At $150 US, it is cheaper and more helpful than therapy. It starts Tuesday, February 7.
Meanwhile, I shall toddle along as best as I can. Bruce Lipton is another person I go to for inspiration. His video on How to Manifest Your Vision was quite helpful. It worked for me yesterday to begin with the end in mind. What was it that I want? Yesterday, I wanted to bake bread, chop up ginger to freeze, juice my bag of 8 limes and wash the kitchen and bathroom floors. How did I make all that come true? In the morning, I bought out my mixing bowl and laid out the ginger and bag of lime so I wouldn’t forget. The floors I don’t have to worry about forgetting. They irked me every day. Sometimes it is easy to want and to set intentions. It’s another to do and get it done. It’s easier when you set things out and they’re staring right at you. Do me! Do me! And so I did.
I better quit while I’m still ahead. This post is mostly written. My head is somewhat out of a dark place. It’s time for me to play a little with my pencils and paints.
A sleepy February afternoon. I shall try not to let it slip mindlessly away. Though I don’t have anything particular on my agenda, I can always put in some efforts on tidying, sowing some pepper, eggplant and tomato seeds. February being a short month March can be here in a whisper. I don’t want to be caught saying, Oh, why didn’t I do this or that? I’ve been watching Serina and Ian of You Can’t Eat the Grass on Youtube again. They are a young couple trying to make a go of farming. They share everything – their dreams, hard work, how much money they are making or not making. They’re very inspiring. So when I feel discouraged about anything in life, I think of them. So I will get some seeds potted up today.
I had a dream last night. It was about work. I’ve been retired 9 years now. The dreams that I remember on waking up are work related. Like most dreams, they don’t make sense. Why would there be a rack of bras on a hospital ward? But there was one and I took a pair of scissors and tampered with one. It was a no-no so I was trying to hide and get rid of the scissors. I hid it under my clothes and was trying to get out of the hospital to dump it. And here’s a funny recurring thing in all my hospital dreams. The staircase and the way out are all the same in all my dreams. They are long and confusing and I can never get back to the ward by the same route.
I’m looking towards making changes for success so I’ve trotted downstairs and prepped some soil for potting up some seeds. I’ve found the pepper, eggplant and tomato seeds. It took some digging around to find them. That’s what happens when you are a clutterbug and let things fall where you drop. I am changing my ways. I am taking time to find homes for everything. To keep on track and on top of things for my drawing class, I’ve gathered my reference photos for my homework. This hoody selfie will be used in the gridwork exercise. First I will have to make a grid on tracing paper and put it over the photograph. Next, I will have to make a distortion grid to make my drawing. Sounds hard and complicated, doesn’t it?
Our drawing instructor is away for 2 weeks. We do have enough homework to keep us busy. Since I have been talking about my time in Ghana, I thought I would do a series of drawings/paintings from photographs of that time. Here are some of my reference photos.
I think this is enough for today. I’ve already written a post today but when words and thoughts flow, they are a gift not to be wasted.