10 days have passed since my last post – the longest lapse in this year of doing different. I have, at least, marked the days through my Instagram snapshots. The doing/thinking different have not been forgotten and laid wasted on life’s roadside. I’m still trudging on the path during these cloudy December days. I’m showing up here on the last day of the year.
It’s a year of ups and downs, highs and lows, hot and cold, dry and wet. It’s a year like any other, full of changes, good times and bad. It’s the year that I’ve really come to recognize that I am an adult in charge of my life and that my time is limited. I’m closer to that end of the roll of toilet paper where it unravels faster and faster. If things are not to my liking, what can I do to change it, if I can?
That is how I’ve embarked on this year of doing different. Each day, I try to do/think a little different, not stepping into the same pothole down the same road. It’s led me to a challenge of painting on the same canvas for 30 days. The challenge travelled the same path I was already on. Making little brush stroke changes each day over 22 days can change the whole picture in the end. The ‘mistakes’ guide me to make better. What a beautiful picture/life we can create over time with willingness and a little effort. I am satisfied with my Grace (I have named her) in 22 days.
Today I have started another canvas. I am not pleased with it at all. So dark and gloomy! I will have to perform magic to make it beautiful. But it does have the beginning look of a cherub, though a grumpy and pouty one. I shall be patient with my brush strokes and give it 30 days. She shall make Grace a delightful companion for 2017. We could all use a companion to make our treads on this earth a little lighter and brighter. Happy New Year everyone!
I’m sitting here in gratitude for having the wisdom to embrace change. It took me long enough. It’s better late than never. It’s 5 months into the journey of doing a little different each day. I’m seeing the light of how big and momentous those little things are. They are magical and transforming, sending me down The Yellow Brick Road towards The Land of Oz.
They led me toward discovering my abilities, skills and forgotten loves. They drew me to participate in the Judy Wise Challenge of painting on one canvas for 30 days. All roads do lead to Rome! After 2 weeks of doing so, I see alchemy at work.
I started out in the Garden of Eden with snakes and vipers, went through various storms and struggles. Today on day 15, Grace emerged. She is no longer the sinful Eve, fleeing from Eden. Eyes wide open, She recognizes her strength and worth. She is still growing.
What will tomorrow bring? I don’t know. It’s a mystery. A little tweak of a brush, a lighter shade of purple, a darker shade of brown…little changes. Profound results can happen.
Cloudy day. Our minus 30s degree C have climbed to – 3 C overnight. Life is still hard. I feel the changes of temperature rising in my physical body. I lack the energy of the EverReady Bunny. There is no good news. The Russian ambassador to Turkey has been fatally shot. The world seems to be imploding. Still the earth spins on its axis as always. And I must too.
It is another day in this year of doing different. I bring out my brushes. I bring out my paints. I make little strokes here and there. Sometimes I make big splashes. I change the colour. I change the hue – sometimes subtle, sometimes bold. There are no mistakes in painting. There are no mistakes in life. I rather think of them as lessons. They teach me to let up, change directions, change whatever I need to. That’s what is called evolution. It just take little changes each day. Look what can happen in 14 days.
After all this, I am not sure if I am happy with how I am evolving. Tomorrow is another day. Evolution never stops.
I’m losing track of the days. Why is it when life happens, it happens in bunches? I’m not losing heart. I’m just a little bit fed up. I have spirit, just not the right kind at the moment. Please pardon me. What I know for sure is you cannot evade life. It finds you, no matter what crook or cranny you are hiding in. It demands to be lived. It demands you solve all the hitches that comes with it.
It’s a big gift, this life. I know it. I’m living it best I can, staring right at the heart of things, not avoiding anything, not expecting anything. I’m plodding along, pushing one foot in front of the other. I’ve hit a hard spot, a pothole in the road. But I’m out of the hole and doing down a different path. I’m learning after all these days in the year of doing different.
I’m not fighting the busy days. I take them as they come. I’m making use of these sleepless nights to enjoy the quiet. No use wrestling with myself in bed, checking time, time and time again. Worries and fears magnify behind my sleepless eyes and I am like a pretzel after a couple of hours. So here I am at my keyboard, tapping and breathing out my words. Sheba is ever present, watching over me.
I will have a little more herbal tea and go back to bed. The dishes are unloaded from the dishwasher. I’ve cleared off the dining table. I’ve done my qigong routine and feeling relax. Much better than struggling for sleep. I will try for better tomorrow. All things pass.
Day 138 – 140, December 12, 2016 @4:52 pm Some days I wonder: For what purpose was I born? Today, I wonder that and: For what purpose am I doing this year of change? Today, I wonder: Have I made any difference? What I know for sure today is: I am not in a peaceful happy space. Today, I wonder: What do these people want from me? What does the world want? When will everything just blow up since there is so much PUNCH, BANG, KA-KA-KA out there? Why don’t we just get it over with – delete and start again. If only it is as simple as that. And so, I continue to sling paint onto the canvas. I could get bolder and throw fistfuls at it. I can be the New Age Edvard Munch. I wish that it was me who had painted The Scream. I want to scream.
I’m not that far gone, as you can see. My painting is nowhere’s near the fright of The Scream. I’m just talking out of my hat/my purple haze. I should have kept the snakes and vipers. Munch is my new hero. I want to paint like him. I quote him –
“No longer shall I paint interiors with men reading and women knitting. I will paint living people who breathe and feel and suffer and love.”
Lofting aspirations, but I am talking out of my hat, through a purple haze. I am one of those knitting women. I wouldn’t want to obliterate me. But who knows. Strange things happen when you put words onto a page.
Guess what? I am feeling better. I’ve stopped screaming. I don’t wonder anymore. What do I care? I just do. I just be. That is purpose enough. Onward, James! Tomorrow is another day. I can anguish some more then.
It feels like an eon since I was here. How strange to find that it was only a couple of days ago. I can’t even remember what kept me away but it felt huge. That’s what short days and long nights does to me. Extra stress with the cold, especially when the furnace is not working properly. It felt like a monumental problem. But it’s solved. Weight lifted. I am just tired now.
I am learning to value myself. I’m learning self care in this year of doing different. I’ve brought out my earrings. Now I’m bringing out my fine china. I’m sipping tea in my Blue Siam teacup. Why was it just sitting in cabinet all these years? I love the pattern and colour so much. It reminds me of Arabian Nights, The King and I, and all those things exotic like Leonard Cohen’s ‘tea and oranges from China.’
My tea is finished. I’m feeling less tired, my neck and shoulders not so stiff and achy. It’s a magic cup. I wonder if I rub it, would Aladdin appear? I pray and a host of angels are hovering over me. No, I’m not mad nor hallucinating. I believe in the divine. I believe in the spirit of truth and goodness. I believe in me. I can. I can.
Sometimes I am arrogant in my happiness of the moment. You know what will happen. I got knocked down. It is okay. Everything passes. Everything changes. I am in a year of doing different, making changes. I am not going down that same road of reaction to the moment. I am eating humble pie. I bow my head in acquiesce. Once more I am listening to spiritual guidance.
Always, I seek the truth. I need to purge what is not true. I am getting a grip on myself. I am not special. I am just an ordinary human on this planet living a humble life. I am governed by the rules of this planet. Not everything is about me. I’m trying to discover what my beliefs are. What are my truths? What changes do I need to make to align myself with my truths? How can I act congruently?
Hmm. Enough self contemplation. God is not ready to deliver all the answers tonight. But I am listening. I’m open for guidance. But it’s time to say good night.
I am here. Now what? What shall I talk about? How nothing’s right, but nothing is wrong either? Where do I go now, I who is always at crossroads. At least wherever I go, Sheba is with me. She is pure. No resentments. No grudges. If I give her a tidbit of a treat, it’s as if I had given her a steak. Wouldn’t it be lovely if I/we could be that joyous and thankful, our tails wagging back and forth?
I’m waiting and tapping, waiting and tapping. Which way to go? This way? That way? What to do? This? That? I can hear Carolyn Myss in my head, screaming: Stop it! Stop it! I’m going to listen. I’m stopping it – the wondering and wandering. I’m staying and tapping words, songs and prayers of peace.
May I find courage. May I find strength. May I find the words and wisdom. May I find silence. May I find and give compassion. May I love and be loved. And may I be safe. And may you also have all these things.
The sun has finally shown up. My dining table is still in order. My magic black bullet is next to me. I’m sitting with my black tea. I’m trying a different taste and to shed a few calories. I’ve opened the screen to write. But I’m feeling as cranky as can be. I will accept this feeling, just sitting and observing it. I will not try to fix it. I’m giving up that job of being Mrs. Fix-It. I’ll just sit and tap – maybe words, a song, a dance, but no resumes for another Mrs. Fix-It position.
Do I really love Orange Pekoe tea, sweetened and whitened that much or am I addicted to the same old, same old? What is in that tea? Curiosity led me to google Orange Pekoe and I find that it is how they grade tea. It is a high grade. Good for me! It could be/very likely that I’m addicted to the honey and milk I put in. I will try black for awhile. I will try different – teas, too. My cupboard is full of them – all kinds.
Hmmm. I see a pattern here – drinking the same tea though my cupboard is full of many kinds. I tend to wear the same clothes though my closet is bursting with other clothes. My lizard brain doesn’t like change. It likes the same old, same old, just like me! Grrr! Changing is a very hard job. It is for the birds.
But wait! Let me not get discouraged. I have made in roads. I have faced off with my biggest dragons and demons and survived. I am developing experience and opinions. Hooray for me! Tomorrow is another day. Crankiness is another part of life. Brains are what they are. I am rewiring mine. Onward, James! Fly me to the moon. Let me play among the stars.
A few days have slipped by. I’ve been absent from this space but I’m here now. That’s how it is in real life. Some days we go missing and we will have to find our way back – if it is important. It is. The pages of the calendar keep turning. It is now December. The days are getting shorter, the nights longer. Soon it will be Winter Solstice. After that the reverse will happen. Life in cycles.
In this year of doing different, I am sojourning forward – out of the fear and the darkness. There’s light at the other end of the tunnel. I am in the desert. It’s where I am suppose to be. I have things to learn. I am safe for I am with me. The road is long and winding. The challenges beckon. Come on. Take one step. Then another.
Knit one. Purl one. Keep going. You will figure out the pattern. One row. Then another and another. There – now you have a sweater. Now you have a life. Wear it. Live it. It is yours. Tomorrow you will wake and rise to face another challenge.