RECOVERING FROM HELL IN A HANDBASKET

Another morning coming down. Thank goodness I’m back to sleeping again. One sleepless night and I feel like hell in a handbasket. I’m still in recovery mode even though I’ve had 2 good night’s sleep. It makes me wonder if damage from sleep deprivation is irreversible. No point in crying over lost sleep. I best mosey along as best as I can. Good thing I’ve developed some good habits this past year. They come in handy on days like these. You know my rote my now. I’m probably boring you to tears if you’re still reading.

Life is a repetitive action – taking one breath after another, putting one foot in front of the another. You get up, dress up and show up no matter what. There’s no other way of doing it. So that’s what I’m doing. Sometimes I don’t know what to do after showing up. I get up, pace around, maybe make another cup of tea. This morning I cleaned the bathroom before another cup of tea. Has to be done. I saw the need. And I did it. That is one of my operatives this year. If I see the need I do it if I have the time. Otherwise it will be …later babe. We know later never comes.

I feel sleepiness tugging at my eyes. I will get up in a little while and do my qigong. No matter how tired, wired or wretched I feel, there is something I can do to help myself to feel better. Sometimes it takes more effort than others. You just have to give yourself a little/big push. That’s life. See what I can do when I pushed through my fatigue and distress. I could have just wasted all that negative energy fretting over my inability to sleep. Instead I channelled it into  making art.

I have gotten up and stretched and breathed through my qigong routine. Amazing how stiff I was. No doubt much of it due to tension from fatigue. Enough. Tomorrow is another day.

RESISTING THE URGE

Marianne Williamson wrote on her blog yesterday:  It would be easy to slip into hopelessness now, to resign ourselves to the idea that the concentrated assaults on everything from the planet to our democracy have succeeded to such a degree that it’s no longer possible to stop them.

I understand those feelings and find comfort that another person is expressing them. I am not alone. However, I am resisting the urge to go down that slippery hopeless slope. I live on the same precarious planet but Donald Trump is not our leader. There is hope though I’m not feeling optimistic today. Can you, if you’ve had another sleepless night? Too much stimulation yesterday? Or too much smoke from forest fires in the air?

It is very true that I am not myself. I will be a different person after a good night’s sleep. I’m envious of Sheba sleeping so peacefully next to me as I sit and tap here. She is stinking me out though with her quiet, lethal farts. Phew! But she is sweet, so bonelessly relaxed with her floppy ears. It is soothing to have her near. She comforts me with her soft animal spirit. I am grateful for her presence.

I will try not to fret too much about my sleeplessness. I will sleep when I am ready. I am not totally incapcitated. I am half way through a book. It is an easy read. And I’ve primed two wood panels. They’re ready for a creative streak. This is a day for easy stuff, not a day for brain surgery even if I knew how. It’s not a time for serious contemplation either. I tell myself, don’t think. Just do and you’ll be fine. Yes, I’m resisting the urge to slip and slide. It’s a day for kindness towards myself.  Tomorrow I can Wonder Woman again.

I LIKE IT, I LOVE IT, I WANT SOME MORE OF IT

There’s smoke in the air again. More forests burning. Is it here in Saskatchewan or is the smoke from British Coloumbia? I check and there are currently 34 active fires in our province. I bet the smoke is our own. Seems like the world is burning up, drowning or we are slaughtering each other as is what is happening in Myanmar. It is out of our hands when it is nature’s work like hurrican Harvey and Irma. All we can do is prepare the best we can. But killing is a wilful act as is the tossing of a firecracker into the Colombia River Gorge, setting off more fires in an already fire danger zone.

It is difficult not to feel despair in these times. It’s hard to understand ourselves – why we do the things we do. So I shall not batter my head on figuring out and understanding. I’m trying to accept what is and still try to do my best. I am still keen on seeking excellence in living. It gives me purpose, a goal to pursue.

I admit that I have had a few days when I was a bit blue and quite crossed. I was not at all right with the world – even this morning. But I went through the motions of how I should live. I got up, dressed up and showed up. I didn’t have a lot of fun in my aerobics class. But I did all the movements anyways. I still sweated. All through the class, I thought to myself, “I’ll have fun later.” Because by the end of class my endorphins would have kicked in. I would be singing along with Tim McGraw: I like it, I love it, I want some more of it.  I really do love the song. It’s got a good honky tonk rhythm. I got more serious with my steps.

That’s the thing. You have to develope some good habits and slogans to get you through the rough times. I remembered what a Japanese friend said when she couldn’t understand a joke because of the peculiarity of our English language. She said, I’ll laugh later. It works for me in I’ll have fun later.

GRINDING IT

It’s another sizzling hot afternoon at 32 degrees Celsius. I’m in a better frame of mind. Just had a yummy banana muffin and Tiramisu Gelatto. It could be I’m on a sugar high. Whatever works! I had to really work it this morning to smile on the inside. It is easy to do it on the outside. All you do is just stretch the corners of your lips. But on the inside – ai yai yai!

I still have the memory of the first highs of Val’s aerobic exercise class. I felt so light. My head was so clear. I could breathe in and out like nothing. The highs do wear off and some days the joy is not there. Some days it is a grind but I put my mind there this morning. I remember reading Spark, the Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. The author stated that you get the same benefits of doing, even if you’re not enjoying it. So I jumped, leaped, ran, whatever Val was yelling out. Even if I feel lousy, I can still look good and be strong – the better to fight the yuckies.

I never give up. I’m super stubborn. I try not to read another self-help book when I’m stuck in the middle of a mood, when I’m least receptive. I have the answers in me. I just need to be patient, sit with it, do a little of easy and more easy. It is true that this, too, shall pass. And I’m feeling good again. I have to eat more muffins and gelato. Yum!

 

HANG ON SNOOPY, HANG ON

The heat is on. My blood sugar is dropping. The dog is on my heels. I’m grouchy as a bear. I’m sitting here with my yogurt and coffee, tapping out a few words and hopefully my bad mood. At least I’m not full of dreads. I swept those out with Sheba’s hair this morning. Now, my hands are a little trembly with the exertion. I feel a bit distraught. I feel like screaming. A few more spoonfuls of yogurt will give my sugar a boost and hopefully quiet the screams. How does low blood sugar and the heat affect you?

I better take it easy. It is still morning. I do not feel/do well in heat. But I guess I can learn how to function better with it. First thing to do is accept and stop thinking I have to DO. Maybe I can just hunker down like Snoopy and let the rest of the world go by. What is wrong with that, heh? I don’t have to measure up. I just have to suck it up, buttercup. Some days are like that. I just have to put one foot in front of the other and hope I won’t trip.

 

 

 

BUMMED OUT – WAITING, WAITING

I’m bummed out. My parents’ insurance claim for hail damage on their house came through. I thought I would act quickly and not procrastinate. I called the roofers I’ve been using and got a message. “We are retired. Please call__ Roofers. Their men will be able to help you.” I was counting on the retired folks, a family business, so reliable,accountable, honest and easy to deal with.  A company I totally feel comfortable with and trusted. Someone had recommended them and I’ve used them a few times.  A good reputation is such a valuable asset. But bummers! I guess they deserve their retirement.  And I do call their recommendation. I get another message. “We are busy. Please leave a message.” I left one.

Not to be discouraged, I called another name. I got this message, “Due to the high volume of phone calls, please use text message or email to get hold of me.” I emailed. I will now wait . Life is difficult. Always wait, wait and wait. I should have looked for roofers while I was waiting for the insurance claim. But it is useless and stupid to ‘should have’ after the fact. If only we could back ourselves up like a VCR. But we can’t. I’ll just have some blueberry pie in the meantime.

In case you’re wondering what is the point of this post, there isn’t one. I’m just tap, tapping, releasing my angst. I rather think of it as brainstorming. I’m not harbouring all my frustrations. I’m opening myself up for ideas and solutions. It sounds good anyways. Sometimes it works. Julia Cameron talks about it in her Morning Pages. I type my pages and in the afternoon. I hope it will set me free. Maybe someone will call me back. Maybe…maybe.

 

LIFE IS DIFFICULT

Life is difficult, writes M. Scott Peck in The Road Less Travelled. He wasn’t kidding. Life is damn hard. You probably know that already. I struggle every day – how to be, how to talk, how to. The list goes on and on. This morning I’m struggling on priorities, what to do first, what to do after that, and then WHAT.

What I enjoy first thing after getting up, dressing up and showing up is my cup of tea. There is just that time, tea and me. I’m trying to keep it that way and not let anything mess up my mind except a book of fiction. It’s nice to escape into someone else’s creativity. Sometimes reality is overrated. Besides, who can you believe nowadays?

This morning I came across an interesting article: Doctors and Scientists explain why vaccines aren’t safe. It’s pretty convincing. Jenny McCarthy is not just an actress with no merit. But then there are just as much information out there to negate all of this. So much fake news. When and how did all this happen? Life is difficult. It can be depressing but I won’t let it be. I will stay loose and open, gather and investigate information and do the best I can. It is important to stay informed though sometimes it’s more comfortable being naive.

Enough of that! It’s time to move on or I could depress myself. On setting priorities, the one nagging on me was contacting my parents’ insurance company about the hail damage on their house. It’s never an easy or fun time. You have to make repeated calls or emails to get any answer or action. I always feel that I’m beholden to them. It should be the other way around. Aren’t they working for us? We’re paying, paying those ever increasing premiums every year. On a happy note, the adjuster replied back that the claim was processed. But why didn’t they send me the info as I was told?  I waited 2 months and I had to ask for it. I’m sure their answer would be, Do you know how many claims we have? I’ve heard it often enough.

Damn, life is difficult!  Living is a repetitive action with many repetitive injuries. Did you exercise today? Did you do your warmup and stretches? I did. It prevents injuries, you know. Now to decide the next thing…

 

 

SLEEP AND DEPRESSION

I’m feeling much better this morning after a good night of sleep. I was feeling a bit blue yesterday. And why not? I had been mostly sleepless most of the night before. I had lived that way, mostly on 4-5 hours of sleep most of my working life as a nurse. I prided myself on how well I did on how little I slept. I was foolish. I did not think about the consequences of sleep deprivation. I do now. I am reminded each time I am sleepless.

I felt the beginning of a sore throat on waking. Oh-oh! I hope I am not getting sick. It went away after getting up, washing face and brushing my teeth. I remind myself to drink lots of fluids. I remind myself not to push for ‘accomplishments’ and speed. I have no ‘job’ and ‘boss’ to answer to. I can take it easy and take care of myself.

The sun is playing hide and seek, more hide than the other. It peeks out as I’m tapping. Then it disappears. I feel shadows creeping into my body. I feel them and let them be. The day can be full of tricks. I’ve been here before. The September I went to China, it was cloudy everywhere. In China it was because of the pollution and smog. Back home it was how the weather was. It stayed dark through all  of autumn. It was my most troublesome time with sleep and depression. I invested in a Remington daylight simulating clock . It’s much like the clock from hammacher.com. I went to sleep to the sound of gentle ocean waves and the lighting of the setting sun. I woke to birds chirping and the rising sun. I did not use the aromatherapy bead option. It worked well for me. I used it for a few years.

At the time I did not link my depression and sleeping patterns to my profession. I mostly blamed it on myself. But I also sought treatment and did research on depression and seasonal affective disorder -SAD. I attended workshops given by Dept. of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan. I was assessed for light therapy at the clinic in the hospital. I bought a light box. It was effective. I took up swimming. Then I renovated the house, putting in bigger windows and adding a sunroom. It was well worth the cost.

I’m looking back as I sit, tap tapping here. It has been very difficult, all of it. But I have to say that all of it have enriched me also. I had to reach out and into myself for solutions, to make a liveable and meanful life. I could not just sit and be overwhelmed and depressed by it all. There was always something for me to work on. I don’t think of them as problems but rather solutions. What’s working for me today? So many things -gardening, writing, painting, drawing, aerobics, learning a new interest, conversations. Life is always a wondrous thing.

What works for you?

 

WHEN I CAN’T SLEEP

Here I am, sleepless in Saskatoon. It’s not often that I have trouble sleeping nowadays, but I did last night.  After getting up to the bathroom at midnight, I had that feeling that I wounldn’t get back to sleep. I didn’t. After an hour, I got up. I might as well do something useful instead of tossing and turning. I know that my coming day will not be productive. At least I would have something to show for the night.

What would be the thing to do? Filing would not be a relaxing thing. Nor was my mind up to it. I could read the book, Lawrence Hill’s The Illegal. It’s a good read but I have so many distractions. I’m not getting very far into it and it will be due back in the library soon enough. I decided I was still distracted. I needed something without focus. I decided to finish my palm tree painting. No concentration, just dabbing paint here and there. It was a good choice. 2 hours later, it was finished. I was happy with it. Feeling relaxed but still wide awake. I went back to bed anyways. I closed my eyes. If not asleep, at least I could say I got some shut eye.

I was happy to get out of bed when 6:30 am came. I did managed to get a wee bit sleep – maybe 3-4 hours. I’m feeling a bit strung out, cold and shivery.  Not stressing though. Trying to rest is more tiresome than not. I’m just piddling along with my day, doing the best I can. I’m here, aren’t I, tap, tapping away. I’ve made and ate lunch. The dishes are soaking a bit longer than need be. I’ve done a bit of drawing for an IG challenge. Kitchen and dining room floor are swept of dog hair and food grumbs. I’ve filled the raised garden beds in the back and picked some tomatoes and beans. Sleepless but not stagnant in Saskatoon.

What do you do when you can’t sleep?

LIES WE TELL OURSELVES

I hate this time of the day. It’s no lie. Lunch is over and the cleanup done. I’m left with this down in my boots feeling. How to rise again. I really could use Wonder Woman’s boots. Better yet, I wish I am her. I could be doing wonders instead of sitting at keyboard, trying with nothing coming. No ideas, no songs, nothing important to say. Maybe I can sit and rest awhile. Is there a need for idle chatter? Can we just sit together, breathe and be? Wait, I’m going to make a cup of tea.

I’m back with my tea. While I was waiting for the kettle to boil, I damp mopped the kitchen floor. It led to most of the floors. I’m training myself to use moments to pick up, mop up and whatever-else. The I-will-do-it-later/tomorrow sometimes never happens. Then I will have to spend a difficult whole day digging out of the piles and messes. I try not to tell myself that do-it-later lie any more. Let’s see how I do.

I am thinking of another lie we say a lot. You are not getting older. You’re getting better. I don’t think it would make the older person feel any better. I don’t tell anyone that. I’m thinking of my mother. I had tea with her yesterday. I don’t think she would say she is getting better when she is losing physical strength and stamina. What she does say is that she is not useful anymore. It is how she feels and I am not one to disregard her feelings. I just listen. I try to help her maximize what she has. Of course, my mother is smarter than me and tells me so. She doesn’t need much help from me. She uses her brain to compensate for her deteriorating physical health. She is still doing awesome. I sit and listen to her. That’s my biggest help.

I don’t believe that I can overcome depression forever either. That’s another lie I will not tell myself anymore. Being human is being susceptible to all those emotions in the flux of life. How can I not feel bad when bad things happen? Conversely, how can I be sad when good things happen? Some of us are luckier than others, having cheerier and easier dispositions. I am not one of them. I have been in dark places, on medication and on the couch. It is not where I am now. Learning and understanding my nature and life experience have been the key. And equally, so is exercise. I remind myself that I am not a robot. I feel. I screw up sometimes. Life is not perfect. I am allowed to be depress from time to time.

How about you? How are you doing and what lies do you tell yourself?