I have rare moments when the gods smile, open up the sky and let sunlight shine down on me. This is one of those rarities. It feels very nice. Everything falls into place as if in perfect alignment. It’s that same feeling when Sheba rises in unison with me and pads softly behind me in perfect harmony. I hear Paul McCartney singing and the piano tinkering in the background.
Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh Lord, why don’t we?
It’s a feeling of freedom. I’m my own person and my life is my own. I don’t have to tend to or please anyone. I am not on duty any more. I know this moment is fleeting so I am breathing it into my DNA. Let it be a marker for future reference.
I am not sure what came first – the decision or the mood. I try to set my intentions every morning on how I want my day, how I want to feel and what I want to accomplish. Being Wednesday, the day of my aerobic step exercise, I set my mind to work at an 9/10 intensity level. Why not strive a little higher, eh? I’ve been a snack queen the whole month long. I kept my word, stepping smartly and continuously to the tune of That’ll Be the Day. Love the beat of yesteryear’s music. It’s steady, rhythmic and simple. It doesn’t hurt the ear or the head. Nothing to figure out. I’m stepping and soon I am singing along. Music can do that to you.
The setting of intentions for the day is a good habit to develop. It gives me a pause each morning when I’m awaken to the moment. I think of what is important to me and what is my overall goal. How do I want to feel? What do I have to do to achieve it? I ponder what do I do if I fail? It helps to think of the possible obstacles. It helps to trouble shoot.
It’s the end of the day at the end of this month of January. I am a little weary. February is just around a sleep. I’m setting my intentions for the month. Since it is heart month, I will try to do things good for the heart. I’m kind of vague, aren’t I? After a glass of wine I can’t think efficiently or tap smoothly. I will work on the specifics tomorrow. Good night.
I feel like I’ve been munching through the month of January. And I have. It’s not a serious problem yet. I can still get into my clothes and the month is almost over. This January has been HARD. I hear other testimonies to that fact. It is not just me. I’m fortunate that at least I’ve been physically well. I do take care that I am. Despite however and whatever my mood may be, I’m out walking Sheba every day. Thank God for our fur babies. I’m not at all sure that I would walk on my own even in nice weather.
It’s a true wintry windy January today. The snow cling along the edges of the windows in the sunroom. It’s nice weather to wear those warm hand knit sweaters. Good to curl up with a book. I’ve curled too long. It’s hard to let go of a murder detective story. I’m bad again, skipping ahead. I have no patience. I can’t seem to help myself but it was just a few pages. I didn’t skip to the end. But my head is messed up. My tapping is not rhythmic. I feel another snack urge coming up. I better make a cup of decaf.
I’m back with my coffee, toast and jam. I’m lacking in resolve and determination. Once an idea/urge comes, I can’t resist. My coffee is black and just a smear of butter and jam on my toast. I do things sparingly. It’s my natural tendency. Maybe it’s to compensate my lack of will. Will, resolve, determination – those words are so harsh for January. That’s why New Year Resolutions mostly fail. They should be allocated to a month that is more gentle and conducive to success.
I’m not completely spineless though I felt so this morning. It was so wind swept ( 50mph with gust 61mph) and dull. I gave into my feelings of lassitude. I experienced and luxuriated in all the sensations that came with it. There, I got it out of the way! Funny how my feelings can deceive me. Though I was moving at the speed of a wet noodle, I did not fall behind. I put in a new zipper in the guy’s jacket, saving him $40 if done professionally. And I used my new Bernina. First I had to google how to sew a zipper on a Bermina. Then I consulted my manual. I had forgotten how to turn it on. I am pretty damn pleased with the result. And I had lunch ready on the table at the regular time. Pretty amazing to me!
I have to say along with my virtual spiritual counsellor, Caroline Myss, that this is the happiness time of my life. That’s big considering I haven’t felt such a difficult January as this one. I’ve felt more bad and moody this last month than previously. The difference this time is that I have access to a pause button. In that pause I choose my reaction. Some pauses are longer than others. Sometimes I have to chew on things for awhile.
I am thriving in my now. I have the ability to choose. I love Wayne Dyer’s quote: If you change the way you look at things, the things you look change. It took me a long time to experience that change. The change has loosen me up to be more creative and objective. I am not as judgemental. I am excitingly experimenting with creative mediums – paints, words, fabrics, yarn, cooking, silence, habits. Good habits are great substitutes for will, resolve and determination. The worn path developed is not such a struggle to travel in the month of January.
It’s Monday and time to take care of business. I’m listening to the Guess Who’s version of Randy Bachman’s song. It’s a good one to start the week and the day off on the right foot. It gets the feet moving and the heart pumping, adding fuel to my resolves. I’m going to take myself seriously in what I do. Not that I’m a light hearted girl but I fizz and sizzle out. I lose resolve and sight of my whatever-I-want-to-do after awhile. Maybe I’ve never known or have that driving desire for something.
I’m going to change my lackadaisical attitude and energy. I start with whatever is at hand. Monday morning exercise class is my starting point. I set my intention to pump it up as best as I can. I can fake my enthusiasm. I can smile, step lively, pump up my arms and sweat. I get the same benefits even if I don’t enjoy. Today was perfect for the task. Our class was a workout on the Bosu ball. I sweated! I can call today the first day of the rest of my life. Here’s what it looks like.
It sure helps me to set my attitude and intention in the morning. I ask myself:
How do I want to conduct myself today?
What do I want to accomplish today?
And the rest will follow. That’s it. That’s all. Short and sweet. Hope you have a good day.
It’s Sunday and sunny. The sun is still shining. Sheba and I had a good sleep last night. We are ourselves and happy again. I’m sitting here in my space with my tea. I am content but I have this sense in me – a little discomfort, a feeling of putting off something. For now, I can handle putting off of whatever it is. I am happy just to be still and not investigate. Being aware of its presence is enough. I need this time just to sit. I am enjoying the sun dancing off the snow on the spruce trees, the buddhas in conversations beneath.
I have problems with letting things be. Maybe its my years of being a nurse. When a call bell goes off, I answer it right away. You never know what is at the end of it. It could be someone needing to go to the bathroom, someone falling and needing help, someone in dire distress. Even four years after all that, I’m still like Pavlov’s dog. I’m conditioned not to salivate, but to help, alleviate, rescue. I have the Rescuer archetype in the shadow form according to Caroline Myss. I am not empowered. I don’t withdraw once the mission is over. I am always on duty. It is not my job just to listen to problems but also to fix them for everyone. I’m not sure if anyone wanted/needed or even asked for my help. That thought has just occurred to me rescently. Nobody’s asked. I assumed.
Having that knowledge, I’m now untraining myself of all that. Not all at once, though. It took me years to learn. It will take me years to unlearn. My first step was awareness. The next thing is for me NOT to assume – that I need to do anything, even listening. But I can start by listening and keeping quiet. There’s no need for me to offer any opinions or ideas. There’s no need for me to have any feelings for or against. I can listen. Maybe then I will be able to hear what is truly said.
It is a big task. I know that already. I have all those years of being a nurse in a hospital. It is hard to catch a doctor to listen to your requests. Their minutes are busy and precious. They’re on the move. I always feel standing on the edge, waiting to get in a word, a request, a need. When I see a pause, I pounce. I am on the edge waiting, not really listening to their conversation. Just waiting. Then pouncing before they move on. Then you would have to page them. But now, I am not standing on anybody’s edge. I don’t have a job/duty to do. I don’t have those questions/requests to make. I can LISTEN and not do anything else except to tend to my own needs.
Egads! Having a fur baby is like having a real baby. When there is something wrong, they can’t articulate so that you can understand. They cry/bark and cry/bark. Nothing seems to help. Their distress is distressing. There’s no reasoning with a dog or a baby. This is my situation with Sheba at the moment. We came home after spending a couple of hours at the guy’s boat workshop. It was her mealtime and she was restless.
That was as far as I got yesterday. Things went from bad to worse. She ate her supper with relish as always. Instead of settling down after as usual, she was restless and pesky. She barked to be out. Then she barked to be in. She sat on the deck and stared at me. I’m not coming in! Was her demeanor. I coaxed her in with a treat. We went through a few episodes of this. Finally I took her for another walk. Maybe she felt shortchanged on her last one. We went at a fast clip. She was happy to trot. But it did not solve the problem at all.
She remained restless and pesky all evening, barking to go out, to come in. It reminded me of another episode a couple of years ago when she was anxious. Then, it was quite clear that she had anxiety, crying, not sleeping and not eating unless we stood guard while she ate. It was quite an ordeal, lasting weeks. She was checked and no physical causes. I was thinking of medicating her when she ‘snapped’ out of it. I wasn’t sure if it was the Omega 3s that I started feeding her. She was having quite a bit of dandruff at the time, too. Omega 3s were supposed to be good for healthy coat and brain. It worked in both cases. The dandruff improved and so did the hair shedding. PLUS she started sleeping and her anxiety subsided.
Remembering all that, I was determined that this was not going to go on for weeks. I willed myself to feel confident and secured, hoping she will read that and feel safe. I was sure by evening that the anxiety was from being in the workshop. She did not like being in there. The first day she was fine and would lay on her blanket. But the second day she paced the two hours we were there. She had trouble laying down at home. She would bop right up again. She would sit with me massaging her back and ears. She could sit focused and engaged through popcorn feeding, one kernel at a time. She is a true Lab. But we could not do that forever.
When we went to bed, she still would not settle. She paced, whimpered and panted around the bed. It was worse when I kicked her out and shut the door. She started barking. Eventually I got out of bed and made myself a cup of tea. I sat at the diningroom table and painted my little index cards. In time, Sheba came and laid down near my feet and licked hers. She really went to town, panting and licking her paws. She was comforting herself. The floor was quite wet. But she did calm down. She allowed me to stay in bed and sleep. She laid in hers, at the foot of ours and slept also. By then it was after 3 am and I had painted 3 little index cards.
Today she is her normal sweet though sometimes barky self. I have a headache, my eyes are gritty. I guess that’s normal for 3 hours of sleep. But I am still standing though not tall.
These days everything feels difficult and messy. Life, painting, writing, organizing – the list is long and endless. No amount of tools can fix things. I just plod along, one foot in front of the other, my eyes on the ground. I don’t want to stumble and fall. If I can’t make progress, at least I can stay status quo and not regress. I am not suffering or in any acute distress. I’m just saying. Is it a bad habit? I try to keep it here in my own space, sanitized and contained. I don’t want to pollute myself or anybody else. So even if I’m not on cloud nine, I can put on a good face and smile.
How’s it for you this January? I find it extremely strange and unsettling to see black dirt and grass showing. Nothing is like it used to be. Have you notice? I think we/I better get used to that. The world has gone amok, topsy-turvey, crazy, mad, awry and me with it. It feels like demons are coming out of the woodwork, every girl/woman has been sexually molested and every man is a predator. What happened? Did someone open a can of worms? Was it the Donald?
This is really not smiling or putting on a good face. Today I’m lacking the tools and the skills. I better just pull up my socks instead. But I did put in a good day. Got up, dressed up and showed up. I made some roasted chicken and stir fried cabbage wraps for lunch and tended the household chores. Sheba and I put in a couple of hours at the guy’s workshop. We stirred expoxy mix for his fiber glassing the boat. Now I’m struggling finding words but I’m doing my best.
Some days are heavier than others. Today was HEAVY but I found the oomph to get up and get going to my step aerobics. How appropriate it was that we were stepping to the song of Chain Gang. I lost myself in the stepping and the music – feeling it all along with the gang. Music and stepping can be the best medicine on days when the grey sky presses heavily down.
I did no heroics but tried to be more present. I asked myself what my purpose was for the day. I had a mental list.
Work hard at exercise (at 8/10)
Speak impeccably. Avoid idle gossipy chatter.
Buy some nice watercolour paints at Hue’s Art Supply.
Buy dog food at Early’s.
Phone SaskTel for clarification of our package.
I am happy to say that I achieved all the above, more or less. I concentrated and worked up a sweat in class. The weight workout was excellent, easing the heaviness out of me. I tended to business, no excess energy for conversation. I bought Sheba’s dog food. Hue’s was on the same street but it took me an extra try to find it though I’ve been there before. In the end I had to stop to google their address. I discovered they were only a block further down the street.
I looked up my SaskTel account and the guy did the phoning since he had negotiated the contract. Good news. SaskTel made the mistake of giving us the wrong promo package. We were charged much less for the last 6 months. And our 2- year promo package will start from now. We do not have to pay back since it was not our mistake. An excellent ending to a heavy day. I hear the hammer dropping. The end.
Starting is the hardest part to anything, including my day. With so much to do, I wouldn’t have thought I would have trouble. But I do. The getting up is not bad at all since I don’t go to ‘work’ anymore. I like getting up at 6:30 in the morning. I enjoy the still early hour when the world is just stirring. I sit with my tea and a book. These mornings, I’m reading Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller. It’s a very good read. I could spend the whole morning/day reading it. But I wouldn’t get anything else done, would I?
It’s disquieting having a murky list of to dos in my head. When I have no clear vision of what I want to do, how can I start? The thing I have to remember when I’m like this is to do nothing. Sit tight or rather lounge loosely. Do not attempt anything cerebral at all. This is after spending over an hour trying to on top of paper/financial crap. I understand clearly why I avoid them like the plague. Sometimes it is wonderful to have online service at our fingertips. We can do our business without leaving the house. You can get your stuff done with a few clicks and a send. No need to get bundled up in heavy coats and strangling ourselves with our scarves. No getting into your boots on and then discovering you can’t find your mitts and keys. None of that!
But then there are other times when things are not so simple. You don’t know what you have done with your clicks and send. There’s no way to find out. When you find that phone number, you get an automated voice with recorded options but none for a real person. When you do, you’re told there’s a 5 – 20 minute wait. You get canned music. Every once in awhile a recorded voice says you are important. Stay on the line. I did this a couple of times before finally giving up. I tapped out an email. WHAT HAVE I DONE? CAN I CANCEL? I will receive an answer usually within 24 hours was the answer.
I’ve calmed down after deciding that I haven’t really done much of anything. My attempt at trying to make my life move seamlessly was the opposite. All I got was vexation and waste of time. But at least it was free. Was it though? Why would a bank give away any free service? When I thought about it, I was stupid falling for it. You see, I got my new credit card with a new expiry date. I do have some pre-authorized payment on it – one. I should not have read the instruction letter on activating the card. Then I would not have known about PowerSwitch, this wonderful tool to make my life smooth as a margarita. NOT!
I feel like I got verbal diarrhea. I can’t stop my tirade. Who’s out there listening to me anyways – Siri? She will tell me to ask a question and she’ll try to help. She never gets it right though. I made one more call – to Sasktel, my one and only pre-authorized payee. I got the automated voice with options, of course. But at the end of it all, there was a real person. I gave her my updated info. I could have waited till the payment wouldn’t go through. Then they would have to call me. It would have been much easier. What a much of to dos for nothing. I need to do my own power switch next time.
My head is all messed up. Have to rethink on technology. We do have it. But not all is wonderful or good for us. What can we do about it? What do you think? I don’t think I would like online grocery shopping or shopping at Amazon’s high tech grocery store.
The roast is in the oven. Sheba and I have had our walk. She is fed and watered. The sun is still shining. Life is good again. I made it to my aerobics class this morning. It’s good not to feel like a mean person or a person with mean thoughts. My face is softer, less wrinkly and menacing. Smiles come without coaxing. I’m still humming, Heaven, I’m in heaven. It is one of the reasons why I write – to document these moments when the heavens shift whichever way it does. It is a testament of my moods, a referrel learning center to cast out shadows and doubts.
Memory can be tricky when I am not feeling my best. I can look back on my dated pages and see that my words and thoughts are not mean, dark or full of despair. They are my thoughts in words trying out different problem solving strategies. I document my light bulb moments and things that weigh on me. It’s a good thing so I shall carry on my daily ritual when possible. How do you problem solve? What rituals do you have?
I’m getting to know myself well now through my writing. I do not always meet my goal of 1000 words a day. In fact I haven’t even done it once! It’s been 5 years and I’m still reaching. It’s what happens in the beginning of a new venture. I got excited and set a high goal. It is not a bad thing because it is reasonable, within reach. You wouldn’t want to set a low goal, would you? Where would be the challenge? I’m still aiming for that 1,000 words. But they have to be worthy for the ideas they represent and not for the word count.
This is all I have today. Will reach again tomorrow.
I’ve felt the heavens shift today. I think I’m going to be ok. I’ve painted my blues away. When the going gets tough, I fake it and keep going. What else can I do? Pout, stay in bed, cry, give up? I did none of those. I kept my daily schedule. I ate lots of chocolate chip cookies and some ice cream. I said no to exercise classes and swimming. I didn’t shower yesterday. I haven’t yet today. I don’t smell, not sweating much. It’s winter. I read. I painted and painted on my little index cards with watercolours. I’m working ahead on my 365 Somethings 2018 project. That’s what I do with my excessive energy. Now I’m feeling almost like an artist. I am an artist!
Suprisingly, I don’t feel any fatter. Not any slimmer either. I guess I have Sheba to thank. She still dragged me out for walks, like it or not. When I look around the house, it is not any messier than its usual state. Astounding! I must be doing something right, sticking to my good habits. They have stuck with me through thick and thin. I’m ecstatic. I’m in heaven. I could dance without music.