So here it is that after lunch blues time again. I’ve put the dishes in the sink. Pots are soaking. I took time out to make that dental appointment finally. Ugh! I have an aversion to making and going to all kinds of appointments. I’m always in the flux of dismay. I should just get over it. Make the appointment. Go to it. Stop fretting. Stop talking about it. I’ve dug out a few more old nursing textbooks for the recycling bin. My top shelf is almost empty! There is light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe there is a Santa Claus, Virginia.
I’m enjoying my second cup of tea for the day. I’m sipping and tapping away the blues. For every little thing done, I feel just a little better. It is more than good enough. Too much would be overwhelming but I can taste and savour a tiny bit of joy. I will remember it and draw it out in moments on cloudy rainy days. It will be that sunbeam lighting up an idea, a dark corner or whatever that needs brightening.
The dog and I are walked. It has warmed up to 11 degrees C. With the sun out, we and the bedding plants can stop shivering. It will go down to -1 degrees tonight. The plants will have to be brought inside again. That’s how it is with our Canadian climate. At least there’s no snow in the forecast.
It’s 5:30. I’m enjoying my decaf, toast and jam. It won’t spoil my supper. I’ve worked hard, cleaning the oven and racks. It’s one of those jobs you want to turn a blind eye to. I have but today was finally the day. I set my mind to it. It was a lot of muscle and elbow grease. There was no way around it. And those damn racks. If there’s an easy way, please let me know. I don’t like using the self cleaning function. I’m afraid of leaving it on at 900 degrees F for 4 hours. Eeek! It’s like having a bomb in the kitchen. I would be a sitting duck when it explodes.
Ok, so much for the drama. Time to wrap it up. Another day and another month done. Be back next month.
Sunday morning. The sun is coming through a smoke filled sky. Grass fires were burning outside the city yesterday. I hope they are under control. I guess we are into the brush fire season. I am stiff and sore from my efforts cleaning the deck yesterday. I have this urge to sit and lounge. I don’t but I am not in a rush. I am my usual slow motion self. Slow and steady can work miracles. I suprise myself at how much can be done. It encourages me to carry on with what brings results.
Sometimes I have to work harder to stay with it. The urge to revert to the old and familiar is strong. I try to do my morning and evening stretches to limber up and down. Mornings are easier. Evenings are not, now that the urgent need of pain relief is gone. How quickly we forget pain once relieved. Perhaps I need to change up to a late afternoon stretch instead. By evening I am quite happy to be just a couch potato. Timing can make or break a habit.
Can you believe it? I am already getting sleepy. It is not yet 10 am. Time to stand up, stretch my legs, make my decaf and maybe do my index card art. A change of posture is what is needed at this moment. See you later.
It is after lunch. The dishes are dealt with. I can’t say that I’m more wakeful. The sky is still grey. Sheba is curled up on her bed. I feel the pull towards it myself. I’m sounding like a bore, droning on and on about the same stuff daily. Sorry! But this is my sounding board, my to-do list and my decompressing room. It’s my think tank. I’ve met some awesome fellow bloggers through this room.
Today I’m reading Julie Yip Williams’ chemo experience. She has passed away in March/18. No, it is not depressing but rather enlightening and inspiring. It is learning about life. Dying is part of it. We can learn and gain much from those who went before us. Another brave journey I have followed is Stage iv. I’m not obsessed with death. Just getting serious about living and comfortable that nothing is forever. Maybe it is the nurse in me, the one who have seen death many times. Even after all that, I have not really understood that part of living. Now I am getting acquainted. It makes life all the more sweeter as they say. All those every day small moments are as precious as a sunbeam on a speck of dust. Can you see it?
Beginnings of anythings are hard. Mornings are the best for me. It’s that time before trivia creeps in and fills all the recesses of my mind. They block the flow of oxygen and ideas to my being. But it is so tempting to linger over that cup of tea/coffee and scroll one more page and read another article, then another post. Before I know it, an hour or two have passed. The good/bright ideas/intentions have disappeared. All I’m left is lethargy and annoyance with myself.
I have to be stern with my lagging, sagging self. Nip it in the bud or it could run rampant, like an infection. So here I am, showing up before I get feverish and succumb to another lazy day. Movement begats more movement and energy. I go back to things that work for me, working in small blocks. If I get stuck, I stop and do something else. I’m learning not to sabotage myself. It’s been a long journey of many slow steps. But I am seeing more clearly as I am walking this, my very own Camino Road of enlightenment. No need to go to Spain. I have Sheba to keep me company here on the road.
Now it is 3:30 in the afternoon. I’m pecking/tapping away at my day. An index card painted for 365 Somethings 2018, a photo for April Love , Sheba’s afternoon walk done – these are the sign posts that guide me. They add order and rhythm to my day. In between these projects, the bedding plants are placed onto the deck, getting some natural light, readying for permanent residence out of doors. The deck chairs are rid of their dust and grime. Corners of the deck cleared of last year’s dirt. Screens wiped. Not all finished but a good start. That’s all that is needed. A start and the rest will follow. Repeat this every day.
I’m torn between doing and being. It’s never difficult for me to just be. There are many things calling out to be done. Much as I believe FlyLady’s motto, You are not behind, this tug of war today have caused me to be behind. It has drained some of my energy. I feel somewhat irked. I’ll listen to the FlyLady’s advice and jump in where I am. I had subscribed to their emails to help organize and get out of chaos. It didn’t work for me. I read the emails but I didn’t do the stuff. After awhile I stopped even reading the emails. I have to find my own way. What I really want to do right now is read a little more of I is for Innocent with my coffee. So, I’ll be back later.
So later is another day. I ran out of steam, desire and time yesterday. I’m still suffering from the first two reasons. I’m still in my pjs but the lunch dishes are done. I’m letting the Roomba have its way in the kitchen. That’s what I do to miminize the getting behind stuff. I’ve become wily when I’m lazy with no energy. That’s why the good Lord gave us a brain. You know what they say. A rest is as good as a change. I’m processing – letting me rest a bit and letting things perk on their own. I’m listening to my GPS. Reroute! Reroute! I’ve finally heard.
I’ve just read another post from Julie Yip William’s blog called Love. It is a letter to her husband. Julie has passed away in March from colon cancer. I have no adequate words to describe it. You will have to read for yourself. Her words and insights are as profound as Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air. Perhaps it’s their subject, death. Perhaps it’s their Asian background. I first learned of Paul from an article in Stanford Medicine’s journal called Before I Go. Yet another wonderful blog from an Asian writer living in Finland, is A Leaf in Springtime. I came across it a few years ago. She is a survivor of breast cancer.
I feel grateful stumbling across these writers. Grateful for their generosity of sharing their journeys. Words and stories are transformative. They are part of my GPS system. There is no reason to wander, lost in the wilderness when there are the words of those who went before us and those are here to lend us a guiding hand. To them, I say a big thank you.
I’m feeling somewhat euphoric. I’ve double checked my tax return and pushed the SEND button and made my payment electronically. I made a new folder (Taxes) on my Mac desktop, downloaded a copy of the return and dropped it into the folder. PING! I’m finally getting the hang of letting go, emptying and organizing. I was so excited that I did more cleanup of my Mac desktop. It’s still needs some work, but I’ve organized items into folders. I hope it will be easier to find things now. At least it looks neater and not so cluttered. Enough for now. Time to take a break and take Sheba for her walk.
It’s another windy day in Saskatoon. Good to see the city crew doing street cleaning, ridding some of the dust. I cleaned the yard of Sheba’s poop after our walk. Now I am pooped. I had to resusatate myself with a decaf and half a toasted baguette. I’m practicing restraint, hoping to look svelte for summer. I won’t be aiming for bikini thin, but something short of that is okay at this stage in my life. I think I’m starting to talk like Kinsey Millhone, a character in Sue Grafton’s alphabet series. I was indulging myself with a few pages of I is for Innocent with my decaf and baguette. Now I’m sleepy as all get out.
I’m probably a little overwhelmed by my progress. Such a great feeling! Everything working out. I feel like singing, At last, at last. Life is indeed like a song, Miss Etta.
It’s very easy to get derailed and fall off the track. I’m taking care not to linger and languish as it is my weakness. I could have curled up all morning with Sue Grafton’s I is for Innocent. I found it last week while I was sorting and dusting my bookshelves. I didn’t even know I owned one of her books. That’s the wonder of just collecting and not inspecting what I have. I get to oooh and aaah over new found treasures like a kid.
I could have lingered all morning, but I didn’t. It wasn’t easy but I got off my duff. I did my qigong routine. I tried to put my awareness on my movements but that darned mind kept wandering off. I had to rein it in time and time again. In my mind’s eye, I was emptying all the unnecessary stuff out of me with each outbreath. It was relaxing. I felt lighter as I breathe out all the crap.
Practice does make for better. Guess what? I’ve finished reading Joe Dispenza’s Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself! Now to put into practice what I have learned. I tend to gather information and stop there. Having the information doesn’t accomplish much except that I have the knowledge. Without use, it is useless. It is much like Facebook’s copy and paste. Have you thought about what that does? It’s just copying and pasting. You haven’t done a damn thing. That’s my way of thinking but I’m opened to hear a good argument to the contrary.
What have I done with my morning?
Qigong as mentioned.
Deboned 2 chicken (both partially eaten) for souping in the Instant Pot.
Making list for shopping at Costco this afternoon.
Vacuumed the kitchen and dining area.
Writing this post.
It’s a lot for me, the Languishing Queen. I’m happy with my results. I’m enjoying travelling in the slow steady lane, going as far as I can see what is in front of me. Maybe I can slowly increase my speed as I get the hang of things.
I ate all the leftovers brought home last night from the Mandarin Restaurant. Zero waste with one plate and a fork to wash. I enjoyed it but it did not pass my mother’s taste buds. Not enough ingredients. Ingredients not good quality. Not very much meat. These were her pronouncements. I have to admit that I am not very discerning. Like Sheba, I like anything edible. She was right about the meat part – small and covered up with a lot of veggies. It was perfect for me. I’m not over sated from a few chicken pieces and a pile of bok choy.
I’m enjoying my second cup of Orange Pekoe tea for the day. I can feel myself wanting another cup. I will refrain. I will tap a few more words, rise and clear up the few dishes. Then I better get started with the bread. It will interrupt my Orange Pekoe craving and keep the flow of the day going. I’ve discovered that I could get a lot done by spending a little bit of time doing this and that. It also breaks up bouts of grumpiness, surliness and depression.
I don’t want to mislead anyone about my moods. I am certainly grumpy alot of the time, especially when I was working. But I wouldn’t call myself that now. The same goes for the depression. I am one who feels things deeply. I have been told that I have high standards and I hold everyone to them. I still have the same high standards. I’ve let go of the hold though. What anyone else does is no concern of mine. It took awhile for me to see it. Seeing it now, I feel so foolish. Such a busy body I am, judging others. Most of all, such a waste of energy! It took me away from caring for myself.
You see – I can learn. I can talk a new talk and do a new walk. I don’t have to keep going down the same garden path. The dough is poofing in the oven and I’m sitting with my decaf. I am a little pooped from standing, mixing and kneading. I’m happy to sit till the timer calls me to punch the dough down, shape it into loaves and poof again. It was some wonderful quiet time kneading and slapping the dough into a ball. It was like a love affair of some sort. Needless to say, it was very satisfying. Even Sheba was cooperating, not barking her fool head off.
I love lunches that require no dishwashing. Who wouldn’t? I’m still in my lazy, relaxed mode but I’m moving as required. Stagnacy gathers dust and mold. Let me rest and tap here for a bit. Then I will descend the stairs and wash another window and another set of blinds. I said I will seed more kohlrabi and I will. After that, it’ll be time to walk the dog. I’ve discovered that things do not take as much time when I am “in the flow”.
I take care not to linger too long with any one thing, place or mood. In other words, balance in all things. There are so many truths in those proverbs and adages:
A change is as good as a rest
A good beginning makes a good ending
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
Actions speak louder than words
These are a few of my favourite. If I practice them every day, I could go far. Perhaps it would be a good idea to pick a few each day and work on them. It would create some fun and maybe a new way of thinking and problem solving. It would be a change.
The wind is howling outside. It makes me think of W.O. Mitchell’s Who Has Seen the Wind. It’s about a boy growing up in Saskatchewan during the Great Depression. I have seen the movie but not read the book. I have to add it to my reading list. After all, Mitchell is Saskatchewan’s own. The book sold almost a million copies and was made into a movie. What other incentive would I need?
An interesting blog I’ve recently stumbled onto is Julie Yip Williams‘ cancer fighting journey. She lost her fight in March, 2018. Her writing is beautiful and honest. What drew me was her cancer journey and that she is Chinese. Well, all of her life is interesting and inspiring. She was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the U.S. It is the same interest I have in Amy Tan. In both I found the common denominator of a Chinese in America and our relationship to our parents. Julie writies of Filial Love in 2 parts. The link for part 1 will lead to part 2, if you are interested.
Now, I have to tarry here no more. There are other things calling and I have to abide.
Strange times. I have to sit and chew on it for a bit. Sheba and I have just returned from our walk. It is WARM out there all of a sudden. Most of the snow are gone. I’m hot and sweaty, tapping a few words waiting for the water to boil for a cuppa of decaf. I’m cutting back on my tea consumption. Too much of a good thing was making my bladder crazy. I wonder why I have this addiction to Orange Pekoe tea. The more I drink, the more I crave it. Limiting myself to two cups a day seem to be helping – the bladder and the craving.
This feeling of craving is such a curious thing. The more I give in to it, the worse it gets. It’s a good thing that it’s only Orange Pekoe tea. Imagine the consequences if it is something else, like sugar. Maybe that was part of it, too. I like my tea sweetened with honey. So far, so good. I’ve kept to the 2-cup limit for a week now. No more craving. This principle probably applies to other things as well. It is wise to practice balance in all things. I will pay more attention from now on. I am sure I have the addict archetype in me.
It’s the next day, Saturday. My tap ran dry yesterday. I’m back to finish though today I’ve been taken over by sleepiness and idleness. I hope I can find a few interesting words and ideas. I could just do my usual mutterings. I am cured of the need ‘to do and accomplish’ for the time being. But it’s not good either to give in to languishing. I’m feeling as if I’ve grown roots into the loveseat. I’m still in my pjs though it is almost 3 pm. Soon I have to get dressed for a walk with Sheba. In the meantime let me enjoy my decaf and tap out a few more words.
It’s been a long while since I’ve felt this ease and peace within. Everything is working. I’m not fighting anyone or anything. I see all my ducks lined up in a row. How is it that life seems so easy in this moment? It could be that I took some care to clear, clean and organize my living surroundings. Cleanliness is next to holiness. It’s not that I can eat off the floors yet. But soon! And that what needs to be dealt with are, and not hidden beneath the piles. That never worked anyways. Things may be hidden from physical sight but they were just festering beneath the skin. So how could I have peace of mind when they were worming within?
Now that I have learned a few lessons, I hope I won’t slide back to my old ways of ‘later’. It’s much easier to JUST DO IT now. I’ll just sit back and breathe in this new feeling. It will help to keep me on track.
I have another secret. I’m enjoying the process of clearing and cleaning. I’ve held onto my stuff for too long. Even the dust was getting stale and taking up space. In my eagerness and ecstasy, I dropped a glass candle holder I was dusting this morning. It shattered into many splinters on the floor. I went Oh No! in my head. But as I was sweeping up the pieces, I realized that it just sits on top of the china cabinet, not doing anything. Maybe I lit a candle once in its whole life. Now there is one less dust collector and more space for me to breathe.
I’m enjoying my space and the silence of the afternoon. Sheba is content on her cushion. I’m sipping tea, relaxing my face, breathing in the peace. I’m settling my mind, quieting the swirling dust within and exhaling them out. Talk and conversation are not useful sometimes. He said. She said. You said. I said. THEY said. Harmful and poisonous words. I let them all go with my exhale. It is difficult to live congruently – talk the walk, walk the talk. So sometimes it is best not to talk at all. I’m not good at multitasking. Let me just do the walk for now. And the rest will come. That’s what THEY say anyways.