My little scratchy throat seemed to have descended into my chest and upwards toward my head. I guess it’s what’s called a summer cold. Whatever it is, it doesn’t feel good. I haven’t been able to sleep lying down for 3 nights now. Every time I tried, I end up bouncing back up in a fit of harrowing cough. Last night was a little better. I took a Tylenol #3 before hand and propped myself up against 2 cushions against the arm of the couch. I was lying down in some way. I was able to sleep in snatches.
I look none the worse for how wretched I felt. I always had trouble getting sympathy when I get one of these episodes, especially at work. I remembered after working a night shift, I approached my manager to see if I should return for another shift. She didn’t give me a resounding no but advised me as did the Health Office, to get some sleep and see. Nobody said I shouldn’t have phoned in sick, but there’s the guilt I felt. When I complained to a fellow coworker/friend that our manager didn’t stick up for me, I got no comfort either. Well, she had her own job to worry about! was what I got.
That was quite a few years ago. Obviously I haven’t learned too much. I’m still not good at taking care of myself. Oh, wait! I mustn’t be harsh with myself. I haven’t been sick like this since the fall of 2014. Four years, that’s pretty good. Good enough. This time I didn’t show up for my shifts. I’m my own boss now. No point trying to be the Wonder Woman that I truly am. I nixed my swimming Monday and Wednesday and will for tomorrow, too. I still puttered in the garden and yard before I got bad.
That’s what I mean about my learning curve. I’ve been outside early in the morning, cleaning and planting the previous week. That was my mistake. The pollen count is the highest in the mornings. I didn’t wear a mask. I’m proned to respiratory ailments due to my sinus anomoly. I knew all that. But I still became a victim to the pollen attacks. I felt pretty smug. I thought I had beaten my condition. I forgot that it can take days to get sick. Now it will take me another week to fully recover – the statistics from past experiences.
When you’re sick, you’re suppose to drink lots of fluids. That is relatively easy to do but rest doesn’t come readily. When I lay down, I start coughing. With all the fluid I’m drinking, I have to bop up to the bathroom frequently. No, there’s no rest or peace feeling this way. The book is too heavy to hold to read for long. A few pages takes hours to read. I’m just sucking it up, doze when I can. But at least the garden is mostly in except for a few kohlrabis and a couple rows of beans. There’s time. They can wait. Most everything can wait.
As you can see, I’m can still bitch. I must be getting better.
Summer is overrated. That’s what I think. Sometimes I feel mean spirited, like Lady Tremaine, Cinderella’s wicked stepmother. Am I, though? Is it true? Is it really true? That’s the question Byron Katie would ask. Am I mean spirited and wicked or am I just expressing how I am feeling about summer? Am I putting a monkey wrench into others’ summers? Then what about those people who hate winter?
Framed by those questions, I am not Lady Tremaine. I’m not out to spoil another’s summer. I am not feeling super duper cartwheeling happy at the moment. I am experiencing a pollen attack the last few days. My ribs are sore from coughing. My throat, constricted, itching and ready to cough my stomach contents out. My tongue feels burnt from sucking Fisherman’s Lozenges. What are they made of? I cannot blame myself for feeling miserable. I don’t lay my miseries on anyone but I’m guessing I’m not pleasant company.
I’m watching all those winged maple and poplar seeds flying through the air in great gusts. I haven’t seen such big infestations as this year. They look like swarms of bees or other flying insects. They could be geese flying south but it’s the wrong time of the year. Nothing is the same anymore. Were they ever? I better tell myself to suck it up, buttercup. Better get use to it. The world has never been as it is now. It is truly amazing times we are living in. That is what Caroline Myss keeps saying. She is my guru.
Not to make myself a complete sour puss, I am feeling somewhat better. I started gargling with warm salty water since yesterday. My throat is not so tight. My cough can turn over now. The great saline solution! No wonder salt was such an important commodity in India back in the days when Ghandi led their independence movement against the British. The saline solution is valuable today, too. As an intraveous solution, I see that it’s cheap to make. According to a 1993 source it fluctuates between 44 cents to a $1. But to buy is another thing. $85 for 500 mls. and $42.00 for a liter. Nothing about medical supplies costs makes sense.
That, as they say, is par for the course. Nothing much is making sense to me now. I’ll have to wait till my head clears. Maybe by then my throat would have lost its grip. I can talk then instead of croak. I better get some rest. My sleep has been interrupted by intermittent coughing fits in the night. Grrrr!
It’s that tapping hour in my afternoon. I had a very good sleep last night. Having gone to bed at 9:30, I was awake by 5 am. and out of bed before 6. Having sleep and quiet time to myself in the morning makes a huge difference to my well-being and equanimity. The rains and clouds have gone. The sun has emerged with its warmth. I am sipping Orange Pekoe tea, my comfort drink. It’s difficult to change my likes and dislikes. It’s not that I dislike Moringa tea. I like Orange Pekoe more. I will ease into the Moringa tea ceremony slowly. Tomorrow I will give it another go.
My throat is still scratchy. The cough was maddening last night. I decided to use my Nasonex spray for a few days. It’s helping some. The Weather Network confirms that pollen count is high. It seems I’m a fairly accurate weather and pollen barometer. I should learn to doubt less and trust myself more on so many fronts.
The beat and art goes on. I haven’t had much time to do any sewing on my Mrs. Bernina other than cleaning and lubricating her. Once in awhile I run some random stitches just to feel how smooth she purrs. It calms and gives me a bit of a high at the same time. I’m weird, know. I like the sound of the scissors cutting the thread when I push the icon button. It’s my first luxury item. I’m just learning to drive in the self-love lane.
It feels and is a busy summer but I’m going to join Daisy Yellow’s Index-Card-A-Day Challenge, June 1- July 31, 2018 as well as keeping up with 365 Somethings 2018. These challenges are so helpful in the creative process AND so much fun. It’s not a do or die thing. It’s at my own pace. When I push myself, surprising and exciting things happen. I’m aiming to explore different mediums and themes. I like to see if I can break out of habits of being myself. I want to explode into a different un-me of expressing. I could learn to be a little daring like Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo.
I used to take pride in how little sleep I need. I thought I did fabulous on 4-5 hours sleep a day/night. I used to be an idiot, a crabby one at that. I was deluding myself on many fronts. Now that I’ve recovered from my sleeplessness mostly, I know I don’t do well when I have a sleepless night. I had one last night for whatever reason. I like to blame the weather for many of my miseries. I am sure it is warranted.
I’m muddling through my day the best I can. I’m happy that the bread and rhubarb crisp got made yesterday. The good habits that I’ve developed are carrying me over. I can probably bake bread in my sleep. After a few years, using the same recipe I know all the measurements of all the ingredients. Mishaps do happen sometimes. It’s not a disaster. I still get bread of a sort. It happened only once. Then the bread became biscuits for Sheba. It made excellent flatbread and probably pizza dough if I had been thus inclined.
I probably had only 2-3 hours of sleep last night. I’m feeling slightly proud that I’ve been up since 5 am. I planted most of my raised beds this morning before it got too hot. Now it’s all clouded over. I can hear the wind and we’ve had a splash of rain. Turbulent weather and me don’t go well together. I probably felt the storm brewing during the night. Well, it’s good for the garden. There’s always a positive side.
I’m not really sleepy. I could take a nap if I was. Instead, I’m just strung out. I have an ache in the furrow between my eyes. My throat is scratchy and sore. I hope I don’t get sick. Perhaps I shall brew a pot of Moringa tea. I’ll see if it’s as good as they say. It’ll probably take more than one cup and more than one day’s drinking. Do I have the patience? Will I like it enough or will I revert back to my Orange Pekoe? I’m like a child not wanting to try new tastes. I will practice savouring. Perhaps I could develop a ceremony with it every afternoon while I am in my tapping mode.
I’ve finished one cup of tea. I’m less edgy. The furl between my eyes more relaxed. Whoa! I better go and get another cup. Oh, the sun has popped out again. O happy day after all.
It is the evening of the day. Bits and pieces of songs play in my head. It IS the evening of the day. It is 10:07 pm on a Friday night. There is no music playing or soft candle light. Nobody at the bar mixing me a drink. There is no bar. It is only me under my own overhead lights in my own space, tapping softly my inadequate words, not exactly singing my life with my own words. For every step I take forward, I slide back two. Or so it seems.
I’m tired and cantankerous. I should put my head in the toilet for 7 minutes like Caroline Myss advices. The cold water would surely snap me out of it. But I am too bad-tempered and uncooperative. I WON’T do it. I want to stomp my feet and have a fit but how would that benefit me? Exactly! Hence, here I sit with my keyboard. I hope to tap away my moodiness. It would be nice to go to sleep and wake up with a clean mind, erased of all ire.
I should really cut myself some slack. I’ve had a full day, week, month, year….I’ve had a full life. I could do with a little less of everything. My mind is overflowing with thoughts. It’s never in the moment. This morning I couldn’t remember if I had closed the garage door when I was going to the pool. I circled back to find that I had. I lost 15 minutes of swimming time. Not life or death but I drove as it was. Then I swam as it was, trying to get those 15 minutes back. In this case, it was okay. I got an aerobic workout swimming like the dickens. I would rather have my old slow poke self back. It was more restful.
That not being the case, I made use of my unusual super-charged energy. Besides swimming like an athlete, I made my usual 6 loaves of bread and a large pan of rhubard crisp. I planted more beans and all my tomatoes. I dragged Sheba around the block just before supper. I’m feeling super hyper just tapping about my day, as if I’ve drank a can of Red Bull. Not that I ever have but my heart is pounding just thinking of it.
I’m slowing my fingers, slowing my thoughts, slowing my heart. I’m taking some slow big breaths. Good night. Mr. Sandman is calling me.
There’s anxiety and fear in going forward. But there is boredom and frustrations waking up to the same old, same old every day. So I ask myself, Are you a woman or a mouse? I choose the first. I don’t have to roar like Helen Redding. I don’t have to say anything at all but stand in my own two shoes, taking responsibility for my own words and actions. That’s all it takes.
Nevertheless I fuss and fret over what ifs and all the rest. I haven’t really totally accepted myself, the whole package of me. There will always be parts of myself, habits and all, that I will never get over. Understanding that helps. These are some of the things that I find difficult under the best of circumstances. Other people have other difficult things. Different strokes for different folks. Everyone have their forte.
The thing is I’ve never understood that my difficulties are not bad in themselves. They do not make me a bad person. It means I have struggles. I am being human. Now I can stop punishing myself and work towards how best to resolve them. Letting go of feelings are hard. Letting go of thinking tougher yet. History is the most difficult to let go of. To help me, I think of the time when a crow flew by Sheba’s nose. She reared up and charged. Well, I HAD to let go of the leash. I hate to think of the consequences if I hadn’t.
It’s another hot day. I’m sweating, drinking hot decaf. I must be trying to sweat out my toxic thoughts. I have many that are still ticking away in my lizard brain. I’m trying to chill a little, slowing it down. Sometimes it’s not easy. I have a frenzy inside of me. I’m pulled in all directions, not focused on anything. It’s best I come here to have a slow conversation with myself. Best not to do any brain surgery if there is no emergency.
It’s past Sheba’s supper time. She is quiet upstairs cooling herself on the bare floor. She has never been downstairs. There’s no way to coax her either. Maybe it is just as well. No need for her hair to be everywhere though they still float down.
How intrusive the world! So many phone calls on things I do not need nor asked for. Those poor Call Center employees. I am not much of a consumer. They will not get much business from me. They do not listen. They keep calling back. I hang up. I am not in a ‘good mood’ or a peaceful frame of mind. My head is in a dither. The conversation within is like a ticker tape going on endlessly.
There’s no stopping it so I just watch it in my mind’s eye. I’m tapping here to slow down the ticking in my head and the fluttering in my heart. It’s working. My mind and hands are engaged in another activity. I’ve done my qigong routine. A batch of yogurt is under the yogurt machine’s hood. I’m finishing the last of the strawberries before they go bad. The bills are paid except for my property tax. I still have till the end of June to deal with it. I’ve gathered my papers to meet with my banker this afternoon. Even retired, there’s stuff to deal with. It’s not a vacation. I’m not in a hammock by the beach. Some days I want to run away from home.
My garden is a bit half assed this year. I’ve started a few bedding plants, enough petunias and snapdragons for my mother’s flower beds. She doesn’t ask for much. In fact she doesn’t ask for anything. But it is nice that I could do this much for her. I hope she will let me plant them for her. Her strength has declined but she is fiercely independent. She is very good at compensating and finding alternative ways of doing everything. My mother is awe-inspiring.
I have seeded one raised bed with lettuce, spinach and kale. They are all rising above the earth. The other 4 beds sit empty, waiting for me to get my shit together. I have cleared and worked the garden area. The strawberries I transplanted last fall have survived. The rhubarb is looking good. The peas and a few beans are planted. I am a bit lost but not idle.
It is late afternoon. I am hot and tired. I have met with my banker. We did some planning. All is well but I have not kept up with records and paperwork. It is not anything new but it is quite distressing to me. There is no point in tackling the problem now, though I did try. It resulted in more hair-on-end kind of frustration. I have to sort it out as I had with the basement, a little at a time.
I am learning a lesson here. No matter how we I try to ignore or hide a problem, whatever it is, it never goes away. It will surface sooner or later. You I will have to face it or maybe trip over it. There’s no where to hide. It demands resolution. I think I’ve finally got the message now. Really I have.
It’s a hot, hot day! I have laundry hanging outside. The blinds are drawn. It’s warm and stuffy upstairs. I turn the furnace fan on. I make my way to the cool of the basement. It’s a lovely happy space to have my decaf and toasted baguette. I sink back against the leather couch enjoying the cool quiet of being alone. It is worth all the effort I’ve put into cleaning and clearing. It fills me with joy to see there’s a space for everything. And everything are in their places.
It’s taken me a long while to get to this stage. Gaining some confidence from the process, I’m moving onto cleaning and clearing the deck. I want to make every space into a creative living breathing place and not a storage area for all the stuff I don’t know what to do with. It’s time to be clear about what our lives are about. It’s not about collecting and hoarding.
Let me be bothered enough to take the time to care, to organize, clear and clean. Let my mind work behind the scene and figure out what gives life meaning, what I need to keep and what I need to discard. I have lived too long haphazardly, by gosh and by darn. I’ve been lazy, just wishing and hoping for the best. Now I want to plan and be decisive and do what is the best for me and what makes my heart sing.
Yesterday I talked about being brave. But I am still like Dorothy’s cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz. I’m not quite up to snuff, not up to confrontations. Never have and maybe never will. There’s something not quite kosher with the word, ‘confront’. It does not sit well with me. It implies hostility. It’s not the way I want to interact or behave. The word itself already brings with it anger and other mean spirited feelings. It is the word I am eliminating from my vocabulary right now.
Call me cowardly if you will but I cannot behave contrary to the way I was raised. That is my rock and a hard place. I do not want to absorb all the negativity it generates into my being. It is really not good for my well being. With a little creativity, luck and serendipity, I’ve turned into an alchemist. All my angst, from whichever source and direction they came from are very good fodder. They’ve fuel my painting, sewing, crocheting, knitting and my tap, tap, tapping here. All the frustrations, disappointments, saddness and anger are good compost. They give rise to ideas and visions and hope for a better (my)self. Being a queen of self-help, I always aim for a better version of me. Sometimes I succeed. Lately I’ve been failing. I’m picking myself up, brushing off self pity and getting ready to rise above the dust.
Having tapped out these words, my heart feels lighter if not braver. I will not tiptoe around my own sacred garden/yard/the world. But neither will I stomp around in anger and malice. I will treat my boundary and hers as well with due respect as always. If my beans or other climbing vines climb over the fence, well they are trespressing in the technical term. It matters not that they are not invasive or harming nothing. She has a right to nip the trespasser in the bud. I’ve already informed the weed company she uses that we do not want any spray on our property. That is fair, respecting my property.
The day is almost gone. I’ve spent the afternoon and my excess angst cleaning out my car. All the rubber mats and carpets are taken out, washed and dusted. The insides are vacuumed and wiped down. What took me so long? Why have I been so neglectful? It’s the first time I’ve cleaned the inside since I bought the car in 2009. Sometimes you start one thing, it can lead to another. Life can be wonderful this way. I’m stuck between that rock and a hard place. I’m chipping my way out, throwing out the dirt and pebbles. Now there’s room for Sheba.
What better way to rid the dust after a hard day’s work than a swim. None that I could think of. Though I had only a short time, I made my way to the pool. Twenty minutes was exactly what the doctor had ordered. It was cheered considerably by a thoughtful young man who was the life guard. He still looked wet behind the ears but was wise as Solomon in human relationships. I left with a softer heart than when I came. Thank you ___ . He told me his name but of course, I’ve forgotten already.
The noise in my head has subsided. My heart has chilled and slowed as if taken over by a bypass machine. I need the extra oxygen. I need the help and rest. I can let every care go now. Otherwise I will get overtaxed and become ill. The leftover pizzas from yesterday helped. There’s the chocolate chip cookies yet. Thank God for all the carbohydrates! Now I will go and make myself a pot of tea.
I am declaring today my resurrection and independence day. It has been difficult living on tip toes, worried about stepping on others’ toes. In reality it is mine that are being squashed. Being my mother’s daughter, it is just ridiculous to worry about intruding and encroaching on another’s rights/property. I’ve been brought up to bend over backwards to be a good and virtuous person. I’m shedding the scarecrow’s outfit and putting on my righteous outfit.
I’ve not really lived in fear of my sociopath neighbour, but rather in dread. She behaves as she has the right to dictate how and what should or should not be in my yard. She feels no qualm ‘weeding’ or spraying my yard. She has planted a row of young spruce trees on my property next to her driveway. She has taken away things we stored in our yard next to our garage and fence. She thinks it detracts from the beauty of her lawn. Then she thinks it’s alright to put her heavey crates on my property when she has a huge yard and driveway. What harm would they do? She asks. They would scratch her driveway and not good for her lawn though.
If you think I’m sounding petty, maybe I am. I am tired of being pushed emotionally and otherwise by this woman. I’ve been letting her do it for at least 8 years, since she’s moved next door. Things like this tends to spread to other areas of my life. I doubt myself. I wonder if it is me that is being difficult and unfair so I don’t stand up for myself. I let myself be pushed and manipulated into feeling guilty everywhere.
Well, enough is enough. A straw coat is a fire hazard. I better put on a suit of armour or thicker skin. I don’t really want to fight but I have to stand my ground at some point. I’ve pulled out some of the little spruce trees she’s planted. It’s really a ridiculous situation. I’ve been a scarity cat with no back bone. The other little trees will come out soon. I will call 911 if she gets abusive or/and violent.