The turkey soup is simmering on the stovetop. It’s a slow cooking morning. There is no hurry, nowhere to go, no need to be other than what is and where I am. I am feeling that magical, elusive peace and contentment of a child in the holiday lull of Christmas and New Year. It is wonderful. I’m feeling the same warmth and security of my childhood’s New Year’s Eve in China. I am snug, drifting off to sleep, listening to the chatter of my mother, grandmother and ‘aunties’ as they tend the fires for the pasteries they’re steaming and deep frying.
It is a grey morning but it does not bring any grey thoughts or feelings. I’m breathing in the aroma in the air. Turkey soup is good for the soul. I’m reading Julie Cameron’s The Artist’s Way again. I’ve had many years ago but only got through the first few chapters. I came away with her morning pages and the artist’s date. I’ve never given either much practice though I have come to this space to tap out my words. I’m finding resonance this second time around. There is a time for everything. The time is right, now.
December 28, 2018 9:20 am
I can be so easily distracted, led astray by so much news and information that is out there – on the Internet. I’m sure much of it is not important, vital to my well being. What I need is to bring my attention back to my Inner Self. I probably have a whole pile of stuff in my database yet to be tapped. I am a collector/hoarder of unused everythings.
The days are slowly getting longer. I’ve reached beyond tipping point. I’m heading towards the light, away from the darkness. It hasn’t been that bad this year. It hasn’t been bad at all. Snow flakes are gently drifting down. I welcome the snow and its whiteness. It IS winter and there should be snow. It adds a bit of normalcy to our now strange world of melting winters and sizzling/freezing summers.
I am a woman with a short attention span. That span is getting shorter with the Internet grabbing pieces of it here and there. I’m not successful in snataching some of it back. My mind is astir as if by a witch’s broom. Maybe it is the weather. Too many negative ions in the air. Today I have not read any morning pages from Julie Cameron’s The Artist’s Way nor from Stephen Jenkinson’s Die Wise, or Wayne Dyer’s Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life. I’ve had Wayne Dyer’s on my bookshelf for many years and hadn’t realized it was based on the Tao Te Ching. Clearly it is a sign I need to mend my ways. But tomorrow is another day.
We had some sun today. It was a nice relief from the grey and dark. Now the sunlight is weak and watery like tepid tea. It gives me an insipid melancholia. Is there another kind? I should really stop talking about my moods but that’s what’s foremost on my kinds’ minds. It’s what we brood on as if we could or hope to hatch it into joy. Joy to the world and Falalalala.
Don’t take me too seriously though. I am not despairing or crying into my soup. Not yet anyways. I’ve baked up a storm the last few days – bread, cookies, cinnamon buns and Sheba’s doggy biscuits. Today I’m stitching up a couple more motifs on my tablecloth. Busy hands are happy hands. I’ve had my troubled times but I’ve never at a stage I’m wringing them.
December 25, 2018 10:47 am
John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s lyrics are running through my head this morning
And so this is Christmas And what have we done? Another year over And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas I hope you have fun The near and the dear one The old and the young
Yes, this is Christmas and what have I done? I think I’ve found the peace I needed. I’m feeling it for today at least. I had to let go of the ‘wanting, working on, fixing, making things right, doing the right thing’ mentally. I had to let go of everything and just be as best as I could. It has been a hard lesson for me. It’s difficult to learn that I’m not that powerful or that I have a say in everything. It’s wonderful to let go of all that assumed responsibility, all that weight. I’m feeling almost as light as a feather today.
December 26, 2018 @2:15 pm
So this is Boxing Day. Lunch is over and I’m feeling ever so lazy. I thought I have a whole bunch of good words to impart but what I really want to do is just nap. I will struggle here a bit. Then it’s time to feed Sheba and go for our walk. Not really looking forward to it but we must. It’s like cleaning that oven this morning after the day of spatchcocked turkey. It was a mess! Opening the oven door, I want to slam it shut again. BUT – the impossible to clean was possible. A lot of elbow grease and persistence. It’s almost sparkling clean, racks and all.
That is what I have to remember. The whole picture is really ugly till you break it into do-able little segments. I wondered afterwards how I did it. Another thing to remember is don’t think, just do it. And it will be done. AND the turkey turned out moist, delicious with crunchy skin. Worth it!
Time has a tricky way of sneaking away on me when I’m not careful. It’s not a bad thing if I’m sidetracked by something useful. I was – looking up my nephew’s YouTube video of how to cook a delicious turkey in a short time.
Where did the day go? I am tired and there’s Sheba to walk yet. The day is good. Got lots done even though I was sidetracked by YouTube. First it was the turkey. Then there was Bernina sewing videos but they’re good and useful. I have a few minutes here to breathe and tap. The chocolate chip cookies are done. We’re waiting for the doggy biscuits to come out of the oven. Maybe another 15 minutes or so.
December 22, 2018 11:09 am
Sheba and I have been on a walk or two since I’ve been here. When I leave, it is difficult to come back unless I make a point of it. So here I am, cleaned, relaxed and warmed by my morning swim. Wanting to get there was not an easy, natural thing. The morning was dark and uninviting. I headed out with reluctance and trepidations. But I had the memory of the peaceful blue of the pool, the ropes of the lanes buoying gently in the warm soothing water. I felt the aches of my stiff unyieldy body. I could see myself wading in and gliding off in its warmth.
It was no surprise that I was the only one there this morning. I felt good that I showed up. The lifeguard was a lanky youth, his first day on the job, he said. I hoped I gave him a sense of purpose. He wasn’t guarding just an empty pool. I was a potential someone to be rescued. I used to feel uncomfortable to be the only swimmer, that I was taking up someone’s time. Now I enjoy the idea that the pool was just for me.
Murky thoughts crept into my mind as I went up and down the lanes. I was there working out while the rest of the world was busy with their lives, family, friends making ready for all the happiness of Christmas. Thoughts of being a loser floated in as I blew bubbles in the water and raising my face to take a breath. Never mind that I’ve never enjoyed all the frenzies of shopping for perfect gifts and all the obligations of being loudly happy and comfortable in the traditions not of my culture.
It is the evening of the day and I’m feeling its melancholia. I tell myself it’s a fake mood like fake news. It’s not real. It’s my brain malfunctioning. It’s not my fault. It is the time of the day when my body is winding down to ready for bedtime. Goodnight to one and all. Tomorrow is a new day.
We’re 2 days away from Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year. It looks like we are getting 7.5 – 8 hours of daylight. It’s still dark as can be now but I am rethinking, rebooting my brain not to dwell on the dark. I don’t want to waste time where things don’t work or get better. You know that drill – the insanity of wanting a different outcome but you keep doing the same thing over and over. No more! I declare again.
I started Unravelling Your(my) Year 2019 this morning. I have chosen my word for this year. It is TIMELY as I am such a procrastinator. I had printed out the workbook for Unravelling Your Year for over a week already. It’s time I start work on it or it’s going to sit on the dining table till next December. Delving into and looking back at where I’ve been the past year hopefully will unlock some doors as to what went wrong and what was beneficial. It’s a post morten of the year so I will not repeat mistakes. Having a word for the year will guide and push me along.
As you can see, I come here whenever I have some time and something to say. It’s a tabata workout for my body and soul. It’s working very well for me. I spend blocks of time, short, shorter or longer here, dependent on how I am or what I have to say. I don’t sit for hours, agonizing over anything. When I feel the agony approaching, I get up and do something else. Change my posture, change my thinking and feelings.
My word, TIMELY, evolved from a fellow blogger asking what is my favourite tip for decluttering. I don’t know if it’s my favourite, but I think it is the most effective – doing things in a timely manner. Dealing with things right away shortens the time that I have to agonize over the clutter/problem. They don’t have time to pile up and snow me under. I haven’t been too successful at it but it is a wee bit better now than in years gone by. My laundry basket is a testament to my failures. It still contains clean washed clothes from my working days. I’ve been retired 5 years now.
I no longer use that basket. The laundry comes off/out of the line/dryer, gets folded and put away. But I haven’t cleared/emptied the basket either. Having chosen TIMELY as THE word for the year have paid dividends already. It got me washing the bathroom floor yesterday. It’s a very small space so why do I hate and feel it’s so hard? I’ve decided that it is unnecessary to understand the whys of everything and just tend to the task at hand. Repeated exposion to doing the hated thing hopefully will desensitize me to the hate.
Afternoons are harder than mornings, especially December afternoons. December mornings are so dark but at least I look forward to the sun rise. There’s the anticipation and eagerness in the waiting. Afternoons in the after 3 pm slot, the sun at its best is like tepid tea, weak and past its shine. Often I find my feelings sinking with its setting. Oh, but I am like a well-trained dog. I can still haul ass with Sheba for our daily walk. Does not matter that each step feels like pulling teeth. I count each one till we’re home again and be couch potatoes.
I wonder at why things are difficult when they’re not really. I can not make sense of it so I try to do at least one thing/per day that I’ve been putting off. Today it was putting away the yogurt maker. It’s not physically hard but my mind haven’t been able to cooperate. I’ve been looking and walking around it for days now. But it’s finally been wiped down and put in its place. I struggle with stupid things like that. Now I’m talking about it.
But at least I am talking. Can you imagine holding all those stupid and crazy things inside. I would explode. I have exploded and imploded. It was traumatic. I will never do that again.
December 16, 2018 9:07 am
I am baking bread this morning. Waiting for the water to cool enough before adding the yeast and honey. One time I didn’t wait long enough and we had lots of dead dough for doggy biscuits for Sheba and pizza crust. It was still very tasty -delicious as a matter of fact. However, it’s not enough for me to repeat the process.
It’s a good that I have ‘chores’ to do. If I didn’t, I’m apt to give in to my natural inclination of lounging and moping. I feel as energetic and ambitious as an Energize Bunny with dead batteries. I wouldn’t even give one beat on my drum.
December 18, 2018 10:03 am
My batteries are not completely dead. I’m not moving very fast but I’m moving steadily, one foot in front of the other. My left brain is talking to my right brain. You can do it, so just do it! It listens and does its part. I’m happy that my yin/yang twins are working together. I’m trying to do do all the right things, not avoiding the difficult stuff and creating more elephants in my room. I cleared the table, sort the unmentionables and sweep out the dust bunnies hiding in corners. It does clear my brain and unload the heavies. The clean laundry is folded and put away. Soup is on in the Instant Pot. I hope I will have some juice for creative fun later.
We’re steadily heading towards the shortest day of the year. It’s no surprise that it’s dark out and the house lights are on. I know I’m harping on the darkness. It’s my brain. It’s better I ventilate and let out the darkness. Hoarding it inside would only make it grow.
I can’t say that the day was a success or that it went badly. It was heavy and sluggish. I just put one foot in front of the other and proceeded forward ho. It helps to have a routine. I move according to program. I vacuumed as much as I had time before leaving for my exercise class this morning. I’m finding it very therapeutic, doing something that is needed instead of squandering the time away. It’s surprising how much one can do in minutes. It gives me structure and time later to work on something or languish as desired.
I struggled through the step aerobics even with an instructor shouting out instructions. My brain is malfunctioning and I am not feeling exactly gleeful and lightfooted. I did the best I could. Sometimes I adjusted my speed, repeat times 2 instead of 3. What the hell. I was moving and that’s what counts. I don’t have to enjoy it. My brain is not cooperating. It is not my fault. I still sweated. Does that count? I still walked Sheba in the afternoon. I kept thinking of taking a shorter walk the whole time. But I didn’t.
Today hasn’t been a ton of fun but I’m not crying either. It is what it is. This, too, shall pass. I’m still upright, looking normal and doing what I normally do. I’m reading a thriller, The Girl From Home. It’s exactly what my brain needs, something easy to grab onto. I tinkered a bit with my free motion embroidery after lunch. After working on machine embroidery for awhile, it is harder to go back to. I have to reset how I see and make a picture. I have to wing it on my own. No computerized motiff, no perfect programmed stitches. I am the computer, one without a program and a defective hard drive.
So I sit me down to write with my cuppa strawberry flavoured tea and little blocks of dark, dark chocolate. I’m not sure how correct my tapping will be. I am not feeling totally correct. Don’t hold me to my words. Tomorrow I might disown them. I am not coming from the dark of the night place but ’tis the season’. All this jolly, jolly Christmas stuff sometimes upends me. All the expectations and preparations. All the hopes and dreams. And all the fairy tales.
I was not born into all that. I immigrated into the culture. I adopted the customs though I was never quite at home with them all. In a sense I have never been quite at home in my life. I was always looking out into others’ homes and Christmas trees, envious of all the glitter and laughter. After a long while, I did feel comfortable with it all – Christmases and Easters. I had made them into my own seasons of worship and gratitude. Christmas was my holy time. Easter was my season in the desert.
Now, they are both gone. I feel no reverence or holy. But I do feel a loss. I feel sad for it. I will try to slowly migrate back towards the feelings that once had meaning. It is not easy in these times. There is too much nit picking and political correctness about everything nowadays. The song Baby, It’s Cold Out There is considered inappropriate and banned. Even Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer is thought of as a song about bullying. I will have to shelf everything and think about it later. Tomorrow is another day. I wonder how many are feeling like me.
December 10, 2018 4:48 pm
I’m here with my cuppa and no chocolate. I have not given much thought to anything overnight. I’ve put my brain on a freeze. No analyzing of this or that. It is much better to just sip, stitch, no bitching and be as merry as I can. Life is short. The night is long. The time is for me to pass. I rather use it and my energy in creating something beautiful rather than sour grapes and bitter lemons. It’s the season to be kind to myself and others, focus on my own path and not be distracted by the sidelines. To my own self be true. I will not be like Eve. I will not flee from my Garden of Eden.
It’s dark out except for the white of the snow. I’m still cocooned in the peace and silence of the morning. Once upon a time I was a quiet girl but something happened during life. I became a very chatty woman. I’ve come full circle as they say. I’m returning to my quiet self slowly, day by day. I’m learning not to ask those questions without answers and give unsolicited suggestions. Sometimes I have to bite my lips. I’m discovering that I have no need nor curiosity about the answers. I’m saving the suggestions for myself. Often I was talking without thinking and the need to fill silences.
Now I feel no such need. I love the empty spaces, silences and the marching embroidery foot of my Bernina. Yes, I am a little bananas over my latest affair with the machine. It’s filling the craving of my creative soul. It does not disappoint nor betray my trust. It builds and lifts me up where I belong. All it demands of me is a little dusting, a lube job and no rough handling. I happily comply. It rewards me handsomely.
December 7, 2018 3:12 pm
The sun came out today. I wish I felt better so I can enjoy it more. I’m a little exhausted. Maybe a little too much of good things. I’m a girl who can handle only small, small. Obviously Sheba is feeling the same. It’s past her supper time and she is content, asleep on her pillow. We both need some R & R. I will sip my tea, muse and tap out my fatigue. I am content with not doing.
I’ve been on a mad tear with the embroidery. It’s not physically or mentally strenuous. The machine does it all once I’ve set it up. I do have to change the different coloured threads when it is called for. I have to run up and down the stairs since the machine is in the basement and I don’t stay put. I’m getting an added workout especially when it is 12 colour changes. Today calls for a rest. I will let Sheba sleep till she realizes it’s past her meal and walk time. It’s all good.
I have discovered that little useless things can eat up many minutes but I can do many things in a few minutes. It all depends on how present and distractible I am. I am the very latter – distractible. I can’t use the excuse of not getting enough sleep because I did. It’s rather that I don’t have a set plan. It’s Tuesday, a non exercise morning. It feels like a day off. I feel like I have extra time to goof off. It’s not a bad thing if it leaves me feeling good.
It doesn’t. I’ve been scrolling, trying to figure out how the Goodreads site works. I have accidentally joined its community when I was looking up a book. It hasn’t been of great importance to me what others are reading, etc. But now I get messages and updates. It peaks my curiosity. I’ve figured out how to post what I’m reading but how do I post what I’ve read? As I’ve said, it is not important except that it’s disturbed my peace of mind. I’m flustered and irritated. My feathers are ruffled.
I better stop this nonsense of wasting more of my day off. I have bills to pay and papers to sort. I have not made much progress with my desk except to remove some dust. Organizing anything is clearly not my forte. I must have been born with that defective gene. However, I will persevere with my efforts. I have deleted 75 messages from one of my mailboxes. Why do I hang on to them? It’s as if I make any move at all, even deleting an email, I will change my life forever. It’s silly I know but it helps to voice my fear of any little change.
Supper is done and I’m still sipping my one glass of wine. I’m still feeling ruffled around the edges. However, I will take a deep, deep breath, exhale and sip. Maybe I should have another glass. But now everything is smooth. I will be alright. The day has gone well. The bills are paid. I did not get the down time I intended and wanted. It’s tough when my brain is feverish with creating. I had to let my creation out. Tomorrow is another day. I will plan for it.
I’ve been absent for a few days, wrapped up in my table cloth and my Bernina embroidery machine. I did not think I would like programmed creativity but I have fallen in love with it. I sit and watch how the needle is travelling back and forth and across the cloth. I listen to its soft rhythmic chug chug, like the marching of tiny feet across the hoop. It is soothing, mesmerizing and addictive. I’m just realizing what an awesome machine I have. It has amazing capabilities. I’m just past the beginning where I can make it go. There’s so much more to learn. I hope I have enough time.
It’s the first of December. How time flies. It’s almost a year since I got my Bernina. I shall not lack things to do this winter. I will have no time to mope or despair. The mechanics of how to use all its features will crowd out all the garbage of my mind. I will be emptying all old and corrupt files and opening new ones. I will fill them with optimism, joy and all things good. I hope all the new activities will help me grow more grey matters and telomeres. I hope my mind will be more peaceful and I can think better. I hope it will help me to be a better person.
This morning was tough. It was dark as can be. It’s Saturday, my swim day. My body and mind were in unison, crying their pain and reluctance of not wanting to go. I overrode them both. I did not listen to them. I chanted: Got to go. Got to go. in my head. I knew that once out the door I will be fine. I felt the pain but thought of the gain. I thought of the warm water enveloping me as I step into the pool and glide down its length effortlessly. And so it was. I was relaxed and weightless. My backstroke was perfect. I felt the pull with each reach of my arms. I thought of Bruce Lee and his philosophy of ‘be like the water.’