JUST ANOTHER DAY

Thanksgiving Sunday. It is cloudy, breezy and cool. I am a bit melancholic. Holidays, no matter which one, have lost their magic for me. I am no longer filled with whatever it is that I’m supposed to have. I am no longer starry eyed. I have no wants for someone else to buy for me. And I have no desires to buy others’ love. I’ve grown old and definitely cynical. I’m calling it as it is. You can like it or not. You can like me or not. What you think and who you like are none of my business.

I am preparing sticky rice as my contribution to supper tonight at my sister-in-law’s. I still believe in something, doing my part in the grand scheme of living. I still am pursuing excellence in living as long as I am on this planet. Some days I am more cynical than others. But I still put one foot in front of the other, move, and smile if I can.

My sticky rice turned out well. 70 minutes on steam in the Instant Pot. Thanksgiving supper turned out well. My siblings and I agree to no more gifting each other at Christmas. I think we all breathed a collective sigh of relief. Takes a load off everyone’s plate. Getting together for a meal is plenty of celebration. Gifting each other with good food cooked and shared is plently. Keeping it simple. Today is just another day – lived to the best of my ability. I give thanks as always.

 

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JUST DO IT

I love Saturdays. This morning was especially beautiful. The streets were still wet from the rain of last night. The rain clouds were lingering while the sun shone between them. The trees were in their dress of gold and orange. I felt awed as I drove towards YWCA for my swim.

Strange that I feel more tired after getting back my sleep. I almost didn’t go for my swim except that Saturday mornings was the time I mostly likely will get a lane to myself. So I gave myself a mental push, got the get up and went. Glad that I did. I had a lane to myself. I had a great swim. I had one of those aha-break through moments.

I felt I was gliding with my backstroke instead of my usual struggling to get to the other end. It felt effortless. It was blissful. I was happy that I came. Later back at home, I learned that I have been using Mel Robbins’ 5 second rule. Even though I didn’t feel like swimming, I did it anyways. I got up and went just as I have been getting up, dressing up and showing up regardless every day. I didn’t consciously count backwards – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – go. Our brain is not wired wanting to change. We never feel like exercising or wanting to do. We just have to do it. So hurray for me for stumbling onto something that works.

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SWEATED MY TEARS

I wish I have better opening sentences but for today, this is good enough. I am not any more calm, cool or collected. I still have that ache behind my eyes. It’s probably what is call a tension headache. Things are better. I am suffering from post problem solving. It’s frustrating when you are doing your part and the other party stalls you by not returning phone calls or emails. It wears you out. But if you’re lucky to talk to the right party, amazingly you get that phone call or email the very next day. I don’t think I’m paranoid. Some companies know how to mess with your mind.

I’m lucky that I’ve been a nurse. Nurses are tenacious. We have to be. If a patient is suffering or in danger, we call. We don’t give up simply because nobody answers. We call and call. Then there’s that STAT page. And if it’s big trouble there’s that CODE BLUE or 99. Then there’s alot of hustling.

I didn’t have to do a Code Blue yesterday but I did make some noise. I got my email answered this morning. My mouth dropped. I was flooded with relief. No more frustration from this area at least – I hope. Cross my fingers and toes. I was relieved but exhausted by the experience. Strange that I felt teary. I would have liked to cry but I was on my way to my aerobics class. I sweated my tears out instead. It was all good.

The moral of the story is hang in there. It’s a little inane but that’s what you do. Things will and do work out if you follow up to the end.

 

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GRRRRR

At this very moment I’m not handling stress very well. But I am here. I’ll try to tap it away. I probably shouldn’t have had my tea. It’s not coffee but it’s still caffeine. When I’m like this, it is difficult to sit and be still. I’ve gotten up and played with my new toy, the Dyson V8 Absolute Stick Vacuum. At least my floor is clean. No dog hair everywhere.

I hate this feeling of aggitation. I’m doing the best I can, trying not to jump out of my skin. I’m staying in the chair, feeling the sensation. I’m focusing on the keyboard, tapping out each letter. Sheba has finally settled down on her cushion. She was also aggitated, twirling around me wherever I went. She was probably feeding off my energy and wanting to go for her walk.

We could probably both use a walk but if we leave, SHE would probably call. That’s the thing. I might as well sit and wait till the guy gets home in half an hour or so. The SHE is the insurance adjuster. I’ve been dealing with my parents’ insurance since end of June, July. You have to make so many phone calls, just to make sure they got the phone call. If they don’t return calls, how do you know anything? Then they say they will email you. But you have to email them after 2 months before you get anything. They want you to have a pleasant experience with them. They give you the steps. Then you get automated emails saying they are not in the office and they will answer emails in the order they came – again and again. GRRRR?

I think I’ve tapped out most of my aggravation. I’m feeling my bodily sensations. I have an ache behind my eyes. My jaw is not clenched nor my shoulders bunched up. I’m sitting erect. My feet are crossed though. I’ve found assistance through the insurance broker. He phoned her. She was not taking calls. He did assure me I have 2 years to work on this thing. And they’re there if I need more help. Whew! Maybe that’s why I’m not clenching anything. What I need is time to settle down and chill.

How do you handle stress? And how do you chill?

 

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BEING IN THE WORLD

What can I say today? That I’m working to be in the world instead of in my head. It’s easy to be lost to thoughts, feelings, the Internet and so many other places. I’m trying to vacate those places and be in the here and now. But of course, it is not easy. The first thing I read this morning was accounts of the Canadians killed in the Vegas shooting. Tears ran down my face. What a way to start a day. Failed before I began.

I made a turn around PDQ though. Having talked about self compassion yesterday, I gave myself some. Instead of scolding myself, I made porridge. Then added some walnuts and dried cranberries. Comfort and brain food. I thought a boiled egg would be so nice. And it was. Having nourished myself, I headed off to my aerobic exercise class. It’s good for the brain and heart.

Thus, I moved through my day. I was in the world, in that moment and then the next moment and so forth. I smiled and greeted people. They smiled and greeted back. I observed myself as another. The day is almost over. I’m sitting here tapping out my last few words. Being in the moment, from moment to moment works. The chattering in my head ceased. I’m not choked by emotions. I’m feeling mellow and content. Sheba is, too, laying beside me. We are breathing as one. In 1, 2, 3. Out 1, 2,3. In 1, 2, 3, 4. Out 1, 2, 3, 4. It’s a very relaxing rhythm.

 

 

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IT’S NOT MY FAULT

I don’t know where I am going or how to get there. Sometimes I feel as if I’ve gone to hell in a handbasket. So where is God? Life is hard and I’m suffering. Why isn’t he here when I most need him. I haven’t asked very often. And please don’t lecture me about him carrying me when there’s only one set of footprints. Okay, I’m going to calm down and be a little more positive. I’ve shown up, haven’t I? I’m sitting here doing my tap dance.

I’m doing the best I can, trying to find the words, the solutions. Breathing in and out, getting into the relaxation mode. Yesterday I found my way back to the Mindfulness Summit and the episode on the importance of self compassion with Paul Gilbert. It’s a very worthwhile episode for someone like myself. I tend to ruminate a lot and beat myself up regularly. What I learned is that we are all built like that. It’s our nature given to us. It’s not our choosing. It’s the brain we were given. It’s NOT our fault.

I love that it’s not my fault, the way I am. It’s my tricky brain. So what can I do about it? Professor Gilbert is a good teacher, offering explanations and solutions. Sometimes I feel like screaming and jumping out of my skin. It’s most helpful in those times to remember that there’s ways to use the mind to calm the body (meditation) and ways to use the body to calm the mind (exercise). So thank you, Professor Gilbert. May I feel safe and loved. May I be happy.

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I’M A BIG GIRL NOW

October 2, 2017. Cloudy, rainy and windy, the stuff of ugly autumn days. I should not put labels on the day. It is a day. The weather has changed. The ugliness is my automatic reaction to change. I struggle with it. It throws a monkey wrench into my well grooved rut. It means I have to work harder to get my brain around the change/problem. I can feel my cortisol rising, my brain fogging up. Sometimes I want to cry and have a tantrum. I know it won’t help. Nobody can/will help. It’s my problem. Everybody has their own shit. Better buckle up and suck it up, Buttercup. You are a big girl now.

I’m tapping it up, or out. I’m taking a breath in and out, calming and clearing my head. I’ve reviewed the process of problem solving. What is the problem? What is it that I want to achieve? What is it that I need to do first, next, and then. I take my own advice and do the steps. There, done! Now I wait for the resolution.

What I know for sure is that I lack patience and concentration. My mind is fractured in a million directions. It probably is contributing to my sleeping problems in the last while. I need to stay more focused and not be so distracted and distraught – wasting energy, treading water. I am going to work on staying in the present moment using Caroline Myss’ advice. I will chart my progress here.

Five Rules for Staying in Present Time

  1. Choose something in your life that you want to change, but make it a reasonable choice. Choose something that will require daily attention, such as exercising every day or changing your nutritional program. Whatever the choice, just make sure it’s something you really can accomplish each day without having to turn your world upside down. Pay attention to every obstacle or distraction that surfaces to prevent you from accomplishing your goal. Write down the obstacles along with your impressions about why you are sabotaging your practice to keep your awareness in present time.
  2. Two times a day, create an image and see how long you can hold that image without any distraction from your external environment. Once again, make note of what distracts you—emotional concerns, noises, bodily discomfort, traveling into your past. Every form of distraction holds a literal and symbolic meaning. It’s worth the extra step to consider the meaning of your distractions.
  3. Pay attention to your excuses and how often you use the past to excuse something you are doing or do not want to do in the present moment, particularly if you use illness or lack of energy.
  4. Make note of what energizes you in the present moment. What makes you feel good? And then pay attention as to whether you think, say, or do something that sabotages your joys, particularly if what you think or do is based on the past.
  5. Develop a mantra—a special short positive thought—that brings your attention back to present time.
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