BEYOND STUCK, HOPING AND WISHING

Can I tell you something? It is difficult to write and work on being stuck when you are! Sometimes I feel so disgusted with myself. I try not to stay there. Yesterday I talked about how much time we spend on scrolling. I know that I haven’t always done so. I was a very late comer to the computer and smart phone. I was the smart one then. I’m not so now. It’s really not my fault. I fell into the same trap as many other people. Now I am determined to get out.

Instead of wasting time fighting my urges, I gave in and let my fingers wandered over the buttons, the mouse and keyboard. My brain still has some control over where they go. It can still say, enough now! I found this video this morning on clutter. It was a bit long, an hour. But since that’s what I am working on, it was well worth my time. I made my breakfast while I listened to it. I got some value from it.

I agree that the 3 things to work on are my emotions, time and stuff. And to work slow and prioritize, of course. I am not what you would call a hoarder. My house is not jam packed with stuff. I am a clutterer from way back, getting worse with each day. I tend to drop things wherever they happen to land. They never seem to be able to find a home. My worse traps are the dining room table and my desk.

The best time to work on anything is the present moment. That cuts the procrastination. I took her hint, got a box and cleared off my dining room table into it. That is, whatever could fit. Other times, I used a shoebox. I have a few of them around, waiting to be sorted and emptied. Next, I whipped off the tablecloths and threw them, along with a few other items into the washer. What a relief! I’ve been wanting to do that for quite a few days, but unable to, being paralyzed by emotions of I don’t know how. I know it sounds silly and lame. It is what it is.

I know my laundry is done by now. Time to hang it/put in dryer. I’ve done some dreaded dusting in the bedroom. The drapes are taken down and in the washer. It’s the blackout ones I made and hung last year. I’m sure they would appreciate a wash. Now that I’ve done that, I am not sure why it was so hard. I guess the hard part is if you don’t move, it’s hard to get it done. By taking ClutterClarity’s advice on going slow, I did kinda enjoy the process. It is nice to have a cleared table again. The next stop is my desk.

DO YOU KNOW…

Do you know how much time you scroll on your phone? I don’t know for sure but it’s probably alot. The thing is knowing and trying to cut down makes it worse. It’s an addiction, like:

  1. Sucking your thumb for comfort.
  2. Kids wanting to press any button they see.
  3. Lighting another cigarette before you do anything.
  4. Having another cup of tea when you don’t know what else to do.

What I know is that I am uncomfortable in the moment and scrolling is an escape. I’ve outgrown sucking my thumb. I still press some buttons. I was able to give up cigarettes because of health reasons. I’ve cut down my tea consumption because of too many trips to the bathroom. The scrolling thing seems harmless enough and resulted in much sought information. But then I realize my attention span has dwindled to that of a gnat’s. Then there’s the memory. You say who needs it when there’s Google. True but I’m starting to feel somewhat robotic like. My emotions and thinking becoming muted. I’m like a deer in headlight, blinking, unthinking, not knowing what to do next.

Do you know how much of yourself you can lose to others whether it’s family, spouse, lover, friend or foe? You compromise, you turn a blind eye, you stay silent – giving up pieces of yourself to get along, to be nice, to be kind, to be…..I didn’t know until periods of depression, downtime, aloneness, stillness. In those moments of being the deer in headlight, I am faced with ‘I don’t know who I am‘. I am the stranger at the door in Derek Walcott’s Poem, Love After Love.

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

How am I to recover myself? What they tell me to do is to replace an unhealthy habit with a healthier one. So here I am, showing up more in this space, digging deep, trying to coax out the words I once love so much. It is hard work, being here. Being somewhere else is preferable. I made an escape to the garden and greenhouse. Then I had a snack. Now I am back with a cup of bitter melon tea to do the work.

MAKING TIME, FINDING EASE

Before the day gets away on me, let me sit and make some peace and quiet for myself. Though I did sit in meditation with Tara Brach this morning, my mind is going every which way. It is scampering about like a rat in a cage. It’s thinking about things neglected, things to do. It is not restful, staying in place to inhale and exhale. So I must slow tap to bring all the thinking to a grinding halt. This is the way to creating time, space and ease for myself.

That is better. Breathing in and out, tapping deliberately on each key. My thoughts are slowing down. What is not done now or today can be done later and tomorrow. There is no urgency here except to save myself. I can stop the conveyor belt of useless and habitual thinking and get off. There are no musts here except that I must be like the water. That is, I must be flexible and change with the times and circumstances.

Oh, I am wrong after all. There are a few other musts. I must be more disciplined and not let the Internet hook me so much. I have to ask myself:

  • Do I really need to know about this or that?
  • Don’t I not already have knowledge of this already?

Even these 2 simple questions could cut down time googling for information. I do believe that the scrolling is a just a bad addictive habit for me. All the scrolling has led me to feel uncomfortable with my hands and mind idle. Idleness can be a healthy rest, a spa from our frantic world. I used to be very good at lounging, enjoying morning toast with jam and tea. I never knew how good I had it. Nowadays, I’m always busy – thinking, reading, listening, planting…..There’s nothing wrong with it but I am also unable to concentrate, read for long, know what I am reading, listen and really hear. AND I find it very difficult to edit my posts. If you find some parts of my posts difficult to understand, this is the reason why.

P.S. I’ve made a concerted effort in editing this post.

MISS MARPLE TO THE RESCUE

I still run away from things. When the tough gets going, I do, too. When it is just too damn hard, I don’t give up. I give in. There’s no use in getting my panties in a knot and my head in a temper. Though I am not hungry, the thought of a nimble or two is quite appealing. I shall not. The guy and I had decided to lose 10 pounds. Despite our ski every day this winter, we find ourselves a little overweight. The bread and the ice cream every night probably had a great deal with it. I was not an ice cream consumer before. My ice cream used to stay in the freezer forever until it got very snowy. Now it feels a bit strange to settle down in front of the TV and no ice cream and no Grey’s Anatomy. Obsessions and addictions must come to an end. The call to change has come.

I’m trying to get into a relaxed steady tap on my keyboard to settle my nerves. It is a meditation of a sort. I sit erect with my head, shoulders, hips and sit in alignment. No clenching of the jaw. I let my fingers and thoughts coordinate themselves. Sometimes I stumble and stutter a little here and there. No stress. Breathe and carry on. It is all alright. The world is still here. No one will notice your hiccough. Even heaven coughs and sneezes. A few minutes of cloud and snow. Now the sun is out. What the heck? The snow flakes are still floating down.

Oh, I feel a little better now. I did make a little dent in sorting and tidying my work spaces. Just talking about it gets my head into a nettle. I will watch a little Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. The show is remarkably entertaining and relaxing. The stories usually have so many characters that I’m kept busy trying to remember who is who. I have no time to be distracted into thinking about all the things that are troubling me. There is always a murder or two but none of the bloody and shooting violence of American shows.

It works most of the time but it’s not fail proof. Sometimes I just have to have faith in myself that this, too, shall pass. I close my eyes and picture myself in the green and humid warmth of the greenhouse. The warmth feels like God’s arms around me, holding me safe. And I surrender.

A KRISTOFFERSON MORNING

It’s Sunday morning coming down again. Sundays always remind me of Kris Kristofferson’s song and days of my youth. I’ve never had those kind of mornings, not that I could remember anyways. Wait, there was a time way back in my first year of university. It was on my roommate’s birthday. We decided to celebrate everyone’s birthday. She got hold of a 26 of something and we caught the bus downtown to see the movie, The Best House in London. It really didn’t take too much to put me in a whooze. I don’t remember a thing about the movie. We had to leave as I was feeling sick. We caught the bus back to our boarding house. By then I was feeling better but my roommate had passed out. The bus driver and a guy from my history class carried her off and set her under a tree in front.

A sunnywindy and cooler morning. It was -1℃ when I got up at 6:30. It was about 6.8℃ in the greenhouse. It has warmed to 0 and 9.5℃ respectively. It is a little after 10 am. I won’t uncover things yet. I’m hoping that I haven’t overwatered my seedings yesterday. They might rot instead of sprout. That’s what happens when you watched or read too much about how to seed. I get mixed up. When things are working well enough, leave them alone.

I’ve been paying attention to my talk/tap, my gripe on my chaos and disorganization. I’ve talked about all that forever and a day but have I done anything about it? I have a bit here and there. Then I fall off the wagon and seldom get back on. I did climb back this morning. Now, I have to climb back as soon as I fall off. Failures like everything else can get addictive. I am an addictive person. I have to pay attention that I don’t get hooked. Too much of a good/bad thing is not good for me.

DUST BUSTING

It’s a cloudy Sunday morning. I’m enjoying my second cuppa. I hate to admit it but I’ve wasted the first hour upon waking on scrolling. I had meant to hook up with Mark Williams on YouTube for my daily meditation but I got snookered by the DailyOm page on Facebook instead. Their ads worked on me. I was lost in checking out the classess and reviews from happy and unhappy customers. It was quite addicting. Oh, just one more review…!

I did bring myself back to my sitting meditation. I comforted myself by the thought that it was the practice – bringing myself back to my purpose when I get distracted. Of course, the session was not as good as it could have been. It is real life. No 2 days/sessions are equal. I do the best I can. I’m here, aren’t I, tapping away on the keyboard, being in the moment, accounting for myself.

I have not implemented my spring cleaning plan. You probably know that. I do mean to, any day now. In the meantime, I try to do what is staring me right in the face. I was horrified to see the top of the china cabinet the other day. How could it get so dusty so quickly? I shouldn’t have looked up but I was looking for Nasonex there. Egad! my brain went into knots and spasms at the sight. But I fought my brain and I won. While I was waiting for the kettle to boil, I dusted the cabinet and everything on top of it. It was not difficult.

Now it is evening. I am bushed.exhausted.wiped. I am tired. I out did myself. My mission of cleaning my winter footwear and putting them away is accomplished. Kudos to me! They are no longer left to hang out collecting dust and cobwebs till next winter comes along. While I was at it I cleaned and polished a few other much neglected shoes. How the heck did I get this way? No energy left to ponder. Time to say good night.

CONSTANT CRAVING

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.

 

 

ITS OVER

Here it is the twilight hour and I have not yet started my conversation. I’m making a stab at it now. So many things running around in my head. Where to start? Well, I know how important a good night of sleep is. I didn’t get one last night. The dog had to go out in the middle of the night. I had a time getting her back in after. She wanted to play games and play hide and seek. I had to put my boots on to see what her problem was. Dogs are so silly sometimes. A shovel had displaced itself against the deck railing. She had lots of room to get by but not so in her dog head. The fresh winter air stimulated me enough to keep me awake for hours. Surprising how much wakefulness can make your muscles tense up. I’m still stiff and achy from it all.

I have no more detective/crime books to read at the moment. I had time to watch the snow flakes falling around the Buddhas this morning. It was such a delicious restful moment. I wonder why I don’t do it more often. Why must I get my head into a book or the Internet first thing in the morning?  Why not take time just to sip tea, look out at the world and wake up and feel my own body?

I hope I can smarten up and rid some of my addictions. I am working on my life, on what I say I would do. I’m reading on how in Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. I’m understanding more about the law of attraction. I can’t explain myself though at the moment. My glass of wine is doing me in. It’s a difficult concept and not merely just asking for what you want. Maybe tomorrow, when my head is clearer, I can explain. What I know is that it is a breakthrough for me.  It is helping me drop some of the habits of being me. I see that ‘habits’ have kept me stagnant. I’m like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, waking up to the same day over and over. I want that to be over. What better way to exit than having Roy Orbison sing me out?

 

 

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

I’m sitting in front of my keyboard trying for letters and words. Sheba is misbehaving and barky. We’ve been to the park. We did our two rounds. There were many dogs there since it’s Saturday. Sheba was happy just to sniff and amble at a leisurely pace. No chasing and messing much with other dogs. I guess she knew they were too fast for her. I can’t really blame her. I feel the same. I was tired before we got there. Two rounds were more than enough. Two old girls. At least we’re out and still trying.

I’ve been feeling very tough this week. We might have to cut back our outings to the park. Walking on uneven terrain and packed snow is tiring me out. It might be good to cut back on other things as well. I need to carve out some empty times for resting the body and mind. My days are filled with doing. I feel like a dentist. His assistant prepares and set up the patients. He goes down the line, one after another, like an assembly line. I do the same, doing one thing after another. I’m lacking time to process. I must get off this treadmill.

Too much of a good thing can be hazardous. The challenge now is how and what to cut back. I enjoy everything I’m doing – my art, writing, reading, knitting, needlework, learning my new sewing maching, my exercise classes…. My enjoyments are addictive. I guess I need to schedule ‘nothing’ periods in.

 

ADDICTED TO BETTER

Here’s another afternoon staring at me. My mind is a little alot scattered. It is admirable that I am so keen on learning. Putting too much on my plate can negate all that. It sends my head into a continuous spin. I’m not focused. I have no direction and don’t I know it! Right now I’m dying for a cup of tea. It’s my addiction calling. It would help if I could cut back a bit. Too many cups adds to my aggitation. If I’m too intent on cutting back, it calls me louder. I might as well go make myself a cup.

I’m back with my tea. It would be good if I could just sit but I have things whirling around and around in my head – ‘my goals and projects’. Once upon a time I could just sit and read for pleasure. Now, I’m a bit driven to do everything better. I don’t want any prize ribbons but I am addicted with ‘improvement’. I’m considering a blog on how to do anything better – not seriously.  I am a lost cause on giving as well as receiving directions.

I suppose I could blame everything to this crazy weather we’re experiencing. I feel guilty complaining about blue skies and warm temperature. But it does not feel like December or that Christmas is just around the corner. It is a little disconcerting. Weird weather patterns are here to stay. I better adjust. I want to whine less, do better and more. Can’t help but be my striving self.

What specifically am I striving for? I’m thinking of expanding my artistic endeavours to include quilting and embroidery. Blame it on the quilt show I went to in October. Seeing all the fabulous quilts displayed made me want to do it, too. I believe in listening to the  voices of creation. I have no extra time to sit and ponder. It is time to sew, to explore, experiment and go wild, crazy creatively addicted.