Beginnings are hard and uncomfortable. Even though I want to start, I do all kinds of evasions, mental and physical. I second guess and doubt myself. Is it a good time to start? I put it off to tomorrow what I can start today. And by now everyone must know the saying, Tomorrow never comes. It is also true that what you don’t use, you lose. I have lost some of my writing muscle. It’s been 7 days since I’ve come to this space. Where once it had been easy to show up every day, now it is difficult to show up even weekly. It is the reason I’ve decided to join in the Ultimate Blog Challenge for October. I want to develop and maintain my discipline muscle. I know it is not October yet. I’m not putting off what I can start today. I’m doing my warmups and stretching for the days ahead.
I’ve always love the sounds and nuances of words. They paint pictures the same way photos paint words for me. Putting the two together in a post is art for me. I love the process. I have not been nurturing the process this past year. Somehow it got lost in this new and bewildering climate I find myself in. I’ve become mindless and lazy. It has been so easy to lose myself in technology and the digital and not think for myself. But I am a curious person by nature and could not stay in my robotic mode. Perhaps September and the autumn colours are the stimulus. Once again I am excited by new things to see and learn. I am back in the school of life.
May 9th, the 9th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.
Beginnings are challenging. I’m not inspired this morning. Instead of sitting here, staring into space, thinking about how to make my first tap, the first letter, word, sentence, I move in the direction of things calling to be done. The bathroom floor is the loudest but the least attractive. I heed the advice of doing the hardest thing first. After vacuuming the mats, I washed that square inch of floor. I don’t understand my feelings of ‘hard to do’ stuff. They are not hard at all except in my mind. Knowing and acknowledging that makes each time easier.
Having done that and a few other chores, I am trying to tap my heart out. I am hit with a wave of sleeping sickness. I will try to keep my eyes open and search for a bit of inspiration. I think mostly it is born out of perspiration, the hard work of chipping away at something. It’s like my patchwork tablecloth. It began years ago with sewing squares together. I was just making use of the fabric remnants I had picked up at the closing of a drapery and upholstery store years ago.
It was years before I had bought my Bernina sewing machine with an embroidery module. My purpose for it was not the machine embroidery. I was inspired by artistry of the quilters at the Saskatoon Quilters Guild Quilt Show in 2017. I was determined to get one those fancy dancy machines on display. By golly I did that December. It was so fancy I had to let it sit in the box for awhile before tackling it. I watched many tutorials on how to use the self threader before I could latch onto it. It was many hours watching tutorials before I could even understand the manual. I was happy to sew just a straight seam. I got a high from the sound of the thread cutter. A few months later and lots of perspiration, I was drawing with the needle, my wildest dream come true.
The machine embroidery came much later after more perspiration. It’s another post.
Beginnings and re-starts are hard. I had a week’s hiatus from my exercise class between Christmas and New Year. After New Year, I made it two weeks. It’s good to take a break, I tell myself. Saturdays are my swim day. Well, I couldn’t make myself go yesterday. Today was almost the same. My rationale was I might as well start things back on Monday. I’m familiar with that slippery slope. It could prove too slippery to get back up. I bit the bullet, enticing myself with lunch at the mall after the swim. The fabric store there is having a sale. Everything 50% off. That worked. I’ve scaled the slope. I’m back in the groove. The swim boosted my mood and soothed the aches and pains.
I have to keep these things in mind. It’s easy to stop but difficult to pick up again. I’m like an addict falling off the wagon. I’ve swam and gone to the aerobic class long enough now that I have the ‘feel good’ memory in my body. Even with that, I still needed that extra oomph to get going again. As long my engine can still chug-a-lug, it’s wise to keep the momentum of carrying out the challenges I’ve set out for January as best I could.
It does make my days full. There are times when I do yearn for more time doing nothing. It’s such a paradox because I find that I can’t just sit, doing nothing. Maybe it’s a good sign just to yearn for nothing times. It shows that I am not bored. I could do some creative brainstorming to see what I want and what works best for me. I am conducting an informal study of doing one thing at a time, not multi-tasking. By informal, I mean just with myself. I’m not charting data or anything like that. I’m noting how that affects my moods and how I function. Perhaps I should keep notes.
I have found that by breaking up a task into smaller parts makes it easier to do. No brainer, eh? I apply it to writing here. Everything is easier once I make a start. If I get stuck, I get up and do something else like vacuuming the kitchen. I do the same with painting. I would prep a canvas with gesso and let it dry. I go and do some other thing. I come back and do the grounding. And so on and on. Amazing things happen. My post gets written. A painting gets painted. Sometimes it takes a week or so. Hey, it’s a work of art. I give it more time. The best – the house gets cleaned more often. Dog hair gets under my skin.
It’s another morning, another day. I’ve gotten up, dressed up in my day clothes and have I am. The mornings are still very dark at 7. There’s snow on the ground, on the spruce and on my lettuce bed. The buddhas sit unperturbed beneath their canopy. Their placidness amid all weathers is admirable. It’s what I strive for each day. I don’t always succeed but seeing them each time is a reminder. I try again and again.
Each day I get a new opportunity to try/do at what I yearn and have yet not achieved. How awesome is that? I need not dwell in the pit of self-pity and failure. Each day I can try something new, go down a different path. That’s what I have to remember. There is no point in keep doing the same thing, expecting different results. That’s wrong mathematics or insanity as Einstein and Dr. Phil would say.
I am a fan of quotes. They contain so much wisdom and truth in a sentence or two. Einstein said: “Nothing happens until something moves.” Wayne Dyer: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” I’ve been putting these quotes into practice over the last year. Change is slow as it is difficult to be awake and conscious. I’ve been mesmerized and swept along the routine of everyday life. Sometimes I forget to stop and smell the flowers or the coffee though I love that quote. I’m trying again – stopping to notice, to smell, to document.
Ta-Da! My sweater is finished on the third go around. I can’t recall when I bought the yarn or how long the last start sat in my knitting basket. I do remember that it was before the Internet, Google and iPhones. In short, a long time ago. Checking back through my Instagram photos, I started the latest version on August 15th, this year – a little over 3 months ago. So I can start and go the whole 9 yards. It feels good not to give up and quit, time and time again.
I do have this pattern of quitting on myself, not believing in my own worth. I do things mostly for other people because I don’t want to be a selfish, self-centered person. I did not understand that it is our nature to be self-ish wanting things for ourselves, to look after our needs, to want love and respect. At almost 30, I gave up on part of myself. I left a marriage but never sought a divorce, an ending to an end. Why pay twice? I was never going to marry again. But I’ve paid more than twice for that decision in ways that I don’t even know.
I did not understand this necessity of finishing then. I do now. ‘It’ catches up with you and you have to write ‘the end’ somehow if you want to be free to live the life you want. So – many years after and with divine help, I did write THE END to one chapter. Now I can start on the next chapter, sweater or whatever, in whatever colour, pattern or stitch I want. Knit one, purl one, knit two, purl two….THE END
The dishes are done and laundry hung. The Roomba is operating on its own in the living room. There’s still a million things to be done but isn’t there always? The tomatoes can wait. A few more hours on the vine will sweeten them more. That goes for the grapes also. Everything can wait.
It’s time for me to put up my feet and have my tea. What is it with us girls? We just can’t do without our cuppa. Life is so much better and easier with this pause in the day. I like to sit here in my favourite spot and savour the experience. Thoughts, pictures and words parade through my mind.
It is September, end of summer and the beginning of another season, school and work for some. For us it is a return to the city from the lake. Endings, beginnings and changes are ever with us. But for all that, the more things change, the more they remain the same.
It is easy to slip back into the same old ruts. The grooves are deep and the mud is sticky. It is only with grit and determination that I don’t fall over the slippery slopes again. Past experiences are painful but I do learn from them.
My ugly sister, my evil twin showed herself again, whispering her thoughts and feelings. I believed her at first but then I had to ask. Is that true? She was silent. I forgave her lies and loved her anyways. I loved her that was part of me.
We are stronger knowing we are part of each other. Even though with all the things that remain the same, we do not have to be the same. We can do different.
So many evenings when I am brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed, I see so many things that I needed wanted to do and hadn’t. I would vow to myself that I would do them tomorrow. Of course tomorrow never comes. I realize NOW is my tomorrow and it is time to do all those things.
It is not easy of course. Somehow, something ALWAYS come up and you want to say, maybe I’ll do it tomorrow. But after awhile you hear this echo. You have to stop and listen and ask yourself, How many times have I said that?
You hang your head in shame. Life is difficult. Life is messy. You are between a rock and a hard place. None of your options are palatable. You tremble in the unfairness of life. You wonder why God is testing you in this way.
I know for sure there is a reason why HE put me in this place. Because I have trust and faith in the unknown, I am able to breathe into the Universe and draw back strength to take a step forward. I am beginning a new journey.
It’s Sunday morning, a new day, a new dawn, a new week. The sun is shining bright, its warmth melting the remaining snow. It is finally spring at last! My geraniums are germinating, their little heads pushing their way through the soil. For me, it is always a miracle to see this birthing. And I have a part in this process.
Let me rejoice and greet this day and new beginning with gladness and gratitude in my heart. Let me be generous and forgiving in my soul. And lest I forget, be ever so humble. There but for the Grace of God, I could be in others’ shoes.