I can honestly say that today is not a wonderful day. It is hard for me to be happy for no reason or any reason. Certainly I am in no mood to be happy for you, whatever circumstance in life you may be in. I sound like a person with a bad attitude. You can safely say that I am a bad person altogether. It would not bother me.
What I know for sure is I am my own best friend. No one knows me better. No one can take care of me or can make me feel better. And when I am feeling the worst and need a shoulder to cry on, that’s the worst time for me to seek solace from another. It’s the best time to be quiet, not do anything but know that I am ok. There’s no need for action. What else I know for sure is I am human. In the heat of the moment, all good sense run out the door. And I react and do what I told another not to do. And because I know she had the same, experience I sought solace from her. She was kind enough, soft spoken enough but told me that I brought it on myself.
Can I say that I was a little surprised? She went on to say she was happy to welcome me again but not to bring my drama. I can understand that. Really I can. But I had not known her well at all when she knocked on our door a few months ago with her drama, her tears and plea for help. We welcomed her with hugs, offered her tea and gave her help. Not once but on 3 occasions. I remembered hours on the phone listening to her trouble with the same crazy neighbour. I gave her advice of not engaging with her at all. I told her to seek help from the police liaison. I told her all this, and yet I went against my own advice yesterday. I am human, damn it and I engaged, yelled and screamed. I was so frustrated and angry I thought I was going to explode. I thought talking with someone who had a It similar experience would help.
I had no tears and only want to ventilate. I did receive an ear and some soft spoken Christian lecture of where I had erred. It didn’t understood or comforted but it didn’t anger me either. It was rather sobering and eye opening. I am thankful for the encounter. It made me realize how naive and Pollyanna I am. I am always willing with open arms, tea and an ear to another’s distress. I cannot think fast or see far enough to form judgements to lecture. Soothe first is my motto. I am not sorry that I am a Pollyanna or that I am a feeling, reactive person.
I am not happy that I had this episode. I feel bad, as if I had a psychotic episode. My stomach hurts and my thoughts are galloping in tandem with my erratic thoughts. It’s not at all good for my health. Here’s my advice again on dealing with someone like my crazy neighbour. Do not engage. Do not look at her. You will never win. There’s no winning here. I use win for lack of a better word. And here’s why you/ I cannot win.
She does not allow me to speak. She will talk over me. She even talks over the police.
She’s fixated and hates me and my yard. My raised beds are coffins. She plants pine trees in my/her yard. My solar panels brings down the neighbourhood’s property value.
She is always right. She’s very clever and fast changing stories. She has accused me of giving her a parking ticket. When I asked her how I could do that when she parks in her own driveway, she said it was her mother that I gave the ticket to for parking on the sidewalk. She refuses to bring her mother to talk to me when I asked her to.
She accused me of sending her a letter last year and she still has it. When I ask her to show it to me, she refused and keep refusing, talking over me the whole time.
She accused me of redirecting her mail, writing on them that she has moved.
I could go on forever. And that’s the trouble. Once I’ve engaged, it’s hard to break off. She makes me so angry I keep going back and back, screaming, yelling to no avail but to make myself ill. And I do feel ill. And I have brought upon myself. She is mentally ill. I’m not. She can’t stop but I CAN. BUT there should be something in place so that someone like me should have to be subjected to her antics. It’s bad for my health. The police said that it is not fair to charge a person with mental health. Is it fair to me that she allow to do this to me? It’s going on towards 13-14 years at least. Yes, right. I have to remember I’ve brought this on myself. I really have by thinking less and taking care less of myself than another.
Gosh, writing can be almost as difficult as doing the lunch dishes. I’ve got the dishes done, been out for a short trot around the ‘hood and did some snow removal. I’m a bit out of huff. However, I’ve had a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin and is sipping on a hot cup of tea. I shall try to rise above my writing inertia. I had skipped out yesterday. Too many skips and I might abandon ship altogether.
Last night we watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy where Meredith Grey was trying to rise above, trying to do the right thing. It reminds me of myself. I always try to do the right thing, rising above. The result is that I’ve become very resentful and angry sometimes. Because all my effort doesn’t seem to matter. Nothing good comes out of it. It was good to see that portrayed in Meredith, even if she is an actress. And that it is just a show. I see that I am not such a bad person after all. I’m just human like everyone else.
That’s what I love about the show. The characters are human and real. They have the good, bad and ugly in them. That’s what I have to remember about myself and others. I have to be a little generous, give everybody the benefit of the doubt and not be so judgemental. I don’t know anybody’s story except my own. Where am I going with this? I’m just snow shovelled weary and mumbling somewhat incoherently. I’m remembering yesterday’s happiness of having a nice neighbour. He was not only nice but had a snow blower, willing to help and have a friendly conversation.
I haven’t experienced that in such a long time. I’m a little delirious. And I am weary, trying to rise above to finish this post. The greenhouse temperatures are holding steady. It’s usually around -5 degrees C in the morning and +2-3 degrees C in the day when there is no sun. I don’t expect the greens I seeded to germinate now, but the few things I planted seemed to be ok still. I have to be satisfied just to observe things for the next 3 months. Nothing exciting will probably happen till late February, early March. I best settle down and use my energy planning for then. I think I’m a little over weary.
A hundred tulip bulbs later, I’m feeling a little bushed. I still have 10 lily bulbs to contend with. They will wait till tomorrow. I will have to remember all this next fall so I won’t have a repeat. In all likelihood I will have forgotten it all by spring. When I see the parade of beautiful tulips in bloom, I will say: I want to get more. And I will gladly do it all over again. As encouragement, a young lady with flaming red hair and wide smile, cycling past on the sidewalk called out. “I love your yard!”
She has ridden by before in the spring when the tulips were in bloom. And she called out just as enthusiastically. It was music to my ears. It brought so much pleasure to my whole being. It reminds me to do the same for others. If I/you see something you appreciate, we should let the person know. It doesn’t cost anything and it could do so much for the other person. Be generous. Be kind. Otherwise be silent. There, that’s another motto.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m no Mother Theresa. I’m struggling with it all. I complain and bitch about people. I find faults. I’m judgemental, too. I am ashame. I know better. Yet I still stumble and falter. Alas, I’m too human. Sometimes I cannot overcome. I cannot bite my tongue. After, I try not to beat up on myself too much. I already feel the shame and regret. And so I take a moment to let that feeling sink in, to remember it for the future reference. And maybe then I will have fewer and fewer stumbles.
I hate this time of the day. It’s no lie. Lunch is over and the cleanup done. I’m left with this down in my boots feeling. How to rise again. I really could use Wonder Woman’s boots. Better yet, I wish I am her. I could be doing wonders instead of sitting at keyboard, trying with nothing coming. No ideas, no songs, nothing important to say. Maybe I can sit and rest awhile. Is there a need for idle chatter? Can we just sit together, breathe and be? Wait, I’m going to make a cup of tea.
I’m back with my tea. While I was waiting for the kettle to boil, I damp mopped the kitchen floor. It led to most of the floors. I’m training myself to use moments to pick up, mop up and whatever-else. The I-will-do-it-later/tomorrow sometimes never happens. Then I will have to spend a difficult whole day digging out of the piles and messes. I try not to tell myself that do-it-later lie any more. Let’s see how I do.
I am thinking of another lie we say a lot. You are not getting older. You’re getting better. I don’t think it would make the older person feel any better. I don’t tell anyone that. I’m thinking of my mother. I had tea with her yesterday. I don’t think she would say she is getting better when she is losing physical strength and stamina. What she does say is that she is not useful anymore. It is how she feels and I am not one to disregard her feelings. I just listen. I try to help her maximize what she has. Of course, my mother is smarter than me and tells me so. She doesn’t need much help from me. She uses her brain to compensate for her deteriorating physical health. She is still doing awesome. I sit and listen to her. That’s my biggest help.
I don’t believe that I can overcome depression forever either. That’s another lie I will not tell myself anymore. Being human is being susceptible to all those emotions in the flux of life. How can I not feel bad when bad things happen? Conversely, how can I be sad when good things happen? Some of us are luckier than others, having cheerier and easier dispositions. I am not one of them. I have been in dark places, on medication and on the couch. It is not where I am now. Learning and understanding my nature and life experience have been the key. And equally, so is exercise. I remind myself that I am not a robot. I feel. I screw up sometimes. Life is not perfect. I am allowed to be depress from time to time.
How about you? How are you doing and what lies do you tell yourself?
TODAY, showing up is a little hard to do. If I was to give in to my inclination, I could easily just vegetate on the couch. But today is the moment. It is the only moment. I’m here, singing John Denver’s song:
Today, while the blossoms still cling to the vine
I’ll taste your strawberries, I’ll drink your sweet wine
A million tomorrows shall all pass away
‘Ere I forget all the joy that is mine, today
Songs can say so much and better than I can, easpecially when I am tired. Thought and ideas have fled but at least I am here in this moment. And being HERE, NOW is the important thing. So often I’m absent from the moment, reliving the past and worrying about the future. Today, trying to stay in the present is my doing different. I will forget from time to time. That is the nature of being human. But I can bring myself back again and again.
It is late. I bid you a good night. Till tomorrow.
It’s funny how those aha moments come – out of the blue like a falling star from heaven. I’ve been thus hit this morning. I am sitting here basking in its afterglow, feeling grateful, tap, tapping away on my keyboard. I feel as if I’ve come home after a long journey. Perhaps I have been absent, away from myself for a long while.
I’ve been away, trying to be what I am not. Trying to grasp what is not mine to have. Trying too hard to measure up to be an exalted angel – to be kind beyond kind, to be generous with a bottomless heart, to be that perfect product without a flaw. How could I succeed?
I couldn’t no matter how hard I try. I have tried and been disappointed and heartbroken to learn that I am just human after all. I am flawed. I take things personally. I have resentments. I am disappointed and disillusioned at times. I have meanness in me. I admit that I have all that in me. I see it. I am glad.
Why am I glad? I am glad because now I can move on. Disappointments and heartache are my good friends, teaching me what works and what doesn’t. They are ushering me from the valley of the shadow into the light.
You have always been the brightest star in my sky from the moment I began as a speck in your womb. You have nourished and nurtured me with your body until my birth.
We were one. Then we became two. You forgot that sometimes but that’s okay. It’s the being human and the mother in you. It’s hard to let go and watch me stumble, fall and bruise myself. It’s part of learning for both of us. It hurts for only a little while. I can get up and dust myself off.
Though I can feel you in my bones, in the marrow of my body, we are separate beings. Sometimes I forget and feel I have to protect you from hurts. That’s being human and the daughter in me. I forgot you knew how to get up and dust yourself off long before I could. It’s allowed – this being human and caring for each other. We are doing the best we can.
Writing from the woods, one can see life’s brightest stars. The sky is not obscured with city noise, lights, distractions and pollutions. August is almost over. I can feel, see and hear the autumn around me – the beauty of changing seasons.