Old habits are hard to change. Even though I value time and am so often time crunched, I still waste so much of it in indecision. Because of the discomfort of the malady I procrastinate starting by scrolling through FB and the Internet, checking this and that for no good reason. I should have gone to my exercise class. It would be almost over by now. It would be time better spent. But I didn’t go. No use regretting. It’s neither a wrong or right. Just a better decision. No point in regretting.
I am here again before my keyboard with time alone. It is a good time. I will sit quietly and savour it, feel each moment as they come. I have just lately learned how to sit and pay attention to my feelings. When I feel irked, I ask myself why and at whom. Is it with myself or someone else? When I have identified the thought/feeling, I ask myself how I would feel if I didn’t have it. Most times I am able to let go of them and avert punishing myself. My emotions cleared and I am able to look and feel objectively, looking at every side. It’s self talking in my head. It’s taking me this long to see. I am a slow learner.
The sun has come out and I am happy to be here to witness it. I see my hanging mandevillas and the petunias on the deck swaying in the morning breeze. I look out another window and I see the kids and their caretakers from the daycare walking down the back alley. Happy sights. It’s a good enough reason to stay home.
Feeling kind of flat another blogger wrote. I’m feeling that way, too. I can’t blame it all on Covid-19 though. The feeling comes upon me now and then, for whatever reason. I will not exert myself trying to find the reason. It comes with the mysteries of being alive. I will bear it and get with the program. But I am really irked and bombed out with all anti-mask and conspiracy theories and rallies in our city lately. I will try to tap it out of my system.
I have alot to get out of my system. I feel stressed just ordering supper online. We decided that we would do Christmas meal early this year since our Chinese restaurant is closed from December 22 onward, not opening till the 26th. I have trouble deciding from the menu. We’re taking some of the food over to my parents. Will this or that be ok? Too spicy? Too tough? Too many meat dishes? Etc. Etc. I sound like the Yul Bryner in the King and I. That wasn’t the only decision and order I had to make online today. But I got it all done. I also ordered the New Balance Sports Slip 900 walking shoes after much hemming and hawing. I have bad feet. They need support and my slippers gave none.
You can see that decisions or shall I say indecision can cause a lot of angst and anxiety. It eats up alot of time, too. I feel a bit besides myself after this workout. A ski would have been much more beneficial and enjoyable. I skipped another day – to rest my feet. But I shall resume tomorrow. The guy went this morning. He informs me that, indeed, the city had groomed a trail in our neighbourhood park. So Santa does exist after all. Shame on me for being such a humbug. I felt even more contrite listening to the story of the Amazing Kreskin on CBC radio. Did you know that he sends out thousands of Christmas cards every year? If you make it onto his list, you will keep getting them forever as this CBC radio producer has. This is a much nicer story than the ones about Covid-19, anti-maskers and the cospiracy theories.
Talking about masks, I’ve made my second one. It was much easier than my first but the elastic part still poses difficulty. Practice does make better. I shall make a few more, varying cloth patterns. I don’t think we can discard them any time soon, seeing the numbers for today is still high – 3 deaths and 226 new cases. I know, it’s just a hoax. I wonder what the Brits say about that. I bet no one is laughing.
Postscript: Supper is over. The food was delicious. But it was still hard – picking up and wiping off everything. Then dividing out the dishes and taking them over to my mom’s. It was worth it though. At least I tried and it gave my parents something to look forward to. I do understand why it is so difficult for some people to mobilize themselves to do something, anything. It is damned hard from get go – deciding that I would do this supper for my parents. Then phoning them because then I am committing. And THEN I had to make good my offer. This kind of thing will be hard for me forever. It would be easy not to do anything. I will continue to do something forever because I am a living being.
I’ve been feeling somewhat unsettled the last few days with the rising number of Covid cases in our province. There are 164 new cases today. The government have issued more restrictions, though not nearly strict enough. Bars, restaurants, churches and other non essential businesses, including bingo halls are still opened. I have been feeling quite safe going to exercise and swim at the YWCA. Now, I am uncertain if I should continue. I was happy the ‘Y cancelled all group exercises. The decision was taken out of our hands. Though I could still swim and use the gym, I will forgo it, too until a better time.
The ‘Y offers virtual classes. I think there is something every day of the week. I’ve done them before. I am flexible. I can also exercise on my own. I will do qigong and perhaps yoga instead of swimming. I have my hula hoop for strength and aerobic training. Then there’s cross country skiing that I’m trying to learn. I really do enjoy the challenge of it. I got the falling part down pat. Now I have to learn the getting up and gliding. I have all winter. It’s a very good alternative to my daily walks. I look forward to posting about my daily skis.
I think we/ I need to think of these times in different terms. There’s no denial that we have a pandemic on our hands, but I don’t need to use/think of this time as ‘locked down’. It’s quite distressing to my psyche. I can see/feel the bars coming down. I can the locks clanking. We are restricted in some areas of our lives, but we are not locked up. In my neck of the woods, we can move about quite freely in safe areas. If there’s a traffic accident with a huge pile-up, they would put up barriers. You wouldn’t want to go that route, would you?
Now I’ve decided that I’m not locked up or down. I could still go to the gym or swim, but I’m not. I’m being responsible and am feeling much better. I can just settle and enjoy this time learning more about new and old stuff. I can bake to my heart’s content. I have lots of flour, yeast and eggs. Someone asked me to share some of my recipes. So Martha here’s the recipe for my bread from allrecipes.com
Sunday. Eleven days into October. I’ve had a good run. Now I need a moment to gather myself. I was on the brink of falling back into my old self of grumbling. It is just a habit. I breathed through it. I can see why exercise is good for you in the morning. It stretches body and mind. It gets the endorphins going. But going out for a walk or a run on my own was not appealing. I tackled my chores instead. Now I’m truly awake but not feeling restful or congenial. So back to the drawing board.
I know that there would be days like this. It is very irksome. It is Thanksgiving. I’ve invited my parents for supper. We’re into the 9th month of no family meals. My mother came down with shingles at the beginning of February. Then Covid came. It wasn’t until the middle of May that she was done with the shingles, medication and doctor’s appointments. I felt it was the least I could do that we share a meal together at long last.
It’s funny to say the decision caused some worry. Was it a good thing or not? She had accepted my brother’s invitation. Then she thought about it and changed her mind. Both my sister-in-law and niece worked in the hospital. Plus my nephew is a medical resident and his girlfriend a nurse – in a hospital. I think she made the right choice. Both she and my father are up in their years. Both are health compromised. No need to put them at more risk.
I think we are a better and safe choice for supper mates. We are both retired with a small social circle. We are ordering in. But then there’s the menu. What to order? Even in a restaurant, ordering Chinese sends me into an indecision crisis. Back in those days, I never had to. Usually my brother and sister-in-law have that honour. They frequent restaurants more and know all the dishes. But, I’ve finally sweated through the ordeal. I have completed the order online, paid and receipted. Now the guy just have to pick it up at 6 pm.
It’s 2:55 pm and I’ve just sat down. 5 minutes before Sheba’s supper hour, 5 minutes to have a bit of fun with disciplining and waiting. She does a sit and down beautifully. I give her praise and talk. She’s bobs up like a Jack-in-the box. I thought it best if we just do and down and stay with no talk. We did a companiable look into each other’s eyes until the eating hour. Then it’s tossing and squeaking that damn chicken with her before I can have some peace and tapping time.
Life is full, complex and perplexing. I look forward to my Saturday morning swim all week. When the time came, I was torn wanting to stay at home with my tea and book instead of heading out in almost complete darkness. Getting into the water is not very appealing on a dark winter’s morning. Neither choice is bad. I made up my mind that I was not going to feel guilty whichever one I decided on. I was not going to suffer the guilt. Because what would be the point of that?
Being that I swim only once a week on Saturdays and that it was the best possible time decided for me. I stopped thinking, packed my bag and went out the door. Everything is easier when you stop going back and forth. It doesn’t matter which choice. Just choose one and enjoy. Many times this past week, I’ve caught myself agonizing over small decisions. Then I fret the guilts following such decisions. When the truth is It Really Doesn’t Matter. The world is not going to collapse because I did/said one thing instead of another. The only one to suffer would be me.
I’ve suffered through many such moments of stupidity. They have spoiled good times. They have distracted me to no ends with useless intruding thoughts and guilt. Oh, why did I say that? Why did I do that? I shouldn’t have. I could’ve. The litany of self admonishment ran endlessly through my head. They would have rendered me deaf and sightless to whatever was going around me. In other words, I would be lost to the world.
I console myself for having recognized my behaviour. Now I can try to change some of that. It won’t be easy, I know, but now that the light bulb is lit, I can’t hide in the dark. I wouldn’t want to. I can slowly inch towards the light. No one need to know that I trash myself over and over. I don’t need to announce my shortcomings. There’s no need to toot my horn either. I will not gnash my teeth at my failures or gloat over successes.
The day is coming to an end. I need to give it a rest. Some days are better than others. Some words are better than others. Tomorrow is another day.
Thanksgiving. Here I am with my cup of tea and the dog. There’s much to be thankful for. Each morning is an opportunity to do different, to do better. The decision lies in me and no one else in how and what direction I will travel. I am responsible for the results and consequences of my actions. At least they are from my conscious decisions. I’m not letting life happen to me.
It’s Sunday, ‘a day of rest’. I shall sit and linger awhile, sipping all the good stuff that is in my life. I shall contemplate and muse upon synchronicity – all those whispers that come to me when I am quiet and still. When I am willing and ready to listen and hear. I know there is much that I need/want to change. There’s much I need to question with: Is that really true? I recognize those moments that I need to ask. I recognize those times I’m fighting them. There’s a stubbornness and a twist in my heart. No, I don’t want to! It’s a big signal to ask: Is that really true?
Recognition is a gift to be thankful for. If I don’t recognize myself, how can I go forward? How can I be/do anything? On this Thanksgiving Day, I am grateful for this poem by Derek Walcott. It says everything that is in my heart at this moment.
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.